Saturday, July 16, 2022


(image from here)

Today I've been reading about junk food because next Thursday, July 21, is National Junk Food Day, & that'll be what I talk about on the Dickenbock Report, the other show I do here in town.  While looking at the Wikipedia page for junk food (linked under the image), I barely glanced at said image, thinking it was just a vending machine, albeit a fancy one.  Nope!  It's a poster designed to dissuade junk food consumers from consuming junk food.  Plus!  It was at Camp Pendleton, so it's designed for adults, not children.

Upon noticing, & clicking to enlarge, I studied the different options & ignored the "facts" printed next to them.  Here are the products: Choco-Fato Nut Bar, Sugar Explosions, Sugar Cake Fatkies, Milk Chocolate O & O's, Chocolate Chip Multi-Fat Yummies, Extra Fatty Donuts, Freddy's Fat Pies, Liquid Sugar, Calorie Smack, & Salty Calorie Sticks.

Whoever designed the poster must have thought these were truly damning names for products that would scare off the average consumer.  But that person has obviously never seen cheaper versions of famous products, which often have names not far removed from "Salty Calorie Sticks."  But even more than that - are you saying you wouldn't stuff your mouth with something as delicious sounding as Sugar Cake Fatkies?  Holy shit that sounds amazing!

What I'm saying is that the folks attempting to get the Marines at Camp Pendleton to eat healthier (the fatkies that they are) really pulled their punches here.  I feel like there were trading cards making fun of junk food from the 1960s which would've been better templates.  Were there really such trading cards?  Let me look. Yes, I am thinking of Wacky Packages.

Someone at Camp Pendleton - probably on some General's staff - whose job it was to okay the above poster - although now that I think about it, it was probably someone from the Department Of Defense & almost certainly not in the armed forces at all - they should've said to the designer, "Talk to the those folks that make Wacky Packages.  After all, you're either deliberately or subconsciously copying them.  Give them the assignment & tell them to make the junk food extra evil."

& that person would show them, as an example, this one:

While I'd certainly love some Extra Fatty Donuts washed down with Liquid Sugar, I would absolutely not love Mud-Filled Hostage Cupcakes.  That sounds terrible!  & the next time I looked at Hostess Cupcakes, I might think, "Maybe those are filled with mud too!"

In fact, I have a memory of being young & seeing the Wacky Packages cards before I saw the actual product it was making fun of, & being confused my mother might buy such an awful thing.  For example, this famous one:

As far as I can remember, my mother never drank "Chock Full Of Nuts" coffee, & so when it appeared in our house, I thought there were actual nuts & bolts in it.  I remember really wanting to check.  I hated the idea of my mother drinking metal objects.

Anyway, I hope the next time the Marines want to help their famously obese troops slim down, maybe they'll find this modest post & turn to the experts to help them: the people who make Wacky Packages - which are apparently still a thing!  Here's a recent one:

Terrifying.  By the way, you can find all these & more at this link.  I have officially spent too much time there tonight.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Favorite Color

Is my favorite color this color here?  Yes, it is.

Had you asked me before 1992 what my favorite color was, I might have said something distinctly bleak like "black" or "grey." I used to paraphrase that famous Morrissey line as "I wear grey on the outside because grey is how I feel on the inside." Although I really never wore grey. I probably had a tee shirt on while saying that, thinking I was clever & not even considering that the person I was talking to might not know the Smiths reference. & the tee shirt was probably from a concert I went to in 1987 & not a Smiths shirt at all.

That all changed when I had my heart broken in early 1992. Suffice to say, saying it was "broken" is being coy. If there were actual damage to a heart when it is "broken" in the romantical sense, I would have had the equivalent of a massive heart attack requiring emergency bypass surgery & maybe even a transplant. Some pig might have to die for me & thankfully that didn't happen because I would feel even more heartbroken for a worthy pig to have died for my dumb self to survive.

Of course, heartbreak doesn't really affect the heart (although it can do indirectly, as ones suffering severe emotional trauma tends to not take care of themselves, for example not eating, or drinking too much alcohol, which may lead to complications for the organ called the heart) but the brain, & the human brain can be frustratingly sturdy. Though I truly did at the time feel black on the inside, I did not want to live in blackness. The night, which I had previously quite enjoyed, became a place for terror & loneliness. You wear out even the closest of friendships, of which I had few, by calling at three a.m. to ask, "What's up?"

Daytime was preferable, & as the half-assed Austin winter turned to spring, I saw that color above, & it somehow helped me heal. Spring only stays in Austin for a short time before it's beaten senseless by the always-early-arriving summer, so that color is quite transitory, but I found myself gravitating to it more & more. As I sort-of-recovered from the heartbreak (maybe we never recover from any heartbreak), I still needed to see that color when it returned in the spring, & later, when I moved to Kentucky, twenty years after that heartbreak, I was delighted to find that springs lasted longer & the color stayed longer.  Here's another picture:

Do you find it as delightful as I do?

Maybe not, liking a color is subjective. That's why I call it "my favorite color" & "not the best color." Thinking one color is better than another might be a symptom of some kind of sociopathy. I don't know, I'm not someone who knows anything about psychology.  Which is perhaps a good a way to end this utterly meaningless piece of scribbling:

"I may not a psychologist, but I know what I like!"

