Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Quick update time. I wanted to take a brief minute to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day! I hope everyone has a fantastic three day weekend! Get outside and take this opportunity to fire up the old BBQ grill, cook some hamburgers, and make a pitcher of Kool-Aid. The beautiful thing about Memorial Day Weekend is that it comes early enough in the year that Summer is not quite yet in full force, meaning the weather is actually tolerable outside.  In case anyone is wondering, I have no major plans in store for this weekend. As a matter of fact I worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday normal hours at the theater. I am off on Monday, but that is my normal day off from work, so it doesn't really feel very holiday like. I do plan on getting some shopping done either Monday or Tuesday as most stores run some sort of oddball Memorial Day specials. It's never anything that spectacular but you never know when you'll run into the next great bizarre item of the Summer Season.

Speaking of shopping, I was at the grocery store the other day and seen the first gigantic display for the 4th of July. You guys have no idea how close this article was to becoming a dual purpose Memorial Day / Fireworks post. However its not even technically June yet and if there is one thing I have learned from celebrating the real holidays at the end of the year, it's that if you start anything too soon you'll burn yourself out too quick. Besides, in the grander scheme of things Independence Day is not one of my favorite holidays to either write about or celebrate. I only really enjoy the festivities from the first of the month to about midway through July 4th. By the time the final displays of fireworks are being lit off I am pretty much read for the entire fiasco to be over. Long story short, I am planning on doing some firework / July related posts but don't expect much more than a wink and a nod towards the holiday.

One last thought, I would like to thank everyone who has been supporting the website here recently. My page views have really started to take off from when I first started writing. I always wanted this place to be what it is now (and what it will be in the coming months!) and it pleases me to see a little audience starting to grow. So thank you to everyone whose been checking it out and thank you for sticking around for future articles! I promise you that I have some ultra cool stuff in store, especially in the latter half of the year! Finally, please remember to help spread the word anyway you can. If you like an article that I've wrote, link to it on facebook... send it out via twitter, let your friends know over AIM. The more this place grows, the easier it is to pump out the kind of material that I know everyone enjoys reading and I enjoy writing. So thanks everyone and have a happy and safe Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Limited Edition Spider-Man 3 Cereal

Collections. We all have them. Some people collect stamps. While others collect baseball cards. There is really no limit to what a person can collect as it ultimately boils down to your own personal interests. Does it really come as a surprise to anyone that I have a collection of cereal boxes? My favorite type of boxes are the old Count Chocula ones. Every single year around Halloween time a new box design comes out. Most of the time they are vastly different from year to year. My favorite one came out in 1987 and featured the legendary Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula sharing cover space with Count Chocula. It's epic encounters like these that are the reason why I simply must own every incarnation of Count Chocula breakfast cereal.

There is also a second type of box that I like to collect, the Limited Edition kind. These are the fun ones because of how seemingly random they can be.When a movie or game starts to get really popular its not unheard for a company to make a bunch of quick tie-in products to cash in on its sudden success. Breakfast cereals being one of the easiest and quickest things to produce. Therefore pretty much any major piece of media has been a cereal at one point or another. Ghostbusters, Mario, Superman, Zelda, The Simpsons all have graced the cover of some sort of Limited Edition box of cereal. Just check out the old school Pac-Man cereal pictured on the right hand side of the screen. This is proof that if you look hard enough, you can eat anything for breakfast.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

10 Summer Time TV Commercials!

I've been working these past few days on a completely different article than the one your about to read. Doing my typical write, revise, edit formula. It's pretty much ready to go save for a couple last minute tweeks and the photographs that I have to take. Everything was going along smoothly except for one very minor problem, my digital camera decided today was the most opportune time to quit working. Sometimes, I swear all technology is working against me.

 Without the ability to properly photograph the items for that article, I was pretty much stuck. While I did order a new camera online, I didn't want to stop writing while I was waiting for it to arrive in the mail. But what can we do in the mean time? I didn't want to simply stop updating the site because of a dead camera but the nature of this beast requires that I take specific photos for pretty much everything I post.

What is a webmaster to do? I took a quick look forward into my ideas for later on in the year and found a piece I was planning for mid July.... but what the heck, let's throw out a curve ball and post it right now!

Today we're going to take a look at some 10 Summer Time TV Commercials! Most of these are things that I specifically had myself. Therefore everything is very rooted in the early to middle 1990's. An era so recent that most (who did not grow up during it!) probably do not realize just how different the times where back then.

Those people are fools. The 1990's is all about extreme, in your face, loud advertisements. Everything was extra hip and ultra cool. Michael Jordan was the man and the Ninja Turtles ruled toy isles around the world. This was the 1990's. It was my childhood and these are the commercials that best described what Summer Vacation was to me, in an era that is no more. I hope you all enjoy this cool blast down 1990's memory lane!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Friday the 13th!

