1. Turns Out That News Story About The Man With A Nose On His Forehead Is Not Unprecedented!


    knew I’d seen it somewhere before!

    Posted by on September 28, 2013, 12:09 PM.

  2. Mix-Up at the Mask Factory!

    Oh no!  Looks like someone screwed up big time!

    If these masks got tagged as Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory”…


    …then it stands to reason that the ones that actually look like Jim Parsons must be labeled Max from “Get Smart!”

    Posted by on September 23, 2013, 10:54 PM.

  3. Seventeenth Filner Accuser Steps Forward!

    AND the list continues to grow.

    Today a seventeenth woman has accused embattled San Diego mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment.

    Janet Wood, a florist from Santa Monica, California, has stated that Filner once “chased her around the kitchen table” and directed her to “slow down so I can catch ya.”

    She offered as proof photographs of the ordeal.



    Update: Whoops! Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Arlene H. who pointed out that these are merely screen caps from the Three’s Company episode “Jack’s Graduation” which features the similarly (allegedly) lecherous character Dean Travers, the headmaster of the cooking school attended by Jack Tripper.

    Travers was played by character actor William Pierson who bears a striking resemblance to San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.


    That’s Pierson on the left, Filner on the right.  I think. You can see how I’d make such a mistake.

    We regret the error.

    Posted by on August 16, 2013, 3:25 AM.

  4. The Dark Side of Pete Malloy

    AS REGULAR READERS of this blog know, I’ve been watching late 60s-early 70s Los Angeles-based dramas on Netflix during dinner for the last couple weeks. Dragnet is my appetizer, Emergency! is the entree, Adam-12 is dessert.

    I call it the Jack Webb Diet, mister. And if you can think of a better way to spend 102 minutes every night while cramming items from Del Taco’s Buck & Under menu down your throat, well sir, I’d sure like to hear it.


    A recent dessert course was Adam-12, Season One, Episode 24. That the ending was so unexpected made an already unusual outing with Reed & Malloy that much more enjoyable. But you’re going to need some set-up. Like the entire episode in screen caps.

    On with the show!

    Meet speeding socialite Penny Lang, pulled over for blowing through a boulevard stop.


    She can’t believe that Officer Pete Malloy is intent on giving her a ticket. After all, she’s Penny Lang of number 5 Winston Lane (emphasis hers). Heiress to the Lang fortune (“Daddy’s in oil. Just dripping with it,” she laughs.)


    Besides, she was just taking her poodle “Mistinguette” to her stylist and she’s late! [Hats off to the transcribing savant who figured out how to spell the dog’s name for the closed captioning.]

    Malloy doesn’t budge on the ticket even after she gets out of the car, turns on the charm, shows off the full package and offers him a date. He’s not interested.


    Ouch! Miss Lang has apparently never been turned down before.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    The guys in the locker room give Pete the business the second he walks in after a few days off. Some gal’s been dropping by the front desk and asking for him. ‘Where’s Pete? When is he coming back to work? Where does he live?’ This woman – whoever she is! – is really hung up on him!

    Officer Jim Reed walks in and hands his partner a package someone sent to him at the station.


    Malloy opens it and…



    The rest of the guys have a good laugh, but Officer Malloy wants to put a stop to this whole business. “It’s going back the same way it came – U.S. Mail,” Malloy tells Reed outside as he re-addresses the package.


    “Deliver it yourself,” Jim suggests as Miss Lang drives up behind the station.


    So Malloy attacks the problem head on.



    “You’ve caused enough trouble already,” Malloy tells her, “so why don’t you just be a good little girl and go on home?”

    Not insulted in the least, Miss Lang continues making a play for him and Malloy gets just this side of nasty. “You’re out of your league,” he growls at her, walking away.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    It’s a fairly uneventful day for the two cops in the black & white patrol car designated 1-Adam-12. Not so much for Officer Ed Wells. He’s had to answer three separate complaints at 5 Winston Lane, and he’s not happy about it.


    Seems Miss Lang is sick and tired of the whole police department and only has confidence in Pete Malloy. She doesn’t understand why he can’t be sent out to personally handle her calls. Wells now has two hours’ worth of reports to fill out because of all this.

