Thursday, March 31, 2011

1-2 Punch

Yesterday, March 30, we got snow. I had no clue it was snowing until about 2 PM when I saw it through the dock door at work. The calendar says it's Spring. The Groundhog didn't see his shadow. Where is the 60 degree weather that was here just a few weeks ago? March certainly is going out like a lamb. White & fluffy. Then, coming home from work, I passed by a gas station and my eyes bugged out. $3.65 a gallon!!! It was $3.43 when I went to work. Go ahead, make my day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Milestone On Cheezburger

Last night, after I went to bed, I reach a cool milestone on the Cheezburger network. The pictures that I have captioned have now been placed in the favorites of 1000 different users. You can check out my stuff by clicking here.

Monday, March 28, 2011


We were in Toledo (home of the Mud Hens) Saturday for a Bible Quizzing tournament. At the end of said tournament, people always take pictures of the kids holding their awards. While the photography was going on, I spied a rather young member of the photo gallery. I am closer to 50 than I am to 10. This boy is closer to 5 than he is to 10 (he's six). This is him taking pictures with his Dad's Blackberry. I have never used a Blackberry. I don't ever remember even holding a Blackberry. There are some things on my phone that I still don't know about. I was amazed to see this six-year old working with complete ease. I found out from his dad that dad is the head of the AV Department in their church. He says kids are picking up on the electronic stuff faster and at an earlier age than ever before. I'll second that.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Flashback Friday #129

Bad Things Happen At The Skating Rink

Welcome one and all to another edition of Flashback Friday. In this post, you will see that I wasn't the brightest crayon in the box. A place that had nothing but bad memories for me created another that lasted a long time.

In Flashback Friday #31, I told you of hurting my ankle at the skating rink in the 5th grade. Near the end of my 8th grade year, I ventured again to the rink. I didn't skate any better than I did in the 5th grade. Luckily, I didn't fall down. However I did meet someone who cause many a mixed emotion for several years.

On this particular trip, I ran into Pauline Pershing (she of Flashback Friday #65, 97, 103, 109, 111, 116 & 127) She had come with several of her friends. One of her friends that she introduced me to was Kelly Stump. I think she did this to keep me occupied & away from her. Kelly was a year older than me, and was boy crazy to the max.

Kelly stuck to me like moss on a tree. She wasn't unattractive, but if she was any more forward she would have fallen on her face. And, of course, she wanted my phone number. And of course, I gave it to her.

Mistake. Mistake. Mistake. In those days before caller ID & answering machines, you were at the mercy of the caller if you answered. I was afraid that it was Mom & Dad, so I usually answered. I used the excuse that I had to keep things short since my parents worked out of town and may need to reach me.

She bugged me for some time to go with her. I held out for some time. Alas, all good things come to an end. I finally relented (but that is another post altogether). I never went back to that skating rink.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Papa's Amazing Electronics

I had been telling "The Boy" about comical band leader Spike Jones for some time. In doing so research for a school project about WWII, I found Spike's song "Der Fuhrers Face" on YouTube. He was totally tickled with it.

I told him that I a had a record album of Spike Jones. We listened to it the other day. After side 1 finished, he was amazed when the record player "magically" returned the needle arm to the side. He then said "That was great, I'm going upstairs to play". I asked, "Don't you want to finish it?" and flipped the album over to side 2. "That's cool!" he said, "It plays on BOTH sides?"

If I'm not wrong, that was his first experience with a record player. He was amazed with the total experience. Let's see you do that with an mp3 player.

Spike Jones' album "Dinner Music for people who aren't very hungry".

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Parking For Dummies

I made a stop at Largest-Retailer-In-The World-Mart to pick up an item for my MIL. As I was driving through the parking lot, a car caught my eye. I had to circle around for a better look. This car was parked in 4 parking places.

Being the nice guy that I am, I not only had to get a few pictures, but I just had to park right next to him. That's the shadow of my truck at the bottom right of the picture.

