A little more information

The two main activities in my life: Helping the hungry in the late hours of the night and helping guitar players sound better one amp at a time.

I always try to remember that in order to do good one has to take action and actually do something.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I have watched the city and Southern California change for well over half a century.

I can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/mylesr or on twitter at www.twitter.com/myles111us or on my own Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting website at www.mylesrose.com

Los Angeles Architectural History

Los Angeles Architectural History
1935 Art Deco at some of its finest: No. 168 - Griffith Observatory- (click on the photo for information)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Gourmet Food Trucks



I have been writing a bit about the gourmet food trucks that show up all over the city.  Some have a fixed schedule.  Some show up at events. 

I posted some of my thoughts on facebook and thought I'd copy some of that dialogue here.....

Homelessness Up 50% In New York City

This is from Fox News in New York, today 8/30/10.  I have been writing on the increase of homeless folks I see on the streets of Los Angeles.  It looks as if New York is finding things just as difficult.

BY LUKE FUNK


MYFOXNY.COM - If you think you’ve been seeing more people sleep on city streets, statistics back up the perception. The homeless population living on New York City streets has gone up 50-percent in the past year, according to city statistics.....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chinatown Summer Nights - Tonight 8/28 5pm until ????



Tonight is the last August event in Chinatown.  I have been to a few and have posted some photos and video in the past.  They have many things going on that interest a wide range of people.  Music, art, food and more.  I will be at the event tonight.....


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Behind the Scenes - three days of what it takes to put on a show

Last February I spent three days with Chad Weaver and the Brad Paisley crew.  They had the Jimmy Kimmel Live show and a show at The Staples Center.

Chad Weaver posted some photos on his facebook page of a show a day or two ago at a large venue.  There has been a bit of commentary on the large venue.  Many people do not know what goes on behind the scenes so I thought I would post a few photos and videos here.

Below is the shot from Chad that started me thinking ...


Below are some of my own shots in a slideshow and a few videos. There are also some fun shots when Chad had a break......

Sunday, August 22, 2010

5 Questions for Mark Horvath, Founder of InvisiblePeople. tv

A story worth knowing....

Read more on Mark Horvath....

Once-homeless filmmaker gives others a voice

This is a story about Mark Horvath.  Mark does some pretty amazing work when it comes to spreading the word on the homeless.  Mark is also on facebook and twitter.  On facebook you can find Mark at http://www.facebook.com/mhorvath

I have some of Mark's links on the right side of my blog here but if you want to learn a bit more without searching links - www.hardlynormal.com and www.invisiblepeople.tv are good starting places.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Some folks explain "Why I Took Social Security Early"

Elaine Armstrong, 63

At age 62, I was laid off from my job when the small landscaping company where I worked as a bookkeeper was acquired by a Canadian conglomerate. I had $10,000 in credit card debt at the time and aside from unemployment benefits, I had no other source of income..... her story and more ....

Kudos to the U.S. Department of Labor for keeping a keen eye on the situation

Our government with a close eye on the situation again - that word keeps showing up ... "unexpectedly". Kudos to the folks in our Labor Department.  The "big deals" in some business sectors are becoming less effective in helping the economy as the unemployment rate climbs.

Stocks drop as jobless claims rise unexpectedly
Stephen Bernard, AP Business Writer, On Thursday August 19, 2010, 10:36 am

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks tumbled Thursday after two disappointing economic reports renewed investors' concerns about the pace of a recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 127 points in morning trading. Broader indexes also fell more than 1 percent.

The Labor Department said claims for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week and the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia said manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region has dropped during August.

more below ....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Not everybody is having the same problems as we are having in the USA

In spite of problems here in the USA it looks like things are working out pretty well in other places. Then again, I wonder how much better the picture would have been for China considering that a large chunk of their economic holdings ARE the United States?

China's Ag Bank confirms world's largest IPO

China's Agricultural Bank completes $22.1 bln IPO, world's largest despite market doldrums

Monday August 16, 2010, 7:04 am EDT by Associated Press

SHANGHAI (AP) -- The Agricultural Bank of China says it raised a world record $22.1 billion in its initial public offering last month, despite a tepid reception from investors, after exercising an overallotment option for its Shanghai share sale.

The bank, China's main rural lender, sold an additional 3.34 billion shares at the IPO price of 2.68 yuan ($0.39) per share as part of the overallotment, as expected, according to a notice Monday on the Web site of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The extra 8.94 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) raised pushed the dual Hong Kong-Shanghai IPO to $22.1 billion in total, surpassing the previous record set by the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China's $21.9 billion IPO in 2006.

Despite strong government backing for the IPO, the last by China's four biggest state-owned commercial banks, investors leery of the rural-oriented balance sheet and the market's overall outlook have shown lackluster interest in the shares.

In Hong Kong, whose market is open to foreign investors, the bank's shares rose a mere 2.2 percent on their July 16 debut, compared with double-digit gains in past years for high-profile IPOs. In Shanghai, where yuan-denominated shares are sold only to domestic buyers, the shares rose just 1 percent on their debut.

