Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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High weirdness on the way to work in the morning

Filed under: — stan @ 9:16 pm

Tuesday is trash day in a big swath of Pasadena that I ride through on my way to work. But today I saw some deeply strange things on my way in.

First was this. My first thought was that maybe Barney had some bad gambling debts or something:

A little later, I saw this. It’s just plain weird. It’s not quite a horse’s head in your bed, but it’s still strange:


San Dimas and the Bagelry

Filed under: — stan @ 9:03 pm

Today’s ride was to San Dimas for a bagel at the Bagelry. It was a typical summer day. Cool in the morning, but promising to get very hot later on.

The route out there is very straightforward. This ride involves lots of long, straight roads. Along the way, I found one abandoned couch. It was sitting on the sidewalk in front of Inflictions Tattoo on Cypress St in Covina.

When we got to the Bagelry, we were glad to see that the tables in the shade were available. So we sat down and had our bagels there.

Coming back, we headed west on Gladstone, which is always fast, since it’s very slightly downhill. We were cruising along pretty fast when Newton hit a small sharp rock and got an instant flat tire. I whipped out the camera to take the obligatory picture for the Flat Tire Gallery. The rock made a pretty big hole in the tire, so he had to put some electrical tape on the inside to cover the hole. Then we were back on the road.

At the end, the group split up in Arcadia. Some wanted to take the less-hill route up Orange Grove, while a few of us opted for the more-hill route on Grand View. But in the end we made it back to the park. I took a somewhat roundabout way home from the park, and I got a flat on Los Robles. Since I was alone, I had to do the picture Myspace-style, with the camera held at arms-length.

Even with the flats, it was a nice ride.

50 miles.


A day in San Diego

Filed under: — stan @ 9:50 pm

On Saturday, we had to go down to San Diego for the day. My cousin’s girlfriend is having a baby, and Cathy agreed to organize the baby shower for her. So Cathy and Lucinda went over there, and I visited with my father. We got together with my uncle and cousin, and the four of us went out to lunch.

Since we were going out, my father suggested going to Prado in Balboa Park. Apparently, it’s his favorite restaurant. When we got there, they said it would be a 40 minute wait, so we sat down in the bar. I had heard that my old friend Laura was working there. I wasn’t completely clear on what she did there, but I figured I’d ask someone while we were waiting. But then I looked up, and there she was. Turns out she runs the place. She got us a table and told the staff to take care of us.

We ordered a squid appetizer, and Laura sent us the Kobe beef sushi appetizer, too. Both were very good. The main dishes we got were all great, too. The food was good, and the presentation was great.

At the end, Laura stopped by our table, so we asked her about what desserts were good. So we got the chocolate tart, the mango bombe, and the chocolate souffle cake. All were excellent.

Laura only was able to visit with us a little bit. I could see that she has a demanding job. Even when she stopped by our table, I could see that she was watching the whole restaurant like a hawk. She saw everything, and she was keeping track of it all. It was exhausting just to watch. And she does it all in four-inch heels. Wow.

But it was a good meal. The food was great, and the service was even better. And it was a treat to see Laura. So we had a very nice time.

By the time we finished with lunch, the baby shower was over, so we all headed home. On the way back, we took the back way through Temecula just to avoid the traffic. It was a long day, but it was still fun.


Who knew?

Filed under: — stan @ 12:50 pm

It’s System Administrator Appreciation Day. But I can’t say it better than Andrew Leonard did in Salon:

“If we understand contemporary globalization as a process that is in part driven by the emergence of a global network of computers, then it is no understatement to say that sysadmins make the world go ’round.”

