This is not MY Bit-O-Honey Bee mascot

What in the Wide World of Sports is this?!?
New bit-o-honey candy bee
I'm not SO retro that I'm against updating an advertising mascot's look, but what they have done to my Bit-O-Honey Bee is the complete opposite of a glow up. 

Who thought this was a good idea? Everyone I have showed this new mascot is bewildered. In fact, "Horrifying" and "weird" are responses I've gotten from folks.

bit-o-honey candy bee

Mind you.. Bit-O-Honey is far from my favorite candy, but it's always been there and I vividly remember it being one of the first candies I ever ate as a wee young lad. That cute little Bee became synonymous with good feelings and was always comforting to see like an old friend.

I guess people get like this with mascots even more so when it comes to brands they really love. The Cookie Crisp mascot is a good example. People love familiarity and associate it with comfort, and don't often take kindly when you turn that upside down or in this case, outright obliterate it.. not even leaving a trace of what you adored for life.

I don't know why the change of this cute little mascot for a candy that passes my lips every few years shook me up so much, but it did. Maybe I should tag this post under 'Old Man Rants'.

McDonald's News. This could be trouble (for me)

New McDonald's coming in Clermont, Florida
Breaking Ground for a new McDonald's
(Eagle Ridge, Clermont Florida)

The closest McDonald's to me is currently 2.9 miles away from my home. However, as you can see by the picture above, they have broke ground on a new store in the Clermont area of Florida. The distance of this new McDonald's is only one mile from my home. Crap.

I say 'Crap' because now I will have TWO McDonald's within three miles of my front doorstep. I have greatly changed my eating habits over the last couple of years, only eating Mc Donald's on occasion, but I know myself. If the craving strikes for a late afternoon burger and shake, I'm going to have to work on bolstering my willpower.

These days, McDonald's only really gets my hard earned money for breakfast. The McDonald's down the road is actually more convenient for that, as it's right on the way to work and incredibly easy to get in and out of. While this new McDonald's is not easily accessible going to work, it will be the last fast food stop on the way home, right before I turn into my neighborhood. It's also smack dab in the center of the area where I run most of my errands.

Will this really equate to me consuming more McDonald's fare? Sadly, I'm afraid so. I get the occasional craving for several McDonald's menu items. Below is the breakdown..
McMuffins, McGriddles, Chicken Biscuits & McBagels
Craving consistency: Daily during my morning commute

Regular Hamburger
Craving consistency: Bi-weekly

Craving consistency: Once a year

Big Mac
Craving consistency: Twice a year

Double Quarter Pounder & Triple Cheeseburger
Craving consistency: Once a year

Chicken McNuggets w/honey
Craving consistency: Once a year

Egg Nog, Strawberry and Shamrock Shakes
I used to think about McDonald's shakes probably on a weekly basis. However, I have become adept at fighting off those cravings largely in part to the machines always being broken. 

So while a week never passes without McDonald's entering my mind in some way, I have gotten really good at fending off the thoughts and cravings, mainly because of a healthier diet I've adopted. However, having a McDonald's that's practically a stone throw away, is going to challenge my willpower.

I'll do my best to hang in there with my healthier lifestyle. Just for kicks, I may pop in for the grand opening, and write a subsequent blog post about it. Stay tuned for that one. I'm thinking the new store will be up and running well before spring.

FLORIDA MAN-dalorian. Boba Fett costume


Boba Fett Costume (FLORIDA MAN..dalorian)

This is my impromptu Boba Fett costume I threw together yesterday. It's basically a graphic Boba Fett hoodie, paired with a Boba Fett Black Series helmet (re-armored version).

I thought it would be funny to dress up as FLORIDA MAN-dalorian' complete with shorts and flip flops. The farmers tan above my feet from the long summer of Florida yardwork, pulled the whole Florida Man motif together nicely I think.

I've owned the hoodie for a while now, and this is the first time I was able to wear it, as October 31st brought nice cool temperatures our way. The Boba Fett bucket was an experience to wear indeed. I bought the helmet in November of 2021. I did so, because ever since I saw The Empire Strikes Back as a ten year old boy in 1980, I've always dreamed of putting together a Boba Fett costume or, cosplay as they are now generally called. 

