Results tagged “McDonalds”

Another Small Bag O Junk

100_4620.JPGI said I have a lot of really small pieces of junk, and in a bigger box, gotta keep them smaller pieces of junk from flying around, getting destroyed or rolling down a heater vent where they stay forever until a newer but junkier furnace is installed in the name of efficiency.  I can't lose such treasures as you're about to see like a taped up dice or a stereo knob. Gee, I'm selling the fun of this post aren't I?

100_4625.JPGShow Me The Money! Silver nickels and golden dimes, all you hear are the devils chimes. Arcade tokens have no value, so maybe I should throw that in the trash. It's a ROUND TUIT however. Get it? Nothing to see here. Silver dollars and fifty cent pieces. I guess when I got one of these odd coins I put in in an "odd coin" box. Move along.

100_4624.JPG...and a non coin oddity. $2. I guess I thought it was odd to have a two dollar bill, nothing more to see here. The poker chip with a rubber band is a reminder that I had a good night gambling. Or not. Now, we'll get good.

100_4622.JPGI used the fiddy cent piece to hold down the wrapper. Here's the real crux of the junk blog. This stuff is truly junk. Junk with a story. Junk that should have been tossed when it was used up. Each piece has a story. Interesting to me only. Are you still here? Maybe I should post about another camera like the good ol' bad ol' days of the junk blog. 

Long long ago when I was still just a shaver, I would do anything to try and make a buck. It was so I could buy the latest Al Jaffee or Don Martin paperback from MAD.  When we got a new washer, I got the box. Large boxes were like gold when you were a kid with no money. I had the bright idea to put the box out on my front porch and open a store where I sold whatever I had to sell. I just needed to make that fiddy cent piece. One weekend, I went with mom to a really far off drug store chain called Cunninghams. It would soon become Grey Drug and then CVS Drug Or Revco Drug or, awww hell. It was there I bought several multi packs of Zeno brand grape bubble gum sticks. I think it was a 10 pack for 39 cents. I could sell them for 10 cents a pack, it was a tasty gum, and I'd double my money. This is a wrapper I have saved and somehow it's still here. Yeah, there is a history around Zeno gum which you can search on, but it seems like it started as a Chicago thing. I begged mom to take me back to Cunningham drugs so I could get more of this profit machine. However, i realized that it was so cheap because it was on close out and they didn't have it any more. Thus ended my profitable days as a Zeno Gum reseller.  Later I destroyed that box sitting in it under a water outlet as it disintegrated. 

As for the Daredevils... We all know Willy Wonka. When the "Everlasting Gobstopper" came out, it was disappointing because it didn't "Everlast". However, to a kid, it was good candy. Everything is a good candy to a kid. Funky marshmallow flavored chalk sticks that you licked and dunked in bad fruity drink mix. That was FUN! Well,  the Wonka company came out with fireballs that had a cool down ring before becoming fireballs again.  Tasty! I loved them. I took a pocket full of them with me on a trip to Florida. Mom would make us dress up in suits so there were a lot of pockets to store crap. She still believed that like the 50's and 60s, we should be wearing a suit when doing something special like flying some place. Hot and itchy when we went down to Florida, torture when we came back in a nice sunburned condition. So, as we stood at the Cleveland Hopkins airport baggage turn style, I popped my last Daredevil in my mouth and well, as a itchy, hot, pained child wearing a suit, the only fun I could think of was to place the wrapper on the belt and see if it would be there if we didn't get our luggage before the conveyor went around. For some reason, considering the belt went outside and I didn't set the wrapper under anything, it came around! I picked it up and smiled knowing that 40 years later, I'd make a junk blog about it.

