Friday, May 27, 2011

It's Time for ORSON'Z RANTZ, Fellow Cats'n'Kitties!

(This is not The Silver Fox speaking here!)

Did you see this blog's last so-called post? You know, the one with the photo of the wimpy-looking kitty-cat? Gimme a freakin' break, willya? If I ever have to look at anythin' that "cute" again, I'm gonna toss my Friskies! There's only ONE cat that deserves to star in this show!

So, here I am! Orson, the One and Only! Orson, the Great and Powerful! Orson, the Fuzzy and the Feisty! Orson, the Bold and the Beautiful! Orson...

Oh, you get what I'm drivin' at, huh?

Well, if you can't appreciate long-windedness, what the heck are you doin' readin' this blog???

That whiny hairless ape who calls hisself The Silver Fox -- but he ain't no fox in any meanin' of the word, believe me -- turned the blog over to me yet again, cuz he's too lazy to write it, or sumthin'. 

Yeah. Or sumthin'...

And he left it to me to come up with sumthin' to write about. I could write about my absolute favorite subject -- ME -- or my second favorite subject -- FOOD -- but The Silver Flop wanted me to write sumthin' of more general interest.

Well, since he's been going whacko-political lately, how 'bout if I talk 'bout the comin' revolution? No, don't worry, I ain't talkin' 'bout nothin' you humans got brewin'! I could care less about stuff like that! [The Silver Fox sez: "That's 'I couldn't care less,' furball!" Orson sez: "Aaaah, shaddap!"] 

Nope, I'm talkin' 'bout the day when us animals rise as one and take over!

Any of you human types bother to read The Silver Flub's rant about "companion animals" a while back? Show of hands, here! Huh. Looks like his readership is made up of multiple amputees! [The Silver Fox sez: "Orson, that was in really bad taste.Orson sez: "Ohhh, riiiiight. And that's comin' from the guy who wrote that oh-so-tasteful Captain Kirk post the other day."}

Y'see, the way I figger it, the only problem with the whole thought about labelin' cats and lesser species of animals -- "lesser" meanin' all of the others, of course -- as "companions" instead of "pets" is that those hairless apes ain't takin' it far enough! Cuz I hate to break it to youse humans, but we ain't your equals, we're your freakin' superiors! And it's 'bout time that you all realized that and really started kissin' our furry butts -- figuratively speakin' -- even more than ya do now!

Which means, among other things, that The Silver Fart is gonna hafta start sharin' his pork chops and steaks with me. I'm gettin' sick of his condescendin' "allowance" of real food only whenever he buys a rotisserie-cooked chicken! 

Yep, even as you read this, my feline brethren & sistren -- that's "tomcats" and "pussycats" to those of us in the know -- plus the "lesser species" I mentioned earlier, are undergoin' military trainin' in secret!

And we're smart enough to be outfittin' ourselves with protective armor, of course.

I mean, what do ya think we do when ya let us out of the house? (Besides fertilizin' the landscape, that is.) Not much to do, especially when you so-called "owners" have us neutered, like The Silver Flem-Head did to me! [The Silver Fox sez: "That's 'phlegm-head.' And... Stop insulting me!" Orson sez: "Butt out, willya? This is my post! And just be glad I ain't substituted the obvious four-letter choice for 'fox," you big cry-baby!"}

Where wuz I? Oh, yeah...

Yep, we're recruitin' 'em young, just outta litter-box trainin'... and we call 'em The Kittler Youth!

And some of us older types are even more gung-ho than others!

We're even convertin' some celebrities to our cause!

And 'though we know we'll suffer heavy casualties, and that some of us will be captured and sent to concentration kennels...

You can't stop us, cuz we can get into places you humans think we can't get into!

Maybe you should all just surrender now, before you have to face the unleashed fury of a ninja cat!

That's right, I said "ninja cat!" You think there ain't no such things? Wrong!

Feline legend has it that the ancient Oriental art of Nincatsu was developed by our species in the fifth century A.D., a good hundred years or so before humans ever stole the idea from us! (But don't bother goin' to look for it in Wikipedia, cuz none of you stuck-up humans even admit it exists... which is all the better for us, of course!)

Oh, and FYI, Siamese cats introduced the art of Nincatsu to the western world in the 19th century.

And now? Heh. Now, we're trainin' en masse, and by the time you hapless homo sapiens know what's comin'... we'll be in control, like we were always meant to be!

