Thursday, November 16, 2017

This squirrel needs Dr. Now

Fattest squirrel I have ever seen. They're never exactly thin, but in the fall they begin to fatten up for a winter that never really arrives. Oh, sometimes we get a dump or two of snow, but to call that "winter" in Canada is an insult. But it's hardwired into these creatures to squirrel away food, to gather it and leap around with it in their mouths for a while, to look industrious, then scrabble away in the dirt and bury it, almost immediately forgetting where it is, then digging up some other squirrel's plunder and eating it on the spot. They don't hibernate around here, any more than the geese migrate, so they just keep on eating all winter and getting fatter. I don't hear all the swearing and scolding now that I did in September-October, but I'm not sure what that means. (Most bizarre moment: hearing a sound kind of like a squirrel scolding, then turning around and realizing it was a Steller's jay imitating a squirrel). I also haven't heard that nasty little red squirrel for a while (click on bottom to watch it on YouTube):

This guy was just furious for a couple of months, though at first I was sure it was some territorial bird. The red squirrel appeared to own the clump of bushes in the corner of the yard, though once I saw THREE black squirrels in there, thumbing their little black noses at the red squirrel, who went absolutely insane. Squirrels do this on purpose, just to be annoying.

I hear a lot less chattering and squeaking and swearing now, but I see a whole lot more eating.

Cats do nothing

                                               Cats do nothing.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hercules: NOT the Disney version!

Is this the worst animation in recorded history?

I have a certain fascination with "worsts", though it's often a matter of personal opinion just what constitutes a worst. But this must be one of them.

I mean.

I found this animated Italian version of Hercules several years go, then promptly forgot all about it. I think I featured it in my Festival of Bad Animation at some point, but it was only a snippet. This is an attempt to make three 45-second gifs from it (nine full-length ones in all, a real spectacle) representing the "highlights" of the story, which isn't really a story at all but a series of vignettes vaguely based on some kind of Greek myth about somebody. (Don't worry about sound, or the lack of it, because the soundtrack is completely unintelligible anyway). This thing makes the old Trans-Lux TV series The Mighty Hercules look like high art.

Though I had a few excerpts, I wasn't able to track down the whole movie for the longest time, because I kept searching under Hercules and getting that wretched Disney version. I finally took a screenshot of one of the videos, put it through Google reverse image, and matched it to another video I didn't know about, and found the magic word in the description that unlocked the mystery.


No, not "bingo". Dingo is the name of the animation studio which turned out this baffling thing, and many others which are almost worse. Armed with that information, I found the whole movie in Italian, without subtitles (for don't the characters tell the story? Sort of), plus another version dubbed in Finnish! 

This is an international production, obviously, for Dingo Pictures isn't Italian OR Finnish.  After a lot of digging around, I was able to find this snippet on an animation fan site:

Dingo Pictures is a German animation company, consisting of the husband and wife team Ludwig Ickert and Simone Greiss. The studio is infamous for creating traditionally-animated cartoons based on fairy tales and concepts plagiarizing the works of Disney, Pixar, Don Bluth, and DreamWorks. These cartoons are highly regarded as some of the worst animated films ever, with extremely low-budget animation,  disjointed plot lines that almost always go nowhere, repetitive dialogue, reuse of music and sound effects, lack of dub actors (usually two voice actors, one male and one female, in some cases only one), and shoddy character design, often looking as if it were traced from another cartoon.They have gained a cult following over time.

One of the most bizarre Disney ripoff appearances in this movie is Pongo, the leading dog of 101 Dalmatians. No kidding, right in the middle of Greek mythology we have this handsome spotted dog sitting there, totally out of place, and - yes - looking very much like he has been traced. I was also to discover - oh, this just gets worse and worse - that they DID do a ripoff of that movie, called Dalmatians, a pastiche of every dog movie ever made, including Lady and the Tramp, Rin Tin Tin, and Lassie Come Home. 

Though it does not quite sink to the rock-bottom level of Paddy the Pelican, which looks like a pencil test for something which was never actually made, Hercules is still pretty bad, with lots of laughs to get you over the boring parts. And there ARE boring parts. Believe me.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Retro recipes: taste or dare!

