Thursday, March 29, 2007

Palm Desert II

I spent the last few days in Palm Desert with my Aunt. It was my second trip to the desert this month. Here's some of what we saw.

Well, not everything.

Year of the Pig

Butterfly House @ the Living Desert Museum

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Happy Birthday

The Rocket Man is sixty!

Friday, March 23, 2007


If anyone needs a wheelchair (a leg will need to be replaced), crutches, walking boot, cane, industrial grabber or toilet spider let me know. I'm keeping the shower seat. If you don't have a seat in your shower, you should.

goodbye boot

The Doctor told me I could loose the boot last week. He took pictures of my leg to show at a conference in Australia.

I saw an old roommate from County that had his cage on when my leg was getting strong enough (latissimus flap & skin grafts) to slap the cage on, that's 15 months ago. When you're feeling down, try and remember there's always somebody whose worse off than you.

we all worship in our own way

LA minister sues over marijuana bust
AP, 3/22/07

LOS ANGELES --A minister who was arrested on charges of marijuana possession has sued police for $30 million, contending his civil and religious rights were violated because he heads a church that uses pot during worship.

The Rev. Craig X Rubin, 41, is the founder of Temple 420, which holds that pot is a religious herb.

"Our congregation mandates members study the Bible, have faith in God and regularly burn the herb cannabis (The Tree of Life mentioned in the Bible) as sacrament," says the lawsuit filed Wednesday in state court.

Rubin, his son and another man were charged last fall with two felony counts each of selling or transporting marijuana and possessing marijuana for sale.

Rubin's lawsuit contends that last November, an undercover officer joined the Hollywood temple and bought 3 1/2 grams of marijuana "to be used for religious purposes." Five days later, the strip-mall sanctuary was raided by officers, who seized money and marijuana.

Rubin has made several appearances on the Showtime series "Weeds" as the owner of a medical marijuana club. He was ordained in 1990 by the Universal Life Church, which ordains everyone who asks.

The temple has an estimated 400 members who pay a $100 initiation fee and $100 annual dues, enabling them to purchase marijuana for requested donations. Marijuana also is burned during some services. In drug culture, "420" is slang for marijuana.

Calls to Rubin and his attorney were not immediately returned Thursday. A police department spokeswoman declined comment.

Temple 420 ~ Your Salvation is Here

I know I packed it

Baggage burglars? Celebs accuse airport workers of theft
USA Today, 3/23/07
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The City Attorney's Office is expected to file misdemeanor theft charges against a group of screeners at Los Angeles International Airport suspected of stealing personal items from celebrities and other travelers.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which employs the screeners, played a key role in the investigation. The TSA has been trying to crack down on theft by airport employees, Velasquez told the newspaper.

Makes you want to pack dirty undies. Seems as if the TSA might need to review and emphasize its Core Values. From the TSA website:

Core Values

To enhance mission performance and achieve our shared goals, we are committed to promoting a culture founded on these values:

* Integrity:
o We are a people of integrity who respect and care for others.
o We are a people who conduct ourselves in an honest, trustworthy and ethical manner at all times.
o We are a people who gain strength from the diversity in our cultures.

In other TSA news:

"Michael Vick said Thursday that the water bottle seized two months ago by authorities at Miami International Airport was a jewelry box."

"Vick came under scrutiny in January after police said the seized water bottle smelled of marijuana and had a secret compartment, but lab tests found no evidence of drugs. Speaking publicly for the first time since the incident, the Atlanta quarterback said the bottle was a hiding place for earrings and jewelry."

"When asked to view the surveillance video of the incident, the Miami-Dade Police Department told the AJC its copy of the video had been destroyed. The Transportation Security Administration declined to release its copy of the video, citing national security concerns."

National Security!? Are you serious?

fighters fight

Things I liked about Balboa:

Rocky's suck it up speech to his son Robby. It got to me.

"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that!"

Rocky training in the streets of Philly in his grey sweats and black chucks.

Mike Tyson's cameo. I'm still rooting for you to turn it around Mike.

When Rocky exploded at the end of the second round I shouted, YEAH!

When he started pounding Dixon in the tenth I shouted again.

Someday I'll pound a side of beef with my fists like Rocko.

