Archive for the ‘What the Heck?!’ Category

The Knolls Ranger Works on his Beach Body!

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

The duties of a neighborhood super-hero are sundry and legion.  One day they might be cleaning the streets of crime; the next,  cleaning out the clothing rack at a Marshalls discount sale.  But no matter what day it is, chomping on snacks, cakes, goodies, and sweet stuff from the local dining establishments is always  a ranger requisite.  Be those snacks a hoagie from Philly Steak & Subs (4141 Long Beach Boulevard) a Manhatten black & white from Alsace Lorraine Fine Pastries (4334 Atlantic Avenue), or any number of delectable dishes from Sunny Donuts & Terriyaki (3408 Long Beach Boulevard).  The citizens know just how protected they are by how much their masked mascot had to eat.  Yum!

All in a Day's Work Bixby Knolls!

But all this voracious eating has added girth to the ranger’s heroic form and hindered his ability to fit into his summer bathing suit.  So what is a flabby justice fighter to do but catch a wave over to the Commit 2 Fit Athletic Club on 4354 Atlantic and shave a few layers off his Gluteus Maximus!

Al...most....there...nyeeeugh!

The trainers in Commit 2 Fit work to give you the work-out you need, gently pushing you to get the exercises you desire while never stepping over into drill instructor territory.  They are as hard on you as you want them to be and the facility has dozens of weight training machines to choose from.

After a solid five minutes spent wailing on my biceps and pectorals I felt ike a new ranger and was ready to go back out and have a baker’s dozen Angel Food Donuts.  Thank you Bixby Knolls!

Commit 2 Fit is located on 4354 Atlantic Avenue Long Beach, CA 90807.  You can reach them by phone at (562) 427-8663.  Tell them the ranger sent you!

Kickin’ it with Kapn’ Kula

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Originally used to describe any sort of nautical ne’er-do-well from antiquity, the pirate has made a cultural metamorphosis into the rum-swigging, peg-leg wearing, Jolly Roger flag waving, ill-mannered darling of our collective imaginations.  You can blame the mouse house with their multi-billion dollar movies and “yo-ho-ho”-ing robots in Anaheim if you’d like.  Or the masterful musings of literary icons like J.M. Barrie, and Robert Louis Stevenson.  You could blame Gilbert & Sullivan or Hallowe’en costume companies.  You could even blame that team of bat-and-ball fellers down Pittsburgh way.  But in the end, no matter who the culprit is (what are we going to do to them anyway?  Make them walk the plank?) the fact remains that the booze-stinkin’, lice-ridden, pirate replete with greasy beard, smelly eye hole, and Capn’ Crunch style bicorne hat, is here to stay.  And if said pirates are in everything from Saturday Morning Cartoons to internet memes than you’d better believe that Bixby Knolls, in all it’s splendor, has some too.

Our pirates are none other than Kaptain Ray Kula and his crew of crooning cut-throats!  The good Kaptn. is the front-man of a band that plays on authentic hundred year-old mandolins, accordions, and ukuleles and will throw you a Calypso or Hawaiian beat just to get your attention before growling into a 300 year old shantie about man’s love for manatees.  They play all over the sea’s of Southern CA mind you entertaining in cruise ships, watering holes, and private parties.  They’ve been honored to perform before the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at their 2004 National Conference and alongside the Hollywood elite during Disney’s red carpet premier’s of Pirate’s 2,3, & 4.  They’re also frequent guests to Bixby Knolls and First Fridays, filling the night with their raucous cries and merry music!  With their odd looks and demeanor they fit right in with Bixby’s eclectic crew of characters which includes your’s truly: the official super-hero/greeter/pod-person, Annie the beloved English Bull-dog, the ever-classy Duke and Duchess, and Mike Mora of the beard coalition (we can’t get enough of it!).

I recently sat down with Kaptn. Kula over a delicious Blair’s special pizza at one of my favorite fine dining establishment, Nino’s Italian Restaurant to ask him a few questions about life at sea and what makes him tick.

Knolls Ranger:  Howdy ho Kapn’ Kula!

Kaptn. Kula:  ARRRRR me matey!