By midday Monday, the lender's shares were up 0.7 percent, at 2.71 yuan in Shanghai and down 1.5 percent, at 3.34 Hong Kong dollars a share, in Hong Kong.

Are others turning away from conventional economic indicators?

Maybe I am getting through to people. My Saunders Index seems to be on the money for a lot of folks as an accurate snapshot of where the economy really sits. Now it looks like others are turning to other indicators?

'Hindenburg Omen' Flashes

by Steven Russolillo and Tomi Kilgore
Monday, August 16, 2010

Forget about Friday the 13th. Many on Wall Street took to whispering about an even scarier phenomenon -- the "Hindenburg Omen."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The master plan to address the homeless problem is here!

Well .... sort of ... maybe .... well, errr ... uhhh ....  here we go....

http://homelessinla.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/la-county-dpss-stragic-plan/

The link above will take you to the master plan.

Well, here we are with the strategic plan for the homeless for 2010-2013. Seems as if it has been somewhat hung up since 1999 in some ways. Maybe if they let a few capable folks develop the plan rather than an office building full of folks that have better things to do in their own mind a more effective and timely plan would be the result? Pass this task on to Andy Bales at Union Rescue Mission or one of the heads of one of the other missions with a great track record.

Read a bit of the plan, still have a bit of reading to do but ....

I have my doubts already. One of the first statements - Objective I.1.1 By June 2011, increase the number of licenses and users of Plain Language software by 400.

There we go again... licenses, complication and wondering how many "licenses" ...have already been purchased and for what amount and at what cost.

Objective I.1.3 By September 2010, implement a telephone recertification option for the Food Stamp and CalWORKs Programs. Lead – LaTanya Lee.

Was this objective pre or post the reduction of the food stamp program just announced two days ago ...in California?

I read more.  OK ... I am confused now. I see many pages of objectives but must have missed objectives that would directly (or indirectly) help the homeless.

Seems I called it once again - a few days ahead of time

Yesterday I posted a little about the Saunders Index.  Seems as if I am saying that things are not really improving much with our economy even though news stories and the market may paint a more objective picture at times. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A piece from my friend Natsukashii です ね

Preface from my friend:  If you haven't already read this article from the Wall Street Journal I though you would appreciate it. I lived through the Japanese "Bubble Economy" and saw us make these same mistakes here which if we would have only paid attention to the Japanese model (the Japanese has been dealing with a horrible economy for nearly 20 years now). This article I thought spelled it out quite clearly.

A bit of response to his writing above:  I had good friends that were the founders of Matchless Amplifier Company fail due to the crash of the Japanese economy.



Monday, August 9, 2010

Music related question on the GT 5751M - smoke and mirrors?

As I say in the description of this blog; Helping the hungry in the late hours of the night and helping guitar players sound better one amp at a time.  This blog entry is one of those music related posts which had its root in a simple question.

Update / dialog addition to this entry: 

This has always been an ongoing offer but I thought I would mention it here again:  If there are any folks in the So Cal area that have any of the GT 12AX7M or GT 5751 tubes and would like to have them tested and traced I would be happy to do this at no charge. Drop me a note via email or send me a note on facebook if you are on facebook and we can set up an appointment.  I do not mail things back and forth so you would have to be local enough to North Hollywood to bring the tubes into the shop. This would be done while you wait (and watch).

Neal Logdahl, a friend on facebook asked me:  What's your take on the GT 5751M?   Neil is the man behind HipKitty Products.  He is the owner and chief engineer of http://www.hipkittyproducts.com/ in Nashville, Tennessee.

Here is a bit of info that may be of interest to a few folks.



Above is the Groove Tubes 5751M.  The tube has moderate large plates.  This is not what any original 5751 tube employed.  This design aspect is contraindicated in the real 5751.
The above is from the Tung Sol 5751 data sheet.  The 5751 was intended to be a direct 12AX7 replacement of slightly lower gain (less noise).  It also had to withstand extreme vibration tests so it would be less microphonic.  Short plates reject physical microphonics more easily than long plates generally speaking.  There are no original 5751 tubes that were constructed with long plates as a side note. 

The original 5751 was also intended for phase inverter use and also had a requirement that the two sides of the dual triode be within close match. 

The GT (Groove Tubes) 5751M was developed during my tenure as tech support and tube development engineer during my six plus years in this position at Groove Tubes.  Without going into too much detail and just hitting the bottom line, the GT-5751M bears no relationship to a 5751 from the past.  The tube was put on the marked after the  GT-12AX7M Mullard Reissue was released by Groove Tubes.  The 12AX7M was the lowest gain tube of any 12AX7 tube on the market including any NOS offerings as well.  The plate resistance was generally less than half of the 62.5K design spec at 250 volts with a 2 volt bias. 

This made the tube crosstalk between the A and B side in many amplifier designs.  The tube would act more like a capacitor than a tube.  It would click and sputter during warmup and in many cases the noise would not go away.  Tubes that were initially quiet would become noisy in a short time in many amps.  The tube was a failure in every way except one.  Their plate current was way too high generally but this factor is what I look for when I pick phase inverters for certain amps.  Most 12AX7 production tubes made today are down 30% and more on plate current.  The 12AX7M was too high.  Current is what I look for in tubes that push the output set not gain so in this case the 12AX7M was a great tube.

