3rd December 2009

If I Bake You a Cherpumple, Will You Be My Shipoopi?

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the kitchen…

Charles Phoenix and his Cherpumple.

Charles Phoenix is adorable. And ridiculous.

Charles has developed this Dessert of the Future, the Cherpumple. Inspired by the terducken, this monstrosity… well, I’d better let Charles explain it.

Charles is taking his famous slide show on the road up and down the west coast this holiday season, and it is not to be missed. UNLESS YOU LIVE IN THE BAY AREA, APPARENTLY. Ahem.

posted in Food, Midcentury | 1 Comment

28th October 2008

Ray Bradbury and The Prunes Of Tomorrow

I want one of those wrinkle computers.

Apparently this is the handy work of Stan Freberg. Is he doing the voiceover? [via Martin]

posted in Midcentury, Space Age, Television | 3 Comments

10th September 2008

All The Way To Banana Splitsville!

I recently discovered a few cool things.

1. There’s a Hard Rock theme park.

2. In said theme park is a section called Banana Splitsville.

Sadly there’s not much info or photos of it on the web yet, but apparently the Splits themselves perform there several times a day. Can anyone help me out?

Banana Splitsvile

3. The Ben & Jerry’s Banana Split ice cream changed their logo to something that does not infringe on the Splits. Hopefully photos will be coming soon. (thanks Humu for the tip!).

And perhaps a little less cool:

4. The Banana Splits have updated their website, and recorded new videos and songs, which are on sale on iTunes, if you’re so inclined!. Sadly, they sound nothing like their old selves.

Check out JYC’s other Banana Splits posts:

Ben & Jerry’s Steals Banana Split’s Logo
Rare Banana Splits Stuff

posted in Animation, Crafts, Midcentury, Music, Television | 1 Comment

26th June 2008

Why Were Matchbooks So Naughty?

Not that I’m complaining. So many midcentury matchbooks just seem to have been designed to appeal to 12-year-old boys. Or, more accurately, the 12-year-old boy in each of us. This matchbook from the Carnival Room is fantastic, no?

From the collection of Bay Park Buzzy
From the collection of Bay Park Buzzy

It gets even better…. the back side is after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Design, Midcentury | 5 Comments

23rd June 2008

An American Hippie in Israel

You thought An American Werewolf in London was scary…

An American Hippie in Israel, uploaded by domtak

… but you haven’t experienced the sheer terror of An American Hippie in Israel. Okay, maybe sheer terror is a little strong. How about “bad scene?” (NSFW due to some slight hippie boobage.)

Fools. Fools! Fools! FOOLS!

[Thx to Christy]

posted in Art, Midcentury | 1 Comment

22nd June 2008

Ball Buster Game Commerical from 1975

Ball Buster Game

I don’t know where Billoney finds this stuff.

[Via BooBerry Alarmclock]

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29th April 2008

Page Miss Glory Cartoon

“Here comes Miss Glory!” popped into my head last night, and I had to seek this old cartoon out. I have vivid memories of this cartoon as a wee lad; it was one of my favorites. What I did not have any memory of was the copious amount of boozing, stripping and fine moderne art deco design throughout it.

They don’t make cartoons like they used to.

posted in Animation, Art, Design, Midcentury, Television | 2 Comments

19th April 2008

1979 Marysville United Methodist Women’s Cookbook

1979 Marysville United Methodist Women's Cookbook
1979 Marysville United Methodist
Women’s Cookbook

Since, well, 1979 or so, I have been in the possession of one of the most startling and dangerous pieces of culinary literature of the 20th century… the 1979 Marysville United Methodist Women’s Cookbook.

I’m fuzzy on the details of how I acquired this little ticking time bomb… my mother grew up in Marysville, and my grandmother is still there, so I suspect that my grandmother had something to do with it. Grandma isn’t Methodist, and she’s cheap, so I can’t picture her buying this to support the church. She must have been given it as a gift and she turned around and gave it to us. At any rate, it’s mine now, and has been since forever.

The whole thing is an abomination, but the salad section is downright audacious in its abuse of the word “salad.” There is very little green in this section, unless you count the many instances of lime Jello. There is a recipe for “Vegetable Salad,” which sounds promising until you learn that it calls for 2/3 of a cup of sugar, a can of Chung King Chinese vegetables, and a can of something called “Veg-All.” But then comes “Asparagus Salad,” which you would think would at least have asparagus in it, but you’d be wrong. It has “asparagus soup” in it (surely Campbell’s Cream of Asparagus), a pack of cream cheese, mayonnaise, and lime Jello. So, you know, at least it’s green.

