Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Water Damage.

I woke up this morning to find a leaky roof. As if an act of God the leak was Directly above my laptop. That red square is where I generally leave my laptop, that thing has a puddle of water on it. The dry square is where I had a pile of books. the books soaked up all the water there. Bye-bye computer and files. Laptops are required in my major. I usually backup my files at the end of every quarter, our quarter ends in two weeks. so everything in the last three months is gone, like homework.

A good number of my homework files I've e-mailed, so those are retreivable, But none of them are the original raw files, I won't be able to edit them, which I need to do for my final project. I'm using my girlfriend's computer right now, she's sleeping and still doesn't know yet.

This also means I probably won't be blogging for a while, so get used to seeing this not updated. sorry folks.

despair, Tomorrow's thanksgiving. I refuse to let this bring me down! (too bad you can't build laptops out of bamboo)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Working with Bamboo

Originally uploaded by andrewkanzler
So along with this blog, work, and school, I've got a lot of other projects going on. Learning how to work with bamboo is one of them. There are a lot of resources I've found on the internet and I've also been able to ask a Japanese craftsman some questions I had.

This bamboo grows in my backyard, It's black bamboo (this one hasn't turned black) and it's very strong. The first photo is of some bamboo that is dry on some culms but not ready on others.

Here's a photo of heat treated bamboo. The top two pieces are heated treated and are thus shiny and polished. The bottom piece still needs to be heat treated. The top piece is of black bamboo that had actually turned black before it was harvested. Heat treating does two things. It melts the white waxy stuff and with a cloth you can polish it, and second the interior starches are broken down so that bugs won't eat the bamboo. Here's a closeup of how different it looks after heat treating.

one culm shiny and one culm not shiny

Bamboo is a grass so not all grasses are bad. BUT, with bamboo being considered a highly sustainable product be careful! Not all Bamboo products are sustainable. For example most(90% of) bamboo clothing products use a lot of chemicals to break bamboo down into usable threads. So unless that bamboo shirt you're wearing was turned to thread mechanically it is NOT sustainable. (there are no legal restrictions for calling something sustainable). The more the bamboo sticks to its original form the more sustainable it is.

Here's a single shot of a Bamboo pipe I made. It's the first thing I made with bamboo because it's very simple. I don't have much use for it so I might sell it on ebay.

And I just made this right now it took about two minutes. It's a bottle opener I learned how to make from Home Grown Evolution. scrap bamboo and a screw. I used it and it works wonders, MUCH easier than using the edge of my cel. phone

Friday, November 21, 2008

Transit in Pomona: Campus to Downtown and Back

With the growth of new businesses in Pomona including nightlife I figured it's important we all know the bus routes to and from Campus to Downtown. After all we want everyone traveling safely and responsibly that includes financially and environmentally.

Route and Schedule for 480

For you living on or near campus the latest bus to leave downtown back to campus on weekdays is the 490 it leaves at 12:28 am (the earliest if you're willing to wait is 5:38am) HOWEVER on weekends that last bus leaves at 10:00pm There are no stops in between and the route is direct.

I live in the city so I'll be riding my bike, so for those of you that ride bikes remember you CAN get a DWI on a bicycle.

There is another bus that goes through Phillips Ranch the 195 but the latest that leaves is 6:15pm but it goes a little out of the way and has five stops in between. On weekends the last bus leaves at 6:35pm route and schedule for 195

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Where the Sidewalk Ends

On my block, the sidewalk ends abruptly. Why? I don't know. It sure is a lot softer to walk on especially in the rain! There are also a number driveways that are just dirt.

Will this ever get fixed? It's been like this for a while. Does anyone care? Is this the image of Pomona? Where does the money for Pomona's infrastructure go? Come on council people, FIX OUR INFRASTRUCTURE!

BUT, What if Pomona isn't paving this stretch of sidewalk because they understand sustainable practices, conrete increases water runoff, makes water dirtier and doesn't recharge our groundwater(which would help us in times of drought like now). Maybe Pomona wants the water that lands here to percolate back into our groundwater! HA! Yeah Right! Then where's the Decomposed Granite? Why is the surface a layer of dust? Talk about mud on a rainy day!

Instead of getting a traveling Vietnam war memorial in our town, why not stop wasting water and fix broken irrigation?

Instead of military banners why not fix the potholes in the roads?

