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.

Nov 16, 2018

Games, Undies and Toilet Paper

Target ad (1990)
Put a coupon for Doritos and Pepsi on the cover and you have all you need for the weekend.

Nov 15, 2018

Psychedelic Pinball Park

The World of Sid and Marty Krofft
Atlanta, GA (1976)
This theme park was only open for about six months before it went out of business.  It included a dark ride in which you sat inside of a pinball and ricocheted through the inside of a giant pinball machine.

Nov 14, 2018

Value City Gaming

Playstation and Nintendo 64 sale
Value City Department Store (October 1998)
I worked at Value City twenty years ago (from 1998 to 1999).  We received a big shipment of video games for the 1998 holiday season.  We didn't have an electronics department with a locked cabinet, so the store manager decided to keep them on display behind the customer service desk where I worked.

The games weren't the latest for the time, but we had a pretty good selection and you couldn't beat the price - especially with my 20% off employee discount and the fact that I was able to put them on layaway and pay them off a little at a time over the holiday season.  I picked up Suikoden, Tecmo Stackers, Pandemonium, Tokyo Highway Battle, Myst, Riven, Blazing Dragons, Discworld 2 and WWF In Your House for Playstation and Quake, Doom 64Mortal Kombat Trilogy, and Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey '98 for Nintendo 64.

I guess they don't seem like much by today's standards, but it was over a dozen new games to play and I had a lot of fun with them.

Nov 13, 2018

I Hear They Play Baseball In Cuba

Lenny, I'm no lawyer, but I have a hunch that this tweet won't do you any favors when you want to post bail.

Nov 12, 2018

Very Old Veryfine

This Veryfine Fruit Juice vending machine is at the Sunoco station on Broad Street in Hazleton, PA.  It's been there for at least the past thirty years.  I'm not sure if it's still in operation.  I didn't have any change, and the cashier was staring me down when I took a photo of it, so I didn't ask.  It's also not the first time I saw vintage Veryfine in Northeast PA this year.  It must have been a big market for them.

I was shocked to find that they still make Veryfine fruit juice.  It's owned by the same company that makes Sunny Delight.  I'll have to keep a lookout for their Pineapple Orange juice.

Nov 11, 2018

MJ, MJ and Macaulay

Three Icons of my Childhood
Michael Jackson's "Black or White" was released 27 years ago today.  It was an iconic song that defined the transition from the 80's to the 90's that has been senselessly mocked in the years that followed.  This photo, of Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson and a Reebok Pumps-wearing Macaulay Culkin was said to have been taken backstage during the shooting of the Black or White music video.

Nov 10, 2018

The Ultimate Arcade Sign

Aladdin's Castle Lighted Sign
I stumbled across this awesome sign on eBay.  The seller listed it as being used in the arcades in the 90's.  If I ever managed to put together a home arcade, I'd love to have something like this hanging on the wall, but it's a little too rich for me at almost two grand.

Nov 9, 2018

Crystal Pepsi Float

Right now, I'm not looking at the calories.  This was made with two big scoops of Turkey Hill Homemade Vanilla ice cream and roughly 10 oz. of Crystal Pepsi.

Nov 8, 2018

Nov 7, 2018

The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday

The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday (1988)
Trey Anastasio
I have a terrible habit of putting things off, and I don't even mean work or responsibilities - I mean everything.  I have movies that I meant to watch, albums that I've meant to listen to, books that I've meant to read and video games I've meant to play that number in the thousands - things I have put off for not just weeks or months, but years and decades.  Part of this is that I'm extremely forgetful and I just don't think of it when I have the time, and part of it is that I'm very easily distracted, so it's hard to pay attention when I do finally settle in to check something off of my list.  Eh, I''m a mess.

With that in mind, people who were familiar with my taste in music have recommended Phish to me when I was in high school, which was over 20 years ago.  At some point in the past decade, I made a playlist on my iPod to check out some of their stuff, which was promptly forgotten.  Earlier today at work, I stumbled on it and decided to give it a listen.  Included in this was The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday - an incredibly creative concept album that completely blew me away.

