Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Another night hike in Griffith Park

Filed under: — stan @ 9:46 pm

Tonight, I went to Griffith Park for another short night hike. The plan was to hike for a bit and then ride the “Ghost Train” at the Los Angeles Live Steamers. I was doing the night hikes there a lot last spring, but I haven’t been to one since May.

The hike itself was pretty pleasant and not too strenuous. But when we got back, the line for the train was very long. So I gave up on that portion of the evening and came home. Still, it was a fun time.


No Spitting, No Kidding

Filed under: — stan @ 9:46 pm

On Saturday afternoon, Susan and I went out to Santa Monica to Bergamot Station. The occasion was to visit Track 16 Gallery for the “No Spitting, No Kidding” exhibit. This is a retrospective of Robbie Conal’s work. He was the midnight guerilla artist in Los Angeles during the ’80s and ’90s. He did satirical paintings of prominent political figures and then his crew would plaster the entire city with posters of them in big overnight raids. I always enjoyed seeing his work around the city, so it was a nice treat to see the original paintings, as well as a lot of other works that never were made into posters. The photo is one of his posters that was on a wall down the street from my old house in Hollywood back in 1990.

Afterward, we strolled around and looked in a lot of the other galleries at Bergamot Station, since there are a lot of different ones there. We particularly enjoyed the Gallery of Functional Art.

On the way home, we stopped off to visit my friend Kathleen in Westwood. I’d been telling Kathleen about Susan for some time, so she wanted to meet her. That was a fun time.


Another day at the races

Filed under: — stan @ 8:10 pm

Today, I took Lucinda down to the ADT Center velodrome in Carson to see the last day of the USA Cycling national championships. We went to see this last year, as well as the year before, and we’ve always had fun.

When we got there, they were doing the finals of the team sprint. After that was the women’s points race, which was a lot of fun to watch. The winner was part of a breakaway that lapped the pack. They each got 20 bonus points for doing that, and that was enough to clinch the victory.

The highlight and last race of the day was the Madison final. There’s a lot of action with the big group of riders doing their exchanges. It’s hard to photograph, since the light inside the building is not so good, but it’s still lots of fun to watch.

Lucinda and her friend also got to meet Sarah Hammer there, since she was at a table promoting the OUCH Pro Cycling Team.

It was a fun afternoon.


Yes, we have a county fair in Los Angeles…

Filed under: — stan @ 9:29 pm

On Sunday afternoon, Susan and I went out to Pomona to the Los Angeles County Fair. Neither of us had been to it in years, so we thought it might be a fun thing to do.

We saw lots of animals, which is perhaps a bit surprising, since there is very little agriculture going on in Los Angeles County. On the other hand, ‘very little’ is not ‘none’, so there are farmers here, and they have crops and animals and such. So that was fun and interesting.

On the other hand, they did have a booth selling body jewelry, which is fitting for L.A.

We went to see the crafts and food, too. After looking at the baked goods, I’m totally going to enter my perfect blueberry muffins next year.

We had some pretty good barbecue for dinner, and then we got ice cream from Dr. Bob’s. It was a fun afternoon.


Art in the afternoon

Filed under: — stan @ 6:59 pm

This afternoon, Susan and I went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Bank of America is having a promotion where having a BofA credit card is good for free admission there on the first weekend of the month.

We went to see the “Los Angelenos” exhibit. For some reason, the opportunity to see the art collection of Cheech Marin was just too good to pass up.

Afterward, we went to see the Contemporary Art building. That was interesting. We saw a lot of nice art, and some pieces by famous recent artists as well. I think the giant balloon animal was our favorite.

Before we left the park, we took a walk around the tar pits. As always, I’m amazed at plants that grow right in the middle of the tar.


More movie magic

Filed under: — stan @ 7:18 pm

On Sunday afternoon, Susan and I went over to Beverly Hills to visit the galleries at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The two current exhibits are:

I’ve been to these sorts of things before, and they’re always fun to see.

The animation exhibit was interesting, and we got to see a lot of original artwork from cartoons from the 1940s to the 1960s. And upstairs, we saw parts of sets of quite a few recent movies. We saw Indiana Jones’s desk. Too bad he was denied tenure. We also saw The Chief’s desk from “Get Smart“, got our picture in the cave with the Mark 1 suit from “Iron Man“, and Susan poked around the props from “The Spiderwick Chronicles“.

It was a fun little afternoon, and we finished off with dinner at the French Quarter in West Hollywood.


Queen Mary Tattoo Afternoon

Filed under: — stan @ 9:55 pm

This weekend is the big “Ink and Iron” show at the Queen Mary. This started out back in 2004 as just a tattoo convention, and over the years they have added music, motorcycles and hot rods to the show. So it’s turned into a Big Deal. But I still like to go just for the tattoos.

I went down there with Susan after the morning bike ride. We got to Long Beach about 2:00 or so. We went inside and just wandered around looking at all the tattoos. We got to visit with some of my friends who I know from going to so many of these shows over the years. That was fun. We also watched the Aerial Showgirls doing their show in the big open area in the center of the room.

It was a fun afternoon. As always, pictures are in the Tattoo Conventions Photo Gallery.


Bang your head in Baghdad

Filed under: — stan @ 9:33 pm

This evening, Susan and I went to see “Heavy Metal in Baghdad“, which is a documentary about Acrassicauda, which is the only known heavy metal band from Iraq. They started some years before the war, and the film included some video of them doing a concert in 2002. They said that in order to get permission for the concert, they had to agree to sing a song praising Saddam Hussein.

The band members said that at first they thought the war and the fall of Saddam would be good for them. But over time, they found that living and playing in a civil war zone was no good. When they did a show in post-Saddam Baghdad, it was in a hotel surrounded by concrete barriers and troops. And the show had to be over by 7:00, so everyone could make it home before curfew. Later, their practice room was blown up by a rocket, and all their instruments were destroyed. Finally, the film followed them as they escaped Iraq to Syria in hopes of finding peace there.

Overall, the film was kind of depressing, but also uplifting. It’s a triumph of the human spirit. Even under the worst circumstances, young men will find ways to rock out and bang their heads.


“That’s one old chair”

Filed under: — stan @ 7:31 pm

On Saturday afternoon, Susan and I went to the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena. I’d been wanting to go there for some time, and they were having an exhibit called “Chinaman’s Chance” about the Chinese immigrant experience. As it turned out, there wasn’t much to the Chinese exhibit. It was three artists whose art reflected their views of straddling the cultural divide. It was amusing, but not very filling.

The rest of the museum was nice, though. There was an exhibit of ceramics from China, along with other artifacts. One of the artifacts was a chair dating from the Ming Dynasty between 1368 and 1644. When I read the card, my first thought was, “that’s one old chair.”


Friday night in Griffith Park

Filed under: — stan @ 10:54 pm

On Friday night, Susan and I went to Griffith park to do one of the evening hikes. Tonight’s was up Glendale Peak, which is one of the small mountains in the park. I’ve done this one before, but it’s a pleasant hike. And it’s also a good way for us to get some weight-bearing exercise.

On the way to the start of the hike, we saw a lone coyote hanging around in one of the parking lots in the park. On the way up, we saw a small frog in a little puddle on the side of the trail. And a bit later, we saw a couple of deer running around just above us on the hill.

By the time we were close to the top, it was dusk, and so we got a picture with the city lights and Griffith Observatory in the background.

The trip down was nice, since it was cooling off by then. And the nearly-full moon was plenty of light to see by.

It was a fun evening.

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