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

Vee Kee Arr Plus Sealed???

100_4192.JPGThis is the junkiest of the junk right here. How could it be junk when it's sealed? It can't be junk. Anybody can use this with their VCRs. Oh. Yeah. They can't. If you're a youngin', you're probably saying "What is that, a universal remote?" "What's a VCR?" "Who tapes anything anymore?" "Will it make taking a s*it fast and easy?" "Is this some sort of vibrator?" "Can't you take a clear picture without the damn flash you idiot?" Ohhh, it has a trendy racing stripe. After all, someone made hundreds of thousands of these, made a lot of money for two years selling "easy" for $40 a pop and then went under and they got buried next to the ET cartridges in a landfill. Video stores everywhere thought they could make a buck on these. Electronics store everywhere did make a buck on these. Newspapers with local TV guides made money on these as the parent company had to pay all of the papers to print their codes. Why again did we have these? Is this what cavemen used to use to program their rock based pterodactyl televisions? Read on.

100_4194.JPGSo, in the late 70's and early 80's, we had Video Cassette Recorders to record events off television or watch movies. They started with big machines that had WIRED remotes. (Yes, there was a time where you had long wires attached to your equipment. Model T stuff here. ) You could record a show, but only if you were there. Cable TV started becoming a thing and VCRS got smaller and some could actually tune cable and then some started to be programmable so you didn't have to be there to record a show. As the 80's went on, VCRS got smaller, tuners got better and eventually programming your VCR became an on screen adventure. Duh. On screen was easy as hell, much better than programming from the top of your VCR because with on screen programming, you actually saw what you were doing from your couch. Of course, VCRS kept getting smaller, and soon if you lost your remote, you were out of luck because displays on the VCRS became a thing of the past. Somewhere in all the advances in the early 90's, if you couldn't make heads or tails of how to program your equipment, your VCR flashed 12:01 and that was that.

Enter the VCR Plus. This little remote was designed to simplify all brands of VCRS into a standard system. There were some odd systems like Panasonic's Infared "scanner" that allowed you to program by running the scanner over bar codes, but that was a pricey option. No, the VCR PLUS was the answer. You didn't need to know how to program your VCR. All you needed was a local listings "code" for the program. You put in the code and left the VCR Plus within range of your VCR and Cable box. It automatically started your VCR and set your cable box to the channel you wanted to record. It really worked. The manufacturer actually got a few VCR makers to add it to their VCRS. I guess it was good for setting your cable box if you didn't have a cable-ready VCR or your cable company didn't allow it.

100_4196.JPGA web search said they had codes published until 2010! I only remember them for a few years. I didn't sell many of these. I never used these. I went through the extra effort to know how to program my VCRS and never had a cable box (or cable) to worry about. Point being, yes, we went through all this trouble . We even had recordable DVD's come on for a few years before TIVO took over and a few years after, on demand television. VCRS were discontinued last year. All your video tapes are going to be worthless in another 10 years. Why not make the biggest selling tape into a pyramid in the desert? I feel silly still using video tapes to record things but I know that pretty soon, I'll have to get a digital box. It's good to know Gemstar was a California Corporation. It required batteries so I don't have that worry about keeping this sealed piece of dung in my collection. Everybody needs sealed dung in their junk collection right? RIGHT? *shakes head*. They actually came out with something even simpler than this. It was a big remote with two dials you set for time on and time off and you left your cable box or VCR set to whatever channel you wanted to record. Were we that simple? Yep.  Junk Blog. -Ric

100_4331.JPGMan does this thing bring back some memories. We never had a lot of money as I was growing up. We were never very stereo orientated. My brother never had a stereo except in his car. I didn't have one until a neighbor was moving and gave me his old Soundesign turntable (with an amp) and receiver/8 track player (also with an amp) and two 5" speakers in a box. I was really thankful. I bought a few 8-tracks from Goodwill across the street and I had a few 45's which I used to play on my brother's portable GE record player. That was it. We never were high fidelity kids. The Soundesign crap I'd been given for free was the closest thing to HI-Fi I'd own. I did get all high tech with a Hitachi boom box (which will be featured in a future junk blog) so I could play back my growing tape collection. That was decent. I also started listening to a lot of 80's radio. Pretty soon I was bringing home LPs from the library to record on my boom box. It was that time that I've coined the phrase "Kneedeep In The Hoopla Is The S*IT" as yes, I enjoyed that Starship album, or the radio told me to enjoy it.

