Posted in Back in My Day

TAKE A PICTURE! It’s easy!

My first camera was a Brownie, you opened the top, and looked down to line up and take your shot. The one I had didn’t have a lot of fancy settings, and while I did get a few good shots, I wasted a lot of film on shadows, glare, and yes, even my thumb.

It’s not just the film, I had to take the whole roll of 20 or 24 images to a little kiosk in the Valu-Mart parking lot, where a crabby teenage girl would collect my film and often sell me a fresh roll or two, depending on how much money I could hustle up. (Being in the fifth grade and having a girlfriend of sorts already, made it tough to rub two coins together.)

Then I had to pay for processing on the whole roll, it would be nice if they could just toss the obvious failures and only charge for the good pictures. But that’s not how the fotomat business worked.

I wonder what happened to those little parking lot structures. I could use one to store my rakes and shovels.

Posted in Back in My Day

How did this get in my pocket?

I was fixing to throw these jeans in the laundry, and found this old tally sheet from 2017. I haven’t worked there for many months. It begs the question, how long have I been wearing these pants?

It was a graveyard shift job driving an order picker forklift. Some nights I miss it, but not much. Doesn’t look like I spent much time on the machine that night!

I recently had a dream that I was working there again, hadn’t been there 15 minutes before the second shift lead ambled over and said that day shift was saying that I was “doing it wrong”! This made me so mad that I woke up, and I was fuming about it for several days.



Posted in Back in My Day, Grey Gardens West

Fred Flintstone’s toilet was a… pelican? Droll. Very droll.

My mother loved anthropomorphic characters, like Fred Flintstone’s turtle lawnmower, who would pause, look at the camera, and say “It’s a living.”

So it’s no surprise that she cut this (cat litter ad?) out of a magazine, framed it, and hung it in the bathroom for everyone to enjoy.

Later I inherited it, and it hangs in the bathroom here. It was my sisters-in-law’s first visit since we moved, and they were taking turns going in the bathroom, turns out they all wanted to giggle at the cute picture. Thanks mom!

Posted in Back in My Day

Pencils down, it’s happy hour

Not sure where I dug this up from, but I am pretty sure my dad worked here or in a very similar situation, when he was a draftsman.

He once told me that for a while, they wouldn’t issue a new pencil unless you brought them your used-up stub, and they would measure it to make sure it was used up enough. Have you guessed Boeing yet?

The guy with the pipe seems to be looking at a vacation snapshot. It’s tough to get back into the groove after a nice vacation. You have to adjust your depth perception so your rut feels like a groove.

Posted in Back in My Day, The postcards

Beach Adventures

We haven’t been to the beach yet this summer, my mother psyched me out too much when I was a kid, she was so concerned the undertow would drag me out to sea while she was sneaking a Kool behind the restrooms. This is why we joined the Y, nice 4 1/2 foot deep pool, no fish or crabs, no sunburn, and you don’t track sand into the car. I think Elmer would prefer it.

Posted in Back in My Day

What happened to kites?

When I was a kid, about this time of year the stores would all have inexpensive kites available. Kids would be out flying them if there was the slightest breeze, or even gale force winds; our parents never knew where the hell we were, or what we were up to. I guess they knew most of these kites were only good for a few inept launchings. What could go wrong? If I was able to get one aloft for like twenty minutes before I lost interest and went down to the high school to watch the rich kids fly their R/C airplanes, that was a good day.

Storekeepers knew that the winds of commerce only allowed for a relatively short kite season. They were just waiting for the Duncan Yo-yo rep to stop by to get an order in advance of the school assemblies featuring the guy who could “walk the dog” and all those fancy Yo-yo moves. Then the smart shopkeeper would also get extra Band-aids and lamps, and call cousin Kenny who is in the window-glass business.

I don’t know how this whole system fell apart, but my world is poorer for it.

Posted in Back in My Day, Friends and Kin

That whistling sound…

I had a bit of a hard time sleeping last night… Had the radio on classical music to try to soothe the mental torment, but something about that violin concerto wasn’t quite right. It took probably 20 minutes of careful listening, occasionally holding my breath, being very still, to determine that the discordant note was caused by the wife, she had one of those “nose whistle” things going on. I think I was chiming in with a wheezing in C flat.

Posted in Back in My Day, Mildly Interesting

Why hoodies were invented

One warm summer night, a few years ago, I was leaving work- about 4 am, I work nights. I stopped to chat with one of my old co-workers who was walking in.
seagullaim

Just then a big old seagull came out of nowhere, and crapped on the back of my head, and all down my neck. My friend could barely contain her mirth; but to her credit, I was able to swear her to secrecy about it. (Otherwise, I would have never heard the end of it from the guys in the warehouse.) She claims that it’s supposed to be good luck to have a bird poop on your head. I don’t buy into that notion. Maybe if it was just a baby robin, not a seagull the size of a velociraptor.

Drove home hunched forward, with paper towels on the seat, and the windows rolled down.

I had left work a little early, so it was just getting light out when I got home. For some reason, I had the spare car keys, so- no house key! I COULD NOT roust anyone for the longest time. Tried going in the back yard and throwing pebbles and random stuff up at the bedroom window, but Teresa had the fan on and she sleeps like a log. I went around and rang the doorbell some more, tapped on windows, finally started banging on the door Fred Flintstone style.

Eventually my daughter came to the door. I ripped off the shirt I was wearing and said something about “What if the house was on fire?!! You would all die in your sleep!!” She didn’t say anything, just looked at me, bewildered, as I swept past her and took like a 45 minute shower.

This is why I always wear a hooded jacked to work.