Bloggers Picnic V (V for vendetta) in far east LA Saturday

Open to all bloggers, blog readers, commenters, tormentors and (even trolls) in LA

It’s back!  The Pasadena Bloggers Picnic – once again organized by yours truly and the role model of children everywhere (his words, not mine), Aaron Proctor!

The gathering is held once again at the Mayan Room and Courtyard/Patio of the Aztec Hotel in beautiful Monrovia, California.  Potluck style, just the same as last time.  Bring a little something to share at the potluck table.  Good old fashioned bar drinks will be available for purchase at the Brass Elephant that is in the hotel.  There is ample free parking at the hotel.

Same rules apply as always:  Be on your best behavior (a/k/a the Aaron Proctor Rule), no videotaping or photographing of anyone without permission, and most of all:  have fun!

Bloggers that I know of for certain that will be in attendance aside from the organisers include West Coast Grrlie Blather, Pasadena PIO, Pasadena Daily Photo, 99 Cent Chef, Crime Scene Blog and who all else I don’t know as most show with out filling out the RSVP!

Details: Saturday 9/27 1-7PM Aztec Hotel & Brass Elephant,311 W Foothill Blvd, Monrovia, CA 91016 US

We’re f***ed.

A new report on carbon emissions shocks scientists.

Californians sometimes are perceived as being the most eco-conscious in the nation. In Los Angeles, no celebrity worth his or her Trader Joe’s Hawaiian Black Sea Salt doesn’t embrace environmental causes either sincerely or cynically for the publicity it guarantees.

There’s a history of Hollywood liberals’ favorite pet cause that stretches back to the 1960s when the earth movement was formed. Angelenos therefore are alternately held up before the country for praise and ridicule on the subject depending upon your political stripe.

Well guess what? You can drive your Prius, ride your bike, take the Metro or the bus, burn CFL bulbs, purchase Energy Star high efficiency appliances, carry your groceries in canvas totes, use “green” products, buy organic fiber clothes, recycle, march, demonstrate, petition and vote all you want to save the planet.

Then you can kiss the human race’s ass good-by, according to report released by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Researchers found the rate at which humans are polluting is accelerating, not diminishing as was predicted based on the positive impact of a worldwide economic downturn, causing some leading scientists to use words like, “scary” and say things like, “We should be worried — really worried. This is happening in the context of trying to reduce emissions.”

The report also says the rate that forests and oceans naturally absorb carbon dioxide created by humans is falling. Temperature levels could increase by over 11 degrees by 2100 according to the new data on emissions.

With the election and the economic turmoil dominating the news lately, the LA Times article about the report ran on page 22 of today’s print edition. There’s no evidence of it at all on the LAT homepage, but if you click on the environment link it’s the top article on that page.

It belongs front and center.


Psssshhhhhttttttt! (That’s the sound of a spit-take.)


I nearly went into coronary arrest after seeing the news item on the right on a few minutes ago.

With the economy teetering on the brink of financial ruin, I was certain this latest development meant the four horsemen of the apocalypse were on their way.

Thankfully, this “story” simply turned out to be clever marketing by Paramount Pictures for their film Eagle Eye, which opens today and stars acting sensation Shia LaBeouf.

The movie studio ran a full-screen mockup of the Los Angeles Times’ home page with fake news items pertaining to their film.

You can see the full ad after the jump.

We now return to our regularly scheduled calamity.

Continue reading Psssshhhhhttttttt! (That’s the sound of a spit-take.)

Barackcycle 3 – Sept. 27th

Even though I lean pretty left, I don’t like posting political stuff here as that can found on my blog.  However, in the spirit of community and fitness, I was inspired to post about Barackcycle 3 happening this weekend.

