Archive for July, 2012

I hadn’t yet been to a Dodger game this year, and frankly might not have made it out to see one this season had the good folks at Mr. Pink Ginseng Drink not invited me and Susan to their media event this evening– which just so happened to also be Kirk Gibson Bobblehead  (with Fist Pump Action!) Night.

We got a VIP tour of the place — including a visit onto the hallowed field during batting practice — before adjourning to a suite to enjoy the game. Sure, it didn’t end well… the Arizona Diamondbacks ended up winning 8-2. But whether the Dodgers are victorious or not, a summer’s late afternoon and evening at Dodger Stadium will always be one of my favorite places in Los Angeles and on the planet. Thanks, Mr. Pink!

In reviewing last week’s timelapse footage this morning, I found that my decidedly low-res/tech front steps cam captured the latest visit from our unfriendly neighborhood coyote, this one when it dropped by for about 32 seconds last Thursday morning (July 19; click them for the bigger pictures):

I don’t think I’d mind it so much if the critter replaced that all-too-casual and proprietary behavior with even the littlest bit of cautious trepidation. Might just have to rig some sort of educational opportunities and teach that critter to avoid any trespasses, laid back or otherwise.

Thursday afternoon, I biked downtown to the Music Center to pick up tix for “War Horse” waiting for me at the Ahmanson’s box office. I forgot to turn off the handlebar cam on my bike and as a bonus it snapped me in my Hollywood Bowl Driving School tee, a favorite shirt of mine that has sat in the drawer unworn for a couple years because from then up until just about last week (thanks to my diet) it fit far too snug around my bel-lay (click it for the bigger picture):

More info on why I created such an (overpriced — hey it’s unique) article of clothing.

I biked to my mom’s in Burbank today to take care of some business with which she needed help. And then I biked home. It was rather head-windy coming back to Silver Lake, so as I grrr’d and grinded my way up Glendale Boulevard to Silver Lake Boulevard, caught my breath coming around the reservoir and looked forward to the downhill at the south end.

Trouble was the head of steam I’d built up at the top of the curvy grade had to be reversed. As I came around the lower bend I had to lay hard on the brakes and abort my weeeeeeeee to avoid barreling into a lady in a Prius who couldn’t be bothered to obey the ample signage and instead of going down to the next side street to turn, had to instead execute a full bike lane-blocking stop at Van Pelt with her right turn blinker going while attempting to “interpret” the NO RIGHT TURN signs and the cones that reinforced them for any loopholes. Of which there weren’t any:

To most decent people the explicit meaning of this abundant signage is: Don’t Even Think About Turning Right Here. But to this driver, it’s apparently just a suggestion.


At the center of her own universe, she was still camped there well after I passed her because I guess she figured the utility workers would have to finish sooner or laterand open the street back up. Or, maybe she thought hybrids were exempt. Or idiots.

Grrrr, indeed.

I’m well past halfway through the first (and briefest) of the three modules of instruction at Rio Hondo College, and because the focus has been decidedly towards the academic side, I’ve frankly gotten off REALLY lucky in terms of the physical aspect of the program. For the second and third modules I clearly understand I will not be so lucky and instead will be having my ass kicked. So in the interest of being less unprepared for that reality, I’ve FINALLY buckled down and begun a basic backyard workout. It runs about 45 minutes and consists of four sets of exercises in the following order (repetitions in parentheses):

  • Sit-ups (25)
  • Push-ups (15)
  • Underhand curls* (15)
  • Military press* (15)
  • Upright row* (15)
  • Bent-over row* (15)
  • French curls* (15)

*Curling bar weighs 45 pounds

You’ll want to pay special attention to the fur-bearers who are successful in interrupting my first set of push-ups (Ranger, about 12 seconds in) and my second set of sit-ups (Ranger, Patches and Pepper, at around 45 seconds)… adorable.

It may not be much and this timelapse may make it look like even less (no smartass remarks about the number of laps I do around the patio table), but we all have to start somewhere, and this is where I make my stand and begin to get myself stronger and more physically fit.

Alerted by the telltale “squeeee!” of an angry mockingbird (you can hear in the clip) in the backyard, I scanned the boughs in vicinity and found one of our neighborhood Cooper’s hawks dining rather vigorously in a nearby tree.

(As usual, this video was shot with my patented shaky cam technique of holding my Canon point-and-shoot up against the eyepiece of my 20x – 60x spotting scope set to about 30X).

Number of seeds: Five

Planted: July 4

Sprouted: July 8-11

Patched (as seen below): July 12

The good news is that — as planned — I got an earlier start with my pumpkin patch than last year. The bad news is that — not as planned — juuust like last year instead of planting pumpkin seeds I may very well have planted completely similar looking butternut squash seeds. Again.

Basically what happened last year is that I mixed up seed sets of the two veggies because I just left them sitting on the sill unidentified. When I planted them last summer I did an eenie-meaney-miney-mo and thought I’d planted pumpkin. It didn’t take long to be shown my error and we wound up with a nice 11-pound crop of butternuts.

To remedy that fail I vowed not to repeat it, but once again the batch of seeds left on the sill in a shot glass went unlabeled and now I’m not sure if they’re one or the other. But whatever they are they have happily sprouted and been transferred to the patch.

PS. It wouldn’t be a proper day of digging in the backyard if I didn’t unearth something (however minor) to add to the Backyarchaelogy Museum: