Wednesday, April 27, 2011

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THE WORD SWOOMPFU? LET'S READ CAPTCHAS


If you’ve ever left a comment on this blog, then this style of word will look familiar.

We've all had to type in squiggly random made-up words to leave a comment or buy tickets online. These word verifications known as CAPTCHAs might be annoying, but at least they sound silly when spoken out loud. For fun, I let my computer read a bunch of them. It's kinda monotonous, but some of these words sound so goofy. Go ahead and have a listen -


These words are supposed to keep the robot spammers at bay and can only be deciphered by humans. I thought it was funny that the word human popped up.

Monday, April 25, 2011

MY FAVORITE TV SHOW IS CHUCK

In my best Lost in Space robot voice, “Danger, Chuck Bartowski! Danger!”


I’ve been hearing some unfun rumors that my favorite TV show, NBC's Chuck is on the bubble to be renewed for next season. Me and the First Lady have been hooked on this spy show since the first episode and it’s one of the few shows that we just can’t miss.

Between the top notch storytelling and the superb characterization, this show really makes Monday the best TV night of the week. In a sea of dull sitcoms, depressing dramas and annoying reality shows, Chuck is a big ball of fun-o-rama!

Watch Chuck play a game of Missile Command in this clip from one of my favorite episodes, Chuck Vs. Tom Sawyer. C'mon, using an old classic coin-op as a major plot point is pure genius!

Last week, a twitter campaign started to let advertisers know that Chuck has a large following. Read about it at We Give A Chuck and how to help with a simple tweet.

For all things Chuck visit the official Chuck page and then for more Chuck stuff visit ChuckTV.net.

Catch Chuck on Monday nights at 8/7c and hopefully we'll all catch Chuck for a fifth season!

Click here to see another reason that Chuck is the best show on the boob tube! Jeffster rocks!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

IT'S A GOOD DAY FOR CHICKS RUN WILD

Bok bok bok cluck cluck cluck! Don’t worry, I didn’t go feather pluckin’ mad, I’m just trying to make some chicken noises. Go ahead, make some chicken noises. See...it’s fun! Now that I got you in the right frame of mind for today’s recommendation, let’s take a quick look at Chicks Run Wild!


This book is so much fun for all ages. Adults will get a big kick out of reading this out loud and kids will enjoy pouring over the illustrations and vice versa!

Chicks Run Wild is written by picture book veteran Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen (Quackenstein Hatches a Family) and illustrated by Ward Jenkins (Michael Phelps’s How To Train With A T. Rex And Win 8 Gold Medals). I’ve been a fan of Ward’s work since I discovered him back when I first joined flickr. He knows a thing or two about kid books as he’s collected and studied many wonderful artists that came before. He started one of the best groups on flickr called the Retro Kid, a tribute to all mid-century artists of kids books. Ward’s artwork reflects his love from the era with his own unique style. He's also quite the detail guy and adults reading Chicks Run Wild will enjoy looking for all the fun little Easter eggs in the background. (Ah ha! Happy Easter by the way!) Thanks to Ward, I’ll always be wanting to see the movie Roosters of the Lost Egg. Can you find it in the book? (Ok, we all need to email him requesting for an animated movie trailer. Did you know Ward is an accomplished animator? Yep, he’s a great one!) In Chicks Run Wild (and they do run wild) I really like all the chicks expressions. These little chicks, that just aren't sleepy enough to go to bed, really come to life in this book!

Chicks Run Wild has a facebook page and you can check it out here. A challenge was made that if they got 300 facebook fans, Ward would wear a chicken suit. The facebook “likes” came pouring in and sure enough Ward became a chicken! Check out all the crazy chicken photos here along with other Chicks Run Wild images!

You can pick up Chicks Run Wild here and when you do, you and your children will have a fun feathered good time!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

THE HUKILAU IS NEATO TIKI COOL


In a few months, all the snazzy jazzy cool kids will be heading to Ft. Lauderdale on June 9-12 for the 10th Annual Hukilau! Unfortunately this cool kid will have to be there in spirit, but boy is my spirit going to have an out of this world time!

The Hukilau will be the ultimate Polynesian pow-wow stuffed full of swell events! One event near and dear to me is the “Beautiful Girls That Live Like Fish!” This is the story about Aquarama, a mermaid attraction that once entertained tourists at the Lake of the Ozarks. It’s presented by our pals Vintage Roadside and should not be missed if you’re attending the Hukilau. I blogged about Aquarama a few years ago here and Vintage Roadside has some excellent posts and interviews at their blog. Check 'em out here!

The Hukilau has filled their tiki mug up to the brim with all kinds of kooky coolness with exotic music, top notch presentations, quality vendors, dinner shows and tons more. You'll also get to see a real life mermaid. The one and only Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid! You can even visit Disneyland while you’re at the Hukilau. Now quit scratching your head, ‘cause you really can visit the happiest place on earth through the artwork of Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. They’ll be there to sign all your Disneyland and other artwork pieces!

