Results tagged “Chevrolet Monza”

Paper Caper

  • Posted on
  • by

100_4199.JPGDoes anybody still read Archie comics? Are they still making NEW Archie comics or are they reprinting the old ones in another "digest". Last time I saw they were still making Archie comics I was at a Borders superstore and it was a mini magazine in a giant stack of magazine debris on a table in their "Seattle's Best" coffee shop. I never understood why they allowed that to happen. It wasn't a library. They expected you to BUY what you are reading and getting stained with your double latte mocha fappisneezeass chimo and getting crumbs with your nutcheese danish, No, most Borders had stacks of books and magazines laying there as if nobody cared. Hmmm. Maybe part of the reason why they don't exist anymore?

So, If you read any Archie digest in the past few years, they would always name the short jokey features with some quick rhyming title. "Hooker Looker" or "Incontinence Matt Cat" or "Antidisestablishmentarianism Jizzm" . It was all fun to see what that wacky Jughead was up too. Yeah, I know, there was Hot Dog. Yes I know he had his own comic book series that I bought when his magic house turned Archie into a dog. Yes, I know I was a sucker for such shenanigans. Meanwhile, what the hell is this?

100_4200.JPGOH! Toilet Paper! It looks like the stuff you get at turnpike rest stops and gas stations and stadiums. Cheap, does what it's intended for, and you can clog a toilet with it with one mighty beefsteak. Nah. Why would they need to run ink at the end of the roll to let you know your roll is almost out? In most public rest rooms, to pardon the pun, you were S*IT OUT OF LUCK if you ran out during a particularly messy Taco Bell visit. You scrounged around for the sports page or better yet, used the sink as a bidet. I never did that. Really.

So here was the paper I had just mentioned in my last blog. It was printer plotter paper for Radio Shack's CGP-115 Printer Plotter. It used the exact same size of paper that Atari released for their computers. It was a little printer that actually DREW each word out with tiny little pens. If you wanted to print a "document", it would take forever... I'd imagine these were used as point of sale printers as that seems like all they were good for. Yes, you could make doodles and other crap, and I'd imagine now, with backwards technology, somebody somewhere has a way to make these print pictures. Wanna look? Alls I found was it's the Atari 1020 and it looks like it prints out a fancy Spirograph. It was more fun with a ballpoint pen and those plastic gear rings that somehow all got lost like Lite Brite pegs. Wow. Dating myself. Moving on.

100_4197.JPGWow! Value priced! It doesn't seem like much but to someone who was famous for "dime's worth of gas up his ass"  when I was working for 3.35 an hour and couldn't take one of my co-workers home in a snow storm because I didn't have the gas money...it was a lot. Yes, I know. You've got to be kidding right? Well, my Monza got about 25 miles to the gallon....but I was rich enough to do doughnuts in the parking lot the next morning on a snow covered lot... The sins of the past. 4.95 for a box of paper? Yes, this was an investment for me.  I had to miss a late night salad or decadence dessert at a participating Dennys or two boxes of Mister Doughnut doughnut holes which could be left in a frozen Cleveland winter's Monza back seat and taste OH SO GOOD with all that FROSTING! I think this was just before I got the CD habit and started wasting my ka$h on the "Boing Boom Tschak"

100_4198.JPG  I was a HIPSTER even at 16 years old man. Hey man, I was like COOL man. Driving around in a "little brown nugget" with no tailpipe and lots of McD's wrappers in the back seat and aforementioned Mister Doughnut hole boxes. I was "one cool dood."  Mr. Fat Hanz is showing some of Mr. Gross Arm Hair to get all you female viewers hot and disgusted.  Since I had bought these, I just set them on my desk because the box was heavy. So, I made it into a "The Writer Is IN" or "The Writer Is Out" or "The Writer Is Away" or "The Writer is giving himself way too much credit for calling himself a writer and he's really a dumbass for putting a sign like this up because nobody but himself will see it. " Yeah, the stuff we did before the internet. In a few days it will be my 20th year on the net. "Mommas don't let your babies grow up using smartphones..." Oh, too late. It's funny that I still have these and the sign is still in tact. Like I'd ever get through all this paper? Like there was a market for a time for worthless accessory printer plotters? Like, really man. *cues TRUCKIN and packs a SHHHH Check it!*

100_4447.jpgAnd in the grand tradition of this junk blog, aiming to talk about one thing but digressing into another, here's the "Writer Biter" or "Blogger Vagina" or "Alternative Taco Bell Paper" I talked about. Yes, one of the many Archie comics spin offs, the short lived "Jughead's Pal Hot Dog". Imagine a nard like me going into "Collectors Warehouse and Poster Pit" at the corner of Ridge and Pearl in PARMA looking for the latest "Married With Children" issue and stumbling across this in the comic book stand.  OMIGOSH! Became part of the lexicon! The weird ray turned Arch and Reggie into pooches that looked like their human counterparts! Wow. They also grew collars! Amazing that ray!  A dog with a Reggie pompadour! Meanwhile DOGS into HUMANS! Mysteriously Hot Dog's friend didn't change with his collar. Does anybody care? Hot Dog has albino hair. See, the "RAY" made it happen so Archie and Reggie would be legal and that the DOGS see, knew how to speak the queens English! OMIGOSH! Add a few more pounds and a few more years and the human Hot Dog bears a sticking resemblance to.... SHHHHHH! *check it* (Thanks Beastie Boys.)  

100_4445.jpg GET SOME!!!!!!!!

......yah. 

