Small Bag O Junk - Junky

100_4661.JPGJust like a 30 cent "Data Center Deluxe" , this is the first of my smaller junk that I put randomly in a bag for, well I don't know why. But, it makes for a good post about small crap in my junk box. Come along with me on this post to the junk blog wary junk blog readers. Ahhh, but I know what is peeking all your interests. First up....

100_4662.JPGPOT WALLET! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Meh. You see I was a member of this very union. Had to leave because they caught me making a pair of jeans out of the crop. This was a flea market find, or could you tell? I like these kind of wallets as mentioned before on this blog, but this one I couldn't bear to carry. Nowadays, maybe if I lived in WA or Vegas... But here in Ohio... Yes Officer, here's my license... no I haven't been using, honest...okay I'll turn down the Grateful Dead and wait while you use SCMOTTS (or whatever the hell they called it in the Blues Brothers.)

100_4663.JPGI have a sealed deck of the kind of cards they would give you if you ask for it when you flew in the 80's. You know, when they didn't charge you for everything including the pay toilet. I'll get to those in another blog entry. Now, I gotta focus on the "TV Magic Cards". They sold the crap out of these on television as UHF started to take off and become rerun heaven. Funny how they don't advertise these on the new digital rerun happy sub channels. Everything old is new again.

100_4680.JPGI guess "Marshall Brodien" was some sort of famous magician. Hmmm. I don't remember him being able to make the Washington Monument disappear. Maybe he had something to do with making Al Capone's vault contents disappear in front of a hope filled Jeraldo. I think he showed Rocky how to pull a rabbit out of a hat but it was a lion. Personally I thought that was a better trick than the rabbit. That wacky Bullwinkle. No, I don't know if he was really popular although he seemed very smart dressed in that cape. He sold these cheap decks by the millions and I thought I could be a skilled magician if I got a set. Yes, I wanted to be a magician for a minute, but only if I could suddenly be rich and famous and make money appear.

100_4664.JPGAhhh, but to be a good magician, you had to be a good bullsh*tter. I wasn't. Was your card the 9 of spades? Funny, there's seems to be a mix up with the deck. Maybe they sent me a bad one. Of course, if you like the Howard Stern show...9.9.9.9.9.9.9.9.9. My professional life is at a NOIN! (Skitch, Baba Booey and Sour Shoes, Thanks.)

100_4665.JPGWashington DC. One of the best trips I ever took. When I was a shaver, I survived a car accident and when healed, my mom took a piece of the settlement  money and took us to Washington DC. We got to see where Lincoln was shot, had a delicious Caesar salad made fresh right in front of us, drove around in a smelly tour bus for two stops until my mom hired a private driver to take us around and see the real sights. We had lunch in the belly of congress and rode the underground tram. My brother met John Glenn. We stayed in two separate hotels that had the fire alarm pulled. The limo had backwards facing jump seats. I remember the carpets in congress on the steps were great for giving static shocks to whomever touched me if I was touching the railings. This was the beautiful photo book we got as a memory of our trip. That is the memory dump. It's why I remember the trip, my first and the best. Oh yes, and the Cleveland airport was under construction back then and never seems to be NOT under construction. Do not spill your little pearl like candies on the tile airport floor, mom won't let you pick them up and eat them.

100_4668.JPG"Hey Group! Cool It Ova Dey"

100_4667.JPGHe's the one, the only, Ernie Anderson. For three years in Cleveland, he was TV's Ghoulardi. When televisions were becoming more of a regular entertainment value, the time was right for a late night movie host to capture all of Cleveland. There was an 80% drop in crime when he was on. I never saw him, but I knew of him because he started a late night Friday tradition that became the longest running local show in the history of TV. He was but the beginning, and Big Chuck and Little John ended it. He became more "famous" as the guy with the biggest line in the history of television.. "Tonight, on a very special LOOOOOVEEEE BOAT"" This was the gathering around a Cleveland tradition. A con that lasted a few years. They showed a simulated "Ghoulardi" show with "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" with cut ins of the only footage saved of Ghoulardi caught on film. It was too damn expensive back then to film/tape every show. When I was working in Louisville, they brought in a new boss. I heard he was from Cleveland. To break the ice, I asked him if he knew what "Hey Group, Cool It Ova Dey" meant. That began a great friendship. 

100_4669.JPGBuilders Square Sku Pads. When we sold the customer a bit of lumber or a flat of flowers, if the customer wanted to keep shopping, we would write down the "Stock Keeping Unit" on a SKU pad and give it to the customer. We had tons of these things laying around. I used the backs of them to write write write and keep myself from going insane from boredom while working in that tiny garden center register building. At least they didn't make me stock the plants or fertilizer. Next to it was the literature they gave us when we began offering "GE" extended warranty at Northeast Appliance. Actually, it was the best program we had. It didn't pay much, but the plans were complete and reasonably priced. They didn't have a 10 year tube warranty parts only for $9.99 or other "shifty" offers. Ahhh, but I didn't like selling the crap anyway. One funny thing I found written in this book. My manager would always ask me if I also got this with every sale I made.....

100_4670.JPG"Did You get the BEEF on that washer/dryer set?" "Did you know I flew copters in NAM?" "I see you're eating some chippie dippies"  

100_4671.JPGHere was something a bored kid in junior high school did to try and pass the time. With scrap paper he cut and stapled himself a stupid little note keeper. I did a lot of these and put "many" features into these. Mostly they were meant to mimic spy stuff. I had communicators and flash lights and chemical sets and self destruct computers and transformation spells. It all cost thirty cents. Who's buying?

