"From the Desert to the Sea, to All of Southern California." - Jerry Dunphy

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Desk

A friend just uploaded a picture of his very messy desk to his website. I told him it was disgraceful and indicative of his disorganized thought process. He's a liberal and I'm a conservative so we always rag on each other, but in a friendly way. So he dared me to post a picture of my desk as it is today. He hasn't seen my office or desk so he must figure it is filled with hand grenades, rifles and voodoo dolls of Al Gore and Harry Reid. So here is my very small desk (I miss my two large desks). Do scissors count as a weapon?

The only weapon in sight is a ceremonial Knight Templar Masonic sword on the wall to the left of my desk which belonged to my Grandfather. Above my desk is a James Bond poster of him holding a girl and pointing a gun our way. I'll leave the psychological implications of that for my friend to figure out. My wife bought it for me and had it framed. The desk is otherwise fairly organized and clean. I tend to be "Monk" like with regard to organization and cleanliness, which makes me the most frustrating member of our too large household. So I determine I win on neatness and cleanliness just as I am always right and win with our political argument :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Larry Harnisch Reflects on Los Angeles History

I just logged on to Larry Harnisch's LA Times blog only to find out it is being discontinued. Larry's blog is one of our links on the right side of this page. Larry says the LA Times blog will continue to be available online as a wonderful resource for all us Los Angeles history buffs. The good news is Larry will continue a blog on his own personal website:


Be sure to check it out. It's almost poetic that right before I logged onto his LA Times blog I was listening to the album Black Dahlia by Bob Belden. Larry as you may know is the preeminent authority on the Black Dahlia murder. Larry also has a page on Facebook you should check out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

L.A. Film Noir Music

Tonight I got a bit homesick for L.A.. Not for the L.A. I remember but for the L.A. that predates me. For the L. A. of Raymond Chandler and those 1940's and 1950's film noir movies. The images and music is so powerful they create the sensation of nostalgia for a time and place you never lived in.

I was sitting at my desk working on a project which would not allow me to watch video. So I fired up iTunes and clicked on the two albums above by Charlie Haden & Quartet West. With these two albums Haden successfully evokes the music and feel of Los Angeles from those post war days. If you like Los Angeles film noir movies I think these albums will take you on an aural trip through those times. If you like more modern noir style movies such as L.A. Confidential and Chinatown I bet you will enjoy these.

I used to drive through the Hollywood Hills at night with these albums playing in my car. If it was late and beginning to rain I would throw on some clothes and drive the canyons to the top of Mulholland Drive. Some of us take our music and atmosphere seriously.

Before I left L.A. I visited Tower Records on Sunset. I bought two CD's, the first was Joe South's Greatest Hits and the other was another excellent film noir style album by Bob Belden called Black Dahlia. Granted it's a walk on the darker side of L.A. but the music is just as powerful as the Haden albums in evoking that post war period.