WARNING: it'll be a tad light the rest of the week; houseguest and work. So expect substandard Bleatage for a while.


My blip.tv account is being deactivated for violation of the TOS. Not because I put up someone else’s stuff; it was all mine, except for a public-domain thing I got off archive.org. I just wasn’t their kind of guy anymore. I guess they do web series now, and only web series, and as such I violated their TOS by not having a plot.

I wouldn’t have signed up to use them in the first place if that’s what they’d originally been. In the early days the site was much less exacting about the type of content, another one of those YouTube competitors that sprang up in the latter-middle Oughts. I’d soured on using them anyway, even though they had the nicest looking player around - the prerolls are too much, they’re always the same, and they have the tone that instantly turns off people who are watching video on the web:

They look like TV.

Ads on the web should not look like a TV ad. They should take advantage of the medium, the audience, the style and tone of the medium. A commercial for, oh, AT&T that has the usual mealy treacly up-with-life music, the usual narrator style, the parade of Totally Spontaneous Endorsements, and all the other hallmarks of a well-massaged campaign fall flat on the web. It’s a challenge advertisers - or, more likely, their clients - seem uninterested in exploiting. On YouTube you’re often required to sit there for the first 6 seconds before you skip.

That ought to be a challenge. You have six seconds. Grab me. Don’t worry about whether it fits in the current campaign or branding strategy. Just hit me. What do you have to lose?

Anyway, I have to download all my videos - I’ll probably dump them on YouTube and beef up that channel. I have no trouble with blip.tv doing this; they gave me space and bandwidth for years, for nothing.

Speaking of ad campaigns: after Monday’s remarks about Bissell, they tweeted me. Thanks for the traffic! Wouldn’t I really like to sign up for Bissell rewards? That’s some good work on their part - traced the bump to one site, found the twitter link, and sent me a message. Impressive.

Equally impressive is the fact that two, count them TWO, Art Frahm references came in within the last two days from two different people. One of them I’m not so sure; I’m investigating. The other was from Mary in Kansas:



It’s not a Frahm; it’s proto-Frahm from a more genteel era. The artist was Robert Lawson, from the Mr. Pepper’s Penguins book. She gets it exactly right:

Look at this Robert Lawson illustration from a 1939 edition of "Mr Popper's Penguins." Notice anything familiar? The armload of groceries, the curiously differential rate of gravity affecting the falling objects, the wide-eyed masculine onlooker, the pet-on-a-leash-entangling-the-skirt trope, and, most importantly, the presence of celery.

Coincidence? No way. I assert that either Art Frahm is Robert Lawson's pseudonym for his occasional excursions into the embarrassing world of you-gotta-do-what-you-gotta-do-to-put-food-on-the-table commercial art or, at the very least, Art Frahm saw this illustration and was touched by it. In a sexually stimulating way. If you get my drift.

Mr. Lawson was indeed Mr. Lawson. Whether this was the touchstone for Art Frahm, I don’t know; I think the pet-entanglement was a trope that occurred many times to many artists, and Frahm just perfected it with his own frozen-in-time style. I love how wikipedia puts it: “Frahm had adequate technical competence for his medium.” They note that he got bodies right, but couldn’t quite do faces. I also love how I’m the first hit for Art Frahm on Google. And, might I add, the first “matchbook” entry that isn’t trying to sell you matchbooks. “Motel Postcards,” too.

So it’s not like I haven’t accomplished something.

An ordinary day; mild, sunny, windy, October behaving as though it feels it’s in our debt and it ought to make a payment. Tomorrow the Japanese student arrives for a week. Daughter is excited. We swapped out students - the other had a pet allergy - and the replacement seems much more suited to this family; she sounds geekier, with interests in animation and Pocket Monsters. This made my daughter find her power adapter for her DS, which had lain dormant for a year or so, and work to invigorate her Pokemon lineup in case battle is joined. She even found her favorite plush Pokemon in the closet and gave it a hug. It was like two years had evaporated.

And for once, in the backwards direction.



When last we left Captain Video, I was wondering why the hell I was watching Captain Video. Oh, right: they came up with an actual special effect. Captain Video and the Ranger had been frozen in a Freeze Chamber by the nefarious Dr. Tobor, who is in league with Voltora, from Atoma, who is bad. This week:

Will the flames melt our entombed heroes? No; the title always refers to the peril faced at the end.

The first two and a half minutes, as usual, consist of recaps from the previous episode. Videosicle:

Whatever can be done? All is lost! And with ten episodes left! What will they consist of, funeral arrangements?

No! Lab-bound Tech Support Guy barks an instruction to an underling: turn on the Video Locator Apparatus!

Knobs are twirled! He thinks he sees them, in defiance of any credible technology!

He is instructed to turn the knobs on the Thermite Broadcaster, which can heat distant objects, and just happens to be sitting out on a table! Hurry, Union-scale Lab Assistant!

Of course, Captain Video and the Ranger are saved, and head back to the lab, where Tech Support Guy picks up a transmission. Imagine that: in the future, "Transmissions" will be so rare they stand right out. Captain Video enters the data on an ADDING MACHINE, complete with button-punching sounds, and they get a location.

Time for Captain Video to relax, slightly, while more buttons are punched to enter the code in the Space Place Identification Machine! Quickly!

Up in the Space Platform where Voltura's minions control the robots, dials are twirled! Buttons stabbed!

Captain Video brings down the platform, and hey, why not give it a whirl?

We're told it's "two billion miles" to the Planet Atoma. Takes about 4 seconds. Once they land on the planet, which looks exactly like every other California desert location - you almost expect to see Indians on horses in the background from a sequel shot the same day - they are instantly discovered. Instead of sending out someone with a shotgun to blow their heads off, DIALS ARE TWIRLED.

This results in FIRE, which is ironic because it started with Ice.

Oh no! That's it! There's no way they can possibly escape! Or . . .CAN THEY, oh, yes of course they can.

To sum it up: they escaped the ice and went back to the planet Atoma because they hadn't been there in a few episodes. No one has stopped to eat, sleep, or move their bowels.


Yes, I read that as "Ashtray," too.

Work blog around 12:30 and Tumblr as well. See you around.





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