Friday, September 28, 2007
But, right now: I dig History Joyrides! Grab your chips and soda, fasten your seatbelt, get ready to scroll down, and let's roll! This is the batmobile*! Cool, huh?
Boss Specs: Rocket boosts for increased speed, devices to improve maneuverability, mounted weapons to disable vehicles and remove obstacles, a computer remotely linked to the Batcave's computer, a remote control function, a field forensic kit, and a personal small helicopter held in the trunk called a whirlybat.
But, GET THIS! It is the 1941 State of Illinois Crime Lab on Wheels! Wheeeee!
Boss Specs: Revolving and Elevating Turret with phone, machine gun (could shoot candy!), searchlights, bulletproof glass, portholes (perfect to throw candy out of!), camera, and revolving loud speakers! It can operate at top speeds of 65 mph! Buckle up for our high-speed chases!
And, check out what's inside!
Twelve hundred (1,200) things! Including: darkroom, x-ray equipment to inspect packages for bombs, food supplies and emergency rations, ladder rack, asbestos suits, ropes and grappling hooks, speed boat, crime detection chemistry lab, switchboard, lie detector machine, and moulage materials! Law enforcement officials say that "Moulage" is supposed to be "the art of applying mock injuries for the purpose of training Emergency Response Teams." But just between the two of us, don't you bet it has something to do with doughnuts? I'd add some curtains to cozy this baby up. But: COOL!
It's like the Barbie Dream Camper I used to have...but BETTER!
Holy separation anxiety, Batman**! What the heck happened to Ken*** here? Did he hook up with Serial Killer Barbie?
But, hang on a second. Who came up with this idea for a State of Illinois Crime Lab on Wheels? Good question! Wait. Why are you dancing around in the back seat like that. What's that? Rest stop? You need a rest stop. Okay. Squeal of brakes. Wait, wait, wait. Better? Okay. Let's press on.
THIS GUY came up with the idea: Illinois Governor Dwight H. Green (Term: 1941-1948)!
Governor Green clearly liked vehicles! And, he liked his name on vehicles! Here he is, ready to receive a chest x-ray from the state's first mobile tuberculosis-testing unit! He's the guy lurking behind the two older nurses and, I think, groping both of them with his left hand. One woman appears to like it; the other does not appear to like it. Al Capone would NOT like to be groped by Governor Green. Here is Al Capone:
When Green was U.S. Attorney Green, he teamed up with FBI agent Eliot Ness and his Untouchables to defeat Al Capone. Although, a book by Dennis E. Hoffman titled, "Scarface Al and the Crime Crusaders: Chicago's Private War Against Capone" suggests that Capone was defeated by six lawyers and businessmen known as "The Secret Six," and Green was dogged by rumours that he was in bed with the gangsters and turned a blind eye to gambling, etc.
Remember Governor Green's cool State of Illinois Crime Lab on Wheels? Yeah. I'm pretty sure Governor Green WAS in bed with gangsters and wanted a secure spot--a traveling Bat Cave, if you will--to hide from the gangsters if they ever turned against him. This would make a mighty good hideout.
Uh-Oh! Adlai Stevenson defeated Green in 1948 and aggressively attacked organized crime in the state. Adlai Stevenson sure loved Lincoln! And frankly, I think he sounds like a pretty cool guy. He had lots of great ideas, and he wanted us to "march to a New America." Apparently, America was tired that day and didn't want to march. He lost his bids for the Presidency.
And, you know who HATED Stevenson? Why, J. Edgar "I'm Pretty in Pink" Hoover hated Stevenson!!! He spread rumors that Stevenson was bisexual. First, so what? Nothin' wrong with that. Especially when you consider that we've had presidents that I'm pretty sure steady-dated goats. Second, who the heck was Hoover to talk? This is some guy dressed up as Zombie J. Edgar Hoover. I'm pretty sure this is what Hoover looked like on a daily basis, so I'll go with this photo.****
Yep, I feel confident in saying that Hoover was a real jerk. He headed up the FBI for many years, however, and you can see him playing himself in the 1959 movie called "The FBI Story" starring Jimmy Stewart. I love me some Jimmy Stewart, but I'm not going to taint him by putting a photo of him anywhere near the words "J. Edgar Hoover." And...HEY! Did you happen to know that Adam West was in the movie "The FBI Story"?
