Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Best day ever at the dump!

Ok. So I was taking my trash to the dump this morning, and while I was there, what do I find, but Castle Greyskull and Snake Mountain! I mean, holy crap!!
I was never much into collecting Masters of the Universe, but these were two pieces I always wanted as a kid.
Not only that, but I get them home, and all the accesories are there sealed up in ziploc bags! Damn! (ok, so CG is missing the flag, and some weapons, but still...)
To make things even better... the microphone on Snake Mtn. still works!! (so I can do my Skeletor voice ;) )
Way too cool. Check it out. (sorry some of the pics are a little dark.)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Crazy Japanese lightshows!

One of my favorite parts of a truck-in is the light show. The one at the van nationals last summer was nothing short of amazing. I haven't gotten too crazy into the lights in my van...yet ;) That is part of the long range plan though. It's never finished, always a work in progress.
I stumbled upon these pictures from a Japanese truck show. Check out their lightshows! They really know how to do things to excess over there. Granted they aren't vans in this case, but freight trucks. Still ver impressive none the less. Feast yer blinkers on these, mates...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Album Covers: Child is Father to the Man

Ok, I know I just did an album cover post the other day, and I don't usually like portraits or bands photos (unless they are well done or unique) but this one needs mentioning. This is Blood, Sweat, and Tears' first album. I don't really think they were meant to do more than just this one originaly as it was just a pet project of Al Kooper's, and then he moved on. The result is a surprisingly good album (in my opinion) and the

by the way- as I only have this on vinyl, and no way to transfer tracks to mp3, I recomend "I can't quit her" (which has a pretty cool backward guitar solo in it), and "I love you more than you'll ever know". They're worth a listen, as is the rest of the album.

Super cool desktop for you!

Like the picture I had of frost on my window a month or so ago, here is another picture I took that makes a killer desktop.
I was driving my wife into work one day, and on the side of the road we spotted a huge amount of vintage deep pile shag carpet! The best part is, it was all Cookie Monster blue! Too cool to just leave there, we grabbed it. While I had it all opened up at home to see how much there was (a lot!), I took some photos. This one is my favorite. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Album Covers: Octopus

I am going to start a new feature here of some of my favorite album covers. I have been collecting vinyl for almost 20 years now, and in that time there have been a lot of records I have bought just for the cover. I'd like to share them with you too. Some you may have seen, some will probably be new to you. On a side note, I have to say I am disapointed by the modern "album cover" In my opinion, it is a dead art form, and very few artists have a grasp of the concept. Go into any music store and look at the new releases. Most of them are dull portraits. Where are the eye catching images that make me want to buy the album? Gone. THat's where. Damn shame too.

The first one I would like to share is by a british band called 'Gentle Giant'. The record was relased in 1973 and titled 'Octopus'.

When I can, I will also post tracks form the albums I show. I don't have any from this one in mp3 format. Sorry.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Van of the Week: Flyng Eagle (1 & 2)

This week I want to focus on a van that holds a special place in my heart. "Flying Eagle". The original Flying Eagle was built by a shop called Greg's of Akron, who put out several show winning vans in the late 70's. Flying Eagle was one, and then later two of them. (there was also a 'Mini Eagle' built form a Honda CVCC Civic, but I don't yet have a picture) The original was built in 1975, and used a brand new Ford Econoline as a platform. The idea was to keep it simple, yet produce a show winning van. I worked very well. They went with a nautical theme (as I have on my own van) and the result was subtle and stunning.
The trim was all removed from the body, and the body itself was smoothed before giving it a multi-hued paint job with a mural of a sailing ship on the side. The interior featured wood palnking throughout and a figurehead on the wall just aft of the driver seat.
A white fur rug covered the floor just in front off the bunk, which had a harpoon attached to the face of it. The rear doors were walled over from the inside, and a view out a window showing another sea mural too their place. Flying Eagle went on to win many awards at truck-in's though the late 70's.
If one is good, 2 must be better right? Flying Eagle 2 was later built, again by Greg's of Akron, and this time they got a little more complex. This time the interior wasn't quite as barren, but a lot of the same idea carried through, like wood interior, and the rear window with sea mural in the distance. Also the rear bumper was replaced by harpoons. Included this time were also stained glass panels set into the roof. During the 80's Flying Eagle 2 underwent a series of changes, the most dramatic being a major change to the exterior. The marine flavored mural was now replaced with one that was more sci-fi in origin, and the colors were a bit brighter. At some point in all this, I am sorry to say that Flying Eagle 1 met the crusher. Never to be seen again.

Then in 1999 tragedy struck Flying Eagle 2 in the form of an engine fire. The front end was pretty much destroyed as well as the drivers area, and dash.
The van changed hands a few times via Ebay, (for dirt cheap I gotta say!) until it ended up in the hands of Coop, who has restored it and then some! Flying Eagle 2 lives again thanks to a lot of hard work, love and determination.

