The Game of Potsy, and How Potsie Weber Got His Nickname

Once upon a time, during a episode of the 1970s detective series Kojak (affiliate links used in this post), we heard Telly Salavas, playing Lt. Theo Kojak, respond to another officer's urging to hurry up by saying something along the lines of, "What do you think I'm doing here, playing Potsy?"

And our mind immediately went to another 1970s television series, Happy Days, and the character played by Anson Williams. That character's name was Potsie Weber.

Did I just stumble across the genesis of Potsie Weber's nickname? Was he called "Potsie" because of a game named Potsy?

The answer, it turns out, is no. Which you might have guessed by the different spellings of Potsy and Potsie. But asking that question, and then seeking out the answer, did cause us to learn what the game Potsy is, and to learn why Potsie Weber was called "Potsie." So, thanks Kojak!

The Game Named Potsy

So what is the Potsy game? Basically, it's hopscotch. Just about every kid in America and many other places around the world has played hopscotch at some point. Potsy is what the game is called in New York City.

It is common for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to paint hopscotch grids onto park grounds. And that agency's website even includes an explainer on Potsy that states "Potsy is just New Yorker-speak for hopscotch."

The name of the game derives from the name of the object that is tossed into the squares of the hopscotch grid. That object, whatever its form might take, is known as the potsy. From the NYC Parks & Rec website:

"Potsy refers to the object used in the game. Traditionally, potsy is made from three safety pins clipped together, but one can always substitute a rock or a penny or a Parks pager. Now, for those of you that don’t know how to play Potsy, here are the ground rules: Toss potsy into the first box; jump with one foot at a time into every other numbered box until you get to the end (don’t touch the lines); when you get to the end, turn around and come back; on your way back, pick up potsy; throw potsy into the next box and start again."

And the Real Reason Potsie Weber Was Called 'Potsie'

Now let's turn to the Happy Days character of Potsie Weber. And let's be frank: Potsie is a dumb nickname. In the early episodes of Happy Days, it was clear that some of the other characters used "Potsie" more as an insult than as an affectionate nickname — Potsie had just a bit of a loser aura about the character in the early days of Happy Days.

But it was in one of those early season episodes that Potsie once explained how he got his nickname. In the sixth episode of Season 1, another character asked Weber how he got his nickname. And Weber replied:

"They call me Potsie because when I was a young boy I used to like to make things with clay, and one day my mother called me Potsie."
Well, OK then. Young Warren Weber liked to play with clay, and, presumably, was having some fun one day trying to make a clay pot. His mother teasingly called him "Potsie," and that became his nickname for all time.

It would have been better if Potsie had been named after Potsy, wouldn't it?

Remembering the James Garner-Mariette Hartley Polaroid Commercials

It was while watching an episode of The Rockford Files that we were reminded of the old television commercials for Polaroid. That's because this particular episode — Episode 1 of Season 6 — guest starred Mariette Hartley.

I assume the Rockford Files poobahs, including star James Garner, were hoping for a ratings boost. Because at that time (1979), Garner and Hartley were the stars of an ongoing TV advertising campaign by the Polaroid (affiliate links used in this post) camera company that was, quite possibly, more popular than The Rockford Files was.

It's funny (or is that weird?) to think that there are many people alive today who don't know Garner, Hartley or Polaroid. But in the late 1970s/early 1980s, when the commercials were running, they were extremely well-liked and very widely known and admired.

While Garner was, and had been for a while, a big star, and Hartley had acted on TV and in movies for a long time, one could argue that it was the Polaroid commercials that gave Hartley her widest recognition. The easygoing chemistry between the two commercial stars was so endearing and seemed so authentic that many television viewers became convinced they were married in real life. (They weren't.)

And so, as Season 6 of The Rockford Files began in 1979, it is easy to think that the show's creators and runners were hoping for a ratings boost by casting Hartley as the Episode 1 guest star. We don't know if the show actually got a boost, but it might surprise you to learn how badly the show needed a boost.