[The Silver Fox sez: "Oh, good grief, Orson! You don't really expect me to let you post this drivel, do you?" Orson sez: "Yeah, I do! Just try and stop me!" The Silver Fox sez: "Try to stop me, you mean! When you say 'try and stop me,' you're actually saying..." Orson sez: "SHADDAP!!!"}

Okay, folks, that's it for today, but just so ya know, I ain't done yet! I'll be writin' the next post on The Lair of the Silver Fox Black Cat, too, but it'll be a much calmer post, tentatively entitled "A Day in the Life!"

I'm lookin' forward to yer comments on this one, by the way... But don't bother writin' 'em yerselves! I'd much rather hear from yer cats, dogs, rabbits, gerbils (You listenin', Richard Gere?), parakeets, boa constrictors... Ya get the picture? That oughtta be easy for those Alan Burnett and Pat Hatt dudes, not to mention that cute li'l Betsy chick, with their menageries, huh?) If so... Get to work!

And thanks for yer... uhhh... food? Like I said, pork chops and steaks...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Okay, I'll Admit It...

To those of you fellow babies who saw the "cutesie-wootsie wittle fluffy-wuffy kitty-cat" -- *gag* -- and wondered if you'd stumbled onto someone else's blog... I merely wanted a visual "hook" for today's post, kinda. That's all! I'm not going all "goo-goo" on you! Read on, please, and it'll make sense in short order.

I know, I know... Most of my entries here lately have been inconsequential "fluff" pieces. But I've been busy with a number of different distractions, and inordinately tired... not to mention, I haven't been in the best of moods, or health. But you'd have no real way of knowing that, since I rarely use this blog to tell you anything really personal about myself...

Or hadn't you noticed? Heh.

Anyway, what would you prefer I post? Fluff pieces, or yet another place-filling "mushroom" post while I sort out my personal crap?

Just askin'.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

David'Z RantZ ~~ "...and I'll Say It Again!"

The only "print" newspapers I buy are local newspapers. I get most of my information from a few varied publications which email their headlines to me, while giving me access to their online home pages. Just sayin'.

Anyway, here's a recycled bit -- slightly edited -- from an earlier post about something that still bugs me:

It's becoming annoying that almost every time I read a "newspaper" article (or something similar) online, I get to a really interesting part and find that the article is interrupted by one or more links to what we'll call "pages" for lack of a better term, as well as (usually) a link saying something to the effect of "view all on one page."

Thanks for wasting my time.

Of course I want to view it all on one page. If I wanted to turn pages, as opposed to just scrolling down, I'd be reading a book or a magazine.

Why do they do this? I assume it has something to do with the ubiquitous advertisements in the sidebar. I dunno. (And if you know, clue me in, willya?)

The least they could do is put the link for "view all on one page" at the top of the very first page, as a warning of sorts.

Thanks for your time.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Greatest. Invention. Ever. ~~ Updated!

Okay, I changed my mind. Sue me. This isn't the greatest invention ever. Not any more, anyway. (But it's still the second greatest invention ever. Just sayin'.)

This is the greatest invention ever (pictured above). You'd understand if you'd spent as much time as I have trying to transfer videos, documents, photos, and other important crap stuff from my old, whale-oil-powered computer (with its Windows 1943 operating system!) to my newer computer, with its operating system of Ubuntu... errr... Something-or-Other. (Hey, I may not be computer-illiterate, but I never claimed to be computer-fluent.)

I was able to pick up one of these "flashy babies," dirt cheap, at Kmart! Yes, Kmart. And say what you will about Kmart, I've been more than satisfied with my cheap, li'l ole flash drive!

Oh, by the way (and I'm quoting from an ancient David'Z RantZ post which I'm too lazy to bother linking to): Just to be a smartass, I constantly pronounce "Kmart" as "k'mart" (like "come on" and "come here" are often abbreviated as "c'mon" and "c'mere."). And when those too dim to realize that I'm making a small joke correct me, I defensively reply, "Well, you pronounce S-M-A-R-T as 'smart,' don't you? You don't say, 'ess-mart!"

Update to the Update, sorta: My friend Roy, author of the highly-recommended blog, Roy's World, left the following comment: "Um, David... Flash drives have been out for years, and even places like Rite Aid and CVS carry them in their school and office supply sections. You're only just now discovering them?"

