Another Small Bag O Junk

100_4620.JPGI said I have a lot of really small pieces of junk, and in a bigger box, gotta keep them smaller pieces of junk from flying around, getting destroyed or rolling down a heater vent where they stay forever until a newer but junkier furnace is installed in the name of efficiency.  I can't lose such treasures as you're about to see like a taped up dice or a stereo knob. Gee, I'm selling the fun of this post aren't I?

100_4625.JPGShow Me The Money! Silver nickels and golden dimes, all you hear are the devils chimes. Arcade tokens have no value, so maybe I should throw that in the trash. It's a ROUND TUIT however. Get it? Nothing to see here. Silver dollars and fifty cent pieces. I guess when I got one of these odd coins I put in in an "odd coin" box. Move along.

100_4624.JPG...and a non coin oddity. $2. I guess I thought it was odd to have a two dollar bill, nothing more to see here. The poker chip with a rubber band is a reminder that I had a good night gambling. Or not. Now, we'll get good.

100_4622.JPGI used the fiddy cent piece to hold down the wrapper. Here's the real crux of the junk blog. This stuff is truly junk. Junk with a story. Junk that should have been tossed when it was used up. Each piece has a story. Interesting to me only. Are you still here? Maybe I should post about another camera like the good ol' bad ol' days of the junk blog. 

Long long ago when I was still just a shaver, I would do anything to try and make a buck. It was so I could buy the latest Al Jaffee or Don Martin paperback from MAD.  When we got a new washer, I got the box. Large boxes were like gold when you were a kid with no money. I had the bright idea to put the box out on my front porch and open a store where I sold whatever I had to sell. I just needed to make that fiddy cent piece. One weekend, I went with mom to a really far off drug store chain called Cunninghams. It would soon become Grey Drug and then CVS Drug Or Revco Drug or, awww hell. It was there I bought several multi packs of Zeno brand grape bubble gum sticks. I think it was a 10 pack for 39 cents. I could sell them for 10 cents a pack, it was a tasty gum, and I'd double my money. This is a wrapper I have saved and somehow it's still here. Yeah, there is a history around Zeno gum which you can search on, but it seems like it started as a Chicago thing. I begged mom to take me back to Cunningham drugs so I could get more of this profit machine. However, i realized that it was so cheap because it was on close out and they didn't have it any more. Thus ended my profitable days as a Zeno Gum reseller.  Later I destroyed that box sitting in it under a water outlet as it disintegrated. 

As for the Daredevils... We all know Willy Wonka. When the "Everlasting Gobstopper" came out, it was disappointing because it didn't "Everlast". However, to a kid, it was good candy. Everything is a good candy to a kid. Funky marshmallow flavored chalk sticks that you licked and dunked in bad fruity drink mix. That was FUN! Well,  the Wonka company came out with fireballs that had a cool down ring before becoming fireballs again.  Tasty! I loved them. I took a pocket full of them with me on a trip to Florida. Mom would make us dress up in suits so there were a lot of pockets to store crap. She still believed that like the 50's and 60s, we should be wearing a suit when doing something special like flying some place. Hot and itchy when we went down to Florida, torture when we came back in a nice sunburned condition. So, as we stood at the Cleveland Hopkins airport baggage turn style, I popped my last Daredevil in my mouth and well, as a itchy, hot, pained child wearing a suit, the only fun I could think of was to place the wrapper on the belt and see if it would be there if we didn't get our luggage before the conveyor went around. For some reason, considering the belt went outside and I didn't set the wrapper under anything, it came around! I picked it up and smiled knowing that 40 years later, I'd make a junk blog about it.

