Posted by: M. Walgenbach | March 18, 2012

Shelley’s Queen Mab

The man
Of virtuous soul commands not nor obeys.
Power like a desolating pestilence
Pollutes whate’er it touches; and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame
A mechanized automaton.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab, Canto III (1813)
Posted by: M. Walgenbach | March 17, 2012

Industrial Corridor in Vernon, CA

I took these shots on February 18 and am only now just posting them to my “Eye on LA” on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.  Jimmy Larkin is holding a party for his Irish folks today.  It should be fun and delicious food, like corned beef.  But I wanted to get these pics up so that anybody looking at my site can enjoy these. 

I liked this photo for the contrasts–red, black, white, and yellow graffiti paint all on a red caboose.  If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you’ll note how comforting the morning light cast across the tracks are.  It’s not a bad picture. 

I was so happy with this shot because the downtown buildings lit up by the morning sun occupy the center of this picture with the rusted trellis train bridge and the refinery to the left.  This is taken from East 26th Street just west of Soto in Vernon.  Love this city.
This angle captures the sun reflecting off the downtown building best.  I like how the dark rust, black and gray water shimmers too and the concrete pillars under the bridge.  For me, this captures the beauty of the industrial corridor of Los Angeles.  Lovin’ it.

The pictures that follow were taken on November 13, 2011.  Also of Vernon.  I just loved this area because it reminded me of what my dad and his father worked through and around. 

This is the Soto Street Bridge over the LA River with the Vernon water tower to the right. 

The Vernon water tower.
The Sears Building.  My mother worked here at her first job since coming out to LA from Denver.  She worked as a comptometer operator. 

The LA River at dawn, looking east from the Soto Street Bridge in Vernon.
The LA River looking west toward downtown from the Soto Street Bridge.
LA River in Vernon with Vernon Water Tower behind the 7-Up Bottling Co. 
Washington Boulevard abutment. 
Another view of the LA River from the Washington Boulevard Bridge.

I like the layers of light in this shot–blue at the top, yellow at the center just beneath the station roof, and the almost peach-yellow mixture of light on the street level. 
Posted by: M. Walgenbach | March 11, 2012


Some fond memories of Azusa–the park behind the city hall.  I remember driving with Dad in his ’62 blue VW bug as we’d drive on Foothill in Irwindale past the Azusa sign, and he would recite Jack Benny’s phrase “everything from A to Z in the USA.”  Apparently it comes from an old Jack Benny joke.  I don’t know what that joke was.

I thought that this leafless tree with the split trunk was interesting.  It is set toward the back of Veteran’s Freedom Park behind Azusa City Hall.  Did you know that the phrase “everything from A to Z in the USA” comes from an old Jack Benny joke?

There were 2 sets of railroad tracks running through Azusa.  One was built for the Santa Fe Railway and the other was built for the Pacific Railway of Pacific, Gas, and Electric fame.  Here is a picture of a Santa Fe crash in the 1920’s.  At the southern most tracks, after church at St. Frances of Rome, Dad would pull over in his bug with me, Tom, and Joe and sometimes Sally and Mary and listen to the radio and read the LA Herald Examiner.  I remember one time that the song “Georgy Girl” by the Seekers played.  I loved that song, for it reminded me of the playfulness of my sisters.

A bust of Andrew Carnegie at the Azusa Library with his name.

Tom, Joe, and I used to climb those stairs when Dad would let us roam the park.
This is a shot of Mt. Baldy from the southern tip of Encanto Park on the eastern-most rim of Duarte.  There is a wilderness park in a canyon over in Azusa called El Encanto Park.  There used to be a decent restaurant over there.  I’d only been there a few times through the years.  I enjoyed the deep-fried shrimp plates.  This helps with a little Duarte history.
Another shot of Encanto Park on Duarte’s eastside.

I liked this shot from Huntington’s old Pacific Railroad bridge that connects the Encanto Parkway with the biketrail.  This tree stands alone in the middle of the river.  I cannot help but think of Willa Cather’s Nebraska plains now when I think of trees, who she refers to as friends, particularly in the plains where they are scarce.
Van Tassel Canyon.

