Monday, May 31, 2010

A Blistory of the Southbay

Get it? A blog on the history of the Southbay? A blistory? Hmm?


It's good reading, tho.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Change that traffic signal?

New Vids in the Playlist

In case you didn't notice - both of you - I have a host of videos in the side bar to the right. There you will find a plethora of videos I've culled from YouTube that, typically, deal with Torrance or the surrounding communities. There are at least eight new ones down there, and they deserve a gander.

Take a look, already!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

You stole my newspaper, biatch!

The title of this one is my pathetic attempt at being hip...

My hubnut is grousing about the theft of our Saturday Daily Breeze. This is the second week it's gone missing (in a row, that is - it's gone missing before.) I'm slightly ticked because I wanted to do the crossword puzzles while my son gets his hair cut.

Hubnut is plotting to catch the thief by lying in wait next week - at 6'4", 230+lbs, and a bigger head than Conan O'Brien's, he's a pretty scary mofo.

Apparently, neighbors are typically responsible for these thefts, at least according to this and this and this.

I think embarrassing the perp is the best preventative. Any suggestions?

Get a German Hotel in Torrance!

I just logged onto my old site, and here's what I found (click on the picture below

Ew. It's now one of those generic sites no one actually goes to on purpose  - I mean, really, what are the odds that while surfing for information on Torrance, you also need information on a hotel in Munich?

I've tried to analyze this logically - the old site would have to get thousands of hits a day to get even one click.

However, there is a German/Torrance connection, and it's sitting right under my nose:

Friday, May 28, 2010

R.I.P. Gary

I'm coming clean.  I watched more than one episode of Diff'rent Strokes, and thought little Arnold was cuter than a bug.

Like everyone else, I watched his real life become, well, a bit of a train wreck. In memorial, here's a personal story I have of Gary Coleman.

My hub nut was hanging out with his younger brother and a couple other friends at Six Flags Magic Mountain (this was before we met, sometime in 1979.) They were having a grand time on the rides doing what teenagers do at theme parks - mess around on the rides pushing each other around and being loud.

Gary was in line behind their group at the log ride. He was there with his publicist (this alone is sad - typically you go to these places with a friend or at least your parents, for chrissakes.) The guys were joking around with him, asking him questions, and he was getting a kick being around this good natured bunch. They all went on the ride, and my hub nut and his brother and friends were (of course) horsing around, trying to tip the boat, rocking it like mad and otherwise trying to get booted off the ride, and Gary was laughing and getting a kick watching the craziness. When they got off the ride, they went to get in line again, and Gary begged to go on the next ride with them. They were more than happy to let him - but the publicist said no. He was truly disappointed, and my hub nut said he felt sorry for him because you could tell he really wanted to hang out with them.

I hope his final ride isn't quite as lonely.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

South Bay Youth Orchestra Performance

It's that time again - SBYO is going to perform at the Marsee Auditorium on June 5, 2010 at 7pm. It's one of the few times I get to see my son nut in a tie, so it's a very special occassion.

It should be a fantastic concert, with two of the kids in the orchestra performing solos, so come, bring your kids, and let them know there's more to playing music than Garage Band and Guitar Hero.

And at $10, it's a deal you won't find anywhere else.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Gone, but not forgotten, sort of 2

A couple of years ago, I wrote about several places in Torrance that are 'ex-parrots'. Places like the Shamrock roller rink, the Parasol Restaurant, JK Gill and a host of other has-beens.

That story got the most comments of any other I've written, so to honor that, I've decided to expand the geographical area which to wax nostalgic about.

Spot Market. When you were asian or otherwise and living in Gardena, this was the go-to market. The only other place with a decent selection of authentic asian groceries was the ORIGINAL Ranch Market in Downtown Chinatown on Hill Street...Anyhoo, there was a book/magazine area where my brother and I would pour and paw over the comic books, but an old chinese man would chase us off after we stayed too long and didn't buy anything. There was also a little restaurant in the back, but it always looked a little creepy to me. (A little unrelated trivia, I was married in the catholic church a few blocks away from the Hill Street Ranch Market at St. Peter's Italian Catholic Church. Originally, Chinatown was Little Italy.)

El Rancho Market on Western Ave and 182nd Street. This was a really small market, and the place we'd walk to buy candy and comic books.

Eagle Restaurant. This was an old skool cantonese style chinese restaurant - I think it was on Western Ave in Gardena, but I was pretty little at the time - I could be wrong about the locale. It was the kind of place that sold chop suey and egg fu yung. We ate there on Sundays in the 1960s before there was a Tin Sing's (in Gardena on Redondo Beach Blvd, now defunct.)

Thunderburger's. This was an incredible burger joint on Redondo Beach Blvd. and Normandie in Gardena. It had the most amazing stupendous teriyaki avocado burgers (Rascal's in Torrance makes an excellent version of this messy but marvelous burger.) The place had an amazing neon sign, and it was featured in a couple of movies. Next door was Missile Bowl, and Rocket Cleaners (the former is an ex-parrot, the latter is still there.)

The Jockey Club. This was a nightclub on the Redondo Beach pier that everyone who was asian and from Gardena used to hang out. That is, when they weren't hanging out at Gung Hay's, on Crenshaw and 148th.

