Friday, March 31, 2006

The Hole-in-the-Wall Dollar Store

Located on Newman Street in Downtown East Tawas.

They've been running this 89 cent special for a couple of weeks now.

They even have their own business card, and no it isn't 70's pop music icon Leo Sayer, it's just plain Lee Sayer, but wouldn't that be HARDCORE!!!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Daddy Ray's Blueberry Bars

I love these things beyond what words can express. They're like blueberry newtons, but the blueberry flavor is remarkably strong in Daddy Ray's brand.

I'm not sure about the Daddy Ray icon though -

I would like to get a package where they ran out of the red ink that prints his beard.
He would just be a suit and hat with a disembodied face floating in between.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hot Rod Girl

Hot Rod Girl (1956) is one of two films on a $1 double feature DVD that Boz sent to me -

Hot Rod Girl / T-Bird Gang.

While the other film, T-Bird Gang, had its moments; it was a lot less entertaining than Hot Rod Girl. In fact, I fell asleep during T-Bird Gang, so I won't be reviewing that film.

Hot Rod Girl opens with footage of a dragstrip. While the opening credits are still rolling, we see Miss Lisa Vernon cross the finish line in her T-Bird. The announcer says she has won yet another race.

"Hot Rod Girl" - Miss Lisa Vernon.

[ Note RE "Nacirema Productiona": "Nacirema" is "American" spelled backwards (Sandra pointed this out to me some time ago). ]

Far from being a wild street-racer, Lisa Vernon is a very proper and wholesome All-American girl. And it soon becomes apparent all the good kids race at the dragstrip rather than hot-rodding in the streets.

The public doesn't realize this, however, and is pressuring the city council to close down the strip.

After the race, we meet Lisa's circle of friends, Steve, Flat-Top, and Lisa's responsible boyfriend Jeff -

The Hot Rod Gang.

In the background for just a few second, a car rolls by with 666 painted on the door:

Screen-shot detail.

They're all discussing dropping by their local teen hangout, Yo-Yo's; but Steve, the youngest, is unable to attend.

Jeff: "How about you, Steve?"

Steve: "Gee, I'd love to....but every time I come to the strip, Aunt Sarah puts a stopwatch on me...I'll be glad when I'm old enough to move in with you. She's strictly horse & buggy. She doesn't dig hot rods at all!"

The older hot rodders all chuckle affectionately. Then Jeff agrees to ride with Steve to diagnose a troublesome engine noise.

The scene shifts to the hot-rodders' friend, Ben. Ben is a little older, wears a suit and a hat, and is in a position of some authority with the local police force. Ben is out at his city councilman's office discussing the drag-strip. Teen hot-rodding is apparently a huge concern in the small town, because the city councilman has a huge poster of a horrible car accident on his office wall -

Councilman: "I've seen too much!"

Ben: "If you come out to the strip & get to know the kids..."

Councilman: "No thanks! That's your headache!!"

The Councilman continues, "All the calls I get...'Close the [drag] strip!', 'Confiscate all Hot Rods!'...Like a broken record!"

Ben is somehow involved with the drag strip (I think he might own it) and argues more kids on the strip means fewer racing in the streets. He finally persuades the Councilman to give it a chance.

Scene shifts to Jeff & Steve driving around. Jeff doesn't hear the engine sound Steve was complaining about.

Steve: "If I could really open it up..."

Then Jeff gets VERY serious and interjects, "At the racetrack!" Throughout the movie, Jeff is discussed as a good influence on the local youth. This is an example of his level-headedness and another example is right around the corner.

Steve starts in about his Aunt Sarah again - "Living with her is like driving with your breaks on!...Slow down!...Stop!...That's the story of my life!"

Jeff advises Steve to just cool it until he's old enough to move out, then a blond crew-cutted Eddie Haskel look-alike pulls up next to them at a stop sign and starts reving his engine.

Steve asks, "Who's this squirrel?"

The stranger is a real jackass. He's gawking at them, revving his engine and laughing. It's a pretty funny scene.

As they continue to drive, the squirrely driver is weaving in and out in front of them and laughing at them.

Who's this squirrel?

Jeff stays cool, but Steve begins to lose his.

Steve: "What's this guy trying to prove??"
Jeff: "Ignore him, Steve...Play it smart! He's looking for trouble - disappoint him."

The clincher comes at the next stop sign. They are behind the squirrely driver, who then BACKS INTO their car! TWICE! And laughs at them while he's doing so!

