Sunday, February 22, 2009

This One's For Lokie

Mickey Rourke Acceptance Speech Best Male Lead Film Independent's Spirit Awards 2009.

Greatest acceptance speech ever.

Eric Roberts & Mickey Rourke in The Pope of Greenwich Village. (Another movie I watched for the first time with my old man.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gram Negative

Deadly bacteria defy drugs, alarming doctors
A new category of bugs becomes more resistant to treatment, and their toll -- which already includes a Brazilian beauty queen -- is expected to rise.
LA Times, 2/17/09

Move over MRSA, there's another bully on the block.
Acinetobacter doesn't garner as many headlines as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the dangerous superbug better known as MRSA. But a January report by the Infectious Diseases Society of America warned that drug-resistant strains of Acinetobacter baumannii and two other microbes -- Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae -- could soon produce a toll to rival MRSA's.

The three bugs belong to a large category of bacteria called "gram-negative" that are especially hard to fight because they are wrapped in a double membrane and harbor enzymes that chew up many antibiotics. As dangerous as MRSA is, some antibiotics can still treat it, and more are in development, experts say.

But the drugs once used to treat gram-negative bacteria are becoming ineffective, and finding effective new ones is especially challenging.


Sunday, February 15, 2009


I've been reading Roberto Saviano's, Gamorrah.

A Personal Journey Into The Violent International Empire Of Naples' Organized Crime System.

Ahh Naples, city of my youth.

Ladies, think twice before donning that Versace gown.

Here's are some quotes.
But that day I happened to meet a large woman who could barely jam herself into her seat. She had boarded the Eurostar in Bologna with an incredible desire to talk, as if she intended to fill the time the way she had her body.

I stretched out my arm toward the waves and fired two more shots. I didn't see them hit and maybe they didn't even reach the water. But it seemed courageous to fire on the sea.

The AK-47 can fire in the most disparate conditions. It won't jam, will shoot even when crammed with dirt or soaking wet, is comfortable to hold, and has a feather trigger that even a child can pull. Luck, error, imprecision - all the elements that might spare a life in battle - are eliminated by the certainty of the AK-47, which has prohibited fate from playing a role. Easy to use and easy to transport, it shoots with an efficiency that allows you to kill without any type of training. "It can turn even a monkey into a combatant," . . .

The AK-47 has even found it's way onto the flag of Mozambique . . .

Wow, a book, a hoe & an AK.

The book has been made into a movie.

CC in the News

While it probably won't make the Culver City tourism brochure in an effort to cover all the news that is Culver City, it's my duty to report that . . .

Marshawn Lynch Arrested in California
Faces Gun Possession Charge, 2/15/08
CULVER CITY, CA (WIVB) - Bills running back Marshawn Lynch was arrested earlier this week in California. He was charged with felony possession of a concealed firearm. The incident, first reported by, has been confirmed to News 4 by police in Culver City, CA.

Lynch was arrested Wednesday, February 11 in Culver City, which is located outside of Los Angeles. The arrest came three days after Lynch played at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

Here is the official news release from the Culver City, CA police:

On Wednesday Evening, February 11 2009, Culver City Police Officers were patrolling the Fox Hills area of Culver City when they contacted three adult males seated in a 2006 Mercedes Benz. Upon contacting the occupants they learned one of the subjects was Buffalo Bills running back; Marshawn Lynch. A subsequent field investigation led to the discovery of a loaded firearm. The officers determined the gun belonged to Lynch and he was arrested for posession of a concealed firearm. Lynch was transported to CCPD booked and later released on bail. The case will be submitted to the District Attorney's Office for filing consideration.

Lynch was released on a $35,000 bond. The case now moves to the District Attorney.
I'll never understand why professional athletes insist on carrying loaded firearms. However, if they feel the need to carry a concealed weapon for personal safety why not get the proper permits.

Here's is a run down from the, California Office of Attorney General (for those of you not from California, that's Jerry Moonbeam Brown, former Governor & 2010 gubernatorial candidate), on obtaining a concealed weapons permit in California.
How can I obtain a Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) license?

Contact your county's Sheriff's Office or, if you are a resident of an incorporated city, your city's Police Department, for information on obtaining a CCW license. They can answer your questions and provide you with copies of their CCW policy statement and the State's Standardized CCW Application. If you live within a jurisdiction of a city Police Department, you may apply to the county Sheriff's Office for a CCW license. However, only residents of a city may apply to a city's Police Department for a CCW license.

