Stan’s Obligatory Blog


This could be a larf…

Filed under: — stan @ 7:26 am

I don’t usually write about politics here, but I had a funny thought today.

Tuesday is Election Day in the USA. And right now, the talk is that the Republican Party is in trouble. Something about incompetence and corruption. But that doesn’t matter. The thing is…

We should all vote for Democrats this time. Because it’ll be a larf.

If the Democrats take control of both houses of Congress, they can launch simultaneous impeachments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Now comes the fun part. If they are removed from office, the new President will be… the new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. At this point, the entire Republican Party will shit their pants. And that would be fun to watch, and easily worth the price of admission.

So in about 18 months, you might be seeing Rush Limbaugh squirming on TV, and it won’t be because he’s making fun of people with Parkinson’s Disease. No, it will be because he has a big, fresh, steaming dookie in his pants. And that would be a laugh riot.


Revised South Lake Ride

Filed under: — stan @ 8:10 pm

Today’s ride was a revised version of Gene’s “South Lake” route. He added some more miles to it because the last time we did it, I apparently said something in my writeup to the effect of ‘it was too short’. It was a perfect day for a ride, clear, sunny and warm.

We had a big group today. One of the biggest ever for the Sunday Morning Ride. We rode east through Monrovia and Duarte to the Santa Fe Dam bike path. Then we took the bike path down to Lower Azusa Road. Usually we have to ride to the south side of the road and then cross to go west, but this time the gate was open on the north side. This is the first time I’ve seen that gate open.

At El Monte, I saw the Surprise Chinese Restaurant. For some reason, I thought that was funny, so I took a picture. Then we continued on up to Longden and then west through San Gabriel.

At San Marino Ave, there was some confusion about which way to go. Gene’s directions didn’t say which way to turn, so we went right. Then we realized that we should have gone left. This was the beginning of the added portion, which was a big loop through Alhambra. It was all right, and it added about five miles to the ride. So I wasn’t complaining.

Coming back up into South Pasadena, I saw a campaign lawn sign for Stephen Sham, who is running for City Council in Alhambra. I don’t know how hard it is to get people to vote for a Sham, but his sign said that he favors finishing the 710 freeway, so if I lived in Alhambra, I’d vote for him.

When we got back into Pasadena, we rode up El Molino. That was where I got a flat. I don’t know what I ran over, but the tire went flat immediately. So I stopped to fix it, and Vikki took the obligatory picture for the Flat Tire Gallery.

After the fixing the flat, I saw a couch on the side of the road, so I picked it up for the Abandoned Couches Blog.

The snack stop was at the Corner Bakery on South Lake, which is why Gene calls this the “South Lake” ride. The line there was out the door, and I only wanted a drink, so I walked upstairs Trader Joe’s and got a quart of orange juice. While we were sitting there, Vikki showed us her special socks. They are supposedly to prevent blisters, but she said that she just found them annoying.

After the stop, we rode across Caltech and down San Pasqual. At this point, we all headed for home by different routes. Newton had ridden in from West Covina, so I decided to follow him a bit and go home by way of Arcadia. And I saw a pair of leather couches there.

It was a nice ride.

52 miles.


Lunchtime bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 6:39 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today at lunchtime we did the Lida ride again. It was a perfect fall day. The sun was warm, the air was cool. Perfect for riding.

When we passed the Rose Bowl, we found Parkview St closed. I had thought that when they closed it last weekend it was just for the game, but it looked like they were doing some actual work on the street, and it was completely blocked off. So we had to take Salvia Canyon up the hill instead.

On the way Lida, I saw that the coyote paw that we’d seen before was still there. It looked like something had been chewing on it since last time, but the end of the paw was still intact.

Aside from that, there really wasn’t anything remarkable about this ride. But it was fun anyway.

19 miles at lunch, 27 for the day.


Candy and telescopes again

Filed under: — stan @ 10:29 pm

Since 1998 I’ve set up my telescope in front of our house and handed out candy and looks at whatever was up in the sky. Tonight there was just the moon, but that’s interesting enough for most kids.

The first time I did this was when Cathy was pregnant with Lucinda. I figured that I should do something to get some practice talking to kids. And it turned out to be a big hit. The kids liked it, and over the years they come back again and again. So it’s sort of taken on a life of its own now.

There was actually a comet up this evening. I spent a little time early on finding it. Comet SWAN was up in the western sky. Even here in the city, I was able to see it. In the telescope it looked like a fuzzy star. Our neighbors across the street are interested in astronomy, so I showed it to them when they brought their daughter over for candy. Everyone else just looked at the moon, since that has a better ‘wow’ factor.

Overall, it was a fun evening.


Our Eighteenth Anniversary

Filed under: — stan @ 1:21 pm

Today is our 18th wedding anniversary. So in honor of the occasion, we went out to dinner at Shogun here in Pasadena. This is one of those teppanyaki restaurants. So I didn’t have to cook, Cathy didn’t have to clean up, and Lucinda got to have a drink with maraschino cherries and watch the show. So it was a fun time for all of us.

Of course, the fundamental problem with all of this is that neither of us can believe that we’re old enough to have an 18th anniversary.


Grave Tour for Halloween

Filed under: — stan @ 9:56 pm

Route map and photo locations

Since this is the weekend before Halloween, I thought it might be fun to do a theme ride today. My first idea was to ride out to visit Bela Lugosi’s grave, but that turned out to be about a 60-mile round trip from Pasadena, so that was too long for a Sunday ride. So instead, we visited Hollywood Forever and Forest Lawn to visit a few music legends.

We rode west from Victory Park, taking Orange Grove, Colorado, and Yosemite to get to Eagle Rock Blvd. Then we took a left and headed south, turning right on Ave 36 to get across the L.A. River and into Silver Lake. Then we crossed the Shakespeare Bridge and took Franklin Ave into Hollywood.

Just before we got to the turn at Bronson, we saw a couch on the side of the road. So I stopped and collected it for the Abandoned Couches Blog.

At Bronson, there was a cutout bird hanging from the wires overhead. I’d read recently that there is someone going around hanging up these little cutout birds above streets in Hollywood. Then we turned and took Bronson south to get to Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

The guard at the gate was very unpleasant, and he insisted that we were not allowed to ride our bikes into the cemetery. This seemed a bit odd, since we’ve been there many times before and never had a problem. Normally, the people at the gate are very pleasant and helpful. But they were having some special events there this weekend, so maybe that was why they had a guard there.

So we agreed to walk our bikes into the cemetery. John, Jon and I all walked in. The rest of the group decided to just continue the ride. We walked in, going back to the pond to find Bianca Halstead’s grave. She was the singer and bass player for Betty Blowtorch. They were just on the verge of making it big in 2001 when Bianca died in a car accident after a show in New Orleans. It’s a sad story, but it’s pretty clear from her grave that she still has a lot of fans who miss her.

Just a few feet away was Dee Dee Ramone’s grave. We’d been there to see it before, but this was the first time I’d noticed lipstick kisses on his stone. Again, it’s plain that he still has fans who miss him.

Leaving Hollywood Forever, we retraced our steps back up to Franklin, and then headed up Beachwood toward the Hollywood sign. The route took us up a very steep hill to just below the sign, and then down the other side and past Lake Hollywood. Then we rode down into Burbank to Priscilla’s for a bagel. And after riding up that hill, we really appreciated the bagel.

After the snack stop, we rode to Forest Lawn. We entered the cemetery and rode to the Courts of Remembrance. There, we saw the graves of Bette Davis and Liberace. Not at the same time, though. Bette is at the front of the building, and Liberace is buried with his mother and brother near the back.

Leaving Forest Lawn, we rode back across Glendale, going up the big hill on Chevy Chase and Linda Vista. There was about a 50-foot stretch of road that was closed for no immediately apparent reason. So we portaged the bikes over the barricades and kept riding. Then we rode down Lida and went around the Rose Bowl. Then we took Orange Grove back to the park, picking up a couch near Fair Oaks and another near Lake.

It was a very pleasant ride.

50 miles.


Halloween Carnival

Filed under: — stan @ 10:11 pm

Lucinda’s school had a Halloweeen carnival on Saturday night. They have games set up for the kids. The parents are all strong-armed into volunteering to run the games. In our case, we had to run a simple shell game. The funny thing is, Lucinda came with us when it was our turn to run the game, and she wanted to try running it. So we showed her how, and she did it for our whole time. Later on, she wanted to go back and run the game some more.

I thought that perhaps this might point her towards a career as a carny. Or at least a sideline. Maybe she can earn a little money on the side. In any event, she had fun.


Filed under: — stan @ 5:58 pm

A few weeks ago, I saw a post on Needled about Andrew Krasnow who is an artist who works with human skin. And he was having an exhibit at a gallery right here in Hollywood. Needless to say, this sounded interesting, somewhat disturbing, and certainly something not to be missed.

So today was went over to Hollywood to the ADM Project gallery on Santa Monica Blvd. Appropriately enough, it was right across the street from Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It was a fairly small exhibit, but it was certainly unique.

Because of laws about human body parts, none of the art was for sale. But they were selling a poster of one of his flags, and also a fine-art photo print of “The Hollow Muscle”, which was a heart made out of skin. Also, the art is available for extended display. Sort of like a ‘lease’.

We’ve never seen anything else quite like it. And it was disturbing, in the way that good art should be. So we enjoyed it a lot.

The exhibit runs through December 14.


Another snarky letter to the editor

Filed under: — stan @ 7:27 am

There was an article in Thursday’s Los Angeles Times about the New Jersey Supreme Court decision that same-sex couples are entitled to some sort of ‘legal equivalent of marriage’. When I read this, my first thought was a snarky comment that ‘legal equivalent’ sounds a lot like the old Jim Crow doctrine of ‘separate but equal‘. So I dashed off a letter to the editor to that effect, and they printed it today:

So the New Jersey court says that same-sex couples are entitled to the legal equivalence of marriage. Hmm. “Legally equivalent” sounds a lot like “separate but equal.” And we all know how well that worked out.,0,4646427.story?coll=la-news-comment-letters


Water Tower Redux

Filed under: — stan @ 8:04 pm

Route map and photo locations

Today’s lunchtime ride was the last before the time change. Not that this matters for riding at mid-day, but the early sunsets may make it impossible for me to ride my road bike to work for a while. So we made the best of it today. And there were even three of us along for the ride.

It was a perfect fall day. Erik, Vikki and I met outside and we decided to do the Water Tower ride again. So we headed south, through San Marino.

The climb up to the water tower was nice as always. Erik kind of left us behind on the bigger hills. But that was all right.

When we got to Colorado, we saw a hawk flying circles over the freeway. This was a bit odd, but still interesting. Then we turned and rode up the big hill on Patrician Way.

Coming down the other side of the hill, we rode down to the Rose Bowl. It looked like they were getting ready for some big event. There was a truck parked there with rolls of temporary fencing ready to be put up.

After passing the Rose Bowl, we rode up to Orange Grove and then back to the office on Green St. Along the way, I was trying to explain to Vikki and Erik how to do a track stand on a road bike, but I don’t think I was explaining it all that well. Still, it was a very pleasant ride.

18 miles at lunch, 26 for the day.

Powered by WordPress