This is the last straw and Steve goes into a serious road rage -

Well, to make a long story short, they crash and Steve is dead. Jeff is crying like a baby -

Ben, Jeff, & Lisa - Distraught over Steve's death.

Jeff briefly gathers his wits until he looks at the overturned car, then he starts crying again.

The City Councilman is there too and opines, "That's a real hopped-up death trap".

Jeff, thinking he is responsible for Steve's death, withdraws into work. He has no more interest in drag strip activities and without his responsible guidance, the local youth are starting to all get squirly.

Scene shifts to Yo-Yo's some time later. Everyone is there except Jeff -

This opening segment of this scene is pretty hilareous and can not be captured in still screen captures. I may have to post a short video.
It's showing close-ups of the kids' ecstatic faces as they listen to crappy jazz records. It's the funniest part of the movie, in my opinion.

Lisa is the only one still talking about the drag strip since Jim has withdrawn into work.

Lisa: "You know, if they close the strip, the next step will be to outlaw all hot rods."

Flat-Top: " let 'em, if it'll make the squares happy."

Now we meet LP, which is short for Long-Playing Record. Because she talks a lot -

LP and her man.

LP: "They wouldn't dare! My whole wardrobe is designed around the drag strip!"

Nobody takes LP seriously at all. Whenever she talks too much, they're all like, "Oh, LP! Flip the record!"

They discuss Jeff's absence. LP, who is apparently pretty promiscuous, suggests she could probably get him back.

LP: "People respond to me in a different way thatn they do to normal girls"

The discussion turns to illegal non-strip racing and Lisa walks out on them.

As further evidence the kids are getting out of control without Jeff's sober presence, Flat-Top pays Yo-Yo with a Canadian dime!

Yo-Yo: "Hey! This is a Canadian dime!"

Flat-Top: "So? Take a trip!"

Scene shifts to the garage where Jeff is working 12 to 18 hour days as a mechanic.

Jeff's boss:
"You're looking tired, Jeff."

Jeff: "I like being tired."

Jeff's boss: "Yeah, I know."

Thankfully, this lame dialogue is interrupted by the appearance of Lisa who is trying to figure out why Jeff is shutting everyone out.

She asks Jeff, "Don't you think I have my pride? Do you think it's easy for me to come here?"

"Do you think it's easy for me to come here?"

Jeff finally explains he feels responsible for Steve's death because he's the one who souped up Steve's car for him.

Jeff: "Everytime I open the hood of a car and see the engine, I think of the engine I built for him!"

Lisa: "Trying to kill yourself with work isn't going to bring him back!"

Lisa warns Jeff that Flat-Top and the other kids "are starting to act up" without his guidance, but Jeff just can't deal with it right now.

Next we meet Talbot who pulls into Yo-Yo's parking lot revving his loud-ass engine -


Talbot is a little older than the other kids and is new to town. He is all over Lisa, who ignores him.

Talbot: "They told me this was a friendly town."
Lisa: "I'm the exception."

As Talbot leaves Yo-Yo's, he announces to anyone within earshot - "When I get my coffee pot perkin', maybe I can teach some of you cats a lesson!"

Talbot fancies himself a great driver, but he doesn't take good care of his car at all. When he talks to Jeff at the garage, he affirms, "I'm here for service, not a sermon! It's my heap and I'll do with it as I please!"

Back to Yo-Yo's -

Lisa, Judy, and Flat-Top talking shit.

Talbot unplugs the jukebox, losing everyone's credits, just so everybody can here what he has to say!

Then Jeff shows up! And reassures Yo-Yo, "I don't want trouble Yo-Yo, just music."

"I don't want trouble, just music".

So feeling a little pressured, Talbot just flat-out challenges everybody to a game of chicken.

Seeing the Jeff isn't taking the bait, Flat-Top stands up to the challenge.

Then Yo-Yo asks the gods, "Why do I have to run a hangout for lunatics?"

The "Chicken" scene is excellent! All the onlookers are tense as hell as Talbot and Flat-Top take their positions -

They barrel straight at each other down the road's center line and the first to swerve away is a "Chicken".

Flat-Top chickens out and Talbot mocks them all, telling them they are ALL "Chickens"!

Everyone is a chicken except for Talbot.

After Talbot leaves, Flat-Top's girlfriend makes him promise to never play chicken again.

Then LP adds - "Exciting! To exciting for me!! IMAGINE!! TOO EXCITING FOR ME??!!!"

Ben finds out about it a chews them all out - "One more hot rod accident and you ALL lose your licenses!"

Make-Up Scene -

Lisa is visiting Jeff in his apartment where they start some coffee and start to talk.

