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Posts Tagged ‘Nostalgia

Back To School

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Back To School

Back To School

It is that time of the year when schools are beginning again after the summer break. Some schools will start shortly and others have already begun.  Today I will take a look at the good and the bad of back to school.  I wrote about back to school memories in 2012 as well, click here to read what I had to say.

The good:

  • Traffic gets better with fewer people on the road during morning and afternoon rush hour.
  • High School football games offer a fun way to spend a Friday night.
  • Child care expenses are greatly reduced. Having nearby relatives has substantial benefits.
  • Going shopping for some new clothes. I typically wore jeans and T-shirts in high school but was made to dress up in elementary school.  Getting bell bottoms was a big deal.
  • Seeing your friends again on a regular basis. Things might be different in today’s connected world.  We did not have Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Skype/Face Time, cell phones or the internet when I was in school.
  • Having your mind filled with knowledge and to continue your lifelong journey of learning. (I am sort of serious)

The bad:

  • For the kids, it is the homework, getting up early and the lousy slop that they call pizza at the cafeteria.
  • Finding out that you have a first period gym class or worse a challenging subject like calculus or physics.  After the summer off and sleeping in you don’t want to tax your body or your brain that early.
  • The drama associated with the bus ride for the elementary school kids. On top of that, it seemed like every year I would get on the bus first in the morning and be the last to be dropped off in the afternoon.  Spending 45 minutes on a bus is no fun.
  • Traffic gets worse during the morning and afternoon rush hour.
  • For the parents the running kids to various school related activities.
  • For the parents they also have to deal with homework every night making sure the assignments get done. I personally think they assign too much homework these days.
  • For parents taking a hit to the budget to get clothes for the new school year can be a shock.

I hope this brings back some memories for you and I hope that back to school is mostly a good thing for you. Have a great week.


Written by pacelinebiz

August 28, 2016 at 8:01 am

My Favorite Car

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1994 Dodge Intrepid

1994 Dodge Intrepid

I wrote about all the cars I have had over the years back in 2011 and I only have 1 to add to the list.  Today’s topic is not about the one I need to add to the list.  It is about my favorite from that list.  If you would like to read about the cars I had click here.

My favorite car from that list is the 1994 Dodge Intrepid.  I am not sure there is one thing that made it my favorite; rather it was several things that I liked.  Those things are:

  • It was something I liked the first time I saw it and I bought one – that made me feel good.  Chasing the bait of Madison Avenue advertising geniuses I suppose.
  • It had a lot of options that were new to me.  Sun roof, remote keyless entry, power seats and door locks, tilt steering wheel (I rarely used it), arm rests wide tires and aluminum alloy wheels.  I had 95,000 miles on the rear tires before I had to change them!  They were Goodyear Eagle tires.
  • I t also had a very roomy interior and a rear spoiler to add just a touch of sportiness considering it was a four door sedan.
  • It had a metal flake paint job that made it look like two different colors depending on the angle of your view.
  • It had decent horsepower and got 20 mpg around town and 28 mpg on the highway which was pretty good for those days.  It actually did a little better than that on trips, I got as high as 30 mpg.
  • It had a cab forward design which accounted for the roominess.
  • The one drawback was the horrible head lights.  They provided very little illumination and I would drive with the high beams on and would rarely have anyone from the other direction complain by flashing their lights at me.
  • It did not have a fold down rear seat, if remember correctly, but I think the trunk was big enough to fit my bike when I took off the front wheel. 

I hope you enjoyed my review of this old car.  It must have been good for me to still rate it so well after all the years and cars I have had since.  Have a great week, driving your jalopy.

Written by pacelinebiz

May 8, 2016 at 8:01 am

Remember When?