100_4621.JPG Here is another worthless memory more familiar to denizens of Cleveland. In the early 80s' we had television ads akimbo for Ed Stinn Chevrolet who used to parade his cars through his smallish lot. We had Commander Ray's West Park Chevrolet. He wore an admirals get up and pimped Chevys from his little lot. We had C.Miller Chevrolet. A guy that always blew a kiss at the end of his commercials. Then we had the GIANT John Lance Ford, who was more known for his radio spots than TV spots. So, when I went to buy a second used car, I went to John Lance and bought a 1979 Chevy Monza originally purchased from Commander Ray's Westpark Chevrolet. I won't say I got ripped off on the deal, but I shouldn't have bought the damn Monza in the first place. My brother had a used 1976 Monza and it was a rust bucket when he owned it. Mine fell apart, and it was my first time financing and learning all about used car dealers that see ya coming. Every car has been new since, mostly. 

100_4623.JPG Roger Rabbit. An incredible move. One of those films that I saw more than any other film. I just went to the movies with anybody who would go with me. I just thought it was state of the art animation and at the time, it was a masterpiece. Watching it now, it seems a really dated film, but that's because the cartoon is now standing next to you now. No need to draw it using ink and paint. Eh Rokkit? Eh Groot? Then a CM premium that still makes me laugh. Why not promote your movie "D.O.A" with Aspirin? What were they thinking?

100_4629.JPGHere's an oddity for me. I'm sure that my manager Rich smoked his cigs in the back room and used this ashtray.  When NWS got their fingers into what was a Radio Shack like store in the 60's and 70's, it was a shadow of it's former self. All we sold was re manufactured crap, Gemini speakers and DJ equipment, old GTE 70's dial phones and Citizen pocket B&W televisions, Verit Cordless Phones and TNIX VCRs.  Junk. Nifty ashtray though.

100_4631.JPGAnother long shuttered car dealership. Pontiac is long gone and now it's a Honda dealership exclusively. My mom purchased a Pontiac 6000 which was the brother of the Chevrolet Celebrity. It was also an Iron Duke 2.5 L 4 Cyl engine. It drove like a truck and handled like a Slurpee. Mom was given a few of these key holders and I got one for the racing keys I had for my Chevette/Monza. I think this got put away when I bought my brand spanking new Dodge Omni America in 1989 and it came with two fancy leather like Chrysler pentastar disc key chains. Of course, I used this whenever I went for late night "joyrides" in mom's car before I even had a license. Yep. Long story. "Yes officer, how do we get back to Avon Lake?" 

100_4632.JPG

Now, the play toys thing. I think the dog is from Oliver and Company. It may have been a McDonalds happy meal toy or just something I got years back as a grab bag from a thrift shop. Ahhh, but the center robot. This is a genuine TOMY wind up robot. Still works. We were poor. Really poor. So to get something like that, it was a BIG thing. So stupid to think that playing with a wind up mini robot was that much of a thrill, but memories as a kid...when cardboard boxes were entertainment for weeks. The square headed toy is from a Playschool fire fighter play set. Fisher Price had the more popular round "Little People" so Playschool battled back with SQUARE people. I had a McDonalds play set, and you could jam the fake food trays in that space between their head and body and make them "carry" their burgers and fries. Yep. It's what we did before the internet.

100_4628.JPG So there's a bit more junk here, so I'll tell you that if you don't have a DIE, you can simply put white masking tape over a set of "Dice Bowling" dice and you have a horribly off balance "fake die". What was I thinking? The two knobs with the blue centers are from the 'free" Soundesign component stereo I was given when a neighbor moved away. It was before Soundesign started making those "all in one" stereos with the 10,000 band EQs (3 settings, 10,000 silver sliding bars). It was an 8 Track, tuner and amplifier with a separate BSR turntable and two speakers. I remember it very fondly because it was my first real piece of "HIFI" equipment. It sounded like hell and broke a few years later like the cardboard mess that it was. There is a sheered lug nut that I likely found on the street and some sort of battery door that must have been for something or why would I have kept it. Right? RIGHT?

