Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Distraction 107: A Perfect Ending


"I wanted a perfect ending.  Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end.  Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.  Delicious ambiguity." 
- Gilda Radner (1946-1989)


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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Distraction 106: John Astin as Gomez Addams


The Addams Family is one of my all-time favorite tv shows.  Though all of the players were wonderful, I've determined that Gomez is the best character, hands down (no pun intended, Thing).  He consistently had the best lines and John Astin mastered the role with unmatched manic zeal.


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Monday, March 28, 2011

Distraction 104: Uncle Pecos


I love Uncle Pecos' three-sheets-to-the-wind interpretation of "Frog Went a Courtin'," actually sung by Shug Fisher.




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Distraction 104: Scopitone




Have you ever heard of Scopitones?  They're a type of jukebox that featured a 16mm film to accompany the music, popular in the 50s & 60s.  The Joi Lansing short above, as featured on Cinema Insomnia, is what piqued my interest.




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Distraction 103: LSD Entrepreneur


The above image is from a comic book about LSD, drawn in the style of Jack Chick.  Fun combo!

Mr. Augustus Owsley Stanley III died recently.  He's credited as having manufactured astronomical amounts of extremely pure LSD in the 60s.  Here's a quick & interesting article from the New York Times discussing his entrepreneurial characteristics:

"
NOW that the 1960s are commodified forever as “The Sixties,” it is apparently compulsory that their legacy be rendered as purple-hazy hagiography. But that ignores an inconvenient counterintuitive truth: Relatively clear-thinking entrepreneurs created some of the most enduring tropes of the era — not out of whole paisley cloth but from their astute feel for the culture and the marketplace. And no one was better at it than Augustus Owsley Stanley III.


Entrepreneur? Mr. Stanley, who was killed in a car accident last Sunday in Australia at the age of 76, is remembered chiefly as a world-class eccentric — his C.V. lists Air Force electronics specialist and ballet dancer — who after ingesting his first dose of LSD in Berkeley in 1964 taught himself how to make his own. In short order, “Owsley acid” became the gold standard of psychedelics.


But Mr. Stanley didn’t stop there. He started cranking out his superlative LSD at a rate that by 1967 topped one million doses. By mass-manufacturing a hallucinogen that the authorities hadn’t gotten around to criminalizing, Mr. Stanley singlehandedly created a market where none had existed, and with it a large part of what would become the “counterculture.”


At the time Madison Avenue was at sea about how to reach the so-called youth market. “House hippies” were deputized as cultural ambassadors but didn’t prevent travesties like Columbia Records’ infamously clueless “The Man Can’t Bust Our Music” ad campaign. Which made Mr. Stanley’s effortless grasp of his peer group and its appetites — he was, after all, an enthusiastic consumer of his own product — seem all the more prescient. When his lab in Orinda, Calif., was raided in 1967 — thanks to him, LSD had been declared illegal the year before — the headline in The San Francisco Chronicle anointed him the “LSD Millionaire.”


Mr. Stanley shared several qualities with another entrepreneur who, a decade later, would imbue his company with a hand-sewn ‘60s ethic that persists today. To compare Mr. Stanley to Steve Jobs, the co-founder and chief executive of Apple, purely on the basis of their operating philosophies is not as big a leap as it might seem.


Like Mr. Jobs, Mr. Stanley was fanatical about quality control. He refused to put his LSD on pieces of paper — so-called blotter acid — because, Mr. Stanley maintained, it degraded the potency. “I abhor the practice,” he declared.


Whereas the formulation and provenance of most street drugs was unknowable, Owsley LSD was curated like a varietal wine and branded as evocatively as an iPod — “Monterey Purple” for a batch made expressly for the 1967 Monterey Pop festival, which may have factored into Jimi Hendrix’s chaotic, guitar-burning finale. (Relentlessly protective of his brand, Mr. Stanley seemed insulted that many believed the Hendrix song “Purple Haze” was about the Monterey LSD — far from inducing haze, he sniffed, the quality of his acid would confer upon the user preternatural clarity.)


And like Mr. Jobs’s mandate for creating products he deems “insanely great,” Mr. Stanley’s perfectionism had the effect of raising standards across an industry — or in this case, a culture. He became a patron of the Grateful Dead and helped transform them from inchoate noodlers into the house band for a generation. Noting the dreadful acoustics at their performances, Mr. Stanley drew on his electronics background and designed one of the first dedicated rock sound reinforcement systems, thus making plausible that highly lucrative staple of the 1960s and beyond, the rock concert. (Ever the perfectionist, he later designed an upgraded version, the legendary Wall of Sound, that towered over the band like a monolith and prefigured the immense sound systems at stadium shows today.)


It is said we are living through times not unlike the 1960s, the catalyst being not rock ‘n’ roll and its accompaniments, sex and drugs, but the communications and information revolution made possible by the Web. Among the movement’s many avenging nerds, Mr. Jobs alone epitomizes Mr. Stanley’s unhinged originality and anarchical spirit — before founding Apple, Mr. Jobs and his partner, Steve Wozniak, sold illegal “blue boxes” that allowed free long-distance calls and later proselytized so persuasively about the latest Apple gizmo that he was said to project a “reality distortion field.”


Augustus Owsley Stanley III knew a thing or two about that.


Michael Walker is the author of “Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood.”"


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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Distraction 102: Dance for Yahweh


I haven't seen dance moves this sweet since D-Qwon and his dance grooves.  Even though she loses her fez, she continues to smize and frolic like a professional.


Thanks to Brian for sharing.  :)





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Distraction 101: Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas


This movie is one of the best book adaptations I've ever seen.  






