Sep 30, 2011

Countdown to 10/31 - I Know What You Are

Below is a rare early storyboard from the movie Twilight taken from the scene in which Bella tells Edward she knows what he is. This artist's rendition of a vampire was quickly rejected for being "too vampire-y and not, know, sexy?"
This original dialog was also deemed to be too well written and the script was changed to make it more "teen angst-y" and less emotional.

Sep 29, 2011

Countdown to 10/31 - Cakes!

I am an Autumn child. One of the best things about being born so late in September is that October is oh so close around the corner. For my 35th birthday, I decided to do something different from the usual cake. I went to the bakery with my wife and asked if they could decorate a cake like a tombstone. Partly to be morbid about turning 35 and partly to celebrate Halloween. Every year since, my wife has gotten me Halloween themed cakes for my birthday.

Halloween birthday cake

Halloween birthday cake

Halloween birthday cake

Halloween birthday cake

Sep 28, 2011

Countdown to 10/31 - Star Wars Wednesday

The gremlins and goblins are busy conjuring up posts for the 31 day countdown to Halloween so they weren't able to put together a full Star Wars post for today. Instead, take a trip back to the Halloweens during the heyday of Star Wars, 1977-1985.

Clicking on this photo will take you to and launch a Slideshow. 
If you wish to view them in a non-Slideshow format, click here.
None of the photos shown are of, or were taken by, myself.

Enter the Trick or Tweet Giveaway!

Sep 26, 2011

Countdown to 10/31 - Trick or Tweet 2011 Giveaway

Welcome to the first ever AEIOU and Sometimes Why 
Trick or Tweet Halloween Giveaway!

From now until October 12th, we'll be giving away some Halloween loot to a few lucky haunters.


This comic donated to us by Strange Kids Club! Click to read all about it
...and a rock
Yes, one lucky winner will be able to utter the immortal phrase "I got a rock."

7 Slow Runners (Up) will get a postcard from Salem MA
with an October cancellation on it.

Mail Order Monday - Lucky Rings (1955)

When I was a kid, the one thing I wanted more than anything from the capsule vending machines was a ring. Not the girly kind with a thin band and pastel "jewel" on it, no, I wanted something that looked like it was found in a pirate chest or from a dragon's treasure horde.

Of all the possible toys in those vending machines, the ring was the most useful. When you're a kid, you can get away with wearing a skull ring no matter where you go. You can also secretly point it at people and "shoot" them with it when they annoy you.  Plus, when you're playing, you can always work a magic ring into your story. If it was good enough for Bilbo and one of the Super-Friends (Green Lantern), it was good enough for me!

Not sure I believe the claim that the rings are made with "aircraft metal" but then they probably use aluminum in some part of the plane, right?

Sep 21, 2011

Star Wars Wednesday - Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell

Remember in Empire Strikes Back when Han mentions "that bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mantell" that made him want to go pay off Jabba? Well, there are no less than four possible stories in all the Expanded Universe (EU) that were created in reference to that one line. It seems Solo doesn't have the best of luck when visiting Ord Mantell.

This is probably my favorite version because it was an audio adventure on a record (kids, if you don't know what that is, click here). I remember listening to it quite a bit because back in the day (1983) there wasn't a whole lot out there new story-wise to get your Star Wars fix. This between the movies adventure was written by Brian Daley. Star Wars fans may know him as the author of the Star Wars Radio Dramas.

Audio from this record has been sampled by Suckadelic on his CDs Star Wars Breakbeats and Supervillains. The only reason I know this is because I had listened to it so much and still recognized bits of it from over 20 years ago.

You should be able to download the Mission to Ord Mantell mp3s here

Here is the text from the back of the album

The Rebel Alliance has just destroyed the dreaded Death Star—but their fight against the evil Galactic Empire is far from over.

Forced to set up a new base on the inhospitable ice world of Hoth, the Rebels must divert the Empire's attention from the move. Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are sent out as decoys against what they think is a lone Imperial Star Destroyer. Unfortunately, the Rebel attack analysts haven't given our heroes all the facts!

And without money, the Rebellion cannot continue its fight for freedom. Princess Leia and her Rebel team attempt a daring heist of Imperial funds—unaware of the treachery that awaits them.

It is a time for daring, clever droids and a lightning fast trigger finger. Join Han, Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO on their REBEL MISSION TO ORD MANTELL!

Sep 19, 2011

Mail Order Monday - Zither (1951)

I wasn't around in the 50's, but for a decade known for spawning Rock N Roll music I can't imagine the zither being the most popular instrument. Actually, I can't imagine it being popular except at Renn faires. If you play the zither, by all means, let me know and I'll interview you.

Apparently the portability of the zither is a big selling point. Do people enjoy zither music on a canoe ride? I'd guess they want you to paddle instead of hit the strings. And house-party? Great, now I have an image of Kid N' Play using zithers...honestly, it's just Kid. Who even remembers what Play looks like?

They claim it's so easy to learn with the included music charts you'll soon be playing any song you want. If you can play me some Yngwie Malmsteen on this thing, you truly are a music god.