Here is a shot from the other side. You can see the close proximity of my truck to this car. I was in my yellow lines. I had no fear as I went inside. What would they do, scratch my truck? It's a real work truck, I wouldn't have noticed. When I finished shopping, the car was still there, so the owner had no clue that some redneck had parked their junky truck next to their baby. I took another shot, that my wonky phone has lost somewhere, that shows the front of the car. Maybe I can get an address from the plates, and send these pics to them?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Flashback Friday # 128

Comic Books

Welcome back one and all. In this edition of Flashback Friday we take a look into the majority of my literary conquests. Comic books. They were my companion throughout my life as a youngster. Today's "Graphic Novels" are nothing more than comic books with chapters.

I had three main places where I got said comics. If I bought them, it was normally from the general store a mile or so away or the grocery store in Marengo. Both of them sold comics in a three pack with no cover, or the top half of the cover missing for 50 cents a pack. I found out much later in life that books like that are reported returned and destroyed. Someone must have had a pipeline that funneled these to our area. My other source was my Uncle, who also liked to read comic books, but did not like to re-read them. When he stopped by, he would have a paper bag full of comics for me.

At that period in my life, It really didn't matter what the genre was. The only exception was "Mushy Love" comics. (They were like the romance novels, but with pictures) I really liked the war comics (Sgt. Rock, Sgt. Fury & the Howling Commandos). Super hero comics were big with me too. The Flash was my favorite super hero. I also had western comics (Jonah Hex, Rawhide Kid), and of course, comic comics (Archie, Richie Rich, Baby Huey). I even read the "scary comics" like "The Witching Hour" & "Grimm's Ghost Stories"(I don't think I could read stuff like that now). The "Illustrated Classic" comics was probably the peak of my literary reading. I read Huckleberry Finn, Ben Hur & The Time Machine that way. The teacher doesn't look too highly on a book report written on a comic book.

I never tired of reading them again. At one point, I had somewhere around 400-450. Needless to say, my reading of "real books" suffered. At one point, Mom signed up for a kids book club that sent a book a month. I got "Mouse & the Motorcycle, The Mysterious Bender Bones, Mrs. Pepperpot's Outing and many others. I don't think I read all of them. Many of the titles I read when my kids were little and brought them home from school.

I had comics at my house, and I also had a stack at my grandma's house in Westerville. She was so frustrated with me always reading comics, that she gave me a book and told me that she wanted me to read it. It was Living Free, the sequel to Born Free. I had the book in my possession for many years. I never read it.

Since I've been married, my wife has stretched the bounds of my literary realm.She got me hooked on Louis L'amour and I've read everything that he has written. The last comic book I remember reading was "The Death of Superman". My oldest daughter's boyfriend had the series (it lasted 5 comic books long). If I read comics now, it's from the newspaper.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Past...With a Price Tag Part2

I have a camera phone that likes to toy with me. i can think of at least three times off the top of my head that I went to look for a picture, and it wasn't there, only to show up where it wasn't a few weeks later (did you manage to hang on through all that?)

Anyway, when I first put this post up, several pictures were missing. They were there today when I went looking for a different picture. So, without further ado, here's the rest of the pictures I took in the antique store during our stay in Amish country.

This is the Hoppity Hop that I described, but couldn't find the picture of. My neighbor had one with a horse head on it. They also made them with a large ring to hold onto.
This is the spring horse I described. We played on these for hours. I think these & Hoppity Hops were deemed too unsafe for kids. They don't know what they're missing.
Who didn't have Dinky cars back then? I loved mine.
I had some tractors like these at my Grandma's house in Westerville. These are not the John Deere tractors that I wrote about in Flashback Friday #126.

G.I. Joe. I had a bunch of them. this was before they became the 5" "action figures". These were 12" tall (slightly taller than Barbie). I learned the hard way not to take them to school. The older kids called them dolls.
Finally we have the cartoon glasses. We must have had 25-30 of these. We got them at the Gold Circle store in Westerville (I can use the real name because they are defunct). If you bought a soft drink for 50 cents, you could get it in one of these glasses for an additional 50 cents. You can see the Speedy Gonzales glass behind Aquaman. He was my favorite.

