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What I Learned This Week – 7/19/15

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This week I learned that the movie One Small Hitch, is a really, really good movie. I stumbled upon it in a romantic comedy search on Netflix. It is a 2013 movie starring Shane McRae and Aubrey Dollar as two childhood friends pretending to be engaged for the sake of Josh’s (McRae) dying father. Awkward situations ensue.

WEEK-One Small Hitch

I will admit that it did start a little slow, but the leads are both adorable and it only gets cuter when they move into an apartment together. One Small Hitch is like While You Were Sleeping, except no one has to be pushed onto the railroad tracks and end up in a coma. A few people get punched in the face though.

This week I also realized that I have the best CD player in the world.

Best CD player

Best CD player

Yes, some of us without an iPhone or mp3 player with a screen still rely on such devices to make collections (mix tapes), “playlists” if you will, of songs that suit our fancy on any particular day.

I have a big CD player in my kitchen, but I wanted to listen to a CD while laying in bed. So, I headed upstairs to the electronics graveyard to find a small CD player. I knew we had at least one. Actually, I found two. One was a jogproof one that I had purchased one year for my birthday. It wasn’t jogproof, and I am not a jogger. So, ya.

The other is the CD player I quickly recognized from my old job. For the 12 years I worked for Borders, I used this CD player nearly every day. You can see that I doodled on it, and marked it with stickers so that if someone stole it, I would know that it was mine.

I cannot believe that it still works! I do believe that it used to have an AC adapter, but I can’t presently find it. I used to put a CD on pause, then head off to a 3 hour meeting, leaving it spinning on my desk the whole time. Last night I popped in batteries of questionable age, and it still worked like a dream.

And so many functions! I can program what order I want to play the tracks from on a CD, which comes in handy for albums such as Pieces of You by Jewel, that contain some very good, and some not very good songs. It has repeat one or all. It has bass boost. It shows track number and time at the same time!

For being around 15 years old, it has held up remarkably well. The volume dial causes some interference in the headphones when adjusted. But I used to have headphones with a volume control in the cord, so that was never a problem.

I love that it is a little no-name brand. I love that at that time, they thought they still needed to spell out that it was “DIGITAL” technology.

Now, everything is.

Don’t get me started on my love of analog/cassette tapes.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
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Remember This?: MicroMagic Frozen Foods

This is a new feature I am starting where I reminisce about old products that I do not want to be forgotten to the tunnels of time. Most of my first submissions will probably be food-related. There is nothing like the empty hole that is left behind in your kitchen when a delicious food product disappears from store shelves.

Do you remember MicroMagic frozen food? Because I do, very fondly.

Behold!  The MicroMagic burger!

Behold! The MicroMagic burger!

MicroMagic products first appeared in the frozen food section of stores in the 1980’s. There were MicroMagic hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, french fries, and three flavors of milkshakes.

It was a perfect trifecta of 1950’s car hop food: burger, fries, and milkshake. It was something you expected to see on the tray of Richie Cunningham’s car outside of Arnold’s on Happy Days (there were more external scenes during the first season or two of the show).

EXCEPT YOU PUT IT IN YOUR VERY 1980’S MICROWAVE OVEN!

It was like going to McDonald’s, without leaving your home.

There were several years of my life where my main food source was MicroMagic cheeseburgers. I bought them far more than any of the other products. I was a latchkey kid, so I would eat them before my mom got home from work, or for lunch during summer break. Sometimes I ate them for weekend lunches.

FYI--The ones I bought only had English on the packaging.

FYI–The ones I bought only had English on the packaging.

I liked the fries as well. They were sold in three packs. Two boxes of fries often counted as a meal for me.

I probably only had all three (burger, milkshake, fries) together probably once. The milkshakes were kind of a waste of money. I mean, it was a cup of ice cream that you put in the microwave to partially melt it. And I seem to remember it tasting a bit like ice milk. Although sometimes it was fun to eat the fries and chocolate milkshake together and dip the fries into the ice cream.

Chocolate was the only option for me.

Chocolate was the only option for me.

While I remember them fondly and wish I could consume them again, I have to admit that they did not come out of my microwave at the height of quality. If I followed the package instructions, the burger would still be cold in the middle. So I always over-nuked it, which led to a hard top bun and the cheese melted off everywhere. But it tasted like a burger, complete with fake smoke flavor.

The fries came in a cardboard box that was lined with silver coating, so that they would attempt to get crisp. The fries could be soggy or over-crisp, depending on how long you cooked them. They were always kinda greasy.

Seeing as I was a middle school kid who wasn’t old enough to drive and had no fast food place in town to walk to, this was as good as it got.

I haven’t seen them on store shelves in years. I searched the Internet, but cannot seem to find out anything about what company used to make them. Some similar products exist today to give you a sense of how awesome they were. I will talk about that in my next post on Thursday.

I searched all over YouTube and found a few MicroMagic commercials for you. I will appologize now for making you crave a product that is no longer available.

I love the 80’s outfits!

I had a black hat like that girl!

100% Real American Cheese! (Whatever THAT means!)

[TV Trivia: The guy with the girl in the last commercial with the dark hair is probably actor David Kaufman. I remember him most from a show called Dweebs also starring Peter Scolari and Corey Feldman.]

I also found a Micro Magic Facebook fan page. It only has 13 likes, so feel free to hop over their and “like” that page. And while you are on Facebook, like “I’m not staking you“‘s Facebook page as well.

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