Ranger:  What wonderful Nino’s menu item are you devouring today Kaptn.?

Kula:  I’m having the Chicken PARRRRRRmigian.

Ranger:  Heavenly.  Now most people don’t know this about you, but in addition to being a dreaded pirate you are also a fan of the stage, what is one of your favorite plays?

Kula:  I’d have to say ARRRRRsenic and Old Lace.

Ranger:  Hahaha, and your favorite 1970’s folk song?

Kula:  PARRRRRsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme by Simon and GARRRRRRfunkle.

Ranger:  Favorite Greek Mathematician?

Kula:  ARRRRRRRchimedes.

Ranger:  Beloved Don Knotts television character?

Kula:  BARRRRRRRney Fife.

Ranger:  Favorite Tuscany province in Italy?

Kula:  The eastern province of ARRRRRRRRRezzo.

Ranger:  Former Bodybuilding State Governor recently under fire for adulterous child fathering?

Kula:  Listen, do we have to keep doing this?  The ARRRRR jokes?  It’s a little demeaning, I mean I may be a pirate but I’m not just a simple, monosyllabic archetype.

Ranger:  Not just a what?  I’m sorry.

Kula:  An archetype.

Ranger:  Gee, I still couldn’t make that out.  Could you speak up a little.

Kula:  (Sighs) An ARRRRRchetype.

Ranger:  Ohhhhhh, an ARRRRRchetype!  Hehehe, Kula you crazy.

And then we danced

You can catch performances of Kula and his crew coming up at the Fun Draiser birthday show for Alive Theatre company members, Jasper Oliver and Aurea Tomeski on June 10th at The Farm, 555 E. 3rd St., Long Beach, CA, 90802.

The Knolls Ranger on the News in China!

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

You remember that Best of the West Chowderfest we went to back in March?  Well apparently it was reported on by a Chinese television crew and guess who makes a cameo appearance in the background.  That’s right, The Knolls Ranger being beamed straight to you China! Also visible is Natalie Gutenkauf of The Factory Gastro-Bar! Catch the whole thing right here!

Tickled by our 15 Seconds of Fame

The Best of 2010, A Ranger’s Year-In-Review

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

My Senitments Precisely

As the ball dropped behind Dick Clark  and citizens made kissy faces in the dark, the Knolls Ranger decided to look back and remember the super year that just was.  From shipwrecked 16 year olds to precognitive cephalopods, 2010 was a veritable hootenanny of local, state, and world excitement!  But don’t take my word for it, cast your mind back through the fog of time and recall these rip-roaring dates of revelry for the Ranger’s 2010 Year-In Review!

Jan. 4th : The tallest man made structure to date, the Burj Khalifa opens in Dubai, of The United Arab Emirates.  Upon opening, area man, “Jack” climbs up the building and brings back a golden egg laying goose and singing harp.

The Towering Burj Khalifa of Dubai

Jan. 3oth: Boy Scout Greg Rielly of troop 29, turns into a majestic soaring eagle.  But this stunning transformation had nothing to do with Voodoo brouhaha and the casting of chicken bones, and everything to do with community activation.   Thanks for the Muskogee Myrtles Greg!

Tree Planting

Feb. 3rd.  The Long Beach Police Department ends their exhaustive six month long search for a new chief of police after former LAPD second-in-command Jim McDonnell successfully beats out other contestants in a televised program called, So You Think You Can Chief. The program called for the police officers to perform weekly choreographed dance numbers and eat icky looking insects, among other things.

LBPD Cheif of Police Jim Mcdonnell

Feb. 12th, The 2010 winter Olympics kick off in Vancouver and Whistler.  Canadian sports commentators Bob & Doug McKenzie report, “It’s a beauty, eh.”

Take off Hoser

Feb. 26th, After double parking my beloved horse Chromium on an impacted Long Beach street, she runs off and crosses the Bering Strait.  Marking her the First Horse Owned By A Pod Person Super-hero to Successfully Cross The Bering Strait from the Pacific Coast.  Take that Silver!

