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Member since: Tue Oct 14, 2003, 04:09 AM
Number of posts: 7,878

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So many places to buy food - but no place to eat!

The Grand Central Market in downtown LA is a great place to get a bite to eat. But not on a Saturday afternoon! It's a really cool place with 99 years worth of history. My wife and I were in the area and thought it would be the perfect place for lunch. There are so many places to choose from, but all of them had huge lines and all of the tables and seats were taken. We couldn't even a wall to stand against except near the bathroom downstairs!

It's an extremely popular place - just a little too popular for comfort on the weekends for our taste.
Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Oct 20, 2016, 04:27 PM (0 replies)

Facing the end or coming back? The Last Bookstore.

I find it sad that so many brick and mortar bookstores have gone out of business over the last decade. I'm no Luddite - nothing wrong with Kindle or buying books online - but there's something about going into a bookstore to browse or buy that is a lifelong pleasure for me. With the demise of the chain bookstore which Barnes & Noble seems to have a monopoly on, I think that independent new and used bookstores have become more popular. Certainly that is the case with The Last Bookstore in downtown LA. It's a two-story building of 22,000 square feet that not only houses 250,000 new and used books, not only contains a great selection of vinyl records, but it also houses an artist collective on the second floor and the place is filled with amazing sculptures, paintings and other artwork.

The only other bookstore I've seen that I think is more impressive is Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon. If anyone else who loves bookstores has a recommendation, I'd love to know what others are worth checking out!
Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Oct 13, 2016, 05:15 PM (7 replies)

OK, who else this summer engaged in the guilty pleasure of going to the county fair?

I'll testify: I went and I loved it! Every year, my wife and I trek out to the Pomona Fairplex to attend the LA County Fair. It's great for the reasons every county fair is great - watching people get sick on crazy spinning rides, seeing lots of animals, eating deep-fried decadent deliciousness - and a whole lot more. There were some really great exhibits this year for us to see, both for art and sports. We also like going there to do wine tasting, even if we don't always like the wine!

So how many people here enjoy going to the county fair each summer? What do you enjoy most about it?
Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Oct 6, 2016, 05:10 PM (13 replies)

Does anyone else like exploring abandoned places?

My wife and I usually like doing this when we go on vacation. In particular, we like old western ghost towns. But in the Santa Susana Pass in Simi Valley, California, we found the remains of an abandoned western movie ranch that was also an amusement park, Corriganville. This ranch named after western actor/stuntman/Man in a Gorilla suit actor Ray Corrigan, was open to the public as an amusement park from May 1, 1949 until 1966 when Bob Hope closed the ranch.

This is our most recent video of what we found:

We found out about Robin Hood Lake when we stopped off at the Santa Susana Railroad Depot just up the street from Corriganville. They had a wonderful exhibit that showed how Corriganville used to look back when it was a working movie ranch and amusement park. They even showed us a movie about it too!

Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Sep 29, 2016, 02:37 PM (17 replies)

Conspiracy History is for the Birds

Posted by robertpaulsen | Wed Sep 28, 2016, 02:19 PM (6 replies)

Does anyone else like to travel to abandoned places?

Occasionally, my wife and I enjoy doing this. They're usually fascinating, especially if there is a history attached with the place.

Recently, we traveled to the Santa Susana Pass in southern California. While the area is infamous for the Spahn movie ranch where the Manson family resided in the late 1960s, there is another movie ranch that we visited: Corriganville. This ranch named after western actor/stuntman/Man in a Gorilla suit actor Ray Corrigan, was open to the public as an amusement park from May 1, 1949 until 1966 when Bob Hope closed the ranch.

We've written more about it on our blog and also shot a few videos of the area. Here's the first one:

Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Sep 15, 2016, 04:23 PM (11 replies)

Journey through old and new Las Vegas

My wife and I recently traveled to Las Vegas (it was relatively cool, 95 degrees) and explored a number of different areas. We ended up editing five videos of all the places we saw there that I want to share with you over the next several weeks.

There was definitely a contrast in the places we visited between "old" Vegas and "new" Vegas. The oldest part of Las Vegas can actually be found in Henderson, Nevada at the Clark County Museum. This is where we shot our first video.

Let me know if there are any other "old" Vegas attractions you like visiting. Hope you enjoy watching our visit!
Posted by robertpaulsen | Fri Aug 12, 2016, 05:14 PM (4 replies)

Our trip to Seattle: The Space Needle, Ivar's and Ye Olde Curiosity Shop

My wife and I recently visited Seattle, Washington and had a lot of fun! It was very sunny while we were there, so we got great views from the Space Needle. We also enjoyed outdoor dining at Ivar's Acres of Clams for lunch.

Check out our videos:

Posted by robertpaulsen | Fri Aug 5, 2016, 03:44 PM (0 replies)

Wine Tasting in Beautiful Willamette Valley, Oregon

My wife and I took a recent trip to Oregon wine country to do some tastings. We visited three different wineries and they were all unique and fantastic!

We've started a travel blog where we wrote about it here:


Or if you just want to view the amazing scenery and watch us sip great wines, here is our video:

Posted by robertpaulsen | Fri Jul 22, 2016, 03:45 PM (2 replies)

The Poetry of Gary Snyder and Radical Revolution

The Poetry of Gary Snyder and Radical Revolution

Full Definition of radical
1 : of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: as
a (1) : of or growing from the root of a plant <radical tubers> (2) : growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground <radical leaves>
b : of, relating to, or constituting a linguistic root
c : of or relating to a mathematical root
d : designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased and potentially diseased tissue <radical surgery> <radical mastectomy>

TOMORROW'S SONG by Gary Snyder

The USA slowly lost its mandate
in the middle and later twentieth century
it never gave the mountains and rivers,
trees and animals,
a vote.
all the people turned away from it
myths die; even continents are impermanent

Turtle Island returned.
my friend broke open a dried coyote-scat
removed a ground squirrel tooth
pierced it, hung it
from the gold ring
in his ear.

We look to the future with pleasure
we need no fossil fuel
get power within
grow strong on less.

Grasp the tools and move in rhythm side by side
flash gleams of wit and silent knowledge
eye to eye
sit still like cats or snakes or stones
as whole and holding as
the blue black sky.
gentle and innocent as wolves
as tricky as a prince.

At work and in our place:

in the service
of the wilderness
of life
of death
of the Mother's breasts!

War, politics, economics, energy. These are all concepts intrinsic to human civilization. War is the continuation of politics by other means, politics is the continuation of economics by other means, economics is the continuation of energy by other means. While the concept of energy may not originate with human civilization, it is intrinsic and in contrast with the other three continuations of it, energy alone is separate from humanity as a part of nature. Try as we might to show how sophisticated we are with our ever expanding technological advances, we can't escape the fact that we are a part of nature and disregarding the significance of this not only has repercussions on the natural world around us, but also on the very civilization so many in vanity try to place above the natural world.

If there is one concept intrinsic to human civilization that connects energy to its most direct continuation, economics, it is money. As with technology in general, it is a concept that many of its most ardent advocates like to pretend is divorced from the natural world; that all the currency manipulation, derivatives and speculators rise above such terrestrial inconveniences as natural resources. But our monetary system is predicated on infinite growth. And you cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet. This is an important concept to grasp if you really care about a real revolution in human civilization that is truly radical, if you define radical as mentioned above, proceeding from a root.

more at the link...

Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Jul 21, 2016, 01:46 PM (4 replies)
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