Sunday, December 31, 2006

1,052: ADIOS 2006, VINTAGE TIP FOR RINGING IN 2007

Vintage Ad #110 - Coke Adds Life (and Calories)
A friendly recovery tip from the Coca-Cola Company. Yeah, we know it says 1979, but aren't giant sandwiches timeless? Doesn't this seem easy to put together the lunchtime after the night before?

Regular Warehouse hours will resume shortly.

Source: National Geographic, January 1979 - JB

Saturday, December 23, 2006

1,051: NEW CONCEPTS IN PARKING

During Thursday night's Festival of Lights in Kensington Market, the Toronto Parking Authority tested its latest innovation at the Bellevue lot: special spots to leave one's pants.

Parking Is For Pants Only

If the results are successful, other spaces will be created around the core, which will come in helpful for those times where you can't be bothered to cart your pants around when you're not using them, or when carrying them becomes a distraction.

Not to be outdone, the Toronto District School Board will be testing their new specialty parking spot over the holiday break at Central Tech: tires or toilets only.

Tires n' Toilets

***

With this post, the Warehouse switches to holiday hours - though there may be a post or two over the next week, we will definitely return with new material just before 2007 steps onto the world stage. Happy holidays to everyone!

Friday, December 22, 2006

1,050: casseroles '68



It's that time of year again...time to take a trip back into the often terrifying world of 1960s cookery.

Better Homes and Gardens Casserole Cookbook (1968) was well used at home growing up, mostly it contains one of my favourite comfort foods, steak and noodles (or, as the cookbook calls it, Round Steak Sauerbraten). Here's the recipe - I figure I should serve up the tasty before the the tacky.

1-1/2 pounds steak, 1/2" thick (we use sirloin instead of round)
1 envelope brown gravy mix
1 tbsp dried onion
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp wine vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 bayleaf
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
hot buttered noodles (extra broad egg noodles preferred)

Cut meat in 1" squares, then brown. Remove meat from pot, add gravy mix and 2 cups water. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Stir in next 8 ingredients. Add meat. Pour into casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350F for 90 minutes. Remove bayleaf. Serve on noodles

***

I found another copy of this cookbook at a spring booksale in Elora, for a quarter. While many of the recipes look perfectly edible, others suffer from the same pre-fab food horrors that plague other mass market cookbooks of the era.

Cases in point...

Hamburger Pie with Potato Fluff Topper
Serve Hamburger Pie with Potato Fluff Topper, Cabbage Slaw and brown-bread sandwiches filled with cream cheese.

Is there anything potato fluff topper can't do? The pie itself contains canned green beans and condensed tomato soup, while processed American cheese was an optional addition to the instant mashed potatoes on top.

Corned Beef Bake
When a quick meal is just the ticket, serve Corned Beef Bake with lettuce wedges topped with French dressing.

Notice how nicely the processed American cheese melted, and the swamp of canned veggies the corned beef is swimming in. French was the most exotic salad dressing this series ever came up with - now the suggested salad would be field greens with sesame soy, mango lime or sundried tomato vinaigrette.

Jumbo Cornburger
The family will enjoy a wedge from this Jumbo Cornburger. It's a well-flavoured corn mixture surrounded by ground beef.

Is that corn in the middle or an infestation of maggots? This dish was so colossal in scale, it earned a two-page spread. We're also 3 for 3 in the processed American cheese department.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

1,049: WEEKEND AFTERGLOW

Greg and Anita Couch Life

Sheila in Style Welcome to Ward's Island

Tipsy Stair-Eye View Shoe View

Photos taken at a cocktail party, Dec 16/06. More photos from holiday celebrations that day on Flickr (along with others from the PPP family Christmas by K&K and Blogging is Retired). Any resemblance between the centre left photo and the 1969 Brazilian album on the left is coincidental (though a switch of the wigs floating around the party could have made this less so). - JB
1,048: NEGLECTED FILM GENRES DEPARTMENT

1937. Hollywood. B-movie producer Jed Buell has enjoyed modest success producing B-musical westerns, recently latching onto the African-American market with Harlem on the Prairie. Looking for a new twist on the musical western formula, Buell invents a genre so daringly different, so earth-shattering, that no one else ever dares follow in his footsteps.

The world's first all-midget musical western motion picture.

Ladies and gentlemen, a clip from The Terror of Tiny Town.



(I'd include some quotes about this classic from one of the Golden Turkey Award books, except for my distaste for author Michael Medved's present-day role as a conservative cultural crusader - I suspect he wouldn't be happy to see an old work excerpted liberally).