The train bridge looking west from the east side of it.

The San Gabriel River bike trail, looking south toward Huntington Drive.

Posted by: M. Walgenbach | March 11, 2012

Malibu in March

Here are a few pics that I shot on Sunday afternoon on March 11.  The hour was terrific.  By that I mean that I could not have gotten any better light.  I’d never seen so many people with cameras.  There was one guy in a cowboy hat and blue jeans and boots taking a picture with his phone of the “Malibu” sign with “City Limits” and the population of 13,000 underneath that. One guy who had one camera in his left hand, another hanging from the strap that was around his neck, passed by me looking seaward and did not make eye contact with me.  That’s okay, but I think that the guy was pretending to be a snob, pretending to be so professionally engrossed with the task in front of him, whatever that was, that he could not or would not acknowledge a fellow amateur.  People every where had cameras.  One young guy was walking with his girlfriend / model on the pier.  He was taking pictures of the surfers out where the waves were breaking intermittently.  The surfers mainly sat in black on their cream-colored boards over gentle, undulating swells.

The Adamson House on the beach side of PCH.
I lucked out on this photo.  The sunlight made this tiny park pop in colors.
This photo turned out better than I thought.
I thought that the colors and pattern on this planter were terrific.
A trail canopied by palm trees.
I liked the contrast in colors.
I took this shot because the trees and lawn framed the boat out on the ocean perfectly.
Yeah!  Wave cresting, breaking!  Caught this perfectly.  Come on!  Gotta give me props for this one.
The Malibu Pier.  I could have sworn I saw that P.I. James Rockford walking here.
After watching this horrifying report by Mike Adams on how information of a GMO food is transferred directly into the genetic code of human beings, I felt both helpless, sick, and militant toward Monsanto and Dupont.  Adams referred to an article in The Atlantic titled “The Very Real Dangers of Genetically Modified Foods.”
Posted by: M. Walgenbach | March 9, 2012

How To Learn What Your USP Is

How to Identify Your Niche in 20 Minutes

Bob Bly                                                                                                                                     March 10, 2012

Dear Direct Response Letter Subscriber:

The most important piece of advice I ever give anyone – whether they are a copywriter, consultant, writer, Internet marketer, or retail merchant is to specialize.  Find yourself a niche.  What is a niche?   A niche has 4 definitions.  It is a noun, so it is a thing. 

1.  an ornamental recess in a wall or the like, usually semicircular in plan and arched, as for a statue or other decorative object.
2.  a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing: to find one’s niche in the business world.

3.  a distinct segment of a market.

4.  in ecology it is the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals.

Find an under-served niche that needs what you are selling … and become the leading guru in that space.
When I give this reply, the other person invariably says, “I want to specialize, but I don’t know which niche to pick.”

The possibilities are endless:

My friend DK specializes in showing small business owners how to rank their web sites #1 in Google for local search.

FG teaches marketing and customer service to owners of self-storage facilities.

GG sells video training programs teaching optometrists how to better manage their practices.
Another info marketer, “Mr. Excel,” teaches people how to become proficient with Excel.

DP shows people how to deal with and care for a relative who is bipolar.

PF creates marketing programs for hearing aid dealers.

Fortunately, I’ve developed a simple process that can help you identify and select your niche in about 20 minutes.

To begin with, here are the 10 questions you should ask yourself when determining the niche in which you will specialize.

As you think of the answers, write them down on index cards:

1.  What do I like?
2.  What am I interested in?
3.  What am I good at?
4.  What do I have an aptitude for?
5.  What is my education?
6.  What do I know?
7.  What is my experience?
8.  What have I accomplished?
9.  Which of the above areas has the least competition?
10. Which of the above areas pays high rates?

For the above categories, write down as many items under each category as you possibly can on index cards, one per card.

Once you have completed your lists, look them over, and set aside in a separate stack the cards for any items that look like possible niches.

Next, pick the five most interesting potential niches. Put these cards in order of preference.

Now look at this list of your top five items. Chances are that one or two of these subjects are things people routinely pay to learn about or need help with.

Pick one and you’ve found your niche. As Aristotle said, “Where your passions intersect with the needs of the public, therein lies your vocation.”