100_4332.JPGAfter a bit of use, the turntable amp gave out and that BSR turntable with Soundesign guts gave up the ghost. The amp in my stereo was also a bit wobbly, and that's when I started looking at all of the "modern" Soundesign "rack systems" that Zayre and other discounters had. They were shiny. Some of them had a lot of blinky lights. I don't think any of them were more than $299 with most in the $100-$200 range. They were the best that Zayre had to offer. I think there was even one that came with a television, and that one was expensive. I got this one for Christmas. It cost $149. It had "high speed" tape dubbing. It had an "aux" input. It had two large speakers which were 6" drivers.  It had an integrated turntable, but was separate from the stereo. I bought a double LP "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" (movie soundtrack) for $1 from Camelot Records and Tapes in Westgate mall. It played records but sounded like it was. A rock stylus immediately wearing on the cheap record. The tape deck dubber wasn't quite as good as my nice Hitachi boombox, but it played tapes better because of bigger speakers. Believe me, we went through all this in the 80's, 90's and Oughts until cell phones and computers made all of this junk obsolete. Of course, there is much better equipment. I'd say that in the 90's, Hi Fi really became better and cheaper. Right then however, Soundesign stereo was the S*IT!

100_4333.JPGActually, the pressed board of the rack matched the speakers and it was a handsome sight. I'd imagine there were many hours spent by minimum wage Zayre employees setting these stereo racks up and busting through the pressed board by over tightening. Soundesign had the fake EQ design down. The shiny EQ was all the rage back in the 80's. Everybody had a separate EQ and some had the bouncing display. Oooooooh. Soundesign made larger EQ's on their stereos, there were some that were even 5 band, but the majority were three band, just looked like more with double sliders. Shiny plastic went a long way back in the day. How did it sound? Well, the whole stereo sounded better than a boom box. That's the best thing I can say. It was HI-FI to me. Dammit. They had so many pretty stereos at Zayre. I gots me a pretty good one. 

100_4336.JPG Look at all that pressed board. It seems they made a ton of stuff out of that formaldehyde laden cheap stuff way back when. I guess they have kind of phased the stuff out now? The DC out was for the turntable. It did have a pre-amp for the turntable. I never saw it work with the better turntable I bought a few years later. The Aux got very little use until... I think I hooked my VCR Up to it a few times, but my VCR was across the room and was a mono unit, so all it did was make the hiss louder. Yes, this did me well for a year or two, until everything changed. My friend Pete purchased a 12" record from Kraftwerk. It was the "Musique Non-Stop" maxi single. We came home to my place and played it. it started with a robotic voice saying "Boing Boom Tschak". I had a thing for comedy records and had a few tapes I'd made from library records of Dr. Demento discs. This "Boing Boom Tschak" was almost novelty to me, but something came alive. I taped it. I played it over and over. In a week, when my friend Marc and I were up in Michigan and I bought "Electric Cafe" and down the rabbit hole I went. 

100_4334.JPG Soon after I had all the Kraftwerk on tape and then I got into DEVO and likewise got all of it and then got deeper. Radio was less and less where I got my music. This used to be be the tape storage area where I kept all of the tapes of my growing store bought tape collection. Then my friend Steve bought the first Sony CD Portable player and man I liked the sound it produced. At the same time, prices were dropping and there was at least 6 appliance-electronics stores operating in my area, all at their throats trying to get our business. Mace electronics was the newest in the area, and when they had a Teac Three Beam 2x Oversampling model for $149 (sans remote), somehow I had the cake to buy it. I went to Camelot in Westgate and purchased Electric Cafe for 18.99 on CD. (Where I got the cake from, I've no idea.) I hooked it up to this stereo and instantly I was really REALLY HIGH FIDELITY. It sounded even better through the Koss headphones I'd purchased from Forest City Home Centers (which also had a appliance and electronics selection back when) and loved every minute of the lack of hiss from the CD player. From there, I only used the tape decks to record tapes from the CD's I'd bought. Of course, I had Foreigner "Records" and Van Halen's "1984" and Beach Boys "Fantastic Summer Best Of" , but I traded them all when my friend Bill started selling CDs and got me hooked on Frank Zappa, Negativland and Nitzer Ebb.

Well, Soundesign made systems in the 90's. They even made some that were re-branded Radio Shack. One had a HUGE upright loading CD player clad in pressed board that was more of a space taker than a good sounding CD player. Still, even the worst CD players sounded better than records or tapes right? They made other portable sound equipment, but none of it was more than a slightly better GPX product. Yeah, I was glad they were around at a time when the sounds started to mean stuff to me. Now, a portable computer tablet through good headphones containing all of my music sounds better than the old Soundesign. My computer speakers sound better. My LAPTOP sounds better...um..with external speakers... Koss...