Yes! In "The FBI Story," Adam West played the role of "Voice on Two-Way Radio" and he was uncredited. DAMN. Adam West has a GREAT VOICE.
Okay. We're back where we started. Thanks for coming along for the ride and have a great day!
*Please note that this image of the Batmobile is the exclusive creative and intellectual property of DC comics and I am including it here only to make a truly vital historical comparison.
**Please note that the character of Batman is the exclusive creative and intellectual property of DC comics and I am referencing Batman here only to express my astonishment over Ken's apparent disembowelment.
***Please note that Ken is the exclusive creative and intellectual property of Mattel and Barbie's love slave. It is important to note that this is NOT my Ken doll.
****Please note that Zombie J. Edgar Hoover is the exclusive creative and intellectual property of the individual depicted. I have no idea who this guy is. Guy: If you want me to take this picture down, please let me know. Thank you. (You've got great gams.)
*****Just to be sure...did I mention that this image of the Batmobile is the exclusive creative and intellectual property of DC comics and I am including it here only to make a truly vital historical comparison?
Thursday, September 27, 2007
5) FU##! It is important to note that "Fudge," "Funk," "Frick" are not bad words--although Lois did get in trouble for using "Frick." (Note: FU## is a useful word, and I admit to using it upon occasion. Yet, it must be a bad word because it scares my neighbors so very badly when I bellow it aloud after smacking my head on a cabinet and making a sound like a pumpkin smashed on the pavement.)
6) SH##! It is important to note that "Shinola," "Sheesh," and "Sugar" are not bad words. (Note: SH## is a useful and satisfying word, and I admit to using it upon occasion. Yet, it must be a bad word because I feel guilty if I bellow it aloud around a child.)
7) Bloody! I'm not sure why this appears to be such a bad swear word overseas. Is it? Can anyone explain? Do I not understand because I'm from the violent U.S. and "bloody" is everywhere...practically part of the names of our breakfast cereals? Bloody Oaties with Marshmallow Clusters (lead-painted toys in every box)?
9) Oozy. "Seeping" is pretty bad, too.
10) Crusty is a word that can be disgusting or delicious--entirely depends on the context. Combine crusty with stench and oozy and you've got a recipe for gut-wrenching nausea. Yet, crusty plays happily with macaroni and cheese. Ahhhhh.
11) But this is about bad words. Like: Deadline! Anything that has to do with mortality AND work simultaneously cannot be good.
12) "scopy"--anything with a "scopy" at the end of it is bad. You don't find a lot of delicious chocolatescopy (chocoscopy) in this world, do you?
13) Probe. See scopy above.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I'm having a teensy spot of trouble today. To sum up: Computer frozen! E-mail funked up! Web host hosting party and drunk! Client waiting! Discussion questions: Why does this always happen on days like this--gypsy curse? Which Beastie Boy has the best wig? Can you please turn up the song really loud--it will make me feel better? Thank you. Pray for Mojo. Note: It is clearly not my birthday.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Yesterday, I Ain't No Oprah said, and I quote, "Still talking about your birthday??!! Let it go, let it go..." As I Ain't No Oprah is my Celebrity Blogography of the week, I feel like I need to pay more attention to his agitated, vein-throbbing-in-forehead dithering than I ordinarily would. So, in deference to I Ain't No Oprah, I WILL "let my birthday go." Yes, I will let it go Starting Tomorrow. Until then, how about a birthday recap? Yes, I thought you'd be game!
First, as I noted yesterday, one of my favorite gifts was--no, sadly not a torque wrench, as suggested by Meredic, who lives in the North Wales mountains--$10 of quarters to put in the toy machine I have previously chronicled in these pages.
A deep, soul-searing question has been haunting all of you in the silent watches of the night, hasn't it? No, not the one about world peace. This question: WHAT do you GET when you insert $10 of quarters into a "Space Station" toy machine? Here. This is what you get.
