Archive for September, 2007


 Short uncropped series I made of the setting over the Santa Monicas is here on Flickr.

I shipped my first issue today. Just after lunch and after triple checking the final against some last-minute corrections — a missing comma here, the wrong headline for my editor’s column in the table of contents there — I signed off on it and away to the printer it went to become Vol. 7, Issue No. 7, aka October 2007.

It ain’t National Geopraphic I’m editing but still I have to admit I’m pleased and proud.

I guess I owe Sirius Satellite Radio an apology. It wasn’t them that sucked supreme so much as it was the do-the-least-amount-of-work installers at Circuit Shitty who put the unit into my truck way back after my baybee got it for me for Christmas 2004.

I first wrote about them some three months after that in a spittle-laced rant against the never-ending “Antenna not detected” error message that showed up on the display and that long-archived post still draws the occasional Google hit and commiseration and advice from fellow Sirius frustroids. I last wrote about it in December 2005:

Without going into too much detail, I gave up on listening to it on the road because the signal was weak and whatever music was playing too often skipped into prolonged periods of silence like a bad CD. I even called Sirius up and told them to cancel my subscription at the end of the quarter I’d paid for, but they just kept right on billing me after the agreed upon time — I know, that’s major bullshit on Sirius’ part. But I didn’t raise a stink because I found that I’d fire up the boombox on occasion and the reception was significantly better than in my vehicle. Still not perfect, but much better…

Sirius still blew major class-action chunks for not processing my cancel order, but as I wrote with that boom box I bought shortly after the truck install (which is still working fine and which we’ll be taking with us to Death Valley in November) I didn’t fret such an oversight much.

Eventually the portable got a nice coat of dust on it from lack of use (not even Howard Stern’s celebrated move into space radio could engage me), but I still didn’t cancel my subscription because first it was like $8 a month and second, in the back of my mind I figured one day I’d get either make a WTF? call on Shirkus Shitty or just try to solve the problem myself. And if either or neither of those options worked, then I’d get serious on Sirius.

Well I opted for the latter option last month. And all I basically did was rerun and remount the antenna from atop the dash inside the truck (pretty much the worst place the fragged folks at Circuit Shitty could have put it, second only to under the frickin’ hood or maybe a wheel well) to outside on the roof. Of course, to do that I had to thread it under the carpet and up an interior side panel to the rear of the cab before painstakingly lacing it through the sliding glass portion of the rear window. Then I had enough leftover wire to string it under the rubber seal around the outside of the rear window, beneath the upper brake light where it now proudly sits magnetized to the rooftop sucking in a pretty much sunspotless signal whenever I’m on the road (tunnels, bridges and heavily treed areas begrudgingly excepted).

It took me and my unskilled installer’s ass about 20 minutes to do that. Why the lowest common denominator lazy ass bastard at Circus Shitty couldn’t or wouldn’t do that practically three years ago is effing beyond me. Not really. “Above and Beyond the call” is not their motto.

Anyway, to say I’m overjoyed to bring the dogstar network out of the doghouse is an understatement. But it’s more than just music to my ears. On the way this weekend to my mom’s to take her out to dinner for her birthday I found the Alabama/Georgia game on one of the available sports stations (Roll Tide!!!) and on the way home I snapped this photo while listening to the first few minutes of Monday Night Football:


Not really visible in the lower left of the display is the glorious three-bar signal strength as I motored down Jefferson on my way home. A sight for sore eyes and a sound for sore ears.

I’d love to fib and say Ranger and Shadow have grown to become best buds, but that hasn’t happened in the year-plus they’ve been together and probably won’t. Shadow at 13 is tolerant of the rambuctious 16-month-old Ranger but there’s no love lost and more often than not they keep to their separate corners. On those occasions (often enough) when Ranger invades Shadow’s perimeter, she goes into grumble/growl mode and Ranger somewhat respects it. Mostly.

Still, there are occasions, however rare, when they hang out very close and copasetically together and yesterday afternoon in the library was one of them… for at least long enough to snap this blurry shot in the low-light (click to triplify):


I can’t remember if I first spotted it Monday or Tuesday this week, but on one of those days while bike commuting to work south on Redondo Avenue in between Pico and Venice boulevards I spied a discarded wooden bench curbside. The first time it was upright and the next day it was turned over. And when I saw it on Thursday I knew it had to be mine.

So I told Susan about it and how it would look just about perfect at the foot of the river rock wall that fronts the porch and she was all like “Duuuude! I’ve wanted a bench there for like the longest time” and I was all “Duuuuuuuuuude!!” and thus we decided after coffee early this morning to reconnoiter at 0830 hours and proceed on a Mid-City recovery mission, which was not only successful but also yielded a beaten four-shelf colonial style bookcase (for the basement) and included the added celebratory bonus of breakfast at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles on Pico.

The bench itself is fully waterlogged from the rains and distinctly aged and weathered andwobbly, plus its previous owners had seen fit to nail a quilt over the seating area that was delightfully moldy and mildewed and delightfully difficult to remove, but ultimately I did and after hammering some strategic reinforcing followed by a test placement of my 220 pounds upon it wherein it did not collapse, I documented its new and honored place below as the cats gave it varying levels of attention (click to triplify):


Susan has pix of the actual recovery that I’m sure she’ll be posting to her blog, but in the meantime there’s a photoset titled “Eight Photos Of A Bench And Two Cats” here on Flickr.

Sorry for the upside downishness of the image, I snapped this on the fly after catching it out of the corner of my eye (click to triplify):


 It’s a manhole cover I passed on Jefferson just north of Rodeo Road near the designated community of Cameo Plaza, and it reads:

City of L.A.
Made In Mexico

I find that true in both an historical and social and economic sense.

2th? As in 2thousand-and-seven:


I’m not sure why I’m going all Zoolander with my lips or what button I pushed on the cam for the image to come out all black-and-white, but there it is and I am: pedaling the first few feet past the intersection of Cota and Ocean Drive in Culver City at 8:49 a.m. this morning, putting my 2007th mile behind me and moving on.

New goal for the rest of the year? I’m gonna mull it over for a bit. I’m torn between just totaling up whatever comes and thinking 2,500 is doable, But then I’m as I’m also keeping closer tabs on my calories I’m thinking of biking to work until I get down to 195 pounds or the new year, whichever comes first. If I go that crazy I could be looking at 75-100 mile weeks, which has the potential to put 3,000 in reach by the time the year draws to its close.

Like I said, I’m gonna mull. I’m even gonna drive in to work tomorrow as says there’s a 60% chance of rain in L.A. Friday. But in the meantime thanks for putting up with this fixation of mine these past few posts. It might not be the most interesting thing in the world, but it’s  kind of a big deal to reach something I’ve been striving for these past nine months.