Sunday, April 30, 2023

Z for...

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Z


Another slim pickings letter! And at the very end! Zippers were one thing I could come up with. Finding zippers on things besides pants and other things that regularly have one.

I don't know how I missed this, but did anyone have jeans with ankle zippers? I have a feeling I might not have fit into a pair of these, since I'm short and almost always have to roll up the cuffs of my pants. I don't know how would I have done this with zippers at the ankle.

Ankle zippers came to my mind after reading Something Borrowed. Rachel, unlike Darcy, was not allowed to have the jeans with the ankle zippers (or Forenza sweaters). Again, I seemed to have missed the ankle zippers.

I seem to recall  binders with zippers, though I never had these. My guess is that I never saw them at stores much or didn't see others using them. These may have made me want one. 

As with velcro shoes, I'm pretty sure I never had shoes with zippers. Not sure if I ever saw others with zipper shoes, either.

Anyone recall these toys that included a zipper, button, and snap?

Zipper, incidentally, was once yet another trademarked name that is mistaken for being generic.

What else had zippers then, do you recall?


ZONKS! That's the end! A Reflections post is coming this week and a post A to Z Road Trip later in May.

And here is the Winner Badge for this year.

#AtoZChallenge 2023 Winner

Hope you have enjoyed my posts. Thanks for viewing and commenting.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Y for...

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Y


The group Yes, that is. When I first heard the song below, I began to like it, and when it replaced "Say, Say, Say" by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson at the top of the charts, I got the tape with my birthday money. I seemed to be the only one at my school who liked the group, even though the album and song were big sellers.

I saw the group in 2002, and again in 2004. It was the classic lineup, pictured below in a concert photo from 1977. Sadly two members have passed and only one of the five remains with the band. It just wouldn't seem the same without them 😒

Around the same time, I learned about Yes, the band, I also learned about a laundry detergent that was called Yes.



I would glance at my mom's high school yearbooks as a little girl. I could not wait to have my own ones. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask to buy one in sixth grade. But I made sure to get one every year after, seventh grade through senior year of high school. Did anyone have yearbooks in college? None of the colleges I attended had them.

Here is the cover of my high school senior class yearbook:

I have not looked at my yearbooks in a long time. At our 30th reunion in 2019, one of our classmates brought all four of his yearbooks. While at the event, I quickly browsed through each of them.


A game I loved playing when we had visitors. I was always in fear of not gaining enough points to make the full scores on both the top and bottom portions. The long straight was a hard one to roll. This was the very box at my house. 


YAY! One day left! ZOOM on by tomorrow for the finale.

Friday, April 28, 2023

X for...

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter X

(A slim pickings day. It's X, after all).


Along with learning the letter X in the alphabet, we also used X in math, as the symbol for "times" in multiplication. And when it came time to learn algebra, there were numerous equations containing x. Also X for 10 in Roman numerals. Our teachers didn't give us many lessons on these, though. And our Xs and Os for tic-tac-toe. It was years before I noticed XXX used in cartoons to mean "liquor." This originated from 19th century British breweries marking their products with Xs to indicate the potency of the brew--one to indicate the weakest brew, and three (and rarely four) for the strongest.

What else did people use X for?


I'm sure I had a toy xylophone at some point. And I seem to think this was the one. At least I'm sure it had the rainbow colors on it. Or at least I knew someone who had one πŸ™‚


eXCITED for the end. See YOU again tomorrow.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

W for...

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter W


Like Kleenex, Q-Tip and Rollerblades, Walkman is another trademarked term mistaken for a generic one. The generic term is personal music player. I know I had one of these, but it wasn't the original made by Sony. And I didn't seem to have it for very long--very few memories of listening to the thing. It seemingly died out on me early. I didn't bother with the CD version, and I don't think that one ever really caught on. And don't get me started on the MP3 player and iPod. I could not have afforded one of those at the time when they were first released, and I was still heavily into CDs at that time.

Nevertheless, I'd see plenty of others toting one. Unlike the smartphones, tablet computers and MP3 players of today, we were not allowed to have these devices or boom boxes at school. If we did, they would be confiscated. These things were only luxury items, not a very important part of our lives--the way the smartphones and computers of today have become.  A sign of how times have changed. Many then were worried about theft of such items, and the school would not be responsible. Are they not worried about such theft today?


Upon seeing a picture on Facebook recently, I got flashbacks to this drink. I took this to school for lunch at least once in high school. I had not thought of this in years and now have seen that it is still around. Who knew?

