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Space Shuttle Endeavour arrives at LAX

These photos were taken this morning in El Segundo at Imperial Avenue and California Street, as we attempted to take some photos of the arrival of Space Shuttle Endeavour to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). We did not get there until a little after 10:00 AM and the crowds were already starting to grow; even though the shuttle was not scheduled to arrive until noon or a little after. Luckily, we brought the Limited so parking was not an issue so we cruised around a little to find a better spot for viewing, but decided our original choice was as good as it would get.

We could see the Endeavour and its fighter escort as it headed towards downtown Los Angeles and Orange County; but it was pretty far away. If you look closely you can see them in the distance in some of the earlier photos. The shuttle then returned and did two very slow and low flybys before returning for its final landing. I have to admit, it was pretty exciting watching it come to rest across the street and the entire crowd of several thousand felt the same way. Continue reading

Business N Beer, a new kind of networking group

Since we joined the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce late last year, we have had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with many small business owners in the South Bay area. Through these interactions I have been invited to join several service clubs and business networking groups. While I wish I had the time and money to join every service club the fact is I do not, so I volunteer my services to help publicize their fundraisers. As far as networking groups are concerned, I can definitely see the value in them but they all seem to come with obligations I can not meet. This would include mandatory weekly meetings that might meet at 7:00 AM for breakfast or lunch at a Sizzler or something along those lines. My schedule just does not allow for that kind of commitment.

As you [may] know, in May Tanya and I participated in American Craft Beer Week and in the process became aware of several microbreweries, brewpubs and gastropubs in the South Bay area. I got the opportunity to meet many of the owners and well as several brewmasters as well. I could not help but notice that as Craft Beer Week progressed, we started seeing a lot of the same people at the various locations. In the subsequent weeks since then the number of people that we would meet steadily increased. That is when Tanya got a brilliant idea; we would start our own business networking group, but add a twist to it. We decided to name it Business N Beer. Continue reading

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

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