Book Review – Unsinkable: A Memoir: Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher on wedding day in 1955.

Her second autobiography Unsinkable: A Memoir: Debbie Reynolds is a book about her life after her marriage to her third husband Richard Hamlett, who turned out to be a dirty rotten scoundrel, who took her money just like her first husband Harry Karl had done in her previous marriage.

The earlier autobiography Debbie: My Life dealt with her marriage and subsequent divorce from Eddie Fisher. It also tells of her second husband Harry Karl gambling away his money and hers, in an uncontrollable gambling habit. She wound up homeless and living in a car, by the time he was through spending her money.

She married her new husband Richard Hamlett on May 25, 1984.

Richard Hamlett was no better, even though Debbie had him sign a pre-nup. He just took her money before the marriage ended, instead of waiting till it was over, so the pre-nup was a non-factor.

Collected Hollywood Memorabilia

Debbie built up a huge collection of Hollywood memorabilia, by going to auctions and buying costumes, props, posters and other movie memorabilia. Eventually, she had bought millions of dollars worth of memorabilia and her dream was to build a museum to house her collection.

Her husband Hamlett was helping her build a museum for the collection, but it is better to read about it in her last book, since it is filled with too many details and machinations, to reveal them all in this article.

The same thing goes for the way Hamlett wasted and stole her money, by taking Debbie’s name off of legal documents and making himself the owner. He even went so far as to have his girlfriend listed as owner of some of Debbie’s properties.

Debbie Reynolds with her third husband Richard Hamlett.

Marriage To Hamlett Ends

Debbie found out that Hamlett was having an affair behind her back and went to confront him about it and his financial dealings. He tried to get her to go out to the balcony and discuss their problems, but Debbie was wary of her being thrown off the balcony and him claiming it had been a terrible accident. So she notifies the landlord to never let him back in the building, since she didn’t feel safe, with him around after the argument.

The 12 year marriage ended in 1996. Debbie has never remarried after her first husband Eddie Fisher left her for Elizabeth Taylor. Her second husband Harry Karl cheated on her and took all her money, while the third husband Richard Hamlett also took her money and cheated on her while doing it.

Eighteen years later Debbie has not remarried. She finally learned an expensive lesson. She is back in control of her finances and Celebrity Net Worth website lists her as being worth $60 million, mostly because of her selling most of her movie memorabilia, when it was evident she would never realize her dream of having a museum to house the memorabilia.

Debbie Reynolds

Rundown of Her Movies

The next part of the book has Debbie giving a rundown of some of the movies she appeared in. She shares anecdotes of her experiences, while filming those movies and has some unkind things, to say about some well-known actors, actresses and directors. She names Walter Brennan, Walter Matthau and Thelma Ritter as expert scene stealers.

One director even slapped her in the face and that would not be allowed today, but he got away with it back then.


Debbie is now 82 years old and  appeared in the TV movie Behind the Candelabra, which was a movie about Liberace that was released in 2013. She may be the movie The Big Finish in 2016, but so far that is only a rumor.

66 years have passed since Debbie was a 16 year-old girl riding her bicycle onto the movie lot, after she won Miss Burbank 1948, which led to her being cast in the movies.

Her daughter, Carrie Fisher will be 58 tomorrow (October 21) and her son Todd is now 56 years old. She was pregnant with two children with Harry Karl, but neither lived.

Debbie apparently has sold even more of her movie memorabilia collection earlier this year:

Trivia From

She was born Mary Frances Reynolds

Debbie is the ex mother-in-law of Paul Simon, who was once married to her daughter Carrie.

She was awarded a star on Hollywood  Walk of Fame in 1997. Strange that it took them almost 50 years to honor her, since she made her first movie in 1948.

Shocking News: J. Fred Muggs Is Still Alive

J Fred Muggs with Dave Garroway on NBC's Today, 1954
J. Fred Muggs (left) shown with Dave Garroway and his girlfriend Phoebe B. Beebe on the Today show in the 50’s on the NBC television network.

It was a shock to me to find out today, that J. Fred Muggs is still alive and living in Florida at the age of 61. His girlfriend, Phoebe B. Beebe is also still alive and they are living happily together.

The addition of J. Fred Muggs to the Today show may have saved the long running show from cancellation as he attracted advertisers to the show.

The Russian newspaper Izvestia had this to say about Mr. Muggs:

In the 1950s, the Russian newspaper, Izvestia, described J. Fred Muggs, as “a symbol of the American way of life”, and said, “Muggs is necessary in order that the average American should not look into reports on rising taxes, and decreasing pay, but rather laugh at the funny mug of a chimpanzee.

Life began for J. Fred Muggs on March 14, 1952 in French Cameroon and is now 61 years old. Age is unknown of his domestic partner Phoebe B. Beebe.

Dave Garroway the host of the Today show grew jealous of Muggs and reportedly spiked his orange juice with benzedrine to make him misbehave.


J. Fred Muggs was the subject of a Little Golden Book. The book is currently being sold on eBay for $24.99.


J. Fred Muggs fingerpainted this cover of Mad Magazine.

There are currently 74 items about J. Fred Muggs for sale on eBay, including a photo of him with President Harry Truman, apparently after Truman left office and was visiting the Today show.

J. Fred Muggs shown catching up on the latest news.



1955 Chimpanzee - J. Fred Muggs on telephone Press Photo

This is a photo of J. Fred Muggs asking President Eisenhower for an increase in the minimum wage for monkeys.

J. Fred Muggs debating whether to dive from highest diving board or to play it safe.



1977 Chimpanzee - J. Fred Muggs with graduation cap and gown Press Photo

This is a photo of J. Fred Muggs making his valedictorian speech for the 1977 class of Monkey Business University, which educates monkeys for a career in the corporate world.

Long Wait Almost Over: Twinkies Back On Shelves in 492 Hours, 34 Minutes, 42 Seconds

Twinkieaholics will be happy to know that Twinkies will be on store shelves in 21 days and best of all, on even more shelves than in the past. They should be on store shelves nationwide on July 15.

The Twinkies will now even be sold in dollar stores. Price reportedly will be $3.99 for a 10 count box of the crème filled treats, which was the price before production ended. However, they were on sale in the past as shown in this photo:

Hostess had stopped manufacturing Twinkies and a vast array of other Hostess treats like Ding Dongs And Snoballs, due to striking union workers. Some of the former workers are back in the factories, but are non-unionized workers now.

Donettes and CupCakes will also be returning to the store shelves, after Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management bought out some of the Hostess products. Ding Dongs and Ho Ho’s are other products that will be offered for sale.

Twinkies were invented on April 6, 1930 by James Dewar of the Continental Bakery in River Forest, Illinois. So it is only fitting that a product, with that long of a history can be purchased still 83 years later.

The spongy crème filled treat is not for the weight conscious, since one Twinkie is 13 percent of recommended fat intake on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Twinkie the Kid won’t be standing in the unemployment line much longer, since he will be back at work on July 15 and his Twinkie outfit and cowboy boots will be trendy again.

For those Twinkie fans that don’t like the standard Twinkie they can be deep-fried, for a whole new taste treat different from your standard Twinkie.

Beware of the fact that some criminals have blamed Twinkies for causing them to commit crimes, in what has come to be known as the Twinkie defense.

Twinkies have been seen in many movies, including Die Hard in which a character almost gets sick from eating a 1,000 year old Twinkie.

Kansas State University professor Mark Haub went on a diet of Twinkies, Doritos and Oreo cookies and lost 27 pounds in two months on the diet.

Guess that means Nutri System and Jenny Craig will be including Twinkies, in the meals sent to the homes of their clients.

More time has passed since I posted the latest countdown at the top of the page. The latest countdown now shows 492 hours, 9 minutes and 17 seconds.

It won’t be long till Twinkie lovers will be lining up outside stores to be first in line to buy the first Twinkies on shelves in several months.

Blast From The Past: RC Cola and Moon Pie

Royal Crown Cola and Double Decker Moon Pie.


RC Cola and Moon Pies have been staples in the south for many years. Even better is a RC Cola with a Double Decker Moon Pie that is in the above photo.

The combination of RC Cola and Moon Pies became popular in the 1950’s, when workers enjoyed them with their lunch.

The RC Cola ginger ale was founded in 1905 by pharmacist Claude Hatcher in Columbus, Georgia. Royal Crown was the first company to sell cola in a can in 1954 and would also be the first company to sell cola in an aluminum can.

The cherry flavored RC Cola was one of my favorite cherry cola drinks, which came closer to duplicating the flavor of a soda fountain cherry coke than most cherry flavored drinks.

Union Bottling Works was the first name of the company and it was later changed to Chero-Cola, then the name of the company was changed to Nehi in 1928.

Nehi Orange Soda.


There were few sodas, that were as refreshing as a cold Nehi orange soda, on a hot summer day in Louisiana in the 50’s and 60’s.

Mr. Hatcher dies on December 31, 1933 and the RC Cola soda we know today was developed in 1934. The Nehi company would change its name to Royal Crown Cola in 1959, due to the immense popularity of RC Cola.

1962 would bring Diet-Rite Cola, which was the first diet cola made by any company.

Royal Crown Cola would go into the fast food business in 1978, by acquiring the Arby’s fast food chain. RC Cola has been purchased by Triarc Companies, Inc. in 1993, Cadbury Schweppes in 2000, and Cott Corporation in 2001.


History of Moon PIes

Chattanooga Bakery was founded in 1902 in Chattanooga,Tennessee. There is an interesting story behind how the moon pies became their best known product. Coal miners were wanting something solid and filling, since they didn’t always have time for a real lunch break.

