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May 29, 2022

Thoughts & Prayers

Filed under Politics | permalink | May 29, 2022 at 05:45 PM | Comments (0)

May 28, 2022

Getting My Legs Back

Palm Springs Vista (2253)
The view across Palm Springs from the popular lookout point on what might be called "Palm Hills Road,"
the road that climbs into the hills behind Vons Rimrock Plaza. Today is the first time I've been able to reach this point since my hip replacement surgery this past October. I'm sure I have not been able to hike to this point since at least 2019, maybe earlier than that. Even more satisfying than simply making it is that I caught up to three 20-something men who had a good head start on me, passed them and made it to the lookout point well ahead of them. Age and experience count for something.

Palm Springs Vista (2252)
The view from a lower spot on the trail
. You can see the silhouettes of the three young men I passed resting (they took 4 or 5 rest breaks on the climb) in the right half of the image, at the top of a rise. You might need a larger image to see them.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Health,Photography | permalink | May 28, 2022 at 03:46 PM | Comments (1)

May 25, 2022

Times Square & Silver Lake

Times Square 1996 (3)
Times Square
, 1996, Ektachrome.

Jacaranda Blooming Time Again! (0536)
Jacaranda in Silver Lake

Plumbago auriculata (0538)
Plumbago, also in Silver lake

Eric Lloyd Wright - 2371 Cove Avenue (0539)
A home in Silver Lake designed by Eric Lloyd Wright, grandson of Frank Lloyd Wright

Filed under Architecture,Photography | permalink | May 25, 2022 at 05:38 PM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2022

Neutra Homes In Silver Lake

A week ago I headed into Silver Lake for a tour of homes designed by Richard Neutra. It was part of Modernism Week which seems to take place three times a year now. This tour started at the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences at 2300 Silver Lake Boulevard. This was Neutra's home and office. There are nine homes designed by Neutra in the immediate neighborhood. The tour started with the interior of the Neutra VDL Studio, followed by a walk-by of the other homes, concluding with an interior tour of Reunion House at 2440 Earl Street, which the Neutra Institute took possession of just this past February. The complete set of photos is here. These are some samples:
Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (9933)
Neutra VDL Studio and Residences

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (9948)
Neutra's remains are interred in the courtyard of the house

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (9956)
The courtyard

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (9962)

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (9997)
They let us climb these apparently insubstantial stairs to the penthouse

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (0106)
Balcony overlooking the courtyard

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (0121)

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences (0141)
View from the penthouse

Sokol House - Neutra (0362)
The gate to the Sokol House at 2242 Silver Lake Boulevard

Inadomi, Kambara and Yew Houses - Neutra (2241)
L to R: the Inadomi, Kambara and Yew Houses
on Silver Lake Boulevard.

Inadomi and Kambara Houses - Neutra (0208)
The entrance area for the Inadomi and Kambara houses

Yew House - Neutra (0217)
Yew House
at 2226 Silver Lake Boulevard.

Ohara House - Neutra (0227)
Ohara House
at 2210 Neutra Place.

Reunion House - Neutra (0347)
Reunion House
at 2440 Earl Street.

Reunion House - Neutra (0280)
Reunion House

Reunion House - Neutra (0325)
Reunion House

Reunion House - Neutra (0331)
Reunion House

Filed under Architecture,California,Cities/Urbanism,History,Photography | permalink | May 22, 2022 at 05:43 PM | Comments (1)

I opened up my Voter Guide

Joker Candidates For U.S. Senator From California

  • Obaidul Huq Pirjada submitted no text for the Official Voter Information Guide, but did list his contact information, including his website: https://sites.google.com/view/obaidul-huq-pirjada
    So, yeah, you have to type that whole thing in (or copy it from me). How can a candidate for office not realize the importance of a short, easily typed URL for their website? Pirjada.org was not taken. Go to his website and you'll see he lists his 19 goals and objectives. He includes no specifics for how he would accomplish any of these goals. For example, "1. To help Californians so that the grocery, gasoline and power (electricity) prices do not go up, rather to make sure the prices go down." Or, even better, "9. Help Central Valley farmers so that they may receive uninterrupted supply of water." Yeah, why hasn't anyone thought of that before? He's got a video on his site where he tells us he is an attorney. He reads his written statement badly, rarely looking at the camera. He seems to have difficulty reading, which is surprising considering he claims to be an attorney. What he reads is nearly the exact text that is displayed on his single-page site, so the only purpose of the video is to show what a poor, uncharismatic speaker he is.

