Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Old Movie

Yesterday, I was watching a VHS movie (Gasp! You mean you can still watch those?) with "The Boy". I love picking up movies at yard sales for 50 cents. This one was Disney's "Honey, I Blew Up The Kid." The third & final installment in the"Honey, I Shrunk The Kids" trilogy (I now have all three).

Before the movie started, there were some previews. One of the previews announced that it was coming in Spring of 1992.

When "The Boy" heard that, he exclaimed, "Man, This must be an old movie!"

I guess when you are nine, 1992 was a long time ago. When you are almost 47, not so much.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Everything Is Going To Touch Screens

We use touch screens at work to record our time. Many phones have gone to touch screens. The polls in our city have touch screens.Some people LOVE them. other people, not so much.

Celebrity Pictures - Touch Screen Haters Club

Edward Scisorhands, Freddie Kruger & Wolverine think they are difficult to use. They have a point.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Flashback Friday # 106

Graduation from Basics

Hi. It's good to see you again (or for the first time, if that may be the case).

Today's post cover an exciting time in my brother's life. We got a letter from him in which he gave us the graduation date of his basic training exercises at Fort Leonard Wood. As the time approached, we packed up the car and made the 10 hour drive to Missouri. I had never been to Missouri before. The only states I had ever been to were Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia & Florida. I would get to go to Indiana, Illinois & Missouri on this trip.

When we got to Missouri, we got us a motel room and made our way onto the army base. I had never seen so many real tanks & cannons before in my life. These were all decommissioned, and set around the base like so much landscaping, but to a young teen, they were simply awesome.

We didn't get to see Gattabout before the commencement exercise. Since the forecast called for rain, they were held inside. We got to sit in the nosebleed section of the risers.

Each platoon marched in lead by their drill instructor. We scanned each soldier in each line to see if we could see which one was him. Finally, we spotted him, or were relatively certain it was him.

At the end, we finally got to see him. His long red hair had been close cropped.His wire framed glasses were replaced with black framed, "Clark Kent" specials. His military ID was even funnier. It was taken immediately after he was shorn. He looked completely bald in the picture. If we didn't know him by face only, we would have missed him.

He gave me the medal the was awarded on the rifle & grenade range. It's the one in the middle with the bars hanging from it that say "RIFLE" and "GRENADE". (He gave me all the others pictured here, but at different times)

He then treated us to lunch. All the family members who came for graduation were invited to dine in the mess hall. As you walked down the line, you had to specifically say the individual food item you wanted, or it wasn't put on your tray (IE: Meat. Potatoes. Gravy. Peas. Bread. etc.). I discovered that the kool-aid the served there was really, really sweet. Maybe that's what it tasted like if you followed the mixing directions. We had a scoop in the sugar canister, and Mom always told us just to put one scoop in.

As we were eating, Gattabout dropped a bombshell us. He told us of his intentions after basics. He was planning to go to jump school to become a paratrooper. "Jump out of a perfectly good plane?" exclaimed Mom, "Are you nuts?" He said that of the options available to him, this had the most potential. The one drawback was you had to be a high school graduate, or completed your GED to finish jump school. He told Mom that he was going back to school and getting his GED. She absolutely beamed.

That short period of time that he had been gone had made him grow up a lot. Who knew, perhaps the Army could make something good out of him?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Good Looking Brother

The other day at our local "Eat-til-you-explode" buffet, we sat in the section that was being manned by my brother's favorite server. He probably has frequent diner points at this particular resturant. When you server knows you by name, only because you eat there, not because they know you outside of work, you eat there alot.

She made the connection, by talking to my wife, that I was my brother's brother. I, in jest, replied "I'm the good looking one". She thought for a moment, and agreed.

