Lucha Noir on Friday


Check it out – SECRET HEADQUARTERS is at it again!

This time it’s a book party for LUCHA NOIR.

“Lucha Noir” is a new all-lucha libre artbook from Xeric Award-winner Rafael Navarro and “From Parts Unknown” publisher Keith J. Rainville.

Ten years of commissioned illustrations, never-before- published ringside sketches, recently discovered roughs and studies, and even some never-before-seen rarities featuring Navarro’s acclaimed “Sonambulo” are collected. The book also features ‘Liner Notes’ from both the artist and the publisher on the artistic process, with anecdotes on rejected pieces, altered roughs, what worked and what didn’t and why.

On hand will be artist Navarro and publisher Rainville, alongside other creative types who have worked in various lucha libre-related projects. Besides “Lucha Noir”, available will be the acclaimed FPU masked-pulp novel “HOODTOWN” by Christa Faust (with her a likely attendee as well), and various back issues and rare tidbits from both the “From Parts Unknown” catalog and Navarro’s award-winning “Sonambulo” fare.

Mexican wrestling and beer start flowing at 8pm!!!

3817 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Continue reading Lucha Noir on Friday

Red Flag Day in effect!!!

Anastasia Mann, President of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council, alerts me that:

Any hillside streets marked for Red Flag Day parking restrictions will have cars towed today. This is the FIRST day that the Red Flag (wind related) warnings are in effect for the CITY of Los Angeles.

Prior to towing, LAFD (the Fire Dept) will attempt to locate vehicle owners/drivers. However they do not have to do this to tow the vehicle.

In short, this means that the combination of Santa Ana winds and dry atmosphere make us at higher risk for fires, and moving cars from the Red Flag zones will allow fire crews easier access in the case of trouble.

More info:

CERT Red Flag Teams info

LAFD training info on Red Flag parking restrictions

Metroblogging’s 7 Gifts To The World – The Guide

Starting November 26th, Metroblogging sites around the globe began unveiling seven gifts their cities can share with the world – one gift a day for seven days. While most finished the task by December 2nd,  some cities showed late to the party (traffic), others got a little tipsy or lost track of time while making out with the catering staff in the pantry.

Here’s the rundown that will continue to be updated over the next few days…

Day 8 and beyond: December 3rd to ???

gifticon2.jpgHawaii goes all out as Macpro doesn’t even wrap its next four gifts: TV & movie productions featuring Hawaii Five-O and Lost… golf hottie Michelle Wie… Scientific Research to Advance our Understanding of Earth & the Stars… and arguably the best gift of all, surfing! Just curious, Hawaii – would Eddie blog?
gifticon2.jpgTom Bridge in Washington DC gives the empirical Smithsonian Institution as its greatest and final gift.
gifticon2.jpgPeter points out that due to Manila‘s gift of street food, they may be poor but never go hungry.
gifticon2.jpgMigs Bassig takes pride in giving us Manila‘s voices from the call centers that have been outsourced there…

Day 7: Saturday, December 2nd

gifticon2.jpgFor Vienna‘s seventh and last gift to the world, Johannes Grenzfurthner brings us The Vienna Virus – while not the first computer virus, he says it is the one that first garnished worldwide media attention.
gifticon2.jpgNina in Manila gives us “the concept of tingi”, as in sample sizes for everything from shampoo to ketchup… and Nina is also giving away a “P100.00 Go Nuts GC” to a random commenter on their site.
gifticon2.jpgMB finishes Karachi‘s gift giving with Abdul Sattar Edhi. “Edhi is for Karachi what Mother Teresa is to Calcutta. But more than that Edhi is an angel on earth not only for Karachi & Pakistan but to the whole world.”
gifticon2.jpgHasan Mubarak in Lahore brings a gift basket of four Nobel laureates: Rudyard “The Jungle Book” Kipling; Har Gobind Khorana; and physicist Dr. Abdus Salam and Subramanyan Chandrasekhar.
gifticon2.jpgMontreal closes out its gift giving with a twoparter, as Tornwordo gives his city’s tolerance, and Vila H. gives booze.
gifticon2.jpgYummy! From Graz, Johannes brings us blob, porn, and oil. I’d explain, but thats what the hyperlink is for.
Vatsan in Chennai is giving us their beaches to play cricket on, sunbathe, and woo potential mates.
gifticon2.jpgAustin gifts us with that cyclist bastard responsible for the yellow bracelet even I’m wearing – Lance Armstrong. He turned his successful battle against cancer into a foundation that provides countless other with hope, and while he’s had his share of controversy, as Wae points out, it’s “filler to make the biopic more interesting.”
gifticon2.jpgAlso from Austin, Heath Allyn gifts us with Dallas born Stevie Ray Vaughan, who moved to Austin pursue music.
gifticon2.jpgGirl.In.the.D brings what we all really wanted from Detroit: the Automobile. As Girl points out, Motown didn’t invent the car, but they did perfect mass production. So, yes, we could also say Detroit unwittingly gifted us with traffic.
gifticon2.jpgRuss concludes Portland‘s gift giving with Powell’s Books, the largest independent online bookseller, not to mention having a real world bookstore that Russ calls a cathedral.
gifticon2.jpgKneel to Zod! Talk Talk Talk pulls a few capes and spits into the wind as she says her Canadian city has given the world Superman, as created by Toronto born Joe Shuster.
gifticon2.jpgFeeling weezy? Candian Arvin’s gift to the world is insulin that has saved the lives of countless diabetics since 1922, when Toronto teenager received the first shot.
gifticon2.jpgHawaii has come to the gift giving party a little late, and begins with steel guitar, followed by possibly our next President, Barack Obama. Next up is the Hula!
gifticon2.jpgThey should be glad this is their last gift, as Philadelphia gives us A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E for their final gift… and Sherri W. boasts about her city booing Santa Claus as evidence.
gifticon2.jpgI’m lovin’ it! Dave! give’s Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar, the Fry Guys, Grimace, and one creepy clown as Chicago‘s next gift of McDonalds.
gifticon2.jpgJosh summarizes the musical contributions of the Metroblogging 7 Gifts series as a lead in to Seattle‘s gift of “a mixtape of sorts” – or more accurately, liner notes for a future mixtape that could be made about the illustrious Seattle music scene.
gifticon2.jpgVancouver already gave seven gifts, but wanted to let us know what they didn’t quite give us… starting with hockey player Joe Sakic.

