I typically resolve not to do anything on New Year’s Day except eat, drink and watch some college football bowl games. I was successful in all three endeavors yesterday (though left despondent in defeat with the latter, watching them northern boys from up there in O-Hai-uh beat up on my beloved Crimson Tide in last night’s national championship semifinal (Good luck with Oregon, ya Buckeyes).

But as usual, I digress. My point was supposed to be that I’m not beyond the reach of resolutioning, I’m just predisposed to waiting a day to get that party started. Or nine.

This year it was a day. My resolution? To log a total of 2,015 miles on my bike this year, part of a grand fitness scheme to reverse the silly amount of weight I’ve gained in roughly the year-and-a-half since I graduated Rio Hondo Academy (I still haven’t gotten on a scale because I haven’t steeled myself for whatever that reality is; but I don’t really need a specific number to know it’s long past the time to reverse that course). Almost two years ago going into the last module of that training, at 198 pounds I was at the best fitness level I’d been ever. I could go into the backyard and do 10 sets of circuit training (20 push-ups, 30 sit-ups, 100-revs jump rope, 10-band-assisted pull-ups, 15 TRX strap body-lifts) in 45 minutes. I would go for four-mile runs around the Silver Lake Reservoir because anything less would be uncivilized. I would bike to Whittier on Saturdays, put in a full strenuous stress-laden day at the academy and then bike home.

Those days are gone my friends and I’m now – unofficially – waaaaaay greater a shadow of that former fit and trim self.

But enough of the pity party and back to the biking. In the past, I’ve made vows to “ride every day” or for a consecutive number of days, but I always fail at that. Because inevitably one night early on I’d grumble procrastinatorily and end up doing some meaningless half-mile ride around the block at 9 p.m. just to keep the streak alive. Afterward I’d be all: Enough. It’s bull taking something as fun as riding a bike and turning it into an obligatory chore.

So this year, it’s simply a totally doable milestone of 2,015 miles pedaled over the course of 2015. And it started this morning. I woke up still heartbroken over last night’s Alabama loss and I felt that lingering depression working its way up to being an excuse to drive to work rather than get out and roll through the cold morning, but I shut that devil down and rode my standard south-and-west morning commute, which according to my Cyclometer app is 8.43 miles.

Only 2,006.57 to go.

Bonus:  Since I’ll be documenting each and every ride with my handlebar cam I’m also aiming to showcase something interesting that it captures along the way, “interesting” being relative and subjective, of course. Here’s today’s snap shot at Jefferson Boulevard and Western Avenue. The guy leaning against the post at right caught my eye, especially that he’s not focused on a smartphone but rather old schooling his intent on what he’s writing with a pen upon paper. You don’t see much of that anymore (click to enlargify):



Yeah, so early this afternoon I took a crappy iPhone cam snap of this parkway tree backed by a church in Echo Park and ran it through the fauxtograph cycle wherein it emerged as this somewhat stylized shot (click it for the bigger picture), all to represent what an absolutely gawd-beautiful day it is here in the lovely 90026 and perhaps to brighten anyone it mighten.

My weather app is telling me it’s only 75 degrees, but it feels like nothing less than 80 and and something more than perfect.

PS. I used to know what tree this was, but it has since escaped me.

Last month, I wrote about the privilege and honor of being able in my own small way to participate in a ceremony at Rio Hondo College on the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.

This past weekend I was pointed to visual proof of my involvement in the form of a photo montage from a campus photographer that appeared in the monthly newsletter put out by the college’s president. I’m there — rear row, second in from the left — near the center of the montage among three of my fellow Police Academy cadets, to the right of the Fire Academy class (click it for the bigger picture):

It was nice to be able to say I was there. Nicer still to see.


A couple days ago, as I do on a basis sometimes more semi-regular than regular, I dumped all the photos accumulated on my iPhone onto my desktop’s iPhoto program. Except this time some of the image being imported weren’t my photos, namely those eight above that feature a passel of black-and-white kittens, taken Friday, May 11, specifically between 11:13 and 11:23 a.m.

No, seriously: I did not take those. I’ve never even seen those kitties or know anyone who is raising such a crew of cats. Most certainly I can assure you that I DO NOT paint my toenails as can be seen on the feet of perhaps the photo taker in that triplicated groupshot snap in the middle of the bunch.

Though Susan probably wouldn’t ever borrow my phone much less know how to take a picture with it, I asked her if they were her pics and she said they weren’t.

So how the hell did these snaps get on my iPhone? I do remember on the same day these pictures were taken, some status updates suddently started showing up on my Facebook page via my iPhone’s Facebook app that I didn’t do — odd two-letter combos like “Rw” — and I quickly reset my password. Could the two anomalies be connected?

This is krazee.

You might recall I’ve had pretty good luck photographing full moons with my it-shouldn’t-work-but-it-does (sometimes) technique of holding a point-and-shoot cam up against the eyepiece of a 60x spotting scope on a tripod and snapping a shot.

Well, not so much — go figure — with a full lunar eclipse, like the one that occurred this morning. Having spent the night double-wide awake and stewing over last night’s traffic citation that I got downtown on my way to donate a toy for a needy child as part of the largest annual holiday charity bike ride in the history of ever, when it got to be after 5 a.m. I peered with bleary eyes outside and saw the moon already had been partially eclipsed. So as much fun as it would’ve been to sit and grouse some more, I decided to get the spotting scope out onto the porch so that after 6 a.m. I could try to get a nice image of the moon in its completely cloaked phase.

The uncentered result as seen below — which could easily be confused with a dirty pingpong ball illuminated from below  by the bathroom nightlight and taken while shivering — was obviously not what I was going for, and for two very important reasons.

1) The weather app on my phone said it was 45 degrees outside, which meant that after only a couple minutes of standing out in that temperature barefoot, in shorts and a t-shirt I commenced shivering. S-s-s-seriously. And as you no doubt have already grasped, handheld photography and shivering go together poorly, especially when a 60x zoom is involved.

2) Dark moon is dark. It’s one thing to aim a camera and scope at a blaaaaazing full moon against a blackened sky. It’s another thing entirely to aim same camera and scope at such a sinister and shady satellite blending only too well with its background.

Truthfully, I’m amazed I recorded anything more than a smudge, and I actually kind of like it.

Before I hustled back to the warm indoors, I steadied the cam on the pergola crossbeam and got this wide shot of the red moon backed by a lightening sky over Micheltorena Ridge (the time was 6:09 a.m.):

I kind of like that one, too.

Yesterday as an excuse to get out with the new Olympus camera I went wandering through Silver Lake, Los Feliz Village and down by the river side, with an extended chill session at the water’edge:

Armed but with her curiosity and a yellow baloon a young lady passing by keeps a watchful eye on a Sunset Boulevard mural monster in Silver Lake (click it for the bigger picture):

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