Aug 31, 2017


Food Network
If I ever find myself on death row, this is my last meal. Might as well die from the heart attack first.  Click here for the recipe.

Aug 30, 2017

Out Of This World Chocolate

Nestle Chocolate Bars - Space Patrol
store display from the 1950's
Like many companies in the post war era, Nestle used imagery from the space race to promote their products.  This Space Patrol display was used to line the top of an endcap at a drugstore or grocery store to promote Nestle Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate with Almonds and Nestle Crunch.

Aug 29, 2017


Andrew Hussie -
Proving once again that I am late to every party, I have just heard of Homestuck for the first time this week.  Hoping to spend part of the upcoming three day weekend digging into this.  All I know about it is that fans of Undertale tend to enjoy it, and since I just discovered Undertale earlier this month, it seemed worth checking out.

Aug 28, 2017

Close Play At First Base

Nick Pivetta Attempts To Pick Off Anthony Rizzo
Phillies vs. Cubs - August 27, 2017
The headline grabbing news of yesterday's game was Rhys Hoskins, but let that not take away from the pickoff move of 24 year old Nick Pivetta.  The rookie pitcher, who came to the Phillies from the Nationals in the trade that unloaded Jonathan Papelbon, wanted to make especially sure that Anthony Rizzo wasn't going anywhere.

Have a look at this close play.  Almost got him, Nick!

Aug 27, 2017

Rhys Lightning

Rhys Hoskins Hits His 11th Career HR In His 18th Career Game
Phillies vs. Cubs - August 27, 2017
Rhys is not just a good prospect.  He is making baseball history.  Yesterday, he became the quickest player to 10 home runs in baseball history when he reached the mark in 17 games, shattering the old record of 21 games shared by George Scott (1966) and Trevor Story (2016).  Today, he hit his 11th home run to left center field in the bottom of the 8th in his 18th career major league game.

I am honored to have been in attendance for his first major league hit and RBI (on August 13), and his 8th major league home run (on August 24th).  I also got to see him play for the Iron Pigs in a double header on my birthday, though I missed him on July 9th in a game against the Railriders (he was playing in the Futures Game).

Some more fun facts about Rhys Hoskins in 2017:
  • He began the season in Triple A.  He reached base in his first 23 games, breaking a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs franchise record.
  • Shortly before his call-up to Philadelphia, he broke the Iron Pigs franchise record for home runs in a single season (29).
  • Tonight's game marks his fifth consecutive game with a home run.  The record for most consecutive games with a HR is eight, shared by Dale Long (1956), Don Mattingly (1987) and Ken Griffy Jr. (1993).
    • He would have already tied this record if not for the fact that he failed to hit a home run in game 2 of a double header on Tuesday.
  • Hoskins has hit a home run in more MLB games (10) than not (8), all while playing an unfamiliar position, as he has shifted from 1B to LF after being called up to Philadelphia.
    • He caught a line drive hit by Javier Baez, which began a triple play in today's game against the Cubs.
Rhys Hoskins is the real deal, and it's an exciting time to be a Phillies fan.

Aug 26, 2017

The Money Fight

Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor
Las Vegas, NV - 08/26/2017
Tonight is the night!

UPDATE: You have to hand it to Conor.  His first professional match was against an undefeated champion who some have argued is the greatest boxer in the history of the sport, and he put up a respectable fight.  One point is clear: McGregor did a hell of a lot better in a boxing match against Mayweather than Mayweather could do in a UFC fight against McGregor (or any MMA fighter, for that matter).

Alamo Chicken

Southern Fried Chicken
Alamo Restaurant - Knoebels - Elysburg, PA
You can never go wrong with fried chicken, but I wouldn't recommend riding the Tilt-a-Whirl immediately afterwards.

Aug 25, 2017

Do You Believe In Rock 'N' Roll

Don McLean
Penn's Peak - Jim Thorpe, PA
Every once in a while, something pleasant and unexpected falls into your lap.  Tonight was one of those nights.

