Friday, December 19, 2008

The Chuck Cunningham of advertising

I'm wrapping up my last week or so at my agency, and today we had the third of a series of big presentations for a re-launch of a soda brand for a large soft-drink magnate (hint: #2). I was the CD / copywriter on the account, and wrote everything. But for round 3, due to my leaving, I was not included. I led the round 1 and round 2 presentations, and had gone to research groups and strategy sessions with the client, but have to assume that no mention was made of my absence. I was simply not there anymore. Maybe it occurred to someone, but most likely went unexpressed. Just like Mr. Chuck Cunningham, booted uncermoniously from "Happy Days" after it's debut season. Then again, at least Chuck was given the back story of being given a college basketball scholarship, which would partially explain his absence to viewers willing to fill in the blanks.

Speaking of Chuck Cunningham, did you know that he was played by two different actors during the one season he was allowed to exist in the "Happy Days" universe? It's true. he was played by both Gavan O'Herlihy and Randolph Roberts, household names both. Even sweeter, Mr. O' Herlihy (Hmmm...Irish perhaps?) went on to play the reverse-mohawked gang leader in "Death Wish 3," one of the finest movies of all time as far as the blogfoot staff is concerned. It's a small world, as they say.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vintage pacifist science fiction

No conquering. Just wondering. I have no ray-gun or other futuristic weapon, so do not fear - you will not be reduced to a smoldering pile of grue. I just want to contemplate my alien surroundings for a while. To sit here in my spacesuit and genuflect, and look back on a life of challenges met, goals achieved, and opportunities lost.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I was like a hyena

Before: a 48 oz double porterhouse

After: a large bone

This gastronomic assault was perpetrated at Manny's here in Minneapolis, a venerable steakhouse. Being fancy, they had no "I Ate All 48 oz's" t-shirt to reward me with, but our waiter was impressed enough to bequeath unto me a Manny's servers jacket, which I wore with pride.

*Special Blogfoot tip: when you give notice at your job and are in the last week or so of servitude, but sure to tag along for a free dinner with the client and order the $100 steak. I promise you that afterward you will swell with pride. And meat.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What the?

Here's a pic of old package of Kellogg's OKs, which according to the tagline on the box is a "Br-r-awny new cereal." At least it was when it was foisted upon a yawning public back in the 1950's.

That's all well and good. But I can't figure out what the story is with their mascot. Who is he? What is he? A friend and I studied his visage for a bit and came up with two possibilities.

The Kellogg's OKs mascot / character is:

A.) a Scottish Lumberjack Genie

B.) a Scottish Gypsy Hercules

The Tartan plaid present in the logo and his sash clearly indicate a Scottish bent. But the bells on the wristband, the rakishly open-collared shirt and pheasant feathers in a hat of indiscriminate regional origin defy any attempts to pin down this gent's backstory.

Them, in a bolt of inspiration and insight, I remembered that I was writing this on a computer that was linked up to the web. One google search later, we had our answer. This dude's name is...Big Otis. And this is what Big Otis is all about:

Big Otis is the brawny Scotsman who loves his sugar-coated oats. "I am the big oat man from Scotland. And OKs are made of oats. These new Kellogg's OKs are the biggest thing that's happen to Oats in 25 years. They are on their way to being the new favorite of kids and adults everywhere. Here's the meat of the oats in it's tenderest, tastiest form. Flavored as only Kellogg's knows how. OKs are rich in special oat protein. Aye, and OKs oats come to breakfast tasting better than you've ever imagined. They're K - E - Double L - O - Double Good!"

"Big Otis." I didn't know Otis was a Scottish name. If pressed I would have guessed that it had it's origins in the Ozarks or something. I guess you learn something new every day. And what of Big Otis? Well, within a couple years he was unceremoniously relieved of his spokesperson duties in favor of Yogi Bear, and consigned to the dustbin of history. Such is life in the cereal world.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The secret to being happy

Actually, I don't know what the secret to being happy is. But I can tell what it is not. It is not zooming around the internet during your lunch hour and reading a bunch of articles about the economic crisis we are in and getting the creeping sensation that things are a lot worse than people are letting on. Just sayin'.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Things Mad Magazine has taught me, pt. 1

If you vomit, a fish skeleton is going to come flying out of your mouth, regardless if you've eaten fish or not.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Uncle Forry has gone to the grave

Forrest J. Ackerman, who entertained and influenced a legion of monster movie lovers via his seminal "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazine throughout the 60's and 70's, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 92.

Ackerman, a childhood (and lifelong) friend of genre legends Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen, is also generally credited with coining the term "sci-fi," and also famous for the huge collection of science fiction and horror movie props and memorabilia he amassed over the years, even letting fans come into his "Ackermansion" in Hollywood to check out the merchandise.

Ackerman launched "Famous Monsters" in 1958, and the black & white magazine, with it's awesomely painted covers (many by the master Basil Gogos), quickly became a favorite of young boys, and along with Saturday afternoon showings of horror movies on TV, spurred the horror boom of the time. The magazine featured stories about horror films, make-up and special effects and the actors featured in the films, exposing legends like Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and Bela Lugosi to a new generation of fans. It was very behind the scenes for the time and was pretty influential, with young fans including Stephen King, Rick Baker, John Landis and Steven Spielberg, among others.

