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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.

As Easy As 2, 1, 3…

February 8, 2014 in East Side, History, LA, Maps, News, Rants, West Side

I’ve mulled over the news from earlier this week of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council declaring the community it serves as NOT a part of The Eastside.

I’d’ve thought I’d be all HELLYEAH! right outta the gate, given my past protestations (that’ve mellowed somewhat in my old age) against those over-insulated 135,938 natives and the 1.6-million transplants who live in the Westside and drink deeply of the koolaid that leaves them to believe with varying degrees of commitment that their vastly superior end of the city begins and ends on the ocean-side of…uh, you name it: Speedway Alley, Lincoln, Bundy, the 405, La Cienega, or La Brea, making the other end THEIR eastside for the simple reason that all that riff raff resides east of them. How proprietary.

But instead I surprised myself at being sort of meh at the strictly symbolic and mostly meaningless action. There certainly was a part of me that was satisfied and tried to rah rah at the decision — especially when I read subsequent news stories that took the idiotic angle that Silver Lake had voted to “secede.” As if it had gone all South Carolina on some sort of Greater Eastside union. How con-veeeeeen-ient!

But ultimately it was just a big shoulder shrug. Because I’ve figured out that it’s a waste of time. We live in a city that has built itself by marginalizing its past, so how can I expect so many of its citizens not do the same? In a city that itself has a history of discarding its history as it sprawled so ever nebulously outward from its core, convincing those residents adamantly ignorant of our city’s socio-geographic foundations to look at a different perspective is about as easy as convincing those entitled aggressive motorists they don’t have a right to run me and my bike off the road.

Ultimately what’s important to me now is not changing anyone’s mind but knowing what I know and respecting what so many others couldn’t care less about: that I reside (somewhere in that orange dot I added to that pictured map fragment above) on the land that ultimately became known as Silver Lake which stands in the northWEST corner of the boundaries of the original 16 Spanish Leagues centered upon the plaza where in 1781 — when the main thing going on in the Westside was waves crashing — was established El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula and incorporated as the City of Los Angeles in 1850.

To me, that’s as easy as 2, 1, 3.

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by frazgo

Found on Craigslist can humanity get ANY LOWER?

September 3, 2013 in News, Rants, Social issues

vile and disgusting

I heard about it on the news this morning and did a quick Craigslist  search and found one post on point.  Seriously, women are selling positive home pregnancy tests.  The purpose…to trick guys into marrying them.

Vile and disgusting.

And sweetheart, if you need to trick a guy into marrying you, is it really “love” or just some desire not to be alone?  Any guy that needs to be tricked really isn’t the catch you imagine, if he were and love was part of the equation, which it should be in my book, then he would have “popped the question”  What you are doing is plain evil.  Doesn’t even address what happens in 9 mos when you are supposed to pop one out.

I find the preggo selling positive dipsticks for this purpose a vile and disgusting waste of human flesh.  As reprehensible as this post is I still obliterated your phone number and address, consider it a favor.

Putting The Anger In “Ranger”

July 4, 2013 in Entertainment, Filmmaking/Filmmakers, Movies, Rants

Being an adorer of the western film genre as a whole, I was all set to put aside my misgivings about the Disneyfied Pirates-of-the-Caribbeanification of “The Lone Ranger” and go see it.

But now I won’t, thanks to a TV spot for the movie that made me yell “Whoaaaaa!” Specifically, it was the split second within the commercial that changed my mind so drastic and definitively when Johnny Depp’s Tonto — basically a more stone-faced Native American version of Cap’n Jack Sparrow — turns to the camera just as he’s about to be yanked hard off the top of a speeding train.

As his overly maked-up and crow-covered head swing around toward the lens, I see what’s coming next and futilely yell “Don’t do it!” out loud not at the TV so much as at the director, at the screenwriters, at the producers, at the marketers, at the studio, and of course at Depp… But to no avail he does it anyway. Does what? He cheap-ass smirks at the audience, like so (click to biggify):

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Pondering The Transponder: Sell Your Soul, Pay The Toll

November 13, 2012 in Driving, LA, News, Politics, Rants, Technology, Transportation

Following Frazgo’s November 9 post announcing the somewhat chagrin-filled arrival of toll lanes that have now turned a stretch of the 110 Freeway (and soon part of the 10 Freeway) into a Costway, I whatthehell’d it and decided to drink the koolaid and go get myself outfitted with one of the required tracking devices so my vehicular movements and non-movements could be monitored by 24/7 by the MTA and Caltrans, AAA via a combination of roadway implant receivers and suborbital satellites. Oops! Sorry!! My inherent schizoid-based distrust of any transmitters forced upon us by the government is showing. Let me zip that up. What I really meant to call the technology was “The completely harmless and entirely loveable Metro Expresslane FasTrak Transponder.”