Day 6: Friday, December 1st

gifticon2.jpgThe Blogger Currently Known As Erica M’s next gift from the Twin Cities is the Minneapolis Sound, which she writes is “that hybrid mixture of funk, rock, pop, R&B and new wave”, popularized (and arguably invented by) the Mozart of our generation, Prince.
gifticon2.jpgUmar continues with Pakistan’s pride of their architecture as he gives us Karachi‘s Habib Bank Plaza. At 95 meters tall, it’s one of the city’s tallest buildings, it resembles “a stack of coins” and “truly symbolizes the economic strength of Karachi”.
gifticon2.jpgAaron O. puts Seattle‘s name as sender of the gift of The Great Outdoors… and by this, he means that their location, “makes it an ideal haven for outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes… all within the city limits.”
gifticon2.jpgNew York‘s next gift is one that everyone admires, and hopes to use: Courage. “Not everybody appreciates this,” Lisa Hunter writes. “Red Staters call us unpatriotic for being liberal. But our courage and our defiance in the face of danger are a true contribution to America and the world.”
gifticon2.jpgCoffeehouses with bad service where “alternative/creative industry/artsy fartsy people hang out”? That’s Vienna‘s gift, says Michael Zeltner.
gifticon2.jpgManila begins their giftgiving with a fancy logo for their series – inside Peter’s first is their national hero, Jose Rizal, who inspired the country to revolt against the Spanish.
gifticon2.jpgIn addition to its chains of coffee houses, Portland also gives us the Microbrew. Divebarwife tells us the gift includes their varied brewpubs to the hobby of homebrewing, popular among Portland’s residents.
gifticon2.jpgHeathervescent gives us Los Angeles‘ sixth gift, the Pasadena Freeway and provides video to help the rest of the world enjoy what many of Californian’s experience every day.
gifticon2.jpgBottoms up! Roland Gratzer whips up Graz‘s next gift of masochism, as named after local Leopold von Sacher-Masoch who authored Venus In Furs.
gifticon2.jpgBatter up! Philadelphia‘s Chris Scott gives us the Phillies, 76ers, Flyers, Eagles, and even more college programs as part of Philly’s Sports.
gifticon2.jpgThe UN labeled Toronto “the most multicultural city in the world”, and with this Talk Talk Talk makes multiculturism and diversity this city’s next gift.
gifticon2.jpgDon Whiteside chose former Mayor Marion Barry as Washington DC‘s next gift not just because the elected official liked to smoke crack with hookers, but because he was fun.
gifticon2.jpgBaliad gives of Detroit being an incubator for almost every kind of music, from Motown (of course) to techno and rap.
gifticon2.jpgChennai, India gives their hometown boy who they call “The Boss.” Nope, not Bruce Springsteen. Prabhu writes instead of A.R.Rahman… also from Chennai today is Mulligatawny Soup as Pavithra Srinivasan describes in detail… Nancy Gandhi also gives us their Indo-Saracenic Architecture left over from when British architects combined “traditional Hindu and Islamic architecture, and combined it with the Gothic revival style favored in Victorian England.”
gifticon2.jpgMaigh in Atlanta also gives their native son, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. No mention of his brother’s Billy Beer in the post. What gives?
gifticon2.jpgHasan in Lahore gives us one of the world’s longest running markets, the Anarkali Bazaar.
gifticon2.jpgJay gives “the largest underground series of tunnels in the world” on behalf of Montreal and it’s “R√âSO” subway system.
gifticon2.jpgGame show host Hans Rosenthal is Berlin‘s next gift as eulogized by Alexander.

