The Life

April 2006

04/28/06

Arbor Day: go plant a tree!

Today is National Arbor Day, even though a number of state Arbor Days have been set at other times to coincide with the best tree planting weather. [Click thumbnail photo to enlarge.] You may be asking yourself: "But what are the origins of Arbor Day?" Never fear, that's why I'm here... to answer your question:Nebraska was once a treeless plain. But J. Sterling Morton set out to change all that. He figured that trees were needed as windbreaks to keep the soil in place, for fuel and building materials, and for shade from the hot sun. In early 1872, Morton proposed a tree-planting holiday, to be held on April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for planting the largest number of trees.It was estimated that more than 1,000,000 trees were planted in Nebraska...

Posted at 03:27 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/28/06

Current Terror Alert Level

...is Bert. We'll be in deep doo-doo if it moves up to Ernie or, Heaven help us, Elmo.

Posted at 10:57 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/28/06

Grave matters: John Edmond Andrew Phillips

30 August 1935 - 18 March 2001 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge).Current location: Forest Lawn at map site 4, facing south.Singer and composer: The Mamas & The Papas.[more graves]

Posted at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/27/06

Giant white boxes invade Palm Springs!

Here's an interesting local story from The Desert Sun:A new Web site depicting boxy white warehouses where the Desert Fashion Plaza now stands in downtown Palm Springs had the Wessman Development Co. crying foul Tuesday."We would never build something like this in downtown," said Michael Braun, vice president of Wessman Development Co. "It would be a crime to do something like this. It would never be allowed."The Web site, www.pswhereareyou.com, was created Monday night by Palm Springs resident Sheryl Hamlin.Reached Tuesday, Hamlin was surprised news of her creation had already spread.She said a neighbor had taken photos of downtown Palm Springs and it was "pure serendipity" that she decided to show people what could take place if Wessman Development Co. is...

Posted at 03:31 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/27/06

Whatchawannadothisweekend? (27Apr06)

Tonight: At 7:30 and 9:30pm, catch the Concert Series at Peter's, featuring "So It's Spring — So What?" That kind of enthusiasm is darn infectious. Friday: Desert Youth Ballet presents "The Seasons" at the Performing Arts Building in Rancho Mirage, 7pm. Tights and tutus are necessary and sufficient prerequisites for an evening of civility and culture. Saturday morning: Desert AIDS Project invites the community to join their Architectural Tour, 10am-5:30pm. [Call 323-2118] "Spend a day touring some of the most beautiful, interesting and unique homes in the desert while enjoying a luxury coach transport and skilled guide. Homes on the tour will range from post-modernist to very colorful, one-of-a-kind manufactured (mobile) homes." Trailer park? Did...

Posted at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/27/06

Grave matters: Charles ''Buddy'' Rogers

13 August 1904 - 21 April 1999 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge).Current location: Forest Lawn at map site 3, facing east.Actor: Wings, My Best Girl.[more graves]

Posted at 08:18 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/26/06

Billion? With a ''B''?!

The latest case of logorrhea, as reported by AP:A massive language research database responsible for bringing words such as "podcast" and "celebutante" to the pages of the Oxford dictionaries has officially hit a total of 1 billion words, researchers said Wednesday. Drawing on sources such as weblogs, chatrooms, newspapers, magazines and fiction, the Oxford English Corpus spots emerging trends in language usage to help guide lexicographers when composing the most recent editions of dictionaries. [...]Related: the recent Britannica vs. Wikipedia dustup.

Posted at 02:55 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/26/06

Turn your 6-pack into 5-and-change

This is the kind of news that makes me proud to live in the land of the free, home of the brave... yup, our country's good old-fashioned know-how, can-do spirit has come up with yet another way for sports fans to get really, really stupid (from Sky News, UK): The Beerbelly is a strap-on drinks holder disguised as a big beer gut. It consists of a four-pint plastic container [approximately 5.3 twelve-ounce cans] with waist and shoulder straps. The wearer uses a straw to suck beer from the holder. Its American designers came up with the idea to sneak booze into cinemas and sports events where it is normally banned. [...]

