Blog | tag los-angeles

Hundreds of Swallows

As I sit at my desk programming away I just saw a veritable swarm of swallows fluttering about the downtown sky in a somewhat chaotic cloud. The don't seem to be migrating as they are flying every which way with not apparent direction of travel. Very strange... I don't think I've ever even seen a swallow in downtown LA.

Saturday, September 24th, 2005 -

My Guilty Pleasure

So normally I talk nothing but bad about television and although I do own one I have never bothered to hook it up to any broadcast connection or cable. I use it primarily to watch DVDs and that's about it. There is pretty much only one time when I watch TV and that is at the gym. If you work out on the third level of the Downtown YMCA you can watch one of the four televisions that are hanging from the ceilings, the one I like is always tuned to CNN and is in front of one of my favorite cardio machines the LifeFitness ArcTrainer today I spent 50 minutes on that thing watching CNN... I felt all slimy afterwards, but I think that was mostly from the sweat.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005 -

Midnight Aerial Filming in Downtown Los Angeles

There is currently a large helicopter flying almost directly above my loft. It has been circling for nearly 2 hours. The helicopter is part of a film crew that is filming a block north of my loft. The crew is parked both in the parking lot next to my loft, and the lot across the street where I park.

We were not notified. My wife has to wake up at 4:30 AM tomorrow for nursing school. It is almost midnight. I do not know where to turn in this situation.

I started out by calling 311, they forwarded me to the non-emergency LAPD dispatch who forwarded me to the LAPD's Air Support Watch Commander. The Sergeant on watch was a nice fellow, and I could tell he felt bad that he couldn't do anything about the disturbance. The deal is that if there is a permit, they have every right to be in the air, no matter who they are. He said that if I had a complaint I would need to jot down the tail letters and call the company in charge of the bird.

UPDATE I currently don't see or hear the helicopter, so hopefully the crew has wrapped for the night. Either way my wife is wearing ear protection and seems to be fast asleep.

UPDATE Part 2 Oh joy the helicopter is back. So far I've been contacted by 4 other Downtown residents. Eric Richardson blogged about it. The adhoc DLACN Film Issues meeting tomorrow today should be quite interesting. I won't be able to make it, but my wife will be there to voice our opinions.

UPDATE Part 3It is now 5am, my wife is getting up for nursing school, normally I would be asleep, but the crew is banging poles on the ground as they disassemble the circus tents in the parking lot across the street from my loft. Time for me to don the ear protection. Nice.

Sunday, March 18th, 2007 -

New Downtown Website

So I just joined the New Downtown list-serv, although I hate yahoo mailing lists, and I took a moment to look through their website, specifically the dining section which has to be the most incomplete and out of date directory of food in Downtown. For example, take a look at the Steakhouse section which only contains the Pacific Dining Car and the Japanese section which contains a total of 3 Japanese restaurants... maybe they don't consider Little Tokyo to be a part of Downtown LA, but I do and there are a hell of a lot more then 3 eateries there.

I don't think they are intentionally leaving stuff off, I just don't think the site has been updated for years, for instance there are no milestones in 2005 and the only thing on the calendar is the DLANC meetings (which I've been meaning to attend) so I guess I did get something out of the site. I wonder if they need help keeping the site current? I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask.

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005 -

Curry House

Today I walked a few blocks to Little Tokyo to meet my mom for lunch. We ate at the Curry House, which is located next to the New Otani hotel. I love the sweet, savory flavor of Japanese curry. I could tell from a block away that I was going to enjoy the fare just from the rich curry aroma that wafted down the street.

I ordered Beef Katsu with extra curry (hot of course) and my mother had the seafood curry. The portions were prodigious and pleasantly arranged and the curry was hot and delicious. The large portion I ordered came with a supplemental bowl of curry to smother the rice and beef katsu in once I finished what was on the plate. I washed it all down with a can of milky sweet Calpico (which in Japan is call Calpis, which sounds somewhat like Cow Piss).

If you find yourself craving curry this is the spot to appease your needs.

Saturday, June 11th, 2005 -

Loving Downtown LA

Penelope and I are all unpacked and yesterday we hit IKEA and scored a dining room table, chairs, some shelves and other assorted items. I have been walking down to Grand Central Market every day to buy produce and meat and cooking dinner every night. I love cooking and I really love our new kitchen. It is very open and well designed with brand new appliances and granite counter tops.

The city is full of energy and life during the day and the streets are bustling with activity. Broadway is a great place to buy cheap clothing and electronics as there are hundreds of discount shops in the Historic Core.

Today Penelope and I walked the two blocks to the LA Flower Market and picked up some star gazers and some other purple flowers for the loft and we also bought a bouquet of assorted flowers and lei for my mom. Her birthday is today and we are meeting her in Little Tokyo for lunch in an hour.

Once things are more organized I will take some photos of the loft and our wonderful view. I also plan on taking photos of the flower mart and other places around our loft.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005 -

Downtown Jogging

Penelope just pointed out to me the top downtown blog from LA Downtown News was Eric Richardson's blogdowntown and in the write-up they mentioned our Downtown Jogging (Urban Jog?) idea as one of the topic on his blog... cool! We are still planning on doing this, we are just very busy, this weekend we are going to DEFCON and then in the next few weeks I am taking an advanced rope rescue class on the weekends. Penelope is just finishing her internship and when she is done and when I am less busy we will create the flyers and put them up around Downtown. If you are interested in jogging along with us send me an email and let me know what time / day is good for you: urbanjog [at] eecue [dot] com.

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005 -

Move along there is no crack to smoke here...

When we first moved in to our new loft a few weeks ago, we noticed that scores of homeless and drug dealers hung out at a bus stop on Main St, which we had a perfect view of. We have spent many hours watching people sell, buy and smoke crack down on the street below our house.

Every couple of days we would see an LAPD cruiser pull up and watch as the people scattered like so many cockroaches. During the past week, LAPD has upped their patrols to every hour if not twice an hour. They also have bike cops patrolling, and these are real LAPD officers, not the purple-shirt-wearing security guards. This is having a good effect, as there are much fewer people hanging out and I see far fewer crack deals and crack smoke-a-thons. Thanks, LAPD!

That being said, I do feel that chasing people off and/or arresting them is not the solution to the problem. Our country and her war on drugs makes problems like these worse by treating them as a crime and not a disease. Drug addiction is a disease and it should be treated like a disease. Locking up addicts does not cure their addiction.

I already volunteer a good portion of my time to Search and Rescue, but I realize that there is more I can do down here. I want to interview the people on the streets, to learn their stories and to record them for posterity. I also think volunteering at the Midnight Mission would be a positive use of my time, so I have contacted them and offered my time and services.

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005 -

<i>Los Angeles From an Auto</i> Series on

I have begun posting a series or scanned engravings and text from Los Angeles From an "Auto", which is an old tourist guide to LA from 1906. The tours took place atop motorized electric coaches and stopped at all the Downtown Hotels. After each installment I plan to follow up with a current photo of the buildings that are mentioned. Here is the first in the series on, the current photos are coming soon.

Tuesday, July 12th, 2005 -

<del>Backpack</del>Lounging in Catalina

Penelope and I had planned on going backpacking this weekend on Catalina Island this weekend, but when we got there the town of Avalon was so beautiful we just decided to get a hotel room and hang out. The other problem was that the route I had planned ended up being on a paved road and our campground was a bit further then we wanted to hike in one day with heavy packs, plus I was midway through a cold, which I have just now kicked.

We checked in to the Hotel Villa Portofino, a hotel right across the main drag from the water, dropped off out bags and hit the bar. We had a few drinks and then we decided to rent a golf cart and take it around Avalon, which despite sounding cheesy was actually quite fun. After the golf cart ride we bought some tickets to see Harry Potter in the Casino which isn't actually a gambling hall, the italian word casino actually meant a place of entertainment, back when the building was built by Mr Wrigley.

The Casino is amazingly beautiful and before the movie we were treated to 45 minutes of organ music on a really grand organ, a type of which only 3 exist in the world today. The bass and acoustics of the theatre are really amazing and we really enjoyed both the organ show and the movie.

The next day we hiked over to the botanical gardens and the Wrigley monument and then we headed back in to town to take part in tour of the casino which was really interesting. I took a whole bunch of photos of the whole trip and I will be uploading them soon once I am a bit less busy.

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005 -

Swap Meet @ Betalevel

Betalevel, the electronic cock fight ringleaders, will be host to a data swapmeet that focuses on sneaker-netting and socializing through first person peer-to-peer networking. It should be a fun time and a good source of new music for my collection. The event takes place at the Betalevel underground lair in Chinatown this Friday evening. Bring your karaoke voice.

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005 -

One Wilshire

The other day when I posted my old pictures from One Wilshire I did a bit of research and found out some interesting facts. One Wilshire is owned and managed by the Carlyle Group, which is everyone's favorite Bush Family mega-corp which makes billions from the war on terrorism. I wonder why they would want the most expensive real estate in North America, which happens to be the name of a really cool art / architecture exhibit. Here is a excerpt from the study:

One Wilshire is the meet-me room for over 240 of big players in the telecom industry. Everyone who is anyone is located there and they all interconnect for free as they are in the same big room.

I also found some neat stuff like the Tenant Handbook and an Elevator / Card Key request form.

Friday, January 7th, 2005 -

Penelope is posting up a storm!

My sweet lovely and beautiful fiance has been posting like a mad woman today over on her blog. Stop by and read her reviews about various local eateries along with some trip reports from the zoo and the gym.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005 -

Moving to Downtown LA!

After my apartment of 3 years in Hollywood filled up with raw sewage, I upped and moved in a personal-record-breaking 24 hours. One of my friends was nice enough to offer me a room at his house in tree covered hills of Fullerton and I took the offer. I didn't plan to stay very long, but then I met a sweet, wonderful woman named Penelope who happened to live a few miles down the street from me. So I have lived here for over a year, during which time Penelope and I have engaged to marry next year in May.

I have always wanted to live in an artists loft in Downtown LA and I have been following the loft market over the last 4 or 5 years as it has grown. I didn't think Penelope would want to live in a loft in downtown, but surprisingly, she was open to the idea. I scheduled a tour filled day where we visited 7 or 8 different communities that we were interested in. Out of the 20 lofts we toured, we really only liked a couple of them.

It was hot and we were tired when we parked in front of the Santa Fe Lofts on E 6th street. We were an hour early and our guide was giving a tour, but the security guard let us in after asking if we were there to see the lofts. We sat down and waited and soon enough our guide came in with her current tour who took the credit check forms and left.

She began the tour with the standard model unit with it's very standard looking furniture and the requisite granite counter tops and new appliances. The windows were huge and original (single paned) and the model was on a fairly low floor. The street traffic was quite noisy and the view was non-spectacular. We continued the tour and saw 3 more units.

