Wednesday, November 30, 2005


A mysterious new tenant is in advanced stages of negotiation to rent the commercial space above our favorite Blockbuster.  Sources close to the discussions say a deal to rent the popular space could be finalized in the coming week.  The tenant, a purveyor of golf equipment, is described simply as "a man with a black dog."  The space is said to include five offices and a sitting room.  Stay tuned for further developments.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Friends, it was a slow news day today at Starbucks.  Not much to report other than the creative "mad scientist" method of cooling a hot cup of coffee that seems to be catching on in certain circles.  The process is simple:  Ask Starbucks for an extra, empty cup and continuously pour coffee from one cup to the other, as though you're mixing a secret formula.  The result?  Your coffee gets cooler faster and you raise a lot of eyebrows. 

Monday, November 28, 2005


It was nice to see our favorite building manager back on the scene at 7th and Montana today, flush with his surprising success at the casinos near Palm Springs.  He and his cousin evidently hit the jackpot in more ways than one.  While the rest of us were carving up turkeys, he was carving up the dance floor at the Ramada Inn in Palm Springs.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Call it the Starbucks Wind Ensemble.  Spectators at our favorite intersection were treated today to an impromptu Opera performance as a would-be virtuoso (pictured here) made his way across 7th Street and into Starbucks, belting out Opera tunes all the way.  Whether he was waiting for his wind ensemble or just three sheets to the wind remains to be seen.

In related news, a wind advisory remains in effect along the Santa Monica coastline until noon today.  Watch out for falling Palm fronds!

Saturday, November 26, 2005


In local news this morning, a scary looking Rottweiler made an appearance at Santa Monica's favorite construction project.  Sources say that the ferocious beast is standing guard over valuable building materials ranging from lead pipes to cinderblocks and cement.  Most area residents, however, agree that this project went to the dogs long ago.

Elsewhere in town, puppy love was in full bloom as Starbuck's regular Zoey fell paws over heels for a stylish newcomer in a hand-knit sweater.



I never knew Dennis, a Starbucks regular who passed away before I came along, but he was the talk of the town today at 7th and Montana.  How nice that his friends remember him so fondly, that stories about him still make people smile.  On learning he was sick, Dennis apparently came up with a list of everything he wanted to do, everywere he wanted to go and one-by-one, he covered it all.  Here's to you, Dennis.  We'll keep a candle burning -- or coffee brewing -- for you at Starbucks!

Friday, November 25, 2005


Today at Starbucks we discussed the connection between success and health.  Research in the U.K. suggests that even when health care is the same for everyone, "successful" people are healthier than "unsuccessful" people.  So, what comes first, the success or the health?  Are some people more successful because they're healthy or healthy because they're more successful?  The mind reels.  Maybe the Japanese have it right ... successful businessmen there wear surgical masks to the office.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


The Turkey of the Year award this Thanksgiving goes to none other than frequent Starbucks gadfly "Mr. Slumlord."  To many of us, Mr. Slumlord -- exposed today in the Los Angeles Times as "one of Los Angeles' most notorious (slum)lords" -- is perhaps better known as a petty umbrella thief.  However, today's news -- Lawyer Alleges City Atty. Donor Deal - Los Angeles Times -- suggests something far more sinister might be at play.  According to previous local reports, Mr. Slumlord, who once played guard on the University High School football team, describes himself as "tough but scrupulous, a man whose life work is saving old buildings from decay."  You can read more about Mr. Slumlord here:  State Moves to Pull Real Estate License of L.A. Landlord - Los Angeles Times and here:  KTLA The WB | Where Los Angeles Lives | Alleged Slumlords Donated to Delgadillo.  Promotional literature depicting Mr. Slumlord as a hero can be found here:  Success in Bricks - from Zero to 27 Buildings in 16 Years.  Happy Turkey Day, Mr. Slumlord.  Next time bring your own umbrella!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

CRUNCH ... BEEP ... $%$#@

At precisely 8:37 a.m. this morning, onlookers at 7th and Montana were treated to that now familiar sound -- Crunch ... Beep ... $%$#@ -- as a white SUV (pictured here) pulled into our favorite parking lot.  Witnesses, as usual, seemed filled with glee as the driver inspected her car for damage.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Tip of the day:  Check out Kovar's cool Alaska photos here:  A L A S K A

Monday, November 21, 2005


Shortly after leaving Starbuck's this morning, I was very nearly sideswiped on Sunset Blvd. by a nimrod driving a Comfort Control van.  There I was, heading due East at 35 m.p.h., when Mr. Comfort Control started working his way into my lane without so much as a look, a gesture or indicator light.  Naturally, I blew my horn -- not to mention a gasket -- and whipped out my camera for photographic evidence.  If you enlarge the photo, right below the cute puppy dog logo, you'll find the Comfort Control Corporation brand promise:  "Cozy at your Door."  A little too cozy for my taste and much too close to my door!!

Umbrella, Anyone ...?

Whoever said, "Let a smile be your umbrella" didn't hang around 7th and Montana, where umbrellas are in short supply on sunny days.  Today, with the morning sun in full force, all eyes were on one especially shady lady who tried to quietly inch an umbrella away from a poor unsuspecting sap as he read the newspaper.  The solution?  Turn to mother nature (see photo two).  Of course, this strategy wouldn't work in Chicago, where Kovar reminds us that even the sturdiest golf umbrellas don't last long.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


While everyone else at Starbucks today was buzzing about the heat, Noah surprised us all with his nose for news.  His headline of choice?  German sources reveal that President Bush and Colin Powell knew full well that their primary source of information about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction was less than reliable.  Doggone it!!

