Archive for February, 2008

From 320 x 240 bluriffic pixels captured on the BirdBathCam to this overblown and heavily filtered piece of fartistic indulgification, ladies and gents I bring you the infinitely quadruplificable “Robin at the Wellspring.”


Well, As Far As Tickets Go This One Went Pretty WellA lifetime streak has come to an end with receipt today of my first citation as a cyclist.

Riding in to work this morning I rolled southbound through a Culver City T-intersection stop sign on Duquesne above Jefferson and on the northbound side — doh! — there just happened to be a CCPD patrol car with a pair of officers who deemed it fit to light me up and write me up.

I coulda done several illegal things instead of dutifully and respectfully stopping and obeying their requests:

1) Being but 40 feet from the entrance (too narrow for a vehicle to pursue) to the Ballona Creek Bikeway I could’ve gone fugitive and dove in there in an attempt to elude The Man.

2) When asked to produce identification I could’ve told them I didn’t have my license with me and provided false information.

Don’t think the first scenario didn’t cross my mind. In those moments of “face the music or flee” I even thought I might be able to get away with feigning surprise if apprehended by stating that I did not see or hear the officer’s lights and siren.

But ultimately I figured what could’ve potentially resulted was some sort of APB “officers in pursuit of cyclist” call being issued, and that could’ve brought all their brothers in arms out as well as possibly a contingent of news copters, to capture “breaking news” footage of me pedaling like a madman flanked by motorcycle units until I was eventually taken down hard and arrested. Who am I to interupt regularly scheduled programming across the SoCal airwaves?

The second “I don’t have my wallet with me” scenario would’ve given the officers probable cause that I was lying and allowed them to execute a search of my bag and produce the ID and I think a taser is mandatory for that, followed by arrest and subsequent bonus cavity search.



(click to quadruplify)

I think this collection began a couple/three years ago when we first started enjoying the food of the restaurant called Pho situated in an unmarked section of the Susnet Boulevard strip mall a half block away from us.

I know the coconut half shell is a souvenir we lifted from our room at the Breezes resort on Zanzibar in the summer of 2005, and it sits on top of a heavy iron utility cover we found sometime thereafter sitting on the sidewalk while walking back from breakfast at Millie’s up in the junction area of Silver Lake.

Since then whenever we’ve had meals that involve fortune cookies, we’ve saved the fortunes and stuffed them into the slit in the shell.

What is this about?


Roger fancied himself something of a superhero. Not someone bulletproof who could leap tall buildings at a single bound, or who with pinpoint accuracy and an effete bend of a wrist could somehow excrete a seemingly endless supply of a strong, flexible super adhesive material with incredible velocity and force.

No mask. No Costume. No, he was simply a doer of good deeds. Helpful to the helpless. Giver to the needy. He was: Samaritan Man!

Roger wasn’t sure from where in his make-up it stemmed, but he remember when it started. It was way back when he was 13 and after school one afternoon found the crying toddler lost and alone walking on the sidewalk past the Wilton Place duplex he’d shared with his mom and a stray cat they adopted and named Scotty because his mom said every cat’s name should have an “s” in it.

Without hesitation he went outside to the child and asked him his name and where he lived but there was too much terror and crying going on for the kid to answer. So he took the boy by the hand, brought him inside, and after setting him up on the living room sofa with some juice, called the police. By the time they arrived Roger had calmed the child down, turning his tears to giggles by bringing out some old stuffed animals he hadn’t touched in years — old Blue Dog and Tee Bear — and playing with them in front of him. The distraught parents from a couple houses down showed up shortly thereafter and had to face some pretty stern questions from the attending officers, such as “Please explain to me how a parent allows a 3-year-old child to wander out of a house , much less half a block down the sidewalk of a busy street?”

Since then, with varying degrees of regularity if he enountered someone or something in need of aid, he came to it. Whether it was the elderly crossing the street too slowly before impatient drivers, broken-down vehicles, abandoned animals, lost souls. It didn’t matter.


(click to triplify)

Isn’t it funny how we forget about stuff. I was cruising through the back end of the ridiculous amount of photos I have online at Flickr, and these two Santa Cruz island foxes showed up, bringing back a flood of good memories of the days I spent in November 2004 with a crew of docents from the Los Angeles Zoo. We were there as guests of the Nature Conservancy and as part of their island fox recovery program our purpose was to assemble captive breeding pens for the island’s decimated island fox population.

In looking further around my Flickr stream I was disturbed that this was pretty much the only photo from the excursion. What had happened to the others? Had they been deleted? OMGWTF? Then, from the cobwebby recesses of my memory I pulled out the recollection that I never uploaded any to Flickr. I put them up on because back then I was all into making keepsake books for my photos. Here’s the link if you want to check it out. Or you can view a slideshow of all the photos here.

It was a remarkable experience and I’m glad not only that I was reminded of it, but relieved that I was able to remember where I’d stored the memories.


 (click to quadruplify)

Pumpkin, Jiggy and Pepper await Susan’s arrival and breakfast.

 What is this about?

The Liquor Bank Job

You could tell they were twins, but life had clearly beaten one of them up more than the other, giving the impression that they’d been born ten years apart instead of maybe ten minutes. Sitting in the right turn lane on Crenshaw at Stocker I saw them immediately as they came out of the Liquor Bank across the street at a dead run, dodging cross traffic on Stocker as they crossed it against the red.

The one on the left was beefier, moved with a pronounced limp in his right leg and hunched his shoulders. Plus he had a lot more gray in the long dreads that poured down his back and his mouth was turned down in a perpetual scowl. He carried a fresh bottle of Hennessy in one hand and what looked to be a .38 in the other and had the worn out air and bearing of a tired fighter past his prime.

The one on the right moved on his toes, giving him an artificial bounce to the stride that comes either from a congenitally shortened achilles tendon or a lifetime spent wearing sneakers. Or possibly both. He had no gun but was cradling a bag of cash not carefully enough because the occasional bills fell out and wafted in their wake to the pavement like a leaf in fall. His identical hairstyle streamed jet black from a head held high. The upturned corners of his mouth gave him a far happier demeanor, as if he enjoyed what he was doing. He had to hold back not to outrun his brother and when they cleared the crosswalk they initially turned left toward where the IHOP was and beyond it the hill with unincorporated View Park on the left and Baldwin Hills Estates on the right, but the older one stopped and turned to look back toward Crenshaw, searching for an alternative. Guess he didn’t want to make that climb. At least not on foot.

They both rocked the same type of big bug-eyed 400-SPF sunglasses. The ones initially made famous by U2’s lead singer and later popularized by practically every female celebutante to make a sex tape, crash a Mercedes, or drive the wrong way on a freeway.

The older looking one wore a long black overcoat over a heavy red sweater and jeans. His brother sported a leather-sleeved varsity jacket embroidered on the back with the continent of Africa divided into bands of color, green over yellow over red. Beneath that was an t-shirt with a picture of Bob Marley on it, tucked into a pair of jeans.

They made a beeline for my car, and I knew what was next even before the one with the gun leveled it at my head as they trotted toward me.

“Get out!”

I was already yanking the parking brake and bailing when he said that and a few moments later stood in the middle of Crenshaw as my ride motored out of view on its way up the incline to La Brea and points unknown.