Angeles, Ranches, Flat Tires and Frost

Angeles, Ranches, Flat Tires and Frost

I started writing this a couple days ago while digitizing for an unnamed horror-thriller. And you know what, it was ALL in his head. weee.

digitizing is a snooooze fest if you don’t have something to do. Thank goodness for laptops. Otherwise I’d be forced to, I dunno…read of something.

A year and a half ago my Grandma Guidici passed away. Over the last year, my family has been fixing up the house that she lived in – the house that my Dad grew up in, so we could sell it. We had to so we could keep the house that our family first lived in when they came to America in the early 20th century.

The house had been sold, so now the task was to finish emptying out all the stuff in it…and deciding what to keep.

The plan was to leave for Angel’s Camp at 5am…I was pretty close. On the road by 5:30am…coffee in hand, DJ Shadow on the radio…LA freeways moved with quickness in the predawn friday.


Enjoy this pic…I almost crashed taking it.

on the road

I have no idea…suggestions?

flux capacitor beta version

Outside of Merced.

tin roof - rusted

Downtown Angeles.

Angels Camp

happy holidays

On the way to Sheep Ranch, Stevenos’ Winery

stevenos winery

I love these warnings, because that’s what people HAVE run into.


My view in the morning


Mom, Dad, and a friendly dog

mom dad dog

The barn


The photog


The house…population in the town…32.

the house

I think these dogs have an art director.


I stopped to air up a tire and get a bite to eat at a gas station outside of Angeles. I opted for the bagel chips.

live bait

New Melones Reservoir.

new melones

About 20 miles about…that familiar flap, flap, flap sounded.


A flat tire.

I’ve had something break on a car on 3 separate trips to Northern California.
 and this time I rented a car to AVOID that happening.

So I called, and they said that AAA would come…but what would they do? Just put the spare on.

What I really needed was a tire shop – the thought of driving 300 miles at 60 mph on a donut just didn’t seem like fun. This was Sunday evening. The first 3 places I called were closed…or the number was no good.

The light was fading fast.

So I stopped trying to find a place and quickly went to work.

Car zipped by.

A cow moo’ed. 

Seriously, it came up to the fence and moo’ed at me. 


I got in the car again and called Enterprise again. This time I got a total jackass. He contradicted everything the other people had told me. His suggestions were

1.) Wait until tomorrow and get a new car

2.) Get the tire replaced and HOPE Enterprise reimbursed me.

I tried to tell him this wasn’t what I had just heard…he wasn’t listening. By the time I hung up on him, I was just about seeing red. If it wasn’t dangerous I would have driven that car back to LA on the rims, just to spite him.

Man, that got me steamed.

So I headed towards the nearest big town, where I hoped I could find an open tire shop. The longer I spent on the phone w/ jackasses like him, the less likely it would get fixed. And really if I paid for a tire, it was still cheaper than a hotel and missing work the next day.

Thank God for my Mom thinking clearly – she suggested I stop at an airport and swap cars. 

The only city I new of on the way was Fresno…and I didn’t think they had an airport. But they did. 3 phone calls later I had a car. I set the Kia on cruise at 60 mph, and let the traffic zip by me on the 99.

I felt about this delirious…the airport had 3 of the most bored Starbucks employees I’ve ever seen.

Rental Car ..2

rental #2

At the bottom of the Grapevine, I stopped, took a nap and then got some fast food. By the time I returned to my car…I no longer had my keys. I was exhausted, barely coherent, and now possible going to be spending the night in a Wendy’s…retracing my steps I found nothing, as I walked into the Wendy’s, the young girl that had been cleaning was walking out – with my keys. whew.

I got home late…went to work early and output a promo for Afro Samurai for the Video Game Awards, the first thing I’ve cut that will air on TV. And a dam cool cartoon. Lucky Bruce gets to cut all the English language episodes.


p.s. Can people tell me their favorites of these? I’m having a hard time narrowing it down…















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