Dec 27, 2016

The Swiss And The Furious

Happy birthday, Cesaro.  I hope you've found more reliable transportation since your indy wrestling days.

Dec 26, 2016

Drugs and Computers

Our New Age
Athelstan Spilhaus
This comic was published in the Sunday Funnies section of newspapers 51 years ago on December 26th, 1965.

Dec 25, 2016

Christmas Cookie Car

Made up of pretzels, Dare Maple Cookies and Stauffer's White Fudge Shortbread Cookies on top and for the wheels, and it rolls and holds together.

Dec 24, 2016

Merry Christmas From K-Mart

K-Mart Store Christmas Music (1974)
Shared by Tom Schwarzrock - "This is a digitized version of an in-store reel to reel tape that was played within a Kmart store in December 1974.  The opening Kmart jingle is interesting at the beginning of both hours, and there are theft deterrent security pages and store policy announcements between every few songs.  This must have been in attempt to discourage shoplifting."

Dec 23, 2016

Our Attic Is Filled With New Old Stock

Christmas Tablecloth
American Greetings Corp (1982)
It seems like I find something different in our attic every year when we decorate for Christmas.  This year, I came across this festive tablecloth from over 30 years ago that's still unopened after all these years.  My grandmother used these on the kitchen table for our Christmas Eve dinner.  She bought this from the Rea & Derick drugstore where she worked when I was a kid, but she never got around to using this one.

Dec 21, 2016

The Second Spitter

Roger McDowell
Philadelphia Phillies: 1989-1991
Happy 56th birthday to one of the zaniest relief pitchers of his generation.  Childhood memories can play tricks with you.  If you asked me, I would have sworn that Roger McDowell spent four or five years in the Phillies bullpen, but he only actually pitched in Philadelphia for one full season in 1990.

McDowell (left) came to the Phillies in June 1989 trade in which we absolutely stole both he and Lenny Dykstra (right) from the New York Mets in exchange for Juan Samuel.  McDowell was a lights out reliever for the rest of the '89 season and Dykstra would go on to spend the rest of his career in Philadelphia, including an incredible 1993 in which he was one of the catalysts that led to a National League Championship season.

Less than a year after the Phillies traded Roger McDowell to the Dodgers at the '91 deadline, he became part of the Seinfeld universe.  In a classic episode from the '92 season, Kramer and Newman told the story about the aftermath of a game at Shea Stadium between the Mets and Phillies in which Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez allegedly spit on them.  It turned out that Keith was innocent, and Roger McDowell was "the second spitter" hiding in the grassy knoll.  This iconic moment was memorialized by a bobble head statue given out by the Brooklyn Cyclones in their annual Seinfeld Night this summer.

Dec 14, 2016

Crystal Slush

Crystal Pepsi Slushie
Sheetz (2016)
A frozen taste of the early 90's are at a gas station near you.

Dec 13, 2016

The End of the 8-Bit Era

Nintendo sales flyer (1991)
KayBee Toys
At the end of the NES life cycle, they repackaged the console with Super Mario Bros. 3 as the pack-in title.  To this day, it's one of the most enjoyable games ever made.  The Game Genie came out in 1990 and it breathed life into some of the crazy hard games on my shelf.  Games that were once unplayable, like Deadly Towers, were halfway decent.

This flyer came out in December 1991, just a few months after the North American launch of the Super NES.  It was the first Christmas season that the NES and SNES were in stores at the same time.  The old 8-bit console was still going strong and still had a few hits yet to come, but we all knew that the end was near for the old grey box.

Dec 7, 2016

Now Playing: Flush Gordon

Crazy Video Candy
Fleer (1988)
When I was growing up in the 80's, baseball card makers Topps and Fleer marketed a line of different line of candy products that were sold in fun plastic containers.  The candy tasted terrible, but we only ever bought it because the packaging was a pretty cool toy. 

