Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

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3/30/2008

Another wet bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 8:02 pm

Today’s bike ride has no pictures. And it nearly didn’t happen. Lucinda is with me for Saturday and Sunday, so I had to find a babysitter for Sunday morning in order to be able to ride. I was able to arrange that, but then Sunday dawned, and it was raining. But because I’d already gone to so much trouble to arrange everything, I had to still go riding. I went down to the park, and there was only one other rider. But we went anyway. It rained pretty hard on us for a little while, but then it stopped. We were pretty cold and wet, but we still managed to soldier on. It was actually pretty entertaining, since he was new to the Sunday ride, and he used to race back in the ’70s, too. We both knew a lot of the same people from the races back then. So we had a good time swapping stories. In the end, we only went 35 miles, but that was enough for how cold and wet it was.

35 miles.
cycling

3/29/2008

Mt Hollywood again

Filed under: — stan @ 2:02 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “Philippe’s for brunch” route. We met at the Elks Lodge in Pasadena for the 9:00AM start. A lot of rides start there, but this was the first time I noticed the topiary elk heads by the door.

We rode across Eagle Rock and into Glendale. That was where we saw both the giant inflatable rubber ducky and the VW Beetle complete with antennae. We took Glenoaks all the way across to Sonora, and then left down to get to Griffith Park.

In the park, we took a right on Zoo Dr and looped around Travel Town and up the hill behind the zoo. Then we turned and rode up Mt Hollywood Drive. This is a nice climb, and the road is closed to cars, so it’s nice and quiet. We saw a couple of coyotes along the road there. One of them is somewhat visible in the fifth photo.

Coming down the hill and leaving the park, we commenced with the Gritty Urban Cycling part of the ride. We took Vermont down to Sunset, and then rode Sunset all the way into downtown L.A. Along the way, we Lovecraft Bio-Fuels, Rough Trade Leather, and the new LAUSD high school that’s been dubbed the “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century High School

We stopped at Philippe’s downtown. I wanted to get some of their biscuits, but they were out. Then we headed for home. The route back was very direct. We took Main St to Mission, and then Mission to Huntington. Finally, we took Collis to Hill and into South Pasadena, and then Grand Ave back to the Elks Lodge.

It was kind of chilly, but aside from that, it was a pleasant ride.

42 miles.
cycling

3/28/2008

I’m on a low-car diet

Filed under: — stan @ 11:32 pm

Low-carb diets were all the rage not so long ago. But I’m on a low-car diet. For a long time, I’ve wanted to not have to use the car for grocery shopping. But there are a lot of heavy and/or bulky items that I have to buy that just don’t fit in my backpack. So I bought a little bike trailer on craigslist. And now I can do my grocery shopping by bike. The trailer can carry 100 pounds, so that pretty much covers anything I need for a week. It’s slightly uphill to the store, so on the way home, the trailer just pushes me down the hill. I think this is going to work out nicely.

This is a Good Thing, since I’m having to use my car a lot more than I’m used to due to the current unpleasantness at home. So anywhere I can cut down on driving is good. Based on my last three years of car usage, it costs me 58 cents per mile to drive. It’s 1.25 miles to the grocery store, and that’s $1.45 saved on each trip. That will add up over time.

3/27/2008

In today’s obituary page…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:39 pm

Herb Peterson, the inventor of the Egg McMuffin has died.

Peterson came up with idea for the signature McDonald’s breakfast item in 1972. He “was very partial to eggs Benedict,” Fraker said, and worked on creating something similar.

The egg sandwich consisted of an egg that had been formed in a Teflon circle with the yolk broken, topped with a slice of cheese and grilled Canadian bacon. It was served on a toasted and buttered English muffin.

It’s always important to note the passing of those who have so profoundly affected the world we live in.

15 seconds of fame!

Filed under: — stan @ 6:42 am

couch
The Los Angeles Times “L.A. Now” blog featured the Abandoned Couches blog yesterday. While it’s not my invention, I am an occasional contributor to that site. The L.A. Times entry even linked to one of my couches.

3/26/2008

But I’m still eating well…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:39 pm

I may be here alone, but I’m still going to eat well. Tonight, I made grilled chicken and asparagus on the barbecue. I use charcoal as a starter, and then throw on a piece of oak wood. It gives a nice flavor. I made a Thai-style peanut sauce for the chicken, and some jasmine rice. And I have leftovers to take for lunch tomorrow.

Finding Emo

Filed under: — stan @ 6:13 pm

For the last several months, I’ve mentioned stress and my life being in a hole. And I’m not going to talk about it in depth here. But this is the essence of it:

Tom DeLonge says, “The song was inspired by a friend whose marriage was kind of falling apart. It touched me so deeply that I was up one night crying for him — I felt so hurt.”

Climbing Mt Hollywood

Filed under: — stan @ 12:14 am

It’s Tuesday, so it was time for another evening hike in Griffith Park. I’ve been doing these hikes for several weeks now, both to socialize and to get out of the house. It’s all part of my Master Plan to deal with a world gone mad.

Tonight’s hike was up Mt Hollywood, which is the highest point in Griffith Park. Most of the hike was on fire roads. On the way up, we took a detour up a steep foot trail, but the trip down was all on roads, since the footing is generally better there for walking in the dark.

I got a picture with Susan, since we were the two on the hike who had shirts with snarky sayings on them. And when we got to the top, I took a picture of the mist creeping through Cahuenga Pass with the sunset in the background. That was nice.

Overall, it was a fun time.

3/22/2008

Ride to Whittier

Filed under: — stan @ 5:22 pm

Today’s ride was Ruby’s in Whittier route.

I’d never been on this ride before. By the time I got to the start at Live Oak Park in Temple City, it was already starting to get warm. I took off my bubble wrap. And I messaged my friend Susan in Detroit about it, since she’d sent me a message about being snowed in there.

The ride down was nice. I good bit of it was on the bike path along the San Gabriel river. It was a pleasant ride. The only problem was when I was riding with Chris, and we got to talking, and we missed a turn. We got halfway up the hill on Colima before we realized that we’d missed the turn. So we went back. Chris thought she had a map in her bag, but it turned out she’d given it to Steve. So she asked for directions. The guy she asked didn’t know where the street we were looking for was, but he knew where Ruby’s was, and we were very close. So we just found our way over there.

Everyone was already there by the time we got there. They were all settling down for lunch, but four of us had to get back early, so we started back immediately. The route back was a bit different from the route out, but it was all right.

In Pico Rivera, I got a flat. Fortunately, there was a nice shady spot to sit in to fix it. Then, when we started out, we only got about 50 feet before Garett got a flat. This marks his first appearance in the Flat Tire Gallery, and only his second flat in the year he’s had his bike.

The rest of the ride back was very pleasant. It was a perfect spring day for riding.

55 miles.
cycling

3/21/2008

My office is different

Filed under: — stan @ 8:48 pm

My office is in an old house, and we have a patio with a little barbecue on it. So in honor of the beginning of Spring, we had a cookout today. We do this fairly often when the weather is nice. I usually do the cooking. And it’s great fun. Have I mentioned lately that I really like my job?

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