Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Living in Los Angeles opens a lifestyle that no one should ever have to deal with - Parking and Traffic nightmares from beyond the grave. Anytime we drive anywhere in this city, Los Angelians are forced to map out the best route to our destination based on time of day and the current freeway reports on sigalert. Then we need to figure out how much additional time to give for unexpected traffic and then the final additional of time to compensate for the nightmare of finding a parking spot.

What erks me more than anything is the large number of parking garages in this city with an overweling number of side by side 'compact' parking spots. I do love that LA has a higher percentage of drivers with hybrids and smaller cards compared to other cities, but many people don't (after all, it is a big city). These garages have lines of compact parking spaces sitting side by side. There is no excuse for this as it only encourages large cars to park in any open spot, especially when there are 20 compact spaces next to each other. What kind of person is going to skip the open spots and waste an additional 20 minutes looking for a legit space to park? Of course these SUV and Truck people should know not to park there and by doing so they occupy two parking spaces and screw the up the system. But the larger picture is that this is the problem of the parking garage.

There should never be more than 3 compact spaces in a row. It's a nice feeling that they are most likely doing this to reward the compact driver, but it doesn't help. Either eliminate the overkill of the compact spaces, which in turn will create more parking spaces, or make a point to punish those who abuse the system.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kaffir Lime Timeline (part 1)

My interest in gardening has been steadily growing since I moved to Los Angeles and realized I could grow virtually any kind of plant. The basics don't interest me; I do have tomato and pepper plants, but and I gravitate toward the exotic - mainly things that I can eat and can't buy at the store.

I recently purchased a 2 year old Australian Finger Lime tree online, which was shipped to me in a box, and a dwarf Rangpur Lime tree. The last of the lime species that interests me is the Kaffir lime, which I had trouble finding. I also didn't have interest in continuing to buy 2-3 year old trees that have been cut and 'butchered' to maintain a small size for easy shipping. I'd rather grow it myself. The hunt for Kaffir seeds proved exceedingly difficult and I decided to gamble and buy seeds off ebay from a seller in Malaysia. Would they arrive to me? 65% chance. Would they grow if they arrived? Well, considering I would be getting 15 seeds, I'd hope at least one would. Overall 25% chance. Worth $7? Yes.

Two weeks after planting the Kaffir seeds, I had my first success - a single sprout of a Kaffir Lime tree. Will others follow? I hope so. If not, all I have to do make sure I don't screw this up.