Posted in Around Town, Current Events

Good Readin’

Two recommended reads, both from today’s Pasadena Star-News:

1. The golden voice of Dodger baseball – by Robert Rector
Nothing is better than going for a walk through the neighborhood on a summer evening and hearing Vinnie’s voice coming out of just about every screen door.

2. The confessions of Clarence Thomas revealed – by Maureen Dowd
Poppy Bush’s protege has served his master well.

Posted in Around Town, Current Events

Allergy H-e-double-toothpicks, Global Warming & Schiff Brings Home Lean, Green Pork

This regularly scheduled blog has been interrupted by seasonal allergies. Here is a picture of sinuses as modeled by Barbie’s older, plainer sister. Here’s a blog by a fellow sufferer.

I’ve got tissues in one hand and the remote in the other. Back to baseball, and if I can manage it, a bit of Pasadena city council. (Already saw public comment by Falun Gong folks.)

Went to the Global Warming discussion at Caltech today hosted by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)—we are in deep doo-doo, people. Check out panelist John Seinfeld’s recent Watson lecture here. Information about other panelist David Rutledge’s upcoming Watson lecture here (17 Oct. 2007) entitled “Hubbert’s Peak, The Coal Question, and Climate Change.”

Let’s hear it for the clumped isotope method.  This coral bleaching thing sucks.  Wikipedia on the issue here.

And just in case you were wondering about Adam bringing home the pork, well, according to PA Pundits, who claims all this talk about global warming is hysteria, Schiff secured $500,000 “for a fuel-cell project by Superprotonic, a Pasadena company started by Caltech scientists.” Superprotonic doesn’t seem to have issued their own press release about this. Hmmm. I’ll shoot ’em an e-mail and see what gives.

UPDATE: Found this press release from June 07 at Schiff’s site.

Posted in Grindstone, Let's Get Visual, Pasadena

Northwest Life

Today I got home from work, and The Scout had prepared dinner (an olive oil stir-fry thing in keeping with his new anti-cholesterol regimen—or regime, as I like to call it) along with a glass of Irony pinot noir. As I was sitting, noshing, and watching Cleveland get five-count-’em-five runs in the 5th inning in Game 1 of the ALDS against the (boo-hiss) Yankees, I heard a grocery cart coming down the street.

Friday is trash pick-up day, and our bins were out on the street ready to be emptied. It’s typical on a Thursday night to hear the sounds of glass and aluminum clanging as someone digs through your recycling bin, along with sounds of laden grocery carts (more jangling) being pushed down the street.

The city frowns on it, but it happens all the time: People come along and take the glass and aluminum out of recycling bins. I don’t particularly mind, though noise in the middle of the night is a bit of a bother. My bin gets picked over multiple times. Once in a while, a bottle will roll down the street, making a sound similar to the sound a rolling bottle makes at the Hollywood Bowl.

I’m not sure exactly how the woman pictured below was planning to get the goods out of my bin, since she’s pretty short and there were lots of newspapers covering up this week’s diet root beer and wine bottle collection. I went out and helped her, digging way down to the bottom. Then I ran back in the house and poured the last glass of Irony so I could give her that bottle too. I asked her to pose with the bottle for me, and she did.


Ten minutes later, a mom pushing a kid in a stroller came along and looked in my bin. When she saw me, she quickly moved on.


Two women—one old, one young—digging through my recycling for their survival. This, too, is Pasadena.

Posted in Around Town, Current Events, Pasadena

Adam Schiff Hosts Global Warming Discussion

Adam Schiff is hosting a Town Hall meeting on global warming.

Congressman Schiff will be joined by a panel of distinguished guests from the California Institute of Technology to discuss the science behind global warming and efforts in Congress to address the issue.

Beckman Institute Auditorium, Caltech
1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena
October 8, 2007
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public, however, seating is limited. Please RSVP by calling Congressman Schiff’s District Office at (626) 304-2727.

Posted in Around Town, Current Events, Pasadena

Water Conservation, Hot Air Conservation

I watched a bit of the Pasadena City Council meeting last night—the part about water conservation. Yes, we’re behind on changing our behavior, and we need to start being careful now. The Council used up about 30 minutes last night stating this obvious fact. A brown lawn should be considered high fashion. Council members could bring in photos of their own brown lawns and see who has the brownest. Or maybe we can make it an intra-district competition.

The Scout practically leaps out of his skin when I tune in to the Council meetings. He starts gesticulating wildly (due to the immediate threat of boredom). “Are we really gonna watch the horseshoe hot-airs wag their jaws tonight? Dancing With the Stars is on!”

It takes a will of steel (or a paycheck) to sit through a City Council meeting. Some council members need to understand that IT IS OKAY to let things move forward without commenting. We don’t think you’re stupid or unaware if you keep your mouth closed once in a while.

City Council-generated hot air is an impediment to public participation. Things get rolling late, meetings drag on, and folks who sign up for public comment give up and go home.

Our own Miss Havisham was apparently traumatized last night (her shell-shocked, oblique comment here–scroll way down).

City Council meetings should be run like a good business meeting. Instead, some of the participants act like their future political careers depend upon their performance. Sadly, this may be true, but even worse–This Takes Up Time. In business, in all of life fergawshsakes, time is a valued commodity. In politics, apparently, it is not.

My thanks to Mr. Howdya Like My New Haircut? for inspiring this post.

Posted in Around Town, Los Angeles


I am Dodger fan (much to the chagrin of my Staten-Island-born mother), and this season was certainly a tough one. I’m not going to get into the older players vs the younger players, or the merits of Grady Little (or lack thereof).

My rant is about today’s season wrap up on FSN. They offered us a quick-cut edit of the season’s highlights. Nice enough—someone(s) obviously spent lots of time on it—but it wasn’t what the True Blue Dodger Fan (TBDF) wanted.

The TBDF wants content. We want a recap of the 10 best at-bats and the 10 best defensive plays (including the 2 triple plays). It’s Sunday afternoon, and we just lost to the Giants 11-2 to conclude the scary season. We want to remember what went right.

We want to remember what went right in context. The quick-cut thing makes the TBDF angry. Those moments flashing before our eyes have a thousand times more meaning when we are reminded at what point in the game and/or season the play-on-display happened.

Our boys of summer didn’t make it to October. Vinnie mentioned how the team spent lotsa dough to buy good players. As usual, Vin’s dulcet tones speak the truth—money doesn’t buy everything.

In closing, Vinnie said, ‘God willing, I’ll see you in the spring.” Yes, Vin, yes. See you next year.