Dec 31, 2018

The Roq Of The 80's


KROQ 106.7 FM
Top 106 Of 1983 Countdown
On December 31, 1983, a dude named Brian used four Memorex dBS 120 cassettes to record the K-ROQ year end countdown.  He edited out all of the commercials and a lot of the DJ talk, but there's enough of Jed The Fish and the other hosts to give you a taste of the iconic radio station out of Pasadena that played a huge role in the alternative rock and new wave scene.

Crap From The Past uploaded the entire countdown to archive.org, and it has quickly become my favorite playlist.  It has introduced me to a lot of great songs that I may not have found if not for this recording.  Click the play button under the KROQ logo, close your eyes, and travel 35 years in the past and listen to some incredible music.

Dec 30, 2018

Don't Get Eaten By A Grue


Zork
Infocom (1980)
The first Zork text adventure was released 38 years ago this month.  Its origin is too long long and complicated to summarize here, but Retronauts recorded an excellent podcast about it a few years ago that I highly recommend.  After you've listened to it, head over to ZorkOnline.net where you can play the original Zork trilogy, in addition to many other games of the genre.

Dec 29, 2018

It Was This or a Bag of Doritos


Dear Sauder's Quality Eggs,

For lunch, I bought two hard boiled eggs that were dipped in hot sauce from a vending machine.  I assure you, there's no need to make "cage free" the largest words on the wrapper.  I'm not that demanding.

Dec 28, 2018

The Great Pumpkin Sale


I think they may have ordered a few too many boxes of Pumpkin Spice cereal.

Dec 27, 2018

Dec 26, 2018

Horny Crap

I'm thinking the conversation behind this product went something like this:

Randolph: My great-granddaughter loves unicorns.  They're everywhere these days.
Mortimer: You're right.  You know what else I keep seeing is the poop emoji.  The kiddies love it.
Randolph: I've got a brilliant idea.

My apologies if you found this turd under your tree on Christmas morning.

Dec 25, 2018

Ghost of Christmas Past


Until recently, West Hazleton put the town Christmas Tree up by the World War I memorial outside of Miner's Bank (now Citizens Bank).  This photo of the borough putting the star and the lights on the tree was taken in 1960.  If you look closely in the background (above the hood of the truck), you can see Justofin's Pharmacy with the Breyer's Ice Cream sign across Broad Street from the bank.

Dec 24, 2018

Merry Christmas From Apollo 8


Apollo 8
Photo by Bruce Dale - National Geographic
On the morning of December 21st, 1968, the first human spaceflight to reach and orbit the moon launched from the Kennedy Space Center.  It reached lunar orbit fifty years ago today on Christmas Eve, and astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and Bill Anders spoke to a live television broadcast that aired in 64 countries and was watched by an estimated 1 billion viewers.

This incredible photograph by Bruce Dale perfectly captures this moment with three young boys gathered around the television.  In this moment in time, the presents under the tree are an afterthought.

Dec 23, 2018

Magical Creatures and Where They Live 2


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Cinema & Drafthouse - West Hazleton, PA
When the first movie of this series came out, I couldn't remember what it was called.  I knew it was wrong when I said it, but I blurted out "Magical Creatures and Where They Live" hoping that I would get my point across.  Now, I can't call it anything else.

We saw the first movie in the same theater when it came out.  If there's one thing I've learned from coming here, it's the fact that seeing a movie in the theater is even better with a Philly Cheesesteak pizza and a heaping bowl of chili.

Dec 22, 2018

A Very Joe Bob Christmas


A Very Joe Bob Christmas
Hosted by Joe Bob Briggs
What better way to spend the weekend before Christmas than watching a Phantasm marathon with a bowl of mac and cheese, a plate of cookies, and the greatest host in movie history.

Dec 21, 2018

A Dutch Apple Christmas Carol


A Christmas Carol - The Musical
Dutch Apple Dinner Theater - Lancaster, PA
We've been going to the Dutch Apple for ten years now.  It's a pretty fantastic place.  The food is always very good, the staff is extremely friendly and courteous, and the shows are very entertaining.  Tonight was no exception.  This may have been the best portrayal of Jacob Marley I've ever seen.

Dec 20, 2018

A 2600 Christmas


This photo was submitted to AtariAge by Robert Anne.  I love everything about this photo, from the ceramic lighted tree on the console television, to the Christmas lights strung on the stereo, to the Adventure open box and the cartridge sitting on the Atari, next to be played after Asteroids.

