Results tagged “Grateful Dead”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Christmas Junk 13th Floor Vending

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100_3815.JPG13th Floor Elevators. 13Th Floor Vending Machine. 13th entry in the Christmas junk series. We're in the quickening. When Highlander 2: The Quickening came out, it was Siskel and Eberts' worst movies and also made their top 10 worst films for the year. Maybe the "quickening" was a buzz word for all about 5 minutes in the 80's. It made it into a lyric of a Grateful Dead song. I believe it was Gene Siskel that was laughing really hard about the title of the movie. He just found it so amusing. As a writer and a critic, he probably felt like it was nonsense or gibberish. It was like Ally G interviewing Andy Rooney...that racialist. So, what the hell is this? Is it for the quickening?

100_3817.JPGWhat's this? A doggy? Surprise! We'll get to the beer cans later. Right now we gotta talk about this bit of cute. Look at how that bread tie is tied around in such a way that makes this decoration hang up on the tree. What we have here is a dog of no fixed hairstyle. His tail is on a spring so it wags. He's got a red collar. His tongue is happily out of his mush. What can he be happy about? Is he going to get on with The Quickening? *dun dunnn*

100_3814.JPGThere's a little doggy symbol at the top. There's also a bit of dust. Do you suppose the dust came from THE QUICKENING??  Nahhhh. This came from a Hallmark Christmas Ornaments display at a participating Kohls.  If I were a dog, I'd be excited about finding this magical machine right smack dab in the QUICKENING! Of course, I would seemed to have lost my pockets! (Skitch. Loose Shoes. Thanks.)

100_3812.JPGTadaaahhhh. This is another piece of crap that I also bought a duplicate of for Boomer. He loves this crap, but the previous post already talked about that. What's wrong with liking "Doggie Delites" In a Vend-Dog-Matic. This is another Christmas ornament that resides next to the Dr. Duck can.  A bone. A tennis ball. A slipper. A disc from the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where everybody gets hooked on an alien game that is really a mind control device and Wesley Crusher saves the day. Time warp. Quickening. A rolled up newspaper. A cuddly wuddy teddy bear shat out by Radar O' Riley. The picture obscures the doggie treats and the hot dog. Then you see the tug toy. Oh yeah, Paul Lynde is in the center square! "Oh these doggie treats, they are terrible with human teeth. A little grainy, but wonderful in a martini." No, maybe it's Bruce Valanche on the Whoopiwood Squares. " I love writing lame jokes for awards shows and I love to eat lots of bones. I like Milkbones too! Ha! I'm the second coming of William Gaines!"

Wow. Now I'm reaching. Isn't this KEYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTE? -Ric

Alt Studio

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100_4347.JPGMan. If mixing boards could talk. "Hey mate, do you know you have the F-IN BEATLES in there?" ""This could be the best Rock And Roll I've ever mixed from a band made of LED" "OHMIGOSH Just spike me with 220, this Hendrix Guy...""Roll me another "J" for this song "Truckin"" "I'm GAGA over this LADY" "I'm really DOWN for this SYSTEM" Okay, I'll stop. This board is more like... "Why are you wearing that spaghetti pot on your head?" "Why would I want Breakfast at Uncle Louies?" "OH! You're EM1 and He's EM2 so you're BOTH OF 'EM...hahaha.." "Olson NWS, who? Lubin? Get out of my store!" "Awwww Ricochet, not another Radiolawn show..."

Gemini's finest. A basic "Disco Mixer", that was my main mixing board for years and years. Way back when I got an actual "band" called "Unedible Two", I started recording by having a tape recorder and plugging the outputs of musical devices directly into the recorder. Okay if you wanted to record it directly, bad if you then wanted to add vocals while you were recording said musical devices. The audible "click" as you plugged in the microphones to your dual input jacks just didn't make it a "good" recording. Enter this mixer. $100 from your local Olson NWS store next to Leathers Deli in the Fairview Park Shopping Center. See Walt for photos.

