The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, October 23, 2023

One of the rarest gas stations in the United States

One of the YouTube channels I watch is Phil Edwards, and on October 10th, I managed to catch his request for help—he wanted people local to a dozen cities to provide some phone video. I noticed that one of the cities mentioned was Lake Worth Beach, Florida. I once lived in Lake Worth, Florida—could it be near there?

Turns out, Lake Worth is Lake Worth Beach, having changed its name in 2019 in order to rebrand itself. And while Lake Worth Beach (and I don't think I'll ever get used to that name) is a bit north of Chez Boca, it isn't that far to drive. I felt it would be interesting to see what project Phil Edwards has in mind, so I signed up.

The project involved video of a gas station, and not just any gas station, but one of a dozen stations still branded with Standard Oil (which are now owned by Chevron Corporation).

On the 12th, I drove to Lake Worth Beach and videoed the only Standard gas station in Florida. As stations go, it wasn't that special. It didn't have a distinctive architetural style, nor did it look all that old. It looked like every other Chevron gas station, except for the “Standard” label that most people probably just ignore. Heck, I lived just a few miles down the roat from this station and I never knew it was a Standard gas station, that's how unremarkable it is.

I'm only mentioning this now as Phil's video on Standard gas stations is now up on YouTube. The footage I supplied can be seen at the 2:35 mark (all four seconds of it).

So I guess that means I can add “videographer” to my résumé now.


I'm getting some serious “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra” vibes from this card magic book

“The book I ordered for you came in,” said Bunny, walking into the Computer Room and handing me a slim volume—Scott Kahn's Kahnjuring: Deceptive Practices With Playing Cards. She had ordered it about a week prior after we saw him on Penn & Teller's “Fool Us” (spoiler: he failed to fool them, but it's still a very cool card swap with transparent cards). “How soon until I see some tricks?”

I took the book and quickly read through the first trick. And … well …

When ready to perform, start with a convincing full deck false shuffle. Since this routine requires a table, I usually will use a Push Through Shuffle followed by an Up The Ladder False Cut. However, I have also used Bob King's variation of the Erdnase Blind Overhand Shuffle that was published in Darwin Oritz's The Annotated Erdnase, 1991. The spectator may even give the deck a straight cut, if desired, before proceeding.

Ribbon Spread the cards across the performing surface and ask the spectator to touch a card of their choosing. Outjog the selected card for half its length …

Kahnjuring, page 17

“Um … not any time soon,” I said. I just recently learned about the Push Through Shuffle, but the Up The Ladder False Cut? Erdnase Blind Overhand Shuffle?

I don't think this book is an introduction to card magic.

It's still neat, though, and the second trick in the book is the trick Scott Kahn did on “Fool Us,” so it's nice to learn how that particular trick is done, even if I didn't understand all the jargon.

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