The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

April 29, 2009

Out of Context Ad: Some Things You Just Have to Plan For

Filed under: Advertising, Cars, Recycled Newspaper — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 10:55 pm

This week’s out-of-context ad comes from a 1968 issue of the Sammamish Valley News (which is also what this week’s Recycled Newspaper post will be looking at,) and shows a happy little family relaxing in their presumably groovy home, blanketed by the plans for…  well, we don’t exactly know for sure, but whatever it is, it was presumably groovy.  Apparently, the creators of this ad would like you to think that it wasn’t just the Age of Aquarius dawning at this point.  Anyway, as usual, feel free to speculate wildly on what might be going on here.

Also, for those of you looking for the solution to last week’s Out-of-Context Ad (scroll down a few posts if you missed it,) you can find it after the jump on this post.


April 28, 2009

A Monstrous Helping of Ice Cream – Taking On the Kong Kone

Filed under: Food, Wanderings — Tags: , , , — Brian Lutz @ 10:28 pm

Nestled along the edge of State Street in Provo, in a relatively quiet strip mall lies Macey’s, an unassuming looking grocery store which is part of a small 10-store chain found throughout the Salt Lake City Metro area.  From the outside, it looks much like any other store you might find in the area (aside from the presence of various food storage supplies in front of the store, which would probably seem just a little bit odd if not for the fact that this is the middle of Utah we’re talking about here,)  Yet behind the walls of this grocery store lies a rich, creamy secret of epic proportions.  Lurking within the deli section is a monster, a true eighth wonder of the frozen confectionery world.  That monster is known as the Kong Kone.  I have come face to face with this monster, and have survived to tell the tale of an encounter with the most gigantic ice cream cone (of Doom) I have ever seen.  This tale may be found after the jump.


April 25, 2009

Confessions of a Deadbeat Substitute Packleader

Filed under: Dogs — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 1:29 pm

As it usually does, the whole dogsitting bit seems to have settled into a routine after a while.  I get up, feed the dogs, go to the dog park, go do some stuff, come back feed the dogs, go to the dog park, do some more stuff, go to bed, get up, feed the dogs… You get the idea.  As I’ve mentioned previously, the dogs have been behaving reasonably well during the last week, and aside from the occasional digging in the dog park there haven’t really been any problems to deal with.  I’m starting to get the suspicion that they probably think I’m just a bit lazy though.

Exactly how anyone who manages to sleep sixteen hours a day would consider anyone to be lazy is beyond me, but I suspect that I’m probably not doing a particularly good job of following their usual schedule here.  Most of the time they’re going to be out for their morning walk sometime around 8am or so, and feeding probably takes place not long after that.  Afterward, the evening walk comes around 5 or so, and dinner won’t be long after that, followed by a couple more hours of lounging around before finally heading off to bed at some ridiculous hour like 9pm or so.  Given the fact that I tend not to even be up most mornings until 9 (give or take an hour or so,)  don’t usually get around to the evening walk until 6 on some evenings, and go to bed at some ridiculous hour of the night (and don’t even get ’em started on what happens if I start messing around with the big shiny white box in front of the TV,) I’m pretty sure my schedule doesn’t exactly correspond to theirs.  Still, they seem to patiently put up with my antics, and are always happy to be fed no matter when I actually remember to feed them (I do try to be at least somewhat consistent with that one though.)  Sometimes if I’m feeling particularly unmotivated, I might even forget about the evening walk, but given the fact that they generally don’t seem to be following me around the house carrying a leash in their teeth or anything like that (although I do have to admit that woiuld be cute, in a guilt-trip inducing way) they can deal with that as well.  Still, even though they don’t seem to say or do anything to indicate it, I still get the sneaking suspicion that the dogs probably think I’m lazy.

