Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays

Everyone have a Merry Xmas. If you don't, the giant 60's-era fiberglass Santa will ominously take note. And then he will come for you.

Thanks to the newest member of the Blogfoot link family Arglebargle! for the Santa pic. Go yonder and check out his stock of neat old-timey holiday images, followed by his exhaustive examination of all the cutaway illustrations throughout the years that have detailed the inner workings of the famed Baxter Building, headquarters of the illustrious Fantastic Four.

Friday, December 21, 2007

This makes my head hurt

In the interest of public safety I must warn you that the following image may cause you to gouge your eyes out with a spork.

That's right, suckas. Ernie and Bert, all Run DMC'd out at some parade that obviously came winding up straight from the bowels of hell. You just know they're spewing out some lame rap, maybe something about not hating on unibrows, or grown-up males who live together, while that Furbee-thing between them lays down some fierce beatboxing.

I also noticed that Ernie wears his pants straight-up "Fred Mertz" style.
I guess Ernie's new to the thug life.

Thanks to for the photo.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

England must be at least semi-cool

Because they have a public statue somewhere over there of Andy Capp, a drunken, violence-prone comic strip character. He's even got a beer (I believe they would call it a "pint") in his mitt as he stares defiantly at passerby. He's loitering, basically. If the purpose of public art is to inspire discourse, then the message I get from this is "Piss off."

Man, all we got here in Minneapolis is Mary Tyler Moore. I suppose there's a lot of statues of "Peanuts" characters in St. Paul too, but let's face it: they aren't holding beers. But thanks to my soldering gun, they soon will be.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Godzilla's senior picture

The photographer didn't have the woodsy "lean on the rustic fence and look natural" backdrop Godzilla wanted, and he took the picture before he was ready, but all things considered, the pics didn't turn out half-bad (kudos to Roob Photography in Milwaukee on the nice work).

Godzilla is currently debating over whether to go with a Zeppelin or Floyd lyric for his yearbook quote.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The jaunty anteater

Here's a picture of an anteater out for a stroll. He looks happy, just amblin' along with a nice brisk stride and enjoying the day, maybe hoping to see an anthill but if not, hey, that's OK, life is good. Seems like he should have one of those word balloons with musical notes in it above his head.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sadly, the "Wrath of Khan" novelization is not yet available in downloadable form

What kind of people are early adopters of the divisive but certainly interesting Kindle,'s new wireless reading device? Geeks, apparently (click to embiggen photo and read text).

I think showing "The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy" on-screen would have made much more sense.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Evel Knievil 1938-2007

Dang. Legendary daredevil Evel Knievil died today at the age of 69. He had been in failing health in recent years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs. To say he was an icon to my generation would be an understatement. Pretty much every kid in the 70's watched his exploits on "ABC's Wild World of Sports," and many (like myself) had a t-shirt bearing his unmistakable Clint Eastwood-meets-Elvis image or the rubbery Evel action figure with wind-up motorcycle that was made to bounce around, tumble and then always right itself. In fact, a recent story stated that Evel Knievel toys accounted for more than $300 million in sales for Ideal and other companies in the 1970s and '80s. Not too shabby.

He is, of course, most famous for attempting to jump his motorcycle over increasingly outlandish obstacles, as well as crashing much of the time. Sure, he completed some jumps, but later, when he became super-popular, he mostly crashed in spectacular fashion. It seems he would always clear the obstacle but fail to stick the landing, and big trouble would ensue. He was fearless in every sense of the word, and he was paid handsomely for it.

Which led me to develop the following thought: Evel Knievil was the
most / least successful big name personality ever. That is, his level of fame was nearly peerless ( arguably only Muhammad Ali was bigger at the time) and he made a ton of money, yet he often failed to do what he set out to do. He really wasn't paid to accomplish his ballsy feats; he was paid to attempt them. And attempt them he did, and for this due credit must be given.

His first really big media event was on New Year's Day 1968, when he was nearly killed when he jumped 151 feet across the fountains in front of Caesar's Palace. He cleared the fountains, but bounced on the ramp, fell off the bike and ended up looking like Beetle Bailey after Sarge beat him up. The crash landing put him in the hospital in a coma for a month. Behold, the famous slow-mo footage of the crash, second only to the 1967 Patterson/Gimlin Bigfoot film in terms of memorability to dudes my age:

In the years after the Caesar's crash, the fee for Evel's performances soared. In accordance with my theory, once he failed spectacularly, he got more successful. He was paid $1 million to jump over 13 buses at Wembley Stadium in London (the crash landing broke his pelvis). In the early to mid 70's, $1 million was a huge sum. I mean, it still, is but it represented a massive payday back then, considering professional football players made like $60k a year around then.

Then came the biggie, and event I clearly remember watching live: Evel was paid more than $6 million (!) for the Sept. 8, 1974, attempt to clear the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in a rocket-powered "Skycycle." The money came from ticket sales, paid sponsors and ABC's "Wide World of Sports." In particular, I remember that there was an endless amount of pre-jump coverage (2 hours?) that my 6 year-old mind could barely tolerate. Then, after what seemed to be an eternity, the moment of take-off arrived. And then 13 or so seconds later, the failed event was over. The Skycycle parachute malfunctioned and deployed after takeoff, and strong winds then blew the cycle into the canyon, landing him close to the swirling river below.

