Friday, December 30, 2011

My Elvis' Christmas Album

This Christmas I decided to find my first two childhood Christmas albums. I knew the first was Elvis' Christmas Album from 1970. I could not remember much about the second one except that it had a red cover and was perhaps mostly instrumental Christmas music. These were the only two Christmas albums I had has a kid, so they got played over and over ever Christmas for years. I found them in my mothers small record collection, which she had not touched in years. I asked if I could have them, and pointed out that my name was even written on the front cover of the Elvis album. She happily handed them over knowing they would get a prized place in my record collection.
On Christmas Eve, I poured a Coca Cola into a Coca Cola Christmas glass, turned on the "fire log" channel on my TV and put the Elvis' Christmas Album on my USB turntable which is hooked up to a grape iMac. I was instantly transported back to my childhood as the first song, "Blue Christmas" began.
Although I am not an Elvis fan, I enjoyed the album greatly, until the very last song on side two which I though didn't seem to fit the Christmas album theme. I then noticed that on the front cover of the album it lists all the songs, and then in a box at the bottom it says By Request "Mama Liked the Roses". I guess they could not come up with a full albums worth of Elvis Christmas songs, and needed one more song? I wonder who requested it?
This album has always been the Christmas soundtrack in my head, and now I can play it every year for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Boxing Day Bonanza at Goodwill

On Boxing Day (December 26th) we took a trip down to Marysville, Washington to partake of the Golden Coral "All You Care to Eat" buffet.  It was amazing as always. If you have never been to a Golden Coral, and you have one within driving distance (our closest one is about 1 1/2 hour drive), you have to check it out. After lunch, we driving around checking out various malls and stores. Along the way we found two Goodwill stores where they are having a 50% everything sale, which meant that 99 cent records were now 50 cents, and 10 cent cassette tapes were now 5 cents... Yippee!

I came home with 29 LPs and 1 cassette tape, with the bulk of them being Disney albums, but there were also some other great childrens albums, including:
1) The Muppet Alphabet Album, Staring Jim Henson's Muppets from Sesame Street
2) Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron featuring Peter Pan Pop Band & Singers
3) Alphabet Song, on Tinkerbell Records
4) Danny Kaye tells 6 stories from Faraway Places
5) Songs for Children on Golden Records
6) Musical version of H.H. Rey's Curious George
7) The Unicorn, on Peter Pan Records
8) Frosty the Snowman, on Tinkerbell Records
9) All the Songs from the Walt Disney Movie Pinocchio, on Golden Records

Although a few of them are in rough condition, they all had the original LPs inside and once I put them into shinny new record sleeves, they all looked great, and are ready to be added to my collection. Total cost for all 29 LPs plus one cassette was a grand total of $14.55.

If you would like to check out the other non Disney albums I picked up, check them out over at the Disneyland Records blog.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #153

It's been over a month since my last Little Golden Book Monday. Last time I featured "I'm a Truck", and continuing with the vehicle theme, today I present "The Taxi That Hurried".
This copy was reissued on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Little Golden Books in 1992. The book is by Lucy Sprague Mitchell, Irma Simonton Black, and Jessie Stranton, with pictures by Tibor Gergely.
This is another of the books I had on my book shelve as a kid, and I can remember reading it many times over. Pretty surprising to find out all these years later that it took three people to write this one!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #152

Today's Little Golden Book is I'm a Truck by Dennis Shealy and illustrated by Bob Staake. I saw it in a book store back in 2006 when it was released, but did not pick it up, thinking that I would get it later. It just took me 5 years to find another copy sitting on a book store shelve.
The illustrations throughout are fun, and I especially like Ol' Leif the logging truck who looks like a giant toque with wheels. I'm not sure that its safe for Ol' Leif to be driving around with an axe stuck into one of the logs he is hauling. It looks pretty unsafe to me!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kaden's Alien Artwork

