Bustin’ Caps w/ Pops

I recently took my father to the Los Angeles Gun Club to pop some off. It was our first time there.
You can pick any gun you want from their wide selection or bring your own. Buy ammo. Pick out a paper target from the wall, they a lot of choices. Then it is on.
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I had a moment where I thought “I could die in here, or get really messed up.” There are about 15 lanes for shooters and when they all start shooting together, by chance, the percussive force is felt throughout.
It was fun. Loading is kind of a drag.

New Parks Where Barren Land Once Was

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Unfinished portion of Chavez Park, Phase II, taken Sep. 2008

For as long as I can remember, South Gate has had a bike path along Southern Ave. It begins near Alameda, passes South Gate Park and reaches the Los Angeles River bike path via an entrance at Tweedy & Burtis, at the edge of abandoned industrial lots. As you can tell by the pictures, the bike path runs under the DWP’s transmission towers and often intersects residential streets far from the corner, creating a hazard whenever bicyclist and driver fail to look for oncoming travelers. LACMTA classifies it as a Class I bike path [pdf] until it reaches South Gate Park, at which point there are bike lanes on both sides of Southern.

That being said, I still cyclists riding on the sidewalk on the other side of the street or bicyclists on the street itself, though the bike path is just across the street. What gets into people’s heads to ride so unsafely when they have the option the ride safely, separate from cars, across the three-lane street? It’s bothered me every time I’ve seen it, both as a pedestrian and a driver. I’m not disturbed that asshole cyclists shut down the street (they don’t), it’s that riders do not take advantage of the opportunity to ride safely. Children’s races along the bike path are a welcome common sight, but I’d like to see more of the cyclists going in South Gate on the bike path. More (including images) after the jump. Continue reading

East L.A. meets Napa

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Going into its fourth year, the Alta Med fundraiser East L.A. meets Napa brings Mexican food and fine wine together to cater to a crowd that likes a good chardonnay with their tamales. And why not ? I had the opportunity to go and not knowing bupkis about fine wine, I decided to go in with an open mind and empty stomach. Needless to say I was impressed not only with the wines, but all the delicious food available and what wines go good with what. All the pictures were taken by my gf Gamin.

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It is that bad.

Maybe you can carry a rich lady's baby for money?

Maybe you can carry a rich lady's baby for money?

Goldman posted the richest quarterly profit in its 140-year history and, to the envy of its rivals, announced it had earmarked $11.4 billion so far this year to compensate its workers.
At that rate, Goldman workers could, on average, earn roughly $770,000 each this year — or nearly what they did at the height of the boom.
Only three years ago, Goldman paid more than 50 employees above $20 million each. In 2007, CEO Lloyd Blankfein collected one of the biggest bonuses in corporate history.

The latest headline results — $3.44 billion in profit during its second quarter
Seattle Times.

Yes you just read that Goldman Sachs had a record earning quarter. What about you? How have you done this quarter? How have your friends done this quarter? How has your family done this quarter?  In the past two weeks I have known FIVE people who have been laid off from their jobs. This does not include people that I know who have been out of work for months.

According to some facts from the Fight Back Article, US in Longest Recessions Since the 1930s by Adam Price this is what it looks like out there for rest of  the quarter that Goldman Sachs had record earnings.

The economy has lost almost 6 million jobs (4.1% of total jobs) since 12/07, the worst downturn since the recession of 1948. Unemployment among African Americans hit a depression-level 15% in April, unemployment for Asian Americans has risen the fastest. 8.5 million people are on unemployment. 10.6% of the US is on food stamps. People on average are out of work five months. More than one-quarter of homeowners are ‘underwater’ with mortgages greater than the value of their home during the first three months of 2009. Apartment renters are being hit as former homeowners are competing for a place to live, keeping rents up (I know of three people who have had rent increases in the last few months, I probably know of more, but haven’t asked) even with the rising unemployment. During the first three months of 2009, 15% of houses were vacant, or more than 19 million homes. Continue reading

Highland Park in the NY Times

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These residents don’t count when the New York Times is discussing Highland Park “culture.”

It’s been making the rounds, The New York Times did an article on the new “culture” of Highland Park and you can guess who and what culture they are referring to. The vast majority of Highland Park residents will never read this article nor would they care about it but I can imagine the boutiques and gastropubs featured and interviewed couldn’t be more thrilled about this kind of validation.

