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dauber

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Everything posted by dauber

  1. What? Time for another episode ALREADY?! Well, Bob DeCrescenzo has DONE IT AGAIN. This time, with some help from Kurt Woloch. In this episode we explore the latest addition to the 7800 homebrew library, the only home conversion of an arcade classic. https://homebrew78.fab4it.com/media/hbh_episode_0501.mp3
  2. From either 1997 or 1998. I despise Windows and always have. A friend took a picture of me and photoshopped a Windows cloud background behind me and put the logo on my t-shirt.
  3. (BTW, an addendum, in case anybody's concerned about my travels...my wife and I both consulted with our doctors and ran our travel plans by them. Both said they sound safe.)
  4. I'm lucky enough to live where cases took a nosedive, probably because a huge chunk of the population goes along with the face covering mandate, ergo reducing the spread. Wife and I just spent an extended weekend in New Buffalo, MI. We stopped off in Michigan City, Indiana, on the way, and...well....Indiana is a "facemask recommended" state rather than a "facemask mandatory" state. Thankfully, most people in the store were wearing masks, and the store was big enough with wide enough aisles that keeping away from people who weren't wearing masks was doable. Michigan is a "facemask mandatory if your medical conditions allow you to wear one" state...which begs the question: if you have a medical condition that makes wearing a facemask a hindrance to your well-being...then why are you outside during a nasty pandemic? We'll see if I made it through unscathed in a couple of weeks! We've been planning a trip to San Diego. We were supposed to go in April, but of course, that didn't happen, so we rescheduled it for August. Now we have an issue: there's a Chicago mandate now that Chicago residents who fly into O'Hare or Midway from one of 15 states on a list, you are legally required to quarantine yourself for two weeks. California is on the list (even though cases in San Diego County are pretty low). You get fined something like $700 - $1000 per day you're not quarantined. Of course, what exactly they mean by quarantine, they don't say. (Do they mean stay in your house 24/7, not even go out to walk the dog? Stay home unless you have to go out to get food? etc.) And how exactly they're going to enforce that, nobody knows. They did say the list will be modified over time, and we're hoping California will fall off the list, but we're prepared to change our plans. I know it's for the good of everybody, theoretically, but it still sucks. What doesn't make sense is that here, bars are allowed to be open, but beaches are not, despite the fact that 1) Dr. Fauci himself said that one of the most dangerous things you can do right now is go drink at a bar, and 2) I've heard more than one medical expert say that aside from keeping yourself isolated, the safest place to be is in the water at the beach. Mind you, there are strict bar rules: once you get your drink, you are to leave the bar and go to a table, and there's a strict limit on the number of people allowed to be in the building. The common belief is that the reason bars are allowed to be open is so the city can collect the sales tax. But the thing is, almost all of the beaches have busy concession stands that could very well be providing tax dollars, but no. The rule is that everything east of Lake Shore Drive in Chicago is closed (except for the bike / pedestrian trail), which means there are full-service restaurants that aren't allowed to be open in addition to concession stands, independent ice cream vendors who can't sell their stuff, and at least two bike shops that can't be open. On top of all that, that means there are no lifeguards on duty making summer money, most of whom are minorities who could really use it. (Our mayor is black and claims to be on the side of minorities.) And no lifeguards on duty means that if someone ignores the "beach closed" mandate, goes swimming, and gets caught up in a rip current, there's no lifeguard to rescue that person. All the other beaches along Lake Michigan are open, but nope, the mayor won't reopen Chicago's. (Yet I'm still paying taxes that are supposed to allow me to use those beaches.) My wife was practically raised on the beach, and she's REALLY cheesed off about the whole thing. Speaking of my wife, she's kind of stressed because she's a teacher and is worried about the fall. It seems that all those in charge want schools to be open. Now...where I work, the word is we probably won't be going back to our building until some time in 2021. Just to give you an idea of where I work...my company's Chicago site takes up neatly two complete floors of a skyscraper. We have about 60 employees on site on both of those floors. (If you want to see the building I'm in, watch the opening credits of the later seasons of The Bob Newhart Show -- my building can be seen briefly about 45 seconds in! So you have an idea of how large and wide the building is.) Both our office manager and our parent company headquartered in Texas will not allow anybody to be in our office for more than 30 minutes at a time, and only one person at a time. Now...compare that to, say, 32 kids in one classroom. And my wife is diabetic, so that puts her at an increased risk. I told her if she's forced to teach in person in a classroom, I will pay to have a large Plexiglass barrier installed in her room. Other than that, though...I guess I'm okay. Now that I'm working from home, I like that I don't have a commute. Down side though is that means I don't bike the 7-9 miles to work and back every day, but I don't seem to have gained any weight. (My shorts from last year still fit without a problem!) And I really liked the strict stay-at-home order we head before because I'm an indoorsman anyway. 🙂 So far my wife and I are both healthy otherwise. Each of us knows someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19. One of her old college roommates ended up in the hospital with a torturous case of pneumonia as a result, but she's fine now. Former classmate of mine had it, but I believe he was asymptomatic; his wife is a physician's assistant who flew out to New York to help with their overcrowded hospitals. And one of my coworkers had it, too; she thinks she got it from her husband, who's a social worker. Thankfully, she's okay now, although apparently she was pretty miserable. Yeah, on paper, this thing has a high survival rate...but that's just it: survival. How many of those who survived actually came out of it 100% intact, with no long-lasting or permanent damage? We gotta keep each other safe, everybody.
