Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Hiking to Inspiration Point

Filed under: — stan @ 8:45 pm

Since Gene’s accident last November, I’ve been thinking about possibly doing some more weight-bearing exercise. I hate running, and I don’t like lifting weights. But I like hiking. So I looked up a local hiking group on to find a group for hiking in the local mountains.

So today they had a hike up Echo Mountain and then on to Inspiration Point. This is an extended version of the hike I took Lucinda on last year. And the trailhead is right at the top of Lake Ave in Pasadena, so it was very convenient.

The group met at the trailhead, and it turned out to be a pretty big group. Something like 35 people in all. And it was perfect day. The sun was warm, and the air was cool.

The group quickly split up into smaller groups, each traveling at its own pace. I didn’t try to stay with the fastest group, since I like to sightsee a bit on the trail. We stopped briefly at the top of Echo Mountain to look at the ruins of White City. Then we continued on up the Castle Canyon Trail. I’d never been on this trail before, and it was quite nice. It got steep near the end, but the scenery was very nice.

The trail came out on the top of the ridge at Inspiration Point. We sat down there and took in the view for a bit before heading back down. According to the trail signs, we did about 9 1/2 miles round trip. I think I’m going to be sore from this, but it was a fun time.


Playing in the snow

Filed under: — stan @ 10:13 pm

Lucinda had the day off from school today, so I made plans with Shannon to take the kids to play in the snow at Mt. Baldy.

We drove out to Claremont and then headed up the hill. We stopped at the visitors’ center to get parking passes for the day, and then we went up to the snow.

Lucinda, Isabel, and Mars all played in the snow, riding saucers down the hill and generally getting wet and cold and having a good time doing it.

I just stood on the sidelines taking pictures. I grew up playing in snow, and while it was fun, I don’t particularly miss it. But this was a first for Lucinda, and she enjoyed it a lot.


Sunday ride to Toluca Lake

Filed under: — stan @ 9:51 pm

Today’s ride was the classic Toluca Lake ride.

We rode through San Marino and South Pasadena, and then across Highland Park. That was where we were chased for a couple of blocks by a tiny little chihuahua. Then up the L.A. River bike path to Griffith Park. Along the way, we saw the island in the river where we saw the elaborate homeless camp a couple of years ago. We also saw that the burned hillsides from last year’s fire were turning green again. When we got to the end of the bike path, we rode west past Forest Lawn and Warner Bros to get to Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake. We had bagels and such there today. Sadly, they ran out of orange juice. Their orange juice is fresh-squeezed and quite good.

From there, we took Riverside back into Burbank. That was where we passed the General Motors Training Center. As we were going by, I noticed a couple of fuel-cell cars parked behind the building, so I stopped to have a look and get a picture. Then we rode across Glendale with a short detour just to see the new bakery that we’re going to try next week.

Finally, we headed up Hospital Hill and then home through La Cañada. It was a very nice day, and a very nice ride.

45 miles.


Still more nesting activity

Filed under: — stan @ 11:46 pm

This afternoon, I got out a bit. I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Little Tokyo to see the Murakami exhibit. It was fun.

When I got home, I got down to nesting some more. It’s Saturday, so Cathy is going out dancing, and I’ve got my date with Lucinda. I made another pizza. This time with pepperoni, portobello mushrooms, sliced roma tomatoes, and goat cheese. And I cooked it on my new pizza stone. It was good.

After dinner, we made chocolate soufflés. I used the recipe I got in the soufflé class I did last Tuesday, and I used the new ramekins I bought on Friday. The recipe said it made two, so I doubled it. It ended up making six, and they were pretty full. I cooked two of them for me and Lucinda, and I put the other four in the refrigerator for later. They were pretty good. I liked how they puffed up, but we thought that the depth of the chocolate flavor wasn’t as good as the recipe from The Joy of Cooking. Still, it was fun, and we sat down to eat them while we were watching this week’s “L.A. Ink” that I’d taped on Tuesday.

I’m actually enjoying my time with Lucinda, and we’re both well-fed.

Mid-valley trainer

Filed under: — stan @ 7:49 pm

Today’s ride was the “Mid-valley trainer“. This is another of those rambling rides that just goes all around to get to nowhere in particular. But that was just fine for today. I needed to get home a little early anyway.

A small group of us started off faster than the rest, and we just did the whole route without stopping. And when we got back to the park in Arcadia, it was still pretty early. I didn’t need to be home until noon, so Doug and I rode around some more just for fun. And it was a perfect day for riding. So overall, it was a pretty good experience.

48 miles.

Tutus and hairy chests

Filed under: — stan @ 12:37 am

This evening, I took Lucinda to the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at Cal State Long Beach to see Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. My cousin Irene bought us tickets so that Lucinda and I could have a night out together. We saw them two years ago at Caltech, and it was a fun time.

The show was a lot of fun. As always, the ‘dying swan’ was hilarious. I still think we’d enjoy it even more if we knew more about ’serious ballet’, but it’s still fun.


Not that this was ever in doubt…

Filed under: — stan @ 9:59 pm
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Science/Math Nerd

(Absolute Insane Laughter as you pour toxic chemicals into a foaming tub of death!)

Well, maybe you aren’t this extreme, but you’re in league with the crazy scientists/mathmeticians of today. Very few people have the talent of math and science is something takes a lot of brains as well. Thank whosever God you worship, or don’t worship, so thank no deity whatsoever in your case, for you people! Most of us would have died off without your help.

Literature Nerd
Social Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Drama Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

Status update

Filed under: — stan @ 12:23 am

This is me these days:

funny pictures
moar funny pictures


Getting out of the house

Filed under: — stan @ 10:29 pm

In my continuing effort to find things to do so I can get out of the house, I signed up for a cooking class on soufflé making. I’ve made chocolate soufflés before, using the instructions in The Joy of Cooking, but I was never sure if I was doing it right, since I’d never seen anyone else do it. So I thought it might be interesting to see how the pros do it. Turns out I was not far off the mark. But I was apparently making it harder than it needed to be. And also, the ramekins I was using were not quite the right shape, and apparently that and their weight do have an effect.

The class itself was a combination of demonstration and actual practice. They gave us a sheet with recipes for four or five kinds of soufflés. They demonstrated making and then fed us a Gorgonzola and walnut soufflé and salad to start. The main meal was salmon and asparagus in a Gruyère soufflé and a Roulade, which was basically a sheet of Gruyère soufflé rolled up with mushrooms and caramelized onions inside. For the hands-on part, we made chocolate and raspberry soufflés. It was a pretty fun time.


Continued nesting activity

Filed under: — stan @ 7:30 pm

Lucinda is out on a sleepover tonight, so I don’t have a date. I’m still nesting, though. I did the grocery shopping and decided to make a pizza from scratch for dinner.

I found a recipe for the crust. I made it and let it rise for about 90 minutes. Then I flattened it out and put the sauce, pepperoni, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and sliced roma tomatoes on it. I baked it for about 19 minutes. I started at 400 degrees and ended up at 475. I should have gone with the higher temperature from the start. Still the crust had a nice crunch on the outside.

On the side, I made a little salad with avocado and vinaigrette dressing. It was pretty good.

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