Results tagged “K-Mart”

Flying SEGAL (Games Junk #18)

100_3675.JPGOh Boy! Oh Boy! Look at the GAME! It's got spinning things. It's got flying things. It's got two children of the early 70's looking like this game may cause hours of fun. I wanted to have MOUSETRAP. I can't catch plastic "meeses" with this stupid game. It does come with marbles. I don't remember if you get marbles with Mousetrap. It's so observant that the kid with the bowl cut may be slightly "slow" and pointing at the spinning plastic thingys and saying "Bunnyrabbit!" I've always wanted a plastic flag saying "POW".

100_3676.JPGA little look at the sides. I got this at a thrift shop way back when I was into buying games for 50 cents each that I would play once and never again. This was one of those games that survived. It wasn't a board game that could be converted in to a really stupid game about K-Mart where we taped a squished spider to the board and said it was a sign of Kwality. Really this game was a big box of okay. You scored points by trying to make ol' Finnegan fly into a dumpster without it closing. You aimed the swing, tried to hit the dumpster, it was a lot of fun as you watched the plastic piece flop into the dumpster. They should have called this BFI JUMP or Rumpke Dump or..forget it. The real story of this junk post begins when you open the box.

100_3677.JPGIt's Hollywood derp Steven Segal! He's Under Siege! He's Hard To Kill! He's one of the worst guest stars on Saturday Night Live! Ahhh, when I worked at Curtis Mathes, this was one of the perks. Taking home movie stand ups that were used for promoting the movie in store. I don't know what movie this was for, but ol' Steve was at his height at the same time I was delivering "SL" entertainment systems and dodging roaches in the process.

100_3678.JPGNow he has a full, stiff, extended, erected sword. Does anybody find this as funny as I did when I took it? The game is underneath. Look at those long parts that worked in harmony... POW! It's just like a call in cartoon show with a live host here in the Cleveland area called Video Arcade with Candy Kramer. Kids would play Intellivision's Astrosmash and shout POW! while a lowly intern pushed the button that shot the shot into the digital sky. Of course, there was delay involved. You had to say POW about two seconds before to explode the asteroid. Then, you watched  Muttley on the "Catch That Pigeon" show. Damn. That was all we had.

100_3686.JPGYou got little pegs and you kept track of your score. Whoopee. Actually it's some sort of laser device meant to make Ol' Stevie Baby get an erect sword. Can I get any more jokey about his pokey? BOP!

100_3685.JPGOHMIGODYOUVESQUISHEDMRSEGALUNDERADUMPSTER!  It caused his sword to retract. Hell if you had a dumpster land on you, I doubt you'd have a very erect sword. It appears this is only a plastic dumpster and appears to be a refreshing dumpster filled with water to catch Mr. Finnegan. Don't mind the other debris in the picture. Waiting on my lazy ass to take them to be recycled.

100_3682.JPGMONEYSHOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

100_3679.JPG"Oh sure, this may be all fun and games  to you Mr. Junk Blog Dog, and you find such things FUNNY. Well, I was a FILM STAR In the late 80's and early 90's and I can still JU-JITSU you and make tiny canine sushi and feed it to the people that eat dog! Have you had DOG? I have had dog! Tastes like ASS, but with a little garlic and some Franks Red Hot, it's a real delicacy. So you STOP TALKING about me. I'm warning you! I'll make an appearance in  Expendables 7: Russian Drift as the comic relief character OLAF. David Letterman will co-star and ask Olaf if he was anywhere near Chernobyl and Olaf will say "I don't remember". Then David Letterman will say that they are offering wheat for help, but it turns your urine blue. Olaf will then tell Dave to go F*CK himself. WHAT A MOVIE! It was based on a late night television show I think. Man, Letterman has a huge beard. OH YEAH! STOP THAT S*IT NOW DOG! Return me to my slightly musty slumber in the obscure box containing a Kenner board game attempt."

