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Downhill Boarders just outside of L.A

January 2, 2013 at 11:24 am in Driving, Entertainment, LA bloggers, People, South Bay, Transportation

I spotted this on the Smoking Tire’s channel this morning.  Pretty awesome downhill boarding just outside the city limits.  Interesting to note that these guys had helmets on, much better than the yahoos I was behind recently on Laurel Canyon doing this WITHOUT helmets.

Smoking Tire for those of you who don’t know is owned by Matt Farah who runs Smoking Tire.com and was interviewed by me a couple of years ago.  Good guy, great cars and car reviews all taking place in and around Los Angeles.


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Happy New Years Eve L.A.

December 31, 2012 at 12:43 pm in Driving, Holidays, Mass Transit, Seasonal, Social issues, Transportation

Its New Years Eve here in L.A. and I read a startling statistic that there are nationally 25 deaths a day caused by drunk drivers over holiday weekends.  July 4th weekend here in L.A for example had 1,000 DUI arrests.   Please don’t be a stat tonight, rather have a great night and take public transportation.   You can even ride the trains for FREE from 9PM tonight until 2AM tomorrow (New Years Day).

If you drive and find yourself too tanked to drive call AAA if you are a member or not,  you can take advantage of their “Tipsy Tow“.  All you have to do is call them at 1-800-400-4222 and they will pick you AND your car up and tow you up to 7 miles.  Great service that can save you a DUI ticket or worse an accident.

I for one this year will be spending a quiet evening of family game night.  What are your plans?

Happy 2013 in advance.


Take A Hike To An Unsung POV

December 26, 2012 at 9:05 am in Biking in LA, Sports, The Valley

I’m one of 17 hiking and mountainbiking members of the newly formed Trail Safety Patrol volunteer program implemented by Glendale whose mission beginning early next year is to serve as ambassadors for the city’s Community Services & Parks Department and work in conjunction with Glendale police and fire in providing for and promoting an enjoyable experience for all visitors to its open spaces.

Though I’ve been riding in the Verdugos for all 22-years of the mountaingbiking portion of my life, there are trails in the adjacent San Rafael Hills we’ve been tasked to patrol I’ve never put tire tread to and I’m familiarizing myself with them in advance of our start date. Two weekends ago I rolled the Ridge Motorway, and last Sunday found me on the Valle Vista Motorway located on the ridge between the 134 Freeway an Glenoaks Canyon. I want to highly recommend both if they were as previously unknown to you as they were to me. But of the two, the latter offers the most awesome visual award.

Here’s the flat version of a 360-degree panorama I took of the scenery and of my fellow mountainbiking patrolers from the trail’s western overlook above the 2/134 interchange (biggification enabled when clicked).

A rotating, interactive version of the pano image is viewable here.

The trail (route mapped here) is accessible from the upper end of Sleepy Hollow Drive off of Glenoaks Boulevard. At less than one-mile in length, the payoff found at the end far exceeds the output required to get to it, although there are some steeply graded sections of the fire road to scale as it rolls along.

 


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Christmas from back in the day where everyone dressed for the holiday

December 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm in History, Hollywood, LA, Seasonal, Vintage

Love this video, just wish it had a sound track.  Love the old stock footage from 1940′s Los Angeles where they really went out of their way to decorate for Christmas in Hollywood.

Merry Christmas all…


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Santa visited my ‘hood last night

December 19, 2012 at 10:09 am in Entertainment, Holidays, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal

Its been going on for as long as my kids were little and I have lived in Monrovia.  Its a great little tradition where MPD and MFD escort Santa and his carolers through the streets of town hitting EVERY neighborhood during the course of 4 nights the week before Christmas.  The Holidays wouldn’t be the same without this wonderful tradition, especially for those with little ones afoot still.

What sort of traditions exist in your pocket of L.A?  Share them in the comments with links to any video or pics you have.