The third loft we saw was high above the city floor with a beautiful view of Downtown. It had a nicely separated area for the kitchen and dining area on one side, a bedroom on the other, and a nice living area in the middle all with gigantic wide windows that covered the the longest wall of the loft. The loft was filled with natural northern light and we instantly fell in love with it.

After we toured the roof we went down to the office, did a credit check and put down our deposit. We sign the lease on Thursday and we will be moving in very shortly after that!

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005 -


"A one night parade of sweat and adrenaline pitting viewer against viewer in brutal virtual cockfighting theatre. Audience volunteers will don custom-made wireless game controllers with full sized wings and feathered helmets. Combatants will step into an arena to control their life size game avatars through vigorous flapping and pecking, competing for blood and birdfeed while rapaciously inflicting onscreen bodily harm. Cockfight Arena is free and open to the public. Gambling and smoking will be permitted. No animals or humans were injured in the production of this event."

I am so there!

Thursday, September 19th, 2002 -

Hands on Moleskin in Downtown LA?

Anybody know where I could check out some Moleskin notebooks in or near Downtown LA? I want to pick one up for taking notes on the run but I'm not sure where to go. Thanks!

Sunday, September 4th, 2005 -

Los Angeles Times' New Blog

LAT has a new editorial blog in which they mentioned me in a very positive light in one of their first posts:

Many of the local writers who attended came back with glowing reviews. Dave Bullock of had one of the best words/pictures combinations, and remarked: "It was the greatest show of patriotism I have seen my whole life, and the whole event really moved me."

They actually seem to be doing a really good job of covering what the LA blogosphere is talking about. In their latest post, they link to my photos from the walkout.

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006 -

The Fixie is Done!

Check out the write up here on Check out the photos here.

Update I went for my first short ride on Sunday to go buy a mini kryptonite lock. It was a hoot although I almost crashed into the back of a line of cars, thinking I could slow down fast enough by backpedalling. I swerved and went around and everything turned out ok.

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005 -

Drum'n'bass from the last few months

Here are the Drum'n'bass events in LA that I have photographed in the last few months. I don't normally post about them on this site... that is what is for! Here are the latest music galleries


Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 -

Problems with FilmLA

Filming and the Entertainment Industry in general are both huge sources of revenue for both Angelenos and the City of Los Angeles. I thoroughly enjoy watching movies and I think it is cool that they are commonly filmed in my neighborhood. In no way do I want to see the industry move out of Los Angeles, or even Downtown, not that it would even if it could. Those points aside, there are some serious problems with they way shoots are planned and executed, especially in Downtown.

A bit over a month ago I wrote an emotionally charged piece about my run-in with an especially rude film crew member. The response that I received from fellow downtown dwellers was amazing. Last week, one of the people who first contacted me about the post, Bert Green, started a thread on a Downtown mailing list and posted the responses.

Over the weekend the DLANC powers that be added an addendum to the meeting that was to take place the following Monday, and were able to get a representative from FilmLA to come down and talk to the community and the council. I missed most of the meeting, but I came in time to hear the FilmLA guy talk about how there would be "too much information" if they were to post all the notifications on their website. He also said that trying to send "those union people" to courtesy training would be impossible.

One thing I found especially funny was that he said there were good Location Managers and bad ones, and the bad ones spoil it for everyone, he then went on to name the Location Manager for the recent Tranformers shoot as one of the good ones. The Transformers shoot where they blew up a truck at 7am on a Saturday after only giving notification to residents on the same block. The explosion could be heard for miles.

As I see it there are some issues with FilmLA, which I am sure we will be addressed in the near future, mostly because their contract is up in June: FilmLA's funding comes from the permit fees the collect, that right there is a huge conflict of interest. FilmLA has failed and continues to fail to properly notify residents of pending shoots. FilmLA has little or no government or citizen oversight of the approval process Production companies that continually break the rules are still issued permits and there are no consequences for their actions

The meeting was attended by nearly ever Downtown LA blogger, including: Ed (who wrote about the meeting), Jim, Celia, Don, Ben, and Ginny. If you are interested in being a part of the solution, DLANC has created a task force to deal with the problems and the first meeting is this coming Monday in the P.E. Lofts. More details along with Ginny-Marie's notes from the meeting after the jump.

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007 -

<del>NO RideArc This Friday</del> Current RideArc Info

UPDATE RideArc Still happens, you can read more about it here: RideARc

Although I don't have any details as to the theme of the ride, as far as I know, the ride is still on and will be meeting at 9pm this Friday at the SCI-Arc parking lot. I'll see you there (and don't forget, next week is the Downtown Art Ride on Thursday and Midnight Ridazz on Friday)! This just in [thanks to Will Campbell for pointing this out to me]:

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 -

Downtown Diversion

I have ridden my bike and driven past Downtown Diversion [warning auto-play movie with sound] many times in the years that I have lived in Downtown Los Angeles, and after reading this article in the Downtown News, I knew I had to get a tour. I emailed the president, Mike Hammer and asked if and when I could come down and shoot some photos. He told me that they were about to celebrate their 3 year anniversary of incorporation and I could come down to that, take some photos and have a free lunch, all of which I did today. Thomas Blank, the Division Manager, was kind enough to give me a tour and answer some questions about the facility and their operation.

Downtown Diversion recycles construction and demolition (C&D) debris. Although the cost per ton of recycling this material is more expensive for contractors than taking it to the dump, the location in Downtown and doing the "right thing" brings roughly a million pounds of waste through their facility daily. Miraculously they are able to reclaim and sell 75% of this material for uses such as mulch, fuel, road base, and fertilizer.

The crux of their operation is a massive industrial waste sorting machine, known as a star screen, manufactured by Lubo. This giant, debris hungry beast devours freshly demolished building materiel on one end and excretes various useful grades of material out the other. Standing atop the scaffolding next to the waste sorting personnel and breathing through a dust mask, I was simultaneously thankful for my relatively boring desk job and their commitment to a hard job in a hazardous, and very loud, environment.

Enough banter, enjoy the photos:

Water sprayed to reduce airborne particu

Waste processors

Lubo : Single Stream Star Screen

The processed waste

Friday, May 11th, 2007 -

Loft View

I am really loving the view from our loft. I can see almost all of my favorite buildings... all except One Wilshire... oh well. I took this photo on Thursday night after Respect with my Canon EOS 20D. I think it was about a 20 second exposure.

Saturday, June 11th, 2005 -

CBS vs. LAPD on Immigration Rally

So I saw an email this morning on our mailing list about CBS reporting that a request for an immigration rights rally being denied by the LAPD. The next email I saw was an email from LAPD's E-Policing system in which they are telling me that there will be a large rally on February 24th:

  • 2/24/2007 Full Rights for Immigrants
  • TIME: 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
  • ASSEMBLY: Washington and Broadway
  • ROUTE: Broadway heading South to Temple Street, Temple E to corner of LA St and Temple St.
  • CONTACT: Juan Jose Guiterrez (323) 269-6069

I am going to go ahead and take LAPD's word on this one and will be there with my camera to capture the event for posterity.

Update LAT has some coverage [bugmenot] on this as well, and it is possible that the LAPD email blast went out before they realized there was a problem.

Update 2 So I called the LAPD and they told me that the permit has been denied for the 24th, but then I called the event's contact and they told me the event will still be taking place on the 24th, they flyers are printed and that's what the date says. Discussing this with Eric Richardson he said, "basically it's a test of whether police departments have any right to grant permits for this sort of thing." This should be very interesting.

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007 -

Downtown Central City East Blogger

Don GarzaTonight I ran in to Don Garza who was walking across the street on 6th. I recognized him from the various photos of him around the internet and as an avid reader of his blog I've been meaning to meet him so I ran across the street and introduced myself. Don is a cool guy and we talked about all kinds of stuff about downtown ranging from housing to the drug problem to my transgressions against harmless Furbys. He had just come from the neighborhood walk which I am going to attend someday soon. I'm looking forward to trying some of his tamales that he is going to make this weekend.

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006 -

Los Angeles From an Auto : Part 3

I have posted the third part of my scans of the 1906 electric coach tour program guide: Los Angeles From an "Auto" over on LA Voice. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that the first two portions were painstakingly converted from photo to text manually by yours truly; I have stepped into the modern age and used an OCR program to aid in the task. I added the new photos on the google map.

I spent some time today updating the HCM google-mashup and enabling it to search by either zipcode and distance or name, address and monument number. Just a note of warning, if you increase the distance searched by too much you will end up with a google map that contains hundreds of points which, in Safari at least, ends up dogging your system. Eventually I'd like the system to get the location of the current view and show the HCMs that exist on that map. Tonight I am going to add the rest of the locations from LA and possible the ones from Long Beach if I feel so inclined.

UPDATE I have reimported the database of LA HCMs and this time I changed to code to work with ranges and multiple addresses for the most part and I also imported ALL the regions of LA. I am currently geocoding all the information once again so it may be a few hours before it is all on there. I also added a link to the flick tags for each map point... thanks to the folks in the LA Historical Cultural Monuments Group!

Monday, July 18th, 2005 -

Body World Exhibit in Los Angeles

  • Runs from July 2 to Jan. 23, 2005.
  • Features 25 human bodies and 200 body parts intended to teach visitors about the skeletal, cardiovascular and other systems.
  • Location: California Science Center, Exposition Park, 700 State Drive, Los Angeles.
  • Admission: $12 for adults, with discounts available for members, seniors, students and children. Children under 13 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
  • Parking: $6 per car.
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with last admission at 8 p.m.
  • Information: (323) 724-3623
  • On the Web: and

Thursday, July 1st, 2004 -

Sarcasm Detector Malfunction!

Looks like some woman named Amanda doesn't quite understand the whole humor thing and was totally offended by Sean's minpin page where he talks about how minpins eat cars and people. Then to top it all off she posted this on an unrelated post on his blog: "what a total moron!!! I'm glad you had a good laugh you also gave all my friends one with your stupidity!!! Have fun pissing people off!!!!" classic!

Thursday, August 25th, 2005 -

Drive Slow, Save Gas

With fuel prices higher than ever, I've been driving 55 mph on the freeway to improve my gas mileage. For years I have always been one of those speed limit plus ten people. Only recently have I decided to slow down and take it easy.

My FJ Cruiser (below) normally gets around 15 mpg on the highway. I found out that if I keep the rpms below 2,000 my mileage increases to over 20 mpg. On roughly level ground that ends up being 55 mph in sixth gear.

I keep an eye on my gas mileage using my ScanGauge II. It's a handy little device that plugs into the FJ's ODBII port and gives information about everything from intake temperature to battery voltage. The ScanGauge allows to me see exactly how many miles I am getting to the gallon at any given moment as well as the average for the whole tank.

