They sure are thorough!
And to add insult to injury, the ticket this poor bastard got for parking in front of a fire plug was more than the cost to rebuild his truck!
LIKE YOU, in my travels around this crazy world we call the internet, I’m forever taking little screencaps (or “screengrabs” if you’re from Canada) of things that intrigue me. But enough about the contents of that folder I’ve got buried in another folder, in another folder, and so on, twenty folders deep, intentionally mislabeled “2008 Taxes.” (And yet it somehow seems to float to the top and open on its own to the delight of everyone behind the counter every single time I bring my laptop in to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store.)
No, I’m talking about all these other screencaps that end up sitting on my desktop forever because I decide I need to do something with them. I need to hold them up to the light for all to see and address them somehow. Whether they’re odd, amusing or infuriating, I’m sick of seeing them here, so let’s get them off my computer and on my website, where no one will see them! Well, except for you, what, six folks, bless you. So gather ’round for the screencap clearance sale!
Did I say “sale”? My mistake! These are available to you at no charge whatsoever! All free today!
Let’s start with this one:
Oh boy, another Batman origin story! What’s it been, two months since the last one? “The origin of the Dark Knight as you’ve never seen it before!” I guess that means the overhead shot of young Bruce Wayne in short pants kneeling by his two murdered parents in the circle of light from the streetlamp above has been drawn from an exciting new angle!
I guess that’s a little, eh, esoteric if you don’t read comics.
Well, instead, try this one on for size:
Ignore the thumbnail in the middle – for now. It’s the two on the sides you need to worry about. Like you, I never noticed it before, either, until I saw this: Bill Maher looks exactly like Chris Cooper! Isn’t that weird?! I speak for all of us when I say now I’m kind of jealous of that photo in the middle! After seeing this, who wouldn’t want to be the meat in a Bill Maher / Chris Cooper sandwich?
See, this was worth a blogpost, right? Onward!
Now, this here – as you know, I’m an inveterate complainer, and I had some reason to bitch about some meal I ate at some fast food joint, so I got online and took their customer satisfaction survey. Upon doing so, I had even more to complain about! Namely, this:
It reads, in Spanish, “Click the flag to enter the Spanish version of the survey.”
“Ted, you racist bastard,” you’re saying, “How dare you have a problem with catering to those who refuse to help themselves by integrating into American society and learning English! How dare you!”
No! No no no! Dear God, no! That’s not my point at all! Jesus, no! No! ¡Dios mio, no!
No, my only point was that it seems to me a bit discriminatory of the good folks at the Yum! family of fine quick-serve (industry term) establishments to use the Mexican flag as a clickable icon for those who happen to live in America and only speak (and read) Spanish. I mean, if the language is “Spanish,” shouldn’t they use the flag for Spain? Isn’t it a little presumptuous for the Yum! people to imply that the Spanish-only-speaking folks in this fine, fine country of ours all came from Mexico?!
That was all I was getting at. Sheesh! Let’s just move on.
Came across this next one when I was on the Garmin website. As you probably know, you can update some GPSs to speak with different character voices – Muppets, Star Wars, Simpsons and, inexplicably, a Yeti that only grunts. Here, the pitch for the Cookie Monster bundle:
“Just don’t be surprised if he makes detours to the nearest bakery”…?!
Yeah, that’s what I want to read about a device whose sole purpose is to efficiently and accurately guide me to where I’m trying to go!
“Honey, my water broke an hour ago! We need to get to the hospital – I’m crowning here! Why did you drive us to Bundt Munch?!”
“I don’t know! Cookie Monster sent me here!”
“We arrive at destination! Now go in and buy me cookie! Ah num num num!”
And this – and I don’t even remember where I saw it, but like you’re doing right now, I fell in love with this sequence of images immediately:
That’s awesome! Shouldn’t this be some sort of meme? Who do you send these things in to be considered for memes? How can I nominate this one? It would totally be a cool meme, right?
