The Case of the Rain Man

It is no surprised that I am a huge fan of the show Unsolved Mysteries. I have written about this show various times in past blog posts. But a lot of the cases they profiled is forever ingrain in my mind. One I have been thinking a lot about is “Rain Man.”

Rain Man (Season 5: Episode 18). This segment first aired on February 10, 1993.

On February 24, 1983 in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. The grandfather of Don Decker had past away and a funeral was being held that day. Don was paying his respects to his deceased family member knowing that this particular family member did abusive things to him since he was a young boy. Don Decker was on an approved time off from jail (he was doing time for knowingly accepting stolen merchandise, and he was sentenced to serve between 4 to 12 months in jail) due to the family member’s death. So he had a couple of days out from this jail sentence to go to this funeral. Don claimed that when he saw his grandfather in his coffin that the worst “evil” was finally out of his life and that he can movie on from it. However there was a verbal disagreement between him and his parents over his grandfather. His parents were pumping up his grandfather’s legacy and Don was not having any of that and was very angry at his parents. That resulted in Don staying with his friends after the funeral. And it was during that night of the funeral an unexplained event took place.

His friends he was staying with was a couple named Bob and Jean Keiffer. The couple noticed that water was coming out of their walls in the living room when Don was in there. Both super confused and concerned they automatically notified their landlord of the house. When the landlord arrived he was as equally confused by the amounts of water coming into the house because their are no pipes along those walls. Also the water was only entering the living room and no where else. The water was falling towards a downward direction, sideways and through the floor of the living room. It literally looked like it was raining in the Keiffer’s living room and Don was physically in the middle of it. They had no idea where the source of the water was coming from. Don claimed that he went into a spell like trance when he started to rehash all of the trauma with his grandfather in his mind before the water began to drip down.

. With everyone in that space during the unexplained event occurred they decided to call the police. The police came inside the house and they had no clue and left to report the unexplained occurrence they witnessed to their boss. However their boss believe it was a hoax made by Don and the Kieffers.

He also refused to accept the report that his two colleagues made about it. Even though they made go to the house to witness the unexplained event he just sized it up as a issue with the house’s pipes.

Hungry and confused Don Deck and the Kieffer decided to leave the house to eat at a local diner. The landlord who was still in the house when they left claimed that the rain stopped when those 3 left the house.

Hunger and tried they went to a diner to eat that was close to the house and talked to the owner who was their friend a woman called Pam. Pam knew of the situation that happen in the house when they talked earlier but while Don and the couple were inside Pam notice Don acting weird. That is when the rain started inside the diner and Pam came to the conclusion that it was Don that was making it rain.

Pam was almost certain that Don was being possessed by the devil and attempted to put a cross on him. Don then claimed that the cross was burning him and it turned a solid black color. She also suggested that a priest should either perform an exorcism on Don or bless the house that the first unexplained rain fall began. Don came to realized that maybe he was performing this unexplained event somehow but couldn’t explain how he was doing this. The couple was getting very frustrated at Don and placed blame on him that is when more weird stuff started happening such as Don was levitating, things were falling off their fixtures and finally Don flew and landed hard on the floor while he was levitating.

On the final night that Don stayed with the Kieffers before he had to report back to serve the rest of his jail sentence. A priest was brought into the Kieffer’s house so an exorcism could be preformed on Don. Witnesses of the exorcism that was perform said that they saw Don contorting in an extreme manner and the house feel a sense of calm after everything was done. After that it seem like everything went back to normal and there was no unexplained rain that happen inside the residence again. Don never experienced anything like that again.

What do you think happened? Comment below! Also if their were any other weird cases that you saw on the show let me know!

Until next time!!

Source: unsolved mysteries wiki, youtube.com

Tower of Terror Fun Facts!

