A Musical Time Capsule

We’ve all had them. Purchases we’ve made a long time ago become some level of embarrassment today. It could be fashion from the 70’s (lots of non-matching plaid and shirts with wide collars), technology (Betamax will be the “next big thing”) or something else.

Nothing, however, matches the potential that music brings. You may have bought music at the height of the popularity only to have it mocked years later. Possibly it is still a guilty pleasure or maybe you’ve ridden the wave of popular opinion and your music tastes have changed.

The Ranting Wife purchased her current vehicle in 2005. It is a Toyota Sienna mini-van and has been an excellent vehicle. While it doesn’t get much of a daily workout (her commute is only a handful of miles), it is the workhorse for our long roadtrips. It has never really given us any issues and since it is long paid off, I hope it has a very long life ahead of it.

In 2005 the dominant accessory for a car stereo was a CD player. While starting to lose their appeal (can you say iPod???), they were still the dominant media and as car stereo technology tends to lag the bleeding edge, the ability to play MP3s was reserved for only higher cost car stereos. My wife’s van came with a CD player.

There was a music technology that was for most purposes dead in 2005, the cassette. As many of my generation had moved from albums to cassettes in our heydey of buying music (during our teens), my wife and I had a huge amount of music on cassette. By that time we had repurchased our favorites on CD and I had even moved most of my music catalog over to MP3, but we still kept those cassettes. My wife’s van, inexplicably came with a cassette player.

At some point, early on, a handful of cassettes made it into her van into a storage place in the center console and never made it out. Maybe they were played a few times, maybe not (I can’t remember), but there they sat for the next nine years.

As I am writing this, we are taking a family trip to go see some cousins in the state up north (as a Buckeye I am prevented from saying the state abbreviated by MI). My wife had recently cleaned out our CD collection but kept a few that she moved into her van. Being the nice passenger when she was at the wheel, I looked for a place to store them and came across this find straight out of the 1980’s and 90’s. Here is what I found:

  • Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell – I have to say that this was an early purchase to CD. The rock opera, at least to me, still holds up.
  • Billy Joel – Storm Front – Billy Joel was the songman of my generation. While this was not his best work, there are a few good songs on it. I bought it for “We Didn’t Start the Fire” but stayed for “And So It Goes”, “Leningrad” and “Downeaster Alexa”.
  • James Taylor – Greatest Hits – The songman of a generation older than mine, his songs were part of the soundtrack of my elementary school years. Good songs that you may not realize that you knew until they start playing.
  • Modern English – After the Snow – Um…um…This one hit wonder came through with “I Melt With You” but little else.
  • Rod Stewart – Downtown Train – Wow. Here is where the start of this post really comes to roost. Rod was an icon in the 1980s but I’m not sure has held up so well. He is the Perry Como or Wayne Newton for us in our 40’s.
  • Bette Midler – Beaches Soundtrack – Is this really my van? Let me check. Maybe Bette’s “Wind Beneath” her wings flew the cassette into the van.

With the bunch of CDs we’ve moved into the van (most are 10 years old already), it will be interesting to see what I think of them 10 years from now.

Photo Jan 22, 5 02 34 PM copy - Featured Size

This delicious and simple meal is one we often had when our kids were very young. While not healthy, it did get them to have a little more veggies and some tuna.

Photo Jan 22, 4 37 39 PM

So easy and inexpensive.

Photo Jan 22, 4 55 41 PM

Saute the celery, make the mac and cheese, open the tuna and mix together!

Photo Jan 22, 5 02 41 PM

An awesome dish!

Quick Tuna Mac and Cheese

1 box Kraft Mac and Cheese (and required milk and butter)

2 ribs celery (chopped)

2 Tbls butter (beyond what you need for the M&C)

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 can tuna (drained)


Make the Mac and cheese according to directions. While the noodles are boiling (or if you want to use only one pan, when they are done), melt the butter in the hot pan and sauté the celery until it is soft (about 4 minutes). Mix the tuna, mac and cheese, celery and parmesan. Serve.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Cheese3, kosher, Lunch3, Pasta, Recipes, Seafood

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

2 Comments on “A Musical Time Capsule”

  1. Lori M
    November 15, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    Still looking for a place to play my Barry Mamilow 8 track tapes.


  2. November 15, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Wow, what a music find! Sounds like mg old stash in the headboard. My first car in ’82, got a healthy upgrade with a combo 8 track/cassette player. I miss knowing when to flip the cassette….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: