Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas past and that silver Christmas tree


This is an older Christmas post!

As the Captain and I have the Christmas boxes in from the storage shed, going through my collection of Christmas stuff and anticipating decorating for Christmas, it got me to thinking back on Christmas past when I was a child.


Although I have always had a fascination of everything sparkly and flashy, I was never too keen on the silver tree with the revolving light, making the tree seem to turn colors.

In fact, I hated that tree.



How did that fad catch on anyway?

Yuck!  It was an awful looking tree!

There is something about a green tree with tinsel, flashing lights, homemade popcorn garland, and the toy ornaments that did  something for me.  That silver tree felt cold and sterile.

Something that bugged me about that silver tree is that it just didn't go with the nativity scene and the little houses that were lit up at the bottom of the tree.  And the sweet little plastic glittery deer I loved to  play with were not welcome at the foot of that silver tree.  It was a different "Christmas look."

The "normal" green Christmas tree was a tremendous fascination for me, I loved all those festive little things that were banished from the silver tree . . . I could sit on the floor by the tree  and be entertained for hours . . . but not the silver one.

We had a Christmas tradition that involved the neighbors . . . stringing popcorn garlands for everyone's Christmas trees. This was done every year . . . a total of three families got together with lots of bowls overflowing with popcorn to eat and string. It was loads of fun sitting around stringing popcorn after dinner, drinking hot chocolate and singing along with the Christmas music playing. The party was always hosted by our next door neighbors who never had one of those awful silver trees.

Funny thing about this annual party . . . we also helped decorate their tree . . . it was part of the festivities.   The next door neighbors had no children, so they kind of adopted us neighbor kids and loved to spoil us throughout the year. The funny thing . . . and looking back in the real world as an adult, not really funny, but sad . . . anyway, Tom (the next door neighbor) was a serious drinker who insisted on putting the topper on the tree AFTER it was decorated later in the evening when he was a bit lit up himself from way too much booze. The problem was that he would always fall into the tree and come out laughing . . . then everyone helped to tidy it back up.

It was also traditional for him to fall into the shrubs putting the outside lights up.  The neighborhood men always made sure to be around to help him back up when he would holler for help.  He never failed to end up there!

LOL He was quite a character!

Those Christmas memories of my childhood are rather sad since almost everyone involved have passed away or moved away, a time in place that has truly moved on.  However, I fondly think of them every Christmas and smile at the thought of Tom's big butt hanging out of the tree.

Happy Holidays!










Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cat In the Hat ages . . . can you relate?





We are all getting older every day . . . but we don't
usually consider getting older from the perspective of
a timeless creature we all know and love . . .
The Cat In The Hat.

You know you are reaching the "Golden Years" if
you can relate to the poor cat's woes.

Dr. Seuss is turning in his grave . . .






Reader's Digest Store

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Remember the Shake 'n Bake television commercials?




 This is one of those commercials that we had so much fun with by being silly and mocking it endlessly. Actually, I had forgotten about this commercial until The Captain made the statement along with the accent . . . "and I helped" . . . and we took off with it being silly for the longest time as I remember doing back in the day. 

 I love these type of commercials that you can goof on endlessly!

In my opinion, Shake 'n Bake was the worse thing to happen to chicken . . . it was awful stuff even though the concept was a good one.

Shake 'n Bake is particularly noted for its television commercials in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. The most popular in the series featured the children helping make Shake 'n Bake with their mothers, enthusiastically exclaiming "And I helped!"
In 1998, a new commercial was tried with a different catchphrase . . . "I made Shake 'n Bake, and Mama helped". This was on aired a few times and is the least recognized commercial.
Source:  Wikipedia





Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gidget . . . The Taco Bell Dog


When I think about some of my favorite television commercials of all time, The Taco Bell Dog is in my top 5 . . . could possibly even be my favorite.

Since Gidget died and Taco Bell changed their television marketing, their commercials just aren't special anymore.

