Archive for June 2011
When I grew up, the video game was not invented yet. The home video game Pong did not come along until I was nearly in my teens. Al Gore had not invented the internet either. So, what did we do back then for fun? Besides dodging dinosaurs we had a lot of fun games that were played outside with other human beings. For those under thirty years old – outside is the place where that annoying sun glare on your computer screen comes from. I tried to remember as many games as I could but I know I have forgotten some since it has been a while…
Below is a list of games that I could remember playing and some of them I can remember the game and some I just vaguely remember the overall concept.
Four square – The playing surface is found in the picture above. The idea was to bounce a small red ball between the squares without hitting the lines and to force your 3 other opponents to make an error. I played this a lot in 6th grade during recess.
TV Tag – This was a game of tag but if you could blurt out a name of a TV Program before you were about to be tagged you were off limits.
Crack the whip – This was a playground game or for a large group of people where you would link arms and then attempt to break the chain (or crack the whip) by running quickly in one direction and then stopping. Whoever lost contact with the chain of people linked was out of the game.
Red rover – I am a little foggy on this one but I believe this game was played with 2 groups of kids facing each other with arms linked from a distance of maybe 30 feet or so and when the other team called your name you ran over to their side and tried to break though. It went something like: “Red Rover, Red Rover let Jimmy Come over”
Hide and seek – hopefully this needs no explanation
I spy… - you would state that you see something and then other people in the room had to guess what it was. You had a limited number of guesses before the person would reveal what they “spied”
Pinch, punch, question or command – Each person would take a turn and elect one of the options. Great for boring rainy days since it was usually very mindless.
Shadow tag – This was a version of regular tag but you tagged the persons shadow for them to be “it”. Did not work well on cloudy days or on groundhog days when Phil did not see his shadow.
Kick the can – from what I recall this was like hide and seek but you would return “home” and kick the can before the person who was “it” could catch you
Monkey in the middle – This was played usually by 3 people. 2 people keeping a ball away from another person i.e. the monkey in the middle.
King of the mountain – this is a game where a person would perch atop of small hill and fend off people trying to knock him off of the spot.
You can tell these games are a part of the reason that we did not have such a problem with childhood obesity back then. Most were physically active and were played outside. That accomplished two things
1) You burned calories through the physical activity
2) You were not stuffing your pie hole with chips, cookies and the like while laying on the couch staring at a TV or computer screen (or a smart phone screen)
Have a great week and share some memories of the good old days and maybe we can bring back the neighborhood games that some of us used to play in the dark ages. (Before the personal computer was invented)
This is a true story.
Since my step daughter went off to college a few years ago my wife and I enjoyed the life of empty nesters. That all changed a few months ago when we took in a 2-year-old boy who was mistreated by his parents and placed in the care of a foster home. All of a sudden I was no longer living the life of Riley. I was now feeding, bathing, picking up after and cleaning up after “accidents” of a 2-year-old. This 2-year-old was neglected and is developmentally delayed and has dark brown but sad-looking eyes. He still is non verbal but can manage a few guttural sounds now and then. Even though we have no experience with a situation like this we are trying our best to teach him some discipline and how to become part of our household. When we want to talk about him we invented a code name so he was unaware we were talking about him – sort of like the secret service has a code name for the president. His code name is Jimmy Sad Eyes.
“Jimmy” has made great strides in the few months we have had him. He has reduced the number of accidents to a manageable number although we always make sure to take him to the bathroom frequently to increase our chances. When we take him for walks he is very curious and chases after birds and rabbits and sometimes even his own shadow. Lately we have had good success keeping him in check around the house with a gate that keeps him out or in depending on our needs.
Now when we go out we are not looking for a new set of golf clubs or the latest exercise equipment but a new toy for Jimmy Sad Eyes. We are already thinking about taking him for training so he can catch up to the other 2 year olds. What a change this youngster has brought to us. I should be thinking about grandchildren by now not taking care of someone totally dependent upon us. We have a little bed for Jimmy in our bedroom but he usually ends up in our bed by the middle of the night. Sometimes Jimmy wakes me up and I take him for walk to calm him down and of course to the bathroom to avoid an accident.