Every time I dogsit over here, there seems to be at least one brief moment where I begin to think that the idea of getting a dog for myself really wouldn’t be such a bad idea.  The notion never seems to last more than a few minutes or so, and I always end up talking myself out  of it in one way or another (at this point I really don’t think I’m in a position to properly take care of a dog of my own) but I somehow get the feeling that at some point I’ll probably end up with a Beagle or two of my own.  For the time being, I like the current arrangement where I  get to come visit these two whenever I want, and only occasionally need to take care of them full time.  When people ask, I just tell them that I timeshare on a couple of Beagles.  Still, the main thing that keeps me from seriously considering dogs of my own (aside from living in an apartment, which is a situation where Beagles generally don’t do well in) is the first few years.  Sure you get the whole cute puppy bit, but you also get a bunch of your stuff chewed up, you get messes in places that you’d really rather not have messes show up, you get barking at all hours of the night, and all sorts of other miscellaneous headaches. 

Imola and Minardi have definitely mellowed out over the years (especially the last year or so,) but it took three and a half years for them to reach that point, and there are still some areas in which I don’t quite trust them (for example, I’m still pretty sure they’d head for the proverbial hills if I ever let them out the front door of the house without a leash on, and I’m not exactly in a hurry to try the north entrance of the dog park again at this point.)  There are other breeds that don’t have those tendencies (for example, my aunt has a Black Lab named Bella who is less than a year old, but you can basically leave the doors of the house completely open and she wouldn’t ever leave the yard,) but at this point, I don’t see myself ever getting any dog besides a Beagle if I do ever get one.  In many ways, the personalities of Imola and Minardi are similar to my own.  They love to wander around and explore, tend to get easily distracted by things and become single-mindedly transfixed by something that grabs their attention, and have been occasionally known to persist in an inadvisable course of action in spite of knowing better.  On the other hand, they’re also (usually) fairly laid back, very loyal, and even though they wander on occasion, they ultimately know where they’re going and get there one way or another. 

I have to be honest, taking care of Imola and Minardi (even for a few days at a time) definitely requires commitment and occasional sacrifice to meet the needs of the dogs.  In particular, it seems at times like I’m spending half the day at the dog park (although the total time probably amounts to about an hour and a half).  At this point, it’s also been more than two weeks since I last slept in my own bed (although half of that is my own fault for driving down to Utah,) and there’s still a couple of days more before I will be able to do so again.  Still, I actually don’t mind doing this every once in a while.  If nothing else, it means I get to spend time with the dogs, which is always a good thing.  On the chance that I ever find myself raising a family (to be honest, sometimes i’m not so sure about that one yet) it’ll probably be good practice.

April 24, 2009

Recycled Newspaper: The Bellevue American, April 23rd, 1959

Filed under: Bellevue, History, Recycled Newspaper — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 12:27 am



For this week’s Recycled Newspaper, we will once again be going back 50 years, this time taking a look at the Bellevue American from April 23rd, 1959.  At this time, it had only been a couple of years since the City of Bellevue had been incorporated in 1956, and the explosive growth of the city was still a number of years off.  For the time being, farms still dominated the landscape of Bellevue, and the population was still fairly small (the 1960 census reported a population of 12,809 within the Bellevue city limits.)  Still, at this time, the signs of Bellevue’s later growth into a major urban center could be seen on the horizon.  As the Lake Washington Floating Bridge had already made travel across the lake far more convenient, Bellevue was poised for the rapid growth that would come as a result of both population increase and annexation in the Sixties.  The opening of the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge in 1964 would bring even more people across the lake, and by 1970 Bellevue’s population had increased by nearly 50,000 people.  In 1959 all of this was still in the future, and although much of Bellevue’s current area was already incorporated, the town was much more sparsely populated than it is today.  After the jump, we’ll take a look at some of what was going on in Bellevue fifty years ago.


April 23, 2009

Out of Context Ad: At Least They Aren’t Using Phony Lures

Filed under: Advertising, Recycled Newspaper — Brian Lutz @ 12:40 pm

Between last week’s roadtrip and this week’s dogsitting, I still haven’t quite managed to get everything back on track here yet, but there should actually be a Recycled Newspaper post coming sometime later today.  In the meantime, here’s a quick out-of-context ad snipped from 1959 (although I suspect it probably wouldn’t have taken too much guessing to pin down the approximate year on this one) that seems to suggest that  even in 1959 dollars, the cost of one of those big fancy chrome-laden land yachts that were all the rage back then could get a bit pricey after a while.  Of course, there’s got to be a cheaper way, and the rest of the ad this comes from would be more than happy to let you know what it is.  Feel free to post guesses (or wild speculation, whatever you prefer) in the comments.