California law does not recognize CCW licenses issued in other states.

(PC Section 12050)

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Failure to Perform ?

Elgin Baylor sues Clippers, claiming racism
The former general manager accuses owner Donald Sterling of bad behavior for decades. Lawyer for team says Baylor was treated fairly.
Lisa Dillman, 2/12/09, LA Times

I'll let the courts sort out the claims of racism & ageism, but Elgin, you made the playoffs four times in 22 years as General Manager. I don't know how you lasted as long as you did.

From Yahoo Sports.
Playoff Appearances: 7
Overall Playoff Record: 20-27
NBA Championships: 0

2006 -- defeated Denver, 4-1, first round
lost to Phoenix 4-3, conference semifinals

1997 -- lost to Utah, 3-0, first round

1993 -- lost to Houston, 3-2, first round

1992 -- lost to Utah, 3-2, first round


I started getting emails last week from RNC Chairman Michael Steele. This must have sprung from Governor Schwarzenegger's 2003 campaign. I didn't support the Govenator but someone signed me up for his campaign. Prior to receiving the emails the only other communication I received from the RNC were two frameable pictures of W & Laura; one in formal wear and the other in more laid back Crawford duds. A donation solicitation accompanied the pictures.

It's nice to see that six years after obtaining my email address the RNC has stepped into the twenty-first century and started to mimic President Obama's successful online organization.

Here are the subject lines from the emails.
2/12/09, Hope and change? Try fear and politics-as usual...

2/10/09, My Face Off with DNC Chair Kaine

2/7/09, RNC Chairman Michael Steele's Weekly Republican Address

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I'm Countin' On A Miracle

Springsteen Joins In as Fans Decry Ticketmaster’s ‘Scalping’
Adam Satariano and Greg Bensinger,, 2/5/09
She said the group ran into technical problems that froze them out. When the system began working again, March said they were steered to Ticketmaster- owned TicketsNow, a reseller offering prices hundreds of dollars above face value.

Complaints from disappointed fans have prompted a U.S. congressman to call for a federal antitrust investigation into Ticketmaster sales practices. New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram said yesterday she’s looking into the matter. The Boss himself condemned the company for having “a pure conflict of interest.”

“Some artists or managers may not perceive there to be a conflict between having the distributor of their tickets in effect ‘scalping’ those same tickets through a secondary company like TicketsNow,” Springsteen said. “We do.”

Springsteen used the incident to voice objection to a reported proposal to merge Ticketmaster, the biggest ticketing outfit, with Beverly Hills, California-based concert promoter Live Nation Inc. A single company would bring back “a near monopoly situation in music ticketing,” Springsteen said.

My friend that was in charge of getting tickets on Monday to Springsteen's show at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, said they were sold out immediately and that he was directed to ticketsnow.

From wiki:
TicketsNow is a TicketMaster company. Ticketmaster simply buys their own tickets and then re-sells those tickets for 200% of face value on their TicketsNow website. This has created a monopolistic market making it near impossible for an average fan to buy a event ticket at face value. If you are trying to buy tickets to an event and the event is "sold out" the TicketMaster site directs you to the TicketsNow website. Most consumers are still baffled as to how this is legal. Also, they are baffled at how out in the open this process is and how nothing is being done about it.

Here's a great response from another friend.
One has to appreciate that Pearl Jam at least tried to fight them. The mafia is legal and won.

Since he performed at the inaugural concert, Bruce would appear to have President Obama's ear. Hopefully the federal government (are you listening Mr. Holder?) will investigate these crooks and finally put them out of business.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Testing Testing 1 2

Just signed up for mobile blogging for the lego. Eesh, no spell checking.

Nothing too exciting to report.

Oh, the waste water pipe for my apartment complex is backed up between my neighbor and I. They are the last unit in a row and I am the second to the last unit. The pipe flows in a line from the neighbor's apartment passed my place and on to the next apartment. The pipe is visible in the carport. The apartment manger just said not to use the shower or flush the toilet until the pipe is fixed tomorrow. I'm wondering why if the clog is before my unit that I can't use the facilities?

Downtown Eats

After taking in the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown, a friend and I wandered over the the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles.

At his suggestion we went to, Wurstküche. The two and a half month old restaurant bills itself as purveyor of exotic grilled sausages.

