Thursday, January 29, 2015

Combos Sweet and Salty!

I'm calling it now. 2015 will be a great year for my fellow junk foodies. I'm sure you're asking, "But Chris, how could you say that when it's still January?".  And I would tell you, "My point exactly". It's only January, and already Combos has thrown down the snack food gauntlet. 


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Ren and Stimpy Show #1!

It was a dark and chilly night in November 1992. I had ridden with my mom to A&P, and I was standing in front of the magazine rack while she was grocery shopping. I had started collecting comics the year before, and soon after I discovered the numerous comic books next to the Woman's Day and Redbooks. Frankly, their selection was amazing. They carried everything from DC to Image, with a mix of Archie and the rare Dark Horse comic. The issues would be lined up on the 6ft shelf, three rows deep. There was no real rhyme or reason to their arrangement, though I guess it didn't really matter. After a few days everything was mixed up anyway. I like to think it added to the experience. Who knew what books you would find behind that first row of comics?

Well, on that random November night in 1992, I found this issue:


Monday, January 12, 2015

Transformers G1 Triggerbots Override



I only ever saw the Transformers cartoon on a couple of occasions, so all my knowledge of them was based on TV commercials and the bio cards on the back of the toys. Of course, I rarely read or kept the bio cards, meaning most of the story lines I came up with were decidedly non-canon. Still, I like to think I did pretty well by the characters. I certainly knew Optimus Prime was a good guy and the Autobot leader, and it was pretty easy to see Soundwave was his enemy. So what if they sometimes worked together? It's not like Hasbro was going to come take the toys back from me.

So, my lack of knowledge of the backstory wasn't a problem. No, my main issue with the toys was that they were damn expensive compared to other action figures. Sure, I could get a car that turns into a robot and comes with a dozen weapons for $10.99, but I could also buy three different G.I. Joe figures for the same price. Thankfully, Hasbro realized this and released several smaller figures for those of us with a limited allowance.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sets I Had From The Lego 1992 Catalog

I was a little Lego fiend when I was growing up. I turned 11 in 1992, and toys weren't quite taboo yet. I was still comfortable talking about them with friends, and wouldn't run and hide if I heard kids from school walking by the toy aisle. It was also the year of my biggest Christmas Lego haul ever. I got some pretty big sets that year, and much like the larger toys from Hasbro and Kenner, they came with a flyer showing off that year's assortment of Lego sets.


This is still one of my favorite Lego catalog covers. I like the idea that all of Lego's realms coexist at one time, so it seems entirely possible for a space policeman and a Navy officer to be riding the metro when the Black Knight decides to collect a toll from the passengers. Of course, these were the days before the minifigures had anything but a smile on their faces, so everyone seems rather jolly about the whole affair.

Admittedly, I had a bunch of these sets before 1992. Several of them had already been out for a year or so, like the M-Tron team and the Metro Liner. It seems like Lego had released quite a few new sets the previous two years, so that might be why there doesn't seem like there's much new stuff in this pamphlet.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Stunt Zombie's Christmas Haul!

I can honestly say, I've never had a bad Christmas. There have been leaner times, but my family still managed to provide for me. This was yet another great Christmas, and I'm here to share some of my favorite gifts from under the tree.


First up we have the DC Comics Multiverse Batman, TMNT Newtralizer, and Star Wars Black Greedo. I'd like to think this just goes to show how weird and varied my taste is in action figures. You can look forward to seeing more of these three in the coming months.


I can't believe I finally own this movie. As much as I've grown to love it, I never managed to pick it up over the years. Things are finally right with the universe, and now I can watch it any time I want. Take that all those channels that only show the edited version!


I recently became a fan of Opinel knives, mainly because of their low cost and high durability. They're light, and due to their extremely thin blade grinds, they get ridiculously sharp very, very easily. Of course, when I saw they were offering them in blue painted handles, I had to add it to my list. I've got to reprofile the edge on this one, but I don't mind doing it on a knife that normally costs less than $20.



Chelsea also got me a USB powered turntable. It came with software allowing me to record vinyl to MP3 format, which means I'll be able to better preserve music from what is a rather fragile format. It also gives me an excuse to check out some of the current music being released on vinyl these days. Just what I needed, an excuse to collect something else..


Chelsea's parents introduced me to this wine a little over a year ago. It's called Chili Dawg, and it's a bit spicy and sweet, but the magic really begins when you add some Easy Cheese to the mix. Add a squirt to the back of your hand or to a Ritz cracker, take a sip of the wine, then eat the cheese. I kid you not, it tastes exactly like a chili dog. And a good chili dog at that. I'm sure some folks would see it as a novelty, but I've never been one to turn my nose up at something delicious.


This is the gift I was anticipating the most. I've known bits and pieces of the history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but this book definitely filled in all the blanks. It's a great read, and it really gives you a good idea of how hard it is for creators to maintain control of their properties, while trying to make them profitable. I actually managed to finish this one yesterday afternoon, but I could easily read it again and again.

Those are just a few of my favorite gifts this year. Chelsea also picked me up a couple of awesome Die Hard and Guardians of the Galaxy holiday themed t-shirts, and her parents gave me a much needed pair of sneakers, along with rather nice sweater. I also got a much needed watch, since I seem to be so hard on them. And of course, there was the usual mix of candies, snacks, K-cups, TMNT themed bath products and warm winter socks. All in all, yet another great year.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It's Christmas Eve!

It's hard to believe, but Christmas Eve is already here. Chelsea and I both had to work this morning, and I ended up making a last minute trek to Wal-Mart for a couple of things. In the process of walking around the store, I learned a couple of very important lessons: 1. If I haven't gotten it by Christmas Eve, it can wait until next year. 2. I should never go shopping on an empty stomach. Actually, I should never do anything on an empty stomach, since I turn into a shorter, skinnier version of the Hulk. I honestly think I could flip a car over if I got angry enough. Thankfully, I made it home without any Chris SMASHING, since that would have ruined everyone's holiday.


The tree has been trimmed and the presents are wrapped. They're just sitting there waiting for the moment when we free them from their decorated paper prisons. I rather like how the tree came out this year, I feel like it's one of the best ones yet. Growing up, all we had were artificial trees, and as much as I miss the convenience, there really is no competing with a real tree. Well, except for falling needles and dripping sap. Fake trees have them beat there. Still, I'd be lying if I said I didn't like the smell of fresh pine throughout the house.


Chelsea also set up what I like to call our guest tree, for all the gifts that go to everyone else. The past two years it's been made up to look like a snowman. Next year, I want to make a yeti tree. What can I say, I want a little Halloween in my Cringle.


The stockings are hung, though I'm not sure if it was done with care. This is the first year I haven't heard them come crashing down on top of the gas stove. I used to neglect the stockings, but over the years, some of my favorite gifts have come from them. Plus, they're usually filled with candy, the perfect Christmas morning breakfast.


So now we're just sitting here waiting for Chelsea's parents, my future in-laws, to arrive. In the meantime, there's holiday sangria in the fridge, a cake baking in the oven,cookies in the jars, and Christmas specials on the TV.

You couldn't ask for a much better Christmas Eve.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dum Dum's Holiday Pops

I'm a sucker for a good lollipop. Yes, I see what I did there....The problem with most lollipops, is that they stick around for way too long. I know it's crazy for me to complain about a piece of candy lasting too long, but come on. You're saying you've never gotten bored before you got to the bubble gum or Tootsie Roll middle? Bullhockey. Enter Dum Dums, a superior candy on a stick, in holiday flavors no less.



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