Stan’s Obligatory Blog

2/13/2005

Whitter Narrows

Filed under: — stan @ 2:02 pm

Today’s ride was down to Whittier Narrows and back. It was cloudy, but not raining, so conditions were adequate. We went east through Sierra Madre and then straight south on Santa Anita all the way down past the 60 freeway. Along the way, we felt a few little sprinkles, but actual rain never quite happened.

One road we went on was marked closed, apparently due to flooding during the recent rains. It was passable, and it was a nice treat to have the road to ourselves for a bit.

After we passed the Whittier Narrows dam, we turned west and then north, heading back through Montebello and into Monterey Park. There were a few small hills there, but nothing spectacular.

In Alhambra, we saw a car with a license plate frame that said “Nothing’s Fucked”. I’m not sure if that is an expression of optimism or what, but we all thought it was funny. We also got to see how to write “Washington Mutual Bank” in Chinese, in case anyone was wondering.

Heading north through San Marino, we passed Lacy Park and then climbed up the scarp of the Raymond Fault. Then we continued on into Pasadena, where we stopped at Noah’s Bagels on South Lake. That was where we met the little white dog who was sitting outside waiting while his owner got coffee. He was very friendly.

From there, we went south again and went through San Marino some more before heading home.

39 miles.

cycling

2/11/2005

Hills

Filed under: — stan @ 3:32 pm

I’ve been playing around a bit with bikemetro.com. This site will do route mapping like Mapquest, but for bikes. And they include information about hills and such.

So I decided to look up Fargo St. They say it’s 0.13 miles and 151 vertical feet. Then I looked up Nolden St in Eagle Rock. This is the ridiculously steep hill that I like to ride up. I figure it’s good practice for Fargo St. They say it’s 0.11 miles and 134 feet up. So they are pretty comparable.

Just for comparison, I went to www.topozone.com to get the maps for both places. Looking at the contours on the map for Fargo St and the map for Nolden St indicates agreement with the bikemetro elevation data.

But we know what’s really important here: It’s fun to ride up ridiculous hills.

cycling

2/9/2005

More spam

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:11 am

We got another 166 spam trackbacks last night. This is getting mightily annoying.

2/6/2005

Letting Go of God Again

Filed under: — stan @ 11:11 pm

We went to see Julia Sweeney’s show “Letting Go of God” back in December, and we liked it so much that we decided to see it again. So we called our friends who are always interested in L.A. culture and asked them if they wanted to join us. So we all met in West Hollywood for lunch at the French Quarter for lunch and then headed over to the show. Even though it was Super Bowl Sunday, the theater was packed. The show was just as good the second time around, and we all enjoyed it tremendously.

Afterward, we all headed over to the Hollywood Forever cemetery so our friends could see the statue of Johnny Ramone.

2/5/2005

Johnny Ramone and Lake Hollywood

Filed under: — stan @ 1:41 pm

I went riding today, since we’re going to be busy tomorrow. Since I’d heard about the new statue of Johnny Ramone at the Hollywood Forever cemetery, I thought I’d go over and have a look.

I took the fairly standard route through Eagle Rock to get there, pausing only briefly to ride up and over the ridiculously steep hill. I figure it’s good practice for Fargo Street next month.

When I got into Hollywood, I went straight down Hollywood Blvd. I passed Cheetah’s, which Cathy and I have been to and enjoyed. Then it was on into Thai Town, where I saw a Thai food place with a big hot dog on the roof. What’s up with that?

Then I turned south on Bronson and got to the cemetery. The girl at the information booth gave me directions to Johnny’s statue. It’s a nice setting. And they had a sign up telling us not to disturb the goose, since he is guarding his nest nearby.

After leaving the cemetery, I went west a bit into West Hollywood to visit Guitar Center and the Rock Walk, since the Ramones are there.

Next up was the big hill. I went back east through Hollywood to Beachwood Dr, which is the street up to the Hollywoodland neighborhood, right below the Sign. The ride up Beachwood wasn’t bad. They don’t want people to be climbing up to the sign, so they put up signs all over saying “No access to the Hollywood sign”. But I think people do it anyway.

