Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Turnbull Sunday Morning

Filed under: — stan @ 8:16 pm

Today’s bike ride was down to Whittier and the up and over Turnbull Canyon. We haven’t done this route on a Sunday since last June, when we went to see the Octomom Art Project. It was chilly and overcast, and not promising to warm up. So we were all pretty bundled up.

Before we left, I noticed that Silvio’s fork had “Damocles” on it. That struck me as odd. After all, if I were riding fast down a mountain, I’m not sure I’d want my bike to have the Fork of Damocles on it. Somehow, it’s just not the mental image I’d want my bike frame to evoke.

We rode down to the Rio Hondo bike path and took that down to it end to get to the San Gabriel River bike path. That brought us down to Pico Rivera and Beverly Blvd. We rode across Whittier and started up Turnbull Canyon. As I expected, Scott pretty much left us in the dust going up the hill. But that’s all right.

At the top, we regrouped before heading down the other side. Then we made a big look through La Puente to get back. Our snack stop was at Merengue in Monrovia. Normally, we sit out on the patio, but it was too cold for that. While we were eating, Keira mentioned that she didn’t want to go back outside because of the cold. I got a small newspaper and gave it to her to make a Hoover Blanket. And she said it worked.

From Merengue, we took the direct route home. When we got back to the park, I had 46 miles and nowhere in particular I had to be. So I noodled around the neighborhood a bit just to get to 50. Because it just looks nice on the bike computer display.

50 miles.


Was this ever really in doubt?

Filed under: — stan @ 3:25 pm

Someone posted this link the other day on a mailing list I subscribe to:

All men watch porn, scientists find

Researchers were conducting a study comparing the views of men in their 20s who had never been exposed to pornography with regular users.

But their project stumbled at the first hurdle when they failed to find a single man who had not been seen it.


xkcd rocks

Filed under: — stan @ 6:45 am

File this under, “why didn’t I think of that?”

xkcd comic


El Pavo

Filed under: — stan @ 5:59 pm

Since it’s Thanksgiving weekend, it seemed appropriate that today’s bike ride should be the route that ends up at El Pavo bakery.

It was a perfect day for riding, and the route meandered around from Pasadena down almost to downtown L.A., and then back out on Huntington Drive all the way to Monrovia. For some reason that was not apparent, we were going especially fast today. We turned south into El Monte, and then west to get to El Pavo in San Gabriel. We stopped and had snacks there. I thought it was a bit amusing that the sign showed a peacock, which the dictionary tells me is pavo real, but the girl at the counter said that ‘pavo’ can mean any large bird.

Before we left, we had a look across the street. There was an impromptu memorial there for the pilot of a small plane that crashed there a couple weeks ago.

The ride home was pretty straightforward. It had warmed up nicely, and it was very pleasant.

43 miles.


The rest of our San Diego adventure

Filed under: — stan @ 10:43 pm

On the day after Thanksgiving, Lucinda and I had some little adventures around San Diego. We started out at La Jolla Cove to see the seals. Then we went down to Mission Beach to ride the Giant Dipper roller coaster. After that, we went to Cabrillo National Monument to see the lighthouse and the tide pools. And finally, we went to Sea World. At the end of the day, we went back and had dinner with Grandpa before heading home to L.A. It was a long, but fun day.

Pictures from the day are in Lucinda’s photo album, and also in my Nature and Animals collection.


Thanksgiving, 2009

Filed under: — stan @ 10:35 pm

This year, I took Lucinda to San Diego for Thanksgiving to visit with my father. Our plan was to make a full traditional home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner in the kitchen of our room at the Residence Inn.

I made several things the night before, and got more ready in the morning before we left. Then we loaded everything up in a big cooler and brought it down there. The trip was an ordeal, since it was heavy and slow traffic all the way from the El Toro Y down to Encinitas, which amounted to nearly half the total trip distance. So what should have a been a two-hour trip turned into nearly four hours. But we made it there just in time to put everything in the oven and still be able to have it all ready by 6:00.

Once everything was cooking, we went and picked up Grandpa. And then we all came back to our room and had a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat. It turned out that I’d only forgotten a few vital kitchen items, so everything turned out just fine. But next time, I will not forget to bring along containers to hold the leftovers. That turned out to have been a major oversight.

It was a nice day.


Fern Dell and The Trails

Filed under: — stan @ 7:33 pm

The route for today was a new one I’d cobbled together to go to The Trails in Griffith Park, and then over Mt Hollywood. It was a nice day for riding. A bit chilly in the morning, but it warmed up very nicely.

We started out from Victory Park and rode across the Colorado bridge and down into Eagle Rock. We took a short detour to look at Nolden St and contemplate trying Fargo St next spring. Then we rode down Eagle Rock Blvd to Atwater Village, across the Los Angeles River, and through Silver Lake to Griffith Park.

The ride up to the observatory is pretty steep, and our group spread out a lot. At the top, we regrouped and got a souvenir picture with the Hollywood sign behind us. Then we rode down Western Canyon Rd to The Trails. We found a bench in the sun and had some snacks and drinks. Then it was back up the hill and over Mt Hollywood Dr to the far side of the park.

We rode around Travel Town to get to the L.A. River bike path, which took us back down to Fletcher. From there, we took Riverside all the way to where it crosses the river and becomes Figueroa St. Then we rode home by way of South Pasadena and San Marino.

On the way home, I found a nice white couch abandoned on the side of the road.

It was a very nice ride.

45 miles.


Before the deluge

Filed under: — stan @ 11:19 pm

Today’s bike ride was up to Sunland to see a house that was mentioned in a talk I heard at Caltech about debris flows in the San Gabriel Mountains. Debris flows tend to follow major fires, and the Station Fire this summer certainly qualified. The scientist giving the talk said that this particular house had been destroyed in 1978, and then it was rebuilt in the same spot. They expect that the chance of it being destroyed this winter is close to 100%. So I thought this might make for an interesting outing for the bike club.

We rode out across Eagle Rock, Glendale, and Burbank, and then turned north into Shadow Hills. Along the way, we saw horses, and also a sculpture garden. Then we came out on Sunland Blvd and headed north. To see the house, we had to take a small detour into the mouth of Big Tujunga Canyon. The house sits in a small canyon just west of the main wash. There are two canyons that merge just above it, and it’s in a narrow portion of the lower canyon. So it’s easy to see how debris flows could come down and be concentrated right where the house sits. I suspect that the owners know this. In the picture of the house, it looks like they’ve installed some steel girders sticking up out of the driveway. They may be planning on putting up a deflection wall to try to guide the muck around the house. It will be interesting to see if that works.

Coming back, we stopped at Goldstein’s Bagels and then headed home. It was a nice ride.

44 miles.

Pareidolia in action

Filed under: — stan @ 12:07 am

This evening, I decided to make fried chicken for the first time in a long while. And when I poured the oil into the pan, I saw a face in the surface of the oil. It looked a lot like Edvard Munch’s “The Scream“. By the time I figured out how to position the camera to get a picture, it had morphed into something more like Mr. Yuk. But either way, it was a fine example of pareidolia.


And another record falls…

Filed under: — stan @ 4:50 pm

Lucinda was playing pinball today, and she rolled the machine over 1,000,000 points for the first time. The early electronic machines from the late ’70s only registered up to 999,999 points, so it was always a big deal to roll it over. When she set the high score a few weeks ago, I knew it wasn’t going to be long before she rolled the machine over, and I was right. She was quite pleased with her final score of 1,412,280.

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