FILE UNDER: Visuals, Words, Sounds and Other Ephemeral Gleanings

A daily weblog from Matt, a designer, writer and pop culture aficionado from Phoenix.
See the about me page.

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Campus Cuties
the syd mead project
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Traumatic Halloweens

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August 2002
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December 2000


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2002 Road Trip
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Wishin' and Hopin'

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Sunday, September 29

picture picture picture picture picture

Now it can be said, I've turned into an eMusic whore. After reading Kim's enthusiastic writeup of the mp3 download service, I decided to give the two week free trial a chance. Immediately after signing up, Xavier Cugat's cha-chariffic "Cuban Love Song" got downloaded. It's been love ever since. Admittedly, it feels good to pay for a service that's legal and works - for both consumers and the industry - while supporting great indie labels such as Matador, Emperor Norton and Minty Fresh. The majors are also slowly getting involved - Universal has some terrific stuff up, including several vintage gems from Verve and Motown (like that four-disc Supremes box that came out a couple of years ago, drool). What really hooked me, though, is the fact that Fantasy records is with them. Among many other things, Fantasy hold rights to the entire early '70s output of the legendary soul music label Stax. I'll be 80 before I'm finished downloading all I want from the Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes, the Soul Children, Rufus Thomas, the Dramatics, and much more. Thanks, guys, for giving me a new obsession.

Memo to Max - I was so thrilled getting an early birthday gift of this and this. How nice of you. Thanks for assembling them; you're the best and your weblog's a gas as always!

Friday, September 27
Jim's Burnt Offerings - neat site filled with a variety of cigarette graphics, much of them eye-poppingly great. Those vintage '70s Virginia Slims ads take me back. Thank goodness smoking isn't as glamorous or macho as it once was.

Noted without comment - Ten Things I Hate About Tom Cruise.

Thursday, September 26
A profile of NPR's Terry Gross which makes her out to be the patron saint of radio interviewers. Hmmm, I dunno. Whenever "Fresh Air" happens to be on, I tend to enjoy the guests despite Terry herself. She comes off as well-prepared but strangely distant in her interviews (unsurprisingly, she conducts most of them remotely). Her tentative, pleading method of questioning is the worst. Much of the time, she sounds like a little girl asking her mommy for a cookie.

The KROQ top 106.7 countdowns of the '80s (via Other Stream) - yowza. The 1987 list is like a musical snapshot of the year I graduated high school.

Monday, September 23
lab There's a lot of non-scrubbles stuff going on with me this week. Not the least of which is putting together a twelve page broadsheet for a local institute of higher learning. (potentially damaging stuff taken out) Shudder.
So, this is a roundabout way of saying there might not be as many postings here for the next few days (the art is from these pages about revived Little Big Books; assembled and commented on by the excellent James Lileks).

Sunday, September 22
Try to guess what kind of hip, happening place we went to for lunch today. Would you believe Furr's cafeteria? We've been going there often because it's next to our grocery store, it's cheap, the food is pretty good (although their hot dishes aren't kept very hot), and it's a great place for people watching. Eating there, I noticed there are four types of Furr's customers: 1) old people 2) large hispanic or black families 3) people who just came back from church 4) large groups of old, hispanic or black people who just came from church. Maybe it's the regional dishes like fried okra, whipped yams and butter chess pie. Mmmm.

Been watching Thunderbirds repeats on Tech TV every night and enjoying them immensely -- the gadgetry, the tiny modern furniture in their secret island hideaway, the nifty factoids. If Hollywood ever mounts a big budget, live action Thunderbirds movie, here's what my "dream cast" would be:
lab Scott Tracy - George Clooney. A natural for the oldest Tracy brother and the leader of the group. He sorta looks like a Thunderbird marionette, anyway.
John Tracy - Cuba Gooding Jr. Well, why not?
Virgil Tracy - Ron Livingston. He's already proven himself in a variety of roles. Plus, he's such a cutie. This could make him huge.
Gordon Tracy - Dave Foley. Might be too old, but I defy anyone to look at Gordon and not say "Is that Dave Foley?"
Alan Tracy - Josh Hartnett. Alan's a blonde, but I can so picture Josh playing the devil-may-care baby brother of the group.
Jeff Tracy - James Brolin. The Tracy patriarch may be the hardest one to cast. Brolin is the right age, commands authority and has the right generically handsome looks for the role.
Brains - Giovanni Ribisi. He'd look cute in big glasses.
Tintin - Maggie Cheung. Anyone's who's seen In the Mood for Love knows Ms. Cheung is a goddess. She can handle anything from drama to action to comedy. A role like this could break her into international stardom.
Lady Penelope - Cate Blanchett. This part requires an actress with beauty, a dry wit and loads of style. Cate is the only one who's a winner in all three categories (plus she's already British).
Parker - Bob Hoskins. Hoskins is perfect to play an ex-thief turned loyal butler. Can't you picture him always muttering "Yes, Milady."

Saturday, September 21
A Kung Fu Snow White? That sounds pretty cool, actually. Via Snarkcake.

Friday, September 20
This morning I came across an all day Porky Pig marathon playing on Boomerang. Then I reluctantly headed out to work. Everything's been slightly off kilter since.

Thursday, September 19
The Onion's A.V. Club has two great interviews this week - Armistead Maupin (who just might be my new hero) and Sarah Vowell.

Wednesday, September 18
I've been getting into the irreverent movie news and reviews site CHUD lately. For example, check out their Best of the Bachelor DVD writeup with super-snarky photo captions. Plus they have a little report on the Wonder Twins movie - first it was pitched as an action flick, now it's a comedy. At this point I'm guessing that Wendy, Marvin and Wonderdog will be involved.

Enron is selling one its signs. Disappointingly, it's only a regular Enron sign - and not that gloriously awful giant rotating silver monstrosity seen in many a TV news report. Enron's logo design was the final project for the legendary Paul Rand before he died in 1996. He said at the time it was his greatest work (better than the ABC logo?). Methinks, had he lived to see all this brouhaha, he probably would've welcomed the publicity.
Oh, look, the "Men of Enron" issue of Playgirl just came out.

An intricate tattoo of Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu. Kewl!

Tuesday, September 17
Cheap thrill of the day: surreptitiously depositing a book at a busy hotel lobby during lunchtime. Book Crossing is a neat idea - read a book, release it somewhere, then track it on the site. I just registered some books there, and left the first one in a well-traveled and clean place where hopefully someone will find and enjoy it. The experience was like shoplifting in reverse, a naughty thrill without fear of the consequences. I made doubly sure no one saw me as I casually dropped it off. Someday I'd like to stick one in a place so obscure that you'd have to actively seek it out to find it.

Just bought Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, and now I'm a happy camper. Elements is exactly like full Photoshop but without some extras - like alpha channels and batch processing - which aren't useful for the home user who just needs something to adjust digital photos for the web and such. I just wanted the upgrade for its Mac OSX compatibility, but what clinched it was the rebates - Adobe is offering an upgrade rebate of $30, and Amazon has an additional $30 off dealie when it's purchased from them (the latter offer expires next week, by the way). P.S. If you buy it through this Amazon link, Scrubbles gets a small cut, too. Sweet deal!

Monday, September 16
Willard Scott has the distinction of being the very first Ronald McDonald - and boy was he scary. Even so, these early McDonalds commercials are a hoot. Via Mister Pants.

Cute listening - old calendar girl radio spots from Otis Fodder's weblog. Historical tidbits with Perky! Instrumental! Backing!

Want more Scrubbles? For the entries of September 1-15, click here!