April 22, 2009

A Year Older, A Year Wiser

Filed under: Dogs — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 12:54 pm

Roughly a year ago, I spent a week and a half dogsitting Imola and Minardi, which is the first time that I had ever been directly in charge of taking care of (or, for that matter, any living being larger than a gerbil) them for more than a couple of days at a time.  Although Imola and Minardi know me well and don’t seem to have any issue with me pretending to be a pack leader every once in a while, at that time they definitely provided a few challenges to deal with.  For one thing, even though they were a couple of years old at the time, they still hadn’t entirely figured out the whole housebreaking bit, and at the time they were generally kept in the crate during the day in order to keep them from maknig too big a mess of the house while the humans were gone.  If they didn’t get their two trips to the dog park every day they’d be up half the night running around, barking at the neighbors late at night, and generally just being rambunctious.  In other words, pretty much acting like Beagles. 

Just about a year later, I find myself dogsitting once again as my parents drive down to Arizona to visit my Dad’s mother, and then up to Utah for Brooks’ graduation from BYU and the blessing of Baby Brooks.  Although Imola and Minardi still require a fair bit of attention (the two trips to the dog park per day in particular takes a fair bit of time and planning to deal with) I have definitely noticed that overall, they seem to be a lot calmer and more mature this time around.  I can leave them out of the crate in the house during the day, and be reasonably certain that nothing will be destroyed when I get back (more so than usual anyway) and I can even eat a meal every once in a while without Imola constantly trying to grab food off the table (she’ll still be lurking about and sniffing, but she seems to be a lot less inclined to try to snatch things.)  The dog park has never really been a problem for these two, although I have noticed that they seem to have some issues with digging lately.  There seem to be a few particular spots in the dog park where if you let them, they’ll happily dig to China.  Digging is, of course, against the rules of the dog park, but apparently Imola and Minardi didn’t get the rules on that one, and there are certain holes in the place where these two will dash over from some distance away to go dig before I can get there to chase them off.  I suppose this is an improvement over, say, dashing out of the off-leash area, through the parking lot and into the woods, but it’s still a bit of an issue.

Nonetheless, these two are definitely becoming a lot more mellow and a lot better behaved in general as time goes on.  I suppose if we’re talking in dog years this time period would represent roughly the transition from ages 17-24 (give or take a year or two) so some maturing and calming down would definitely be expected.  All I know is that it certainly makes them a lot easier to deal with.  Now if only I could figure out how to improve that much in a year…

April 19, 2009

Off the Road, and Into the Doghouse

Filed under: Dogs, Wanderings — Brian Lutz @ 8:40 pm

Just in case you were wondering, I made it home just fine on Thursday.  The rest of the drive up from Boise to Redmond was relatively uneventful, especially in comparison to the late snowstorm I drove through on the way out of the Salt Lake Valley.  I didn’t bother doing a lot of stopping on the way through Oregon and Washington, since I was already going to be getting back into town a couple of days later than I had originally planned on, and because that meant I would be taking on dogsitting duties for Imola and Minardi as soon as I arrived.  In fact, I ended up passing my parents on the road somewhere around Ellensburg as they headed off in the opposite direction.  At this rate, I’m not entirely sure exactly when the next time I’ll be sleeping in my own bed is, but at least home is within reach of here.

Although I managed to make it home in one piece, it seems that somewhere along the way, my car ended up short a piece or two.  I think this might have happened on the way down when I think I might have hit a tire fragment on the highway (Edit:  One of my photos taken down in Provo shows the piece was still there as I was on the way back up, so it would happened somewhere between there and here,) but I didn’t notice it until I actually got home.  Fortunately this particular piece is readily available (and relatively cheap) so fixing this shouldn’t be an issue.  Some sort of cover behind this seems to have gotten cracked somewhere along the line as well, but I don’t think that’s going to be a problem, at least for the time being.  I suppose I should also probably see about getting rid of those bugs as well.

