Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's A Party! With Alice!

Welcome to the party here at Finer Than Frog Hair! When my close personal friend Alice Cooper heard that there was going to be a party, he offered to play for us!

(Okay we aren't THAT close but I did meet him at the Fairfield Inn across from the New World Amphitheater in Chicago a few years back. He and his son were buying Cheetos and they got stuck in the snack machine. Nice fellow!)

Anyway... I've been meaning to share my snaps from last month when we saw him at the Lakewood Auditorium. Thought I'd wait to do it during Post Spooky month and the party seemed like the perfect opportunity! I've also mixed in a few from the Brutal Planet Tour back in the 90's. Thank goodness for YouTube - they've helped me make it LIVE!

Be sure and poke around the rest of October! I'm Postin' Spooky along with Laume!

Enjoy! The stage is set... are you ready?

He's Here!

Wow... He has such stage presence!

Perpetually Eighteen

Time for a song! Welcome to my Nightmare...

It's best they try to keep in under control... Ha! That's his nurse, Rosetta. She's got a wicked bedside manner.

And now a ballad...

We've seen him guillotined...

Hung and Electrocuted... but he still keeps coming back! A Teenage Frankenstein!

Another song perhaps? Billion Dollar Babies?

I got my very own bill! See the puncture from the saber? (That was at yet another Alice show... sent the son into the crowd to procure it for me. He's a good boy!) Elected! I'd vote for Alice....If he was on a ticket. A Troubled Man for Troubled Times!

Watch him skewer the giant balloons with his saber! (I have my very own balloon remnant still filled with confetti too....Acquired that one all on my own!)

Hope you've enjoyed yourself! That's all the Alice for today... As I still need a cane, and some beads - there will be more shows!

Okay! Now back to the party! If you didn't know about it... you're invited too! Our marvelous hostess is Vanessa over at A Fanciful Twist. Have fun!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Green Ghost!

Not sure why this popped into my head today... but who remembers playing Green Ghost? Like the instructions say, it's terror-ific fun! The first glow in the dark game produced in the 1960's by Transogram.

Select your game piece: bat, cat, rat or vulture. Move about Spookyville searching for twelve little ghosts...Olive, Emerald, Lime, Chartreuse, Jade, Bottle, Nile, Mist, Ever, Forest, Bilious (call him Bill), and Kelly. Kelly is the son of Green Ghost and the winner will be the one who finds him! There are crypts and keys, shipwrecks and gnarled trees... watch out for the snakes and bones and bat feathers too! (I'm sure the whole bat feathers thing confused some of the children but not a scientific genius like myself!)

I loved playing this, probably because I got to play it with my sisters since it was Deb's game. You got to play it in the dark. Plus, you didn't need a significant amount of skill or strategy because in the end Green Ghost picked the winner. (Um, for the record I hate Monopoly!) And since the youngest got to first... well even better!

Thanks for sharing today's spooky blast from the past! Any spooky fun from your childhood you'd like to share?

Monday, October 13, 2008

You Be The Judge

Yes, it truly is spooky posting time here at Finer Than Frog Hair and I'm going out on limb for you my Bloglandia friends...

You remember my trip to Canada? The topic does keep coming up! I took a lot of photos that week. One in particular was very interesting. I'm not entirely certain what to make of it. I'm not sure I mentioned that we were staying at the Clear Lake Cottages in the Rideau Canal Region. I'm not sure I mentioned that as we drove in I noticed that the Stanton-Kerr Cemetery was adjacent to their property? I being clever like I am, remarked to the husband that perhaps we'd have ghosties floating over the lake in the evening. I joked about it with the owner and she said very seriously, "Oh no. No ghosts here, but we have one over at our house." Okay then.

Hmmm... See the aberration in the upper left below? That is so not the moon.

Look a little closer in super zoom:

I'm thinking ghost orb - how about you?

We watch "Ghost Hunters" and enjoy a good paranormal adventure story. The debate rages about whether or not orbs are true spirit manifestations. I have no idea - but this is the first time I've ever had one appear in one of my digital photos, or in any photo for that matter. Honestly, I did have one more... the very next snap in the series also has one. If you were to say that the orb above was near to me and the shore, I'd say the next in the series is smaller, perhaps higher and maybe halfway out over the lake. See it near the left center top of this photo?