Another brand of flavored water that comes to mind is Koala Springs, a spring water from Australia, flavored with fruit juices. I know I drank this one and liked it. I'd love to see this one come back!


These fancy watches were all the rage in the mid 1980s. I only had a generic knockoff, not that many could tell the difference.

I haven't used watches in years, as many of them have tended to break down on me in more recent years. I kind of miss it, though, because it would be easier to glance at the time on my wrist, rather than having to take out my phone every time to check the time.  But certainly none of those smart watches for me! I've got enough smart stuff already!


No doubt everyone had some form of wind-up toys, whether it was small, simple one or a more complex one. Wind-up toys were one of those you frequent found in cereal boxes. I can imagine many people running these toys across their living room floors, and if they had pets, the pets would probably go chasing after the toys or get scared by it.


This was a set of watercolor paints I had. This very one.

There were also paint-with-water books. The author of this article says that kids today would not understand such a concept, but upon searching, I saw that paint-with-water books are still being made today.


WOW! Only three days left, and more eXCITEMENT on Friday.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

V for...

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter V


It wasn't until 1988 that my house finally got a VCR, and going out to rent VHS tapes and recording stuff from TV became a habit. 

I never recorded porn or football games😁🀣, and we did not have a camera for recording videos. I did, however, have an ever-growing collection of various tapes like these. Whenever we'd get free previews on cable for pay stations like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, The Movie Channel, Encore or Disney (back when it was a premium station), I often went crazy taping movies and shows, making sure to label them on the stickers that went on the tape spine. 

Before Blockbuster came to my town, there were several local video rental stores, all of which rented videos in solid-colored plastic boxes. Most of the local ones had closed by the early 2000s, leaving Blockbuster the lone video rental place in town until it closed in 2011. By that time I'd transitioned to DVDs, and began getting them via Netflix beginning in 2007. And now that Netflix will be ending the DVDs-by-mail service at the end of September, I plan to keep it going until then. I also get DVDs from the library, which I may continue to do after Netflix ends it mail service.

Does anyone remember--or did you even have--the CED, an early failed video format that had an even shorter and worse life than the Laser Disc or Beta Max? My aunt and uncle had a CED player which I vaguely remember. CEDs were like a vinyl record.

I was never big on video games. I never had a player myself, and did not attempt to play the one at my aunt and uncle's (the same ones mentioned above) house. They had Atari when it was big and later got into Nintendo. I cannot ever recall playing this standing video games either. There were no arcades in my once-really small home town, but these games often were (and still are) at pizza places. This just was not my kind of thing.


In case you don't know or have forgotten, watch this video to see what the View Master was:

Though I was sure there were some of you out there who knew what this was πŸ˜ƒ It was always fun to look at this things. I cannot even speculate what reels I had as just about every movie or TV character or star imaginable had a reel made. Though I never knew how to make my own film to view on the View Master--didn't even know this was a thing.


We still see ones like these in stores:

But some can remember when they looked like thisAnd when they had machines for stuff like cigarettes. A burger joint in my hometown had one of these. It's obvious why these don't exist now.

And it seems there were ones for weird stuff, like toilet paper. Who knew? Never saw any of these. And the Playboy drink machine is quite bizarre!

Putting coins into vending machines is like gambling for youngsters. You might hope for a pink toy in the claw machine or a blue gum ball and get something else.


Velcro could be found just about everywhere, including on shoes or backpacks. One or more of my Trapper Keepers had a velcro closure (some had snap closures) and I may have had a velcro-closure wallet (not too sure about that one, though). I wasn't much on velcro shoes, as far as I know.


VERY glad to have you stop by. WE'LL be back tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

U for...

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter U


When trying to find things for this letter, the first thing that came to my mind was Underoos, a brand of children's underwear. The ads touted it as "Underwear that fun to wear." A lot of popular superheroes, cartoon characters, movie and TV show characters were represented. 

I had at least one pair, not sure which character. One of my younger cousins wanted some for her birthday one year, and my mom could not find any. 

Would this be popular today? Can you imagine SpongeBob SquarePants Underoos? And notice that a lot of the Marvel Comics heroes are represented. That might get some kids interested if this were around today.


One thing I collected as child was unicorns. I had unicorn stickers and folders (including the one below in college). And I once had a unicorn purse. These seemed to be popular at one points and I just had to have one. I did not have the one pictured below, but mine was similar, in navy blue. 


