Stan’s Obligatory Blog

9/4/2004

A cautionary tale

Filed under: — stan @ 9:57 pm


Today we went to the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum. In the American history hall, they had a small exhibit about transportation, including a license badge for cars produced under the Selden automobile patent. This patent was taken out in 1895 by George Selden, and it covered the automobile. He never built a working model, and he had no intention of going into the automobile manufacturing business, but he knew other people would be in years to come. So he got this patent and then proceeded to shake down the car makers for license fees. For some years, they paid, until Henry Ford challenged it in court. In the end, the patent was ruled invalid, since it was basically just a form of legal extortion. But it’s a lot like the current SCO case against Linux.

Later on, we were in a different part of the museum, and I saw a display of a stuffed hawk that, sadly, didn’t look very lifelike. The cobwebs sort of gave it away.




Still, it was a fun day, and Lucinda had fun. Pictures in her photo album.

Nice to spread the word

Filed under: — stan @ 9:10 am

I see that there is a link to my “I hate Texas” page on a blog called News to Hughes. Seems that the author spent a month in Texas and pretty much came to the same conclusions I did.

Funny thing is, there were a bunch of comments to his post, and almost all of the pro-Texas comments consisted of people calling him names and threatening him. Not exactly substantive argument. Of course, this is the sort of behavior that we always see from people who, deep down, know they’re wrong…

9/2/2004

A pleasant afternoon ride

Filed under: — stan @ 7:27 pm

After work today, I went for a little bike ride. Up to Chantry Flat and back, complete with the four-mile uphill part. This time, I saw three (count ‘em, three) cars and one other bicyclist on the road. For once, I saw the other cyclist when I was coming down and he was going up, so I got to see what the “I’m riding up a four-mile hill” face looks like on someone else. It was fun.

8/30/2004

Nice light reading

Filed under: — stan @ 8:30 am

I just finished reading What’s the Matter With Kansas?. It’s an entertaining read, all about how conservatives and the Republican Party have managed to convince blue-collar people to support them and vote against their own best interests. It’s an entertaining book, well-written and funny, and he makes a serious point. Highly recommended.

For more on the idea of voting and self-interest, see “Self-interest & Voting” at Slacktivist.

8/29/2004

Hills!

Filed under: — stan @ 2:30 pm

Went riding with Foothill again today. This time we did a kind of strange ride. Made a big loop through Arcadia, Temple City and South Pasadena to Highland Park. Then we went by the Rose Bowl and rode up and down the hills near there. That was fun, even if I did get a flat on the way back down. The snack stop was at Il Fornaio in Old Town. At the end, the ride was only 35 miles, so I rode out to Arcadia and back just to get a little more distance. 44 miles total.

8/24/2004

Tried another recipe

Filed under: — stan @ 8:21 pm

We tried a new brownie recipe this evening. It was quite good.

8/22/2004

Nice Sunday ride

Filed under: — stan @ 12:31 pm

Went riding with Foothill Cycle today. We rode out to Glendora, with a snack stop at the coffee shop at the Classic Car Gallery there. The ride was about 37 miles, but at the end, a couple of us took a side trip up to Chantry Flat in Santa Anita Canyon. This added 8 miles and some climbing to the trip. It was fun. 45 miles.

8/21/2004

Adventures in art appreciation

Filed under: — stan @ 9:09 pm

We went to see “Stacked: Homage to Pamela Anderson” at DiRT Gallery in West Hollywood today. This was a fun little art show with a wide range of works by different artists. One room was devoted to Ms. Anderson. Another room was filled with acrylic hatchets with various objects embedded in them. Also, there was a whole series of hand-painted porcelain guns and hand grenades.

On the way back, we went to Griffith Park to look for the Old Zoo trail. We managed to locate it, but by then Lucinda was tired and cranky, so we went home.

But I like riding uphill…

Filed under: — stan @ 11:06 am

Took a short ride this morning. Out through Sierra Madre and then up to Chantry Flat. The climb was four miles and about 1,500 vertical feet. The road is closed to regular traffic, so I only saw one family of hikers, two runners, four people on bicycles and one Forest Service truck. It was a nice ride. 16 miles.

8/20/2004

Diet and exercise…

Filed under: — stan @ 4:53 pm

I went to the doctor today to get the results of my latest cholesterol test. 198 total, with a 163/35 LDL/HDL split. They said this is good, so I don’t have to take statins. It’s a lot better than the 232 I scored back in March. I’ve also lost 10 pounds since March. So the program of bike riding and not eating eggs seems to be working out well.

They told me that I should be getting a half-hour of exercise three times a week. I get a bit more than that five times a week riding my bike to work, and I’ve been doing that for nine years now. But that wasn’t enough. It took adding the 40 mile Sunday rides with Foothill Cycle to make the difference here. But I like riding my bike, so it’s just fun. It doesn’t seem like an ‘exercise program’ at all.

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