pac man partyI love old/classic/retro video games. This can be attributed to my father. When I was little, he used to come home from the store with joystick retro video game consoles that had to be plugged into the front of the VCR for us to play. We also used to visit a restaurant in town once a week that had old pinball machines and other arcade games in the basement that we would play for hours on end. My favorite to play was Pac-Man. (Things got a little dicey when you added Ms. Pac-Man into the mix, as no one really wanted to be stuck playing as her…)

In 2010, as a celebration of 30 years of Pac-Man, Namco released Pac-Man Party and I was one of the many who purchased the game for the Wii. So did the Davenport Public Library! If you have grown nostalgic for the “Wakka Wakka Wakka” sound, check out Pac-Man Party. The whole game is set up as Pac-Man’s birthday party. In addition to offering the classic 1980s arcade games for Pac-Man, Dig-Dug, and Galaga, Pac-Man Party also strives to appeal to those not familiar with the classic Pac-Man game by including mini-games and challenges for up to four players. You won’t get bored playing Pac-Man Party as there are 45 mini-games available and three different modes accessible to play. So gather up your closest friends and family members and challenge them to see who can survive the longest as Pac-Man. Let the games begin!

soda fountainThe Soda Fountain is a collection of 70 recipes celebrating the history and stories of the classic American soda fountain from one of the most-celebrated revival soda fountains in the country, Brooklyn Farmacy.

Today’s soda fountain revival – not only in Brooklyn but in cities like Philadelphia and San Francisco – is remaking this quaint institution into a stylish and compelling food trend by recreating bygone treats like sodas, egg creams, and floats with local, seasonal, and artisanal ingredients. Combining delectable ice cream confections with natural sodas, syrups, tinctures, and phosphates, the recipes are both splendidly nostalgic (The Purple Cow, Cherry Lime Rickey) and charmingly innovative (The Sundae of Broken Dreams).

Featuring abundant photography of the recipes and Brooklyn Farmacy’s gorgeously restored interior, plus vintage illustrations and ads, this mouthwatering book proves that the soda fountain is a culinary and cultural institution worth championing. (description from publisher)

great balls of cheeseRemember the nut-covered, pink-colored cheese balls served at grandma’s house for the holidays? Well, these are not your grandma’s cheese balls. Find out just how different and inventive they can be in Great Balls of Cheese.

Updated for contemporary tastes, Michelle Buffardi’s cheese balls come in both savory and sweet flavors, like cheddar, blue cheese, and Buffalo wing sauce, or Bing cherry, rum, and pecan. And cheese balls are just part of the story. Many of the recipes are in adorable shapes for all kinds of occasions, such as an Easter egg, Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas ornament, or a football for a Super Bowl party. Other designs are just plain fun, like the Nacho Cat, a Wise and Cheesy Owl, or one that looks like a pizza fresh from the oven. There is so much interest in bringing old-fashioned foods back into style, and this is no exception.

Perfect for food lovers with crafty flair or anyone who loves to entertain, this book, with more than fifty inventive recipes and designs, is sure to be turned to again and again. (description from publisher)

According to one savvy reader of The Consumerist, if fellows crunch the numbers and start shaving old school, they can rack up quite a savings.  Hundreds of dollars a year, in fact.  Many guys marvel at the appalling cost of cartridges that seem calculatingly designed for planned obsolescence.

There are hobbyist sites devoted to the discussion and manufacture of retro hardware, soaps, and brushes.

So in addition to the financial savings, you get to join the fraternity of every guy you’ve seen in a Western, war movie, or Mad Men’s Don Draper.

I’m interested in both factors, but think I may go through more than $160 a year in bandaids.