Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy 30th Birthday Star Wars!

Star Wars turns 30 today. Just another sign that I'm getting older & older. :)

Since I can't be at Celebration IV, here's my own little celebration. My Top 20 Vintage Star Wars Action Figures.

Every vintage figure is special to me. If I didn't have a figure, one of my friends did, so I got to play with them all. I'm sharing the pictures of the packages, as those images trigger more memories as they aren't as common as the loose figures.

Honorable Mention:
Gonk Droid, IG-88, Ree-Yees, Snaggletooth, Ugnaught, Imperial Tie Fighter Pilot, Bossk, Death Star Droid

Walrus Man

Apparently, his name is Ponda Baba, but he'll always be Walrus Man to me.

Jawa (with cape)

I didn't have one of these guys, but Todd Sipala did. Well, he had one, until he lost it in a hole on one of the giant rocks we used to climb on.


Always overshadowed by R2-D2.


Han shot first!

AT-AT Driver


A classic package.

Bib Fortuna

"Die wanna wanga!"

Han Solo (Hoth Gear)

R2-D2 (with Sensorscope)

I loved the clicking sound his head made when you moved it.


The accessories that came with Yoda (the cane & the snake) were fantastic.

Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot)

C3PO (with Removable Limbs)

What? A figure that was actually made to be broken? Sweet.

Admiral Ackbar

Honestly now, who doesn't love Admiral Ackbar??

Darth Vader

Ah, the telescoping lightsaber. Quality stuff!

Biker Scout

I picked up my first Biker Scout, along with the Speeder Bike, while visiting Uncle Sonny in Greenfield, MA.

Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues)

This one is this high for one simple fact. After seeing "The Empire Strikes Back" multiple times, I made this figure anatomically correct. I rubbed off his hand on the cement, wearing it down to a nub.

Imperial Snowtrooper

Just a cool looking figure.

Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight)

This was one of the first "Return of the Jedi" figures I obtained. I know exactly where it was purchased too. The Groton CVS.

Emperors Royal Guard

Any & all incarnations of this figure are an immediate favorite.

Boba Fett

Was there really any question as to who would be #1?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Birthday Recap & More

Ugh. Another birthday came & went on Tuesday. 34.

With every year that goes by, the day feels more & more like an average day. I try to fend off all the well-wishers, although I do appreciate them. It's obviously not the same. I look more forward to Payton's birthday than I do mine.

It was still a nice day. My big gifts were tickets to see Jerry Seinfeld a couple weeks ago & this nice jersey:

I also received some nice gear with the 2007 US Open logo on it. I love squirrels. :)
Anywho, just some random items to close this entry.

- More t-ball photos have been added to the online gallery. Eventually I'll throw a link up on the right, but for now, scroll down a couple of entries to find the link.

- Speaking of t-ball, here's Payton's YouTube debut. Notice the lack of a tee.

- I had no idea Coach T had been through this. Wow.
Cystic Fybrosis & Coach T

- In closing, another fantastic shot from Patty. The M/V Race Point sailing back to New London in a gorgeous sunset.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Disney Animated Movies

As promised, here's another Top 20 list, this time I'm counting down my all-time favorite Disney animated films.

As with all my Top 20 lists, this only lists MY favorites, not which film is necessarily the best. Any & all comments are appreciated!

(I apologize for the brevity of the comments. I'm trying to get to bed at a decent hour.)

Honorable Mention: Fantasia, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Toy Story, Incredibles, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Jungle Book, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Mulan & Brother Bear.

Sword in the Stone

Just a movie that has always stayed with me, even though I can't remember actually watching it. Very strange.


I just watched this for the first time this past weekend. This makes the list simply for having one of the greatest Disney sidekicks ever, Meeko the raccoon. Awwww...

Home on the Range

A decent, recent movie, but this is on the list because it was the first movie Payton saw in the movie theater.


I love me some Thumper!

101 Dalmatians

Ewww, Cruella DeVille. I was working at the Disney Store part-time when the live action version of this was released. I hated that job.

Lady & the Tramp

Who can ever forget the classic spaghetti eating scene?

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs

My Aunt Linda collects all things Dopey. My favorite dwarf would have to be Sleepy, for obvious reasons.

Monsters, Inc.

This movie made me realize that everyone associated with Pixar is a genius. The little things you pick up while watching this movie is incredible.

Rescuers Down Under

The late John Candy provides a voice for this movie. What more needs to be said?

Little Mermaid

This is a movie I only discovered on video, a few years after being released. I realized then that I missed watching classic Disney movies.

Sleeping Beauty

The image of that spindle, Malificent & her dragon alter ego are all burned in my brain as images of evil.


See #11. This may be Robin Williams' greatest role.

