|Update: Twinkies and Ho Hos back on the streets this summer|
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Friday, 04/26/13 10:36 pm] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet This]
Twinkie lovers rejoice! Hostess Brands announced today it will reopen its eastern Kansas bakery this summer.
The investment partnership that bought Hostess Brands' snack cake product lines paid $410 million for the rights to the Hostess and Dolly Madison snack cake brands, along with five plants, and says they hope to expand the bakery, aiming for total employment of about 300 people within the next few years.
More than 500 people lost their jobs when Hostess, then in bankruptcy proceedings, closed the plant in Emporia, Kansas, last November following a strike by union bakers. The new Hostess plant will not be unionized.
The new owners of Hostess also own Pabst Blue Ribbon and Vlasic. Do we foresee some interesting new flavored snack cakes on the horizon? Beer flavored Sno Balls? Dill Pickle Ding Dongs?
Um... maybe not...
Our thoughts are with Boston
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Monday, 04/15/13 3:05 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet This]
This afternoon at about 2:50, the unthinkable happened again in Boston at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
This is the first act of terrorism on our homeland since the World Trade Center in 2001. Three people are probably dead, and possibly two hundred injured, and the injuries are horrific, many victims losing limbs.
It's important at times like this, as Americans always do, to stick together, and stand up for the people of Boston to let them know we're all neighbors and we're all in this together.
It's also important to remember that life is precious, and we must never take it for granted. A personal event last month reminded me of that, and we must all remember to live life to its fullest every day, as if it might be your last.
In the daily rat race, it's important to do the every day things that enable us to get by every day, but it's also just as important, perhaps more so, to remember the ones we love every day, and let them know we care about them.
Bostonians are strong, we'll get through this together, and we'll get who's responsible for this heinous atrocity. But while we're offering our support for the people of Boston, it's also really important to hug someone today and tell them that you love them.
End of a radio era in Los Angeles
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Wednesday, 02/27/13 9:30 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet This]
For 27 years they stood as a monument to the memory of the heydey of Top 40 Rock and Roll radio. Today, the towers that used to transmit the signal of Boss Radio KHJ were torn down.
Radio station KHJ went on the air in Los Angeles in 1922, and in 1941 was moved to 930 on the AM dial, where it stayed until it went off the air at midnight on January 31, 1986.
At its height in the sixties and seventies, KHJ started playing rock and roll when programming consultant Bill Drake was brought in to craft KHJ's new Top 40 format in April 1965. It famous disc jockeys included Robert W. Morgan, The Real Don Steele, Charlie Tuna and Machine Gun Kelly. They set the tone for what Top 40 radio was supposed to sound like.
KHJ has undergone several ownership changes since then, and is now owned by a Spanish language broadcaster playing a format it calls "La Ranchera," which broadcasts from towers on a site near downtown L.A.
The two original KHJ towers were 300 feet tall and were located at Venice Blvd. and Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles.
(Pictures courtesy of KTLA TV, Los Angeles.)
Dozens day is historically out of this world
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Wednesday, 12/12/12 12:12 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet This]
I am posting this blog entry on December 12, 2012, at 12 seconds after 12:12 pm. That's 12/12/12 12:12:12.
The number 12 is a very interesting number. The word twelve possibly comes from the Germanic compound word twalif which means "two-leftover", in other words, "two remaining (after having ten taken)". This probably made sense to speakers of Old English, but these days, only the remaining "tw" at the beginning of the word hints that twelve and two are related.
12 comes up again and again in history and religion. There were 12 Gods in ancient Greece. There were 12 Knights of King Arthur's round table. There are 12 days of Christmas and 12 Imams, legitimate successors of the prophet Muhammad. 12 men sit on juries in the US. The Western and Chinese Zodiacs have 12 signs. The Beatles, one of the most famous pop groups in history, released 12 studio albums. Clocks are divided into twelve hours, and most calendars are divided into 12 months.
|Quincy Jones, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra|
And speaking of music and months, which are divided for the cycles of the moon, Frank Sinatra, in part famous for his version of Fly Me To The Moon, recorded in 1964, accompanied by Count Basie and arranged by Quincy Jones, was born on December 12, 1915.
|Harrison Schmitt on the moon|
In addition, 12 men have walked on the moon, and the last to do so, the 12th man on the moon, Harrison Schmitt on Apollo 17, did one of his moon walks on December 12, 1972. He's also credited with taking one of the most famous pictures of the Earth from the moon, titled "The Big Blue Marble."
This evening, new history will be made for this date, as artists including Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, The Who and Paul McCartney join together to perform live at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the 12.12.12 Concert for Sandy Relief.
This is the last time a date and time like 12/12/12 12:12:12 will occur in most likely all of our lifetimes. The next time this will be possible will be 89 years from now in the year 2101.