You place your order in a small trapazoidal room which houses the grill, a deli case and beer taps. You can eat along the wall in that room, at a couple of tables outside or in the expansive dinning room. The dinning room features a long bar along one side.

I had the duck, bacon and jalapeno sausage with caramelized onions and hot peppers ($7.75). My companion had the alligator and pork with caramelized onions and hot peppers ($7.75). The sausages come with your choice of two free toppings. Options include caramelized onions, sweet peppers, spicy peppers or sauerkraut. Additional toppings are 75 cents. The sausage comes on a hearty white roll that stands up to the juice from the sausage and toppings.

My friend opted for a beer, of which they have over thirty to choose from. The beers are mainly Belgian and German, though they do have PBR. The guy who took our order apologized because he didn't have the correct glass for my friend's beer and said that they will eventually have all the correct glasses i.e. a Chimay glass for a Chimay. For my beverage, I stuck with self service water, which they put cucumber in. I was new to cucumber in my water but it was quite refreshing. They also have a cucumber soda. We split a klein (small) order of Belgian fries ($3.50) and got the chipotle aioli dipping sauce. One sauce is included with the fries, additional sauces are 75 cents.

I topped my sausage off with dijon mustard at the self service counter. Both the sausage and the fries were excellent. The aioli was so good I could have eaten with a spoon by itself. The only detractor is that according to my friend they don't make their own sausages which seems like a shame to me but I can overlook that, Wurstküche has been added to the rotation.

Here's a Wurstküche review from the LA Times.

An emporium for the encased is ensconced

Read the Times while you can, I think it's going under within the year. They recently decided to eliminated the California section. According to LA Observed, the Times publisher has opted to, "- fold local news inside the front section — which will be reconfigured to downplay national and foreign news." Downplay national and foreign news!?! This after cutting 150 people from the news gathering staff and reducing the size of the paper earlier this year. The LA Times is owned by the cash strapped Tribune company. Can you imagine Los Angeles without a major daily newspaper?


Obama Water

7-11 is selling Obama water. It's in a clear sixteen ounce plastic bottle with a picture of the Obama family on the label. They're $1.49 a piece. The owner said he's sold four cases (24 bottles/case) in the last two or three days. He's looking for a new vendor because the one that sold him his current batch is sold out.

I can't imagine the Obama's approved of the water or are receiving any of the proceeds. Though, I guess the President is stimulating the economy.

I found this photo on Flickr. It's not the same brand featured at my local 7-11.

Cheese Product

I wanted to make my mother's Chile con Queso dip for my Super Bowl party. Last year I tried to make a highbrow version involving roasted poblano peppers that didn't cut it. The dip sat in a bowl and got cold. It reminded me of a tuna caserole my aunt made that the dog wouldn't even go near. Having failed last year, I decided to go back to tried and true recipe, a block of Velveeta and a jar of salsa.

I went to Ralph's to pick up the ingredients. To my surprise Velveeta is not housed in the cheese case at the grocery store. I went up and down the case several times thinking I might have overlooked it.

Here's the conversation that played in my head:

"OK, slow down, it has to be here."
"Tillamook cheddar, Munster, Kraft singles, ah ha Velveeta singles."
"Come on it has to be here. Where the heck is it?"
"Are they out of it?"
"Am I gonna have to go to another store?"
"How can they be out of Velveeta? Well, it is the Super Bowl."

Another pass confirmed that the store was either out of Velveeta or I was looking in the wrong place.

Cheese in a Can flashed into my head.

"Maybe they keep it next to the Cheese in a Can. I know where they keep that."

I kept my fingers crossed as I approached the aisle and sure enough next to the Cheese in a Can and Mac & Cheese kits, there sat the Velveeta. Relief. There will be Queso.

The dip was a big hit.

Here's the recipe:

1 Block of Velveeta
1 Cup of Salsa

Cube the Velveeta
Melt in a pot over low heat
Add salsa and incorporate

Velveeta facts via Wikipedia
. . . first made in 1918 by Swiss immigrant Emil Frey of the Monroe Cheese Company in Monroe, New York. In 1923, The Velveeta Cheese Company was incorporated as a separate company, and was sold to Kraft Foods in 1927.

Velveeta is now sold as a "cheese product," using a term for items that contain less than 51% cheese.[2]

Velveeta does need to be refrigerated after opening.

Trout fishermen have reported success using Velveeta as bait.