I have two data sheets for real 5751 tubes.  One is the RCA data sheet and one is the Tung Sol data sheet:

http://www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com/Tube/5751.pdf  - RCA
http://www.guitaramplifierblueprinting.com/Tube/5751WA.pdf - Tung Sol

The data sheet below from Groove Tubes:


 
What is that little * above where it says Specifications?

Originally, when I was at GT, part of my job was to test tubes and produce REAL data and not just reproduce spec sheets based on design spec from the past.  I used to publish actual numbers.  When I left this practice stopped.  Perhaps GT no longer had the tools to do this type of testing as I took them with me as they were my tools.  It seems as if these days GT is just reproducing design spec to produce their own data sheets. 

Reality:  The GT-5751M is a re-labeled GT-12AX7M tube with even lower gain than a 5751.  It is sold on the basis of being a low gain 12AX7 but misses the mark when it comes being anywhere close (or usable) in regard to transconductance, plate resistance or plate current.  It runs very hot, has curves that do not resemble anything close to a 12AX7, 5751, 12AY7, 12AT7 or 12AU7. 

*SPECIFICATION MEASUREMENT PROCEDURES (below is from current GT data sheets)


The measurements on this sheet are actual test results of current production tubes made in a neutral and consistent manner for the purpose of fair comparisons. We decided not to use just reprinted “target specs” from an old RCA book like most, if not all, current production spec sheets released today. If these specs do not meet the old RCA or GE published spec sheets, do not be alarmed. In fact, NO tubes made today meet all these original specs, and only a few come even close in the critical areas of Transconductance and/or Gain.

We believe it is more important to provide our customers a meaningful standard by which ALL tubes made today can be compared. So beginning with our 2007 spec sheets, our first ever published, ALL the tubes we manufacture and/or made in other factories and/or other tubes that are in our catalog will reflect actual test results and averaged over at least 10 samples. As production quality rises and falls (frequently) we reserve the right to make these results subject to change as and performance rises, or falls. Current data sheets reflecting latest productions can be found on the GT website at www.groovetubes.com.

I was at GT from 2002-2008.  The 2007 date above was describing one of my job functions at GT, a function which I developed.  I was the one who came up with the concept of being the industry watchdog to assure all tube vendors had some degree of quality.  I would publish my test results on various music forums and on my own GAB website on all vendors, not only GT.  The current data sheets on the GT website are not my work and may be little more than editing of past data sheets.  The tubes I test these days are just as awful as those in the past. 

The 5751M is born:  Aspen Pittman is a master of marketing.  He was described by Richie Fliegler (please excuse spelling as it is probably wrong) as a mix of P.T. Barnum and Billy Graham the Evangelist.  When the gain was found to be so low on the 12AX7M that it was something of a tragic selling point GT's founder and President decided to market the rejects as a lower gain tube, a new product. 

Aspen was always coming out with new products.  The SAG (special applications group) products of high gain kits, soft touch kits and matched phase inverters were all items I had been offering my clients at Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting for years.   Aspen felt these products could be marketed by GT and sold by GT.  That is what happened.  People like Rick Benson (now at 65 Amps) can attest to how many thousands of dollars of these products were sold every week at GT.  Did I receive anything for development of this product or from the sales of the product?  No.  But I digress.  To use a crude old phrase, Aspen "polished a turd".  He took the 12AX7M gain rejects and sold them as the 5751M.  To repeat myself; the 12AX7M was also a low gain tube, generally somewhere between the gain of a 12AT7 and 12AY7 at best.

From the current GT website - 5751M description:

This is a lower gain 12AX7 tube type. Stevie Ray Vaughn used these to change his front end distortion to back end distortion ratio to have more of the touch sensitive output tube distortion.

These test as per 5751 spec with the proper transconductance and current output.

The slightly lower gain quiets many amps down and these are a very smooth front end tube but are also quite amazing in the phase inverter position.

In the Fender Hot Rod series these are really the rage these days with many of GT's folks that use these amps.

The 5751 is slight variation of the popular 12AX7. It is interchangeable in all circuits calling for a 12AX7.  It can be effectively used to “customize” the amp's preamp stage to reduce gain when placed in the V1 position (first gain stage in the signal path). This will also allow for more clean headroom before distortion and soften the dynamics as well. Stevie Ray Vaughan used NOS 5751 preamp tubes in many of his Fender amps for this purpose.

Our exclusive GT5751M tube design, like its close sister the 12AX7M, is an exact replica of the original British built Mullard ECC82/12AX7 dual triode preamp tube, but with slightly lower 5751 Gain and TC specs. This famous Mullard dual triode design from the late ‘60s has a unique four (different) mica spacer design that reduces tube hum and microphonics by suspending the Cathode in a complex mica layered structure which acts like a shock mount. It is unlike any other preamp tube ever made (most all preamp tubes use just a single mica design!). This same Mullard design was licensed by other tube factories, such as Amperex, who used this design for its legendary Bugle Boy series of preamp tubes.

