I killed the damn plants again…

An update on my attempt to grow those skeleton flower plants.

This morning, I thought it would be a good idea to take the plants out of the house and let them get fresh air and water.  I put both pots on the porch sill, and went to the day job.

I came home … and the wind and rain tore the stalks on both plants to shreds.

Damn it.  I failed again.  The plants are ruined. Continue reading “I killed the damn plants again…”

Making the Spirit of Life come alive

Do you remember last Monday’s post, when I went to Congress Park in Saratoga Springs for some photography?  Yeah, I only took one roll of film (dumb me), and spent the next hour afterward watching the ducks and contemplating life.  Not necessarily in that order, mind you…

My goal at the time was to take my four-lensed Nimslo camera and capture some shots on film, then turn those shots into three-dimensional cinemagraphs or stereo cards or something along those lines.  Plus, it’ll be a great way to test if I can show off cinemagraphs in this new blog.

Continue reading “Making the Spirit of Life come alive”

K-Chuck Radio: The Arthur Baker Groove System

If you’ve never heard of Arthur Baker, you’ve missed out on a lot.  In the early 1980’s, the New York City producer was at the top of the club and dance music scene.  He created and operated Streetwise Records, which had a number of Top 10 R&B and dance hits, and he eventually crossed over to mainstream pop and rock.  His beats are instantaneously recognizable … trust me, you’ll know an Arthur Baker beat when you hear it.

And on K-Chuck Radio today, let’s show off a few Arthur Baker dance tracks – including rare 12″ remixes – for your enjoyment.

And let’s start with …

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA AND SOULSONIC FORCE
Planet Rock

This track mixed New York City hip-hop with German minimalist beats – even threw in a lyrical shoutout to Kraftwerk – and became a monster hit in 1982.  It also launched the Tommy Boy label to prominence.

Continue reading “K-Chuck Radio: The Arthur Baker Groove System”

A Delivery from Norman’s Kill Dairy (Part One)

The Capital District’s consumer product advertising history often fascinates me.  So when an eBay auction came up that featured this old milk crate … I couldn’t resist snagging it.

Is that completely waycool?  Yes it is.  That’s an old milk crate from the Normanskill Dairy – okay, back in the day it was called Norman’s Kill Dairy, and it – like many local dairies and creameries in the area – used these porchside milk crates as repositories for milk and dairy deliveries.  If memory serves me correctly, there was a Norman’s Kill Dairy outlet in downtown Albany – I believe its exact location is now part of the Empire State Plaza complex.

I’ve had this crate for a while – and during that time, I tried using it as a convenient endtable, as a storage crate, as something, anything.  But there was something about this little crate that really interested me… not so much as function, but as fashion.

And like my “K-Chuck Cabinet” project last year, where I took a 1930’s radio highboy cabinet and upscaled it into a super-awesome hideaway storage cabinet, I wanted to upscale this milk crate into something artistic.

And thus began my first steps in achieving this lofty goal.

Continue reading “A Delivery from Norman’s Kill Dairy (Part One)”

MST3K and Reptilicus: AAAH WE’VE GOT MOVIE SIGN AGAIN!!!!

Okay, Netflix, here’s one of the reasons I subscribed to you.  Call up the search function.  Spell it out with the remote on my Apple TV … “M… Y… S…” Okay, I’ve got The Mysteries of Laura, and – oh wait, here it is.  Mystery Science Theater 3000, 2017 Edition.  Add this to my “saved” list.

Okay, what’s my first new episode with Crow, Tom Servo and whoever the new guy is …

Holy crap, it’s Reptilicus – the Danish monster movie that was a monster box office flying turkey!

Oh man, I gotta be ready for this … sorry if it sounds like I’m nerding out right now… just deal with it.  This happens for me every time a new Star Wars or Mad Max movie premieres.

First, we get an introduction to the new guy – Jonah, who will wear the yellow jumpsuit of Gizmonic Institute … and an update to the theme song!

Wait … Tom Servo can fly?  Crow has legs and feet?  And Gypsy actually now sounds like a girl?  MIND BLOWN!!

And after a quickie “invention exchange” that pays homage to the old “invention exchanges” first host Joel had with the mad scientists (oh wow, the new Mads are Felicia Day as Dr. Kinga Forrester, and Patton Oswalt as TV’s Son of TV’s Frank – yeah, say that ten times fast), we immediately get movie sign, and after a new stop-motion countdown to the theater, we’re back watching the silhouettes of Crow, Tom Servo and Jonah ranking and riffing on this godawful Danish monster movie.

And after I got over a few modern cultural riff references to jokes about Kickstarter, I just repeated to myself … “It’s just a show, I should really just relax” and enjoyed myself.

I knew Reptilicus was a stinker of a movie – heck, they used to show this on WTEN way back in the 1970’s, I think it was part of a package deal where they showed this film, Don Knotts’ The Reluctant Astronaut and the animated stinker Pinocchio in Outer Space every Saturday afternoon on rotation.  As far as I was concerned, Reptilicus totally deserved the MST3K treatment.  I completely dug the scattershot jokes and snarky comments – it was as if the show had never left, and that as far as I was concerned, I had just missed 18 seasons because my cable company didn’t carry the show’s channel for a while.

But, of course, the true test of MST3K isn’t just the riffing and ranking.  It’s also the moments when the host and the bots step out of the theater and have a comedy bit of their own.  And any concerns I might have had about Jonah as the new host disappeared the moment he performed “Everybody Has A Monster,” a rap track about various monsters from various countries, in a rap style that almost sounded like a Lin-Manuel Miranda leftover Hamilton track.

Oh my Lord this is freakin’ hilarious.  I want to hear it again.  Damn it, iTunes, why can’t I download this song on your service?  Or at least can someone send me a high-quality mp3 of this gem?  😀

All the episodes of the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival are available for streaming on Netflix.  And all I can say is …

I’m going to be kinda – shall we say – preoccupied for the next few days.  I hope you’ll understand.

(flashing light on the control panel)

AAA WE’VE GOT MOVIE SIGN!!!!!

Help Ryan West Win the #RyFight

Nearly eighteen months ago, I learned that my good friend, bar trivia host Ryan West, was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. He was only 31 years old at the time of the diagnosis.

Ryan’s friends rallied around their stricken comrade, and through all of Ryan’s next months of chemotherapy and treatment, they kept his spirits high and helped him every single day of this new journey.

And although the journey has been difficult – as it would be for anyone – there were moments of brightness and joy.   He married his longtime love Clover, they traveled to far-off and amazing locales, and he received several personal tributes and cheers from a growing rooting section of friends, trivia associates, Ultimate Disc aficionados, and the like.

The journey’s not over.  Every single day that Ryan adds to his timeline and to his lifeline is another day when cancer gets beaten back.  Every day that Ryan lives is another day that cancer loses.

But we know cancer doesn’t completely go away.  And these last few months, according to his blog, have been brutal.  On April 4, his wife Clover posted on Ryan’s blog that his cancer is still growing, and new medications must be taken.

Son of a bitch.  The cancer is fighting back. Continue reading “Help Ryan West Win the #RyFight”