This is my tribute to Gidget . . . The Taco Bell Dog.  Miss you!











Friday, September 9, 2011

How Happy Days Ruined America

DEFINITION:  Spin Off; When one television show gives birth to another.

The end of a good TV show sometimes comes to soon...and like M.A.S.H comes way too late. This was the case of Happy Days. In the last few seasons, as the actors became too old to be believable kids, the producers began scrambling for a way to capitalize on the good will that had been built by The Cunningham's and the Fonz. Thus was born Laverne and Shirley.

Laverne and Shirley showed all the creative genius of...fingerpainting. Summing up Laverne an Shirley is pretty easy....It was the Lucy show...with two Lucy's...combined with the Amos and Andy show (ala Lenny and Squiggy). Actually in hind sight I think Laverne was Ricky Ricardo, and Shirley was more like Lucy.  If the beer was like the show...then it stinks.

Don't get me wrong...I think Laverne and Shirley was a great marketing stunt that milked the 50's for all it was worth. Of course or those die hard fans, Laverne and Shirley is TV's contribution to Jimmy Carter getting elected. Those same intellectual giants would go on to elect Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama.

Not happy with contributing to the growth of the dumbing down of America, another Spin Off is looked upon as a shining light of humor...yes you guessed it Mork and Mindy. The loveable Robin Williams played the part of Mork (think Lucy from space)..an alien from the planet Ork that was sent to earth to study humans. This wonderful combination of My Favorite Martian...and I Love Lucy can be summed up in two words. “Nanu Nanu”. Pretty funny stuff.

Finally, with all ideas exhausted the producers put their last few devious brain cells together and gave us Joanie Loves Chachi. This brainy comedy really made us think about our everyday lives...mostly we thought about how sad our life was that we would waste time watching this show. Joanie Loves Chachi is Ricky Recardo and Lucy Recardo...sans the cool Cuban accent.

Yes, Happy Days was a fond memory, but the devastated landscape that it left behind was not just bad TV, but it was demeaning to humanity. I often think that Laverne and Shirley, Joanie and Chachi, and Mork and Mindy gave rise to the modern progressive lunacy that has run amok in America...we have become a very bad rip off of I Love Lucy.

And to think...they scoffed at my idea of a puppet from Melmac with a penchant for eating cats was crazy.



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Babyboomer Weddings



The Captain and I finally made it legal and got married . . . hopefully we can now get back to the business of writing about the way things were back in the day and pop culture in general.

Babyboomer weddings . . . most are untraditional since it is usually not the first marriage.  Many of us want something totally different than the first time around.  

What we really wanted was a hippie-style wedding on the beach . . . but we settled for a tropical theme with everyone wearing casual beach attire.  

My niece discovered the old record player and LPs from way back in the day . . . we partied to everything from Elvis Presley's Blue Hawaii to Paul Revere and the Raiders.

We conducted our own wedding ceremony . . . it was special and so meaningful for us.  Nothing traditional for these two babyboomer free spirits!

I'd love to hear about 
other babyboomer weddings!



Monday, August 15, 2011

An update for Babyboomer Flashback



My apologies for not being very active with this blog!

I've had so much going on . . . not only projects on and offline, but I have been busy planning my wedding.  So I guess you could say that instead of feeling nostalgic, I've been thinking about the future.

After things calm down a bit, my cute pirate (Capt Black Eagle) and I will be collaborating on this blog . . . we have so many awesome ideas that are coming up for this blog.



Friday, July 22, 2011

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward ~ Hollywood Magic






“Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades,
 but to be married to a man who makes you laugh
 every day . . . ah, now that is a real treat.”

Joanne Woodward . . . 
married to Paul Newman 45 years






Sunday, June 26, 2011

Falling Skies Episode 2

What is new in Episode 2?  Well we get a closer look at how the aliens use the kids they have captured, a new character is introduced along with a complication to personal relationships that it brings, and a bit more insight into the intelligence level of the aliens.