100_3684.JPGThis was the crushing part. I didn't realize this game was from 1977, but there it is in green and white. I didn't smudge out the address because I doubt there is a place any more. I did actually send a letter! I wish I had the reply. I believe this game was missing a small part that didn't affect the game at all. I sent a note, but didn't have a part number and they sent back a nice form letter saying the game was no longer supported and I would be better off buying some "Return Of The Jedi" Star Wars crap. It's the first in a long line of the reality of junk. It may still have some use, most will not, but all will be silly to support after a few years. How many phones, tablets, computers, video game systems, video equipment, ect. can you still say works for your everyday needs. Am I the only one still using a 14 year old cell phone?  Time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin.... *burp*

100_3687.JPGHey! Mr. Fat Hanz! You've made a very important story to end this mess. Flying Finnegan looks a little like Stevey Baby! It looks like Stevey has a moustache. They both have goofy eyes! They are both in tights...sort of... Maybe ...LUKE, I AM YOUR FATHER! Nahhhh. Junk Blog. -Ric

Pabst In Bottles? Yes, they make them...

100_4374.JPGThe hipster beer. Pabst. I would be the furthest thing from being a "hipster". It's your father's beer beverage, or, your grand fathers beer beverage. I don't think it's been that popular since the early 80's when everything got to be about smooth, crisp, refreshing. You know, like, the TV Commercials of the 80's taught ya. Everything you always wanted in a beer. Going for the gusto. Spuds McKenzie got more tail than your average pimple faced "Silver Spoons has a kid with a video game in his living room" teenager. It was the beverage we were told will get you drunk. It was BEER. Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie! I'm under aged.

100_4375.JPGUnder aged indeed. Not much money. You think I'd be happy to down such "swill" long before it became hip to drink Pabst. No, we had one of the newest innovation beers to swill. The one with the "lined can". Keystone had just come to the area and that was the beer of choice. With my friend's fake ID and the fix in at a little quick mart, we had an endless supply of cheap ass beer beverage. We would have bonfires in my friend's back yard and a few months later, we had a guest join us unexpectedly bearing booze.

100_4376.JPGShe had a tray of frozen bourbon slushes. Her husband worked overnight at the Ford plant and she would see us from her back yard seeming to laugh and have fun and whiz in the bushes that seemed to grow oh so huge. We welcomed her as one of the guys and we drank and had good times good times. All the time, Keystone or another beer beverage, Busch. We headed for the mountains. Then they came out with ICE beers and Keystone Ice followed. One bad batch spoiled all the fun. It tasted like Elsinore with mice in it. (Doug and Bob McKenzie. Skitch. Thanks.) We started buying Busch and that's the beer I stuck with for years and years. It's a wonder I have any taste buds left.

100_4377.JPGOur friendship grew with this bearer of bourbon slush and we met her husband who also liked a few beers to drink. My friend invited them to a celebration and that's where I learned that many auto workers drank a funky beer called Pabst. Why? It had flavor. I think this party is where I tried my first "Natty Light". I might have even had one of these "Pabsts". It was awful because it had a odd "not so smooth" flavor. Those were called HOPS and those HOPS made the beer taste a bit BITTER. The "beer of the auto worker" became a thing to me and my future radio things. I however, didn't drink the swill. I drank a smooth alcoholic beverage. Busch. Yum.

100_4378.JPGSince this is a blog about junk, I picked these up at a thrift shop like many things on this blog in my pursuit of finding a good digital camera. They are the key chain bottle openers that you may have to open several bottles of beverage but eventually the name on the key chain wears off and the bottle opener becomes worn out. So, why not buy a bag of 20 for 1.59 because they are for something you wouldn't drink in the bottles because they cost a buck more. We'll get back to that in a moment. I have a few more pics to show while I finish my auto worker beer story...