This was on eBay a while back, for sale, as-is:
It’s missing seven pieces! The opening bid was $12.95! That’s crazy! I saved it as a screencap because I knew you’d think it was crazy, too! Five missing pieces – where’s the Buy-It-Now button, because I’m ready to drop forty bucks on this thing! Six missing pieces – I’ll put in a bid for twenty-five bucks and not a penny more! But seven missing pieces? Good grief! Get the hell out of here!
From the Unfortunate Choice of Words Department:
Not only will I help stomp out domestic violence, I’ll smack it around and give it a couple of black eyes while I’m at it, because it’s worthless and it was asking for it!
Hoo boy, there go half my regulars. Don’t worry, Ted, they’ll be back. They always come back.
Below a hard-hitting piece on the recent and then-trending sale of Don Knotts’ house, on the website of local hard-hitting news leader the LA Times:
Thanks for asking! Now I feel like I’m part of the story! However, the poll would have benefited from a third option, “I’m still holding out for Morey Amsterdam’s place coming back on the market.”
Last week it was time for Mr. Whiskers’ checkup and oil change. I wanted to see if he needed another goddamn rabies shot. So I did a search on it!
What an idiot I’ve been. I’ve been trying to prevent cat rabies, and here I could have been stocking up and saving on it!
Now here’s just a couple of examples of something I’ve been seeing all over the place for months. We’ve gone from the helpful, concerned-sounding “Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s” links which at least imply a modicum of concern and sympathy…to this: An alarmist, taunting, uh-oh, “good-luck-brother-you’re-gonna-need-it” angle:
Fortunately, I guess if you’re five for five on their checklist, you won’t remember how crass and cold-hearted this approach is.
This was at the top of Google News for a little while one day last week. I can’t be the only one who saw it, but here it is in case you missed it:
Later, when it wasn’t the top news item, but was knocked down on the page by a few stories, they still hadn’t fixed it!
It’s rare, but sometimes the obvious bias of the news media has delightful results. Though there are those – Leon Panetta, women in the military, and perhaps chimpanzees – who might have reason to disagree.
And speaking of Google News, from the Ya Think?! department:
Stop the presses! Stop the presses and give whoever wrote that headline a frickin’ Pulitzer! Jeez, I’m turning into Jay Leno here with the funny headlines and also the unbridled contempt and hatred all my peers have for me.
Recently, a pal without internet access (don’t ask!) asked me to go onto the IKEA website and look something up for her. Here’s a sign-up form I happened across:
Let’s go in for a closeup of the pre-checked box there, hmm?
Oh by all means, IKEA, yes! Send me inspirational emails and updates! My subscriptions to The Watchtower, Daily Devotions, The Word Among Us and Our Daily Bread have all run out and I need some spiritual guidance! Praise be to the almighty Billy Bookcase!
Like you, last month I spent some time going through my inbox, trying to stem the tide of all the time-wasting emails I get from companies when I enrolled in some store savings program. So when I clicked on the link to unsubscribe from CVS emails, I noticed two things: One, that when I signed up for the little savings card that is tied to these emails, it seems I was enrolled in the “ExtraCare Beauty Club” program. This actually makes sense because I am indeed a hideous monster and I need all the extra care I can get in the beauty department since it looks like I was beat with a club.
…And two, evidently there are enough people who consider unsubscribing from unwanted emails…but then take a long, hard look at their life and at their choices, have a change of heart and decide to give their relationship with a spam-sending company a second chance to try to make it work – there are enough of those people for said corporation to include an opt-out-of-opting-out button. These same folks, we must presume, don’t know how to close a browser window or use the backwards button. God bless them.
And God bless this guy, who seems to be a cross between Carol O’Connor and 60s character actor Liam Redmond.
“Parkinson’s, eh? This sounds like it could be a fun quiz! Maybe I’ll do better on this than I did on that Alzheimer’s one, where I only got three out of…three out of… …I wonder how late Woolworth’s is open.”