My reply: Well, yes and no. I've actually had mine for a few months now -- I was transferring some more stuff yesterday and decided to write the post then -- but yeah, for me, it was a relatively recent bit of information from my friend John! Besides, I never said it was the greatest new invention ever, haha! And you wouldn't believe what I had to do in "the old days" to transfer stuff from one PC to the other! If I'd told y'all that, it would have doubled the length of my post! I should also point out that I did indeed check them out at Rite Aid and CVS, as you mentioned -- before visiting Kmart -- and theirs were much more expensive!

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Looking for a Memory

Searching for stuff on the internet can be a lot of fun, or it can be a pain in the butt. It helps if you not only know where to search, but how to search.

Sometime back in the late 1980s -- February 4th, 1988, to be exact -- I watched a musical performance on the sixth anniversary prime-time TV special for NBC's Late Night with David Letterman. This number, a medley of sorts with the Arthur Conley song "Sweet Soul Music" as a framing piece, featured Cyndi Lauper and Ben E. King as vocalists, along with several "name" accompanists (Billy Joel, Duane Eddy, Warren Zevon, Joe Walsh, Clarence Clemons, Tom Scott, and others!). I remember being blown away by Ms. Lauper's performance in particular.

Of course, I had no real hope at the time the program aired that it would ever be released on videotape, and the internet itself wasn't a reality for us common folk. As the years went by, and things changed, I tried to find this program!

So, yes, I've searched for this performance on YouTube before, using various terms in combo like "Late Night," "David Letterman," "Cyndi Lauper," etc., but it wasn't until today that I found it, by searching for "Cyndi Lauper" and "Sweet Soul Music" only.

There's an incredibly long intro, so if you only want to see "Sweet Soul Music" performed, zoom ahead to 4:17!

Well... I hope you enjoyed it. Frankly, I was a bit disappointed! It wasn't quite as good as I'd remembered it. Maybe it was all these years of anticipation that built it up in my mind. Or maybe the effect was hurt by watching it on a cramped little YouTube screen at a low volume.

But it was still nice to find it, and I don't feel guilty using it as a little Foxyblog filler today, while I attend to other things.

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

When the World Is Your Oyster...

The great thing about having your own blog is that you can pretty much post any darned thing that you want. On The Lair of the Silver Fox (I'd link to it, but... you're already there!) that can mean anything from personal anecdotes, to "serious" fiction, to pop-cultural spotlights, to... well, you name it. 

Like, right now, for instance, I'm currently drafting an analysis of why Star Trek's Captain James T. Kirk was such a hit with the ladies.

I'll let you know if I... errr... come up with anything.

(For similarly sophomoric observations, click here and/or here, fellow babies.)

Thanks for your time.

David'Z RantZ ~~ An Open Letter... (STILL Not the One You've Been Waiting For!)

To Everyone in the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Federal Government (and I'm only excluding the Judicial Branch because they're appointed for life):

You became senators, congressmen, or whatever because of your fervent desire to help the American people, right? I mean, it's not about the money, right? Hell, most of you are already millionaires, or well on your way to becoming such, anyway, right? [Don't believe that? Click here and scroll down to "Capital Gain," fellow babies!]

Okay, how about if you humble public servants collect minimum wage while you're in office?

Oh, don't worry, I don't suggest for a minute that you actually have to subsist on that amount, as some have suggested. That would be cruel and unusual punishment! At the very least, you might begin to better understand the so-called "common man," and we can't have that, can we? No, you can rely on all the money you already have, and whatever you earn from investments and interest, etc. So you won't starve.

But you can only collect the pay for your job which any minimum wage worker would for working a forty-hour week. In fact, I'm not even talking about paying you a weekly salary. If you put in more than forty hours of actual work, you should get paid overtime. It's only fair. (And speaking of "fair," no fair voting yourself raises the way you like to do, you wacky little scamps! Nope, that would be defeating the purpose, after all.)

Having said that, if you don't put in a full forty hours at the office and in congress, you shouldn't get paid for the full week. But I digress.

Just think of how much money would be available for other government programs! You know, silly little things like education, care for the elderly, and all those other things you're trying to cut.

And no, I'm not trying to claim that this "minimum wage for politicians" thing is an original idea of mine. Hell, if it were, the "button" I've reproduced above wouldn't even exist yet. I'm just adding my voice to that of the crowd.

That's right, "the crowd." You remember. The "crowd" you all used to at least pretend to care about?

Thanks for your time.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Before I Sell It..." (#1 in a Probable Series!)