I saw these Crazy Video Candy packages for the first time on the Lunchmeat VHS blog.  I don't know how these things slipped past me when I was a kid because it's exactly the kind of thing I would have collected had I known about them.  There were 20 different packages, each of which was a mini VHS box with artwork and bad puns that parody famous movies.

Dec 6, 2016

Marking The Years

B&N Cafe Bookmarks
Barnes & Noble (2006-2007)
My wife and I didn't have much money when we first started dating, so a lot of our date nights were spent sharing our favorite books with each other at Barnes & Noble over a cup of coffee.  There was a pile of free bookmarks sitting on the cash register that advertised whatever drink specials they had for the month, and they'd let you take one if you wanted.  I still have them to this day, and I still use them. 

Here are the back of the bookmarks from the first photo.  The first two are from 2006 and the other three are from 2007.

This last one is from the 2007 Christmas season.

Dec 5, 2016

I'll Bet The Presents Are Better

Does Satan prefer Oreo or Chips Ahoy?

Dec 4, 2016

Valmont Plaza In The 80's

Valmont Plaza
Hazleton, PA (early 1980's)
Many stores have come and go since this photo was taken.  Hills and Ames have come and gone, and their location has now stood empty for over a decade.  The Stroud's in this photo is now a Tractor Supply Company store, and the Hallmark Heritage Shop in the background has been the site of the Yong Hao Buffet since the late 90's.  This plaza also used to have an Insalaco's grocery store, which is now a Big Lots.  Click here to see it in full size.

Dec 3, 2016

Inside The Laurel Mall

Laurel Mall
Hazleton, PA (early 1980's)
Back in the day, the Laurel Mall had a brick floor with trees growing through it and plants in the center.  With the lights and park benches, the mall had the vibe of a neighborhood park.  The Boscov's anchor store in the center of this photo is still open to this day.  Click here to see it in full size.

Dec 2, 2016

Laurel Mall In The 80's

Laurel Mall
Hazleton, PA (early 1980's)
This is the entrance of the Laurel Mall from Route 93 in the early 1980's.  The Wendy's in the background is still there, and is largely unchanged from the way it appeared back then.  Click here to see it in full size.

Dec 1, 2016

Deck The Television With Boughs Of Holly

This photo was taken thirty years ago in 1986.  The top of our living room television doubled as a shelf for framed photos, knick knacks and holiday decorations.  Our Atari is in the game organizer to the right with two shelves of games, most of which were purchased for around $2.00 at Boscov's or Kay Bee Toys.

Nov 30, 2016

Baseball In The 80's

Baseball In The 80's
MLB Home Video (1990)
My dad bought this tape for me when I was 10 or 11 years old.  We were living in South Florida at the time and we found it at a Blockbuster Video that wasn't far from our house.  It's a documentary by The Sporting News that was narrated by legendary Chicago Cubs play-by-play announcer Jack Brickhouse.  As the name suggests, it chronicles the events and accomplishments that took place in Major League Baseball from 1980 through 1989.

I played this tape so many times that I damn near know it by heart, and I've lived at a lot of different places in the years since Dad gave this to me, but it still plays perfectly.

Quack The 80's Nerdy Geek has digitized this tape and shared it on his YouTube channel.  I'm not sure if MLB is going to allow it to stay online, but it's there now and it's a hell of a blast from the past that I strongly recommend.  Unlike many other baseball documentaries, this isn't a retrospective of events many years after they had taken place.  It was made in 1990, so the things that are discussed in here had just happened.  It's an interesting perspective that's worth watching.  Click play to check it out.

Nov 27, 2016

Happy Birthday, Paulie

Omnibot 2000
The Sharper Image (1986)
At just over two feet tall, the Omnibot 2000 isn't quite the same as the robot from Rocky IV, but it could neatly pour you a drink for the low, low price of five hundred dollars.

Nov 19, 2016

Study Your Riddles

Charlie the Choo-Choo
Beryl Evans
This book is proof that we're not living in the real world.  The author of Charlie the Choo-Choo on Keystone Earth is Claudia y Inez Bachman.  Long days and pleasant nights.

Nov 15, 2016

San Junipero

Black Mirror is the Twilight Zone of our generation; home to the most creative, thought-provoking and well-written stories that are being told on film.  There hasn't been a bad episode yet.  The best of the lot came at season three, episode 4 with San Junipero.

I'm not saying anything more about it here.  Just log into Netflix and go watch it now.  Afterward, head to Salon to read a very well done article by Mary Elizabeth Williams that dives deeper into the imagery, references and musical choices made in the episode.

Artwork by: notmytempo90 (imgur)

Nov 14, 2016

Kaboom Arcade

Activision (1981)
This was one of my favorite games for the Atari 2600.  It was released in 1981 by Activision.  It was never an arcade game, but This Old Game turned it into a cabinet for Free Play Florida.
(Photo credit: Jon Stoodley. Shared by: Jace Hall)

Nov 10, 2016

Magic 2.0

Off To Be The Wizard
Scott Meyer (2013)
This is the first book in a trilogy by Scott Meyer called the Magic 2.0 series.  I just discovered it and I'm hooked!  I don't want to spoil the story, but it's a unique take on nerd culture and the existence of magic and wizards.  Think Harry Potter meets Ready Player One with a touch of Monty Python.

Nov 9, 2016

Nov 7, 2016

I Hope It Has Whipped Cream And Sprinkles

F'real Glazed Donut Milkshake
Sheetz (2016)

Nov 6, 2016

Live From The Chandelier Lobby

Henry Rollins: Live From The Chandelier Lobby
FM Kirby Center - Wilkes-Barre, PA
I'm very thankful that I had the opportunity to go to this show.  Henry Rollins has long been someone that I admired for his music, his writing and speaking, his views on the world, and his approach to life in general.  This setup of the show was interesting because it wasn't held on the stage of the theater.  The far left hand doors in the ticket office that led into the lobby were opened, but all of the other doors were closed because a small stage was behind the doors in the lobby.  It was a small and intimate show, and it's a bit surreal that it's taking place two days before the election (a topic he spoke about only briefly).  It was an excellent show, and I hope that I get to see him again.

Nov 3, 2016

Star Sailors

Star Sailors
Star Wars / Sailor Moon mashup
Artwork by Flowerveil
From left to right, Sailor Naboo (Princess Amidala), Sailor Alderaan (Princess Leia) and Sailor Jakku (Rey).

Nov 1, 2016

Eight O'Clock In The Morning

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Mercury PressNovember 1963
This literary magazine has been the print source of some of the most brilliant and interesting works of fiction since they published their first issue in 1949, including The Dark Tower in 1981.  Their November 1963 issue included a short story by Ray Nelson called Eight O'Clock In The MorningJohn Carpenter acquired the film rights to it in the 80's and used it as the inspiration for his script for the 1988 film They Live.  It's a different story from the movie, but you can certainly see the elements that led to the cult classic.  You can read it online from or listen to a reading of it from Newartthing Art.

Oct 31, 2016

Pumpkin Carols

The Peanuts Book of Pumpkin Carols
Hallmark (1971)
I found this Hallmark card/book in my grandparents attic many years ago.  It belonged to my dad when he was a kid.  I've seen several different variations of this on eBay and elsewhere.  I'm not sure when it first came out, but it seems like Hallmark may have released it every October through the late 60's and into the mid 70's.

Oct 29, 2016

Market Street Bridge

Opening of the Market Street Bridge
Wilkes-Barre, PA
This photo was taken by Ace Hoffman in September, 1929.  The parade includes a marching band, veterans of the first World War, and Shriners from the Irem Temple.
source: Wilkes-Barre Preservation Society

Oct 28, 2016

The Old Pig Farm

This photo was taken 90 years ago at a pig farm in Philadelphia.  This is now the site of Citizen's Bank Park (source: Philadelphia Department of Records via

Oct 18, 2016

Team Quik Bunny

Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center - Boston, MA
Representing Nestle Beverage at FNCE 2016.