Review, with sound clips, from badmovies.org. - JB

Monday, December 18, 2006

1,047: VINTAGE CBC RADIO & TELEVISION AD OF THE DAY

Vintage Ad #116  - Merry Christmas from CBC
Oh yeah! Holiday greetings from mid-70s CBC Toronto personalities, marked with publicity shots and signatures. I admit I haven't had much time to do any background digging into those pictured, though one has to admire the fine mid-decade assortment of eyewear on display.

UPDATE (Jan 8/07): RIP Bruce Smith (Globe and Mail obit), morning man on CBC for parts of four decades.

Source: Toronto Life, December 1975 - JB
1,046: CLASSIC MOVIE SCENES AS SHOWN ON THE CEILING AT A PARTY


"Oh no, Mr. Thornhill. There is no such person as George Kaplan."
- The Professor (Leo G. Carroll) telling Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) that the spy everyone mistakes Thornhill for does not exist. North by Northwest (1959), directed by Alfred Hitchcock

***

Speaking of classics, the header for the next week or two features highlights from my sister's all-time favourite holiday special, Christmas Eve on Sesame Street (1978). Left to right: Oscar the Grouch flying off the ice towards a bumpy ride down a staircase, Cookie Monster discovering that writing a Christmas list to Santa is filled with temptation and Mr. Hooper setting the holidays right for Bert and Ernie.

Two clips for your entertainment, starting with a tune to buy trees by:



This special also contained an ode for those who can't wait for the holidays to end, courtesy of the neighbourhood's green curmudgeon. - JB

Friday, December 15, 2006

1,045: HAVE YOU SEEN THE LITTLE PIGGIES?

Tray o' Piggies
Your choice as to whether you wish to hum Piggies or This Little Piggy (we suspect War Pigs doesn't work with this shot).

Goofy Holiday Link: dozens of pictures of children not happy to meet Santa.- JB

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

1,043: VINTAGE CBC TELEVISION AD OF THE DAY

Vintage Ad #91 - The Wit and World of G. Bernard Shaw
Unlike many of the programs that have appeared in the CBC ads I've posted, The Wit and World of G. Bernard Shaw is available on DVD. A 1972 co-production between the Corp and Auntie Beeb, it appears as a bonus feature on the 1987 BBC production of The Devil's Disciple (featuring Patrick Stewart).

Written, produced and directed by Harry Rasky, the film revolves around a visit by a shaggy-haired Christopher Plummer to Shaw's home. Dramatic recitations are mixed with information about Shaw and occasional clips, the oddest a Japanese staging of My Fair Lady, with the chorus warbling With A Little Bit of Luck. The film's drawback is its slightly stagey air (archival film of Shaw has a more natural feel), but the recitations are fine.

Clockwise from top right, with the works they recite: Plummer, John Colicos (Major Barbara), Genevieve Bujold (Saint Joan, set in a prison), Barry Morse (Man and Superman, in a graveyard), Jack McGowran (John Bull's Other Island, in a pub) and Paxton Whitehead (The Doctor's Dilemma, with a lead-in horse ride in Niagara-on-the-Lake).

Sidenote: Morse (1966) and Whitehead (1967-77) served as artistic directors of the Shaw Festival.

Source: Maclean's, November 1972 - JB

Monday, December 11, 2006

1,042: MONKEYMANIA (INCORPORATING VINTAGE REAL STORY AD OF THE DAY)

Ever have those times where monkeys keep cropping up in your life? Have you?

A couple of years ago, a video made the rounds with my co-workers featuring a "trunk monkey", a campaign for an Oregon Ford dealer group.


I would have loved a trunk monkey Sunday night. I was turning right onto Danforth from Broadview, waiting for pedestrians to cross. Just as I'm halfway into my turn, a nut on a motorcycle passes me on the right - somehow he had enough room to turn without jumping on the sidewalk, knocking down pedestrians or crashing into me if either of us had made a jerky move. It took a few minutes for my heart to decide it wasn't going to jump out of my chest.

It seems this wasn't the only ad featuring the trunk monkey - several are available on YouTube or at Suburban's trunk monkey page. The following may be the darkest of the bunch.



***

I checked Flickr a few minutes ago and noticed one of my vintage ads seemed to be garnering more attention that usual - about 2,000 views more attention than usual (merci Metafilter!). It also ties in nicely with the last ad I posted, so I may as well toss it on if you haven't seen it yet.

Vintage Ad #103 - Darling Pet Monkeys Remove Unwanted Hair Forever
Yes, our friend the darling pet monkey is back. A year-and-a-half after hanging out with Dr. Strange and Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD, here he is in a "confessional" magazine. Maybe the monkey was edging towards more adult concerns - supporting cancer research, removing unwanted hair, etc. Note price and clothing remain the same, leading to one funky (smelling) pet.

Like the monkey, Blair was also a frequent comic book advertiser well into the 70s, with "Tim Newcomer" as their usual saleskid. Alas, no further information on them.

