Happy Fourth — Go Dodgers!

A year ago today we were up in Troy, Montana enjoying an old-fashioned smalltown Independence Day parade and later an afternoon backyard barbeque by Susan’s Uncle Jim followed later by an awesome fireworks display launched from a park beside the Kootenai River (click to enlarge)…


that we watched from the front yard of Susan’s grandma’s house as if we were right underneath the light bombs bursting in air. Best Fourth of July Ever!

To celebrate this time around, we’ll be setting out at a leisurely pace around 4 p.m. for the two-mile walk to the Dodgers house from ours. And as it’s going to be exceptionally hot, we will be strategically stopping midway at Barragan’s in Echo Park for margaritas.

Though it will be decidedly cooler on the walk home I think a post-game/pyrotechnic display beer at Shortstop may be in order as well. Especially if the Dodgers beat the Braves. Which they will, of course. And the Padres will lose meaning the Dodgers will take over sole posession of first place in the NL West.

Pre-game item checklist:

  • Transistor radio (tuned to KFWB 980)
  • Compact binoculars
  • Camera
  • Tickets

The one thing I can’t locate at the moment is my Dodger cap and I — gasp! — have the sinking suspicion I may have sent it to Goodwill during a past closet purge, dammit! I just don’t see how I could do something so blasphemous so in the meantime I’ll have to go into full search mode.

How To Put Old Paint Out To Pasture

Chances are good that you as a resident of the city and county of Los Angeles are in possession of some sort of hazardous material. Maybe it’s an old computer monitor stuck in the back of your closet or that quart of Navajo White paint you bought from Home Depot to touch up the livingroom wall that got damaged when you threw your cell phone against it for reasons we won’t go into here. Maybe it’s that very cell phone.

Whatever the item or items may be, they’ve been hanging around primarily because you’re just too dang lazy you have better things to do but also because you have something of a conscience in regards to personal responsibility and you don’t want to violate any laws disposing of the stuff improperly. So it just sits and sits and before you know it you’ve broken another cell phone against a different wall and bought another quart of paint because you’d temporarily forgotten you had the first quart stashed under the kitchen sink, and so on.

So what to do… what to do, indeed. Fortunately for us greater and lesser Angelenos the County of Los Angeles’ Department of Public Works in conjunction with the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Sanitation operate regional Solvent Automotive Flammable Electronic (SAFE) Collection Centers that are staffed and ready to go to work properly disposing of the crap you can’t (the county also maintains a calendar of mobile collection events; more info here). All you have to do is take it to them — although as we found out there are limits to what they will accept.

See in our case, Susan and I had what I would categorize as a “total shitload” of old paint stored out of the way in the basement. Not only was there some eight years worth accumulated since Susan bought the house, but also a bunch of leftover cans from her tenant’s past life as a grafitti paint-out specialist for the city.

After the jump, is what a “total shitload” of old paint looks like (click to enlarge):

Continue reading How To Put Old Paint Out To Pasture

Honoring The Fallen: Walter Freeman, Jr


With my Memorial Day visit today I wasn’t at all disappointed not to initially find any new gravesites in the supposedly at-capacity Los Angeles National Cemetery. In fact I was almost relieved. But I knew that was to be short-lived. Especially when I came down one of the back roads in the northernmost area of the cemetery and found the above headstone gleaming, its engraving standing out in sharp contrast to the much older ones around it.

Walter Freeman, Jr. of Lancaster was killed last month in Baghdad. He was 20 years old.

Bestest DMV Experience EVAR!!1111!

So with the job interview and me recalling my childhood insomnia, I totally forgot to give it up about the four-minute visit I paid to the Hawthorne branch of the California Department of Motor Vehicles this morning.

Seeing how I needed to produce proof of a clean driving record for this position I was to apply for, I scrambled yesterday on short notice to make an appointment with the DMV place nearest to the company’s location. Hawthorne it was.

First bonus was that an appointment was available at 9:30 a.m. — the next day! Can I get an amen!! The next and last bonus was that I walked in the door at 9:32 a.m. and was out the door with a printout of my driving record at 9:36. And that included a full minute waiting at the desk where you go if you have an appointment. No sooner did I have a seat after that amidst the massive amount non-appointmented masses with my number F023 when over the intercom comes “Now serving number F023 at window  21.” So I’m up and moving past everyone else who are totally now eyeballing me wondering who the hell I bribed and how much and over to Window No. 21 I go with my number and not two minutes later I’m back out in the Hawthorne sunshine alongside El Segundo Boulevard with my print out in hand and on my merry way.


Susan and I did a lot this weekend what with the Blessing of the Animals down at Olvera Street Saturday and today going to see Man of La Mancha at Glendale’s A Noise Within, followed by dinner across town at Messob in Little Ethiopia.

I need to get some sleep as I’m planning on alt-commuting this entire next week to work so instead of rehashing  I’ll point to posts on Blogging.la that nutshell the all the good times in words and pix:

April’s Shaping Up To Be A Happening Month

Sure there are mandatory pre-vacation activites to do such as get the Canon Digital Rebel into Samy’s for a cleaning of the blech that’s been allowed to taint up its sensor and put splotches on my snaps for toooo long, and I’ve gotta get my tuxedo in to the tailors to be taken in since formal wear is a requirement on the ship upon which we will be cruising the Rivieraterranean.

But beyond that, April’s somehow turned into a month of extra-curriculitation that I’ve dutifully plugged into my cellphone’s calendar so that I don’t forget anything and listed here as both a link fest and as back-up:


I doubted I could top last year’s home decor/office flora extravaganza so I went an entirely different and decidedly (and maybe even less romantic) electronic route in the form of a new four-extension phone system to replace her tired solitary cordless (and make it less of a trek to chase away telemarketers), and a set of some tiny lights to better illuminate my love’s computer keyboard and any other dark ‘n dim nooks and crannies which are legion throughout this wonderful house.

Plus we got tickets to A Noise Within’s production of “Man of La Mancha” Sunday, and a to-be-determined dinner date somewhere in Little Ethiopia.

Happy Birthday, Baby!!! I Love You!!!