Anyway, it’s novel to have a day that’s dedicated to my occupation. So be nice to me, of I’ll do something to your email…


Once upon a time…

Filed under: — stan @ 5:53 pm

With all the excitement about the new “Simpsons” movie, we are seeing Matt Groening everywhere. He was on “The Daily Show”, he was in last week’s L.A. Weekly, and he’s in today’s Los Angeles Times. And we had to marvel about how he’s really hit it big. Back before “The Simpsons“, he drew “Life in Hell“, which ran in the L.A. Reader and later in the L.A. Weekly. We were big fans of “Life in Hell”, and we went to several of his signings for the “Life in Hell” books. We have all the early books signed by him, complete with a drawing of a rabbit in each one.

I recently found this calendar that he’d signed for us back in 1988. This was when he was doing the animations for “The Tracy Ullman Show”, but just before the debut of “The Simpsons”. So for once, maybe my pack-rat tendencies paid off.


This is broken…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:55 pm

Today when I was on my way home, I had a WTF moment. I was riding my bike when I heard the sound of a small object hitting the pavement. I looked back and saw my phone lying in the street.

We recently got new phones, and since the new one is smaller than my old one, I got a new holster for it. The old one was open at the top, and the swivel on the clip allowed it to turn upside down and dump the phone out. This new one is a better design because it has a little velcro strap over the top to keep the phone from falling out.

So whose bright idea was it to have a snap on the other end so the bottom can open up and drop the phone on the ground? WTF.


Sunday ride

Filed under: — stan @ 7:53 pm

Today’s ride was one that didn’t really go anywhere in particular. We just went in a big circle around the San Gabriel Valley. There wasn’t much notable about it. Andre showed up and got a flat before we even left the park. Other than that, there wasn’t much to take pictures of. Still, it was a fun time.

Here’s the route, as recorded by Gaurav’s bike computer:

50 miles.


Another tattoo show…

Filed under: — stan @ 6:02 pm

It’s time for the July edition of the Body Art Expo. This is the big tattoo show at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds. They promote it pretty heavily, and it usually gets a good turnout.

I usually go to these things on a Saturday, since that’s the big party day at them. But this time, I couldn’t go then, so I went on Friday night. This is usually a little slower and a little less crowded. But that’s all right.

I saw several people I’ve met before at these things. So we got to compare and see who got what new tattoos since the last time. That’s always fun.

Shannon had a booth there this time, so I was able to visit her, and also got to see Amy eating a big tub of popcorn. If you knew Amy, you’d know that that’s totally out of character for her. But she was desperate for food.

Overall, it was a pretty fun time, even though it was a Friday night.


Winnie the Pooh, Legal Problems

Filed under: — stan @ 7:21 am

Is it weird that I sometimes find the most entertaining things on the L.A. Times Obituary page?

Today, we have the story of Shirley Slesinger Laswell. Her first husband had bought the merchandising rights to Winnie the Pooh from A.A. Milne in 1930. When he died, she supported herself by designing and selling Pooh merchandise. But in 1961, Walt Disney came and made a deal for marketing Pooh, and agreed to pay her royalties.

“The battle over Pooh’s money pot had its genesis in a 1981 trip to Disney World in Florida, Lasswell told The Times. Lasswell, a self-describe ‘Pooh shopaholic’ noticed that she wasn’t receiving royalties for much of the merchandise she bought — and hired a lawyer.”

So the battle was joined.

“More than three judges and a dozen law firms were involved in the breach-of-contract suit. Disney was chastised for destroying more than 40 boxes that contained Pooh papers, including one marked ‘Winnie the Pooh, Legal Problems’.”

Read the whole story at the Times web site.


Lida lunchtime

Filed under: — stan @ 7:31 pm

Route map

Today’s lunchtime ride was the Lida loop again. We like the two-mile downhill at the end. That’s great on a hot summer day.

The only funny thing I saw was the house for sale with the big banner advertising “LOW PAYMENTS/PAGOS BAJOS”. You don’t see that often around here.

Right after that, I got a flat. So I sat down in the shade of a building and fixed it, while Eric took the picture for the Flat Tire Gallery.

Finally, it was time for the nice, long downhill back to the office. Along the way, I picked up two more abandoned couches.

It was a very nice ride, even with the flat tire.

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