Things are pretty dire around here. After several years of not having “normal” rainfall this year was a disaster. Last stat I heard was we only got 1/3 of “normal”.
This morning I took a drive into Azusa Canyon for a walk along the river. Path was closed due to recent fires and mudslides so I opted to take a drive into the canyons. Gorgeous day for that. Everything is so clean and green after the storms of 2 weeks ago.
I was really surprized by how empty the dams were. Worst I’ve seen them in years. You can see the normal levels way up the sides of what should be big bright full lakes. In the case of San Gabriel Dam, from the lookout above you can actually see the bottom, and many spots its just muck filled with flotsam and jetsam. Not pretty at all. Doesn’t bode well for our summer water needs either. (Yes I know we don’t get water directly from there, rather water is released to settling ponds to recharge our groundwater). Read the rest of this entry →
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.
The filmIt’s A Mad, Mad, Mad World was probably the last big budget screwball comedy featuring the best of the best comedians from the era. Flash forward 50 years later and some things have changed, others haven’t but George Ann Muller and Peter Scarbo hunted down the locations and reshot them today for scene by scene comparisons. Its not all L.A but it sure is a lot of SoCal much of which we call our playground now.
I’m not quite sure where to start with this. Background maybe? Noah Green is/was a candidate for City Attorney council for Sierra Madre. So far so good. Sierra Madre is a quiet, staid little bedroom community. Here he went astray. He referred to the locals as “townies” which ruffled a few feathers. Then they saw his facebook page. Sierra Madre Tattler was on the story.
Before long this story exploded and likely cost Noah his shot at winning the election. 3 images surfaced and appeared on the Sierra Madre Tattler, before long his selfies, as childish and sophomoric as they were, became big news. Big enough that the Tattler opines it cost him the election. (Complete story and pictures here, mildly NSFW)
My question to you, with the exception of the nudie in the hammock, should this poor exercise in judegement be enough to cost him the election? Or would it have been funnier if he got his dangly bits caught in the open loops of the hammock?
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.
20 years ago my young family and I were in Valley Village some 6 or 7 miles from the epicenter of the Northridge Quake. It was probably the most frigthening moment of my life, far worse than any tornado we rode out as a kid back in the midwest. When the ground stopped shaking, there wasn’t a piece of anything we owned in its original place, complete and total mess with tons of breakage. My building had a lot of damage, others on my street literally collapsed. I vowed that morning to be better prepared for the next one.
Now I have ample food and water in EQ kits in the house and garage. We have EQ kits in all the cars. I know its redundant, but if one falls down there a chance we can still get to the other. I learned the hard way in NR to have cash on hand as the debit and credit card machines are down for days. Big things are quake strapped, little things that we want to keep are down with quake hold. I also keep a flashlight in every room with redundant battery supplies. My cars rarely go below half a tank, as well gas stations are out of order for days as well. I participate in the annual Shake Out preparedness drill. When the next big one strikes I’ll probably be as scared as I was in NR, but I will be prepared better for the aftermath. Read the rest of this entry →
As I write this the Colby Fire has grown to well over 125 acres. Friends in Azusa are under mandatory evacuation orders. A friend just tweeted that 2 folks were in custody for this ARSON fire. ABC7 Tweeted just now its 3.
Tweet that 3 have been arrested
WTF..as if we don’t have enough to worry about these assholians are out there starting fires putting so many at risk. Read the rest of this entry →
Sample early warning message from USGS, click to embiggen
Take the survey HERE. The USGS, working with a university, is taking a survery of an app for our phones that would tie into a USGS early warning system giving us seconds to prepare for a specific anticipated intensity of shaking. How cool is that? Take the survey, give them their feedback so they can make it a system that works for us.
Nearly 20 years ago this week, the 17th to be precise was the Northridge Quake. An early warning may have given some of us a few seconds to prepare for the violent shaking that took place that morning.
