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L.A. Auto Show…press days round up

November 22, 2014 in Downtown, Driving, Events, News, Seasonal, Transportation

I have to tell you the cacophony of the Auto Show during press days is very different than that of public days. Its not thousands of people meandering about, but a herd mentality of media types running from one press conference and reveal to the next. Its usually a couple in a row in one hall where you shuffle a few feet at time vying for the best seat to hear/see and be the first on stage for photos when its over. Its 15 minutes of manufacture hype with 5 minutes of photo op, then 5 minutes to get to the next show. Insanity.

Also different is that the manufacturers have stuff that is available for press days only. The reps I talked with didn’t think the live demo of the iRoad in this video would take place for public days…so thats my lede. Read the rest of this entry →

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#RockingRewind the Hyundai after party

November 21, 2014 in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, Events, Music, News, People

What is L.A. Auto Show press days without a manufacturer party or two? My absolute favorite is the Hyundai party. Again this year at the Hotel Figueroa a few blocks from the show itself.

Mermaids.
Circus performers.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Yes, they were our live entertainment. Nearly shat myself when they were announced to be our entertainment for the evening. Tons of fun, she hasn’t lost her edge. Totally fun night.

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There is one wtf in every crowd

November 20, 2014 in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, Events, News, Seasonal, Transportation

Day 1 of L.A. Auto Show Press Days did not disappoint

spongebob

Of all the truly amazing things at this years L.A. Auto Show this one stopped me in my tracks and I thought wtf. Prolly the best use of a minican ever. If you want to see what Toyota is really capable of check out their FT1 concept.  Vette…they have your number and are gonna kick you square in the crotch.

More pics in my flickr album.

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Little House Christmas comes to Sierra Madre Playhouse

November 17, 2014 in Entertainment, News, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Theatre/Stage

ALittleHouseChristmas
The Sierra Madre Playhouse is breaking tradition and bringing in a new play for the Holidays. “A Little House Christmas” premieres on Friday November 28, 2014 and I don’t want the play to get lost in the holiday busy shuffle.  Carve out some time and bring the fam to what promises to be another marvelous production by the Sierra Madre Playhouse.

The play as you might guess is based on the “Little House” books done by American author Laura Ingalls Wilder.  The book has been adapted for theatre by James DeVita.

The Sierra Madre Playhouse presentation of A Little House Christmas is directed by Emily Chase. Her cast includes (in alphabetical order) Jolie Adamson, Pamela Daly, Jeff Doba, Jim Harnagel, Eric Charles Jorgensen, Fletcher Kamal, Valerie Rose Lohman, Andrew Stock, Hannah Victoria Stock and Amy Tolsky. UCLA musicologist Lyndsey Strand-Polyak is the production’s consultant on music of the ear, which will include vibrant fiddle and guitar playing as well as lively dance.

All the details and ticket ordering can be found on the Sierra Madre Playhouse web site.

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Food Drives highlight the season

November 15, 2014 in News, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Social issues

fork in it
Thanksgiving this year is a bigger challenge than ever according to my friends at the Foothill Unity Center. They feed literally hundreds of families every month, but this Holiday will be their toughest for a variety of reasons. Last year they fed 1,000 families. I won’t dwell on the “why’s” but will give you some ways to help.

First up is the “Put The Fork in Hunger” food drive in Pasadena to benefit the food banks at the Foothill Unity Center.  This food drive is going on NOW and all the details are in the link to their FB Page.  In short bring your non-perishable food items to 200 Bellafontaine Plaza and they will get it to the Foothill Unity Center to include in their packages for needy families.

The Foothill Unity Center needs a ton of help, not just food, but toys for the Christmas party they will hold as well.  This takes thousands of volunteer hours to get ‘er done.  They hneed help sorting food, making family packages and distribution to the families itself.  Sign up to volunteer HERE.

For more info on how you can help the Foothill Unity Center visit their web or call them:MONROVIA: 626- 358-3486 | PASADENA: 626-358-3486

Of course there are worthy food drives all over the city…chime in on the comments with your favorite charity in need of help.

 

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Call for entries at Los Angeles Center for Digital Art

November 6, 2014 in Art, Downtown, Entertainment, News, Photography, Technology

LACDA “Snap to Grid”- every entry shown

Snap to Grid show from the archives...click to embiggen

Yes, you read that right. Rex Bruce the owner of the LACDA prints and shows every single piece of digital art and digital photography that is submitted for this show. This is like close to its 10th year he is doing this. There is no jury you simply submit your work. There is no limit to subject matter or how many images you show. Just put your best foot forward as LACDA culls future artists for its big shows from these submissions.

I love this show as its a wonderful snap shot of the world as seen by digital artists and photographers at this moment in history.  There is no curation, but as a whole it tells a wonderful story of where we are artistically.

