Thursday, July 31, 2008

Goodbye Links

First, let me preface this by saying that this has really nothing to do with the blog itself or anyone I know that reads this blog. Nor am I writing about any other blog here, but I am sure this happens on other blogs too.

I have decided I am going to take down some of the links that I have listed on the right side of the blog. Those links were put there primarily for me as a shortcut to a lot of stuff I try to keep up with. Not that they are a bad thing, but I have of burned out of a few of them. I never write about this in public, but will try to explain here.

Over the years I have noticed that many message board forums tend to gather a certain group of people. They are usually filled with the "die hards" that are really enthusiastic about whatever subject the forum is about. This is usually good because message forums often tend to be the first place new information comes out.

Certain patterns tend to take place in them though. It would be hard to categorize all the different types of characters you would get in them. Flamewarriors comes to mind. In almost every message board I have been involved in there are good and bad phases. Usually, some egos clash, frustration builds until a "war" occurs, then a period of resolution. Some may leave, but usually the cycle just starts again.

Some people have their own agendas when they write messages. I often read them and say to myself, "Okay, why was this person writing about this?" I ask that because usually there is something going on in the background that is not apparent in why they are writing their message. A person that is new to the message forum might not pick it up.

A lot of the same questions get asked over and over again. If it is an area of controvery then old debates usually start up again and again. It is a cycle after all.

Let me get to the point. It is not all the links I have listed here, but other things I follow too. Over the past month or so a lot of tension has built up on some sites I visit or receive by e-mail. It is the "war" phase. If one goes to these areas for fun after a hard day of work, then it can be really frustrating if you do not like this type of soap opera drama.

In the past year I have really backed off the amount of messages I write on open public forums. Someone may ask a question I know very well, but I decided it is best to "sit it out." I have mentioned this before in a different way a few months back, but sometimes there is a village idiot mentality out there. Meaning, some people start talking like they are experts on something when all they are doing is a few Google searches and not doing proper research on a topic. Their "knowledge" tends to be rather trivial.

I usually refer to this as the Dunning-Kruger effect which is where people that have little knowledge think they know more than do and those that think they know little know more. I have seen it happen a lot in my different areas of interest. Eventually, when I start talking about my martial arts background and bring up some of my favorite Japanese movies this will come up. There is one guy out there that has seen lots of Japanese movies, but flat out does not know what the heck he is talking about. If you try to correct him he gets bent out of shape and threatens to leave.

It seems like in my favorite areas there always is one person who is like this. They tend to post the most messages and, maybe not consciously, take over the board. The type that responds to just about every message. Soon, others stop writing messages, and the dominant personality tends to be the majority message writer. Then, after a period of time, they tend to repeat themselves over and over and it is like, "OKAY, I GET THE IDEA! FOR THE 100th TIME YOU HAVE WRITTEN THIS!"

In the next few weeks I will start taking down some of the links. If you like some of those areas you may want to make a note of them. Although I still intend to visit them at times, I do not use them as much as I used to for the above reasons.

With all that said, let me make a few notes:

1)I intended to go over my martial arts background and open my new area on my interest in Japanese Samurai movies at the beginning of this month. Unfortunately, a few days before I intended to do it my computer started to have problems where I had to wipe out my harddrive and start over. I will probably start that up in the next month or two. This will be a side issue that this blog will cover and not really replace anything that I do. If this is not something you have an interest in, then have no fear because it will not dominate this blog. I will explain when I start writing messages about it.

2)I have said this before, but let me say it again. I want this blog to have a bit of variety in how I do my blog entries. The stuff I do that a lot of you like is the movie location entries. I know this and I have tons of material to show and more areas I know about, but just a matter of getting to them. Some things I do are not as "popular" as the movie location entries, but I still like to throw them in so I do not burn out of just doing the movie locations. I have a few hiking videos I have really put off that I really want to put up. So, if you think there is a pattern here you are right. I tend to do a bunch of one type of thing and then throw in something completely different as a change of pace. That is just the way I am or I start burning out. I am going to start posting more movie locations again for the next few weeks and go from there.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The History of McDonald's (Part 3)

(GPS: N 34° 00.160 W 117° 56.185)

This is my last entry in this series about the history of McDonald's. This really is not so much a historical place, but it is something that still "really, really, really matters" for the franchise. So, without further ado, let me present The Mysterious McDonald's.

This is not a public McDonald's restaurant after all. Although it sure does look like one. Let me give you some intel from one of my secret agents. It will still be creepy and mysterious because it is rare to see someone there, but it might explain a few things:

This McDonald's is in an industrial area in, naturally, the City of Industry in California. It is production area that is a fully working McDonald's, but not for the public. As you can see, it is gated so if you drive by, do not go in expecting to eat there. Stay on the street. Again, private property, drive by slowly and use your eyes.