 

100_4444.jpgJust like Columbo, "Just One More Thing Sir..." I'm sure if you're interested in seeing this exciting comic book for yourself, you can go to a collectors blah blah blah and blah blah. "Hart Doug. Er.. Doug Hartley" Gee, maybe if I wore a collar I'd have Betty come over and introduce herself to me and think I'm the cute bashful tongue tied type. Not a chance. Ahhh, the simplicity of Riverdale.  If you read comics, no doubt you wanted to draw them so you sent in your drawing to one of these mail order schools. This was in comic books for years. They also had pamphlets they gave away in supermarkets. I never hoped to draw "Cubby." I did however get "Tipsy" many times in my youth. Hey! I wonder if the Pirate was an inspiration for Johnny Depp? It looks like his nasal passage could hold many doubloons. No, I didn't have any hope of drawing back but I was just as stupid as the next Hart Doug so I enrolled in a mail order writing course. They sent me a book called "Writing for Children" which made the point of taking a course MOOT. It had all the instruction I needed.  Plus, my "instructor" didn't send back an assignment for six months and by that time I was writing every day on my first "Hack" radio gig on WBWC. OMIGOSH! Like what time is it man? *Koo Koo Koo Koo Ka Chew*

-Ric

Screw It

100_3640.JPGHere is the bottom of the basement junk well. You're asking, come on! This isn't junk! This is full of all sorts of useful random hardware! It is filled with left over wood dowels used to put together years of pressed board furniture. It's screws and bolts that don't fit together. It's odd sized washers and old nails and even drill bits even though I don't own a drill. Therefore, it could be described as a piece of junk. It's not. However, for the blog, it's a good place to talk about something I've had forever and will likely continue to have forever.

100_3642.JPGHere's a reason. It's my classic retail senses tingling. As I grew up, we had one place where we could get hardware and appliances. Forest City. An evil chain seller. Sure there were independents, every city had one. We had independent appliance and electronics stores. Every city had one. However, all I remember was going to Forest City when we needed above. Of course, the big box revolution came along and we soon had three big box chains selling same and lots of electronics and appliance chains as well. Forest City got bought by a bigger chain, Handy Andy. I worked for them for a bit and I worked for the eventual killer Builders Square.  I bought this before they changed to Handy Andy mainly to house the bags of hardware culled from my grandfather's garage when he passed.

100_3643.JPGIt's typical. Believe me, I've worked for chains about to be bought out or in bankruptcy, and if you wanted to sticker something twice, by gosh, you stickered twice! Woooooo! Wow! Civil disobedience! Attica! Attica! Whistle blower!

100_3644.JPGIt's meant to be hung on the wall. I think my brother took his hardware and did same. Actually, the back of this kinda looks like an apartment block somewhere in the Soviet Union. Where am I going with this? If I had any 70's era Fisher Price little people, maybe I could play apartment with them. Some of this is useful right? Didn't I say that already? Let's have a look at some of the hard wares... If anything, some of it could be over 60 years old...so it's antique junk...waiting to be used....

100_3647.JPGDowels. Actually, these aren't the surplus mentioned. These were purchased for something and you couldn't buy just one. Gee, wasn't that what a local hardware store would be for? One wooden dowel, .6 cents. In a tiny bag. These may come in use again when I strip a big screw in some of my cheap press board furniture and need to make a new screw hole. Um...junk.

100_3646.JPGActually, for years and years, this has been the place to look for a screw or a nut that "may" work or "may" fit. It's also a place for anything I may have taken apart or screws from a tape recorder I've tried to fix. It's a junkyard for hardware that may get reused if it will fit. Too bad none of the screws are those "micro" screws for the electronics or cameras. I know a few of these screws came from my furniture. The little black wheelie looking thing was likely from a plastic choo-choo from way back when in my plastic choo-choo appreciating days.

100_3648.JPGSo, even though I took a few more pictures of this storage device, and I could wax poetic on all of this junk that may be used tomorrow or in 5 years, I think I'll end on this one. I remember giving half of this hardware to my brother which meant, yes, I had to make an exact split of stuff. Which meant the copper nails, the screws, everything. My grandfather was a bit of a handyman and could fix anything around his house or his car. My brother can pretty much do same. Me? I need a nail to piece together a split stereo cabinet. I need a bolt to fix my Monza door when the latch fell inside the body. I needed the plastic choo-choo wheel for when my plastic choo-choo went off the track, to which the engineer, naturally, started pulling back. Get DOWN to your ROCKIN' SOUL.

Junk blog.

-Ric

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??  https://en.wordpress.com/tag/santa-hat/  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

The Keys To The S**tty

  • Posted on
  • by

100_3180r.JPGI'm not totally at fault. I may want to keep things like a emergency brake wrapper or the horn pad from a fondly remembered Chevrolet Monza, but why keep the keys? Don't I realize that as junk, worthless keys to cars that were junked 20 years ago are truly junk. They are not even worth a post on a blog about the reasons why I kept this junk. I even thought I may just keep this one to myself. Take one photo session for the team. Worry about holiday stuff, like making my Christmas list. Tea. Check. Toothbrush refills. Check. Water filter refills. Check. Every Grateful Dead book that came out new this year. Check. Giftcards Giftcards Giftcards. Check. (Jeeze, might as well ask for cash, large bills.)  Oh well, I'll try to make this "moderately neato". (Thanks George Carlin.) They keys with the cheesy yellow plastic ring were for my Monza. Ahh the stories I've told. The lonely key other the other side? Who knows. Somewhere...a lock is needing it's lover... Bah.