In the early summer of 1994 I remember seeing commercials like this on TV and begging my parents that we had to go to MGM Studios (aka Disney’s Hollywood Studios). I remember being a huge fan of the Sci Fi channel and watching the Twilight Zone a lot. So this ride was exactly my number one go to destination. So in the middle of the summer my family and I went to MGM Studio and that was the first ride I went on in the park. I did not know what to expect from the ride so when I finally went inside the building and sat down in the ride. I literally had no idea what kind of ride it was. And to be honest any kind of ride that makes me feel like I am falling I am not a fan of. SO this ride I was not a fan of. Actually I was the lucky rider who when every time we were falling I would cling on to the person next to me. Even though that person was a complete stranger and I never talked to them before or after I got off the ride. That was my personal experience with the ride and I have not been on it since. However I do enjoy the overall theme of the ride. So here are some fun facts about the ride!

There was a TV special in 1994 with Kirk Cameron about the ride about the “history” of the hotel.

The first Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride opened in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 22, 1994.

Other Tower of Terror rides opened up in other Disney Parks: Disney California Adventure opened on May 5, 2004 and closed on January 3, 2017. Tokyo DisneySea opened on September 22, 2006. Walt Disney Studios Park opened on December 22, 2007.

One of the ideas of the ride before it was settled on using themes from Rod Sterling’s The Twilight Zone series was to make a ride based on the Stephen King’s writing.

Another concept was to make a fake ghost tour with Vincent Price:

The Disney Imagineers watched over a hundred the Twilight Zone episodes to get a better sense of what the ride should embodied in terms of the looks and over appearance of it.

Joe Dante directed the video you watch before you actually go on the ride. He is known for directing this movie:

The exterior of the building is a homage of various Southern California landmarks. Such as the Biltmore Hotel:

A lot of the items inside the lobby of the hotel was purchased through various auctions in Los Angeles, California.

There is a clip of Rod Sterling introducing the ride is actually from a Twilight Zone episode called “It’s a Good Life.”

Have you got on this ride? If so what are your thoughts on it?

Until next time!

Source: Wikipedia, disneyparks, and mentalfloss.com

Movie of the Day: The Last Unicorn (1982)

The Last Unicorn (1982) directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr. The voices were supplied by Mia Farrow was the Unicorn and Amalthea:

Angela Lansbury as Mommy Fortuna:

Alan Arkin as Schmendrick:

Jeff Bridges as Prince Lir:

And Christopher Lee as King Haggard:

I am going to be honest. The first time I watched this movie was two weeks ago. I don’t really watched what is considered children classic movies when I was a child so I am catching up now as an adult. This movie was made by the Bass and Rankin Team. They also made such memorable movies as:

The Secret and NIMH:

And my personal favorite: The Hobbit (1977):

I am not sure why I waited so long to watch “The Last Unicorn” but I am glad I was finally able to watch it.

It is about a unicorn who realizes that she might be the last one of her kind and she sets off on a mission to see what happen to the other unicorns. On the way she meets some new friends who want to help with her cause. One of her friends named Schmendrick who tries to protect from her from a bull who is the one taking the unicorns. Accidentally transforms her into a human being and the journey becomes a little worrisome. Because when she is turned into a human she begins to forget her mission. However she slowly regains her memory about her mission and it is exciting to watch!

I thought this movie is so beautiful with bright colors and it is about unicorns! I mean come on I am such a fan of unicorns!

Some fun facts about this movie:

It was originally a book by Peter S. Beagle (1968).

Peter S. Beagle also didn’t received any money for the VHS or DVD sales of the movie.

Sir Christopher Lee also did the dubbing in German for the German release of the movie.

The soundtrack of this movie was number 1 in Germany in 1983.

The team that made this movie was considering Harrison Ford, Mark Hamil and Dustin Hoffman for the voice of Schmendrick.

They also wanted James Earl Jones, John Veron and John Carradine for the voice of King Haggard.

Kurt Russell was consider for the voice of Prince Lir.

Janet Leigh was consider for the voice of the unicorn.

This was the first time that Angela Lansbury did a voice over for a cartoon.

When was the first time you watched this movie? What were your thoughts on it?

Comment below!

Until Next time!

Source: IMdb.com

Artist’s Spotlight: @feltbuddies !