I couldn't let this go by. Immediatly I whipped out my phone and sent a text to my brother. People make fun of the way I text. I am a text affictionado compared to my brother. To be nice to him, and so he would understand what I was writing, I spelled everything out AND used proper puncuation (shocking, isn't it?). This is what I sent him: I have it on good authotity that I am the good looking brother. Your favorite waitress at your favorite resturant told me so. Nyah nyah na nyah na. :-)>

His reply: She drinks a lot.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Flashback Friday # 105

And Now For Something Completely Different

Cheerio mates. Sit a bit and we'll peek back at the time where I first found the dry, twisted wit on the telly known as British comedy.

Last week I wrote of my acquisition of a black & white TV for my bedroom. This TV could tune in the PBS station from Columbus (WOSU), while the set in the living room couldn't. It was on this set that I watched my first TV show from Great Britain, and subsequently had my sense of humor warped a few more degrees.

It was Justa Crook who first mentioned them to me. He asked "You can get WOSU, can't you?" I said I could. "Have you ever watched Monty Python's Flying Circus before?" , he asked . I told him that I hadn't. "You'll really like it.", he said. I had seen the listing in the TV Guide, but I had thought nothing about it because I thought it had something to do with aerial stunt flying, or something. Boy, was I wrong. There was nobody named Monty Python on the show. It had nothing to do with flying. It had nothing to do with a circus.

This was some of the zaniest, most unusual humor that I had ever seen. I was spellbound. I even set my cassette recorder (you remember cassettes, don't you?) next to the TV and recorded the programs to listen to them over & over. Some of them I listened to so many time, I could quote them verbatim (I can still quote some of them 30 some years later). Here are a few of my favorite sketches

Monty Python wasn't the only British TV show that WOSU offered. I also watched Ripping Yarns, Dave Allen at Large, Fawlty Towers, The Goodies and a host of others.

One evening, I was watching when I heard the stairs creak. Mom was venturing up the stairs to see what I was laughing about. She watched for about five minutes, and said "I don't see what's so funny about that. It looks stupid to me."With that, she plodded back down the stairs.

I eventually recorded very nearly every episode that WOSU aired. I later found two record albums containing the skits that I had heard and loved(You remember record albums, don't you?). One was straight from the TV broadcasts. The other was live from Lincoln Center. It was with the Lincoln Center album that I realized just how far the chaps had gone. A word of advice to any who wish to see more, stick with the old stuff that the BBC aired. Otherwise, you might be just as shocked as I was . "Right!I'm Warnin' Ya!"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Budding Musician

While cleaning up some stuff in the basement, I came across a favorite toddler toy of "The Boy" (he's nine now, egad, how time flies). I cleaned it up, put in fresh batteries & placed it in our downstairs toybox for "The Girl" (she's nearly 20 months). It didn't take long for her to discover it. Here's a video clip that Lady Nottaguy-TYG sent me:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Mumblings

I have been a bad boy and not posted much of anything or commented on your blogs.Shame on me! You don't realize how much that working one extra hour a day, then half a day Saturday can absolutely drain you after you've done it for several weeks in a row. I'm just plain whooped.

Between work & going down every night to work at the Sweetcorn Festival, I figured I put in approximately 80 hours.

Last week was a mere 48. The extra hours looks good on your paycheck though it leaves the brain a bit fuzzy.

We had a new hiree start work the other day. He work a shirt that said "Warning, I have placed myself in chains" on the first day. Seems to me to be a great way to endear your new bosses & supervisors.

We had a gal who was sent home for falling asleep on the job. One of her co-workers who was on vacation mentioned that she posted on Facebook after she was sent home. Too tired to work, but not too tired to surf the web? Hmm.

I would like to go down to my eldest daughter's new house this Saturday, but I've got the feeling that they will require us to come in for three hours on Saturday. Wouldn't that just wreck your Saturday morning?

I will be picking up "The Boy" from school every day the rest of the week. I have some work for him to do for me after he gets his homework done. Mean ol' Grampa! When he finishes the work, he get a new DS game we bought for him. Goody goody.

I love the weather this time of year, but it has one drawback. I always forget to bring my jacket home from work. Maybe tomorrow I will leave the one I wear in the truck and bring the other one home.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Flashback Friday # 104


A warm fuzzy welcome to those who take the few moments to read the drivel that I post.