There are lots of web pages - not to mention YouTube channels - about retro recipes, mostly those horrendous gelatine "salads" of the '40s and '50s, when leftovers were not scraped into the garbage but encased in various flavours of Jello. The modern palate can't cope with this, as witness these really cool gifs depicting women tasting some of this stuff. Myself, I've made Sunshine Salad the odd time, though my kids looked at it in horror and wouldn't touch it. My husband kind of likes it, so maybe it's a generational thing? 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Howard Dean Scream

Every day, and in every way, I am learning more and more about things that are of no use to me whatsoever. I learn most of it from that torrent of misinformation, the internet, and from YouTube in particular, just cuz it's such a great source of distraction.

I stumbled across the Howard Dean scream some time ago - I didn't even know who he was, and am still not sure, but that sound he made was enough to end his political career. But then I became aware of the Wilhelm Scream. A character in a Western (presumably named Wilhelm) from some time in the 1950s was shot, and gave off this sound, this highly-unlikely, high-pitched, strangled male scream, not unlike the squeal of an injured dog. Sound technicians across Hollywood must be in a special sort of union, because the Wilhelm Scream has been dubbed into countless other movies, and is still being used today as a sort of sly auditory in-joke.

But my theory is that Howard Dean somehow got rigged up to the wrong sound equipment, so that a  Wilhelm Scream issued involuntarily out of his own capacious, seemingly-sincere, highly political mouth.

Sounds a bit like a rebel yell to me, but being a Canadian, how would I ever know?

Sunday, November 12, 2017


I was YouTubing around (late at night, like always) and began to look at fudge recipes, as my last two batches hadn't turned out very well. I found the following jaw-dropping exchange between what could only be called a fudge scientist, and a few other people who were obviously having him on: but what made it even more delicious (pardon the pun) is that he had NO IDEA they were having him on. He took them entirely seriously in their earnest questions about the specific gravity of the fudge he was making - even asking him for a copy of his spreadsheet! - and just continued to pontificate, a self-involved, know-it-all, university-certified crashing bore, the type you never want to get caught with at a party. He ripped into the one person who had something intelligent (not to mention relevant) to say about the whole thing, accusing her of finding spiritual fulfillment in failure. Ain't YouTube grand?

MrSwanley2 years ago (edited)
I have tried making fudge many times, and found it near impossible to get consistent results using this technique. Then, being an engineer, I realised that both temperature and soft ball tests are (unreliable) ways to estimate water content. If you knew the target water content you could just measure it directly by weighing the pot and contents, before and after - there is no need to estimate it. I now believe that perfect fudge has a water content of around 10.5%. Hence with this recipe your starting weight is 1094g (+pot) and I predict that if you cook it until you reduce to 931g (+pot), leave to cool for 8 mins, beat for 5 minutes and pour... you should end up with perfect fudge every time. I made myself a little spreadsheet to calculate moisture content of common ingredients, and so far I've hit the nail every time I've followed it. In fact this method is precise enough to go for a particular type of fudge, e.g. moist or slightly dry.
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AnyaLake1 year ago
+MrSwanley well good for you, you just took the joy out of it!
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MrSwanley1 year ago (edited)
+anyalake The joy comes from eating and gifting perfectly made fudge, in fact I'm not aware of what other joy there is to be had. However, if you get some kind of spiritual fulfillment from failure then you can just keep on doing what you're doing. Nobody is forcing you.
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Joseph Mory1 year ago
+MrSwanley from one engineer to another, would you care sharing that spreadsheet?
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MrSwanley1 year ago
+Joseph Mory I'm willing, but I don't know how to get a file to you. I don't use any file sharing sites and I believe YT would block the URL anyway. I don't see a personal message system either. Besides which, the spreadsheet is nothing special. It's just a list of ingredients by weight (g), for each ingredient I input an estimated water % and use that to calculate the water grams. I sum the columns to calculate total weight and total water %, and a final section allows me to enter a target water% and predict what the total weight should be when that amount of water is removed. Basic assumption that all mass lost is water vapour. My water% estimates for important ingredients are milk(87%), sweetened condensed milk(33%), butter(15%). That's in the UK: different parts of the world have different standards for solids content of dairy products, so I would double check those.
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Joseph Mory1 year ago
I'm sure I'll be able to figure it out, thanks for the input!