-Ric

100_4303.JPGLook at that late 80's early 90's junk madame secretary is wearing. Holy crap, there's nothing on that terminal. Yes, it's likely a terminal! MMmmmm IBM clickey keyboards. I still use this one to this day. Just something about the feel of them. They are big and I have hammer fat hands. She's got a scarf with a pin. Must be cold in that office. She's also wearing a Radio Shack DuoFone-129.  It was a staple in Radio Shack catalogs pretty much until they didn't make catalogs any more. Even after, they stuck around until wireless and digital stuff made these little pieces of fun completely obsolete.

100_4304.JPGImagine being a model for DuoFone products. The gal on the front had a brilliant modelling career and was in over 50 corporate videos. The gal on the back? Porn. No, I kid.  It's the guy in the tie who was into porn. Ha. No, I kid. Actually, all the people on some of Radio Shack's products were around for a few years. If I was a kid and mommy was on a box, I'd be proud to have a pic of mom on the back of a product that sat on shelves collecting dust until some poor sucker bought it for a gig at a phone soliciting company near him. Of course, most would throw out the box this thing came in. Most. I kept everything.

100_4307.JPGYes, even the receipt. It's from a location that no longer exists in a mall that was torn down from a company that is barely hanging on. I hung on to the receipt and it didn't fade like the new thermal ones do. Of course, I can buy a scanner to scan them and keep them from fading. WTF! Things were much simpler in the 90's. This was purchased in 1992. I was likely between gigs at many closing appliance stores so I chose to earn some extra cake by returning to the place I'd worked before. Phone soliciting. Yecch.

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Nowadays, they have something called auto diallers. They plug in a computer list and you only talk with someone when they connect with a person. Hence, why you receive many calls a day where there is a two or three second gap from when you pick up and say "F**K YOU" and when the person asks "Is Mrs. P. Oussee there?"  It's totally digital. Once you get to work, you're taking calls, trying to see if some sucker will buy 14 shoddy windows or credit card protection or whatever junk is out there trying to see if there are any peeps still willing to part with money via phone. At least the company I worked for had legitimate products to sell and decent offers to make to customers that had already had the product. Oh yeah, this DuoFone took 4 AA batteries.  Gameboy? No, this won't play Tetris.

100_4309.JPGI got a gig there before I even decided that home electronics sales would be my future. I needed a gig and my brother worked there. He said they were always looking for bodies and if I met a minimum quota, I could pull down a little cash. They started me in a division  that sold subscriptions to Weekly Reader publications. I liked that crap when I was a kid.  I had to sell Sweet Pickles, something that helped children learn their ABCs. A little training and  I was on the phones. We were provided computerized "leads" that they kept in big files. They had NEW leads, that hadn't been called by anyone. They had "day time" and "night time" leads and they had well called leads they kept calling in hopes that just one more potential customer would pick up. We had to hold up old style phones, and they always smelled like Lysol because that's what you used to clean them before pressing your ear to them and spitting into the receiver. My room was filled with about 25 others who all were giving the same pitch. "Little Johnny is ready for the next grade of book crap and mindless mazes and word games and generic characters. Want to subscribe again this year? What? He didn't use it? How about your next youngest. How about a subscription to the next grade pap and promo TV Stars and non offensive pop music stars magazine? No? How about a Playboy subscription for you? " Well, that's jumping to another line.

100_4310.JPGI washed out of that job in a few weeks. I dialled my fingers off and got very little in sales. I guess they wanted to see who would wash out. Actually, the last day I was there, I called someone who started crying as this was a subscription for a child that was deceased. I figured that was a fitting end to a job I never really liked and dragged myself into each day. Hell, I could see if I could get back my weekend biscuit making gig at Mickey Macs. 

This phone device let you use either the handset or the head set. Had a neat LED battery test button. A switch that I don't know what it did, and the volume.  I think they sold one that had the dial pad on it as well and could be used as a complete phone. I wouldn't have had very much money back then, so I used the base of my first credit card to get into deeper debt and spent $50 on this. Why? My brother, as I mentioned, had worked at the solicitor and told me to go to a different "program" where they sold magazine subscriptions to those about to expire or had expired a few months. I went to work for that division and well, life was good for a bit. I actually made some money over what I was getting as an hourly. For a part time gig, I thought it was okay. Um.... Well....