A couple of weeks ago, Kaden was on another big artwork kick. Here is one of the paintings he did, which I especially liked. Kaden is a big fan of the show Ben 10 and all the cool aliens on the show. He said this is one of his own alien creations.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

TV Week Fall Preview 2011 - Part 2

TV Week magazine Fall Preview 2011 Part 2 (Sept 17-23) focuses on the Returning Series. There are a bunch of shows I am looking forward to the return of, including (can't miss shows are in bold): The Big Bang Theory, Community, Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, The Middle, Modern Family, The Office, Raising Hope, Rules of Engagement, Supernatural, Two and a Half Men and my absolute favorite, Psych. Unfortunately Psych never seems to get a regular time slot on any particular channel here in Canada, so this is a show I have to watch online, which is too bad, as it is by far my favorite show over the past 5 seasons.

Both the wife and I have been watching Burn Notice since they started airing it here in Canada last season on Showcase. They have just started airing season 3 last week, and its always circled on our Tuesday night calender.

Then there is The Looney Tunes Show which is an update of all the Looney Tunes characters including Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. I had initially stayed away from this one, as I was expecting it to be dreadfully awful, and after hearing the voice of Bugs Bunny in a preview clip, I was sure there was no way I could sit though an entire episode. But after watching a few episodes with my son, we are now both hooked. I am even getting used to the new voice of Bugs.

My guilty pleasure is Attack of the Show on G4 Tech TV. I have been watching the show since the early days when it was called The Screen Savers and featured Leo Laporte as one of its hots. I used to prefer its 10 pm time slot, as it seemed I would always be looking for something to watch around that time. With its new 4 pm time slot, I am very ofter not even home before its over, and sadly I still don't own a DVR. I am still using my 4 VHS machines to record all my shows.

And lastly, there is a listing for The Comedy Central Roast: Roast of Charlie Sheen on September 19th. I will definitely have to tune it to this train wreck!

Then there is the list of 40+ cancelled shows, most of which I'll be happy to see go. I will miss S#"! My Dad Says and Mad Love, as I enjoyed both. And two more shows which I never actually saw on TV, but checked out online and though were great; CHAOS, and The Paul Reiser Show have also been cancelled. I have to wonder, if these shows had actually been given a chance for an audience to find them, would they have been cancelled, or do I just enjoy watching crap!?

Of the 47 new shows that premired last season, just 9 survived and made it to a second season. Those shows are: Blue Bloods, Bob's Burgers, Body of Proof, Harry's Law, Hawaii Five-O, Mike & Molly, Nikita, Raising Hope, and Secret Millionaire. Raising Hope is the one returning show that I am looking forward to, as it is probably my favorite of last seasons crop of shows.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #151

Today's Little Golden Book is another 2011 release, and yet another SpongeBob Squarepants book. This one is titled Top of the Class! In this story we see Plankton, owner of the Chum Bucket restaurant, looking to steal the secret Krabby Patty formula from SpongeBob, putting the Krusty Krab out of business - once and for all. Plankton tricks SpongeBob into attending his fry school, where he promises SpongeBob a degree in pattyology! Thankfully Plankton's plans don't go as planned, and the Krabby Patty formula remains a secret!
I still get a kick out of watching SpongeBob Squarepants episodes with my son. The series celebrated its tenth anniversary on July 17, 2009. SpongeBob was renewed for a ninth season on January 3, 2011. So far the series has aired 304 individual episodes and we watched a ton of them back in July during the 7 day, 150 hour, marathon of SpongeBob Square Pants on Nick TV Canada.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

TV Week Fall Preview 2011 - Part 1

It's that time of year when those of us who are addicted to television get excited about all the new TV shows as well as look forward to the return of our old favorites. We also mourn the loss of those shows that didn't make it to the new fall season. I was going to do a list of what I liked from last year and which shows were still on etc, but unfortunately, I didn't do my list last season (I must have been too excited watching all the new shows to sit and write a post).