    Penny doesn’t stop at calling in frivolous non-emergencies, though. That night she stakes out the station and tries following Pete home. It takes him a half-hour and some fancy driving to lose her, he tells Reed the next day.

    “Police experience sure comes in handy, huh?” his partner quips, and is met with the classic Malloy slow-burn/glare.


    That night, the pair are sent to answer a 507 at a high-end apartment house.  The fussy resident manager demands they go up to unit 1902 and get his new tenant to turn down the “steereo.”  But be tactful! Be discreet! “We cater to nothing but top drawer here!”

    Goodness, who could this new tenant be?!



    Penny, however, is a bit more enthused to see him.


    Sure, she had to move into Malloy’s reporting district to get him to respond to her calls, but it was worth it, right?


    …he tells her for a third time.


    But Malloy’s only getting started.


    He continues with a withering condemnation of her whole approach, her motives and her values before telling Reed “Let’s go back to work” and filing out.

    Surely, she’s gotten the message by now.


    Well, maybe not.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    Next day, Sergeant McDonald calls Malloy on the carpet about the situation with this girlfriend of his.


    Regardless, it’s becoming an embarrassment to the Department – the captain’s already brought it up at a supervisors meeting.


    Pete details the history of a problem that began a few days before with that simple traffic citation and ultimately reassures Sergeant Mac that last night “I laid it right on the line to her, and there’ll be no more problems, I guarantee it!”

    That’s when he’s called outside…


    …to take delivery of his brand new Porsche 912.



    Malloy refuses it (to the chagrin of a commission-hungry salesman).

    He goes back inside, and accompanied by some dramatic music, contemplates his situation, and finally comes to a decision.

    “I’m desperate,” he concedes to his partner as he dials the phone.


    “Boy, the things you do for the job,” Jim Reed taunts him.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    The next day, Reed of course wants details.


    Malloy plays dumb.


    Oh, oh, yes, the date with Penny Lang, he remembers after being pressed.

    “There’s not much to tell.  We had dinner. Caught a show. Went dancing.  Oh, she’s a good dancer. (sigh) It was a date, you  know. You must remember what they were like.”

    “And that’s it?”

    “That’s it.”


    “What?” Reed asks.




    And with a look of mutual understanding, the episode ends!


    Now, Adam-12 episodes often end abruptly like this. Occasionally, the viewer is left hanging with an unanswered question or two. Did they ever recover that guy’s stolen unicycle?  Did the old lady survive the earwig attack? Like that. We’re usually wondering which one of  just two likely outcomes occurred.

    As for Pete’s date with Penny Lang – especially after his ominous remarks – the mind reels with possibilities.

    …Oh, hell, I think we all know what happened.


    But as with Reed, we’re probably better off not knowing the specifics.

    Posted by on August 12, 2013, 3:45 AM.

  5. Quiz: 1970s TV Show or Sign in My Neighborhood?

    HERE’S some fun: Like me, you’re a fan of signs of various sorts in my neighborhood and 1970s television.

    Ah, but how well do you know them both?

    I’ve devised a little quiz to help you find out! Of the following images, which are title cards of obscure 1970s television programs, and which are signs I saw when I was driving home from getting Thai food?

    1.) 1970s TV show or sign in my neighborhood?

    Answer: TV show.
    “Baba Sweets and Jalebi Junction” (CBS, 1973-1975) starred Mabel King as Eleanor “Baba” Sweets – the sassy ticket agent at the train station in the Little Bombay section of Detroit. While each half-hour was a non-stop laugh-parade of hilarious travelers, fans especially remember Norman Fell as a harried commuter who always slept through his stop in Rochester Hills and ended up in Jalebi Junction waiting for a taxi to bring him home.

    2.) 1970s TV show or sign in my neighborhood?

