Saturday, July 27, 2013

#blogcrawl prompt: penny arcades

I join this #blogcrawl Twitter party tonight by invitation, thinking I don't have much to contribute but I can sip my wine and watch...then I get sucked in...I am always drawn into chat...I think it shows us at our best (and sometimes worst) and we learn a lot about humanity at the same time we chat with each other.

So then the prompt comes...and I panic...and make an excuse to exit quickly so I can think about what I am going to post.  AND I KNOW THAT I DON'T HAVE A THOUGHT IN MY HEAD WORTH PUTTING IN A POST.

So I will tell you my memories and thoughts about penny arcades...that is about the best I can do...

There aren't any true penny arcades left...not that cost a penny anyway...we've taken the kids to something similar in Panama City Beach, Florida when they were small.  There was this certain arcade that caused the kids to develop a broken wrist.  Stevie Wonder said it was a disease that only a dime would cure.  That's right, skeeball cost a dime...BUT they won lots of tickets and got a ton of cheap toys that broke almost immediately...but all three kids came away feeling like winners.

The other memory of penny arcades was our recent trip to California with the whole family.  We actually ran across a penny arcade on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco with antique penny machines, along with all sorts of arcade machines of all ages.  The grandkids got to play the kind of games that were available from the turn of the century all the way up to pinball machines from the days of my childhood before the advent of video games.

I was afraid they would be bored.  I mean, those games didn't do nearly as much as the video games of today.  No 3D or special sound effects or graphics...just little pieces moving around and getting knocked or shot down.

But...they LOVED it.  And I loved watching their eyes light up as they ran from machine to machine and I got to explain what those games were about...the history.

That was a mellow, memory evoking day...and one I won't ever forget, and they won't either.

Penny arcades...the stuff of wonder and dreams... is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

diggin' up bones

Everytime I watch this video I laugh at the wonder and amazement in the grandkids' voices as they dig up "dinosaur" bones in a museum in the Petrified Forest.  The other thing that makes me laugh is their gullibility.  But that gullibility is also what makes children so much fun to watch.

I dread the day they become adults...may they never lose that gullibility.

Well...except when they deal with car salesmen. is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Saturday, July 20, 2013

the screw turns

It's a good thing my head is screwed on.

When I get like this, I resemble my dad, who spent a good part of his life lost in thought.  I get that from him.  For 11 years, as the month he died approached, I'd begin to feel weird.  I thought someday this would pass, but the twelfth anniversary of his death approaches, and here I go again, getting a bit squirrelly.  Lost in thought.  Thinking in circles.

You would think this would be a good thing, that I would come up with some life altering idea or thought that would leave my mark on the world and make me renowned for my brilliant mind.  But my mind doesn't work like that.  I'll give you a sample of where my brain goes at the end of every July and most of the month of August...

I bought a memory foam pillow today while we were out shopping, to try to give my neck a break from the pain I am constantly in.  (I'm not whining about the pain, I have a high pain tolerance and this has become my almost constant companion.  It's bearable, just annoying.)  I started to put the pillow in a case when I got home, thinking how enjoyable sleeping tonight would be.  Then I saw those annoying labels they attach, that crackle in your ear inside the pillow case if you don't remove them.  So I cut it off.  But before I did, I read it.  The whole label (I have always tended to read anything my eyes land on with thoroughness).  I noticed several things immediately.  And as I noticed each one, my brain took a step further:

1. "UNDER PENALTY OF LAW THIS TAG NOT TO BE REMOVED" (Hmm I remember when we were kids I always thought I would be hauled to jail if I removed that I never did.  When I grew up, I think I was the only housewife with those tags hanging from all the pillows in the house, even the throw pillows on the couch) "EXCEPT BY THE CONSUMER" (some idiot finally figured out there were a gozillion people not removing those stupid labels and fixed it).
2.  ALL NEW MATERIAL CONSISTING OF POLYURETHANE FOAM PAD...62% (the same stuff that was in my padded bras when I was a kid)  GEL...38% (the same stuff they put in those shoe inserts) (which means I could have bought a padded bra, wrapped it in a gel shoe insert, and shoved it under my head at night...and saved about $25).
3.  15% Spandex in the cover (great, now I will be sleeping on a padded-bra-shoe-insert wrapped in Spanx).
4. FOAM MADE IN USA---COVER MADE IN CHINA (a perfect example of healthy trade relations...and cooperation...I hope...or it could be that China has the corner on the Spanx market?). is good. ~cath
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Friday, July 5, 2013