The order form made me wonder when the last time was I heard COD. Growing up I always heard TV commercials for products that were COD but never experienced it myself. Today, I think the only COD businesses left are restaurants.

Sep 17, 2011

Countdown to Halloween - Monster Kid Music

You know Halloween is coming when you see the cheap seasonal CDs. I got this at Wal-Greens for $1.50. The regular price is $2 but these CDs are 2/$3 so I also got yet another environmental sounds CD.
What made this the CD I had to get?
  • The cover art is fangtastic. It has tributes to all the classic Universal monsters plus a zombie
  • It has a song titled Dinosaur Zombies with Chainsaws
UPDATE: After listening to the CD, I'm quite surprised to say I really enjoyed it! It's not as annoying as most kid targeted music tends to be. The lyrics are clever if not catchy. They even mention the Necronomicon in one song, how many kids' albums do that?
The previously mentioned song 'Dinosaur Zombies with Chainsaws' is not just about those creatures but all sorts of monstrous things with dangerous objects that might be lurking under your bed or in your closet.

Sep 16, 2011

It's Blu-day, Blu-day, gotta go watch my Blu-Rays

Han means they're going to watch the Blu-Rays right? There's nothing weird and/or sexual about this panel.

Famous Last Words Friday - A-Haunting We Will Go

Nothing quite says "I'll show 'em" like going into a remote haunted house all by yourself. In order to "show 'em" you kinda have to...what's the phrase I'm looking for? Oh yes, make it back alive. You might want to consider something else like a drinking contest or a drag race at Dead Man's Curve.

You may have noticed the adorable Dr. Phibes over there on the right. Every year bloggers around the interwebs participate in the Countdown to Halloween by posting about all things Halloween for the month of October.I'm cheating a little since there's still 45 days to Halloween.

I will be holding a little Halloween contest here soon so keep checking back and feel free to click on the good doctor to find out more about the Countdown to Halloween.

Sep 14, 2011

Star Wars Wednesday - UK Palitoy ads

Well, here we are just a few days away from the BluRay release in the US and the UK has had theirs already. All the rumors swirling around the interwebs about changes Ol' George has made to the movies of our childhood have been confirmed as real. It's not putting me off the BluRay release one bit.

I'm really more excited about the bonus content in the set than the actual movies. I'll get around to watching the movies at some point because I'm curious to see how earth shattering the changes are to my viewing experience. Granted, we got used to the Special Editions eventually...didn't we? If not, we can go back to a copy of the movie pre-SE release.

And that actually gets me to wondering about the newer generations of fans that will only know the SE or these versions as the version they grew up with. Do they even care about the changes made to the "boring, old movies"?

Enough rambling from me, let's set the Wayback Machine to early 1980s and visit the UK!
Also be sure to swing by the Tumblr today as it'll have more Star Wars goodness.

I like how this ad takes complete liberty with the ESB storyline. 
That space battle sure does look vicious, doesn't it? "BZZZZZZZ" 
The "Skycity" scene looks like they are standing on clouds!

Taken from UK Star Wars ESB #134
A mail away offer for a collector's case?! I'm pretty sure we never had anything like that in the US. All I remember is figures and the Action Figure Survival Kit with gas masks, guns and backpacks which is also included in this ad.

Last, and maybe least, is a mail offer for Dengar. Least exciting mail away figure? Sure, he's a bounty hunter but arguably the least cool of the lot. And for Jedi we'd get offers for Nein Nunb, Ackbar and Jedi robe Anakin. Ok, maybe Jedi Anakin wins the least exciting mail away figure award. Of course I got him, but what could you do with him when you were playing? Where was I? Oh right, Dengar...


Sep 12, 2011

Mail Order Monday - 1980 Winter Olympics Mascot

I remember collecting these banana stickers during the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics. As I mentions in the ad, there was a "collector card" you could find in stores to help keep track of your stickers. I know I had to tape mine to the card. If you've ever tried to reuse a sticker from a banana, you know they don't hold up too well.

There was just something about the design that really grabbed me. Maybe it was my young age, maybe I found a cartoon raccoon playing sports amusing or maybe a little of both.

I seem to remember having a plush of the mascot but I don't recall if I sent away for it or if I'd gotten it somewhere else.

Fun fact: The mascot was named Roni after the Adirondack Mountains.

Image via MentalFloss

Sep 11, 2011

10 years ago...

It started as a morning almost like any other. I say almost because I had told my then girlfriend that I was going to a gathering of friends after work that night. If you knew my friends, you'd know friendly gatherings usually went all night, so I told her I'd be staying over and bringing things to go to work from his house in the morning. The truth was, I was going to spend the night at my parents so my mom and I could go engagement ring shopping the following day.

At the time, I was working in the data center of a global financial institution. The data center was a secured server room, so aside from the phone or leaving the data center, I had very little contact with anyone else throughout my day. Around 8:50am I got a few phone calls from a some of our US locations stating they hadn't received the New York financial files. Not a big deal, this happened once in awhile. I tried to contact the person in NYC but could not get through. I thought it was odd but what could you do.

