Sunday 22 December 2013

Wonderments and Atrocities: Mounted Furby Trophy

For ten years I managed to steer clear of the sold-out Christmas toy scenario reminiscent of Jingle All the Way but last Christmas my preparation plans went somewhat awry and I found myself trying to locate a Furby two weeks before Christmas. It seemed to be that year’s ‘must have’ toy and as I searched the Internet I was struck by how many refered to the process as “hunting”. I would look through eBay sales and most of the sellers taking advantage of the rush would write “happy hunting” underneath their extortionate asking prices. In one instance I visited a toyshop and a staff member wished me “good hunting” as I left! So, I gladly excepted the challenge and went ‘hunting’ for a Furby and managed to successfully “bag” one of the beasts. Although it was in no way as comical as  Jingle All the Way I did however manage to successfully secure one a week before Christmas at a fraction of the cost and frankly I was quite pleased with myself. This feeling was highlighted and underlined by my daughter’s happy face on Christmas morning when she found Furby under the Christmas tree. True the memory of her happy face was reward enough, but I decided to mark that December ‘hunt’ the only way I knew how… Adding it to the ever growing collection of Wonderments and Atrocities.
Merry Christmas everyone!

My sincere thanks to Rachel White for helping me track down this particular specimen.
© Arfon Jones 2013. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Thursday 19 December 2013

Ultimate Greeting Cards

As the rush to get Christmas cards out to people before the 25th rages on I thought I would mention that it’s not too late to order some of my Ultimate Greeting Cards because unlike other cards on the market these can be used 12 months of the year!

Inventor Sir Henry Cole introduced the world's first commercially produced Christmas card back in 1843 and now I Arfon Jones bring you the Ultimate Greeting Card designed to cover all greetings and special occasions for anyone that is constantly on the go! Why commit to just the one special occasion? These cards allow you the luxury of sending them out any time of the year and they are easy to use! Simply tick the appropriate occasion(s) (save even more time and money by ticking several in one go!) add any additional messages at your own discretion in the comment section below and sigh! No fiddly envelopes that won’t stick, just add an address and a stamp to the back of card itself and post! Order a pack of six here or here.

© Arfon Jones 2013. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Monday 2 December 2013

Mystery Painting

This post has a loose art theme to it but it mostly regards television. I have become somewhat disillusioned with TV of late, I can’t really explain why but I find that they rarely make programs that interest me these days. So now I turn to my dvd’s for my evening television fix. Immersing myself in classic television shows, programs that I feel “got it right” case in point Columbo, the undisputed classic. It seldom gets better than this, I have been a fan of this show for as long as I can remember. I love everything about it, the premise, the stories, casting and above all the character of Columbo, Peter Falk’s gift to the world. As far as I’m concerned Falk’s acting was flawless and his devotion for the character shined through. BUT this post is not about that.
I would instead like to direct your attention to the season 3 episode "A Friend in Deed" from 1974. In which Columbo matches wits against a deputy police commissioner (played Richard Kiley). When Columbo visits him in his office, you will note that there is a painting hanging on the wall behind him. I believe it to be Westminster Bridge (a nod to Season 2’s "Dagger of the Mind" from 1972 in which Columbo visits London perhaps?) “So what?!” I hear you ask well let me move on from a well loved Universal Studios classic to a horribly under rated one…

Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Darren McGavin plays Carl Kolchak a Chicago newspaper reporter who investigates mysterious crimes involving the supernatural or the unexplained. Sadly the series only had one season and it’s only claim to fame was that it was cited as the inspiration for The X-Files.
But if we watch episode 13 "Primal Scream" from 1975 in which Kolchak tries to uncover the truth behind rampaging prehistoric primates we see one particular scene involving the reception area of a PR’s office… See it? It’s the same painting as the one we saw in Columbo! Different frame but without a doubt it’s the same painting. Some of you may well be still asking “So what?!” both shows were made by Universal and so their props must come from the same warehouse. Well I love this sort of thing! It connects my favourite shows.  Since making this discovery both Mrs Jones and I have been looking out for it in other episodes, didn’t take long though, as a matter of fact it only took six more episodes…

Episode 19 "The Youth Killer" Helen of Troy drains the youth from the unsuspecting people that sign up for her dating agency and in her office we see the painting again! So, was it used in any other Universal programs? I will keep this post open in the hope that some of you out there might be able to name other Universal Television show’s or movies in which this painting featured! Perhaps even provide some information on the painting itself or the artist? (I hope so because I have a perfect spot to hang a print of it!) Any information or comments leave them at the bottom of the page or contact me directly and I will update accordingly!

Update: 20/02/2014 Well, the mystery painting turned up yet again in another of my favourite TV shows The Rockford Files! The brilliant, James Garner plays Jim Rockford a Los Angeles-based private investigator in a show, which ticks all the right boxes for me! In Episode 2 of Season 5 "Rosendahl and Gilda Stern Are Dead" from 1978, Rockford tries to help his friend Rita Capkovic prove her innocence when she is accused of murdering a prominent doctor and as they sneak into the office of Dr. Russell… There’s the painting again! Albeit very briefly but its undoubtedly the same one and in the very same frame as its previous cameo!
The search continues...

All images belong to Universal Television, no copyright infringement intended, in fact I urge you all to buy Columbo, The Rockford Files and Kolchak: The Night Stalker dvd’s right now!
(everything else however) © Arfon Jones 2013.


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