Friday, October 28, 2011

One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure

Thursday night as we were coming home, we spotted something sitting out waiting to be hauled away in the trash. I got into my truck and drove drown the street. I tossed it and it's companion into the bed of my truck. What may this item be?

Yes, It was a rocking horse. It was manufactured by Today's Kids (who are no longer in business). It needs some replacement parts, but they have already been purchased online (Radio Flyer makes a similar horse that has compatible parts).

"The Girl" has had a great time with it.

It even became a tent when "the horsie got tired". We knew she was tired when she said "My get up is gone". LOL

The other item that I picked up with it was a Little Tykes car. That is outside, and will stay out there. When you've got grand kids, you just can't pass a deal like that up. Who doesn't like free?

Flashback Friday # 160

Memories of Halloweens Past

Welcome one & all. I'm so glad you could stop by long enough to hop back into the past with me. Sorry my regular "Flashback Friday" picture is missing. Blogger was having issues when I wrote this.

When I look at Halloween today, I see an over commercialized holiday where the grown ups like to play dress up more than the kids do. It has become a multi-billion dollar industry. It wasn't like that so much when I was a kid. Here are some of the things I remember.

There was nothing like getting a home-made popcorn ball when you were trick-or-treating. Mom made some of the best I've ever tasted. She would also color them various colors to enhance their appearance. These were made with popcorn, Karo syrup, food coloring and some magic ingredients. They were formed by hand and wrapped in plastic wrap. Nothing pre-packaged about them.

Apples also found their way into many-a-bag. They weren't pre-packaged either. I remember being about six when I first heard stories about sickos putting needles & razor blades in apples. We always had to examine then closely before we ate them.

Loose candy and cookies were staples for a couple of our neighbors. One lady bought bags of gumballs and dumped them into a bowl. You were then allowed to reach in and grab a handful. Orange slices & spearmint leaves also were given out. Everyone liked getting chocolate chip & peanut butter cookies. None of it individually wrapped.

The costumes were much simpler too. Most of the time you could find the makings of a hobo costume from the stuff in the rag bag. Not many mothers liked you cutting holes in their sheets, so you would pin them around your neck and cover your face & hair with powder. The scariest costumes back then were witches & devils. I never had too many store bought costumes. They were different back then too. A Batman of Bozo costume consisted of a hard plastic mask that looked like the character, but the outfit that went with it had a picture of the character, not a likeness of the character's outfit like they have today.

If you didn't get a treat, the trick you played was soaping people's windows. Once my brother snagged a bar of soap to take with him, without looking at which bar he grabbed. When he was going to use it, he discovered that he had grabbed Dad's bar of "Lava". It went right back into his pocket, and he sneaked it back into the bathroom without it being missed. You just didn't mess with Dad's soap. The really nasty kids didn't use soap, they used wax or paraffin.

I miss the old days. Nowadays, I can't wait for Halloween to be over. The emphasis on the ghoulish side of it makes my skin crawl. It defiantly has lost it's innocence.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Autumn Has Fallen Upon Us.

Here in Ohio, It is an annual tradition that the leaves fall from the trees. With the large amount of rain that we have had lately, they have come down even faster.

Since Monday was relatively nice, I took "The Ogre's" kids outside to help me get the leaves piled up.

"The Boy" was thrilled that I let him learn how to use the leaf blower. Usually he winds up with a rake. I felt a little like Tom Sawyer while watching him move the piles of leaves.

"The Girl" helped out too. She would take handfuls of leaves and pile them on the sidewalk for her brother to scoot toward the road.

She had a real good pile going until her brother came by with the leaf blower.

Where did they go?

She had to begin another pile. This time her brother didn't wait until her back was turned to take her leaves. The leaf blower startled her and she turned to run from it,only to run into the shepherd's hook directly behind her.

She also "helped" by pulling all my extention cord out of the crate that houses it. What a tangled mess it became. I will have to stretch it around the house to untangle it.

By the time supper was ready, we had cleared out the front yard and part of the driveway. Don't even ask about the back yard. I know there's grass back there somewhere, but right now, I can't see it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don't I Wish

Finally, A car that I can afford. I wonder what the payment options are?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Strange Packaging

My wife bought a new package of socks (actually they are footies) today. The bag that they came in was resealable (like a ziploc baggie). Why is this? Does it keep the socks fresher? If you don't use all the socks at one time, can you keep the other fresh by putting them back in the bag? Does the bag keep moisture out (even worse, keep moisture in)?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Flashback Friday # 159

The Day I Was A Professional Boxer

Greetings to one & all (yes, I'm talking to both of you). This is a very exciting post for me. It just happens to be the 500th post of this blog. Did you think I would hang in there this long? Like a bad penny, you just can't get rid of me.

