Showing posts from 2007

Penguin is Norwegian army Colonel


Offered without comment.


Enjoy a virtual vacation with semi-literate cranks

I have just discovered that TripAdvisor has a blog where they post "the stuff we can’t publish. Whether it’s funny, rude, bizarre, potentially libelous, incomprehensible, or all of the above, we love it, and we think you will too."

So far, this one is my favorite:
It looks like such a nice place on the pictures and brochures.

My new wife and I were so looking forward to a weekends stay, we had saved specially for it.

However, when we arrived we were greeted by the one of the worst receptionists I have ever had the misfortune to come across, it wasn't that she was rude and impolite, that i could deal with, but she kept making reference to the fact that we were not the type of person welcome at the establishment.

It wasn't until later in the evening that I found out why we were not the right type of clientele. At around eight in the evening I heard the roar of what sounded like a thousand blood hungry lions outside the hotel. It was to my wifes distaste to find out that the…

My Third Annual Christmastime Fun

This year watching the ramp-up to the UK Christmas single from afar has been quite interesting, as quite a number of folks seem to be hard at work attempting to rescue the spot from "The Winner of X-Factor." This seems to have caused a few ringers to appear.

I was thinking that the trend seems to be songs by people who are now dead, but looking closer we see that it is in fact duets by people of whom one are now dead.
Eva Cassidy & Katie Melua - "What A Wonderful World"

Pogues Ft Kirsty MacColl - "Fairytale of New York"

John & Yoko / Plastic Ono Band - "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"and perhaps by the time I post this:
Mark Ronson Ft Amy Winehouse - "Valerie"I'm sorry. That was mean.

So here we go.

40) John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band - "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" About twenty years ago, I would have thought I would be sick of this song by now. Of course, I would have also thought that it would completed the trajectory tha…

I take a moment to step back

I've had a little blogging vacation (a vacation from blogging, not a vacation that I blog from) due to work, snow, illness and something in the basement that we have decided to rename "Frankenboiler."

As I start to nudge myself back on-line, I'm going to be taking a chance to think about just what it is that I am doing here compared to what it is that I set out to do and what I would like to do.

To prepare for the process, I notice that there is a meme going about where the blogger is required to list and discribe the first post of every month of 2007. Let's have a look.
January - I discuss my then ongoing Jean Shepherd phase. The phase died out after I hit a few too many instances of race related humor that, while not hateful, could be described as "of its era."
February - I briefly note my unwilling participation in the "2007 Boston Mooninite Scare."
March - I discover the existence of a "Stephen Fry Talking Alarm Clock."
April - A per…

Buying the New Yorker 1976 - page 60

The ads are frequently not scanned with the same care as the rest of the content. I might be the only person on the planet who cares about such things - and to be fair, if they upped the quality of the ads to the level that I would enjoy, there would be a need for perhaps another DVD-Rom or two. So it's completely understandable to treat the ads with less care so the cost of the set can be fifty bucks cheaper.

But it's times like this that make me wish that I could get a better look at the ad, just to have a better sense of the pattern. In the text, we are asked to pay attention to "the scoop neck and the tie." I've spent more time than I really want to looking for any evidence of a tie, either a necktie or anything that might be used to cinch this garment together. I'm stumped.

It would be marvelous to see this in color, particularly in the green and white, but the ad is in black and white, so we can't fault the New Yorker people for that.

I also wish …

Google street view expands!

Nothing so fair, so pure, and at the same time so large, as a lake, perchance, lies on the surface of the earth. Sky water. It needs no fence. Nations come and go without defiling it. It is a mirror which no stone can crack, whose quicksilver will never wear off, whose gilding Nature continually repairs; no storms, no dust, can dim its surface ever fresh; -- a mirror in which all impurity presented to it sinks, swept and dusted by the sun's hazy brush -- this the light dust-cloth -- which retains no breath that is breathed on it, but sends its own to float as clouds high above its surface, and be reflected in its bosom still.

