The Propagator

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Walker Firestone, Marina del Rey. November 2016

We recently got a new brew pub here in Venice. Walker Firestone opened this brewery/bar/restaurant/retail store in what was originally a Sizzler restaurant. Called ‘The Propagator’, they brew some of the beer here on the premises, import some from elsewhere, and have a bottle shop with some of their most popular six packs. You can get a 2-quart growler of most any draft and a big 22-ounce can that they fill and seal right at the bar.

They offer a bewildering array of varieties, some 20 or so, with perennial favorites and a rotating selection of various projects F/W is working on. Wild yeasts, high gravity (read high alcohol, like 14%), blends, fruit infused, and so on. Most of their beer is of the hoppy IPA style that has become so popular. Personally, I find much of it is too bitter. I prefer a darker, maltier brew with the hops in balance, not overpowering. We went shortly after their grand opening. We haven’t been back since. Some of the beer is good, the food so-so. Thus ends the commercial.

These benches are in the foyer cum lobby where you wait for a table. Presumably, some days you can watch the minions going about their brewing chores if you sit there long enough.

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Survey Says …

 

 

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Trotta and Associates, Marina del Rey. May 2017

I have participated in a few marketing research surveys over the years. Typically, you take a pre-survey to see if you qualify and if you do, you are invited to participate. They usually involve a new product or re-branding of an old one, and you sit in a group from one to 20 and give your ‘input’. The products range from hard drives to healthcare, baby products to beverages. For your time, you are compensated with cash, a check, or lately a gift card. It is an easy gig, I’m pretty opinionated; I wish I could do it at least once a week.

This survey mandated that I bring a friend to participate or I couldn’t qualify. So the two of us trekked to the offices of this company in the Marina. Spacious, well-lit, this company provides conference rooms with audio-visual capabilities, everything is taped, huge wall to wall one-way mirrors behind which sit the faceless minions observing, taking notes or whatever faceless minions do while the public is offering its opinions, and cheerful interviewers. The ‘sponsor’ or client whose product we are evaluating is rarely present, but it’s impossible to know who is sitting in those darkened rooms behind the glass.

This interview lasted a little over half an hour, and my friend and I departed a little richer for simply giving our reactions to a series of slides with graphic designs. That’s all I can say, there is always an NDA involved. I have never seen more than one or two people in the spacious waiting room. This day, there were two folks sitting around the corner, but I especially liked the perspective of this hallway.

 

Convenient, Affordable, Quality Care

At some point in each of our lives, a doctor will prescribe a medication for us. That means you have to go to the pharmacy to pick up the filled prescription. Happens I have a few prescriptions I take regularly, so I am a frequent filler. At least once a month I make the trip for refills; I have spent an inordinate amount of time in the pick-up line at our local CVS, and other nearby pharmacies. At CVS they have the actual pick-up line, marked by a carpeted red arrow on the floor, and, if you want to wait while they count the pills into the bottle,  the waiting area, which doubles for the pharmacy and the “Minute Clinic”. At the Minute Clinic you can wait to get flu shots, wait while your kid gets a physical for sports or summer camp, or wait to have a Physicians Assistant or RN treat any number of minor ailments. Of course timing is everything, some days the line stretched halfway down the isle. Having a 24 hour pharmacy is handy for those 2 AM pickups so you can avoid the wait altogether.