100_4621.JPG Here is another worthless memory more familiar to denizens of Cleveland. In the early 80s' we had television ads akimbo for Ed Stinn Chevrolet who used to parade his cars through his smallish lot. We had Commander Ray's West Park Chevrolet. He wore an admirals get up and pimped Chevys from his little lot. We had C.Miller Chevrolet. A guy that always blew a kiss at the end of his commercials. Then we had the GIANT John Lance Ford, who was more known for his radio spots than TV spots. So, when I went to buy a second used car, I went to John Lance and bought a 1979 Chevy Monza originally purchased from Commander Ray's Westpark Chevrolet. I won't say I got ripped off on the deal, but I shouldn't have bought the damn Monza in the first place. My brother had a used 1976 Monza and it was a rust bucket when he owned it. Mine fell apart, and it was my first time financing and learning all about used car dealers that see ya coming. Every car has been new since, mostly. 

100_4623.JPG Roger Rabbit. An incredible move. One of those films that I saw more than any other film. I just went to the movies with anybody who would go with me. I just thought it was state of the art animation and at the time, it was a masterpiece. Watching it now, it seems a really dated film, but that's because the cartoon is now standing next to you now. No need to draw it using ink and paint. Eh Rokkit? Eh Groot? Then a CM premium that still makes me laugh. Why not promote your movie "D.O.A" with Aspirin? What were they thinking?

100_4629.JPGHere's an oddity for me. I'm sure that my manager Rich smoked his cigs in the back room and used this ashtray.  When NWS got their fingers into what was a Radio Shack like store in the 60's and 70's, it was a shadow of it's former self. All we sold was re manufactured crap, Gemini speakers and DJ equipment, old GTE 70's dial phones and Citizen pocket B&W televisions, Verit Cordless Phones and TNIX VCRs.  Junk. Nifty ashtray though.

100_4631.JPGAnother long shuttered car dealership. Pontiac is long gone and now it's a Honda dealership exclusively. My mom purchased a Pontiac 6000 which was the brother of the Chevrolet Celebrity. It was also an Iron Duke 2.5 L 4 Cyl engine. It drove like a truck and handled like a Slurpee. Mom was given a few of these key holders and I got one for the racing keys I had for my Chevette/Monza. I think this got put away when I bought my brand spanking new Dodge Omni America in 1989 and it came with two fancy leather like Chrysler pentastar disc key chains. Of course, I used this whenever I went for late night "joyrides" in mom's car before I even had a license. Yep. Long story. "Yes officer, how do we get back to Avon Lake?" 

100_4632.JPG

Now, the play toys thing. I think the dog is from Oliver and Company. It may have been a McDonalds happy meal toy or just something I got years back as a grab bag from a thrift shop. Ahhh, but the center robot. This is a genuine TOMY wind up robot. Still works. We were poor. Really poor. So to get something like that, it was a BIG thing. So stupid to think that playing with a wind up mini robot was that much of a thrill, but memories as a kid...when cardboard boxes were entertainment for weeks. The square headed toy is from a Playschool fire fighter play set. Fisher Price had the more popular round "Little People" so Playschool battled back with SQUARE people. I had a McDonalds play set, and you could jam the fake food trays in that space between their head and body and make them "carry" their burgers and fries. Yep. It's what we did before the internet.

100_4628.JPG So there's a bit more junk here, so I'll tell you that if you don't have a DIE, you can simply put white masking tape over a set of "Dice Bowling" dice and you have a horribly off balance "fake die". What was I thinking? The two knobs with the blue centers are from the 'free" Soundesign component stereo I was given when a neighbor moved away. It was before Soundesign started making those "all in one" stereos with the 10,000 band EQs (3 settings, 10,000 silver sliding bars). It was an 8 Track, tuner and amplifier with a separate BSR turntable and two speakers. I remember it very fondly because it was my first real piece of "HIFI" equipment. It sounded like hell and broke a few years later like the cardboard mess that it was. There is a sheered lug nut that I likely found on the street and some sort of battery door that must have been for something or why would I have kept it. Right? RIGHT?

