Chet and I went on an adventure to LA-96

So, I’ve been fascinated with American nuclear history for ages, and Chet and I got talking about what if any nuclear launch facilities there were in LA. We found LA-96 online and set off on an expedition to explore. An interesting site, its a pity there are no radars left there. Apparently SF-88 is the place to go for tours from vets and radars.

I also made a quick and dirty 360 degree video of the view of LA from the top of the nike control radar tower:

Geocaching with TheDevilDuck

In what amounts to possibly the longest LAX layover ever, I’ve been hanging out with Chet at his place in Altadena for a few days on the way home after the Nova mid-cycle meetup. We decided that being the dorks that we are we should do some geocaching. This is just some quick pics some unexpected bush land — I never thought LA would be so close to nature, but this part certainly is.

First jog, and a walk to Los Altos

Today was a busy day, not only did I foolishly go for a jog 5 minutes after sunrise…

…but then I went for a walk with James in the afternoon as well.

Let’s just say my fitbit is very impressed with me.

A walk in the San Mateo historic red woods

James, Tony and I went for a little post long haul flight walk this afternoon in some red woods. Very nice.









The Wild Palms Hotel

When leaving the US, I stayed in the Wild Palms Hotel. I selected it for three reasons: I’d stayed there before; it is part of the Joie De Vivre chain which I have had good experiences with before; and it was very cheap on Expedia ($77 compared to an average rate in the area of about $150). I learnt some interesting things I thought I’d share:

  • The hotel is ok, just make sure you get an upstairs room. I was woken by mating elephants at 5am two days running because the floors are so thin. Be the mating elephant, not the victim of it! Once I moved to an upstairs room this probably went away.
  • The executive rooms aren’t worth it. I got moved into one of these because of the noise problems. Its advantages was it was away form the road, had a bathrobe (really), and a LCD TV. I don’t watch TV much, so the extra cost if I was paying isn’t worth it.
  • The cleaning service kept “short sheeting” the bed. By short sheeting I mean pulled the sheets up to make the top of the bed look impressive, but leaving the bottom couple of inches of the mattress uncovered. Lots of hotels do this, and I find it crazily annoying.
  • The air conditioner was insanely loud. It was 38 when I was staying there, and every time the air conditioner kicked in I would be woken up by it.
  • Its a lot further south than I realized. It took about 20 minutes to get to work if you took El Camino. Depending on traffic its probably much faster to go all the way to the 101 and then take that. The Lawrence Expressway looks like the best way to get to the 101 from the hotel.

So, overall this hotel was “ok”, apart from some minor annoyances. I’ll keep staying there so long as they’re cheap. If they’re not running a special, then you’re much better off staying further north.

Noisy neighbours at Central Park in Mountain View

Its 5am my time, and I’ve been awake since 3am. Not from choice though — its the downstairs neighbours waking us up yet again. They’re shift workers you see, and must either sleep with construction hearing protection on, or be deaf. Either way, they seem to think its ok to stand outside our apartment at shout at each other at 2am, or slam doors at all hours, or listen to music so loud it vibrates stuff in our apartment basically all night.

We’ve asked them nicely to turn it down (we used to get on quite well with them at first). We’ve asked the complex to please do something. We even rung the complex security folk when its happening, and asked for some peace. Its really done nothing to help — they perhaps turn the music down for 30 minutes until security leaves, and then turn it right back on again.

So, we’ve run out of ideas, apart from ending the lease early (which will cost an unknown amount of money), and moving somewhere else. We’re so serious about doing that that I have started looking around Craigslist already.

Perhaps the floor between apartments is too thin, because the bathroom fans this neighbour leaves on for literally days at a time also vibrates things in the apartment, but either way I think Central Park has pretty much failed to provide us with a livable apartment. We don’t want a lot, just some peace after 10pm like the complex rules say we should get.


Kern County oil wells on I-5

Wow, and then we drove past a bunch of oil wells in the middle of an otherwise pleasant rural area called Kern County. I didn’t realize that the Kern County area is responsible for two thirds of all oil produced in California. So there you go.

There was even a 1950s truck next to one of the wells, which looked like it had just been abandoned one day from the look of the vegetation around it. If I wasn’t going 130 kilometres an hour with the camera in the boot I would have taken a picture.

Here is someone else’s shot: