Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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Food Pr0n

Filed under: — stan @ 12:51 pm

Just saw this on Susie Bright today:

And just to make it complete, have a look at:

I gotta go eat now…


T. Marvin Hatley, or Another Mystery of the Ages Falls

Filed under: — stan @ 12:42 pm

Since we went on the Tour of Laurel and Hardy last weekend, I was reading a bit about them today, and I ran across this:

“Trivia: The composer of the famous Laurel and Hardy theme song was T. Marvin Hatley.”

Years ago, I used to ride a lot in the Hollywood Hills. I would go down Mulholland Drive to Cahuenga Pass and then make a loop by going up Woodrow Wilson Drive. This was a steep hill, and by the time I got to the top, I was usually seeing stars. And at the top, there was a house with a wall in front with large letters spelling out “The T. Marvin Hatley Estate”. For fifteen years, I’ve wondered who T. Marvin Hatley was, and now I know. Here is his biography from

Of course this means another bike ride. I need to go back there and do the climb up Woodrow Wilson to see his house again, even though it probably doesn’t have the letters on the wall any more.

Music history

Filed under: — stan @ 9:27 am

I saw this today on Len’s blog: This Day in Music

On the day I was born, the #1 song was “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin. On the day I turned 18, it was “You Light Up My Life” by Debbie Boone. And people wonder why I immediately took to punk when I first heard it in 1977…


Magic: The Science of Illusion

Filed under: — stan @ 10:45 pm

Today we took Lucinda and her friend Lucy to the California Science Center for the Magic Exhibit.

We saw the ‘disembodied head’ illusion, the ‘heavy crate’ illusion, the ‘levitating chair’ illusion, and a whole host of card tricks. It was a fun time. There are more pictures in Lucinda’s photo album.

Laurel and Hardy and some T&A

Filed under: — stan @ 8:43 pm

Route map and photo locations

Since the weather forecast for Sunday involves rain, I thought that a ride today might be just the thing. Gene and Philippe were game, so we set out from the park at 8:30.

The plan was to do the grand tour of Laurel and Hardy, visiting both their grave sites and the staircase where they filmed “The Music Box“.

We started out going west through Eagle Rock and Glendale. When we got to Burbank, we took some small streets behind IKEA and then got on Burbank Blvd. Crossing the freeway, we turned off onto Victory Blvd. That was where we saw our first T&A. It was T&A Hobby Lobby. We decided that this was in the same class as S&M Liquor, and I may have to start a gallery of funny business names.

Continuing on, we got to Valhalla Memorial Park. I got out my portable GPS unit. I’d written down the coordinates of Ollie’s grave, but it turned out that I’d written them down in decimal degrees, and the GPS unit was displaying degrees, minutes, and seconds. Not having a calculator or the GPS unit manual handy, we were stuck. So I just looked for the low wall and clump of trees I’d seen in the Google Maps satellite view. Fortunately, I’m pretty good at seat-of-the-pants orienteering, and a peek over the wall brought us Ollie’s plaque, placed by his grave by the Sons of the Desert. We paid our respects to Ollie, reflecting on seeing his movies when we were kids, and also about how we was not very old when he died.

When we left, we noticed a set of four adjacent markers for four members of the Stiff family. Talk about having an unfortunate name.

Heading south through North Hollywood and Burbank, we passed the Warner Bros ‘ranch’ where they have their big outdoor sets. Then we went past the main Warner Bros studio and turned on Forest Lawn Dr.

At the main entrance to Forest Lawn, we turned and went up the hill. Just above the church we came to the terraced area where Stanley is buried. We had to walk our bikes up two sets of stairs to find him. We paid our respects to Stan, remarking on how they were among the pioneers of film comedy.

Leaving Forest Lawn, we went up the back side of Mt Hollywood. We rode up the long hill and then down the front side, passing through the Griffith Park tunnel and coming out by the Greek Theater. Continuing down the hill, we came into Silver Lake and Sunset Blvd.

We rode down Sunset, but somehow we missed the turnoff for Vendome St. Before we knew it, we were at Alvarado and we realized that we’d gone too far. Since it was getting late, we didn’t have time to go back, so seeing the stairs will have to wait for another time.

We took Glendale Blvd north to Fletcher, and then took Fletcher to Eagle Rock Blvd. That was where we saw the last bit of T&A. This time it was T&A Seafood.

Going north, we went around Occidental College and then took Meridian St across Eagle Rock. At the end, we took Ave 64 down to York and took a left to go over the bridge to South Pasadena. Then we took Monterey Road across San Marino to Sierra Madre Blvd. Then it was straight north on Sierra Madre back to the park.

52 miles


More image search funnies

Filed under: — stan @ 1:12 pm

image search results
I noticed today that I had close to a thousand hits on this one blog picture from last year. So I had a look at the server logs to see how it was being referenced.

