Saturday, December 28, 2013

Books On Film | Mary Poppins{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER

Mary Poppins is the first book in a series of six written by English author P.L. Travers. In the first book, published in 1934, the Banks family is in need of a new nanny after their old one leaves in a huff. Mary Poppins blows in on a strong wind to fill the position. The children and Ms. Poppins proceed to have all sorts of wondrous adventures together.

The story of Mary Poppins has been adapted into a very successful film and stage play. The 1964 Walt Disney musical film, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, is considered a family classic. The film, which featured a nicer Mary Poppins than the books, had adventures from all of the books as well as new adventures created just for the film. The movie is great fun and the music is fantastic. If you've never seen it you are missing out. Mr. Banks, a biopic released in theaters this month, chronicles the life of P.L. Travers including the negotiations between Travers and Disney for the film rights to books. Travers' life story and encounter with Disney is also chronicled in the biography Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P.L. Travers by Valerie Lawson.

If your children are into fantasy grounded in real life, then they may love the Mary Poppins books and if you are into biographies, then you may want to pick up a copy of Mary Poppins, She Wrote. 

Saving Mr. Banks Trailer (2013)  
 Covers courtesy of LibraryThing.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Wanderlust Librarian | Pinball Wizard the Second

After the overnight on the USS Hornet (read about it here), Lizzie had mentioned something about the Pacific Pinball Museum. Wait, wait, wait... WHAT?!!?? A place where I can visit that's less than an hour away from where I live? 
Vintage and awesome! 

Knowing that I loved pinball, Lizzie found her ticket on the Discover and Go website and printed out her FREE ticket. I, on the other hand, forgot to reserve my ticket. The tickets for that day were all claimed. *if you want a ticket, reserve it in advance!!*I had to pay the $15 entrance fee. 

All the pinball in the Pacific Pinball Museum is FREE!!! So, save your quarters and play all the pinball you want. After you pay the entrance fee, get a hand stamp for same day in and out privileges. 

The vintage pinball room

From the outside, the museum looks small. In fact, when you walk in, there are a row of new pinball machines (for $0.50 per game) and behind the cashier, there are a slew of restored machines from 1930's through the 1960's. I was ALMOST disappointed until I looked to the right of the cashier and saw an Addams Family pinball machine along with 2 other machines (of which I ignored because I love the Addams Family machine!). They have a private room for rental. When there's a party, that room is closed and the machines are for the guests only. Luckily, there was no party that day. 

The 80s are alive! 

There are other rooms for machines from the 70s and 80s. There were a fair amount of machines. The rooms were off of an indoor courtyard area. They were small and had a few machines per decade. They were not what I was looking for. 

There is limited pinball art in one of the rooms. There are some pieces on the wall and an interactive display where you can make a bumper hit. The scariest thing in that room is an old clown game (not pictured for "scares the bloggess" reasons). There are 2 machines with a clear plastic body where you can see the innards at work. 

Old pinball boards
Bump the bumper!!

My high school years come alive in music! 
For me, the magic was in the 90s room! It was a lot of my favorite machines crammed into one room. There were about 14 machines and a FREE jukebox. I made a playlist of all of my favorite music from high school: Pulp Fiction, Cranberries, Oasis, etc. Some of the pinball gems I played over and over were: Earthshaker, Doctor Who, Road Show and Twilight Zone. The 90s room provided a good hour and a half of entertainment for me. Though, let me just say that scoring a free game when playing a free not as rewarding as one might think after playing a free game. 

Getting high score, though, is always a huge thrill. It felt good to get a decent win under my belt. Also, it was amusing to see a crowd around me. The folks learned that pinball is an art... and not mashing the buttons around. It was a good run. 

Admittedly, when asked "How do you do that?" I said, "See these buttons on the side? I push them to make the ball go out to the board and on the ramps.". After a hearty group laugh from my sarcastic answer, I told him how to make the points work for him. All in all, it was a good run. 

Should you go to the Pacific Pinball Museum? Yes. 

Is it really a whole day of fun? A few hours, yes. A whole day? No. But if you get your tickets for FREE from the Discover and Go page at the library, it's definitely worth your time and a day trip to Alameda! 

If you enjoy pinball, you can try and find your favorite machine at the Pinball Locator. After all, what good is your love of pinball if you can't play your favorite machine?

The Bloggess

I'm the #2 player for the day! 

Book Bucket List | Vote for the Book! 

This year for One Book, One San Joaquin 2014, we will be doing things a little differently.  We are leaving it up to our community to choose the featured book! In addition, we are moving this community wide program to October. Just click the image below or this link here.

The three titles up for the vote are Dracula by Bram Stoker, Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

We will announce the winner at the end of January, and then start planning programs and events based on the winning book! So keep an eye out for One Book, One San Joaquin updates as we announce the winner!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Learning | Burma-Shave, Part 2

My introductory Burma-Shave post last week barely touched on the discussions we have had on the subject at Troke.  

My co-worker, Ginny, asked the same question that occurred to me, when I received The Verse By the Side of the Road: the Story of the Burma-Shave Signs and Jingles through the Link+ program.  We both wondered how the shaving cream got the name Burma-Shave. In short, "Why Burma?"

My father (the co-pilot, back row, furthest left) and
his fellow crew members from the 40th Bombardment Group.
The aircraft behind them is "The Song of India,"
the B-29 they flew on missions from Tinian over "The Hump."
Burma (or Myanmar, as is it currently known) is a mountainous country located on the eastern shore of the Bay of Bengal.  Its northern border touches Bangladesh, India and China; its southern region reaches Thailand and the Malay Peninsula.

Trivia question

Name the television series that is the source of the following dialogue:

"Why'd you say 'Burma?'"
"I panicked."

See the answer at the bottom of this post.

Ginny and both have fathers who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during the Second World War, in the China/India/Burma theater. They were both stationed on the island of Tinian. (Small world, isn't it?) Perhaps we're more inclined to ask,"Why Burma?" than the average person.

Clinton Odell, the founder of the Burma-Vita company in Minnesota first invented a liniment which was supposed to have a number of health benefits. It was mostly comprised of ingredients from Burma and the Malay Peninsula, so he called it Burma-Vita. It is reported to have smelled terrible, which may have been one reason why it never became a commercial success.  

Mr. Odell was inspired by a brushless shaving product he saw in England, called Lloyd's Euxesis; he hired a chemist to develop a similar product, which he named Burma-Shave. (I couldn't help but to look up the origin of the name Euxesis; it comes from the Greek root eu- [good] and -xesis [to scrape] it's all about shaving well.)

Burma-Shave did not sell very well until Mr. Odell's sons started advertising the product on roadside signs. The first signs were placed 100 paces apart, but those distances grew as people began driving cars faster.  The publicity generated by those roadside signs can still be felt today--most people familiar with the name Burma-Shave immediately think of those signs; and conversely, when people see a sequence of rhyming signs by the road, they think of Burma-Shave.

Answer to the trivia question:

Monty Python's Flying Circus, Series 2.  It was part of the Exploding Penguin on the TV Set sketch from Episode 22, "How To Recognize Different Parts of the Body.". Graham Chapman exclaimed "BURMA!" after John Cleese speculated about where the penguin came from, "Penguins don't come from next door; they come from the Antarctic."