2012 May 19 | Sketchers Factory Outlet store, Mario Kart 64 tournament

What an annoying notification. I wonder if there's a way to opt out of these.

I thought it was illegal for motorcyclists to share a lane, but after reading up on it, apparently it and lane splitting are both legal, allegedly because it's safter for motorcyclists if they need to escape a situation.

Hey, I recognize that can.

I had some people advertising the exact same stuff at a gas station in Houston a few years ago. Normally I don't buy stuff like this, but I was in a different mood, and it turned out to be my favorite was ever.

Hispanics love their angels and reapers.

I bet that's a harder plate to get in Wisconsin.

I almost never drive on two-lane roads here, and when I do, there's a big vehicle going 15mph in a no-passing zone. I passed him anyway. He scrunched over to the side as far as he could, too.

Mule crossing? I don't think we're in LA any more.

A small town that doesn't lower the speed limit for the road beside it; nice.

I'm not sure if a road like this needs a dedicated turn arrow.

Checking out the Sketchers Factor Outlet store.

I was actually surprised at how normal-sized it was; I was assuming it would be absolutely huge.

This is what I came to check on. I bought these shoes a few years ago and they were instantly the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. They got a little worn out, so I purchased some new ones of the exact same type from Amazon. However, they were really hard. I wasn't sure if they were some knockoffs or the real thing, so I came to the store here to check them out, and unfortunately, it looks like they changed them. Sigh, maybe they'll get a bit softer as I wear them.

I don't mind the special spaces for pregnant women or the elderly, but for fuel efficient vehicles is a bit much.

Another reason two-lane roads can suck.

A little gazebo. I wonder what it used to be used for?

Apparently they've had trouble with little kiosks along the road.

I doubt there are actual buffalo there; it sounds like it's just horses. Buffalo would be much cooler.

A reindeer attacking a cactus? I dunno.

Some nice houses out here.

Ooh, that sounds good.

They sure have a lot of them.

Aw, I like the little self-serve places.

They even have plants for sale.

Another pretty place.

That's my kind of clothing store.

A bunch of people outside some movie place. I wonder what's going on.

Ah, the insanity of California parking. Another vehicle and I were creeping along the road looking for a spot. It looks like there are a lot, but there really isn't. The spot I parked in was the only space other than the ones way back at the other cars that is for general parking because...

... a bunch of the spaces are green...

... and a lot of others are white,

This big truck wasn't moving, but as far as I could tell, it wasn't doing anything, either. I wonder if it broke down.

This semi was trying to make the corner but couldn't because he couldn't clear the cars in the turning lane; he had to wait for them all to go first.

This seems a bit deceptive. It almost appears like you'd be a surgeon rather than a technician.

Hmm... I don't understand the license plate. Does it have to do with musical instruments?

I was looking for places to watch the eclipse on Sunday. Griffith Park would be good since you have the Hollywood sign in the background, but I'm sure it will be super crowded and I was already there for a lunar eclipse.

So I decided to try to find a place a bit east of downtown so I could have the skyscrapers in the background. It'll be a bit smoggier, but probably also less crowded. This shopping center has a parking garage that's open late on Sunday, so I think I'll try the top floor of it, with the lawn or sidewalks around city hall as a backup.

$25 parking when a Lakers game is occurring? That's insane.

This guy had a LED sign in the back of his vehicle playing ads. I'm surprised that's legal; it's distracting for other drivers and must block his view as well. If I got one of these, I'd probably display phrases to the other drivers around me, like "Stop driving like an asshole" or "Neat car!"

The blimp over downtown.

One of my favorite spots to wait for the bus because of all the jasmine.

A camera with a front-facing LCD for self-pictures.

Mud drag racing; haven't seen that on a TV for quite a while. The races are over too fast though.

Do there really need to be two crossing buttons 10 feet apart?

Ooh, an arcade joystick for $7.99 at the thrift store. I wonder if that's a good deal?

Googled images of game system controllers until I found one that matched; this is a Wii.

And the checked out eBay for how much it would be worth. Wireless ones are around $50-$60, and this one is wired, so probably a bit less.

Also, if I used it on the computer, I'd need a converter, and that'd cost around $11. However, there's a sticker that says "as is" on the controller, so maybe it doesn't work? Oh well, I'll give it a shot. Update from a few days later: it didn't work. So I'm out $8 for the controller and $11 for the adapter. But the adapter I can possibly use later. Oh well, it wasn't a huge risk.

A sticker saying "works" does not invalidate the fact that I can't make it work.

Marijuana clinic that doesn't open until noon? That fits the stereotype.

Ooh, the Academy Theater in Pasadena has one of the old Simpsons arcade machines.

They wrap up my hotdog, then I have to unwrap it to put on mustard and wrap it back up. So much work.

Free CE in a pretty nice ophthalmologist's office. They had a Mexican food buffet, too.

I like the bathroom.

Neat sink, too.

Wow, this is impressive. They have their own little theater where we watched the surgeon perform a rather complicated cataract surgery.

Everyone was super-excited for the cupcakes, which were from Sprinkles. Apparently that's an expensive cupcake store, like Crave in Houston.

I'm looking for some new dress shoes as my current ones are a bit worn out. I think these are a bit over the top.

All that packaging for a tiny cable. And it's a cable; it's not like it's going to break easily. You could probably stick it in a regular envelope and it'd be fine.

The Mario Kart 64 tournament. We had one setup in the bedroom (I stuck my bed in the closet)...

... one in the kitchen...

... and one in the living room.

You usually don't get good pictures of people when they're playing; they're too focused on the game. Actually, some arcades have cameras on the racing games to show the drivers' faces. It's more fun watching their expressions than the game.

Lindsay deeply focused.

The kitchen setup. I actually found the TV for $20 on Craigslist the morning of since a guy who was going to bring a TV, system, and game couldn't make it.

I was initially thinking of running the rankings a bit differently, but I couldn't remember quite how the game kept score, so we decided to do this instead for each set of races.

We only played two sets and then a lot of people wanted to leave, so we decided to do the finals then. The three people who got two first places were in, but we needed a fourth, so I decided to have whoever had the most second places go, which was Moses. Sam and I were also possibilities since we had both sat out a round, but Sam was gone and I figured rather than do some races between Moses and I to just let him play.

The one time I did play, I only got second because I played against the guy who eventually got first, not to mention the guy who always got fourth placed just left halfway through, and you really need him shooting blue shells at the leader to keep it close, so I probably should have been in the finals, but I ended up playing some games with a couple of other guys instead, which was a ton of fun.

The final four.

A super-close race on Rainbow Road.

Two guys went for the big shortcut and both missed it.

And Mark was our big winner.