Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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The five-year anniversary

Filed under: — stan @ 7:27 pm

The Sunday ride this week marks five years that I have been riding with the Foothill Cycle Sunday group. And today we did a new route.

We rode to South Pasadena and then across the bridge on York into Highland Park. From there, we went down Figueroa to Lincoln Heights and then up the hill on Montecito. That side is the longer, but less-steep side, and it was a nice little climb. We regrouped at the top and then headed down the steep side to pick up Huntington Drive for a long cruise out to Arcadia.

Along the way, I picked up the requisite picture of Susan with her packet of Gu.

We tried something different today, in that we tried forming the group into a double paceline for practice. Most of the riders in our group had never raced, so this was a new experience. But with a little coaching, we made a reasonable effective line, which we rode out through Arcadia and then down to Temple City.

We stopped at a bakery called El Pavo. I noticed that they had a vanity phone number, 800-6-EL-PAVO, which I thought was a little funny, since that implies that “4-EL-PAVO” was already taken. I wonder where and what that number is.

They also had a minor spelling FAIL on the sign on the side of the building.

After the stop, we rode back to the park. Along the way, we rode through one neighborhood where all the trees had purple ribbons on them. Gene asked, and one of the people who lived there told us that it was a display of neighborhood support for one of the residents who has cancer.

By the time we got back to the park, the sun was out, and it had turned into a nice day. When we got back to my house, Susan and I washed out our helmets and hung them up to dry together.

It was a pleasant ride.

41 miles.


A new animal crossing sign

Filed under: — stan @ 5:45 pm

Percy crossing
I didn’t get to go on a bike club ride today, but when Lucinda went to play at her friend’s house, I went out for a little ride on my own.

I went down to San Marino, and then across to South Pasadena. That was where I saw the Percy Crossing sign. So I had to add it to my Animal Crossings photo collection.

After that, I headed up to the Rose Bowl and did a few laps around there before heading home by way of Altadena. It was a fun little ride.

26 miles.


My So-Called Wife

Filed under: — stan @ 6:36 am

Today marks one year since Cathy moved out. Looking back on it, it was a big adjustment after living together for 20 years. But, I’ve not only survived, and I’m actually doing quite well.

This time last year, I was feeling pretty sad about the whole thing, but time has its way of healing. It’s been quite an adventure. I’ve always had a belief that things would work out all right in the end, but this past year has been far, far better than I’d ever even dared to dream it might be back when this was all starting.


Seal Beach for 2009

Filed under: — stan @ 4:22 pm

Today’s bike club ride was the route down the San Gabriel River to Seal Beach. This ride is a sentimental favorite, since the day we did it last year marked a special day for Susan and me. We’d been bike-riding friends for a long time, but that day was the first time we had that moment when we looked at each other and said, “Hey…

It was cool and overcast, much like it was last year. The club met at Live Oak Park in Temple City, and we headed out down the Rio Hondo bike path. In Whittier Narrows we crossed over and picked up the San Gabriel River bike path, and from there it was a straight shot all the way to the beach. We started out trying to get the group moving a bit faster, and a new guy named Scott took us up on it. He was very strong, and he towed us all the way down there, averaging about 22mph the whole way.

At the power plant in Long Beach, I tried to see if I could see any of the green sea turtles I’d heard live there, but the water was kind of murky, so I couldn’t see anything.

When we got to Seal Beach, we rode down to the pier for a souvenir picture with the little seal statue there. Then we went to the bakery. By the time we got there, the others were arriving. I had a honey-bran muffin, which was quite good. Then we headed out, back up the river.

I took a picture of Susan when we rode past the power plant on the way back, since that was place where we had our moment. Then we both just concentrated on hanging on to Scott’s wheel. He towed us all the way back up to Whittier Narrows, again averaging over 20mph the whole way.

There is a place in Whittier Narrows where people fly radio-controlled airplanes. The bike path has a chain-link cover over it there, for reasons that I guess are apparent. When we were riding through there, I saw the wreckage of a model airplane that had crashed next to the structure. Maybe it got into a fight with the people at the rifle range across the freeway.

When we got back to the start, everyone else had turned off to go home. So I rode home with Susan, just to keep her company and be sure she got home all right. Then I rode home from there, passing a “Star Trek” themed birthday party along the way. That’s something I could relate to.

As always, it was a nice ride.

79 miles.


Green martinis…

Filed under: — stan @ 10:50 pm

On Tuesday night, I went to Susan’s house for St. Patrick’s Day. She’s Irish, so she had an evening planned out for us.

We started out with some green-tinted martinis. Yum. And I’m not even going to bother with putting in the redacted text. It was a fun evening.


A good activity for a dreary day

Filed under: — stan @ 2:31 pm

It’s kind of chilly and drizzly today, so I don’t think I’m going to go riding. Instead, I rented a machine and cleaned the carpets. It made a noise like a jet taking off, so it certainly sounded like it was doing something big. It wasn’t too hard, and it did a pretty good job. Even though the leopard carpet hides dirt, I can see a difference. So I guess I’m happy with the result.


Under the Sea and up on the rocks

Filed under: — stan @ 9:24 pm

This afternoon, Susan and I took Lucinda and her friend to the California Science Center IMAX theater to see “Under the Sea 3-D”. We’ve been fans of the 3-D IMAX movies since going to see “Sea Monsters” last year.

When we got there, Lucinda had to try lifting the truck at the lever demonstration exhibit in the parking lot. Today was the first time that she was big enough to be able to lift it.

The movie was good, although it was a bit odd, since it was narrated by Jim Carrey. I guess he’s trying to stretch his dramatic range a bit.

After the movie, we went into the museum. Lucinda and her friend wanted to try the rock climbing wall. Apparently, it’s harder than it looks, since they only made it about halfway up. We looked around the museum a bit more before they closed. Then we headed home, after the obligatory stop in the gift shop.

It was a nice afternoon, and marks the first time that Susan and I have taken Lucinda somewhere together.

Pictures are in her photo album.

A different kind of bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 7:36 pm

Today, Susan and I did one of the PAA rides. This was one with Coach Rick. I used to do rides like this all the time when I was racing, but I haven’t been on a ride like this in close to 30 years.

We met up with the group down in San Marino. Then we fell into the pace line and rode. It was fun to ride in an organized pace line again. The usual group I ride with doesn’t do this. The group held together until we got to the hill on Gladstone in San Dimas. Then it kind of broke up. We got reassembled after the Metrolink train went by. Then we did one circuit around Bonelli Park. This had some more hills, which splintered the group again. But we again reassembled when we got back to flat land. Along the way, I got the obligatory photo of Susan with a packet of Gu in her mouth. And then we rode the pace line back home.

It was a fun ride.
55 miles.


And the verdict is…

Filed under: — stan @ 6:41 pm



Kitchen experimentation

Filed under: — stan @ 7:29 pm

After making the white chocolate mousse for Lucinda’s birthday cake last Sunday, I had one cup of cream left over. So I decided to try a little experiment. I’d had a frozen white chocolate mousse cake once at Evan’s in South Lake Tahoe, and I was thinking about trying to cook up something similar.

I figured that the one cup of cream would make just over two cups of mousse, so I chose a six-inch springform pan to start. I made a chocolate graham cracker crust for the bottom of the cake. I pressed it into the bottom of the pan and froze it.

While the crust was freezing, I made the mousse. When it was ready, I got the pan out of the freezer and put the mousse in it. Then I topped it with some mini chocolate chips and put it in the refrigerator to set. Once it is set, I’ll freeze it. Once it’s frozen I can remove the springform pan and it will be ready to serve.

So now we have something new to try after dinner tomorrow night.

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