Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

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11/30/2006

More stuff I see while riding my bike…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:10 pm

Dunno what the story is here, but I saw this van on the way to work recently, and I thought it was funny. It’s sort of reminiscent of the big subway-car graffiti I used to see in New York back in the 1970s.

11/28/2006

And in today’s Not-News…

Filed under: — stan @ 6:14 pm

In today’s Pasadena Star-News, there is an article about a survey of riders on the MTA Gold Line:

Light rail user survey shows preference over car use

They said that a large portion of the riders on the Gold Line own cars, but prefer to take the train. This is Not News. If they didn’t prefer to take the train, they wouldn’t be riding the train, and they wouldn’t have been part of the survey. Duh.

If they’d like, I’ll take a survey to show that people who own cars prefer to ride bicycles. Just because some people do it doesn’t mean that everyone will.

Yet, they are touting this survey as justification for spending the money to extend the line out to Montclair. While I like the Gold Line, I’m not sure that it is necessarily the best place to spend scarce money.

11/26/2006

Rambling through Glendale

Filed under: — stan @ 9:09 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s bike ride was Gene’s “Verdugo Park” route. It was a slightly chilly day, but not bad for riding. The holidays are a-comin’ as evidenced by the Christmas Tree lot going up on Sierra Madre Blvd by Victory Park.

We started out with an easy ride up through La Cañada, then down Hospital Hill into Montrose. That was where the fun began. We took a detour up through the hills there, which added some steep climbing to the route. After that fun, we came down by the park at Cañada Blvd. The Pasadena Athletic Association was having a cyclocross race there today. We stopped to watch for a little while.

Continuing on, we took Mountain and Kenneth across Glendale, coming out on Glenoaks and Paradise Bakery. As always, I got two chocolate eclairs, since they have the best eclairs around.

After the stop, we headed back across Glendale on Glenoaks all the way to Chevy Chase. Then we took a left and headed up the hill. At the top, we turned right and took Regent Park and Inverness around the hill and down to Highland and Linda Vista.

We rode on Linda Vista around the Rose Bowl and then took Holly St up to Orange Grove. Then a left turn sent us back across Pasadena on Orange Grove to the park where we had started.

It was a nice ride.

43 miles.
cycling

11/25/2006

Art and tar

Filed under: — stan @ 9:44 pm

Today we went over to West Hollywood to meet our old friend Jenny for lunch. She lives in London now, so we don’t get to see her very often.

We met at the French Market Place and had a major lunch feast that involved absolutely no turkey, which was very nice. Lucinda looked at the koi fish in the pond there, and we also browsed around in the shops for a bit.

After lunch, we headed down to Hancock Park to the Tar Pits and also the L.A. County Museum of Art for Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images. I always thought it was kind of funny that the art museum is at the tar pits. After all, ‘art’ and ‘tar’ are anagrams and all…

Lucinda had some fun playing around the tar pits. She climbed a tree and got some tar on her arm. As always, a visit to to the tar pits is just not complete unless she gets tar on herself. One of the pits was making big tar bubbles, which were kind of fun to watch. There was even a palm tree growing like a weed in the middle of one of the tar pits. We also saw some people playing croquet on the grass. Playing on the grass in that park is always a bit dicey, since you never know where there might be a new tar seep hidden in the grass.

After playing in the park, we went into the art museum for the Magritte exhibit. I’d seen some of Magritte’s work in art museums in New York when I was on a school field trip back in 1974 or so, and I like the surrealist style. So we went through the gallery and looked at the paintings. We even saw the two works that I remember seeing way back when. It was a lot of fun.

11/24/2006

Post-turkey bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 2:49 pm

Since I missed work this week due to the holiday and also Lucinda and Cathy being sick, I needed to go in to the office this morning to water my plants. So I rode down there to take care of them, and then I came home the long way.

After I left the office, I did a variation on the Water Tower Ride. I rode down through San Marino and South Pasadena, and then up the hill to the water tower.

Coming down off the hill, I crossed the railroad tracks and went down into the arroyo. Then up La Loma and then up Patrician Way up the big hill. After that, I rode down the other side on Glenoaks and took Linda Vista up to Devil’s Gate Dam and then back into Pasadena.

On Ventura St in Altadena, I saw an organ on the side of the road. It wasn’t a couch, so I can’t post it on the Abandoned Couches Blog, but it’s certainly not something that you usually see abandoned on the side of the road.

I rode back across Altadena on Mendocino, and then went home by way of some little side streets. Along the way, I passed the Bunny Museum with its big topiary rabbit in the front yard. Again, that’s not something you see every day.

25 miles.
cycling

11/23/2006

Naptime

Filed under: — stan @ 8:03 pm

Everyone needs a nap after Thanksgiving Dinner.