This week’s artist’s spotlight is on Veronica Gregerson aka @feltbuddies

  1. Tell me a little about yourself: “I want first to say thank you for letting me be part of your world. I’ve enjoyed your Instagram and blogs for quite some time. Let’s see Who am I? My name is Veronica, and here’s the backstory of what makes me, me. When I was a baby, I was dropped off at an orphanage in Bogotá, Colombia, adopted at age one, and here’s where my story picks up. Growing up, I had always had a knack for being creative. When I was younger, we had the Childcraft Book Set from World Book Encyclopedia, which had several volumes of fun, innovative, and exciting things to learn and create. I looked at those books so often that I’m sure the spines wore down. I liked how the books sparked my creativity with pictures and crafts. I did crafts here and there, but drawing was my passion. My grandma would always say you should use your talents because you’re so good. I never thought anything of it, and for a time, I had given up drawing because life got in the way. I did remember when I drew or was creative; it put my mind at peace. I had thought for a time about what can I do with my creativity? I pursued going to school for floral design, which I had done professionally for a few years. I then went back to school for graphic design, and then the dot-com stock market crashed; finding a creative job at this time was difficult, so I put that creative career on the back burner. As I pursued a professional career, I was missing that joy, but what was that joy? I remembered that when I was creating, it brought out the best in me. I realized I could have both things! Working and having time to be creative was a good balance for me. As I picked art back up, I dabbled in other creative things outside of drawing as I wanted to see what else interested me. It was almost like being reintroduced to the world of art, and there were so many possibilities. I was relearning and learning something new, fun, and exciting! If you can have a healthy balance of two things you enjoy overall, you will be your best person. ”
  2. What made you want to start creating this kind of art?: “

“I had tried wool felting once before but never gave it much dedication and had shelved my one and only project, a hedgehog. I decided to revisit felting in the spring of 2020. I had recently lost my dad to cancer, and shortly after, I lost my job. As I tried to pick myself up off the ground, I did some soul searching and thought about what could bring me peace. I remembered my love of art but wanted to try something different, plus I had time, the one thing that I hadn’t in years. I went through my craft drawers, pulled out some wool roving that I had, and came up with a design, a felt sun. I literally needed some sunshine in my life. I made something and gave it life by adding personality to it; it was gratifying. In the process of learning this art, I never knew how painful stabbing your fingers with small needles on accident could be. Yes, stabbing your fingers is a thing when you are starting of as a needle felter. While planning out what I wanted to make, I would framework my 3D characters with armature wire. Armature wire is a bendable wiring often used for clay sculpting to keep it from collapsing, and in the case of wool felting, it is the framework that you can build around. Once the framework is created, you use core wool roving (undyed natural wool) and start poking the wool. Once your shape is as you would like it, you take the dyed wool roving color, place it over the sculpture and poke it repeatedly to catch the core roving fibers to give color to the object. You poke and prod and poke with a very fine barbed needle until it starts to take the shape you desire. With time and practice and many poked fingers, I have gotten to the point where I rarely break these needles or stab my fingers, a considerable improvement.”

3. What are your top 3 favorite art pieces you’ve created and why?

Tallulah & Brooklyn My dogs mean so much to me, and they were my inspiration to start my dog felting adventure. I wanted to have a memento of my two girls that I love so much. Tallulah is an English Bulldog, and Brooklyn is Frenchton (French Bulldog/Boston Terrier). 

Daruma I have always had a love for Japanese culture. In 2017 I was lucky to spend two weeks in Japan, a place I had only dreamed of and now a reality. We have several Darumas throughout our home, and now I have one more to add to our growing collection.


Yakul from Princess Mononoke Tying back into Japanese culture, I enjoy the Studio Ghibli films, and Princess Mononoke was such a fantastic story with complex characters. I wanted to make my son something that he loves and would appreciate for years to come. If I could have Yakul as a pet, I would in a heartbeat.”

4. What has been the most unique or weirdest art piece you created?

” The most unique thing I have created so far is Spiki, a creation of Nakanari; he’s an artist mostly known for his vinyl toys, which I have followed and admired for several years. My husband and I collect vinyl toys going on 20 plus years now, and in our collection, there are a few Nakanari pieces sprinkled throughout our shelves.”

5. Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?