Posted at 11:24 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/26/06

Grave matters: George Montgomery

27 August 1916 - 12 December 2000 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge).Current location: Forest Lawn at map site 3, facing south.Actor, Director, Writer. Note: George's cremated remains were divided and now rest in two locations, the other being Highland Cemetery in Great Falls, Montana.[more graves]

Posted at 08:10 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/25/06

China or bust

Something tells me these stories are related: Hooters opens in China (Reuters video) and Chinese women 'need bigger bras' (BBC).

Posted at 05:19 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/25/06

Mascotti

Desert Hot Springs High School is the home of the Golden Eagles. In fact, it says so, right on their website. The eagle is a wholesome, all-American mascot. Go DHSHS. Rah. Rah. La Quinta HS also favors the avian category: go Blackhawks. Cathedral City High School's site welcomes us to Lion Country. I must say that I was quite impressed, and even a tiny bit scared. Go Lions. The students at Palm Springs High call themselves Indians, presumably in tribute to the Cahuilla tribal lands which surround them. Go PSHS. Palm Desert HS delved into the history books, to come up with its own Indian homage: go Aztecs. Before going any further with high schools, check out the post-secondary mascots around here: the CoD Roadrunners, the CSUSB Coyotes and the UCR... Highlanders? Eh? As for the...

Posted at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/25/06

Grave matters: Harold Robbins

21 May 1916 - 14 October 1997 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge). Current location: Forest Lawn at map site 2, facing east (inside gates). Author: The Carpetbaggers, The Betsy. Quote etched on glass: "To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die." From his book A Stone for Danny Fisher. [more graves]

Posted at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/24/06

Grave matters: Alice Faye

5 May 1915 - 9 May 1998 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge).Current location: Forest Lawn at map site 2, facing east (inside gates).Actress: Rose of Washington Square, In Old Chicago. Wife of Phil Harris.[more graves]

Posted at 03:22 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/24/06

Down & Out in Palm Springs

Everybody in the world knows we're crazy about golf out here. [Click thumbnail photo to enlarge.] I hear that any potential homebuyer is now required by law to demonstrate unbridled enthusiasm for the game by having his/her forehead permanently tattooed with a stroke-handicap number. So it's not really surprising that someone would make a comfy home, accessorized with festive Christmas lights, inside this golf cart recently spotted at the corner of Ramon and Indian Canyon... Later: thanks, Cory! And Marissa!! E muito obrigado, Brasil!!!

Posted at 10:32 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/24/06

The Blogging Goldbergs

At Saturday's PS Book Fest, I had the rare pleasure of meeting two brothers who both have enormously successful writing careers. Lee Goldberg claimed to be the younger and handsomer one, even though his brother's blog contradicts this. Later, I met Tod Goldberg, a CV resident engaged in the thankless task of popularizing an eight-letter word I can't repeat here. It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it. Both Goldbergs are charming and witty and talented, so naturally my reaction was one of overwhelming envy... the highest compliment that one writer can extend to another.

Posted at 08:10 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/21/06

Earth Day + 36: tomorrow

April 22, 1970: twenty million people take to the streets, parks and auditoriums, to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. In addition to massive coast-to-coast rallies, thousands of colleges and universities organize protests against the deterioration of the ecosphere.July 9, 1970: President Nixon declares his intention to establish the Environmental Protection Agency. After the bill passes through Congress, the EPA comes into being on December 2, 1970.December 31, 1970: P.L. 91-604 goes into effect - Congress has amended the Clean Air Act to set national air quality, auto emission and anti-pollution standards.March 28, 2001: President Bush rejects the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.August 29, 2005: Hurricane Katrina makes...

Posted at 03:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/21/06

Happy birthday, Queen E!

The Brits have put up an official birthday website for their queen. Isn't that precious?!Queen Elizabeth II turns 80 today, which means she's just twelve days younger than Hugh Hefner. If they'd let me interview Her Majesty, I would ask her if she's done the nasty with Hef.That's probably why they won't let me interview her.Useless QE2 facts: (#53) she sent her first email in 1976, and (#74) she's got a gold record - for Party at the Palace.PS: They're celebrating her birthday AGAIN on June 17. She calls it the "official birthday," but it sounds to me like an attempt to scare up more presents.

Posted at 10:37 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/21/06

Grave matters: Phil Harris

24 June 1904 - 11 August 1995. Current location: Forest Lawn at map site 2, facing east (inside gates). Husband of Alice Faye. Singer, bandleader and comic. [more graves]

Posted at 08:14 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/20/06

Happy Incorporation Day!

The record indicates that Palm Springs, a city of the sixth class, was incorporated on April 20, 1938 with a population of 1,780. Philip Boyd was the first mayor.Today, the population has grown to approximately 45,000 (42,807 in the 2000 census), and Ronald Oden is the mayor.

Posted at 03:35 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/20/06

Reel Pride 2006

Cinémas Palme d'Or hosts Reel Pride 2006: The Desert's Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, tonight through Sunday. Good clean fun for the whole family.

Posted at 02:56 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/20/06

Whatchawannadothisweekend? (20Apr06)

Tonight: Bill Cosby returns to the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino at 8pm. "Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight."Friday: Gilda's Club Desert Cities presents Bob Newhart Live! at 8pm. "Fo' shizzle, ma' izzle."Saturday morning: The second annual PS Book Festival runs from 10am to 6pm. Buy a book and set it free!Saturday afternoon: Feel like a drive up to Hemet, for the historic Ramona pageant? Staged annually since 1923, and featuring a cast of 400, "Ramona" is described as America's largest and longest-running outdoor play. The performance starts at 4pm, but there's a Fiesta Lunch at 1pm, and a deep-pit BBQ dinner at 6:30pm. Ooo. Costume drama and greasy fingers: my idea of Heaven.Saturday evening: The Salsa Festival comes to Indio, 11am to 10pm. On a corn chip, or on the...

Posted at 10:35 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/20/06

Grave matters: Dinah Shore

1 March 1916 - 24 February 1994 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge). Current location: Forest Lawn at map site 1, facing west. Actress and singer. Note: Dinah's cremated remains were divided and now rest in two locations, the other being Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City. [more graves]

Posted at 08:06 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/19/06

Avanti

The Avanti Owners Association is holding its annual meet here next week to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the design and development of the Avanti in Palm Springs under the direction of Raymond Loewy.[PSL covered the introduction of the Avanti back in 1962 with a color cover and a 6-page story.]

Posted at 03:42 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/19/06

Grave matters: Coins for the boatman

Cemetery visitors have placed coins on some of the markers in our series (examples: A, B, C), and several blog readers are now asking about this custom. Here's what I dug up:In Greek mythology, Charon was the ferryman who took the newly dead across the river Acheron (or Styx, in some modern reinterpretations) to Hades (or one of its subdivisions, like the Elysian Fields) if they had an obol (coin) to pay for the ride. Those who could not pay were doomed to wander the banks of the Acheron for a hundred years.Pebbles have been placed upon other tombstones... as far as I can tell, this is a Jewish custom which harkens back to the days when a grave was covered with a cairn (conical mound of stones). If a visitor contributed to building the cairn, it was deemed a mitzvah, or good deed.[more...

Posted at 02:14 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/19/06

PS Book Fest

The second annual Palm Springs Book Festival will be held in Francis Stevens Park this Saturday, from 10am to 6pm.They're planning to offer "literary theatrics for your viewing pleasure."One of my old writing buddies, Genie Davis, has been scheduled for an interesting panel: Sex Versus Violence in the Crime Novel.I'll be there to heckle her, as part of the "literary theatrics." ;-)

Posted at 10:35 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/19/06

Grave matters: Forest Lawn Memorial-Park

Forest Lawn is in Cathedral City, at 69855 East Ramon Road. The remains of many celebrities are located here: Dinah Shore (partial), Papa John Phillips, Harold Robbins, Alice Faye, Phil Harris, Buddy Rogers and George Montgomery (partial), among others.[more graves]Some of the wall crypts and urns might be hard to find, so subsequent postings will refer to this rough map:

Posted at 08:13 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/18/06

SpaceShipOne cockpit tour

SpaceShipOne was the first privately developed, piloted vehicle to reach space, in June of 2004.Visit the Smithsonian's virtual gallery, then click and drag this image to look around inside the cockpit.[Requires free QuickTime Player.]

Posted at 02:56 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/18/06

3-D blogs

FYI, most blogs are three-dimensional: in addition to the text and/or photos you see on the actual blog pages, bloggers will usually offer hypertext links to other sites, which often illuminate and/or expand upon the original blog posting... for example, click this link to learn about the State of the Blogosphere.

Posted at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/18/06

Grave matters: Sonny Bono

16 February 1935 - 5 January 1998 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge).Current location: Desert Memorial Park, section B-35, #294.Entertainer, Mayor and Congressman.[more graves]

Posted at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/17/06

April 17, 1492

514 years ago today, Christopher Columbus signed a contract with Spain to find the Indies.On August 3 (log), he set sail from Palos de la Frontera. 70 days later (October 12 on the Julian calendar, October 21 by modern dating standards), he arrived in the Bahamas.On January 16, 1493, he left the new world, landing in Lisbon, Portugal on March 4. The return crossing took 49 days.

Posted at 03:23 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/17/06

Straight, No Chaser

Thelonious Monk just won a Pulitzer Special Citation. Cool.

Posted at 12:26 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/17/06

Grave matters: Cameron McDowell Mitchell

4 November 1918 - 7 July 1994 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge).Current location: Desert Memorial Park, section A-23, #83.Actor: Flight to Mars, The Adventures of Gallant Bess.[more graves]

Posted at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/17/06

It's Tax Day, d*mmit

...unless, of course, you're lucky enough to live in Maine (ME), Massachusetts (MA), Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont or DC. Even though Patriot's Day is a state holiday only in MA and ME (which was a part of MA until 1820), residents of those other states are required to mail their tax forms to the IRS processing center in Andover, MA.Which won't receive any mail delivery on April 17, Patriot's Day.So those lucky dawgs get one more day to agonize over their 1040s.

Posted at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/14/06

Easter

Easter is now celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon of spring. This year, it falls on the day after tomorrow.The celebration commemorates the resurrection of Jesus, after his crucifixion, but many other customs have become connected to this holiday. For example: Easter bunnies, hot cross buns, Easter bells, passion plays, Easter parades, egg hunts, Easter bonnets, dyeing eggs, Easter lilies, Easter lamb, etc.The first Easter baskets were made to look like bird's nests.In Hungary, a young guy is supposed to pour perfume on the head of a girl, thus convincing her to becoming his sweetheart. Smooooooooth.Poland has a similar custom: Dyngus.The White House celebrates Easter with an Egg Roll.That reminds me. It's time to order takeout. Moo Goo Gai Pan.

Posted at 03:33 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/14/06

Palm Springs sky map

...courtesy of Your Sky, by John Walker at Fourmilab Switzerland.If you click that blue ball over there, John's software will generate an up-to-the-minute map of the sky over Palm Springs, California.All together now: "Thank you, John!"

Posted at 02:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/14/06

Grave matters: Busby Berkeley

29 November 1895 - 14 March 1976 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge).Current location: Desert Memorial Park, section A-14, #74.Film choreographer noted for his song & dance production numbers: Footlight Parade, Gold Diggers of 1933, Dames, Gold Diggers of 1935, 42nd Street.[more graves]

Posted at 10:27 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/14/06

Yuri Gagarin... or Vladimir Ilyushin?

Many sources, including this one, claim that Vladimir Ilyushin was the first Russian cosmonaut to return from a spaceflight, 5 days earlier than Yuri Gagarin.I love a good conspiracy theory... especially that cool Moon Hoax!

Posted at 08:06 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/13/06

Grave matters: William H. Powell

29 July 1892 - 5 March 1984 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge).Current location: Desert Memorial Park, section B-10, #20.Actor: Thin Man series, Life with Father.[more graves]

Posted at 03:13 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/13/06

Beckett @ 100

Samuel Beckett (Nobel prizewinning author and playwright: Waiting for Godot, Endgame) was born 100 years ago today. In honor of the occasion, here's a very short play (also available on your cell phone) I wrote a few years back: Texting 4 Godot ESTRAGON Nothing to be done. (He peers at his cell phone, growing excited.) It's him! VLADIMIR At last! What did he reply? ESTRAGON "Bk sn."