100_3182.JPGKeys to a lonely faded sky blue Chevette. Yes, I owned a "vette". A 1979 2 door hatchback. It was my first car, so I give it a pass to still have the keys to it. I got my first ticket in it. I learned that car repairs for someone on a McDonalds salary is a tough thing. I learned that a "crankshaft pulley" was the thing attached to the crankshaft on a car and that it could fall off. I learned that the bolt in the crankshaft could be bored out and a new bolt put in place. I learned that the new bolt put in place could fail easily and cause me to walk 2 miles to the nearest service station. I learned that when the gas monkey who's left after the mechanics leave has a thing for taking hits from a helium tank. I learned not to tow it to the nearest Chevy dealer but to tow it to Avon Lake to the Chevy dealer across from the Ford plant as my former step dad had connections there. Yes, I paid what little I could to get the bolt tapped again. I also learned that the repair would have no warranty and it was likely that it could go at any minute. I also learned the transmission would slip whenever I hit a bump. I also learned that the slider controls for the vents were 1.98 plastic and wore out easy. Then, I learned about electrical problems. How it could be wiring or an alternator, or a distributor or a battery. 70's American cars at their finest? I could have done better, but it was my first. Maybe I will throw these out.

100_3184.JPGYet another crappy car. A 1989 Dodge Omni America. An American car, with America in it's name. USA #1. Actually, the car was at the end of it's life and took a real dive in sales the year I bought mine. Of course, it kinda hurt that the Omni was 70's tech. I bought a Road and Track that talks about it's very much a Volkswagen Rabbit. Hell, they even used Volkswagen engines when they were introduced. By the time I got mine all shiny and new as my first NEW car, the Dodge Shadow was being sold and was newer late 80's tech, with the same damn engine. I do remember after a few weeks driving my NEW 1994 Saturn SL, I climbed in a similar Omni at my dealership and it was like sitting in a tractor. I wondered where I raised and lowered the plow. I liked my Omni. It always ran and never broke down. Except the breaks. Thin as tracing paper. I went through 3 sets of pads and I was on the third set when I went to metal on metal breaking. ScrEEEEEeeEEeeeEEeeeeeeeee.  Calliper locked up. $800 repair. I didn't have $800...so I bought a new car. See how that stupidity works?

The other keys are the type used to unlock cheap luggage that I don't have anymore. When Tokyo Shapiro was nearing it's end, they sold camera cases that were strays from long sold demo units. I bought a few and ripped out the camcorder insert and used them for various purposes. One of them? Wesley Crusher on Star Trek The Next Generation, carried the exact case I had, only his had the Trek logo. Silly, but for how good and high tech that show was, they used a lot of the cheapest garbage their set designers could get their hands on. A scene in Airplane II had a "blinking and beeping and flashing" device with no purpose that appeared a few times in  ST:TNG. But then, who knew we could carry a tablet that could have all that info and TV's could be thin and we could have massive sex on the U-Haulideck.

100_3183x.jpegKeeping up with the title of this post, yes, when the Saturn finally got cremated by a loaded lumber truck hitting a F-350HD hitting ME, I needed a new car. Actually, I just needed a ride so for a gift, I got my brother's old 1988 Pontiac Grand Am 2 door with stick. He warned me not to drive it too heavy but 6 months later, I killed it. Clutch blew out with little chunks everywhere. I repaired that because I was in Cincinnati at the time. Then one day, the head gasket went. I really limped it to the car dealer. I walked out with the cheapest car they had, again. This time, a 1999 Hyundai Accent 2 door with stick. Say what you will , but Hyundai had turned the corner. They had the best warranty on their cars and were in the process of shedding the Hyundai Excel image of cars that turned to rubbish in under a year. I loved mine. My dealer was actually worse than my car. They couldn't get a replacement tape deck after mine started leaving a "gonk" on the tape cassette when ejected. I went to another dealer who got my tape deck in a week and even fixed the door that was messed up by Hyundai roadside assistance. Too bad that was destroyed a few months later. This is the spare key. It's never been in water, but somehow, it's green. I'm guessing the cover around it is degrading. It wasn't even a lubed key condom. HAHAHA. Junk blog. -Ric

It's why it's called the BUTTON BOX

  • Posted on
  • by

100_3138.JPGI guess I'm pretty much half way through the interesting stuff in my Button Box, I thought I would actually show some BUTTONS before I actually go to the final Button Extravaganza junk blog. My BB(TM) has always been a junk pile with special junk, a little too small or nice enough to keep with other like junk. I've waxed poetic about NOFEAST APPIANNCE, and well, this was going out in the trash as I helped close my branch. I had to take them. They are history to retail grunts everywhere.

100_3139.JPGThese were from an advertising campaign that ran for a month or two. The commercial featured a bull in a field and the announcer said  Northeast was the store with the lowest everyday prices. That was NO BULL. Now of course, you could always "dicker on the sticker". When the product was a "Nail" tThe lowest priced whatever in the category where there was no dicker to the sticker), we'd still get folks that  tried. They would say "You Make Lower" or "What My Price" or "Name's Stash, I'll take two." Some smart- as*ed sales guys would take the tag off the product and drop it to the floor and say, "now it's lower".  We had to wear these while the advertising was on the air.  I think we got a gross and were supposed to give them out. I got the rest of them.  Now you see what this blog is all about. Junk.  I'm the Fred Sanford of Angus. I'm the Lamont Sanford of "YOU BIG DUMMY! " I'm the Grady of...aww forget it.

100_3140.JPG"Cheap Thrills at the back of my car" FZ from the album "Reuben and the Jets." (It was FZ's take on 50's greaser music, and even fooled some of the deejays that thought it was a throwback band.) Toke was the joint I closed before I closed Northeast. I don't remember an advertising campaign behind this one. In fact, there was a pretty good pile of them in a nook and/or cranny. I took a lot of them. We really couldn't give them out as they had a long pin that stuck out from the side and did not have a latch. Cheap thrill indeed.

100_3141.JPGHere's a piece of real retail BULL! I was working as a cashier at home improvement store "Handy Andy". (They were the big box home improvement store that was the area leader before the final fight played out to Lowes and Home Depot.) This particular tour as a cashier was I remember, a sad affair. I stood at the counter all day and waited. Unless my manager said to clean the front or help in some department, I stood all day. The count room was a hell. I tried to be perfect. Telecheck machines ringing away. Skus that didn't match. Credit cards declined. I did this kind of "turn off your mind" job several times for several companies before and after I put three electronics chains out of business. All those years wasted just stumbling around. Adam Carolla was pushed. I had an apron and on it, I wore this. I think the "month long sale" was actually any time we were open. Had to keep the button. I think I may have the apron someplace.