I saw Gordon Lightfoot perform at Penn's Peak back in May, and they had a sign up in the box office advertising a flash sale for tonight's show.  They were selling tickets on a buy one, get one free sale.  It worked out to $36 bucks for two tickets, which is an absolute steal!  I had no idea that Don McLean was on tour, but there was no way that I could pass up the opportunity to see him live in concert.  It would have been a bargain at three times the price.

To be completely honest, I'm not very familiar with Don McLean's catalog.  I know American Pie, of course.  Everyone does.  It's one of the most recognizable and iconic songs ever recorded.  I recognized at least a few other songs that he performed tonight, but I didn't know they were his.  It was a great show and I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to be there.

Aug 24, 2017

Country Bear Jubilee

Country Bear Jubilee
Knoebels Amusement Resort (1980 - 1985)
When I was in elementary school, Knoebels had an animatronic musical called the Country Bear Jubilee.  I only got to see it once, but I remembered that they sang a song called Hard Luck Bears, and a bear would pop out of a barrel (far right) and the mother bear smacked him on the head with a frying pan.

The show closed down in 1985 and the building it was housed in was converted to Lazer Runner, a Laser Tag style game, but they still have what's left of two of the bears in the park museum.

Although I haven't been able to find any video of the show, there have been audio recordings uploaded to YouTube and other places, and I'm very grateful to the uploaders who have given me the opportunity to relive a moment of my childhood and hear the show again.

Aug 23, 2017

Burger Hawks

Copper Kid reflector sticker
Burger King (1987)
The often forgotten cousin of Thundercats, Silverhawks was one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid.  I remember that when I was seven years old, we stopped at Burger King on the way home from Wildwood.  I was excited that the free toy that I got inside the kids meal was this Copper Kid sticker.  I couldn't tell you why, but the 7 year old me decided to stick the sticker on the Kids Meal box (see below).  It's a decision that I almost immediately regretted.  Thankfully, thirty years later, I was able to grab a brand new sticker at a reasonable price from eBay.

Aug 22, 2017

Doing Grown-Up Things

My Sunday evening was spent playing Undertale while watching WWE SummerSlam and eating a block of cheese with a pumpkin candle burning nearby.  Clearly, I have this whole adulting thing figured out.

Aug 21, 2017

Eclipse Piercing

Solar Eclipse
Wilkes-Barre, PA - 08/21/2017 - 2:25 PM
Pennsylvania was not in the path of totality, but we got to see about 80% of it.  The photo on the right was taken with my cell phone through a pair of eclipse glasses when the coverage of the sun was close to its maximum for our area.  Also, I took a selfie with the sun (for some reason), and I was surprised to find a reflection of the solar eclipse on my cheek.  Looks almost like a piercing.

Aug 20, 2017

Total Eclipse Of The Past

1979 Solar Eclipse
ABC News Special - February 26, 1979
On the eve of the eclipse, here is the news broadcast of the last total eclipse above the United States. Count the number of times the word "totality" is used. At the end of the broadcast, they specify that the next total eclipse will occur on August 21st, 2017.

Aug 18, 2017

Southpaw Regional Wrestling - August 1986

The WWE is back with Season 2 of Southpaw Regional Wrestling. This is a prequel set in August, 1986 to set up the "Showdown At The Swamp" supercard where we see Chett Chetterfield's descent into madness.

Aug 17, 2017

Game Boy Voltron

Game Boy Voltron
March 1992
This is a photo of Mrs. Nola (my then-stepmother's mother) playing a pimped out Nintendo Game Boy.  The Game Boy spawned dozens, if not hundreds of third-party peripherals that were designed to add features that the system didn't have.  Some of them improved game play while others didn't, but the one thing they all had in common is that they made your system look like a cluster of random plastic objects jammed together without a hint of elegance.