What's that, I Ain't No Oprah? This is not enough post-birthday fun for you? You want to see the birthday card I received from my sister? And, you are wondering whether Jayne presented me with a special birthday greeting? Well, wonder no more, my vein-throbbing-in-forehead, chum!
This is the card I received from my sister, and yes, that IS a photograph of a cemetery.
Officially, I am in dire straits workwise, buried under a giant stack of words--both written and ones that are swirling around in my head and need to be written. This is me, with the exception that I am faced by a hostile pack of assignments, and not cards: So, I scuttle off to put my nose to the grindstone (ow ow OW), leaving you with a question to ponder: What was your favorite book when you were a child/young adult?
Friday, September 21, 2007
QUESTION 1: In the photo below, what the heck am I doing? (Originally read: "Which one am I and what the heck am I doing?" "Which one am I" is too much of a slow pitch given that there are two other photos of me as a tot here--d'oh!) QUESTION 2: What famous people were born on your birthday? I share my birthday with: Bill Murray, H. G. Wells, Stephen King, Nicole Ritchie, Don Preston (of the Mothers of Invention), Chuck Jones, Leonard Cohen, Henry Gibson, and Fannie Flagg, among others. Here's the thing: I think I probably DO have some traits in common with this motley crew. On the other hand, I'm not so sure I have anything in common with the Prime Minister of Japan, Jerry Bruckheimer, John Bunny, Larry Hagman, Faith Hill, Liam Gallagher, and Darva Conger. Hmm. D'you think you have anything in common with anyone born on your b'day? (Note: There's no reason to assume that you would, it's just something I think about...)
Here are some good quotes from people born on my birthday, 'cause heaven knows all you'll get out of my mouth is something dinosaur-related: "Some people bear three kinds of trouble--the ones they've had, the ones they have, and the ones they expect to have" and "The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow" from H.G. Wells. "Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act" from Leonard Cohen. "If I have to spend some time in purgatory before going one place or the other, I guess I'll be all right as long as there's a lending library" from Stephen King. And, of course, the timeless: "Anytime I'm around a male body part, it's kind of exciting" from Nicole Ritchie.
QUESTION 3: Do you ever read your horoscope--not because you believe in it, but because you're glancing at the comics and it's RIGHT there and you think to yourself, "Okay, how wrong is it going to be today?" Or, maybe you really truly believe in astrology? Either one is fine by me. I'm not a true believer, but I do glance at my horoscope from time to time thinking, "You're going to scold me again about being an overly meticulous Virgo fussbot, aren't you?" But, the fact is that I actually put myself through college after glancing at an astrology book about Virgos that my friend Rick gave me. At the time, I was working as a secretary because I was too shy to do anything else (don't ask). The book said, "Virgos are ruled by the bowels. Their favorite color is navy blue, and they make ideal secretaries and nurses." Those were fighting words. Navy freakin' blue? Ruled by the bowels? "I am NOT an ideal secretary, damn it!" I bellowed (actually, I was an ideal secretary), and I enrolled in my first college courses the next week. Oh, dear. I guess I have to thank the author of that book.
Anyhoo, as I was sifting through birthday stuff online yesterday, I found this "You Born Today" thing about September 21ers. It is probably just my mood, but some of the stuff in there actually seemed kinda accurate. It probably helped that it didn't say anything about navy blue, secretaries, or bowels. I'm curious: If you get a chance and have the vaguest inclination, visit this page, scroll down down down, click on the link to your sign, scroll down down down, and click on the day you were born. Does the article that pops up describe you? Is it way off? (Note: I know that the directions above are WAY too much work.)
Have a wonderful weekend!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
1) COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"Baby, when they made you they broke the mold!"
BACKHANDED COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"Baby, you look less like mold today than you did yesterday!"
RANDOM COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"Baby, mold gives us healing penicillin, so IF you looked like mold, I would worship you. In fact, I worship you for NOT being a death-making disease!"
2) COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"I thank god for sending you, the hottest angel, down to earth!"