In the ten minutes of research I've done, I've learned that this was Trey Anastasio's senior project when he was working towards a bachelor degree at Goddard College.  It's a story that includes songs broken by spoken narrative segments.

The story may seem a little silly on the surface, but there's a lot going on here.  My take is that it's about acceptance of a dark reality and adaptation to that reality.  Throughout human history, we have had kings, politicians, cult leaders and clergy who have adapted to the vulnerabilities of their fellow man and who use the gods and mythologies of their era to help themselves at the expense of others.  It's the dark side of evolution: for every creature that adapts and thrives, it does so at the expense of those who do not.  The frog who has evolved to have poisonous skin thrives and passes those traits onto their offspring with no regard for those who have no such protection, or for who their poison skin comes into contact with.  The story presents this in the framework of "good" and "evil", and that "evil" is essentially just an acceptance that someone or something is going to seize power at the expense of others, and it might as well be you.  The trick is to surrender to the flow.

Nov 6, 2018

The Body Politic

Throughout my childhood, Dad and I often watched wrestling together.  One of our favorite performers of all time was Jesse "The Body" Ventura.  He always took the bad guy's side, but unlike so many of the other heel commentators, his arguments for defending their actions was usually plausible.  I used to love when he'd say "Come on, Gorilla!" in an exasperated tone when Monsoon would say something positive about Hulk Hogan.

Twenty years ago, this former Navy SEAL, professional wrestler, actor and mayor was elected to serve as the 38th Governor of Minnesota.  Earlier in the year when I found out he was running for governor, I rushed downstairs to tell Dad.  Before the day was over, we ordered two of these shirts and wore them proudly.  I'm from Pennsylvania so I couldn't vote for him, but I was happy that our t-shirt order helped to contribute to his campaign and his victory.

Nov 5, 2018

Nov 4, 2018

Can You Milk A Bull?

Farmers Dairy (1984)
Rt. 309 - Hazleton, PA
Farmer's Dairy Store & Ice Cream Shop opened in 1943 and was a Hazleton landmark for over fifty years.  It was across the street from Genetti's Best Western at the intersection of Church Street and 32nd Street in Hazleton.  When I was a kid, my grandfather brought me here for banana splits.  I remember that they were served in blue plastic boats, and they were very yummy.  I know that they served other food too, but all I ever had there was ice cream.

The restaurant closed in October 1995.  The building is still standing and is now home to Antonio's Breakfast World, but this sign was torn down not long after the Farmers Dairy restaurant closed.

Nov 3, 2018

Nov 2, 2018

Pac Man Gives You Wings

Pac-Man Red Bull Arcade Cabinet
Bandai Namco (2018)
7-Eleven - Austin, TX
This specialty arcade cabinet not only features new special levels of Pac Man.  It also has a refrigerator stocked with Red Bull built into the cabinet in place of the coin box.  It even has graphics of a coin slot on the door of the fridge.

When playing the game, a can of Red Bull will randomly pop up and bounce around the screen.  When Pac-Man eats it, he gets surrounded by a shield that lets you shoot lightning at the ghosts.  It's incredible that after all these years, Pac-Man continues to be reinvented and embraced by the world.

Photo Credit: Dustun Rogers

Update: The arcade cabinet design is based on the Namco Pixel Bash machine (hat tip to Win Hickman and Todd Guse).

Nov 1, 2018

Red Bull Pac-Cans

Red Bull
Limited Edition Pac-Can
These cans just started hitting stores in my area in the past few days.  Not only is the Pac-Man design awesome, but the tab underneath has a special code that unlocks an exclusive Red Bull level of the game on the Pac-Man game app from Bandai Namco.  There are three levels, so a four pack of the energy drink will allow you to unlock all three, with a fourth can for hoarders like me to save.