It probably goes without saying that as a kid I thought this magazine ruled. Anytime I saw it at the store I would instantly pester my parents to buy it. Being a magazine it was more expensive than a comic book and thus was a tougher proposition, but I still managed to get my mitts on many issues, despite my mothers distaste of the lurid covers. And, true to form, I still have a nice little wrinkled stack of those same issues.

Dr. Acula (as he referred to himself in the mag; Ackerman loved puns) eventually managed to acquire over 300,000 items in his collection of memorabilia, and he had awesome stuff - including Lugosi's Dracula cape, Mr. Spock's ears, a martian ship from "war of the Worlds," stop-motion armatures from "King Kong" and "Mighty Joe Young" and even the paper plate used by Ed Wood as a flying saucer in 'Plan 9 From Outer Space." Holy cow.

Ackerman spent his later years giving tours of his house, but also sadly fighting for the ownership rights of his magazine, because some dickhead / ass-face partner of his that came aboard in the late 80's managed to swindle them away from him. Regardless, he was without a doubt a seminal influence on the genre and early force in establishing the now-familiar concept of "fandom." His passing is a sad occasion to genre fans, and he will be missed.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


As I'm writing this I'm sitting in a Chicago office building watching focus groups talk about soda packaging. Even better, someone turned off the lights in the observation room so it's nice and dark. Awesome. Now let's crank up the heat, bring on the turkey and wine and tuck me in for the night.

On the bright side, there's only 5 hours to go.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

From hell's heart Hulk stab at thee

I saw this while reading Flog! (the Fantagraphics blog) and it tugged at my heartstrings: it's 2 pages from a circa 1979 issue of "The Incredible Hulk" in which the jade giant learns a valuable lesson about...helping beached whales, I guess. I'm sure you'll agree that the panel in which he sees his own rage-fueled visage in the reflection of the helpless whale's eye is graphic storytelling at it's most gripping and powerful.

As always, click to embiggen.


It's Thanksgiving. I'm sure it is. The calendar says so, I didn't have to go to work, my wife served up a turkey, and there was a big parade on TV this morning.

And yet - I can find no James Bond marathon on TV. I've repeatedly scoured the DirecTV listings, to no avail. Is nothing sacred?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Today is Ricardo Montalban's 88th birthday. You may remember him as Mr. Rourke in "Fantasy Island," but he'll always be Khan Noonien Singh to me.

And, because it never gets old, I strongly urge you to click here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This make me very happy

Thanks to the magic of you tube and a Milwaukeean that still owns a VCR, I am able to relive and share with you a fine commercial from my adolescence. My friends and I used to howl at this spot when it aired constantly on weekday afternoons way back in 1981. Enjoy.

Why was I looking for this? What - you've never gone to you tube and entered "sulu transit commercial?" Liar.

Actually, if you'll cast your weary gaze up this blog's masthead, you'll notice it contains a quote from the commercial. I like to change up the subheads frequently ("Keep 'em guessin!" I always say), and the other day this popped into my head and I wrote in in there. Then tonight I thought "I can't be the only one who remembers this commercial, can I?" Turns out I was not the only one.

Thank you, interwebs. Thank you very much.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cosell redux

I was listening to the Packers / Bears game on the radio today, when I heard former Packer and "color" guy Larry McCarren refer to the Packers offensive line after a successful running play as "a human phalanx."

Nice. The wife and I looked at each other and laughed fairly hard. Now I don't want to speak for Larry, but I'm assuming he was referring to the rectangular mass military formation that originated from ancient Greek warfare, and not the bone structure of the human hands and feet, or The Lebanese Kataeb Party (Kataeb is Arabic for Phalanx), nor the North American Phalanx, a utopian community organized on proto-communist Fourierist principles.

Then again, Maybe Larry was channeling dear, departed Howard? A fella can dream, can't he?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Getting in touch with your inner chimp

So you've probably been asking yourself: how can I transform myself into a chimpanzee version of Abe Lincoln for Halloween? It's simple - provided you possess skill, diligence and the willingness to sit there for a couple of hours basically gluing hunks of foam latex onto your face.

First, I started with a lightweight foam latex chimpanzee facial appliance I found on the internet for $45. This was a pretty lightweight, detailed, nicely-made appliance.

A facial appliance is not a full-head mask, as you can plainly see above. Instead, it is made of flexible, lightweight foam latex, which allows for detail, movement and actor expression. The edges are fairly thin to allow blending to the skin. In Hollywood make-up has been done like this for decades, and in fact, this appliance is very similar to what John Chambers used on "Planet of the Apes."

Then, I found a pair of monkey ears at another website for $7. These were sorta rubbery and cheap.

The appliance came as one whole piece, but the night before I cut it into 3 pieces: the brow, the muzzle and the chin. I did this to allow for greater facial movement and to allow for less stress on the spirit gum adhesive, knowing that I was going to be wearing it for the night (I wore the applied piece for about 8 hours). Also, in my "Making Of Planet of the Apes" book, pictures show the on-set appliances cut up in this fashion, so I reasoned it was a good idea. Before cutting it into section though, I pre-painted the piece in order to get greater detail in the wrinkles and also so that I was putting less stress on the pieces once they were affixed. Getting the ears to match color-wise was a pain, as they were already painted dark and made of a different material than the facial appliance, so the make-up looked different on them. But I managed to make it work.