Not that those causes aren't admirable causes but shouldn't we be focusing on our infrastructure first? Shouldn't we be fixing our city first? It's like cleaning your house before inviting guests over. It's courteous. We should have a clean city and functioning infrastructure before we invite the Memorial to stay in our town or post up military banners in our town, we should be treating our guests, heroes, families, and friends with respect.

This stretch of sidewalk is a perfect OPPORTUNITY for Pomona to use some BMP's (that's Best Management Practices) and use PERMEABLE paving. It's already permeable but in this case that means mud for pedestrians or you'll have to walk in the street. At the least can we get some Decomposed Granite? How about some permeable pavers? It's not a problem it's an OPPORTUNITY!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fried Chicken in Pomona: Pittsburgh Broasted vs. Louisiana Fried vs. Donahoo's Golden

View Larger Map

It is time for some lighter news and some FOOD!

It looks like no matter where you live in Pomona there is a local walkable place to get fried chicken, so my girlfriend and I have been testing them out. So far we've eaten at Pittsburgh Broasted Chicken and Subs at Indian Hill and Holt, Louisiana Fried Chicken and China Bowl at Garey and Philadelphia to the south and Donahoo's Golden Chicken at Garey and Alvarado to the north. (There is a Church's to the west on Mission Blvd. even.)

Donahoo's is a staple in Pomona so that was easy to find, It is perfect for those in the historical district, it is take out only and it's very close to homes to walk to. Louisiana Fried is right next door to Food-4-Less where we shop sometimes, It is definitely close enough to walk to for us but I'd rather ride my bike. Pittsburgh Broasted we found through Inland Empire Restaurant and Food Reviews, it is close to Claremont and Montclair, it is more surrounding by businesses than homes but for those that work in that area it is a great place to eat.

Here are our verdicts, placed by Rankings.

3rd. Donahoo's. I know there are many Pomona faithfuls who may disagree but my girlfriend and I both agreed that Donahoo's was lacking in flavorful content. HOWEVER their sign and recognizability in Pomona is unique and deserves credit for that, however their fried chicken doesn't live up to the hype, I haven't tried their biscuits yet, I've heard they are tasty.

2nd. Louisiana Fried Chicken. If Pittsburgh weren't broasted-fried these guys would have won. Louisiana FC has very tasty chicken full of flavor and the hot sauce definitely packs that extra punch we often crave. Plus if you have the hankering for Chinese food that option is present.

1st. Pittsburgh Broasted. Though more expensive then the other two, Broasted makes the chicken healthier, less greasy and more juicy while retaining fried chicken values (since it is technically still fried just under pressure). Lousiana Fried has slightly better flavor than the Pittsburgh Broasted Original, BUT Pittsburgh Broasted has other options! We also tried their Cajun flavored broasted chicken and that was exceptional! One other option we did not try was their lemon pepper broasted. They also have sandwiches and subs and EVEN Korean Bar-B-Q chicken (chicken Bulgogi).

Interestingly enough Donahoo's owners are Chinese-American (Mandarin speaking) Louisiana's owners are Vietnamese-American and Pittsburgh's owners are Korean-American.

Next to try are Popeye's (which I haven't had since I was a kid) and Church's we won't be considering KFC for contention (maybe). And then we'll be comparing roasted chickens e.g. Juan Pollo vs Macho Pollo. In the meantime, here's a link for your enjoyment about someone trying to find an ordinance for keeping chickens in Chicago.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Protesting Prop 8 in Pomona: Defamiliarizing the Landscape in a Good Way

Jesus Loves Gays
Originally uploaded by andrewkanzler
Pomona isn't exactly known for its political activism, so when I see any sort of political activism of any sort that really draws any group of people together I get excited. On Saturday morning while riding my bike to Stater Bros. I stopped by the protest of prop 8 in downtown Pomona. Here is some footage, with a statement at the end.

From across the street along Garey. (Does anyone else agree that that massive parking lot at WaMu is a major waste of space?)

Crossing Garey on Second, protesters coming towards me. (please excuse the glare streaks from here on out. I don't have a real video camera)

Moving in the same direction of protesters Car/Bike's-Eye-View along Second st Antique Row. (note the police car keeping the peace, I actually caught one of them sleeping in his car with it on over by Sakura Ichi, must've been pretty boring for them. Don't worry, your secret is safe with me Mr. Officer. I don't want to get on his bad side and he clearly saw me.)

Protestors coming towards me at Second St. Antique Row, Cars are honking and people are on both sides of the street.