Oct 12, 2016

The Bambino Leaves His Mark

Click here to read the article in full size
Hughestown vs Larksville - October 12, 1926
Six Inning Exhibition Game
Artillery Park - Wilkes-Barre, PA
Ninety years ago today, Babe Ruth made a guest appearance at an exhibition game at Artillery Park baseball field.  At the time, it was the home field for the Wilkes-Barre Barons of the New York-Penn League.  Since 1940, it has been leased by my alma mater Wilkes University and is presently the home field of the Wilkes Colonels.

The game took place less than 48 hours after the end of the 1926 World Series.  Stars of the era frequently spent time during the off season barnstorming around the country and playing in local games.  On this afternoon, The Babe played for Hughestown and went 0 - 2, but a shot that came off of his bat after the game is still remembered to this day.

Following the game, Ruth challenged Pittston native Ernie Corkran to throw his fastest pitch to him.  He smacked the ball from Artillery Park to the running track at Kirby park.  The ball landed an estimated 650 feet from where it was hit.  It is considered by baseball historians to be the longest home run ever hit.

Oct 11, 2016

The Moss Covered Stones

USA Network (1985 - 1988)
This cartoon premiered on the USA Network in 1985 and continued airing new episodes through May 1988.  I didn't watch it when I was a kid, but I'd sometimes catch a few minutes here and there.  It looked fun and I probably would have enjoyed it, but the idea of a boy being allowed to enjoy anything that was meant for girls was a concept that got beaten or shamed out of you pretty quickly in those days.

I did catch a few episodes many years later when the internet made things more easily accessible.  It's not my favorite cartoon from the era, but it's pretty good and it has quite a bit of humor that was probably more geared towards the parents who are in the room while their kids were watching.  This screencap comes from an episode called "In Search Of The Stolen Album" which aired for the first time 30 years ago today.  My favorite of these band names is The Moss Covered Stones, but Tom Potty and the Headbreakers is a classic too.

Oct 10, 2016

The Year Of The Discontinued Beverage

I never thought I'd get to enjoy Ecto Cooler again.  It was my absolute favorite when I was a kid.  It's only back for a limited time, so I've gotten as much of it as I can.  The Crystal Pepsi is just icing on the cake.

Oct 9, 2016

Mac N' Cheetos

Mac N' Cheetos
Sheetz (2016)
These were at Burger King earlier this year, and now they're selling them at Sheetz.

Sep 30, 2016

Round One - Fight!

The boss brought a photo booth company in to take pictures as part of our celebration for merging several teams into one.  Angel and I broke into an impromptu Mortal Kombat pre-match screen.

Sep 21, 2016

Analog Synth Metroid

Metroid music remake
by Luminist
All sounds were generated with a Korg MS20 Mini, then processed with studio effects to make things more atmospheric.  It's available for purchase on iTunes, and you can listen to it on YouTube below:

Sep 16, 2016

Nintendo At The Arcade

This photo, which appears to have been taken at an arcade on the Wildwood boardwalk, was shared on Flickr by Tom Edler.  It shows three arcade games that were developed by the Nintendo R&D 1 team: Donkey Kong (1981), Donkey Kong Junior (1982) and Popeye (1982).  There is a metal ashtray bolted to the front of each of these cabinets.

Sep 14, 2016

Cheetos Chicken Fries

Cheetos Chicken Fries
Burger King (2016)
I don't think I'll ever enjoy anything more than the Burger King chicken tenders that they used to have in the late 80's, but these are pretty darn good!

Sep 12, 2016

The Philadelphia Dragon

I've been a fan of Daniel Bryan since he wrestled as "The American Dragon" Bryan Danielson in Ring Of Honor.  Not only is he one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, but he's also a hell of a nice dude.  I was lucky enough to meet him a few years back before an ROH event.

Earlier today, he spent some time with the Phillies and threw out the first pitch in their game against the Pirates.  After a 5 run second inning and six solid innings pitched by Jeremy Hellickson, the Phillies won the game 6 - 2.