Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Glory be - it's Chef Boyardee!




This has got to be one of my dumbest animations ever, but here it is anyway.  For God's sake, I could only find three pictures! Then they had to be worked on a lot to get them to match up. Pretend he is smacking his lips, or blowing on something to cool it off.

Like everyone else, I was surprised to discover there really was a Chef Boyardee, a renowned chef who owned popular Italian restaurants. This went on very nicely until World War II, when the nation desperately needed army rations. Voila - canned spaghetti! This had never been tried before, and it is said that soldiers went about with can openers slung around their necks to partake of cold, congealed ravioli and other gourmet delights.




This brought about a change in the product, of course, making it blander and more uniform. It was sturdy food that could provide quick calories and hold up in the trenches. But in the 1950s, when the good chef first appeared on TV, army-ration-style food was still very much "in". All those horrific Spam/gelatined table scraps/creamed everything recipes prove it. America still very much remembered the war as they entered that other war, the cold one.

And the cold rations went over well. I fed my kids Chef Boyardee ravioli (which my toddler son called "dabioti") because they ate it, and liked it, and it was easy. I guess they survived. I even ate it myself, but the last time I tried it, it tasted like nothing. I was shocked.

I find it interesting that, while he and the announcer both correctly pronounce his name "Boi-AR-di", it soon evolved into the supposedly-more-manageable "Boy-ar-DEE". I will never forget those pizza mixes, which for years and years was the only pizza we ever consumed: thin cardboard crust, non-zippy red sauce, and a little can of powder that passed for cheese.


Death by tightlacing


  



Monday, March 27, 2017

Escalator plummets, shoppers tumble





Bentley: the best cat, the only cat


















   


These are a few of my favorite. . . Pream commercials








 










I think I spent half the night trying to get these formatted. I downloaded about fifteen of them from Internet Archives (once I remembered the name of it and found it), then pared it down to eight and tried to post them. They sort of played - actually, they DID play just fine, but there were no thumbnails, just blanks. This sucked! Certainly no one would ever try to play them.  I then posted them all on YouTube, which was fast (relatively) and easy, but for some reason I can't access my own YouTube videos through Blogger, so I was left to scramble around and try to FIND the ones I posted. I had to make up the balance with other people's videos. Never mind. I did find my absolute favorites (the bottom two - the lady's expression is the weirdest thing I have ever seen on TV, and the - well, the milk pail explains itself.






I am having frightening problems with videos just conking and not playing. Windows Media Player is pretty much kaput, so my son installed (in about five seconds) something called VLC Media Player. I THINK it works, and if it doesn't, it's because of the limitations of this primitive Blogger site. I have a headache, I haven't slept, and I want this to be a good day, but it doesn't want to be, it really doesn't.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Cats and cherry blossoms




These are a few of my favorite things.


That face: a Harold Lloyd animation





Look at that face, just look at it
Look at that fabulous face of yours
I knew, first look I took at it
This was the face that the world adores
Look at those eyes, as wise and as deep as the sea
Look at that nose, it shows what a nose should be
As for your smile, it's lyrical
Friendly and warm as a summer's day
That face is just a miracle
Where could I ever find words to say?
The way that it makes me happy
Whatever the time or place
I'll find in no book what I find
When I look at that face


Friday, March 24, 2017

Smoke SAFELY in your car!




Old ads for products that now, somehow, don't seem like such a good idea are a staple of this blog. This one just jumped out at me as wrong on so many levels, I can't even count them all. Those vape things, e-cigarettes (the gadgets that are supposed to help you stop smoking) keep exploding in people's pockets, reminding me of that classic rhyme which begins, "Liar, liar. . . ". But the potential for disaster here seems infinitely magnified. 

I can't begin to transcribe all the flyspeck type on this thing, but the bottom sums it up: 

Delivers A Lighted Cigarette - - Instantly. Every smoker wants this new magic invention. Look what happens at the touch of the magic button. A cigarette slips out automatically toward your lips - you hear a click - and there's a flame burning right at the end  of the cigarette. A touch - a puff - and that's enough! A life saver to car drivers. You puff, and with the lighted cigarette between your lips, you draw it from the case. Then there is another click. The magic case is closed, the flame is out, and the next cigarette automatically jumps into position for the next smoke. Think of getting such amazing results. 




I can just make out the part about A Life Saver To Car Drivers.

You don't have to take your eyes off the road any more, and both hands off the wheel, to light a cigarette. Avoid the danger of life and property loss by using a Magic Case. Travel 60 miles an hour if you wish and light a cigarette withiout removing your vision from the road for an instant, or both hands from the wheel. All it takes is a touch, a puff. . . and you're smoking. . . SAFELY! The Magic Case is INDISPENSIBLE to car drivers.