    Answer: TV show.
    Though it lasted just one season, “Justice Street”  (NBC, 1976) is widely regarded as the quintessential procedural cop show as well as an important forerunner to “Hill Street Blues” and “The Commish” – indeed, both Stephen Bochco and Stephen J. Cannell cut their teeth writing scripts for the series. Andy Devine turned in a surprisingly subtle performance as former Disney animator turned police detective William “Bill” Justice, and many attributed his untimely death in early 1977 as the reason for the series’ demise. As it turns out, it was an argument over a parking space on the Paramount lot between co-producers Quinn Martin and Jack Webb that doomed the show just weeks after debuting to stellar ratings.

    3.) 1970s TV show or sign in my neighborhood?

    Answer: Trick question – TV show and sign in my neighborhood.
    “The Paul Lynde Show” (ABC, 1972-1973) starred Mr. Center Square himself as Paul Simms, an attorney at odds with his deadbeat son-in-law. Unabashedly derivative of “All in the Family,” it was destroyed by the competition: “The Carol Burnett Show” and “Adam-12.” Inexplicably, it’s also the name on a sign outside a store specializing in women’s footwear a few blocks  from my house, located on the corner of Pawley Street and Lindemere Avenue.  Update: Turns out the business is actually “Pawl-Lind Shoe.” Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Arlene H. for the correction!

    4.) 1970s TV show or sign in my neighborhood?

    Answer: TV show.
    Prolific producer Garry Marshall developed “Mr. Pizza & Kabob” (ABC, 1978) as a mid-season replacement for the Aaron Spelling bomb “The San Pedro Beach Bums.” Ronnie Schell played restauranteur Jimmy “Mr. Pizza” Delvecchio (nephew of Al on “Happy Days”) while Hector Elizondo played Kabob, his eager but inept Armenian immigrant busboy (“Ooh, dat veddy veddy good idea, boss!”). Despite eight crossovers on five of Marshall’s other shows, the series couldn’t find an audience and was gone in just two months. Never one to give up on what he felt was a viable property, in 1990 Marshall reworked the premise into a popular motion picture, turning the pizza parlor owner into a successful businessman played by Richard Gere and Kabob into a beautiful, kind-hearted prostitute (Julia Roberts).

     So!  How’d ya do?

    Posted by on July 22, 2013, 2:26 PM.

  6. Set Your HandiHalers to Wheeze!

    I SAW perhaps the strangest of all summer movie tie-ins the other day during “The Price Is Right.”

    It’s a commercial for some sort of medicine, and while they never come out and say it, it’s obviously a subtle promotion for the new summer blockbuster “Star Trek: Into Whosis” or whatever the hell it’s called, because it’s a sixty-second homage to one of the original series’ most famous episodes.

    Anyway, in the spot [industry term], a man from far in the future is banished along with a vicious elephant from a war-like alien race, for reasons never made clear, to the desolate desert planet Spiriva.


    There he is pitted against the space elephant in a fight to the death. Sound familiar yet?  Mm-hmm.

    The elephant tries to crush him by sitting on his chest. (Luckily he escapes.)


    Then the enormous creature chases him around a lot.  Kind of slowly.

    Oh my God!  He’s right behind you!


    Apparently the gravity on Spiriva is much stronger than that of earth, or the atmosphere is thinner or something, because they’re really just walking around. Strolling, almost.


    Look out!  He’s gaining on you! (I…think.)


    Here they’ve forged a momentary truce  so everyone can just catch their breath. Phew!


    But the chase – and the fight – continues.

    Just when things seem their worse, and the elephant has cornered his victim and is ready to pounce…


    …the man – using the planet’s natural resources of diamonds, a hollow, bamboo-like plant, and tiotropium bromide powder – manages to construct a weapon known as a bronchodilator…


    …and defeats his pachyderm alien adversary.

    Thank goodness there’s very few blogs that feature both “Star Trek” and prescription medication hilarity, or I’d get no traffic at all.

    Posted by on May 18, 2013, 11:15 AM.

  7. For the Billionaire Playboy / Engineer / Superhero On the Go!

    ¡Es Muy Bueno!

    How does Tony Stark keep a showroom finish on that suit, sequel after sequel?


    Iron Man 3 Wipes To Go! of course.

