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the skunks of los feliz
You may have already seen this link on LAblogs, but this is a great site for anybody interested in a glimpse at what Los Angeles was like in the early days of the 20th century. Great photos, and a narrative that pulls it all together, without subjecting readers to the dry, torturous prose of much historical writing.

Cami in San Francisco. Just testing out hello. So far, so good. Posted by Hello
Iraq's a disaster, al Qaida is allegedly going to "hit us hard" this summer, and the economy's barely limping along. Glad someone's havin' a high old time.
Truly exciting news for space geeks: the scaffolding surrounding the Griffith Observatory's new copper dome has come down. It took me a few days after the fact to register it, I'd grown so used to seeing the dome obscured by a tangle of iron and wood.
We're now a year and half out from the reopening of the Observatory and it's exhibition galleries, and I'm looking forward to checking out all the new, hopped up, high tech exhibits and movies. Part of me will miss the truly cheesy old exhibits, which, while dated (Skylab model!) took me back to the days of my first fascination with space and space travel. I'd check out the same space books over and over from the small library in my hometown, poring over the photos of Gemini and Apollo spacecraft, and better yet, conceptual illustrations of tremendous orbiting cities and thriving Mars outposts.
We're not there yet, obviously. The ISS has proven to be an expensive boon-doggle that has only served to drain precious resources away from programs such as the Hubble Telescope and upkeep on the aging Shuttle Fleet. But we've also done incredible things, like the Hubble, like our Mars rover program, like our probes to the gas giants in the outer solar system.
I'm sure the new exhibits will reflect this. I just hope they find room for some of their older exhibits, to show us the dreams of the future that our parents saw approaching, just over the horizon of the 21st century. Those dreams may not be here yet, may never arrive, but remind us of our deep-seated drive to explore and see. I've pretty much given up my childhood hope that I would one day walk on the moon, but that dream could still come true for the children that will swarm the Observatory when it reopens. I hope it does.
A video still of the "foreign fighters" our Air Force fragged to hell and back last Wednesday. I guess this little girl was suspected of having WMD's in her diapers.

That sound you hear is another thousand terrorists being born.
As you can see by my boring pics at right, I've been working another AFI short. I will blame that for not posting for almost two weeks. I really don't have much to say, except that I kinda like the Dizzy Rascal CD. Can't understand what the heck he's saying, but that's okay, couldn't understand the Clash at first either. Not that the two are on the same level. The Clash were the soundtrack of a good chunk of my life, the young chunk. You know you're getting old when you can take Joe Strummer's death in stride. Hell, it happens to everybody.
But that's old news, and pop rolls on. Here's to Dizzy Rascal, whatever the hell he's rapping about. Maybe it's better he's mumbling, though Tricky hit that note first (anybody remember Maxinquaye? great album). Rap is so dead, you've got to blow it up and start all over. And no, the Beastie Boys aren't about to freshen up the genre with their next tired joint. Ca-ca-ca-cash your Ch-ch-ch-check ya has-beens.
Ok, now I'm not just old, I'm bitter. Fuck it, I'm gonna lay on the couch, drink warm milk, and watch PBS until I pass out, senior citizen style. G'night.
Here's an interesting mini guide to L.A.'s impressive stock of Modernist architecture.
Sunday was a beautiful day, was it not? We hoofed it all over the neighborhood, checking out the open houses. It's funny (a little) that some of these houses are 750k plus, but need about 200k of work. Ah well, it's not like I'm in the house market anyway.
After traipsing through people's homes, we walked over to Barnsdall Park, which has re-opened. The park is really an arts complex comprised of a gallery, theater, and the Hollyhock House. The house is still being renovated, undergoing seismic retrofitting and other painful procedures. I can't wait for it to be finished so I can get a look at the interior.
Wow, Blogger has changed. We fear change....
This is very cool in the way that seeing a shark glide under your boat might be. Hopefully this cougar will be able to peacefully inhabit the park without running afoul of the humans (myself included, late-coming interloper that I am) that have squeezed his natural habitat, year after year. Unfortunately, most mountain lion-human interactions end in death for the cougar, rather than catch and release or other conservation-minded outcomes. This is not to say that mountain lions should be allowed to present a danger to people. And I'll be the first to admit that I will be exercising much more caution on my twilight hikes to the top of Mt. Hollywood. But these beautiful (and potentially dangerous) animals are reminders of another California, the one that existed before the swimming pools and cantilevered hill-side homes. We should embrace this past like we embrace our present, as things that are important to us, the things that make us Californians.


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