Last weeks issue of TV Week (for the week of Sept 10-16) takes a look at the 50 new shows for this fall season. Here is a list of the ten shows I will be tuning in to and checking out this fall (I'll give each show a rating out of 5 for how much I am looking forward to it - 5 being the ones I am most excited about):

PAN AM (1) - A big ticket drama which follows a quartet of comely stewardesses on the prestigious Pam Am airline during the early 1960's, an era when air travel was still fun and glamorous, and being a stewardess was a passport to international adventure. I am not a big fan of drama, but the subject matter seems interesting, so we'll see if I am able to stick with it after the first episode.

TERRA NOVA (2) - Exec producer Steven Spielberg returns to familiar territory with this much-anticipated series set in 2149. Humanity flees a dying earth entering a "time portal" that sens them millions of year into the past, where they begin colonizing the prehistoric planet. I used to enjoy Land of the Lost as a youngster, and Jurassic Park was lots of fun. But, I fear this will be given the "Lost" treatment and become to tangled in plot instead of just being a fun weekly bit of entertainment.

2 BROKE GIRLS (3) - The show follows a pair of NYC waitresses who work at a dingy diner alongside its new owner, a horny Russian cook and an elderly cashier. If its funny, it could end up being interesting.

LAST MAN STANDING (3) - Tim Allen retreads familiar ground in this half-hour sitcom about manly Mike Baxter, a husband and father of three daughters whose life is dominated by women. When his wife returns to work after years of being a stay-at-home mom, Mike is further emasculated when he actually has to do some parenting. Doesn't sound like there is much new here, but I'll give Tim Allen 30 minutes to convince me to come back the second week.

NEW GIRL (2) - Jessica Day's recent breakup has left her single, despondent and homeless. With nowhere to live, this lovely neurotic young woman becomes the new roommate to a trio of sloppy single guys, who ineffectually attempt to drag her out of her post-breakup misery. This show is getting lots of praise, so I might give it a try, but it is sounding a little to much like a 'chick flick' for my liking.

UP ALL NIGHT (2) - Another show about the father becoming a stay-at-home dad when the wife goes back to work. Been there, done that... but it does star Christina Applegagte, and after watching her for 11 seasons on Married With Children, I am fan enough to check out her now show.

SUBURGATORY (2) - A family moves from Manhattan to a bucolic suburb full of big-haired, silicone-boobed soccer moms. Big hair and soccer moms... could be worth tuning in.

CHARLIE'S ANGELS (1) - A reboot of the jiggly T&A cop show from the 70's. I may tune in, or I may now. I just know I won't enjoy it as much as I did as a 10 year old boy!

HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN (3) - Pretentious magazine columnist Andrew Calrson, pines for a more-civilized bygone era. When his editor threatens to fire him if he doesn't put a modern, sexy twist on his etiquette column, Andrew hires his one-time bully, Bert to teach him how to be manly. Sounds like it could be one of the sillier shows this season.

HAPPILY DIVORCED (5) - Based on her real-life marriage, former Nanny star Fran Drescher stars as a woman named Fran - again - shows husband confesses he's gay. Since this is a sitcom, they get divorced but tight finances causes them to continue to live together. I have downloaded the first few episodes back in July, and have liked what I have seen so far. Its just a fun and silly show.

Of the ten new shows I am going to check out, there is just one I rated a 5, three 3's, four 2's and two 1's. So, it looks like this could be a pretty lame season for new shows, unless there are some real surprises as the season gets underway. And there isn't much of interest waiting in the wings for the mid season replacement shows either. Thankfully a bunch of my favorites are coming back. I'll have more on that on Tuesday when I look at the Returning Series issue.

Here is a full grid of new shows. Click on it to make full size.