To enter there is a fee, up to $35 per image. Each image must be submitted with a registration form.  Once the registration form is complete and fee is paid you can upload your image HERE

Entry Deadline is December 1, 2014.  The opening of the show will be tied with the Downtown Los Angles Art Walk on December 11,2014.

DEETS:L.A. Center for Digital Art | 104 East Fourth Street | Los Angeles | CA | 90013  MAP HERE

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Protesters Marching around Hollywood and Highland

November 5, 2014 in Driving, Hollywood, Law, News, Social issues

A crowd estimated at 75-200 folks is marching along Hollywood and Highland area.  Twitter @Hollywood311 has been giving out info as far as where they are and what they’re doing.

What is unclear is what they are protesting.  Appears to be disorganized.  One person commented that its in protest of some sort of alleged police brutality in the area recently.  The consistent theme I’m seeing is that LAPD is trying to keep them off the streets to minimize traffic disruptions.

Anyone have details on the beef?  On why they insist on inconveniencing others?  If so sound off in the comments.

If Hal & Kermit Voted Back In 1968, So Can You This Tuesday!

November 2, 2014 in Events, News, Politics, Seasonal, Social issues

Hall & Kermit Go VoteHal Wescomb and Kermit Higgins lived at the Belmont, and had two other things in common. Both were divorced and both had taken bullets during the war — Hal to his right leg and Kerm to his left hip– necessitating the occasional use of canes, particularly on frosty mornings such as this one in early November of 1968 when they headed together out of the hotel south on Hill to catch the Angel’s Flight up to their polling place on what little now remained of Bunker Hill.

The two were great friends, but stood staunchly on opposite sides of Proposition 9, which sought to limit the property tax rate. In fact, if it wasn’t for their desire to cancel out the other’s vote, they might not have bothered to cast ballots that day.

Proposition 9 was defeated.

TRUTH IS: While the downtown location in the accompanying photo is real, I have no idea who those two fellows are and totally made up what they were doing after finding this photo (from the William Reagh Collection, California History Section, California State Library) in a wonderfully detailed post about the Hotel Belmont here at the On Bunker Hill blog. The year, 1968, is also legit, because I researched when Proposition 9 (shown second from the bottom of the campaign posters stacked on the left side of the image) was on the ballot. And yes it was voted down. The poster above Prop 9’s for Alex P. Garcia, who ran successfully for the 40th District seat in the State Assembly, is also worth mentioning. According to a feature on Latino political representation in state legislatures at the Latino LA Website:

In the 1966 elections, fifteen Chicanos ran for positions on the Assembly and all of them lost. Even, the one Latino incumbent Philip Soto lost his bid for re-election. Another nine Latinos ran for State Senate seats, and all of them lost as well. The result was that the California Legislature – once again – did not have a single Mexican-American in the Assembly or the Senate. Only the election of Alex Garcia to the 40th Assembly District in 1968 brought Latinos back to the California Legislature.

‪#‎TuesdayIsElectionDay‬ ‪#‎GoCancelOutAVote‬

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L. A. artist questioned over tweet about obama

October 30, 2014 in LA, Law, Law Enforcement, News, People

The artist SABO was detained and questioned by the Secret Service over a tweet.  SABO is the genius or demented mind depending on your POV behind the anti-Left posters floating around whenever hillary or the prez visit town.

The tweet itself wasn’t threatening.  He said he wished obama’s plane would crash.  Its free speech.  He certainly didn’t tweet he was going to take him out or similar that should have warranted eyebrows being raised.  Certainly in bushys day there were plenty of hostile thoughts tossed out by the left that weren’t so aggressively looked at.  What has become of us?  Is the division between left and right so extreme now that no one can say whats on their mind if its contrary to anothers political beliefs?

If you desire you can follow the rants and missives of SABO on twitter as @Unsavoryagents

Personally I’d love to meet the guy and find out more about him and his art.

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L.A. Auto Show teasers and maybe a spoiler

October 30, 2014 in Downtown, Driving, Events, News, Transportation

The L.A. Auto Show has one thing unique to others.  Its the Design Challenge issued every year to the manufacturers.  It has a theme that they must respond to.  The Design Challenge is now in its 11th year.

This years Design Challenge is “Sensing the Future: How Will Cars Interact With Us In 2029?”  I’ve previewed Connected Cars that know what everyone is doing and can avoid accidents, even autonomous cars.  This challenge asks them to take it to the next level of human auto connectivity.  I can’t wait to see what all they have in store us as this years L.A. Auto Show.

Also, I have a bit of a spoiler.  Yesterday I was at a Ford event at their Los Angeles Regional HQ.  They confirmed that we will get the Premiere of the next generation Explorer at our show on November 19.  I’ve heard a few bits and pieces on other blogs that the next generation will use a lot of aluminum to reduce weight and better its performance and fuel economy.  They were tight lipped on specifics of the global reveal so I’ll just have to sit tight until then.

Also…the promo code AUTOTRADER2014 is still good for discounted tickets to the show 11/24-27.

