Story Time – All About Baseball Cards

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Let’s all flashback to 1979-1980 shall we?

Even though this tale actually begins in the summer of 1975 when my friend Marie and I met at 10 years old hanging out in the back warehouse-type rooms of our parent’s workplaces. We had no where else to go when school was out so we hung out back there.

Sometimes I helped my mom add up stuff as she kept the books for their business (and we wonder why I am an accountant?).

Most though it was too hot back there and we kept the back door rolled up so I would wander along the line of the back alley of the business park. There I spotted another wayward girl hanging out in the back of the shop where her mom also worked and a lifelong friendship was born.

Even though we didn’t live in each other’s neighborhood or go to school together we had a lot in common.

Neither of us were girly girls.

We were both only children.

We both loved baseball.

Tucked away in the corner of the same strip mall of stores was the perfect place for us – a baseball card shop! We spent pretty much all of 1975-1981 hanging out together during school breaks and buying nearly entire collections of Topps cards (and oh weren’t those delightful rectangle pick sticks of bubble gum just the BEST?!)

Now, we weren’t modern day collectors by any means. Heck, that wasn’t why you bought cards back then. You bought them to PLAY with them. To trade them. We didn’t preserve them in baseball card holders or binders. Keep them in wrappers? Oh heck no!

Our cards were well well well worn! Some ended up clipped to our bike spokes to make that tell tale “clack clack clack” sound. Mostly though, we made up card games with our collection.

Instead of hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades we used teams as suits.

Our favorite game?

Well, a bit of variation on Old Maid.

Being the semi-barely-rebellious pre-teens and then early teenagers we were, we called it “Oh Shit”

You scored bonus points if you had one or both of our two favorite players – they were Wild Cards that could be used any way you wanted. You got negative points if you ended up with one of the two Oh Shit cards.

The cards?

Well, so named of course because we were girls who were starting to notice boys and naturally our favorite players were as much about being cute as they were about being good players (though I will point out that MY favorite in those days was a perennial All Star and did end up in the Hall of Fame):

1979 Bucky Dent

1979 Carlton Fisk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two Oh Shit cards are naturally so named because that is pretty much how both of us reacted when we first saw them in our bubble gum packs:

1980 Bruce Bochy

1979 Jack Clark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course what is so funny about us naming Bruce Bochy as an “Oh Shit” is that as any long long time blog followers know, 15 and I had season tickets to the Padres from 2004-2006 (he was not 15 in those days of course!) The manager for the Padres? Bruce Bochy! And I kid you not but I would see his picture up on the jumbotron when they did the lineup announcements ‘As penciled in by the manager: #15 Bruuuce BOCHY!’ and a voice in the back recesses of my brain would say “Ooooohhhhhhh SHIT!”

May 29th – Hmm..guess I blogged about that already!

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Google is my friend. And my enemy. And my editor.

Tonight I had to read some more lessons for the class I’m taking which meant I needed to shut out the ambient noise. And with the return of 15 the noise level went up 10 fold. I grabbed my earphones and put on some music.

I chose Andrea Boccelli because I would not be tempted to chair dance and sing along 🙂 That man can not only hit some insane notes, but he hold them, and hold them, and hold them. DAYUM! Anyhow, when it was time to take a break and make dinner I switched over to Elton John and yes, I carried the Iphone with me into the kitchen and set it on the counter as I gathered supplies. Then Crocodile Rock came on.

“I remember when rock was young, me and Susie had so much fun…” and I had to dance. There was just no choice. Memory cells from the 70s kick in whenever that song comes on. As I was boogeying around the kitchen I thought I should find something on Crocodile Rock and the TV show that seared the song into my brain – Wonderama. So, I did a google search and look what was returned as the #1 result (I was signed in with my gmail account)

Heh. Guess I blogged about this topic already once!

Fine then.  New topic.

Uh…….

Oh yeah – I did run this morning. Up to the track, then rounded up the distance to a mile at an easy pace, then took off on what I hoped would be a fast mile, then back home. My toe is still tender though and I could feel it hurting now and then so I’ll wait to run on Thursday night again giving it another 36 hours to continue healing. No additional damage thankfully. And the “fast” mile was a 9.37 which is pretty darn good for me.

I left work a little early because I sort of hit a wall. Clearly my weekend of non stop writing and software testing took it’s toll and a headache hit me so fast it was like someone hit me. My decision to pack up and come home was a good one because I was obviously feeling much better by dinner prep-dance time! OTOH, I was clearly quite out of it as I packed up because I was missing something rather critical in my laptop bag.

The laptop.

Which was probably actually the best possible scenario since I did feel better and I did have the new lessons to read. I took notes and it sparked some ideas for more improvements I can make for PDIY. The laptop and internet would have been shiny objects preventing me from applying that kind of focus. 15 had the PC (until recently which is why I can write this) . He has to finish up his online English class by Thursday. 98% so far! We then have to huddle with the VHS and TPHS counselors to sign him up for summer session class(es). Yeah, as long as May seems to be, once that calendar flips to June a lot will happen for him as far as school ending, new VHS classes beginning and football ramping up and we have to keep on our toes.