Day Five: Thursday, November 30th

gifticon2.jpgElectronic Music is Berlin‘s fifth gift, as Till gives us a mini-history and a video clip demonstrating the style.
gifticon2.jpgI hope Vienna saved the receipt, as they present New Electronic Music. Georg Crackd explains what made this fresh was the introduction of loops into live sets made available by laptops, allowing for “electroacustic improvisation.”
gifticon2.jpgDylan W. needs more wrapping paper for for Seattle‘s gift of the Boeing 7X7 line of passenger jets which played no small part in making commercial air travel available to the masses.
gifticon2.jpgIslamabad‘s Backpacker gives Taxila, the still accessible remnants of one of humanities oldest civilizations.
gifticon2.jpgMontreal steps in as Laiya brings us a giant serving of their famous Bagels, Poutine, and everything in between., and Tanya seconds that with Montreal’s Restaurants and Foodie Culture that encompass tastes from all over the world.
gifticon2.jpgIn Atlanta, Annie is gives the world CNN, the first all news network, that also made Darth Vader’s voice famous.
gifticon2.jpgOne day after Los Angeles gifted the world with movies, Vancouver‘s Matt gives his city’s position as Hollywood North with a list of productions the world has enjoyed as a result.
gifticon2.jpgSteven in Chicago brings local sports legends as his city’s gifts to the world, including Michael Jordan, Mike Ditka, Harry Caray, and the cast of the Superbowl Shuffle.
gifticon2.jpgAaron in Portland gives the world their cuddly, creepy Uncle Packwood, a US senator who “was a trend setter for sexually questionable legislators everywhere”.
gifticon2.jpgIf the stress of the holiday season has you looking for a tall building to – um – get a nice view from, you’re in luck as Toronto is giving the world the CN Tower, which blogger talk talk talk says is the world’s tallest.
gifticon2.jpgSeattle had to make a couple trips to the car today they had so many gifts, which now include their Five Gold Rings which include philanthropists/supergeeks Bill Gates and Paul Allen and cancer researcher Dr. William Hutchinson.
gifticon2.jpgLucinda Michelle gives Los Angeles‘ next gift – The End of the Road, both literally (the west end of Route 66) and figuratively (where people come to achieve their dreams).
gifticon2.jpgSaira in Toronto says Honest Ed’s is a gift anyone visiting must see because it “serves as proof that there are still local buisnesses doing exceedingly well and contributing to the local community despite multi-national corporate giants such as Wal-Mart.”
gifticon2.jpgAustin gives us three gifts today: msw presents the Alamo Drafthouse, proclaimed to be the greatest movie theatre in the US (you can drink beer while watching a movie); Lauren brings us SXSW, the annual week long music fest/interactive conference/cool people get together; and Tim Trentham rolls a die 20 and gifts us with gaming, as Austin was home to Steve Jackson Games, where Ultima was developed, and where Dell makes the microprocessors that let World of Warcraft wizards and warriors co-exist.
gifticon2.jpgIf you hate the fact that you’re reading this on a computer, Mark Searcy will take some of the blame as Dallas gives the world the microchip.
gifticon2.jpgKarachi‘s Mansoor gives the gift of YUMM! in the form of regional dish nihari, a stew of curry and lamb or beef that was once exclusively for upper class Muslims.
gifticon2.jpgFrom the schizophrenic Twin Cities, St. Paul’s Erica M brings us The Great Gatsby, as written by native F. Scott Fitzgerald.
gifticon2.jpgNew York City gives the gift of BIG. Yes, its the name of the Sex & the City heartthrob, and the name of the Tom Hanks film that takes place there. But what Noah means is his city’s scale, and their ability to make massive architecture and infrastructure work.
gifticon2.jpgSherri W. rounds up Philadelphia‘s cultural institutions and city traditions as their next gift, from the nations oldest Turkey day parade, the Brandywine River Museum, to much more.
gifticon2.jpgJulian Ausserhofer gives two of Graz‘s hometown boys to the world: Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ernest Kaltenegger, a local Communist politico.
gifticon2.jpgWashington, DC’s WFY gives the strategically placed Capital Beltway as out nation’s capitol’s next gift, if only to give the rest of the world a bit of slang to refer to the neighborhood.
gifticon2.jpgGaZ of Birmingham in Middle Earth the United Kingdom gives us the literary genius of noneother than J.R.R. Tolkien.

