Dec 3, 2004

I Never Smoked AstroTurf

Tug McGraw
1975 Hostess - Card #149
This baseball card that was cut off of a box of Hostess snack cakes is the first card that showed Tug McGraw in a Phillies uniform.  The late great closer was traded by the New York Mets to the Philadelphia Phillies thirty years ago today.  He would go on to pitch for the Phillies for the next ten years and become the hero who leapt off of the mound after recording the final out for the first World Series championship in franchise history.

Sports Illustrated  (July 8, 1974)

You could publish a book of Tug McGraw quotes, but my favorite one was first published in Sports Illustrated six months before the trade.  When he was asked by a reporter if he preferred natural grass or artificial turf, Tugger responded by saying "I don't know.  I never smoked AstroTurf."

Nov 21, 2004

Shipping Bodies From South America To Wilkes-Barre

The Dark Tower VII
Stephen King (2004)
So far, this has been an incredible conclusion to The Dark Tower saga.  It's nice to see Wilkes-Barre get some love on page 285.

Nov 16, 2004

The Star Of The Game

Philadelphia Eagles: 49
Dallas Cowboys: 2

I love this guy!

Nov 1, 2004

Christmas Cola

Pepsi Holiday Spice
This is a limited edition cinnamon cola that will be out for the Christmas season.  It's pretty good!

Oct 31, 2004

Pizza And A Halloween Movie

Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy DVD
Papa John's (2004)
They're giving away a free copy of the 1955 horror comedy Abbott and Costello meet The Mummy on DVD with the purchase of a large Spicy Italian pizza.  Apparently, you could also get both the pizza and the movie for free if you happen to be dating the daughter of a Papa John's employee, but they don't put that on the website.

The disc also includes the first episode of The Munsters.  It's called Munster Masquerade, and it originally aired on September 24, 1964.

In addition to the bonus episode, you also get a coupon for $5 off of the first season of The Munsters on DVD.  You can also use it towards several other box sets, including the first season of Northern Exposure, and the first and second season combination box set of one of my favorite shows, Sliders (which is probably what I'll end up using this for).

Oct 5, 2004

Respect For An Icon

Rodney Dangerfield
1921 - 2004
The world won't be the same without you.  Rest in peace, Mr. Dangerfield.

Sep 30, 2004

When You Think It's All Over, It's Not Over

Everybody Loves A Happy Ending
Tears For Fears (2004)
Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith have recorded an album together for the first time since The Seeds Of Love was released in 1989, and the result is this phenomenal record.  If you loved Tears For Fears in the 80's, you should definitely check out Everybody Loves A Happy Ending as soon as possible.

Sep 1, 2004

Illusion of Gaia Turns 10

Illusion of Gaia ad
Super Nintendo - Quintet (1994)
Ten years ago today, one of my favorite video games of all time was released for the Super NES.

Jul 29, 2004

Pop Pop at Myrtle Beach

Yamato Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar
Myrtle Beach, SC
I'm on vacation with my mom's side of the family in Myrtle Beach.  Mom, Uncle Kuuipo and Uncle Tony brought their campers down.  My Uncle Sumo flew in with Chantel from Utah, and my grandparents and other assorted cousins and family members made the trip with us or met us there.  We're staying at Pirateland.  It's an RV park that has nothing to do with pirates, but it has a private beach and a very awesome heated lazy river to float around in.

This photo was taken of me and my Pop Pop (my mother's dad) while we were waiting to be seated at Yamato's.  I've never had hibachi before this night.  The food was delicious, and they put on a very fun show.

Jul 26, 2004

Robin Visits The Sharks

Winning Legends scratch-off ticket
New Jersey Lottery (2004)
Phillies legend Robin Roberts is making an appearance at Campbell’s Field for tonight's game between the Camden Riversharks and the Pennsylvania Road Warriors.  Roberts will throw out the first pitch and sign autographs for fans as part of the promotion of a new New Jersey lottery scratch-off game called Winning Legends.  The ticket features Robin Roberts and fellow Phillies Hall Of Famers Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt.

Robin Roberts won't be the only former Phillie to be in attendance at tonight's game.  Kevin Jordan, who played for the Phillies from 1995-2001 is the Riversharks' starting second baseman.

UPDATE: The Riversharks defeated the Road Warriors 8-3.  This photo of Roberts was published in the Courier Post.  On a side note, the Road Warriors are a pretty interesting story.  They're a team in the Atlantic League that doesn't have a home stadium and is only activated to play in seasons when the league has an odd number of teams.

Jul 20, 2004

Jamie Madrox and Monoxide Child

Gathering Of The Juggalos
Nelson Ledges Quarry Park - Garrettsville, OH
I got to meet Twiztid at The Gathering this year.  I promise I'm not this short though - the booth was kind of small, so I had to squeeze in and crouch down for the photo.

