Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

My Paperboy Achievement Quest

For those of you unfamiliar with the arcade classic Paperboy, it was originally released by Atari in 1984. The game allowed you to assume the role of a boy who dished out newspapers along a suburban street on his bicycle. With a unique control scheme and layout, Paperboy was successful in convincing kids to shell out quarters with the hopes of making it through an entire week without getting fired for crashing too frequently into the many obstacles along your route.

Like many popular arcade games, Paperboy was eventually ported to various computer systems and video game consoles in the ensuing years. Though I have virtually no memory of ever playing the original stand-up version of the game, I actually bought and played the Commodore 64 version 20+ years ago. The cool Dennis the Menace-style artwork on the cover was intriguing, spurring me to bring home the 5 1/4 floppy and pop it into my noisy 1980s disk drive. As fun as the game was, I found it to be overly challenging. Though I would play it from time to time, I recognized that I would never actually complete the week on Easy Street (the main objective for a standard game). A year or two later, my friend Jimmy (who is coincidentally getting married this weekend) got the game for the original NES. He was better than I was, but, as far as I know, he never actually completed the week on Easy Street.

Nearly two decades later, having not thought about the game since the early 90s, I found out that it was to be released on the Xbox 360 for just $5 via their download service (Xbox Live Arcade). So a couple years ago, I gladly purchased Paperboy once again. This time, it was a direct port of the arcade game, meaning it was even more difficult than the already seemingly impossible versions I had been accustomed to. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the nostalgia, played it a few times and basically just let it sit on my hard drive.

A few weeks ago, out of the blue, I felt like giving the game a try again. This time I noticed that there was an Xbox Live achievement for actually completing a week on Easy Street — the impossible dream. I thought that with a little practice, I might actually be able to beat it. The thing is, I would typically just play the game for about 15 minutes or so, and that would be it. It would be different now because I’d actually dedicate a significant chunk of time to getting good.

At any rate, after a few attempts, I was still resigned to the fact that it was probably just never going to happen. However, I had friends over last weekend, one of which was Ham City Kev. He saw that I had been playing Paperboy, and he told me of a time in college that he managed to complete the week on Easy Street. Sure, he struggled mightily with this arcade version, failing to complete a single day, but I recognized he was rusty and that it really didn’t matter because he already did what I had forever failed to do. Naturally, being the mental patient that I am, I was jealous and now more motivated than ever to find a way to do it myself. In fact, this time I’d have a tangible record of it, thanks to the Xbox achievement system which would put on record the date I officially slayed the dragon that is Paperboy.

So it was my goal this past week to “beat” Paperboy. As one might imagine, I found myself getting progressively better as I played between one and two hours a day. Within the game, you start out on Monday and have to successfully complete seven straight days of deliveries. Though I was improving, I was still consistently dying on Saturday or Sunday, raising my video game frustration level to obscene heights which included minor temper tantrums of pounding my fist against the couch and the occasional curse word. It was driving me nuts because I’d be playing flawlessly and then make a stupid mistake to blow the game. Finally, after about 10 hours of game time during the week, in a game where I wasn’t even happy with my performance, I reached Sunday with NO LIVES left — so there was no margin for error. Miraculously, I pulled it off, and I felt a ridiculous amount of accomplishment when the completion achievement showed up on the screen. The monkey was off my back. It was probably the most satisfying video game victory of my entire life… whatever that means. Sure, it’s worthless in real life, but damn was that a rewarding moment!

Now I never want to play that fucking game ever again.

Gord Tep’s Top 10 All-Time TV Shows

As always at, we’re never capable of compiling the definitive list of the greatest “whatever” of all time. This list is just a representation of my personal favorites. Feel free to post your own.

10. WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event (31 Episodes, 1985-1992)
I have great memories of waking up on Sunday to watch last night’s action on tape.
Personal Favorite: Randy Savage
Standout Performer: Hulk Hogan
Favorite Episode: The Mega Powers Unite

9. Pee-Wee’s Playhouse (45 Episodes, 1986-1991)
My favorite Saturday morning show as a kid.
Personal Favorite: Billy Baloney
Standout Performer: Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Reubens)
Favorite Episode: “Christmas Show”

8. Entourage (88+ Episodes, 2004-2011)
The very definition of a “hip show” in the ’00s.
Personal Favorite: Johnny “Drama” Chase (Kevin Dillon)
Standout Performer: Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven)
Favorite Episode: “Lose Yourself”