Did we find out who’s in charge of officially declaring things memes? Because, pal, I’ve got another nominee here! Or should I say “nomin-meme!” Or maybe I should really say “nom-meme-atee!”
Kind of makes you wonder just what sort of websites I’m visiting when I’m not writing this garbage, doesn’t it?
Here’s something fun I saw on a fireworks site last year. Kids love this!
You’ll pardon the “assorment” and “noveltiesi” typos. The four-year-old Chinese girl who typed this up only has seven fingers.
“At first I really wanted to be on Guy’s game show and win cash, but what am I going to do with money? An experience like this, however, is priceless.”
Five lucky second prize winners will receive a text message from Rachel Ray.
Last month I was on the disgusting City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Sanitation website. (Note here “disgusting” refers to the City of Los Angeles, not its Bureau of Sanitation nor its website.) I was trying to find out how our weekly trash pickup was affected by Martin Luther “King” Cole’s birthday, Jr. That’s when I happened across this:
Oh, sure they can have a Dead Animal Collection, they can collect dead animals free of charge, but you pick up a couple of flattened squirrels off Laurel Canyon for an art project, or for if you ever decide to teach yourself taxidermy, or just to have, and suddenly, your friends and family are quietly making calls to producers at “Confessions: Animal Hoarders.”
But more importantly: why would a website direct users to their “local yellow pages”?
We’ll end with my favorite screencap that features just two lines of text that some might say don’t go together at all:
But not me! I wouldn’t say it. I’m trying to figure out the significance of the photo they used. Is this little girl herself an evil socialist? Or is she patriotically ratting out suspected socialists in her class? I didn’t click on the image, so we’ll never know.
I think that’s plenty for today.
…If you’re like me, and you are, you love that early look of “The Flintstones.” Like the first couple seasons. Also, if you’re like me, you’ve probably hated the last thirty-five years or so of Post Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles commercials, even though you’ve probably never really spent much time thinking about it. But trust me, you hated them.
However, I don’t include in that these amazing stop-motion commercials that aired a few years ago. Some scenes really look like first season episodes come to life. Here’s a compilation of five of them on YouTube.
Or check out these screen caps, if you don’t want to watch the actual commercials though why the hell wouldn’t you?
Look at that! They nailed that early look of Bedrock and you know what the key is, in addition to the rounded houses and the nearly sparse, uncomplicated layout? The color of the sky! Watch pretty much any episode of the original series, even into its later seasons, and the sky was almost never blue, but rather this light yellowish ochre color.
Sure, this version of Fred’s boss wasn’t really in those early seasons, but here Slate looks great, you’ll agree!
Okay, here we have a blue sky, but that can be forgiven because of everything else in the shot. The dino-crane on the right is as much as a tribute to the one Fred worked in the show as it is to that early Marx battery-operated toy that I’m hoping you’ll find on eBay and buy me for my birthday. I’ve wanted it ever since I was at an age when it would have been normal to want a child’s toy and and not sad and disturbing as it is at my age now.
Ha! They even got the Bedrock cityscape exactly right. And the paddy wagon looked like it scurried right out of “The Swimming Pool” with a xylophone accompaniment for each of its ten feet.
Alas, Fred and Barney are, eh, the least interesting elements of the commercials and Fred seems to be based on the design they used for the mid-90s productions. I guess Post didn’t want to push the envelope too far and have the characters match the rest of the elements in the commercials.
Interesting, also – it’s a regular sausage-saurus party in these spots. There’s not a single female character in any of them! While Wilma and Betty have rarely appeared in the Post Pebbles commercials (due to licensing?) that wouldn’t have prevented some generic Bedrock ladies in the backgrounds of the new ads.