Meeting location: Vermont/Sunset Metro Station in East Hollywood (near Children’s Hospital Los Angeles)

This 17.6-mile ride will take us “round the mountain” from East Hollywood to Los Feliz, Griffith Park, Burbank, Toluca Lake (lunch break at Bob’s Big Boy on Riverside), Studio City, Universal City, Cahuenga Pass and Hollywood. There will be a few hills but they will be mostly gradual and not very steep (uphill). (see map)

Sounds like a great way to meet other Angelenos and see the city.  For more information you can email Elson Trinidad at [email protected]

Thanks Senator Feinstein, Your Position is Now Crystal Clear

I recently sent my Senator, Dianne Feinstein, an email regarding oil drilling and energy in our local area.  Here is the full text of the email reply I received today from her office:

“Dear Mr. Mason:


Letter begins here.


Sincerely yours, 

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator”

Thanks, Dianne.  You can expect the same effort from me at the voting booth during your next Senate election campaign.

Blasting about in a Bullitt, a Mustang Bullitt to you!

After a day in that car my face is still sore from grinning through every curve.

Bullitt on top of the Crest...that is LA in the fog baby!
Bullitt on top of the Crest...that is LA in the fog baby!

The best adventures happen when you just run with a door opened.  The Mustang Bullitt makes that run even more fun.  In short I loved the car despite a few niggles.  My adventure with the Bullitt came as a result of a post I did at the LA Launch of the 2010 Camaro. I called the current base Mustang a gelding compared to what was shown for the base Camaro.  Turns out commenter dwr1ten works for the marketing company for Ford here in So Cal and felt I was underestimating the Mustang.  She offered up a Bullitt and I took her up on it.

Los Angeles is an important market for Ford and the Mustang Bullitt.  According to Ford’s marketing “LA and CA in general are very important bellwethers for Ford, if a car sells here it well do well anywhere”.  Los Angeles is so important to Ford that the next generation Mustang will be premiered here the day before the LA Auto Show in November.

The Bullitt is a limited edition car.  Only 7700 copies of this beauty will ever be made.  LA has gotten more than its fair share.  As of Monday in California there are 330 Bullitts available, 93 remain here in LA.  120 have sold in LA already this year.  The remarkable aspect of those sales is that they were sold without rebates or incentives.  Priced at 32,500 the car has no options, and is very nicely equipped.  It is an outright bargain when you look at its abilities and competition.  Continue reading Blasting about in a Bullitt, a Mustang Bullitt to you!

Saturday: Riding with Mary

Chris Haston's Riding With Mary
Riding With Mary invite

Looking for something to do Saturday night? For once I have something Family Friendly to recommend!

My pal Chris Haston is showing some of his amazing photos at Smooth n’ Purdy at the Complex. Not that Chris needs me to plug the event – as the official NBC photographer for I don’t know how many years, this thing should be packed to the gills with celebs and bigwigs, plus a lot of photographers and the like. Which means it should be A Great Time.

Is this a link to the evite? Who can know – evites are the freaking devil.

But the show is going to be great – Chris is an amazing photographer and this is a really great project.

Show up, and get classy already!

Saturday, Sept. 27th, 2008
7 to 11PM
3015 Glendale Blvd. Suite 300
(just before Glendale and Hyperion split)
Los Angeles, CA 90039

New digs for the 20

The new Orange20 - in the works

This my friends is a snapshot of what looks like the new Orange 20 storefront. As previously discussed in several comment threads here, the popular bike shop was trying to get the corner space on Melrose and Heliotrope that had been previously occupied by a Furniture store. There’s no word on their site about it, but it looks like a move in and buildout has begun. That’s amazing news for bike fans in LA. No word yet what will happen with the old shack-like space they are currently located in.

Up your nerd cred, and help save the kittens

Computer nerds, Cat lovers and Battlestar Galactica fans take note! NVIDIA is auctioning off a one of a kind BSG themed PC signed Tricia Helfer, with the proceeds going to Los Angeles Kitten Rescue. Additionally, NVIDIA will match the final auction total for the final donation. They will also pay the shipping to you. More details can be found in this auction.

This is awesome because the kittens certainly could use your help, and BSG fans (like myself) will totally worship you if you are rocking this PC. What’s better than that?

(Thanks Tara!)

Win Tickets to See Calexico at the Fonda on the 29th!