When I was just below the sign, it was time to turn. I went up Belden St, which goes up a pretty scary hill up the side of Beachwood Canyon. Then when I got to the top, I took a wrong turn. I rode for a while down into another canyon before I realized that I’d made a mistake. At that point, I had to turn around and climb back up that big hill. Near the top, I asked some people who were walking their dog. They said, “just keep going on this street until you pass the castle, then take every left turn until you get to the dog park.” Simple enough. I rode a bit until I came to the house that looked like a castle, then I had to climb some more to reach the top of the ridge. Then it was screaming downhill past the dog park, and I was at the shores of Lake Hollywood. I followed the road around the lake and then up and over one more hill and then down into Burbank.

By this time, it was getting late, since that wrong turn had eaten up a lot of time. So I took the most direct route home, going straight across Glendale and Eagle Rock and then back into Pasadena.

50 miles.

Technorati tags: cycling

2/4/2005

More spam and stuff

Filed under: — stan @ 9:19 am

Last night we got another 57 spam trackbacks. This is pretty annoying, but I was still able to delete them easily from the command line.

In other news, I asked phpwebhosting to move us to another server, since the server we were on was very slow. I know that they don’t have an easy job, administering shared servers that are used by all sorts of different sites. I’m very fortunate that the web servers I administer at my job are all dedicated to a single site. It’s got to be difficult to deal with trying to please a lot of users all at the same time. Anyway, they finally moved us last night, so the site is a bit snappier today.

2/1/2005

Human Ingenuity

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:49 am

We haven’t had any comment spam since I implemented my home-made CAPTCHA some time ago. But last night we got hit by TrackBack spam. 293 separate spam trackbacks. Sheesh. So I went in and deleted them by hand in MySQL:

mysql> delete from wp_comments where comment_content like ‘%poker%’;

Then I implemented the ‘moderate-trackbacks’ plugin from dev.wp-plugins.org/browser/moderate-trackbacks

If it wasn’t so annoying, it would be funny…

1/30/2005

The Real O.C.

Filed under: — stan @ 9:52 pm

Today we took a trip to the O.C. so that Lucinda could visit with Grandma and Grandpa. It’s also a chance for us to get out and do some non-kid stuff for an afternoon. So we went to see “Finding Neverland“. It was good and entertaining, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that we got to go out and be a ‘couple’ again, rather than having to be parents. So after the movie, we were faced with the usual problem we have when we go there. What is there to do around here? So we did the thing that they have in abundance there. We went shopping! Of course, all the places look the same. Just big faceless malls. But who can argue that tattooing hasn’t hit the mainstream when we walked into a mall in Orange County and saw a billboard with a prominent tattoo theme?

1/29/2005

Shannon’s birthday party

Filed under: — stan @ 11:41 pm

Our tattoo artist friend Shannon had her fortieth birthday party this evening. It was at a little tapas restaurant in Old Town Pasadena. As one might expect, it drew an eclectic collection of characters. It was a fun time. They had a flamenco show there, and they made a point of dragging everyone who was having a birthday up on the stage to participate.

Also, quite unwittingly, I took one photo that was kind of funky and arty and quite the sort of thing that I’d like to be able to do. It was an accident, but here it is.

Griffith Park

Filed under: — stan @ 10:57 pm

Today I did the Foothill Club ride, which was from Arcadia to Griffith Park and back. I met Gene at 7:30 and we rode down to Live Oak Park in Temple City because we were supposed to meet Newton there, but when we got there, there was no sign of him. So we headed up to Arcadia to meet the rest of the group.

We got started on the real ride at 8:30, and we headed out across Pasadena and Eagle Rock. We took Colorado Blvd across Eagle Rock, which is the shortest route, but not really the most pleasant route. But it wasn’t too bad.

When we got into Glendale, the street was being torn up for repaving, so we took a little detour to avoid the bad street. When we crossed the Verdugo Wash, we noticed that there were little periodic waves in the water coming down the wash. This looked odd, but I’m sure there is a good reason for it.

Today’s flat tire went to Jerry. He’s now the latest addition to the Flat Tire Gallery.

When we got to Griffith Park, we went the back way up around the Zoo to the golf course. We stopped for a snack at the golf course coffee shop. Not bad, but the services was slow. We were there for almost an hour.

Leaving the park, we took Los Feliz Blvd back. We stopped off at the Costco there to see the site of the big train wreck that happened last week. They had cleaned up most of it, but there were still train parts around in the parking lot, and the damaged Union Pacific engine was still there.

Finally, we headed home on Colorado and Orange Grove. It was a pleasant ride.

52 miles.

Technorati tags: cycling

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