Thursday, July 26, 2012

Remember SCTV's "Chariots of Eggs"?

Does anyone remember SCTV's hilarious parody of "Chariots of Fire" called "Chariots of Eggs"? The sketch starred Daryl Hall and John Oates in an old-timey foot race (accompanied by the requisite soaring Vangelis soundtrack) competing against Andrea Martin and Catherine O'Hara -- in an egg-and-spoon race.

It popped into my head while compiling this morning's All the Rage Fashion News report and ran across the fact that the egg cups are among the Olympic-themed merchandise being offered at the 2012 London games.

Wouldn't you know, the sketch is still alive out there on the interwebs, so I've embedded it above for your viewing pleasure.

-- Adam

Friday, July 20, 2012

"Real Vermonters" via a 1985 article in the L.A. Times

Searching for "Vermonters in Los Angeles" this morning, I ran across an April 21, 1985, Los Angeles Times article titled "Content Vermonters Keep Clock Turned Back," written by Charles Hillinger. It begins this way:

EAST BURKE, Vt. — It was a cold, snowy, mid-April Saturday morning and the three-story, yellow, weathered, century-old East Burke General Store was stirring with activity.

Dairy farmers, maple syrup makers, old timers and others were buying groceries, picking up mail at the back-of-the-store post office, exchanging greetings and the latest tidbits about local happenings.

You can read the article in its entirety here, but those two paragraphs describe just about the scene at my folks Wayside Country Store when I was there earlier this month for some down time (minus the post office part -- since the 05250 has a genuine, freestanding P.O. all its own.)

-- Adam

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pantone, Watch Your Back: A Colorful Look at UVM

This clever piece, which appears at the end of the Summer 2012 issue of Vermont Quarterly, the University of Vermont's alumni magazine, captures some of UVM's colorful nature in a series of paint chips. Some are obvious ("October," "Puck") and some can only be appreciated by those who have spent a good deal of time there ("Nectar's Fry," "Flying Diaper").

In honor of my etymology professor, Robin Schlunk, a free half point goes to the first person who can explain "Flying Diaper."
-- Adam 

Friday, June 22, 2012

That There is a Hinker, My Friend

My sister and I discovered another one of Doc Maxwell's many skills quite unexpectedly one day as we were strolling through the Sandgate woods with him, not far from his hunting cabin.

While we were shuffling along the logging/hunting trail,Doc suddenly pointed to a birch tree where a black, cat-like creature stood stock-still on a horizontal branch, its tail straight up in the air behind it like a radio antenna.

"It's a hinker," Doc whispered.

My sister and I looked at him quizzically -- then at each other conspiratorially -- as if we were suddenly being let in on some huge secret, privy to the existence of some rare heretofore uncataloged species -- then back up at the hinker with a sense of child-like wonderment.

"What's a hinker?" One of us asked (I don't recall which one of us finally spoke.).

The frozen hinker, whatever it was about to be,  just stared back at us, with its wide, unblinking eyes and, its ferocious mouth agape mid-hiss.

Sue and I watched as Doc crept slowly around the base of the birch tree until he was positioned directly behind the mysterious hell cat, and we did the same when he beckoned us to follow.

Once we were all congregated aft of the beast, which despite the commotion, hadn't moved so much as a muscle, Doc pointed at its back end, to a bright white dot about the size of a dime right at the base of the hinker's antenna tail.

"A hinker," Doc said matter-factly (to two kids who couldn't have been more than 9 and 11 years old if that), "is a black bobcat with a white touchhole." He punctuated this odd zoology lesson by unleashing an explosive noise somewhere between "whoop whoop" war cry and blood-curdling scream. It was so loud and unexpected, it sent Sue and I scrambling for the bushes.

It didn't seem to faze the treed critter a whit.

That's how we came to find out that Doc had a skill - or a friend with a skill - for taxidermy. The hinker had been some other unfortunate woodland animal before he was stuffed and mounted along the trail, with the ultimate posthumous indignity of having its asshole daubed with white paint to create the illusion of some bizarre chimera.

[Note: In consulting the aformentioned sister about the event, she seems to think the hinker wasn't taxidermied at all, but that the poor bastard was merely nailed to the tree in a state of rigor mortis. I don't know if that makes it better or worse. Either way it's a weird growing-up experience.]

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Whiteboard Chronicles: Mythical Fonts

Yes, it's been a long time between whiteboarding, but the results are well worth it. The latest edition of the Whiteboard Chronicles combines two of this Riff's favorite things -- typefaces and crowd-sourced humor -- in a category called: "Fonts We Never Knew Existed."

My favorites? "Torino Grand" and "Callista Narrow" -- and no, neither of them were my contributions.