K-Line trains

K-Line trains

K-Line was a manufacturer of O gauge electric trains and accessories from approximately 1980 to 2010. Its scrappy, value-oriented approach to the hobby endeared K-Line trains to many of its customers.

K-Line Electric Trains and Lionel tended to target one another in their advertisements. They referred to one another as “Brand K” and “Brand L.” In 2005, the rivalry turned to litigation, which eventually resulted in K-Line admitting wrongdoing, going out of business, and Lionel licensing and selling products under the K-Line name from 2006 to 2010.

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Commodore 64 vs Amiga

Commodore 64 vs Amiga

Looking at the Commodore 64 vs Amiga seems a little odd, at least to me. After all, the machines were never intended to be rivals. The Amiga was supposed to succeed the 64. Commodore bought Amiga because they couldn’t make a 64 successor on their own, so they intended for the Amiga to replace it. It didn’t fully succeed, and maybe that’s why the comparison is still interesting.

Looking back, the machines may seem similar today. But in 1985 they sure didn’t.

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Commodore financial history, 1978-1994

Commodore financial history, 1978-1994

Commodore’s rise and fall are legendary, at least to people like me who grew up using their computers. Putting numbers to that rise and fall was more difficult. I dug up the Commodore financial history from 1978-1994 to help quantify that spectacular rise and fall. Read more

My second 1935 Goudey: Grimes, Klein, and Cuyler

My second 1935 Goudey: Grimes, Klein, and Cuyler

Sometime around the sixth grade I realized that prices on modern cards were very volatile. If a star player had a bad month, his card prices were likely to suffer, while a good month or good season could send prices skyward. I have few regrets in life, but I do wish I’d sold or traded off my Jose Canseco rookie cards when their book value was $300. I could buy several today for $5 or $6 if I wanted more. (I’ll pass.)

That’s about what I paid for my second 1935 Goudey card, which featured not one but three Hall of Famers in Chicago Cubs uniforms: Burleigh Grimes, Chuck Klein, and Kiki Cuyler, along with Woody English. And when I bought that card in the late 1980s, I knew none of them were going to have a bad year the next year.

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What it was like owning a Commodore in the 1980s

Since questions occasionally come up, and I remember well what it was like owning a Commodore in the 1980s in the United States, I’ll share my recollections of it.

It was very different from computing today. It was still interesting, but it was different. Technology moved fast in the 1980s, so if you blinked, you missed stuff.

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How to treat nerve issues with vitamins

In church this morning, the woman sitting behind me told me she was having a nerve issue that was affecting her hearing. She was the second person this month to come to me with a nerve issue, so I wanted to relate how I treated my own nerve issues in the past (which saved me a surgery and saved my career).

First, a disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If any of this makes you nervous, talk this over with your doctor. At least in my town, there are a ton of people peddling snake-oil remedies at inflated prices and, essentially, practicing medicine without a license. Doctors go to school for seven years for a reason, so if you have an issue, talk to your doctor about it. Let the doctor know you want to try this out with vitamins too. Talk to your doctor and your pharmacist about any possible interactions between this and whatever other treatments you are doing. Interactions are unlikely, but they went to school for this stuff, so take their word for it over mine.

Are we good? Good. Let’s talk vitamins.

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Buying that Nook was more work than it needed to be

I drove to the Kmart the 90s forgot–on Manchester Avenue in St. Louis, if it matters–in search of a $70 Nook Simple Touch. I found it in the electronics section, in the very back of the store, in a glass case with a bunch of obsolete stuff. If you need VHS tapes, I know your place.

The price was wrong. That was a bad sign, but I waited until the clerk wasn’t busy.

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