Turns out that a Google Image Search for “parallel parking” returns my picture as the #14 result, right on the first page. I’m always glad to make it on to the first page of any search. Besides, I was extremely pleased with the parking job I did that day.


Security posters

Filed under: — stan @ 7:28 pm

Today I saw a pointer to this:

He has some pretty funny security posters there. So of course I have to show my all-time favorite. It’s from McDonnell Douglas, circa 1984. These posters went up on a Monday morning, and by noon they were already disappearing. By the end of their two-week run, there were only a few of them left.

I actually have a whole collection of security posters, mostly from the late ’80s. I made friends with our department secretary at Hughes Aircraft. She gave me the posters when they were going to be thrown out. It’s all part of our collection of Cold War Memorabilia.


Filed under: — stan @ 12:52 pm

I get lots of spam. That was perhaps the best thing about my domain being broken. It cut down the flow of spam for a bit. But now my domain is fixed, and the spam is back in force.

This is something funny. Here is a guy who took a bunch of those ‘This Stock is About to EXPLODE!!!” spams and set up something to track the stocks:

I don’t think I need to say that they’ve pretty much all lost…

In other news, I got two new pages for my dead dot-coms gallery today. That brings the total collection up to 385.


Matt’s flats

Filed under: — stan @ 4:50 pm

Today’s ride was a tourist trip to see a piece of Americana. We rode down to Downey to see the last surviving original McDonald’s restaurant. It is the oldest operating McDonald’s, and it was part of the original chain started by the McDonald brothers before they met Ray Kroc and history was made.

The ride down was pretty straightforward. We went south through San Marino and San Gabriel to Whittier Narrows. From there we got on Rosemead Blvd and took that south all the way to Downey. Along the way, it turned into Lakewood Blvd, and before we knew it, we were there.

The McDonald’s is at the corner of Lakewood and Firestone, at 10207 Lakewood Blvd. The sign out front proclaims, “sold over 500 million”. Heh.

We had a look around the little museum there. We saw the “Order your EXTRA French Fries now!” ad. I guess that was the beginning of “Super Size Me“. We also saw an early picture of Ronald McDonald as portrayed by Willard Scott, who later became famous on The Today Show.

The general consensus was that the history was interesting, but we didn’t want to actually eat at McDonald’s, so we headed back up Lakewood Blvd. That was where Matt got a flat. We stopped on the side of the road, and he put in his spare tube. He pumped up the tire, but when we got on to start riding, it had gone flat again. So we patched the first tube and he put it back in. Then he pumped up the tire and we were on our way.

We rode a bit until we saw a Starbuck’s. We stopped for coffees, juices, and muffins. Then, when we were ready to leave, Matt’s tire was flat again. This time he put in another rider’s spare tube, and we were soon on our way.

Continuing north into Pico Rivera, Matt got one more flat. We stopped on the side of the road and he put in yet another spare tube. Several of the punctures had been on the inside of the tire, which made the rim tape suspect. He cut up an emergency tire boot and put pieces of it over the spoke holes. Then we were on our way again. Matt’s four flat tires were an unprecedented occurrance, so I’ve made a special photo gallery for them in the Flat Tire Gallery.

We took a small detour in Pico Rivera to visit Dork St. Then we got on the San Gabriel River bike path and rode over Whittier Narrows Dam.

Above the dam, we took the cutoff bike path over to Durfee Ave and took that back up into South San Gabriel. Then we took Walnut Grove Ave north up to Las Tunas. Going east a bit, we got on Muscatel Ave and took that until it ended at Duarte Road. A left turn took us into San Marino. We rode a bit up some small streets to get to Huntington Drive. Then we went west to Santa Anita Ave and took that north back into Pasadena, where it became Altadena Drive.

At this point, Jason and I headed east on Sierra Madre and then down to Orange Grove and out to Arcadia. We went to Highland Oaks and then came back by way of Sierra Madre Blvd.

47 miles.


Have I mentioned lately how much I like my job?

Filed under: — stan @ 8:42 pm

Last night one of my computers fell over dead. It was a very definite dead-kind of falling over. Sadly, it was the main earthquake detection system for Southern California. Not the sort of thing we want to remain dead for long.

We switched over to the backup system, but I still wanted to get the main machine back up. So I hatched a plan. The problem was the big external RAID disk that died. I managed to ‘borrow’ another one from another machine. So I went in to the office this afternoon.

The old RAID was beeping and had red lights on it. I hooked up the borrowed one and did the setup. Then I started restoring stuff from backups.

When it was all said and done, I’d spent a good part of today working on this. But it’s all right. I like my job. It’s fun. And the occasional crazy day after an earthquake or a computer failure is just an occupational hazard. Although I have to say that a busy day after an earthquake is more exciting. With that there’s more of a sense of something big is happening, whereas a computer failure is more of just a pain. But mostly, I just like the feeling that my job is something that is Useful to Society and also is part of the Advancement of Science.

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