Dear Chromium, you will be missed

April 9th, Local troupe Alive Theatre debuts their uncompromising vision of civic inaction with Eugene Ionesco’s A Hell of a Mess at 3838 Atlantic.  Venue holder Paul Forman, inspired by the theatrics, announces his upcoming one-man-show, Paul’s Way.

A precursor to Paul Forman's One-Man-Show

April 14 – Ash from erupting volcano’s beneath the ice cap Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, halts air traffic in northern and western Europe.  Which is good news for my buddy Dale who’s in the train business.

Money Time Dale!  Yee-ha!  Git 'er Done!  Etc...

April 29th, City Mobility Coordinator Charles Gandy, members of the bike community, DJ Neon Hunter, and the Ranger IPA guys meet up at the Factory Gastro-bar to discuss making Long Beach the most bike-friendly city in the US and drink brewskies.  In an unprecedented and shocking move that gets some hate mail, I turn in my regular duds for a decidedly PG-13 wardrobe that resembles a beer keg. Heaven’s to Betsy!

Controversial Costume with Another Ranger

May 4th, A new world record is set for art sold at an auction when a Pablo Picasso piece entitled, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, sells for $106.5 million.  It seems an exorbitant price for a single painting but any struggling Non-profit organization that expresses dismay probably lacks culture and just doesn’t “get it.”

Picasso painting worth more than GDP of Malyasia

May 5th, The First Annual Long Beach Bicycle Tour attracts thousands who bike and huff across all thirty miles of scenic bike routes, city streets, and historical landmarks.  Here’s to hoping that 2012′s First Annual Unicycle Tour is as well attended.

The First annual Bike Tour

May 7th, The Neanderthal Genome Project announces that they have successfully sequenced enough of the genome to suggest that man and neanderthal interbred.  Neanderthal Civil Rights activists rejoice in a series of funny TV commercials for a car insurance company.

Man and Neandrethal, unlikely Bed-fellows?  Not According to Science

May 19th, The Bixby Knolls Strollers continue their monthly morning community treks from It’s a Grind Coffeehouse (4245 Atlantic Ave) to the far reaches of Bixby Knolls and Cal Heights.  On this morning the Knolls Ranger accompanied them and shared stories of his days on the Rancho photo-synthesizing alongside Jotham and Llewellyn.

A Morning Bixby Stroll Club

June 11th-July 10th, Paul the octopus from the Oberhausen sea life center gained notoriety for successfully predicting the winning team for each of Germany’s seven matches in the 2010 world cup.  In addition to football outcomes, the cephalapod was able to accurately predict lotto numbers, keno numbers, and that Oedipus Rex would eventually kill his father and marry his mother.

Paul the oracle octopus predicts a win for Germany

July 20th, The 5th Annual Bixby Knolls Dragster Expo & Car Show drew huge crowds and featured over 200 classic and vintage rods.  There was music and merriment and beer gardens, oh, my!  Mark your calendars for July 9th, 2011.  When once again the tranquil North Long Beach night will roar with the sounds of motor engines.  Hot diggity!

The 5th Annual Bixby Dragster Show & Car Expo

August 7th, Council Members, Congresswomen, RDA folk, neighbors, and the ranger drink coco and shop at the brand new Marshalls Department store!  I auction off a handbag!

Ladies and Gentlemen of Bixby Knolls, get your shop on

August 25th, The BKBIA office gets a surprise letter from another local do-gooder who refers to himself simply as the Naples Superhero.  Mystery man-o-Naples, we still want to meet up with you!
The Naples Hero

Sep. 3rd, Due to an influx of microscopic krill to our shores, record numbers of blue whales show up off the coast of Long Beach.  The Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises shuttle tourists out to see the behemoths and gain evidence about their migratory patterns.  As of press time the whales declined to make any statements one way or the other regarding the Long Beach breakwater.

Bring on the Blue Whales

Sep. 10th, Greggory Moore heads to Burning Man.  Wears funny clothes.

Hehehe

Sep. 14th, Hollywood Photographer Peter Tangen, (responsible for the Hellboy, Spiderman, and Batman movie posters) begins to create stylized photo poster images of real life super-heroes (like the Knolls Ranger) the world over.  Subjects include Vancouver’s Thanotos, New York’s NYX, and San Fransisco’s Motor Mouth.

