Manny To Be Manny in LA Thanks To Three Way

In case you’ve been under a rock all afternoon:  Slugger/clubhouse poison eccentric left fielder/future Hall of Famer Manny Ramirez is now a Dodger thanks to a three team deal between The Dodgers, Red Sox and Pirates. Full details of who is going where can be found here.  Not only have the Red Sox sent Manny to the Dodgers, they will be paying the $7 million remaining on his contract.

Dodger fans, say it with me now:  Fuck Yeah! 

Sure Manny will probably run himself out of town eventually but in the short term this is an awesome move. 

I just hope he brings this sweet grill with him:


(I believe Manny actually sold that grill on Ebay but I’m sure Dodger fans will be happy to get him a new one)

LA Times print cutbacks AGAIN

In the Dark Age of Zell, you hold onto the hope that the rot won’t creep.

I’ve tried to stick by the LA Times during my five years in Los Angeles, because, mainly, what else have I got? (No, the answer is not this or any other LA blog.) So far I’ve succeeded. I still get daily delivery of the print edition because that’s how I like my first dose of news in the morning.

Always a fan of the tactile experience of newsprint, it provides an effective filtering device as my eyes dart around the page. From headlines to articles that I begin to read, then skim and finally abandon as my eyes dart to the left or right and glance at an ad that all of a sudden seems more interesting, then back again to the last paragraph or maybe to another headline or article, it’s my brain’s process for sorting through information that is poorly mimicked by internet search engines. Some may recognize this as ADD but it’s not, really. I am my own Google.

I’ve stood by, fumed and adjusted as the print LAT has been chipped away and shaved down to reflect corporate overlords’ profit/loss projections. Maybe I don’t really need a TV guide, Sunday magazine, book review, opinion section, weekend guide and a slew of their best writers, all cast aside in the last few years during the Dark Age of Zell.

Apparently I still need many, many advice columns, horoscopes, comics, celebrity real estate coverage, willy-nilly movement of sections to different days of the week for undecipherable reasons and numerous little reminders that there is stuff in the online version that’s not in print. Aside from a rare glance at two or three of their “blogs” (I’ll play nice and use their term here and not, say, “online articles,”) I’ve never given much of it a look. Once I’ve read the print edition, that completes my daily LAT experience.

Still, LAT has topnotch hard news writers, but lately, whenever I read their stories, I wonder if their days are numbered too. It’s like watching a sick plant die, one leaf at a time. You hold onto the hope that the rot won’t creep; you enjoy the greenery while you can. Continue reading LA Times print cutbacks AGAIN

Awesomest Website EVER!

[check out the DUST MASK BANDIT!]

Okay here’s the coolest thing ever, and no it’s not a prank –

LA Bankrobbers have their own website!

Well it’s not actually THEIRS, it’s a law enforcement site

devoted to the identification and apprehension of bank robbers (a.k.a. bank bandits) in the Southern California territory, which specifically covers the following seven counties: 1) Los Angeles 2) Orange 3) Riverside 4) San Bernardino 5) San Luis Obispo 6) Santa Barbara and 7) Ventura. The region we cover is typically referred to as the “Bank Robbery Capital of the World” – a title we would love to lose.

Photos, background info, and yes, REWARDS –

Go be a good citizen. Help the FBI and maybe make a little dough yourself – WITHOUT having to rob a bank!

ICME: Sun Conyer shopping with its owner

This gorgeous little bird caught my eye while shopping this morning.  It is a 2 year old Sun Conyer, aka Sun Conure which is native to Brazil.  Its owner had it out for socializing.  She said that she recently adopted and got him for a song (her words, pun intended) for only $7.50 as he was a difficult bird.  She said he trained easy and is a happy, cheerful if not outright chirpy bird. 

Looks like he finally found an owner he likes as he was beautifully behaved.

pic by me with the trusty new camera phone (yup…another one bit the dust this month)

I Finally Broke My McCain Cherry


It finally happened last night.  The moment I’ve been dreaming about for so long.  I finally saw my first McCain bumper sticker out here.  I’ve been searching for one for months, really.  The plan was to keep a rough count in my head of the ratio of Obama stickers and signs to McCain ones, to get an idea of the two candidates’ respective support among local voters.  Only, I gave up on the effort many weeks ago, after losing count of the number of Obama messages and seeing zero for McCain.

