Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle

As a young 6 or 7 year-old, growing up in the ’70s, naturally I coveted one of these:

Had I been born a couple of years earlier, I’d have mastered pester-power by this time, but alas in my dotage, bar a brief glimpse of one in the primary school playground, I have never had a go on an Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle.

It was only after the death of the great man, but 3 weeks ago, that I learnt that this childhood toy idol of mine has in fact been remade in the past year or so. I’ve even been toying (no pun intended) with going after one, but is this really wise? Is it ever the same as you remember? Should the past stay in your memories?

Watching Richard Hammond’s documentary on the great man on BBC2 this evening answered all that. Evel was but a ghost of his former-self, even moreso now, but the glory lived on for him… in the past.

In reality, the recent trend for nostalgia TV had probably already sealed this for me with a plethora of I Heart 1970s-style TV shows. The reminiscences of such broadcasting luminaries as Paul Ross and Kate Thornton have long since planted strong and indelible memories of a toy that looked great on TV, but ultimately failed to deliver to thrills in real-life.

The poignant closing shot of Hammond sending his EKSC tumbling heroicly down a flight of steps closed that chapter for me. Evel Knievel was a hero in the ’70s, which is where he should remain.

December 23, 2007. About, Toys, TV. 1 comment.

Update

It seems the blogging world isn’t quite ready for GUIT70s&80s. There have “recently” been a whole bunch of updates written on such diverse topics as ’70s sci-fi and games consoles, killer school playgrounds, tits on telly, and Noel Edmonds. And also how I actually invented lolcats 30 years ago.

Unfortunately, since the blogs were also “written” 30 years ago, you might not have noticed them pop up..

There’s two different chronologies going on here – so maybe your have to think of it as being a bit like them adventure books that were briefly popular in the mid-’80s.

  • To run away, turn to page 123
  • To stand and fight go to page 87

That sort of thing..

Grrrr. I’d have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for that pesky internet.

December 18, 2007. About. 2 comments.

Christmas update

We got a Commodore 64 for christmas. They’ve only just come out, so they aren’t in the shops yet, but my dad’s mate Clive works for a company that writes programs, so he got us one of the first batch of 100 ever made. Serial number 000094, how cool is that?

The Box

Anyway, for some reason Commodore decided to cut corners and not create a new BASIC interpreter for the 64. Luckily that means most of games written for the PET will work on it, and my dad has one of them in work, so we’ve already got loads of games for it. And, because he’s brought the PET home from work a few times, I already know how to program it myself.

Commodore 64
This is Commodore BASIC. I know this!

Today I have mostly been learning to program sprites, but to be honest, the manual that comes with this thing is pretty rubbish.

I have also learnt to use POKE 53281 to change the screen color (sic) as frankly, blue on blue can be a little annoying. I learnt some new colours at the same time, e.g. “cyan”.

December 25, 1982. Computers, Technology. 1 comment.

Frightening little girls

This evening me and Gavin M snuck in through the back door of the Church Hall. It was Brownie night tonight, so we switched off the lights and made them all scream.

That was the funniest thing ever. I’m 13 years old now, but I tell you what, no matter how old I get, I’ll never get tired of making little girls scream in terror. Brilliant!

February 11, 1982. Naughty. Leave a comment.

Computer porn

This babe is pinned to my bedroom wall.

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Somehow I can’t see computers catching on as a means for looking at naked ladies.

January 29, 1982. Computers. Leave a comment.

Must-see TV

Just a heads-up for some good TV shows to watch if you want to see naked ladies.

Minder and The Sweeney are good for it, and certain Play For Todays.

They have occasional shower scenes in Tenko too, but frankly they can be a bit scabby (literally).

January 11, 1982. TV. Leave a comment.

Subbuteo stuff

Went on the annual Subbuteo pilgrimage to Martin’s today. It’s the best toy shop around, and they have a whole cabinet full of teams and spares and stuff. I always spend a whole wad of my christmas money on new stuff. I bought three new teams, which means I’ve got 12 in today now, although that includes the 3 basic ones (red white and blue) I got with my original set.

Let’s see, I’ve now got Liverpool (team no. 41 – I’ll probably still be able to remember the number well into the next millennium!), Man United, Man United away, the old England kit, the new England kit (!), Scotland, Ireland (Eire) and a few others.

Liverpool, England, Scotland, new England
Liverpool, England, Scotland, new England

Martin W has about 30 different teams now, but that includes stuff like Watford, Burnley and West Ham. That’s just excessive.

Looking at the new catalogue, I still want this, the World of Sport Edition. The holy grail of Subbuteo sets, if you will:

World of wow!

World of wow!It’s got football and cricket and rugby all in one giant box (see right), and includes 4 floodlights! If you look carefully at the trays, you can see that it’s actually the same stuff you get in the top sets for the individual sports. I don’t know anybody who has it, though. It’s about £80. You’d have to be a millionnaire to own it!

December 30, 1981. Toys. Leave a comment.

Blake’s 7 season finale

Oh. My. God.

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!

Did you see last night’s Blake’s 7? Blake came back, and Tarrant crashed Scorpio, but then it turned out that Blake was now a baddy, and everybody got killed.

We witnessed iconic television last night. Unforgettable. YMMV.

December 22, 1981. TV. Leave a comment.

Rubik’s Cube Championships!

Today I took part in the regional heat of the UK Rubik’s Cube Championship.

They had a load of jumbled-up cubes in a bag, and each person in turn chose one at random. You got 15 seconds to look at it, then to start you placed it on a timer. As soon as you picked it up the clock started, and when you put the solved cube back on the timer, it showed you your time.

I did it in 53 seconds, which wasn’t nearly good enough to win, but it was good fun amyway.

Yay for Rubik Cubes

I don’t think I’ll tell everybody at school about it. Just the brainy ones.

November 2, 1981. Toys. Leave a comment.

Tamiya!

Tamiya remote control cars are awesome. These are the two main ones:

Holiday Buggy  Sand Scorcher

Jonathan B has the Holiday Buggy, but the Sand Scorcher is better as it can go underwater and everything. Jason M has one of those. Obviously.

September 11, 1981. Toys. Leave a comment.

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