“I was part of a local holiday market with the Textile Center in Minneapolis, where I had six different ornaments available. I was incredibly excited to participate as they highlight BIPOC artists. BIPOC artists are often underappreciated and forgotten, so this was so important for me to join in. It was a wonderful experience as an up and coming artist, and to be part of this community of beautiful artists was a complete honor and to share my happiness with others. Now that the market is over, I have had the time to reopen my commission list and have been busy creating some touching pieces for people. While I have been getting many dog portraits and memorials, I have also gotten a few others like fruits and fun little one-off items. It’s nice to have the variety and freedom to make things that people enjoy. You become connected to the characters you create by their backstories and the owners’ love and interests.”

If you like to learn more about Veronica and her amazing art. This is her following contact information:

@feltbuddies

 

Telly Monster

Telly Monster is that muppet on Sesame Street that most likely could be your best friend. He is the most relatable among the Sesame Street gang and he was even able to break bread with Oscar the Grouch.

Telly is such a great friend to Oscar that he is part of the Oscar the Grouch Fan club: The Grouchketeers!

Telly first TV appearance on Sesame Street in 1979 (season 10).

He was a much different monster back then. He was known as the “Television Monster”

The first people that interact with him on the show is David and Mr. Hooper. Telly comes running into Hooper’s Store demanding to plug in a cord for his TV. David comes in shortly and Mr. Hooper described the weird interaction he just had with a “weird guy.” David convinces Mr. Hooper for them to both go out of the store and find Telly only to find him “glued” to his TV Set. Telly looks a bit different than what he currently looks like:

He had two antennas coming out of his head, he had a cord coming out of his left side of his face and his eyes were in a swirly pattern. The original premise of Telly Monster was cautioning children of watching too much television. There was even talk of just making him a one-eyed monster but it was later changed because they felt that maybe the opposite effect was happening and it was actually encouraging children to watch a lot of television. So in the next season they shorted his name from “Televisions Monster” to just Telly Monster, Got rid of the swirls in his eyes, the cord and the antennas coming out of his head. And now he is the lovable, a bit paranoid, amazing friend monster you see on Sesame street today.

Some facts about Telly Monster:

Members of Telly’s family have made appearances on the show including Telly’s Mom, and Mona the Monster. I believe he is one of the few Sesame Street monsters that has his extended family on the show.

He plays the tuba, and he loves the Triangles. And his other best friend is Baby Bear and he is a constant worrier about things.

He had a show called “Ask Oscar”:


Telly is such a sweet monster and I would not mind him being part of my inner circles of friends. I believe he would mostly likely being a triangle or three every time we would hang out.

Until Next time!

source: Muppet wiki and youtube

Great Small Business: @catpartypetportraits !

Hello everyone! This week I had the pleasure of interviewing a great small business : @catpartypetportraits !

  1. Tell me a little about yourself:

“I’m not even sure where to start! I grew up in the midwest, went to school in Denver,
and eventually moved to Los Angeles in 2010. I’m a fine art and portrait photographer,
but a few years ago expanded to commercial and pet photography. I have a photo
studio in downtown Los Angeles where I shoot most of my portraits. On a personal
level, I have a very supportive partner and two rescue kitties named Howl Pendragon
and Snake Plissken. My apartment looks like a mid-century carnival exploded, and I
collect a lot of strange antiques and rare Hello Kitty items.”

2. What inspired you to create this kind of business?

“To make a long story short, a couple years ago all three of my senior animals received
cancer diagnoses at the same time. I was drowning in about $24k worth of veterinary
debt, and absolutely heartbroken from losing my pets to cancer, and so I started offering
pet portraits in my DTLA studio. I quickly realized people loved my style, and I felt good
knowing I was able to give them a beautiful lifelong keepsake of their best friend. I’ve
always been influenced by so many things; renaissance paintings, baroque art, cabinet
cards, midcentury modern, 80’s movies, etc. and have pulled from that inspiration in my
portraiture. I think clients really enjoy the stiff Victorian feel to my portraits or the 80’s
horror throwbacks. It puts a little dark humor in a serious portrait.”