The GT 5751M has the same great rich classic sound of the GT12AX7M; a distinct tone along with high definition no other currently produced preamp tube can match. It is Aspen’s (our founder’s) personal favorite in ALL his modern high gain amps for adding that softer vintage touch and tone.

We highly recommended this tube for the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amps to fatten up the tone and “tame” the higher gain preamp stage. You will get more natural power tube distortion that will be controlled more so by the player’s touch, than the Gain and Volume settings.

The above reminds me of the old story where P.T. Barnum purchased many boxcars of canned salmon  without first seeing what he was buying.  Upon inspection he found the salmon did not have the expected color of the canned salmon of the day, the nice rich pink color.  It seemed that it was a washed out pale white color.  He realized nobody would buy his product.  So, he developed a marketing campaing "The highest grade salmon available - guaranteed not to turn pink".

Update 8/10/10 - Over on one of the music forums somebody asked what they should do when they needed to replace the Groove Tubes 5751M or 12AX7M when they failed or needed replacement in the future.  This was my reply:

When you need to replace try a real NOS 5751. Less gain generally equates to less noise and this is one cool aspect of a 5751.  You might find an NOS 5751 will give you the tone you like but they will last decades and be reliable with less worry.  NOS 5751s are available and not all that pricy.

As a bit of a guideline, most of the GT 5751s actually spec out gain wise as a 12AY7 (gain about 40 rather than 60-70 of a 5751) The 12AY7 was the front end tube in the Fender tweed bassman, tweed deluxe, bandmaster and super. The average 12AX7M in the runs over the last two or so years at GT had gain of a 12AT7 at best on average. This is about 70. Many tubes are in the 60 range. When the tube fell below 60 they were screened as a 5751M but the plate current is off the map (generally three times or more than spec) and the plate resistance and other factors are nowhere close to spec.

It may have been better to market the GT 5751M as something like a 12UJ7. Some number that does not exist. Then it would not be compared. It could be said that it was a possible replacement for a 12AX7 type tube that just sounds different. That may have been the most honest approach.

Well Neil, here is the answer to your simple question.  I am not a man of few words.  Feel free to repost this wherever you wish including music forums.

Myles

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Utimate Coffee Table Book Collection has been updated

September 2, 2010 Updated.  1,231 photos now in the collection.

August 22, 2010.  Just updated with food shots on the taco quest, a stage shot of the Whispering Pines rig at the Redondo Beerfest yesterday from Joe on the road, a terrific retro sign at Atomic Records, and a heart stopping shot of a couple shopping at Ikea for doors!

1,164 photos now in this emotionally draining slideshow which mixes art, whimsey, low production values, a general lack of composition, sexual tension, nausea and the feeling of foolishness you have if you can watch the entire show from beginning to end.

The Ultimate Coffee Table Book slideshow. Some cell phone shots from Joe Bourdet on the road and Mark Horne out there on the actual road. The slideshow now shows the most current shots first so folks get to see the lastest and greatest. Feel free to send me any of your own cell shots for consideration for album submission. I want to attempt to put these all into print sometime in 2010.

Photos from Union Rescue Mission - Andy Bales

Below are some shots from August 7, 2010 from the cellphone of Andy Bales of Union Rescue Mission.  This was an event on the roof of Union Rescue Mission. 

When you click on the thumbnail you will be redirected to Andy Bales photo page on twitter where there is a short explanation of each photo.

If you wish to learn more about URM and what they accomplish every day just cick on the title of this blog post and you will be directed to the Union Rescue Mission website. 


Rooftop view of LA from Union Rescue Mission on TwitpicThe sun is setting at a beautiful end of the night at Union R... on TwitpicGood friend Randy Northrup sharing encouraging song w/URM fam... on Twitpic1 of my little URM BUDDIES experiencing homelessness enjoying... on TwitpicOur packed house of families enjoying special dinner treat ON... on TwitpicGreat response of URM families turning out on rooftop 4 fanta... on TwitpicThanks 2 Pete Scolinos & friends 4 feeding our guest fami... on Twitpic

- the end -

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Welcome to the Recovery - sent to me by a good friend

A friend sent this to me and said ....

The FULL stats totally support what you've been saying all along..

The information below was sent to me by a good friend.  Below are some of his thoughts on what Mr. Geithner had to say:

The title sort of says it all, but just by skimming over it my immediate conclusion is that Mr. Geithner is either outright insane or a total liar. Neither of those are welcome realizations, though I doubt they are news to anyone with a working brain. However, for the sake of manners, I'll simply assume Mr Geithner is outright insane, in which case I am indeed, quite honored to be invited to his recovery... I only wish he'd mentioned the planet where it was taking place.

Let’s have a look at some data points on Earth, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.



Ok, you could possibly see something along the lines of improvement if you focused solely on the number of unemployed people, which has dropped 100,000 in the last year. Moreover, the number of people working part-time for economic reasons has dropped by 300,000. That’s not bad… so we must be in a recovery right?