Mr. Earl Mitchell Sr. returned to the store after talking to the miners and noticed employees dipping graham crackers into marshmallow and leaving them in window to dry. They then came up with the idea of adding another cookie on top of the graham crackers and adding chocolate covering to the cookies. The first moon pie was sold in 1917 and went on to become one of the most popular products for the Chattanooga Baking Company.

Hundreds of thousands of moon pies were sent to soldiers serving overseas during World War II. Racegoers to NASCAR races in the 50’s were known to carry moon pies with them to the races.

The first Double Decker Moon Pie was manufactured in 1964 and it is my personal favorite, since it has three cookies and two layers of marshmallow in each Double Decker Moon Pie.

Moon pies started being thrown in Mardi Gras parades in the 1970’s, since they were softer, than the Cracker Jack boxes that had been thrown in previous parades.

Mini moon pies which debuted in 1998.

The larger moon pies were ruining the appetites of kids, before dinner so a mini moon pie was developed to give the kids the taste of a moon pie, without filling them up so much, that they wouldn’t eat their dinner.

Sam Walton the former owner of Wal-Mart was telling about how he motivated his employees, by having them tell about their favorite product. Walton then proceeded to talk about his favorite product and brought out a box of moon pies and extolling the virtues of the moon pies.


World’s Largest Moon Pie

The world’s largest moon pie weighs 50 pounds and consists of 14 pounds of marshmallow, 6 pounds of chocolate and contains 45,000 calories and is 40 inches wide. A person would be well advised to not try to eat it in one sitting.





Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars : A Trainwreck Waiting to Happen

Celebrity Apprentice All Stars minus Omarosa and La Toya Jackson shown with Donald Trump.

Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars should provide plenty of drama this season. Donald Trump has assembled a cast guaranteed to spark some fireworks. With Dennis Rodman, Omarosa and Gary Busey in the cast we can expect a lot of in-fighting among the contestants.

Trace Adkins and Bret Michaels were chosen by Trump to pick their teams. Michaels made a huge mistake, by selecting Omarosa first for his team. Trace Adkins’s team chose Plan B, as the name for their team and he was chosen as project manager. Michaels was prepared to be project manager for his team after naming the team Power, but reluctantly let Brande Roderick be the project manager, when she got down on her knees begging Michaels for the job.

The challenge was for each team to make meatballs and sell them to those on street and to celebrities. However, Trace Adkins decided to close his meatball store and sell only to high rollers. Adkins became very upset when Gary Busey went outside and hollered at the people on a tour bus to come in and buy some meatballs. So Adkins team really had little to do, since they more or less waited for the big money to come in. Amy Grant came in and donated $75,000, but the big contributor was T. Boone Pickens who sent his representative with a check for $100,000.

Meanwhile Stephen Baldwin apparently didn’t call anyone as he collected no money. His reasoning was why use up his contributors to help Trace Adkins, when he could use those contributors on a week, when he was project manager.

Power’s meatball store was a beehive of activity, as they scrambled to sell the meatballs to people off the street and to big contributors. Roderick made a huge mistake, by putting Omarosa in charge of keeping track of which contestants had raised how much money. Omarosa was talking about bringing down Bret Michaels.

Boardroom Chaos

Trump called all the contestants into the boardroom and found out, from Steven Baldwin that Baldwin had not collected a penny. Trump said that Baldwin was at a risk of being fired if Team Plan B raised the least money. He then asked Adkins if Baldwin should be fired and Adkins replied in the affirmative.

Piers Morgan who along with Ivanka Trump were the advisors in the boardroom seemed to enjoy trashing Omarosa, who deserved the criticism since she was anything but a team player, by working against her own team member Michaels.

It was then revealed that Team Power had raised $250,333, which included a $20,000 bonus for their meatballs being chosen the best on Live with Kelly and Michael. Then the total for Team Plan B was announced and they raised $419,539. When combined with the money Team Power raised it totaled over $670,000 raised for the American Red Cross, which was Adkin’s charity.

Team B was sent upstairs to watch Team Power while they battled each other in the boardroom. Trump and the two advisors wanted to know who raised how much money but Roderick or Omarosa couldn’t give them a total, in which the numbers didn’t add up. I feel Omarosa was low-balling Michael’s total by mentioning he gave $15,000, while Michaels said he collected over $25,000.

Roderick had raised $132,000, while rapper Lil’ John raised $60,000 according to his total, but $55,000 according to Omarosa. Roderick finally decided to bring Bret Michaels and La Toya Jackson in with her to the boardroom, while the rest of Team Power went upstairs. I have no idea why La Toya Jackson was brought back into the boardroom, since Omarosa didn’t have a clue as to how much each team member had given and her total didn’t match with the total raised by Team Power.

Once Roderick, Michaels and Jackson returned to the boardroom it looked like Michaels would be going home. Trump who repeatedly said that Michaels should not have returned to the show. If he was that concerned about Michaels he could have refused to let Michaels return.

Trump then asked Michaels how he (Trump) could fire Roderick when she raised $132,000, which was over $100, more than what Michaels had raised, then told Michaels he was fired.

The show may be an hour too long, as the boardroom sessions seem to last longer and longer. Don’t know if I will be in the mood to watch this two-hour program week after week.

Fans that love confrontation should see plenty of it as the season progresses. Omarosa by herself provides enough drama to keep the shows interesting and can see her and La Toya Jackson won’t be best friends on the show. There should be more confrontations between her and Piers Morgan, as long as he remains an advisor. I have a feeling Trump will avoid firing Omarosa as long as he can avoid it. He knows her value as a troublemaker on the show, to push buttons of the other contestants.

One question I have about the show is how many times will the celebrities ask their big money contributors to contribute. I can’t imagine T. Boone Pickens donating another $100,000 if Adkins needs to raise money again this season.

One down and 13 contestants to go.

Note: This is the 900th article posted on Nostalgia and Now since it was first published in April of 2009.

Magazine Ads From the Past

These ads will bring a lot of memories to the old-timers among us and will let the younger generation know about the days, when you could buy a Coca-Cola for 5 cents and a pack of gum for 5 cents.

Smokesational! Radiolutionary! Smokerette-Radio by Stewart Warner: The only combination smoker and radio set. Magazine Ad, later 1940’s
A combination radio-smoker which provided smokers with a place for their cigarettes, cigars, pipes and tobacco, while listening to their favorite radio programs on this $49.95 radio.
This is the precursor of the Sony Walkman for only $7.95, before shipping and federal tax.


A one pound bag of Bazooka Bubble Gum will set you back $7.99 today after inflation kicked in.



You could look up and down every aisle of every grocery store in the United States today and not find these prices. Two boxes of Wheaties probably cost at least 25 cents nowadays and two pounds of coffee has probably doubled to 50 cents.


Barber shop prices of the 1900’s on the left. No date given for the prices on the right.


Barber shop prices over a 100 years later. The shave and a haircut of the 1900’s cost a total of 60 cents. That same shave and haircut today costs $33.00.


Stuckey’s: Roadside Landmark in America

Stuckey’s was a place where you could fill up with gasoline, go to restrooms and shop for souvenirs and the famous Stuckey’s pecan candy.

There was their famous pecan log rolls, pecan divinity and of course pecan pralines. I have to debate with myself whether my favorite was the divinity fudge or the pralines.

First Stuckey’s Physical Building Opened in 1937

The first Stuckey’s building was opened in 1937 and expanded into 350 stores. Stuckey’s merged with Pet Milk in 1967 and the 350 stores dwindled into 75, during the Pet Milk operation of the company. Most of the Stuckey’s stores sold Texaco gasoline back then.

William S. Stuckey Sr., got the idea for the company when he had a bumper crop of pecans in 1930. His wife went to work in the kitchen and experimented with different candy recipes, which were the main drawing card for Stuckey’s, when they opened their first physical store in 1937.

After the fortunes of the company declined during the Pet Milk ownership period, the son of Stuckey, who was U.S. congressman William S. Stuckey restored the Stuckey’s name by purchasing the company and there are now 115 Stuckey’s in the United States at the present time.

Stuckey’s are found as far north today as Connecticut, but surprisingly there are no stores in either New Jersey or New York. Most of the stores are concentrated in the southern states, but there are stores in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Indiana.

Stores are only located in 17 of the 50 states. I was surprised recently to see a Stuckey’s returning on a trip to Houston and the store sold gasoline, souvenirs and had a Popeye’s Fried Chicken place inside the store. There are nine Stuckey’s located in Texas, but the only Stuckey’s in Louisiana according to their website is a store in Opelousas.

It was exciting to see signs for Stuckey’s, since we knew we could get off the road for a while, while we browsed the souvenir shop and found candy to munch on as we continued on down the highway. It is great to know the company still exists 56 years after our 1957 trip from Louisiana to our eventual destination of Maine to visit my uncle and aunt and their family.

Stuckey’s has had its ups and downs since the first store was opened in 1937, but it is good to know, that the company is thriving again, now that the Stuckey family once again own the stores. We want to thank them for restoring our memories of that 1957 trip, when Stuckey’s were a mainstay on the U.S. highway system.

World of Kardashians Crumbling?

The Kardashian family franchise may be showing signs of crumbling in the last few months. First of all there was the backlash, after Kim Kardashian filed for divorce from NBA player Kris Humphries. There are questions now if their wedding was genuine or a made for television sham that had nothing to do with reality.

Kourtney Kardashian is having a second baby born out-of-wedlock with Scott Dissick the father. That only shows a weakening of family values in American society, when a family with one child out-of-wedlock has another one on the way. Apparently Kourtney is still waiting for Dissick to prove his worth as a father for the children, but to me that should have been decided long ago. Of course Ryan Seacrest who produces Keeping Up With the Kardashians wants this kind of tension between Kourtney and Scott to continue, since drama drives ratings and the more drama the better for the E network.


