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Frequency 13

Frequency 13

By Jason Plett
Frequency 13 a magical part of the invisible spectrum where the 70s and 80s come alive. The show explores Generation X's collective memories. We lived during the peak of Television popularity, the beginning of the personal computer and video game era. We had it all, and we, the great citizens of Generation X, have chosen a more measured response to the world. Join me as I explore the toys, food, television, games, events that collectively is our popular culture. Come on in; it'll be fun!
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EP 002 Why are we here? oh and Stompers! (NO TikTok for me)

Frequency 13

EP 029 Football, Electronic Games, Coleco, Mattel, Fisher Space Pens Space Pens, and much more!
Space Pens and Electronic Football have to have something in common, well not directly, but the miniaturization of things going into space was certainly driving innovation in electronics and other stuff in the 1970s and 1980s.  This episode looks at the earliest of handheld video games, Fisher Space Pens, and even a refreshing Slice with 10% real juice. Facebook Page Frequency 13 Group on Facebook  Twitter @frequency13pod Blog -  Email:
January 14, 2021
EP 028 Happy New Year, 80s Fitness Fads, Miniaturization from the Space Race, and much more!
Happy New Year! Xers, maybe I didn't party like it's 1999, (I hope you did!) But I was able to put together a great show for you. We hear about my resolutions, and why you should set some resolutions for 2021. You'll be sparked to life by memories of 1980s fitness fads. My Iphone has replaced and improved so many things that I can't begin to count but one of those things specifically was a glimpse into the future in the 1980s and frankly still seems futuristic today, I can't wait to share it. Facebook Page Frequency 13 Group on Facebook Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email:
January 1, 2021
EP 027 Kodak, Polaroid, Hotwheels, Radio Shack, Magic, Tina's Burritos and more!
This is the year-end holiday episode and the season closer.  Frequency 13 will be back to ring in the New Year in 2021 with some format tweaks and new segments.  Tonight we get into the memory wars of the 1980s Kodak vs. Polaroid.  Different, but both formats were essential to our holidays, so what happened? Tune in to find out.  Also, I finally get around to talking Hotwheels.  Before you start playing this episode, I recommend you make sure you have a handful of Tina's frozen Burritos ready to go.  I dare say they were way better than the crappy hot pockets our kids had to suffer through!  An 80s holiday episode would not be complete without a frank and relevant discussion of Radio Shack, the little shop that couldn't make it over the hill, but one we loved dearly in the 80s. Have a wonderful holiday season and we will see you next year!!! Facebook Page Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email:
December 14, 2020
EP 026 The JC Penney Wish Book, Simpsons Trivia, Disc Cameras by Kodak and much More!
JC Penney wasn't the first to the game with a Wish Book, but they were my favorite!  There are so many places to find scans of the original JC Penney Wish Books so I know there are a lot of us that love them. Disc Cameras were introduced by Kodak in 1982.  They were innovators, and I liken them to the Apple of the day (Yes I am aware that Apple was around back then, but they weren't the innovators then that Kodak was)  So why did the photos not have the quality that would have made the amazing little disc camera work?? Listen to find out! Catalogs Galore - Disc Camera History Facebook Page Frequency 13 Group on Facebook Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email:
November 5, 2020
EP 025 Adventure at the Public Library, The death of Tab Diet Cola, Favorite Halloween Candy, a new sponsor and so much more!
This week we take a deep dive in to the Public Library.  The library was the Internet of our youth.  A window to the world, where we could get lost in the stacks, and the best part it was/is free to all.  Like a bicycle it provided liberation and a chance to form our own opinions and views of the world around us.  And if you were like me a chance to practice your spycraft!   We wax nostalgic on this show, it is what it is about of course, and I hope you had a great library experience, some of us are in love with the library for very unique reasons, it was my window into a world that was yet to be explored a world that existed outside of our little valley.  Like television, but it was on demand, I didn't have to wait for a documentary to show up on television, I could find what I wanted to learn today.  There at the library my love of learning was sparked, and the flame still burns today. So which Halloween Candy was you favorite, no cheating, it has to be something you would cherish in your pillowcase full of goodies, what was the one candy that you would do your best to hoard away but the truth was that it was gone by November 1s, only to be left with Sweet Tarts and gum.   Post a note on Facebook, or send an email and let me know. Facebook Page Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email:
October 26, 2020
EP 024 Halloween Costumes, Burnin' Key Cars, Friday Night at the Movies and much more!