The next day I applied the 3 sections using spirit gum. I did the brow first, then the nose / muzzle / cheek portion, and then the chin. I then used layers of liquid latex to hide any seams and blend the outer edges to my face.

Then I applied make-up to my skin, blending it to match the pre-painted appliance. Then I stuck on my beard and donned the Abe Lincoln tunic and hat (the beard, hat and topcoat-shirt-tunic thing came together as an "Abe Lincoln in a bag" costume for $35), and presto - Ape Lincoln was born.

There you have it. I really enjoyed doing it, as "Planet of the Apes" has been an obsession of mine since I was a wee lad. And the pieces moved really well together - I was able to drink many beers easily (using a straw), and even managed to eat nachos and two corn dogs. And undergoing this whole process, which allowed me to accurately duplicate something that landed with a thud in my young brain and never left, cemented a certain thought in my head. And that thought is this:

The world has never been in a shittier state, but it has never been greater, either.

What I mean by that is: War, famine and strife seem to be our constant companions. Our economy is in the crapper. Weather systems grow increasingly more extreme, harsh and destructive. Greed runs rampant and colors our every move, and our government rushes to bail-out bankers who made stupid decisions of their own accord while the ranks of the homeless, unemployed and uninsured swell. And yet - I can click a button on my computer, and for a mere $45 someone will mail me a foam facial appliance of a chimpanzee that utilizes the same technology that somebody used to win an Academy Award with back in 1969. Amazing.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ape Lincoln

Torn from today's election season headlines and just in time for Halloween, a stately Ape Lincoln showed up in the Blogfoot offices last week. He pressed the flesh and delivered a uplifting stump speech, gently assuring us that life for humans under his rule on Planet of the Abes wouldn't be so bad (click on pics to embiggen).

Some politicians kiss babies, Ape Lincoln hugs puppies.

Later I will post more pics, revealing just how I skillfully brought this creation to staggering life for a mere $100 or so.

Monday, November 03, 2008

This is not a can of paint

You could be forgiven for thinking that it was paint. It certainly looks like a gallon of high-quality, weather-resistant enamel. But no - this is a large can of cheese. Liquid cheese in a giant coffee can, as poured over nachos at a Halloween party I attended the other night. Yum.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween trademark dodge #1309

Spied this yesterday at a store - the "Disc Jockey Wig."

No disc jockey in particular - just your average, everyday disc jockey. It is certainly not meant to be a famous "shock jock" popular for the sexual and scatological content of his nationally-syndicated morning program. Nope. Put away your legal writs, litigious-minded lawyer-types - this is just a plain old ordinary disc jockey.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thirsty? Filled with rage? Try a Kinski Brau.

These days the beer industry is awash with brands spewing forth pointless positioning phrases like "superior drinkability" and "cold filtering" and the like. All these qualities are bunk. What a man really wants in a beer is good old-fashioned gestalt.

It is for these mercurial, insane and Teutonic-skewing men that we make Kinski Brau.

Created in tribute to the legendary German thespian / madman Klaus Kinski, Kinski Brau is hand-crafted in small batches, primarily because it's makers are given to fits of rage and cannot stay calmly on task for too long.

This copper-colored brew has a pleasant hop aroma and is the perfect fuel for screaming at your director or haranguing audiences, photographers and fans. As venomous invectives fly forth from your snarling, foam-flecked lips, you will find yourself beguiled by the beer's assured yet-not-overpowering taste. Your eyes will bulge from their sockets as your mood careens wildly from lustful joy to murderous rage in the flash of an instant, and you will remark, in the form of some sort of sneered insult barked in your guttural native tongue, of how well this lager goes with various boiled meats.

Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a batch of our fine brew, whether you are consumed with raking the leaves, completely obliterating a hotel room, or hatching a murderous plot to kill one of your long-time collaborators. We'd like to think Klaus himself would enjoy a couple bottles of our carefully crafted beer, most likely before cracking the empty bottles over our heads. We encourage you - no, scratch that - we demand that all you schweinekopf try a bottle of Kinski Brau today.

Kinski Brau is a product of Blogfoot Brewery, Saint Anthony, MN

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chimp + Segway = Magic

And to elevate this clip to even more dizzying heights, the chimp is wearing overalls.

I've got to hand it to the chimp - he figured it out pretty quick. Some might criticize his dismount technique, but I applaud his classic "abandon ship!" approach.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Less is more

Here is a sublime piece of package design I spied today whilst shopping for some Halloween supplies. I required no false facial hair, but the $1.29 price tag and elegant graphics nonetheless caused me to part with me hard-earned cutter.

It looks less like a package and more like a vintage pamphlet warning youths about the dangers of tramp beards. I would be certainly be interested in reading such a hand-out, as well as it's harrowing companion volume "Vagrant Moustaches."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I smell a top-selling calendar

Here's a couple of pictures that would make even the toughest whale-hunting, baby-seal-bludgeoning seaman grow misty-eyed.

I think the calendar should be called "Hugs 2009." Ideas like this are why I get paid the big bucks, people.