On Oct. 25, 1975, he successfully jumped 14 Greyhound buses at Kings Island in Ohio. But Evel decided to retire after he suffered a concussion and broke both arms in an attempt to jump a tank full of live sharks in the Chicago Amphitheater in the winter of 1976 (this was just after "Jaws" and everyone was shark-crazy - Fonzie was water-skiing over sharks, Evel was jumping them, etc). I remember watching this one live too, probably clutching my Evel action-figure as I did so.

I saw an "E True Hollywood Story" episode about Evel a couple of years ago, where he told of a comeback stunt he had dreamed up that no one would dare sponsor: he wanted to jump out of an airplane with no parachute and attempt to safely land in a large bale of hay. Shades of Wile E. Coyote, no?

In 2006 he was quoted thusly: "No king or prince has lived a better life." What he probably meant was "No king or prince has been more famous, broken more bones, popped more painkillers, drank more booze, snorted more coke, banged more chicks, sold more merchandise or made as many people cheer." And he'd be right.

I can't wait to see what they do for the torch-lighting ceremony

The the mascots for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver were unveiled yesterday. And, awesomely enough, one of them is a Sasquatch:

"Quatchi." All tatted up and sporting earmuffs and booties. This makes me happy. The world would be a infinitely better place if children were exposed to more Bigfoot and less Elmo, so this is a nice start.

More details, including the identity of the other beasties, can be found
here, courtesy of the folks behind the fine Drawn! cartooning and illustration blog.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Klaus Kinski in action

I've blogged before about my fascination with the force of nature known as Klaus Kinski. A maniacal German actor who appeared in many Werner Herzog films, Klaus was a powerful performer who was completely mesmerizing on film, but more importantly, acted like a Tazmanian devil in real life. Here is a clip of his 1971 wedding to the second of his three wives. All is blissful and wedding-like...the happiest day of their lives...a celebration of love. Until the 00:16 mark, that is.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The other side of the coin

After forcing you all to taste the bitter fruit of the "Old School" DVD cover, I thought I'd offer up a palette cleanser, as it were. Thus, I present the DVD cover of the recent documentary "Helvetica", a film which examines the origins and subsequent mass useage (think NYC subway signs, etc) of the ubiqitous sans-serif typeface developed by Swiss graphic designer Max Miedinger back in the 50's. Anyway, here's the cover:

A nice, simple concept. It's about a typeface, therefore it stars the alphabet. The concept and execution serves the subject and the medium in one fell swoop. Well done.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A skillfull use of photoshop

I don't know about you, but I genuinely believe that all of these actors were present in the same room at the same time for this photo used on the cover of new HD-DVD release of "Old School." Vince Vaughn looks especially grounded in the moment. My compliments to the dedicated artisan who used an x-acto knife and glue stick to put this baby to bed (click to slightly embiggen if so inclined).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Warmth. Rugged styling. Natural materials. All at a wallet-emptying price.

I saw this today on Boing Boing, linked via a website called doobybrain. It's called a beard cap, and it's brought to you by a place in Brooklyn called Scandinavian Grace.

The beard cap is made of wool, comes in different colors and lengths, and makes you look like (depending on the length or color you choose) a psychology professor, a Viking, a gnome, or Fidel Castro. I would happily wear one of these as I walked my dog or shoveled my driveway during the cold-weather months.

You can get the nifty head-coverings here, although when I tried I was told that their bandwidth was exceeded.

UPDATE: Perhaps it's just as well. I see that these hats cost a whopping $135.00. Fuggit...I'll just grow my own beard instead.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The art of being a subtle geek

The New York Times magazine ran a one-page article yesterday about a British designer who has a website called "Last Exit To Nowhere" that sells t-shirt designs with various and sundry logos on them. But what this limey cat has done is create or use logos from sci-fi, horror and genre films of the past, so that you can get a shirt with the Camp Crystal Lake logo from the "Friday the 13th" films, or a nicely touristy-looking shirt from Amity Island, the town besieged by the marauding shark in "Jaws." Others in the series include:

America Research Station Outpost #31 (from John Carpenter's "The Thing")

Polymer Records (the fictional record label of "Spinal tap")

The Hotel Earle (from the Coen Brother's "Barton Fink")

USCSS Nostromo ( the giant freighter/spaceship from 'Alien")

There's many more, and you can check out the entire line here.

I was unable to resist and bought a couple myself. my selections were:

"Brodsky & Branom Ludovico Technique": the company that perfected the behavior-modification regiment used on Mr. Alexander DeLarge in "A Clockwork Orange." Awesome.

"The Tyrell Corporation": The giant monolithic enterprise in "Blade Runner" that created the replicants, including the new Nexus-6 line. This was the actual logo and "more human than human" slogan used in the movie as well. Note the owl image in the logo, and remember that when Deckard first arrives at the company headquarters early in the movie to interview Rachael, a large owl swoops by. The following exchange then takes place:

Rachael: Do you like our owl?

Deckard: It's artificial?

Rachael: Of course it is.

Deckard: Must be expensive.

Rachael: Very.

