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

As of late 2019 the music related links and prints noted on this page which had their links to by GAB (Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting) website are no longer accessible. I grew weary of updating my GAB website and let it go away. You can contact me on Facebook. Saunders Stewart Models continues full operation but we are not accepting new clients without a referral.

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)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two parents that have the magic

Last weekend, one of the daughters of two of my friends had a birthday party.  My friends are Dan and Wendy Boul.  Dan is the co-owner and founder of http://www.65amps.com/ but this is not abount amps.

This is really about how two people can raise children in today's world that are such amazing kids in so many ways.  Rather than elaborate on the qualities of Dan, Wendy, their children, their dogs and their home which has made so many feel so welcome I will just take a moment to mention the birthday party.

Dan and Wendy's daughter is in elementary school but has more empathy and is more observant than many adults. 

Her daughter requested that she did not want conventional gifts for her birthday.  She asked for donations for Union Rescue Mission to help the homeless.  Today I spent a bit of time telling Dan the best way to accomplish the donation.  Going to http://www.urm.org/ and hitting the donate button would step him through the process where he could put his daughter's name in the form so she would receive the thank you letter from Union Rescue Mission herself.

Don't assume that the Boul family are strangers to the homeless situation.  I stopped counting how many times they have helped me buy the snacks and items I take down to skid row in the evenings.  I'd like to take a moment here to just once again say thank you to the Boul family and to the folks at 65 Amps who have also helped individually and collectively.

Wendy and Dan Boul

Thank you again to Wendy and Dan.  You are darn impressive parents.  I cannot impress on you how impressed I am with both of you and your entire family.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

School Shootings - was there a plan?

Update 2/1/11 - Officer accused of shooting hoax says gun accidentally went off

My thought - Accidently? Just the sort of person folks want walking around a school with a gun. And, it took this long for either him to come forward or the media to report this? I don't know which to question more.

Another story from today:

Update as of 1/27/11 - The news is reporting that this event was a fake.  One would find it hard to count all the folks that were impacted by the individual who faked this.

Even though this event was not true it still pointed out holes in the response and action taken by the schools which were locked down.

In the last few days there have been shootings at three Southern California schools.  Here are the links to a few of the stories.






I am big on safety and caution but the way this situation was handled created chaos, additional worry and concern for many and threw a little more gas on an already emotional fire.

I heard directly from people in the school locked down that if a student tried to go to the bathroom and did not follow the direction of law enforcement there was something of an over reaction on the part of law enforcement.  Don't people realize that students who are already tense, have not eaten and have not been allowed to "hit the head" might just adopt the plan of .... Hey buddy.  I am walkin' out of here for a minute to go to the bathroom.  What are ya gonna do about it?  Hit me with a club?  Taser me?  Shoot me?   

I heard many direct reports of bad judgement of many of those in charge.  Students were texting CNN until they were told to stop.  Did that sort of activity put the students in danger?  Nope.  But not allowing students to eat, drink or go to the bathroom was probably news that some did not want reported. 

Over reaction?  If this had happened in a South Central L.A. neighborhood or in Central L.A. they probably would have sent a half a dozen units and a command unit, maybe a bit more but nowhere close to what was deployed in West Hills.

In West Hills they sent dozens of units, an army of police locked down seven square miles. They locked down students where they had nothing to eat prior to lunch and were not allowed to go to the bathroom. The 101 freeway was even shut down for a while. Busses could have been deployed to bring students in geographic groups to sensible geographic locations hours earlier. In the case of El Camino High School most student had to find their way on foot to a McDonalds parking lot south of the 101 freeway which was a parking lot itself. 3,000 plus students walking down a street at night to a parking lot that was jammed, students who had to eat and go to bathrooms. Great thinking on the part of those who orchestrated this plan.

Over reaction? In my mind, you bet. No rational plan in place? That's a 10-4 as well. Overly sensitive due to the Gardena shooting the other day? Perhaps.

A lot of folks dropped the ball on this one and acted as if they really had no idea of what to do other than just fall into a reactive mode of response.

It is clear to me that when things start to come apart so did a lot of people making the decisions.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Here we go again. Unemployment rises UNEXPECTEDLY?

Today there was a story in Reuters by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa.  The story contained those magic phrases and words ... seasonally adjustedUnexpectedly.  



I have watched the unemployment picture since mid 2008.  I have been in the middle of the situation during EVERY season almost three times now.  I don't understand why the situation always seems to be seasonally adjusted.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. jobless claims jumped to their highest level since October while food and energy costs boosted producer prices, pointing to lingering headwinds for an economic recovery that had been showing renewed vigor.

A surge in exports to their highest level in two years helped narrow the trade deficit, however, an encouraging sign.

Despite the more positive outlook for growth in recent weeks, the job market still appeared to be struggling.

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly to 445,000 from 410,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. It was the biggest one-week jump in about six months, confounding analyst forecasts for a small drop to 405,000.

U.S. stock index futures added to losses after the jobless claims data, while government debt prices rose.

"The jobless number highlights the patchy recovery we've seen in the job market and reinforces that it will be a slow process bringing down the jobless rate," said Omer Esiner, market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington. "The one bright spot was a further decline in the trade deficit, which should contribute positively to fourth-quarter" growth.

A Labor Department official did note the rebound in benefit claims occurred following the holidays, which may have hindered new applications and created a backlog. Without the seasonal adjustment, claims were up by nearly 200,000 to 770,413.

The story goes on to continue to spin the problem, add all sorts of "facts" that are the typical smoke and mirrors tactics which illustrate how our government has firm control over most big media.

The story went on to report:   The U.S. economy has been expanding since the summer of 2009, but the pace of growth has not been sufficient to put a significant dent in the unemployment rate, which remains at an elevated 9.4 percent.

I have lost count of how often I see the same phrase used ...

...filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly ....


It is no comfort that our government, labor department and media have no view of the problem.

Almost a half a million NEW folks filing for unemployment each WEEK yet somehow the government publishes figures of 9.4 or 9.6 percent? The reality is that about 1 in 4 Americans are out of work. The 99ers are no longer counted as are those who just gave up looking for work.

I walk the streets of skid row in Los Angeles many times every week. I see the number of people on the street increase.

Stories like this turn my stomach. The word "unexpectedly" just make me ashamed of our government.

The crowd is growing.  Many EDD offices have added armed security people on the floor.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

First post of 2011. Things have been busy.

It seems as if this is the first time I have had to post in 2011.  Life has been busy. 

My two boys were in Japan over the holiday season for almost two weeks.  Having them back home and spending time with them again has been a great activity.  While my boys were in Japan I spent a lot of time on Skid Row in Los Angeles and over at Union Rescue Mission.  I posted a few items on those activities. 

Even though things have been busy I kept uploading mobile status updates and photos to facebook and twitter.  Electronic media and social networks keep the information flowing to some degree.

There is a lot of activity at 65 Amps as they have two new amps; the London Pro and Empire.  The London Pro is the first amp in the Working Pro line, the red label series of amp designed around the working professional.  The Empire is part of the blue label series.  Since my own shop is within the 65 Amps complex I am generally aware of some of what goes on over there.

London Pro head on red label cabinet.  Empire prototype on the left in tomato colored head shell.

Both of these amps will be shown at NAMM.  Dozens of London Pro amps have been shipped in the last month.  NAMM is next week so things have been quite busy at the complex to say the least.