Bears and Alligators Life in General

Semi-Disappearing Act

For some reason I can never resist this one particular view of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park. I take a new photo every year.

Okay, in the name of sanity, psychological self-rescue,
and certainly spiritual correctness, I’m going to slow my posting down to a crawl until I head back to LA this coming Sunday or Monday (at which point I’ll start posting more Voices from the Road).

If something astonishing happens, and I can’t resist, you’ll assuredly hear from me. Otherwise, I’ll be….as one friend suggested I should have been doing all along….chill-axin’.

(And, yes, I do know that’s a silly use of vernacular for a Topanga-living white broad.)


  • Oh, no! Al Gore was right. The glacier has melted into a lake! Instead of chillin’, it’s getting warmer.

    Anyway, the view is beautiful and peaceful. Don’t worry about posting and enjoy yourself. We’ll be here when you get back.

  • Hey Woody, I just couldn’t resist, but has anyone tapped your right shoe toe in a restroom stall or handed you a U.S. Government business card?

  • I’d treat ’em just like Jon Voight did that guy in “Midnight Cowboy.” How have other people reacted to your doing that?

    I like that commercial where it shows an executive and a new young worker in a men’s room with a lot of available slots, and the kid goes and stands right next to the executive and starts talking with him–after which the new worker is looking for a fast way out of town.

    Don’t get near me and keep your eyes forward.

  • I do remember sitting in a men’s stall once, it was at Disneywalk in the City of Anaheim next to the movie theaters and ATM. A guy contacted me with a deep southern accent and requested help. He said that he sat on the toliet seat and failed to noticed that it was out of toliet paper. …I should have let that guy wipe his ass with his hand.

  • A whiney liberal yelled out of a stall and asked if there was any toilet paper out there. I said no and suggested that he use a dollar–his own, in fact. He came out with a filthy, disgusting hand. I asked him why he didn’t use my suggestion, and he said, “Have you ever tried to wipe yourself with three quarters, two dimes, and a nickle?”

    I have a southern accent, but I have been asked on many occasion if I was from England. I don’t know why, but that couldn’t have been me you heard. But, was that you that I advised?

    What do you want to bet that Celeste is now desperately looking for something new to post just so that we don’t totally destroy her reputation on this site?

  • A D.A. walked into my office to talk about a gang case, I advised her about your blog Ms. Fremon. I turned her into being an avid reader of the LAweekly as well. She’s now a big favorite of both you and Ms. Anderson’s news writing.
    Just some Kudos.
    On the Mayor and the school takeovers.
    Why does the Mayor want to take over two LAUSD low scoring schools?
    LA County has many low scoring Charter schools in place that need SERIOUS help. These Schools service the most needy students and areas. Moreover, the majority of our low level scoring students and IEP students are in these schools already. When there is a gang related crime, where is the first place the Police Dept. ends up visiting….the County Schools or Charter schools like SEA.
    Why doesn’t the Mayor walk over to the SEA and County schools and tell them if they need an extra hand. That’s where its needed the most.

    I find this all to be another political media bullshit dancing act. The mayor is trying to dig himself out of his romantic telenovia ass rubbing scandals.

    Who ever is his political advisor, he’s doing a great job on trying to win back the LA city voters.

  • Ms. Celeste Fremon;

    Let me introduce myself, I am a federal investigator who is currently assisting Laura Chick, I am will be investigation city employees who are using government computers while at work posting comments on this and other blogs. I would like you to contact me so that we may add I.P. address monitoring capabilities to your blog. We estimate that up to 30% of city employees time is wasted posting childish comments on this and other blogs.

    I know you consider yourself a community activist not just an investigative reporter, so I know you will assist me in uncovering this waste of city resources. In addition you will be only reporter provide the names of these employee who should be working but are instead wasting time and money playing on the Internet.

    I look forward to meeting with you personally upon your return to Los Angels and hope you are enjoying you vacation in Montana.

