Friday, May 25, 2018

Mt. Fuji from 34,000 feet

Fata Morgana of a distant rock

A Fata Morgana is something that isn't. Like a mirage, it's a trick of light and atmosphere, usually seen over water, but more elaborate than that. Mountains turn into boats and then majestic castles, then just sort of erode away, so you are not sure which image was real. I don't think I've ever seen one except in a movie. It's one of those sights which likely evoked terror in ancient humans, when no one understood why an entire ship was hanging upside-down fifty feet above the surface of the water. And why that same ship then slowly turned inside-out and sank into the ocean.

In every video of a Fata Morgana I could find, there is a big argument in the comments section about whether it is a Morgana or (in fact) a mirage. I don't care. It's a weird, cool, slightly spooky thing, a thing we can clearly see but which actually doesn't exist in the form we're seeing. Who or what is playing this eerie trick of distortion on our eyes and brain?

I use this video not so much because it's a good example (though it is that), but because of the beautiful noise of the surf, the utter lack of captions, and the beach-dwellers casually romping while the bizarre illusion plays out in the distance. The gifs were just lying around in my file, left over from another post.



Thursday, May 24, 2018

Trolls I'm gonna get!

I love trolls, and I have no money. Therefore I have to rely on "lots" - bundles of trolls sold for  a single price, usually through Etsy or eBay.  My greatest haul was four trolls with immaculate outfits - two forest trolls, which I didn't have, a Russ troll and a Treasure Troll. 

OK, I have officially gone mad.

I needed something, rather desperately, now that the grandkids are older, teenagers who don't even want to talk to me any more. It left an awful hole. I miss all those projects, knitting, making stuff for their birthdays and Christmas. Now they want money, basically. But making stuff is in my blood, I guess, though this whole thing is adding up, getting sort of expensive. The three I just ordered were only about $15 American, but with all the added charges it came to $38.00 - and that was a good buy.

As I said a couple of posts ago, and forgot all about, I tried Facebook pages for troll collectors, and it's like the doll world: hard to penetrate because of the in-talk, the jargon, and the expectation that you will turn around and sell your next precious "find" to the highest bidder. I've made new hair out of yarn for a lot of my Dollarinas (dollar store trolls) -  some find it strange, I know, but I think it has turned out well. I go ahead and post my photos anyway, knowing I'll look like an amateur. But I don't know why human beings have to do this, inject prestige and arcane knowledge into the mix. 

Example. Someone told another person she had gotten her troll outfit from "BAB". Now, would YOU know what "BAB" was? Neither did I. Neither did the person who asked! Turned out to be Build-a-Bear, but the person just "assumed" everyone would know what she meant. I can't help but feel it was done to assert authority and make the other person feel diminished, put in her place, on the outside looking in.

These are not photos, but SCANS of trolls I made quite a long time ago, with the few trolls I had kicking around. I find them quite interesting, but they're not going on my Facebook page.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares! Christopher Robin's been eaten by bears!

I find it interesting, if not fascinating (now that I think about it, which I never have before because the poem seemed so soppy) that Christopher Robin is praying for the same reason anybody else prays.


It's interesting too just what he is afraid of, as is made evident in the second poem. 


Why would A. A. Milne choose bears?

It seems obvious when you look at it. In putting his own small son at the centre of stories which made him wildly world-famous, he was throwing him to the bears, if not the wolves. 

Never mind that his Winnie the Pooh was a "silly old bear", a "bear of very little brain". He was still a bear. The "Lines and Squares" poem refers to them as "masses of bears", one of the most disturbing images I've read in a long time.

It's well-known that Christopher Robin Milne was relentlessly bullied in school for his fringe-haired Edwardian alter ego. In all the photos of him clutching his famous bear, he looks unutterably sad, even frightened. It's also been said that his appearance was altered to make him look more like the innocent Ernest Shepard illustrations, instead of the other way around. Get out the scissors, trim up that fringe! Think how that must have played out as he grew up and left tender childhood behind.

Why do people use their children that way? The same reason anyone uses anyone, I guess. Selfishness, ego, human ruthlessness, narcissistic disregard for the wellbeing of one's nearest and dearest. And in the case of writers, a single-minded and overwhelming desire to be famous.

To me, the most chilling lines in that whole chilling poem are:

"Mine has a hood, and I lie in bed
And I pull the hood right over my head
And I shut my eyes, and I curl up small,
And nobody knows that I'm there at all.

