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Camelopardalid Meteor Shower to peak Friday Night

May 20, 2014 in environment, Events, News, Seasonal

Reports on this meteor shower are all over the board.  In short from what I’ve been geeking out over is that this is the first time we will be crossing this debris field from a some forgotten comet.  The potential is that it will exceed 100 meteors hour at its peak here Friday Night.  Maybe even be a full fledged meteor storm, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

Venerable JPL in Pasadena is hosting an open house of sorts Friday evening for the public to view it.  Their facebook page HERE.  They predict peak viewing for us will be  Friday 11PM to 1AM Saturday.  The meteors will appear from an area of the barely visibile Camelopardalid constellation.  Easiest way to remember is that this is between the Big Dipper and Little Dipper in the North, North Eastern sky.

Those of you sitting in traffic on points east or on your way to Las Vegas in the middle of the desert may get a great viewing as well. Since I’m in the foothills with no city lights or street lights for that matter, I’ll simply set up some lawn chairs in the front yard and hope for the best.  To add to the nerding out over this…I”ll be out there with a camera hoping to capture one or two of them zipping across the sky.  I’d much rather be out at Joshua Tree for this, but too much is going on this weekend to do that.

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Taste of Haiti fund raiser to rebuild schools

May 20, 2014 in Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, Music, Shopping, Social issues

Nearly 4 years ago the island country of Haiti was devastated with an earthquake. International aid helped, but they have a long way towards rebuilding. Their education system took a huge hit and is in need of contnued help.  Taste of Haiti comes to Los Angeles as a fund raiser to continue rebuilding their schools and stuff.

Taste of Haiti is a celebration of all things Haitian and will take place on a rooftop in DTLA on Wilshire.  Food, Dance, and Music to celebrate their culture and share with those of us who can help with the cause.  High light of the event is food by Chef Jacques Laventure.

This isn’t free, tickets range in price from $20 to $100 with perks commensurate with your tax deductible donation.  Ticket purchase and more about the L.A. Event here.  More on the total Taste of Haiti Here.

Details: May 28, 2014 7:30PM, 3100 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90005

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Mustangs Across America…comradery and cars

April 10, 2014 in Driving, Entertainment, Events, News, Transportation, Which Side?

Last night was the pre-rally party for the folks taking part in the Mustangs Across America rally that starts here in Los Angeles and will end up in Charlotte NC a week from now.  This event will be the pinnacle of activies surrounding the 50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang. Read the rest of this entry →

Life After Uncivil Ruthless Acts (L.A.U.R.A) 7th Annual Resource Fair and Peace Walk on March 29

March 22, 2014 in Events, Social issues, South Side

Life After Uncivil Ruthless Acts (L.A.U.R.A.) will hold the 7th Annual L.A.U.R.A. Unity & Peace Resource Fair and Peace Walk on March 29, 2014 from 10 AM to 3 PM at the Fred Roberts Recreation Center, 4700 Honduras St., Los Angeles, CA 90011.

The event brings together people from all walks of life and seeks to end the cycle of violence by transforming lives and unifying families. Organizers anticipate over 2,000 participants attending and showing their love and support for all victims of crime.

The event begins with a peace walk around the South Central neighborhood of Central Alameda and continues with a presentation of awards and resource fair. The peace walk begins at 9:30 AM. This year’s awardees include Senator Ricardo Lara for Civic Leader Award, Mike Kim for Corporate Responsibility Award and Natali Cabrera for Youth Recognition Award. These individuals will be recognized for their outstanding commitment and leadership to the residents.

Life After Uncivil Ruthless Acts (L.A.U.R.A.) was formed in memory of Laura Sanchez who was murdered in front of her home in South Central Los Angeles during a drive-by shooting in 2007. Founded by Laura’s sister-in-law, Adela Barajas, L.A.U.R.A. is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of residents in South Central Los Angeles by empowering youth, victim-survivors and their families and by bringing a wide range of resources to the community.

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Empty Bowls comes to Monrovia

March 22, 2014 in Art, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, News, San Gabriel Valley, Social issues

Empty Bowls is an international grass roots movement. In simplest terms ceramists donate their talents, and sell bowls filled with donated food to support local food banks and hungry families. The cost of the finished and filled bowl is $10 and you get to keep the bowl to take home with you.  The proceeds from this event will be split between donations to the Foothill Unity Center and MUSD families.

In my little corner of L.A Empty Bowls is being coordinated by Meaghan McCarthy. She is working with the local adult school go create bowls.  Not just a few, but a goal of 500 bowls to be finished and ready for sale with food by the June 21, 2014 sale. Read the rest of this entry →

Why Crashing Tomorrow’s Marathon On Your Bike Could Be The Least Awesome Thing You’ve Ever Done

March 8, 2014 in Biking in LA, Events, Law, Law Enforcement, News, Rants, Social issues, Sports

UPDATED (3/8 @ 12:16PM): Well would ya lookee here, this latest statement from Don Ward on the Wolfpack Hustle Facebook page indicates that while the race is off it looks like a scrambled-together permitted fun ride with the assistance of LAPD and the mayor’s office may be a go. I’m going to refrain from offering a wholesale “nevermind!” to my post below  and instead suggest “approach with caution” as the situation may still be in flux.

