Results tagged “Boomer The Dog”

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.  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 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 :)


They're Gonna Put Me In The Movies

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100_4089.JPGNew! From Japan! It's a camera! Snappy Snappy! It has a Pure Digital logo at the bottom. I kept the plastic wrapped around it as the "case".  It was "NEW". It was an idea to make CVS drug stores LOTS of money. It's a VIDEO CAMERA, and it was the forerunner of the early to mid 00's "blog cam" craze. They way it came into the world, this one was a step below the 640x480 that became the standard of web cams at the time. However, it was not for me, at least when it came out.

100_4094.JPGThis was the "key" to any shmoe like me taking a great movie. No controls. On/Off. Check. It made that wonderful "Boop Boop Beep" sound when it was on and a delightful "Be De Boop" when it got shut off. Big red "record" button that you pressed to start and stop your masterpiece. Then, a playback button to run the videos and a delete button that asked if you were sure you wanted to delete the video of you playing with yourself. Did I say that? No, it's not Mr. Fat Hanz that was involved in that scandalous footage. He's the left hand not the right hand... Did I say that AGAIN? What the hell, is this an URKEL bit? 

100_4091.JPGIt was a brilliant introduction to taking digital movies. Why? Boomer The Dog that's why. I wouldn't have owned this device if it weren't from my friend that finds a way to hack anything electronic. Especially when if you don't know the tricks of the trade, you'll pay dough to see your "movies" on anything but the small screen of this little mighty.

100_4090.JPGHere was the story as I recall. I guess the PURE camera technology came out in Japan and China and CVS figured out a way to make a buck by "exclusively" offering this camera to America through it's stores. Yes, Rite Aid joined later and then even later in upgraded form, then these were released as FLIP cameras, which was Pure's brand name for these. It cost $20 to "rent" this camera. They sold it retail with a fresh set of batteries. They put a special connector with a special "key" to take the batteries out of it. This "rental" then gave you 20 glorious minutes of video. Pure's tech actually took pretty decent videos. Really good light handling and better audio than a lot of other cameras had a few years later when generics and other brands flooded the "chip recording" "blog camera" market. Of course, you could only see the latest video you've taken, so you'd better be sure. There was no feature to keep the first video you've taken but skip the third. So, when you filled it up or ran the batteries out, you took it back to a participating CVS to get your videos "developed". They used a special interface to get the videos off the camera and put them on a CD rom. Of course, that cost money as well. I think it was $13. That meant about $35 total for 20 minutes of video masterpieces. Oh yeah, if you wanted to do it again, you had to "rent" another camera for $20 and start all over again. Wow. Did they think they would make money doing this?  The quality of the video/audio was pretty much better than any camera at it's time, so I'd assume that they did make money. Technology moves fast though...

100_4092.JPG...and there were plenty of people that thought that CVS's racket was silly, and decided to do something about it. It was a "consumer" product and sold to "consumers". Shortly after these came out, the tech heads started seeing what they could do to make these work without returning it. So, after a few months. my friend Boomer picked up one of these cams, downloaded the camera's created "software" (to make it free) and built a cable from an old printer cable, and was able to download all the videos to his computer. So, he had a video camera for $20. CVS didn't make you sign anything or put a deposit on said camera, so if you paid $20 and decided never to turn it in, well, what was stopping you from reusing it if you knew how. When he showed me what the camera could do, I went and followed his lead. He made me a cable, I installed the software and  I was officially a "camera hacker".  Got my moneys worth from this cam. Took tons of videos. Got plenty of really good looking stills from this as well. All less than 640X480.

100_4088.JPGPure technology would come out with some pretty snazzy cameras, and then they were swallowed by Cisco and went away a few years later. Cell phones were becoming the norm and they could do video and pictures and pretty much killed the low cost camera market. They've improved so much in a scant few years. Still, the audio and video these produced and the fact that they are small. self contained magic workers, makes me want to use one to this day. Not this type, the cable and the software went to XP only. However, Boomer is also a fan, and we've got a few of the Pure 640x480 cameras with the USB dongle or even the removable SD chip from those nuts over at FleaBay.  I remember when Boomer and I would walk around with these CVS cameras and people would think they were STILL cameras. They would sit still waiting for the flash until we said they were video cams. Then the market got flooded. Recently I bought one of the "clones" that took okay video but really low grade audio. I really don't take video any more. I blog about my junk. Nothing to see here. Move along. Wait! Ask Boomer how many of these particular cameras he bought from Rite Aid and CVS... I'll have to fire up the software on my old 400mhz Compaq laptop and....awww forget it. Junk Blog.


The New Old Way Of Doing Things

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100_4184.JPGGosh bless my friend and co-conspirator in my band Spudlok, Bill. When we moved out of our mom's houses to a joint near supermall Ohio, we were all set. Out of all the noise of still living with our moms and into independent apartment living. We had a party pad. Come and go as we pleased. No hassles. No chores. Har Har Har. Moving in together was the only way we could afford to move out. We were both part timers or minimum wagers working at our dream media gigs. Bill in television and myself in radio.

Back in the summer of 1986, I knew what I must do. I started writing. Lots. I also absorbed that entire summer of David Letterman which I taped most of and hold those tapes in high regard. Come on, he interviewed Max Headroom. He had the book lady, the guy under the stairs, and "GET INTO THE FOUNTAIN!" He groped Sandra Berndhart sitting in his lap. I wrote and I wrote and wrote and before it was through, had four "teen aged" books, all which somehow involved the main character becoming a dog or a wolf. I knew I could never get anything done with long hand chicken scratch so I needed a way to get my stories in a printable format. Bill had an Apple Mac with the floppy and built in monitor. He allowed me to type out my first book and begin editing it. "Whoa Whoa Whoa, stop the clock."  When did what is in the picture come in? Well, that was after I started writing but before I had access to a "modern" computer. Read on... or go look for porn. I don't care.

