Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Larchmont and Doo Dah

Filed under: — stan @ 8:34 pm

Today’s bike ride was our Larchmont Village route. The idea was to see the headless Statue of Liberty that I’d heard Paramount had near their front gate on Melrose Ave. This was supposed to be promoting their new movie, “Cloverfield“.

It was chilly when we set out. We rode down through Eagle Rock and across the L.A. River. Then on down Silver Lake Blvd. There was no sign of the work to drain the reservoir that we’ve been hearing about lately.

When we got to Larchmont, we stopped at Noah’s Bagels. There was a little promotion for “Cloverfield” written in chalk on the sidewalk there. I guess that’s what you get when a mega-corporation attempts viral marketing. I thought it was funny that there was some person who was paid to go around writing stuff on the sidewalks in chalk.

Leaving Larchmont, we rode down Melrose past Paramount. But there was no sign of Lady Liberty. So either they’d taken it down, or it was in some place that was less than obvious.

When we got back to Pasadena, I remembered that today was the Doo Dah Parade. So several of us stopped off to have a look. We saw lots of people handing out campaign materials for Dennis Kucinich. It would be interesting to study why he so appeals to people with the anarchist spirit of the Doo Dah Parade. We also saw the Angel City Derby Girls and the Midnight Ridazz. I developed an immediate crush on all the Derby Girls. They’re just so darn cute. And one of the Midnite Ridazz was also my favorite. I love heavily tattooed girls with nose rings. As a final treat, we saw that the Grand Marshal for the Parade was Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping.

Pictures of the parade are here:

38 miles


A trip to Hollywood with the girls

Filed under: — stan @ 9:15 pm

This afternoon, I took Lucinda and her friend for a little adventure in Hollywood.

First, we went to West Hollywood, where we went to M+B to see the Alison Jackson: Confidential photo show. This was a fairly small exhibit, but it was very amusing. I bought the book so we can see the rest of her photos.

After that, we went to the park in West Hollywood. The girls played there for a bit before we headed back to Hollywood to visit High Voltage Tattoo. This is the shop in “L.A. Ink“, which Lucinda and I have been enjoying recently. When we were first watching it, there was a scene of a person walking out he front door, and I recognized the JONS market across the street. And I realized that the shop was right around the corner from our old condo in Hollywood. So I’d promised Lucinda that I’d take her there to visit. We gawked for a bit and I bought Lucinda a shirt. And then we went home. It was a fun little afternoon adventure.

A harrowing trip to The Bagelry

Filed under: — stan @ 8:49 pm

Today’s ride was out to San Dimas to The Bagelry. It turned out to be a harrowing experience.

We met at Victory Park in Pasadena. While we were waiting to leave, a woman drove into the parking lot and told us that a bike rider had been hit by a car around the corner. So several people rode over to see what happened. It turned out to be YK (I have no idea he spells his name, but that’s what we know him as.) who had been on his way up to meet us. So a bunch of us waited around to see that the paramedics took him off to the hospital and to take care of his bike. They said that they didn’t think he had broken anything too badly, but it was still a very unsettling experience.

In the meantime, the rest of the group had headed off on the ride. So the rest of us started out with about half an intention to catch them. But then Ben got a flat. I stayed back to help him fix it while the rest went on. I was so unsettled that I completely forgot to take a picture for the Flat Tire Gallery.

When we got Ben’s bike back on the road, we were quite far behind. He got in behind me and we made a serious attempt to catch up. We averaged a bit over 20mph all the way out to San Dimas, where we caught up with Sandy and Silvio. The rest of the riders were already there. But we were only about a minute or so behind them by then, so if we’d had another five miles or so, we would have caught them. Along the way was where I saw the very worn penny embedded in the pavement.

While we were sitting there, I noticed that Sandy had a fork in his backpack. I thought this was pretty funny, since nobody carries a spare fork around normally. So I took a picture of it.

We all set out together for the trip home. Then we went down Gladstone St, which is the street with the 1% downhill grade, so we always end up going very fast. This split the group in two. At the end, we rode through the Santa Fe Dam Nature Center and back up the bike path to Duarte. From there, we just took the straight route home. Then we caught up with the other part of our group. They had fallen behind on Gladstone, but then they took a shorter route, so they’d ended up ahead of us. Then we took the quiet residential route back through Arcadia and back to the park.

Aside from the unpleasantness at the start, it actually turned out to be a fairly nice ride.

46 miles.



Filed under: — stan @ 9:18 pm

For reasons I’m not going to talk about here, I’ve been getting a strong nesting instinct lately. So I’ve been cooking a lot. I made home-made pita bread a few days ago. I tried out a new brownie recipe last night. And tonight I made chicken with goat cheese and sun-dried tomato sauce.

At least I’m eating well.


Glendora on a perfect winter’s day

Filed under: — stan @ 9:30 pm

Since it rained last weekend, we did last week’s planned ride today. The route was out to Glendora and back, with a stop at a bakery there.

It was chilly when we met at the park, but promising to warm up nicely. For some reason, we had a very small group today. Only six of us. But that doesn’t stop us. The ride must go on.