100_4379.JPGYears later when I started "working" in radio, I developed my "Daniel Pentastar" character as an auto worker for the Toledo Jeep plant on Willys Parkway. I based him very loosely on a co-worker and really funny radio host that I worked with, Jaz McKay.  Daniel says "Yeaaaaahhhh Buddy....!" and talks about his job boltin bumpers at the Jeep plant, driving his modified Lingenfelter  (what G. Gordon Liddy was always speaking of) V10 Ram Truck (which was always in the shop) or bopping around his back yard in his Willys CJ7.  He also talked about his favorite beer Pabst Blue Ribbon because it was the beer of the auto worker.  Of course, my radio life had ended, Louisville became my recovery point, and when I started earning some cake, I discovered all things liquor, and then took a liking to coffee and then my adult tastes took me to a microbrew, The Cumberland Brewery, and that was that. I fell into a world of flavor and the bitter the better was the mantra when drinking beer. Pale Ales, IPAs, Double IPAs, Porters and Stouts became manna from heaven.

Ahhh, but those cost a lot of money. When I was at home, I wanted something cheap to drink in between guzzling the good suds. Hence, I started drinking Pabst because of that little bit of bitter from the hops. That was all. Sure I had other cheapies, but Pabst seemed to be the beverage I would always return too. It was cheap. It's always cheap. But, it's been growing every year since the early 00's and took on the "hipster beer" reputation. I don't care. My preferred type is the 24oz King Can that I get in a 12 pack from Pitt for 13.99. Thanks to Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel's Man Show bringing us  Bill "The Fox" Foster and his chant Ziggy Zocky Ziggy Zocky Hoy Hoy Hoy when he downed a beer... I call the 24oz servings of Pabst "Ziggy Zockys". (Yes I know I'm not spelling in correctly. So what.)

100_4382.JPGEnter the CBS eye. It winks at you. It opens and closes like a camera lens on the ending of Twilight Zone eps they show on MeTV,. Heh. It's a bottle opener forged in the USA by the Sears Craftsman tool company. Likely one of the few tools made in the USA by a failing company. Oh don't worry, Craftsman will be a brand they sell off along with DieHard batteries. They already have DieHard televisions...and K-Mart owns the Curtis Mathes brand... What a bunch of sheis.

100_4380.JPGWell cuz.... I have a ton of Pabst bottle openers now. I never buy Pabst in bottles. I do buy other beers in the bottle and I open said bottles with the mighty Craftsman bottle opener. It's big and heavy and opens bottles like every other bottle opener. It will likely last for years and years, but it's not that portable that you can place it on your key chain like a 94.5 WXKR chain with the worn out lettering and the bottle opener that skips six or seven times before it finally opens your bottle. Eh. Drink at home or drink from a can. There's lots and lots of craft beers in a can these days as they get more popular. Cheaper and more places than glass.

Addams Family. The thinking man's Munsters.  Get the DVD's today at a 'Zon near you. :) -Ric

NEXT DAY UPDATE: I wrote this blog 1/5.  On 1/6 I found out that ideed, Sears is parting with the Craftsman name. They'll still have the crap to sell, but Black and Decker is going *GULP*. Craftsman Dustbusters! YAY!

Where The "No! T Foot" Saga Continued

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100_4398.JPGI love me some thrift shops. I didn't buy this for this junk blog, but I bought this for personal reasons. Make no mistake, it is junk. But, to a kid that grew up making tapes on this damn thing, when I found one in near perfect condition, I had to buy it. "No! T Foot" was actually recorded on my first GE tape recorder which was this very machine without the silver speaker screen or the built in microphone. I had my tape recorder at a friend/babysitters house and being a kid, I had to record myself letting a hot and beefy "wind" fly. So, because it had a wired microphone, I positioned myself on the fabric covered recliner in such a way to "Dutch oven" the microphone and let my gas come out. Keep in mind, I was paying attention to the exclusive fidelity of my ass flaps as it resonated a small but powerful "Ferrrrrrt".  I was that age. I just created a masterpiece of audio wizardry.