100_4186.JPGMy memory failed me as to when I first got this device. It's a Smith Corona PWP-77D word processor. They were popular as hell until the computer/printer became so cheap to own. Back when I got this, I think you were still at $3000 for even a cheaper computer/inkjet printer to word process in letter quality. This came along, wasn't their most expensive, but was their cheapest with removable "media". That way, I could type in one of my novels and then print it out and have it at least be good quality. Now, I had an Atari 800XL with a cheap "printer-plotter", but it printed on calculator paper. Later I got a genuine "letter quality" printer, but it used a drum with about 10 letters on each reel. That meant, typing out a full page of writing took about five minutes and you could only get about 2 pages without the printer needing to cool down for 10 minutes. I never got the Atari dot matrix printer.

100_4187.JPGThis device was a cool three hunny. I bought it from my local office supply house. Actually, it was quite advanced for what it was. You could use it like a normal typewriter and even buy print cartridges for it with an erase feature. I suppose the lower models with smaller screens or no screen would need that. No, I planned on only printing when I had my document edited and ready to print. So, this was a good typewriter. As a text editor, it was fair to midland. Computers had just broken the 133MHZ speed limit or so when this unit came out, and those would cost a billion dollars. I'm sure this had a faster processor than my 64K speed monster Atari 800XL but I can't imagine if this had more than 4 or 8 MHZ processing power.  You could get a spreadsheet program for it, so It must have been a little more advanced. It seemed like early DOS and had maybe 16-32K built in memory? It doesn't give the specs in the manual. If I could open a whole 160 page document, I think it kept reading chunks from the disk drive while I attempted to edit. That was a major problem on a longer document. No mouse to get to where you wanted, just arrow keys. When you deleted a line, then it needed to process the change so sometimes the display would go blank for a few seconds while it fit your changes into the screen. Ahh, but they were there. It typed out what you had and was designed to do it without 10 minute rest periods. Of course, it would idle each page it printed until you put in the next piece of paper. Yeah, the more expensive models had a auto feed and a bigger display, but for $300, I had THE POWER!

100_4188.JPG...and I'm so glad I splurged with my then small balance credit card to get one with a disk drive. It was a 720 Meg drive, but it really gave me the editing strength to type in stuff and work on fixing it later. I had floppies for each "book" I had. Plus, because it was a "DOS" like product, it came with a "conversion" program, whereas, if I switched to a PC product, I could convert the files and roll on from there with 66MHZ or better speed and Word Perfect goodness. Yes, I did type three of my four projects in with this typewriter. Of course, when I tried to edit my first project, um... it was... um... forget it. Again, editing a longer project was not impossible on this machine, but also not very practical. So, when I got access to Bill's mac, I had some conversion to do.

His Mac had software to convert from PC to Mac, so I had to find a PC to use to convert files from Smith Corona over to PC. Enter the fine peeps over at the radio station I worked overnight at. WWWE. I ran the Rush Limbaugh program replay, on a really big and slow reel to reel tape "pancake" from 3am to 6am. Yes, I had to get in and out of commercials and live news and run the ship during this time. It seems to primitive to think that I had a job running a tape late at night but it was 1994... I could use Rush's first 22 minute segment to start converting files with an unused computer and convert I did. One night, I made the mistake of turning off the computer when I was done. Unfortunately, that loused up the entire system. I remember that I didn't know I had borked the whole station until the morning host came on and said that they didn't have show prep because someone messed with the computers, maybe someone writing "the great American novel". When I realized that it was me, I went to a nearby doughnut shop, bought a dozen, and went back up to the station as an apology. At least I didn't get canned. Thank goodness by that time I was adding to a few live shows by doing creative bits for them, so I was a bit more valuable than a tape jockey.

100_4190.JPGThis is obligatory of course. I knew the display would be hard to take a picture of with a flash, so this is what I got. Once I had editing and printing capability, I did so with Bill's Mac and gave him some money for the ink and paper. I finished typing my third project and even put it in a book because I thought it was the most likely story that could go some place. Of course, as I read what I thought was the finished edit, I found a thousand edits more. Soon after typing my fourth project in, I got the gig in Toledo and said good bye to the Mac world. It would be a few more years until I moved to Louisville and Boomer The Dog gave me a Okidata 9 Pin dot matrix printer until I had the printing tech again. Until then, I went to Kinkos or Office Max to type resumes and print them. I don't think this got much use after that. Maybe the occasional typing a letter, but that was it. I still have it and it still works. Maybe I should type something....nahhhhhhhhh. $5 at a thrift store. I'll keep mine as a boat anchor for my junk pile thank you very much.


Roger Rabbit Viewmaster

100_4142.JPGMerchandising. You know every movie marketed to kids or any super hero movie has a ton of junk. Every Pixar flick, sure the movie does well, but the real dough was from the merchandising. Funny that sales of video tapes/DVD's/LD's used to be a big part of this money figure. That's pretty much gone, but merchandising is evergreen. Everybody kid wants a piece of a movie they just saw that caught their imagination. Maybe own the flick, but until it comes out, you buy plushies, toys, board games, and all sorts of crap with the images of the movie you just saw. You like them for a month or two and then, move on. Or you become an HYPER FAN and keep junk forever on a shelf in the basement of the science building. Don't blame me. I keep mine in boxes in the basement because I paid something for it once so I can't bear to part with it or throw it away.

100_4143.JPGOf course, when I added this to my junk collection, I was still a teenager. Waning horny teenager years. I saw this movie more than any other movie I'd ever seen in the theater. I was a big fan of all things cartoon having grown up in the Saturday morning 70's and 80's. Not only did I go see this by myself, but every friend and my mom that hadn't seen this went and saw it with me. It was the type of movie that moved the bar for me. It was something I'd never seen before. So why the hell did I buy this POS?  Yeah, it was before the movie came out on VHS so it was the only way I could see images from such an amazing flick.

100_4144.JPGSpoiler Alert! I guess when they sold these ViewMaster sets, they listed the entire dialogue of the included "reels" on the side of the box. What is a Viewmaster you ask? You don't know? It's a way to view things so that they looked three dimensional. It was a toy around forever. They even had projectors to see these on a screen and ones that came with "records" to play along with the reels. Wow. They still make these as well mostly for retro nerds. Collectors would have these type of gift sets and you can probably go to the 'Bay to see what this set would cost if in pristine condition. We had them since we were kids, but they usually got ruined when they were left outside or stepped on. 

100_4147.JPG See? My set really isn't in collectors condition. I'm sure I looked at these reels with this viewer a few times and had minutes of enjoyment. I may have bought the cups from McDonalds that were collectors cups for the flick. I think I've even got a few read along books with the story in  it. You know, I really didn't make much money back then, yet I bought crap like this. "Future investment" I thought. Right.

100_4149.JPGThe business end. The reels had two sets of the same picture offset by a little and you had the plastic magnifying lenses to look through to produce a "3D" image. The only thing different about this as opposed to the 70's versions I used when I was really small, the "arm" that came down and advanced the reel was a bit bigger, and I think the viewer was made with fewer pieces to assemble.It seems I have taken a picture of an optical illusion as well. The slot above the eyes usually gives the caption that's on the reels, but in this picture, it looks smaller than it is. Strange. Something to know and show and share with friends. We do it all for you Rod.

100_4148.JPGThe rear is where the light flows in. Yes they made these so you could use them at night with a back light on them and taking "C" batteries that you'd forget about and they'd leak and ruin the whole thing. (Damn you RAYOVAC!) Really, there isn't much more to say about these. I will say I got mine from the now gone Westlake K-Mart, the very first K-Mart I ever went too. Maybe by this time, they didn't have cafeterias anymore, and it was before they became "Big K" stores and got Little Caesars restaurants in them. This K-Mart still had the delicatessen at the front of the store where you could buy cold cuts and get sandwiches. I believe I bought their "famous sub" which were on special, 2 for $3 and were made with floor tile and Elmers mayo. I got this viewer and sat in the parking lot having a feast. It was how I rolled when I had my freedom of a Chevy Monza and a fresh $20 bill from McDonalds to  burn. Geeze. Am I dating myself when I used to go to the ATM and only pull out $20 at a time? Memmmoorrriiieeeees.  

100_4150.JPG Enter Boomer The Dog. He's the one that got me to dig out this View Master from my basement when he presented me with this pack of reels from one of my favorite flicks. Wow. Talk about obscure! My guess is that every Disney movie ever was adapted with movie stills to make reels for the View Master. I wonder if there are "Gus" reels, or "The Computer Wore Frilly Things" or "The Apple Blumpkin Gang"? I'll bet. Really, it's been around forever. The cool thing is, they haven't faded or changed to orange like some old slides have.

100_4154.JPGYes, they came along with booklets with the plot of the movie that expanded on what was written on the reels. My newer set had no such booklet. What a treat it is to have stills from this movie. It was a make-up great who recently died that did the transformation in this film. Rather than a fade into an animal, they applied make-up and really looked like Dean Jones was becoming an Old English Sheepdog. It still was film tricks, because American Werewolf In London soon showed the world how horrible it could be to transform into a monster. Gee, I just wanted to be fuzzy and cuddly not kill people and have the zombies return to tell me that they can't go to their resting place until he does himself in. Spoiler Alert! Awww, forget it. Can you imagine? In the Disney film, the guy actually DIDN'T want to be a dog? How silly is...SHHHHHHHH. Check it.

100_4146.JPGBack to reality. I don't own the DVD of this flick so I can't see the frame where you could see Jessica's HOOHOO. You ask many of the boys that saw this movie in their teens and see how many would say "yeah I had a crush on her." It wouldn't be until a few years later when "Cool World" came out where there was a HOTTER cartoon bim than ol' Jessica. Remember, she was only hooked up with Roger because "He makes me laugh". She wasn't bad, she was drawn that way. Personally, I had a crush on the Black and White Betty Boop who sold cigarettes where Jessica sang.  Good lord, flashbacks.


Junk Cameras Three (Vivicheese)

DSCI0526.JPGThe box of crap cameras comes to a close with three of the crappiest pieces of crap ever minted in the name of discount photography. Vivatar products in the 80's and 90's was the bottom of the cheese barrel in point and shoot cameras. I mean, they had a name, were sold by everybody, were cheap and at least those cheapy point and shoot FILM cams managed to take acceptable photos. Ahh, but all you needed was LIGHT. If you got a decent quality film, had decent processing and were in light, even the cheapest cameras could produce at least "acceptable" photos. Hell, I used a Vivitar camera for years. (...or was that Ansco? It may have been. I think it's an earlier blog.) Anyhell, Vivitar graduated into the digital world and well, with some sharpening, these would make "acceptable" photos. But when you can get a used Kodak for $3 that takes incredibly sharp pics with no post processing needed. Get the Picture? (Thanks Hawkeye. Just saw him say that on the MeeeeeTeeeeveeee.)


Actually, this camera does not seem so bad for it's age. It seems better than my old Cintar camera. It has a view finder. It has a separate LCD readout for status. I got this one from a thrift shop with a SD card in it. The door was broken, but a little tape helped.  It seemed like the terminals may have been dirty because I couldn't get this to fire up in the car. I tried putting the chip in another camera, but it didn't seem to work. So, It would wait until I got home.