View Larger Map

Addendum to the thing I learned yesterday

I think that if Robert Conquest and Robert Service were the same person, the world might be a slightly better place. Somehow.

Hello, my computer generated baby

One Froggy Evening, remade with CGI. Not as bad as you might think.

I'm just surprised that anyone admits to writing it

The thing I learned today.

Robert Conquest

Robert Service

Not the same person.

The statue of Ramona in Portland Oregon scares the bajeesus out of me


Buying the New Yorker 1976 - page 59

"Seeing everything wonderful and being seen looking wonderful wherever you go."

Who cares about the pull-on polyester pants and snappy print shirt? It's that sentence that just makes the ad over-the-top amazing.

Bonus: She seems to be standing in front of some sort of a cartoon duck.

I love the Kansas City Public Library's new parking garage

Originally uploaded by davidking

Viking Kittens?



I can only think of one use for an inflatable pig.

Buying the New Yorker 1976 - page 57

And now the new style for 1976, it's 1961!

Thank you driver, for getting me here

An advertising suppliment in a recent music magazine consisted of postcards of concert photographs of some rising musical acts. Unfortunately the sponsor, Greyhound Buslines, neglected to inform the acts in question or the venues that they were performing at of their participation in the campaign.

Dan Deacon, one of the "featured" performers, was a little upset.
in the december issue of XLR8R magazine there is an ad for greyhound bus service that uses a photo of me at a show did at silent barn, a diy venue in brooklyn. no one asked me if this was ok. no one asked silent barn if it was ok to associate them with the company.

i first heard about it from jason of wzt hearts, who are also used in the ad, also without permission or even the courtesy of letting us know.But what does he think of Greyhound as a company?
greyhound bus company is one of the worst run, bullshit companies i have ever had the misfortune to use. they are a total monopoly and take advantage of that with poor …

Pop culture mysteries solved!

It is impossible to count the number of times I have woken up in the middle of the night in a screaming panic because I had no idea what happened to Nicole Kidman's prosthetic nose from The Hours.

Now I can rest easy.

Residents of Hazelton, PA do love their football.

Well, some of them anyway.

via Google Maps

I am trumped again

My piffling attempts to observe the UK Christmas single pales in comparison to Steve in South Korea, who has devoted an excellent blog to nothing but that.

It's a Muppet Christmas Miracle!

Hopefully this will be my last post on the subject, but Lawrence Miles is now back to posting on The Beasthouse and the takedown has been taken down.

Hopefully this starts to bode well for the coming year.
It's said that in the nineteenth century, actors who portrayed ghosts on stage would often use phosphorous as make-up, since it gives the skin that all-important "glow-in-the-dark" effect (q.v. the big green dog in The Hound of the Baskervilles). Of course, it also has a tendency to kill you. Any number of actors might have died from the long-term effects of phosphorous poisoning, which raises the technical question: what happens if you're haunted by the ghost of someone who died while made up as a ghost? We might imagine that the ghost-ghost would glow twice as brightly as a normal ghost - fitting, for a dead prima donna - but we might also imagine that such entities would be pariahs amongst the rest of their kind, and that walking into a meeting of ghosts while cov…

Buying the New Yorker 1976 - page 56

I stalled out on these two. We've seen both of these vendors before, so I wanted to say a little more about them, but there really isn't much.

Brazil has always seemed like the kind of place where someday someone will tell me, "Guess what! We're sending you to Brazil!" And then I say "Oh good! I knew this would happen sooner or later."

Hasn't happened yet. Maybe next year.

Not sure how to parse bow and arrow guy as an advertising element. "Come to Brazil! Get shot at by the disgruntled natives! Like Indiana Jones!"

Put your architects on danger money.


Book One, Chapter One - In the Casino at Boulogne

(Yes, you read that right - it's divided up into three books!)

Our nameless narrator is having dinner in Boulogne with his friend Bobbie Harrington, Harrington's aunt and uncle, the Boussets, and the Boussets' mysterious friend Lefevre.

The nameless narrator and Bobbie (it takes half the chapter before we can confirm that they are both male) have one more night in Boulogne before they head off in their yacht, so the five decide to have a night at the casino.

