Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Load “FrigginAwesome”,8,1

I can’t imagine there are ’80s nostalgia geeks out there who don’t know about The Retroist already, but if you’ve never spent time on the site or listening to the podcast, you’re missing a daily dose of Good Stuff, Maynard. Stuff you will wonder how you ever lived without, like the pointer to C64 Yourself, where you can just drag-and-drop a photo and get it rendered almost instantly into a gorgeous Commodore 64-ized version like this:

Commodore 64 Yourself

Me, circa 1984, converted by C64 Yourself.

What makes this photo great? Not because that’s me, but because that’s me sitting at my typically clutter-covered desk playing Burgertime on my Commodore 64.

Large light gray box at the right? A black-and-white TV with rabbit ears serving as my monitor. The darker gray blob just to the left is the C64 itself, with the still-darker area being the keys. In my hands? A beat-to-hell joystick from our original Atari. (You can see the second joystick sitting on the desk almost dead-center: That short white vertical line – that’s right, we had played the covers off the things. Also, my brother Nick had a habit of chewing on them.)

Unfortunately, the C-64’s limited graphics capability falls short of capturing in detail my Gumby sweatshirt and oh-so-80s parted-down-the-middle haircut. Some things are best left pixelated.

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June 14, 2011 Posted by | 1980s, eighties, Games, geek, Ohio, photos, Web/Tech | , , , , | 1 Comment

The 10 Things I Had The Most Fun Writing For GeekDad In 2009

Not long after my change in employment earlier this year, I got in touch with GeekDad editor Ken Denmead, who generously ran a couple guest posts I wrote in April and later included me on a very cool invite list, bringing me on board as a full-fledged contributor to the site. I’m incredibly thankful, because a) It’s GeekDad, and How Freaking Awesome; b) I’ve gotten to write pieces I wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance to, which inspired some writing I’m proud of.

It has been tremendously neat playing a small role in the site and watching it grow, and one of my resolutions for 2010 is to write more for GeekDad than I did in 2009.

That said, I had a TON of fun with this year’s entries, and while I truly enjoyed many of my shorter blog entries, there are exactly 10 longer GeekDad pieces about which I was most excited and got the most enjoyment out of writing, so Yay for a Ready-Made End-of-Year List! (Cop out: I’m presenting them in chronological order because it’s easiest.)

1) May 6Hands-on and Close-up Fun: Penguicon 7.0 . That weekend in May was absolutely one of the highlights of the year, and even the decade, for me. (I did a longer, more personal and detailed post here.)

2) May 21 Girls Against Girls – Figuring It Out With Bonnie Burton – It’s incredibly difficult to accurately describe how enjoyable this interview was, and the book’s lessons have come in handy more than once in my daughter’s middle school years.

3) June 11 Nine Video Games Ripe for Rebirth – Not only was this a great trip down video-game memory lane, but ohmyGod ARCHON IS BACK!!!!

4) June 18 Review: Swim Ways’ R/C Cyber Ray – Well, we got to play with a nifty toy that was only fun for a little while, but I like the way the review turned out, and who knows, maybe Swim Ways has ironed out the wrinkles by now.

5) June 27Nature at Its Closest – With several inches of snow outside needing shoveled, summer seems a long way off. But remembering the clutches of baby robins we got to watch hatch and grow on our front porch does warm the heart. (awwww!)

6) July 910 Things Parents Should Know About Warehouse 13 – It was a good excuse to stay in and watch some SyFy channel with Kelsey, but the truth is, though we though the premiere was OK, we never watched another episode.

7) July 26Bubbles, Zubbles, Toys and Troubles – Although at its heart this is another toy review, I had a blast talking to inventor Tim Kehoe about his 15-year journey from the idea for colored bubbles to the final production this summer.

8) Aug. 13 Activision’s Science Papa Will Remind You Of Mama’s Cooking – Reviewing video games means PLAYING video games, so it’s not like I was going out of my way or anything. Plus I got to write this: “To draw a 1980s toy parallel, it’s Mighty Men & Monster Maker vs. Fashion Plates all over again.”

9) Sept. 2110 Things Parents Should Know About Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs – Kelsey and I had gone to see this just for fun, and I was so surprised that I liked it so much that I jumped at the chance to do the GeekDad write-up.

10) October 6Princesses and Mermaids: Who Needs Rescuing Again? – We were introduced to Jim C. Hines and his books at Penguicon, marking yet another reason the trip to Romulus was so memorable.

To circle back to the end of the first paragraph: c) It’s GeekDad, and How Freaking Awesome. Gobs and piles of thanks to Ken, Matt Blum and my fellow contributors and the Wired editors and everyone else I don’t know who makes GeekDad work.

December 31, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, Film, Games, geek, Ohio, photos, science fiction, Television, video games, Web/Tech, Weblogs, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yars’ Raiding Destruction Road Race USA: The Light and the Dark

LucasArts’  return to its classic Monkey Island video game series got me thinking of all the hours I spent on the family room floor playing Atari, succeeded by the basement setup with our couch and our Commodore 64 and stacks and stacks of floppy disks packed with games from to Agent USA to Zork. I came up with a list of nine I’d love to see reborn for a new generation of consoles and players, and had a ton of fun writing it up for GeekDad: Nine Video Games Ripe for Rebirth.

June 11, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, eighties, Games, geek, video games, Weblogs | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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