Wrapping the corner from Second to Third along Gibbs. The background is either crazy cloud cover or the Fires in Carbon Canyon. (this one's a little longer but the different chants are interesting, I'm glad they didn't rhyme 8 with 8)

Last Video, Corner of Garey and Third, being swarmed by protesters. After reviewing the video I spotted Bill Korthof the owner of Energy Efficiency Solar in Pomona(they install solar panel systems) He also owns the Regen Co-op houses in Pomona. If you don't know who he is, he's probably the most conservative looking one in this video.

Pomona looked different on this day. It was grand, and I wish there were more of this more often, about anything. The crowd wasn't that large, it was definitely minuscule only in comparison to the Anti-war protests just before the Iraq War in 2001/2 in Downtown LA, (I helped to film some of that for a documentary in China called "Run, China" with a real camera(please check it out, video is split in three parts)). The sound of the landscape was very different, the sounds of the environment seemed to have the most impact. If people were just marching, people would not be heard, it could be easier to ignore them if sounds were missing. In this moment people were in fact taking back Pomona. I'm almost certain that if this many people were out everyday violence and crime in Pomona would reduce. The presence of other people make people who are about to do no good more apprehensive. In this special case the presence of activists encourage others to be more active. I digress... Anyways, Pomona, Good job.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Time Banking & The Urban Homestead

Last night I made it out to Los Angeles, to
Materials & Applications
. They put on a workshop for Time Banking by the Echo Park Time Bank and short presentation by a co-author of "The Urban Homestead"

"M&A is a research center dedicated to pushing new and underused ideas for art, landscape and architecture into view." I'll show some photos of the place later on.

Time Banking is a very interesting concept developed by Edgar Cahn. Lisa Gerstein and Autumn Rooney explained to us the system of trade based on time. What you do is you work for someone for an hour and then you've earned a one hour time dollar which can be spent on having someone do something else for you! One issue of concern brought up was that some people may consider their time more valuable based on the work you do. Well, get over it! An hour is an hour. How many times have you helped a friend based on your expertise? Well that friend probably owes you a couple of dog walks, and with a time bank you can "purchase" an hour from anyone involved in the community! This system is not the same as bartering. The terminology is actually tax exempt, even the goods trading is tax exempt, but that trade is based on the honor system.

I think this form of exchange of services can be very useful, I wonder if it would work in Pomona. There is software to keep this all in order available from In fact if we had a time bank in Pomona I would offer my Landscape and Environmental Expertise in time dollars.

Shortly afterways Erik Knutzen
spoke to us about his book that he co-authored with his wife Urban Homestead

It's a great book (I haven't read it completely yet) about self sufficiency in the urban arena, It includes not just home gardening but also how to cook with passive solar energy, how to store food for the long haul, and also many other eco-friendly and cost effective ways to sustain oneself.

I had the chance to speak with Erik and he's a really nice guy, I asked him if he would speak at my school about his book at one of our community dinners. He said he has been meaning to come out and visit the Regenerative Studies Center, and well, this would be a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. I will keep ya'll posted as the events unfurl.

And about M&A there is an installation in the front called Yakuza Lou, I took some shots of the robotic ephemeral landform.

And a Cloud

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Need Something to do on Veterans Day?

Beyond Appearances II
1619 Silver Lake Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Urban Homestead & Echo Park Time Bank
November 11th 2008 gates open at 7:30 lectures at 8pm
$5 donation at the door

Erik Knutzen is the co-author with Kelly Coyne of The Urban Homestead a guide to self-reliant living in the city. Infused with the DIY spirit and distrust of the pre-packaged and the spoon-fed, they believe that in this age, gardening and the home arts can be a revolutionary gesture towards richer lives and better communities. Erik will be speaking about how the subject of home economics needs a revival and how the subject can positively influence our lives. Erik and Kelly also blog at

And the Echo Park Time Bank, a very interesting local solution to the hardships and injustices of global capitaliasm. The EPTB is a collective whose purpose is to facilitate the cooperative exchange of goods and services among it's members. Autumn Rooney and Lisa Gerstein, co-founders of the Echo Park Time Bank, discuss the concept of complimentary currency as an alternative to the cash economy, and share their own experiences creating a time bank in their neighborhood.

Our sixth lecture series, Beyond Appearances, will address the growing feeling in our society that we need to pay closer attention to the events that are shaping these times. Everything designed, built, created, used and disused requires an infrastructure and a plan to get it from concept to reality. Understanding the origin and trajectories of these systems is key to understanding and coping with our future. A deeper understanding of what others are doing, both regularly and radically, is a step closer to making the world a better place. These lectures will take place semi-regularly, but it is best to keep an eye out as we have not really discovered if there will be a rhythm to them.

