February, 2021: 36 posts.
New Bot Day! Zambot 3! From 1977’s Super Machine Zambot 3 (無敵超人ザンボット3) piloted by aliens living on earth after escaping their destroyed planet. Director Yoshiyuki Tomino’s nickname was “Kill ‘Em All Tomino” because during the story several protagonists are killed. I dig Zambot’s design. 76-79 were great years for colorful bots!
Jesus Arthur Silva—“Art”—was born on this day 100 years ago, February 6, 1921. I remember visiting him at grocery stores in San Diego like Big Bear or Food Basket, where he got assigned to whip their produce departments into shape. I wish I could ask him about working in a town that went from 80 thousand people to over 2 million in his lifetime. I want to ask him if it’s true he sold tamales on the streets of downtown. I want to ask him what kept him going when times were hard, working multiple jobs. How did he and Nanie raise 7 great kids? I was 17 when he died. I don’t have a photograph of him working. I’ve drawn him how I imagine he would have looked. Sharp, kind, diligent. After he passed, my mother missed him terribly. A great man. 100 years ago today.
New Bot Day! Old B.O.B. appeared in Disney’s The Black Hole (1979). BOB stands for BiO-sanitation Battalion. He’s old and cantankerous but tells the truth and is key to the story. Slim Pickens’ distinct voice perfectly establishes the character, as does the shabby design. I have great memories of this too-dark, unsettling, hard-to-recommend movie, but I love the bots!
New Bot Day! V.I.N.CENT is from The Black Hole (1979) and I’ve been seeking this fella to replace the toy I got at a Woolworth’s on Canal Street in New Orleans in 1981. I loved VINCENT for his earnestness and expressive design. Also I wanted to be able to retract my eyes into my shell to protect myself. “Vital Information Necessary CENTralized” is his terrible acronym but my nostalgia is activated when I look at him.
New Bot Day! Fugitoid was introduced in a 1985 black and white comic Mirage Studios. Fugitoid was a worker bot called Sal who is fused with scientist Dr. Honeycutt. I remember Fugitoid on the stands at Comic Gallery. I didn’t buy it. The comic lasted one issue, but the character was added to the iconic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe.
Happy Mardi Gras! Fat Tuesday precedes Ash Wednesday, we party before Lent, a time of solemnity. Part of being a kid who was moved around a lot is taking part in local traditions wherever I was—This was a King Cake I bought several weeks ago. And I got the baby with the first piece! Had that cake shipped all the way from Louisiana. Quite an indulgence. Worth it!
New Bot Day! Welcome Pocket Bot by Tomy from 1978! I think I got one as a stocking stuffer at Christmas. I acquired this one-and-three-quarter inches tall wind-up recently. It has a sharp design despite being a mass-market, cheap toy. A perfect small toy for a kid to bring along when they’re dragged along on parental errands. “Yes, you can bring a toy.”
Archiving text from their website for posterity.
After nearly 36 years in business as the one-stop-shop and online resource for high-tech professionals across nine states and 31 stores, Fry’s Electronics, Inc. (“Fry’s” or “Company”), has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Company will implement the shut down through an orderly wind down process that it believes will be in the best interests of the Company, its creditors, and other stakeholders.
The Company ceased regular operations and began the wind-down process on February 24, 2021. It is hoped that undertaking the wind-down through this orderly process will reduce costs, avoid additional liabilities, minimize the impact on our customers, vendors, landlords and associates, and maximize the value of the Company’s assets for its creditors and other stakeholders.
The Company is in the process of reaching out to its customers with repairs and consignment vendors to help them understand what this will mean for them and the proposed next steps.
If you have questions, please contact us using the following email addresses:
- For customers who have equipment currently being repaired, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, to arrange for return of your equipment.
- For customers with items needing repair under a Performance Service Contract, please call (800) 811-1745.
- For consignment vendors needing to pick up their consignment inventory at Fry’s locations, please email email@example.com.
Please understand if we are a bit slow to respond given the large volume of questions. The Company appreciates your patience and support through this process.
Fry’s meant a lot to me. I vividly remember my decision to buy DeBabelizer at the Manhattan Beach store (Hawaiian theme!). It was expensive. I’d read it was good. This was the era before “trials” of software. I’d look at it on the shelf and think, “do I need this?” and come back another day. This went on for months and I bit the bullet. And DeBabelizer was cool.
My last big experience there was helping a friend get a widescreen monitor – a floor model, cheap. Worked out great.
They were sort of famous for unhelpful sales staff, to some people. I always did research and came in with questions. And the sales people would help me clarify my needs. Sometimes they made a sale, sometimes not, but I felt like I could trust them.
Zip Drive? SCSI Cable? Thumb drive? Games? Soldering iron? Zip ties? Enclosures? Motherboards? Memory? Hard drives? SSD drives? Operating systems?
And books! Purchased more than a few O’Reilly books at Fry’s.
I bet the software makers who made Amazon and other online retail systems used Fry’s a lot when they were getting started. We built better fulfilment than was possible in retail.
And the Covid pandemic has certainly put even more stress.