Apr 19, 2019

Aladdin's Castle Custom Cabinet


Aladdin's Castle Arcade Cabinet
Rob Gillim‎, the owner of Gillim's Computer Service in Kentucky, recently shared this photo of his custom-built Mame cabinet themed after the Aladdin's Castle arcade chain.  In addition to the woodgrain panels, the lighted marquee and the attract mode screen, he's also modified the coin mechanism to accept original Aladdin's Castle tokens.

This is exactly what I hope to build one day.

Apr 15, 2019

Vincent, You Ever Had A Big Kahuna Burger?


Big Kahuna Sandwich
Arby's (2019)
Two pieces of advice for the marketing team handling the Arby's account:
  1. Convince the restaurant to make this a seasonal sandwich; Arby's version of the McRib.
  2. Pay Samuel L. Jackson whatever he wants to appear in the commercial.
This very large sandwich is made up of crispy chicken, beef brisket and smoked ham.  The meats are served on a King's Hawaiian bun and are topped with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and pineapple habanero sauce.  Very tasty and filling.

Apr 14, 2019

The Return Of Mister Donut (sort of)


Dunkin' Donuts (2019)
The menu monitors at Dunkin' Donuts are doing this thing where they cycle through all of their previous company logos.  I suppose it's done in an effort to try to get us to accept that they're removing "Donuts" from the name of the restaurant and re-branding themselves as "Dunkin".  I'm not sure what they hope to accomplish with that move, but it was nice to see the old Mister Donut logo.

Apr 13, 2019

Gators and Beer


Taming Of The Brew
Caldwell Consistory - Bloomsburg, PA
They didn't have as much food as last year, but it was good.  The highlight was the Louisiana Alligator and Andouille Sausage Chowder from the Turkey Hill Brewing Company (no relationship to the convenience store, iced tea or ice cream company).

Apr 12, 2019

First Round Outfield


Cornelius RandolphMickey Moniak and Adam Haseley
Reading Fightin Phils (2019)
The Double A affiliate of the Phillies has a starting outfield comprised of three first round draft picks: Cornelius Randolph was the 10th overall pick in the 2015 draft, Mickey Moniak was the first overall pick in the 2016 draft, and Adam Haseley was the 8th overall pick in the 2017 draft (photo by David Swanson - Philadelphia Inquirer).


Apr 11, 2019

I Ain't Afraid Of No Board Game


The Real Ghostbusters board game
Milton Bradley (1986)
I was looking through old photos that I took when I was a kid and came across these shots of The Real Ghostbusters board game.  They're not very clear, but I tried to piece them together as best I could.

Apr 7, 2019

Gabba Gabba Hey Of The Dead


Erick Rowan
Wrestlemania 35 - East Rutherford, NJ
Former tag team champion Erick Rowan has been wearing heavy metal shirts on WWE programming over the past few weeks.  He saved the best one for tonight - a mashup of The Ramones and the films of George Romero.  It's available from the creator on TeePublic.

Apr 6, 2019

Hall of Fame Haircuts


Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake
WWE Hall of Fame: Class of 2019
My earliest memory of professional wrestling was when I was five years old.  I was sitting on my dad's lap while he was watching Saturday Night's Main Event.  I had my head turned toward my dad and was watching the reflection of the television in the reflection of his glasses.  The Dream Team was in the ring with their manager, Johnny Valiant.  I asked what the guy's name on the screen was, and dad told me that it was Brutus Beefcake.  This was years before "The Barber" gimmick when he was still a heel.

There are few things that have stayed with me for my entire life, but professional wrestling is one of those things, and it all started with that one moment with my dad back in 1985 watching Brutus Beefcake in the ring.  Thank you, Barber, and congratulations on being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Apr 5, 2019

Smells Like Space Invaders


Kurt Cobain playing Atari 2600
Montage Of Heck (2015)
It was 25 years ago today that Kurt Cobain died.  In this photo from the Montage of Heck documentary, a very young man who would become the reluctant icon of grunge rock plays on a console that would become the icon of classic gaming.

Apr 4, 2019

Goes Well With A Glass Of Melodic Milk


Harmonious Ham
Pierre Signatures
It was pretty decent for a vending machine sandwich.

Apr 3, 2019

Citizens Bank Park South


Nationals Park
April 2, 2019
Bryce Harper and the Phillies made their way to Washington DC last night, but they didn't come alone.  Busloads of fans from the City of Brotherly Love, not to mention countless fans who made the drive themselves, invaded the right field stands for Harper's first game against his old team.

The fans turned the place into Citizens Bank Park South, and the team made sure those fans went home happy.  Our 24 year old fourth starter Zach Eflin outdueled three time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, striking out nine batters in five innings.  Bryce Harper also silenced the fans of his former club, going 3-5 with a single, a double and an absolute moon shot of a home run in the 8th inning en route to an 8 - 2 victory.

The loyal Nationals "fans" who are still crying over Bryce leaving their city showed their true colors when they exited the ballpark in droves in the bottom of the 6th inning.  Hey guys... if you can't stay to support your team, don't be surprised when the face of your franchise signs to play for a team with fans who actually give a damn about the game.

