Stan’s Obligatory Blog

8/16/2008

Monrovia

Filed under: — stan @ 1:50 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “Monrovia Madness” route, which is a meandering route that goes to Monrovia. Who knew? And then it goes up a couple of the little canyons there, so there are some nice hills.

We met at Live Oak Park in Temple City. On the way there, I collected one nice abandoned couch. for the Abandoned Couches Blog. I manged to get the picture without having to slow down while riding by, which was pretty remarkable, since we were going pretty fast at that point.

The ride up to Monrovia was pretty straightforward. When we got there, we rode up two of the canyons in the foothills there. At the top of the second one, I saw some lawn flamingos and a squashed rattlesnake.

When we came down out of the hills, we stopped at T Burger in Monrovia. I got a big chorizo breakfast burrito, which was huge. I didn’t even have to have lunch after the ride.

The last part of the ride went down the San Gabriel River bike path and back to Live Oak Park. Susan and I decided to skip that, and we just went back to Pasadena directly.

It was a nice ride.

51 miles.
cycling

8/13/2008

Opening up at Book Soup

Filed under: — stan @ 10:45 pm

This evening, we had another ‘in the city’ adventure. I rode the train in from Pasadena to meet Susan at her office. Then we headed up to West Hollywood. We had a nice dinner at the French Market Place, and then we went to my favorite book store: Book Soup.

The occasion was a talk and book signing by Tristan Taormino about her new book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. Now, this isn’t actually a topic that either of us is particularly personally interested in, but we thought it could still be fun. I have a friend who knows Tristan, and I’d heard that she’s an interesting and entertaining person. Besides, the skills that an open relationship requires are good to have for any relationship. So we thought that this would make a nice little weeknight adventure.

Tristan read a few excerpts from the book, and she also spoke and took questions from the audience. She also made a point to mention that a fair number of porn stars were there. I gather that quite a few of them are friends of hers. Also, anyone in that business pretty much has to practice open relationships in their personal life. So it seems it would be a topic of interest to them. She even took a question from the legendary Georgina Spelvin.

I had to run outside to feed the parking meter at one point, and on my way out, I noticed Adrianna Nicole there. So I stopped to talk to her when I got back. I’d met her two years ago at the “O” party in Hollywood. We chatted a bit, and I introduced her to Susan.

Lastly, we went to the back of the store, where Tristan was greeting everyone and signing books. We got our book signed, as well as the other book of hers that I’d brought from home. And with the book, we got a free little bottle of lube. What’s not to like about a book tour that’s sponsored by Astroglide?

Overall, it was a fun little adventure, marred only by one sudden “D’oh!” when I was on the train to L.A. and realized that I’d forgotten to bring my camera.

8/10/2008

Meandering

Filed under: — stan @ 1:30 pm

Today’s ride was Gene’s “La Cañada Flintridge” route. This is a meandering route that goes all over the place, but not to anywhere in particular. Unless you count the tops of several big hills as ’somewhere’. It was a nice day for riding.

We headed out from Victory Park and went south into Temple City. That’s where we saw a big group of the feral parrots that live there.

Heading back north, we passed through Pasadena, and then up the big hill on Inverness above the Rose Bowl. We rode up and over, and then down into La Cañada. Going over Hospital Hill, we went down into Montrose to our snack stop at Oven Fresh.

Leaving the bakery, we made a loop back to La Cañada by way of Foothill Blvd, and then back into Pasadena. There, we went up Loma Alta to the top of Lake Ave. And from there, it was downhill all the way home.

It was a fun ride.

40 miles.
cycling

8/9/2008

La Tuna Canyon and a tour of the valley

Filed under: — stan @ 5:56 pm

Today’s bike ride was the “La Tuna Sandwich” route. We did this one last summer. And just like last time, we modified the route slightly to avoid riding home on Los Feliz Blvd, since that’s really not a nice place to ride.

It was a perfect day for riding when we set out from the Pasadena Elks Lodge. We rode up through La Cañada, Montrose and Tujunga. Then it was four miles downhill through La Tuna Canyon. At the bottom, we just went straight ahead, ending up on Tujunga Ave for the ride across the Valley. Along the way, we passed a monument to Amelia Earhart in North Hollywood. We also passed the Barris Kustom showroom in Toluca Lake before our snack stop at Priscilla’s.

The route back was down the L.A. River bike path, and then home through Highland Park and South Pasadena.

It was a pleasant ride.

50 miles.
cycling

8/3/2008

Sunday South Lake Ride

Filed under: — stan @ 6:06 pm

Today’s bike ride was Gene’s “South Lake” route, which is one of those meandering routes that doesn’t go anywhere in particular, but still covers a lot of ground.

For historical interest, this was the route we did the first time Susan rode with our group.

In Monrovia, we saw a group of turkey vultures circling overhead. We were moving at a brisk pace, so I’m pretty sure they weren’t there for us.

Our snack stop was at the Corner Bakery on Lake Ave in Pasadena. We found a table in the shade and had some snacks.

Finally, we saw a failed topiary Pegasus at the Mobil station on Lake Ave. They’ve been growing this one for about ten years, but it seems that they haven’t been maintaining it recently.

Overall, it was a pleasant ride.

39 miles.
cycling

8/2/2008

Saturday morning fence

Filed under: — stan @ 1:50 pm

Most of my back yard is walled in, but a small part of it is a wooden fence. A fence that was completely rotten. A few weeks ago, Suzie Q pushed through one of the rotten boards and got out of the yard. So I knew it was time for a new fence. And this morning was the time. Most of it was done by my neighbor’s father-in-law, who is very good with tools. And with all three of us working on it, we had it built in just a bit more than two hours.

So now we’re set for another 30 years or so.

7/29/2008

A scene of devastation

Filed under: — stan @ 10:31 pm

So I was out at lunchtime, walking to the store to get some food for dinner. And I felt the ground move. At first, I thought it was a small earthquake, since it didn’t feel like much. But then I saw the big crane at the construction site on San Pasqual swaying. And I immediately turned around and headed back to the office.

When I got there, I realized that the quake was much larger than I’d thought. And I was greeted by this scene of chaos and devastation in my office. Oh the penguinity…

7/20/2008

Up Montecito

Filed under: — stan @ 6:25 pm

Today’s bike ride was Gene’s “Up Montecito” route. The name comes from the fact that we ride up the hill on Montecito Drive. We’ve ridden down that hill on the “Noodling 1” ride, but today we did it the other way. It was cool and overcast this morning, so it was just about perfect for riding.

We rode across Pasadena and down to Highland Park. We passed Chicken Boy on Figueroa. We crossed back over the arroyo, where we passed the giant dragonfly. Then we turned left and headed up the hill on Montecito.

The hill was nice. Not as steep as going the other direction. So we were able to maintain a pretty brisk pace all the way to the top. Then we headed down the steep side, where we saw some abandoned couches, which I collected for the Abandoned Couches Blog.

Heading north and east again, we crossed into South Pasadena, where Steve got a flat.

Continuing east, we went as far as El Monte. At that point, Susan and I turned off to head for home. We were going to go to the big tattoo show at the Fairplex this afternoon, so we wanted to get back a bit early.

It was a nice ride.

36 miles.
cycling

7/15/2008

It’s about time…

Filed under: — stan @ 6:34 am

The Los Angeles Times today reports that California is considering ‘pay as you drive’ car insurance.

I’ve long thought that this was a good idea. I’ve only driven about 1,000 miles a year for the last five years. I’ve even found cobwebs on my dashboard. Yet I’m still paying the same amount for insurance, regardless of how little I’m driving.

So bring it on. This sounds like a Good Thing.

7/14/2008

Toad away

Filed under: — stan @ 10:02 pm

Yesterday when I started my car, the oil pressure gauge went down to zero. Usually, this is a Bad Thing. So today I had the car towed to my favorite mechanic to check it out. From what I’d read, the possibilities were that either the oil pump was bad, or the sensor for the gauge was bad. I thought it was probably the gauge, since the engine wasn’t making ‘no oil’ noises, but I thought it prudent to get it checked out.

In the end, the verdict was that the gauge had gone flaky. So now I have to decide what, if anything, I want to do about that. But whatever it is, I hope to avoid having to buy a new car. My car is 18 years old and has 105,000 miles, but I just can’t afford to replace it.

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