Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Bedknobs & Broomsticks


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Originally uploaded by shazammy
One of my all time favorite children’s films is Walt Disney's, Bedknobs & Broomsticks. I was most probably 8 or 9 when the film was released, so I was the target audience. I was hooked immediately. The songs were terrific, the story was, well, enthralling & the cast were perfect in their roles.

Over the years I’ve revisited the movie a number of times and still think it’s an enjoyable piece of art. Originally Walt Disney had planned to do this movie as early as 1964 (the film wasn’t made until 1971. Author, P. L. Travers was proving difficult during pre-production of Mary Poppins so Walt quietly was planning Bedknobs should Mary Poppins fall through.

Occasionally, out of the blue something will catch my attention…I discovered that the Walt Disney Studios Archives occasionally display a number of movie props at the offices. I was surprised to see the actual bedknob and book, The Isle of Naboombu (vital to the movies plot).

A few years ago the movie was restored to its original running length with many deleted sequences restored for the first time since the movies original preview. If your looking for some light weight entertainment…revisit Disney’s, Bedknobs & Broomsticks.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Dreaming of Jeannie No Longer!




Santa was spot on this year! Santa arrived (dressed suspiciously like a person working at FedEx) with the complete series of I Dream of Jeannie. So what!? The packaging from Sony is the famous genie bottle. I’ve been toying of buying a replica bottle for years – but I’m glad I held out. The US packaging is so well designed and thought out it was hard to refuse. The episode guide is clever as it’s all printed on special trivia cards, again with rare photos. Should I lift the cork and see if Santa gave me Barbara Eden as well? It’s all too much!

Monday, 22 December 2008

my work gets creative


Every year at work I seem to assume the role of “person in charge of Christmas festivities”. I don’t mind. It’s fun to keep coming up with creative ways to keep the staff amused and merry. Last year I initiated a Christmas Coloring Competition. It was to help celebrate our Christmas Pageant’s 75th anniversary. They were giving an outline of one of the Pageant horses to colour, or, to be as creative as they like. One lady had clipped her dog and glued dog hair all over the horse. She didn’t win but won something special for being so creative! Skip forward one year…staff approached me with the question, “what are we coloring this year?”…somehow I think I seem to have started a tradition. Bearing in mind that these people are adults, I was more than shocked (and secrtetly delighted!). I decided this year would be a choice of colouring a tree, an elf or a goofy Santa hat. Nearly everyone participated, and again, brightened up our work environment with some great artwork.

Being that my work is incredibly tight with money, we needed a fresh approach to decorating the office. I found some small DIY cardboard trees for $2.00. I gave the staff the concept that it could be decorated “in a creative style of your choice”. They were perfect to decorate the office with. Surprisingly, some of the trees found their way into the boardroom for the AGM. The board had no idea the staff had created them. Once they knew, the board took a walk around admiring the other staff made trees.

I was pretty impressed with their talents. I wonder what I’ll have them do next year?

Sunday, 14 December 2008

it's christmas time

How do bloggers do this everyday? I suppose I should blog more often but I never really know what to say that people might find interesting. In a desperate attempt to say something...anything I'll talk about ...umm...well...Christmas.

If you've found this through my flickr site you might get the vague notion that I like Christmas. It's nice to give a house a complete makeover for a few weeks (or months in my case)...it's okay putting everything up, but removal is a thing I detest. Today the tree came down. Sad but true. The cat found the aluminum (or aluminium, depending on what country you live in) tree just a little too delicious. Metal in a cat's stomach don't mix. Fearing the worst, I decided I love the cat more than the tree. A lot more. For the first time I'm tree-less. I refuse to put up the big tree. It takes three days to decorate and with Christmas so close it means it would come down about 3 weeks later. That's not going to happen....maybe I should buy a real tree. That would be a first for me.

Friday, 21 November 2008

it's back!

After a long nine month closure for refurbishment, Disneyland has started soft openings for It's A Small World. It's my favorite ride at Disneyland. I thought I'd hate it - anamatronic dolls whirling and twirling didn't sound like my cup of tea. But I was surprised and delighted. The Christmas overlay was breathtaking. It introduced me to the work of Mary Blair - and for that I'm thankful. The much rumored rainforest scenes were due to be removed but public backlash won and the rainforest stayed (if slightly downsized). The much rumored invasion of Disney characters has yet to be unveiled. For now It’s A Small World is back – brighter and happier than ever.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Creative Christmas Photography


So when it comes to photography it's all about photoshop.  Here is a vintage Hallmark Christmas stocking holder.  I decided in my mind he should be sitting at the North Pole on an iceberg resting from his festive duties.  