The Rockford Files, it turns out, was never a highly popular show during its initial run on television. It did manage to finish 12th overall in Season 1 (1974-75), a very good start. But it declined rapidly, falling to No. 32 at the end of its second season. It never made the Top 40 again, and by its final season was in the bottom third of the Nielson ratings.

The Polaroid that exists today is not the same company that James Garner and Mariette Harley were pitching for in those camera commercials. The original Polaroid company dates to 1937 and became famous as the makers of instant cameras using instant film. Snap a photo, out pops the film, wait a short time and the image appears before your eyes. Polaroids were very cool in the 1960s and 1970s, and the company stayed strong into the 1990s.

But the original Polaroid Corporation went bankrupt in 2001. A new company was formed and acquired the name, and it went bankrupt in 2008. Then another company acquired the name, and in 2017 the brand and its instant cameras were re-launched.

James Garner and Mariette Hartley were first paired for Polaroid commercials in 1977, and their spots were an immediate hit with viewers, which means they were a hit for the company. The pair continued doing the spots into the mid-1980s.

Here is James Garner many years later speaking briefly about the ads:

Garner and Hartley made a lot of Polaroid commercials, and you can find many more of them on Youtube. If you want to see what products today's Polaroid company makes, check 'em out on

Edge Brownie Pan from Baker's Edge: Does It Work?

A company named Baker's Edge makes a product called the Edge Brownie Pan (affiliate links used in this post). What is the promise? That it will make brownies even better than brownies already are by creating even more edge. Who doesn't love the chewy edges of the corner brownies that come out of the four corners of a traditional pan? Those corner pieces have two chewy edges. Brownies cut from along one side of a traditional baking dish have one chewy edge. Brownies that are cut from the center have no chewy edges. The Edge Brownie Pan by Baker's Edge solves that "problem" with its three interior walls, guaranteeing that each brownie you cut from this pan has at least two chewy edges.

The video above is an explainer from the Baker's Edge company about why they developed the pan. (They also make a pan that creates those chewier, cripy edges on lasagna, and their lasagna edge pan is featured in the above video, too.)

The company first came to prominence when the founders made a pitch on the television show Shark Tank. You can watch their Shark Tank appearance here:

But does the Edge Brownie Pan work? Does it really create those chewy edges, and do the brownies bake up as well as they do in regular baking pans? The consensus is ... yes. The website Buzzfeed included the Baker's Edge Brownie Pan in its article about "23 as-seen-on-TV" products that actually work. The website also raves:

"This is a game-changing kitchen gadget for those chewy edge lovers. The interior walls will improve the baking performance of your brownie mix by circulating heat to the middle of the aluminum pan. This is easier than baking with a silicone mold! I think you'll have your best brownies yet with a nonstick edge brownie pan!"
What about Amazon users? As of this writing, the Edge Brownie Pan has nearly 4,000 reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.8. A whopping 87-percent of those reviews are 5-star.

We can't wait to give this product a try ourselves. If you'd like to check one out, take a look at the price on

What Does 'IKEA' Mean?

IKEA is the most-famous furniture brand in the world, and the largest furniture retailer in the world. But do you know what the word "IKEA" means?

IKEA is a company that was born in Sweden, so is IKEA a Swedish word? No. Does IKEA stand for something — are the letters in IKEA initials? Yes, that's the ticket.

"IKEA" is an acronym. The "I" and the "K" are the initials of the company's founder. The "A" comes from the village nearest the family farm where he was born, and the "E" stands for the name of that farm.

The founder of IKEA was Ingvar Kamprad, who was only 17 years old when he started the company in 1943. He was born on his family's farm, which was named Elmtaryd. And Elmtaryd was located close to the village of Agunnaryd in Sweden.

So there you go, IKEA:


Check IKEA prices on

(Affiliate links used in this post.)