IMG_0143.JPGSee, all the features on this. Of course, with the LCD display and only 2 AA battery power, it was likely a power hog. So, I put it in my cleaning machine and it powered up and I managed to take a few blurry pics with it. A clunky interface and I'm not sure that if batteries had leaked into it, the camera itself wasn't affected by it. You could set this for "Super Fine" which I'm sure helped out when this was new. It shut off by itself a few times, and after resetting and trying again, I gave up.

PICT1705.JPGHere is the best picture I could get. It's a picture of a picture I have on my wall of a Boomer The Dog original/parody of a free rag cover from Pittsburgh. The Vivicheese picture of the picture is just the cheese that this camera, in it's condition, could produce. Benefit of a doubt to age and treatment, but I'm bitter on... (Oh yes, and that SD card, an "8G" SDHC card was not that at all. It was an 8 MEG card. No wonder why I couldn't save squat to it. It would have worked if it was a Smart Media card and I wanted to take 640x480 pictures.)


The dung continues. This one looks like any number of cameras put out in the mid 00's . Slim profile, slide opening. Almost like several Olympus cams and other cameras of note. This one has a viewfinder that seems like something a pro camera would have. It's tinted so when looking into white, it appears purple-ish.  Because it's fixed focus, it's got a tiny switch on it to set for macro or long distance, whatever.

100_3515.JPGSee? It's the same as any other camera. I did think this would take pretty good photos. I did. Hopeful I am. The reviews of this camera vary from "okay" to "poo". The menus were easy to operate and as with all later cams, there was no LCD for data.

IM000005.JPGActually, maybe I could use this camera in a pinch. If I was at the beach where I would worry about getting sand in the lens or I wanted to take blur master at a cheaper cheese price. No, it's not very good. Decent enough colors on this, one of my typical "I gotta try this cam to see how the pictures stand up" pictures. Gee, I still use video tape? Here I am doing a blog about junk and...well...yes, I still use video tape. Leave me alone. You take pictures with your cell phone. Why should you care? The colors are good on this picture though right?


This was the first Vivicheese camera I added to my collection. It needed a HC SD card. It was a 3 "AAA" battery camera. Turns out the thin piece of paper that is the battery door was broken but managed to hold in the batteries so this could work. It is also fixed focus, so you can turn the lens to macro by a switch on the side. This really seemed like a perfect camera to keep in my car. It was so slim and would take bigger pics and if it got five-fingered from my glove box, I'd be out $3. All In.

100_3544.JPGNow, I think Vivitar had a good idea. A thin camera that took normal batteries. There was no rechargeable battery with a speciality charger to mess with.  Look at the size of the screen. Menus were easy to use. You could put this one in your pocket and snap pictures of your balls. I said it. Troubles set in when you breathe on the battery door, or at least sit the camera down with the slightest force. Then, all that screen needs a lot more power than can be delivered by AAA batteries. I bought a cheap set of AAAs when I was on the road so I could take some demo pictures. I may have gotten 15 when the batteries quit, and that's after I messed with this camera to even get it to take pictures. The SD card I put in it showed off pics taken with other cameras very nicely. I still thought of this camera as something for my car. But...

IM000010.JPGAnother demo picture. Yes, I have a stuffed sheepdog wearing a Cumberland Brews tee shirt with a blue beanie style dog next to it and a flipped over Yuengling beer cap while sitting in a directors chair. You see it every day on every blog. It may appear to be something of a picture, but it suffers from every other cheap cheap generic camera. Terrible over exposed or under exposed, blurry or washed out photos when taken inside. You know, when Boomer first got his netbook, the camera inside took pictures that were kind of like this, except they were completely washed out. He took the housing apart and lo and behold, the original plastic lens cover was still on it when it was assembled. I gotta think these were mass assembled and may have had same issue. Trouble is, this took a pretty decent outdoor picture. Still, couldn't take with if I was without a cam, so into the box it went. 3 AAA batteries is no way to power a camera. I've been there and done that and got the Cumberland Brews tee shirt.


First Act, Last To Play

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100_3506.JPGIt's "weedly weedly wee" time. Feeling like a guitar hero but you can't afford the $30 for a used First Act axe? Don't have the coin for a synthogeetar so you can play those fancy notes on? You can buy this sawed off noisemaker.  Well, you can't really. This was a closeout deal. I bought two of these babies for half the price it would have cost for one. How does it do? Was I playing Stairway? Did I "Walk This Way"? Have I ever been experienced? Perhaps, you might not care about my musical history. Next slide please.

100_3508.JPG I found the band Spirit when Boomer The Dog and I were getting into vinyl records.  I never knew that a few months later I'd own everything from Spirit and Randy California. At the time, we were buying vinyl to play cuts on our radio show and seeing what was good or bad from the worlds of 70's and 80's wax. It started when I became a huge fan of "Mom's Apple Pie". They were a band from Youngstown and they were on "Brown Bag Records". It's a really long story, but their record was featured on SNL as one of the worst covers. It was a granny holding a drippy pie, only it was missing a slice. That slice revealed what looked to be a hoo hoo. It was the record company's owner's idea. Create controversy and then reissue a "censored" version of the cover. (You can see the cover with a simple web search if your interested.)  It didn't matter that the music was pretty damn good horn based rock and roll. The record fell on it's face.  It didn't matter that one of the songs was "I Just Wanna Make Love To You" done with horns and thundering band behind.  It should have been a huge hit. Ooops, A scant 4 months after the release, Foghat had their huge hit with it. All other versions, even the original seemed like covers of Foghat.

So, Boomer had the vinyl and used to play it on his radio broadcasts and shortwave stuff. He played another cover from Mom's Apple Pie's first album, a cover of Spirit's "Mr. Skin." Somewhere in the distant past, my memories said I liked that song. I think they used to play it when they showed reruns of Kojak. Makes sense because that song was written for Ed Cassidy, the bald drummer of Spirit. So, Boomer got me the original.

