Little Ads, Esquire 1969 - Get creeped.

It's Halloween, creatures! You know how you think that nothing scares you more than this particular election cycle? Slightly incorrect! Observe these little ads from the back pages of the March, 1969 issue of Esquire Magazine. The following program may not be appropriate for younger or more sensitive viewers!

At the very least, we can hope that's a bullet hole in the chest of the man wearing the nylon-tricot jumper with the fitted hip-hugger boxer underbriefs, but it's probably just a printing inclusion.

What's so creepy about the TENSOLATOR? Not much, apart from the fact that it's almost definitely  just a springy thingy that doesn't do anything that pushups and situps can't do for you. But, you will be the creep of the crypt when you use Fitness Boy's face as your profile pic. You're welcome! P.S. Who wears a combover at the age of 25?
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You can probably think of two or three people who can get away with wearing rubber clothes. However, this photo was taken in 1969, and that's probably someone's grandmother in that picture. She kinda looks like she may have already been one when this photo was taken. Booooooo!!!! Also, "REAL RUBBER CLOTHING!, not cheap fake rubber! Boooo! Also also, "SENSIBLE PRICES" on rubber clothing! BooooooooOOOOO!!!


Kendall Motor Oil - Rich, creamery oil.

Is your car carrying around any Kendall motor oil in its veins? Probably not, but you should save their avatar, at least.

"Time for an oil change?" It's twenty-five miles o'clock! You'd better change the oil!

Kendall Oil still exists... sort of. It seems that Phillips 66 owns them now. Good for them! It seems that their website is an error message. Not good for them!

But who cares, really? I suspect that a lot of companies have websites simply because they'd be embarrassed if they didn't, because not having one is old fashioned. I happen to pour Castrol into the Phil Are GO!-Kart, but I've visited the Castrol web page exactly zero times. Why would I? So, I'm liking Kendall's site more and more, now that I think about it. They're too busy making oil to oworry about some stupid runtime error on their site that no one needs to go to anyway.

And they're making it from only the richest, butteriest creamy oil, from... "Penna"?

Since when did we abbreviate "Pennsylvania" as "Penna"? Honestly, I don't know how anybody ever got their mail with a stupid abbreviation like that on the envelope.

Anyhoo, the real reason for visiting this ad is the bright and well-oiled lady in the circle. She'd make a fine profile picture for FaceTube or some kind of Instant Message Thing or whatever, wouldn't she? Especially if you're a bit of a gear head lady yourself. Some hero should shout at his staff of worker bees to pop her out of the image and serve her up all circular and alpha channeled. Sigh. Some day...

...is NOW! Psych!

Hey! Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade, get off your butts! I wanna see some circular marquee in here, stat! Move it!

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Look at her, all wind blown and care free, with her driving gloves and her delicious neck grapes. She's a dream. I'll let you make your own lubricant jokes here. I'm taking the high road.

The jpeg version is for just in case your Online Time Toilet Service of choice is really stupid and doesn't understand images with transparency. You're welcome!

This little hand presents us with a bit of a mystery. It obviously wants us to feel as if everything is okay - hence, its vee fingers. But the hand has what appear to be seams where you would expect to see them if it were a glove. Fine. But then why does it have frikkin fingernails? What kind of monstrous freak show are you running here, Kendall? Did the execs at Kendall wear gloves made out of human hands when changing their oil, to keep their real hands clean?

The hell with you, Kendall. Castrol presents me with no nightmare clip arts like this.


Carefree International Restaurant - Carefree, Arizona.

So where's lunch? How bout the Carefree?

Dining in Carefree, Arizona in The Sixties was pretty damn cool. Apparently there was this restaurant with six (or seven?) themed dining rooms arranged radially around a central kitchen, all in a mid-century modern purpose-built building that wasn't just a repurposed out-of-business hallmark store in a strip mall, which is mostly what we get, here in The Future.

This postcard scratches the surface, but the Ultranet is pretty much made of rabbit holes, and a simple search led the Phil Are GO! Research and Googling Team to the Carefree, Arizona Cave Creek Museum's site (...of course, and why wouldn't it?) which had an exterior shot of the restaurant and a floor plan. It looked like a groovy space station on the desolate moonscape of the moon, instead of the desolate Arizonascape of Arizona.

Oh yeah. That North America.

The post card boasts about seven distinctive yet interconnected dining areas, but we can only see six on the map. Nordic, Asian, African, South American, North American (you know: mac & cheese), and Mediterranian. Where' sthis phantom seventh dining room? The wine cellar? Hmm. They may have been on to something...

Naturally, any really cool looking restaurant doesn't want you to ask about the food. It was probably okay, or at least non-lethal. Or, it was probably better than trying all day to catch a road runner with your rocket skates.

If you're stranded in the desolate Chicagoscape of Chicago and you feel like having a similarly absurd dining experience, there are still places you can go for a heavily themed inoffensive meal served by a disinterested staff.

Shef Shangri-la! It's right near the Brookfield Zoo, so you can stagger out of the jungle just like a lost explorer and stagger up to a table and order a drink in a ridiculously-shaped glass, just like a lost suburbanite.

P.S. You will not live forever before or after eating at Chef Shangri-la, and that's probably best.


Borden's Evaporated Milk - A domestic disturbance.

It's been a while since we heard from the unholy spokesmonstrosities from Borden's. Let's hear from Elsie The Cow, Elmer The Cow, Beulah The Cow, and Beauregard The Cow, just in time for Halloween. No, I did not make those names up. The Nineteen-Forties did.

In this 1950 ad, our happy family of crimes against nature are bickering about careers and sexism. If that doesn't make you want to buy dehydrated milk, I don't know what does. Setting aside the fact that dehydrated milk pretty much sells itself because it's so delightful to enjoy with your mouth, the The Cow family are going for the hard sell, teaching us that nothing says "dehydrated bits of milk" like threatening to storm out of the house if your wife doesn't STFU. Aah, The Fifties. Simpler times, man.

Technically, Borden's is being pretty progressive, for 1950, anyway. In this hilarious narrative, Elsie is being portrayed as the example of "rightness", while Elmer seems to be used here an example of old-fashioned thinking. Maybe? Let's give them the benefit of the doubt.

And yet, if Borden's was so modern and forward thinking and stuff, why did they feel the need to name their ice cream "Lady Borden"? Was there a "Man Borden" flavor, with whiskers in it?

However, no sooner is the feminine ice cream mentioned than the company quickly reassures us, by having Elmer remind us that it's okay for men to enjoy Lady Borden too. So, it seems safe to eat it without fear of turning "all funny".

Shew! It's okay, guys! We can eat this ice cream. The family of cartoon cows with the weird neckpenises says so!

Perhaps next time we cover a Borden's ad, we can do a detailed examination of a family of cows that relishes eating food made from their own milk. Won't that be nice?


Simple Atomic Monitor - Finally!

Yep. Those were the good old days.


Bertriff Glavin Revues

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Get on the Brandwagon!

Way in the back of the May, 1962 issue of Popular Science was an, uuh, ad?, for brand names week. Brands needed a leg up, I guess?

Why advertise brands? They're always around, like it or not, but the Brand Names Foundation seemed to feel strongly that people weren't buying enough brand name stuff... in favor of what? Generic merchandise made by neighbors and sold in a garage sale?

Of course, this was barely The Sixties, and you couldn't buy gray market Chinese import knockoffs by companies you've never heard of on Amazon - or, god help you - Alibaba. It's odd that you can probably place more trust in an unbranded homespun doorknocker made by an old man at the farmer's market than some companies that have logos, and "TMs" and everything. Brands can help you know what to avoid buying.

In physical stores, we denizens of The Future have modern knockoff brand names to help us identify flimsy shit that will break before you even get it home. Brands like Coby, who have the arrogance to rip off not only the sound of Sony's name, but also their logo.

Even the actual Sony, who used to pretty much define quality and design, threw all that away in The Nineties and Oughties when they not only began making products with uninspired design, but tried like hell to engineer everything they made to use some weird proprietary Sony-only battery or ridiculous Sony-only memory card. Sony's memory card was the "memory stick", and it was routinely twice as expensive and not measurably better or more reliable than the standardized storage media that everyone else used: the SD card. Everything you bought from Sony was an attempt to force the customer into several years of buying stupidly expensive proprietary doodads, until finally everyone kind of decided Sony had gotten enough of their money, and decided to try giving money to companies that didn't prevent the user from routing an audio signal through a receiver and into a recording device, or perhaps used a standard type of memory media. Sony's still recovering from this era of hubris.

And don't even get me started on the Sony Rootkit thing. So, yeah. Hooray for brands! Any and all of them!

One thing Coby's got that Sony will never have? Coby's more fun to make fun of. Hooray for fake Sony!

How do you like the Brandwagon in today's ad? Wouldn't you like to possibly use it for something else? If Sony made the Brandwagon, they would hate you using it for an unintended purpose. Sony would say that's a violation of copy protection or something. The  P.A.G. Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade, get in here on the double! You know what to do. Wagon extract! Text out! Sony defy!

The Brandwagon is a PNG on an alpha channel background, so it's ready to hover over whatever else you've put in your son's birthday party flyer. It'll be good for his retro-hipster brand. Or, you can insert it into the document of your choice and drag it along with your mouse. You deserve a parade. You're welcome!


Back Road Driving Tips



Control Center

Joke #1 - The remaining Yahoo employees carefully monitor the account security of the remaining Yahoo user.

Joke #2 - After weeks of hearing tantalizing water cooler talk, Bryce finally decided to tune in Tokyo for himself. Hmm. He didn't see what all the fuss was about.

Joke #3 - Eager for the health benefits of stand-up desks, the team lacked the budget to re-engineer the console. So, they just put the entire room on an eighteen-inch platform.

Joke #4 - Deep inside Donald Trump's brain, the Master Control Team stood ready to dial down the insane jabber, just in case America accidentally became great on its own, before the election actually occurred.

Joke #5 - On his lunch hour, Bryce would sometimes browse eBay, looking for some cool knobs, screens, or possibly meters to put in that one last blank bay at the end of the console.

Joke #6 - "God dammit, Bryce, will you stop trying to 'friend' me."

Joke #7 - Ironically, more than half of the equipment in the room was dedicated solely to figuring out "who dealt it".

[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.   -Mgmt.]



Nescafe - Nestle makes the ver-ree best. Cof-feee.

Hey, sleepeies! Got a cuppa joe in front of you right now? Is it dehyrdated coffee? Probably not. Speaking of "dehydrated" and "probably not"... Nescafe!!!

How's the free coffee your work puts out? It's free. It's fine. Right? When's the last time you tried dehydrated coffee? Was it actually gross, or did you just make a face to avoid ridicule?

All coffee is boiled roasted bean juice extract. On its own, its flavor falls somewhere on the "bitter and gross" spectrum. Most people throw in a flavorant of some kind to make it taste okay. Still, many people consider themselves connoisseurs, despite the fact that they can't tolerate the stuff without sweetener.

FaceTube is well populated with videos of people doing blind taste tests of coffee and getting their answers sort of right and sort of wrong. A decent one is this one from Facts, an Irish channel whose videos always feature people who are funny, charming, and intolerant of bullshit, which fits with my lifelong stereotype of all people of Ireland. When the day comes that I meet an Irish person that's a pretentious poser, I'll adjust the stereotype.

The most likely truth is that people's appreciation of coffee is directly proportional to how much money they believe was spent on it.

Years ago (like, 18 years ago), when I worked at a cartoon studio, I used to occasionally indulge in International Foods' Fancy Mostly Sugar Blends of Wildly Overpriced Instant Coffe Powder. You know the ones. They come in those little square tins, designed so carefully to look like they were stolen from the breakfast bar of a fine hotel in Cicily? Remembering that (in America, at least), the ingredients on food packaging are listed in order of quantity, it's worth noting that ingredient number one on the list is sugar, followed by creamer, followed by a bunch of other things. Coffee eventually makes an appearance at ingredient number nine. Once I realized that the stuff was mostly sweetener, I moved on to regular coffee with normal sweetener in it.