  5. I saw the All in the Family theme posted. What many people don't know: there's a longer version of it, with an additional bridge and more verses. I don't think it was ever included in an episode, but I think studio audiences might have heard it. There were at least two record albums released that contained All in the Family audio clips (this was before VCRs were common and if you wanted to play your favorite shows, this was the only way!) -- one of those albums is at just about every flea market and used record store! The first one has the extended theme:
  6. I grew up in the Chicago area. The first grocery store I remember was called Eagle -- not related to the Giant Eagle chain, btw. I think that chain closed up in the early 2000s...shame because the carried Hershey's raspberry chocolate chips -- those things are amazing...can't get those any more. 😞 When I was a wee tot my mom's grocery shopping was always done on a Wednesday. We'd go to the local Eagle store, and then next door to Econo Drugs. Sometimes we'd go to a very tiny A&P. (My last memory of that A&P was playing a game of Pac-Man there circa 1982.) Eventually a Kroger opened up in town. My biggest memories of that store involved video games -- they always had two arcade cabs up front by the entrance. I'd plead with my parents for a quarter (a few times it actually worked!). But I would hang out in front and watch other people play. I think their first cabs were Crazy Kong (yup, Crazy Kong -- in the US!) and a Deep Scan / Head On II twofer. They eventually got a Pac-Man cabinet that I'm pretty sure was counterfeit -- wasn't the Bally/Midway cabinet but a custom cabinet with a hand-painted sign that didn't resemble the actual marquis. I seem to remember they also would eventually have Popeye, Ms. Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, and Pac-Man Plus, rotated in and out over the following year or two. Kroger also had a video rental service, and I think for a time records. We moved away from that place in 1986. Weird thing is I was back there in 2006 visiting a friend, and I wanted to stop in at Kroger to get a drink or something...and I swear to God, it looked EXACTLY the same as I last saw it, minus the arcade games and video rentals. NOTHING had changed. It was a weird time capsule. There used to be a chain called Dominick's in the Chicago area. They closed down a few years ago. I think when they first opened they had an Italian focus, but the eventually became just another grocery store. Safeway bought them out. What's cool though is because of that, when I visit California I can actually use my old Dominick's loyalty card at Safeway. 🙂
  7. So…an episode for your amusement! Prepare for a podcast! (See what we did there?) We swear, this is the absolute last episode we will be releasing this month. If you want another one, sorry; you’ll have to wait. https://www.fab4it.com/piefactory/audio/PFP_Episode113.mp3
  8. I didn't yet have a video game system at all when Pac-Man came out for the 2600, but one of my neighbors had it. I was surprised when I saw it (I was seven years old) because of how different it looked and how weird it sounded. But even at that young age, I figured that the developers at Atari were working with what they had on hand and could only do so much. I've always been a massive Pac-Man fan, so I nearly passed out when my brother and I got a 4-switcher for Christmas in 1982...and my parents also bought Pac-Man and stuck it in the box, so I was quite happy! I knew very well that it was virtually nothing like the arcade version, but I didn't care: I had a way to play Pac-Man at home, and I spent hours on end playing it. (And I always thought it looked great when you flip the TV TYPE switch to BW.)
  9. Barely in time for Paul McCartney’s birthday, a new episode that, surprisingly, has virtually zero mention of The Beatles! This chapter begins with some serious thinking I needed to get out. But after that: ∙ City of Success — A schnook’s reflections on life in the big city ∙ Music for Schnooks — Hopefully better late than never, a long, long overdue tribute to a true musical genius. https://www.schnookpodcast.com/audio/Schnook_Chapter022.mp3
  10. Episode 112 is here! You like cars? Good. Vroooom! https://www.fab4it.com/piefactory/audio/PFP_Episode112C.mp3
  11. "Ripple" does it for me every time. Such an amazing song.