Asparagus Salad (curiously missing any acutal asparagus)
Asparagus Salad (curiously missing any acutal asparagus)

But it gets worse — oh, does it get worse. It’s hard to select just one recipe as an example of the horrors contained within, so instead I’ve unleashed them all on the world by scanning in the whole danged section.

Pretzel Jello Salad
Pretzel Jello Salad

Don’t miss gems like “Corned Beef Salad” (with lemon Jello and Miracle Whip!), “Super Salad” (with lime Jello, cream cheese, pineapple and marshmallows!), “Pretzel Jello Salad” (with, you guessed it — pretzels — plus Cool Whip, sugar, more sugar, and raspberry Jello), TWO! different “Coke Salads from Texas” (with cherry Jello, Dr. Pepper may be substituted for Coke if you’re feeling exotic), “Tomato Shrimp Aspic” (with tomato juice, lemon extract, lemon Jello and shrimp), or “Vernell’s Mint Salad” (with lime Jello, a box of buttermints, miniature marshmallows, mint flavoring, and green food coloring).

Vernell's Mint Salad
Vernell’s Mint Salad

There’s more — so much more. It just keeps going and going. Say what you will about these salads (oh please, do!), but it sounds like a photographic paradise to me. These recipes are just begging to be made real so that their jiggly, cavity-inducing goodness can be captured in full Technicolor grandeur. It must happen.

I’m taking requests — take a look through the recipes, and let me know which salad you think I should make next.

posted in Food, Midcentury | 5 Comments

28th March 2008

Paper Wallet Update

So I’ve been pestered by a few friends, and some strangers (Hi Books Inc!) to post my paper wallets. See, I make these wallets, out of paper, then use them till they almost fall apart, and then make new ones. For over 10 years now. And I’ve been meaning to post them here when they’re all shiny and new; before they slowly get dinged up and torn; before they conform to the shape of my ass. But the problem is when I make a new one, I almost always forget to take photos. And when I remember to take photos, I get so picky about the lighting and background and the angles that the photos never get taken.

But in the spirit of getting shit done and moving on, I present to you crappy photos of my previous two paper wallets, taken today, on my desk under the yellow light of my K’nex lamp, with the bare minimum effort put into setting up the shots.

Today we have two paper wallets.

60s Legs Paper Wallet

NOTE: At the time these photos were taken, the wallet’s seen a few months of wear and tear, and is looking a little weathered not unlike an off-the-strip Vegas cocktail waitress (Sorry mom! No offense!), but when it was new it looked fly.

This wallet was made out of two extra-long postcards I found in some gift store. I thought legs would make a great theme. I was wrong. Still I like how it turned out, and it has only offended a few so far.

Boot Wallet
Boot Wallet
Boot Wallet

North Woods Inn Paper Wallet

NOTE: At the time these photos were taken, the wallet was so badly worn that I retired it (and made the Legs wallet above), so it’s looking a bit like the box to a “We swear it works fine” returned digital camera at Fry’s. When it was new, it looked badass.

I love Clearman’s North Woods Inn. A lot. It is so fantastic it deserves it’s own post here. But here’s the Cliff Notes: The North Woods Inn is a themed family restaurant in Southern California that takes it’s cue from the rustic romanticism of the snow dusted Klondike. It’s a big log cabin (and by big I mean freaking huge) with permanent, fiberglass snow on it’s rooftop. The place has not changed since it opened in the 60s … but is has also not fallen into disrepair. It looks pretty much like I imagine it looked like on opening day; preserved in time perhaps better than Disneyland. The food is good, the service is friendly, and the crowd has real appeal — multiple generations of families gathering to celebrate good report cards and new drivers licenses. I ate lunch there on a Sunday and must have heard Happy Birthday (sung to the real tune of Happy Birthday) and Happy Anniversary (also sung to the real tune of Happy Birthday) at least thirty times.

Anyway, at the gift shop I picked up a couple of North Woods Inn pint glasses, and a set of North Woods Inn steak knives, and of course some of these fancy North Woods Inn postcards, which I used to make perhaps my favoriteist wallet of them all: the North Woods Inn Paper Wallet.

I need to make a new one of these soon.

North Woods Inn Paper Wallet
North Woods Inn Paper Wallet

Wait! Here’s some photos I just found when the wallet was pretty new, and I took it back to the motherland to be reunited with cheese toast, their famous “two salads”, and a stein of Molson (okay, okay, it was probably Anchor Steam):

North Woods Inn Paper Wallet

And now for the reverse angle:

North Woods Inn Paper Wallet

I hope to post more, with better pictures, as I make new ones. And there’s a whole story about why I started making them in the first place. Watch this space for more!

posted in Art, Crafts, Design, Food, Midcentury | 5 Comments

22nd December 2007

Audium: A Theatre Of Sound-Sculptured Space


I was having dinner with a friend of mine two weeks ago, and she asked me what kind of music I listen to. In reality I listen to a lot of stuff — too diverse to lump into a single category — but for a few years now I’ve jokingly used the term Electro-Acoustic Soundscapes of the 70s. (My friend Martin coined that phrase after unsuccessfully searching through my iPod for 80s music). She had no clue what kind of music I was talking about and she pressed on, so I half-seriously elaborated with “You know, electronic boops and beeps, like outer-space stuff” even though I mostly don’t listen to that; it’s just a small sliver of my collection. And then the conversation moved on.

