Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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.

1/3/2005

My favorite girls

Filed under: — stan @ 9:41 pm

girls
Lucinda wanted to play dress-up with Mommy today. She picked out the clothes for both of them to wear, and then she insisted that I take a picture. They’re awfully cute, no?

1/2/2005

La Tuna Canyon

Filed under: — stan @ 1:26 pm

Today was another chilly day, threatening to rain. The general plan for today’s ride was to get as far away from the remnants of the Rose Parade as possible. So we went west to La Tuna Canyon. Gene said that today is the one-year anniversary of the Sunday Moderate Ride. We had the one obligatory flat tire on the ride up through La Crescenta, but aside from that, the climb up the canyon was pretty uneventful. At the top, I put on my jacket so as not to freeze on the way down. At the bottom of the big hill, we turned left on Glenoaks and headed back down through Sunland and Burbank. The snack stop was in Glendale at Paradise Bakery, where I had two chocolate eclairs. They make the best eclairs there. After that, we headed back on Kenneth to Mountain Ave, where I saw the nativity scene with signs pleading for the return of the baby Jesus. Then we turned left on Verdugo and headed back up Hospital Hill. From there, we took the standard route back through La Cañada.

42 miles.

Technorati tags: cycling

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.

12/29/2004

More geek stuff

Filed under: — stan @ 2:46 pm

I added some logic to our main page to have it automatically pull out the last 10 blog posts marked with a category of ‘adventures’. It then uses these to make a list of links to the posts on the front page. All of our older adventures have been relegated to the ‘old adventures‘ index page.

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.

A dreary day

Filed under: — stan @ 7:02 pm
tamales

Who says it never rains in California? Today was pouring down rain for most of the day. So I had to take my car to work instead of riding my bike. Trying to make the most of this, I stopped off on the way home so my car could get its every-other-year smog test. Like in an alien abduction, it got a probe up its butt and got measured. But all is well, and it passed.

And thus ended the dreary day.

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