Khloe and Lamar Move To Dallas

The relationship of Lamar Odom and his wife Khloe is being tested by the trade, that sent Odom to the Dallas Mavericks from the Los Angeles Lakers. Odom has not played well since joining the Mavericks and it could be that he is still incensed over being traded, so is not the player he was with the Lakers. He is too good of a player, to suddenly become a terrible player.

Odom is earning over $8 million this season and will continue to be paid his salary. The situation can’t be helped by the filming of Khloe and Lamar. All the drama during the filming may make for good television, but it can’t be good for the relationship or for Odom’s basketball career.

The situation became even worse last week when Odom was demoted to the developmental team but in the last 22 minutes that move has been rescinded. The same player who was voted the best sixth man in NBA last year is having a season to forget.

 A quick look at Odom’s percentage numbers this season compared to last season show badly he is playing this year. His field goal percentage has dropped from .530 last season to .357 this season. His free throw percentage fell from .675 to .577 and his scoring has almost been cut in half from 14.4 points per game last season to only 7.7 points per game this season.


Back To Lawsuit

Meanwhile back to the lawsuit, it raises the question, of if celebrities who endorse products should be financially liable, if that product is not as advertised. Assuming that the Kardashians actually used QuickTrim, they should have some idea of whether it is a good product or not. If they knew it was not as advertised and continued to endorse it, then they may be liable. However, it may be impossible to prove in a courtroom, that they knowingly endorsed a less than effective product, while knowing that product was not worthy of their endorsement.

One positive outcome from the suit is that it may warn celebrities, to really check out the products they are endorsing and not just assume they are as advertised.

This situation is reminiscent of when Pat Boone appeared in commercials touting Acne-Statin which was supposed to clear up skin blemishes. This Wikipedia entry tells about what happened to Boone, when it was proved that Acne-Statin was not what it was cracked up to be:

In 1978, Boone became the first target in the Federal Trade Commission‘s crackdown on false claim product endorsements by celebrities. He had appeared with his daughter Debby in a commercial to claim that all four of his daughters had found a preparation named Acne-Statin a “real help” in keeping their skin clear. The FTC filed a complaint against the manufacturer, contending that the product did not really keep skin free of blemishes. Boone eventually signed a consent order in which he promised not only to stop appearing in the ads but to pay about 2.5% of any money that the FTC or the courts might eventually order the manufacturer to refund to consumers. Boone said, through a lawyer, that his daughters actually did use Acne-Statin, and that he was “dismayed to learn that the product’s efficacy had not been scientifically established as he believed.”[14

It will be interesting to follow the class action suit against the Kardashians, to see if they have to make restitution or whether they can emerge from the lawsuit, without having to pay anyone.

There are plans for even more Kardashian spin-off shows on the E channel. It is surprising that people still watch these shows knowing there is very little reality involved in the so-called reality shows. Ryan Seacrest is getting richer and is making all the Kardashians richer from these shows. 

Maybe the Kardashian family will be more cognizant of the fans that buy the products they endorse and make more of an effort to insure that those products do what the Kardashians say they will do.

Their world may not be crumbling, but there are signs of cracks in the foundation.




Cajun Pawn Stars: Hometown Reality Show

Jimmie DeRamus, owner of Silver Dollar Pawn Shop in Alexandria, Louisiana is being featured in Cajun Pawn Stars which recently debuted on the History Channel.

It may never draw the viewers garnered by the original Pawn Stars on the same channel.

There have even been reports, that the owners of the original Pawn Stars show, filmed in Las Vegas, were less than pleased, when they found out about the spinoff show.

They reportedly had not been notified by the network, that the Cajun Pawn Stars show was even in the works. They claim to have  in their contract, that there would be no spinoffs, from the original Pawn Stars shows.  They are probably concerned, that with two reality pawn shop shows, on the air will lower the rating for their original Pawn Stars show.

For those who don’t get the History Channel on their cable service, they will be pleased to know, that the shows can be viewed, in their entirety at the History channel website.

I recently watched the first two shows and the main difference, between the two shows is that DeRamus offers more money for items brought to his pawn shop. DeRamus even offered twice the value for one item. That is not normal practice for most pawn shops.

Having grown up across the river from Silver Dollar Pawn Shop it makes it more interesting to watch. Folks from the area are probably seeing people, that they actually know on the show. I have been in the store a couple of times myself.

DeRamus really wanted the first record ever made by Jerry Lee Lewis, that the expert verified was authentic, but the owner, who just happens to be married to Jerry Lee’s sister, decided he couldn’t part with the record, even though the offer by DeRamus was more, than what the record had been valued at.

He also tried to buy a pair of $5,000 and $10,000 sister bills, but came up empty, when the owner turned down his $500,000 offer, then DeRamus upped that offer, but it was no deal.

The pygmy goat that was leaving souvenirs, for someone to clean up was sold for $40, after DeRamus declined to buy it for $60.

The show to me was an excellent representation, of life in Central Louisiana. It may not be able to compete with the flashy Pawn Stars reality show, being filmed in Las Vegas, but I look for it to catch on, as the weeks go by. This show seems to give more background on the customers, than the Las Vegas based Pawn Stars show, which for the most part, doesn’t come close to offering the money,  that is offered on Cajun Pawn Stars.

It was almost like going home again for me, since we live 125 miles from Alexandria now.

Prohibition: Died At the Age of 13 in 1933

The pledge signed by many children and adults to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages.


Frances Willard died on February 17, 1898, which was 22 years before the 18th amendment, also known as the Volstead Act went into effect in 1920.

She had a firsthand knowledge of the effects of alcohol, when her brother became an alcoholic in the 1860’s. Willard would be one of the founders of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in 1874 and then became the president of the worldwide WCTU in 1888.

While concentrating mostly on her fight against the use of alcohol, Willard also became active in the fight against the international drug trading.

Her life came to an end at the age of 58 due to being an influenza victim. However, she had laid the groundwork for both the 18th amendment, which would prohibit the use of alcohol in the United States and the 19th Amendment which also was known as the Women’s Suffrage amendment.

Prohibition Becomes Law

Congress passed the Volstead Act (18th Amendment) on October 28, 1919, over-riding the veto of President Woodrow Wilson. 36 of the 50 states had ratified the 18th Amendment and went into effect on January 17, 1920.

While prohibition was a good idea, it was almost impossible to enforce with 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasies, in New York City in 1925. A speakeasy could be closed in one location, then would pop up in another location, within days of last place being closed.

The amendment was not only not being obeyed, but the U.S. government lost millions of dollars in tax revenue, while the bootleggers were keeping all the money for themselves and the speakeasy owners and patrons also avoided paying any tax.

Al Capone's power was at its heights during Prohibition with him drawing $60 million in alcohol sales in 1927 and bribing politicians with his profits to keep his machine going.

Organized crime saw that Prohibition would be a huge moneymaker for them and would deliver the alcohol and take payments, upon delivery of that alcohol, unless other arrangements had been made, prior to the delivery.

Gangsters like Al Capone saw a chance to take their cut from the illicit alcohol sales. Capone raked in $60 million in alcohol sales in 1927.

Prohibition Turns Citizens Into Criminals

The same citizens that patronize legal bars, now flocked to speakeasies to drink their alcohol, which turned them into criminals. The magnitude of lawbreakers was too much for law enforcement to contend with. Women started drinking in larger numbers, than ever before.

These speakeasy patrons from the Prohibition era don't look too concerned about being raided by law enforcement officials.

We have seen videos of the Roaring 20’s, showing women dancing the Charleston and other dance of that era. Problem is that almost all of those women were violating the 18th amendment, but in the PBS series Prohibition, by Ken Burns, these women didn’t seem to be worried about being caught by law enforcement agencies.

Why Prohibition Didn’t Work

The main reason is that Americans who wanted to drink, found ways to purchase alcohol, whether it be from an individual selling from their home, from a speakeasy where alcohol was readily available and some resorted to making their own alcohol through the moonshining process.

Moonshine stills being destroyed by law enforcement officials.

The failure to prevent organized crime, from becoming involved in sale of bootleg alcohol, may have been one of the major reasons, that bootlegging operations were so successful, despite the bootleggers, sometimes only being neighbors supplying moonshine to their neighbors in rural America.

Joseph Kennedy, the father of President John F. Kennedy and the patriarch of the Kennedy family, has been rumored for years to have gotten rich in the bootlegging industry. Frank Costello of the Mafia even testified that Joseph and him had been partners in the bootlegging industry. However, no concrete evidence of Kennedy being involved in bootlegging, has never been made public.

Law enforcement officials could only pick and choose which speakeasies to close and what moonshine stills to destroy, but the problem was that there were thousands of criminals, violating the 18th amendment and there was not enough jails and prisons, to house all the violators.

Prohibition ended when it was evident that there were millions of Americans, who were going willing to risk, although not a serious risk in most cases, going to jail, rather than stop drinking.

75 Bible References Regarding Drinking

The 75 Bible references from the Signal Press in Evanston, Illinois clearly show that God’s laws prohibit drinking. Here are just a few of them from the tract:

1) Genesis 9:20-26 – Noah became drunk; the result was immorality and family trouble.

3) Leviticus 10:9-11 – God commanded priests not to drink so that they could tell the difference between the holy and the unholy.

6) Deuteronomy 29:5-6 – God gave no grape juice to Israel nor did they have intoxicating drink in the wilderness.

10) 1 Samuel 25:32-38 – Nabal died after a drunken spree.

11) 2 Samuel 11:13 – By getting Uriah drunk, David hoped to cover his sin.

12) 2 Samuel 13:28-29 – Amnon was drunk when he was killed.