100_4675.JPGFinally, a blast from the past. There used to be a video playing device called a "Laserdisc" player. These were huge mirrored record sized discs that played on newly designed "Laser" players. They didn't wear out, but they could only hold 45 minutes a side so you had to "flip" your movie half way through. They had great analog video and amazing "digital" like sound. Yes, these were around a year or two when someone said "Hey, we'll miniaturize these and put 66 minutes of digital audio on it, and it will never wear out." They called it a "compact disc". The rest is blooper giggling history.   I was a big "They Might Be Giants" fan before their "Flood" album brought them to a more mainstream audience. My friend Bill was a HUGE fan and the guy that got me into Laserdiscs. He had one of the first VCRS and has the FIRST commercially available Sony CD players. So, for him , for Christmas, I ordered a mini LD of "They Might Be Giants" from the biggest Laserdisc reseller in the country, Ken Cranes. It was so big for a few years, it was their name. I guess Ken Crane sold electronics but they cornered the market on Laserdisc software. Of course, I could have purchased "Termiantor 2" on LD, but it was probably a porn parody of Terminator 2. Ahhhhh, the days of analog, catalog based  ordering just seems so quaint. Junk Blog. -Ric

The Meat Of The Junk

100_4449.JPGWhen I started this junk blog two years ago, I knew I'd eventually get to this. The real reason for this blog. This box of smaller junk. Each piece saved for some kind of meaning to me that I think is memorable or funny. Actually, most of it is recent years with very few things from my childhood. That number selector that you see or those binoculars there are pretty old additions, but the Fisher Price Music Box dates back to my consciousness as a human bean. Still, the memories within this box, some surprised even me as I haven't looked through this crap in years. I did have to move it into the plastic box when the cardboard box I had in the basement took on a bit of moisture. All was pretty much well.

100_4450.JPGSomething to be said about these plastic keepers of crap. Yes, they repel "moisture" but in a flood, they begin to float, tip over and ruin all your stuff anyway. They are a little less resistant to spontaneous combustion, but you're better off buying a better one as these have a tendency to "dry" out and crack very easy.  I have the Sierra Nevada Torpedo boxes filled with junk just as spacers to all the junk this beast contains. This is a cheaper one of course, and clear. It's probably a cracker. The glow in the dark dolphins do look cool when you turn out the lights.

100_4451.JPGI'm no idiot. I didn't throw my graduation hat to the sky only to pick up someone else's sweaty achievement. I can still remember kissing my principal on graduation. Why did this matter? I hated my school and my principal and I felt because a few others who were brave gave her a smack on the mush and a pat on the ass, why shouldn't I get my pound of flesh? Rather than buying computers of equipment we could use, she spent $5000 on a school colors banner to go down the main hallway. I'm sure it likely cost more. She also clamped down on the rules and regs. It was a far cry from when we had a stoner chopping a line in study hall and a principal that slept in his office. 

100_4452.JPG Booze and beer seem to be big things in this junk box. I haven't even got to the long post about the beer cans that I hang on my little Christmas tree. Of course, there are more boxes of business cards likely when I was a sales hack for many dying electronics stores. Lots of coasters. Boy, I bet you all just can't wait for me to reveal this crap. I'm, all a TWITTER. No, I don't have a f-ing account.

100_4456.JPGLook in. See the goodness inside. Is that a gun? Yes, a CAP GUN. Is that Mayor McCheese? Better yet, the Breakfast Birdy? What's the deal with that TI1200 Calc with LED red readout? Does it still work? Is that a radio cart? What the hell is a radio cart? A radio in a cart? An 8-Track tape? Where's the tape? Do you have a radio cart tape player? Is that an original Zenith TV remote? Gosh! I could S*IT A BRICK!

100_4455.JPGAnd just like Bill Madlock said to me as I was taking pictures of all this junk. "Hey, what about this smaller box of small junk?" Well, I worked all night taking photos of everything, and then stopped because this box contains even smaller debris, all with it's own story. There are Fast Macs and Radar glasses and Incredible Hulk Pez dispenser. A Honeycomb cereal multiplication calculator, a sewing kit from TWA???? Junk Blog! -Ric

100_4276.JPGI felt like I was cheating on my BISH. That being the Atari 2600 VCS. It's the only hardware video game I ever had and I bought several more copies of it in the late 80's before they were nostalgia. This device kind of went the same way but had it's resurgence in price as well. Me and my Atari, also known as STELLA, had lots of fun as I manipulated Stella's paddles and joysticks. Yeah, I'll refrain from any more of the sexual humor. It was however, a lot of pulling and pushing on a joystick, but there was also a lot of mashing a red button which usually made a score. BOP!

Okay, what the hell was I doing with the NES? It pretty much took the world of video games and brought them back from the garbage heap where all the ET carts were buried. When I sold these, there were no less than 4 "8-Bit" video systems including Atari's also ran computer based 5200/7800. Nobody was buying. Everybody was seeing what Mario was jumping and what SONIC was well, whatever the hell he did. NEC's Turbografix machine was kind of that odd Monopoly playing machine. I don't think I ever sold one and their software held up other popular titles from Sega or Nintendeutsh. Again, why do I have this?

100_4280.JPGMr Fat Hanz is showing the output area of this box. It was pretty much this way with every piece of electronics that connected to a TV. I'd say it was about 1970-1990 or so . We had a switch box on the back of the TV that slid one way when you wanted to play a game and back for regular TV. Nintendo advanced this a bit, making the switch automatic. Progress. Them Japanese. Ch3 and Ch 4. Our tech would seem so quaint to anybody less than 20 years old.  WTF is this POS? "It's a ashtray!" Ohhhh, well who needs that when we VAPE?"

100_4279.JPGAHA! Them Japanese. They cornered the market with their tiny Italians chasing mushrooms. When Tetris came out, there was a surge on this machine again. It really was this or maybe Sega or BOTH when you grew up in the early 90's. Plus, they were smart cookies over at NinTen, because they had audio/video connectors built into this machine as well. WOW. That meant if you had one of those new fangled TVs with audio/video in, you were one rich MF because I was still watching my 12" Panasonic B&W until I bought my Toshiba 20" TV a few years later. Really. A Tube TV, 20" for $300. It was an investment for me. Really. So, amusingly, this 25 year old device would play games on any TV made today and look 8-Bitty doing it.

100_4278.JPGBut...where the F is the JOYSTICK? You mean there is no JOYSTICK? Oh sure they sell joysticks which are bulky and stupid, but there isn't one for the palm of your hand? What kind of BS is this S? The Atari VCS came with TWO joysticks and a set of PADDLES! This POS doesn't even have ONE joystick as standard equipment? F the paddles! What if there is a driving game?  I don't bet any NASCAR driver uses a pad, they use a circular device called a STEERING WHEEL which is simulated by the PADDLES! *Grumble* Really, this is the one part I hate about any modern video game. Oh sure, I could LEARN to PLAY without a JOYSTICK but that is FOREIGN to me.  Ever try learning FRENCH? I had my mom take me out of advanced FRENCH because I just couldn't get the verb tenses. HOW do you NINTENDNUTS expect me to play a game of River Raid or Reactor or Frogger or Indiana Jones without a JOYSTICK? Every try to pick up an ANK with a joyPAD? End of rant.  "Ank???" "Leave him alone, he's on a roll. " (Skitch, Animal House, Thanks.)

100_4277.JPG   Here's why I did it. I'll confess. The VCS version of Gyruss kinda sucks all kinds of sewage from the outlet of a local Taco Bell bathroom. I had played this version either in store or on someones home unit and I loved the game and music so much, that when I had a chance, I picked one up on the cheap and played it for a few months until boredom set in. I think I got the original Mario with it and a kids game of some sort, but I was all set with my Gyruss cart. I love the classical music played in all it's 8 Bit glory. So, while this is not really junk, the fact that I haven't played it in 20 years means.... JUNK BLOG.    -Ric                                       

Quick Schedule For Prose

100_4315.JPGAhhh, the good ol' days. When malls were everywhere. When most of the discount department stores as well a regular department stores were regional names. Old line stores had been around possibly since the 1890's. Discount department stores were at least 1965, some started by the full line department stores. There was a mall/strip seemingly in every city having put out the down town department stores, even in small down towns. In my hometown at the time, it was a large, soft wood housing/business development called "The Landings". When I first moved to that town, on one side of town we had a bank and a grocery store. The other side where all the action was..the Landings. Still further on the outskirts, a discount department store called "Fishers Big Wheel". We had our movies/grocery store/post office/booze store and other shopping right on the lake across from the power plant. Essentially, everything a big city would have, all could be reached by a bike ride. If we loaded in the car, we would go to to shop at a bigger store called "K-Mart" and then if we really felt like shopping the big time, we drove to a mall called "Great Northern" where all our shopping needs from May Company to JCPenny would be satisfied.  There were no less than 5 record stores, 2 electronics retailers, 2 major book chains and countless other misc mall stores that simply vanished as time went on. Better yet, we could go to the Uncle Bills which seemed a bit cheaper than K-Mart with a better mix or get some home improvement junk at the Forest City store and have lunch inside the May Company looking out over the mall. Oh, back from the memory hole I was in. Yeah, they gave these free at the Hallmark stores.  Junk Blog.

100_4317.JPGUm, memory full. I thought this came from that very Landings Hallmark. I think it was called the "Hello" store. They had a ton of "Hello Kitty" crap there and well, when Garfield the cat became a thing, they had all that Garfield crap. I bought lots of Garfield crap from them from pencils to erasers and pencil toppers to... I didn't have much money, but it seemed I wanted to spend it all on Garfield crap. What I said before? Yep. There was a Hallmark card store in almost every small town strip mall. Likely I got this when I biked to bay to play games at the Great American arcade or get RC plane crap from the hobby shop or have a cone at DQ.

How funny was it that before the net, it was a post card, mailed, with a stamp. When is the last time you sent a card, or a letter, via the post office? When was the last time you got a free planner by being a customer of a card store? When was the last time you had "Lobster Fest" at a participating Red Lobster? Mmmmmmmmmmmm salt salt salt.

100_4319.JPGAnd here it was. I used this to "schedule" my "publishing" projects. You see, when I was a shaver, I read a POGO comic. Look it up. It was all about the POGO gang running a newspaper. I decided I'd start my own. I "printed" each copy over and over and sold them for 5 cents. I think I made it to issue 2 or 3. I them went to a place called "Wllmont Printing" and they had TONS of remainder pads and paper that they sold for pennies. Hey, rather than throw it away, why not make a buck on the remnants. What did I care? This was before it became so dirt cheap to get any paper. I then started drawing my "comics" on this unlined paper and began a comic strip patterned after the Peanuts comic strip. Again, I tried to sell this crap, but only made pennies. More pads and paper for me to make more silly stick figures on.

I was a fan of Mad Magazine only in passing for a few years but when Issue #200 came out, I bought every one until about issue #320. My favorite artist is Al Jaffee because he drew a caricature of himself in every piece he did. I copied that and could draw Jaffee as he saw himself on the cover of a paperback of his newspaper comics. "Al Jaffee Gags Again." These were unrelated from his "Snappy Answers" paperbacks put out by Mad Magazine. Inspired by Mad, I began a monthly magazine that I drew on folded notebook paper. I had a cover featuring "Wehe", a bad drawing of a character who was chubby, had a seal flipper arm/hand and a bent nose. I also started doing larger "Super Specials" just like Mad. I was rolling. I also did "Invench Convench" which was a one sheet/folded that I drew each month while I was in school. It was actually supposed to be called "Invention Convention" but I had a problem spelling that. :) It was about the latest "Inventions" and that was inspired by Al Jaffee's many "Invention" things. 

Believe it or not, I continued on this way for about 4-5 years. All of it is total sheit except for my parody of E.T. in which "ETeed" was drawn  like a sock and his mantra was "Eteed Have sex, phone home."  It wasn't long until I'd moved on to making recordings and having a "game company". Finally, I realized that my writing was funnier than anything I'd drawn, and well, the rest is "Blooper Giggling History!" (Skitch. Dick Clark. Thanks.) - Ric

Flying SEGAL (Games Junk #18)

100_3675.JPGOh Boy! Oh Boy! Look at the GAME! It's got spinning things. It's got flying things. It's got two children of the early 70's looking like this game may cause hours of fun. I wanted to have MOUSETRAP. I can't catch plastic "meeses" with this stupid game. It does come with marbles. I don't remember if you get marbles with Mousetrap. It's so observant that the kid with the bowl cut may be slightly "slow" and pointing at the spinning plastic thingys and saying "Bunnyrabbit!" I've always wanted a plastic flag saying "POW".

100_3676.JPGA little look at the sides. I got this at a thrift shop way back when I was into buying games for 50 cents each that I would play once and never again. This was one of those games that survived. It wasn't a board game that could be converted in to a really stupid game about K-Mart where we taped a squished spider to the board and said it was a sign of Kwality. Really this game was a big box of okay. You scored points by trying to make ol' Finnegan fly into a dumpster without it closing. You aimed the swing, tried to hit the dumpster, it was a lot of fun as you watched the plastic piece flop into the dumpster. They should have called this BFI JUMP or Rumpke Dump or..forget it. The real story of this junk post begins when you open the box.

100_3677.JPGIt's Hollywood derp Steven Segal! He's Under Siege! He's Hard To Kill! He's one of the worst guest stars on Saturday Night Live! Ahhh, when I worked at Curtis Mathes, this was one of the perks. Taking home movie stand ups that were used for promoting the movie in store. I don't know what movie this was for, but ol' Steve was at his height at the same time I was delivering "SL" entertainment systems and dodging roaches in the process.

100_3678.JPGNow he has a full, stiff, extended, erected sword. Does anybody find this as funny as I did when I took it? The game is underneath. Look at those long parts that worked in harmony... POW! It's just like a call in cartoon show with a live host here in the Cleveland area called Video Arcade with Candy Kramer. Kids would play Intellivision's Astrosmash and shout POW! while a lowly intern pushed the button that shot the shot into the digital sky. Of course, there was delay involved. You had to say POW about two seconds before to explode the asteroid. Then, you watched  Muttley on the "Catch That Pigeon" show. Damn. That was all we had.

100_3686.JPGYou got little pegs and you kept track of your score. Whoopee. Actually it's some sort of laser device meant to make Ol' Stevie Baby get an erect sword. Can I get any more jokey about his pokey? BOP!

100_3685.JPGOHMIGODYOUVESQUISHEDMRSEGALUNDERADUMPSTER!  It caused his sword to retract. Hell if you had a dumpster land on you, I doubt you'd have a very erect sword. It appears this is only a plastic dumpster and appears to be a refreshing dumpster filled with water to catch Mr. Finnegan. Don't mind the other debris in the picture. Waiting on my lazy ass to take them to be recycled.

100_3682.JPGMONEYSHOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

100_3679.JPG"Oh sure, this may be all fun and games  to you Mr. Junk Blog Dog, and you find such things FUNNY. Well, I was a FILM STAR In the late 80's and early 90's and I can still JU-JITSU you and make tiny canine sushi and feed it to the people that eat dog! Have you had DOG? I have had dog! Tastes like ASS, but with a little garlic and some Franks Red Hot, it's a real delicacy. So you STOP TALKING about me. I'm warning you! I'll make an appearance in  Expendables 7: Russian Drift as the comic relief character OLAF. David Letterman will co-star and ask Olaf if he was anywhere near Chernobyl and Olaf will say "I don't remember". Then David Letterman will say that they are offering wheat for help, but it turns your urine blue. Olaf will then tell Dave to go F*CK himself. WHAT A MOVIE! It was based on a late night television show I think. Man, Letterman has a huge beard. OH YEAH! STOP THAT S*IT NOW DOG! Return me to my slightly musty slumber in the obscure box containing a Kenner board game attempt."

100_3684.JPGThis was the crushing part. I didn't realize this game was from 1977, but there it is in green and white. I didn't smudge out the address because I doubt there is a place any more. I did actually send a letter! I wish I had the reply. I believe this game was missing a small part that didn't affect the game at all. I sent a note, but didn't have a part number and they sent back a nice form letter saying the game was no longer supported and I would be better off buying some "Return Of The Jedi" Star Wars crap. It's the first in a long line of the reality of junk. It may still have some use, most will not, but all will be silly to support after a few years. How many phones, tablets, computers, video game systems, video equipment, ect. can you still say works for your everyday needs. Am I the only one still using a 14 year old cell phone?  Time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin.... *burp*

100_3687.JPGHey! Mr. Fat Hanz! You've made a very important story to end this mess. Flying Finnegan looks a little like Stevey Baby! It looks like Stevey has a moustache. They both have goofy eyes! They are both in tights...sort of... Maybe ...LUKE, I AM YOUR FATHER! Nahhhh. Junk Blog. -Ric

100_4281.JPGA classic piece of junk that would likely net 20-30 bucks if I wanted to part with it. The Fisher-Price Music Box Record Player. You see, there was a time where there was no tiny computer chips that could play small tunes like "London Bridges" and I doubt the yewts of today would even care about it. When they can hear Devo2.0 on their electronic devices that also allow them to keep in touch with the world, the music box worn out it's welcome. They are a thing of nostalgia. But I tell you what, the guys that invented THIS... I'm amazed in it's plastic tech. It was something next to indestructible that took no batteries and brought minutes of rainy day fun...