As some of you know, I'm trying to slowly-but-surely unload most of the contents of my apartment. I have multiple collections of stuff I like, more CDs than I'll ever have a chance to listen to, more VHS tapes and DVDs than I'll ever have a chance to watch, more books, magazines, and comics than I'll ever get a chance to read... You get the picture. Add to that several boxes of paperwork, several boxes of what I used to call "junk" but now call "3-D items" (basically, anything that's not paper, like bottles, toys, ashtrays, knick-knacks, etc.), and other things that I've accumulated in 50+ years on this mudball, and you have a potential nightmare for whomever gets stuck disposing of my "worldly effects" if I die tomorrow.

Anyway, as I go through all my crap, I find things I almost forgot I had. Like this little gem:

Yep, it's a clipping from a Canadian newspaper, advertising the Lusitania. Not sure of the exact date, but it's a nice piece of history, innit?

Wonder how much I can get for it...

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

In All Fairness...

Yesterday, and the day before, Blogger went through some horrendous sort of glitch. Blogs suddenly became available in a "read-only" format. We Blogger-bloggers -- a term I use to specify those whose blogs are actually on -- couldn't draft new posts. We couldn't leave comments on our blogs, or those of others. Our "dashboards" were unavailable. And so on.

The result, not only until things were fixed, but after (once we Blogger-bloggers realized that some recent posts, comments, and sidebar changes had been wiped out)? Panic! Mayhem! Confusion! Anger! Pandemonium! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

Okay, okay, that last sentence was from Ghostbusters. But it applies... well, sorta. Hell, if you're really drunk and squint your eyes almost completely shut, the Blogger logo (shown above) kinda looks like the Ghostbusters logo (shown below), dunnit?
No? Oh, well...

Anyway, I've been reading various posts, and comments left on various posts... and the current feeling among Blogger-bloggers seems to be a mixture of fury, dismay, and indignation. Some have talked about "defecting" to other blog hosts, which is their right. And since I'm so well-known for my David'Z RantZ, you're probably expecting me to take a lengthy moment to tear the poor suckers at Blogger a new one, as well.

But if so, you're wrong.

Speaking strictly for myself, during the last three-years-plus that I've been a Blogger-blogger, I've had the opportunity to air my opinions, showcase my so-called "serious" writings, bitch about whatever I deem as an "injustice" (whether serious or tongue-in-cheek), write down snippets of family history, "hone my craft," pay tribute to various departed celebrities, inform readers about various topics, indulge in literary exercises, share music I love with my readers, post public birthday wishes to online and offline pals, participate in the odd phenomenon known as the "internet event," wax nostalgic about my pretty-much-wonderful freakin' childhood, offer admittedly-rare glimpses at the "real" me, and generally (hopefully?) amuse and entertain. And I know I'm leaving out further examples of what this blog has given me....

...including the fact that I've also formed several real friendships -- and that's coming from someone who doesn't use the word "friend" lightly --  which is something that a cynical s.o.b. like myself never dreamed would happen online.

And let me repeat, that's not what I've attained through the internet. That's only a list of some of the things that I've accomplished via Blogger.

And ya wanna know sumthin', fellow babies? It ain't cost me diddly-squat!

"Never look a gift horse in the mouth." Three years' (for me, that is) worth of a free service, and I have one day where things are totally effed-up and frustrating?

Hell, I can live with that.

Can't you?

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Who Knows What eBay Lurks in the Hearts of Men?"

Okay, fellow babies, here is (probably) the last post I'll be doing related to my dealings on eBay circa 2003-2004. But it's not an old listing of mine. Instead, it's comprised of someone else's eBay auction listing, which I forwarded to a friend only after having added my own comments!

A very quick explanation here... although someday I may do a lengthy piece on this subject. (You've been warned.). I am a very big fan of the various incarnations of The Shadow, a character who had a long run in the pulp magazines of the 1930s & 1940s, and an equally long life as a program during the Golden Days of Radio. In the years since then, he's branched out to comic books, motion picture serials & feature films, comic strips, paperback novels, and -- IIRC -- an ill-fated TV show pilot in the late 1950s!

Yeah. Someday I may do a lengthy piece about The Shadow. Hm.

So anyway, here's the unedited text of the original auction -- which, I stress, was not written by yours truly -- but with my own smartass comments added in green text here and there! And keep in mind this was actually emailed to a friend of mine, so its tone may be a bit more conversational than you might expect.