So far driving 55 on the Los Angeles freeways has been fun and cost effective. The funniest thing about driving in the slow lane is that people still tailgate!

FJ Cruiser and New Mexico Sky

My FJ Cruiser near Madrid, during our trip to New Mexico last near.

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 -

Massive Production, No Notification

When I first moved in to the Santa Fe Lofts a few years ago, the management would always post the notification for filming in both the elevator and on the front door. Today is the third time in as many months when there has been large film crews invading our building and the residents were not notified. I feel this is totally unacceptable, it is the management's responsibility to notify the building's tenants about any kind of production.

Friday, January 12th, 2007 -

Small Turnout for Minutemen / CAB Protest

More Police Than Protesters

The notification on the DLANC mailing list said the CAB protest was expecting 200 protesters and 200,000 spectators. I laughed when I read that and responded that I figured it would be more like 200 of each. I walked down to Broadway to check it out and as it turns out, 200 was probably a bit of a high estimate. There were roughly 100 protesters, surrounded by close to 200 police officers. The spectators maybe numbered 100 people, who were shouting and laughing and the very serious and likely racist group of mostly minutemen, with a few CAB folks thrown in for good measure.

Ted Hayes started the CAB, which stands for Crispus Attucks Brigade and according to their website their mission is to:

move American Blacks peoples to take their rightful and dutiful role to stop illegal immigration into the United States of America

Despite the racist placards the protesters were carrying:

The Minute Man Project is not racist, even as American Blacks citizens and the Crispus Attucks Brigade is not racist against the Brown/Bronze Indio Indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America.

More photos can be found here.

Sunday, March 25th, 2007 -

A Touching Reunion

Blogs can be a very personal insight into people lives as is evidenced by these two posts about a man (William Campbell) reunited with his estranged daughter after not seeing her for 5 years. Sean Bonner said yesterday if you only read one blog today read this and I will echo that again for the second part of the posting.

Monday, August 15th, 2005 -


Penelope is a runner. She ran cross country in college on a scholarship. She is one tuff cookie. I ran a bit in Jr. High and High School, and until recently I hadn't run more than a block in about 10 years. Penelope has been taking me jogging, we started when I was living in Fullerton on the horse trails and we made it about 15 minutes and then I was exahuseted and had to walk the rest of the way. We have been steadily increasing the runs and now as of today we are up to 40 minutes without a break.

Today we did a run in the city and we started at the lofts, went straight up 6th street into the civic center, through a maze of stairs which belong to the parking lot across from the disney concert hall and the up the stairs of the concert hall, through the garden and up on to the chandler catwalk (beautiful view from there!). We then wove through some buildings and then back down to the loft. It was a good run and I feel great now!

Penelope had a wonderful idea to organize a semi-weekly jog through downtown for the residents of our loft. We're going to make some flyers tonight and put them up throughout the building.

Posts about our return trip to the zoo and the Lotus Festival coming soon...

Sunday, July 10th, 2005 -

Art Murmur Reception

The Art Murmur Gallery in my building is having a reception this Saturday the 10th for the new show iPop which starts at 10pm. I will be on a Search and Rescue 24 hour pack and minimal rescue training. The training on San Jacinto, involves staying overnight with just what we bring out in our 24 hour packs (no sleeping bags / tents) and rigging a rescue raise and lower using only our personal callout ropes and climbing gear. Anyway go check out the opening!

Thursday, September 8th, 2005 -

Worst Conference Name Ever

NeoCon® Xpress L.A.. I seriously thought that this had something to do with the RNC and the Contract With On America. Seriously who thought this up? Do they live in a vacuum? To quote The IT Crowd: "Are you from the past?"

Thursday, April 5th, 2007 -

LAist Early Retirement.

I will no longer be writing for the LAist group blog. It has been fun and I have enjoyed writing the articles I have written for the site. I want to thank Jason Toney for giving me the chance to write for the site and wish him and the rest of the folks on LAist the best of luck in their adventures. Here is a link to the articles I wrote.

Monday, August 22nd, 2005 -

YMCA, Downtown Farmers Market and Saisai

Penelope and I joined the best gym in Downtown LA today, the YMCA. The place is really amazing, with a pool, a full wood floored basketball court, tons of cardio machines, tons of weight machines, free classes, racquetball courts, a padded track, sauna and steam rooms, and a great view. It is only 3 blocks away from out loft and compared to the other gyms in downtown it is very affordable and has better hours. We worked out for a short 30 minutes today, starting on the elliptical machines, then moving on to the stair machines with the actual moving staircase and then spent 15 minutes running around the padded track and then sprinting the last lap. Next time (tomorrow) we will do strength training after our 30 minutes of cardio.

After the workout we headed over to the Downtown Farmers market on 5th street between Flower and Olive (I think). The market was packed with people from both the neighborhood and the local businesses. The stands sold everything from clothing to the usual staples of organic veggies and fresh baked goods. We ran in to Gary Leonard, the Downtown LA News photographer, who I had previously met at the Is California Governable talk. The market is really quite expansive and puts the Silverlake Farmers Market to shame.

On our way back we stopped for lunch at Saisai, the sushi bar located in the Biltmore Hotel and we each tried one of the lunch specials which had hearty portions, delicious fresh fish and beautifully presentations. I look forward to going back for dinner some time in the future. Penelope and I are considering having our wedding and reception there

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005 -

Cemetery Blogging

My &quot;Location&quot;

I was randomly surfing the internet and I came across this website which gave me some information about my IP address. I zoomed in on the google map, and according to their data, I am blogging from a cemetery. I would have thought that the location shown would have been my ISP (Speakeasy), but I guess not. Maybe my loft was built atop an ancient burial ground and soon zombies will be rising from my pool, or lack thereof. OMG, are those Zombies‽

Update I missed the best part, according to their website, they are the "most accurate IP Address locator." I would hate to see the least accurate locator.

Saturday, April 7th, 2007 -

4 LA Things

Jim tagged me [as did Shannon] so here we go:

  • Four Jobs I’ve Had In My Life in LA:
  • Four Movies About LA I Could Watch Over And Over:
    • Blade Runner
    • Chinatown
    • Falling Down
    • Pulp Fiction / Reservoir Dogs / Jackie Brown [3 way tie]
  • Four Places I’ve Lived All Over L.A. (With Food Memories From Each):
    • Long Beach on Anaheim & Orizaba - only recently I've been back to the area and I tried Joe Josts which rocks.. I like pickled eggs
    • Long Beach on Broadway & Redondo - Coco Renos has great shrimp burritos
    • Hollywood - Koji's at H&H is good.
    • Downtown LA - too many to list... watch my blog for more!
  • Four LA-Themed Shows I Love(d) To Watch:
    • The Shield
    • Three's Company
    • Sleeper Cell
    • The Monkees
  • Four Places I Would Vacation At In LA:
    • New Otani Hotel
    • The Standard Downtown
    • Hollywood Hills in a mansion
    • Catalina Island
  • Four LA-Based Websites I Visit Daily [with my RSS reader]:
  • Four Of My Favorite Foods Found In LA:
    • Natto and Mountain Yam @ Suehiro
    • Coconut Seafood Soup @ Sanamluang
    • Delmonico @ LA Prime
    • Danger Dogs
  • Four Places In LA I Would Rather Be Right Now:
    • My Loft in Downtown
    • Huntington Gardens
    • In my fiance's arms
    • In the Mojave desert (not quite LA there)
  • Tagged:

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006 -

Bidding Adieu To

It's been a good run for me over at, but I have decided that I no longer have the time to contribute quality, unique content. I have been mulling over this decision for some time now, and I decided to stop putting if off and admit to myself that I'm just too busy to handle all the blogging on my plate. I will now be focusing on writing for and blogdowntown. If you're interested you can read through my 283 posts from the 2 years and 2 months I wrote for

Monday, September 17th, 2007 -

Fixed Gear Bike Project

Ok so today I went and picked up 2 bikes from a nice fellow in West Covina named Amer who's bikes had been sitting in his garage for at least 10 years. He wanted $200 for the Cannondale and $80 for the KHS and I talked him down to $174 for both of them. I think I got a pretty good deal and I really like the Cannondale, but it may or may not be the best conversion bike because of the near vertical rear dropouts.

After picking up the bikes and buying some spokes, lights, a helmet and a pump at a bike shop Eagle Rock called Discount Cycles I headed over to the Bicycle Kitchen for my 7:00 wheel building class. Bicycle Kitchen is completely and totally awesome and the people who work there are really cool and down to earth. They taught me step by step how to build a wheel and I built 2 in about 4 hours.

I am really happy with my work although the front wheel still needs a bit of truing. I took a few breaks from tweaking spokes and nipples to take off all the parts from the Cannondale that I won't be needing anymore like the derailers, the rear brakes, all the cabling except for the front break and the old rusty chain. I also bought all the other parts I will need to finish the rebuild. I have scheduled rack time tomorrow and I will hopefully have a rideable bike some time in the afternoon. I'll take some photos of the finished product.

Friday, October 21st, 2005 -

Lotus Festival

Penelope and I had a great time at the Lotus Festival this weekend. I took some photos and wrote a short article that should be popping up on LAist some time today. In short the food was good, the weather was great and the people were out in force. If you have never been to the Lotus Festival, I recommend you mark your calendar now for next year!

UPDATE: Here is the post on LAist

Monday, July 11th, 2005 -

Guerilla Gardening in Downtown Los Angeles

My lovely wife Penelope and our neighbor who wishes to be known as Quietearth have created a beautiful Guerilla Garden in Downtown Los Angeles.

What once was an empty cylinder filled with dirt and trash is now a thriving garden filled with drought-resitant, sustainable plants.

In their quest to bring more greenery to our mostly paved neighborhood, they go to the garden every few days to water. Every few weeks they plant new seedlings, cacti and succulents.

The Skid Row residents who live in SROs nearby thank Quietearth and my wife every time they see them. I think the garden really cheers up both the local residents and the guerilla gardeners.

I've watered the plants a few times, but my wife and Quietearth have done all the hard work. It's really inspiring to see the green, sustainable plants when I drive or walk by their garden.

A few weeks I tagged along with them when they went to dig in the dirt and install some plants. Here are a few of the photos I shot:

Penelope in the Guerilla Garden

Penelope bends over to plant a succulent in the planter.

Tending the Guerilla Garden

Nearby SRO residents stand around the planter while Queitearth packs dirt around a freshly planted shrub.

Penelope in the Guerilla Garden

Penelope scoops dirt around a plant she just placed in the planter.

The Guerilla Gardeners

The Downtown Guerilla Gardeners stand proudly on the rim of their planter.

Click here to see more photos from my Downtown Guerilla Gardening gallery.