100_4282.JPGHere was the power. Wind up. It had an On-Off switch which was unusual for most music boxes. But then, most music boxes wouldn't allow you to change the tune like this one could.  I guess I had the music box experience when I was being potty trained. My john had a wind up music box attached, and I think it was "London Bridges". It was white, it was sealed and I guess it was a way to make you feel less intimidated by everyone waiting as you were alone and trying to #2. You could fart along with it. Jolly fart along music for a jolly toidy. Really. It's what we had. Honestly.

100_4283.JPGThe "platters" were two sided, so there were 10 songs to play on this "record player". One was "No. 9" by the Beatles and I think another was "You're Gonna Miss Me" by the 13th Floor Elevators. It was a really progressive music box system. Had great mono sound amplified by a plastic bowl right under the tone arm.  While Mom played her Neil Diamond "Tap Root Manuscript"  and Dad jammed his soundtrack from "Hair", I spun up the single version of "Dark Star" by the Grateful Dead. (They are the biggest reference on this blog after all. )

100_4284.JPGHere's the real money shot. You put the "tone arm" on the record and it plays a tune. The head of the tone arm was actually made of teeth which would spin and ring the corresponding music box chime.  However, the record provided the energy to moves the wheels to ring the chimes. Resulting sound was a music box ditty. See? Brilliant!  Now, in 2017, there are some web sites out there where you can order NEW compositions to play on this "TOY". Wow. You can make anything with a 3-D printer.  Kinda neat to hear "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on a wind up music box.

100_4286.JPGHere is the reason why I have all the records. A storage slot. Wouldn't all great toys be better with a storage slot for accessories? Of course, smash up cars lost doors down heater vents or Mattell Football lost it's battery door when you were on the bus to school. Well, maybe I didn't lose the battery door, but anything is better than that annoying SCREW they put in all the modern toys and games. Leave the screw out, lose the damn door anyway.

100_4287.JPGI said "almost" indestructible about this toy and usually they were. Lots of these got left outside and then rained and then, the thing wouldn't play because rust would develop. Plus the records got used for Frisbees or  serving trays for dumpster dining.  I did my beloved first record player in when I used it to stand on to try to reach candy or something else. My foot went right through the bottom. That sprung the wind up mechanism and made it a piece of junk. I cried, and then I begged and got a new one for Christmas. That's this fine toy. Lasted a really really long time. Of course a scant two years later, I bought a Bakelite 45's unit with AM radio and my first REAL single Paul Simon: Slip Sliding Away. It was cold that winter and we were diving around in a rusty 1967 Ford Fairlaine 500 Wagon and many a lime I had to get out and push that beast to get it up our driveway. I felt that 1.99 single from Clarkins Department Stores summed up everything. The nearer your destination, the more you kept Slip Slidin Away. Many years later I worked for Tokyo Shapiro and my boss said the company was started as the electronics "jobber" for Clarkins. Meaning they controlled all things electronics and Clarkins got a little cut. The good ol days of retailing.

 100_4290.JPG Finally? Worldwide pants. I keep this record player safely wrapped in a pair of old Haggar corduroy pants. Back when mom still bought my wardrobe, she bought me this embarrassing crap.  I hated these other than they were warm in Northeast Ohio winters. Problem with them, as you grew, sometimes you'd do something in school and RIIIIIPPPPPPP!  The seat of your pants would split letting everyone see your semi-tidy whiteys. I had two pairs go this way. One time I was sent home. The second time I put on my gym shorts and wore them the rest of the day. What a good look. We moved after that year. Yes, the most important item, they are made in the USA.  Haggar Kwality. Junk Blog. -Ric

100_4405.JPG"Gonna get there? I don't know. Seems a common, way to go..." (Skitch Grateful Dead, Thanks.)  When I was younger, Unisonic was a brand. Hand held games hadn't become a thing...yet. They were just starting to find ways to make LCD and LED calculators functional, yet entertaining. I guess this would be that. My brother received this as a Christmas gift, only he got the pocket version. I don't remember if the pocket version of this Calcugame had memory, but who cared. This played BLACKJACK. No, not a device usually filled with anything hard and round that evil peeps would clobber innocent peeps with. No, not the licorice candy. No not Jimmy Carl Black, "the Indian of the group" from the Mothers Of Invention. I'll stop there.

100_4406.JPGThis seems like a very functional LED calculator. If you weren't getting a split hand or doubling down on those "face" cards or taking an additional "card" and then staying, hoping the house would be less than you or go over, um, well, that was it. It's not a really good calculator because if you needed more than basic functions, you pounded sand. That's why the portable one was better. You could take it anywhere in your pocket. This one was clunky and took those "C" batteries. If you put those silver Evereadys in it and forgot they were there, forget about playing this again in a year. AciEEEEEEEEEd, AciEEEEEEEEEd. It also doesn't have the best "tactile" feel. More like hammering those "Chiclet" keys on an old TRS-80 Color Computer. So, I'd imagine this being used for the game play and little else.

