Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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5/7/2011

Neon philately

Filed under: — stan @ 6:09 pm

Today, we went over to Glendale to a small party that they Post Office and the Museum of Neon Art were holding for the official release of a new stamp with a design based on neon art. This was held at the Americana in Glendale, which I’d never been to before. Kathleen described it as being “just like Disneyland, but without the rides.” I guess we’ll be seeing more of that area in the future, since the Museum of Neon Art is going to be moving in across the street some time early next year. They had the artist there to tell the story of how he came up with the design, and also to sign envelopes and sheets of stamps for the collectors.

We took a walk around just to see what else was there. We saw the requisite religious fanatic telling us the end is nigh. We also saw some faded old advertisements on a wall across the street. Being a cooking geek, we had to take a browse through Sur La Table to look all the overpriced kitchen gadgets.

It was a fun little afternoon adventure.

4/27/2011

Translating Raymond

Filed under: — stan @ 10:51 pm

Tonight, Kathleen and I went to see a preview screening of “Exporting Raymond“. This is a documentary about adapting and remaking “Everybody Loves Raymond” in Russia. I’m not a big TV watcher, so I’m only dimly aware of this show, but I hear it was quite popular for a long time. And the story of trying to translate it into Russian culture was very entertaining.

The film was made by and centers around Phil Rosenthal, who was the creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond”. He narrates the film, and he’s in almost all of it, as it chronicles his trips to Russia to advise the producers there about casting and acting to re-create the show.

In the end, it’s just a silly sitcom, but to see it this way with Phil as your guide, it’s really hilarious. Phil was at the screening, and he took questions at the end. He was just as funny in person as in the film. So overall, we really enjoyed this.

4/25/2011

Ice Cream!

Filed under: — stan @ 9:09 pm

A new gourmet ice cream place just opened up around the corner from my house. So we took a walk up there to try it out. And it was quite good.

I think we’re going to be walking up there a lot this summer. Yum.

4/17/2011

In-N-Out purge

Filed under: — stan @ 8:44 pm

There was an article in Saturday’s L.A. Times about how In-N-Out Burger had recently demolished what was formerly their oldest location, across the freeway from their headquarters in Baldwin Park. So I immediately thought that this would make a good sightseeing bike ride. The article also mentioned that now the oldest In-N-Out location is now the one right near here in Pasadena, so I included that in the route.

It was a perfect day for riding. We started out going past the In-N-Out on Foothill Blvd in Pasadena. Then we headed south all the way to Baldwin Park, where we saw the remains of the former burger stand, followed by the gleaming new headquarters building across the freeway.

Our stop was at Panera Bread in West Covina. The sun was out, and it was just a nice day to sit outside for a bit.

46 miles.
cycling

4/14/2011

Downtown art

Filed under: — stan @ 11:27 pm

Lucinda’s been on Spring Break this week. So she’s had an unpredictable schedule, and tonight she decided to spend the night at her friend’s house. Which meant that I had an unexpected free evening. So I called Kathleen, and we made plans to meet up in downtown L.A. for the Art Walk. I’ve heard about these things for years, but this was the first time one fell on a night when I could actually go.

I rode the train downtown and we met at the Museum of Neon Art on 4th St. We joined up with the night photography group there, and we all headed up Spring St to the Los Angeles Times, where they were having a ‘popup event’ in the parking lot. We saw lots of nice photos by Times photographers, and we also took some photos of our own. I was kind of fascinated by the Wells Fargo building sign reflected off the One California Plaza building.

After that, we walked back down Spring St to the galleries near MONA. In one of them, we saw a photography show by Jake Thomas, who played Lizzie McGuire’s little brother on the Disney Channel. He’s grown up now, and his photos were quite good.

One of the attractions of the Art Walk is that all the gourmet catering trucks come and set up shop along Spring St. We stopped in at the Lake Street Creamery truck and got some very good ice cream.

All in all, it was a very fun evening. Parking there was kind of an ordeal, but I didn’t have a problem, because I rode the train there. It was a good time.

4/10/2011

CicLAvia two

Filed under: — stan @ 1:11 pm

Today’s bike club ride was a route down into East L.A. to join in CicLAvia. This is the second time they’ve done this. We were there the last time, and it was a fun little outing.

We took a roundabout route to East L.A., so as not to get there too early. Even so, we were there by 9:30, so we just set out on the route across the city.

In Little Tokyo, there was a big crowd outside the Japanese American Museum. Lance Armstrong was there, and he spoke to the crowd for a few minutes.

Continuing on, we went out to Westlake and then up into east Hollywood. That was the end of the route, so we turned around and rode back into downtown. At Main St, we turned off to head for home. We stopped for a bagel at Union Bagel in Union Station, since they have the nice courtyard outside the station. It had turned into a very nice day, so we wanted to sit outside.

From there, we just headed straight up Huntington Drive for the trip home. It was a nice ride.

47 miles.
cycling<>/ttag>

4/3/2011

Lookout Mountain

Filed under: — stan @ 8:00 pm

Today’s bike ride was another trip up the Hollywood hills to see the former Lookout Mountain Air Force Station. I recently got a DVD of a documentary about their work filming all of the nuclear bomb tests in Nevada and also the South Pacific. We’d done this ride before, but I figured out an easier way to get there this time.

On the way to Hollywood, we ran across the Thai New Year festival. That was kind of entertaining. Then we headed up into the hills. On the way up, I saw a fire engine. I’ve often wondered if they could fit those things up those narrow winding roads in the hills.

At the top, we took a quick turn through the portion of the street with the sign saying it had been “withdrawn from public use”. I have no idea what that means, but we still were able to get through. And that was a good thing. That put us at the top of Wonderland Dr, and it we didn’t have to do the uphill slog to get to the old Air Force building.

The former Air Force film studio is now a private house, so there’s not a lot to see from the outside. But it still looks like a 1940s military building, which makes for one odd-looking house.

We rode the rest of the way down Wonderland to get to Laurel Pass, which took us up to Mulholland Dr. Along the way, I saw the house with the alligators in front.

We rode a short distance east on Mulholland before taking some little streets down into Studio City. We stopped off at the gelato place. Sadly, it was kind of chilly today, so nobody was really in the mood for gelato. Doubly sad, since the last time we were there, it was 105 degrees and the gelato freezer was broken.

The rest of the ride home was pretty unremarkable. Pleasant, but not outstanding.

47 miles.
cycling

3/5/2011

Look what came in the mail today

Filed under: — stan @ 1:54 pm

count fair time
It’s going to be that time again. The L.A. County Fair is coming this fall. I’ve got a couple of new recipes under development. And there’s still room on the wall of my kitchen for more ribbons.

I see that they have the 2010 winners cookbook out now. So I can finally get to try out the recipe that beat me out for first place.

2/8/2011

Urban hiking

Filed under: — stan @ 10:26 pm

A while back, Kathleen said she wanted to try doing one stair climb, just for the experience. To see what it’s like. That day is fast approaching, so we went hiking in Griffith Park tonight, since that’s at least good practice for that sort of thing.

Hiking at night, it’s hard to get good pictures. But I did find one really good spot to balance the camera to get a good steady shot with the city lights behind us. And it’s still remarkable that we can hike up mountains in the middle of the city.

1/20/2011

It was a nice clear day

Filed under: — stan @ 6:42 pm

This afternoon, I got an email that there was going to be a launch of a Delta IV rocket from Vandenburg at 13:10:30 PST. I got this about five minutes before the fact, so I had just enough time to go across the street and up on the roof of the Seismo Lab. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be visible from Pasadena, since it’s quite far away, but it was. I could see the trail from the first stage very clearly. The first stage is powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, so I guess the trail was just a very large vapor trail. It was impressive that it was visible this far away.

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