San Fransisco Hero, Motor Mouth

Sep. 18th, Long Beach Harbor Board Commissioner Mario Cordero is nominated to the Federal Maritime Commission by US President Barack Obama.  Which I’ll warrant is slightly more auspicious than my nomination to Homecoming King.

Mario Cordero

October 17th, I turn 129 years old in human years and my party at Vangie Ogg Photography and Pixie Toys (3930 Atlantic avenue) was the talk of the town! The yummy cake was courtesy of Alsace Lorraine Bakery.

D'aaaaw, too cute

December 2nd, GFA-41, an arsenic based strain of rod-shaped bacterium is discovered in CA’s Mono lake, thus showing that life is possible without phosphorous.  Everyone from NASA scientists to the casual man-on-the-street was excited by this new expansive view on what makes life and the possibilities of encountering it in space.  Everyone, I should say, except for the chemical compound Phosphorous himself, who grew very depressed and didn’t leave his room for a week.

Arsenic Bacteria in Mono Lake

And that, in essence was 2010.   Only time will tell what 2011 holds, but this ranger for one is excited.

Coming Soon: More Knolls Ranger Comics!

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Stay posted Buckaroo’s, we’ve got some Knolls Ranger comic adventures under-way, written and illustrated by local Long Beach artists.  Here’s a sneak peek of a ranger tale written and illustrated by Hernan Serna.

Knolls Ranger Stuck in a Tree

Exciting stuff!  More to come!

Introducing…The Capital City Super Squad!

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Captain Prospect

A few months ago, we at Knolls Ranger.com ran a blog attempting to introduce the world (or at least our reader base) to the concerted efforts of other real life super-heroes around the world besides the ranger.  And in that vein, and in the spirit of the fourth of July, we’d like to highlight one group in particular:  The Capital City Super Squad.

Captain Prospect & Spark

Based in Washington D.C., the Capital City Super Squad is a group of do-gooding tight wearers, whose manifold volunteer efforts include feeding the homeless, warning the public about recent criminal activity, going on neighboring safety patrols, and visiting sick kids in the hospital (in addition to parading about the city in très cool capes and spandex!)

For their efforts they receive no pay, moderate recognition, and little thanks.  But they don’t do it for the acclaim, true humanitarians through and through, they do it for the community.  (They do get some sweet reserved parking spots though.)

Captain Prospect's Reserved Parking

Leading the team is Captain Prospect, an all around good samaritan, and former saturday morning cartoon fanatic who took his interests in super-heroes and civic action and created the squad.  Members circulate but the other seven currently active heroes besides Prospect are:  Nice Ninja, Spark, Siren, DC Guardian, The Puzzler, Cypherplex and Daybreak.

Captain Prospect and Justice

Captain Prospect & Nice Ninja Warning Citizens

Captain Prospect & Spark

The Capital City Super Squad is now having a summer 2010 recruitment drive.  If you are civic minded, live in the DC area, and have an idea of a super-hero costume, or if you’d just like to generally inquire about their activities e-mail Captain Prospect at CaptainProspect@yahoo.com.  Tell him like-minded Long Beach hero, the Knolls Ranger, sent you!

Knolls Ranger Enters the LB Red Bull Flugtag!

Friday, May 7th, 2010

A Certain Energy Beverage Gave This Gent Wings

Wright Brothers watch out, The Knolls Ranger is taking to the skies!  When affiliates from the Bixby Knolls BIA, The Arts Council, and We Love Long Beach announced their intention to be shed of the earthy trappings of gravity and soar “…like a birdy in the sky.” for this summer’s flugtag taking place off the Long Beach Pier, well, the Knolls Ranger just knew he had to be there!

You see, I’ve done a great many things in my day.  I’ve helped Jotham Bixby farm this wondrous land of ours.  I’ve helped the Lakewood Fathers build the city center.  I’ve bought great stationary from Roy Robbins Gifts!  But I’ll be durned if I ever flew “…like an eagle, to the sea.”