Thoughts on the Boba Fett Helmet
This helmet is the Hasbro Black Series Re-Armored version. In the Mandalorian series, Boba Fett re-armored his helmet and the result was the crisper cleaner color scheme that you see here. I learned a lot from my initial evening of wearing the bucket. For one, the included helmet adjustment strap did not work for me at all, so I ended up removing it. This left the helmet balancing atop my head. Not a bad thing, but any sudden turns of my head would leave the helmet facing forward as my head turned freely inside. The wobbling and swiveling I experienced will easily be remedied by adding foam padding to custom fit the helmet to me personally.

The next thing I experienced was fogging of the visor. While I'm sure the fogging can be cut down quite a bit by coating the visor with some anti-fog treatment, I'm betting that won't be enough. Therefore, I'm going to utilize a trick that a Stormtrooper friend of mine uses. 

The 501st Legion

My friend is a member of the 501st Legion, an organization dedicated to creating screen accurate replicas of Stormtrooper armor among many other character costumes Mandalorians included. The 501st makes special appearances at community events, hospitals, ball games, libraries, and conventions to name a few. They often turn out in large numbers for parades etc. 

My friend told me how hot and steamy a helmet could get in the full on sun or even wearing the helmet indoors for hours on end. He then let me in on an incredible hack that he called "an absolute lifesaver". He wired two computer cooling fans inside of his helmet for air circulation and downdraft within the helmet.

Book of Boba Fett

Absolute genius! As soon as my helmet is properly fitted, I will be trying to use this very same trick. Then it will be on to slowly trying to put together a full on Boba Fett costume. I really like the newer version of Boba Fett's armor and outfit from 'The Book of Boba Fett', so I believe that's the one I will be trying to put together. If this indeed comes to fruition, I will make sure to post about it here.

Game Boy Camera


The Game Boy camera was launched and presented to the masses in early 1998. In short, the Game Boy Camera was a game cartridge with attached camera, compatible with handheld Game Boy systems of the time. The camera could swivel 180 degrees, in essence making it a selfie camera. The device stored grayscale digital images at 112 x 128 pixels, in four glorious shades of grey.

Game Boy Camera

I bought my very own Game Boy Camera on eBay a couple months back, and have been having a blast with it ever since. I am absolutely smitten, and love the challenge of trying to take a decent picture using this antiquated tech.

Game Boy Camera Picture

A shot of my most retro CASIO watch..
snapped with my most retro digital camera

I never owned a Game Boy Camera back in the day, but borrowed one from a buddy who quickly got bored with it after owning it for only a couple of weeks. I in turn messed around with it for a few months or so, and absolutely loved it. Back in 1998 digital cameras cost around a thousand bucks, so a fifty dollar Game Boy Camera put digital photography within reach for those on a budget, albeit in very primitive form. This was a huge deal for kids, gamers and techies. Cell phones in the U.S. didn't even start adopting cameras until about 2002, so there really wasn't anything else like it at the time.

Game Boy Camera stores pictures at 112 x 128 pixels as grayscale digital images, in four glorious shades of grey. It was so hard to take good quality pictures, and after snapping many a dud, I found that bright lighting was not my friend when using the camera. A bright sunny day would wash out images that would normally be caught perfectly on film. I began experimenting and shooting pics with all kinds of lighting. I found mornings, late afternoons, and cloudier days to be my favorite times to take pictures.

Game Boy Printer
Game Boy Printer

I carried my friends Game Boy Camera around with me everywhere back in the day. My biggest gripe was that the unit only held 30 pictures max. At the time, the only way to get them off of the camera was to buy the Game Boy printer, which didn't do the digital images any favors during the thermal transfer.

Game Boy Camera street picture

Nowadays there are many hacks you can perform to retrieve your images off of the Game Boy. I am currently working on a way to do this, but for now am simply using my phone to grab images I'm particularly fond or proud of.  

I also hear you can use the Game Boy Camera as a webcam, making for some way cool looking streams and webcasting. This prospect excites me to no end, and I plan on trying this out. I'll keep you posted if I can pull this off with suitable results. I'll also be sharing photos I take around the Orlando area and in my travels.

How to get 50 FREE Big Macs.. ( in 1977 )

I came across this 1977 newspaper clipping from my hometown newspaper The Fort Collins Coloradoan. The appliance store 'downing's' was having a huge sale and were offering coupons for free Big Mac's to get people in the door. Basically, the more you spent, the more Big Mac's you would score, with the chance of accumulating a maximum of 50 Big Macs total. Behold..


A closer look at the 'Free Big Mac' Redemption chart..

Free Big Mac Redemption Formula

I miss the days when businesses had deals like these. It was great going out to buy something you needed anyway, and getting something extra in return. In this case, you could go buy an appliance or television, and be able to get dinner for your family several times over!

Just another example how businesses used to fight for your business. Nowadays, they know people are going to spend money with them regardless, so they won't even bother spending one extra cent to get your attention. 

I love viewing old advertisements from the recent past. The culture of shopping has changed so much since the 70s. Don't even get me started on prices. I loved seeing how ten Big Macs had a retail value of $7.50! I'm seriously considering featuring more ads like this on a regular basis, so keep an eye out..

Pizza Review - Mellow Mushroom in Winter Park, FL

Mellow Mushroom Winter Park, FL
2015 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792

Retro Dad rating..

5 out of 5 Slices!

I finally got around to dining at Mellow Mushroom Pizza in Winter Park Florida, and I've got to say, I'm sorry I didn't give this place a try sooner. My entire dining experience was incredible and I can't wait to visit again.

Beatles Mural Mellow Mushroom Menu in Winter Park, FL
All you need is love.. (and pizza)

From the moment you walk into this restaurant, you're hit with a whole vibe that just oozes from every nook and cranny. Whether you look up, down, left or right, there is something stimulating for the eye to see. 

Mellow Mushroom Menu in Winter Park, FL

The murals, decoration, light fixtures, booth upholstery etc. give life to a laid-back atmosphere where one can relax and unwind. 

Mellow Mushroom Pizza in Winter Park, FL

Even the menus are full of great art. Music rounded out the ambience, and the staff was incredibly attentive and friendly. I already knew this was going to be a great experience before our drinks even hit the table.

Mellow Mushroom Cheese Bread in Winter Park, FL

I started out with some incredible cheese bread that was smothered in melted garlic butter, covered in mozzarella, and sprinkled with Italian seasoning. It came with a side of tasty 'Mellow Sauce' to dip with. 

I also ordered up a Bell's Oberon American Wheat Ale, which always pairs perfect with bread and pizza.

Mellow Mushroom Logo Pint Glass

I'm an avid glassware collector and enthusiast, and while drinking my beer out of the way cool Mellow Mushroom pint glass, I noticed something interesting. 

The embossed Mellow Mushroom logo was actually pressed onto the inside of the glass, creating a very unique appearance as it hung onto the suds from the beer! 

I had never seen such a thing before on a pint glass and instantly fell in love with it. I asked our server if they by any chance sold the pint glasses, and she affirmed they indeed did! I of course bought one for my collection, and I admire it every time I drink from it.

Mellow Mushroom's 'Mighty Meaty' Pizza

This was the pizza we ordered in all of its glory. Mellow Mushroom's 'Mighty Meaty' Pizza. It sported pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Ground Beef, Honey Ham, and some of the most delicious Applewood-Smoked Bacon I've ever had on a pizza. 

The ridiculously beautiful crust is a result of a couple different things. First, it's cooked on a stone surface which helps to achieve a perfectly crispy crust due to uniform heat.

Mellow Mushroom Crust

Second, Mellow Mushroom's pizza dough is truly a work of art, made from high quality, high protein, unbromated unbleached wheat flour. They mix in spring water and never use any refined white sugar. This is also the case for their pretzels and Calzones.

This definitely was not wasted on me. It takes some real effort and care to produce pizza dough like this, and the results are evident. It made for a more rustic, flavorful, beautiful crust.

Mellow Mushroom Crust

Every meat topping was divine. Mellow Mushroom prides themselves on using top of the line high quality meats, and it really shows. It was a flavor explosion, with the sauce tasting fresh and not overpowering. 

The never frozen, preservative free mozzarella pulled everything together with its creaminess. It mellowed the acidity of the sauce, curbed the saltiness of the meats, and added richness to the crust.

Every ingredient played off of the other perfectly. I can't wait to try more varieties of Mellow Mushroom pies, to see what other flavor profiles they've honed to perfection.

The outdoor patio
I really do need to come back and dine alfresco when the Florida nights cool down this fall.

Mellow Mushroom Patio

Mellow Mushroom Patio

Mellow Mushroom Patio

Mellow Mushroom really did exceed all of my expectations in every way. I love it when businesses refuse to cut corners and end up perfecting their craft as a result.

Mellow Mushroom Wizard

Mellow Mushroom Winter Park, is the place I am going to take friends and family to dine on pizza when they visit me in Florida. I will be back for sure, as I need to dine on the patio, complete my set of Mellow Mushroom pint glasses, and try SO many more of their menu items.

Awesome food, great staff, and an enjoyable relaxing atmosphere to create memories. I'm more than proud to spread the word about this great pizza place.