Don’t get me wrong! These commercials are Yabba Dabba Delightful! And remember, you read about them here first, almost three years after they debuted and probably long after they’ve stopped airing. Unless they covered ’em over on Cartoon Brew and if they did, let me guess, it was framed as one of the editors’ trademark cranky complaints. Kiddin’! I love them guys!
And here’s pro wrestler John Cena on a box of Fruity Pebbles.
Did Bamm-Bamm travel to the future? Or did John Cena go back in time? Clearly they don’t normally reside in each other’s realities because Cena’s clothes and spoon don’t have that stone-age look to them. What’s going on here?
These are the kinds of questions the breakfast cereal fansites are afraid to ask.
Just an observation I made while at the Simi Valley Habitat for Humanity thrift store.
Coincidentally, it’s also the last line of the daily pep talk I’d give to my hard-working girls on the thankless weekday noon-to-five shift at that gentlemen’s club I managed in Van Nuys.
Sweet pickled radicchio! Do my eyes deceive me?! Look what’s at the 99¢ Only store – sweet pickled radicchio!
Yes, “sweet pickled radicchio” may sound like the sort of expletive that someone in a comic book would sputter, but it exists! It exists, and it’s at the 99¢ Only store!
Joe’s Premium Sweet Pickled Radicchio it’s called, and it’s from the good folks at J. Marchini Farms, grown right here in California (unlike most of the “food” sold at the 99¢ Only store which is imported from China – a country where even potatoes are made from some sort of plastic polymer).
(And by the way, my attorney would like me to add that everything the 99¢ Only store sells is delicious and good to eat, even the detergents and cleaning prod– No? Okay, just the food.)
Sweet Pickled Radicchio, am I easily distracted or what!
Anyway, the label tells me that radicchio was first written about by Pliny the Elder as an aid to digestion, and that I can try it on pizzas, sandwiches, or crackers.
So I did – I tried it on a crisp Ritz cracker.
Mmmm-mm! Good cracker, good cracker!
Oh, and the radicchio was nice, too.
Pickling radicchio sweetly may seem odd, because radicchio naturally has a bitter taste. And this radicchio, though sweetly pickled, still has that sharp bite to it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But despite the label further stating that “Now you can enjoy radicchio every day” it’s unlikely you’re going to take them up on that. Unless enjoying radicchio every day is something you’ve been aspiring to do – perhaps a new year’s resolution, some sort of wager with a friend, an item on your bucket list, hell, I don’t know.
In that case – sweet pickled radicchio! – you’re in luck!
As you’ve probably read in the news, a fellow name of Anton Orlov recently bought an old camera in an antique shop and while cleaning his purchase, found a bunch of negatives in the film chamber that date back to around World War I! Amazing!
But if you think that’s something, how about this:
I was in Goodwill the other day where I found an ancient digital camera. It was of course overpriced so I scraped off the price tag with my fingernail and replaced it with one from a chipped coffee mug that was much more reasonable. Then I paid for it and brought home my find!
Imagine my surprise and delight when I connected it to my computer and it started automatically uploading pictures! Among them was this image of a 1910s forerunner to the 99¢ Only store!
Ha! Ha ha ha! No, I’m kidding! Turns out this is a regular 99¢ Only Store today in 2013, only the light in the second ‘9’ is out!
But what a fun way to start off your week, right?
I was at Dollarama recently and I came across a delightfully enormous facing (industry term) of these things:
Like you’d be, I was all “Potato?”
First of all, what were they? Secondly, why were there so many of them here? And thirdly, “Potato?”
Upon closer inspection, I got the answer to my first question:
They’re little two-handled plastic drinking cups for very small children, complete with measuring marks on the back.
As to my second question, why were there so many of them – when you or I, back in our retail days, would have maybe put out two or free facings of these things, leaving room for other merchandise? The best answer I can come up with for that one is…well, this is Reseda we’re talking about. People, eh, tend to have, um, a lot of babies around here. Perhaps these cups are a hot item.
