Thursday, March 26, 2009


Boy, do I feel retroactively bad for all the kids in the 60's who asked for a Spider-Man costume to wear on Halloween and instead received this from their dopey, easily-confused parents. Ugh.

Fly-Man! He has the power to live for only 24 hours! Fly-Man! Unable to soar in a straight line! Fly-Man! His compound-vision goggles enable him to easily elude your clumsy swatting!

Pic courtesy of the fine blog known as Retrocrush.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just for kicks

Here's some cool vintage pics of stop motion animation and special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen at work.

Just to keep things straight - the first pic of is Ray animating one of the seven skeletons from the climatic battle in his masterpiece "Jason and The Argonauts," and the second is the big finish in "Valley of Gwangi," wherein an Allosaurus battles an elephant in a Mexican coliseum (?!).

I really like that in both pics Ray is wearing a tie. He got up, put on some nice clothes, ate breakfast and went to go animate things everyday. Pretty neat.

Friday, March 20, 2009

More fine realtor advertising

With the housing bubble having burst, selling the glut of homes on the market has become even more cutthroat than usual. And with ramped-up competition, realtors have turned to their one legal means to engender a business advantage: compelling advertising that grabs the consumer by the eyeballs.

Take Joe Kasel, for instance.

What Joe has done here is placed his faith in the time-honored practice of puns / word-play, and in this case he shoehorned it into raping a folksy saying about how every man's home is his - well, you know. To his credit, he realized that even adroit viewers might be flummoxed by this deft approach, so he threw his name in italics and then plopped a castle graphic on his logo to bring it on home. Oh - now I get it.

Then we have Terry Anderson.

Fate having denied Terry a surname that could serve a dual-purpose, she was forced to use visual trickery to command attention. Ergo, we have a gigantic, legless woman (or maybe her lower half is serpent-like? That would be cool) looming menacingly over a house. After all, research shows that gigantism inspires trust and confidence in potential buyers. I myself have rejected many perfectly suitable homes because the agent was unable to pick up a holstein cow or pickup truck as easily as you or I would a puppy.

Sorry about the semi-blurriness of these pics. They were small ads on the counter of the check-out lane of my local grocery store, and this was the best my phone could do under those conditions.

Weekend plans

I'm going to drag the wife to see "I Love You, Man," because it has both Rush and Lou Ferrigno in it, and that's good enough for me.

Friday, March 13, 2009

We have a winner

And it is Zappos, winning handily by showing up late yesterday. Sorry Netflix.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Netflix VS Zappos

If you rent DVDs from Netflix or have ordered shoes from, you know how eerily fast both are when it comes to shipping (a day or day and half turnaround is generally the norm). Perhaps you have even done as I have, and laid awake countless nights pondering which was the fastest.

Well wonder no more, because yesterday I ordered a pair of shoes from Netflix, and also returned a movie to Netflix, prompting my next shipment. Thus, the showdown begins: which will arrive first - my new pair of leather New Balance sneakers, or the movie "Synedoche, New York"? According to emails that arrived within minutes of one another, both are en route. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 09, 2009

You've got to be shi#%ing me

So the other day I was updating my facebook profile and typed in a typically pithy message, which in this instance stated that I was "working on some muppet fan fiction."

There you go - a perfectly semi-amusing facebook update. As someone who is fascinated by the whole fan fiction thing (in particular "M*A*S*H" fan fiction), it recently occurred to me that writing muppet fan fiction would be a pointless exercise of the highest order. After all, half of the fun of the muppets is the visual aspect - they are funny looking puppets that move and gesticulate in an interesting fashion. Another important quality of the muppets is the vocal aspect - each have unique vocal styles that help define their characters - again, a quality that would lost on the printed page.

But then a terrifying thought gripped me: has someone actually written muppet fan fiction, and if so, had they actually attempted to do so in a non-satirical fashion?

It turns out some mad fiends have. And here is an excerpt from one particular story I found (you guessed it) online titled "Sometimes The Sky Calls":

A shiver ran down Kermit’s spine as he sat in his cell, looking through the glass window to try and see what was going on in the other cells surrounding his own. Observing his friends from the boarding house, as well as neighbors and strangers, pacing around irritably in their mini-prisons while occasionally shouting out their demands to know what was going on. It was a whole new breed of chaos, one that the frog wasn’t sure he’d be able to handle.

He was worried, but even more than that…he was scared.