Stevie Wonder announced to me a couple days ago we were getting a good gas grill.  A REALLY good gas grill.  Using my sister's huge gas grill while we were in California put the fever in him to replace the cheap tabletop grills we had been buying.  There were times when he didn't want to build a wood or charcoal fire for a couple burgers for us, and gas was the solution.
(Did I mention we live in the south where barbeque reigns and there are about as many places to buy barbeque as there are churches to sing hymns in?  So that is why we have a humongous brick pit [which  smokes up the house when the windows are open and the wind blows the wrong way], and also a small gas grill.  Southerners believe in barbeque like they do guns; you can never have enough.)

That is why we added the purchase of a grill to our list of things to do on our trip to Birmingham.  We already had plans to replace the couch that is shedding like a snake after only about 3 years of use.  I had some personal stuff to pick up too.  At the top on my list was something to get rid of the fuzz on my face I have begun sprouting...before the grandkids began to think Santa Claus had moved in with Gramps.  

Our last stop of the day was for the grill.  After walking and shopping my way through a half dozen stops, and purchasing what turned out to be a living room full of furniture (because the new couch would make the rest of the stuff I had in there blush with shame), the last thing I wanted to do was shop outside, in the rain, for a grill.  I stood back under the eave of the Lowe's building and watched Stevie Wonder lift the lids on each grill and examine them.  After he finished, I suggested we go in and see what else they had.  Inside he found the grill of his dreams.

The grill was actually about $120 cheaper because he took a model that was almost exactly like last year's, and also brand new, with a tiny dent in it.  What a bargain!  A store employee and Steve shoved it in the back of the truck for the ride home.

The fun began the next morning.  The very first thing the god of fire did was to fire that sucker up...with the instructions still inside...which is why you see him vacuuming in the photo.  After running inside to find his asbestos gloves, he grabbed the burning booklet out of the grill, along with the cleaning tool (which was also stored inside) and threw them out in the middle of the back yard, leaving shreds of charred paper everywhere.  The dogs were hanging close, because the smell of burning paper was similar to the smell of burning meat, and they just knew something good was coming.
I won't tell you what happened next...the video below says it better.  

While the meat was burning cooking, Stevie Wonder got Jim to help him move the grill to the other side of the deck, hoping the smoke would head out into the yard, with a little help from the box fan he set up in front of it.  I guess the ceiling fans above his head, pushing the smoke air down, didn't help to expel the smoke as much as he thought they would.  The air circulation problem was the topic for some lively discussion between Jim and SW, while we waited for the meat to char to cook.  I kept my mouth shut.

I was too busy choking on smoke and peeing my pants laughing. is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Monday, July 1, 2013

the fishing trip

Recently Maddie got to go to 6 Flags Over Georgia (a huge amusement park) with her Brownie Troop.  This meant that Duncan had nothing to do.  Jen, being the fundamental Type A personality she is, decided to try to create a more equitable situation.  So she did what she usually does...she called her dad.

She and Gramps schemed to figure out what they could do with Dunc, and Gramps suggested a fishing trip.  Dunc lit up like a Christmas tree when he found out (Maddie wasn't quite as excited about her 6 Flags trip at that point), and the fishing trip was on.

As the day got here, Jack was included, since he was visiting at the time.  John lost out, because he is three and Gramps wasn't going to take on three year olds at that point, and try to manage poles, hooks, bait and fish.

Because the weather threatened rain, Gramps took them to a pier on the river owned by the future son-in-law.  The boys didn't really care what they fished off of or out of, as long as it was fishing.

Gramps called me at some point to tell me the fish were biting.  He also mentioned the boys had caught about 13 fish each, and were so very excited about it they couldn't stop talking.

At that point I asked Gramps how many he caught.  He is the consummate fisherman, so I assumed he had at least as many as the boys did.

He caught two.  That's right.  Two fish.

Gramps threw all the fish back, because the point wasn't to cook and eat them, just to let the boys have the fun of catching them.  But I have a sneaking suspicion that it was because Gramps was outfished. is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter