Monday, November 17, 2008

Take a Trip with Nancy

The blonde and miniskirted Nancy Sinatra takes you Up, Up, and Away, accompanied by some extremely perky friends!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Turkish Superman

Over at PCL Linkdump there's a post about Turkish remakes/interpretations of American movies, including Rambo, Tarzan, Spiderman, and my favorite, Superman. Below for your enjoyment is a three-minute montage of Turkish Superman action scenes. I particularly enjoy the editing in the train crash segment!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Star-eyed goth? man? woman?

Another piece that I've had for a while. My sense is that it's supposed to be Marilyn Manson, but that's far from clear. It looks a little like Todd Rundgren, but it may be some Bowie-esque figure, or it could just be some random goth guy or gal. Some nice touches here, especially the four purple starbursts surrounding the head. The briar wrapped around the neck. The mist/halo around the hair. The painting is not signed, not dated, and not titled, so that means your guess is as good as mine!

Friday, October 31, 2008

It's Halloween!

No better time than Halloween to salute that the awesome Shaggs! Although they are charitably described as "outsider" music, and were supposedly one of Frank Zappa's favorite groups, what they really are is three well-meaning young women who could not sing, play instruments, or write songs, and yet somehow succeeded brilliantly at all three. From the lisping vocals, to the randomly strumming guitar, to the drums that usually sounded like they were playing a different song, the Shaggs on one hand were a true disaster. They modestly entitled their album "Philosophy of the World." And yet...and yet, their charm and awfulness is somehow transmogrified into something incredible. Yes, I know they sound terrible, but most bands couldn't sound this terrible if they tried.

Anyway, one of my fave Shaggs songs is "It's Halloween." Someone has graciously posted a YouTube video with the song accompanying some sort of Halloween parade or something. Wasn't really paying attention...was just listening to the Shaggs roll over me. Hope you enjoy them too. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Good thing she's not wearing her star-spangled miniskirt...

It's Joint Action Wonder Woman! You'd think she'd be uncomfortable, but look, she's smiling! This looks rather a lot like the sculpture of Kate Moss doing yoga (no kidding):

I give Wonder Woman the nod in this competition, due to: 1) blue hair, 2) golden lasso, 3) much cooler outfit, and 4) not nearly as smutty/disturbing!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Beavers Rip Trojans!

Of course, I'm talking about the USC football game (or as Deadspin termed it, Innuendo Bowl LXXI,) and I'm just immature enough to think that headline is funny...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Circus in Town Album

Circus in Town! Flee while you can!

From the enclosed booklet: "Gee, it almost takes our breath away when we think of the old time circus that our childhood knew and loved. From the time that the gaudy posters heralded the coming of that circus we were on the tiptoe of expectancy."

Dear reader, I don't want to leave you on the tiptoe of expectancy, so let's jump ahead a few pages: "The country girls, their finery crumpled by the long day in town, blushed when some old farmer teasingly bantered the awkward young escorts. And then--the grand entry! Do you remember how the next hour thrilled you and how it danced by on feet that seemed shod with fairy wings?"

Don't know how they make shoes out of fairy wings, but I think I'd like to watch.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Walking on the Skies

I was just in the Phoenix airport, and noticed that the carpet has little airplanes on it. Maybe I'm just a total geek, but I thought it was kinda cool...nice attention to detail! And I think the circles represent the radar from the control tower...even cooler. Although it's certainly possible that, rather than that, each plane is spiraling into a vortex of doom. Not such a happy carpet after all, maybe...

Friday, September 12, 2008

This is what it looks like...

...when you try to take a picture with of your dog with a cameraphone and drive at the same time...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Far Out Band

These musicians came all the way from some distant galaxy to entertain us with their unearthly tunes. I think I saw this in an episode of "X-Files" once. Are they wearing spacesuits or armor? Anyway, I'd love to know if there are more members of this band, but these are the only two I've ever found. Use the magic of imagination to hear the music they might be making. (No, it does NOT sound like the cantina scene in Star Wars!)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

One more Sarah Palin thing...