Also today…Mansoor in Karachi gives a mid-gift giving recap… and the hair sensitive readers of Metroblogging Chicago are having an uprising over Wednesday’s gift

Day Four: Wednesday, November 29th

gifticon2.jpgLondon‘s third gift is DesiGirl’s personal oasis from the “chaos and madness” – Hyde Park.
gifticon2.jpgRoland Gratzer regrets to inform us that Graz‘s next gift, Rocket Mail, was recalled for fear the technology would fall into the hands of Hitler’s SS.
gifticon2.jpgBarry in Montreal makes up for his city giving us Celine Dion a second time by bringing us a gift basket of Famous Montrealers also including William Shatner, Leonard Cohen, and more.
gifticon2.jpgErinoia has Chicago give the gift that keeps giving, a terrible hairdo year-round – “wind-blown, frizzy, flat, or fried,” take your pick!
gifticon2.jpgIn December ’06 Melbourne filmmakers released the longest film ever made… this was 1906, and the film was little more than an hour long – the advent of The Feature Length Film, gifted to us by Melbourne’s Zara.
gifticon2.jpgSome gifts are for the people, not the governments, as Max Mey shows as Berlin gives the world Peaceful Demonstrations (which can always be exchanged for anti-demonstrations).
gifticon2.jpgSuper-villains all over the world rue the day Atlanta gifted the world with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). As Sabrina points out, the CDC began by attacking malaria carrying mosquitos, and now keeps an eye on international outbreaks of diseases – natural or manmade.
gifticon2.jpgRebecca Bollwitt in Vancouver gives the world David Suzuki, science broadcaster/environmentalist/all-around-bad-ass.
gifticon2.jpgAustin‘s first gift (other cities are on their fourth) is Slacker. Yeah. Exactly. Wae gives this groundbreaking film by Richard Linklater.
gifticon2.jpgToronto’s Stephen Jacobs also arrives late with the gifts (maybe there was traffic?), and starts with their deep lake water cooling systems… hey! Wake up! This technology is exciting stuff, utilizing naturally cold water as airconditioning, it saves electricity and reduces emissions.
gifticon2.jpgRickus Rackus is proud to give Detroit‘s Riverfront, the cultural hub of Motor City.
gifticon2.jpgApparently, Austin had the munchies, as Tim Trentham presents Whole Foods Market as their second gift of the day.
gifticon2.jpgJonashpdx gets into the holiday spirit with Portland‘s next gift… unfortunately, he’s a month late for the Halloween holiday, but the world will still humbly accept Death with Dignity.
gifticon2.jpgPhilipp Droessier serves us Fusion Cuisine on behalf of Vienna, which he explains is how they define dishes they’ve stolen borrowed from other cities and countries and perfected.
gifticon2.jpgLos Angeles couldn’t be forgiven if it didn’t mention its gift of Motion Pictures, an entry that comes with an original pic by Dave “eecue” Bullock.
gifticon2.jpgChennai, India joins in on the gift giving madness as ChandraChoodan Gopalakrishnan gives us Madras Cotton, “what the Hathway man wears.”
gifticon2.jpgSchwing! Halai in Toronto finds his mojo and gifts the world with hometown cheeky-monkey Mike Myers. That’ll do, donkey, that’ll do.
gifticon2.jpgFrom the original stage of American Bandstand, Sherri W. extends Philadelphia‘s “unique legacy of music and musical events”, not to mention being mentioned in such classic songs as “Philadelphia Freedom”.
gifticon2.jpgTalha Masood gives the Faisal Mosque as Islamabad‘s fourth gift to the world. This architectural beauty is not only a place of worship but also includes a cafe, a book shop, and the Dawah academy which promotes the peaceful teaching of Islam.
gifticon2.jpgMansoor in Karachi, also in Pakistan, gives their architectural gem, the Mohatta Palace, a museum that houses ceramic arts and memorabalia of the city’s history dating back hundreds of years.
gifticon2.jpgBenkay gives of New York‘s diversity… albeit with some deliberation.

