Offshore Report (December 5)

December 1st marked the beginning of another year of the Grey Whale Census and Behavoir Project. No Grays have been official added to the migration tally yet this year, but several have been spotted in the area before December 1st. The census takes place at the Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center during daylight hours, rain or shine, until May 15th.

dolphinicon.gif2007 marked one of the best Blue Whale seasons in southern California. (This was in stark contrast to last year, which was certainly disappointing, with whale watching boats out of Santa Barbara failing to see Blue Whales for days on end.) 3-5 Blue Whales are still being spotted in the area, including off of Pt. Vicente and Portuguese Bend this week.

dolphinicon.gifOther species spotted this week include 3 Fin Whales (observed lunge feeding), Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins (with calves) & Common Dolphins.

dolphinicon.gifWeather for on-shore observation will be good today (and probably pretty cool with the huge waves) but dodgy later this week with the coming rain. However, naturalists have observed that Gray Whales often come closer to shore after the first rains of the year (the influx of fresh water may be useful for removing parasites). So look sharp if you’re close to the shore later this weekend.

See daily updates from the Gray Whale Census here.

Make the Heat Work for You

Nicole of Baking Bites tried out the old “it’s hot enough to bake cookies in this car” trick yesterday.

The interior of her car reached 180 degrees! (If that’s not enough to convince you to not leave your pets in your car, I don’t know what is.)

Though the cookies don’t get golden brown, she can attest that they do get fully cooked.

So, if you lament that your car at work isn’t covered during the day, maybe you’ll feel better coming back to it knowing there’s a baking sheet filled with gooey cookies.

(Too complicated but wanna make something in your car? How about sun tea in a nalgene bottle?)

Localized Power Outage

So here I am, sitting outside using the last of my laptop battery and accessing the internet via my neighbor’s wifi.

There was a small power outage around 4PM tonight in Silverlake. Probably a dozen houses are included in the rampant darkness and oppressive stillness in the air.

DWP hasn’t budged much, it took about 4 hours for them to actually respond that it was a verified problem. Since then they said that they’d dispatched a crew, but we’ve seen no crew crawling around in the back yards of those affected.

I miss my electricity and if they give it back to me, I promise I won’t use much. (I admit that I did actually turn on the air conditioner this afternoon for the first time ever while it was still light out.)

UPDATE: As of this morning a crew still hasn’t been dispatched. There are about 20,000 people in LA County without power in many different areas. They have to prioritize and this little pocket of 20 houses isn’t that high on their list. This is the second time this year we’ve been without power for more than 12 hours.

UPDATED UPDATE: At around 10 AM we returned from breakfast at Astro to find our street filled to the brim with four DWP trucks (two with bucket cranes!). Of course all the vehicles are useless as the transformer that needs to be replaced is on a pole in our second-neighbor-over’s back yard … down a very steep hill.

Two hours since then … the crew has been up on the pole but has yet to remove the old transformer. But they’re here! They’re here! (I’m going to take them popsicles later!)

UPDATED UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Power was back on by 2PM. Fans a whirring, the ambient temp in my house at 10PM was still 90 degrees. So much for the belief that electricity makes things better.

105 Closure near LAX this Weekend

Just a heads up if you didn’t see the notice in the LATimes. The feature film John Hancock will be shooting on the 105 (eastbound and westbound lanes at different times) on and off this weekend.

105closure.jpg

Allow extra time to get to and from the airport and of course avoid the airport area if at all possible (there’s likely to be a lot of overflow traffic on the 405 and surrounding surface streets).
Continue reading “105 Closure near LAX this Weekend”

Sunset Junction – This Weekend!

Sunset Junction Street Fair is this weekend, Saturday from 10 AM to 11 PM and Sunday from 10 AM to 10 PM.

There are some changes this year. First, the venue has moved slightly. It will now straddle Santa Monica Blvd. and Sunset Blvd. (the true Sunset Junction) which means that it doesn’t go as far east on Sunset. Moving down the street a bit may help ease some of the traffic congestion and allow more businesses to remain open to regular customers (instead of those that must pay the mandatory entrance fee of $15).

sunsetjunctionmap07.jpg

(those little flags on the map don’t mean anything, it was just an easy way to generate a map with the endpoints of the fair.)

The entrance fee has gone up this year to $15 at the gate ($12 if your order in advance).

See full map here.
Continue reading “Sunset Junction – This Weekend!”

Blue Whale Trippin’

This is your last chance this summer to get out on a true cetacean safari in Santa Barbara with the American Cetacean Society. On Saturday, August 11th is the ACS-LA’s annual “Blues of Summer” cruise. I went two weeks ago and can I just say awesome? Three blue whales (we stayed with a pair for nearly an hour). We saw four different pods of dolphins (including one huge pod of 500 or so short-beaked common dolphins), a mola mola and my first-ever sighting of a basking shark.

