I FORGOT F – Floppy Disks Old School Frustration!

Wow, well, forgot to put in “F” you see i had all of these done in advance but then forgot to put the proper dat on them… Well I put a date and I would have been rocking it next year in April for sure… I’m still not sure how I did that. THEN, I went and looked today thinking I should go wander and read what others had done only to find that… Nothing I did went in AND… just now that “F” was missing… I’m so dumb (laugh).

So Floppy Disks, something these brats to day know nothing about with their fancy cell phones and such. Back in my day we had a 5 1/4 inch disk that held a whopping 85KB (I had to look that up just now.. that seems small)

If you had a really complex game it could be on like 5 disks and if one got damaged or went near a magnet POOF! all gone. and just like cassette tapes over time the information stored on them degraded. Sometimes you could put the drive on its side to get it to read better… Ah my Commodore 64. How I miss they. Nothing like a 200bps cartridge modem to get the juices flowing right.. RIGHT!
See the source imageOn one of those floppy’s was my first game on a pc Zork! and others soon followed over the years (Zork is on my phone right now). Kids now though, no idea what these were used for… coasters perhaps. These were the stepping stones though, they got us where we are now…. plus when they died they were really fun to throw.


Gardening as a hobby!

I remember when my family moved here from the city. My Grandmother wanted a garden in the yard. We didn’t have one when we lived in the city but I’m pretty sure she did as a kid. My Grandfather wanted to make her happy so he put one in. I think he spent more time in it then she did though, planting hoeing, spraying for bugs, keeping the deer out… and the raccoons…. and his grandson who really, really liked string beans 🙂

See the source imageIt was a hobby though something to occupy him when he retired. It started small and gradually grew into the back quarter of the yard. Tomatoes and string beans and carrots. I remember peppers, snap peas and once potatoes… GROSS… digging potatoes out of the mess of the ones you cut up for seeds (ewww) Squash and onions, cucumbers and radishes…. MMMMM In the end you got this 🙂

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When we would have BBQ’s there would be fresh tomatoes for the burgers. My grandparents had something to occupy them and we had fresh vegetables (limited budget for grocery’s but fresh food).  There were flowers all around the house and planters with flowers. Every year we would pull the seeds form the flowers for the next year and then we would plant them in the spring… right around now actually. I cant remember what the little flowers for but they were reddish orange and low growing and we would keep the dead… buds? Heads? well in the basement until it was time to put them in the ground again we would pull the seeds out of the flower head and plant them… Drat.. what were those?

Anyway… I don’t see a lot of gardening anymore, pretty much everyone around us had a small garden, not so anymore though. Seems a shame to me. Maybe I will try this year.

Encyclopedia! Gone but not Forgotten!

When i was a boy and wanted to learn a bit about something I would turn to my family’s handy dandy encyclopedia. I still have them… Mine are from 1987 and have then maps and histories of countries that don’t exist anymore… world maps that look odd with weird borders and animals that have gone quietly into the night.

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There they are…. I used them a lot. You see some of us couldn’t just look something up on the internet and have 500 articles on the snapping turtle. We had maybe 2 pages, after that you went to the library and busted out the card catalog using the Dewey decimal system to find what we needed. (I almost did that for D… but I had to go with DOS since I needed it earlier today).

Anyway, Encyclopedias were something you wanted in your home, it was knowledge and having a set was a big deal when you were in school. I can remember friends coming over to do homework because i had a set and they didn’t. There was even a set of books and cartoons called Encyclopedia Brown all about the adventures of a kid who knew a lot of things who solved crimes… I guess today he could be Wikipedia Brown… But sometimes he would be wrong because he got faulty info. (Grin)

There is an Encyclopedia Website I found, I hadn’t thought to look before but there is one… it says on top Information you can trust! (laugh) Kind of true though, I love Wikipedia but it’s always trust, but verify. So https://www.encyclopedia.com/ There you go verify away 🙂


What the hell is DOS?

Sheesh…. you know DOS…. Hang on let me find the file


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umm… c:\dos\txt

Crap that isn’t it…

Well anyway before there was windows there was DOS. It stood for Disk Operating System and you had to have some idea of how to use it to find anything. I would have little pieces of paper all over the place with file pathways on them on how to get something I needed. Windows used it to as the shell it loaded into to run so there would be times when you would still go in does to find or run something.  Those of us who played games sometimes wouldn’t even load windows so the game would run faster.

See the source imageAnyway, Dos is still there running on your computer right now…. it’s not needed anymore but you can still get to it… Usually when you want to run something and are on the phone with tech support. It’s still there though… I just looked at it for old times sake. I can’t believe I used to do anything in there…. sheesh Just point and click for me!

Calvin and Hobbs – What more is there to say!

Calvin and Hobbs was is and always shall be one of my most favorite comic strips of all time. If you don’t know what I am talking about there are several websites you can peruse to see the artistry that Mr. Watterson created. The official site is updated daily with a new comic strip from years past.

