Williston’s Landmark Pizza Hut, 1992

Every so often I get a VHS urge; I have boxes of old VHS video tapes that I’ve gotten from relatives, exes, rummage sales, and who-knows-where.  Many have no labels, and many aren’t what the label says, so I put them in my VCR and fast-forward to see if there’s anything interesting.  I’m always surprised at the obscure things that are already on YouTube, but for the most part I’m digitizing interesting and iconic commercials and posting them on my YouTube channel.   These two caught my eye — see if you can see what they’ve got in common:

These both aired in different slots during a 1992 episode of Jeopardy! — that time period was during the oil bust, but Williston was still the “big city” to a lot of communities in the Bakken and eastern Montana.

Apparently, though, it was still small enough that the best way to tell customers how to find you is based on the Pizza Hut’s location.   Of the two, I would have guessed furniture would outlive the fickle, ever-changing world of communications, but while Kotana is still around selling radios — still right behind the Pizza Hut! —   Thrift House Furniture is no longer on the map;  I Keating Furniture looks like they’re the current furniture shop two blocks west of Pizza Hut.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The AMF Probe Jr, 1970s

There’s few things that make me go, “What’s that – I need one!” than when I saw this guy:

Three wheels, a space-age half-steering wheel, and a grill off a muscle car?

This is the Probe Jr., a pedal car made from the late 1960s to early 1970s.  I can’t imagine it’d be very stable, being so narrow and on three wheels, but crashing is just the fun of it, right?  That pressed-steel body will absorb most of the impact.

Overall, they seem pretty rare — most discussion on the internet starts with, “I found this, what the heck is it?” and there’s a few restored that show up on eBay and Etsy from time to time.

 

 

Vorr-Trexx The Defender

The 1980s were a golden time for cartoons: they came on at 6am, ran until you had to go to school, then as soon as you walked through the door after school, more cartoons until dinner.  At least it was that way on KVRR, the UHF station that aired Fox affiliate shows in the evening but the rest of the day was a cornucopia of syndicated content.

KVRR was so devoted to children’s programming they even enlist the help of this guy:  Vorr-Trexx the Defender:

Vorr-Trexx The Defender

For the life of me, I don’t remember the dude, who looks like he would have a fine career in pro wrestling if he hadn’t devoted his life to cartoons and other cartoon-like TV programming.   He was so awesome he did in-person appearances when necessary, as documented in these three spots I found on an ancient video tape:

I hope he was well-compensated for this role; the lives of children were at stake!  Or, at least it kept us out of our parents’ hair for a while, which is almost as important.

Parents & Teachers, Your Kids Will Love This LP

He certainly seems to enjoy it.

vintage songs for quiet time lp

When quiet time is a silent prayer for it all to end.

Vintage LP spotted at a local thrift shop. See also: How To Pray & Stay Awake.

This Is Spinal Tape

This is Spinal Tap, a mock rockumentary. But This Is Spinal Tape, packing tape with real backbone. …Well, it’s illustrated with spinal cord, anyway. According to the reviews, it’s more decorative than structurally sound for packing up boxes.

this is spinal tape

Vinyl Roof Must Go

 

Culture Clash Records in Toledo, OH, was nearly out of business due to road construction, when the owner decided to give their roof an upgrade: he took hundreds of record albums, climbed a ladder, and screwed them into his roof:CTY-Cultureclash10p[1]The owner says the albums immediately started melting and warping in the sun, and he loved it.

The city, however, doesn’t love it:  his vinyl roof has been declared a “public nuisance” and he has to take it down.  He doesn’t mind — he’s going to find something “cooler and stranger” to do — but I hope he does something about the hundreds of screw-holes in his roof, that can’t be good for waterproofing.

You Know, For Kids!

From the Grand Forks (ND) Evening Times, December 15th, 1911, a great idea for under the Christmas tree!

guns-gifts-for-boys-and-girls

Accurate .22 rifles — take your pick from Stevens, Winchester, Remington, and Savage brands!

Granted, in 1911 in North Dakota a rifle was a practical tool for farm work — it wasn’t a toy, it was something necessary to getting things done, from shooting pigeons in the barn to hunting dinner…and what kid is going to start taking pot shots at the neighbors?  Well, maybe guns aren’t the best thing to give a kid…but sometimes the kid isn’t the one who shouldn’t be messing around with a gun.  And yet nobody let Ralphie have a BB gun.

God Save The King – With A Mustache

Not to be all about moustaches, but did you know that the World Beard and Moustache Championships were recently held in in Leogang, Austria? Results will be published here. And just yesterday, the 2015 Just for Men® National Beard and Moustache Championships® presented by Hanes X-Temp® took place in Brooklyn, New York. Details here.

Also, the British Army required every soldier to have a mustache from in 1860-1916.

kitchener-britons