13) 1 Kings 16:8-10 – The king was drinking himself into drunkenness when he was assassinated

14) 1 Kings 20:12-21 – Ben-Hadad and 32 other kings were drinking when they were attacked and defeated by the Israelites.

17) Proverbs 4:17 – Alcoholic drink is called the wine of violence.

18) Proverbs 20:1 – Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging.

20) Proverbs 23:21 – Drunkenness causes poverty.

21) Proverbs 23:29-30 – Drinking causes woe, sorrow, fighting, babbling, wounds without cause and red eyes.

22) Proverbs 23:31 – God instructs not to look at intoxicating drinks.

23) Proverbs 23:32 – Alcoholic drinks bite like a serpent, sting like an adder.

24) Proverbs 23:33 – Alcohol causes the drinker to have strange and adulterous thoughts, produces wilfulness, and prevents reformation.

There are too many to list them all, but the entire list can be found at:




Evolution of Phones: From Wall Phones to iPhones That Convert Speech Into Text

This wall phone reminds me of the wall phone at my grandpa's farm in Allendale Missouri on his 80 acre farm, back in the late 50's.
This rotary phone was seen in most American homes in the 50's and 60's.
This touch tone phone was found in almost any office for many years for office workers with a phone at their desk.
The latest cell phone today is the Apple iPhone 4s which looks nothing like the phones we grew up with over 50 years ago.

I remember back in the old days, when we would have to rent our phones from Bell South, paying a monthly charge to use the phones.

Now after the evolution of the phone from a wall phone, to a rotary phone, then to a touch tone phone found in most offices and also used at home.

It seems like it was only yesterday, when we only used phones to make phone calls and receive phone calls. Nowadays cell phones not only make and receive calls, but allow you to not call at all by using texts to transmit messages back and forth.

Cell phones have become a multi-purpose electronic device that enables owners to listen to music, watch television shows, movies and videos.

They can be used to play games, pay bills, make bank transactions on the phone, take notes, take photos and shoot HD quality videos. The iPhone 4s also can browse the web and remind you of an important event, that is approaching. If you get lost, you can use a built-in GPS to find your way.

The Apple 4s also has an intelligent assistant named Siri which will let you use your voice to ask questions:

It knows what you mean.

Siri not only understands what you say, it’s smart enough to know what you mean. So when you ask “Any good burger joints around here?” Siri will reply “I found a number of burger restaurants near you.” Then you can say “Hmm. How about tacos?” Siri remembers that you just asked about restaurants, so it will look for Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood. And Siri is proactive, so it will question you until it finds what you’re looking for.

This is taking smart phones to a whole new level.

It helps you do the things you do every day.

Ask Siri to text your dad, remind you to call the dentist, or find directions, and it figures out which apps to use and who you’re talking about. It finds answers for you from the web through sources like Yelp and WolframAlpha. Using Location Services, it looks up where you live, where you work, and where you are. Then it gives you information and the best options based on your current location. From the details in your contacts, it knows your friends, family, boss, and coworkers. So you can tell Siri things like “Text Ryan I’m on my way” or “Remind me to make a dentist appointment when I get to work” or “Call a taxi” and it knows exactly what you mean and what to do.

One of the best features is that the iPhone 4s takes dictation, then converts your spoken words into text. If you are sitting at a dinner table, trying to make conversation with a 4s user, it will be a futile endeavor, since they will be too busy using the features of the 4s, to even notice you are in the room.

iPhone 4S takes dictation.

Here’s another amazing way to get things done: just use your voice. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard. Then say what you want to say and iPhone listens. Tap Done, and iPhone converts your words into text. Use dictation to write messages, take notes, search the web, and more. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can update your Facebook status, tweet, or write and send Instagrams.

Summary: We have come a long way from the wall phones of the past, which couldn’t be used to text or send emails, shoot videos or play music, to phones that are the electronic center of what is going on in our lives.

My problem is that I don’t have a cell phone, so still use a regular home phone to make and receive calls. The new technology is astounding, but if you can’t afford it, then it becomes worthless.

We all remember the high telephone bills of the past, when making a lot of long distance calls in a month. Owning a cell phone today may actually be cheaper, if someone was having $150 worth of long distance calls, month after month.

It becomes cost prohibitive to own a iPhone, a iPod and a iPad and a laptop not to mention paying for  monthly cable and internet service.

Old Time Radio 101: Guide To Collecting Old Time Radio Shows

A family gathered around the radio to listen to an old time radio program during the heyday of old time radio.

Ninety one years ago KDKA in Pittsburgh went on the air, becoming the first commercial radio station, broadcasting its signal in 1920.

By the end of 1923, hundreds of radio stations were now broadcasting. An estimated three to four million radio sets were able to pick up the broadcast of the funeral, of President Woodrow Wilson on February 26, 1924.

The Grand Ole Opry will broadcast its first program in 1925, with it being broadcast continuously for 86 years. Sam and  Henry first heard in 1926 would become Amos N’ Andy in 1928 and remain on radio until 1960, to be come the longest running old time radio show.

With NBC being founded in 1926 and CBS starting the next year in 1926, networks were now in place, to broadcast nationwide radio series. The Goldbergs went on the air in 1929 and would run till 1950.

Radio listeners would hear the homespun humor of Lum N’ Abner for the first time in 1931, making this year the 80th anniversary of their first show.

Jack Benny and Fred Allen and other comedians debuted on network radio in 1932 paving the way for other comedians in coming years.

The horror and thriller genre would present The Shadow for the first time in 1932, while Just Plain Bill and One Man’s Family debuted from the soap opera genre. Action heroes Buck Rogers and Tarzan were also first heard in 1932.

Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club first aired in 1933 and would remain on the air through 1968. I can still remember the song from the opening of the show, as best I can remember:

“Good morning Breakfast Clubbers, howdy do you, first call to breakfast to all of you out there, America’s first call to breakfast”.

The Lux Radio Theater would begin its 22 year run in 1934. It was regarded as the best of the theater type shows, in which famous actors would present a film in spoken form.

Bob Hope and Fibber McGee and Molly hit the airwaves in 1935. The shows were debuting so fast, that it is not possible to continue the chronology, due to time and space limitations. There would be at least one new show debuting on network radio through 1959. 1961 and 1962 would be first years with no new radio programming being introduced. Old time radio for all practical purposes died on September 30, 1962 when Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar aired their last episodes. They were the last scripted shows broadcast on network radio. Some radio variety shows like Arthur Godfrey remained on the air, non-scripted shows had disappeared from the old-time radio scene.

Television and movies brought about the demise of old-time radio. People that used to gather in their living rooms, to hear old-time radio programs, now gathered to watch television. If they weren’t doing that they were watching movies at the local movie house, or watching movies from their car at a local drive-in movie theatre.

Old Time Radio Shows Can Still Be Heard

Collecting old-time radio shows used to be cost prohibitive, for the most part for collectors. Then MP3 recordings changed all that by letting old-time radio fans listen to as many as 50 half-hour programs on one MP3 disc. Some online old-time radio dealers would sell a disc like that for as little as $4.

That is only reason my collection of old-time radio shows numbers around 18,000. I have a notebook that shows what shows I have listened to and when. With that many shows, there is no reason to listen to the same show twice.

The easiest way to record these shows and drag and drop them into my MP3 player, is to go to My Computer, open up the files on that MP3 CD and drag and drop them into my Sony MP3 player software, which processes the shows, after they are dropped into the icon for the MP3 player. I thought it would be more complicated than it was, but it is relatively easy. While the shows are copying, I write the show dates and titles of the shows I am recording onto the MP3 player, into the notebook.

Online Radio Dealers

Old time radio dealers can be found on the internet to buy the shows from, but the shows can bought at for good prices, from most ebay dealers.

It is best buy the shows on MP3 CD’s unless you know how to breakdown a MP3 DVD, which I don’t know how, or you may only be able to play it on a computer. One thing to remember is that MP3 CD’s cannot be played on a regular CD player.

If you do know how to handle a MP3 DVD there is a set of 930 shows of Suspense currently on ebay for $4.89 with a shipping charge of $1.79, which comes out to $6.68 for 930 shows, or about 7 cents an episode.

This is the most informative site for finding great descriptions of each old-time radio show and finding those MP3 CD’s for sale. For instance this is the Great Gildersleeve page which includes a free sample of one of the shows. The website adds previously unavailable episodes every month. It is great that 49 years later after the death of old-time radio, that missing episodes are still being found.

The following online dealer also offers MP3 CD’s with updates, including episodes of shows found recently, that were previously missing.  The best thing about this site is that the price you see is the price you pay, since there is no shipping fees at this site.

Thousands of Free Show Online

There are also thousands of free shows that can be listened to online immediately for no charge. This is one of my favorite places for listening to free shows.

You can find 12,369 free shows to listen to. There are 610 free Jack Benny shows alone to listen to and 973 Lone Rangers shows. is another great place to listen to free old-time radio shows, but there is also a wealth of other content at the site, that may be of interest to readers.

Best Source For Old Time Radio Shows Information

For information on 100,645 old-time radio programs, the best place to search is the Radio GOLD Index. The site features descriptions of  individual episodes of shows, including the stars of each episode and the announcer.

The name of any star can be typed in the search box and a list of any episodes they appeared in will show up on the screen. However, the site will be missing some episodes of shows, so it is not a complete listing.

The best source for information of shows in book form is John Dunning’s On The Air The Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio printed by Oxford Press. The list price is $55, but I found it several years ago at ebay for $25. It was in perfect condition for that price, looking like it had never been opened.

Amazon has 38 reviews of the book with 32 being 5 star reviews and 4 being 4 star reviews. The 840 page book lists the days of the week the show was on, a list of cast members and what networks the show appeared on, in addition to a review of each show, with the more popular shows receiving longer reviews.

