The City of Angles….errr…Angels

Just got back from the American Bar Association Midyear conference in Los Angeles.  It was good to rendezvous with friends old and new ("Hi Randi!") and the meetings were productive.

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This Waste of Another Perfectly Good Hour…

Where are the CarTalk guys when you need them?  It was the weekend of automotive misfortune.

  • I took my luggage out to the garage on Thursday morning to get in the truck, get John and go to the airport.  Despite apparently having some battery juice my truck wouldn’t start.  Time was ticking so Plan B – called a cab.  Would have to deal with the truck when I got home.
  • Maureen drove down from Fresno Friday night to spend the weekend and as she came down the 5 above Castaic her clutch went out!  Luckily she was able to get her car into a service station that had a weekend mechanic on duty.  She called me even as she was coasting downhill and I called Avis and told them I’d like to keep the very slick Ford Edge they had rented me for two extra days. 

    So instead of her driving down and picking me up at the Avis station at LAX (where I was going to return the car) I drove the Edge up to Castaic and picked her up.  It was a nice drive; I just felt badly at her potentially expensive misfortune.  Fortunately she has a pretty standard car which would be easy to get parts for and service.

  • The slick black Edge was nice…until Saturday afternoon when it developed a leak in the right front tire.  We put air in it twice but it wouldn’t hold so we had to return it to Avis at Burbank Airport and they swapped it out for a nice gray one.

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All The World’s a Stage

My father has returned to the theater in his semi-retirement and I was lucky enough to be in town for the second night of his current production (Saturday night):

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No, he doesn’t play the Rabbi and certainly he doesn’t play the Shiksa (it’s a slang term for a non-Jewish woman).  He plays the Rabbi’s best friend Al.  Fun show, they had a packed house the night we went (Me, Mom, Maureen and our good friend Larry Maraviglia) and the audience seemed to enjoy the show.  Dad gets the best role because he gets to be the comic relief.  He even gets to sing a Jewish cowboy song on stage.  🙂

Before the show we stopped at Micelis for dinner.  Dad was in a hurry because he had a 6:45P call so he asked the waitress what he could order that would come up fast.  She said "spaghetti".  He said "Great, I’ll have that."  Recognizing he was in a rush (the rest of us weren’t) she went off to put his order in before coming back to take our orders…and she came back WITH his order.  That was fast.

After the show we stopped over at Sittons for coffee and to chat about the show.  Sittons is a 24-hour place in North Hollywood (which is trying hard to brand itself as "NoHo") which has a LONG history of serving actors and artists.  Photos of old celebrities cover the walls – Edward G. Robinson, Veronica Lake, John Belushi…you can have a lot of fun just sitting there trying to name all the celebrities in the photos!

Shop ‘Til You Drop

Long as I was in L.A. I did a little shopping.  My travel briefcase, a Victorinox graciously provided by Microsoft as an MVP gift years ago had finally lost its battle with the harsh treatment I’ve given it.  Two of the zippers broke off and the shoulder strap anchors were starting to rip.  So we stopped at a luggage store and, after much agonizing, I selected a new bag.

The second shopping stop was at the Topanga Canyon Mall where HM was waiting to provide me with several cool new shirts.  I’ve been thinking about upgrading my wardrobe so this was my chance.  Mom and Maureen provided some feedback and I narrowed the 6 original choices down to 3.

NOTE: HM must have the worst dressing room mirrors in retail.  Good grief, I’ve lost 15-20 pounds in the last year but you wouldn’t know it looking at those mirrors.  It was almost enough to make me give up on the whole expedition and go home to do situps for the rest of the weekend.  Thank goodness I’m home now where my own mirrors reassure me that while I still have some work to do I’m not nearly as bad off as I looked in that dressing room.

Well, You’ve Done it Again, You’ve Wasted Another Perfectly Good Hour…

To wrap up the car situation…

  • Maureen got her clutch replaced.  The car was ready on Sunday and while the price tag probably stung a little she consoled herself by remembering that she got 160,000 miles out of the old clutch.  So it was due.  Kudos to her for taking in graceful stride that which might have ruined the weekend for most people.
  • I got home and discovered that I can start my truck if I jump start it!  That means the problem is probably battery and/or alternator.  The good news is that I *CAN* start it. That means I don’t have to hassle with getting it towed to the dealership.  I started it and ran it for a bit today to see if the battery would charge.  I’ll keep an eye on it over the next day or two and see if I really do need to run it in to the dealer to get the battery and/or alternator replaced.  It only has 30,000 miles on it (2007 Ford Escape Hybrid) so it should all still be under warranty.

O.K., that’s enough from me tonight.  Good to be home.  Now I need to go for an evening run…

-B-

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