Results tagged “JVC”

100_4589.JPGTokyo Shapiro. Formerly the jobbers for Clarkins Stores Inc. First slogan? Tokyo Tech At Shapiro Prices. It was the late 70's after all. Of course, bought by the Luskins chain and run into the ground when every electronics chain gave up the ghost to Best Buy and Sun TV. (The latter also giving it up to Best Buy.) I worked there for some of the best times of my young career when it looked like retail sales would be the path I was going to take. Fat chance, but I stayed with it for a few. I knew what the flying erase head did on your camcorder. I knew what Scandium Oxide was on your 35" Mitsubishi big tube TV. Like any plastic bag just blowing down the street which your good friend Bill thinks is saying "BIH!" as it blows... I got lots of debris from here. It brings up my lots of debris here on the web.  Yeah, I let this go a bit, but I'm back. You see, I started another blog for my trips to Florida and my recent trip which was stellar. That got me back into shape, and well, time to start blogging about my junk again. Means something to me, kept it in a box, insignificant to you, but there may be a glimmer of remembrance. We do it all for ME, Rod. Plus, I'm listening to a concert from the Grateful Dead from 1968 on SiriusXM and just jamming up and down the super slab known as the internet.

100_4590.JPGThere's that slogan. Shapiro was a guy known to the owners who was Japanese and was also cheap. Yeah. That's it. That's what they meant. Electronics tech was moving really fast. When I started here, video tapes were still averaging $5. Only recently did they have firms like Universal coming around with 2.99 (on sale for 1.99) VHS tapes. It was still a big deal that big manufacturers had video tapes. Maxell was a get for the Tokyo Shapiro company. I don't remember why. I thought TDK or JVC were the best tapes made, but the Maxells were a little cheaper and they looked good. Hence, my first $5 video tapes were Maxell. It would be another year or two when VCRS dropped into the $200 range that you could get almost any brand for about $3 and it would be a good tape. I judge from my extensive tape collection. Whatever brand was on sale at the time, I bought some. These were the deluxe high grade and well, I never could tell the difference. They all played the same. Boy this Tokyo stuff just keeps coming up in this blog right? Right?

100_4713.JPGHave you SEEN THE LIGHT? This relic, I can say I had before the first Star Wars movie was a toy flash light that really worked as a flashlight and you got "that hand" some good excersize for your formative years. It came with a crank handle and a plastic belt holder and three colored slides that made it red, blue or green. Oh no, there were no fancy batteries to recharge. It was a motor that generated enough power to light up a flashlight bulb. To someone that didn't have a pot to piss in, this was high tech goodness.

100_4714.JPGPretty simple right? It was built like a tank and would likely still work today. Nothing inside to go bad. The case was dropped a few times, so it has a crack in the surface, but should still work. The weakest point was the plastic crank handle, which, with a ton of use that any kid would give this during normal play, first wore where it connected to the crank. Then the handle broke at the point where it met the cranking plastic that fit into the crank. I can only assume the handle is to the wind or down a heating vent somewhere.

100_4613.JPGNevermind the other junk in this photo, just concentrate on these lenses. They would fit over the light in the notch you see in the photo above. Wow. Neat. Cool. We didn't have much when your were poor in the 70's.

100_4614.JPG"When you see the red light... " ROXXXXXXXXXANNNNNNE! You don't have to turn on the RED FLASH BRITE LENS. It's a picture of a single hole punch inside of a dark room. Um, I got nothing else. Big Red.

100_4715.JPGYou know, they actually included a MORSE CODE card with this flash light? That's what the little button on the back was for. Yeah, you were winding your ass off to make light and they gave you a switch to make it go out for a split second. You could do Morse code with this! Alls I remember is I NEVER DID THAT ONCE! It was too hard to push a button on the back of the light while holding and cranking at the same time. Still, FOR KIDS was this light. FOR KIDS.

100_4716.JPGA famous maker toy company name? Nope. Copyright 1975 Janex Corp. AHA. Just when I was going to say I could find NOTHING on the web, there  was a sister product that was a big box that showed through a lens and took VIEWMASTER reels! I'm going to break this Junk Blog code and link HERE.  Why? I don't know. Because I looked for everything, didn't find anything, then found this by looking for the company that made it. A search on EBAY brought up a lot of plastic character clocks and character tooth brushes and yes, even updated Masters Of The Universe self powered flash lights. I suppose the main reason for breaking code was you can see the crank for the Viewmaster thing is exactly the same as what went on the side. Cheap. I wouldn't mind having the viewer though, of course we couldn't afford any reels.

Somebody hear the theme from Welcome Back Kotter playing?


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" .


Hat Ash Tray

100_3070.JPGIn my button box, I have a few oddities and collections. Mostly crap, but some of them are meant to protect the buttons in the box. Junk in the junk. This winter knit hat was one of the hats I've had forever, but it makes a wrapper in my button box. Now, you may think tho drop an ash on this hat as that's the title of this entry, but look underneath it's knit protective sheathing:

100_3071.JPGBada boom bada bing! Nothing. Filled with junk. Key chains. Buttons. Cards from cops. Even a Dillards name tag. I believe this is the ashtray that used to reside in my Saturn before it had a boom boom. I don't think I ever used this when it was in the car other than a change tray. The one time I had a friend smoke in my car, he ended up burning a hole in the seat. Nobody has smoked in any car I've owned since.


LOSER!  Wow. It's NOT from my Saturn. Therefore, I have NO IDEA where this came from. I had a 1973 Ford Gran Torino with a 351 Cleveland engine, but this ain't from it. That car has me saying "Cleveland" whenever I see the number 351. Been doing that since I've owned it. Never stopped. What's that disease where you count things or need to touch things a number of times? Obsessive Doof Disorder? Repetitive Fart Disease? By the looks of it, likely it was the ashtray from my friend Walt's deceased Ford Tempo. His transmission went blooey and he got the hot and beefy Escort GT. Who knows. Maybe it was something I found by the side of the road. You never know what you'll find. Like the headlight from a 1999 Hyundai Accent? Hmmmmm.

100_3073.JPGButton Box. It's got buttons. This is from a movie on the TNT network and was from 1994. Why do I have this? It's in my junk collection. This is one of the buttons I must have received from a glom box at a video store or radio station where I worked. Gee if I knew it would be an important piece on a computer blog, than maybe I would have wrote something on the back of it. Kinda like Boomer the Dog's mother used to write dates on the cans and spices. He had a can of pineapple blowup dated 1999 or so. It must have sat all blown up for another 5 years. Don't have the pineapple chutney at Boomers. :)

100_3075.JPGI have a lot of keys in my button box. It seems to be the keeper of the keys. When I bought my 1989 Dodge Omni America that I need my mom to co-sign for, they gave me two sets of keys and two key fobs. This is the one that I didn't use.  I loved that Omni because it was my first new car and it added a ton of crap for a price cheaper by $1000 for other cars. I guess it was Chrysler corp's battle against the Yugo's and Hyundai Excels that were catching the budget minded mook's attention. I still wanted an American device. A Kenosha Cadillac. It was still a few years away from the Neon and Saturn hadn't started yet. So, I got my air conditioned, AM/FM stereo, automatic, 2.2 with the leaky gasket 4 door OMNI. It was a 11 year old design, and well, I had a '79 Chevy Monza, so it was light years from the VEGA.

The Saturn SL key chain was the same thing. A duplicate. It does have a few chew marks because I used it a few times. Saturn's used to come with a credit card key. I kept mine and used it several times when I either locked my keys in the car or was too drunk to remember I needed the keys to get my "fursuit" from the car so I used the one in my wallet. Did I say that?

100_3076.JPGHow about this one? A Y! Keychain. Likely , I got this one when the Yuengling beer beverage came to the Ohio market. It was likely given away at a six pack store or an Applebee's or, who knows. Maybe it was from before that, bought at the local where I imported all my Yuengling from before they came to Ohio. Who knows. Better than any other crappy beer beverage.  The tiger comes from a tiger! It's a Exxon Tiger key chain given to me by my friend from Memphis, Growltiger.  Lookit the tiger. He's got lil paws on his pudenda.

100_3078.JPG Here is an Eddie Bauer nameplate that was found on the ground and a pair of keys from my Chevy Chevette. Not much else to sat but look at the wear on that key. It's a wonder it worked at all.

100_3080.JPGMmmmmm....Now the finale of this entry. Everything else that was in the ashtray. Other than the Jeffersonville cop that gave me his card when writing up the accident I was in the first weekend I was back visiting friends..

So in the corner, a chip from "The Money Card" which was the first ATM card issued to me by National City Bank. Of course they were swallowed by a Pittsburgh bank. Add to it my official "Dilllards" name tag. It was when they still printed name tags to give a bit of class to that crappy retail gig. I have one with the name "Bob" on it. Someone left it there, and I used it when I didn't have my true name tag. It's now my Christmas tree decoration.

The Apex Filmworks was a Louisville cineplex that was built in the Mid City Mall that was a former Zayre store. It was a great independant theater that saved a few cinema boxes for showing classic films. I saw "The Big One" and "American Werewolf In London" there, but I remember more seeing "Chinatown" and then seeing "Bullworth" there when the showing of someone that loved a lion was cancelled for a private affair.

The "JVC" came from a rack system in my retail years just like the "kitty" card came from a hot sauce store, likely obtained at Memphis Furmeet 1 or 2. Nice kat.  Then another button. Button Box. It's my pride to say I helped the Meijer (regional discount department store) open in the Louisville/Jeffersonville area. It was the first and only time I was part of a "union". I had to give dues out of my shitty minimum wage paycheck to support the "food workers union" even though I worked on the "hard goods" side. If I wanted the gig, I had to be in the union. The only saving grace is, when I had words with my manager, I could have gotten the support of my union. Feh. The only thing I really remember from my time with Meijer is making a work of art of the "candle" aisle and winning a "cleanest storage" award for $25 for cleaning our storage area. S*it. Retail really sucks.

Arf! -Ric

The EASY way to AUX IN

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100_2918.JPGTaaaaDaaaaaaaahhhhhh! It's the ultimate in commercial released cheese.  In my last post, I showed the Shotz brewery's finest contraption, aux input for tape decks. I used it for my dead JVC stereo to play tapes when the tape deck died. It worked. Like a charm? Well, it worked. What about us really poor bastages that didn't even have the know how or the $$$ to install tape in our base Saturn or '88 Pontiac Grand Am with a stick? AM/FM radio should have inputs too! What if I wanted to hear the new Ministry album "Dark Side Of The Spoon" but said '88 Grand Am wasn't worth the hassle of installing a new stereo? Enter: Sound Feeder!

100_2919.JPGThere's a bit better view of how the Sound Feeder works it's magic. With this little half assed pull up antenna, you plugged in your aux sound source and tuned it to one of the "usually" empty channels on your car radio or any radio for that matter. It produced a weak "barely received" signal that you had to move around a lot and keep from going fuzzy on the air. It did what was intended. It was a really cheap way to put your sounds into your radio. For that, I got rid of it as quickly as I could. Slowly. When the Parmavagen(TM) Grand Am died....

100_2922.JPGSingle "AA" battery gave it a little life. I remember getting rechargeable batteries for this as there is no other way to power it. Of course, it's an FM Stereo transmitter. Of course I should have been glad someone brought this out. Of course I shouldn't have asked for a way to power it otherwise. It was the 80's and the 90's. You just didn't get an FM transmitter that didn't broadcast more than 100ft from your 160 in one Radio Shack Electronic Project Kit that you could fit in your ashtray. Why should I bitch that the battery was eaten up with skill and that I had to reset each time I passed a town that had a hot rockin' flame thrower radio signal on 88.7 FM.

100_2921.JPGYes, they would improve on this design. As the 'oughts came around, FM transmitters got really cheap and performed better. Here is the business end of this transmitter. It was odd that it could be tuned through the band until you found a blank spot on your FM dial. Trouble was, they had to do it cheap, so you dialled around with the "tuning" knob until you connected with the maximum sound. Of course, if you so much as LOOKED at the tuning knob, it would go off your channel and trying to fine adjust while you're driving.... At least I don't think they ever made "adjusting your sound feeder while driving" a ticket worthy offence.

Bonus Content


Come on? Is it really like this now? Of course it is. Running circles around it. Does anybody need this now? Of course they do, if they don't have WIFI speakers in every room. So what is it? The same thing as a Sound Feeder. An FM transmitter designed to put your music in play around your house. I use it when at Boomers to listen to my Sirius radio. It's powered by a 5V USB cable. It uses a long wire for the antenna. It switches digitally to the station, so when it's tuned, it's tuned. Don't know if there is a car made that doesn't have an aux in any more, but there are a lot of 80's and 90's cars still running that may need this. Heck, if you have a CD player in your car but want to play your IPOD...or your tape walkman..or your portable 8-track player.... Technology!  Circles. That's all it is. Circles. Will it go 'round in circles? Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?  Billy Preston. So what were the Beatles like? Did John and Yoko really give peace a chance? Could Ringo get the best sticky icky icky? Was Paul a spitting image of the author of this blog?

ARF! -Ricochet

Tape Deck Line In

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100_2883.JPGLets go BACK, BACK, BACK into time. Cave men. Cave women. Neanderthal.  Talk about your antiques that aren't worth much anymore. Here's your standard cassette adapter. This is a bit later model, but for a hot 20 years, this was the 8-Track to Tape adapter of it's time. That was the even shorter short lived way to play tape casettes in 8 track tape decks that otherwise would have been Pontiac ashtrays.

In the early 1980's until the late 1990s, tape decks became the norm in cars. Of course, if you has a '79 Chevette or Monza, you could buy a $10 radio from Tokyo Shapiro. Good luck trying to install it in the dash. I mean we used to sell 50 different dash conversion kits for after market stereos.  For a little more (or in some cases a LOT more) money, you could easily? install a Pioneer or Alpine or some other stereo. Never mind the holes you had to cut for the speakers. Ahhh, but slowly and surely compact disc player portables became cheaper and more and more of us had to either convert the tape deck or copy everything to cassette. Fun for awhile, pain in the ass mostly.

100_2884.JPGThis little device helped us all get our compact discs on. Of course, for me, I didn't have a portable CD until they got really cheap and could play MP3's as well. What did I get this for? I had installed a JVC deck in my '89 Dodge Omni America and later my '94 Saturn SL. Both of those were the cheapest cars you could buy and both came with AM/FM stereos that with a kit, were replaced with my JVC. About a year after putting it in my Saturn, the tape deck failed. So, I got one of these so I could use a walkman stereo to play tapes. It worked like a champ. When the Saturn got destroyed, I thought about taking the JVC out, but decided to let it die peacefully. 

100_2887.JPGHere's the business end. I believe the "head" in this was plastic. It touched the heads of your tape deck and transferred the sound through the heads. If it was steel head to steel head, I'd imagine the wear and tear on your tape deck would be horrible. Of course, this still was a lot of wear and tear, the gears for the tape deck would run and run trying to pull the tape through that didn't exist. Maybe you should buy a $400 in dash CD player ya bastard.

I had to replace the wires on this twice. A quick snip of cheap headphones and a little solder, and this thing still works like a champ and still comes in handy. No it doesn't come in handy. You caught me in a lie. I should go now. It was great tech. Really. You can use it now for an MP3 player or cell phone. Hell, they are going to make cars without AM radio soon. Cell phones are taking over the whirled. Enjoy your $100 a month. Mine plays Tetris (C)

Arf! -Ricochet

PS: I like the fact that a BEER company's exclusive technology was used to create this. Schotz Beer. I still wish they made that. It was a great burp beer.