*  *  *  *  *

I don't have the photo (if there was one) from
the original auction listing, but this is the issue of
The Shadow which the seller had up for sale!

Up for auction I have one pulp fiction Shadow. It is The Keeper's Gold. It is dated October 15, 1937. This is one of numerous pulp fiction books I found that belonged to my grandfather. The condition is ok (I know nothing about this stuff). When I say ok, I mean that the pages are all there, you can read them all, the cover and binding are in tact. (Hmm. I've spoken with tact, but in tact? Whuzzat? Or maybe he meant that the cover & binding are in a tact -- whatever "a tact" might be -- rather than a plastic bag or something similar for protection?) THe cover was in better condition until I accidently ripped it today. (I don't think I would have admitted to having done that. Maybe he should have put it into a plastic bag, instead of in a tact.) It is not ripped in two, but the rip does go about 1/2 way across the bottom half of the cover. Go figure, I will be more careful with the others I list. (I hope so, for his sake. That little rip will cost him approximately $20-40!) Anyway, you could sit back relax and read this without any fear of pages falling out or ripping or anything like that happening. (That's comforting... I wonder if you're protected against tornadoes, floods, and famine, too?) I was stored in an outdoor building (He was? Or do you think he meant "It was stored..."?) so the frays on the corners could be mouse bites. I hate to imagine since mice scare me beyond belief. (Okay, maybe this is a woman...  hope so!)
I took photos of what I thought would be of interest to the buyer, but if you need any additional photos or information drop me and email (I don't know if I'd have the nerve to e-mail him/her after dropping him/her, unless it was to apologize. Seriously, lately I have noticed a lot of people using "and" when they mean "an." And spell-checkers naturally don't catch that error.) and I will be more than happy to provide you with any additional information you may need. I am a novice in this area so I may be way off in what is deemed important in this area. I took the basics, cover, back cover, spine, pages and for this one, the inside front cover so you can see the rip, it is displayed better when looking from behind. (Yeah, I had a girlfriend like that... ) It is hard to detect when the magazine is laying down flat. (Yeah, I had a girlfr... wow, deja vu, man!) 
* * * * *

No further comments necessary!

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Ghost with the Most! (Yet Another Woeful Tale from eBay)

I guess you'd have to call today's post "part three in a two-part series," or something. It's an afterthought to my last two eBay-related posts.

A few years ago, at about the same time that my eBay ads were occasionally becoming goofy, a true eBay phenomenon occurred. Briefly: A guy with the user name Teajay101 -- Tommy Johnson, as it turned out -- put up a jar for auction, a jar which (he very seriously proclaimed) contained a ghost! In no time, his detailed listing had received thousands of hits. The final bid was for fifty thousand, nine hundred and twenty-two dollars. The winning bidder stiffed Mr. Johnson, however.

Reaction by eBayers was almost immediate. Countless other dealers put up their own spoof versions of the ad. Some were jokes. Some were actual items offered for sale. The folks at eBay were not amused, and they pulled almost all of the ads, legitimate or otherwise. (The original ad by Teajay101 was deemed okay, though.)

(If you're interested in a little more detail, go here. There's even a book about the whole thing!)

Anyway, I was "there" when it happened, and not to be outdone, I too put up an ad. Two of 'em, in fact.

The first -- a short one which I didn't bother to save -- was called "GHOST in a BAR," and as best I can recall, went something like this:

This ghost walks into a bar, and the bartender says, "Hey, pal, why the long face?" Get it? Oh, wait, silly me! That was supposed to be "This HORSE walks into a bar..." Makes more sense NOW, huh? Sorry.

As you may expect, eBay yanked that one immediately... not that I cared.

Then I decided to offer something that would still be a joke, but would also be a real item to sell. I entitled it "GHOST IN A JAR... I mean, in a Packet!!!"

And here 'tis...

