Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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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.

1/15/2011

Looks like another perfect day…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:56 pm

I had an unexpected free afternoon on Saturday. And it was a very nice day. So I went for a ride. As always, when I’m out riding on a nice winter’s day in L.A., I remember when I used to ride in the winter back in New Jersey. This is just so much more pleasant. And I remember my 6th grade teacher, Mr Wagner.

I did my usual route for when I have a free afternoon. Down to South Pasadena and up the hill to the water tower. Then back to the Rose Bowl for a few times around before going home through Altadena. It was a nice time.

26 miles.
cycling

1/1/2011

The 2011 Rose Parade

Filed under: — stan @ 6:20 pm

New Year’s Day is a day when it’s best to stay home. My house is right by the end of the Rose Parade route, so it’s basically impossible to go anywhere. So we took a walk to see a bit of the parade, and also to see the floats close-up when it was over.

The day started with the B-2 flying over, which is amusing in its own peculiar way. After all, under normal circumstances, seeing one of those planes flying by would mean that Something Very Bad was about to happen.

One of my most favorite things about the parade itself is seeing floats being towed over the finish line after breaking down. Dunno why, but that’s always amusing.

There was a float this year dedicated to Ronald Reagan. And I got a chuckle from the portrait of him on the end that totally looked like Leonid Brezhnev.

And the city of Burbank float had little floral F-117s and an SR-71 Blackbird on it. More airplane fun for all the airplane geeks.

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