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??"


Friday, October 24, 2014

Spooky art for Halloween--A Deep Sea Dream (1887)

This wonderful, spooky woodcut (?) comes from an 1887 Chit Chat annual  And I've always wanted to type "...from a 1887 Chit Chat annual."  Chit Chat was one of D. Lothrop Co.'s children's periodicals--periodicals which featured awesome artwork and interesting texts that take some adjusting to, unless, like Bev, you're no stranger to 1880s prose.  This image also appeared under a different title and with a different short text in another D. Lothrop annual, which only goes to show that repurposing is an old concept, at least in the realm of pop publications.  Like the dime-store, grocery-rack record labels of the Fifties and early Sixties, the cheap children's book publishers of the late 1800s--Lothrop, M.A. Donohue, W.B. Conkey, Charles E. Graham, etc.--shamelessly recycled material and titles, often in a haphazard way.  Decades before Tops, Ultraphonic, Parade, and Prom were producing singles and LPs by slapping together whatever stuff happened be lying around, these publishers were defining that cheap-marketing scheme.  Pioneers, all of them.

I even have one or two examples of mismatched covers/title pages.  Shades of the Rondolette label!

And I love these things.  I can't get enough of them.

By the way, most of these same publishers also put out Grade-A, full-color children's gems, especially come the early 1900s.  And the D. Lothrop children's mags were beautifully printed on high quality paper, in major contrast to the stock used for the annuals and various reprints.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Music for "Dinos Meet Dracula"

And here's the music I promised for the "Dinos Meet Dracula" post.  I wrote this around 1993, and I'm repurposing it for this post, having already reused it in my Burroughs Suite.  So, I guess I'm re-reusing it.  Here it is, an ominous-organ, Bach-in-a-dark-mood  Halloween mood piece which I call, for the moment at least, Dinos Meet Dracula:  Dinos Meet Dracula (Lee Hartsfeld)  It's me, live, on my Casio WK-3800.

I assume you can download it, but maybe not--Box is forever revising its features.  Great service, but they can't keep things where they are.  Their links used to include download options, anyway.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Dinos meet Dracula!

So, I am back with more Halloween-dinosaur images.  Today's set of dino funnies features dinosaurs from my collection as they interact with Count Dracula, Frankenstein (a.k.a., the Frankenstein monster), mummies, pumpkin people, and the like.  I should note that my blogging schedule this Halloween has been affected by two minor setbacks: 1) a 48-hour hospital stay for pneumonia (after my blood pressure read 77/48 at the VA clinic!), and 2) the frying of my PC motherboard by a power surge, which removed access to all my photos scans.  Oops.  My PC is now an ex-PC, though our tech believes the hard drive data is probably savable.  Knock on wood.  (Rap, rap!  Oh, hi, accidentally summoned spirit.  Um....  Well, this is awkward.)

So, I've done some more photos and I scrounged a music track to be added to this post at the earliest opportunity.  Here's Dinos Meet Dracula!


Today's sick and sorry joke--Windstream DSL

Windstream DSL--the closest thing to having none at all.  Remember dial-up download times?  Triple those, and you have some concept of Windstream DSL performance, to the extent that Windstream DSL performance can be termed "performance."  Frankly, I think it's a monumentally slanderous moral affront to the concept thereof.

I didn't time it with a stopwatch, but I'm guessing the page-appearing time for their own site,, is about two and a half minutes.  Right--minutes.  Was dial-up-era page-loading time in minutes?  I don't recall that it was.  All this while our virus software announces a Malware threat from Windtream's own page., malware?  Hm.  You know, that could explain a lot.  I suppose that, in a manner of speaking, Windstream IS malware.  Its own worst enemy, as well as its hapless subscribers'.

We're in the country, and we're stuck with this sick and sorry excuse for Internet service.  So, is Windstream DSL better than nothing?  Not sure.  Define "better than."

Windstream DSL delivery agent, circa Oct., 2014


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I... what??

The classic pin-the-fox's-tail-on-the-gingerbread-man game.  Definitely a favorite from my youth.  Yours?


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dinosaurs in Space!

Dinosaurs in space!!  Only at MY(P)WHAE!!  Dig in and enjoy!!  Why am I writing like this!!  I don't know!!

Dinos, non-dinos, spaceships, robots, dino-quartets, used rocketships, and a host of fake Godzillas.  And... some original (and recycled) dinosaurs-in-space music to go with it all:

Click here to hear: Dinosaurs in Space (Hartsfeld)--Me, on my Casio WK-3800.

"Hey, who shrank the spaceship????"

"Stay really quiet, and maybe he won't see us."

"Ah, that dream again, where I'm standing up in a miniature space shuttle as a giant wax Sinclair Stegosaurus stares at me."

"Affirmative, Mission Control--eight of them.  Luckily, at the moment they seem more curious than hungry...."

First astronaut: "This is like herding dinosaurs."  Second astronaut: "That's what we're doing--herding dinosaurs."  First astronaut:  "Ah.  No wonder it seems like it."

"Well, whatever's in there, it's bite-sized.  We know that much."

The real Godzilla visits the Planet of Outrageously Fake Godzillas.

Postcard commemorating the event.

When the creatures of the Monster Planet hear the jingle of the ice cream ship, they come running.

Great moments in space dino intelligence: Search for the lost saucer.

"A little close harrrrrrmony!!"

VERSION 1: "No signs of life--just that giant red dinosaur statue.  At least, I hope it's a statue...."


"Mission Control, we are now being investigated by much cheaper-looking dinos."

Another great moment in space-dino smarts.