Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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7/29/2003

Filed under: — stan @ 2:20 pm

This morning, there was a film crew working in front of a house on our block. We see a fair amount of filming here in Pasadena, but this was the first time it’s been on our block.

6/7/2003

Planes of Fame Air Museum

Filed under: — stan @ 9:18 pm

Today we went to the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino. They were having a special presentation about the air war in Italy during World War II. Lucinda wasn’t too interested in hearing the talks, as it was not really geared to a four-year-old. But she did like seeing all the airplanes. They had a lot of planes from World War II. The first hanger had British, Japanese, and German aircraft, including a V-1 buzz bomb and a pair of German and Japanese rocket planes. They also had a children’s area with some small airplanes for the kids to climb into and play. There are pictures of Lucinda in her photo album. Later on, we got a chance to see a P-47 fly. We also toured their B-17 bomber and we got to talk to a fellow who had flown as a ball turret gunner in a B-17 in 1944. He had a scrapbook with all his orders, photos, and letters home the war. It was nice to talk to him, as this is what really makes history come to life. For more on this, see the pages from the other times we got to meet and talk to bomber veterans about their experiences:

Bombers in Burbank – 1998

Bombers in Burbank – 2003

After this, we all went to Cafe Bizou in Old Town Pasadena and had a nice dinner out.


6/1/2003

Filed under: — stan @ 7:40 pm

We went to the science museum to see the Titanic Artifact Exhibit [www.casciencectr.org/Exhibits/Weingart/Titanic/Titanic.php] This was a show of all manner of objects brought up from the wreck, from a big piece of the hull, down to playing cards and hats. It was all very fascinating to see.

Afterward, we walked over the the newly-reopened Aerospace Hall and saw the Gemini 11 spacecraft and other relics of the Space Age.

Finally, we went out to the Rose Garden in Exposition Park for a while before heading home.

5/11/2003

Filed under: — stan @ 7:45 pm

We went to see “Bend it Like Beckham” today. This was a very entertaining story of Indian immigrants in England and football. Highly recommended.

After the movie, we went to Aunt Maggi’s house to pick up Lucinda after her sleep-over.

4/27/2003

Unprecedented

Filed under: — stan @ 1:29 pm

We went to see “Unprecedented: the 2000 Presidential Election” today. This was part of Laemmle’s Documentary Days film series. It showed the breathtaking and utterly shameless methods that the Republican Party used to get their way in Florida. For more information, see the film’s web site at www.unprecedented.org

4/26/2003

Bombers in Burbank – 2003

Filed under: — stan @ 8:01 pm

We went to Burbank Airport today to see the two restored World War II bombers again. These are the same ones we saw back in 1998. We took Lucinda along, and she had fun
climbing back and forth through the airplanes.

We also got to meet some more veterans of the war. One man had been the radio operator on a B-17 in Europe. The second had been the flight engineer on a B-24 in Italy near the end of the war. He said that his job involved mostly taking care of the fuel tanks to keep the airplane balanced. He also told us about building a little ‘igloo’ out of flak jackets to hide in when the plane was under fire. They both said that flying in combat was a horrendously frightening thing. But at the same time, they felt like they were fortunate in a way. When they weren’t flying, they were safe back at the base, eating good food and sleeping in real beds. They felt that this was better than being in the Infantry and being shot at all the time.

For more on this, see the page about the other time we saw these planes: cosmo.pasadena.ca.us/adventures/airshow

Also, for B-17 history, see www.softwhale.com/history/b-17/b-17-home.html

To get a little idea what it was like flying in these planes, see “Exerpts from the diary of a B-17 ball turret gunner” at www.cloudnet.com/~jfb

Finally, just to add a special non-sequiter to the day, we heard a roaring jet engine just outside of the plane. Being at the airport, we weren’t too surprised by this until we got out and saw that it was actually a motorcycle. It was Jay Leno, stopping by for a visit. So very L.A.

Finally, we stopped off for a nice dinner out at Cafe Bizou.

4/6/2003

Natural History of Chocolate

Filed under: — stan @ 7:28 pm

We went to the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park today to see the Chocolate exhibit. The story of chocolate, from the Mayans in the rainforest up to the present. It was quite interesting and amusing.

3/30/2003

Whiteness

Filed under: — stan @ 10:39 pm

Today we dropped Lucinda off at Grandma and Grandpa Tarantino’s house and we went down to Laguna Beach. We met our friends Paul and Patty there, and the first stop was the Laguna Art Museum. The exhibit was “Whiteness, A Wayward Construction”, which consisted of artworks about whiteness as a social and cultural identity. After that, we walked down to the Coast Gallery to see “Classic Rock”, which was an exhibit of photos of rock bands from the ’60s and ’70s. Finally, we stopped in at the Chuck Jones Showroom to see cels and paintings from his cartoons. We rounded out the day with dinner at Ichibiri in Laguna Niguel.

3/29/2003

Yank Tanks

Filed under: — stan @ 2:39 pm

We saw “Yank Tanks” today. This was a documentary about the old cars in Cuba. The economic embargo after the Cuban revolution left a lot of pre-1960 American cars on the roads in Cuba. The filmmakers interviewed owners about their cars, and also visited the shops where the cars are maintained. Because of the embargo, parts are unavailable, so they have to make everything by hand. There is a whole cottage industry in making everything from windshields and chrome, right down to hand-made brake shoes. The audience was aghast when we got to watch Ito sifting the asbestos by hand for his home-made brake shoes, but we were all glad to see that the filmmakers gave him a mask to wear in the future. Overall, this was a tremendously entertaining film. About the only bad thing we could say is that it was shot in motion-sickness-inducing hand-held video.

Afterward, we had lunch at Zeke’s Smokehouse in Montrose. It was pretty good barbecue, although the service was a bit slow.

3/23/2003

You are what you wear

Filed under: — stan @ 6:49 pm

Today we went back to the Herbert Gallery in Echo Park for the “You are what you wear” exhibit. A couple of the pictures we sat for on the 2nd were in the show. It was kind of fun to see them and all the various looks of the other people who were in it.

Afterward, we went to the Autry museum in Griffith Park to see “Ocean View” about the history of Southern California beach culture. This was very interesting and entertaining to see how the surfing culture was originally brought here from Hawaii. And then how it was then exported to the rest of the U.S. by the movie, fashion and music industries.

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