One suggestion, British-designer dude: how about a t-shirt for the Monroeville Mall in Pennsylvania? For the uninitiated out there, that's the mall where the four people in 1978's "Dawn of the Dead" were holed up.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The pace of the drum is quickening

Sorry about the glacial pace of postings this week. If you're thinking that it might have something to do with the Draconian workload I'm currently laboring under, then congratulations, you win a no-prize. Here's a picture of my office:

If you're wondering, I'm the guy with the beard.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Howard F., eater of steaks

Now, normally I don't like to "work blue" as the comedians say, and try and keep the blog somewhat clean. But in this case I have to make an exception.

This past weekend 3 buddies and I traveled to historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay to watch our beloved Packers thoroughly and systematically dismantle the Minnesota Vikings. We weren't able to get a hotel room in Green Bay, so we stayed in Wausau the night before. Right next to our hotel was a giant steakhouse, the Hereford & Hops Steakhouse and Brewpub. It's one of those places where you can select and grill your own steak. On the menu was "The Butcher's Challenge", a 50-ounce cut of beefiness. If you finished it in under 1 hour and 15 minutes, you received a $20 gift certificate and got your polaroid put on the wall next to previous victors.

You also had to eat a baked potato, a salad and a piece of texas toast. Quite the eating assingment. Anyway, I failed to do it, but a friend succeeded. Normally I'm up the challenge of these things, as I'm an eater to be reckoned with, but I wasn't warned beforehand and had just devoured a bag of taco-flavored Doritos during the car ride, which threw off my game.

Anyway, we were looking at the wall of fame polaroids of other people who had done it, when a friend spotted the below person, who decided to get cute and give himself a nom de plume (click to embiggen).

Nice work, Howard. Rest assured you brought a smile to all our faces. Also note that Howard ate 50 ounces of meat in 16 minutes. Two victories in one fell swoop.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The world's greatest birthday cake

I'm sure that any married blogfoot readers have wonderful wives. But I ask you: did your wife have a birthday cake made for you with the famous image (frame #352, btw) of the 1967 Patterson/Gimlin Bigfoot film on it? I think not. But mine did. Which is why she rules.

Amazing what they can do with food dye inks nowadays, isn't it?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Bigfoot on TV

The History Channel has fine new show called "Monsterquest", which they describe thusly:

"From Bigfoot to the Swamp Beast, Monsterquest reveals the truth of legendary monster sightings around the world. Deploying the latest in hi-tech equipment, each episode scientifically examines the best evidence available, from pictures and video, to hair and bones, as well as the eyewitness accounts themselves. From pilots to policemen to ship captains, a number of seemingly credible people have seen things they can't explain. One part history, one part science and one part monsters, MonsterQuest discovers the truth behind these legendary monsters."

I caught the re-run of the "American Lake Monsters" episode the other night and it was pretty good. And this Wednesday they're taking things up a notch with a episode titled (brilliantly, I might add) "Sasquatch Attack." I can assure you that only some sort of catastrophe, act of god or my premature death will prevent me from watching this episode in rapt attention. Set those DVR's, kids.

On 11/28 they have another Bigfoot episode title, elegantly enough. "Bigfoot" with digital-microscope examination the famous Patterson film. Plus, there's a Skunk Ape-themed episode on 12/26 (the Skunk Ape is Bigfoots' smelly, 3-toed cousin from the South. They may also be Baptists).

But the best title of all goes to the January 2nd episode, awesomely titled "Stalin's Ape Man." My god, what images that conjures up. Here's the episode description, which has me salivating:

"In 2006, the NY times revealed a devilish plan by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to create monsters by crossing humans with apes. But was it real? And how far did he get? This MonsterQuest scientific journey will travel to Russia to find out."

If that doesn't make you want to tune in, I weep for your shriveled husk of a soul.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Good stuff

From our pals at McSweeney's (OK, we're not really pals...I enjoy the stuff they put out, they don't know I exist) comes this nice little feature called "Punching Up The Script" where writer Dan Kennedy makes script changes to a well-known movie. Without further ado, here is:

Punching Up The Script: "Car Wash" (1976)

My changes on page 21:

DUANE is dancing around a customer's car acting like he's styling his afro in the newly cleaned and polished car's reflection. The owner, SULLY, frustrated by DUANE's clowning around on the job, comes out of the office and yells at him. Instead of responding with his characteristic hangdog pouting and shrugging, DUANE starts to perform an elaborate Haitian ritual believed to "stain" the soul of any man indicted in the ceremony—in this case, SULLY. As DUANE's playful dancing turns into a foreboding kinetic storm of channeled spiritual bloodlust punctuated with violently mimed self-sacrifice, SULLY's expression of grumpiness fades. In SULLY we now see the eyes of a man facing his mortality head on, facing his fate as a man marked by an island culture's darkest forces. He starts to react to an apparent pain or physical force in and around his neck and face.

SULLY: (Choking.) You ... have ... summoned Loa. The next world awaits. Dark ...ness ...

DUANE: I come in many forms. You have created me. You have called this unto yourself. I am playful and content until someone insists upon his own demise. That is when I appear. Your fear was your wish all along.

MUSIC CUE: "I Wanna Get Next to You" by Rose Royce

Bravo, sir. More here.