7. The Simpsons (450+ Episodes, 1989-?)
It boggles my mind how they’ve managed to say so good for so long.
Personal Favorite: Homer Simpson
Standout Performer: Bart Simpson
Favorite Episode: “Homer at the Bat”

6. The Ultimate Fighter (120+ Episodes, 2005-?)
Each season is entertaining in its own right, but Season 10 is probably the funniest.
Personal Favorite: Rampage Jackson
Standout Performer: Dana White
Favorite Episode: “Gave a Hundred”

5. Dream On (118 Episodes, 1990-1996)
Lovable characters. Brilliant writing. Beautiful women. What’s not to like?
Personal Favorite: Martin Tupper (Brian Benben)
Standout Performer: Judith Tupper Stone (Wendie Malick)
Favorite Episode: “Angst for the Memories”

4. Da Ali G Show (12 Episodes, 2003-2004)
It’s not for everybody, but it makes me laugh harder than any other show.
Personal Favorite: Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen)
Standout Performer: Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen)
Favorite Episode: “Belief”

3. Curb Your Enthusiasm (70+ Episodes, 2000-2o11)
Every season is phenomenal.
Personal Favorite: Susie Greene (Susie Essman)
Standout Performer: Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin)
Favorite Episode: “Shaq”

2. The Larry Sanders Show (89 Episodes, 1992-1998)
Top-notch casting and acting for what is probably the smartest show ever written.
Personal Favorite: Hank Kingsley (Jeffrey Tambor)
Standout Performer: Artie (Rip Torn)
Favorite Episode: “The Mr. Sharon Stone Show”

1. The Honeymooners (39 Episodes, 1955-1956)
I’ve watched all of the Classic 39 multiple times, and they never get old!
Personal Favorite: Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason)
Standout Performer: Ed Norton (Art Carney)
Favorite Episode: “Chef of the Future”

Favorite Underappreciated Fictional Characters – Waldo Geraldo Faldo

Welcome to another edition of “Favorite Underappreciated Fictional Characters.” In this series, Kev and I will discuss fictional characters we loved in the 80s and 90s who, for whatever reason, didn’t get the cred they deserved for being awesome. Sometimes they were too obscure for the public eye, sometimes they were simply overshadowed by a fellow character, etc. Here at, we are happy and proud to give them the praise they deserve. This week, we have…

waldo faldo

“Hey, whatcha gonna do, Willie?

Family Matters (otherwise known as “The Urkel Show”) was extremely popular in the early-to-mid 1990s. Though Karl Winslow and Steve Urkel carried the load in terms of outrageous overacting, and over-the-top physical comedy, Waldo Faldo brought his own unique brand of humor. Much like Urkel, Waldo initially was a very small bit part. However, he played the role so well that Waldo became a recurring character. Originally, he was simply a dopey follower of the school bully. Ultimately, he became one of Eddie’s closest pals, and he even hooked up with Maxine (Laura’s hot friend). On his first date with Maxine, they went to see “Malcolm X,” which Waldo referred to as “Malcolm 10.” He also believed that Canada was pronounced Kenyada.

The following is a list of interesting facts about the Waldo Family Tree:

  • his father is a stewardess
  • his sister, named Quesadilla, was born at a Taco Bell restaurant and her parents – in typical Faldo fashion – decided that a second possibility for a name, Burrito Grande, was not a good choice
  • his brother is named Ronaldo Geraldo Faldo
  • his Uncle Jalapeno has two sons named Nacho and Gary; When Waldo was asked about Gary (due to his “normal” name), Waldo replied, “He’s a bit of an oddball”
  • his other cousins are named named Bobbalobbadingdong, Reynaldo, and Doofus

Waldo Geraldo Faldo, I salute you.

Special Thanks to for the Faldo Family Tree details

Ham City Kev’s 2010 MLB Post-Season predictions

Hello again everybody. It was a short summer and the Mets did practically nothing to make mine exciting. Speaking of baseball, here it is: my predictions for this year’s post-season.

A few thoughts first…

  • There are no locks for anything this year. I’d say the Braves and the Reds have no chance, but baseball has a funny way of seeing inferior teams get hot in October and becoming unbeatable. Therefore, no guarantees.
  • Nice to see every team in the playoffs have at least 90 wins. It’s the first time we’ve had it since 2004.
  • The Phillies certainly look unstoppable, but to win 3 pennants in a row might just be too much. Funny thing is, Gord and I have seen the pennant three-peat happen twice in our lives: the Athletics in 88, 89, and 90; and the Yankees in 98, 99, and 00 (and later 01, but nevermind that now). Could the Phillies make it 08, 09, 10? Is this really something that now happens exactly once every ten years?
  • MAN I hope we get to see November baseball in Minnesota! Where would Bud Selig watch from, the 32-degree front row or a heated luxury suite in the magnificent new Target Field–home to a team he wanted to contract 8 years ago? How about a Phillies/Twins Fall Classic? It could be the first time the temperature never rises above 50 in the Series! Hey Bud, thanks for letting TV dictate baseball’s schedule! Really, you’re doing an admirable job.
  • Last year I saw the Twins send off the Metrodome the right way, and this year I saw them do a perfect job with Target Field. Because these are 2 things the Mets simply couldn’t do, I adopted the Twins as my AL team out of admiration. So, sorry Twins fans, you’re doomed.