More not McCain country, after the jump

Update on my Gordon Biersch experience

By now you might have read about my experience with Gordon Biersch Saturday night as well as all the comments.  Those comments were more enlightening as it is pretty clear there is a bigger problem than just what I experienced.  Late Monday our own Spencer Cross opted to send the post to the corporate headquarters which oddly seemed to be the impetus for an interesting chain of events.

On Tuesday I got an email from the General Manager, apologetic and acknowledging he had my card and had only then gotten around to responding to it.  It was clear he had not read the post nor the comments.  To see what he wrote and my response you need to make the jump… Continue reading Update on my Gordon Biersch experience

Kimberly Fowler and YAS arrive in Silver Lake

A Venice institution branches out

Venice-based fitness center YAS (which stands for yoga and spinning) will be setting up shop in early September at 1932 Hyperion Avenue in Silver Lake.

The signature routine developed by YAS founder Kimberly Fowler is a combination of an intense 30-minute cardio workout on a stationary bike followed by 30 minutes of yoga.

She also developed Yoga for Athletes, a fitness routine that has pro athletes attending her classes and crediting her for their best seasons ever. And a five-senses guy like myself can’t resist Fowler’s approach: “No chanting, no granola, no sanskrit.” Continue reading Kimberly Fowler and YAS arrive in Silver Lake

Solidarity Ride Scheduled For Friday

You remember that pair of cyclists on July 4 who ended up hospitalized with serious injuries, victims of what officials called an incident of road rage in which a Mandeville Canyon resident is alleged to have intentionally slammed on his brakes in front of them? If not, refresh yourself with LAist who was all over the story, and its developments in which the suspect, 58-year-old Dr. Christopher Thompson, was arrested for felony assault with a deadly weapon. He was later charged with two felony counts each of reckless driving causing injury and battery with serious bodily injury.

Thompson, who is free on $30,000 bail, is scheduled to be arraigned August 1 at the L.A. Superior Courthouse near the airport (11701 S. La Cienega Blvd, 90045; map). If convicted on all counts he can reportedly be facing more than seven years in state prison.

I’m planning on participating in a group bike ride Friday being organized that will originate at Heliotrope and Melrose in East Hollywood departing for the courthouse at 7 a.m. If that isn’t too early for you, join in. More info is here on the Midnight Ridazz site.

National Night Out in LA

National Night OutAugust 5th is National Night Out 2008. Across America (except TX where they’ll wait until Oct. 17th) is an evening dedicated to community building and generating support for local crime-fighting endeavors. Sponsored by National Night Out Town Watch, the annual event includes over 10,000 communities nationwide. Here in Los Angeles, the LAPD will be hosting several events. My local LAPD division, the Hollenbeck Division will be hosting several events in El Sereno, Boyle Heights, and Lincoln Heights.

Like many communities, the Hollywood Community Police Station has made NNO into something of a community fair. The event, which runs from 5pm to 8pm offers:


  • PALS
  • Explorers
  • Hollywood Community Relations Office
  • Hollywood Neighborhood City Attorney’s Office
  • Council Districts 4, 5, and 13
  • Target (Official Sponsor of National Night Out)
  • Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood


  • Dora the Explorer from Universal Studios will meet and greet children and take photos
  • Rock Nation will be performing.
  • Sergeant Deborah Gourman (National Anthem)

Kids Entertainment:

  • Jumpers
  • Face Painting
  • Balloonist


  • We will be Barbecuing Hot Dogs. We will also have chips, popcorn, snow cones and cookies.

You can find out about National Night Out events in your neighborhood by contacting your local LAPD Community Relations office or Senior Lead office. To locate your local LAPD division, visit Though the matrix has not been updated to reflect the most current events, you can also check National Night Out Events – Los Angeles (PDF) for events in your area.