  • Douglas Howard Pierce used to do someting, but now he's running for the Senate. He doesn't say what he used to do, but maybe he was a private investigator. "I took on the perils of solving homicides across the nation, including cold cases." He does not claim to have been with any law enforcement agency. Caution: something on his website triggers background music that I could stop only by refreshing the site. He has a "platform" with "SPECIAL MESSAGE BLACK-AFRICANS" which is blank except for a generic 17-second video that plays music and says nothing. It's the same for "SPECIAL MESSAGE REPUBLICAN" and "SPECIAL MESSAGE YOUNG VOTERS 18+" and "SPECIAL MESSAGE ASIAN AMERICANS" and "SPECIAL MESSAGE FOR SENIOR CITIZENS" and "MILITARY SERVICE - PROTECTORS OF FREEDOM" and "GREAT NATIVE INDIAN TRIBES." For "LGBTQ PRIDE AMERICANS" it's the same 17-second video, but he also throws in a couple images with rainbow colors and a photo of the L.A. LGBT Center. For "SPECIAL MESSAGE LATINO-HISPANIC" he translates the statement on the front page of his website into Spanish. He's got two YouTube videos. In the first, the phone follows behind him as he slowly limps towards a helicopter. He stops before he gets there, turns to the camera, does a weak little wave and then reaches out to take the phone from whoever is holding it. The other video is nothing but still images, including selfies, of him in Mexico.

  • John Thompson Parker is the Peace And Freedom candidate as well as the Socialist Unity Party candidate, according to his website. He doesn't have a lot of info on his website, but he does have four "Statements." Three of those express his support for Russia and his opposition to Ukraine in the current war there. So much for peace and freedom.

  • Dr. Akinyemi Agbede is one of those candidates who doesn't understand what a U.S. Senator is. "I will be focusing on ensuring that we invest the state’s revenues in the right policies and programs that help the common man," he says. He should run for state treasurer or maybe governor. He claims to have a "Ph. D. in Mathematical Analysis from the world most prestigious Ivy League University, University of Cambridge England, United Kingdom." Here is the list of Ivy League schools: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale. You may notice that all of these are in the United States. They don't travel to England to play American football against Cambridge. But this is the best sentence on his site: "[S]ince being in the United States, I have tremendously used my super genius brain to the benefit of the American students by instilling in them skills, confidence and competence in solving ANY Mathematical problems."

  • Chuck Smith is a Republican and might be smarter than most Republicans. While he does support the usual things Republicans falsely claim to support like limited government, restraint in taxation and fiscal responsibility, he avoids any racist statements or dog whistles. He says nothing about Trump or immigration.

  • Dr. Cordie Williams is also a Republican...and a chiropractor. He mentions being a doctor frequently, but only specifies he is a chiropractor once. COVID seems to be his top issue, but he's not specific about what he would do. He opposes Critical Race Theory. He thinks there is voter fraud, but is not specific. "Cordie will work with his California colleagues to end the current vote by mail system immediately." That's outside the scope of a U.S. Senator's job. Maybe he wants to be a state senator. He claims to be "the only military veteran who volunteered for combat." Let's just call that an obvious lie. On the subject of homelessness "Dr. Cordie is committed to creating a task force to study these issues and finally help." Oh, a task force! Does that come with electricity, running water and a lockable door? He wants to restrict property ownership to citizens and legal residents. He is endorsed by the California Tea Party Caucus.

  • Don J. Grundmann is officially no party preference, but on his website he says he running as the Constitution Party candidate. His top issue seems to be homophobia - he's all for it. His website is not much more than bigotry and a lot of broken links.

  • Eleanor Garcia is also no party preference, but is the elected leader of the Socialist Workers Party. She has no campaign website, but simply points to themilitant.com where we learn that the SWP is supportive of Ukraine and opposed to the Russian invasion so, therefore, more sane than Socialist Unity Party.

