Archive for the ‘Obits’ Category

Ironside, RIP   Leave a comment

Over the last 25 years, I’ve been incredibly lucky to work for — often with — a couple of dozen eminent scientists, able to honestly call most of them friends.  During my short tenure at Cambridge, I never met Stephen Hawking (unsurprisingly), but one of my bosses there who is now what passes for ‘head of research’ at the University told me a couple of amusing stories about him while we were out for a long jog in the fens.

Yesterday was busy at work and it slipped my mind that he finally slipped the coil.  I headed home and, as I passed University College, it took a moment to realise why the College banner was at half mast.

Loads has been in print these past 36 hours about his Pop Culture importance like his appearances on episodes of The Simpsons and Big Bang Theory (among other tele programmes).  People forget about his brief tenure in the early 70’s replacing Raymond Burr while he was in prison for smuggling heroin across the border at Tijuana:


Posted March 15, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Obits

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This is What Happens to Russian Spies Who Talk   Leave a comment

Trump associates, take note.

I’ve got this feeling that the timing and setting of this assassination attempt (perhaps successful, by now) in Salisbury was meant as a message sent to witnesses in the FBI probe.  “We can kill you anywhere, anytime,” is what it tells us, even if you’ve holed up in a bucolic, small city in the Wiltshire countryside; just think how much easier it would be to do in a big town like DC or New York City.  The prospect of a lengthy jail term for obstruction will have to be weighed against this new — yet, somehow nostalgic — Eastern option.

It would help explain Nunberg’s meltdown on the news circuit yesterday.

Posted March 6, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Obits, Politics

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Doug Stanhope’s Celebrity Death Pool picks 2018   Leave a comment

It’s Celebrity Death Pool Time!  Read about it, here … there are still Funeral Homes to join.

Top Ten DSCDP 2018 Picks as of 30 Jan 2018

John McCain 820
Leah Bracknell 807
George H.W. Bush 770
Linda Nolan 513
Artie Lange 484
Bill Cosby 445
Valerie Harper 441
Jimmy Carter 431
Stan Lee 412
Prince Philip 412

My Picks:


Dan Quayle: who is also a spite pick, and VP for Bush Senior in the “Top Picks,” above


Don McLean: also a “reasonable expectation” pick … saw him in Liverpool a few years ago then again on telly last year, went from looking “a bit rough” to “at Death’s door” in that time.


Jerry Brown: picked Jello Biafra (below) and the Governor popped into my head … he’s come for your uncool niece.


John Lewis: personal hero and formerly my Congressman, but he can’t last forever


Philip Glass: also a spite pick


Piers Morgan: also a spite pick


Sharon Osbourne: go to sleep, Sharon, I’ve got Ozzy in my alternates list


Winnie Mandela


Lady Gaga: also a spite pick


RuPaul: my first trip to the Cove after a cooking shift in Atlanta, RuPaul was dancing on the bar straddling my cocktail for about 10 minutes.  Bartender came over afterwards and asked how I found my drink; “fine, but I prefer it without a straw.”  We laughed and laughed – drugs were involved.



Spite Picks (not already noted):

Chris Christie

Donald Trump


Reasonable Expectation (old or looking ill, see also Don McLean, above):

Bob Dylan



Brian Wilson


Jello Biafra (see above or look here)


Mick Jagger

(note, those four all would get the Musician Bonus … as would Gaga, Glass, and McLean)



Jimmy Carter (who is a not-too-distant relative of mine … really Jimmy Carter, not Dan Aykroyd; see also in the Top Ten Picks, above)


Kevin Spacey


Mel Brooks



Robert Mugabe


Posted January 31, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Made Me Laugh, Obits

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Weekend Runs 28-29 October 2017   2 comments


The weekend runs were both early morning affairs this week. Saturday, I left before dawn for an 11.4 mile trip to Shepherd’s Bush to pick up some items at the butcher and the fish stalls in the market. While the butcher opens at 7, the market officially opens at 9 and I didn’t want to wait around till then.

I was listening to some mp3 files from NPR and learned that Robert Blakely died. No, the name meant nothing to me, either, until the announcer explained that he designed the Fallout Shelter signs that most Americans grew up with (at least the ones 15 years either side of my age). There were huge Shelters everywhere. In Griffin, Georgia there was a massive one with the marked entrance by the old (former) library adjacent to what was then the High School; me and some track mates found another way in by the cemetery on the other side of the campus and used it as a place to drink and smoke pot. In Athens, Georgia, I went on a tour of the one under the north quads; it must have been suitable for 5000 souls. Food, mechanical ventilation, and electrical gizmos complemented the submarine-style sleeping quarters. Who would’ve thought those memories would seem so current just one President ago?




The time change occurred and Sunday I didn’t need a torch when I left the house at 6 am for the 23.3 miler to Morden. It was fairly uneventful and reasonably pleasant — there was even a steady wind at my back more-or-less parallel to my course. Passing through Kingston-upon-Thames early enough that other runners were only starting out, I spotted this domino effect public installation involving phone boxes (below). In a related side note, on the ride home I noticed that the Vanguard building near Perivale (which has had a fighter jet mounted on the roof for as long as we’ve been here) now has a TARDIS on top.




I managed to stop in for a lovely Black Dragon Cider at the Nonsuch Inn (write-up here) as I made the final turn toward Morden Station. Passing the George, I figured it was worth a punt, too. “Is the bar open?” I asked at the bar.

“Yes, of course.”
“Excellent. I’ll have a pint of Doom Bar.”
“Oh. We don’t sell alcohol until 11.”
“Then, the bar is NOT open?”
“Yes, but not for alcohol.”
“Thanks, but that is not a bar.”



