…On the way to the office today. Actually two — actually three, with the third one teaching me a valuable lesson.

1) In what may very well be a quintessential L.A. rite of passage (or at least a case of what-are-the-odds timing), I intersected with the downward trajectory of a falling palm frond (loosed from its unknown mooring no doubt by the blustering Santa Ana winds) that clipped me while biking westbound on 4th Street through the east end of Hancock Park. Had the feathery frond side of the project raked down my back I might not have even noticed, but instead I got thumped a glancing blow along my pack by the back end. Didn’t hurt. Just startled me in a “sky is falling” sort of way.

2) Still on 4th after safely crossing Highland, about a block or two further west a white Chevy SUV pulled up alongside me and the sheepishly grinning shaggy-haired driver immediately started apologizing out the open passenger window for almost hitting me. Being that I’m A) usually pretty aware when I come into close contact with vehicles and, B) had no knowledge that such a thing happened, I inquired as to where this purported near-miss happened and he told me that he had turned right onto 4th from Rossmore and didn’t see me until it was almost too late. Mind you, we were now aaaaall the way past Highland and not only was he not at Rossmore and 4th when I crossed that quiet intersection (with the nearest southbound car a 100 or so yards away from me to the north), but now I was three blocks from La Brea and as I have a helmet-mounted rearview mirror and use it religiously I would most certainly have seen him behind me at some point between there and here, but I had not. Still, given that he was being so nice and conciliatory about it, I opted not to dispute him as either stoned, hallucinatory or perhaps confusing me with another cyclist and instead just thanked him and he moved forward.

3 ) Last but not least… well actually it is pretty trivial. But the lesson learned resonates. For the last several commutes in which I’ve traveled on Venice Bouleavard, I’ve passed a corner 99-cent store wannabe a block east of Hauser, and painted on the walls are various rough representations of some of the merchandise available inside. There’s rudimentary wristwatch and a skewed scooter and other items and in the midst of them is this nicely grafitti’d anteater that clearly falls into the “one of these things is not like the others” category. Each time I pass by I chuckle wondering what aisle the aardvarks might be on and each time I vow to stop the next time and get a picture for posterity. Well, this morning was that next time, only the animal that had been there the previous Monday had been painted out sometime between then and Christmas, dangit. That’ll teach me to put off tomorrow what I could snap today.