Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Turn Around

Today is Mariel's first day of kindergarten.

She's in Mrs. Brewington's class and apparently, she's superstar teacher that everyone raves about. (Personally,she gets high marks in my book for having a phonograph and some vintage children's records in the classroom!)

We dropped daughter dearest off this morning and she was really anxious for us to leave so she could jump right in.

Since we got back from Buffalo, Mariel has been exhibiting a more independent streak, which is a good thing. I think hanging with her cousins helped her.

Unfortunately for me, she has decided, "I don't like Daddy any more!"

Sometimes she'll be a little more sophisticated by asking, "Guess who lives in this neighborhood that I don't like anymore? Daddy!"

She'll also try to shoo me out of the room if she's doing something, i.e. "Don't you have to go upstairs?"

Ah, me.

Turn around and you're three,
Turn around and you're four,
Turn around and you're a young woman
Heading out the door...


Monday, August 24, 2009

A Couple More Flea Market Finds

Here are a couple of add-ons to my Flea Market haul mentioned in the previous post.

Well, looky here!

Craig bought himself a "Big Little Book" that was published back in 1934.

Bonus points for the subject matter being a pretty obscure cartoon character: Scrappy.

The book is full of pretty neat illustrations that appear to have been supplied by the Screen Gems cartoon studio artists.

The story looks to be totally incoherent, though. Much like the original Scrappy cartoon series. Still, it was reasonably priced and it looks nice sitting on my shelf.

I had mentioned the Johnny & Jimmy Duo and "Dialing For Dollars" so I thought I'd upload a scan of the 8" x 10" publicity photo I picked up.

Co-host Dave Thomas is the father of current TV star, David Boreanaz Mr. Thomas was the also the host of "Rocketship 7" that aired just before "Dialing For Dollars." Johnny Banaszak from the duo also did double-duty as Dave's sidekick, Promo The Robot. This was pretty historic, as he was the first East-Side Buffalo Polish robot in space!

"A little Senior Cadet Birthday Space Log music, please, Promo!"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Buffalo Record Round-Up

Unlike Fayetteville, NC there are still places to score cheap LPs in Buffalo, NY.

I had two opportunities to do so during my recent trip, and since I haven't blogged about my vinyl fixation in a while...


My unmentionable pal, Mr. X, guided me to a decent Goodwill store and we hit the record bins. At fifty cents, each, I picked up:

The New Yorkers: "Hello, Dolly Polka (And 11 Other Favorites Sung Polka Style)" This is a vintage 1964 polka LP by Buffalo's own "The New Yorkers." I've really grown to have an appreciation for this kind of music, thanks to my sound engineering buddy, Mike Brydalski. The big deal, here, is that the guys from the "Johnny & Jimmy Duo" were the accordionist and drummer, respectively, for Channel 7s "Dialing For Dollars" show.

Various Artists: "For A Musical Merry Christmas" Volumes 3 & 4. These are Christmas samplers that were sold at B. F. Goodrich stores in 1966 & 1967. Volume 3 has long been a touchstone for my wife's family and the discovery of volume 4 is a welcome addition to our Christmas music library.

The Three Suns: "The Sounds Of Christmas With..." We're big Three Suns fans here at Davison Manor.

Stop #2 - The Clarence Flea Market.

Ah, the Budget Bin beckoned, and I answered!

Various Artists: "Out Of Sight!" & "Where The Action Is!" These are two throw-aways that were issued by the Design Records label. The conceit was to gather ten tracks, re-channel them to ear-ache-inducing pseudo-stereo and plop them into the eighty-eight cent bin. Seems these folks would snap up early, pre-hit recording of popular artists and then try to pretend that they were current "happening hits!" For me, the big deal was finally getting an original pressing of the non-hit "Cycle Annie" by a non-group called The Beachnuts. This was a song written and sung by Lou Reed in his pre-Velvet Underground days. I transferred these tracks to CD-R and restored all but one track to mono. (The Lou Christie track actually was in "real" stereo!)

Various Artists: "No Title?" The Modern Sound label would collect older sound-a-like tracks from their "Hit Records" 45s and put them into albums. This particular LP is #MS-1028 and contains 10 tracks like A Sign Of The Times, Secret Agent Man, Time Won't Let Me & Love Potion Number Nine. The version here of Ain't That A Shame is a cover of the Four Seasons' cover of the Fats Domino song. Dude!