Hiroshima bomb pilot dies

Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr, the commander of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, died in Columbus, Ohio yesterday the age of 92. The bomb killed about 140,000 Japanese citizens, forcing their country's surrender and effectively ending World War II. Tibbets lived a full, bomb-dropping life.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

For today's Halloween clip, I thought long and hard about what to post. But as luck would have it, I just watched "The Giant Claw", a 1957 schlockfest about a giant muppet-esque vulture / condor thing terrorizing the earth. This gem was just released on DVD, and thanks to Netflix, came screeching into my mailbox just in time for Halloween. I watched it last night and it was even worse / better than I remembered. Here's the trailer:

My favorite scene from the film: an army general and some of his staff are listening to the transmission of some air force jets attacking the giant flapping muppet. Naturally, their weapons have no effect on the googly-eyed fiend. The bird begins destroying the aircrafts, and the general disgustedly turns off the radio transmission before it's even over, as if he was too sickened by his favorite football team being blown out to listen any more! It was awesome.

This movie is rightfully famous for having some of the worst special effects ever committed to celluloid. But it much more than just that to offer brave viewers. It also had more stock footage inserted into it than anything this side of an Ed Wood production. Plus, lots of faux-witty / flirty banter between the pilot who plays by his own rules and the beautiful and brave mathematician, and a guy I could swear was Walt Disney playing a researcher specializing in anti-matter. I recommend it without reservation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The best laid plans of mice and men sometimes result in having to watch an orangutan give someone the finger

Back in the very early 1980's, as my movie-loving jones was reaching it's apex, my friends and I used a simple and time-honored method to see R-rated fare like "Dawn the Dead", "The Warriors, "Heavy Metal" and others of that ilk that we were too young to buy tickets for: we bought tickets for PG films, then snuck into the R-rated ones when the ushers weren't around.

It worked very well, and we generally were able to see most of the movies we wanted to, at least ones at certain theaters. Northtown Cinema in Milwaukee was a dream come true..all the theaters were down hallways from the box office, the place was understaffed with lazy ushers, etc. Simple as pie. Mill Road Theaters was tricky...all the theaters entrances were right in the lobby, and the ushers were vengeful nerds who obviously were the outcasts of their high school and thus used this job as a chance to return the persecution favor (even stooping so low as to confiscate a can of soda I had in my back pocket once). And the great Oriental Theater in Milwaukee, back when they were a double-bill rep house, didn't care who they let in. For some reason, they were fine with two 14 year-old kids walking up to the box office and buying tickets for a John Waters festival or a double-feature of "Mad Max" and "A Clockwork Orange.". Good times.

So like I said, this system worked pretty well. We were movie fiends, and generally tried to see 4/5 films a month. I should also note that we weren't just trying to see R-rated films for the sake of seeing nudity or whatever (although nudity was not frowned upon). We wanted to see genre films...sci-fi, horror and cult movies, many of which in that era were rated R (think "Alien", "Halloween, "Phantasm", etc).

But sometimes the plan went horribly awry. What follows is an account of one such time.

In the spring of 1981, my friend and I were dying to see "Scanners", the newest David Cronenberg movie. We had previously seen Cronenberg's awesome "The Brood" and "Rabid" at The Oriental and had subsequently developed an interest in him. Plus, the trailer for "Scanners" showed a guys head exploding. I mean, if the trailer showed a guy's head exploding, the movie itself must be awesome, right? We checked the showtimes in the paper, and to our delight saw that it was playing at Northtown, practically our headquarters for sneaking into movies.

We caught a city bus to the theater. Bought our tickets for the PG movie we intended to skip out on. So far so good. Then we scouted to the hallways to see where "Scanners" was playing. To our horror, there was an usher posted in front of the door. Time for some method acting. We walked towards the door, talking like nothing was out of the ordinary, just going to see "Scanners." Suddenly the usher said the two words we dreaded: "Tickets, please."

Having no choice, we showed him our tickets. He looked at them and said "This theater is showing "Scanners." These tickets are for "____________." That's in the theater over there." OK, no big deal...this has happened before. You just go to your movie, wait for it to start, then slip out and into the other theater. You miss a few minutes of the flick, but sometimes a price must be paid. But this was no ordinary usher we were dealing with. This was some new breed of super usher. Everytime we looked out or pretended to go to the bathroom, there he was, eyeing us balefully. The jig was up. He had our number. At least for that day.

So we had to sit and endure the entire PG movie. And what was the movie, who's title I purposefully left blank above in order to build the drama? Well friends, that movie was this:

That's right: "Going Ape!" A movie starring Tony Danza as a man charged with caring for 3 orphaned orangutans so that he can inherit $5 million dollars. Hilarity ensues. Especially when the mob gets involved and tries to kill the apes for some reason I can't quite remember.

So instead of seeing this:

We were forced to watch this for an interminable hour and a half.

Which means instead of watching someone's head explode, we felt like ours were going to. Or wished they would, as watching "Going Ape!" is a experience that makes you long for the sweet release that death will bring. Make no mistake: I have nothing against orangutans in film, per se. I love both examples of the Clint Eastwood bare-knuckle brawlin' with an ape by your side ouvre ("Every Which way But Loose" and "Any Which Way You Can"), and in fact own both on DVD (thanks to a Sam Goody store closing sale, where they were found for a mere $3.99 each!) But "Going Ape!" was a most unworthy entry into this genre.

I eventually did end up seeing "Scanners" though. My dad took me to it. He liked horror movies, and was pretty good about taking me to see R-rated fare, and in fact was my escort to "The Howling", "The Thing" and "An American Werewolf in London", among others. Thanks, Pop.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Today's Halloween clip

As part of ongoing celebration of Frankenstein Season, here's an old TV spot for a a movie I've always dug, 1975's "Phantom of the Paradise." This is a strange beast: a cult film directed by a young Brian DePalma, it's basically a rock version of the old "Phantom of the Opera" story. But this one has diminutive 70's personality Paul Williams (a musician who later showed up on "The Love Boat", "Fantasy Island" and every variety show that was on the air at the time. He also played an orangutan in "Battle For The Planet of the Apes", the last and worst of the POTA series.) as the villain, and a Phantom that obviously helped inspire the look of Darth Vader a couple of years later. The soundtrack to this movie is awesome, too. Plus, this TV spot is narrated by none other than Wolfman Jack. Ah-woooo!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dang, that is f'ed up

In honor of the forthcoming Halloween holiday (or "Frankenstein Season", as many like to call it), I will be posting some of my favorite horror movie clips throughout the next week or two.

Here's one I really dig from the criminally underrated 1978 remake of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers." It's a fine film, chock full o' paranoia and dread. Plus, it has Leonard Nimoy and a human head on the body of a bulldog. Anyway, here's the shock ending to the film, when Veronica Cartwright runs into her old friend Donald Sutherland. Both had been running together from the pod people, but were separated. She was spineless, he was the hero...intelligent and stoic. Now the world appears to have been completely overrun buy emotionless replicants of humans. But if this blubbering chick had managed to escape detection and survive, he must have too, right?

Wrong! He's a pod person! Yaagh!

And then, to take things up a notch, the camera zooms into his mouth! Game over. Roll credits.

Monday, October 15, 2007

5 days and counting

Get on the horn and order a special 3-tiered cake or reserve a banquet hall, because a truly special occasion that is near and dear to our hearts is just around the corner: The 40th anniversary of the famous Patterson / Gimlin Bigfoot film.

That's right true believers. On October 20, 1967, intrepid trackers Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin rode on horseback into the dense forest region of Bluff Creek, California, armed only with a camera (and some rifles. And presumably various forms of tobacco), intent on capturing proof of Bigfoot's existence. Did they? Who knows. What is factually inarguable is that they came back with some grainy and jumpy film of something large and hairy walking across a dry creek bed, something that turned to glare at them as it walked hurriedly away. That something is either a buddy of theirs roasting in a fur costume that is better than anything Hollywood was able to put on the screen at the time, or what is basically a missing link / North American great ape.

Here's a cropped and stabilized view of the Zapruder Film of my generation:

It could certainly be a hoax...arguably one of the most enduring ones ever perpetrated. But ask yourself: Why would they give the costume breasts? How were two poor ranchers / amateur wildlife photographers able to construct n suit that displayed such visible musculature (check the legs, etc)? Argue amongst yourselves.

And don't forget to celebrate the 40th anniversary of this footage this Saturday. And just what would constitute an appropriate celebration? Hmmm. I think you should walk like the Patterson Bigfoot all day. That should do it. Swing your arms, turn at the waist to look at things, and take long, knee-buckling strides. Like Groucho Marx with a dash of Walter Matthau, basically.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A cute little starter missle base

From our bulging and voluminous "Strange But True" files comes
current ebay auction, which lists a former Titan Missle Base in central Washington state for a mere $1,500,000.00. Not bad for a huge underground facility that sits on 50 acres.

The seller (who has a positive feedback rating of 151, which is fairly trustworthy) claims that the nearly 45,000 square feet of missle base can conceivably be retrofitted as living space, or even as some sort of underground mall. Now you have the perfect location to start your white-jumpsuited, genetically superior race in secrecy. Or you could live in one of the power domes, or even in one of the launching silos. The possibilities are truly limitless. As any of the multitude of home improvement shows on TV will tell you, a little bit of paint and some throw pillows make a huge difference in giving any space warmth.

Unfortunately, all the original electrical and water systems have been stripped out. But it does come with a new septic system. Just be sure to get it emptied on a regular basis, or you risk your beautiful lawn becoming a smelly bog. Here's some pics to whet your appetites:

The front yard. Trick a friend into adding a coat of whitewash to the fence, plant some flowers for a little curb appeal, and voila'.

Your quaint entryway. Big enough that even the most near-sighted, weak-armed paperboy can't miss it.

The compound in it's entirety. You may want to get a couple of those hipster scooters to get around. Or better yet, a golf cart or Segueway.

The base was built in the 1950's, then decomissioned in the 60's. It has a private well and is located a mere 1.5 hours from scenic Spokane. Maybe you crave total isolation. Maybe you still live your life in mortal fear of "the big one" being dropped on us. Maybe you're the Mole Man.
Whatever the case may be, act fast, because this property is sure to stir up lots of bidding activity, especially with interest rates as low as they are.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Funny, but not 'ha-ha' funny

Last night I was flipping though TV channels in an attempt to stop my wife from constantly watching "Mystery Diagnosis" (on what is apparently the Mystery Diagnosis Channel), when I stumbled upon "Bravo's 100 Funniest Movies of All Time."

So I watched it for a spell. And what I saw sickened me to the core. Here are some examples of their egregious errors:

They listed "Mrs. Doubtfire" (#39) and "American Pie" ( #49) higher than "Young Frankenstein." (#56) Good god. Not only is "Young Frankenstein" sure top-10 material, those others aren't fit to smell it's shit, if I may quote Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood."

