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.

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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.

Sad Thoughts: So Long Book Castle Movie World, Burbank, California

Well I suppose this one was inevitable: Book Castle Movie World is closing. The shop has been a fixture of Downtown Burbank for, oh geeze, it has to be 40 or 50 years at least.

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The shop had all the appearances of a film curios shop that might stock or display props, costumes, reproductions, movie posters, screenplays, and other ephemera to tickle a cinephile’s fancy. The shop front had the dilapidated Art Deco look of a repurposed clothing store from the 40’s that had gone long unoccupied until the Movie World tenant moved in. The displays featured faded movie posters for past great films and even the latest and greatest stuff in theaters, all showing an equal amount of fading and weathering.

But the reality inside was somewhat different. Continue reading “Sad Thoughts: So Long Book Castle Movie World, Burbank, California”

Travel Thoughts: Barley Forge Brewing Co. in Costa Mesa, California

After finishing my tea at Milk & Honey, I wound up over at Barley Forge Brewing Co. across the street for a St. Patrick’s Day Lunch of corned beef, excellent cabbage, mashed potatoes, and some token carrots (no clue why those were there, I hate carrots…). Oh, and also beer.

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My favorite of their in-house craft brews would have to be the ‘Grandpa Tractor.’ It’s light, but not too light, crisp, and refreshing, seriously the only three words that should ever be used to describe beer. One thing I can’t stand about wines and wine tasting are all the metaphors used to describe the stuff. No, beer should be crisp and refreshing. Bam. Done. End of story. It’s harder than you think to find beer like this though. Nowadays, breweries are trying to make their marks by coming up with all kinds of weirdness in beer texture and flavor that I’m not going to get into…including Barley Forge…so all you need to know, is that their Grandpa Tractor is fabulous and doesn’t mess around.

Here is Barley Forge’s Website.

Movie Thoughts: Red Sparrow was a Slow Burn Espionage Thriller that Deserves More Credit

My mother saw Red Sparrow, and didn’t like it. A lot of critics saw Red Sparrow, and didn’t like it. I saw Red Sparrow, and I liked it. Which means I know more about movies than any of the people mentioned above.

No hear me out for a sec.

Continue reading “Movie Thoughts: Red Sparrow was a Slow Burn Espionage Thriller that Deserves More Credit”

Car Thoughts: The Aston Martin V550 V8 Vantage – My Grail Car

This post about the mercurial Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550 was originally published on DriveTribe but as is the case with most social media, it has devolved into the sharing of unoriginal, vintage and viral media, so I’ve edited and reposted here.:

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My Journey to See My grail car
James May of The Grand Tour and another deceased pokey motoring show says “never drive your icons,” and i look forward to breaking that rule to drive the coolest f*cking Car Ever made…some other day.

Continue reading “Car Thoughts: The Aston Martin V550 V8 Vantage – My Grail Car”

Travel Thoughts: Milk & Honey in Costa Mesa, California

I live for small coffee roasters and Milk and Honey in Costa Mesa, California was a nice place to stop and feel serene while I waited for my car to get smogged.

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Of course, I was also sick and so did not get the opportunity to sip coffee there, as I do prefer tea under such conditions, but in spite of that and the malfunctioning industrial ice maker along the wall that I found myself seated at, it was a lovely little experience.

Continue reading “Travel Thoughts: Milk & Honey in Costa Mesa, California”