Sadly, the movie was missing a Survivor tune.

When I was in the hospital a friend loaned me an ipod with The Eye of the Tiger loaded on it. My record for consecutive plays had to be over ten.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

urban beach

I can kill hours people watching. Some highlights from Venice Beach yesterday.

A guy with "Pain Is Love" tattooed on his forearm taking a picture of the sunset. I'm glad the he can still appreciate a sunset.

A young couple walking two identical dogs dressed in sailor outfits. I'm sure other dogs were laughing.

An overweight woman wearing a safari jacket and a survivor bandana in her hair. Her male companion was dressed in a kung fu jacket. I'd like to see their living room.

A homeless woman with bird crap down her back eating spaghetti I watched her fish out of the trash.

A homeless man with a Chicago Bears jacket and a 49ers shirt rubbing the open sores on his balding head.

Sign of the Day


In a just world, one would hope so.

penny pinching pimp

Six charged after O.C. investigation turns up ring of 10 brothels

H.G. Reza, LA Times, 3/22/07

The brothels, operated by five Chinese nationals and an American, were advertised as acupuncture centers and massage parlors, but sex was the only service offered, Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said at a news conference today.

In an apparent effort to economize, customers were asked to use plastic food wrap instead of condoms. Jian Shi, a 49-year-old Montebello resident and ringleader, purchased 7,500 square feet of plastic wrap over a two-month period, said Rackauckas.

"I really don't think about [plastic food wrap] in the same way anymore," the district attorney said.

spring is in the air

Man gets probation for dead deer sex
AP, 3/21/07

SUPERIOR, Wis. --A 20-year-old man received probation after he was convicted of having sexual contact with a dead deer. The sentence also requires Bryan James Hathaway to be evaluated as a sex offender and treated at the Institute for Psychological and Sexual Health in Duluth, Minn.

"The state believes that particular place is the best to provide treatment for the individual," Assistant District Attorney Jim Boughner said.

Hathaway's probation will be served at the same time as a nine-month jail sentence he received in February for violating his extended supervision.

He was found guilty in April 2005 of felony mistreatment of an animal after he killed a horse with the intention of having sex with it. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail and two years of extended supervision on that charge as well as six years of probation for taking and driving a vehicle without the owner's consent.

Hathaway pleaded no contest earlier this month to misdemeanor mistreatment of an animal for the incident involving the deer. He was sentenced Tuesday in Douglas County Circuit Court.

"The type of behavior is disturbing," Judge Michael Lucci said. "It's disturbing to the public. It's disturbing to the court."


I'm leaving the horse incident alone as for Bambi- it's legal to kill the deer you just can't rape it's corpse?

"What are you in for Bob?"
"Well, I have trouble staying off quadrupeds."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

bang a drum - burn some sage

cast out evil spirits - the vernal is upon us - please celebrate however is the custom of your tribe - "more ram's blood on those naked women we must appease the gods"

"The vernal equinox in 2007 arrives at the querulous hour of just seven minutes past midnight, universal time, on March 21."

Sunday, March 18, 2007

mmm bacon

Hearty Thick Cut Bacon

Center Cut Bacon - 30% lower fat than the USDA data for cooked bacon

Lower Sodium Bacon - 30% less sodium than our regular bacon

Dear Oscar Mayer,

Is it possible to combine these three into one bacon? I prefer thick cut bacon but it isn't available in a low fat, low sodium version.

I have eaten your bacon since childhood. The yellow package and red & white logo is bacon to me. Could you please send me a wiener whistle. I would very much like to learn how to play the Little Oscar Song.


For bacon enthusiasts:

1924 Oscar Mayer Brings Home the Bacon

"Step by step, the company was setting itself apart, not just by its rapid growth and reputation for taste and quality, but also by its innovative packaging. In 1924, Oscar Mayer introduced the first packaged, sliced bacon, for which it received a U.S. government patent. The idea for the new packaging came from Oscar Mayer's nephew, Carl Mayer, who realized that consumers could shop for cheese, lunch meats, and wieners in self-serve cases, but still had to ask their in-store butcher to slice and wrap bacon. The solution: Oscar Mayer's first self-serve bacon package featuring shingled slices wrapped in cellophane and placed in a cardboard frame. A huge convenience for consumers of the time, it took Oscar Mayer from a minor presence in the bacon business to a top brand."