100_4311.JPGI got this headset so I could be hands free. I wouldn't have to breathe in Lysol to remove caked on make up or ounces of cigarette spittle. It also meant I could be free while flipping leads and dialing.  A few things bugged me. When we made a sale, we would need to hold up our arm and snap. That way the supervisor of the shift could write it down. Sort of giving all of us motivation to sell sell sell. Trouble was, some of the supes would be very vocal. I'd be making a sale and they would shout my name and say I was making a sale. Must have been wonderful to the people I was selling too. A few people had nick names and I would hear "Bubbles Be Bangin" and "Dingman Be Doin' It" . No, I'm not making those up. It's why I remembered them in particular. They reminded me of carnival barkers. "Weeeeeee'veeeeee got another Biiiiig WiIIIINNNER" Then "You Get A Car! You Get A Car! You Get A Car" We were lucky if it was a candy bar.

After a while, I got so good at dialing, they would hand me packs of the old leads so I could run through them. While the phone was dialing, I would write short stories or other worthless crap and one of the supes got in my face about it.  At that point I went to the manager of the division and complained, and the manager saw my numbers, and spoke to the super who just looked the other way from then on. By this time, the job was harder to drag myself too and eventually I stopped showing up.  My retail cashier, fast food employee, electronics and appliance sales skills still kept me in wages until I got serious about some kind of radio gig. Yes, I have quite the collection of name tags and hair nets. Mike Meyers. Skitch. Thanks.

-Ric

100_4365.JPGNo, not Spring Break. Not Lincoln advertising. Not what's his face the actor. Almost a song, the real tune is Space Truckin' by some classic rock staple with the new version I like a lot by master Thespian and rock star Crane operator of the starship Bakula. Yes, William Shatner's version of Space Truckin' is almost as good as Spock's version of some Beatles song.  What am I talking about? I don't know what I'm talking about. Just making conversation because I have not much about this piece of junk. We call it "padding for time." In television, it's the director giving the "stretch" signal. Ahh, I got the pictures, why not make a blog entry about it. I could combine it...Hmmmmm...

100_4367.JPGIt's a well worn water bottle filled with those glass chips you use in crafts or putting at the bottom of a fish tank. It's also "clearies" , only smaller marbles, again used for fish tanks. Most likely, the original top to this water bottle was lost and replaced it looks to be with a Dr. Drink bottle cap. I think it actually came from a Save A Lot generic "Dr.". Honest, silly, how do I remember that? Why didn't I clean the damn thing. Maybe it was leak or not. *finger on lips* "B-B-B-B-B-". I don't know when the "clearies" got added. Likely because it made too much noise half filled with "lookin for a blue one."

100_4369.JPGWHYYYYYYYYY ARE YOU SHOWING US THIS CRAP?  Shhhh. Quiet now. I'll splain. Bought car. Car didn't have cup holders. Not every car came with cup holders back in the day. Car had big trough at the back of the transmission tunnel. It wasn't much of a transmission tunnel by that time because it was a front wheel drive superdoopercar. You couldn't set a soda or coffee in the big trough because it would move and make a sewer. So, I bought said glass, filled said water bottle and done and done. Space Marbles. Get it? Marbles I used for space.

Spaced out so that I could set a 20oz Bucks in there and it wouldn't make a coffee and old Rallys French fry soup. Mmmm. Rallys French Fry Soup. Bucks, 3 week old Rally's fry, and years of broken dreams. I should have thrown this away when I finally got a car with a standard cup holder. I figure I had it for three cars, save for the year I had the Hydookie or the 6 months I had the Parmavagen, this went through 15 years. I can't throw that history away. Junk blog. You know, JUNK BLOG. I threw away the Scene magazine with Lebron on the cover that I kept in my trunk for those five years hoping he would bring us the win, but he left and I tossed it. I do throw out some things. These marbles never left my car to bring their glass talents to South Beach. Maybe, Toledo, but never South Beach. You see, because Toledo is the "glass city". Yep.

-Ric

Sun Truck

100_4215.JPGDon't ask me how I came to get this piece of junk. I'm thinking that my Mom lives near said Sunoco gas station and used to get her car repairs all handled here. She had a Pontiac 6000 and a Dodge Dynasty and when it was time to do oil changes or regular maintenance, or change of headlights or batteries, she had it done here.  She must have gotten it for a fill up. We had a Shell on one corner that was a classic 70's Shell with nothing other than a tiny booth filled with cigarettes and a octagonal roof over the pumps. They tore that down and added a trailer sized store. Cheap 40oz beers could be had there. When I moved into the area, there was a Sohio on the other corner, and it too offered service. However Sohio became BP and soon the station was uprooted and a smaller box cigarette kiosk where you could walk in and trip over expensive snacks and a small wall of cheap beer. So, that left Sunoco. Good Old Sunoco, 