Permagon was only one of a wide variety of oddball products Honor House sold in magazines. If you didn't want a hair zapper, how about a personal nuclear sub? Also, note how the object the scantily-clad model is holding in the closeup looks like a grease/mark-up pencil. Could be they lost the zapper for the shot and had to borrow the closest substitute from the paste-up artist nearby. It is also possible that she is wearing one of the many wigs for sale in this magazine.

Among the "real stories" in this hard-hitting issue:
* Our Housewife "Tea Parties" Were Marijuana Binges
* Why Couldn't My Daughter-in-Law Died Instead of My Son
* My Ex-Lover Walked Back Into My Life
* For Two Weeks Each Year I Was Another Man's Mistress
* I Can't Be A Virgin For More Than One Hour

Remember: give generously this season to the Guelph Rent-a-Monkey Fund.

Source: Real Story, February 1969 - JB
1,041: ROSEDALE RHAPSODY

After not doing so for nearly a month, it was time to check out the latest Psychogeography walk on Thursday. This week: holiday lights in Rosedale.

Number 3 Spooky Rosedale House
Along the way, we discovered an abandoned/secured property, fully lit up yet totally inaccessible. All walkways up to the house were blocked by fencing. We guessed a legal dispute was at play - our theory was an inheritance tied up in litigation. The picture on the right turned out blurry, but a few filters give it the proper spooky effect. I expect rays of light to burst through the windows at any second...

Man With Tail Watering Lawn
The further north we went, the number of lighting displays increased. This held to another group theory, that lower-wealth neighbourhoods contain better holiday displays (wealth being relative in Rosedale, though this point was proven to me a few nights later when I wandered on my own around the city, to be covered in an upcoming post).

The side shot above almost looks human shaped, except for the giant tail/very long watering house/whatever you imagine it is.

Rhapsody in Red
North of the train tracks, homes decked with lights stood out, including this rhapsody in red. Also noticed one home where four vehicles were packed into the driveway so tightly, we wondered what their "move the car" ritual must be like.

The wind really hit us as we walked towards Yonge along St. Clair. Like a rocket losing its shielding upon re-entry, protective elements like gloves began to fail as we struggled against blasts of cold air, especially when we hit the office towers. Cue a thawing session at a nearby pub. - JB
1,040: SCARBOROUGH SUNSET

Sunset at Kennedy and McNicholl
Returning from a Saturday afternoon drive through York and Durham regions (though places like Ringwood and Tyrone), I caught this colourful sunset at McNicoll and Kennedy. - JB

Sunday, December 10, 2006

1,039: CAROLING TOADSTOOLS

Singing Toadstools
What more can I say? Even fungi get into the holiday mood.

Photo taken in the window of Petit Paris, Bloor St W., Dec 9/06 - JB

Friday, December 08, 2006

1,038: STERLING MANNERS ON THE TTC

Saw a fine, fine example of how cell phones don't necessarily improve one's behaviour last night. Riding on an Eglinton bus over to the subway, I noticed a person standing up while yakking on their phone, blocking the way to two seats. A woman came on and asked them to move so that she could sit down.

The irritated response?

"Can't you see I'm having a conversation?" - JB

Thursday, December 07, 2006

1,037: VINTAGE STRANGE TALES AD OF THE DAY

Vintage Ad #102 - Darling Pet Monkeys on Space Probes with He-Man Voices Sell Comic Books
A fine array of products available to Marvel Comics readers in 1967. Things were going well for Merry Marvel that year: sales were rising and Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four debuted on Saturday morning TV.

Multiple-advertiser pages such as these remained a staple until the early 80s. Compared to National/DC, who carried ads from reputable companies like Tootsie Roll, Marvel's resembled a flea market, the junior version of similar layouts from their men's magazine line.

Isn't that pet monkey adorable? Who wouldn't want a shirt-wearing, lollipop-munching primate around the house? We're not going to ask if owners had any other uses for the cage and leather goods included with the monkey. Note emphasis on "young" monkey - we'll never know if older monkeys in the stable sued on the grounds of age discrimination. Note Orwellian name of the advertiser.

This little monkey got around, as we'll see in a future vintage ad...

Based on Perfect Voice's website, you can still buy the secrets of the Feuchtinger method of improving one's voice, even if the term "he-man" is nowhere to be found. Alas, a perfect voice does not mean perfect spelling of the company name.

The Ed Sale Music Company still exists - the "secret system" appears to have seen few changes in 40 years, other than dropping ten songs and two pages and cost adjustments (from $2.98 to $9.98).

Oh, the horrors of blackheads, the terrifying foe of pimply adolescents! I'm betting this particular zit-popper was medical surplus. Searching the web, Vacutex has been trademarked, as a "wound dressing".

