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the skunks of los feliz

This is hardest rain I think I've seen in LA. For a while, the sound of rain pounding on the building drowned out "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown".

We ignored Snoopy's adventures behind enemy lines in favor of watching our neighbor's trash cans float down the street, as a LAPD cruiser nonchalantly drove by.

Weird: Transpose the "s" and the "p" in any blogspot address (ex: thisismyblog.blogpsot.com) and you end up at this religious site, which features the author's 11 reasons that the end times are near.

I'm not convinced, however. There's no mention in the prophecies of the Red Sox coming back from 3 games down to knock off the Yankees, and then coming within 2 wins of their first World Series title in 86 years.

Predict that, and we can talk.

They're magically duplicitous!

General Mills rolls over to the Sinclair Group, all in the name of the "free press":

Thank you for contacting General Mills. Many consumers have written to share their views on this issue. Some have urged General Mills to use its influence as an advertiser to ensure that the media reports the news in an unbiased manner. Some have urged General Mills to continue advertising, and have threatened to withdraw support for our products if we alter our advertising plans. Passions run deep on both sides, particularly this close to an election.

Whenever possible, General Mills does strive to preview the programs on which our advertising appears. We do so to assure that we do not advertise on programs inconsistent with the family-oriented nature of our products. This works well with entertainment programs produced and available for advance screening, but pre-screening of news broadcasts is usually not possible.

Our view in this area is clear. We believe one of the fundamental elements of our society is the freedom of the press. Companies such as ours, in our view, should not attempt to influence, control or pre-empt the content of news through the leverage of advertising sponsorship. To do so would undermine that fundamental freedom.

From time to time, any one of us as viewers may consider a particular news story to be inaccurate or imbalanced. News organizations do err. Judgment is not always well applied. One major news organization recently acknowledged that errors were made in stories relating to the current presidential election. When such errors occur, certainly a price is paid in terms of reputation. But errors and questionable judgment are an acceptable price to pay, in our view, to assure the presence of a free and independent media in our society.

As viewers, each of us is free to make a choice. We can choose to patronize or not patronize programs with our viewership. We can choose to patronize or not patronize particular television stations, or even entire networks.

Similarly, advertisers may choose not to sponsor certain broadcasts, a particular network or specific publications because of their journalistic standards and judgment. But advertisers should not attempt to control or pre-empt news programming prior to broadcast or publication. That, in our view, would be inappropriate. In this instance, as in the example cited earlier, passionate voices are calling on advertisers to insert themselves into the election by threatening to boycott those who remove or who do not remove their advertising.

We choose to stand with freedom of the press.

We welcome the views that you and others have shared with us. You may rest assured that we will remind the networks we sponsor that the integrity of their reporting reflects on the companies that advertise during their broadcasts. Hopefully, you will understand our views – and the importance we place on a free press. Again, thank you for taking the time to contact us and share your views.

Sincerely, General Mills

The truly galling thing about this rather didactic lecture on the First Amendment (from a company that makes sugary kid's cereal), is that they insist on referring to the Sinclair Group's partisan hack job as "journalism".

They're right about one thing: consumers, like companies, have a choice in how they spend their money. I choose to stand without General Mills products.

So long, Lucky Charms. We hardly knew ye.

Posted by Hello
Good to know that, in the midst of all the campaign hubbub, W still somehow found the time to throw his base a bone.

Huh? Posted by Hello
I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard on Saturday and I was struck by the level of affection I have for Hollywood itself (as opposed to my sometimes ambivalent feelings about Hollywood the business).

Hollywood is like the barmaid at your favorite dive. She looks better in the diffused glow of neon than in the harsh light of day: a few drinks can quickly up the attractiveness quotient. Her glory days are behind her, but she's had a little work done, and her cunning use of makeup disguises many of her blemishes. The lines that are still visible speak to her hard-earned experience and wisdom, gathered over ten thousand smoky nights spent in front of and behind a bar.

She's funny, hard-bitten, and cynical. She ain't buying what you're selling. You appreciate her sexuality, and know that she'll never go home with you (she's probably better in bed than you are, anyway, and you wouldn't want to embarrass yourself). She's not the settling down type. She could have been someone else, had chances to change course, but let them go. Ennui, rather than some master plan, has led her to drift across your path. But she's okay with that. She's lived. She had some great times. Partied with some famous people.

They come and go.

She stays.

RIP, Superman. Posted by Hello
I totally love Mozilla's Firefox. I totally hate the way my blog looks in Firefox.

Update: Turns out my coding was flawed, not Mozilla's. Firefox truly rocks.

The old zoo site in Griffith Park. The animal enclosures are now picnic areas. It's fun to walk down there to watch people eat and party inside those things: they look like they're exhibits in a zoo. Kinda like that one Star Trek episode... Posted by Hello
I drove to Marshall High this afternoon to take a run, and found the track closed for some reason (I never have been able to figure out the public hours). So instead, I took my afternoon constitutional in the east end of Griffith Park, since I'm kinda burnt on the whole Mt. Hollywood hiking scene.

And you know what?

It's not bad over there. I mean sure, I've been to the zoo before, and done the whole DWP Festival of Lights Holiday Traffic Jam, even took a sock in the eye from Cami (an accident, she swears) while we were enjoying the merry-go-round in the early days of our relationship. But I don't think I ever really thought about all the good stuff that's tucked away between the tail end of the Hollywood Hills and the 5.

So, in the interest of keeping this post manageable, and because I just rented Battle Royale and am dying to see it, here's a short list of east GP's goods:

- the creepy old abandoned zoo, with it's empty exhibits and cages. Somebody should seriously shoot a serial killer flick there.

- pinatas, pinatas, pinatas.

- the aforementioned merry-go-round (though it's way overdue for some serious restoration).

- that trailer that serves as the Observatory's home while it's being renovated. Well, it's not really cool, as such. I just think it's funny that the Observatory is now living in a trailer park. How the mighty have fallen.

- the wedding party photo sessions at the Mulholland Fountain, with the requisite beautiful bride (they seem so young to me), and a coterie of bridesmaids in dresses that span all the colors of a Paas Easter egg dye kit.

- Travel Town, which the 8 year old in me is dying to visit. I mean, trains! Who doesn't love trains?

- Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. OK, it's not officially part of Griffith Park. But it is the quiet, respectable next door neighbor, much less clamorous and dirty than the 5. Though sometimes it seems a little too quiet over there...

- The Autry Museum. Honestly, I'm not sure exactly what this place is all about. Probably a bunch of old TV props and a big exhibit on how Gene Autry owned the Angels when they sucked.

Not bad, huh? I think I might make a point of exploring that side of the park more. Maybe even take up golf, so I can try to send a ball over that huge net and onto the 5.

Now, on to Battle Royale!

Update: Battle Royale is pretty damned good.

(BTW, if you want to see Griffith Park in action, check out this video blog by Shannon Noble. Good for people who want to check out the Bat Cave without humpin' it up Bronson Canyon. Thanks for the links, Shannon!)


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