    Sgt. Joe Friday
    Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

  • Someone needs to go back to school and get basic criminal justice courses on what’s the difference between a Sgt. and an Special Agent.

  • Dear Mr. Friday,

    I thought it was especially important to provide Federal, City workers such as your self a quick response.

    Because of the exceptionally sensitive material contained in the WLA blog, we have implemented a maximum security digital backbone where all traffic is routed through the ECHELON firewall system in Langley VA.

    As a result of this configuration, our logs contain only the IP addresses of congressional and white-house staff along with various users from the DOD and NSA. All other traffic on the WLA logs originating outside of the ECHELON system reports only the Homeland Security eavesdropping gateway IP address of (

    Please contact me if you need any additional details.

  • Celeste,

    Off subject, I was wondering if you knew of anybody who looked at the problems at MLK hospital, and ever wrote about, albeit taboo and politically incorrect issue of race. Or reported on the issue of race and what part race played in keeping the Hospital open for so long.

    For years this hospital has been accused of only hiring black by every other race, And many people say (quietly of course) the black leaders and activists of south Los Angeles helped keep the hospital open only because it employed so many blacks.

  • Eat your heart out Reggie. The Monterrey Bay Aquarium just acquired a Great White Shark! Maybe you you can break out and visit!

  • Thank you to Poplock and WLA Tech Support for giving Sgt./Agent Friday such prompt and instructive responses. (And thanks for the compliment, Poplock.)

    LA Res, The original 2004 LA Times investigative series on MLK—then King-Drew—got to some of the stuff regarding racial politics that you’re talking about. In truth, I haven’t reread the series since it was originally published, but it was pretty terrific. Got a Pulitzer and deserved it. The the Times did an Op Ed last month that at least made a reference to those same racial politics. (I’m web challenged up here in West Glacier or I’d link it for you.)

    Certainly, there is still some investigating that needs doing to deconstruct why the guarantees made to the Board of Supervisors about laying off a certain percentage of the MLK staff, and retraining the rest off site, plus turning over the running of the hospital to UCLA Harbor, were utterly ignored. We should know exactly how those decisions got made. I suspect some of the politics you mention played a big part. (There’re are few other explanations that I can imagine.)

    I hope the Times gets into it. If they don’t, I may. But I’ve got a long list of other things I’m working on in September/October, so I’d be very happy to just read it in the Times. In any case, you bring up a good point.

    P.S. I’m glad to see that Reggie is defending himself.

  • Celeste,

    Read most of the series of stories on King-Drew(MLK) hospital, and this was the kind of story I used to buy the newspaper for. I now remember reading two of the five part series,
    “Underfunding is a myth, but the squandering is real- For a public hospital, King/Drew is flush. But it spends millions on employees’ odd injury claims, lavish doctor pay and workers who don’t show up.” was my favorite.

    I always marveled at how this hospital stayed opened. This hospital spent more money, had more employee workers comp claims, lawsuits and still stayed open. This story also covered the racial issues involved in keeping the hospital open. After reading this series I can see why it won a Pulitzer award, a good screenplay should follow.

    Now a good follow up story is, where are all the lousy former MLK employees going to work, I want to avoid that hospital.

  • L A Resident: If you’ve been following the news, you know that the African-American (self-appointed) community “leaders” held a pres conference week after MLK closed to lambast Molina for comments she’d made about the workers, saying that there was a poison that had to be rooted out by making every single one of the employees go through record and performance checks before being rehired elsewhere.

    (Apart from the compensation claims you mention, which apparently kicked when they were disciplined for not showing up, so those are connected), the feds found that a nurse couldn’t follow directions to mix a basic med formula, other really fundamental violatins. The black “leaders” expressed outrage that some of these employees have had their reputations tarnished by associaiton, and Molina needed to apologize to them. She didn/t, and even Burke was silent on the issue — for once. But elsewhere, she and Maxine Waters are still giving implicit support to these black “leaders.”

