Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

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11/30/2008

Glendale vistas

Filed under: — stan @ 10:05 pm

Sunday’s ride was the “Glendale Vistas” route. We haven’t done this one in a while. This is the ride where I broke my cassette last winter.

It was great fun, even if I wasn’t the first one to the top of every hill today.

40 miles.
cycling

All hail William Mulholland and the Department of Water and Power

Filed under: — stan @ 3:57 pm

Last night, I went to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Griffith Park Light Festival. I went with Juju, since we’d had originally planned on going on the Museum of Neon Art Neon Cruise, but it was canceled due to not having enough people sign up to rent the bus.

The first week of the festival is car-free, which is nice. We parked at the zoo, and just walked down and back and looked at the lights. The lights were almost all LED-based now, which is part of the DWP trying to ‘go green’ by reducing power consumption.

After that, we headed back to Silverlake and had dinner at Gingergrass, which was quite nice.

It was a nice evening out. And yes, it was a fun time.

11/29/2008

Fall foliage

Filed under: — stan @ 2:53 pm

Today’s club ride was the Fall Foliage route. This winds around Alhambra and Monterey Park to look a the leaves, and then goes up and down some ridiculous hills just for fun.

We left from Arcadia Park at 8:30 and headed west. Winding around, we saw some leaves that were changing colors. Then we got to the hills and the fun began. Given that I have some excess angst these days, I was looking forward to the hills as an outlet. I managed to do all of them in my Stupid Gear. Riding up Cadiz St and its 14% grade in my 39×17 certainly had a way of clearing my mind. And this was a Good Thing.

The snack stop was supposed to be at the golf course in Alhambra, but we all agreed that we didn’t like that restaurant, so we headed back to Pasadena to the Corner Bakery on South Lake. While we were there, Ben was telling us about an estate sale he knows of that includes a very nice Calfee bike. Gene was interested in it, so we rode out to Arcadia to have a look at it.

It turned out to be a very nice day for riding.

50 miles.
cycling

In today’s obituary pages…

Filed under: — stan @ 8:24 am

Alan Gordon, songwriter who was one of two who wrote The Turtles 1967 hit, “Happy Together”.

I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you
For all my life
When you’re with me, baby the skies’ll be blue
For all my life

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it has to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together

He is quoted in the obituary:

“It’s been such a gift from God. It’s hard to put into words what that song means to me,” he told the Washington Post in 2004. “I know I wrote it, but it’s taken on… it’s hard to explain. You’re driving down the highway and you hear your song coming out of someone’s car. The angels heard me praying the day I wrote ‘Happy Together.’ “

Read the whole obituary here.

11/28/2008

Thanksgiving with Dad

Filed under: — stan @ 10:18 pm

Since Lucinda is off with Cathy’s family, I went to San Diego to visit my father. He lives in a big retirement community there. We had our official holiday dinner at the dining room where he lives. It was pretty good. Hyatt does good food. That evening was the regular Thursday night movie. Since he is part of the group that picks the movies, we went to it. The film was “The Captain’s Paradise“, and it was pretty funny. The title role was played by Alec Guiness, and it was amusing to see the man I associate with Obi Wan Kenobi playing a completely different role. Also, one of his wives was played by Yvonne De Carlo, who I always associate with Lily Munster.

The next day we went to lunch at Prado in Balboa Park. That’s my dad’s favorite restaurant, so he likes to go there whenever he has a chance.

On the way home, I called my friend Paul to see if he was home. He was, so I stopped off in Dana Point to visit. I haven’t seen him since June, so I got to tell him all my tales of joy and woe, triumph and tragedy, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was nice to visit.

11/26/2008

Thanksgiving with Lucinda

Filed under: — stan @ 8:59 pm

Because our family is fragmented now, Lucinda wanted to do a Thanksgiving dinner with me here. So today was our day. I picked her up at 1:00 and we came home to make it. We made cornbread stuffing, snow-white potatoes au gratin, kale, and a cornish game hen. We also made a chocolate bundt cake with the recipe from the Hershey’s cookbook. It was all quite good.

11/23/2008

Bagels and fog

Filed under: — stan @ 8:48 pm

Today’s Sunday ride was the “Bagelry” route, modified to avoid the construction on Live Oak Avenue in Irwindale. Newton came to ride with us for the first time in nearly a year.

We set out from Victory Park, and almost immediately, we ran into a thick fog. It got cold and damp, and generally not very pleasant. While we were riding through the fog, Andre got a flat. Today was his first time riding with us, and so it’s his first appearance in the Flat Tire Gallery.

We got to The Bagelry in San Dimas and stopped for bagels and such. It was still pretty cold, and we all got chilled sitting there. Then we headed back. At first it was very cold, but then the sun finally broke through the fog it started to warm up.

Overall, it was a pleasant ride.

46 miles.
cycling

11/22/2008

The Museum of Death and more

Filed under: — stan @ 11:54 pm

Today I had a little adventure in the city. It was actually three somewhat-unrelated adventures, but each was fun in its own way.

In the afternoon, I met my friend Sherri at the Museum of Death. We had done the Dearly Departed Tour last spring, so this outing was just another foray into the world of death. We saw a collection of odd advertising objects for funeral homes, beds from the Heaven’s Gate house, Jayne Mansfield’s stuffed chihuahua, art by John Wayne Gacy, and other odd things. The owner also showed us a living conjoined turtle, complete with two heads, four front legs, and two back legs. It was a delightfully weird afternoon.

After my brush with Death, I headed down to Silverlake to meet up with an old online friend for dinner. We’ve known each other online for years, but never actually met in meatspace before. So, since we both had time, we decided to finally remedy that situation. We had a nice dinner at Lamill, followed by some wine at Silverlake Wine.

Finally, I headed up to North Hollywood to Yup, it’s that damn redacted text again party.

Overall, it was a fun day.

11/18/2008

The Backyard Hike

Filed under: — stan @ 11:27 pm

Tonight I went over to Griffith Park for the Tuesday night hike. We did the “Backyard Hike” route, which I guess might be named for the fact that we walked right by some people’s backyards in Los Feliz. It was pretty long and fairly hard as hikes in the park go. And it was dark before we even set out, so the trail part was a bit challenging. The parts on fire roads were easy to follow, even though there was no moon. There was a bench on the trail at one point, so I was able to prop the camera up on it to get my souvenir picture with the lights of Hollywood in the background.

Overall, it was a pretty good evening out. Beats the hell out of moping around at home.

11/15/2008

Around Bonelli Park

Filed under: — stan @ 9:49 pm

Saturday’s bike ride was the Around Puddingstone Reservoir route. The last time we did this route was in May.

It was a warm Santa Ana day in SoCal, with summer-like temperatures. We rode straight out to San Dimas and then did our circuit around the park. As always, we took the shortcut back through the park, rather than taking the long way around on Via Verde.

Going through West Covina, we passed Newton’s house. Gene yelled out as we went by, and Newton heard him. So he came out to chat for a bit. He’s hoping to be back riding with us again soon.

The stop was in Baldwin Park on the way back, but Silvio and I headed back early. I’d gotten word that one of the computers at my office had died, and I needed to get back so I could go fix it. We altered the route to come home by way of Santa Fe Dam. When we were riding along the top of the dam, we had a good view of the smoke plumes from the major wildfires currently burning around Los Angeles.

It was a pleasant ride.

62 miles.
cycling

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