Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

9/20/2008

The Portal of the Folded Wings

Filed under: — stan @ 6:57 pm

Today’s club bike ride was over Turnbull Canyon, which is always a fun time. But due to scheduling difficulties, there was no way I could make it to the start in time. So Susan, Steve, and I went on another ride. We went over to North Hollywood to see the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation at Valhalla Cemetery.

We rode out across Eagle Rock, Glendale and Burbank to get to Burbank Blvd, which took us across the 5 freeway to Victory Blvd. Then we rode west to get to the cemetery.

The cemetery is just off the end of the runway at Burbank Airport, which is a fitting place for a monument to aviation. There were planes taking off over our heads the whole time we were there. A lot of major figures of early aviation are buried there. And befitting the tribute to flight, there was a very large bird’s nest built near the top of the building, too.

Coming back, we headed south to Toluca Lake and then down the L.A. River bike path. Along the way, we saw the Motion Picture Costume Cleaners, which seemed appropriate, since there is a lot of movie business going on in that part of town.

We finished by coming across Highland Park and South Pasadena, and then back home to Pasadena. It was a fun little ride.

44 miles.
cycling

9/14/2008

Yes, we have a county fair in Los Angeles…

Filed under: — stan @ 9:29 pm

On Sunday afternoon, Susan and I went out to Pomona to the Los Angeles County Fair. Neither of us had been to it in years, so we thought it might be a fun thing to do.

We saw lots of animals, which is perhaps a bit surprising, since there is very little agriculture going on in Los Angeles County. On the other hand, ‘very little’ is not ‘none’, so there are farmers here, and they have crops and animals and such. So that was fun and interesting.

On the other hand, they did have a booth selling body jewelry, which is fitting for L.A.

We went to see the crafts and food, too. After looking at the baked goods, I’m totally going to enter my perfect blueberry muffins next year.

We had some pretty good barbecue for dinner, and then we got ice cream from Dr. Bob’s. It was a fun afternoon.

Still No Tuna

Filed under: — stan @ 1:44 pm

The Sunday ride for this week was a slightly modified version of Gene’s “No Tuna For Me” route, which avoids the four-mile grade up La Tuna Canyon by taking a roundabout route through horse country in Sunland and Tujunga. It’s a nice route.

The day started out cool and overcast, but the sun did come out by mid-morning. On our way across Eagle Rock, we saw a guy riding his bike with two dogs. I was wondering how long it took him to teach them to do that and not run under the wheels.

I got a laugh from the church sign in Burbank. And then we passed the dump in Sun Valley and headed up into horse country. Some of the grades were pretty steep, but the streets were nice and quiet.

After cresting the hill in Tujunga, we headed down the other side. That was where Jon got a flat. While he was fixing it, we took a short straw poll and decided to make the snack stop at the bagel place on top of the last major hill, rather than the bakery at the bottom before the last major hill. That seemed like a nice idea.

After the stop, we headed home, and it was mostly downhill. I had to stop briefly to true up my back wheel, since it got knocked out by a bump and was rubbing on the frame. Then we headed home. It was a nice ride.

45 miles.
cycling

9/13/2008

A ride to Griffith Park

Filed under: — stan @ 1:33 pm

Today’s bike ride was a rather nondescript route across Glendale to Griffith Park, down the L.A. River bike path, and home by way of Eagle Rock Blvd and South Pasadena.

It was cool and overcast, so it was a bit chilly. And that was that. About the only memorable thing from the ride was the church sign in Eagle Rock.

39 miles
cycling

9/12/2008

The rest of our short Lake Tahoe vacation

Filed under: — stan @ 11:34 pm

I’d mentioned that Susan and I went to Lake Tahoe to do the bike ride around the lake, but here’s the rest of what we did there.

We got there about 3:30 on Friday. We rested a bit at the house before going out to dinner. And that was about it for Friday.

On Saturday, we went for a short bike ride, just to limber up a bit. Then we went and did the Heavenly gondola ride up the mountain. The views were great from up there, and we also saw the small sign about Lake Tahoe that reminded us about what we were going to be doing on Sunday.

When we came back down, we got our picture taken with a large wooden bear. Then we went to Tahoe Sports to pick up our packets for the ride on Sunday. After that, we went back to the house and cooked and ate dinner on the deck. Then we went to the pool and sat in the hot tub for a bit. We were thinking that that was going to feel particularly good on Sunday afternoon after the bike ride.

On Sunday, we did the ride around the lake. After that, we had the pasta lunch that they provided at the finish, and then we went back to the house. We went to the pool, and we also spent some time in the hot tub. That was nice. And that evening, we finished out our trip with dinner at Evan’s, which is my favorite restaurant there.

It was a very nice, albeit short trip.

9/10/2008

Tour de Tahoe

Filed under: — stan @ 6:31 am

bikeThis past weekend’s cycling adventure was a bit different. Susan and I did the Tour de Tahoe, which is a 72-mile ride around Lake Tahoe.

The weather was perfect, albeit a bit chilly when we started out at 7:15. But as soon as the sun came up over the mountains, it was quite pleasant.

The ride itself was very spectacular. Sadly, some of the best vistas were on downhill stretches where it wasn’t practical to stop and look. But in any event, the views were very good all the way around.

There were really only two big climbs. The first was up the switchbacks to the overlook by Emerald Bay. The second was where we went part-way up the mountains on the east side of the lake to meet highway 50 for the final descent back to the finish at South Lake Tahoe. Each of these was about 1,000 feet of climbing. The lake level is about 6,200 feet above sea level, so the tops of the climbs were both close to 7,000 feet. We were able to notice that the air was a bit thinner than what we’re used to here in Pasadena, but we hoped that the lack of smog may have helped make up for the lack of oxygen.

I took so many pictures on this ride that I had to make a separate album for them.

It was a very nice ride.

74 miles.
cycling

9/9/2008

Just a placeholder

Filed under: — stan @ 10:26 pm

The Witness Protection Program goes on vacation.

Actually, there’s a real story here, but I don’t have time to write it up now. I’ll have to do it later. But suffice to say that it was a very nice, albeit short vacation.

9/3/2008

In today’s obituary pages…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:08 am

Jerry Reed has died at 71. And for some reason, my life these days brings this to mind:

In other news, “The Voice of God” is dead:

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