Dec 19, 2018

Happy Birthday Tony Taylor

Photo shared by Podolux (Flickr)
Tony Taylor (late 1960's)
Second Base - Philadelphia Phillies
Connie Mack Stadium - Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia icon Tony Taylor turned 83 years old today.  The 2002 Wall of Fame inductee broke into the game with the Cubs 60 years ago and was traded to the Phillies in May 1960.  He would go on to be the Phillies starting second baseman through the entire decade and into the 70's until he was traded to the Tigers in the summer of 1971.  He returned to Philadelphia in the winter of 1973 where he was a utility player.  He ended his career after the 1976 season in which he was a member of a National League East Champion Phillies team.

An interesting fact was shared earlier today by Andrew Linker of Philadelphia Baseball History.  When the batting helmet rule was instituted in 1970, it allowed a grandfather clause for veteran players which allowed them to choose to not wear a helmet.  Tony Taylor was the last player in the National League to bat without a helmet.

An incredible article about the life and career of Tony Taylor can be found on SABR.org.

Photo shared by Andrew Linker (HarrisburgBaseball.com)

Dec 18, 2018

Chicken Roasting On An Open Fire


Colonel Sanders 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog
Kentucky Fried Chicken / Enviro-Log
For $18.99, you can purchase a fireplace log that will make your house smell like fried chicken for up to three hours.  Since they took out the trans fats, the smell is the best part of KFC, so it's worth a look.

Dec 17, 2018

You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can't Tuna Fish


Soy & Sesame Tuna Steak
Adagio Seafood - Bethlehem, PA
Dad and Trish took us out to dinner before Penn & Teller on Friday night.  The tuna steak was delicious.  The baked potato had Old Bay seasoned butter which was very good too.

Dec 16, 2018

Christmas Comes To Pac-Land


Christmas Comes To Pac-Land
Hanna Barbera (1982)
Thirty six years ago, the Pac-Man cartoon series aired its Christmas special for the first time.  It follows the adventures of Santa Claus, who takes a wrong turn due to some faulty sleigh equipment and gets stuck in Pac Land.  It's a bizarre holiday special that could only have come out of the 80's.

Dec 15, 2018

Super Mario Night Before Christmas


Berwick Christmas Boulevard
Berwick, PA
This has been an annual tradition for us dating back to 2004.  The Berwick Christmas Lights always have awesome displays, and they often have one section dedicated to video games.  This year, we got to see the Super Mario Night Before Christmas display put together by Defebo Graphics.

Dec 14, 2018

A Magical Evening


Penn & Teller
Sands Casino - Bethlehem, PA
Dad, Trish, Angie and I went to see Penn & Teller perform at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center earlier today.  I've been a fan of Penn & Teller since I first watched their series on Showtime and I've always wanted to see them.  The show was a hell of a lot of fun.  Teller did an incredible magic trick with a fish tank and change that he turned into fish that was especially fun.

At we were walking into the show, we saw stations set up that invited you to take four playing cards and a cup.  Penn Jillette ended the show by doing an interactive trick with everyone in the audience, where he had us mix up the cards a bunch of times, rip them in half, put one half of one card on our chest near our heart, mix them up some more, exchange cards with each other, and then toss cards one at a time into the cup until we have only one left. Sure enough, the half card I had left was the other half of the one that was on my chest.  I have no idea how in the world that worked, but it was a lot of fun!

After the show, Penn and Teller hung out in the lobby taking photos and signing autographs with pretty much everyone in attendance.  Dad accidentally photobombed our pic with Mr. Teller (he's in the top right corner), which makes the photo that much more awesome.  He and Penn Jillette also autographed the Jack of Diamonds, which was the card that I had that matched in their final trick of the night.

Dec 13, 2018

New Yoo-Hoo


Yoo-Hoo drink boxes
Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Strawberry
I'm a sucker for any new or limited edition products, but I don't think I'd get these again.  They're not bad, but they're not as good as the original Yoo-Hoo.

Dec 12, 2018

Philadelphia Catches Cutch


Wow.  This is huge!

Andrew McCutchen has been one of the very best in the game for many years.  He is a former NL MVP, a five time All-Star, and above all else, he is Johnny Hustle.  I've never watched this man play and ever think that he wasn't giving his absolute best.  He will very welcome in the City of Brotherly Love.  I hope he spends the rest of his career in red pinstripes.

For all of the hype over the potential signings of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, I think that the Phillies have already done enough this winter to turn the corner and to reach the post-season.  The defensive upgrade of McCutchen in the OF and Hoskins at 1B, and the offensive upgrade of McCutchen and Segura are massive.  They made some savvy moves to bolster the bullpen, and the rotation will be much improved with a full year of Eickhoff and a more experienced and tested Pivetta and Eflin who will come into 2019 better prepared to pitch deep into a season.

Don't get me wrong, I hope that the Phillies can continue to add talent to the lineup, but if they stopped making moves right here, I'd still say that it's been a successful winter to prepare for a playoff run in 2019.