Jack and Jill's Shoe Store. This small store was located across from the Sav-On Drug Store on Western Ave. in Gardena (remember the jingle? Sav-On Drug Stores, Sav-On Drug Stores....boom boom...SAV-ON!) My mom bought all our Buster Brown shoes there when we were small - later, when we were older and more sophisticated, we bought our shoes at Thom McAn's or Kinney. This was a time when actual shoe salesman dressed in a coat and tie would bring you a selection of shoes and assist you with fittings.

Fox Theater: not more than a few steps from the afore mentioned Sav On Drug store was this tiny theater where I was forever scarred after watching The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, starring Ray Milland. "If thine eyes offend thee, pluck them out!!!"

Nahas Department Store. I worked at the one in Gardena in the credit department, and on the sales floor. There was one in Palos Verdes and one in Santa Barbara. My sister and I shopped for fabric there - you could buy fabric for less than $1 a yard. I also remember the manager of the shoe department was a rather obese gentleman who had false teeth that would come loose. Not to be confused with the Gardena Department Store which is STILL doing business on Gardena Blvd., and the best place to buy all your Girl and Boy Scout supplies.

Ascot Raceway: Where the 405 and the 110 freeways COLLIDE!!!! On Vermont Ave., just south of 182nd Street. My friend Nancy and I would hang out there on Saturday nights as teenagers - it was as tacky and trashy as you would expect, but it kept a lot of young adults from racing illegally on the streets. You could hear the buzzing of the engines from my home, especially in the evenings, and they also put on a pretty good fireworks show.

The Big Slide. This is not the actually name, but it's what I called it. Located off Normandie Ave., right off the 405 freeway, it was quite the novelty to sit on a gunny sack and race down this enormous stand-alone slide.

Eldon's. Not as large and swanky as Mattel, but its proximity to my dad's employer, NCR made it special. A real toy factory next door to his office. Need I say more? Well, other than I got The Dating Game Board Game from there. Ah, the sixties, when toy factories could still be found right down the street.

The Raintree: This was a funny little local bar in Torrance at the corner of Torrance Blvd. and Anza that had a live DJ and dancing - I met my hub nut there. Yes, girls, you can meet a nice guy at a bar.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dot com is dot gone

Well, if you happen to run a search on google for 'randommadnessintorrance' you'll notice when you click on the site, the dot com version is gone. Vamoose. Defunct, dead, deceased - it's an ex-parrot, so to speak.

After researching what to do when someone snipes your domain name, I read an article here: My old site, was a mirror site that had all my content, graphics, photos, etc., but I couldn't update it or add to it. (I did find that if there was a link to You Tube, I could change the video that displayed on my playlist - interesting...)

I wrote a formal complaint to the registrar after running a Whois, and voila, the dot com site is now down.

Old dot com will still get hits, but if I keep updating this blog, eventually, the dot com will be but a memory. Eventually, I'd like to get dot com back, but if it doesn't happen, that's okay.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A hole in the ground

Some of the kids at my son's school will be 'head'-ing to Turkey this summer. If they knew what was in 'stall' for them when they get there, many would reconsider the trip.

This is the one item which will prevent me from ever becoming a real world traveler. I've traveled to many areas in asia, and this is a common sight.

Read about it one man's experience here.

They're not just in China, but in India, Japan, Turkey, parts of South America, and Africa. Unfortunately, when you're confronted by the need to use one, it's not remotely as funny as the article.

The upside is you're forever grateful to return home where you won't ever have to use one again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just like Mayberry

Tonight, we went to an old standby, Foster's Freeze in Old Torrance.

The great thing about the place, in addition to the ice cream, is it's a great place to chat with complete strangers.

In spite of the fact that it was cold and windy tonight, 5 people were in line waiting for ice cream. We chatted about baseball, Boy Scouts, the old Pussycat theater, the old Farrells on Hawthorne Blvd., restaurants we liked and of course, that it would be a shame if the developer who owned the Foster's Freeze property tore down the place, all while we shivered waiting for our ice cream orders.

Where else would this happen?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I slipped up and lost my old domain name to some shark at

So, I am now Fortunately, the folks at blogger will (hopefully) forward links to the old dot com address to the shiny NEW (not all that different) address. You'll note the old page still exists - I just can't edit it, or create new posts, dammit grandma.

I hate to break it to the cretin who off'd with my address, but I ain't paying hundreds of bucks to get it back. So THERE.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Benefit Rock Concert for the South Bay Youth Orchestra

Tickets for this event can be purchased at the El Camino College Ticket Office Monday thru Friday 10 am to 6pm, or on Saturday, May 15th starting at 4pm. Or, for a small processing fee, tickets can be purchased over the phone (see poster). Feel free to pass along this information to family and friends.

DID YOU KNOW...Most middle and high schools in the South Bay area do NOT have a strings orchestra? Most of the kids who play for SBYO are in middle and high schools from the Torrance, Palos Verdes, Manhattan Beach, and Redondo Beach area.

This is truly a worthwhile cause, but of course, there will be plenty of great music performed by some excellent rock bands donating their time and talents to this benefit concert.

But wait, there's more!  A Les Paul guitar will be raffled off during the concert - another great reason to come!