The route went pretty much straight east out to Glendora, and the only funny thing I saw along the way was the house with the topiary teddy bears and animals in the front yard. That was worth a picture.

When we got to the bakery, I got an eclair. Silvio got some apricot pastry thing that looked for all the world like sunny-side-up eggs. While we were sitting there, we called Gene to see how he was doing, since he’s not able to lead the rides with his broken leg.

The route back was nice. We tried a little different version to avoid the part of Foothill Blvd across the San Gabriel River, since it’s got really bad pavement. We took a little detour up through Azusa to Sierra Madre Blvd, and then got on the bike path to cross the river.

And then we headed straight back across Monrovia and Arcadia to home. It was a nice ride.

40 miles.


Hollywood signtseeing by bike

Filed under: — stan @ 8:26 pm

Today’s ride was an informal sightseeing trip to Hollywood. Five of us went, and we had a nice list of sights to see.

We met in South Pasadena and headed on over to Hollywood. When we got there, the first stop was at Hollywood Forever. I’d been there a while back to visit Don Adams’ grave, and I wanted to see if he’d gotten a stone yet. As it turned out, he had. I took a couple of pictures, and then we took a short tour around the cemetery. We saw Cecil B. DeMille’s grave. Also Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone, and Mel Blanc. Pictures are all in the Graves Gallery.

Leaving the cemetery, we took some side streets across Hollywood, passing by my old house there, as well as Mickey’s Greenhouse. Then we stopped for a photo-op on La Brea at Kat Von D’s tattoo shop that is features in “L.A. Ink“. Then we went up to Franklin Ave to see the Highland Gardens motel, where Janis Joplin died back in 1970.

Heading west, we stopped at the site of the motel where Divine died. The building was recently torn down, so it was just a vacant lot. Then we headed over into West Hollywood, passing by Jack Cassidy’s old apartment, as well as the alley where Sal Mineo was murdered.

We took a small detour down to Dicks St just for a chuckle. Then we went back up to Sunset and headed back east, passing The Viper Room, where River Phoenix died back in 1993. Then we turned left up Sunset Plaza and headed up the hill. Along the way, I spotted another hot-rod mailbox, so I added it to my collection.

Going over the top, we headed down into Laurel Canyon, passing by the site of Houdini’s old house. Then we turned and rode up Willow Glen, which is a very steep hill. It’s also always wet, which makes for tricky riding. At the top, we went down into Nicholls Canyon, turning left on Nicholls Canyon Road for the climb up to Mulholland.

We rode part-way down Mulholland before realizing that we’d gone the wrong way. We wanted to visit the site of Errol Flynn’s house, so we had to backtrack a bit to find it. Then we went back down Mulholland, turning on Woodrow Wilson to go down to the freeway in Cahuenga Pass.

Coming down the hill into Burbank, we stopped at Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake for bagels and orange juice. Then we headed home by the most direct and flattest route possible.

Overall, it was a very nice ride.

about 60 miles (my bike computer was on the fritz)


Leopard carpet really hides dirt

Filed under: — stan @ 9:55 pm

I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but the leopard print really hides the dirt. Even dog shit is hard to see. It just blends right in. Fortunately, so far we’ve found them before stepping on them.


2007 Car Summary

Filed under: — stan @ 1:59 am

The results are in:

In 2007, I used my car 38 times. Of those, 5 were when I took a trip to San Diego when my father had his knee replacement surgery. I drove to work a total of 4 times.

I put 1,020 miles on my car. This works out to an average of 26.8 miles on each day I used the car. The average is a bit higher than last year because of the trip to San Diego, which involved two days of 100+ miles.

I didn’t use the car at all in August and September. The car sat in the garage for 75 consecutive days.

One funny thing that happened was that 2007 was the year I had to take the car for its smog test. I took it to the same place as in 2005. The guy there remembered me. And he chuckled a bit when he read the odometer and saw how few miles I’d driven in those two years.

My car didn’t have to go in for repair at all this year. The only thing that went wrong was that I had to replace the battery in December. The old battery lasted for exactly 7 years.

I bought gas four times: January 13, April 29, June 8, and November 12.

Adding up the cost of gas, insurance, registration, and a new battery, it works out to 58.5 cents per mile.


My day is complete…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:56 pm

Today is New Year’s Day, which means the Rose Parade here in Pasadena.

And my two most favorite things to see at the parade are:

  • The look on the face of the kid who just marched 5 miles carrying a Sousaphone;
  • Seeing a broken-down float getting towed away.

And what’s up with that ‘chin strap across the nose’ thing?

Anyway, my day was complete very early on. After that, we headed back home to see the horses. Along the way, we saw the band kids all sitting and chowing down on In-N-Out burgers. For some reason, I find that amusing, too.

We went to the parking lot where they had most of the horse trailers. Lucinda and her friend got to pet and feed carrots to the horses. While they were doing that, I watched a guy practice rope tricks, and I also got to see Miss California Rodeo.

When we went back home, we were treated to the always-surreal sight of horses grazing on suburban lawns, and people riding past our house.

It was a fun day.

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