From there, only a mild interest in what Spirit did, and even a purchase of their album "12 Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus." Still, it was not igniting the flames of Randy/Spirit worship. Until we got a copy of the post original line up of Spirit's album "Farther Along". This was a reunion of sorts, 4 out of 5 original members playing a very short album of mostly Randy penned tracks. There was something there...I listened to the album over and over then I wanted more. A few months later I had 'em all, right down to the obscure movie Spirit did the soundtrack too and appeared in. It had a famous director and should have been a major hit? It's available on DVD, and is called  "Model Shop". It's only for big Spirit fans really. It's a movie dealing with despair of going to NAM. Loosely. Really loosely. It's mostly about driving around California in the late 60's. That's it. Really thin.  Randy looked like he was stoned the whole time. "Look Ma, I'm in a MOVIE!"

100_3507.JPGSo, I was really into what Randy California was playing. I thought to myself, gee, self, why not learn to play the gee-tar. You can be like Randy in no time! There's a lot of YouToobs saying "You Can Do It!" Yeah, that's it. I'll learn how to play the Gee-Tar. It's only an hour a day practice. I can do that right? So, when Boomer and I went to the sMall... (Ft. Steuben Mall, we go there every year for a New Year's tradition.) I bought a $100 Gee-Tar kit. It had a teeny amp and everything else I needed. I was off. Boomer followed suit and bought one a few days later. We were going to be in a hot rockin doggie band. Ohy.

Long story even longer, neither of us really did much. I bought lots of junk. Books, amps, strings, picks, you name it. Now, it collects dust. Just like the above worthless toy. Look at how 90's those letters are put on the handle of this thing. Hey call Mr. Bentley the painter guy from Sesame Street! (Another reference you can find on your own.)  It looks like maybe you could at least "sound" like you're playing guitar. That was true with almost every First Act product made. They were starter axes. Kid stuff. Heck, they gave them out free when you bought a VW one year. (I own two First Acts and am surprised at how good they are for how little coin they cost.)

So, they came out with this "toy" plastic synth-o axe for the kiddies that wanted to play guitar because they wanted to be the next Ven Heflin or hmmm...dude from Coldplay or... um... (enter trendy rock band name here.) The degree of suck is turned up to 11 with this one.

100_3509.JPGThe back is where the batteries go. Three AAA batteries that last about 15 minutes. Plus that f-in screw to change the batteries. You know, you're not helping. Most parents take it off and lose it. Just like you did with your Mattel Football game. No, the screw is to remind you of how helpless you are to forget you have cheap dollar store batteries installed that leak a few months later and you throw this hideous piece of plastic in the dumper where it belongs. Hey! It has fake rubberized tuning keys. It has two buttons on the back where you can vary the sound. This thing is decked out for sound RIGHT?

100_3510.JPGAUDIO IN? REALLY? REALLY? Oh, for your back up band's recording so you can rock out through the paper thin 1/2 inch speaker. Great sound. I'm a PROSE now. It has guitar samples that you can select from the switch for that hot rockin' feeling.

SOLO: What you'll be doing if you ever show up anywhere with this toy and think you're rockin' out. Better take up kazoo.

CLEAN: This is a toy after all. You can rub the keys on any dusty surface and pick up some dust while making no music with this POS. Yeah, I'm sure there are hundreds of YewToobs out there of peeps making beautiful music with this catastrophe. Hey, there's entire clubs of film makers who like the grainy, blocky Fisher Price PXL2000 movie camera. Hey, there was a band called Pianosaurus that played music on toys. Why should I be so rough on this dreck? I know, I'm just jealous that I never really got into this or ANY guitar despite the gear investment.

ROCK: That's what we came to do. ROCK. Smash this damn crap with a ROCK. Yeah!  *lights lighter*

100_3512.JPGHere is the ultimate reason why this is a Lisa SUCKTOOL. Because you gotta be a hot rockin GEE TAR player by pretending to "strum" strings with this little infrared pick while you hold the GEE TAR in your other hand and press down on the chord you want to hear. Got that? Simple right? Um, the pick has to be just exactly perfect and the toy has to be just exactly perfect and you have to push red button each time you make that magical pass to get it to fire off a chord. Simple, right? RIGHT? Even a child can operate this crap right??? Take the cheapest possible sensors, stick them in the cheapest possible toy and make it the hardest thing to get "music" out of. Oh yeah, you could "strum" like mad sometimes and hear no sound because you need to press the button just exactly perfect. Bob Weir was pushed. Needless to say MINUTES of frustration were spent on this before I decided to use the AAA batteries for a remote control or something.

100_3511.JPGMr. FatHanz showing that when it's dry, he should apply hand cream. Hold it just so. There's a handy "strap" to do so. Then start waving your "pick" and see what you get. It's not a silver KISS strap like on your real GEETAR, it's a big rubber band. It helps you when you try to throw this sad attempt at something that will crush any kid's dreams of guitar stardom. Sorry kid, you'll be lucky to play rhythm guitar in a band of stoners that play blues and have a biker dude as a lead singer and a mop top glasses geek playing the bass and a furry freak brother with half a finger as a lead "weedly weedly wee" man. Hmmmmm.

107_0113.jpegThere. Found a great suggested use for it. Maybe a back scratcher?  Maybe a spatula for wayward cold hambugers? Hmmmm. Kwality has a name. First Acht-Tung.


100_3393.JPG"Santa?" "Yes?" "Can I smell the brim of your hat?" "Why?" "Because I want to smell the North Pole, and nothing can smell more of the North Pole than Santa's hat." "But, I haven't washed it for a few years. It mats the batting." "WTF are you talking about Santa? Just use the perma press cycle on you're washer and it will smell Downey fresh." "Ho Ho Ho my child, I have a rock on rock Whirlpool purchased from a disinterested puke at Northeast appliance during a black Friday $10 blender sale. It has no perma press cycle." "Santa? Why don't you have that piece of woman Mrs. Claus wash that in Woolite for you?" "Bah, we're fighting. Something about the reindeer and a battery powered device." "Okay Santa. Can I make soup from your hat a little later?" "We'll see, we'll see."