100_4216.JPG By the time the 90's came around, service stations were out and self service gas stations with cigarette kiosks, hot dog rollers, cheap beer coolers and fountain drinks with gallon sized cups became all the rage. Yes, there were a few hangers on for the other brands, but pretty much the last "service stations" in the Cleveland area at least, were Sunoco stations. It appears they really tried to capitalize on being one of the last full service providers. You could even have the gas pumped for you. (I believe New Jersey has a law where it must be pumped by a guy...) Our Sunoco had the same above truck. They had an older truck as well done with white and gold paint.  That's all I can remember. It's not like I had fond memories of this joint. I may have gotten a alternator replaced here or a battery put in, but I wasn't a big fan of Sunoco. They had 17 blends of gas ranging from water with a little gas in it to almost jet fuel that cost $7 a gallon. Those were my memories. It was at this station  that I discovered that my '73 Ford Gran Torino  had a small pipe that was leaking fuel like a sieve. I didn't get a whole lot of MPG before with a 351 Cleveland 8 Cylinder chuffing under the hood, but it had worsened. I think I was checking the air filter... No, I preferred to get the 87 grade ova dey at the Shell "Bee Hive" station with the Cigarettes. Lots and lots of Cigarettes.

100_4217.JPG Good old generic Matchbox cars, or Hot Wheels, NOT made in China. I was a fan of Hot Wheels, but it was more a smash up derby. I'll bet this truck wouldn't fit through a super charger.  I never opened it and put it away in a box, only to be unearthed for this junk blog.

So, yes, this was an independently owned last ditch effort to be a service center. You'd see the rack of batteries, and the wall racks of tires and the electronic alignment. Perhaps service centers went away as finally everybody started building cars that held together. I mean, people were still buying Chevy Luminas and Corsicas or Ford Escorts and Tempos Or Dodge Spirits Or hell...ANYTHING Dodge. The "one stop source for most repairs" eventually moved into your dealer once again as only they knew how to reset your "check engine" light.  I'm not sure how many of these joints remain. This one abandoned ship for a private garage elsewhere and then they ripped the tanks out and rebuilt a new Sunoco where you can walk into a beer cave, get "broaster" chicken or even pick up a few cigars from the humidor.  An era was pretty much over, but I still has me the truck. 

100_4218.JPG Well, at least the toy was brought to earth by the Coneheads. They're from FRANCE after all. Gee whiz, I'm thinking of the Frank Zappa song "In France". "If you POOCH a civilian it's a MAJOR EVENT, down in France." That's all I got. It's Sunoco's FREEDOM TRUCK. Wow. I'll stop now. I'm toast. BOP! I can't be stopped! -Ric

It's A Mental Lunch Box , I Must Say

100_4291.JPGHi. How you? It's been a long time. Just a blip in productivity. We're in "Ashyebeeoh" mode, emphasis on B.O.! 8 episodes, now that's a season. That's not content.... Ahhh, don't worry. We're still here and I got a whole mess of crap to bring to you. I'll make time. I'm doing it for the Radiolawn show.  http://ricochet.boomerthedog.net/  I loves me some web space and the dog that provides it. Now, here's Ed Grimley. 

He was a thing on SCTV. Martin Short's quirky (slightly drain bramaged) character who had a thing for playing triangle, dancing oddly and paprika. I really didn't see him on SCTV. I guess I never liked it. It was a "Kids In The Hall" kind of show. Oddball Canadian comedy   When Doug and Bob were so popular, I guess I watched a bit, but humor like that when I was younger was over my head. It wasn't until the summer of 1986 where David Letterman really opened my head. Of course, there was that one "inbetween" season of Saturday Night Live where they had experienced "name" talents like Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Martin Short. They captured lightning in a bottle. Even though they had an into to their show that was cartoonish like countless beer ads and CARS videos, it still is what I believe the best season.  Well, Ed Grimley had a few sketches during that season, and Pat Sajack would be proud.

100_4293.JPGI carried a lunch box for a year or so. It was made by Coleman I believe, and it was a large metal "Space 1999" lunch box. Eventually, the cheap metal got rusty and was either taken or tossed and I brown bagged or school lunched since. Of course they got smaller and plastic and of course they came with whatever they think they could sell. When it was announced that Ed Grimley  was coming to EnnBeeCee in a Saturday morning cartoon form, I was very much anticipating. It would be a fun show. Thirteen eps on Saturday morning. Most really quirky and funny. I had to go an get the lunch box. I think it was purchased from K-Mart along with 2 for three subs with linoleum lunch meats. 

