Archive for the ‘California’ category

Mr. Iglesias

June 18, 2020

So we started watching a comedy series called “Mr. Iglesias” on Netflix last night. This is a comedy series about a high school teacher who is working with gifted but misfit students at a high school in Long Beach, CA.

The series stars Gabriel Iglesias who is a stand up comic who portrays a high school teacher. I think he teaches history, but I’m not quite sure. We binge watched three episodes last night. The series just started its second season this week.

Supposedly, Iglesias is a super star standup comic. So apparently he is also known as Fluffy. Hmmm. Why have I never heard of him? Iglesias’ costumes are always shorts, a polo shirt and a hat (Google calls it either a “flat” hat of a “newsboy” hat). Back in the day, I tried my hand at teaching middle and high school math. If I had come to work dressed like him, I would have been fired on the spot. Click here for his Wiki entry. Click here for his personal web site.

Season 1 has ten episodes and season 2 has twelve episodes. I am not sure I will be managing to make it through all 22 episodes. Meh. Can’t see myself spending the time to grind through all the episodes.

Laurel Canyon

June 14, 2020

So we heard about a new documentary the other day titled “Laurel Canyon” on Epix. Epix is a streaming tv channel that is connected to cable tv services. ie. You need to be a cable customer to get Epix.

Laurel Canyon is located north of Hollywood along Laurel Canyon Blvd. in the Hollywood Hills. It is a nice secluded area with lots of trees and greenery.

First, I had never heard of the streaming channel called “Epix”. So I had to see if our Roku box could get it. It does, though it took some doing to get it enabled.

“Laurel Canyon” is a two-part documentary about a neighborhood in Los Angeles of the same name. Laurel Canyon is located just north of Hollywood off of Laurel Canyon Blvd.. It happens to be an area where several recording artists took up residence in the late 60’s/early 70’s. Here is a map:

Episode 1 covers the bands “The Doors”, “Crosby Stills and Nash”, Joni Mitchell, “The Birds”, “Buffalo Springfield”, Frank Zappa (Mothers of invention), “The Monkees”,etc. I loved the music.

Episode 2 adds stories about Jackson Brown, The Eagles and more. It talks about how the various bands grew to be major stars such that they could no longer perform at Hollywood venues like The Troubador or Whiskey-a-Go Go. Too many fans.

Then the show talks about the eventual decline of the groups. First came the death of Jim Morrison in 1971 in Paris (cause unknown), then the death of Mama Cass Eliot in 1974 (due to heart failure). Of course, heavy heroin use didn’t help much.

I’ve got my playlist on my iPhone set for the next month. Such a short time but a huge amount of music.

Today

January 9, 2020

Well. Paula working at Assistance League today and I didn’t have anything to do. I didn’t feel like hanging out at home all day, so I decided to go out and do something.

First, a stop at the local Starbuck’s for an iced coffee. Brought my iPad. Finished work on previous blog post then did a couple of crossword puzzles. NY Times puzzle was nasty. Once that was done, I headed out.

I decided to take a ride down to South Shores to see the view. Would I be able to see Catalina Island. I could but just barely. Not the clearest day in a while.

I drove south on Western. All clogged up with construction work. Turned right on 25th Street and headed for Rancho Palos Verdes. Paula’s Mom once had a condo down here back when I first met her with a view of Catalina (when one could see it.)

I continued until I reached the famous Wayfarer’s Chapel I took a few pictures. The sun wasn’t at an optimum angle, but took a few pictures.

One of the things that the Wayfarer Chapel is famous for are glam Hollywood weddings. The one wedding that comes to mind is Jane Mansfield/Mickey Hargitay in 1958. Takes some time to visit all of the Jane Mansfield memorabilia. Man, she was hot. Click here for some of the pictures

So, I was done with the Wayfarer. Headed back whence I came and stopped at one of the pullouts to stop and enjoy the view of the Trump Golf course.

View of Catalina Island

Highway to Heaven (or???)

November 22, 2019

So I read that Mass is changing its exit numbering from the extent sequential numbering to mileage based numbering. So for instance, I90 (the MA Pike) would change from exits 1 in the west to exit 140-something in the East. Other highways would be renumbered similarly over the next few years. They say this is being ordered by the fed’s. That will undoubtedly cause widespread mayhem.

So that made me think, what kind of mayhem would that cause in Los Angeles? Luckily, I don’t have to commute on a daily basis on the LA freeways. But renumbering would be crazy.

