20240122 – Santa Monica and Ventura


Start the day with a pathetic breakfast and then it’s off in the pouring rain up to the Reagan Library. It’s over a 100 miles between Dana Point in the South East of LA and the Reagan in the North West of LA.

Amazing not a single hold up driving across LA. Most of it was in HOV lane (2 or more people in car). What a great way to travel, hardly any traffic in them and usually much wider with lower risks. I knew on April 3rd 1971 that Wendy would eventually come in useful!

The Reagan Library is amazing. What a prosperous Presidency he had. Really improved my appreciation of his time as President and the issues of the time. Pity we don’t have leaders of his calibre. To have a full sized Air Force One in the Library.

Then we did the Auschwitz Not long ago. Not far away tour, which was packed. Another Yad Vashem moment. I found it as good as Yad Vashem, exhibits etc were not as large and spectacular but the detail and individual case stories were amazing. Can’t fail to be moved and wonder how could it ever happen. How did so many go along with it? Is the cruelty and evil in all of us that can be released? Worrying.

Then it’s a drive to Santa Monica and down WIltshire and Santa Monica Boulevards at rush hour to our hotel. LA at its worse. How do people cope with it.

Have a walk up to Wholefoods to buy something for tea. Interesting area; a few homeless, one even sat on the wet pavement with his iPad; but no one sleeping rough. Amazing Wholefoods had normal people in it, none of the freaks who infested Wholefoods New York.

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E pluribus unum, Latin pronunciation: [e ˈpluribus ˈunum]) – Latin for “Out of many, one” (also translated as “One out of many” or “One from many”) – is a traditional motto of the United States, appearing on the Great Seal along with Annuit cœptis (Latin for “he approves the undertaking [lit. ‘things undertaken’]”) and Novus ordo seclorum (Latin for “New order of the ages”) which appear on the reverse of the Great Seal; its inclusion on the seal was suggested by Pierre Eugene du Simitiere and approved in an act of the Congress of the Confederation in 1782.

That the phrase “E pluribus unum” has thirteen letters makes its use symbolic of the original Thirteen Colonies which rebelled against the rule of the Kingdom of Great Britain and became the first thirteen states, represented today as the thirteen stripes on the American flag.

The meaning of the phrase originated from the concept that out of the union of the original Thirteen Colonies emerged a new single nation.

A popular but erroneous myth is that the seal is changed during times of war, so that the eagle faces the arrows in its left talon. This belief may have arisen because major changes to the seal have coincidentally been made before or after wars – specifically, the 1945 change in the seal, and also the 1916 change in the flag (though not the seal) from the right-facing Great Seal to the left-facing presidential seal.

This misconception may also have arisen from a comment made by Winston Churchill, who, regarding Truman’s redesign of the seal, joked: “Mr. President, with the greatest respect, I would prefer the American eagle’s neck to be on a swivel so that it could face the olive branches or the arrows, as the occasion might demand”.

The belief is perpetuated by a 2000 episode of The West Wing entitled “What Kind of Day Has It Been?”. Character Admiral Fitzwallace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, notes that the presidential seal in the center of the Oval Office carpet contains a shield bearing a bald eagle clutching the olive branch in its right talons and arrows in its left. The eagle’s head is turned toward the olive branch. Fitzwallace alleges that in times of war the seal is replaced with one in which the eagle’s head is turned toward the arrows.

Similarly, the Dan Brown novel Deception Point (2001) includes a passage implying that the seal embroidered on the carpet in the Oval Office is switched by White House workers. The novel states that an alternative carpet is stored in the basement, and the workers make the change overnight when no one notices.[55]








Start the day watching Fox in order to get the full American experience. Early morning joy bought to your screen with the “Blond Bimbo Horsey Teeth Newsreaders”, all teeth and tits, don your welding goggles before turning on; turn off your hearing aids before they open their mouths with the giggling drivel and trivia of a Butterfly brain. Silly cows. No intellectual stimulation here.

Then it’s the worst hotel breakfast. Poor choice, disgustingly cheap options and only 6 useable tables in the breakfast room – great way to stop people having too much breakfast.

It’s a sunny day so we’re off down to Santa Monica Pier for a pleasant stroll. Very busy. Like a more up market Blackpool all confined to the one long pier.

Then we drive down to Venice Beach for a stroll along the front. It’s a weirdo magnet. Santa Monica seemed to have “normal” guys and gals, but here it’s weirdo heaven. More weirdos than a New York Wholefoods supermarket. There’s shirtless roller skaters with ties down their back; roller skaters who have turned up their Gay meter to outdo even Torvill and Dean; tasty, skimply dressed women in ugly boots with soles so thick it’s a wonder they don’t get nosebleeds; ugly dogs with matching ugly owners; dogs in bike baskets with sun glass and goggles on; that many Jesus Lookalikes I’m sure there must be a competition on nearby; women in jeans with holes so big it’s hardly worth wearing them, other than to display their tattooed legs; tattooed folk who have obviously escaped from a Fairground freaks show; and of course piercings in every orifice imagined and visible and no doubt an excess in invisible body parts.

