Throwback Thursday: Hollywood

cbs building4

You know, just me and Ann standing atop historic CBS Columbia Square in the mid- to late ‘90s. So much to say about this picture, like:

  • Ann and I were both a little…heavier then.
  • She is most definitely NOT taller than me — she was standing on a box.
  • Capitol Records is on the left.
  • The Hollywood sign can be seen on the right.
  • I could never quite pull off wearing mirrorshades.
  • We stopped here, where my brother was working at the time, to take a quick tour before walking a few blocks to the Pantages Theater to see The Phantom of the Opera for the umpteenth time (and by stating that, yes, I do know the whole thing by heart).
  • If I remember correctly, we also chatted with the co-star of the show, Marie Danvers, in her rented Chevy Cavalier after the performance. It may not have been this time but we did in fact spend time with her and wow, she’s a fantastic, funny lady.

Sadly, the building fell into a state of disrepair and is now slated to be converted into apartments, retail, and office spaces.

And I can guarantee that at least one of those stores will be selling mirrorshades like mine – now considered “retro” and going for $250 a pair.

More From the Ballpark

It had been years since I went to a ballgame so it was definitely a treat to walk through the gates and enter Anaheim Stadium, a place where I spent many a summer day in my youth.

The place has gone through a few major changes over the years. When I first starting going in the mid-70s, it was really nothing extraordinary. In fact, it was just a functional ballpark as most were back in the day. There weren’t even any bleachers beyond the outfield wall but some were added later.

Then in the 80s, it was decided the stadium was to be enclosed so that it could also accommodate the L.A. Rams. It went from a simple stadium to one hell of an ugly place that also hosted monster truck rallies (YEEEEEEHAWWWWWWW!) in addition to football games, which always bothered the hell out of me because few things are more sacriligous than seeing yard lines across centerfield. It’s just not right.

ana08951mainThe stadium remained enclosed even years after the Rams split town. As a result, the place always looked cavernous and empty even if there were 40,000 people in attendance, since there were still 20,000 seats (not normally sold for baseball) that were vacant. This wasn’t necessarily good since Angel fans at the time were notorious for, well, not showing up anyhow. How do I know this? There were less than 18,000 people in attendance the night George Brett went 4-for-5 and got hits 2,997-3,000. Baseball history in the making and nobody decided to show up. But at least I was one of them in the photographer’s well.

When The Disney Company took over, they took that Frankenstein of a stadium and completely transformed it into what is one of the most beautiful ballparks in all of baseball.

That’s exactly why I felt like a kid again when my buddy Tim and I took our seats on Sunday. The gorgeous green grass that lay before us, the stadium hot dogs that tasted better than a steak (nostagically, of course), and the years of memories of watching some of baseball’s greatest play: Gwynn, Ripken, Brett, Molitor, Yount, Reggie Jackson, Nolan Ryan, etc. Although I’m a Dodger fan, Anaheim Stadium (as it will always be known to me) holds more personal memories than Dodger Stadium, a great ballpark in its own right.

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This Post Has No Title

Click to enlarge

I honestly couldn’t think of a title for this entry, so there you go.

There was a time, boys and girls, when your old pal Dave here was young and ambitious. No, seriously! I was attending a local community college and working on my AA in Advertising Design but during that time, Ann pointed out to me that I had taken most of the classes required to earn a certificate in Technical Writing. When it came time to make “The Decision” of choosing between work and continuing school, work ended up winning but I did manage to make it out with my certificate–and a really bad college ID card. And I think I still have my art box filled with Primacolor markers, pencils hanging in hardness from 8H to 8B, Rapdiograph pens…ah, good times.

So anyway, before I chose to make a mockery of my skills by attending college, I was an avid artist. I drew whenever I could to stay sharp: cartoon characters, three-point perspectives, etc. The ability to draw was always in me, handed down in genes from my Uncle Ben who was originally contacted by Walt Disney himself to be an artist for this crazy place he imagined called Disneyland. (Uncle Ben eventually refused and worked on his own.)

As proof of my artistic prowess, I offer a shot of one of the few projects I am actually proud of that always seems to make its way from the darkest depths of the garage this time of year. The image at the top of the page is something I threw together over two days back in 1996 and was based on a vintage Hallowe’en decoration my mom gave me a few years prior. (To see more from the same era and possibly set, click here. I dig old Hallowe’en decorations!)

I started out by sketching the image–I never, ever traced–onto a piece of wood then cutting it on a scroll saw. Naturally, I had to drill holes, remove and re-attach the blade to cut the openings for the eyes, mouth and nose. Once the cutting was complete, I slathered the wood with Gesso and let it dry.

From that point it was a matter of eyeballing the thing determining the dominant colors and in this case, they were black, orange and yellow (as are most Hallowe’en decorations–duh!) Once the dominant colors were painted, I went back and painted the detail colors, then used fine- and medium-point black Sharpies for the highlights. I then coated it with a protectant to that it wouldn’t be exposed to the elements and some 12 years later, it’s still holding up.

After all that I decided to drill a hole in the bottom for a stick so that it could be stuck in the ground (or potted plant) for display.

So as you can tell, I have very unconventional techniques when it comes to creating art or something like it. I guess that explains why I never truly continued to pursue my degree, but it’s always nice to see this jack o’ lantern and be reminded of when I was a little more dedicated to art. In fact, I’m considering doing something similar this year with Jack Skellington and company this year but I’m not too sure.

Stay tuned in case anything changes. And let’s go Dodgers!

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Ye Olde Internet

It’s Friday so I thought I’d write a fun entry.

How long have you been on the Internet? Me, I’ve been around since about 1994 when I accessed the Web via WebTV. I paid nearly $400 for that thing but as you can imagine, using it became cumbersome and I eventually bought a Packard Bell PC at Sears with some amazing specs: 8GB HD, 233 MHz processor, 256MB RAM. It also came with a printer and monitor, and I paid the amazingly low price of $1,999—on sale, no less. I had also purchased a Visioneer 5×7 pass-thru scanner and Iomega ZIP 100 drive for it since, you know, this was one hell of a machine!

But it was that machine that opened my eyes to all sorts of cool things in the Internet. Well, cool for the mid-90s at least. Let me now entertain you with what I remember, and see if you can recall these things, too.

Note that most of the links are through since the current domain may be dedicated to something totally unrelated, so there may be many broken images when you click on them. When you do click, read through some of the claims as they are pretty damned funny. And keep in mind, folks, all of this was done on dial-up. Yeesh…

Are you ready to take a trip back to what seems like so long ago? Here we go! It might be a long trip so grab some snacks. Pop-Tarts for me, please!

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Bust A Nut

The whole Washington Mutual ad slogan got me thinking about other dumb or annoying ads from the past.

And I think I may have found the crown jewel.

Back in the 90s there was a snappy radio jingle for Corn Nuts, in my opinion one of the raunchiest snacks ever invented or consumed by mankind. I can’t stand them and probably would starve if they were the only things to eat in the house. (By the way, these things are still made but Planters no longer makes Caribbean Crunch? How fair is that?)

At any rate, the commercial invited all listeners to “bust a nut” by opening up a bag of Corn Nuts. Maybe they were trying to expand on the term “bust this out” by busting out a Corn Nut after opening a bag, but if you listen to the jingle (and read the lyrics) you’ll soon learn that the writer of the song may have had other things on his mind.

Here it is, courtesy of YouTube. Of particular interest is the when the backup singers scream “WOOOO!” after the lyrics “It might be small but it’s a big impact!”

Such a peppy little tune. It may just become my newest ringtone, provided I don’t bust a nut when I answer the phone.

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