I didn't realize, that back in the days when parents spanked their kids when they did something stupid, my friend had done something to offend his mom. Therefore his mom responded with a good swift open handed spank to his rear. He let out a horrified "NO!" then you heard the SMACK. When I played back the tape, I was thinking that I had a $1000 pinpoint highly efficient condenser microphone because it caught the "punishment" at the exact time I "punished" the microphone. Thus, I created the code "No! T Foot". It sounded like someone shouting NO then you hear a sharp smack which sounds like "TCCCH" and then my wind was "Frrrt" , which said fast, sounds like FOOT.  Only on the junk blog will you get a two paragraph explanation of something so insignificant yet, very lasting...to me.

100_4402.JPG This is essentially identical to my first GE from the back. The microphone wire had given way and didn't work well despite splices and speaker wire replacements. Plus, I used it so much, the play button had worn through the plastic "stop" and would not stay down. I had to do surgery on it and jam a marker in the place where the play button was to get it to play. I had moved to a different city and had new friends and one of them had this unit that he really didn't use. I think I paid him $5 for it, which was a TON of money to me, but it was easier to record tapes with the microphone on the unit itself. 

100_4399.JPGI mean everything was the same. You still had to manually release the Kracken and the space that said "IC" covered up where the microphone is on this unit. I learned all about "Auto Level" using this tape recorder. There would be no more "No! T Foot" with this one. I'd have to sit on the machine, ahhhh but I was a feather weight back in the day. You see, when you were recording a silent area and then had a loud noise, the ALC (auto level control) would freak out and boost the volume of what it was trying to record, then it would "jump an audio cliff" when the noise started again. Lots of my tapes made on this have all sorts of split second distortions caused by this. Of course, this was a cheap tape recorder, and it didn't have any way to either turn off the ALC or manually control it. I couldn't complain, the play button WORKED and wouldn't double as a highlighter.

100_4400.JPG

FEED ME CERTRONS FROM ZAYRE OR SIM/RAINBOWS FROM K-MART!!!!!

We used to go to a Zayre in Elyria and that's where I got the orange Certron C60s (30 minutes a side) in the three packs for about a dollar. Again, when I was really young, that was a TON of money, but I had to have them. When they ran a silly deal on them like buy one get one free, I begged mom for the buck so that I could feed the monster and make noise into my stupid tape machine. I did parodies of SNL's Weekend Update having Jane Curtain and Dan Aykroyd at the news desk and my own "Dan Killy" as the on the street reporter. I taped off of a GE B&W TV many tapes of the "Hoolihan and Big Chuck" (Later Big Chuck and Little John) show.  When I moved near the lake, I was near the first K-Mart I ever went too and they had "SIM" tapes that were cheaper than "Rainbow" tapes, but I got them both so I could record parodies of G98's G-Team In The Morning Show and theme songs from TV shows like Delta House (Animal House in short lived TV format.) I'd seen these devices that actually recorded television programs where you could watch the program over and over on your TV rather than just listening to the static created by recording it from the speaker.... It was the early 80's. They were refrigerator sized boxes that cost a million dollars. Ahh, but I could revisit the audio of  "a very special episode of M*A*S*H" all I wanted in Certron fidelity. 

100_4401.JPG Yep. It was the same. I had an electric adapter for these GE recorders twice, but the wires would always go bad within a year. I remember when I got this GE, I asked for the really expensive NICAD batteries and charger for this so I wouldn't burn through another set of silver Eveready general purpose batteries. I got I think they were "Dynacharge" batteries, and well, they were lumps of coal by the time I couldn't use them anymore. They got used up for sure. Plus, I then asked for an AM/FM tape recorder that you could plug in! No more of those batteries. No more adapters! My Mom took me to the K-Mart but they didn't have the one that I wanted in stock, so I got the McDonald Instruments tape recorder with the fancy power meter. If you've been reading this blog, you know I have only the power meter to show for that POS.  http://ricochet.boomerthedog.net/blog/junk/2015/07/macdonald-industries-finest.html  I'd completely forgotten about this tape recorder until I found it in the thrift store. Now I gotta edit  that  previous post. Damn. More work. I need a beer. Junk Blog. -Ric

Roger Rabbit Viewmaster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-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....

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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......

BOP!

Okay. I'm done. Junk Blog.