Day Three: Tuesday, November 28th

gifticon2.jpgOn Berlin‘s behalf, Metecem gives the world their Nutrition… in the form of D√∂ner.
gifticon2.jpgPakistani pop stars Vital Signs are A for Apple’s next gift from Islamabad.
gifticon2.jpgJames in Atlanta‘s gift is Martin Luther King, Jr.
gifticon2.jpgUmar went shopping and came back with the gift of shopping. More specifically, Shopping in Saddar, “the heart of Karachi.”
gifticon2.jpgTom is giving away the NFL team, the Detroit Lions… as in giving them… away. Detroit doesn’t want them anymore.
Nuts! Sacramento‘s next gift are its Blue Diamond Almonds, says Ursula Stuter.
gifticon2.jpgRyan Cousineau has Freeriding as Vancouver‘s third gift. You’ll have to bring your own helmet, and prepare to get muddy.
gifticon2.jpgWashington, DC couldn’t decide which of their musicians to choose, to they’re giving the world a four-pack: parade extraordinaire John Philip Sousa, swingin’ Duke Ellington, hardcore band Bad Brains, and “godfather of go-go” Chuck Brown.
gifticon2.jpgBanana Lee Fishbones proudly, and without excuses, offers us LiveJournal as Portland‘s third gift to the world.
gifticon2.jpgLisa Hunter in New York shares with us their Music and Theatre which is responsible for them having the world’s greatest audiences.
gifticon2.jpgMarisa proudly gifts us with Philadelphia‘s Film Office as it has helped deliver us such films as the Rocky series as well as supported the career of M. Night Shyamalan.
gifticon2.jpgFrom Los Angeles, Joz Joz Joz gives gives gives the world our Food, Glorious, Food – something for every taste from every part of the world can be found here, allowing visitors and migrants to feel at home, and the residents to feel like world travelers.
gifticon2.jpgLondon sees L.A.’s food and raises to Internationalism, as Daneeta Loretta Saft refers to her metro as “a microcosm of the world.”
gifticon2.jpgTheir futuristic skyline is Dallas‘ next gift, even if, as Brian Gibb opines, its only “futuristic in a Tron sort of way.”
gifticon2.jpgJohannes Grenzfurthner phones in with Graz‘s third gift, The Sound of Aether, also known as the world’s first wireless transmission.
gifticon2.jpgSherry gives Montreal‘s varied entertainment festivals, from their International Jazz Fest, Les Francofolies for French music, the Just for Laughs fest for stand up comics (no kidding), their own Fringe Fest, geek-a-thon Fantasia, the Divers/Cite gay pride celebrations, and more.
gifticon2.jpgSeattle didn’t invent coffee, or the coffeehouse, but Zee Grega still makes java their gift to the world for some very good reasons – to begin with, Starbucks!
gifticon2.jpgVienna‘s Melancolia gives the world The Waltz, also known to old skool folks as dirty dancing.

Day two: Monday, November 27th

gifticon2.jpgIslamabad‘s Backpacker gives their Keys to Paradise, as in the basecamp to K2, among other of the “world’s biggest kept tourist secrets”.
gifticon2.jpgJamash in Karachi offers what should be the envy of public transportation the world over, their W-11 bus (a must read to understand!).
gifticon2.jpgFor the second gift of the second day Berlin gives us another legendary entertainer, as William Thirteen presents silver screen icon Marlene Dietrich.
gifticon2.jpgJeffrey Simpson gives of Vancouver what some corporations and governments would probably prefer to return, regift, or never open: Greenpeace International, founded in his British Columbian city in 1971.
gifticon2.jpgThe roomy, gorgeous Black Cab is London‘s next gift, and Flora Graham gives six reasons why.
gifticon2.jpgPAgent in Portland gives the world the body mod babes of The Suicide Girls (mostly for what they were, not for what they’ve become since moving ops to L.A.)
gifticon2.jpgAtlanta comes late to the party bearing two gifts (one for yesterday, one of today) as Seth presents us with a healthy double dose of Coca-Cola and Chik-fil-A (reminding this writer to go on a diet when the holidays are over).
gifticon2.jpgHere in Los Angeles, Tammara extends our metropolis’ constantly relaxing marijuana laws that allow police to focus on more important issues, like tasering college students (kidding, kidding!)
gifticon2.jpgOn behalf of New York City, Doris Knight gives the world Attitude (aka “Chutzpah, balls, cojones, moxie.”) and includes some swipes at Boston, Tokyo, and – hey! Los Angeles. Watch it! We’re blogging here!
gifticon2.jpgVienna‘s Johannes Grenzfurthner offers everyone a space in The Zentralfriedhof, the city’s largest cemetery. Airfare not included.
gifticon2.jpgPretty soon Johannes will gift us the secret of teleportation, as he’s double dutying gifting duties for Graz, Austria, who give us The Sacred Mystery of the Cosmos, as discovered by resident Johannes Kepler.
gifticon2.jpgMontreal‘s Christelle gives us an audio montage of musicians from their local scene, including The Arcade Fire and…ahem… Celine Dion. Our hearts, and this list, will go on…
gifticon2.jpgDallas begings its giftgiving with, of course, Dallas, the TV series about that loveable Ewing family. Mark Searcy has details.
gifticon2.jpgChristiana Dominquez presents Sacramento native Molly Ringwald, who “paved the way for good girls everywhere to go after the bad boys, the rich boys, and the richer boys,” and gave a generation of us geeks someone to, um, think longingly about.
gifticon2.jpgArtemis in Chicago boasts their Rockin’ Grid System as their gift to the world that makes them a city “anyone can navigate, making citizens and tourists feel at home.”
gifticon2.jpgDetroit‘s Mollika proudly displays their own Underground Railroad as a gift that continues to be “a reminder in the continuing battle for racial equality worldwide.”
gifticon2.jpgTiny Tot jumps the gun with a second gift from Sacramento today, Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, a pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-due process, Reagan appointee.
gifticon2.jpgDallas also brings two gifts today – Mark Stearcy’s second are its bountiful shopping malls. To their dismay, these Texans may not have the largest mall, but they have “more shopping centers per capita than any United States city and metro.”
gifticon2.jpgWayan in Washington, DC gives their landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl.
gifticon2.jpgPhiladelphia‘s Matt W doesn’t stop with their infamous cheesecakes, but adds in their soft pretzels and home baked Tastycakes as well. Now, can some city gift us some Pepto?
gifticon2.jpgSamantha Mastridge blames alcohol on Seattle choosing it’s “forgiving and inclusive” Art Scene as its second gift to the world.