AnyaLake1 year ago
a spiritually fulfilled person would have sent a PM, exchanged emails or even posted onto google docs given that everyone posting here by definition has a google account. Right back to failing in life I go ...
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MrSwanley1 year ago (edited)
+anyalake I am here trying to share ideas with other people who are interested in making fudge. You seem to be intent on nothing except picking a fight - for no good reason that I can see. Thanks for reminding me about Google: I just used it to mute any further posts from you.
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Fyfy zyzy1 year ago
+MrSwanley I was wondering your calculations include the pot, how much does your pot weigh? Just so I could calculate and get exact results every time but with using my pot weight. Thank you for sharing what you have discovered.

MrSwanley1 year ago (edited)
+Fyfy zyzy The weights I gave don't include the pot, that's why I say (+pot) beside them. They are just the sum of the weights of the recipe ingredients, before and after removing water. Add the weight of your own pot to both.

Sam LSD1 year ago
thanks for that scientific calculation about moisture content.

Zilliz 0002 months ago
MrSwanley could just use a candy thermometer! !
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ferociousgumby20 hours ago

FUDGE WARS, ROUND 2!: I just perused a few more fudge recipes on YouTube, and you wouldn't believe who popped up in the comments, giving everyone even more grief about the sacred science of fudge-making. Some poor lady, obviously just trying to be helpful, posted a conversion from British weight measurement to the standard North American dry measure system (cups instead of ounces/mls). And once again, the Fudge Grinch popped up. . . 

Abigail Skelton2 years ago
FOR EVERYONE IN AMERICA, HERE ARE THE INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp butter 2 cups brown sugar 1/2 cup milk about 1 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk what recipe should I convert next?
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Abigail Skelton2 years ago
+thecraftyzebra Your welcome! Any suggestions for another recipe to convert?
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MrSwanley2 years ago
+the wild one I hate it when people use liquid volumetric measures for solids such as butter, and things with variable density, such as sugar. Even in America I'd have thought people would want to use sensible, repeatable measures. So, no more conversions please.
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Sheree Hyde1 year ago
+the wild one Thank you for converting this for us in the US! Love these recipes! Please do caramel tarts!

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Sheree Hyde1 year ago
+MrSwanley Speak for yourself only. I appreciate the conversions!
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Tabitha Crouse1 year ago
Thank you so much! That is extremely helpful!
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E Winter1 year ago

I know right. mrswanley has a lot of nerve speaking for everyone. Needs to mind his business if the conversations aren't useful for him.

Melatina771 year ago (edited)
Great tasting fudge and easy to make!

MrSwanley1 year ago
+E Winter It would help if you learned to speak and interpret English before making a fool of yourself. I clearly said "_I_ hate it", not "_we_ hate it", i.e. at no time did I claim to speak for anyone except myself. And I stand by what I said, which most people with a brain will recognize as common sense.
Reply 2


My cat and suicide prevention

Some thoughts, late at night (and when did I become such a night owl? I used to be in bed by 9:00 p.m., and up at 5:30). I'm re-reading a novel by Monica Dickens called The Listeners, a fictionalized account of the Samaritans, the first suicide prevention group which was started in the UK in the 1950s. As with a lot of books you first read a long time ago, the book has mysteriously changed. 

I have my own personal experiences with the Samaritans, and I can tell you how THEY have changed in the past 15 years or so. It's sad, to me, that it has become so corporate, with their web site so slickly generic it could be a site for any modern business. I suppose this has been done to make it appeal to the public by looking so contemporary. It even posts charts with the rate of suicides in Britain over the years, boasting that it's at a "six-year low", with a gloating sense that THEY are somehow responsible. 