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 Cheeseburger In paradise - No Pop Tops Allowed

Cheeseburger In paradise – No Pop Tops Allowed

Take a trip down memory lane and see how many of these you can remember.   I ask you, remember when:

  • They sold a pack of cigarettes in a vending machine for a quarter.  If you had a quarter you could smoke.
  • Pull tabs on soda cans were new and were removed from the can (Jimmy Buffett does).
  • Soda pop was dispensed in bottles by pulling them out of the machine and a bottle opener was on the front of the machine with a container to catch the bottle cap.
  • They sold newspapers on street corners in a box that opened up with a stack of papers inside. (Did anyone ever take more than one?)
  • Motor oil was sold in a cardboard quart can at the filling station and would be added to your car by the attendant using a spout that would puncture the top of the can.
  • Various foods were introduced that were supposedly from the space program.  Tang instant orange drink comes to mind.  “Back in the day” we named our dog Tang but I don’t think we had it very long.  Let’s say it went on a mission to the moon.
  • Ice cream cones were sold by price not size.  I remember the 10 cent, quarter and fifty cent cones at DQ.
  • Soda pop was sold in a bottle with a deposit – this was before recycling was cool.
  • Jeep’s were the only all terrain SUV’s on the road?  My dad had one that was WW II vintage.
  • Station wagons ruled the road?  They were answer to the modern-day minivan/SUV.
  • Beneath the rear license plate was the gas cap to fill the car.   This was an explosion risk which ruined the concept.  Save for the explosion part, this was a great idea because you didn’t have to figure out which side of the car the gas cap was on.  You could just pull up anywhere and say fill’er up!
  • You actually wrote someone a letter and mailed it to them and they got it two, three or four days later?  It wasn’t that long ago!
  • Prices on grocery items were stamped on with a mechanical ink stamp and were carried by stock boys in a leather holster.

I am not sure if things were better in the good old days or worse.  I think some things are better now and some things are worse.  What I really miss is having my gas tank in the middle of my car because I can never remember which side it is on!  Can we at least make an industry standard that it is required to be on the driver’s side?

Have a great week.

It Happened On January 25th

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On this date in history...

On this date in history…

I have listed a few items that caught my eye but you can read the full list by clicking here
I will add comments as I see fit to items I find noteworthy.  They might be sarcastic so be forewarned.

  • 1877 – Congress determines presidential election between Hayes-Tilden
    I wonder if they had a hanging chad problem?
  • 1890 – Nellie Bly beats Phileas Fogg’s time around world by 8 days (72 days)
    You go girl!
  • 1915 – Alexander Graham Bell in NY calls Thomas Watson in SF
    Did he ask him how the weather was?
  • 1924 – 1st Winter Olympic games open in Chamonix, France
  • 1937 – 1st broadcast of “Guiding Light” on NBC radio
    Was this Luke and Laura?
  • 1945 – Grand Rapids, Michigan, becomes 1st US city to fluoridate its water
  • 1955 – Columbia University scientists develop an atomic clock accurate to within one second in 300 years
    But does it take a licking and keep on ticking?
  • 1961 – Walt Disney’s “101 Dalmatians” released
  • 1970 – M*A*S*H, the movie premieres
  • 1974 – Ray Kroc, CEO of McDonald’s buys San Diego Padres baseball team for $12 million
    They are probably worth a billion dollars now.
  • 1981 – 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days arrived back in US
  • 1988 – VP George Bush & Dan Rather clash on “CBS Evening News” about his role in Iran-Contra affair
  • 1993 – Sears announces it is closing its catalog sales dept after 97 years
    Concurrent with that they also suspended production of buggy whips at their East Bullfrog, Texas facility
  • 1998 – Spice Girl Victoria Beckham (Posh) and soccer player David Beckham get engaged
    Wow, and they are still a couple. A couple of what you ask…
  • 2009 – 57th NHL All-Star Game: East beats West 12-11 at Montreal, Quebec
  • 2016 – This blog was published for your enjoyment

Have a great week.

Written by pacelinebiz

January 25, 2016 at 8:04 am

Taking Inventory At Christmas

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A new bicycle, with that attitude?

