Ecotopia Festival: Music, Yoga and Cool Vibes Rule in Ojai

I love Ojai, super peaceful and beatuiful place, so when I saw this, I was stoked to get on board. If you’re looking for some fun and a hit of transformation, check out the Ecotopia Festival happening next weekend, Oct 22 & 23 in Ojai. It’s a two day event featuring some great Electronic music, Kirtan Artists, Yoga workshops and lectures designed around building conscious communities.

It’s a pretty smokin’ deal at $45 per day or $80 for the weekend. There is something about the golden hills of Ojai that always gets me going… it really is a magical place so just getting out of town and hanging there is sure to be a cool experience.
The idea for Ecotopia revolves around community building & holistic workshops… kind of a Burning Man meets Bhaktifest meets something new. You can go for the weekend or the day. There will be lots of local organic food vendors (Cafe Gratitude is one of the sponsors) and beautiful tent or RV camping. Good way to welcome the change of seasons at this very special conscious gathering.

It’s located at the Mystic Ranch: 10338 Ojai Santa Paula Rd Ojai, CA 93023.

National Plug-In Day Event in Santa Monica this Sunday

Chevy Volts
Pair of Chevy Volts at 2011 Alt Car Expo in Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a Ground Zero for hybrid, electric, and other alternative fuel vehicles in the U.S. It’s nearly impossible to open your eyes while there and not notice at least a Prius or two. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the flagship event for this Sunday‘s National Plug-In Day will be a gathering and parade of electric and plug-in vehicles in Santa Monica.

Continue reading National Plug-In Day Event in Santa Monica this Sunday

An Ode to Rocket Video

Courtesy communicatrix via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.

Rocket Video, the independent video store on La Brea, closed at the end of September after three decades of supplying esoteric and hard-to-find films to amateur and professional film buffs alike.  The reasons probably are obvious – the Amazon of independent video shops, Netflix, ate up a huge chunk of its customers, plus the shitty economy – so, in a way, it’s a little surprising that it managed to survive as long as it did.  Manager Jeffrey Miller penned a lovely tribute to his store over on Zocalo, recalling a few fond memories about his great customers:

My favorite was Faye Dunaway. Certainly, she could be a little demanding. The first time I encountered her, she bounded through the doors of the store and yelled, “Quick, I need Reservoir Dogs right now! I’m double parked on La Brea!” Another time, when we called to tell her a certain title had come in, she was livid. “What are you doing calling me?” she yelled into the receiver. “I am trying to write! Don’t you know I have to answer my own phone?”

Continue reading An Ode to Rocket Video

Tom’s sponsors “street artist” murals in LA including live tonight at DTLA Artwalk

Philip Lumbang Mural
Philip Lumbang Mural, click to embiggen

Call it what you want.  Urban art, street art, its all good art in my book.  Rarely do the practitioners get a legit forum to practice and share their art.  Tom’s has commissioned 3 such works as part of the World Sight Day, which is dedicated to bringing recognition to blindness and vision impairment as a global public health issue.  One of these paintings will actually be done live at tonight’s Downtown LA Art Walk.  Your list of artists and locations of their work for this project:

  • Philip Lumbang, 826LA EAST, 1714 W. Sunset Blvd.Echo Park, CA 90026 (213) 413-3388
  • Septerhed, First Friday @ Abbot Kinney, 1118 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA
  • Aaron Axelrod, DTLA Artwalk, ArtWalk Lounge,634 S. Spring St, Los Angeles

Pic courtesy of and used with permission of Tom’s.


“Moving Violations” at the LA Center for Digital Art opens 10/13

Rex Bruce’s exhibit “Moving Violations” opens for a 2 month run at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art on October 13.  The opening reception will be that day held in conjunction with the Downtown LA Art Walk.

Moving Violations is a capture of life in LA through the windows of a moving car.  It is really a commentary on the destruction of the city and its environment done by the cars that we pretty much live in getting from place to place.  The exhibit is still images and video aimed at a sensory overload with a political message.  The full artists bio and description of the show can be found HERE.  In the artists words:

The work is pretty self explanatory—toxic SoCal overkill and maximum carbon emission, but it is informed by a particular vision of my era that has coalesced in my mind.

Deets:October 13-December 3, Reception Thursday October 13, 7-9pm, 102 W 5th Street, Los Angeles CA 90013 MAP HERE.

It Hit My Eye: Like A Big Pizza Pie

Waiter: Will there be anything else for you this evening? Moon: No thanks. I'm totally full.


Coming in a close second to my deathless obsession with measuring rainfall, is my never-ending crush on the moon, particularly when it hitsa your eye like a bigga pizza pie, such as last night’s full version. So after this morning’s pre-dawn dog walk I situated my 60x spotting scope on the porch (illustrated after the jump), got my point-and-shoot all up in its viewfinder and managed to hold everything steady long enough to land this big fella at 6:31 a.m., juuuust before it got tangled up in the frontyard tree branches and power lines (click to enormify).

