I went dumpster diving today... okay, not in a dumpster but rather my storage bin here in Las Vegas. Half of the stuff in there is what I kept after moving out of my house before moving to San Diego and onto Australia about six years ago. The rest is the stuff I put in there after moving back from Australia.
There was one point, while climbing around in 400 degree heat at the very back of the "air cooled" storage bin, when a number boxes started to shift behind me, that I suddenly felt like I was going to pass out. I had a thought about how long it would take them to notice I was missing, find my dead and crushed body, and figure out how to get it out. Luckily, I had my 100 FL OZ, insulated, Rebel Convenience store cup full of diet Dr. Pepper within reach to provide some much need refreshment. That's right one HUNDRED fluid ounces!!! And it only costs me .99 cents to refill. Thats one dollar and seven cents if you include tax. Compare that to the cost of a normal, 12 fluid ounce, can of soda. To be fair it isn't quite as big as it looks; because, it has a very thick, foam insulated core. I can fill it in the morning and it still has ice left in it in the evening.
I was looking for some specific stuff, but also found some other cool stuff.
First up is a self-portrait that Neil Gaiman drew on the back of his name page at a 1993 (I think, though I might be off by a year either way) San Diego Comic-Con panel on Horror Fiction. During the panel another author started to drone on about some artsie-fartsie stuff and pretty much everybody else in the room started to nod off. I noticed that Neil had begun to doodle on the back of his name page; which was really just a folded piece of paper with his name printed on it so you knew who was who on the panel. After the panel was over the entire audience swarmed around him at the exit as he was leaving. I, however, went to see what he had been doodling and claimed this prize.
I also found some of my old Unicorn Software educational games. Pictured are "Animal Kingdom" (later renamed "Wonders of the Animal Kingdom"), "Kinderama" on the Amiga, and "MacRobots."I really only found the slipcover for "MacRobots." When I left Unicorn Software back in 1988 I wasn't allowed to take my copies of the games I had worked on so that is all I got. If I mess with the sidebar art anymore, I'll add these in along with "Adventures of Sinbad" and "Magical Myths" which I also have cover scans of. Though now that I look at them I see that they are photographs taken of the boxes lying on a table which puts them at odd angle.
I also found two other Unicorn related items. Both of these my Mother had been keeping. She gave them back to me just in time for me to bury them in storage with the rest of the junk I was keeping. The first thing pictured above is the Amiga advertisement on the inside back cover of the August 1987 Commodore magazine. That is the Amiga version of "Animal Kingdom" on the right-hand computer. The funny thing is, as I just took the magazine out of the scanner, I noticed the advertisement on the outside back cover is for the Amiga versions of SSI's "Phantasie III, The Wrath of Nikademus" and "Realms of Darkness." I'm not sure about Realms, but I know Westwood did the port of Wrath to the Amiga. It was an omen!
Then there is the Unicorn Software Educational Catalogue. It looked much better on the Amiga monitor I assure you. A lot better than you see it here where it is a picture (with flash) taken of the monitor, that was then printed out on the manual which then sat in a box for the last 20+ years only then to be rescanned into the computer. It is actually a fold out catalog and has two screen shots for each game. I'm looking at a few of them thinking, "Did I draw that... I think I drew that... Okay yeah, I remember drawing that!" The fox for Aesop's Fables looks especially good. If you look real closely at the bottom left of the cover, you can see some yellow pixels. That is where I signed my name, but it got cut off when they trimmed the picture to account for the curve of the monitor photo.
I also found my pillow which I am very happy about. It is one of those nice memory foam ones that is thicker along the top and bottom making it less likely that my arm will fall asleep if I rest it under the pillow while sleeping. Arm falling asleep is actually loss of blood circulation which isn't the same as me falling asleep. I probably didn't have to explain that, but the sentence felt odd.
My Vectrex video game console was in there too, but I figured it was safer to leave it there. Especially since I had booby-trapped it to kill off any other tomb raiders who dared disturb my "Temple of Junk!"
The two cartridges I have for the Vectrex, a 'mega' cartridge with every game officially published and the unreleased prototype cartridge of "Dark Tower" are buried in one of the other boxes that I brought back from Australia. I had accidentally had them in with my desk supplies and moved them downunder with me. I was always afraid I was going to loose them, but I distinctly remember putting them in a box when I packed up in Perth.
Bob Jones, one of the very talented artist I worked with at Auran, also had a Vectrex in Australia. He had actually bought his new back when he was a kid. Unfortunately, it no longer worked and he just had it sitting on his desk as a show piece.
I never had any of the color overlays as I bought my system used from a guy who's name I believe is Sean Kelly. He used to have a newsletter that he would publish with antique video games for sale. I also think he was one of the guys who founded the classic video game convention that they used(?) to host here in Las Vegas. I was able to find links to Sean's website but it appears the site is no longer there.
One thing I didn't find was my Westwood jacket. We all had letterman's jackets made with the year we started on the sleeve. I know I didn't take it with me to Australia, so I hope it is in there somewhere.