Formulaic opening sentences:

• It's Friday night at Dodger Stadium, and there's the mayor of Los Angeles way, way up in the nosebleed section, almost to the moon.
– June 27, 2010, Steve Lopez column

• On a windy day in March, a small gray puffball with onyx eyes arrives at the Ojai Raptor Center.
– June 28, 2010, Opinion

• On a warm Monday afternoon three months ago, the producers of the hit video game Call of Duty found their offices under invasion.
– June 13, 2010, Front page

• On a Monday in September 2007, Teddy Johnson went to his son's apartment.
– Feb. 15, 2010, Front page

• It was close to 2 a.m. when Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and others on a House-Senate conference committee saw just how much clout the oil industry had when it came to winning special tax breaks and other financial benefits from Congress.
– May 25, 2010, Front page

• On a blustery January morning, Michel Laprise found himself in a private conference room within Microsoft Corp.'s labyrinthine campus here, surrounded by 15 of the company's sharpest analytical thinkers.
– June 13, 2010, Calendar

• Just before midnight Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel sent an e-mail to aides who had helped win passage of the historic healthcare overhaul.
– March 23, 2010, Front page

• It was close to midnight Friday, and a few delegates from the South Pacific island of Tuvalu sat grim-faced in front of a conference hall TV screen watching President Obama defend the new global climate deal.
– Dec. 19, 2009, A-section

• It's not yet 10 a.m., and Lt. Col. William McCollough must confront apair of problems that threaten to undercut Marine success in thisonetime Taliban stronghold.
– Dec. 31, 2009, Front page

• It was a weekday evening following the exhilaration of Holy Week, but St. Michael Catholic Church in South Los Angeles was still abuzz.
– April 8, 2010, Front page

• It was early morning in Port-au-Prince, about three weeks after the massive earthquake that laid waste to much of Haiti's capital, and Jim Clark and Matt Cobb – a pair of blond-haired, easygoing firefighters from the Bay Area – were ready to start their day.
– Feb. 20, 2010, Column One

• On a rainy January day, Karen Romo, 15, feeds her five younger brothers and sisters an early dinner and tidies the kitchen while waiting for her father to return from work.
– Feb. 8, 2010, Column One

• On a quiet Sunday in September, a strange scene played out at the school once known simply as Birmingham High.
– Nov. 15, 2009, California section

• On a recent weekday morning, Tom and Jo Heindel strode to the top of a hill at the edge of town and held hands, savoring the panoramic views below of elk grazing in alfalfa fields, strips of willows along streams and elm trees glistening with the remnants of rain.
– Nov. 3, 2009, Column One

• It's a crisp May morning on the set of "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," and Michael Sheen strides into an elaborate reconstruction of an Italianate marble hall in costume as Aro, the head of the Volturi, a menacing group of age-old vampires that metes out justice in the realm of the supernatural.
– Nov. 1, 2009, Calendar

• On a sizzling August morning, as flames burned unchecked down the road, fire crews milled about at an Angeles Crest Highway ranger station.
– Nov. 1, 2009, Front page

• It is Saturday night and rain has washed out the Yankees-Angels game.
– Oct. 25, 2009, Bill Dwyre column

• After midnight on a cool September morning three years ago, Khristina Henry and her boyfriend stepped out of the El Dorado Bowling Alley near LAX.
– Oct. 19, 2009, Column One

• It was sometime after 2 a.m. when gunfire and mortars startled Oqaba Mohammed out of sleep.
– Oct. 14, 2009, A-section

• On a dreary, gray day in March 2008, choreographer Bill T. Jones spoke to a small group of well-wishers in the home of businesswoman Desiree Rogers on Chicago's Near North Side.
– Oct. 4, 2009, Calendar

• It's a hot, windless summer day.
– Sept. 30, 2009, Column One

• It is 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday.
– Sept. 24, 2009, Column One

• It's late on a hot afternoon in August, and the producers of ABC's new comedy "Modern Family" are debating panties.
– Sept. 20, 2009, Calendar

• It's 8 o'clock on a Sunday night in the Pakistani capital, but collection cowboy Sharoon Hermoon is living on U.S. time.
– Sept. 15, 2009, Column One

• It was shortly before lunchtime Sunday when the wind shifted and the full bouquet of a truck emptying a portable toilet at the Station fire base camp wafted by Wally Grogan.
– Sept. 14, 2009, California section

• It was a quiet night at the Crescenta Valley High School evacuation center.
– Sept. 4, 2009, California section

