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
Archive.org - "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 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 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


Random Photos From Childhood
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 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

Kaboom!
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 Idoc.pub 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 HiddenCityPhila.org).

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 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
Creators Notes: All sounds were generated with a Korg MS20 Mini, then processed with some juicy studio effects to make things more atmospheric.
Available on iTunes

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.

Sep 5, 2016

Ed's Funcade


When I was growing up in the 80's, my family and I spent three days every year on the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ.  It was the highlight of my summer.  One of the reasons was the arcades, and the king of them all was Ed's Funcade.

Ed's Funcade is still in operation, and they host a World Championship Skee-Ball Tournament every year on Labor Day.  Hope to participate in it one of these years.

I took this photo in August, 1986 with my Go Bots Camera on 110 film.

Sep 4, 2016

Going Green In The 70's


Lobby of Atari Headquarters
Sunnyvale, CA (1976)
I love the lime aesthetic.  It looks like Sprite sponsored their front desk.

Sep 3, 2016

Bridgeport Is Just Too Sweeeeet

Anthony Giansanti, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman
Bridgeport Bluefish OF Anthony Giansanti
nWo Night - September 2, 2016
Bridgeport Bluefish vs Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
The Ballpark at Harbor Yard - Bridgeport, CT
The Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League have had an interesting history of guest managers, including Pete Rose, Paul O'Neill and Roger Clemens.  In last night's game, the team wore nWo jerseys was managed by the New World Order: The Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) and Syxx.  The Bluefish won the game 8 - 6, which gives the Wolfpac an undefeated managerial record in the Atlantic League (photos by Frozen Moments Photography of Norwalk, CT).

Sep 2, 2016

Acme Computers


Acme Grocery Bag (1991)
This bag advertised a promotion that Acme hosted for their 100th anniversary, which was 25 years ago.  Shoppers could save store receipts and barcodes from select products, and in exchange, Acme would donate computers to their local school district.

It looks like the kids on the bag are playing Frogger.

Sep 1, 2016

The Challenge Will Always Be There


Sega Master System
Thirty years ago, Sega's answer to the NES was released in North America.  My first time playing the Master System was the summer of 1988 when I was visiting cousins in Hawaii.  It was love at first sight and it found its way to the top of my wish list the second the controller hit my hands.  My grandparents gave it to me as a Christmas present that same year.

My favorite game for the console is Shanghai.  I have a lot of fond memories of playing the two player version of it with my grandfather on the move timer.  I played a little dirty by dragging the cursor up to the top right corner of the screen after my turn was over to give me more time to find a move without my grandfather being able to move the cursor fast enough to make a move.

Other favorites of mine include Double Dragon, Out Run, Time Soldiers, Alien Syndrome and Astro Warriors.  Later on in the days of dial-up internet, I discovered Phantasy Star on the early SMS emulators.

Though it'll always come in second to the NES for all but the most dedicated of Sega fans, the Master System did have its advantages.  Sega's arcade ports were second to none, and their version of Dragon Warrior was superior to the NES.  Safari Hunt came with the system and was a more robust gun game than Duck Hunt, and although many would disagree with me, I enjoyed Out Run more than Rad Racer.

If you haven't played a lot of the Master System, sample some of their catalog.  It's a distinct experience from the NES and definitely worth playing.

Aug 31, 2016

Eleven Herbs & Spices


Earlier this month, Chicago Tribute reporter Jay Jones met Joe Ledington, the nephew of Colonel Sanders.  In the process of the interview, Mr. Ledington took out a family scrapbook that included this hand written chicken recipe that just so happens to be made up of eleven herbs and spices.  Mr. Ledington went on to say that as a kid, he worked for his uncle, blending the herbs and spices with flour and bagging up the mixture to sell to restaurants.

Naturally, representatives for KFC were quick to say that this isn't the real recipe, but several people have followed the instructions and they say that, with a few tweaks, it tastes just like Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Here's the full recipe, as it was tested, from Joe Gray:

Fried chicken with 11 herbs and spices

Prep: 30 minutes
Soak: 20-30 minutes
Cook: 15-18 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/3 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons ground white pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 chicken, cut up, the breast pieces cut in half for more even frying
  • Expeller-pressed canola oil


Instructions
  1. Mix the flour in a bowl with all the herbs and spices; set aside.
  2. Mix the buttermilk and egg together in a separate bowl until combined. Soak the chicken in the buttermilk mixture at room temperature, 20-30 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken from the buttermilk, allowing excess to drip off. Dip the chicken pieces in the herb-spice-flour mixture to coat all sides, shaking off excess. Allow to sit on a rack over a baking sheet, 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat about 3 inches of the oil in a large Dutch oven (or similar heavy pot with high sides) over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. (Use a deep-frying thermometer to check the temperature.) When temperature is reached, lower the heat to medium to maintain it at 350. Fry 3 or 4 pieces at a time, being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry until medium golden brown, turning once, 15-18 minutes. Transfer chicken pieces to a baking sheet covered with paper towels. Allow the oil to return to temperature before adding more chicken. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • A note on MSG: Although KFC has confirmed that its present-day recipe uses MSG, it wasn't part of the list of herbs and spices from the Colonel's nephew.  If you want to try it, sprinkle a bit of it on the finished chicken pieces before eating.

Aug 9, 2016

Method of Modern Meme


The shredding bin in the hallway of my office has been expressing it's Philly soul.

Aug 7, 2016

Take It Easy, A-Rod


Press Republican sports page
Chris Duncan - June 16, 2008
Alex Rodriguez announced his retirement earlier today.  I've never been a fan of his, but I'll always remember this hysterical headline from a June inter-league game between the Yankees and the Astros.  Pitcher Chien-Ming Wang injured his foot running the bases, and Rodriguez hit his 12th home run of the season on the way to a 12 - 0 victory.