Results tagged “Zayre”

100_4331.JPGMan does this thing bring back some memories. We never had a lot of money as I was growing up. We were never very stereo orientated. My brother never had a stereo except in his car. I didn't have one until a neighbor was moving and gave me his old Soundesign turntable (with an amp) and receiver/8 track player (also with an amp) and two 5" speakers in a box. I was really thankful. I bought a few 8-tracks from Goodwill across the street and I had a few 45's which I used to play on my brother's portable GE record player. That was it. We never were high fidelity kids. The Soundesign crap I'd been given for free was the closest thing to HI-Fi I'd own. I did get all high tech with a Hitachi boom box (which will be featured in a future junk blog) so I could play back my growing tape collection. That was decent. I also started listening to a lot of 80's radio. Pretty soon I was bringing home LPs from the library to record on my boom box. It was that time that I've coined the phrase "Kneedeep In The Hoopla Is The S*IT" as yes, I enjoyed that Starship album, or the radio told me to enjoy it.

100_4332.JPGAfter a bit of use, the turntable amp gave out and that BSR turntable with Soundesign guts gave up the ghost. The amp in my stereo was also a bit wobbly, and that's when I started looking at all of the "modern" Soundesign "rack systems" that Zayre and other discounters had. They were shiny. Some of them had a lot of blinky lights. I don't think any of them were more than $299 with most in the $100-$200 range. They were the best that Zayre had to offer. I think there was even one that came with a television, and that one was expensive. I got this one for Christmas. It cost $149. It had "high speed" tape dubbing. It had an "aux" input. It had two large speakers which were 6" drivers.  It had an integrated turntable, but was separate from the stereo. I bought a double LP "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" (movie soundtrack) for $1 from Camelot Records and Tapes in Westgate mall. It played records but sounded like it was. A rock stylus immediately wearing on the cheap record. The tape deck dubber wasn't quite as good as my nice Hitachi boombox, but it played tapes better because of bigger speakers. Believe me, we went through all this in the 80's, 90's and Oughts until cell phones and computers made all of this junk obsolete. Of course, there is much better equipment. I'd say that in the 90's, Hi Fi really became better and cheaper. Right then however, Soundesign stereo was the S*IT!

100_4333.JPGActually, the pressed board of the rack matched the speakers and it was a handsome sight. I'd imagine there were many hours spent by minimum wage Zayre employees setting these stereo racks up and busting through the pressed board by over tightening. Soundesign had the fake EQ design down. The shiny EQ was all the rage back in the 80's. Everybody had a separate EQ and some had the bouncing display. Oooooooh. Soundesign made larger EQ's on their stereos, there were some that were even 5 band, but the majority were three band, just looked like more with double sliders. Shiny plastic went a long way back in the day. How did it sound? Well, the whole stereo sounded better than a boom box. That's the best thing I can say. It was HI-FI to me. Dammit. They had so many pretty stereos at Zayre. I gots me a pretty good one. 

100_4336.JPG Look at all that pressed board. It seems they made a ton of stuff out of that formaldehyde laden cheap stuff way back when. I guess they have kind of phased the stuff out now? The DC out was for the turntable. It did have a pre-amp for the turntable. I never saw it work with the better turntable I bought a few years later. The Aux got very little use until... I think I hooked my VCR Up to it a few times, but my VCR was across the room and was a mono unit, so all it did was make the hiss louder. Yes, this did me well for a year or two, until everything changed. My friend Pete purchased a 12" record from Kraftwerk. It was the "Musique Non-Stop" maxi single. We came home to my place and played it. it started with a robotic voice saying "Boing Boom Tschak". I had a thing for comedy records and had a few tapes I'd made from library records of Dr. Demento discs. This "Boing Boom Tschak" was almost novelty to me, but something came alive. I taped it. I played it over and over. In a week, when my friend Marc and I were up in Michigan and I bought "Electric Cafe" and down the rabbit hole I went. 