The other photos before and after these have no orbs, nor were there any on the other nights that week. Whether that adds to the dust theory or the dampness theory I don't know. Doesn't look like either of those shown in the debunking examples I looked at. I've got my money on George Kerr. According to the cemetery's history on the site above, his body and the headstone stone were moved to Halliday Cemetery in Elgin. He's probably looking for it.

photo from the heritage society website

What's your vote?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin Flavored Saturday Night

A perfect fall evening...

The bees are busy with last minute work in the flower beds...

We're trying out some festive fall beverages while the husband grills. (Got the ale at Great Scotts Bakery and Deli in Rocky River... incredible place. No website, but if you are in the area stop in!) The boy is in town visiting for the weekend. Quality time!

After the feast, marshmallows were roasted.

Life is good.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Conspiracy Theories

SCARY: That I am so excited about gas prices being below three dollars that I would take a picture and post it here. I mean, seriously, since when is this a reasonable price for gas?

SCARIER: It dropped ten more cents after I took this picture and is now $2.89, scratch that... another day and it's $2.79.

SCARIEST: What if this is all a trick? A scam? A charade? Just before the election, those shadow men who control the prices (how else do you explain this madness?!) have manipulated the system, lowering the price of gas to provide a false sense of contentment and financial stability even while the banks collapse around us, so that we are not afraid to commit to four more years of Republican rule. Stranger things have happened.

Now just so we're clear and you don't think I'm a nut... I believe we really did land on the moon, I believe that Elvis has met his maker, and Oswald did not act alone (wait - how was I supposed to vote on that last one to be considered normal?)

... but this? This is Spooky.

The truth is out there.

Friday, October 10, 2008

WARNING! Spiderus grossandscaryos

Yes, I am aware that is not a real genus species name! But it should be. Spiders are gross and scary!
Snakes: cool.
Mice: cute.
Bats: fascinating.
Spiders are the spookiest creatures I can think of!

And they are probably my greatest phobia. I cannot remember a time when I wasn't frightened of them and I have learned to be a brave little toaster. When Ian was small I tried not to pass on my issue... Instead of simply leaving until a responsible adult could come and remove the spider (what if it hid when I wasn't watching?!), or better yet moving to a new home - I would have him count to three and then I would smush them. I am aware this is not a charitable act. I know spiders perform a service for us, removing smaller insects which could harm us or our food supply or at least irritate us. But when they invade my space... all bets are off baby! No spiders suffered in the collection of the following snaps. As they were all outside, they were left in peace.

The little friend above was captured on film during our recent Canada trip. I swear I saw more species of spider on that trip than ever before in one place. Typically, you just get the ever present wolf spider. Huge and intimidating like the one below. Saw this one hanging out on the dock during one of our much earlier trips to Quebec. I can still hear Ian saying,"Mom! do you have any idea how close you are to that spider while you are taking that picture?!" I did not. A photographer's job is to distance herself from the subject while still communicating the complete icky-ness of the situation. I couldn't have captured that giant egg sack from 10 feet away! For perspective I think the planks of the dock are about six inches wide... so I believe Mrs. Spider was say 3 inches? And her future family perhaps one inch? Now, Getting out of the boat and onto the dock - that was another story entirely.

Then there's this guy that crashed my recent birthday party. This time I was bolstered by liquid courage when clicking.

People enjoy torturing me with spiders. Here is Christmas 1984 upon which my generally loving and supportive oldest sister thought it would be hilarious to wrap all my presents with fake, plastic spiders embedded in the tissue wrappings. Yup. Hilarious. See a few down there near the bottom of the frame?

Recently, my boss retaliated against my purely creative, not at all scary April Fools joke by placing a live spider inside one of our product containers and tricking me into opening it by faking a packaging emergency. Did I mention it was live? I responded by calling him a very naughty, terribly bad name right to his face, so I guess neither of us can go to HR to make a report! (Okay - technically this guy is no longer with us. I may have given him a concussion when I flipped his lidded cup over before I knew he was inside. My bad. And I do mean the spider, not my boss.)

I didn't get a picture of my latest encounter. Remember my scenic drive back from Canada? Lovely fall colors, unique road side sculptures, pleasant conversation, and thought provoking books? About midway through the trip I was ambushed. I'm reading quietly when I look down on my lap. Now I had steeled myself against potential spider sightings on the dock, in the boat, the cabin doorway - no problem. But in the car on the way home? Not so much! Right there on my leg, crawling stealthily I'm certain toward a major artery, was a spider of moderate size.

Yes, I did Scream. Loudly.

No, the husband driving was in no way amused.

I apologized profusely and then spent the remaining five hours in the car wrapped in panic and nausea. You see, rather than approaching the situation with a crush, kill, destroy attitude, I was unprepared for it and I accidentally brushed the spider off my lap. Seriously. It is still lurking in the van.

Ah yes: So many spiders - so little time. Someone should put that on a mug!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Creepy Crawlers!

And without further delay...

The post you've been waiting for...

Squiggly, squirchy...bugs!

You can tell it's Mattel®! It's swell!

Want one of your very own? Email me your address and I'll make one special just for you with the husbands 1960's era original Thingmaker® oven and molds!

Spooky fun for everyone!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Corvus brachyrhynchos

[Photo from the website of artist William Salisbury]
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more

Okay, so really... Thanks for the intro Mr. Poe! There we were... driving South down I-81 in Eastern New York towards home, quietly reflecting on our lovely Canadian vacation, I'm reading a Live is a Verb and thinking about my life and my intentions, when my husband loudly interjects: "Connie! Look at that!"

He was pointing out my window and what should my wondering eyes observe? Giant crows! Kinda like the giant buffalo that you greet you when entering Buffalo... only way better!

Before I could even think to pull out my camera and snap them, we cruised out of view and I was left wondering if they were really even there!

Nevermore! Nevermore! Very spooky!

A bit of searching around the wonderful thing that is the Internet and I had my answer. The fine folks at the 1000 Islands Visitors Bureau were able to direct me to a 2001 Watertown Daily Times article, and $2.95 later I had my answer!

Please visit the website of the sculptor, William Salisbury, and see his other works as well. If you visit him, maybe he won't mind that I re-posted the photo above. For that matter, visit the Times too, so they won't get mad that I posted their $2.95 article here for you for free! (I paid for it right?! That is pretty spooky right there. They did such a nice job I saw no reason to re-write!)

[This photo from Mr. Salisbury's web site appears to be the one which accompanied the article, shot by Melanie Kimbler]


By: John Golden Watertown Daily Times Staff Writer May 13th, 2001 OMAR -- Sculptor William L. Salisbury, who works in an airy, high-roofed studio here on county Route 13, has exhibited his arresting figurative art in New York City galleries. Yet Mr. Salisbury has found a much larger and enthusiastic audience for his recent creations on his own back lot. If while driving south on Interstate 81, just below Exit 50 for Alexandria Bay and Clayton, you have seen a few larger-than-life black crows standing conspicuously in a roadside meadow, then you have passed through Will Salisbury's open-air gallery in the town of Alexandria. "It's got an international audience," the 51-year-old artist said one recent afternoon in his crow- dominated meadow, between waves of his hand to staring drivers and honk-your-horn arm gestures to passing truckers on I-81. "Maybe it will attract the attention of museums." His sculpted triad is strategically placed at the southwest end of the meadow against a backdrop of trees and shrubs that border the field. "It's like a sculpture that's in a corner," said the artist, who spaced the familiar behemoths so as to create "a sense of depth and movement" for a startled audience passing by quickly on the interstate.

Two years ago, Mr. Salisbury was inspired in his artistic vision by the approaching millennium, with its attendant dire predictions and prophecies and sense of dreadful anticipation. "There was all this nervousness about the millennium coming up," he said, "all those human fears and dark rumors."

"People were thinking about all kinds of things. It was magic fodder, magic fertilizer for the imagination," he said. In that atmosphere, the sculptor conceived of three outsized crows on his 21-acre property as "my millennial statement."

