Here in Malibu
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March 31, 2009

Everyone's a critic


Here's the answer we got when we asked Evinrude what he thought about the double standard fact that Wall Street honchos get bailout billions without strings, while Detroit automakers are forced to pay a much higher price.

March 30, 2009

Going a bit wild


It's been a banner year for lupine here in Malibu, where sprays of purple play against the gold of mustard and oxalis. Look closely, though, and you'll see that foxtails, all feathery and green, have also had a good spring.

Since we can't keep the dogs out of the hills, where those foxtails so easily find their way into a canine ear or nose, which means a visit to their favorite guy, Dr. Dean at the Malibu Coast Animal Hospital, which means writing a check, it's probably time for Maisie to put on her business suit and find a job.

March 27, 2009

Prickly *

sunset cactus

Yay! My account on Twitter has been restored! Want more Here in Malibu? Then follow here.

Meanwhile, here's a sunset shot of the patch of prickly pear cactus at Bluffs Park, not a bad metaphor for the last few weeks.

* PS

You have to know that today's stark reminder of all the blood-letting at the LAT is tormenting the remaining staff. Too few people are being asked to do far, far too much.

March 26, 2009

Here in malware-bu

so that's where they keep it...

If you've read Kevin's post, you know LAO unknowingly hosted an ad with hidden malware, which triggered a huge EEEEK A RAT warning from the internets. And if you read Kevin's subsequent post, you know he and the Google techs found and EXTERMINATED said rat, and all was supposed to be well with the world. (Except for the part about Iraq and the recession and Sean Penn as one of The Three Stooges.)

If you're using IE as your browser, all is well. (Except for the part where you're using IE as your browser.) But Firefox, which seems to have a serious case of post-traumatic stress disorder, is still screaming, no, S C R E A M I N G about the now-banished malware, screaming like my mom when she sees a snake, which means hysterically, with much energetic jumping about, and without an end in sight. (Hi mom! Love you!)

And the final bit of fallout from this malicious little ad is that my "Here in Malibu" Twitter feed is frozen. Suspended, so I can't even link to it so you can look and read and say wow! Let's follow!

Bad girl, the internets are saying to me today. Very bad girl.

(Photo: The restroom at Urth Caffe in Santa Monica.)

March 25, 2009


what the rains bring

Right now, Malibu is as green as it gets. A series of storms drenched the hills and everywhere you look, green.

I love this spot at the top of the canyon, just a half-mile or so from where the paved county road gives way a dirt fire road and the houses fall away and it's just hills and arroyos and then more hills. We used to see coyotes here all the time, we'd see deer and quail and even the occasional bobcat. That's rare now and the reason is right in front of you.

See that fence? The person who's building a big, two-story house on that beautiful knoll has fenced the whole thing in. Thousands of feet of six-foot chain link have cut off all the wildlife corridors in the area. Animals that moved from neighboring canyons, hunted and mated in territory that had been theirs for decades are now fenced in. Or out. And another piece of our lovely Malibu is severed from the whole, turned into a trophy.

March 24, 2009

Spring chickens

spring chickens

Jake and Maisie's dog food comes from the Malibu Feed Bin, which, located where Topanga Canyon meets PCH, isn't actually in Malibu. It's a mom 'n' pop operation where local horse people and rural land owners buy food and supplies, and each spring can replenish their chicken houses with new chicks.

One of my neighbors raised about a dozen chicks from the Feed Bin and for one wonderful year, during which we would hear clucking and flapping and scratching in her fenced yard, and during which her neighbors would find the random renegade hen roosting on the hood of a sun-warmed car, we were all treated to the prettiest, freshest, most delicious eggs we had ever tasted.

March 23, 2009

What is that golden glow?

monday sunrise

After days of fog and rain and rain and fog and cold, foggy rain, the sun! Here's today's sunrise, on a cool and windy morning.

March 21, 2009

Signs of Saturday: Name change


Embarrassed that their street name contained the syllable "butt", the residents of DeButts Terrace, named for the Malibu family that once owned that lovely canyon, raised a ruckus and insisted the street be re-named.

