Daily Archives: November 11, 2021

more random thoughts

” room prices begin at $358 for required two -night stay “.

I was looking at some suggested get- aways around southern California today in a short article from……..from…….. Well , on the internet . Someone sent me something from somewhere . Well , probably not accurate to say “someone” sent it to me . What are those things called ? An algorithm ? An algorithm probably sent it .

Maybe they got the wrong algorithm address . I’m not spending $716 for a couple of nights in a hotel . And , no doubt , there are additional fees , hotel fees , taxes , use the pool fees . A friend of ours spent a few nights in Las Vegas and the hotel wanted a fee to use their pool . Anything to separate a person from their money .

I was thinking about this while I was walking at the Los Angeles Arboretum today. It’s on land once owned by old Elias Baldwin who is forever known as Lucky Baldwin. I’ve heard that he hated the nickname , but so it goes . Well , he probably thought that he worked hard for his fortunes , and that luck had very little to do with it . But it won’t matter to him now , anyhow , since he’s been dead since 1909 . I think it was 1909 .

Old Lucky Baldwin built a lovely Queen Anne cottage on the property . He never lived in the cottage , however . Word is that he built it for a girlfriend of his , but that she passed away before she had the opportunity to live there . Baldwin , an extrememly wealthy man , lived in a relatively small adobe house that had been built by former occupants . He built a picturesque little lake and both the Queen Anne and the adobe sit at the edge of the lake although a few hundred yards apart .

The Arboretum is in the process of restoring the adobe house to how it was in Baldwin’s time . I noticed a trash pile of broken adobe nearby . There were a few whole adobe bricks , but it looked to me like the whole pile of rubble would be trashed . If it were me I would rescue those whole bricks and put them out somewhere on display . You know , for the school children. For the tourists . For the curious .

I would have grabbed one and taken it home if I thought that I could’ve hidden it under my shirt on the way out . It would be a historical curio that I would treasure . On the other hand , admittedly not knowing much about adobe , I suspect that it may actually be concrete and be part of a former reconstruction effort on old Lucky Baldwin’s house . It looks a lot like concrete. Maybe adobe does too . I don’t know .

Anyway , I was telling Ada about my inspection of the adobe rubble pile and my thoughts about the whole thing . An Arboretum employee had come across me viewing the heap of material . He seemed confused about what to do . He wanted to give me a dirty look or to shout at me to get away , but he resisted . I knew he wanted to , to show who’s boss , but he resisted . He decided not to address me at all , but he pulled a temporary barrier across the spot in front of the pile . It was a not-so-subtle message .

Hey you ! Leave our rubble alone ! You came here to see plants and peacocks , so get to it !

And that’s another thing . The Arboretum is a huge botanical garden , so what do they have planned for the next few evenings ? It’s called a festival of light . Technicions have been setting up portable lights for days . Electrical cables wind around the whole place .Now they are setting in place all of the artificial plants , florescent colors , fantasy blooms . Several stylized white lilies now float on the little lake . Other nylon plants look like they were borrowed from comic book pages .

Ada said oh I know what I’ll be reading in a blog post , about a pile of discarded adobe . As she said that I was thinking , rather , that I’d be writing about the irony of running a botanical garden and at the same time sponsoring a show of bizarre and fake plants . It’s a money-maker !

I was thinking about an article I’d read about stolen bikes , too . Evidently a group of homeless people living under a freeway overpass in Culver City have gone into the expensive bike theft business . The guy who wrote the article makes documentaries . He had three expensive bicycles stolen from his garage . He hunted around the local homeless camps until he spotted one of his bikes. The homeless man there told him that he had paid $100 for the bike , so the film maker paid him $100 and took his bike back . He was on his way home when he decided to go back to see if his other bikes were there , too . They were hidden under a tarp . He told the homeless guy that they were his bikes ( worth thousands each , by the way ) and that he was taking them and not paying for them .

He tried to make a police report but the local office wouldn’t let him in due to Covid restrictions . They told him to go to West LA station . So he did , but there they told him that he had to report it at his local station . He had spoken to the cop who patrols his area and the cop said that he’d investigate as soon as the matter of the theft was reported .

And that reminded me of my old beat-up Chevy that was stolen in the early 1980s when I lived in Hollywood. The officer at the desk told me not to report it , that all it would mean was that my insurance would go up up. I insisted that he take a report . He leaned closer to me and said , ” We have Mercedes and Jaguars stolen and we’re not doing much about them , so what makes you think we’ll do anything about yours ? ”

Well , at least he was straightforward . I continued to insist on a police report . And he was right ; they didn’t do anything. The car was eventually found abandoned on the street and was towed to a police garage . It was completly stripped , not only no tires but no wheels , no engine , no seats . The police wanted me to pay for the tow to the police garage and a storage fee per day . Ah , but they had to hold on to it for a few days because they hadn’t got around to fingerprinting it yet , and I was required to pay the added daily fees .

Not that I’m complaining ! Just relating the random thoughts running through my mind as Ada and I were walking in the Arboretum . Yeah , you don’t want to be in those brain recesses of mine when they begin shifting .

Maybe I need a vacation . How much was that hotel ? It’s a special deal , after all . And a two-night stay is good . Otherwise you are spending $358 not to be allowed in until late afternoon only to be kicked out the next morning . Hardly worth it ! I wonder if they have a pool.

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