Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Halloween Night

Filed under: — stan @ 11:29 pm

I’ve made a hobby of setting up my telescope out in the driveway on Halloween Night. It seems fitting to do some astronomy here, since we live at the base of Mt Wilson in California, where a lot of astronomy history was made. I hand out candy and let the kids and their parents look through the telescope. I started doing this back in 1998 when Jupiter was high in the sky, and it’s turned out to be popular enough that I’ve done it every year I can since then. The last two years were cloudy, but this time the sky was clear. There aren’t any good planets up now, so I ended up showing the kids two different star clusters, NGC 457 in Cassiopeia, and the famous Double Cluster, NGC 869 and NGC 884 in Perseus. While these don’t have the same ‘Ohhhh’ factor as Saturn did in 2001, they still were interesting, and the kids seemed to like it. So overall, it was a good evening.

Today’s ride

Filed under: — stan @ 1:34 pm

Today we did the Rio Hondo/San Gabriel River bike path loop. It turned out to be a perfect day, warm and sunny, but with snow on the mountains above us.

This route is a mostly-flat ride. South through Temple City to the Rio Hondo bike path. Then south some more to Whittier Narrows. Then we cut across to the San Gabriel River and went back north to Santa Fe Dam. Then home through Duarte and Monrovia with a stop at Beantown in Sierra Madre. 42 miles.


Halloween Carnival

Filed under: — stan @ 10:35 pm

We took Lucinda to the Halloween Carnival at her school this evening. They had little games and trick-or-treating for the kids. There were several hundred kids and their parents there. It was chaos. But Lucinda had enjoyed it.

Nice day for a bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 12:21 pm

I did a short ride today. Just out to Duarte and back. A little bit of hills in Sierra Madre and Monrovia. It was a pleasant time. 25 miles.


Our %x10 Anniversary

Filed under: — stan @ 10:47 pm

Today is our 16th anniversary, or our 10th if you’re a geek. So we went out for a nice dinner at Traxx. This is the nice art deco restaurant in Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. We rode the Metro Gold Line to get there, which made it a bit more of an adventure, as well as avoiding the legendary Friday evening Los Angeles traffic. As always, it was very nice. The service was good, and the presentation was flawless. And Lucinda is already an old hand at this sort of thing. She knows how to behave in restaurants, and she enjoyed the dinner and especially enjoyed the dessert. So overall, it was a nice outing.


Random stuff

Filed under: — site admin @ 6:13 pm

Here’s a picture of some of the flowers I have growing in my office. The southern exposure works well, and so the plants are happy. The Christmas cactus is also starting to bud, which means that it’s noticed that the days are getting shorter. I never turn on my office lights, so the plants get a natural day-night cycle.

On the way home today, I saw this homemade and sadly not waterproof sign down the street from our house. But I’m still always glad to see things like this.


Lunar eclipse through the clouds

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:43 pm

Lucinda and I went outside to see if we could see the lunar eclipse this evening. It’s been raining off and on all day, so it’s pretty cloudy. But a gap opened up in the clouds, and we were able to see the moon. The eclipse was about 80% total. I got out the telescope and we looked at the moon for about 10 minutes before the clouds moved back in and covered it up.


Fun and frolic with Mozilla mail

Filed under: — stan @ 10:28 pm

Cathy had a problem with her Mozilla profile, and I had to create a new one. Then she was complaining about how the messages were displayed. They were shown threaded, and the threads were collapsed by default. ‘*’ worked to expand the threads, but I was not able to find a way to make that the default. So I had to set it to display unthreaded. This setting was under ‘View/Sort By’. Then she said that it wasn’t showing which messages had been replied. I found this under the menu under the little square icon at the right-hand side of the ‘Subject/Sender/etc’ line. This chose which fields to display, and I just added ‘Status’ to the list. After all this, I thought I ought to write it down so if this happens again, I’ll have some record of what I did.


Hollywood by bike

Filed under: — stan @ 1:37 pm

Since I won’t be able to go riding tomorrow morning, I went for a ride today.

I rode over to Hollywood by way of Eagle Rock and the Franklin Hills, including crossing the Shakespeare Bridge on Franklin Ave. Then I went straight down Hollywood Boulevard, which is kind of strange on a bike. But even at 9:15 on a Saturday morning in October, there are tourists checking out the footprints in front of the Chinese Theater. Then I took a little detour south to go past our old house, as well as to stop to get a picture of Mickey’s Plants. Mickey Hargitay is probably best known for having been married to Jayne Mansfield, but now he owns a little greenhouse in Hollywood.

After cruising (so to speak) through West Hollywood, I turned and went up Nichols Canyon Road into the hills. This is a typical Hollywood Hills road. Narrow and winding. I stopped for a self-portrait in someone’s driveway mirror, as well as to admire the little creek and marvel at the fact that this idyllic scene is only one mile from the tourists on Hollywood Boulevard. Then, after several miles uphill, I came out on Mulholland Drive. There I saw a ‘deer crossing’ sign. Again, not what you expect in the middle of Los Angeles. And the scenic overlook had a picture of the Valley before it was built up, so we can see the contrast. Finally, I rode down into Cahuenga Pass, stopping to admire the view of downtown L.A. as well as the sideways view of the Hollywood sign. Then I continued down into Burbank, past Warner Brothers and all their big billboards for TV shows I don’t watch. Then I headed home through Glendale and La Canada, complete with a bracing trip up the infamous ‘Hospital Hill’. 51 miles.


Random stuff on a Friday

Filed under: — stan @ 8:25 pm

sinkholeToday I brought my camera to work so I could stop on the way in and take a picture of the big sinkhole that opened up on Del Mar Ave the other day. This is why southern Californians hate rain. It rains so seldom here that when it does rain, all hell breaks loose. In this case, part of one of our main streets just collapsed.

And on an unrelated note, here is a picture of me in my office having a typical day of sysadmin crises. It’s actually a bit unusual for me to be talking on two phones at once, so I thought the occasion was worth having a picture taken. And finally, I saw a funny bumper sticker on the way home.

in the office dog is my co-pilot

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