Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Oh, yes….

Filed under: — stan @ 10:14 pm

I saw today that the Ketchum YMCA in downtown Los Angeles has the registration page up for their annual stair climb up the U.S. Bank tower. This is the tallest building in Los Angeles, tallest west of the Mississippi, and the 9th tallest in the U.S. 1,018 feet tall, 75 stories, 1,500 steps to the top. So you know that I have to try it. After all, I did the AON Tower stair climb back in April, and that was a good time. And I finished 24th out of 327 runners, which I think is pretty good for a first-timer.

I know that this will entail tremendous pain, and it should also be great fun. As they say on the event page, “Elevators are for Wimps”.

Sounds like a great time.


My Pet Project

Filed under: — stan @ 6:16 am

150,000 subscribers
I checked this morning, and the subscriber list for the USGS Earthquake Notification Service passed 150,000 at about 07:34 GMT on Monday morning. This is a momentous occasion. I never imagined that something I invented could be so popular, useful, or entertaining. It’s come a long way from its beginnings as my Pet Project.


The Octomom Art Project

Filed under: — stan @ 7:07 pm

Today’s bike ride was a specially modified version of the Turnbull Canyon route with a small detour in Whittier to see an art project dedicated to Nadya Suleman, the so-called “Octomom”. It was on the wall of Gold Mine VW Parts on Pickering St in Whittier.

It promised to be a hot day today. The route down to Whittier was about as direct as I was able to devise. Gene came along for the first part of the ride, before turning off to ride down to Manhattan Beach to see the bike race there today.

There is a clinic in South San Gabriel that seems always to have anti-abortion protesters outside it. But today, there were more of them than I’d ever seen before.

In Pico Rivera, we took a one-block detour to see Dork St. Keira got her picture taken with the sign. Then it was on to Whittier and the Octomom Art Project.

After that, we rode up and over Turnbull Canyon and then headed home by way of La Puente. Our snack stop was in Monrovia at Merengue. They have a lot of odd Cuban things there, and the watermelon soda was one of them. The cartoon picture on the can didn’t look like it could pass muster in current PC America.

From Monrovia, we rode straight home by way of Sierra Madre. It was a nice ride, and we got to take in some weird local culture, too.

43 miles.


A Saturday afternoon quickie

Filed under: — stan @ 4:17 pm

On Saturday afternoon, I had about an hour and a half between dropping off Lucinda and having to be anywhere, so I went for a bike ride. It was hot, but still a nice day.

I rode over to the Rose Bowl, did about two laps, and then headed home by way of Altadena. It was a nice little ride.

20 miles.


Why it’s always good to know how to fix things around the house

Filed under: — stan @ 11:05 pm

The light in my bathroom stopped working this morning. Which made shaving a bit of an adventure. So I went and got two new fluorescent tubes for the light today. But when I put them in, it still didn’t work. Which meant that the ballast had gone bad. So I went and got a new one and put it in. Back when I was in 9th grade, my parents had me doing electrician’s work in their chemical plant. At the time, I thought that this was a terrible imposition on my time. But now I’m glad that I learned how to do things like that. It’s more than paid for itself over the years in my being able to fix things around the house. And that’s a Good Thing.


I prefer to believe this is not true…

Filed under: — stan @ 6:59 am comic


La Tuna Canyon on a perfect Sunday morning

Filed under: — stan @ 11:25 pm

Sunday’s bike ride was the classic La Tuna Canyon route. The one with the four-mile uphill stretch that I enjoy so much.

It was a perfect day for riding. We had a group of seven, and we headed out across Pasadena and Eagle Rock. Along the way, I was talking with Keira, and she told me about her ‘bike porn’ web site, You know that that had to get my attention. Sort of like a Reese’s cup, it’s my two favorite things mashed together. So that was fun.

In Burbank, we took a quick side trip to see the pirate ship, since several of the people in the group hadn’t seen it before.

Then it was time for the Main Attraction. The four-mile hill up La Tuna Canyon. Such fun.

Our snack stop was at Goldstein’s Bagels at the top of Hospital Hill. Then it was (mostly) downhill back into Pasadena and back to the park.

When we got back to the park, I realized that I didn’t have anything to do or anywhere to be until dinnertime, so I just kept riding. I rode down to San Marino and San Gabriel, and then out to Arcadia and Duarte. All so that I could say:

70 miles.


See the progress

Filed under: — stan @ 10:11 pm

Now it’s been a year and a half since my divorce nightmare began. It’s still not resolved, but aside from that, my life is rebooting very nicely. And you can see this in these pictures from dinners at the Jazz Kitchen from three trips to Disneyland with Lucinda.

The top picture was in January, 2008, when the ordeal was just beginning. I felt cast adrift and all alone in the world. At the time, Lucinda didn’t know yet what was going on, and I felt haunted by the knowledge that she was very soon going to find herself in the eye of a shit-storm.

The middle picture was from August, 2008. Things were much, much better then. I’d had my “George Bailey moment” that turned my life around. It led to my trip to visit Austin last summer. It also led to my relationship with Susan, which was a tremendously great experience, even though it was only for a year.

The bottom picture is from June, 2009, and even though I’d felt pretty good last August, I’m visibly happier here. By any objective measure, my life is actually pretty good now. I feel content and optimistic for the future. And all things considered, I think that’s pretty good .

There is still healing going on, and more to come, but it’s been nowhere near as hard and painful as it was at the start.


Cirque Berzerk

Filed under: — stan @ 11:46 pm

cirque berserk
Friday night’s adventure was a trip to Cirque Berzerk at Los Angeles State Historic Park. The tent was set up in the middle of a dusty field, which seemed quite appropriate, since the Cirque grew out of an act at Burning Man some years ago.

The show itself was great fun. It sort of defies description, and about the closest I could come is to say that it’s sort of like a mash-up of “Cabaret” with a circus acrobatics show, performed by the Transylvanians from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. They had a live band and singers on a high platform at one end of the stage. They made a big deal about some seats being better than others, but even the far back row was only about 50 feet from the stage. The tent just wasn’t all that big.

There was a small fenced-in area outside the tent with a bar and a stage. The sign said that drinks were not allowed outside the fenced area, but they had a fenced corridor to the tent, so people could bring drinks into the show. The show itself was about an hour and a half, with a 20-minute intermission. There was a band playing in the outdoor bar area after the first show. They said that cameras were not allowed in the show, but I saw a lot of people at least attempting to take pictures. It was pretty dark in the tent, so I doubt that the pictures would have been very good.

It was very weird, and tremendously entertaining. Certainly worth the trip.


Disneyland to start the summer

Filed under: — stan @ 11:26 pm

It’s the day after the last day of school. What are you going to do?

I’m going to Disneyland!

I took Lucinda and her friend Claire to Disneyland today to start their summer vacation. We did the whole bit, starting with California Adventure, then lunch, and then the rest of the day at Disneyland. We were there for about eight hours, and we rode a lot of rides. And the girls had a good time.

At the end of the day, we were all tired. We had dinner at the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney before heading home. It was a very nice day.

As always, all the pictures from the day are in Lucinda’s photo album.

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