CORONAVIRUS! Part 11 – The Surge is Here!

CORONAVIRUS! Part 11 – THE SURGE IS HERE! (Mon-Tues)

THIS IS NOT A QUENTIN TARENTINO FILM, THIS IS REAL LIFE!

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REMEMBER to DISINFECT and SANITIZE frequently-touched surfaces like:
cell phones, computers (keyboard & mouse), door handles, faucets, keys. credit cards, wallets, purses, tables, desks, countertops, light switches, knobs, dials, etc. 

IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS STAY HOME! CALL YOUR DOCTOR!
THIS IS NOT A HOAX! “DON’T BE AN A**HOLE!”
THIS VIRUS MAY KILL YOU OR SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT!

Monday, March 30, 2020 – STAY AT HOME!

Los Angeles County CoronaVirus Statistics:
(as of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s speech at 5:15pm)
3000+ Reported Cases and 54 Reported Deaths as of Tuesday evening….
ONLY 8373 PEOPLE TESTED in the CITY OF LOS ANGELES as of Monday!
The current population of Los Angeles County in 2020 is ~10,118,759!

“SOCIAL DISTANCING” ORDER: stay 6-12′ away from other people!
“SAFER-AT-HOME” ORDER: Stay Home! Only essential business allowed!
All Non-Essential Businesses are now closed!

All Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Clubs, etc. are closed!
Some are open for take out or delivery only!

All Schools, Colleges, and Universities are closed (physically)!
All Beaches and Most Parks are now closed!

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is closed!
Most State and City Offices are closed! Open only for essential workers!

CALIFORNIA: 8500+ Reported Cases and 181 Reported Deaths statewide.

All Farmer Markets IN THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES are suspended as of today!

WE WANT TO GO TO VEGAS! 
BUT LAS VEGAS IS CLOSED!
SAY THAT OUT LOUD! LAS VEGAS IS CLOSED!
TRUMP HAS KILLED THE UNITED STATES!
AND THERE AIN’T NO EASTER RESURRECTION COMING!

FACTS – NOT “FAKE NEWS”
AS OF MONDAY MARCH 30, 2020:

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37582 Reported Deaths as of Monday, March 30, 2020 at 4pm PST

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As of Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 3:00pm PST

 

Earthquakes! (the Two Big Ones: 1971 Sylmar, 1994 Northridge)
Fires! Wild Fires! Fire Storms! (too many to mention)
Riots! (1992 Los Angeles)
Terrorist Attacks! (2001 Twin Towers/Pentagon on 9-11)
The O.J. Simpson Trial…. (that was a real disaster)
and now GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC!
Yes, we are totally freaking out tonight!

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Are You Freaking Out Yet?

Thank you Chuck Lorre and the writers of “Two and A Half Men”.
Thank you Alex Trebek and all the folks at “Jeopardy”
See our previous Blog Post “CORONAVIRUS! Part 10 – That’s Entertainment!”

Tonight we are finally going to watch
Quentin Tarentino’s “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
(update: we did not watch it Monday night, we got distracted by a livestream on Deadheadland: 7 Walkers tunes, lyrics by Robert Hunter, effin’ cool and other stuff)

On The Menu:
Monday night – 3 Pork Tamales and a Strawberry-Banana Nectar drink
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We were outside this evening with the dogs and it was SO QUIET!
They are still doing residential construction across the street, leveling a piece of property is still deemed “essential” in Los Angeles (we checked) and the sounds of the bulldozer and big trucks on the street is a constant from morning until late afternoon.
It was a beautiful day today is our “splendid isolation” but the noise f*cking sucks!
So, we were outside this evening with the dogs and it was SO QUIET! TOO QUIET!
HASN”T BEEN THIS QUIET SINCE THE WEEK AFTER THE 9-11 TERRORIST ATTACK!
No commercial planes flying over the San Fernando Valley!
No traffic on the 101 Freeway! No street traffic on Ventura Boulevard!
Or on any street in the city, except where they have 4 (now 5) drive-thru testing sites,
and/or near a hospital. They are setting up new “Field Hospitals” to handle the overflow.
(i.e. Beds inside the LA Convention Center set up by the California National Guard)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020
We did not watch Quentin Tarentino’s “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” last night.

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Tonight’s Feature Presentation: “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood”

There was other good stuff to watch online to distract us until we passed out.
And how long was that, not sure, but it’s Tuesday about 11:30am and we’ve been up for hours. (tossed and turned all last night, and couldn’t sleep).
NOTE: That might be where that end of Monday rant (above) came from.

Three dogs chillin’ here with us at the Home Office (the little boy is under the desk getting loved with the left hand, while we type this with the right) and we are thinking about lunch/brunch/breakfast (although we had a toasted onion bagel with cream cheese with our second cup of espresso when we fed the dogs at 7am, so that was technically today’s breakfast). And it’s a warm and beautiful day in the San Fernando Valley, except for the construction across the street, it’s really nice. This morning, we asked them not to park and idle their dump trucks in front of the house (TWICE), and so far it’s a little better, and let’s see how long that lasts…. probably just until the next load or maybe tomorrow morning. AND F*CK NOW WE HAVE A HEADACHE!

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We thought about going to the market this morning, but we might go tomorrow instead.
There’s plenty of food and we only need a few things, but we don’t want to go out in public! It doesn’t feel safe. The few things we need can wait until tomorrow, right?
NOTE: Already being a practical germophobe for so long, this is hell on our anxiety level!

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Just holed up at home wondering what’s next, like everyone else, trying to keep occupied:
Outdoors yesterday! We cleaned out the dog run and doghouse crate in the big backyard! And we are also fixing the rock garden (which is a crazy mess) a little each time we are outside while the dogs run around, play, and eat stuff they shouldn’t. We also did a little gardening and pruned the lemon tree, while harvesting a sh*tload of lemons, and we still have lots more to pick! And now we need to make lemonade.

And “Spring Cleaning” continues too!
We try to do a little bit of something everyday, while constantly keeping the kitchen cleaned and sanitized. And that reminds us it’s time for lunch!

On The Menu for Tuesday’s Lunch:
Bean and cheese burrito in a flour tortilla with avocado and salsa and an iced espresso.

and Maybe a little nap after lunch.
And then we woke up to the horrible afternoon news.
THE DEAD, DYING, AND SICK REPORT as the pandemic explodes across the country.
7477 Reported Cases  – 54 Reported Deaths in Los Angeles County as of today.

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An outbreak aboard the naval ship (a nuclear powered aircraft carrier) USS Theodore Roosevelt at port in Guam has affected the entire crew.

Breaking News! “Virginia will join Maryland in issuing stay-at-home order, sources say, nearly shutting down the Washington D.C. region.” – Washington Post
Texas Governor orders “stay-at-home” until April 30, schools closed until May 4.
42 states are now SHUT DOWN. Should have been 50 states two weeks ago.
Not enough tests available, only a fraction of necessary tests are actually being done!
Now enough medical equipment! Masks, gloves, face shields, gowns, swabs, and more.
Doctors and nurses are getting sick. Medical professionals are ESSENTIAL & NEEDED!

