Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Stealing: 25

From Sunday Stealing

Funky Twenty-Five Meme

1. Most unflattering hairstyle you ever had? What made it so unflattering?

A. I had big puffy permed hair from about 1988 - 1992 or so. Looking at old photos now (and no, I will not post one), I looked like a brown cotton ball.
2. Favorite movie(s) that were made in the 90's?

A. I'll go with Forrest Gump.

3. Do you rent movies? If so, from where?

A. I get HBO and Showtime from a satellite provider. Is that renting?
4. Do you like cookies better when they're just out of the oven or after they've cooled?

A. I like them both ways. Why don't you fix me a batch of chocolate chip?
5. Do you still talk to the person who gave you your first kiss?

A. No.

6. Did you go to pre-school? If so, what was the name of it?

A. I went to kindergarten.
7. How do you take your coffee?

A. I don't drink coffee.

8. Do you like fuzzy things?

A. I don't even know what that means. But I think not.
9. Favorite kind of chocolate?

A. Any kind except German. Milk chocolate and dark chocolate are probably my favorites.
10. Are you more optimistic or pessimistic?

A. Most people would say I am pessimistic.
11. What about Do you think the site is mean, funny, or both?

A. I think it is mean.
12. Do you like fat sandwiches? If so, what does your favorite one have on it?

A. What is a fat sandwich? Is that one you pile too much stuff on?
13. One restaurant you'd never been to but would like to go to?

A. I have no idea. How about a ritzy place in Paris.
14. Last time you got a haircut? Do you need one?

A. I had a haircut about 10 days ago, so I'm good.

15. What's your favorite pattern for clothing (stripes, plaid, etc.)?

A. I prefer solid colors.
16. What's your age backwards?

A. Oh no, you're not catching me with that one.
17. When you see typos in a survey, do you correct them?

A. I correct things in these memes, so I suppose I do.
18. When was your last vacation? Did you go someplace special?

A. My last vacation was in 2012 - I'm a little overdue. We went to Myrtle Beach, SC.
19. What's your favorite kind of pancakes?

A. I like my pancakes with blueberries cooked inside of them, not piled on top.
20. Do you like movies with computer graphics, like Avatar?

A. They're okay.
21. Do you know how to sew?

A. I can get a button on and hem a pair of pants, but that's about it.
22. Are you good at wrapping gifts?

A. Not really. I actually kind of consider it a waste of time.
23. Do you like flavored yogurt?

A. It depends on the brand and the flavor.
24. How old will you be in December of 2015?

A. Old enough to know better and too young to die, I hope.
25. What's the age difference between you and your siblings?

A. I have a brother who is three years younger than I.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday 9: Hawaii Five-O

Saturday 9: Hawaii Five-O (1969)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This is the theme from the TV show that originally ran from 1968 to 1980 and is on now again with a new cast. Were you/are you a fan?

A. I think it was on a channel we could not get. When I was growing up, out here in the rural Appalachians, we could only get two channels, and that was if we pulled out a cousin's tooth and had him hold the tin foil over his head while he stood with one toe on a piece of metal. (Just kidding. I am being mean and perpetuating a false stereotype.). I think Hawaii Five-O came on one of those channels that we could not receive. As for the new show, I never even bothered to watch it.

2) On both shows, Five-O is an elite police task force led by Det. Lt. Steve McGarrett. Who is your favorite TV cop?

A. Christine Cagney of Cagney & Lacey. She was tough and feminine at the same time. She was incredibly human, too.

3) On both shows, the part of Danny "Danno" Williams was played by a second generation performer. (James MacArthur was the son of Broadway legend Helen Hayes; Scott Caan is the son of movie actor James Caan.) If you followed one of your parents into their chosen profession, what would you be doing?

A. Well, if I'd followed my father, I'd be a business person working in an industry that sells seal gaskets and rubber hoses to major industries. If I'd followed my mother, I'd have been a secretary, which means I would probably have been laid off or the job changed into something else long ago, since many industries don't use secretaries anymore (There are 3.9 million secretarial/administrative assistant jobs listed in US Census in 2012. Yes, I looked it up.). But I am a free spirit and while I did work as a secretary for a time, I ended up as a writer. All hail the written word!
4) Both shows are filmed in Hawaii, the boyhood home of President Obama. Have any of our 44 Presidents hailed from your state? 

A. I live in Virginia, the Mother of Presidents. We have had eight U.S. presidents hail from our state, the most of any state in the nation. Those presidents are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson.

5) Kona coffee is made from beans cultivated on the Big Island of Hawaii. Are you a big coffee drinker? 

A. I don't drink coffee at all. I think I've had maybe seven cups of coffee in my entire life. The last cup of coffee I had was on June 19, 2013. It gave me a gallbladder attack and sent me to the hospital. I had surgery on June 28, 2013 and haven't been right since. In fact, I'm now in constant pain and I walk with a limp, all from a cup of coffee. So it is not my drink of choice.

6) This week's song was written by the late Morton Stevens. In addition to composing for TV shows, he was the musical director for a group of entertainers known in the 60s as "The Rat Pack." Can you name any "Rat Pack" members?

A. Frank Sinatra?

7) This week's featured band, The Ventures, began when Don Wilson purchased a used car from Bob Bogle. During negotiations, they discovered a shared passion for playing guitar. Did you buy your current ride new or used? Did the negotiations go smoothly?

