October 28, 2016

Topanga Tim's Survival Tips—Red Flag Days

 One of life’s great pleasures is hiking in our beautiful hills. My favorite trails are in Topanga State Park. Sometimes when those hot Santa Ana winds blow a “red flag” condition develops and the park is shut down. Before I get “Old Betsy” out of the garage to drive over to Trippet Ranch I call the T-CEP hotline at (310) 455-3000 or the State Park closure hotline at (805) 488-8147 to see if it will be closed for the day. It saves me and “Old Betsy” fro… [Read More...]

Send in The Clowns

 The clown stands outside, banished by my daughter. “I won’t have him in the house,” she declares. “He scares me.” A few years ago I received Valley Bob, as an October birthday gift from some of my friends. We celebrated my birthday and our shared youth by visiting, Valley Relics, a warehouse exhibition of San Fernando Valley collectables, hence the inspiration for the clown’s name, which is also a nod to a local driving school utilized by both my chi… [Read More...]

Rude Interruptions—Campaign 2016: A Dive in the Sewer

 I used to think that Julio César Cu Cámara and Carlos Barrios Orta literally had the worst jobs in the world. Several times a month, they suit up like old-fashioned deep-sea divers and plunge into the murky waters of the Mexico City sewer system to unclog and repair, by hand, the city’s 7,500 miles of drainage pipes. They work in frigid darkness. The toxic stew of human, animal, and industrial waste—animal carcasses,… [Read More...]