If you would like to go to Boulogne to visit a casino, you should read up on Northern France in a spiffy guidebook.

At the casino, Nameless Narrator and Mrs. Bousset are content to people watch while Bobbie and Lefevre gamble. It turns out that Lefevre is an excellent gambler, which is nice because he was a rather dull dinner guest. A pair of Germans are watching Fefevre intently. Suddenly a crazed "artist, student or anarchist, or perhaps a compound of the three&quo…

Dagwood is not a Glam Rocker

Dagwood is a Breakdancer.

Pardon me while I test something

Ghanian is a language of economy.

An item on the program for a chamber music concert that I recently attended was a piece based on folk tales of Ghana. From the program notes to the piece, I learn that
Kola Per Bir, jo kol' no optranslates to
The cat fell asleep under a tree; his enemy the mouse saw his opportunity and bit the cat's testicle, whereupon the cat promptly died.

It was three weeks before Christmas Eve in the drunk tank

The only apparently Christmassy songs on the UK singles chart this week are:
23 Mariah Carey - "All I Want for Christmas is You"33 The Pogues - "Fairytale of New York"also unrelated to Christmas:
25 Phil Collins - "In the Air Tonight"I don't think I want to know why this is happening.

if only...

Via Strange Maps, a promo for a book on world transit maps showing a transit map of the world - every city with a metro (or a planned metro) is included a world Beck Map. I would be delighted to be on the same line as Mexico City, Bilbao, Istanbul and Beijing!

The only quibble so far is the Detroit to Seattle leg. Spot the error!

Take me out to the %#^&@% ballgame

From Yanksfan vs. Soxfan, we see a piece of baseball history that is currently being considered for auction.

This is a memorandum from league management to players regarding reports of players resorting to obscenities during game play, including enough examples that they were afraid to send the document via US Mail.

A new adventure

Two problems have come up to cause me to start a new project, one that I hope I can finish faster than the others that I have been dealing with.
Frequent readers will have noticed that I occasionally provide links to I have done this not out of a sense of necessity but of "oh what the hell." Because of this, many of the things that I could have linked to have not been -- going to Amazon to work up the code is just a bit too much of a bother for me to have gotten into the habit. (By the way, Amazon has really been pushing me to put up links so that I can entice you to purchase a Kindle. Not gonna happen.) This hasn't been too much of an issue for me as I set the thing up because I was inclined to link to listings on Amazon anyway, so why not make a few bucks (or pounds) off it. A new service that Amazon has is a link that offers recommendations based on what Amazon feels the readers of my site will want to read. At first I thought that this meant that t…

Max Headroom is back!

He looks horrible!

Here's the story.

Word of the day


"People who enjoy watching activity on the canals in the United Kingdom. The term is also often used in a more general way to describe those who have an interest in canals and the canal life, but do not actively participate."

Here's where you join up.

Go Gongoozlering on Google Earth! (Googlogongoozlering?)

Vote Splashy Pants!

And he's back.

Right after I made a small deal about Lawrence Miles gaining in popularity, he pops up and posts to his secondary blog about Doctor Who. (Because everyone should have a secondary blog about Doctor Who.)
Of course, to us, the mad glut of Doctor Who merchandising available for Christmas 2007 is definitive proof that We Win. Let's be quite clear on this point: here in the latter '00s, Doctor Who is more popular than at any time in its prior history. Naturally, the viewing figures were higher in the late '70s. This is partly because there was nothing else to do in those days, when the TV set was the only leisure accessory that ran on electricity, and when "getting boozed up on a Saturday night" wasn't seen as a fit pastime for all ages, classes and genders. But it's also because viewers in the 1970s saw themselves as belonging to a wilfully captive audience. Saturday-night viewing was part of a complete entertainment experience, the stay-at-home descendant of…


Let's see if this works. Enjoy it if it does.

Learn More.

