Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

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Another cultural touchstone – ewwww

Filed under: — stan @ 1:19 pm

Dan O’Bannon has died. He wrote the script for the original “Alien”. The money quote in his obituary:

O’Bannon said in a 2003 interview that he modeled the alien’s behavior after the life cycle of parasitic microorganisms.

“One thing I realized hadn’t been exploited in science fiction movies were the physical aspects,” he told the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. “The real world offered many examples which were extremely loathsome, and I thought, if it’s good enough for Mother Nature, maybe it will work on an audience.

“One review said that watching this movie was like turning over a rock and finding something disgusting. That was a pretty good description of what I was going after.”

And he succeeded. The ‘alien chestburster’ has become very familiar in our culture.

So once again, we should salute someone who made a major contribution to modern popular culture.,0,4358785.story



Filed under: — stan @ 7:25 pm

Today, I had to go to downtown Los Angeles to visit the Federal Building. I rode the Gold Line there, since I hate driving downtown. And when we got to Union Station, I saw a New Jersey Transit commuter train parked on one of the tracks there. I grew up in New Jersey, and I used to ride the NJT trains to go to New York. Trains don’t usually take wrong turns or get blown off course like migratory birds, so seeing it here was strange. Just like the time I saw an NJT bus parked near my house. Offhand, I’d guess maybe it’s a prop for a movie, since I don’t think they have a regular L.A. to Hoboken route going.


Aw, crap

Filed under: — stan @ 9:25 am

This weekend’s schedule worked out that I was going to have both Saturday and Sunday mornings available to go bike riding. But I woke up this morning to the sound of heavy rain outside. Crap.


Turnbull Sunday Morning

Filed under: — stan @ 8:16 pm

Today’s bike ride was down to Whittier and the up and over Turnbull Canyon. We haven’t done this route on a Sunday since last June, when we went to see the Octomom Art Project. It was chilly and overcast, and not promising to warm up. So we were all pretty bundled up.

Before we left, I noticed that Silvio’s fork had “Damocles” on it. That struck me as odd. After all, if I were riding fast down a mountain, I’m not sure I’d want my bike to have the Fork of Damocles on it. Somehow, it’s just not the mental image I’d want my bike frame to evoke.

We rode down to the Rio Hondo bike path and took that down to it end to get to the San Gabriel River bike path. That brought us down to Pico Rivera and Beverly Blvd. We rode across Whittier and started up Turnbull Canyon. As I expected, Scott pretty much left us in the dust going up the hill. But that’s all right.

At the top, we regrouped before heading down the other side. Then we made a big look through La Puente to get back. Our snack stop was at Merengue in Monrovia. Normally, we sit out on the patio, but it was too cold for that. While we were eating, Keira mentioned that she didn’t want to go back outside because of the cold. I got a small newspaper and gave it to her to make a Hoover Blanket. And she said it worked.

From Merengue, we took the direct route home. When we got back to the park, I had 46 miles and nowhere in particular I had to be. So I noodled around the neighborhood a bit just to get to 50. Because it just looks nice on the bike computer display.

50 miles.


Was this ever really in doubt?

Filed under: — stan @ 3:25 pm

Someone posted this link the other day on a mailing list I subscribe to:

All men watch porn, scientists find

Researchers were conducting a study comparing the views of men in their 20s who had never been exposed to pornography with regular users.

But their project stumbled at the first hurdle when they failed to find a single man who had not been seen it.


xkcd rocks

Filed under: — stan @ 6:45 am

File this under, “why didn’t I think of that?”

xkcd comic

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