WRONG.

These are the only data points that show any improvement. To get the word “recovery” out of this, means ignoring a whole slew of data that is downright ugly including:
•The 900,000 who stopped being employed in the last year

•The 3.1 million people who somehow mysteriously vanished from the workforce but are not unemployed (?!?!)

•The 2.3 million MORE people who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks

•The 407,000 more people who have simply given up even looking for a job because they don’t think they could find one.

Hard to find the word “recovery” from that mess. “Disaster” or “soon to be disaster when the unemployment benefits run out” seem more fitting descriptions. But then again, I am suffering the handicap of being on earth. Perhaps things are better on Mars?

It’s not as though the rest of the economic data looks much better. The following data points range from “not as bad but still bad” on the positive side to “absolutely horrendous” on the negative side.

 
Well, the number of mortgages underwater has dropped off. That’s largely due to the fact home prices bounced a bit year over year courtesy of the tax credits. But the jump in foreclosure filings, and personal bankruptcies shows doesn’t exactly spell economic strength. As for food stamp usage… no comment needed.

I don’t know about you, but I fully intend to take Mr Geithner up on his welcome invitation to the recovery. I only wish he’d tell me what planet it’s taking place on so I can move there, cause it sure ain’t earth.

Thank you to my good friend Joe for his take on this and sending me this in an email.

Tag experiment:  "vacuum tube made of cheese" "mister wacko"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Here we go again - unemployment claims nonsense

There were two stories I saw today out of many that are out there.

Stocks fall after spike in jobless benefits claims - NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks fell Thursday after first-time claims for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly last week.

Unexpectedly? 


The high unemployment rate in the U.S. remains one of the biggest worries for investors. The surprise jump in claims last week suggests that employers are still reluctant to create jobs, which could keep a damper on economic growth the coming months.

Surprise?

Comforting to know that our government little clue on the pulse of our economy. Don't forget those that have recently run out of benefits are and no longer being counted.

The story can be viewed at http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Stocks-fall-after-spike-in-apf-2317341206.html?x=0 if you want the full smoke and mirrors verson.

_____

The other story that caught my eye:  New claims for jobless benefits rise

The Labor Department said Thursday that new claims for unemployment insurance rose by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 479,000. Analysts had expected a small drop. Claims have risen twice in the past three weeks.

Some of the increase in claims stemmed from difficulties the government has in adjusting for seasonal factors.


Our government would need way fewer poeple to count who is unemployed if they followed a formula that I just developed for them:

1.  "Seasonally adjusted". Drop this. No such thing. When somebody is out of work they are out of work, period. No June or December, night or day, rain or shine.

2.  If benefits were being paid to somebody last month and not this month because the recipient ran out of benefits, and if they are still not working, count them.  Yes... these people still count.

3.  To simplify:  Ignore step 1 and step 2 and try this.  Keep a list that counts everybody that had a job, lost their job, wants a jobs whether they are collecting unemployment benefits or not.  Count each and every one of them.  Do not remove them from the list until you have some indication from THEM that they are working.

The complete story from behind the curtain can be seen at http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-economy-20100805,0,1167941.story

I do not have any issue with the story or the Los Angeles Times.  The factors I am drawn to are the statements from our government that this story reports.

I have a number of issues with our government and have had issues in trusting them and having faith in them ever since I was right in the middle of the Vietnam era of this country.

In any case, it took more than one administration to destroy the country and to outsource our jobs. 



America was not lost overnight.  We used to produce the finest computers, rockets, aircraft, and cars in the world.  RCA, General Electric, IBM all meant something.  The "telephone company" provided service in the past but today we are left with people like ATT who has a customer service reputation that is even lower than the reputation of British Petroleum. 



I posted the above video before but I am posting again as a reminder. 

Destroying America did not happen overnight and it will take much longer to climb out of the hole than our government is going to report to the public.  The country is going to need to go through a major shift and adjustment that will take many years.  In the meantime, I personally feel our government is obligated to report proper and accurate numbers of those who are out of work, unemployed, who have lost jobs or whatever label one puts on the situation.

Don't print pointless numbers which are not true one week and reverse the slant with a nice set of numbers the next just to keep the stock market moving all over the place so the few people in the country who do have money can keep playing the most expensive and exclusive game that has ever been developed.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Things the Mayor of Los Angeles does that .... you won't believe a lot of this.

This will be an ongoing post.  I will let folks know via facebook when there is an update.

Personal invitation to our Mayor - How about on August 21 you join me for a little tour of one area of Los Angeles.  No press.  No fanfare.  Wear a wig and some sun glasses and nobody will even know who you are.  Fly under the radar so to speak.  Come along?  Info is at http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2010/08/experience-life-learn-about.html

To the Mayor of Los Angeles, I took the photo below in 2010.  I dedicate this photo to you.




Seems as if one more is walking away from being associated with the Mayor for whatever reason.  Subject of the story claims support and I am sure his support was part of whatever compensation package he was given? 