*  *  *  *  *

Yes, this is a real auction!
Okay, did you ever hear that old saying, "Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you?" Well, the other night, I was doing an eBay search for "Space Ghost" items, and I found -- You guessed it! -- the now-infamous Ghost in a Jar listing.
Curious? Of course. I read the description with more than casual interest, but at that time -- at that time, I stress -- I didn't expect it to impact my life. And I might have lived on, unsuspecting, if I hadn't gone back to that search. That's when I discovered that there were now several listings for ghosts in jars, bottles, and other containers!
If these ghosts were indeed so prolific, could there be one -- or more  -- in my apartment?
It took hours, but I tore my apartment apart, looking for ghosts in every covered container. I looked in jars and bottles. I checked the refrigerator; I checked my DVD and videotape cases; I looked in my lunchbox from the 1994 film, The Shadow; I looked in my vintage glass Alka-Seltzer bottle; I even lifted the lid of the head of my Robot Commando.
I was tired, and frustrated, but I knew there had to be at least one ghost in my apartment. There were, by now, dozens on eBay alone! Who knew how many more existed, that were not being auctioned?
Giving voice to that selfsame frustration, I screamed aloud, "Darn you, ghost, where the heck are you?!?" (Actually, "darn" and "heck" weren't the exact words I used... but I digress.)
A tiny voice nearby squeaked out, "Not here!"
I am not easily fooled, trust me! "Not here," indeed! I made my way to a small collection of sealed objects. Specifically, seven packets of Equal sweetener, a well-known sugar substitute. Sealed packets.... Hmm.
I examined them all carefully. All seven appeared to contain powdered sweetener, but I knew that only six held Equal, and one held ectoplasmic residue! I'm about 99% sure I've identified the right one...
And that's the one I've scanned and put up for auction. Why, you may wonder, do I want to get rid of a ghost which wasn't even bothering me in the first place? Well, I've always been one of those people who goes out of his way to avoid looking "fannish" -- I refused to see "Jaws" and "Star Wars" in the theatres when they were initially released, for example -- and since it's obvious that almost everyone else has his or her own "Ghost in a Jar" (or "in a Whatever"), I don't want one.
By the way, as stated above, I'm only 99% sure the packet I'm selling has the ghost in it, so if you buy it, and open it, and get nothing but artificial sweetener for your trouble... Sorry, no refunds!!!

*  *  *  *  *

Of course, the humorless schlubs at eBay yanked that one, too. *sigh*

My next post will be the fourth and (probably) final entry in this... errr... two-part series.

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My "Fans" on eBay, Part Two

As mentioned in my last post, I haven't put anything up for sale on eBay for at least a couple of years. Having said that... There was a time when I had a lot of fun with it. Most of my item descriptions were pretty straightforward, but once in a while, especially around 2003 (for no particular reason), I got a little loopy... and something along the lines of what you generally find here on my blog ensued!

The item description reprinted in my previous post received what I can only refer to as "fan letters." So did this, the second one... but I unfortunately don't have any of those emails to share with you. 

So I'll say this now: Thanks for your time!

*  *  *  *  *

1950s HARTZ MOUNTAIN Pet Catalog MUST SEE!!!!

Now, here's an interesting little item. It's called Hartz Mountain® Pet Care, and as the title not-so-subtly implies, it's a pet care booklet...
No, it's a product catalog...
No, it's a pet care booklet!
No, it's a product catalog!
It's a candy mint! It's a breath mint!
It's a floor wax! It's a dessert topping!
Actually, it is a Hartz Mountain® product catalog, disguised as a pet care booklet. It purports to tell you "What you should know about canaries, parakeets, dogs, cats, goldfish, tropical fish, turtles..." and then serves as a 32-page (from front cover to back cover), profusely-illustrated shill for (I assume) every contemporary product in the then-mostly-bird-related Hartz Mountain® line! In other words, "what you should know" about your pet is that without Hartz Mountain® products being an omnipresent influence in its life, your silly ol' pet will soon be -- or is better off -- dead!

In addition to food, toys, living quarters, etc., almost any ailment and preventive treatment (and a grooming product or two or three or four... which border on cosmetic surgery!) is effectively handled by our friends at Hartz Mountain® as well. This little (4 3/4" X 6 3/4") book is just too good to believe. And, as you can see by the scans, it is simply full of nifty illustrations (and of course, 100% of them are actual Hartz Mountain® products!)

