Posts Tagged ‘los angeles’

I’m sure half the country has heard about Santa Monica’s smart parking meters. The city of Santa Monica touts them as a great technological advancement in the ability to improve their parking… PUHLEASE! If the city of Santa Monica ever uses the data collected from their parking meter sensors to actual *improve* parking conditions, I’ll be the first to congratulate the city.

We all know what’s going to happen. The second Santa Monica figures out that they can squeeze another peso from your wallet, it will. I’m sure that parking rates will adjust (only upward) based upon their historical data that they collect. Anyone remember the Coca-Cola vending machines that were going to charge more when it was hotter outside. Ya, imagine paying $8/hour for parking in SM during the busy season. I’ll bet money (maybe a parking ticket’s worth) that will happen.

I do have a story about how I think this could eventually be fought and won against the city in the courtroom (unless someone already thought of this and lost – I don’t really keep up too much on a city like Santa Monica since I plan on never visiting that BFE beach town very often). The other day I was in downtown Los Angeles. I got myself a meter (for two hours) near a company that I was visiting. Of course it wasn’t close enough to the company to where I could lug the mountains of merchandise I was purchasing from them from their location to my car. I figured I’d get two hours because it was nearing lunch and I was hungry.

Better Parking in DTLA than Santa Monica

Better Parking in DTLA than Santa Monica

I walked over to my bank, took a picture of ridiculous parking signs right around the corner (oh, the irony!!!), visited the company’s office, conducted my business, went back to my car, drove my car to the loading zone in front of the business, loaded up the merchandise, and then drove back to my parking meter. At the time that I left the meter, there was an hour and 45 minutes left. I figured if someone else ended up stumbling upon my meter, it was a nice gift for them.

By the time I made it back to my meter, it was about 10 minutes later. Nobody had taken my meter (although, there was some poor schmuck who parked in the meter before mine that didn’t have enough time on it). I still have an hour and 35 minutes (which I paid for!!!) left on my meter so I could go enjoy a nice mac & cheese lunch at one of my favorite restaurants. The fact that parking in DTLA is better than Santa Monica puts the city of Santa Monica on the top of my list of craptastic cities for parking. Keep in mind, I have received more than a dozen tickets in DTLA for various reasons and even been towed (well, almost towed) after the crooks changed the parking times that hadn’t been changed in more than 10 years.

Had I been in Santa Monica, my hour and 35 minutes of parking that I had already paid for and had every intention of using would have been stolen from me completely! Would that be any different from someone swooping in and stealing my spot? Yes! Because at least that person would have benefited from my generosity. Instead, the city of Santa Monica is just stealing money from me. Would I have put 2 hours worth of parking in a Santa Monica parking meter? Of course not! I’ll never be visiting that thieving town anytime soon, and I’ll certainly be looking for parking structure parking instead! Or maybe a guy sitting in an alley taking parking donations.

Urban Entrepreneur isn’t some PC term I’m using because I don’t want to talk about the crap life that homeless people have. It’s a marketing term I’m using to talk about the genius folks I see each morning, picking the recyclables out of the trash cans in downtown Los Angeles every day.

I love these folks! I don’t have time to make it to a recycle bin after my juice in the morning, and it certainly isn’t realistic for me to carry my empty juice bottle around with me all day long. At the same time, I don’t want to *not* recycle. I have bags of recyclables at my house. They cover the cost of my monthly haircut, which is hardly enough to live off of, but the folks in downtown are pulling that in just about everyday. They are doing us a favor my collecting our trash and recycling it while helping themselves out with some cash. Proof the entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t die just because you have a cardboard box over your head.

Kobe Bryant and Laker fans will say that it was inevitable from the beginning of the season. They just might be right. Looking back at the season and the players, the youthful Lakers might not be what one would expect to see in the NBA finals. Outside of Kobe and Fisher there really isn’t massive experience on the Lakers bench. Unless you consider Phil Jackson (one of the greatest coaches of the game). This is the first year since he got to Los Angeles that Jackson hasn’t been getting hyped, and perhaps that allowed him to relax a little an Zen up the Lakers.