They ranked "Good Morning Vietnam" (#36) higher than "Monty Python and The Holy Grail (#40). See above.

The fact that not only did they rank "Zoolander" (#86) not only higher than "Kentucky Fried Movie" (#87), but that they bothered to rank it in the first place.

And the final kicks to the comedy balls?

"Arthur" at #10. And "Shrek" at #3. It's almost enough to drive a guy back into the embrace of "Mystery Diagnosis."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Happy Anniversary, comrade!

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the Sputnik launch. That's right, way back on October 4, 1957 Russia stunned the world by getting a tiny satellite into space before the U.S. could, thereby launching the space race that would consume the two countries for almost two decades thereafter, spurred on in no small part by the rivalry that was the Cold War.

The Sputnik (which is Russian for "fellow traveler") was about the size of a beach ball and weighed 184 pounds. It was filled with nitrogen (to control temperature), storage batteries, radio transmitters and various relaying instruments. Plus, it looked cool. And its launch really shook up our country, to say the least. After WW II and the period of manufacturing-based growth that followed, we had assumed the we were the technological 800-lb gorilla in the room. Then all of a sudden, someone we had viewed as a second-rate power bested us. That freaked people out, as did the military possibilities of having an orbiting eye in the sky above us. People were literally walking down the street and looking fearfully up at the sky after it's launch. Four months later, our first satellite, the Explorer 1, was launched in response.

But Russia didn't stop there. Swelled with national pride and emboldened by their embarrassment of us, they pressed their advantage and also got a man into space before us. Yuri Gagarin entered orbit in the Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961, where he remained for 108 minutes. 23 days later we responded, and Alan Shephard entered sub-orbital space for the U.S., followed by John Glenn, who completed 3 orbits around earth on February 20, 1962.

Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space and collector of colorful medals

The Russians also carried out the first spacewalk, beating us to the punch on March 18, 1965. By then, sick of playing second fiddle, we put the pedal to metal, so to speak. Although unmanned Soviet probes had reached the moon before any of our craft, we got a person there first, with Neil Armstrong becoming the first person to set foot on said moon on July 21, 1969.

As you may have gathered, the U.S/ Russian space race is a subject of some interest to me. It's a nice mix of history, science, hubris, paranoia and ego. It's got it all! I could go on and on, but interested parties should just go to their public library, were they will find many interesting and lavishly-illustrated books on the subject.

Land of the I Once Was Lost But Now Am Found

Here's an interesting image that I found on a messageboard somewhere. I think it's amusing but can guarantee that every Grandparent in the world would hate it, and would hate you for showing it to them. So don't show it to your Grandparents. In the interest of assigning due credit, I'm assuming someone named 'Monty Propps' did it, since those words are printed in caps on the image. Monty, my compliments. You nailed the cold, reptilian stare of the raptor. And yet, it appears calm and at peace. The erupting volcano and soaring pterdactyl in the background are a nice touch as well.

Bigfoot in New Mexico

Hot off the newswire is the story that some men may have inadvertantly captured some new Bigfoot footage and, you guessed it, it's blurry, shaky and shot from 17 miles away. Here's a screen cap.

Even more eerie is that in addition to a shambling hairy beast, it also clearly shows another legendary creature from the cryptozoology pantheon: floating green letters that spell out "Las Vegas." This elusive beast has been whispered about around campfires for decades, but only now has it been caught on film. Finally...proof of Las Vegas!

OK, now that I've beaten that meager joke into the ground, let's examine the story behind the new Bigfoot footage. Apparently two guys were on their way back from a trip and one of them was "dangling the camcorder" out of the car window, filming nothing in particular in a remote area of New Mexico. Then, when later looking at the footage, a sister of one of the men spotted the animal.

The footage hasn't been seen in it's entirety yet, as the men are negotiating with interested parties for the rights. One of the authorities who was able to see it said the figure "could be a horse." Wha...? How could it be either a 4-legged animal with a long neck, giant head and a tail or what is basically a tall, bipedal, hairy man? Confused, I am.

Thanks to the tireless folks at Cryptomundo (linked over to the right) for blowing the lid off this story.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Word to the wise

In the spirit of continuing the below post's theme of vile consumables...

...I would strongly recommend that you never, ever try, chew or even handle a piece of "Mad Croc Energy Gum." How would I describe the taste? Hmmm, let's see. Well, the package describes it as "Energy with a wild bite!" But I would have to says it's more akin to "Hey, a rabid werewolf just drank a bunch of Mountain Dew and then pissed in it in your mouth!" If that sounds exhilarating, then by all means buy yourself a pack today.

My God

I went into the agency refrigerator to grab my lunch today and was greeted with this grisly sight:

That's right. A bottle of Mickey's big mouth beer. Holy cow, this stuff is bad. My friends and I used to drink this stuff all the time in high school, primarily because A.) It was cheap, B.) It was strong, and C.) We were fascinated by the grenade shape of the bottle.

I can pretty much pinpoint the last time I ever drank (or ever will drink) this swill: July 1987. Some friends and I made plans to go to a drive-in and not only drank a bunch prior, but naturally snuck some beer in, because that's what drive-ins are for (the fact that a movie is playing is purely incidental). Anyway, once there I furiously chugged a 40-ounce bottle of this crap (we had no weed, and therefore had to drink faster to grab a hold of that all-important "buzz"), threw up all my popcorn, then proceeded to make a crude pillow out of some gravel, curled up and slept through half of "Dragnet" and (mercifully) all of "Born in East L.A.", the Chong-less big screen version of Cheech Marin's Weird Al-esque song parody of Springsteen's "Born in the USA."

