It is a sporting event that brings in millions of people worldwide. It is Wrestlemania and a happening of such a high visibility it has attracted some big names in all those years. However, not all of those famous faces have really made as much of an impact as the WWE would have liked. So with the 34th Wrestlemania a few weeks away here is a list of 10 Celebrity Wrestlemania appearances that flopped.
The showman Vegas singer was hyped up for the first Mania as the timekeeper for the main event. However, the WWF had been promoting he would show up in a big gaudy outfit for the big event. He didn't. The piano man arrived at the show wearing tan slacks and a white members only jacket. He danced with the Rockettes and that was it. We never got an explanation about what happened, and sadly Liberace died less than 2 years later of AIDS.
Ozzy Osbourne (1986)
Ozzy made an appearance in the second event in 1986 and was a cornerman for the British Bulldogs, a team from England (get the connection?). The heavy metal god just kind of stood there and didn't anything. There is a comedic moment when one of the commentators mentioned Ozzy was "shaking at ringside" and those who know about him and his story will find it wasn't from the excitement of the match.
Rona Barrett (1990)
The Hollywood gossip reporter appeared in the Toronto Skydome and left a lot of wrestlings fans and especially kids scratching their heads wondering "who?" She appeared only a couple of times during the event (on video, not live) and didn't do much of anything of note.
Little Richard (1994)
Yes, the "original wild man of rock and roll" opened the event... In 1994. Often Vince and his team are accused of being behind the times and having someone who hadn't been relevant since the 50s doesn't really help the argument he is not. It is better worth noting that Vince McMahon himself was 6 months away from facing the Federal Government in court so his mind wasn't exactly focused on this event.
The point from my last entry hold true as someone within the (then) WWF decided the president of the Hair Club For Men who "was also a client" was a worthy enough "celebrity" to guest at the event. He made a brief appearance and that was it. There was no point to this one and fans were again left wondering what did that add to the whole thing.
Martin Short (2000)
The famed comedian from SCTY and Saturday Night Live wasn't announced ahead of time or did anything. He was just in the crowd in the Anaheim Pond. Not even in the front row ( Late actor Michael Clark Duncan did however and looked ready to fight someone!) However, they made it a point to point out his attendance at the show.
Miller Light Catfight Girls (2003)
This was part of an advertising campaign Miller Light Beer was doing at the time of having two hot models fight each other to grab attention during a Superbowl commercial. Someone thought it would be a great idea to have them guest at Wrestlemania as well. It wasn't. There were a couple of backstage skits and a bed was actually rolled out for this "segment" that was more embarrassing than anything else.
Raven Symoné (2008)
The former child actor who was better known at that time for her Disney show "That's So Raven" was there for something to do with Make a Wish and had a segment where she asked the kids to stand up and give themselves a hand. Except for the kids at ringside were all in wheelchairs. Whoops.
Pee-wee Hermon (2011)
In what many have called one of the worst Wrestlemanias of the modern area, This 80's "star" appeared at some backstage skits during the show that was held in 2011. The skit involved 80's wrestling announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund and met with an indifferent "meh" from the viewing audience.
Al Roker (2017)
The NBC morning show weatherman served as the ring announcer for one match at the event and didn't do that great of a job. Reports that the time said even the WWE crew wondered how a Today show announcer could screw it up. It seemed more to do with WWE's partnership with NBC than anything adding to the show or even a reason from the fans to care.
Adam Savage is the closest many of us will ever see in a mad genius. The former co-host of Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel not only can make just about anything from anything, but he will show you how and revel in the results. Even though he is not on weekly television anymore, it hasn't stopped his creative spirit as he has been building different projects as part of the Tested.com website. So for all you creative and handy people, or are just amazed at the creative spirit in action, here are ten of Adam's best projects and builds.
How are you able to build anything if you can't see what you're doing? Adam puts together an ultra maneuverable lamp for your workspace. Not only does he show putting this together, but also shows that creativity is not always linear either and sometimes you have to backtrack just a little bit to make sure everything comes out okay.
The picture we have of Adam sitting in a workshop hidden away from the world doesn't seem that far off from the truth, at least part of the time. So if you are going to work in a workshop you need to be able to get to your tools and bits quickly and with ease. This video shows how Adam does that very thing on a nearly daily basis to create his projects.
