Stan’s Obligatory Blog

12/19/2004

Just One Hill

Filed under: — stan @ 8:09 pm
the car fit

Today’s ride was Gene’s “Just One Hill” ride. And there was just one hill. But it was big and steep. It wasn’t nine miles uphill like last week, but it was still a good climb. It was another picture-postcard day, so when we got to the top, we were able to see all the way out to the ocean. On the way down, I had to stop to do a brake adjustment on my bike. While I was doing that, Newton’s front tire just decided to go flat. So we had a little break sitting there on the side of the hill.

When we got to the bottom, we stopped at the Starbuck’s in La Cañada. I had a bagel and orange juice. Easy to digest for glycogen and all that. Then we headed back into Pasadena. We took the side trip up to Loma Alta and came back through the foothills of Altadena. The view from the top of Lake Avenue was impressive. The ride was kind of short by our standards, so we just sort of noodled around Pasadena and Sierra Madre to pad the ride out a bit.

40 miles.

12/14/2004

I am the master of parallel parking!

Filed under: — stan @ 6:12 pm
the car fit

Today we went to Lucinda’s school for their Holiday program. Parking near the school is always a problem. But I am the Master of Parallel Parking. I got the car into this space, and it wasn’t too bad. I had three fingers clearance at the back and five at the front. So the space was actually a good six inches longer than the car. Not a record by any means. Still, it was amusing, since Cathy didn’t think it was going to fit.

Also, when we got there, I was kind of amazed to see the towers of downtown L.A. off in the distance. They’re about 15 miles away, but usually we can’t see them through the smog.

12/13/2004

Holiday’s a-comin’

Filed under: — stan @ 6:57 pm

bleachers
One more sign of the impending holidays here in Pasadena. The bleachers are going up all along Colorado Blvd. in preparation for the 24 hours or so of madness that is the Rose Parade. I really can’t understand the people who camp out overnight to see it, and it makes our neighborhood a zoo for three days afterwards. But it’s part of our local kitsch and culture. So it’s all right, and it’s even kind of funny.

On the day of the parade, they park all the trailers in our neighborhood to collect the horses. This means that every little girl is out running around with a bag of carrots to feed them. It’s really quite cute.

12/11/2004

I can see for miles and miles…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:56 pm

Today was one of those days when they take postcard pictures. It was exceptionally clear, and pleasantly warm. And today’s club ride was up Glendora Mountain Road. This is a nice 9-mile climb up the front range of the San Gabriels. We started out full of energy and smiling. And some of us were even still smiling when we got to the top…

There was a fire there two years ago, and there are still a lot of burned trees on the side of the mountain. But we’ve had some rain recently, so the hillsides were all green. And I had to stop and take a picture when I saw the towers of downtown L.A. in the distance. They are about 25 miles away from where I’m standing, and it’s pretty rare for the air to be clear enough to see that far.

When we got to the top, I had to take a picture looking back down to where we started. If you look carefully, you can see the road winding up the ridge in the photo. We also were marveling that not only could we see Catalina Island, but we could even see San Clemente Island, which is just to the left of Catalina, and about 100 miles away.

Then we went down into the East Fork of San Gabriel Canyon. It was a very warm day, but there were some very cold air pockets in shady spots on the way down. It was kind of startling to ride through them. We stopped for a snack at Camp Williams before continuing down the canyon. Right after we left Camp Williams, Gene got a flat. So we got to spend a bit more time admiring the scenery. Finally, we got down the bridge at the junction of Highway 39. Then we went down 39 the rest of the way back to Azusa. From there it was the standard route home through Duarte, Monrovia, Arcadia and Sierra Madre.

It was a fun ride. 52 miles.

12/5/2004

Tamale party

Filed under: — stan @ 1:01 pm

This morning, I got up and started making tamales with the meat I cooked last night. This is our first time making home-made tamales. Lucinda and Cathy made some, but I made most of them. I felt like I was getting ethnic, even though none of us here is even remotely Mexican. Note the use of the Chinese bamboo steamer for the tamales. Then, after they were steamed, we had them for lunch just so we could try them out. They were quite good.

12/4/2004

Saturday night fun

Filed under: — stan @ 9:43 pm

Cathy took Lucinda to see the L.A. Children’s Chorus. They said that it was a nice show. I stayed home and cooked meat and sauces for tamales.

