Archive for June, 2007

Well, everything’s in place to catch a petty thief. I have a “dummy” Sunday paper ready with which to get up early and bait the trap, I have the DV cam aimed in the right direction and I have the software set (fingers crossed) to automatically record Quicktime movies whenever the motion sensor is tripped. Now all we need is for whoever’s been stealing my L.A. Times these last two Sundays to try and go for three straight and to get caught in the act of doing so.

Of course, inside the dummy edition (consisting of the last couple days’ Times I saved for the occasion) is a note advising the property-thieving polyp to enjoy the old news and to understand that he or she is totally busted:

July 1, 2007

If you’re reading this it’s because you’ve taken the bait I left for you. I trust you’ll understand that I’m not very sorry to have to deny you. In fact, I’m ecstatic! But don’t worry: As a consolation prize I hope you’ll enjoy the decoy I assembled for you.

Or maybe you should be worried because as a consolation for me I know I’m going to enjoy posting to the internet any ootage I captured of you committing the theft. See, after my paper was stolen last week I went and set up a surveillance camera to catch you trespassing and stealing my property. I don’t mess around.

I’m hopeful that everything worked out and you were properly recorded in the act of committing the crimes, but you know how technology is… sometimes it can be as retarded as a person who steals another person’s $1.50 newspaper (that most any idiot can read online for free, by the way).

But barring any malfunctions, you and anyone else in the world should be able to see yourself stealing my newspaper on later this morning. Just do a search using the following term (no spaces):

• thisistheassbagwhostolemypapertoday

UPDATED (07.01): The bait was laid out at 5:45 a.m. and more than three hours later the trap remains unsprung. I’ll leave the dummy paper out a little longer but I’m thinking it’s too hot and too late to catch my quarry in the act this week. Maybe next Sunday I’ll try again.

I first learned about the art garden of Silver Lake’s Alberto Hernandez when I read about it in the L.A. Weekly back in 2004 and then again in an L.A. Times feature that came out around the time of Quinceañera last year thanks to the garden’s use as a location in that film.

After seeing the movie Susan and I were very curious about the remarkable place, but having no idea where it was we gave up on discovering it even before we got started searching… besides, we thought it was in Echo Park and even if we did find the place it’s not like we’d just barge on in to take a gander and set a spell. By all accounts this place is private and personal and only on occasion does Hernandez open things up to the public instead prefering to pretty much keep the garden to himself and his circle of friends, family and neighbors.

So it was with much pleasant surprise on a morning walkabout to the Silver Lake farmers market that I charted us a course that brought us past a house in the midst of a big yard sale and the first thing we noticed was the decorative mosaic-y stuff along the sidewalk. Then after entering the property to have a look-see, a man who we later realized turned out to be Alberto saw Susan’s camera and invited her to explore the wonderous garden and it was even more marvelous than we could’ve imagined.


Pix from the walk and the garden are here in this Flickr photoset.

Coming home from an afternoon visit to my mom’s in Burbank I found this “growing” up out of the L.A. River Bikeway near its north entrance off Victory Boulevard in Griffith Park (click to enlarge):


Funny, it wasn’t there Tuesday!

With some 2,600 miles logged on The Phoenix since I first started riding her at the beginning of last year, it was inevitable that the rattle-can paintjob with which I renewed her would eventually show signs of decay — accelerated by the unavoidable drops, scrapes and other such points of impact she was bound to encounter.

I had been toying with the idea of taping off the more egregious looking scratches on the frame and spraying on a couple coats of fresh day-glo orange, but that was before I was in Baller Hardware on Hyperion in Silver Lake earlier this week. Call it serendipity, but while going down an aisle that served no purpose but to get me to the back corner of the store where the nails are, blessed be the D-I-Y gawdz for out of the corner of my cornea I spied a stack of rolls of bright orange duct tape, or rather what I like to call “white trash touch-up.”

Tain’t a perfect match, but it’ll doofer now, son. It’ll doofer now.