BACKHANDED COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"You look like an angel--one of those "special ones" god keeps hidden in the attic."
RANDOM COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"Hey, what if you were a violent, pissed-off fallen angel with a machine gun? That would suck. I worship you for NOT being a violent, pissed-off fallen angel with a machine gun!"
3) COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"Boy! You're in great shape!"
BACKHANDED COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"Boy! You're in great shape, you know, compared to what you looked like before!"
RANDOM COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"Hey, you know what has a neat shape? A dodecahedron has a neat shape! If you were shaped like that, I'd worship you! In fact, let me close my eyes. I'm picturing you all dodecahedron-shaped and I worship you!"
4) COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"You sure are funny!"
BACKHANDED COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"I guess that would have been funny if I could have understood your squeaky little voice!"
RANDOM COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"An old ham said to a young lamb, 'I thought I could act, son, but YOU, YOU'VE got chops!' I'm going to pretend you made up that joke and quietly worship you."
5) COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"You sure are smart!"
BACKHANDED COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"Isn't it neat that you like to say things that you think are smart! Good for you!"
RANDOM COMPLIMENT GENERATOR
"People's brains are gray and squooshy. I bet yours is more gray and squooshier than anyone else's! I worship you!"
And now, please go to the SURREALIST COMPLIMENT GENERATOR and get your surreal compliment for the day! Mine is: "Your eyes glow like naked livers burning in the sun." Which is eerily true.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Archie: “So, if you were Bertie, how would you rescue us?”
Walt: “I dunno, man. Some smart plan from a movie.”
Archie: “The only thing I’ve seen Bertie watch is One Million Years B.C. with Raquel Welch. Over and over. And over.”
Walt: “Naw, he watches other stuff, too.”
Archie: “Okay. What movie would help him get us out of here?”
Walt: “Well, there’s ‘The Great Escape.’”
Archie: “Great movie, lousy number of men saved.”
Archie: "Huh? What did you say?"
Walt: "Dunno. I suddenly felt like talking like a pirate. I don't know why. So, how 'bout Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid”?
Archie: “You could see that as a bad ending or a good ending. Either way, I see it as unhelpful to Bertie.”
Walt: “The Bank Job.”
Archie: “Oh, c’mon.”
Walt: “Escape from Alcatraz.”
Archie: “Bertie ain’t no Clint Eastwood. Plus, we don’t have any raincoats.”
Walt: “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest?”
Archie: “You do the math. ‘One flew over.’ How many of us are there? Let me help. There are 11 of us.”
Walt: “Okay. YOU come up with one, then.”
Archie: “Some kind of cool Ray Harryhausen movie where the skeleton dudes EXPLODE up out of death's icy embrace and SURGE to our rescue..."
"...And they're led by Bertie and Raquel Welch! In a fur bikini! I mean, Raquel Welch is in the fur bikini. I don't care what Bertie has on.” Walt: “Okay. Two things. ONE: I don't think Bertie was the only one watching Raquel over and over and over again."
Archie: "I like to watch that particular art film to see how wrong they get us dinosaurs. Don't they know we like to spend quiet nights at home reading? We're not all about running around with cavemen dangling out of our mouths. Ee-yew--they're all gristly and they never wash."
Walt: "Uh-huh, sure. Whatever. And TWO: Oh, sure. THAT’s gonna happen.”
Archie: “So, sue me. My dreams keep me alive. Okay. It's back in your court, Walt. What escape movie would help Bertie get us out of here?"
No, no, no. Not that kind. I fell in love with a trinket vending machine. There it is, all red and glassy with little things encased in brightly colored plastic bubbles. WOW! Just, look: Look at this. I can get a flying bird man with a rocket pack! Or a pocket-sized Martian holding a vibrator (no, wait, a microphone)! Or a big, red funny-looking squishy thing! Or a ROBOT! I can even get a hi-intensity flashing LED!