The “SPRING BREAK” outbreaks are just beginning, (the kids brought the virus home) and then they told two friends, and so on and so on and so on. Hope it was a good party.

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REMAIN CALM! WASH YOUR HANDS!

WATCH THIS IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SLEEP TONIGHT:
Tracking only one small area of the Florida beach….. remember the news footage?
Is the Mar-A-Lago Club still open? Are they still serving over-cooked steaks and chocolate cake to Trump’s rich friends? Don’t hear much about who else from their party got sick!
AND HOW MANY SENATORS ARE ACTUALLY INFECTED THANKS TO RAND PAUL?

EVERYTHING TRUMP SAYS IS A LIE! – EVERYTHING TRUMP SAYS IS A LIE! –
EVERYTHING TRUMP SAYS IS A LIE! – EVERYTHING TRUMP SAYS IS A LIE! –
EVERYTHING TRUMP SAYS IS A LIE! – EVERYTHING TRUMP SAYS IS A LIE!

Trump warns of difficult weeks ahead……
with projections of 100,000 to 240,000 deaths!

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How’s the hair Donny?

TOTAL FAILURE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC HEALTH!

Their NUMBERS ARE A VERY LOW ESTIMATE – A LOT MORE PEOPLE WILL DIE!
Their incompetence is criminal and they should all hang for genocide, high treason,
and crimes against humanity (not the game). Get the torches and pitchforks Grandpa!

EVERYTHING TRUMP SAYS IS A LIE! – EVERYTHING TRUMP SAYS IS A LIE! –
EVERYTHING TRUMP SAYS IS A LIE! – EVERYTHING TRUMP SAYS IS A LIE! –
EVERYTHING TRUMP SAYS IS A LIE! – EVERYTHING TRUMP SAYS IS A LIE!

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAS FAILED TO PROTECT THE UNITED STATES!
Trump was briefed about Coronavirus 3 months ago!
He called it a hoax, a conspiracy theory, ignored it and of course, lied about it!
A TOTAL REPUBLICAN FAILURE! Trump fired the NSC Pandemic Team in 2018!

“Donald Trump’s mental illness is killing people.” – Rob Reiner

Trump and the Republicans in Congress are a Clear and Present Danger
to Public Health and Safety of the United States!

FUCK FOX NEWS – TRUMP PROPAGANDA NETWORK! THEIR LIES KILLED PEOPLE!

Trump is very happy he’s getting great ratings!

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42000+ Reported Deaths as of Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 7pm PST

Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!

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City of Los Angeles “Safer-At-Home”> coronavirus.lacity.org

Read our previous Blog Post “Depression? Questions to Ask – Before Giving Up” > https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/depression-questions-to-ask-before-giving-up/

Read our previous Blog Post “CORONAVIRUS! Part 1”>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2020/03/11/coronavirus/

Read our previous Blog Post “CORONAVIRUS! Part 2”>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2020/03/13/coronavirus-part-2-thursday/

Read our previous Blog Post “CORONAVIRUS! Part 3”>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2020/03/15/coronavirus-part-3-fri-sun/

Read our previous Blog Post “CORONAVIRUS! Part 4”>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2020/03/17/coronavirus-part-4/

Read our previous Blog Post “CORONAVIRUS! Part 5”>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-part-5-tues-thurs/

Read our previous Blog Post “CORONAVIRUS! Part 6”>

Read our previous Blog Post “CORONAVIRUS! Part 7”>

Read our previous Blog Post “CORONAVIRUS! Part 8”>

Read our previous Blog Post “CORONAVIRUS! Part 9”>

Read our previous Blog Post “CORONAVIRUS! Part 10”>

 

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California Senior Citizen Help Hotline: 1-833-544-2374
Help for Senior Citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away!
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
You can also chat with them online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/.

Here are some common warning signs of suicide,
as provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

UPDATED 11-14-19: Did you know that if you text 741741 when you are feeling depressed, suicidal or anxious, a crisis worker will text you back and continue to text with you? Many people, especially younger folks, do not like talking on the phone and would be more comfortable texting. It’s a free service to ANYONE – teens, adults, etc. – who lives in the U.S. It’s run by The Crisis Text Line and is legit.

It’s ok to not be ok sometimes. People care about you and the world would not be the same without you in it. ❤️ More on mental health in this weird time next Blog Post.

The dogs are fed and happy. Now it’s time for a double feature film festival.

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“Once Upon A Time in Hollywood” Take 2

 




UPDATED April 1, 2020:

By George Ronny Conway:

For Trump supporters, let me make one thing VERY clear!
For the record NO ONE is blaming the President for the virus. Let me repeat. Coronavirus is not Trump’s fault.
Here’s a detailed list of what we are blaming him for:
* Trump declined to use the World Health Organization’s test like other nations. Back in January, over a month before the first Co-vid19 case, the Chinese posted a new mysterious virus and within a week, Berlin virologists had produced the first diagnostic test. By the end of February, the WHO had shipped out tests to 60 countries. Oh, but not our government. We declined the test even as a temporary bridge until the CDC could create its own test. The question is why? We don’t know but what to look for is which pharmaceutical company eventually manufactures the test and who owns the stock. Keep tuned.
* In 2018 Trump fired Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossart, whose job was to coordinate a response to global pandemics. He was not replaced.
* In 2018 Dr. Luciana Borio, the NSC director for medical and bio-defense preparedness left the job. Trump did not replace Dr. Borio.
* In 2019 the NSC’s Senior Director for Global Health Security and bio-defense, Tim Ziemer, left the position and Trump did not replace the Rear Admiral.
* Trump shut down the entire Global Health Security and Bio-defense agency. Yes, he did.
* Amid the explosive worldwide outbreak of the virus Trump proposed a 19% cut to the budget of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention plus a 10% cut to Public Health Services and a 7% cut to Global Health Services. Those happen to be the organizations that responds to public health threats.
* In 2018, at Trump’s direction, the CDC stopped funding epidemic prevention activities in 39 out of 49 countries including China.
* Trump didn’t appoint a doctor to oversee the US response to the pandemic. He appointed Mike Pence.
* Trump has on multiple occasions sowed doubt about the severity of the virus even using the word hoax at events and rallies. He even did it at an event where the virus was being spread. Trump has put out zero useful information concerning the health risks of the virus.
* Trump pretended the virus had been contained.
* Trump left a cruise ship at sea for days, denying them proper hospital care, rather than increase his numbers in America.
Repeat. We do not blame Trump for the virus. We blame him for gutting the nation’s preparations to deal with it. We blame him for bungling testing and allowing it to spread uninhibited. We blame him for wasting taxpayer money on applause lines at his rallies (like The Wall). We blame him for putting his own political life over American human life. I hope this clears things up.”



