Dec 13, 2018

Chicken Roasting On An Open Fire

Colonel Sanders 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog
Kentucky Fried Chicken / Enviro-Log
For $18.99, you can purchase a fireplace log that will make your house smell like fried chicken for up to three hours.  Since they took out the trans fats, the smell is the best part of KFC, so it's worth a look.

Dec 8, 2018

Winter of 1955

Broad Street (1955)
Hazleton, PA
This photo was published in the Standard Speaker after a snowstorm.  The Rosen's store is where the Salvation Army Thrift Store is today.

Dec 7, 2018

Phillies New Logo

I was twelve years old the last time the Phillies changed their logo.  Earlier today, the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizen's Bank Park revealed on Twitter that the team logo is changing prior to the start of the 2019 season.

Dec 3, 2018

Goodbye to Carl and Carlos

Earlier today, the Phillies finalized a trade that sent J.P. Crawford and Carlos Santana to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for All-Star shortstop Jean Segura and relief pitchers Juan Nicasio and James Pazos.

I always liked Crawford, but his success above AA has been very limited.  He's still a lottery ticket, and a questionable one.  Frankly, even if everything goes perfect for Crawford from this point forward, he might hopefully become what Jean Segura already is.  The fact that Segura is signed through the end of the 2022 season makes this a win even if he was the only thing we got back.

Santana is another player I really liked, and after seeing the Phillies move him to 3B at the end of the 2018 season, I had high hopes of seeing him stick there with Hoskins moved back to 1B where he belongs.  Hoskins was the worst defensive player in all of baseball in LF because he simply doesn't belong there.  He's a first baseman.  He was displaced by Tommy Joseph when he first came up, and he was displaced by the free agent signing of Santana in 2018.  It's a damn shame that there's no DH in the National League.  It's crippled the Phillies before.  Imagine a Phillies team from 2005 - 2007 with Thome as the DH.  A lineup of Rollins, Utley, Howard, Thome and Burrell might have turned the 2007 NL East crown to a World Championship.

The addition of two quality relief pitchers make trade even better.  Juan Nicasio returns to the Phillies after spending five days with the Phillies in 2017.  James Pazos is a much needed quality lefty out of the bullpen  So, in one trade, the Phillies added two key bullpen pieces, installed a massive upgrade at shortstop over the next four seasons, eliminated a huge defensive hole in LF with Hoskins returning to 1B (regardless of who plays the position), and making this a better team in both the short and long term.

Nice job, Mr. Klentak.

Nov 29, 2018

Just Can't Get Enough

Deep Fried Turkey BLT
Arby's - Pittston, PA
Since Thanksgiving, I've had several turkey dinners, turkey pot pie, and now an Arby's Deep Fried Turkey BLT sandwich.  It was pretty tasty, but as much as I love turkey, I think I've got to find something else to eat this weekend.

Nov 28, 2018

Back In Burgertime

Intellivision sticker
Burgertime (1983)
This sticker was shared by Norman Pelz on Intellivision Invasion.

Nov 27, 2018

Reindeer Head Games

I'm glad that I'm not the only one to have picked up on this.

Nov 26, 2018

Dinosaurs On A Dinosaur

Microsoft Dinosaurs (1993)
Long before the days of X-Box, Microsoft gave us an interactive CD Rom game that was years ahead of its time.  It included over 1,000 images, hundreds of articles, audio and video clips of dinosaurs.  This photo shows it playing on a Gateway 2000 486 PC.  [photo source: LaserSauce Archives]

Nov 25, 2018

Joey Bats Beetle

Sicoderus Bautistai
Entomologist Bob Anderson of the Canadian Museum of Nature has discovered a new species of weevil and has named it after Phillies outfielder José Bautista.

Anderson is a Blue Jays fan who has named over a hundred different species of weevil in his career.  He was inspired by Bautista's 2015 ALDS home run off of Rangers pitcher Sam Dyson that sent the Blue Jays to their first ALCS since 1993 (when they went on to beat the Phillies in the World Series).

Nov 24, 2018

Schweitzersgiving 2018

Turkey dinner with all the trimmings, pumpkin pie, ice cold Sprite, Christmas tree, and a Joe Bob horror movie marathon.  It's been a perfect Thanksgiving weekend.

Nov 23, 2018

Black Friday Memories

K-Mart (1988).
I worked for the electronics department of a K-Mart on Black Friday nine years after this ad was published.  It was pure insanity.  I remember that the special item that year was a big screen television which we sold out of in about three minutes.

Nov 22, 2018

Dinners Of Death

Dinners Of Death
Hosted by Joe Bob Briggs
Tonight at 9:00 pm, the live stream of Dinners of Death with Joe Bob Briggs will begin streaming on Shudder.  I've been looking forward to this ever since I first learned about it.