The system in this photo has a light and a screen magnifier attached to it.  The light wasn't a whole lot brighter than a single bulb from a strand of Christmas tree lights, but if you held the system at just the right angle, you could see part of the screen in the dark and get in some extra game play after bedtime.  The magnifier wasn't much different than the magnifying glass that my Nana used to help her read the newspaper crossword puzzle, but it was housed in a plastic shell that clipped onto the Game Boy and held the glass far enough away from the screen to make the game appear larger.  It looked goofy, but it worked pretty well.

Aug 16, 2017

Blast From The Past(a)

Weis Market Gas Station ad
West Hazleton, PA
So, what's the story with this sauce?  Is it expired, or does it just make foods taste like the past?

Aug 15, 2017

The House On The Hill

101 Interchange Rd
Lehighton, PA
I'm not looking to move or anything, but I've always been intrigued by this house, and now it's for sale.  It's on the corner of Route 248 and Interchange Road in Lehighton, just across the bridge that crosses over the Lehigh Canal.  There's something about the stone staircase that draws my eye every time I pass it on the way to the Turnpike.

Aug 14, 2017

The Hall Of Fame Club

Philadelphia Phillies: Hall Of Fame Club
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA
If you're a Phillies fan, you really owe it to yourself to attend a game with Hall Of Fame Club or Diamond Club tickets at least once.  It's not something that I can typically fit into my budget.  This is only my second time seeing it (the first time was a present for my 35th birthday), but it's definitely worth the extra money to be able to walk through the incredible museum that can be found inside the Hall Of Fame Club.

When you first enter the Hall Of Fame Club, you'll be in an air conditioned area with merchandise and food stands.  Some of the walls are lined with baseballs and framed displays of Phillies highlights.  There are exits to the left that lead out into the seating area of the ballpark, but if you keep going straight, you'll get to the museum.

The museum includes a gallery of artwork by Donruss Diamond King artist Dick Perez.  There are also display cases that are dedicated to different players and eras of Phillies baseball.  The contents of these cases change throughout the year.  Presently, they are celebrating the life and career of 1980 World Series manager Dallas Green and Phillies legendary catcher, Darren Daulton, both of whom have unfortunately passed away this year.

Further down, there are long photo collages that show the history of Phillies championship teams through the years.

These photos take up an entire wall from floor to ceiling.  The top photo is of Phillies Hall Of Famers Mike Schmidt, Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn and Steve Carlton.  The bottom photo is of players who were part of the inaugural Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in 1939: Honus Wagner, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Tris Speaker, Nap Lajoie, George Sisler, Walter Johnson, Eddie Collins, Babe Ruth, Connie Mack and Cy Young.

There are far too many things on display to show them all.  This collection of photos doesn't begin to do it justice.  If you have the opportunity, come early to a game with Hall Of Fame Club tickets and have fun exploring over 130 years of Phillies history.

Aug 13, 2017

Welcome To Philadelphia, Rhys Hoskins

Sunday, August 13th, 2017
Pitching: Zach Eflin vs. Chris Flexen

I don't often spring for Diamond Club tickets, but it's Alumni Day, when the most iconic players in the history of the Philadelphia Phillies return to be acknowledged by the fans.  Unfortunately, all-time hit king Pete Rose is not among them.  He was originally scheduled to be inducted to the Wall Of Fame yesterday and to attend the celebration today, but due to unproven allegations made by John Dowd on the radio, the invitation was rescinded.

As unfortunate as Rose's absence was, it pales in comparison to the fact that Darren Daulton could not be here.  Dutch passed away last Sunday from brain cancer.  The Phillies legendary catcher was honored before the game and with his number 10 painted on the dirt behind home plate on the field.

The Mets took an early lead in the top of the first after a Michael Conforto two run homer.  The Phillies looked like they would do some damage of their own in the bottom half of the inning.  Caesar Hernandez led off with a single.  Then, Freddy Galvis drew a walk and Odubel Herrera singled to shallow left field to load the bases with no outs.  Sadly, they only managed to score a single run when Rhys Hoskins grounded into a fielders choice for his first career RBI.  It was ruled a double play at first before it was challenged and overturned.  Nick Williams and Maikel Franco flied out to end the inning.

