L.A. area is a different world

It’s a whole different world out in Southern California. We flew here last Wednesday to take in our niece Whitney’s graduation from UCLA during the weekend and catch up with her parents and other relatives in town for the big event.

On the shuttle to the airport, we came across a young family from Colwich who were also headed to L.A. to see relatives and go to Disneyland.

They had four children ranging from toddler to about 9, and they were all wearing orange shirts. The mom said that was so she could keep track of them.

I’ve been following the car trade-in bill and it appears to be a lemon. It’s the one where you may receive as much as $4,500 to buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle than your present one.

It’s just more social engineering, but there may be an upside to it. Look at all of the demo derby cars that will come available. There could be demo derbys every weekend throughout the land.

But what happens to the value of the car being traded and taken off the road? Does the owner just lose any equity in it, or does it get added to the loan for the new one. Does the dealer eat it? I haven’t read anything about that.

Plus, the bill is attached to the bill funding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, so it will most likely pass. Legislators from Michigan are backing it, which makes perfect sense.

Even environmentalists are against it because they say it will just trade one gas guzzler for a slightly less guzzling vehicle.

In my view, it would be best if Congress took its summer recess and never went back.

When we headed for Pauly Pavillion and the official UCLA commencement, it was about 4 p.m. and traffic was heavy. I’m glad I wasn’t driving or I would have been a basket case by the time we got there.

Pauly Pavillion was more than a venue for commencement to me. I was actually sitting courtside where almost all of the Bruin basketball teams coached by the legendary John Wooden played during the glory years.

Wooden’s photo was included in the banner across the back of the stage for the ceremony.

Commencements nowadays are much different than those of days past. How do you pick out your grad among the thousands of students filing in and filling the entire gym floor and a large area in the seating behind? Cell phones.

I’d be surprised if there was one grad without one. And they were all talking and waving to someone in the audience they had on the phone.

Brad Delson, guitarist of Grammy winning Linkin Park, gave the best commencement address I can remember. In fact, I don’t remember any I have heard in the past. It is already on YouTube if you wish to see it.

We flew out nonstop on the new service to L.A. by Allegiant Airlines. It is a great way to go. If you travel with them, you will find that their rates are very low but they will nickle-and-dime you. You pay for a seat assignment if you choose that option, you pay for drinks or snacks. They do have very nice and comfortable seats, though.

To top it off, they have this hokey raffle for hokey prizes just before you land. And then, if that didn’t do it for you, there is a trivia contest just before touching down. That was the only thing that didn’t cost extra.

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