Posted at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/13/06

Whatchawannadothisweekend? (13Apr06)

Tonight: At 7pm, the Joslyn Players present Lettice & Lovage, a comedy by Peter Shaffer (who also wrote "Amadeus" and "Equus"). It won 2 Tony Awards and played on Broadway for 286 performances, but I don't really know what that means...Friday: White Party '06 kicks off with The Inferno at the Wyndham Hotel, 9pm. Get ready to observe Good Friday with the time-honored tradition of dancing your booty off.Saturday morning: The Palm Springs Firemen's Association hosts an Easter Egg Hunt for kids aged 1-9, starting promptly at 9am in Ruth Hardy Park. Inside scoop: arrive early, 3,000 eggs go fast. The Easter Bunny will be on hand for pictures, too. There's nothing more fun than a fireman wearing floppy ears...Saturday afternoon: Open forum poetry reading at Dezart...

Posted at 10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/13/06

Passover

Passover ("Pesach") begins on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan, which falls on March 13 this year. But the Jewish day starts at sundown the night before, so Passover officially began yesterday. This observance is related to the Exodus of Jews from Egypt after generations of slavery, commemorating God's mercy in "passing over" Jewish houses when he was slaying the firstborn of Egypt. Probably the most significant Passover custom involves the removal of leavening from Jewish homes, memorializing the haste with which the Jews left Egypt. They were in such a hurry, they didn't have time to let their bread rise. It is also a symbolic way to remove the soul's "puffiness" (arrogance or pride). Pass the Matzah...

Posted at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/12/06

Grave matters: Frederick Loewe

10 June 1901 - 14 February 1988 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge). Current location: Desert Memorial Park, section B-8, #89. "Thank Heaven For Frederick Loewe, 1901-1988, World Beloved Composer" (team of Lerner and Loewe: Camelot, My Fair Lady, Brigadoon). [more graves]

Posted at 03:28 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/12/06

Yuri's Night

Yuri's Night is a global celebration of human space travel, held annually on April 12.This date marks the historic first flight of Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, as well as the launch of the first Space Shuttle exactly 20 years later. So 2006 is the 45th anniversary of Yuri's flight in Vostok 1 and the 25th anniversary of the first shuttle launch."At seven past nine Moscow time I felt the powerful rocket boosters. Everything was vibrating, and then, very slowly, I took off." -Yuri GagarinOn April 12, 1981, at 7:00:03am EST, two astronauts blasted off in the shuttle Columbia. Commander John Young had already flown in space four times, including a walk on the moon in 1972. Pilot Bob Crippen was a Navy test pilot who would go on to command three future shuttle missions.

Posted at 02:38 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/12/06

101 Greatest Screenplays

Both branches of the Writers Guild of America (w+e) are celebrating the best screenwriters and their timeless works with the release of the 101 Greatest Screenplays list. Here are the top ten scripts and writers, as selected by members of the two guilds: 1. Casablanca, Julius J. & Philip G. Epstein (twins) and Howard Koch, based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison's play. [DVD] 2. The Godfather, Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, based on Puzo's novel. [DVD/3] 3. Chinatown, Robert Towne. [DVD] 4. Citizen Kane, Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles. [DVD] 5. All About Eve, Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Herman's kid brother), based on Mary Orr's short story and radio play. [DVD] 6. Annie Hall, Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman. [DVD] 7. Sunset Blvd., Charles Brackett & Billy Wilder...

Posted at 10:21 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/12/06

Tax Freedom Day

Tax Freedom Day (TFD) is calculated by dividing the amount of taxes collected by the government in each year by the amount of income we earn in each year. America's TFD for 2006 was announced this morning, and it falls on April 26. California celebrates TFD on April 30... not quite as good as Alabama (April 11), but not as bad as Connecticut (May 12), and definitely not as bad as Britain (June 3) or poor Sweden (end of July). FYI: April 15 falls on a Saturday this year, so the IRS filing deadline has been pushed back to Monday the 17th. Aren't you thrilled? I know I am.

Posted at 08:08 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/11/06

Salsa Festival

It amazes me sometimes to discover how versatile certain kinds of food can be. My own bookshelf has entire cookbooks filled with recipes featuring single ingredients, i.e., Portobello mushrooms, chilis, garlic, and beans (once upon a time, I even had a Jello cookbook). Sometimes it’s inspiring to see how other people treat ingredients to create something completely different than what you know. And so it is with salsa. For a taste (or actually for a whole bunch of tastes) of how this works, there’s the annual Indio Salsa Festival, which is coming up April 22-23. The festival not only includes a salsa tasting competition, but also salsa dancing, live music, a carnival, art and car shows, and vendors. The event takes place at the Riverside County Fairgrounds. For more information,...