Thus endeth my tale of Mickey's-instigated woe.


No, I'm not bored. Just a little sleepy, because I stayed up late last night playing, you guessed it, Halo 3. It's pretty dope. We've had some multi-player killfests here at the agency over the last couple of days, and I must say I find the new 'slayer' maps to be enjoyable. Expansive, but still sized so that there is constant player interaction (ie: me being able to easily find someone to kill). I'm going live as soon as my wireless gaming router arrives in the mail, so Mountain Dew-quaffing people all over the world will be able to sample my special recipe for pain.

Here's a screenshot a friend sent me of him (and I quote) "lasering some poor f*@#er." You see, Halo 3 has a saved game / screen capture feature that lets you preserve your finest moments for all of posterity. Bravo, folks at Bungie.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Color me interested

Here's an attention-getting cover of an old comic book I saw up for grabs on ebay. I must say, the artist did a fine job of piquing my curiosity with this image. How many stories have you read that have an ape running amok on a pirate ship? Not nearly enough, I'd wager. Not to mention the title of the comic is "Airboy", which clearly implies the involvment of an aircraft of some sort. This story literally appears to have it all, or certainly all that a child in 1950 would require to be entertained. Well, all except cowboys, that is. But it's possible they crammed one of those into there too.

I'm thinking this is what goes down: Airboy's plane crashes at sea. He is adrift for a bit, but is then rescued by some modern-day pirates / brigands, who are illegally transporting orangutans from the island of Borneo. One of the apes breaks free and cuts a swath through the crew, leaving only Airboy to deal with the mutinous beast.

Upon further reflection, I'd better go bid on this.

And the winner of our unofficial "What's Going On In This Issue of Airboy?" contest is none other than our friend King Mini, who probably used the 1950 publication date shown on the cover to formulate the following two-fisted hypothesis:

"With Hitler and the Japs all but a fading memory, Airboy was reduced to battling the monkey pirate empire over some forgotten French-colonized banana plantation. He also battled a Yeti, a king cobra, and a door-to-door shoe salesman."

The auction ends in 1.5 days and I'm currently the high bidder, so we'll hopefully see soon enough.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Happy Birthday, Batman!

Actor Adam West is 79 years young today. He is truly awesome. Why not head over to his website and send him some kind birthday sentiments via his Batmail? I know I did.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Might make a nice rental property

If you've been thinking that it's time to get out of that studio apartment and dip your toes into the waters of home ownership, you're in luck. Because a pretty sweet Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home built in 1951 is for sale (by the original owners) here in Minneapolis, and it's priced to move at a mere $2.6 million.

For those of you that don't have your mortgage calculators handy, your monthly nut would be a more-than-manageable $13,940.00, assuming you're putting 20% down (about $500k). Yearly taxes are $15,647.00, adding another $1303.00 or so to your monthly payment. You can view the listing here.

Me? I'm going to call the realtor and arrange a viewing, then show up wearing my "Rich Guy" disguise in order to fool them into giving me the grand tour. My "Rich Guy" disguise consists me adorned with the following:

*The one suit I own

*A pipe

*A monocle

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy 8th Anniversary

Back on September 13, 1999, an explosion at a nuclear waste dump on the moon knocked it out of orbit, and subsequently sent it and the denizens of Moon Base Alpha tumbling through space, where they went on to encounter various sentient and often hostile interstellar inhabitants on a weekly basis. This horrific mishap (which was dubbed "Space:1999" by the catch-phrase hungry media) could have been much worse, however. If the explosion had happened on the other side of the moon, it could have conceivably sent that hunk of rock tumbling down upon our planet instead of spiriling off into space, killing most if not all of the earth's inhabitants in the process. A clear case of "better them than us."

Here's hoping that all the crew of Moon Base Alpha, not to mention the moon itself, make it back safely to our orbit someday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This week's "Nancy"

Actually, no Nancy in sight. Instead, you get a glimpse into the Sluggo lifestyle as artist Ernie Bushmiller boldly kicks down the fourth wall.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Astronaut training

Last month the wife and I went up to Brainerd for the weekend to stay at a resort (and I use that term in the loosest sense of the word), and on the way back we went to Paul Bunyan Land, aka "a tourist trap." It was like $11 apiece to get in, and once in you were rewarded with some shabby rides, many piles of hay, and some super hungry goats (I guess that's the only kind) you could feed with pellets from a vending machine.

However, there was something really cool. This thing (click photos to embiggen):

"America has tossed its cap over the wall of space."
-John F. Kennedy

As you can see, it's a giant silo-type thing. It's also a kick-ass space-themed ride. You see that ball at the bottom, by the ladder?
You crawl into that sphere and strap yourself in, much like an astronaut/cosmonaut, and then the giant fans underneath blow the sphere up the chute. It stops at the top, you hover, you fall back down, the air stops you, blows you back up again, and so on. It was awesome.

A rare glimpse at the mysterious entity behind the
Blogfoot empire peering out from the capsule.

