"A party can't file a motion for reconsideration that doesn't meet the requirements of CCP 1008; e.g., that doesn't raise anything new. But while a party can't do that, if it does, and the judge is thereby persuaded to grant the relief requested therein 'sua sponte' (albeit obviously prompted by the improper motion), that's okay. Sure, that'll undoubtedly lead to the filing of improper Section 1008 motions, since, after all, they've now got a chance of working. But trial courts can always sanction such motions if they want. So you'll have more sanctions and more motions, but also more justice. And that's probably the best of the two available alternatives."
That's not exactly the way Justice Ruvolo puts it. But it's pretty darn close.
And I think, on the merits, he's probably right as well. Even though I can definitely see the other side.
So dust off those Section 1008 exemplars, you often-way-too-litigious types. They may well work for you in the end.