Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween music by Lee, 2014

These Lee originals are all from 2009 or earlier.  In fact, Godzilla Rag is from 1993.  Most of these were step-recorded, which means I cheated.  The first and fifth tracks are piled with Magix filtering, hence the 1967-experimental sound.  And I've always wanted to type "1967-experimental."

Enjoy: Halloween Music By Lee

1.  Poker Night in Dracula's Castle
2.  Hauntovani Waltz No. 1
3.  Missile in the Moon
4.  The Dead Sitcom Zone
5.  Galaxies in Collision
6.  Ghost on the Stairs
7.  The Godzilla Rag

Composed and played (or programmed) by Lee Hartsfeld.


The Magic Pianist (1927)

A fun collection containing the kind of material found in silent movie music folios.  From 1927.  I don't remember where I bought it.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Two terrifying 1967 ads for our Halloween!

Ready to be terrified?  I hope so.

From the same Sunset House catalog that gave us the "Walk-a-Matic" ad, here are two horrifying products guaranteed to, well, horrify.  Not sure which is the scarier of the pair.

Dial a Monster!

New Math for Parents

I'd love to have a vintage Dial a Monster!  Just the rocketship-style design, by itself, is awesome.  And I vividly remember "New Math."  That is, I vividly remember all the hype and worry over it.  Whether any of it showed up in my school texts, I have no idea.  (Cue theremin music.)

No "Dial a Monster" on eBay or Google Images.  Well, let's see if posting this will change the latter situation....

Update: Hold the presses!  Found this 1964 gem by plugging "monster kaleidoscope" into Images:

Looks like the very item (the card even says, "Dial a Monster"), though considerably less cool in color.  The cheapness factor really stands out--but I still want one.   The source for this image, Time Warp Toys, i.d.'s this as "Space Orb Eye in the Sky--Monster Kaleidoscope."  Thank you, Time Warp Toys!  (Now I see it, etched in the plastic--Space Orb--Eye in the Sky.)

Check this page, too, for more Space Orb images, all very well done: The Kaleidoscope Book.  Boy, it really looked crappy, didn't it!  Still want it.

Yet more: Neato Coolville


Not a new concept, apparently...

The Walk-a-Matic, from a 1967 Sunset House catalog.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloween keeps on comin'.

MSNBC's ratings have "hit one of the deepest skids in" the network's history, says the New York Times.  I can sum up the reason for this dip with five letters: MSNBC.  I say this as a once-faithful MSNBC viewer, and I have to wonder where the network might be, ratings-wise, should it ever deign  to spend more time on facts than cable-style speculation and conclusion-jumping, stop showing all those insufferable Comedy Central clips, demonstrate less of an attitude of "Oh, those beastly, hairy, aggressive, working class males" toward the military, stop handing shows to abrasive celebrity jerks (the creepy Al Sharpton comes to mind, and please get him out), and at least toy with the possibility that improved MSNBC ratings might be a simple matter of the network playing to its viewer base (Boomers) instead of whoever the heck it IS playing to (best guess: fourteen year olds).  Never hurts to try.

That felt good.

Obama: "Whether it's improving our health or harnessing clean energy, protecting our security or succeeding in the global economy, our future depends on reaffirming America's role as the world's engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation.  And that leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today, especially in math, science, technology, and engineering."

Far out.  So who's the Office of Science and Technology Policy's chief of staff?  Cristin Dorgelo, who, says my Google search, "holds a BA in History with a minor in Anthropology from UCLA."

No background in science or technology?  We've got a job for you at OSTP!

And, here in Ohio, we have people loudly wondering what all this voting-related fuss is about.  Evening hours, weekend hours, early in-person voting--is any of it necessary?  You see, we Ohioans have a hard time remembering stuff that happened ten years ago.  Remember the long lines and lack of voting machines, and Columbus playing host to the world's media?  You don't?  Then you must be from Ohio.  Another piece of ancient history: In 2012, Ohio didn't start counting absentee ballots until eleven days after November 6.  That's one of the reasons I say no way to absentee voting.  Other reasons include Jon A. Husted shenanigans like losing the things, invalidating them for improper postage, and not sending them out in the first place (forcing people to vote provisionally, which amounts to depositing your ballot in the nearest wastebasket).  Ohioans have a hard time catching on to such stop-the-vote-count tactics, partly because such tactics are so, um, nuanced, and because they extend all the way back to 2012 and 2004, when dinosaurs still ruled the planet.  Well, at least here in Ohio.

This has been a doozy of a Halloween to date, and Beggar's Night is still days away.  Vanishing Secret Service agents, self-destructing liberal networks, non-scientists heading OSTP, people forgetting November, 2012--sheesh!  Take the season off, Drac and Frankie!  You're fired.

"What do you mean, I've been replaced??"