Saturday, June 14, 2014

Scary Mutant Egg

The egg on the left is a Jumbo egg, that came out of the Jumbo egg carton. The egg on the right came out of the Extra-Large egg carton. Apparently sourced from the Wolf Creek* chicken farm. I am afraid to eat it.

*Wolf Creek is the name of a nuclear power plant located near Burlington, Kansas, southwest of Kansas City.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Boogaloo Seven

Carl Bender and Chris Hazelton of Boogaloo Seven at the Green Lady Lounge 

Friday night and I'm at the Green Lady Lounge listening to Boogaloo Seven. A throwback band that evokes the instrumental brass-woods-organ swinging London soul pop sound of the 60's mixed in with 70's funk. There are bongos! I, of course, especially love the Hammond B3! My favorite instrument of all time.

Should I have an untimely demise, leaving behind friends and family who are still able-bodied and kicking, I ask only that they arrange for the playing of a Hammond B3 as they bid me adieu. Play that Hammond B3 and I'll be there in spirit, I surely will

But as I write, I'm still on the earth plane, so I will sit here in the Green Lady and get my fix that way.

Best news of the night? Boogaloo Seven has a 45 coming out. A 45 rpm vinyl record! Vinyl lives, my friends.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Coffee perfection at Town Topic

This is the coffee at Town Topic. This is how they serve it, with a pyramid of creamers.

I took this photo back in April. What was it that made the coffee taste so good? Was it the fact that it was around midnight, and I was out of Johnson County and out of my routine? Was it the patty melt I ate in-between sips?  All I know is every time I've had their coffee it was GOOD. They might be old and greasy, but they know what's what at the Town Topic.

And their coffee is *magic* coffee, because even though I downed several cups, and felt the full loving arms of the caffeine as I drank, I went home to bed and slept like a baby.

Patty Melt --oh, I want one right now.   

Stop in--any time of the day or night!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sound of a Film Projector

If I ever have a big enough house, I want a room with a projector in it. Just a projector running, so you can go in the room anytime and hear that nice sound that an old-style film projector makes. It's really a very pleasant sound, and one more example of how the analog world with its clickings and clackings was a much more aurally satisfying world.

I was reminded of that sound on Friday, when Roger and I went to the H & R Block Art Space Flatfile exhibit. As part of the exhibit they had one big room that was dark, where films were being projected.

Most of the films were being projected via modern equipment you, but one film was coming from a vintage film projector.

Roger and I reminisced about those days in school when you'd walk into the classroom and see a projector sitting there and you'd be like, "YES! We get to see a film! No work today!" And then at some point the film would break and the teacher would have to fuss with it and try to repair it, giving you even more time to goof off and do nothing.  

 But another great part of the experience was sitting in the dark, hearing the steady whirring of the film projector. It's too bad that schoolkids today are deprived of those types of atmospheric effects inside the classroom.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Snake Worries

They say that snakebites are on the increase in Kansas City! Snakebites in 2013 were up by 20 from the year before. So far already 11 people in the metro have been bitten. A little 5 year old girl was bitten by a rattler. Fortunately she is recovering in the hospital and should be okay. But the rise in snake attacks has led the KU Med Center to make plans for opening a Snake Center.

When I was a kid I'd have the occasional nightmare where there were snakes all around me. Oh, the horror and despair of being surrounded by snakes! What a relief then to awaken and remember that I lived in a civilized town where the people had largely conquered nature and we walked the streets without fear that we might suddenly happen upon a writhing, hissing nest of snakes. There was the one time when a big, fat bull snake crawled into our yard and my dad hacked at it with a shovel to kill it---revolting, terrifying!  But the neighborhood kids sat on their bikes talking about it, signaling that it was a rare event, and that was reassuring. No, snakes were not an everyday thing. Even in a small rural town on the western plains, a kid could be fairly secure in knowing that as long as he stayed in town, didn't wander into fields or pastures or creeks, the worst he might encounter would be a garter snake slithering across the schoolyard.

Snakes and snake encounters were novel enough to help mail order companies sell gag gifts like the oh-so-clever snake bowtie:

And the "snakes in a can" bit, wherein a can appears to contain a nutty snack but releases a cloth snake that springs out when the can is opened. Classic.

"Here --would you like some mixed nuts? Go it!

Most people only encounter snakes in pranks and practical jokes. Let's keep it that way.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

After 43 years..reunited in a thrift store

I had driven to City Thrift, but when I got there, I had second thoughts. I wasn't really in the mood for the clutter and smell of a thrift store. But as I started leaving the parking lot, something drew me back. I'm not kidding. Something nudged me and said, "You should go inside. There is something there for you." So I parked and went inside.

I browsed casually, however, and wasn't really expecting anything to jump out at me. I found a decent Old Navy tank for 99 cents. Not bad! I was gonna pop a tag.

Tired of pawing through tired, old clothes, I started wandering around the household items. We needed a newer, less crappy toaster. I looked over the toasters but they were all older and more crappy than the one I had bought for $2 at a garage sale.

So I continued wandering until I came across some vinyl LPs. I saw one of those old albums you can hardly believe is for real. It was an old Phil Harris album from the late 50's titled, "The South will rise again," and it showed him on the cover wearing Confederate gray and bitterly stitching up a Confederate flag. That got me to crouch down and start flipping through the rest, to see what other gems lay in store, when all of a sudden, I saw this:  

I gasped. I nearly fell over. It was the Engelbert album of my youth. The very one I had owned as a seven year old. As a first-grader, I was IN LOVE with Engelbert Humperdink. 

And there it was, just waiting for me to discover it. It was the reason I was gently guided back into the thrift store. 

Last night I removed the dust cover from our turntable and feasted my ears on these old tunes. 
I've included two clips here of Engelbert's magnificence for you to enjoy.

The first song is one I already had on my iPod, "Les bicyclettes de belsize." It makes me say, "You are beautiful, Engelbert."

The second one is "Love can fly", a song I had long forgotten about when the album somehow disappeared from our basement. Oh what joy to be reunited with it again! As a child it made me feel like I was soaring --soaring through the sky straight to Engelbert's waiting arms. Sigh.    

Listen so that you too may soar with a love that flies. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer Chrome

It is summer! Well, not officially. But summer always goes so fast, it's best to start considering it summer as early as you can. And this year I'm ahead of the game. I've already been to the coast and swam in the ocean! I've already been sun-burned. I've already imbibed a summer ale. Not bad for June 3rd.

One thing I like about summer is that haze that turns everything white. The light that puts a high shine to chrome and makes you squint. Back when cars used to have actual chrome, instead of plastic, the sun bouncing off their fenders must have been quite a sight. It's a vision that says, "Here is a human summer. Here is the blinding walk to a scorching patch of sand. Here is where the good times are."  Of course there is another reality, not visible here, of hot, irritable children and sticky vinyl and sweaty headaches. Because there is a good chance that most of the cars in this photo didn't have air conditioning when this picture was taken. But I think I would be okay with that, if it meant I could drive down a street lined with these fat, shimmering cars, on a white hot day.