100_4334.JPG Soon after I had all the Kraftwerk on tape and then I got into DEVO and likewise got all of it and then got deeper. Radio was less and less where I got my music. This used to be be the tape storage area where I kept all of the tapes of my growing store bought tape collection. Then my friend Steve bought the first Sony CD Portable player and man I liked the sound it produced. At the same time, prices were dropping and there was at least 6 appliance-electronics stores operating in my area, all at their throats trying to get our business. Mace electronics was the newest in the area, and when they had a Teac Three Beam 2x Oversampling model for $149 (sans remote), somehow I had the cake to buy it. I went to Camelot in Westgate and purchased Electric Cafe for 18.99 on CD. (Where I got the cake from, I've no idea.) I hooked it up to this stereo and instantly I was really REALLY HIGH FIDELITY. It sounded even better through the Koss headphones I'd purchased from Forest City Home Centers (which also had a appliance and electronics selection back when) and loved every minute of the lack of hiss from the CD player. From there, I only used the tape decks to record tapes from the CD's I'd bought. Of course, I had Foreigner "Records" and Van Halen's "1984" and Beach Boys "Fantastic Summer Best Of" , but I traded them all when my friend Bill started selling CDs and got me hooked on Frank Zappa, Negativland and Nitzer Ebb.

Well, Soundesign made systems in the 90's. They even made some that were re-branded Radio Shack. One had a HUGE upright loading CD player clad in pressed board that was more of a space taker than a good sounding CD player. Still, even the worst CD players sounded better than records or tapes right? They made other portable sound equipment, but none of it was more than a slightly better GPX product. Yeah, I was glad they were around at a time when the sounds started to mean stuff to me. Now, a portable computer tablet through good headphones containing all of my music sounds better than the old Soundesign. My computer speakers sound better. My LAPTOP sounds better...um..with external speakers... Koss...

-Ric

100_3873.JPGI pretty much took pics of ALL of my various Christmas junk. So, here are a few without much of a story just to show three sets of pictures. Hey, why not have a stocking for your pet?  Do I have a pet? No. Do I want a pet? Not really. Do I want to have a paw print stocking that I got from a dollar store to put out and not fill with anything, but have it be a barky Christmas? That's MONEY.

100_3874.JPGI just included this picture because it's actually hanging up. Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, but there was a f-ing paw pad stocking hung from the cheap video/audio shelving units with very little care. Hopes that St. Nick soon will do that voodoo that he do and fill my stocking with CA$H...or a squeak toy and some milk bones.

100_3947.JPG

Aha! Maybe I got the stocking for this decoration! My tree has a few themes. Broke ass. Crappy retail work. Low end beer. Free key chains... and DOGS! I was in my Super K-Mart for Christmas a few years back and I found this hanging from a chip clip. (Hanging device to fill every inch of available space in a store.)  Wow. It was big and they had a few so I had to have one. It was only once a year I went to Super K-Mart for last minute Christmas ideas, and I'd always end up with something. It was a Super K-Mart that was one of the very first stores around Cleveland to be 24/7. Zayre had long since gone under and even so, they were only 24/7 at Christmas. When I was younger, I even made fun of this K-Mart as the suburb it was near was of a "certain ethnic" nature. (Skitch. Big Chuck and Lil' John.) They moved the whole shee-bang to a bigger store and was really popular until a few years ago when they started shrivelling away. This had to be the last time I was inside the joint. I don't like going to any "going out of business, nothing held back" sales. There are no deals to be had until 90% off dented cans of TREET or demo mini refrigerators used in the sporting goods department to hold fishing worms. I think this makes a great decoration rather than using it for what it was meant for...

100_3949.JPGYeah. A pot scrubber. Could you scrub your pots with this pup? Rub his nose in your burnt eggs? Maybe if you had the pots advertised by the old chick from Poltergeist that thinks good eating is dumping uncooked crap in a pan, layering it with gravy and shoving it in the oven. I know, I'm being harsh. You know with separate S&H you can get a second pan free? To quote Adam Carolla... "SsssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhOCKING."