The Frequency 13 Halloween Spooktackular!  Yeah that's cheezy even for us!    What did didn't love the burnin Key Cars?  They really were fast and a thing of beauty!  Interesting story of how they ended up in the hands of Matchbox while we were racing them across the kitchen floor. Which of the Ben Cooper costumes did you wear? Head down below and click the link to our brand new facebook group and tell us.  If you don't know who Ben Cooper was don't worry neither did I, but now I know more then I realized was possible, and I'll share the highlights on this episode. Remember the Friday Night At the Movies, movie?  NBC ran it, all the networks actually did the same thing, but NBC started Monday Night at the Movies and by 1980 when they realized that Friday was the kiss of death for TV series they switched it to Friday.  Do you remember any of the featured films on Friday night?  I didn't, but I found one that is very fitting for the show,   Thank you for listening! ***NEW***Facebook Group  Facebook Page Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email:
October 15, 2020
EP 023 Space Shuttle Enterprise, Music Clubs, Tyco Slot Car Racing and much more!
The Space Shuttle Enterprise was not originally called Enterprise, find out what it was originally named, and why the President Ford changed the name to Enterprise. Can you imaging taping a penny to a piece of paper, licking stamps to make your music selection, then mailing the whole thing in and 6-8 weeks later you get a package full of your favorite cassettes?  Of course not, if a song takes more then a couple seconds to load we move on!  Not in the 80s we didn't we waited.  Interestingly there was not a "loading problem" during our time things happened instantly,  Even though we were waiting for our show or song to come on the radio while we put up with commercials, we still could at least know our device was working, and didn't have to figure out if the "wifi was down" or better yet "wtf is wrong with the Wifi??" Finally racing at 800 scale miles per hour was a perfect stuck in the house activity and if you had a couple friends over it could be very competitive.  If you had a dad that was a hobbyist your house was the place to go for scale racing action. Facebook Page Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email:
October 3, 2020
EP 022 Microwave Popcorn, Orville Redenbacher, Star Trek TOS and much more!
Microwave Popcorn owes it's success to both Percy Spencer who filed a patent in 1949, and to the folksy marketing genius of Orville Redenbacher You can still get a West Bend Stir Crazy on Amazon for $24.99, so even though when Debra Kumm from West Bend said ''Microwave popcorn is a fad" she was very wrong and underestimated the power of convenience.  However, it didn't put popcorn maker out of business there will always be holdouts to the old technology. Facebook Page Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email:
September 18, 2020
EP 021 Atari Video Console System, Sacharin and TAB, IBM 1401 and Much More!
This week is almost a continuation of last weeks Pac Man Episode, we dive deeper into the Atari Video Console System. TaB was Coca Cola's first diet soft drink and it was a hit, until the Feds shut down the use of Sacharin in soft drinks, that move tainted TaB, luckily Aspartame in the form of NutraSweet came on the scene and Diet Coke was born. Facebook Page Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email:
September 10, 2020
EP 020 Pac Man, not Puck Man! Good Pocket Combs, Star Wars and tons more!