Little did I know that the 30 seconds I spent rattling off that term would pay me back so heartily. The next week she invited me out to a bar in San Francisco and warned me not to be late. After a quick drink, we walked down the street a few blocks until we came to an old looking wood-paneled building.

Opening the door revealed a museum-esque interior with a ticket booth, stationed by a very distinguished looking older woman. We purchased two tickets at $15 each, and we’re handed two programs labeled Audium: A Theatre In Sound-Sculptured Space. At this point my friend tells me that she remembered me talking about electronic beeps and whooshes from the previous week, found out about this place just by blind luck, and took me here sight-unseen because she thought it might “have some of that kind of beeping stuff in it”. Little did she know how right she was.

We stepped into a very serious looking room filled with sound-related sculptures as well as an array of speakers playing ambient noise: gentle water gurgling, hummingbirds zipping from one side of the room to the other. But this was just the lobby. Clearly this place was built in the 70s, and it looked like not much had changed. And after a bit of waiting around, the ambient noises got louder and the lights in the lobby grew dim, at the same time a spotlight appeared on a wood-paneled hexagonal door, where an gray-haired gentleman appeared.

He informed us and the other two dozen-or-so people in the lobby that we were about to enter the Audium, where we would be treated to a 139 speaker audio-performance-in-the-round dealing with “space and time travel”.

And it was going to be completely in the dark. For an hour.

And then we went inside. The theater itself looks as if the designers were going for 2001: A Space Odyssey but instead ended up with a set from Dr. Who. It was exactly what I was hoping for. The theater is arranged in a circle, with speakers all over the place … hanging from the ceiling, built into the walls, and under grates on the floor.


The real kicker, however, was when the lights dimmed out to complete blackness and the experience started. The soundtrack was straight out of the 1970s and didn’t sound like it had ever been updated (although I found out later that it had). But this was not music. Electronic beeps and boops were everywhere, “flying” through air, along with droning Wagnerian-style synth power chords, abruptly shifting to lo-fi organic recordings of nature, before popping back to beeps. Despite the 139 speakers in use, most of it sounded like it was just coming out of the four big speakers in each corner. It was largely rhythmless, and had no apparent story arc or narrative that was discernible from just listening. And the fidelity matched the decor. This was cliche 70s sci-fi art-school-project-on-drugs sound effects with a dash of the Space Mountain queue soundtrack thrown in. And it just kept going and going.

Half way through the performance there was a 5 minute (lighted) intermission and half the audience left, never to return. At this point I turned to my friend and asked her if she had it in her to listen to the second half, because she had no clue going into this what she was in for, isn’t into electronic music, and even I was kinda worn out by it. But she was gung-ho for soldiering through the second half … which ended up feeling like it was twice as long as the first half.

After the show was over, I was in shock. An hour in the dark listening to 1970s sound effects will do that to you. A zillion questions raced through my mind. Why have I never heard of this place? How did my friend find it? How has it not changed since the 70s? Why were they still getting crowds? I desperately wanted to talk to the gray haired guy, who turns out is the founder and sound designer, but I was worried he was going to chew my already-tired ear off with space and time travel theories.

The entire night was a completely surreal experience. If you’re into the mid century space-age movement at all, you need to go check the Audium out before it closes or gets remodeled. Even though I didn’t “get” what the soundtrack was about, and I thought it was a little long to sit through, I absolutely loved it and now I want to take all my friends. It’s definitely worth doing once for the sheer novelty effect even if you’re not into electronic music. But you better go soon … it really feels like it could close its doors for good any second.

Check out the Audium‘s website.

Audium 8 is performed every Friday and Saturday at 8:30pm. Price $15
Arrive by 8 pm since part of the fun is the lobby.
Please double-check before showing up, I really get the feeling this can change at any time.

1616 Bush St. (@ Franklin), San Francisco
Information: (415) 771-1616

*For the record, the 1970s electronic music I prefer is actual music, with percussion, melody, and harmony. The Audium had none of that. And yes, I did apologize to my friend for fibbing a little about my musical tastes.

posted in Midcentury, Music, Space Age, Tech | 1 Comment