Hmm. So. Dentist today; no big deal. I have a great dentist I trust completely, and besides, he reads this site, so if I complain he brings out the wrench and finds a good nerve. I do have another substantial procedure coming up, but that’s what happy pills and clown sauce are for, right? That’s the great thing about modern dentistry: you don’t have to be there, really.

If I have one complaint, it’s the machinery. It all looks designed to do something unnatural but horribly necessary. There’s an X-Ray Machine, of course, quite different from the ones of my childhood: then they’d roll a cannon up the side of your head, put a lead apron over your regenerative organs, then send the tech out behind a foot-thick lead wall. Now you step up on a plate, hold on to some handles, and bite down on a piece of plastic while the device irradiates your noggin. You feel like you’re dancing with a dead robot. It would be better if it came in the shape of attractive people, and you could have a moment of wild fantasy. Come with me to ze Casbah BZZZZZZZZ Ca-CHANK

I listened to an old radio show, X-Minus One, and was taken out of the story somewhat by the fact that Mason Adams was one of the vocal actors. He did a lot of 50s radio. I knew him growing up as the Voice of Smuckers, and then the irascible editor on “Lou Grant.” That’s the interesting thing about the transition from radio to TV culture; people recognized actors they’d never really known, because they sounded familiar, but couldn’t quite place them. Paul Frees is probably the one that made everyone pause, and think I know that guy. But from where? Everywhere, probably. I watched “In Cold Blood” the other night, and there he was.

Speaking of “In Cold Blood” – I had to watch it, because it was on, and because it’s just a damned fine movie. I learn something every time: in this instance, it was the jarring use of the word “shit,” and it turns out that was the first time the word was uttered in a major American film. It’s all the more bracing because the movie seems like it takes place in 1959, even though it was made in ’67. Oh, but there’s more: while googling around, I discovered that the house in which the idiots killed the good & decent Clutter family was up for sale, and of course this meant a realtor’s page with lots of photos. They looked familiar – and sure enough, it appears the movie’s horrible depiction of the crime was shot in the house.

There’s a photo on this page I would have advised the realtor not to use. Which one? Yeah, that one.

Anyway. Finished up, stood up, went downstairs, saw the same sign that always makes me pause:

What happened there, I wondered? Did one person fall, or a dozen? Behold the Stairs of Doom:


Hey, speaking of Chuck Taylors, again: it was noted in the comments that Men seem to DESTROY them quickly, but women make them wear like iron. This may be so. Men may have acid-spraying glands below the ankles. I mention this only to tie yesterday’s post about the shoes and the 80s together with this: more proof the 80s are back!


I’ll be busy today, so I’m going to deploy the linkage now. Here’s this week’s Comic Sins.

Here’s a small addition to the 30s magazine ad site.

The growth of the 30s site still surprises me; once I committed to giving you eight songs from each year, well, I had to build a page for the subject. It’ll be posted when all the years are done. Here’s 1931 if you like such things:


76 Responses to Tuesday, Feb. 23

  1. bgbear (roger h):
    February 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    don’t forget:

    Aww..Star Wars, Nothing But Star Wars
    Give Me those Star Wars

    Ah, the soul soothing vocal stylings of Nick Winters!

  2. Charlie Young says:

    The new imaging sensors in dentistry are more “green” in that, you are correct, the film, developer, and lead lining the films are no longer an issue. They are much more expensive, however. The eventual savings from not buying film and chemicals, plus not having physical storage should pay for that digital sensor in about 5 years.

  3. Brisko says:

    @Juanito-John Davey.

    War Machine is a more interesting character, and a better hero, than Iron Man ever was. How many times has Tony Stark run away and hid when the going got tough? You’d never see Jim Rhodes doing that.

    Rhodey lost his arms, legs and half his face and he’s still kicking butts all over the world.

  4. Jim A says:

    Love the “Star Wars” lyric. I still think of them and Nick every time I hear Williams’s theme. :)

    I never heard of Capt. Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders, but I gotta concur the cover has it all. They had me at the surfboards, but when I saw the title at lower-right, I pretty much cheered.

    Marvel was so great at that cross-mythologizing stuff. At least until their universe got so huge and entwined that everyone’s widowed aunt is the spawn of mutants from the future, or a disguiesd skrull with adamantium bones.

    That Capt. Savage story may have been the only tale *set in WWII* that told of Ben Grimm’s flyboy days, but I recall at least one time-travel tale from the 70s that transplanted the Fantastic Four back to the 40s, where they teamed up with the Invaders (Capt. America, Bucky, Sub-Mariner, the original Human Torch and Toro). As they stormed a Nazi stronghold with Cap and co., Ben and Reed briefly talked about their younger selves, fighting the good fight elsewhere.

    I hadn’t realized Ben was in the Pacific.

  5. fizzbin says:

    ATTENTION ALL BUZZARATTI: “Please watch for the last step”, last seen wearing stilettos, a pink tu-tu, black leather peek-a-boo bra, carrying a whip and a fifty-five gallon drum of Bear Nair. Use caution! The last step is known to be suffering from Irritable Bear Syndrome. That is all.

  6. @fizzbin:

    hee hee.

    Actually looking at that pic again I see the floor tile is the same color pattern as the steps, could have made that last step near invisible. The added carpeting probably helped more than the sign.