100_4635.JPGMore stubs from the movie Roger Rabbit. It's to prove that I really did attend that movie more than anyone should. Hey, when you work on the weekends and go to school during the day, you have a lot of time to kill. So, you try to open your own business. Here's an idea for a really good business. Get yourself a box, fill it with swabs and VCR cleaning crap, and sell VCR cleaning for 19.95, Get a business license and some name tags and advertise on those green "Good Neighbor" notices for yard sales and pets for sale in your local grocery store. You even get an office and office furniture which you split with your best friend and band mate. You convert one room to a studio and record many a song there. Your partner pulls out after two weeks and you lose interest in the job a few weeks later, but you keep the studio for two years and pay for the rent out of what little you make at other gigs. All the better to travel to "The Amazement Park" with your friends from McDonalds. They have a new exciting ride called "Toboggan Run" which becomes your first "roller coaster" which makes you think that if all roller coasters were as lame as that one, why were you afraid to ride them in the first place?

100_4633.JPGFinally, the flat stuff. The "WGCL" sticker came when I won a "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" movie prize pack. I was listening to WGCL late at night and they gave it away and I was lucky caller 9. Yay! It was two tickets to the movie "Girls Just Want To Have Fun". Gee, a movie based on a song title? It was in the theaters for two weeks? Good golly, glad I missed it. The prize pack also came with two five function LCD watches which were dollar store quality with "GJWTHF" inserts over the generic "5 Function Neon LCD Watches" advertising.  It also came with two plastic "jackets" that had the movie sticker placed on the back and spots where the WGCL stickers could be placed in the front. It was true garbage. I think I used one jacket without the stickers for a rain coat but it shredded quickly. 

I also have a duplicate of the sticker we needed to place on our mirrors when we parked at the high school and a "pride" sticker given out by my principal when rather than buying computers. She spent money on a stupid school colors banner down our hallway.  The blue stickers were from one of the best experiences of my high school years. My choir was invited to sing in Downtown Cleveland at the Terminal Tower center. This was before they redeveloped the whole place into "Tower City". Care Bears were a product of American Greetings in Cleveland and they made Public Square into "Care A Lot" square. We set up and sang in the bowels of the Terminal, and it was a terminal. Dirty, smoky, and unchanged for years. A mish mosh of retailers and a food court with a McDonalds where I had a Quarter Pounder With Cheese purchased with a book of 50 cent gift certificates that we were all given. To see that place in it's original form was awesome. What a hole. The way that mass transit used to be. I had one of these stickers on my coat that I wore for three more years until it was too worn. The next two years they changed the entire place and made it a modern mall with huge fountains and a big theater and food court  and a huge record store with a pink Cadillac inside the door. We sang in the classic Arcade for the next two years, which was also a great experience, but not as memorable than the old Terminal. Finally, another dumb "the artist is in" sign when I sat at my desk and wrote/created. I used it a few times....eventually, it would end up on a JUNK BLOG. -Ric

100_3688.JPGWhen hand held electronic games became all the rage, so did this kind of debris. Here's a game I played by myself an awful lot because I could. The scanner made noises that lead you to where the thief was located. The idea was you could earn clues and zoom in on the criminal before the rest playing the game. Of course, two players were ideal, but I was the only one crazy about board games when I was a kid. The rest of my "Fandamnily" didn't care, although when I got an Atari, my brother was very interested in that. One year, my black and white TV got blown out by lightning. I remember playing my Atari on a 5" portable television. Okay. Back to this.

100_3689.JPGA crime is being committed. Game night Saturday night. Dad with an 80's "Hudson Brothers/Doug Henning" moustache and his Stepford wife playing this game with a girl and a boy with clown make up on.  I'm sure these kids would rather be anywhere else, but when there's money for college or cocaine to be made posing for a picture on a Parker Brothers game that was really costly so most parents would pass it by.. To credit my 'rents, I wanted this crap UNTIL I got an Atari. When they got cheaper... From there, all I wanted was more fuel for my Atari. Video killed the board game stars.