Great moments in tech support

From the Microsoft Help pages:

"During normal operation or in Safe mode, your computer may play "Fur Elise" or "It's a Small, Small World" seemingly at random. This is an indication sent to the PC speaker from the computer's BIOS that the CPU fan is failing or has failed, or that the power supply voltages have drifted out of tolerance. This is a design feature of a detection circuit and system BIOSes developed by Award/Unicore from 1997 on."

Larry goes viral!

When Lawrence Miles posted that he would be taking his blog down, I decided to set up a Google search to alert me in case he popped up again someplace else. Recently, I've been picking up hits for posts such as this one.

It seems that the list of "Nine Things Which Appeared on The Muppet Show, But Wouldn’t Make It Onto Family Television These Days" is getting passed along. I hope this has a positive effect.

One of the bits most frequently quoted is:
But what we forget is that the issue of cross-species fertility is raised even in the original series, specifically in Miss Piggy’s performance of “Waiting at the Church”, a song about a bride being deserted by her bigamous husband on the day of her shotgun wedding. Piggy performs the song in a wedding dress that’s been bulked out to make her look eight months pregnant. This image is so distressing that it’s been erased from our collective childhood memory, yet there she is on the screen, reciting the opening lines ‘I’m in a ni…

Tired of the same old Ikea bookshelves?

Time to Pimp My Billy!

Well, I screwed that up

Yesterday I put up two posts about where to go to listen to music. Today I discover that yesterday was No Music Day.


Take the memes and make a theme

There's plenty of potato peeling being done this morning!

[embedded video removed - youtube is acting weird today. See it here.]

And then comes the shopping! (via Cool Blue Shed)

The Armchair Traveller

I am alerted to a recently published book that compiles a few works by a 19th century travel writer named Favell Lee Mortimer.
In the middle of the 1800s, Mrs Favell Lee Mortimer set out to write an ambitious guide to all the nations on Earth. There were just three problems. She had never set foot outside Shropshire. She was horribly misinformed about virtually every topic she turned her attention to. And she was prejudiced against foreigners. The result was an unintentionally hilarious masterpiece: 'People who are dainty must not come to Norway.' 'If the Siberians' taste in dress is laughable, their taste in food is horrible.' 'British America [Canada]'s Lake Superior is so immense, that Ireland might be bathed in it; that is, if islands could be bathed.' In "The Clumsiest People in Europe", Todd Pruzan has gathered together a selection of Mrs Mortimer's finest moments, celebrating the woman who turned ignorance into an art form.You can p…

And one more once.

In my post about places to go on the interwebs to hear some fine music, I forgot to add Crying all the Way to the Chip Shop, "The sentimental musings of an ageing British expat in words, music, and pictures." It's fast becoming one of my favorites.

Actually, Doctor Doom and I went to the same tennis camp

As part of my Thanksgiving travels, I find myself in the company of a six-year old boy whose blossoming interest in superheros has caused him to come into possession of a copy of the Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus (US, UK) (Pronounced AAAAAAAHM-nee-bus).

He's been waiting for me to show up, as he was told that I know all about superheros. I think that this might have been taken to mean that I am friends with them.

The young lad is particularly taken with Doctor Doom, particularly after I told him that Doom is not a robot. It is terribly unfair that other villains appear twice in the Omnibus, but Doom only appears once. We have just finished having a long discussion on how Doctor Doom's arms and legs can bend even though they are encased in metal.

I like this kid. He is going to go far.

Helpful Hint: "If you have to be in a fight with a robot, you gotta punch the robot in the throat, so that you make its head fall off and that's how you win."

This week off pod

I've left the little bugger home for the holidays, so I'll quick share some other sources of good sound I've been nibbling at lately.

PVAc to 44.1 kHz is a music blog that posts entire albums - almost all of which have never been released on CD ever. Consistently excellent stuff.

I've been dipping my toe into tapes of entire John Peel programs. I've had phases of looking at his playlists and descriptions of his tastes, but I'm finding that there is no better method of getting into his head than listening to a nice two hour broadcast. (I'm even starting to appreciate Kevin Ayers.) Here's a good place to start from.