Brrr- chilling stuff, no? As near as I can tell so far the author, no doubt in the throes of an oxycotin overdose, conceived of a tale in which Muppets were rounded up like Jewish people and tossed in some type of concentration camp. Here's more:

“Dis is insane, d’ey can’t do dis to us!” Rizzo screeched from behind the amphibian, while attempting to scrape a hole in the cement wall at the back of the room. Fozzie simply sighed with worry, while Piggy stared at the back of Kermit’s head. It was only a matter of time before the other two did the same, looking toward their natural-born leader for advice.

He glanced back at them, but was unable to deliver the sort of supportive and uplifting speech they had come to expect from him when times got rough. After all, the situation they found themselves in right now was far different from anything they had encountered before. Everything was going to be different after this; and the frog wasn’t sure how he was going to handle the outcome…how any of them would.

“I’m sure they’ll tell us what’s going on soon.” Kermit finally said after a few moments, returning his worried gaze back through the window in front of him. Hoping to spot a guard that might be willing to give them a clue about the situation, although he couldn’t help doubting it that it would happen.

“D’ese guys? Telling us da truth?” The rat scoffed half-heartedly, too consumed with worry to be as sarcastic and cynical as he was normally capable of. He was beginning to let his panic set in, and quickly re-directed his attention back to the wall he was trying to dig a hole in. “I’d get us out of here before we get any info about what da heck’s going on from them!”

The others in the cell watched as he resumed his attempts to chip away at the wall with his teeth, each understood how he was feeling. After all, they were feeling it too.

A couple of hours had passed since the soldiers had stormed the town and taken everyone into custody, bringing them to this facility and putting them into the cells they now occupied; four per room. And not once had any of them been given an explanation as to what was going on, why they were there, what was happening to their friend.

They were being left in the dark, and Kermit hated it.

I will now give you a moment to let the enormity of all that sink in.

Now - I don't want to get all Statler and Waldorf here, but obviously this story has major problems. The greatest of which is that it violates a storytelling axiom I like to adhere to, which is this: there are some subjects that just flat-out defy versimillitude, or "real world" treatment. Muppets are definitely one of these subjects, as are Smurfs / Snorks, Rainbow Brite, Jem, etc. Trying to ascribe feelings of fear, doom and themes of imprisonment or mortality to these characters just doesn't work.

In conclusion, anyone seeking to pen some muppet fan fiction in the future would do well to heed this advice, and simply stick to writing stories that have Kermit banging Miss Piggy. Maybe work in a jealous Link Hogthrob for a little love triangle action - stuff like that.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Didn't your mother teach you to never pick up 4th-level Paladin / Thief hitchhikers?

Some friends picked me up to go see "Watchmen" yesterday (more on that later, or maybe not), so I hopped in the backseat of their car and off we went. I looked absentmindedly around the backseat as we chatted and noticed many of the things people commonly have in their back seats, such as ice scrapers, a box of kleenex, a copy of that weeks "City Pages," a dagger in a bejeweled scabbard...hey, what the?

That's right: a dagger in a bejeweled scabbard. Behold:

Truly exquisite craftsmanship. Mordok the Unconquerable will be pleased that you were able to pilfer this from the treasure room of his hated enemy.

Unsheathed, you are now ready to ward off a giant spider, pesky cave troll or the other dude in the backseat who's trying to gank some of your fries.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

When it rains, it pours

And now we have photographic evidence to support my claim - an actual vintage JC Penny print ad showing Super Dennis engaged in some deep knee bends in JC Penny "Super Wear Headquarters." Some guy is auctioning this torn-out ad on ebay for $11.99. A tad steep for my tastes, but I'll starve him down then make a rock-bottom "best offer" (hot financial tip - the putrid economy has also escorted us into a golden age of haggling).

Man, I wish I could read that copy, but it gets too blurry when enlarged. Once again I am tantalized by Super Dennis! On the bright side though, I think I just found my next Halloween costume.

Another thing you will note is that the actual photo and the sticker graphic below don't look very much like one another. The heads sorta match, but the impression I'm left with is that the sticker graphic was the original concept, and the actual prop is the result of budget realities settling in. In any case, pretty sloppy synergy there in the JC Penny in-house ad department, I would say. And at first blush the sticker looks cooler, but upon further study I like the photo version more. Probably because that's how I remember him from the TV spots, but those HVAC flex-tube arms and grappling hooks he has for hands don't hurt either.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I'm not crazy

Longtime Blogfoot readers are no doubt familiar with my sad quest to unearth information concerning a half-remembered TV campaign JC Penny's did during the 70's featuring a robot wearing jeans to demonstrate how tough and durable the dungarees were.