Anyway, There was a time in my life when I was a professional boxer. It only lasted for one day, because I wasn't very good at it. The other guys who I was boxing with,beat me soundly.

What was nice about this is that I left the building unscathed. How can that be?

The tile company that Mom worked for (see here & here) had a very large order for a Prince in Abu Duabi (the capital city of The United Arab Emirates). They were working three shifts to produce the tile that would go into his palace. Once the tile was finished, how was it shipped? That's right, you had to box it first. On this day, I was going to box tile. Since I was getting paid for it, that made me a professional boxer.

Back then, I made $3 an hour when I worked for Mom's company. As a boxer, you got 50 cents per box completed. A good boxer could do 10 boxes per hour (that's $5 an hour for those who have shaky math skills). The other two boxers were good boxers and routinely did 10 per hour. I wasn't that good. I had a fall back plan in place. I couldn't make less than $3 an hour even if I didn't do six boxes an hour.

When you boxed tile, you had to stand up a piece of tile, then put in a cardboard divider. A piece of tile, a piece of cardboard. You had to wear gloves. Since the tile was hand made, there were imperfections that could leave a sliver or a sharp edge. The imperfections were part of the charm. It proved that it wasn't mass produced, but genuinely hand made. During the process, some of the tile actually had a thumbprint that mashed a corner. People loved this.

Anyway, getting back to my narrative. I really stank at boxing tile. I could never get more than six per hour. I had hoped that I could pick up a few extra bucks by being fast. I would have made the same amount sweeping the floor or putting up shelves. From then on, I left the boxing to the real professionals.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Duct Tape Really Does Fix Everything.

Tonight, when I went to the nursing home to pick up my MIL's laundry, we were talking about fixing something. She said she had some duct tape that we could use to fix it with. I looked at her and asked why she would need duct tape in the nursing home. "Oh, I can fix lots of things with it" she said She then jumped subjects(which I'm prone to do, also)and said "I've recently had a diarrhea..." I looked at her aghast and asked "You didn't use duct tape to fix that, did you?" She looked at me odd,then said "Heavens no."

I thought for a moment that she had come up with a medical breakthrough.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Funny Radio Story

I heard a story on the radio recently that cracked me up. It seems there were some guys who were drinking and decided to play a game. Any time Al K. Hall is invited to a party, you can expect something stupid to happen.

The game involved seeing what could fit over your head. One guy decided to try a plastic toilet seat. Since his head made it through, he decided to see how far down he could take it over the rest of his body. The toilet seat got stuck around his middle. Try as they might, that toilet seat wasn't going to come off. They decided to call the fire department for help. They were told to come down to the station and the firemen would see what they could do.

They eventually got the seat off. The man's name was withheld for privacy sake (his friend knew who he was, that was bad enough). The Fire Chief made the statement (and I'm not making this up0 "The man was a bit flushed when he got here. He was relieved that we could get the toilet seat off".

Am I the only one who finds the Fire Chief's statement an absolute hoot? Anyone with the wit to put "flushed & "relieved" in a statement like that is OK in my book. That's thinking fast.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Flashback Friday # 158

We Salute You. Nanu Nanu.

Hello again. Once again we stroll down the garden path to what once was.

When I was a freshman in High School, a TV show came on that quickly became a favorite in our house. If you haven't guess by the title, it was Mork & Mindy starring Robin Williams & Pam Dawber. It was about an alien (Williams) who comes to Earth to observe humans. He is discovered by Mindy (Dawber) who realizes he is an alien and tries her best to hide him. I remember well watching the first episode with Mom. The zaniness was so intense I thought Mom would wet herself from laughing so much.

You notice that I said I watched the first episode with Mom. Why didn't Dad watch it? He wasn't quite the slave to the TV as we were. He was over at his best friend's house (that would be Chuck),helping him with a remodeling project.

When Dad got home, the episode was over and we were still trying to catch our breath. When Dad walked in, Mom looked at me and smiled really big. I knew exactly what she was thinking. Dad shut the door, turned around and was greeted by his wife & son in a most peculiar way. We both stood, looked at Dad, and said in unison "We salute you. Nanu Nanu. " while wiggling our ears with our hands.

Dad stopped in his tracks. He had the most puzzled look on his face. He must have thought we were nuts. He said "What was that all about?" Mom & I laughed and told him about the show we had just watched. I'm not sure he really believed what we had told him about the show.

The following week, he made sure he was home to see if this new show or his family was crazy. I'm not sure he caught all the sight & verbal gags that Mork tossed out to his audience, but he thought it was funny anyway. It became a staple in our TV viewing routine.

I have season one on DVD (I got it free from a Pepsi promotion a couple years ago). I have a feeling that watching "The Boy's" reaction to this show will be just as funny as the show itself.