So I thought I would give my east coast friends a test. Match the freeway number with its commonly used name. Some of the freeway names are a no brainer, some are a bit obscure. I had to look them up. No fair for west coast peeps. No using Google. [I’ll publish the answers in a couple of days, or you can google it]

  1. I-405
  2. I-10
  3. I-5
  4. I-710
  5. I-605
  6. Rt 60
  7. Rt 2
  8. I-215
  9. Rt 91
  10. I-105
  11. I-10
  12. Rt 101
  13. I-110
  1. Harbor
  2. Hollywood
  3. San Diego
  4. Gardena
  5. Santa Monica
  6. Glenn Anderson
  7. Santa Ana
  8. San Gabriel
  9. Pomona
  10. Glendale
  11. Golden State
  12. Escondido
  13. Long Beach

Web Sites

November 19, 2019

Today I discovered two new websites (well, new to me). First one is theavocadola. Think of it as an LA version of theonion, Satire for Los Angeles.

The second one is LAist.com  This is a news web site that focuses on Los Angeles.

If you live on the west coast, you might like these two web sites. If not, well maybe you will still be amused.

Long Beach Symphony

November 17, 2019

Last night we had the pleasure of attending the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra at the Long Beach Center for the Performing Arts. We had been given tickets by a friend of Paula’s. What a pleasure. We had seats in 3rd row of the orchestra section.

The performance consisted of pieces by French composers. The symphony was directed by Eckert Preu. Mr. Preu appeared about an hour before the concert (I’m told that he usually does this) to talk about the music.

The performance consisted of:

  1. Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
  2. Intermezzo from Notre Dame by Franz Schmidt
  3. La Chausseur maudit by Cesar Fanck

Intermission, then

  1. Symphony No. 3 in C minor, op. 78 (Organ Symphony) by Camille Saint-Saens

So the opening piece was quite light and airy. It kind of gets you comfortable in your seat before the heavy hitters come along.

Le Chausseeur maudit” means “the Accursed Hunter”. It takes you along on the adventure of a wild hunter in the woods. The story begins about a hunter who would rather hunt on a Sunday morning than sit in the pews in a church.

The four sections of the work are:

  1. Peaceful Sunday Landscape
  2. The Hunt
  3. The Curse
  4. The Demon’s Chase

Then we had the intermission where we get to calm our nerves over a glass of wine. Then he started on Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony. So called because the fourth and last movement  has a pipe organ added to the mix. I told Paula to expect that the theme will be rattling around in your brain. The finale was strong and loud. I wanted to shout out, “Crank it up”. Indeed, Paula told me that she had the theme rattling around in her head.

And finally, I have included an organ recital of the last movement of the Organ Symphony. Play it on a speaker and crank up the volume. Enjoy.

 

Wild Fire Update

October 31, 2019

Time for an update for all our East Coast friends.

We arrived back home in San Pedro on Sunday afternoon. The drive southbound through the Central Valley was very smoky. Visibility was about 1/4 mile or less.

I have screen grabbed two maps of So. Cal from the Wildfire App to show where the active fires are as of today (Thursday 10/31).

The little red dots indicate where the active fires as of today. We live in San Pedro which is down near Long Beach. No fires really close to us.

Wild fires get named kind of like hurricanes. The names usually denote something about the origin of the fire.

The big ones around here are the “Getty” fire which is near the Getty Center in West Los Angeles. The other big one is the “Easy” fire in Simi Valley, so named because it started on Easy Street.

Simi Valley is the home to the Reagan Library. You know that they’re not going to let that one burn.

The third fire is the “Riverside” fire that is in Riverside County east of Los Angeles.

And finally, don’t forget to download the Wild Fire App. It’s free.

Wild Fires

October 27, 2019

Screen of “Wildfire Info” app

This is sort of intended for my East Coast friends. I often get asked whether my wife and I are in harm’s way on any of the wild fires that are rampant out here on the west coast. They for the most part ignorant of California geography. It has been said that the four seasons in California are Fire, Flood, Earthquake and Drought.

So for the most part we are rarely near any of the roaring fires that are active these days, We live in a fairly built up urban area that is not particularly close to the trees and grasses that are fuel for the fires. The only thing that tends to bother us is the smoke generated by the fires.

Here’s a picture that I took on our trip this week from San Pedro to Visalia in Central California.

Gorman CA

As you can see, It’s all brown. The only places that you can see with green grass is typically golf courses that are heavily watered. In the spring time in April much of these hillsides will be green especially after a wet winter.

If you looked at my iPhone you would see a few apps that are particularly appropriate to West Coast going’s on. This stuff is probably more appropriate for West coast folks.