Anyway, it’s not like I really need one. I’m rarely on the 110 and even rarer in its HOV lanes so my initial reaction was basically “fuck that bullshit” followed by about eight exclamation points.

Then my resolve weakened when the doomsday scenario occurred to me that there might come that anxiety-ridden day when I’m stuck southbound on the gridlocked Harbor coming through Exposition Park, 149 hopeless minutes away from a flight at LAX that’s leaving in 91 minutes. At that moment somewhere in a bunker deeeeeeeep under the city an MTA operative monitoring my biometric activity being sent via the chip embedded in the TAP card in my wallet smiled and told a failsafe colleague “We’ve almost got another one!”

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by frazgo

Can I call bullshit here? Chick-fil-a wants some love after encouraging hate.

August 1, 2012 in Food & Drink, Politics, Rants, Social issues

chick-fil-a notice

I’m a first amendment kind of guy, but I’m smart enough to know that what you say (or do) has consequences and you need to live with them.  As a refresher Chick-fil-a has donated some $1M towards anti-LGBT causes and publicly has acknowledged doing so and said it saw nothing wrong with supporting those causes they believed in.  Now they are all butt hurt that people who disagree with them aren’t letting them open new businesses and promoting boycotts of them.

With a few very highly publicized refusals to allow them open new restaurants because of their political stance and voice the folks at “The Liberty and Freedom Foundation” are trying to rally people to attend the restaurants in protest. At least according to this face book meme (pic attached) there is an effort to get them some love.  Maybe its time again for folks to consider exercising their free speech and gather in a picket in front of Chick-fil-a’s restaurants to educate folks on the hate this place supports?  I for one have boycotted the place since learning of their politics and encourage others I know to do the same. Often.

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by ruth666

Please tell the City not to ban medical marijuana collectives!

June 20, 2012 in Crime, Law, Law Enforcement, News, Politics, Rants

UPDATE:

We just received word that the vote, and all action at City Hall, has been POSTPONED until further notice.

Please continue to Support Unionized Medical Cannabis Workers, and your right to Safe Access, in LA by writing a letter to your council person at www.ufcw770.org/cannabis.

Sorry for any inconvenience. Here’s my original post:

The city is set to vote to ban collectives this Friday.

Yes, you read that right.

Currently there are 8 votes in favor of banning ALL L.A. medical marijuana collectives. In order to overturn that, we need to make sure Busciano, LaBonge, or Krekorian lean in our favor. If all three of them vote to ban… It’s referendum time.

Unless we turn just ONE VOTE by Friday, all LA collectives will be banned.

To be clear, there could very well be 8 votes to ban right now because 3 of those votes have been holding their cards close to their chest.

If you can (and you care) please show up this Friday, June 22, 2012 at 9am, at LA City Hall East () for a press conference with Union Members, Patients, and Community Allies, to preserve safe access. This is important and very real; your voice can help keep collectives open to the law-abiding citizens who use them.

Please call and write to your councilmember in the meantime: www.ufcw770.org/cannabis

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by ruth666

A Three Hour Tour???

February 7, 2012 in News, Politics, Rants

LA’s broke & getting broker – so let’s all (or rather a select few) take our minds off it with a “free” ride on this yacht that will cost us yet another $Mil or so next year alone….

Villaraigosa, you are SO FULL OF SHIT!

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by frazgo

Is Venice Beach losing its soul?

August 26, 2011 in Entertainment, Food & Drink, Rants, Seasonal, Shopping, West Side

Tent City

Yesterday was my annual pilgrimage to Venice Beach with the kids for their end o’ summer/back to school field trip.  (I celebrate the latter).

It is so sad to see the changes going on in Venice right now.  Where the sidewalk was once lined with artists and musicians it is now packed with EZ-up tents selling mostly swap meet type crap.  To even get to the tent city one has to wade through a gauntlet of a dozen or so “independent musicians” hawking their latest CD in a very aggressive in your face manner.

I can count on my hand the number artists left on the sidewalk of Venice Beach.  It was sad to see so few of them left.  It was even sadder to see the number musicians has dwindled to less than a handful.  I miss them all, they were the heart and soul of the Venice Beach that I have come to love over my years here. Read the rest of this entry →

Juuust In Time For Donut Summit: Chowhound Controversy!

July 30, 2011 in Donut Summit 2011, Events, Rants

So a Chowhounder whose screename is “kauma” posted a topic earnestly titled “Donut Summit: Who’s Going?” yesterday. It and the ensuing short if surprisingly snarky and dismissive comment thread was discovered and passed on by one of my fellow B.la contributors.

When I checked it out I found the first commenter, “Mattapoisett in LA” who decided to get critical equating a few typos found in one of our posts as somehow indicative of a lack of organizing skills. His skills at spotting mistakes was promptly applauded by “kauma.” Then commenter “sushigirlie” responded to that saying it seemed “pretty telling that they couldn’t get the donuts shops to donate donuts.”

