35 Years Ago Today: Indiana Jones pushes the boundaries of the “PG” rating

Indiana Jones and the Temple of DoomIf adventure has a name…it must be Indiana Jones.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom burst into American movie theaters on this date in 1984. The film received heavy criticism at the time due to violent scenes, which led director Steven Spielberg to suggest a new rating between “PG” and “R.” In July, the Motion Picture Association of America introduced the “PG-13” rating.

Harrison Ford reprises his role as the titular character in the second installment of the Indiana Jones series, a prequel to the 1981 blockbuster Raiders of the Lost Ark. Temple grossed over $333 million worldwide, and was the third highest-grossing film of 1984, behind Beverly Hills Cop and Ghostbusters. Wow, 1984 was a great year for movies.

The film featured a score by the inimitable John Williams.

If I were forced to rank the Indiana Jones movies thus far, I would have to rank them in the order they were released. Raiders of the Lost Ark is far and away the best, although I have to say I have enjoyed them all. Yes, even Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.


40 Years Ago Today: KISS goes disco!

KISS DynastyDisco was all the craze in the late ’70s, and it even affected shock rockers KISS when they wrote and recorded Dynasty in 1979. The influence can be heard most clearly on the most popular single from the record, “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” co-written by songwriting extraordinaire Desmond Child.

Nine songs appear on the album, including a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “2,000 Man,” sung by Ace Frehley. Though pictured on the cover, Peter Criss only performed one song—“Dirty Livin’”—on this entire album; Anton Fig, who had drummed for Frehley’s 1978 solo effort, was brought in to play in Criss’ place.

The album spent 25 weeks on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and peaked at #9, but the subsequent tour was a flop. KISS struggled on at least the next couple albums to rediscover their hard rock foundation.

What a hot dog

Leo Cardenas 1966 Kahns

The Reds have had a loooooong relationship with Kahn’s. In 1987 the team started giving away team baseball card sets sponsored by the hot dog makers, and that tradition continues today. But the relationship is older than that. In the 1960s Kahn’s included baseball cards on their packaging! There are at least ten Reds in the set.

I scored a 1966 Kahn’s Leo Cardenas card last week at the antique mall. The dealer had a few Kahn’s cards, but I didn’t want to drop too much money and I have a special connection to Cardenas. My son and I ran into him at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum several years ago and he stood and chatted with us for several minutes. No autograph, no picture, just a friendly chat. He’s actually not a hot dog at all, but a humble man who understands how fortunate he is and appreciates his fans.

Unfortunately, the Kahn’s part of the card was removed, but it is in otherwise good shape. It’s the oldest Kahn’s card I have in my collection now, but I may pick up another one next time.

Random Awesomeness (part 2019.9)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: Almost Yankees: The Summer of ’81 and the Greatest Baseball Team You’ve Never Heard Of by J. David Herman.

Purchase “Bullet Holes” (from John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum) by Bush!

30 Years Ago Today: Queen releases The Miracle

Queen The MiracleThe original lineup for Queen was nearing the end due to Freddie Mercury’s failing health, but that didn’t stop the band from recording one of their most iconic songs on The Miracle in 1989. When I first started discovering Queen’s music beyond “We Will Rock You,” I would have guessed that “I Want It All” was from the ’70s. It turned out to be the group’s biggest hit from this album, reaching #3 on Billboard’s US Mainstream Rock chart. More recently it has been used in a commercial by Grubhub.

As for the rest of the album, let’s just say I’m not a huge fan. Mercury’s voice sounds great and Brian May’s guitar solos are spectacular, but the songs are poorly arranged, uneven, and inconsistent. There were four other singles released besides “I Want It All,” and each was more forgettable than the last.

The band had stopped touring by this point, so fans never got to witness Mercury singing “I Want It All” in concert. Queen’s first live performance of the song was with The Who‘s Roger Daltrey and Black Sabbath‘s Tony Iommi during the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992.

Wacky Wednesday Cardboard

These cards definitely do not fit into my collection, but I was intrigued enough to plop down a couple bucks for them.

OJ and Howard Cosell

In 1994 the Interlink News Service produced a 50-card set called “In Pursuit of Justice” chronicling the O.J. Simpson case. There are cards from Simpson’s playing career, broadcasting career, and acting career, along with cards featuring some of the lawyers involved and news coverage. And a card of the Juice with Brian Bosworth.


It’s a really weird set.


There are also a couple of cards of the television coverage. I remember watching the chase in a friend’s basement on June 17, 1994, just a few weeks after my high school graduation. For the youngsters out there, television screens back in the mid-’90s were nothing like they are today. Taking a photograph of a television screen didn’t result in the clearest picture.

CNN Bronco chase

The backs of the cards are colorful, but not particularly interesting.

OJ case

You may be cynical like me and think these cards were merely to profit from the high-profile case, but the back indicates that Interlink intended to donate part of the money from these sets “to support the prevention of domestic violence and benefit shelters for abused women and children.” I had never seen these cards before, but I hope enough were sold to make a sizable donation to that cause.

It’s not a Reds card, but it’s going in my Reds binders

Here’s another beauty from my recent trip to the antique mall…

George Wright

Cincinnati is celebrating 150 years of professional baseball this year. No one can deny the impact of Harry Wright and George Wright on baseball in Cincinnati. The picture may show a Boston uniform, but this card will be nestled in my Reds binders with the other Baseball Immortals cards.

George Wright

There, the Red Stockings are mentioned on the back. If I needed any justification for keeping this as a Reds card, there it is.

I feel like Christopher Columbus

I discovered something at the antique mall…something that has been there all along. Cramer Baseball Legends, issued in five series from 1980 to 1986, 124 cards in all…and five of them are Reds!


I was able to pick up two at the antique mall for less than a buck. Edd Roush, Hall of Famer who played for the Reds a hundred years ago, was the big score here.


As you can see on the back, Roush was a part of the third series issued in 1982.


The second card I bought was Paul Derringer, who was a star pitcher for the Reds when they went to the World Series in 1939 and won it in 1940. He finished third in MVP voting in 1939 (teammate Bucky Walters won), and fourth in 1940 (teammate Frank McCormick won). The card comes from the fourth series in 1983.


It’s nice to add new cards to my wantlists, and to be able to cross two of them off immediately. I still need three cards from the 1980-1986 Cramer Baseball Legends set: #11 Ernie Lombardi, #110 Johnny Vander Meer, and #123 Frank Robinson. If they are taking up space in your house and you want to de-clutter, I would be happy to help you out!

25 Years Ago Today: Maverick arrives in theaters

MAVERICK MOVIEMel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and James Garner star in Maverick, the western comedy based on the 1950s television series of the same name. The supporting cast was quite good, including James Coburn, Denver Pyle, and Corey Feldman. There were quite a few uncredited guests as well, including director Richard Donner, John Fogerty, Danny Glover, Margot Kidder, and Reba McEntire.

The movie has its moments, but the real treat is the soundtrack, a virtual rundown of the biggest country music names in the ‘90s. Clint Black, John Michael Montgomery, Tracy Lawrence, Confederate Railroad…a ton of talent packed into about 40 minutes of music. Many of the artists featured on the soundtrack also appeared in minor roles in the movie.

Clint Black’s “A Good Run of Bad Luck” is easily my favorite song on the record. It also appears on Black’s own No Time To Kill album. The Maverick soundtrack hit #4 on the Country charts, and #35 on the Billboard 200.

I love antiquing, but these aren’t antiques

I visited one of our local antique malls Thursday night, and I went straight to the baseball card booth. I’ve shopped here on several occasions and have scored some very nice items, both for myself and for friends. Of course, my focus is Reds cards, but I don’t limit myself if I see something that I really like, even if it doesn’t quite fit into my collection.


Generally speaking, I don’t collect minor league cards. More accurately, I don’t seek them out. But when an opportunity arises to grab an early Jay Bruce card at a low price, I’m on it. There were 11 cards in this pack of 2007 Choice Dayton Dragons cards; there were 33 total cards issued in 2007. I’m assuming these were a stadium giveaway in three waves, but I don’t know for sure.

Bruce back

The pack also included Drew Stubbs, Chris Heisey, and several other players I don’t remember at all. The Dragons’ mascot also had a card in the set, and I love mascots.


I’ve added these cards to my 2007 checklist, and wouldn’t hate it if I stumbled across the final 22 cards in the set for the right price. But I’m not holding my breath, and I’m not seeking them out.

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