Be sure to visit the Hukilau site for the complete scoop! (Really, just listening to the steaming music on their site is a nice holiday from reality.) Also, you can find them on facebook and twitter.

Friday, April 22, 2011

FRED HEMBECK SKETCH CARDS - COLLECT 'EM ALL


Fred “King Squiggly Knees” Hembeck is a sketch card maniac and God bless his drawing hand for it! (He's the one with Spidey in the above sketch card.) For almost a year, Fred has been creating some of the best(est) and funniest comic book sketch cards I’ve ever seen.

Here’s the one I bought. It’s one of my favorite obscure Batman villains, the Gentleman Ghost.


A few times each month, Fred gives fans a chance to buy one of his original sketch cards at a reasonable price. Visit his ebay page to view his current sketch card auctions and bid away. You can also follow Fred on facebook or his Fred Sez blog to keep up when new cards are listed.

Shh...don’t tell Fred, but I swiped a few images from his blog to give you an idea of some of the ones he’s already sold. These are some of my favorites so far -







He even creates these mini classic comic cover redos. Here's a nice Thor cover. Yes, Thor really is nice. Just look at that smile!





To look at more past sketch cards visit Fred Sez and view the archives. To bid on new sketch cards don't forget to visit Fred's ebay page

Thursday, April 21, 2011

DIGGIN' UP SOME ZOMBIE CHUCK


A couple of weekends ago at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, I was introduced to Brian Fyffe and his undead creation Zombie Chuck.

I gotta say that Zombie Chuck is my new favorite comic book. Yeah, that’s right, I think this cadaver kid is neato cool! Brian’s done a swell job creating a fun all-ages comic that I encourage everyone to check out. You can start on the ground level or in this case buried six feet under ground level and pick up issue number one.

As a bonus, Brian has come up with some fun ZC swag. He has a Famous Monsters style T-shirt, some buttons and my favorite, a Zombie Chuck statue. It's a throwback to the plastic super hero and monster statues from the 1960's and '70's. I was half expecting to see this statue marked Marx on the bottom. You can choose between 4 different colors including a glow-in-the-dark one. I bought the orange glow statue.


Man, this zombie glows so bright, you gotta wear shades!


The orange glow is very limited and might be sold out. No worries, as the regular green glow is probably still available. Go to the Zombie Chuck Store!

Visit Brian’s website for all things Zombie Chuck and also follow him on twitter! Now I'll leave you with one more look at Zombie Chuck, this time in sketch form. He drew this in my sketchbook. Thanks Brian!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

THE FORCE IS WITH GUS & DUNCAN'S STAR WARS BOOKS

The title for today’s post is an obvious one, but it truly takes a lot of force just to pick up the heavy 984 page Gus & Duncan’s Comprehensive Guide To Star Wars Collectibles!


This book is the ultimate collectors guide to all things Star Wars from the past 30+ years. From C-3PO knee high socks to Jabba the Hut Dog Chow. (Dog Chow? Yep. Look closely on the cover and once you own the book turn to page 444!) You’ll find all the stuff you grew up with and tons of items that you never knew existed. It covers all six movies and features items from all around the world. Authors Gus Lopez and Duncan Jenkins, two of the main Star Wars collectors in the galaxy, have produced one of the most comprehensive Star Wars collectibles books I’ve ever seen.

Click here to sample a few pages from the book.

These two Star Wars kids who took the phrase “Collect ‘em all” a bit too literally also created Gus and Duncan’s Guide To Star Wars Prototypes.


Everything about this book is super duper and it’s now one of my favorite books on my shelf. It’s a look behind the scenes of all the Star Wars toys I played with back when I was a kid. The design of the book is top notch by Mattias Rendahl. Page after page is filled with original artwork, photos, proof cards, unproduced toys and...well, just see for yourself with this video.


You can also click here to view some of the pages. This is a must buy for all Star Wars fans or for anyone wanting to see how some of their childhood toys were made.

Actually both books are a must buy! For ordering info visit Completist Publications.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

INDIEPIX UNLIMITED: INDEPENDENT FILM SUBSCRIPTION STREAMING SITE

Welcome to IndiePix Unlimited Day!

Unlimited Indie Films - 1 Month FREE Trial

Today marks an exciting time for film fans as IndiePix launches their video-on-demand subscription service for independent film. See that banner under the Neato Coolville sign? That’s your golden ticket to view nearly 200 films anytime you want once you subscribe to IndiePix Unlimited. Eventually the library of films will grow to 500 and beyond. You’ll have the opportunity to view premiers for many award winning films from major film festivals like Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca and Venice. No other streaming subscription site will have these films.