100_4404.JPGBecause I'd never seen this one in the wild, I bought it instantly when I saw it. A 3.00 purchase. You can't see where the C batteries go, but there is the power port for those cheap adapters you could buy anywhere. Thankfully, cheap universal adapters are going, going, going, but still, there is a ton of junk needing them. You'd use them for 6 months to a year and if you never moved it, you might even get several years from one. However, as a person that had several multi-voltage adapters, especially for tape recorders, the cords usually went bad, or the switches, or sometimes a blade fell off the plug or the adapter just gave up the ghost. It will be nice once we finally live in a 5V world. *End Cheap Universal Adapter Rant*  I do like the shape of this "High Tech" gaming device. It looks like a something that would be on the desk of Captain Archer in the "Star Trek: Enterprise" series.

"Hello ship! This is your captain. You won't believe this, but somehow I've leaped into this acting job"

"Hiya Cap. What the hell are you talking into a Unisonic "Jimmy The Greek" 21 calculator for?"

"Can't you see? I pushed the INSURANCE button and now GUSHY and Dean Stockwell are nowhere to be found!"

"Dean Stockwell? He appeared as a guest star on this very show as a lame attempt to get ratings. You're better off beaming back into that chimp."

"Captain, this is T'Pal. When we do the episode where I have exposed  belly button giving fanboys everywhere fits, I want to leap with you into television history, or porn..."

"No NO. Damn you all! I lost 200 on that bet. I need to move on. Maybe they will bring back the TV series Gung HO!"

"WELLL! Mon CAPTAIN! You're younger and not BALD ASSED! You're FUTURE is playing blah blah blah in New Orleans!"

"It's character actor John De Lancie as the mischievous Q! Take me too my new career! Maybe I'll work with my old friend Jay Thomas!"

*****Captain Archer suddenly beams out and into the body of a guy that used to throw a football at a meatball on the David Letterman show****

"Oh Boy....GET RID OF EM!"

*SCENE*

100_4409.JPGYep. This was a "Jimmy The Greek" endorsed card playing calculator. Say what you will about Mr. "The Greek", he was still someone that Unisonic wanted to endorse their nifty calculator devices. Who knows. I guess that was a bit of a bump in Playboy magazine or wherever they promoted this thing. (Yes, old Playboys were great for a younger me when I had just gotten a Atari 2600 and I could find scores of ads from 1977 or 1978 in my step father's old Playboy collection.) Had I known more, I'd have taken a ton of car ads from those old Playboys as well. Hey, my mom was liberal. She used to let my brother and I run around with the centerfold playing "I got the boobies" from dad's playboys when I was just a shaver. Yah. Jimmy was good in his cameo with Dean and Sammy in Cannonball Run... Couldn't act, but it was still fun.

100_4408.JPGUnisonic. Many a cheap calculator or watch or even a video game system? Every BEST or US Merchandise Or Service Merchandise Or (enter name of your local catalog retailer) had lots of crap from these guys. It says something that this game still plays as I'm sure if the batteries didn't rot in your device, makes a good piece of nostalgia or a conversation piece or a JUNK BLOG post.  Split those JJ's.  You'll likely win many worthless points. -Ric



Inner Coicle (Games Junk #16)

100_4161.JPG*Plays "spy" music when pulling the board to the next level* That's what we saw back when they would advertise board games on television.  Hell, we had them all the time. I remember "Husker Du" which means "do you remember" according to the lyrics of the song. I remember "The Game Of Life" which I bought and had little blue and pink pegs you put in little cars and you procreated and had more pegs. That's what they taught in the 70's. Make money, have a spin, shoot pegs, retire in a cardboard mansion with brothers Milton and Bradley. Ick. I asked my parents for these board games for Christmas. What was wrong with me?

100_4162.JPGOther games. Toss Across. Throw bean bags at a Tic Tac Doe board. We ended up throwing the bean bags at each other. Gnip Gnop. Two player game where you tried to shoot your color balls to the other side of the board through plastic hoops. Ended up using the shell of the game as a ramp for my Matchbox cars. Stay Alive! Move levers until your marble was the last one on the board and you could look up and say "I'm the sole survivor!" I never had that one, but it looked so fun in the commercial and I've had floppy "Gilligan" hats ever since

100_4164.JPGActually, Inner Circle is a pretty easy game to play. It's better with 4 people, but two can play it pretty well. Yet, when I tried playing it again a few months back, it took a bit to understand the rules. It works something like this. You get a certain number of plastic thingys. You start by placing them randomly on the top board. It's a game of memory as well because how many dots under your plastic thingy is how many you can move. If there is an opponent's thingy in the way, you jump over the thingy so if there are only 3 unoccupied spaces, you don't get to move your thingy. You try to get your thingy in one of the glory holes on the board so you can move on to the next cardboard round. Simple right? Bleah. It's no Connect Four.

100_4165.JPGAll thingys on deck. Everybody plays. Like I said, it's more fun when you have 4 players. Real cut throat game play happens when you're all trying to get to those glory holes to move you to the next round of cardboard luxury. I'm trying to make this game sound like it's more involved that it is. You should just fill the bowl that holds the cardboard game boards with chips and watch AIRPLANE! (In Color)

100_4167.JPGOnce all the poles are in the holes, you lift off a ring and continue playing. Of course you could be eliminating one or two of your opponents, If any time you lift a ring and you're the only color left, you win. In all the times I remember playing this, I never had that happen. We made it through each ring and there was a battle for the last ring. Of course, one of these plastic thingys somehow got separated from the game, so standing in, a yellow "Mr Sketch" marker cap. It doesn't quite fit through the glory hole. I named it "Big Jim Slade" and the capitol city of Nebraska is Lincoln! (Skitch! Shadoe Stevens voice over in Kentucky Fried Movie. Thanks. )

100_4169.JPGWe're near the end of the game. "We have no tower sir." "No tower? Why wasn't I told about this?" Denny Crane. Single page, double spaced. I want to go watch said Airplane flicks or Kentucky Fried Movie. Anything would be more entertaining than a battle of the old fashioned, get the family together for game night and play this piece of paper and plastic wonderment. It was a really fun game. Really. Fun.