Then I got a call from our manager saying a plane had just hit the WTC. Still being out of the loop, I figured he meant a small prop plane. Shortly after that, the regular day crew starting coming in at 9:00 and during my rounds I started hearing people talk about the crashes. There was a small b&w TV with an antenna in the help desk (for emergency purposes) and they'd put it on to watch the news. I sat there for the next 45-60 minutes watching the events unfold.

It was terrible, to be sure, but it wasn't until the reports of the third and fourth planes came in that it started to become horrifying. We were located in some of the tallest financial buildings on the Boston waterfront. Could we be a target also? Unknown to me at the time, my girlfriend had been trying to reach me on my work phone (this was 10 years ago, not everyone had cell phones) because she was worried about the same thing.

A few more hours went by and everyone tried to carry on but obviously this was something much larger than anyone could be expected to continue their daily routines through. I finally talked to my girlfriend and told her we were ok there and she asked when I could leave. About another hour later, the decision was made to close the office early. There was a sandwich shop in the main area of the building's lobby and they were letting people take pre-made sandwiches, chips, fruit and water when they left. I took enough for two, I had no idea how long, the usual 40 minute drive would take and it was coming up on noon by then.

The traffic leaving Boston was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. You know those zombie movies where they come upon a highway with bumper to bumper abandoned cars? It was like that, but with people in the cars (and no zombies). I did eventually get home and after my girlfriend got home from her work we watched the news coverage for the rest of the night. Honestly, there was nothing else to do. The country was at home gathered with their loved ones watching their TVs in disbelief.

I remember going to work the next few days. The lack of planes into and out of Logan Airport created an eerie silence in the usually bustling city. The sound of planes overhead is one of those things you tune out but really notice when it's missing.

A year later I was married and honeymooning in Walt Disney World. With the first anniversary coming up, there was fear of another possible attack, even at the Happiest Place on Earth. At the time of the first attack, a message was broadcast in all the parks from President Obama and there was a moment of silence at 8:50am for the fallen. It was definitely something unusual to experience while at Disney. A lot of people in the parks that day were wearing red, white and blue in honor of those that were lost and fighting for our country.

Sep 9, 2011

Famous Last Words Friday - Sailing Takes Me Away

Out in the middle of the ocean, of all the things it could possibly be, how is flying fish your first thought? I mean, it could be dolphins/porpoises, seals, heck maybe even a breaching shark. All I can say is, if it is a flying fish, he better hope it's not one of the ones from Piranha 2.
CAUTION: This clip contains blood & flying piranha that put vampire bats from any B&W movie to shame.


Sep 8, 2011

Random Oddness - DC Characters at Sea World

Click to Inyuk-chuk

Way back at the start of the AEIOUwhy Tumblr, I posted this ad. Just yesterday Mark Tyler Nobleman posted a comment on the ad saying to check out his site Noblemania where he tracked down and interviewed some of the performers. There's also a video of the show and some great photos.

I can tell already this article (and the rest of his site) is going to provide me with hours of geek-out reading. So I wanted to pass it along to the rest of you to enjoy this oddity of 70s pop culture.

Sep 7, 2011

Star Wars Wednesday - Burger King Glasses

Burger King has had a long history with Star Wars starting with the original trilogy. Aside from the glasses below, they also had a series of great posters for Star Wars. There's something so 70s about their style that grabs my attention and they still look good even today. Competitor Burger Chef had a series of 12 plastic tumblers, if I remember.

BK did another promo for Empire where you got a sticker book and each kid's meal came with a packet of stickers to collect to make movie scenes in the book. If you grew up in the 70s/80s you've probably seen similar collectible sticker books made by Topps.

If you were lucky enough to live in Massachusetts like me, you weren't able to get a complete set of the BK glasses because state law prohibited restaurants from giving out glasses. What was really annoying was this was decided sometime between 1980 and 1983, which meant you got glasses for the first two movies and tumblers for the last one! This is something that has since been rectified thanks to Ebay and yard sales.

Sep 5, 2011

Holy Mail Order Monday, Bananaman!

Chaquita Mail Order (1979)
I'm not sure what kid would be dying to get a banana shaped pair of walkie-talkies or compass. If you get lost in the woods, the last thing you want is a piece of possibly life saving equipment that looks like food.

Unless, of course, you're in Florida. Then it could be good for keeping alligators away.

Sep 4, 2011

Gotta Hollow Em Out First

The fine folks of Pumpkin Masters now bring you Kids Carving Kit! Finally, you can do something with all those extra kids around your house at Halloween!

Sep 2, 2011

Famous Last Words Friday - Digging Up the Dead

Seriously? This is Horror Rules 101, man! At least as early as 1818, when Frankenstein was first published, we know trying to reanimate the dead is a Bad Idea. No matter how mad a scientist you may be, you must have at least heard of some movie or story where reanimation goes horribly wrong. But, I guess if you really are mad, you're gonna do what you're gonna do...

Sep 1, 2011

Thundarr The Barbarian!

I wrote a little piece about one of my favorite cartoons of all time: Thundarr the Barbarian. Please visit Strange Kids Club to read it. And poke around while you're there, it's a pretty cool site!

And welcome to our 4th follower: Brenda! Thanks for the tweet-out!