Shop owners trying to entice you in to view and buy their bizarre wares. One really smart business owner, who obviously has an MBA in marketing and has really profiled his typical customer, tries to entice me into his store. What’s wrong with that you may say, well all he sells is skate boards – I rest my case.

Try to find somewhere for Wendy’s lunch. Not a chance in hell with all the squalid greasy spoon cafes.

At long last it’s a subway for tea tonight. Expensive and not a patch on the subways I remember.




More demands from islam – another past rant from Pat Connell:




Ah, the joys of morning routines: one of the most stingy and disgusting breakfast’s devoured, bags packed, and the open road beckoning. Today’s destination? Ventura.

Off we go, cruising along the picturesque coast road, the wind in our hair – well it would have been if we’d selected to Dodge sports car – and the promise of adventure on the horizon. But wait, what’s this? Malibu, the land of the rich and famous, beckoning us with its glamorous allure. Alas, Wendy’s back has decided to join the journey, throwing a wrench into our plans. Oh well, who needs Malibu when there’s a comfy Airbnb waiting?

Our Airbnb, nestled in the bosom of an “okay” neighborhood, doesn’t exactly scream luxury from the outside it’s about as spectacular as a soggy Subway sandwich. But fear not for appearances can be deceiving. Inside, it’s a different story altogether: comfort, cleanliness, and enough amenities to make even the pickiest traveler swoon. And lo and behold, a glimpse of the sea! Well, sort of, if you crane your neck just right and squint past the rooftops.

Settled in, what’s the next logical step? A leisurely stroll? A quaint exploration of the local scene? Nope, it’s off to the supermarket! But why stop at one when you can turn grocery shopping into a triathlon? Walmart, check. Ralph’s, double check. Because why settle for one episode of misery when you can binge on two?

And there you have it, folks, the glamorous life of BREXIT escapees and road warriors. Where every detour leads to a new adventure, and every delay is just an opportunity to vent my spleen with some choice swear words. Time to bring back some good old English oaths such as:








Another warm sunny day.

Set off down to the Channel Islands National Park Centre which is in Ventura,not on the islands. Watch the video, get some friendly advice and of course buy yet another National Park hat to add to my collection. Sadly it’s not a Forage cap style.

Book a cruise to the Channel Islands for Sunday. A tad expensive but I want to add it to my collection.Who knows we might even be rewarded with a sighting of the beautiful Channel Island fox. In the awesome animal stakes comes a close second to the Red Panda.

Stop off in the harbor for a coffee and I finally get by Root Beer float.

Return the daangerous leaky kettle, that tried to fry me, to Walmart. The slob who processed our return couldn’t even manage a smile or an apology, poor thing had to curtail her gossip with a colleague. It seems like Walmart isn’t just the home of pajama and slipper wearing customers but also ignorant staff.


George Carlin: The suicide guy






Another sunny day so set off to Santa Barbara. Yes, we’ve been there before, but that applies to most of the places on this trip. It’s a lovely typical California beach resort complete with palm trees, beaches, surfers and of course a pier. Thank fully there’s no amusements, grot shops or filthy greasy spoon, salmonella infested cafes to spoil it. Most of the people seem boringly normal, unlike the freaks in Venice Beach.

Walk along the pier; lunch in the car overlooking the beach and the Channel Islands. Back home to try a coffee from the local coffee shop – as expected it’s full of Apple laptops, probably all browsing porno. Sample their different coffees FOC – now that’s enterprising. Buy a bag of the sweetest coffee I’ve ever tasted.

Then we act our age (quite difficult as we’ve never been this age before), sit back with a coffee, and enjoy the sun on the balcony, all the time missing, like a raging toothache, the dire weather and 2nd hand USA storms that are battering Belthorn.

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The United States Secret Service (USSS or Secret Service) is a federal law enforcement agency under the Department of Homeland Security charged with conducting criminal investigations and protecting U.S. political leaders, their families, and visiting heads of state or government. Until 2003, the Secret Service was part of the Department of the Treasury, as the agency was founded in 1865 to combat the then-widespread counterfeiting of U.S. currency. President Abraham Lincoln signed the legislation on April 14, 1865, just a few hours before he was assassinated.

In 1901, the Secret Service was also assigned to presidential protection duties.
Primary missions
The Secret Service is mandated by Congress with two distinct and critical national security missions: protecting the nation’s leaders and safeguarding the financial and critical infrastructure of the United States.




