Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Paul Madonna

Last week, while perusing the internet, I fell into the website of a Mr. Paul Madonna. Mr. Madonna is credited as being the first artist intern ever at MAD Magazine, and is an extremely talented artist with a very sharp wit. He currently writes a comic strip titled 'All Over Coffee' for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Anyway, I wanted to show some of his humorous sketches and direct you his way (to his site).... I think you'll enjoy him as much as I do.... Click his banner below to go to his site and check out the rest of his artwork....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Less Work and More Play

I figure that since people are actually enjoying the photos I take on my little work excursions, I'll try posting another one.... I was able to travel to the beautiful city of Watsonville to inspect a property a while ago.... While I was driving, the Martinelli's Apple Cider factory caught my eye. I had no idea that Martinelli's Apple Cider was made in this little town.

It's not a very big factory. I would have thought that the factory would be huge! But it's just a small factory, across the street from a high school.

Did you toast New Year's Eve with Martinelli's Apple Cider when you were a kid? I vaguely remember drinking Martinelli's Apple Cider while the adults all had their libations.

This shocked me.... I tried calling the family center at the park where Sotomayor Field is located, they have no idea who it was named for.

I'm just going to make up a story.... Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the 'Pele of the Bronx', so they named the park after her.... There you go, I could think of nothing funny to say about Sonia Sotomayor.

Finally, here's the vicious beast that was out of his cage when we inspected his home.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tiptoe Through The Tulips

Ok, one more about the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

Here are more pictures from one of the biggest tulip farms in Skagit County, Washington. Roozengaarde was established in 1985 by the Roozen family and the Washington Bulb Company. The Roozen family business of growing tulips, daffodils and irises is the largest in the world, covering Skagit Valley with more than 1,200 acres of field blooms and 15 acres of greenhouses. The driving force behind Roozengaarde was Bernadette Roozen Miller, who passed away in 1996. Each fall, the 3 acre show garden is planted with over two hundred thousand spring-flowering bulbs, providing a gorgeous display of color during the early weeks of spring.

Two Lips

Last year, during a work trip to Skagit County, Washington, I was lucky enough to catch the tail end of the Annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.... Did you know that Skagit County is only second to Amsterdam in the production of tulips? Everywhere you look, you can see acres and acres of tulips! The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is the hottest thing in the county from April 1st to April 30th. Here are some awesome pictures from the festival!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Can You Guess This TV Theme? #38 - Answer

Congratulations to Kate for being the fastest person to answer this week's 'Can You Guess This TV Theme?'! 'Mr. Wizard's World', the children's science show hosted by Donald Herbert, was often imitated, but never duplicated....

In 1950, the late great Donald 'Mr. Wizard' Herbert created the idea for a science experiment show for a television audience. NBC executives fell in love with idea, and 'Watch Mr. Wizard' was born in 1951. During the show, Mr. Wizard would perform exciting experiments, with a young assistant, that could be recreated in the viewers home with everyday items. 547 live episodes were created, and Mr. Wizard won a Peabody Award for excellence in Television, before the show was canceled in 1965.

Following the cancellation of 'Watch Mr. Wizard', Donald 'Mr. Wizard' Herbert wrote books on science and filmed many science-themed films and commercials.

In 1983, Mr Herbert developed 'Mr. Wizard's World', a faster-paced version of 'Watch Mr. Wizard', for Nickelodeon. "Everything on the show I learned by doing it,” Mr. Herbert said. I learned sooooooo much from Mr. Wizard. Way more than I ever learned from any science classes.

Did you know that Don Herbert was a guest on the first ever episode of Late Night with David Letterman in 1982?

Check it out..... This is an awesome example of 'Mr. Wizard's World'! Watch as he explains siphons!

Can You Guess This TV Theme? #38

It's finally Friday!!!!! Here we go again! Can You Guess This TV Theme?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Grapes Of Wrath - Bakersfield History

Last week, I took a little trip for work to Bakersfield, California. Whenever I travel outside of the immediate area, I like to look for landmarks or fun stuff to check out while I'm on the road. I didn't have to venture too far from my work sites, because the sites themselves were packed with history.

The first site I inspected was a migrant camp used back in the Dust Bowl days (1930-1940).... And the adjacent lot (now an apartment complex) was previously used as barracks for Prisoners Of War after World War II. Most of the original buildings that occupied the area have been demolished. A small portion of the property I inspected was dedicated as a historical site (now protected by the government) and contains buildings from the days of the Dust Bowl.

Here are some pictures from my trip....
I took some of the pictures in black and white to add a vintage/creepy factor....

Common/Gathering Building

Kitties Cuddling On The Roof Of The Common/Gathering Building

Stage At The Common/Gathering Building

Beds For The Migrant Workers

Vintage Sewing Machine (and Chair?)

Gas Stove

Fire Hose Coils

Day Care Learning Center

Interesting story about this next building.... This building a post office built for the migrant worker camps during the Dust Bowl era. You can see this building in the movie 'The Grapes Of Wrath' in the scene where the owner of the migrant worker camp is welcoming 'the Okies'....

The representative was telling me all about how his family had moved to the the area in the mid-1960's. He told me that this metal and concrete building is identical to the structure that housed his family of six.

That was the extent of the fun stuff at the first property.... There wasn't much at the second site, aside from the migrant worker camp that currently occupies the site.... The camp had a really creepy vibe.... I pulled into the site, and it was completely deserted. The site representative was at lunch and the camp was completely vacant (the camps are only occupied during peak farming seasons.

The site representative finally arrived and explained that the property was actually a German Prisoner Of War camp after World War II. The POW barracks were torn down to build the migrant camp on the site.

The only remnant of the POW camp was in a grassy field, away from the buildings. We venture off the beaten path to get to what is known as 'THE OVEN'. My guide tells me that when a prisoner of war would die at the camp, it was more cost effective to cremate the bodies and ship the ashes back to Germany.

I don't put much stock into the supernatural, but even with 80 degree weather and the sun blaring down on us, it felt cold in the immediate vicinity of 'THE OVEN'.

After getting my pictures, and walking away from 'THE OVEN', the representative explained all about how tenants are constantly reporting seeing figures in military uniforms standing at the edge of their bed. One older couple complained about seeing the ghost of a little girl roaming the property at night, and since that incident, very few people stay out past sundown for fear of an encounter with a supernatural being....

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