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 -

Moving tomorrow and Tiger on a Dual G5

Tomorrow we move in to our new loft on Gallery Row in Downtown Los Angeles. I am almost all done packing, probably 2 more boxes to pack. In the morning we are picking up a rental truck near my storage unit, which contains my dishes, assorted cookware and utensils. Then on to Penelope's house to pick up her stuff, then on to my house to pick up my stuff, then on to my office to pick up some boxes of books and my speakers then to Downtown.

Today I got a new system at work... Dualy 1.8Ghz G5 with 2gb ram and 80gb + 250gb drives. Finally Tiger actually works well. On my laptop which is a 1Gz powerbook (2nd or 3rd gen I think... it is Titanium) Tiger crawls and tends to keep the processor fan running. I think there may be a problem with the Laptop apart from the burnt out screen that luckily is still covered by the Extended Apple Care Warranty. Spotlight is much more responsive as are all my applications.

I transfered over my existing setup from my laptop and everything worked flawlessly including all my apps and all my settings... what a time saver. I wish Apple would come out with a G5 powerbook so I could carry my Tiger around with me.

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005 -

Los Angeles Historical Cultural Monuments Google Map

So I've been playing more with google maps API and have created a page that lists all the Historical Cultural Monuments in Downtown Los Angeles and a few surrounding neighborhoods. This phase is pretty buggy and due to the raw addresses from the HCM database being nonstandard, some of the addresses are ranges. I will have to hack my code up a bit to fix the range listings... also the geocoder I am using doesn't have every address in it, so it is not very precise. The geocoding is still going so not all 600 of the locations are on the map yet, but there are still many points so be careful it may tax your system to view this page. Next I just have to integrate photos and descriptions! [If you have a slow computer try this search for "broadway"]

People seem to be enjoying what I have started here. Tonight I hope to work on some custom icons and the xml-rpc.

Thursday, July 14th, 2005 -

SRL Invades Los Angeles

Last week on April Fools I read a post on BoingBoing that stated the famed Survival Research Labs of the Bay Area would be in full force with their killer robots on Saturday. Hoping that it wasn't just an April Fools joke, I hurriedly finished removing the rear differential from my 86 Bronco and raced back from the desert to watch some good ol' fashioned robot induced destruction.

Penelope and I showed up about half an hour into the show and couldn't get a good look at at the action due to the crowd that had formed. After trying to shoot photos over the crowd we went back to my car and grabbed out ear protection and then went to the other side. We watched the action for a few moments until it was over and then waited at the front of the riot gates. One of the crew members in an orange suit looked at my camera and said that security wasn't watching so I might as well go take some pictures. That was my cue so I walked in and took a bunch of close-ups of the machines. My favorite photos was of an LAFD fireman wearing 3d glasses and watching the show on a PowerBook.

euthanized robot As we walked around and took photos, one of the robots came back to life to the delight of the SRL crew. They quickly opened the robot's body and euthanized it. It was pretty funny to watch.

Next time SRL shows up I will know to come early and bring a ladder!

Monday, April 4th, 2005 -

Old Books...

I am currently buying old books on ebay that (mostly) are in the public domain. These books are about Los Angeles. Thisshould be interesting. They come with maps... the mashup possibilities get ever cooler!

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005 -

LA Downtown News : Best Downtown Blog Nomination

My website has been nominated for the Best Downtown Blog by the Los Angeles Downtown News. Unfortunately, today is the last day to vote, and the Downtown News forgot to inform me or any of the other bloggers who were nominated that we were contenders. Although I am a Downtown blogger, my blog most certainly isn't the best in Downtown LA, as I don't cover Downtown nearly as much as Eric, Don and Ed. My prediction is that blogdowntown will win, but it remains to be seen who takes the prize. Here are all the nominated blogs as they appear on the ballot:

And here is a link to where you can vote.

Thursday, May 31st, 2007 -

Frying Fish Bloken Conveyler

Penelope and I went to Frying Fish today to have some rotating mechanized sushi, but the conveyor was broken, oh my! No big deal though, the sushi was still great although we did have to order it all from the chef instead of just picking various items off of the conveyor.

Saturday, November 26th, 2005 -

LA Marathon <del>N</del>IMBY

My wife is a runner, but I am not. She ran cross country (not literally) in High School and went to college on a track scholarship. She has been quite busy as of late with nursing school and work and hasn't had much of a chance to get out and run as she would like. She has yet to run a marathon, but I know that is one of her unspoken goals in life.

This Sunday the LA Marathon is taking place, and due to a change in routes to allow easier access to churches for churchgoers, it is going right though my back yard. I am pretty excited that I will be able to perch atop my roof and take photos of the runners on their home stretch. Look forward to some photos of the Marathon posted up here sometime soon.

Monday, February 26th, 2007 -

Downtown Los Angeles Filming Maps

april through june filming in downtown

Several months ago a progression of disturbing Downtown filming events culminated with a low flying helicopter buzzing our rooftops at midnight on a Sunday. Residents and business owners in Downtown voiced their opinions against the way they were being treated by film crews. In response the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC) formed and ad-hoc committee on filming issues. I have attended many of their meetings over the past months.

FilmLA gives us the notifications as Microsoft Word documents. There is an open source application that converts MS Word files into text called wvWare, which I had previously used for another project. I set up an special email address that I (or at some point FilmLA) can email the notifications to at which point qmail hands off the email to a php script that I wrote, which pulls out all the attachments, feeds them to wv and then parses the text wv produces. Currently I am able to parse about 90% of the notifications, but some of them are now being sent in PDF and RTF formats. In the near future I am going to enhance the parse to handle those formats as well.

After the raw data is parsed it is sent to a Ruby on Rails application that I wrote that uses YM4R to integrate with Google Maps. Using the Downtown Filming Maps application I wrote you can now search by date range and keyword to see what is going in, filming-wise, in Downtown. You can also subscribe your iCalendar compatible calendar application to see what is going on. The application is still in beta, and doesn't have 100% of the filming locations on it, nor does it show any parking or road closures from filming.

In the near future I plan to add:

  • More parsing ability
  • Different colored icons to designate upcoming, current and past productions
  • Ability to comment and upload photos for each production
  • Ability to get email notification when productions are scheduled within a user defined radius of an address

Check out the Downtown LA Filming Notification Map and tell me what you think. The screengrab above shows all the notifications in the system which goes back to the beginning of April. The map shows a week in the past and a week in the future by default.

Thursday, June 14th, 2007 -

My First Fixie

Ok so I really want a bike. I used have a mountain bike and I rode all the time in High School. I now live in the city and I don't think I need a mountain bike at all any more and I really want to build my own fixed gear street bike. I know there is some sort of bike workshop thing in LA, but I can't seem to find a link to info about it. Anybody have any suggestions on where to begin? Comment here or email bike [at] eecue [dot] com. =]

UpdateEric Richardson sent me an email and reminded me that I was looking for the Bicycle Kitchen. I also found thesegreatsites that have a wealth of info about fixed gear bikes.

Update 2 Ok so I just got off the phone with Brian from Bicycle Kitchen and there is room in the wheel building class tomorrow and they even have rims and hubs I can buy for my fixed gear project bike... I just have to pick up 72 291mm spokes and I will be set to go! Oh yeah and I'll need to get a bike too, but finding and old junky 10 speed shouldn't be a problem. Cool.

Thursday, October 20th, 2005 -

Community Gardens and Why Downtown Needs One

Downtown needs more green space. We need more parks and we could really use a community garden.

Very few residents of downtown, if any, have yards. In our loft we have a dog run on the roof, but no place to grow fruits, vegetables or herbs. Our loft faces north and thus we get zero direct sunlight. Growing edible plants with natural light is thus impossible for us.

Most communities throughout Los Angeles have plots of land set aside for community gardening. Last Sunday, my lovely wife Penelope and I were on the West Side and stopped to watch the sunset at the lovely Ocean View Farms community garden.

I couldn't help to think that Downtown Los Angeles desperately needs something like Ocean View Farms. I don't see it coming to us any time soon, as we also need parks, but I can wish, right?

For now we'll just have to be happy with our guerilla garden!

Sunset From Ocean View Farms

The sun sets into the sea in the background of this photo of the Ocean View Farms community garden.

Penelope and Sunset From Ocean View Farm

Penelope watches the sunset outside of the Ocean View Farms community garden near Santa Monica.

Click here to see more photos of the Ocean View Farms community garden.

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 -

Los Angeles From an Auto part 4

This edition in the series of scans from the 1906 electric coach tour guide entitled Los Angeles From an "Auto" takes us deeper into the Old Chinese Quarter and then to the original heart of the city, when it was just a tiny Spanish pueblo. This portion of the book is less of an advertisement for the hotels of Downtown and more of a glimpse into the unique history of the City of Angels. In case you missed them, the first three sections can be found here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Check out the google map which shows the locations of the buildings shown in the guide along with a few (soon to me many) photos of the buildings as they exist today. The engravings from this section will be posted soon thanks to the historical address finding wizardry of Eric Richardson, who has already helped find several of the addresses for the map.

UPDATE The story has been boingboinged[oops they said 1909 instead of 1906] fixed... thanks Cory!

Looks like it has also been picked up on and gridskipper

Monday, July 25th, 2005 -

The Edison in Downtown Los Angeles

A few weeks ago at the CPAB meeting I met one of the managers of The Edison. I asked him if I could come down during their off-hours and take some HDR photos. He agreed and here is the result:

Generator and pressure tank

Pressure Tank

Edison Furnace

The building that The Edison is in was the first building in Los Angeles with electricity. The power came from a very large oil furnace that is now a room in the lounge. As you can see from the photos above, the generators are still in the basement, although obviously they are no longer in operation.

You can see some more photos on and in the Edison Bar photo gallery here on

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007 -

WIRED Nextfest Photo Preview

I am covering the WIRED Nextfest for Here are some of the photos they aren't using on their site:

Brainball: Jay Lauf vs. Buzz Aldring

Human-Carrying Biped Waling Bot

Buzz Aldrin announing Google XPrize

Humankind: Albert Einstein

Power-Aware Cord


Tomotaka Takahashi and his Robots

Keepon Robots

Here are the Nextfest stories that are using my photos: Buzz Aldrin Beats WIRED Mag Publisher at BrainBall Buzz Aldrin Hearts NextFest, X Prize Lunar Rover Makes Appearance at NextFest Larry Page: Science Has a Serious Marketing Problem Lunar Legacy Program: Send Your Photos to the Moon SpaceX Will Sell Launch Vehicles at Cost to Lunar X-Prize Competitors

More of my photos can be found in my gallery.

Friday, September 14th, 2007 -

July Downtown Art Walk

I wrote a story about the Downtown Art Walk and posted it here on LAist. Here are the photos from the story.