Who knows why these were carried. Gemini was at the time making "pro" stuff that ranged from okay to "check those speakers before they leave to make sure they work." I got this mixer and was off to the recording races. A Sanyo tape deck, Gemini condenser microphones, tons of adapters and connectors, and we were a band.  Plus, I recorded my solo stuff "Singin Inside A Bucket" was the aforementioned song where I used my mom's big spaghetti pot over my head as an unusual way to alter my voice. Want to hear it? Nahhhh. It's in the vault.  It was used as an alt-board when I had my real chance at obscurity "Spudlok", but my band mate had a better consumer board that had separate stereo selectors for two of his channels, which was high tech to me. 

Later this board became the workhorse to recording my "Radiolawn" show. At least 150 shows were banged out on this board. I do remember when Boomer and I tried to run a pirate station at a convention we were at how BAD this board was. Take a FM transmitter and run it through the cheese cloth that is this board and you have more HUMMMMMM than Pigpen's harmonica. (Okay Dead Heads, I'm sorry for that one.)

In bad need of some rewiring and maybe some shielding, I got a new board that had all the fancy bells and whistles and this was relegated to my turntable pre-amp. That was until I went alt-Windows and my studio went "HOOWEE". You see, the new computer didn't play too well with what I was used too, and that meant it became very tough to record in that state. Causing me to go old school and set up an old style "Alt Studio".

100_4348.JPGGee, that was two computers ago. Look at the size of that BOX! A man BUILT THIS, it's Winners EXPEE.  It's a NON USB WHEEL MOUSE! GASP! Do you know how much that antique is WORTH? You mean that computer only has THREE USB Ports and they are ALL ON THE BACK OF THE MACHINE? Where is the rock you got this from under? Didn't they bury these in the desert like Atari E.T. Cartridges? Wait! Under that BOX! Hiding in PLAIN SIGHT! Is that a cheap scanner so obscure that ALT WINNERS never heard of a DRIVER? It hooks in with what? A Serial Port???? You talkin' CHEERIOS Here?  PS2 all the way on that keyboard and mouse. Way to score quality!

Well, the picture doesn't say all of that, but I had to go back a few generations of computer and set it up in the basement to make my "Alt Studio". Why? Because IT WORKED! I remember getting this computer from Boomer because it was faster and could show video like the early You Toobs. I watched the live internet only broadcasts from Hurricane Katrina on this computer. More important, when I turned it on, set up to record, I recorded and the show came out like I wanted. No "that's not what I wanted" or "why won't this work?" or "why is it doing that" or 'work...damn you..just WORK..."

100_4349.JPGYes, while people floated on the boxes of "Spap Ooop" from the flooded A&P down Bourbon street, I watched it all unfold with this computer from the comfort of my Yuengling fuelled central nervous system using "Alt -" Samsung's finest 17" viewing device. It was only my second monitor, first being a Packard Bell 12" "orphan"  monitor. ("Orphan" because it was broken away from an entire system so it didn't have an official model number.  I found out later from an FCC registry site that it was made by our good friends at TATUNG.) Ahhh, the memories of how Yuengling used to come in 22oz "Bomber" bottles and how you could peel off the clear plastic labels and put them on other things. This one lasted the longest. "Samtron" brand was Samsung's attempt to make cheaper stuff to sell to suckers like me. Isn't that what Samsung was about anyway back when?  My monitor never blew up....

100_4346.JPGSo there it was save for the portable CD player I hooked into the alt board to play the Radiolawn intro/outro and other junk like background music. Yes, I know, I was using a system capable of multi tracking but that takes TIME. I always try to do my shows as live as they possibly can be with a minimal amount of post production. What? Am I going to save that really good belch or me freaking out "work you piece of S*IT! WORK!" for future generations to realize I was a lazy ass buffoon with a microphone that smelled like a Yuengling? Yeah. Of course I used my beer boxes to help me set this mess up. I even recorded three episodes down here before Boomer game me a really small desktop computer with Winners XP on it. I was able to have an alt computer in my studio again so I didn't have to drag mikes and equipment down to my basement and endure seconds of extra processing time while the computer was "saving data".  Wahhhhhhhh! You could use the exercise.