100_3144.JPGNothing to see here. I got it from 3WE while I worked there and we made fun of the fact that the competition was running the Cleveland Browns games with no commercials. They went to weather and news reports at half time. Dog Gone was a slogan for the "Modell Sux and "Taglia-BOO"  crowd. (Cleveland Browns left Cleveland for Baltimore for those junk blog readers that may not know. We've been pissed ever since. )

100_3405.JPG

Yet more buttons! There's a couple of repeats here, so we'll delete those and get to the rest. This was "Collection #2". Duplicate buttons. See? Junk. I keep lots of it. I'm drowning in it.

100_3406.JPGSpeedee! I started my working career at a McDonalds near you. Believe it or not, it was more a "clubhouse" than a job. We had a African American store manager who was really funny and gave a damn. He had to deal with the then "upper middle class white bread" suburbanite kiddies that we all were. He tolerated our shenanigans and to this day, one of the managers I remember the most fondly.  I wanted to work at Mickey Macs and become a manager and go to "Hamburger U". I think this button came later in my tour. I must have quit and been re-hired at the same Mickey Macs several times. I still would go to work there. Yeah, now they don't make everything (I mean EVERYTHING, including MEAT) fresh to order. No, it sits in trays. It's "microwaved fresh" to kill off all the "odd bacteria". When I worked there for the microwave stint, the weird "blue liquid" inside the steamers that kept the meat warm was ..well... CENSORED. (Can't tell what it was as it was a secret according to the hazardous materials manual.) I digress. They had a nostalgic run and we had these buttons. Don't mean nothing to us kitchen grubs or drive thru schmucks. (More on Mickey Macs in another post. I have name tags to go through.)

100_3415.JPGHere's a button I'm a little baffled as to where it came from. I assume it was from yet another home improvement center that no longer exists. I think it's from my tour at Builder's Square as a cashier. I do remember that taking a Discover card was different from Visa/MC. It required a longer 300 baud modem powered approval process and a bit of a wait to take it. We had to wear these on our SMOCKS. I actually had a Discover card for a short time. I forget why I cut it the hell up. It may have had something to do with their bitchy collections people. I ran it to it's limit while working in Toledo and didn't have the funds to pay it off. I was a "scumbag", I know.  However Discover had the bulldogs of collections. Worse than the others. Bye bye worthless card.

100_3417.JPGThis is one I remember fondly. Maximum Compact! It's been mentioned before on this Junk Blog that my friend Bill was a genuine store owner. He had the first "CD Exclusive" store in the Cleveland area. His store had two "listening booths" where you could hear before you bought. CD's were pretty new and he was the ultimate knowledge in music. I gotta say some of my favorite bands/artists were introduced to me through Bill's knowledge and he became my "dealer". "Hey, here's a sampler cassette of Frank Zappa. I'll get what you like from it..." "Hey, here's the newest CD release from a band called Negativland. It's called "Escape From Noise". "Hey, they are releasing TRAFFIC on CD!"  "Hey, Todd Rundgren has..."  "It's really XTC, but they play authentic 60's music as The Dukes Of Stratosphere"  "This is Nitzer Ebb's That Total Age album..."  I thought it was so cool that I had a friend that opened a store! I even worked there for a few months until I realized that I had no musical skill and couldn't tell anybody about anything. However, our friendship didn't suffer. It should have, but to Bill's credit, he didn't resent the employee that stiffed him by not showing up on a few shifts. (Friends should never work for friends for a paycheck.)  Great logo eh? Digital bits.

100_3414.JPGYeah, I know. I should have blocked out this button but I couldn't. There was a flea market that I've mentioned on this Junk blog before. I bought this as my first "wacky" button from a vender that sold a whole lot of wacky buttons. This might be considered the first addition to my button box. Wow. This is when I was driving a Monza and working at the above McDonalds and didn't have a pot to piss in. Ahhh, but the message was important enough to me to fork over a 2 dollar bill for such a positive and yet sarcastic message. Doesn't he look a little like Speedee? I wonder if that's why I bought this? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Arf! -Ric

Toke A Calc

  • Posted on
  • by

100_3185.JPGI shouldn't be keeping a book of matches in my junk box or my button box. What if it ignites? Then I wont have the wonderment of the condom keychain or earplug case or even the cooling headband that the magic junk provides. I should have ripped out the matches and just kept the wrapper. However, this is yellow. Plain wee yellow. That's it. That's all. I should have some reason for keeping a piece of junk. Was this a match book I found when I took a whiz at the first concert I ever attended? (It was the mid 80's Heart. I had a Monza but didn't care about Heart. My friend had money for an extra ticket and no car. Get the picture? I did know and like the 70's Heart. Barracuda and all that rock-n-roll. No this was 80's Heart. The "What About Love" Heart. I really didn't care, but it was a chance for my first rock concert and the now gone Richfield Coliseum.  I wouldn't realize that I saw the bass player from Spirit playing with the band until a few years ago. So maybe that's why I saved this match book.) Nope. Not from there.

100_3187.JPGThe striking surface. That teensy bit of synthetic brown crap that you rub a match on to light your joint while you're watching the fat chick from Heart belt out "What About Love" while paying scale to the other members in the band. Didn't she realize she had the earth shattering dress wearing bass player from late 60's rock and roll pioneers Spirit??? What about his turn as a founding member of Jo Jo Gunne and a scale player in the soft pop outfit Firefall. Here was a guy that played bass with some of the best one hit wonder bands. Mark Andes, picking up a paycheck and a  meal from the well catered dressing room.  He wasn't pushed.  Neither was this book of matches with an unstruck lighting strip.