That second picture is the funniest thing I've seen in a while. That is pure, unadulterated, straight-up joy right there. It makes one wonder: can chimps giggle? And if so, what does said giggling sound like? I know they hoot and screech when excited, but this picture says "giggle" more than "hoot and screech.". Kudos to Cute Overload for bringing these pics to light.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Good stuff

I'm not going to say much about this except that it's from Robert Smiegel's "TV Funhouse" show that was on Comedy Central and that it has a premise that is very close to genius.

Can I inquire as to where you got that charming lawn jockey?

So yesterday I was sitting at work, pecking away at my computer on a pitch that I've generously been given a whole day to come up with concepts for, when I heard the ding of an incoming email. I opened my email program and saw that it was a mass email from some people I know in Cedarburg, Wisconsin who are always passing along "funny" emails to their friends.

These people were good friends of my now-deceased father. Their kids loved him, and when he was sick they went over and helped him out with things, checked on him, ran errands, etc. Their help was invaluable, especially seeing as how I lived in another state. They've also been very nice to me over the years and have always seemed like nothing but kind, decent people.

Usually their email attachments are of the typical dumb email variety that clog this great internet of ours on a daily basis - purported photos of giant cats, fat people, anti-Chicago bears jokes, etc. But I knew I was in for a wild ride when I saw the subject line that read "The Next Air Force One."
I was fairly certain this wasn't going to be a jab at McCain, but even I, as cynical as I am, was unprepared for the image that greeted me upon opening the email (FYI - I wrestled with whether or not to even post this on my blog and thereby be complicit in continuing it's exposure, but ultimately I decided that such things must sometimes be seen to be believed).

Are you ready, Amos and Andy fans? Here goes (click to embiggen).

Yow. Now I think we can all agree that this is unforgivably racist, unfunny, inappropriate, etc (not to mention that it swiped artwork from a Curious George book). But what also lept out at me was that it's creator was so proud of his efforts, so sure that he had created something that would spread like wildfire, that his signed his work! Scott Seibert, you are a thick-headed dullard and most likely beyond any sort of human redemption, but I must say that you have ginormous balls. Without a doubt they are larger than your walnut-sized brain. Now f*#k off.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


The national debt clock near Times Square ran out number spaces yesterday. I guess they can always tape up sheets of paper next to it. At this point I'm not even sure why we bother keeping track. A number such as this is so abstract that they may as well just tack up a Pollock painting in it's stead.

In related news, I've dug a moat around my property, planted a garden and bought a shotgun. So be warned: even if you and your hungry family make it past the alligators, I will shoot you before you can ravage my carrot crop.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Choose your zombie fate

Here's a nice little interactive zombie movie - you choose the way the story progresses by selecting one of two options, you go the next scene, repeat, etc. It's "Dragon's Lair" meets "Night of the Living Dead."

Click here to "Survive The Outbreak"...if you dare! And you probably do dare, seeing as how you're no-doubt looking to kill more time at work.

I thought this was a fairly high-quality effort. But I must take umbrage with the fact that as someone well-versed in zombie lore, I feel that there was some inaccurate developments. Specifically, when I granted the sweet release of death to a man wounded by a zombie bite by shooting him in the head, or left a hobbled, injured person to their fate, I was punished by the game - ie; attacked and killed by zombies.

This doesn't cut the mustard in my book. Everyone knows that anyone bitten by a zombie is going to become a zombie themselves and be a sure-fire threat down the road. And a wounded person is straight-up unnecessary ballast - they will slow you down and almost certainly get killed anyway, and most likely doom you in the process. So, to re-cap: Leave the wounded behind, and shoot any bitten people in the head. You have my permission to do the same to me in the case of a zombie outbreak (although my natural quickness, penchant for snug clothing and close-cropped hair will give me a huge edge when it comes to escaping the grasping clutches of a zombie horde).

Monday, September 29, 2008


I found this on the web but it wasn't credited, so I don't know from what great mind it sprang. But I do know that it rules.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paul Newman 1925 - 2008

"I wanted to acknowledge luck. The beneficence of it in many lives and the brutality of it in the lives of others, especially children, who might not have a lifetime to make up for it."

-Paul Newman, on his style of low-key philanthropy

He was a great-looking movie star who eschewed traditional leading-man roles in favor of playing heels and anti-heroes and became an icon for it. He was a fine actor who was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and even as he aged continued to turn in tremendous performances (1982's "The Verdict" and 1994's "Nobody's Fool," a movie that reminds me very much of my pop, come to mind.). In the span of 4 years he managed to make 3 films that started with the letter "H" - "Hud," "Harper," "Hombre." He was reportedly thrilled when he found that he had made #19 on Richard Nixon's famous enemies list in the 70's for his political views. He was an accomplished racer of cars and managed to remain married to the same woman for 50 years, once famously remarking "Why go out for hamburger when I have steak at home?" As simply an actor and one of cinema's all-time great movie stars, his life would certainly be memorable and worthy of remembrance.

But Newman took things up a notch. In 1980 or so he and a friend got the idea that his homemade salad dressing, which he bottled and gave out as Christmas presents to friends and neighbors, could do some good in the world via his celebrity. Thus was born "Newman's Own" line of food products (Mrs. Blogfoot has never gotten over the fact that I prefer Newman's delicious "Marinara" spaghetti sauce to her mother's recipe). With a company motto of "Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good," this company has donated all of it's after-tax profits to charities, an amount that to date is estimated to be be over $250 million dollars. Relief efforts, schools, and arts & humanities have all benefited, but a good chunk of it goes to his "Hole In The Wall Gang" camps. Named after his gang in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", the camps are a place where children with life-threatening diseases can attend free of charge and forget about being sick and just be kids for a while.

