Wednesday, February 24, 2010

MKT in Houston

This is the MKT in Houston, 1985. Unfortunately, I can't tell where the place in question was, but I can tell you that this railroad ceased to exist 10 years later. The ROW in this area was obliterated for the I-10 expansion, and the rest of the inner-city Houston area was converted to a bike path.

Hopefully I will get more of this soon.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

McDonald's Memories #1: McBurgers

First off, it's snowing, so yay for areas that don't get snow normally (including here).

To start off my McDonald's post series (which will continue through this spring), I'd like to share McBurgers with you. McBurgers was a website with McDonald's clone recipes. And unlike the TopSecretRecipes versions, they were original (not ripped off) and told you exactly how to make McDonald's hamburgers "the old way". Unfortunately, it went offline in early 2004.

To compensate, here are some of the pages as I remember them. Some images may be missing.

Main page as I remember it.

The main recipe page. You may have to change your encoding to get?rid?of?the?question?marks? and it has some things that I'm not sure about (broccoli cheese soup? McDonald's?)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Discomfort Food, Part One

I recently found a website with USDA-created recipes for school cafeterias (link)

Sadly (or fortunately, depending who you ask) these recipes are relatively "real", meaning they have shortening, oils, sugar, what have you. So in reality, there are many ranges of cafeteria food across the nation ranging from "healthy" (read: gross) policed by state "fat fascists" to delicious.

I could've written a bit more on the subject, but I'm tired. Thus the "Part One" was added for further posts and research.

Good night, everybody.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mother Guide Scan (EB Zero)

Some people over at translated a guide for the Japanese game Mother, unofficially known here in the States (and for you TWR readers across the pond) as EarthBound Zero.

Here's the thread.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Breakfast burritos

I don't know what I was teasing about "Floridian hamburgers" (oh wait, now I do...but it's more of >this variety) but today's post is on a good TEXAN breakfast burrito.

2 flour tortillas (6" in diameter)
2 eggs
2 packets of Taco Bell sauce
2 "brown and serve" sausage patties
A slice of onion (preferably Texas 1014)
Cooking oil
Cheddar or colby cheese

1. Heat a small saucepan with some butter.
2. Mix about a tablespoon of milk with the eggs, until the mixture is a nice uniform yellow. Pour the mixture in the pan and make the scrambled eggs (which I won't tell here. If you don't know, help is a few clicks away)
3. About this time, if the tortillas are frozen (or you'd like them heated a bit) put them in the microwave. A wet paper towel will help moisten them.
4. Before the scrambled eggs are done, thaw (NOT cook) the sausage patties, dice the slice of onion, and butter the tortillas.
5. Move the scrambled eggs off heat (as in, out of the pan), and add a bit of oil to the pan. Chop up the sausage patties, and add the sausage patties and onion to the pan.
6. Cook those things thoroughly. Grate the cheese, if it's not already pre-grated.
7. Take everything off the pan. Put the eggs on a tortilla, followed by the sausages and onions, followed by cheese, followed by a packet of sauce, followed by salt and pepper.
8. Layer the other tortilla on the mound of food. Then put the sauce on the top tortilla somehow (I like to draw lines with the sauce)
9. Put the thing in the microwave for 15 seconds.
10. Eat with a knife and fork!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winning the Nester

In this scan at Blue Skies and Nintendo, it lists the Nintendo Power Awards (originally awarded with a "Nester"). The Nintendo Power Awards were reader-picked games for the best games of the year. For those too lazy to click on the link, here are the winners.

1988: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
1989: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
1990: Super Mario Bros. 3

Super NES Era
1991: Super Mario World
1992: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
1993: Mortal Kombat
1994: Donkey Kong Country
1995: Chrono Trigger

Nintendo 64 Era
1996: Super Mario 64
1997: GoldenEye 007
1998: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
1999: Donkey Kong 64
2000: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

GameCube Era
2001: Super Smash Bros. Melee
2002: Metroid Prime
2003: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
2004: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
2005: Resident Evil 4

Wii Era
2006: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
2007: Super Mario Galaxy
2008: Super Smash Bros. Brawl
2009: New Super Mario Bros. Wii

And now for commentary.