Okay, the video is a little choppy, but photos just don’t begin to show the scale of these 80 foot creatures.
Continue reading “Blue Whale Trippin’”

Don’t Eat Pulparindo

pulparindo.jpgThe California Department of Public Health is once again warning consumers not to eat Pulparindo from De La Rosa because of high levels of lead detected in samples.

De la Rosa Pulparindo is a tamarind pulp candy packaged in 10-ounce boxes that contain individually wrapped 0.49 ounce candies. The 10-ounce boxes are bright red in color with the word “Pulparindo” boldly printed in black letters. The individual candy packages are also bright red in color with the word “Pulparindo” boldly printed in black letters and “Extra Hot and Salted Tamarind Pulp Candy” boldly printed in yellow lettering with green trim located underneath the word “Pulparindo.”

Mexican tamarind candies are often sold at drug store and grocery chains in Southern California as well as numerous bodegas and dollar stores.

See the health alert notice on the FDA website (you can now subscribe to RSS feeds of all recall notices).

I don’t know why it’s so difficult for Mexican candy to GET THE LEAD OUT but I really wish they would. I love their flavors, but I just don’t trust their manufacturing and packaging.

George Putman and your perversions

I was browsing over Ken Levine’s archives and found this link to a video on YouTube. It’s an old anti-pornography film hosted by George Putnam.

If Putnam seems familiar to you, you might recognize his demeanor from such shows as Mary Tyler Moore and the Ted Baxter character and The Simpsons’ Kent Brockman. Seriously, you have to watch this 8 minute clip. (Safe for work nudity because of the little boxes over the naughty bits!)

What I didn’t realize is that George Putnam is alive an well and on the radio. (I think I’ll stick to Kent Brockman.)

What sort of economy would we have if pornography was not a part of Los Angeles? (Embedded video after the jump.)
Continue reading “George Putman and your perversions”

Belong to a more exclusive club – Blue Whale Watchers

You wanna feel like you’re part of something big or exclusive this summer? It’s not about iPhones or waiting in line at a fictional store or a new ride or a new movie. If you’re someone who wants to wait for something how about real and rare. How about belonging to a really exclusive club of people who have seen a Blue Whale?


yes, I saw this whale two years ago … I wonder if he remembers me?

There may be only 12,000 Blue Whales on the planet (and only 3,500 of those in the Northern Hemisphere). Talk about a limited supply. But we’re lucky enough that we live a scant ninety minute drive from a summer feeding ground. We’re talking world class whale watching here that can be done in a day … get up early, go out on a boat, sleep in your own bed that night.

The American Cetacean Society Los Angeles is hosting a trip this Saturday on the Condor Express leaving from Santa Barbara. The boat leaves at 8 AM and returns at 4 PM (possibly later if there’s something cool to look at). Tickets are $90 and seats are still available. As a reference normal half-day trips on the Condor Express are $88 for half day trips … this is such a deal!
Continue reading “Belong to a more exclusive club – Blue Whale Watchers”

No Matter How Things Change …

There was a small post on TVSquad a few weeks back about the trippin’ news opens from Cleveland in the seventies, and I was wondering if there was something similar in Los Angeles local news at the time. I didn’t find anything quite as choice as that, but I did dig up a few good news snippets … back in the day when we had NFL football in Los Angeles and Pat Sajak bringing us the weather instead of word puzzles with prizes.

Continue reading “No Matter How Things Change …”

Not Worth the Wait – Finding Nemo ride at Disneyland

Nemo LagoonI haven’t been to Disneyland a lot. I went back in the early eighties with a cousin while I was in Anaheim for a wedding, I went in ’93 when they opened Toon Town because a friend designed it and we wanted to see the new “land”. That was the first and last time I rode the Submarine Voyage attraction. I found it headache inducing and lame … it smelled of diesel and the attraction was bleached and faded. Of course it was closed a few years later and then sat as a mere pond until earlier this year when Finding Nemo opened.

I went to Disneyland with my brother and his family (an eight year old nephew and six year old niece and my sister in law) and we were rather surprised to find that the Nemo ride was not only popular, but they were also filming a commercial for it, so there was the usual, oh, two hour line plus a bunch of disclaimers posted that by entering the area or riding the ride we agreed to be in a commercial with no further compensation. Oh, and they’ll be stopping and starting the ride. So if you’re curious about whether you should wait in line for this … read on.
Continue reading “Not Worth the Wait – Finding Nemo ride at Disneyland”