Tuesday, February 28, 2006

my question is...


why in the F would you need a case of this stuff? seriously..

Monday, February 27, 2006

this just about guarantees that the rest of my week be all down hill

Saturday, February 25, 2006


"Architecture in some way has the duty to suggest behaviour. In some way. Places are the portrait of communities, and if the place is impossible, the community becomes impossible."

[renzo piano in the g.]

r.p.b.w. is

In post-liberal Los Angeles, awareness of this desperate situation is such that the defense of the privileged and middle class neighborhoods has taken on a sudden urgency. The desire of the ordinary middle class to live in socially insulated communities has created a frenzy for security fencing around entire neighborhoods, emulating the luxury, fortressed "minimal" cities that developed in the 1950s and 1960s, like Hidden Hills, Bradbury, Palos Verdes Estates, Hidden Hills and Rancho Mirage. Older communities like Bradbury, with 900 residents and ten miles of private streets, are fully enclosed with guarded entry points and served by public and private security services and are impossible to enter without an invitation from a resident. The San Fernando Valley, completely open ten years ago, now has over one hundred newly gated communities. The demand for more security is nearly insatiable.

and to think that the above is from '93, what do you think it's like now???

but don't worry, there's a plan to get you back out in public, maybe even downtown. move that bus!

gehry town
what's that you say? you haven't heard of such a thing, well my friends, it's true. and it seems that we be drownin'in geniuses!
But for the park — a civic space, owned and meant to be enjoyed by us all — the current process seems at best paternalistic and at worst self-defeating. It may be a sign of hard times that we've had to turn over to a private development group the financing of a civic park, but it makes no sense to completely outsource its design to them and then hope for the best.

so my question is:

how do we keep los angeles from continuing to be an impossible place to live, without sacrificing our civic space to architecture based on commericalism? and further, is that even the right question to ask?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

how the west was won, or how i out-shot the shit out of my father-in-law


spent a couple days and nights up north in the in-laws. very relaxing. lots of eating, lots of just doing nothing but watching the olympics. watching those crazy biathalon guys with their suits, skies and svelt little wussy rifles for killing arctic humming birds is inspiring. it made amanda's dad carl and i want to do some shooting ourselves.

we headed about half an our east of wasco out to an outdoor range with several different set ups and areas. did we want to shoot in the old west? watch our bullets drop indians out of their lovingly recreated teepees? we figured we should probably just hit the pistol range.

shot with the .22 ruger to get warmed up, couple go rounds with the .38, moved on to the colt .45 with ivory handle, then loaded up a couple sets of .357 mag & let er rip. amandas wrist and elbows are still pretty sore from the kick those loads have.

the best part of the day though was the competition carl and i had with a sweet little winchester ranger. this rifle takes a long colt (.45) load just like the pistol. lever action, 16" barrel, open sites. this is the sweet little beauty you see all the cowboys carrying in the old movies. small, shoots straight and fits really nicely in a saddle scabard since it's so short.

carl shot first. our target was round and metal, about a foot in diameter sitting about 200 yards in front of us, and maybe about 40-50 feet higher in elevation up the hill at the back of the range. the ranger holds nine rounds, and carl pinged that target once, maybe a debateable twice on his first go round. i hit four straight out of the gate, and added two more for a really nice six out of nine. jaws dropped. the blind kid can shoot. i always tell people, but they never believe me. now even the wife knows!

we each shot a couple more sets, carl hit a stride and i think ended up with about eight or ten out of 27 possible. i got 17, almost two thirds. at least i know that if i ever need to feed my family with 1' diameter metal targets, we would all feast...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"for he is truly his brothers keeper, and the finder of lost children property"

yesterday i was supposed to hang out with sycz. he was going to cruise down and hang out with me at school after he got off from work. he called me and told me that he couldn't make it. he had a meeting for a couple of hours, we had to reschedule. i was bummed, and i also had a couple of hours to kill.

amanda and i bought a sweet lamp last week at savers. it's late 60's with four pieces of verticle wood that is bowed outwards, forming four rounded corners from top to bottom. between each piece there are panes of smoke colored glass which curve to math the bow of the wood. really sweet lamp, a 7 or 8 out of 10 condition wise, and a nice addition to the collection. however, there wasn't a shade to go with it.

i called my friend who runs out of vogue" over in fullerton and asked him what type of shade came with the lamp originally. he told me once i had found one, the lamp would probably sell for like a hundred bucks. sweet i said, we paid ten.