    They’re perfect for mopping up that glob of Filet-o-Fish tartar sauce that dripped onto your arc reactor at lunch or for a more thorough cleanup after flying through, and startling, a flock of Canadian geese.

    Posted by on May 8, 2013, 1:14 AM.

  8. Who’s Been Drinking Asparagus?

    SO THE OTHER DAY, a pal was telling me, “Ted,” he was telling me, “Ted, you’ve got to see this episode of TLC’s feel-good series ‘My Strange Addiction!’ There’s a gal on there who drinks pee!”

    “Oh, that’s not so strange,” I countered.  “Why, most everybody knows that current FDA regulations allow Grade A milk to contain up to 37 ounces of cow urine per gallon.”

    “No, Ted – she drinks her own tinkle!”

    “Oh, Christ almighty! Why’ncha say so?! This I gotta see!”

    So I found it online. But I had to sit through an ad before I watched it…


    …and while I hope Ragu got a good deal on the ad placement, I think maybe the Minute Maid Lemonade advertising people made a good call passing on this one.

    Posted by on April 16, 2013, 3:52 AM.

  9. What’s Up Glitches!

    LIKE YOU, I got sucked into this stupid, stupid non-game game “The Simpsons: Tapped Out” (“It’s life-ruiningly fun!” says Homer). Unlike you, I do not own a smartphone, and play it on my little iPod dealie, which is technically a mobile device, I guess, usually for ten minutes as I lay in bed, trying to fall asleep, if I’ve already worked through that months’ stack of Archie Comics digests and Harriet Carter catalogs.


    As you well know, what you do in “Tapped Out,” see, is you tap on stuff and build things and send Simpsons characters on little tasks, and are occasionally mocked by these same characters for doing just this through word balloons, Level Up screens, and occasionally – very occasionally – short clips of exclusive animation. And brother, we all of us deserve to be mocked. Because there’s absolutely no point to any of this! It’s a complete waste of time!  


    Speaking of complete wastes of time, you’ve been thinking of starting a Tumblr account, but every single idea has been taken. Almost. The truth is, every single idea has been taken but two. And here’s one of them:


    And it’s all yours!

    Yes! Go ahead! Steal it! Hell, I don’t care! Technically, yes, it is my idea and you might want to send a couple hundred dollars my way as a token of your appreciation, but between this blog, my regular job, my court-mandated community service picking condoms off the beach in Santa Monica and the cardio bootcamp I run for overfed feral cats (We meet twice a week in the alley behind Vallarta Supermercado in Winnetka, 6 pm sharp!), I don’t have the time. I can’t take on any more projects!

    So look, pal, The Simpsons: Tapped Out Glitches is all yours if you want it! Just clear it with Gracie Films,  Fox Digital Entertainment and EA Mobile.


    And just to get you started, I’ve compiled a bunch way too many of screen shots of some of the more delightful glitches – “texture glitches” as they’re officially known – that I’ve come across. Yours for the taking, there, buddy!

    [By the way I learned they’re called “texture glitches” from the Tapped Out player’s best friend – the only website you’ll ever need to answer all your Tapped Out questions (or some of them at least), Tapped Out Tips.]

    Anyway, on with the images!


    It seems that almost every unique, one-of-a-kind building in Springfield is subject to being temporarily multiplied and appearing in place of the houses you can build.

    Above, in place of a row of White Houses, is the Try-N-Save, backwards – as all these glitches seem to be – with the coin-operated kiddy rides, normally in front, splayed out above each store.


    Classic! A row of pink houses is replaced with multiple Moe’s Taverns, here with what seems to be a plague of rats. It’s actually just the entire animated sequence of the one rat that runs along the roof when anyone is inside on a task.


    The Mapple Store stands in for a cluster of Blue Houses. A row of computers for sale can be seen in the little squares by each store. You can’t usually see them very well because they’re obscured behind the glass of the front doors.


    Overlapping Gilded Truffles.


    Here’s the House of Evil, your one stop evil shop, which was only available during the Halloween update. The items seemingly raining down to the left of the stores is the merchandise in the store window. I can’t tell what these things are but it’s a good bet one is a monkey’s paw and another is a cup of cursed frogurt.