Posted at 04:43 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/11/06

Celebrity encounter: Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper is quite personable, but his rock-star reputation includes a lot of very dark and sinister undertones.He urged me to take two photos, chuckling: "Sometimes my image refuses to appear on film."[Click photo to enlarge.][more encounters]

Posted at 03:31 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/11/06

2006 Webby nominees

The Webby Award nominees were announced this morning. You can register and vote for the People's Voice Awards anytime between now and May 5. The winners list will be released on May 9.The New York Times called this award "the online equivalent of an Oscar," but there's one big difference - acceptance speeches are limited to five words.For example, when Al Gore received his Lifetime Achievement Webby last year, he said: "Please don't recount this vote."And comedian Eddie Izzard chose to describe the Webby statuette with his five words: "A Slinky with a hard-on."

Posted at 02:16 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/11/06

Grave matters: Jolie Gabor de Szigethy

29 September 1894 - 1 April 1997 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge).Current location: Desert Memorial Park, section B-8, #126.Mother of Zsa-Zsa, Eva and Magda. PSL cover links: Gabor sisters, Zsa-Zsa, Eva and Eva again![more graves]

Posted at 10:27 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/11/06

Grave matters: Magda Gabor

11 June 1914 - 6 June 1997 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge).Current location: Desert Memorial Park, section B-8, #125.Sister of Zsa-Zsa and Eva.[more graves]

Posted at 08:08 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/10/06

Celebrity encounter: John Havlicek

John "Hondo" Havlicek is widely regarded as the best sixth man in NBA history.He was also my father's favorite basketball player.Boy, he's tall...[Click photo to enlarge.][more encounters]

Posted at 03:31 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/10/06

Gwyneth, Gwyneth, Gwyneth

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow gave birth to her second child over the weekend, and named the poor little guy Moses.Sigh. I guess we can't expect much from a mother who saddled her first child with a moniker like "Apple."You just know these kids are gonna have trouble in school... especially Moses, in swimming class.

Posted at 02:25 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/10/06

Grave matters: Francis Albert Sinatra

12 December 1915 - 14 May 1998 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge).Current location: Desert Memorial Park, section B-8, #151.Singer and actor: Frank Sinatra was also known as "Ol' Blue Eyes."[more graves]

Posted at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/10/06

Hef on aging

Hugh Hefner, who created Playboy magazine 52 years ago, celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday. Although it took a bevy of buxom blonde bimbos to prop him up, he still looked quite lecherous. When asked about his advanced age, he scoffed, "80 is the new 40."Does this mean 40 is the new Anklebiter?After Hef's momentous pronouncement, one of the bimbos pulled out a monogrammed lace hankie, wiped some drool from his lips, and muttered, "If this old goat doesn't make me a centerfold soon, I'm gonna stop fakin' it."

Posted at 08:09 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/07/06

Monkeying around with Cheeta

Birthdays for Sunday, April 9:Cynthia Nixon turns 40Dennis Quaid turns 52Hugh M. Hefner turns 80Cheeta turns 74Cheeta holds the Guinness record for being the world's oldest chimpanzee, and began his movie career by co-starring with Johnny Weissmuller ("Tarzan") in the 1930s. [Click thumbnail photos to enlarge.] I recently spoke with Dan Westfall (whose uncle, Tony Gentry, brought Cheeta to this country) at the C.H.E.E.T.A. Primate Sanctuary here in Palm Springs:When did Cheeta arrive from Africa?He came over from Liberia in 1932. After sending the natives out into the jungle, they came back with several baby chimps, and he was the smallest. He was only 3 or 4 weeks old, and so small that my uncle could put him under his jacket. Tony brought him to Hollywood and made him a...

Posted at 03:25 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/07/06

My desktop's bigger than yours

How I Work: Bill Gates (from Fortune):"If you look at this office, there isn't much paper in it. On my desk I have three screens, synchronized to form a single desktop. I can drag items from one screen to the next. Once you have that large display area, you'll never go back, because it has a direct impact on productivity.The screen on the left has my list of e-mails. On the center screen is usually the specific e-mail I'm reading and responding to. And my browser is on the right-hand screen. This setup gives me the ability to glance and see what new has come in while I'm working on something, and to bring up a link that's related to an e-mail and look at it while the e-mail is still in front of me."