Astrophysicist discovers the planet Krypton
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Saturday, 12/08/12 2:20 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet This]
Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium in New York City, says he has discovered the exact location of the planet Krypton.
|The planet Krypton (artist's conception)|
According to Mr. Tyson, Krypton orbits the red dwarf star LHS 2520, which is cooler and smaller than our sun, 27.1 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Corvus the raven, in the southern sky not far from Virgo and Hydra.
DC Comics, the publisher of the Superman series, says, "By applying real-world science to this story Neil deGrasse Tyson has forever changed Superman's place in history. Now fans will be able to look up at the night's sky and say, that's where Superman was born."
Mr. Tyson said, "As a native of Metropolis (New York City), I was delighted to help Superman, who has done so much for my city over all these years."
The last Twinkies
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Friday, 11/16/12 10:48 am] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet This]
According to the news today, after filing for bankruptcy and warning striking workers that they would close down the company forever, Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of Wonder Bread, Ding Dongs and Twinkies, is winding down its operations and is now out of business.
|My last ever Twinkies|
Scheduled for a grocery store run this morning anyway, today I picked up one box of Hostess Cupcakes and four individual packages of Twinkies. As I'm trying to take care of myself, I haven't bought these junk food treasures in many, many years, but I figured, for old times sake, I'd enjoy a few of these treats one last time.
I would have bought a box of Twinkies, but none were left on the shelves of my local Ralph's, and I was forced to buy four of the individual Twinkie packages instead. There were only a few of these left on the shelves as well. Interestingly, the shelf was still full of boxes of the chocolate filling version of the Twinkies, these probably not as appealing to people who, like me, wanted one last fix of the Twinkies we knew and loved from our childhoods.
Hostess brands date back to 1888, the Twinkie was introduced in 1930 as a cheap treat during the Depression. It's probably likely these brands will survive somehow, although today Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn said that there was no buyer waiting in the wings to rescue the company.
That's why they invented 8-tracks
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Tuesday, 10/23/12 10:57 am] [Permalink] [Tweet This]
It was announced today that going up for auction at the end of this month will be Paul McCartney's 1964 Aston Martin DB4 that he bought new in 1964. It was also mentioned that Paul's car included a Philips Auto-Mignon 45 rpm record player, fitting for a Beatle.
A record player in your car? Really? Yes, in fact, as early as 1956, Chrysler was offering a record player as an option on all Chrysler model cars.
|Click above to see full ad describing the Highway Hi-Fi|
Called the Highway Hi-Fi, this record player was specially designed by CBS Laboratories as an accessory for Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler and Imperial cars. Playing through the car radio's speakers, the turntable was located in a shock-proof case mounted just below the center of the instrument panel.
It didn't play standard records, however. The special 16 2/3 rpm records made for Chrysler by Columbia Records gave up to 45 minutes of music and up to one full hour of speech per side. Records available at the time included classical selections like Tschaikovsky and Borodini, the complete score of the Broadway musical show Pajama Game, Walt Disney's Davey Crockett, mood music by Percy Faith and his orchestra and quiet jazz by Paul Weston and his orchestra.
A later version made for Chrysler by RCA in 1960 could play regular 45s.
The good ol' days
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Wednesday, 08/29/12 10:23 am] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet This]
Remember the good ol' days when the weirdest thing Michael Jackson had ever done was hug a guy in a big Mickey Mouse costume?
Happy birthday, Jacko!
What's in a name?
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Wednesday, 07/04/12 9:04 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet This]
I came across this photo of a booklet while searching for something else on eBay:
This is a training handbook created for the U.S. Forest Service in 1948. Notice the name of the person who prepared the booklet.
A guy named "Woods" who works for the Forest Service? How cool is that?
I won an award... It's on the wall in my office
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Tuesday, 06/19/12 8:15 am] [Permalink] [Tweet This]
The wonderful British character actor Victor Spinetti passed away on Monday at the age of 82. You'll see several stories about Victor on Beatles News today. This is my personal remembrance of him.
Over the years, because of a mutual friend, I got the chance to spend many hours one on one with Victor.
|A photo of Victor taken by me at a Beatlefesst in 2007|
One time, I was helping coordinate logistics at a screening of A Hard Day's Night that Victor had flown in to Los Angeles to attend in July, 2007. During the screening we spent most of the time in a small restaurant across the street, but for a while we went back to the theater, and I got to sit next to him as we sat in the back row to watch part of the film. This is my best memory of him, sitting in that theater, watching Victor watch the film, smiling and enjoying it with the rest of the audience.
There's no wonder why the Beatles liked him and put him in every one of their movies. He was the warmest, kindest, most wonderful soul I ever met on this planet. The time I got to spend with him was a wonderful gift which I will never forget. I will miss Victor Spinetti greatly.