Funny though, Highland Park has always been a place of community activity and art. Back in the 90s, it was ground zero for the Chicano cultural renaissance due to spaces like (De)Center, The Popular Resource Center (bands playing here: Quetzal, Ozomatli and Rage Against the Machine), pirate radio station Radio Clandestina, community garden La Culebra and the wonderful Arroyo Bookstore. The area was buzzing with art shows, concerts, poetry, political events and other happenings.
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Maricon

It’s a word I have used repedeadly in the past because I wanted to make fun of someone or make them feel bad. It’s a word that is casually thrown around in certain circles because we’re all a bunch of guys acting like guys around each other. A word my parents would use to describe our neighbor and his friends. Yet, after watching the movie Bruno, I saw myself through the eyes of an outsider if you will to realize how homophobic friends and family really are because it is the norm. Somehow it’s ok to use those kind of words with friends and joke about it with family because it was instilled by society, culture, religion or just passed down from within the family, being gay is the worst thing you can be. Often times I find myself around friends that use that word, along with a plethora of others in demeaning and derogatory ways because somehow it’s OK to use that word. Much like any other hot button word that cannot be said, except by a person of that race. Kinda like me calling a friend a wetback beaner. It’s ok for me to say it because I’m Mexican but let me hear someone else saying that and all hell will break lose. That’s only the tip of the ice berg of course. When you add how religion demonizes homosexuality and instills in others that being gay is evil and wrong, violence tends to follow. What I’m trying to get at is that society as a whole paints this picture that everyone is better than anyone who may be gay and that it’s OK to treat them like shit because they are gay. I stopped using those kind of words with said circle of friends a few years ago, but it takes a conscious effort, which I am ashamed to admit. I have friends who are gay and they are some of the most kick ass people I know. I may have gotten rid of those inclinations to use derogatory words referencing homosexuality, but whenever I’m around a certain circle of friends all I hear is, “Dude, you’re a fucking fag man. Why you looking at me like that? You looking at my cock? pinche maricon hahahahahahah.”

Part of the Plan

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“Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even if the plan is horrifying. If tomorrow I tell the press that like a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all, part of the plan. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!”

– The Joker from “The Dark Knight

[photo taken @ the intersection of Eastern Ave. & Huntington Dr. in El Sereno]

The 3rd Street Specific Plan

From the website,

Four Discovery Workshops for Phase 1 of the Community Plan Update will be held in East Los Angeles beginning July 13, 2009 through July 25, 2009. The same material will be covered at each of the four workshops which will be held in different locations in East Los Angeles in order to be as convenient as possible for residents and business owners in East Los Angeles to participate in the process and help decide how the 3rd Street corridor should develop and appear in the future (Discovery Workshops Schedule).

The Discovery Workshops will be followed by a continuous series of all day design sessions called a charrette which will be held over a six day period. The charrette will occur the week of August 17, 2009 through August 22, 2009. During the charrette, all of the information gathered from early field work, stakeholder interviews and the Discovery Workshops will be shaped into a vision for the 3rd Street corridor, which will later be transformed into the 3rd Street Specific Plan.

Residents, business owners and other local stakeholders will be invited and encouraged to participate in the process. The exact location and times of the discovery workshops and the design charrette will be announced on this website, as well as in local publications and libraries, in the coming weeks. We look forward to your ongoing participation in this exciting community planning effort.”

DISCOVERY WORKSHOPS SCHEDULE AND LOCATIONS

~ Monday, July 13, 2009

Belvedere Community Regional Park – Social Hall 4914 East Cesar Chavez Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90022 (323) 260-2342 Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

~ Tuesday, July 14, 2009

City Terrace Park – Social Hall 1126 N Hazard Ave Los Angeles, CA 90063-1258 Phone: (323) 260-2371 Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

~ Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ruben Salazar Park – Senior Center 3864 Whittier Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90023 (323) 260-2330 Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

~ Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saybrook Park – Recreation Room 6250 Northside Dr Los Angeles, CA 90022 (323) 724-8546 Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Eeewwww!

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I was working outside today when I picked up an old board and discovered this ghastly creature crawling underneath. A dreaded Niño De La Tierra! Uy!

I have not seen one of these brutes in a long time and I can’t say I’ve missed the sight of one. As I was dropping the board back down I noticed something else crawling underneath it,

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A widow spider! but not the typical black one- this one was the powerfully venomous: Brown Widow Sorry for the small image, but this was as close as I wanted to get! Chále!

All Power to the Knuckleheads!

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It didn’t take long for the remarks of an old timey cop to bring back an old timey word. Spotted the other day on my usual dumpster diving route, a remarkably timely sticker pasted onto my favorite bin in which to find tuxedos in need of some creative care: all it says is KNUCKLEHEADS.  I’ve been involved with crowds that end up on the wrong side of media opinion enough times to know that media opinions are worth squat. I wasn’t at the recent festive Lakers celebration that got so many people bent out of shape, that got them all a twitterin’ and a facebookin’ as if they’ve only just discovered Los Angeles has a vast populace that could care less about certain things. In the interest of letting people believe a certain fantasy about this city, I’m gonna leave it at that for now.

But yeah, FYI, the Knuckleheads are out there. Or maybe they’re just ordering stickers online?