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L.A. Auto Show starts in 5 weeks….I’ve got a promo code

October 14, 2014 in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, environment, Events, News, Shopping, Transportation

L A Auto Show logo...

Although I can’t help with a freebie…this promocode AUTOTRADER2014 good through 11/15 will get you discounted tickets good for admission 11/24-27.

I’ll try not to throw too many superlatives at the event, but this year I think they are going to be able to outdo what they’ve done the last several years.

On tap are 60 reveals for this show, 30 of which will be Global Reveals…or reveals for the first time anywhere for the global market.  Those are always pretty spectacular as the manufacturers really want to get our attention.

In addition to the Green Car of the Year, Green Truck of the Year and Green Fleet of the Year awards are going to be awarded at this years Los Angeles Auto Show.  Smell us…we’re really a big deal.

As always I’ll be there for press days and blogging what happens along with the oddities of the day that regular show goers don’t get to see.  I’m even going to a few of the Manufacturer private after parties which are always fun.  Last year Hyundai had Ziggy Marley as the entertainment and the wait staff was all dressed as zombies. Too.  Much.  Fun..

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4000 Miles premiere at Sierra Madre Playhouse was simply amazing

September 27, 2014 in Entertainment, Events, News, People, San Gabriel Valley, Theatre/Stage

Leo and Vera meet for the first time...

Last night was the opening of 4000 Miles a pulitzer nominated play at the Sierra Madre Playhouse.  The play was so well executed and performed you didn’t neet an intermission.  It ran a full Hour and Forty Five, but the time flew thanks the the simply amazing performances of Mimi Cozen as the grandmother Vera and Christian Prentice as the grandson Leo.

I’ll try not to give too much of the story line away or drop a spoiler.  This is a drama with a lot of comedy included.  Leo is a young man on a literal and metaphoric journey.  Leo left Seattle on a bicycle with a friend who died tragically in an accident along the way.  Leo arrived at his Grandmothers flat in New York at 3AM. The grandmother wasn’t expecting him and the first tiff started.  During the course of this play Leo makes a new and stronger relationship with Vera.  She wisely guides him through his problems and difficulties.  Eventually they face a common sadness and he completes his bond with his grandmother.

Of course the supporting characters deserve mention here too.  Bec, Leo’s girlfriend played by Alexandra Wright does a wonderful job of shedding light into Leo’s problems as well as allows us to learn more of Vera as she attempts to help her see her love for Leo and save that relationship.  Bec in a way winds up being the hero that gives Leo the final push he needs to mend fences and move forward. Read the rest of this entry →

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Fund Raiser at CPK in Pasadena for Sierra Madre Playhouse 9/4/14

September 3, 2014 in Entertainment, Food & Drink, News, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping, Theatre/Stage

Sierra Madre Playhouse and California Pizza Kitchen in Pasadena have teamed up for a fund raiser to benefit the Playhouse and its coming production of “4,000 Miles”  The fund raiser is only at the Pasadena CPK on Los Robles, all day on Thursday September 4, 2014.  When you give your wait person THIS FLYER, 20% of your purchase will go to Sierra Madre Playhouse to fund this production.

Sierra Madre Playhouse was chosen over many other theaters in Los Angeles for the Los Angeles premiere of “4,000 Miles”  That play from what I’ve heard is an interesting look at transgenerational values and the exchange between a young man and his estranged grandmother.  The play opens September 26 and runs through November 8.  More details here.

Deets: California Pizza Kitchen, September 4, 2014 11AM-10PM.  99 Los Robles Ave (at Union Street), Pasadena CA.  MAP HERE.  Flyer HERE

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Amy Alkon’s new book signing Tuesday June 3

May 24, 2014 in Books, Entertainment, Food & Drink, News, People, Shopping, Social issues, West Side

Los Angeles book launch party/reading! Amy Alkon’s “Good Manners For Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck”.  Tuesday, June 3, 6:30p-8pm at Diesel Books at the Brentwood Country Mart (address/map below).  Wine and snacks will be served.

This book has already gathered more than a few good reviews.  250 Words.com called it a must read for this summer.

And Wharton School’s Adam Grant called the book “outstanding work” and wrote this:

This book is a gem, hysterically funny and grounded in science. Amy Alkon explains why so many people are rude and how it’s possible to be courteous, even if you’re foul-mouthed and clueless about etiquette. If anything will convince my wife that my manners are better than she thought, this is it.
~Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take

Amy Alkon aka The Advice Goddess is syndicated columnist in about 100 newspapers.  She is also all over the web at blogging daily: http://advicegoddess.com.  She also has a weekly radio show: http://blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon (Nerd your way to a better life! with the best brains in science) 7-8pm Pacific Time, or available at the link and on iTunes or Stitcher
If you can’t make the reception but really want the book NOW, you can get it on Amazon HERE.

Details. Diesel Books, Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th Street, Suite #33, Santa Monica CA 90402 (310) 576-9960  MAP HERE

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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.