Friday, March 16, 2007

penal league update

The Washington Post has compiled a list of NFL players that were arrested in 2006.

There were 41 Arrests. I'm not sure how many players there were in the NFL last season so I can't compare percentages in the NFL to other sports leagues and other industries.

Here's the 2006 breakdown:

Mr. Booze - Fourteen DUI/DWI arrests and one boating under the influence charge
Firepower - Four gun charges
Assault - Four charges
Domestic violence - Six charges
I'm not going - Seven resisting arrest charges
Drug possession - Four charges

Players are getting an early start in 2007. There have been six arrests so far this year. The Penal League hot stove is definitely heating up.

Take a cab - DUI
Dominique Byrd, Rams TE
Jerramy Stevens, Free Agent TE. Police also found a "leafy substance" in Steven's back pocket.
Dominic Rhodes, Free Agent RB at the time of his arrest now with the Raiders

Leafy substance possession
Johnathan Joseph, Bengals CB

Nobody likes a dog killer - Felony Animal Abuse
Jonathan Babineaux, Atlanta Falcons DL is accused of killing his girlfriend's pitbull after an argument.

Pow pow
Charles Sharon, Jacksonville Jaguars WR was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a stolen firearm.

Coaches are starting to get in on the action. Former (due to his arrest) Cardinals assistant coach Richie Anderson was arrested for solicitation of prostitution.


Stray cats enter home, attack women, boy

AP, 3/14/07

The rockabilly band last toured in 2004. Calls to the band's management were not returned. The Cats were inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame last year along with George Gerswhin, Billy Joel and Twisted Sister.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

the other white meat

Austrian hunter makes a pig mistake
AP, 3/14/07

LINZ, Austria --This little piggy should have gone to market instead of staying home. A housebroken pet pig with an unusual black hide was mistaken for a wild boar and shot by a hunter in woods near its owner's farm in northwestern Austria, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

Local officials investigated the weekend incident in the province of Upper Austria, but concluded there was no way the unidentified hunter could have realized the pig not the wild quarry he was after.

"The sow was black and completely filthy. In the heat of battle, I probably would have shot it, too," regional hunting superintendent Sepp Brandmayr told the Voecklabrucker Rundschau newspaper.

The story had a happy ending for the hunter, if not for the slain swine: He brought the carcass to the owner, who shared the pork.

So, he ate his deceased pet?

The owner was quoted as saying, "Petunia would have wanted it this way. She used to say, When I go I wanna be smoked for eight hours on a bed of smoldering hickory."

The pig should have chosen her friends more wisely and read her Orwell.

1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
~Animal Farm

Sail the methane seas of Titan

Add it to the list.

The surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon.

We're going to need some foul weather gear as the surface temperature on Titan is -290 degrees Fahrenheit. A splash of liquid methane (-296.5 °F) in the face would provide quite a jolt.

cage sighting

In a flashback scene in episode two of The Black Donnellys, Jimmy Donnelly has a cage on his leg.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Condom Evening Wear

Last Sunday I checked out, Dress Up Against AIDS:
Condom Couture
by Adriana Bertini at UCLA's Fowler Museum.

"Dress Up Against AIDS features fourteen magnificent garments designed and produced by Brazilian artist Adriana Bertini, made entirely of condoms rejected by industry quality tests. By appropriating an object of protection and using it to create works of vibrant and original style, color, and texture, Bertini seeks to raise awareness of and inspire the use of condoms, the critical vehicle for preventing AIDS. These colorful, sensual clothes, including ornate evening dresses, vivid skirts and tops, and elegant suits, demystify and destigmatize condoms and “refashion” them as objects associated with pleasure."

Yes, the condoms are out of the package, some are melted to make sheet like pieces of plastic fabric, some are sewn together, some are rolled up and some are unraveled (I think those are the correct terms). I can picture some avant garde socially conscious celebrity walking the red carpet in one of the gowns. There was a fishbowl of complimentary condoms in a small seating area off to the side of the exhibit but when I was there you would have had to reach between to elderly women to grab a prophylactic. The exhibit just closed but you can take the photo tour via the Fowler's website.