anyway, i figured i could use my new-found spare time and try to track down a lampshade. i cruised back up to whittier and went to salvation army, that ratty store across the street that sells everything for about a quater, then over to philadelphia street antiques. i was walking around, checking out all the sorts of things i love and skipping over the things that weren't quite my style. lamp shades were kind of hit and miss, so i went upstairs to check out the mid-century stuff and see if there was anything worth putting on lay-away or something. that's when i saw my pale blue zenith clock radio form 1950. the very one stolen from my garage about three weeks ago. my heart lept.

i grabbed the radio and went downstairs. i told the girl working behind the desk that this was the very radio stolen from me recently. i relayed the story of the burglary, and she called her grandmother betty who runs the store. they returned my radio to me. before leaving i decided to cruise the store one more time to look for anything else of ours. sure enough i found amanda's grandma's brass lamp. i told them i didn't want them to think i was fishy, but i was 100% certain it was mine as well. they said that betty would be in at about 4pm, and i could come back. they were pretty sure she would remember who she bought the stuff from. before driving back home, i walked across the street to yellow pie antiques, and sure enough found a small chandelier that was stolen from us too. the lady said she knew the woman who sold the chandelier to her, but only by sight and didn't have any of her info. she also told me that betty, aside from the radio and lamp, had also purchased a set of dishes and some star wars stuff from the woman. again, heart leaps.

so i head home, bring the radio and chandelier into the house and call the police to let them know i have recovered some property. an officer comes out and i make a report. he hasn't seen the original filed report, so i have to go through that again completely, then get him up to speed with the new info. we both think something is fishy with betty not mentioning the star wars stuff to me on the phone, even though i specifically asked her about star wars stuff. (i must mention that every single person i have dealt with from whittier pd has been absolutely fantastic and thoughtful throughout this whole thing). so the officer leaves, and i head down to the police station to get a copy of the original report. while i was waiting for the officer, a guy from philadelphia st. actually called me and asked me to bring it. it sorta rubbed me the wrong way. i've been going in there for years, and betty recognized my voice on the phone, but i understand they have to cover the bases and protect themselves. the report costs me $10 (retarded) but i get it go back to philadelphia st. to talk to betty.

she was actually more helpful than i anticipated. she shows me a set of dishes she bought, but they're not ours. i ask about star wars, and from a back room apears one box, complete with my own handwriting. not much left in this one, a millenium falcon, a couple of Y wings, a jabba and a couple of other misc. pieces. i ask her if there was any more, but she only bought the one box. all of these items came from one person, and she actually knows who it is and has their information on file. i gave her the name of the detective from the report, and she says she will call them and give them the woman's name. i am excited.

this is long, so thanks for sticking with me, it actually gets more interesting/nerve wracking

the possibility of getting my stuff back makes me really excited. i decide that i should do some heavy duty research to try and track down who shaped my surfboard. it was always kind of a mystery. none of the friends i had shone it to recognized the mark. so i started poking around reading up on the history of surfing, and hit fiberglassed-gold. i found a picture of the same logo that's on my board, and a history lesson to go along with it. turns out my board was shaped by none-other than Dale Velzy himself. Dale started shaping boards in '37 and opened the first surf shop (some say in the world) right underneath the manhattan beach pier in 1949. his boards were the crem-de-lac-crem of the surf scene for decades. they even named a surf spot after him in hawaii called 'velzyland'. the reason i'd never connected him to my board was two-fold. up until last night i didn't know a lot about early surf history in california when it came down to a person to person level. second, and most importantly, the logo on my board, and the image i linked to, is among the most rare marks on an official old school dale velzy board. from about '60 to mid-way through '62, from what i understand, dale was locked in a legal battle to keep the name 'velzy' for his surf company. so for that short while, the logo changed from the original and current oval design to the one i linked to above. very few boards, prehaps 40-100 were made during that time, making them among the most rare and sought-after boards shaped by dale. add to the rarity the condition, odd size (8'2" isn't 'really' a longboard) and shape of my board (pig?, banjo?), plus dale's death from lung cancer last may and that's a recipe for high value.

i figured this all out at about midnight last night, and i kinda freaked out. i walked around the block a couple of times, ran into three friendly stray dogs, then came back home. i called a couple of friends from school today, talked to chris davidson, and they all agree that the board is worth thousands, possibly more than $5k and should probably be cleaned up and never ridden again. that is if i get it back...

in the morning i am going to sit down and meet with the detective who's working the case. i say working, though since there are only two burglary detectives in whittier, he probably hasn't even seen my file. i feel like i have done all the leg work on getting my own property back, but i want them to find this woman, arrest her, and lean on her until i get my shit back. in the words of indiana jones, "it belongs in a museum!"