Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

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8/6/2006

Seafood Feast and a Sunday Cephalopod

Filed under: — stan @ 9:45 pm

This evening we went down to meet my Chinese family for dinner. Uncle Hsin always knows where the best Chinese restaurants are, and it’s always a fun time to have dinner with them.

This time we went to New Capital Seafood in Rowland Heights. It’s the usual Chinese seafood restaurant, with big tanks by the door with fish, crabs, shrimp, lobsters and various other captured marine life awaiting their fate. I remember always being fascinated by the live fish when I was kid, and Lucinda is interested in looking at them, too. She doesn’t like actually eating them just yet, but she still finds them interesting.

One of the dishes we got was squid, which was the Sunday Cephalopod. It was fried with lots of garlic. It was tasty and all, and I made a lame attempt at assembling an entire squid on my plate for a photo opportunity.

My always favorite thing since I was a kid is when we get Peking Duck. Sadly, Lucinda has not developed a taste for this. But she likes the rice chips that it comes served on, so it’s not a total waste for her. We also had a lobster and a steamed fish, which she didn’t like either. I can’t remember how old I was before I developed a taste for fish. I think I was about 10, so there’s time. And she’s learning to use chopsticks now.

Overall, it was a fun time.

La Tuna Canyon

Filed under: — stan @ 1:27 pm

Today’s ride was “La Tuna Canyon East to West”. This is the ‘easy’ way through there, since the climb up is broken up in short stages, and we go down the four-mile hill into Sunland. (I actually prefer to do it the other direction, since I like going up the four-mile hill, but I’m just funny that way.)

It was a perfect day. We headed across Pasadena and past the Rose Bowl before riding up into La Cañada. Then it was down Hospital Hill into Montrose for the gradual climb up to La Tuna Canyon.

We stopped for a minute at the top of the canyon, and then headed down the hill. This was the first time I’ve gone down that hill and not been the last guy to the bottom. That was novel. I also used the top gear on my bike for the first time in the two years that I’ve had it.

At the bottom, we got on Glenoaks and rode back into Glendale to our snack stop at Paradise Bakery. As always, I had two chocolate eclairs. Not exactly the Breakfast of Champions, but the eclairs are very good there.

After the stop, we took a slightly different route back across Glendale to get to Verdugo Blvd. Then it was back up the hill to Montrose and the obligatory trip up Hospital Hill. At the top, I noticed that I was dripping and had made a little puddle on the ground, so I took a picture of it. And I had one of those ‘what the hell happened to my life’ moments. I used to see a hill like that and think, “Hey, here’s my chance to break away”, but now I just think, “I hope I can keep up with Newton.”

Coming down the hill, we crossed back into Pasadena. Then Newton and I rode out to Arcadia before I turned around and headed back across Sierra Madre to home.

52 miles.
cycling

8/5/2006

August birthdays

Filed under: — stan @ 9:03 pm

Today we all went down to Orange County to Uncle Larry’s house. Cathy, Larry, and Larry’s wife Francesca all have birthdays within a week of each other, so we did a big birthday dinner for all three there.

They went to the 99 Ranch Market and got some enormous lobsters for the occasion. They were something like three or four pounds each.

Lucinda is the only kid in the family, so we brought along a friend so she would have someone to play with. They had fun in the jacuzzi, and after that they played on the stairs, sliding down on pillowcases. This was a novelty, since we don’t have stairs in our house. Later in the afternoon, Grandpa took them to the pool. They also got to play in the elaborate landscaping in Larry’s back yard.

The dinner was nice, and Cathy was very pleased with the Micro-Dermabrasion kit that she got. She is very much into beauty treatments. She is going to be 44 next week, so I guess it’s working.

At the end of the day, we headed back home up the freeway, into the sunset.

It was a nice day.

Giant flower pots

Filed under: — stan @ 10:28 am

On my way home on Friday, I got a closer look at one of the giant flower pots I’d seen on Wednesday. Apparently they are made with a welded steel frame covered with plywood. So they are very sturdy. I don’t know if they found a buyer, but there was a moving van in front of the house. So maybe this is why they wanted to sell them. In any event, it was interesting to see them close-up. I still think they made wonderfully weird lawn decorations.

8/2/2006

Lida Lunch, and side trip to see Richter

Filed under: — stan @ 9:44 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s lunchtime ride was the Lida Loop again. This makes something like four weeks in a row, but today we had directions to visit Charles Richter’s old house and his grave site. He is the Richter of the “Richter Scale”, which is familiar to anyone who lives in earthquake country.

We started out and rode through Old Town and down to the Rose Bowl. Then it was up Lida to the top of the hill. When we crossed into Glendale on Figueroa, we saw a deer. It was standing on the side of the road, but when it saw us coming it ran away.

Coming down the hill into La Cañada, we turned and headed back into Pasadena. Passing by JPL and the arroyo, we went up Casitas St. to Altadena Drive. Then we took a left on Lincoln to get to Villa Zanita, which is on the map as a street, but it was really just a dirt driveway that led back to several houses. We stopped and saw Richter’s old house. He and his wife moved there in the mid ’60s, after their old house was bought and bulldozed to make way for a freeway. The story I was told about this house was that when the realtor found it, Charles was out hiking in the mountains and could not be reached. But Lillian saw the house and decided that he would like it, at least in part because there was a counter that was just the right size for laying out paper seismograms. So they bought the house and he lived there for the rest of his life.

Leaving Villa Zanita, we headed down Lincoln to Ventura, and then left to Fair Oaks. There, we went into the Mountain View Cemetery. The directions I had gotten were not right, so Vikki ended up walking into the office to get a map. You know how it is. The woman always has to ask for directions. But they were very helpful. She got detailed instructions and a map, and we were able to find Richter’s grave very easily.

By this time, it was time to get back to the office. So we took the most direct way back, on Woodbury to Lake and then down Catalina and Wilson back to Caltech.

It was a fun ride.

And on the way home, I saw a house with some very large flowerpots in the front yard. The sign said that they were theatrical props and that they were trying to sell them. I don’t know if they will get any takers, but it was still a wonderfully weird sight.

19 miles at lunch, 27 for the day.

cycling

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