Pandora has just expanded its "Music Genome" to include classical pieces. Naturally, I have been goofing around with it.

Finally NPR has been fiddling about with their music interface. This means that I'm not going to link to the things that I was going to. I can't find them anymore. When I can find them again, I will link…

Girls with blue whiskers tied up with noodles.

Thanksgiving week

Posting will either be lighter or heavier this week, depending on the whims of the Turkey Gods.

Late harvest


I was hoping to put off my annual look at the UK Christmas single woo ha until December started, but I am alerted to an underdog that I must champion.
Christmas chart battles are usually the territory of reality TV stars, novelty artists and Westlife, but this year a very unlikely pop star has thrown his hat into the yuletide ring.Malcolm Middleton, once of Scottish "miserabilists" Arab Strap and now a successful miserabilist in his own right, has announced he will release the single "We're All Going to Die" in a bid to make it the Xmas number one single."Dying is a bit like writing a letter to Santa," explains Middleton, by way of a press release, "unless you've been a good boy or girl, you're fucked."Go to his MySpace for a listen, it's quite nihilisticly jolly!

Copyright kielbasa


In the news

Continuing with the genres

Continuing on with my glurbling on about Saturday Morning bubblegum pop, I offer this bit of fluff, a segment from the 1969-71 Hardy Boys cartoon. The conceit of the show being that in addition to solving crimes, the boys are in a band. The producers of the show were able to push out two soundtrack comps of the songs, which are now quite the collector's items.

So, enjoy the excellently catchy well-produced tune, while also goggling in amazement at the astonishingly rotoscoped psychedelic animation.

Meanwhile, here is a review that cought my eye - The Duke of Straw examines Corb Lund's new CD and proclaims it to be "the greatest horse warfare album ever." I think I will recant all the bad things I have ever said about genre compartmentalization if I can find my way to a store that has a labeled section for "music about horse warfare."

Have a taste.

This Week in Pod doesn't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard

Between my last post and this one, I have added a grand total of three CDs to my iPod. They are:

Various Artists - Mojo Magazine: Americana 2004
Various Artists - The Songs of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart
Various Artists - Scooby-Doo's Snack Tracks: The Ultimate Collection

I have a playlist programed to only play things that have been added in the past week, so currently I have a playlist that only contains the contents of those three discs.

It's an odd mix. The three of them are odd mixes to begin with, but mixing them together is particularly odd.

From what I've been able to tell, "Americana" is a term that started out in the early nineties as sort of an umbrella term for record stores that didn't want to have separate racks for "Blues" and "Country/Western." As it was presented as a holistic genre, contemporary artists began believing that it really was one, and we are left with things like Gomez. I am very strange about "Americana&quo…

The future of medicine

Let us suppose that you have been charged with the task of encouraging the youth of America to consider a future as a health care professional. What would be the obvious method to attract their attention?

That's right, an enormous rapping groundhog.

Here's the background.


Further breaking news! It seems that there are folks who are under the impression that when the background singers are chanting "Go G-Hog," they are in fact chanting "Go Jihad." While it seems likely that these folks are not serious, the idea that someone could think that this video is some sort of subliminal message makes it even more amusing.


There's a new Lucky Luke film coming out!

See the trailer.

This Week in Pod Has Lost Track of the Time

I think I shall have to abandon all hope of turning into a feature that I do regularly, and just keep on chugging it out when I can.

Luckily, I've slowed down the process of ripping CDs to match the slowdown in posting about it.

There are two reasons for this: First, I've been busy. Second, I've been noticing that my hard drive has been filling up. Because my hard drive has been filling up, I'm going to have to start making a lot more choices about what to remove then I have been.

First, I will probably have to get rid of the video that has filled up a few loose gigs. As my iPod is one of those video deelies, I've been taking the opportunities to download the free video content that iTunes has to offer. Most of these things I have yet too actually watch, but they are filling up about twelve gigabytes, so I suppose they ought to be jettisoned to make way for other things. For the curious these videos include:
The pilot episode of The Starter Wife. This is another…

Enjoy a truly strange ad from Thailand

Not only am I an architect!

and if all else fails...