This week we look back at the most influential video game of our generation Pac Man. The fever that swept our generation at least in the US, where the song of the same name rocked the Billboard charts. The original name for Pac Man and why it was changed. Atari's Pac Man, hit or a flop? You decide. Atari deserves its own show; in the meantime, we will discuss the Pac Man home version and expectations vs. reality. Star Wars, the original movie, how it changed our world when it comes to film. As any generation Xer which pivotal film was released in their lifetime and 8 out of 10 will tell you Star Wars, the other 2 will place it in their top 5. If you still carry your amazingly perfect designed Good Unbreakable Pocket comb, you are genuinely not in the current century! I carried mine, and looking at the comb today, I realize what a perfect design. I would rank it right up there with the iPhone in terms of brilliant designs. Goody Hair Comb
September 3, 2020
EP 019 McDonalds Happy Meal Toys, Dee's Drive In, the venerable Rubik's Cube, and much more!
A deep dive into the McDonald's happy meal and how truly Generation X that thing is.  Even though some of us may have just missed the cutoff to enjoy one without feeling uncool! We will cover the genesis of the Happy Meal, and a little hint it was to better allow parents to feed their children at the restaurant. Ironically San Francisco, in 2010, banned the happy meal for a very similar reason, except they felt it did not correctly feed children. Rubik's Cube from 3d design model to 200 million sold in less than 10 years!  Invented in Budapest, and a fascinating story, that has was impactful across the spectrum of people that frankly has not since been rivaled.  (To include the iPod, but to be honest, the iPod would be a close second). Facebook Page Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email:
August 26, 2020
EP 018 Tootsie Pops, VHS and Betamax, Home Cinema, Blockbuster Video and more!
Tootsie Pop, How many licks does it take to get to the center?  Purdue University  bothered to figure it out and the answer may surprise you.  Generation X and Video Rentals go hand in hand.  Home Cinema changed our world and brought Hollywood into our homes.   When did it start and how did it impact our generation, listen and find out.   Renting movies at Blockbuster and how they had the chance to buy Netflix but passed, that's gotta hurt!   This Week Simpson Trivia: Season15 Epsiode 18 This episode called Catch Em If you can is very relatable to parents who need intimate time and find children destroy all measure of romance! This week's Simpsons Trivia Question: What was the name of the video rental store shown in Season 15 Episode 18??? Brewsters Kaleidoscopes is our newest sponsor. Facebook Page Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email:
August 16, 2020
EP 017 Spam, Hot Dogs, Mead Trapper Keeper, and much more
The original Trapper Keeper was not a fluke, it was carefully considered and developed and it was a winner.  Iconic to this day.  I had the original with a snap which is rare.  The times table was worth the price of admission! Spam was a product that is not too popular in most of the US today, and is considered a "poverty" food, but it wasn't always that way and still isn't in a good part of the world.  In Hawaii they serve it at McDonalds, and Burger King! Get your grill fired up because after talking hot dogs you will be craving a truly American food, the Weiner may be German, but a German immigrant made it American in St. Louis in 1880! Facebook Page Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email:
August 9, 2020
EP 016 Neowise 20, Land of the Lost the original great Sci-Fi version, Watermelon Seeds, and more!
This week we discuss the new comet that is visible with the naked eye Neowise 20.  Land of the Lost was a wonderful bit of science fiction that is overlooked by many because it is a children's program, but the sci-fi was solid and well written.  Great memories for me of the Slee-Staks, horrible creatures that also lived in my basement! Where did the seeds of the Watermelon go?  Did you worry about growing a watermelon plant in your stomach if you ate one? I know the answer, yes you did! With the loss of the horrible seeds that were admittedly fun to spit at your mates, we gained an easy to eat fruit and more fruit and less rhine. Thank the farmers for little miracles! Lastly Solar Powered Calculators, these things were cool because the sun was making them work and at a time when batteries were disposable and expensive the value proposition was insurmountable! Facebook Page Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email: Links: NEOWISE Simpsons Trivia Watermelon Seed Demise Land of the Lost
July 15, 2020
EP 015 Fireworks, Lagoon, and KFC, oh and Caps, yeah the red roll caps!