Anyway, onto the predictions:

Cincinatti Reds vs Philadelphia Phillies:
Reds finished 20-33 against winning teams and were only 34-34 outside the NL Central. Phillies have Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels. Sorry Cincy. Phillies in 3.

Atlanta Braves vs San Francisco Giants: Braves backed into the playoffs (an alarming trend amongst this year’s “elite”) and simply do not look like the same team they were throughout the summer. The Giants big 3 starters are second only to the Phillies. Giants in 3.

New York Yankees vs Minnesota Twins: Ugh… again? I’ll say that this is the best shot the Twins have ever had to beat the Yankees, and that Target Field could give them a huge boost, but it’s the fucking Yankees. Unfortunately, you just don’t bet against them. I’ve learned that lesson many times. And who cares if the Yankees are playing like garbage, so are the Twins! So were the Cards and Tigers in 2006 and the Yankees in fucking shithead 2000. It means nothing. Yankees in 4.

Texas Rangers vs Tampa Bay Rays: The Rangers are the only team in the AL that didn’t stumble to the finish, but their 44-43 record outside of the West is troubling. Still, in a short series I think they have a great chance at upsetting the Rays. This series above all other could go either way. I’ll go out on a limb and say Rangers in 4.

San Francisco Giants vs Philadelphia Phillies:
Pitching fans rejoice–until you remember that the Phils and their Fisher Price ballpark have home field advantage. The Giants starting 3 are fantastic, but I’ll give the Phils’ counterparts the edge due to their experience and ability to pitch well in Philly. Phillies in 5. Oh crap, I see where this is heading…

New York Yankees vs Texas Rangers: As if Twins fans won’t be suffering enough from another loss at the hands of the Yankees, here we go again with the Rangers. The big difference between now and 1996, 1998, and 1999 is that the Rangers finally have pitching, but don’t be shocked if the Yankees rotation miraculously falls in line here and balls start bouncing their way. Yankees in 5.

New York Yankees vs Philadelphia Phillies:
AGAIN! Why not? The 2 most disgusting fan bases in baseball for America’s enjoyment. Met fans suffering through another 2 weeks of “who are you rooting for?” (I’m rooting for a stadium collapse, as usual). Me watching the whole series on mute because I can’t stand to hear either fanbase happy (also to save myself from Buck and McCarver, but that’s a given). One year later and the Phillies are a better team, the Yankees a worse one. For this prediction, I revert to history: The Yankees always win championships in bunches. Maybe this is an off year and they’ll pick up a pair in 2011 and 2012, but my gut tells me I’ll be suffering through another Yankees championship and another unfortunate incident of the Wild Card coming out on top. Shout all you want about Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels, but the Braves of the 90s proved that formula doesn’t always work. It would be FANTASTIC if–for the first time ever–the home team loses every World Series game, but I’ll say: Yankees in 6.

God dammit.

Hypotheticals for Money

During our hiatus, I felt like revisiting some classics from season one. This show really stands out as one of my favorites, so feel free to give it a listen if you haven’t already. How much would we pay to have the powers of Superman for a single night? Download and find out!

Summer Memories

It’s hot out there. So when you’re sick of going outside and actually doing things, hang out in the air conditioning and listen to our “Summertime” episode.

One Year Anniversary!

We’ve come a long way. After 52 weeks, has a nice little archive of 300 Bucks Damage podcasts for you to enjoy. Please feel free to subscribe and check out some of our previous shows.

Kev and I will be back in the next couple weeks with a video package highlighting our upcoming “SUMMER OF GEORGE” competition to kick off everybody’s favorite season.

We’re about to battle it out the following contests:

  • Frisbee Golf (Wii Sports Resort)
  • Blades of Steel (NES)
  • Bases Loaded (NES)
  • Tecmo Bowl (NES)
  • Arch Rivals (Arcade)
  • Tetris (Wii)
  • Pit Fighter (Arcade)
  • Connect Four
  • WWF No Mercy (N64)

Come back soon to see how we match up.