Thanks for taking another stroll down memory lane with me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Welcome to March Madness

Let the madness begin. The college basketball tournament is exciting, even more so this year with The Ohio State Buckeyes are the #1 overall top seed. They repeated yesterday as winner of the Big Ten tournament by defeating Penn State. (photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Flashback Friday # 127

The Hornet's Nest

Greetings one & all. Welcome to another post that will leave you wondering how I survived my childhood. When I look back at the dangerous things I did as a kid, sometimes I wonder myself.

But survived I did (if not this would have been written by a ghostwriter). When you are a kid, seldom do you think of the ramifications of your actions. Something that seems perfectly logical to you, could scare the dickens out of a rational human being.

When I was 13 or 14, I remember a hornet's nest hanging from the eaves of the house that the Pershings used to live in. While watching it one day, along with two of the Crook boys (Sneaky & Rotten) I made mention that having a hornets nest around could be dangerous. Someone could get stung. Someone (I don't remember who) came up with the bright idea of knocking it down.

How do you knock down a hornet's nest without getting stung? If we used a stick, it would land at our feet. the hose didn't reach that far. How about throwing rocks at it. We would be far enough away to make a quick get away should we succeed.

We gathered a bucketful of rocks. We moved into position. We were about 30 feet away from the nest and it was about 8 feet up in the air. We made sure that there was nothing in the path to my front door which was about 20 feet from where we were.

We each grabbed a rock. We took careful aim. We all tossed. We all missed.

We then got the rocks and our nerves ready again. Again we took aim. Again we lobbed our projectiles. Wham, a direct hit. The nest fell from the eave where it hung.

A soon as I saw the rock hit, I shouted "RUN!!", and hightailed it toward my house. Sneaky wasn't far behind. Rotten, however waited until the nest hit the ground before he started running. He did make it into the house unscathed, but we asked him why he didn't take off when we did. "I just wanted to make sure it actually came down" was his reply. To that I say "DUH".

We watched out the window as the hornets swarmed around the fallen nest. it was quite a while before they left. I know I wasn't in any hurry to go over there and check things out. Sneaky & Rotten hung out at my house until their Mom called them to come home. The next day, we checked out the nest. I had never seen a hornet's nest that close before. I hope to never seen one that close again.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cool Trick From Your Workshop

I saw this video and thought it was pretty cool.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

81 years ago

I heard this on the radio this morning (I wasn't there to hear it firsthand). 81 years ago, Yankees GM Ed Wade signed Babe Ruth to a two year $160,000 contract. Said Wade, "This contract will never be topped." I hate to tell you, Mr. Wade, but that is less than the WORST player in Major League Baseball makes today.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Flashback Friday #126

The John Deere Tractors

Greetings one and all. Welcome to my acre of cyberspace.

When I was somewhat younger (somewhere around 35 years younger) I was riding my bike to the nearby General Store. As I was waiting to cross the State Route, I spied a sign that said "Yard Sale". I love yard sales, so I decided to forgo my trip to the store to venture a bit further to see if the would be anything to pique my interest.

When I got the, I found a cool board game that was within my budget. then I spotted something that froze me in my tracks. There were some cast metal John Deere tractors for sale. There were two tractors (one with a cab, one without), a wagon, a plow, a disc, and a combine. They wanted $20 for the lot. That wasn't in my price range.

I bought the game, and rode home on my bike. When I got home, Mom & Dad were already home from work. They asked where I had been. I told them of the yard sale, and showed them the game I purchased. I then told them about the tractors.

Mom said we could go back there and take a look at them. When we got back there, they still hadn't sold. Mom knew the folks, and offered them $15. They accepted, and I got to tote all that stuff to the car.

Those tractors saw many a dirt pile. They ran over many an army man. They even chased after Hot Wheels. Scale meant nothing to me. I got the $15 wear & tear out of those tractors.

I kept them for several years, until one year, we decided to have a yard sale of our own. Mom said that I got to keep the money from anything of mine that I put in it. I decided to put the tractors in, along with a couple of older bikes that I had.

Aunt Shelly stopped by, and she had some of her brood with her. The boys saw the bikes & the tractors and had to have them. Several of them pooled their money and paid what I asked for them. They left very happy. Neither the bikes or the tractors lasted there longer than a year.