Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

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9/27/2005

Generate just about anything…

Filed under: — stan @ 10:35 am

Found this on Life Hacker today:

The Generator Blog

I particularly liked the Virtual Vomit Generator. My day is complete.

9/26/2005

Something funny

Filed under: — stan @ 6:07 pm

On the way back from dinner last night, we passed the Colonial Kitchen restaurant in San Marino. It appears that their neon sign is having a problem. It says “Colonial chen”. But I read recently that the city of San Marino is now about half Chinese, so perhaps this alteration to the sign is their way of trying to assimilate…

9/25/2005

Sunday evening

Filed under: — stan @ 9:04 pm

This evening we went out to dinner with Uncle Hsin and his family. We had a big Chinese dinner, complete with Peking Duck, lobster, crab, and so forth. Lucinda isn’t a big seafood fan, so we got some ribs and a beef dish for her to eat. She is learning to use chopsticks now.

Mt Washington and Self-Realization

Filed under: — stan @ 8:36 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was to Mt Washington in Los Angeles. This is a little hill neighborhood just northeast of Downtown.

We started out heading up the hill into Altadena. Then we took Woodbury Road across to La Cañada and went up Chevy Chase and Descanso. Then it was down Hospital Hill to Montrose and then the long downhill on Verdugo Blvd.

Verdugo took us all the way down into Glassell Park and Eagle Rock Blvd. We took a right there and took Eagle Rock down the Cypress Park. There wasn’t a whole lot of interesting stuff to take pictures of along the way. And even where there was something, I was too slow in getting the camera out. So I missed a picture of the sign advertising the “Happy Dolling Doll Show”, among others.

When we got down almost to the L.A. River, we got on Figueroa St, which was newly repaved. That was nice. We took that north a bit and then turned up Mt Washington. The street got very narrow and winding, which was a nice change of pace from the big streets we’d been riding on. We climbed all the way up the hill, and at the top, we stopped by the gates of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship. We paused to meditate briefly before heading down the other side of the hill.

At the bottom of the hill, we headed north some more, back into South Pasadena. There we stopped at a little cafe and bakery. They had a sign advertising “Pastries Fresh Daily”, but then I noticed that they had a jar of Twinkies next to the biscotti. I asked them about this, and they said that they usually also had Ding Dongs, adding that they were actually pretty popular. Hmm. I had a bagel.

Leaving the cafe, we headed east across San Marino. Newton had ridden in from Covina, so we decided to follow him part way back. We took Colorado across Arcadia, and then went one block south to Santa Clara St, which is a nice quiet street that goes across Arcadia and Monrovia. That was where we saw the hot rod parked on the side of the road. We all agreed that it looked like it would probably be a fun car, but that you’d need to wear earplugs while driving it.

When we got to Duarte and the Nun Crossing sign it was time to turn around. Philippe and I turned around and retraced our route back to Pasadena, pausing only briefly to snap a picture of the AMME sign. Now that we’ve seen it, it seems obvious that there would be a group such as the “Worldwide Association of Mexicans Abroad”, but who knew it would be in a strip mall in Monrovia?.

The last bit of the ride was back through Sierra Madre. Then I was home.

52 miles.
cycling

9/24/2005

An art show…

Filed under: — stan @ 10:05 pm

This evening we went to Chinatown to an art show. The art was by our friend and tattoo artist, Shannon. Also, there was art by Shannon’s sister Lindsay, and also by another artist who is a friend of theirs.

There was an odd mix of people there at the gallery. It was pretty entertaining, though. We saw Shannon’s friend Alexis, who was all gothed out. She said that she was there to ‘add lack of color’. We decided that she had the best outfit there.

Overall, it was a fun little diversion on a Saturday evening.

9/20/2005

Something I have in common with Jerry Lewis

Filed under: — stan @ 4:10 pm

I noticed this in my web server logs. I was linked from a French cycling site. They have a link to a picture of me sitting on the side of the road fixing a flat tire. Not knowing French, I used The Fish:

(As promised the week spent, we speak today about the tire). One can affirm without fear to be mistaken that the tire is an essential part of the bicycle. With proof this image: the tire is abolished by a puncture, therefore the bicycle is sagging unusable on the ground. Stan, Cathy, and Lucinda

A bit clumsy, but it’s understandable. The tire is an essential part of the bicycle. Dunno how they found that particular picture, but it’s still amusing.

Update: I asked a woman in my office who reads French, and this is her translation:

“(as promised last week, today we’ll talk about the tire)
One can say that the tire is a key piece for the bike. This picture proves it: a puncture puts the tire out of order, so the bike is lying on the ground, useless.”


