Archive for June, 2007

Ahh but I love how the internest brings us together from all walks of life. Checking my WordPress dashboard this morning I find a comment to a post titled “Pupdate No. 1” written July 20, 2006, reflecting on our first week with the four pups we rescued in Utah while on vacation that month.

Like most comments to old posts, I click on it thinking it can’t be anything more than spam, but instead I find the comment is from one Katherine Von Drachenberg, who writes:

“I Googled for something completely different, but found your page…and have to say thanks. Nice read.”

I suppose I run the risk of getting fished in and it in fact being spam of some sort, but what the hell; I replied in the comments thanking her for reading then I clicked on the link to her name to see where it led, and I found out. Dang. Perhaps I can blame my age, my unfamiliarity with the rarefied world of tatoo and its practitioners, or my lack of diverse television viewing as being the reasons why I’d never heard of Kat Von D, but a lot of other people have and it’s nice that a little Google misdirection brought me to her attention and her to mine.

The young lady’s got 486,016 friends on MySpace. She’s apparently quite the up-and-coming artist , boosted primarily by her unique talent with a needle on skin but also perhaps by her connection to Bam Margera of “Jackass” fame and moreso by her place first on the TLC show Miami Ink, and now its spinoff L.A. Ink, coming in August.

It’s as close to a celeb encounter as I’ve ever had here at my humble little e-bode and I’ll can my skepticism and just appreciate Kat for dropping by and saying hi.

UPDATED (6/25): Nah, it’s spam after all. I got a comment this morning to my year-old post about the Franklin Avenue meet-up at Coles from an “Interior Lighting” whose ambiguous praise just screamed spam. What connects the two is not only that they’re formatted exactly the same way:



But it’s linked to the same generic type of dot-info webpage as Kat’s. On top of that the IP addresses of both comments originate from the same Atlanta, GA-based service provider Pffft. Cullah me gullahbah.

Last Sunday morning, whoever the putrescent scumbag was didn’t actually steal the entire L.A. Times, just broke into the pocket containing two freebie razors that were part of promo package in which the paper was wrapped.

Upon discovering the break-in I shrugged and let it go not only because at least the bastards left the paper alone and because the idea of a four-bladed (or was it forty?) razor seems silly and expensive to refill, but mainly because I’m a simple dude with simple shaving needs and I’m entirely satisfied with the Gillette twin-blader I’ve been rocking for so many years.

This morning I got up early and at sometime around 7:30 a.m. looked out the front window pleased to find the Sunday paper sitting a couple steps up from the sidewalk, and — my bad — I left it there to have some coffee and sweep up the couple dozen unripened figs that had plopped to the patio overnight, as well as assorted other menial tasks. A short while later out the front door I went only to find the steps empty.

An online request at for a replacement was fulfilled within a half-hour, but regardless of how easy it is to get the theft rectified, I’m on the warpath. And whether or not the cheaptastic maggot is the same one that hit me last week or if there’s two such slime-trailing subspecies walking the neighborhood stealing my newsstuff by the dawn’s early light, let’s just say I’ll have the webcam set up next weekend and be ready for some red-handed catching should they feel emboldened to go for a third theft next week.

Stay tuned.

Influenced perhaps by my recent avian encounters, my friend Stephen loaned me what looks to be a marvelous book titled “Providence Of A Sparrow,” by Chris Chester and after finishing Jonathan Kellerman’s unsatisfying “Gone” and promptly feeding it to the recycle bin I seemed ready to dive into the memoir that stems from the discovery of a baby sparrow and how it brings about a reawakening to the wonder of life and wildlife.

But it’s gonna have to wait because I made the mistake of starting John Gregory Dunne’s “True Confessions” (ordered because of my disappointment with the plot of the movie that I finally saw for the first time earlier this month) and it pretty much had me at the opening line of “None of the merry-go-rounds seem to work anymore.”

Only a few pages into it and I can already tell it’s going to have the depth and definition that the film’s makers either couldn’t or weren’t allowed to bring to the screen.

If we keep to the plan at hand Susan and I are set for a pre-sunset excursion with cameras to walk along the L.A. River between the Fletcher and Hyperion bridges before visiting the Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood to take in the traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial that’ll be there until tomorrow afternoon.

Should be pix a plenty.

In the meantime, if anybody needs me until grill duties call I’ll be in the backyard hammock reading and relaxing.