“Crocodile rocking was something shocking, when your feet just can’t keep still!”

Rock on!

 

 

Go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal – jingles that make you go ARRRGH!

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Cal Worthington and his dog Spot!

I posted this meme in Facebook the other day to collect a few gems before sharing here and gathering more. The other morning I was watching The Daily Rundown on MSNBC as I do every morning when the alarm goes off at 6ampst and one of those commercials that seems to run all over cable came on and since I was watching live & couldn’t hit FF on the DVR, the farking song got totally stuck in my head:

“Call JG Wentworth! 877-CASH-NOW! 877 CASH-NOW!”

Utter ear worm hell. It’s one thing if an obnoxious song gets hung up in an endless loop in your brain, but it’s particularly, mind numbingly excruciating when it is a commercial jingle. Look at it like this – you’re caught humming “It’s a Small World” at your desk? Lame, but something you can laugh off. You’re caught mindlessly singing “877-CASH-NOW!” under your breath  – well, that’s a head turner.

So in an effort to rid myself of that tune, I posted on Facebook asking my friends what other commercial jingles are caught in the recesses of their brains and occasionally bubble to the surface. Some of these are local, some regional, a few national, but the one thing they have in common is that they are ALL BAD – and also clearly VERY effective!

  • 1-800-901-1101 CORKY’S!
  • It’s better to know me, and not need me, than to need me, and not know me – King Stahlman Bail Bonds!
  • If you wanna buy a car, go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal. Cal Worthington and his dog Spot! (above)
  • If you’re tired of McDonalds and there’s nothing else to do, Pup N Taco. Pup N Taco.
  • Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders, don’t upset us, all we ask is that you let us, serve it your way. Have it your way…have it your way at Burger King!
  • My bologna has a first name…it’s O S C A R…(oh, you know the rest!)
  • 588-2300 Eeeeeempiiiire. (carpets if you must know)
  • Modernistic! Simple and quick! We’re the first with experience and quality! (carpet cleaner in Michigan – what IS it with these carpet guys?!)
  • Racetrack ads that end with…”Sunday – SUNDAY!” (is that an east coast thing?)
  • Plop plop. Fizz fizz. Oh, what a relief it it is!
  • Put a Tic Tac in your mouth and get a BANG out of life. It’s the clean fresh explosion of mint.
  • 2 all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun. (no punctuation in my version since that’s how it is sung)
  • Byyyyyyyyyy – Menen!

SO – What would you contribute to this classic list of commercial jingles or voice overs? Admit it – you remember these word for word, but the name of the new guy at work who you just met this morning? *POOF*

 

You know you are a geek who grew up in the 70s when…..

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Evidence of the supreme sports geek that I may have been as a child circa 1976-1980:

1976 baseball post season news paper clippings from the LA Times

Moving on into 1977 - wouldn't be me without a clipping on #27 Carlton Fisk

Apparently by 1980 I decided that I needed to save box scores for entire Red Sox & Dodgers season. Yeah, I don't know?! I don't remember doing this!

Best part of this scrapbook - signatures! Ferguson Jenkins & Lyman Bostock - just 6 weeks before he was murdered.

Luis Tiant (twice) Bill Campbell & Mike Torrez

Dennis Eckersley

But hey – I didn’t just spend my time making baseball scrapbooks! Oh no, not his crazy gal! C’mon! It was the late 70s! I was 11-15 years old. You know what ELSE I did?

Yup, I made psychadelic pictures with yarn. And framed them (most of them) and hung them on my walls. A real trendsetter.

Apple. Tree. Not far. Oops.

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From time to time I’ve shared my frustration at SportBoy’s rather lackluster study habits.  They have only marginally improved this year. His first semester grades were about the same as before, though he did pull off a B in science which last year was barely a C-. However, there were not as many missed assignments and his organization skills have improved. Still, when I got an email from his English teacher yesterday I about hit the roof. I’ve been on top of his homework planning all year. Every Monday we go over what’s coming up for the week and plan out when to get major tasks/studying done. Last week he was with his dad, but I showed him the essay that was due on Tuesday – after a nice long four day weekend mind you. Now, I *did* forget to tell his dad to CHECK the essay himself. Make sure he saw it, that it was saved on the laptop and printed out. Fine, minor detail, but really – should I have to remind them BOTH of that? I think not.

Wrong.

