Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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I can see for miles and miles…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:56 pm

Today was one of those days when they take postcard pictures. It was exceptionally clear, and pleasantly warm. And today’s club ride was up Glendora Mountain Road. This is a nice 9-mile climb up the front range of the San Gabriels. We started out full of energy and smiling. And some of us were even still smiling when we got to the top…

There was a fire there two years ago, and there are still a lot of burned trees on the side of the mountain. But we’ve had some rain recently, so the hillsides were all green. And I had to stop and take a picture when I saw the towers of downtown L.A. in the distance. They are about 25 miles away from where I’m standing, and it’s pretty rare for the air to be clear enough to see that far.

When we got to the top, I had to take a picture looking back down to where we started. If you look carefully, you can see the road winding up the ridge in the photo. We also were marveling that not only could we see Catalina Island, but we could even see San Clemente Island, which is just to the left of Catalina, and about 100 miles away.

Then we went down into the East Fork of San Gabriel Canyon. It was a very warm day, but there were some very cold air pockets in shady spots on the way down. It was kind of startling to ride through them. We stopped for a snack at Camp Williams before continuing down the canyon. Right after we left Camp Williams, Gene got a flat. So we got to spend a bit more time admiring the scenery. Finally, we got down the bridge at the junction of Highway 39. Then we went down 39 the rest of the way back to Azusa. From there it was the standard route home through Duarte, Monrovia, Arcadia and Sierra Madre.

It was a fun ride. 52 miles.


Learning CSS

Filed under: — stan @ 2:44 pm

I added an image to the header on this page, following the instructions I found here:

The picture is one that I took last Saturday when I was riding over Mt. Hollywood in Griffith Park.


L.A. Culture

Filed under: — stan @ 2:06 pm

I just found out that a new version of the old Grave Line Tour of Hollywood is launching in January. It’s being run by the same guy, who also runs The new tour has a new name and a van instead of the hearse. But the tour sounds good. It’s going to cover more ground than the old one, including going out as far as the Sharon Tate murders in Benedict Canyon. So it should be a fun time. Be sure to check it out at Dearly Departed Tours.

Dearly Departed Tours


The Chocolate Room

Filed under: — stan @ 7:08 pm

This afternoon, we took the train in the rain to the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown L.A. We wanted to see The Chocolate Room. This is an installation piece which is a room with the walls covered with 264 (I counted them) pieces of paper with a thin, silk-screened coating of chocolate. Also, they have art projects for kids on the first Sunday of every month. Lucinda got to make a little gingerbread house there. It was a fun afternoon.

After that, we rode the train home. Lucinda was especially interested in the center section of the car, where the two sections are articulated. She rode most of the way home standing in the center of the car, watching it move every time the train went around a curve.

Tamale party

Filed under: — stan @ 1:01 pm

This morning, I got up and started making tamales with the meat I cooked last night. This is our first time making home-made tamales. Lucinda and Cathy made some, but I made most of them. I felt like I was getting ethnic, even though none of us here is even remotely Mexican. Note the use of the Chinese bamboo steamer for the tamales. Then, after they were steamed, we had them for lunch just so we could try them out. They were quite good.


Saturday night fun

Filed under: — stan @ 9:43 pm

Cathy took Lucinda to see the L.A. Children’s Chorus. They said that it was a nice show. I stayed home and cooked meat and sauces for tamales.

Greek Theater and Mt Hollywood

Filed under: — site admin @ 2:57 pm

Once again, the weather forecast for Sunday looks grim. So I went riding today instead. I started out going west, and immediately ran into the traffic jam of people trying to get to the Rose Bowl for the USC/UCLA football game. I had no idea people would be going there that early. After that, I went past the bleachers already set up for the Rose Parade, and then down across the Arroyo.

Next, I went into Eagle Rock, where I went up Nolden St, which is the ridiculously steep hill. This time, I actually incorporated it into the route, traveling down the other side to get to Stratford St, which I took over to Occidental College and then onto Eagle Rock Blvd.

I then went south, over the L.A. River and into Los Feliz. I saw that the Shakespeare Bridge is decorated for the holidays. I went over the bridge and then up Hillhurst into Griffith Park. That’s where I saw the sign warning me that the park has rattlesnakes and mountain lions. No tigers and bears, though. Oh my! Still, the park is a nice pleasant place. I rode up past the Greek Theater and then through the tunnel to Toontown. Then I continued up over Mt. Hollywood, where I got a nice sideways view of the Hollywood sign. Then it was down the other side, which is a nice descent with hairpin turns, broken pavement, and big holes in the road.

At the bottom of the hill, I took the road past Forest Lawn and made a loop around Warner Bros and back past Disney and the L.A. Equestrian Center. Then it was back into Glendale for the trip home.

When I was riding up the last part of Glenoaks, I was briefly harassed by a middle-aged woman in a green BMW (CA license 4LSP584). She was honking obnoxiously and acting like she thought my presence on the road was a major imposition. Now I can understand why people sometimes get frustrated and vent when they’re on the road. What I don’t understand is why someone would go off and harass me when they’re about to stop. She harassed me and then turned into a parking lot. So I took out my camera and took her picture. Smile, you’re on the Internet, bitch. Later, she caught up with me again and she apologized, which I thought was actually very nice of her. In over 30 years of cycling, this is the first time that’s ever happened. And I’m sure that my taking her picture had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

From there, I did the obligatory trip up “Hospital Hill”, where I saw the ABC Sports mobile TV unit. I have no idea what it was doing there. Then I went down through La Cañada and back into the traffic for the Rose Bowl. I thought that would be done by the time I was coming back, but apparently I was wrong. After getting through that, I came home by way of Mendocino Ave, which has the little stretch that looks just like Beverly Hills, and probably plays it on TV.

45 miles.

Art on a Friday night

Filed under: — stan @ 12:00 am

This evening we went to the latest opening party at The Underground Arts Society in Altadena. This time, the featured artist was Ace Farren Ford. We sort of know Ace, since he’s the father of our friend and tattoo artist Shannon’s kids. Lucinda had fun playing with their kids Mars and Rose, as well as playing with Shannon’s cats. Lucinda also got a sticker on her back with some of the art on display. And we had fun looking at all the art. So overall, it was a fun time.


Random stuff on a Wednesday

Filed under: — stan @ 6:03 pm

Just a quick picture from the office. I decorated for the holidays. I started doing this back when I was in my first office here, since it was the first time I’d ever had an office with a fireplace. I don’t have the fireplace anymore, but I still decorate.

The second picture is just something I saw on the way home today. They had the Feddes furniture store done up to look like a TV store and they were filming something there. I have no idea what it was, but it’s always amusing seeing something familiar dressed up to look different. Too bad they didn’t have any snow there.

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