Cooler than usual temperatures -- it was 57 bone chilling degrees -- drove me inside Starbucks today, where I sat at the counter between Dennis (who noted that the feds were once on his tail) and the Nut-with-the-Notebook ("kill, kill, kill ..."). While Leah described the morning as "nice and crisp," next time I want "crisp" I'll eat a potato chip.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
It was a sad day at 7th and Montana as word spread that the owner of the Shinju Pearl store passed away. "Due to the death of the store owner, we will no longer have a store," said the sign on the door of the once venerable establishment. While the deceased made her way to the "Shinju Pearly Gates," locals feared that Starbucks might make yet another land grab!
Monday, February 26, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
"I'd like to thank the Academy" ... but then, again, I can't help but think they made a mistake in the Documentary Short category. Come on, guys, get a Recycled Life! Everyone at 7th and Montana knows that Leslie Iwerks deserved the top honors. In any case, here is a screen shot of her too brief appearance on tonight's broadcast.
"Hope has a voice" say the signs promoting a new book available at Starbucks but that voice was unceremoniously silenced today as Our Favorite Starbucks literally ran out of steam. In what inside sources are calling a "mechanical breakdown," Starbucks ran out of hot water and closed for the day. Something tells me if they don't start focusing more on coffee and less on books, Starbucks will be in plenty of hot water real soon!
Saturday, February 24, 2007
The early shift at Starbucks may have been surprised this morning at the arrival of an eccentric newcomer -- pictured here -- but her oversized headphones, undersized T-shirt and glazed-over expression didn't fool Kovar. "She thinks it's Pounchki Day in Hamtrack," he explained. Pounchkis are evidently gigantic Polish donuts served only on Fat Tuesday!
It was an exciting morning at 7th and Montana as a "global financier" with a chip on his shoulder (photo #1) rubbed Cathy the wrong way. Never one to suffer fools gladly, Cathy offered the obnoxious gentleman a chair ... by the entry to Our Favorite Parking Lot. Moments later, Dr. Natalie sprung into action as a Clumsy Victim (photo #2) fell on the sidewalk and chipped a tooth.
Friday, February 23, 2007
It was an embarrassing case of mistaken identity this morning as I said a cheery "hello" to a complete stranger who, from a distance, resembled a Starbucks regular. To make matters worse, the mysterious stranger returned my accidental greeting with interest. She was convinced that she knew me from the Wildwood Institute. Evidently, Wildwood is a refuge for folks with "neurologically-based learning disabilities."
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Local news hound Dennis hid behind his newspaper this morning, which he called "the last remaining refuge of real news now that Anna Nicole's death and Britney Spears' scalp are dominating the airwaves." Today's top news -- Kovar has updated his website with new photos at kovar.net and Greg and Natalie are gearing-up for more house-hunting tomorrow -- makes Britney's scalp sound interesting!
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
It was an exhilarating morning at Our Favorite Parking lot as yet another hapless victim scraped his brand new Mercedes convertible against the curb and beached it on "the Island of Lost Auto Parts." Later, while trying to make a quick getaway, he backed his car into oncoming traffic. I tell you, you can't pay for this kind of entertainment!
Holy Roofing Shingles, Batman ... someone patched the roof at Our Favorite Fixer Upper! After months of neglect, it seems that the Busy Bee Renovator finally patched the holes in her roof at 7th and Alta. Rumor has it she's busy with her next project: An indoor swimming pool in her attic!
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
It was many happy returns at Starbucks this morning as Kathy made the scene, fresh from a week in Panama. Kathy's brother -- and many others -- are in the process of relocating to Panama. Why? Warm weather, no taxes, good food, no taxes, real estate bargains, no taxes and national healthcare. By the way, did I mention they have no taxes? Welcome home, Kathy. I hope your trip wasn't too ... taxing ...!
Monday, February 19, 2007
According to Kovar, the influx of "Deidrichs-ites" at 7th and Montana is nothing short of an invasion. "They come here every morning and stand in the middle of Starbucks with this vacant, lost expression ... just occupying space." he said. One thing's for sure, they were practically crawling out of the woodwork this morning!
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Excitement was in the air this morning at 7th and Montana as Gary decided to ring in the The Year of the Pig by giving Genevieve the cold shoulder. Evidently, he took offense at her remarks yesterday that perhaps we've sent enough troops to Iraq. Meanwhile, it was horse shit of another kind as a group of youngsters rode Shetland ponies up 7th Street!
It was great news for the Kubecs but no surprise to the rest of us that nearly every hospital in town wants Natalie on staff when she finishes up her residency at UCLA. Natalie decided to remain local and take a job at St. John's. While Baby Helena declined comment on the situation, she seemed especially tickled yesterday with the news!