Tony Vincent And His Orchestra: "Greatest Instrumental Hits" The lure of this Diplomat Records knock-off was that I wanted to hear their versions of Walk, Don't Run and Raunchy. Not bad, but WDR seemed to be missing a few bars here and there.

Maynard Ferguson: "Boy With Brass" & "Two's Company" These are a couple of MF albums that weren't in my Dad's collection. The price was right, so I grabbed them with an eye toward make CD-Rs for my Pappy.

I also picked up what looked liked bootleg LPs of The California Ramblers and Ben Selvin & His Orchestra. These appear to contain tracks taken from old 78s. Good stuff! (I have ripped them to CD-R and have been using them as soundtracks for some old silent cartoons.) Bonus point for these LPs having been pressed on green vinyl!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Post-Vacation Blog Dump

I have shuffled back from Buffalo.

Pictured, above, is a detail from the Kings Family Restaurant place mat extolling the virtues of their corporate mascot, "The Frownie Brownie!"

Take twelve of these pissed-off pastries and add twelve scoops of ice cream and you have "The Angry Mob Sundae!" No doubt they'll be attending various town hall meetings across the land this month to shout down representatives.

We encountered Frownie in Grove City, PA.

Yes, Aunt Denise bought Mariel the stuffed Frownie doll for $5.99.

Yes, there were snapshots of someone dressed up as the Frownie mascot visiting the restaurant.

More to come...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Pre-Vacation Blog Dump

The whole Famn Damily will be heading North to Buffalo, NY on Monday. We're driving up with Michelle's sister, so there'll be four of us in a fairly new Honda. We all know the drill by now. A two day drive with a motel stop-over. A week camped out at the in-laws. Another two day drive back home. Check. Got it.

After hearing for years and years about how super-groovy iMacs are compared to Windows-based PCs, I have found out the following.

A seven-year-old can boot one up and totally destroy the operating system in less than one minute.

Mariel's play date did just that by turning it on and then wildly banging away at the keyboard. It is so easy to open windows and rename files and folders. The dang thing will no longer even boot up. It just displays a nearly impossible to read "panic" screen message.

I suppose I could re-install the OSX operating system, if I had the system disks, which I don't.

And even if I did have the system disks, I couldn't do it, because there is already a disk in the drive and Apple has, in their infinite wisdom, not provided an eject button for the drive. The only way I can eject the disk is to boot up the system, select iTunes and then click on the eject icon!

Apple, you suck.

There, I said it!

I had heard rumblings about this, via the on-line cartoon nerd network, but I didn't believe it until I saw it with my own eyes.

BIG LOTS, a low-end remainder discounter has been selling top-of-the-line Warner Home Video DVD box sets for $3 a pop!

Pictured here is the mind-roastingly excellent POPEYE THE SAILOR VOLUME ONE set with a $3 price tag on it!

I ran to the local outlet and picked up two of these puppies for some unspecified future gifting purpose.

The cartoon nerd network soon provided the answer for this "too good to be true" windfall:

"Studios periodically destroy excess DVD product, which consists of
unsold discs returned from vendors and defective goods. Here, WHV (Warner Home Video) says it entrusted the product to Cinram Distribution, which has a deal with Warners to handle excess inventory (and which, surprisingly, is not a defendant).
Cinram subcontracted with IWMB, which is alleged to have shown Warners
a "fraudulent certificate of destruction" before going out and selling
the DVDs and Blu-Rays on its own."

(Full story HERE.)

WHV has filed a $10,000,000 lawsuit with the shady subcontractor.

Now the race is on to scarf up as many WHV box sets as possible. This is a real golden age for those of you who really enjoyed seasons five and six of THE DUKES OF HAZZARD.

Side note: Our local BIG LOTS store had a light blown out on their electric sign so that it read "BIGOTS!" Now I know where to buy those discount klan robes.

My final paycheck went into my bank account yesterday, via direct deposit.

The severance and unused vacation checks have been mailed out from the corporate office as well.

Michelle received her paycheck from the evening class she taught at the community college, as well.

Bottom line: We should be (barely) solvent up through Labor Day.

With any luck one (or both?) of us will be employed soon. If not, the unemployment insurance checks should be kicking in right about when we'll need them.

We'll get by...

See you on the other side of the vacation, gang!