First are the “wildfire” apps. I have them on my iPhone and I believe they are available on Google phones. The other thing is that they are free.

First app is called “Wildfire Info“. Clever name, huh? When you open the app it drops you into a map with little red dots for each active fire. Tapping on the red dot gets you up to date info on the particular fire.

Second one is called “Fires“. Similar info. I found it a bit less useful. But it’s free so try it and see if you like it.

So while I’m talking about apps. I might as well talk about earth quake apps.

Researchers out here are trying to develop apps that can give users about 10 seconds of warning when the big one is about to hit. To that end, the researchers have installed sensors around all of the major fault lines.

Here are the apps that I use (all are free). I know they are available on iPhones and probably on Google-Play. (Click on title to get to the Apple App Store):

Install them all and give them a try.

One more thing. Sometime it takes you a while to get your brain around an earthquake. A couple of years ago there was 7.something about 150 miles northeast of us. Felt some trembling. It takes you a little while to say “Hey, we’re having an earthquake”.

Henry Jones

May 28, 2019

During the past few weeks, Paula has been cleaning out her Mom’s bedroom of the many things that have been saved for many years. One of the more interesting artifacts was an article clipped out of a magazine about a pine marten named Henry Jones.

So when Paula was a young girl, her father would work as a park ranger up in Lassen National Park for each summer. During the rest of the year, Harold would work as a science teacher at a high school in Long Beach. On the day after school closed in June, her family would pack up and head north to Lassen.

So every year they would stay in a log cabin in the park. When Paula was about 8, they befriended a pine marten that her Dad named Henry Jones. Henry Jones would come back every summer for several years.

So there was a tree stump outside their kitchen window of the cabin at Summit Lake where the Stanley family would sit at their kitchen table and watch Henry eat the food that they had left. They also left some watermelon rinds that were popular with the deer in the area.

Why Henry Jones, you might ask? Well, the name Henry Jones came from a popular song from the 1940’s titled “Feed the Bones to Henry Jones, because Henry don’t eat no meat”. Here are the lyrics:

Tonight I’ll serve a supper, 
We’ll eat some food that’s rare. 
And at the head of the table, 
I’ll place brother Henry’s chair-
Invite all the local big dogs,
We’ll laugh and talk and eat, 
But we’ll’ save the bones for Henry Jones, 
‘cause he don’t eat no meat-

Today I’ll go to market- 
and buy a lot of fish, 
That will thrill Brother Henry, 
Because that’s his special dish.- 
Get a large can of molasses,
so we’ll have something sweet, 
But save the bones for Henry Jones, 
“cause he don’t eat no meat.

Henry is not a drinker, 
he rarely takes a nip, 
He don’t need a napkin, 
‘cause the things he eats don’t drip. 
One day we had a banquet, 
It really was a bake, 

They started off with some short ribs,
they finished off with a steak. 
But when the feat was over, 
brother henry just kept his seat, 
and we served the bones to Henry Jones,
‘cause he don’t eat no meat. 
To- he don’t eat no meat.

Songwriters: Daniel Barker / Henry Mccoy Jones / Michael H. Goldsen

The song was performed by Nat King Cole and Johnny Mercer in 1947. Click here to listen to the song on YouTube.
And finally, here is the copy of the article that we found in the bottom of one of Mary’s dresser drawers:
Click the following URL to read the article: Henry Jones

Dodger Stadium Tour

April 13, 2019

I was  a part of a group that did a tour of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. What great fun. We started at the top of the upper deck behind home plate. The tour was organized by our local OES and Lodge group. Cost was $15 per person ($12 for seniors.). Need less to say, I left my Red Sox at home.

2019-04-13 10.19.18

One thing you can see in this picture is that the dimensions of the stadium are symmetric (ie. the distances to right and left field are the same). Not true for many major league  parks. What a beautiful ball park. The stadium uses a cantilevered design. Which means there are no poles that could block someone’s view.

Then we took the elevator down to the 1st tier where we visited the press boxes and one of the luxury suites. Luxury boxes go for between $5000-$15000 depending on the team that is being played. Seats about 20 people in very comfortable seats.

Next, we went down to the ground level and headed over to the dugouts. We were told, “Don’t walk on the grass”. I learned something new. The home dugout is on the third base side. The primary reason is because during an afternoon game, the sun would be coming over the third base side, thus having the sun shining in the eyes of the visitors.

There are many awards and other memorabilia lining the walls of the corridors. Here are a few examples:

And finally, here’s a picture of our entire group. A fun time was had by all.

Dodger Tour Group