Ok, Calexico is up there on my desert island CD list. I’ve loved this band since 2001’s “Even My Sure Things Fall Through”–and I feel like a jerk for not having discovered them in 1997, when their first full-length came out. Blending central & south American sounds with the mestizo music of the US-Mexico border and the space-rock “New Western” sound–think Ennio Morricone filtered through a fuzzed-out Mexican radio. Their live shows are engrossing, with a balls-out brass section, guest vocalists en espanol, and music that expands to suffuse the whole space with an otherworldly feel you only get when you’re in the desert, in the middle of nowhere.

So I’m insanely thrilled about this upcoming show and you can bet I’ll be there with bells on.

If you’d like to go too, tell me what your favorite song by them is, and why you love it so. The most impassioned fan gets the single pair of tickets we have to give. Or you can suck it up & buy tickets here.

It was the best of customer service, it was the worst of customer service

I moved last week–just five miles down the road from Encino to Sherman Oaks (S.O. represent!). It seems like a short move like that should be a simple thing, and yet, somehow moving is pretty much the most freaking stressful thing in the world to me. Something about seeing all my worldly goods piled in cartons and figuring out what to keep and what to jettison. (“What about these doilies? I never use them for anything, but Aunt Dottie tatted them, and she’s dead now…”)

Having made two moves within LA (well, within the Valley) since I’ve been here, I can now safely conclude two things: 1. Time Warner will make the move worse, and 2. Delancey Street will make the move better. As I said, the move was relatively simple and Time Warner’s job was correspondingly so: on Friday, the day of the move, they were to transfer my Internet service from my old address to my new one. I was amazed when I was easily able to make an appointment for installation on the afternoon of the move. “Perhaps they’ve turned over a new leaf,” I thought, “Maybe they are actually doing their job competently.” Yeah. And maybe monkeys are flying out of my butt while I am typing this blog post. What actually happened after the jump, plus a pitch for Delancey Street. Continue reading It was the best of customer service, it was the worst of customer service

K & L Wine Store in Hollywood Delivers

Friday night on my way to a crazy-fun dinner party, I realized I did not want to show up empty handed so I stopped in at K& L Wine store in Hollywood.  Right on Vine and De Longpre, It’s been open for over a year, so I’ve been meaning to check it out for ages.

When I walked in, obviously in a hurry, the manager saw me and immediately helped me pick out one of the best red wines I’d had in a long time.  Then he led me to a sensational new (for me) champagne called, “Delamotte”.

He stayed right in my price range and what’s more, when I mentioned my hosts were from Santa Barbara, came up with a wine that was from the region!  I noticed they have lots of wine tastings to… next one is “The Wines of Italy” on September 27th.

They have a really large selection of wines from all over the world and are super friendly.  Parking is easy (no small feat in Hollywood!) and they’re open til 8PM.  I’ll definitely be back. Fiddles While World Burns

Markets in continuing financial turmoil. Finnish school shooting kills nine. Socialized economics. Oil makes record one-day price increase. Afghanistan. Iraq. Obama. McCain. Palin. Biden.  Lipstick. Pigs. How crappy the Emmys were. $3-million LAPD settlement. Dodgers. Sparks. Ryder Cup. Prop 4. Prop 8.

Instead, what do I find the L.A Times website leading with on its homepage this morning? A “new” website featuring cute cats and user-generated captions:

CFL’s Cheap at Smart and Final

CFLs on the cheap while supplies last at Smart and Final
CFL's on the cheap while supplies last at Smart and Final

If you are in need of more CFL’s and want them cheap head over to your nearest Smart & Final.  They are a whopping 49 cents, centavos, pennies or whatever name you have for those small shiny copper bits in your pocket.  The box says the price reflects an allowance courtesy of So Cal Ed.   They certainly are the best price I have seen on them yet.   Word of caution, if you suffer from migraines (like I do) keep some regular incadescents around as those CFL’s can be murder during an migraine, if not trigger one on a sensitive day. 

Pic by my at the Smart and Final on Huntington Drive here in Monrovia with the phone cam this evening.