Lisa & Jeff's make-up scene.

As they start kissing on each other; Jeff, again the model of moral responsibility, smiles and states, "I think you'd better go."

They both smile, suggesting that if Lisa stays one more minute, Jeff is going to screw her.

Lisa: "Can I get my coffee first?"
Jeff: "I'll buy you a cup tomorrow."

He is going to lose control if she doesn't leave right now, so he makes her leave.

Jeff & Lisa embody the ideal of American 1950s virtue.

Now that Jeff is no longer working himself to death, he is able to get all the kids back out to the drag strip where they belong.

Ben finds Talbot sitting around in Yo-Yo's by himself trying to figure out where Lisa is. Upon learning she is at the racetrack with everyone else, Talbot flies off like a bat out of hell.

Ben follows him and arrests him for speeding -

Ben gives Talbot an ultimatum - "Folow me out to the drag strip and see how real hot rodders handle their cars, or I'll take you in on reckless driving charges...When we get there, we'll see how good this car of yours really is".

Once at the track, however, Jeff can't pass Talbot's car as safe. It has a list of things wrong with it and Jeff says it's unsafe to drive on the track.

Talbot loses it - "You dragged me out here so this chicken could make me look like a jerk!! I'd hate to see a REAL driver on this kiddie strip!!"

He ends with a direct threat to Jeff - "I'll get you yet!!"

Later, as Jeff and Lisa are driving around, Talbot approaches from the rear and keeps veering in front of them, trying to piss them off -

During this nonsense, a bicycle rider is hit and killed. Jeff and Lisa aren't sure who hit him, but Talbot is sure it was Jeff. The City Coucilman is so pissed, he fires Ben and closes the drag strip. Soon all hot rods will be outlawed.

Not one to wallow in self pity (unlike Jeff after Steve's death), Ben is hard at work collecting a paint sample from Talbot's car.

He then approaches Talbot, who is sitting alone drinking a soda at Yo-Yo's -

Ben informs Talbot his inspection of the accident site reveals Jeff's skid marks ending 50 feet before the kid while Talbot's go right through the impact point. He also thinks Talbot's car finish matches marks found on the boy.

Talbot responds by standing up and smashing Ben over the head with a bottle!

The Jeff runs in and beats the shit out of Talbot -

Brawlin' at Yo-Yo's.

Everyone agrees Talbot's actions suggest he is guilty. Then Ben says, "I have to go see a man about a badge", implying he will get his job back since he was able to determine the accident was Talbot's fault.

Then Jeff & Lisa make-out and everything is fine -

Commentary - The title is a little mis-leading, as the "hot rod girl" is really just a supporting character. It's not terrible, but could use a little more action. The "chicken" scene is badass as is the scene leading up to Steve's death, but highlights like that are few and far between. As part of a 2-for-$1 DVD though, especially one that was given to me for free, I can't complain at all about Hot Rod Girl.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

St Patrick's Day Bargains

I got a lot of deals today at two different stores, but I really don't feel like writing too much tonight, so let's see how it goes.

Since we've been doing Shoe Week on RW ... BS I thought I would get out the polish and take care of my shoes, but ... I couldn't find any of my shoe shining stuff, I mean I even had a real shoe shine box and everything, and it's gone, all gone, so I had to start from scratch. Shoe polish lasts forever and I hadn't bought any for at least ten years and probably more, so I didn't realize how much the price had gone up.
The cheapest that I could find Kiwi, which is the name brand, was two bucks a can at the Family Dollar and Dollar General, but I was able to get these off brands at fifty cents a can at the Dollar Daze in Tawas City, I also snagged a shoe brush, which cost over 4 bucks at Kmart, for a buck.

Murphy's Oil Soap is a great product to clean your shoes before you polish them. I saw a 16 ounce bottle at the Dollar General for two buck, I snagged a 20 ounce generic brand at the Dollar Daze for a buck. I also found some neat roller ball pens, which are my favorite, at the Dollar Daze, and what's this ... you get four and get another one free!!! How can they do that???
However, the deal of the day had to be the Full Throttle Energy Drink made by Coca-Cola that I got in the Dollar Section of the Pinny Food Center in Pinconning at a price of 3 for a Buck, that's right ... 3 for a Buck.

Finally, also at the Pinny Food Center, I was able to pick up two huge cans of Plums in Heavy Syrup for a buck a can, and some kind of M&M Xmas Candy for 99 cents a bag.

All in all, I made a pretty good haul today.
Rock on!!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Jubilee Square

There's another fake 99 Cent Store on Tustin & Palm, in a lot called Jubilee Square -

Thae actual establishment is called the 98 Cents + Mart

Plus is accurate because they just had a bunch or dusty smoke-stained junk which was all priced well beyond 98 cents.

Like this $10.00 (!) bike seat -

And this $1.99 ancient "beauty cloth", which is probably something like a cum rag -

[ Click to view larger image. ]

(You can see my reflecion in the $5.00 bicycle mirror on the left).

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

In Name Only

One of many local "dollar store" frauds is located just down the road from El Taco -

[ Click to view larger image. ]

USA Dollar
had all the signs of a rip-off establishment and indeed it was a dollar store in name only.

Inside it was like a dusty gas station snack-bar with a few crappy shelves full of crappy items (dish scrubbers, door mats etc.), all of which were of lousy quality and priced at more than a dollar.

After my quick walk through, I left immediately without buying a single thing.

USA Dollar sucks.

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Crystal Ball

I overheard co-workers saying the low-carb craze has pretty well run its course and a lot of places are re-packaging all their low-carb products to make way for the next diet craze.

So I predict the 99 cent and dollar stores are going to be chock-full of low-carb items for quite some time to come.

I miss the low-carb craze. It was over before it began.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Non-Dollar Store Bargains

The Family Dollar is having a huge clearance sale on HBA* items. Three bars of Dial Green Tea and Vitamin E soap, which includes antioxidants at no extra cost I might add, marked down from three bars for $2.00 to 3 bars for a buck!!!

I was walking through Wal-Mart today and I saw the CD visors on clearance for 50 cents each, It was just what I was looking for, but not for my CDs, it's perfect for stashing my parking permit, proof of insurance, and auto registration in a convenient and easy to reach place.
Please note: This isn't the actual CD visor that I purchased, it is an artist's rendering taken from the tag that was attached to the CD visor that I purchased.

*HBA = Health and Beauty Aides

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Dollar Tree purchase

This whole St. Nicks Holiday Beverage/99 Cent Store fiasco made me forget the purchases I made at the Dollar Tree in Alpena yesterday.

Two MAGNIview Designer carrying cases ... glasses sold separately.
Also, a pair of sunglasses, which aren't technically a Dollar Store purchase, but it's Saturday night so I'll let it slide.

Sunglasses marked down from $9.99 to 99 cents at the Kmart in Alpena. I have a number of pairs of sunglasses, but none in my new car, and I knew on the drive home I would be going into the sun so I'd need a pair of sunglasses. You can't tell from the pictures but the lenses are the same color blue as my car.

I look like a real blues singer in this pic, don't I.
Blind Lemon Boz

The 99 Cent Store Rip-Off

Poor Jonnie.
Sometimes in his exuberance for all things 99 Cent Store he gets ripped off, and this is one time he got ripped off royally.
Jonnie purchased two cans of St. Nicks fist sized Holiday Beverage at two cans for 99 cents.
Today, I went to my local supermarket and purchased a four pack for 75 cents.
Also, while the 99 Cent Store only had two varieties my local supermarket had four varieties. In addition to the two flavors that Jonnie purchased my local supermarket also had Cola and Ginger Ale.

For the naysayers out there. Proof of my purchase. Yes, there is a ten cent Michigan deposit law, but you get that back when you return the empty can, and it's really a lot of fun to use the can crusher bottle return, it's so 21st Century ... hey, it is the 21st Century.

Did you notice that the St. Nicks Holiday Beverages that I purchased are not made by Shasta but by Faygo?

I don't know about Blogger. I did a spell check and Faygo came back as fags. This from a program that doesn't even recognize the word blog! How homophobic can you get?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

St. Nick's

The holidays may be over, but Xmas cheer is still readilly available at the 99 Cents Only store in the form of St. Nick's fist-sized holiday beverages -

2 for 99 cents.

These little juices aren't bad at all, though the 8 oz. half-cans are empty after a few gulps.

St. Nick's comes in two varieties -

2 Varieties.

1. Holiday Punch - St. Nick's holiday beverages are actually Shasta products, which explains why St. Nick's Holiday Punch tastes EXACTLY like Shasta's Tiki Punch. Same delicious flavor, but in a much smaller (though more festive) container.

2. Snowflake Orange Cream - Very creamy orange flavor, like a dream-sicle. At first I thought this may be the best cream soda I've ever tasted. Then on second thought, it also tasted a lot like baby aspirin.

I think I'll save a can of each, maybe to hang from next year's Christmas tree.

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