Well I see our fucked up Blackburn council has decided to allow the building of an Industrial park on greenbelt. Now there’s a surprise! One would wonder whether the council are lapdogs to the Issa Brothers? There’s a question. Have the Issa brothers added Blackburn council to their long list of acquisitions. Why would any sane council approve any plans from the Issa brothers, given their track record of riding roughshod over local planning laws, and getting away with it.


Another sunny day.

Lazy start then drive down to Ventura pier – closed due to storm damage – have a stroll along the front. Sit and watch the surfers. Treat ourselves to a dirty chai and latte – we sure know how to live, spare no expense.

Oh joy another supermarket trip. Then home for wine on the balcony watching the sun set.






In a rapid legislative progression, the Utah House of Representatives has passed HB 257, a contentious bill that, if signed into law by Republican Gov. Spencer Cox, would become the first anti-LGBTQ+ bathroom ban of the year. The bill aims to stop transgender students from using restrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity, as well as restrict access to changing rooms in government-owned or operated facilities for transgender people of all ages.


Another gorgeous sunny day. Up a the crack of sparrows to catch the boat / ship over to the Channel Islands. Another National Park to add to my collection. It’s a tad rough so the wimp in me takes a Qwell, seems to stave off a visit from Huey and Ruth and keeps the diced carrots at bay.

Fortunately there’s a NP Ranger talk and walk – always a great way to learn about the park. We’re rewarded with two sightings of the gorgeous Channel Island fox and a CI Scrub Jay. Being an Island a lot of the animals and plants have evolved separately from the mainland. There’s a 300 foot climb to some great viewpoint s at the top of the cliffs – Wendy struggles with her back but is glad she did it as the views were worth it. Have lunch on the clifftop, enjoying the stunning clifftop views.

A great day, a long day, but well worth.

Home to a couple of well deserved beers and finish of a bottle of Zinfandel. Of course I nod off during the evenings TV.


Only in California:


Islam in Europe – a past rant from Pat Connell that is still relevant today, even more so:



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The island fox only lives on six of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of southern California–they are found nowhere else on Earth. Each island population is recognized as a separate endemic or unique subspecies.

The island fox, a descendant of the mainland gray fox, is the largest of the Channel Islands’ native mammals, but one of the smallest canid species in the world.

Although foxes have always existed at low population sizes, four island fox subspecies underwent catastrophic declines in the 1990s. On San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands at Channel Islands National Park, the decline was attributed to predation by golden eagles. The presence of non-native ungulates as a food source in addition to the DDT-caused decline of bald eagles, a natural competitor, facilitated the establishment of golden eagles as resident breeders on the islands. By 2000, predation on island foxes resulted in population declines to 15 individuals on San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands, and less than 80 on Santa Cruz Island. In 2004, each of the park’s island fox subspecies were federally listed as endangered.

In 1999, Channel Islands National Park began an island fox recovery program that included captive breeding and reintroduction of foxes, removal of resident golden eagles, re-establishment of bald eagles, and removal of non-native ungulates. This coordinated, organized and highly focused strategy was able to reverse the certain extinction of an endangered population. Today, the population has recovered within the park. Population trend and annual survival are currently monitored to ensure that recovery continues and future threats to the park’s island fox subspecies are identified.

Quick and Cool Facts

It is the only carnivore unique to California.
Although the island fox is one of the smallest canids in the world, it is the largest native terrestrial mammal on the Channel Islands.
The island fox is one-third smaller than its mainland ancestor, the gray fox. At 12 to 13 inches in height and 4 to 5 pounds, the island fox is about the size of a housecat.
Some individuals have been known to live up to 15 years.
Unlike nocturnal gray foxes, which hunt exclusively at night to avoid predators, island foxes have no natural predators, allowing them to be active duringdaylight hours with peaks in activity occurring at dusk and dawn.
Visually, island foxes show signs of dominance or submission through facial expressions and body posture.
They communicate by barking and sometimes growling.
Their keen sense of smell plays an important role in the marking of territories. Island foxes are known to scent-mark their territories with a few drops of urine and tend to concentrate scats in particular areas, often conspicuously positioned on well-traveled paths.

The island fox is one third smaller than its mainland ancestor the gray fox. Environmental and ecological factors such as overcrowding, reduction in predators, food limitations, and genetic variations could have contributed to the natural selection for a smaller size.

The island fox has similar markings to the gray fox. They have gray coloring on the back, rust coloring on the sides,and white underneath. The face has a distinctive black, white, and rufous-colored patterns.

On each of the six islands, a different subspecies occurs, distinguished by both genetic and physical differences. For example, San Miguel Island foxes have shorter tails, due to one less tail vertebra, and longer noses than the other island foxes.

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