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Aug 19, 2016

The Casa Bonita Experience.. ( In 60 Seconds )

A trip I took last week to the kitschy and fun Colorado Mexican restaurant known as 'Casa Bonita'.  Enjoy..

Aug 8, 2016

Heart warming thrift store finds..

I hate having to peruse thrift stores in a rushed fashion, but it can't be helped sometimes.  Here are some great finds I came across during a whirlwind retro treasure hunt one day. While I didn't buy every item pictured, I still found a couple bargains and spotted a few retro items that made me reminisce.

unused CRAIG handheld tape recorder $1.99

A technological device that has been far removed from society as of late.  There are many applications that this can be used in this day and age (I just need to find them).  My kid in college may be able to use this for recording lectures, and I might be able to utilize it if I interview anyone for a blog piece.

0.50¢ for a Frankie Yankovic polka album!

Rich and soulful Oktoberfest tunes!

 1974 Avon Barber pole cologne decanter $1.99

originally held 3 ounces of 'Wild Country' aftershave

70's Nut jar

70's Handmade coaster set.

I remember all kinds of folks being pretty crafty back in the day.  It's something that has made a comeback in recent years, and is pretty refreshing to see.  Heck.. my daughter is making her own jewelry, crocheting hats & head bands, and is getting ready to open her own Etsy store to sell her items in.

This item reminded me of the days when I had my own calligraphy and stationary sets as a kid.  This 'Gift-Maker' textile decorating paint set is just an example of how much more creative and artistic folks strived to be back in the day.  With this kit, you could create beautiful designs on aprons, purses, handkerchiefs, gloves, and all kinds of other clothing.

I collect beer steins, and my heart almost skipped a beat when I saw this mug.  Alas.. upon further inspection, it was made in Brazil rather than in Germany.

And finally, while it's not a retro item.. I found this Game-Boy Advance for 99 cents.  I wasn't sure if it worked or not, but seeing as there was a game cartridge still inside of it, I figured it was worth the gamble.

I got it home and put batteries in it to find it worked perfectly.  All I needed to do was buy a battery compartment door for it.  The door will cost me more than the unit and game cost, but in the end.. I'll only be into this thing for under $5.00.  Pretty good deal considering I've paid $50.00 for a used system with no game in the past for my daughter!

Not a bad outing, even though I was a bit rushed.  It's when I'm able to take my time in thrift stores and flea markets that I can really uncover some great finds.  Hopefully my next outing will produce even better results.

Aug 1, 2016

Exotica, Polka, and Cha Cha, Oh My!

Retro treasure hunting has paid off in a big way for me over the years, especially in regards to music.  Check out these albums I came across not too long ago for the cost of just 29¢ each..

This is a double album set with 20 of the greatest hits from one of the pioneers of Exotica music.. Les Baxter!

Another patriarch of Exotica music.. Arthur Lyman.  I'll tell you.. there's nothing better than sitting on the patio in the summer, sipping a Mai Tai, and relaxing to the soothing sounds of Martin Denny, Les Baxter, and Arthur Lyman.  I've already tested out these albums, and they play perfectly.  Once I get these ripped and uploaded to my iPod, I'll be able to jump into a tropical mindset no matter the season in this land locked state of Colorado.

I bought this one for Schnitz & Giggles

Not that I'm huge fan of polka or anything, but I do dig listening to it around Oktoberfest.  Ahh.. I can picture myself now filling up my Das Boot with Warsteiner Dunkel, eating Bretzels, Bock-wurst, und Sauerkraut, and listening to some good old fashioned Oompa music!

 If you don't love a good Cha Cha Cha.. then you need to get your pulse checked!

I didn't buy this one, 
but was perplexed by the album cover..

So there you have it.  Five way cool albums that play like they're brand new.  I basically got hours upon hours of listening pleasure for the cost of $1.45.  Most of the time I buy maybe one out of one hundred albums I like at thrift stores, because they're so badly damaged.  These albums I found on this particular day were grouped together by themselves, so I'm wondering if they were owned by the same person since they're in such pristine condition.

Oh.. and pictured below is one more throwback from the recent past for you.  An album hearkening back to a time when kids loved to be as active as they could.  They were hyper and energetic, and it wasn't due to having A.D.D.  I wonder, would the kids of today dig something like this in 2016?

Jul 25, 2016

Dagnabbit! It's official.. I'm old.

I had my suspicions, but I guess it's official.  I'm officially old (or at least viewed that way by my kids).

What brought about this most unsettling Epiphany?  Things like this, that my kids have said to me..

Comment #1
"Dad.. did they have music in the 60s?"

Comment #2
"Dad.. was the Television show "Full House" made in the 60s?"

Comment #3
"You and Mom are really old fashioned"

Hmmm.  Being a child of the 70's and 80's, I believe I've seen and experienced much more socially than my kiddo's have at their age.  After all, we used to leave the house to fraternize, play, and explore.  My generations views and beliefs were much more progressive and different than my parents generation.  Heck, now that I think of it.. we too thought our folks were old fashioned.  It just goes to show you how fast things change from generation to generation.

If I'm considered old fashioned, so be it.  I dig my retro ways, and truly believe that older is better in many aspects of life.  Something I truly take comfort and satisfaction from, is knowing that one day my kids will be thought of as old fashioned by their own kiddo's.  Oh how I hope I'm around to see it!

Jul 18, 2016

Reunited with the Hot Wheels Red Baron.. 37 years later

I flipped my lid when I saw this in the store back in 2012, and it immediately went into my shopping cart..

Mattel re-released (and improved upon) the classic Red Baron Hot Wheels car that year, under their new Hot Wheels "Boulevard" line of cars.

Superb details like real rubber tires with treads

The new release gave extra attention to details like tires, rims, paint, and overall quality.  The attention to detail was not wasted on me for sure.  I never really grew up, and while I love to collect toys, I don't collect for the sake of collecting.  I require the toys I buy to look good and be of the utmost quality, while still bringing that childhood thrill of excitement involved in owning the toys.

This was a reunion that filled my heart with joy, because as a child in 1975.. this was one of the most coveted Hot Wheels of the time.  My brother gave me his Red Baron as he started outgrowing toys, and started getting interested in other silly things like girls and music.

I carried that little car with me everywhere I went.  During the summer I acquired the car, I dreamed of playing with it in the school sandbox.  Therefore, I eagerly took it to school with me on my first day of kindergarten.  During recess after about 5 minutes of playing with it, a kid came up to me and asked if he could see it.  When I obliged, he immediately threw it onto the roof of the school.  I was absolutely crushed.  I tearfully ran up to the janitor and told him what happened and asked if he could get it down for me, but he just shrugged and walked away.

There are toys from your youth that stick with you and always hold a special place in your heart. This toy was definitely one of those for me.  I've seen re-releases of the Red Baron over the last couple of decades, in colors of blue, black, green, and gold, but to me they were simply oxymoron's, so I always passed them up.  I mean really.. a Green Red Baron?

I did buy my son a Toy Story themed Hot Wheels track back in the 90s that came with a authentic looking Red Baron car inside the package.  I almost pilfered the car for myself, but he loved it so much I couldn't do it.

Then.. in 2012, I learned good things come to those who wait.  I now have a Red Baron Hot Wheels car in my collection that blows away my original.  From the real rubber tires with treads, to the black and white Maltese Cross painted on the side of the helmet, it's a mini work of art.   It may not be the most pricey car in my collection, but it's definitely one of the most prized.

Jul 11, 2016

Endangered retro terminology and words..

I love uttering words and phrases that I grew up hearing my folks and Grandparents use. I always get a kick out of blank stares I get from youngin's that aren't familiar with said expressions. However, I'm equally as pleased with the looks of amusement I get from those who are acquainted with such sayings and terms. Here's a few that have been running through my mind lately..

In my experiences as a boy, older folks would often refer to us kids as "Ragamuffin's" when we were dirty, messy, or shabbily dressed. We usually heard this term after a long hard day of playing outside when an adult would say something like.. "Judas Priest! Look at the state of you little Ragamuffin's!

Basically another word for fate or destiny.

Slang for the lifters inside of an engine that open the valves. Eventually, the camshaft that moves the lifters or the valve stem can eventually wear down enough to make the lifters click. On more than one occasion, I remember pulling up somewhere in my old jalopy, only to have an old timer tell me: "Sounds like you need to adjust yer tappets son".

Beer Nuts
These are still around, but a lot of younger folks I've talked to had no clue what they were. For my old man, Beer Nuts were the quintessential snack to eat with beer. He used to stock pile cans of these things in the cupboard for football games and boxing matches. I remember my Dad happily sharing his cans of Beer Nuts with me when I was a wee lad, and thinking I was getting away with something. I simply equated that the peanuts had beer in them because of the product name.

Many folks used to call jeans Dungarees. I remember getting perturbed at this when I was a kid thinking.. how dare they call my Levis 501's Dungarees?!?

Castor Oil
Ugh.. when I was a kid, many households had a bottle of castor oil on the closet or medicine shelf.  I'd go as far to say that almost every household had a bottle at the ready when my parents were kids. Castor Oil is a vegetable oil made from the castor bean, and is primarily used as a laxative. While my parents never made me consume the stuff.. my brother once offered me 50 cents to swallow a spoonful. I accepted his offer, and choked down the thick yellowish oil which about made me gag. Heaven only knows how I kept the stuff down.   Later on during the night, the results were dare I say.. explosive.

I've eaten countless variations of this fruit salad at get-togethers and church gatherings throughout the 70's and 80's. My favorite salads were the ones with little marshmallows, and plenty of shredded coconut. Oh yeah.. if you're an old cat like me and were around in the 70's, you might remember a progressive American rock band by the same name. Big hits for the group Ambrosia were "Biggest Part of Me", "How Much I feel", and "You're the Only Woman".

Now widely referred to by most as dating. Kids back in my day however, understood that courting was a serious thing rather than recreational. Courtship was the period in a relationship where both people are trying their best to get to know each other better, so as to decide if a progression toward marriage is in their future.

I could literally go on all day popping off endangered and extinct sayings and phrases. I believe the topic warrants some more posts in the near future. Stay tuned..

Jul 4, 2016

From the archives of my Old Man's 8-track collection..

She Shot me down
by Frank Sinatra

Not one of Sinatra's bigger selling albums, even though his talent is exceptionally showcased.  It features lots of songs where he talks of love, regret, and loss. If you ever happen to be too happy and need to be taken down a notch or two, this album will do the trick pallie!

This still plays perfectly, and my Old Man swears 8-tracks have better sound than newfangled CD's!  Yup.. that's my Old Man.  Retro til' the end!