Fireworks were not legal in the Salt Lake City Valley, at least not the fun aerial or firecracker bottle rocket kind.  If you were fortunate enough to get your hands on them you were in heaven! Going to Lagoon as a kid was the highlight of my summer, and rightly so.  Between the 1921 Wooden Coaster that felt like it was going to collapse at any second, to the bumper cars, and fun house a kid was in heaven. KFC, and Utah?  Whats the catch?  Well, spoiler the first KFC franchise was in Salt Lake City so it ties in to large Utah families and for me Lagoon. Thanks for listenting!
July 4, 2020
EP 014 Tang, Orange Crush, Swatch Watch, Legos, not Blocko Land Bricks, and Gen-X by the numbers
Orange is the color of our generation.  Orange is the color of my youth, I don't know why, but Orange just feels right, maybe is was the smog of the still leaded gasoline, or the unique weather inversions that lead to pollution hanging in the valley filtering the earth brilliant white light into a lovely burnt orange, no one really knows, but there were two very important drinks that we grew up on that were colored an lovely artifical orange, ya know cause oranges! Swatch Watch in the 80s saved the Swiss Watch industry during the Quartz wars. Land of the Lost isn't as good as I remembered it, and my basement is way better then the Slee-Stack den!   IF you are on Facebook look up the show and join and like the page Frequency 13, would love to interact with you there,  The blog has the expanded show notes of this and other episodes.  I'm on Twitter @frequency13pod, or email me at
June 23, 2020
EP 013 Little League, Coleman Steel Coolers, Family Vacation and More!
This week we hear about Sasquatch clubbing me in the head during a recent backpacking trip.  When we look back the summer vacation several great memories appear.  The Coleman Steel Cooler is the penultimate symbol of the summer vacation for me. The summer vacation cooler wasn't complete without a sandwich wrapped in either wax paper, or a plastic sandwich bag.  Which did you have Wax or Plastic? Little League baseball is another summer must do for a young generation X child. I was not the best at bat kid, and I even had Johnny Bench's "Batter Up" batting trainer (Spoiler, the think sucked). The concession stand hasn't changed since we were kids, and nothing was better then a cold snow cone to ease the summer heat. Facebook Page Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email:
June 9, 2020
EP 012 Dragon X Launch, Whatchamacallit, Space Shuttle first launch, Last Day of School!
What a wild week at Frequency 13, we have a new sponsor, the Mustang Motel on Route 9, SpaceX, in partnership with NASA launched the Dragon Manned Space mission on May 30, 2020.  Thirty-nine years ago, NASA launched the first Space Shuttle, and for Generation X, it was a big deal!  Even MTV thought so, and they were the guidebook for cool at the time. In 1978 Hershey's introduced the Whatchamacallit. Do you have any idea how many names they had brainstormed before landing on Whatchamacallit?  Don't worry; you will, after this episode. What year was your favorite last day of school?  I'll share mine, hint: it wasn't 5th grade! Please don't blow up the planet!  We don't need Charlton Heston pounding sand in our future! Facebook Page Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email:
May 31, 2020
EP 011 Huffy Bicycles, The Pepsi Challenge, and Jeff Teel on Cycleblaze riding a single speed Huffy from 1977!
