Friday, October 26, 2007

Postage Stamp of the Week: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

This is probably my second-favorite stamp ever of all-time ever, even though I've yet to read the story.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy 48th, "Weird Al"!

"Weird Al" Yankovic hits the big four-eight today.

My favorite "Weird Al" song is "Yoda."

Here's a recent A.V. Club interview with "Weird Al."

Why is "Weird Al" always in quotation marks?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy 34th, Ichiro!

Ichiro hits the big three-four today. That's him with his wife Yumiko and their dog Ikkyu.

Ichiro Fun Facts (Non-Baseball):

Favorite Music: Snoop Dogg

Favorite Movie: Love Actually

Favorite TV Show: Lost

Favorite Food: rice ball

On Seattle: "I like the fact that you can see water everywhere you look. I don't think you can find that kind of scenery anywhere else in the U.S. That's something very special about this city."

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

It Was 40 Years Ago Today: Bigfoot Makes a Movie

In commemoration of today's 40th anniversary of the infamous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film, I proudly present Bigfoot is Real, Part Three: Bigfoot on Film, documenting nearly 60 subsequent appearances of Bigfoot in the movies and on TV.

The feature joins Bigfoot is Real, Part One: In Search of Bigfoot, and Bigfoot is Real, Part Two: A Year in the Life of Bigfoot.

As for the book seen above, read my review here (it's the second one down).

Happy 36th, Snoop!

Tha D-O-double-G hitz tha bigg trey-six to-dizzle, ya see?

Here's his official site.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Postage Stamp of the Week: Frankenstein

This is my third Halloween stamp for October, Boris Karloff as the monster in Frankenstein. Here's what the whole 1997 monster sheet looks like; along with the Phantom of the Opera and Dracula (as seen in the blog entries below), there are also stamps of Lon Chaney as the Wolf Man and Karloff (again) as the Mummy.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Steve's Autographs #4: Reggie Jackson

It was 30 years ago tonight that Reggie Jackson hit three home runs on three consecutive pitches in the series-winning Game Six of the 1977 World Series. Mr. October's feat at the berserk Yankee Stadium was the first truly historic sports moment that I recall seeing on live TV.

Though each homer came off the first pitch Jackson faced from three different Dodger pitchers, none of the pitchers was Don Sutton. Still, that's who I drew in this sketch of Jackson smacking homer number three, 'cause I liked the way Sutton's perm poofed out under his cap. (The arrow points at Rejjy Reggy Reggie, who clearly stepped out of the batter's box on the play.) My dad mailed Jackson the drawing, which I suppose I meant as a gift, but Reggie autographed it and mailed it back.

Here's video of the homers, part of a TV commercial for the subsequent Reggie Bar... Reg-gie! Reg-gie!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Happy Arrival Day, Bananas!

Captain Bananas hits the big zero-one today.

Though we don't know Bananas's actual birth date, it was one year ago today that I brought home both Captain Bananas and Matt Hasselbeck. "Arrival Day" comes from this book, in which these parents hold an annual celebration upon the day the baby they adopted became theirs (because they didn't know the kid's actual birthday).

We had to say goodbye to Matt, but Bananas seems to be thriving. In August he suddenly started turning white, but the guy at the fish store said it's no big deal. You can see his pale patches in the above photo, showing him eating his Arrival Day dinner.

Semi-related note: Captain Bananas's distant cousin Leonard is featured in the Seattle Aquarium's current ad campaign. I like his pirate costume and haunted tank.

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Happy 69th, Evel!

Evel hits the big six-nine today.

As usual, his birthday arrives exactly two weeks before Halloween, a good time to call attention to the myriad Evel costumes of Knievel Style: The Evel Knievel Fashionography. The feature has doubled in size since it debuted last October, now with over 80 unique images. The most recent addition is little Jimmy Pelletier, seen here at age three in his store-bought Evel costume for Halloween '74. He's now a pro skateboarder.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Postage Stamp of the Week: Dracula


Here's another 1997 monster stamp for October, Bela Lugosi as Dracula.

For my 1976 Halloween costume, it was Steve Mandich as Dracula. My godmother sewed me a black cape with a shiny red lining, and I also wore glow-in-the-dark plastic fangs and had fake blood on my face. There was also fake blood on the front of my white button-down shirt, and I remember carrying around one of those plastic jack o' lantern totes while trick-or-treating. Alas, no pix.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Hockey Season Begins!

