Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

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8/31/2008

Water

Filed under: — stan @ 7:30 pm

In honor of Hurricane Gustav getting ready to make landfall near New Orleans, we went to the movies to see “Trouble the Water”.

It seemed appropriate to remember what happened three years ago.

8/30/2008

Pedal to Paradise

Filed under: — stan @ 4:35 pm

Today’s ride was the “Pedal to Paradise” route. I guess it’s named that because it goes to Paradise Bakery in Glendale.

On the way to the start, we saw a moving truck with “S&M Moving“. That’s a good companion to S&M Liquor and B&D Auto Center.

There was a truck in the parking lot where we met that had some fake trees in it. I guess they were filming something there.

The ride out was pretty uneventful, aside from Don getting a flat coming down Chevy Chase in Glendale.

At the bakery I had a single chocolate eclair. I knew we were going to be riding up the big hill on Mountain St on the way back, and I didn’t want to take a chance on horking up two eclairs on the way up.

Note the pictures where Susan and Garett are smiling as we head up Mountain. And then see how everyone is smiling even more when we got to the top and started down the other side.

At the bottom of the hill, several of us turned off to go home. Susan had to get back early so she could go in to work this afternoon, so we skipped the rest of the ride.

35 miles.
cycling

8/27/2008

Another, better day at Disneyland

Filed under: — stan @ 9:45 pm

On Wednesday, I took Lucinda and her friend to Disneyland again. I’d taken them there back in January, when my personal nightmare was just beginning. So I wanted to take them there again, since life is much, much better now. I knew they’d enjoy it, and it seemed like a nice thing to do to bookend the whole ‘life falling apart and coming back together’ experience.

We spent the whole day there, and we had a pretty good time. We did the Indiana Jones ride for the first time. Lucinda was afraid to do it last time. We also rode Pirates of the Caribbean twice. We did it once, and they liked it so much that we had to go back a second time. It helped that there was no line for it.

At the end of the day, we went and had dinner at the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. I’m pretty sure I look a lot happier in the picture this time. I know I was feeling a lot happier.

8/25/2008

The stars at night are big and bright…

Filed under: — stan @ 10:04 pm

Did I say that I hate Texas? Well, perhaps those reports have been greatly somewhat exaggerated.

The occasion was the big 15th anniversary party for -ahem- a social group I co-founded while living in Austin, Texas in the early ’90s. This was a big and remarkable occasion, and it actually prompted me to go there for the first time in many years, since they were putting on a big all-weekend event for the occasion.

We flew there on Jet Blue, which was really very pleasant. And it was non-stop to get there, which was a treat. In the past, it was always necessary to change planes in Phoenix or El Paso, which made it into an epic journey. But this was straight-through and very easy.

When we got there, we took the shuttle to the Airport Hilton, where the event was being held. The group had rented the presidential suite for the Hospitality Suite, and they gave us the key so we could stay in the suite at night. We felt a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies, since we’re just not accustomed to staying in such luxury. It was fun.

The event was Great Fun. Everyone was very nice and happy to see me. Susan said it was like traveling with a rock star. On Sunday, they had a picnic out in the country and a big birthday cake for the group. My co-founder Joel and I did the ceremonial cake cutting.

We stayed over one extra day in order to visit with a couple of other friends of mine there. My friend Stu picked us up at the hotel and then we all had breakfast at Kerbey Lane Cafe with my old college friend Mike, who now owns Waterloo Cycles. We also went and visited Mellow Johnny’s, which is the bicycle shop that Lance Armstrong owns. I got a picture of Susan with one of his framed yellow jerseys from the Tour de France. Then we went to Zilker Park to see the Hartman Prehistoric Garden which was built around the dinosaur tracks that were found there in 1992. And finally, we visited Barton Springs, since I’d seen “The Unforeseen” back in March.

It was a fun little trip.

8/17/2008

“A relatively flat ride…”

Filed under: — stan @ 9:05 pm

Sunday’s ride was billed as ‘relatively flat’. And this turned out to be a good thing, since I had to get a babysitter for Lucinda, and she got lost on the way to my house. So I started out 15 minutes late. Susan waited for me, and we set out together to try and catch the group. We put the hammer down and rode as fast as we could. And fortunately, the group was sort of loafing along, since they knew we were chasing them. So we caught them in El Monte, just about 12 miles into the ride.

We rode over into Baldwin Park, and that’s where I saw In-N-Out University. This is the world headquarters for In-N-Out Burger. I stopped for a picture, and then I got caught at the longest red light in the world. So I had to catch up all over again.

When I caught up to the group, they were just stopping at a light, and as a rolled to a stop, I heard that distinctive “PANG!” sound of a spoke snapping. Fortunately, I had some spares, and there was a park with a shady spot for fixing the wheel. So I replaced the broken spoke and trued up the wheel. And we were on our way again.

We rode down into Industry, and then over to West Covina. I’m not exactly sure where we were, but we made a big loop to end up back at Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale. Then we got on the bike path to get back to Duarte. And then we took the standard route home to Pasadena.

It was a nice ride, even if I did have to fix my wheel in the middle of it.