"frazgo special" at Slaters 50/50 in Pasadena...custom built to order, click to embiggen
I have no reason to doubt the veracity of the claim the CHEESEburger was invented in Pasadena. Several reputable media sources have documented it taking place at the Rite Spot in 1924 by Chef Lionel Sternberger. To celebrate the entire week, starting today 1/12/ through1/17/2014 is dedicated to the cheeseburger with Pasadena declaring it “Cheeseburger Week”.
Its such a big deal in Pasadena that not only did they declare it a special honorary week, but some 18 restaurants including my fave in Old Town Pasadena, Slaters 50/50 are celebrating the week with all sorts of specials.
This just makes me happy. Its man vs nature. Its just silliness. Something we need more of. Its simply a few dozen lit chandaliers and a grand old tree. Please excuse the photo, I grabbed it with my phone after dark, certainly just at dusk might have been a bit better, but beggars can’t be chosers.
Its located at the corner of Silver Lake Drive and Shadowlawn Ave a block off Rowena. MAP HERE. There is a big red curb in front of the property so you do need to park on adjacent streets if you can find it. Be kind to the locals and don’t block a driveway.
Let me preface this with I’m not vegan, vegetarian or carnivore. I’m an omnivore and appreciate good food when I find it. I do “meatless monday” for health reasons and have found a lot of really good all veggie places. This one is near the top.
The atmosphere at Doomie’s is a bit divey, you can see the kitchen from the tables and its cluttered, but not dirty. The bathrooms I can’t be as nice about…I wanted to disinfect my shoes after going in there. But this isn’t about the potty but about the food.
I went with an old pal last night who is a practicing vegan and she RAVES about how good the food is…all vegan, except a little bit of real cheese available to those vegetarians who do that stuff. Read the rest of this entry →
Please share this with your pals back east. I’m not sure where this crazy trend of throwing boiling water in the air got started. Its actually quite silly and some 50 people working on Darwin Awards doing it have been treated at ER for it. Leave it to a dude in Venice to put an L.A. spin on it all.
I get it, its cold back east. I personally am totally digging this winter so far. Yes, we are in dire need of rain, but we still have time for a March Miracle to arrive and forgo any drought worries.
This may seem meaningless to most of you who travel in fossil-fueled and four-wheeled conveyances, but for those of you who bike this city with any kind of regularity, I trust you can recognize how awesome it is when you discover a better route of travel no matter how long or how short it is — especially if it’s been there practically under your tires all along. The only thing better than discovering such trajectories is sharing them with the one or two cyclists out there, who, like me, didn’t already know the new route already. So here it is:
For years and years and years, to pedal the relative shorthop from Beverly Boulevard to Hoover Street I’ve traversed the route shown on the right (click it for the bigger picture) that mainly utilizes Commonwealth Avenue. It is problematic for four reasons:
1) The ridiculously deteriorated asphalt on the Bureau of Street Services-forsaken stretch of 2nd Street between Hoover and Commonwealth, which probably rivals the infamous rugged terrain that can be found on the famed Paris-Roubaix race.
2) That’s then matched by the crappy roadway extending from 6th Street to Wilshire.
3) Between 6th and Wilshire in the morning you also have to deal with an epidemic of craptastic double parking as people load and unload passengers, most of whom are bound for the nearby court building.
4) The reeeeeeaaaally long wait on Commonwealth at Wilshire for a green light.
So yesterday, now that I’m back in the fully employed saddle again, and getting off the a good start towards keeping my New Year’s resolution to bike more miles than I drive, I was riding south on Vendome approaching Beverly, but instead of going straight across as I’ve done for so long, I decided to go left and see what it would be like getting to Hoover from there via an alternate route.
As shown in the second image at left, I turned right from Beverly onto LaFayette Park Place and not only does it get me to where I want to be with less turns and twists, but it’s also less congested, wider, and the pavement is billiard-slate smooth. And while the green light to cross Wilshire is probably as long as the one mentioned in No. 4 above at Commonwealth, I can at least turn my less-stressed head to my right and say good morning to the statue of the Marquis de LaFayette standing in the corner of the park that’s named after the hero of the American Revolution.
Once across Wilshire, it’s a left turn onto Hoover and I’m on my way, left only to wonder how and why it took me so long to figure out this better way to go.