But one ranger cannot soar alone:

I fell back to earth within three seconds

I fell back to earth within three seconds

Lucky for me I’ve got the high-falutin’ist, air-soarin’ist, most physically attractive team of aviators a pod-person could hope for!  Why just check out our pilot, the angelic Ms. Wells for sheesh sake!

Victoria Wells:  Angleic Aeronaut and Part-Time Model

Victoria Wells: Angleic Aeronaut and Part-Time Model

Also joining us is We Love Long Beach frontman and Zach Galifianakis impersonator, The Bearded Dragon!

The Bearded Dragon:  Between Beach Ferns

The Bearded Dragon: Between Two Beach Ferns

And rounding out the crew is Hearty Love, a gigantic cardiac muscle who pumps precious life-sustaining fluids and pizazz throughout Long Beach!  Here’s a video of him mugging it up to a well-known Jefferson Starship hit (The Jefferson’s have had an interest in aviation since 1965!)

Hearty Love Hearts Long Beach

Hearty Love Hearts Long Beach

And of course what super team would be complete without an evil villain.  Jimmy 2-Tone better not give us trouble!

I'm watching you 2-Tone!

I'm watching you 2-Tone!

Yes siree!  You associates from the Scarlet Male Bovine Factory take notice: We’re giving ourselves wings!  And with this top-notch team of aeronautical virtuoso’s I feel certain that I will finally fly (provided there aren’t any volcano’s in Iceland or anything.)

Knolls Ranger Cited For Illegally Parking Horse

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Hi Ho Chromium!

My  so-called counterpart the “Lone” Ranger can keep his stinky old ungulate Silver!  For I, the Knolls Ranger have an equestrian pal myself!  Her name is Chromium.  You don’t know about her because I sneak her out of the subterranean stable at the heart of my top-secret Knolls Ranger cave (where I conduct all of my mysterious super-hero business, like typing silly things into a website or ordering take-out from Jongewaard’s Bake n’ Broil) long after sun-down when all the working citizens are in the midst of repose.  And in this state, we gallop through the cool Cal Heights nights together, just like that kid from the Peter Schaffer play (But less creepily, and with no disposition towards eye-gouging).  At least we used to, until a recent run-in with the law drove her far from my ranger radar.  The problem, it would appear, is parking.

street_cleaning2-1

As in any major metropolitan city on the make, impacted parking is an issue in Long Beach.  Whether you’ve got a prius, hummer, or horse, looking for that prime spot to settle down your transporter is a tricky task.  Augment these endeavors with parking mandates to ensure clean streets and you’ll soon find your parking problem multiplied by like, a trillion billion.  (Good math Knolls Ranger, [why thank you Knolls Ranger])  Now don’t get me wrong, The Knolls Ranger recognizes the importance of keeping the streets clear of debris, and is in full support of the efforts of The Long Beach Environmental Services Bureau.  But you better believe he ran like Blue Thunder when he saw officers from the LBPD affixing a ticket to the mane of his main Fresian beauty, Chromium.

Oh No!  The Ranger in trouble with the law?!

“We got the call that there was an unlicensed hoofed mammal of some sorts on the Atlantic Coordior.”  Said officers of the LBPD north division patrol bureau, “Honestly we didn’t know what to expect, a burro, a giraffe, a Dromedary camel?  It could have been anything!”

“I was pretty sure it was going to be some kind of llama.”  Said his partner to reporters of the Bixby Buzz Tribune.

He was sure, but I wasn’t.  I’m never sure until I see the perp with my own eyes.  But in the case it turned out to be a horse.  An illegally parked horse.”

“If they’d only moved it to the South side of the street everything would have been just fine.”

“So we’re writing the ticket.  When who should run up the road hammerin’ and stammerin’ like Muhammed Ali in the big fight of ’71 but Captain Marvel himself!”

“Kee-ripes I never saw such a guy.”

“He’s wearin’ these bright red Dickies pants, a big cowboy hat, and some kinda-black identity-protectin’ eye piece of some sorts!  And he tells us a tale, oh brother he tells us a whale of a tale!  Starts claiming that he’s a super-hero for Bixby Knolls, that this is his trusty steed, that he’s the foster son of Jotham and Llewelyn Bixby, and that, get this, he’s part bean pod.”