That's a reference to something else & if you don't know it, it's fine. It isn't nearly as funny as the thing referenced & probably also not quite exact in its construction, so pointing out the reference might reflect poorly on me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Self Help Radio 071222: A Fancy Show

(This is a photo of a real place in Portland - this one - but obviously manipulated.)

How fancy is a fancy radio show? Does it have lots of songs about fancy things? Does someone stop by to talk about fancy books? Fancy underwear? "Kentucky Fancy"? Does Lord Fancy sponsor the show, then rescind his sponsorship when he realizes the host isn't all that fancy?  Is it all of these?!?!

It's what happened on this week's Self Help Radio, which attempted to be a fancy show.  No one involved with the show (meaning me, Gary) has had any real experience with being fancy, so don't expect anything too fancy.  Caveat emptor.

Listen to the show now or whenever it strikes your fancy at either the KBOO website or at the Self Help Radio website.  If you go to the latter, remember the username - SHR - & the password - selfhelp.  Everything that happens on the show - including all the songs - is noted below.

Maybe this fancy show isn't all that fancy?

Self Help Radio Fancy Show
"Fancy" The Kinks _Face To Face_
"Fancy" Bobbie Gentry _Fancy_
"Fancy" Georgia's Horse _Weather Codes_

introduction & definitions

"The Fancy Man" Mr. Wright _The Fancy Man_
"Fancy Man" Would-Be-Goods _Brief Lives_
"Fancy Man" Devendra Banhart _Ape In Pink Marble_
"Ugly People With Fancy Hairdos" Art, The Only Band In The World _The Only Record In The World_
"Fancy Baby" John Santos Martins _Highlife On The Move (Selected Nigerian & Ghanaian Recordings From London & Lagos - 1954-1966)_

our librarian friend Carole stops by!

"Fancy Woman" High Voltage _The Arf! Arf! [El Cheapo] 2-CD Sampler_
"Fancy Lady" Billy Preston _It's My Pleasure_
"Fancy Lady" The Mighty Diamonds _Changes_
"Not Fancy" Anjelah Johnson _Not Fancy_
"Lady Fancy Knickers" Momus _Otto Spooky_

interview with fancy undergarments entrepreneur Gerald Fochs

"Well Fancy That!" Fun Boy Three _Waiting_
"Fancy Beer" The Two Man Gentlemen Band _Live In New York_
"What Takes My Fancy" Lucille Ball & Don Tomkins _Wildcat_
"Fancy Dancer" Bobbi Humphrey _Fancy Dancer_
"Fancy Dancer" Commodores _Hot On The Tracks_

interview with "Kentucky Fancy" promoter Jarvis VanMeter

"Fancy Passes" Barbara McNair _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 8: 1968_
"Fancy Dress" The Bathers _Unusual Places To Die_
"Just Fancy Dan & Pliny" Bob & Ray _Classic Bob & Ray, Volume One - Selections From A Career: 1946-1976_
"Fancy Free" Flue _One & A Half_
"Fancy Footwork" Chromeo _Fatboy Slim: Dance Bitch_

idioms Lord Fancy interrupts!

"Fancy Meeting You Here" Kim Weston _The Motown Anthology_
"Fancy Pants" Kenny _Jackie The Album_
"Fancy Mice" Jilted John _True Love Stories_
"Fancy Restaurants" Brian Regan _Live From Radio City Music Hall_
"Flight Of Fancy" Interpol _Marauder_

idioms with fancy

"Hey There Fancypants" Ween _Quebec_
"The Trial Of Dr. Fancy" The King Of Luxembourg _London Pavilion Volume Two_
"Fancy Free" Mary Wells _The Other Side Of Mary Wells: Hits & Rarities_
"Fancy Drones (Fracture Me)" Amythyst Kiah _Wary + Strange_
"Fancy" Yeah Yeah Yeahs _Show Your Bones_

conclusion & goodbye

"Fancy Hercules" Makar _Fancy Hercules_
"Fancy Party Hairdo" Prickly _Fancy Party Hairdo_
"Fancy Dive" Shel Silverstein _A Light In The Attic_
"Someone Else's Fancy" Richard Thompson _The Life & Music Of Richard Thompson_
"Fancy Work Funk" Takako Minekawa _Fun9_

Monday, July 11, 2022

Whither A Fancy Show?

Please enjoy this fancy mailbox.

As someone who's never been described as "fancy," I am certainly woefully unqualified to present a radio show about fanciness.  Unless you want to consider it like one of those documentaries where a host, usually British, posits a question, like "are there blood-sucking tadpoles in the Amazon?" & then takes a film crew out there to find out.  Alas, I am not British, & I don't have a film crew, but I can say, "What is fancy?" & perhaps hope my show will help me figure it out.

Wait. But it's already "a fancy show"!  I just made all that up because I can't remember why I started gathering "fancy" songs in the first place!  Curses!  I foiled my own plans again!

Howsoever it turns out, Self Help Radio will be somewhat fancy tonight.  From midnight to 3am on 90.7fm KBOO Portland, online at  I'll pretend I'm all fancy anyway.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Preface To Fancy: Fancy Catio

Portland has a lot of catios - you can read what those are here but it's kinda self-explanatory - & in fact we've talked about building one for our cats.  But when I looked around for "fancy" images on my computer, I found this one, called "Fancy Catio."  & it is quite fancy!  What lucky cats.

My fancy show will not be as fancy as this fancy catio is.