Just a quick note, I was asked by the blog at Skooldays to write a few nostalgic articles for them. So every once in a while I’ll be posting a nostalgic memory about an item from our pop culture past, much like I do right here on this blog. Only, over there, the articles will be a bit shorter. This week, I had an article posted about Crystal Pepsi. Hop on over to their very cool, nostalgic site and take a look at my article, first, of course, then check out the myriad of other remembrances from our pop culture past.
Archive for June, 2009
Most of us remember waking up as kids on Saturday morning around 6am just to watch cartoons. It was a ritual. I did it, and I loved it. There were so many good cartoons when I was a kid. But it wasn’t just cartoons shows I remember from my early Saturday morning viewings, I remember fun and musical public service announcements that would air during commercial breaks. We’ve all seen them. They have colorful characters, clever songs and wind up teaching us about our government, good eating habits or proper hygeine. The most remembered and visible of these public service announcements were the Schoolhouse Rock shorts. Airing on the ABC network, Schoolhouse Rock taught kids the Preamble to the Constitution, how your nervous system works and how a bill becomes a law. But ABC produced more than just the Schoolhouse Rock shorts. ABC produced scores of other cartoon PSAs with catchy tunes and fun mascots that taught kids about healthy eating and how to get a job. Many times these PSAs are lumped into Schoolhouse Rock when we think back on them, but they were separately produced with different voice actors.
Let’s look at some of the other awesome cartoon PSAs produced by ABC in the ’70s and ’80s. You will probably remember most of these, if not, your welcome for putting songs about nutty snack mix into your head for the next 12 hours.
Time for Timer – ABC starting producing these “Timer” commercials in the early ’70s. These are probably the most remembered shorts next to Schoolhouse Rock as they played well into the 1990s. I actually didn’t realize this little guy’s name was Timer, even though I’ve seen the clips a thousand times and at the beginning of every one he says, “Time for Timer!”. I’m not even sure I knew what that meant. Now, I get it. Timer was supposed to represent a person’s “biological clock”. He carried around a giant stopwatch that went off whenever something was about to happen in the body (hunger, sleepiness, etc). None of the Timer shorts have titles, they are known by their catchy songs. His most famous is probably “Hanker for a Hunka Cheese!”. Another favorite of mine is “Sunshine on a Stick” where Timer teaches us how to make ice pops using orange juice. I remember actually doing this several times. I also love the “Eat Breakfast” short because the song is catchy (it actually reminds me of the songs in a Rankin-Bass Christmas Special). There’s also “U Are What U Eat” which features cool animation of the “factory” in your body. Timer was so popular that he actually made an appearance on Family Guy.
Here’s some Friday fun for everyone. A new phenomenon has taken over the internet. The 3 Wolf/Moon shirt.
This seemingly trailer park attire has become incredibly popular the last few months causing the shirt to become the #1 best selling apparel item on Amazon.com. That’s right, this shirt is the #1 selling clothing item on Amazon. WTF, you ask? The popularity is based on the customer reviews. People have started writing ironic and snarky comments expounding the virtues of wearing one of these shirts. People talk about how the shirt will increase your success with the opposite sex, fill the empty void in your soul, raise the dead, transport you to another dimension to meet the Wolf God and many, many other incredible feats.
Here are some of my favorite reviews (Click the images to see them full size):
To completely misquote Ron Burgundy, “I love books. Books-y, books, books. Here it goes down, down into my belly.” Okay, the last half of that mis-quote didn’t make any sense, but you get the point, I love to read. You can check the ever changing I Just Read and I Am Reading book sections on my blog’s sidebar (over there —>)to see what I’m currently enjoying and what I just finished enjoying. I thought about including what books I have “on deck” ready to be read in that sidebar, but really, it’s a crap shoot what gets picked up to be read next. There’s no guarantee what I put there will, in fact, come next.
Anywho, sometimes I get on reading tangents where I want to knock out a few books that “the man” considers “classics”. Stuff I never got to read while in school, or something I did read in school that I remember liking, but don’t remember a thing about it. These are usually fun tangents and it’s allowed me to discover books like The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, which I never read in school, but is FANTASTIC (why the hell didn’t I read that in school?). However, there are some classics that I should read, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to read. Books by authors like Bronte, Joyce and Austen, while considered classics by “people in the know”, are considered flowery, boring and gay by “me”. If I fall asleep reading the synopsis on the back of the book, then there is little hope the ENTIRE book is going to keep my interest. So there was a whole section of classic literature that I avoided and I was fine with that. Until savant/genius/author Seth Graham-Smith decided he too thought classic literature needed a little help in being “less literary” and “more AWESOME”. Thusly was Pride & Prejudice & Zombies birthed upon our virgin world.
Graham-Smith infuses a subplot involving a battle with the undead into the literary classic thereby making it relevant to guys everywhere. I mean, what good is a literary classic if NO ONE wants to read it? Seriously. Besides, what is more romantic than fighting off an army of the undead? It’s okay if you can’t come up with an answer to that question, there isn’t an answer other than ‘NOTHING’.
So, I thought, in what other books would this work? The possibilities are endless. So I sat down at my desk at work….um, I mean the table at home, after I got off work….and came up with a few more twists on some boring classic literature books that would get me to read them. Come enjoy the awesome-ness with me.
Original Synopsis – Follows the lives of the four March sisters as they live, love and learn their way through life. It’s an allegorical novel that champions the strength of women during a time in America when women weren’t considered strong.
New More AWESOME Synopsis – The four March sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy, are always fighting. One day, a fight promoter, James Lawrence, happens upon one of their more viscous fights and gets an idea. Guys everywhere would pay to see these ladies just go at it in an all out battle royal. Mr Lawrence talks to the girls’ father and, having recently lost a good amount of the family’s money, he agrees to let Mr Lawrence train the girls for a traveling “girl fight” festival. The promoter recruits a few other girls from the nearby area and trains them in boxing and Greco-Roman wrestling. The girls then tour the country side with Mr Lawrence, fighting in a 10 woman battle royal 6 nights a week. The story follows the girls across the country as they live in the festival caravan and fight, love and learn in various small towns across 19th century America. This new version also shows the strength of women…in revealing clothing…in non-sanctioned bloody cage matches. Movie rights are pending.
Weekly Geeks time!!!
What’s your non-reading guilty pleasure?
Guilty pleasures mean that you are embarrassed what other people think about that particular action. For the most part, I enjoy what I enjoy and am not embarrassed about it. Everyone that knows me knows I like this thing or that, I don’t try to hide it. However, here are a few of my non-reading habits that might be odd to a normal person, but are just another part of the magnificent AWESOME-ness that is me.
1. Checking out supermarkets I’ve never been to.
Whenever I travel by myself or with my wife (or family) if we pass a cool looking supermarket I’ve never been to, I have to go in. It’s just something I enjoy. When my wife and I went to Paris in 2007 I actually had us go to Mona Vie, a Parisian supermarket/department store. I found a bunch of cool sodas and chips. When I go to one of these new groceries, I check out the soda aisle first to see if that particular place has any new sodas I’ve never seen before. I then go check out the snack food aisle for any cool goodies I’ve never seen before; chips, snack cakes, etc. I then check out the cereal aisle for any cool boxes I’ve never scoped before. If I find anything cool, I’ll either buy it on the spot or take pictures of it while in the store. The links within this paragraph go to several of my Flickr sets highlighting the appropriate items I’ve found during some of my travels. If you click the picture of the Giant Eagle up there you’ll go to my Flickr set of Supermarket chains I’ve visited. Check them out.
That would probably be the biggest “guilty pleasure” of mine. What else do I like to do….hmmmm…