I had the pleasure of seeing it personally at the 34th Van Nationals last summer in Harrisonburg. Va. It was one of my favorite vans out on the show field. The following are picures I took of it.

This shot (taken during the light show) shows the mast and crows nest between the front seats and the door passing through to the rear of the van. Also visible is one of three stained glass panels in the roof. (notice the etched windshield. Very cool!!)

A shot of Flying Eagle 2 on the field during the show and shine.

Shot of the rear interior wall taken during the light show. Unfortunately the picture doesn't show that the mural is lit only. The effect is quite stunning.

This is one of my favorite features of Flying Eagle 2. The stained glass roof panels! In my opinion these make the van!

Another shot of the mast and crows nest that sit between the front seats.

Here's a shot of the rear end showing the single half door that was made for this van. Note the chrome hinges. Super cool!

Here's a parting shot of one of my favorite vans ever! Flying Eagle 2.

By the way, I recently got a package in the mail form the guy who bought this van on Ebay when it was a charred ruin. He sent me one of the coolest things I think I will ever own. It is a key chain made form the melted wreck of Flying Eagle 2's air cleaner. Thank you "Uncle Blaino"

Monday, January 22, 2007

Scream Real Loud!!

Since I don't stay up late enough to enjoy "Adult Swim", I have to rely on the magic of itunes to see one of my favorite shows ever. Pee-Wee's Playohuse of course! Say waht you want about him, his show in my opinion was one of the last really 'original' things to come out of the TV. I loved this show as a kid, and guess what, I still do. After not seeing it for almost 20 years, I am amazed that it is still able to entertain me. Also, there were a lot of things in i I was unaware of at the time.

Cap'n Carl= Phil Hartman. (I realized that when I started watching SNL in 1987 tho)
Cowboy Curtis= Lawrence Fishburne.

ok. Those 2 were easy.

In the 'Playhouse Gang' young "Opal" was played by Natasha Lyone.
The theme song was sung by Cyndi Lauper under the name 'Ellen Shaw'
The music in the opening and end credits was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh (formerly of Devo, and lately Wes Anderson's 'Danny Elfman')
Music is also credited to Todd Rundgren
Writer/Director John Singleton (Boys N the Hood) was a security guard on the set of the show, and quite possibly the reason he put Fishburne in his film, thus giving his career a boost.
Rob Zombie was an uncredited production assistant for the show.
S. Epatha Merkerson (now on Law and Order) played 'Reba the mail Lady', but she has always been easy for me to spot. ;)

I highly recomend anyone who enjoyed this show to download it from itunes. If nothin' else, you'll save 10 bucks over buying the dvd's.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Since it is now what I like to call "unreasonably cold" outside, I thought it would be a good time to share a cold painting I did last year. This is the third in a yet unfinished series of mermaids I am doing. This one is the "Arctic Mermaid". This was my attempt at doing a monochromatic painting (not counting the black background on this one).

I don't know if anyone but me is reading my blog, but don't be afraid to leave comments on anything you see here.

bonus tunes:

Al Garcia And The Rhythm Kings - Blue Soul.mp3

Al Garcia And The Rhythm Kings - Exotic.mp3

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Back to the Institution

To finish off this little shindig, we'll go back the insane asylum for "Human Fly"

I love this clip. One of the female patient actually gets the mic away from Lux, and adds her own little bit to the song.

"96 tears in 96 eyes"

What's Inside a Girl

One of my favorite tunes of The Cramps. "What's Inside a Girl"

Hot Pearl Snatch

More Cramps from a few years later in the mid- 80s performing "Hot Pearl Snatch"

Some Cramps for a Tuesday night

Slow night. This oughter liven things up a bit. First is from the now infamous show The Cramps did at the Napa State Mental Institution. No shit. That really happend. I have to wonder who had the bright idea to let this occur, but it made for an interesting show. I can see the call now..."Hi my name is Lux Interior, my wife Poison Ivy and I head up a little rock combo we call "The Cramps". Ok if we play your place?"




"what the hell."

The rest is history

Monday, January 15, 2007

Van of the Week: Tradewinds (and matching trailer)

I am going to begin a new feature here I call "Van of the Week". Each week I will showcase some of my favorite vans of today, years ago, survivors, and ones that are gone forever.

The first one is one of my most favorite vans ever, (two vans actually!) and it definitely fits into the category of 'survivor'. It is called "Tradewinds" and is owned by a vanner in the Netherlands, who I have not had the pleasure to meet, but have talked to online and is good person dedicated to keeping these works of art alive.