From ancient cultures to Hollywood movies, the cawing crow has harbingered "something about to happen," said Mr. Salisbury. "There's movement on the Earth; there's something about."

"Crows can be viewed as a thread connecting us to past ages stored in the human psyche, where the faintest call heard in the distance can bring out the muse in anyone," he said.

The monstrous I-81 crows also have their lighter side. "First and foremost, my crows are just plain old-fashioned fun," said Mr. Salisbury.

His specimens of Corvus brachyrhynchos stand about 11 feet high. Made from about 30 welded metal pieces, each figure weighs between 1,400 and 1,600 pounds, he said. Beneath their massive breasts, they are anchored to metal posts drilled into bedrock.

How did the crows get there?

"I don't want to say," said Mr. Salisbury. "It destroys the illusion."

"A piece of equipment," he conceded, throwing his questioner a crumb of fact.

"When it comes to harvest time in the fall, it's tough to herd these guys back in the pen," he noted. "This ain't chicken farmin'." The artist's raw materials were 1,000-gallon and 300-gallon oil drums. The barrels, which stored waste oil, were trucked here from a former Cadillac dealership in Rochester. Mr. Salisbury had to clean them out before he sandblasted, cut and shaped them into birdlike figures, which were suspended from heavy chains in his studio as they took form.

"It was a while doing these," said the sculptor, who used a commission for a garden sculpture to support himself while he completed his third crow last winter. "Every one was an individual."

For outdoor durability, the artist coated his crows with a paint used at the former Frink Inc. plant in Clayton.

"This is the same paint they used on snowplows," he said, tapping the hollow body of his last completed bird. It showed up in the meadow in April, about a year and a half after its companions arrived here to herald the millennium.

"I finally figured out that I wanted the third one to be a girl about halfway through" its construction, the sculptor said. "She's got sleeker lines, a little more delicate."

Made to be viewed from the distant highway, the birds are silhouetted and "pretty simplified" rather than anatomically detailed, Mr. Salisbury said. Yet he referred to photos as he worked in his studio to give the figures the authentic look and poses of crows. "I took a lot of photos of crows, but it was really hard to get close," he said. He found that crows are indeed "intelligent" and "wary," as the National Audubon Society Field Gide to North American Birds describes them. His crows have been hugely popular with the transient gallery crowd on I-81. "Everybody says "love' in response" to their sighting, said their maker. "I don't know what it is. Everyone's really affectionate toward them." His wife, Karen Matthews, travels extensively for her job. She has come to find that the roadside crows have made this part of Northern New York memorable to outsiders.

The artist recounted his wife's conversation at one of her retailing stops. "The lady in Pennsylvania was going, "Do you live up on the river? We go up to Canada every year. Did you ever see those crows up there? Do you know who made those?"' Mr. Salisbury said. "Crows are watchdogs," said the millennial sculptor. At the start of the 21st century, "My crows are watching, waiting to see, waiting for opportunity." Mr. Salisbury is waiting too, for an opportunity to augment his seasonal earnings as a carpenter on the St. Lawrence with income from his people-pleasing crows.

"Ultimately they're for sale," he said. "They should be in some valley - some millionaire's valley."

Mourn not, I-81 gallery viewers. If his crows take flight, "I'll put something else up for here," Will Salisbury said, standing in his field of realized dreams.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

California: Sinister or Sweet?

As I mentioned, The beginning of October was a bit fuzzy as I enjoyed a nice, extra long weekend in SoCal.

Let's review the California trip "Spooky Style"!