3. How does one book a session and are there certain backdrops that are more popular than others?

“You can book on my website! If you go to https://www.daniellespires.com/studio-pet-photography you can book at any of my upcoming dates, or email me to get a quote for in-home portraits. Yes there are certain backdrops that people love!

My green palm leaf backdrop is a hit, especially for us LA people because it’s reminiscent of the mid-century and iconic Beverly Hills Hotel. My biggest seller is my double exposure portraits. They’re quite challenging, fun and humorous to shoot, so I get a kick out of shooting and editing
them.”

4. If you had to pick 3 pop culture figures (alive or dead) to photograph. Who would they be and what animals would you pair them with while doing their pet portraits?

“What a great question! I’m going with fictional pop culture figures if that’s okay with you!
Here’s my three picks:

4.0.1

1.Creature from the Black Lagoon: The Creature is a misunderstood monster. No
doubt he has a pet hermit crab that the loves dearly, and he’d ask for a double
exposure portrait.

2. Hello Kitty: Obviously Hello Kitty would bring the little Sanrio hamster Kuririn (not
Dear Daniel who I truly resent for taking away Hello Kitty’s strong independent
status) as her pet and she’d definitely pick the Pink Palm Leaves backdrop.

3. Totoro: I’d like to think forest spirits like Totoro would bring in a little mini Totoro as
their pet, and ask to be shot on the Palm Leaf backdrop….or maybe Totoro would
ask me to set up a custom portrait in the forest with all the spirits.

5. Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?

“I am back in the studio booking portraits with COVID precautions in place! I take it very
seriously and want all my clients to feel safe coming into the studio. I hope to do some
popups in some of my favorite cities in the fall-time or early 2022 when we feel COVID
is more under control.”

For more information on photo sessions I offer and to book: https://www.daniellespires.com/studio-pet-photography

Instagram: @catpartypetportraits

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@catpartyletsgo?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daniellespiresphotography

Twitter: https://twitter.com/catpartyletsgo

Song of the day: It’s Raining Men

It is no surprise that I am writing about this amazing song! In celebration of Valentine’s Day I change my ringtone to this song:

This song was written by Paul Jabara who was a songwriter who wrote such hits for Donna Summer. He wrote an Oscar winning song for her called “Last Dance” from a movie called “Thank God It’s Friday (1978).” Directed by Robert Klane.

Paul Jabara collaborated with Paul Shaffer on it’s Raining Men ( you may remember him as being the band leader on “Late Night with David Letterman.” (1993-2015)):

Paul Jabara originally wrote the song for Donna Summer but she had no interest in singing the song because of the lyrics and her religious beliefs. She was so put off that the song was sent her way that she sent Paul Jabara a bible. The song then went through other singers like Diana Rosse, and Cher all of whom passed over the song.

Finally in 1982 the song was brought to a group called “The Two Tons (aka the Weather Girls) but not without their own reservations about the lyrics as well. The duo also thought that the lyrics were to out there and actually turned down in doing the recording of the song. However with constant begging from Paul Jabara for the singing group to do the song they finally agree to do it.

The song was released on September 10, 1982 on the Weather Girls third album called “Sucess”:

The song reached the #1 status on the dance charts in 1982 and received a Grammy Award nomination for “Best R&B performance by a duo or group with Vocals.”

Of being the 80’s and being the premiere MTV decade there was a music video made. It was directed by Gary Keys who also did producing and an amazing documentary on Duke Ellington called “Reminiscing in Tempo (2006):

The music video had a super super low budget because the record label (Columbia Records) didn’t provide them with hardly any money for it. So with the little resources they had they found an abandoned building for the music’s video in the middle of the freezing New York City winter. The Weather Girls also didn’t have a memorable memory of the making of the video. They acknowledge the cheese factor of the synopsis of the music video. Also how freezing it was and that also why they kept their coats on in the music video. Also there is one section in the music video were the duo is coming out of the sky on mattresses. They found out later on the day they shot that section they the crew just found those mattresses and fail to check them. The mattresses were actually infested with bugs and the Weather girls were filled with bug bites and very scratching for days!

Fun fact about this song: In 1998 the song was covered by Rupaul and Martha Wash called “It’s Raining Men…The Sequel.”