Did he do this for publicity? Hardly. In fact, he turned down a proposed commendation from President Clinton in the 90's for his efforts. As former camp counselor Dahlia Lithwick writes on

"In an era in which nearly everyone feels entitled to celebrity and fortune, Newman was always suspicious of both. He used his fame to give away his fortune, and he did that from some unspoken Zen-like conviction that neither had ever really belonged to him in the first place."

Plus, he ate 50 eggs. Nobody can eat 50 eggs.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Well said

Legendary investor Warren Buffet on the subject of gold and the world's obsession with acquiring and basing currency on it:

"It gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head."

I like every word in this quote. But I especially like the "...or someplace" part.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ye Gods

If you tried to envision the most terrifying headline you might possibly see today, you'd probably think that said headline would have something to do with the current economic crisis, or that some crazed dictator has the nuke, or that Al Queda has struck again.

But you'd be wrong.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Let me ask you this: Does it have to be a whale? Wouldn't an airplane-sized shark be scarier?"

Ain't' It Cool News is reporting that some visionaries in Hollywood are gearing up to make a new, big-budget version of Herman Melville's classic "Moby Dick." Except of course, that they are determined to change it in order to make it more palatable to today's moronic audiences.

"Our vision isn't your grandfather's version of 'Moby Dick,'" said screenwriter Adam Cooper. "This is an opportunity to take a timeless classic and capitalize on the advances in visual effects to tell what at it's core is an action-adventure story."

Well Adam, at it's core 'Moby Dick" is actually a symbolic and metaphorical examination of man's hubris, obsession and futile attempts to control his fate and impart his will on nature, set against a backdrop of the whaling industry that was so vital to our growing nation at the time. But whatever.

The story goes on to say "The writers revere Melville's original text, but their graphic novel-style version will change the structure."

This means they will attempt to cram a hot chick in there somewhere.

"Gone is the first-person style narration by the young seaman Ishmael..."

Makes sense. He was only the vessel through which the reader understands and interprets the story.

"This change will allow them to depict the whale's decimation of other ships prior to to it's encounter with Ahab's Pequod..."

Translation: "We're going to rip off "Jaws" as much as legally possible. And there will be plenty of unconvincing CGI."

"...and Ahab will be depicted more as a charismatic leader than a brooding obsessive."

This also makes sense. Why would someone who had their leg bitten off by a whale waste time and energy brooding, or be obsessive? In fact, can we ditch that whole peg-leg thing? No A-list actor is going to want to waddle around on a peg-leg. It's just not very sexy. Instead, maybe he just has a scar on his face? Not too big, though - a tasteful scar. And now that I think of it - that title. "Moby Dick?" A sperm whale named Dick? Come on - kids are going to laugh at that. Maybe we could change it. Something like - "Leviathan"? No , too highbrow. Maybe..."White Death"? Well, we've got time to hash all that out. Can someone see if Brett Ratner is available?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Columnist Gregg Easterbrook points out the following dreary fact in his fine "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" column on

"It took the United States 209 years, from the founding of the republic till 1998, to compile the first $5 trillion in national debt. In the decade since, $6 trillion in debt has been added. This means the United States has borrowed more money in the past decade than in all our previous history combined. "

Yikes indeed.

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's that time of year again

Am I referring to the forthcoming fall equinox? No, nothing so pedestrian. Instead, I am speaking of the birth anniversary of none other than Mr. Adam West. Mr. West turns 80 years young today. He is akin to a god.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I saw this photo on some other blog that I forgot to bookmark, so I can't credit them. Sorry, dudes. But what we have here are a couple of visionaries who decided that they didn't want to just thoughtlessly add to one of our nation's ever-growing landfills, so they took their old mac and made a "tobacco" pipe out of it. Well done, gents. I also like that one guy took pains to conceal his identity while the other stared brazenly into the camera. And, for the final flourish, all this went down in a purple room.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


That's the sound of the Dow dropping 500 points the other day. Well done, Wall Street. So much for deregulation. But I must admit, it's pretty clever how you've managed to socialize risk but privatize profit.

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's deja vu all over again

"I was defined as the insider [in New Hampshire], and those days are over. I'm going to make it very clear to the voters of this state who Mr. Outsider is and who Mr. Insider is."

-George Bush referring to John McCain, 2000.

To communicate his new maverick image, Bush then adopted the slogan "A Reformer With Results." Now McCain and his Creatonism-favoring running mate are sounding the same horn.

Since we're all just going to buy this sack full of malarky and pretend that the last 8 years never happened, I'd like to tell you about this great new song I heard: it's called "Who Let The Dogs Out?" and it's by a hot new band called the Baha Men. It's utterly infectious, and I'm convinced these guys have the talent that will stand the test of time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We're not out of the woods yet

OK, so turning on the Large Hadron Collider early this morning didn't create a black hole that sucked in everything in it's path.

Yet, that is.