 

 

The Habit Burger!

The Habit Burger!
“Respect The Burger”
The Habit Burger Grill!

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The Habit Burger Grill

Best “Fast Food” Burger? (it’s not fast-food, it’s fast casual)
It’s not In-N-Out Burger anymore (and “those are good burgers”).
It is The Habit Burger Grill!

The Habit Burger Grill’s Mission Statement:
“To become everyone’s favorite Habit, one burger at a time.”

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Double BBQ Bacon CharBurger with Cheese, Fries and Onion Rings

On The Menu: Double BBQ Bacon CharBurger with double cheese (lettuce only),
fries, onion rings and a chocolate milkshake with whipped cream

“The Habit is known for its award-winning Charburger which features 100% fresh, ground beef, grilled over an open flame and topped with melted cheese, caramelized onions, pickles, fresh tomato, crisp lettuce and mayo served on a toasted bun.”

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Double BBQ Bacon Charburger with Cheese and Grilled Onions

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

The Habit was opened in 1969 as a burger stand in Goleta Beach near Santa Barbara, California, by two brothers who borrowed money from their mother. The company is now headquartered in Irvine, California, and they have over 265 restaurant locations, and 23 are in Los Angeles.
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From http://www.thehabitburger.com:
About The Habit Restaurants, Inc.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, The Habit Burger Grill is a burger-centric, fast casual restaurant concept that specializes in preparing fresh, made-to-order chargrilled burgers and handcrafted sandwiches featuring USDA choice sirloin steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade ahi tuna cooked over an open flame. In addition, it features fresh made-to-order salads and an appealing selection of sides, shakes and malts. The Habit was named the “best tasting burger in America” in July 2014 in a comprehensive survey conducted by one of America’s leading consumer magazines. The first Habit opened in Santa Barbara, California in 1969 and most recently named the winner of USA Today’s 10 Best in Regional Fast Food. The Habit has since grown to over 265 restaurants in 13 states throughout Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Washington as well as six international locations.

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The Habit Burger Grill

ORDER UP! Place your order at the counter. Know what you want to order in advance! There is a big menu board. The menu is pretty simple: Burgers, sandwich variations on a burger bun (albacore tuna, tri-tip steak & chicken), salads, kids meals, sides, drinks and real milkshakes.

We recommend you speak loud and clear when ordering, and that you listen when they read the order back really fast. Why? Because they get the order wrong about 50% of the time…. Whatever the reason, the communication or the order between the register and the kitchen area is messed up. They use a ticket/receipt system, and somehow the cooks mess up the order half the time. And then they check the order at the ready counter and then read it back when they hand you the food at pickup, so you would think they could get it right.

AND SOMEHOW THE QUALITY OF THE FOOD ALWAYS BRINGS US BACK!

NOTE: On occasion, in the past, we have telephoned and/or emailed the Corporate Office with our complaints about errors in the burger order, and they have been great about apologizing and mailing us “Free Burger” coupons to compensate us for their problems.

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Always VERY CLEAN! There is a small interior dining area and a large outside patio at The Habit near us. We think the interior dining space is too small, but we often get our food “To Go”, so it’s usually not a problem. There are only two registers at the front counter, and when it gets busy there is often a line to order. The open kitchen allows you to watch the crew prep, cook and tray your food. There is a soda fountain/condiment bar with a pickled pepper buffet with three kinds of peppers (jalapeño, pepperoncini, and banana) to accompany your food.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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“The waiting is the hardest part.” – WAIT FOR IT! It doesn’t take that long.
Their slogan “Fresh is worth the wait” is front and center on the large square pagers they use to notify customers that the order is ready.  And the burger is worth it. You get hot and fresh cooked food (if it doesn’t sit too long on the order up counter) and it really makes a difference. It also removes the “fast-food” label and it becomes a “fast casual” dining experience. Whatever they want to call it, it’s a pretty good cheeseburger.

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Double BBQ Bacon CharBurger with Cheese, Fries and Onion Rings

The Habit Burger Grill – many locations (maybe one near you)

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Double BBQ Bacon CharBurger with Cheese, Fries and Onion Rings

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday! 

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday!

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Sunset Over the Sepulveda Reservoir in the San Fernando Valley

“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood”

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Pleasant Valley Recreation Center – Chico, California

Pleasant Valley Sunday
Songwriters: Carole King / Gerry Goffin
as sung by The Monkees
Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith,
Peter Tork, and Davy Jones

The-Monkees

The local rock group down the street
Is trying hard to learn their song
They serenade the weekend squire
Who just came out to mow his lawn
Another pleasant valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care
See Mrs. Gray, she’s proud today
Because her roses are in bloom
And Mr. Green, he’s so serene
He’s got a TV in every room
Another pleasant valley Sunday
Here in Status Symbol Land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don’t understand
Creature comfort goals, they only numb my soul
And make it hard for me to see
Ah, thoughts all seem to stray to places far away
I need a change of scenery
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Roses are in Bloom!

The San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California 
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Good Morning from the San Fernando Valley! You’ve got a green light for a great day!

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Pleasant Valley is an unincorporated community in El Dorado County, California.
It is located 3.5 miles south of Camino, southwest of South Lake Tahoe, on Route 50.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)
operates the Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) in Coalinga, CA.
NOTE: Coalinga is over 200 miles away from Pleasant Valley in El Dorado County!
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Pleasant Valley, Arizona
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Pleasant Valley, Arizona

Pleasant Valley, Pennsylvania

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Pleasant Valley, Pennsylvania

And there are a lot of communities, cities, towns, streets, roads, schools, districts,
campgrounds, and other locations named Pleasant Valley throughout the USA!
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We Be Grillin’!

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Rancho Los Encinos in the San Fernando Valley in California

Update 01-22-20:
There was 3.6 magnitude EARTHQUAKE in the SFV last night! (Just a thump)
Time (Local): 01/21/2020 11:41 pm PST – Depth (km): 7.0
4km NNE of Granada Hills, CA (same location as the Sylmar Quake!)

ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEXT BIG ONE?
PLAN AHEAD! BE PREPARED!
See our previous Blog Post for Earthquake Preparedness Information.



 

January 2020

January 2020
Tempus fugit! Time flies!

STORMWATCH! THURSDAY the 16th at 9pm PST:
It’s raining and snowing in Southern California tonight.
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And it’s been snowing all day in Ashland, Oregon,
and across Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

The rain has passed
So goes winter in L.A.
And here comes the Sun!

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TBT: ThrowbackThursday (still true today)

The Emancipation Proclamation (Proclamation 95),
was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862,
and put into effect on January 1, 1863:
“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom….”
All slaves held within the 10 states not under Union control were declared to be FREE!
The original five page document of the Emancipation Proclamation
is in the National Archives of the United States in Washington, DC.