A white sheet became the backdrop, a shopping bag became the iceberg and the North Pole was the kitchen table.  A few simple camera clicks and then it's off to the process lab known as photoshop!  I was pleased how the final image ended up.



Wednesday, 17 September 2008

goodbye sky streak elevator

Ever since the New York World's Fair closed on October 21, 1965, the Sky Streak Elevator from the observation towers from the New York State Pavilion has been suspended as if time stood still. Until now. In the last few months the elevator has been removed for "safety issues". Sure the towers are rusting away and are probably unsafe but I really liked the idea of the elevator being there. The NYC Parks have said the elevator is safely stored away so if at anytime the towers are restored (please don’t laugh) they have a blueprint to work from. I’d love to see them restored, since nobody has seen the view since 1965 it would make a wonderful reason to head to the park today and soak it in.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

royal show memories




The Royal Adelaide Show is here again. Always a good sign that the warmer weather is on it’s way. I don’t go to the show much anymore. But when I was a kid, it was a different story. My father always had to man his companies stand in the Motor Pavilion. Due to the Royal Show being held in school holidays I got to go whenever he was working. It didn’t take long for my father to get sick of me moaning how bored I was, so he’d dive his hand into his pocket, pull out some cash and tell me to go find something to do.

Not many kids would be allowed to roam the showgrounds on their own – I was a lucky one. I think I spent most of my time in the Show bag Pavilion. I was never one for the rides. They were for the older kids. I’d walk around seeing how much things cost – trying not to impulse buy – and then return to get what I wanted. If I was tired I wander to sit and watch the fashion parades or back to my fathers stand only to unload my purchases before heading out again on another shopping spree.

When my father wasn’t working he’d have his Standard 8 movie camera with him, he filmed some things at the show, (these screen captures from the mid 1970’s) without his films I doubt I’d remember The Wombles helping the Kesab (Keep South Australia Beautiful) campaign.

The showground’s have seen many changes over the years. Who remembers the Rothman’s Theatre, Hamilton Hall, The Alpine Chair Lift, the original Motor Pavilion (demolished to make way for the Jubilee Pavilion), Centennial Hall, The Savings Bank of South Australia with the giant Humphrey Bear sign?

Sunday, 17 August 2008

bad luck for some




This, believe it or not, was my works mascot for a number of years. It was deemed ugly by just about anyone who looked at it. Then, its worse fate came when someone called it a bad luck omen. We'd put it on people's desks (or close by) and the day would usually be a disaster for them. He was about to thrown out when we moved, naturally I nabbed it because when someone least expects it...it's going back to work so its reign of terror can begin again!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

cooking like mom used to cook




For many years this book has been in hiding. My mother purchased this book in the early 1970's. I grew up looking at the pictures often asking her to make something that caught my tiny eye. I'd forgotten how many recipes she used from this book - many more than I thought. Although my mother passed away in 1976, I can now sample some of the food I grew up with. It's the funny thing about food, the taste can instantly bring back long forgotten memories. I doubt it will ever look as good as the pictures, or taste as good as my mother made, but hopefully it can come close. If not, I will always have the pictures to look at and a chance to recall dinners past.

Have you ever checked out old cookbooks? You should, the food, the pictures, the typeface, it’s all classic and often quite comical.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

here today...gone tomorrow



Today (the 3rd August) I thought I'd go and have one last Starbucks coffee before it was too late. I was too late. Starbucks recently announced that 61 Australian stores would close forever. Evidently, they must have stated they'd be closed "by" the 3rd. Today there was no sign of Starbucks ever existing. Blacked out windows, signage all removed, just a rather large FOR LEASE sign sitting in the window. Ho hum, looks like I'll have to travel to Sydney for a coffee from now on.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

bye bye starbucks




Australian subsidiary of US company Starbucks Coffee Company, Coffee International, said it would close 61 "underperforming'' stores of its 84 locations leaving only 23 stores in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Much like the American downsizing it seems as though Australia is now affected by Starbucks closures. I'll miss my local Starbucks, mercifully, Sydney Starbucks seems to be still alive & kicking, it'll make trips there extra special.

I feel sorry for the staff.