The coolest thing about this van (besides the incredible paint...which I will get into) is the fact that it was built with a matching trailer, and after all these years the two were not only shipped overseas, but remained intact! This is virtually unheard of, and in my opinion, makes it that much more of a treasure.

Tradewinds, a 1976 Dodge, was built in Pennsylvania at Bob's Van Shop. I was painted by one of the most famous and award winning muralists of the day, Harold Harnish. Harold, who painted many award winning vans, usually did his work outdoors in a dirt driveway, and believe it or not most of it was done with a brush! I had the pleasure of seeing another of his creations this summer, and as an artist I was blown away by the detail and love put into it.
Harolds murals typically were full wraparounds and often times extended up on to the roof. One of the unique things about this particular van/trailer combo is the mural continues from the end of the van onto the trailer, but on both pieces they also do a wrap.The amount of detail put into the paint is amazing. The whale above is on the rear corner of the trailer, and the dolphins below are on the front driver side fender of the van.

The shipwreck is on the trailer in front of the wheel arch on the driver side.
The portrait on the back of the van is Bob, the former owner of Bob's Van Shop. I believe this van was originally built for him in his shop to use as a promotional tool at shows and truck-ins in the late 70's. A lot of the award winning vans came from his shop, thanks in part to the incredible talents of Harold Harnish and the crew at the shop who did the mods on the bodies, and finished off the interiors. The van itself has many modifications, some subtle, some not so much. They include custom taillights, solid rear end (no doors) tube bumpers, quad headlight setup, Charger side marker lights on the front, tube grille, full flare/spoiler kit w/ aluminum running boards, and a rear wing to name a few!
The trailer also has a few mods done to it including solid rear, custom tail lights, and a gullwing side door. Also one of my personal favorite touches, in the mural on the trailer, what appears to be clouds are actually maps of the different continents of the world. Nice touch!

To see more of Ronnie's incredible van, check out his cardomain site at


Film Noir Portraits

Check out this page by San Francisco photographer Jim Ferreira. He does these amazing film noir style portraits among other things. If I ever get out there, I'd love to have a set of these taken.

see more at

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Breakfast of the Gods

I happened upon this online comic a while back, and it is definitely worth sharing. Actually I think it's downright brilliant. I reminds me somewhat of Infinite Crisis only with breakfast cereal icons. Check it out!

Breakfast of the Gods

(warning: it's a little violent, and may not be for everyone, but if that doesn't bother you...well then... enjoy!)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Hey you guyyys!!!

I haven't seen The Electric Company since I was about 4 years old, but I remember I use to love it when I was a kid. (Especially the Spider Man sequences.) Check out some of the other clips on youtube. Funny to think this show had Morgan Freeman and Rita Moreno on it.


There and back again, a Scurvy journey.

Hi! I'm glad to say I made it to NM and back in one piece. I had a great time, and since I am on the subject, I'd like to share a few pics. One day we took off and drove to Roswell, which was pretty much a 2 hour trip. We went with the intention of going to the UFO museum. I have to say it was definitely one of the most interesting museums I have been in. The streetlights there were pretty cool to start with. Even cooler than the 'Kisses' ones in Hershey Pa. in my opinion. The museum itself was really cool. It was built in an old movie theater which made it even cooler. It was the most detailed and extensive collection of the 1947 incident I have ever seen. There was some really amazing stuff there. One thing I really dug was the two models they had of the Nazi "Foo Fighter's" I really dug the model building aspect of them aside from the 'WTF' factor.

However, the icing on the cake...the crux of the biscuit, was the alien autopsy. It was actually used as a set/prop in a film, but way too cool.

Also on another day, my uncle and I went 4 wheeling out in the desert on the atv's. THat is something I always enjoy, and the possibilites to ride out there are literally endless. The only bummer was the day we went was really cold and snowy! I did get a few decent pictures of snow in the desert though. I missed a picture of a Red Tailed Hawk that was about 20 feet away sitting in the top of a short pine. Bummer.

All in all, I had a great time, and look forward to going back again. For now I will try and keep us entertained with my ramblings and stuff.

bonus tune! I Don't Wanna Grow Up- Tom Waits

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy 2007!

Wow. 2007. I can't believe the last 7 years have gone by so quickly. It's really funny, and I have a feeling most people who lived before it feel this way, but thinking of the year 2000 still seems really futuristic and sci-fi like to me. Where are the underwater bubble cities and jet packs they promised us? I submit that so far the future sucks! That said, I am going to be gone for the next week so I will most likely not be posting for a while. Taking a little trip to New Mexico. I always love flying out there, cus whenever I land at El Paso, naturally the Marty Robbins song gets stuck in my head. Oh well. Have a good week.

Goin' Out West- Tom Waits

El Paso- Marty Robbins


btw- the painting is ne I did in 2005 of Sierra Blanca, which is in the area of NM I will be.