The score remained 2-1 until the top of the fifth when Curtis Granderson hit a two run homer off of Zach Eflin.

The moment that I'll never forget from this game happened in the bottom of the fifth.  Freddy Galvis led off the inning with a single.  Odubel Herrera then drew a walk to put a runner in scoring position for first baseman Rhys Hoskins.  The former Iron Pigs slugger made his MLB debut on Thursday and went hitless in the first three games of this series against the Mets.  With runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs, Hoskins hit a line drive to right field for his first hit in the big leagues.

For the second time, the Phillies had bases loaded with no outs, and for the second time, they only managed to score a single run, and that only came as a result of a wild pitch.

The story of this game was the lack of production from the bottom half of the Phillies lineup.  The 5-9 spots in the lineup combined to go 2 for 19 (both hits coming from Jorge Alfaro) with one walk and four strikeouts.  Nick Williams, Maikel Franco and Hyun Soo Kim were hitless on the night.

Meanwhile, the Mets continued to tack on runs with RBI singles from Curtis Granderson and Wilmer Flores off of Edubray Ramos in the top of the 7th to take a 6-2 lead that they held for the rest of the game.  Freddy Galvis struck out swinging in the bottom of the 9th for the final out.

So, the Phillies lost three out of four to the Mets in this series to fall to 43-72 and just a mere 26.5 games behind the Nationals in the division.  Needless to say, it's not been an especially strong season for the rebuilding Phillies, but with Hoskins and Alfaro, there's reason to be hopeful for the future.

Phillies Alumni Weekend 2017

Philadelphia Phillies Alumni Weekend
Citizens Bank Park - August 13, 2017
Honoring the legacy of the Philadelphia Phillies and the life and career of Darren Daulton.

In order of appearance:
Dan Warthen (1997)
Mark Leiter (1997 - 1998)
Kevin Jordan (1995 - 2001)
Rich Surhoff (1985)
Howie Bedell (1968)
Bob Conley (1958)
Gene Garber (1974 - 1978)
Don Money (1968 - 1972)
Andy Ashby (1991 - 1992, 2000)
Art Mahaffey (1960 - 1965)
Doug Clemens (1966 - 1968)
Brandon Duckworth (2001 - 2003)
Terry Harmon (1967 - 1977)
Mike Rogodzinski (1973 - 1975)
Desi Relaford (1996 - 2000)
Rheal Cormier (2001 - 2006)
Pete Mackanin (player: 1978 - 1979, manager: 2015 - current)

1983 NL Champion Phillies
Von Hayes (1983-1991)
Gary Matthews (1981 - 1983) 1983 NLCS MVP

1980 World Champion Phillies
Bobby Wine (player: 1960 - 1968, coach: 1972 - 1983)
Marty Bystrom (1980 - 1984)
Del Unser (1973 - 1974, 1979 - 1982)
Warren Brusstar (1977 - 1982)
Dickie Noles (1979 - 1981, 1990)
Bake McBride (1977 - 1981) 1974 NL Rookie Of The Year
Larry Christenson (1973 - 1983)
Manny Trillo (1979 - 1982)

2008 World Champion Phillies
Matt Stairs (2008 - 2009)

Phillies Wall Of Fame
Steve Carlton (1972 - 1986) x4 NL Cy Young, Hall Of Fame: 1994
Mike Schmidt (1972 - 1989) x3 NL MVP, 1980 World Series MVP, Hall Of Fame: 1995
Dick Allen (1963 - 1969, 1975 - 1976) 1964 NL Rookie Of The Year, 1972 AL MVP
Greg Luzinski (1970 - 1980)
Tony Taylor (1960 - 1971, 1974 - 1976)
Bob Boone (1972 - 1981)
Juan Samuel (1983 - 1989)
Mike Lieberthal (1994 - 2006)
Charlie Manuel (manager: 2005 - 2013)
Jim Thome (2003 - 2005, 2012)

