Jul 30, 2018

Keystone Cannonball

Keystone Kapers 2 prototype
by Garry Kitchen (Activision)
One of my earliest memories from childhood was of a time that I threw a minor temper tantrum in the Boscov's department store at the Laurel Mall.  I couldn't have been older than five years old at the time,  We were shopping and I saw Keysone Kapers on the shelf.  It was one of my favorite games for the 2600, but the one at the store was in a shiny new 5200 box and it showed different graphics that weren't in the game that I had back home.  Dad patiently explained to an inconsolable young gamer that I already had this game, and that we didn't own a 5200.  This may have been the first time I wanted the latest port of one of my favorite games, but it wouldn't be the last.

AtariAge and the National Video Game Museum announced earlier today that the unfinished sequel to Keysone Kapers 2 has been discovered.  Activision programmer Dan Kitchen donated his brother's work to the museum, and some of the footage and facts about this lost game have been shared.  It was to be called Keysone Cannonball, and the video above shows Keystone Kelly presumably chasing Harry Hooligan to prevent a train heist.

If this news isn't cool enough, Dan shared on AtariAge that he is rewriting this game from scratch, and that a physical cartridge of this long lost game will be released by Tiki Vision Games.  He has a long history of fun games dating back to the dawn of the industry, including another of my Activision favorites, Crackpots.  I'm looking forward to playing this!

Jul 22, 2018

My Favorite Beer Vendor

Phillies vs. Padres (day game)
July 22, 2018
The Phils lost the day game 10 - 2, but the Phillies beer pirate makes everything a little better.

Jun 28, 2018

Have You Been To Zayre's Today

Zayre's commercial for Atari 2600 (1983)
When I was growing up, Zayre's was one of the anchor stores in my local mall.  The chain of stores was sold to Ames

This is technically a commercial for the store, but it sure feels like it's for Atari.  It begins with a mother and son looking through a store flyer.  For some reason, they used a photo of an Atari 400 computer in the ad, but it's labeled as the 2600.  They rush to the store and walk past about a hundred ColecoVision consoles only to find someone walking off with the last Atari 2600.  However, the kid is in luck.  A store employee is on his way with an armload of seven Vader consoles.  Why he didn't bring them out in a shopping cart, I don't know, but the kid yoinks one off of the top of the pile before heading home to play Defender with Dad.

Jun 18, 2018

Peace On Earth

Peace On Earth
Directed by Hugh Harman - MGM (1939)
One of the most important animated features was shown in theaters for the first time in 1939 - the dawn of the Second World War.  It imagines animals rebuilding the world after humanity had finally destroyed itself.  It remains as powerful today as it was almost 80 years ago.

Jun 15, 2018

The Tom Clan

My grandparents had this photo taken of my mother's side of the family 30 years ago.  It was in a frame in their house for most of my life.

May 8, 2018

Peaceful Sounds of Childhood

Art Garfunkel
Kirby Center - May 8, 2018
I've listened to Simon & Garfunkel since I was four years old playing mom's records while I colored in my bedroom.  They're one of my favorite groups and I've listened to them throughout my life.  While I never got to see both of them perform together, I'm extremely happy and thankful to have had the opportunity to see Mr. Art Garfunkel sing in Wilkes-Barre.

He sang a lot of the classic Simon & Garfunkel hits and told stories and read from his poetry book between songs.  My favorite moment was hearing him sing Bright Eyes, a song that I first heard in the cartoon adaptation of Watership Down.

It was a wonderful night and a great show.  I hope to see him again.

Apr 14, 2018

How Do You Buy Your Bananas

Bananas By The Each
Target - Wilkes-Barre, PA

Apr 13, 2018

You Make Your Own Luck

Chase Utley 2 run single
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers
April 13, 2018
In the twilight of his outstanding career, Dodgers second basemen Chase Utley scores two runs by bouncing a single off of the base that he has manned since 2003.

Apr 12, 2018

What Do You Do?

Well then.