In 2001 Geri Halliwell did her own cover of this song on her second album called “Scream if You Want to Go”:

Geri Halliwell’s version of the song was also featured on “Bridget Jones’s Diary” soundtrack (2001).

Until Next time!

Source: Wikipedia, youtube

Welcome to the insta-hood: @casadedrunkdiva !

Hello everyone! This week I interviewed fellow IG account: @casadedrunkdiva !

  1. Tell me a little about yourself:

“I am a classically trained singer living in the Bay Area of California. I teach singing at home and perform regularly (or did before the pandemic) in musical theatre throughout the region. I have always been obsessed with all things vintage. As a child, I loved classic movies of the 40s and designed retro fashion of that era. At 8 years old, I frequently would break into my neighbor’s house, an abandoned house of an elderly lady that had been sent to a nursing home, and rummaged through all her old gowns and hats. Shameful. 
In high school I was a Mod and rode around with various boyfriends on vintage Vespas. I really loved thrifting mini skirts, go-go boots and bright print patterns of 60s fashions. They could easily be found for less than $5 back then!
These days I abstain from committing felonies and since the theatre world has shut down from the pandemic, I turn my vintage neuroses toward vintage and retro cooking and cocktails.  I think food should be fun and funny. I revel as much as anyone in the ridiculous aspic recipes from bygone days: Salmon in aspic, ground ham in aspic… and at the same time I find food trends so fascinating. We’re so grossed out by this stuff but it’s been around for centuries and has only in the last 30 years been deemed “horrifying”. Aspic has been considered a delicacy since the 10th century. I was just looking at a recipe designed by Melissa Clark (@clarkbar) one of the top food columnists for the New York Times. She has published a recipe for banana canapés with peanut butter, chile paste, flaky sea salt. If that had been in a 60s cookbook we would have all gagged. But because it’s Melissa Clark it’s considered chic.”

2. How did you come up with your social media name?

” Honestly it just came to me when I was posting a story and I kept it. I don’t particularly like it even though it’s accurately descriptive so if anyone has any suggestions please let me know.”

3. What are your three favorite vintage recipes you made and why?

“I recently made a Warm Potato Salad from the 1967 Better Homes and Gardens “Suppertime” cookbook; a potato salad ringed with frankfurters. The hilarity of it drew me- franks are funny! When I read the article I was sure it was going to be shitty (many vintage recipes are) since it simply called for potatoes cooked in a bacon grease roux with vinegar. But THAT SHIT WAS THE BOMB! I honestly don’t know if I’ve had anything so good. The tanginess of the vinegar with the bacon grease was kill-me-now deliciousness. It haunts me to this day.

The Mai Tai Banana Mold from the 1972 Better Homes and Gardens “Recipes For Entertaining”. It called for a non-alcoholic mai tai but I made it with a real one. I’m all about ring molds and cocktails and this was a perfect marriage with a tiki theme. I believe it had egg whites whipped in that gave it an exquisite light texture as well.

The Redberry Torte from Good Housekeeping’s 1967 Suppertime Cookbook. It almost killed me but in the end I conquered and prevailed. The recipe called for NINE layers of cake batter to be rolled out on the back of a nine inch cake pan – why I do not know- as modern recipes have better techniques for multi layered tortes. But I went with it. The cake layers were basically large thin sugar cookies that easily shattered. They were layered with cherry preserves and whipped cream in between. The texture was like nothing I’ve ever had before. It was downright majestic.

4. What is your favorite decade of food and why?

“I love the gaudiness and absurdity of the recipes of the early 70s. Salvador Dali’s cookbook, “Les Diners de Gala” published in 1973, perfectly illustrates (and exaggerates) the food of that era: champagne sherbet, aphrodisiac cocktails and “Peacock a L’imperiale dressed and surrounded by it’s court”. I also think my earliest memories come from the 70s. There’s more than a faint whiff of nostalgia for me in it’s fashion and food trends. When I was very little, my mother used to put a raw egg in my chocolate milk (I guess she thought it was healthy) and now I see all these recipes for various “nogs” of that era that call for a raw egg in fruit juice and milk combinations.”