There is much anger over the cancellation by civic officials of tomorrow’s Marathon Crash Race bike ride. The event, which was hatched by my friend and tireless bike advocate Don “Roadblock” Ward the year after freshly minted L.A. Marathon owner Frank McCourt (‘memba him?) decided in his infinite dimwittedness in 2009 to kill the companion landmark bike event to the annual footrace held every year since 1995 apparently because he didn’t need the cash-cow like money generated by the entry fees paid by some 10,000 cyclists to freewheel at their leisure and pleasure along the race course at dawn each year.

I did it every year from its inception to its end. Here’s my timelapse of the final LA Bike Tour:

In its first couple/three years the Marathon Crash Race was a guerilla-style ride, steadily building its participation through word of mouth in the greater Southern California bike community and beyond. But its popularity fully kablammo’d! last year. Depending upon which story you read about it there was anywhere between 2,000 to 4,000 participants. Kray. Zay.

So for this year with the race threatening to be even bigger Don went to some pretty great pains to take the informal cooperation provided previously by LAPD, city and marathon officials, and make it formal. This past week, those officials collectively said “Oh HAIL nah!” leaving Ward dejected and many of those who planned to ride threatening to crash the the marathon and ride the route regardless.

If you’re one of those protesting threateners, here’s the thing to consider: The very public slaying of the Marathon Crash Race by the bureaucrats has been coupled to subsequent very real threats of prosecutorial action to be taken against any and all riders who take to the course in the aftermath of the cancellation. In addition those two elements are linked inseparably to the heightened security concerns brought to the fore by the Boston Marathon bombing last year.

Bottom line to any one in the wake of those facts who is still deciding so unwisely to ride the closed course, you should damn well budget and prepare for and accept the VERY REAL possibility of being stopped most impolitely WELL short of the finish line potentially to stand facing officers barking orders from behind guns/batons/tasers/pepper spray canisters prior to being separated roughly from your bikes and subsequently handcuffed and arrested, with pronation and dogpiling being part of the process. And quadruple the woe and injury that could befall those who ride wearing a damn backpack of any size. For that level of dumbo idiocy I am NOT even in the slightest kidding: it could be your funeral.

I am sad to have to posit such horrible possibilities and scenarios. In a way it means the terrorists have won. But heartbreak aside, from where I’ll be safely sitting, the time and energies that would be expended getting processed into jail, bailing oneself out, dealing with any injuries incurred and a lawyer and eventually facing a court proceeding and penalty would be better spent tapping those cancel-happy bureaucrats — and extraspecially Frank McCourt — on their collective noggins repeatedly until they either bruise or finally come up with the idea that resurrecting the LA Bike Tour might be a pretty decent compromise.

But maybe that’s just me.

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Happy 2014

January 1, 2014 in Entertainment, Events, Seasonal

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.

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Protest L.A. plan to ban feeding the homeless in public

December 12, 2013 in Events, Hollywood, News, Politics, Social issues

The movement is gathering momentum.  Some of the major local media has picked it up.  In short the Monday Night Mission is organizing the protest in response to discussions based on neighborhood proposals to ban feeding the homeless in Los Angeles.  In short a bunch of gentrifying NIMBY’s somehow think banning the feeding of the homeless will end the problem and remove them from their neighborhood.

Do contact your local council person and tell them to vote NO on this proposal.  Contact Mayor Garcetti as well and ask him to kill the discussion.

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Its just too Damn Big – Hahamonga dredging protest

December 12, 2013 in environment, Events, Politics, San Gabriel Valley, Social issues

Somehow, somewhere, things have gotten out of hand in the Hahamonga Watershed area nestled below JPL and abutted by LaCanada and Altadena/Pasadena.  After many community meetings, a questional EIR and just plain upset folks it looks like the plan to completely dredge out and obliterate every living thing is moving forward.  An important natural recreation and wildlife spot will be lost if they move through with their plans.

Concerned citizens are being asked to gather on either side of the dam for a holding of the hands protest.  It will take place on Saturday 12/14/2013 at a11AM.  Full details on where to meet up is on the flyer you can click to embiggen.  There is a FB page with more information on the protest as well as the plans by L.A. County Public Works to dredge and expand.  MAP HERE

 

 

 

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A Christmas Carol at Sierra Madre Playhouse through 12/23

December 4, 2013 in Entertainment, Events, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Theatre/Stage

Sierra Madre Playhouse has got to be one of my favorite venues for plays.  Its a small theatre with a wonderfully warm setting.  Intimate even. This trailer is just a sample of the quality of work that they do there.   They are presenting A Christmas Carol now through December 23, 2013.  The play is on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays only.

This being a small venue it is advisable you buy your tickets online in advance of the showing you would like to see.  They do sell out fast.  Ticket prices are $25/28.  Online you do have the option of picking your seats.  You may order HERE.

