Saturday, May 17, 2008

I'm Not a Budget Cut

Friday I arrived at Longfellow School too late to see the full demonstration against Governor Schwarzenegger's proposed school budget cuts. Citizens, parents, teachers and children had been outside all day in the hot sun, waving signs and chanting. I'm told the protesters filled the lawn from one end to the other, while motorists passing on Washington Blvd. honked their agreement: "Don't Cut Our Kids Short."

Already, the kids in my neighborhood sell candy and magazines door-to-door just to go on a field trip. When I was a kid I was a student, not a salesman. How can we give them so much less than what we had?

The smiling man in the middle of the photo is our new Pasadena School Board President, Tom Selinske. He's only just been elected, and he's jumping in feet first. Which is good, because his hands are going to be full. The Governator's got his hands full, too. A budget's a complicated thing and California's in deep financial trouble.

Some might say what happens in Pasadena's schools doesn't affect me because I don't have kids. But good schools in my town raise my property value, and in the bigger picture they enhance my quality of life. When I become a demanding and feisty old lady, I don't want a bunch of drop-outs hanging around, looking for feisty old ladies to pester. I want educated people policing my streets, governing my city and especially managing my health care.

I sound selfish, don't I?

I can help by voting to allocate money to schools, when given the opportunity on a ballot. What else can one person do? Your thoughts?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Blair Witch Exercise Project

Just south of Devil's Gate Dam is a military-looking exercise area. I've never seen the "Blair Witch Project" because I don't like scary movies, but my husband John said this looked like something out of the movie. It looks like climbing this device would require serious muscle.

I call this an exercise area, but I've never seen anyone using it. I'm kind of interested in trying the swings, though.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Clean for Now

They do a brisk business at the Fair Oaks Car Wash. But you never have to wait too long, even when they're busy.

I had finally pushed my car to the filth limit. It's not really my car, it's Boz's car. He'd been to the beach, and on several hikes in gloriously grungy places. He'd even brought along friends. They had nosed the windows. Then there's my neighbor's tree, in love with my (Boz's) car. Then there's smoke and ash from another brush fire on Mount Baldy above Rancho Cucamonga.

We're trying to conserve water around here, and I do my part (for example, by pushing my car to the filth limit). When you do wash you car, though, did you know it's more water-conserving to take it to a car wash than to do it yourself?

When they finished with my car at the Fair Oaks Car Wash, it smelled of lemon instead of beach dog.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


This might be a tourist photo one would take in London. These red telephone boxes stand inside The Commons shopping plaza off of South Lake Avenue. It's mildly interesting for a couple of reasons: first, you don't typically see this type of phone booth in America; second, you don't typically see phone booths at all anymore.

Then I looked them up on Wikipedia. Check out the first photo! It's our Pasadena phone boxes, right there next to Williams-Sonoma in the Commons. The very ones. How veddy British.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Doesn't look like a door you want to enter without high boots and a flashlight. Though it's pretty, in its way.

This is the side door to the Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena. The Theatre, which opened in 1925, has been closed since last December, when it showed "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" for the last time (after a thirty-year run).

Fortunately, the Rialto's on the National Register of Historic Places, so it's not a tear-down. While awaiting funds for its new function, there's a bit of elegant entropy going on.

A few extra shots on Overdog.

Monday, May 12, 2008


I stopped in at Buster's in South Pasadena the other day. Buster's is great for coffee, tea, cookies, brownies and ice cream (they also have sandwiches, but I've never tried those).

The place was busy. A bona fide South Pas hangout. It was noisy downstairs and completely quiet upstairs. I wonder if it's always that way.

Hey, who left their wallet on the counter?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Now You See It...

There's no sign on the building on the left. From the front, it looks like a school. There's some graffiti, not much. It's abandoned.

Across the parking lot a mirrored building reflects the school-type building. The mirrored building seems to be closed as well. The sign out front says "Nanostream." A web announcement says Nanostream ceased operations March 14th, 2008. I don't know why. They specialized in a chemical process called chromatography. (Chromawhat? Yeah, me too.) It has to do with the separation of chemicals, and in Nanostream's case that was pharmaceutical drugs. You could try the Wikipedia article. It's a start.

Like any other American town, we have more closed businesses these days than we used to.