I'm still trying to figure out the sequence of events here, involving clicks, puffs, lighted cigarettes and steering wheels, not to mention the potential danger of driving an incredible 60 miles per hour (the origin of the dusty phrase, "going like sixty").  But if you dropped this sucker while it was incendiary, might it not burn a hole in your pants, if not your scrotum? If there were some papers rustling around at your feet, or - oh, say, an oily rag or two - . But this is mere conjecture. Going on and on about "smoking safely" feels like an oxymoron in itself. Open flames, that close to your face - and just what is it that fuels these flames? At what sort of Lilliputian service station would you refill this thing?  And the flint - or whatever - the sulphur - it doesn't bear thinking about.





Looking on Google images, I see hundreds of cigarette cases, and to me it's like looking at Star Trek phasers or remote controls for Doomsday. It just does not apply, it has nothing to do with me. So they all look exotic and deadly. Do some of them automatically ignite your cigarette before it even touches your lips? I have no idea. It's possible, I guess. The world of smoking repulses me more than I can say. But in this ad, it's a given, just something everybody does, and having your cigarette lighted for you is seen as the ultimate in convenience.

It would have changed so much. Now, Voyager would have been ruined, because Paul Henreid wouldn't have done that business with lighting the two cigarettes and giving one to Bette Davis. Ernie Kovacs might have survived, however, if they had made a Magic Case for cigars. He was barrelling along a tortuous, unfamiliar road at midnight, in torrential rain, in a defective and unfamiliar car, when he decided that now might be a nice time to enjoy a cigar. He could light cigars with one hand, cleverly igniting the match with his thumbnail, but in this case he took his hand off the wheel at exactly the wrong time and ended up in twisted, smoking wreckage. 

He never would have used one of these anyway because they are so goddamn stupid. And I can't find anything more about them anywhere, so probably they didn't even catch on. 


Big Chicken: THE MOVIE!





Everybody's talkin' 'bout the viral sensation of the week, the Brahma Chicken! Now it turns out there's more than one of them. (Actually, a whole breed.) They're fluffy, they're enormous (as much as 14 pounds, though turkeys are a hell of a lot heavier), they have legs like those Clydesdales in the Budweiser ads, but under the fluff are spurs that are something like four inches long. These two roosters had better be on speaking terms (or clucking terms, or whatever).

I'm still getting some mileage out of the last chicken:






The above video made a nice gif, in which one of the roosters does a nice turn as if to say, hey, take a look. I'M a big chicken, too.


Cars with teeth



Cars with teeth.






Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tesla's folly: or, the day the ship disappeared









These photos (or this photo - the top one is a blowup of the circled figure in the bottom one) go around and around on the internet, and keep appearing on those Top-Ten-Incredible-Time-Travel-Photos-That-Will-Absolutely-Blow-Your-Mind type of things. They pop up on Facebook all the time, and even on YouTube, where Top Ten lists have taken over and spread like a cancer.




This one has been around for a while. It certainly does look odd. This is a group of people - spectators, it looks like, but of what I don't know. Something that's about to happen. They're all sitting on the side of a mountain, and way off to the side is this guy. He really doesn't look like the rest of them, with his board shorts, sloppy tshirt and shaggy hair. In fact, he has been nicknamed Surfer Dude. Historians place this photo around 1917, fully a hundred years ago.

Could be photoshopping, in which case it's awfully well done. But consider this:




This guy has been called Hipster Dude, and like Surfer Dude he sure does seem out of place. The photo is from the 1940s, and everybody has hats on. But this guy has shades, longer hair than anyone else, a tshirt with some sort of logo on it, and what might even be a hoodie. The camera in his hands doesn't look like the hulking things everyone else is carrying.






Somebody claims that this is another view of the guy's head, but who's to say? I can't tell from here.




And here's a gif I made from some Edwardian-era film footage. Just keep your eye on the guy in the long dark coat, sauntering along beside the wagon, bareheaded, pulling his left hand out of his pocket.  Look at the people who are walking behind him (the stiff woman all in black, the stiff couple behind her), the way they're dressed, and compare it to him. The Sauntering Dude (for that's what I call him) might be someone you'd see walking down the street today, whereas those others belong in a museum. Hatted, corsetted, and all the things you had to be back then. Sauntering Dude might even have his coat slung over his right shoulder, which would be almost unthinkably casual back then. Just going bareheaded was mighty strange. I wish I knew more about this guy, because he truly does not seem to be in the right time or place.




I have to admit that some of these things "proving" time travel don't hold up very well. This guy looks like Nic Cage, but when you think about it, probably a lot of people do. There are those who make a living as lookalikes. That Obama guy - who must be out of work by now - looked more like Obama than Obama. Doppelgangers aren't really such a rare thing.




Here, look at this guy, whatever-his-name-is. Pretty close match.




And here we have Ellen DeGeneres and Henry David Thoreau.




I've seen a number of these things where someone is holding a "cell phone" back in 1939 or something - and it's true, there is something odd going on, but since when were there cell phone towers then? So even if the person DID have a cell. . . or did their phone somehow mysteriously receive signals from the future? This is just getting too mixed up, somehow.




Yes, I guess this DOES look sort of like John Travolta, but so what?