100_3394.JPGSanta's cap. Generic. Dollar store. However, you put yourself instantly in the Christmas spirit at your parties and shopping needs. There is something about wearing one when you go shopping. Like saying to the world "Yes, I suck." Awww, can't say that. I think it's more that I'm simpatico with the retail employees who would rather be anywhere else. Occasionally I find a cashier that has cheer during the season, and those folks, I appreciate. You can chose to be miserable to everybody or you can give a little cheer to someone who appears to be miserable like everybody else at this time of year. It's free to smile and be nice. Too few do it.

100_3397.JPGSo, there I am, smiling. In a long line at a mall. In a long line at a Wally. In a long line in hell. I'm wearing this cheap ass Santa hat. Making people smile because they see that I'm wearing this dumb ass cheap hat. If I think that, why do I wear the hat? In cold weather, it keeps my head warm. It doesn't matter that the past few years when I do my Christmas shopping, it's been 50 degrees. Hence the remarks about smelling the brim of Santa's hat. Makes my head all matted and sweaty.

100_3398.JPGThen, a few years back, I bought this one. It was less than $5 and it was even more fuzzy and more deluxe in the Santa hat category. The basic hat chimney is there. The puff ball on the top is there. It's more of a shiny coat of cheap red fabric, so I was styling for the Santa hats. ARE WE REALLY DOING A BLOG ON SANTA HATS??  YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING! (I'm not alone in the madness. Though, it's just a compilation of tags over at the Wordpress. Moveable Type was a Boomer The Dog approved software for blogging. So, we're powered by Pabst...and Moveable.)

100_3399.JPGHere is the merry secret. The business end of the new modern Santa hat.  Seriously. A Santa hat with a baseball cap style adjustment . HERETIC! You should be BURNED. What sort of nonsense is this? Santa hats should be the cheapest thing that fits whatever way it fits on your sweaty head while buying a mass popcorn tin of stale popcorn from a participating Wally. HOW DARE YOU have a small bit of comfort in your day? HOW DARE YOU vent the back of your head just a tiny bit while WE all suffer in sweaty pain?

100_3403.JPGFinally, when the hats are in storage for the year, the oldest one protects this prized possession. One hat resides in my button box with this prize wrapped inside, a Sandra Boynton animule. I looked up the artist, and she does stuff. I don't know. I saw her stuff a lot in the 80's as just being fuzzy and jaunty but didn't care about it. She does stuff. Meanwhile, this button was given to me by my sister in law at one Christmas where if I spent $100 total on family gifts, I had to get a second loan on the Monza to afford anything. Into my button box it went until about 1996 where I got a computer and the internet and found out that I WAS NOT ALONE!  Therefore, this button has came out every year since and is worn like a radio station tee shirt to let everyone know how much of a douche I can be.  Christmas Junk. -Ric

Keychains Of Fingers

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100_3429x.JPGThe title I gave to this entry is another band from the 60's that I discovered but a few weeks ago. Boomer The Dog has a legal carrier current AM radio station and we were listening to it a few weeks back. A song that was really psychedelic came on and I had to ask what it was. Turns out it's a tune by The Pretty Things called "Bracelets Of Fingers" from the album "S.F.Sorrow". If you like all kinds of music and want to groove to the truly first concept album, you should buy it now. Of course, EMI didn't care and screwed the release. "Tommy" gets the credit as the first story telling album. Let's just say I'm a Pretty Things convert. First GD and then TPT. What's next? Arthur Brown? "I'm the GOD of JUNK"

Okay. I had to give these numbers. Rather than taking a picture of every key chain, in the interest of "that's too much work", I put a bulk picture.

1. Code A Phone- This was likely a premium to sell these wonderfully 70's and 80's devices, the tape drive answering machine. I don't recall that this was the best brand. I don't think it was. They key chain premium helped us crappy salespeople really push those pucks. 2. WIOT - More freebees from my finest radio gig. We gave these away whenever we did radio remotes. Woohoo! Cheap crap to hopefully gain you as a listener. 4. Charter- Yet another freebee. I actually had this bank for a few years for their free checking and the GE clock radio I got when I opened said checking account. This bank had branches in Louisville, so when I moved, I stuck with them. I believe I switched when they changed or closed my branch or I moved home. It's one of those. Who cares. 5. Pentastar- Yeaaaaahhhh Buddy. One to use, one to backup. This was for my 1989 Dodge Omni. The extra one with the extra key. I wonder if it would open the pancake of metal the car likely is by now.

Misnumbered... Well, you've seen this "flashlight" key chain in a previous post. It glows red. I've blocked the name to protect, well, I just blocked the name.

6. Can't Breathe! - This is a Panasonic key chain. When Panasonic was big into the VHS Camcorder market, they were losing sales to peeps that wanted a smaller camcorder. So, they came out with VHS-C.  People would buy these for compatability and yes they were smaller than their full sized camcorders. You took a mini VHS tape and recorded on it, then you had to load it into a battery powered adaptor and it spread the tape out to normal size.  Then you put it into a VCR and the sex juice from the porno that you just watched got on your VHS-C  tape so that when you put it back in the camera.... you came back to buy a VHS-C head cleaner. Did you remember the warranty? In order for Panasonic to sell more , they put tiny remotes in with the camera so that you could play it back without an adaptor or other VCR.  This is a key chain of that remote.  8MM from Sony was the winner of this match. BETA? Hahahaha.  7. HK- Promo for the Harmon Kardon company when they still made some of the best home electronics on the market. Many a Radiolawn was recorded on my TD302 which now has a shrunken faceplate and questionable play back. 8. Marlboro Country- one of the freebees you could get when you buy a carton of cigs before they stopped giving the promos. Cigs themselves are great right? Consider the blessing of having a cig and getting that Nicotine right in your system. HAHAHA. Don't smoke. Never will.  Someone must have given this to me. 