100_4294.JPGYes girls, that arm and hand are single. So sexy yes? I guess the flash isn't that friendly to arm hair is it? The drinking jug that came with lunch boxes. I think my Space 1999 jug suffered from a lack of cleaning and fell to the mold. This never got the Kool Aid treatment. The Ed Grimley cartoon had a few supporting characters, including a fish and a rat. It was for kids, but was pretty adult. My favorite episode was the one with Martin Short playing a Vaudeville singer/songwriter Irving Cohen. "Dah Dah Dah, Dee Dee Dee and whatever the hell else you want to put in there".

100_4296.JPGI was a huge fan of the "Jewish Deli" sketch where Irving Cohen shot the home town with other "old Jewish performers" as they argued about what was on a Morey Amsterdam sandwich. Every week after my friends and I did our thing on "Evan Ford's Avante Garde Show" on WBWC radio, we would go to Dennys and "perform" the sketch out loud. I worked my way in as Brad Hall's "disgruntled waiter" character from the sketch and we performed it EXACTLY as it appeared with gaffs and all. Audio tapes of the sketch are all we had. I wish I would have taped our performance of it. Ahh, the memories.

100_4300.JPGI found a few extras that I stashed in the lunch box. It's one of those generally worthless baseball cards stashed in a box of corn flakes. We used to buy JUMBO boxes of corn flakes and I'd make an after school "Toilet Bowl" sized bowl of flakes with sugar on top. Believe it or not, it was my favorite snack as I latch keyed myself and waited for Mom to come home from work. I'm not a collector, but this "animated" card must be worth 3.00 or so. Maybe not. I'd give $20 for a collection of 7-11 Slurpee Cup puffy "space" stickers. They used to be a thing, but then "Big Gulp" used to be a HUGE 32oz pop....now it's 177 ounces.

100_4299.JPGFinally and totally 80's, these were another thing that was extremely popular in the late 80's early 90's. Everything came in day glo colors As I worked for a number of deceased electronics retailers , I got a lot of debris and promo crap. Harmon Kardon and JBL were one and the same. HK had the absolute best tape decks other than professional stuff. I bought one and many a show was recorded on it. JBL speakers were "meh" in the bass department, but they had the crispest and nicest treble response with their tweeters, but they had some of the best studio monitor speakers. Then there was Japanese stripper "Sony Tape" and her wonderful glasses. I bought about ten packs of Sony chrome tape from my gig at Tokyo Shapiro and they came with a free pair of these glasses. More than likely, I put these away to preserve history. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. My HK tape deck needs to be rebuilt. Boomer's garage can help. Fans, computers, transmitters, LED TVs and Monitors, even old AM only five transistor radios, Boomer makes it right. Just throw him a milk bone :)

-Ric

Cootie Cootie Cootie (Games Junk #15)

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100_4410.JPGIt's from Schaper. This one found in a thrift store is 90% complete. It was cheap, so I bought it for the kitsch of it. I never owned this game, but when I went to my cousins house, we'd play this from time to time until they had lost all the parts or they were sucked up in the vacuum. You'd be surprised how many games that kids get lose parts to the vac or dropped down heating vents. I lost two pair of good headphones to the evil vac. Countless army guys, Lite Brite pegs, misc game pieces as well as 16 cents were found in the vents when my furnace was replaced. Dig that funky 60's writing in the name "Cootie".

100_4411.JPGI like that the box had a little strap on it so you could carry your cooties all over the place. Of course, I don't think I wanted too. Girls would all say that "I have COOTIES" and all I could say is "Yes, Wanna play this really moronic game that has been played by more that 40 million children in two generations?" They would laugh and go play dolly while I'd proceed to light the Cooties on fire and watch them melt as all boys did. Fire was cool.

100_4414.JPGHere was another slogan on the box. Lots of slogans on this box. "The Cootie Company" was a nifty game company as well. It was Schaper. She-OP. I like that game company name. It's almost as catchy as one of my favorite grocery store chains. SHEEEEEOP and SAVE! You see when you go there, you SHOP and then...strangely enough...you SAVE! Hahahahahahahaha.

100_4412.JPGHere's why I couldn't love the Cootie. "Two Or More Players". Really, I wouldn't have anybody to play this with or if I did, it would be a bore fest after one game and I'd quickly see how these Cooties held up to bombings with Legos or some other worthless time killer. In fact, I think the only game I may have had listed on the back of this was "Don't Break The Ice" bought from a thrift shop when I was a few years older. I used to race Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars across the ice breaking cubes until the cars fell through or the "bridge" caved in. That was fun. I used to tape books together to make bridges across my room. Heh. See what we did before there was EVERYTHING else?