Wait. What the hell am I going to do with a hi-intensity flashing LED? Oh, who cares. It doesn't matter. All I want is that little silver robot that looks like it is perfectly poised to snick into position and slide down the chute into my palm. Wow! What a miraculous mechanism. What a handsome, enchanting machine. Fifty cents. Is that all? Okay. Here goes. Fifty cents, thwink thwink, turn the handle, roll little plastic bubble, rollll down the chute, come to mama! But, I do not get the little robot. No. I get a big, red funny-looking squishy thing that smells like burned rubber and two hi-intensity flashing LEDs on little necklaces. What the heck? I’m too old to go to raves. I’ll fall down and break a hip. Plus, I want the little robot. And I want it bad, and I want it now. Next time, I'll get it next time. I begin to stockpile vast amounts of quarters in a scary, General Patton kind of way.
I go to the machine every Sunday morning, pockets clunking with change, pretending I am there to buy the Sunday paper. One morning as I stand outside waiting for the store to open, a man joins me. We chat about the weather as our eyes burn holes into the back of the teenage boy who lounges behind the counter ignoring us in a really obvious way and waiting until it is precisely 9:02 a.m. to open the door. For no good reason, I point to the robot in the vending machine and I say, “See that? I really want to get that robot. I’ve been trying for awhile.” And the man gets a wild gleam in his eye and says, “You know what? I’d GET that robot for you if I could!” He looks like he is going to grab a rock and break the window, and for a mad moment I feel like screaming out like a gun moll, “Yeah! GET it, Johnny, GET IT!” and I kind of wish I am wearing an angora sweater like Natalie Wood in “Rebel Without A Cause.” Then, the teenage boy swings the door open, our moment of middle-aged crazy fades, and we shuffle into the store shame-facedly.
There are many such Sunday mornings. I take to disgustedly tossing armloads of plastic bubble “treasures” into my back seat. 1,200 hi-intensity flashing LEDS on little necklaces, 4,000 stupid malfunctioning plastic tops, 500 mysterious, stinky rubber balls. My outlook is bleak. And then, then one beautiful day, there is a breakthrough. I get three robots. The next time, I get two martians. And suddenly, I know it is time for the machine and I to break up. We can go our separate ways—-me a little poorer and my backseat fuller, it a little richer and its glass case more empty. Take a look at the machine in this photo. It was full when I first saw it.
Recently, I dropped by the store to grab a Sunday paper. And, I thought I’d check up on the machine—see how it was doing. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. I swear it was just for old time’s sake. I’ll say this for the machine: It was looking well. I popped a few quarters in, and I’ll be damned. One hundred percent GOOD stuff poured into my palms. I tested the machine. More good stuff poured out. I peered into the machine looking for hi-intensity flashing LEDS on little necklaces, stupid malfunctioning plastic tops, mysterious, stinky rubber balls. THERE WERE NONE. And then I thought, “Damn. I bet I cheered up the guy who fills this vending machine.”
Suddenly, I could see him dragging himself through his route, unshaven and dejected, servicing machines that always remained full of stupid, unwanted plastic crap. And then, one week, somebody suddenly started buying his stuff. The level in the machine of stupid plastic crap went down and down and down! The college fund of his children grew and grew and grew! He started whistling around the house, lost weight, looked years younger, and the romance came back into life for he and his wife. They took a cruise with the kids, and when they came back, he was full of the milk of human kindness. He swore to himself that he would never fill a machine with stupid plastic crap. No. Not ever again. And, he has kept his word. His machines brim with REALLY COOL plastic crap. Each quarter MEANS something and buys a treasure.
At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m looking around for quarters for parking meters. Hey, by the way, do you need an LED necklace?
Friday, September 14, 2007
"Solving Home Problems" is one of my favorite features in my old Popular Mechanics. You know what? They never have a problem that I need to solve. Also, I can't understand the solutions--they always involve banjo picks, boilers, and measuring stuff in a competent fashion. I find myself nodding my head cluelessly, as if I were back in math class. Yet, the people in the illustrations always look kind of jolly and I like the use of color in the illustrations, like the smart touches of green shown above.