I’ve begun the process of orchestrating and augmentating the promotional materials and logistications for the semi-notorious and entirely fictional IAAL•MAF bike conglomeration’s fifth spinviational duly dubbed the “Serenity Now” ride:


T’will be a casual roll July 22, beginning at noon from Travel Town in Griffith Park. From there the ride will traverse to the L.A. River Bikeway and then continue on surface side streets south of Fletcher through Elysian Valley with an emphasis on and awareness of the river’s history, wildlife and its aspect as an eye-catching and ever-evolving art gallery. The halfway point will be the oasis that is the L.A. River Center and Gardens for some rest and recumbancy before returning back up river to Travel Town.

So mark your calendars kids and stay tuned for more information. This is going to be a fun and flat 16-mile tour of discovery for all ages that will hopefully learn ya something new about our river or at least grow your apprecation of it a little bit.

Odd as it might be to some that deciding how I’m getting to an event would help me figure out what I was going to do once I got there, that’s how things worked out for last night’s inaugural L.A. Bloggers Live at Tangier in Los Feliz Village.


Neil from Citizen of the Month

In the throes of a potent cocktail a couple weeks ago I said why not and signed up to participate, hell yeah! Woot! But in the far more sober and less enthusiastic aftermath I kicked myself up one side and wondered down the other what in gawdz name was I going to actually read. With a proposed five-minute limit that ruled out the vast majority of my deathless posts and so up until a couple days ago I was at a total loss… until I decided to bike there and it hit me that I should do a post about biking. After all, I had an editorial in the L.A. Times on the subject recently and it’s an activity near and dear and hell, in my travels around the way me and my bright orange bike are even starting to get the occasional glances of recognition from people I pass. Certainly I’ve got years and a long way to go before I become the two-wheeled equivalent of the iconic Silver Lake Walking Dude, but more and more people are equating me and The Phoenix as fixtures around the neighborhood and the greater L.A. cycling world, too.

So the topic was settled and in short order the selection was made: my “The Butt Stops Here” post from March 13 in parts because it was within the suggested time constraints (I timed it), and had some confrontation and payback entertainment value.


After locking up The Phoenix outside the club and trying to cooldown a bit before entering, co-captain David Markland arrived and we went inside where he was kind enough to buy me a Newcastle which I used to help calm the nerves that are unavoidable whenever I’m set to stand up in front of a mic and bunch of people. New contributor Julia arrived and just after things got underway with introductions from the happening’s organizer Leah folowed by Joe from Artlung, shortly thereafter Cybele arrived and things moved pretty quick down the list of readers:

  1. Deezee from Confessional Highway
  2. Neil from Citizen of the Month
  3. Jenn from Aka Jesais
  4. Abigail from My Life According to Me
  5. Peter from The Buddha Diaries
  6. Tim from LA Daddy
  7. Marissa from Engel’s Angle

My turn was between Abigail and Peter and when I downloaded the pix I snapped from last night strangely I found one of me that was physically impossible for me to take (I expect it was snapped by Cybele):


I think it went well enough. By that I humbly submit that I managed my nerves and I didn’t fall down going to or from the mic, my tongue only tripped me up the requisite thousand half-dozen times, there was some polite laughter at the appropriate moments and no impolite laughter at inappropriate moments. All in all I was glad to be one of the pioneers of what has the potential to become a regularly scheduled showcase. And as a bonus I had the pleasure of meeting Clifford of Asymptotia who was in attendance and introduced himself afterwards.

As I wrote in yesterday’s post about the long-horned digger bees I discovered now residing in our side yard, I’d check in on the remaining males aerially competing for the affections of an as-yet-unseen female somewhere in the vicinity, to see what a second round of activity might hold. The answer is: plenty.

And this time, in the midst of all the fly-bys I scored some relatively upclose video clips that I think are pretty awesome of one of the males going in and out of the temporary digs he’s dug. I cobbled them together into the following 78 second YouTube post:

Beyond being thrilled at capturing something you just don’t see every day, I’m particularly fond of the moments where he pokes his head out and scopes the scene before deciding whether to go back in or come out.