100_3188.JPG Hey! Wait! It's no pack of matches! Woweeeeeeee. Psyche! Those won't light unless you melted the plastic into drippy little toxic hot bombs like the straps they used to use for bundling newspapers.  It's got an LCD screen. Wait a minute..it's...it's...

100_3189.JPG

A calculator that looks like a pack of matches! Nooo.. Where's the condom? Would it fit where you could insert a battery? Who is the bright MF that thought to make a calculator look like a book of matches! You can touch it and it will solve your simple match problems. Maybe you're trying to quit smoking and you keep this pack of matches to calculate how much you save when you don't buy a carton! Yeah. That was it.  What a great idea. Small and efficient. It even has a memory function. Damn what a help this would be in the super market. I can throw away my plastic mechanical calculator I got it from the back of a 70's comic book when I sold twelve boxes of crappy greeting cards.  How handy. It even comes with genuine metal staples! Wooohooo.

100_3191.JPGClose up Ms. Deville! Actually, this is a strong reminder of when I sold personal electronics at the chain spawned from the closing of the Clarkins discount chain. It was at Tokyo Shapiro. (Tag line: Tokyo Tech at Shapiro Prices. Yes a really un-PC borderline SIEG HEIL 70's business name.) They actually were the better place to buy stuff in the 70's and 80's. The company I would work for after Toke had been in a "bait and switch" scandal that tainted them until the memories of the consumer that wanted more than the Gold Star VCR or Soundesign stereo at Zayre had faded.  As mentioned, I started in "PE SALES", meaning I was a cashier that helped ring the salespeople's sales up and I got to sell personal stereo radios, boom boxes, musical keyboards, video games  and vacuums. The salespeople didn't like it if I'd sold a boombox to someone who also wanted a TV and sold them the TV as well.

We had these little "matchbook calculators" in a plain cardboard box and I believe we sold them for $2-4 bucks. We also had several laying in the debris hiding behind the counter, mostly with dead batteries. The ribbon cable in these usually broke before the battery died, and they were hard press on and get an accurate calc motion going. We were supposed to suggest these as add ons, or the pen's with a watch in them. We never did. I bought one as a memento of my life there. I worked my way up to the salesperson side because I was a whiz when it came to selling $300 boom boxes. (Yes, we had one that was the best sounding boom box I've ever heard. It was a JVC with a sub-woofer built in. Single CD and tape with 5 band EQ.  They came out with other models, but nothing sounded as good. I can't even find them on the 'Bay to show to you.) I helped to close the 4 Tokyo Shapiro stores in Cleveland and here's a memory time line... I have a copy of the local SUN newspapers TV Listings booklet from those weeks when we were packing the trucks by setting the radio boards on their faces for the bent shaft sale they would have when they got to where they were going. That magazine announced a NEW prime time cartoon show was starting on the fledgeling "Fox" network. (That's a NETWORK?) It was spun off from the Tracey Ullman show and employed most of her cast as voices. A little show called "The Simpsons". Electronics stores come and go, but the Simpsons outlived them all. "Eat My Shorts!"

P.S. I looked for said "Simpsons" TV Listings book in my "Trunk Of Sorrows" which is a ton of stuff I've saved for one reason or another. In just two envelopes full, I was transported back as early at the mid 70's and somewhere in the 80's  and even the 90's. I did find this, so why not. Proof of concept :) Now I have an huge trunk to document for you the blog viewer as well as every little shred of printed material from the stupid stuff I wrote for the poorly assembled rah-rah newsletter for the DialAmerica office I worked for to the issues of Baldwin Wallace College's PUD. From a letter I have from a dear friend written on his IBM Computer with 256K that he got a real bargain on to the genuine old style mesh top McDonald's paper crew hats to even phone book ads with logos from Tokyo Shapiro and Gray Drug.  More crap I can wax pathetic upon.  First rock concert ever, and how lame and pathetic it is:

Tik Crop.jpegI miss that big hard to reach barn in the middle of nowhere.... now a nature preserve. Nary a tear from losing Cavs seasons or tab of LSD from the Grateful Dead concert parking lot "Shakedown Streets" remains on the site.  I sang there with my high school choir for two graduations and I really wanted to graduate there... but mine was held in downtown Cleveland.  Ahhhh Memmmorieeeeees. "These Dreams" ain't worth "Nothin' At All" .

-Ric

Keychains Of Fingers

  • Posted on
  • by

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..."

-Ric

Citrus Methosky Perks

  • Posted on
  • by

100_3147.JPGHi Deany Beanie! Remmer me? Still got that Pontiac GTO engine in the 55 gallon drum of oil waiting to be used? I only drove a Econoline extended van for the time I worked at "Citrus Methosky" as you called it, but I'm grateful for you teaching me the "SLIDE" method of driving a big van. It helped me through those drought months where I filled my Coleman 1/2 gallon cooler with the cold water I got at the Brunswick store. I know you'd been a Ford worker, out on a back issue and trying to survive, but soon after you taught me how to deal with rental folks, you left the company. You saw the writing on the wall. This post is dedicated to you Deany Beany. I haven't played the "CI-MOTHER F*CKING-TATION" game since I left, but I always think that when there is a rare sitghting of one still running.