M&A is a 501c3 non-profit organization dependent upon your donations to continue its programs.

Let's Build Something Beautiful!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Progress In Pomona?

So on Friday on my way to school again, I saw this on Valley near where it becomes Holt (that bridge is the 57 fwy). They're clearing the brush!

Before this I had to ride my bike on the road and others even had to walk on the road. BUT, since there is no bike lane I like to ride on the sidewalk when there aren't many people on it. NOW I can actually ride here. So, today, this morning I rode my bike to school and tried out the cleared sidewalk. It was better than I had ever imagined.

PLUS on the other side of the street they were fixing the sidewalk! Awesome! If only Pomona would do that on my street.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

You're a Bad Person if You Have a Lawn.

Food Not Lawns
Originally uploaded by andrewkanzler
Not really, but kind of. Thursday night at the community dinner at the Regenerative Studies Center, Todd from the Claremont chapter of Food Not Lawns came out to speak with us. Thursday was officially "Lawn Day" for me.

Here's Todd, he's a real friendly guy. And I think he's getting his Masters in Regenerative Studies.

Hopefully most people are familiar with Food Not Lawns (it says it all in the name and the Goddess blogged about it once before) so I won't get too much into it. But the organization itself, the chapter in Claremont is an ACTUAL community that will HELP you convert your front lawn into a full-on vegetable and herb garden including POMONANS. They will send out a BUNCH of people to convert your lawn in a single day. A colleague of mine, Anne, who lives in Pomona just outside of the "hysterical" district as she calls it, has had her lawn redone. Unfortunately it was taken over by the invasive nut sedge after some time BUT the Claremont Food Not Lawns group WILL be going back to take care of the nut sedge problem and replant the garden. So if you can't tell by now, they are a very supportive group.

The reason why they prefer to do front lawns is so that it is visible. So that people can understand that there are options to the front lawn. Paula Lantz's interview with the Goddess mentions that there are people that don't like that some homeowners choose to plant foods in their lawn. I for one think that is ridiculous.

Anne brought up a point made by Paul Robbins in his book "Lawn People", that people with lawns and the care for lawns is a cause, for some people, of great anxiety. It is because it is an image that one is upholding for their neighbors. Lawns have a bigger impact on ones life than you'd think. Todd mentioned that the lawn is sort of an extension of the interior home, bringing the well manicured carpeting outside for presentation to the neighbors. I would hate to have to be constantly appeasing my neighbors with my lawn.

One of my Professors Dr. Susan Mulley was also there and she brought up the point of how the shift between lawns and edible gardens has happened repeatedly and is also a source of discrimination. During the war effort (WWII) it was considered patriotic to grow your own food at your home so that more resources could be poured into our troops (those gardens were called victory gardens). Then when that began to calm down and the lawn was replacing edibles it was considered that only immigrants grew their own food and of course immigrants don't know any better and no one likes immigrants!(kidding... or am i?) sad. Now according to Ms. Lantz there are still people in her district that feel others should not be growing food in their lawns! Well... they're stuck in the 50's and aren't very patriotic! (kidding, for reals this time)

The Claremont chapter of Food Not Lawns covers the surrounding areas, so it includes Pomona. I say join them and convert your water guzzling drought inducing lawn into a food production organically grown produce oasis.

Oh and if you want to keep a lawn here are some photos of 241 Franklin in Pomona of the drought resistant Carex pansa

Friday, November 7, 2008

Waste in Pomona (Phillips Ranch)

On my way to school yesterday afternoon I saw this in the Phillips Ranch district in Pomona.

First, let's talk about the turf, the unused lawn. There is about a six foot wide buffer of turf between the street and the sidewalk. Because it is between a sidewalk and the street, no one, seriously no one is going to use that lawn area. Now for those of you that don't know, turf-grass is used as a standard for measuring water use. It's like this: Turf-grass is considered 100% water use, ALL other nursery stock plants are considered a percentage of the amount of water that Turf-grass uses. California native and California friendly plants are usually between 10% and 30 %. MOST nursery stock that people plant are between 60% and 90%, only turf-grass is 100%.

So the fact that no one is going to USE this turf-grass is a complete waste of water. But what else is going on here? A broken sprinkler! This sprinkler is SPEWING water out, wasting GALLONS more than normal, and our tax dollars are paying for it.