Actually, it began last Wednesday, but the Canucks's first game was last night, a 3-1 loss to the Sharks. Now, I'm not a big-time hockey fan, but hockey games are always fun to go to, and seeing as how the nearest NHL team to Seattle is in Vancouver, I've adopted the 'Nucks as my favorite team. I've haven't yet been to one of their games, but I've attended two other NHL matches: the Rangers v. Flyers at Madison Square Garden in 1985, and the Capitals v. Canadiens in Washington last winter. I've also been to several Seattle Breakers and Seattle Thunderbirds games, one Everett Silvertips game, and we might go to a Spokane Chiefs game next month.

The above image cracks me up -- it's a mashup of various Canucks logos from over the years, including Johnny Canuck, a sort of Canadian Uncle Sam who served as the team's pre-NHL logo. I'm not sure who deserves credit (I seriously doubt the folks at Pfizer took time from manufacturing Viagra to design it), but I originally found it here.

Game on!

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Postage Stamp of the Week: Phantom of the Opera

Mmm, October. My favorite month.

I love the changing seasons, the falling leaves, the overlap of baseball and football seasons, the back-to-school atmosphere, and especially Halloween -- bats, cats, witches, skeletons, ghosts, and jack o' lanterns everywhere... I also love the classic movie monsters associated with the holiday, like Lon Chaney's silent Phantom of the Opera, seen here on this 1997 stamp... Stay tuned for more cool Halloween stamps throughout the month.

And, BWT, I'm not one of those pretentious twits who write "Hallowe'en." Thank you.

Monday, October 01, 2007

2007: The Year in Ichiro

Ichiro wrapped another killer season yesterday, his seventh Major League campaign, all with the Mariners. He led the Majors with 238 hits (his third-highest career total) and had the Majors's second highest batting average (.351, his second- highest career total). He also racked up a 25-game hitting streak (a Mariner record), won the All-Star Game MVP, and stroked his 1,500th career hit. He also scored 100-plus runs and stole 30-plus bases for the seventh consecutive season, and will likely earn his seventh consecutive Gold Glove award... Damn he's smoove.

Looking ahead to next year, it seems a good bet that he'll tie Wee Willie Keeler's Major League record of eight consecutive 200-hit seasons, and then break it in 2009. And, thanks to the contract extension he signed in July, he'll be a Mariner through 2012!

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Crossword Report: September '07

I did 19 crosswords in September, all from the New York Times, save for one from The Stranger. "Seattle's Only Newspaper" ran Clark Humphrey's X-Word for several years, and then after a few years of nothing, it recently began running puzzles written by other folks. Good to have 'em back.

Crosswords in Pop Culture:

M*A*S*H (January 11, 1977).
"All my life I've never been able to finish a Times crossword puzzle," whines Hawkeye. In the episode "38 Across," the bored surgeon is suddenly thrilled to discover a newspaper crossword, to which everyone in the camp contributes -- Father Mulcahy reads the clues aloud in the OR, and the doctors shout out the answers while performing surgery. However, nobody can come up with the puzzle's final five-letter word ("38 across: Yiddish bedbug"). Radar radios a doctor/crossword whiz on a nearby ship, saying that Hawkeye needs his help "real bad." Soon the worried doctor arrives with his commanding officer, thinking they're needed for a medical emergency. The CO bellows, "You dragged us all they way up here just to get the word vonce?" I'm not sure how "vonce" (vonts, vants, vontz?) is spelled, but "38 across" is clearly a reference to Korea's divisive 38th parallel. A deeper war/crossword metaphor could probably be read somewhere in there too.

Neat Stuff (circa 1980s).
The Junior strip above comes from an old Peter Bagge comic.

Sideways (2005).
In the film's opening sequence, Paul Giamatti quickly establishes his smart-but-flaky, multitasking, sad-sack character: we see him running painfully late while starting out on a road trip, making himself later still by stopping by a coffee shop to pick up the New York Times. He's then seen working the puzzle while speeding down the freeway, inking in his answers against the steering wheel.

The Simpsons (May 20, 2007).
In "24 Minutes," punk kid Dolph loiters outside the Kwik-E-Mart, defacing a newspaper and proudly declaring, "Now this crossword's nothing but swears!"

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
Crossword Report: August '07
Total crosswords solved in September 2007: 19
Total crosswords solved in 2007: 458
On pace to solve in 2007: 688