Eric Richardson posted about the walk as well... he had some nice things to say about my photography (thanks) and I kept showing up at different galleries where Eric had just left. A few people whom I met on the art walk have been reading the LA From an "Auto" [part 1 : part 2] series I have been posting and Bert Green was forwarded a photo of the Edison Buliding by Eric, which he said he has always wanted to buy, but didn't know anything about the actual building, not that the photo gave much information.

Friday, July 15th, 2005 -

Fire on 4th and Broadway

Raging Fire

I was awoken this morning, not by my alarm clock, but by the building's fire alarm. We smelled smoke quite strongly, so after getting dressed feeling if my door was warm, I walked out into the hall and looked out the side window. I could see a massive plume of smoke several blocks down towards the Civic Center. Penelope and I walked downstairs and made our way outside, where we met up with our neighbor Shannon.

We arrived on scene at about 5:00am and the fire was raging up out of the roof of a two story building on the North East corner of 4th and Broadway. I started shooting photos and didn't stop until about 8:00am. The fire is mostly smoke now, and the 10 ladder trucks, 10 pump trucks and what must have been nearly 100 brave firefighters. At one point all 10 of the ladder trucks were spraying into the blaze, 800 gallons per minute each, that's a veritable tidal wave of water.

The building was tightly packed with junk, which means plenty of fuel and the fire just kept on going. Finally at about 7:30 the smoke turned white and started to dissipate. I am guessing that the fire should be out any time now.

Both Penelope and Eric Richardson totally scooped me on it, but I took 183 photos and I'm pulling them off the CF card now. Stand by for photos.

Update The photos are uploading, so far 5 are up out of the 33 that I'm posting all uploaded. You can check out the Major Fire on 4th and Broadway gallery here.

A few more photos after the fold.

Update 2 Eric Richardson got some photos, including this one of me taking a photo.

Monday, February 5th, 2007 -

Downtown Art Ride

I registered a domain and built a quick website for the Downtown Art Ride. I will be adding more info soon along with a great map that Eric Richardson created at his new job.

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006 -

Rude Film Production Crew

I pay a fairly hefty sum of money for parking on a monthly basis as my loft doesn't provide spaces for residents. Today as I was leaving my over-priced parking lot I noticed that the gate I normally exit onto 6th street from was being manned by a security guard for a production company. This production company has taken over most of the ground level parking lot for what appear to be food tents for the actors / extras.

As I pulled up to the gate to leave, I asked the guard if he could open the gate for me, which he told me he couldn't and to turn around and go out on to Main St., which would add about 4 blocks on to my commute as I would be forced to navigate around 4 one-way streets to get back on to 6th. I told him that I pay a good deal of money for parking at the lot and that it would be nice if he could let me out. He said he didn't give a damn how much I paid and if I wanted to get out I could open the gate my damn self. As I was opening the gate he called me an asshole and muttered something under his breath which sounded like a threat.

This is another example of how Downtown residents are treated as second class citizens by the movie industry. They should realize that they are guests in our neighborhood and treat us respectfully. Of course there were no filming notifications posted up in our parking garage, so I have no one to contact to report this incident to.

Update Oops, I accidentally left commenting turned off, but beopenguin emailed me to let me know the number for FilmLA which I called, and I also emailed them at &#105;&#x6e;&#102;&#111;&#64;&#102;&#105;&#108;&#x6d;&#x6c;&#97;&#x69;&#110;&#99;&#x2e;&#99;&#111;&#x6d;. I know that I am not the only Downtown resident how has had issues with film crews in my neighborhood. It is time that the industry started respecting the residents of their city.

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007 -

Shaolin Monks Next Week

Ok I just got an email from the Grand Performances group that puts on free concerts at the California Plaza... and next Thursday starting at 8pm the Shaolin Monks will be demonstrating kung-fu techniques! The info is not on their website, but here is the pertinent info from the email:

Thursday, July 21st, 2005 -


Yesterday Penelope and I went to the gym and instead of using one of the various machines to get our cardio workout, we decided to try Racquetball. We borrowed some racquets and a couple of balls and hit the court. When we were locked into the court we realized that we had no idea how to play the game we had decided to play, so we just hit the ball against the walls and tried to rally as much as we could. It turned out to be great fun and we decided to get ourselves some racquets and figure out the rules. When I got home I found a page with the basic rules of the game which made sense once I read them a few times. The next step was to look on craigslist for some racquets, of which I found 2 for $20 and I just got back from picking them up. They are in great condition, are nice racquets and I am looking forward to playing a game with Penelope tomorrow.

Saturday, November 26th, 2005 -

Long Exposure Downtown View

downtown los angeles at night from the window of our loftThe view from our loft constantly inspires me to take long exposure photos at night. A few days ago after Soundwavez, I clicked my camera onto its tripod and grabbed my remote and shot a few exposures ranging from a few seconds to about a minute. I also shot the first photo that I have taken of the inside of our loft. I love my EOS 20D! I just need some more lenses... right now I have the Canon EF-S 17-85 and the Canon 100mm USM Macro. I want to buy a TS-E and maybe a 300mm telephoto.

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005 -

LAFD Twitter == Awesome

UPDATE: 545 W 127th St Unknown liquid leak from cargo container in vacant lot; @ 50 gallons on ground; NFD - Brian Humphrey###

LA Fire Department (LAFD) via TwitterMail at 21:11

Hazardous Material Investigation 545 W 127th St; TG 734-B1; FS 64, No injury; No evacuation; No further details; Ch:7,13 @8:39 PM -Bri ...

You can read more on the LAFD Twitter Page. My SAR Team also has a Cave Rescue Twitter Page as does the San Bernardino SAR team.

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 - Read more... geek meet

So last night Penelope and I walked the whole 3 blocks to the Golden Gopher to meet some blogging people from the interweb. We missed the free sushi, which was proven to exist here, but we were there in time for a few stiff drinks. We met and photographed Sean Bonner, Mack Reed, Uccellina and her husband and the losanjealous crew. Uccellina's husband whose name currently escapes me just got a job in the animation department at Disney (in the magicians hat). Penelope and Uccellina talked the whole time about weddings, but I'm pretty sure she didn't feign interest!

Tuesday, July 12th, 2005 -

blogdowntown Historical Fun

I totally failed to mention that I am now writing for blogdowntown. This is in addition to writing for I am going to continue posting content relevant to LA on and I am going to be posting Downtown history related tidbits to blogdowntown. I will also be linking to my posts on those to blogs from here and if the content is relevant to multiple outlets I will post unique versions of the content on each site.

My first post on blogdowntown was of a spoon that I bought on ebay. I posed a few questions to the readers and they were answered quickly. I am planning on doing a series where I scan historical public domain photos of Downtown from my collection of old books and post them along with a modern version of the photo's subject. I am now going to try find a way to take a photo down 3rd street from Bunker Hill, if that is even possible.

Thursday, May 31st, 2007 -

Help Fight Women's Cancer

My lovely fiance, Penelope is taking part in the Revlon Run/Walk For Women this weekend and she needs your help in the form of sponsorship. She is trying to raise $1,000 for the cause and is walking in honor of my mother, a cancer survivor for 3 years now. Help her out by clicking here and donating. Here is what she is doing in her own words:

I decided last minute to dive into a neighborhood Revlon Walk/Run taking place next Saturday, May 13. Being a runner (although I will be walking this one) and a family member of a cancer survivor, motivated me to participate in this event and raise funds for research, patient/family support, and education of women’s cancers. I consider this my way of collectively raising awareness amongst family/closest friends/co-workers while supporting a notable cause.

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006 -

Rickey The Pirate Housewarming Party

Last night Penelope and I attended Downtown LA icon Rickey The Pirate's housewarming party at The Exchange. After 30 years living on the street Rickey finally has a place to hang his (pirate) hat. Rickey had a blast and received tons of gifts to help furnish his new apartment at the Rainbow.

Penelope and I brought him various food items and a first aid kit. Penelope also gave him a beautiful handmade card she put together with her card making kit. Here are a couple photos from the event:

Ricky the Pirate Gets His Portrait Drawn

Ricky the Pirate Gets His Portrait Drawn

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 -

Triforium Control Center

Eric Richardson and I have been trying for over a year to get in to the Triforium Control Center in the Los Angeles Underground Mall. Today Eric got us a tour thanks to help from Councilmember Jan Perry and Greg Fischer, who were both instrumental in the re-lighting of the divisive public work of art originally lit 1975.

Even now the Triforium has been drawing praise and scorn, most recently from the City Attorney's office which has been claiming that the music is disturbing them and has requested it only play from 11am to 1pm, which completely defeats the purpose of having the lights on, as you can hardly see them during the day. Although many art critics despise the sculpture I find it strangely charming and the primitive computer control system intrigues me.

When we looked through the control center today we found an old Teletype machine that was used to read and write punch tape which held the program the Triforium's computer used to synchronize with music. Our goal is to take those tapes, capture them and use them as a basis for the new computer control, which will most likely be a BASIC stamp or a PIC microcontroller. Once that works the next step, would ideally be to have some type of web interface to the system.

I brought my portable studio lighting setup along for the tour and took some photos, of which here is a sampling:

Triforium Control Circuitry and Punch Tapes

Teletype and Punch Tapes

You can flip through the whole Triforium Control Center gallery here.

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006 -

Donate and Fight Women's Cancers

A few weeks ago I ran in the Revlon Run / Walk for Women, a 5K that raises money to fight women's cancers. I was originally planning on walking, but I decided to run instead. My final time as 34:54 and I came in 2,359th place out of about 65,000 people. I ran in honor of my beautiful, wonderful, strong mother who is a 5+ year cancer survivor.

There is still time to sponsor me, so far I've raised $220, but I would like to raise $2,000. You can click here to sponsor me. Thanks!

pink fuzz flower

Thursday, May 29th, 2008 -


In the last few days there have been extremely loud, earth shaking explosions that have rattled our lofts at early hours in the morning. At first I though it was something real blowing up, but I waited for the sounds of fire engines and police cars racing to the scene of the crime, yet there was no sign of an emergency response. Penelope and I have surmised that the sounds we were feeling and hearing were part of a Hollywood production being shot somewhere near our loft. Hopefully they will wrap soon!

Sunday, July 3rd, 2005 -

Windows Local Live

So I am normally not a big fan of anything Microsoft, but the new Bird's Eye View in the Windows Local Live app is pretty cool. I did have to view it in Firefox as it doesn't work in Safari (big surprise) but the view of my building is pretty cool... there is even some kind of movie production going on in the parking lot next door. [Thanks for the tip Eric]

Thursday, December 8th, 2005 -

Dial #399 for roadside assistance...