Doesn't she look a lot like Peggy Hill? Whaddya think?

Sarah Palin or Mackenzie Allen?

I've talked before about how this presidential election looked to be taken right from the 2005 season of The West Wing (here's a pretty good recap). Now the Republicans are taking it further, seemingly borrowing the plot of Commander In Chief, the short-lived Geena Davis vehicle from 2005. In the show, Davis is Mackenzie Allen, a woman with very little political experience placed on the ticket as "a stunt" to get votes. No disrespect to Gov. Palin, but with her mayorship of a small town and less than two years as governor of a sparsely populated state, she seems to have been chosen more for her gender or her conservative cred than for her expertise. In the show, Allen assumes the presidency after the president dies, causing great gnashing of teeth about her inexperience and lack of political ambition.

So, which is it for 2009? A Santos administration or President Mackenzie Allen? And which other show from 2005 will next impact the election? Please tell me it's not Joey...

Monday, August 25, 2008

No Bull, Apparently

Wow, no posts for a week. Sorry about that, I'm on vacation. Driving through scenic Mojave, California, we saw this billboard...guess we liked the illustration more than anything. No bull, you see, and all bovines will be required to wear bows on their heads and tails to underscore the point that they are NOT bulls! And then there are the somewhat disturbing human-like lips. Of course, it could be worse...she could be wearing false eyelashes and a daisy necklace...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuna Upside Down Bake

"A nutritious combination of 7 green and yellow vegetables, flaked tuna, grated milk cheese, and biscuit mix." I'm sure it tastes as good as it looks!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Can You Guess Which is the Chagall?

I imagine that Marc Chagall would have an expression much like that of the bride at left if he happened across this knock-off of his work (original at right, in case you can't tell). I, on the other hand, love this painting. See how it compares to the original: the beast, rather than just nuzzling the bride, appears to be giving her a big squeeze. Instead of her serene expression in the original, the bride looks to be saying "oooh!" Wouldn't that be a more natural reaction to being snuggled by an orange animal of indistinct type? The angel, more flying otter than humanoid, has encountered a lower-than-expected cloud ceiling. Finally, the tree at lower left appears to be beaming in from from Christmas.

As great as March Chagall is (his America Windows is one of my favorite things at the Art Institute of Chicago), it makes me smile to have this version by artist J.S. Lee on my wall!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Who Knew Drivers' Licenses Were So Much Fun?

Came across a book that had sample driver's licenses and IDs from all of the different states. One of the things that struck me right away were the photos. Such as these:

The states obviously didn't use models for these samples...just very ordinary-looking people. But who are they? How did were they chosen? Are they DMV workers, relatives, people off the street? I doubt that a state could just pick a random photo from its database without permission. Which means someone chose this guy as a representative of the people of Louisiana:

Sometimes attention to detail was a bit lacking:

A very attractive young woman...but does she really look like she was born in 1955 like her ID says she was? That's one bad fake ID...but someone would probably sell her beer anyway.

Then there were the names used on the licenses. There were many variations on "Test" and "Sample," often using Ima for the first name, as in "Ima Tennessee Sample." Clever! :-p

Sometimes they had a first name, like "Suzy Sample," who apparently lives in Ohio, New Mexico, and South Dakota. There were plenty of John Q. Publics and John/Jane Does. Michigan got a little ambitious, going with "John Doe Public." Then there are the imaginative folks in Wisconsin:

Say hello to Ginny Zzzdoties. Odd how her picture actually seems to fit the name!

Look! It's Mary Safety! I guess maybe I should be more careful when I'm driving! And then there's the name made up by a grumpy DMV worker, ID BEHIND LINE. Do NOT come past that line until your name is called!!!

Well, I thought our friends from Canada had it together when I saw these examples:

Nicely put together, they obviously used models, gave them realistic names...but then there's this guy:

That's right, John Q. Public from Manitoba, rockin' a 'stache that would make the Louisiana License Guy proud! I guess it really is one big beautiful world, isn't it?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Baked Tomato Scoops!