11/22/2006

Trying times…

Filed under: — stan @ 1:15 pm

For a few months, we’ve been thinking about replacing our water heater. It’s been on its last legs for some time, and we were planning on dealing with it after the holidays. But no…

Last night when Lucinda was having her bath, I heard a weird noise outside from the water heater closet. So I went out to look. Water was pouring out of the bottom of the closet and under the house. So the Time Had Come.

I called our neighbor Larry, who is half of Bubbles Plumbing and Electrical. He called Richard, the plumber, and we were on for today.

Richard and his helpers showed up first thing this morning and took out the old water heater. They fixed up the closet a bit to repair some water damage. Then they put in the new heater. They did a good job, and they were very prompt and efficient. And all this for the day before a big holiday. We’re really pleased with them.

So now I can get back to cooking for tomorrow.

11/20/2006

This is unbearably cute…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:20 pm

Lucinda has been teaching Bella to climb up the slide in our back yard. Then they slide down together. It’s really insufferably cute…

11/19/2006

Fern Dell

Filed under: — stan @ 7:23 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s ride was a new route. Some months ago, Gene and I had ridden down Western Canyon in Griffith Park. There is a little snack shop there, and we thought it looked interesting. Recently, Vikki was on a ride that stopped there, and she said it was quite good. So it was the destination for today’s ride. It was a perfect November day in Southern California. Blue skies, sunny, and warm.

We started out going directly west on Orange Grove, and then down into the arroyo to get to La Loma. Then we rode up and over the hills to get to Figueroa in Eagle Rock. We took Figueroa all the way down to the L.A. River and Riverside Drive.

We took a short side trip on Oros St to see if the tiniest house in L.A. had sold. The sign was gone, and it looked like someone was living there. We all marveled at how small the house was.

Continuing on, we rode into Griffith Park. We saw the beginnings of the Festival of Lights before turning and heading up the hill by the golf course. Then we got on Mt Hollywood Drive for the trip up and over the hill.

At the crest, we regrouped and then headed down the other side. A right turn on Western Canyon brought us down the hill into Fern Dell and The Trails. The menu is kind of limited, but everything was good.

After the stop, we split into two groups. Several people didn’t feel like climbing the hill back up to the observatory, so they continued down the hill to take a flatter route home. The rest of us headed back up Western Canyon. There’s not much traffic on that road, but right now, a good bit of it consists of the shuttle buses taking people up to the observatory. At the top, we rode through the tunnel and then down the hill, passing the Greek Theater.

We missed a turn and ended up on Hillhurst, but we took a left on Avocado to get back on the route. Then we took Griffith Park Blvd down into Silver Lake.

The streets in Silver Lake were most likely laid out on a map by people who had no idea of the actual terrain there. So when we got to Effie St, we turned and were suddenly faced with a hill that looked like a wall. I immediately said ‘uncle’ and shifted to my lowest gear. Newton said that the grade was around 20% according to his fancy bike computer. Gene was off with the other group, but if he’d been there, I’m sure he would have said, “but it looked flat on the map!”

We continued on, taking some more little streets though Silver Lake, finally coming out on the west side of the reservoir. Then we went left and that brought us back to Rowena and Glendale Blvd.

Taking Glendale north, it turned into Brand, and we rode into Glendale. Then we went right on Chevy Chase and right again on Adams, which brought us to another steep hill. At this point we were all wondering what posessed Gene to make up this route.

Coming down the other side, we found ourselves on York, which we took for a while before going left on Ellenwood. This brought us up through Eagle Rock to Yosemite. There we went right and rode back across Eagle Rock to get to La Loma and back into Pasadena. Along the way, I picked up a new couch for the Abandoned Couches Blog.

At La Loma, we rode back up and over the same hill we’d started out on, coming out down in the arroyo. Then we got on Orange Grove for the ride back to the park. Along the way, I saw the first bleachers for the Rose Parade, which means that the holidays are a-comin’.

It was a nice, ride, even if it turned out to be much harder than we’d expected.

50 miles
cycling

11/17/2006

Things I see while riding my bike…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:24 pm

Here’s a vanity license plate that I saw yesterday.

Not to perpetuate any Los Angeles stereotypes or anything, but I see more of these here than anywhere else. And sometimes they’re pretty funny. Sadly, digital cameras hadn’t been invented yet back in 1989 when I saw a pair of Rolls-Royces in a driveway in Beverly Hills, each with “My other car is a Rolls-Royce” on the back.

Anyway, this one was a fun one. And the frame around it really makes it. On the DMV plate application form, you have to put down what it means. I wonder what they put for this one? I once met a guy who had a plate that said “ILOVE SM”. He told the DMV it meant “I love Santa Monica”, which was where he lived. But then when he put a chrome-chain frame around it, it took on a whole new meaning…

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