One of Adam's more unusual projects was he got the schematics and a lot of foam core and actually made a 3D model of the house he grew up in. The ultimate drafting project and as someone who did a similar project back in my drafting class days of high school, one I kind of have an appreciation for. He does a way better job of it than I ever did though, that's for sure!
Using the skills he learned from Weta Workshop's master swordsmith Peter Lyon, Adam takes on a One Day Build project he's been waiting to do his entire life: make King Arthur's sword from Excalibur! Follow along with Adam's journey to build a full suit of King Arthur armor, this fall on Tested.com and VRV: https://vrv.co/tested Shot and edited by Joey Fameli Subscribe for more videos!
Adam loves movies and movie props. He loves collecting the real thing but also loves making his own. Although he's not known for getting into sword duels with folks, he is really handy at making them and making them look amazing. Here he tackles a movie prop from the 1981 movie.
Puppy Car Seat
And sometimes you just have to take a project and do things yourself. As they say, "Necessity is the mother of Invention." and here Adam finds a clever way to move his canine family members around and not tear the crap out of his car. Adam also shows that sometimes the best thing you make also helps out others, even if they can only give you a shake and a lick on the face as a Thank You.
As someone who grew up in the time of the Muppett Show and whose father worked as an animator for Sesame Street back in the day, I'm sure Adam had an incredible time with this one. Here he visits someone else's lab to see how these are made and helps in creating one of his own. If there is a dream project a lot of us would want, this would probably be it.
Star Trek Captain's Chair
Another dream project for a lot of Sci-fi fans if there was enough space. Besides just making a dream come true and furniture making as well, this project also shows some of what goes into programming electronics to do what you want to make a project even cooler.
A Box for his Beaver
Sounds a lot dirtier than it really is. In another more unusual project he has done, he actually makes a homemade carrying case for a little friend of his that he takes with him on some of his touring spots. Adam does so with presentation as well as portability in mind and shows what you can do for your own taxidermied rodent.
Blade Runner Gun and Case
Remember what I said about Adam and movie props? One of his foremost props is Dekker's blaster from the Sci-Fi epic Blade Runner. He has not only done a video about the creation of the prop itself but also bringing his love of Sci-fi and making boxes together to make an amazing home for his prop creation.
Adam loves to cosplay and many times has shown his love for it as well as hiding "incognito" at the local anime and comic conventions. Not only to show off his amazing handy work in these projects but also to join in the fun of the other attendees of all ages.
It is a Maine/New England thing that anyone outside the area or the culture just can't seem to wrap their hand around. Bread in a can.
Yup, bread that comes out of a can. Sounds like some futuristic vision or a joke whipping around on Twitter or Tumblr. The idea of a baked good from a can doesn't sound like something anyone actually eats, let alone enjoys. When it gets mentioned some immediately get the image of those online pictures from years ago of dumping a jellified whole chicken out of a large can and then expected to cook and eat it with all the seriousness of a hamburger or a hot dog.
But guess what folks. Canned bread is not only a thing you can actually buy. It is pretty damn good!
It is a real thing and it has been around for hundreds of years. It's not the type of bread you would make a sandwich or cover with meat, cheese, or tuna. In fact is has little resemblance to the sliced white stuff that you find at the grocery store. It's better known as Brown Bread and if you are looking for it, it would be over where the canned soups and foods are, specifically the cans of baked beans. Not only are they a perfect match, but the making of baked beans is where we got brown bread from in the first place. You'll find brown bread from the days of big kettles of beans, often times at the big New England Bean Supper. It was the perfect side to the meals that came when the townspeople would bring over their pots of prepared beans to the ye old town baker who would slow cook everyone's meals to be enjoyed later that day. It was a great way to meet your neighbors and fill their bellies. It is part of the New England charm that has stuck with us all this time.
New England style Brown bread is made with the Molasses as a flavoring (along with cornmeal, and a few different types of flours), usually left over from cooking and flavoring a lot of Baked Beans. The dough is often poured into the same type of cans as the beans would be. The dough was steamed instead of oven baked and would come out warm and good. After cutting the top of bottom lids off, the cylinder of brown molasses flavored yummy goodness would be ready to do as you wish.
As much then as today, keep to warm later, preferably cut up to make some risen hockey pucks of yum that go with anything. But the textbook serving style is a slice alongside a big plate with a big serving of baked beans and a hunk of pork or some cut up hot dogs.
The entity that has been helping keep this old New England tradition around is B&M, located in Portland Maine since the 1800s. The large building (jokingly called "The Fart Factory" by locals) makes a lot of baked beans in their brick walls and with it a lot of cans of brown bread, both in a natural "plain" flavor as well as some that come with raisins. Not sure how traditional the raisins are in all this but it doesn't matter. It's good. It can work in all three meals of the day or even a snack if you got some of the stuff around, and since it's sealed in cans you get a lot a storage life with it before you decide to get the can opener and unleash the sweet smelling goodness all over your kitchen. Cooked in the oven, on the stove, the toaster, or even the microwave, it is a food that goes with whatever meal and whatever your imagination and your stomach allow.
So when you ever hear of "bread in a can" don't think of some Orwellian nightmare dreamed up of a science fiction future. Think of the tradition of the New Englanders sitting down to a hot piping meal with their family and neighbors as say "Yes please!"
Trust me, you'll love it too.
Warning: While this article is Work Safe, many of the links are not so be careful!
Cosplay, or costuming is a fun part of not just any fandom, but just a whole lot of fun in general. The idea of getting dressed up and getting noticed in a crowd at an anime convention or online can not only be a lot of fun but can bring in some money on the side as well. It's a way to help people come out of their shell, a way to feel part of the group, or just a way to express your creativity. And while those in costume in mass gatherings at conventions may be the image that mostly comes to mind when mentioning cosplay, there is a group out there who are just as creative and awesome but aim their costuming talents to a more adult crowd. So, if you are ever looking for cosplayers that are not afraid to show off some skin, here are a few that I follow, in no particular order.
A cosplayer who is just as good in a men's costume as a woman's outfit. A big gamer and movie buff Radical Ed has produced some amazing outfits such Bulma from Dragonball, Jean Luke Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Sokka from Avatar and many others. Radical Ed brings not only a wonderful sense of humor and incredible creativity to any of their outfits but has the creativity to make any of these outfits and characters their own. They can take any photo set of a movie shoot and tell its own story with its own style.
With her beautiful smile and alluring eyes, this soft-spoken cosplayer has fans everywhere. An animation fan and school educated animator as well. She is known for her incredibly done Kill La Kill character cosplay outfits but has also done outfits based on Attack on Titan, Naruto, and Overwatch amongst others. A sweetheart who also games on her twitch channel where she also shows her producing some of her amazing art skills along with her costuming talents.
A cosplayer and also an actress and author as well. This talented costume maker has made herself into characters from anime shows like Sailor Moon, movies like Wonder Woman, games like Saint's Row, and even 80's favorites like Jem and G.I. Joe. She is known to also give helpful advice to cosplayers with a question and has also organized amazing group photo shoots so others can join in her fun and create wonderful content. Spanning many fandoms, she brings characters from all kinds of sources to life with incredible results.
A California based cosplay model as well as an adult actor. Not only can create using cloth and thread but also a master prop maker like prop guns and other additions to any costume she makes. Probably her most famous costume was her self-made armor suit from the game Halo but has done many costumes from shows such as Attack on Titan and the newer version of Voltron, as well as some lolita type outfits with her sense of style and creativity.
A midwestern cosplayer known as much for her infectious laugh from those who have met her as she is for her amazing costume work. A self-described "Weirdo" she is a gamer, anime and Dr. Who Fan, as well as a trained culinary chef who can do amazing things with cake and entrees. A favorite whenever she does convention appearances, she can brighten a room with both her beauty and her wonderful personality along with her costumes. She has made costumes for western style shows like The Venture Brothers, Dr. Who, and Teens Titans, as well as anime favorites like One Piece, Inu Yasha, and Pokemon.
This is just a small sample of the talented cosplayers who are part of the "adult" side of the community. Give them a look (on their own pages as well as Cosplay Deviants) and hopefully there will be more from me as well!
A little while ago I wrote about the WWE and it's recent problem when it announced The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal for it's Wrestlemania show this year. And while it's not a great news item to appear in the weeks before your company's showcase of the year, there is that other bit of business in using someone else's name to their own goals that needs to be talked about.
The Ultimate Warrior.
Now there is a lot that could be said about the man as a performer, both good and bad. He packed audiences in the late 80s and early 90s and to this day people still talk about his high energy entrances and running over wrestlers in matches back in the day. He had a lot of fans and was a big part of the product we saw on TV. Heck, he was so big at one point they had him defeat Hulk Hogan to become world champion at Wrestlemania 6 back in April of 1990.
That's not the Warrior I'm talking about.
