If you’ve been in Los Angeles for more than a week or three, you start to notice things, and you may begin to wonder about them. Like why is there a Hollywood sign, and why did it used to say Hollywoodland, as seen in The Rocketeer? Why are LA’s so-called rivers just ugly concrete trenches? What’s with all the palm trees? And why is this place so spread out?
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Afternoon Tea at the The Langham Hotel, Pasadena is like stepping through a glorious doorway to another time and continent. Relax in the beautiful surroundings overlooking the gardens while you savor a wonderful array of tea sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream, tarts, luscious fruit, and delicate French macarons as you sip from the elegant Wedgwood …
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I should make it clear from the beginning that the way we do this isn’t the way real bookscouts do it.
The real ones—the ones who do it for a living—play hardball. For them it’s business. They have a set route of places they go to check for books, they’ve got client lists and handheld barcode scanners and a budget. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Professional bookscouts still love books—no one goes into the book business that doesn’t love books, the margins are too low. But it’s a business for the working bookscouts, they have bills to pay. For me and my wife, it’s just a hobby.
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After Koop dropped us at home and headed on his way, Paul and I jumped into my car and went north. About 40 miles north of Pasadena, we arrived at Vasquez Rocks; you’ve seen it in dozens of movies from Stagecoach to the Flintstones. For the geeky, it’s where Captain Kirk fought the Gorn, and where the creepy insectoid “Xanti misfits” were left in another classic episode of Outer Limits.
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On the road with Paul, Koop and Jim…
From the Bradbury Building, we made a jaunt over to the Silverlake area to see the “Music Box” steps, famous from the Laurel & Hardy short of the same title, wherein the boys attempt to deliver a piano to a residence at the top of the stairs. I can tell you from firsthand experience, it takes almost two minutes to climb the whole thing.
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An online friend that I’ve known for years and had never met in person came to LA recently for a visit, and I got to show him around Tinseltown. He lives in Australia and this is his first visit to the US, so I wanted to get it right. Fortunately, he’s at least as geeky as I am, so I knew the kind of things he’d want to see.
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Spring is here, and with it, the beginning of comic book convention season. This past weekend, the annual Emerald City Comic-Con was held in Seattle, a convention I have long wanted to attend (I have several friends in the area and several more who travel in for it, and from all reports it’s a pretty …
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