essentialsaltes: (Nazgul)
Now that Inglewood's Hollywood Park is defunct as a track, I'm kinda glad that they're taking some care in the transitiion period.

USC Archeology Students Help Dig Up Remains Of Famed Horse

Native Diver "was the first California-bred horse to win $1 million racing in Hollywood Park, Santa Anita and Del Mar. ... Native Diver will be re-buried at Del Mar — the site of his last win."
essentialsaltes: (Balrog)
Knocked off another calendar year of grilling at least once per calendar month. Our streak goes back to at least December 2007. It was very difficult this year, as December came in with a frigid high of 79 degrees here in Inglewood.
essentialsaltes: (atheist teacher)
Just skimming through the nglewood Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team report on Inglewood Unified, and it makes for dismal reading. The state came in a while back and took over, when the district had a $55 million shortfall.

"Stated reasons for fiscal insolvency included: Overstating [attendance], understating California State Teachers’ Retirement System payments, understating certificated salary expenses, continued deficit spending, and declining enrollment."

And the board is just as dysfunctional as I thought: "There is evidence of conflict between board members as well as in-fighting, nepotism, and mismanagement by district leaders."

But let's just forget the fiscal mismanagement and leadership problems. Let's talk results.

"On the California Alternate Performance Assessment, ... [students scoring] proficient and above ... in math and in English language arts (ELA)." --- 1.3%

California Modified Assessment
Proficient and above in math --- 2.4%
Proficient and above in ELA --- 2.5%
essentialsaltes: (arkham)
is pretty good. According to the flyer, it'll be going on M-W and next Saturday as well.

Not huge, but mostly fairly good condition hardbacks and trade paperbacks. And a rack of DVDs that wasn't too pathetic -- I scored some Brosnan/Dalton era James Bond films. Ok, maybe that's pathetic. But also Brotherhood of the Wolf & a 2-disc Apollo 13. A fair amount of horror/sf in the books and DVDs.

I spotted Lovecraft there:


I left him there for somebody else, but I did take the Charlie Stross book.

At least the stack of things I left behind was thicker than the stack I bought.
essentialsaltes: (Dorian Gray)
Book sale at the library in early November.

Inglewood Open Studios November 9 & 10 where you can tour through various artists' studios. (now sponsored by Jarritos!)

(my take on last year's studio walk.)
essentialsaltes: (Empathyormurder)
Dr. Pookie and I will be gone for a week or so at the end of July.

We would really appreciate if someone or someone(s) could take care of the cats and the garden. And certainly, if you want a home-away-from-home, you're welcome to truly house-sit.

If anyone's interested, please let me know, and we can work on details.
essentialsaltes: (essentialsaltes)
Today was the city elections in Inglewood. Poking around looking for information... any information... on some of the candidates somehow led me to Ku Klux Klan raid (Inglewood).

Pretty hair-raising stuff. An Inglewood city constable killed by gunshot. Oh, but he was a Klansman (as were several other Inglewood police). And he was shot and killed by an Inglewood city marshal, responding to a Klan raid to terrorize a local bootlegger.

The raiders were charged, but ultimately found not guilty.

"It was this scandal, according to the Los Angeles Times, that eventually led to the outlawing of the Klan in California."

LA Times coverage )
essentialsaltes: (Dorian Gray)
Jason came up and we whipped up some of the best cheeseburgers in the world. We knocked back cheeseburgers, wine, and conversation. After Jason bugged out, we hit a tiny bit of the Inglewood Open Studios. First up was TJ Walker, who had a little space on La Brea just south of us. Nice work and a friendly guy. Then to the largest gathering at the Beacon Arts Building, which contains many artist studios. Plenty of variety from the absurd to the cool. I liked Brian Biedul's figures trapped in their canvas spaces.

Although it was interesting. Seeing the one downstairs in the 'general' gallery made it stand out, but in his studio where there were a dozen of them, they suddenly seemed less special. That and the pricetag that looked more like a salary nipped any thoughts of becoming an art collector in the bud.
Another playful installation was the playable rubber tree:
IMG_1091
The artist had installed pickups so that when you thumped the trunk you got a nice percussive sound. In her studio, she had some smaller examples, like cacti, where you could pluck the needles to make pops, or let the needle scratch along your fingerprints in a ripply crackle.
But my favorite was Virginia Broersma's work:
IMG_1090
For her, it was about images of women exercising, combined with excursions away from realism. For me, they're beauty leavened by monstrosity.
We also peeked into some corners of the building, where Dr. Pookie particularly liked this warning sign:
IMG_1093
essentialsaltes: (PWNED!!! by Science)
Apparently, the shuttle put the pedal to the metal, and blazed past Inglewood City Hall before we got there. So we wound up going (circuitously, due to exciting road closures) to the Forum. Since I had my fill yesterday, I found it more interesting enjoying people watching in the huge crowd there. Food trucks, people hawking t-shirts and buttons, cotton candy, kids, people in walkers and wheelchairs, dogs, the marching band and color guard, all the people facing away from the shuttle taking pictures of themselves with their phones, the little conversations about what streets to take to get the hell out of here afterwards. Everybody having a good time.