Apr 2, 2019

Happy Birthday, Dad


Pop turned sixty today.  Where does the time go?

Apr 1, 2019

Peachy Potty


Beercade
Maple Street - Omaha, NE
I'm not sure if I could do my business with Princess Peach staring at me.

Mar 31, 2019

This Watch Is Bonkers


Bonkers Candy
Robot Watch comic book ad
Nabisco (1986)

Mar 30, 2019

The Oath


The Drive-In Oath
Joe Bob Briggs
The return of The Last Drive-In on Shudder begins with a clip of Joe Bob taking the stage on July 25th, 1985 and leading the audience in reciting The Oath.  The movies for the first week are C.H.U.D. and Castle Freak, which make a perfect double feature for horror fans.  Barbara Crampton is on the set with Joe Bob for the second movie, and while she takes herself way too seriously, she can't cramp our style.  The drive-in will never die.

Mar 29, 2019

An Impossible Lunch At The Ballpark


A cheesesteak with a bucket of crabfries and a lemonade are my go-to dinner at the ballpark.  I look forward to it every year.  However, this year's Opening Day meal had an impossible twist.
The Roots co-frontman Questlove launched a meatless cheesesteak at the ballpark. Questlove's Cheesesteak is made with Impossible Meat 2.0, a vegetarian meat substitute.  The plant-based "meat" is topped with onions, peppers and cheese served on an amoroso roll.

What Questlove lacks in throwing out opening day pitches, he makes up for in creating unusual cheesesteaks.  It's not going to change your life (unless you're a vegetarian), but it does taste like a cheesesteak.  It's not something I'd go out of my way for, particularly at a ballpark where you can't throw a rock without hitting six places that serve cheesesteak, but this is a solid choice if you want to avoid eating meat.

Mar 28, 2019

Opening Day 2019


Opening Day
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies
Citizen Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Pitching: Julio Teheran vs. Aaron Nola
Results: Phillies defeated Braves, 10-4
Photo Gallery

It's been ten years since my first Opening Day.  It's a very different team than it was back in 2009, but the energy at Citizen's Bank Park is back.  One of the reasons why is this dude - right fielder Bryce Harper.  We scouted out a place near Chickie's & Pete's at the edge of Ashburn Alley to greet the players at the Leadoff Walk.  It's sort of like a mini parade where the players high five and fist bump the fans as the walk down Ashburn Alley and to the field.  That's where I took this photo of Bryce and where I got to fist bump him before his first game as a member of the Phillies.

Opening Day was a day of Phillies firsts.  It was the first game in a Phillies uniform for Harper, center fielder Andrew McCutchen, catcher J.T. Realmuto, shortstop Jean Segura and relief pitcher David Robertson.  On the other side, it was the first appearance of third baseman Josh Donaldson as a member of the Braves.

The Phillies got off to a great start.  Andrew McCutchen led off the game with a solo homer in his first at-bat as a member of the Phillies.  Aaron Nola had a rough 2nd inning giving up a single and three walks, but he limited the damage to one run, an RBI single by Nick Markakis that scored Ronald Acuna (Markakis was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double).  The Phillies took the lead again in the bottom of the 4th when J.T. Realmuto walked and both Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez followed with RBI singles.  The Phillies added to their lead in the bottom of the 6th when Maikel Franco hit a three run homer off of Shane Carle to score Rhys Hoskins and Cesar Hernandez.  The Braves fought back in the top of the 7th when pinch hitter Matt Joyce hit a two run homer off of Hector Neris, but the Phillies did more damage in the bottom half of the inning.  It began when Andrew McCutchen walked and Jean Segura singled.  The runners advanced to 2nd and 3rd on a throwing error, and the Braves responded with the dumbest intentional walk I have ever seen, putting Bryce Harper on first to face Rhys Hoskins with the bases loaded and no outs.  On the second pitch of the at bat, Hoskins hit his first career grand slam.  The Braves scratched out one last run in the top of the 8th when Ronald Acuna hit an RBI single off of David Robertson to score Josh Donaldson, but he got out of the inning, and Pat Neshek pitched a scoreless 9th for the 10 - 4 Phillies victory.


Mar 27, 2019

Pilot A Starship For Your Birthday


Aladdin's Castle
Birthday party flyer (1983)
I had two birthday parties at Aladdin's Castle when I was a kid, and both of them were a blast.  The one in the Laurel Mall in Hazleton had Discs Of Tron, but they didn't have the full immersive cabinet that's pictured at the bottom right corner of this flyer.

Mar 26, 2019

Ahead Of His Time and Gone Too Soon


Ranking Roger passed away earlier today at 56 after a battle with lung cancer and brain tumors.  The brilliant British singer of The Beat and General Public was decades ahead of his time with music that fused ska, punk and new wave in the late 70's and throughout the 80's and 90's.

I was lucky enough to see him perform with The Beat on the Retro Futura tour in 2017 and I was absolutely blown away by his energy and the passion of his performance that continued to shine many years after he first took the stage with music that had become part of the soundtrack of my life.