  12. dauber

    Foodquest

    I highly recommend Kinder's Happy Hippo. Those things are soooooo good. Biscuits with different cremes -- hazelnut, chocolate, etc. They're not easy to find though.
  13. Wow...where have I traveled...interesting thing is that when my wife and I lived in New Jersey and lived within a 1-hour drive of Newark International Airport, we didn't really travel many places! But...destinations: Dauber as a little kid: a few road trips to Florida (from the Chicago suburbs)...the sights were fun, but the drive was excruciating. When you're between the ages of 5 and 17, it's no fun taking road trips with your parents! (or MY parents, I should say!) When I was a little kid, like 3 or 4 years old (either 1977 or 1978), we were in Daytona Beach and a day at the Magic Kingdom and another at Sea World about seven years later, we made another trip down. Parents booked a room in Daytona Beach that turned out to be crap, and we drove all up and down Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach for a couple of hours looking for a place that wasn't trash. Ended up not finding one and spent a night in a Days Inn in Ormond Beach that had a greasy floor, roach in the bathroom, sand in the bathroom sink, etc. and wound up finding a nice Holiday Inn in Orlando, which is fine because we were also going to WDW and Sea World. Before Orlando we spent a day in St. Augustine, and on the way back home we stopped at the Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland, GA because my mother was into doll collecting and wanted to check out the place where Cabbage Patch Kids come from. NOT the ideal stop for a ten-year-old boy such as myself! a few more road trips, but to Clearwater Beach, FL. I got sick of dealing with my parents, so by the time I was 17 I put my foot down and said I was staying home. 😆 Dauber as a single adult: Just a weekend trip to Virginia, MN, to go to a friend's wedding. It was an interesting ten-hour drive. I got to drive through Twig, MN -- literally blink and you'll miss it! Stopped in Duluth on the way home to do some record shopping at the Electric Fetus. Dauber as a married adult: My wife and I have been to Vegas many times. It's weird because every time we entertain the thought of going there, we get frightfully lucky and find a cheap flight, the hotel (Flamingo) has obscenely low rates, etc. Last time we were there I went to the Pinball Hall of Fame. Definitely worth visiting -- and this is coming from a guy who isn't a big pinball fan! (I went because aurcade.com showed that they had Q*Bert's Qubes. Unfortunately, it wasn't out on the floor that day!) I love Vegas, but it's one of those places where when I'm there, I'm ready to come back home after three days. During one of our Vegas trips we took a bus tour over to Grand Canyon. If you've never been there, trust me: the greatest picture in the universe cannot do it justice. Just breathtaking! We took five road trips back and forth to New Jersey to visit my wife's mother, bringing the dog along. When I got my current job, we stopped doing that because I didn't want to blow that paid time off driving. (Now, my mother-in-law comes to us in the summer!) Summer of 2010...I got laid off, and I was at the company long enough that my severance actually funded my entire summer! It was AWESOME! In addition to the road trip with the dog, we took a road trip (without the dog!) to South Dakota and checked out Wall Drug Store, Mount Rushmore, and the Badlands. So, so cool. Went to the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH a couple of times. That's...just about the only thing Cleveland has that's worth visiting, and even then, just one visit will do, unless there's a temporary exhibit you really, really want to see. At least once a year my wife and I do a weekend getaway in New Buffalo, MI. Very small town, but great for a weekend getaway, and a lot of "Harbor country" is an easy drive from there. Easy drive TO New Buffalo, too; an hour and a half from Chicago on a bad day. Went to Door County, Wisconsin last summer. HIGHLY recommend it. We stayed in Sister Bay. We saw a tourism documentary about Door County on the local PBS station and decided to check it out. We effing LOVED IT. We were planning to do it again this summer, but things are shaky with the COVID-19 situation. They actually asked people to not come out to Door County because they don't have a big enough hospital to accommodate a lot of people, should people be affected by the pandemic. We're going to New Buffalo instead -- which is fine because the place where we stay doesn't have any enclosed public areas. Bermuda -- we took a honeymoon cruise there the spring after we were married. Such a cool place. It's good for those who are afraid of change: it's British enough to be a foreign country to Americans, but USA-compliant enough for us Yankees. 🙂 If you like alcoholic drinks, you GOTTA go to the Swizzle Inn and have their claim to fame: the rum swizzle. If you order one, they plunk the pitcher on your table and you're practically overcome by fumes. 