Friends only

LA Marathon 2010
Most of my posts are marked "Friends Only."

If you add me, I generally won't add you back unless we have interests or friends in common. But comment here if you have a burning desire to see what I post about behind my filter, and I'll consider it.

Me as a zombie, in video...

LA Marathon 2010
I'm at about 3:42 in this video:

and I'm at around 3:38 in this one:


The Death Valley Germans

LA Marathon 2010
So I was just randomly scrolling through Reddit threads last week and I stumbled on this article. I started reading it, and was fascinated by it. I opened up Google Maps to follow along in the "adventure".

It's basically a story about some German tourists that disappeared without a trace in an extremely remote part of Death Valley National Park in the mid-90's, and a man who decided, 13 years later, to try to figure out what happened to them.

Anyway, I spent a couple of hours reading the article and following along in Google Maps. I'm sure some of you would find is interesting too, so I'm sharing. :-)

Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays

LA Marathon 2010
What is your must-see holiday movie? One random answer will win a $50 Amazon gift card. [Details here]
A Christmas Story. Or Die Hard.


LA Marathon 2010
The wind didn't materialize on Thursday night as was predicted... actually is was very calm. Crews have been working overtime to clean things up, but the priority has been getting the roads clear for cars; there are still sidewalks that are impassible, and probably at least half of the street parking on my street is taken up by tree debris... which sucks for anyone in the neighborhood that actually needs to park on the street.

The fence between my patio and the neighbors blew partially down. The neighbors never use their patio anyway though, so it's not a huge deal. (I hardly ever use mine, either, for that matter, other than storing my bicycle and trying to grow tomatoes and herbs)

I have friends that have had windows and skylights blown out, as well as friends who were without power for days... so I count myself lucky.

Hurricane-force winds...

california republic
Pasadena is currently experiencing pretty much the worst Santa Ana winds ever. Seriously, I've never seen wind damage like this. They say the wind got up to 80mph here in the city, and close to 100mph in the mountains. It was kind of scary last night, I couldn't get to sleep because the wind was howling. And emergency vehicles had their sirens on.

You can read the local newspaper about it, with a nice photo of a gas station that was crushed by an uprooted tree:

I went for a walk today and here is some of the stuff I saw within a mile loop: (click to embiggen)


The wind is supposed to be bad again tonight. Sigh.

I wanted to go for a run tonight, but between the dust and the fallen trees and branches, I decided to stay home. (plus the emergency services people are advising people to stay indoors tonight)


LA Marathon 2010
Interstate 405 in Los Angeles is one of the most congested freeways in the country. The 405-101 interchange, I believe, is the busiest in the country, while the 405-10 interchange is in the top 3 or 4 or something. The stretch of the 405 between the 101 and the 10 is the most direct way to get between the San Fernando Valley (population of almost 2 million people) and LA's Westside and beaches.

This weekend, as part of a widening project, they are tearing down a bridge over the freeway. To do that, they need to close the freeway for the entire weekend, for the entire stretch between the 10 and the 101.

Local media (and everyone else in LA) is calling it "Carmageddon". They are predicting citywide gridlock as everyone who would normally be on the 405 instead uses alternate routes. Local governments are telling people to either hunker down in their neighborhoods for the entire weekend, or leave the region entirely. Cities outside of the Los Angeles region are advertising "Escape Carmageddon! Come visit our city instead!"... it's the first time I've ever heard a tourism ad on the radio from the city of Oxnard.

I heard one person say they heard that traffic could be backed up to Mexico.

Jet Blue is offering FOUR DOLLAR flights between Burbank and Long Beach. Many Metro trains and buses will be free this weekend. Hotels around LAX are offering special deals for those who are flying during that time, so they can spend the night by the airport if they have a morning flight the next morning.

Personally, I think it's all much ado about nothing. It's been publicized SO MUCH, that, outside of the Westside, I doubt it'll have much impact. I hope not, at least; I have to drive to Irvine for a mud run on Sunday morning. Bleh.
The Bradbury Building is a historic landmark in Downtown LA. It was built in the late 1800's and was hugely expensive to build for the time. Fortunately, it has been preserved and it still looks great today.

It's been in several movies and TV shows, including Blade Runner, 500 Days of Summer, and Pushing Daisies.

My friend Aaron and I went on a photo expedition last weekend to go inside and take pictures. Despite having lived in LA for almost 20 years, I'd never been inside before.

Bradbury Building picsCollapse )

"Prelude to War"

Battlestar Galactica
So in the past few months I've been on this Bear McCreary/Battlestar Galactica soundtrack kick. This one piece I started listening to about a month ago, and one of my first listenings coincided with me watching a video of the Japan tsunami.

Now whenever I hear this song, all I can think of are waves of water wiping out Japanese towns. Ugh.


Map geek stuff

LA Marathon 2010
I ran across this image recently:

It's from an old planning document from the 1930's (which is a huge pdf, by the way, but the image quality is much better. It's on page 73 or so of the document) of the "Arroyo Seco Parkway", which later became the Pasadena Freeway, which they're now, inexplicably, calling the "Arroyo Seco Parkway" again.

As a freeway, though, it kind of sucks. There are a lot of sharp curves, and portions of it have posted speed limits of 40mph. Some of the on- and off-ramps have posted limits of 5mph because they're basically a sharp 90-degree turn. And the onramps have stop signs at the entrances, forcing you to merge into freeway traffic from a standstill.

Anyway, the parkway/freeway was Los Angeles's first freeway, and its northern end is a couple of blocks from my apartment. I really like the map because it satisfies my inner map nerd and my inner engineer, and it looks kind of cool. And it has relevance to where I live. And it's wrong, sort of... the route actually more or less follows the dotted line in the upper right corner, not how it's actually drawn in on the map. And it lets out on a street called "Broadway", which is actually called "Arroyo Parkway" today.

I love the way it's rendered. I just wish there was a way to get a decent, poster-sized print of it. I'd love to hang it in my office/guest room or something.