-Ric

Where It All Began

100_4052.JPG.......... This thrift shop find means so much to me..... as this tape recorder was my first way to express myself.... *sniff* *sniff* I'm getting a little VERKLEMPT.... Talk amongst yourselves.... I'll give you a topic.... Baggy Pants and The Nitwits was an obscure Saturday morning cartoon. Why has this never been released.... discuss..... Look at the way the chrome still shows up on the tape cover, This one is so clean compared to the eventual wreckage that was the end of my first tape recorder..... I recorded records and recorded off of the radio with this. "Hold on, big talking woman, you got me searchin, dah dah dah, dee dee dee and whatever the hell else you want to put in there."

100_4055.JPGA little history may be in order. You see, a portable tape recorder was fairly new when this one came out. They had small reel to reel "rim drive" tape decks that used a system that relied on the balance of the reels one more, one less, to produce sound. When these went out of favor, most of the small tapes recorded on these devices would eventually get played on a direct drive recorder. The tapes sounded like they were oddly sped up or slowed down. There had to be a better way right?

Enter Norelco's new "compact cassette". It was a self contained cartridge meant to be played on a direct drive device and it had improved smaller tape. A series of pulleys and pads contained within the cartridge helped the tape play effortlessly and sounded way better than rim drive portables. You could even record on both sides, doubling the time you had to record. Flipping the tape and recording on the other side was only available in the reel to reel world on hi-fi decks that cost a ton and were far from portable. Pretty shortly thereafter, everybody had jumped on the bandwagon and they were made cheaper and cheaper and the tapes became cheaper and cheaper. The closest thing to the rise of cassette tape would be the rise of video tape. Decks cheaper, recording medium cheaper. Everybody adopts. Recorders and medium improve through the years and gets cheaper still. Videotape never got to the really cheap, portable, "watch anywhere" level because they still required a viewing system. Tape however, be it through cheap orange foamed headphones or through  8" battery powered boom box speakers or through a $10 Unisef  car stereo in your 1979 Chevette, could be enjoyed everywhere.

100_4054.JPGThis was GE's current entry as a really cheap, mass marketed  portable cassette. It's a thing of beauty to me to own again something I beat the hell out of as a kid. I was a fan of all things GE for years after. This one could take a beating because there was little to break on it. Note the door you manually opened to put your tape in. When the door broke on mine, it didn't matter (except for the little bit of extra motor noise heard on the crystal microphone.) You set the tape in manually. You "ejected" the tape by pulling it out. I wish every tape deck was built to be as simple as this was. (IE: Cheap) 

The "IC" logo, was "Integrated Circuit". (IE: Cheap) I didn't know what it meant but I guess a lot of electronics from this era advertised on their units that they were too "IC" or "Solid State". I also remember that the fast forward button on this had no "lock" control. When you wanted to go forward on the tape, you held this down and it went until you let up. (The rewind button stayed down.)  It truly was the bargain basement tape recorder, and likely was barely affordable to my mom when she got it for me.

100_4059.JPGEven the strap you carried the tape recorder with was cheap. A band of plastic/rubber/space age material that fell to earth. It never got brittle, or snapped and stayed flexible. Fiberglass resins maybe?  If it was just plastic, it would have broken by now. If it was rubber, it would have dried and cracked. Technically, it still is my favorite part of this machine. Simple. Efficient. Made in Korea.

100_4058.JPGGeneral Electric Model No. 3-5001A Portable Cassette Recorder.  They even printed the details on the molded plastic. Never could figure out what they vented this for. It never really got hot. I think it was to keep the motor cool. I'd imagine this worked up a sweat. Of course, when I used the little two pronged crystal microphone with the on/off switch to capture my farts, the recorder itself was at a safe distance from my ass. I don't think I used that on-off switch too much as it was an imprecise/analog/electric way to pause a recording leaving a "gonk" on the tape. (Thank you Orsen Wells.) The wires were really cheap on the microphone anyway and I had to rewire it several times until it gave up the ghost.

