Archive for the ‘Ranger Ramblings’ Category

Behind the Music: The Life and Times of the Knolls Ranger

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Fact:  The Knolls Ranger, local super-hero and pastry aficionado from the  Bixby Knolls region of upper Long Beach, is as old as the hills.  Actually, with a birthdate of Oct. 1st, 1881 he is older than our nearest hill (Signal Hill) by 43 years!  But who’s counting?

We are!  And our crack team of recreational historians have been working ’round the clock; subsiding on only the ranger’s famous sarsparilla, pouring through family photo albums, interviewing dotty old relatives stinking in resting homes across this great nation, and all in an effort to bring you a definitive history of the life and times of our man, the Knolls Ranger.

That’s right, never before has the entire story of the pod-person vigilante been so thoroughly laid out, the mythos questioned, the facts laid bare.  What lies before you is nothing short of the entire story, good and ill, in riveting bullet point form!  So get those mice ready blog-o-philes, and start scrolling southward because this is it.  The Knolls Ranger:  The Untold Story

13.75 Million years Ago

Our tale begins.  The big bang creates a hot, dense, rapidly expanding universe.  Nerds Sheldon and Leonard move next door to aspiring actress Penny.  Energy cools and is converted into sub-atomic particles.  Protons, netutrons and ranger-trons form and bind.  Yes, ranger-trons.  In an exciting bout of scientific derring-do physicists at the Geneva hadron collider now believe that a third building block of life, the ranger block, was created side by side with protrons and neutrons during that fateful day of big banging.  But this discreet particle laid dormant in a dwarf star for millions of years before hurtling towards earth and creating two beings with it’s unique composition:  Bixby super-hero, The Knolls Ranger and TV actor, Ernest Borgnine.  Proving once and for all that atomically speaking The Knolls Ranger is unlike any other being on this planet.  Except for Ernie B.

1881 AD

As legend has it, the Knolls Ranger arose from the chance devouring of a pregnant abuelita woman by an alien bean-pod in the Rancho’s of yester-year.  But new DNA tests reveal the ranger’s true father to be none other than Papa Long Beach himself, Jotham Bixby.  This revelation illustrates just how deep the ranger’s Bixby blood runs but doesn’t immediately account for his super-powers of photo-synthesis.  Is the pod person persona little more than a cheap parlor trick?  A tall tale?  A well-spun yarn?  Or was Jotham Bixby himself the bean pod?!  Were Lewellyn Bixby and Benjamin Flint and the entire Flint & Bixby Co. a secret coven of space veggies?!  We may never get a definitive answer on this, but we do know KR drops leaves in autumn, and that ain’t no parlor trick.

1890′s

Everyone knows that after his time with the Bixbys the ranger went on to live with the Tongva indians in the Puvungna village in what is now Cal State Long Beach.  But what many people don’t realize is that he also took this opportunity to invent peanut butter.  If we type it it must be true!

1926

In the lord’s year of 1926 a traveling snake charmer traded the ranger new literature for his prized PB and some of those Rancho Los Cerritos Lima Beans.  Amongst the books was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.  Immediately falling in love with the glamour of the east, KR bid his tribe adieu, sent one last prayer to Chinigchinix, and headed off to Yale to get a college education, “Like Gatsby”  When Yale turned him down, the ranger found himself at Dartmouth, where he attended classes in Political Science with a high five enthusiast named Cinco Martinez.  The two formed a fast friendship which persists to this day.

1949

Hot on the heels of collegiate carousing (only root beer folks, don’t worry), the Ranger returned to his Tongva tribe and his LB life and fell in with a trio of track-home building developers named Boyar, Taper, and Weingart.  They convinced the son of Jotham and his Bixby bud Cinco to build the Lakewood City Center under the pretense that our boys would be constructing homes for returning WWII soldiers.  When the shoe dropped that our heroes had unintentionally developed the world’s first mall and effectively driven all the business out of the Bixby area the ranger swore he would do right by the community from then onward.

1954

As the story goes the ranger was driven out of town by a torch and pitchfork wielding populace, real Mary Shelly chic, after his and Cinco’s Lakewood transgression only to freeze in a fruit crate stored at the Long Beach Ice Company and awake 60 years later from cryogenic stasis to a public desperate for a hero.  But what about the Bixby Belle?  You know the Dooley doll come to life by magical LA river slime?  The other great protector of Bixby and the ranger’s better half!  How could she have come to be if the Knolls Ranger was already on ice at this time?  Unless…  Unless it was Cinco disguised as the Knolls Ranger who froze himself for all those years!  Leaving the Ranger time to master Tai Chi, fly to the moon, battle his arch nemesis Dr. Illiterate on that desert isle and hone the skills he would need to be the cities protector in cognito!  Yes, the ranger was in disguise for 60 years traversing the globe with his gal, keeping Bixby bandits at bay from a distance, and becoming the worldly fellow he is today!  Or so these ancient Masonic texts we found buried at the Long Beach Historical Society tell us.