I did not see this film until around 2018, via Netflix. But I had heard much about when it came out. Some family friends who had a band would often sing the song below, which I learned, years later, is from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack:


Some of you may already know this song by Johnny Lee, also from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack.


In 1982, Steve Wozniak, founder of Apple Computers, helped organize this three-day music event, in San Bernardino, California. It was known as The US Festival. Despite being written in all capitals, the US was pronounced "us," like the pronoun. Wozniak believed that those of the 70s were the "Me Generation," and encouraged the 1980s to be more community-oriented and combine technology with rock music. The first US Festival was on Labor Day weekend 1982, with a second festival on Memorial Day weekend the following year. 

I did not attend this, just heard about it. The same friends mentioned above threw a music party that they called "The Me Festival," a play on the US Festival. It was about month after the second US Festival in 1983. I was reminded of all this a while back with a Facebook mention of the US Festival in a  group focused on the 70s and 80s. The friends said they thought US Festival "sounded sort of funny, so we had our own party and warped it to our sense of humor by calling it 'The Me Festival.'  Just a touch of silliness and sarcasm." 


UNTIL tomorrow, enjoy the VIEW.

Monday, April 24, 2023

T for...

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter T


Decades before there were supernatural teen romance stories, there were realistic ones, many of which I read as a teen.

Some of the more popular series were Sweet Dreams, Sweet Valley High, First Love From Silhouette, and Wildfire. I know I read at least one book from each series, especially Sweet Dreams and Silhouette. Our junior high school library had Sweet Dreams books, but they were always checked out! I literally only got to borrow two of them ever! I was thus buying a lot of these books. Some I got from book orders and book fairs, but most came from bookstores at the mall, and one or two from a bookstore we once had in town.


Several years ago, I discovered this blog which lists teen romance series of the 1980s. It brought back memories, and I also discovered series from that time that I had never heard of. I don't know how I missed them! Now this is something to pick up at thrift stores should I ever find them. I currently have some used books from the series pictured above.


Most people are familiar with American Top 40, with Casey Kasem. No radio station in my area seemed to carry that show, however, as far as I knew. However, one Sunday in 1983, I stumbled onto one called Countdown America on a station in San Jose, CA. This one followed the Radio & Records chart, rather than Billboard. I got hooked and began listening every Sunday thereafter. Originally, it was only Top 30 and three hours long, but expanded to four hours at the beginning of 1984. Unfortunately, the first show from '84, once uploaded on Mix Cloud, is now unavailable, or I would have linked to it. I'm upset! When I first discovered it, I was excited! That was a lot of memories! Here, however, you can see the list from that week.  I remember that countdown show from two weeks later, when "Say, Say, Say" ended its run at the top.

Countdown America was later renamed Countdown USA, which lasted until 1990. Both versions of the countdown had year-end countdowns called "The Top _ of '_" (fill in the blanks with the last two digits of the year). You could send away for the list. A group on Facebook posted the one from 1984, which I sent away for and still have somewhere:


I so looked forward to getting TV Guide each week, back when it had regional editions. In my area we got the San Francisco Metro Edition, until 2000, when the Santa Clara County Edition was launched. Ever since the regional editions stopped, I have not bothered with the magazine. Like Rolling Stone, I had a subscription. I still have some TV Guides in a plastic storage tub in the garage, along with Rolling Stone.  Covers like these is how I remember TV Guide:


These were popular among teen girls. I had stickers of bears and had a few of these things:

I had more than one bear sweater, one of which I still have. I'm amazed it still fits. It has shown few signs of wear.


I always loved it when I got to eat TV dinners. Swanson and Banquet were the most popular ones. These were the old ones that came in metal trays. They were so quick and easy to eat on nights when people were too tired to cook. 

Nowadays, I tend to have the TV on when eating, so basically every dinner is a TV dinner to me πŸ™‚


I lusted after this game for Christmas in 1987, and I got it. It was a rare treat when we had others over who liked to play. I can still recall some of the questions. I don't know where the set I got back then is now, but I recently won a trivia contest at the local library and the prize was--a Trivial Pursuit game, the Classic Edition! It's still in the plastic shrink wrap. 


Every year we got different ones for each class and we could see who used the book during previous school years. And we were required to cover the books, often using brown paper grocery bags. 

Yes, that Blake Shelton. Click here to see more.


Nearly everyone then ate some Twinkies and their sister snack foods, Ding Dongs, Cupcakes, Crocodiles, and such. Many will recall seeing these wrapped in foil, and seeing the logo below (the one I grew up with):


TIME to go now. UNTIL tomorrow.