Unfortunately, the main exhibit that I wanted to see, Art of Being Tuareg: Sahara Nomads in a Modern World, had moved on.

For next time:

There is never an admission charge to the Fowler. To avoid the $8 parking garage fee, park up the street in a metered lot. Be sure to check out the open air courtyard and the grassy area just outside the museum.

Not a problem.

From the mask exhibit in the Fowler in Focus gallery.


Willem Defoe in Shadow of the Vampire

American Idol Phil Stacey

Max Schreck as Graf Orlok

reverse order

Mackey (and Larry) win 1,100-mile Iditarod
Lance Mackey, of Fairbanks, Alaska, kisses one of his lead dogs, Larry, after their Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race victory in Nome, Alaska, yesterday. (AP Photo)

I believe it should read Larry (and Mackey). The dogs won the race, why the parentheses? Why don't the names go left to right like in every other caption? Why would Mackey go first? A bit Lennon & McCartney, McCartney & Lennon but Larry gets top billing.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Gangs of LA

The Mayor's Fake "Worst Gangs"
Cops, gangs, residents — all ridicule City Hall’s politically correct top 11
Michael Krikorian, LA Weekly, 03/07/07

“It’s a bunch of bullshit,” said Antony “Set Trip” Johnson, 17, a gang member with the Five Deuce Hoover, a subset of the notorious Hoover Criminals. “We should be on that list. Fuck it. We the most hated gang in Los Angeles.”

Johnson, who was very familiar with the list, scoffed at some of the gangs on it. “204th Street? That’s bullshit. That ain’t a rough neighborhood. What they got, 10, 20 members? And Canoga Park Alabama? You gotta be kidding me. That ain’t a gang hood. La Mirada Locos? Never in my life have I heard of them.”

“I never heard of some of these gangs,” said Steven Smith, of the Rollin’ 60s. “This has got to be political. Where’s the Bounty Hunters? Where’s the Eight Treys? Who the fuck is 204th Street?”

Daude Sherrills, a former Grape Street Crip turned community activist, agreed, saying, “I seen that funny-ass list, but it didn’t amount to nothing, just some more political rhetoric.” Sherrills said his family moved into the tough Jordan Downs housing project when it was new, in 1942. Today, he said, “They spend a billion dollars to arrest a motherfucker, but they don’t spend enough to educate a motherfucker.”

Bow Wow, 28, another former gang member, said putting Grape Street on the list won’t make a bit of difference in Jordan Downs: “We already got a gang injunction on us. They got helicopters flying over here all the time. They got these million-dollar security cameras all over this place. What else can they do?”

Jordan Downs is home to Caine & his grandparents in Menace II Society.

"The Hoover Crips developed huge rivalries with many Crip gangs in Los Angeles. Because of this they decided to stop being Crips and changed their name to the Hoover Criminal Gang"
-From Wikipedia

I trust the info despite the source and it's counterfeit professors (The editor's note is what you want). Not surprisingly wikipedia already has an Essjay controversy page, can we trust the content?

redevelopment reality

Culver City makes the news again. If you build it, they will come but some will be forced to go.

Businesses pinched as commercial rents soar in Southland
Roger Vincent, LA Times, 3/10/07

Higher rents also are the result of economic redevelopment that is transforming some neighborhoods into more upscale shopping and entertainment venues. The waves of change that swept through Santa Monica and Old Pasadena years ago are now being felt in other older districts such as Hollywood, Culver City, Alhambra and downtown Los Angeles.

Shopkeepers in many of these changing retail districts are feeling pinched.

Even though the family-style Italian fare at Jay Handal's San Gennaro Cafe made it one of the most popular restaurants in Culver City, Handal shut down the eatery a few months ago when his landlord nearly tripled the rent as his lease expired.

"I couldn't afford it," he said.

Moving into San Gennaro's space will be a more upscale, all-organic restaurant run by celebrity caterer Akasha Richmond.

There is going to be an attrition factor," said Handal, who also operates a restaurant in Brentwood. "Small business today is being squeezed out of the market. You're not going to have many family-friendly community restaurants — only big guys with deep pockets.