Thankfully his English teacher sent me that note to tell me that no essay had been turned in. Heck, it’s not even the FINAL VERSION that was due – just a dang rough draft!! She was kindly letting him use his one late homework pass and would give him full credit IF he emailed it to her last night. He gets home from batting practice at 7:30 – checks the laptop and “oh no!” it’s not there! (I’d love to say I was shocked, but I was not). I just sighed and left him to do the assignment again (or, for the first time, who really knows?) Muttering the whole time about how easy he had it since back in my day we didn’t HAVE rough drafts! You just read the book and wrote the paper, dammit! And you know how long ago he got that book? I bought it just before the Christmas break! They had two months to read it and then just write a ROUGH DRAFT! And even *that* he couldn’t do on time??!!

Why, I remember when I read a book while riding in a bus back from a performing dance tour, arrived back at the dorms around 8pm and then wrote the paper that was due the very next day that night, all night, no laptop, just me and a pen! And I got an A on that paper! And…

Wait – did I just admit to waiting until the last minute to write an English paper for high school?

And I *never* pulled all nighters to cram for tests (if by *never* you mean, sometimes-maybe at least twice a semester).

How quickly we forget eh? Not that this means I’ll cut him any slack. I mean, really – a late pass and the opportunity to do a rough draft after two months? I *wish* I’d had those when I was in school! Because I would *totally* have taken advantage just like he is!! 🙂

Was the Viewmaster a precursor to the VCR?

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What do you think? Who is old enough to remember these?

I had a red one (or maybe it was orange?)  Now, I know they still make these, but you have to think back to the pre-VCR days when this was really all we had to re-live our favorite movies. It was this, or a book to see views of the Grand Canyon, or even Disneyland. And the images were in 3D which seemed to bring them to life in a way a book just could not.  Of course, it’s pretty hard to get pictures of a viewmaster image, but I did some searching and found a few good ones online – sadly though not the main one that sticks in MY memory banks. Since my favorite Disney movie was Jungle Book, then naturally the reel for that movie was my favorite. And there was one image just after the fight with Sher-Khan of Baloo laying in a beam of sunlight, looking as if he was dead. It was just the saddest sight and on the viewmaster for some reason it felt like you could reach in and touch his fur and you just wanted to stroke his nose and thank him for being a very brave bear.

Ok, so it was magical to 7 year old eyes anyway 🙂

Bugs Bunny

Tinkerbelle with Captain Hook

I love this one because it shows exactly how a kid would use the viewmaster:

I totally remember that flying pooh bear reel!

Honestly I was surprised they are still being made, but yep, here’s one from a more recent era:

Funny how just seeing one of these images triggers memories of the ones I had eh? I remember the 3D part, that there was a brief description on them describing the scene. I remember the scenic/historical shots being particularly brilliant – compared to photo quality at the time of course! I mean, the Viewmaster was *cutting edge*! (ok, so I know that’s hyperbole, but it sure seemed like it, again, to the 7 year old mind!)

Did you have a Viewmaster? What was your favorite reel/image?

Holidailies, Wheel-O & cookies.

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No, I am not participating this year, BUT, I really enjoyed it last year and I wanted to encourage anyone NOT burned out by NaBloPoMo or, perhaps, on a roll from that to check out participating in Holidailies. There were some really fun writing prompts provided last year. My favorite had to do with writing a letter to Santa & then also posting about childhood toys. In fact, one of those posts about toys has some particular highlights! It’s titled Hair, Hair, beautiful Hair! On thanksgiving, if you were following my frantic tweets, oldest took out the photo albums and I was lovingly raked over the coals by my dear boys and Jacqueline. Specifically for the charming pixie style hair cut that my mom subjected me to for a very long time. Oddly, that Hair! post generated a LOT of traffic later on as people did google searches on pixie cut! Aack, may it NOT be in style!! PLEASE! (note to Jax: Check it out, I don’t think you saw it last year and it also showcases Velvet – the doll with the growing hair you saw in one of those old photographs!)

For some reason when I thought of the old toy meme the first thing that came to my mind was the Wheel-O:

Is that thing totally a ’70s toy or what?? Complete with psychedelic inserts to totally blow your mind as you get that Wheel-O up to speed with just the right flick of the wrist! I distinctly remember the whirring sound, the feel of it in my hands, and just how annoying it would be when the wheel would get off-kilter! But I also remember carrying it around a lot, just mindlessly flicking and flicking as my mind wandered off to never never land. Kinda like scrolling on a mouse nowadays 😉

I’m also going to start a Recipe page/tab up top – yes, copying from many of my blogging friends with a similar page on their sites. I’ll holler when I put a new one in, but I am sure it will start out heavy on cookies cookies cookies!! For some reason I’ve recently taken to wanting to bake cookies as soon as December arrives. I must thank my August mom friend in PA today for starting a thread for a cookie recipe exchange. Yummm….three new ones to try right off the top!

So – feel free to share your favorite childhood toys  in the comments (or steal the idea for a blog post of your own!), and please please, do share your favorite cookie recipes with me at ANY time. Baking will commence this weekend 🙂