Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

Page 28 of 49« First...1020«2627282930»40...Last »


A (wet) day at Universal

Filed under: — stan @ 7:40 pm

Today was a random day off for Pasadena schools. For the past two years, Lucinda and I have made a tradition of going to Disneyland on these random days off. Since most other schools aren’t off, the parks tend not to be very crowded. But this time, our friend who works at Disneyland is off on family leave with his new baby, so he wasn’t available to let us in. So we decided to try something different and go to Universal Studios. I haven’t been there since 1996, and Lucinda has only been there once before. So we got her friend Kymber and the three of us went there today.

The school schedule dictated when we had to go, and the fact that it started raining today wasn’t going to stop us. It was cold and wet there, and we got pretty soaked walking around in the rain. But we still had a fun time. A lot of the rides are indoors anyway, so those gave us a chance to get in out of the rain for a bit. We rode the Simpsons ride twice, and eight times on the Mummy ride. In the afternoon, they opened the Jurassic Park ride, and we rode that one three times. Well, actually, Kymber and I rode it three times. Lucinda didn’t come the first time. But we dragged her along for the second time, and she decided she liked it enough that we all went around for a third time. This was the upside of the rain and cold. There were no lines for anything today. We just walked up and got on.

So even with the wet and cold, it was a fun day. The rest of the pictures are in Lucinda’s photo album.


A bit of Cold War history

Filed under: — stan @ 8:27 pm

Today’s bike ride was a sightseeing trip in to the Hollywood Hills to see the former Lookout Mountain Air Force Station. This was a small film studio run by the military during the Cold War. Since I like to collect Cold War memorabilia, this looked like an interesting piece of history.

It was chilly in the morning, but clear and sunny. There was snow on the mountains. It was the kind of day when they take postcard pictures.

We took the most direct route out there, riding straight down Hollywood Blvd, which is all right early in the morning. I collected a new entry for my collection of amusing signs. There was a crew filming something right in front of the Chinese Theater. Then we turned up Nichols Canyon for the ride up into the hills. That’s where we saw the teepee up on the hillside. That was strange. Coming down into Laurel Canyon, we passed by the former site of Houdini’s house. Then we headed up Lookout Mountain.

The ride up Wonderland Ave was a slog. Only moderately steep, but the hill seemed to go on forever. We passed the site of the 1981 Wonderland Murders, and then I saw a garage door with a fallout shelter sign above it. That was the back entrance to the former studio, which has been converted into a very large house. They had a fence around it, so we couldn’t see too much inside. Just a little peek over and through the fence. It looked like a 1940s-era military building. And it must make a very funky house.

We rode back down Wonderland and then up to Mulholland Dr. On the way, I saw a mailbox that looked like something straight out of We stopped at the Fryman Canyon overlook for water and to take a group picture. Then we headed back down Mulholland Drive. We took a shortcut down Woodrow Wilson Drive at the end, and that’s where we saw the tile house. That was very strange.

Our snack stop was at Priscilla’s. It was still chilly, but we sat in the sun and it was nice. Then we headed home by the most direct route possible, which meant riding up and over a fairly large hill in Glendale. We were all pretty tired from the slog up Wonderland Ave, but we made it. And yes, it was a nice ride.

48 miles.


The Case Study Houses

Filed under: — stan @ 8:05 pm

From just after World War II until the mid-sixties, Arts and Architecture magazine did a series of articles on the “Case Study Houses“. These were houses that they had designed and built by the top architects of the day. Most of them are in the Los Angeles area, and today we rode to see three of them.

The basic route was our “Toluca Lake” ride. We rode down through Eagle Rock and then up the Los Angeles River bike path. Then past Griffith Park and Forest Lawn to get to Toluca Lake and Case Study House #1. Fortunately, David had read the articles about the houses we were visiting, so he acted as docent, telling us the story of the house and why it was designed the way it was.

Leaving Toluca Lake, we headed up into La Cañada to Case Study House #15. This one was built at a slightly odd angle on the lot in order to take advantage of views of both the mountains behind it, and, on clear days, a view of the ocean off in the distance.

Coming down off the hill, we rode over to Altadena for the final stop on the tour at Case Study House #20B. This one is on the somewhat-famous “Christmas Tree Lane” in Altadena.

Finally, we rode across Altadena and back down the hill to the park. It was a very nice ride.

43 miles.


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


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.


The rest of our San Diego adventure

Filed under: — stan @ 10:43 pm

On the day after Thanksgiving, Lucinda and I had some little adventures around San Diego. We started out at La Jolla Cove to see the seals. Then we went down to Mission Beach to ride the Giant Dipper roller coaster. After that, we went to Cabrillo National Monument to see the lighthouse and the tide pools. And finally, we went to Sea World. At the end of the day, we went back and had dinner with Grandpa before heading home to L.A. It was a long, but fun day.