The Warrior that has been looked at with less than the same reaction is the Warrior late in his life in the early 2000s. Long after the glory days of wrestling had passed him by and he was trying to have people pay attention to what he had to say. Since he couldn't be the same warrior he was back in the day, he started posting on his blog and was touring colleges around the country as a political speaker.
A man who never held a public office in his life and one that did not have the greatest relationship with anyone he worked for now wanted to be paid to tell young people how the world worked.
THAT's where the problem starts. The WWE wants everyone to remember the snorting high energy muscleman, not the paid political commentator who spouted off things that were racist, homophobic, and downright hateful. He spouted off things like "Queering around doesn't make the world work.", and saying offensive things about people of middle eastern heritage sometimes too there faces during these appearances. He would talk about his "Politically Incorrect" trip to Louisianna just after Hurricane Katrina because "The fishing was good" and his numerous comments about how the wrestlers around him were dying "wanted to die" because they didn't live like he did.
And now the WWE uses his name for "charitable causes". Yeah, every year at the "WWE Hall of Fame" Ceremony (That isn't what it seems either) they give out "The Warrior Award" and have his widow say something about facing adversity or some such in a desperate attempt to be charitable and be taken more seriously so that people like Stephanie McMahon (WWE head Vince McMahon's daughter) can be looked at as a serious business leader and held in high esteem. She herself once said that "philanthropy is the future of marketing, it's the way brands r going 2 win" and then hands out an award named after someone who had so much hate and judgment of others, mostly to make a dollar. So why would the WWE tack on such a name to a presentation meant to inspire what people can actually do and what they can overcome?
Because he died and can't stop him.
Warrior, despite slamming the company after he was shown the door more than once and talking about how much he hated wrestling now during his speeches, was welcomed back and put into their Hall of Fame in 2014. He gave a long speech about honoring those in the company we didn't see, The cameramen, videos editors and such. That Monday he appeared on their live show and gave another long speech about believing in him and a thank you to fans. That Tuesday he passed away from massive heart failure. The WWE then took his two speeches and edited them down and the next year presented "The Warrior Award" at their hall of fame. Not to honor those that put all their hard work and lives into making the McMahons filthy rich, but so they can spotlight humanitarian stories that the WWE had nothing to do with. Totally taking his words and editing them to fit their corporate needs.
There is little good from this whole thing.
So while the brief inclusion to name part of their event after The Fabulous Moolah made sponsors worry, maybe it's time they hear this story as well.
The term educational television isn't exactly one that brings out the best feelings from TV watchers, especially kids. If you tell a kid that they need to watch this show because is it "educational" and they will learn something, many of them will just turn off the TV completely. That isn't just this generation but has been going on for years and generations. When most kids reach a certain age, they spend 5 days a week and 8 hours a day being "educated" so why would any of them want to spend their free time learning at home. TV wasn't supposed to be about learning. It was meant to entertain. From the Baby Boomers up to today's Millenials and beyond, the term "educational television" wasn't exactly one that brought about a lot of excitement.
But that doesn't mean there weren't some that actually hit the mark and not only were incredibly educational but were then, and even now, remembered for being a lot of fun to watch too.
So I present Square One Television. Or as it was better remembered, Square One.
Square One was a television show that was produced between 1987 until 1994 for PBS by The Children's Television Workshop, the same people behind Sesame Street and other shows. Square One was about math and presented it in a sketch show style with all kinds of things like game shows, comedy sketches, music videos, and even a math-themed police segment to round everything off. It wasn't so much a morning show that got its yucks from bad jokes and things like that. This is PBS after all. At least for me, most of it's run the show aired at 5 pm or that time between coming home from school and the McNeil/Lehrer Newshour boring crap for adults.
The target audience was a little older than the Sesame Street audience who was at the adding and subtracting phase. The math concepts explained on the show were such things as prime and square numbers, multiplication and division, and simple geometry. And for a kid in elementary school that was literally next level stuff. And they also made it in an easy to follow and easy to retain formats of the sketch style of the show. You had the video game sketches like Mathman. A Pac-man style sketch explaining simple things that Mathman would eat to win the game (or not).
The Dirk Niblick and the Math Brigade segments that were animated simple concepts with animated characters. As an animation fan, this was right up my alley.
There were also the game shows.
And the music videos
And probably the show's most well know sketch was Mathnet. A Dragnet parody that had George Frankly and Kate Monday spending a week's worth of episodes trying to solve a big crime using math. Later, Kate Monday was replaced by Pat Tuesday but the show didn't change that much.