As it turns out, maintaining roadside phones for stranded motorists isn't very cost effective, especially when 90% of drivers carry cell phones with them. Starting July 1st, Metro and the Los Angeles County Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies (LA SAFE) will begin a non-emergency road side assistance cell phone number (#399) for LA County highways. If you already have AAA the operator will forward you there and if not you will receive assistance from the Metro Freeway Service Patrol.

Monday, June 27th, 2005 -

After Midnight Ride

Last night I went to Club Respect, but for some reason I also brought my bike and as soon as I got there I really just wanted to ride it home and see Penelope so I hopped on and rode the 6 miles home. Here is the route I took. It had some good uphill but nothing to serious. Fun Stuff

Friday, October 28th, 2005 -

And the Rain Falls

Our vast arid-wasteland-cum-metropolis has been parched past the point of desiccation after our lowest annual rainfall on record this year. Finally our city is breathing a collective, rain-drenched, sigh of relief. The rain is falling right now, the streets are wet and glimmering, if I was outside my nostrils would be filled with the smell of soaked pavement. The thing I miss most about growing up in the Bay Area is the rain... the rain that fell more often than it does here in the desert that Mulholland converted.

Hopefully this next year will be a wet one, like it was in 2005. That was the year the Mojave was carpeted with wildflowers, many of which hadn't bloomed in centuries.

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007 -


Boy am I tired from a long day of training... but hey that won't stop me from going to Create:Fixate for a couple hours and taking some photos!

UPDATE Create:Fixate was packed with hipster art folks, beautiful photography and strong drinks. I will upload the photos tomorrow and post a review consisting of more than 100 words, but it won't be on here... look out for it on LAist and some more of LA From an Auto on I have more training tomorrow, and more training next weekend, then DEFCON, then 2 more weekends of training, but after that I will be eligible to be Technical Rescue instructor for SAR, I haven't really ever taught before, but I think I will enjoy it. G'night!

Saturday, July 16th, 2005 -

Random Street Choir

When I came back from my training in San Bernardino this weekend I was turning left on to 5th street off of Los Angeles and I heard singing, a very loud and beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace echoed off the buildings and to my surprise was emanating from a group of about 40 people who, to me looked like Quakers or Amish folks . They were dressed all in black suits except for their white shirts and they were wearing wide, straight brimmed black hats. It was very surreal and not something I am used to seeing on the street here in Downtown.

Monday, July 25th, 2005 -

Downtown Art Ride - The Opening Tour

I've decided to do something a little bit different with the Downtown Art Ride route this month. Being that we never make it to all the galleries, and that the route hasn't really changed much in the last few months, we will only be visiting galleries that are having openings that coincide with the Art Walk / Ride. There happens to be 9 galleries that are having openings, so that gives us a little over 20 minutes at each gallery. Here is a google map of the galleries we will be visiting which include: Art Murmur, LACDA, Regent Gallery, DLANC Outreach Center, Crewest, M.J. Higgins, Gary Leonard studio, 626 Gallery, Infusion. We'll see you today at 5pm at Art Murmur, bring your bike, a light, a lock and a helmet.

Thursday, June 14th, 2007 -

What a day!

Yesterday my superstar, amazing, wonderful fiance and I moved. We woke up at 6AM and drove to my storage unit in Redlands where we rented a truck and emptied my storage unit. Then we went to Penelope's house and loaded up her boxes and furniture and then to my house where we did the same. The 14' U-haul was totally filled up. We then drove to our new loft and moved in. Just the two of us! What a trooper Penelope is! I really love her. Boy am I tired.

Friday, May 27th, 2005 -

Fixed Gear Gallery and Questions

So I sent photos of my fixie to fixed gear gallery and they posted them up along with my write up. When I woke up this morning I had a couple of emails asking me questions:

On Oct 25, 2005, at 11:07 AM, Pax wrote:

i have the same frame, but dont know how to get the shift lever mounts off. any help? also, what ratio?

Ok let me see if I can remember how I did this.

  1. unscrew the levers.
  2. I think I pried up the little plastic ring with my finger nail and then just turned it. One side is fixed and one side is like a nut.
  3. After you remove one side the other will just come out after you jiggle it a little.


  • Chainring: 42 teeth
  • Cog: 14 teeth
  • 78.8 gear inches

On Oct 25, 2005, at 10:46 AM, Claes Axang wrote:

I saw you bike at (very nice by the way) and read that you had used a half link. I am currently building on a old reynold's 531 road frame with horizontal drop-outs so that shouldn't cause any problems but I have been thinking aboout converting my old kona kilauea mountainbike to my everyday fixie. The kona has more or less vertical dropouts so I have been told that the only way to go is the white industries ENO hub but I don't feel that I want to spend that much money on a hub so maybe the half link solution could be the thing for me. How do you construct a half link and if you would have time some day could you send me a picture of what it looks like? Any help would much appreciated.

The thing about the half link is that it may or may not work. You really have to try to know, you might not even need a half link depending on your bike's geometry. The half link just allows you to shorten the chain by half a link. It looks like a short link in a chain, but instead of a pin it has a screw and a flat square nut. It cost me $10 from the bicycle kitchen, I'm sure you could find one online. Sheldon Brown has a shot of a half link here on is great website.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 -

Bang bang bang

Last night Penelope and I were awakened by the sounds of the first gun shots we've heard in our neighborhood (we shoot my guns all the time just not outside of a shooting range in the city). Right down on the street in front of our house where the dealers and users hang out all day and night, we heard about 10 shots in rapid succession. It didn't sound fast enough to have been an automatic weapon, more likely it was a semiautomatic pistol somewhere around 9mm. A few seconds later we heard it again a few blocks down the street so it was probably fired from a car. I didn't even bother to get out of bed and look but Penelope said she saw a bunch of people huddled around somebody on the ground and a few minutes later the police showed up along with an ambulance. We're on the top floor of the 7 story building so it would take some horrifically bad aim to hit our loft accidentally, but I'm curious to see if any of the rounds hit the lower floors.


I just used the trusty 311 service to talk to my local police department (central) and they informed me that the two incidents are under investigation and the person who was shot was not killed and is doing ok.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2005 -


I did some research about how to best train for fixed gear riding and I found this great page giving some exercises that you can do to strengthen you legs for the rigors of coaster-less travel. I also researched spinning and found out that spinning bikes are fixed gear stationary cycles so they are perfect for fixie training. So today at gym, Penelope and I spun for 20 minutes doing the Arc Drills, it was a good workout and afterwards I did my resistance training which is always fun. Working out really makes my days better.

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005 -

Horse Trail Jog

Penelope and I just got back from another jog, this time we drove up good ol' Glendale Blvd (the 2) to Griffith Park and jogged along the horse trail. We thought this would be a nice scenic run, which it was, but the scenery involved was the freeway, a trash dump and a golf course. The terrain was sandy dirt which is probably great for horses, but it wasn't the best running surface. I think in the future we will run in Downtown and Echo Park and if we go back to Griffith we will start our jog at the north end of the park.

Penelope and I are going to finish up the Weekly Communal Jog in Downtown flyer tonight so keep an eye out for it around town.

Tuesday, July 12th, 2005 -

Homeless Ingenuity

One of the more resourceful homeless fellows who frequents my block has come up with quite the ingenious money making system. When a car arrives to park at a meter he offers another plan... give him what change you have and he will trick the meter into thinking you paid. He will even hang out for more than an hour (he always hangs out anyway) and keep "feeding" the meter. The trick is he doesn't put money into the slot, but instead uses a bent paperclip to trick the meter and give you time. Pure genius I tell you.

Monday, June 13th, 2005 -

Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs Anti-Spyware and Spam Bounty Bills

The govinator has signed into law several tech related bills that are great moves in the fight against spam and spyware. First of all is the law that bans the installation of spyware on computers and secondly the law that makes the senders of spam liable for $1000 per email sent that doesn't include the email address and contact info of the sender.

Who wants to join with me and become spam bounty hunters?

(Via topix los angeles.)

Friday, October 1st, 2004 -

Go Lakers!

The Library Tower (AKA the US Bank building) is showing its Lakers pride with a custom lighting job on their crown. I'm sure you know that the Lakers won tonight's game. Go Lakers!

Go Lakers

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008 -

Chinese Food Festival

Today after going for a run in Griffith Park and visiting out favorite baby sifaka at the LA Zoo, Penelope and I met up with Jim and Shannon at Union Station and then walked over to New Chinatown to partake in some serious Chinese food sampling, with some soul food and Seoul food thrown in for good measure. Jim took some photos of the festival which can be found in his flickr pool. I am uploading the photos I took now, but it is going a bit slow as I am just borrowing my neighbors internet connection, thanks neighbor! My photos for the most part can be found here.

Sunday, August 28th, 2005 -

Solo Workout

I'm probably going to sound a bit codependent here, but today was my first solo workout at the gym. For the past month or so I've been working out at least 3 times a week with Penelope, mostly at the Ketchum YMCA gym that we belong to, but today Penelope had to go visit her mom and then go to work so she didn't have time to work out with me. It was still a good workout, but I admit I do enjoy her company when I am at the gym and I missed her today. At the Y today they are re-flooring the weight room so all the super cool computer connected resistance machines were not accessible so I used the machines that are in the Curves style circuit training machines that normally have the annoying woman's voice that prompts you to "MOVE TO THE NEXT STATION," which, thankfully, was not turned on today. I am especially proud of myself because each time I workout I have been adding 5 minutes on to my cardio training on the LifeFitness Arctrainer in Hill Interval mode and today I did 55 minutes on it. Anyway time to jump in the shower and then get back to my weekend programming project which is the next iteration of my open source project slacker that I have completely rewritten to be object oriented and which I have renamed Dynamony.

Saturday, September 24th, 2005 -

The Producers

Penelope and I watched The Producers tonight, which today was nominated for 4 golden globe awards and was hilarious. Here is the review I wrote.

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005 -

Downtown ArtRide

A couple of days ago I decided that I really wanted to actually make it to all the galleries on the Downtown Art Walk, but since I only had a limited amount of time that I can spend traipsing about I decided to make the rounds by bike. I posted up about this on and Eric Richardson showed interest in the whole idea and decided to come with me. During the day Thursday I was very busy, but luckily Eric had time to plan a route and print out some maps. Using his route I was able to hit every single gallery on the Art Walk and take pictures in those that allowed it (which was almost everywhere). The only 2 spots I didn't hit were MOCA on Grand and the LAPL. I have set up a mailing list for the ArtRide, which I will be doing every month with the Art Walk. If you are interested you can sign up to the list here.

Friday, November 11th, 2005 -

Coachella 2005

This year I did some programming for Golden Voice for their Coachella event. I programmed a dynamic scheduler, called the Coachooser, that enabled concertgoers to customize their schedule based on artists they wanted to see. About 10,000 people used it in total in the 3 days before the concert that it was up. I also attended the concert for a couple of hours on Saturday and I photographed Fantomas.