5. If you had to make a signature drink for the month of February: What would it be and what would you put in it?

“I’m going to go with my new Cherries Jubilee Cocktail consisting of 151 dark rum, creme de noyaux, kirschwasser and cherry pie filling. I like it for February because there’s this weird trend in fifties food culture of all food things being made of cherries or wood logs for the month of  February in tribute to the myth of Washington chopping down the cherry tree and Lincoln being born in a log cabin. I’m going to be creating a post on what I call Hatchet Cakes and a whole series of flaming cocktails. Who knew February could be so inspiring?”

If you like to learn more about Sarah. This is her contact information:

IG: @casadedrunkdiva Website: https://www.sarahsloan.net/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahsloanvocalstudio

Thank you so much for the interview!

Childhood Flashback TV: Dinosaurs

So I had a big obsession with anything Jim Henson growing up. So when I first saw a commercial for the premiere of the TV show Dinosaurs. I was totally hooked!

Dinosaurs ran from 1991-1994, and I remember it was a prime time TV show that ran on ABC. The show premise was about how a family of dinosaurs was living in a 90’s kind of world in a comedic way.

The main family consisted of:

Earl Sinclair: father to Robbie, Charlene and baby Sinclair. Husband to Fran Sinclair. Earl works as a tree pusher (he basically pushes trees all day) at a company called Wesayso Development Company. He is the head of the household so the show mostly revolved around him and any problems or daily lessons he had to learn.

Fran Sinclair: mother to Robbie, Baby Sinclair and Charlene. Wife to Earl and she was practically the glue that held the family together:

Robbie Sinclair: son of Earl and Fran Sinclair. He kind of reminded me of James Dean in his role from “Rebel Without a Cause.” Because he is always questioning authority figures and has a red jacket.

Charlene Sinclair: daughter of Fran and Earl. She totally embodies me as a teenage. Her interests include fashion, shopping:

Baby Sinclair: son to Earl and Fran Sinclair. The baby of the family and my favorite character on the show. He always had the best come back lines and didn’t take any crap from anyone.

They even made a Baby Sinclair toy. I always wanted one but never got it.

Other favorite characters I liked on the show was:

Ethyl Phillips: the sassy grandmother Baby Sinclair, Charlene and Robbie. She is the mother of Fran and the mother in law to Earl. I believe that Baby Sinclair has similar traits to his grandmother. With her pearls and thick glasses she processes the typical TV grandmother traits. She is a strong character and she is set in her ways and she openly criticize Earl constantly. There was also an episode about her having a near death experience:

Roy Hess- Best friend and co-worker of Earl. He is best remembered as the dinosaur who wears Hawaiian shirts.

Dinosaurs first show was on April 26, 1991 until July 20, 1994. The concept of the show actually came three years before the first show by Jim Henson. He wanted to have a comedy show about a family that was dealing with the current issues of the 90’s but with a family of dinosaurs. He decided on making a family of dinosaurs because he was amazed by the advances that were being done by his Creature Shop. The Creature Shop were making The Ninja Turtles at the time.

I remember watching the last episode as a child and I didn’t really catch on the first time I watched it the show’s message. It wasn’t until I was much older and had watched the last episode again did I realized how impactful it was. The family was facing extinction because of the environment was to toxic because of big companies were to it’s land. I remember going to school as a child and always being taught about environmental issues. I even was part of a recycling group at my elementary school. Dinosaurs was a show I thought was just for comedic relief but it was much more than that. It provided a powerful message about how important it is to take care of our natural land resources.

Fun Fact about the show: There was not a whole lot of merch made for this show. However Mcdonald’s did have a line of happy meal toys made. I remember just buying the happy meal for a Baby Sinclair toy! 🙂

Resources: Youtube, muppet wiki, and imdb.com

Until Next time!

Welcome to the Insta-hood: @terriblyawesomecovers !

This week I interviewed Ig handle: @terriblyawesomecovers !

