B-25 Mitchells in Kansas City, 1942

A few months back, I ran across this awesome web site called Shorpy; it bills itself as the “100-year-old photo blog” and it posts nothing but old pictures; most of them are from the early 1900s and the vast majority of them are in black and white.

However, occasionally there’s a color picture; like this amazing shot from 1942 of a great many B-25 Mitchell bombers fresh off the assembly lines in Kansas City, Kan. I built several models of B-25s with my dad when I was younger; I never thought it was quite as cool as the B-24 Liberator and wasn’t even in the same ballpark as the B-17, but I still have plenty of fond memories of plastic reproductions of the B-25.

I love seeing pictures like this, connecting something real with memories from 30 years ago based entirely on small plastic facsimiles and spending time with my dad.

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I managed to skip the entire month of August. That’s awesome. I was having a miserable month at work (which today subsided under the crushing wave of the best single morning I’ve had on the job in a good long time), and clearly didn’t feel much like blogging. We’ll see if that has passed. After all, college football season starts this weekend and there should be plenty to talk about…

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Beastie Boys: Doublecheck Your Head

One of the many sites I follow with my RSS reader served up this nugget of awesome today; a seven-track remix of songs from The Beastie Boys’ “Check Your Head.”

It’s fantastic. It’s free. You really have no reason to not go download it immediately. Then, if you don’t already have it, buy the original and get your fill of how great the Beastie Boys are.

Go get it.

Doublecheck Your Head

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Coraline popup update

Coraline popup top-cover logoYeah, yeah, I’ve been slacking. I finally took some time tonight to start some construction work on my “Coraline” popup. I put together the logo for the top cover tonight; I think it turned out pretty well, especially for my first try at something like this.

Gray paper for the background as the drop shadow; some awesome mirrored silver paper for the letters on top; and some even more awesome black fuzzy paper for the cat overlay.

Up next – house construction!

Terrible movie week

We are not having a good movie week at Casa del Bartlett. A quick rundown of our failures:

• “Confessions of a Shopaholic.” Atrocious. John Salley’s cameo was kinda funny, but this was a painfully difficult movie to watch. It was genuinely dreadful.

• “Know1ng.” Atrocious. The whole “secret message foretelling disasters hidden, but not really, in a list of numbers” plot vehicle really could’ve been cool – really – but this movie blew it by trying to wrap it all up in a “good, and yet somehow frighteningly creepy, aliens save humanity” story that was incredibly freaking stupid. Also, the entire concept of the list and the message it contained was comical – “we’re going to give you this huge list of dates and locations and guarantee that X number of people are going to die at that spot – which might include you. But this *last* place, oh, that’s the one place we’d really like for you to go, and if you show up, we’ll save you at conveniently almost the last possible hour before your world is destroyed. Even though we could easily just take you — or anybody else, really — at any time, since we have a large number of gigantic universe-traversing spaceships.” Amazingly stupid movie.

• “The Haunting of Molly Hartley.” Started out OK, especially compared to the other trash-heaps we watched so far this week, but it fell into the same sort of cliched garbage as the others at the end. The return of Molly’s mom was also completely nonsensical. “The nurse released me because she believed.” Um, OK. You’re in an insane asylum, and somehow convinced a nurse who works around wackos every day that *your* fruitcake story was the one she should believe. Right. Dumb.

• “The Unborn.” Almost comically awful. This movie was nothing but “cute girl pretending to be scared by something that jumped out in front of her.” The plot is completely nonsensical; I think I would need to draw a flow chart to even begin to make sense of it. The monster came from where? He started in whose body? And starts by moving into insects? And then for some silly reason he makes the heads of dogs and people turn upside down? What? Very, very little about this movie makes a shred of sense. It’s a close race, but this was the worst of the bad this week.

Only highlights? The “Friday the 13th” remake, which Mel and I had already seen in the theaters, and which I enjoy because it’s the only movie we’ve ever seen together that legitimately freaks Mel out; and “27 Dresses” which was actually pretty entertaining. We also saw “The International,” which was OK, although the ending was pretty difficult to make sense of. Did the bank get its comeuppance or didn’t it? Who knows. There was a great gunfight scene at the Guggenheim in N.Y.; that alone made the movie worth watching.

Ugh. Here’s hoping for better luck next week.

Back after a week in Kansas

Have been in Kansas all week visiting my parents; my two brothers and I were together for the first time in five years, since my wedding, so that was pretty awesome. Also, was the first time for my parents to have all seven granddaughters together; so it was a great week all around.

Will be working on my projects this week – Coraline popup and my chair. Stay tuned for updates.

Grrrr, comment spammers

Let me make one thing clear – I hate comment spammers. Inundating my inbox with spam is one thing; I can filter the vast majority of it to a junk folder and never have to deal with it. Comment spam, I have to deal with each and every one individually, and having comment spammers force me into a position to have to approve each comment before I allow it on the site, it kills any opportunity for meaningful discussion unless I’m right there to click “accept” at the time (assuming, of course, people want to comment on this blog to begin with). I consider comment spammers to be no better than vandals. They’re just swooping in to spraypaint their garbage on my wall and leave.

That said, I’ve been getting pelted from comment spam from the domain ds4ns1ns2.cn, which gives a permission denied if you try to visit it. They anger me.

Coraline house: Construction underway!

After having this project shelved for a couple of months now, I finally got around to starting construction of my Coraline house popup that I started back in March (Adam will surely be excited 🙂 ). I built the top and bottom for the popup and started working on the “Coraline” logo for the front cover. The logo is silver foil cardstock glued to a piece of grey paper for the shadow; the first letter I tried to make, a “C,” turned out OK; I’ll just need to take a bit more care in gluing the pieces together for the final product. This first letter was mostly to see how this would look, and whether it’d be worth the effort to worry about the paper shadow. It looks pretty good, so I think I’m going to continue with it. Pics over there –> in the Flickr sidebar.

I have found my chair!

Today I finally found a lounging chair for my office at home. It’s a filthy, disgusting pile of grossness; the upholstery, which looks to have been formerly a very nice wine-colored velour, is crushed and worn thin; dirt and sand fly out at all angles when you kick it; and it looks like it used to be home to more dogs than people. The sign on the chair at the garage sale said “$20 OBO”; my “OBO” was $10, and they took it.

Now, the planning begins on how to convert it from a cube of stank into a paragon of seating awesome. I already have a picture in my head of what I want to do with it. Just need to go on a material hunt now.

There are five “before” pictures are over there –> in the Flickr sidebar. Check ’em out.