Fantomas is a kick ass band, lead by Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle) with Buzz Osborne on guitar (Melvins), Trevor Dunn on bass (Mr. Bungle) and Dave Lombardo on drums (Slayer). There was nobody in the photo pit (maybe because some crappy band called Coldplay was on the main stage), so I was able to take some great photos... Ice Cream Man featured my crowd shot.

Monday, May 9th, 2005 -

A Lovely Day in Downtown LA

Today Penelope and I walked up the hill a few blocks to check out the Basquiat exhibit at MOCA. The collection is vast and supposedly the largest ever in one place. We very much enjoyed the vivid and tumultuous paintings of the young deceased artist, our favorites of the bunch being Grillo, Now's the Time (a Charlie Parker record) and the various Gray's anatomy inspired paintings, which were obviously inspired by the thick anatomy tome (even though that bit of information was unknown to us).

This continues after the fold...

Sunday, August 7th, 2005 -

What is homelessness?

Downtown Central City East Blogger asks the following questions:

What is homelessness? Why are people homeless? And how is it, that this city is the homeless capital of the world?

To which I responded:

Homelessness is the state of living in which you have no home to hang your hat in. People are homeless for a myriad of reasons ranging from extreme poverty to drug addiction to mental problems. Urban sprawl over a hundred miles of coastline has concentrated the homeless problem into a very small area where they are tolerated. Greater Los Angeles is a huge population center in a state where mental care funding was cut under then governor reagan. Drug addiction is treated only as a crime and not as a disease and thus the war on drugs has created self-imposed internment camps for the hardcore addicts.

Obviously not every homeless person requires the same kind of help. Some need mental health care / medication and counseling, others need drug counseling and rehabilitation, many just need help finding work and affordable housing.

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005 -

Vincent Thomas Bridge Lighting

vincent thomas bridgeI attended the lighting of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro. I arrived just after the fireworks. I took a group of photos, but my tripod was complete crap and didn't stabilize the camera enough. Oh well, next time I will use a better tripod. Part of the problem stemmed from the fact that my camera doesn't have a tripod attachment point, so I was using my underwater case. I think that may have added to the blurriness but mainly it was the crappy aluminum tripod that I was using. I will either have to invest in a better tripod or use my mom's.

Tuesday, February 1st, 2005 -

The Producers

I was wasting some time watching trailers over on the apple trailer site and the remake of Mel Brooks The Producers looks hilarious and brilliant, starring Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Therman and Will Ferrel. Ferrel plays the crazy Hitler loving playwright who pens the centerpiece of the movie, a play called Springtime for Hitler. I can't wait for this one to come out.

Another movie that looks pretty good, and also starring Will Ferrel (or his voice anyway) is Curious George, which involves everybody's favorite monkey and a huge dose of curiosity induced hijinx.

Saturday, October 29th, 2005 -

Chinese Food Festival

This Sunday is the Chinese Food Festival in Chinatown. I have never been to this particular festival, but both Penelope and I love food and we're going to jump on the train this Sunday and go check it out. The festival is normally $10, but if you take public transportation you get $2 off of the admission price. We're meeting up with jim and sha who are also planning on heading down.

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005 -

When I moved back to LA after living in OC for a year I hit up two of the local LA group blogs and asked if they needed or wanted any writers. Sean from was the first to get back to me and let me know that the site was currently maxed out as far as writers went and to get back to him later to see if anything opened up. A few weeks later Jason Toney emailed me and let me know that there was room on LAist for writers and so I wrote a handful of articles for them. A few weeks ago I checked back with Sean and he informed me that a couple of spots had opened up on, and as that was the group blog I had originally wanted to write for I retired from LAist and moved on over to So after finally getting my bio together I am now writing for My first post about the Chinese Food Festival is here.

Sunday, August 28th, 2005 -

Security Building Lofts

I read this piece over on Curbed LA about how Urban Pacific Builders is lagging on the completion of the Security Building Lofts, and I wanted to comment on the post, but alas there is no place to leave comments on Curbed LA and no link to email the author / editor. So here is what I was going to post on their site: I will say one thing for the Security Building Lofts, after they removed the wooden piss soaked sidewalk protection, turned on the street lights and posted security guards around the building the obvious crime on the corner has really decreased, and it doesn't reek of urine anymore.

UPDATE: I sent an email to their general account: &#x6c;&#x61;&#x40;&#99;&#x75;&#114;&#x62;&#x65;&#100;&#46;&#x63;&#111;&#x6d;.

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005 -

DLANC CERT Training Session 1 of 3 : This Saturday: September 8th!

The time has come for the first of the three Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council's (DLANC) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training sessions! The training will begin this Saturday, September 8th, starting at 8:30am and running to 4:30pm at the Los Angeles Theatre, located at 615 S Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles. DLANC is sponsoring the training and is providing delicious lunches from the Corner Bakery.

There is no charge for the training or the meals, the only thing you need to bring is your thinking cap and note-taking supplies.

Please be sure to RSVP to [email protected] with your full name and phone number if you are planning on coming.

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 -

Congratulations Penelope!

I forgot to mention it, but my lovely and radiantly beautiful fiance Penelope just got a new job at an upscale fine dining establishment on the top floor of a skyscraper in Downtown LA. She has worked for the same restaurant for 6 years and although she is very sad to go, it just didn't make sense for her to commute to Long Beach every day. Her new job pays almost triple what her old one did and her coworkers are much closer to her age if not older, the opposite of what they were at the old job. She doesn't plan to work at a restaurant forever, she has a degree in public health education, and has been accepted to nursing school which she will attend in about a year. Good job baby!

Monday, October 24th, 2005 -

Dave Bullock, Comic Book Artist

I am looking to get in touch with the other Dave Bullock. He is a well known comic book artist. I am interested in a collaborative art project with him. If you know Dave Bullock, the comic book artist, please send him my way and have him email me. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007 -

Great American Boycott 2007 Photos

Protesters and Placards

Protest Crowd


I just got back from the Great American Boycott of 2007, an immigrant rights protest in Downtown Los Angeles. The turnout wasn't as strong as La Gran Marcha last year but I estimate between 100,000 and 250,000 people are currently walking down Broadway. I just got word that they have just reached City Hall and when I left 6th and Broadway they were still coming down all the way back to Olympic.

I am currently uploading photos, please stand by. Protesters

Update According to the LA Times my numbers are way off, they say it was in the tens of thousands.

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007 -

No Organic Express for Me!

I am sad because after reading about Organic Express on this cool and environmentally conscious LA blog, I rushed over to the Organic Express website and tried to sign up, but lo and behold they don't deliver to my area.

UPDATE: So I heard back from a Organic Express rep and they totally copped out saying they only deliver to residential neighborhoods and we all know that nobody lives downtown:

Monday, September 26th, 2005 -

All Hail July

A friend of mine who lives in the mountains near Big Bear just had hail the size of marbles. He said his neighbor's windows were broken. Crazy weather for July, but this year, almost the wettest on record ever, has been generally strange when it comes to the weather department. I especially enjoyed the wildflowers in the desert that was more like a paradise after the torrential rain that fell this year.

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005 -

Big ups and respect to Eric Richardson

I want to thank Eric Richardson for taking the time to research the locations from my LA From an Auto scans that I don't know the addresses of. Eric has access to the ProQuest database and has been really helpful in finding where business used to be located a hundred years ago. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005 -

Pave the Earth, starting with Griffith Park

As anyone who lives in Los Angeles knows, trees are terrible awful things that we as a city have the G-d given right duty to cut down, smash up, tear out and burn down. And if I may say so, it is about fucking time that our city hall has taken the great initiative to reduce the horrid oxygen producing scourge that are trees which have scarred the great park of Griffith for so many years. Not only has the park experience been lessened over the years by the unchecked breeding of these rooted vermin, but a dearth of pavement has prevented both the young and old from feeling the great comfort only tarmac can bring to the human stride...

Read the rest here on

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005 -

Downtown Art Walk Today

Jim just reminded me through his blog that today is the Art Walk. I am working from home today so I get to go check it out! Photo time! Also after the walk is the LAVoice party. Fun times.

Thursday, September 8th, 2005 -

Okonomiyaki here I come!!!

When I was in Japan several years ago I made it a point to try many different types of Japanese food and one of them I haven't had since I was there is Okonomiyaki. Oko is a sort of like a savory crepe but thick with the filling infused into the pancake. As you can see here it starts off as a bowl of raw eggs, oil, noodles, flour and veggies with meat, seafood or tofu and it ends up being a giant delicious pancake that you can then cover with japanese mayo, unagi sauce and bonito... mmmm bonito. The fun part about it is that you get to cook it yourself on the table in front of you somewhat like shabu shabu. The whole reason I am writing about oko is this flickr photo and I found a place in greater LA (Torrance) called Tombo that serves the greasy delicious fare. Google led me to Epinions which had a review from 2001 so I gave the number a call and a nice lady answered and she told me yes, they did still serve okonomiyaki, just not on Mondays which is the day they are closed. Photos and review coming soon!

Monday, July 11th, 2005 -

Just what we need... more parking meters

 All the fan mail and positive feedback that meter maids receive on a daily basis obviously inspired the city of LA to install the new parking meters in front of my building on 6th street. I hope nobody tells the city about the wily homeless meter hackers who poke the no-armed bandits and cajole them to give you time without actually placing change into their slots. No wonder Joe's successor is one of the wealthiest people in the city [that is pure speculation on account of nearly every freaking parking lot in Downtown being owned by Joe's]

Monday, July 11th, 2005 -

Downtown Art Ride Today, Midnight Ridazz Tomorrow.

The Downtown Art Ride will be taking place today starting at 5:30 at the Downtown Art Gallery, which we will be leaving at 6:00. We will be checking out every gallery on the Art Walk except MOCA Grand and The Library. Here is a bit more information about the ride.

Tomorrow night is Midnight Ridazz and the theme is Camp Ridazz:

WE RIDE THIS FRIDAY THE 13TH. This isn't just any Friday night. It's the grand opening of Camp Ridazz! Never you mind about that rumored death curse, our counselors guarantee there have been no murder attempts or unexplained disappearances on the Midnight ride since the last Friday the 13th. So bundle up for a good time and head for the great outdoors.

Bring a few bucks for Pabst in the cabin.

Don't litter. No Rida left behind.

Meet at 9:30, Pioneer Chicken, Echo Park & Sunset.

IMPORTANT UPDATE I will not be able to lead the Art Ride today due to some last minute work related issues that I tried to get out of, but was unable to. Please don't let this stop you from riding around the Art Walk... I will be back leading the ride next month.