Every work of fiction requires us to suspend our rational selves to accept certain elements of the plot.  This work of fiction is a bit more intelligent about it. Some of these elements are as follows.

1. The aliens kill the adults, but use a spinal like device to control the children.  They are used by the aliens to carry out tasks like gathering scrap.  Now my question is this...why?  Wouldn't an advanced alien culture be able to construct machines to do the same job faster?  Then again a ready made expendable organic work force might be better?  That is something worthy of discussion.

2. In one of the first scenes, the character played by Noah Wyle organizes a group to try and free some of the kids, primarily his own son, exposes another good point for discussion.  If you had invaded and defeated an enemy that you consider inferior, what precautions would you take in guarding your captives?  The aliens only used a few mechs and skitters to protect their captive work party. Does this mean the aliens are spread thin?  Maybe they are so convinced of their own superiority that they don't feel they need more?

3. During the attempt to rescue some of the kids one of the rescuers sees his own son, and in true movie fashion he screws up the plan by dashing out to save him.  This sets in motion a series of predictable events and also gives us a little more insight into the aliens.  During the ensuing short battle, the rescuers save the man's son, but at the same time two of the rescuers are taken prisoner by a mech.  Later, some of the kids drag off one of the rescuers to do who knows what to her, while the other rescuer is left behind.  A mech is guarding him when a group of captured children are lined up and then shot by the mech.  The rescuer is set free to tell the others of what will happen if the resistance continues to resist.  This is straight out of World War II tactics by Nazi Germany.  It didn't work for the Germans...of course it will not work here. But would it work in today's world?

Those are some interesting things to ponder.

A new character is introduced...I remember this guy from the show "Wings" even though I seldom watched the show.  I also think he was in the movie "Hamburger Hill"...good movie. The new character is a doctor who says he can remove the mind control device from the kids.  We will see how that works out.

The main charcter (Noah what'shisname) captures an alien and now we will probably learn a lot more about these skitters in the next episodes.

The premier had way too many commercials...this time out in a 60 minute show there were ~20 minutes of commercials.  Commercials can be annoying..but they do make TV possible.  I will say that they planned the breaks in a fairly artful way.

This is only the second episode, will it keep me for the third?  Yes.  However, I do reserve the right to go fishing for the 4th.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Falling Skies Episode 1

My first impression of the movie was the promo image...suddenly I found myself doing the flashback thing to the original series "V".  I sort of watched "V", but mostly didn't.  So, I went into this experience with a prejudiced view of what I would see.

As with many shows there is, or at least should be some sort of plot.  If my conjecture of what I will see in future episodes is correct, I think many of you will be surprised.  I know I will be if I am right.  So let's start at the beginning.

WARNING SPOILER ALERT
If you have not seen the 2 hour premiere...read no further

The show starts with action...action is good.  Within just a few minutes you know a great deal of the background story...Aliens have invaded earth and destroyed the military...taken most of the cities..and are enslaving children.  A group of humans have formed a resistance movement to oppose the freedom sucking aliens.  If that is the story then this will bore me to tears...I don't think this will be the case...or shouldn't be...this story line has potential.

Noah Wiley (no clue who he is) and Dale Dye (I know who he is) along with some other (I don't know who they are) make up the resistance group.  The acting is...pretty good so far...so I will not be annoyed at people who are reading their lines.  Now lets look a little deeper into this whole storyline thing.

Noah Wiley makes references to the resistance movement style of the American Revolution.  He had to dumb it down for the younger people he was talking with by making sports references...I actually liked that they took the time to do some teaching in the world of reality.  

There were references to religion...neither in favor or opposition..just the statement of fact that people are religious.  Again a nice neutral approach to a touchy subject...bravo.


There were some other plot elements added that I think are exciting...and could make for some decent TV...but the biggest clue to a plot twist is what I call the "Inverse V". During two spots in the premiere clues were given about what I think will be an eventual plot twist.

