Evidently there was some sort of sporting contest yesterday, but once again, I missed the whole thing.

It’s an annual tradition here that we discuss what we did instead of watching football. In my case, I took part in a morning Secret Stairs hike in Hollywood that involved Bronson Canyon and the Batcave from the 1960s “Batman” show (see above), followed by lunch in Los Feliz. That was all before the big game, though, and for the game itself, I was sore enough from the hike, and tired enough from the early start, that I sat on the couch like many of fellow countrymen and -women. Except I was watching the tail end of the DVD “Stones in Exile,” a documentary about the Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main Street” album (only my favorite ever), and then listening to a disc of Louis Armstrong’s “Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography” while reading the CD booklet.

If you stayed away from what “everyone else” was doing, share the details below.

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Private ‘stache


At the Upland firefighter party last week marking the mustache-growing Movember effort, paste-on mustaches were distributed to anyone who didn’t have the real thing, which almost no one did. I donned one. Councilman Gino Filippi, who did the same, told me: “You kind of have the look of Clouseau.” Flatterer.

Filippi later emailed me a photo he took of me taking a photo. My camera looks absurdly small, like a “fun size” candy car, but it gets the job done (sort of).


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Column: How do you break in a new car? Road trip!


Wednesday’s column is about my vacation, from which I returned Friday. (Unless you paid attention to my Twitter feed, you wouldn’t have known I was gone, as columns and blog posts kept appearing. Neat trick, eh?) I took a road trip up to the Bay Area and back along the coast. Really nice.

Above, the CDs I brought along, atop my California road atlas. Below are a few paragraphs I cut from the column, picking up right after I respond to my friend’s comment about mp3s. I chopped ‘em for space and maybe relevancy.

A few sights along the drive up:
• A shared sign for a new shopping center in Delano has space for logos of a dozen tenants. Only two slots were filled: McDonald’s and Walmart. Well, that covers the lowest common denominators.
• “It’s Happening in Soledad,” a billboard read. Next line: “Gateway to the Pinnacles.” This left me confused where “it” was really happening, Soledad or the Pinnacles.
• Rest stops are a true blessing to the weary traveler, and a couple of the ones on the 99 in Tulare County were especially clean and modern-looking. Nice job, Caltrans. My sole complaint: California maps on display at the rest stops tend to be about water use or Spanish missions and never pinpoint where you are. Is it a secret?
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