Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

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8/31/2010

The moment of truth

Filed under: — stan @ 8:35 pm

Today was the day for entries in the L.A. County Fair’s “Culinary Styles” baking contest. I’ve been working on my recipes for several months now, and the day of reckoning has arrived.

I came home from work and baked up one batch each of my peppermint chocolate cookies and peppermint chocolate muffins. Then I picked up Lucinda and we headed over to the fairgrounds. We went into the building and dropped off my entries. This time I made a point to look and see just how much baked stuff had been entered. The long tables covered with baked goods reminded me of the final scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. And my cookies and muffins were going to be taken in and put somewhere way back at the end of the tables, possibly never to be seen again.

Well, it’s still a good adventure.

8/29/2010

Visiting San Diego again

Filed under: — stan @ 9:43 pm

This weekend, Lucinda and I took a trip to San Diego to visit with Grandpa and to go see some animals. We were supposed to leave in the morning, but Lucinda slept in. She was at her mom’s house, so I had no way to go wake her, and her mom was at work. When it got to be close to noon, I talked to her mom and told her I was going to get my lock picking kit and let myself in to wake Lucinda up. Once again, I’m eternally grateful to Richard Feynman for teaching me lock picking. It comes in handy from time to time.

We got on the road at the crack of noon and headed for San Diego. When we got there, we went out with Grandpa for Spanish food at Costa Brava. Afterward, we went back to his place to visit for a while. I was telling them the story of the morning’s adventure, and Lucinda asked me to teach her how to pick locks. So I set her up with the desk drawer lock and showed her how to do it. Have I ever mentioned how proud I am of my kid?

On Sunday morning, we went down to La Jolla Cove to see the seals. We also went down into Sunny Jim cave again. Then we went and had lunch with Grandpa before heading up to the Wild Animal Park. We took the tram ride around the park, and I got a lot of good animal pictures. As usual, my camera rocks. We also took the balloon ride, which gave me the willies, but Lucinda liked it. We spent the whole afternoon there and we had a nice time.

It was a fun weekend.

Lucinda’s pictures are here.

The animals are here:

O hai!

8/24/2010

Tuesday afternoon bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 8:12 pm

I got a rare Tuesday afternoon ride in today. Lucinda went to the beach with her friend, and they weren’t going to be back until later, so I go out my bike and went for a ride.

I did my usual afternoon route. South through San Marino and South Pasadena, and up the hill to the water tower. Then back up the arroyo to the Rose Bowl. I noodled around the Bowl a few times before turning off to head home through Altadena.

It was a pleasant ride.

27 miles.
cycling

8/22/2010

Sunday ride along the river

Filed under: — stan @ 4:56 pm

Today’s ride was an old route with a new variation. It was the old “Toluca Lake” route, but we modified the route to take in the new extension of the L.A. River bike path.

We rode out by way of San Marino and South Pasadena, and then down Figueroa St through Highland Park to the river. Along the way, we passed Chicken Boy. Then, when we got to the river, we got on the newly-extended bike path.

At Fletcher, the gate was closed, and we had to walk around it to continue on the bike path. We saw a lot of snowy egrets and blue herons in the river, along with some people on horseback. At the north end of the bike path, we got off and rode through Griffith Park to get to Priscilla’s, where we had a nice snack in the shade.

The route back was the usual across Glendale and then up Hospital Hill in Montrose. From there it was pretty much all downhill back to the park. Which was good, since it had gotten to be pretty hot by then.

In Altadena, we passed a street that was posted for filming on Monday. More gratuitous use of quotes. Is “Anytime” different from Anytime?

It was a nice ride.

44 miles
cycling

8/15/2010

The ‘Flat’ Ride

Filed under: — stan @ 5:04 pm

Today’s ride is the one that I refer to as ‘The Relatively Flat Ride’. It’s a route I made up a few years ago that avoids as many hills as possible. Since I was sore all week from last Monday’s stair practice, I thought it best to do an easier route on Sunday.

On the way out, we passed some topiary hearts in Monrovia that Carla had told me about recently. They are now part of the Topiary Tour East route.

On the way back through Covina, we passed Lark Ellen St. I told everyone how I’d recently been researching a possible new grave tour ride, and in the process, I’d found out who Lark Ellen was.

A short time later, I ran over some metal debris in the road. It turned out that it contained a razor blade. And of course, I got a flat. We had to use two tire boots to get it to hold together enough to get back on the road. So we decided to take the most direct route home, cutting off a few extra miles. But I made it home, and the thumping of the bulge in the tire was only mildly annoying.

Aside from the flat, it was a pretty nice ride.

41 miles.
cycling

8/10/2010

A walk in the park

Filed under: — stan @ 10:59 pm

On Tuesday, Kathleen and I met up in the park to join the hiking group for an evening hike. I was a bit sore from Monday’s stair practice, but as much as I like to make fun of elementary school gym teachers, I was determined to ‘walk it off’. The hike was a relatively easy one, and it was a nice evening for a walk in the park.

About halfway up, we stopped for a nice view of downtown L.A. Including the building I’d climbed on Monday, and the one I’m practicing for for next month.

And apropos of nothing at all, when we got back and got ready to leave, I noticed that the odometer reading on my car was a palindrome.

8/9/2010

Another practice run

Filed under: — stan @ 10:40 pm

The YMCA downtown has been running a set of practice sessions for the upcoming stair climb. They started out on the Bunker Hill Steps, then moved to a 20-something story building, and today they moved to One California Plaza, which is 42 stories. I figured that this was getting into the range that would be enough of a challenge to be worth a trip downtown.

The run itself was pretty good. I passed a lot of people. We went all the way to 42 and then one more to the roof level. I’d guessed that I’d make the top in about 7:55. My time was 8:06, but that included the one extra floor I hadn’t counted on. So really, I was right on target.

The only bad part was that the freight elevator had croaked, so they made us walk down. Ow.

8/8/2010

Fern Dell and Mt Hollywood

Filed under: — stan @ 2:26 pm

Today’s ride was over to Griffith Park for a stop at The Trails in Fern Dell. It was cool and overcast, and pretty much a perfect day for riding. We had a big group again this week.

When we stopped at The Trails, Carla gave Don a “Team Estrogen” post-it pad for his desk.

Near the top of the pass over Mt Hollywood, I got a picture at a nice overlook. I also got some action shots on the descent, since there are some good curves there.

We rode home by was of Figueroa St and South Pasadena. That’s the flattest way home from there.

45 miles.
cycling

8/7/2010

Coyote

Filed under: — stan @ 8:44 pm

This is Coyote. She is a cattle-dog and something else mix. And her name is pretty self-explanatory. She looks like a coyote, and she moves like a coyote.

Last weekend we went and met Coyote. She was nice, and very mellow. So this week we took Suzie out to meet her to see if they would get along. They did all right, so we brought Coyote home. She’s still new here, but Lucinda is teaching her to use the dog door.

So we’re a two-dog family again.

8/5/2010

Thursday evening bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 8:48 pm

Lucinda was over at a friend’s house when I got home from work today. So I had a couple of hours to go for a ride. I did my usual loop over the hill by the South Pasadena water tower, and then home by way of the Rose Bowl and up through Altadena. It was a very pleasant evening for a ride.

23 miles.
cycling

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