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28 May 2015 @ 11:31 pm
No real specific subject to this post... just some random stuff.

Yesterday I did have a little excitement at work. I started to go outside to clean up trash outside the back of the store, when I noticed (and smelled) some smoke coming through one of the bushes in the parking lot. Another associate that was on break said there was actually a small fire under the bush! So I rushed back inside to tell management, and one of them told me to fill one of the mop buckets with water. He told me to hurry, and that I could kind of run to the maintenance area since this was an emergency. So I did, and I filled up a bucket with water, hurried back over to the parking lot, and helped douse the fire. I was quite a big help here, and by the time I returned to the fire a few other associates had come out to see.
I figured the fire must have started when some smoker wound up igniting the mulch underneath the bush, and since mulch is flammable, well, you get the idea.

Currently, Brockton is under a boil water order, due to a pipe bursting yesterday morning. It's made washing up and brushing my teeth rather difficult, and it also affected quite a few business (a number of Dunkin' Donuts shops can't sell coffee due to this!) Fortunately we have plenty of spring water to drink. I am hoping things go back to normal tomorrow (Avon, where I work, is not affected by this, so I'm good there.

I also found out a couple years ago, there was a live stage show outside North America based off "The Looney Tunes Show!" It's called "The Looney Tunes Show Live"...

I don't know who that woman in black is supposed to be, but I do find it interesting how Granny and "Witch Lezah" are portrayed as "face characters." To fit with the show's unusual animation style, they had costumes made resembling the Looney Tunes characters drawn that way. IDK who made them, not sure if it was Scollon Productions.

The Road Runner is HUGE in this show. Though I do like how the Wile E. Coyote suit looks, it actually looks more like the classic version instead of his weird CGI redesign seen on the first season of the series.
Tweety and Speedy Gonzales are also portrayed by puppets, as they are small characters.

Still some pretty interesting stuff! Too bad it probably won't be appearing in the states, as the show is pretty much wrapped up (Cartoon Network even strategically removed it from their schedule among completing the show and replacing it with "Uncle Grandpa." Boo!) Though the upcoming "Rabbits Run" Looney Tunes made-for-video movie is going to be done in the style of this show...

I also got a neat LP album I bought off eBay:

Yep, "Mickey's Rock Around the Mouse!" It was produced and released in 1987 by Disneyland Records (and one of the last releases on that label before they were renamed Walt Disney Records the following year), and features a bunch of songs done in a '50s rock-and-roll style, as during that time, '50s stuff was getting popular again (like those '50s diners, the "Little Shop of Horrors" musical, the music and songs used in "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo," etc.) We even get a track performed by Little Richard in a guest appearance: "Gawrsh Golly Goofy!"

Hey, even the Big Bad Wolf likes some good '50s music sometimes!
Maybe when I go to the Maltese Fur Con in August, I'll bring some of my fun records with me!
20 May 2015 @ 11:56 pm
Well, the sad news is, I think I've been fired from the Brockton Rox. I haven't done anything bad, but it's due to budget cuts and the new staff. I will not be performing K-O the Kangaroo this year, but at least I am leaving behind a legacy! Who knows, maybe I'll return next year or something.

But in the meantime, you'll still have Sidney Kangaroo!
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This summer I might finally start building a fursuit head for him, hopefully in time for the Maltese Fur Con! I might hopefully start building next week...
20 May 2015 @ 04:27 pm
What is your favorite Classic Disney film and why?
There's a lot I like... "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," "Peter Pan," "Lady and the Tramp," "101 Dalmatians," "The Jungle Book," "Robin Hood," "The Rescuers," "The Fox and the Hound," "The Great Mouse Detective," "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin" and "The Lion King" are probably my top favorites out of them.
18 May 2015 @ 11:48 am
I had just found out the veteran voice actor John Stephenson had died of Alzheimer's last Friday night. He was 91.

He did a lot of voice work for Hanna-Barbera. His most famous role there was Mr. Slate, Fred Flintstone's boss...

He also voiced many others, such as Fancy-Fancy in "Top Cat," and was also the original voice of Dr. Benton Quest (before Don Messick took over.) He also became the voice of Doggie Daddy and Mildew Wolf in the 1970s. He also voiced a lot of Scooby-Doo characters, normally villains or police officers and the like, including such familiar villains as the Ghost of Mr. Hyde/Dr. Jekyll, Big Bob Oakley, that Witch Doctor from the tiki episode...

His association with Hanna-Barbera even got him a couple of guest-spots on "What's New Scooby-Doo" and the 2009 made-for-video movie "Abracadabra Doo!"

He also voiced Chief Quimby on the Inspector Gadget pilot from 1982 (Dan Hennessey took over the role once the series went into production at Nelvana/DiC), and he even did some voices for Ruby-Spears, including "Fangface" where he did the opening narrator voice!