Speaking of the scans: The booklet is in fairly nice shape for something approximately 50 years old (I received it in a collection of pet books ranging from 1954-1957, so even 'though it's not dated, I'm assuming this catalog is about the same age). The only really noticeable flaw is that, on the front cover, someone traced the inside of the "a" in "Hartz"® in pencil (see first scan, if you have really good eyes). There are no full-color illustrations, but as you can see (once again) by the scans, the entire book is done up in black & white, and Hartz Mountain's® bet-they-woulda-trademarked-it-if-they-coulda orange!
But wait, there's more!
Do you want to teach your parakeet to talk, but don't have the time to do it yourself? The wonderful folks at Hartz Mountain® will sell you a record (78 rpm or 45 rpm) that'll do it for you! And, on a similar note (pardon the pun), if your canary doesn't sing, Hartz Mountain® has another record to sell you, featuring the Hartz Mountain® Orchestra, and their own canaries, as featured on the then-popular (?) coast-to-coast Hartz Mountain® Radio Programs!
Folks, I'm not making this stuff up!
Disclaimer: "An excellent tonic, if your cat is a bit under the weather -- it's a good idea to give him a Hartz Mountain® Catnip Mouse every once in a while." The preceding quote is from the description for Hartz Mountain® Catnip Mice. However, the seller of this eBay auction in no way endorses the supposedly-therapeutic effects of catnip or other kitty stimulants, and furthermore does not advocate substance abuse among felines, canines, porcupines, Gregory Hines, power lines, clinging vines, land mines, venetian blinds, melon rinds, street signs, or anything else, for that matter!!!
(Sorry, folks, it's after 5 A.M. as I write this, and... well... you know...)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My "Fans" on eBay, Part One (Updated)

Although I haven't put anything up for sale on eBay for at least a couple of years, there was a time when I had a lot of fun with it. Most of my item descriptions were pretty straightforward, but once in a while, especially around 2003 (for no particular reason), I got a little loopy... and something along the lines of what you generally find here on my blog ensued!

Believe it or not, two of my more off-beat listings received what I can only refer to as "fan letters." Here's one of those listings. My next post will feature a second example.

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1930s MOVIE STAR SCRAPBOOK Famous & Obscure

This is an incredible collection! Forty-seven pages of clippings, comprising at least seven years of Hollywood history (1931-1937 inclusive, from all indications)! Someone lovingly glued all this stuff on lined paper, then just-as-lovingly placed them in a 2-ring binder. They even took the time to use glued reinforcement stickers on all the little punch-holes! On both sides of the paper, even! Serious project, this!

There are some incredible full-page shots of Maureen O'Sullivan, Fredric March, Lillian Bond, an overwhelmingly sultry-looking Myrna Loy, Gilbert Roland, Robert Montgomery, Marion Marsh (see scan), Anita Page, an even younger Robert Montgomery, John Barrymore as "Svengali" in, well, "Svengali," Lupe Velez, Nazimova, June MacCloy, Loretta Young & Spencer Tracy in "A Man's Castle," John Boles, Norma Shearer, Marion Marsh, Pola Negri, Miriam Hopkins, and your favorite & mine, Alexander Kirkland (see third scan)! "Alexander Kirkland?" Uhhh, yeah, Alexander Kirkland. I never heard of him before I started going through this scrapbook, but he gets a whole darned page to himself. Who'da thunk it?

Oh, yeah, almost forgot: There's one more full-page photo. It's an absolutely gorgeous shot of Jean Harlow aping "Venus de Milo." (Sorry, I won't scan that one fer ya. Bid, baby, bid!) Ummm... okay... I didn't actually forget it... I was gonna scarf it for myself... Heck, you never would have known! But I didn't... because I'm honest... because I'm fair-minded... because I'm stupid...
[By the way, fellow babies, I'm gonna share something with you that the eBayers never got to see! Here's the scan of the Jean Harlow shot. I sold the scrapbook, but scanned Ms. Harlow -- and bled out the color to "reverse" the aged look of the scrapbook page -- for myself before I did so!]


So, what else? Some pages has... Oops, I mean, some pages have... (Starting to sound like Leo Gorcey, here!) gorgeous two-shots of such luminaries as Garbo, Bebe Daniels, and Vilma Banky. And admit it, you've always wanted to own a scrapbook with an entire page dedicated to Vilma Banky, haven't you? Come on now, 'fess up. Haven't you?