Let me know what you are looking forward to tuning in to this fall, in the comments.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #150

Today's Little Golden Book is I'm A Monster Truck. I had seen this one on Amazon a while back as an upcoming release for 2011, but had never seen it in a store. While grocery shopping the other day, I saw a display of Little Golden Books in the magazine isle, and among the books, were two that were on my wish list, this one, and a Sponge Bob book that I didn't have yet. They are both in my collection now.
This one reminds me of the picture books my son likes to get from the library. There are full page illustrations which seem a little different than the usual Little Golden Book illustrations, and there is very little text. I'm especially fond of the green 'Godzilla' truck on the front cover.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #149

Here is something I found on while looking for something completely unrelated. It is The Courageous Captain America, which I assume is a tie in to the recent movie (which I loved by the way!) I'm not 100% sure that it is a typical Little Golden Book, as it looks more like something that would be released as a soft cover and without the golden spine, but it does say that it is a hard cover and is priced the same as other Little Golden Books on Amazon. I called around to all my local book stores, but none of them even had this in their system. So, it looks like this is yet another item I will have to order from Amazon. I'll be sure to let you know it if is indeed a Little Golden Book, or a LGB wannabe.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ohh, the '92 Spearmints are out!

Ohh, the '92 Spearmints are out! I gotta get to a store! This is a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon that I cut out of the newspaper back in '92 and have had up on my wall at work ever since. My wife and I use the expression "Ohh, the '92 Speamints are out!" all the time when somebody is excited about something we think is silly. And I don't know what's so weird about having a subscription to a magazine called Chewing? I had a subscription to Flake magazine, a magazine dedicated to cereal boxes! That's not silly is it?

Monday, August 08, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #148

Today's Little Golden Book is Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse and Pluto Pup, told by Elizabeth Beecher, pictures by the Walt Disney Studio and adapted by Campbell Grant. Originally from 1953, my copy is the tenth printing from 1972. Here is the synopsis of the book printing inside; Mickey Mouse and his merry Disney gang rollick though another lively adventure, with bright and merry pictures from the Walt Disney Studio.
While I was typing this, I had the book sitting beside my keyboard. The longer I looked at the cover, the more I started to see a face on the old car they were riding in.
Here is my favorite page of the book, which shows Mickey getting breakfast ready for his pal Pluto. Looks like Pluto is getting some canned dog food and Puppo Biskits, that is IF Mickey can fan find Pluto.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #147

While trolling for new Disney books to add to my collection, I found two new Little Golden Books that are scheduled to come out next week (August 9, 2011).
The first is Tractor Trouble, based on Disney / Pixar's Cars. The second is The Pet Problem, based on Disney / Pixar's Toy Story.
The thing that makes these a little unusual, is that neither is based on the current film, but rather on the franchise. This will be the fifth Little Golden Book based on the Cars franchise, and the fourth based on the Toy Story franchise.
Hopefully I will be able to find copies of these at my local book store next week, but I won't be surprised if I am back at to order my copies.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

San Diego Comic Con on G4 TV

Oh, great... there goes the entire week. As soon as the SpongeBob-a-thon is done, I'll be switching channels over to Tech TV for the San Diego Comic Con live coverage on G4 TV.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

7 Day, 150 Hour SpongeBob Marathon!

What are you doing for the rest of the week. We are now into our 5th hour of SpongeBob marathon madness. Its a 7 day, 150 hour, all 300 episode marathon of SpongeBob Square Pants on Nick TV Canada.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #146

Today's Little Golden Book is Disney Fairies Tinkerbell from 2011. I had seen this book a few months back while on a trip down to Washington State. I didn't bother buying it that day as I figured I would find it at home. I have been searching for it ever since. I have searched all my local book stores in hopes of finding a copy, but no luck. I finally found it in a drug store book isle, stuck behind a bunch of other kids books. It was the only Little Golden Book they had, and luckily for me it was still in perfect condition.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

RIP Cereal Mascots (1932-2011)