    What is unfortunate is that, per other reports, merchants in the neighborhood, from restaranteurs to dry cleaners, are suffering lost business or shutting down, leaving a vacuum. The mini-mall opened as part of the hospital expansion post riots in the 60’s is now dying, too. But Waters and Burke should have fixed the underlying problems long ago.

  • I wonder if Celeste is a USC fan, I need to know whether I will still be a fan of Celeste’s work or a bitter rival. I will have to read all of her stories to see if she has ever disparaged USC or its players. I might give Celeste a pass on O.J. Simpson.

  • She doesn’t mention it unless you ask her, but Celeste used to be a cheerleader for USC.

    (In the South, USC is the University of South Carolina, whereas the other team is Southern Cal.)

  • Woody,

    There is only one USC, google “USC” and see what you find, I have inside information that the real USC is going to sue the podunk South Carolina school for copyright infringement. At times USC is also lovingly referred to the University of South Central due to it’s proximity to the hood.

    The same legal team that got the “F” out of the former WWF (world wrestling federation), now the WWE is preparing to sue the “S” out of Carolina University.

  • The University of South Carolina was founded in 1805 and Southern Cal was founded in 1880, so South Carolina has prior claims to USC–google not withstanding. Of course, we could let Steve Spurrier fight it out with Pete Carroll in a golf match.

    My college sports revolves around Auburn University and The University of Alabama, because of family participation in their athletics. Auburn claims to be THE university of Alabama.

    The University of South Alabama goes by USA. Maybe your legal team could get Washington to quit using that acronym.

    Celeste may be driving to Michigan to take up the cause of those victims to Appalchian State University.

  • Woody,

    Instead of a golf match between Steve Spurrier and Pete Carroll, why not a football game – Trojans Vs Gamecocks. And by the way the name “Game-Cocks” what can we say, it is just sooooo wrong on so many levels. How many jokes could Jay Leno or David Letterman come up with? Did Michael Vick or Ron Jeremy ever attend South Carolina?

  • We’re such gentlemen in the South that we wouldn’t notice anything wrong with the nickname “gamecocks” or bring that to anyone’s attention, any more than if you emitted a bad smell in the room.

    I had never heard of Ron Jeremy. I read that he covered split ends and was a big man on campus, but I never saw him play. Michael Vick played at VA Tech, which are the Hokies, which comes from an expression, which today might mean homies.

    Sure you want a football contest, because you know and I know that Spurrier would clean Carroll’s clock in a golf match. Frankly, I wish that they would hit each other senseless with sand wedges. In your contest, I suspect that betters would have the Trojans covering against the cocks.

    Perhaps, we should leave it that South Carolina will be USC and, leave Southern California with their traditional ‘SC.

    Talking about bad college nicknames, the Stanford “Cardinal” (a color!) with its hideous mascot is bad enough, but what about The University of California-Santa Cruz “Banana Slugs?”

  • Woody, I think you’ve just cleverly settled the question. In a rock-paper-scissors universe, Trojans wrap…um…Gamecocks.

    Fight on!

    (Who thinks of names like that? “Hey, fellows, what say we go with Gamecocks as the mascot?” “Brilliant! Gamecocks, it is!”)

    (Then again, I teach at the home of the…Anteaters. This has lead to the word “Zot” becoming incorporated into a distressing number of areas of campus life—all of which I find deeply mystifying.)

    Oh, and, about driving to Michigan on errands of mercy. Nah. I figured I’d just order myself a nice Mountaineers T-shirt instead.

  • Actually, as one who once taught there it’s the “University of Spoiled Children.”

    USC – the one in LA – has been making great strides academnically so now it is an institution of higher learning that the football team can be proud of.

    Fight on!

  • rlc: “Actually, as one who once taught there…. USC – the one in LA – has been making great strides academnically….”

    Let’s see if there’s any connection. rlc quits teaching at So. Cal. and then the university starts making great strides academnically.

    Nope, don’t see anything there.

    Instead of “Fight on,” don’t half of the students say “Right on?”

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