Watch the small print when buying a California Gold Piece! Based on the address, my guess is that Metropolitan Coin Exchange was based in the Penobscot Building, for nearly 50 years the tallest building in Detroit (from the completion of its tower in 1928 until the opening of the Renaissance Center in 1977). Wikipedia entry.

As for "Poems Wanted"...everything you wanted to know about song poems but were afraid to ask.

The most expensive item on the page is the Fox Mini-Bike, "small enough to fit in a car trunk"...which I could believe for the boat-like vehicles of 1967, but not so sure for a modern compact. Out on the web: the 1968 Fox Catalog.

Aspire to be a magician? Got a quarter? House of 1,000 Mysteries to the rescue! A brief bio of the magician behind this catalogue, Vick Lawston.

Insert your own jokes about the Space Probe, though it's nice to know that if your placed the Incredible Shrinking Man into the rocket as a passenger, he would have an easy, parachute-assisted landing. I recall shooting off a rocket once at a friend's house as a kid, only to watch it land on the roof of their house, hence my total lack of interest in model rocketry. Centuri sold its rocket kits from the early 60s through the early 80s (history page).

Finally, Howard Rogofsky was one of the first back issue comic dealers. He was also one of the first to charge high prices for back issues, regardless of their condition (even if high prices in the 60s seem like bargains now - check out a 1967 catalogue). According to Steve Duin and Mike Richardson's book Comics Between The Panels,

When you ordered from the king of Queens, you never knew if the mail would bring a book that was pristine mint or buried in tape..."Carefully applied Magic Tape," Rogofsky said in 1967, "does not constitute a defect." (375)
Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons would shudder.

Source: Strange Tales #158, July 1967 - JB

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

1,036: MEANWHILE, BACK ON CROFT STREET...

While out for a stroll Sunday afternoon, I wandered by the College St end of Croft St and noticed a few new elements - a fresh series of artwork along the walls of the east side of the street.

Croft St Plaque
John Croft, receiving the official plaque treatment.

Dancing on the Walls
The plaque is sandwiched between dancers on the left, an unnamed portrait on the right.

Take a Bite Out of Cloud
The red figure in the middle reminds me of characters from 60s/70s undergrounds (usually talking pills).

Gettin' a Haircut by the Windows
Haircuts and apartment dwellers.

Heart of the City
The new heart of the city?

Wonder Woman and Pie
You're a wonder, Wonder Woman.

Croft St, Croft St Next
Waiting for the Croft St Red Rocket.

For more about Croft St, check out the Backstreets of Toronto links in the right column...a feature which will return shortly. - JB

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

1,035: VINTAGE CBC RADIO AD OF THE DAY

Vintage Ad #104 - Sunday Morning
This week, we catch a long-running CBC Radio at its start, Sunday Morning (1976-97). According to the Wikipedia page on the show, it was conceived as a "Sunday New York Times of the air", hence the newspaper comparison in the ad.

Based on the pictures, a few sections of the weekend paper are missing: Sports? Sunday funnies? Classifieds? The New York Times carried at least two of those (all of them now, if you count the serial strips now running in the NYT Magazine - currently by a Canadian, Seth). Maybe there was a wacky story about the oil rig in the bottom row?

Source: Saturday Night, November 1976 - JB
1,034: DISAPPEARING ITEMS DEPARTMENT

The family was up for a quick visit this weekend, to stock up on holiday goodies in St. Jacobs and check out my new digs. We wandered around the Eaton Centre Friday night, where Amy noticed something odd.

Swarvoski Xmas Tree
No, it wasn't the rotating Christmas tree.

New Style Eaton Centre Signs
New hanging signage, along with matching signs on escalators and elevators, was in place. Adios to the yellow signage which had been a part of the Eaton Centre from the start. Another thing that grabbed my attention as a kid gone.

The grey banners directing shoppers to the main surface streets and subways stations should have been a tipoff that a redesign was coming. The new design is clean, muted and should age well, even if grey fades into the background more than 70s yellow.

Formerly Baton Jaune
The only traces of the old signs were the odd holder now utilized by mall tenants, such as this one for Baton Rouge by the north entrance to Queen subway station.

Lonely Yellow Sign
A quick trip down the stairs to the station revealed at least one sign that hadn't been made over. - JB

Sunday, December 03, 2006

1,033: DOWN AT THE SQUARE OF BLUE LIGHTS

More pictures from Nathan Phillips Square Tuesday night.

The Shining Light of Insurance Cavalcade of Lights
Note glow from the Canada Life Building on the left.

City Hall in Crimson Skating in Shades of White and Blue

City Christmas Tree Back to the Rink

Swirling to a Finish Crumbling Away
Two shots of the Immersion projections onto Old City Hall. On the left are swirls near the end, while the right features pieces of the building "crumbling" away. - JB