100_4057.JPGAh yes. This is where I fed the beast. 4 "C" batteries. Now, there were "alkaline" batteries back then, but it was thirty years away from getting dollar store cheapies that worked better than any other battery. We had "general purpose" or "flashlight" batteries that were pretty cheap and lasted okay. The "heavy duty" batteries lasted a bit longer and cost more. I used to use the silver "Eveready"  batteries because they held up the best. RayOVac or Mallory batteries seemed to leak the second they were used up. The silver ones with the red cat leaping through the number "9"  took a few months until they did same.

Funny thing is, when the batteries wore down, the tape motor would still work, allowing you  to still be recording. Essentially, this flaw created the same effect of a rim drive reel to reel deck. Listen back on a fresh set of batteries and I sounded like a chipmunk. However, the music I recorded, with this effect wasn't so funny.  Yes it is.  Slip Sliding Away at 78? Hahahahahahahahahah.

Understand, there was no amount of saving I could do on my allowance back then where I could feed this "beast" regularly. So, when I didn't have batteries, mom bought me a cheap power adapto that failed as much as the microphone's wires. It wasn't until a few years later when I got NiCads that my dependance on these "pieces of silver" waned.

100_4056.JPGAt last we have the "money shot". This is where the business happened. You had to use an external microphone and it was designed with the small electrical "on off" jack next to it. There was a earphone jack for that little flesh colored wire with a crystal speaker with a plastic "Vicks Vapoinhaler" end on it that you stuck into your ear. (Available from GE directly, part # 5-1082 for $1.50.) Strangely, you couldn't get a power adapter through their catalog. There is NiCads (GE's Perma-Cel(R)) and  a car adapter...

Of course, gosh bless Certron Low Noise C-60 tapes (in orange) and C-90 tapes (in blue) for being the cheap media that all the discount stores sold in packs of three for usually about a buck. They still, more or less play fine in the more modern tape recorders that I own with built in microphones and auto eject tapes and are powered with a simple common boom box cord.

My original GE? The microphone gave up the ghost when the wire went bad at the base. The cover was broken off of it and lost to the wind. (I think my mom might have sucked it up in the vac.) Crushing end to this came when the "Play" and "Record" buttons had worn out so they would not stay down. I went to "no money manual" mode which was to unscrew the case,  take out the buttons and work a way to force it to record or play by using magic markers for leverage. It worked for bit until it didn't. I wanted a  new recorder with a radio for my birthday. K-Mart was sold out, so I got the MacDonald Industries piece of dung blogged about previously here:  http://ricochet.boomerthedog.net/blog/junk/2015/07/macdonald-industries-finest.html

I found this GE in great condition in my thrift shop travels and went home with hopes that it would work. It suffers from slow playback likely because the belts inside are worn or the motor needs replacement.  I don't care. An important piece of my child hood is now in my junk collection.

-Ric

Another Cal-Q-Lator or LCD Disaster

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100_3166.JPGTwo-fer! Another calculator in my button box. I loved this one because I wanted to keep it in tact. I mean it's all inclusive. It doesn't have the foam or plastic I'm sure it was packed in, but everything else was there. It was a genuine piece of cheap ass electronic history. Unisonic was a big cheap ass electronics maker of the 70's and 80's and they were sold by everyone. They pretended to be quality.

100_3168.JPGI love this old retail sh*t. Because this was so small, it was likely kept behind the counter so they don't walk away on their own.  That's why there is no price marked.  But, the store name is THERE!

BEST Products was a "catalog showroom" but it was more than as most stores were pretty big inside. I bought a lot of stuff from BEST because the stuff they sold was a bit better than K-Mart or Zayre or Gold Circle and it was a bit cheaper. I even bought an "Amstrad" computer before I realized that it was a POS after going to a real computer store and looking in magazines. Geeze, is that what we did before the internet? You bet. Even with limited resource, the details I found made me drag the hot piece of poop back to Best.