You can see the opening credits here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Usually Kids Are Good Judges Of Character

Today, I was upstairs in the office getting something for a co-worker. I happened to be over by the receptionist when one of the 2nd shift employees came in to pick up his paycheck. He had his little girl with him. She looked to be about two.

The receptionist said "Hi" to her. The Little girl just looked bewildered. When she saw me she smiled, waved and said "Hi. Hi." I smiled back and said "Hi". The receptionist asked why the girl didn't say Hi to her. I told her that she looked mean. Just as I was going to say "Kids can tell if someone is nice", one of the upper management walked by. The little girl saw him and said "Hi".

So much for that idea.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

LOL # 1000

I was checking out some stuff on my Cheezburger profile when I notice something. I have made over 1000 LOLs on the site. I counted backwards and discovered that this one was #1000.

I also was invited to be a part of a beta test that Cheezburger is doing by creating a site out of stuff that I had saved. You can check out my site here. If you need a laugh, it's the place to go.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Flashback Friday # 157

You can't run from the authorities

Greeting to all and welcome back to those who have ventured here before. In recent posts I've told how my Freshman year of High School was tough. It wasn't as tough for me as it was for one of my friends.

I first met "Ronald" in 7th grade. He didn't like to go by Ron, it was Ronald. We has similar interests. We disliked the same people. We even bore a bit of resemblance to each other (we both were "fat boys"). We got along well in Jr. High, but during the summer between 8th & 9th grade, something about him changed.

Seeing that I missed the first seven days of school, I lost touch with him since he wasn't in any of my classes. When I would see him in the hall, and say "Hi", he wouldn't acknowledge me. It was strange. I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong.

One day, during one of my classes, a classmate came back from the restroom with some huge news. As she was walking down the hall, she saw Ronald run past the intersecting hall. Right behind him was Principal Tenpins and a county Sheriff's Deputy. As she got to the intersection, the Deputy tackled Ronald, cuffed hm & lead him away. My classmate hurried to the restroom so nobody could see that she had seen what happened since the Principal & the Deputy were leading Ronald out to the cruiser.

We learned later that Ronald had been under surveillance, and had, in his possession when arrested, 17 marijuana cigarettes. From what we heard, he was planning to sell them at school. That was the last day that Ronald attended my school.I don't know if he wound up in juvenile detention or if his folks bailed him out, lawyered up and had a go at it. I've never seen him since 9th grade.

I don't know what he got into that summer or who he was hanging with. Whatever it was, it was bad news.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fun Times With 'The Girl"

Last Thursday, "The Boy" had his first band lesson as part of 5th grade band. Lady Nottaguy-TYG (aka Nana) accompanied him to practice in the High School (with Lady Lemon & The Ogre's 5th grade/Middle School band director). I got to keep an eye on "The Girl" outside.

When you're 2 1/2, the world is a mighty big place and there's still lots to learn. We started off walking along the parking lot. She noticed some dandelions in the grass and had to pick them. We then went on a concerted hunt for more.

I sent this picture to her Momma (aka "The Ogre") and her Momma sent back the text "Momma had a baby and it's head popped off". I had to show her how that was done. She laughed and said "Agin". So I did it again and again. I taught her the song:

Since we had popped all the yellow dandelions we found, she found some white fuzzy ones and blew the seeds into the air. She also waved them around to send the seeds flying. During this time, she learned a valuable lesson, Don't blow dandelions against the wind. She had some of the seeds fly back into her mouth and she was most displeased. "Uck, she says.

We then wandered around and came to a section of chain link fence. She had the best time passing leaves and sticks through the fence to me. Not far from there was a puddle that we took turns tossing stick & rocks in. While doing this, she found a rock that became "her baby" and she cradled it as we walked back toward the school. While we were waiting for "The Boy" & Nana to come out, she made blankies for her baby out of leaves while I sat nearby on a bench.

Just as we all were heading to the car, it began it rain. I'm glad I had a chance to have some outside time with her before the rains set in.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I knew what it was and my wife knew what it was...

Tonight, "The Boy" was creating a new type of animal that is amphibious and can also live in extreme desert climates. In the car, he was asking our help to come up with a name for it. In order to properly name it, we had to know a little more about it. This conversation ensued:

The Boy: It's about the size of a rhinoceros.

Me: Well, that shoots down the idea of arid skimmer. Rhinos don't skim anything.

Wife: The way you were describing it, i didn't think it was that big.

The Boy: Well, it perhaps isn't that big. It could be smaller.

Me: Is it bigger than a bread box?

The Boy: Yes, At least the body without the legs...Wait, What's a bread box? I've never seen bread come in a box before, only bags.

With that, my wife explains what a bread box is while I try to keep the car on the road while snuffling guffaws.