In Culver City, the city spent more than $60 million over the last decade on public improvements largely intended to attract new restaurants and businesses, said Kellee Fritzal, economic development administrator.

The plan appears to have worked. Demand among merchants is high enough that average store rents have jumped from $1.85 per square foot per month to $4.50 in the last three years.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

very, very modestly

Jenna Bush embarks on book 'Journey'
Bob Minzesheimer, USA TODAY

"Bush says she will donate her earnings to UNICEF. She says she "very, very modestly" hopes her book will have some of the influence of two books about girls caught up in the Holocaust: Lois Lowry's novel Number the Stars and Anne Frank's The Diary of Anne Frank."

Toyota, oh what a feeling!

With all it's years of faithful service and fond memories, I feel like the Camry needs a parade. Two hundred thirty nine thousand miles & still running strong is impressive! The sounds of the Pretenders & Winwood will be heard again.

tonka trucks

Driving a truck that I have to use a ladder to get into is definitely on my list of things to do before I sail the River Styx.

Also on the list, a Super-Post Panamax crane.

CC in the news

Art of the new
How a previously industrial area in Culver City morphed into the latest gallery hotspot.
Dean Kuipers, Special to The LA Times, 3/8/07

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

R.I.P. Steve Rogers

Rest easy Cap.

A hero dies

News of Captain America's demise spurs run on comic-book stores
Don Aucoin & Joseph P. Kahn, Boston Globe, 3/7/07


"Steve Rogers grew up in the Great Depression in New York City. Although he was frail and rejected for service in the U.S. Army, he was given a chance to serve his country."

"General Chester Phillips offered him a place in a top-secret biological experiment, Operation: Rebirth. Steve Rogers was injected with the experimental Super Soldier Serum and exposed to low-level radiation to enhance the formula's effectiveness. After combat training Captain America was transferred base to base under the guise of a private in the Army. All the while Cap was thwarting Hitler and the Nazis at every opportunity."

Timely Comics' Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941)

Take that Adolf!

"When Captain America throws his mightyshieldd all those who chose to oppose his shield must yield."

He's come back before.

"Captain America soon gained a partner Bucky Barnes, a teenager who had discovered Cap's secret identity. During the waning days of WWII, a bomb-loaded drone plane launched by Nazi technician Baron Heinrich Zemo exploded with Cap and Bucky aboard, killing the youngster and hurling his mentor unhurt into the icy Arctic. The Super Soldier Serum, combined with the extreme cold of the water, enabled Cap to survive for years in a state of suspended animation. Captain America was rescued years later by the Avengers and became one of their most prominent members."

Avengers #4 (March 1964)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

purity balls

To each their own (though personally, I find it futile & more than a tad creepy) but why is the federal government underwritting even a part of the balls?

Teen Girls 'Date' Dad, Pledge Purity
Purity Balls Include Big Night Out With White Cake and Vows, but No Groom
By Gigi Stone, ABC News, 3/6/07

"Young women and some young men sign virginity pledges at churches, rallies or programs sponsored by groups such as True Love Waits, and the movement is growing. This is partly fueled by government support. The current Bush administration's annual funding for abstinence initiatives has more than doubled to around $200 million."

"I could see it winding up in more teenage pregnancies and that type of thing because they don't know everything that they need to know," comments Deanne Keegan, a South Dakota mother who counsels youth at her local church.

"In fact 88 percent of pledgers wind up breaking their pledge and having sex before marriage, according to a study by Peter Bearman, the chair of Columbia University's Department of Sociology, and Hannah Bruckner of Yale."


Totally Against Graffiti

Yesterday, I saw two bus stop benches with T.A.G billboards on them. You guessed it, they were tagged.

For the record, I'm not totally against graffiti.


I'm against this, whatever it is, especially if it's gang related.

new wheels

I am the proud owner of a 1987 Toyota Camry Wagon. Thank you Sarah & James!

Yesterday, I sat in the car and listened to the Vanishing Point soundtrack. Until I can actually drive it, I think the Camry is my new clubhouse.

Vanishing Point Trailer

Vanishing Point 1st chase
- For the "First really monstrous hit of the 70's", skip ahead to the 3.5 minute mark.