100_3430.JPG Here's 3. It's a  suggested promo item for my band Spudlok. I think I got two of these done at a car show. There was the possibility of making 500 of these so we could give them away at concerts. More things we could throw our no money away on. I don't think they'd let you put "F*CK YOU" on one of these. Well, you probably could. Have you seen the side show that sells junk like this at car shows? Brrrrrrrrrrr.

100_3434.JPG1. LOVE- I don't know why, but the same company with the gold plated flashlight thought it would be great to also give away this surplus 70's style key chain. It was retro. Something to be said about that right? RIGHT?  2. WNCX- See the WIOT entry from above. I loved glomming this cheap crap. 3. Gold Apostrophe- Yep. Another glom, from the company I worked for in Louisville. Nice and shiny. 5. WMMS - I really didn't like WMMS. They had the Buzzard Morning Zoo when I was growing up. Compared to Howie, it was mind numbing 70's and 80's HAHAHA MR. LEONARD crap radio.  However in the mid 80's, they were pretty much it to listen too while going to school. Don't know how I got this but likely it was from one of their remotes at a bar or a Browns game. 6. Lite- In case you're going to have a "cream of the crap" lite beverage and need to open it. Likely also yoinked at a bar. 7. 43 Nudes- This one was easy. It was given to me by my friend Bill who worked at 3WE, recommended me for the gig as he was leaving to work for a fledgling news broadcast at Ch. 43. We both earned next to nothing and it was fun as we never thought we'd get paid for doing something we enjoyed. 8. Ren and Stimpy- Even though I never had cable, my friend Bill did and we became big fans of the first two seasons of Ren and Stimpy. I bought this one. When those knuckleheads at Nick  fired the creator of the cartoon, it became one long fart joke and well, we bought our "George Liquor: American" elsewhere. His name was censored after that.

100_3436.JPGFinally, #4. This well worn, frequently masticated key chain was in use until the 1989 free key chain I got with my first NEW car the Dodge Omni. I can't even remember what symbol was in the center of this. I'm guessing it was a Chevrolet badge because that's what I owned until the new car. I also think it held the keys to the '73 Ford Gran Torino I owned. If this key chain could talk. It would say: "Wash your balls will ya." Maybe it would say: "Hey jackass, I'm not the key fob to a garbage scow, throw away some of that fast food debris." Or, it could say: "NO! Don't put me in the box because you got a new sexy bitch magnet like a powder blue Dodge Omni AMERICA. What does that key fob got that I haven't got? Besides, I have something going on with your Great Northern mall key chain for your house keys... please don't break US up..."


100_3025.JPGHow fast media storage has moved in even the past 5 years! CD-R Media came out and pretty much replaced all floppy/magnetic media. DVD-R advanced the storage wars, but then USB chips took over and removable hard drives.. This little stack of disks likely holds a total of less than half the 512 Meg USB chip that was my first portable storage. In 20 years, will there be anything to read CD media? These discs aren't worth a spit.

100_3027.JPGAhh yes. It was always so expensive for this media. It wasn't until personal computers like Atari and Commodore sold off their stuff for cheap. I had a cassette recorder that loaded my programs, but wow. Slow and low. Then, you didn't know what program started where. Plus, if you wanted to play a program other than the crappy little basic stuff that I copied from Antic magazine, set it and forget it with tapes. The only pro game I owned on tape was Bruce Lee. It took 22 minutes to load. My computer only had 64K of ram. So, unlike discs which could load and load and load as the game progressed, this was like the cheesiest way to save stuff. It was in memory and that was that.  The same program took about two minutes when I got a disk drive.

100_3029.JPGNow when I was younger, computers for the home were a novelty. We had barely gotten past PONG games and moved along to Atari 2600 or Intellivision or even Colecovision. Apple IIC computers had become the computer of choice to teach us nards the BASIC computer language. I signed up for the program at my library and had hour blocks of time to use the computer. Mom took me to a computer store and I bought a "Generic" brand  (yes, it was printed on the sleeve) floppy disk for $4. That's ONE floppy disk. The double sided disks cost a few dollars more but I learned that with a notch carved into the plastic, you could double your storage. Never had one fail, so FU Big Floppy!  I made great BASIC programs too. Inventive stuff like 10 Print "F**K YOU WITH A SINGLE SIDED FLOPPY" 20 goto 10. Of course, the librarians didn't like that...

100_3028.JPGA little history on the magic of the recordable magnetic 5 1/4" floppy.  They came out with an 8" floppy before it, and  big huge high speed cakes of magnetic tape before those. Just about every 80's and 70's TV show or movie that went to a high tech location or government office had those big systems with big tapes that rotated forward and backwards. Imagine the hell of that. Tape on heads. At least when they came out with floppies, nothing touched the floppy. Of course the 40's and 50's, you had stacks and stacks and STACKS of punch cards and it was totally mechanical to save our billing info. Damn. It was 40 years until we had floppy disk storage and personal computers (mostly gaming systems that had basic.)

100_3030.JPG...and before we entered a new world, I'll show the OTHER computer that used to be in schools and small businesses. The Radio Shack TRS80. These were the first lower cost "all in one" computers that were widely available with a built in B&W monitor and a 5 1/4" floppy.  I bought this disk from Radio Shack in Great Northern mall to record my sophomore computer class. I just copied what I did from my library days into the school computer, and that was that. "Darnnit" was a pick an ending text game. Totally crap writing and totally crap BASIC programming. I think I got a "C" for this.

