Monthly Archives: June 2012

South Coast Botanic Garden, Palos Verdes Estates

These photos were taken at the South Coast Botanic Garden on June 29, 2012. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that we had purchased a membership to the South Coast Botanic Garden primarily because it gave us access to 250 other arboretums; we then visited Descanso Gardens in La Canada using the card. Yesterday we decided to see what was in our own back yard. The place is huge, about 87 acres. We had no idea how big it was until we looked at a map on the way out. We barely scratched the surface. We will definitely be back.

South Coast Botanic Garden has a science camp going on during the summer. If interested, you should call 1-888-909-2822. South Coast Botanic Garden is fun for the entire family as they have self guided tours and some are targeted for the little ones. Continue reading

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing Long Beach

Yesterday Tanya and I stopped by Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach. We were in Long Beach for the Chocolate Blues & Networking Festival and I knew there were a couple brewpubs in the area, so I figured after a long day of work a nice flight would be a good way to end the day. I recently met one of the bartenders at a local event and Dave over at Select Beer always speaks highly of Beachwood, so I decided to head over. I will be honest, as we worked our way over there I told Tanya there is no way that I would drive here \”just for a beer\” as it is kind of out of the way for us, but I would soon changed my tune.

Beachwood BBQ is a little difficult to find as the address is 210 E. 3rd Street, but it faces Promenade. They have some small sandwich boards if you are walking by, but if you are westbound on 3rd, you need to know where it is. We were greeted by Ian\’s big smile so we seated ourselves at the bar. Their flights are four of their brews, and since they had a total of nine available, we decided to each get a flight so we could try everything they made. We were both very impressed. We tried the Mandarin Dream, Unconditional Blonde, Alpha Master, Knucklehead Red, Thrill Seeker, The Dominator and three versions of the Udder Love; CO2, nitrogen and cask. Tanya really liked the Knucklehead Red and I found all of their IPA\’s very nice and hoppy. We ended up bringing a growler of the Mandarin Dream home as it is a Saison and we have both become suckers for them. Continue reading

Chocolate Blues & Business Networking, Long Beach, CA

These photos were taken at the Long Beach/Seal Beach Chocolate Blues and Business Networking Festival; which was held at the Seaport Marina Hotel on June 27. As the name suggests, there was a lot of chocolate there. There was no \”Blues\” and there was some business networking. I have to be honest; I am not really sure what the target demographic was. While we had been invited to run the \”Blogger\’s Circle\” which was to answer questions people had on how to improve their business and generate income and traffic through blogging the only person that came up had one question, \”what is a blog?\” I am not convinced she understood even after it was explained to her.

The vendors that had booths appeared to be primarily involved in multi-level marketing (MLM) although there was a business networking group or two along with some insurance agents. Most of the attendees that we spoke to were either unemployed or MLMers that said they only used word of mouth as their business model. Although the event was six hours long, I would be surprised if the number of total attendees surpassed the number of vendors. Perhaps it was due to it being the first Chocolate Blues event to be held in the area or maybe it was the venue but the number of attendees was not very impressive. We gave away free SEO reports to any vendor there, but I suspect there were only a few that even understood what SEO was much less what to do with the report.

As I have done the trade show circuit for 10+ years I have learned to not count my chickens before they are hatched, so only time will tell if the connections we did make turn into anything. There were a few that did appreciate that relying on the Yellow Pages might have worked 15 years ago but it will not fly today; so we shall see. Would I come again if given the opportunity? Probably, but I think more time would have to be spent researching what the true demographic of this marketing event is. Continue reading

The 2012 Stanley Cup comes to Hermosa Beach

Today the Stanley Cup arrived in Hermosa Beach, CA and about 5,000 people showed up to welcome it to the beach. The Cup was accompanied by Los Angeles Kings center and Hermosa Beach resident (during hockey season anyway), Jarret Stoll. Representing the City of Hermosa Beach was a slew of Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce members, elected officials and a couple fire trucks. It was a beautiful day in Hermosa and the Stanley Cup looked great in the bright sunshine. You could see the sun bouncing off it as it traveled down Pier Avenue and it was still a few blocks away.

Since it was Jarret\’s birthday yesterday, everyone joined in singing Happy Birthday and of course there were the ever present \”Go Kings, Go!\” and We Got the Cup!\” I am not sure, but I may have heard a wedding proposal sent out Jarret\’s way. As he just signed a three year contract, I will put it on my calendar to get there a little earlier next year.

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Organic Berry Bash, Sponsored by Whole Foods Torrance

These photos are of a Berry Bash we had Sunday, sponsored by Whole Foods in Torrance, CA. Since there are new laws about disclosure, I was contacted a couple weeks ago by a Marketing Supervisor at Whole Foods. I am not entirely sure how they became aware of me, but as I have featured photos of contributions they made to fundraisers I have covered, it is possible that this drew their attention. It could have been because of my social media presence. It is possible that they noticed I spend a lot of time promoting local businesses and non-profits; but for whatever reason I was contacted and asked if I would host an organic berry bash in the month of June. As we were already a week in, I had to make a couple phone calls to try and put this together in the next couple of weeks. My dad belongs to a bereavement group and he called to see if any of them wanted to participate in a berry bash. Even though they had absolutely no idea what was entailed, they arrived enthusiastic and en masse. Got to love it.

