Lost Transmission…Where Arrrre Yoooooou?

July 11, 2011

So it’s been 5 months since my last post.  Sorry about that.  There’s this pesky thing called “life” that gets in the way of my blogging about useless trivia and my quirky interests.  Do not despair.  As Douglas Macarthur said, “I shall return.”

In the meantime, browse around.  Click on “podcasts” in the category cloud on the right to listen to my Lost Transmission episodes or my Hey Dad radio show.  There’s lots to do here…from days gone by!

Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na, FATMAN!!!!

February 22, 2011

Adam West sucks in his gut with all his might

So I was driving in the car with my three sons the other day when the subject turned to Batman.  They had recently seen Tim Burtons’ Batman movie for the first time and were introduced to Batman with ridiculously-chiseled abs and pecs.  Previously, their live-action Batman experience had been limited to  Adam West from the 1960’s TV show.

So one of my sons says, “I like the new Batman better.”  Another one says, “Yeah, the old one was fat.”  The third chimes in, “And he always ran like he was tired.”

I laughed out loud at this last comment.

Then they moved to the costume.  “He looks like he’s wearing a diaper”.

Here at Lost Transmission – a bastion of retro appreciation – I do have a sense of humor.  It’s true about Batman.  Adam West was a bit frumpy, and he did run like he’d just polished off a couple of Chicago dogs for lunch, but you have to love the original Batman.

Here’s one thing my kids agreed on…the old Robin was pretty good, but the villains in the original Batman were awesome.  In fact, the boys are already plotting a “Batman villain” Halloween for 2011.   They will be going as the Joker, the Riddler, and the Penguin…the TV versions.

I guess dad will have to dress up as Adam West.

Goodnight, Folks

January 13, 2011

On January 11, 2011, the last member of the original Ozzie and Harriet Nelson family passed away into history.  David Nelson died at age 74. 

Sadly, his passing went without much fanfare.  His star had dimmed long ago, as had the rest of the Nelson family’s.  Many Americans today probably have no real idea who he was.  However, the impact of David and his family can still be felt in America.  The phrase “Ozzie and Harriet” has become an American idiom meaning “the ideal family existence”, based on the longest running non-animated TV sitcom in history, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.

We all have our favorite TV shows from the 1950’s and 1960’s.  For some of us, it’s Leave to Beaver, The Donna Reed Show, Gunsmoke or others.  For me it will always be The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. David’s passing leaves me feeling a bit sad, but also nostalgic about how deeply the Nelson family sitcom is woven into my consciousness.

I first started watching Ozzie and Harriet (O&H) in the 1980’s, when the Disney Channel began airing episodes.  At that time, the Disney Channel was a great place to catch classic films and TV series from the 1950’s – things like Swamp Fox, Davy Crockett, The Mickey Mouse Club, and old animated short films.  Its so sad the folks at the Disney Channel have forgotten their roots.  Anyway, I taped dozens of episodes of O&H and still have them.

O&H was not a top-ten TV show.  The Nelsons didn’t have the showbiz feel of Lucille Ball or Milton Berle.  Even the Cleavers had a polished, Hollywood air, but the O&H show had an oldtimey, family feel.  In fact, it felt more like radio on TV.  That may not sound like a compliment, but it is.  The dialogue carried the show.  It had a few sight gags, but they were secondary to the straight-man and joke-man act of David and Ricky – great lines like these:

Ricky:  …have you seen my muscles lately?

David:  Whats the matter, can’t you find ’em either?

The sitcom was a showcase for Ricky’s musical talents, of course, skyrocketing him to rock and roll greatness in short order.  O&H have been credited for creating the first “music videos” 30 years before MTV.

I spent so much time with the Nelsons, I am confident I use lines from the show almost weekly (as well as comedic lines from Jack Benny, Abbot and Costello and others located in my vast store of useless knowledge).  By the way, I just realized “my vast store of useless knowledge” is a line from an episode of O&H delivered by Thorny (Don DeFore).

The most recent outbreak of my O&H obsession came in the form of my own version of an oldtime radio show…Hey, Dad.  You can listen to my own family carrying on the tradition of the Nelsons at the link above or here.  I hope to provide a new episode every now and then.

It’s a sad week for America, losing the last of the Nelsons.  I hope their brand of optimistic, ideal family living and simple, dialogue-driven comedy is never completely lost from our collective consciousness.  It won’t be from mine.

In tribute to David and his family, I’ll just say what Ozzie used to say at the end of the final Hotpoint or Eastman Kodak commercial.  “Goodnight, folks.”

Retro Disneyland Find

January 5, 2011

I was in a local antique store a couple weeks ago and ran across a bunch of old postcards from the 50’s.  Well, being me, I couldn’t pass these up without browsing through all of them…when lo and behold, I struck pay dirt.