Still, found it kind of weird when they used one story to explain how tournaments seeding worked, but it was MATH damn it! Also as a wrestling fan, I knew the mention of Abdullah The Butcher was different in THAT setting.
And while the Mathnet segments were often repeats ( A LOT! ) you still wanted to see how the story was solved and learn something along with way.
Fibonacci Sequence? School wasn't teaching you that. Prime Numbers? That's junior high learning. Roman numerals? Not much past the number 10 (X in case you were wondering). And all the different tricks when you are multiplying with the number 9? Square One taught me that years before the school system was.
So in the end, educational television, especially the stuff of the 80's and 90's wasn't exactly breaking any new ground and seemed more about fulfilling government requirement at a low budget, but every so often someone got it right and was really connecting with a lot of young minds. Square One was doing just that and it still sticks with me now. So with the show long off the airwaves, I implore the Youtube generation to search it out and have fun!
For us wrestling fans, this time of year has most of us focused on the WWE's biggest event, Wrestlemania. I wrote a little bit about that recently. But to say the "Road to Wrestlemania" is the focus of not only the WWE itself but most of the wrestling world is not an understatement.
And then a speed bump showed up.
News has been getting out now about an issue with this year's show. Specifically, a new concept that was introduced last Monday and within hours fans were in an uproar and the company had to backtrack almost immediately. The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal.
So what's the deal and why the name of a woman who left us back in 2007 is still the source of bad feelings? Let me give you the short version to help understand.
The Fabulous Moolah (real name Lillian Ellison) was a long time professional wrestler. She first started all the way back in the late 40's working for wrestling promoter (and husband) Billy Wolfe. Wolfe eventually had Moolah win a tournament in 1956 where she was crowned Woman's World Champion. She held onto the belt until 1984 (do the math, that's a long time) before finally hanging up the boots in 1988, although she would make many comebacks runs for the WWE (then WWF) until the early 2000s. She was also known to be a big trainer of women wrestlers for decades and nearly every woman's wrestler in the United States was trained by her. On top of all that she was a big money draw, working for Vince McMahon Sr starting in the 50's and kept working for his son, the current Vince McMahon even after she scaled back her schedule. She was made part of the WWE Hall of fame in 1995 and passed away in 2007. So when the idea of holding a women's battle royal event at this year's Wrestlemania was put to use, it seems natural to do it in the name of someone so influential in wrestling as Moolah right?
That is where things went horribly wrong.
Fans were quick to point out that Moolah wasn't exactly an angel during her time and naming ANY part of such a big show was not only an insult to fans but represented the exact opposite of the women empowerment that the WWE and company executive Stephanie McMahon has been spotlighting for the last few years for the company.
Now, of course, I can't rattle off every story and accusation. I'd write a book just about all that. They've been around for a long time too. Moolah has been accused of using her position as a teacher and someone who handled a lot of business affairs for women she trained and "managed" to advantage during most of her time. Stories have been told of her skimming money from her students and people she has worked with. She has been accused of manipulating people and even the people she worked for to get a better deal of things (for herself). She also demanded money and teaching fees from her students for years after she was done teaching them. The more serious charges including using her position as a teacher and "booker" to sell the women she trained to men for sex, all in the name of the mighty dollar and without these women's consent or knowledge. The rumors and stories are not rare or pleasant.
So yes, she was a major influence in women's wrestling. She was a top name and teacher for a long time to the point that Women's wrestling in the United States was from her influence even down to the style of matches and moves used for decades. But what she did to get there is what is causing the issues now, even after she's gone.
More importantly, it is hitting them in the pocketbook. The WWE was willing to ignore what the fans were saying (they've been doing that forever) but when one of its sponsors voices concerns, that hits them in the wallet. It hasn't been definitively reported what money sponsor forced the change, but a lot of money had to be on the line to do it and for the company to acknowledge it.
So then it was changed in a heartbeat. It is a business after all and the WWE is a publically traded company. It wasn't the outcry of fans, it was a sponsor. Money talks but it had something important to say.
With Toys R Us counting down its final days, people from many generations are thinking back to their memories of the store. I already wrote something about mine. But not just the store itself, but it was the things they and other retailers sold at the time. In those days there was a lot out there. Sure, there were the big lines the kids of the day knew like He-man, G.I. Joe, Transformers, My Little Pony (not the cool one either. I mean the first generation), and all the rest, but sometimes the fun in it is looking back to the more obscure lines out there that may not have had as much room on the store pegboard but still had a big place in our hearts. So here is a look at 5 obscure toy lines for those days gone by.
