Thursday, March 29, 2007

Peanuts, postage and puppets

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, and also April fool's day, so let's continue a very new tradition of running classic Peanuts comic strips in honor of April 1. I hope you enjoy them! More of my favorite classic Peanuts strips can be found by clicking “April 2006” in my archives listings to the right.


STAMP WARS. There will indeed be a series of stamps honoring "Star Wars" characters. It brings up an interesting issue. It is usually customary to wait until a person has died before honoring them with putting their image on a postage stamp. But Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are still with us! (Not to mention all the other costumed performers). I'm sure they'll be able to handle it (they've already been action figures, after all), but what does this mean for future stamps? Will we get to see more current movie stars? Lindsay Lohan? Chris Rock? Borat? That guy from "Saw?" Bill and Ted? Let us hope we never find out how far this thing will go.

My only complaint about the Star Wars stamps: No Lando! Lando was a big part of the team. We need a stamp for Lando. Hey, I'd love to see a stamp of Leia in the gold bikini, but even more than that, we need one for Lando! Too bad we can't vote him in, but you can vote for which "Star Wars" stamp you'd like to become its own stamp sheet. Vote at the site below:

The "Star Wars" folks are the latest in a growing list of my favorite fictional folks who have been on a U.S. postage stamp. Here are a few others: Popeye, Dick Tracy, Bugs Bunny, Big Bird, Snoopy, Kermit the Frog & Co., Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Dorothy & Toto from "Wizard of Oz," Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, etc.

Which fictional characters would you like to see on a future stamp? Here's my list: Ernie and Bert, Cookie Monster, Grover, Godzilla, X the owl, Easy Reader, Underdog, Spider-Man, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Sherlock Holmes, George of the Jungle, Ginger from “Gilligan’s Island”, the Fonz

I enjoyed the recent entry on about "one-joke wonder" muppets. Partly because it was so well-written, but also because they actually provide relatively big pictures of said muppets. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a good picture of Forgetful Jones? You can find one here, along with some good shots of other muppets:


Video collecting. What could be an easier hobby? All you have to do is learn how your VCR or DVD recorder works, right? Wrong! This hobby is full of challenges. For example: Some never-before released episodes of "The Electric Company" are now available for purchase! Yay! The bad news: They're only available on the iTunes system. I'm not anit-iTunes (say that five times fast), but the problem is that everything else on video that I collect is on the regular NTSC system. That's a video standard for us in the U.S. And it seems that iTunes video can't be recorded onto a regular DVD (in DVD video format, that is. You can record it as a computer file to DVD, but you won't be able to play it on a DVD player. Are you confused yet?)

So the dilemma is: How can I effectively save copies of these episodes? If they remain in the iTunes format, I'll only be able to watch them on a computer or iPod. It's kind of awkward to have a handful of episodes that I'm unable to watch without an iPod handy. I would definitely prefer DVD or VHS versions of these shows.

I suppose I could always do what I do with YouTube videos and (ugh) set up a camcorder in front of my computer and videotape the clips. That's definitely not the best way to save video clips (there's a loss in quality), but it does work. Wish I didn't have to do that, though. But speaking of Electric Company, posters like nantoreturns have been putting up clips from "Electric Company" on their YouTube pages. Be sure to check them out!