A new bicycle, with that attitude?

Don’t worry, this is not a soul-searching topic on my inner most thoughts as we near Christmas.  This is actually an inventory of facts I find mildly surprising about my Christmas experience up ‘til now.  It will be in the form of a list.  I love lists.

  • I have no recollection of having a real tree at Christmas. I remember when we got our artificial one (it was before we landed on the moon) but cannot recall a Christmas with a formerly live tree. Does this qualify me as a tree hugger?
  • I have never had a “beach” Christmas. All my Christmas days have been at home or at a relative’s home. I have no relatives who live on or near a beach.  Jimmy Buffett will have to invite me next year.
  • I have never had a “Blue” Christmas – sorry Elvis. That is a pleasant surprise.
  • I haven’t had a White Christmas since I moved to Georgia and surprisingly don’t miss it. I can always watch it on Netflix or Hulu. Not all my Christmases were white when I lived in Pennsylvania and Ohio either. My guess is about 20%-30% were green.
  • My tradition of using a decorated piece of toast as an ornament began shortly after college and I am surprised that it has not become a sensation.
  • I miss the old silver tree with the multi-color light wheel that my dad had at his filling station/repair shop. I think that “back in the day” it caused many a hippie to think they were on a bad trip. It surprises me that I miss that thing but it does not surprise me that 40% of the people reading this are asking someone to tell them what a filling station is.
  • I have fond memories of watching the “Blue-Grey” all star classic. It was a college football game and was a showcase for players from smaller schools or ones with losing records since any one from a larger school or a winning team would probably be getting ready for a bowl game elsewhere. I remember that to make games competitive they would allow any team that was down by 2 touchdowns to receive the kickoff after a score – even if they had just scored. I also liked the bizarre color combinations from the player using his own schools helmet with his blue or grey uniform. It was strangely odd but surprisingly I liked it. Maybe for the same reason people can’t look away from a traffic accident. My younger brother would watch it with me and that was cool.
  • I have never gone to a restaurant for Christmas dinner. Maybe that is not surprising. I think going to a restaurant for Christmas dinner is surprising.   Maybe the only people who go to Christmas dinner at a restaurant are like the family in the movie A Christmas Story. The dogs got the turkey! That father, despite his ability to weave a tapestry with his cussing was a cool customer.

I hope you have a great week and get that shopping done!

Written by pacelinebiz

December 14, 2015 at 8:01 am

Thanksgiving Memories

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Sleep Well After Eating

Sleep Well After Eating

This week is Thanksgiving so I am obligated to blog about it according to the rules that govern internet blogging. Incidentally, the internet has strict rules about the accuracy of what is added to the worldwide web.  Rule number one is; if it is not true then it’s not for you.  I might be wrong about that.  In 2012 I blogged about how it is on the wrong day.  You can read my reasoning by clicking here.  I stand by my views.  In 2009 I took a humorous approach in an unscientific poll that you can read by clicking here.

This year, rather than talking about Thanksgiving Day foods or trying my hand at humor, I am going to prepare a list of my most memorable football games that were played on Thanksgiving.

  • 11/26/98 – Pittsburgh at Detroit – Jerome Bettis and the coin toss fiasco.  

The Steelers lose in overtime because the ref “misheard” Jerome Bettis call the toss at the beginning of overtime and the Lions quickly kicked a field goal to win the game 19-16.

  • 11/28/74 – Washington at Dallas – The Clint Longley game.

Clint Longley beats the Redskins 24-23 after coming in for an injured Roger “the dodger” Staubach. He took over in the third quarter down 16-3 and won it on a 50 year “hail mary”.  A couple of years later in training camp he sucker-punched the very same Roger Staubach and was quickly traded to San Diego.  There are two things you never do; divide by zero and hit the star quarterback.  He never amounted to much after that game on Thanksgiving but he had his moment in the sun – the San Diego sun.