Charts and graphs don't help people who are desperate and, as the Monica Dickens book puts it, "at the end of their tether". If I saw a graph like that, I'd immediately try to find something more human. It's not the warm, engaging site I read when I needed help so badly. How many people will NOT be helped because of it?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Blackbird, bye-bye

From the time it first happened, it has always seemed magical to me that blackbirds fly down to eat out of your hand at Piper Spit, the dock on Burnaby Lake. I've even had a bird in each hand, but this time they took turns, not always graciously. I've never seen so many of them at one time, all of them greedy to be fed. For months I've noticed this flock, juvenile males who were probably hatched last spring, and they were too shy to come down, though they did take an interest. They seem to like to mass in a clump of bushes near the entrance of the dock, and even if you can't see them, you can hear that exquisite song. And when people walk by, they don't fly away. They know a good thing when they see it! But with the capricious habits of birds, we may not see them again until next spring. 

Who's that girl?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Jaws of death: or, why no one watches my YouTube channel

Has my bizarre experiment with primitive animation come to a close? Apparently not. This is based on my childhood fear that old cars would bite me. They had such. . . teeth. They even had faces. All cars have faces, even the bland modern ones, but in the 1940s the phenomenon reached a peak. I don't have a sound track for this, as I haven't learned how to do sound gifs yet. I may be getting tired of the whole thing, at last. It ain't exactly Disney, is it? - but making a still picture move still fascinates me.

I want to start doing mashups of gifs with still pictures and slide shows. This will take more work and concentration, and I am not sure I am up for it because my blog views are back down to about ten a day. The bizarre thing is, about a year ago I had a huge (for me) surge in views to about 800. Made no sense at all, as I don't think I was posting anything different, just the usual strange and eccentric stuff on a variety of topics. Back in the days when I really wrote - I mean, short stories and essays and stuff like that - I was lucky to get five views. So what happened?

It's capricious, like videos "going viral", when most of them are either offensive or dangerous or sicky-cute, or just damn dumb. I am dismayed to see YouTube views in the millions (and some are now reaching BILLIONS), when more worthy entries are virtually ignored. 

The video above is a case in point. Hey, I love the "double rainbow guy" as much as anybody - but is this stoned ramble really worthy of 44,709,406 views?

Meanwhile, I stumbled upon this jaw-dropping natural phenomenon, a complete rainbow (and yes, it's a double rainbow too) filmed in Ireland back in 2012. In five years it has attracted 60 views. The counter must have frozen, because I have revisited this one many times, and it still says 60 views. I have a feeling YouTube stops counting after a while, or at least decides that you don't count.

So it's pretty meaningless how many views you get, but the internet brings out the fragile heart of the forgotten child in each of us - well, in SOME of us - a few of us? - oh all right, in me. The child who wasn't invited to the party, for reasons that make no sense at all, except that she just wasn't liked.

I still go back and forth between really not giving a rip (which is true most of the time) and feeling bruised. Here all this hard work is going to waste, and nobody cares. You don't write something and then bury it in the garden to make sure no one sees it. But that's kind of what happened. I had three novels published which barely sold. What nobody tells you, when you decide you want to get published, is that your books MUST sell, or you will not really be considered an author. If you opened a restaurant and nobody came, it wouldn't speak well to the quality of the food. People would stay away because people were staying away.

And if you're box office poison, a publisher would have to be a fool to take you on again. 

But I've kept this blog going a long time. I don't want to think how long, but six years comes to mind. There is something entertaining just in the act of putting a post together. It has to amuse me, first. I guess then I just set it out there. I don't look at stats for months at a time. I am not trying to make money with this, not trying to make anything, really. When it's working well, it's fun. No one would expect a concert pianist to play in an empty hall. But if you play for the sheer pleasure of it, because you want to, because it feels good to do something you know you're good at - maybe there's not so much need for paying customers.

But the inequities are baffling. The above short video of my adorable grandson Ryan has so far received 72,810 views, but lots of my stuff is still at zero (including, most unfairly, videos of the other kids' birthdays). Though it's a cute video, I have no idea why it seemed to draw so much attention when the others didn't. I have one blog post that still racks up attention, and I don't know why that is either: 

"I see dead people": Victorian post-mortem photography

I know there is much more interest in this subject now than when I wrote it in 2012, and even whole Facebook pages are devoted to spotting "fakes" (which one quasi-historian claimed most of my photos were). But that still doesn't explain the 118,490 views it has received. So far.

