Category Archives: retro


Once upon a time when I was small, I was an avid viewer of Emergency! Every week paramedics Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto (Locke’s dad on Lost and quite a looker back in the day) answered emergency calls all over Los Angeles County. With the help of Drs. Kelly Brackett, Joe Early, and Nurse Dixie McCall at Rampart Hospital, they were able to provide urgent medical treatment to a variety of patients.

The first thing I ever remember wanting to be was a paramedic. We lived next door to a retired fire chief and several of the neighbors were volunteer firemen. My brother and friends would race up and down on our big wheels pretending to be transporting patients (Barbie was quite accident prone as I recall) back and forth.

Imagine my joy to discover the whole season available on Instant Netflix (there until Dec 12th at which point I’ll add anything I’ve miissed to my physical queue).

As with many childhood pleasures, it’s a bit strange to watch this as an adult. For instance, I now know that Jack Webb’s (my name is Friday. I carry a badge) production company produced Emergency! His ex-wife Julie Lord played Nurse Dixie McCall, who happened to be married to Bobby Troup (Dr. Joe Early).

It holds up surprisingly well as a television show. Although the makeup is bad. Robert Fuller wears more eye shadow than Julie Lord, but it’s a pretty tight show. I no longer want to be a paramedic, but I am glad I found this again.

Music to Groove By

I’ve been bitten by the Space Age Pop bug. It’s a strange subgenre of music that seems to defy explanation (there are those who have made a stab at it). It’s probably good I don’t own a turntable or I’d be haunting thrift stores for this stuff.

Right now, I’m listening to a zippy rendition of “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” Yes, I’m weird.

Memories are made of this

I finally got my hands on a copy of The Gallery of Regrettable Food. To my surprise, I actually have seen one of the booklets Lileks is talking about, The Joys of J-ello. My mom still has a copy.

The scary thing was though . . . I’m reading the book and chuckling because a lot of the food is truly, truly awful. Except. Every once in awhile the recipe booklets Lileks was snarking on? Had it right. There’s a reason a lot of cooks use things like Dr. Pepper or Coca-Cola when they cook a ham. If it’s good enough for Alton Brown, it’s good enough for me. And I’ve heard of using it in pancakes too. Supposedly, it creates a lighter batter. Not sure I would use two bottles, but it’s really not that out there as a suggeston.

The other thought that occurred to me is that the one, and thankfully only

Sandra Lee is keeping the sad tradition of scary looking food made out of condensed cream of mushroom soup alive. If you’ve ever watched her trainwreck of a show, you’ll realize that she’s the younger, prettier, and much thinner version of Aunt Jenny. True, she doesn’t stick to one brand, but like Aunt Jenny, Sandre Lee is all about brand name shortcuts and old-fashioned sexist propaganda.

Food for thought anyhow.

Institute of Official Cheer

Once again spent far too much time on James Lilek’s site. It’s funny. I read Falling Up the Stairs in the late 80s, I think. Loved it. Now I wish I’d hunted down a copy, particularly since it seems to be impossible to find for a reasonable price. Haven’t heard of him since. Then a couple of months ago someone at work sent me a link to his site.

Hours and hours of fun and entertainment. Who knew that bizarre gravity defying pin-up art, not-so-intelligent publicity schemes, and on another part of his site,
pictures of Fargo, North Dakota could be so enthralling?