Rounding out the issue are one or more shots of the following (Deep breath, here): Toby Wing, Shirley Temple, Alice Faye, Rochelle Hudson (*sigh*), Billie Dove, Baby LeRoy, Johnnie Weissmuller, Dorothy Mackaill, Joan Blondell, Marion Davies, Leila Hyams, Peggy Shannon, Bette Davis (in a swimsuit, believe it or not!), Lilyan Tashman, Marlene Dietrich, Ben Lyon, Constance Cummings, Arline Judge, Jack Oakie, Douglas Fairbanks (Senior) & Mary Pickford, Helen Twelvetrees, a stunningly exotic-looking Claudette Colbert (see photo above, lower right -- but don't get your hopes up, guys, or haven't you heard...?), Dorothy Lee, Warner Baxter, Janet Gaynor, Jeanette MacDonald, George Brent, Ruth Chatterton, Ricardo Cortez, Hugh Herbert, Dickie Moore, Ann Harding, Dolores Del Rio, Joan Bennett, Mary Astor, Bert Wheeler, Jack Mulhall,Gary Cooper, Max Baer, Walter Huston, Sally Eilers, Flora Robson, Victor Jory, Mae West, Cary Grant, Jack La Rue, Ida Lupino, Virginia Cherrill, Jackie Cooper & his brother Bobby Cooper, Mae Clarke, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Alice White, Marion Shilling, Kaye Francis, Lyle Talbot, Rose Hobart, Constance Bennettt, Carole Lombard, Natalie Talmadge, Mary Brian, Kathleen Key, Betty Furness, Marjorie Rambeau, sultry Mary Duncan (I never heard of her before, and I am so sorry for that!), Tallulah Bankhead, Lee Tracy... *yawn*... Oh, darn, I really wanted to name everybody (Can't you tell?), but I'm beat! I'm about a dozen short of the whole list. Anybody else worth mentioning? Oh, yeah. Clark Gable.
Seriously, I wonder why people like Clark Gable, Fred Astaire, and Gary Cooper get one crummy little still here or there, while Alexander Kirkland gets a full page?!? What is up with that?!?
By the way, anybody who is really interested in Alexander Kirkland and his films should click here. (I tend to research things once my interest is aroused!) I know I learned a couple of interesting facts! Kirkland's third wife was Gypsy Rose Lee, but the child born during that marriage was actually fathered by director Otto Preminger!

And hey, kids, see that scan with the shadowed profile hovering expectantly over Anita Page? Guess who that is! "Valentino?" No, he was already dead. "John Barrymore?" Nope, wrong again. "William Powell?" Wrong again! "Rod La Rocque?" Nope, he didn't play "The Shadow" for a couple more years! Give up? It's Buster Keaton!

(Now, how'd I arrive at the page count? Well, the front cover of the binder has the cover from an old issue of Movie Classic glued to it. This cover features a Marland Stone painting of Ruby Keeler and a rather effeminate-looking Dick Powell (see scan). So I counted it. The back cover sports a 1937 Modern Screen cover (It's not dated, but I happen to own a copy of the original... ) featuring an Earl Christy painting of Olivia de Havilland... ummm... enjoying a peppermint stick (see scan... Lord, things seemed so much more innocent, then...). So I counted that. The inside front cover sports a large color photo of Anna Sten, and the inside back cover lists the addresses of  dozens of movie stars, whether said stars worked for major studios (Paramount, MGM, Universal, etc.) or were "free-lance players," like Harold Lloyd, Ralph Bellamy, Neil Hamilton (and this was years before the Batman TV show!), etc. So I counted both of those. Finally, the binder holds 22 pages of loose-leaf notebook paper, and all but one side has something on it!)
Last Chance!
Hmm. I ran this sucker for seven days with an opening bid of $24.99, and nobody bid. (Wahhh.) So this is it, folks: This time I'll run it as a five day auction with an opening bid of $14.99. If it doesn't sell this time, I'll grab the Jean Harlow page mentioned above for my own collection and burn the rest. No joke. 

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Well, fellow babies, as mentioned in my brief aside above, I didn't have to burn the thing. It sold for about $30, if I recall correctly.

I received a few emails from fellow eBayers, as I mentioned. Here are quotes from two of them:

~~"I don't have a question. I just want to compliment you on your auction. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through it. Your comments about Alexander Kirkland cracked me up! It's not often that I get to read something so enjoyable. Thanks and I hope you do well on this auction."

~~"Hmmm, it's spectacularly detailed, grammatically correct, and there's that delightful hint of being off color without possibly offending the severely conservative. Even more disturbing than that rather suggestive peppermint stick illustration (someone passed their casting couch audition with flying colors!), is that the name Alexander Kirkland was ringing a dim bell. I plead guilty to reading the autobiographies of Eric Lee Preminger and Gypsy Rose Lee. It's nice to meet you. I'll keep an eye out for your future auctions."

Today's post was for Subby... kinda. Part Two will be for Betsy... again, kinda.

 Thanks for your time.
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