Dec 11, 2018

Nintendo At The End Of The 80's


Nintendo sales flyer (1989)
KayBee Toys
When I was a little kid, I almost never went to Toys R Us, but my dad and my grandparents frequently brought me to KayBee.  The one I remember best was in the Schuylkill Mall in Frackville, but I know I've been to several others.

I don't care what new games come out or how good they are, nothing has ever compared to the feeling I had playing the NES back in the 80's.  The NES Max controller in the bottom left was my favorite when I was a kid.  As an adult, I'm not sure why.  Maybe my hands are just too big for it these days.  I know that I also had Dragon Warrior and Castlevania 2.  At some point in my life, I also had Faxanadu, Blaster Master and Ninja Gaiden, but I didn't have those when they were new.  I think I may have found them at a flea market sometime in the 90's.

Dec 10, 2018

Rudolph The Red Nosed Boss Man


The Big Bossman and Mr. Perfect
December, 1990
WWE should use this photo to make a Christmas card.

Dec 9, 2018

Michael Jack Flash


Mike Schmidt
Houston, TX (1976)
This photo was shared by Chris Drake of Philadelphia Baseball History.  The kid in the foreground is his brother getting Mike Schmidt's autograph, with "The Secretary of Defense" Gary Maddox at the desk in the background.  Schmidt is pure 70's suave in a shiny golden shirt with an expression on his face that is rarely seen on a baseball card.

Dec 8, 2018

Winter of 1955


Broad Street (1955)
Hazleton, PA
This photo was published in the Standard Speaker after a snowstorm.  The Rosen's store is where the Salvation Army Thrift Store is today.

Dec 7, 2018

Phillies New Logo


I was twelve years old the last time the Phillies changed their logo.  Earlier today, the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizen's Bank Park revealed on Twitter that the team logo is changing prior to the start of the 2019 season.

Dec 6, 2018

Before Boscov's


Fowler, Dick and Walker Store (1956)
South Franklin Street - Wilkes-Barre, PA
This is the rear entrance to what is now Boscov's Department Store.  Back then, it was Fowler Dick and Walker's "The Boston Store".

Dec 5, 2018

A Snowy Day In The 70's


Times Square (1978)
New York, NY
This photo was taken after a snowstorm in 1978.  Howard Johnson's restaurant is on the far left hand side.  It was an iconic location at 46th and Broadway that originally opened in the 1940's before becoming Howard Johnson's in 1959.  I had dinner there once in the early 2000's and it was truly a living time capsule.  It remained in business nearly unchanged for decades until it finally closed in 2005.

To the right of the restaurant, you can see a billboard for The Smother's Brother in I Love My Wife on Broadway.  Also, The Wiz is showing at the Forum Theater on the other side of Burger King.

Dec 4, 2018

Yo Joe!


GI Joe toy aisle (1987)
I'm not sure what store this photo was taken in, but you can tell it's from 1987 because the Cobra Mamba helicopter is on the shelf.

Dec 3, 2018

Goodbye to Carl and Carlos


Earlier today, the Phillies finalized a trade that sent J.P. Crawford and Carlos Santana to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for All-Star shortstop Jean Segura and relief pitchers Juan Nicasio and James Pazos.

I always liked Crawford, but his success above AA has been very limited.  He's still a lottery ticket, and a questionable one.  Frankly, even if everything goes perfect for Crawford from this point forward, he might hopefully become what Jean Segura already is.  The fact that Segura is signed through the end of the 2022 season makes this a win even if he was the only thing we got back.

Santana is another player I really liked, and after seeing the Phillies move him to 3B at the end of the 2018 season, I had high hopes of seeing him stick there with Hoskins moved back to 1B where he belongs.  Hoskins was the worst defensive player in all of baseball in LF because he simply doesn't belong there.  He's a first baseman.  He was displaced by Tommy Joseph when he first came up, and he was displaced by the free agent signing of Santana in 2018.  It's a damn shame that there's no DH in the National League.  It's crippled the Phillies before.  Imagine a Phillies team from 2005 - 2007 with Thome as the DH.  A lineup of Rollins, Utley, Howard, Thome and Burrell might have turned the 2007 NL East crown to a World Championship.

The addition of two quality relief pitchers make trade even better.  Juan Nicasio returns to the Phillies after spending five days with the Phillies in 2017.  James Pazos is a much needed quality lefty out of the bullpen  So, in one trade, the Phillies added two key bullpen pieces, installed a massive upgrade at shortstop over the next four seasons, eliminated a huge defensive hole in LF with Hoskins returning to 1B (regardless of who plays the position), and making this a better team in both the short and long term.

Nice job, Mr. Klentak.