Posted at 02:32 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/07/06

Grave matters: Desert Memorial Park

Desert Memorial Park (Palm Springs Cemetery District) is actually located in Cathedral City, at 69920 East Ramon Road (click thumbnail photo to enlarge). But this address is only an exit; the entrance is around the corner, at 31705 Da Vall Drive.Many celebrities are buried here: Frank Sinatra, Sonny Bono, Busby Berkeley, William Powell, Frederick Loewe, Cameron Mitchell and Magda Gabor, among others.Note: simple maps are usually available in a bin outside the cemetery office, but the section numbers (set forth in subsequent postings) are clearly marked.[more graves]

Posted at 10:34 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/07/06

Celebrity encounter: Wayne Rogers

Along with Jamie Farr, Wayne Rogers was also in M*A*S*H.For three seasons, anyway.Great hat.[Click photo to enlarge.][more encounters]

Posted at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/06/06

Celebrity encounter: Jamie Farr

Jamie Farr (who played Corporal Max Q. Klinger on M*A*S*H) is very gracious, a great guy.But I couldn't resist imagining him in a dress. ;-)[Click photo to enlarge.][more encounters]

Posted at 03:41 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/06/06

Grave matters: Albert Frey

18 October 1903 - 14 November 1998 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge).Current location: Welwood Murray Cemetery, section 49, #53 (northwest corner).Architect: Aluminaire House, Loewy House, Palm Springs City Hall, North Shore Yacht Club.[more graves]

Posted at 02:30 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/06/06

Whatchawannadothisweekend? (6Apr06)

Tonight: Australian classical guitarist Karin Schaupp appears in the final Palm Springs Community Concert of the season at 7:30pm, PSHS Auditorium. "Very rarely does an artist come along that seems to become one with her instrument and is able to transport her audience into another world through the sensuality of her sound." She's cute, too.Friday: At 8pm, Jeff Beck brings his virtuoso rock-guitar licks to the McCallum. Ssssssssssssssmokin'.Saturday morning: Palm Desert Public Art Tours are conducted on the second Saturday of the month through June 10. Meet your docent at 10am sharp, in front of Messenger of the Puul. Also: make sure you haven't been followed, and bring large denominations of cash in a plain brown paper bag...Saturday afternoon: Art Under the Umbrellas, 10am...

Posted at 10:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/06/06

Rainbow aftermath

Yesterday's drizzle dropped a light dusting of snow on the upper elevations of Mt. San Jacinto, even though the front range was left untouched. Today's high is expected to hit 78°F. This was the view on Tahquitz Canyon Way just a few minutes ago. [Click thumbnail photo to enlarge.]

Posted at 08:23 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/05/06

South Park wins prestigious Peabody Award

"South Park" was praised as a show that "pushes all the buttons, turns up the heat and shatters every taboo," Peabody Awards Director Horace Newcomb said. "Through that process of offending it reminds us of the need for being tolerant." (AP)More details: the Peabody site, and Comedy Central.Rumor control: Yes, the temperatures in Hades are dropping precipitously... but sources close to Tom Cruise flatly deny that his head spontaneously exploded.

Posted at 04:24 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/05/06

DST update

Indiana changed to DST for the first time in more than 30 years, but it didn't seem to help much...

Posted at 03:49 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/05/06

Celebrity encounter: Cheech Marin

In many circles, Richard "Cheech" Marin will always be inextricably linked with Tommy Chong."Dave's not here, man." Priceless lowbrow dope humor.But Cheech has done a lot of other stuff, too. And he likes to hold court from the comfort of his golf cart.[Click photo to enlarge.][more encounters]

Posted at 03:28 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/05/06

2006 Blooker Prize winners

A "blook" is a book developed from a blog, web-comic or other website, and the first Blooker Prize winners were announced on Monday: Overall Winner (Non-Fiction): Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, by Julie Powell [site] Fiction: Four and Twenty Blackbirds, by Cherie Priest [site] Comics: Totally Boned: A Joe and Monkey Collection, by Zach Miller [site]

Posted at 02:15 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/05/06

Grave matters: Charles D. Farrell

9 August 1900 - 6 May 1990 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge). Current location: Welwood Murray Cemetery section 10-3, #G (southwest). Actor: My Little Margie, Old Ironsides. [more graves]

Posted at 10:27 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/05/06

Pot o' gold in the Santa Rosa Mountains

During my commute this morning, the rainbow kept playing peek-a-boo. First one leg would appear, then the other.[Click thumbnail photo to enlarge.]But later, when I entered downtown Palm Springs, the entire arch displayed its magnificent glory for a second or two. It's hard to be an atheist when confronted with something like that.

Posted at 08:17 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/04/06

Celebrity encounter: David Leisure

David Leisure seems like a very sweet guy.Not at all like his Joe Isuzu character.[Click photo to enlarge.][more encounters]

Posted at 03:36 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/04/06

Inbox: space-time continuum

Darby Larson recently pointed this out: tonight, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00am, the time and date will be... 01:02:03 04/05/06 To our European friends, who have the odd habit of switching months and days when writing numerical dates: you'll have to wait until May 4 for the same event. So there.

Posted at 02:03 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/04/06

Time flies when you're goofing off

A decade of wasting time with blogs developing online communication skills:On April 4, 1996, I started posting journal entries on HTML pages that I hand-coded with a basic text editor. Then I uploaded those webpages online with a rudimentary piece of FTP software.Back in those days, none of us realized our silly little diaries would be called "blogs" by future analysts.The term "weblog" was finally coined on December 17, 1997, and automatic blogging software appeared during the next year.So I guess you could say that I became a blogger ten years ago today. I've created postings at home, in the car, on mountaintops, and near raging floodwaters. I've blogged during lunch breaks, in the middle of the night, and on vacation. But I never dreamed I'd end up teaching it for...

Posted at 10:22 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/04/06

Grave matters: Hugo Mario Montenegro

2 September 1925 - 6 February 1981 (click thumbnail photo to enlarge). Current location: Welwood Murray Cemetery, section 11-3, #G (southwest). Latin inscription: "Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord - and let perpetual light shine upon him." Composer: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly; The Man From U.N.C.L.E.; Hang 'Em High. [more graves]

Posted at 08:02 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

04/03/06

Celebrity encounter: Kevin Sorbo

Kevin Sorbo ("Dylan Hunt" from Andromeda and "Hercules") is very hip, very kaaazzhh. When I asked for a pic, he flashed the "peace" sign. Right on, bro. [Click photo (KNC, 28Mar06) to enlarge.] [more encounters]

Posted at 03:37 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/03/06

Cryptic signs...

...and mysterious trucks... ...and the food wagon?! Oh yeah, I remember reading about this: "On Monday afternoon, the production will move off of this street - Andreas Palms North in a gated community - and into downtown Palm Springs for a scene in which romantic sparks fly on the patio of Enzo's Ristorante." [Update] [All UKWP coverage]

Posted at 02:29 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/03/06

The intricacies of DST

Time is on my side. No, it's on MY side.Silly Season, a.k.a. Daylight Saving Time (DST), is upon us yet again.Residents of the European Union switch to Summer Time at 1:00 a.m. on the last Sunday in March, and all time zones change at the same moment (under the Universal Time system). It's very efficient and well organized. Bravo, Europe!But here in the continental U.S., time-changing is a little wonkier. For most of us, DST begins at 2:00 a.m.—local time—on the first Sunday of April. So each American time zone "springs forward" at a different hour. However, things don't get really strange until we start dealing with the exception states of Arizona and Indiana.77 Indiana counties are in the Eastern time zone and never switch to DST; they're on Standard time year-round. But...

Posted at 10:42 AM | Permalink | Comments

04/03/06

Grave matters: Welwood Murray Cemetery

Welwood Murray Cemetery (historic plaque) is located at the western end of Chino Drive, in Palm Springs. [Click thumbnail photo to enlarge.]Several well-known celebrities are buried here: Hugo Montenegro, Albert Frey and Charlie Farrell, among others, and their grave markers will be posted during the next few days.Note: you can enter at the northwest corner, over a low wall; however, the main gate is one block south, on the gravel extension of West Alejo Road.Generators: tombstone, gravestone.[more graves]

Posted at 08:06 AM | Permalink | Comments