Barnyard Commandos ( Playmates 1989-1990)
A series based on the military battle between pigs (or P.O.R.K.S) and sheep (R.A.M.S.). What they were fighting over I'm not really sure. These guys were soft plastic and not articulated so they weren't in the mold of a G.I. Joe figure (figuratively or literally). They came with a gun or some weapon to do battle with but since they had no movement or anything, it was a real hands-on affair that needed a lot of imagination. A cartoon was produced but only 13 episodes were made and wasn't picked up anywhere. The commercials though aired all the time so we knew they were out there.
Sky Commanders (Kenner 1987)
Another toy line based on a really short cartoon series. The story is that the evil Lucus Plague is trying to claim control over a new element that is discovered when a new continent is formed on Earth (around the South Pacific) and a team lead by the heroic Mike Summit has to stop him and his crew. The whole thing was based on mountaineering so all the small little figures (to scale with the more popular MASK figures) came with backpacks and safety guide ropes. The vehicles they tooled around in attached to guide lines that you hung up as they zipped around fighting each other, at least until all those wires became an ungodly tangled mess. The cartoon series only lasted a few months and had 13 episodes, but it was carried on the syndicated Funtastic Worl of Hanna Barbera line up so it got a lot of eyeball time and WAY more merchandise a series that short should have had.
Anything Trolls (early 90s)
In the day, Trolls were EVERYWHERE. The little guys with the long hair weren't just sitting on desks and pencils, but there were a couple of toy lines and at least one animated series. Besides the regular Troll figures people were actually collecting there was Battle Trolls, the bigger figures that didn't do anything but the story was... well they didn't really have one. There was also Stone Protectors that was a rip off of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, but the characters became Troll guys instead of turtles becoming human. When the Troll fad died out, thankfully these shows and toys did as well. Just like any cash in on some fad, these fell out of style quickly.
Go-Bots (Tonka 1983-1987)
Tonka's answer to the Transformers. Pretty much the same premise too. Space aliens turn into cars and trucks and fought each other. You had the heroic jet Leader-1 (the Jet) leading the good guys against the evil motorcycle Cy-kill. The cartoon series only lasted a single year in Syndication But unlike some of the other lines on this list, it got 65 episodes between 1984 and 1985. The toys hung around even longer. The oddest part of this was eventually all the rights to the names and the characters were given over to Hasbro and show up in the Transformer universe now.
Food Fighters (Mattel 1989)
Militarize anthropomorphic food. That about explains this lineup. Think about a cross between G.I. Joes of the 80's if they bonded with dog toys shaped like burgers, hot dogs, cookies and things like that. This line up was available mostly in discount stores more than the big retail places. Food fighters also have no cartoon series, no comic series, no movie, none of that and here we were as kids buying soft plastic hamburgers, hot dogs, and stacks of pancakes that came with weapons to do battle with. The didn't last long, but they made an impact.
Crazy ideas? Sure. But you can't say we didn't have fun!
It is a problem many of us face, whether it is at work, working on school work, or even just cruising the internet in our spare time. That big PC you are sitting at that once ran smoothly without any problems now slows down, reboots, or just shuts itself off with no discernible reason and just seems to tick you off.
Of course, it's a problem that advertisers are aware of that many people face almost all the time. They want you to fork over bundles of money for the software that they claim with be there miracle cure and get your computer running like the dream machine it was when you first bought the thing way back when. They swear you'll be running that thing at a faster pace than ever before and you'll be doing a bazillion things in no time because their product works better than anyone else's and wants you to pay for it.
But you aren't doomed to shell out your hard earned money over gizmos and computer programs to help fix hiccups and slowdowns that come up on your personal computer. So here are a few tips I've found that can go a long way to improving your computer's performance and not only save money but your sanity as well.
Yup. Seems simple, but it's true. Clean out your computer. All those programs you have leave waste info, all those files that are saved, all that clutter does actually have an effect on running things and can get in the way of running your system with the speed and ease you want.