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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Distraction 100: Audrye Sessions - Turn Me Off


Fun song for summer; it's almost here again!  


This fine band hails from Oakland; you know, like Hammer, Clint Eastwood and Huey Newton!






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Friday, March 25, 2011

Distraction 99: Skeletal Embrace


Goth kids of the world unite!  

This story's a few years old now, but I don't recall seeing this image until this week.  Interested in the back story?

"The pair from the Neolithic period (5000 - 6000 years ago) were discovered outside Mantua, about 40km (25 miles) south of Verona.

The pair, almost certainly a man and a woman, are thought to have died young as their teeth were mostly intact, said chief archaeologist Elena Menotti."


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Distraction 98: The Witch Doctor


The "Alvin & the Chipmunks" show from the 80s is just god-awful, but I love the look of the original "Alvin Show" from the early 60s.  Plus, this song is a classic.  :)







Help the victims of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan by making a donation to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Distraction 97: The Soup - Glory Hole "Gold"


This is so dirty.  And by dirty, I mean "big ole wet sloppy stuff."  




Help the victims of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan by making a donation to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Distraction 96: A. Whitney Brown


Even when I didn't know what he was talking about, I always enjoyed A. Whitney Brown's "Big Picture" segments on Saturday Night Live.

He has a Facebook page, but I don't, so I'm not sure what he's doing these days.  Here's a somewhat recent gig he did on religion.




Help the victims of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan by making a donation to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Distraction 95: Dali Atomicus by Philippe Halsman


28 delightful takes of throwing water and cats!  In your collective face, PETA!


There's a nice blurb about the photo here.








Help the victims of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan by making a donation to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Distraction 91: Breaking Bad

Another 4 months or so until season 4 of Breaking Bad starts!  

Bryan Cranston's a phenomenal actor.  You'd hardly guess the same man was responsible for bringing us Hal Wilkerson.






Help the victims of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan by making a donation to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Distraction 90: The Five Stairsteps - O-o-h Child


I'll bet you thought the Jackson 5 sang this, didn't you?!



Help the victims of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan by making a donation to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Distraction 89: The Sound of Pi


Busy week!  And thus, a couple days late posting this in observation of Pi day.  Shout out to John for sending this my way.  :)




Help the victims of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan by making a donation to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Distraction 88: Illy


As if their coffee wasn't reason enough to love Illy (Starbucks, who?), behold the Illy Push Button House!  (The above, technically, I believe is the Illy Push Button Cafe.)

Watch it all unfold (literally) here.



Help the victims of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan by making a donation to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Distraction 87: In N Out Burger


Donny was right, "Those are good burgers, Walter."

But a double-double is something I'd get at Tim Horton's, not In N Out.



Help the victims of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan by making a donation to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Distraction 86: Gold Pants Dance!


C'mon everybody!  Grab your gold pants and join the fun!







Help the victims of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan by making a donation to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.

Distraction 85: Cinema Insomnia


The suits at KOFY were fools to not snatch up Mr. Lobo.  Cinema Insomnia is like Sir Graves Ghastly meets MST3K, only different. 






Help the victims of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan by making a donation to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Distraction 84: Pythagorean Theorem



"The Pythagorean theorem is an ancient oak in the landscape of thought."
- Robert and Ellen Kaplan, Hidden Harmonies



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Distraction 83: Tammi Terrell


"[Tammi Terrell] signed with Motown in April 1965 and enjoyed modest success as a solo singer. Once she was paired with [Marvin] Gaye in 1967, her stardom grew, but on October 14 of that year she collapsed on stage into Gaye's arms during a performance. She was soon thereafter diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor which eventually led to her death at the age of 24."






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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Distraction 81: Snack Food Geography


A favorite from the Onion:

Fritolaysia Cuts Off Chiplomatic Relations With Snakistan


KARUNCHI, SNAKISTAN—Citing crumbling relations due to years of protracted french-onion diplomacy, the president of the Central Asian doritocracy Fritolaysia withdrew the country's ambassadors from Snakistan Monday.


"We have been supplying the people of Snakistan with pre-packaged consumable goods for over 40 years, and for them to show resistance to our savory products is unacceptable," Fritolaysian President Barbbaku Chedar said, referring to Snakistani officials' unwillingness to adhere to Fritolaysia's zesty new initiative introduced during a between-meals conference at last week's international-trading summit held in M√ľnchen, Germany.


"Fritolaysia has no choice but to crumple up and throw away all chiplomatic ties with the greedy, gluttonous government of Snakistan," Chedar added.  more...




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Monday, March 7, 2011

Distraction 80: Oak Meadow Park, Los Gatos


Oak Meadow is the quintessential all-American park, complete with carousel, train, playgrounds (with a jet no less!), fields to fly kites in, sand to get dirty in, shady trees cool off under, a bandstand and a snack bar... and I'm sure I left things out.

A ride on the train followed by a snow-cone & popcorn never gets old.



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Distraction 79: George Michael - Freedom! '90


Aah, the 90s in its infancy...  I remember it fondly.






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Friday, March 4, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Distraction 73: Vinyl Endures



"In recent years some headlines have cast an increase in sales for vinyl LPs — once considered a casualty of the CD era — as something like a beacon of hope for the struggling music industry. The reality isn't all that rosy. Though vinyl sales grew by 14% in 2010, according to Nielsen SoundScan, they still counted for less than one percent of the year's total album sales."  more



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Distraction 72: Der Kuss - Gustav Klimt


1907-1908
Oil on canvas
180 x 180 cm (5.9 x 5.9 ft)
Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere


So romantic...


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