I wanted to make a really quick post to wish everyone a Happy Friday the 13th! Hopefully everyone manages to watch at least one of the classic "Friday the 13th" films tonight. If you do not, I'm pretty sure Jason will have no problem tracking you down, beating in the front door and driving a machete deep into your forehead. That's kind of his thing, you know.

Speaking of machete's and foreheads, I would like to bring this opportunity to draw everyone's attention over to the right hand side of the page. You see those countdown clocks? Yep... we're officially counting down the days to Halloween 20011 and Christmas 2011! I originally contemplated a Thanksgiving clock but let's face it... Thanksgiving is basically a beta version of Christmas and nobody really counts down the days until the Detroit Lions makes an ass of themselves in public form.

But I digress... we are not here to talk about those other Holidays. Today is "Friday the 13th" a day which belongs to Jason Voorhees. So let's pay tribute to him as best we can and take a quick look at my favorite kill from the entire run of "Friday the 13th" films, the liquid nitrogen kill from Jason X!


There is some sort of weird irony involved  in having my favorite Jason kill take place in what is probably my least favorite "Friday" flick. Jason X was a horrible movie and this is coming from a guy who genuinely enjoyed that one Leprechaun film that also took place in outer-space. But never the less, here is Jason doing what he does best, smashing peoples faces violently into things. Thankfully this was early enough in the film that Jason had not turned into future cyborg space Jason... thus making it actually still possible to view him as a viable threat and not laugh at him for looking like a moron with a goofy metal hockey mask

Freddy vs. Jason  I really don't want to keep harping on Jason X but have you guys ever seen the movie "Godzilla: Final Wars"? Remember the scene where the real Godzilla just completely decimates and destroys his CGI counterpart from the 1998 American Godzilla film. I have always envisioned a scene like that in which Cyborg Space Jason meets up with classic 1980's Jason and classic Jason just machetes his head off and kicks him in a ditch, with little to no effort. That is how much I hate Jason X. Back to the scene though, it works because it's still classic Jason, complete with classic Jason brutality. It's also memorable. I don't think I've seen a kill like this in any other horror movie. It's definitely one of those things that sticks with you. Which for a movie as bad as Jason X.. is one hell of an accomplishment. The "liquid nitrogen kill" from Jason X has somehow managed to stand out far and above the other hundreds of kills that Jason Voorhees has done over the years. So I applaud you for this one Jason X. Now let's go back to never speaking of that film again.


Before I finish off this post... I feel like it would be a crime not to bring up the Sleeping Bag kill from "Friday the 13th: Part 7". Earlier I mentioned  how classic Jason had a sort of brutality about him that later incarnations of the character seemed to lack. Just take a look at this scene. Jason does not need cyborg arms or other bullshit gimmicks to make him interesting. Just give him a chick in a sleeping bag and a tree. The results? All kinds of awesome.

All in all, I'm kind of glad that "Friday the 13th" landed in May this year. It's exactly the kind of pick me up I needed. The perfect reminder that Halloween is coming and will be here sooner rather than later. Besides, I'll take any excuse I can to watch these old movies! Happy Friday the 13th everyone! Stay spooky!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Return of Mountain Dew: Pitch Black

There is some sort of weird irony in today's post about Mountain Dew: Pitch Black coming directly after yesterdays post, in which I basically said that Summer is not my favorite time of year. I'm trying. I'm really, really trying not to get too anxious for Halloween. I want to enjoy summer. I got my garden planted. I've been on bike rides, went on walks and have generally started to enjoy the outdoors again. I don't really want to sit around and mark the days off the calender until October 31st... not yet anyway. But it's tough when I walk into a store and see this:

Mountain Dew: Pitch Black Returns

Leave it to Pepsi to come along and throw a gigantic grape flavored wrench into my plans and releases Mountain Dew: Pitch Black smack dab at the beginning of summer.You know what this means? Once again I'm stuck wishing for falling leaves and candy corn at the complete wrong time of year. All because some store has started to sell a product that very clearly belongs in October, five months too early. Pitch Black is one of those seasonal products that, while it has never officially been a Halloween Themed Beverage, was only ever available around Halloween. It's one of those subtle marketing jobs that hits you on a subconscious level. If you mentally associate a product with a time of year, you're bound to purchase more of it with the understanding that once the season is over... so too will your ability to purchase said item. Clearly, I should work in some marketing firm. More so to the point here, just have a look at that package... the dark colors, the neon greens, even the name itself Pitch Black just sounds like something that is down with the devil. If this isn't a Halloween themed soda pop, then I don't know what is.

If I had to compare Pitch Black to something else on the market it would have to be Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash. They are marketed in almost the exact same manor as nobody has ever officially came out and said Cranberry Splash is strictly a  holiday drink. But when you only release a product November through January, with a red and green label that tastes like Cranberry's.... you are pretty much implying this shit is a limited edition Christmas drink.

