Archive for July, 2010

The supposed HD video capability of my iPhone doesn’t translate well to YouTube, but I did my best the capture the thundering herd of helicopters that passed over our house this afternoon and inspired me to go a bit acapella with the “Apocalypse Now” soundtrack. Apologies for that.

UPDATE (7.28): Commenter Frank sets me straight. They’re not Apaches, they’re AH-1W Super Cobras. Thanks, Frank!

Click for the bigger picture

You can click to gigantize this roughly knitted  panorama of a series of stills that capture the hundreds of people gathered prior to the start of the walk Sunday afternoon.

The news has landed. The coroner’s office has ruled today what many people feared and some will refuse to believe, that Silver Lake’s beloved Walking Man, Dr.Marc Abrams, killed himself.

Given how I feel about suicide I don’t want to believe it. Given the horrible manner within which he’s purported to have done it — by drowning himself in a covered hot tub — I can barely imagine it.

Not that I didn’t consider it in the days following his shocking demise last week. In fact I suprised myself by being ready to accept that conclusion if it had been a decision made in the wake of him contracting some debilitating illness that would ultimately immobilize him. But if he killed himself because of the criminal investigation that came to light, well… the following about-face might seem heartless, but as someone who spent many hours as a volunteer telephone counselor with the Suicide Prevention Center talking with people thinking about killing themselves but who had the strength to reach out for help, the regard I had for him just evaporated and the only sympathy I have is for those in his life who held him dear and who he so selfishly abandoned.

I’m not so narrow as to not realize there may be more to the story. Maybe he did reach out for aid and found no comfort from it. Nor am I callous enough that I can’t recognize the turmoil he must have been in to do such a terrible thing. But now because of what I can only accept as his official cause of death I’m left with abject disappointment, questions there may never be answers to, and the empty wish that he had been able to recognize there was a better way he could have gone.

I walked to honor Abrams twice, individually on Thursday and  yesterday with hundreds of others, because of what he meant to me and because I mourned the community’s loss of him. I wouldn’t walk for him today not because I no longer grieve, but because what he means to me today is something entirely less honorable.

Just amazing how a community can come together. When I turned the corner yesterday afternoon and came upon the hundreds of people gathered at the Silver Lake Recreation Center, there for a walk organized to honor and remember Dr Marc Abrams — Silver Lake’s indefatigable “Walking Man” — I choked up at such a wondrous sight. It made me so proud to be a part of this neighborhood.

Flickr photoset is here.

This ad has been popping up on various websites I visit. If you’re not familiar with “Rich Dad” Robert Kiyosaki he’s a rags-to-riches self-empowerment guru who’s built an empire through books, seminars and such, preaching about how knowledge is the key to success — and there’s nothing wrong with that truth.

Trouble is I wish whoever was in charge of this particular ad had the knowledge to recognize that the unsuccessful juxtaposition of a blithely smiling Kiyosaki sitting next to his proud doomsaying boasts about devastating economic events past and to come (pitched, of course, to draw people to his “free”workshops, so he can profit off them as they learn his “secrets” for how to “profit” off such tragedies) conjures up a vision of him not as someone inspiring trust, but rather as something of shill grinning his way through the gates of hell who can see suckers much more clearly than he can see the future.

I did lose another bloom today, but lest I put forth the impression that all my sunflowers are going to the squirrels, a few blooms have managed to avoid those furry fiends and instead have been found by the honeybees for whom they were intended (click for the bigger picture).

I know, I know… The reasoning part of me understands that I can’t grow a sunflower patch for any specific creature. You can only do so much to protect it and the rest is mainly hoping for the best — and even when they get destroyed you try to recognize that the flowers aren’t going to waste. They are providing nourishment to something in the food chain.

But, gawdammit. When my biggest and best bloom gets pilfered — the one that  I’ve been guarding and glorying in gets bitten off by one of our marauding squirrels, but it’s too big to carry so instead it just  gets dropped to the ground like its hot — it’s enough to make the Yosemite Sam in me  wanna load up the pellet gun, set up the decapitated head out in the open and shoot the first dozen flippy fluffy-tailed rodents that dares show themselves in my sights trying to come get it.

Come git sum and you’ll git sum you mangy varmints!


But instead, I’ve put the flower in some nutrient-enriched water in what’s probably a silly attempt to keep it alive for the bees for whom I hoped it would have been destined.