Day One: Sunday, November 26th

gifticon2.jpgFor Los Angeles‘ first entry, I presented the world with the L.A. Sunset… a cocktail.
gifticon2.jpgTom in Berlin shares with us “the German Frank Sinatra”, entertainer Harald Juhnkie.
gifticon2.jpgKarachi, Pakistan’s Umar teases us with Pakola, a local canned beverage that she says is spreading all over the world.
gifticon2.jpgJeffrey Simpson is proud to gift the world popular photo sharing site Flickr on behalf of Vancouver, where it was developed.
gifticon2.jpgJaded in Islamabad, Pakistan, gives us a tour of his country’s Parliament, and extends to us its “generosity of spirit”.
gifticon2.jpgRuby T shares with us London‘s architecture; dynamic, historical, and having withstood “the second world war, IRA and more recent bombings”, functional.
gifticon2.jpgNoah and Dana give the world New York City‘s prime locations for film and television shoots.
gifticon2.jpgIn Detroit is the Eastern Market that offers everyone around the globe to visit because “it’s an experience like no other.”
gifticon2.jpgAndre offers up The Montreal Protocol, named after his Canadian city, a international treaty that was enacted in 1989 in order to protect the ozone layer.
gifticon2.jpgChicago gifts the world with Improv, which Fuzzy Gerdes credits the Windy City as the birthplace.
gifticon2.jpgBetsy presents Portland, Oregon’s first gift of The Simpsons, as many of Springfield’s residents were named after Portland’s streets (“embodied in characters like Sideshow Bob Terwilliger, Mayor Quimby, the Lovejoy family…and Ned Flanders”)
gifticon2.jpgPhiladelphia holds off on the cheese steak for a moment as Betsy first serves up The U.S. Constitution and The Liberty Bell, both symbols of democracy, as its gifts to the world.
gifticon2.jpgDylan W. brings the sweet somethings from Cupcakes Royale as the first of Seattle‘s seven gifts to the world.
gifticon2.jpgSacramento offers reknowned chef Biba Caggiano, who Erik Johnson says now has a cookbook so the whole world can indulge in her delights.
gifticon2.jpgVienna, Austria oh so subtley gives the world subconciousness… for some reason the name Johannes Grenzfurthner comes to mind.
gifticon2.jpgDown the block in Graz, Daniel Fabry acts as ambassador and endows us with Slow Motion, as in the motion picture technique in vented by Austrian August Musger that makes crash test dummy films so amusing.
gifticon2.jpgWashington, DC‘s Douglas Clifton gifts us with their Metro system which allows world travelers to enjoy the U.S. capitol without a car.

7 Gifts concept by Mark Searcy of Metroblogging Dallas.

Tags: Metblogs7Gifts 7Gifts Metroblogging7Gifts 7 gifts to the world

Watching Tower Fall

I didn’t really pay that much attention to the news a few months back that Tower Records had lost it’s battle with bankruptcy and was being liquidated. But Larry King (not that Larry King) had a nice piece in the last Weekly about the final days at Tower Classical on Sunset that reveal how important it was to some folks:

Inevitably, the time comes to consolidate; by compressing the thinning CD rows, we are able to eliminate dozens of racks and make the store smaller. It is easy to see what this is leading to, and the regulars are distressed. One night I play Barber’s Adagio, and a customer begs to hear something else.

“All of us are weeping on the inside, and this is just twisting the knife,” he tells me.

So long Tower Records. I didn’t realize until right now that I might actually miss you.

L.A.’s Third Gift to the World: Food, Glorious Food (that makes you think of home)

Yes, yes.

Except for some famine/pestilence-ridden places in the world, food is everywhere people live. But L.A.’s third gift to the world is two-fold: food that’s fresh and food that makes you think of home… where ever home may be.

It’s when I travel that I am reminded of how lucky we are to live in L.A… Where the freshest of produce is grown locally, if not in Southern California, then at most a few hours away by truck. Where the freshest of seafood is plucked right out of the ocean next to us. Where the freshest of all poultry and livestock are slaugh… you get the point.

Anyway, it’s when I travel that I realize that salads aren’t quite as fresh. That the variety of fruits and vegetables aren’t quite as plentiful, and that fresh sushi isn’t available in some landlocked states (not that I’d want necessarily want it there).

So there’s part one of L.A.’s gift of food, but part two comes from the variety of different types of cuisine you can get here. Chalk it up to the different ethnic enclaves in L.A.: everything from K-Town, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia, Thai Town, out to Little Saigon (shout out to the OC on this one!). Combine that with the “melting pot” aspect of all the diversity of L.A. for fusion foods galore. Kosher Chinese? Sure! No matter where you’re from, you’re sure to find food that reminds you of home somewhere in L.A. (Even this Taiwanese-American gal can find food “My Way” that takes me to straight to Taipei in under $20.).

