Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

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6/26/2011

Around the Fairplex

Filed under: — stan @ 4:41 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a longer one out to La Verne, making a loop around the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds. The fair’s coming up this fall, and I need to decide which recipes I’m going to enter this year.

On the way out, we saw a car club on their way somewhere. That was kind of novel. We also saw what looks like a large new ride at the fairgrounds. Aside from that, there was no particular sightseeing in store for today. Just a pleasant ride with not too many hills.

55 miles.
cycling

6/25/2011

Evening Electric

Filed under: — stan @ 10:27 pm

On Saturday night, Kathleen and I went over to Glendale for Evening Electric, which was a small party put on by the Museum of Neon Art in their new home on Brand Blvd. This was just a preview, and the museum won’t be opening there for real until next year, but it was a chance to see the space with a few pieces of their collection in it. They also had drinks, food, and a silent auction to benefit the museum.

And yes, it’s still my favorite art museum.

We had a nice time there. The food was good, and there was an open bar, complete with an animated electric sign. They said that the sign really used to say “BAR-B-Q”, but they just left off the last part of it for tonight. The cake was a rather alarming shade of red, but everyone said it tasted good. They had a guy playing a singing saw, which was interesting. Sort of like an acoustic version of a theremin.

In the end, I bid on only one item in the silent auction, but I got to bring it home. It’s a small plasma dome, and it’s entertaining to watch with the lights off. And it’s for a good cause, since it helps raise money to support the museum.

It was an entertaining evening.

What is it they say about a bowl of cherries?

Filed under: — stan @ 4:09 pm

On Saturday morning, Lucinda and I went to Leona Valley with Kathleen and her daughters to all go picking cherries. I’d never been there before, but I looked it up on the map, and Leona Valley is a long, straight valley west of Palmdale, and the San Andreas Fault runs right down the middle of it. So I was curious to see how obvious the fault would be on the ground there.

We all met up in Newhall and then we all went the rest of the way in my car, since it’s big enough for five. When we got there, we had a look a the cherry orchards that were open and picked on to go in. We got our buckets and went to it.

They said that they had a small crop this year, due to a hard freeze late last winter, but there were lots of cherries on the trees, and we quickly filled the buckets. In the end, we had something like 12 pounds of cherries, and they were very good.

After that, we found a shady spot and had a little picnic before heading home.

It was a fun little morning adventure. And I even found a new hot-rod mailbox:

mailbox

6/23/2011

More Disneyland

Filed under: — stan @ 10:33 pm

Today was the after-the-last-day-of-school trip to Disneyland. But Lucinda’s friends who have Disneyland passes couldn’t come. I told Lucinda that I’d made the arrangements, and Kathleen and I were going anyway, regardless of whether she wanted to go or not. So she stayed home and we went and had a nice day at the Magic Kingdom.

When we got there, we headed straight for the newly-reopened Star Tours, only to find that everyone else had had the same idea. This wasn’t really a surprise, but I’d hoped that the line might be not more than an hour. But it was too long. So we walked over and got some Fast Passes for Space Mountain for later in the day. Getting passes for that ride is like buying savings bonds. You have wait a long time for them to mature. In the meantime, we rode Big Thunder Mountain twice, California Screamin’ four times, had lunch, and rode the new Little Mermaid ride. By then, our passes for Space Mountain were ripe and ready, so we walked over there and went in.

We got all the way down to the last ramp when something happened and they shut the ride down. They turned on the lights, which was kind of weird. And they brought all the trains down. Apparently they have something like eight or nine trains running at a time in there. After a few minutes, they reset whatever had gone wrong, and they started it up again. So we finally got our ride on it.

We finished off the day at the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean. Both old favorites. I thought it was funny that the ducks on the jungle cruise know that the alligator isn’t real, even a lot of small children don’t realize that.

All told, it was a fun day.

6/22/2011

In the L.A. Times…

Filed under: — stan @ 9:03 am

I saw this review in Tuesday’s times:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2011/06/opera-review-san-francisco-opera-presents-a-new-ring-cycle.html

I’m not particularly fond of opera, but I wanted to put in a plug for a very funny documentary we saw recently:

Sing Faster: The Stagehands’ Ring Cycle

This follows the preparations for putting on Wagner’s Ring operas, as seen from the set builders, stage hands, and other backstage people. They spend countless hours building the sets, making the dragon work, and lusting after the Rhinemaidens. And while the opera is going on, between scene changes, they sit in their waiting room, playing cards, watching baseball, and talking about how they wish the people upstairs would just sing a little faster so they could be done and go home. It’s pretty funny, and a look into an aspect of theater that we don’t normally think about.

6/19/2011

Another trip to San Diego

Filed under: — stan @ 10:31 pm

This past weekend, Kathleen, Lucinda and I went to San Diego to visit my father, see the seals, and also visit the zoo.

We drove down there on Saturday morning. We had lunch with Grandpa, and then we went to La Jolla to see the seals. Sadly, there were few seals to be seen. The anti-seal people were asserting their ‘right’ to use the beach, and they scared most of the seals away. There were a couple swimming around just offshore, but most of them were camped out on a rock some distance out.

This was a big disappointment. Every time we go to San Diego, we make a point to go see the seals, and we’re there to see seals. We can look at people at any one of the many beaches in San Diego, but there’s only one where we can see seals.