There is a Kindle edition of the book for $19.22.

Big Brother 13: HOH Part 2 Winner Revealed: Spoilers Alert!!!!!!!!!!!








Big Brother 13 started July 7 and the season will end Wednesday night after a season in which veterans of past Big Brother seasons competed against eight newbies.

Porsche Briggs of the newbies side will battle veteran Rachel Reilly to see which one will win the final HOH of the season. Rachel had won Part 1 of the HOH, while Porsche defeated Adam Poch in Part 2, setting up Wednesday’s battle.

Rachel and Porsche apparently plan to take each other to the final two, as of today at least, but that could change.

It seems to me that a smarter game move for Rachel or Porsche would be to take Adam to the final two. It would almost insure them of winning the $500,000 since Adam has not done much, in the way of winning competitions till lately.

On the other hand Porsche and Rachel, have been better overall competitors, with Rachel winning three HOH’s and Porsche trying to win most of her competitions, since she finished second so often.

This is all still conjecture, since it depends on who wins Part 3 and what their decision will be on Wednesday night. If Porsche or Rachel think it through, they may realize taking Adam to final two, would be the smart thing to do financially.

There is only 2 days and 12 hours from this minute on Monday morning, till the last show will be televised.

If there was any doubt that the producers manipulated the show this season, it was removed when Porsche couldn’t resist taking the $5,000 for herself from Pandora’s Box. CBS knew it would be too tempting for Porsche to pass up the chance to win the money. They also knew by unleashing the duo twist again, that it would keep two of their biggest drawing cards on the show, in Rachel and Jordan. Rachel true to form won the veto and saved her or Jordan from going home that week.

Then when Rachel opens Pandora’ s Box, Tori Spelling and Jessie Godderz were unleashed on the house, which didn’t affect the game at all. Will never forget Rachel watching the other house guests talking to Tori and shopping for free clothes, while Jessie is trying to distract her by posing and giving her products with his name on them.

This has to be one of the most successful shows ever, in the ratings and we undoubtedly will see CBS producers manipulate the show even more in the future to keep the high ratings.

S.H. Kress: Out of Business For 30 Years

This is the original S.H. Kress building built in the 20's or 30's before new building was built many years later on Third Street.

It seems like it was only yesterday that we were shopping at the S.H. Kress store in downtown Alexandria, Louisiana.

The original store was built on Third Street and would later be replaced by a new structure on the same street.

When we were kids, we did most of our Christmas shopping at stores like Kress where you could buy a lot of stuff with very little money.

The Christmas tree would have a lot of presents under it, but most of them would be from stores like Kress, Morgan and Lindsey and Ben Franklin.

One of my fondest memories is that of smelling the popcorn cooking in the popcorn machine in the store.

S.H. Kress stores became a center of controversy, when they refused to let blacks sit at their lunch counters and were sued numerous times for that refusal.

Part of growing up in central Louisiana were trips to the Kress store on Third Street in downtown Alexandria.

The first Kress store was opened in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania in 1887. Kress became a chain of 5-10-25 cent stores in 1896. Genesco purchased Kress in 1964 and 17 years later the company would no longer exist in the United States, and ceased operation in 1981. It missed by six years of surviving for 100 years.

Alexandria would see many other stores like Kress closed when their companies went out of business. Other chain stores that were located in Alexandria or Pineville including, W.T. Grant, Woolworth’s, Woolco, Ben Franklin, Morgan and Lindsey and many more that ended their presence in Alexandria or Pineville.

It has been thirty years now since Kress went out of the retail business. It was the same year that President Reagan took office on January 20 and would be shot in an assassination attempt by John Hinckley on March 30 of that year.

Other events that year include:

May 13 –

Pope John Paul II is shot and almost killed by a Turkish gunman inside Vatican City.

August 1 – MTV is launched.

October 6 – President of Egypt Anwar Sadat is assassinated during a parade.

December 28- Elizabeth Jordan Carr becomes the first test tube baby to be born and grew up to be a newspaper journalist.

Popular Candy Bars

The Zero candy bar was first produced in 1920 and is still being made 91 years later. This may very well be the best candy bar ever made, with chocolate, caramel, peanuts and almond nougats on the inside and white fudge on the outside.

It was almost a daily ritual walking home from Pineville High to Burns Street to stop in the neighborhood grocery store where Lallah ended at Donahue Ferry. I remember an elderly lady ran the store. Can remember buying a Big Time candy bar every time.  I don’t even know why I liked them so much. They weren’t that much better than any other candy bar.

Coconut lovers loved the Almond Joy candy bar. It had a coconut center and two almonds in milk chocolate. It’s sister candy bar Mounds was similar to the Almond Joy, except without the almonds and encased in dark chocolate. I don’t know why anyone would want to ever eat a Mounds, after tasting the almonds in an Almond Joy bar.

The Baby Ruth candy bar was produced by the Curtiss Candy Company in 1921. Ironically, it was the year Babe Ruth hit 59 home runs. However, Babe Ruth had nothing to do with the naming of the Baby Ruth candy bar. It is said to be named after the daughter of President Grover Cleveland, Ruth Cleveland. 

Baby Ruth candy bars were made out of peanuts, caramel and nougats with a chocolate covering.  Curtiss Candy Company was sold to Nabisco in 1981, then sold to Nestle in 1991.

Curtiss Candy Company made their first Butterfinger Candy Bar in 1923, two years after the Baby Ruth candy bar was introduced. The candy bars have a taste similar to peanut butter and include crispy caramel in the center.

The Three Musketeers candy bar rolled off the assembly line in 1932 and was produced by M&M/Mars. The candy bars have a chocolate flavored nougat covered with milk chocolate.

I never ate chocolate cakes or most other products with chocolate, but always had a sweet tooth for chocolate candy bars. One of my favorites today are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and in addition, I have been known to eat a Snickers bar from time to time.

American Idol Tour To Pay Singers $1,000 For Each Concert

The eleven American Idol finalists will be $49,000 richer at the end of their 49 concert tour this summer, with each singer being paid $1,000 a concert. The singers alone combined will earn a combined $539,000.

The Idols will also receive a cut of the merchandise sales during the tour.

Concertgoers will be able to see Pia Toscano sing with her fellow American Idol singers for the first time since leaving the show early in the season.

The ticket prices will be affordable for only the most affluent American Idol fans or those fans who have saved up for the tour for several months.

For instance the concert at Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas will range from $94 for the cheapest ticket to $631 for the most expensive ticket not counting the meet and greet tickets at $1,649 each.

A family of four buying the cheapest tickets would be setback $376, not including any trips to the concession stands or memorabilia purchases.

Paying the orchestra assuming there will be a traveling orchestra, stagehands, concession workers and roadies to unload and load the trucks and whoever else is needed to stage the shows will amount to a huge amount of money.

It is a shame that so many fans who would want to see the concert tour, simply can’t afford the money it would take to see the shows. American Idol is a huge cash cow, that may make a lot of money for the ownership of the company, but the average fan working for a living will find the tickets are too pricey for them to attend.

The tour was cut short in 2010, but don’t expect that to happen with the wealth of talented singers on the tour this year. Sadly Ashton Jones and Karen Rodriguez who were the first and second singers to be eliminated, thus disqualifying them from the tour will not receive the $49,000 the other 11 will be receiving.

I personally would love to see one of the concerts, but financially the tickets are too expensive for me to see the concerts.

Flash Mobs Turning to Crime

This flash mob turns to crime as they rob this store in an undisclosed location.

Flash mobs used to be about large groups of people freezing in place, unexpected singing in places like malls and surprise wedding mobs.

Now the criminal element is embracing the mob mentality, by entering stores in large numbers, stealing what they can get their hands on, then leaving the stores en masse.

The store employee in the above video is helpless in the face of a huge mob entering the store and stealing everything in sight, before making a mass exit. There is no way one employee can stop stealing marauders like these criminals. Hiring a security guard probably would not even help in a situation like this.

Crimes like this will force stores to place their merchandise, on shelves behind locked glass doors. The thieves may be able to break the glass but may sustain injuries that may make it easier to apprehend them if store cameras can identify them.

These flash mob thieves steal clothes from this high end clothing store.

Flash mob thieves have no respect for anyone as all they are worried about is to get their greedy hands on as much merchandise as possible.

The following article and video tell about flash mobs stealing from Chicago stores:

I am reluctant to give the mob thieves publicity that might encourage others to form mobs and steal from stores. On the other hand, it may alert law enforcement authorities to devise ways to stop this form of thievery before it starts in other cities across the United States.

Watching flash mobs on You Tube used to be fun, but now joining a flash mob to steal merchandise, may be fun for the thieves, but it won’t be fun when stores start locking them in after they enter the store with no way out, but for the police to take them out of the stores in handcuffs. These miscreants may be not be joining any other flash mobs, but instead will be joining the mobs of criminals in state prisons.

Nostalgic Memories From the Past

These are just some of my memories of the good old days:

When the  ice man brought ice to place in your icebox.

When milkmen brought your milk to the house with cream at the top of the bottles.

When attic fans were the only way of getting any air in a house.

When we would walk on the Murray Street Bridge and see the Red River below, when there were missing slats.

When we were hot and didn’t think about it being hot because it was all we knew since nobody had air conditioners then.

When television shows didn’t come on  till 3:30 PM.  Howdy Doody and Pinky Lee started the telecast day on KALB-TV in Alexandria, Louisiana in the 50’s.

When we listened to old time radio shows like Dragnet and Breakfast Club on the radio, while my mom listened to her soap operas like Just Plain Bill, Stella Dallas, Lorenzo Jones and Guiding Light.