IMG_1078
essentialsaltes: (PWNED!!! by Science)
Notice from the city of Inglewood:
Read more... )
essentialsaltes: (City Hall)
So we went to the planning commission meeting about the proposed resurrection of the gas station (with added carwash). As always, it's interesting to see the wheels of government turning at the local level.
One of the commissioners lasered in on a point I had worried about. If the noise-mitigating carwash doors break, will the carwash still run? The applicant at least gave a verbal assurance that his intention is to keep things running ship-shape.
They called for public comments for & against the plan. I'm not really for it or against it, but I at least said my piece, airing concerns about noise and scents from the carwash. Another citizen aired concerns about it becoming an attractive nuisance, with utes congregating in the store or on the property. Another was very against the plan, citing traffic flow concerns. I'm guessing she either ran into somebody pulling out of the old gas station, or she works for a rival gas station. And then crazy tree lady complained about a proposed new tree trimming ordinance.
In the end, there were two nays and three ayes, though at least the chairman wagged his finger in a monitory way at the applicant, saying that the city would be checking up on him and the noise. I just hope there's some teeth behind that finger. Wait, does that make sense?
So, looks like we'll be getting new neighbors.

Oh, and in the elevator on the way back down, we met the mayor.
essentialsaltes: (worry)
We got a notice from the city that there will be a hearing about a proposal to resurrect the dead gas station next door. That's good.
The new proposal includes an automated carwash. That's bad.
The new carwash will have doors to mitigate noise. That's good.
I have no confidence that the city will actually enforce existing noise regulations or care if the doors happen to break or get disabled for convenience. That's bad.
The carwash comes with a free frogurt. That's good.
I was lying about the frogurt. That's bad.

There'll be a public hearing at city hall, so we may show up.
essentialsaltes: (atheist teacher)
I wanted to love this book. I wanted to hate this book.

Sikivu Hitchinson is female, black, and, I seem to recall, a communist. So based on thumbnail identifications, it wouldn't seem we had much in common. Then again, she's an atheist from Los Angeles. (Indeed, recently when fracking in the Baldwin Hills was in the news, I learned that her father lives a stone's throw away (though he's in the black Beverly Hills (we'll skip over why the black Beverly Hills is in the middle of an oil field) while we would be stretching the truth to claim being in black Beverly Hills adjacent.)).

Anyway, I keep an eye on her blogs, and find my reaction a mix of agreement and disagreement. And the same is true in the case of her book, though for the most part I can't say anything rose to the level of either love or hate.

On the good side, the book provides a very comprehensive look at the 'lived experience' of black America as it related to religion. The church is very central to black experience, both for direct services it may provide (food, tutoring, childcare, etc.) and for the general center of community it provides. And she spells out how a more successful atheist/humanist campaign would strive to duplicate or replace that social network, but with a humanist face. If you like, there are benefits that accrue to religious 'privilege' that the non-religious currently don't have the network to replace.

As a *practical* way of spreading atheism to the black community, this is probably a very valid tactic, and something organizations should address. At the same time, it smacks of bribery. Oh, you have cookies over there? Well, we have cookies that are even better over here! The missing ingredient is the actual truth of the matter. The book is curiously incurious about the actual state of affairs in the universe. (This, of course, is just my reaction as one of the old, white, scientist, atheists.)

Maybe atheism is simply assumed by the book, but if I were to characterize the implicit argument for it in the book, it would go something like this:
Oh shit, he's still typing )

IMG_5715

Feb. 22nd, 2012 07:22 pm
essentialsaltes: (We are different)
IMG_5715 by Essentialsaltes
IMG_5715, a photo by Essentialsaltes on Flickr.


Violet went bananas and rushed the outside door. I went over to look, and guess who I found stealing oranges?
essentialsaltes: (Dorian Gray)
We attended the opening soiree for Capital Offense at the Beacon Arts Building, a gallery that opened up a few blocks away about a year ago.

The show's theme was the end of capitalism, so there was lots of radical OWS granola-eating inchoate experimental art on display. Perhaps a highlight was the plexiglass container of containing crumpled bills, an electric megaphone, and several handfuls of crickets. Accompanying displays compared the average US earner to the 1$, with the average schlub portrayed as an insect, and explaining how wealth provides a magnifying effect to your voice.

I was also interested to see one of Alex Schaefer's burning banks. I remembered reading the story of how he got in a little trouble with the LAPD as a potential terrorist, for painting a Chase Bank on fire. That canvas sold for $25,000. (Expressing his disdain for capitalism, he quickly painted a Bank of America on fire and sold it for $4 grand. But he seems to have specialized primarily in burning Chase banks.) This one depicted a Chase bank on Venice, I think the one near Smaug & A&K. Anyway, it was neat to see art-in-the-news in-the-flesh.

Also, opening night at the gallery with the artists makes for good people watching.

From Public Photos
essentialsaltes: (PWNED!!! by Science)
Endeavour will take a trip from LAX to the California Science Center next fall, and the route is being planned.

"According to officials, the preliminary route envisions the shuttle crossing over the 405 Freeway, traveling through Inglewood on Manchester Boulevard, and then approaching the museum via Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards."

This may provide the opportunity of a lifetime to take a picture of the Shuttle at Randy's Donuts.
essentialsaltes: (skelly)
A Bekins storage facility seven blocks from the homestead has been transformed into Beacon Arts. The inaugural show, Ghost Stories, opens Oct 14.
On Oct. 29th, there'll be an evening shindig, with "a gallery viewing, Ghost Biker Rally, a screening of Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein plus other film shorts, Rev. Ethan Acres performances, story telling and a performance from the League of Steam. There will also be an after party from midnight to 2am with an admission fee of $10."
And the 30th, they'll have a “Pagan Art Camp”.
sample of Rev. Acres' work )
essentialsaltes: (great)
Refreshing to see it turned that way around. Senior with 4.2 GPA from Inglewood High is headed for Dartmouth.

Also refreshing to see the LA Times print the phrase "woopty doop".
essentialsaltes: (burns)
Mayor Dorn resigns and pleads guilty to a misdemeanor conflict of interest charge.

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