100_3692.JPGHey! Mr. Fat Hanz is showing the Electric Crime Scanner (tm)! A man built this! It's Electronic. One out of three ain't bad. Not for crime. Not A scanner. You can look on the webs and maybe the video toobs and see this and hear this. Actually it's pretty descriptive for being an electronic game thingy. You had the LED readout as well. Otherwise, this was the waste of money that was playing this game. It's exciting. Using this device, you could actually hear yourself riding the subway or shooting a heater. Yep. Hear the alarms. Yep. I'm really trying to embellish this one. It really wasn't a bad game. Really. 9V battery meant I never had batteries leak in this so, yes, it still works.

100_3695.JPGA Band Apart. It's a QT joint! This was exciting to me. Playing a tiny plastic gumshoe that didn't get chewed up by my dog Copey Dopes. I had an odd childhood. Maybe I'm telling you about this, I can just say it's "PA". Pre-Atari. This was excitement "PA". I could make these guys dance to the sounds produced by the ECS(tm). Or, I could make these guys into instant football players by setting them on my brother's vibrating football game. They weren't good runners wearing trench coats. They also shot everyone they tackled. They are carrying guns you know. Plus those hats were no match for... *deep breath* ITS EXCITING!

100_3696.JPGSee this! We had make believe perps to pretend were running with our make believe scenario. Somewhere in the Brothers Parker game design department they must have had family friendly writers doing family friendly humor so the family could get together and take a family friendly photo for coke money. The "safe cracker" was named SAUL TEEN! *Haw Haw Haw* More important, criminals in this game always had deformities, like John Doe. He has Antlerhead! He was wearing his hat one day and antlers grew out of it. His teeth became Bugs Bunny sized.  Oh yeah, he's now a "Buck Passer", which I guess means counterfeiter? Let's not forget the guy that is a cat burglar actually LOOKS LIKE A CAT!! OMG! ITS EXCITING!!!! Never mind "The Brain" . He's a closet masturbator. Wear a glove when you handle his card.

100_3701.JPGYou get to choose who you can be in this game? Is that in addition to selecting what color of plastic DICK will be walking across the board? WOW!  You mean I can play WONDER WOMAN? Wow! But the plastic color DICKS are all MEN! It's in the land of make believe. Remember, it's exciting. Wait! Carrie Badger is a double agent! I think she's married to the cat burglar. There's a movie in there. This is only a board game. Finally, my mom makes a cameo in this game. There is a picture of her in the 60's wearing funky odd colored glasses and having straight hair. I swear this detective was her. Or, this detective is Andy Warhol in lipstick...

100_3704.JPGThe ECS(tm) would give steps on the read out of spaces that you could go and try and catch the thief. The orange spots are possible places to catch a guy with antlers out his head and then play a ring toss with Matt The Cat before he deejayed at WMMS in the 70's. That's all. That's it. How about some EXCITING bonus content!

100_3706.JPGWho knows why I save this debris in old game boxes. I understand why I save an article about Mad Magazine in the Mad Magazine game, but a McDonalds clipping in a depressing...er EXCITING game that I hadn't touched for years? Well, think about this. Where the hell else would I keep something like this? Somewhere where it's not going to be damaged, which would be somewhere I wouldn't look for five years. I started working at McD's when I was in high school, and well, I didn't have many places to go. I just wanted to get out of school, so I didn't have any plans for higher education. "What? PAY to torture yourself? F-That! I'm going to earn minimum wage and then be a big time muckity muck and go to Hamburger U and manage a McD's in a future dying mall and get a crew person pregnant." Gee, I wonder how they fit the extra fryer needed for the nuggets in this classic "Double Arch" store?