The Lakers are back in the NBA Finals to face… likely the Boston Celtics in an old-school NBA Finals. It seems like everything is going 80s retro these days, so why not the NBA. While I certainly can do without the music of the 80s, I’m very interested in an 80s style NBA Finals. I’m sure there are going to be cries in Boston of “Beat LA” during game 7 (Yes, Detroit is likely taking this one back to Boston).

It’s going to be classic East Coast v West Coast. Biggie v Tupac. Uptight Bostonians v stoned Angelians. Clam Chowder v Avocado Salads. William Shatner v Jack Nicholson. Expect sales to go down at Boston Markets across Southern California.

Its been a week since the fires here in the Los Angeles area. I went home this weekend to spend some time with my nephew and take him to a pumpkin patch. I spent some time at my parents’ house, surveying the fire damage. Their house was fine. The yard was burn, but the house was fine. Other houses down the street were not so fortunate. I saw a few houses that were just completely burned. Nothing was left but the remains of their cars in the garage.

When I got home, I let me dogs in for some dog crack time. That smell. That horrid smell of burnt brush… It lingered around the door. I closed the door and gave my dogs some dog crack. They immediately lied down in the hallway and began to chomp away.

A few minutes later, I’m doing my P90X in my living room. I smell that horrid smell of burnt brush. No open doors. No open windows. Then I realize: my dogs have been outside for a good portion of the last couple of weeks. They’ve been wallowing around in ash and dust from the fires the whole time. UGH! Time for a dog bath.

10. The Rams win!!! Sorry, the Rams are on the fast track to becoming the first team to ever go 0-16! Not since the strike shortened 1982 season have we seen a winless team, so we are long overdue. Hey! Maybe they’ll come back to Los Angeles ūüėÄ

9. A game where Mike Holmgren doesn’t make a call leaving us thinking WTF! Next time, kick the field goal when are down by 11 and get stuffed in the red zone.

8. The Raiders win!!! At least against an AFC West opponent. The season of broken records is also the season of broken hearts for Raiders fans as the Raiders lost to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, breaking the NFL record for consecutive losses to a division opponent.

7. Where Tom Brady throws fewer than 3 touchdowns. It doesn’t quite rank up there with Al “Crazy Legs” Bundy scoring 4 touchdowns in a single game. I don’t remember much about it. Wind coming out of the Southwest at 14 mph… Expect an even more dominating team than the 49er Super Bowl team of ’94. If Brady doesn’t break Manning’s record, be surprised. I heard a mouse in Boston say MVP on Sunday.

6. A game where Brett Favre doesn’t break an NFL record after October 14. Scoring the dubious title of most interceptions, Brett Favre became the most selfish passer in NFL history. No! He couldn’t just have the NFL record for touchdowns now could he! Each week he throws a TD or INT will be a new record. Expect at least 1 INT each week.

5. A game better than Nov 4 in Indy! It is highly probable that Manning and Brady will be leading undefeated teams in their AFC Championship rematch. Count on it being one of the highest scoring games in NFL history, at least for television ratings.

4. Any nationally televised game where Eli Manning is not compared to big brother Peyton. Sorry, Eli. That’s what happens when your older brother is one of the best quarter backs to play the game. And I thought I had it bad because my brother got his law degree… sheesh.

3. A playoff game at John Kerry’s wife’s stadium. The Steeler’s soft schedule is helping them look good in the early part of the season, but put your money on Big Ben putting up similar stats to last year’s 75.4 QB rating after they meet up with the Ravens in a couple of weeks. If they make it to the playoffs, it’s on the road the whole way (and don’t expect a repeat of the Stealers Super Bowl theft a couple years ago).

2. One with Janet Jackson in the halftime show. Years after the most Tivo’d moment in television history, people still can’t stop talking about the infamous nipple ornament slip of the 2003-4 Super Bowl. Hey, didn’t Mr. Wardrobe Malfunction just win the MTV Artist of the Year Award?

1. Atlanta Falcons vs. Cleveland Browns. Fortunately for NFL schedulers, they didn’t land the former team of Michael “Cock Fighting is for Chickens” Vick in the Dawg Pound. After all, Vick might not be able to keep himself from throwing down a few bills at the east end of Browns Stadium.