Perhaps a part of the story explains a bit more:  As someone who dealt with the mayor’s schedule, Blackman also was one of the officials who helped arrange the mayor’s appearances at special events, such as Dodgers and Lakers games. Villaraigosa’s free events are now the subject of an investigation by the city Ethics Commission and an inquiry by Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley into whether free entry to games and concerts should have been disclosed as gifts.


Villaraigosa said he was performing official duties at those events and did not have to consider the free tickets as gifts under state law. Asked about the controversy, Blackman said in an e-mail: “I am not a part of any inquiry into this issue, nobody has asked to speak with me about it, and it has absolutely nothing to do with my departure.”

Blackman was one of the four people who originally made up Villaraigosa’s E-Team, or executive team. The other three -- Chief of Staff Robin Kramer, Deputy Chief of Staff Marcus Allen and Senior Counsel Thomas Saenz -- have already left.

Perhaps under closer examination more will be discovered?

Looking back at some earlier news - http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/06/city-planner-recruited-by-villaraigosa-from-san-diego-announces-retirement.html

City planner recruited by Villaraigosa from San Diego announces retirement


Gail Goldberg, L.A.’s planning director for the last 4 1/2 years, announced her retirement Wednesday, triggering speculation at City Hall about why she decided to leave the sensitive post now.  That is the opening line in the story at the above link.
_______

Below:  Okay, maybe it is just me but if I were Mayor in a city with so many problems and had a staff that had a history of misleading me I would probably avoid these sorts of trendy gatherings until there was more to celebrate.  I think our Mayor needs to be less of a public figure and more of somebody who puts on a pair of jeans and rolls up his sleeves and gets things done.

When I was a young child I thought I knew what a Mayor did.  The mayor posed for photos, rode around in cars so people could see them, ate in nice restaurants with police to kick all the people out other than the friends of the Mayor to assure great service and had a bunch of people around to do the work and take the blame if anything went wrong.  Well, I was sort of right other than the people around that are supposed to do the work are dropping the ball.








Some of my thoughts on this video above:

It seems our Mayor has a lot of extra time (and money) on his hands? Lisa Jackson needs to grab a canoe and skateboard if she wants a realistic view. The skateboard will be of much more use than the canoe.

I was shocked at Lisa Jackson's statement - Lisa Jackson to announce that the EPA deemed the Los Angeles River as navigable. I was even more shocked that the Mayor of Los Angeles bought this nonsense and took the time and resources to mak...e this video. Hey Tony (no respect from me here ... repect is earned in my book) how about spending a few buck on something a little more pressing? You want historical thing to be saved? There are a slew of great examples of architecture that could be saved a lot easier than the L.A. River for much less time and money. I need to add an ongoing post to my blog .... "Things the Mayor of Los Angeles does that are too stupid to put into words". I guess I can try to put it into words in the future.



To the Mayor of Los Angeles - before you try to fix a river that is easier to traverse via skateboard than canoe maybe allocate some of those funds to our schools?

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Today on August 3, 2010 Union Rescue Mission had to lay off eleven of their staff.  Andy Bales posted this on the URM blog - http://www.urmblog.org/2010/08/03/i-have-to-admit/

Our Mayor can spend time and resources for so many things yet more pressing issues arrise within walking distance of his office that could be resolved for a fraction of the cost of so many of the Mayor's questionable choices.

URM already had pay cuts and reductions in work force and now comes the lastest wave to hit these folks that are the last line of defense and hope when people hit bottom.

Some comments today on this post:

...This needs to be sent to the Mayors office, the Governors office and the Presidents office. And to think that assholes like our District Attorney spends millions of dollars of our tax money trying to extradite someone from Switzerland, that money could have been spent HERE helping to keep this very thing from happening. Damn it! When will people get their priorities straight!

...Priorities? Government and priorities of the mainstream population are generally mutually exclusive.

...I agree. Then, you should run for office. I would campaign hard for you Myles. This post of yours is going to be reposted on my page, and with a note for others to do the same. Public awareness is the only way this travesty will be prevented. It seems that good things like URM don't do anything for the governments interest. They don't help their bottom line, which by the way is easily spelled out.... C O R R U P T.

...Thanks so much for the suport. Sometimes I cannot figure the percentages on corrupt versus payoff versus plain and simple stupidity. A post from a day or few ago on the Mayor of Los Angeles taking resources (even if only time that could be better spent just about ANYWHERE) than the Los Angeles River just makes my head spin.

...I have a simple solution. Get rid of the vice squad altogether. That alone would pay for the needs of the URM.  Besides, drugs and prostitution doesn't hurt anyone except those that abuse them. People are going to do it anyway.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0803-homeless-20100803,0,7544706,full.story

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Below - Here is some serious stuff to ponder along with things like oil leaks, homeless folks, unemployment, KABC news reporting unemployment down when in fact it increased in July but over 380,000 folks were dropped from being counted as their benefits expired.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/07/new-grass-planted-at-lapd-headquarters-park-but-budget-woes-complicate-upkeep.html

Perhaps the reason they cannot water the new grass goes deeper than a budget issue?  - http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/07/councilwoman-accuses-dwp-board-of-trying-to-punish-consultant-by-not-paying-bill.html

You might need a program to follow the real story?  DWP giving the Mayor's office grief? 