100_4635.JPGMore stubs from the movie Roger Rabbit. It's to prove that I really did attend that movie more than anyone should. Hey, when you work on the weekends and go to school during the day, you have a lot of time to kill. So, you try to open your own business. Here's an idea for a really good business. Get yourself a box, fill it with swabs and VCR cleaning crap, and sell VCR cleaning for 19.95, Get a business license and some name tags and advertise on those green "Good Neighbor" notices for yard sales and pets for sale in your local grocery store. You even get an office and office furniture which you split with your best friend and band mate. You convert one room to a studio and record many a song there. Your partner pulls out after two weeks and you lose interest in the job a few weeks later, but you keep the studio for two years and pay for the rent out of what little you make at other gigs. All the better to travel to "The Amazement Park" with your friends from McDonalds. They have a new exciting ride called "Toboggan Run" which becomes your first "roller coaster" which makes you think that if all roller coasters were as lame as that one, why were you afraid to ride them in the first place?

100_4633.JPGFinally, the flat stuff. The "WGCL" sticker came when I won a "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" movie prize pack. I was listening to WGCL late at night and they gave it away and I was lucky caller 9. Yay! It was two tickets to the movie "Girls Just Want To Have Fun". Gee, a movie based on a song title? It was in the theaters for two weeks? Good golly, glad I missed it. The prize pack also came with two five function LCD watches which were dollar store quality with "GJWTHF" inserts over the generic "5 Function Neon LCD Watches" advertising.  It also came with two plastic "jackets" that had the movie sticker placed on the back and spots where the WGCL stickers could be placed in the front. It was true garbage. I think I used one jacket without the stickers for a rain coat but it shredded quickly. 

I also have a duplicate of the sticker we needed to place on our mirrors when we parked at the high school and a "pride" sticker given out by my principal when rather than buying computers. She spent money on a stupid school colors banner down our hallway.  The blue stickers were from one of the best experiences of my high school years. My choir was invited to sing in Downtown Cleveland at the Terminal Tower center. This was before they redeveloped the whole place into "Tower City". Care Bears were a product of American Greetings in Cleveland and they made Public Square into "Care A Lot" square. We set up and sang in the bowels of the Terminal, and it was a terminal. Dirty, smoky, and unchanged for years. A mish mosh of retailers and a food court with a McDonalds where I had a Quarter Pounder With Cheese purchased with a book of 50 cent gift certificates that we were all given. To see that place in it's original form was awesome. What a hole. The way that mass transit used to be. I had one of these stickers on my coat that I wore for three more years until it was too worn. The next two years they changed the entire place and made it a modern mall with huge fountains and a big theater and food court  and a huge record store with a pink Cadillac inside the door. We sang in the classic Arcade for the next two years, which was also a great experience, but not as memorable than the old Terminal. Finally, another dumb "the artist is in" sign when I sat at my desk and wrote/created. I used it a few times....eventually, it would end up on a JUNK BLOG. -Ric

Summer Recovery Post

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I wanted to do another entry after almost two months of being away. I got lots to talk about and then I'll get back to the regular junk offerings. That's what a blog is all about right? RIGHT? Right Right Really Really Right.

RIP Jay Thomas

Early Jay On Sirius.jpg
(Image copyright to the owner of it, since I don't own any pics of Jay, I thought this was the best one that sums up how I would best remember him.) He's "that guy from television that is in everything". He's "that guy from Mork And Mindy". He's "that guy from that movie, you know, the one with the Jaws guy".  All I knew about Jay was he was good on Letterman and I liked to see him every now and then on TV. Turns out, he was a radio guy. He started as a radio guy and continued to be a radio guy until the end. I did something crazy in 2006 and subscribed to Sirius Satellite radio. Pay for radio? Was I nuts? No, it was the only way to hear Howard Stern.  I found some other channels on there as well, but Howard is why I had it.

