May 29, 2014

It's Ass Hammering Time

The calendar doesn't do it justice.  That Matt Stairs blast wasn't just any game-winning home run.  It was the Moon Shot from Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS.

It was the top of the 8th inning.  Shane Victorino hit a two run homer off of Cory Wade to tie the game.  The Dodgers brought in their closer, Jonathan Broxton to keep the damage to a minimum.  The Phillies brought in 40 year old Matt Stairs to pinch hit.  Stairs was just acquired in a trade with the Blue Jays just 44 days earlier, and his Moon Shot from the NLCS was etched into Philadelphia baseball history as it led to the Phillies second World Series Championship.  The bizarre quote only added to the legend.

May 20, 2014

Blockbuster Video Tape Case

Blockbuster Video Template
Created by Brutal Beta
I'd like to remodel my garage and use part of it to store my VHS collection in a video rental store mock-up.  If that ever happens, I'm going to use this template to make case covers for my movies that don't have the original box.

May 17, 2014

Eskimo Pie

Eskimo Pie closed plant
Hanover Industrial Park - Wilkes-Barre, PA
I don't know anything about the history of this facility or when it closed, but the Eskimo Pie logo art is still visible on the side of the building above the shipping and receiving doors.  The building appears to have been abandoned since it closed.

May 16, 2014

The Lefty Slam

Wednesday, May 16, 1984
Philadelphia Phillies @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodgers Stadium - Los Angeles, CA

Thirty years ago today, a battle between Phillies legend Steve Carlton and Dodgers 24 year old phenom Fernando Valenzuela took place at Dodgers Stadium.  The Dodgers were leading by the top of the fourth when the Phillies began to mount their comeback.  With the bases loaded and two outs, Steve Carlton hit a grand slam off of Fernando Valenzuela to take the lead.  The Phillies went on to win 7-2.

May 15, 2014

Pink Warrior

So here's the deal with me.  I'm not transgender.  There was a time when I thought that I was, but I am much too lazy to ever bother trying and have way too much social anxiety to ever feel comfortable even if I did put forth an effort to explore these feelings.  Maybe things would have been different if I was born 20 years later or grew up in a more open-minded and supportive environment, but it's not a place that I'd see myself going even as a kink, let alone as a complete change of lifestyle.  However, when I see a woman who I find attractive, it's pretty much 50/50 chance that I'd fantasize about wanting her or wanting to be her.  

I don't usually go for pink and frilly regardless of which side my brain is on in any given moment, but these photos by Marie Killen are the exception to the rule.  I'm not sure who the model is, but there's something bad ass about this look.  [source: NovaThunder]

May 13, 2014

The King Comes To West Palm Beach

Friday, May 13, 1994
St. Petersburg Cardinals @ West Palm Beach Expos
Municipal Stadium - West Palm Beach, FL

Pitching: Brian Carpenter vs. Rick DeHart

Results: Expos defeat Cardinals, 12 - 3

Notes: Before going to this game, my dad told me all about The King and His Court.  They were a four man softball team (pitcher, catcher, first baseman and shortstop) led by pitcher Eddie Feigner.  Since the late 1940's, they toured around the country playing local opponents.  Like the Harlem Globetrotters, they used trick plays and humor to entertain crowds.  The main one my dad told me about was Feigner throwing the ball behind his back to pick off the runner on first base.

On this night, we watched Israel Alcántara hit a grand slam in the first inning off of Brian Carpenter.  The West Palm Beach Expos scored a dozen runs in their route of the St. Petersburg Cardinals.

The game also included second baseman JosĂ© Vidro, who went 2-4 and scored three runs for West Palm Beach.  He was promoted to the major league Expos in 1997 and was their starting second basemen for the rest of their time in Montreal and for the first two seasons after the team moved to Washington DC and became the Nationals.  He was traded to the Mariners in December 2006 and played the next two years.  He was a three-time All Star in his major league career.

Curtis Pride was another West Palm Beach Expos player who appeared in this game and went on to have a notable major league career.  He played for Montreal the year before this game and was the first deaf player to appear in the major leagues since 1945.  He played in the majors from 1993 to 2006 for the Expos, Tigers, Red Sox, Braves, Yankees and Angels.

After the game, The King and His Court defeated the Abbey Road Grill All-Stars softball team in an awesome exhibition match.  At the time, it was advertised as the last appearance of Eddie Feigner at West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium.  I'm pretty sure he came back the very next year, but it was the only time I got to see him.  It's been twenty years and I can't remember the score of the softball game, but I'll never forget the fun I had with my pop at the ballpark on nights like this.

May 12, 2014

What's The Deal With The Subway?

Eleven subway cars on New York's No. 7 line have been transformed into Monk's Cafe to promote the fact that Seinfeld will be in syndication on WPIX at 11:00 pm.  [source: USA Today]

[source: USA Today]

May 8, 2014

You've Survived The Plague, Lieutenant Dan

Stephen King's The Stand
ABC Television mini-series
People who know me might tell you that Star Wars is my favorite work of fiction; however people who really know me will tell you that it's The Stand.  The mini-series that was inspired by the work that I consider to be the greatest novel of the century in which it was written premiered on ABC twenty years ago today.

I didn't see this when it first aired.  I brought the VHS tapes home to watch when I worked at Blowout Video as a teenager.  There are significant differences from the book, both in the characters and in the story, but if you approach the mini-series as an alternate universe instead of a televised version of the book, there is plenty to enjoy here.  "Don't Fear The Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult sets the tone from the very beginning, and the score throughout the series, by W. G. Snuffy Walden, is haunting and beautiful.  "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House beginning in Franny's living room (or was that her mother's parlor?) and continuing as a backdrop to the aftermath of the plague is unforgettable.  Larry Underwood's character (played brilliantly by Adam Storke) captures the moment of the journey across the country when he sits on a car in a traffic jam of the dead playing Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction".  Larry also puts music to "Baby, Can You Dig Your Man" sixteen years after it first appeared in print.  I still wonder who performed it for the mini-series, and if a full version of the song exists somewhere.

There are a lot of little Easter Eggs hiding in the mini-series.  Some are references to the novel that were cut from television, while others are just fun things to find.  For example: who on earth put a New York Mets bumper sticker on The Monster Shouter's sandwich boards?  The cast members themselves have such a diverse background that it's fun to connect the dots to their previous work.  Is that My Favorite Martian as Glen Bateman?  How about Agent Rosenfield from Twin Peaks as Lloyd Henreid?  Is that Max Headroom as The Trashcan Man, and is he bowing down and praying to Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise?  Did Jigsaw's female accomplice from the Saw franchise learn how to be a henchwoman by working for Randall Flagg?  Didn't I see Mother Abigail as a much younger woman in college when we watched A Raisin In The Sun?  Was that Officer Vinnie Schtulman picking up Nick and Tom on the road to Hemingford Home, and what the heck did Alf do to Willie Tanner to make him want to arrest Stu Redman in Arnette?  The series has dozens of actors and actresses that you will recognize, both in major and minor roles.

Don't go into this looking for an exact copy of the novel, but if you have a half dozen hours to devote to your television, give this a watch.

May 1, 2014

Remember The Alamogordo

Atari 2600 Landfill
Alamogordo, NM
In April 2014, after decades of Atari denying its existence, a documentary film crew has found and is excavating the New Mexico desert to find tens of thousands of unsold Atari 2600 games, consoles and peripherals that were dumped and buried in September, 1983.