9th Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival This Weekend

December 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm in Downtown, Entertainment, Events, Filmmaking/Filmmakers, LA, Movies

This weekend, the LA 3-D Club is hosting the 9th Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival at the Downtown Independent Theater. The festival opens Friday, December 14th at 8pm with Robin Hood: Ghosts of Sherwood 3D, a 2012 feature from Germany, directed by Oliver Krekel and starring Martin Thon, Tom Savini, and Kane Hodder.

Short films in competition will screen at 1pm and 3pm on Saturday, December 15th, followed at 5pm by a special presentation of 20th Century Fox’s Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare,  a 2012 3-D animated short film starring the youngest family member of  The Simpsons. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with members of the creative team behind the film, including director David Silverman.

The festival’s Closing Night will showcase the feature U2 3D, the 2008 concert film that was shot in South America during the band’s Vertigo tour.  U2 3D will screen for FREE at 8pm on Saturday,  December 15th and will be introduced by 3D Producer and 3ality Technica CEO Steve Schklair.

Sunday, December 16th will be dedicated to remembering and celebrating the life of Ray Zone, LA 3-D Club Vice President and 9th Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival C0-Chair in a free public memorial at the theater. Ray was an author, 3-D film producer, speaker, and award-winning 3-D artist who passed away on November 13, 2012. A reception, hosted by the International 3D Society, begins at 5pm, followed by family and friends speaking in memorial to Ray in the theater. The evening will include displays of Ray’s art, writing, and film work.

If you buy a pass to the festival, you could be the lucky winner of a FujiFilm FinePix REAL 3D W3 digital camera. A Festival Pass is $30 and gets you into all screenings and events during the weekend  and enters you into a drawing to be held at the awards ceremony on Saturday evening at 7pm.

Come out and support a great local organization, a fantastic independent theater and see some amazing indie 3-D films and music videos from all over the world.

The 9th Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival
December 14th through 16th, 2012
Downtown Independent Theater
251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles 90012


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L.A. Auto Show opens today and what to expect.

November 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm in Blogging (in) LA, Downtown, Driving, Events, Transportation

Ford World 2012 LA Auto Show

So much to talk about so will try to bring it down to a Reader’s Digest condensed version.  I will also try to bring you up to date as well as what you missed during Press Days which were this Wednesday and Thursday.

First of all, if you are looking for exotics fuhgetaboutit, there are none.  The entire class is represented by Galpin’s stock of Aston Martins.  Very nice cars, but not the boat load of Ferraris, Lambos and Rolls of years past.  That’s what happens when the L.A. show grows so big with a focus on green cars it alienated that fun bunch of fantasy cars. Read the rest of this entry →


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L.A. Auto Show opens Friday

November 27, 2012 at 8:45 am in Downtown, Driving, Events, Transportation

It is one of my most favorite times of the year, but then again I’m a car guy so it may not rank as high for you.  Since the L.A. Auto Show moved out from under the shadows of the Detroit show a few years back to right around Thanksgiving the show has taken off in terms of international importance.  Even Detroit has begrudgingly noted our importance as an international show.  Actually our show kicks Detroit’s butt, been to Detroit and they have nothing on us, especially when you roll in all the tuners, customizers and other goodies found in Kenetia Hall.  That is something that Detroit completely lacks.

It starts Friday November 30 and runs through December 9 in the entire Convention Center in DTLA.  All the information you could want about the L.A. Auto Show can be found on their web site HERE.  That includes the ability to order tickets online and save yourself some line time waiting to get into the show.

I’ll be there for Press Days as well as a regular paying member with the fam this weekend.  Yes, for me its that big of a deal.

PS as of 8:30AM yet another article out of Detroit goes live about how important the L.A. Auto Show is and sets the bar for others in the US Auto Show circuit.


Pondering The Transponder: Sell Your Soul, Pay The Toll

November 13, 2012 at 8:40 am 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!”