Oh yeah, Christmas is coming... So good you didn't pack away those Christmas lights. You can just pick them up off the floor and hang them back where they were outside in just a few weeks. Dumb-ass. -Ric

100_3900.JPGOn my itty bitty kwitzmas twee, I have a lot of debris of favorite things from my past and present. This one was a on-going treat for me every year. It's a beer coaster turned ornament from Cumberland Brews in Lousiville, KY. I've always liked beer beverage but what I drank for beer beverage could hardly be called BEER. It was more CORN SODA. Yes, but the term "Craft Beer" came along and we had a place to go to get bombed with class!I'd been to one or two micros before, but this was my first "home town" "gotta have it". They announced it was opening somewhere in the "Highlands" area of Louisville , but I drove by it several times and didn't see it. One day I looked up and saw images of hops, and thought, that's it!

It is a real small place, bar of about 12 seats and about 7 tables. The head brewer was brewing a batch of beer right in the front window in a large stainless steel cooker and steam was filling the air. It was that cool of a place. A former ice creamery, so the tile needed to have a kitchen where beer could be brewed was perfect. 4 stainless holding tanks were right there as well and then the refrigerator was at the end, all closed in with glass and there was a Mr. Hankey key chain hanging from a valve. (Christmas poo at a beer joint?)  I met the brewer, the owner and the manager all that day as I drank the best beer I'd had. It wasn't that cheap, but pretty cheap for a micro brew of such taste and quality. I went there at least twice a week. When I moved to Cleveland, I always make a point to go back at least once a year.  The place has changed in that they sell more beer and now brew off site, plus the manager and head brewer are no longer there...but the bison burgers are still the same. Cheers.

100_3908.JPGMr. Fat Hanz is showing off his BALLS! Oh? Only ONE BALL?  It's an Indians baseball team ornament with a fat pudgy MF head with some serious eyebrows. For years I put this junk on my tree and not get anything out of the "root root root for the home team." At least this year, we've got something going on. Do baseball players wear toilet seats? Is that the new safety gear? We're All Devo!

100_3898.JPG...and the most debris of the debris I put on my tree every year... I put this in the back of my tree, but I do put this on the tree. Every year.  You know that symbol. Well, I look at it like, I found all this world of wonder from those punks over at the corporate and their operating system for my computer barely powerful enough to microwave a burrito. It was when the net was getting going, and e-mail was becoming a thing. I got a Internet Service Provider and the software they gave me...they told me to use the Internet Explorer program to download Netscape if I wanted to get my e-mails from their Microsoft servers. Microsoft's own server products, not compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Still, I'd still be using Win95, but time marches on. Gee, that's a PEN-GOO-WIN right next to it. Hmmmmm. Hehehehehehehehe.

100_3896.JPGThe MONEY SHOT (TM)  The full rest of the ornaments for this entry. Of course, there's a PEN-GOO-WIN. It's for my favorite hockey team. Really. It's for my favorite computer operating system. Really. It was a premium strapped to a box of Christmas Lifesavers.  The rest are just duplicates of other key chains you've seen from my button box posts. The "SCION" key chain was a really nice and heavy promo given out at the Cleveland auto show for the new and amazing cars from China. Er...Japan? Yep. Toyota's different trendy brand. It had a good run. Do you know anyone that bought one?  There is also a Yuengling key chain bought at the Tampa former Strohs plant on the only beer plant tour I've been on. Free beers. Clearance crap. Plus, everybody's favorite Japanese stripper, Sony Tape. She wore these to cover up her *Shhhhhhh! Check it!*

