2022 in Review: Cats, Mushrooms and Politics

Sifting through a year’s worth of photos on my phone revealed a few themes for our 2022: a lot of cats, some mushrooms and an insane year of politics here in Los Angeles. I use my phone for note taking, to remember things that I’d either like to look up later, blog about or show to Kelly. What follows after the jump is a random assortment of things, places events that made up our 2022.

CATS CATS CATS and other critters

One of the happier moments was helping trap the cat pictured above that had escaped her owners and had been missing for almost a month. After baiting the trap for a week she finally showed up in one of the traps I was monitoring. Her owner, who was expected a baby soon had become distraught. When I found her cat in the trap I cried.

I also set up an automatic feeder in the garden of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral so that I could keep an eye on the feral cat population that some nice folks in the community had helped me trap and neuter.

We managed to capture and neuter four out of the five cats that live at the cathedral. They are way too feral to adopt out, unfortunately. We’re hoping to capture and neuter the last one this next year.

Meanwhile, in our own house I keep finding our cat Buck in the bathtub, holding a mouse and staring at the faucet.

Every spring I capture at least one swarm of bees and hand them off to a friend who has an urban farm and apiary.

Kelly and I have a pet sitting arrangement with some friends of ours. When we go away they watch our menagerie and when they go away I head out to Pomona to look after Harpo the parrot and his dog, cat and gecko companions.

Random Wanderings

When you see a display of fake plastic corn dogs you have to take a picture.

I tried and failed to get through James Joyce’s Ulysses. I think I got to the fourth chapter before getting distracted by another book. Gotta make another attempt this year.

The Los Angeles Public Librarians on lower level two of the Central Library have a great sense of humor. They curated a selection of B-list celebrity cookbooks including Sammy Hagar’s Are We Having Any Fun Yet? and Al Roker’s Big Bad Book of Barbecue.

MUSHROOMS MUSHROOMS MUSHROOMS

I grew blue oyster mushrooms and . . .

pearl oyster mushrooms and . . .

pink oyster mushrooms.

I also went to the LA Mycological society show in the spring.

A new world dawns

Why do people put up DIY slow down signs in LA?

This is why. We have dangerous, ugly streets.

Partly to deal with those ugly streets, Kelly and I spent most of 2022 volunteering through DSA-LA in support of the Hugo Soto-Martinez campaign. Thankfully Hugo won in November and has already got to work making our streets safer and helping tenants and unhoused people.

Tech

I put up a 10 meter and 2 meter radio and did a little bit of amateur radio stuff. I’m not great at it but did manage to make digital contacts as far away as Indonesia with ancient Radio Shack equipment.

I also figured out how to decode airline data transmissions but did not figure out why I would want to decode airline data transmissions.

I did far more woodworking, including building a reproduction of a rare Stickley couch along with my friend Jimmy who also built one for his house.

I repaired two iPhones and replaced the hard drive of my old iMac, which now runs like new.

Speaking of tech–Kelly and I spotted this ridiculous “robot” which is just a remote controlled cooler operated by some underpaid gamer. This is what happens when you burn venture capital money.

When I went to Kaiser to get one of countless COVID booster shots I spotted their security “robot”. I looked across the street and saw a man in full joker makeup and that was when I vowed to someday leave this city.

Apologies for the blurry photo here, but our street, with its majestic, 100 year old palm trees has that iconic LA look and has become a destination for Instagrammers.

Behold the most liminal space in Los Angeles, a corridor in the mall that also houses the plastic simulated corn dogs.

I correctly predicted the meltdown of crypto, an utterly worthless trend.

These things are sprouting up in the neighborhood. I call this one the Death Star.

I got lazy and did not make enough bread. This one is one of the only loaves I baked.

On one of my many Pomona pet sitting sojourns I discovered an abandoned sushi buffet shaped like a boat.

And a brutalist Baptist church.

You’ll also find this mysterious, unmarked business.

While in Pomona I took a zoom class on how to draw cartoon characters. The instructor had us draw Spiderman. He did it by leading us though the abstract shapes that make up Spiderman’s mask. What’s funny is that I don’t really know superheroes very well and didn’t know what I was drawing until the end of the class. When we finished the drawing he had us all hold up our sheets of paper. That’s when I found out that everyone else in the class seemed to be professional animators.

Kelly and I spent a fun evening counting bats under a freeway overpass for the Natural History Museum.

I did my first guilding project.

Jimmy and I made a pair of Stickley poppy tables.

On a trip to San Francisco, I noted that they keep the philosophy books locked up at Green Apple books.

Our Saluki Ivan likes to go out and lay on the hot pavement even in the middle of summer.

Plane spotting has become a boring new pastime.

Kelly and I have hundreds of photos of our cats snuggling together.

Our friend Daniel used my shop to make frames for a show about his desert lighthouse project. It was one of the best art shows I’ve ever seen and another friend, Doug Harvey, wrote about it.

Someone please stop the house flippers. This is one of the worst flips in the neighborhood–ugly windows and cheap siding. Yuk.

Can someone also please stop the black house trend. It’s horrible anywhere but makes absolutely no sense in a hot Mediterranean climate.

Spotted on a truck in the library parking garage. Not sure what’s going on here.

I’m old I guess, so I’m getting ads like this in my social media feeds.

Travels

To celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary Kelly planned out a magnificent trip to England. Here’s the Sir John Soane museum, an early 19th century architectural masterpiece.

We went to Canterbury and stayed in a hotel with a view of the Cathedral. All is well in the world when you fall asleep admiring this view.

The end of the year

When we got back from London I tore down the chicken coop. Some friends adopted our last chicken.

The Central Library Christmas tree had ornaments make in their Octavia maker lab.

And I spotted the Chabad Menorahmobile.

More sleeping cats.

Looking back to the spring

Kelly’s rain garden, fed by our roof gutters looked great in the spring.

Loquats happened.

Projects, memes and new years wishes

And Jimmy and I finally finished our Stickley couches.

I read a lot of Mark Fisher and some Frederic Jameson.

My phone also has a lot jokey memes that I collected.

Kudos to Amtrak for making fun of Southwest Airlines long before the recent kerfuffle.

COVID finally came to our household but we’re okay thankfully.

Best wishes to all of you, our dear readers. May your 2023 be full of joy.

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4 Comments

  1. What a pleasure to read this post! Catching up on random stuff was so nice. I’ve missed the old content on this blog.

  2. Very nice pictures, and the stories too. Strangely not very different from mine: cats, bees, mushroom etc…
    I decided to collect exactly non more than 365 image every years in order to have a better selection.

    OT Yesterday I performed as “umarell”, going to watch the worker of the railway maintenance welding the iron traks with thermite!

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