Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Dog meme

Filed under: — stan @ 7:02 pm

Since Grace and Beth have been posting pictures of their cute dogs, I decided that the whole dog thing is just an elaborate blog meme. So I thought I’d play along. Our dogs are not special breeds or anything like that. But they’re still very cute. Especially when I have their full attention. Like when I have a bowl of ice cream on the table. They are very attentive until I finish and let them lick the bowl.


A trip to the Zoo

Filed under: — stan @ 7:49 pm

This afternoon I took Lucinda to the L.A. Zoo. We walked around and looked at both the animals and all the construction going on there. The new entrance is close to being done, and they had a surf band playing by the front gate. Inside, a large part of the zoo is torn up. They are rebuilding the Gorilla and Elephant exhibits, which are a large part of the center of the zoo. We had nice time, including finding a feather from an ibis on the ground in the aviary. Lucinda also got a new toy on the way out. She really liked the kangaroo, so I agreed to buy it for her if she would pay for half with her own money.

Pictures are in her photo album.

Glendale Vistas

Filed under: — stan @ 12:28 pm

Today’s ride was a nice ride out through Glendale, with a stop at Paradise Bakery.

The morning was kind of gray and hazy, but the weather forecast said that the haze would go away.

We started out heading west. We skirted the Rose Bowl and headed up into La Cañada. Then we took Chevy Chase up and over the hill. On the downhill side, we got going fairly fast. I saw my speed get up to 38, which is probably the fastest I’ve gone in 20 years. Back when I was young and fearless, that was no big deal. But now that I’m older and more cautious, I tend not to go so fast down the hills. But every time we do a fast downhill, I think of the day back in 1976 when I was riding down a big hill in Harriman State Park in New York. I had an old analog speedometer on my bike that had a little plastic wheel that read the speed off the front tire. Going down this hill, the speedometer pegged at 50, and then the little plastic wheel couldn’t handle it any more and broke off and flew into the woods. And all I could think was, “I broke my speedometer – Cool!” Ahh, youth.

At the bottom of the hill, we headed down through Glendale for a bit, and then came back north to Glenoaks Blvd. We took a left there and rode a bit to get to Paradise Bakery. They have the best eclairs there, so I always get two of them.

After that, we went south on Sonora, where we passed Jimmy’s Super Lunch. We have no idea what’s so super about it, but it was funny. Continuing on, we passed the Bette Davis Picnic Area and headed into Griffith Park. We did one loop around the park, going up the hill behind the Zoo and down past the golf course, and then out to Los Feliz Blvd. Then we went back, passing the Autry Museum and the front side of the Zoo.

From there, we went back up Sonora to Kenneth in Glendale. By this time, the sun had burned off the early-morning clouds and it was starting to get hot. We continued on Mountain back to Verdugo Blvd. Then it was time for the long climb up to Hospital Hill.

When we got to the top of the hill, it was all downhill from there. We went down Descanso and Chevy Chase, and then crossed the freeway to get back to Woodbury Road. Then we took Woodbury and New York back to the park.

52 miles. see the route map



Filed under: — stan @ 5:09 pm

Saw this today:

The best part:

…scientists could grow cells from the muscle tissue of cattle, pigs, poultry or fish in large flat sheets on thin membranes. These sheets of cells would be grown and stretched, then removed from the membranes and stacked to increase thickness and resemble meat.[emphasis mine]

Actually, I don’t think this is such a bad idea. It’s just a way to get processed meat without having to go through the intermediate stage of having to grow an actual animal. Then there’s less waste, since you don’t have to grow bones, beaks, and hair. And then there’s less temptation for the processors to try and stretch the meat by grinding up skin and such. So, even though I’m sure the organic-food-types would recoil in horror, I actually think this might be a Good Thing for the average person’s diet.

Ghost of pumpkins past

Filed under: — stan @ 4:55 pm

Last Halloween, Lucinda saved a few seeds from our pumpkin. Over the winter, she planted them in a pot in the back yard. They started to grow, so we planted them in the back yard. The plants have gotten quite large, and they’ve been flowering a lot. Today, we noticed the first two little pumpkins forming on the vines. Lucinda is quite excited by this.


More fun with Google Maps

Filed under: — stan @ 12:44 pm

Found this today on Lifehacker:

It’s a great hack for Google Maps: the Google Pedometer. But it’s not just for walking. It works for bike rides, too. For instance, here’s last Saturday’s ride to the Encino Velodrome as plotted on the map: see the route

Note that the final calculated mileage of 60.9 agrees pretty well with the 61.<mumble> measured by my bike computer.

Now, if only this could be combined with Bike Metro’s route service to give elevation data, it would be perfect.


We’ll Always Have Paris…

Filed under: — stan @ 4:09 pm

The August issue of “Outside” magazine has an article titled “The New American Dream Towns”, and Pasadena made the list. There is an article about this in the Star News today.

I’ve always been skeptical of these ‘places rated’ surveys, since they always seem to end up liking dreary little cities that I’d hate to live in. I always remember when Rand McNally’s Places Rated Almanac picked Pittsburgh as the most livable city back in 1984. I was living in San Diego at the time, and everyone there was incensed that anyone could think that Pittsburgh was a better place to live than San Diego. The irony of this was that while I was pretty sure I’d hate Pittsburgh, I hated San Diego, too.

My personal rating scheme has a complex checklist:

Is it Los Angeles or close by?

  • Yes
  • No

We’ve lived here in Pasadena for just over ten years now, and we like it a lot. It’s a very pleasant town, and we have lots of city culture here. If you want real gritty urban culture, it’s close at hand in Los Angeles. The mountains are pretty. But calling it “a Paris on the 210 Freeway” is perhaps a bit much.



Filed under: — stan @ 8:14 pm

I built the ladder yesterday, and I put it up today. The photo shows the top half of the ladder, along with some detail about how it is attached. The bottom of the ladder is sitting on a couple of concrete paving stones. It didn’t seem quite necessary for it to have massive concrete footings, and with the big carriage bolts holding it on, it’s quite solid.


Nearing completion

Filed under: — stan @ 12:31 pm

I put the monkey bars up this morning. It was a bit of an adventure, since the assembled bars with their 4×4 rails were quite heavy. Then I mounted the end posts and added an “X” brace for stiffness. Lucinda took the inaugural trip across them, and then we posed for a picture.

Next up, I have to make a ladder up on the posts at the end of the monkey bars. Then, I’m going to make a real ladder up to the second level, and finish the railings around the top.



Filed under: — stan @ 10:48 pm

Since Lucinda had her first sleepover at her friends’ house a few weeks ago, they are over here tonight for their first sleepover at our house. We ordered a pizza for them, which turned out to be a bust. But I made a fudge pudding cake, which was a hit.

There was a fair amount of bickering about toys and sharing, which we had expected. They also argued about the order of their bedtime stories.

This is quite the adventure.

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