Are you vegan? Only eat raw foods? On a crazy celebrity diet? Only eat deep fried foods? No time to cook? As a city, Los Angeles is always pushing the envelope of cuisine.

baconwrappeddog.jpgSit-down dining not your thing? L.A.’s bonus gift to the world comes in the form of food in a cart: taco trucks (or roach coaches) and a nice bacon-wrapped dog after a Lakers game outside of the Staples Center.

And if you’re an L.A. native, then how lucky are you to have this smorgasbord as your own?

Photo courtesy of

Rocking Tonight at The Echo

So tonight I’m heading over to The Echo to see The Minor Canon play at 9pm. There was a band in LA about five, six years ago called Athalia that put out one or two brilliant, heartbreakingly beautiful ep’s and then vanished; but the vocalist, Paul Larson, has been in all sorts of great outfits from the brilliantly beautiful and moody Athalia to emo-core rockers Strictly Ballroom, and he’s collaborated with Dntel (Jimmy Tamborello, aka The Other Half Of The Postal Service That’s Not Ben Gibbard), Azure Ray and the Beachwood Sparks. I’m really thrilled to see them play because I’ve been unable to track down any info on Athalia for so excruciatingly long. The Minor Canon is a little more blues-rock oriented than Athalia’s chiming and layered orchestrations, but just as great. Maybe I’ll see y’all there? I’ll be the little orange-haired girl. Sweet.

Is the Metro Trip Planner Absolutely INSANE?!?!

So tomorrow I will need to use public transportation to go from Pasadena to Echo Park. I look up the route on the MTA trip planner, which is on their front page. I get back three routes that are estimated to take TWO to THREE HOURS!! I could walk in that time and get my gym time in to boot.

Even more crazy is that none of the routes use the Metro Gold Line which goes from Pasadena to Union Station. And is easily the most direct route. Instead they are telling me to take all sorts of crazy buses to all sorts of crazy places, as well as take the Red Line. This is not the first time something like this has been generated by this so-called route planner.

Absolutely useless piece of crap.

I just used the System Map(PDF) to find a route. One that actually makes sense and will get me home faster than walking.

And yes, I know that route finding can be a particularly challenging computing problem, and I do respect those who get it right, but if you can’t get it right don’t offer it.

LAFD $2.7 Million settlement up for vote again today

A few days ago we were talking about which City Council members voted in favor of the $2.7 Million LAFD settlement. 11 of the 15 members voted for it, 3 members were absent and the lone voice of reason voting against it was Councilman Dennis Zine. As we know the Mayor followed that up with a veto. However, prior to the veto but after the initial decision the discussion was still in play – it seems the photos of Tennie Pierce pulling similar pranks on other firefighters were not seen at the initial vote, but once they did the City Council decided to reconsider. Council members Dennis Zine and Bill Rosendahl (who had originally voted in favor of the settlement) brought the topic back up and asked for a new vote. This vote was a little more split, 6 for, 6 against, and 3 absent. I don’t have the names of who voted for and against it this time (if anyone does please send them to me and I’ll update this post), but 6 against is certainly better than 1 against. Unfortunately they Council needed 10 against to override the earlier decision which is when it moved on to the Mayors office. Well today the Council is voting again, this time however it’s if they want to override Mayor Villaraigosa’s Veto. They would need 10 votes in favor of this in order to do that and with 6 members already voting against it in the second round that doesn’t seem likely.

In my earlier post the comments were filled with people asking questions, and I’d like to extend those a little further. I’d like to offer any of the Council members who voted in favor of this both time, or who voted for it initially and then against it at the reconsideration to explain those decisions and what went into them. The comments are open – go for it.

MAKE Magazine Issue #8 Launch Party @ Machine Project

Junk Pile

In case you’ve been living under a mass manufactured rock that doesn’t come with a parts list, schematics or end user removable fasteners, and haven’t heard of MAKE Magazine, it is the coolest thing to hit the newsstands since 2600, Popular Science and Jane’s (ok, so Janes is more of a collection of books, but they’re still periodically released). Dorkbot Socal and Machine Project are hosting a launch party for issue #8 (which just came in the mail last week, and rocks) this Saturday at 5:30pm. Now just to confuse you, the website says that the event is happening on Saturday the 3rd, but this Saturday is actually the 2nd. Simon Penny and Mr. Jalopy will be speaking. There are rumors of free beer and pretzels.

Update: Garnet has updated the page with the correct date, it is still on Saturday, which is the 2nd.

L.A. Comedy Club To Ban the Word “Nigger” TV reported last night that the Laugh Factory on Sunset will ban use of the word “nigger” by its performers. This, of course, comes after comedian Michael Richards yelled at two black hecklers with the word along with other racist comments.

In addition, Jesse Jackson and other prominent African-Americans have called for a complete boycott of the word.