Monday, 2 June 2008

universal studios burns



What an awful way to wake up...I open my email to find numerous friends all telling me that my favorite studio is burning to the ground. Immediately my first thought is disbelief...but suddenly memories emerge of a time I had forgotten. Back in 1990 I heard the same thing, Universal Studios was burning. Sadly, the very same area. I would never have expected to see the very same thing happen eighteen years later. Both times the facade of Back to the Future seems to have survived. King Kong who suffered only minor damage last time, this time he was engulfed in flames. Gone. Also a casualty was Universal's Film and TV vault. So sad. Hopefully, this time, Universal WILL learn from mistakes and make these facades fire proof. Such a sad, sad day.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

play loud




The B-52’s have released their ninth album, Funplex. I have to admit, it’s been a long time coming. 1992 was the last original album. We’ve since had 2 ‘best of’ releases, one featured 2 new songs but it’s nice to have an album with 11 new tracks. They haven’t lost their touch for great party music. Grab it and party the night away.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

what a carry on




It's been years since I sat down and watch a Carry On movie. For some unknown reason I stumbled across a delicious box set of 18 movies - all fully restored and with amazing bonus features. Each film has its own commentary track - 13 episodes of the Carry On TV series from 1975 - on set photographs - trailers and so much more. The set was advertised on Amazon.co.uk for ₤125.00 but I managed to find it on hmv.co.uk for only ₤17.00. Well worth buying at that price!

Sunday, 30 March 2008

luna park


Whilst in Sydney I purchased the Luna Park DVD - Spirit of the Carnival and Just For Fun a book by Sam Marshall. Both were a wonderful insight into the history of Luna Park. I discovered it started it's life in Glenelg, South Australia, but with constant moaning from the local government and residents, it was packed up and moved to Sydney.

Luna Park is probably the one park in the world that can claim to have been opened, closed, opened, closed, bulldozed, rebuilt, closed, opened all in the space of 73 years .

The Spirit of the Carnival was a great accompaniment to the book with much historical footage and great interviews with people who helped shape the park. Both the book and DVD are highly recommended. You don't need to travel to Sydney to purachase these, they are available from the Luna Park Web Site: http://www.lunaparksydney.com

Monday, 24 March 2008

sydney, australia




Sydney was great. I found everything really easy to navigate & the people very friendly. Sydney Harbour was just beautiful - so photogenic. Hyde Park was a nice place to relax after long treks around the city. We worked it out that I covered approximately about 50km on foot on the first day. I needed to rest. The Opera House is incredible up close. Wandering over the bridge was great - you can really appreciate the work that went into building it. Luna Park was quiet, but mercifully it was open so I got to see most things. I even got to witness the bats flying around at dusk – pretty cool!

And did I manage to photograph everything I wanted? I sure did!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

my amazing race

Sometimes with me things may take a while. I’m now hooked on The Amazing Race. It’s exciting, fun, stressful and highly entertaining - & I’m just watching. I seriously doubt Australia will do its own version…so I’m going to have my own. But with my rules. Okay, it’s nothing like the Amazing Race to anyone but me. I’m heading to a location that’s wildly foreign. I’m giving myself a goal to photograph a number of items in a short time frame. Besides photographing the icons I’m going to do a few that are out of the city limits. And there’s really where the race begins. It’s going to be fun. The limited time frame is a problem but its all part of my very own Amazing Race. Where am I going? Check flickr after Easter for the answer.

Friday, 14 March 2008

northern lights


Sunday, 24 February 2008

the amazing race


Since New Years Eve I've become hooked on The Amazing Race (it was my show to watch on New Years Eve when eveyone else was out seeing in the New Year.) It's possibly one of the best reality shows around. Sure, some of the contestants get testy, some downright annoying, but mostly they are a joy to watch. It's a show where age is no barrier (unless it's something extremely physical - but hey, look at Gretchen, in Season 7 - she abseiled a wall in no time)

Other countries have hosted their own version. Why can't we? I want Australia to have their own version. I want to be on it. I want to be testy and down right annoying!

Saturday, 5 January 2008

going nowhere


Funny thing the new year. You can never expect when life will throw one of those unforeseen twists. The holiday that was planned for August and September has now been postponed until July 2009. On the positive side I’ll get to be in the States for Independence Day. This is good.
On another positive note, with current temperatures being the hottest on record, I splashed out and got an air conditioner! Finally no more fans circulating hot air. I can now sleep at night.
So, out of bad things come good things. Half full or half empty? I reckon it’s half full.