100_4170.JPGBlue is the survivor. *Dons a floppy Gilligan hat* "I'm the lone survivor!" Clear out the plastic crap and get your cool ranch Doritos out and put in the Naked Gun series and laugh your face off. What more can be said. Nothing. "When they know I'll know and I'll let you know. Okay? Buh bye. Lets have those chippie dippies. Ecker Shane? JUMP! I flew copters in Nam. MmmmHmmmmm." Sorry, voices from long ago. -Ric

100_4224.JPGWhat the hell was it in the 70's and 80's? Why did us consumers buy this crap? Sure, you might convince yourself that when picking up ashes from your 1985 Renault Alliance from your pack and a half a day habit that these things really worked. However, try to pick up that random French fry from Mickey Macs, well boy...you wish this would suck, but you learn it's really really suck.

100_4227.JPGPanasonic built this one. I think I had two or three. I even got one with a round container for Christmas. I had the cheap ass one that you would buy from a car wash for $10. I could count on my hand how many times I paid for a car wash. I guess I thought it would be a good idea to keep the pebbles from my Monza carpet. Of course, when someone tossed a stink bomb into my car while I was buying a CD, it didn't do well with charred foam, but got those ashes! It was a worthless piece of dung. I got one that was "better", but likewise it was dung. I think I got this one dirt cheap from one from NoFeast. It was used, returned, and loosely packaged so I think it was only $3. Yes, glutton for punishment. Hey, I had a very special Dodge Omni to vac out the cheeseburger crumbs from. It was a Panasonic! It had to be good right?

100_4229.JPGI mean, that motor says POWER! You connect to 12V car power. I drive a 96HP Dodge and it's got a lot of power right? RIGHT? Yes, the trouble with all of these is, 12V power. That motor can run all it wants at top speed, it's still not going to pick up that French fry.  Yes, but this one had TOOL!

100_4225.JPG...and it attached to the bottom. It combined all that SUCK power into a smaller SUCKHOLE to that it could SUCK even better. It wasn't big enough to pick up a French fry, but it could suck those ashes from the burn hole put in my seat by the only person I allowed to smoke in my car ONCE and had a cigarette burn to show for it. Peace man. It's just a FU*KIN CAR SEAT IN A CAR THAT WON'T BE PAID OFF FOR 4 MORE YEARS! Have a doughnut. Don't shut off that computer at work, it will erase all the work for the morning news cast. Blah. Blah. Blah.

100_4228.JPGThe alternative was always around. It usually cost 50 cents at those wand wash car washes. That was the majority of my car washes. Pay a buck or two , use a wand to spray that road salt off all parts of your car. Oh, you drive a Monza? HAHAHAHAHA! How about a deluxe wax treatment? HAHAHAHA. Wait, you got RUSTPROOFING on that car? HAHAHAHHA! Oh no, a few years later and buying a PLASTIC car? RAIIIIIIIIIID!

I still use the big vacs at wand washes every now and then, but I really hate them. It did work to suck up all that automotive safety glass from my hatch area when my car was vandalised at a college near you. What fun it was to drive in the winter with a Curtis Mathes cardboard box covering the back window. Thankfully I didn't have the car for much longer and I didn't get pulled over. Sold the damn thing for $50 to be made into a hover shuttle. That's another story for another time.

So, those vacs always smell , not terrible, but like stale food and dirt and whatever the hell else was sucked up. They have BIG hoses with a big well gnarled nozzle. What a pain it was to try and NOT touch your seats with the grease or refuse or something totally disgusting HOSE , but man did it pick up French fries or wrappers or loose change or small pets! They are the most powerful and made your carpet sing. BUT, if you didn't want to spend that kind of cake, you got one of these, and unhappily ever after, but you swore they worked. Really? REALLY?

100_4226.JPG12V. Whew. I learned that borrowing my mom's Dustbuster was much better than a plug in thingy. Then when I moved to my house, the Dirt Devil which sucked up the termites for me in Louisville became the new car vac when I clean my car. Why? Because even though it's the noisiest thing on earth, it still can take a French fry off the floor and make short work of it.  Bah ha ha, I don't waste any fries like that! JUNK BLOG! -Ric

Rolley Coaster Mutt

100_4384.JPG"HI! *pant* *Pant*. Lookit what I GOT! *pant* It's a FAKE FLYING DISC. *pant* *pant* You can THROW IT TO ME if I let YOU, and I will DO THAT because it's FUN. *pant* But I will maybe catch it OR MAYBE I WILL NOT! *pant* *pant. MAYBE I will be all like YOU FETCH IT, I AM TOO BUSY!  I have ANOTHER TOY which I have now but you can THROW IT TO ME if I let you! *pant* Who is FETCHING for WHO? *pant *pant. When is food? Give me food. I want FOOD. Will there be FOOOD soon? *lick* OH NO I DROPPED IT and you THREW IT! GOTTA GO GO CATCH......."