I like this ad, don't know when or where it was placed, and most of all I wonder who answered it, and what happened. The "after we get back" is optimistic, I think. I always thought that about moon landings, too. It is nothing short of a miracle that the astronauts never got stranded up there. (Bill tells me they were all given a cyanide capsule "in case").




This doesn't prove anything. About anything.  I don't know if this is from the Zapruder film or what, but there's a big red arrow pointing to "someone". Maybe, like Woody Allen's Zelig, it's somebody who just keeps a-poppin' up everywhere. 




This sort of thing is just silly. Rembrandt was into iphones? I think the internet is reaching here.

What really got me going on this subject was a little story that made my stomach drop, for some reason. During World War II, the U. S. Navy was experimenting with cloaking ships so that they would not appear on enemy radar - rendering them, in a sense, invisible. The Philadelphia Experiment has been much written-about and generally discredited as a hoax or science fiction, but. . . but. It's a story that will never quite go away.




This story claims the experiment was successful and that the ship became invisible, then - bizarrely - showed up in a location hundreds of miles away before disappearing again and reappearing. During this ghost-ship phase, the vessel had a sort of form, but not a solid one, and the men were terrified to find they could walk through walls. When the ship re-materialized in its original location, all the men had gone completely mad. Some of them were literally fused together with the walls they were walking through. Is my hair standing on end yet?




So what did they do to cause all this havoc? They wrapped the ship in enormous Tesla coils that generated so much concentrated electricity that it literally blew the vessel into another dimension. But that's not the kicker. The ship actually went back in time for a while - some say ten minutes, some say ten seconds. It's as if all this Tesla demonic magic fucked around with the space-time continuum, and the thing is, yes, it IS possible: time doesn't just flow in one direction, and space and time are the same thing anyway. Go ask Einstein.

So you have this ghostly freighter, like something out of Kurt Weill's Pirate Jenny, and men getting fused with steel and concrete and going mad and being put in institutions, and ships disappearing and reappearing in a too-successful attempt at a cloaking device, a la Star Trek.

I don't know.




There's more to the icky, squicky feeling I get when I enter this arcane subject. Back when I was researching Harold Lloyd, about a million years ago, I found a very odd web site called Psychic Bridging. It had a lot of weird stuff in it, including a claim that disembodied spirits can get trapped in cell phones and other electronic devices (first I'd heard of that, though I do wonder why no one has thought of it before). But then it mentioned - Harold Lloyd. What I was able to piece together was that he was doing some sort of experimental work for the government during the 1940s, and it was all about time travel, something he (with his endless boyish curiosity) would probably be fascinated with. It was a kind of remote viewing thing called psychic bridging, in which you're the ultimate armchair adventurer, sitting in the present day viewing actual events from the past. But something went terribly wrong. In the words of the blogger, a man named Paul Simon, "Harold Lloyd was hospitalized after becoming self-detached during filming in 1943."




Self-detached. Is that kind of like Peter Pan losing his shadow and having it sewn back on again? Harold Lloyd DID make a movie in the early '40s, his last, and it wasn't very successful. But did he blow his mental circuits doing secret government work, or what? I don't know why it is, but I would not be the least bit surprised.

But the really weird thing is - though I did find one YouTube video made by this Paul Simon, at a certain point the whole thing disappeared. The web site was gone, along with the video. Nobody seems to know what psychic bridging is, or if it even exists. Another disappearing act?




I don't want to think about time travel too much because, though I know it is theoretically possible, it's too full of paradoxes for me to wrap my brain around. What if I went back in time, met my younger self, and killed her? Or - even - killed my parents. See, I don't know how that would work. I would hate to meet any version of myself from the past, and I don't know how that would go anyway - would I just suddenly appear in the living room, or would I be disembodied, just sort of floating around (speaking of invisible) taking notes? Would I recognize my older self and start screaming? For I think it would be infinitely more freaky for your young self to suddenly encounter your old self.

If I took my phone with me, could I take video? Or not? Could I bring it back, or would it disappear? Would I disappear?

I think there are bubbles in time, distortions, maybe even ripples, places where it overlaps, and things that happen over and over again, because it's a mystery. Every once in a while something absolutely freakish comes about, and we run from it, so far and so fast that it's quickly debunked and denied as just too terrifying to be true.




I think about the afterlife sometimes, if there is one, and I hope there isn't because if there is the kind of conventional heaven and hell I grew up with, then I will surely go to hell for all eternity. I know it sounds stupid, but I really do fear it now as I get closer to my own end. There are lots of things I am MORE afraid of, escalating Trumpism, nuclear war, climate change (but don't get me started on THAT or I will lose the few loyal followers I have). Finally, on the subject of time travel I remain open, but not entirely. I like skepticism and think it's healthy, but at the same time, a mind is a terrible thing to close.




My completely rational scientist husband once told me that time travel is theoretically possible, and he said it in a casual oh, yeah way that kind of shook me up. He does not even see it as an odd idea, or beyond the realm of possibility. But I think it can mess you up big-time. The guys on that ship, you know, and Harold Lloyd. . .

This is usually about where I get off.


Lunch





I've seen this before. YOU'VE seen this before. But you've got to see it again.