Mountain Dew: Pitch Black II
That same concept applies to Pitch Black. No, it's not technically something you can only drink in October. But it sure feels much more at home during the one time of year in which its socially alright to openly practice witchcraft. The first time we saw this devilish soft drink was all the way back in 2004 when it was released right around October and only lasted for a short amount of time. It would return a year later in 2005 as Pitch Black II. Once again released during Halloween and quickly vanished off store shelves, because you clearly cannot sell something named Pitch Black during Christmas. As that is just preposterous. The soda would return for a third and final time during Halloween of 2006 only this time it was re-re-released as Pitch Black Freeze. Freeze was only available for purchase from Slurpee machines at 7-11 gas stations. This all looked like the end of Pitch Black and for a while, it was. The drink was a novel concept, a beverage that you could only drink during Halloween. Halloween being many things, but if there is one thing its not, it's as easily marketable as Christmas. You can shove "holiday" in front of just about anything and its perfectly acceptable. Halloween, on the other hand, one must pick and choose which products are allowed to frighten children for one month out of the year.

I briefly mentioned in a prior article that one of the things I enjoyed the most about summer time is that for some reason soda companies feel compelled to release the most random concoctions and call them soft drinks. None of it is ever really that good, but I like the idea of knowing that I have seventeen different flavors of Mountain Dew on the market to choose from. It's sort of my own personal safety net knowing that if I choose, I could find a cranberry banana lime soda on the shelf. I'm always compelled to try anything that is labeled "Limited Time Only" ... because I would hate to live in some future world where I one could have had a cranberry banana lime soda, but chose not to drink it. If I don't drink these promotional sodas, I'm basically letting the terrorists win. We didn't kill Bin Laden so I could not drink Pepsi's latest unholy combination of artificial fruit flavoring and carbonated water.

With the knowledge in hand that at some point this summer, I would probably find at least one bizarre brand of soda on the shelf... I'm always sort of expecting to find something. I wasn't expecting that something to be Pitch Black. It seems so random that this little soft drink, released in fall 2004 would manage not only a sequel to itself, but a Slurpee version and a re-issue seven years after its initial run. But why now? What is the logic in releasing a soda that's only ever been available in October, at the beginning of summer? For something so very painted with the colors of Halloween, it doesn't make any since for it to be here in  May.

Here is the real kicker, truth be told I really don't even like Pitch Black. It's a grape flavored soda and I generally hate grape flavored anything. Actually, you know what...I take that back, I don't hate Pitch Black... I love the concept of the drink. I love the marketing of the drink. I love the fact that someone at Pepsi decided Halloween was important enough to warrant its own seasonal beverage. I've always been bummed that they never stuck with it year in and year out. But I really wish it tasted like something else other than grape. I love Pitch Black but just not enough to drink it. I have an odd relation with soft drinks sometimes.

So while I don't particularly like the drink, it pleases me very much to see Pitch Black getting another limited run in the stores. I only wish that they could have held off and released it during Halloween time. As it is a much more fitting time of year to drink something so clearly down with the devil. But beggars cannot be choosey and there is no use crying over Slim Whitman, so let's take what we can get when we can get it. I completely understand that its May. I get that its currently 83 degrees outside. But damn it, the return of Pitch Black to store shelves, even in this limited run, this is a clear cut victory for the month of October and all things orange, black, and unholy. So thank you Pepsi. Thank you for bringing back Pitch Black, let's give it a proper run this October.

Update: May 18th, 2011 -- I had to search through three different gas stations before I found one that actually had Pitch Black in stock. This means a couple of things. First off, it must be selling really well. Secondly, Pepsi wasn't lying when they said "limited time offer" of the availability of this drink! Don't give up your searches folks, Pitch Black is still available on the market. I'm drinking one right now. You might just have to look extra hard to find one. Let's all keep our fingers crossed... I have a feeling that this limited run won't be the last we see of Pitch Black!

Update: May 24th, 2011 -- I was at the local grocery store and seen that the Pepsi guy stocking up one of the shelves and you'll never guess what I found. Twelve Packs of Mountain Dew Pitch Black! What a joyous occasion, indeed! In all its limited edition glory, this is the first time that I've found any of the stuff in can form. I must say the cans are fantastic. Here is photographic evidence:

These cans almost put the plastic 20 ounce bottles to shame. Which is saying quite a bit because the plastic bottles are cool in there own right. These cans, these suckers are a work of art. Side note, this is the first photo that I've posted to the website with my new digital camera. Seems fitting that the first true HD photograph that I put online is of limited edition cans of Mountain Dew: Pitch Black.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Summer Time at the Astro Lounge!

 It's officially starting to feel like summer outside. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I like summer, don't get me wrong but over the years "summer" has sort of lost it's charm. It's one of those many things that with age just isn't as fun anymore. Remember what it was like being a child and having that grand feeling of Summer Vacation. It was phenomenal. The idea of back to back (to back!) months where you literally are required to do nothing. No thinking, no planning, no responsibility. One could stay up all night and then sleep all day. The only real limitations to summer back then was how far one could make it on their bicycle before you had to turn around to make it back in time for supper.