Month: November 2012

Book Report: Fletch (Gregory Mcdonald, 1974)

Book Report: Fletch (Gregory Mcdonald, 1974)

Books
It's taken me a long time to finally delve into Gregory Mcdonald's Fletch book series, although I can't give you a good reason why. I have loved the first movie for a few decades, so you'd think I would want to consume all I can about the character right from the source. But inertia is a powerful force, and so it is that I've finally started my journey this week. So, the original Fletch from 1974. If you're reading this I'm guessing you've seen the movie but not read the book, and want to know how closely the former follows the latter. So let's go ahead and get the story differences out of the way now. Needless to say, spoiler alert. Book Fletch is a blonde, not dark-haired like Chevy Chase. The Geena Davis movie role (Larry) is named Clara Snow in the book, and Fletch has a rathe...
Let’s Talk About the New Wendy’s and Arby’s Logos

Let’s Talk About the New Wendy’s and Arby’s Logos

Advertising
This fall has seen a few major changes on the fast food logo front. Venerable chains Wendy's and Arby's both made significant changes to their branding for the first time in decades. While the basic visuals were kept intact, the looks have very much changed. Let's look at the changes in alphabetical order. (image via StockLogos) So what's really changed here is the move from 2D to 3D, and yet another corporation moving to a sans serif typeface. Oh and then there's the new apostrophe, which is supposed to look like something I guess. It's not an offensive change, but I don't really think it's an effective one either. I can understand with those who found the prior logo a little old-fashioned, but there's the right way to modernize and the wrong way. First of all, can we stop wi
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 20: Santa and Swimmers on the Beach, Los Angeles 1927

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 20: Santa and Swimmers on the Beach, Los Angeles 1927

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Christmas photos aren't quite the same without all the color and richness in them, but if we're going to go vintage let's go all the way! Here's an odd specimen from the Roaring '20s. It features Santa Claus and a host of bathing suit-clad swimmers lying around a Christmas Tree on a Los Angeles beach. Click for a larger version. I like this because it's unlike just about every traditionally staged holiday photo I've seen. I like how Santa couldn't even be bothered to wear pants but he still went with the coat and hat. Man Californians can be an odd bunch. (No offense.) (Image courtesy The Smithsonian.) Related articles Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 14: The Kitchen of Tomorrow (Life, 1943) (grayflannelsuit.net) Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 15: Vintage Halloween Costumes...
Fisher-Price’s TV Commercials Make Me Miss Being Childless

Fisher-Price’s TV Commercials Make Me Miss Being Childless

Advertising
Being the parent of a toddler, I get to watch a wide range of children's TV. Some of it is actually pretty good, and some of it stinks. And then of course, there are the commercials. Tons and tons of commercials. For the most part I'm able to tune them out, or even have some fun with the ads. But not the latest batch of Fisher-Price spots. Let's see if you can guess why, with this example. Seems pretty harmless, right? The kid's cute, and who doesn't love toys? I mean, yeah, that song is a little annoying, what with the singer sounding like someone drugged her water before the recording session. But I guess she's not that obnoxious. Now try sitting through about 100 of these ads. That whiny, droning indie hipster "singing" transforms from slightly grating to completely rage-in...
The Best Bizarre Christmas Album Covers Ever, Part 2

The Best Bizarre Christmas Album Covers Ever, Part 2

Album Cover of the Week, Music
I had to take a year off after the first gallery of odd Christmas album covers, but I'm back with a strange vengeance. Here's another set of Yuletide records sure to leave you saying, "Ho ho huh?" The Border Brass -- Tijuana Christmas (date unknown) So outrageous it can't possibly be offensive, right? From the back cover: Take the festive spirit of the Christmas season, spice well with the merry mariachi sounds & you have a wassail bowl full of the happiest holiday music ever! Nina and Frederik -- Christmas at Home with Nina and Frederik (1960) From the looks of Frederik, there's only one of four things he wants to do this Christmas. 1. Sex you up. 2. Chop you into little pieces. 3. Sex you up and then chop you into little pieces. 4. Chop you into little pieces an...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 19: Mickey Mouse at the 1934 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 19: Mickey Mouse at the 1934 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Macy held its first Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, making it one of the oldest and longest-running parades around. It's also been known in times past as the Macy's Christmas Parade and later the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Christmas Parade, but the idea is the same. Balloons, balloons, and more balloons! A big debut took place in 1934, when Mickey Mouse -- who debuted in 1928 -- appeared as a balloon for the first time. In a bit of cross-brand promotion, Mickey wore a Macy's star on his chest. Here's a photo from that 1934 parade, taken in the area of 46th Street and Broadway. Click for a larger version. Lots of fantastic details besides the balloon here. The timeless Coca-Cola sign is there of course. On the left is the Orpheum Dance Palace, which was a place where you could pay f