Pictures from the day are in Lucinda’s photo album, and also in my Nature and Animals collection.


Thanksgiving, 2009

Filed under: — stan @ 10:35 pm

This year, I took Lucinda to San Diego for Thanksgiving to visit with my father. Our plan was to make a full traditional home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner in the kitchen of our room at the Residence Inn.

I made several things the night before, and got more ready in the morning before we left. Then we loaded everything up in a big cooler and brought it down there. The trip was an ordeal, since it was heavy and slow traffic all the way from the El Toro Y down to Encinitas, which amounted to nearly half the total trip distance. So what should have a been a two-hour trip turned into nearly four hours. But we made it there just in time to put everything in the oven and still be able to have it all ready by 6:00.

Once everything was cooking, we went and picked up Grandpa. And then we all came back to our room and had a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat. It turned out that I’d only forgotten a few vital kitchen items, so everything turned out just fine. But next time, I will not forget to bring along containers to hold the leftovers. That turned out to have been a major oversight.

It was a nice day.


Disneyland again

Filed under: — stan @ 10:58 pm

Today was a school holiday for Lucinda, so even though we’d just gone to Disneyland two weeks ago, I told her I’d take her again.

As always, we started out in California Adventure. We rode the rockets, Mulholland Madness, and the jellyfish rides. Then we had lunch and got some soft-serve ice cream before heading over to Disneyland.

We hadn’t realized it, but apparently Veterans Day is a big school holiday, so every high school kid in southern California was at Disneyland. It was as crowded as we’ve ever seen it. So instead of riding the Pirates of the Caribbean first, we headed straight for Big Thunder Mountain. Lucinda rode that last time and liked it. Alisha was a little apprehensive at first, but about halfway through the ride, I heard her yelling something like, “This is awesome! Let’s do it again!” So when we got off, I was glad that I’d gotten us Fast Passes for it. We were able to just walk back around and get right back on.

There’s nothing quite like riding a roller coaster with two ten-year-old girls. There is a lot of screaming. I’ve not traditionally been one to not hold on and put my hands up in the air on these rides, but I had to this time. Just so I’d have my hands free to hold my ears. Next time, I’m bringing earplugs.

After that, we went and rode the Matterhorn. The line was pretty long for that, and they didn’t have Fast Passes for it. Then we did Star Tours, which is my personal old favorite. Then we walked back to do Big Thunder Mountain again. Along the way, we stopped and picked up passes for Space Mountain, but they turned out to be useless, because they were for 9:40 that night, and there was no way we were going to still be there that late. So when we went to Big Thunder Mountain, I talked to the people running the line there, and they gave us a pass that was good for any one ride in the park, and they also let us do the Fast Pass line for Big Thunder Mountain again. So we rode that two more times for a total of four for the day.

Next, we walked to Toon Town to ride Gadget’s Go Coaster. Lucinda thinks this ride is kind of tame now, but was the first coaster she rode, back in August. So it’s something of a sentimental favorite.

By now it was dark and starting to get cold. We decided to use the pass they’d given us at Big Thunder Mountain to do Space Mountain. Lucinda was nervous, but we were able to calm her down and get her on the ride. And she loved it. Since that ride is completely in the dark, I couldn’t get any pictures, but there was a lot of screaming. They take pictures of each train right at the end, and our picture showed me sitting and holding my ears. Like I said, next time I’m bringing earplugs.

It was a very fun day. After the requisite stop at the gift shop, we went and had dinner at the Jazz Kitchen. We got our picture there, so I can add it to my track-my-progress collection.

The rest of the photos are in her album.


Marking a half-century…

Filed under: — stan @ 11:19 pm

I’m not generally one for big birthday parties. But this year was special. It’s a big round number with a zero on the end. And I get to join AARP now. So it seemed worth a party.

I got two briskets from HOWS market and spent all day Saturday smoking them over an oak fire. Since I decided I no longer hate Texas, it seemed appropriate to have central-Texas-style barbecue at my party. And it turned out quite well.

Lucinda isn’t used to having large numbers of people in our house, but she adapted all right. And she beat everyone at pinball. She even set a new high score tonight.

It was fun having all my friends over, and my tattoo artist Shannon did a special belly dance and gave me a certificate for a free tattoo session with her.

Overall, it was an excellent way to mark a half-century.


Halloween night at Chez 1134

Filed under: — stan @ 10:57 pm

Here’s the recap on our Halloween night.

Lucinda dressed as a zombie jester and went out with one of her friends and the neighbors. I set up my telescope in the driveway and handed out candy and and looks at Jupiter and the nearly-full moon.

When Lucinda got back, she weighed her bag, and she had five pounds of candy. We spread it out to do the inventory.

It was a fun evening for both of us.

Page 28 of 49« First...1020«2627282930»40...Last »

Powered by WordPress