Nov 20, 2018

Aiwa Mega CD

Aiwa Mega CD (1994)
aka: Sega CSD-GM1
One of the rarest Sega consoles is also one of the coolest.  Released only in Japan, the Aiwa Mega CD boombox had a cartridge port for Sega Mega Drive games below the cassette deck.  The CD drive plays music and Sega CD games.

Nov 18, 2018

Psychedelic Pinball Park

The World of Sid and Marty Krofft
Atlanta, GA (1976)
This theme park was only open for about six months before it went out of business.  It included a dark ride in which you sat inside of a pinball and ricocheted through the inside of a giant pinball machine.

Nov 17, 2018

Seven Year Old 7-Up

I spend a little time cleaning out the kitchen cupboards today and I came across this bottle of 7-Up Citrus Marinade that got pushed all the way to the back.  It expired on October 7th, 2011.

Nov 16, 2018

Games, Undies and Toilet Paper

Target ad (1990)
Put a coupon for Doritos and Pepsi on the cover and you have all you need for the weekend.

Nov 11, 2018

MJ, MJ and Macaulay

Three Icons of my Childhood
Michael Jackson's "Black or White" was released 27 years ago today.  It was an iconic song that defined the transition from the 80's to the 90's that has been senselessly mocked in the years that followed.  This photo, of Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson and a Reebok Pumps-wearing Macaulay Culkin was said to have been taken backstage during the shooting of the Black or White music video.

Nov 8, 2018

Nov 7, 2018

The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday

The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday (1988)
Trey Anastasio
I have a terrible habit of putting things off, and I don't even mean work or responsibilities - I mean everything.  I have movies that I meant to watch, albums that I've meant to listen to, books that I've meant to read and video games I've meant to play that number in the thousands - things I have put off for not just weeks or months, but years and decades.  Part of this is that I'm extremely forgetful and I just don't think of it when I have the time, and part of it is that I'm very easily distracted, so it's hard to pay attention when I do finally settle in to check something off of my list.  Eh, I''m a mess.

With that in mind, people who were familiar with my taste in music have recommended Phish to me when I was in high school, which was over 20 years ago.  At some point in the past decade, I made a playlist on my iPod to check out some of their stuff, which was promptly forgotten.  Earlier today at work, I stumbled on it and decided to give it a listen.  Included in this was The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday - an incredibly creative concept album that completely blew me away.

In the ten minutes of research I've done, I've learned that this was Trey Anastasio's senior project when he was working towards a bachelor degree at Goddard College.  It's a story that includes songs broken by spoken narrative segments.

The story may seem a little silly on the surface, but there's a lot going on here.  My take is that it's about acceptance of a dark reality and adaptation to that reality.  Throughout human history, we have had kings, politicians, cult leaders and clergy who have adapted to the vulnerabilities of their fellow man and who use the gods and mythologies of their era to help themselves at the expense of others.  It's the dark side of evolution: for every creature that adapts and thrives, it does so at the expense of those who do not.  The frog who has evolved to have poisonous skin thrives and passes those traits onto their offspring with no regard for those who have no such protection, or for who their poison skin comes into contact with.  The story presents this in the framework of "good" and "evil", and that "evil" is essentially just an acceptance that someone or something is going to seize power at the expense of others, and it might as well be you.  The trick is to surrender to the flow.

Nov 6, 2018

The Ultimate Arcade Sign

Aladdin's Castle Lighted Sign
I stumbled across this awesome sign on eBay.  The seller listed it as being used in the arcades in the 90's.  If I ever managed to put together a home arcade, I'd love to have something like this hanging on the wall, but it's a little too rich for me at almost two grand.

Nov 5, 2018

Crystal Pepsi Float

Right now, I'm not looking at the calories.  This was made with two big scoops of Turkey Hill Homemade Vanilla ice cream and roughly 10 oz. of Crystal Pepsi.

Nov 4, 2018

Can You Milk A Bull?

Farmers Dairy (1984)
Rt. 309 - Hazleton, PA
Farmer's Dairy Store & Ice Cream Shop opened in 1943 and was a Hazleton landmark for over fifty years.  It was across the street from Genetti's Best Western at the intersection of Church Street and 32nd Street in Hazleton.  When I was a kid, my grandfather brought me here for banana splits.  I remember that they were served in blue plastic boats, and they were very yummy.  I know that they served other food too, but all I ever had there was ice cream.

The restaurant closed in October 1995.  The building is still standing and is now home to Antonio's Breakfast World, but this sign was torn down not long after the Farmers Dairy restaurant closed.

Nov 3, 2018