Jul 19, 2004

2004 Gathering Of The Juggalos

Gathering Of The Juggalos
Nelson Ledges Quarry Park - Garrettsville, OH
The 2004 Gathering Of The Juggalos is in the books, and hey... look at that!  They spelled the name of the city right on this year's ticket!  I'm going to try to get a wrestling match list and concert setlist together for each of the nights at the Gathering, but I still haven't gotten last year's together... or the two years before that for that matter.

The special guest for the opening ceremony on Thursday night was Bone Thugs N Harmony.  It was supposed to be a secret, but pretty much everybody knew well in advance.  It didn't matter though because it was awesome to get to see such an iconic group perform live.

Friday night's lineup was WolfpacJumpsteadyAnybody Killa, DJ Swamp and Dark Lotus.  The crowd was extremely disrespectful to DJ Swamp and spent most of his set throwing shit at him, which is a damn shame because he's a talented dude and he was putting on a great show.  I got to meet him over the weekend and he was a hell of a nice guy, and he certainly deserved a hell of a lot better treatment than he got.  Dark Lotus was awesome as always, but it would have been a lot more awesome if the positive energy that we had for them was going for the whole night.

Saturday started off with Zug Izland.  Next up was Blaze Ya Dead Homie followed by Esham.  All three sets were great and went off without a hitch.  Things took a turn for the worse when Kurupt took the stage.  The crowd were just flat out brutal to that dude.  I don't know if they're just dead set on booing whoever performs before the headliner, of if they were annoyed that Kurupt kept randomly shouting out Cleveland.  Whatever the reason, the way he was treated was completely uncalled for.  He threw a mic into the crowd and stormed off stage just a few songs into his set, and quite frankly, I don't blame him a bit.  They're going to need to figure this shit out because it feels like they're just picking out special guest performers to give the Bubba Sparxxx treatment just for the sake of doing it and it's flat out lame.  Naturally the crowd was back to having fun when Twiztid closed out the night and they had a hell of a set, but If I'm being honest, I went to sleep on Saturday night feeling pretty ashamed to be associated with a lot of the people standing next to me in the pit.

Sunday night went a lot smoother.  Tech N9ne led off the night and Vanilla Ice was next.  Both are Juggalo favorites, so there was no issues expected, but next up was Ol' Dirty Bastard and there was some tension in the air.  He's a rapper who is not a member of Psychopathic Records, he's had mainstream success, and he was going on right before ICP... all of the elements that have led to some pretty shitty crowd behavior.  They gave ODB a glowing introduction before he took the stage.  I don't remember exactly what was said, but the subtext here was clear... they were pleading with the crowd to show some respect.  Look, I don't know a damn thing about rap or hip hop, but I know that ODB is a legend and that we were lucky to see him perform.  Thankfully, their words did not fall on deaf ears and ODB got through his full set with the crowd showing him the respect that he deserves.  Last but not least, the Insane Clown Posse closed out the show on Sunday night with an incredible set.

Don't take what I'm about to say the wrong way, but I think this is going to be my last Gathering for a while.  I first got into ICP in 1997 from their work in pro wrestling with ECW, WCW and WWF.  A few friends and I got to meet Violent J four years ago at the Comfort Inn in Hazleton.  He was a hell of a nice guy and spent an hour and a half chilling with us in the lobby at 2:00 am talking about life, music, movies, and an idea that he and Shaggy were working on for an event that became the annual Gathering Of The Juggalos.  I've made a lot of friends at the shows and have had a hell of a lot of fun, but money is tight these days and the drama between different factions of Juggalos has been getting on my nerves.  I started coming to these events to escape that kind of bullshit, not to see it played out with Faygo and clown paint.  I may end up changing my mind, but for right now, I think I'm going to need to back away from this scene for a little while and focus on other aspects of life.

Jul 14, 2004

Cinderella Slam

Cinderella Slam
Denny'sStreetsboro, OH
Yes, I ordered the special A Cinderella Story breakfast.  Yes, those are pink sugar sprinkles and whipped cream on my pancakes.  Don't judge me.

Headed To Garrettsville

The car is all packed up; ready to hit the road to the Gathering of the Juggalos.

Jun 30, 2004

It's A Mad House!

Twilight Zone on the Planet Of The Apes
The Forbidden Zone (2004)
The screenplay for Planet Of The Apes was co-written by legendary Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling.  In honor of Mr. Serling, the webmaster of an excellent Planet Of The Apes site called The Forbidden Zone has created a reimagining of the classic sci-fi film as an episode of The Twilight Zone.  The movie has been cut down to 25 minutes to fit the runtime of an episode, and the video was softened and turned to black and white to match the series.  It also contains the famous Twilight Zone intro and outro, as well as narrations from Rod Serling from episodes of the series that are oddly appropriate for Planet Of The Apes.