The Simple Dollar has advice on "Dealing With Professional Burnout Without Quitting Your Job"

It has nine bullets.

Number eight summed up is "Get your resume together so you can quit."

Number nine summed up is "What the hell, Quit!"

I suppose this means I have to throw some sort of internet keg party


and if I still had eyes, then I would surely cry

Enjoy a music video for Hallowe'en:

Wait a minute, Chester

I am reminded of a friend from high school who, as a fan of music and Christianity, was inclined to rate songs based on what he called their "Righteousness." While this might sound dismal, his combination of an excellent musical ear, and a willingness to consider that a secularly focused song might have an inherent spiritual component made for some very excellent and surprising choices.

(The song that he first explained his theory of Musical Righteousness to me was "Lay Your Hands on Me" by Thompson Twins. I'm still not certain if he ruined that song for me or gave it more meaning, but every time I can hear it I can still see him taking a big slug from a bottle of Canadian Whisky and yelling "This song is so Righteous!" over and over.)

This is a selection of cover versions of "The Weight." I've never known that The Staple Singers did a cover of "The Weight," and even before listening to it I could feel the Righteous Meter zoom…

Listening to the World - Antigua and Barbuda

I notice that the list of countries on Wikipedia has been reduced by one. It seems that Wales is not a country.

Sorry, Wales.

And to Antigua and Barbuda.

This is my second Caribbean radio station in a row, so I'm in a very Caribbean mood. I've never been a big fan of the Caribbean, but now I think it might be nice to go someplace with a beach and dial up this sort of radio.

So I've been listening to Liberty Radio ZDK.

The first thing that I heard when I clicked into Liberty Radio was a delightfully groovy Caribbean version of "You Were Always on my Mind" - which became even more groovy and delightful when the DJ broke into the middle of the song to read birthday greetings. The next tune up was apparently about Jesus. I could tell this because the Chorus went "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus."

Further attempts to log in have been thwarted - there seems to be more people who want to listen to the radio than the servers can handle. That is a …

I'd like a "none" pizza with left beef


Buying the New Yorker 1976 - page 54

The Ritz-Carlton that is being advertised here is now the Taj Boston. Around the corner from the Taj Boston is the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common. When I Google "Ritz-Carlton Boston" I get four addresses.
15 Arlington St. This is the old Ritz-Carlton/current Taj Boston. (This is where Boston Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramierez lives/lived depending on how happy he is at any given time.)2 Avery St. This is the address of the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common.172 Tremont St. I had to go to the satellite to figure this out. This is the back entrance to the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common. But this is an important address, as it is, unlike the main entrance/address, actually on the Common.6 Newbury St. This is/was the car wash in the parking garage of the original Ritz-Carlton. I don't know which is more swank: getting your rental car washed while you are on vacation, or driving downtown to get your car washed at the Ritz.I think you need to get a suite to have a fireplace in the…

Finally something makes me want to consider signing up for Second Life

Great Moments in Reader Feedback!

In my inbox:
no sé inglés, no se nada !!!! en fin, me gusto el formato de tu blogger.


My reply:
Takk til deres slag bemerkning! Har en praktfull dag!

Buying the New Yorker 1976 - page 52

In the seventies, families didn't include women.

Buying the New Yorker 1976 - page 50-51

Apparently, in the seventies, different sorts of Volvos meant that you thought in different sorts of ways.

Now, if you drive any sort of a Volvo it's pretty much a given that you are a nasty dirty hippie that eats sprouts and watches the Daily Show.

The best laid plans of mice and car manufacturers gang aft aglay.

White Hall Hotels

A spiffy little brochure from London:

The cover is a very stiff cardboard and the interior page is a heavy bond. The binding is a goldish yellow ribbon.

Here's the front interior page:

The middle:

The final interior page:

And a spiffy map on the back:

Here's the location in Flashearth.