Save-A-Pet Vol. 3 Featuring Rey the Wonder Dog

dog.jpgI’m posting this plea for somebody to adopt this beautiful little stray dog because I think getting her placed with somebody else is the only way I’m going to be able to resist adding her to my already-too-large animal brood:

I just found this sweet girl as I was driving to an appointment in Maria Del Rey early this morning (7/29/08). She was running across the street dodging traffic and ran behind a doughnut shop. I followed her and found her in the trash looking for scraps.

I’ve bathed her and given her flea medicine already and am taking her to the vet tomorrow morning. She seems very healthy, just a little malnourished. She’s extremely well behaved, slept in my car and has been quiet and sleeping all day. As you can see by the photos – she’s quite a looker too.

I’m calling her “Rey” for now – she weighs about 20lbs – my guess is she’ll grow to about 70lbs.

If you’re interested, drop me a line in the comments and I’ll forward you the person’s contact info. And make with the clicky for a larger peek at the sweet houndling.

Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree

People have said many things about Yoko Ono, some of them laudatory and some not very nice. It comes with the turf when you choose a life in art. Hers has been an effort to touch peoples’ lives in some positive way. Her profound influence on her late husband, John Lennon, sent him in the same direction after the Beatles break-up — attempting, against all possible odds, to heal the world’s psychic wounds.

Ono, now 75, is still going strong. This weekend she brings her Wish Tree installation to the Armory Center’s Public View at One Colorado in Old Pasadena. Kristin’s List has the info:

Make a wish, write it on a piece of paper and tie it to the branch of a Wish Tree in Yoko Ono’s participatory installation… Ono, the avant-garde artist and widow of John Lennon, attached wishes to trees in temple courtyards as a child in Japan.

Now the act of wishing, which she describes as a “collective prayer,” is part of an ongoing tribute to her late husband. All of the wishes from the current installation will be saved and later buried at Ono’s public art project, the Imagine Peace Tower, in Reykjavík, Iceland.

One Colorado, W. Colorado & Fair Oaks, Pasadena CA 91103

Wishing begins at 10 AM on Saturday, Aug. 2nd, through Nov. 2nd.

Please check your cynicism at the door.

Photograph by Miguel Angel Valero; courtesy of The Armory Center for the Arts.

The San Gabriel River is full and flowing!

Get your bikes or hiking shoes ready to enjoy the free flowing river this weekend.


On Monday on my bi-weekly run to Costco I noticed the powers that be have turned the San Gabriel River on again.  It is flowing hard and fast, probably the best it has been in well over a year.  Lord knows 2 weeks ago it was bone dry through there.

Tuesday was too nice a day to not go down to the river and check it out.  Camera in tow I spent the better part of the morning hiking along the San Gabriel River Bike Path ducking down the various trails to the river itself.  I shot alot, mostly I just enjoyed seeing the river flow again.

 Already ducks are back in the river swimming about.  Some small fish, snail darters or some variation of pupfish were visible in the slower moving sections.  Hundreds of lizards were all over the place.  There were even a few bunnies at waters edge in spot taking a drink.  Who’da thought you’d see so much wildlife so fast just by turning on the river.

I’d highly recommend you take the time and visit the river while it is running so hard and clear.   My favorite access point is from Duarte’s Encanto Park and use the old Rail Road bridge to cross over when I walk. 

The other point, and the one most used by bicyclists is from the otherside of the river at Lario Park.  The entrance to that park is 1/3 mile west of the junction of Foothill and Irwindale Avenues.  It has ample parking and restrooms available.

Now for the real reason hikers need to pay a visit this week you need to make the jump. Continue reading The San Gabriel River is full and flowing!

Shake It Up Baby


I think that almost every single person I know who either rides a bike, lives in LA, or knows people who ride bikes or live in LA has e-mailed me this video of Incycle in San Dimas from this morning. OK I get it. Sorry I didn’t post it sooner. Enjoy!

Tissues Is Not an Issue

I saw this car, as I was driving away from taking pictures of our local fire. It wasn’t just that the website was stamped across the back of the Caddy that caught my eye. It was mainly the tissue box stuck to the window. You know I had to hit the website It’s a site for a tissue box holder. It’s worth visiting just for the first 40 seconds of the video on the site. Along with cellphones, that explains why so many driver’s in LA are inattentive.