But then, who's counting?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Harold Lloyd blinks

Northern Lights - NOT in time lapse

Though I am now on Facebook Lite, trying to stay off the news feed because it irritates me so, I still do the occasional flip-through. I can't resist aurora borealis videos, and it's not true they're "all the same". What I like about this amazing light show over Reykjavik is that it is NOT in time lapse! It seems that looking at the normal speed of things is no longer fast enough, you've got to cram more and more into the few seconds you can spare. No shade of green is quite like this.

This video is better watched full-screen, with the sound on.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Marilyn Monroe - RARE Version Of "I Hate A Careless Man "

I wasn't looking for this, at all - but strangely enough, it relates to what I WAS looking for: pictures from a photo shoot Marilyn Monroe did with Harold Lloyd in 1953. As a matter of fact, this video was taken during one of those sessions, as I was to find out on another site:

"It has been a puzzle to Marilyn fans for many years: the brief video clip where a swimsuit-clad MM, reclining on a poolside lounger, purrs, ‘I hate a careless man.’ It was shot at the home of Harold Lloyd, the silent movie comedian turned cheesecake photographer, in 1953. But little more was known about it. Now Immortal Marilyn‘s April VeVea has found the source of the mystery footage…

“Recently I was going through Marilyn Monroe’s IMDB page under the ‘Archive Footage’ tab. I was surprised to see her listed under a 1995 documentary, narrated by William Shatner, called Trinity and Beyond – The Atomic Bomb Movie. In it, a short 1953 PSA [Public Service Announcement], that was only shown to members of the United States Air Force, called Security is Common Sense is shown at the 47:35 mark. The PSA talks about using common sense measures when dealing with government secrets such as ‘avoiding loose talk, safeguarding top secret information, reporting security violations at once, and avoiding writing about top secret information when writing home.’ At 48:39 who pops up but Marilyn herself to end the PSA!”

I am actually not a big Marilyn fan, but I need to keep feeding my Harold Lloyd Facebook page (for some reason - it has not resulted in a single book sale), so I decided to explore the Marilyn photo shoot a little further. What's surprising about these poses is the modesty of her strapless coral bathing suit, which she fills out with juicy peach-flesh sexiness - just Harold's kind of woman, busty and generous of thigh. But the really spectacular thing is - the shoes. The SHOES! I'm not even a shoe maven, but those towering Lucite platforms are enough to convert me. Tied on with Grecian crossed ribbons, they are truly the footwear of a goddess. I am sure in the above pose Harold was instructing her, "Now hold that foot out so they can see the shoe!" Whether Harold slept with her is a matter for conjecture, but apparently he "did" a lot of his models - or they did him, in some fashion, of which I have some idea. To be honest, Marilyn gave the best blow jobs in Hollywood, was not at all shy about performing them, and it took her very far.


The Way to Eden is one of the more memorable episodes of the original Star Trek series. Basically, it's about a bunch of space hippies searching for an idyllic planet called Eden, led by a sinister cult leader with stranger ears than Spock. Since this is a series of 15-second gifs strung together (one of my long-gif experiments), there's no sound, but you can hum along. Meanwhile, some memorable quotes:

Memorable quotes

"We are one."
"One is the beginning."
"Are you One, Herbert?"
"I am not Herbert."
"He's not Herbert! We reach!" - Spock and Sevrin and Adam, as Spock opens a dialogue

"Many myths are based on truth, captain." - Spock, on the existence of Eden

"There are many who are uncomfortable with what we have created. It is almost a biological rebellion – a profound revulsion against the planned communities, the programming, the sterilized, artfully balanced atmospheres. They hunger for an Eden – where spring comes."
"All do. The cave is deep in our memory." - Spock and Kirk, on why Sevrin's followers embrace the primitive lifestyle

"They regard themselves as aliens in their own worlds – a condition with which I am somewhat familiar." - Spock, to Kirk

"Herbert was a minor official, notorious for his rigid and limited patterns of thought."
"Well, I shall try to be less rigid in my thinking." - Spock and Kirk, after Kirk was called Herbert

"Gonna crack my knuckles and jump for joy! I got a clean bill of health from Doctor McCoy!" - Adam, in sickbay

"I thought all the animals were kept in cages." - Chapel, when Sevrin's followers angrily try to enter sickbay

"I am proud of what I am, I believe in what I do. Can you say that?" - Chekov, to Irina, in hallway after leaving sickbay with her.