This sounds like someone who is hiding. Hiding from what? Bears, the boogeyman, God? His own father? Or is it from the fictional Christopher Robin, a menace so inescapable that he can't get away from him even in the safety of his own bed?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Don't stop now. . .

                      Oh yessssssssss.

Bonomo Turkish Taffy Song

Give it a smack (Bonomo)

Give it a crack (Bonomo)
Then lift up the flap, strip off the wrap
And hey, away we go!

We're gonna taste Turkish Taffy
Hey, it's delish!
Taste Turkish Taffy

Answers every wish

One, nice and chewy
Two, nice and sweet
Three in the flavour that you prefer
It truly can't be beat

But you get chocolate, vanilla
Strawberry too
Even banana, doodle-oodle-oo
When you take a trip to your candy store
Be sure to get you some
Turkish Taffy, yum-yum-yum!

You spell it





Oh-oh-oh, Bonomo!

(Hey, one more time!)

You spell it





Oh-oh-oh, Bonomo


Blogger's apology. All the different colours were a vain attempt to demonstrate/pictorialize the various flavors: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry too; even banana, doodle-oodle-oo.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Satanic meanings in Pebbles and Bamm Bamm's Let the Sunshine In

Mommy told me something
A little kid should know
It's all about the devil
And I've learned to hate him so

She said he causes trouble
When you let him in the room
He will never never leave you
If your heart is filled with gloom

So let the sunshine in
Face it with a grin
Smilers never lose
And frowners never win

So let the sunshine in
Face it with a grin
Open up your heart
And let the sunshine in

When you are unhappy
The devil wears a grin
But how he starts to runnin'
when the light comes pourin' in

I know he'll be unhappy
Cause I'll never wear a frown
Maybe if we keep on smiling
He'll get tired of hanging round

If I forget to say my prayers
The devil jumps with glee
But he feels so awful awful
When he sees me on my knees

So if you're full of trouble
And you never seem to win
Just open up your heart
And let the sunshine in

So let the sunshine in
Face it with a grin
Smilers never lose
And frowners never win

So let the sunshine in
Face it with a grin
Open up your heart
And let the sunshine in


Blogger's attempt at explanation. Like everyone who watched The Flintstones (and everyone did, though its sappiness now astounds me), I remember this saccharine little duo with Pebbles and Bamm Bamm. The fact both of them were maybe eight months old and incapable of speech made no difference. There they were, suddenly sitting upright and performing this cheery little song, and to my ears then, that's all it was: a sappy little number sung by two sped-up chipmunk voices.

When I first discovered the words on YouTube, I was disbelieving. It couldn't be about the devil, could it? So I looked it up on Wikipedia, and to my astonishment, there it was:

"The most famous recording of this song was created for baby-boomers and featured Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm on The Flintstones "No Biz Like Show Biz" episode (which originally aired September 17, 1965). The clip of them performing this song was sometimes played during the closing credits in the show's final season (1965–1966), this episode being the opener of that season. Although Pebbles and Bamm Bamm went on to form a rock band as teenagers in the 1970s, they never approached the classic heights of their early childhood tune. The Flintstones version of the song was not stripped of its religious lyrics for inclusion in the show, and only the word "kids" was substituted. Original vocals were provided by Rebecca Page (as Pebbles) and her mother Ricky Page (as Bamm Bamm), who later became "The Bermudas" and then "The Majorettes". 

OK. So where exactly did this bizarre little ditty come from?

The first recording was called Open Up Your Heart and was performed by the Cowboy Church Sunday School (and don't ask me to tell you what THAT was). It was the sort of quasi-Christian song that was popular back then. I remember a lot of kids' TV shows ended with the host saying, "And remember, kids. . . always say your prayers." Prayers usually meant kneeling beside your bed with hands together, saying something like, "Now I lay me down to sleep/I pray the Lord my soul to keep./If I should die before I wake/I pray the Lord my soul to take."

Such a pleasant thing to recite before sinking into sleep, the possibility of death! No one seemed to think of these things and the effect they would have on children emotionally and spiritually. The whole thing was based on fear. Bland white Christianity was applied across the board in the culture as something which went without saying, and I remember everyone reciting the Lord's Prayer at the start of the school day.

But this little song is a lot more extreme.