The Huffy Corporation, bicycles for the masses.  These are often our first bikes so let's take a deep dive into the companies history at least up until the early 1980s.  We will even get a chance to lust after the Huffy Pro Thunder and learn that the delicious Pepsi Light contains caffeine. Did the Pepsi Challenge Bottle Cap contest destroy Generation X?  Is that why we our generation is known for apathy? If you are going on a bike tour and think you need to prove something or spend a lot of money run over to and look for Jeff Teel.  Read his travel journal on the Montgomery Ward (Huffy) Single Speed and let me know if you still need that brand new $3,000.00 Surly, or Trek, or fill in the blank.  Jeff Teel is the penultimate eco warrior and never once calls attention to himself for his eco friendly ways. Facebook Page   Twitter @frequency13pod Blog - Email Saturday night live  History of Huffy - Jeff Teel Bicycle Journal - The Pepsi Challenge -
May 21, 2020
EP 010 Yo Ball, K-Tel's The Haircut Magician, Dolly Madison Bakery Zingers, The Zinger Zapper
Remember the oily chain on your bike?  Maybe you remember the rusty chain on your bicycle that broke and left you to walk it home.  It was worse than a flat tire!   I just gave myself a haircut, and it made me think of the old K-Tel Haircut Magician; it looked so handy and still does today.  If you have ever given yourself a haircut, you know what I'm talking 'bout. This week's Simpsons trivia gives us a sense of the entrepreneurial spirit of Homer J. Simpson when he goes into the grease business in Season 10, Episode 1.   The Yo Ball, the Glowing Yo Ball, was a must-have toy by Knots inc. in 1980.  If you ever tried to do tricks with a regular yoyo as a kid, the idea of a magical Yo Ball that would always come back really spoke your language.  Later they were sold as the YoYo Ball and were almost banned from the shelves after some unfortunate deaths attributed to them.  The best snack in the 1970s was the Zinger by Dolly Madison;  The company that sponsored the Peanuts cartoons that would come on in prime time.  The Zinger was the best, I preferred the chocolate version, but the golden cake version was good too.   Twitter @frequency13pod Email:
May 13, 2020
EP 009, The Colony, Twix, Raider, Mr. Microphone and Traxx!!!
Frequency 13 Podcast Episode 009.  This episode covers a recent sci-fi show called The Colony, which was a significant bit of sci-fi that ended too early because of budget issues.  We discuss the venerable Twix Candy Bar, and it's former name Raider Candy Bar, the tie into popular culture to include Seinfeld in the 90s.   Mr. Microphone, by Ronco, changed my life!  I was now able to create my radio show at home.  Like all things Ronco, I was disappointed!  We couldn't miss the misogyny of the time in the Mr. Microphone commercial and the parody on The Simpsons Season3 Ep 13.   Of course, the Spring trip to Kmart to pick up a pair of new Traxx to get you through the summer was always a treat, and if not, Kmart perhaps Payless Shoe Source for a pair of Pro-Wings.   Twitter: @Frequency13pod Facebook: Frequency 13 Email: Blog:
May 6, 2020
EP 008 Slurpees, Big Gulps, Pinewood Derby (not the rookie year), and more!
The neighborhood 7-eleven was the place to get out of a hot Utah sun for a few minutes, and after mowing lawns with your push mower, you could get a delicious Red Slurpee with the funny straw with the spoon on the bottom. Can you still get straws for your Slurpee? The 1979 Pinewood Derby was my rookie year; we don't talk about it, but 1980 was my year, and even with a bit of lead on my fingers and likely digested. It was a great derby, the kind of derby that legends are born. Twitter Facebook Frequency 13 Blog
April 29, 2020
EP 007 War of the Worlds, Sony Walkman, Silly Putty, Huffy and Trek Bikes from our Youth with special guest!
The new show on EPIX called War of the Worlds is a decent take on the old H.G. Wells classic, and worth a look for the Sci-Fi crowd. The Sony Walkman and the Japanese copy cats of the 80s were the iPod of today and changed the world for the better. Can you guess which cassette I wore out on my old Panasonic RX-1950? Don't worry; I tell all!  Special guest Austin Plett is on, and we compare and contrast our experiences as children on our bikes, and the importance of the bicycle as s mechanism of freedom.  Thanks for listening! EPIX War of the Worlds First Walkman $200, 1979   Panasonic RX-1950 1982 - $175 
April 23, 2020
EP 006 Emergency!, Adam 12, Hot Wheels, E.T., Scooby Doo, Space Dust Candy and more.