Click on the link above to check it out!

UPDATE: The video can now be found here.

Jun 28, 2004

To Whom The Bell Cycles

In the Phillies 14-6 win over the Montreal Expos this evening, David Bell hit for the cycle.  The Phillies third basemen is the second member of the Bell family to accomplish this feat.  His grandfather, Pirates right fielder Gus Bell, hit for the cycle 53 years ago in a game that took place on June 4th, 1951 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jun 19, 2004

The Owen Hart Memorial Show

WXW: The Owen Hart Memorial Show
American Legion Hall - Hazleton, PA
Owen Hart tragically died in the ring on May 23, 1999 at the WWF Over The Edge pay-per-view event.  Five years ago on June 19th 1999, World Xtreme Wrestling held a memorial show as a way to pay tribute to an incredibly talented man.

The photo above was taken before the start of the show following a moment of silence for Owen Hart.  Afa the Wild Samoan and members of his family took turns speaking to the crowd and sharing memories about Owen and how much he meant to them and to professional wrestling.  Standing next to him is his wife, Lynn Anoa'i, and his sons, Headshrinker Samu and Afa Jr.

The card included top talent who were wrestling across the indie scene at the time, including Doink The Clown, Devon Storm (who would go on to become Crowbar in WCW) and Headshrinker Samu.

UPDATE:  The wrestler who worked as Doink The Clown during this show was Ray Apollo, who was the second man to regularly work in the WWF as Doink after Matt Bourne separated from the promotion in December 1993.  He continued to wrestle in the WWF as Doink from 1994 to 1997 and in sporadic appearances, including the Gimmick Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 17.

UPDATE 2 (2/15/2006):  HC Loc would go on to work for ECW in its final days before becoming a member of the Ring Of Honor roster for their first show on February 23, 2002.  He and Tony DeVito formed a tag team called The Carnage Crew, and they held the ROH Tag Team Championship during the summer of 2005.

UPDATE 3 (4/28/2022):  Chris Hero began his wrestling career under the name of Wife Beater, and I wondered for years if he was one of the participants in the Tag Team Championship match at this show, or if it was just a coincidence and a local wrestler used the name because he wore a white tank top.  Earlier this month, I stumbled on an old scrapbook that I kept when I was 18 years old which reminded me of this, so I decided to reach out to the man himself to see if I could learn once and for all if this was him.

It's official - Chris Hero wrestled on The Owen Hart Memorial Show for WXW back in 1999.  I've been a big fan of his for many years.  I've been in attendance for a bunch of his matches with ROH, CZW and Chikara over the years, and I continued to follow his career on television when he wrestled under the name Kassius Ohno on NXT.  As luck would have it, he wrestled in my hometown, just a few blocks away from my house, at one of the first independent wrestling shows that I've ever attended.  Maybe I'm just a great big nerd, but I think that's pretty neat!

Mar 24, 2004

A Solo Double Feature

Dawn Of The Dead and Secret Window
Regal Cinemas - Hazleton, PA
No one else wanted to go see Dawn Of The Dead with me, so I figured "what the hell" and went to see it by myself.  I enjoyed the peace and quiet of being able to kick back and immerse myself in the story in solitude with a soda and a popcorn that I immediately bought a ticket to see something else as soon as the credits rolled.  The second half of this impromptu double feature was Secret Window.  I had never heard of it before and didn't even know what genre of movie it was, but the start time matched up with the end of Dawn Of The Dead, so I again figured "what the hell", and I'm very glad that I did.  For as much as I loved the remake of the George Romero zombie classic, I enjoyed Secret Window even more, and I've been craving buttered corn on the cob ever since.

Mar 8, 2004

Alive In The Superunknown

Soundgarden's fourth album, Superunknown, was released ten years ago today.  It was one of the first albums that I ever owned on CD, and one of my all-time favorites.  Not long after I got it, I bought the blacklight poster for the album from Spencer's in the Wyoming Valley Mall in Wilkes-Barre.  This was during a time in my life when I was living with my grandparents in West Hazleton and with my dad in South Florida, so my poster racked up quite a few frequent flier miles.

I was a freshman in high school when this photo was taken.  I'm the one without the fur (the dog is Bailey and the cat is Kiora).  At the time, I was living on Water Oak Court in Palm Beach Gardens with my dad and his girlfriend, Julie, and she was cool enough to let me hang my Soundgarden poster on the wall behind my bed.