Thursday, January 12th, 2006 -

Help Heart Health with your Bike

I don't have a bike, although I used to mountain bike all the time and I would love to have a nice new mountain bike, but not as much as I want a street bike! Anyway there is a cool downtown 14.5 ride to benefit the American Heart Association on Sunday September 18th. If you're in Downtown LA and have a bike (eric) you should totally go check this out! You can register here by clicking on the button that says "I will be participating in the Bike ride to the Walk."

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005 -

Downtown Art Walk

If you are in the Downtown area tomorrow, make sure you get out on the street and check out the Art Walk... I missed it last month when we first moved in, but this time I'm going to go to every gallery I can, plus take photos and write about it. Thanks for the reminder Eric.

Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 -

Thousand Cranes / Senbazuru at the New Otani

Kaiseki from Thousand Cranes

Yesterday I took my mother out to lunch at Thousand Cranes on the garden terrace of the New Otani hotel in Little Tokyo. I had the Tenshin Sampler ($22.50)which was basically kaiseki, a large assortment of small dishes each with unique flavors and ingredients. The first course was three delicious dishes, the first was two cubes of deliciously slimy mountain yam with a vinegar chili sauce that reminded me of kimchi brine along with some small orange eggs that were larger than flying fish or smelt roe, but much smaller than salmon roe, but just as fishy tasting and some shredded raddish of some type, possible daikon. The second dish was an unagi and shittake savory custard that came in a covered dish and included a spoon for easier dish to mouth transport. The content of the third plate totally escapes my mind and I didn't take a photograph of it, but I remember enjoying it.

When the main course came, I could tell my mom was jealous that she ordered the City Sampler($19.95) which didn't come with a first course, but when her tray of dishes came she was very pleased with her selection. My main course consisted of 6 dishes, not including the steamed rice and sauces. Clockwise from the top, the first dish was some type of fibrous tuber in a sweet soy sauce with two pieces of gooey okra on the side. The second dish was several thick slices of salmon and yellow tail sashimi with both daikon and western radish, seaweed, shizo leaf, lemon, wassabi and soy sauce. The third dish was a steaming hot bowl of miso soup with the customary tofu, seaweed and green onions. The fourth dish was a small sampling of daikon, cucumber and carrot pickles that were firm and mildly acetic. The fifth dish was an unusual twist on the conventional shrimp tempura obtained by covering the battered shrimp with crunch rice spheres before frying, along with typically prepared yam and enoki mushroom tempura, the sauce for which was enhanced with the optionally added cone of daikon radish and garlic. The sixth and final dish of the main course was a sizable portion of perfectly broiled yellowtail garnished with a crisp slice of lotus root, daikon and lemon atop a bed of tender sea vegetables flavored with bits of bonito.

The service was great and the desert of mango ice cream and a sugar cone cookie complimented the complimentary hot green tea served after the meal. The food was wonderful and I look forward to going back soon.

After lunch we toured the garden which Penelope and I are considering as a wedding venue. My mom took advantage of the open wireless access point and checked her email and I helped her with a few things on her PowerBook and then we walked down the stairs to Weller Court where she went book shopping and then we parted ways, she headed to Marukai and I to do some programming. [Photos are here]

Saturday, January 7th, 2006 -


They're filming a movie across the street from my loft, I was watching the production drones scurrying about on the roof of the Hotel Alexandria. The yellow signs say Romco which to me sounds like a play on the infomercial master Ronco, but IMDB turns up nothing. I wonder what Celia's take is on all the action in her building, I'm sure it's nothing new to her.

I remember when I was younger, there used to be a crapload of raves at the Alexandria, and I also recall speaking to my Aunt at one point, mentioning I was heading to a rave in downtown at the Alex, and she told me about when she was young they used to party there in the splendidly decorated ballrooms which are now used solely as music video and movie backdrops.

Friday, July 15th, 2005 -

Organic to Go

Every time I walk to the gym (every other day) I have been tempted to stop by the new healthy sandwich bar called Organic to Go which I think is on the ground floor of the Library Tower. I didn't realize it was a chain from Seattle. Here is a quote from the press release:

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005 -


art show this Saturday, September 21 7-11 PM


2323 East Olympic Blvd. #7

Los Angeles, CA 90021

this is gonna be really cool... i'll be there.

213 - 629 - 1668

Wednesday, September 18th, 2002 -

Public Restrooms (BYOP)

Public Restroom (BYOP)In Downtown LA there are not many places to relieve yourself if you are not a paying customer. If you are homeless and roaming 6th Street and suddenly hear nature calling, you can't just use the public restrooms provided by the city, as there are none. There is no reason you can't just squat down and take a crap on the sidewalk, well no reason other than human decency and/or self-respect.

Just in case you didn't realize that you could use the street as your own personal toilet, local artist Richard McDowell[via blogdowntown] has made wonderful signs that let you know you can. Don't forget to Bring Your Own Paper. According to the rumors on blogdowntown, the signs are part of a film that the artist is making. There are also drugrelated signs in case you have trouble finding a drug dealer in Downtown.


I didn't mention it, but there are actually portapotties a few blocks to the southeast on 6th.

Monday, June 13th, 2005 -

Food and Fun Photos

Penelope and I ate at Kobe Ramen last night. It was ok, but I think we should have tried the noodles instead of random small dishes. In other news I have posted a bunch more photos from the last year that I have been hoarding:

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006 -

IKEA Madness

Penelope and I went to the Carson IKEA last night and picked up most of what we've been needing for our loft. We picked up 2 more Roger chairs for our dining room table, bringing the total up to four. We also scored an 72" Expedit, the ultimate bookshelf. We were going to buy a couch, but we couldn't find any we really liked, so instead we bought two Poang chairs and ottomans. Everything we bought matches our kitchen wood which IKEA calls black-brown and the fabric is a gray microfiber that feels like suede but is actually polyester. To top it all off we picked up some new lamps, picture frames and coasters.

It was a good haul, and soon we will be ready for our loft-warming party! Did I mention I just finished putting it all together? It took me about 4 hours to do everything, and as usual there was a problem with one item, the Expedit had 2 holes that the pegs went all the way in to, but it wasn't a structurally important connection so I don't think it will matter.

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005 -


My friend will be having an exhibition of his SkullPhone art on October 15th. I will post more details about the show when I have them, but keep that day open if you are in to skulls with cell phones.

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005 -

Bell Comunications Around The Globe, by Anthony Heinsbergen

[52781 Sculpture]( "Photo Sharing")

Phone Parts

Untitled, or Bell Comunications Around The Globe is one of my favorite sculptures in Downtown Los Angeles. Created in 1961 by Anthony Heinsbergen and located at 420 S. Grand on what is now the AT&T building, the mural / mosiac is made of thousands of old telephone switching parts. There is nothing like junk to make a geek like me happy. You can read more about it here. [Full gallery here.]

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007 -

YMCA and Fitlinxx

Today Penelope and I walked a few blocks to the Civic Center to hit the YMCA and meet with our trainers to get set up on the FitLinxx system. Fitlinxx keeps track of your workout routine and lets you track your progress online. All the weight machines and most of the cardio machines are linked up to the network. It is pretty high tech and is included with the membership fee. I am going to be working out at least 3 days a week and doing 30 minutes of cardio and my sets of resistance training. Fun stuff!

Thursday, August 25th, 2005 -

Support Cosmo Brown

One of the artists on my roster is running in the Honolulu AIDS marathon and needs your support... Here is the email he sent me:

Thursday, September 29th, 2005 -

New Maps for the Downtown Art Ride

It has been about a month since the last Art Ride and some new galleries have been added to the route. Eric took the time to update the route and the map that the company he works for, Cartifact, was cool enough to let us use. You can download the map here in PDF [1 MB] or JPG [595KB] form. You'll see that we have added a note about spending only 10 minutes at each gallery. If we spend more time than that we will never make to to all the galleries on the route. See you at 5pm on Thursday at the Downtown Art Gallery.

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006 -

Body Worlds Exhibit Photos

body worlds exhibitYou're technically not allowed to take photos at the Body Worlds Exhibit. The reason being is that they have a contract with Gunther that says nobody can take pictures. It is not a request from the cadavers that are on display. It is so they can make more money selling the posters. I think it is silly, but I still only took one photo of the exhibit. Btw, the California Science Center's site about the exhibit has been taken down but here is the new one for Body Worlds 2.

Monday, January 24th, 2005 -

LayerOne 2005

This weekend I attended a security and technology conference called LayerOne. LayerOne is in its second year running and this year was even better than last year. It is really nice to have a security conference in the LA area (toorcon is pretty close being in San Diego).

I only live about half an hour from Pasadena, but I decided to book a hotel room for both Friday and Saturday. I showed up on Friday in the early afternoon because I still had to do some work on my presentation. Just for the record I want to state that Keynote is a far superior program in comparison to Power Point.

I worked on my presentation for a few hours and then decided to walk over to Afloat Sushi, which is one of my favorite restaurants in Pasadena. After eating about 10 plates of sushi I walked back to my hotel room and took a nap. A call to my cellphone from Kelvin awoke me and I rolled out of bed, realizing I still had an hour left of work to do on my Snarl presentation. Luckily Kelvin is easily amused, so I put on Fox News and finished up my work.

Monday, April 25th, 2005 -

Google Hybrid

Google maps just got even better as they have added a feature called Hybrid that combines street maps with sat footage! Check out the new feature on any Google map, like my Historical Cultural Monuments map. I am really tired from a long day of Search and Rescue training. I will write more about it soon.

UPDATE I have updated to LA from an Auto maps and the HCM maps to use the new hybrid maps. The new type isn't documented yet, but it is pretty obvious: setMapType(GHYBRIDTYPE);

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005 -

Juice Free LA

The power went out in Downtown LA about an hour ago. I was right about to get on the elevator in my building when I decided instead to go back and give my fiance a hug and kiss goodbye and when I walked back to the elevator the power went off. It took about 10 seconds before the emergency generator in our building kicked in, but when it did, the hallway lights came back on and one of the elevators powered up (although not the one I almost got in). When I went down to the street it was in chaos as all the stop lights were turned off and people were being stupid and running lights and pedestrians were just walking across the street with abandon. Luckily my servers in Downtown are all on generator power so my sites are still up for now.

Penelope and I had to leave to go to work and the parking attendants broke the gate open so we could get out of the parking structure. The drive out of the city was a bit dangerous due to the lack of stop lights. On the way out I listened to several public radio stations which for the most part stuck to their normal programming and didn't have any news about the power outage until about 1:45 and even then the coverage was very limited so I switched over to AM and KNX 1070 had nonstop detailed coverage of the outage, which I am now listening to here in OC. LAtimes has some info about the outage.

UPDATE: I just got word that power is back on in Downtown and possibly the whole city.

Monday, September 12th, 2005 -


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