When I read the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, I would imagine John Stephenson voicing the school principal, Mr. Spittle...

He will be missed. Though I doubt any future Scooby-Doo productions will carry a tribute to him (they haven't even dedicated Casey Kasem yet!)
16 May 2015 @ 09:38 pm
May 16, 1990. That was the day Jim Henson, the innovative creator of the Muppets, passed away. It was a big shock to the entertainment industry. Disney, the Children's Television Workshop, and ESPECIALLY the Jim Henson Company, were hit hard by this. Though I was only one and a half years old when this happened, I still find it sad, as I remember growing up with his stuff from "Sesame Street," and later "The Muppet Show."

A while back, I discovered Kermit the Frog actually made a brief cameo in "The Little Mermaid!" When the film was in production, Jim Henson was considering selling his Muppet Show characters to Disney (though the death of Jim canceled the deal, and Disney initially did not get the full rights to those Muppets until 2004.)

It goes by rather quickly, but I did manage to spot it on my digital copy file of the film (came with my Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack.)

November 21, 1989 was Jim Henson's final day taping material for "Sesame Street." By this time, he only spent a single week out of the year recording new stuff for the show due to his busy schedule. Three segments were taped. One was a song Kermit sang, "I Wonder 'Bout the World Above Up There"...

Another was a Sesame Street News report about a cute small bird whose parents live separately from each other...

And a song sung by Ernie, "Don't Throw That Trash on the Ground." (The show was really into environmental messages in the 1989-1990 season.)

25 years later, he is still missed...
15 May 2015 @ 11:46 pm
So late last night, I was doing some web browsing, and then I found a product that grabbed my interest that will be coming out soon...

Yup,the Rubies Costume Company is finally making a full-head latex Scooby-Doo mask!
I had been waiting for years for a costume company of some sort to make such a Scooby mask. Good timing too, given how worn out my cheap custom latex Scooby head looks now (you may have noticed in some of my recent pics.)

So far the photo seems to just be a mock-up or a prototype. But given its' price, and the quality of similar masks Rubies made/makes in that price range (like my "Mythical Dragon" latex mask), it'll probably be pretty good.
Right now it's available for pre-order, but so far only on that site. Should I still place a pre-order, or wait until it actually comes out?
As I would expectedly point out, it's also very similar to the 1969 Scooby-Doo episode "Never Ape an Ape Man" when the titular villain slips into a rubber Scooby mask and does the "phony mirror" routine with the real Scooby. I'm also considering actually doing a live reenactment video of that scene, with me playing both the Ape Man and Scooby-Doo! (via split-screen and chroma-key special effects)
Maybe this new Scooby-Doo will also make an appearance at the Maltese Fur Con this year, and this could also mean some changes to my Halloween plans (once I come up with them!) I'll still probably use my existing Scooby-Doo body costume with it (as seen here):
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And I need to work on my Scooby-Doo voice some more too. I already showed this new mask to some friends, and they sound interested as well!

When I first saw that mask there, I had to make sure I wasn't dreaming!
09 May 2015 @ 11:03 pm
Some of you might remember starting last March, I began building a new model railroad layout. A number of things on it were different from my old one. This included a larger 9x8 L-shaped platform (the old one was 4x8), different landscaping methods (i.e. painting the plywood in green and earth colors and sprinkling on the grass material instead of just using a grass mat), and using DCC operations (instead of an analog power pack and different power "blocks" on the layout.)
Well, this layout has been up and running for over a year now! And since today is National Train Day (didn't go out for it; Boston only had a bike ride of sorts to celebrate it), I thought today would be perfect to share.
Here's the layout in its' current state:

As I said, one of the main sources for the stuff on my layout is Bachmann, though I also have stuff from Walthers, Atlas, Life-Like, MRC/Model Power, even some defunct makers like A.H.M./I.H.C. and TYCO!
DCC is pretty good; for those unfamiliar, it allows you to digitally operate more than one locomotive independently from each other, thus allowing for more realistic railroad operation. The locomotive requires a decoder for this; some come with one already built in (I have some from Bachmann like this), and some are DCC-ready (I have a Proto 2000 locomotive like that, and it was easy to plug a decoder in), and some may need hardwiring work to have a decoder installed (I already did this with three locomotives.)

Of course, since Amtrak came up with National Train Day, I thought I'd share a cool Amtrak locomotive I bought recently:

Yep, an Amtrak F40PH in the "Phase III" paint scheme! I used to see these a lot at South Station as a kid, and I've always liked them (I even once saw an MBTA commuter train being pulled by one of these back in 1998!) This was made by Walthers. It also has the Operation Lifesaver markings on it, like some railroads' locomotives would have in real life (I also recall seeing an MBTA F40PH with the Operation Lifesaver logo on it.)
Today I installed a decoder into it so I could run it easily on my DCC layout! These Walthers Trainline-series locomotives are pretty easy to do a hardwired decoder installation on.

