Ohm Improvement

I remember when VCRs came out. It seemed that no one over the age of 27 knew how to stop the clock from flashing 12:00.

It was such a simple fix that I never understood why the adults couldn’t figure it out. Even after I showed them how to fix the clock, they still couldn’t grasp it.

The same was true for programming the thing to record Columbo, The Andy Griffith Show, or any of the other programs that grownups couldn’t live ...

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My Hobby Lobby

I think everyone should have a hobby.

I believe this simply because it’s so interesting what each of us finds fascinating.

For some, movies are a hobby. There’s a subset of movie lovers who are obsessed with Star Wars.

Pick 10 people on the street and ask them what they think of Star Wars, and you’ll likely get nine different answers.

A couple of them will be fanatics and have seen every movie at least three times each. One or two others will be ...

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Tick Tock

I read something recently that was a bit disconcerting. Someone was offering a class to teach children how to tell time.

Think about that.

We’ve simplified the most basic things to the point where children, the very group of people that we will all rely on to run the country and our nursing homes when we reach old age, can’t read a watch or a clock.

Sure, kids, or anyone else for that matter, can look at a cellphone or a digital device ...

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Stuck on Green Stamps

My mom and her mother saved 7 1/2 books to get us that swing set. Just three years before in 1966, my parents had saved to buy their first house. Money was tight, so, if my sister and I were going to have that new addition to the backyard, Green Stamps would be the key.

For families in America in the 60s and 70s, Green Stamps were part of life.

S&H Green Stamps are no longer available, but at their zenith, moms, ...

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A Free Gift Inside!

My sister and I would make a beeline for the cereal aisle at the Piggly Wiggly while my mom did the shopping.

Decisions, decisions. Did we want to roll the dice and pick the cereal that promised the possibility of getting the coolest toy, or did we want to go with cereal we liked since, either way, we’d have to eat the whole box?

They were called product premiums, and you don’t see them much anymore.

The marketers of American products used to ...

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Name Dropping

Most old-school celebrities are just regular folks.

There are very few celebrities I’ll spend money to see, but Jay Leno made the list.

We sat in the audience waiting for him to take the stage, and when he did, he didn’t disappoint. He’s one of the few comedians left who can be non-stop funny for 90 minutes without being vulgar.

We didn’t get to meet Jay, but he seems like a nice guy. He has that reputation in the show ...

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The Canning Jar Quest

Forty-five years ago, my mother began collecting a series of antique canning jars. I can’t remember why this happened, but my best guess is that she came across one that was unique, she liked it, and she bought it.

This purchase would start a chain reaction and a multi-year search for my family.

Specifically, she sought green Atlas jars with glass lids. These were also known as “Lightning Jars.” Allegedly, the name came from how much faster they were to open than ...

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Just My Type

For those who know me, it’s no secret that I enjoy perusing the classifieds for yard or estate sales. But, a recent online visit to the local Craigslist site led to the purchase of a manual typewriter. A 1958 Remington Quiet-Riter, to be exact.

This column was written on it.

Some might consider an almost-60-year-old typewriter a nonsensical purchase, considering that desktops, laptops and iPads (the latter typically being my chosen device for writing) are much easier to navigate and correct mistakes.

All ...

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Picturing Grace

When I was a child, there was a painting that hung on my grandmother’s kitchen wall. It portrayed a man who was praying over a meal of bread and what appeared to be a bowl of soup. Near the man was a book, which I always assumed was a Bible, and a pair of spectacles.

From my earliest recollections until my dad’s mother passed, I remember looking at this painting while we ate in her home and wondering many things. Who ...

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The Fall Guy

Hands down, fall is my favorite time of year. I just wish that fall lasted a little longer in Texas.

Had I been born and raised in a different climate, this might not be the case. But, growing up in the south, the fall won my appreciation at a young age.

For those who are reading this and are sitting in a geographical location that is visited by four equal seasons every year, pat yourself on the back and say, “I am ...

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