100_3031.JPGIt wasn't long after the video game crash where the cheap computers were dumped to the world that computers started to get better and "professional" (Macs and IBMs) started getting smaller and cheaper. It was when Apple released the Macintosh that really started the change over to the 3.5" floppy. It was double the size at 1.44 Meg (or didn't need to flip it if you put cheap nicks in you 5 1/4" floppies.) They could store more LODE RUNNER or newer versions of ZORK on the 3.5. Also, you could carry it in your shirt pocket and it was thicker, so you didn't have to worry about it getting messed up in a drunken "miss" of your disk drive. It wasn't until the IBM "clone" computers came out that these discs became the default way to backup your data.

100_3034.JPGFor me, it would be a few years until I enjoyed my first "real" computer. You see I was an aspiring "writer" and I needed more than a typewriter so I could make my many many mistakes and edit many paragraphs of crap. On my Atari, I had a two "printers." One was a cheap "printer/plotter" that made each letter by drawing it with pens. Drawback? 5"  roll paper. It made great graphs though, or printed a mean receipt. Then I got a "print quality" printer which was the worst POS ever. It worked by having letter quality letters on individual "drums" that spun around to print each "letter" one at a time. Trouble was, it was extremely slow and would stop every few minutes to "cool down". Other than small letters:

Dear Mr. Consumer:

Thank you for purchasing this POS. We hope you have many weeks of enjoyment waiting for it to print one f**king page. You can have a ham sandwich or a bowl of soup while waiting, and we promise to print in barely passable typewritten quality so your 240 page manuscript will be outdated by the time it's finished printing. Thanks and P*SS OFF!

                                                                                      Sincerely, The Bastards of Bankruptcy

Well, I had to do it right so I spent $300 and got a Smith Corona word processor. While it was a real pain to edit on and printed pretty slowly, it was a world away from Atari. I used it for a long time. It even came with a cheap program so that files typed in Microsoft Word or Apple's word processor could be converted to use on the SC. I had typed a lot on my friends Macintosh when I lived with him. So, I need to convert all the programs. One morning at the radio station I was working at, I used it to convert the stories I had written. Unfortunately, I "turned off" the computer when I had finished. That knocked the whole station's news department out of news. How would I know? There were no "do not turn off..." signs. It appears they were all linked to each other somehow. Ooops. I bought doughnuts to make nice.

100_3033.JPGEnter the 100MHZ, 16 Meg Ram, 1G Hard Drive, CD Rom, 14.4 modem/sound card, 1.4" floppy Windows 95 machine that I went into hock for $1100 with cheesy 12" Packard Bell monitor. I finally took the plunge to be serious about my writing. Never happened. By this time they were finding ways to back up on multiple floppy discs. You could use programs like WINZIP or a file connector/backup to save 500Meg on these teensy disks.  CD Roms were becoming the norm for commercial software but it would still be a few years yet until the recordable CD Rom would be cheap. They did have ZIP/JAZ/Sparq drives which were super storage of 1G or less, but they were extremely unreliable and went bye after the CDR became the norm.

100_3036.JPGMeanwhile, I had JUNO e-mail. That was the free e-mail so I could send e-mails to my friends that had the computers. Shortly thereafter,  while working at the Toledo college radio station, I got to fool around on this "new to me" "internet" "thingy" for as long as I wanted as it was a college and I was on a T1 line directly to the SUN. What I found blew my mind. "You mean, there are PEOPLE who actually feel closer to wolves and foxes and horses and tigers than HYOOMANS? Look! They have a gathering right in my HOMETOWN!" *GASP* "Would you like to know MORE? YES! How much for this UNLIMITED INTERNET THINGY? It's $20 a MONTH? I can have these ANIMULES in my very own HOME for $20 a MONTH? I have the computer.... "

The picture before has a disk with "Pirch", the first IRC client that let you connect to TWO separate networks at the same time with one client. I started doing IRC (Internet Relay Chat) because when I did it at friend's houses that had BBS'es on Atari and Apple, I thought it was amazing to speak to someone in Florida from my basement in Cleveland. By the time of Windows 95,  several hundreds of people from across America could be using IRC to be spamming or sexxin or playing in the virtual "TFIT" (The Furry Infusion Tank, where you could become the actual character you portrayed on line.) I fell down the rabbit hole and never looked back.

Why I show the disk above was, I was saving all the e-mails I wrote way back when. A year after finding the world of fuzzies, I found Boomer The Dog who was like me. "Why don't I put an ad in the newspaper asking if there are any others like me out there." We were doppelgangers. We both loved radio, him pirate, me commercial. We were both music fans. We both liked writing forever about our experiences. We both liked Blimpee sandwiches. Wait, wasn't this a post about junk? Well, Boomer does provide the web space to host this blog... Okay, let me finish up here ova dey....

100_3038.JPGWhen Negativland came out with their "Dispepsi" album, one of the songs on that disc was "The Greatest Story Ever Told" and one of the lyrics from that song was "Old outdated software being thrown into the trash." Nothing rings more true than when OS'es came of multiple zipped up floppies. It was 2006 when I got my first laptop. A really old hand me down IBM 33MHZ with a 120 meg hard drive and a corrupted operating system. Boomer said he had something that might get it running and provided me with Windows 95 on floppies since it didn't have a CD drive. It took forever to install, but it worked. I installed the base programs that would get me on-line  and got a 25FT. phone extension cord to run outside and sit on the patio and chat with the IRC denizens. That's low-tech for 2006 all right. I got better. Now I count that IBM as junk. Maybe on a future blog? When I can now have every song and picture and letter in my collection stored on a 64G USB chip....

This quaint look back at computer storage history (don't even talk to me about small tape drives and super disks and CLOUD storage and solid state hard drives and USB3 sticks and SD/CF/MS/SM/xD memory...ohy...) is brought to you by the CHEEPDOG. Think about it.

ARF! -Ric