Deets: Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 West Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre, California 91024 (626) 355-4318 MAP HERE

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Snap to Grid show at L.A. Center for Digital Art deadline today

December 2, 2013 in Art, Downtown, Entertainment, Events, Photography

Yikes, I don’ know how I slept through this one, maybe it was Auto Show Frenzy of the last few weeks.  Regardless. The Snap To Grid show at LACDA has got to be my absolute favorite show.  Why?  Its a take all comers show that gives you a wonderful snapshot of where we are as artists and what we are doing right now with digital photography and digital art.  The stuff is amazing.

If you are interested in showing at this show all you have to do is fill out an registration form (you won’t be rejected) pay your $35 admission and upload your images.  Simple as that.  You register HERE.  You upload HERE.  The deadline is today to do so.

Some important information:

  • Show Dates: December 12, 2013-January 4, 2014
  • Deadline for entries: December 2, 2013
  • Opening Reception: December 12, 7-9pm, 7-9pm

L.A. Center for Digital Art, 104 East Fourth Street  Los Angeles, CA  90013

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Small Business Saturday get out an meet some folks

November 30, 2013 in Art, Books, Entertainment, Events, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

Authors and Artists, I have them both for you here in the SGV.

First up is a person I feel tickled to know, actor, writer, blogger and photographer Petrea Burchard.  She released her novel, Camelot & Vine this spring.  She’ll be at two, count ‘em two book signings today.  Petrea will be at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena from 11AM-1PM today.  Then she will move to Websters Fine Stationers in Altadena around 2PM for a few hours.

After that I think you would enjoy Old Town Monrovia, especially the area in front of Paint n Play 2 Art Studio and Gallery.  Several artists will be there from 6PM-10PM for an evening art walk.  Among the artists there will be author and photographer Steve McCarthy.  Steve has written a few books that he will have there and sign for you.  First is “Road Trippin’” and the other is his first novel, “Old Farts Spy Club”.

I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your shopping dollars in the hands of the small businesses in the community.  These small businesses keep their money in the community and help keep us strong and vibrant.  Whether it be my little corner of L.A or yours we all benefit from getting to know them, shop with them and make them strong as they give so much back to our communities.

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Press Days of the LA Auto Show

November 24, 2013 in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, environment, Events, Fashion, Food & Drink, Media, Technology

I can’t begin to tell you the fun I have at Press Days for the L.A. Auto Show.  Yes, its a lot of work but a lot of fun is interspersed during it too.  You get to meet some really interesting people from all over the world, both media and manufacturer types.  The reveals are 20 minutes long and 5 minutes apart.  You have two choices…hustle to each or pick and chose the ones you want to stake out and really see.  I always take the latter approach and have time to photo the exhibits with minimal people in the way.

Most of the manufacturers have some sort of refreshment set up.  Audi and Porsche each set up pop-up restaurants with free wifi.  Jaguar did a nice cafe this year too.  However, hands down my favorite was the food trucks AND beer truck at the Nissan stand.  Yes.   A beer truck dispensing ice cold beer, ipa and ale from Stone Brewing.  I had a nice cold glass of Arrogant Bastard thank you very much.

There are tons of other things going on during Press Days as well.  There are receptions and happy hours.  Notable ones were for the Design LA and Aftermarket Halls at the show. There is also the opportunity to get in and drive cars, mostly green cars on the last day (Thursday).   Read the rest of this entry →

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2013 L.A. Auto Show – winners and losers

November 22, 2013 in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, Events, History, LA, News, Seasonal, Shopping

Entire Honda Accord Line named “Green Car of the Year”

The rain may have slowed down the award show start yesterday, but the end result was a lot of folks at Honda’s Torrance headquarters must have been elated.  Celebratory even.  In a crowded field of worthy competitors Honda’s Accord line, not just a single model, but the entire line of 4cyl, V6, hybrid and plug-in hybrid Accords with their “Earth Dreams” technology won Green Car of the Year. Quite an accomplishment and hats off to the folks in the South Bay for bringing the award home.

The 2013 LA Auto Show is without a doubt the best I’ve seen since I started covering it in 2007 for blogging.la  There were some 50 World Premiere’s at this years show of some really stunning cars.  BMW chose us as the auto show to introduce us to their new “i” program, that will in time be as recognized and as important as the “M” series is to them.  For a pic of my winners and losers for this years show you need to make the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

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2013 LA Auto Show opens Friday

November 18, 2013 in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, Events, Transportation

Its that time of year. I lose my mind and go car crazy all over the web, its time for the L.A Auto Show!

It opens this Friday, November 22 and runs through Sunday December 1st.  Its really a big deal show and its been fun watching it morph into one of the big deal shows on the international circuit.  I dare say, I think its even nicer than Detroit which was the biggest in the country for decades. “Was” as the past tense simply because they don’t have hall dedicated to aftermarket and tuners like we do here in L.A.

The show this year is being changed up a bit in terms of layout.  Bentley moves to the south hall, GM spreads its brands more in the center of the South Hall.  For a complete list of the brands and where to find them check this MAP.  Conspicuous by their absence is the exotics (Ferrari, Lambo) or high zoot (Rolls and Bugatti).  But then again we are billed as the “Green Car” show and do award the “Green Car” of the year here so I guess I can’t complain too much. Read the rest of this entry →