    Eleven separate post offices right next to one another. No wonder the USPS is in trouble, right? Ha! Ha ha ha!

    What causes these texture glitches? No one knows. They’re like a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a vest. Or a Mystery Box within a Mystery Box within a Mystery Box and so on, infinitely. Which hasn’t happened to me yet, but I keep hoping.


    Also, by “no one knows,” I mean some programmer or coder or game designer could probably explain it to you, but it likely involves the terms “dongle” and “fork” and no one’s allowed to use those words anymore.


    A row of Java Server coffeee houses taking over for the Pink Houses. Insert late 1990s ubiquity-of-Starbucks joke here.


    Six Howard’s Flowers shops stand in for a clutch of Blue Houses here…


    …And even more Blue Houses here. What episode was “Howard’s Flowers” from?  I don’t know either.

    Perhaps these glitches stand out because they’re multiples of the buildings you only get one of, standing in for a group of houses in a “house farm.” It’s entirely possible that single regular houses may also appear as glitches, but I wouldn’t notice because the coloring of, say, the purple and pink houses are kind of close. And also, I’ve got houses strewn willy-nilly all throughout Springfield, and if one orange house is suddenly a brown house for two minutes, it’s not even going to register up here. (I’m pointing to my head.)


    The area above – normally a cluster of Blue Houses – seems to be one of a couple places in my Springfield particularly prone to glitches. Here we see that Tom O’Flanagan’s Pub, from way across town, has mysteriously appeared here.


    Skip’s Diner. I don’t recognize this from the show, unless it’s the place where John and the Simpsons went to eat in “Homer’s Phobia.”


    A big wad of Cool Brown Houses – available only for a short time to promote the current season’s episode “The Day the Earth Stood Cool.” Overlapping as they do, they look like hideous condos from the late 1970s.


    This is the other place in my Springfield where my game usually tends to get all glitched out – a smaller section of Blue Houses. Could it be that the Blue Houses are the problem? Here we see they’ve disappeared and in their place, four Police Departments seem to be sinking into the ground.


    The Try-N-Save appeared here, too.

    These glitches don’t affect game play, by the way. They’re like digital mirages. If you tap on, say, any of those, eh, Evas-N-Yrts above, it’ll tell you it’s a Blue House. Sometimes if I scroll away until it’s no longer in the screen and then come back, it’ll have returned to normal. Other times it’ll be something else completely. And sometimes if I just stay there without moving around, the glitch will eventually cycle through a number of different structures.

    And it’s not just buildings that suffer from texture glitches:


    Here’s a bunch of floating blue Dumpsters with the left side of the lid – the side that Cletus lifts up, behind each unit, showing the three different positions used in animating it.


    Six weather stations! Neato!


    Channel 6 news vans with their various elements strewn alongside each one.

    While I’m way too old to understand computer programming, and don’t have a definite explanation for these glitches that are mainly isolated to two specific areas, I have narrowed things down to a couple of possibilities: I either made the mistake of building on the hallowed ground of an Indian graveyard, or – and I think this is much more likely – there’s a particularly strong electromagnetic force below Springfield resulting in occurrences we just don’t understand. This also might tie into Hans Moleman’s disappearance underground every 108 minutes and the mysterious polar bear in Mr. Burns’ office.


    Bridges are another element that seems particularly prone to appear randomly. Above, in a glitch worthy of Escher, sort of, Fat Tony can be seen “taking care of a problem.”  Or half of him, anyway.


    A few fountains have been disassembled on the lawns of some Purple Houses.

    My experience has been that the longer I play the game, the more likely it becomes to see these aberrations. If I just spend a few minutes in it, there’s no problems.  But if my Springfield session is longer than about eight minutes, all hell begins to delightfully break loose.

    And as for visiting friends’ Springfields, I’ve only noticed one glitch, but it was magnificent:


    The Santa’s Little Helper balloon (from the Thanksgiving update) has been multiplied five times and exploded into each of the individual elements that make it up. I don’t remember who’s Springfield this was, but I envy you, friend, if you experience this sort of thing on a regular basis.