As it happens, one of my brothers has been in town and he apparently enjoys cooking, so he was quite eager to join in and he offered several tasty dishes. Tanya had a few sauces in mind as well as a breakfast treat we eat frequently, so we were set. Saturday we headed over to Whole Foods to pick up $50 worth of organic berries. We split them up between blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. One of the local brewpubs sells a blueberry/wheat beer, but they do not offer growlers. I decided to head over to Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach to discuss beer with the owner, Wes. He suggested I try Blue Star Wheat Beer which was a great choice as it did not have a bunch of flavors that would hide the blueberry flavor. It worked great. Continue reading

Hot Sünner Nights at Select Beer

These photos were taken Wednesday evening, June 20, the first day of summer at Select Beer in Redondo Beach. To celebrate the Summer Solstice, Select Beer brought out the Sünner Kölsch, the classic beer of Cologne, Germany. After a couple tastes of it, there is no doubt it is a summer beer as it is very light. Probably tasty after chopping down trees in the Black Forest. I know the store was packed, and it was obvious most were there for the Sunner Kolsch.

After sampling the Sünner Kölsch we opted for something a little more stout and enjoyed the company of other like-minded beer drinkers. Speaking of like-minded beer drinkers, we are starting a new networking group for business owners in the South Bay. It is called Business & Beer and unlike the other business networking groups that have mandatory meetings, dues and occur before work or during lunch, we have none of that. The networking events will occur every Thursday at 6:00 PM and go on until 7:00 PM. Of course, if you are enjoying yourself you are more than welcome to stay later. Each week we will go to a different microbrewery, brewpub or gastropub in the South Bay area. The common denominator will be that they serve craft beer on tap and are a local business. Our first planned event will be at Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach on July 12. It looks like Abigaile in Hermosa Beach will be on the 19th. Stay tuned for more information. Following me on Facebook will ensure you always hear first. I hope lots of you can join us. Continue reading

A Royal Affaire at Trump National Golf Club

These photos were taken at a fundraiser for H.E.L.P. which was held at the Trump National Golf Club on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Friday evening. H.E.L.P. stands for Healthcare and Elder Law Programs which is a non-profit whose goal is to empower older adults and their families by providing impartial information, education and counseling on elder care, law, finances and consumer protection.

I met the organizers when I was covering the Palos Verdes Street Fair a couple weeks ago. When I discovered they were a non-profit and having a fundraiser I volunteered my services, which they accepted. The attendees were given dinner and an opportunity to bid in both a silent auction and a normal one. They also had a raffle for a trip to London, which I am sure you can guess, I did not win. Continue reading

Photos from the Gardena Valley Chamber of Commerce Regional Mixer

These photos were taken last night at the Gardena Valley Chamber of Commerce Regional Mixer which was held at the Holiday Inn, Harbor Gateway. As regular readers are aware, we joined the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC) at the end of last year because we decided that 2012 would be dedicated to promoting local businesses, charities and non-profits. I have discovered that attending regional mixers was a great way to generate business and gain more exposure. Last night was no exception.

With Chamber of Commerce members representing Gardena Valley, Torrance, Harbor City/Harbor Gateway, Wilmington, San Pedro, Manhattan Beach, Lomita, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Carson and Hawthorne it made for a great networking event with plenty of business opportunities. There was a nice spread of appetizers and lots of door prizes. Synergy-DTI gave away another SEO report and we won a few prizes including a bowling party at Lucky Strike and some skin lotions from CH Labs.

I have said it before, but if you are a business owner that can use more business, you might want to consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce Continue reading

TACC Networking at Noon for June at Tony Roma\’s

Yesterday was the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC) Networking at Noon for June; and this time it was held at the Tony Roma\’s in Torrance. The Networking at Noon is held monthly at various restaurants in the Torrance, CA area and gives members of the Torrance Chamber additional opportunities to exchange business cards with other local business owners or their representatives. Every attendee is given 30 seconds to talk about who they are and what service or product their business provides. I took the opportunity to explain why it is I have my camera with me at all times and how I use the photos to promote local businesses and charities. I think they are starting to notice.

In addition to the \”30 second intros\” each month one person is named the spotlight speaker and gets 5 minutes to talk about what they do. I can\’t wait to get that opportunity. There are door prizes given out and Synergy-DTI, Inc gave away an SEO report to a lucky winner that was getting ready to purchase it. I know she was happy she showed up.

These photos are sponsored by your full service web host; providing website development, cloud hosting, SEO and social media management. Continue reading

2012 Chocolate Blues & Business Networking Festival is coming to Long Beach

The 2012 Long Beach/Seal Beach Chocolate Blues is coming to Long Beach, CA on Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. While this event has been running for nine years now, and happens in 40 cities across the United States, I think this is the first time that they have come to the Los Angeles/Orange County area. As such, this will be my first time attending and to make sure I attend, will be hosting the \”Bloggers Circle\” with my better half, Tanya of and

Having perused the testimonials on the Chocolate Blues website and LinkedIn it appears that this is going to be a great networking event. I think the fact that they urge all attendees to bring several hundred business cards suggests lots of business gets done. As my special gift to you, just for reading this far, I have a couple dozen free passes available. All you have to do is be able to attend, and contact me. You can register here on my blog or follow GotBaddog on Facebook, then send me a message. Sound good? Continue reading