When people would go to local appliance store at night and watch television through the display window at Jimmie Walker’s Appliances on Main Street in Pineville.

When we would come home from school and watch our cowboy heroes in action.

When nativity scenes could be seen in public places before ACLU raised such a fuss, that you can’t find one in a mall today.

When stores like Penneys, Sears and Montgomery Ward were located in free standing stores, before the advent of the shopping centers and malls.

When kids would trick or treat until 10PM at night, filling grocery bags full of candy, with no special Halloween bags.

When families went to drive-in movies together, while teenagers would sneak a extra kid in the trunk, to avoid paying for them.

When theatergoers would throw tomatoes at the movie screen if they were upset with a bad movie.

When Larry McHale of KALB – TV was advertising cigarettes and started coughing, but regrouped and said “Just thinking of those other brands makes me cough.”

When eating TV dinners were more popular than fast food.

When McDonald’s had 15 cent hamburgers.

When you could get a haircut for less than a dollar.

When it cost a dime to see a movie.

When it cost a dime for a school lunch in 1950 at Pineville Elementary in Pineville, Louisiana.

When kids collected baseball cards and put them in bicycle spokes.

When families would go on picnics at the city park, letting the kids play on the playground equipment.

When going to stores we would see white and colored water fountains. One black man tried both kinds and said they tasted the same.

When we watched No Time For Sergeants three times in a row at the movie theater. (One of the funniest movies ever, with Don Knotts being a dexterity expert, that became discombobulated by Andy Griffith’s character.)

When we used to drink Hawaiian Punch and Delaware Punch.

When we used to pay a nickel for a 6 ounce coke out of a machine. Now they charge over a $1.50 for a 20 ounce coke, when in the old days a 24 ounce coke would cost 20 cents.

When we walked a mile to school everyday for the entire 12 years of elementary and high school.

When there was no middle school back in the 50’s.

When Gov. Earl K. Long of Louisiana gave free chickens to voters during a gubneratorial election.

When going fishing meant taking a cane pole and not a expensive rod and reel.

When I bought a $6.50 Nokona baseball glove for $6.00 when the hardware store owner found out I didn’t have enough money to pay the full price.

When we celebrated Christmas by running around with sparklers.

When we would see the miniature church on the city square in Alexandria every Christmas.

When Christmas music was played downtown during the Christmas season.

When we used to play marbles in school.

When playing with a yo-yo was cool.

When hula hoops were the hot fad.

When high school kids rode bikes to school instead of driving cars.

When familes went to church together.

When families actually ate dinner together at a table, instead of in front of the television.

When kids made money by delivering newspapers on bicycle.

When we drank grapefruit juice at breakfast even though we didn’t like it.

When we ate Wheat Chex at breakfast even though we didn’t like it.

When we used to get excited about another school year starting.

When we went to special Christmas Eve services on a cold night in December and watching Christmas movies on television when we got home.

When we had a train set over our bed as a kid.

When we took a trip in 1957 and saw the Howard Johnson restaurants with the orange roofs.

When we got together as a family to hear mother read from the Bible.

When we used to listen to records on the record player.

When homemade ice cream was better than any ice cream bought in a store.

When pizza was delivered to the house the first time.

When mom and pop stores went out of business because of Wal-Mart.

When there used to be neighborhood groceries scattered around in residential neighborhoods.

Yes, those truly were the good old days.

$6,000 Toilet With Touch Screen Remote Control

The Kohler company will introduce a new $6,000 toilet later this month. The toilet will include amenities like an MP3 player and a touch screen remote control.

The innovative toilet should sell well, even at $6,000. There are too many rich people, who like to be first to have a new product, for it not to sell well.

A complete toilet and tank can be bought at Home Depot for about $55. A consumer could buy 109 of the $55 toilets for what it cost to buy the $6,000 toilet.

This link shows what the toilet looks like:

Extreme Couponer Being Investigated

Jaime Kirlew, who was recently featured on Extreme Couponing is being investigated for fraud while using coupons.

She allegedly used $4 Schick Razor coupons to buy Schick Shaving Gel. You would think the coupons would be rejected.

This is such a complicated matter it may be better to go to this link, which explains in great detail, exactly how she is using the coupons.

Gasoline Cost 18 Cents a Gallon in 1950’s

With the average price of a gallon of gasoline close to $4.00, it is good to remember the good old days  when gas was 18 cents in the 1950’s.

I can remember driving from Louisiana to Kansas in 1969 when I found gasoline price of 24 cents a gallon. It was during a gasoline price war in Texarkana, Arkansas.

A ten gallon tank would cost only $2.40 at the time. Today that same ten gallons would cost close to $40.00.

In addition to the low gasoline prices, you could have your tires checked, oil and water checked and have your windshield cleaned.

Today there very few full service gasoline stations remaining in the United States. Now you have to pump the gas and clean your own windshield, not to mention checking to see if you are running low on any of the fluids required to keep a car running well.

No convenience store clerk is going to be able to help you with any automotive problems, since they have to stay behind the counter to work the cash register.

We are in another high gasoline price cycle, but this time it may be longer lived than most cycles. We are hearing in the news about gasoline going to five dollars before the end of the year.

The amazing thing is that consumers continue to buy the huge gas guzzling SUV’s knowing they will have to pay $70-$80 for a tank of gasoline. That same tank full in the 1950’s would cost less between about five dollars.

The price of a barrel of crude oil is at the highest since 2008, yet nobody in Washington seems inclined to do anything about it.

The state of Texas is even considering raising the speed limit to 85 MPH on the interstates. A tank of gas won’t last long driving that fast.

We hear the same old rhetoric coming out of Washington about using the millions of gallons stored in storage tanks, but so far the government has done nothing to give relief to the consumer.

Unless something changes in Washington, this country will continue to be held hostage by foreign countries producing gasoline that is sent to the United States.


Lizard Lick Towing Renewed For Second Season

TruTV has renewed Lizard Lick Towing for a second season. The announcement also mentions that Hardcore Pawn will be returning for another season.

Lizard Lick Towing fans will be happy to hear the news. The show was one of the most popular shows on TruTV. So we will be seeing Ron and Amy Shirley along with Bobby Brantley for another season of repossessions of cars, boats and whatever else they are asked to repossess.

Dallas Cowboy Spends $54,896 On Meal For Teammates

Dez Bryant spent over $54,000 on his Dallas Cowboy teammates at the Pappas Brothers Steakhouse.

Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant, knows how to get on the good side of his teammates spending $54,896 on one meal for the entire team.

Bryant originally only planned to take the offensive players out, but the defense also ate at the expense of Bryant.

The big winners in the situation were the players eating out on Bryant’s money, plus the Pappas Brothers  steakhouse had to be ecstatic over receiving $54,896.

Nobody has claimed Bryant to be a good manager of money as he has been sued for $850,000 for bills he ran up in anticipation of him signing a a multi-million dollar contract.

One man is suing Bryant for $588,500 worth of jewelry, $15,850 in tickets and $11,000 in cash. Bryant agreed to pay what he owed the man by July 30, 2010. This is not totally Bryant’s fault, but he still should have made sure his agent paid this money on time. His agent should have told Bryant, this money has to be repaid or you will end up in court.

Now in addition to the money owed, Bryant will have to pay lawyer fees, when it should have been taken care of months ago.

A good agent would have told Bryant not to spend any money,  until the contract was actually signed. Athletes today need sound financial advice on how to spend this much money. If he had been in a car accident that crippled him for life, there would be no way to pay the $850,000 back, if he hadn’t signed a contract.

Maybe the people who lend money to players, in advance of them signing a contract, will think it over because of the Bryant case and let someone else lend them the money.

Bryant also owes a New York company $246,000 for jewelry purchases. How much jewelry does Bryant need? Why did he buy six men’s watches?

If Bryant doesn’t get his finances straightened out he will suffer the fate of M.C. Hammer and find himself penniless by the time he retires.

Hopefully Bryant and his agent learned a lesson from these lawsuits.

Hardcore Pawn: Detroit Pawn Shop on TruTV

Seth Gold, Les Gold and Ashley Broad (Gold) of the American Jewelry and Loan pawn shop in Detroit, Michigan depicted in Hardcore Pawn on TruTV.

Anyone who has seen Pawn Stars on the History channel, may expect more of the same kind of show, with Hardcore Pawn on TruTV, but they are completely different shows.

While Pawn Stars is more of a laid back show, Hardcore Pawn is more confrontational. While there may be some mild confrontations, on Pawn Stars, they pale in significance to those experienced, by the employees on Hardcore Pawn.

The actual name, of the pawn shop is American Jewelry and Loan. It is located in a neighborhood, that is not that safe. There are security guards nearby in the pawn shop to quell any disturbances that may arise. To show what kind of a neighborhood the show is filmed in, the camera focuses on the Eight Mile road sign.

The owner, Les Gold is a no-nonsense type of guy. He sometimes finds himself, breaking up fights between his son Seth and daughter Ashley. They are both headstrong types, who believe their way is the right way.

The following video shows a man who loses at the casino, pawns some items, then returns to the pawn shop after losing again.

One man in the video claims he was told he was told he could get $255, for the items he was wanting to pawn. The owner tells him he will get the $155 or could go home. The man becomes belligerent and is thrown out of the pawn shop by the security guards.

A lady comes in to pawn her wedding ring, after losing at the casino expecting to get a lot of money  to pawn it. She said her husband give her $300 to pay some bills, but she lost it at the casino. She winds up getting $30 and heads back to the casino.

The next customer brings in a OB-GYN examination table and takes $50 for it. Ashley, the daughter of the owner who made the deal is worried, they won’t be able to resell it. However,  a customer comes in and buys it for $200.