Greek Theater and Mt Hollywood

Filed under: — site admin @ 2:57 pm

Once again, the weather forecast for Sunday looks grim. So I went riding today instead. I started out going west, and immediately ran into the traffic jam of people trying to get to the Rose Bowl for the USC/UCLA football game. I had no idea people would be going there that early. After that, I went past the bleachers already set up for the Rose Parade, and then down across the Arroyo.

Next, I went into Eagle Rock, where I went up Nolden St, which is the ridiculously steep hill. This time, I actually incorporated it into the route, traveling down the other side to get to Stratford St, which I took over to Occidental College and then onto Eagle Rock Blvd.

I then went south, over the L.A. River and into Los Feliz. I saw that the Shakespeare Bridge is decorated for the holidays. I went over the bridge and then up Hillhurst into Griffith Park. That’s where I saw the sign warning me that the park has rattlesnakes and mountain lions. No tigers and bears, though. Oh my! Still, the park is a nice pleasant place. I rode up past the Greek Theater and then through the tunnel to Toontown. Then I continued up over Mt. Hollywood, where I got a nice sideways view of the Hollywood sign. Then it was down the other side, which is a nice descent with hairpin turns, broken pavement, and big holes in the road.

At the bottom of the hill, I took the road past Forest Lawn and made a loop around Warner Bros and back past Disney and the L.A. Equestrian Center. Then it was back into Glendale for the trip home.

When I was riding up the last part of Glenoaks, I was briefly harassed by a middle-aged woman in a green BMW (CA license 4LSP584). She was honking obnoxiously and acting like she thought my presence on the road was a major imposition. Now I can understand why people sometimes get frustrated and vent when they’re on the road. What I don’t understand is why someone would go off and harass me when they’re about to stop. She harassed me and then turned into a parking lot. So I took out my camera and took her picture. Smile, you’re on the Internet, bitch. Later, she caught up with me again and she apologized, which I thought was actually very nice of her. In over 30 years of cycling, this is the first time that’s ever happened. And I’m sure that my taking her picture had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

From there, I did the obligatory trip up “Hospital Hill”, where I saw the ABC Sports mobile TV unit. I have no idea what it was doing there. Then I went down through La Cañada and back into the traffic for the Rose Bowl. I thought that would be done by the time I was coming back, but apparently I was wrong. After getting through that, I came home by way of Mendocino Ave, which has the little stretch that looks just like Beverly Hills, and probably plays it on TV.

45 miles.

12/1/2004

Random stuff on a Wednesday

Filed under: — stan @ 6:03 pm

Just a quick picture from the office. I decorated for the holidays. I started doing this back when I was in my first office here, since it was the first time I’d ever had an office with a fireplace. I don’t have the fireplace anymore, but I still decorate.

The second picture is just something I saw on the way home today. They had the Feddes furniture store done up to look like a TV store and they were filming something there. I have no idea what it was, but it’s always amusing seeing something familiar dressed up to look different. Too bad they didn’t have any snow there.

11/30/2004

Another brownie recipe

Filed under: — site admin @ 7:54 pm

We tried another brownie recipe today. This time it’s the Quick & Easy Fudgey Brownies. They are pretty good. Lucinda liked them a lot. But they are still not quite the recipe I’m looking for. I’m still looking for something a bit heavier and darker.

11/27/2004

Another bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 2:23 pm

Since the weather forecast for Sunday morning doesn’t look too good, I went riding today instead.

I started off going west, into Eagle Rock. I took a short side trip just to ride up Nolden Street and the terrifyingly steep hill. Then I continued west into Glendale, where I managed to take my picture reflected in a plate glass window. Then I turned south and went by the Los Angeles Equestrian Center and on into Burbank. I went past Disney headquarters. You can tell it’s them because of the wrought-iron Mickey Mouse heads on the fence. Then past Warner Bros and the Oakwood Apartments, which is the boot camp for child actors.

From there, I headed back home. I went past Travel Town and the L.A. Live Steamers in Griffith Park, and then back into Glendale. I took the long climb up Verdugo and the obligatory trip up “Hospital Hill”. Then back down through La Cañada and Altadena. It started to rain just as I got back into Pasadena, so the timing was just about perfect. 40 miles.

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