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Do you remember “Shrinky Dinks? I do. Very cool concept, however, this was another one of those childhood gimmicks that never turned out well for me either. Shrinky Dinks were these transparent “cut-able” plastic sheets, that can be use to trace drawings and colored using special non-toxic marker pens. Once you’ve finished your drawing, you would then cut around your plastic drawing and place it in the oven. All your plastic drawings would shrink and turn in to hard pieces of plastic, that could be used for all kinds of jewelry, decals, key chains, and anything else imaginable.

Unfortunately, when I tried to put them in the oven as a kid (adult supervision of course), the plastic would always burn at the edges, or the finished product always wind up deformed. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why. I was left feeling that I needed a special oven to use these “Shrinky Dinks”. Many, many, many years later, it’s maker developed a personal “child safe” oven you can use specifically for Shrinky Dinks”. You can even watch it through a class window as it hardens. Click here to see what the oven looks like on Amazon.

I was very shocked to find out that ALEX, the makers of Shrinky Dinks are still in business and making money. Today, I don’t see any advertisements for Shrinky Dinks anymore. There success must be due to all the parents that remember having them as a child. Shrinky Dinks used to, and still does come in various themes, such as haloween, xmas, thanksgiving, etc. They also used to have Television show themes, such as The Flinstones, A-Team, Superman, you name it. Click here for more Shrinky Dinks

Yogi

 

When I was a young boy, Sea Monkey advertisements were in the back of practically every single comic book! I couldn’t remember one comic book that i’ve owned, at least up until late 1975ish didn’t have these ads. First off, I tried these things at least about 2 or three times, and they NEVER worked for me. Not sure why, maybe I just had bad luck and got bad batches? Not sure. However, one thing I do know, If I had seen how see monkeys REALLY looked, instead of the cartoon drawings in the back of these DC/Marvel comic books, I never would have been interested in getting them in the first place. Sea Monkeys are hideous!! Oh, my, they are so ugly ya’ll!! They look nothing like monkeys in my opinion (at least Sea Horses, resemble horses), in fact, many of them appeared to be more like baby Caterpillars if they were fish. Some looked like frayed pieces of white string with two big black eyeballs, while others look like the kinda food scavengers would eat.. Either way, they would have not been something I would have been interested in having as a pet. However, What I found interesting is that, I remembered the ads really emphasizing on how easy it was to grow them, but they never really talked about a safe way to clean the container you have them in. The plastic tank they gave you with the kit would always turn cloudy (I guess because of the monkey deposits), and of course there was no 800# available to ask questions. Sea Monkeys now appear to be a distant memory; we have transitioned from the wonderful world of Sea Monkeys to the awesome world of video games, and the Internet – a course of no return.

Yogi

 

I’m sorry, I just could not resist. I had to put these two pictures together. Flavor Flav now looks exactly like “The Heat Miser” from the Xmas 1974 classic “A Year Without Santa Claus“. For those of you who are too young to remember, Flavor Flav was apart of a radicle 80’s rap group called “Public Enemy”, which hits include “Fight The Power“, and also “Don’t Believe The Hype“. Flavor Flav is the one that wears that HUMUNGOUS clock on his neck, large and loud sunglasses, and he is extremely flamboyant. From what I can tell, he still performs lyrics with the group. Recently, Flavor Flav was arrested for domestic abuse and erratic  behavior. This is a perfect example of someone who enjoyed all the fame and fortune, yet, because he has nothing of value from within, it eventually manifests itself as people like him get older.

Yogi

I know that some of you gonna pretend that you don’t remember these boots from the 80’s. I had a pair just like these in my 20’s. I used to call them Captain America boots, because they looked like all the boots that almost of the DC comic book characters wore. The funny part is I had a red pair. It’s crazy because, these boots were so hot in style back in the 80’s that, it was the only time guys were not made fun of for wearing colors outside the  basic black, brown, and occasional white. Today you see guys wearing every color in the spectrum (with the exception of pink sneakers, those colors still remain to be exclusively a female color. Yet, how interesting that a number of men are rocking pink shirts though.. LOL).

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Now, I know I’m not the only one who remembers this game! All the playing pieces looked like regular checkers, but how you play it seems more like Tic Tac Toe. If I remember correctly, the rules were to get either 4 of your checker across, diagonal, or vertical you win. Sounds easy? Na, I didn’t remember this game to be so easy when I was growing up. It seemed as though there were hardly any winners. I think this was because the base of the game had many rows ad columns. The only bad part I remembered about this game though, was the pieces were EVERYWHERE!! LOL. Thank goodness there were no babies around, otherwise this game would have been quite dangerous, despite how fun it looks.

 

-Yogi

 

The song called “Stormy Weather” was one of Lena Horne’s first recordings, and has made her an international success. The song still remains to be one of her most memorable recordings. It also happens to be one of my favorites songs from that era. Many of my blog members may not know that, a lot of African American people hated Lena early on in her career, because it was said she tried to pass as white, therefore her audience base was primarily Caucasian. Keep in mind in those days they still had “colored” bathroom signs, so it was quite a bit of tension between the obvious black people  and the “passable coloreds”. The average person today can’t fathom the unbelievable amount of pressure, that African Americans of film had, to represent people of color as real human beings; beings with emotion, passion, whit, and true acting ability. People of color not only had to deal with levels of unconceivable racism outside television and theater, but also type casting within the theatre; to be seen more than just a maid, butler, slave, a shield, or a brainless dummy who can be used as bait.  Listen to the original recording of “Stormy Weather” Taken from the titled movie “Stormy Weather (1943) Click Here. Enjoy.

 

Yogi

 

 

donna_summer_1977

Donna Summer (born LaDonna Adrian Gaines December 31, 1948) is an American singer and songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of music. Summer was trained as a gospel singer prior to her introduction to the music industry and has always been known for her “Powerhouse” Vocal delivery. Though she is most notable for her disco hits, Summer’s repertoire has expanded to include contemporary R&B, Rock, Mainstream pop, and Gospel. Summer is one of the most successful recording artists of the 1970s and 1980s and was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums hit #1 on the Billboard charts. She also became the first female artist to have four number-one singles in a thirteen-month period. Billboard magazine has noted that Summer’s extensive career has landed her as the “Eighth” most succesful career by a female. Summer’s website reports an estimate that she has sold more than 130 million records worldwide.

Born in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, she was one of seven children raised by devout Christian parents. She sang in church, and in her teens joined a funk group called The Crow, so named because Donna was the only black member of the group. At eighteen, Gaines left home and school to audition for a role in the cast of the Broadway musical, Hair. Unsuccessful in getting the part in the Broadway show (Melba Moore got the role), she was offered the European Tour when the show moved to Germany, where Summer also performed in the German versions of several musicals including Godspell and Show Boat. She settled in Munich and also performed with the Viennese Folk Opera and the pop band Munich Machine.

In 1971, Gaines released a single in Europe entitled “Sally Go ‘Round The Roses”, her first solo recording. The single was unsuccessful, however, and she had to wait until 1974 to launch a solo career. Gaines married Austrian actor Helmuth Sommer (“Summer” is an Anglicization of his last name) in 1972 and gave birth to daughter Mimi the following year. Summer did various musical jobs in studios and theaters for several years, including the pop group FamilyTree from 1974-75.

After her divorce from Sommer, she married her second husband, American musician Bruce Sudano, in 1980. They have two daughters named Brooklyn and Amanda. Sudano was a member of the ’70s groups Alive N Kickin’ and The Brooklyn Dreams. You can read the rest on Wikipedia.  Click Download to listen to short podcast.