100_3707.JPGI didn't re-read the story, but I'm guessing this was the last "double arch" McDonalds in the Cleveland area and they were going to demolish it soon. Although it looks to be located in the parking lot of some shopping center, more than likely they moved to a bigger plot of land rather than "converting" this restaurant. I worked for one of the very first McD's, and it was a conversion store, that was with the lobby. You know what it is, with the yellow colored beams on the roof and the brown front. They were "conversions" because they wrapped a new building around the old one. The roof still tilted back. They added a hallway so that we wouldn't need to go outside to go down the steps to the basement. Complete rebuilds had the same design, but larger lobbies and double window drive thrus. It seems now, they do a complete rebuild on a McDonalds for their new design only if your store was a conversion.  The one I worked at made it until the early 90's  before it got torn down completely and rebuilt with that 90's glass and boxy look.

Okay. I know you're all ZZZZZZZZ. That guy looks like every 80's field reporter or politician here in Cleveland. City councilman Forbes incarnate. You're loving this aren't you Paige? "I don't have the money. Yah. You know one of these days you're gonna corner me and I'm going to KICK YOUR ASS. Keep F**KING WITH ME!"

Entertaining to ME. It's EXCITING! Alan Shore was pushed. -Ric

Mc Tags (Self Promo)

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100_3476.JPGThis may look familiar to denizens of the golden arches in the 70's and 80's. I think they used to be white plastic and I think there was a different rating system, I don't know. This is what we had. Collect them all.

Way back when, I needed a job to pay for my sparkly Chevette that I was going to buy. Of course, I'll be using 99% of my wages on insurance as I'm a newbie driver. So, when I turned 16, I went and got a job at the local Dairy Queen. They paid "training wages" , or sub-minimum. That meant, 2.90 an hour. But hey, I was growing up. I had a job! Commence to suck.

Yes, I learned all sorts of fascinating stuff in my few short weeks working there. They had "brazier" burgers, which meant they were on a "Burger King" style moving grill. Flame broiled. Then, we put them on buns and steamed the burger. Cool. Onion rings and fries. Rip carton, pour into fryer, set timer. These are skills you'll pass on to your children's children. Most important is the few times I worked front counter support. I had to learn "how to draw DQ". That meant, making a little curly Q out of the ice cream. I don't know that I got good at it, because they let the guys handle the fried part and let the girls make those dainty "Q"'zzzzz. Because we sold about 98 percent ice cream to 2% food, I spent most of the time cleaning the place. After a few weeks, we had a few overcast and rainy days, and the manager called me and said don't come in. Understand, I had that Chevette to pay for, and at 15 hours a week, 2.90 an hour, missing two days was almost $20!!!  So, I moseyed over to my nearby McDonalds and got 25-30 hours a week and started at minimum wage. Oh yes, I asked them if they ever called us to tell us not to come in. They thought I was a comedian.

100_3475.JPG I was issued a uniform, 100% Polyester, and a paper hat, and a name tag. I think it was the broken one with the silver spatula. I was ready to work and learned a big lesson my first day. They put me on the french fries and told me to keep it clean. We had these "service towels" that were white with maroon pinstripes. They showed me how to put some in the basket then pull them out and drain them, and then "season" them and then how to package small and large fries. (Only two sizes at the time. )  I got the hang of it pretty fast. I was a hot shot fry jockey. I was keeping it clean. "Time to lean, time to clean" was the mantra. Of course, I lost grip on a cleaning towel, the end of it went into the fryer and reflexively pulled it out only to have it fold back on my hand. That got me sent home after a large gauze bandage and a "incident report" was filled out. It wasn't bad enough to blister, as I kept it under cold water for 10 minutes but it hurt enough that I couldn't work over hot for the rest of the night. I thought for sure I'd be canned. HAHAHAHAHA.

