Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Days with my grandmother

Growing up, I used to spend a lot of times with my grandparents. They always lived within a few miles of  us, so if my folks needed a place for me to stay overnight, it was off to my mom's parents. I have random memories of sleeping in their guest room, on a pull out bed that had to have been older than me. I wouldn't call it worn out, but I could definitely feel the support bar under the mattress. Most nights my grandmother, or Mom-Mom as I called her, would cook dinner for my grandfather. Some nights, my grandfather, or Pop-pop, would take us all out to the Fish House. I feel like that must have been their favorite restaurant, because I don't remember eating at any other places with them. It was pretty old even then, with worn floorboards and pictures of local personalities all over the walls. The food was always delicious and plentiful, with my order of fried shrimp heaped high on my plate. As much as fun as I had with the both of them, I think it's the days I spent with Mom-Mom that I enjoyed the most.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Toy Biz X-Men Series 1 Wolverine and Magneto!

It's the spring of 1992. I had just finished competing in an Odyssey of the Mind competition in Va Beach, and my parents and I are getting ready to head home. "Is there anywhere you'd like to go before we go home?", they ask. I could only think of one place, a place that had been occupying my mind since I first saw it earlier in the day. That place was Children's Palace.

Now, this post isn't really about Children's Palace, but it certainly could be. I had been to Toys R Us a few times, but it was mostly with my neighbor and his family, which meant most of the time we were there was spent in the video games section. I would only get a quick glimpse of the action figure aisles, as we made our way over to the NES and SNES games on display. This time, it was just me and my parents, and I was the one leading the way. I honestly don't think I was prepared for just how amazing Children's Palace was. Back at home, we had a couple of aisles that were full of my favorite action figures. Here, there were 5 or 6 aisles, and it seemed like they went on forever. I had never seen so many toys in one place before. It was a bit intimidating, and I could tell my parents were getting a little impatient, which only added to the pressure. I stood in the middle of an aisle, nearly overwhelmed by all the choices, when a familiar logo caught my eye. Shortly after that, I was back in the car, playing with my two new figures.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Flea-ing the Eastern Shore



A couple of weeks ago, I had one of those rare weekends where I was off from work, and the wife and I didn't have any plans. She was going to be working all day, and I really didn't want to spend the whole weekend in the house, so I decided to go on a little field trip. I decided to to go to the Shore Flea Market.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Nintendo Power's Ninja Gaiden II Strategy Guide

It was, I'm assuming the Christmas season of 1990. My parents and I had just driven to one of my friend's house. I'm not exactly sure why we were there, but as it turns out, they had a couple of gifts for me. One was one of those little Flipsiders games, the kind shaped like a cassette tape. The other one was this lovely bit of reading material right here..


The Nintendo Power Strategy Guide for Ninja Gaiden II. Now, this isn't the same one from that day, at least I don't think it is. This is a copy I found on Amazon, and I'll be damned if it doesn't look exactly like the one I had many years ago. You tend to remember random things like the folds on a magazine's cover. I initially thought it was an odd choice for a gift. I had a decent selection of games for my NES, but I didn't have Ninja Gaiden II, at least not yet. Had my friend's parents accidentally spoiled one of my Christmas gifts for me? Well, as it turns out, they didn't. Ninja Gaiden II wasn't under the tree that year, and as far as I can remember, I never actually owned the game. I rented it a few times, but the difficulty of the game always frustrated me to the point of controller throwing anger. Yet, that still didn't keep me from reading through the guide at least 170 times. 


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Zero Lives Remaining: A mini review and a giveaway



Late one night, I was browsing through Twitter, and I came across a tweet for a book called Zero Lives Remaining by Adam Cesare. Usually I would ignore what was basically an ad, but the book's description intrigued me. A horror story set in an arcade? Sounds like fun to me. And a lot of fun it was.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

We got a wedding gun.

I used to be a bit of a gun nut. I'd read every gun magazine I could get my hands on. I had a book that covered all of the military small arms of the 20th century. In fact, I think the title was Military Small Arms of the 20th Century. You couldn't watch an action movie without me blurting out the different guns that showed up on screen. Yeah, I was a little weird.

By the time I was 15 or 16, I had a decent little collection, with a few shotguns and a couple of rifles taking up space in my gun cabinet. The first few guns were gifts from my parents and family, while I actually bought the others on my own. With permission, of course. There was never much thought put into them as weapons. Sure, I knew that they could seriously hurt someone, but to me, they were just a means to go hunting, or to go shoot some targets at the farm. It was always exciting to try a new gun, even if it meant I was going to be dealing with a sore shoulder for the next few days. It was a hobby, if a bit of a dangerous one.

As with most things my parents got me into, firearms were promoted as collectibles, things I should hold on to so they'll go up in value. Then I can pass them on to my kids, and they could give them to my grandchildren, etc.. They said the same thing when they got me into comic books in the early 90's. I'm not sure which is worth more these days, the guns or the comics, but I'd probably get more enjoyment out of the comics. Over the years, my collection has grown and shrunk, and I was at a point where I didn't really care to add anything else to it. I already have a cabinet full of guns that don't get shot. I feel like I spend most of my time chasing away the rust.

In other words, I've handled guns a long time, so I feel pretty comfortable being around them in sane and responsible hands. I'm also used to getting them as gifts, since that's how I came to have most of my little arsenal. And that leads me into the second part of the post..

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Enter, THE ZULLBEAST!

Hi there. I'd like to introduce you to a short, slimy, green homicidal monster.



Folks, Zullbeast. Zullbeast, folks. Try not to devour everybody.


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