If a movie needs a scene from a McDonald's it could be filmed here and their commercials are filmed here as well. The products used to make McDonald's food are made in the City of Industry. So, this is why this is here. Right next door over they have this:

It is a training facility. Okay, so there you have it, I am sure there are more secrets that go on behind these gates, but we are not to know. That is the way of the greatest dominating worldwide fast food franchise. So, eat your cheeseburger with pride!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The History of McDonald's (Part 2)

(GPS: n34 07.520 w117 17.665)

1398 N. "E" Street, San Bernardino, CA

Continuing the "history that really, really, really matters." This is the area where brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald started the fast food restaurant that many know and love.
Last time I covered the oldest working McDonald's and mentioned some of the history there. You can look at the links below that give you most of the important stuff involved here. The brothers had been in the restaurant business for sometime, but decided to create a restaurant with the emphasis on making quick hamburgers.
Here is the little plaque noting the original site which is now a McDonald's museum and a historic Route 66 museum. Notice the original mascot, Speedee, on it.
This is a picture of the original menu. Click the picture to get a bigger view of it. I think you may be amused at some of the names they gave the food compared to what we have now. "Aristocratic Hamburgers?"
The second McDonald's was made in Phoenix, Arizona. It was the first one to use the golden arches.
Last time, in part 1, I showed the oldest working McDonald's in Downey which was next, but also has the golden arches. Eventually, Ray Kroc visited the Downey one, liked the idea, and purchased the franchise from the McDonald brothers. Ray started his restaurant in Chicago, Illinois:
For further information refer to these two links:

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The History of McDonald's (Part 1)

(GPS: N 33 56.820, W 118 07.085)

10207 Lakewood Blvd (at Florence Ave) in Downey, Ca.

Here is some history that "really, really, really matters."

This is the oldest working McDonald's. It was the third McDonald's that opened in 1953. Some years later Ray Croc came here and like the idea of creating fast food like this. He bought out the name from the McDonald brothers and started the franchise we know today as McDonald's. It turns out this one ended up existing independently than the mainstream one.

By doing so, they ended up keeping the original mascot called Speedee. There were no clowns here. At night you can see him with neon lights showing his quick feet.
In 1990, the mainstream McDonald franchise purchased this one and it became part of the whole franchise. Click the following picture so you can read the whole history.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Mule Train Waterhole (The Alabama Hills Series)

(N36 36.385 W118 07.085)

Here is another man made artifact from the old western movie making era. This is very much like
The Gunfigher Waterhole I chronicled last year.

Locations like this are not always easy to find due to the "open field" look it has. Just using the still picture below one would have a harder time finding the area unless one really already knew the area.

Even with the picture below it is still tough to compare. My picture is lower on the ground, but if you click both pictures and look closely in the background you should be able to line up some of those rock formations. Start with the small hill in the background of the far right side. It should make sense if you then compare the rocks going left in each picture.

In these two pictures I took, Gene would be on horse, Champion, between the two rocks just above the remains of the waterhole slightly to the right in each picture. They are not as easy to see because of the sagebrush that has grown in here and the rocks blend in with the dirt. Of course, the main reason we are here is to see is the concrete remains of the waterhole:One location hunting principle to note is that most movie filming is not done too far from a road. This is because to film a movie one needs to have the equipment at the location. Just about everything I show is near some road and not some backcountry area that has walking only access. As you can see in my pictures there is a road you can drive on just beyond the waterhole. I actually did drive on it to get to this location, but I have walked to here before since it is not too far from the main movie road.
Gene is standing just above the waterhole. Now, below, you can barely see the waterhole and you probably would not know without me saying so, but you can see that little rock rock in the middle that matches the one in the above picture. After you get that little rock you can start matching up all the nearby rocks. This is one of those cases where one might see the movie picture and the picture below and not think it was the same area.

There are a lot of movie locations in this area that are easy to find. Sometimes there are some that can be very difficult because I do not have much to work with in regards to the background and rocks nearby. If someone were to give me the above picture with Gene, told me to go find it, and that is all I had, then that would be pretty difficult. Unless I already had those rocks "burned into" my mind from my previous trips I would have little to go on.

There are lots of scenes in movies I have seen with rocks like the above and know I have walked passed them, but I can not always remember where they are. Even if I have pictures of those same areas it is not always easy to compare and identify.

Have a happy July 4th, and if you are from other parts of the world...have a happy July 4th. :)