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)

Friday, December 31, 2010

End of the year update from Andy Bales of Union Rescue Mission

Andy Bales; CEO of Union Rescue Mission.  I love this shot of Andy from Don Garza.  This was the hottest day in Los Angeles recorded history.  It was 113 degrees in downtown Los Angeles and Andy Bales was pushing the water cart in this photo, about 1500 pounds.  This is the sort of image that comes to my mind when I hear the name Andy Bales

I have posted these videos before but felt it warranted posting again on this last day of the year.   Click "more" to see this entire post with the terrific videos.

On the last day of 2010 things are as confusing as ever

Today there is a story in the National Examiner.  I would have posted a link to this story but there were so many pop-ups and spam when trying to read the article that I just copied and pasted the article and will not be looking at anything from them in the future.

Jobless claims drop; ranks of 99ers seeking tier 5 unemployment extension grow

All dressed up and no place to go.  People from all walks of life

This was a bit of a contradiction.  More smoke and mirrors on the way in 2011?
The seasonally adjusted number of initial jobless claims last week was 388,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 422,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported yesterday.
There was that phrase which is so commonly used in the media spin ... seasonally adjusted.

Thankfully the article went on to explain and stated the obvious; the unemployment rate continued to rise.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas evening. What has changed in a year?

I spent most of Christmas Eve Day downtown in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles.  I wrote a blog post about the day with some photos of the activities at Union Rescue Mission. 

All of the missions were having celebrations and there were a lot of terrific activities and meals being served.

Last year I spent the same period walking the streets of the area.  I thought that it might be interesting to pick a specific area where there was no street activity last Christmas and see what has changed in the last year if anything.

There was one factor which would slant the observation.  Last year it was not raining.  This year record rain had fallen in Los Angeles over the last week.  It had been dry on Christmas but Christmas night the rain started once again.  I have decent rain gear so I headed downtown about the time the rain started coming down heavy.

Even if there had been no rain I was ready to find people in the area this year where there were none last year.  The economy has not improved, many folks have lost what unemployment benefits they were receiving as their 99 week clock ran out.   I had walked the same grid less than six weeks ago and found that there were folks on the street in the evenings.

In any case, perhaps folks had found shelter for Christmas night.

In 1984 and 1985 I was a reserve Sheriff.  I wrote the database software for the Sheriff Department at the time.  Dbase II to Dbase III to Oracle and beyond.  I learned a bit about reporting and districts, patrol areas and having friends in LAPD Central Division gave me some additional insight to their procedures.  I utilize their grids and areas for my own outings.

I finished up my conversations that I was having with some folks on facebook via computer.  Many times before I head downtown I let folks know where I am going to be.  There are times when some folks meet up with me.  There are also folks that follow the night in real time once I go mobile via texts, cell photo and cell video.

I headed for car area 1A29.  This area has boundaries to the freeway on the North, 7th street to the South, San Pedro St. to the West and the river wash to the East.  This area is broken down into maybe a dozen areas the LAPD refers to as basic car areas. 

It is easy to get to this area via the Metro Gold Line and get off at Little Tokyo Station.  It is a short walk to Alameda and 1st.  I headed to reporting district 139, one of the areas within 1A29.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Why is the homeless situation not improving. I know!

Today was my second Christmas Eve on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

There were more people on the street and more people in line for food than last year.

The Los Angeles Mission was putting on a large street event.  There were presents for the kids, food for everybody and entertainment.  The other mission in the area were putting on their own events. 

I was heading to Union Rescue Mission which is the oldest and largest of the Los Angeles missions and perhaps the oldest in the country.

I spent some time talking to Andy Bales, the CEO of Union Rescue Mission when he had a moment of free time.  Andy was busy on the roof of URM while 1,800 steaks were being grilled for the meal later in the day.

I looked out over the city from the roof at Union Rescue Mission.

Some of the largest corporations in the USA can be seen from the roof of Union Rescue Mission in the heart of skid row.

Talking with Andy Bales and looking at the view I figured out why the homeless situation is getting worse rather than better. 

Yes, I figured it out.

Monday, December 20, 2010

How far does our government think people can be pushed?

A little earlier today I came across a story in the Los Angeles Times

Tax deduction for mortgage interest could be on the chopping block

I posted the link to the story on facebook.

The story was by By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times on December 20, 2010. 

The first paragraph in the story:

It's been around since 1913, but its time may be up. Such a change would generate billions of dollars in federal revenue that could be used to cut the deficit while inflicting little pain on most middle-class homeowners.

Little pain?  Was this a quote from some idiot that the author just passed along or was this the thinking of the author?  Most people in the USA live in houses that are not as pricy as they are in some major urban areas.  Why inflict any additional pain on people.  Our government needs to start thinking rather than just continuing with panic knee jerk reactions to save a sinking ship.

In any case I read further.  I am just a few small steps from joining the revolution myself.

