Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
What a glorious concert I heard tonight at Van Nuys High. The LA Philharmonic's annual neighborhood and community concert series is a free program where they play throughout Los Angeles at schools, churchs and other community gathering places. Tonight, the brilliant young conductor, Ryan McAdams, played 3 great pieces:
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Greensleeves
Mozart: Exsultate jubilate
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Suite No. 1
Another young star, soprano Ji Young Yang from the SF Opera, sang an amazing Mozart piece that blew me away. As McAdams tells us, she filled in as there weren't any castrados in L.A. to sing the part. There was something magical about seeing and hearing this timeless music in that setting. Plus, I never turn down free tickets to see great music. The series continues this week with concerts in Pomona tommorrow and Inglewood on Friday.
(So you have a 24-hour digital sunrise in your bedroom? So, your kid was maimed in an accident as a result of a distracted driver watching a digital billboard? Ever tried to sell a home with a ditigal billboard in your backyard? Much to ponder. The City needs time from the moratorium to get its house in order.)
firstname.lastname@example.org councilmember.labonge@lacity. org, email@example.com councilmember.cardenas@lacity. org, councilmember.alarcon@lacity. firstname.lastname@example.org, councilmember.wesson@lacity. email@example.com, councilmember.garcetti@lacity. orgcouncilmember.rosendahl@ lacity.org, councilmember.huizar@lacity. firstname.lastname@example.org Jan.Perry@lacity.org, email@example.com
Not sure what to tell them?
From: The Engaged Observer
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Jan.Perry@lacity.org; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 10:07:02 AM
Subject: Billboard Blight in our fair city
You're failing me and every other resident of Los Angeles. Your refusal to:
1. Enact an immediate moratorium on billboards
2. Enforce and remove criminal and illegal billboards
3. Effectively regulate outdoor advertisers
has eroded the trust and confidence we the citizens place in your hands. You're not looking out for our best interests. You're a disappointment at best and perhaps criminals at worst.
We are watching you. Please behave like your jobs depend on our trust and confidence.
The Engaged Observer
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Here's the best article yet to explain what the hell happened to our financial system.
The End, by Michael Lewis, published on Portfolio.com
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
As the show evolved, we decided to call it “30 Americans.” “Americans,” rather than “African Americans” or “Black Americans” because nationality is a statement of fact, while racial identity is a question each artist answers in his or her own way, or not at all. And the number 30 because we acknowledge, even as it is happening, that this show does not include everyone who could be in it. The truth is, because we do collect right up to the last minute before a show, there are actually 31 artists in “30 Americans."
We saw Mr. Rubell walking thru his museum with a happy smile on his face, visibly joyed by all the people he inspires thru his collection. I hope Los Angeles has philanthropists that think in the same way as Mr. Rubell. Perhaps they'll step in and solve the mess that has become MOCA.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I was thinking about this article last night while I was working and if my memory serves me right the last article I read about eBay actually had John Donahoe quoted as saying something to the degree of "well, the good thing about the internet is that there are alot of alternatives out there for disgruntled sellers....
Monday, December 1, 2008
“We’ve accomplished a great deal together, but much work remains to be done to improve the safety and convenience of bicycling,” said Newsom. “I will continue to push for a better bicycling environment as part of my deep commitment to improving the health of our environment, our residents and our city.”
If only Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa placed bicycle transportation on equal footing with other transportation options, Los Angeles would be a better place to live, work and commute. Our air quality would improve and our residents would suffer from less pollution-caused health problems.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Calamarata with guanciale, tomato & spicy pickled peppers, perhaps the most perfect incarnation of "pasta" ever conceived. Osteria Mozzo
Casa Bianca's "Deluxe Pizza" with sausage, mushroom and green pepper. This is the kind of pizza that conjures up memories, real or imagined, of playing stickball on a busy street in Brooklyn in the 1950s, riding bikes to the movie theater and sneaking in to watch Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot.
Last weekend, I spotted this BMW H7 parked outside the gallery. I had a feeling it was being used by auto dignitaries in town for the LA Autoshow. But is it available? The distributor plates tell me that it's available to an extremely select few individuals with serious clout in Bavaria, Jay Leno for example.