Pawn Stars has been a powerhouse in the ratings for the History channel, drawing over six million viewers an episode. Hardcore Pawn has not done so well, drawing only a little over two million viewers an episode.

While Pawn Stars focuses more on the value of the items brought in to be pawned, Hardcore Pawn features more of what is going on behind the scenes.

The pawn shop management decides to have a raffle in one episode, but it goes terribly wrong, when nobody has a winning number, after calling a bunch of numbers. The crowd becomes upset, but it ends well.


Missing Price Tags at Wal-Mart

Scanner found in Wal-Marts to tell customer price of an item from the barcode.

Is it just me or does it seem like prices are missing from more items at Wal-Mart lately? It is aggravating to not find a price, on the item or the shelf. Then the hunt is on to find a scanner which is not always easy to find.

Speaking for myself, I won’t buy an item without a price on it or on the shelf. Then the tricky part is matching an item with the price on the shelf. A lot of time is wasted by customers, looking for the same bar code number on the shelf, as is on the item.  This becomes even more of a problem when the item is out of place so its barcode number doesn’t match the number posted on the shelf.

You would think Wal-Mart would rather post a price, than to have the line at the register, held up by the cashier finding someone to find a price for them, if it doesn’t show up at the register either.

I like to avoid sticker shock so won’t even put an item with a disputable price in the basket, and just leave it on the shelf.

Sometimes the bar code scanner area is a dumping place for items, more expensive than thought as seen in the article.

The pile of goods abandoned beneath aisle bar code scanners at stores like Macy’s and Target prove that consumers don’t know how much things cost unless they go hunting, Dworsky said.

For those wanting more information on the missing price tags at stores:

Technology We Don’t Need: Radio-Toaster



Just when we thought there was no other appliance to combine a radio with, Delonghi has given us a radio-toaster.

There is an ad for it at, but the radio-toaster is presently out of stock. The radio is a Kenwood which usually is a good thing, but not according to this reviewer,who purchased the radio and left this one star review at :

Barely Adequate Toaster, Dreadful Radio!, April 6, 2006
Anchoret (California) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Kenwood TT756SL 2-Slice Radio Toaster with FM Radio (Kitchen)
I have to say that this is one of the most dismal products I’ve ever bought. The toaster barely toasts, even when turned all the way up, and helpfully flips over when you press down the handle. It takes two hands to use. The radio, in addition to being the worst-sounding radio I have ever encountered, has to be reset to your channel each time the radio is turned on, and that has to be done by a blind search button. How convenient is that?

I assumed that coming from Kenwood, the radio would at least be a decent unit. Wrong.

This thing is merely a gag product, and the joke’s on the buyer.

Right now there is probably someone thinking of a way to combine a radio, with an electric can opener, if it doesn’t already exist.

Relics of the Past: Eight Track Players

The Stereo 8 eight track player made its debut in 1965 in Ford automobiles and in 1966 in homes.

The eight track player is one technological advance that completely passed me by. When I joined the Army in 1962 record players were still being used.

By the time I had finished my tour of duty in 1966 I knew of eight track players but never used one or had any idea of how they worked. A few years later after going to work, bought my first cassette deck and the eight track players seemed to disappear from the scene.

The popularity of the eight track player lasted till the end of the 70’s, before giving way to the cassette player. Then about 1982 the compact disc started to do to cassettes what the cassettes had done to eight tracks.

The eight track player had a very short life span compared to record players, cassette players and and compact disc players.

Audio systems today may include a record player, cassette player and compact disc player, but I haven’t heard of one that included an eight track player with an audio system.

Compact disc players for the last 29 years have become the primary source of music for listeners today, but have lost some of their market to MP3 downloads into computers which then download the music into MP3 players.

There are presently 254 eight track players for sale at eBay priced from $1.04 to $500. For someone who owns a lot of eight track music they can buy a player at a very cheap price.

The MP3 players are in vogue right now but who knows what technological advance is in the planning stages that could make them obsolete the way eight track players were made more or less obsolete with a few exceptions.

13 iPads Stolen From Fla. Wal-Mart

One of the six thieves caught on surveillance camera as he enters into Wal-Mart before the six stole 13 iPads.

Wal-Mart store in Fort Myers, Florida will be re-examining their security measures, after 13 iPads were stolen. Six people were involved in the theft with one unlocking the case with the iPads and the others helping load them into shopping carts.

This was a well planned heist since they walked into the store individually to avoid suspicion and then waited while one of them unlocked the case.

The first question is how was this case unlocked without a key. The second question is how were they able to load the iPads into a shopping cart without being detected? Maybe because of the early hour there might not have even been a clerk in the department.

Makes me wonder if one of them diverted the attention of a clerk taking them to the other end of the electronics department away from the iPads (if a clerk was in the department).

The third question is how did the six people stuff the iPads into their clothing with them being 7.31 inches wide and 9.50 inches deep. How many people have pockets inside their clothing that are 7.31 inches wide? One of the six had to be carrying three iPads assuming they each took two each with one taking three iPads.

It would arouse suspicion if the six were all walking out of the store holding their coats closed to prevent the iPads from falling to the floor.

The main question is how did they get out the door with the iPads without the buzzer going off since they were unpaid items and where was the greeter? Did they disable something on the iPads to insure they could get out of the store without being detected?

One more question is why wasn’t someone monitoring the security camera for the electronics department? If someone was watching them they wouldn’t have time to even unlock the case .

It is inconceivable that they could steal thirteen iPads valued at $8,027, stuff them in their clothing and stroll out the store undetected.

Wal-Mart has surveillance video of the thieves but need help in identifying them.

The Crime Stoppers has more photos posted at their website and the release states that the thieves entered the store at 5:55 AM on February 25 and left the store at 6:05 AM. The photos in the following release from Crime Stoppers are very clear and it should be a matter of time before the thieves are behind bars.

All they need is some names to go with the faces. It is surprising they haven’t been arrested but they could be out of the area by now, considering it is over a week later and there are no followup stories about them being arrested. They may have been traveling hundreds of miles to hit this store and may be in another part of the country by now.

Toy Tazers Bad Idea

My Source is selling this Toy Tazer for $3.40.

Do kids really need the Toy Tazer sold by My Source? I can’t believe a company is selling this as a toy when a real taser gun has killed 334 people in the United States between 2001 and August, 2008 according to Amnesty International.

Even if the toy only gives a a much lighter jolt than a real taser gun, it still teaches kids that a taser gun is a toy when in reality it is a gun that kills people.

Some officers almost certainly use taser guns in situations when the use of them could be avoided. The only time using a taser gun while making an arrest is justified is if it is a life or death situation where it is kill or be killed.

The low price of $3.40 makes this gun easily accessible which also troubles me knowing some parents will buy it because it is comparatively cheap compared to most electronic toys.×3652997

Relics of the Past: Rotary Telephones

Basic black rotary telephone is almost extinct today.

It has been years since I have seen a rotary telephone actually being used. Unlike the phones of today, the rotary telephones had to be dialed till touching the stop on each phone.

The touch phones of today are much faster and easier to use. Some numbers if they have been programmed into a phone can actually be called by touching one button.

The patent for the first rotary phone was filed in 1896. However it wouldn’t be used for the first time till 1919 when the Bell System began using rotary phones.

Forty-three years later in 1962 the first touch phone was introduced at the 1962 World’s Fair. It was the beginning of the end for the rotary phone.

I never thought operating a rotary phone was that complicated but there are videos like this one which go into detail on how to operate a rotary phone:

This lady demonstrates how to use a rotary phone properly.

1963 would bring the first commercially available touch phones signaling the end for the rotary dial phones which gradually have disappeared from the American scene.

The Duggars: 19 Kids and Counting

The Duggar family can be seen on 19 Kids and Counting on the TLC network.


On July 21, 1984 Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were married. 27 years later they have 19 children. They didn’t want to have children until 1988 but they lost the first baby due to a miscarriage.

Both Jim and Michelle are successful real estate agents. They built a 7,000 square foot house to accomodate the children. Amazingly they built it debt free which has helped them afford to raise the kids without a huge house note.

Even then, it has to be a huge expense to feed and buy clothes for so many children. It is difficult to comprehend how they can afford the expenses connected with raising children today plus pay the huge utility bills for a 7,000 square foot house.

They do buy used merchandise to save money, shopping at thrift stores.

Besides the financial expense, raising that many young children has to be extremely tiring even though some of the older children assist in the care of their younger brothers and sisters.

It is easy to criticize them for having so many children to raise considering if anything were to happen to the mother and/or father the state and federal government would probably have to spend large sums of money to support them.

So far, I have never seen an episode in which they discussed money problems but not saying that hasn’t happened.

One episode showed Michelle demanding that one of the children look her in the eyes when she was speaking to them. That way she had the undivided attention of that child. We can all learn from the way they raise their children.

The logistics involved in preparing meals for that many children has to be overwhelming but with a schedule for each activity of the day they make good use of their time.

They have raised their children well. If they hadn’t Supernanny would have found out she wasn’t so super if she had 19 misbehaving kids to teach how to behave.

I have the utmost respect for Jim and Michelle Duggar. They have succeeded in raising their kids with Christian values.

May God bless their family as the children grow into adults in the coming years.

Relics of the Past: Commodore 64 Computer


Commodore 64 computer keyboard.

It has been 29 years since the Commodore 64 computer was sold in 1982. It became the best selling personal computer ever.

From 1983-1986 it dominated the personal computer market selling between 30 and 40 percent of all personal computers sold during that span.

My mom bought a Commodore 64 computer in the 80’s from a computer store in Alexandria and gave it to her grandkids. If I remember right it cost $159 but the Commodore 64’s were selling at $595 when first introduced. The first models were only costing the Commodore company only $135 giving the company a huge profit margin.