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The Emancipation Proclamation

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Today, January 16 is Appreciate a Dragon Day!

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January 17 is the Anniversary of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake

26 years ago, on 1-17-94, we woke up in the dark at 4:30am to the 6.7 Northridge Earthquake shaking the bed and the sound of things falling! As we opened our eyes, the TV fell off the stand in the bedroom with a crash and the sound of glass breaking could be heard as things fell out of cabinets in the kitchen of our 4th floor apartment. Damage at home was pretty minimal and we had earthquake insurance that covered most of it! Our storage unit in Northridge was another story however (yellow tagged and closed for repairs for a year), and then we had to rescue our Grandmother (of blessed memory) who was trapped in her damaged condominium in Sherman Oaks.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEXT BIG ONE?
PLAN AHEAD! BE PREPARED!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

This weekend the NFL Football Championship Games will be played!
Two Winners will go to the Super Bowl in Miami, Florida on February 2, 2020.

Tennessee Titans v. Kansas City Chiefs – Green Bay Packers v. San Francisco 49ers
Who are you rooting for?

MONDAY January 20 is Martin Luther King Jr Day
(Read the previous Blog Post – link below)

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new-year-date

 

 

January 25 is Chinese Lunar New Year
Happy Year of the White Metal Male Rat!
(Read the previous Blog Post – link below)

 

“Don’t forget your booties, ’cause it’s cold outside.”
February 2 is always – Groundhog Day!

groundhog-day

“Don’t Drive Angry!”

And the Super Bowl is also on February 2, 2020!
(and we know we just told you so)

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Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Florida
Sunday, February 2nd, 2020

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Read the previous Blog Post “It’s Groundhog Day!” from 2019
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2019/02/02/its-groundhog-day-2/

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“Feeling a little blue is normal in January” – Marilu Henner

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away!
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255)
to reach a trained counselor and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.



 

OCTOBER 2019 Taimane in Malibu, Rocktoberfest, and Halloween!

OCTOBER 2019 – Taimane in Malibu, Rocktoberfest, and Halloween!

And so it is ROCK-TOBER again, and Halloween is on the doorstep.
Thanksgiving and “the Winter Holidays” (Christmas) are waiting in the wings.
Where does the time go? What happened to this year? Tempus Fugit! Time flies.

A Blog Post in three parts: first, some LIVE MUSIC Taimane in Malibu, second, a review of the month of October, and third, a little fun with “The Big Lebowski” and “Office Space”.

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US 101 North – Ventura Highway

Thursday’s sunset on the 101 freeway on the way to Pepperdine University in Malibu.

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Taimane LIVE at Pepperdine University 10-17-19

NOTE: Taimane is pronounced Tie-mane-ee

Taimane and her Quartet – Elemental Tour
with special guest Polynesian Dancers
in the Smothers Theatre at 8pm
2019 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Favorite Entertainer of the Year!
A wonderful showcase and celebration of Polynesian culture.

with added bonus “It’s All Black & White” Contemporary Art exhibit
in the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art next door – FREE Admission!
(see our previous Blog Post for pictures of the art)

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“It’s All Black & White” Art at Pepperdine University

One Ticket to the show: $20+$2 service charge = $22 Total!
and FREE PARKING if you park in the shuttle lot and ride.
(and $7 to park nearby if you don’t want to shuttle)

“She shreds on ukulele and rocks everything from Beethoven to Led Zeppelin. Somehow she manages to not only rock out but connect the audience with meaningful Hawaiian traditions and dances.” – Austin American-Statesman

It was an easy drive from the San Fernando Valley to Malibu. There was only a little stopped traffic caused by the stoplight and left-turning cars at the intersection of Las Virgenes and Mulholland going through the Santa Monica Mountains to the beach. Our destination: Pepperdine University on the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) above the Pacific Ocean.

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US 101 Freeway (north/west)- Ventura Highway at Sunset

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View of Malibu and the Pacific Ocean from Pepperdine at night

We parked for FREE in the shuttle lot and after a short ride we were at the Smothers Theatre picking up our ticket at WillCall. It was a beautiful evening at the beach! We arrived early, walked around a little, took some pictures of the campus, and then visited the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art next door and experienced the “It’s All Black & White” contemporary art exhibit for FREE! (pictures of the art in our previous Blog Post)

Lovely fountains, the Palm Court next to the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, steps that lead down to the lower campus and a Starbuck’s, the parking lot and the Smothers Theatre at the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts – Pepperdine University in Malibu.

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And when they opened the house doors, we went to find our seat. Orchestra Row B, on the side aisle. The show started about 15 minutes late, and then it was magic time! Taimane has a beautiful voice  and she jams on the ukulele (and guitar)! She talked directly to the audience, introduced each section/song during the performance and created a intimate relationship with the audience. Her quartet were also amazing! She was accompanied by a guitar, violin and percussion (actually a trio) and two wonderful dancers who performed hula and haka dances during a few of her pieces. We enjoyed the show very much! We love LIVE MUSIC! And the performance was really fun.

One of the reasons we chose a seat on the side was in case video recording was allowed…. and it was! The lighting and our cheap cel phone camera made it difficult to get good pictures (as you can see, we had the same problem at Lebowskifest), but the videos we shot came out pretty good and did a good job of capturing the musical performance.

A couple interesting points: 1. The theatre space makes the performance different from a club venue or music stage, and the audience response was great, but somewhat subdued.
2. The actual show length was kind of short. They started late and played a short first set, then there was an intermission, and a longer second set.  And done before 10:30. There was time for more music (at least another song), and there could and should have been a little or a lot more music, and maybe less introduction. But for only $22 for the ticket we should just shut up, because it was a fabulous performance that we really enjoyed.

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NOTE: Why does this always happen? The nice (old) couple behind me sat down and started talking…. season ticket holders? They knew nothing about the artist or the music.
And they had a wonderful experience! We know because they talked….

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During Intermission and after the show, Taimane worked the “Merch” table, signing autographs and taking pictures with everyone! The other musicians and the dancers also came and mingled with the crowd and everyone was very friendly.

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Spotted this car in the shuttle parking lot after the show! Lots of vintage stickers too.

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We rode the shuttle back to the parking lot and walked to our car enjoying the view of Malibu and the Pacific Ocean at night from the university heights. We once lived in the Pacific Palisades on the Pacific Coast Highway just south of Malibu with a panoramic view of the ocean and we really miss enjoying it 24/7.  We drove south on PCH and then back to the San Fernando Valley through Topanga Canyon. There was construction and we had to stop twice for traffic when it was just a single lane. There were too many slow drivers and one crazy tailgater, but we got home eventually without incident.

Ukulele virtuoso Taimane Gardner performs
at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
(Right Click and “Open in New Window”)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ-_ZO9AlMo
and her page on fb> www.facebook.com/taimanegardner

NOTE: The three Taimane live performance videos we shot have been uploaded to our personal fb page and may soon be available on our YouTube channel, if we can figure out how to upload them from our cheapo camera. Her videos on YouTube rock!