Here is a great article from the June 13, 2011 issue of Canadian Business magazine about the death of cereal mascots. On a recent trip to the grocery store, I picked up some great boxes to add to my collection, including Cap N Crunch, Cookie Crisp and Coco Puffs. I have been collecting cereal boxes adorned with cartoon characters for over 20 years now and will surely miss them in my local grocery store cereal isles. [click article to enlarge]

Monday, June 20, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #145

A few days ago the family and I were at a local drug store and while I was waiting to leave I decided to check out their magazine and book section. I had found Little Golden Books there before and as it turned out, they did indeed have exactly one Little Golden Book hidden among all the other kids books. It is a book based on the upcoming Cars 2 movie. I haven't opened it up to check it out, as I am looking forward to seeing the movie this coming weekend.
My copy had a sticker on the front proclaiming "Quality Children's Books, 4-8 years". After scanning the cover, I removed the sticker and luckily it didn't leave any sort of mark. I hate it when they add stickers like this to products that can not be removed without leaving a mark. Don't get me started about Value Village stickers on record albums which can NOT be removed without damaging the cover!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Comic Collector for Mac OS X is live!

Comic Collector for Mac is finally available from I have been looking for a good database program for my comic collection for a few years now. There were not many options for Mac, and the one that looked the most promising, was much to expensive. There was Comic Collector from Collectorz, but it was only available for Windows. When Collectorz first announced they were working on a Mac version about a year ago, I was very excited. Finally last week, they released version 1 for Mac. After a few hiccups with build 1 and 2, build 3 has finally got things working and I have started adding my collection into my database. From what I have seen so far, it is well worth the $30 I paid! Once I have added most of my comics to my database, and had some time to play with it more, I will probably be paying the extra for the Pro edition and also getting the iPhone edition so I can take my collection with me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #144

Today's Little Golden Book is Walt Disney Productions, Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971 edition). I am always happy to find older Disney themed Little Golden Books such as this one, and I'm even happier when they are is good shape!
I'll admit, that I have never actually watched the movie all the way through, even though I own a copy of the movie on DVD. It was a Christmas present from a relative last year. They know that both my wife and I love Disney and so it makes sense that this would be an acceptable gift. Not sure why they chose this particular movie from the hundreds of Disney DVD titles to choose from though? We started watching it one night, shortly after we got it, but never did end up watching it all the way to the end. Maybe someday.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #143

Today's Little Golden Book is Walt Disney's, Mickey Mouse's Picnic originally printed in 1950. This copy is the fourteenth printing from 1974. I was happy to find this great vintage Disney Little Golden Book in near mint condition. I already have a number of copies of this book, but this is the first copy that does not look like it was chewed by the family dog.
Here is the cover, along with a few of my favorite interior illustrations. The best is the illustration of Minnie Mouse showing Mickey the knife that she has taped to the bottom of the cake pan. Seems to me that Minnie is practicing, just in case Mickey ever ends up in prison, although I always thought you were supposed to put the knife inside the cake, not tape it to the bottom of the pan.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #142

I just about forgot about Little Golden Book Monday. I went to my bookcase and pulled one at random, and her you go... Animals on the Farm 1963. My copy is the eighth printing from 1977.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hero Bear and the KiD

Today at work the librarian passed along a bunch of magazines that she was retiring from circulation, as s she knows that I collect ads. In a copy of Today's Parent, I found an ad for Kraft Dinner that featured some artwork of a turtle and a rabbit. I really liked it so i quickly tore it out to add to my pile ads to keep. When I got home and had a closer look at it I stated to realize that the artwork looked very familiar. It was the artwork of Mike Kunkel, which I recognized from a comic called Hero Bear and the Kid. A few years back I had found a copy of a comic called Hero Bear and the Kid in a back issue bin and picked it up because I liked the artwork on the cover. I ended up enjoying the comic so much that I purchased the Hero Bear and the Kid graphic novel "The Inheritance" from Mike's web site. He even signed it and drew a small sketch inside for me! If you have not seen these comics or the graphic novel, you should check it out. The artwork alone is worth the price. I especially love the way he has done the artwork in black and white except for the drawings of Hero Bear which include red for his cape. It makes for some very visually amazing artwork.