• It was near midnight Monday, and Larry Peabody looked toward a leading flank of the giant Station fire as it advanced over a ridge in the Angeles National Forest, marching toward the Mt. Wilson Observatory.
– Sept. 3, 2009, California section

• On a cool summer Friday evening, in a former furniture store whose iron shutter has been painted powder blue, Abel Salas' literary salon Brooklyn & Boyle plays host to an event fairly rare in Boyle Heights until recently: an art opening.
– Aug. 29, 2009, Calendar

• It's a typical weekday afternoon at the Malibu Country Mart. The weather is perfect.
– Aug. 28, 2009, Calendar

• It is a clear day along the coast, but in a bungalow off the beach, Maher El Gohary sits behind a locked door with an open Bible and a crystal cross, suspicious of every voice and sandal scraping past outside.
– Aug. 22, 2009, World news

• It's a quiet Sunday evening and the sun is falling gently over Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock.
– Aug. 22, 2009, Calendar

• It's just before 10 on a recent Friday morning when Brian Boitano begins his energetic display of craft and showmanship.
– Aug. 20, 2009, Calendar

• It was just after 9 a.m. when William Mims got busted in a Hancock Park driveway.
– Aug. 16, 2009, Front page

• On a recent rainy summer afternoon, a familiar figure sat in the second row of a musty Manhattan courtroom, his head tilted expectantly as he listened to the judge.
– Aug. 16, 2009, Front page

• On a spring day last year, a Pakistani man came to Shamsha Laiwalla looking for help.
– July 26, 2009, California section

• It's another beautiful day in paradise and I'm out on the ocean, riding waves with a former national surfing champion and onetime prostitute who's about to join a seminary
– July 19, 2009, Steve Lopez column

• It's a beautiful summer day and tourists are enjoying the waterfront delights: harbor cruises, the carrier Midway museum, seafood restaurants, the tall ship Star of India.
– July 19, 2009, California section

• It was nearing midnight when a large man emerged from his rented blue Dodge and approached a brick home at the end of a cul-de-sac in Covina.
– July 11, 2009, Column One

• On a recent bright afternoon in Redondo Beach, rent signs baked in the sun outside half the small stucco apartment buildings along the stretch of Beryl Street between Flagler and Harkness lanes.
– July 5, 2009, Real Estate

• It's 9 a.m. on a Thursday and Paul Waters and Kevin Voecks are paging through photos of cakes at the Vienna Bakery in Thousand Oaks.
– June 16, 2008, California section

• It's just past 3 a.m. on a chilly Wednesday morning when Erica Ford pulls her tidy 4-year-old SUV into a parking space behind the left-field wall at Angel Stadium.
– May 12, 2008, Column One

• It's a Monday night at a loud bar, and in one corner stands a microphone.
– March 31, 2009, Business

• It was near midnight at the Railway Club, a posh spot at the train station in Gorakhpur, close to the Nepal border.
– June 26, 2008, Column One

• It's almost 8 a.m. on 111th Street in Watts, and here's a scene that could make a cynic faint.
– July 23, 2008, Steve Lopez column

• It's another Friday night at the Fullerton train station, which is full of the usual types: commuters with briefcases, people sprinting over a bridge because they found themselves on the wrong side of the tracks, families struggling with suitcases.
– Oct. 1, 2008, Column One

• At 6 a.m., the hospital's bright hallway lights flicker on, signaling the start of a new day.
– March 24, 2008, Health

• It's a bright, sunny morning after a gig, and Chrissie Hynde is doing what any good rock star would: hanging out in her hotel room, casually flipping the pages of a magazine and eyeballing porn.
– Oct. 4, 2008, Calendar

• It's not yet 3 a.m. Juana Rivas grabs her shopping cart and steps off the curb into the dark.
– March 12, 2008, Column One

• It was just after 7 a.m. on the set of "Fox & Friends," but the studio already looked like the scene of a college all-nighter.
– Oct. 21, 2008, Calendar

• On a humid summer morning, the Straight Talk Express is rolling along, en route from a town-hall meeting in Albuquerque to a private airstrip where a newly refurbished plane, also dubbed the Straight Talk Express, awaits.
– Sept. 4, 2008, Front page

• On a warm autumn afternoon, toward the end of a daylong barrage of PowerPoint presentations, a white-haired, gentlemanly fellow named Michael Merzenich faced a room full of neuroscientists and pharmaceutical executives and declared that, really, they could all pack up and go home.
– Dec. 27, 2007, Front page

• It's a balmy September evening just after sundown, and Gabriel Gonzalez and his family peruse an aisle of pirate accessories, skull-headed walking sticks and fake tattoos.
– Oct. 4, 2007, Calendar Weekend