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The Guardians have left the building

It’s no secret that “Guardians of the Galaxy” is my favorite story line in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a good part of that love is the music that helps tell the story.

The Microsoft Zune was introduced at the end of Vol. 2 as a replacement to the old Walkman that was destroyed earlier in the film. I immediately fell in love with the now discontinued portable media player. So much so that I created a site (ZuneUpdate.com) that helps Zune owners revitalize their old players as the official update support as been shut down since 2012.

I was so happy to see that the Zune was back in Vol. 3, and they even released nine cassette tapes, each spotlighting a different character from the film and sporting the Zune livery on the packaging. I’ve been trying to be better about purchasing such things as I have literally run out of room in both my office at home, and at work.

I picked up two of my favorite characters, Rocket and Star-Lord and I’m fighting the urge to complete the set. Each cassette actually contains the movie soundtrack, but are different in their packaging and color of the cassette. When they are all combined they form a nice picture which would look great on a shelf. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, here’s a bunch of pics of the 4K Bluray Steebook of the film, and the two cassettes I have purchased. I also took a few shots of the cassettes with one of my Zunes, just like one of the Zunes in the movie.

Fight the urge bro… Fight the urge!

Space Ace X RepliCade

Another favorite added to the collection! This was another log awaited treat that I’ve been waiting for for almost a year.

This Space Ace x RepliCade is a miniaturized 1/6th scale arcade accurate replica of the Cinematronics factory dedicated Space Ace arcade cabinet presented by New Wave Toys and features a fully playable Space Ace LaserDisc arcade game running on the Daphne emulator, a fully functional digital scoreboard with skill level indicator, HDTV connectivity with screen mirroring, and a replica LDV1000 Mini LaserDisc player prop.

Space Ace and Dragon’s Lair are in my top five favorite arcade games of all time. In my younger years, I would never have believed that I would one day own miniaturized version of these games. They both play exactly as the full size games I played in the past, with working coin door buttons and all features that made these games so much fun.

I spent more money than I care to admit, spending 50 cents per play that usually only lasted a few minutes. These replicas are incredible detailed, and will most definitely appeal to any retro gamer.

I can see a few more of these in my future as New Wave Toys releases new favorites that I can’t live without!

Saying goodbye to our little Grizzly Bear

Our beloved Grizzly Bear was diagnosed with lymphoma just after the holidays. His prognosis was just four to six weeks, and we had to prepare ourselves for the worst.

Grizzly has always been a strong boy, very lean and muscular and walked around with a pleasant gait that reminded everyone that he was here to both love and protect us. Grizzly’s sole purpose it seemed was to have everyone home safe and then to protect his family from anyone who drove up our driveway or knocked on our door… and even on occasion he would leap into action if someone on TV happen to knock or ring a doorbell.

But despite this tough boy persona, Grizzly was such a sweet soul to those he loved. He was never really at ease until the entire family was home. Waiting patiently by the window, gazing out to the driveway watching for a familiar vehicle. He would then wait anxiously by the front door and rush out to greet whoever had arrived home.

Grizzly was always ready to play and he had a lot of toys to choose from. From his first toy “Patches” which we still have, some of his favs include “Mr. Bill” which we had to replace often, “Bear Bear” which is still hanging in there, many bags of “Furitos” and the like, and most recently “Ducky”, which he had just received last Christmas.

When we first found out about Grizzly’s condition, we didn’t know what to expect. We knew that Grizzly was a strong boy and he would fight this to the end… and that is just what he did. Grizzly Bear far out lived his initial prognosis by an additional five weeks. He stayed strong as his body changed to a shadow of what he once was, but his devotion never faded. All the way up till the end he was up and ready to protect us when the need arose.

Grizzly Bear left us on March 25th 2023.

Of course, the pain is still fresh and will be for some time. Now it’s just the little things that get me going. Silly instances that the mind had glossed over until they aren’t there, then the heart fills in the blanks. As anyone who has experienced the lost of a beloved family pet, you know what I’m talking about. Daily routines that you’ve done for years that have now disappeared. Each one is a reminder of what we have lost.

Goodbye my baby boy. You have been loved and will forever live in our hearts.

Snow day gone wrong!

We woke up to a beautiful March 1st morning, a true Winter Wonderland after receiving more snow than ever before. We were so excited, snapping pics and video of the huge snowfall as we started our day. Our driveway was totally snowed in and we soon realized driving into work was not an option.

We’ve been thankful that we had dodged all the recent power outages hitting our area, but our luck ran out as we lost power in the morning. No worries, I started up the generator and got our “necessities” up and running with a few extension cords running thought-out the house.

I decided to run out and see if I can get the truck started. I knew that it was our only option if we were going to get out of our driveway any time soon. I threw on my snow boots at ran out to find that our carport which houses the Truck and Bronco had collapsed.

My heart sank when I saw the truck damaged from the collapsed carport. Thankfully the truck took one for the team and saved the Bronco with only inches to spare. I carefully maneuvered the Bronco out to get it away from the failed trusses, but it took us a while to shovel the snow out enough to free the Bronco from the failing structure.

After finally getting the Bronco position away from the carport we went inside to get warm and discuss our options going forward… then we heard the crash!!!!

We ran outside to find the carport had again failed, completely crushing the truck and damaging the hood, cab and bed. We are so happy we got the Bronco out of the way just in time to avoid any damage to our newest ride, but the truck took more damage.

Not sure what insurance is willing to do about the damage to the truck but I’m fearing the worst. “The Black Pearl” has been a big part of my life for nearly a decade, and I’ve put a lot of money, love and miles into the truck. It’s far from perfect, but it’s my baby and if it can’t be repaired I will be heartbroken.

I’ve been living in these mountains for over 30 years and have never suffered a weather related incident like this. I’m hoping The Beast can be saved but I’m so thankful it wasn’t any worse.

Congratulations to the YHS Mock Trial Team

The Yosemite High School Mock Trial Team is #1 in Madera County, and they’re going to State Finals next month!

Ali has loved every minute of this experience, and we have loved hearing the play by play of the courtroom drama over these past few weeks.

The team received additional personal awards and Ali received an award for Best Defense Witness.

Needless to say we are so proud of this girl, and wish her and the entire team further success as they move forward to their next challenge.

Dragon’s Lair X RepliCade Overhaul Edition

Another long wait is over!!!

I ordered this little beauty nearly a year ago, and it arrived a few months ahead of schedule. Dragon’s Lair was originally released in 1983 and was one of my favorite games growing up. I spent much of my limited arcade money on this game, as it took two quarters to play a game that usually ended in just a minute of play. Dragon’s Lair used laserdisc technology and animation from the legendary Don Bluth, offering greatly superior graphics compared to other video games at the time.

This miniaturized 1/6 scale cabinet features a control panel with authentic ball-top joystick and action buttons, a cabinet constructed from premium materials including wood, metal, and plastic, illuminated marquee and coin doors, high-resolution cabinet art reproduction on quality 3M vinyl overlays, and a LDV1000 Mini LaserDisc player replica prop with rear cab storage drawer.

It plays the original 1983 Dragonโ€™s Lair LaserDisc arcade game running on Daphne emulator on a gorgeous traditional 4:3 aspect ratio 4.2-inch screen. This tiny reproduction has HDTV Connectivity with screen mirroring, amplified multi-speaker audio with volume control, USB controller support, a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery, an operatorโ€™s menu featuring dip switch settings and cabinet controls, and a fully functional digital scoreboard displaying playersโ€™ scores, lives, and credits.

Crazy right?

The gameplay on this little cabinet is incredible. Using the tiny joystick and buttons is actually pretty easy and the game is perfectly playable even at its small scale. I think it even plays better than my 3/4 scale Arcade1Up version I picked up last year.

New best friends!

Oh yeah, I also ordered a 3/4 scale cabinet from Arcade1Up last year which also arrived way ahead of schedule. I’ve been meaning to post up about the new arcade cabinet, but it’s much too heavy to bring out to my normal photo location on my patio bar. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll post up more info on this beast later but now back to its little brother.

New Wave Toys has really hit this one out of the park, creating a small scale replica that is true to the original arcade version in both looks and playability. Adding a retro arcade fluorescent carpet pad and scale stool perfectly finished off the set.

Can’t wait to see what New Wave Toys comes up with next… Oh yeah, that’s right! I also ordered another Don Bluth classic “Space Ace” which hopefully will ship next month.

Right OnTrac

Another fine delivery from our friends at OnTrac.

I came home to find this little gift in my front yard, delivered by the ever vigilant OnTrac employee in his fancy U-Haul/OnTrac delivery van.

Wait a minute, could this be the same individual who was seen fleeing a few months ago when he heard our dog barking from the back yard?

I think so!

First snow of the new year

After being without power for the last five days due to the worst wind event I’ve ever seen, we were treated to our first snow day of the year.

The power was restored on Saturday night, after being out for the week, and it was nice to get the house back to normal after days of generator power.

The snow started falling Sunday evening and kept up pretty much all night. Woke to a nice covering of the fluffy white stuff and thankful that the power was still on. ๐Ÿ™‚

Roads from the house were not plowed and a little unnerving as I rolled the beast down the hill toward town. I was very happy to see the roads were clear when I hit the highway, and from there on out my travels were free and clear.

Days like these are the reason why I love the mountain life.

Breakin’ to the Bumpboxx

Yup, that’s right!

Been breakin’ and be-boppin’ since my birthday, thanks to this awesome gift from my favorite youngest daughter. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This thing connects via wire, Bluetooth, USB or even MicroSD. Even has a FM radio deep in its innards.

Been filling up my Spotify playlist with everything that was cool about the 80’s. Just need to dig up some large pieces of cardboard so I can perfect my moves.

In other news…

Just finished the fiber install at our mountain home, switching from copper wire to fiber for our internet.

Just in case you are curious, the following two pictures are of the actual fiber. The first is the line with the blue protective coating, and the second is the actual fiber that has been stripped of the coating.

It’s truly amazing that this tiny fiber line can fulfill the needs of a single family home, all the way up to a large corporate building.

Finally, the world is my oyster!

Well, first the bad news…

The ol’ 55″ TV took a dump, and needed to be replaced. Unfortunately, they don’t make 3D TVs anymore, and I have well over a hundred 3D movies on bluray. I was never happy with the old TV’s 4K HDR processing and still prefer 3D over 4K all day, every day.

And now the good news… the higher end OLED TV’s have really come down in price. I was able to go where no man (well, me anyways) has gone before, taking it up a notch to purchase features that were previously out of my price range.

Enter the Sony 65″ Class A8H Series OLED 4K UHD Smart Android TV

This thing is simply beautiful and the OLED technology gives me a picture I have only dreamed of. Android TV built in which is better and faster than ever. This thing communicates flawlessly with all my other Sony components and even has a Netflix calibration mode for streaming in 4K.

Even though I use an external surround sound system, I think it’s pretty cool that this beast utilizes a technology Sony calls “Acoustic Surface Audio” which actually uses the glass to distribute the sound in a surround type environment, putting the sound at the correct sources on the screen.

To be perfectly honest, I may have shed a tear or two when losing the ability to watch 3D and I hope and pray for a 3D revival at sometime in the future, but this 4K thing is starting to grow on me.

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