Here's a yummy serving suggestion from the editors of Better Living, circa 1954: "Hot and splendid scooped tomatoes heaped with chicken and cheese, surrounded by quick corn-on-the-cob, a pot of melted butter, man-sized saltcellar, and tender fluffy butternut squash." Yes, don't give me one of those saltcellars for pantywaists...I want a MAN-SIZED saltcellar. And, please heat my melted butter with a votive candle, if it's not too much trouble.

I love these old food pictures, and I'll be sure to share more from this issue, the theme of which is "Be a Lazy Cook." This is a lazy meal, I suppose, by 50's standards...not necessarily compared to my standards, which involves tossing a package of Top Ramen in some boiling water.

By the way, there's lots of cool old food pictures and ads over at Senses Working Overtime...check 'em out!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dave's Keepsake

At the PCC swap meet the other day, I ran across this item. "It's Been a Hell of a Show, Dave!" it exclaims, as a narrow-tied caricature clutches a newspaper and admires the sales charts. The newspaper, as it turns out, is the late L.A. Herald-Examiner and Dave is Dave Griffith. His name is still faintly readable on the press pass. The chart starts in 1931 and runs through 1968. That's 37 years that Dave worked at the Herald-Examiner. The picture is inscribed with dozens of signatures. All in all, a very nice keepsake for Dave as he left for retirement. Which just makes it sad that it ended up on the floor of a swap meet booth. Can't you just picture the stereotypical gruff city editor, cigar in teeth, slapping Dave on the back and growling "helluva show!"? Dave Griffith, I'm guessing that you've gone the way of the Herald-Examiner at this point, but here's to you and your 37 years of service!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

More Bionic Fun

In continuing celebration of my encounter with Lindsay Wagner (not that I'm obsessing or anything), here's some more Bionic goodness for you. It's the Parker Brothers board games of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman. Yes, Jaime Sommers, with perfectly windblown hair, is really going to catch a cougar with a big net...and you can, too!

Help her foil international criminals and rogue animals! Assist Steve Austin with daring rescues on earth and in space, with a little demolition for good measure! You'll have to supply your own sound effects, though...doodoodoodoodoodoodoodoo....

By the way, my good deed for the week was replacing the truly hideous picture of Lindsay Wagner that was on Wikipedia with the one I took at Comic-con. It's the best I can do without bionic abilities of my own.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Not Just a Tool, a Ridgid Tool

One summer in the '80s I worked in an aluminum siding warehouse in Elk Grove Village. Passing through the warehouse office one day, I beheld it for the first time: the Ridgid Tools calendar. Just about the funniest thing I had ever seen: models in skimpy swimsuits holding a variety of tools in provocative positions. That's right, comely young women holding Ridgid Tools.

It turns out that the Ridgid Tools calendar has a long history. The first one came out in 1935. It really hit its stride in the '50s with the pinup art of George Petty. By the '60s, though, the models and tools formula was well established and continues even now, with the cheesecake factor ramped up ever-higher.

So, enjoy this picture from around the time I first saw the calendar: "Miss Ridgid" 1983-84, Nanci Fletcher, holding the gold-plated 24" heavy-duty pipe wrench she received with the title. Seriously.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Radio Shack Doesn't Get It (or doesn't want to)

Okay, brief story. A few weeks ago, I ordered a new computer power supply from Radio Shack online, and had it shipped to the local store. I never got a notification that it was ready for pickup, but saw from UPS tracking that it had been delivered, so I stopped by. The employee found an empty box with my name on it, but no sign of the power supply. After about 20 minutes of searching cabinets, drawers, etc., he found it...on one of the retail shelves, wedged in among the CD-ROMs. Some employee had opened my box and shelved the contents...never mind that the store didn't even carry power supplies! In looking at the empty shipping box, I saw that it had been sent to my attention, c/o the store--nothing to indicate it was a customer order.