    Is this at the paper or the dental office? If dental office. . .oh, I wont go there. There are dentist reading and I don’t want to be accuse of being an antidentite.

  7. fizzbin says:


    You bad, dawg :)

  8. @winterhawk….

    You bad, dawg :)

    I know, some people can’t keep their mind out of the gutter. I for one would never mention the Texaco attendant working his hose as he looks over the women in the car.

    Oh Mrs. Crane, you’re a little monkey woman. Yeah, you’re lean, mean, and I bet you’re not too far in between are ya. How’d you like to wrap your spikes around my…

  9. Mxymaster says:

    Nick Winters was much more deadly than Nick Fury.

  10. Mxymaster:
    February 23, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Nick Winters was much more deadly than Nick Fury.

    True, but Nick Winter had no Howling Commandos. As with everything life…. balance.

  11. swschrad says:


    there was a little incident in the public prints today… seems a pistol-grip shotgun with 5 deer slugs in it was found in a break room cabinet in the Grand Forks newspaper offices.

    that’s not balance in any direction. what, you don’t have enough broken wrists so you have to hack off the stock of a 12 gauge?

    oh, well, if they find the character, Bruno and Lefty down at the county slammer can work on those wrists, no charge.

  12. Brian Lutz says:

    Hmmm… I didn’t know Saxton Hale was around in the Forties…

  13. @swschrad:

    Someone was just planning on “mopping up” the break room.

    Funny, guys are dumb enough to bring weapons to work, usually for “show and tell”, I have seen it a couple of times (the loaded part is a little concerning). I can imagine someone stashing the shotgun out of sight and hoping to retrieve when no one was around.

    On the other hand, any Harvard graduates working at the Grand Forks Herald?

  14. fizzbin says:

    Heh, good one. I must admit when I looked at the picture my minds were busy trying to figure out which one was Ethyl and how much she wanted.

    Oy! Deer slugs! In another life I was issued a Remington 870P with a fold-over steel stock. If you pull down the stock and put it up to your shoulder, it was no big deal. If you left the stock folded over, you’d best rest the pistol grip and hand on your hip or your wrist would get an owie. Thank God, The Great Mystery, I only had to fire it at the range. I really, really loved that gun. Illegal for us civilians to own one. :(

  15. browniejr says:

    @jeischen: You left out that one of the dolphins in sailor caps should talk like an idiot, and have a name like “Skip Skip”…

    @hpoulter, bgbear: I prefer Perry Como:

  16. Rex V. says:

    Captain Savage knows “Tojo don’t surf”.

    Loved the Texaco ad for the gasoline with the Ethyl additive, especially when the woman notes that Fred says “it’s the gasoline to which Ethyl is added that counts” Makes me imagine all sorts of explosive hijinks at the Mertz household.

  17. swschrad says:

    shotgun… saw off the barrel as well, you got’cha a street sweeper.

    nothing says, “hunt me down and vaporize me, I’m devil spawn” like carrying a street sweeper around, say, an apartment building. happened one week while I was in the boundary waters in the rabbit warren I lived in. sent in a police dog when the perp was under a car in an open garage.

    shot the dog.

    perp absorbed something like 11 bullets.

    expected result occurred.

  18. hpoulter says:

    (even back in the 60s, people called him Perry Coma)

    Hey, did anyone notice that Fred told her about Ethyl? Well, he would know, wouldn’t he?

  19. Chris M. says:

    The theme song to Hogan’s Heroes actually had lyrics. And it’s awful.

    And I can sing them all from memory :-) . My dad had the Hogan’s Heroes LP. No, he didn’t inflict it on me; I don’t recall him even ever playing it. I did it to myself. You have weird musical tastes when you’re a kid…

  20. Chris M.:
    February 23, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    The theme song to Hogan’s Heroes actually had lyrics. And it’s awful.

    And I can sing them all from memory :-) . My dad had the Hogan’s Heroes LP. No, he didn’t inflict it on me; I don’t recall him even ever playing it. I did it to myself. You have weird musical tastes when you’re a kid…

    I tried looking for that LP back in July without luck. Just for the sheer abomination aspect of it. My loss.

    My father inflicted the Statler Brothers on me. In comparison, I guess I didn’t have so bad…

  21. Kim says:

    I have a million of those yeast ads – they are hilarious. If you eat the yeast cake and sit in a warm environment, do you rise? All of them get around to constipation, somehow, someway.

    It was an obsession in the 40s – any future creatures studying earth through ads will think so!

  22. Robert says:

    Did you build that embedded music player from scratch or tweak an existing one? Is it possible yet to stream music from websites on an iphone? I expect you of all webfectionists should know.

  23. JamesS says:

    Ah, the soul soothing vocal stylings of Nick Winters!

    I knew that Bill Murray had truly become a serious actor when he sang karaoke in “Lost in Translation” and did NOT do it “Nick Winters”-style.

  24. chrisbcritter says:

    That cover made me think of Col. Kilgore’s other great line from “Apocalypse Now”:

    “You either fight – or surf!”

    Why not both?

  25. Darrin says:

    I saw a pair of Chuck’s the other day with dual layered canvas. Why didn’t they have these when I was a kid?!?

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