While I’m glad that this incident has resulted in dialogue about existing issues of racism and the volatility of hate speech, I’m always concerned about any restrictions on free speech, as the Laugh Factory appears to be doing. Certainly, a private club can do what it wants, but comedy clubs should be the last place any sort of censorship exists.

I’m also continuously bothered by media outlets and writers pansying around spelling out all six letters of the word “nigger”, replacing it with “the ‘n’ word” or some variation of the asterixed “n**ger”. Poorly veiling the word gives it that much more allure and power, instead of deflating it into two syllables fit only for the arrogant.

I encourage all artists to follow the advice of Rev. Jackson and refrain from using the word, in spite of the chicken shit credibility and supposed cool factor it gives to their immature audiences, but flatly reject any imposed restriction of free speech.

Knitting with Balls???


Hey sure why not?

More and more guys are (I keep hearing) getting into knitting, so I guess it was only a matter of time before one of them wrote a book. This one really is called “Knitting with Balls,” and the gentleman responsible will be here at the lovely Knit Cafe signing and chatting on December 3rd.

Fans of his work should note that Michael will be in town to tape a segment on Knitty Gritty and has made this the only stop before he returns home to Washington DC.

Knit Cafe
8441 Melrose Avenue*
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Sunday December 3rd, at 2pm

The store is located about half a block east of La Cienega Blvd. on the north side of the street. Look for the navy blue awning. No lot but street parking is usually not a problem.

*And yes, I did leave out the “8” in the address when writing this. (Do you think this casts a pall over my Google post from yesterday?)
Continue reading Knitting with Balls???

Near-Riot @ Topanga Sony Style Store For PS3 Launch…


In January, when I observed that the search for an Xbox 360 was going to be “…a mere dress rehersal for the Playstation 3‘s release later this year,” I didn’t anticipate that last weekend would involve violence.

Since the early birds around Los Angeles, many of whom were hoping to flip the scarely limited consoles on eBay, were already camped outside the local Best Buy, Circuit City, Target, Toys R Us, and Wal-Mart for days, the Sony Style Store at the Westfield Topanga (fka the Topanga Plaza) in Woodland Hills seemed like the best option (Sony has another local store in the Beverly Center).

For two days, I did reconnaisance work, talking with Sony Style employees and security as well as mall security and uniformed LAPD officers, and found that shoppers were discouraged from camping on mall property, which theoretically meant that everyone had a potential shot at getting a PS3 when the mall doors reopened on Friday morning at 6:00 AM. However, when reality set in on Thursday morning, after I saw that campers had already been waiting on the sidewalk outside the parking structure that was closest to the nearest mall entrance to the Sony Style Store, I decided not to even bother.

And on Friday morning, mirroring what happened at the Sony Style Store in Boston, the scene in Woodland Hills was nearly as chaotic, as Pao experienced for himself.

More after the jump.
Continue reading Near-Riot @ Topanga Sony Style Store For PS3 Launch…

City of L.A. wants taxes they’re not entitled to

Yesterday, David posted a note about Martini Republic’s rant about the City of Los Angeles shaking down its citizens for business taxes. Basically, the city has been sending letters to anyone who had a 1099 last year, saying that said 1099 recipients may owe them money. I was one of the lucky recipients of one of these letters the other day. I had one 1099 that I filed with my tax return last year, which was payment for a talk I gave in Boston. (I have given similar talks for the past 4 years, out of the state, with 1099s every year.) The city sent me a form asking me to either fill out an application for a business tax license or to complete a section on the back of the application that explains why I am not liable for city tax. Their FAQ on the topic pretty much says that I’m not, given that I didn’t perform any service in Los Angeles that I received a 1099 for (note: this is the same section of the FAQ quoted by Martini Republic) – emphasis added:

Q: I receive a 1099 form instead of a W-2 for my work. Am I required to have a City of Los Angeles Business Tax Registration Certificate?

A: Those that work as an “independent contractor” and are paid by 1099 versus W-2 may be liable for City of Los Angeles Business Tax. Persons that perform work in the City of Los Angeles as an independent contractor as defined by LAMC Section 21.00, Subsection (j) are normally considered to be engaged in business and are liable for the City Business Tax.

The kicker is that the section on the back that asks for an explanation of why I’m not liable says that I also need to sign the front of the form. The signature panel on the front of the form says that by signing, I am acknowledging that everything above my signature is correct. On a blank form. That I don’t need to fill out because I am not doing business in Los Angeles.

This seems ever-so-slightly counterintuitive to me. Why would I sign something that says I certify that everything above it is accurate, when everything above it does not apply to me? Seems like a recipe for disaster to me, since anyone who came across the blank, signed form could conceivably fill it out with all manner of damning yet incorrect information. I’m faxing the whole shebang to my accountant to be sure, but I’m planning to put “not applicable” in every single blank space on that form. After all, I definitely certify that everything on the business tax application is not applicable to me!

Anyone else receive a letter like this? Have you responded? If so, or even if not, what was the outcome?