The first is where children are gathered around an old man who is teaching them biology.  He tells the kids that we need to find a way to kill the "skitters".  The Skitters are the organic life form that are the aliens.  They have the required ugly heads, and 4 legs.  They are almost tripod-like in appearance.  The second alien form are the "Mechs".  The Mech's are two legged robots.  One of the characters asked about why the Skitters that have four legs and the Mechs have two.

Now...What if.  The Skitters are not the actual mastermind aliens (maybe they are more like dogs..or lemurs).  Since we humans make our robots to look like us...would it stand to reason that the actual mastermind aliens create Mechs to look like them?  If you remember in "V" the aliens disguised themselves as humans...what if in Falling Skies...the aliens do look human?  This could be fun.

Based on the premiere I am interested enough to watch the next installment on Sunday at 10pm Eastern.  Can they keep my interest?  We will see.



Monday, June 20, 2011

Falling Skies


For those of you who follow me on The Crows Nest, and Cosmic Chili you know I do not blog about entertainment, much less Television Shows.  There is a reason for this.  I have very limited time to watch TV.  I reserve my television gazing time for History or Science shows.  When it comes to mini-series it will be things like a nice Ken Burns documentary, or the Hanks/Spielberg series like Band of Brothers, or from Earth to the Moon.  So what possessed me to even dedicate 2 hours of my time watching a show about fiction?  Marketing.

I am as cynical as can be when it comes to marketing ploys.  I am oblivious to most marketing attempts.  When the commercials come on my mind goes somewhere else.  In this case the marketing came out of nowhere.  For a reason I can not recall I signed up for a site called Klout. You can read more about it at the link.  They sent me an email that offered some free stuff just for saying I want the stuff.  Although they said I didn't have to do anything (which is totally true), I thought I would conduct an experiment.  I would participate as best I could with what limited time I have.  This blog is part of the participation...as well as some tweets.  It got me interested in the Movie, and TNT in general ( still regard Ted Turner as a total ass). This is what brings me to the movie.

Over the life of this series I will comment on the Movie, what I like and what I don't.  I will be upfront with you...I am not a professional movie critic.  I am, however, very good at observing those around me, and describing what I like.  Stay tuned as I give my impressions of Falling Skies.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Rose Tattoo / Anna Magnani and Burt Lancaster



The Rose Tattoo is a 1955 film adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play by Williams and Hal Kanter and directed by Daniel Mann, with stars Anna Magnani (who won the Academy Award for Best Actress),  Burt Lancaster, Marisa Pavan and Jo Van Fleet.


 



The Rose Tattoo tells the story of Serafina Delle Rose, an Italian-American widow in Louisiana who has allowed herself to withdraw from the world after her husband, Rosario Delle Rose is killed by police while smuggling, and tries to force her teenage daughter to do the same.

Serafina is tortured by rumors of Rosario's affair with another woman.  In the dramatic scene on the following video, Serafina confronts Father DeLeo and asks him if anyone had confessed about having an affair with Rosario.  The priest insists that he cannot divulge this information, but the look on his face says it all for Serafina.  She insists that her husband did not "put the horns" on her as she is mocked by her female neighbors.






Ahhhhh but wait . . . along comes Alvaro, a handsome Italian truck driver who enters her life . . . you'll have to see the movie to see what happens!







The Rose Tattoo is one of my all time favorite movies that I didn't discover until  the 1980's . . . it reminds me of my family . . . dramatic italians, what can I say?  The way everyone is dressed and everything about this movie makes me nostalgic for the days of my childhood.





Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show


There were millions of kids at the airport, which nobody had expected. We heard about it mid-air. There were journalists on the plane, and the pilot had rang ahead and said "Tell the boys there's a big crowd waiting for them." We thought 'Wow! God, we have really made it.' I remember, for instance, the great moment of getting into the limo and putting on the radio, and hearing a running commentary on us: 'They have just left the airport and are coming towards New York City...' It was like a dream. The greatest fantasy ever."  Paul McCartney
Source:  The Beatles


February 1964 . . . they had arrived!