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“So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working,
every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it.
So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.”
– Peter Gibbons, Office Space

Here is our old 2010 commercial real estate office space in West Los Angeles:

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Our CUBICLE in the West Los Angeles Office

As a Hollywood Talent Manager we worked from the Home Office for over 10 years. It was a big change having to wake up, get ready and then drive to work to get to the office and our work desk in our cubicle space. Try doing the 405 Freeway Crawl for a year! It was only 12 miles, but it could take well over an hour to get from the Valley to West L.A. And the drive “over the hill” isn’t much better using the canyon roads, as we found out working at the Century City adjacent Talent Agency. It sucks to arrive at work already stressed out from the drive, and then to still have to be present and accounted for all day. And then stress out on the drive home in horrible traffic again after work…….

Agent, Agent, Agent! Three jobs in a row:
Commercial Real Estate (sales & leasing) Agent – nice cubicle in nice office as seen above.
Hollywood Talent Agent – had our own office, but it really was just a “private” cubicle.
Luxury Travel Advisor/Travel Agent – didn’t even get walls, just got an open desk space.

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Milton: “I believe you have my stapler.”

And at present we are back in the Home Office, Right now, we are finishing this Blog Post in our bathrobe at 4:30am while drinking coffee and watching reruns (that we’ve already seen too many times) of “Two And A Half Men”.
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So OCTOBERFEST!
Rock Out it’s ROCKTOBERFEST!
And INKTOBER too!

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Happy Halloween 2019!

September 29: Happy Rosh Hashanah! Happy Jewish New Year!
(we celebrate for 2 days, and observe the holiday for 10 days)

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Happy Jewish New Year!

October 8 was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement
(lots of prayers and fasting on the holiest day of the year)
A personal message from JoshWillTravel:
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Remember The Las Vegas Massacre on the Las Vegas Strip?
October 1st was the 2 year anniversary of the Route91 Harvest Music Festival:
58 people killed and 422 wounded.
October 27th is the 1 year anniversary of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life (L’Simcha congregation) Synagogue Shooting: 11 people killed and 7 others injured.

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“Enjoy Every Sandwich”

October is the tenth month of the year
Autumn in the Northern hemisphere
October’s birthstones are tourmaline and opal
Zodiac signs for October are Libra and Scorpio
And it’s National Pizza, Popcorn Poppin’, Pork, and Seafood Month!

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“Callin’ Oates” Your EMERGENCY Hall & Oates Hotline!

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We called it. It is real. “Whoaaaaa, here she comes…..”

October 20 – Remembering Tom Petty on his birthday.
Gone too soon. May his memory and music be a blessing!

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Happy BACK TO THE FUTURE DAY 2019!

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Oct 25 is St Crispin’s Day!
“This story shall the good man teach his son,
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd” – Henry V
The Battle of Agincourt was fought on this day in 1415.

He stomped on the Terra.
Remembering Wolodia Grajonca (aka Bill Graham) today.
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HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2019!
Still on OCTOBER 31st for now…
Watch for a new Halloween Blog Post coming soon!

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Happy Halloween 2019!

“They did the Mash, They did the Monster Mash!”

The Dude Abides. And where did the year go?
How is it the end of October already?
TIME. TIME. TIME.
“It’s astoundingTime is fleeting. Madness takes it’s toll” – Riff Raff

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“Come join the slowest-growing religion in the world – Dudeism.
An ancient philosophy that preaches non-preachiness, practices as little as possible, and above all, uh…lost my train of thought there. Anyway, if you’d like to find peace on earth and goodwill, man, we’ll help you get started. Right after a little nap.”

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“And even if he’s a lazy man, and the Dude was most certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in Los Angeles County, which would place him high in the runnin’ for laziest worldwide.”

“Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

“Shomer Shabbos!” Friday at dusk until Saturday at sunset!

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“SHOMER F*CKIN’ SHABBOS!”

The Sheriff of Malibu: (a F*ckin’ Fascist!)
“I don’t like your jerk-off name, I don’t like your jerk-off face,

I don’t like your jerk-off behavior, and I don’t like you, jerk-off.”

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“Stay out of Malibu, Lebowski! Stay out of Malibu, Deadbeat! Keep your ugly fuckin’ goldbrickin’ ass out of my beach community.”

“I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.”

bzCemBG
The Dude Abides.

“Come, come, leave business to idlers, and wisdom to fools:
they have need of ’em: wit be my faculty, and pleasure my occupation,
and let father Time shake his glass.”
~William Congreve

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.         …I’m dreaming of a White Russian.

“Uh, I am not Mr. Lebowski. You’re Mr. Lebowski. I’m the Dude.
So that’s what you call me. You know uh, that or uh, his Dudeness,
or uh Duder or uh, El Duderino, if you know you’re not into the whole brevity thing.”

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“Truckin’, got my chips cashed in.
Keep truckin’, like the doo-dah man
Together more or less in line, just keep truckin’ on.”
Steal-Your-Face-Jerry-Garcia-Hand

“For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone.” – Psalms 103:16

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FULL MOON FEVER!

OUR RECENT BLOG POSTS:
(we’ve been on a roll and these are all new!)



 

Rancho Los Encinos in Encino, California

Rancho Los Encinos in Encino, California

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Los Encinos State Historic Park 2017

“Los Encinos State Historic Park, just northeast of the intersection of Balboa and Ventura Boulevards in Encino, California, was the hub of Rancho El Encino. Located in the San Fernando Valley, this California rancho includes the original eight-room de la Ossa Adobe, the two-story limestone Garnier building, a blacksmith shop, a natural spring, and a pond.”

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Rancho Los Encinos 1949

“The natural spring provided a year-round source of water for the ancient, autonomous, village of Siutcanga.  The village was home to Chumash, Tongva, and Tataviam people, who later were called “Fernandeños” by the Spanish due to the enslavement of these three groups to the San Fernando Mission.  An excellent description of this village was recorded as part of the 1769 Portola Expedition. This Spanish expedition reached the San Fernando Valley and named it “El Valle de Santa Catalina de Bononia de Los Encinos” (The Valley of St. Catherine of Bononia of the Oaks).”

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Rancho El Encino 1880s

September 4th, 1781 – El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles is founded!

“Located along a significant travel route between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, the property passed through many hands between the 1840s and the early 20th century. Today, the park contains exhibits related to the agricultural enterprises of Rancho El Encino’s various owners, including Mission Indian, Mexican Californio, French, and French Basque families.”