In the few months that we have had him I have gotten to understand his personality and can appreciate his oddities. He has had a rough life so far and I am glad my wife and I are able to give him love that he never had before we got him. He still has trust issues but we are working on that every day. A few days ago we left him in the laundry room while we went to dinner and he chewed the vacuum sweeper attachment in half. This was the first time in a while that he “acted out” while we were gone. Before you judge us for leaving a two-year old home alone keep in mind that we gave him food and water and even left the radio on for company. Did I mention that our 2-year-old is a Jack Russell-Beagle –Dachshund mix?
When I told you that our Jimmy Sad Eyes was a dog did that change your opinion? If it did, what does that mean? Is it ok to treat a dog differently than a child? I suppose you can to a degree but this dog was indeed abused and has trust issues and may never get over his poor treatment from his original owners. As much as I was against taking this dog in, what were his chances if he was not adopted? Even if we are not doing the best in training him and we give him cheese puffs and other junk food sometimes at least he knows “Grandma” and I love him.
Do you remember my blog about a win-win situation? Well this is a case of win-win and that is a good thing. I decided that I should take the advice that someone gave me and make my new addition to the family a win-win situation. Talk about Turning Things On End? That is Jimmy Sad Eyes to a T!
Have a great week.
Even before Alice Cooper’s 1972 hit School’s Out, the last day of school for summer break was celebrated throughout the land with much gusto. I remember that song when it was released way back then and it was truly a great song to hear on the last day of school. I can’t think of a better time for a kid than the last day of school and the 3 months of summer time fun that lies ahead. Even Christmas can’t compete because it only lasts one day.
What is the comparable feeling for an adult? Is there one? Perhaps the last day of high school or college has the same feeling but that is really a short lived feeling as the real world waits with deadlines, responsibilities and student loans to repay. When the student loan is repaid there is not much time to celebrate because you now have a car payment and perhaps a 30 year mortgage. The truth is; the utter joy that you experience on the last day of school is probably one of the happiest days you will have in your life. The awesome thing about the last day of school is you have 13 of them beginning with kindergarten to your senior year in high school.
So what is there for us adults to revel in? I am not sure I can suggest something that matches the last day of school but I have compiled a list of some exhilarating times for an adult. Below in no particular order is a list of really great things for an adult to experience. Youngsters out there may want to stop reading now because the list may seem boring and depressing.
The list of fun things for an adult:
- Waking up Saturday morning knowing you don’t have to cut the grass, wash the car, do the laundry or go grocery shopping or do any other mundane task normally reserved for the weekend.
- Coming home to find that your spouse took care of a task for you – cut the grass, made dinner, did the laundry or whatever. Talk about celebration! That is like the get out of jail free card and worthy of a jump for joy.
- Friday at 5 o’clock riding home from work on the cusp of a sun filled holiday weekend with the radio blaring like a young fool – perhaps old Alice screaming the words to School’s Out.
- Getting to work and finding that someone brought in donuts and your favorite kind is sitting there waiting for you – looking sexy.
- Catching all the lights green and rolling into your favorite restaurant with no waiting and a perfect table is ready for you.
- Finding yourself all alone at home and watching the ballgame undisturbed with a cool refreshing beverage close at hand.
- Going to the grocery store for a few items and no one is in the 20 items or less checkout lane when you are ready.
- Checking in to your room at the all inclusive resort for a well deserved vacation.
- Filing your taxes and finding out you’re getting a big, juicy refund.
- Putting on your winter coat for the first time since last winter and finding a Twenty dollar bill in the pocket – woo hoo!
I hope you can experience a “School’s Out” moment soon. Have a great week, summer is here at last.