Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Finding Emo

Filed under: — stan @ 6:13 pm

For the last several months, I’ve mentioned stress and my life being in a hole. And I’m not going to talk about it in depth here. But this is the essence of it:

Tom DeLonge says, “The song was inspired by a friend whose marriage was kind of falling apart. It touched me so deeply that I was up one night crying for him — I felt so hurt.”

Climbing Mt Hollywood

Filed under: — stan @ 12:14 am

It’s Tuesday, so it was time for another evening hike in Griffith Park. I’ve been doing these hikes for several weeks now, both to socialize and to get out of the house. It’s all part of my Master Plan to deal with a world gone mad.

Tonight’s hike was up Mt Hollywood, which is the highest point in Griffith Park. Most of the hike was on fire roads. On the way up, we took a detour up a steep foot trail, but the trip down was all on roads, since the footing is generally better there for walking in the dark.

I got a picture with Susan, since we were the two on the hike who had shirts with snarky sayings on them. And when we got to the top, I took a picture of the mist creeping through Cahuenga Pass with the sunset in the background. That was nice.

Overall, it was a fun time.


Ride to Whittier

Filed under: — stan @ 5:22 pm

Today’s ride was Ruby’s in Whittier route.

I’d never been on this ride before. By the time I got to the start at Live Oak Park in Temple City, it was already starting to get warm. I took off my bubble wrap. And I messaged my friend Susan in Detroit about it, since she’d sent me a message about being snowed in there.

The ride down was nice. I good bit of it was on the bike path along the San Gabriel river. It was a pleasant ride. The only problem was when I was riding with Chris, and we got to talking, and we missed a turn. We got halfway up the hill on Colima before we realized that we’d missed the turn. So we went back. Chris thought she had a map in her bag, but it turned out she’d given it to Steve. So she asked for directions. The guy she asked didn’t know where the street we were looking for was, but he knew where Ruby’s was, and we were very close. So we just found our way over there.

Everyone was already there by the time we got there. They were all settling down for lunch, but four of us had to get back early, so we started back immediately. The route back was a bit different from the route out, but it was all right.

In Pico Rivera, I got a flat. Fortunately, there was a nice shady spot to sit in to fix it. Then, when we started out, we only got about 50 feet before Garett got a flat. This marks his first appearance in the Flat Tire Gallery, and only his second flat in the year he’s had his bike.

The rest of the ride back was very pleasant. It was a perfect spring day for riding.

55 miles.


My office is different

Filed under: — stan @ 8:48 pm

My office is in an old house, and we have a patio with a little barbecue on it. So in honor of the beginning of Spring, we had a cookout today. We do this fairly often when the weather is nice. I usually do the cooking. And it’s great fun. Have I mentioned lately that I really like my job?


Hummingbird update

Filed under: — stan @ 11:13 am

baby hummingbirdLucinda is home sick from school today, and I’m home with her. So we went out in the back yard to check on the baby hummingbird. It’s getting more feathers, and it pretty much fills the nest. Since I’m getting a pretty good collection of photos, I made a separate album for them:


What ever happened to Barton Springs?

Filed under: — stan @ 10:52 pm

Today I went to the Nuart to see “The Unforeseen“. This is a documentary about land use and development in Austin, Texas. We lived there for four years from 1991 to 1995, and were witness to a bit of the debate over development there. In particular, there was a big controversy about development in the Barton Creek watershed. The environmentalists said that it would degrade the water quality of the water in Barton Springs, which feed the city swimming hole. There was a big referendum campaign when we were there, with the city voting to stop the development. So then the developer had the state legislature pass a bill to overrule the city. This bill was vetoed by Governor Ann Richards. But then, when George W. became governor, they passed it again, and he signed. And apparently, all the bad predictions have come true. The film included underwater views at the springs in 1996 and 2004, and the difference in the water clarity was stunning.

As much as I’ve always said that I hated living in Austin, there’s really nothing wrong with the place. It just wasn’t where I wanted to live. But I was always curious about what had happened with the Barton Creek development issue, since that was such a large part of local politics during our time there.

And one other treat was that I got to meet Carol, who I’ve known online for several years but never met in person before. So that was fun.

Fargo Street 2008

Filed under: — stan @ 9:46 pm

Sunday’s bike ride was down into Echo Park in Los Angeles to see and possibly attempt the Fargo Street Hill Climb. This is an annual event where people attempt to ride up the steepest street in Los Angeles. It’s about 33%, which is terrifying by bicycle standards. Last fall, after I beat Newton up Turnbull Canyon I was thinking I would make another attempt on Fargo Street this spring. But with the unpleasantness at home and such, I pretty much gave up on that. But it was still fun to go watch.

The day was chilly, and rather windy. It felt like we were fighting a headwind all the way there. That made the ride down there a bit of a trial. But when we got there, we got to see the spectacle of people trying to climb that hill. The first picture is one I took of a guy trying the hill. The second picture is the same as the first, but rotated so that it is actually properly oriented. Look at the wall of the garage in the background. That gives an idea of just how steep this hill is.

A couple of guys in our group tried, but neither one made it. I think the farthest the made was about 3/4 of the way up, which is about how far I got when I tried it in 2005. And you can see how that turned out for me in the bike photo album. I was curious about two things: I thought that letting some air out of the tires to make them soft would help with traction on the hill. Gaurav tried this, and he said that it did help, but he still just wasn’t able to make the top. The second was my idea of riding part-way up and then stopping to do a trackstand to rest for a bit. I was curious to see if I could do a trackstand on a hill that steep. I rode one block over to Baxter Street and tried it. But the hill was just too steep, and I couldn’t deal with it. So that was that for any thoughts I had of trying it this year. Maybe next year, when things are better. I’ll practice on Nolden Street in Eagle Rock.

After watching for a while, we headed home. Not surprisingly, it felt like we had a headwind going back, too. Still, it was a fun ride.

39 miles.


Ride to Paradise

Filed under: — stan @ 7:16 pm

Route slip

Today’s ride was the “Kenneth Village” route through Glendale, with a stop a Paradise Bakery. It was a fairly nice day, but a bit chilly by SoCal standards.

We started off headed up to La Cañada. On the way, Doug got a flat. This marks Doug’s third consecutive appearance in the Flat Tire Gallery.

After fixing the flat, we continued on up the hill, and then down Hospital Hill, and the long downhill into Glendale. Then we took Mountain and Kenneth across Glendale to Paradise. I had my usual two chocolate éclairs. They have the best éclairs there.

Next, we rode over into Griffith Park, which was where we saw the woman on roller skis. That’s something you just don’t see every day here. Then through the park and past the Mulholland Fountain, left on Fletcher, and home by way of Eagle Rock and South Pasadena.

By the time we got back, the sun had finally started warming things up. But even with the chill, it was a fun ride.

46 miles.


The Art Ride

Filed under: — stan @ 11:27 pm

Tonight is Art Night in Pasadena. And there was a group doing a bike ride around to visit all the museums. So, in the interest of getting out of the house and having some fun, I put the light on my bike and headed over there.

The group met in the courtyard at One Colorado. It was a pretty big group. We started out riding to the Norton Simon Museum, which I’d never been to before. We had about 30 minutes there before going on to the Pasadena History Museum. The exhibit there was about the history of the purse. A bit odd, but very entertaining. Then, on to the Armory Center for the Arts. The collection there was more to my liking, with lots of very strange pieces, and some that were outright disturbing.

There was a short interlude at the main Pasadena Public Library. They had coffee and snacks there. A very nice woman I’d met on the ride bought me a chocolate-chip cookie there, which was very sweet. Both the woman and the cookie, that is.

Next and last was a double at the Pasadena Museum of California Art and the Pacific Asia Museum. The PMCA was very nice, and had a lot of interesting pieces. Also, I got a nice picture of Pasadena City Hall off the roof there. And that was the rest of our evening. By the time we all trooped over to the Asia Museum, it was 10:00 and they were shutting the doors.

Still, it was a very fun time.


More baby hummingbird

Filed under: — stan @ 8:23 pm

baby hummingbird
I went up on the garage roof again today to get another picture of the baby hummingbird.

Powered by WordPress