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Quick, call Ripley's Believe it or Not!  Actual construction workers appeared on the scene today at Santa Monica's favorite fixer upper.  In an exclusive interview, one worker -- pictured here during one of his breaks -- noted, "This project is moving quickly."  I left before he tried to sell me the Brooklyn Bridge. 


Big news yesterday at Starbucks as dynamic duo Richard and Charlie returned to 7th and Montana after a brief hiatus.  A big Welcome Back to them both. 

Click here for a special serenade:


This entry is a test.  I am currently online with AOL tech support.  The process is testing my patience.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Faithful Readers: I'm sorry to report that due to AOL technical issues, I've had to utilize a "back door" approach to posting recent blog entries (am Instant Messaging them into the blog). Until I sort this out, this means no headlines or photos in my entries. Sorry!! At least I know who to call at AOL ...


More than coffee was brewing at our favorite Starbucks this morning.  A controversy began over the lack of counter space for cream and sugar.  General consensus is that the "new" cream and sugar space is poorly designed and that 7th and Montana needs more space.  Leah, our favorite frequent jogger, suggested that Starbucks should invest in more counter space, and I fully agree.  Let's take this to the top!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


If the early bird gets the worm, our friendly neighborhood building manager must have a lot of fishing bait.  Imagine my surprise when I walked into Starbucks at 6:30 this morning and there he was, perched on a stool, in deep conversation with another early bird.  After engaging in the usual small talk, I decided to put a new theory to the test by saying, "Always a pleasure, Ralph."  Judging from his surprising reaction -- laughter -- I'm afraid it was just yet another blunder in the name game.

Monday, November 14, 2005


It was coffee to go today and a meager assortment of pastry in the office instead of the usual half caff and food for thought at 7th and Montana.  So, no neighborhood news bulletins for today.  The forecast for tomorrow calls for a crack-of-dawn jaunt to Irvine followed by intermittent meetings.  If anyone else has a Starbucks update, feel free to reply!

Sunday, November 13, 2005


It was a leisurely Sunday morning at Starbucks, the perfect day for a coffee break.  Evidence suggests that even Santa Monica's busiest bee took a break from her massive home renovation project to grab a quick cup of coffee, bringing construction on her 7th Street property to a screeching halt.  While her construction manager couldn't be reached for comment (See Photo #3), sources say the crew is taking its own sweet time.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Despite appearances to the contrary, research suggests that New Jersey Superior Court Judge Carol E. Higby is actually quite open-minded.  "Every time I've been in front of her, I felt she's been fair," said Joseph Garvey, a defense lawyer in Toms River. "Some judges will look at a case and throw it out, or take positions. But she's down the middle."  Of her current assignment, overseeing 3,500 Vioxx lawsuits filed in New Jersey, Higby noted, "A mass tort is a mountain of work."  Whether tackling a mass tort or a massive torte, I for one think Higby is more than up to the challenge.  Higby was the subject of much speculation this morning at Starbucks based on her photo in the business section of today's Los Angeles Times.  Learn more about Higby here:   Everything You Wanted to Know About Carol Higbee.


Spectators were abuzz this morning as the long-awaited reconstruction of the house across from Starbucks kicked into high gear.  We all held our breaths as a lone construction worker went for a morning stroll across a rooftop support beam moments after a crane had lowered it into place.  Later, when asked the purpose of this death-defying walk (see photo #2), one source on the construction team commented, "I don't know."

Friday, November 11, 2005


So sue me ... I went somewhere other than Starbucks this morning.  In any case, the buzz at Patrick's Roadhouse suggests that those greedy, good-for-nothing owners of the gas station in front of Patrick's are in no rush to complete what seems to be a year-long renovation project.  Rumor has it that "Chevron corporate" is footing the bill and we all know what deep pockets they have.  Meanwhile, good luck finding a parking space ...


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Gone Fishin' ...

This just in ... the long-awaited repair job on the roof of our favorite Blockbuster has been delayed due to inclement weather.  In an exclusive interview this morning, our friendly neighborhood building manager speculated that his entire roofing crew went fishing.  Knowing how the flood waters tend to accumulate in that building when it rains, I for one will be avoiding Blockbuster for a while. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

This Just In ...

Save a seat for Charlie at Starbucks ... he's all suited up to brave the elements today.  The question remains whether his sidekick Noah is equally prepared.

Let's Ride the Weatherman out of Town on a Rail ...

It was a rare moment at Starbucks this morning ... tables and chairs to be found everywhere during today's "early" shift.  Even the "Sex and the City" crowd migrated inside.  And let's not forget, one of the weathermen said we wouldn't get any rain (was it Channel 7?).

Phew ... Proposition 76

Good thing voters rejected proposition 76.  It would have been hard to face that nice lady giving out anti-Proposition 76 bookmarks at Starbucks if it had passed.  According to her bookmark, Prop. 76 would have meant, among other things, granting the Governor "unilateral powers to slash school funding."  Maybe Arnold should have swung by 7th and Montana ... then he'd know what he was up against. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Here's to Charlie

This blog is dedicated to Charlie and all of his friends at Starbucks.