"Because you disapproved of me, just as you do now. Oh Pavel, you have always been like this, so correct. And inside, the struggle not to be. Give in to yourself, you will happier, you'll see." - Irina, in response to Chekov ("Why did you stay away?")

"You don't belong with them! You know what we want--you want it too! Come! Join us!"
"How do you know what I want?"
"You're young. Think young, brother!"
"You make it tempting." - female space hippie, to Sulu

"Captain, I just had to give one of those barefooted what do you call 'ems the boot out of here. She came in bold as brass, tried to incite my crew to disaffect." - Scotty, to Captain Kirk, about one of Sevrin's young followers

"I could never obey a computer."
"You could never listen to anyone. You always had to be different."
"Not different, what I wanted to be. There is nothing wrong in doing what you want." - Irina, before kissing Chekov

"I don't understand why a young mind has to be an undisciplined one."
"I used to get into some trouble when I was that age, Scotty, didn't you?" - Scott and Kirk, on Severin's young followers

"We cannot allow them to come after us. It will not reach us in here; I can control it all. I have adjusted it so that it will suspend its effects after a few moments and allow us time to escape. Then, after we've gone, it will automatically reactivate. Rejoice, brethren! Soon we shall step together into Eden." - Doctor Severin

"His name was Adam." - Spock, seeing Adam's corpse next to the half-eaten fruit

"Be incorrect, occasionally."
"And you be correct."
"Occasionally." - Irina and Chekov, after their last kiss

"It is my sincere wish that you do not give up your search for Eden. I have no doubt but that you will find it, or make it yourselves."

- Spock to Irina, just before she leaves the ship

This one is an extra:

But I can't post this without a sample of the music. Here's the main jam:

Monday, November 6, 2017

"It's Baxter!" The Meow Mix cat crashes the wedding

I don't know how many Meow Mix commercials with Baxter were made, but so far I have been able to locate three - two on YouTube, and this one, scrounged up at great effort and expense off another website. Along with the "meow-meow-Close-Encounters" ad, it's classic. The ads had a predictable course, with Frank, the well-meaning but put-upon cat lover, persecuted by his girl friend (here, his almost-wife, until Baxter objects). The phone would ring, she'd say "Don't get that, Frank!", and Frank would get it. The rest is Baxter legend.

Oh all right. Here are the other two Baxter ads. Click on the bottom right to see a larger version on YouTube. They don't make ads like this any more. The fact that Baxter somewhat resembles Bentley is a plus.

Cute Kitten Cleaning Baby Bunny

I was looking for the above classic cat-and-bunny gif, when I happened upon even more unbearable cuteness: a video of a kitten grooming a rather put-upon baby bunny. They both break the fluff-o-meter.

SPECIAL BONUS FLUFF! Don't ask me where I found this one. The original gif was popular about 6 years ago, so it was hard to find any additional material. I was hoping for a YouTube video, but haven't found one yet. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Disco cats: they're here!

Want to know how little it takes to make me happy? I just found out my gif program will string a bunch of pre-made gifs together into one LONG gif. I've had these one- or two-second snippets from an old Meow Mix commercial kicking around in a file, may even have posted them separately at some point, but now they're in one long sequence. I'm stuck with more megabytes or megatons or whatever-it-is that makes these too big, which may nor may not mean they can or can't post. But what a cool thing, though now I realize I've been able to do it for five years or so, just didn't know it.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Man run over by steamroller

Fat dancing preacher

I am sure I have posted this before, but it deserves a second coming. This is one of those evangelical preachers who gets all worked up into a dancin' fervor, probably speaks a little tongues while he's at it. I think his name is Rodney Howard-Browne, and he was instrumental in that Toronto Blessing movement which always struck me as an offshoot of the Holy Rollers. They used to talk about people doing "carpet time", which could have many meanings. And far from just speaking in tongues, which is just a lot of yabba-dabba nonsense, they'd roar like lions, cluck like chickens, and probably made hippo noises too. Then the whole thing died out, and is now just a major embarrassment to the church. Kenneth Hagin has the most extreme examples in his "holy ghost camp meetings" - you-all can check it out on YouTube if you want some real entertainment.