I will probably have more to say on this in upcoming posts, but I have to notice a personal connection. I've actually stayed in one of these hotels! I spent a night at the 18, 19,& 20 Montague hotel - actually I slept there one morning. The plane was late and I arrived about 4:30 AM. The hotel manager was not terribly happy, and we were gone by lunchtime. That's all I remember about the place. Sorry.

I'm also not sure which, if any, of these hotels Great Grampa stayed in. We'll figure it out.

Old Questions are Answered

Back in May, 2006 I was feeling advanced nostalgia:
I am going to miss the Enron trial, only because I love listening to reporter Wade Goodwyn. He sounds exactly like the guy who did the narration for those old Disney nature documentaries.That guy was a gentleman named Winston Hibler.

You can read more about him here.

Meanwhile, in December, 2006 I mused about wanting to see this Blue Peter segment:
"Other well-remembered and much-repeated items include the Girl Guides' bonfire that got out of hand on the 1970 Christmas edition."It is on this Youtube clip, about 4:50 in:

Somehow I was expecting more carnage.

This Week in Pod

I did have this post ready to go a few days ago, but I haven't had the internet time that I thought I would.


An addendum to my previous discussion of covermount CDs.

One of the side effects of having a constant influx of covermounts is the occasional discovery that the CD that you (read: "I") went out and purchased for only one song was useless because the one song that you (read: "I") wanted was on a covermount CD that you (read: "I") just hadn't listened to yet.

For a little while, I've been considering picking up the new Feist CD, partly because I find that "1234" song amusing. This is the song that rocketed up the charts after it was featured in an iPod ad, which was running concurrently to the debut of the current iteration of the mp3 store, which caused the same song to be the first number one song on the service that was competing with the one that had been successfully advertising it.

You should understand that i…

I hate to lose things

One of those videos that I have been hunting forever for a copy of, Michael Smotherman's "Crazy in Love" circa 1979 (I see that the date at the end says 1982, but I think it is actually earlier):

This was one of the videos that showed up pre-MTV, in the gaps between movies on HBO and "Look Kids! Videos!" programs. I had this in the middle of the first videotape that I ever owned, and picked up a copy of the album. The videotape was lost in the early eighties (I recall that a drunken friend stood on it.) and I have been on the lookout for it ever since.

Upon moving in, my sophomore year roommate went digging through my record collection, as I went simultaneously digging through his. When he came across the Michael Smotherman album, he immediately started waving it around and said that he had been looking for the video for ages.

I told him my sad story, and we drank a bottle or two of something or other and pledged that we would both keep looking for this video a…

Buying the New Yorker 1976 - page 49


In 1976 NBC changed its logo. This was a big deal. I remember this because NBC spent a lot of money explaining how this was a big deal.

To sum up -- the last logo was a peacock. The reason that NBC chose a peacock was because it had made the jump to color television. As everything was broadcast in color in 1976, NBC decided that "Hooray! We're in color!" as a branding theme had run its course.

So a new logo.

Unfortunately there were a few snags:
The period from 1976 to 1980 saw NBC in last place in the ratings. (The 75-76 season that this ad is appearing smack in the middle of was particularly dismal).
The new "N" logo was distressingly similar to the logo of Nebraska Public Television, naturally leading to a lawsuit.
By 1979 the "N" was recast with the peacock superimposed on it, and in 1986 the "N" was removed and the peacock was once again the logo, as it has remained to this day.

You will be astonished to learn that there is a p…

Important internet debate of the year

Resolved: "Superman doesn't poo."

I come late to the meme parry

I did these two a while ago and forgot to post them.

For my many readers from Bryn Mawr

In a dizzying four years, Preston Sturges reinvented American film comedy. With seven landmark films, his mix of wordplay and slapstick created a school of movie-making that was wildly funny and distinctively American— a sophisticated take on the screwball cycle: fast and smart and never too dignified for pratfalls.Sturges was the first prominent writer-director in Hollywood history, paving the way for his Paramount Pictures colleague, Billy Wilder, among others.