Monday, November 24, 2008
While this sounds like music to the ears of all environmentalists, there's another perspective on this deal that explains the inner workings of how a plan like this gets formed and who really benefits from it:
From Ron Kaye LA:
The mayor cut thea deal with his long-time pal Brian D'Arcy -- the IBEW union boss who runs the publicly-owned utility behind the scenes -- to suddenly end 10 years of resistance to solar energy and embrace it as a city-wide mandate.
The price is that all the work must be done by IBEW workers on the DWP payroll -- humble workers who thanks to the mayor's generosity are enjoying 6 percent wage hikes in the nation's worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, increases that come on top of their already inflated salaries.
In a matter of a few short weeks -- without public hearings of any consequence or any kind of coherent analysis or study or even the involvement of the public and DWP commissioners -- the City Council agreed to put this outrageous plan on the March 3 primary ballot "to let voters decide."
Whoa! Now this proposal sounds terrible. Why is the City Council putting this plan before voters when it was drafted by the union that stands to benefit from it? Why didn't the council simply approve the plan without voter approval? Where is the truth? Is Solar LA the dream of green energy realized or a blank check to the Mayor's buddies at IBEW?
I just heard about the Pink Sari Gang on Morning Edition. All I have to say is these ladies are the physical incarnation of all that is good in the world. If you're a drunkard or corrupt official in India, watch out! The Pink Sari Gang is out there. Reminds me of another vigalante group of freedom fighters...
The A-TEAM Intro - Click here for more home videos
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Last night was our second visit to Animal on Fairfax. Their food is incredible. The service is so friendly and warm. The spartan decor and rock music are de-riguer of fancier, more expensive joints. Best of all, there's a real joy expressed in the dishes there. You're just happy when you're eating the food. I can't explain it any better. The food is a true anti-depressant.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
It's been months since I first got blocked by eBay for attempting to sell genuine "branded" items. eBay continues to block my sales, with no evidence of counterfeit intent on my part. They insist I have to build up my feedback, but block me from selling, which is how one builds feedback. When I manage to sell something within their secret restrictions, I get glowing positive feedbacks. In fact, my feedback scores exceed eBay averages in 75% of categories. Their logic is fundamentally imbecilic, which may explain why their Trust and Safety Department took 6 days to come up with this excuse for an explanation to their unjustifiable policy:
Thank you for writing eBay in regard to the recent blocks you have encountered. I apologize for the delay in our response to you as we've been experiencing unusually high email volume.
We understand that you may be disappointed about the selling limits you are experiencing, and we hope you'll understand that account and listing restrictions are intended to provide the most positive buying experience possible, which increases overall sales for sellers. We apologize for any unnecessary inconvenience.
Unfortunately, we can't raise your selling limits at this time, but we'd be happy to review your account again after 90 days. Our considerations include buyer feedback, time and activity on site, and compliance with eBay policies.
It is important to note that the restriction you encountered was not directed specifically to your account but rather a site-wide initiative that we've implemented. As such, all sellers that regularly sell various items on our site were faced with this restriction at one time or another.
The best course of action for you at this time would be to continue selling your luxury items on the site within your limits.
If you have other types of items you may be able to list them on the site once you have hit your monthly limits to help you build your selling reputation on eBay and generate revenue.
Please visit eBay's Help pages for more information on our listing policies and guidelines:
Thank you for your time.
eBay Customer Support
Once again, eBay encourages me to continue selling within the limits they placed on my account, but fail to disclose what the limits are. I can't think of any other comparable situation where this paradox of logic exists, at least in the free world. Maybe Guantanamo? Why eBay fails to enact real policies that address counterfeit sales without restricting legitimate activity is beyond my comprehension. Their shareholders are missing out on my seller fees, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching.
Hero or Criminal?
Mailman Steve, as he's affectionately known by the neighbors he serves in Apex, North Carolina, was found guilty of failing to deliver years worth of junk mail. When prosecutors notified the neighbors he serves of his accused crime, only one person responded, in support of their mail carrier.
From The News and Observer:
Padgett built up good will on his route by handing out treats to dogs, making sure packages were left on dry porches and introducing himself to customers. Children called him "Mailman Steve."
The U.S. Postal Service never received a complaint about the missing mail and didn't know anything was amiss until they were contacted by a utility worker who noticed the excess mail at Padgett's house in Raleigh. Postal inspectors went to the home this spring and discovered the third-class mail piled in his garage and buried in his yard.
The judge showed mercy and gave him a fine, probabtion and community service. I say he deserves a medal and presidential pardon! Mailman Steve, I salute you!