What, what, WHAT? The mystery cartoon

This is one of five thousand or so gifs I've made and stashed away over the years. Looking for something else in a file, I found it again. Obviously it was taken from an old cartoon, likely on YouTube. But now I'm curious as to WHICH cartoon, from which studio, or at least the name of the cartoon or the name of the series, or the year, or something

More than once I tried to dig up the source of this few seconds of quite compelling animation. You can imagine the search terms I've tried! But it has availed me nothing.

It's just so odd. I wish I remembered anything of the entire cartoon, what it was about, what else happened in it. This is all that survives, this dam-bursting, floodgate-opening moment which is actually quite erotic. I say erotic because of the way the water ruptures the barrier and explodes over the rocks in roaring rapids. I like the animation, it's quite well-done, but who or what are those little "things" pulling on the vine-twisted rope? They look like little kewpie dolls or something, tiny naked doll-like creatures that likely inhabit some enchanted village. 

It's just such a strange thing to animate, and I think it's done very well, but WHO DID IT? I'd say Disney, but he wasn't the only knife in the drawer back then, not with Fleischer and Van Beuren and Ub Iwerks and Paul Terry and many others, turning them out regularly to run with feature films.

I'm mesmerized by this thing. I don't even know if the YouTube video is still up. It's SOOOO frustrating when you go on a wild goose chase to find an old video you loved, only to come to the pitiful realization that it doesn't exist any more.

I have sent an email to one Jerry Beck, an animation historian, with this gif attached, so we'll see if we get anything back. If HE doesn't know, I don't think anyone will.


I opened my email this morning, and here is what I received:

That scene is from the Hugh Harman MGM cartoon THE BLUE DANUBE (1939). 
You can see that scene at the 5:00 (5 minute) mark here


Jerry Beck

Not only did Jerry Beck get back to me in about 6 hours, he gave me exactly the information I needed, plus a link to the actual cartoon, above. Thus I was watching it within seconds, including that incredible floodgates sequence.

Who DOES this? Who answers an email right away, when the entire Lloyd family, not to mention Rich Correll, treated me like I didn't exist? Wouldn't even give me a "no" or tell me they despised the very idea of my novel? Gave me worse than the cold shoulder? And this after what looked like initial curiosity and interest. This crushed me more than I can even say, and sometimes makes me think I have thrown away about five years of my writing life.

But never mind. Some people actually care, and readily share their passion and knowledge with others. THIS is the glory of the internet, which occasionally shows itself. I'll post a better copy of this cartoon if and when I find it, but until then, I've made a gif of the entire "water sequence" by stringing three short gifs together (and if you want any more proof this is erotic, just take a look at the waterfall at the end. I won't say what it is, except that it is a waterfall pussy.) 

Postscript to the postscript. This is the sad part. No sooner had I jumped for joy on rediscovering the mystery cartoon than it was pulled off of YouTube on some obscure copyright grounds. All I can think of is that Strauss' Blue Danube Waltz is no longer in the public domain, even though it is heard everywhere, on TV, radio, movies, the internet, YOUTUBE, etc. etc., or at least it is not available to be used with a cartoon. Stupidest thing I ever heard of, BUT, before it was pulled I did manage to make the longer gif out of the floodgates sequence. So you still got to see the waterfall pussy. But the timing seems suspicious, somehow. 

Oh, and. There's more. In trying to track down another version of this lost cartoon, I actually found one:

It seems ironic to me that while the cartoon has been pulled for copyright reasons, THIS version of it, obviously pirated, will likely stay.