The product was called "Super Denim," and the character (filmed in live action) was called - to the best of my memory - "Super Dennis." Documentation on this has proved elusive - no youtube videos, no print ads scanned, nothing. Just a few people out there wondering aloud is this thing really existed. Some readers have sent emails and comments stating they remember this too, but thus far, nothing concrete has surfaced. Which has always struck me as odd, considering what a giant repository of worthless gunk the internet is.

Well, as any detective worth his salt will tell you, the key to cracking a tough case is persistence. Hence my googling the words "super dennis" every couple months. And now, finally - a payoff! Someone posted an image on a flicker page of a sticker JC Penny's slapped on the labels of the jeans. Ladies and Gentlemen, here he is - Super Dennis.

Now we have a solid foundation upon which to build our case. Rest assured I will continue to regularly grope for Super Dennis info and post any findings post haste.

In Search Of Bigfoot

The late, great 70's-era "In Search Of..." TV show hosted by the titan known as Leonard Nimoy has yet to surface on DVD, but here is the next best thing - the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization has linked the the "Bigfoot" episode from youtube in two easy-to-digest portions.
Click here to watch, and prepare to be riveted to your monitor as Nimoy drops some science on ya.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Bum wines

We've all been there - you're 17 years old and you want to get drunk, but you and your buddy have but a scant $4.00 between the two of you. So you decided against getting a couple 40's of Mickey's, and head over to no man's land: the cooler that holds cheap chilled wines like MD 20/20 and Night Train.

But how to know which one tastes the best (a relative term, to be sure), 0r which one will "get you there quicker?" Well, some enterprising chaps have the answers to your questions, courtesy of They review and rate each wine based on taste, alcohol content and even sense of warmth imparted, which is a nice touch. Thus informed, you can now empty that change jar, don your best pair of fingerless gloves and head out in search of some grape-flavored paint thinner.


These days it seems like every conversation revolves around the economy and how we're basically all circling the drain. Escapism is also big right now, as people like to forget about their plummeting 401ks and the marauding bands of gas-hoarding mutants canvassing the highways. Well, here's a post that kills two birds with one stone: The Forbes Fictional 15, a list comprised of the wealthiest make-believe characters, circa 2007 (market turbulence has undoubtedly changed this list somewhat). Here goes:

1) Scrooge McDuck
Worth: 28.8 billion
Source: Mining & Treasure hunting interests

2) Ming the Merciless ("Flash Gordon")
Worth: 20.9 billion
Source: Slavery, technology

3) Richie Rich (Obnoxious child comic-book character)
Worth: 16.1 billion
Source: Inheritance, Conglomerates

4) Mom ("Futurama")
Worth: $15.7 billion
Source: Tech, conglomerates

5) Jed Clampett ("Beverly Hillbillies")
Worth: $11.0 billion
Source: Oil via wayward buckshot, Banking

6) C. Montgomery Burns ("The Simpsons")
Worth: $8.4 billion
Source: Energy

7) Carter Pewterschmidt ("Family Guy" or that other dumb show the dude does)
Worth: $7.2 million
Source: Inheritance, Media, Steel

8) Bruce Wayne ("Batman")
Worth: $7.0 billion
Source: Inheritance, Defense

9) Thurston Howell III ("Gilligan's Island")
Worth: $6.3 billion
Source: Howell Industries

10) Tony Stark ("Iron Man")
Worth: $6.0 billion
Source: Defense Contracts, Transistors

11) Fake Steve Jobs (internet meme)
Worth: $5.7 billion
Source: Technology, Walt Disney Co.

12) Gomez Addams ("The Addams Family")
Worth: $2.0 billion
Source: Inheritance, Investments

13) Willy Wonka
Worth: $1.9 billion
Source: Confections, Aerospace

14) Lucius Malfoy ("Harry Potter")
Worth: $1.6 billion
Source: Inheritance

15) Princes Peach (Nintendo's "Mario Brothers")
Worth: $1.3 billion
Source: Inheritance, Commodities

Jeez - most of these slobs inherited their money. And I definitely like the inclusion of Ming the Merciless. But - if Richie Rich is listed #3, and obviously just a kid, wouldn't his net worth be entirely derived from his father - you know, that big dude with the tiny head? Why is he not on this list?

Here's a possible answer - he's drinking himself silly. I guess he got a peek at his quarterly earning report.