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.