1988: Despite The Legend of Zelda pre-dating Nintendo Power, electing Zelda II seemed like a fine way to introduce the award-winning Zelda series.
1989: If this doesn't say anything about Nintendo Power's demographic at that time, I don't know what else will.
1990/1991: For two years, Super Mario defeated Bowser and won the Nester.
1992: Despite The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past being released that year, it regrettably lost to an arcade port (the first iteration of Street Fighter II). Take heart: Link to the Past sold well and is remembered as one of the best video games of all time, certainly of the SNES.
1993: An embarrassment considering the censorship of Mortal Kombat on the SNES...they changed the blood to "sweat".
1994: Donkey Kong Country broke the Donkey Kong series out of the Arcade Ghetto and brought DK into his own canon.
1995: One of the best SNES RPGs ever.
1996: Super Mario 64 proved that 3D games had a future. It was fun to play, had excellent music, and still holds on today as a great game, even though its polygons are dated. After SM64, Nintendo-published titles won for the next eight years...
1997: For many, it was the first FPS shooters they ever played. Then Halo: Combat Evolved came out and the former N64 players were switched over to Xbox.
1998: No argument here.
1999: Arguably, you could say that Donkey Kong 64 was a cheap knockoff of Super Mario 64 and not worth saying another word about. Other reasonable games came out during 1999, but this was Nintendo Power and Nintendo-published titles took absolute presence over third-party titles.
2000: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask pushed the N64's capabilities and was one of the oddest Zelda games ever made. While it didn't kill the basic formula, it did introduce new play mechanics. Some people hated the new changes and the odd storyline, others loved it. The lovers won.
2001: SSBM was a radical change from the original SSB. Some people loved it. Some preferred SSB.
2002: Notice that Super Mario Sunshine didn't win.
2003: Despite the art change, the new Zelda game was surprisingly fun, somewhat dark, and featured Link sailing the high seas in a talking boat.
2004: It's depressing when sequels win (then again, Halo 2 was released that year for the Xbox)
2005: Resident Evil 4 was an award-winning game and came out only for the GameCube. Unfortunately, it came a day late and a dollar short to save the GameCube...and a PS2 port came soon after.
2006: A launch title for the Wii but one of the last GameCube titles, Twilight Princess wasn't quite a groundbreaker like Ocarina of Time, but it was still good.
2007: Again, no argument here.
2008: Despite the fact that it should've been released earlier and the fact that it was an improved SSBM, SSBB was amazing.
2009: NSMBW should've been one of many great games of 2009, but the fact a side-scrolling Mario game won was depressing, or awesome, depending on who you talk to.

All of the non-Wii/GCN games listed here ARE available on the Virtual Console (except Mortal Kombat, Chrono Trigger, Goldeneye 007, and Donkey Kong 64) so go play!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

...and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel

Apologies if you've seen this before, but previously the date was wrong, so...

Ask me to talk about Maxis and my memories of their products, and I will. The great games, catalogs and manuals in the early days, along with early SC2K cities were fun...but then, inevitably, things got a little sketchy there with 1996-1997, yet since none of those games produced in the lost era (read this for the full story) nothing really "touched" me, with the exception of SimSafari (NOT fun), and even that (and SimTown) were post-acquisition shovelware (I remember getting SimTown in the late 1990s at Sam's Club...I wonder how that got there....;o;)

But other companies, like Brøderbund, continue to elude me. Our focus is on Cyan (Worlds), more specifically, Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel. I won't explain the plot of Cosmic Osmo, but basically you explore around a cartoon-like universe and click on everything. It's kind of for kids, but no one should feel embarrassed by it.

Prior to my "rediscovery" of Cosmic Osmo, trying to remember Osmo was like a bad drug trip (in fact, Osmo has been likened to mind-altering substances. After piecing together some facts, I discovered a few things.

1. The first versions were HyperCard stacks with an overlay plug-in that let it play Director videos. Unfortunately, this didn't work past System 6. It was also published through Activision.
2. The later versions were made by Cyan and were directly Director-made products. Activision was going through problems.
3. There were two versions of the game made: Cosmic Osmo and Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel. The "Beyond the Mackerel" version was made post-Activision. The CD-ROM (big deal in 1990) version featured additional planets (three extras, making seven). Obviously, I never had the CD-ROM version: CD-ROM drives were expensive (and slow) in the early 1990s.
4. Curiously, I remember a website that my brother printed out for me that showed Osmo-like characters in a strange world with a TV station and an observatory and I think a professor...except they were in full color! I tried looking for the scenes but I couldn't find them until...
5. I find Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel at Macintosh Garden. All is awesome again.

So, then, where is color Cosmic Osmo? An abysmal "sequel" that made Osmo profoundly ugly and in a bland puzzle environment was released a few years ago...

I found this one picture which looks quite different than the pictures I remember seeing, this one looks like they just took a snapshot and colored it in...

...and we found this segment on a comment list somewhere recently...
There was a time when Cyan released DVDs of both Cosmic Osmo and The Manhole. When I bought them, in the late 90s, a nice lady at Cyan told me they were slowly working on a color version of Cosmic Osmo. I wish...
posted by thejoshu at 9:37 AM on November 3, 2005

Do you remember any real snapshots of a color Cosmic Osmo? Write in comments, below...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A man's garage is his castle

From the Times Before the Recession, comes a story from BusinessWeek about garages.

Can you believe any of this happening today except for the extremely rich?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010