Sweet! It's the 40th Anniversary of Hot Wheels®! The husband collects these little toy cars and boy is it a fun hobby! The main focus for him are the 'redlines' from his youth. These would be the ones with the red circles on the tires, just like the white walls on a real size car. The castings date primarily from 1967 through 1977. The cars themselves were introduced in time for Christmas in 1968. He collects them, but also buys and trades them. He even has his own website at Stop by and visit him! There are some fun snaps of his collection, as well as some of his other favorite toys. The sweetest part of the Convention though, is seeing all the folks we've met through the hobby that we now call friends. Edwina was there! It was great to see her man John, and our pals Jeff, and Bob, and Ed, and Drew, and Bill, and Craig, and I'm stopping here before I sound anymore like Miss Sue from Romper Room! We love you all and it was wonderful to see you! Sinister. Do not stay at the LAX Hilton. It looks pretty, but the majority of the front of house staff were rude and didn't grasp the concept of customer service. [Back of house staff rock though. Housekeeping, bell desk, valet - you guys definitely deserved your tips and thanks for everything!] Not to mention many items in the room were not working properly (unimportant ones like the phone, toilet, air conditioning). And the food was mostly kinda yucky. Oh! and the Hilton internet monopoly charged $12.95 per 24 hour period! Ow! And only fake Starbucks in the lobby bistro. Sweet! Our room looked out onto one of the four open air patios. One morning a hummingbird was drinking from this flower! Too quick for me and my put away camera though. Sigh. Sinister. Okay, while I will admit that In-N-Out Burger rocks and all... The Double-Double has 670 calories and 41 grams of fat! I'm not looking at the listing for the fries, can't take it. Sinister for sure. But many sinister things are so delightful! Sweet! More beauty to behold! Sweet! Oh great day in the morning! If you live near Manhattan Beach and have not yet eaten at The Union Cattle Company, go there now. Stop reading my post. I understand. Get the Medallions Ardon. And then get the S'mores Platter for dessert and tell me how it was. I was too stuffed to try it! But, for pities sake it comes with it's own campfire! Sinister. I offered to ride the bull but no one could come up with my price! And it really wasn't that high either, I'd have gone for a collective Franklin! Sweet! A 1:1 scale model of one of the toys! The Twin Mill® was the first life-size car created based on a Hot Wheels® design. Conceived in 1968 by Ira Gilford, the twin super sized big-block engines became the vehicle's most recognizable feature and contribute to its high-performance appearance. Sinister. The snap below details the carnage that is the aftermath of the "Blister Pack Liberation Army." These boys get together and rip open cars still in their original packages. Just to be clear, these are not the blue card ones you can get today down at WalMart for seventy-nine cents, but rather the ones from 40 years ago which are now potentially insured and valued at much more! Kind of like driving a new car off the showroom floor, the value just dropped significantly on these beauties! But it sure can be fun to let them free and spin their little back wheels. I'll admit it, I've done it myself! Sweet! I'd not had a Carls Junior Chocolate shake before. Um, Yummy! Just what a girl needs to nourish herself while blogging! Not gonna look up the calories and fat on this one. Nope. Not. Gonna. Do. It. Sweet! Lots of other cool cars were shown off as well. Sinister. Now folks can spend how ever much they want, on what ever they want... But one of the collectors who bought two of these little toy pink rear loader beach bombs for on average excess of $50,000, sold one of them and we suspect made a profit... More power to the both of them! Read more about one of the collectors here. I also borrowed the photo from there, thanks! It's only sinister because I'm jealous I can't find one for the husband! Sweet! Need I say anything? Let the picture speak. Can you here it singing "Come on and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out, GTO!" Sinister. The husband brought many well priced cars to sell, but our rooms position on the floor made it very difficult for anyone to find us so the piggy bank savings toward the 1967 Cougar XR-7 for the drive way is still a little low. See the little Twin Mill in the second row from the top? Just like the life size one in the lobby! (note the Creepy Crawlers accenting the display - all hand made by the husband with his original 1960's era Mattel® Thing Maker® Set! I'm seeing another post dedicated to this topic!)

Collector? See a car you like? Email me! Sweet! Even thought the hotel was sorely lacking in quality service, it had lots of quality art scattered about! Sweet! More lovely flowers... So... officially more sweet than sinister!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Postin' Spooky!

Welcome to October!

I ran off again, this time to California and missed the first few days of my spooky new adventure.

Laume over at Beach Treasure has issued us a challenge of sorts to "Post Spooky" for October, and I think that sounds like a swell idea. We've got a button and everything! The plan is to make each post a bit spooky... a bit scary... or otherwise Halloween-y, Samhain-y, or Día de los Muertos-y! (Yes - those are words - I just used them in a sentence didn't I!?)

Stay-tuned! I've got some good ones coming right at you! They could spring out and grab you when you least suspect!