Well, Howards channels evolved, and when Bubba The Love Sponge stopped doing his Friday "Live" show, Howard needed a new show. He had heard Jay Thomas all the way back before Howard Stern became Howard Stern and admired the fact that a disk jockey could transition to an acting career. Sirius hired Jay just before they made a deal with Howard.  Jay was doing his show Monday through Thursday so Howard asked if he wanted to join his channel on Fridays.  That's where I started listening to Jay Thomas. I'd only hear that Friday show, but pretty soon, I was so hooked on Jay's style of radio, I sampled his weekday shows and was hooked again. He was incredibly talented for doing a show with minimal support. He turned on the mike, interviewed odd and unusual guests, had fun with callers, and did a show that was compelling and funny with none of that goofy radio "s*it". The first time he was sick, he made us believe it was from an old football injury that was making it tough to swallow. (He had throat cancer.)  He recovered and blamed the length of his recovery on an infection from the operation. I believed it. Unfortunately, another type of cancer came and silenced his voice. He never let us as listeners know. He took more days off but I thought he was doing things for his acting career. He blamed his weakening voice on the CA wildfires and squirting eye cleaner in his throat rather than throat spray. He just didn't want his show to become a pity party.

On his last day on the air, he bitched at us for complaining for all the repeats that were airing when he took days off. He said he hadn't begun to get all his vacation days on his contract and that we should just enjoy the reruns. That was it. He never came back. Nearly two weeks later when going back to work from lunch, I saw that he had passed.  Still missing what felt like a familiar friend spending two hours a day letting me in on his world. He'd probably call me an idiot and "Get Rid Of Em" if I called and told him that. Goodbye Jay.

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So, besides that hole in my day, my Sunday nights also changed forever as the Funday Pawpet Show ended it's 18 year run. I have Yappy Slyfox to thank as he put my Radiolawn show "on the air" with a Real Audio broadcast. It was streaming audio/video in it's infancy and most home users were lucky to have just a 56K modem to bring them internet goodness. Well, when he had to start working Sundays, he couldn't keep running my show and it went over to Romeo Rabbit's "Rabbit Hole" show stream where it continues to air. Romeo had some hurricane damage but decided to keep entertaining us all on Sunday nights. So, Radiolawn #250 will likely air this weekend Oct. 1st/2nd.

Leon is getting LARGER, as I went to Kentucky Kingdom and found that the new rolling stock roller coaster cars that they have installed on the existing coasters are not built for anybody of larger carriage. At least at Cedar Point, larger people get ONE SEAT on every roller coaster where we can at least enjoy the park. Believe me, there's a lot of shame involved when you sit in a tester seat and can't get it to close. LOSE WEIGHT BEEYOTCH!

Believe it or not, I finally got me a "smart phone". My old phone with the model number "K9" had never seen me type a text to anyone and I used it only as an emergency phone. A good friend of mine convinced me that I really couldn't avoid the smart phone TXT'ing goodness and after burning off $120 credit by Hex/Dec typing text messages, I got one. I don't think it takes the best pics, but there is nothing better than texting someone standing across the grill from me at BDs Mongolian. Maybe that K9 phone will be a future post here. It plays TETRIS.

Smash Greywolf called me out of the blue and invited me to a concert by "VNV Nation". He was the first fur I met ever, and we became fast friends because we had so much in common. Turns out he moved into a best friend's home after that friend left Avon Lake. I even asked if he remembered the pulleys that were nailed to his trees in the back yard, as my friend and I had a pulley system for getting stuff up to our tree forts. Here we were in Toledo and we went to my first con and he introduced me to lots of early furries, so I'm forever grateful. Well, I didn't know "VNV Nation" but I did like "industrial" music in my past, so I treated it like I was seeing an opening band that I've never heard of. I bought two albums at the show, and that was that. I'm part of the Nation. I want to collect em all.

Well, sorry for being lax about the posting. Live Journal says I need to agree to "Russian Law"  and I'm no Russian law scholar so I'm not going to agree. So, occasionally I'll break from the Junk Blog format for a post like this. When silly things may happen, like Cleveland sports or someone famous that means so much to me passes or I lose 100 pounds on the Pabst diet, you'll know.

ARF! -Ric

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