...And to you my friend and manager Walt. The Escort GT was "hot and beefy" until crashed into by our cashier. You were the manager with enough guts to hire a friend and take all his s*it. We had been a team until you were moved to that East side location. Then when I was out of work, you offered me a delivery job for Curtis Mathes. You were manager of the two stores. One in the Color Tile strip center and one in the former Hardees with the converted drive thru wing used for the stores security equipment. You must have known our company was in trouble, and you did what you could to save money. I helped you go from two stores into the former Hardees.  We had great times. You even started liking the bands I liked. Devo and Ministry. You walked into our store proudly displaying Ministry's newest release "The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste" that you purchased from the Camelot music in the Midway Mall across the street.  We fired up the nearest "Curtis Mathes SL" stereo system. (An all in one, plastic fronted, shiny box with big speakers that sounded like poo poo designed to be rented and re-rented and not fail.) You listened to a few tunes and we were both shocked at how dark and growly the songs were. You were frustrated and took the record off the rock on rock player and smashed it on the aircraft carpet over the concrete floor. Of course I bought it on CD and it quickly became a favorite. That's what we were. Best friends who didn't agree on most stuff but somehow, through retail experiences, we had a common ground. I also dedicate this post to you.

100_3148.JPGA smaller pic of Curtis Mathes badge I wore on my poop brown jacket. Truth be told, I had a fun time for the short time I worked there. Partly because I'd learned to deliver and repo all sorts of couches and refrigerators and "SLINTS". Partly because I worked with guys like Dean and Walt. It's fun to go out to dinner with your manager and drink booze and hang. Curtis Mathes was a great company. The were famous for having the "Four Year Warranty". When they "built" televisions in America, they had some of the best furniture in the business. If you got a console from Curtis Mathes, it was solid wood and the guts were extremely reliable.  As the world moved to solid state and across the pond so to speak, Curtis Mathes kept building furniture in the US but the selection of chassis for the television changed. When I worked there, the electronics used in the majority of CM cabinets was made by NEC, but soon, NEC pulled out of the country. So, RCA was the last one to make TVs in America and CM used them.

Also by the late 80's, other than the few traditional cabinet TVs which could be ordered from our catalog, everything else was going really cheap. Curtis Mathes was becoming a rent-to-own place and did a brisk business in lower to mid income areas. While I worked there, CM came out with "Curtis Mathes SL" , a cheaper line of electronics with only a standard 90 day warranty. We were selling Gold Stars and Daewoo and Samsung VCRS and stereos and other crap, but rent-to-own was the ultimate result. We had the cheapest furniture as well.  I used to pick up from a warehouse, deliver, and two weeks later need to go back to replace a cracked hollow plastic foot on a couch. When I had deliveries of re-manufactured Gold Star VCRS with "TNIX" pasted over the name with a sticky plate, I had to find a remote and a manual and deliver that. Many times when a customer asked "is this new", I wouldn't lie, but I would say "picked it up at the warehouse a few hours ago...". That usually got the job done but if the customer pressed, I'd just say, "check with your salesperson." That was my friend Walt. I don't recall he got much static.

We did a ton of business in video rentals. CM was one of the first companies to have video rentals for their Panasonic guts, Curtis Mathes VCRS. It even was free for a time when you bought a VCR from CM. Soon after, they rented to everybody and they became a rental factory. While I worked there, it was mostly video rentals and about two-three deliverys a day and shortly thereafter, the Brunswick store became part of my territory. Maybe an extra delivery every other day. They mostly did movie rentals.

Movie companies would provide a ton of freebies for us to promote their releases and we could give them away at our stores. We never did. We only got two or three of each item, and then I remembered there was a "glom box" with the freebies in a box at the video rental office. I had to stop in every day at our warehouse to get the latest releases so I usually glommed. Here's a few of my junk box additions.

100_3124.JPGOkay, I'm going to break this blog's rules to illustrate why we sometimes did and sometimes didn't give this crap away. I'm going to provide links. Why? I don't know. I don't care. I didn't remember this movie nor did I care. There was https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cop_%28film%29  , a movie called COP with James Woods that didn't do really well at the box office. However, this was a different movie which seemed to want to get viewers based on "COP"'s "success". This was COP: White Of The Eye, which had nobody of note in it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094320/ It was released by Paramount, and seeing the tie-in with CM, it leads me to believe it's the same flick.

100_3125.JPGIt was a "nice" leatherette plastic  case with a magnifying glass inside. I might have used this once or twice, but otherwise, I thought the gold lettering was nice. I never saw this flick and to this day, don't care about it. CM Logo in Gold. What a keepsake.

100_3145.JPGHere's a movie that I did see once. Yes, it's Stallone. He's on a mission to save X from Y and kills a bunch of Y in the process. I was being greedy when I glommed these, but I seem to recall we had a ton of them and couldn't give them away because they seemed to "regenerate" from a mysterious mushroom filled spring in the basement of our store. "I'm not going down there, I'm allergic to MOLD!"

100_3146.JPGMr. Fat Hanz appears again in this blog holding one of the Rambo III key chains that I wouldn't call junk at all. Why? I wanted a Rambo III key chain to become one with my car keys. It did. For years and years I had this one on my car key ring, hence why it looks like a chew toy. Indeed it was used as a chew toy as I held my car keys in my mouth while using my house keys to get into countless apartments. I think I stopped using this when I got a car that came with it's own FOB. My 1999 Nissan Sentra had remote locking so to keep chewing on Rambo III seemed redundant. Besides, some of it was getting really thin and probably would have fallen apart. So, into the junk box it went, hence why two of the key chains look new while my used one is faded and well masticated. Masticating Music. Peh.