National Register of Historic Places: NPS-71000142
and California Historical Landmark Number 689

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Dogs are allowed (on leash)

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California Department of Parks & Recreation – Los Encinos State Historical Park
www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=619

Los Encinos Docent Association http://los-encinos.org

Read our Blog Post about the Lakeside Cafe in Encino, with a view of the park>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/dinner-at-the-lakeside-cafe-in-encino/

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Los Encinos State Historic Park
16756 Moorpark St., Encino CA 91436-1068 (No Parking Lot – Street Parking Only!)
The Park is Open Wed – Sun 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Admission is FREE!
The Visitors’ Center in the Garnier Building is open during regular park hours.

 



 

Las Vegas, Nevada! “Vegas Baby! Vegas!”

Las Vegas, Nevada!
“Vegas Baby! Vegas!”

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Back from Las Vegas.
A fun trip to “Sin City”
Happy to be Home!

JOSHWILLTRAVEL! And travel to Las Vegas last week is what we did.*

*well, it wasn’t last week…. more like last month. Tempus fugit!

We were invited (very last minute) to our friend Frank’s 65th Birthday Adventure:
(via a series of text messages)
– Come to Vegas if you want we have extra rooms
– We arrive Wed and lots of different rooms. Party on Saturday
– The party at Topgolf should be good even if you dont golf. Has a private pool for us
– Then we got a big cabana by our pool Friday Saturday and Sunday

So, let me think about it….. and Road Trip to Vegas!
Left the beautiful San Fernando Valley at 1:30am on Thursday morning.
Highways to Las Vegas: 101north-134west-210west-10west-15north
We drove a rental truck, a no-frills silver Nissan Frontier, with unlimited miles.
No traffic! Driving 285 miles at night with the truckers on I-15 north.

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“World’s Tallest Thermometer” in Baker, California

Stopped along the way in Baker, California, for gas and to see the “World’s Tallest Thermometer” once again lighting the side of the 15 freeway. It was “non-operational” for many years, but has been repaired and now it is again a beacon at night on the desert highway.
NOTE: Gas prices were “too f*ckin’ high” in Baker! 

Stateline! No stopping until we get to town.

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Stateline! Primm, Nevada

Arrived at South Point Hotel and Casino before 6am on Thursday.

We have always heard good things about the SouthPoint. People regularly recommend their buffet as being very good. They were also recently featured in the Showtime series “Action” about legal sports gambling, so as we rolled into town we decided to stop there.

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SouthPoint Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada

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Self Parking at SouthPoint is FREE. We parked outside, instead of in the structure, and it was only a short walk to the Casino entrance. We had to go to the High Limit Slots counter to get a Player’s Card because the Club Desk doesn’t open until 7am. We played some blackjack and a little video poker and won a little money.

We also earned 300 club points which entitled us to “spin the wheel” and we won 5000 points (so we cashed them out for $15.00), wandered around the casino, and then headed for their Breakfast Buffet.

NOTE: Get the SouthPoint Player’s Card and the Breakfast Buffet is only $9.95 + tax
(Really nice breakfast buffet for ~$11.00 + $5.00 tip for our server/waitperson)

Breakfast Buffet Time! The Las Vegas “Buffet Experience”! And we were hungry…..

On The Menu: Everything. It was a Good Buffet!

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After breakfast we headed out and drove to the Wyndham Grand Desert Resort near the MGM Grand and across the street from TopGolf at the south end of the strip.
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Wyndham Grand Desert Resort

Parked near Tower 3, walked to registration at Tower 2 and Checked In.
Our friends had the rooms reserved and a quick phone call was made, our ID was checked, and we were handed a keycard and welcome instructions. We walked back to Tower 3 and met one of our friends in the lobby. She gave us the “nickel tour” of the resort property and showed us the adult pool and the cabana they had reserved for our party weekend. We walked back to Tower 3 and grabbed our luggage and weekend supplies out of the truck and rode the elevator upstairs.

The SMELL in the hall.
Okay, something died. rotting trash beyond rotting. it was terrible. really terrible.
FOR THE WHOLE TIME! It was disgusting. It reeked. It stank.
Yes, we complained. And they tried to mitigate the smell with deodorizers and sprays, but they should have called for sanitary cleanup immediately. They were really good about apologizing and they gave our hosts credit for the inconvenience.

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“It’s Kubrickian!”

The Sweet Suite!
Tower 3, Room 392 at the Wyndham Grand Desert Resort:

Happily, the smell was only in the hallway. Once inside the room, a “lock-out” connecting room, adjacent to the first room our hosts stayed in…. they moved to the Presidential Suite, and her brother moved into their room. More on that later.

Each room had a nice kitchen area, living room space and private bedroom and bath. Mine was a little smaller than the room next door which also had a bar and bar seating in the living room space. I was very happy with the accommodations and also the fact that it was FREE! My hosts were treated to drinks, gifts and other forms of thanks all week long in appreciation for the invitation.

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After the little tour of the resort the it was nappy time. Then once we were awake and active again, we joined our friends for a quick visit to the TopGolf mega-entertainment center across the street. We met our friends in the inside bar and had a cocktail while they finished their food (we were still full from the morning buffet).

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Our friend’s birthday party was scheduled for Saturday afternoon in the Chairman’s Suite, complete with private pool and lunch buffet, so they went to check it out.  More on that party later……
We wandered around and toured the massive four deck facility. There were lots of bar and seating areas, and a public pool area with lounges, private cabanas and a “swim-up” bar. There were televisions and monitors everywhere, and really big multi-screens by the pool and in the gathering and game areas. And there were a ton of people having fun at midday on Thursday! The Golf Area has private driving areas for rent, with computer monitoring, that tracks your ball and gives you distance, replay, and other fun golf info. And of course there is plenty of food and beverage service available everywhere.
Just mind the warning signs and watch for errant golf balls and clubs!
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And then back across the street to the resort.
Our friends moved their stuff to the Presidential Suite with a Private Veranda and we hung out there and waited for them to get settled in.
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We made a run to the local market and picked up provision for the week. And then later we went back across the street to TopGolf for a late dinner.

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TopGolf Photo Op!

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On The Menu: More cocktails
and Boneless BBQ Wings w/veggies & ranch dressing at one of the bars.
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FRIDAY at the Wyndham

Good morning! Cabana Time!
Our Large Private Party Cabana in the shade for Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

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Large Private Party Cabana in the shade for Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday began the same way each day: Tiki drinks for brunch! And some kind of food from the resort kitchen, along with snacks we brought from the room.

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The cabana was equipped with a nice television and a noisy ceiling fan, and the public smoking area was right next door and there was a public cabana in that area. Most of the pool cabanas were positioned in the sun, and must have been really hot inside, while our cabana was on the other side and in the shade set back but facing the adult pool area.

 

Dinner time on Friday, and we had a meeting in the Presidential Suite to decide where to go to eat. There are many choices, so the group reviewed them, and eventually decided to go to Burger Bar (inside the Luxor Hotel, which we didn’t know at the time).

NOTE: Everything we did took a long time to get it together and actually do it. It wasn’t a problem, and we resolved to just ride along and see what happens (most of the time).

