Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff luncheon

While I get to go to a lot of cool events due to my “past life” in the concert business and my mother’s really cool job as President of Town Hall Los Angeles, of which this was one of her events, I must say that this was one of the cooler!
Admiral Mullen was very well spoken, had a knowledgeable command of the topic, whatever it was as many questions were asked from the audience, and was in general (no pun intended) just a really nice guy! He spoke/responded about the Middle East, the Sub-Asian Continent (Afghanistan, Pakistan and India), Veterans Affairs. When a former Colonel who had been discharged due to medical reasons recently from active duty asked about what can be done re: veterans, etc. Admiral Mullen was open and straightforward and even told the gentleman that he should contact him directly via email and he’d look into it, as he reads and answers all his own email. I thought that was pretty impressive for such a high ranking official to be that approachable.
At the end of the event, for those high schoolers that were there (Town Hall Los Angeles always invites students) he handed out a number of “coins”. they carry the seal of the Joint Chiefs and say “presented by Adm. mike Mullen” and are really, really cool… I didn’t get one :-(. Was actually told now, they were for “special folks”. My mother got one though, so I guess that’s coming later in life with her hockey puck that Gordy Howe gave her :-)… He did offer something else that is even more cool than the coin, but you’ll have to wait to find out about that one….
Yes, that’s the Chairman as my mother was introducing him… See how close I was (and yes, I got to talk to him (and joke) quite a bit when the event was over… a really nice man!)
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People Really do Read This Thing!

Who would have ever thought that people actually read this blog/site/thing…? I went to pick up a friend for dinner and there it was, in all it’s glory, this site on the computer screen. I got the response, “well, I googled you and now I’m reading up on you.” Isn’t that just embarrassing :-)….
What can I say other than, I’m surprised. I am also glad that I write carefully, not mentioning any of those bits that could prevent me from getting a job, get me fired from a job, or worse yet, prevent me from getting a date :-)! I have always tried to write in a manner that only deals with me, and doesn’t “tell” abut others… kind of like the way at the end of a film it says, “names have been changed to protect the innocent.” Well, since I try to be careful about who I wrote about, I don’t have to change any names. That’s a good thing ’cause I probably couldn’t remember them anyway, yet alone after I change them!
As for other things going on right now… I’m watching the markets implode like the rest of you. I am involved in a couple of new start-ups, but again, so is everybody else it seems. I’ll keep you posted how it goes…. Oh, and I start the second of 5 wine classes tonight, hopefully on my way to a certificate in wine.

Police to Manage Film Location Security

There is an article in today’s Los Angeles Times about security on film set locations. It mentions how most of the officers that you see around town doing security and directing traffic on sets are retired, no longer active members of the police force.
Personally, I find this quite disturbing! While I live in Santa Monica, which is an independent city (Los Angeles is an amalgamation of lots of little cities inside a great big one), we have similar issues. And if you read my posts from the past, you can see that filming in Santa Monica can be a problem.
You might ask, “What’s the problem with this?” Well, the problem is that often times they “protect” the filming. Go and read the article, it talks about how they (the filming) often work past hours that they are allowed, create excessive noise and other things that disturb the surrounding neighbors/neighborhoods. The officers aren’t there to protect the filming, they are there to enforce the rules and protect the neighbors/neighborhoods.
If they aren’t doing their jobs by protecting those that are effected, then what are they doing? Are they just there impersonating a police officer? They wear police uniforms and ride police motorcycles even though they aren’t police. Isn’t this against the law? Can I dress up as a police officer and provide security…? I didn’t think so, and just because you are retired doesn’t give you the rights to put on the uniform again and act like police, especially when you are allowing film crews to not abide by the rules (time limits, parking issues, security, etc., i.e. breaking the law!).
Again, go read the article and you will be as shocked as I am… The LAPD sent out officers to spot check and found that often there are violations, which is why they are now looking to oversee these folks that do film security, impersonating officers! I say go to it!!!! The film folks say that it will raise costs, increase hassles and make them move filming elsewhere…. Then go! There is no reason that a film crew/comapny/industry should not have to follow the same rules that the rest of the public does.
A rare occurrence in LA, where the police have been investigated by the FBI, etc. I say go LAPD :-)!