100_4417.JPGThe funny thing was, I never remember this part of the game. I guess you rolled the dice and found piece that you could make your little plastic bug with. I guess.  We never had this when I was playing at my cousins place. You placed the pieces parts in this board and pulled them out when you were putting together your Cootie. They might have done away with this board because it encourages the little ones to pull legs and wings of captured insects. ICK. I wouldn't even get close to a bug. We had the biting flies and all I ever did was swat them to their deaths or watched them fry on those cheap blue electric lamps we put up. You can check in, but you'll never... *ZZZZAP*

100_4418.JPGHere they are, all assembled. One is sans eyes. Like I said, this isn't a complete set, but I can't trace down the original owner of this game. If I could, I could tear up their furnace to find the parts. Likely I'd just end up with 16 cents. Aren't they cute little plastic bugs? Do you use plastic bug spray to get rid of them? CB-38. Preferred by 4 out of 5 frenzied Northeast employees that don't bathe despite their B.O.

100_4419.JPGHey. These are complete. There was enough parts for three out of four. They almost look like they are alive. It's another chance to have more fun than I ever did playing with this plastic crap as a kid. Can I think of a story where these things do battle and beat themselves silly and all the parts will fall down the vents and remain in the heating pipes until the heater gets replaced? Well...

100_4420.JPG"I am QUEEN PINK BUG. I may LOOK like every adult toy available at shops near the airport, but I'm no VIBRATOR. I am BUG! I will scatter when the lights come on and outrun any attempt to squash me underfoot. I'm QUEEN PINKBUG! Two SNAPS up with a CIRCLE! Give me some FRUITY DRINKS! Show me to the BATHS! I'm QUEEN PINKBUG!"

100_4421.JPG"Well I'm KING REDBUG! I'm not used as much as your color when making ADULT TOYS but I am associated with FIRE and EVIL. That makes me the RULER of the Cootie Bugs. I am the RULER"

"Um, Hey guys, I don't have any eyes, but I am GREEN and that means I'm a sick little BITCH. So, I'm the ruler of the Cooties. You can call me John Erreiah."

100_4422.JPG"Hey you crazy bugs. A Boo Boo baby. I'm the Blue Cootie baby. I got the BLUES. Call me K. Blooey. I'm not in this fight right. I'm just going to smoke dope over there and listen to some obscure jazz on Blue Note bay-bee. Here, I'm even laying down to show submission. You guys need to chill out man. Make peace not war man..."

100_4423.JPG"Eaaaaaagh Eaaaagh I'm no GREEN COOTIE with no yellow eyes like DATA would have had if this was a episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation or the bad last movie...no...but I am a ROBOT! ROBOT BUG! DATA BUG! Microsoft BUG! Green screen of DEATH! Like in FUTUREWORLD. They made noises like EAAAAAGH when their faces were removed revealing that they were robots. We'd get played a whole bunch of times on Cleveland's Big Chuck and Lil John making an impression on the author of this blog. Our prequel WESTWORLD would be a made into a TV show in 2016. We're ROBOZ, not like in the TV show RIPTIDE with master actors Perry King and Joe Penny. NO, we're put here to make all COOTIES conform to the COOTIE COLLECTIVE! You will be ASSIMILATED."

100_4424.JPG"AH HA HA! You are now part of the COLLECTIVE. Even you QUEEN PINK BUG. Now I SHAT on your PINK BODY. Um...well, that would be kind of gross since you look like an adult toy. It would imply that you either have a poo fetish or you were used to enter a place that is normally an exit. Ick. We don't have any of that nonsense in the COOTIE COLLECTIVE. We are all of one purpose. We will DOMINATE all of COOTIE world. We will fly into a vent and lose our wings and be called NOT TERMITES by a NODDING HEADED LADY!  Er..what's that noise? It's getting louder and LOUDER. OH NO! IS THERE ANY ESCAPE FROM NOISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

100_4320.JPG"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! EEEYAAAAHGH! EEEYAAAAGH! EYYYYYYYAAAAAAAGGH"

FIN!