Beauty & the Beast

I'm guessing that this is Payton's favorite Disney movie. I enjoy the story greatly & love hearing Jerry Orbach's voice.

Finding Nemo

Again, Pixar hits another home run. The beauty of the colors in this movie are fantastic.


Rescue Aid Society
Heads held high, touch the sky
You mean everything to me

In a fix, in a bind
Call on us anytime
We'll appear from nowhere
Mighty are we

Rescue Aid Society
Honesty, loyalty
We pledge to thee

Lion King

Now this one I saw in the theater. James Earl Jones baby!! This is a classic & I'm sure Elton John has a lot to do with that.

Fox & the Hound

I saw this one in the theater too, at Fishers Island, on a summer night a long, long time ago. I remember wearing my very first pair of Nike's that night. They were white & because they were new, they helped light the way back home. (I can't remember what I had for dinner last night, yet I can remember that like it was yesterday.)


Never mind Disney, this is one of my all-time favorite movies period. I've seen it probably seven or eight times now & it doesn't get old. The 360 game lets me drive around Radiator Springs 'til my hearts content. I prefer to do it at night, when everything is lit up.

Robin Hood

I don't think I can pinpoint a specific reason why I like this movie so much, other than I feel like I'm 5 years old again whenever I see it. Simple nostalgia.

The Aristocats

It's about cats! Of course it's going to be #1! I'm eagerly anticipating the release of the special edition DVD later this year. "Everybody wants to be a cat..."

Monday, May 07, 2007

Baseball (Cards), T-Ball & Softball

Yes, a smorgasbord of ball & glove activities.

I'll start with t-ball, since Miss Payton is the main reason why the majority of my visitors make it over to this little corner of the internets.

Payton has now played three t-ball games & loves it. Lucky for you guys, I remembered my camera on two of those days.

Here are a couple of my favorite images:

Click on this picture to see the entire collection of shots:
Payton T-Ball

As for myself, I will be helping out Joe Cuff in a pinch on Wednesday, filling a roster spot for his softball team. I haven't stepped into a batters box since 2002 and that was for only one game. I haven't played truly competitive softball since the late 90's. This could be ugly. Hopefully the knee will hold up and I'll play in the outfield, greatly reducing the risk of my jaw fielding another ground ball.

I'm back into the baseball card collecting gig.

As a kid, I loved my baseball cards. I can look at an 1980 or 1981 Topps card and be instantly transported back to those years, at the Mystic IGA with Dad, picking up a rack pack during a grocery shopping trip.

I didn't get too many cards in the next few years until the collecting bug started again in 1985. In 1986, in 7th grade, I joined a baseball card collecting club in school and that was that. I was in deep. My collecting peaked in 1987, as I have tons & tons of 1987 Topps, Fleer & Donruss cards from that year. (Which for the record are basically worthless, since the rest of the world has tons & tons as well.)

When Upper Deck jumped on the scene in 1989, baseball card collecting started to become too difficult. All the companies produced too many different sets, too many inserts and I couldn't keep up, let alone afford all these new cards.

The 2001 Topps set was pretty cool and I amassed almost the entire Series 1 set for that year. I've picked up some cool Mookie Wilson cards as well as Roberto Clemente cards over the past five or so years. However, I now have a new focus.

I've narrowed my collecting to acquiring every Mets Topps card ever produced. I picked up a fantastic checklist on eBay & have been figuring out what I have & what I need over the past couple of weeks.

I managed to score a couple good deals on eBay and I hit a card shop and a card show (that was a blast from the past!) the past couple of weekends. There's nothing like digging through the common bins, finding a bunch of cards you need and spending less than $20 for your treasures.

Right now the process is fairly easy, as I need lots of cards. Save for 2001, I had practically zero cards from 1991 through the present day. Thankfully, these cards are cheap. Going back through the 70's & 60's will be a little more challenging, although there are bargains to be had.

I'm enjoying it and hopefully I'll be able to keep crossing off more & more years as the summer wears on.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A True Nightmare

All I have to say about this story is that this is as close to a worst-case scenario for me as it gets. Yikes.

Oh my...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Ode To Cheese

It looks like my favorite cheeseburger palace is going to see a spike in attendance. Shady Glen was recently named by Esquire magazine as one of the "Five Most Decadent Burgers in the U.S."

Shady Glen was a treat for me a looooong time ago and it had been too long between visits before rediscovering it a couple of years ago. Mom likes their coleslaw, but that can be substituted for extra crispy cheese. Besides the cheeseburgers, I remember the lime sherbet coolers, which I'll get occasionally.

Shady Glen also makes their sodas the old fashioned way, with soda water & syrup. The cherry Coke's are made with real cherries. Good stuff!

Click here for a video of Shady Glen.