100_3902.JPGLast but yes last, is the bumper sticker from my beloved Cumberland Brews. I sort of got the vibe that they liked jam music. They always would be playing anything funky or rasta or noodling. I didn't get any reference in the place until I became a fan of the Grateful Dead. Gee, that bumper sticker is a lyric from the song "Ripple". The poster from the 1995 tour still hangs there. Bears. Jerry. Volkswagen Busses. The owner is a DEAD HEAD. Cumberland Blues is a song by the Grateful Dead. Jerry would love the place. Oh, and RIP Ear X-Tacy. The greatest media store in the 'Ville. Okay. Nuff.  -Ricochet


It's a 227 Chess Board!  (That's an old line from one of my radio bits. Obscurity. We do it all for you Rod.) I'm guessing this is older than most my favorite rock bands. Likely it's about the same age as when rock and roll began. No idea why I need to bring that up other than this was passed down to me. It's not worth a thing because I don't believe there was a value put on plastic.

100_3762.JPG...or this fine material covered case with a snap to hold all of this fun chess set in place. I know how to play chess but I haven't played it in 30 years or so. Therefore I don't remember anything about playing chess. I may have played chess with my brother once with this set, but I doubt it. I wanted to play chess like they did in Futureworld. (Sequel to Westworld.) The players were "holograms" and they really lanced each other!  Oh no, all we got here is plastic and magnets. However, in 2016 we're closer to  "holograms plaing chess" being reality.... or a robot that sounds like "UhhhOOooooUhhhOooooo"  when you steal his face right off of his head. (Jerry Garcia was pushed...)

100_3764.JPG Lowe. Staunton. Web search. Staunton was a chess player? Lowe was E.S. Lowe, a game company that put out Yahtzee. Wow. Who cares? This chess board is in really good shape for it's age. Indeed I looked this up to see what this was made out of and FLEABAY has a few of these exact sets. Big deal. Are they made of Bakelite? Maybe? I don't know.

100_3765.JPGIt's E.S. Lowe's finest chess set. It's magnetic for playing chess in a tornado. Never mind "shelter in place". You can sit outside and trust every piece will be just where you moved it on the board. It's got a neat, cheap, plastic holder for all the pieces and when you put the board on top, none of them move. That was a "deluxe" feature in the 50's and I only judge that age by the looks of the lettering.  I know the holder isn't Bakelite. Was Michael Jackson singing about this chess set? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

100_3766.JPGHell Mr. FatHanz (TM) you ought to have that cut on your thumb looked at, or start using some kind of hand cream. Sheesh. Yes, the final picture of this set is the pieces that are without magnets. I don't know where they went and the pieces have been without since I got the set. You know, I'll bet most of these sets became missing pieces as pieces rolled off and into those heater vents with huge holes. Maybe the magnets from these pieces went the same way. The glue on these is that orange color like the plastic tiles in my bathroom. Funny thing is, when handling these pieces, the magnets stay in each piece. Likely these were dug out by the previous owner? Maybe used in a science project for school?  I could measure and replace each of these and get the value of the whole set up to about $5. Ahhhh, forget it. Junk Blog.



100_3636.JPGI love those thrift stores. Love them. You'll never know what you'll find and sometimes, you'll find something you don't really want, but it's something you need. Of course, you could be looking for digital cameras when a friend comes into town and make a joke about how you can't understand who would need a shopping cart when going shopping at a thrift store. "My wife..." was the reply to my comment. Go figure. Ahhh, but then, I'm not a chick. I'm one of the lonely souls who ignores 90% of the store to look over the used electronics for something obsolete.

100_3633.JPGEnter the best winter jacket I've ever owned. It looks like every autoworker's plaid cheap coat. I bought it from a going out of business sale that was being held by a no-name Indian/Wolf Head/Incense/Hippie store. You know the one, in a nearby dying mall. They sell a ton of smelly knit hoodies for Grateful Dead/Phish/Umphrey's McGee consumption. I didn't like it as the pockets were on the top of the jacket rather than down at the sides. I also thought it would be a little small for me. Not true.