  • Mark P. Meuser, Republican, fought to let COVID run rampant. He's got the Republican Party endorsement, so that tells you quite a bit. "Meuser is a prolific reader, on average reading one book a week." I'm not sure he knows the meaning of "prolific."

  • James Conn, Green Party. He wants us to stop using wood. Yes, really. "Before the abolition of slavery our country collected taxes on the sale of slaves. That money still exists in our federal reserves." Wow! The little I can find about a sales tax on slaves indicates that tax would have been levied by the state or local government, not the federal government. He supports free medical treatment for Type 1 diabetes (the kind one is born with), but he says nothing about Type 2.

Filed under California,Politics | permalink | May 22, 2022 at 05:13 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2022

Mountain Lion M317

The track of a young male mountain lion since he was collared in March 2022.
Mountain lion track

News story here. He has managed to traverse the 5, 241 and 91 freeways! The news article says there are no female mountain lions in the area, as if humans have 100% perfect knowledge of the location of all mountain lions. I think what they mean to say is that we don't know of any female lions in the area, but the article suggests there are other males in the area. One wonders how and why there are so many male lions in the area if there isn't even one female?

UPDATE: M317 spotted in Newport Beach.

Mountain lion seen in Port Streets is captured

By City News Service and Hunter Lee

A mountain lion spotted roaming around the Port Streets neighborhood in Newport Beach, the same cat seen earlier this month in Laguna Beach, was captured on Friday [May 20, 2022]. The cougar was seen in the community near Andersen Elementary School on Friday afternoon, according to Newport Beach police.

The school was put on alert while authorities searched for the mountain lion, which authorities believed to be M317, a collared cat that was seen in Laguna Beach earlier this month and at an Irvine shopping center in late March. The cougar is one being tracked by a UC Davis research group.

On Friday evening, Tim Daly of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed the Newport Beach visitor was, in fact, M317.

“The lion appears to be healthy, and is currently being transported to nearest suitable habitat, in the Santa Ana Mountains,” Daly said.

Christy Labarthe, a Port Streets resident, said she was aware that a mountain lion was in the area after receiving several alerts from authorities. She moved her dogs indoors and kept her eye on the backyard.

Around 1 p.m., Labarthe noticed a tree rustling from something that was “definitely bigger than a squirrel.”

It was the mountain lion, she realized — a big one.

“It appeared to have blood near its leg, probably from a tranquilizer dart,” Labarthe said. “It was up and walking around my backyard, jumping on and off the (embankment) for awhile, before it finally started falling asleep.

“My dogs were barking the whole time,” she added.

Labarthe waited for authorities to arrive. Once they

did, they confirmed the lion had been shot with a dart, and after about an hour, the cougar was removed from her yard.

Drones were used to aid in the search, Daly said. And after sheltering in place, the Andersen students were safely picked up, said Annette Franco, a spokeswoman for the Newport- Mesa Unified School District.

Though M317 has been hanging around for at least a couple of months, officials believe the recent Coastal Fire in Laguna Beach may have pushed some wildlife from their natural habitats into urban areas.

Anyone seeing a mountain lion should stand tall and wave their arms above their head, make noise, act defiant and unafraid — and slowly back away.

Filed under California,Science | permalink | May 21, 2022 at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2022

That Was A Nice Slam!

Heard it coming. Felt it coming. And then it came. Most distinctive slam of an earthquake that I've ever felt. It didn't sound like I had any damage. It was small, but sharp. I'll get you the numbers as they become available.

It was in Long Canyon, within walking distance (a long walk). 4.27 miles (6.87 km) from me, measured on a direct line according to Google. Some boulders have moved.

USGS info. Currently estimated at 3.8. Noticeable.

Filed under California,Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Science | permalink | May 15, 2022 at 11:20 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2022

County Health Inspectors Busy In Coachella Valley

From the Press-Enterprise:

Pho Na 92, 14220 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs

Closed: May 11
Grade: 75/C, failing
Reason: Cockroach infestation. The inspector saw live and dead roaches throughout the kitchen, as well as egg casings on the dishwashing sink and roach droppings under the food-prep table. There was also a dead roach in the sanitizer compartment of the dishwashing sink, which was filled with dirty water and food equipment. Among the 13 other violations, an employee didn’t wash hands after handling raw shrimp and eggs, raw eggs from an unapproved source were left at room temperature, and the facility needed cleaning, including a cooler that had food debris and a mold-like substance inside.

