Archive for May, 2008

But when it came to this backyard encounter with a wonderfully aggressive jumping spider this afternoon, what I lacked in talking points I hope I made up for in enthusiasm:

When it comes to finding things in the backyard sometimes I don’t even have to try. Such was the case of this penny, found on the ground¬† near the hammock while raking leaves in the backyard this morning.

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The top two thumbnails (all clickable) are the “before” shots of the front and back and the bottom two are after I cleaned them up a bit. The coin was corroded enough not to be able to make out with any certainy the third digit of the date: 19 6.” Could it be a 1906 penny, which was the year the land was originally deeded? Could it be a 1916, a year or so after the house was built? It was only from scrubbing it with some cleaners that I was shown it to be a 1946 S wheatback penny.

How long it’s been in the ground is anyone’s guess but given its worn condition I’d hazard the full 62 years or not much less.


It was Monday when my friend and networker extraordinaire Joel emailed me out of the blue asking if I could come give a talk to his Cub Scouts troop Thursday night about endangered animals. I barely hesitated to say sure, and only after I signed on did I wonder what the heck I was going to say.

I mean, it’s not like I had a ready-made presentation stowed on some hard drive somewhere that I could call up and dust off. And as the workweek would have it, I had little time to build one until yesterday afternoon when we finally shipped the latest issue of my magazine and I had an hour to decompress — and did so finding information on condors, and tortoises and Channel Island foxes, and the like, pulling it together in a hastily crafted powerpoint slideshow just in time to leave and bike up Overland (along the way rediscovering the steep hill north of Palms Boulevard that I’d long forgotten about) to Santa Monica Boulevard to Wilshire and the Electric Fountain at that decidedly nonbike- and nonhuman-friendly intersection where I stopped to relax and unsweat since I was a few minutes ahead of schedule.

Looking down into the pool of the fountain I entertained the notion of going in for a splash but put such silliness aside when I spied several ladybugs flailing around on its surface, the water of which was moving in a slow counter-clockwise flow.

A few minutes later I’d pulled 12 from the water and transfered them to the leaves of the jasmine growing around the perimeter, where they could dry off and fly off… hopefully not back in to the water.

The subsequent talk to the cub scouts held adjacent to El Rodeo Elementary School was deemed a success.

To the person who left the still-cold, three-quarters-full, 40-ounce bottle of Cobra Malt Liquor that I found in the plastic bag on the walkway below our porch, I’m pretty sure — or at least hoping — that you probably knew our deceased tenant Joe and perhaps stopped by this morning or sometime during the night to mourn his loss and remember the good times when he was alive.

Since most other empty beer containers found are regularly left by inconsiderate public drinkers down by the curb or in the ivy or behind our mailbox, that’s pretty much the only reason I can come up with that you’d blatantly trespass onto our property with a large bottle of alcohol like it’s not our house, but yours — or Joe’s.

Point in fact, it’s not yours, nor Joe’s.

Putting aside the general creepiness of some stranger so out of it as to not even think twice about coming to our house to pour one out for the dearly departed and then leave the bottle and the remaining disgusting beverage for me to dispose of, I’ve tried hard to craft the following request while remaining aware of your loss and considerate of your feelings in such a time of sorrow:




The Hollywood Burrito Project made, packed, carried and delivered fresh and hot burritos to 30 homeless people on the streets of Hollywood.


The desk is cleared, the day is done and there’s a bike to ride home. The relief and satisfaction in putting another issue of my magazine to bed is grand. Too bad it only lasts until about tomorrow morning and then it’s back at it.

Susan noticed it sometime over the weekend, but I discovered the fungus among us in my morning spritzing of the side yard this morning. Having popped up between a couple walkway bricks it’s almost half the size of one… sucker’s huge (click to quadrify):