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I was supposed to get up early the last day, catch some of that good light.

I chose not to. Rolled out of bed and over to the NoHo Diner which, as always, beat Denny's as an option. Walked around the morning heat and overcast along Magnolia, shot some close-ups of concrete and grime. I love doing that and then having people ask me why I do. Proves we're not in a simulation is my usual reply. Particularly in the world of curated grime in game and movie effects art. Instead of being cool models, it's about pores and rust and pockmarks. Detail washes everything out and obliterates what you were going for in the first place. Just like all those dudes making up fake worn vinyl album covers for their brand new synthwave release. Stolen age, you dig? Stolen weight and power.

Drove down the Miracle Mile to the Petersen Auto Museum, which is nothing less than a fantastic place. Take the vault tour. You can't take pictures, but you can get up close to all kinds of strange and wonderful vehicles that you simply aren't going to see anywhere else. Ask about the haunted car. I won't tell you which one, but see what kind of reaction you get. Besides that, there's the Buick that drove FDR and Churchill and Stalin to the Yalta Conference, Robert Kennedy's last ride, same with Eva Peron, Saddam Hussein's Mercedes and the one that used to drive Ghadaffi around. Or the Pantera with three bullet holes that Elvis himself installed.

Upstairs, there was more conventional fare, but still some breathtaking vehicles. How about the Bugatti that was a gift from the government of France to the future Shah of Iran? That thing's a dream.

Or the low-riders?

Or the gross vernacular of the Juxtapox exhibit?

Or chrome type in the wild?

I'm alligator-arming this one. I should have a lot more to say, and wonder how I can even say it. How cars are amazing, ingenious, breathtaking and yet the avatars of a network of industries that's stripping the planet? Hard to love on those grounds, but impossible to hate.

I wanted to make a trip down to Wilmington or Signal Hill to shoot some of these urban oil wells that are still standing, still working in the heart of the sprawl. Maybe next time. Didn't like which way the clock was turning and had to get something to eat and ship the books I'd recklessly purchased on this trip back home. Back to Costa Mesa/Newport confluence and Taco Mesa, which used to be an old haunt but that was only a lifetime ago. The nachos al pastor still have great grilled flavor and pineapple to throw in some sweetness, though.

Then to sit down in the airport lounge and start writing up stuff for an idea that's turning into a thing called AUTODRIVE. Of course, as in true nightmare fashion, I left the iPad on the plane. Lost and found, sure.

Yeah, I'm not making this last part up. I know exactly how it happened. Had my camera out to shoot through the window on the flight. Didn't latch the case when I put it back, pulled on it and the camera made a short tumble to the floor just as I was getting ready to get off the plane.

And that damn iPad was sitting on the seat next to me. Ah, the kindness of my fellow human.

I know. Losers weepers.

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