Friday, September 28, 2007

Postage Stamp of the Week: Space Aliens

Wake the kids and call the neighbors -- it's time again for Postage Stamp of the Week™!

Here's a Paraguayan stamp from 1978, depicting life on another planet.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ultimate Giraffe Smackdown!

Find out why we call them animals:

Friday, September 21, 2007

Postage Stamp of the Week: George Vancouver

I've been thinking a lot about Canada lately, Vancouver in particular. Eliza and I visit a couple times each year; most recently, we took a fun trip with her parents a few weeks back.

I love Vancouver for, among other things, its urban/natural beauty, its diversity, its food, and most importantly, its proximity to Seattle (about a three-hour drive, depending on the wait at the border). Though Vancouver is in the same so-called bioregion as my Seattle home, it is indeed part of a foreign land, which feels like a parallel-universe US. And though the Canuck metropolis is a manageable, non-overwhelming size, there's always lots of cool new stuff to discover.

Two of my favorite Canadian books are Mondo Canuck, an exploration of Canada's underrated pop-culture landscape, and City of Glass, Douglas Coupland's love letter to his hometown of Vancouver. Since my last visit I've also read Coupland's Souvenir of Canada, and have just begun Souvenir of Canada 2 (and hey, there's even a spinoff documentary, which I'll hafta see). In all three of his books, I dig Coupland's personal, anecdotal, engaging take on his country's history, culture, eccentricities and whatnot. Nice.

Anyway, here's a Canadian stamp released over the summer, commemorating the 250th birthday of Vancouver's namesake, who in 1792 became the first European to visit the area.

Perky "Canada" has own government, laws. Blame Canada.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Steve's Autographs #3: O.J. Simpson

The Juice is in trouble again, which is reason enough to share this macabre bit of memorabilia. As a kid I used to send out lots of fan mail, hoping to get an autographed something-or-other in return. O.J. was my favorite athlete at the time, and I was thrilled that he responded with this signed postcard, postmarked April 11, 1977. On the back is an impersonal form letter: "Dear Football Fan," blah blah blah. Then, after retiring from professional football, he killed people.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Postage Stamp of the Week: Love

Last weekend in Vancouver I spotted a sculpture just like the one in Philadelphia's LOVE Park, except it was painted blue and green, the colors of the Vancouver Canucks.

Robert Indiana's famous design first appeared on a greeting card in 1964 and then on this stamp in '73 before turning into the Philly sculpture in '76. A few years back while traveling through town I visited LOVE Park, where the Phillie Phanatic mock-stole my suitcase. He made up for it by posing for this photo.

The sculpture has apparently been franchised to other cities around the world, including Vancouver. There it sits on Georgia Street, just blocks from Stanley Park, site of this bitchin' Elvis Costello video.

What so funny 'bout peace, LOVE, and understanding?

Postage Stamp of the Week Update™: Mariah Carey recently unveiled a previous PSOTW, the one commemorating jury duty.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Postage Stamp of the Week: Professional Baseball

Postage Stamp of the Week™ has returned from its unintentional summer vacation, here with this super-cool 1969 stamp commemorating a century since the founding of the Cincinnati Reds, baseball's first pro team. Go nuts.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Big Foot Fireworks

The latest addition to my Bigfoot Is Real page is Big Foot Fireworks. No, not these guys, but a closed-for-the-season fireworks stand Eliza and I spotted last weekend while driving through the Muckleshoot Reservation. We're going back next July.

Happy 78th, Bob!

Bob Newhart hits the big seven-eight today.

I'll never forget the time I met Bob Newhart.

Labels: , ,

Monday, September 03, 2007

Drive-In Sunday

Tonight Eliza and I visited the Valley 6 for my second-ever drive-in screening, and Eliza's first. The last time I went was nearly 25 years ago, at the same venue, where I got my sister and her boyfriend to take me a Zapped!/Screw Balls twin bill. Both films were about horny teenagers trying to get laid; coincidentally, so was tonight's feature, Superbad. Here's a picture I snapped of the marquee just before sunset.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Football Helmets Galore!

I recently found this thing I made as a kid while going through a box of old stuff. I figure I drew it sometime between 1981 (when the Bengals adopted the ugly tiger stripe helmet) and 1983 (before the Bills switched from white helmets to red ones). So, I'd be between 12 and 14. It's no accident that the Seahawks own the most prominent spot.

It may have been drawn in 1982, when the Oakland Raiders moved to Los Angeles, but before 1995, when the Raiders moved back to Oakland, the same year the Los Angles Rams relocated to St. Louis. (It seems insane that LA, an enormous global powerhouse with some 17 million people in the metro area, hasn't had an NFL team in over a decade.) This was also before the St. Louis Cardinals moved to Arizona, the Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis, and the Houston Oilers moved to Memphis to become the Tennessee Oilers, and then moved to Nashville to become the Tennessee Titans. It was also before the NFL expanded with four additional franchises: the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Carolina Panthers, the Houston Texans and the Cleveland Browns, a different Cleveland Browns than the franchise that moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens... Sheesh. I should draw an updated version. In the meantime, consult this.

Anyway, the NFL regular season officially begins -- that is, "kicks off" -- with Thursday's Saints-Colts game; the Seahawks open at home next Sunday against the Buccaneers.

The 12th Man is Stupid™.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Crossword Report: August '07

I solved a measly 17 puzzles this month... Surely but slowly, right?

Crosswords in Pop Culture:

From this week's Onion, USA Today Crossword Puzzle Grants False Sense of Intelligence:

DES MOINES, IA—Forty-five minutes after sitting down with a cup of coffee and the USA Today crossword, local window fashions salesman Tom Dolan completed the puzzle's last three open squares and was filled with a sense of intellectual accomplishment. Though he admitted to consulting the Internet for the tougher clues, such as "a Kentucky liquor aged in oak barrels," Dolan, 38, credited the successful completion to his amazing ability to follow word-based clues. "The clue said 'Charlie's' blank," Dolan said. "It took a little while, but I realized that it was 'Angels.' That was my Rosemary Stone for unlocking the rest of the puzzle."

From this week's Weekly World News, the trash-tabloid's final Bigfoot, "The World's Biggest Crossword" (so big that the whole puzzle doesn't fit on my scanner). The August 27 issue was the WWN's last. Bigfoot, we hardly knew ye.

Crossword Report: January '07
Crossword Report: February '07
Crossword Report: March '07
Crossword Report: April '07
Crossword Report: May '07
Crossword Report: June '07
Crossword Report: July '07
Total crosswords solved in August 2007: 17
Total crosswords solved in 2007: 439
On pace to solve in 2007: 659