A. My current ride was purchased new. Negotiations went well, though I was worn out and had to leave most of that to my husband as I was in the middle of a medical crisis at the time. My old car, which we traded in, decided to develop a problem that would have cost more to fix than the vehicle was worth. I had planned to drive her another year or two, but oh well. Best laid plans and all that.

8) The year this song was popular, 1969, is when Donald and Doris Fisher opened a San Francisco clothing store called The Gap. Today there are more than 3,200 Gap locations. Do you shop at The Gap or

A. I do not. I doubt The Gap even carries clothes in my size.

9)  Random question: What's on your Saturday to-do list?

A. Reading Saturday 9 entries by other bloggers, writing up Sunday Stealing, fixing dinner, changing the bed linens and washing them, and working on tax records for 2015, having finally finished 2014.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thursday Thirteen

Today I thought I'd make a list of 13 things that I'll probably never see again in my lifetime. Most of them have become archaic, relics of a time that technology has voided.

1. An 8-track tape (and player). These were the big boys of music back in the day. A fellow with an 8-track tape player and big ol' speakers in his car was the bomb.

2. Cassettes and cassette players. I used to sit around with my cassette player and a radio and record Kasey Kasem's American Top 40 once a month or so.

3. Dictaphones. I worked as a legal secretary for about 12 years, and used these all the time. The boss would talk into a recorder and the secretary would take the tape and transcribe it. Secretaries are also something you don't see much of any more, either. I have been out of the field for over 20 years; I'm not sure how they do things now.

4. A print encyclopedia. My grandparents bought a set of World Book Encyclopedias when I was very small, but I remember the absolute thrill my grandmother had because she owned an entire set of these books of knowledge. When I visited her, I would sit and read through the books.

5. A man on the moon. Unless a corporation pays for a visit to the moon, I doubt I see another "one step for man." And to be honest, I don't want corporations going to the moon, because if they are there, it is to exploit the moon's resources, whatever they may be. Who knows what kind of havoc that could eventually cause on poor ol' Mother Earth.

6. Pay phones and phone booths. There used to be a phone at every convenience store, inside the high school, and outside most stores. Those are gone. I wonder where Superman changes into his cute little tights these days?

7. Party lines. When I was young, we had what was known as a "party line." This meant that if you picked the phone up you could hear other people talking and carrying on conversations. You couldn't make a call until they were finished. It was not polite to listen in, and the only time you were to interrupt was in an emergency. I confess that we had two women, whose names I do not now recall, who talked on the phone a lot. And I did listen in. I was seven. Sometimes they'd realize I was there, most times not. Sometimes they'd even talk to me, too, but I had to be careful that my mother did not find out.

8. Rotary phones. Our phones used to be rotary phones, which means they had a dial that you'd turn and then it would make this satisfying clicking sound as it rounded back to its beginning. We had a rotary phone here in my own home until about 10 years ago, when the thing finally gave up the ghost. It would work when the power was out while the cordless do not. So we always keep some kind of analog phone hooked up, though they have become difficult to find. Hopefully the two we have now will last us.

9. Film cameras. I started out with a film camera, one my parents gave me when I was about 10. When I began writing for the newspaper, I bought a Nikon FG-20 film camera. It took great pictures regardless of light and loved it. Then everything switched to digital, and that was the end of that.

10. Directory assistance. I don't even know what would happen if I dialed "0" on my phone today. Is there still an operator on the other end? Anybody know?

11. VHS recorders. At one time I had a pile of VHS tapes. I taped my favorite shows from the TV, usually forgetting to mark them. Now we use DVDs, which will soon be outdated and useless, I suppose.

12. Records and record players. I used to buy LPs and 45s, and still have most of my LPs here in a box. I still prefer an LP to CD. As a musician, when I tried to learn a song, it was great to be able to pick up the needle and drop it back onto the LP exactly where I wanted it. It's difficult to do that with a CD - it takes a lot more time and effort to find that exact spot where the song changes key.

13. Big fat computer monitors. Most of those things are gone and will never be back. I imagine folks still use them somewhere, but most people use a flat screen these days, if they're using a screen at all. I think at some point even a desktop computer will be one of those things we look back on as a dinosaur.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 392nd time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Botetourt Scenes

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What's the Story?

When I was young, I wondered how people could abandon homes. Now that I am older and have a better understanding of life, I know how it happens.

The old folks die, the young people have moved on. They haven't the money or the inclination to keep the place up. Being a landlord is not a fun job, nor is it financially rewarding. Better to board the place up, or just pay the taxes and be done with it.

But they are sad, abandoned houses. They look like they have a story to tell.

Maybe this one was the home of a big family once. It was filled with laughter and joy, pain and sorrow. It's walls are filled with the ghosts of another time.

Some man and his sons farmed the lands around this home, and his wife canned tomatoes and taught the girls how to sew. She tended the yard and grew flowers, trimmed back those boxwoods, and generally made life tidy and neat. She cooked dinner every evening and breakfast each morning.

And now the place that housed them is nothing more than a symbol that they existed at all.

Interesting, isn't it, that humans can build things which outlast them not just by years but by centuries. I don't know how old this house is - I've never been good at judging architectural styles - but it still stands and the humans are gone. Maybe they simply up and moved, but they are gone, nevertheless.