Thanks so much to everybody for your support in the last year!


Thank God For YouTube – ’80s HBO intro presents: Thank God For YouTube! Here we will showcase random, unrelated media that for whatever reason left an impact on us. In the best case scenario you will see something you haven’t seen in over 15 years yet remember like it was yesterday. Today we have…

Talk about epic.

If this didn’t get you pumped up to sit on your couch for 2 hours, nothing could. Movies felt like a much bigger deal with intros likes this. The other old school HBO intro brings back plenty of good memories as well, but those memories are more in the after-school variety, more dime-a-dozen. This 75-second intro was fucking special.

My biggest connection with this is probably Superman II, which my parents taped off HBO early on. The connection is certainly an easy one, what with the sequence ending in space and Superman II beginning in it.

For more on ’80s nostalgia and the Superman movies, stay tuned to the next 2 episodes of 300 Bucks Damage!

Thank God For YouTube – Warner Home Video presents: Thank God For YouTube! Here we will showcase random, unrelated media that for whatever reason left an impact on us. In the best case scenario you will see something you haven’t seen in over 15 years yet remember like it was yesterday. Today we have…

We all know this clip. We’ve seen it a million times on countless VHS tapes growing up. I’m just curious to see if everyone connects this intro with a specific movie.

For me, hands down, it’s Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. The first time I saw this clip it was before Pee Wee, and to my very young ears it seemed the cheezy intro music was specific to the movie because it sounded enough like the rest of Danny Elfman’s classic soundtrack. In the following year or two I would always be confused why different Warner Bros VHS tapes used “the Pee Wee music,” until I came to the conclusion that Warner Bros just really liked the Pee Wee “version” and decided to always use it, regardless of the movie.

Yeah, I came to a lot of dumb conclusions as a kid. Regardless, later in life I would always associate that intro with Pee Wee. Always. A while back, I was saddened to pop in the Pee Wee’s Big Adventure dvd and not see it. It’s just not the same.

(This may be a weak entry to the annals of “Thank God For YouTube,” but the fact alone that this clip lives on YouTube means I’m not unique in my nostalgia for it. If you also have a fond memory attached to it, please leave a comment and let us know. I’ll be back in a bit with more at-home movie nostalgia–only next time it’ll be much more epic.)

Ham City Kev’s 2009 Awards

A shitty year to end a shitty decade. 2010 ain’t looking up either. Oh well, here’s how 2009 was in my world:


Madison Square Garden
November 14.

2009 was a pretty fucking slow concert year for me: only 5 shows. The quantity was low, however the quality was pretty solid. The Virgo took me to see Nightwish at the Nokia Theater on May 2, which was cool. On August 26 we were at Terminal 5 for the “last ever” Nine Inch Nails show in New York. It was sadly (although not entirely unexpected) a lousy show, not helped in the least by the sweatbox, deathtrap, dogshit venue that is Terminal 5. Seeing the reformed Alice in Chains at Irving Plaza on September 8 runs a close second to the Metallica show. A few nights later marked my 12th Rasputina show (clip from different show), this time at the revamped Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. A solid venue, despite the annoying hipster-friendly area.

Then, finally, Metallica in November. It was only the second time I’ve seen them, the first being the St Anger (ugh) tour in 2004. On that night, I heard none of my beloved Kill ‘em All. On this night, despite the awesome setlist, still no Kill ‘em All for me–until they closed the show with Whiplash and Seek and Destroy. Fuck yeah! It was the icing on the cake. Hearing Turn the Page–a karaoke favorite of mine–was another huge treat.



Wow, what a total shit year for me musically. I’m not saying AIC’s comeback album is bad, it’s just not that special. And yet, who’s competing with them? Rammstein’s new album pretty much sucked, and Dethklok‘s sophomore release was pretty tired the first time I listened to it. Am I missing anyone else? Someone please tell me. Until I hear from you, Alice wins by default, which is fucking sad–both for the award and for the band.


They changed the original ending–one of my favorite endings of all time–and I still love this movie. That’s a tribute to director Zack Snyder for his painstaking efforts to keep this movie as close to the original 1986 comic mini-series (with the exception of the previously mentioned altered ending) as possible. And c’mon now, can you argue that this isn’t the coolest movie intro of all time? There’s just something about re-creating the Kennedy assassination, complete with splattered brains, that says, “buckle up folks, this movie’s going to be different.” You gotta love a movie that has balls like that.

