Sad Thoughts: Goodbye Romancing the Bean, Magnolia Park, Burbank, California

Well, Romancing The Bean, it’s time for me to move on.

Romancing the Bean is a lovely little cafe in the heart of the Magnolia Park shopping district, flanked by numerous vintage clothing and curios shops as well as the delicious and highly addictive Porto’s Bakery. It has been so successful in fact, that other businesses rallied to get 1-hour parking restrictions installed on the street in front of it so as to keep would-be diners from hogging parking away from shoppers who might want to visit one of the other small businesses along the blvd.

Romancing the Bean served a great independent coffee roaster, Groundwork, always had nice Pandora stations playing, and the staff was kind and amenable.

But the clientele wrecked it all. Continue reading “Sad Thoughts: Goodbye Romancing the Bean, Magnolia Park, Burbank, California”

Past Thoughts: The 14th Factory

Around this time last year (2017), Simon Birch’s The 14th Factory was all the rage in Los Angeles.

Located just east of Dodger Stadium on Avenue 19 in an abandoned industrial bakery, The 14th Factory was an amazing temporary large scale art exhibition that anyone who couldn’t score tickets to the Broad in time for their first trip to LA could go to and still find suitable locations to snap selfies for their tinder profiles which they in turn utilized to boost their follower counts on instagram.

This is too bad because it was utterly brilliant and worthy of so much more than social media exploitation.

Continue reading “Past Thoughts: The 14th Factory”

Car Thoughts: “The Porsche Effect” at the Petersen Automotive Museum

I’ve never been a big fan of Porsche prior to the release of the 996. Everything that came before that just looked like, yes, Volkswagen Beetles – awkward and cartoonish with high rooflines and bizarre aerodynamics.

And the thing is, after going to the Porsche Effect, I still largely feel the same way. I shall explain. Continue reading “Car Thoughts: “The Porsche Effect” at the Petersen Automotive Museum”

Travel Thoughts: The Anza Borrego Serpent Sculpture

I had no idea Anza Borrego had a random iron serpent sculpture out in the desert before instagram, which is an embarrassing thing to admit, but I also have this thing where if I see a cool thing or event on social media, I go see it, and that’s how I ended up here.

After ditching my impractical but supposedly (but not really) earth-friendly EV and getting an impractical and abstractly (but not really) earth friendly SUV, I committed myself to exploring as much of the continental US by roads traveled as I could (time and funds permitting). I successfully made it here (about a four-hour drive overnight to capture sunrise) and to Hearst Castle before I was unceremoniously cut loose from a temporary work assignment I was contracted to be at through the end of May at the earliest.

Continue reading “Travel Thoughts: The Anza Borrego Serpent Sculpture”

Travel Thoughts – New Orleans – A Testament to Building with Wood, Lead, and Tar

God I loved New Orleans, and I can’t put into words why. Okay, blogs are about words, so I should probably try.

In December of 2017, a travel buddy & I embarked upon what may become an annual excursion: Experiencing New Orleans at the best possible time: NOT Mardi Gras. Continue reading “Travel Thoughts – New Orleans – A Testament to Building with Wood, Lead, and Tar”

Travel Thoughts: Jazz Night on Thursdays at Der Rathskeller

I’ve found a wonderful new spot to go and experience jazz on Thursday nights. It’s in Pasadena, and it’s called Der Rathskeller.

Alright, I admit, if you watched that video, yes, it’s not jazz, it’s folk. It’s also my first crack at filming this jazz night, and on the night I went, they decided to mix things up a bit and have it be free form night, but normallyThursday nights are jazz nights at Der Rathskeller. Continue reading “Travel Thoughts: Jazz Night on Thursdays at Der Rathskeller”

Travel Thoughts – Hearst Castle Live Stream Fail

Well, I attempted to live stream from Hearst Castle in San Simeon, and I failed epically at it, but did manage to record this backup.

I was all set. I had all the cables (and then some) a man might ever need in his life. I had a massive external battery pack that could literally power everything for days. I had tested my RX0 and made sure it would send video to my live streaming box properly. Even with all this proper prior planning to prevent problems, none of it mattered. It still didn’t work at all.

I shall explain.

Continue reading “Travel Thoughts – Hearst Castle Live Stream Fail”

Car Thoughts: Part 2 – I Dumped My EV for a 13 Year Old Gas Guzzler

Continuing along on the topic of this EV lemon….which I have no pictures of because, well, I didn’t like it so why bother?

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After a short back-and-forth with Ford on my issues, they agreed to repurchase my car, and in the time that passed I came to a conspiracy theorist conclusion: Ford and other automakers making basically the same compact EV’s, don’t care about these cars. They are cars being manufactured for no other reason than to satisfy clean air regulations and CAFE standards set forth by California and/or the EPA. They are doing the bare minimum to continue operating.

Continue reading “Car Thoughts: Part 2 – I Dumped My EV for a 13 Year Old Gas Guzzler”

Car Thoughts: Part 1 – I Dumped My EV for a 13 Year Old Gas Guzzler

And I don’t regret dumping my EV one bit.

Friends, readers, worldlyfolk: Lend me your eyes so that you may gaze upon Bertram Cholmondeley (pronounced “Chumley” if you did not know), a 2006 Range Rover Sport, and  from here on out, an ongoing project about which I shall write on adventures, maintenance, repairs, and thoughts pertaining to all of the above.

Bertram Cholmondeley

Let’s start with some back story, which will cover Part 1.

I consider myself to be progressive-but-politically-independent (ie no party affiliation), and one thing I do care about is the environment and saving money, so in 2016 when my Prius reached the 150,000 mile mark and was having several little bits and bobbles starting to go, I decided it made more sense to purchase a new car, rather than put the $5k or more that would be necessary to bring the Prius back up to being ship-shape and Bristol fashion.

This would prove to be a mistake…a big mistake.

Continue reading “Car Thoughts: Part 1 – I Dumped My EV for a 13 Year Old Gas Guzzler”

Thing Thoughts: Hey I Won A Contest for Taking a Survey!!

I recently decided that I was going to take every damn survey that promised to enter me into a drawing/sweepstakes/raffle/contest in order to call companies’ bluff and see if I could win something, and guess what? I did.

I do love SOM shoes and everything they stand for. They’re hand-made by a small business based in Colorado (for the most part, made to order) and despite being sneakers of the Chucks variety, can be resoled when you wear down the sole. They are minimalist footwear, so don’t expect much in the way of cushioning between the sole of your foot and the ground. It took me a couple of days to acclimate to the shoes but now I absolutely love them.

I digress.

SOM emailed customers with a survey asking for customer feedback to make them a better company and promised to enter participants in a contest to win one of these boxes and lo and behold, I got picked! The last time I won a contest was to get my likeness drawn and included in the Icebox web series “Zombie College” back in 2001. Remember Icebox?

With all that, let’s look at what was in the box:

A Bluecorn Beeswax Candle
Dirty Water Soap Works Soap
• Chocolove Chocolate
• A SOM Footwear Sleep Mask
• St Pierre Catering Nutty Granola
• Save Our Soles Socks (the key to my heart is good socks)
• idea chíc Wood Postcard
• Wild Zora Meet & Veggie Bar (addictive!!)

Thank you SOM!

Please go check out their shoes. They really are great. In fact, I’m wearing them right now. No joke.