And then it started raining. A real Desert Storm! And a wet Friday night.
One of our new friends was the non-drinking designated driver, and he was a cool dude. But his driving was not cool. And it was dark and wet and it took a long time to get there. And then we toured the parking lot, for a long time, before finally parking.

We made our way into the Luxor and found the Burger Bar. Basically a $20 hamburger without anything else, so we decided to go spend our money at The Peppermill instead.

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MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on a Rainy Night in Las Vegas, Nevada

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And so, after another wild ride in the rain around Las Vegas, we arrived for Dinner and Drinks at The Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge!

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We had dinner and tiki drinks in the restaurant and then went into the lounge and had more drinks. The rain was really coming down and we were in no hurry to leave, so we rode out the storm in the lounge and met some fun new people.
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On The Menu: Tiki Cocktails!
A Lava Flow and a nice Beef Dip Sandwich with fries and extra au jus

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A good time was had by all! We enjoyed our dinner and drinks at The Peppermill. Frank had a big Scorpion drink (in a glass, not a bowl) and the rest of us had a few different drinks from their cocktail menu too.

One more drive around Vegas in the rain and back to the resort. We survived! We returned to the Presidential Suite and then back to our suite in the other tower. We decided to take a hot bath and then sleep in the next day.

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“Wanna take a bath?”

SATURDAY at the Wyndham and TopGolf

Cabana Time! Basically the same routine as Friday: tiki drinks, food, people hanging out and new friends stopping by until it was time to get it together and head over to TopGolf for the big shindig!

Frank’s 65th Birthday Party in the Chairman’s Suite at TopGolf – Saturday 2-5pm
Golf, balls, a buffet, more drinks and a private swimming pool just for us.

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Party at TopGolf in Las Vegas, Nevada!

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The Guest of Honor in the Private Pool in the Chairman’s Suite

On The Menu: Tacos (chicken, steak and pork), Sliders (cheeseburgers, battered fish and pulled pork), chips with salsa and guacamole, salads, and of course more tiki cocktails!

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The party was a lot of fun, we got out drink on, and there was too much food! We ended up taking a lot of it back to the resort afterwards. There was golfing (unlimited balls, or something like that) and swimming too. The pictures are just a sample before it got crazy wild.

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A beautiful day at TopGolf Las Vegas!

Saturday Night in Vegas!

And so we returned to the resort and hung out until it got dark. We decided our next destination would be (more) Tropical Cocktails at Frankie’s Tiki Room! 

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Saturday Night on the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada

After the wild road trip on Friday night, we decided we would drive to Frankie’s and meet the crew there. We cruised past The Strip and downtown to the bar.

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More cocktails! Famous tiki drinks! And it was really dark inside.
Here are some pics:

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We enjoyed a Mai Tai and then there was a lot of conversation and more drinks. We moved around from our table in the cabana to a seat at the bar. Lots of kitsch and weird decor to see, even in the dark. Eventually, they decided to return to the resort and we decided to go back to The Strip and have some Las Vegas fun.

We drove to The Wynn, Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – FREE SELF PARKING!
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The Wynn is a beautiful property! And it was crowded, which was nice. We played a little and wandered around taking in the different areas of the casino and environs. We had some luck and cashed out and drove back to the resort and went to bed.

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SUNDAY (Mother’s Day) morning after waking up and getting ready, we walked over to the Presidential Suite for Breakfast/Brunch and more Cabana Time! It was a leisurely day of drinking and hanging out. There may have been an afternoon nap involved.

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So we were volunteered to cook and we grilled some steaks for dinner at 9:30pm on Sunday at the community BBQ Grills. There’s a curfew for cooking at 10pm, so we had to be quick! We took them upstairs and enjoyed a great meal on the private veranda (and of course, there were more cocktails).

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Then we went on a mission to The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” Sign!
It was designed by Nevada-born graphic designer Betty Willis (1923-2015) in 1959.
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“The rounded diamond shape of the sign was inspired by the Goodyear logo and the idea for the starburst came from the one in Disneyland’s emblem, which to her meant a happy destination. The seven silver dollars were a symbol of good luck for visitors entering the world’s gambling capital. (Betty) Willis’s design was never trademarked.”

The sign was built by a small local company Western Electric Displays Inc, aka Western Neon. Western Neon was bought by YESCO (Young Electric Sign Company) and they have maintained the sign ever since. The original sign has been rebuilt, restored, and recognized as a cultural and historic landmark for the City of Las Vegas over the years.

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Safe and legal public access to the sign was finally made possible in 2008, when parking spaces and a pedestrian walkway were finally constructed. Clark County and the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office had the sign listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

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NOTE: It was “Helldorado Days” a big holiday in the State of Nevada. There was a parade on Saturday and the Rodeo and other events were happening all weekend in downtown Las Vegas and on Fremont Street. So, we didn’t go there.

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Old Vegas! Glitter Gulch!

We returned to the resort and stayed up until MONDAY morning!
“It’s HOT in the Hot Tub!” 
And sometime before dawn we hit the Jacuzzi and Pool! (the pool and jacuzzi at Tower 3 are open 24 hours) It was very Early AM, at Tower 3, after it was cleaned, before the crowd and we were almost alone.

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We had stayed up all night and after our adventures we finally decided to try out the 24 hour pool and jacuzzi in our Tower. The pool area was empty except for one couple, so we waited until they were out of the water and then we moved in. We spent about a half hour enjoying the warm, bubbly spa, and swam in the cool pool until the calm was interrupted by two small children and their mother….. as we left the pool area at 6am the mother was screaming at the children in the shallow end of the pool, “Get over here dammit, you pulled this sh*t all yesterday, I’m not gonna have it today!” 

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Went up to the room and took a hot shower, ate some leftover tacos, and went to bed.
Requested and was given a late checkout time of 12 noon via the telephone.

And then,
Housekeeping knocked on my door three different times between 9:30 and 11am!
AND THERE WAS A “DO NOT DISTURB” SIGN HANGING ON THE DOOR HANDLE!
They also started cleaning the other half of the “lockout suite” and made noise like they were doing construction next door, making it impossible to sleep.

NOTE: We complained and Dan, the resort manager, gave us a $50 credit to use at our choice of restaurants “off-property” at a Caesars Hotel (there was a list of restaurants to choose from at each hotel) for our inconvenience and also took care of our friends who invited us. That’s real good hospitality!

Checked out of the Wyndham and drove back over to the Wynn. FREE Self Parking again.

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We walked to the Palazzo and Venetian, then went outside, crossed Las Vegas Blvd and went over to the Mirage. It was a beautiful day, but it was too hot of course.

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We visited the MLife desk, and asked about a MyVegas room rate. They offered us a Monday night room for $63.00 + taxes and the ridiculous resort fee, so we passed.

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We walked through the Forum Shops to Caesars Palace and enjoyed the weirdness!