However my third query – “Potato?” – still had me stumped. So I looked up the manufacturer online, hoping for some answers. I got them!
That’s presumably the happy young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Wang, up there with their baby. Their brand story is, you’ll agree, a fascinating and inspiring one:
In year 1990, Mr. and Mrs. Wang have entered into the field of baby products production and development. At that time, there are only few baby products manufacturer in China, especially in baby bottle and nipple production. Because of the lack of technical knowledge, the quality in preliminary market is grievously. In order to supply baby with a safe and healthy growth environment, Mr. Wang, as a technical expert, research for several days and nights, breach the technical difficulties.
You’ll agree with me we’re all very fortunate that Mr. Wang didn’t give up in the fight against grievously, in his quest for perfection, after just one day and night but put his nose to the grindstone for several.
Mr. and Mrs. Wang chose Japan Shin-Etsu Company as our long-term nipple material supplier, South Korea Samsung Total as a reliable PP material supplier, and then in year 2000, create the brand “POTATO”. Brand “Potato” now has been the symbol of high quality in both domestic market and oversea market.
It’s true. Forget Evenflo, Playtex, Gerber – today the benchmark for high quality baby products is Potato.
So that’s the Potato story. But it doesn’t end there because as you surmised from reading the above, the manufacturer, Aqin Plastics, has a whole line of Potato products. Or, perhaps more accurately, a whole field of Potato products:
Look, if you’re going to stuff your Maidenform with spuds, you’ll want something to prevent chafing.
Not only is it safe and convenience for mohter, but unlike those purely ornamental breast pumps, this one works!
Wow, they’ve sure come a long way from the potato pacifiers Nana told me she used to suck on as a toddler when her parents were working the zemiakov fields outside Prague. These don’t have any dirt or roots on them.
Funny coincidence: the fellas at the gym call me “Potato Nipples” due to the combination of my gynecomastia and an unfortunate condition marked by small knobby protuberances and dry, discolored skin – and let me tell you, brother, I wish my nipples looked as good (or were as pliable) as the one up there.
And that sampling’s just the tip of the potatoberg, to coin a phrase. For bushels more of great Potato baby products, visit their flagship store, the Potato T-Mall, right here online!
Who knew that a time-killing visit to Dollarama in Reseda while I was having my oil changed would result in a virtual trek halfway ’round the world, where I, and now you, would learn about one Chinese man, his wife, their little Wang-baby and a shared dream for “honest reputation,quality first,customers first,excellence” and “go better and better in future.”
I think Mr. Wang said it best when he summed up his Potato brand philosophy with this:
Because of the baby, life becauses more beautiful…Life sundently full of sunshine&laughter.
Truer words were never spoken.
LIKE YOU, I enjoy a good factory-made, individually wrapped brownie. To that end, Mrs. Freshley’s fits the bill fine, just fine! Hers are a joy for the tongue, they’re easy on the wallet, and most importantly, like most pre-packaged, ready-to-eat factory brownie slabs, they have the density of a white dwarf – a delicious, chocolatey white dwarf!
Mrs. Freshley doesn’t play favorites, either – you can find her wares at both your local Dollar Tree and your local 99¢ Only Store.
And here’s something new she’s done! Look! Look!
Well, I know I speak for all budget-minded consumers everywhere when I say, “It’s about goddamned time!”
I can’t tell you how often I’ve groused about the unwieldy, cumbersome, yes, inconvenient six-brownie box Mrs. Freshley used to foist on us!
What the hell was she thinking?
Who does she think I’m packing lunches for here, the Brady Bunch? What in God’s name am I – is anyone – going to do with half a dozen brownies?
And let’s not even get into my bad back and my sciatica and all the extra stress it puts on my knees, plodding painfully through the dollar store lugging a box weighted down with two extra brownies, trying desperately not to scream out in agony with every step I take! Let’s not even mention that! Sheesh!
Anyway, all that’s behind us, thank goodness, with this Convenient 4 Count Size.