First solution? Fix the sprinkler. THEN, if the Phillips Ranchers really want a turf-grass like buffer for their sidewalk, they can replace it with Carex pansa (or Carex texensis) Carex Pansa is a California native and looks and acts and feels JUST like turf grass (Carex texensis is naturalized in California) and since it is a sedge and not a grass (the untrained eye would never tell the difference) it even looks great if you mow it only twice a year! It'll even save some gasoline!

(if you're wondering why I'm driving a mercedes and I claim to be a starving student, it's because it's an oldie, a 1984 diesel that i bought for 1,000 bucks, It will be running on waste vegetable oil soon, like my isuzu pickup)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Nanotechnology, the Environment and, the Landscape

Nano Landscape
Originally uploaded by andrewkanzler
Nanotechnology is obviously growing, it is expanding and moving into other fields. This map literally puts nanotechnology on a map(pulled from The colors show the type of work being done with red for tools and instruments and blue for energy and environmental applications.

My friend Tekena Tamuno-Koko (That would be Nigerian) and I were talking today about nanotechnology and how it could affect the landscape. It seems that much of it is already in R&D and considering that the environment is so closely related to R&D it is one of the most active arenas for nanotechnology. It is something that should really be discussed with Landscape Architects on a much wider scale, especially considering the relation we both have with energy AND the environment. There must be some common ground somewhere, for example this article discussing waste water cleanup

So you Landscape Architects (and students of)start discussing, 'cause it's going to hit us sooner or later and we better NOT miss it. Where is our shared information!!?? Is there anybody out there?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Homosexuality and Space, Christianity and Anarchy, Ownership and Stewardship

What do these all have to do with each other? You'll find out. This weekend my girlfriend and I drove through Chino Hills. On one of the main intersections (Grand Ave. and Pipeline) there were demonstrators for and against Proposition 8 (if you don't know what that is, it is to ban gay marriage) here's a video I recorded on our way to get some frozen yogurt.

There were many Christians there as well as some Anarchists. I was quite happy to see people demonstrating on the same corners for completely opposing views yet being quite peaceful towards each other. It was an interesting experience seeing how these demonstrators used the landscape to get their point across. Many People would stand at each street corner and wait for the crosswalk to turn green. They would then walk back and forth and often circle the entire intersection. I've always been intrigued by how the landscape is used during demonstrations ever since I helped film a war protest in Downtown LA in 2001.

Then on Sunday morning (when there's nothing good on TV) I left the channel on a preacher while I did my homework, after all I just recently had an encounter with a large group of Christians. Interestingly enough the man brought up the idea of "Ownership vs. Stewardship." Now this REALLY caught my attention. It caught my attention because what he continued to say is almost exactly the same things that Anarchists preach. I grew up as a Catholic (though I'm agnostic now) I was baptized and confirmed and even passed a course on teaching Sunday school. From my experiences in the church I knew that the Jesus preached that man should not be enforcing law (John 8:1 - 11) "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." But right in front of me was more proof that Christianity and Anarchy had much more in common (I'm surprised I never realized it before).

Anarchists also preach Stewardship over Ownership. Whereas in Christianity it is not a choice and people do NOT own anything because God is the owner of everything and people are just stewards of the Earth (somewhere early in Genesis). Anarchists lean more to it being a choice. That no one person should claim ownership over anything but instead be stewards of what exists so that all people can benefit.

A friend of mine (Olympia) is an open Anarchist and a Christian she is also transgendered, an Urban Planner and an activist. So there are people that are openly Christian-Anarchists. It really isn't that uncommon.

Then I did a flickr search for "ownership" and I found this photo. With a link to The Sexuality and Ownership of Space. It's about the Pansy Project, what it is is whenever the artist Paul Harfleet experiences verbal homophobic abuse he would plant a pansy thus creating a sense of entitlement to the space in which it happened. I feel it is quite powerful.

The Southbank Center calls it the ownership of space but I believe it is much more a stewardship of the space in which Homophobia has occured because as the artist states, "These self seeding pansies act as a living memorial to this abuse and operate as an antidote to it..." One could discuss the ownership vs. stewardship construct in this context to its death. Plus it's not my art, it's Paul Harfleet's.

The point is, beyond the relationship between Anarchy and Christianity, or the relationships between Political Activism and the Landscape, or even the relationship between Homosexuality and Space. What it is, is that I'm amazed how everything seemed to come full circle and have a strong relationship with each other. I'm also very amazed at the activism, creativity and the similarities people all share.