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Monthly Archives: December 2006

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Wii Are the World

I’ve read JD’s impressions, then Kris’ post, then I saw the commercial embedded in the TiVo. Now I want a Nintendo Wii. This comes from someone who hasn’t played a home videogame system since the Atari 2600. It looks like Nintendo’s doing the right thing by appealing to a broader audience who aren’t into the hardcore gaming scene — and those interactive controllers look like tons of fun. I’m not typical, but I prefer simple and engaging gameplay over fancy-shmancy graphics — and first-person games make me dizzy. As a bonus, I love the console’s creamy, Mac-like design. Maybe it’s time to save some pennies and wait a year or so for the price to lower (I didn’t say I wanted it now).

Into the Groovy

I got reactions of both thrill and nausea watching the first 10 minutes from Make Your Own Kind of Music, a 1971 TV variety special starring Herb Alpert, The Carpenters, Al Hirt, Mark Lindsay, and The Doodletown Pipers (via Patrick). Enjoyed the Sesame Streetlike opening, the alphabet theme is nicely carried throughout the show, and the guys all wear giant stiff lapels that look as if they could put someone’s eye out. And Karen Carpenter sure could rock those drums. TV variety shows from that period have all sorts of queasy “old/new” moments, such as this clip of Doris Day singing “Day by Day” from Godspell alongside some hippieish musicians.

New in the Store: Holiday Reindeer

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Cafe Press Store update (mainly since sales there have been, shall we say, tepid) — but we now have a few products with this cutely attired reindeer made in time for the holidays. I did the illustration for our Christmas cards this year, and liked it so much I decided to have them printed in color instead of the usual hand-tinted b&w. The enterprise set me back more than a few bucks, but the cards turned out nice. Now we gotta send ’em.

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Button Pusher

Fimoculous compiled a lot of neat diversions for his Best Blogs of 2006 that You (Maybe) Aren’t Reading list. One choice that especially stood out for me was History of the Button, a weblog entirely devoted to push buttons (yep). It’s great enough that the person doing this blog has a photo of a ’50s button console from (I think) the Monsanto House of the Future on the front page, but he also recently did an entry on Merlin! I for one didn’t know that Parker Brothers needed to inform Merlin buyers on how to properly use its unusually flat buttons.

I Love the Smell of Tooth Powder in the Morning

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Had another extensive dentist session this morning. It used to be they needed to plug up cavities and crown my teeth, now they need to fix up the fillings/crowns already there. I don’t understand it: I brush and floss three times a day, but it never ends! Things I know:

  • My dentist does not have Highlights for Children in the waiting room. Instead, they have a small cache of cooking magazines. Huh?
  • Some time in the past decade, the dental care industry stopped using the mini toilet bowls that you could spit in. I miss mini toilet bowl spitting.
  • Unfortunately they still haven’t changed the disgusting taste and texture of tooth polishing grit. Mmm, fake cherry grit!
  • My dentist’s chairs used to have lights with a tiny distorted mirror on them, so you could stare at a weird reflection of your own mouth while they worked on you. Now they have a logo where the mirror used to be, so now I definitely know that the lights were made by a company called Belmont in all caps. BELMONT. Beats staring at a poster of a unicorn on the ceiling, which is what my childhood dental office had.
  • I only choked once this morning; although the multitudes of instruments/waterers/suckers/fingers simultaneously in my mouth gave me a few claustrophobic moments.

Chris Ware’s Paper Trail

Soon as I saw the cover of Chris Ware’s ACME Novelty Library #17, I thought it looked comfortably familiar. Though it’s not a ripoff, the design and format borrow a lot from this old “Science and Industry” volume published by Childcraft in the ’40s. I remember that book well — mostly for its fascinating cover illustration and the bumpy texture on this series’ famous orange binding. Though you can’t see it here, he also mimiced the spine design from the Childcraft book. Chris Ware’s a friggin’ genius.