Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Page 30 of 48« First...1020«2829303132»40...Last »

4/12/2009

Sunday afternoon, with leather

Filed under: — stan @ 11:22 pm

On Sunday afternoon, I went over to Santa Fe Dam to join some of my friends at the Renaissance Faire. They’d decided to meet there en masse today. Little did we know that Easter Sunday is the busiest day of the year at the park there.

The trip out there was easy, until we got to the corner of Irwindale and Arrow Highway. This is nowhere near the actual entrance, but the line of cars waiting to get in was all the way back there. We sat in line for about 45 minutes to get to the front. Then the police closed the entrance and put up a sign saying it was full. So we drove down to where the bike path goes over the dam. I was thinking we might be able to park there and bushwhack over the dam to the fair. But there was no place to park there. So as a last-ditch attempt we went and parked on one of the streets by the chemical plants behind the Miller brewery. I knew that there was a back entrance to the park there. I figured we could walk in from there. There was plenty of parking there, but the walk in turned out to be something like 1.5 miles. But it was a nice day, so it wasn’t too bad.

When we got there, we got our tickets and went in. The plan had been to meet at noon, and it was 1:45. But it turned out that everyone else had had a similarly epic journey to get there. So we were able to meet up with the group at a picnic table in the shade. It made for a very pleasant setting to watch the cavalcade of weirdness passing by.

At the end of the afternoon, we hitched a ride out with a couple from the group who had gotten there early and had their car into the parking lot. But even that was a epic journey. It took us something like 45 minutes to cover the 1.5 miles back to my car.

When we got to my car, I started it up and started to back out of the parking space. Then I heard it make a weird SNAP noise. And it would not go into reverse. I ended up having to push it out, which was difficult, since the front wheels were in the gutter at the side of the road. Fortunately, I was able to rock it back and forth enough to get out. Then I used my bicycle-riding-up-hills-in-stupid-high-gears muscles to push the car out far enough to be able to get out going forward. It was a very weird ending to a weird afternoon. So to celebrate the weirdness, we went to Kabuki in Pasadena for sushi. Yum.

It was both a very weird and very fun afternoon.

4/5/2009

A 24-hour vacation

Filed under: — stan @ 9:35 pm

So here are some random images from our 24-hour vacation to Ventura.

We brought our bikes, so we could go riding on Sunday morning.

On the way out to dinner, we saw seagulls walking around near the park, looking for food. We don’t see many seagulls inland in Pasadena.

We had dinner at a restaurant with a martini bar, so we started off with caramel-apple martinis, which was novel.

After the ride on Sunday, I took a walk while Susan showered. I saw utility boxes painted and turned into art. I also visited the Albinger Archaeological Museum and saw the excavated foundations of the original mission church.

Before heading home, we had lunch at the marina, and got a souvenir picture with a tile mural of a sea otter.

It was another nice, albeit short vacation.

Edit: (4/7/2009) And this trip has turned out to be the swan song of our relationship. It all collapsed for reasons I’m not going to go into. It’s sad, but it will be all right in the end.

A nice ride out of town

Filed under: — stan @ 7:31 pm

For a year now, Susan has been telling about the rides she used to do with the Channel Islands Bicycle Club when she would visit Ventura. So this weekend, we headed up there for an overnight micro-vacation complete with a bike ride on Sunday morning.

The ride started at the park next-door to the hotel, which was very convenient. It was relatively warm for 8:00AM. The ride went up to Ojai and back, including a gratuitous climb up the Dennison Grade on Highway 150.

We started out on the Ventura River bike trail, which paralleled the 33 Freeway. We rode through some oil fields on the way out of town, but we were out in the country very quickly. We went up past Lake Casitas, which had some very nice views from the road. Then it was down into Ojai. That was where I saw the Muffler Horse. I’ve seen Muffler Men before, but never a horse.

A bit later, we saw a house with the front yard turned into a large found-object art project. That was pretty amusing.

Then it was time for the gratuitous climb. It was a pretty nice uphill, with a nice viewpoint near the top, complete with a wall I could balance the camera on for a picture. Then we turned around and went back down.

At the bottom, we picked up a stiff tailwind, and we were able to cruise at 30mph easily. That was fun for a few miles. Then we got to the snack stop. We loitered around for a bit until a group decided to head back. We rode pretty much straight south back to Ventura. It was mostly downhill, but with a weirdly varying wind that kept changing direction on us.

The last part was back down the bike trail we’d started on, which let us off right by the park where we started.

It was a very nice ride with some very pretty scenery.

41 miles.
cycling

3/14/2009

Under the Sea and up on the rocks

Filed under: — stan @ 9:24 pm


This afternoon, Susan and I took Lucinda and her friend to the California Science Center IMAX theater to see “Under the Sea 3-D”. We’ve been fans of the 3-D IMAX movies since going to see “Sea Monsters” last year.

When we got there, Lucinda had to try lifting the truck at the lever demonstration exhibit in the parking lot. Today was the first time that she was big enough to be able to lift it.

The movie was good, although it was a bit odd, since it was narrated by Jim Carrey. I guess he’s trying to stretch his dramatic range a bit.

