Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Remembering Christmas 1970

I found the Superbowl IV version of the Tudor electric vibrating football game under the tree in our Roeland Park home that year. It featured scale model footballers, each a bit smaller than a 25 cent piece, mounted individually on green plastic bases. The bottom of each base had small teeth that made the players move and groove without falling over when the metal field vibrated. Vibration was supplied by a small motor and controlled by the players with an on off switch. I couldn't wait to try it.

The mechanics of the game were somewhat ridiculous, because it was impossible to create and sustain a lasting simulation. I lined up the opposing teams and turned on the motor. They crashed into each other and occasionally a player vibrated in a straight line somewhere. I repeated until boredom set in. The game contained a felt football and a working kicker to attempt field goals and extra points. Note: The felt football did not travel far, even in ideal wind conditions. Despite these shortcomings it was a cool gift and I don't remember any thing else I received that year.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Last Friday Night

Last Friday night we took the scout pack to the nursing home to sing Christmas carols. I wasn't enthusiastic at first but I was glad we went. We toured the facility and sang songs through the corridors. I got to see lots of people. Quite a few came out to watch us sing. I was impressed with some of the kids who said hello, introduced themselves, you know, took a moment for some personal contact.
One of the other dads in our group told me that one of the residents, a woman in her eighties, sprightly but confined to a wheelchair, told him that she used to fly fight planes for the marine corps during World War II. She didn't do combat flights of course, but flew Corsairs from the factory to airbases closer to the action. That's not a bad gig - and she was a gem.
I think people groan whenever you mention the true meaning or the spirit of Christmas. I know I do. So forget about it - and go visit a nursing home this holiday season. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Keep Searching for the Words

My ideas don't materialize on demand. I want words and sentences to appear in a row, from start to finish, on ticker tape. I'm still waiting.

I get ideas when I'm far from the keyboard. I discovered a buried gun while motoring down the interstate once, triggered by Elmer Bernstein and a memory fragment.

Frank Mouris had too many ideas and found a way to show us. Hannah Weiner saw words everywhere and wrote them down in a series of journals.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Sonic Youth at The Outhouse

I missed more shows than I made during the 80's. Here's one I'm glad I saw: Sonic Youth at The Outhouse on November 5th, 1986. fIREHOSE opened the show. I think I've mentioned it on this web log before, but now there's a setlist and pictures posted!