Reporting from Washington — Fifteen years ago, Carol Nietmann and her husband bought a spacious house in Maryland near Chesapeake Bay. And thanks to the time-honored tax deduction for mortgage interest, she said, their new place was a little bigger and a little nicer than they would otherwise have thought they could afford.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Talking about the President and our nation

Over on Facebook there is a bit of dialogue in progress about our country.  Below was one of my own responses.

My own basic view point is that this country is in a lot of trouble and I do not see things getting better. I don't like sending our people into combat situations where they may be killed, hurt or crippled for the rest of their life when we have technology such as drones and guided weapons if the mission is to destroy and take the lives of others. We can accomplish this without putting our own Americans in harms way. Whether we should do that sort of thing or not is another subject that is open to continual debate.

I personally feel that our troops should be looked upon with honor and respect. I for one know what it was like to come home after serving my country only to be treated like a criminal and looked down upon.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Skid Row is no place for Children

The title of this blog post will make a lot of folks sort of say to themselves ....


This is not a place for kids to see let alone a place for them to try to live. 

In a URM newsletter I received today there was a line by Estela Lopez, Executive Director, Central City East Association.  A line that was short, accurate and so very descriptive.  People do not live on Skid Row, they die on Skid Row.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Almost Forgotten: Los Angeles Homeless

The New York Times ran this story today. 

Los Angeles has the highest homeless population in the nation.  It was not a surprise to see a newspaper on the opposite side of the country write about the homeless in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Confronts Homelessness Reputation

Published: December 12, 2010

Breakfast at the Union Rescue Mission. The governmental structure of a county that includes 88 cities and a maze of conflicting jurisdictions, responsibilities and boundaries has made it nearly impossible for any one organization or person to take charge of the homeless issue.

LOS ANGELES — It was just past dusk in the upscale enclave of Brentwood as a homeless man, wrapped in a tattered gray blanket, stepped into a doorway to escape a light rain, watching the flow of people on their way to the high-end restaurants that lined the street.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

1,780 Photos in the collection!

Just one of the 1,780 images in the slideshow below!

I updated The Ultimate Coffee Table Book Collection today.

There are now 1,780 random photos in the slideshow.

1,780 shots as of 2/11/11
1,753 shots as of 1/27/11
1,641 as of 12/13/10 update
1,655 as of 12/22/10 update

An emotionally draining slideshow which mixes art, whimsy, low production values, a general lack of composition, sexual tension, nausea and the feeling of foolishness you will have if you can watch the entire show from beginning to end.

What could be better than an album of nothing but low resolution shots taken with my cellphone (and a few from friends cellphones as well and some cellphone shots from me of some of my original photos to post them easily on facebook) ... and then, take these low resolution photos and upload them in real time to facebook where the quality and size is reduced even more?

Feel free to view this as a slideshow and share the slideshow link with friends ... or perhaps people who you wish to bother just a bit?

If you have a cell phone shot that you would like included in this collection please feel free to contact me and I will give you contact information.

Monday, December 6, 2010

URM - The Christmas Story

My main blog begins with a few short statements ...

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.

At the end of many of my blog posts you see the following footer in many of the blog posts ...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Crime during a single week downtown

Last week I received my seventh paramedic call slip for the year.  Not too bad considering the crime in the area I walk many evenings each week.

Four of the seven days of last week's crimes are shown in the above map.  There will be one more violent crime to the list released next week.  Thankfully that particular crime was interrupted and things ended up better than they might have.

Don't buy fridge items from Smart and Final

This morning I went to Smart and Final to pick up a few items.  They are close to my home. 

Over the last few months I had been looking at the expiration dates on items in the Smart and Final refrigerated items.  Milk, butter, orange juice and yogurt (Yoplait).  Their dates seemed much more narrow in date scope than the same items from Ralphs, Vons or Target. 

Recession or Depression in a nation with no direction?

We keep hearing that we are in a recession rather than a depression.

We are a nation of no direction.

The above chart shows that financially our nation has been in the same place for the last six months.  This chart is not the Dow, NASDAQ or S&P.  It is a mix of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and a cross section of our economy.  What is not shown on the chart is the rise on unemployment, rise in home forclosures, the increased number of people on the street.  Union Rescue Mission is the oldest and largest mission in Los Angeles and the largest in the nation.  In the last year their services have risen over 40% while their donations have fallen over 20%.  The vertical scale on this chart spans such a small range that it is insignificant.  We have not moved.  The only reason we have not come crashing downward as a nation is that for every event reported which is bad news our Government can reply in moments with an explanation or proposed plan to limit the possible effects of the bad news. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Is it time to get out of here?

Looking back on the past week or so I ask myself the question; are we on a path where it is time to consider getting out of here?

Get out of the city?  The state?  The country?  Get out of here by road or by boat?  Stand and fight or run for the hills?

Making the choice is a complex matter.  Looking at some of the events of the last week here are a few that caught my attention.