Feb 27, 2015

Little Fish, Big Fish, Swimming In The Water

To Bring You My Love
PJ Harvey (1995)
The first complete solo album recorded by the incredibly talented PJ Harvey was released twenty years ago today.  It includes one of my favorite songs from the decade - a trippy fusion of blues and mid-90's alternative rock about a psychopath drowning her daughter.  Harvey's presents this narrative in the music video in a way that is so gleefully creepy that it rivals any horror movie villain.  I dare you to watch it one time and try to get the end of the song out of your head.

Feb 24, 2015

Animal Truck

WWF Monster Trucks
Toy Island (1998)
This is a pretty interesting toy because it has both the old "WWF New Generation" logo from the mid 90's and the newer "WWF Attitude" logo on the same package.  I can't remember ever seeing that before.  It also features Road Warrior Animal who is thankfully not shown in the horrible LOD 2000 gimmick that he was using on television at the time.

While I think this is pretty cool, it's not the kind of thing I typically purchase.  I kind of wish I did though.  The vendor at Black Diamond was selling this for $15.95, but someone has one on eBay right now for over a hundred bucks, and it doesn't look like it's in as good of condition as this one.  I don't want to get started trying to flip merchandise on the internet, and I have no idea if there really is anyone out there willing to spend that much on a toy wrestling truck, but a quick hundred bucks is hard to ignore.

Feb 23, 2015

There Are Rats On My Lunchbox

The Secret Of NIMH Lunchbox
Aladdin (1982)
Black Diamond had an old, beat up metal lunchbox of one of my favorite animated movies from the 1980's.  I've always appreciated Don Bluth's work very much.  It comes across as more genuine than Disney, with deeper stories, better artwork, and fewer cutesy songs and dialogue that talk down to its audience.  The only Disney animated feature in the pre-Pixar era that even comes close to Don Bluth in terms of quality, in my opinion, is The Black Cauldron.

Feb 22, 2015

Cardboard Supermarket

This vintage grocery store playset was on sale at Black Diamond in the Schuylkill Mall.  It's made out of thick cardboard and includes grocery store shelves with a refrigerator section, complete with doors, at the bottom.  It also has a separate piece for the checkout lane and cash register.

It looks like it was made by a company called "Come Play" which I have never heard of.  There was no year on it, but from the way it looks and from the fact that it has eggs priced at 58 cents a dozen, I'm guessing it's from the 50's.

Feb 21, 2015

The I-81 Frozen Waterfall

I've pass this mountain on I-81 North every day on the way to work or school for the past ten years.  You can sort of become blind to things that you see this often as they just become part of the background of your life, but it really is beautiful.  There's no visible waterfall on this mountain during the spring and summer, but there is a small trickle of water that freezes in the winter, which results in a frozen waterfall for much of the winter.

Feb 14, 2015

Set Sail For Sushi

Mizu Sushi
Wilkes-Barre, PA
For Valentines Day, we shared a sushi and sashimi boat at Mizu Sushi.  It was my first time here and I've heard mixed reviews about the place.  While I've had sushi many times in my life, most of those times have been from a buffet, so I'm the furthest thing from a sushi expert that you'll ever find.  That being said, we both thought everything tasted fresh and good, and the price wasn't outrageous, so it gets a thumbs up from me.

Feb 13, 2015

The 8-Bit Knight

Batman: The Action Figure
Neca Toys (2014)
The Sunsoft adaptation of Batman was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System 25 years ago today.  Last year, Neca Toys released a limited edition purple and teal action figure based on the Dark Knight featured in the 8-bit classic game.  The packaging has been designed to look like the box for the NES classic, complete with the Neca logo in the bottom right corner styled after the Nintendo Seal of Quality.

Feb 12, 2015

A Philly Tradition

Tastykake Wagon (1915)
Philadelphia, PA

Feb 2, 2015

Snow Colonel

John Wilkes statue
Wilkes University - Wilkes Barre, PA
From the 2015 Wilkes University calendar.

Feb 1, 2015

The Troll Book Club

Troll Student Book Club News
February, 1985
When I was a kid, we used to get the Weekly Reader flyers in school, but they were pretty similar to this Troll flyer from 30 years ago.  My grandparents would pretty much always let me order a book or two.  I didn't have these Indiana Jones puzzle books, but I did get some of the Young Indiana Jones junior novels.  I also had those Return Of The Jedi activity books and one of the Heathcliff books when I was little [source: Shawn Robare].