September 2009

A certain ranger arrives on the scene.  Spreading fun and silliness wherever he goes.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

The Ballad of Bixby Belle!

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Well howdy do kiddies, it’s your old pal the Knolls Ranger getting’ ready to spin you one of my world famous yarns.  Now thissy here one’s near and dear to me for it’s all about a literal doll by the name o’ Belle who happens to be my best gal.  My heart beats three times what the docs say it’s supposed to when she shows up on the Atlantic Cooridor grinning pure as pudding and waving that cowgirl hat of hers around.  I’m real thankful she’s back in my life and thought y’all might like to here the story about how she came to be.  It all has to do with magical LA river run-off, the Dooley family, and the simple beating of two hearts.  But this ain’t the kind of tale one just tells alright, heavens now, a story this splendiferous can only be sung.  So without further ado I give you the whopping’ campfire song, The Ballad of the Bixby Belle as composed by country western legend Steamboat Smolar and best appreciated when sung to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies.

Come hither, take a listen

to a sordid type of tale

’bout a misses supersticious

that we call the Bixby Belle

 

Her origins are well known

from here to Belmont Shore

it all started in our Lord’s year

around 1954

 

Her friend, the Knolls Ranger

got Belle as a reward

from Mrs. Dooley’s doll collection

when he washed and waxed her Ford

 

The Knolls Ranger carried Belle

almost everywhere he went

with a notable exception

when he gave her up for lent

 

One day, trouble came a-brewin’

for the Ranger and his gal

They were by the LA River

when the Ranger tripped and fell

 

He tried to correct his stumble

but the pavement he did meet

while the doll fell in the river

the Ranger scrambled to his feet

 

After Bixy Belle had fallen

our Hero dove right in

To save his dear companion

and to be with her again

 

When the Ranger found Belle

he was surely quite surprised

for the magic of the river

put a sparkle in her eyes

 

Our Belle, now a real girl

she was no longer a doll

she could talk and think and yodel

and go shopping at the mall

 

Now the Bixby folks all rejoice

to have a super homespun team

the Ranger and Bixby Belle

are as sweet as peach ice cream

I credit all the sweetness to my wonderful girl, the apple of my life, the eye of my light!  Why just take a gander at her humble and benevolent being.

Bixby’s Back in the Blogosphere!

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Holy hillbillies humming harmoniously!  Has it really been half a year since we last reported on Long Beach super-hero and notorious photo bomber The Knolls Ranger?!  What were we doing this whole time?  Occupying something?  Watching season four of True Blood on a perpetual loop of libidinous vampire recursion?  Getting some home improvement supplies from Orchard Supply Hardware (gonna build us a gazebo!).  Well whatever we’ve been doing we’re darn sorry it wasn’t providing you the always alliterating, somewhat sesquipedalian, silly joke website on masked men and Bixby commerce that you so desperately desire!  You haven’t gone and left us for Ragensi‘s site have you?

Ragensi: That Other LA County Super-hero

We hope not because a lot’s happened in Bixby Knolls since we’ve been away!  The Ranger went missing!  The Belle showed up!  There were rock parties and mardi gras parades and like a bajillion first fridays and we’d like to share them all with you gentle reader!  All the photos of Bixby resident Thor Carson mugging for the camera,all the tales of Bixby glories and Cal heights courage!

Every breath-catching photo of the ranger’s beautiful best gal The Bixby Belle!So sit back, pop yourself a tall sarsparilla, and take a magical internet stroll through the Bixby Knolls of the past ten months!  Just scroll down!

PS:  Orchard Supply Hardware truly is a Herculean port of hulking hardware for home improvement and if you ain’t been yet you’re doing yourself a disservice.  Cheap prices, fine goods. and just one of the many fine shopping centers in Bixby’s bustling business district!  So what are you waiting for?!  Head over to 4480 Atlantic and check ‘em out!

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 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!

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.)

Motion Picture Innacurately Portrays Lifestyles of Everyday Super-heroes

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Totally Unrealistic The last decade, it seems to one ranger, has proved popular for the caped crime-fighter sub-genre of big budge Hollywood studio pics (those are my abreve’s, thank ye very much).  Every year a glut of the noxious noisemakers (now with 0 grams of trans fat!) cram their way into our theatre houses, televisions, bus stop insert ads, and collective unconsciousness.  Is it the zeitgeist of our times, a cleverly crafted bout of commercialism, or both that demands a consistent mainstream re-enactment of latent fantasies involving gamma rays and radioactive spiders?  The world may never know.