My original Disneyland postcard booklet is in excellent condition.  The pictures on the inside flaps are clean and vivid.  This booklet sold for 15 cents at Disneyland.  The date is definitely pre-1971, when the Indian Village met its demise (reportedly after a labor dispute with the real native Americans Disneyland had contracted to work this area).  I haven’t been able to nail down a certain date, but I found another similar 15-cent postcard set online on which someone had written “1960”.  I know the Mine Train was upgraded to include Rainbow Caverns and the geysers in 1960 (both depicted here), so the booklet was obviously produced in 1960 or later.

I think my favorites are several images from the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland attraction, which I remember well from my boyhood days – especially the waterfall at Rainbow Caverns, the spouting geysers and the bears in the water beneath the bridge.  It was a great attraction and is a favorite of Disneyland old-timers.

This train ride eventually closed in 1977 and was converted to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  I can vividly remember the commercial for Big Thunder Mountain from its debut in 1979.  Here it is:

Enjoy these images of this great antique store find.  And check out that awesome hand-drawn painted desert scene with the obligatory 3-armed saguaro cactus.  So cool!

Thanks for a Great 2010!

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 25 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 44 posts. There were 22 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 5mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was February 10th with 34 views. The most popular post that day was Call Me “Googie” .

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were helpthomas.com, facebook.com, itaunewsinfo.com, tryje.info, and ohamerica.us.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for dale hawkins, tangled wires, davy crockett, jackie wilson reet petite, and it’s the great pumpkin charlie brown.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Call Me “Googie” August 2009


2

$3 of Retro Heaven August 2009
3 comments

 

3

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown October 2009


4

Thomas Yearsley August 2010


5

The Real “Moonwalkers” July 2009

Hey Dad! Episode #2

December 22, 2010

Enjoy this second episode of Hey Dad! entitled “O Christmas Tree”.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Hey, Dad! Episode #1

December 15, 2010

I guess I needed something else to whittle away my time.  I produced a little “radio show” with my 4 kids last weekend.  We had so much fun doing it I’m now writing a new script to do another 10-minute short comedy-adventure with the whole family on board.

I don’t know how many of these we’ll do, but I’ll be optimistic and say there will be several more in the near future.

Check it out by clicking here…

Silver Bells

December 10, 2010

Here’s another gem from Bob Hope. The Lemon Drop Kid is one of my favorite Christmas movies. A lot of folks don’t know the song Silver Bells first appeared in this film. Here is a clip from the movie with the great William Frawley (aka Fred Mertz from I Love Lucy), Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell singing Silver Bells

Bob Hope Christmas Seals Message

December 9, 2010

I miss Bob Hope. He was always a Christmas staple. Here’s a little gem from the 40’s with Bob touting Christmas Seals.

Day of Infamy

December 8, 2010

It happened twenty-nine years before I was born, but it’s burned into my consciousness.   My visit to Pearl Harbor in 1988 was one of the highlights of my life.  December 7, 1941 is an incredible story of tragedy and triumph.

The malaise of the American military leading up to December 7 (even up to the very hour of the attack) is astounding – the ignored political warning signs, the blunders in our analysis of intelligence, even discounted radar readings of the approaching armada of Japanese Zeros.

The fortuitous (or providential) is also astounding.  Take, for example the absence of our air craft carriers at the hour of the attack.   All of them were spared while out on maneuvers and later made the Doolittle Raid possible as well as the great battle of Midway.  Consider also that the Japanese failed to damage the U.S. navy yard or the 190 million gallons of stored fuel oil – both of which enabled the US to make repairs and continue naval operations at Hawaii and avoid total domination of the Pacific by the Japanese.

The terror experienced by the sailors stationed of Pearl Harbor is unfathomable.

Imagine the crew of the USS Oklahoma, which capsized (see 4th  photo below) rushing from room to room following the ever-decreasing number of air-pockets as they waited for rescue crews to cut through the bottom of the hull to release them.  Survivors from the Oklahoma say at one point they had only 6-inches of air left above their heads to breathe and could hear the voices of rescuers standing above them.

Other survivors recall seeing men swimming up from below the surface only to have their faces literally melt off as they emerged into the oil burning on the surface of the water.

It was a major turning point in military history, as the day of the great battleships came to an end and the day of the aircraft carrier arrived.   It was a turning point in American history, as the people of the U.S. rallied together like never before and firmly established the U.S. as a military and industrial superpower.  It changed world history, as the balance of world power changed in radical ways through the decades to follow.

I’ll never forget it and neither should any American.  Here are few images in honor of the day and the generation of people who experienced it.