Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bungalow Court, 1

Pasadena is said to be the birthplace of the Bungalow Court. A lot of these babies were born here. And they're not only in Bungalow Heaven, or Orange Heights, or other historic neighborhoods. They're all over town.

Sweet, huh? You're packed in a little tight, but that's added incentive to be kind to your neighbors.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Paws In Motion LA

L-R: Boz, Matt Seng, Dylan, Otter, Sophie and Augie at Hahamongna Watershed Park, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in the background)

When you come home after a long day and a longer commute, your dog wants--needs--all your attention and even more exercise. You need to veg out with TV and a beer. If the dog wins, you're exhausted. If you win, you feel guilty. For you, it's a lose/lose.

Matt Seng knows this first-hand. He's done the day-job thing, and the coming home and sitting on the couch thing. Then five years ago he decided he needed a change. He started running. He joined Team In Training. Now he's head coach for the LA American Cancer Society marathon training team. Tomorrow he'll be running his first 50 mile ultra-marathon, the Ray Miller 50/50, in the Santa Monica mountains.

The guy is kind of motivated.

It turns out Matt's dogs Dylan and Sophie are motivated, too. They love running, and Matt loves them. He's one of those people who really gets dogs, you know what I mean? And dogs get him. Fortunately for Dylan and Sophie, Matt is also one of those people who figured out how to turn his passions into his business: Paws In Motion LA. Matt walks dogs and babysits dogs and, if your dog doesn't have his driver's license, Matt will give him a ride to where he needs to go. I think Matt's favorite thing, though, is taking dogs for a run.

Matt gets dogs and Dylan gets Matt.

When I first met Matt I figured the dog running business was an okay idea. But then John and I ran into him out at Hahamongna Watershed Park and I knew Matt was onto something beyond the usual neighborhood saunter. If he's running with your dog out there you are going to have one happy dog.

If it's true that a tired dog is a happy dog, then after our walk yesterday morning Boz was ecstatic for the rest of the day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Eaton Canyon Trails

It's easy to find adventure and solitude in Eaton Canyon, even if you stay on the trails. That's because there are so many trails to choose from.

I'd say the helicopter rescues in the Canyon have been a dime a dozen lately but I don't have any idea how much they cost. (Helicopter maintenance, gas, crew, training, gas, ropes, aggravation, gas, gas...) Tuesday there were three rescues in Eaton Canyon in just over 24 hours. My friend said she hoped the rescuees were being charged for these efforts. If these people are going off the trails, I agree. Send 'em a bill.

I think most hikers cost their fellow taxpayers a bit of trail maintenance. Take me. I am so predictable. Boring, even. See that heavily-trodden part down the middle? Me.

And still, I make discoveries.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


With some members of Congress seeming to wage war on women's health lately, it's refreshing--and kind of surprising--to find a man fighting back. With a chain-saw, no less.

Just yesterday I heard on the news that a woman who has a heart attack is more likely to die of it than a man is because our symptoms are different and often more subtle. We don't even know we've got a problem, much less a big one. But unless you've got amazing health coverage, you don't get to have an MRI because that costs a lot of money.

But Lee Schiel has developed a type of imaging that he describes as a lot more sophisticated than the usual MRI, and a lot cheaper. As much as ten times cheaper, or more.

Schiel, believe it or not, is also a wood-cutter. When Hurricane Pasadena came through town he went out with his collection of fancy saws to see how he could help. And his mental light bulb went on: chop these things up and make them pay for safe, low-cost, walk-in cardiac screening services for women and youth.

If I were that creative with my combined coffee-drinking and dog-sauntering skills I could make millions for the Save My Knees campaign.

I like to keep my posts short and the story of Schiel, his chain saw and his imaging technology is detailed. We're talking medical technology here. Laura Berthold Monteros does an excellent job of laying it out for you in her article for the Altadena Examiner.

Through February 24th, between noon and dusk, you can buy one or more of these blocks (this one's about two feet square), larger landscape pieces or a fire-starter kit. Schiel will customize a block if you like (see Monteros' article for photos). The money pays for women's cardiac screening programs in Southern California. The pieces are at 368 Parkwood in Pasadena, in the yard where once stood the giant tree that gave its heart to make them.

For more information, contact Cathy Vital at (626) 376-0459.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Momentous Occasion

I know. Just a tree-lined street. No big deal.

But wait.

One guy on a bike. No traffic. No garbage cans. No parked cars.

This never happens.

I took a picture of it, in case we need a record. You know, for posterity or whatever.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Zen Monday: #184

A little refresher, in case this is your first PDP Zen Monday:
Today's the day you tell us what the photo's about, rather than me telling you. Have at it and have fun.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

High Temps in the Lower Arroyo

We've had a bit of cold weather. That's relative, of course--"cold weather" doesn't really occur around here. But for my walk with Boz yesterday I wore my winter coat with a scarf and mittens. It should be said, however, that my neighbor was wearing shorts and flip-flops. I can't tell you which of us is the sane one. Not objectively.

Suffice it to say I didn't take this picture yesterday. I did, however, take it this month.