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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Honorable Mention: Bay Area Independent Publishers Association

In June 2010, "Renting with Rex" won an Honorable Mention with BAIPA 
(Bay Area Independent Publishers Association)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Trip to Hollywood for Awards Ceremony

On February 24, 2010, I drove down to Hollywood for the awards ceremony for the Los Angeles Book Festival and the DIY (Do it Yourself) Book and Film Festival. "Renting with Rex" won two awards in these contests in their "How To" categories

I had originally intended to drive down on Highway 5 through the valley. However, a close friend who does a lot of RV driving, suggested that I reroute to Highway 101 since she had been stuck in snow over the grapevine north of Los Angeles.

Since the award ceremony was at 6 PM on Thursday, I wouldn't have had enough time to drive all the way down on Thursday, especially since I was taking both dogs and Mercury, the cat. They definitely need time to have a break.

I decided to drive the first part on Wednesday and stay the night in Pismo Beach on the coast. I had never taken the drive down to LA on 101, so the whole drive was brand new, and I had never stayed in Pismo Beach. What a beautiful town. It is right on the coast and the cliffs. I got to town around 4 PM, so I decided to find a nice beach and let the dogs and cat out and give us all a nice time on the beach. Mercury, of coarse, stayed in the van for the trip walking around and down to the beach

Here is the slideshow for Pismo Beach:

The next day I drove down to Hollywood. Along the way I lost a hubcap. There were parts where the road was so rough, I am not surprised I didn't loose more.

I got to Motel 6 around 3 PM. Due to the size of my van and the size of their underground parking lot, I had to find street parking to park for overnight. I found another lot but they wouldn't take overnight parking. I found another lot that had a higher ceiling, but that was full. After around a hour of driving around, I finally found a spot on a steep hill about four blocks away. At least I didn't have to pay because the other lots wanted to charge me $20. I put on my alarm and steering wheel lock and prayed hard that my car would be safe.

I had just enough time to bring all my stuff in and park the car, relax a bit  and watch a little of the Olympics and then walk to the hotel where the awards ceremony was being held. What I didn't know realize was that the street where the hotel was is on Hollywood Blvd, where all the Hollywood Stars are on. I promised to check out all the stars and take some shots after the ceremony.

The ceremony was nice. They showed several of the short films that won awards. They were very creative and fun to watch. The people running the event said that they would have links to all the awards and the films. As soon as that is available I will post those.

Here is a shot of my certificate:

So, after the ceremony, I walked up and down Hollywood Blvd and Vine Street and photographing as many stars as I could before my cell phone battery died. I had to do a lot of post processing to the images because I shot them at night, and the lighting was very bad. Plus, there was a lot of traffic on the sidewalks, so I had to work around shadows and blocked lights. There are several that were right in front of Capital Records. Those were a nice surprise. The big surprise to me was that Paul McCartney didn't have one but John, George and Ringo did. Now, I could see those stars were very new, so maybe Paul's is coming along soon.

Some of the images in this slideshow are taken from large paintings that are on role up doors that are up and down Hollywood Blvd. Those were great. Some had some graffiti, like Gracie Allen's, but most were in good shape, especially with the very large amount of traffic on that street.

If anybody wants copies of these stars, please email me at:, and I will email them to you if you have a favorite star I have photographed here.

Here is the slideshow for Hollywood Stars:

I drove back home the next day, which was a nice drive. I only hit rain when I got back to around Monterey and then all the way home. That was tough because we could only drive slow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

San Francisco Officials Talk About Mandatory Allowance of Pets in Apartments

Mandatory acceptance of pets in rental housing
The issue of mandatory acceptance of pets in rental housing was heard again by the Animal Control and Welfare Commission on November 12, 2009. There have been two meetings on this topic.

This agenda item stems from the commissioner’s previous discussions about trying to ensure that no potentially adoptable animal be euthanized in city shelters.

There has been some discussion among commissioners about making the acceptance of pets in rental housing mandatory in order to increase the number of rental housing providers that will accept pets in their tenant’s rental units.

Debates have been heated and emotional. SFAA opposes mandating owners to accept pets in rental units. We believe pet policy is a choice that should be left up to the building owners. Contrary to what many of the speakers at the hearings and the commissioners have said, SFAA believes that owning a pet is not a right, it is a choice.

SFAA board member Andrew Long spoke in opposition to the legislative proposal. His comments are featured in a KGO-TV news story that ran November 12:

Chapter One Breakdown

Each chapter will now be available for purchase individually through the webpage: As soon as my web designer gets that information up onto the page, it will be available directly. 

The book itself is still available as a download directly from or as a hardcopy through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Dogwise, Ebay and

All questions and comments are welcome. Feel free to email me anytime at or call me at 510/415-6185.  Thanks.

Chapter One: Finding a Dog Friendly Place to Rent
1. Humane Society of the United States: "13 Steps to Finding Pet Friendly Housing"
(indent) Give yourself enough time
(indent) Why many housing communities reject pets
(indent) Use available resources
(indent) Why a no pets policy community won't be a good place to look
(indent) Gather proof you are responsible
(Indent) Talk to the person who makes the decisions
(indent) Ask why a no-pets policy is in effect
(indent) Let them know that you understand the need to be clean.
(indent) Promote yourself
(indent) Promote your pet
(indent) Be willing to pay extra
(indent) Get it in writing
(indent) Be honest
2. Questions to Ask Yourself When Looking for a Place to Rent with Your Dogs
(indent) Are you a prospective tenant with a pet looking for an apartment?
(indent) Are you a current tenant looking for a new pet?
(indent) Are you a current tenant with a pet and want to know how to keep your pet and neighbors happy?
3.Creating Your Pet's Resume
(indent) Your information
(indent) Pet's Description
(indent) Dog's personality
(indent) Training
(indent) Health and Grooming
(indent) Exercise
(indent) Miscellaneous
(indent) References
4. A Landlord Checklist
(indent) Medical health
(indent) Training/exercise
(indent) Being a responsible person
(indent) Past Experience in rentals

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Honorable Mentions for Two Book Festivals!

Thursday, February 24 - Drive to Pismo Beach
Wednesday, February 25 - Drive to Los Angeles/Hollywood, Awards Ceremony at Roosevelt Hotel, Walk along "The Walk of Fame"
Friday, February 26 - Drive home

On Wednesday, February 3, I received an email stating that "Renting with Rex" had won an Honorable Mention for the DIY (Do it Yourself) Book Festival in the "How To" category. I sent in my reservation for the dinner on February 25, in Los Angeles.

Tonight, Sunday, February 7, I received another email that "Renting with Rex" won another Honorable Mention, also in the "How To" category. This time it was for the Los Angeles Book Festival. The dinner for the Los Angeles Book Festival is the same as the DIY Book Festival.

I was so surprised and happy to see that the book was finally receiving some recognition. I have received a handful of uncomplimentary comments from other so-called professionals "in the field." But the average person on the street really likes it. So, I had to tell myself, who is the book written for? Is it written for the so called "reviewer" or English Professor sitting in their ivory tower? Or is it written for the person who has pets, who needs to find a place to rent and does not want to give up their pets. Or for the person who has been in a similar situation in the past and needed to find a place to rent with their pets, and did not want to surrender them to a shelter? That was not to hard for me to answer.