Rest in peace, sir, and thank you.

Mar 25, 2019

All The Phils?


Sports Illustrated
March 25th to April 1st issue
I'm very happy to see the Phillies on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  While I'm not at all surprised that 2015 NL MVP Bryce Harper is front and center, I am quite surprised and disappointed that 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen has been left off altogether.

Mar 24, 2019

Larry Cohen


Larry Cohen died yesterday at his home in California.  He wrote and directed numerous cult classic horror flicks, including It's Alive and The Stuff.  Depending on which press release you believe, he was either 77 or 82 years old.

Mar 23, 2019

Console Of A Madman


Mike Gedeon has owned and operated the Video Game Connection store in Cleveland for over twenty years.  He shared this incredible Polaroid of his Atari setup, complete with an Ozzy poster, from the early 80's.

Mar 22, 2019

Major League Memories


1992 Spring Training
New York Mets at Atlanta Braves
Municipal Stadium - West Palm Beach, FL
March 22, 1992
My dad brought me to my very first major league game 27 years ago today.  It was a Spring Training game between the defending National League Champion Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets in West Palm Beach.

The Mets picked up four superstars in the winter before the 1992 season.  They signed right fielder Bobby Bonilla to a five year contract that made him the highest paid player in the game at the time.  The also signed future Hall of Famer Eddie Murray to play first base, and six time All-Star Willie Randolph in what would be the final season of his playing career.  Unfortunately, none of these three players appeared in the game; however the fourth and arguably best off-season acquisition was the ace who started the game.  On December 11th, 1991, the Mets traded Gregg Jefferies, Kevin McReynolds and Keith Miller to the Kansas City Royals for two time Cy Young Award winner and former World Series MVP Bret Saberhagen.

The Braves were coming off of a historic "worst to first" season in which they narrowly lost the 1991 World Series to the Minnesota Twins.  I was eleven years old and '91 was the first World Series that I watched every game of, so I was excited to see the players that I watched in the Fall Classic just a few months earlier.  Among the Braves lineup for this game were the 1991 NL MVP Terry Pendleton, and an outfield made up of 1990 Rookie Of The Year David Justice, two-sport phenom "Neon" Deion Sanders, and back-to-back 30/30 man Ron Gant.  Gant would go on to play for the Phillies from 1999 - 2000.  Lonnie Smith was another Braves outfielder with ties to the Phillies who would appear in this game.  He came into the game as a pinch hitter, and in so doing, he became the only player from the 1980 World Series Champion Phillies that I ever got to see play in a game that I attended.

Pete Smith was the starting pitcher for the Braves.  He was originally drafted by the Phillies in 1984.  Prior to the 1986 season, The Phillies traded Smith and catcher Ozzie Virgil to the Braves for Steve Bedrosian and Milt Thompson - a trade that the Fightin's definitely got the better end of.

The Mets beat up on Pete Smith and reliever Mike Stanton in the first six innings of the game en route to a 9 - 3 victory.  Kevin Elster went 3-5 and narrowly missed a home run.  Vince Coleman hit a double and scored two runs.  Howard Johnson went 1-3 with two RBI.  Todd Hundley went 2-4 with an RBI.  Hell, even Saberhagen managed to get a hit and an RBI.  Kent Mercker came in in relief in the 7th and he and closer Alejandro Pena combined to hold the Mets to one hit and no runs for the final three innings of the game.  Meanwhile, Saberhagen did a good job keeping Atlanta in check. The Braves managed to score three runs: Deion Sanders hit an RBI triple, Mark Lemke went 2-4 with an RBI, and a very young Vinny Castilla got a single and an RBI in his only at bat after replacing Jeff Blauser at shortstop late in the game.

An interesting side note to this game is that it included three pitchers who were involved in a no-hitter in the 1991 season.  As the ace of the Royals rotation, Bret Saberhagen no-hit the White Sox on August 26th.  Just over two weeks later, Kent Mercker and Alejandro Pena (along with Mark Wohlers) pitched a combined no-hitter against the Padres.

One of the main things I'll always remember about this game was the rain.  The game was being televised on TBS.  We sat in the left field bleachers with a group of fans who all worked for the same company and all had matching umbrellas with their company logo that they were hoping to get on tv.  When it started raining, these folks gave Dad and I an umbrella to stay dry.  It wasn't a torrential downpour and there were no delays, but it rained steadily throughout most of the game.  The folks with the matching umbrellas left at around the 5th inning, and the guy who gave us the umbrella must have felt bad for us because he let us keep it.  Actually, everybody in our row left early because of the rain, except for Dad and I who sat through the whole game like a couple of yutzes.  Years later, Dad said that we would have left early too, but he didn't want to go because it was my first Major League game.  He's a pretty awesome Dad.

Mar 21, 2019

Thank You Ichiro


Ichiro Suzuki - Last Time At Bat
Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics
One of the greatest ballplayers of all time played his last game earlier today at the Tokyo Dome in Japan.  Professional baseball's true hit king ends his career with 3,089 MLB hits and 4,367 hits combined across MLB and NPB.