Pictures before a rain

Rain. Is that possible in Los Angeles on June 10th? It never rains in the summer, but this morning when I went out for the paper I felt a mist on my bald head. It was very, very light, but there nonetheless. When I was growing up as a kid in Chicago summer meant thunderstorms, huge raucous affairs with tons of rain in a short period of time, huge streaks of lightening flashing through the sky and claps of thunder that scared the crap out of me. Not because it was so loud but more because of it’s startling nature.

The amount of water that fell from the sky was massive. Streets flooded within seconds and if you weren’t careful you could easily get stuck under a viaduct with your car submerged in two feet of water.

I remember driving in our station wagon during those storms. My dad was at the wheel. He would take the dip to go under the viaduct and hit that water like a ride at Disney Land. The car would make that swooshing noise as it entered the water. It was so deep that you go see trash floating by the window. I was always waiting for the water to come up through the floorboards and soak us all. It never happened. Pops just pulled us through at the other end and we went on our merry way.

I don’t have to worry about that craziness here in Los Angeles. I am sure the sun will be up right about the time I am eating my lunch.

Here are some photographs I took the other day. It was overcast. It must have been the morning.

A few news blogs that I have found recently:

the eternal worrier, secret forts, anarchy in a jar

Music anyone?

Cass McCombs-You Saved my Life, Fyfe Dangerfield- Faster That The Setting Sun


Guitar man

I held my guitar. The game played on. My team lost their edge and eventually succumbed to the opponent. Through the ups and downs I practiced chords. The up and down pattern across the strings, my left hand holding the neck, changing my fingers, holding down a particular string. I’ve lost much of what I’ve known since I took the class, but the rhythm of it still calms my anxiousness.

I took a few photographs of the guitar. I bought it from a music shop in Seal Beach with my wife’s winnings from a gambling trip with her Dad. Thanks Annie.

my favorite hat. it’s a little worn but fits like a glove. keeps my head warm. Got it on a father’s Day a few years back.

Black and White Photographs

Why are black and white photographs so bitchin?

When I was a kid black and white photographs were all I was accustomed to. I longed for color, but it was illusive. I only remember photographs in black and white with the white border and the date on the bottom of the photograph. We had boxes of them. Many with corners torn or creased from being jammed in a  small box. Every now and then we would take the box out from under the bed and go through the pictures. At the time I did not appreciate them. They looked so obviously colorless. Today they look pretty hip.

Yesterday I uploaded a new lens for the hipstamatic application on the I-Phone. It is called Blackeyes. Here are a few photographs I took yesterday.

and one in color just for the hell of it!

Fresh Dough

Happy Saturday everyone. Made some pizza dough today and thought I would pass on the recipe. Pretty easy stuff.

Basic Pizza Dough Recipe

3 cups All purpose flour
1-1/2 Teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 Package yeast
1/2 Teaspoon sugar or honey
1-1/4 Cup warm water approximately 85-90 degrees
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil.

Place yeast and sugar in a bowl add 1/4 cup warm water. Let it rest for about ten minutes until the yeast is activated. Put flour and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Make a well in the center. Add the water/yeast mixture and the olive oil. Stir with a large spoon incorporating the flour as you stir. Add the additional water slowly. Once all the water has been added begin to knead with your hands. You want to knead it for about 8- 10 minutes until the dough is smooth.

Brush the dough with olive oil and put in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise about an hour until it has doubled in size.

Punch the dough down and lay it on a cutting board. Fold the left side of the dough toward the center and then fold the right side toward the center overlapping the portion from the left. Flip it over and let it rise again for at least another hour. Take it from the bowl and divide into 3 equal parts. It’s best to use a dough cutter for this. Form these into three balls and let rise again for another 45 minutes to an hour. At this point your dough is ready for pizza.

I prefer thin crust pizza so I roll it out very thin using a rolling pin. If you would like a more substantial crust roll it out by hand using your fingers to spread out the dough and crust.

Tomorrow I will make pizza on the BBQ. More pictures to follow. Ciao.

Few minutes through the alley

There is an alley adjacent to our house that I use as a thoroughfare on my way to the market. It’s very typical for an alley. Growing up in Chicago I spent lots of time going up and down the alley. It was my preferred route when I went to my friend’s houses who lived in the neighborhood. We were all connected by the alleys and used them to get around. Sometimes on foot. Other times on our stingrays.

There was always interesting stuff to see. Normally the stuff I saw was adult junk that was relegated to  the alley hoping that it would some how disappear. But year after year it remained and deteriorated until it was almost unrecognizable.

The strangest thing I ever saw was a dead cat with it’s head stuck in a metal can. The cat was stiff as a board. My friend’s and I freaked out and ran. We didn’t speak much about it.  Our minds raced with images of that poor cat struggling to get out. It was like going to a horror film, but we didn’t have to sit it a dark theater and focus on the screen. The movie played over and over in our heads as we walked down the alley on a sunny afternoon. We searched the pavement looking for stray pennies or anything that would take our minds off that poor cat.

Yesterday my short walk down the alley was much more pleasant. I took a few photos with the hipstamatic app on the I Phone.

Highland Park and Eagle Rock

I took a short drive through Highland Park and Eagle Rock looking for vacant restaurant space. I didn’t find any, but I did make some great discoveries of some cool places to check out.
Auntee Em’s is a really cute market/restaurant on Eagle Rock Blvd. Along the lines of Joan’s on Third but much more rustic and cozy. You also won’t be bothered by the paparazzi taking photographs of Ellen Degeneres.

Cafe de Leche 5000 York Blvd. in Los Angeles. A very hip coffee shop in the Latino neighborhood. The espresso is as good as some that I have tasted in Italy. They also have a  bar for those who like to stand while sipping on their cappuccino.

A couple of other things;

I want this truck so that I can stop at anytime and make myself an espresso Elixer Coffee.

Some new music I have been listening to. Wild Nothing. Pretty cool stuff. Elvis Perkins. Not the real Elvis, but damn good nevertheless. Roscoe Holcomb, Broken Social Scene.

Two websites I take a look at on a daily basis The Blue Hour and Snippets of Everything. I forgot one And Flowers Pick Themselves.

Buona Giornata Tutti.

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