So, I thought I'd be helpful, and sent an email to Radio Shack, with details of the situation and a few suggestions about how to improve their processes. No response. After about three weeks, I got an email from them, obviously a form email, not addressing the actual issue, but saying I should talk with the manager of the store. Yes, that's right, it's my responsibility to spend more of my time telling the manager about this process he has no power to change, when I just told you.

To recap, then:
  • Radio Shack has online ordering with delivery to a store, but doesn't notify customers when the order arrives
  • The box doesn't distinguish customer orders from other stock being delivered
  • Employees can open the customer's box and put the order on their shelves for anyone to buy, even if the store doesn't actually carry that item
  • Their customer service waits three weeks to tell you they don't care.
One of the key tenets of Web 2.0 (and good business, in general) is listening to what customers are telling you. It's obvious that Radio Shack doesn't get it. I can order online from hundreds of places that understand how a modern online ordering, delivery, and customer service system should work. Radio Shack is doomed to fail unless they figure that out.

You can see the email exchange here.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bionic Showdown

Just got back from Comic-con in San Diego. There were the usual hordes of costumed fans, movie and TV show previews, and stuff for sale. Tell you about some of that later. First, let's focus on my meet-up with TV's original Bionic Woman, Lindsay Wagner. Okay, I admit it, it wasn't much of a meet-up at all...I got in her autograph line, and she was not exactly the warmest or most personable person in the world. I looked to the left, and there was Katey Sagal in her line, with her arms draped over two fans. To the right, and there was another celeb gladhanding the crowd. And here was Lindsay in front of me, all business, and unenthusiastically leaning over the table for a photo. Still, the whole autograph thing must be weird for anyone to do, so I'll cut her some slack. And I did get a picture, even if she wasn't wearing a red-white-and-blue tracksuit!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Eyes Have It

Just made an excellent eBay score! More big-eyed art by Eve! More on this when the actual prints show up...

Ebert No Longer "At The Movies"

You may have heard that Roger Ebert is leaving "At The Movies," along with Richard Roeper. I never cared that much about Roeper, but Siskel and Ebert (or Gene and Rog, as I like to call them) were like family. They were our local Chicago guys, and I watched them since they started "Sneak Previews" on WTTW in 1977. Gene moved on (that is, died) a few years ago and was replaced by Mr. Roeper (no, not that Mr. Roper). Now, the show Gene and Rog created is being revamped, and Ebert is no longer a part of it. I'm just sorry to see it go, that's all.

Monday, July 21, 2008


If you're like me, there's nothing you enjoy more than thinking about uncooked fish as you're sipping your morning java. For folks like us, then, the Sushi Mug is a piece of ceramic heaven. Which sushi do I want tonight? Hold on, let me check my mug...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Did I Mention I Have a Peabody Award?

I didn't? Sorry, having this prestigious award given for excellence in broadcasting must have slipped my mind. I forget sometimes, since I keep all of my awards in my bathroom. What's that you say? You don't think it's a real Peabody Award? In fact, you say, it looks like something I might have picked up at a sale at a movie prop warehouse??? How dare you, sir (or madam)! How dare you.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Betty Serves it Up Real Good...

Let's take a moment to salute the '90s awesomeness of Bettie Serveert!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Elves on the Loose!

Picked up this painting at the local thrift store today. As you can see, a dramatic mythological tale is unfolding, as two elves try to rope themselves up a unicorn. The title of the painting is, appropriately enough, "Elves and Unicorn." I know this because there is a label attached to the back with the artist's name, Michelle Pincus, and the title. Apparently this was entered into a competition at the LA County Fair at some point, but no date is listed. And, even thought Michelle's elves look more like gnomes, kudos to her for this excellent piece of work. Now, why exactly gnomish elves would be tormenting a gentle magical unicorn in this way, I'll leave for you to ponder.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Let's Get It Out of the Way...

Why FancyLad???

Why Fishstick Kitties???

Yes, I don't mind placing myself among the very few who actually own the DVD of Cabin Boy...