In defense of the awesomeness of tomorrow’s event and the triple-deckered phenomenality of everyone here at Blogging.la who’s chipped in and pitched in to put this thing on, I posted what I considered to be a fair and untrollish rebuttal, replete with wink at the end in the form of a typo-laden twist on a biblical reference, because, yeah, that’s how I roll. Sometimes.

Checking back awhile later to see if anyone responded I found something magical must have happened because my comment was nowhere to be found in the thread. A dubious poof: had it been a posting failure on my part or had someone in that thread closed to opposing points of view (and/or snarkily cliché’d twists on bible quotes) intentionally deleted it?

So I decided to re-post, trying to get as close as I could to my original thoughts. After it, too, successfully posted, I took a screencap (after the jump; click it for enhanced readability).

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by frazgo

Seriously this warning needed to be posted?

July 21, 2011 in Housekeeping, Rants, West Side

Bathroom Etiquette

Bathroom etiquette takes many forms.  Yesterday I was in a high-falutin office complex in Santa Monica and spotted this sign in the mens room.  It made me laugh, then it made me wonder what the hell happened that made them post the warning.  They not only ask you to clean up after yourself but then enumerate the steps to do so.

The image is kinda crappy as it was done with a cell phone.  To save you the squinting eye strain here are the steps in short.  Flush more than once to leave a clean bowl, make sure the ass gasket is flushed completely, make sure the seat is dry and lastly wash your hands.

Granted it made for a really nice clean restroom and there are plenty of others in the city that could use similar instructions.  Where is your favorite potty stop in the city?  Least favorite?

Pic does get bigger with a click.

Hitler finds out about the 405 closing

July 8, 2011 in Rants

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All In All It’s Just A ‘Nother Dick With A Wall

June 29, 2011 in News, Politics, Rants

Failure

As far as I’m concerned Antonio Villaraigosa walled himself off from me way back a few months before his first election in 2005. First he started posting election signs that phonetically spelled out the pronunciation of his last name (ELECT Vee-ahh-ray-go-sah!) to help educate those who were obviously having trouble wrapping their tongues around that contrived conjunction of his and his then-wife’s last name. Shortly after that, he led me to vote for Hahn when he decided to pander to the animal activist vote and kneejerkedly blurt out his support for closing the elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo, as if that’d be the most important order of city business to get to the moment after being sworn in.

Then came all his missteps and failures and that silly affair with that TV news reporter and the divorce and more missteps and more failures, which just built the divide between him and me all that much thicker and higher.

In fairness, the wall came down a bit shortly after his re-election when I’m guessing his Hummer-lovin’ transportation deputy Jaime de la Vega had someone phonetically spell out “bicycle” (bye-sea-cull) for ‘Tonio and after practicing it diligently he actually said the word publicly for the first time. Shortly after that revelation someone got a picture of him astride a borrowed fixed-gear at a community event in Baldwin Hills, and that endeared me him a little more to him me. Then, as we all know, that high was followed by the low of him pedaling along Venice Boulevard where he took a bone-breaking tumble trying to avoid an inattentive cab driver. But from that near-disaster came his understanding that supporting bikes on the streets and cyclists’ rights to safely ride them there would be a lot easier and more positive a pet project than, say, taking over the school system or running for governor, or spending more time out of the state campaigning for a presidential candidate, or dating other local news reporters… well, scratch that last one.

And my belabored point is? Belabored more after the jump.

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by frazgo

We’ll flag it as #parkingdouchebaggery

June 17, 2011 in Driving, Parking Tards, Rants

parking douchebaggery

Sigh…one really can’t win at my kids ortho for parking in the tiny lot.  It doesn’t help when some douche in a giant SUV takes up two spaces.  What you can’t see as it is hid by the shadow is the demarcation line dividing the two spots ol’ lard ass hogged up.

Pic with my trusty cell phone…gets bigger with a click.

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by ruth666

LAFD: Right On!

June 16, 2011 in East Side, LA, Rants

I just want to take a moment to exploit this public forum to send out some very personal gratitude to the LAFD’s emergency responders.

Thankfully, it was only water spurting out under high pressure this morning and not blood, but the intrepid (and so handsome!) dudes appeared in a jiffy and had the situation under control in short order.

Did I mention they were gorgeous? And that after battling the water I looked like a drowned rat?

Oh and before you downgrade my IQ by 50 points you should know that They couldn’t find the water shutoff to the house either.

In fact, now that daylight is upon us and calm is restored, I’d really like to know where that shutoff is….

(and PS, kids: if you’re gonna sleep naked, maybe have some clothes in your handy emergency kit. Just sayin.)