What if none of the five items on your list is appealing to you as a niche? Pick the next best five items from your index cards and repeat the process until you have a niche you are enthusiastic about.

Your niche can be broad or narrow. Broad niches have lots of potential customers but also lots of well-established competitors. Narrow niches have far fewer potential customers, but little or no significant competition.

As a rule, the narrower the niche, the better your business. We live in an age of specialization, and people want to hire specialists. They prefer products and services that reflect knowledge of what they perceive to be their unique situations and problems.

In information marketing, the more specialized your topic, the more you can charge for your book or report. A course on “designing distillation towers” can command 100 times the price of a book on “leadership.”

The worry in a narrow niche is not enough customers to support your business. But you really don’t need that many to make a very nice living.

The desire to have a huge mailing list is a laudable goal but not necessary for success. If you have an e-list of only 10,000 subscribers who spend an average of $100 a year, you’ll gross a million dollars annually.

Most experts advise choosing a niche that you are passionate about. I think it’s more important to choose a niche you won’t become bored with. After all, you’ll be living in it for a long time, and to me there’s almost nothing worse than sitting at your PC every day to do work that bores you.

Become a more active participant in your niche. For instance, if your niche is tropical fish-keeping, join and become active in your local aquarium hobbyist club.

People buy from people who are like them – who act the same, believe the same things, live the same lifestyle, or have the same interests.

When you are an active participant in your niche, you can talk more authentically to your market – a crowd of people passionately interested in that topic.

Listen to the problems, concerns, and interests of other active participants in your niche. Then create information products that address those areas.

Posted by: M. Walgenbach | March 7, 2012

Ad Writing

10 best ads ever written
Posted by: M. Walgenbach | March 5, 2012

Financial Vocabulary: What Are These Things?

Financial Vocabulary:  What Are These Things?

1.  Commodity
Generally, commodities are basic resources and agricultural products such as iron ore, crude oil, coal, salt, sugar, coffee beans, soybeans, aluminum, copper, rice, wheat, gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. Soft commodities are goods that are grown, while hard commodities are the ones that are extracted through mining.
a.  Brent Crude is a type of light, sweet crude oil. 

There is another important class of energy commodities which includes electricity, gas, coal and oil. Electricity has the particular characteristic that it is usually uneconomical to store, hence, electricity must be consumed as soon as it is produced.
2.  GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product.  It is the market value of all of the goods produced by a certain country.  The higher the GDP, the stronger that country’s economy is.   
3.  Yield Curve

Posted by: M. Walgenbach | February 26, 2012

I’ve Heard of UTLA, but NewTLA? Here Is Their "Official" Definition.

This post was initially posted back in July of 2011.

NewTLA is a caucus of dues-paying members of the United Teachers Los Angeles UTLA.  NewTLA’s membership includes rank-and-file teachers, school-site Chapter Chairs, and elected UTLA leaders.  NewTLA is associated and affiliated with and only with UTLA and its dual affiliates, the National Educators Association, or NEA, and the American Federation of Teachers or AFT.

Posted by: M. Walgenbach | February 26, 2012

11-Year Old Joanna Ramos Dies in Hospital Following Emergency Surgery

An 11-year girl gets into a fight after school and then shows up to an after-school program, says she’s not feeling well and is taken to the hospital where emergency surgery is performed, and she dies in the hospital.  But the way that the Associated Press frames it, they  make it sound like she died from injuries sustained in the fight with the other student.  The AP report says that 11-year old dies as a result of her injuries at a Long Beach elementary school, ending the article with “Police are investigating and say no arrests are immediately planned.”  Why not?  Why not arrest the hospital emergency doctors?  The Long Beach Press Telegram is a little more protective of school and city officials, quoting them as offering their prayers and condolences.  Why isn’t anyone questioning the hospital staff?  Where are the reports from the hospital about her injuries?
On the issue of bullying, the LBPT reporter states that “Some students said bullying had been a problem at the school, but Luna would not confirm whether that was an issue in this case. He also did not know whether the girls had problems in the past.”  Bullying is a condition of certainly all public schooling, whether a public school or a parochial school.  Bullying is a condition for learning.

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