First and Foremost thanks to our sponsor Chesterfield Manufacturing, tell 'em Frequency 13 sent you.   This episode is going to be the best yet! You're gonna love it Emergency and Adam 12 The March of Dimes Walk-A-Thon The Hot wheels Cars required to enjoy television Space Dust Candy Scooby Doo scariest show on TV! To start us out I have a really special treat, but first a word from our sponsor Chesterfield Manufacturing Chesterfield is knocking it out of the park!  Alright turn up your Walkman, because Tonight here to talk about Rotten Tomatoes number one Sci Fi movie ever, ET, is my personal friend Billy Shear, who has a pulse on pop culture from the 1980s.  He has a degree in Journalism, travels the world, and loves to tell people he has a cat.  From the Mile Hi City the Host of the brilliant and amazing podcast Conversation Ex Nihilo– Billy tell us about the new Podcast before we get into some Serious E.T. banter KCPX Emergency! Adam 12 Scooby Doo Space Dust Frequency13.COM Twitter @frequency13pod Email:
April 17, 2020
EP 005 Pop-Tarts, Gayla Kites, Space Food Sticks, and so much more!
Get your Pop-Tarts ready; we have a lot to cover in this episode.  Lawrence Welk comes up, and the memory of the beautiful Larry Pino and his fantastic conservatories in Utah.  Space Food Sticks by Pilsbury invented under government contract.  Gayla Kite bat eyes aren't bloodshot; the red lines spell Gayla.  How high can you fly a Gayla Bat?  Simpson's trivia, and Tracer guns, and a few more stories from the lost generation, Gen-X. Larry Pino Pop-Tart Commercial Gayla Kite Blog Pillsbury Space Food Sticks Tracer Guns
April 10, 2020
EP 004 Evil Kneival Stunt Cycle, Little Professor Math Tutor, Super balls, Makeup Guns and much more
Jason spend time reminding you how cool the 70s were and why us Generation X types had the best toys of any generation.  He opens up about his inability to memorize the times table in 4th grade, and the gifted Little Professor Math tudor to get him through 5th grade with a mark on his permanent record.   This weeks trivia question is from "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" Season 10 EP2, this is the episode that Home realizes half his life is over and he hasn't accomplished anything!  (He had been in space at this point, but that was meaningless to Homer) Evil Kneival and what cool really meant to a 3rd grader, and the confusion between Mr. Evil K and the Fonz?   Super balls and the Valley Fair Mall, even discuss the Keyhole store. (The Keyhole is so esoteric that maybe 15 people in the world remember it!) Evil Knievel Super Ball Skyro Little Professor and the Data Man
April 4, 2020
EP 003 Nerf Footballs, Casio F-10, More Simpsons Trivia
Jason discusses some of the key points of the 70s.  A new Simpsons Trivia Question from Season 9 EP 6 (Ugh I misspoke in the episode)   Casio F-10 and Why David Hansen was the coolest kid in 5th grade, and Ryan from 6th grade with his f-85, It's cool Ryan I am pretty much over it. Lisa Body Shames Bart! My current Audible listen The Last Tribe, very timely and narrated by the great Scott Brick. Mrs. Gilchrest can suck an egg, Latchhook art is about freedom not following the suggested patern. Nerf Footballs and nerf in general Links: Nerf Football Casio Watch Full Scans Fred Cox  The Last Tribe by Brad Manuel Joe Zagorski 
April 1, 2020
EP 002 Why are we here? oh and Stompers! (NO TikTok for me)
This episode Jason talks about why we are together, what this conversation is and what it is not.  Gen X Unite!! Simpsons Trivia:  How many watts of power did Krusty the Clown broadcast with from the Civil Defense Shack in the episode: Sideshow Bob's Last Gleamings? TikTok - Ugly Policy, no really they have an Ugly policy Stomper Commercial Schaper Toys/Stompers
March 26, 2020
EP 001 Introduction and the world ending in 2012
Not a misprint!  Did the world end in 2012?  With Covid-19 and the ever evolving situation it might seem like it ending sooner than later.  However, there was/is a believe that 2012 would be the end of the world, and there is a new theory that it did end and we are in a alternate universe.   Nick Hinton (The 2012 End of World guy) @nickhintonn Stompers by Schaper 
March 20, 2020