100_3867.JPGMr. Fat Hanz is showing another piece of Christmas debris I've collected. It's way too big for a tree decoration. It's meant for your door. We did sled a bit when we were younger, down the minor grade hill of my elementary school. My brother even had a sled, but most of the time, we took cardboard boxes and smeared them with candles and that was supposed to work great. It didn't. We built some great snow forts and when my brother didn't crash the top in after we did all the work, you'd most likely find dog crap in it the next day. We didn't have something for a door for our snow forts. This sled would be a wonderful addition to a snow fort door, which we didn't have.

100_3868.JPGGet the wax! It helps the sleigh. Nah, we'll put a wire on it and we'll put it on our door. Yes, this was a gift given to me that I pull out every year, hang on the front door on the inside and always have to dodge when I get my mail. Reminders of the wonderful Christmas season.  I could hang it from my toilet! Festive Christmas toilet! I'm sure peeps decorate their toilets all the time! Thinking about Santa while dooting another yule log?  Hmmmmm.

-Ric

100_4136.JPGWho wasn't a reader of MAD magazine? If you were a kid , you probably read comics books or Mad or both. If you were a fanatic about Mad, you collected all the issues and you got paperbacks from your favorite "Maddest Artist". I have all the Al Jaffee and Don Martin "Mad books" as well as the Spy Vs. Spy series and lots of non-Mad paperbacks featuring my favorite artist, Mr. Jaffee. I even designed a "Aztec" mad paperback holder in our clay making class. I got a C- for it because the project was supposed to be make something "Aztec", but it was a snake around a container that held 6 paperbacks and "MAD" carved into it. This is some of the "Mad" debris that I collected and saved in a place where I know I'll find it. The issue of Mad was given to me as a birthday present by Mom or somebody that didn't know I would buy the latest Mad when it was hot off the presses. Mad also released "stickers" that I likely have some place,  but I'll be damned if I know where they are. I don't think I collected them all, because they came out after I was pretty much done as a Mad reader.

100_4138.JPGHere was a story on the publisher of Mad, Mr. Jerry Garcia. I hear he played guitar in some band...oh... *BAD JOKE HERE* it's William Gaines. Hey, guys with beards you know? Who can tell them apart? Let's see, they both worked for the brothers Warner. Check. They both travelled. Check. They both warped the minds of many youth. Check. You found the material they produce more interesting when stoned. Check. Maybe? This was taken from my local news paper back when Cleveland had TWO daily newspapers. Quite a change from the half a newspaper we have now. It's another piece of debris I saved.

100_4137.JPGIt's neat that I also save this little clip. Wanting more money, plans were set for a Mad magazine movie. It's funny that the writer of the "Mad" movie is in a cult movie called "Fatso" with Dom DeLouise. On my radio show, we do an imitation of two fat food show hosts which is an imitation of something done by Don & Mike which itself is a parody of Fatso. It's not a good movie, but when Don and Mike did imitations of the fat guys, that was funny. So, the movie was called "Up The Academy". It was a cheap college movie as those were popular in the early 80's. Yes, Alfred E Newman was in it as a statue in front of the college. That was the only, vague reference to Mad Magazine there was. They also put full page ads in the back of Mad. I wanted to see it, but I don't think anybody saw it. It was such a bad movie that even Bill Gaines denied it was even somewhat tied to Mad. When all was said and done, the usual gang of idiots had nothing to do with the movie and it faded into bad movie history.

100_4140.JPGRight turn Clyde. *BAP* When I see old newspaper clippings, I like to check out some of the things on the BACK of the clippings, and well, here was an ad for a horrible horror movie called "Parasite" and NONE of the theaters that showed  it are in business anymore. "Mentor Mall" is the only one that's sort of around, it moved to a building on the mall property. "Enter The Ninja" was at a few drive in movies. Hahahahaha. You mean you used to go to a movie while sitting in your car? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Many of these were classic movie houses but look to "cinema treasures" if you're interested in seeing what they were. I'm moving along now...