When winter struck, something interesting happened. It would get about 20 degrees outside, and I was WARM. All through the winter, I was WARM. No other winter coat did this. Plus, it went on easy because it was completely fiber, not a stuffed coat like I'd been wearing since I was a kid. You put this thing on, you're warm.  Zip it up and within a few minutes, toasty. Plus, I've had since 2000 or so, maybe earlier. For the $17 spent, I just can't find anything else close. Then, something happened. Something wore out.

100_3634.JPGYou guessed it. The zipper. Sort of. The zipper PULL just wore out. You can see where the metal wore through. Wow. Guess it can't last. I knew I could get a replacement for it right? RIGHT? Wow. I tried. I went all over the place. I even found the Fix N Zip (TM) device but I wasn't sure if it would replace my zip properly. Then I boned up on zipper replacement and then tried to find.... OVERSIZED/ODD SIZED/NOBODY HAD IT.

I could still zip the jacket without the pull, but it was awkward. So, I looked at buying a new one. Since it's such a good jacket, I'll violate this blog's no link protocol and provide the link to what I'm talking about.  Well, that's the main page. I just posted it because of Jerry Garcia. :) The actual coat link is here:   Yep. When I saw that this was a "surfers jacket", I realized, it made sense. It's warm, and there is no padding. So If I'm David Hasselhoff showing off my guns on the beach after an early morning surf, I just slip one of these on while still glistening from polluted surf and call KITT to take me to the drinking place where I lay down on the floor masticating a hamburger while my daughter looks on. Whew. I went really really really far for that one. 

DSCI0055.jpegThar she blows! My fix. You can see the gap where the metal had thinned, allowing the zip tag to fall off. I thought I had to replace and went through all the trouble until I just put a big key ring in between and it worked. Before this however, on a trip to a thrift store, I found a flight crew jump suit with 5 zippers that were....EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED. The jacket was pretty used, so I just cut off all the zippers and they reside in my basement as junk on deck. How could I be so mean to the HOFF? I loved his Knight Rider thingy when I was a pup. I loved Dukes Of Hazzard. I loved A-TEAM. Like Adam Carolla says, there were only 3 channels back then....

ARF! -Ric

100_3751.JPGThe title of this post comes from one of the best RAP music lines ever. It's "Insane Clown Posse" and had me lauging for ten minutes when I first heard it. A truly brilliant verse. Up there with the Beastie Boys and Ice Cube. Meanwhile, here's one of my favorite never played games. I love it. It's simple to play, needs a little skill, very little, and essentially a vertical DOUCHE' with none of that fancy plastic and magnets.

100_3752.JPGI believe it was invented in the seventies and was a huge hit for Milton Bradley. Why? Simplicity. It was get 4 in a row. It was Tic Tac Toe with checkers and plastic and none of that DOUCHE' smell. It's why there still are many ways to consume Connect Four, but only used copies of Douche' or the new/different versions of the game that are for sale nowadays.

100_3753.JPGA man built this. It's a "assembly required" playing field and some plastic checkers. You think they would include a half assed checker board just in case you did actually want to play checkers. There has been a ton of variations on this design, but you can still buy it as it is. They made video game versions and travel versions, you can even get it as a key chain game. Oh hell, imagine how long it would take until you lost the checkers from that one....


Whoops.... I dropped all the checkers. They are round. They roll. They roll and roll. They roll, Jimmy roll. They are Rollin', Rollin, Rollin on the river. They rock and rolled. I love rock and roll. Put another dime in the Jewish bagel.

100_3759.JPGSure enough one rolled under the basement beer fridge. Well, not really. The checker did roll under the fridge. It's not a beer fridge. I like beer. I like fridges because they contain the beer...and the food. This one was "donated" when my brother needed a place to store it. I thought about making it my main fridge, but my house is so old, they had "iceboxes", and it won't fit under the cabinets. I mean, look at the flooring! They haven't made that kind of linoleum tile since K-Mart closed all of their in store delis with their 2 for 3 dollar sub sandwiches stacked with luncheon linoleum loaf. On with the blog now....

100_3757.JPGHere it is. All set up. Loaded with checkers. Fake win as there are 5 black checkers across the bottom. Surely that would have been blocked unless you were playing your dog. Dogs don't know nuffin. They know where to poop and pee, and when it's time to eat. Sometimes the eat checkers and poop them out. Holy hell, there isn't much else to say on this blog. I'm at an end for silly crap to say. What can you say about this game? Simple.

100_3754.JPGSee, I took way more photos than I needed to take. I got the point across in the first two photos. You know what it is, you know how to play. The rules were printed on the lid. Simple. 2 Players needed. You can't have much fun with one. How do you outsmart yourself?

100_3758.JPGLookout! Earthquake! Oh MY GOSH! Run for your LIVES! The checkers are on the LOOSE! They won't linger as much as foam beads from a cheap laptop desk, but SAVE YOURSELF! It's gone SIDEWAYS! LOOK OUT! ONE OF THE CHECKERS HAS ROLLED UNDER THE NOT A BEER FRIDGE! Really, I don't store beer in this fridge.....

I drink it too fast......


Okay. I'm done. Junk Blog.


LED Flashlight Failing

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100_3664.JPGWant a burned out flourescent tube? I've got a stack of them. My brother replaced the light that was burning out these bulbs at a "every other month" rate as opposed to the light that came with the house lasted 5 years. I replaced the ballast, but I guess it needed the transformer. Gee, the fixture was as old as WWII. So, it was BYE BYE light. Now, I have an under counter LED light with foam tape placed over the lights because they are too bright. Now, I get about the same as I got with the tubes.  Okay, that story done, what about this crap?  It's a battery powered LED reading lamp. Amazing. I did actually use this device a bit. Had it hanging over my bed. It was a big piece of okay.

100_3666.JPGSee, it's mountable. It might have even been designed as a lighting system. It looks like it was meant to be slid into something. When I attached it to the head of my bed, I used tape. It takes "AAA" batteries. That shouldn't be too much of a trouble. LEDs are really efficient. This little bugger should have been as bright as the sun. It wasn't. Yes, not 4 "AAA" batteries, it only takes 3. Anyone knows with an LED flashlight, you only get peak brightness for a few hours, then you get "useable" light for the rest of the life of the batteries. Not the best for reading.

100_3667.JPGWhy did I buy such a thing if I really thought it was going to be a piece of junk? Well, it was $2.00. We've got a little chain here in the Northeast called "Micro Center". It's what "Comp USA" used to be only three times as big and filled to the brim with every piece of computer related tech including televisions and cameras. They are volume volume volume. I buy from them all the time. Sure I could have save a few bucks with say my new modem box or (years ago) DVD-Rom drive or (recent) 50 CDRs or (very recent) 64G USB chips. Whatever you need, they got it. A majority of the "pieces parts" they carry are bargains. One trip, we saw a huge row of bargain "gadgets" at unbeatable prices. This was one of them. I also purchased several "recording suites" for $4 each. I don't know how good the software is, but it included a microphone and 20FT cable included was worth at least  $30. Boomer uses them for his radio studio and I have one for a backup "guest" mike. I sure thought I would get use out of this little light.

100_3665.JPG6 LED. Um... 5 LED. One of the LEDs was burned out. No worry, it was $2. I mounted it to my bed, put batteries in it, and lit it up and it worked. By gosh, it worked. The lap desk with the built in LED light that never really worked, was always loose and very hard to change the batteries on, now was a thing of the past. I had good old fashioned battery powered light to read or write while laying in bed. It worked. For about 3 months.

100_3668.JPGYou see, the lights sprung out and would almost look like a cross. (It's been so long since I used this POS that I forgot it did fold out so no pic for hugh.) The head also turned to a 90 degree angle. You think that a fine piece of junk like this would last as long as the WWII era light that gave up the ghost in my kitchen. No, after a bit, it would come on and flutter and wouldn't stay in place and of course, the dimming was maddening. With no screws to tighten, I said "F- It!" and it's all idle since. I had an extra lamp leftover from the previous owners. (My house did not have lights on the ceiling except in the kitchen, so they used lots of electric lamps.) I put a CFL bulb in it. I've been well lit when reading Grateful Dead books and drinking Pabst ever since.


P.S. I got it out of the basement and have this in use now. I recall now that I couldn't even read with this, but it does make a good keyboard light. Blue light. Whoops, the head just went down. Farging POS....

The Keys To The S**tty

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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 $ 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

Toke A Calc

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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''s...


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" .


Watch Me Nay Nay (Genuine Diamond)

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100_3096.JPGI have lots of watches but very little jewelry. Other than the ring already covered and the countless cheap digital watches and the Rulex bought as a trinket on my only trip to New York to see David Lettermen, no mas on the fine jewelry. Then for Christmas, I got this wonderfully quartz pierre cardin trinket.

100_3097.JPGOooooooohhhhh. Wow. Genuine Diamond. It's in a nice velvet box as well. It's quartz. I never bothered to put a new battery in it. It's got a leatherette band and would have broken off years ago. I think I chose to wear this once or twice. That was it. Look at that GENUINE Diamond. Chip off the old coal puck.

100_3099.JPGCloseups of the "alleged" Genuine Diamond. It does stick it's head out in a sea of black and make it say "Come, rip me off. I'm worth $9.99!" Ahhh, it's safely at rest in my button box. Actually, I'm proud to own this. It's my only Genuine Diamond.

100_3100.JPGPierre Cardin. Aren't they the famous maker of clothes and expensive "Eau De Toillette?" I did but some PC for the moms a few Christmas's. I tooled to the Westgate Higbees and spent whatever little money I'd saved from shlepping french fries to buy a bottle. Aha! I'm assuming that, and this is only an assumption, that this "fine" watch may have been a cheap get when you bought some of the PC crap. Hmmmm.

100_3101.JPGGet this! How to set this watch. No it doesn't have date. No, it doesn't have a stop watch. No, It's not a phone, it doesn't have lights and it isn't a motor car. Not a single luxury. It's like Robinson Crusoe. Primitive as can be.  I like the fact that you spend $5.00 to get this beauty repaired and make sure you insure it for ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Because if some hot shot USPS goes off half cocked and stows this in his hoarding house for ten years, you may never see it again. Genuine QUARTZ. Maybe that's worth ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

100_3098.JPGImagine, they won't even return the box. They would keep the box! I love the box. It clamps shut with a nice "click". I think the box was worth more than the watch. How could it be? Genuine DIAMOND and genuine QUARTZ movement. That's a double rare earth watch! Plus a STAINLESS STEEL back! A man BUILT THIS! It's a WATCH. It's GENUINE. It's not spelled "Rulex" or have a glued on crown.  Great shot by my Kodak camera. It's an Easy Share with a Bill Kreutzmann lens. He was making lenses in-between drumming gigs for the Grateful Dead. That's all. ONE MILLION DOLLARS. One million bottle bags count em'. Public Enemy is back! Nahh, this is too small for Flavor Flav.

ARF! -Ric

100_3088.JPGI've got quite a few of these. They are easy ways to promote your brand. Foam koozies. Your logo here. 100 Minimum and $75 set up fee. I used a few until they eventually got torn up, but there are ones I save in my junk collection. Radio station? Check. Radio station I worked at? Bonus points. Put crap in the koozie for storage. Perfect.

100_3089.JPGHere's the crap. It's not like this stuff needs the scary protection provided by sooper 'IOT koozie, but it's in there. Hell, a thousand years from now, this koozie will likely still be filled with this crap. Crap like this doesn't break down in landfills. Maybe I should call this blog "The CRAP Blog." Nahhh, some of this crap does have a valued use. Who wants to be known as a guy that has a house full of crap? I guess a house full of junk isn't that much better. What's in a name. It's all worthless.

100_3091.JPGI have a thing for key chains. I have used the same damn key chains for over 30 years. A Sears home services key chain, a "Great Northern Plaza's" mall key chain and a brown leather "belt hook" key chain. That's it. I haven't used anything else, but I sure have a lot of replacements if I need them. My button box is full of them for lack of anywhere else to put them.

Here is a typical "better than the worst" beer key chain. Miller Lite is about as poo poo as it gets as a beer, but it's better than Bud or Coors light beers. I like bottle opener beer key chains. Which is why the 94.5 WXKR key chain is a good one as well. My former radio "host" at WIOT works for 94.5 and that was a freebie he gave me back in the days when they still had freebies to give. The other is a key chain with a red LED light provided by one of our "partners" (repair providers) while I worked at the Louisville warranty company. I carried one for a couple of years but it fell apart. Here's it's clone, and it's clean. (Name removed.)

100_3092.JPGHere's something I bought from a flea market. A ZAPPA patch. It's meant to be sewn onto my jeans jacket along with a Depeche Mode and New Order and KMFDM and Yo Yo Ma and Metallica and Led Zeppelin and DEVO patch. *burp* For a while, I loved Zappa's music. The first CD I bought was "Thing Fish" which the Zappa expert I bought it from told me it was considered by Zappa fans to be his worst. It recycled everything and didn't have a guitar solo! However, I thought it was funny. I like humor. I was in the process of owning every Zappa disc but then, I had rent to pay, so I sold most of the collection. He's like the Grateful Dead. You either need to collect them all or pass on everything except the hits. I really don't listen to his stuff anymore, but I'm new to the Grateful give me time. I used to listen to Kraftwerk or Devo every day as well. Of course it helps when Sirius/XM has a 24/7 channel devoted to your band and they play your concerts  which you were damn smart enough to record pretty much all of... so that there is always something different to hear. I digress.

100_3093.JPGWhen I worked for the Louisville warranty company, I had the chance to go up in a balloon. We had sponsorship in a Louisville area balloon rally and all I got was this lousy pin. Float in a hot air balloon strapped to a basket with flammable materials lit in a controlled fashion? AHHHHH!  Pins are popular in Louisville. Ask anyone that has a worthless collection of pins for the Kentucky Derby festival. They are good for 10% off of a hot dog at festival vendors. They also give you preferred seating in the "thunder pots", or portable toilets brought in for the "Thunder Over Louisville" festival two weeks before the Kentucky Derby. Ahh, the near South. "Hop on the snodder and go to the CiCi's."

Then, my Tokyo Shapiro name tag. Nothing to see here. At least they didn't make us wear smocks or ties or jackets or condoms.

100_3094.JPGFinally, no cash value. There was a lasertag called "Photon." It was the first and arguably the best lasertag ever. You got dressed in a heavy battery suit and wore a surgical hat so you wouldn't get head lice when you put on the heavy helmet. Then you went into a built out, lots of lights and plastic and aircraft carpet field and played lasertag with a pounding soundtrack that would make Tangerine Dream jealous.  You'd be all sweaty from running for 6 1/2 minutes and then they would spray Lysol in your helmet. You'd eat red jump rope licorice and drink water from the fountain and play Empire City 1941 in the arcade. Fun, eh? Ahhh, but the company went under and they left their arenas as furnished shells and the one in Louisville became "Laser Blaze." Less of a laser tag system, more fluorescent paint and rock and roll soundtrack. It was still to us that played Photon, the closet thing to Photon. It wasn't. I remember when our company held a year end even there and one team was guilty of cheating in order to win. Couldn't have done that with Photon. Well, unless you were Predator. He knew all the tricks. That MF. Scoring on me when I fell down in pain from a leg cramp. Standing there. Scoring on an injured warrior. What a dick.

ARF! -Ric