45 miles.
cycling

8/16/2008

Monrovia

Filed under: — stan @ 1:50 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “Monrovia Madness” route, which is a meandering route that goes to Monrovia. Who knew? And then it goes up a couple of the little canyons there, so there are some nice hills.

We met at Live Oak Park in Temple City. On the way there, I collected one nice abandoned couch. for the Abandoned Couches Blog. I manged to get the picture without having to slow down while riding by, which was pretty remarkable, since we were going pretty fast at that point.

The ride up to Monrovia was pretty straightforward. When we got there, we rode up two of the canyons in the foothills there. At the top of the second one, I saw some lawn flamingos and a squashed rattlesnake.

When we came down out of the hills, we stopped at T Burger in Monrovia. I got a big chorizo breakfast burrito, which was huge. I didn’t even have to have lunch after the ride.

The last part of the ride went down the San Gabriel River bike path and back to Live Oak Park. Susan and I decided to skip that, and we just went back to Pasadena directly.

It was a nice ride.

51 miles.
cycling

8/13/2008

Opening up at Book Soup

Filed under: — stan @ 10:45 pm

This evening, we had another ‘in the city’ adventure. I rode the train in from Pasadena to meet Susan at her office. Then we headed up to West Hollywood. We had a nice dinner at the French Market Place, and then we went to my favorite book store: Book Soup.

The occasion was a talk and book signing by Tristan Taormino about her new book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. Now, this isn’t actually a topic that either of us is particularly personally interested in, but we thought it could still be fun. I have a friend who knows Tristan, and I’d heard that she’s an interesting and entertaining person. Besides, the skills that an open relationship requires are good to have for any relationship. So we thought that this would make a nice little weeknight adventure.

Tristan read a few excerpts from the book, and she also spoke and took questions from the audience. She also made a point to mention that a fair number of porn stars were there. I gather that quite a few of them are friends of hers. Also, anyone in that business pretty much has to practice open relationships in their personal life. So it seems it would be a topic of interest to them. She even took a question from the legendary Georgina Spelvin.

I had to run outside to feed the parking meter at one point, and on my way out, I noticed Adrianna Nicole there. So I stopped to talk to her when I got back. I’d met her two years ago at the “O” party in Hollywood. We chatted a bit, and I introduced her to Susan.

Lastly, we went to the back of the store, where Tristan was greeting everyone and signing books. We got our book signed, as well as the other book of hers that I’d brought from home. And with the book, we got a free little bottle of lube. What’s not to like about a book tour that’s sponsored by Astroglide?

Overall, it was a fun little adventure, marred only by one sudden “D’oh!” when I was on the train to L.A. and realized that I’d forgotten to bring my camera.

8/10/2008

Meandering

Filed under: — stan @ 1:30 pm

Today’s ride was Gene’s “La Cañada Flintridge” route. This is a meandering route that goes all over the place, but not to anywhere in particular. Unless you count the tops of several big hills as ’somewhere’. It was a nice day for riding.

We headed out from Victory Park and went south into Temple City. That’s where we saw a big group of the feral parrots that live there.

Heading back north, we passed through Pasadena, and then up the big hill on Inverness above the Rose Bowl. We rode up and over, and then down into La Cañada. Going over Hospital Hill, we went down into Montrose to our snack stop at Oven Fresh.

Leaving the bakery, we made a loop back to La Cañada by way of Foothill Blvd, and then back into Pasadena. There, we went up Loma Alta to the top of Lake Ave. And from there, it was downhill all the way home.

It was a fun ride.

40 miles.
cycling

8/9/2008

La Tuna Canyon and a tour of the valley

Filed under: — stan @ 5:56 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “La Tuna Sandwich” route. We did this one last summer. And just like last time, we modified the route slightly to avoid riding home on Los Feliz Blvd, since that’s really not a nice place to ride.

It was a perfect day for riding when we set out from the Pasadena Elks Lodge. We rode up through La Cañada, Montrose and Tujunga. Then it was four miles downhill through La Tuna Canyon. At the bottom, we just went straight ahead, ending up on Tujunga Ave for the ride across the Valley. Along the way, we passed a monument to Amelia Earhart in North Hollywood. We also passed the Barris Kustom showroom in Toluca Lake before our snack stop at Priscilla’s.

The route back was down the L.A. River bike path, and then home through Highland Park and South Pasadena.

It was a pleasant ride.

50 miles.
cycling

8/3/2008

Sunday South Lake Ride

Filed under: — stan @ 6:06 pm

Today’s bike ride was Gene’s “South Lake” route, which is one of those meandering routes that doesn’t go anywhere in particular, but still covers a lot of ground.

For historical interest, this was the route we did the first time Susan rode with our group.

In Monrovia, we saw a group of turkey vultures circling overhead. We were moving at a brisk pace, so I’m pretty sure they weren’t there for us.

Our snack stop was at the Corner Bakery on Lake Ave in Pasadena. We found a table in the shade and had some snacks.

Finally, we saw a failed topiary Pegasus at the Mobil station on Lake Ave. They’ve been growing this one for about ten years, but it seems that they haven’t been maintaining it recently.

Overall, it was a pleasant ride.

39 miles.
cycling

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