In Case Something Seems Different

I’ve gone with a slightly different look and layout for the blog, down to a strict two-column format from its previous three.

It might look familiar to anyone out there who’s been reading me for a while. This “new” WordPress theme was one I’d used before — right up until the strange day a couple years ago when it mysteriously vanished and left the blog looking like a Web v1.0 site… all bullet points and text.

Try as I might to reactivate it, it just wouldn’t take (I still have no clue why) and so the recourse that was the least time consuming then was to reactivate the dormant three-column span, which itself was something of a miracle in that I’d somehow figured out how to shoehorn that third column in.

It seemed like a great idea at the time, but when I brought it back a couple years ago in desperation, I never really liked the clutter or how much smaller I had to run images (400 pixels wide versus 550 now) in the posts. I also was never really thrilled with running that Flickr app of thumbnails in the header as opposed to a single image that I can interchange whenever I want.

I experimented with a couple snazzier themes, replete with slideshows and featured images and  dropdown menus and various widgetry, but they were higher-maintenance and more complex than that with which I wanted to be bothered.

So anyway, that’s what new. Or what’s old that’s new. At least until it up and vanishes again.

Mystery Solved

Since first reading my friend Waltarrrr’s tweet on Tuesday that he found Alan Deane in my more than 2-year-old timelapse video of my Bike To Work Day 2009 ride, I’ve been wanting to figure out how that needle-in-a-haystack discovery came about. He revealed a bit of the mechanics when KPCC’s Sharon McNary (who I talked to about Alan for a piece she was putting together for the station about Deane) asked him via Twitter how he came to connect with the vid.

He responded that he’d been searching for news about Deane and it led him to Streetsblog LA. So I did a search there for “Alan Deane” but came up empty, and tweeted back to him “but that then begs the question how Streetsblog found it,” to which he replied that he found Alan’s name in the comments.

So I went back to Streetsblog LA and this time looked for posts about Bike To Work Day 2009, which turned up this overview post of activities from that year and included my video. Sure enough, there in the comments was this (click it for a slight enlargement):

So there it is. Rather amazingly it was Deane done did it. Basically Alan identifying himself (and my since-corrected misspelling of his name) is what ultimately led to the connection.

“Sarah” Sindz Gratings Frum Floriduh (Or Sumwhurz Neerby)!

Yesterday morning, after dropping Susan off at the airport so she could fly up to Montana to bury her uncle Jim who died Saturday only a few weeks after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, I then came back and got an outrageous estimate for damage done  to the front bumper of our Ford (via an unseen boulder I rolled into on the side of the road) during our Sunday fishing trip up the east fork of the San Gabriel River.

Not really the best of times, right?

So what better to come home to than an email from a “Sarah” in my inbox, containing the comment (since deleted) that she posted in response to my three-year-old post of mine she’d found about the last time I went golfing. If you don’t want to go read it, basically the post centers on my reaction to an impatient jackass who hit an absolutely beautiful ball off the tee on the 6th hole at the Roosevelt golf course that landed wonderfully on the green. The trouble with that glorious shot is that me and the rest of my foursome were still on that green and it thunked fast and hard into the grass about 10 feet away from the person putting. Highly dangerous. Highly unsportmanlike. Highly against the basic rules of golf. And yes, instead of just internalizing, I went ballistic.

“Sarah,” who apparently sides with that portion of the population who see absolutely nothing wrong with the golfer’s tee bomb and everything wrong with me getting tee’d off, took great offense and had this to say:

My guess is that with your terrible attitude and poor language that you are what you write.  Good luck to a lonely life.  If you don’t have one now, your wife will eventually leave for lack of tolerating your bad attitude and lack of forgiveness for others.  Accidents do happen.

Isn’t that sweet — I mean, totally and trollishly and ignorantly hateful with a side of kneejerkingly judgmental? Of course, the email address “Sarah” chickenbitchedly entered to submit her comment was clearly phony — something like And then there’s the irony of her lack of forgiveness of me while taking me to task for what she is compelled to perceive as my similar shortage. But the piece de résistance had to be her closing line: “Accidents do happen.” I find that fascinating how she can write off what that golfer did as such, totally absolving him of any responsibility and putting the blame on me for my “terrible attitude” displayed after the fact. I can only imagine how outraged she’d be at me if I’d had the nerve to be as exponentially put-out as I’d be if I actually got hit by the speeding intentionally hit projectile (presuming I was still conscious and/or ambulatory).

Since “Sarah” saw fit to so fully condemn me based on a single incident from my past, I think it only fitting that I return the favor based on what she’s shown me about her. “Sarah” is clearly the kind of person who’ll complain about people who profess a lack of enthusiasm for just about any assbag on the planet and couple that to a willingness to call bullshit when it’s warranted. I’m not sure if such a full failure on her part is from a reading comprehension issue or from her being just an absolute nincompoop, but my sense is somewhere in the middle of those two aspects is where we’d find her incompetently fussing and fuming and taking potshots from her dank and humid corner of the internet before scampering away feeling like she accomplished something. You go girl!

Curiosity led me to run a cursory check of her IP address (, which placed her within a radius surrounding a point somewhere in the middle of the Florida panhandle on the mobile network (AT&T). I also checked my Sitemeter log and found that she had arrived here via a search engine with term “Assholes Who Golf.”

And I’m the one with the “poor language?”


What A Coincidence

It was a few weeks ago that I was heading down the front steps of our house to return a folding chair to its storage place in the garage when at that exact moment I looked up to find a Google Streetview camera car passing by on its southbound way down our street. So I waved.

I remember checking a couple weeks later, but the Streetview image that was still available was from at least two years ago. Then on a lark I checked this morning, and well… would ya look at that (click it for the bigger picture):

In a way I guess you can say I’ve been Googled.

A couple doors further down when zoomed in you can vaguely find me just about to enter the garage with my cargo:

Oddly, the image in the middle of these two shows the garage door fully down and me nowhere to be found. Now ya see me. Now ya don’t.

I Totally Forgot My Anniversary

No, not that one. The anniversary of my very first-ever official blog post: January 5, 2001. Yep, I’ve been blogging for 10 — count ’em! — 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years. Back then I owned the domain for no other reason than I like the name, and the blog was called re:collections — hand-coded by your’s truly. Back then there wasn’t much in the way of turnkey blogging solutions like Blogger or WordPress.

Back then I lived in Encino and worked at the LA Zoo. Given my penchant for helping out animals, surprise: my first long-forgotten post (stumbled accidentally upon in my archives) was about coming to the aid of a lost kitten (click the screengrab below for the bigger picture):

Six months later I’d move out of my apartment and in with my mother to save money and help her out with the mortgage/sale of her place. Scooter came with me but, despite spending the initial two weeks locked up in his new home to get acclimated to it, the first time we let him out was the last. He was never seen again. It’s another story entirely, but that led to my mom believing she found found Scooter in a shelter. But Scooter turned out to to be Pepper, who’s still with us.

Ten years… damn!

Glory Be

Today I’ll be participating my fourth (of five) Great LA Walks, all of them orchestrated by the awesome Michael Schneider of Franklin Avenue. Beginning at Pershing Square downtown I will be pedestrianating (yep, in the rain) with my fellow pedestrianaters all the way westward along Wilshire Boulevard some 15-miles to its end at Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. In the meantime I leave you with this, found this morning at Tony Pierce’s Busblog,.

I am jealous of everyone present in this video who experienced such a joyful transformation of a mall’s garish food court to a glorious cathedral of soaring spirit.

Speaking of soaring spirits, there are so many things I wouldn’t know about without Tony. This being one of them. Hallelujah to him.