Two little cartoon kids singing about "the devil" is extremely creepy, even if the song is already known in the popular culture. There are still parts of the world - hell, parts of MY world, not just the Southern U. S. - where this sort of philosophy would not be at all out of line. It seems to me it's meant to scare the hell out of kids, or at least force them to look cheerful all the time for fear of  Satanic reprisal. A very strange idea indeed.

Just a little piece of art I did

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Canuck the Crow is a daddy!

I don't seem to have time to set this up much, but it's self-explanatory, I think. My daughter Shannon is the reporter. I was being all envious about her being able to meet the local legend, when she told me, "Canuck BIT me!" I think  she was trying her best, but the bird didn't like her body language. She stroked him tentatively, and tentative just doesn't work with a stud crow. You've got to scratch behind the head, like the guy they showed before. Extending your forearm helps, as it gives the bird something to land on. Hey, it's been a while, and I am a cat person now, but I will never forget that I loved birds, and had them in my home. There's a bird-shaped space in my heart, which is what drives me on my video searches around the lakes and seaside paths of Coquitlam.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The worst ad in television history

This thing is just unbelievably primitive, from the screechy adult-pretending-to-be-a-kid to the brain-dead-sounding Dad, and graphics that look like they were cut out with garden shears. But Colorforms were what we all played with, and nobody complained. 

The Six Million Dollar Troll


Item Information

“He is in great shape for being almost 50 yrs old”

2 offers

US $1,499.99
+US $60.00 shipping 

Approximately C $1,920.59 (including shipping)

BLOGGER'S LAMENT: I've had some doubts about getting back into trolls. What started as a happy thing ended up with joining Facebook groups in which people display collections of hundreds or even thousands of expensive, vintage trolls, or trolls they just happened to pick up at a flea market (a couple hundred, usually) that just happen to include several treasures like the phenomenal find pictured above.

Like, a two thousand-dollar troll! It's nice, for sure. He's cute. Looks in great shape, maybe even mint, as if someone bought him and just put him away somewhere back in 1961. But I just don't have two thousand dollars for a troll! I have to eat.

I started off enjoying my troll hobby, and I still do, to some extent, but the experts are ruining it. I posted some photos on Facebook of troll clothes I knitted, and hair I've replaced, and I can feel the shock and disdain - shock that I'd have the nerve to even do such a thing when the standards are too high for me to reach, disdain because I'm a newbie and have to sit back for at least two years before contributing anything at all.

My thing was making yarn hair that doesn't look like yarn, or is at least pretty enough to fool the eye (or *I* thought so):

These seemed OK to me until I posted some, and the comment was, "It looks like yarn". Yarn isn't used on trolls. Tibetan cashmere, perhaps - mohair from the pelt of a yak, fleece from the Golden Ram of Jason and the Argonauts - but not yarn. Yarn is for an old Raggedy Ann doll left moldering in the attic. It seems there are certain rules as to what you can use. Which is funny, because I've seen things like steel wool, wires, shells, fake flowers, quartz crystals, snow globes, and other unlikely substances for hair replacement. But don't use yarn because it's for amateurs and grandmas, because it means you don't know what you're doing, and even if you're doing it for fun and just to share with the group and not try to sell or trade, there is a certain standard to be maintained.

The group "in-talks" a lot, meaning a lot of obscure troll jargon. WHY do people do this, in any and every field of endeavour? It's to make people who know less than they do feel like know-nothings, or to show off JUST HOW MUCH MORE they know about the subject than you do. So you are suddenly in the position of supplicant, of meekly asking questions and waiting for the Big Oom-pahs to answer rather than joining the conversation and actually saying anything.

I'd say the internet has poisoned everything, but maybe not, maybe it has always been this way. Sashaying around, ass-wagging and showing off seems to be intrinsic to human nature, and it stinks. I am SICK of it. OK, it looks like yarn, but is THIS any better?

This is what troll hair is s'posed-ta look like, not long waterfalls of de-stranded yarn fibres. But they're not collecting MY trolls, are they? Aren't they interested in what I like? I don't know.

I guess this is a whole lot of complaining, but it just galls me that the "does not belong" stamp that was placed on my forehead at birth is still so much in evidence. Even when having Fun with Trolls. The hidden agenda in these groups is that you have to be a professional doll-collector/restorer who knows and uses all the jargon, in spite of repeated insistence that it's "just for fun". I even read someone say that they think more members should contribute and get involved, rather than just sit back to be entertained. 

(I can't remember if I posted this already, so here it is again, or still).