For as long as live, I don't think I will ever experience such a happening as the Beatles' first visit to the United States.  

As a elementary school aged music lover, all the hype was so exciting.  Their music had a different sound, they had a totally different look.  Prior to the Beatles, the excitement was all about Elvis Presley . . . but he was of another generation, my parents' generation.  The Beatles were all about my generation . . . they belonged to us and we identified with them.

For the first time in my life, I wanted my hair cut in the Beatles mop top style . . . and I got my first haircut.  All of a sudden, the boys at school dumped their crew cuts and started letting their hair grow out.

By the time The Beatles arrived, the hype was at a fevered pitch and their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show was all we could talk about with friends.  The only things I would spend my allowance on were those associated with The Beatles . . . and I had it all.

My parents watched The Ed Sullivan Show with me . . . in horror . . . they felt the winds of change as I sat directly in front of the television, totally mesmerized . . . a new world was born for my generation.

They are timeless in my opinion . . . their music has stood the test of time and they remain one of my favorite groups of all time.



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Drive-In Movie Theaters . . . great memories!


Whatever happened to drive in theatres?

Some of my fondest childhood memories involved going to the drive-in movie theatres with the family.  We would pop massive amounts of popcorn, fill the cooler with drinks and sandwiches, gather pillows and blankets and off we would go for a night of watching movies at the drive-in.

The movie wasn't always the main attraction for us kids.  Most drive-in movie theaters in my area had massive playgrounds.  The sound of laughter from the kids at the playground and the smell of food from the refreshment stand would hypnotize us into wanting to watch the movie from the playground area.  My parents usually took lawn chairs and would indulge our desire to hang out at the playground area with the other kids.  It was euphoric for us . . . it was such a festive atmosphere buzzing with people everywhere.

How about those intermission clips featuring dancing popcorn and soda?  I loved those intermission clips!  I can't believe that we loved that nasty pizza from the refreshment stand . . . it was more like cardboard with tomato sauce and melted cheese!



My parents didn't have to deal with not being able to take us to R-rated movies . . . they didn't exist.  It was an innocent time and we were able to be kids without having sexual innuendo in our face 24/7.  It was simple family fun and we went often.  The only problem we had was keeping the mosquitoes away!

As I approached high school age, the drive-in movie theaters were the big hang out on the weekends.  Seems like we kind of chased the families away and took over.  There was a theater in particular that we shared with three other high schools as the cool hang out.  Those were great times!

Movies started changing and became sexual where it didn't have to be, in my opinion.  A good story is a good story without the sex.  Those movies embarrassed me . . . especially since we hung out in mixed company.  Not that I'm a prude or anything, but I was so very innocent . . . but you know, I feel like most of the time it is just not necessary, even now.  The movie makers love to shock us, although we have become desensitized and are no longer shocked.  I would not like to be a kid growing up in today's time . . . this is their "normal".

Little by little, we lost interest in going to see movies outdoors . . . and during the 70's and 80's, thousands of drive-in movie theaters closed.  Malls became popular and the single movie theaters turned into multiplex theaters.  I guess with lowered attendance and revenue, drive-in movie theater owners found that they could make more money by selling the land to developers and get out of the business.

It is sad . . . I often think of those times and how cool it would be to see a movie outdoors and relive those times for just a night.  However, in my area there is only one left that I know of and it is in a bad part of town . . . but I don't think I would feel safe in a drive-in movie theater in these crazy times of high crime in the best part of town. The times have drastically changed since those simple, innocent times that I loved so much.


What are your memories of drive-in movie theaters?
  
Do you still go to them or would you go if they were available in your area?




Learn more about the history of drive-in movie theaters, 
find a theater in your area and much more . . .



Photo credit:  Date: 8/19/1961; Artist: George Hughes; Title: Drive-In Movies; Copyright: 1961 SEPS. All rights reserved.









