Seven Up

Given my self-competitive nature, I’d been hoping to top last year’s haul of seven trees, but could only lash down a matching number — albeit with a couple asterisks that make this pick-up “better” than 2008’s.


Asterisk No. 1: Last year the seven trees  included our own — which was one of the reasons I started this silliness of sweeping our neighboring streets for pitched pines. I figured if I’ve gotta go to the recycling center anyway, I might as well pick up any others I see that would otherwise just sit there on the curb decomposing for weeks. This year we decorated our fledgling living tree, so technically there was no reason for me to go much less make the rounds and clean up after my thoughtless neighbors.

Asterisk No. 2: The volume of this year’s catch was far greater than last years, which included a couple dwarf trees.

Thankfully this didn’t take a lotta time. The first three were found in the two blocks south of our house and, the final four were stationed at that popular drop zone on the corner of Bellevue and Silver Lake Boulevard, which is where Susan snapped the picture of me lashing down the last of them.

The really good news is that along the surface street route we took from there to the recycling station at the L.A. Zoo’s parking lot, it was entirely tree-free.

The disappointing news was that upon transfer of our trees to the city employees involved, there was no reward. In past years there were energy efficient lightbulbs, coupons for free mulch, and seedling trees given out. This year. Nothing but a thank you.

But I’m not in this for the freebies. I’m in it because someone’s gotta be and because I take far greater pride in my neighborhood than any of the seven lame tree tossers in my immediate vicinity who don’t.

Small Flickr photo set here.

Our First Annual Christmas Day Breakfast At The Pantry

Christmas Day Breakfast at The PantryWhy is it such a really  good idea as breakfast on Christmas Day at one of my favorite never-closed places in LA is an idea that never occurred to me until now.

Oversights like that frustrate me to no end, but I guess it’s better late than never to start an annual Breakfast At The Pantry tradition, which we kicked off with my mom, who came over for Christmas Eve and then spent the night trying not to freeze while asleep on our couch.

Coincidental bonus points for our server’s name being Jesus — who we left a 50% tip because anyone forced to forsake their own lives and those of friends and family on this day to instead serve strangers deserves nothing less!

Merry Christmas!

One Toy Solja Rides Away…

When I made a quick stop in the costume/party shop on my way in to work Friday morning, I was really just hoping to find an extra large-sized santa hat that would fit over my helmet. There was one that would have almost worked and it was $19, then the sales dood said he had a full santa suit for $40 and I said lemme check it out and in the course of doing so I discovered the hat included with the entire get-up had an even better shot at covering my brain bucket so I said SOLD!

And thus — having already decked out the bike frame with holiday lightz and a little tree on the back rack — for pretty much the first time in my history as a long-standing (though lately a somewhat less enthused) supporter of Midnight Ridazz, I went total costume (minus the crappy straps-around-the-ears beard) for Friday night’s annual Toy Ride:

And it was gooooooood!

PS. Here’s the timelapse of the ride as captured by my handlebar cam:

Merry Xmaz!

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do…

Typically I don’t really feel the holiday verve until well into December and subsequently don’t even think about busting out the  lights and and busying myself hanging the stuff before December 1. This year having decided to undertake the additional task of draping the twinklies from the second floor dormer for the first time, I figured I’d best stop just thinking about it and go get maximum mileage out of the end result. Thus a couple hours this Thanksgiving Day was spent untangling strings and figuring out how and where to plug everything in:

I think it came out purty.

Happy Halloween!

For the fifth October 31st in a row Susan and I have carved pumpkins and done up the front yard and the only place we’ll be going is out on the front porch in hopes of trick-or-treaters to come get some candy and enjoy our decorations.