After that minor fiasco, we went back and took Grandpa to Prado in Balboa Park for dinner. We go a bottle of The Pessimist wine with dinner. I kind of expected the bottle to be half-empty. As always, the food was great. We had a nice time there.

On Sunday morning, we went back to La Jolla. The seals usually come ashore by sunset, since the people leave then, and they’re usually still on the beach in the morning. But not today. There were already people on the beach, and the seals were scared away again. We saw some of them in the water, and a lot were on the same rock offshore, but there were none on the beach.

We took a walk and saw some sea lions on the rocks just a little bit north of the seal beach. We also visited Sunny Jim Cave. We’ve been there several times now, and they guy who runs the cave store remembered us.

After that, we went back to visit Grandpa again. My aunt and uncle had come to visit for the day, so we all went to lunch at Costa Brava in Pacific Beach.

On Sunday afternoon, Kathleen, Lucinda and I went to the San Diego Zoo. This was my first time there since 1987, and Lucinda was interested in seeing the giant pandas. We had a nice time there.

The pictures of the seals and sea lions at La Jolla Cove, as well as the zoo pictures, are all here:

animal pictures

Lucinda’s pictures are here.

6/12/2011

Klaatu barada nikto!

Filed under: — stan @ 3:13 pm

Today’s bike ride was an odd one. It was kind of chilly and sort of drizzling at 8:00, and nobody else showed up for the ride. So I went ahead and ride the route myself, and I used the opportunity to test out a new variation. The original destination for the route was Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills to see Lock Martin. He played Gort in the 1951 film, “The Day the Earth Stood Still“. The variation was a test of another route I’ve been thinking about. Last week, the Los Angeles Times had a feature on “The Ten Best Houses in L.A.”. When I was looking at this, I realized that we could go see five of them on a single bike ride. So I thought that today would be a good time to try it out.

The first house was the Gamble House in Pasadena. We ride past it all the time, and we usually don’t pay any attention to it. But it’s really quite nice. From there, I rode the regular route through Eagle Rock to get to Los Feliz. Then I headed up the big hill to the Ennis House. This and the Hollyhock House are two that we’ve visited before on the “Five Wrights” tour. And even though it’s not on the ten-best list, the witch’s house down the street from the Ennis House was also nice.

After stopping off in Barnsdall Park to see the Hollyhock House, I headed across Hollywood. They had Hollywood Blvd closed off at Highland. I guess maybe there’s some awards show tonight.

Heading into West Hollywood, I passed Gardner Elementary School and its Michael Jackson Auditorium. Then I made my way west to Kings Rd and the Schindler House. That was the fourth of the five, and the one farthest away.

From there, I headed back to Hollywood. I took a little detour to go through the staging area for the Gay Pride Parade, since that’s always an amusing time. Then I turned and headed up Nicholls Canyon. About this time, it started raining again. That wasn’t much fun. But I made it to the top and then headed east on Mulholland. At Torreyson Dr, I turned and went up the hill a bit to see the Chemosphere. It’s visible from the street just a little bit beyond its driveway.

Coming down Mulholland, I headed down into Burbank and then turned into Forest Lawn. It took some looking to find the number markers, but I finally located Lock Martin’s grave. This concluded the sightseeing portion of the ride, and it was time to go home. The ride home was pretty routine. By now I was pretty tired and hungry, so I was looking forward to getting home.

When it’s damp like today, my bike computer craps out, so I didn’t get the exact mileage. But putting the route into Google Maps give the total as about 53 miles.
cycling

6/9/2011

Art Walk

Filed under: — stan @ 10:38 pm

Tonight was the monthly Art Walk in downtown Los Angeles. We’d gone to this back in April, and it was a fun time. Lucinda and I went downtown and met up with Kathleen there. We made the rounds of the galleries and the food trucks. We got ice cream from the Lake Street Creamery, which was good, as always. We found the Grilled Cheese Truck, but sadly, the line for it was too long. I suppose that’s a recommendation. The Lobsta Truck also had a really long line.

We started out the evening at the Museum of Neon Art, since this is their last week downtown before they move to their new home in Glendale. From there, we just sort of randomly wandered around, looking in the galleries. There was lots of nice art, some old signs, and lots of neon. One of the galleries was in the old Los Angeles Stock Exchange, which was a very ornate and interesting building. There were even swastikas decorating one of the very old bank buildings on Spring Street.

All told, it was a fun evening.

6/7/2011

Yikes…

Filed under: — stan @ 5:35 pm

I signed up for the Sears Willis Tower stair climb today. 103 stories. How hard could it be?

6/2/2011

Art on a Thursday night

Filed under: — stan @ 10:47 pm

On Thursday night, Kathleen and I met up downtown to go to a little art gallery party at Art Share in downtown Los Angeles. This is a small community art center in an old warehouse and the gallery was showing art by five artists who have been active in the downtown art scene for many years. It was a small show, but fun. There was even some minor excitement when Malia K showed up with her entourage. We have no idea who she is, but everyone seemed to think she was some sort of Big Deal.

In the end, I bought a print of Mirpolsky’s “Sharks” for my house.

All in all, it was a fun evening adventure.

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