In this course, we will discuss the process by which Sturges the writer became Sturges the director, and what his films, which include The Lady Eve and Sullivan's Travels, say about their times and the American character. We will also see how he achieved his comic effects, and how, in an era of strict censorship, Sturges managed to creatively and amusingly evade the retrospective.

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The Globe will teach you language skills

From here

Jeff Yamaguchi, who serves as Hideki Okajima's translator, was interpreting for the reliever last weekend and said Okajima had thrown a "cookie," a common expression used by English-speaking pitchers to describe a fat pitch. Yamaguchi insisted that Okajima had employed the Japanese equivalent for cookie. "Amai [pronounced ah-MY] means sweet," Yamaguchi said. "Tama is ball. So when you say 'amai tama,' you're saying 'sweet ball.' " In other words, a cookie.Previously on "The Globe will teach you language skills": "Wank"

A particularly silly castle

This is Castle Doune, where most of the various castle scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail were filmed.

Have a look.

Not filmed at Castle Doune were the final scenes of the film. They were done at Castle Stalker which can be found here (currently not nearly as good resolution).

This Fortnight in Pod

This week (okay, two) I've been concerning myself with covermount CDs - the free CDs that come with magazines and newspapers and whatnot.

I am a sucker for the things.

Right now I am about a third of the way through the CD binder of CMJ covermounts that I have accumulated. It's a monthly magazine and I've had a subscription since 1997. That should tell you about how many of the damn things that I'm loading in. I stopped paying for a subscription in 2002, but am still getting a copy every month. That should tell you something about how organized they are.

It is sort of astonishing to go through a forced march of these CDs - to remember how many artists I discovered when I listened to the latest issue (and how many songs I liked and completely lost track of.) All of the CDs I have by The Nields and The Coral and Gomez and The Streets can have their blame placed directly on CMJ magazine.

Anyway - on to the regular stuff:

Most Played Song

Al Stewart - "Katherine of Ore…

interesting fun fact

The word "botulism" comes from the Latin "botulus," which means "sausage."

Science marches on and on!

Great moments in road trips

Michael Nesmith drives his eldorado to the moon, 1985.

Science marches on!

Buying the New Yorker 1976 - page 47


Buying the New Yorker 1976 - page 46

"The kind of thing that means business. Or lunch."

That's a slogan that stays with you.

Buying the New Yorker 1976 - page 45

The first quote says that the interior is more spacious than a Z-Car. I'm pretty sure the reviewer is referring to the Nissan 280Z, which would have been a comparable reference in 1976.

The Triumph TR7 is one of those cars that a few people seem to just love the hell out of, and most everyone else sort of looks at and goes "eh." The people that I've met that love the hell out of Triumphs tend to own them, which leads me to believe that they are fun to drive.

Which brings up another point - this is probably going to be the last year that I'll be seeing ads for cars that look like I can still see them on the road occasionally.

Harvest Time!

For years I have been making beer and wine in the basement.

The first question that is asked when people found out that I made wine in the basement was "do you have a grapevine?"

The answer was no. Folks who make wine can always go down to the farmers' market or the beer/wine hobby shop and get a few crates of grapes or a bucket of interesting juice.

This explanation never held much water, so five years ago, I planted a grapevine.

It died.

I planted two more the next year. They died as well.

Two years ago I planted a couple of Marechal Foch vines. They grew six inches and a couple of leaves. Last year I posted photos of the entire output of the two vines. I think we would have had about a shot glass full of wine.

This year the vines went nuts.

They took over the freaking deck!

I was waiting to see if there was some sign that the grapes were ready for harvest. I was waiting for the last of the green buds to turn purple.

The actual sign was when the local birds started eating …

I Know! I Know! Hot Shmsedky!

Dave Gorman is off on a lovely rant about the late night televised lottery quiz game things (the latest in a series) and all I can do is giggle at his screencaps.

Hot Zpetelts?

Oh no, wait, wait, I got it! Hot Ufdrknrl!

Album cover location hunt

Another in an intermittent series:

The cover photo from Paul's Boutique (US, UK) - shot here.

You can also see it in street view at Google Maps