Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Lorenzo the Llama

Filed under: — stan @ 12:50 pm

A week or so ago, my girlfriend was telling me about her friends who live in Shadow Hills. That’s the horse neighborhood off Sunland Blvd in the northeast San Fernando Valley. She said that their neighbors have an emu and a llama named Lorenzo living in their front yard. So of course I had to find out where so we could do a sightseeing ride up there. It turned out that it was only about a three-block detour off the “No Tuna for Me” route that we do. So this was today’s bike ride.

It was a perfect day for riding. We started off across Pasadena and Eagle Rock, and then across Glendale into Burbank. We took Glenoaks Blvd up to Sun Valley and turned on Peoria St, just before the big dump. And then we headed into horse country. We wound around in there a bit before we ended up in front of the llama house.

There was a sheep, a goat, an emu, and then Lorenzo the Llama. They were all friendly and curious, and they came up to the fence to check us out. So we all got souvenir pictures with them. It was a good piece of weird Los Angeles sightseeing.

The route back went through Tujunga and Montrose. Then we stopped at Goldstein’s for a bagel before heading home.

It was a nice ride.

44 miles.


Building more stuff around the house

Filed under: — stan @ 3:23 pm

This morning, I built a new box planter for my back yard. I had some basil plants started in pots on the window sill, and I wanted a place to put them outside. So I built a little planter with some spare wood I had in the garage. Lucinda helped me fill it and plant everything.

First time local bike sightseeing

Filed under: — stan @ 3:20 pm

I bought Lucinda a new bike last Monday, and she’s been excited to go riding. So we’ve gone on a few short rides in the evening, and today, I took her on a small sightseeing ride. She asked to go somewhere without hills, and not too far away. So we rode down to see the weird castle-house I found in Pasadena some time ago.

It was a nice day for riding, and we even stopped off on the way home and got a new lamp for the house at a yard sale.


In today’s Los Angeles Times

Filed under: — stan @ 6:44 pm

The widow of the man interred in the crypt above Marilyn Monroe is selling the crypt on Ebay. He had bought the crypt in 1954 from Joe DiMaggio, and was later buried in it. The money quote:

When he was dying, Elsie said, her husband approached her with a request. “He said, ‘If I croak, if you don’t put me upside down over Marilyn, I’ll haunt you the rest of my life.’ ”

Right after the funeral, Elsie said, she told the funeral director of her husband’s wish. “I was standing right there, and he turned him over,” she said.

Goes to show that no matter what, mens’ priorities are always the same…

Read the whole article here:,0,2135061.story

Thursday evening bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 6:26 am

After work this evening, I had a little free time before the main part of my evening began, so I went for a short bike ride. I did my usual route down through San Marino and then up the water tower hill in South Pasadena. Then up to the Rose Bowl. I rode around the Bowl two or three times before it was time to head home to get cleaned up. Then I took my usual route home through Altadena. It was a weird day. The sunlight and the sky were reddish, like there’s a big brushfire somewhere far away. It made everything look strange, but there was not smoke smell, so it was fine for riding.

26 miles.


This is a bit disturbing…

Filed under: — stan @ 6:53 am

…but I’m sure that’s the idea.

And it’s also kind of hot. Which I guess was also the idea.


A ride to Glendora

Filed under: — stan @ 3:24 pm

Today’s bike ride was an old favorite. Out to Glendora for a snack at Classic Coffee in Old Town. We also decided to take a little side trip to see Rubel’s Castle.

It was a perfect day for riding. We started out from the park, and we saw a nice abandoned couch on Sierra Madre Blvd. Then we continued on out through Arcadia and Temple City to Irwindale. We saw the topiary teddy bears along the way. We also saw the original hot rod mailbox.

We stopped for our snack at Classic Coffee, and then we headed up the hill to Rubel’s Castle.

The route back was the standard route through Monrovia and Arcadia. When we got back to the park, I had 37 miles and nothing pressing to do. So I kept riding. I rode down to South Pasadena with Jon, and then I headed up Arroyo to the Rose Bowl. I went around once and then went up the hill to collect the hot rod mailbox I’d seen last week. Then home through Altadena.

It was a nice little ride.

60 miles.


Evening ride with no pictures

Filed under: — stan @ 8:25 pm

I went riding this evening after work, but there are no pictures. About five miles out, I realized that I’d left the camera on top of the filing cabinet by the back door. D’oh!

I rode down to the Rose Bowl to meet up with some other riders, but on the way there, I saw smoke from a brush fire over the hills behind the Bowl. So as it turned out, Verna was the only one who showed, since the others she had talked to had decided not to go after seeing the smoke. So we rode around a few times. The north end of the loop was kind of smoky, so it wasn’t good for riding hard. We tried going up Lida, but the smoke was thicker up there, so we bailed and headed back. Along the way, we passed another hot-rod mailbox in the neighborhood there. And I was very disappointed that I’d forgotten the camera. So we’ll have to go back to get a picture for my collection.

After a few laps, the smoke was getting thicker, so I bailed and headed home by way of South Pasadena and San Marino. There was no smoke there, and the ride home was fairly pleasant.

So it was an all right ride, but not especially good.

31 miles.

Artificial intelligence strikes again

Filed under: — stan @ 12:55 pm

Automated systems can be pretty stupid sometimes. There is some earthquake activity going on in the Gulf of California right now, and it’s generating a fair number of messages through the Earthquake Notification Service (aka, “My Pet Project“). In the messages, it gives the location of the earthquake relative to some local landmarks and cities in the area. And now I’m getting back nasty messages from various mail systems like this:

This email has violated the RACIAL DISCRIMINATION.
and Quarantine entire message has been taken on 8/4/2009 2:33:29 PM.
Message details:
Recipient: redacted
Subject: 2009-08-03 18:40:50 REVISED: (Mw 6.2) GULF OF CALIFORNIA
29.4 -113.7

Or this:

A message sent from “” to “redacted” with a subject of “2009-08-03 18:40:50 REVISED: (Mw 6.2) GULF OF CALIFORNIA 29.4 -113.7″ has been blocked as it contains profane language.

All this because the earthquake happened to be near the town of Guerrero Negro.

I haven’t seen anything like this since the last time we had a big earthquake near the Virgin Islands.

I think this might be an interesting adventure, too

Filed under: — stan @ 6:25 am

Last year I went to the Los Angeles County Fair, and at the time, Susan and I hatched plans to enter my perfect blueberry muffins in the fair this year. Susan is out of the picture now, but the fair is coming up. So I decided to still put the plan into action. And I’ve even improved the recipe a bit since last year.

The contest rules don’t specify that the recipe has to be completely original, but I didn’t want to enter a recipe that I didn’t make up myself. The only exception here is the black walnut bread. That’s my grandmother’s recipe. I’ve never seen it anywhere else, but I didn’t make it up, either. The blueberry muffins and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are my recipes that I’ve developed right here in my own kitchen.

I think this will be an interesting adventure.

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