Monday, August 30, 2010

A Guaranteed Good Time

Friday night I went as a guest of Reed & Davidson's to see John Williams conduct at the Hollywood Bowl. The night was a little chillier than I had expected but there's really no way to have a bad time at the Hollywood Bowl -- especially if you're sitting in a box and have valet parking.
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I've seen John Williams a few times at the Hollywood Bowl, and frankly, never really enjoyed it. All his music sounds the same to me. I enjoyed this performance much more than the others. The first half was dedicated to other composers and the film clips shown with the music made it much more entertaining.
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Lots of people had Light Sabers for the Star Wars portion of the concert. Even Grandpa had his handy.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why We Love Children

1) NUDITY I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, 'Mom, that lady isn't wearing a seat belt!'

2) OPINIONS On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, 'The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents.'

3) KETCHUP A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. 'Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle.'

4) MORE NUDITY A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, 'What's the matter, haven't you ever seen a little boy before?'

5) POLICE # 1 While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, 'Are you a cop? Yes,' I answered and continued writing the report. My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?' 'Yes, that's right,' I told her. 'Well, then,' she said as she extended her foot toward me, 'would you please tie my shoe?'

6) POLICE # 2 It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. 'Is that a dog you got back there?' he asked. 'It sure is,' I replied. Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, 'What'd he do?'

7) ELDERLY While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by t he various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, 'The tooth fairy will never believe this!'

8) DRESS-UP A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, 'Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit.' 'And why not, darling?' 'You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning.'

9) DEATH While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased. The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: 'Glory be unto the Faaather, and unto the Sonnn, and into the hole he goooes.' (I want this line used at my funeral!)

10) SCHOOL A little girl had just finished her first week of school 'I'm just wasting my time,' she said to her mother. 'I can't read, I can't write, and they won't let me talk!'

11) BIBLE A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. 'Mama, look what I found,' the boy called out. 'What have you got there, dear?'
With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, 'I think it's Adam's underwear!'

Bang Bang Indeed!

Yes, That's Gloria Swanson & Janis Joplin!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I spent the past weekend in San Diego for the California Republican Party Convention.

I arrived at the hotel on Friday at just about the same time as Meg Whitman. I happened to stumble upon the little welcome rally her campaign organized at a side door of the hotel. In this photo you can se her shaking hands while riding an esclator (which doesn't seem terribly safe to me).

I had this ironic thought at the time: The very first California Republican Party Convention I ever attended was in 1978 at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. At the tender age of 15 I was recruited to be part of the crowd welcoming Evelle Younger, the GOP nominee for Governor, to the convention hotel. I can still remember how excited I was to stand on the sidewalk waving a sign. The crowd followed Attorney General Younger and his wife into the hotel lobby where Younger delivered a little speech from a landing above a staircase at the end of the lobby.

The irony is Younger's opponent in the Governor's race was Jerry Brown. Does that mean I get to be 15 again?
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The San Diego skyline with its distinctive architecture.
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The weather in San Diego was gorgeous and folks were happy to soak up the sunshine. This shot is at the water's edge alongside Seaport Village -- a little tourist trap with souvenir shops.
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Before leaving San Diego Sunday I had an excellent lunch at Brian's American Eatery. Huge menu! My food was excellent and looking at the plates as they went to other tables, it all looked good.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

A few nights ago I spent the evening with students attending the Junior Statesmen Los Angeles Symposium on Politics and Media at UCLA. The students participated in a campaign simulation that was a lot of fun to observe.
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Sunday, August 01, 2010

No Confusion

Made my way up to San Francisco today and had dinner at John's Grill. This restaurant was made famous by the Dashiell Hammett book, "The Maltese Falcon." Detective Sam Spade ate lunch here regularly in the book.

I enjoyed dinner in the lively dining room.

Now I need to re-watch the movie. Last time I saw it I couldn't follow the plot.
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It was pretty crowded at John's Grill. No line to get it, but nearly every table was full.
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I took a few minutes this afternoon to stop by Mitchell's Ice Cream in San Francisco. This place has been around since the 50s and has some pretty loyal fans. It seemed fine to me, but hardly worth going out of the way to visit. I guess between the two my preference is the Bi-Rite Creamery.
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Get Down With Your Freaky Self