I learned very quickly that if you did your job, did it well, were reliable, and they would call YOU and offer extra hours, you'd never get fired from McDonalds. My store quickly became a fun house to young high school kids and slightly older non college townies that had pretty much dropped out of society. There was the breakfast crew of retirees with their own clique, and management was less than stellar. However, it was a family where I met some great friends and had fun working at a place that was no fun to work. As long as work got done, white washed when the regional manager came in and saw us running to peak, and the numbers for sales vs. waste stayed above what was expected, we ran the place. So much that I want to write a book about it.

100_3451.JPGMcDonalds had a employee rating system that was more based on the time you spent there rather than the quality of work. Three cheap stickers were affixed on our name tags like military awards. Gee, I should have gotten a purple french fry for being burned on my first day. The colors were like Olympics medals. Bronze, silver, gold. Trouble was, we rarely got them. We rarely got anything. I had two broken name tags, and I think I had a silver, a bronze and a gold. The motto was "Quality, Service, Cleanliness."

"Quality" was the spatula. It showed we could consistently put out a quarter pound burger with the onions placed just so. The Big Macs were made so the sauce was gooshed on the burger without slopping out the sides. Crap like that.

"Service" was the register service. How quickly you served the customer s*it from the bin less than 10 minutes old. How well you made those sundaes. (I had that covered from my days at DQ.) How well you talked to customers both in the drive through and up front.  Yes, I was that kid that went "CHING" in the drive thru.  It was a sucky job, but I was still in high school. "WE GOT A BUS!!"

"Cleanliness" was a tricky one to excel in. Nobody liked keeping everything clean all the time. Clean the grill. Clean the prep station. Clean the toasters. Clean clean clean. I did my part. When a manager asked me to clean a splash on the side of the milk shake machine, I got my bucket of warm water with sanitizer in it and was wringing out my maroon striped towel when I noticed...the splash was MOVING. An exterminator came in and couldn't identify what they were and the whole machine went away for "steam cleaning." That should have earned me my gold right there. I dubbed the little moving white specks "Sugar Mites". That's what they were after all. Never did learn what they were....

100_3477.JPGService, quality, cleanliness. This was the last badge I "earned". Truth be told, we had a few "supervisors" that were down with the cause of high school kids and dope smoking society dropouts. We had one manager who came in high or got high while he worked. That made our job even better. We worked for the golden arch corp. Going no place fast.  So, one of our supervisors thew a bit of a party in the break room and it was a beer fest for all. He supposedly "lost" the key to the cabinet where they stored these "magic award stickers" and proceeded to break into the cabinet and award all involved "triple gold".

By then, I had been there almost two years. I did get the "trainer" strip at the top because I helped train the new wide eyed high school kids coming in. I was good enough that the druggie manager I mentioned actually accused me of being on drugs because I was always so happy in drive thru. It was all I could do to keep from going crazy.  I could be a star in the drive thru. I would broadcast to one car at a time and be surprised that someone actually enjoyed their dreck. Someone should have bitch slapped the silliness out of me. 

Of course, once you have a triple gold name tag, they don't check on these things. They don't keep records going all the way back to when the store opened. "Joe made it to all silvers, he shouldn't get gold yet..." So, I have a few of these triple gold name tags as I went back to the Macs three or four times  for stints from 3 weeks to 6 months at a time. It was a part time job I knew how to do. They tore my old store down, and when it reopened, I went back to work there for a few months. I made McPizza (which wasn't bad at all) and McFried Chicken, (which wasn't bad either.) They added micro waves and bins that held cooked meat filled with "blue water" that when looking at the big chemical binder every store has per fed regulations, the blue water was listed as "propitiatory" and didn't list what it was made of. Hmmmmmm. That was my cue to exit Mickey Macs. 

I did work at McDonalds once more when I needed a second job in Toledo. Here was Mr. Radio Producer taking a job that Mr. Radio Producer shouldn't have been taking. I worked for a week there. I told the employees that worked on Friday that they could hear me on the college radio station that I was also working for. I proceeded to tear down the job and even took a phone call from someone who was one of my co-workers and told him he was insane for enduring the McSystem. That ended my McDonalds tenure for good.

