Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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12/31/2009

New Year’s Eve

Filed under: — stan @ 11:19 pm

Lucinda was with me for New Year’s Eve this year, so we decided to go out together for a fancy dinner. Our first choice was L.A. Prime on the 35th floor of the Bonaventure downtown, but they were doing a special menu. It was an $80 four-course prix-fixe, and they told me that they didn’t have any options for kids. So that was out. I went looking for other restaurants downtown that had views, and I found Takami. I called them, and they said that they were doing the regular menu, so I made us a reservation.

The place was very nice. The food was all good. We ordered a selection of small things, one entree, and dessert, and we shared it all. It was a nice evening, and nice way to close out the year.

2009 in brief

Filed under: — stan @ 6:40 am

It’s nearly the end of the year, and so I posted my Christmas-letter-summary of the year. It distills everything that’s happened in the last year down to one page.

2009 in LOLcats

Filed under: — stan @ 6:38 am

O hai! Iz tiem fur mah yer in LOLcats.

2009 wuz gud yer. Thar wuz ups an dwns, but nothin liek teh wrenchin catastrofe dat wuz 2008. Teh yer startd out OK, but den took a turn foar da wurse in da luv area. But mah luv life has recoverd, an things ar once moar gud in mah wurld. In othr newz, I hads to buy new car dis yer, since mah old car needd part dat iz no longr made. I tooks trip to Texas foar da 16th anniversry party ov teh club I startd. I finily got couch foar da livin room. Teh divorce negotiashuns draggd on an on an on. An I turnd 50 yers old. So her iz teh story of mah yer, told in picturez frum icanhascheezburger.com:

why you do this

a bad breakup  ai haz it

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

peace.jpg

kthxbai

12/29/2009

Another San Diego trip

Filed under: — stan @ 10:23 pm

On Monday and Tuesday, Lucinda and I went to San Diego again to visit my father and to go to Sea World again. When we got there, we had lunch with Grandpa. After that, we visited for a while at his place. We watched “Fly Away Home”, which Lucinda liked. After that, we went to our hotel to register and then we came back for dinner with Grandpa.

On Tuesday, we got up early and went to see the seals in La Jolla. They were all lounging on the beach, but we saw a few sea lions swimming around in the surf. We also walked over to Cave St and took the tour of Sunny Jim Cave. Lucinda was a bit spooked to walk through the tunnel down to the cave, but I managed to coax her down there. After that, we went to Sea World. We walked around and saw a lot of animals. We also took the Skyride, which gave Lucinda serious willies. At the end of the day, we went to the Shamu show, where we made a point to sit above the stadium rows that get wet. That might be fun in the summer, but not so much in December.

It was a fun little trip.

Pictures from the day are here:
Lucinda’s photos
Nature and Animals photos

12/27/2009

The Never Open Store

Filed under: — stan @ 4:50 pm

A couple of weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times had an article about the Never Open Store. It’s in Hollywood, just off Melrose Ave, and I immediately thought it would make for an amusing sightseeing bike ride. And as an added attraction, we could go by the House of David to see the Christmas decorations. So today was the day.

It was chilly, but sunny, and basically a nice day for riding. We headed out across Pasadena, passing the preparations for the Rose Parade next week. Then we took a direct route down through Eagle Rock to get to Silver Lake Blvd. We rode across on 1st St and 2nd St to get to Larchmont Village, and then went one block west on 3rd St to the House of David. And it did not disappoint.

Continuing west on 4th St, we turned north on Alta Vista to get up into Hollywood. And then we arrived at the Never Open Store. As we expected, it was closed. We spent a few minutes looking in the windows at the strange things inside, and it was very amusing. Then we headed off to our snack stop at Groundwork Coffee on Sunset Blvd.

By now, it was getting almost warm, and it was perfect for riding. The route back was direct across Hollywood, and then back up through Eagle Rock. We rode through the San Rafael Hills in Pasadena to get back to where we started. When we passed the Rose Parade bleachers again, Jon practiced his ‘parade wave‘.

It was a nice ride.

44 miles.


12/25/2009

Christmas morning bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 12:21 pm

On Christmas morning, I went for a bike ride. I didn’t have to be anywhere until afternoon, and it was a nice day. I rode over to Arcadia to meet up with the Foothill Cycle group. The ride was one of those rambling ‘rides to nowhere’. Just a loop around Pasadena to the snack stop in Alhambra. When we got there, I decided to skip the stop, since I had to get back to get ready to go out. So I rode directly home from Alhambra, pausing only briefly to admire the view of Mt Baldy covered with snow in the distance over Alhambra Road.

It was a nice ride.

33 miles.


12/24/2009

Christmas Eve at home

Filed under: — stan @ 11:02 pm

It’s Christmas Eve, and Lucinda is at my house tonight. So she got to open the presents I got for her. They were all platypus-themed. We had a Chinese dinner, since that was what I had supplies at home to make. And we also spent some time playing Rock Band on the Wii.

All in all, it was a very fun ‘bachelor-father spending time with his kid’ kind of evening.

12/22/2009

Neon!

Filed under: — stan @ 11:16 pm

I had occasion this evening to go to the Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank. This is the original one, built in 1949, and it’s something of a SoCal landmark. And it has great neon signs. So I got some pictures while waiting for my date to arrive. Fortunately, there were a lot of newpaper boxes on the sidewalk, and they made great platforms to balance the camera for steady night shots. So I got pictures of the Bob’s signs, and also the neon hot dog across the street at Papoo’s Hot Dog Show.

12/20/2009

New topiary

Filed under: — stan @ 6:52 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “San Dimas South” route, which is a fairly flat route that goes out to Bonelli Park, but not through the park and over the hills there. It was chilly, but basically a nice day for riding.

The route out was pretty direct. We passed by the house that had had a big tree decorated with big Christmas ornaments last year. This time, they didn’t do it, although they still had the rest of the house decorated.

The stop was at Panera Bread in West Covina. By then, it had warmed up enough that it was pleasant sitting outside.

On the way back, we saw a house in Baldwin Park with some topiary animals in the yard. That will have to be added to the Topiary Tour route for next time.

It was a very nice ride.

45 miles.


12/19/2009

Hollywood afternoon

Filed under: — stan @ 10:24 pm

This afternoon, I took Lucinda and her friend Kymber to Hollywood to visit the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum. We’d been there once before, and she’s been talking about wanting to go back again. It’s a random collection of weird stuff, which is perfect in Hollywood.

We took in the museum and it’s oddities. The girls kind of skipped over the more morbid ones, but overall, they found it amusing. And afterward, we took a walk down Hollywood Blvd, since Lucinda had never seen the footprints in front of the Chinese Theater. Along the way, they got hustled for a picture with one of the characters in front of Hollywood and Highland. And I have no idea who she was supposed to be.

They walked around and saw footprints of a lot of stars they recognized, and lots more they’d never heard of. They were hoping to find Michael Jackson there, but apparently he’s not.

When we left Hollywood Blvd, it was not dark yet, so I took them up to see the Hollywood sign close-up. I’ve taken the bicycle club up there several times, so I know how to get as close as you legally can to it. And I took their picture there.

It was a fun little afternoon.

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