After the movie, we went into the museum. Lucinda and her friend wanted to try the rock climbing wall. Apparently, it’s harder than it looks, since they only made it about halfway up. We looked around the museum a bit more before they closed. Then we headed home, after the obligatory stop in the gift shop.

It was a nice afternoon, and marks the first time that Susan and I have taken Lucinda somewhere together.

Pictures are in her photo album.

3/7/2009

Divorce! The Musical

Filed under: — stan @ 11:37 pm

Tonight was a little live-theater adventure. Susan and I went to Hollywood to see “Divorce! The Musical“. Since I’m part-way through this rather grim process, I’m ready to laugh about it. So I figured that this would be an appropriate outing.

The mood of the show covered the range from unspeakably sad to hilariously funny, which is no mean feat. The story is about Penny and Rich, married four years and getting divorced. There are therapists, lawyers, and dirty tricks on both sides. It’s all very true-to-life. It illustrated the emotional roller-coaster ride with songs like “Lawyer Letters”, “Winners and Losers”, and “There Were Good Things”. There are snippets of a few of the songs on the show’s web site. At the end, Penny and Rich sign their final agreement, which leads in to the very poignant final song, “Pennies and Riches”.

It was a very good show. Both heartrending and hilarious. It’s quite rare to find those two in the same place.

2/16/2009

Yet another day at Disneyland

Filed under: — stan @ 12:03 am

I took Lucinda and her friend Claire to Disneyland today. I still think it’s a bit amazing that I’m willing to go to Disneyland, but in any event, we had a fun time. Most of the pictures are in Lucinda’s photo album.

We rode lots of rides, and it was actually a very fun day. And I got a big pickle.

1/17/2009

Visiting San Diego for a decidedly geeky purpose

Filed under: — stan @ 10:42 pm

This weekend, Susan and I went to San Diego to see “Star Trek: The Exhibition” at the San Diego Air and Space Museum. This was a show of costumes, models and props from the “Star Trek” TV shows and movies. A lot of the artifacts from the original series are lost, but they had a lot of things from the more recent shows.

On the way in, Susan had to stop for a photo-op with the life-sized standup of Charles Lindbergh that was in front of The Spirit of St. Louis.

Inside the exhibit, they insisted on no photography, so we don’t have pictures of us on the bridge of the Enterprise or in the transporter. I did sneak one picture of the Guardian of Forever from “The City of the Edge of Forever”. Still, it was a fun time.

We also wandered around the rest of the museum. We saw a reproduction of the Red Baron’s airplane, as well as his collection of medals from the war.

Afterward, we went to visit with my father for dinner at his place.

1/1/2009

Floats!

Filed under: — stan @ 10:06 pm

This afternoon, Susan and I walked over to see the Rose Parade floats. It’s usually amusing to see them close-up, and it was a very nice day.

As a matter of hometown pride, Susan wanted her picture with the City of Alhambra float. I got mine with the train on the Roseville float.

There were a lot of seagulls perched on top of the high school. We don’t usually get seagulls this far inland, but I think they were just waiting for everyone to leave so they could swoop down and gorge on all the spilled popcorn, half-eaten churros, and other edible detritus left by the crowd.

And finally, the Rose Bowl game was starting while we were there, so we got to see the B-2 bomber fly over us on its way to the stadium.

Along with the bike ride this morning, and the martinis and steaks last night, this was easily the best start to a new year that I’ve ever had. It was a most excellent time.

12/31/2008

Martinis, steaks, and chocolate cake

Filed under: — stan @ 10:14 pm

New Year’s Eve 2008. As I said in my Christmas letter, this has been a trying year. But it certainly ended on an up note. Susan and I went out for steaks and martinis at Smitty’s Grill in Pasadena. We made reservations online, which was very easy and pleasant. When we got there, they had a table ready and waiting for us. But we started off with a martini at the bar. We talked about the past year and how it’s been for both of us. We shared most, but not all of it. And it’s been quite an experience. We had lots of great adventures, and we’re looking forward to more.

After the martini, we went to our table and had dinner. It was very good. Afterward, they tried to interest us in the dessert menu, but I had Deep Dark Chocolate Cake at home. Susan had brought a bottle of champagne, so we headed home for cake and champagne to watch the ball drop in Times Square at 9:00. We’re both originally from the New York area, so we figured that was good enough.

It was a fun evening, and a very good way to end the year.

12/21/2008

Neon lights for the holidays

Filed under: — stan @ 11:54 pm

Tonight, Susan and I went on the Museum of Neon Art’s Holiday Lights tour. Being that it’s December, and the tour was after dark, it was cold by L.A. standards. We dressed warmly and brought along a couple of blankets, since the whole tour is conducted from the upper deck of a double-decker sightseeing bus.

It was a tremendously entertaining tour, but sadly, it didn’t transfer into photographs well. To take good photos at night, the camera has to be on a rock-solid platform to hold it steady enough. And the upper deck of the bus just wasn’t a steady enough platform. So if you want to see the lights, you’ll just have to take the tour. But it was certainly Great Fun.

Page 30 of 48« First...1020«2829303132»40...Last »

Powered by WordPress