It is my understanding that right now the LHC is only firing particles in one direction, and things won't actually start colliding for a month or so. Once that starts, the feared-but-unlikely black hole could manifest at any time. So if you're sitting on the couch minding your own business sometime in October and suddenly your perception of time slows down and everything looks all rubbery and stretched out, prepare to be winked out of existence.

And what would that be like? Well, charmingly enough, something like this:

"Your body would be shredded apart into the smallest possible pieces. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, who wrote the definitive account Death by Black Hole, imagined the experience as "the most spectacular way to die in space."

Thanks, Neil. I'm going to head home and tightly clutch my teddy bear now.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Say your prayers, hug the wife and kids, etc

Because tomorrow some scientists deep underground on the border between France and Switzerland are going to fire up the world's largest particle accelerator, and once they do, we could all perish within seconds. Intended to allow these foolhardy eggheads to learn how the universe was formed by analyzing particle collisions, some fear that the accelerator could accidentally create a black hole that will suck up everything around it. In other words - you, me and everything we hold dear.

The scientists called such fears "baloney." I don't know about you, but I like that guys smart enough to conceive, design, build and operate a particle accelerator the size of a small city still use words like "baloney." Brings them down to our level.

But the most terrifying part of the article to my eyes was the following: "(the accelerator) even has a rap dedicated to it on YouTube." Brrrr - such words chill the bones.

More about the impending apocalypse here. Been nice knowin' ya!

Violent coffee commercials from the 50's with muppets

On the most recent episode of "Mad Men," the agency was pitching a large coffee account that wanted to reach a younger demographic. A mention was made of a failed previous attempt that featured puppets. Well, a little digging reveals that lo and behold, such a thing did exist.

These were done on the 50's for Wilkins Coffee, and featured muppets courtesy of a young Jim Henson. They are strangely violent, especially for the era:

These would be fun scripts to write:

MUPPET #1: Hey, do you like coffee?

MUPPET #2: No.

SFX: Blam! (Muppet #1 kills Muppet #2 with cannon).

Ah, the good old days.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

And another thing

Something else that has struck me as odd this week is another shrill refrain from all the RNC speeches: that the GOP believes in smaller government, that the GOP will reduce the size of the government, etc.

Well, consider this: the last time a Republican president left office with a smaller government than when he went in, it was the 1950's.

The GOP does not believe in or engender small government. The GOP likes the government to have no say in how businesses are run or regulated, but that's a whole different story.

That's the last of my scorching political commentary for now. I'll go back to posting Scooby-Doo clips.

I'm confused

Various blustery and strident speeches made during the Republican National Convention that has blighted my city this week have all had a common theme: Republicans are going to change things! No more politics as usual! Throw out the political elite and bring in some outsiders to shake things up!

I find this fairly interesting, seeing as how we've had a Republican President for the last 8 years and Republicans controlled the House and the Senate until January of 2007. So - what they are offering is change from...themselves?

An interesting strategy. I would say that voters would see right through it, except that these same voters twice-elected a privileged moron (who failed in every business venture he undertook but kept getting new opportunities due to his father's political power and connections) and were willing to swallow the image of this same mope as a salt-of-the-earth, God-fearing Texan who toiled ceaselessly to clear brush from his land.

Should be an interesting election season.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Singer, songwriter, actor and good ol' boy Jerry Reed died Monday at the age of 71. He starred with Burt Reynolds in "Smokey & The Bandit" and also wrote & performed the movie's famous theme song "East Bound and Down" (You know you know the words..."East Bound and down, loaded up and truckin', we gonna do what they say can't be done....").

He wrote songs for Elvis and Dean Martin, popped in on "Hee Haw", had a big hit in the early 70's with his novelty song "When You're Hot, You're Hot" (a personally adhered-to philosophy that we here at Blogfoot believe shapes the world in untold and myriad ways) and, lest we forget, even co-starred on "Scooby-Doo":

Jeez - would have it have killed the animators to fill in some more of the seats in concert scene? Things looked pretty sparse there.

Anyway, here's hoping you got that truckload of Coors where it needed to go, Jerry.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ice-skating chimps

That's right: ice-skating chimps.

The website incorrectly labels them as ice-skating monkeys, but they are in error. Chimpanzees aren't monkeys. They're apes.

Anyway. Ice-skating chimps right here. My favorite moment? Right around the 1:10 mark. It involves a rope.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The persistence of corvidae* memory

*Corvidae is a cosmopolitan family of oscine passerine birds that contains the crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, etc.

You could be forgiven, I suppose, for not knowing how smart crows are. Most people think crows are just a loud pain in the ass, but the crow is a noble and handsome beast, one that possesses a wide-ranging dialect and a fierce intelligence. Crows use tools, unlock cages and have even been known to mimic human speech. Scientists who have studied them say that they are somewhere above dogs but below dolphins on the animal intelligence scale. And it appears that they can even remember human faces and subsequently hold a grudge, according to this fascinating article in the New York Times.

So give the crow a break, would you? Next time you stroll through your neighborhood and one barks at you, just cluck back. It's probably just saying hello.

Oh - one more boastful thing: the color image above is an oil painting of a raven I did way back in 2003 for a group show. Some woman bought it, and now I like to think that it hangs in someone's private wood-paneled library, where a gentleman sits under it smoking his curvy pipe in an overstuffed chair.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

As seen on ebay

Lou appears to be a happy, well-adjusted fellow, and most likely worthy of my trust. I think I will visit his ebay store.

