Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

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1/22/2005

Sunset Plaza

Filed under: — stan @ 5:52 pm

Today I did ride in the Hollywood Hills with Gene. It was Sunset Plaza, which is a place I used to ride a lot back in the late ’80s, when Cathy and I lived in Hollywood. So today I brought Gene over to see how much fun the hills can be.

We started out with the usual ride across Eagle Rock. Gene declined to go up the terrifyingly steep hill, but we still went past it just to look. Then we headed across the L.A. River into Los Feliz. We crossed the Shakespeare Bridge, and then headed south into Hollywood. We took Fountain Ave across Hollywood, which was the epitome of the gritty urban cycling experience. We even passed L. Ron Hubbard Way, which the L.A. City Council renamed for the late charlatan some years ago.

We then went into West Hollywood, and then up onto the Sunset Strip. We saw the restaurant from the final scene of “Annie Hall”. Riding a bike down the Sunset Strip always seems a bit odd to me, and it’s really not a lot of fun. There is a lot of traffic, and the road is kind of rough. But all was forgiven when we turned on Sunset Plaza and headed up the hill.

The funny thing about bike riding in Hollywood is that it gets really quiet and pleasant as soon as you go up a hill. Once we turned off Sunset, it was very nice. Just a quiet winding street with lots of very large houses perched on the hillside. There was one house in particular that was really impressive. It was huge, and it just dominated the hill. Anyway, it was a nice ride up the hill there, and from the crest, we got a nice view of Century City and the winter smog.

From the top of the hill on Sunset Plaza, we headed down into Laurel Canyon, passing near Wonderland Ave, which was the scene of the Wonderland Murders. Then we crossed over Laurel Canyon, passing by Houdini’s old house and headed up Willow Glen Rd, which climbs up the side of Laurel Canyon to Mt. Olympus and then down into Nichols Canyon.

When we got down into Nichols Canyon, we took a left and went up Nichols Canyon Rd, which brought us up another big hill, ultimately coming out on Mulholland Drive. From there, we headed east, taking the long downhill into Cahuenga Pass, and then down into Burbank. We had a short stop at Priscilla’s for a drink, and then we headed home.

The essential question was whether to take the northern route home up Hospital Hill, or the southern route through Eagle Rock. Gene suggested the middle route up Mountain Ave in Glendale. We’ve passed this hill many times on the regular Sunday rides and never gone up it, so I figured it was worth a try. Yow. It turned out to be a much harder climb than I’d anticipated. I finally had to say ‘uncle’ and shift to a lower gear to make the last bit to the top. But the view was nice. The road was closed, since it had some damage from the rains, so it was nice and quiet.

Finally, we headed down the big hill back into Pasadena. It was a fun ride.

54 miles.

Technorati tags: cycling

1/16/2005

Toluca Lake

Filed under: — stan @ 4:24 pm

Todays ride was “Toluca Lake”. We started out going straight west, over the historic Colorado Street Bridge into Eagle Rock and then on into Glendale. Then we went south a bit through the L.A. Equestrian Center and into Burbank. Our snack stop was at Priscilla’s in Burbank. After that, we continued west just a bit into Toluca Lake just to pass by Bob Hope’s old house. Then we came back by Forest Lawn and onto the L.A. River bike path. Apparently, something had happened along the part where the bike path runs along the freeway, as there was a fire truck, an ambulance, and a couple of Highway Patrol cars there. And also, one of the light poles was knocked over. Finally, we headed home through Eagle Rock. When we crossed into South Pasadena, we got a nice view of Mt. Baldy, complete with snow. Overall, it was a very pleasant ride.

43 miles.

Technorati tags: cycling

1/15/2005

Body Worlds

Filed under: — stan @ 11:09 pm

Today we went to the Body Worlds exhibit at the science museum. This is an exhibit of real bodies, preserved with plastic and on display for us to see in gory detail. It was really quite interesting. Cathy’s friend Cathy from Texas came here for the weekend to see it, and she liked it a lot. So overall, it was an interesting adventure.

1/14/2005

My page rank is climbing again…

Filed under: — stan @ 10:37 am

A while back, I had the number one match in Google for the phrase “I hate Texas”. That was before I moved our web site to the new domain name. After the move, Google crawled us again, but that page had fallen to #73. But now that we’ve been on our new domain name for over four months, it’s climbing again. Today I see that my page is now up to number 34 in a search for “I hate Texas“. Things are looking up.

1/13/2005

Our house is falling apart (continued)

Filed under: — stan @ 6:24 pm

As I noted a while back, our house is falling apart. We managed to make it through the torrential rains without too much leakage, and today the roofing guy came out to fix the roof. He put a new roof on the laundry room and put a new crown on top of the house. But when he came down, he said we should have a look at our chimney, as it appears to be falling apart. I went up and took some pictures of the cracks in it. Most likely, they were caused by earthquakes, as our house has experienced several significant earthquakes nearby over the years.

Anyway, I guess we will have to decide if we want to do something about this.

1/11/2005

Woo-Hoo!

Filed under: — site admin @ 3:54 pm

I saw that Ryan at News to Hughes joined up with Google Adsense recently. I serve about four times the traffic of his site, so I thought I’d give it a try. So far, I’ve only put ads on three sets of pages:

http://www.1134.org/stan/dot-com – My gallery of dead dot-com web pages.
http://www.1134.org/stan/tattoo-faq/display.php – The interactive database of tattoo artist reviews
http://www.1134.org/stan/tattoos/gallery – Photo albums of tattoo conventions

These are the pages that people mostly seem to come to from Google searches, so they seemed like good places to try it out. And I see today that I got my first $0.03 from a click-through. Woo-Hoo!

1/9/2005

This just in…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:01 pm
tooth

Lucinda lost her first tooth this evening. It’s been loose for a few weeks, and it finally gave up and came out. Lucinda asked Mommy to pull it, and it came right out.

Sunday fun

Filed under: — stan @ 7:43 pm

Today we went to the Skeptics Society talk. The speaker was Jared Diamond talking about his new book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. We’ve seen him before, and he’s an engaging speaker. I also read his other book, Guns, Germs, and Steel and enjoyed it immensely. From what he said today, it sounds like his new book will be worth a read. Also, he said that the L.A. County Natural History Museum is going to be doing a special exhibit on this topic starting May 1.

lake
It’s been raining for three days straight here, and the lake is back in our yard. Today was the biggest we’ve seen it get in nearly 10 years in this house.

1/8/2005

Tattoo Expo

Filed under: — stan @ 11:32 pm

tattoo convention
Today we went to the big Body Art Expo at the L.A. County Fairgrounds. As tattoo conventions go, this one is kind of lame in that it’s not put on by tattoo people, but at the same time, all our tattoo friends are usually there. We took Lucinda along, since she said that she wanted to go. We wandered around there and visited with everyone we knew. Lucinda got a little temporary henna tattoo, and we generally had a fun time.

1/6/2005

Earthquake!

Filed under: — stan @ 9:06 pm

news truck
We had an earthquake this morning. M4.4 centered near Fontana. This wasn’t a Big Deal as these things go, but it did make for a busy morning at my office. The non-seismologists at Caltech tend to measure earthquakes by the ‘news truck’ scale, and by that measure, this was only a ‘two truck’ earthquake. Still, it made a traffic spike on the Earthquake Hazards Program web servers, and generally made things busy for a while.

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