Villaraigosa names real estate executive to DWP board
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has nominated a real estate executive to sit on the five-member board that oversees the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipally owned utility.


This is one way to fix it - http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/07/villaraigosa-names-real-estate-executive-to-dwp-board-.html

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The below is from a few days ago.  Interesting story.  Lots of data from 2007 and 2008.  Guess the Mayor has his office window open and is too close to the crack smoke coming from a short walk away?  Perhaps  he needs to spend less time listening to his staff and use his own eyes?

http://mayor.lacity.org/Issues/GangReduction/SummerNightLights/index.htm

Just a slight suggestion .... regardless of what voters want or vote for, you may want to consider stopping some of your current projects and spending the money elsewhere than  the L.A. River, planting pretty lawn areas and those sorts of things.

My suggestion would be to fire some of your staff and for each one you get rid of hire one more police officer into the L.A.P.D.  Give them money to protect themselves better.  They are out there fighting a war.  In case you think your staff know what they are talking about, here are the homicides for July in my blog post at http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2010/07/busy-july-for-lapd-lot-of-tension-out.html

Maybe your staff is putting a spin on this and putting homicides into a category that reduces the gang incidences?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXRRmf9XYro  Turning a broken arm or whatever injury into a photo op?  I wonder how much the video folks were paid for this?  I wonder how many manhours were spent.  I wonder what will help get the picture out of my mind of some of my friends on skid row that are missing an arm?

L.A. cab driver involved in Villaraigosa's bicycle fall didn't break traffic laws, mayor's office says

Is it safe to assume from this story - http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/07/traffic-laws-cab-driver-villaraigosa-bicycle-fall.html - that our Major was not paying attention?  I rode motorcycles as my only form of transportation for years and never had an accident on the street.  The trick ... ride like everybody is trying to kill you.  Same probably applies to bike folks.  My other questions come from the statement - Villaraigosa was riding with a member of his security detail ( crack security who also seemed to have a lapse in being aware of the environment) when he hit his brakes suddenly, flipping over his bike.  (Somebody give our Mayor a bike riding lesson.  Hard front brake is a no no.  Then again, some folks just panic under any sort of pressure.  The mayor did not make any contact with the taxi.  (which is why the driver was not cited for any violation in the first place).

Villaraigosa plans to attend girlfriend Lu Parker's pet project
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/07/villaraigosa-to-show-up-for-girlfriend-lu-parkers-pet-project.html

The Lu Parker Project, created by the KTLA news reporter who has been dating the mayor since early last year, is organizing young community volunteers to repaint the lobby at the city’s South Los Angeles Animal Shelter.  (I wonder who will supply the paint for this project?)

Nonprofits seen as being associated with politicians and those close to them warrant scrutiny, some government watchdogs say.

The motivation for Parker, a longtime animal advocate, is to beautify the city and help animals and children in the process, according to a press release.  Maybe get some people together to do a bit of painting in a place where kids have nothing?  I love animals myself but give me a break, there are kids out there in trouble.  Priorities?

"As a former high school teacher, I have always believed children crave an outlet to express love and compassion,” she said in a statement. “My dream is to help them find that outlet through Lu Parker Project by introducing them to animals who otherwise would never have a shot at knowing what love feels like.”  Former high school teacher?  Did she stop being a teacher when she started dating the Mayor?  Not important I guess but a question I have in my own mind.

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California ethics agency investigating L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa's acceptance of free tickets

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/06/state-ethics-agency-investigating-villaraigosas-free-tickets.html

Villaraigosa releases ticket information, but many details are unclear


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/06/villaraigosa-releases-ticket-details-but-many-donors-are-unclear.html

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The Mayor of Los Angeles would be a great source of comedy material for Jay Leno if it were not so sad in so many cases.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Experience life, take in some cool architecture and taste some great food?

Event information for August 21, 2010 10:00am

On July 24th there was an open house held at 65 Amps.  It was a pretty big hit with the over 60 folks who attended.  Many folks asked if an open house could be put on once a month.  This is already in the works.

Man does not live by music alone.  The group that attended the 65 Amps open house are a diverse group.  Many of us share other interests.  That got me thinking.

Continuing with the concept of a hot summer in more ways than just temperature I started thinking of putting a slant on things from the viewpoint that you can teach dogs new tricks, even old dogs like me.  How about getting groups of folks together for other things during the summer?  Sure, we will do the 65 Amps open house thing again ... more than once, but maybe we can do a bit more?  65 Amps open house started the ball rolling so I thought it would be a cool concept to continue - offer the chance to experience new things this summer to other folks.

Experience life.  This would be exposing yourself to something that is not a part of most folks everyday life if you have a roof over your head. 