Update: River pix are here; Vietnam Memorial here.

This is how it goes in the backyard pretty much whenever I do more than a cursory scoop-up of figs a-fallen and poop o’ doggin. If I stop to look a little closer at the ground, all sorts of stuff is revealed. Here’s this morning’s haul, all of it relatively trivial (especially the broken glass, of which there is an infinite supply) but not at all expected (click to enlarge):


1) Four pieces of broken glass from three different sources; 2) Two pieces of coal; 3) One red La Corona cigar tube cap; 4) One pink glass bead; 5) One Yale doorlock mechanism.

I’ve certainly noticed an increase not only in bicyclists on the road, but in the more open commaraderie we demonstrate toward one another. I’m not talking so much about the organized group rides like RIDE-Arc and Midnight Ridazz of which I’m a regular participant and enthusiastic proponent, as I am referring to the random passing of cyclists on the street. Be it a nod or a wave or a ring of a bell, there’s just more acknowledging going on.

Certainly it is not across the board. I can still pretty much count on being snubbed by 94% of the streamlined and spandexed roadies I might come across, who either look down their carbon fiber forks upon my bulk astride my bright orange bastard or outright ignore my nod or wave or bell ring (but at least that’s down from the 98% of a few years ago). And I can count on a solid percentage of bike messenger-types to present the same sort of front, but it’s not so much from some silly elitest angle as it is from one of stripped-down daredevil authenticity.

Regardless of where a rider’s or my prejudices might lie I do my best to include all in the grand community of bicyclists, and unless the vibe received is totally off-putting, I’ll throw ’em some form of recognition as a fellow biker-in-arms.

I bring all that platitudinal prefacing up because I’m still somewhat buzzing over what happened prior to our “10 Bridges” ride last night. At the confluence of Glendale Boulevard and 2nd Street while me, Sean Bonner and Manny Treeson and Stephen Roullier were waiting for Steve’s wife Alice to arrive from fixing a flat she’d found up at their Echo Park house, a solitary rider rolls up on us and from the saddle of his Trek bike notices Manny’s Trek bike and compliments are exchanged. He asks about Steve’s bike and eventually gets around to inquiring about what we’re doing and we tell him about the ride we have planned and in the next beat he asks if he can come along, to which we don’t hesitate to say sure. I ask him his name and he tells me it’s Alex and introductions are made and we learn he’s from South L.A. and was just out for a ride. Eventually we set out without Alice who’s still dealing with the deflation (and will meet us at a point to be determined somewhere downstream). We arrive at the start point on Factory Place south of the Arts District where we find Michael Baffico, along with couple Eric and Kathy Richardson. More introductions and away we go to soon be joined by previous IAAL•MAF participants Mehi and Brigitte and later Alice who catches up to us after we crossed the Sixth Street bridge.

Long story short: Alex comes along for the enjoyable and unique 13.5-mile length of the ride and bids us farewell shortly after we arrive at our destination of Joy Mart in Little Tokyo. And I just think that’s pretty cool because there just aren’t that many scenarios that I can think of out there where an outsider can just be so immediately let inside. Sure, it takes someone such as Alex with the go-get to ask a bunch of strangers if he can come play with us (I don’t know if I would’ve), but it also takes an inclusionary frame of mind. For sure, if he’d presented himself to a bunch of hardcore fixed-gear messies or a league of Lycra-clad Lance wanna-bes and asked if he could ride along he’d have risked some sort of rejection and perhaps even ridicule, but there was no way he was going to get that from me or the people I roll with.


So here’s to Alex from South L.A. (pictured front and center above, just after we crossed bridge No. 9 on North Spring Street). Glad to have him along and hope to see him again.

More pix from the ride are in this Flickr photoset.


Visually, the L.A. River between Fletcher Avenue and Los Feliz Boulevard is in the zone right now. The sweet spot. Especially in the later afternoon hours.  I love the river 365 days a year but there’s just something about these days before and after the summer solstice (today) where the setting sun’s situation in the sky couples with a certain clarity of the visibility that makes the place uniquely beautiful. As if in this brief period , she’s neither under- nor over-exposed. Just right. The greens are greener, the sunshine reflects off the water wonderfully and everything’s bathed in a beautiful golden sheen, making even the concrete compelling.

You should go now if you get the chance.