Read the rest of this entry →


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Lexus Lanes coming to Los Angeles’ Harbor Freeway

November 9, 2012 at 8:52 am in Downtown, Driving, San Gabriel Valley, South Bay, Transportation

transponder

It was bound to happen here eventually, another money grab that gives privilege to the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.  The Harbor Freeway is converting from traditional carpool HOV lanes to HOT (toll lanes) both directions from Adams to the 91 Freeway on Saturday.   The toll paid will depend the time of day and congestion costing from 25 cents a mile to as much as $1.40 mile.

Motorcycles and legit carpoolers can still use the lane for free.  You must  have a transponder to use the newly christened HOT Lanes even if you are exempt from the tolls.  Transponders can be purchased from the MTA and select Albertson and Costco stores.  The MTA also charges a $3.00 fee per month for the privilege of having a transponder.

All the info you could want can be found via CHP Nixle and Metro Express Lanes web sites.

Have no fear SGV…you too will have Lexus Lanes coming after the first of the year for the 10 Freeway, both directions,  from Downtown LA to the 605.

 


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Today is the big day, Just VOTE!

November 6, 2012 at 8:53 am in Politics, Social issues

LA REgistrar

Just a friendly reminder came my way from the LA County Registrar.  Polls are open from 7AM to 8PM. If you aren’t sure where your polling place is, as several have changed in the city you can find out where to vote at LAVOTE.NET.  And if you are like me and don’t want to know anything until tomorrow morning when its all said and done you can even visit LAVOTE.NET for the final results.  Just remember if you don’t vote you can’t bitch about the results.


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Best of France and Italy car show Sunday 11/4

October 31, 2012 at 11:13 am in Driving, Entertainment, Events, The Valley, Transportation

france and italy car show poster

If you have a soft spot for those quirky French and Italian cars this may well be the perfect show for you.  The France and Italy Car Show will take place this Sunday in Woodley Avenue Park.  It will feature a lot of vintage French and Italian cars.

It will be located on Woodley Ave south of Victory.  Its official time is 9Am to 2PM, I’d strongly urge folks interested to be there early as a lot of people start leaving well before the 2PM close time.  If they can start their cars that is…sorry for the snark but a lot of these cars will live up to their stereotypes.  They even have a Facebook page with more details.

Details: Sunday November 4, 2012, Woodley Avenue Park MAP HERE, Van Nuys, CA

 


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Desert Noir 3-D Double Feature: INFERNO and DARK COUNTRY, Sunday 10/28

October 24, 2012 at 6:18 am in Downtown, Entertainment, Events, Filmmaking/Filmmakers, Movies

Event Poster Desert Noir

If you love classic film noir and like it even better in 3D this could be do not miss this Sunday. The LA 3-D Club is sponsoring the screenings that will take place at the Downtown Independent Theater on Sunday October 28 at 7pm.  All the information you could want on the event as well as purchasing tickets online can be done HERE.

Deets:  Sunday 10/28, 7PM.  Admission $6 for current LA3DClub members, $12 for non-members, (admission is waived with USC Student ID). Downtown Independent Theater, 251 S Main, Los Angeles CA 90012. MAP HERE


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626 Market Night returns bigger and better at Arcadia’s Santa Anita Racetrack Park

October 19, 2012 at 11:04 am in Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, LA, San Gabriel Valley

The first effort was grand, but it was way to small to handle the crowds.  The second event was in a bigger location but even then it was too small for the crowds it drew.  How to make it even bigger and better?  Score a deal with the folks at Arcadia’s Santa Anita Race track off Huntington Drive.  This event is promised to be big enough to handle any crowd tossed at it.  Add in ample parking (there is no mass transit to there yet) and this is set to be a really fun event without the horrendous waits of the original back in July.

All the deets you could want on their FB page HERE.


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Space Shuttle Endeavour makes its final cross of L.A

October 12, 2012 at 11:24 am in Downtown, Photography, South Side, Transportation

Its happening now, the space shuttle is slowly making the drive to its new home at the California Science Center.

Just my luck I blew out my knee and can’t stalk it as it makes its way to the CSC.  If you had a chance to see it in transit today please feel free to share links to your stuff in the comment section.