Important Information

Sugar, Nondairy Creamer [Corn Syrup Solids, Partially Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Sodium Caseinate (From Milk), Dipotassium Phosphate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Artificial Flavor], Instant Coffee, less than 2 Percent of Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sodium.

In defense of Nescafe, their ingredients are coffee. Not horrible if you don't want to make it the old fashioned way, but coffee is so cheap and quickly available for purchase at business every eighteen inches along your daily commute, why would you bother with coffee that's been stomped on by Mr. Wizard to such an extent? I know, this is an example of both the Naturalistic fallacy and the Argument form Ignorance fallacy. There's no real reason instant coffee has to be horrible.

Me? Folgers with a sploosh of milk and half a fake sugar packet. Just enough to dull the bitter so I can get it down. I'm working my way towards being able to drink it black, so I can punish myself for not getting enough sleep. Baby steps, man.

So anyway, the guy ambassador in this ad is pretty funny. Wouldn't you want him in your hard drive, for quick deployment as your avatar in whatever chat service you use to spew snobbish hyperbole about the quality of your premium boiled bean juice that you dumped two ounces of sweetened creamer into? I thought so. You're welcome! PS: No one on your chat service needs to know what the ambassador is drinking.

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Starrett No. 132 Level - Scary good.

Hey, "makers"! Have you got a level, or do you just use a free app in your phone to tell you if the shelf you made out of a cardboard sonotube that you're selling on Etsy for fifteen hundred dollars is level and straight?

I love Adam Savage and everything he does. BUT, I'm pretty sure I've heard him use the word "makerspace" in a non-ironic way. I attribute that to the fact that he's had a career in television, and he's in California, surrounded by posers and useless wankers that need to inflate themselves with made-up terminology to replace perfectly serviceable words that are too "boring", and don't promote their personal brand effectively enough.

If I were to invite my dad over to check out my "makerspace" (back when he was alive - not the only currently available version of my dad, which would be Zombie Dad), he would be able to figure out what I meant, but he would also frown and ask me where I'd gotten that bit of silliness to describe my workshop.

I suspect that you either know the brand Starrett, or you use the word "maker" with sincerity, but not both. Starrett has been around forever, and their stuff is The Shit. So will your pants be, if you price their stuff...

Oof! I didn't know you could spend nearly eight hundred dollars on a level that wasn't encrusted in Swarovsky crystals, sitting in a drawer of Paris Hilton's makerspace.

I have some Starrett tools that were my dad's. They are in a drawer in his mahogany tool box from when he went to DeVry, on a layer of green felt (The tools are on a layer of green felt. My dad did not attend DeVry on a layer of green felt.) Some of the tools, I even know what they're for! Depth gauges, levels, scales (that's a ruler), shims, and calipers. The rest are abstruse counters of engineering arcana that await the day when I surmise the intricacies of their functionality and thereby earn the right to use them. Until then, I am not worthy of their flawless, jewel-like smoothness and unexpected weight. Wait for me, my pretties, until such a time as I deserve thee.

Zombie dad, I regret that I failed to extract all knowledge from you in life, and that these Starrett artifacts remain a tantalizing mystery. My stupid brain is not worthy of being eaten. Until such a time as I unravel the secrets of the Starretts, I will make do with Craftsman, Husky, and possibly Irwin.

Anyoldhoo, the guy in this Starrett ad is kind of scary. See his eyes? Those are all pupil. No, he hasn't been to the eye doctor. He just seems to understand that Starrett is The Shit, and he's going to level the crap out of everything with his Starrett model 132.

What else could Starrett man be used for? Oh, ever so many things, if only some heroic pixelmonger would liberate you from the pages of Popular Mechanics February 1959 and set you free to explore the Ultranet of 2016. Such a hero will rise among us this day.

Run free, scarily enthusiastic man. Go tell the Ultranet how great something is. Go now. Run. Before I change my mind. You're welcome!

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Lean Cuisine Chicken Tikka Meh-sala