Most recently Mike did the cover to a comic mini series called Scratch 9. I checked it out because of the cover and ended up loving the comic. I just finished reading the 4 issues (over 2 nights) with my son, and he loved it. He couldn't wait for the second night to finish the story.
We have not read Hero Bear and the Kid together yet, so that will have to be our next bedtime reading for this weekend.

If you are looking for some all ages comics to read with your kids, that you will also enjoy, you should check out both of these titles! Visit Mike's website for all his latest projects and to order your copy of The Inheritance. Visit the official Scratch 9 website to order your hard copy or digital copies of the Scratch 9 mini series.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #141

Today's Little Golden Book is Disney's Tangled. I had to special order this at my local book store, as it was sold out before I though to pick one up, and I could not find it at any of my local stores. I wasn't that interested in the book, or the movie it was based on, as it looked to me to be a pretty lame movie geared towards preteen girls. Apparently Disney though so too, as they made a last minute name change, switching from Rapunzel to Tangled, hoping to make it seem more exciting for boys as well. I didn't go to see it on opening night, November 24th. I figured I would wait a week or two and see it at the cheap theater near my home. To my surprise the movie was getting really good reviews and it didn't show up nearly as soon as I had though it would. Finally last week the movie showed up at my local cheap theater, and I took the family to see it. We were all pleasantly surprised, as we ended up loving the movie... so much so, that less than a week later we went to see it again. If you have not seen it, you should definitely check it out, if not at the theater, on DVD March 29th.
I was also very happy to pick up the Rapunzel long playing record and book shortly after picking up the Tangled Little Golden Book. For more Disney vinyl, be sure to check out my Disneyland Records blog.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #140

Today's Little Golden Book is the Authorized Walt Disney Productions Edition of The Rescuers from 1977. I can remember seeing the film when it was originally in theaters, and enjoying it very much. I really enjoyed the slapstick comedy of Wilbur the flying albatross, and laughed every time he was on screen. Today my favorite characters in the movie are Madame Medusa's two pet crocodiles named Brutus and Nero. There are a few great illustrations of Brutus and Nero in the book, including the one below showing the two guarding Madame Medusa's old riverboat.
The film was one of the last Walt Disney classics to be animated by members of Walt Disney's "nine old men".

Monday, January 31, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #139

Today's Little Golden Book is Good Night, Little Bear 1969 (First printing 1961), with story by Patsy Scarry and pictures by Richard Scarry.  Nothing more to say, except that it's late, so good night.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #138

This is a book my son gave me on the weekend while he was cleaning up his room. He was going though his two large book cases full of books and boxing up all the ones he no longer reads, so that he can donate them to a local thrift shop. He knows that I like Little Golden Books, so he brought this one to me and asked if I wanted it. Surprisingly I did not already have this one in my collection, so I thanked him for the new addition to my collection, and here we have today's book. Walter Lantz's Woddy Woodpecker at the Circus from 1981 (original printing 1976).
Along with the cover, I have scanned some images from the book, including a two page spread of Woody and his niece and nephew, Knothead and Splinter hanging out in the back yard sipping lemonade and reading the Circus Book.
Next up is a great Lion Tamer illustration. Reminds me of a lamp I used to have as a kid.
And lastly, I scanned the inside front cover. As you can see, this book was a prize at Lynne's 5th birthday party. Thanks Lynne!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Little Golden Book Monday #137

Today's Little Golden Book is The Wonderful School from 1969. Now that Christmas break is over it's back to work for myself and back to school for my son bright and early tomorrow morning after two weeks of staying up late and getting up at noon each day. All I can say is "Ah... do we have to?!"