I'm sure when I dig up more crap from my employment there, I'll do another post or seven on how working there was the time of my life. I will say that one of the stoned employees decided to take a dump in the barrel of cleanser we used for cleaning the fryers. Man was the manager angry, but nobody fessed up. Conversation with Mc Quartermaster:

"I need to order a new 55 gallon drum of cleaner"

"We show you just got one two weeks ago."

"We had a um...er...sewer leak...."

*lifting up the ceiling tile in the crew room to get a fresh McHat.*

-Ric

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 $800...so I bought a new car. See how that stupidity works?

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

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

It's why it's called the BUTTON BOX

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

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

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

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

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

100_3405.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

Arf! -Ric

Futures So Bright

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100_3193.JPGIn the 80's, everybody who didn't have any money wore shades purchased from flea markets. Man, if there is a real piece of junk that can be thrown away, it's this. You can't wear them anymore because the lenses are scratched to oblivion, but I save a few for the reason that there is some memories to these, pitiful as they are.

100_3196.JPGThere's the BLOGGERS friend, Mr. FatHanz. This is the only pair I have in my junk collection that was junk before it became junk. I believe this was a flea market find. Why would I buy these? Did I think they would look good? Did I want to get into the "Mr. Roboto" eyeglasses theme. I only took this angle to show you the huge spring on the side to prove that yes, they are spring retracted. I suppose these would be handy to carry around note cards or play that identify yourself game.

100_3195.JPGSort of look like John Lennon glasses if he fell asleep on a IBM Selectric. I never wore these as they look ridiculous.  "Did you get a free bowl of soup with those eyeglasses?" I guess I kept them to remind myself to think before I buy eye wear.

100_3194.JPGThese I actually have fond memories of. They are probably the longest lived of my sunglasses. For two years I believe, these glasses bought at a sunglasses shop in Ft. Lauderdale showed the world that I was a major DWEEB. However, I was a DWEEB with musical tastes. I thought the sunglasses gave me a real "Kneedeep In The Hoopla Is The SH*T" look. I was a hot rocking corporate Miami Vice sort of , man we wore some crap back in the awful pink and aqua days of the 80's. I think I have a few pictures with me wearing these and even had my first trip to Cedar Point with them. Did you know the safest place to "spark up" at CP back then was on the sky ride? It seemed to be the McDonald's crew consensus, I didn't touch the stuff. That's right. I write this blog. I love the Grateful Dead. *snicker* Moving on.

100_3197.JPGThese I got a little later but they are just as meaningful to my junk collection. The 80's bled into the 90's and they came out with these plastic framed glasses that could have a logo affixed. For a year or two, it seemed everybody had a pair or six of these beauties. Mine were from the feature appearances of a stripper that went by Sony Tape. She could shake shake shake her body and she sold these for only $10 when you spent $50 or more on a private dance. Boy she could get the chub from your hub.

I cannot blog a lie. When I worked at Tokyo Shapiro, we would occasionally get close outs from tape manufacturers. Of course, I got it a little cheaper working for the company. That was my perk. 75 cents off. Wheeeee. Well, we got a TON of these Sony chrome tape packs with a "free" set of cheesy sunglasses. Doing radio shows, I needed a steady supply of tape so I could air check what I was doing to know how crappy I was.   So, I must have bought about 15 of these. There was Orange and Blue, and Yellow.  Had to be neon puke. Once a pair got all scratched up, which was three months or less being the cheapest grade of plastic, I'd wear another set. Doof. Doof. Oh well. I still love me some cheap eye wear, but pretty soon, it'll be to help me read the small print on a burrito wrapper. Contains 72% finely textured beef product. Do not microwave in wrapper. "Enjoy your diarrhoea." (Thanks Red Fang. )

ARF! -Ricochet