I do believe that Lou's moustache may be the densest one I've ever seen. That thing is comprised of billions upon billions of coarse, wiry follicles, each waiting to snatch an errant fly as it buzzes past.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Puny humans to run amok at art exhibition, Hulk remains unimpressed

That’s only because The Hulk is notoriously close-minded when it comes to the visual arts. However, those who are more predisposed to dip their toes into the waters of creativity and unshackled techno geekery are wholly encouraged to come out tomorrow night (that's Saturday to you) and see a gallery exhibition of artistry by our good pals at Puny, Northeast Minneapolis’ torch-bearers of eye-popping, electronically-borne visual stimuli.

There will be a wide-ranging display of arty things, live music, a DJ, and if I were a betting man, I would say that there will most likely be various types of free crackers on paper plates as well. Details here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The stuff of nightmares

So the Milwaukee Zoo has a new baby orangutan named Mahal, and it's biological mother died, so they've brought in a foster mom orangutan, and subsequently the plight of Mahal has captured the hearts and minds of Milwaukeeans (God knows how many single-parent and orphaned babies spring from the city's huge inner city, but who cares about them, right Milwaukee? It like Gordon Gekko said in "Wall Street": "That's the thing about WASP's. They love animals, can't stand people.").

Anyhoo, they had some contest where kids could draw Mahal, and here's one of the winners. Ready? I hope so:

Gahhh!! Make it go away!

Seriously, that's terrifying. Somehow the "I love you" makes it even weirder. Not sure why, but it does.

Keepin' it classy

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has been raising eyebrows at the Olympics, not only for smashing world records and winning 2 gold medals, but his celebratory behavior afterward. What's he done? Oh, not much, really. From an AP story:

"Bolt made little effort to congratulate the other runners as he wrapped himself in a Jamaican flag and set off on a solo victory lap. Swaying to the reggae music on the stadium loudspeakers, he walked barefoot around the track, putting his face inches from a TV camera, raising an index finger and yelling, "I am No. 1! I am No. 1!"

I'm a little disappointed he didn't bend one of the other runners over and pretend to mount them, but hey, there's always London in 2012.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Book cover of the year

Simple. Direct. Powerful. It literally stopped me in my tracks during a lunchtime visit to Barnes & Noble.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bigfoot body press conference lamest thing since "Grease 2."

I mean, if you're going to concoct a hoax, at least bring a little bit of craft to the table. Gimme a little bit of sizzle. And for f@*k's sake, if you're going to stage a press conference claiming to have the body of a Bigfoot, it might be a good idea to actually bring the body.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who was Count Dante?

If you read comic books in the early-to-mid 1970's, you no doubt remember this full-page ad, which was seemingly in every Marvel comic published back then (not sure about DC titles, I was more of a Marvel guy):

Ah yes...Count Dante. A man so deadly that he glowed hot pink. And check out that classy-but-deadly script his name is rendered in. Plus, he flat-out says that he's the deadliest man alive. I never sent away for his free booklet of fighting secrets, probably because I was 7 years old and things never got so serious on the playground that I had to consider plucking out another kids eyeball.

As it turns out, there is a story behind this ad, and it's a good one. Count Dante was a rather notorious fellow, and aside from knocking on Muhammad Ali's door and challenging him to a fight, storming rival dojo's and walking around Chicago's lakefront with a lion on a leash, he was also suspected of being involved in a $4 million heist. Plus, he also ran a beauty salon, where he styled the hair of Playboy playmates! All this before dying in 1975 at the tender age of 36. Well, as Dr. Eldon Tyrell told Roy Batty, "The star that burns twice as bright burns half as long."

"By cutting her hair in long layers, I have given this dreary
housewife a more contemporary look. Now, I will snap her neck like a twig."

Now that I've got you salivating for more info, here's a link to a very interesting and much more in-depth look at the life of Count Dante, courtesy of the Chicago Reader.

Also, the story mentions a filmmaker who is currently working on documentary of the Count (something I would gladly pay to see), and he's selling cool t-shirts as a fund-raising tool. You can get those here. I went with the military green.

You know - there are times I look around at this world we've wrought and I weep for all that's gone awry. And then there are times like this, when by following a few links I discover that I can buy a t-shirt with Count Dante on it, and I think that somehow, everything's going to be OK.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The moment of my vindication is nigh

So a press conference has been set up for this Friday, because some dudes claim that they have in their possession the carcass of an actual Sasquatch. Details here.

Part of me is naturally skeptical of this claim. The reasons I am skeptical are thus:

1.) I'm naturally skeptical.

2.) People never seem to tire of staging dopey Bigfoot hoaxes.

3.) Anyone with half a brain knows that Bigfoots head off to a mysterious and hidden "Elephants Graveyard"-style valley to die, making the likelihood of finding a deceased specimen nil.

Naturally, I will be reporting on this story as it unfolds. But like I said, part of me fears some lame viral marketing ploy and is highly skeptical.

But the other half of me is pretty excited. How excited? Well, it can be summed up in three words: raging hard-on.

Quote of the year

Actually, this may be of quote of the decade. Or even, dare I say, the millennium.