Here's the locomotive pulling my old TYCO Amtrak cars. They're not that prototypical, but they sure look cool, especially being pulled by a more prototypical Amtrak locomotive compared to what TYCO made in the 70s!

The train stopped at my Amtrak station. The passenger cars have interior lighting, too!

The Amtrak train passes my rail yard.

Pretty fun stuff, though I still need to clean some of my track...
You can see a bunch of cool vintage HO model train catalogs and literature here (I submitted some myself!)
03 May 2015 @ 11:34 pm
Here's a cool LP album I bought off eBay. It came in over a week ago, but due to my busy schedule I haven't been able to show it off until tonight.
This record is titled "Cartoon Disco," performed by "the Disco Band" and released by Musicor Records in 1978 (though the tracks were recorded as far back as 1976.)

Yup, it has a disco instrumental version of "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" on it, hence my posing with it as said Wolf. Other familiar tunes include "The Mickey Mouse March," "Popeye the Sailor Man," "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah," "the Woody Woodpecker Song" and more, even a cover of "Disco Duck!"

Also worth of note, the "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" and "Chim Chim Cher-ee" tracks later showed up on Disney's own "Mickey Mouse Disco" record in 1979! (I also has a copy of that, too, as you may have seen.)

The album is also available for download on iTunes, under its' reissue title "Saturday Morning Fever." Check it out!"
Current Music: "Chim Chim Cher-ee" from Cartoon Disco/Saturday Morning Fever!
24 April 2015 @ 11:46 pm
Well, today the MBTA had a "customer appreciation day" of sorts, where you could ride all their services free for the day! And since I wasn't working that day, it was just perfect, so I took advantage and spent the day in Boston! Did some railfanning with a couple more train buffs first...

Here's that old MBTA GP18 locomotive again, mainly used as a yard switcher. As I mentioned, during the winter they were using this to plow the snow. This photo was taking from the train I rode in on as we were pulling into South Station.

I also went to North Station for railfanning as well. Not as nice as South Station, but I saw some interesting stuff.

Five years ago, the North zone did not have any of these newer F40PH locomotives (built in the late 80s and early 90s.) Now they have a bunch of them! Of course, this type of F40PH is very common on the South zone (most trains I see running on the Middleboro/Lakeville line, including on my way to and from Boston today, are powered by this type of locomotive.)

On the left here is a much older F40PH locomotive, from the early 80s. It still has its' old paint scheme! (The newer F40PHs, like the one next to it, are in the "lightning stripe" paint scheme also used on the GP40MCs and MP36s.) They're also pretty noisy!

And of course here's a new HSP46 locomotive. There are quite a few of them on the North zone as well.

Then after I took that pic, another train pulled in, this time powered by a GP40MC locomotive. They still have a lot of these up North as well. With one of them next to the old F40PH, it sure got noisy by that point!
The MBTA plans to retire their older F40PHs and several GP40MCs in favor of the HSP46s.

Then I went to the Barnes & Noble at the Prudential Center, bought a couple books, and a new copy of the Beatles Red Album on vinyl! (Yep, Barnes & Noble now sells records too!)
Then of course I went to the In Your Ear! record store, and bought a LOT of vinyl there.

And of course on the way home, at South Station I saw another new Amtrak ACS-64 electric locomotive! They seem to be getting more of these now. And I see them on a lot of Amtrak's promotional material nowadays, too.

It's also worth noting that this is the first time in a while I've been to the Boston area WITHOUT my Big Bad Wolf fursuit. And it's going to be that way for a while (so the Wolf doesn't scare anyone or get in trouble), until Boston Comic Con comes around in August! (The Maltese Fur Con will be in Waltham this year.)
09 April 2015 @ 11:15 pm

So yes, I heard two days ago, we've lost another vetearn cartoon voice actor: Stan Freberg. He was 88 years old. He did quite a bit of voice work for Warner Bros. Animation (but not as much as Mel Blanc or June Foray!) Here is one of my favorite performances he did, the 1957 Looney Tunes cartoon "Three Little Bops!"

The jazzy soundtrack sure is awesome, and the wolf character is pretty cool.

"Ooh, you cool! Ooh, you cool! Ooh, you cool, man, cool!"

I have it on DVD, and it has voice-only and music-only audio tracks as well. Unfortunately, at the near three-minute mark, the music-only track just goes right back to the regular cartoon audio with dialogue and singing. I am guessing the rest of the soundtrack couldn't be found at the time of restoration.