Dinosaur Dracula!

Fake Gazpacho Recipe.

Gazpacho is a cold vegetable soup, something like tomato soup, but even more like chopped vegetables with tomato juice thrown on top. At least, the best kinds are.

Here’s how to make a super easy and quick gazpacho, though it comes with the admission that this technically isn’t gazpacho at all. But I am so not going to miss a chance to type “gazpacho” two dozen times. It is FUN.

First, buy prepared mirepoix from your local grocer. Mirepoix is chopped celery, onions and carrots, normally used as a base ingredient for stocks and stews. I see it at stores fairly regularly these days, so I do not feel out of bounds in my assumption that every grocery store in every city in every country has it for sale.

Course, if yours doesn’t, it’s not hard to buy the vegetables and chop them yourself. If you do, feel free to add others. Cucumber might be nice, because real gazpacho is never without it. In fact, the lack of cucumber here is my precise reason for qualifying this as “fake” gazpacho.

Gazpacho word count: 6. Read More…

Vlog: Popeye Shredded Bubble Gum!

A new feature is up, covering ten more old comic book ads. Good ones, too. Everything from Game Genies to Brach’s Rocks. Read it.

…or read it after you watch today’s video, in which I examine Popeye Shredded Bubble Gum.

Made in 1981 and likely inspired by Big League Chew, Popeye’s gum has not aged well. The video will prove this. :(

Five Random ’80s Action Figures, Part 2!

Okay, so there’s this huge indoor/outdoor flea market in Englishtown that I’ve been going to for like, twenty years now. It’d been a long time since my previous visit, so yesterday afternoon, we drove out to see what treasures awaited.

Turned out, not many treasures awaited. It’s the off season, and we arrived too close to closing time. Most of the outside vendors had already packed up and gone home. The remaning wares were limited. All I remember seeing were screen protectors for iPads in nonexistent sizes, and bootleg Power Ranger figures with nonfunctioning buttons on their groins.

The inside vendors were pretty hit or miss, too. It’s hard to explain, but picture a bunch of horse stables, filled with tiny shops instead of horses. They’re kind of like mini-malls, and the flea market has a bunch of them. We appreciated the heat, but most of the shops were already closed.

Then, just when hope seemed lost, we found this:

The Toy Room. I wasn’t terribly excited at first, because these sorts of shops typically take eBay’s dregs and present them as high value antiques. But, HOLY SHIT, this SO wasn’t that kind of place. It was the most amazing “old toy store” I’ve ever seen, with wares that pushed every single nostalgia button I have. Even the Captain Power button!

You name it, they had it. Star Wars, Transformers and Ninja Turtles were only the tip of the iceberg. It’d be a stretch to say that they had every old toy that ever meant anything to me, but goddamn, they came close.

Here, see for yourselves: Read More…

Vintage Vending #8: Small Parts A’Plenty!

This is a special video edition of Vintage Vending, because I am just so tired of writing.

…though I guess I should write a little, for the sake of Google hits from people searching for “fuzzy bear brooches” and “birds with tools for heads.”

This time, the prize assortment is completely random, and for the most part, yucky. There are some chasers in play, but it’s mostly as if someone raided a kitchen junk drawer and filled a vending machine with its contents. I can’t be the only guy with sea shells and two inch plastic dogs in his junk drawer.

See it all, in video form:


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Below are a few close-ups of the better prizes, because I couldn’t justify standing in the freezing cold for just one photo. Read More…

Crazy Good Multi Movie Horror DVD.

Omigawd. This is the best DVD set ever, or close to it. You’ve seen those “multi movie” horror packs before, and while this is thematically no different, the included movies are JUST SO INCREDIBLY GREAT. This is total instant party material – a cavalcade of cult classics with a heavy lean on cheesy/gory ‘80s slasher fests.

The movies:

1) Waxwork
2) 976-Evil 2
3) Ghoulies III (!!!!!!)
4) The Unholy
5) C.H.U.D. II
6) Chopping Mall
7) Slaughter High
8) Class of 1999

There are a few duds, but there’s also serious, crazy treasure. I only paid eight bucks for this, and there are at least four movies that I would’ve bought alone for that price. Waxwork? Chopping Mall? Slaughter High? If you’ve never seen these movies, put them on your must-watch list. They are somehow just as perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons as late Friday nights. That’s about as high a compliment as you can pay a horror movie. Read More…

5 Grisly Things About Living in a Medieval Castle.

I’m obsessed with medieval castles, but they were scary. Aside from the lack of every conceivable convenience that we now take for granted, life was just so much more brutal during the Middle Ages. Yeah, duh, but I don’t just mean that in an “enemy invaders with big swords” sort of way. Daily life was brutal.

Maybe the people who lived during those times didn’t consider it that way, but they didn’t know any better. Let’s put it this way: I’m interested in many times-and-places in history, and I sometimes dream about using a time machine to spend just one single day experiencing them in person. Not so with medieval castles. I know I wouldn’t last an hour.

To illustrate why, I’ve assembled five grisly facts about living in a medieval castle, pulled from various books. Maybe none of these things would be dealbreakers for you, but they only hint at the fright-filled lives of castle dwellers.

As an added bonus, I saw fit to draw and color each of these atrocities, so while I cannot claim to be the finder of these facts, I can at least claim to be the guy who drew a giant louse with a crown on its ass. Read More…