Fortunately, the whole dogsitting bit has become relatively routine by now, and the dogs have become a bit calmer and more mature over the last year ot so, which makes them somewhat easier to deal with.  As seems to be the case with Beagles in general, they can still be a bit thick-headed and single-minded when they want to be (which mostly manifests itself in a tendency to dig  at the dog park) but for the most part they’re a lot less rambunctious than they used to be.  I might sneak  a dog post or two in sometime over the next week (I’ve actually been meaning to put together another dog park post) but the usual Blogging, plus a couple of leftovers from the trip, should be coming this week.

April 15, 2009

I Think I Actually Can Wait to Get On the Road Again

Filed under: travel, Wanderings — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 11:23 pm

Through yet another set of circumstances I have yet to fully comprehend, I have once again found myself in a hotel in Boise (a different one this time) with little to do but ramble on about another day spent in the car.  I had actually intended to make the trip back to Redmond from Provo without stopping for the night, but a meeting scheduled at the last minute meant that I couldn’t even get on the road until  nearly 2pm, which would have had me just about driving clear through the night to get home (yeah I’m a night owl, but I’m  not THAT much of a night owl.)  Oh, and did I mention that it was snowing like crazy all the way from Provo up to the Utah/Idaho border?  Somehow, in spite of that, I managed to actually make it here so far anyway) in one piece, and since the pool is closed, the hot tub here is down for “mechanical issues,” and Boise doesn’t exactly seem like the kind of  place you’re going to find much in the way of nightlife (or daylife, for that matter) you get to read another batch of my ramblings from the road, found after the jump.


April 14, 2009

Off the Beaten Path: The World’s First KFC in Murray Utah

Filed under: Food, travel, Wanderings — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 9:35 am

One of my personal cardinal rules of traveling is that when I’m away from home, I try to avoid eating at places that I can find at home as much as possible.  Although sometimes I’m not so good at actually following this rule, in general it means that I try to avoid eating at any of the big chains that are all over the place up in the Seattle area when I’m out on the road.  I decided to make an exception to this rule today for something I’ve passed by a number of times but never actually had a chance to check out:  The world’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise, located on State Street  in Murray Utah, a few miles south of downtown Salt Lake.  Originally opened in 1952, it was at this location that the product was given the name of Kentucky Fried Chicken (the Colonel had never bothered naming it before then) and the famous KFC bucket was first used.  The actual restaurant itself (a picture can be found here) stood until 2004 when it was demolished to make way for the modern (and much larger) KFC restaurant that stands on the site now, which also serves as something of a small KFC museum.  After the jump, a closer look at this place, and some of what is contained inside.


April 13, 2009

Some Slightly Less Fussy Pictures of Baby Brooks

Filed under: Family — Brian Lutz @ 12:45 am

When I met my new nephew Baby Brooks for the first time on Friday, it seemed that I might not have exactly caught him at his best time, as he spent much of my visit alternating between sleeping and crying, and didn’t provide a whole lot of good photo opportunities.  I’m happy to report than when me and Jason went over there again today for Easter dinner, he was not only awake, but in a much better mood than on Friday.

I, on the other hand, continue to remain stubbornly non-photogenic, regardless of how cute a newborn I might be holding at the time.  Between Brooks playing his guitar on the other side of the room and the ceiling fan spinning overhead, Baby Brooks seemed to be rather fascinated by it all.

Another picture from just about the same time.  And no, I don’t have the slightest idea who that person on the right side of the photo is.  Well OK, actually I think  do, but that doesn’t make that face any less silly and quite possibly somewhat uncalled for when we’re trying to take serious photos here.


And here’s Baby Brooks hanging out on the floor with his nice Uncle Jason (as opposed to his Mean Uncle Brian, a title I have thus far been trying to establish with Jacki’s two sons Conner and Corey with very limited success.  I suppose I might have an easier time of it if I was, you know, actually mean or something like that, but that just wouldn’t be very nice now, would it?)

Although I’m definitely no expert on the subject, I suspect that three and a half weeks might be just a tad early for an infant to start crawling, but he’ll get there eventually, right?

And if for some reason anyone out there happens to want to see the back of his head, well here you go.  There seems to be quite a bit of hair there already.  Anyway, there should be more stuff from this trip coming up later on  This will probably be when I get back home, although I am not yet entirely certain of when that will be just yet.  Tenatively I plan to drive back on Tuesday, but it looks like there could be some weather issues on some of the mountain passes brewing around that time, so I’ll have to see what happens.

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