    Occasionally it’s the characters themselves that get all glitched out. My favorite – and by Godfrey, I know I took a screen shot of it, but I can’t find it – was when Santa’s Little Helper (the actual dog, not the balloon) briefly replaced each of the lamp posts I had placed around the town hall. He was in a begging pose, and each of the posts looked like statues. It was, yes, a delight.

    This was one of those instances where it kept, changing, too. Shortly after that, the posts turned to Dr. Nick…


    …and then Grandpa:


    …where they’re doppelgangers of the real Abe Simpson sitting on a bench feeding pigeons.


    Above, two still images of Krusty in a walk cycle from the “Inflate His Own Self Importance” task are enlarged and mysterious have replaced two pine trees behind the Muntz house.


    Again, a slightly-larger than normal version of a character – Groundskeeper Willie – has appeared. There’s normally a trash can where he is. Creepy!


    This one makes no sense at all. Larger-than-life-Luigi is either standing in a Valentine’s Day  heart tree while tossing a pizza, or ascending to heaven. Or climbing the tree trying to grab the pizza dough as it ascends to Heaven.

    Other glitches are similarly absurd.


    This one looks like an elaborate sliding tile puzzle that someone gave up on because it was just too damn difficult.

    And my very favorite:


    It’s like Kandinsky and Warhol collaborated on a Simpsons: Tapped Out texture glitch.

    Now most of my, what, six regular readers are probably saying, “God almighty, that was a long post! I don’t come here for this crap! I don’t even play this stupid game and I’ll tell you one thing, Ted – I sure as hell won’t now! In fact, you might have to start writing ‘my, what, five regular readers’ after you wasted my time with this!”

    And I understand your frustration.

    But know this: A year and a half ago I wrote some nonsense about these ridiculous “Koo Koo Birds” stuffed animals which inexplicably gave me by far the most hits I’ve ever gotten. “The Simpsons: Tapped Out” being among the top-grossing games in Apple’s App Store, there’s a good chance that this near-endless parade of images and long-winded conjecture about something I have no business trying to explain just might push my blog’s average number of daily hits toward that golden “Baker’s Dozen” range of  about 13 or so again!

    Posted by on March 30, 2013, 10:56 PM.

  10. If Nautical Nonsense Is Something You Wish…

    LIKE YOU, I collect tiki mugs and related exoticabilia.

    Unlike you, I’ve done so for ages. I’m not some Ionakana-Come-Lately who just started a few years ago when it became wildly trendy. No, I began collecting tiki stuff a little before that, when it was just reasonably trendy.

    So you can imagine my delight when I was over at Petco recently picking up some more of that anchovy-flavored hairball paste Mr. Whiskers loves (on a crisp Ritz cracker) and I happened past the aquarium department where I saw this:


    …And it took me but a moment before I realized, why, that’s not just any Easter Island mo’ai, that’s Squidward’s mo’ai, from the perennially popular Nickelodeon cartoon “Spongebob Squarepants!”

    Sure enough, when I backed up a little bit, why, there was Spongebob’s pineapple house!


    And it was right next door, to the right – our right – of Squidward’s place – just like on the show. Happy accident or Spongebob-loving Petco employee with an obsession for accuracy? I think we’d both like to believe it’s the latter.

    These aquarium decorations are from the good folks at Penn-Plax and they’re just two among a number of Spongebob decorations for the well-dressed fish tank.

    They’ve even got the Krusty Krab!

    Look! Look!


    In addition to these buildings, they’ve also got little resin figures of all your favorite Bikini Bottom citizens – Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, Mrs. Puff, Plankton, even Gary.


    And what strikes me, and now you, about these decorative houses and the characters – is how very on-model they are. That is, how everything looks exactly as it does on the show!

    Well…almost everything.


    But let’s make this a teaching moment and use poor Sandy Cheeks’ ghastly, distorted countenance and the unbelievably agonizing pain we must assume she is experiencing as a warning to any of you less-experienced divers out there about the gruesome effects of surfacing too quickly.

    Posted by on March 18, 2013, 5:52 AM.

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