I spent today recording a radio campaign at a production house here in town. During lunch I was flipping through an issue of People magazine whilst punishing the build-your-own-gyro spread they brought in for lunch, and I saw that there was a short article about Bret Michaels (lead singer of Poison and star of VH1's 'Rock of Love") hair philosophy (I shit you not). You know - why he has long hair, what he likes about long hair, etc. And within that was nestled this beautiful stanza from Bret regarding his long hair:

"It says 'I am a wild child. I will take you on a Harley ride, then make passionate love to you. And should you be attacked by a lion or an idiot in a bar, I will protect you."

I cannot believe dude had the balls to swipe my marriage vows. I worked long and hard on those, Brett. Rest assured my attorney will in touch soon.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Guilty as charged

A friend who reads the blog emailed me today after reading my post on my other friend's 'ghetto charisma'. He thought it was only fair to point out that there was a place that I dragged him to on several occasions in the 90's (OK, and maybe a couple times in the aughts). The place? Well, see for yourselves:

That's right: Ponderosa. That all-you-can-eat salad bar is sublime. Plus, you can't beat a sirloin and buffet for $8.99. For some insane reason the mighty Ponderosa has no presence (or pentration, as they say in the retail biz) here in Minnesota, so when I go back to Milwacky
I have to indulge.

Notes from a Perkins virgin

This weekend I got together with a friend to work on a long-gestating web project, and somehow he talked me into doing this at a Perkins restaurant, an eatery of dubious distinction that festoons seemingly every corner of this great land of ours, and one I've managed to avoid in my 40 years on this planet.

My review? Small portions of sub-par food. I would have to give it 1/2 a fork. And that's only because the waitress was pretty attentive and kept refilling my water glass before it was even empty.

This isn't the first time this particular friend has led me into a low-grade wasteland. In fact, he excels at it. Sometime ago I coined a phrase for his ability to somehow talk me into visiting establishments that I know suck.
I said he possesses "Ghetto Charisma."

Here are just a few of the places this harbinger of crud has gotten me to frequent, either in his presence or at his fervent recommendation, that I would have otherwise never step foot in:

Radio Shack

Old Country Buffet

Auto Zone

TCF Bank (I not only belong to this bank now, but I sucked my wife into its low-rent clutches as well. This "dragged into the gutter by proxy" demonstrates how powerful his ghetto charisma truly is.)



Arby's / Sbarro combo restaurant

Buffalo Wild Wings

William's Bar (unsavory meat-market in uptown Minneapolis where you will choke on the fog of Axe body spray hanging in the air)

Various crummy Chinese food buffets

I'm certain that I'm forgetting some. I'm also certain this list will grow in the future.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


That's the Chinese character-equivalent of "bad-ass," because that's how I would have to describe the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics on Friday. That was some serious spectacle, and if you didn't watch it you missed out on some pretty impressive shit.

In other news, Brett Favre in no longer a Packer, which sucks.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Amenities are important

When looking for a new apartment, there are several factors to consider. What defines luxury? I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder. But sexiness is always near the top of the list.

Thank you, Uptown Minneapolis, for being the sort of place that would post a sign such as this. You are truly sexy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wacky office props

Autographed photo of Richard "Jaws" Kiel? Check. 

Little statue of Zeus hurling a thunderbolt? Check. 

Old school robot? Check.

Now I can work in peace, completely secure in the knowledge that my interests are effectively communicated to all passerby.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sheer poetry

"His tie is askew. His third-day shirt has ring-around-the-collar. His thick, wavy clump of hair overhangs eyes screwed tight in a lopsided squint, a brow that is permanently furrowed and a leathery puss smudged with unshaven stubble...he looks like an ambulatory cypress stump in baggy brown pants. And the raincoat. The raincoat is an oversized, unhung affair in the last stages of decomposition, scarred and seasoned with the grease of a thousand fingers."

Who chisled out this mighty prose that so deftly paints such an evocative portrait of a protagonist? Steinbeck? Faulkner? No, although you could be forgiven for thinking so. It was written by a titan named Alfred Lawrence in 1972, and is excerpted from "Columbo #1", a paperback novelization of a "Columbo" episode I recently bought in Denver for a quarter. "Columbo" was a fine show for its time, and I look forward to reading the read of the 126-page tome (the excerpt above is the 1st paragraph of the book! Talk about starting with a bang).

My favorite part? That's easy: "...he looks like an ambulatory cypress stump in baggy brown pants." Beautiful.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Classic Bigfoot documentary

Courtesy of the fine folks at American National Enterprises circa 1972:

It's a thing of beauty - everything viewed through a rich, golden-brown hue. And I love the part at the 2:30 mark when some old-timer decides to fire up his chainsaw right in the middle of an interview.

These were the kind of films that fired my young interest in the subject. Sadly, part 2 hasn't been posted yet. Hopefully soon.

Strong bear

A designer here at work just sent me this jpg of a bear making muscles and reveling in all it's bear power. I like it. In fact, I want this on a t-shirt, too. So whichever loyal Blogfoot reader is currently making my free, high-quality Marty Feldman t-shirt, go ahead and whip up a tee with this image as well. Print it in gold ink on a brown athletic fit shirt (no box around the bear is necessary, just the image floating), and while you're at it you might as well open the file in photoshop real quick so you can get rid of the bear's camel toe. Thanks.