The latest tights-and-spandex spectacle claims originality for it’s realistic reflections of the actions, motives, angst, and lifestyles of actual super-heroes, were they to really exist in our modern day.  Well, being an actual, existing, real-life masked man myself I decided to catch a viewing of said celluloid and see for me.  The movie in question is, of course, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze.

(Wait, no, strike that.  That’s not right.  Actually TMNT2 hit the nail on the proverbial head in many ways, no, the movie I’m actually referring to is Kick-Butt [title here altered to maintain family friendliness]) So yeah; Kick-Butt; movie; Lionsgate Films; honest-to-goodness, run-of-the-mill, joe-schmoe, everyday superheroes.  And what do these average superheroes do, you might ask?

Punchin' in Profiles the Super Way!

Engage in orgiastic bloodletting bouts, and make frequent espousal of the c word apparently.  (Not cran-apple although that’s a good guess) Well I cry foul (I also cry “fowl!”  When I’m ordering a scrumptious chicken teriyaki bowl from the Golden Bowl Burger at 3967 Atlantic.  Mmmm hmmm)

A typical day for me is not only less violent, it’s much less eventful.  I wake up everyday promptly at 7 am and wander around my top-secret Bixby Knolls lair for an hour-and-a-half cleaning up the bat guano.  Then I do my Tae Bo program for thirty minutes.  At Nine it’s time for me to enter the Bixby Knolls streets, greet the neighbors, and accidentally make small children cry.  I get breakfast from somewhere delicious like Arnold’s Family Restaurant or George’s 50′s Diner.  I pose for pictures, I contemplate my place in the cosmos and I help old ladies cross the street.  Sometimes I go over to Averyboo Arts and meet up with Avery and his friends and we express ourselves artistically.

That desk never knew what hit it

For lunch I’ll choose a fine dining establishment like Nino’s, Il Poggio, IHOP, or Trani’s.  Then I’ll type silly things into my website for hours on end and enjoy my fan mail (Thank you for your concern Billy Preston from Milwaukee I’m sure my horse is safe by now and well over the Bering Strait.)  As you can see this leaves me no time at all to wade knee deep through grimy pools of human viscera as this film posits I would surely do.

But the assumption Kick Butt makes which most irks me is that masked crime fighters in fact, don’t exist in the real world (at least not until the fantasy of this movie came out).  Oh yeah?  Tell that to Captain Jackson, a former cop who makes arrests, repaints old gentrified theatres, and helps out his community in Jackson, Michigan all the while wearing his favorite tights and cape!

Real Superhero Captain Jackson

Real Superhero Captain Jackson

Tell that to Superbarrio, a laborer from Mexico City who organizes petitions and rallies for the rights of the common man in his red vinyl suit and luchadore mask!

Superbarrio- A real life Super-hero from Mexico City

Superbarrio- A real life Super-hero from Mexico City

Angle Grinder Man

Angle Grinder Man

Then there’s Angle-Grinder Man!  A Londoner who cuts cars free from their wheel clamps in the United Kingdom!  And whose gold and blue suit is the envy of heroes everywhere! And let’s not forget Terrifica!  A New Yorker who patrols bars and parties and ensures that inebriated women are not taken advantage of!

Thank You Terrifica

Thank You Terrifica

To posit that no such heroes exist is to wipe away the consistent concerted efforts of masked do-gooders like these and myself!  Not that we ask for any reward for our actions.  Simply knowing that the streets are safer, or that a bears claw can be obtained from Yummy Donuts at 4466 California Place is reward enough!

But I called "Shotgun!" guys!

But I called "Shotgun!" guys!

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

Torrential Rains Leave Litter

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

What a Mess!

It’s a hard rains a-gonna fall, but that ain’t no excuse to get lackadaisical with your street sweeping citizens!  Rain, hail, and even tornadoes have been touching down in Long Beach during the latter part of January but the real blight to our streets could be trash.

My Goodness!

Doing My Part

Just remember, Bixby Knolls is a beautiful community precisely because of concerted efforts amongst it’s citizenry to pick up discarded debris.  So do us all a favor and drop your doings in a trash or recycling receptacle even if the culprit happens to be a rainy mother nature.  Or in the case of Huntington Beach, a really terrifying tornado!

Not the Tornado that hit Huntington

So please, recycle, reduce, reuse, and close the loop guys.  We’ve only got one planet after all.  Oh yeah, and remember to cut those plastic six-pack rings while you’re at it, the fish are our friends too!  Yee-ha!