This was the company that was written up in one of Weekly Reader's "young adult" books for having odd store shapes. Here is a great link to see what I saw:   http://www.failedarchitecture.com/the-ironic-loss-of-the-postmodern-best-store-facades/  -- (I know I broke this blog's "no links" rule again, but hell I loved the architecture.  Although Best was out by 1997, I disagree with the bloggers comment that E-Bay and Amazon were the cause.  When Wal-Mart and Target moved in and big box electronics stores such as Mace and SUN and Circuit City and BESS BUY moved in, out went BEST.)  Soon after Best bit the big "B" , but longer than thought, U.S. Merchandise, the other catalog house in Cleveland went under. A few years later when I moved to Louisville, I got to see the last gasp of Service Merchandise, the last of the catalog houses.  Ahhh, retail death. Hmmm, there's a book in there somewhere. (BWAHAHAHA) The logo on this BEST tag is an older logo. My Best had the last logo for the company with the logo with letters that increased in size. Wow. Fascinating.

100_3169.JPGFATHANZ cameo. There was no other reason to put this one in here.  Look at the side of the calculator box with the big brand name on the side and the Radio Shack circle. It also lets us know where it was made. You got questions? We dunno.

100_3171.JPGThis calc actually was a full featured clock/alarm in addition to being a calculator. Yes, it took button batteries. No, I didn't replace them once they died. In fact, I didn't really use this. I didn't need a clock or a calc, let alone a combined clockcalc. I did like it for the classic look and the Best price tag on the box. That was it. It had a little speaker in it so it would "tweet" a harsh alarm. Teensy buttons for the calc plus a function switch finished out this value added package.

100_3172.JPGNow the trouble with cheap LCD displays when they came out. "Wheedoggie! I stuck oil! Ellie Mae! Stop banging producers in the SEEMENT pond!" I guess this wasn't protected from any pressure pressing down on the display, but then, it's got Microvision (TM) style "screen rot". From Wikiwikiwikikeekee "Poor sealing and impurities introduced during manufacture has resulted in the condition known as screen rot." Yep. That describes this calculator. The materials used to seal in the lifeblood just gets old and allows it to leak. I imagine this would still work but not do much. Cheap watches seem to do this as well. Now, I may just REPLACE  the display! Yeah! Someone has got to have the replacement part for this right?

100_3176x.JPGYay! By these terms this has been out of warranty for 87 years! Yeah. They only want 9 bucks to do the repair plus postage and that means $2654 total will get me a repaired.... oh wait. Ahh poo. Unisonic's Option. That means they might send a REPLACEMENT, not this official logged for prosperity junk blog item! I can't have that! It makes me wonder if any really cheap product sent back to the repair center within warranty time ever did get repaired or replaced? I've only tried it once, when my sound card/modem had sound issues. (You see we had to use these things called MODEMS way back when, and to save money, the $1100 100MHZ 1G HD 16 Meg RAM 3.5 Floppy IBM clone computer I'd bought had the 14.4 modem on the same card as the 16 bit sound card.) They sent me another and it worked great. I gave the modem to Boomer who got his first discarded parts computer on line because of the 14.4 goodness. ("You have WEBTV? No, this can't be! Here, we've got enough parts for a computer..." ) The other time I tried to get replacement parts for something long forgotten was when I bought a "Flying Finnegan" game from a thrift shop. It had the card to send to Kenner to get replacement parts for 50 cents. I ordered because I needed some small part. Game came out in 1978  and was a "Mousetrap" style build a device game.  I received a nice letter from the Kenner Corporation that I was screwed. "Crushing childhood dreams since 1947."

-Ric

Citrus Methosky Perks

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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

100_2891.JPGThis was amazing tech for me in the mid 90's. A CB radio that I could carry in my hand that was crystal clear when talking to peeps? I could use it inside buildings without any interference? If someone was 5 car lengths behind, they could still hear me without an external antenna? What kind of mystery machine (You Can Do) magic is this? The FRS radio! (Family Radio Service)

100_2892.JPGMotorola was pretty much the go-too radio when these first came out. Although Radio Shack helped FRS come along. When I went to fan conventions,  these could broadcast in a hotel and you could hear someone 10 floors up with perfect clarity. HOLY S**T! We're standing on the F**King MOON! Plus, unlike CB's in the 70's, you didn't need a federal license to own one of these magic Star Trek communicators. Of course, I think the use of foul language or the picking up of lot lizards for a "cuppa coffee" was frowned upon.