Saturday, March 12, 2011

My new home page

 


My home page is back!  Now you can keep up with all of my blogs, websites and places on the web in one place.  Click here to go to the blog, where you can follow via Blogger, Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs, my new Facebook Fan Page or through RSS feed via your favorite reader or email.  You can also follow me on Twitter where all my blog posts are automatically tweeted.

For my Adgitize and Entrecard blogging friends . . . within the next couple of days, I will be setting up Adgitize and Entrecard . . . so you will have one more place to click!

My apologies for not being around as much . . . there are not enough hours in the day for everything I have been working on, but I should be back to "normal" soon.

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Marilyn Monroe . . . Suicide Blonde?





Marilyn Monroe's story reads like a best selling novel complete with the glamour of Hollywood, romantic ties to sports figures, leading men and politicians . . . and one of the greatest controversial mysteries of our time.


I created this video as a tribute to Marilyn


Playboy's first centerfold died at the age of 36 on August 5, 1962 . . . the reported cause of death is an overdose of sleeping pills, but to this day, her death remains a mystery with the controversial rumors that she was murdered.


Did she commit suicide, was she murdered because of her involvement with the Kennedy family . . . or was it accidental death?

Was Marilyn Monroe a suicide blonde?

What do you think?




Candle in the Wind
Written by Elton John/Bernie Taupin
in memory of Marilyn Monroe

Lyrics


Goodbye Norma Jean

Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name
chorus

And it seems to me you lived your life

Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Loneliness was tough

The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude
[repeat chorus]

Goodbye Norma Jean

Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
Goodbye Norma Jean
From the young man in the 22nd row
Who sees you as something more than sexual
More than just our Marilyn Monroe



Share your memories of Marilyn Monroe . . . 
her life, her loves, her movies . . . and the controversy surrounding her death.











Monday, February 7, 2011

Vintage Television Commercials



Television commercials are like
 a time capsule of pop culture history.  

I've gathered some videos that depict
 what I consider the lost era of innocence
 . . . the 50's and 60's.


50's and 60's Commercials Vintage 50's and 60's Commercials 60's Commercials Classic 60's Commercials

Here are the Anacin commercials . . . Mother Please is really poor quality, but the only one I could find :(










OMG I'm enjoying this way too much :)

Some updates . . . Hey Mikey!!






How about Mother Nature?




Better refresh the page . . . this post is still evolving!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vintage Postcards




Old postcards take me back to childhood days of vacationing at the Gulf beaches and spending a lot of time in the tourist traps, where the racks of postcards were lined up . . . an art gallery of sorts that would fascinate me and draw me like a magnet.  My mom is a shopaholic and loves to linger in any type of store, and I loved it when she took us to the tourist traps so I could check out the colorful treasures on those spinner racks.

The vintage postcards on this post are from back in the 1910 - 1920 era . . . The Tampa Bay Hotel, a U.S. National Historic Landmark.  Among its many distinguished visitors . . . Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders . . . the hotel was used as a base of operations when the Spanish-American War broke out.

 I'll be writing a post about this gorgeous landmark that is just as beautiful as I imagine it was back in the day.  It is now the home of the University of Tampa and the Henry Plant Museum . . . with beautiful grounds what wind along the Hillsborough River.  It will be posted on my other blog My Florida Paradise.


This post is being linked to one of the most

 awesome blog discoveries I have

 made in quite some time . . .



It is a blog hop/meme of people who love vintage stuff . . . seems like I have been lost in Colorado Lady's blog forever . . . back and forth to the participants in her weekly event and checking out everyone's vintage thingie posts.  I hope to make a weekly visit to the Vintage Thingie Thursday a regular feature of this blog!

Even if you don't have a blog post to link, it is so cool to check out everyone else's posts and discover some new blogs.  I've recently found some that are dedicated to collecting vintage kitchen stuff . . . that post is coming soon . . . I'll share links for those of you who also love that kind of vintage stuff :)


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