🤣 New Orleans -- my wife and I have been there twice so far, but we've yet to visit anywhere but the French Quarter. Such a good time. Quite humid, but there's enough to keep you occupied so you aren't terribly bothered. I consider New Orleans the #1 WORST place to visit if you're trying to lose weight -- the food there is just effing amazing and plentiful! (#2 - Chicago; #3 - Austin) San Francisco - my favorite place ever to visit. I could go on for so long about it. For details, listen to chapter 9 of Autobiography of a Schnook on your favorite podcast supplier. 🙂 A few years ago we took a trip to Los Angeles. It was my first time there. I was expecting it to be kind of creepy and not really a fun place to be, but I really really wanted to go just to say I've gone. Oh my GOD, did I have an amazing time. I was shocked at how NOT creepy Hollywood is -- I always heard bad things about it! I think they really cleaned it up in the last ten years. The weather was perfect. The scenery was amazing. We saw Brian Wilson do Pet Sounds at the Hollywood Bowl, which was easily one of the most amazing musical experiences of my life. (When concerts start up again, I'm going to constantly check the Bowl's schedule just to see if I can come up with some kind of excuse to go there again. It's my favorite performance venue. I so wanna go back!) We also spent a day in Disneyland during that trip; neither my wife nor I like Disney, but I have to admit i had a great time! Portland, OR - very cool place. I don't know what more to say. Well...except they have what I consider to be the greatest book store in the world, Powell's City of Books. Toronto, ON -- my wife and I went there a couple of times for a few days. I felt very at home there. Quite a friendly place, easy to navigate, abuts the Great Lakes, good food, and pretty safe. (Kinda like Chicago, I guess!) Can't wait to go again! Washington, DC -- history was always a terrible subject for me, but I maintain that if I had learned US history by spending time in D.C. as a kid, I would have had a much better time with it. So much there. Smithsonian, National Archive, FDR Memorial, the list goes on. Highly, highly recommend visiting. Austin, TX - just a cool place. (Figuratively speaking, that is; it can get pretty hot and humid!) Good music scene and dangerously good food! Nashville, TN -- gonna admit, I didn't like it. At all. Went there for a concert at the Ryman (which actually is a really beautiful place), but...I couldn't wait to leave. Then again, we spent the whole time on Broadway downtown; I'm not averse to going back to see other parts of the town. San Diego, CA -- been there three times, and each time I was there I WAS SICK. Just ONCE I'd like to visit healthy!! We were supposed to go in April, but you can guess how that worked out. We rescheduled for late July, and so far things are looking good for that. Wow...just realized that was a LOT of travels. My wife and I aren't rich by any stretch of the imagination, but I think one thing that contributes to our frequent travels is that she's a teacher, and NEEDS to get away for spring break every year! We live in Chicago now (which I'm going to say now is my favorite place on the planet), and we have easy access to two international airports, and by gum, we use 'em. We luck out a lot with frequent flyer miles, credit card rewards, etc., that keeps our travels affordable. We're saving up for an eventual trip to London and to Hawaii. Maybe by the time we're 90 we'll be able to afford it!
  14. Hoping to bring something positive to a really rough time, here’s chapter 21. In this episode: Schnook Radio, Part 3 – the thrilling conclusion of a schnook’s life on the air! Music for Schnooks – I have two ears – don’t tell me to listen to The Beach Boys in mono! https://www.schnookpodcast.com/audio/Schnook_Chapter021.mp3
  15. Holy God almighty...nearly perfect! Interestingly, the death sound starts off like that of Super Pac-Man. Wonder if that's an early clue to a new direction. 🙂
  16. Lola the beagle. Adopted her ten months ago. She's four now.
  17. It was so nice to not see the big red screen of death finally. 🙂
  18. Pie Factory goes off-topic for episode 111. Jim and Sean take a break from the usual arcade game talk and invite friends to join them in a discussion of socializing over online media before there was social media...or widespread Internet. https://www.fab4it.com/piefactory/audio/PFP_Episode111C.mp3
  19. Out now! Chapter 20: The All-Vinyl Episode Get a look into the analog life of a schnook as Sean talks about records: listening, collecting, advice, and clay pigeons. (Well, maybe not clay pigeons.) In this podcast: Growing Up Vinyl – coming of age in a pre-CD era My Weird Record Collection – hypertension, enunciation, and puu puu! Top Ten Favorite Albums to Listen To on Vinyl – does there really need to be an explanation on this side of the hyphen? http://schnookpodcast.com/audio/Schnook_Chapter020.mp3
  20. I don't do roller coasters, but...thought I'd contribute this picture I took of the Shock Wave at Six Flags Great America in late May 1988, literally days after the coaster opened. It was my eighth grade class trip.
  21. This is just effing insane. How much MORE will Bob continue to outdo himself?!?
  22. Episode 110 has been unleashed! In this episode about a couple of somewhat obscure games, Jim discusses geology, whilst Sean waxes philosophical about parenthood. And games, too. Yeah, they both talk about games. http://fab4it.com/piefactory/audio/PFP_Episode110_C.mp3
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