Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Upgrade time again

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:47 pm

I upgraded my Wordpress installation to the latest version. I’d read yesterday about the XML-RPC worm. I had a look at the Wordpress site and found this:

They said not to worry if you’re running 1.5 or later. But I was on 1.2.mumble. So it was time to bite the bullet and do it.

The actual upgrade was pretty easy. I did a practice run on my practice web server at home. Then I hacked my home-made CAPTCHA and got it working with the new Wordpress. So here it is. Yay.


Well, I’m glad to see some solid research in this area…

Filed under: — stan @ 1:35 pm

Margo Lillie, a doctor of zoology at the University of British Columbia, and her student Tracy Boechler have conducted a study on the physics of cow-tipping.,,2-1858246,00.html


Wal Mart is even more evil than we’d thought…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:44 pm

Today we went to see “WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price“. This movie is like “Super Size Me” for Wal-Mart. We’ll never be able to go into a Wal-Mart again without feeling a bit sick. We were astounded by the arrogance and greed of the management.

The film talks about several different aspects of Wal-Mart’s corporate behavior, but I thought it was particularly impressive when they tied two of the threads together. They were talking about security problems in Wal-Mart’s parking lots and how the company doesn’t care about people being robbed and assaulted there. They told a story about a woman who was abducted and murdered from a Wal-Mart parking lot in Texas. The abduction was caught on a security camera. But nobody was watching the camera. Because the only reason that store had security cameras was so that management could keep an eye on union organizers. Truly breathtaking.

While it’s certainly not the ‘feel-good movie of the year’, it’s worth seeing.


Turnbull Canyon both ways

Filed under: — stan @ 11:09 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was down to Whittier and then over Turnbull Canyon both ways. We were able to fully appreciate the climb in both directions.

I started out meeting Gene at Victory Park in Pasadena. We rode down to Temple City to Live Oak Park to meet the rest of the group. Starting out from Live Oak Park, we rode over to the Rio Hondo bike path, and then went south to San Gabriel Blvd, just above Whittier Narrows.

Getting on the San Gabriel River bike path, we went south some more to Pico Rivera. There we got off the bike path and took a small detour to Dork St. After that, we went west on Beverly Blvd to see the bridge over Rio Hondo that had caught fire earlier this week. Crews were busy tearing the bridge down in preparation for fixing it. We all found it amazing that a bridge for a major road was built of wood in this day and age.

Turning around, we headed east on Beverly Blvd into Whittier. We passed London Calling, which looked like a punk rock outfitter and seemed especially out of place in suburban Whittier.

Soon, the road turned up Turnbull Canyon and we started climbing in earnest. We saw lots of mountain bike riders on the fire roads in the canyon. At the top we stopped to regroup and take in the view.

Continuing down the other side, the road felt a lot like riding a steel roller coaster. It felt at times like the road was just suspended in the air, with sheer drops on both sides.

At the bottom, we took Los Altos and Vallecito to Camino del Sur and Colima Road. Our official snack stop was at McDonald’s at Colima and Hacienda. Most of us chose not actually eat anything there. I decided to tempt fate and have an Egg McMuffin. I thought about my old riding friend Tim who used to like to eat one of these in the middle of a 50-mile ride.

After that, we continued a bit on Colima and then took Stimson, Halliburton, Newton, and Joan streets to make a loop and get back to Turnbull Canyon Road. Then we started back up.

At the fire station there we saw a sign that said “Positively NO SMOKING” with a picture of a joint. I thought it was a bit funny that they would be so specific about it.

Near the stop, I stopped to pick up a flyer for a house for sale. The asking price was a cool $1.3 million. We stopped for one more regroup at the top. While we were waiting, I rode about halfway back down the hill to pick up the stragglers and then rode back up again. Remember, I like riding up hills. After everyone was at the top, we headed back down the west side of the hill.

At the bottom, we took Beverly to Workman Mill. At Peck we took a left and took that up to Rush St. That was where we passed through the sheet-metal-shop ghetto and saw the rocket sign at Kenny’s Sandblasting. We also saw Mike’s Liquors and Bait Shop, which seemed a bit out of place given that Southern California is not usually renowned for its fishing opportunities.

Getting back on the Rio Hondo bike path, we went back the way we came. Then we took El Monte Ave and its enormous bike lane up to Duarte Rd in Arcadia. At Holly we took a right to get up to Huntington and took that back to Sunset.

Turning north on Madre St we crossed back into Pasadena and took some small streets back to Sierra Madre Blvd and Victory Park.

62 miles


The Truth (with (some) jokes)

Filed under: — stan @ 10:49 pm

We went to see Al Franken this evening. He was speaking and signing books at Caltech. His talk was funny, mostly in a deadpan way. He talked about the experience of going on USO tours in Iraq and about how Rush Limbaugh pulls statistics out of his ass. He also made a few, um, modest predictions, including Dick Cheney being executed for treason. He said that he’s opposed to the death penalty, but the law is the law…

It was a fun evening, and one of those things that makes us think “we’re not really crazy after all!”

RTFM and the pun of the day

Filed under: — stan @ 1:56 pm

Something I saw today:

Condoms in, anatomy out: Grocery chain pulls latest issue of Seventeen

Unavailable in any of Albertsons’ 2,500 locations was the October issue of Seventeen Magazine.

The grocery chain pulled that issue from shelves earlier this month. The reason? An article on women’s anatomy.

The article, titled “Vagina 101,” shows a drawing of a woman’s genitalia with arrows pointing out the clitoris, the labia majora, the labia minora, the hymen and the anus. It provides a short description of each part of the anatomy, under the headline “Owner’s Manual.”

Isn’t this just just a perfect example of everything that’s wrong with our society? Sheesh. Why is it that people seem to think that ignorance is a good thing?

In other news, I saw this in today’s Pasadena Star News:

Local firm to buy prosthetic leg for teen

A local company has agreed to buy a Temple City teen a new prosthetic leg to replace the one stolen from her home Tuesday afternoon.
When employees at Rescomm Financial of Arcadia heard the story, they told their boss. The company, along with parent company Realty Executives, agreed to foot the bill for a new prosthetic

That’s good of them to foot the bill. After all, those things cost an arm and a leg…

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