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The comic is all about a young boy and how he perceives the world…Or how his pet tiger Hobbs does. It’s hard to say… because to Calvin, Hobbs is real not a stuffed toy. The Comic always made me think, or laugh and usually both. At times then i could see myself in it… later on it gave insights into my children.

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Calvin gets himself in some trouble from time to time… usually at Hobb’s urgings but it’s how he sees the world. There are worse ways to go through life we all seem to lose sight of the wonder of things eventually. Imagination stagnates when not used regularly, and lord knows we aren’t encouraged to use it in a way that isn’t productive.

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Everyone go read some comics today…. relax let your imagination run… I’m going to spend some time with my old friends now… be well.

Blockbuster Video – Making it a night!

I’m betting most of you know about this one, Blockbuster Video and it’s competitors made it a simple and relatively inexpensive way to have a family event. You could go to a video store and get two movies a couple of bags of popcorn and some soda for under $20. They had old movies and new. Video games for all consoles and snacks to go with it all.


That’s not the missing part though, not really. We have Netflix now, Hulu, Amazon, and separate channels for each TV station plus hundreds of other streaming choices. The missing part, the fun part, was the people. The employees, the ones who knew every movie in the building. You could go in and ask them for a movie recommendation and they could and would help you, because it was fun. The sharing of mutual experiences in a group. Customers, employees, even the vendors that would deliver things… “Hey how was (movie title).

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I can still play a good game of Seven Degree’s of Kevin Bacon.  If you followed along with last years A to Z challenge, you read about a lot of movies that’s what’s missing from Netflix and the others. That sense of community, of shared experiences with a person, face to face. Blockbuster and other Video stores like, Hollywood Video, Movie Gallery, Hastings, Family Video and more helped bring people together.

There are still some left… If you look at the date for the tweet above… well you can see.  It’s a franchise and there are more than one left. While the corporate mindset has poofed away making it more… well weirdly funny, you can follow them on Twitter at Loneblockbuster

It’s a shame the internet took these places from us. I know people say RedBox and Netflix did it, in part that’s true. The larger issue was Bandwidth though and the ability to just click a button to watch something. Blockbuster still has a few stores left. They still have a streaming service owned by Dish Network and they still have those of us that remember how much fun it was. It’s not the same though, the sense of it, the feel… Plus Chet, Carl and Ray, The Dancing Baby…

What was your favorite Video store, tell me a story.


A to Z – Analog, Where did that ticking go?

As the first thing for this years A To Z Challenge I have chosen to highlight the things we have lost I have chosen Analog. I know Digital is better, or at least you think so (Damn Kids). Truth is though some items were better that way. Here to prove my theory, and make my points for me is… well ME!

Here’s the thing though, I’m not a luddite, I like technology, I also like clocks… that TICK! Lets throw watches in there as well. Clocks, Watches, Kitchen timers. I’m thinking I may have lost you… I like the idea of time passing in measured strokes and I know we have all lost something from it’s removal in our lives, luckily I’m here to remind you of some of what you have lost.

Watches that tick – They weren’t loud like the above clock but they were peaceful background for me while I was sleeping with my arm under my head… ticked off to sleep, and not in a cranky sort of way that sentence connotes. I liked the background,. quiet passing of time. And winding it to me seemed like a ritual of refreshing the day anew.

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School clocks – To be fair, It seemed slower than it was but you knew time was passing when you were all supposed to be in silent study reading pages 53-65 in your text books. It seemed like it would never end as you read the same paragraph over and over again but, you knew for certain that it was because the side of time plodding along accompanied you through the day.

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Kitchen Timers – Never, not once, was I ever worried that something was going to burn because the timer stopped because of batteries. I could HEAR it while I was doing other things. A quiet background to accompany the rest of my tasks while completing a meal. If I wandered away I could take it with me too. Tick-tocking my way to nutrition… or just a kick ass heaping of pasta.

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Television and Movies – I’ll give you a few general examples here.

The hero exits the building and approaches the car… he stops, tilting his head a bit. What is that ticking sound… Could it be, OH NO!!!! A BOMB!!

Pan in from above to a group of kids entering the old house for the first time, its dark and there are cobwebs all around them as they enter, a sound, surrounds them, the inexorable ticking of a grandfather clock it seems to permeate the entire house. The two kids move forward into a darkened room, The Clock Stops, Total Silence.

Then there is poor Captain Hook. Peter Pan would have been a lot different if it wasn’t for a ticking crocodile.

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Analog was a part of our lives, sure we can still get an old watch or clock but what about our kids… and their kids. What about Captain Hook? I feel bad for todays youth for so many things but the loss of the ticking is a small part I actually worry about. Stay tuned for the rest of the month as I go over some of the other items, ideas and made up stuff I wish were still active in the world.

What do you miss about Analog devices? Is it the ticking? I bet it is now!


Oh and…. I lied, I’m not behind April Fools 🙂