Archive for April, 2013

Yesterday was my Baybee’s birthday, and other then wishing her a happy one that morning, I shamefully had nothing else for her. No card. No gift. No cake. I did suggest we go out for dinner to celebrate this weekend to a local place we’ve been wanting to try, but there was no mistaking I had dropped the ball on this one.

Honestly, I don’t think she minded THAT much. She’s a lot like me in that lower the key any recognition the anniversary of my birth gets the better. It’s really no big deal.

But still. Lower key doesn’t mean no key at all.

In my defense, my schedule is non-birthday conducive. Case in point: when mine rolls around next month I’ll be spending it doing a final exam for the public safety training I’m currently in. Woo. Hoo. But on top of my educational obligations and conflicts, Tuesday’s best laid plans to go out and get her something/anything were knocked askew thanks to a coyote who showed up in our backyard about noon, followed by an afternoon spend worrying where our cat Pumpkin was (all’s well; he came back after about 3.5 hours).

So it was that at around 11 a.m. I decided to take Ranger for a walk around the neighborhood. And so it was that about mid-way along that walk I found a decidedly moderne style make-up bureau that someone had kicked to the curb. Not only was it intact and in decent shape and with all its drawers (tongue-and-groove, too; though missing all its drawer pulls — and the mirror that would be mounted on the posts extending above its surface), but more importantly regardless of its condition, I just knew it was something that Susan would have given me the BIG EYES about had she been with us and passed by it. Basically what Susan wants, Susan gets. Seriously, I made the mistake of NOT retrieving the drawerless skeleton of a well-made dresser we didn’t need and while she has stopped reminding me, I’m sure it’s still lingering there in her mind as the one that got away because of me.

Not that we NEED a makeup bureau, or have a place to put it. But that’s not stopped Susan in the slightest during previous discoveries. With the one exception of that dresser I’ve hauled home chairs, tables, trunks, you name it.

And then Ranger was all, “Dude. You totally blew her birthday. This can be her Day-After Birthday Present!”

And I was all, “Dawg! That’s righteous!”

And then we both riffed on our air guitars. Whay!

So Ranger and I hustled back home, I grabbed my keys and hopped in the truck and bippity-bang, boppity-boom the bureau is now sitting in the foyer as seen below, waiting for Susan to come home and find it, replete with a hand-writting “Happy Day-After Birthday!” Card.


My day-of birthday skills certainly need to be honed, but my belated skills have at least saved the day-after.

Love you, Bay-bee!


In my ongoing public safety training, physical fitness and ability is an important component. We are nearing the 36th of 36 scheduled PT  (Physical Training) classes during Module 1 and yesterday we had our final assessment known as the PFQ (Physical Fitness Quotient) test comprised of:

  • Sit-ups (in one minute)
  • 300-meter sprint
  • Push-ups (in one minute)
  • 1.5 mile run

It is a replica of the test administered to LAPD cadets. But it is not to be confused with the other physical abilities test that I’ve done and written about, known as the Work Standard Test Battery (WSTB). That one involves the 99-yard obstacle course, solid and chainlink fence climbs/sprints, 165-pound dummy drag, and a 500-yard run — and must be passed in order to graduate. The PFQ is simply a benchmark with no grade attached… just personal significance.

Though I ended Module 2 of my training in November with a 12:19 time in the 1.5-mile run, the five-week layoff during the holidays coupled with nagging aggravation to my sciatic nerve brought on by an increase during that period in mountainbiking on a poorly positioned bike seat saw me finish the 1.5-mile run in  first PFQ in Module 1 in January a full 40 seconds slower at 12:59.

The second PFQ done about six weeks later saw me shave about 35 seconds off that time to 12:24.

My goal yesterday was not only to eclipse my previous 12:19 best but to finally pushpushpush myself and come in before 12 minutes, something I haven’t done since high school.

I’m happy to report that I succeeded in turning the dream of me being able to sustain a sub-two-minute lap throughout the entire distance into reality.

My results are as follows with improvements from the previous PFQ in February (results from that in parentheses):

  • Sit-ups: 52 (48)
  • 300-meter sprint: 0:52 (0:56)
  • Push-ups: 24 (22)
  • 1.5-mile run: 11:51 (12:24)

As a way-back point of reference, my 1.5-mile test done during the first PFQ at the beginning of Module 2 last August was completed in 14:12. So, in the eight-month arc from beginning to end, my overall time in that event has improved by 2:21.

Not too shabby for a granddaddy.


Another thing seen that was interesting during yesterday’s 30-mile roundtrip bike ride happened on the way back home toward Silver Lake in the form of this multiple motorcycle officer-escorted camera car traveling north on Arden across 4th Street in Hancock Park (click it for the bigger picture):


The work that goes into making fun… man!

I was too far away for the camera to allow you distinguish who was behind the wheel, but I recognized the actor as Emily Mortimer who costars on HBO’s “The Newsroom.”

As to what was being shot? Well, according to her IMDB page her current project is a comedy series called “Doll & Em,” which is billed as an “intimate, funny portrait of female friendship set against the backdrop of Los Angeles.”

So just call me Access Hollywood.

The cool thing was that the sight of me on my bike dutifully waiting for the rig to pass caught her attention, too. Eyes on the road, Em. Eyes on the road!

So yesterday, in parts because I:

  • needed the elongated, low-impact physical activity
  • had a crosstown errand to run that happened to be next door to where I worked in Westchester until 2011
  • and was curious to revisit the 30-mile roundtrip route I used to commute by bike so regularly

I got on trusty “El Naranja” and rolled out to Sepulveda and Centinela and back, captured naturally via my timelapsing handlebarcam.

Given I’d last pedaled out that way about two years ago, there were lots of changes and new things (to me at least) to see, the most stop-and-admire worthy being this giant mural of a fish I passed while coming back home around a bend in Ballona Creek adjacent to the Baldwin Hills Overlook State Park that I stopped to panoramify, like so (click, hold and move your mouse in the frame below to wander around):

Sure, it’s that first day of the fourth month of the year, but I guarantee you the below image, captured by my motion-triggered  front steps cam this morning, is no April Fools Day prank (click it for the bigger picture):


It just happens to coincide with the time of year when the coyotes are increasingly out and about and at their most brazenly nonchalant in dropping by and looking for something to eat.

We saw this fellow again walking down  in the middle of the street as if he owned it just as Susan was heading out for work a few minutes after 8 a.m. It looked up at us and just kept on going without so much as a twitch or a start.

It’s a coyote’s world, we just encroach upon it.