100_3149.JPGYou know this movie. It's the one where a Sharon Stone crosses her legs to reveal some sort of device, usually used for urinating but sometimes used for sexual stimulation.  Well, how de doo. 09/27/15 Update. Epic fail. The movie was Michael Douglas in some sort of situation. Shows you that I really don't look at blogs to find out what I'm telling you on this blog is not verified by a web search. The movie starring Sharon Stone was called Basic Instinct. THAT was verified tonight when I was at the bar and had a hunch that I had it wrong.  So, because I made good jokes about the Sharon Stone vehicle, I'll leave it in. **** FAKE, NOT TRUE MOVIE TALK BY SOMEONE WHO TAKS OUT HIS ASS: "Yes, I know. It was a popular movie. In theaters, and in rentals. It really didn't need a promotional key chain. I have never seen this movie to this day. I am however familiar with that interrogation scene because it's one of the most parodied scenes in movie history. Everybody has an actress cross her legs and rather than PIE you see CAKE.  I will see this movie some day. Hell I just saw "A Clockwork Orange" for the first time a few weeks ago. "You've never seen FATAL ATTRACTION?" Sharon Stone was pushed." *** END FALSE INFO BY THE NARD**** (I've never seen either flick)

DSCF8684.JPGOf course, as mentioned earlier in this post, I drank. Never mind that I was still under 21. Hell, I had reached major beer drinking achievements by the time I became legal age. I didn't go to college so after high school, a career at McDonalds or worse, RETAIL, seemed like the path I would take. Radio didn't occur to me until a bit later, so for those few years before and after my graduation from high school, anything to dull the pain was good by me. Hence, why I glommed this bottle opener. It would help me be on my way to advanced "CHUG". The can opener was good for the motor oil that I burned with my Monza, but that was another story. Many a beer was consumed either on my friend Leo's fake ID supplying our funeral pyre bonfires at my friend Pete's industrial rallies or the bottles of "Matilda Bay" wine coolers that my friend Walt and I consumed at his flat. On my 21st birthday between 12 and 1am when it was still legal to sell, I went by my lonesome to the North Olmsted "Finast" supermarket and bought my favorite beverage at the time. Segram's Peach Melba Rum wine coolers.  (Another violation of this blog's policy, an article on wine coolers to prove that the above existed --  http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1986-07-10/lifestyle/0230400134_1_wine-cooler-california-cooler-cooler-sales ) I drank three and passed out. Such a light weight. Such a depressing 21st birthday. I should have been sexxin and dopin'. It was a weekday. I had to go to work in the morning. 

DSCF8683.JPGHere's the other side. "Action Jackson"  It starred none other than Carl Weathers and the aforementioned Sharon Stone in addition to many others. I may have seen this one in passing or on television. I don't recall anything about it though reading the WIKI gives some insight. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_Jackson_%281988_film%29  What I think is the best thing about this is, the cheapness of it. If it wasn't Action Jackson, it would be Total Recall or Lethal Weapon in the circular plastic overlay of this obvious promotional piece of crap. I'm sure hundreds of others exist with different movie titles or bands or company logos. Ahhhhh, the cheap promo crap.

DSCF8664.JPGFinally I'll end this on more musings of CM and a piece that is NOT JUNK because I see it every day. That's Leslie Neilson from his movie poster for Police Squad. Through the years, the poster got torn up so I just cut out his likeness and he's donned every door of every bathroom I've had since I got him. When I was really young, I LOVED the six episode POLICE SQUAD show. ABC was really having a bad time of it so they pulled the series not knowing what to do with it. Zucker Abrams Zucker produced it, and because it didn't have a DUH laugh track DUH DUH it baffled middle America. Now, critics look at it as one of the funniest show ever on TV because it was such a tongue in cheek parody of the police procedurals from the 60's and 70's . A few years later, it was announced there would be a movie made. Indeed it was one of the funniest movies I'd seen. Nordberg's character played by Peter Lupus (of Mission Impossible! fame) was replaced in the movies by none other than O.J. Simpson. It still remains one of the all time funniest movies I've seen in the theater. Granted, I didn't see Airplane! or Airplane! 2  in the theater because I was too young. Still  "Naked Gun" was the only movie I laughed at all the way through as was Sandra Berndhart's concert film "Without You I'm Nothing" or more recently "The Other Guys" which starred Will Farrell, but don't let that stop you from watching it.

So, I got this and several other movie posters from CM and I got a few movie poster frames to put them in. I don't remember why I left working at CM but I think it was after the writing was on the wall. Rumor had it that another major rent to own company was going to buy us out, but when that company imploded upon itself, it left us in a shambles. I think my friend Walt and I didn't see eye to eye for a time either so I left to begin a fruitful career at Tokyo Shapiro. *cough* 

After CM's demise, the big Hollywood flick starring the TERMINATOR came out and was a huge hit. Total Recall was a fun flick to see, and again , with the Sharon Stone in it. Before the end of CM came, there was talk of a big budget Hollywood film coming out that Curtis Mathes had received exclusive electronics "product placement" rights. Indeed CM appeared in that movie on all sorts of high tech gadgets that they would never sell because they were DOA a few months before the flick came out. A piece of movie history that nobody cares about except us Citrus Methosky veterans.

A few years later, the trademark "Curtis Mathes" was purchased by a company and K-MART became the exclusive retailer.  Curtis Mathes TV's and VCR's were available exclusively at K-MART??? A sad end to a very proud name.  Now, they sell LED light bulbs. No link. That would violate blog rules.

ARF! -Ricochet

The Good Ol' Clickey No Focus Days

  • Posted on
  • by

100_2903.JPGSince I'm a huge fan of collecting digital cameras, there were times when I bought a camera but it didn't have the strap on the side. I was going to use the new digicam a few times after I got it to see how it performed. However I'd probably bounce it around and drop it like a hot pan and break it into 640x480 pieces. I needed that little hand strap. So, if there were other cameras, non digital, usually about a buck, but WITH the hand strap, I bought it, took the strap off and chucked these analog turds into my junk box. I just couldn't see throwing something out.

I don't even know what type of pictures these two cameras will take. Polaroid must have tried to be "not the instant cam" company, but I'm guessing this cam is cheese. The silver "Le Clic" cam was NOT one of the 80's pastel color cams they sold a ton of. However, I don't think it will ever see  film. What can I do, use these for planters? Ashtrays? They are even manual wind for film. The cheapest of the cheese.

