Sep 16, 2018

Grrreat Pumpkin

Frosted Flakes: Pumpkin Spice
Between these and Pumpkin Spice Pop Tarts, I am all set for breakfast for the rest of the year.

Sep 11, 2018

Double Header (sort of)

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals
Double Header - Game One
It was estimated that only 500 fans were in attendance when Nick Pivetta threw his first pitch in the first game of the double header.  I'm happy to say that I was not one of them, as the Phillies would go on to lose both games.  For a team that was in first place at the All-Star Break, this is likely going to be remembered as the final nail in the coffin of our 2018 season.

Sep 8, 2018

Ozzy at Jones Beach

Stone Sour / Ozzy Osbourne
No More Tours 2
Jones Beach, NY - September 8, 2018
Photo Album
This was my second time seeing Ozzy, but this time we had VIP tickets that allowed us to enter the venue two hours early and listen to the sound check.  It also came with a swag bag that included Ozzy tarot cards and an Ozzy prayer candle.  Pretty awesome!

The show was incredible. It's amazing that Ozzy still sounds the same after all these years.  Stone Sour was also fantastic and performed a hell of a good set to open the show.

Sep 7, 2018

Reclaiming Mac Tonight

Mac Tonight
McDonalds (1987)
Two things that I have an appreciation for are clever advertising and things from my childhood in the 80's and 90's.  At the top of my list of things that I've always had warm, nostalgic feelings for is the McDonald's mascot Mac Tonight.

I can't really explain why, but I loved Mac Tonight when I was a kid.  He was much cooler than Ronald or any of the McDonald Land gang.  For a few years, he popped up everywhere.  He appeared at the Funfest parade in Hazleton.  There was a Mac Tonight commercial on my VHS tape of the pilot episode of Duck Tales.  There were Happy Meal toys, t-shirts and all sorts of other merchandise that featured the character, and I've spent the past 20 years collecting much of it.  I even managed to find a translite sign from the McDonalds menu boards.  In the late 90's, my grandfather and I built a light box for it that gives the image the 3-D effect that it had in the restaurant.  It's still hanging in my house to this day, and it's a cherished memory not only of a character from my childhood, but a fun project that I worked on with my Grandpa, many years before he passed away.

With all this said, it saddens me to learn that a parody version of this character has been used to promote racism.  The association it now has with horrible images and hate speech upsets me more than I could put into words in this blog.

When you see Mac Tonight on my little blog, please know that it has nothing whatsoever to do with anything negative.  It's a character that I've loved since I was six years old, and I'll be damned if I'm going to allow my happy memories of it to be overshadowed by horrible people saying horrible things.

Sep 4, 2018

Switch Arcade

Nyko Pixelquest Arcade Kit
Nintendo Switch
There have been a lot of awesome mini arcade games to hit stores recently, but this one may be the most interesting of them all.  The Pixelquest is a Labo-style cardboard kit to turn your Switch and two joycons into a retro arcade machine.  Amazon is offering pre-orders with a scheduled shipping date of November 27.

Sep 3, 2018

Anthem Of An Introvert

As he often did, Bill Watterson perfectly captured my thoughts and feelings with words and images.

Sep 2, 2018

No Play Jose

Jose Canseco
2001 Topps - Anaheim Angels
2002 Topps - Montreal Expos
Thirty-three years ago today, Jose Canseco made his major league debut for the Oakland A's.  Throughout most of my childhood in the 80's and early 90's, he was one of the players that was universally loved.  When we bought a pack of baseball cards at Pantry Quick, Canseco was one of the players we were hoping to find inside.

Personally, I feel that his decision to blow the whistle on the steroid culture of the game has been a service to the game and its fans, but I recognize that I'm in the minority.  Canseco is far from being universally loved these days, even from fans and sportswriters who are all to eager to forgive other steroid users when the Hall of Fame ballots are passed out.  However, even his most vocal critics have to admit that his career was not boring.  Take, for example, these two baseball cards.

On the surface, there's nothing remarkable about either of these cards.  They're not rare or especially valuable.  They're interesting in that Jose Canseco never appeared in a major league game for either the Angels or Expos in his career.  He was cut from the Angels during Spring Training and split the 2001 season between the Newark Bears and Chicago White Sox, and he was cut by the Expos before Opening Day in 2002 before returning to the White Sox organization, appearing in 18 games for the Charlotte Knights.  In both cases, the cards were produced and waiting to be found in packs before the start of the season.

These aren't the only examples of players appearing on cards for teams that they never played for, but there can't be too many who have done so for two seasons in a row.  Dime Boxes, a fantastic blog that highlights the fun of baseball card collecting, has a section called The Zero-Year Club that covers cards like these.  It's a great way to enjoy the hobby without breaking the bank.

Sep 1, 2018

All In

All In
Chicago, IL
Tonight, Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks show that professional wrestling is not controlled by a single company.  All In has been funded by the wrestlers themselves, and it's the first non-WWF/E or WCW show to draw 10,000 in attendance in over 25 years.

Aug 31, 2018

Retro Multimedia

Random Photos From Childhood
This is my bedroom in Hazleton when I was a kid.  I spent a lot of time back then playing my mother's records and 8-tracks, discovering a love of music.  The cassette recorder was used mostly to record my family talking (usually without their knowledge), or to hold up to the tv to record episodes of Scooby Doo to listen to later on when I was coloring.

Some of my stuffed animals are hiding around here as well, including two little Pound Puppies on the top of the television, and a Lotsa Leggs on the left stereo speaker.  I think that might be Paddington Bear on the right hand side of the tv behind the cassette recorder.

Aug 30, 2018

No More Tours

Stone Sour / Ozzy Osbourne
No More Tours 2
Allentown, PA - August 30, 2018
Photo Album
Ozzy returned to the United States for his second (and potentially final) farewell tour by performing an incredible show at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA.  I was lucky enough to get to see the show, and it's fair to say that the Prince of Darkness hasn't missed a step.

Stone Sour opened the show with an awesome and energetic set, followed by Ozzy performing a cross-section of his remarkable career.