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.

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.

Garbage Pail Kids: Where Are They Now?

As a child of the eighties, when I was twelve I walked down the three blocks to the corner grocery store and paid a quarter for a pack of Garbage Pail Kids as often as I had the money — but, time passes, that corner grocery is now a parking ramp and my Garbage Pail Kids card collection is long gone: but where are those Kids today?   Bruton Stroube Studios took their cameras to the streets and found out.

Photographer W. Brandon Voges (Bruton Stroube Studios) Concept Jake Houvenangle Retouching Jordan Guance (Bruton Stroube Studios) Producers Tony Biaggne, Matt Siemer and Sherry Tennil (Bruton Stroube Studios) Assistants Steve Eschner (Bruton Stroube Studios) Mandi Kohlmeier (Bruton Stroube Studios) Stacy Collier Hair/Makeup Julie Dietrich (Talent Plus) Priscilla Case (Talent Plus) Props/Wardrobe Cathy Rauch (Bruton Stroube Studios) Food/Barf Styling Cathy Chipley (Bruton Stroube Studios) Set Builder/Rigging Bill Stults (Bruton Stroube Studios)
Via.

 

The Smooth Sound of Ceiling Tiles

Yesterday we went to our first rummage sales of the season, then hit the thrift shops to spend the last of what cash we still had in our pockets. At the Moorhead Thrift Shop I ran across a few choice albums, including this one:

sound-off-softly-album-cover

Looks like we’ve encountered a glitch in the Matrix:  this  young lady is holding the album…that she’s on the cover of, holding the album cover that she’s on.   It goes on FOREVER!

sound-off-softly-forever-loop

There’s apparently a tradition of albums with themselves on the cover, although I don’t believe the recursion has anything to do with the music on the record.

This album also caught my eye because of the weird framing in the image: the woman’s head is really low for a ‘portrait’ — there’s an awful lot of ceiling in the picture.   That’s intentional: the album is a promo for Gold Bond Ceiling Tile,  as a way of selling acoustic tiles to audiophiles that live in echoy homes.   I couldn’t find anything else about this product in particular, presumably because National Gypsum, the maker of Gold Bond tiles, was more interested in selling albums — heck, their advertisements focus more on this album than their product .

Dog Laundry

dog-laundry-true-story-1939Ah, the cutthroat world of dog launderers.   From what I can tell, this “Billy and Betty Adventure” from the April 1940 issue of  True Story magazine   involved a pint-sized mob extortion, probably laundering dogs used during cocaine transactions.  You know, you sell a bunch of coke, get a truckload of dogs, but you can’t just spend those dogs, otherwise people will be able to track the dope back to you.  So, you blackmail Billy and Betty into laundering your dogs, which clears the trail and keeps the DEA off your back.  Sounds legit?  Yeah, I should’ve just read the story.

 

Stairway To Stardom

Starting in the late Seventies, public access cable television in New York experienced Stairway to Stardom,  a reality-TV program at its finest.  People wishing to make a stab at television stardom could write in, schedule themselves to appear, pay an appearance fee, and then show up in living rooms all across Staten Island.

It’s as if American Idol auditions left out all the super-talented people and the mentally ill hopefuls, and only accepted people with moderate talent and extreme enthusiasm.   (Via.)

Facehugger Skimask

 

Ah, it’s the time of year when the knitters in your life move from socks and blankets to scarves and headgear.   If they’re particularly creative, they’ve got something custom in the works, like this alien facehugger skimask.

knit-alien-facehugger-skimaskYou can only wear it for a few hours, because after that time you need to switch over to these guys:

alien_plushKnitters are an amazing folk: they can make almost anything you can imagine out of interlocking loops of string.   The crew of the Nostromo would have survived if only one of them could have knit an alien containment unit before things got ugly.

(Facehugger via, others via)