Sadly, no pictures exist of the ride in action. As I courageously entered the sphere, I instructed Mrs. Blogfoot to get some shots, or possibly record a movie on the camera. But when the ride stopped (Like all good things, it was over all too soon), I exited to find her red-faced and convulsed with laughter, claiming that once the ride started, she began laughing uncontrollably and was unable to focus the camera. And you know what? I believe her.

We walked around for a bit, and then I went back to try and touch God again. But it was not to be, as one of the fans was now on the fritz. At 196 lbs, I was 4 lbs under the recommended weight limit of 200, but it appears that my previous joyride broke it. My apologies to all the heartbroken kids who were denied a shot of glory due to my density.

Now how do I go about finding one of these on the secondhand market?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Monty Capuletti, realtor

Recently while walking my dog around my sleepy hamlet I chanced upon this sign on a bench for a local realtor.

Just another dopey realty ad, thought I. But closer inspection revealed some wheat amongst the chaff.

You see, Marc is a "regular guy." He's not some slick college graduate who is going to use a bunch of fancy words to con you out of your savings. No. Marc will bring over a six-pack of beer (cans) and plop right down on your recliner. Marc likes cars, sawing things and earning an honest buck. He punches the clock just like you. If you handed him a pair of cufflinks, he would say "What the heck are these, "Monopoly" game pieces? Beat it, ya sissy." Then he would watch a rerun of "Everybody Loves Raymond."

But is Marc really a "regular guy"? If he's making the claim in a public forum, then he's opening himself up for the analyzation that such a claim invites. Let's take a closer look at the man see if his self-proclaimed regularity withers under our penetrating gaze.

Hmmm. Now that I concentrate on the image of the man himself, I see that only a blind man would describe him as "regular." He is most irregular, in fact. Here are the irregular things I noticed.

1.) He is devoid of color. Other people have colored skin, hair, wear colorful clothes, etc. Marc is, by definition, "black & white." Not regular at all.

2.) His body is completely out-of-proportion. To start, his head is huge. Certainly too large for his body. One would think that walking would be an impossibility for the man, especially when you consider his head in conjunction with his long, stick-like legs and too-small-to-possibly-be-functional feet. His feet are the most worthless appendages earth biology has produced since the Tyrannosaurus Rex's arms / forelegs.

3.) He is two-dimensional, and vanishes when you stand to his left or right side. Viewed from the back he is equally invisible. Most "regular" people exist in 3-dimensions and are visible from all sides.

3.) He has a moustache. Not regular in this day and age.

I'm sorry, Marc. You are not "regular" at all. In fact, you frighten me.
A creature such as yourself should not exist. You live in defiance of all known laws of science. As such, I cannot entrust you with the sale of my home, nor would I purchase one from you.

Strangely, this is not the weirdest or dumbest realtor ad I have ever seen. That honor belongs to one some friends and I saw up in Toronto back in 2005. I think about this ad occassionally, and I still can't understand how or why it was created and unleashed upon the public's unsuspecting eyeballs. Without further ado, here it is:

Whew. Good luck sleeping tonight.

**NOTE** Confused by the title of this post? I'll give you a clue. It's a reference to a 80's movie starring a bug-eyed comedian that is decribed thusly on "To inherit his mother-in-law's colossal fortune, a hard living, gambling addict must change his unhealthy ways before it gets the best of him." Good luck!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

It's like the Green Lantern, but with pepper spray

This is pretty sweet. I thought the "Oh, pay me no mind, I'm not armed...POW!" self-defense genre had reached it's nadir back in the early 80's with Chuck Norris Action Jeans (see below), but I was wrong. Because the folks at Protect Yourself Direct have come up with a gorgeous ring that will melt the heart of any gal who's fond of romance yet terrified of the moonlit walks that often accompany it: The Stunning Ring.

The Stunning Ring earns it's name, with a tasteful design that also emits 2/3 bursts of pepper spray up to 12 inches, incapacitating would-be-attackers as well as those who would dare to congratulate you on your engagement. It comes in gold or silver, and is the perfect compliment to that fabulous necklace / garrote that's been handed down through your family for generations.

Now on to the Chuck Norris Action Jeans, which debuted on runways and the back of finer magazines such as "Soldier of Fortune" back in the early 80's. The key to these handsome western-style dungarees is a "hidden gusset" that allows greater freedom of movement. Meaning they allow you to kick someone in the jaw without binding or chaffing. Nice. Why the need for such a product? Well, I like to imagine that Chuck, at various points in the 70's, had been at public events where he probably wanted to kick people who were irritating him, but was confined by his pants ("You're lucky I just got these Hagar slacks, buddy."). After a couple such frustrating occasions, he rushed home and put pen to paper (come to think of it, Chuck probably uses a pencil), called a tailor, threatened them, and voila': a void in the market was filled, and martial arts experts could now kick people in public without the embarrassment of splitting their pants.

If you click to embiggen the ad, you will see that satisfaction is guaranteed. Meaning that if you aren't completely satisfied with how these jeans allow you to kick another human being in the jaw, then you are entitled to a full refund. Century Martial Art Supply stands by its products.

**Blogfoot disclaimer**
I know 'Chuck Norris humor' is a shopworn genre by now, but that ring reminded me of those jeans due to their "commonplace adornment turned deadly" approach to self-defense, and I remember loving the ad when I saw it back in the day, so I wrote about it. Sue me.

Thanks to Boing Boing for the pepper spray ring link.