1993 NL Champion Phillies
Bill Giles (president: 1982 - 1997, general manager: 1984 - 1987)
Larry Bowa (player: 1970 - 1981, coach: 1989 - 1996, 2014 - current, manager: 2001 - 2004)
Jim Eisenreich (1993 - 1996)
Kevin Stocker (1993 - 1997)
Tommy Greene (1990 - 1995)
Milt Thompson (player: 1986 - 1988, 1993 - 1994, coach: 2003 - 2010)
Mickey Morandini (player: 1990 - 1997, 2000, coach: 2016 - current)
Larry Andersen (player: 1983 - 1986, 1993 - 1994, broadcaster: 1998 - current)
John Kruk (player: 1989 - 1994, broadcaster: 2017 - current)

** 2017 Phillies take the field **

Moment of silence to honor Phillies who passed away in the past year
Choo-Choo Coleman (1961)
Juan Bell (1992 - 1993)
Greg Jelks (1987)
Bob Sadowski (1961)
Bill Champion (1969 - 1972)
Bob Bowman (1955 - 1959)
Mark Brownson (2000)
Dallas Green (player: 1960 - 1964, 1967, manager: 1979 - 1981)
Todd Frohwirth (1987 - 1990)
Ruben Amaro (1960 - 1965)
Roy Sievers (1962 - 1964)
Bob Kuzava (1955)
Jim Bunning (1964 - 1967, 1970 - 1971) Hall Of Fame: 1996
Herm Starrette (coach: 1979 - 1981)
Gene Conley (1959 - 1960)
Darren Daulton (1983 - 1997)

Aug 12, 2017

All The Worlds Within You, And All The Places That You Go

Bush - She Wants Revenge - Leopold And His Fiction
Sands Bethlehem Event Center - Bethlehem, PA
I've been a fan of Bush since their debut album, Sixteen Stone, was released when I was 14 years old.  Usually when I go to a show of a band I liked back in the 80's or 90's, I'm hoping to hear their classic hits more than the songs off of the new album, but this is the exception to the rule.  In the months leading up to this show, I've been listening to the Black and White Rainbows pretty much every time I've been in the car.  I think it might be my favorite album that has been released this century.

There were two opening acts.  The first band was Leopold And His Fiction from Austin, Texas, and the second was She Wants Revenge from California.  I can't say I've ever heard of either band before today, but I promise I mean no disrespect when I say that.

If you spend ten seconds on this blog, you would probably suspect that I live in the past, and your suspicions would be correct.  This is the most evident in the music that I listen to.  I am absolutely dreadful when it comes to listening to new artists, and when I say "new", I mean anything that has come out since around the year 2000.  I don't just listen to the songs and artists that I loved in the 80's and 90's - I tend to strip mine the past to discover artists and albums that I've never heard before.  Then, instead of moving ahead to the present day, I look up the artists of the 50's, 60's and 70's that have influenced my favorite bands and performers.  Whether or not that's healthy, I'll leave you to judge, but it's who I am.

That's not to say that I don't enjoy music from new bands when I hear it.  I just don't come into contact with it very often.  I enjoyed both bands quite a bit, and I'm definitely going to do some research and find more of their music.

I've wanted to see Bush in concert for many years, and I was completely blown away by their performance.  The setlist was brilliant, which included six songs from their debut album, five songs from their latest album, and many of the hits that were released in the years between.  They also performed a brilliant cover of the 1987 hit The One I Love by REM.

Here is the album breakdown of the songs that they performed tonight:

The Chemicals Between Us

The only mild disappointment I had was that they didn't perform Sky Turns Day Glo from their new album.  I don't even think "disappointment" is the right word, because I was anything but disappointed on the drive home.  This was one of my favorite concerts that I've ever attended.

Here are some more photos from the show:

Here are the setlists from the show: