Dec 31, 2006

Ghosts Of New Years Past

New Years Eve - 1956
Times Square - New York, NY
Happy New Year from fifty years in the past.

Dec 25, 2006

Christmas Traditions

My family always has seafood for dinner on Christmas Eve.  For most of my childhood, my Grandpa and I would pick it up at Long John Silvers, but in recent years, Grandma made her own.  This year, she tried to do the Feast Of The Seven Fishes, complete with homemade crabcakes.

For Christmas Day, Grandma makes a lasagna that's packed full of mozzarella and rigot cheese.  I'm pretty sure the rigot (which she pronounces "row-goo-t") is ricotta, but she swears that it's different.  Whatever you call the cheese, the lasagna is delicious!

Dec 24, 2006

Christmas Manger

My grandmother has been putting out this manger every December since the 1960's.  In recent years, she has put an old Christmas tree skirt over the orange hassock in the parlor and set it up there.  She and my grandfather always go overboard with presents, so they're laid out in piles around the parlor until Christmas Eve.

Dec 23, 2006

Tetrabrachius Santa's Got His Hands Full

Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine
January, 1956
Cover artwork by Ed Emshwiller.  I especially love the book "How To Manage Reindeer In Space".

Dec 22, 2006

Interstellar Stop For Cookies And Milk

Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine
December, 1951
Cover artwork by Ed Emshwiller.  Check out that tentacle-like Christmas tree!

Dec 21, 2006

Community Bulletin

This channel has been broadcasting on Service Electric Cablevision in for as long as I've been alive.  The screen changes every ten seconds or so and has announcements about church fundraisers and other community events with the occasional advertisement about what pay-per-view movies and shows are available to purchase.  Local radio plays on audio, and because it's all Christmas music this time of year, it's not uncommon to see a home in Hazleton that has this channel on in the background just for the music.

Dec 20, 2006

Space Carols

Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine
December, 1953
Cover artwork by Ed Emshwiller.  I'd like to believe that they're singing "What Can You Get A Wookiee For Christmas".

Dec 7, 2006

Big Kitty

Gendo is a pretty husky cat.  He's also one of the sweetest animals I have ever known.  When we rescued him from the animal shelter, he was very thin and had a persistent cough like he was trying to get a hairball up.  The vet put him on prednisone which cleared up his breathing problems, but also caused him to gain a lot of weight.  Today, he's a healthy, happy cat who likes to lay on my grandmother's kitchen table.

Nov 24, 2006

Grandma's Pumpkin Pie

This is the recipe that my grandmother based her pumpkin pie off of.  It's from the inside of a Carnation Evaporated Milk can label from the 1960's.

Nov 23, 2006

Nov 10, 2006

Pac Lottery

Pac-Man Instant Ticket
Pennsylvania Lottery (2006)
If you get this ticket, you really should scratch it off with a quarter, preferably in an arcade.  It's good luck.

Oct 15, 2006

Sep 16, 2006

Baby Alex

This is my mother's new puppy, Alex.

Sep 3, 2006

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Capriotti's Banquet Hall
Maple Street - Tresckow, PA
I had a very nice Sunday morning breakfast with the family today.  It was very good.  I hope that we get to come back here sometime.

Aug 15, 2006

Stick Figure Ninjas

The Xiao Xiao stick figure ninjas have been online for as long as I can remember, but it never gets old.  Episode 3 is my favorite.

Aug 7, 2006

Guardian Of The Snack Cakes

If you told me when I was a kid that my grandmother would one day allow a cat to lay on her kitchen table, I would have said you're crazy, but here he sits with his supper dish right next to the Maple Creme Pies.

Jul 23, 2006

The Evil Clown Of Middletown

Calico - The Evil Clown Of Middletown
Circus Liquors - Middletown, NJ
We took a road trip through New Jersey last month.  It started with a visit to the Quick Stop and RST Video from Clerks, and Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash comic book shop.  After that, the rest of the trip was guided by the Weird New Jersey book.  One attraction from the book that we saw and photographed was not far from Quick Stop: The Evil Clown Of Middletown.

The 20+ foot tall clown has a name: Calico.  He began his life in 1956 as an advertisement for the Food Circus grocery store that was once in operation across from the parking lot that he has stood watch over for the past 50 years.  The store has since become Circus Liquors.

Although seeing the clown wasn't meant to be a part of the Kevin Smith Askewniverse pilgrimage, that's what it ended up being in retrospect.  Clerks 2 opened in theaters across the country last night, and I was happy to see Calico featured for a few seconds in the opening scene of Dante and Randal driving to work.

Jul 7, 2006

The Wisdom of Satchel Paige

Satchel Paige was born 100 years ago today.  He became one of the hardest throwing pitchers in the history of the game, and the man that Joe DiMaggio called the best pitcher he ever faced.  Click here for more.

Jun 22, 2006


Ring of Honor Wrestling
New Yorker Hotel - New York, NY
This photo was taken on June 17th before the show.  In the latest match of the ongoing ROH vs CZW war, Homicide wrestled Chris Hero.

Jun 21, 2006

The Briscoe Brothers

Ring of Honor Wrestling
New Yorker Hotel - New York, NY
This photo was taken on June 17th before the show.  The Briscoe Brothers (Mark and Jay) fought Jason Blade and "Sterling" James Keenan in the opening match of the main show.

Jun 20, 2006

"Classic" Colt Cabana

Ring of Honor Wrestling
New Yorker Hotel - New York, NY
This photo was taken on June 17th before the show.  Colt Cabana teamed with Nigel McGuinness to wrestle Generation Next (Austin Aries and Roderick Strong) for the ROH Tag Team Championship.

Jun 19, 2006

Nigel McGuinness

Ring of Honor Wrestling
New Yorker Hotel - New York, NY
This photo was taken on June 17th after the show.  Nigel McGuinness is the ROH Pure Wrestling Champion, but yesterday, he teamed with Colt Cabana to wrestle Generation Next (Austin Aries and Roderick Strong) for the ROH Tag Team Championship.

Jun 11, 2006

Man, I Hate It When I Can't Rent Videos!

RST Video
Leonardo Ave - Leonardo, NJ
Sadly, RST Video was closed when we got here.  It doesn't look like it's out of business though.  A peek through the windows shows shelves of movies and cash registers at the front counter.  There was also quite a large selection of previously viewed VHS tapes for sale.  Had they been open, I definitely would have added a few of them to my home video library.

These photos were taken from the front window.  You can see a copy of Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back on DVD sitting on the windowsill.  There's also a sign by the register warning of a $3.50 charge if you are late returning a new release.
This is the view from the window on the front door showing the wall of previously viewed tapes that were for sale.  I would have searched through for Navy Seals for as long as it took to find it.  Those copies of Dick Tracy, Die Hard and Rocky & Bullwinkle would have come home with me too.

Jun 10, 2006

I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today

Quick Stop Groceries
Leonardo Ave - Leonardo, NJ
Took a road trip through New Jersey this weekend.  The first stop was Quick Stop and RST Video where Kevin Smith filmed Clerks.  If you didn't see the film, Quick Stop wouldn't seem different from any other small convenience store that you've been to.  Thankfully, they were not out of Gatorade.

The clerk took my ridiculous overreaction to his workplace in good stride, no doubt used to nerds like me showing up to take photos.  There was no merchandise or signs that referenced the movie, but if you have seen it, you will recognize each of these locations.

The Quick Stop sign just under the roof where Dante and Randal play hockey.
There's a mysterious door between Quick Stop and RST Video that is labeled 58A.
The shutters were up.  They must have gotten out the gum that was jammed in the locks.
The coffee station is on the right hand size when you walk in. There is a sign warning you to not scratch lottery tickets here.
They sell Archie comics!  Now I can see if the Mr. Weatherbee rumors are true.
The birthplace of Salsa Shark.
The search for the perfect dozen continues.
If you look above the register, you'll see a Jay and Silent Bob bumper sticker.  It's the only Askewniverse ephemera here.
The fine must have gone up.  Dante only got a $500 fine for selling cigarettes to a four year old.

May 29, 2006

Knoebels Arcade Machines

Click here to enlarge
Playland Arcade at Knoebels Amusement Resort - Elysburg, PA

May 28, 2006

Naptime at Knoebels

I have no idea who this is or why he is laying in this position with his foot in a bag, his hand in his pocket and a hat over his face, but this is one of my favorite photos that I've ever taken.

1001 Nacht

Click here to enlarge
Artwork from the 1001 Nacht ride at Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, PA.  The ride was produced by Weber Maschinenbau in Bremen, West Germany in the early 80's.

Several of these rides are still in operation across the United States and Europe, including one in Hagen, Germany.

According to "The ride is named after the story of the 1001 Arabian Nights, a Sultan named Shahryar, and his forty wives. Shahryar had one of his headsman servants behead one of his forty wives. In searching for another to replace her, many more women lost their heads. Then Shahryar decided to select the headsmans' daughter, Shahrazad. In an attempt to keep her head Shahrazad told continuing stories to the Sultan for 1001 Nights. He was very pleased with her in the end because of her cleverness and intelligence. He spared her life and took her as his 40th wife. When you look at the ride you will notice some things. There are two statues on either end of the gondola: Shahrazad and her sister Dunyazad.  Also, the ride has 40 seats, each representing one of Shahryars 40 wives."

Since You Said Please...

Knoebels Amusement Resort - May 2006