Happy Anniversary Northridge…did we learn anything?

20 years ago my young family and I were in Valley Village some 6 or 7 miles from the epicenter of the Northridge Quake.  It was probably the most frigthening moment of my life, far worse than any tornado we rode out as a kid back in the midwest. When the ground stopped shaking, there wasn’t a piece of anything we owned in its original place, complete and total mess with tons of breakage. My building had a lot of damage, others on my street literally collapsed.  I vowed that morning to be better prepared for the next one.

Now I have ample food and water in EQ kits in the house and garage. We have EQ kits in all the cars.  I know its redundant, but if one falls down there a chance we can still get to the other.  I learned the hard way in NR to have cash on hand as the debit and credit card machines are down for days. Big things are quake strapped, little things that we want to keep are down with quake hold.  I also keep a flashlight in every room with redundant  battery supplies.  My cars rarely go below half a tank, as well gas stations are out of order for days as well. I participate in the annual Shake Out preparedness drill.  When the next big one strikes I’ll probably be as scared as I was in NR, but I will be prepared better for the aftermath. Continue reading Happy Anniversary Northridge…did we learn anything?

This is insane Colby Fire in Glendora moving quickly westward

http://youtu.be/L7WsuyRyIzI

As I write this the Colby Fire has grown to well over 125 acres.  Friends in Azusa are under mandatory evacuation orders.  A friend just tweeted that 2 folks were in custody for this ARSON  fire.  ABC7 Tweeted just now its 3.

Tweet that 3 have been arrested

WTF..as if we don’t have enough to worry about these assholians are out there starting fires putting so many at risk. Continue reading This is insane Colby Fire in Glendora moving quickly westward

Earthquake warning system for So Cal? There might be an app for that someday.

Sample early warning message from USGS, click to embiggen

Take the survey HERE.  The USGS, working with a university,  is taking a survery of an app for our phones that would tie into a USGS early warning system giving us seconds to prepare for a specific anticipated intensity of shaking.  How cool is that?  Take the survey, give them their feedback so they can make it a system that works for us.

Nearly 20 years ago this week, the 17th to be precise was the Northridge Quake.  An early warning may have given some of us a few seconds to prepare for the violent shaking that took place that morning.

Cheeseburger Week in Pasadena starts today

"frazgo special" at Slaters 50/50 in Pasadena...custom built to order, click to embiggen

I have no reason to doubt the veracity of the claim the CHEESEburger was invented in Pasadena.  Several reputable media sources have documented it taking place at the Rite Spot in 1924 by Chef Lionel Sternberger.  To celebrate the entire week, starting today 1/12/ through1/17/2014 is dedicated to the cheeseburger with Pasadena declaring it “Cheeseburger Week”.

Its such a big deal in Pasadena that not only did they declare it a special honorary week, but some 18 restaurants including my fave in Old Town Pasadena, Slaters 50/50 are celebrating the week with all sorts of specials.

Cheeseburger Week has a website and facebook page. Continue reading Cheeseburger Week in Pasadena starts today

ICME: Chandalier Tree, it just makes me happy

I
Chandalier tree of Silver Lake, click to embiggen

This just makes me happy.  Its man vs nature.  Its just silliness.  Something we need more of.  Its simply a few dozen lit chandaliers and a grand old tree.  Please excuse the photo, I grabbed it with my phone after dark, certainly just at dusk might have been a bit better, but beggars can’t be chosers.

Its located at the corner of Silver Lake Drive and Shadowlawn Ave a block off Rowena.  MAP HERE.  There is a big red curb in front of the property so you do need to park on adjacent streets if you can find it. Be kind to the locals and don’t block a driveway.

Menu Mining: Doomies Home Cookin’

Doomie's menu, click to embiggen

Let me preface this with I’m not vegan, vegetarian or carnivore. I’m an omnivore and appreciate good food when I find it. I do “meatless monday” for health reasons and have found a lot of really good all veggie places. This one is near the top.

The atmosphere at Doomie’s is a bit divey, you can see the kitchen from the tables and its cluttered, but not dirty. The bathrooms I can’t be as nice about…I wanted to disinfect my shoes after going in there. But this isn’t about the potty but about the food.

I went with an old pal last night who is a practicing vegan and she RAVES about how good the food is…all vegan, except a little bit of real cheese available to those vegetarians who do that stuff. Continue reading Menu Mining: Doomies Home Cookin’

What happens when you throw boiling water in the air in L.A


Please share this with your pals back east. I’m not sure where this crazy trend of throwing boiling water in the air got started. Its actually quite silly and some 50 people working on Darwin Awards doing it have been treated at ER for it. Leave it to a dude in Venice to put an L.A. spin on it all.

I get it, its cold back east. I personally am totally digging this winter so far. Yes, we are in dire need of rain, but we still have time for a March Miracle to arrive and forgo any drought worries.

A Far-From-Trivial Tale Of Two Bike Commute Fragments

This may seem meaningless to most of you who travel in fossil-fueled and four-wheeled conveyances, but for those of you who bike this city with any kind of regularity, I trust you can recognize how awesome it is when you discover a better route of travel no matter how long or how short it is — especially if it’s been there practically under your tires all along. The only thing better than discovering such trajectories is sharing them with the one or two cyclists out there, who, like me, didn’t already know the new route already. So here it is:

For years and years and years, to pedal the relative shorthop from Beverly Boulevard to Hoover Street I’ve traversed the route shown on the right (click it for the bigger picture) that mainly utilizes Commonwealth Avenue. It is problematic for four reasons:

1) The ridiculously deteriorated asphalt on the Bureau of Street Services-forsaken stretch of 2nd Street between Hoover and Commonwealth, which probably rivals the infamous rugged terrain that can be found on the famed Paris-Roubaix race.
2) That’s then matched by the crappy roadway extending from 6th Street to Wilshire.
3) Between 6th and Wilshire in the morning you also have to deal with an epidemic of craptastic double parking as people load and unload passengers, most of whom are bound for the nearby court building.
4) The reeeeeeaaaally long wait on Commonwealth at Wilshire for a green light.

So yesterday, now that I’m back in the fully employed saddle again, and getting off the a good start towards keeping my New Year’s resolution to bike more miles than I drive, I was riding south on Vendome approaching Beverly, but instead of going straight across as I’ve done for so long, I decided to go left and see what it would be like getting to Hoover from there via an alternate route.

As shown in the second image at left, I turned right from Beverly onto LaFayette Park Place and not only does it get me to where I want to be with less turns and twists, but it’s also less congested, wider, and the pavement is billiard-slate smooth. And while the green light to cross Wilshire is probably as long as the one mentioned in No. 4 above at Commonwealth, I can at least turn my less-stressed head to my right and say good morning to the statue of the Marquis de LaFayette standing in the corner of the park that’s named after the hero of the American Revolution.

Once across Wilshire, it’s a left turn onto Hoover and I’m on my way, left only to wonder how and why it took me so long to figure out this better way to go.

 

Happy 2014

Air force Thunderbirds over my 'hood at 8:02AM click to embiggen

I was just too busy yesterday to get a pic of them as they flew by for a practice run, but was out at 8:02AM as they screamed over my ‘hood on their way back to Nellis AFB in Las Vegas.

I’ve been scouring YouTube for the pics of the NYE festivities in Grand Park, if you have one up, drop the link in the comment section.  What I have seen so far looks pretty awesome, though most folks wanted fireworks too.  Go figure.  I think next year I shall venture to DTLA’s Grand Park to watch this show as it looked to be that good.

Happy New Years L.A…gotta love you, can’t help myself.