9/18/2005

Inkslingers’ Ball

Filed under: — stan @ 10:08 pm


It’s September, which means it’s time for the Inkslingers’ Ball. This is easily the best tattoo convention in Los Angeles, and it’s my sentimental favorite. We’ve been going to it since ‘95, and it’s always great fun.

I went on Friday night and also on Saturday. Cathy joined me for Saturday night. I have a whole circle of friends that I know from these events that I never see anywhere else, so it’s always a fun time to see them and catch up.

When Cathy got there, we went and had dinner at Fabioulus Cafe, which is just down the street from The Palladium where the convention is held. After that, we went back and wandered around, visiting with our friends there. We saw Erica, who has a whole tattoo sleeve of My Little Pony. We also ran into our old friend Lisa, who has lots of nice tattoos and is also a very interesting intellectual. We got to visit with Roberta and Hurley, who we’ve known for almost 20 years now. Also, we did some shopping there. We bought a set of ‘Vacation in Hell’ refrigerator magnets, and Cathy bought a couple of new shirts.

Overall, it was a very fun time. The pictures are here.

Riding over Mt. Hollywood

Filed under: — stan @ 8:47 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was the ‘Greek Theater’ route through Griffith Park, but today we did it in the opposite way. We rode through the park from north to south so as to do the uphill part on the rough part of the road.

We started out going through Eagle Rock and Highland Park. On Figueroa St. we saw what may have been a bit of a student film. There was a guy with a camera filming a car pulling away from the curb. I snapped a picture of him.

When we got to the railroad crossing, there was a train coming. As the train came across the road, it blew its horn. I have a duck call that’s louder than that train horn. I’ve read that the train horns are toned down due to complaints from people in South Pasadena, but I don’t know how the horn is supposed to warn people that a train is coming if it’s not loud enough to hear.

When we got down by the L.A. River we had to take a short detour, but we made it back onto the proper bridge to cross the river and get on Riverside Drive. And that was where I noticed that my tire was going flat. I was hoping it would hold out long enough to make it to the park, but that didn’t happen. I had to stop and fix it, and this makes my fourth appearance in the Flat Tire Gallery.

After the tire repair, we continued on, entering Griffith Park. We rode through the park and up Crystal Springs Road, past the golf course. Then we turned and went up the road to Mt. Hollywood. This road through the park has been closed to cars for years, and it’s not been maintained well. It’s got lots of holes and bumps and is generally not that good to ride on. But there are no cars. So it is Good. We headed up the hill. It’s actually a pretty nice climb. You’d never guess that you’re in the middle of the Los Angeles megalopolis when you’re riding up that road.

After we crested the hill, we started down the Hollywood side of the hill. There was a little sign on the side of the road warning us of filming ahead, and of possible delays. When we got there, we saw the camera trucks and dressing room trucks, but I guess they weren’t working on Sunday morning. We also saw a sign that I guess was a prop for the movie. It said something about a ferry, and we know that there aren’t any ferries anywhere near Griffith Park.

Coming down the hill, we went through the short tunnel, and then down the hill past the Greek Theater. Then we took Hillhurst down to Sunset, turning left and taking Sunset all the way into Downtown. That was where we passed the art-project van parked on the side of the road.

When we got downtown, we stopped for a snack at Philippe’s, which is just north of Downtown, on the edge of Chinatown.

After the snack stop, we continued north on Main Street, passing by the corn field in the old rail yard. Then we took a short detour to see the winery. Most people are surprised to learn that there is a winery in the industrial district right outside downtown Los Angeles.

Crossing the river again, we continued on Main Street, passing S&M Liquor. Of course this was a photo opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. After that, we got on Mission Road, which later merged into Huntington Drive. We took Huntington all the way back to San Marino. Then we turned left on Sierra Madre Blvd to get back to Pasadena.

44 miles
cycling

9/17/2005

I don’t use my car much

Filed under: — stan @ 12:14 pm

Today I got my car out of the garage. This weekend is the Inkslingers’ Ball in Hollywood, so I’m going to use the car to get there. I determined that I need to buy gas. This will be the fourth time this year I’ve have to do that. And then I noticed an actual cobweb on the dashboard. I can’t even begin to describe how happy that made me. I’m just so glad that I use my car so infrequently that not only do spiders build webs in it, but the webs turn into old, dusty cobwebs. It’s great.

9/16/2005

Varla Jean Merman

Filed under: — stan @ 4:22 pm


Years ago, I read about Varla Jean Merman, who is a drag queen, singer, and ostensibly the love-child of Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman. Then I read about her act that involves singing while eating a can of Cheez-Wiz. And I was hooked. We’ve been to see her show three times over the past few years, and she’s always great.

My friend Nick has also become a Varla fan, and he brought over her new CD “The White Swallow and Other Delights“. It’s great.

Sadly, we have to wait until next May to see her show again, but it’s already on my calendar. If you ever get a chance to see Varla, go.

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