100_4425.JPGWell, I didn't blur out the address on this one because it's long gone. I sucked all the Cooties up in my Dirt Devil in the last post. I tossed them in the trash long ago so there will be no more threats from any Cootie. Funny that toy manufacturers use to have replacement plastic parts available with a mail away coupon. Of course you could get "X-Ray" glasses and "Sea Monkeys" and "Space Rocks" from the back of comic books for cheap, so why not offer replacement plastic parts to your precious Cootie game for only a 50 cent investment to a likely $2.98 game. Heh. You could get HEAD or TAIL or even TOUNGE for 50 cents back in the day. Heh heh heh. Mr. Smutty mind. Just ask for "Catalog No. 200 B".

-Ric

Bug Vac (They're Not Termites!)

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100_4320.JPGOnce upon a time, I lived in Toledo. I had a cracker box of a basement apartment with a mini fridge with an even smaller freezer space. Full frozen pizza? Nope. Defrost every three months? Yep. It had no rooms but did have a rather large closet area that I made into a computer room across from the bathroom.  It was my first place living alone. I think I had a vac for the carpet, but I don't remember actually using anything. I'd had room mates previous and always would use their floor cleaning tools. Maybe I just never dropped any crumbs or I used packing tape to pick up whatever. I certainly didn't have the power house next to this satanic filth sucker. Heh. Listen to that title. What about Scum Heathen? Lucifer's Crud Catcher?  Meh.

100_4321.JPGWhen I was trying to get another job after getting Clear Channel-ed, I had a friend say that I could get a "decent paying" gig working as a temp for insurance. Louisville had just had their floods which meant thousands of claims and this was one of the biggest insurers in the country. I didn't have much in the way of cash and I knew we could split a place, so I relocated to Louisville. We had a joint within a week. He had a vacuum. Once again, I didn't need one. He had a 80's Hoover upright that was loud but we didn't use it that much. Soon, part of working as a temp, you eventually were reassigned to another temp gig. Things began to change and the jobs began to suck. My friend decided to move on for a better gig in Illinois and I was alone again. He left the vac. I still had a vac. Then, the bugs came. DUN DUN DUN! 

100_4323.JPG My room in the apartment was directly facing a row of trees. They didn't look to be the best of trees but I didn't think too much. The bathroom had a cheap drop ceiling of what look like florescent light diffusers that are used in any office. The ceiling would shift when you closed the bathroom door or any door in the apartment. The vent fan routed to the outside but you couldn't see it unless you moved the ceiling tiles. Once day, coming home, I found several insects, some with wings , a few in the ceiling but some had dropped down to the bathtub and most to all were dead. It wasn't enough to cause me worry because after a few more the next day, there were none. I didn't think anything about it. A year later, I came home and ARRRRRRRRGGGGG! *slam* HOLY S*IT!!!! *goes to the apartment offices*

"I came home just now and there is a TON of little black bugs in my bathroom!"

"They're NOT Termites!"

"I don't know what they are, there is a ton in my apartment."

"We have an exterminator coming to spray tomorrow."

Thanks for telling me exactly what they were. Termites. They were infested in the dying tree/dead tree next to my apartment. I of course looked on the web, found out what they were and what they did which explained why a ton of them had died when they hit the bathtub, and more still had lost their wings or didn't fly. So, I went to Wally and spent my money on the cheapest vac I could get with attachments so I could vac up all the bugs and got some disinfectant so I could clean everything. The Dirt Devil did the trick. It had every attachment. Credit Card gulped the debt and superdoopervac sucked away all the carnage and got my floors clean.

100_4322.JPGIt is a pretty decent vac, and all very clean. Going from using an old Hoover to a DD with a bag that traps almost all of the dust in the bag, I liked it. One thing it was not however was whisper quiet. It was LOUDER than the old Hoover. I didn't care because I could use the tools to clean dust off the top of my 20" television or suck the dust from my cooling fan on my 100Mhz computer. It had nice attachments. The cord retainer was decent. It still works, but the hinge on the hose attachment went bad, other than that... NOISE! Is there any escape?

100_4324.JPGHere is the massive larvae from a left over Termite. AHHHHHHHHHHHH! Just kidding. Here is where the action is collected. A hard shell covers the bag. I now have this in my basement and clean my car with it, where outside, the noise it makes isn't so bad. I used this my whole time I was apartment bound here in Cleveland and then used it until asking for a new one for Christmas. I got a canister, lightweight with a motor that still makes a lot of noise but not nearly as much. It's got filters and a reusable dirt cup but I use it all the time for general cleaning. A few years back, I got the shop vac for deep cleaning and dirtier heavy duty jobs such as the basement and other areas where I need to suction.  I wish I could be more wistful on this device, but it was cheap, it lasted, and man did it pick up them bugs. That is all.

-Ric