I caught the Northern Line tube soon after, changing to the Charing Cross branch at Kennington then transferring to the Central Line at Tottenham Court Road Station. This was the biggest coincidence of the weekend for me:  Jackie had never seen American Werewolf In London so we watched it the night before as part of the Halloweekend rituals.  This station features in some of the first night of the full moon gore and it was kind of a treat to be in there early enough on a Sunday that it was almost deserted save for a busker playing some Bach on guitar.


Fuck around, more like


Posted October 30, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Obits, Running

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Red Lion, Southall, London   1 comment

Pub #1916 (and the 200th of this calendar year):

Online, I saw that the Red Lion was open from 10 am daily.  Arriving at 2:30, the hours posted in the window showed opening times from 3 pm.  Fortunately, they were hosting a funeral and not treating it as a private function so I doffed my cap, slid past the mourners with their plates of fantastic looking Caribbean food, and ordered a Guinness to fortify my legs for the run back to Ruislip afterwards.



The sound was down on the tele and the cricket (a test match from Lords) had more ball tracking lines after each bowl than could possibly be necessary.

I tried not to interfere with the Friends and Family so I didn’t get a lot of images of the interior (which is a lot nicer and more expansive than I thought it would be).  Had I been less courteous, there was a photo to be had of this one young man standing, shoulders sagging, eyes closed, fingers occasionally flexing, and facing the front windows.  Poignant, and I’m glad I had the restraint to only capture it in memory.  Rest in peace, whoever you might have been.




Posted September 9, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Obits, Pubs

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Fill a 6-foot-deep hole with 2 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part simple syrup…   1 comment

At cocktail bars, I’m ridiculed by bartenders when I order something old-style like a Manhattan or a Side-Car.  But, going by the evidence in the Ruislip Cemetery, the Tom Collins is quite literally dead.  R.I.P.


Posted August 18, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Booze, Obits, Recipes

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Nunhead Cemetery   3 comments


As we approached Nunhead Cemetery, a horse drawn hearse crossed our paths and I removed my hat.  I wasn’t going to photograph the departed out of respect (the same reason I haven’t shot any disturbing images — although I have plenty of opportunity — of the crime scene that is Grenfell Tower).  But, the departed had already departed and I scrambled to prep the camera but was only able to squeeze off one sad image before it hid behind the line of parked cars.



Nunhead Cemetery is the 3rd of the Magnificent Seven Cemeteries we’ve visited after Highgate (West and East, distinctly different experiences) and Kensal Green.  It is the largest of the seven and so far the least impressively populated but no less interesting a walk and impossible to take in one go.  Here’s the photos of today’s initial fly-by.



Just inside the gate and to the right we spotted the Scottish Martyrs Memorial:



The plaque doesn’t really do justice to how harshly their pleas for reform were dealt with.  The link has a list of their fates which include hanged, burned, hanged and burned, and simply executed or assassinated.  Some were also “insulted.”



And, all for speaking sense…words relevant even today.



Also at the entrance and straight ahead, there’s the ruins of a grand chapel damaged by arson ages ago but shored up to use for musical events and, currently, an open air art exhibit.



On our walk past the Martyrs’ obelisk we looped around by the chapel,



and passed one of the few residents I’d ever heard of, Jenny Hill:



The cemetery had been allowed to fall into disrepair and was eventually sold for £1 to a fellow who set about making as much of it safe to visit as possible.  Parts were still being used to inter newcomers, but much of it was subject to subsidence of the tombs and encroachment of the forest.





This column seems to be missing a cross.



An anchor in the left hand, the right might have had a sword or could just be imploring the heavens.


The white marble monuments have decayed quite a bit:



While the pink ones look almost brand new:



This one was just for me and other fans of “Tater Tomater.”

“Women with har have to wear a Harnott.”



This was the first of several markers we found with this particular bathroom tile set in it:



And, this one was recently painted bright green (at the foot you can just make out an errant brushstroke colouring outside the lines):


And, down a path into the overgrowth (one of hundreds) strewn with dozens of these small markers someone put up a garden border to house, I suppose, an ancestors’ rock along with coins to pay the ferryman:



My favourite find of the day was this stone with a cart spring on it and the inscription, “The Spring of Life is Broken.”



Jackie’s favourite was this pre-tranny tablet describing someone “Who Lived And Died A Man.”



Some of the better, individual war memorials I’ve come across were here, as well.  It took a moment to realise that our Bobbie died back home of wounds incurred at the Somme:



And, Royal Navy colleagues added this anchor to the grave of Reg Bult.  His family’s stone, behind, becomes a bit more poignant by his comrades’ addition:



In the midst of a massive, multipanel WWII memorial, civilian casualties are also recorded:




Overgrown as it is, the cemetery is something of a nature preserve that includes an educational tree trail:



And, many of the graves are unapproachable (like those in this patch of nettles):



This tomb was completely devoured by a massive trunk:



And, the vines on this one form some sort of dreadlocks:



Without irony, this one has vegetation carved into it:



And, some of the monuments are as simple as they can get.


The wooden crosses take quite a bit more care as they are impermanent.  Still, this one has managed 55 years so far:



More grand ones are also around.  This one for the shipbuilder, John Allan, has some spectacular lion heads on it:



And, this one to the type maker (punch cutting was the 18th century equivalent of font design) Vincent Figgins is understated but grand:



I didn’t want to disturb the artist by crowding over her shoulder so I only got some pretty photos of this one:




This depiction of the life and death of the sculptor Frederick Schroeter (accompanied by wife, Frederica, on two sides of the plinth) was down a path where a massive tree had fallen a few minutes earlier (unstable ground).  We opted to examine this one closely and wait to see if others would drop:





And, some of the best ones are the simplest (rest well little Danny):