Many systems already come with programs to help you do this like Windows Disk Clean up and things like that to help you scrub out old files, temp files, and program backups that you did not make or even know you had. If you are the type that saves a lot from the net, be it either pictures, movies, or whatever else, clean that stuff up too. If you have the money or find a bargain, find a new place to put that kind of stuff (external memory or if you have a burner drive to burn things too) or just delete them completely. After a round of this and a good reboot, you might just see an improvement.
Had this one pop up a few times myself. Now, it may sound intimidating if you aren't the type that physically tinkers with the PC, but sometimes it's what on the outside that can affect what goes on with your PC's computing. So if you ever pop off the side or metal cover to your PCs tower and it looks like something recovered from the Titanic it is time to give it some care.
But before to spend oodles of money to hand your PC over to someone else for god knows how long to do this, there are things you can do yourself. It can be scary, but if you take it slow and don't get too aggressive, even just spraying off the PC's insides (graphics cards and the fans) with some canned pressured air and softly wiping off the dust inside your PC (unplug it first!) with a clean electronics cloth can do a lot in getting things back up to speed. A light touch will do wonders.
Seems like a simple solution but it also helps keep things running. Besides the really nasty stuff that has someone else running your system without your knowledge, a good virus scan can also clean out advertising, malware, and other such nasty things that will start building up after a while.
The cool thing is there are many free places and services you can use that do that very thing. Windows comes with Windows Defender if you have that setup. There are also things like Avast, Adaware, and Malware Bytes that after a good scan can help clean all that cybergunk out of your PC's system. The thing is often times running more than one virus scan on the same PC isn't a great idea either so no matter how you find one, stick with it and don't overload with your virus scan programs or else that can be just as much of a problem.
It may not sound like much, but these three simple ways you can do yourself, with little or even no money, can help your computer run a whole lot better and save you a ton of change instead of putting you out all of your cash or wasting your time.
It a sad occasion when one those things you grew up with, one of those names you have had in your head for entire life goes away. A relative you grew up with, your favorite television show, and for me the recent announcement that Toys R Us will soon be no more.
TRU as it was sometimes known as is one of those things kids of my generation remember growing up with, even if there wasn't a store close by. For me, if I actually wanted to go to a TRU it was over an hour in either direction. Growing up near Augusta, Maine, you either had the Portland location an hour and more south in Portland, or nearly 2 hours in the other direction in Bangor up North. As I got older I'd have plenty of experience with both stores but as a kid, I didn't see either one of them very often (often not going to them for years at a time). But at the same time, I still remember going to them as a special treat.
But more than actually going to the stores were the commercials. Back in the day of Saturday Morning cartoons, There were plenty of those commercials with kids singing away "I'm a Toys R Us Kid!"
After the jingle, you'd see the latest offerings from the big toy lines of the day like Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, Transformers, and a whole lot else a little boy of the time would ever dream of.
Of course with the nearest stores over an hour in either direction, it's more accurate to say I was a Zayre kid than a Toy's R Us kid. But I knew those stores existed and someday I'd be able to get to one.
Sitting here thinking it over, there are a few things that I remember specifically getting at TRU over the years, even if it happened a little later than what most "normal" kids would have.
Back in the late 90's I remember getting my very own Nintendo 64 from the Portland TRU on my way back from my annual trip to Boston Children's Hospital. Those were an all-day trip for me. Hell, it was nearly a 4-hour trip just to get there, let alone the trip back. But after going to the annual Doctor's Appointment as the sky was getting darker, there was the lights of the Portland TRU and walking out with my newest game system. Then having to wait because it was right to bed as soon as I got home. I had to get up for school the next day. But after all that, getting that bad boy plugged in and going to town was worth the wait.
The other happened a few years later. If you've ever read some of my other articles for The Nacho, you'd already know I am a huge fan of the 80's G.I. Joe figures and have been since I was a kid. My favorite figures ended in 1994, but at the time, there had been word that they were coming back, but as TRU Exclusive figures. I didn't have a license so making the drive in either direction wasn't going to happen. But I had a friend who did. We made the trip down to Portland and once again visited the store and as soon as I got inside I was looking for them. In one of those moments, over the store's loudspeaker came the strains of
You couldn't have written a more perfect moment. I found the end cap display and ended up picking up quite a few of the figure sets. It was like seeing an old friend after not seeing them for a number of years.
Yes, I'm a geek. I was then and am now.
So yes, some of my best TRU moments came later in life than many who are also looking back as we say goodbye to Geoffry the Giraffe. But I still have them and I hope that someone else has memories they clutch onto as well as the once mighty name in toys closes its doors for the last time.