Santorini Greek Cafe, 68375 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City

Closed: May 10
Grade: Not graded (most recent was 90/A on April 4)
Reason: Cockroach infestation. During the April 4 inspection, there were two roaches crawling on a wall and some roach casings in a storage area. During this week’s follow-up, the inspector saw a live nymph cockroach and several dead ones on the walls, and also noted some holes in the walls as well as food debris and standing water that could be attracting pests.

Bill’s Pizza, 119 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Closed: May 5
Grade: Not graded
Reason: Overflowing sewage. An inspector responding to a complaint found an active sewage overflow from the facility’s shared restroom. The restaurant had already self-closed and a plumber was on site.
Reopened: May 6

Jalisco Market & Deli, 17725 N. Indian Canyon Drive, North Palm Springs

Closed: May 3
Grade: Not graded
Reason: Operating without a valid health permit. A health department spokesperson said it was long-expired.

The Del Taco at 14290 Palm Drive in Desert Hot Springs was inspected May 12 and received a failing grade of 77/C with two critical violations. An employee used a lid that had just been rinsed but not washed or sanitized. Also, there was an issue with food not being hot enough. Among the 11 other violations, there were flies throughout the facility, an employee didn’t wash hands, employees didn’t know proper cooking temperatures and multiple surfaces needed cleaning.

The Denny’s at 82120 Highway 111 in Indio was inspected May 11 in response to a foodborne illness complaint. It received a failing grade of 83/B with 14 violations. Among them, some food was at unsafe temperatures, including items in a prep cooler that was impounded for not keeping cold; the men’s restroom soap dispenser wasn’t working; and surfaces and floors throughout the kitchen needed cleaning.

Tacos Los Olivarez, a food truck based at 83711 Peach St. in Indio, was inspected May 5 while it was at a “Concerts in the Park” event at the Palm Desert Civic Center. It received a failing grade of 84/B with one critical violation. The truck’s hot and cold water weren’t operational. Staff chose to self-close and leave the event, so this was not counted as an official health department closure, a spokesperson said. Among the seven other violations, food was not being kept at safe temperatures and there were numerous flies in the vehicle and in the open flip-top salsa unit, which didn’t have a screen on it and was available for customer self-service, which is not permitted.

Filed under Food and Drink,Health | permalink | May 14, 2022 at 08:13 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2022

Real Livestock Return To L.A. County Fair

I've thought that the absence of genuine, California farm livestock at the L.A. County Fair to be a form of surreal entertainment. The fair does have livestock of all the usual kinds, but they've been hired actors. Now, the Press-Enterprise reports that the fair is bringing back real livestock with actual competitions. They even want to bring back the 4-H and FFA. The article says the fair has gone 15 years without genuine livestock, but it says nothing about how that came about. Did somebody forget to invite the cows and pigs one year?

Filed under California | permalink | May 13, 2022 at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2022

Various Slides

Le Vendome, Quebec
In Quebec
, 1994, Kodachrome.

Self, Half Buried
Don't know which beach
, undated E6 slide.

Saguaros (11)
Saguaros near Tucson
, 1988, Kodachrome.

"Peace Through Chemistry Bronze" - Lichtenstein
"Peace Through Chemistry Bronze" by Roy Lichtenstein
at the National Gallery of Art, 1992, Kodachrome.

Filed under Architecture,Art,Cactus,Photography | permalink | May 11, 2022 at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)

May 9, 2022

More Slides

On The Ferry From Provincetown (3)
Sunning on the top deck of the Provincetown II ferry from P-town to Boston
, late 1980s.

"The Struggle of the Two Natures in Man" by George Grey Barnard
"The Struggle of the Two Natures in Man" by George Grey Barnard
at the Met, 1994, Kodachrome.

"Window" by Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright at the Met
, 1994, Kodachrome.