  • 11/25/93 – Miami at Dallas – The Leon Lett* game

Cowboys led the Dolphins 14–13 with only a handful of seconds to go and Miami attempted to win it with a 40-yard field goal but it was blocked by the Cowboys. Unfortunately, Leon Lett of the Cowboys chased after the ball, touched it and the Dolphins recovered it and kicked the winner with a final score of 16-14

*Leon Lett gets special recognition for being a bonehead. In the January 1993 Super Bowl which the Cowboys crushed the Bills 52-17 he recovered a fumble on the Dallas 35-yard line and ran it back towards the end zone.  Around the 10-yard line he began “showboating” and slowed and held the ball out as he neared the goal line.  He did not see Don Beebe, a noted Bills hustling special teams player who chased him down and knocked the ball out of his hand and through the end zone for a touchback.  This cost them a touchdown and, more importantly, set the stage for his gaffe on Thanksgiving Day in 1993. 

Those are three Thanksgiving Day games that I remember and the special Leon Lett Super Bowl gaffe was added in as a bonus. Have a great week and practice your fundamentals Leon!

It’s Not Me, It’s You

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My Owner Has "Trust Issues"

My Owner Has “Trust Issues”

Note: Today marks the 6 year birthday of this blog

Unfortunately, I have a sad story to tell of a long relationship that ended badly. I had to end a relationship recently that dates back to the 1970’s. It had been very wobbly over the past several years and finally came to an end in June. I am so happy I finally realized that I would be better if the relationship was over.

I had to end my love affair with General Motors. I gave and gave over the years and was rewarded in return. In the past several years I was no longer receiving love back and was being hurt repeatedly – and they didn’t seem to care. So I ended it.

Before I describe the end let me take you back to the good old days. I loved the cars they made and they were good! I first fell in love as a youth with the late 60’s muscle cars. The Corvette, Camaro, Malibu, Cutlass and even the four door Impala was sweet back in the day. I had a real crush on the ‘69 Camaro Z-28. I had no time for the silly Chrysler products and their hemi engines or Ford except maybe the Mustang. Who can forget the movie Bullitt with Steve McQueen? I have had a lot of GM cars over the years and my first new car I bought was a 1992 Chevy Cavalier. I tricked it out (as much as one could to a 4 cylinder economy car) with pinstripes and multiple “Bow Tie” decals. That car served me well and I went on to drive two S-10 pickup trucks and a Saturn and a 2009 Malibu.

The 2009 Malibu was what soured the relationship. It was without a doubt a lemon. It had so many problems that I can only list a few. The worst were the 6 times I replaced the automatic door locks, the two times I had to replace suspension parts that wore out incredibly fast and both remote key fobs that broke simply because the delicate soldering on the battery hold down clip broke. This also happened on the Saturn as well. It also had many “check engine” light problems that required a trip in to the shop for repairs so I could pass my emissions test. The final straw was the catalytic converter and two variable valve timing sensors that needed replaced.

I also have a 2008 Saturn and a 2011 Cruze in my stable and they are also junk. They have all had at least 3 recalls each and that is probably an underestimate.  I had to replace the thermostat in the Cruze and it was over $300 due to the modular design.

I grew up near a GM production facility and learned to appreciate the impact that it had on the local economy and was a hold out against buying imports for years despite the rave reviews they received for reliability. My brothers have a repair shop and as much as they hated to say it they have told me and their customers that Honda and Toyota were light years ahead of the American products for reliability.

In June I finally woke up and stopped taking the abuse that I was receiving and I bought a Honda. I still don’t feel right about it but time will tell if it was the right decision. I was probably foolish for sticking with GM so long but I finally made the change. If you are a business owner, don’t expect the same kind of customer loyalty that I gave GM. I urge all small business owners not to get complacent with your customers. Take action BEFORE a problem gets to this point. I hope you learn from this and one last warning; I can ever imagine going back to GM. Can you afford the type of reaction from a former customer? I doubt it.

Have a great week.