As far as Watchmen’s competition at the box office this year, I can’t say I saw a lot of other movies. I missed out on big names like Transformers and Terminator due to complete lack of interest. Of the other nine 2009-released movies I saw this year, only 2 gave Watchmen a run for its money. Star Trek was fun, and JJ Abrams deserves a lot of credit for being able to drastically alter the Trek timeline while being absolutely respectful to the fanbase at the same time (and all the in-jokes that were cleverly sprinkled in for the fans were certainly appreciated). The Road was horribly depressing, and very very very well done. However, neither were anywhere near as fun to watch as Watchmen. I may not have seen every movie released in 2009, but I find it hard to believe there’s one better than this.

And for the record, Avatar sucked.



If you want to peruse a wide variety of foods or go on a baseball shopping spree, Citi Field is great. If you want to watch a baseball game, not so much.

We Met fans were told a lot of lies about Citi Field going into the season. We were told there were no obstructed views in the park, and there turned out to be blind spots everywhere–literally. We were told all areas of Citi Field would be accessible to fans, and yet everyone who tries to walk along the second level of seating without a ticket is not allowed access. We were told we’d be blown away, and… we weren’t.

But the lies weren’t the biggest problem. The most frustrating aspect of Citi Field is all the areas in which the Mets could have scored an easy “A” and yet failed miserably, namely: the total and complete lack of Mets history. The unfitting black-colored outfield walls, which were black because a more Met-like blue wall–we were told–wouldn’t work (really?). The total absence of posters, signage, or even blue and orange paint. The fact that it took hundreds of blog entries around the internet like this one to even get our playoff achievements displayed, and even that they fucked up at first. The same can be said about celebrating our former great players within the park, and when they finally listened to us we were supposed to be happy with hidden displays like this.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg. I’m not even going to get into head-scratcher shit like the stupid ugly tarps they threw above the bullpens because I’ve already gone on too long.

Bottom line: it doesn’t feel like home. Granted, a winning ballclub would go a long ways in that respect, and we’ve been made more promises about making it more Mets-centric in 2010, but this is a 2009 review–and in 2009, Citi-Field was nothing more than an over-priced, over-hyped ballpark the Mets seemed to be temporarily subletting until a new, more Met-centered home was built (or until the Dodgers came back from LA). That would explain why we weren’t allowed to paint or hang pictures, or why we didn’t bother unpacking any of the Mets-history stuff.


Sandusky, OH

As I said after I got back, if you’re a roller coaster fan and have toyed with planning a trip to The Roller Coaster Capital of the World: stop toying with it, just go. It’s more than worth it. Crackerman, Siamese Dream, the Virgo and I drove all the way from Queens to spend 2 full days there, and it wasn’t enough. For those who aren’t into roller coasters, you just don’t know. Cedar Point is Coaster Mecca. This is not an exaggeration.

Cedar Point is fucking magic. Where to begin? How about jolt we all got when we first laid eyes on it over the horizon and realized after years of dreaming, “holy shit, we’re actually here. We are actually fucking HERE.” Or maybe our first trip down Millennium Force‘s 300 foot drop at 90+ mph. Or later on during our first day when the bliss that is Maverick somehow bumped Great Adventure’s El Toro out of my Number One Coaster spot. Or the non-coaster thrill rides I wasn’t even considering when we planned the trip like Skyhawk and Power Tower. Or after a day filled with thrill rides and 15 roller coasters, a soothing walk through the stunning Starlight Experience to calm the adrenaline, followed by a dip in our hotel hot tub at 10pm, a walk along the Sandusky beach at 11pm, and frozen drinks until it’s time for bed, as we drift to sleep with the Millennium Force music still happily playing in our heads.

Cedar Point is the fucking best.

Six Flags Great Adventure, our home park, is certainly nothing to shake a stick at. It’s widely accepted as one of the premiere coaster parks in the world. And yet, Cedar Point blows it out of the water–not just for all the reasons listed above, but for what I believe is the most important intangible factor: the staff. It’s a weird thing to celebrate, but it’s deserved. Those kids are probably making nothing yet they couldn’t be happier to work there (it seemed that way anyways–and isn’t that all that counts?). They were having fun with eachother, having fun with the rides, and having fun with the guests. Fun was in the air, and it was intoxicating. You couldn’t help but be on top of the world. Sometimes literally.

Hands down, Win of the Year. Thanks again to Crackerman, Siamese Dream, and the Virgo for making it happen.

“All clear, you’re outta here… enjoy the rest of the day at Cedar Point, America’s Roller Coast. Ride on!”

Switch to our mobile site