George Washington on the Washington Square Arch
On the Washington Arch in Washington Square, New York
. 1989, Kodachrome.

Filed under Art,Photography | permalink | May 9, 2022 at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

May 7, 2022

China Star, Indio

From The Press-Enterprise:

China Star, at 81022 Highway 111 Suite B in Indio, was inspected April 27 and received a failing grade of 76/C with one critical violation. The inspector saw two live and one dead cockroaches near the wok, as well as flies by the dishwashing area. Among the 15 other violations, some chicken and bean sprouts were at unsafe temperatures, the restaurant’s dishwashing process was incorrect and an employee was standing directly on the stove to replace a hood filter. This was the restaurant’s third failed inspection since 2019, and it was closed for two weeks last June because of a cockroach infestation, so it now faces an administrative hearing. The inspector also told the facility to increase pest control service to every two weeks until the current activity ceases.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Health | permalink | May 7, 2022 at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)

May 6, 2022

Four Kodachromes From The 1990s

A Pair Of Sculptures At The Met
"Hiawatha" by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and "The Struggle of the Two Natures in Man" by George Grey Barnard
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994, Kodachrome.

Self with Bricks
Myself, posing with my bike and David K.'s bike
, 1992, Kodachrome.

Calder, National Gallery of Art (1)
A mobile by Alexander Calder at the National gallery of Art
, 1992, Kodachrome.

Veterans Cemetery (2)
A Veterans' cemetery
, but I don't know which one or where. 1992, Kodachrome.

Filed under Art,Cycling,Photography | permalink | May 6, 2022 at 05:47 PM | Comments (0)

States With A Population Lower Than That Of Los Angeles County

States With A Population Lower Than That Of Los Angeles County

Filed under California | permalink | May 6, 2022 at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

May 4, 2022

Four Slides For You

Old Bennington Cemetery, Vermont (2)
Old Bennington Cemetery in Bennington, Vermont
, 1991, Kodachrome.

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve (1)
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in Sonoma County
, 1992, Kodachrome.

Proctor Building, Boston (1)
The Proctor Building in Boston
, 1983, Ektachrome. From a report by the Boston Landmarks Commission:

The Proctor Building is a small-scale, flat-roofed three-story commercial building dating from 1897, faced with yellow terra cotta molded in high relief sculptural forms inspired by Spanish Renaissance architecture. The overall design is unusually bold and elaborate for a commercial structure and is intact and in excellent condition above the first story. The building covers the entire 998 square foot parcel, a roughly triangular-shaped lot which measures 62 feet along Bedford Street, 29 feet along Kingston and 55 feet along the northeast party wall.

Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré (1)
The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré near Quebec City
, 1994, Kodachrome. Wikipedia page for this basilica.

Filed under Architecture,Photography | permalink | May 4, 2022 at 08:14 PM | Comments (0)

May 3, 2022

Four From The 80s

Cyclist On The Brooklyn Bridge (1)
On the Brooklyn Bridge, facing Manhattan
, 1985.

Runner On The Brooklyn Bridge (1)
Facing Brooklyn
, also 1985.

Lower Manhattan 1985

Frog Pond on Boston Common (6)
Frog Pond on Boston Common
, 1983, Agfachrome.

Filed under Cities/Urbanism,Photography | permalink | May 3, 2022 at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)

May 2, 2022

Four Old Ones

Boston Public Garden (4)
Boston Public Garden
,1983, Agfachrome.

Boston Public Garden (3)
Boston Public Garden in winter
with a view of the ritz-Carlton and John Hancock Tower, 1982, Agfachrome.

Veterans War Memorial Tower on Mt Greylock (1)
Veterans War Memorial Tower on Mt Greylock
in western Massachusetts. Mt Greylock is the highest peak in Massachusetts with an elevation of 3,489 feet (1,063 meters). I had bicycled with friends to the top. 1991, Kodachrome.

Sculpture (1)
A sculpture I have not yet identified
, but the slide is from October 1992, a month when I visited Washington DC, so there's a good chance this was in a Smithsonian museum. Kodachrome.

Filed under Art,History,Photography | permalink | May 2, 2022 at 07:34 PM | Comments (0)