First, the "DeButts" street sign mysteriously vanished. Then came meetings with the Malibu City Council, and a story in the LA Times:

"It's an embarrassing name," said Allison Thomsen, one of 16 or so property owners on the street, which sits atop a ridge near Escondido Canyon with views of ocean, mountains and waterfalls.

One resident hasn't told his preschool-age son the name of the street for fear the boy would be ridiculed by other kids. Others have promised to plant a tree and mount a plaque to honor the street's namesakes, if only the City Council will approve the name change.

new signResidents had wanted the street renamed Paradise View Way, but then-mayor Ken Kearsley objected to obliterating a quirk of Malibu history. The powers that be have split the difference by renaming the street Murphy Way, for another early Malibu resident.

As for the DeButts family, whose name was stripped from the street they themselves named, they've now got a plaque celebrating not just their place in Malibu history, but their ability to see the humor in everyday life.

Funny, no?

March 20, 2009

First day of spring

first day of spring

It's the vernal equinox, the first day of spring, and though I wish I could moan and groan and say oh where the heck is the sunshine, the truth is that here in Malibu at this time of year, fog is often the order of the day.

March 19, 2009

You never know what you'll find in the surf

sea creature skull

Lately I've been finding skeletons in the surf, bleached bones and polished vertebrae and this intricate little skull. Is it marine life, or a mammal who somehow washed to sea?

March 18, 2009

Back by popular request:


No real attempt at framing this one but here she is, Maisie the Teacup Lab®, doing what she does best -- being very happy and showing lots of tongue.

March 17, 2009

The wisdom of Jake


If only Jake could do jury duty. Look into those eyes and you just know beyond a reasonable doubt that he'd do the right thing.

March 16, 2009



Feels like uphill all the way.

March 13, 2009

Two words:

jury duty

Jury duty.

March 12, 2009



There are bigger, flashier wildflower displays popping up all over the mountains these days, but this tiny bloom, barely the size of a nail head, is one of my favorites.

March 11, 2009

Looking north from Point Dume

looking north from point dume

Hasn't the weather been amazing? I keep walking or driving over to Point Dume, where the wildflowers are blooming, the sea lions are barking, and hummingbirds are vamping for their mates.

March 10, 2009

Whale tale

whales 030

I was on the bluff here in the Cove, just looking out to sea after a walk and there it was, a whale leaping right out of the water. I've never seen a whale breech before, not in real life, the entire body up in the air, that enormous head looking north, the sleek gray skin so shiny in the sun. He (she?) made about six leaps, then dove deep and long. Came up again and blew an enormous spume of water and air, rounded the corner and headed north north north for home.

March 9, 2009

Starting the week with a lie

dst sunrise 005

It was not, in fact, 7:12 a.m. when the sun rose this morning. It was 6:12 a.m. Tomorrow the sun rises at 6:10 a.m., and the day after we'll see it at 6:09. On March 18, sunrise will make that hooray-it's-almost-spring breakthrough and rise at 5:59 a.m., a gloriously early hour that's all about hope and fresh starts and renewal. On June 10, the sun rises at 4:41 a.m. in Los Angeles, a rare and amazing gift, this earliest of dawns, but we won't know that. In fact, no one outside of Hawaii or Arizona will get to feel how magical it is that daylight breaks so early each June because the rest of us are trapped in the Ponzi scheme, buried beneath The Big Lie that is Daylight Savings Time.

March 6, 2009

Point Dume horizon


Clouds clearing at Point Dume after the rain this week.

March 4, 2009


that was then

I got sick a week ago. Fever, headache, cough, congestion, glands so swollen the nice doctor at Malibu Urgent Care actually said "Oh my" when he saw my chipmunk cheeks. He gave me meds, sent me home to bed. I obeyed.

That's why the blog has been a bit dull lately, a bit, well, monosyllabic. And it might stay that way for a teensy bit longer as my brain re-boots and my language skills return. I'm writing this in English, right? Tres bien.

March 3, 2009


new lizard

A tiny lizard clings to the warm sun-warmed barn as evening shadows fall.

March 2, 2009

Red sky at morning

monday sunrise

Monday sunrise.

March 1, 2009

From the archives

prints of tides

Paradise Cove, looking north, not a footprint in sight.

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