It was not as user friendly as the computers today. We would buy Commodore 64 themed magazines and copy the programs line by line to get them to work on the computer. It was a lengthy process for some of the longer programs but when it worked after all the typing it was worthwhile.

It seemed like the Commodore keyboards were not made that well since the keyboards seemed to stop working in a very short time compared to the keyboards of today. The keyboard I am typing this on has lasted at least five or six years already while a Commodore 64 keyboard might stop working after a year or two at least in my experience using them.

One of my sons has a working Commodore 64 system today comprised of a keyboard, monitor and 1541 hard drive. He uses the GEOS (Graphic Environment Operating System) with the computer.

Today on ebay there are 106 Commodore 64 related products for sale at the website including keyboards, disc drives, monitors, software and other accessories.

We never had access to the internet with the Commodore 64 but if we had the right setup it might have been possible to go online.

Personally I think the Commodore 64 played a large part in the coming computer revolution since it brought computers into the home at an affordable price.

When more powerful computers were introduced Commodore 64 users opted for the new technology and the Commodore 64 gradually faded out of the popularity it had enjoyed during the middle 1980’s.

Even at $595 Commodore’s competitive pricing left Apple and Atari in the dust with the Apple IIe selling for $1,200 and the Atari 800 computer was selling for $899.

There were plans to release a Commodore 65 computer but they never materialized.

The Commodore 64 played a part in helping Americans become more computer literate thus leading to most home in the United States having at least one computer except for those who don’t embrace the new technology and wouldn’t use a computer if it was given to them.

Maybe the Commodore 64 is not a relic in the strictest sense of the word but the last generation has probably not even heard of them.

MP3 Players: Then and Now

Creative Nomad Zen Xtra Jukebox

It has been seven years since I purchased my Creative Nomad Zen Xtra Jukebox MP3 player and it is still working great in 2011.

The 40 GB player may not be as slim as the MP3 players being sold today but it has 4,092 songs in it that I recorded from CD’s I had in my collection which has used only 14 GB of the space in the player.

I have found that Windows Media Player is best for ripping the songs from a CD into the computer and then after that process is completed going to My Computer will find the music in the My Music folder.

Right clicking on the music folder for the album and sending it to the player is all that is needed for it to copy the music into the player.

The sound quality to me is excellent and the music can be listened to in many ways. FM transmitters can be used to play the music in a stereo system, from non MP3 radios and other music sources.

However I have encountered problems getting the exact frequency on the transmitter to listen to the music so seldom even try to use them.

When my wife bought me a record player a couple of years ago it had an MP3 connection in the back enabling me to just plug one end into the MP3 player and the other into the MP3 connection on back of the record player.

There are many speakers today that are easily connected to a MP3 player. At one time Dollar Tree had one for a dollar that while it wasn’t the best sound but it did work.

Last year I found a I-Pod radio selling at a garage sale for only $3 which also has a MP3 connection in the back and it is great to listen to music and old time radio shows.

The old time radio shows on MP3 CD’s go directly into the My Music folder in Windows after the CD has been inserted into the CD drive. So with the MP3 player connected to the computer and the folder for the old time radio shows on that CD open right clicking will send the shows to the MP3 player.

Most MP3 CD’s will hold 100 old time half hour radio shows which is 50 hours of listening pleasure. For instance I have over 800 Jack Benny episodes on 8 or 9 discs.

One MP3 CD in my collection has an entire baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees in 1934 with legendary Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson as an announcer. 77 years later it is still possible to listen to a game in which Lou Gehrig is playing but Babe Ruth was out with an injury that day.

There are also MP3 CD’s that are packed with radio shows that announce the bombing of Pearl Harbor and another about the Normandy invasion and you can hear the news broadcast those days over 60 years later.

Another MP3 CD includes a typical broadcast day from 1939 which includes every show that day that was broadcast from sign on till sign off and gives an idea of what it was like 71 years ago.

With my collection of over 17,000 old time radio episodes of many different shows it is easy to transfer several episodes of a particular show to the MP3 player and then after listening to them delete them from the player since they are on a MP3 CD so I can tell immediately if I have heard a show since I have heard it the episode would have been deleted.

If someone wants to buy old time radio shows it is much cheaper to buy them in MP3 form than on a regular audio CD since an audio CD may hold only four half hour shows and a cassette tape will only have a half hour show on front and back of the tape depending on how much the tape will hold.

2GB MobiBlu Cube MP3 player.

Move the calendar ahead to 2011 and MobiBlu has on the market a very small 2GB MP3 player that  only weighs .063 ounces and it is a .94 of an inch square.

The MobiBlu player shown in the photo is currently being sold at Amazon for $111.22 which seems a bit too pricey for such a small player.

The player includes an FM radio and a clock. It also includes a built in microphone and a voice recorder.

The radio also can save music or talk shows into the player for later listening.

The price still is a little steep for a player that holds only 32 hours of MP3 music and 64 hours of WMA music.

To me it is more of a novelty than a practical MP3 player.


My clunky looking Creative Nomad Zen Xtra Jukebox may not be as small as the MobiBlu player but it has provided a lot of listening pleasure the last seven years.

Someday my Creative player will be obsolete since it is not compatible with Windows 7 the last I knew and I am already getting not compatible with Windows Media Player messages already but it does still work with it.

The only problem is that I have misplaced the installation CD for the player and since our computer was repaired after the virus the software is no longer in the computer so I can’t download music and old time radio shows till I find the missing software.

However I can still listen to the music and old time radio shows in the player for many years to come. Buying electronic products can produce a myriad of problems but I can truthfully say the Creative Nomad Zen Xtra Jukebox is working as well today as when I received it in the mail back in 2004.

1941 Philco console radio.

I can still listen to old time radio shows that go as far back as 1928 which is 83 years ago. The MP3 CD’s have been a amazing development that enable listeners in 2011 to go back in time to the good old days of old time radio which lasted from the 20’s till September 30,1962 the day old time radio died.

I can still recall visiting my grandparents at their Allendale, Missouri farm in 1959 and listening to radio shows and Kansas City Athletics baseball games as they were broadcast on a radio similar to this 1941 Philco console radio.

However the MP3 player enables me to relive those days 53 years later as I listen to the same great old time radio shows that were being broadcast back then.

It is exciting to listen to the old comedy shows like Fibber McGee and Molly, Great Gildersleeve, Amos and Andy and the Jack Benny show.

Detective shows of that era come alive again as Boston Blackie, Dragnet, This is Your FBI and dramas likk the Family Theater and Lux Radio Theater can be heard today bringing back memories of the good old days when life wasn’t so fast paced.

Listening to the Christmas shows from those days are a special treat like A Christmas Carol, Amos and Andy Christmas show in which Amos recites the Lord’s Prayer to his daughter on Christmas Eve. Another favorite was the Lum N’ Abner show where neighbors walk through the snow to help a destitute family.

The Family Theater Christmas episode of A Daddy For Christmas will bring tears to your eyes as a mother and her son try to make it after her husband is killed in World War II and the son’s mom winds up marrying a department store Santa Claus.

MP3 technology has made it possible for us to hear those shows on MP3 CD’s that are nominally priced with Ebay showing  621 items under the old time radio CD’s listing.

Some of the sellers are selling huge numbers of shows on MP3 CD’s and DVD’s. One seller is selling 852 episodes of Jack Benny shows for $4.89 using Buy It Now with only a $1.69 shipping charge. The only caveat is that these episodes are all on one DVD while it would take about nine MP3 CD’s for these same episodes which would drive the price higher.

These shows will play on a computer but it will take more technical knowledge than I have to play these shows on other devices but most audiophiles should have no problem.

Anyone who misses the good old days of radio can listen to the old shows at several websites if they can’t afford or don’t want to purchase an MP3 player.

OTR.NET is one of the best to listen to old time radio programs for free with over 12,000 free shows to listen to including 610 Jack Benny shows. is one of the best places to sample shows where almost every show sold on the site has a free sample of that show.

Happy old time radio listening!!


Do We Need a 87 Tool Knife?

Swiss Army knife with 87 tools and 141 functions.

I can still remember the good old days when knives had one blade and didn’t have a lot of tools included. Those days are gone forever as there is now a Swiss knife with 87 tools and 141 functions.

The knife weighs 2 pounds and 11 ounces and is 8 3/4 inches wide.

It has to be hard to find a particular tool when all the tools are in the closed position. It does have some useful tools yet also has some tools which are not often needed often like:

Golf club face cleaner

Golf shoe spike wrench

Cupped cigar cutter

Chisel point reamer

There are too many tools to list them all. The Wenger company is the manufacturer of this monstrosity and their website lists the retail price of $1,400 but out of the goodness of their hearts are selling it for only $1,099.95.

One reviewer who has bought the knife has this to say about it at the website:

Okay…I have had many different Swiss products in my days and this one just makes me laugh. I got this as a gift because I collect knives and this just kinda blows. Sure it has every top notch tool that any Swiss tool has ever had, but it is just stupid. I can barely pick the thing up to transport it, never-mind use it to carve something or use one of the tools on it. Right now, it is just sitting in my Swiss display case…

After reading about this knife I can see only very affluent people buying it. I am not even sure if these tools couldn’t be purchased cheaper separately rather than buying this gigantic knife.

This is the perfect gift for someone who has everything but after reading the review above am not sure it is even a practical knife in which the tools could actually do the tasks they are designed to accomplish because of the unwieldy size of the knife. The part of the review that is most revealing is when the reviewer listed under cons that the knife included tools.

To see the knife and more info about the tools included the link to the website is at the end of this article. It is safe to assume from my comments that I do not have any financial connection with the Wenger company.

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