Sponsoring IndiePix Unlimited and spreading the love for independent film are the Los Angeles Times, Filmmaker Magazine, Filmsnobbery and a mix of film sites and blogs. I’m happy to say Neato Coolville is one of those blogs and you’ll see the above banner flying high until the end of the launch period. Click the banner, subscribe and start watching! (The first month is free!) You will be supporting independent film and this blog.

Now excuse me ‘cause I got some popcorn popping and lots of films to watch. Hope you’ll join me! Click here for the official press release.

Monday, April 18, 2011

NOW FOR AN AFTERNOON SNACK ROLD GOLD PRETZEL RODS & PEANUT BUTTER

JASON LIEBIG'S AMAZING ARCHIVE

My pal Jason has one of the best archives on the internet! Just visiting his flickr photostream is like a trip back to my childhood. With over 6000 items presented in various sets. Jason works hard rescuing, scanning and photographing his collection to share with all of us. Here's a very small sampling of some of the items you'll find in Jason's archive. New images are uploaded all the time, so keep checking back. You might find something you completely forgot about!

Dynamite Magazine issue #?? - Count Morbida's Monthly Puzzle Pages - page one of two - original artwork by Arthur Friedman - 1970's

Mickey's Launch Pak - Orbits - Creme Filled Frosted Devil's Food cakes box - 1960's 1970's

Dynamite Issue 008

Post - Honeycomb - Balloon Flyer - cereal box - 1979

McDonalds Trayliner Placemat - Happy Birthday Party Hostess - 1980

WELCOME TO RECOMMENDATION WEEK!


Each day this week you'll find stuff that I find neato cool! There's three ways to keep up. Visit the blog or follow along on facebook and twitter.

Hmm... what should be the first recommendation? Ooh, I got it! How 'bout some dinosaurs? Ok, check out stop-motion wizard Phil Tippett's Prehistoric Beast from 1984. He just released this on his YouTube page. Embedding has been disabled, so travel back to the land before people by CLICKING HERE. It's a fantastic short, before the age of digital dinosaurs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SPACE SHUTTLE 30TH ANNIVERSARY

Today is filled with historical anniversaries with the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and the 50th Anniversary of the first man into Space. Have you seen the awesome doodle that Google created to celebrate Yuri Gargarin’s historic trip? Click here to see it. Besides those two important anniversaries there’s another. It’s the 30th Anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia's first launch.

This is the anniversary that really touches me in a nostalgic way. The Space Shuttle really fueled my imagination and made myself and every other kid back in ’81 want to become astronauts. In honor of this anniversary, here’s the cover and article from the March 20, 1981 issue of Weekly Reader Eye.


CIVIL WAR 150TH ANNIVERSARY


People fought and died 150 years ago in the American Civil War. Here’s two young faces from opposing sides.



When I look at these photos, they kind of haunt me. I wonder what happened to these boys? Did they survive? If they did, what kind of life did they live after the war? I’ll never know as there wasn’t any identification with the photographs.

History’s blueprint is there for us to learn from, but it seems in modern times we still have trouble reading the blueprint. Even if they’ve been written in blood, all the dos and don’ts are there from the past waiting to teach us.

(I’ve owned a handful of Civil War photographs that I’ve bought and sold through the years. The flag bearer is the only one I’ve kept. I sold the Confederate photo a few years ago. The first photograph is one that I snapped of a miniature Civil War diorama that’s located in the Missouri State Capital.)

From newsy.com, here's a quick glimpse at how the media reported on this historic anniversary. Click here to watch the video.

For more info on the Civil War visit civilwar.com.

Monday, April 11, 2011

BACK ONLINE & READY TO GET NEATO


Hi ya kids! Wow, this year is zooming by and I just realized that there’s only 18 posts on the blog to show for it. Yipes! I better get busy or this mayor just might get voted out of office. Sure, my little imaginary town has had some budget issues and computer shutdowns (computer died) this year, but I’m hoping to get things back on track.

Besides the blog, you might want to follow Neato Coolville on flickr, twitter and facebook if you don’t already. Most content will be linked back to the blog or flickr via twitter and facebook but some content will only be found on facebook and twitter. If you haven’t checked out the Neato Coolville twitter page for a while, it has changed.

Originally I started the twitter page to flesh out the “real” imaginary town of Neato Coolville with daily town reports about the people and places of the town. I wanted to put a more creative spin to NC. (Hopefully I’ll get a chance to do that in a different way in the future.) This experiment just didn’t click and now the tweets are regular ol’ tweets from yours truly. I’m now finding out that twitter is like digital dope. Kind of addictive for an info junkie like me. I really like the format and it’s a great way to keep up on things.

If everything works out, next Monday I’ll be starting Recommendation Week.


It’s been forever since the last one. So if I can get my act together you will have a helping heap of neato cool recommendations starting on April 18.

Thanks for your patience and all the support. Now I better come up with something for tomorrow's post.