“Like that Donald Sutherland movie you know?”

“Just like that.  I tell ya, that guy was a real nutjob.”

Laugh it Up LBPD!

What these fine keepers of the peace didn’t realize was that my Chromium, in addition to speaking horse, is fluent in English, Spanish, and Farsi, and when she heard them threatening punitive measures she thought for certain they were referring to the glue factory.  Fearing for her life Chromium took off and didn’t look back, not even when she got to the beach.

Bon Voyage Chromium!

And from there she kept on running, right into the Pacific Ocean.  Where she is now nobody knows but if I had to hazard a guess I would say she’s on the mystical isle of Chincoteague with Misty and all the other fillys.  And that’s the reason you never see the Knolls Ranger on a horse.

Taken Away by the Sea Nymphs

Taken Away by the Sea Nymphs

Mardi Gras and Me

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Hello Ladies

Hot diggity internet amigos!  Let me tell you about the fun I had at Long Beach’s Annual Mardi Gras parade last Saturday!  Brass Bands, Samba Dancers, Roller Girls, Actors, Ice Cream people, and more congregated outside the Aquarium of the Pacific and then paraded forth along Shoreline Village from the Rainbow Harbor tossing beads to all the citizens!  Along the way I ran into my friends from The District Weekly, and Smolarcorp, Met fellow Long Beach superhero, Z Blade XX.  and had some fun with the roller derby girls and the Ice Cream Man.

Still the Best Superhero according to The District, sorry Z Blade XX

Getting the Boogie going
A Soft Spot for the Pooches

Marching Band

Derby Time!

Mardis Gras Celebrators

On the Carousel

All hail the Ice Cream Man
Frightening the Locals:  "Come Up to Bixby Knolls!"

What a fun parade!  Now the only thing left for me to do is head over to the Ragga-Muffins Reggae Festival at the Long Beach arena!

Getting I-ree

Photos courtesy of Blair Cohn and Thomas Wasper.

Will the Real Knolls Ranger Please Stand Up?

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Heads up Bixby Brethren!  2010 is upon us, ushering in a fabulous new decade: the tens!  This year I resolve to continue my quest to man the streets of Bixby Knolls and the Atlantic Cooridor, promote the businesses and preserve the Bixby way of life!  But be aware dear citizen, the Knolls Ranger, just like any super-hero, has nemeses.  Deceptive nemeses!  And a few of these foes may go great lengths to bamboozle you!  But make no mistake, there is only one true Knolls Ranger and any other masked superheroes are just imitators!

“But Uncle Knollsey-” You ask, “How will I ever be able to discern between the real you, and the phoney you?!”

Well, I thought you might ask that, so I’ve compiled a series of photographs which I hope will train your eye.

This is The Knolls Ranger:

The Knolls Ranger!

Note the insouciant expression, the Bixby name tag, the perfect eyebrows.  Only this man is the Bixby hero you trust and love.  Take a good long gander, commit this mug to memory and now check out this gentleman:

Not fooling anyone

This is NOT the Knolls Ranger, though at a glance he may appear to be!  But closer inspection of this Knolls Ranger impersonator will reveal subtle differences between us.  For example, this man has a moustache.

Back in the saddle again but not to be mistaken for yours truly

Aha!  Tricky, this is not the Knolls Ranger either.  Give-aways?  The Knolls Ranger doesn’t have a horse, and wouldn’t be caught dead without his gold boots and mask.  Also this is beloved country western star Gene Autry.

An Actor Playing the Ranger

The color scheme may be identical but a real ranger this fellow isn’t.  This is actually the actor who’s playing the Knolls Ranger in the upcoming made for tv movie, The Knolls Way.  Coming soon to the lifetime network!

Slight variation in physique

This is NOT the Knolls Ranger, this is a big, buff, half-naked dude in a cowboy hat.  Picking up the fine nuances yet?

I'm a collectible!

Neither of these folks are actually The Knolls Ranger, in fact, I’m pretty sure the one on the right is a toy.

Happy Tails Cowboy Pet Costume

This is NOT the Knolls Ranger, but it IS adorable.

I hope this has been helpful.