Visit Mellow Mushroom Online or in person

Mellow Mushroom Menu

I found my 'forever mug' last week in Colorado


Bigfoot Mug

This Bigfoot Obsessed Retro Dad found his forever mug last week while visiting Colorado. I procured this beautiful ceramic mug in Old Town Fort Collins at a store called 'The Cupboard'. It was made by a Colorado company called 'Two Little Fruits'. It's a beefy 20 ounce mug that keeps my coffee warm, and holds plenty of it.


I remember there being reported Bigfoot sightings in the Red Feather Lakes area of Larimer County when I was a kid. In the years since, I've noticed that Fort Collins and much of Colorado for that matter, are really leaning into that very Bigfoot lore.

You never know what wonders you'll find while shopping in Old Town, which is why I always make a trip there whenever I'm in town. My last few trips have garnered some great Bigfoot finds, and I will be keeping a sharper eye out for more next time I visit.

1978 Happy Meal Space Raiders toys from McDonald's

You've got to admit, some of todays fun meal toys are pretty dang impressive. However, the ones I acquired as a kid hold a special place in my heart. Particularly my complete set of 1978 Space Raider Happy Meal toys. They were made by a toy company called Diener, and the set consists of four alien figures and four space ships. All of the figures in the set are roughly two and a half inches, were made of a soft bendable rubber, and came in a variety of about 5 different colors.

Aliens.. Brak, Zama, Dard and Horta
and ships.. Altair 2, Ceti-3, Krygo 5, and Lyra 4

These guys hail from the era when Happy Meals always came in those cool boxes, and included a free package of McDonald Land cookies. When these figures were released, the STAR WARS craze was in full effect, and kids were scrambling to get their hands on anything sci-fi related. 

I remember obtaining my very first Space Raider figure which was Brak (The green fellow with the big brain). I remember placing him in the Happy Meal box for safe keeping on the trip home. Upon retrieving him from the box, I noticed he was coated with French fry salt that had collected at the bottom of the box. It was hard as heck to get the salt granules off of him, so I gave him a bath in the kitchen sink with some Dawn dish soap. I soon learned that these guys would need a regular hygiene regimen to keep them looking presentable. The type of rubber that they were made of seemed to be a magnet for hair, lint, dirt, dust, sand, and all manner of filth.

Each alien had their name clearly printed on the front of them, as did the ships. You had no clue as to which ship was paired with each alien, so usually you would just match them up by color. Collectors often refer to these as rubber eraser figures. I even remember kids at school trying to use them for this purpose. These attempts usually resulted in making a big mess of your school work, because the rubber would just smear the pencil marks rather than removing them from the paper.

Diener also produced other rubber and plastic toys for other companies in the 70's and 80's. In fact, there was another Space Creatures Happy Meal toy set they made in the 1980's. You can see the more monster-esque Happy Meal toy line here at Neato Coolville.

I loved my Space Raiders, and had hours of fun playing with them.  I guess they weren't too different from the non articulated cowboys and Indians, or green army men I grew up with.  Those simple yet great toys forced you to use your imagination, provided a kid with endless hours of fun, and I for one have many great memories of playing with them.

October 11th is National Sausage Pizza Day

Happy National Sausage Pizza Day friends! It seems like it was just yesterday that we were celebrating National Pepperoni Pizza Day.

October 11th is National Sausage Pizza Day

While Pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping in the U.S., I'd wager that sausage isn't too far behind. I'm really pressed for time, but am going to try my best to dine on a sausage topped pizza today, even if I have to swing by Little Caesars to pick one up. 

Enjoy your Sausage covered pies my friends, and Happy Holidays!

I miss book, music and movie stores

This is an old a picture of the now defunct Hastings store in Greeley Colorado. Things being how they are today with technology and whatnot, forced this store to close a couple of years ago around 2012.  Hastings was one of my favorite stores to frequent. They sold new and used books, music, and movies, as well as a hodgepodge of other items appealing to musicians, skaters, geeks, gamers, and pop culture fanatics. I can honestly say that there was something for everyone in this store.

My world was truly shaken when I learned the news that Hastings Greeley was closing. From the sound of it, employees were just as shocked by the news as I was. They were told of the bad news just two days prior to when the general public was notified. Apparently their lease was up, and the landlord found another tenant that wanted to take over the retail space. Rather than move to a new location, folks at corporate decided to cut their losses and close the store.