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Like many, I was stumped regarding the sudden removal of trees lining Lincoln Boulevard. It seems that Nat called the City of Santa Monica recently and complained that the trees were long overdue for a trimming. Perhaps the City listened a little too closely?!?
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Tongues were wagging at 7th and Montana this morning on reports that Our Favorite Cocker Spaniel, Toby, is in the doghouse again. Months after the dutiful pooch left a little surprise for the U.S. Postal Service, he decided to relieve himself in the local school library. Look on the bright side, Genevieve, at least he's giving your class a new lesson in the Doo-e-Decimal system!
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Love was in the air today as my friends at Sony Pictures served up a hearty Valentines Day breakfast. Where else would you find a heart-shaped bagel? Unfortunately, the romance was over by the time I got back to my office. Some nimrod in a Solaris (CA License #4NIV382) is parked in my space. If they don't move, I'm going to hire a thug to shove a heart-shaped bagel up their "tail pipe"!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Just who was that blithe spirit sauntering down 7th Street this morning? It was none other than Actress Blythe Danner as she made her way past Starbucks and across Montana. As the photo on the left suggests, she seemed to be working her way towards Ponte Vecchio, though her exact destination remains a mystery!
Monday, February 12, 2007
Ever wonder how Starbucks subsidizes the kind of growth that results in three locations in a one-block radius? At the risk of stirring things up, I noticed this morning what can best be described as a "dramatic cutback" in the width of the coffee stirrers at 7th and Montana. Back in the good old days, the stirrers could have doubled as "tongue depressors ...!"
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Kudos to 7th and Montana regular Leslie Iwerks for her Oscar nomination. Leslie's impressive film -- Recycled Life -- is nominated for Best Documentary Short. Recycled Life follows the trials and tributions of thousands of people who live at the Guatemala City Dump. Way to go, Leslie. We'll be cheering for you on February 25th!
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Friday, February 9, 2007
If you've ever wondered why your local high-speed Internet service is sometimes so "crappy," it will come as no surprise that a crew from Verizon spent this week by the sewers under 7th Street. According to one worker on the scene, Verizon is adding a little fiber to our lives ... Optical Fiber, that is. With any luck, we'll have faster online connections by April!
Thursday, February 8, 2007
It was the thrill of victory but the agony of da feet for Howard this week after learning that son Greg's advice -- to buy a decent pair of walking shoes before taking up "power walking" -- turned out to be a good idea. Watch out, Howard ... something tells me you're in for a blistering rebuke!
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
They say "in space, no one can hear you scream." Maybe that explains why NASA was unaware that Astronaut Lisa Nowak is a Space Cadet in more ways than one. In any case, the general consensus at 7th and Montana is that Nowak -- who this week donned a wig, sunglasses and a diaper to attack her would be romantic rival -- has either had too little Oxygen or too much Tang!
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Monday, February 5, 2007
Joyce may be under the weather lately, but at least she knows how to turn lemons into lemonade. In fact, she brought half a lemon with her to Starbucks yesterday. Maybe we should share some with the sourpusses who "meditate" at Palisades Park. In case you've missed it, they sit motionless while their "zen master" hits them with a bamboo stick (Photo #2).
Sunday, February 4, 2007
If you are what you eat, I worry about my colleague Judy from Hong Kong. At various business dinners in China, in order to be "polite," she has endured: Raw crabs, fried scorpions, snake blood, dog meat, bugs (soaked in wine), an eyeball, and a live squid (which attached itself to her plate in a hopeless struggle for survival). I couldn't bring myself to ask her what was for dessert ...!
Saturday, February 3, 2007
Philips has won a number of Emmy Awards over the years for various new technologies (DVD, Widescreen TV, etc.). Imagine my surprise, however, to find one of them in a nondescript nook in front of my colleague Simon's office in Amsterdam. Naturally, I presented it yesterday to Simon with much fanfare and Simon -- ever the publicist -- gave a very touching acceptance speech!
Friday, February 2, 2007
There I was, trying to make heads or tails out of the Dutch signs posted at our Eindhoven office this morning, when an inspiration struck: I could just take a photo of the sign in question and ask a colleague for a quick translation. Evidently, the sign -- featured in Photo #1 -- means "It is forbidden to take photographs ...!"
Thursday, February 1, 2007
I had a great time at planning meetings this week at "The Boerderij" -- or Farm -- in Eindhoven, where Philips converted a historic Dutch farmhouse into a state-of-the-art meeting facility. Even though you're in the middle of a high-tech mecca, you feel like you're at a countryside retreat. Photos 1-3 are of "the Farm." Photo 4 is of the High-Tech Campus. Photo 5 is of the "Philips Stadion" (soccer stadium).