Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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This is impressive

Filed under: — stan @ 9:12 am

Yesterday, one of the neighbors pointed out this tree across the street from my house. It’s been leaning like that for longer than the 16 years I’ve been living here, and I’ve seen it go through lots of wind storms over the years. But this time it seems to have sustained major damage in last week’s wind storm. Check out how the trunk of the tree is cracked.


It’s official

Filed under: — stan @ 9:54 pm

I put up my holiday decorations.


The Random Ride to Whittier

Filed under: — stan @ 3:57 pm

This Sunday’s bike club ride was the Random Ride to Whittier. I figured that going south would get us out of the area of destruction from last Wednesday’s wind storm.

We saw a little bit of destruction on the way out of Pasadena, but after that it was all right. The bike path by Whittier Narrows Dam had a big sign saying it was closed, but we saw people riding on it, so we just tried it out. And it was fine. We were able to get through to where we wanted to go, so I don’t know what the problem was.

I was too slow with the camera to get a picture of the guy on the skateboard being pulled by two dogs. Sort of a SoCal version of the Iditarod. I did get the guys riding on the motorized skateboards. But I still don’t get what the purpose was of the row of sandbags on the edge of the river.

We had to take a small detour in Arcadia where the road was closed and a crew was fixing the overhead wires. But we went around it and made it to our snack stop at Merengue in Monrovia.

It was a pleasant ride.

45 miles


Did I ever mention that this sport is insane?

Filed under: — stan @ 7:38 pm

It’s December, and time for the second edition of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Climb for Life. This is yet another charity skyscraper stair climb. And of course, I had to be there, along with Kathleen, Lucinda, and all our stair climbing friends.

The venue was the Wilshire-Figueroa building in downtown Los Angeles. It’s only a 53-story building, which is rather modest by our standards, but it’s still hard enough to climb. So far this year, I’d been going slightly faster in practice runs than last year, so I was going in to this with (relatively) high hopes.

At last year’s event, They didn’t have a photographer in the stairwell to capture the pain and suffering, so I’d talked to Chanda from CFF about this, and she said I could arrange for something. I put out a call on the Light Chasers photography mailing list, asking if there was anyone who wanted to try their hand at this. In the end, three guys showed up. One took pictures around the start and in the lobby of the building, one was on the 21st floor landing, and one was on the big landing at 49, right below the finish line on 51. I figured that that would make for good pictures.

When it was time to go, I made sure to go to the back of the line of the ‘elite’ climbers. I wanted some people to pass, since that helps me to get motivated. Usually, when I finish a climb like this, I have no memory of the people taking pictures, but this time I was actually aware of them, since I’d arranged for them to be there, and I knew where they would be. At 21, I remember Norman leaning in to take a picture as I went by, and I remember thinking it was odd that he was shooting with just the dim ambient light in the stairwell. At 49, I saw the flash of Luther’s camera, but I don’t recall seeing him as I went by.

I managed to put on something of a final sprint from 49 to 51, and I stumbled out of the stairs with a time of 8:33. This was all right. It was a full 9 seconds faster than my race time last year, and it was essentially equivalent to my best practice time this year. I waited on 51 until Lucinda came out, and then I waited a bit more until Kathleen got there.

When we got back down, they were posting the results. They updated them several times as more people finished, and in the end it was time for the awards. My 8:33 was good for 11th overall out of 180 runners, and I was 3rd in the 50-59 age group. Lucinda’s time of 15:14 was good for 3rd in the 19 and under group.

After everything wrapped up, we joined the whole West Coast Labels stair climbing group for lunch at Bottega Louie.

It was a fun time.

The pictures from the 21st floor are here:
The photos on the 49th floor are here:

And the full race results are here


Wild night

Filed under: — stan @ 7:23 pm

This has all been covered other places, but here are a few random pictures from Thursday morning, December 1 in Pasadena. It’s fortunately not often that I step outside in the morning and think that my street looks like a war zone.

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