It the last few posts, I've discussed the strategic take-over of my brother's bedroom after he enlisted in the Army. His room became my room and I took full advantage of the stuff he left behind. It is an object in which he did not have in his room that I write about today.

About the time my brother moved out, my aunt was moving back in with her mother (my paternal grandmother in Westerville). During this move, she had a small black & white TV that she no longer wanted. We didn't need it, but Dad brought it home for me to put in my room. My own TV!

It's surprising how many people have never watched black & white TV. They've seen old movies, but the concept of watching "Dancing With The Stars" or "American Idol" in anything but vibrant color is completely foreign to them. I used to laugh when watching NBC, and the peacock would come on. The announcer would say "And now, in living color" and the peacock would spread it's feathers, shown in vibrant shades of gray. I didn't care. Black & white was fine for me. It was mine. Mine. Mine.

When we got it upstairs, which was easy because it was smaller than your computer monitor, we set it on an old end table that I had salvaged. It was octagonal in shape with a door that opened beneath. Since we didn't have a set of rabbit ear antenna for it, we attached a coat hanger to the antennae and it got pretty good reception. In fact, it got better reception than the TV downstairs. My TV picked up PBS, where the one downstairs got only ABC, NBC & CBS. Maybe we should have put a coat hanger on it instead of the large, rotating antennae it had?

When Mom & Dad wanted to watch "Hee Haw" or some other show that posed for entertainment that a young teen has no interest in, I would venture upstairs to see if there was anything better on. I had no remote, no color, no antennae and no big picture, but I had TOTAL CONTROL of what was on. What teenager doesn't like total control over some part of their life?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beware When Being Philosophical

If you decide to let the world know that you have a bit of poetry or prose in your bones, it is wise to run it by a few people before you put it on your sign, as pictured below:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Flashback Friday # 103

The New Kids On The Block

Greeting to all who have stumbled upon my ramblings. In today's post I introduce you to some of my least favorite neighbors that I had while growing up. The Crook family.

As most of you know, I very seldom use any one's real name in this blog. This is no exception. Usually I will make a synonym that resembles the real name. This time I just used the adjective that describes them best.

You've heard of people having stick fingers? These kids whole bodies were sticky. If it was small enough to be palmed or stuck in a pocket, it was gone.

What's worse, I had an infatuation with the oldest Pershing girl who lived next door. When the Crooks moved in, she fell head over heels in love with Sneaky Crook, the second oldest. (there was also Justa Crook who was oldest, Rotten Little Crook, and the youngest Crummy Crook. All were boys with ages ranging from 14-6)

While Sir Gattabout was in basic training, Mom bought him some lighters and put them in a drawer in the kitchen. Shortly before he came home on leave, they were gone, and Justa had some exactly like the ones that came up missing. Coincidence?

Spare change that accumulated in cup & jars around the house disappeared. Small tools walked away. We had never had to lock our doors prior to that (my how times have changed). Dad told me to lock the door prior to going to school. We had a special hiding place for the key.

Guess who found the key? Dad went into town and bought new locks for the doors. He gave me a key to carry (my first). Even though we changed the lock & locked the doors, things still came up missing. I then heard through the grapevine that they had discovered Gattabout's route into the upstairs window. All the windows then got locks installed on them.

The big kicker was one Saturday I went outside and my bike was gone. The chain that held it was still there, but no bike. Mom's bike was gone too. As I went out to the street to see if I could see anyone riding them, around the corner came Sneaky & Rotten Little on our bikes. The pulled in the driveway and said they had hoped to get the bikes back before anyone noticed them missing. They had picked the padlock and took the bikes out for a joyride. I told them that under no circumstances were they to take the bikes without permission. They didn't see what I was so upset about.

You couldn't say anything to their parents because they both had the opinion that if you leave something so that someone else can take it, you're just out of luck. Dad said if he ever caught them in the house, he would call the sheriff and press charges to the full extent of he law.

Fortunately, they only lived next to us for two years.

Did you ever have any neigbors like this?