Though not necessarily travel, it still took me a while to get to a part of Los Angeles I hardly ever go to–I think longer than it takes to get to San Diego!–so I’m counting it for Travel Thursday.
The day started quite typically as I forgot my water bottle and had to get a semi-giant one at Union Station. And of course they’re selling them 2 for $2, but I didn’t need two. Inventory problems, much?
Nothing much happened on public transportation from Pasadena to Redondo Beach, for which we should all be grateful. The driver of the PCH bus, rather than let the computerized voice signal the next stop, is jazzy singing them, loud enough for those in back to hear, and probably in the following cars. Too bad Carnelian doesn’t have a stop, just so I could tell Catherine Asaro, though he did Diamond, which is part of the title in another of her books. And where was he last year, when I missed my stop to the volleyball festival?
Anyhoo, I’m early on purpose this time, and spend a good half hour with the wi-fi at the McD’s across the street from both the police station and the high school, which I later find out is the biggest HS campus in at least the state. Blitz must have had so much fun checking that out, but more on that later. Here at the McD’s there’s an Air Force guy with plenty of chevrons whom I saw later at the cop shop, other cops, and Marines, including one in dress who didn’t look old enough to shave.
So even though my ridealong doesn’t start till two, I’m there close to 1:30, only to have Officer Richie out doing something else, leaving me with almost an hour’s wait; a guy can only look at all the law enforcement patches on the wall so many times. . . plus the reflection from the glass doors screws up the photography of them. But finally he’s here and gathers me up to show me the way to the back, where the cars are, and then another part of the building, where cops are lounging. Finally we’re ready to go, as he introduces me to Blitz, who looks like a mix between a German shepherd and a Belgian (never learned to spell the rest of that) but turns out to be Czech, though he takes his orders in German.
Some getting to know you as we drive along city streets; unfortunately we’ve got the northeast beat today, far away from the beaches and such. Our first stop is a dreary spot where last week a suspect had fired shots into the air and then run to this homeless encampment along the freeway. Somewhere along that chase he’d dropped or hidden the gun, so doggie Blitz is out to look for it in the shrubbery; Officer Richie grins, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if the civilian ridealong found it?”
Yes, it would be; I had that thought myself. So of course we didn’t find it, but I got to go off road in my new boots for the first time, and I didn’t step on anything I shouldn’t have. Blitz did in fact do some business during the search, and Officer Richie picked up after him, but again more on that later.
As it turned out, the day would be mostly riding along to see if anything turns up, or wait for calls. Soon enough we see the big fire truck flashing its lights past us, so we follow it to a trailer park–where it can’t get in, have to wait for smaller one–and we’re doing traffic control on the big street outside it. Luckily that didn’t last, and then we drive through a small alley to a Ferrari repair place, with some of the big toys outside for perusal. According to Officer Richie, hardly anyone knows there’s $20 million worth of cars here, including one vehicle of which there are only three in the whole world. . . and now more people than before know, although I doubt it’s too many. Good thing I’m not a car geek, who knows what I woulda done. . .
After more driving along there’s a call from Kohl’s at the mall, and since we’re close we go for backup, but by the time we get there it’s all over, and since the back seat is taken up by a dog this car doesn’t do prisoner transport. After that there’s a report of a suspicious woman peeking through driveways and glaring at those around her, which hardly seems like a big deal but it’s a slow day, so we go. Nothing comes of it, though we stop at the little park so some kids can pet Blitz and get some stickers. While doing that a not-bad-looking older blonde comes over to me and. . . hands me a flier for a missing cat. Sigh. . .
After a quick talk with a bank guard about a report of something happening–only to discover it was the same thing he’d worked traffic control for a previous day–we pull into a little substation in the back of a strip mall, where we spend some time perusing the giant city map on the wall. . . we all know I love maps, right? When we go out to get back on patrol, Officer Richie finds that he’d left the bag of poop on the front grill and had been driving it around the whole time! Biggest laugh of the day. . .
There’s a report of a loose dog, so being the canine–or K9–experts we get the call, only to find the dog had merely gotten out while the owner was taking out the trash and had already been corralled. As we’re about to leave the owner says “Naughty boy!” to which I reply, “You talkin’ to me?”
With a park nearby and the only kids there leaving–more petting–Officer Richie uses the opportunity for exercise and training. I would have needed my special Long Beach Grand Prix–it’s next weekend!–photo gear to catch how fast Blitz was going after his toy.
The rest of the time was taken up in blocking the right lane on a busy street to protect a lady who’d run out of gas. We had one call during that, but it got cancelled before we get there, so he drives through a desert garden at the adult school to get back to protecting the no-gas lady. But with the guy who’s supposed to help her stuck in traffic–she really shouldn’t say “I’m gonna kill him!” in front of a cop–we take off so Officer Richie can drop me off at the Green Line station after a fond farewell to Blitz.
The Green Line was so packed I couldn’t get off at my regular stop, so I keep going to my backup plan, where I find the bus has just passed and it’s an hour’s wait. Fortunately there’s another McD’s with wifi close by, and while I’m worried about having to sit on a bus for over an hour after drinking a big soda, I figure I can always get off at the In-N-Out should I need a restroom, despite having another hour’s wait for the next one.
On the bus is an old guy making balloon animals, even taking requests. When he sees one guy on his way to a date he fashions a pretty awesome balloon rose, saying, “If this gets you laid. . .”