CAN you stand one more post about fast food?
Wait, why am I asking you that? Is someone holding a gun to your head making you come here once every ten weeks for twelve seconds, which according to my thorough reviewing of Google Analytics at 12:01 every night, is what you, what, six regulars do?
…No, seriously, is someone holding a gun to your head making you come here?
If so I want you to leave a cryptic message in the comments below. Something that doesn’t seem to make any sense whatsoever like “Hey, Ted, how about more of those Delightfully Anachronistic Package Design posts that we all enjoy so much? We haven’t seen one of those in a while!” That’ll tip me off that something ain’t right and then I’ll alert the proper authorities.
Oh, wait, I haven’t enabled comments…
Ah well. Look, don’t worry, I’ve got more of those stupid Delightful Anachronistic dealies in the works. You’re going to be okay.
Where the hell was I? Ah yes: Can you stand one more post about fast food? Of course you can! We all can!
As you know, Wendy’s is my quick-serve (industry term) restaurant of choice when I’m watching my pocketbook and my figure!
Their restaurants are nice, clean, reasonably quiet and they’re carpeted, which is great for those of us who go around barefoot everywhere and are learning to eat with our feet – just for fun, as a sort of personal challenge we’ve set for ourself for the new year.
One of the neat things about Wendy’s in Southern California is that for the last few years, they’ve offered these little keychain fobs you can buy. Then upon subsequent Wendy’s visits, you get a free little six-ounce Frosty free with your purchase. Just for showing them your fob!
One time I showed my fob to someone who didn’t ask to see it, and now I’m listed on a national online database! Hey-o!
Like I said, you get a free six-ounce Frosty with your order! A Junior Frosty, it’s called. Six ounces isn’t much – it’s the same size cup as they give you when you ask for water, but it’s just enough. It’s just enough for a little treat after a nourishing meal at Wendy’s, sure.
The fobs of which I speak, they cost a buck. And don’t worry – all the dollars collected go to charity! For feral cats or something, I don’t know.
So in the past, these fobs, they’ve been good all year long. And with the frequency I eat at Wendy’s, brother, this thing pays for itself a dozen times over – and that’s just in the first few days of January!
But this year I noticed something troubling!
Here’s a photo of my fobs. On the top is my old fob! On the bottom, my new fob!
The new fob expires at the end of June! That’s when it’s just starting to get hot around here! And that’s when Wendy’s decides, in its infinite wisdom, to cut off our Junior Frostys? What the hell is going on here?!
As if that’s not bad enough, their 5-piece Chicken Nuggets is completely gone from their Value Menu! No trace of it left, whatsoever. No explanation! Poof! Just gone! In its place? Something called the “4-piece Chicken Nuggets.” Whatever that is. Also there’s a “6-piece Chicken Nuggets” if you can wrap your head around that.
Now, if you’re like me, and I know you are, you’re nostalgic for the discontinued 5-piece Chicken Nuggets. I’m going to show you how to foodhack a 4-piece Chicken Nuggets into their beloved and much-missed 5-piece Chicken Nuggets which many of us remember fondly.
1. Buy their new 6-piece Chicken Nuggets for $1.49.
2. Eat all but one.
3. Then, that last delicious, nutritious, deep-fried soldier…? Put it on your keyring, right next to your fob. Go ahead, it’s okay.
4. The next time you go to Wendy’s, buy their new 4-piece Chicken Nuggets, and when you flash your fob to the gal behind the counter, you’ve got the fifth Chicken Nugget right there. Pluck it off, hand it to her, and ask that she toss it in the hopper with the other four they’re cookin’ up for you, so they’re all nice and warm. That’s all there is to it!
Oh, and be prepared for a lot of questions from all the curious (and envious) diners when they see you’ve got not six, not four, but the classic five-piece Chicken Nuggets! Also, if you’re like me, and I know you are, they might ask you to put on some shoes.