Remember when webcams were amazing? Back when they were new and novel? I’m not talking about porn, you filthy perv, I’m talking about a fixed camera somewhere, just streaming everyday life back to our respective bunkers.
I remember being fairly obsessed with one that broadcast 24/7 from a laundromat in France. The place was called Happy Wash, and it was in the city of Strasbourg. I’d sit and watch that thing for (here’s where most people would go straight to hyperbole and say ‘hours’) ten minutes at a time. Which is a long time to watch foreigners fold socks and bras. It got to the point where I could recognize regulars on there, and I sincerely wanted to visit the place someday. It was on my so-called Bucket List, although I hate that phrase and feel ashamed for having typed it.
Anyway, Happy Wash is long gone. I don’t remember when it shit the bed, but I’d estimate 2005. The shot above is from their great old cam and causes a wave of warm nostalgic comfort to (happy) wash over me. Is that weird? Why did it mean so much?
There was another one, almost as great, from inside a bar/restaurant in Poland. I can’t remember the name of the place, but it featured an enormous amount of lattice. It was just lattice everywhere. I’d sit and watch that one too, and wonder what life is like for the guys (always guys) sitting at the bar drinking and talking. In some unknown town in Poland, a mysterious place I’ll almost certainly never visit.
I think that’s the part I liked: eavesdropping on regular folks doing mundane things in exotic locales. I found it fascinating. I don’t know why. There are tons of outdoor cams, showing beaches and streets in cities around the world. But they weren’t as interesting to me. And, of course, there were stupid-ass things like turtle cam or camel cam, or things like that. That’s nonsense. No, I just loved the normal people doing boring things webcams. That was the sweet spot for me.
Another great one, that is ongoing, is the Abbey Road crossing. There you can watch dipshit tourists from around the globe risk their lives by walking across that thing, goose-stepping and wildly swinging their arms, trying to recreate the classic Beatles album cover. Check it out here. It’s halfway down the page, and you have to click on it to get it to start. The quality is greatly improved from the early days, but the douches have remained the same. I’ve never seen anyone actually run over by a car on that thing, but I’ve seen plenty of close calls. And I’ve witnessed incensed drivers laying on the horn and shouting. Good stuff. I’ve also seen people fall down, which never fails to brighten my day.
The reason I’m thinking about this subject is because Toney mentioned that I should check out a Myrtle Beach cam, with that hurricane lingering out there. This is the one. As I type this, it looks pretty freaking menacing.
Anyway, I’d forgotten how fascinating I used to find all this stuff. I think it was even cooler when the quality was minimal, like the French laundromat shot above. It was all so mysterious, like a strange AM radio station coming in from some far-flung city while driving at night. Or this creepiness. When it’s being delivered at 1080p high-def, it doesn’t feel quite the same. Oh well.
Did you have a favorite webcam back in the early days o’ the internet? Or do you have one now? Tell us about it in the comments.
Also, since I brought it up, what unusual item do you have on your (please God, no!) Bucket List? Another one on mine is to visit a hotel in France (why so much France??) where an obscure movie was filmed in 1953, called Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday. Here’s some info about the place. When I found out the hotel is still there and operational, I shouted, “Gotta go!” People around me believed I’d been struck by a shit-pain, but it was something else.
If you have anything unusual like that, please share it. Not “visit Australia,” or “have a threesome.” But something out of the ordinary. Please use the comments.
And I’ll see you guys again soon.
Have a great day!
Now playing in the bunker
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I was just watching a YT video this morning about the Mojave Desert Phone booth. Or rather the pole and loose phone line. The woman was telling the story of the the phone booth in the video.
Rb Robinson says
I made a phone call from that booth once. I waited a hour hoping it would ring.
That’s pretty cool.
Have a threesome is ordinary?
Dreaming of having one seems to be.
Maybe it is with a pair of Aussie Shelias?
I want to fly and perform aerobatics in either a P-51D Mustang or an F4U4 Corsair. If I can’t do that I’ll settle for spending a day with one of those mock dog-fighting outfits flying against other nerds like me.
Professionally, I want to intubate (put a breathing tube in) someone. That would be cool.
Travel-wise there are many places I’d like to visit, but nowhere that I think I’ll regret missing on my death bed.
On the typical “threesome” side, I’d like to spend some quality time with Jennifer Aniston.
surreal killer says
Looks like you’ve been on a Jesse Malin kick lately. I understand completely. Great songwriter.
I have a few bucket list items that I am rather serious about actually doing:
1) Hike through the Grand Canyon and spend the night at Phantom Ranch
2) Visit my mother’s birthplace, which was in East Prussia, now in the Russian Oblast of Kalinigrad
3) Visit Machu Picchu
4) See Tom Waits perform before he kicks his bucket
5) Visit all 50 states (I’ve yet to visit Minnesota, North Dakota, and Hawaii)
6) Visit as many of the 30 MLB ballparks with my son as I possible can
7) Become Facebook friends with Robbie Rist
8) Ride in a motorcycle sidecar
There are others, but I won’t bore y’all with the entire list.
A Different Jeff says
At my age, if I’m to make any headway at all on my bucket list, I’ll need to start combining things.
Like, a threesome with Tom Waits in a motorcycle sidecar.
Which suddenly makes kicking said bucket seem less frightful …
surreal killer says
While crashing into the Grand Canyon, if possible…
Steven Hillier says
The first thing I would have to put on a bucket list would be to create one
I don’t have a bucket list. Technically I have a bucket, but my bucket’s got a hole in it which somehow qualifies me as a country music songwriter although I am very sorry all my cultural references predate the births of most of the Surf Reporters. I don’t mean I regret it — I’m just sorry.
I was looking for a surf cam when I stumbled out here in 2006. Missed it by 2800 miles. I thought somebody ought to mention some kind of cam since that was technically the QOD, although thinking you could mention threesomes and not get mostly threesome comments from a 75% male crew is charmingly innocent.
People used to use buckets all the time. When I was growing up, neighbors would lend neighbors their buckets. Then, somewhere along the line I got old and people stopped using buckets. The galvanized bucket industry collapsed. Thousands of workers had to be retrained in Commercial Data Processing and long-haul trucking. The soil blew away and nobody had a bucket to catch it and bring it back. Everybody drove to California in a battered Model T, looking for jobs that had been outsourced to China. Things got better, but they never improved to threesome levels. Those are blindingly high levels that are only attained in youth. While I’m getting ready to decide which bucket to kick, Robby Krieger, who is five years older than I am, is playing Sleepwalk which was written when I was nine and everybody had a bucket.
surreal killer says
Admit it, you want to ride in a motorcycle sidecar too…
Maybe, but not in a race. I’d lean left in every corner and put us into the wall.
I always loved Larry Carlton’s version of Sleepwalk.
Nicely done. Chet Atkins does a fine version too. Imagine those Farina kids in 1959 coming up with that ethereal melody all by themselves. Somebody will be playing Sleep Walk in 200 years, with or without electricity.
Report from Surfside Beach SC: Our GD power has been off for over 8 hours. This storm isnt as bad as Mathew, the house hasnt shaken nearly as much. The water hasn’t risen as much either. Our GD neighborhood goose is squawking it ass off ( I hate that damn goose). Might I make a suggestion to readers that have a crazy dog, cannabis oil is a God send. This bitch loses her shit when the wind blows hard. The only time she shook today was when a transformer blew and then she only shook a minute or too. Come on down Jeff the water is fine.
Be safe down there! What is GD?
reva, stay safe. Glad you are doing OK so far. Probably better than those poor bastards in Alabama.
I don’t want to make this political, but come on, that was funny!
No, we definitely don’t want to make this political.
Got the power back on after 24 hrs. Hubster cussed the whole time swearing to get a whole house generator, the man likes his AC. Big news! My As Seen On TV magnetic screen didnt blow off the porch.
Holy Crap I just noticed I wrote “a minute or too” . I had started drinking beer from the fridge before it got warm.
reva, you might consider giving the cannabis oil to the Hubster and remind him what state he chose to retire in. And I don’t use the b-word to apply to humans, but one sentence from your first post reminded me of a wife I haven’t seen for forty years. Keep you beer cool, and good luck.
I’ll never fly on the Concorde, or eat at Windows on the World. It’s at least theoretically possible that I still might:
. Visit Australia, South America and Africa. Can be separate trips.
. Ski Mauna Kea
. Learn to fly a helicopter
. Travel on an ocean liner. Not a cruise ship.
. Retire soon-ish
Sebastian Kirchoff says
I’ve always wanted to visit the Quick Stop in Leonardo, New Jersey. It is the filming location of one of the best comedies made, Clerks. It’s still an operational convenience store, though the video store is long defunct (but still intact.) I’d say that’s an unusual bucket list item.
You are not even supposed to be there someday.
I’d like to save somebody’s life. Not in a stupid, grand fashion like taking a bullet for a total stranger. I just wouldn’t mind being in the right place at the right time and have nature take its course.
Shake Mick Jagger’s hand.
Jeff, you may enjoy this: Visit the Tenement Museum in NYC https://www.tenement.org I HAVE to make the trip in and check that out.
Get together with some of you Surf Reporters in an odd, chance meeting.
The Tenement Museum looks like a cool thing! I never lived in one (tenement or museum), but when I was a kid we didn’t have a chimney in our Brooklyn apartment. My parents clarified that in a case like this, Santa Claus comes down the fire escape. We hung our stockings on the window frame.
And saving someone’s life, that matters. I’m here today because someone happened to be there and called 911.
Just listened to the second Zip episode. Not really a fan of Zip on the mic. It feels like he curses too much unnecessarily.
Jeff has said multiple times that he likes talking with him, but honestly, it sounds like Zip is full of it.
Like I said probably just me but..
A friend told me about his trip out with his grandson. This is what he said. “Last week, I took my grandchildren to a restaurant. My 6 year-old grandson asked if he could say grace.”
As we bowed our heads he said, “God is good, God is great. Thank you for the food and I would thank you even more if Grandpa gets us ice cream for dessert. And liberty, peace & justice for all. Amen!”
Along with the laughter and nodding of heads from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman at the next table remark, “That’s what’s wrong with this country. Kids today don’t even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why — I never!”
Hearing this, my grandson burst into tears and asked me, “Did I do it wrong Grandpa? Is God mad at me?”
After I assured him that he had done a terrific job and that God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my grandson and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.” “Really?” my grandson asked.
“Cross my heart,” the man replied. Then, in a theatrical whisper, he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is sometimes good for the soul.”
Naturally, I bought my grandchildren ice cream at the end of the meal. My grandson stared at his ice cream for a moment, and then he did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman.
With a big smile he looked her in the eye and told her, “Here ma’am, this is for you, you grouchy old bitch. You must be a Democrat, shove it up your ass and cool off!”
I’ve been to Paris, Texas but not the one in France. Also spent a night in Sofala, NSW which was the fictional Paris in ‘The Cars That Ate Paris’ (1974).
In other movie-related tomfoolery, I stood on the bridge in Austin where they threw the typewriter in the river, and went to the street where the guy hit his mother with the car in ‘Slacker’.