August 31, 2005
Your Earthquake Kit
Alright, I'm a nag.
As I hear about and watch the horrors coming out of Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama, I'm reminded to do two things: call the Red Cross to make a donation. And take a look at my earthquake kit to make sure it's in order. And of course, it's not.
Hearing stories about people struggling to get by in the days after the hurricane and the flooding reminds me of all the warnings the experts have told us about a major quake: don't expect a lot of major help during the first three days. Be prepared to take care of yourself.
And we were...right after the Northridge quake in 94. Remember when we made sure to fill up the tank BEFORE it got below a quarter tank...just in case there was no electricity? How much gas is in your tank today? And when was the last time you replaced that can of tuna in your emergency kit? Do you really want to eat that seven year old can of fish? Has the plastic water bottle leaked all over your trunk? Mine did.
Here's my nag: get your earthquake kit in order -- water, food, medications, cat food, can opener, tools, cash, etc. Too overwhelming? Here's a handy how-to article from the "San Francisco Chronicle":
Go on. You'll feel better afterwards.
August 30, 2005
Animals and Aliens
True confessions. The brain was faster than the mouth.
I had this thought at the end of our buffalo segment about August and news organizations and animals. It's true. Until Katrina provided real news for CNN, every single newscast ended with at least one animal story.
Even we serious "Talk of the City" types turn to our multi-footed friends for stories in the (sorry) dog days of summer. We followed the alligator/caiman in Machado Lake. And today, the Catalina buffalo on the lam in South Dakota.
And at the end of the show, I was trying to make the leap to forward promote tomorrow's segment on the National UFO Conference (really!), but halfway through the sentence I realized I had seven seconds left to connect buffalos and UFO's (light summer stories both) and just ran out of time, leaving the listener dangling like a participle.
Or maybe I should just claim my brain was taken hostage by UFO's...
Listen! Buffalo Coming at 2!
We hope to pull some sound from our remote from Catalina where I was wandering around with the herd prior to its departure to South Dakota. You should have heard all the baby talk (me to the animals) that got left on the cutting room floor!
August 29, 2005
Where the Buffalo Roam
Ever wonder why a show topic is promoted and then falls off the face of the earth? Lots of reasons, but blame today's disappearing buffalo on the lack of cellphone coverage in South Dakota.
The good news is that our update on the Catalina buffalo will air on Tuesday's "Talk of the City." And there's a surprise twist to the story.
Here's a hint: apparently the Catalina buffalo's favorite song is "Don't Fence Me In."
Tune in Tuesday!
News isn't News....
One of the things I really value about the news we do at KPCC, is that we don't imitate other news departments, who seem to feel that it's news if you didn't know if five minutes earlier. At KPCC, a higher standard allows that it's news if it tells you something meaningful and relatable to your life. It seeks not just to give you something (news/information) you didn't have, but rather something you actually want.
August 26, 2005
Looking for a Caller on Today's "Talk of the City"
During our segment today about how to preserve home movies, we got a call from someone who said he had some black and white nitrate footage of the construction of the Observatory.
Guess what? A gentleman named Anthony Cook at the Astronomical Observer wants to find you! His web site is: www.griffithobs.org/genstaff.html .
And let us know if you made a connection!
August 25, 2005
Welcome to The Off-Ramp Redux!
This summer, KPCC kicked off a special summer program "Past Sunset" and included a place for YOU to interact with host David Cruz and with other listeners. The response -- YOUR response -- was amazing! David invited southern Californians to write about their concept of community. You can read those postings -- or add your thoughts -- by clicking on the "Community" link up in the right hand corner of the "Off Ramp" section of our home page.
But KPCC wanted to continue the conversation and expand it to include many, many different topics. We also wanted a way to give you a peek backstage -- tell you what happened after the guest left the studio, show you some behind-the-scenes pictures, or share some tidbits of information that might be helpful or just plain fun. Think of it as a sort of "Oprah After the Show" for KPCC listeners.
Here's a picture of me and LA Dodger owner Frank McCourt from Wednesday's program. I'm wearing my Brooklyn Dodger jacket, already autographed by Jackie Robinson's widow Rachel and "Boys of Summer" writer Roger Khan. I had Frank McCourt add his signature to the inside lining.
One last thing: we also wanted "The Off Ramp" to be a way for you to tell us what's going on in your community -- stories that go unreported, local treasures who should be interviewed, great bands or theatre groups or art galleries or funky restaurants that should be discovered. We invite you to be our eyes and ears in your neighborhood.
I look forward to a wonderful conversation!
Dodger Owner Frank McCourt Drops By "Talk of the City"
August 5, 2005
Dodger Clean Up
From my house in Highland Park, I can see the lights of Dodger Stadium in the distance. Sometimes after a game, I might wake up in the middle of the night and venture to the kitchen for a glass of water. Looking out, I’d see the the stadium lights still on. I found myself thinking of the person working the night shift in that playerless stadium, cleaning up after the thousands of fans, sweeping up abandoned beer cups and peanut shells before the next game. I wanted to talk to them. The Dodger organization graciously gave me clearance and I got to see the other side of Dodger’s stadium…the quiet stadium without the game and crowd where the real clean up crew went to bat.
California Casket Company
On busy Glendale Boulevard in the heart of trendy Atwater Village, you’ll find your traditional bistros, Italian restaurants, neighborhood bar and a casket shop. The last one might make you do a double take. I did. Aimee often dines in the neighborhood. She was the one that gave us the tip about the California Casket Company. We stopped by Richard Butcher’s store. He’s been in the funeral business since he was a teen. Richard grew up in a small community. I imagine what it must have been like living in a place where you knew all your neighbors. Each death would be recognized. And each passing would alter the dynamic of the community. In his store, I see Richard shares that small town sensibility.
August 4, 2005
Late Night 'Dos
Inglewood resident Paul Bushman asked Past Sunset to find out why the local African-American women were having their hair done in the middle of the night. He asked, "Aren’t they concerned about going home at 3:00 am to lay their weary heads to rest, just to wake a few hours later with their perfect coiffures damaged by tossing and turning? Or are they actually getting ready for a 3:00 am blind date?" I was on a mission. According to Paul, "hundreds of late night motorists need to know!"
August 3, 2005
Middle of the night at MCL Distributing
I wish that I’d brought my parka. It’s three o’clock in the morning in downtown Los Angeles, and I am touring MCL Distributing, Inc: Distributors of Fine Produce. Chief Operating Officer Robert Lake is our refrigerated warehouse guide and he is in shirtsleeves, not shivering. He is used to the temperature as well as the hour. I don’t know that I could get used to either.