Stan’s Obligatory Blog

11/4/2004

Quote of the day

Filed under: — stan @ 7:05 pm

I think this makes it for Quote of the Day regarding the last election:

“Quite frankly, I’m sick of having a spoon of shit forced down my throat each Fall.”

Sadly, we here are familiar with that feeling. I’ve been voting since 1978. It was 1986 when I finally saw someone I voted for win. And in 7 tries, I’ve only gotten my choice for President twice. There is also a school of thought that this shows that democracy is actually working. Everyone comes away a little bit unhappy when things are working correctly.

11/2/2004

Birthday Bike Ride

Filed under: — stan @ 12:26 pm

Since it’s my birthday, I took the day off work. I went for a bike ride, since it’s yet another insufferably nice day here in L.A.

I rode up through La Cañada and then down into Glendale. That’s where I saw the Harp Center. Who knew there was such a place? Then I came back across Eagle Rock, pausing only briefly for a side trip up Nolden St. This is a little residential street that goes up a terrifyingly steep hill. They say it’s usually a bad sign when you’re riding up a hill and the sidewalk turns into a staircase. But I like riding up ridiculous hills, so it was fun. In fact, coming back down was much scarier than going up. The route home went near the Rose Bowl, where I saw preparations for the Rose Parade already starting. 25 miles.

Election Day

Filed under: — stan @ 9:44 am


Lucinda came along today to vote. It was a very relaxed experience. Not too many people were there when we went. Our polling place is at Eaton Canyon Regional Park, so after voting we looked at the nature displays in the visitor center and then took a walk on the “Fire Ecology” nature trail.

10/31/2004

Halloween Night

Filed under: — stan @ 11:29 pm

I’ve made a hobby of setting up my telescope out in the driveway on Halloween Night. It seems fitting to do some astronomy here, since we live at the base of Mt Wilson in California, where a lot of astronomy history was made. I hand out candy and let the kids and their parents look through the telescope. I started doing this back in 1998 when Jupiter was high in the sky, and it’s turned out to be popular enough that I’ve done it every year I can since then. The last two years were cloudy, but this time the sky was clear. There aren’t any good planets up now, so I ended up showing the kids two different star clusters, NGC 457 in Cassiopeia, and the famous Double Cluster, NGC 869 and NGC 884 in Perseus. While these don’t have the same ‘Ohhhh’ factor as Saturn did in 2001, they still were interesting, and the kids seemed to like it. So overall, it was a good evening.

Today’s ride

Filed under: — stan @ 1:34 pm

Today we did the Rio Hondo/San Gabriel River bike path loop. It turned out to be a perfect day, warm and sunny, but with snow on the mountains above us.

This route is a mostly-flat ride. South through Temple City to the Rio Hondo bike path. Then south some more to Whittier Narrows. Then we cut across to the San Gabriel River and went back north to Santa Fe Dam. Then home through Duarte and Monrovia with a stop at Beantown in Sierra Madre. 42 miles.

10/30/2004

Nice day for a bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 12:21 pm

I did a short ride today. Just out to Duarte and back. A little bit of hills in Sierra Madre and Monrovia. It was a pleasant time. 25 miles.

10/28/2004

Random stuff

Filed under: — site admin @ 6:13 pm

flowers
Here’s a picture of some of the flowers I have growing in my office. The southern exposure works well, and so the plants are happy. The Christmas cactus is also starting to bud, which means that it’s noticed that the days are getting shorter. I never turn on my office lights, so the plants get a natural day-night cycle.


sign
On the way home today, I saw this homemade and sadly not waterproof sign down the street from our house. But I’m still always glad to see things like this.

10/27/2004

Lunar eclipse through the clouds

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:43 pm

Lucinda and I went outside to see if we could see the lunar eclipse this evening. It’s been raining off and on all day, so it’s pretty cloudy. But a gap opened up in the clouds, and we were able to see the moon. The eclipse was about 80% total. I got out the telescope and we looked at the moon for about 10 minutes before the clouds moved back in and covered it up.

10/23/2004

Hollywood by bike

Filed under: — stan @ 1:37 pm

Since I won’t be able to go riding tomorrow morning, I went for a ride today.

I rode over to Hollywood by way of Eagle Rock and the Franklin Hills, including crossing the Shakespeare Bridge on Franklin Ave. Then I went straight down Hollywood Boulevard, which is kind of strange on a bike. But even at 9:15 on a Saturday morning in October, there are tourists checking out the footprints in front of the Chinese Theater. Then I took a little detour south to go past our old house, as well as to stop to get a picture of Mickey’s Plants. Mickey Hargitay is probably best known for having been married to Jayne Mansfield, but now he owns a little greenhouse in Hollywood.

After cruising (so to speak) through West Hollywood, I turned and went up Nichols Canyon Road into the hills. This is a typical Hollywood Hills road. Narrow and winding. I stopped for a self-portrait in someone’s driveway mirror, as well as to admire the little creek and marvel at the fact that this idyllic scene is only one mile from the tourists on Hollywood Boulevard. Then, after several miles uphill, I came out on Mulholland Drive. There I saw a ‘deer crossing’ sign. Again, not what you expect in the middle of Los Angeles. And the scenic overlook had a picture of the Valley before it was built up, so we can see the contrast. Finally, I rode down into Cahuenga Pass, stopping to admire the view of downtown L.A. as well as the sideways view of the Hollywood sign. Then I continued down into Burbank, past Warner Brothers and all their big billboards for TV shows I don’t watch. Then I headed home through Glendale and La Canada, complete with a bracing trip up the infamous ‘Hospital Hill’. 51 miles.

10/22/2004

Random stuff on a Friday

Filed under: — stan @ 8:25 pm

sinkholeToday I brought my camera to work so I could stop on the way in and take a picture of the big sinkhole that opened up on Del Mar Ave the other day. This is why southern Californians hate rain. It rains so seldom here that when it does rain, all hell breaks loose. In this case, part of one of our main streets just collapsed.


And on an unrelated note, here is a picture of me in my office having a typical day of sysadmin crises. It’s actually a bit unusual for me to be talking on two phones at once, so I thought the occasion was worth having a picture taken. And finally, I saw a funny bumper sticker on the way home.

in the office dog is my co-pilot

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