100_4386.JPG

Ugh.  Wait, I thought you were going to focus on what the cheap stuffed toy with a famous rolly coaster park advertisement was thinking and saying? I thought this post was going to be a fun whimsical look in the lives of stuffed dogs! I thought this junk blog was about why an idiot like me has them laying all around his house because they all have some special meaning?  Now you show us what looks to be a famous doggie party hat? What did you used to play PHOTON In this hat? (Yes a callback to an earlier post on this blog.) Get on with it!

100_4387.JPG"HI! *pant* *pant* I've GOT the toy! It's MY toy! Now if you want to THROW my toy, you'll have to TAKE IT FROM ME and you can do that by FOOD. Gimmie FOOD. No, wait *pant* *pant* Why do I have this STRANGE PIECE OF S*IT sitting ON TOP OF ME? *Pant* OH YES! You got it from the DOLLAR STORE where everything smells like PLASTIC FOOD *pant pant* Even the WATER smalls like PLASTIC! *pant* I want WATER! Oh yeah. GIVE ME WATER in this thing on my HEAD! No DONT! I dropped my TOY. I will chase it after I have a a nice DOGGY MARTINI, shaken not stirred you ASSWIPE!"

100_4383.JPGCedar Point. Every Clevelander had Cedar Point to brag about when we had nothing else. The river caught fire in the 70's but come to Cleveland because we have CEDAR POINT. Actually, we had Geauga Lake and Sea World in the summer. Did they keep those big whales in small tanks when it was 1978's Blizzard here in the East? Think of the cruelty! Nah, lets think what any disco era swinger was thinking in 1978.... Got any COKE? Let's go have lots of SEX in the back of my rusty Vega!

Now, you think of Cleveland, it's the RNR Fame thingy, that food guy, oh yeah the 2016 World Champ Cavs And 2016 American League Champ Injuns and 2016 Calder Cup Minor League Hockey winners the MONSTIRZ ...no, most of you think "Rock Hall" and Cedar Point: The Amazement Money Suck.

I started going with a batch of co-workers from McDonalds. They liked the sky ride, gondolas that rode across the park on a steel cable, because it was the only place you could get really really high in private while being really really high. It was a giant carnival when I started going which had just added the most unexciting ride and my first "coaster" .  "Toboggan Run. " It was as advertised. A huge car that took you down a large track through various turns and was thrilling if you were 7 years old. Then we went on a real challenge. "The Corkscrew". That one gave me nerves, but after I flipped upside down and twisted and didn't throw up, I was good. Bring on that burlap sack you sat on while going down that big slide! I saw it on the Banana Splits and I always wanted to do that. Hey, maybe I'll fall flat on my face trying to run up the slide. Now that's a thrill! 

It changed after that. Now they began a "war" to add the latest and greatest rolly coaster dealies and well, because "Americas Roller Coast" or what have you. I went back several times but as I got "serious" about my crappy gigs and then found radio and didn't have time and then moved away and came back...and added a few pounds... lemmie repeat that...no I won't...

A few years back, one of my good friends started telling me about how he was a member of "American Coaster Enthusiasts" and knew a lot of details on who made said coaster, what "cars" said coaster used and in other words, a coaster geek. We went to said POINT and  Busch Gardens in Tampa where I was more interested in the YUENGLING plant just a stones throw away.  So I became a coaster geek by extension was hooked on coasters again. That year, I got a seasons pass to all the parks associated with Cedar Point which meant I could go to Cleveland's GEAUGA LAKE virtually every day because it was on the way to work my third shift gig. Perfect. Seasons Pass, free parking, free rides, a few hours, grab some Subway for dinner, go to work. Thrilling summer. Geauga Lake closed after that year. (BITCH)


100_4388.JPGIn the every changing winds for the "Roller Coast", for many years they had a "challenge park" where after you left the park and were walking to your on site hotel, they could challenge you to part with more of your money on go-karts or a big bungee jump or some other crap. They also had an 80's "Arcade" which was a shadow of it's 80's self. Inside they had a claw machine and it was filled with the above. I professed that I was good at these said machines, especially the ones that aren't "rigged so good." (Yes, every claw machine you see has settings for how much OOMPH is on the claw. You can't pick up a brick with a plastic spork unless KFC has deemed you to get the LYSLAW on the buffet. Then if it's not cemented in with every other less than $5 piece of crap, you'll WIN after you spent $10. YAY!)

However these machines didn't have any tricky stuff, everyone with any aiming skill was a WINNNNEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRR!" I guessed these were last years toys and they needed to get rid of them. I got one right away, my friend got one on his first try. Instinct was to clean the machine out and sell these on FLEA BAY, but these didn't fall out of riders pockets only to get a phone call from the person who bought your "lost"  phone asking for the key to unlock it. (Yes, on another trip, this happened to my friend..)

Oh, and the Snoopy thing on top of the claw machine "memory" is a dog dish. You pour water in it when you're on the hiking trail and then fold it up when your pooch isn't drinking. It was purchased from a dollar store near you, then when I took it out of the bag and realized I'd just spent a dollar on nothing, I thought it looked like a party hat for canines. LEGION!  I got the base! Oh that F-IN Predator scored off of me while I was laying there in leg cramp pain! SCORBOCHECK wins the game during the $10 all you can play from 9 to noon on Sundays. OOOPS! Friday night at 11... Time to go to the Avante Garde show! Lets get into character! Dennys aftershow. "No NO Ya Spatula Head!" JANDEK IS GOD! Morey Amsterdam sandwiches all around. DECADENCE for DESSERT! Hey, lets tip the pregnant waitress ALL YOU HAVE IN YOUR POCKET!  *whew* Well thank you 1987.  

JUNK BLOG! -Ric