Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Page 43 of 46« First...203040«4142434445»...Last »

1/15/2005

Body Worlds

Filed under: — stan @ 11:09 pm

Today we went to the Body Worlds exhibit at the science museum. This is an exhibit of real bodies, preserved with plastic and on display for us to see in gory detail. It was really quite interesting. Cathy’s friend Cathy from Texas came here for the weekend to see it, and she liked it a lot. So overall, it was an interesting adventure.

1/13/2005

Our house is falling apart (continued)

Filed under: — stan @ 6:24 pm

As I noted a while back, our house is falling apart. We managed to make it through the torrential rains without too much leakage, and today the roofing guy came out to fix the roof. He put a new roof on the laundry room and put a new crown on top of the house. But when he came down, he said we should have a look at our chimney, as it appears to be falling apart. I went up and took some pictures of the cracks in it. Most likely, they were caused by earthquakes, as our house has experienced several significant earthquakes nearby over the years.

Anyway, I guess we will have to decide if we want to do something about this.

1/9/2005

Sunday fun

Filed under: — stan @ 7:43 pm

Today we went to the Skeptics Society talk. The speaker was Jared Diamond talking about his new book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. We’ve seen him before, and he’s an engaging speaker. I also read his other book, Guns, Germs, and Steel and enjoyed it immensely. From what he said today, it sounds like his new book will be worth a read. Also, he said that the L.A. County Natural History Museum is going to be doing a special exhibit on this topic starting May 1.

lake
It’s been raining for three days straight here, and the lake is back in our yard. Today was the biggest we’ve seen it get in nearly 10 years in this house.

1/8/2005

Tattoo Expo

Filed under: — stan @ 11:32 pm

tattoo convention
Today we went to the big Body Art Expo at the L.A. County Fairgrounds. As tattoo conventions go, this one is kind of lame in that it’s not put on by tattoo people, but at the same time, all our tattoo friends are usually there. We took Lucinda along, since she said that she wanted to go. We wandered around there and visited with everyone we knew. Lucinda got a little temporary henna tattoo, and we generally had a fun time.

1/6/2005

Earthquake!

Filed under: — stan @ 9:06 pm

news truck
We had an earthquake this morning. M4.4 centered near Fontana. This wasn’t a Big Deal as these things go, but it did make for a busy morning at my office. The non-seismologists at Caltech tend to measure earthquakes by the ‘news truck’ scale, and by that measure, this was only a ‘two truck’ earthquake. Still, it made a traffic spike on the Earthquake Hazards Program web servers, and generally made things busy for a while.

1/1/2005

It’s still more madness!

Filed under: — stan @ 7:36 pm
So today was the Rose Parade. We live right at the end of the parade route, so this affords us a somewhat odd view of the event. It began like a Soviet May Day, with an overflight by our most fearsome military aircraft. So I went outside and snapped a picture of them flying over the hedge. Then I took a short bike ride down to the park. The In-N-Out Burger mobile units were all set up and ready to feed the marching bands when they got there.
One thing I thought was a bit odd was that with all the Department of Father Homeland Security talk of terrorists wanting to attack an event like the Rose Parade, whose idea was it to give out a toy called a “Bomb Bag”?
After a while, the horses started to arrive. I thought that the cowgirls with the stars-and-stripes outfits were cute.
One guy seemed a bit concerned that the crowds might walk on his lawn. He put up a little temporary fence, just like the stores on Colorado Blvd.
The true nightmare scenario of an event like this is to need an ambulance. That happened this time. It wasn’t clear exactly what happened to the man, but they were doing CPR on him, so it couldn’t be good.
The mule group had a trailer that said, “Hauling World Champion Ass”.
Usually, all the horse people are just eating In-N-Out burgers when they get here, but this year, one guy brought a barbecue grill and set it up right out in the street.
Back down on the parade route, there was lots of trash left by all the people. A lot of it is Chick tracts and other religious pamphlets. The other thing we see is people bringing a mattress to sleep on and then leave it after the parade. But the city is on top of it. By tomorrow, all the trash will be gone, and it will be as if it never happened.
Of course, little girls love horses, and Lucinda is no exception. She went out with a bag of carrots.
This afternoon, we went to see the floats close-up. Who knew that the surface of Saturn was covered with dried apricots? Another odd thing was the Home Depot float, “Saturday in the Park”. It was not clear why it had a fire extinguisher mounted right on the front. And the Roto-Rooter float was kind of funny. What else would it be but a big tree with massive roots?


12/31/2004

Our lavish New Year’s celebration

Filed under: — stan @ 8:49 pm

So we had it all planned out. We had reservations for an early dinner at Cafe Bizou in Old Town. But after I rode my bike through there today, I thought that the traffic and parking would be a nightmare. But we thought we’d be able to beat that. We could take the train.

So we went to the train station, and we waited. The train station is in the middle of the freeway, which is actually a kind of hellish place. And we waited there for about 15 minutes before the train got there. This should have been a tip-off that something was wrong. We got on the train, the doors closed, and then we just sat there for 10 more minutes. Then they announced that there was some sort of problem with the tracks up ahead, and they were having to run single-track, so we were waiting for the train going the other way. And then we sat some more. Finally, we pulled out of the station. And the train went rocketing down the track at a good 15 miles per hour. When we got the next station, then the train just stopped and sat. Then the train going the other way came in. We bailed out and got on it and rode it back to where we started.

All of this ended up being a good hour spent sitting on the train. So we left the train station and went and had dinner at El Torito, which was just fine.

It’s madness I tells ye!

Filed under: — stan @ 5:27 pm

It’s been raining all week here, so I haven’t been able to go bike riding, and today was no exception. I even got so desperate that I brought my bike inside and hooked it up to Cathy’s air trainer thingy and rode stationary for about 45 minutes. I hate riding indoors. It’s work. I just keep looking at the clock and thinking, “am I done yet?”

But then, this afternoon, the clouds parted, and the sun came out. It was still cold, but I decided to go for a ride anyway. Then I noticed an aneurism on my back tire. It was going to blow out at any moment. I still went riding, but I made sure that my first stop was the bike shop.

I got a new tire, and then I set out. I went down Colorado Boulevard to check out all the people camping out for the Rose Parade tomorrow. So, as I promised Grace, here is my report from the butt end of the Rose Parade. This is the first of two parts.

First off, I noticed the that the Pasadena Christian Church had staked out a big chunk of the sidewalk – directly in front of our neighborhood gay bar. Was this a coincidence? Traveling down the parade route, I saw lots of stores with temporary chain-link fences over their storefronts. Office Depot was boarded up, and we aren’t even expecting a hurricane. In Old Town, there were several board-up companies doing a brisk business covering up the storefronts there. And the traffic was horrendous.

After that fun, I did a regular ride. This was a slightly shortened version of Gene’s “Just One Hill” ride. And, as always, there was just one hill. But it’s a big one, and the route goes up and down it several times on different streets. There was still a lot of water on the roads, but up in the hills it was quiet, and there were very few cars out. I noodled about in the hills for a while before coming down into La Cañada. From there, I went past JPL and back into Pasadena for the ride home.

22 miles.

12/30/2004

Train to San Diego

Filed under: — stan @ 10:52 pm

Today we rode the train down to San Diego to take Lucinda to visit Grandpa Schwarz. This was an all-day affair that started by taking the Metro Gold Line from Pasadena to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. From there, we got on the Amtrak Surfliner for the ride down the coast. The rain had stopped, so we got a good view of the mountains with a fresh coat of new snow. The train goes along the coast for a lot of the trip, so we got some nice views of the beach, as well as the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

When we got to San Diego, Grandpa picked us up and we went to his apartment there. He showed Lucinda how to hold the castanets, which she enjoyed, since it meant she could make lots of noise. They also played the piano together and drew pictures on the computer. There are more pictures of Lucinda from the day in her photo album.

Finally, at the end of the day, we rode the train home. It was really a very pleasant ride.

12/28/2004

It’s bucketing down…

Filed under: — stan @ 11:18 pm

lake in our back yard
The rain is falling harder now, and for the first time in years, we are getting a little lake in the back yard. This is the first time we’ve had the lake since the El Niño of ‘97-’98. It’s impressive. We don’t get many thunderstorms here, but there’s lightning and thunder tonight.

Page 43 of 46« First...203040«4142434445»...Last »

Powered by WordPress