Conventional wisdom dictates that this is another classic case of how technology is changing the landscape of the retail market, in regards to virtually every type of media. Like everyone else, Hastings has seen their video rental business steadily decrease thanks to Red Box, Netflix, and on demand programming. Retail publication and music sales also continue to falter because of digital downloads. I guess stores like Hastings, Borders, and Barnes and Noble are becoming dinosaurs in this day and age.  It's a simple fact that can't be denied, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

I'm old school. I love to spend hours browsing through music, book, magazine, and movie sections in stores. However, being able to do so is becoming harder and harder to do. An e-book just doesn't do it for me, nor does an electronic copy of an album, or streaming movies from my phone. Mind you, I'm not opposed to technology, I just don't believe that we need to replace all media with convenient streamlined digital alternatives. Everything we need is now becoming immediately available. I can already see myself and many others close to me becoming inpatient and anxious, all for the sake of immediate gratification. 

I could go on and on forever about digital vs. traditional media, but I think I'll cool it for now. Instead, let's take a look at a few things that made stores like Hastings so great..

Hastings - Books
What's better than browsing through a book store, knowing that there are all kinds of hidden treasures you never knew existed just waiting to be found?

Hastings - Kids Section
I loved taking my kids to book stores like this and letting them pick out books that we could read together.  Sadly, the feel of many book stores these days are less than inviting.

Hastings - Board Games
These boxes contain something called 'Board Games'.  It's a strange concept, but these are non electronic games of strategy and chance, played by following a set of pre determined rules. It's what folks used to do for fun before Angry Birds and X-Box.

Hastings - Music section

A cornucopia of music that you can pick up, see, and feel.  There's something to be said for an LP or  CD with its dust jacket that can include lyrics, stories and insight from the artist's themselves, and of course, the cover art.

Hastings - Rental Movie section
I'm thinking Red Box doesn't have quite as extensive of a movie selection as this store had.

Hastings Vinyl LPs 
A lot of new artists are getting their new albums pressed to vinyl these days in addition to digital and compact disc.  When Hastings closed, the places to find new vinyl in these parts are far and few between.

Hastings Comic Book Section

I am a child of the 70s and 80s, and therefore appreciate a good comic book. Hastings had a large section of floor space dedicated to new and old comics, as well as other comic related merchandise like action figures, collectibles, and apparel. At the time of Hastings closing, the town of Greeley Colorado was left without a single comic book store, which had me going through some serious withdrawals. 

I can't tell you how many oddball and wacky pop culture items I bought from Hastings over the years. Great items like these pictured below were always readily available for purchase.. 

Bacon Air Freshener
Cover up that nasty new car scent with bacon air freshener

Zombie and Brain Jell-o Molds
Zombie Brain and Heart gelatin molds will ensure that your next dinner party will be a hit!

All purpose Luchador Mask
A Lucha Libre wrestling mask 
should be a staple in every man's wardrobe

Nunzilla.. a fire breathing, spark spitting wind up toy.
I ended up buying this

Herman Munster Action Figure
One of the coolest retro action figures I've ever seen

Twilight Zone "Mystic Seer" 
Twilight Zone 'Mystic Seer'
This is just like the little fortune telling machine that William Shatner got addicted to using in the 1960 Twilight Zone episode "Nick of Time". I almost bought this cool little unit, but couldn't pull the trigger because he still kinda freaks me out after all of these years.

ZOMBIEZ 'Eat Flesh'
Wicked cool tees and geek-wear were always abundant

Headwear for Geeks
Assortment of headwear for the discerning geek 

Yes.. Hastings was way more than just a video and music store.  It felt as if they went out of their way to appeal to the masses, and it truly was an end of an era when they closed. They are still sorely missed by many Greeley residents, and surely will be for a long time to come.

Update 10/10/2023 
Hastings filed for bankruptcy somewhere around 2016 sealing their fate and in a sense, ending an era for many. I read this article now that I penned almost a decade ago and can't believe how much things have changed since then.

While I originally had a bit of an aversion to the shift in how we were starting to consume media, I must admit I do not purchase as much these days apart from retro video games, books and the occasional LP. I am indeed much less patient than I used to be, and it has everything to do with how I consume my information, entertainment and news. It's for this reason that I force myself to grab the occasional newspaper, crossword puzzle book, play vintage games, and shoot analog photos.

In my humble opinion, we must occasionally force ourselves to slow down and take pause. Our brains need the occasional break from the constant bombardment of information we are exposed to. Retro media formats and using antiquated tech is a great way to accomplish this. I really want to cover some of the ways I do this personally, so keep an eye out.