Dec 2, 2018

Masters Of The Toy Aisle


Masters Of The Universe Toys
Mattel (1985)
I'm not sure where this photo was taken, but after seeing the English and French on the front of the Castle Grayskull box, I'm guessing that it's either Canada or a European country.  The castle was one of my favorite toys when I was a kid.  I had a heck of a lot of these action figures too.  It's a little blurry, but the ones in this photo that I'm sure I had are He-Man, Skeletor, Kobra Khan, Leech, Roboto, Buzz Off, Stratos, Hordak, Grizzlor, Moss Man, Man-At-Arms and Mantenna.

Dec 1, 2018

The Strangest Breakfast Cereal Of The 80's


Dinersaurs
Ralston Purina (1988)
I don't know what hallucinogens the product development team at Ralston was on when they came up with the concept for Dinersaurs, but it must have been pretty good stuff.  This breakfast cereal was themed around a diner that's by T-Rex, Stego Stan, Buddy Brontosaurus, Terry Pterodactyl and Sara Triceratops.  They're sometimes joined by their friend, Denver The Last Dinosaur, whose presence with five other members of his species really calls into question his status as the last of his kind.

If a group of dinosaurs running a diner isn't a strange enough theme for a breakfast cereal, the restaurant itself appears to be operating inside the body of another dinosaur who seems all too happy to have had a door and windows installed in his side.  Happy breakfast, kids!

Nov 30, 2018

Nerv On Netflix


Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the greatest anime series of all time.  I would go a step further and say that it's one of the greatest works of science fiction ever created.  It was announced earlier this week that the show, including the two movies, will be coming to Netflix for Spring 2019.

Nov 29, 2018

Just Can't Get Enough


Deep Fried Turkey BLT
Arby's (2018)
Since Thanksgiving, I've had several turkey dinners, turkey pot pie, and now an Arby's Deep Fried Turkey BLT sandwich.  It was pretty tasty, but as much as I love turkey, I think I've got to find something else to eat this weekend.

Nov 28, 2018

Back In Burgertime


Intellivision sticker
Burgertime (1983)
This sticker was shared by Norman Pelz on Intellivision Invasion.

Nov 27, 2018

Reindeer Head Games


I'm glad that I'm not the only one to have picked up on this.

Nov 26, 2018

Dinosaurs On A Dinosaur


Microsoft Dinosaurs (1993)
Long before the days of X-Box, Microsoft gave us an interactive CD Rom game that was years ahead of its time.  It included over 1,000 images, hundreds of articles, audio and video clips of dinosaurs.  This photo shows it playing on a Gateway 2000 486 PC.  [photo source: LaserSauce Archives]

Nov 25, 2018

Joey Bats Beetle


Sicoderus Bautistai
Entomologist Bob Anderson of the Canadian Museum of Nature has discovered a new species of weevil and has named it after Phillies outfielder José Bautista.

Anderson is a Blue Jays fan who has named over a hundred different species of weevil in his career.  He was inspired by Bautista's 2015 ALDS home run off of Rangers pitcher Sam Dyson that sent the Blue Jays to their first ALCS since 1993 (when they went on to beat the Phillies in the World Series).

Nov 24, 2018

Schweitzersgiving 2018


Turkey dinner with all the trimmings, pumpkin pie, ice cold Sprite, Christmas tree, and a Joe Bob horror movie marathon.  It's been a perfect Thanksgiving weekend.

Nov 23, 2018

Black Friday Memories


K-Mart (1988).
I worked for the electronics department of a K-Mart on Black Friday nine years after this ad was published.  It was pure insanity.  I remember that the special item that year was a big screen television which we sold out of in about three minutes.

Nov 22, 2018

Dinners Of Death


Dinners Of Death
Hosted by Joe Bob Briggs
Tonight at 9:00 pm, the live stream of Dinners of Death with Joe Bob Briggs will begin streaming on Shudder.  I've been looking forward to this ever since I first learned about it.

Nov 20, 2018

Aiwa Mega CD


Aiwa Mega CD (1994)
aka: Sega CSD-GM1
One of the rarest Sega consoles is also one of the coolest.  Released only in Japan, the Aiwa Mega CD boombox had a cartridge port for Sega Mega Drive games below the cassette deck.  The CD drive plays music and Sega CD games.

Nov 18, 2018

Pre-Turkey Day Marathon


Mystery Science Theater 3000
Turkey Day Marathon - Shout TV
Because the new season of MST3K is set to debut on Netflix on Thanksgiving, the Turkey Day Marathon is being held a few days before Thanksgiving this year.  No arguments here - six episodes of classic MST3K sounds like a great way to start the holiday season.

Nov 17, 2018

Seven Year Old 7-Up


I spend a little time cleaning out the kitchen cupboards today and I came across this bottle of 7-Up Citrus Marinade that got pushed all the way to the back.  It expired on October 7th, 2011.