100_2893.JPGAfter seeing how good these could be, I broke out $40 at a K-Mart somewhere on the way home from Memphis, Tenn. (Maybe in Nashville.) It took 3 AA batteries. Damn, why not 4? Please? 6V rather than 4.5V? Can anybody hear me? Oh yeah, now they are all lithium and recharged by plugging it into your computer. Of course, try and replace those...

100_2894.JPGCertainly rides too and from conventions became a better amusement when you could constantly chatter with the other vehicles with the help of these. Tell your friends you are stopping for a squirt, or getting some eats, or doing both. (Wash hands after use.) This Motorola was a pretty damn good radio but trouble started after I dropped it. Then the antenna became sort of loose. Ahh, but when the on/off knob started making noise and then crapped out every now and then, it was time to replace it.

100_2895.JPG3 AA batteries. (grumble) See above. You see, it was about three years when we really got a lot of use out of these at conventions. I'd wake in the morning and turn it on and have fun with the 14 other people that were on the same channel. Being a broadcaster at heart, it was always fun to fart or burp or fake *censored* for the unexpecting listeners. They seemed to be used for "Where you at? We're going for food".  Sometimes the were used to announce on every channel "Star Trek Duckman will be showing for the 47th time in the movie room in 5 minutes..."

100_2896.JPGPrices on these radios were dropping quite a bit so when my Motorola started to spew, I spent $30 for a pair of "Bell South" FRS. 2 radios cheaper than the one radio I had bought a few years previous. Amazing.  This way, if you didn't have your own FRS for our trek, I could loan you one.

100_2898.JPGLook! It's Mr. Fat Hand. Wave hello Mr. Fat Hand! These worked really well but lacked the overall quality of the Motorola. Yeah, I'm sure when they design any hand held device, they suppose that the user will always have a firm grip on the device and NEVER drop it. Geeze, only now have some cell phones started to become more rugged. If you want a laptop that can withstand Armageddon, you'll pay $3000 for the Panasonic Toughbook. If you want a cam that goes underwater, you'll pay $300-500 for it. Cell phone companies have made the glass front of their cell phones so much better, but I can't tell you how many I've seen with their smart phones with a cracked screen. Hell, I even broke the screen on my first Kodak digicam and in 2006, it was still pretty expensive to replace the screen, so I bought the same model.  So, I can't fault Motorola for my first FRS going POO POO after a little BOO BOO.

100_2902.JPGFOUR "AAA" batteries. At least it was a little better, but still, AAA batteries don't have much life... I did like the ease of popping off the belt clip. On the Motorola, you needed to take off the belt clip to change the batteries. It was a pain to take off. Motorola designs did that well. You wore it on your waist and it didn't come off. These Bell units has a little push button latch to take off the battery cover, and you didn't need to take it off to change the batteries. (Likely because you had too change the AAA batteries three times as much.) Plus, the antenna was more sturdy and there was no rotary switch to turn these on/off and adjust the volume. Push button bay-bee.

100_2901.JPGJust three or four years later after FRS made a huge splash in the convention world, everybody got cell phones. That was that. It seemed overnight, nobody was using these anymore. Of course, I'm a cheapdog. I got a cell phone, but it's prepaid and plays Tetris. Still have it. Still use it. No smart phone nonsense for me. One of these FRS radios got dropped and started acting "funny" so I now have 1 1/2 FRS radios that I never use, but I did use them once in the last five years. Boomer's car blew an alternator, so we got him a new battery and we limped his car home from Cleveland to Pitt. Other than that? Junk.  A brief piece of history that faded. Sure they have radios now with more channels and some that can get five miles... Junk. Don't leave a message on my cell, I forgot the password and they wouldn't reset it.

Arf! -Ricochet