Continue reading It Hit My Eye: Like A Big Pizza Pie

8 Days and counting until the Great California Shake Out.

The Great California Shake Out
The Great California Shake Out

Are you ready to Drop, Cover and Hold on?  Mark your calenders for 10/20 at 10:20AM for the next installment of the Great California Shake Out.  This is an annual quake drill on a statewide level and there is much going on in L.A. for the event.  Not signed up yet to participate?  There is time to do so on their web page HERE.

Its been over 17 years since our last big quake here in L.A. (Northdridge 1994 to be precise).  Many here don’t remember the shaking or waiting for sometimes days for water and power to be restored.  The Shake Out is about more than just riding out the shaking, its about preparing to be a survivor in the time one waits for help to arrive.  Their 7 Steps are outlined in their web.  In short be prepared to be on your own until help arrives.For me October Shake Out prep involves going back through the Earthquake kit, updating food, batteries and water that have gone stale over the last year. Continue reading 8 Days and counting until the Great California Shake Out.

Found on Road Alive:1930 Ford

1930 Ford Model A
1930 Ford Model A

It always amazes me the old cars that get used around here.  This sure is a nice 1930 Ford Model A but its not your typical trailer queen this driver actually pops up around town every now and then just being driven and enjoyed.  I spotted it yesterday afternoon at the Celebrate the Arts here in Monrovia (an art festival I participate in every year at this time).  They owner just popped into Library Park to check out the art exhibits leaving it unattended to draw a crowd all on its own.

The View From Here

Here being this spot around sunset yesterday, about three-quarters of a mile downstream from Fletcher Drive on the westbank of the Los Angeles River, from which I did not previously know that the Hollywood sign was visible. One gets so used to looking at the landmark straight on that it’s a bit of a surprise when it pops into view from such wider angles (click to embiggen):

After the jump I also caught a bit o’ video of a great blue heron successfully fishing in an eddy for dinner, and after that in about the same place as the shot of the Hollywood sign grabbed a really crappy still of a perching osprey, one of the rarest birds to be found around the waterway, who swept in for a landing while I stood there gaping.

Continue reading The View From Here

STROMWARTCH!!11!!: Silver Lake

1" @ 9AM • 3" @ 11AM • 4" @ 3:30PM

OK, yeah… so, second off that is a full-on rain-o-meter you see pictured above, which for better or worse definitively demonstrates the degree to which I am a raincatching geek. Seriously, I’ve been quantifying the wet stuff since I was 10 years old. I have no idea why. And if it’s any consolation, I didn’t buy the decorative contraption myself,  it was a gift from my beloved wife (probably because Susan got reeeeeal tired of me taking Sharpies to various vases/glassware and inking inch mark approximations all up and down them).

Thirdly, if you look in the background of the middle shot you can make out most of what is in fact a 9-foot-tall wooden heart leaning up against one of our trees in the backyard. That’s a longer story I won’t bore you with here, but yup: we have a rain-o-meter AND a 9-foot-tall wooden heart in our Silver Lake backyard. WIN!

But firstly: Dang if today’s cloud action didn’t dump one,two, three, four inches of precipitation between the hours of 8AM when I set the precipitometer up and 3:30PM when the storm called it a day. Of course your inch-count will vary, but still that’s pretty badass as far as water falling from the sky during the fall. I don’t have LA’s meteorological history in front of me but I’ll bet you October is typically one of our drier months and this drenching could rank as one of the biggest October storms Silver Lake — or perhaps Los Angeles as a whole — has absorbed.

Foo Fighters – YES! – October 14th – If you compel me….

Just to give you a little peek behind the curtain, the nice people at Goldenvoice often grace us with delicious bundles of free tickets to their events, in hopes that we will write about them and increase attendance.

We love this – and I have to say that I love it in particular because

a. I’m too cheap to buy tickets to things, and
b. I like to feel like a bigshot.

Most of the time there are tickets a-plenty, which means the person who blogs the story gets two, and everyone who wins the contests we run gets the rest. Nice deal.

Except now. When we only get ONE PAIR of Foo Fighters tickets!

That means I have to be generous and groovy and give YOU these tickets, without even getting to go myself! Think of it! The horror!


The contest is this: You tell me why YOU deserve to go more than I do, and you get a pair of tickets to FOO FIGHTERS AT THE FORUM ON THE FOURTEENTH.

Simple, right?

So get creative. Because I REALLY dig this band.

Win Tickets to see Plain White T’s @ the El Rey on October 7th!

Aside from their melodramatic love song to a girl across the country, Plain White T’s, otherwise known as that band from ABC Family’s Greek, will be playing an awesome concert at the El Rey this Friday October 7th. They’ll be joined on stage with The Summer Set, The Downtown Fiction and Allison Park.

Here’s your chance to check them out! Thanks to the awesome guys at Goldenvoice, we have a pair of tickets to give-a-way to one lucky Blogging.LA reader.

Leave a comment below with your favorite Plain White T’s song and I’ll pick a winner on Wednesday October 5th @ 12PM PST. Please be sure to check your email / twitter because if I don’t hear back from you, I’ll have to pick someone else!!

And as always in case you don’t win tickets, you can always buy them here: