Stan’s Obligatory Blog


The Main Event

Filed under: — stan @ 7:21 pm

So today was the big Thanksgiving feast. This morning, I started out by baking the olive bread that I made last night. Then it was time to put the turkey in the oven to cook while I made potatoes and rapini. But there was a bit of a crisis when we discovered that the cooking bags had been misfiled, and the bag we had wasn’t ‘Turkey Size’. So I got on my bike and rode up to the grocery store. And they were out of the big cooking bags. But I found some in a carton on the top of the shelf, so the crisis was averted. By 1:00 everything was ready. We snacked a bit on the olive bread before the main meal. Then we all stuffed ourselves. The potatoes au gratin were a big hit.

After dinner, I pulled out the chocolate cake I made yesterday. Who needs pumpkin pie when there’s chocolate cake with mousse frosting?


Getting ready

Filed under: — stan @ 8:11 pm

Getting ready for the Holiday here. Last night, I made herbed olives and cranberry sauce. Today I got out early from work, so I came home and got started in the kitchen. First I made a chocolate cake. The “Deep Dark Chocolate Cake” from the Hershey’s cookbook. Then, while the two layers were cooling, I made the stuffing. After that was done, I made dough for two loaves of Olive Bread. This will be served before dinner with the herbed olives that I made last night.

After all this, the cake rounds were cool enough to frost. So I made a chocolate mousse to use as filling and frosting. Lucinda helped a bit here, as she wanted to get dibs on the bowl when I was done. So now we have bread dough and a cake in the refrigerator, stuffing and olives in our neighbor’s refrigerator, and we’re ready for the Main Event tomorrow.



Filed under: — stan @ 1:43 pm

Went riding today with the Foothill group again today. It was chilly by So Cal standards when we left, but the sky was clear and the sun was up, so we all thought it was going to get warm later. As it turned out, we were sadly mistaken.

The ride was Gene’s ‘Horizontal Bomp’ route, which goes east for a bit, then south, and back west for a big, flat loop. The whole time we were riding, the clouds were getting thicker, and it felt colder and colder. Our stop was in Old Town at Il Fornaio. When we got there, we saw lots of people milling about in Old Town, and we realized that today is the Doo Dah Parade. So perhaps today was not the best day to be riding a bike around there. But we were already there, so we stopped at Il Fornaio and had a snack. Of course we also cooled off, so we didn’t really enjoy it all that much, sitting shivering on the patio. And then we saw dozens of idling buses on the street there and we realized that they were there to bring thousands of people to the Rose Bowl for the Billy Graham crusade today. So we thought that perhaps we should skip the part of the ride that goes past the Rose Bowl and just go around it to get home. So we skirted around the Rose Bowl and headed up towards the mountains. That was when we noticed that there was a little bit of snow on top of Mt. Lowe. The snow doesn’t usually come down that low unless it’s very cold around here. And as we headed up the hill, it got colder and windier. The last part of the ride was down a three-mile hill, with gusty crosswinds, dodging around fallen tree branches. I’d like to say it was fun, but it really wasn’t. We’d all had enough of being cold by then, and I was quite happy to finally get home and get inside the warm house. 35 miles.


Kid Crafts

Filed under: — stan @ 10:42 pm

Cathy volunteered to lead some art projects at Lucinda’s school. So today she went there and the kids made little turkeys out of Rice Krispies, pretzels, frosting, and so forth. Apparently, this was a big hit with the kids. The pictures show one of the ‘turkey bodies’ before decorating, and then one of the finished product.

Holiday’s a comin’

Filed under: — stan @ 6:39 pm

I have a six-year-old poinsettia in my office that I rescued after Christmas some years ago. I keep it in the window, and because I never turn on my office lights, it sees the natural day-night cycle, and it blooms every year. It’s starting to turn red now, so that means that the holidays are not far away.


Interesting page rank

Filed under: — stan @ 12:03 pm

For a long time, my “I hate Texas” page has been either #1 or near it in Google. I recently moved our whole site from its old domain to a new one, and Google has finally crawled the new site and gotten the current URL for the page. But now I see it’s fallen all the way to page seven in the search results. I suspect that this has something to do with how Google calculates page rank, and the fact that the ‘’ domain site is relatively new. It will be interesting to watch and see if the rank of that page climbs over the next few months.


Toluca Lake Redux

Filed under: — stan @ 1:40 pm

Today’s ride was the ‘Toluca Lake Inverse’. We rode through South Pasadena and Highland Park to the L.A. River, then north along the river past the Zoo, Travel Town, and Forest Lawn to Burbank. We stopped for a snack at Priscilla’s, and then came home through Glendale, and over “Hospital Hill”. 46 miles.


What’s wrong with this picture?

Filed under: — stan @ 8:40 pm

Today, I went past the old hospital up the street from our house, and I saw piles of snow in the parking lot. This is odd, since I think it’s only snowed here once in recorded history. But they do a lot of filming there, and so I figured it probably had something to do with that. In any event, I thought we should bring Lucinda up there just to see it. The guard there said that they had been filming an episode of “Judging Amy” there, and they had had the whole parking lot covered with snow for the shoot. They tied up the palm trees and brought in their own trees to make it look right. After all, it just looks strange to see piles of snow in front of palm trees.


Filed under: — stan @ 2:16 pm

A funny thing happened today at the grocery store. When I went in, I stopped to get out my list and my pen, and just then, I noticed a mouse on the floor in the flower section. It was just sitting there watching the people go by and doing its little mousy things. Of course I know from Cathy’s studies in food science that vermin are verboten around food. But what to do? Being a fairly quick thinker, I grabbed a grocery basket and plopped it upside-down over the mouse, just like in the old game of “Mousetrap”. Then I got the manager and he did whatever they do to mice there.

Further adventures in home improvement

Filed under: — stan @ 1:45 pm

Today I started repairing the hole where our old chandelier was. I had to move the junction box and redo the wiring. This wasn’t too bad, even if the wiring was a bit complex because of the three-way switches on the light. The pictures show the old box and wires, the hole when I removed the box, and the wiring all put back together.

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