At any rate, please focus on Figure 4 above. It shows a "bouquet of slices cut from an ear of corn and impaled on wire stems. Corn husks are used to simulate the leaves," also corn niblets fill the base of the planter. Okay. You know what this means don't you? Blood. Blood spilled all over the kitchen and splashed upon the kitchen walls. Have you tried to cut a corn cob? It will not give up without a fight, and I will be the loser in that battle. I mean, this calls for thin little flowery slices of corn without mushing the corn. Impossible, I say! The whole operation is a bit violent, anyway. Is it really necessary to "impale" the bouquet of slices on wire stems? Even if I'm all brutal and I try to do that, do you know who gets impaled? Me. I get impaled. I say, "Don't try this at home." Onward to our next corn contemplation.
This is a squirrel feeder at my sister's house. Yes, there is a very long story behind this feeder. It is a story of dark mischief and mayhem, with squirrels feasting endlessly on buds on bushes, digging up bulbs for sport, vaulting into window boxes and burrowing, running around with small children in their mouths, and generally acting like a pack of vikings on weekend furlough. My sister, a peaceful vegetarian sort and dedicated gardener, took to muttering stuff under her breath about "Buying a gun from the back of some guy's truck and offing them all." This was quite uncharacteristic of her, but pretty funny to me--the crudgirl younger sister.
Instead, as you see, my sister went a different route. She bought a squirrel feeder and began to offer up corn sacrifices to the angry squirrel gods. The feeder is kind of fun. You screw ears of "feed corn" on (it comes in a large sack) and sit back and watch. This squirrel started by standing at the top of the thing and sloooowly swinging around so he was hanging upside down. It did not bother him. Nothing bothers squirrels. Did the wheel work? For a little while. Then, they started ripping the corn off the wheel and running away with it. I think they liked a spot of variety to go along with raiding the flowerbeds.
The last item in our gallery of corn is the book I am reading right now--a mystery by Ngaio Marsh. A central point in the plot is a really terrible opera called, "The Alien Corn." At one point, the man who wrote the opera overhears someone singing the first line, "Alooooone! Alooooone amidst the alien corrrrrrn!" and he suddenly realizes how awful it is and that he is trapped in conducting it even though it really sucks. It is a bad, bad moment for him. Anyway, two points remotely related to this book: 1) For far too long, I mispronounced this author's name. Horribly. I also mispronounced the name of the author's primary character. My sister corrected me. I think the only time I have helped adjust how my sister says a word was "impotent." She was pronouncing it impo'tant. Never mind how the matter came up. Or didn't come up. 2) On the backs of many of Ngaio Marsh's books, people are quoted as saying stuff like, "She's better than Christie!" and "Now, they should compare Christie to Marsh!" It's like some Christie/Marsh literary cage match. Probably embarrassing for both of them.
HAVE A LOVELY WEEKEND! Maybe have some corn, if you can get some good fresh from a farmstand? Just make sure it's not alien corn.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
If you look closely, you will note that these dames are on their union-authorized "make-up break."
Hey, kids! Don't swoon! It's "model couple" Don and Eloise Phillips from glamorous Great Neck, New York! They are a "model couple" because they are both models. Neat, huh? Okay, shhhhhh let's sneak up and see if we can hear what they're saying!
Don: "Ah, isn't this romantic, Eloise? Just a quiet evening at home, me making a stalker collage of your photos...you shredding your rival's photo into confetti. Isn't it good to be a model couple? Let us smile together!"
Eloise: "Get out of my light, Don."
Don: "Eloise! Look! I have a new bathrobe! You can tell because I have my hand on my hip in that adorable "new bathrobe modeling" way that I have. Let us smile together!"
Eloise: Get out of my light, Don."
You know what bugs me about this ad? It's the little arrows that point to the prunes. They thought I would MISS the picture of the prunes. I get it, I get it, already.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Rex: "I'm sure this is just a mistake of some sort. Say, fellows! Where do you hail from?"
'Saurs: "SHUT UP, REX!"
Algernon: "Fortunately, Victor has a break-away tail. But, overall I'm thinking this ain't lookin' good. Hey. Who cut the cheese?"