Some of you have expressed an interest in coming along with me on my rounds on skid row in the evenings.  Some of you have already come along and said was nothing like what you expected.   This outing will be held during the day which will give you an experience that will be more comfortable for most folks than a late evening experience.  (Side note - there is always an outstanding offer for folks to come along on my night rounds).

This event will be held on August 21 2010 at 10:00am

We will meet in North Hollywood at the Metro Red Line Station at 10:00am.  Parking is free.  An all day pass is $6.00 but you can also opt to spend $1.50 per one way ticket.  We would all ride together in the same way I travel more than half of the nights every week.  For many of you this would be a new experience in itself ... public transportation.

North Hollywood

Lankershim Bl/Chandler Bl, North Hollywood 91601
Free On-site Parking – 803 Spaces




We would get off at the Pershing Square Metro station.  We would all walk down 5th street, my general route.  I would act as your guide.  I was a tour guide at one point in Amsterdam in 1970 and in 1966 I was a guide of another kind... but I digress.  I know the area we would walk pretty well and there are some great buildings to see and some interesting history.



Pershing Square view of the Biltmore Hotel, U.S. Bank Building and Gas Company Building

We would walk down 5th street into the heart of Skid Row.  For his 1980 album Heartattack and Vine, Tom Waits wrote 'On The Nickel' about a section of Fifth street, which in his own words "all the winos affectionately refer to as The Nickel." 

Depending on how folks felt, once we got to Wall Street we would have one of two options once we saw the Los Angeles Mission.  We could walk down Wall Street and see some of the SRO Hotels that line one side of the street across from the Central Police Station garage.  Continue on Wall to 6th Street and then walk down 6th past San Julian Street, past The Midnight Mission and then turn on San Pedro Street to arrive at Union Rescue Mission.  Second option would be to walk past the Los Angeles Mission on 5th and then walk down San Julian Street to the back side of Union Rescue Mission.  San Julian Street is described as the most dangerous and violent street in the United States by many sources including the LAPD Central Division folks.  If you saw the movie "The Soloist", much of it was filmed on this street and the LAMP center is also on this street.  We would walk 5th to San Julian, San Julian to 6th, 6th to San Pedro and then go into the front entrance of Union Rescue Mission.



A 2010 documentary titled Lost Angels, by director Thomas Napper, highlights the stories and struggles of individuals on Skid Row. Napper was inspired to bring awareness of mental illness and homelessness on Skid Row the after working on The Soloist.  Many of the movie scenes were filmed in the location shown in the above photo.


Above - a row of SRO hotels on Wall Street.  These buildings are not what many would expect.  They are well maintained and well run places.  There are other hotels in various areas that would be a good reason to prefer to sleep on the street in some cases.  The group of SRO hotels on Wall Street between 5th and 6th are an exception.

Union Rescue Mission will have a staff member to take us on a tour of the facility at Noon to continue the experience of the day.  Hopefully we can tour bottom to top of the facility.  The view from the roof is spectacular if you look outward.  Do not look downward.  Actually, if you want the total experience, look outward at the millions and millions of dollars that make up the skyline only blocks away.  So close that we would have walked from there.  Then look down and see ground zero.


After our URM tour is over we would walk along San Pedro Street to Little Tokyo and eat at some great spot.  From there we would board the gold line for a one stop ride to Union Station, board the red line and head back to North Hollywood.

I can almost guarantee it will be a day you will not forget.  I can also guarantee that everybody will learn things they did know before, regardless of their age.  I am also somewhat sure that your emotions will get a bit of a workout that they do not get everyday that will run from shock to sadness to compassion to anger to concern for others to concern for yourself to .....  and you will get some nice exercise.

Taste great food - Grand Central Market or back on the red line to Union Station to the gold line to East Los Angeles for King Taco?  Or hang in Downtown and hit Phillipe's.  Or, if folks want to do something else there are a lot of great places.  I know killer Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Western BBQ celebration by Union Rescue Mission at Hope Gardens

Yesterday I attended a celebration put on by Union Rescue Mission at their Hope Gardens facility.  I toured the facility and learned even more than what I already knew. 

Many of you who may be reading this helped raise the $2.8 million dollars which were needed to keep this facility open.  Thank you to all of you that helped.

These are shots of the BBQ celebration at Hope Gardens. Union Rescue Mission put on this event at the Hope Gardens facility. If you want to learn more about Hope Gardens or Union Rescue Mission visit their website at http://www.urm.org/

These shots are in raw format. I have not done any editing or cropping as I wanted to get them up in a timely manner.

These shots are mostly of the facility and activities rather than shots of individuals. URM had their own photographer who had better understanding of who may or may not wish to be photographed.

URM has their own flickr page with the name of unionrescuemission if you want to take a look at some of their shots.  The link is http://www.flickr.com/photos/urmmedia/sets/72157624626556286/





Just click on the arrow in the photo above if you wish to view the slideshow.

If you wish to visit the page where you can see all the photos in sizes of your choice where you can also download or comment on any of them follow this link - http://www.flickr.com/photos/myles111us/sets/72157624629838604/  There are also captions on many of the photos that give a bit of information in some cases.