  1. Tell me a little about yourself:

“My name is Luke. I’m 40 and work in finance. Since I was a very young kid, I’ve been obsessed with music. I grew up with an older brother (nine years my senior) who’s also a massive music fan. So my earliest musical memories where of sneaking into his bedroom while he was at track practice to pour over his cassette collection. Mostly heavy metal and early rap – but also lots of new wave, r&b, and classic rock. His interest in so many different genres of music made a big impact on me in terms of being openminded to all types of music. Since sneaking tapes out of his room was often too risky, I would usually just stare at the covers and imagine what the music must sound like. This cultivated an early appreciation for not just the sounds – but also the visual aspect – of albums.”

2. How did you come up with the concept of your instagram?

” I worked at a record store during (and slightly beyond) college. We took in a lot of used product – which means *a lot* of weird, random records. Over the years I began to identify the aesthetic that I would later dub “terribly awesome.” While there’s not one set formula for what it is, it’s essentially any cover that – on the surface – shouldn’t work but due to either the artist’s naïveté, chutzpah, or pure outlandishness somehow transcends its inherent limitations and becomes something amazing in its own right. A close friend and I would eventually refine the definition as we began sending covers back and forth to each other via text, always trying to one up the other with the most terribly awesome example. Eventually talk turned to starting an Instagram page dedicated to the covers since we assumed there were others out there who enjoyed (or would enjoy) them as well. After a bit of research and finding it to be pretty much an untapped theme on IG, the page was born. Now, here’s a common misconception about TAC: I am not simply making fun of the covers/artists (though, admittedly, that’s often a component), I’m celebrating them. I genuinely love all of the covers I post. When I first started the page, I received a lot of submissions of purely bad/ugly/tasteless album covers and, while I’ve always appreciated the engagement, that’s never what the page has been about. There’s plenty of straight up bad covers out there. But the “terribly awesome” cover is a magical blend – a unicorn in a forest of banality. That’s what makes them special and worth celebrating!”

3. What are your top 3 favorite terribly awesome album covers and why?

1.)” Kenny Loggins – “Keep the Fire”. It was my first post and the cover that started it all. If there’s a terribly awesome template, it’s Kenny Loggins grasping a glowing light orb while wearing a white silk robe on the shores of a fantasy ocean…during a meteor shower. It’s a 10/10.

 2.) Michael Henderson – “Slingshot”. This is a perfect example of someone feeling themselves just a *bit* too much. The Speedo, the full torso body hair, the fact that he’s midway through taking off a jacket (even though he’s at the beach in the middle of the day). All combine for an exquisite representation of “so bad, it’s good.” Plus the post’s caption was authored by OldSchoolDads, an IG hero of mine and a big part of the inspiration behind the page. So it holds a special place with me.

3.) Dee D. Jackson – “Cosmic Curves“. The 70’s “Cosmic Disco” scene was a real hotbed for terribly awesome cover art, but for my money, Dee D. takes the prize for the most eye catching. She’s emerging from the center of the Milky Way galaxy in a form fitted, bedazzled, black vinyl jumpsuit with matching silver gloves and cape while shooting rays of starlight from her gloved fingertips. Her oddly blank facial expression, the soft filter on the photo, and the neon laser lettering of the album title are only a few of the finer details on this stellar cover. “

4.  What is a random fact about yourself that not a lot of people know.

“I gestated for 10 months rather than the normal 9 and was born exactly one month late on my mother’s birthday. “

5. Do you have any exciting events or news that you would like to share?

“I have my continued weekly post collaborations with the incredible Emil Amos of Holy Sons, Grails, Lilacs & Champagne. He’s my favorite artist currently making music so that’s been some real dream fulfillment for me. I also have a series of playlists on my Spotify and Apple Music pages that I update semi regularly. Some based solely around the TerriblyAwesomeCovers page and others that focus on specific genres I enjoy. Mostly, I’d just like to welcome any readers to come and check out the page. I feel like I’ve cultivated an amazing group of followers who are hilarious and well informed. Engaging with them in the comment section – whether roasting or toasting the covers, swapping jokes or sharing knowledge – is really what makes the page so much fun. Hope to see you there! “

If you like more information about Luke his Ig handle is https://www.instagram.com/terriblyawesomecovers/