Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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2011 should be a good year

Filed under: — stan @ 11:05 pm

For New Year’s Eve, Kathleen and I went downtown for a nice dinner at Takami. This is the Japanese place I found last year that’s on the 21st floor of a building on Wilshire Blvd in downtown Los Angeles. The view is great, and the food is great, too. And that’s a winning combination.

2010 was a very nice year, and we’re looking forward to more fun and frolic in 2011. It was a nice way to close out the year.


As time goes by

Filed under: — stan @ 6:47 pm

It rained hard last night. The roads were still wet, and it was cold this morning. But it looked like it was going to be a good day, so I went riding. The rest of the regular Sunday group didn’t show, but I went anyway. The route was a new variation to get to Angelus Cemetery outside downtown L.A. to visit the grave of Dooley Wilson. We did this ride a couple of summers ago, so it was time again.

Just a bit outside downtown, I got a flat. I tried to locate the hole in the tube, but it was too noisy on that corner. But I felt around the inside of the tire and didn’t find anything. So I put in the spare tube and headed off. I got about half a mile and then I got another flat. This time I was sitting by the railroad tracks next to the L.A. River. It was a lot quieter and I was able to patch both tubes. Again I felt around the inside of the tire and came up empty. I started riding again, and I got as far as Union Station before I got yet another flat. This time I paid close attention to where the hole was, and I made a thorough inspection of the tire right there. Then I found a little sliver of glass. So once again I patched the tube and headed off. By now I had only one patch left, so I figured if it happened again, I’d just take the train home.

In downtown, I rode down Broadway and looked at some of the old theaters there. Then out on West Adams to Angelus. I stopped to pay respects to Mr. Wilson and to remember him singing “As Time Goes By”. Then I headed out, up into Koreatown and then over to Larchmont. Along the way I saw a store selling water and Internet access. Yeah, I guess those go together. I also saw that Snow White’s house on Larchmont Blvd is for sale.

I skipped the stop, since it was just me,and the three flat tires had thrown me off schedule. I tried a new route back, going east on some little streets to get over to Silver Lake and then up Benton Way. It was a lot quieter than the way we usually go.

When I got back to Pasadena, I saw the final preparations for the Rose Parade, which means it really is the end of the year. But with this ride, I made my goal of 4,000 miles for the year. So it was a nice ride.

42 miles.


The Great Wall of Los Angeles

Filed under: — stan @ 11:46 pm

Well, the rain finally stopped, and I got to go for a bike ride. I met up with some of the people from the regular Sunday group, and we headed out to the San Fernando Valley to see the Great Wall of Los Angeles. This is a mural painted on the side of a flood control channel that covers the entire span of Los Angeles history. It starts at the south end with giant slots and mammoths, and goes all the way to the present.

We headed out and rode straight west across Eagle Rock and Glendale into Burbank. Then we took Oxnard St out into the Valley. Along the way, we saw an impressive driveway gate. Nice and shiny. Then we got to the Wall. It’s pretty impressive.

Coming back, we took the bikeway along the Metro Orange Line. We stopped at Panera in North Hollywood for a snack. Then we headed home. We went across Glendale and then up to La Cañada. When we got back to Pasadena, we took Howard St across so we could pass by the house where Sirhan Sirhan grew up.

It was a nice ride.

48 miles.


Holiday’s a comin’

Filed under: — stan @ 10:53 pm

Lucinda and Suzie and I are ready for the holidays now.


Los Angeles – December, 2010

Filed under: — stan @ 11:40 pm

Tonight, Kathleen and I went on the Museum of Neon Art’s Holiday Lights tour. This is a tour around Los Angeles to look at both neon signs and holiday lights. They rent a sightseeing bus, and everyone sits up top to look at the lights.

Sadly, it was raining.

One of the first stops on the tour was a L.A. Live to see the big LED billboards. Between that and the constant rain, we all felt like we’d entered the world of “Blade Runner“.

They got a bus with a plexiglass awning over it. The sides were still open, but we had at least a semblance of a roof over us. But the roof leaked, and so it was generally a very wet experience. We brought along a towel and blanket, as well as our fur hats, so we were reasonably warm. Overall, it was all right.

The tour went around downtown and then up into Hollywood. They had a stop at Farmer’s Market so we could get out and get something hot to drink.

The final stop was at the House of Davids. Truly a magnificent sight when it’s all lit up.

It was a good little adventure, even if we did get kind of soaked.

Egrets, I’ve had a few

Filed under: — stan @ 11:25 am

This is the first time I’ve seen two at the same time at the pond at Caltech.


The year in review

Filed under: — stan @ 9:35 pm

So here’s my official recap of the year. My annual Christmas letter, which takes the events of the entire year and crams them down to one side of one sheet of paper.

Read it here.

2010 in LOLcats

Filed under: — stan @ 6:04 pm

O hai!

Iz tiem fer mai yer in LOLcats. Dis iz teh story uv mai yer, told in picturez frum I Can Haz Cheezburger


The House of Davids

Filed under: — stan @ 9:32 pm

Sunday’s bike ride was a holiday sightseeing route to Hancock Park to see the House of Davids. They always have an over-the-top display there, and this year was no exception.

We rode there by way of Silver Lake and Koreatown. We’ve been passing the Harbin Deer Antler Trading Company for years, and today was the first time it occurred to me to have a look in the window. And yes, there were antlers in there.

When we were in Hancock Park, I saw a house with some small potted topiary reindeer. I wonder what they do with them the rest of the year.

The House of Davids did not disappoint. All the Davids were decorated, and the lion heads on the house all had little Santa hats. It’s just too bad we can’t ride there when it’s dark to see it lit up.

Heading north into Hollywood, we passed the Never Open Store. As always, it was closed. Our stop was at Groundworks Coffee on Sunset, where we sat in the shade and watched the CNN news crawl telling us about the Metrodome collapsing from the weight of the snow in Minneapolis.

It was a nice ride.

42 miles.


Filed under: — stan @ 2:16 pm

One scene from this morning’s bike ride. We stopped at Groundworks Coffee on Sunset in Hollywood. This is across the street from the CNN building. It was warm, and we were sitting there in the sunshine as the news crawler across the street told us about the Metrodome in Minneapolis collapsing from the weight of the snow on it.

I love L.A.

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