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Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino was once the best place to stay and play in Las Vegas. Then they turned it into “Disneyland”, and they threw away all the class and quality that made it great. And then they added RESORT FEES and PAID PARKING.

We went to Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill and got a seat a the bar, but when we looked at the menu there was nothing that we wanted to order…. so we thanked them and left. We wandered around Caesars enjoying the sights while trying to decide where to eat.

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The Bar and Sportsbook at Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Then we decided on dinner at Rao’s Italian Kitchen, Las Vegas at Caesars Palace!
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On The Menu: Good bread, an excellent Caesar salad and their tasty meat lasagna.
We ate the salad and half of the lasagna and bread, and had the other half packed “to go”.
No drinks or wine because we were driving later, so only ice water with dinner.

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It was getting dark after dinner, so we started walking back, watched the sunset behind Caesars Palace across the street, and then stopped at Harrah’s and the old Casino Royale on The Strip.

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Casino Royale!

 

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And then we walked back to the Wynn. We enjoyed our after dinner walk at night and took in the sights along The Strip on our way back. We returned to our car and hit the road. Destination: Los Angeles.

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LEAVING LAS VEGAS around 9:30pm on Monday.
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Stopped at the new Mega-Gas Station Terrible’s Road House on the way back to California and filled up the gas tank and emptied mine. They have 100 pumps for “rush hour”, but the place was almost empty when we stopped in around 10pm on Monday night.

It was a quick stop, with lots of light and easy highway access. After getting gas, we took some pics and then got back in the rental truck and made a non-stop, no traffic, night drive back to Los Angeles. Home again before 2am. Had a really fun trip!

SouthPoint Hotel and Casino

Wyndham Grand Desert Resort

TopGolf

Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge

Frankie’s Tiki Room

The Wynn Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

 

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The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” Sign Webcam>
www.earthcam.com/cams/nevada/lasvegas/index.php?cam=sign_hd



 

 

Dim Sum Sunday Brunch at Shanghai Rose in Studio City!

Dim Sum Sunday Brunch
at Shanghai Rose in Studio City!

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Shanghai Rose Chinese Cuisine & Dim Sum in Studio City

Sunday Dim Sum Brunch! Party time with Chinese food!

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On Ventura Blvd, Sunday street parking is FREE. The restaurant has a parking lot and they validate, so parking is pretty easy.

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Black and red lacquer design (is that traditional?) with lots of cool gold accents. There is a long bar area with a cool aquarium attached to the large dining room. Table and booth seating is available. For the Dim Sum Brunch there was a steam cart circulating and a big menu with lots of other choices available for “made to order” plates.

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The spicy chicken wings were our favorite thing, and the soup dumplings were nice and juicy! We ordered a lot of food, tried tastes of many dishes, and it was good, but not great. So, if you don’t want to make a trip to Chinatown or Alhambra for serious foodie Dim Sum, this is an option in the San Fernando Valley.

Shanghai Rose12229 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604
818-762-2542 http://www.ShanghaiRoseDimSum.com

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Brody Stevens RIP – We Enjoyed It

Steven Brody Stevens RIP

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Brody Stevens performs at the last Josh and Josh Show at Bar Lubitsch

Steven Brody Stevens killed himself. He was only 48 years old.
This is horrible and VERY SAD but not unexpected. Mental Illness is not a joke.

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Brody Stevens’ Name on the Comedy Store Marquee….. RIP

We didn’t know Brody. We weren’t friends. We never hung out. We did meet Brody when he was a special guest at our comedy show “The 5 and Dime in Studio City”. We watched his reality show when it was broadcast on cable. We knew about “the incident” on Sunset Boulevard that got him arrested. We became a real fan one night when we found his Periscope channel. We saw him perform live at The Josh and Josh Show a few times, but we watched his live performances on Periscope many times, which he shared every night for a long time, before taping his comedy special. We watched his scopes from his apartment, and his “Steps with Steve” scopes, and in his car driving (while drumming) scopes. Most of the time it was just Brody being weird and real, and it was raw, and sometimes it was hard to watch because he was so f*cked up mentally. But mostly it was entertaining and sometimes pure comedy genius. He was a unique talent, brave to broadcast his comedy direct to his fans and haters (who were there with him every night too), and he knew nobody could steal his act, his off-center jokes, and his catch phrases. “Solo scene on a yoga mat”, “Leather exterior”, “Take my mom to lunch and pay half”, “She’s an UBER driver in Coachella”, just f*ckin’ great jokes and if you knew him, you knew all the punchlines and they were still funny everytime. He was also a big presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, using each platform creatively to promote himself. I’ve peppered this Blog Post with more of his comedy in tribute to a man who shouldn’t be dead.

“You’re never alone when you’re bipolar.”

EVERYONE KNEW HE WAS “SUICIDAL” and there was nothing they could do…. all of his FRIENDS loved him and his weirdness, but it wasn’t enough.

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Brody Stevens on the road at the Cabazon Dinosaurs

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Brody Stevens at the Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip

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Brody Stevens Backstage at the Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip

Everyone knew he had mental health issues, it was public knowledge. He did a TV reality show “Brody Stevens, Enjoy It” you can watch on ComedyCentral’s channel and addressed the problems he was experiencing, the drugs that he was prescribed, and his recovery after being “5150” hospitalized for a bipolar incident in 2011. He was very brave to talk about mental illness, his personal issues and his feelings. He was also very frustrated and angry, he was jealous of other people’s success, and he held a grudge hard and was not afraid to air his complaint and grievances publicly. He burned a lot of bridges. He had “run-ins” with the police and other authority figures, and it cost him jobs.

“I’m intense. I get B.O. in the shower.
I get road rage at the car wash” – Steven Brody Stevens

Brody had small speaking roles in films. He was in “The Hangover”, “The Hangover 2” and “Due Date”, but he got cut out of “Funny People”. He “created Chelsea Lately!” Brody was frequent guest on other people’s podcasts and had his own “The Festival of Friendship”.

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The Brody Stevens “Festival of Friendship” – You Got It!

He was incredibly funny, he wrote clever jokes, he loved baseball, the Chicago Cubs, and drumming. He loved his mom and her dog, Daisy. He could improvise on a dime and do weird bits that other comedians would never dream of trying, and he was a master of “crowd work” and warm up. “Arms crossed, negative” was a common line as he broke down the audiences’ defense, crashing through the fourth wall, and attacked them with his aggressive comedic persona. Angry Brody unleashing on an unresponsive audience was a sight to behold! It was “in your face” and mostly unapologetic, and designed to get a real reaction. His daily Periscope broadcasts were GENIUS! He made other comics laugh, and tried to make the world a more positive place. He will be missed.

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NOTE: This sequence below is from a truly creative Periscope video he shared. Using the delay in broadcast time, Brody engineered a conversation with himself using his iPhone, iPad and GoPro, while still talking to his viewers. It was BRILLIANT!