100_2905.JPGIn the 80's, when I could afford the $10 for film and processing, I started down my photography road and went to BEST catalog house and got a Ansco 235 Cam. Note the ISO controls that I never used (but should have) and yes, it was not motorized. I think it was $30 which was really cheap at the time but when you're making 3.35 an hour for 20 hours a week, it was a ton for me.

100_2906.JPGHere's a better picture. It took really "okay" to "poor" pictures. I actually used my mom's Vivitar (another winner) to take photos when I took a senior trip to WA state. It was a motorized wind camera. It had a bit better lens. That was that. It likely cost $60. Ahhh, they didn't take flash bulbs!

Flint-UAW Autoworld.jpgIt so amazes me that these types of cameras were once called "point and shoot" cameras. Indeed this was the tech we dealt with until about 2002. Built in flashes came down in price about 1982. Before that we used flash cubes and flash bars. It was expensive to collect your own photos. It was a sweet spot for photography. Affordable to the masses. Then, the masses woke up. Even the earliest digital cameras could run circles around most of the point and shoot cheapies that the masses had. When the digicams fell down to $100 with advanced features you'd have to pay $500 or more to get in a film camera, well, pictures like this were forever forgotten until a scanner brings them to life.

I only used the cheapest film I could buy, usually Fuji 100/200 35MM film. My friend Pete and I were big fans of the movie "Roger and Me". It's about how  in the 80's GM pretty much stopped making cars and trucks in FLINT, MI. It was a town that prospered and grew on the back of GM, only to fall into oblivion when GM decided to close the plants they had there. City officials had a big idea to build a huge hotel and a mall and a big indoor amusement park/museum/tribute to the American automobile industry. By the end of the movie, all of it was out of business or up for sale or sold to a college. It was a rainy, cool, overcast day when this picture was taken. Blurred and washed out. But, there it is in all it's fenced off glory. A man built this! It's a hugesueum. Autoworld did have a limited schedule a few months after the first failure but eventually, like many malls, was torn down. A white elephant. In a beat to hell town. We saw it in it's prime. Right after it was made famous by "Roger and Me".

Little Brown Nugget.jpg

Isn't she a beaut? A Sh*t brown 4 door Buick Century. GM's finest turds of the 80's. Next to it is my "Little Brown Nugget" which was the name dubbed onto it by a couple Christian girls that my friend Marc knew. Yeah, it wasn't much and filled with McDonalds cheeseburger and Taco Bell wrappers and it didn't have a muffler so it was loud, but it was humiliation I didn't need. I'm sure they both went on to happy Christian divorces to unhappy cheating Christian men. Bitter? Me? Come on, I worked at McDonalds and drove a "barely" car.  A 1979 Chvrolet Monza. It was an upgrade from my Chevette because at least this RAN.  I don't have too many photos of this car, but the above has  a wonderful blurry "sort of green" tree background. It looks kind of like a Lomograph.

Torino Rear Side.jpgNow this was a real treat. I had some money that was saved for me from the car accident I was in when I was a child. Somehow, I talked my mom into buying this piece of automotive history from my grandfather's estate.  A 1973 Ford Gran Torino. It was as you see it. Not the original wire wheels because they had been stolen years before, but otherwise primo cherry. Gramps has bought this new in 1973 for $3900. I remember driving around in this when I was but a shaver. He moved to Florida a few years later and kept it in pristine condition. Frankly, I'd have rather had the money. It drove like a boat. You turned by spinning the steering wheel and hoping for the best. I kept it for 10 years and tried to drive it more than I did, but it was always a "second car" when I didn't need a second car nor could really afford to have it. Gas was really cheap back then, which was a good thing on a Mickey Macs pay check.

I did use this to haul the McDonalds float one year. We needed to buy an adaptor for the trailer hitch. Where I stored this, it got vandalized a few times losing the trunk badge and hood ornament. They also swiped a $10 Crown car stereo which I had mounted to the transmission hump.

It had shoulder belts, but they were "add on" belts, meaning they were mounted to the roof of the car so when you wore them, you couldn't move. Needless to say, I never wore them. I attempted to drive this in the snow ONCE. On a four lane street, I couldn't keep the ass end from taking up the other lane. I washed it really good and decided it would be a summer car. When I moved to Toledo to work in radio, I didn't have the means to keep this car so I just "gave" it to my brother. I think I sold it to him for "$1" so we could change over the title. My brother was a little better off so I guessed he could keep this car in better shape than I could.

The camera fared a little better on this picture. I do have a picture of myself in a McDonalds uniform sitting in the massive trunk because I had to go to work after getting these pictures taken. Another overcast rotten day, but damn. 351 Cleveland under the hood. It went straight really fast. Turn the corner, not so much. 

Kitchen Lockerroom.jpeg Finally, one of the last pictures I took with the Ansco before upgrading to a cam with time date stamp. (Ohhhh! Technology!)  This may be a kitchen area of a 50's home? A cabinet showroom? A prison mess? You'd never guess. I'm a Browns fan, and since our team bailed on us in 1996, they decided it was time to take down Municipal Stadium. They held a "last play" so that folks who had lived or died by the Browns in this decrepit stadium used for Baseball and Football, a chance to come and say goodbye. We toured the whole place and I should tell you, for the athletes that came through these walls, they must have been like "what the hell is this sewer?"

This was the kitchen area of the training room. It looks like prison. The showers were truly prison like. The "locker room" was just a series of stalls. How much did these guys get paid? They had facilities like this? I mean, most of the players probably had cars better than this. I still shake my head when I see these pictures. Because it was a sunny day, this picture was a-ok.

Ahhhh, digital cams in cell phones and tablets made all this camera crap obsolete. Trash? Never!

ARF! -Ricochet