100_4139.JPG NO! WAIT! Look at THIS! Enamel "Cooking Pots" were advertised for $4.44 and $5.55.  You get 6 more quarts for another buck? Suck a deal. (Yes, I know...) Real reason to put this in, it's ZAYRE! It was a discount outlet that is fondly remembered and one of the first stores to go "24 Hours Until Christmas". I had a car, I was awake at 2 am, and I'd go look at the Soundesign stereos and Gold Star VCR's.  It's nice to know you can still find Zayre stores by the downward arching roof at the front of the store. Lots of places, didn't disguise the roof. Plus, TJ Maxx, Office Max and BJs Wholesale Clubs are all the offshoot companies of the old Zayre. Some of the stores are in the old Zayre stores. We have a TJ Maxx and Office Max inside a Zayre/Grocery Store combo and you can still see a bit. I could wax historic about retail  history, but that is for another blog...now here's what the topic refers too....

100_4141.JPGYay! More Mad crap designed to get your money with very little involvement from the artists and writers over at the magazine I collected. Parker Brothers licensed every damn thing they could and put out these games for the kiddies who were fans of whatever crap was on the game. Sure, there was game play involved, but for the most part, cheap buck made by all. Any family game night begin with "Let's play the Mad Magazine game or the Garfield game?"

100_4124.JPGIt had pretty good cover art by Mad contributor Jack Davis. Jack was big in advertising and did thousands of drawings besides the free lance stuff he made for mad. Taking a look at the guy in the crowd with the raised hand and tooth missing or the little girl with two teeth is pretty much signature Jack Davis art. Seems exciting right?

100_4127.JPGHere's the MAD creativity. "Let's not make a game where you need to win by having the most money, let's make it the first person to LOSE all their cash." BRILLIANT! It's ANTI-MONOPOLY! Yet, it sort of looks like Monopoly. Ahh, but it has art from Mad contributors. Is it art created for this game so that we have a totally new experience? Keep reading and ignore "Rule #7"

100_4131.JPGThey called the cards "Card Cards".  Get it?  You travel along the board in a square but you do get two "Sorry" style bonus spaces to fill up the center of the board with more fabulous black and white artwork from "the usual gang of Ijits" Oh yeah, they fake colored the "card cards" in the black and white artwork. It is the Mad Magazine game. It's Mad, only in game form. Brilliant.

100_4133.JPGHere is another view of more art. What's that color picture of Alfred E. Neuman doing on here? I suppose Mad did have color covers and that's usually where ol' Alfred appeared. Actually, you could make this game board into a handy rain shield if it's raining. It's pretty big, this board. Look! At the top! Even a Mad Marginal comic! Sergio Aragones drew those little comics in the margins of the magazine. I think of my 100 issues I own, from #200 to #300, I may have read 5 of those mini cartoons. I loved his regular features, but no love for the teeny toons.

100_4135.JPGClear as mud instructions. Under it, articles saved, advertisements for long gone movie theaters, retail outlets, and bubble gum card wrappers as well as Mad promo junk.  Actually, playing this with a group of stoned zombies would be kind of fun, except there is movement involved. Remember, Ignore Rule #7. Even in this game, cheating is a no-no.

100_4134.JPGThat's right. The card cards made you do stuff to lose your money. "Help I'm A Rock!" (Frank Zappa was pushed.)  Ahh yes, even the cards had artwork from the magazine. Right. Very little of this game featured art created for this game. It was all reprints which more than likely, the artists got paid the standard "reprint" amount for. Sure it was somewhat of a "parody" of an actual "Fun" "Classic" game and it was nice to see some Don Martin artwork but there was little to no Al Jaffee artwork in this game and since he was my favorite artist... I'm sure this got a little bit of play when I was a kid, but mostly it was looked upon by a mindless Mad fan that wanted to show what a fan of Mad I was. It's still a nice keeper for those bits of newspaper history. Remember, this junk blog can only be played on Friday.

-Ric

Another Cal-Q-Lator or LCD Disaster

  • Posted on
  • by

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

Toke A Calc

  • Posted on
  • by

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

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

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

100_3189.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

-Ric

Hat Ash Tray

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

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

100_3077.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arf! -Ric