"" Writer's Wanderings: October 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Glimpse of Heaven?

Okay, I've hesitated to post this lest I appear a little, well, kooky. (That was a good term in a little earlier time of my life).

I was visiting a church this past Sunday that loves to sing the old hymns as well as some of the snappy new choruses. We were singing "Victory In Jesus." The words truly began to sink in around the second verse: "He made the lame to walk. . .blind to see. . .come and heal my broken spirit. . .and somehow Jesus came. . ." But it was the third verse that transported me.

"I heard about a mansion. . ." Time seemed to slow a bit.
"He has built for me in glory. . ." Something clicked in my head.
"And I heard about the streets of gold. . ." I was suddenly imagining gold bricks making a street like the old cobbled streets I've seen in Europe.
". . .beyond the crystal sea. . ." And here, time seemed to stop. In my mind, I had a clear picture of a body of water unlike what I had ever seen before. It wasn't the green of Lake Erie, or the deep blue of the Pacific or even the inviting turquoise of the Caribbean. It was clear, sparkling and pure--like fine crystal.

Have I lost you yet?

It was comforting and while I've never cared for the melody of the hymn, the words this time gave me a glimpse of heaven that sent goosebumps up my arms with the beautiful scene.

Jesus said he was Living Water when he met the woman at the well. I think somehow that crystal sea--so pure and clean--would be just that, Living Water.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

In My Lifetime--Required Reading

I'm a little out of touch with what is required reading today in schools since my children are now having children. (The sixth grandchild arrived last night!!) But here are some of the books I remember having to read:

Dick and Jane books (That's what I cut my reading "teeth" on)
Silas Marner (I think that was ninth grade)
1984 (I think they label this one history now instead of futuristic fantasy)
Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer (Through the years Mark Twain has been honored and banned)
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies (Wonder if they based the new reality series on this?)
Catch 22 (This one may have been in college but I did take advanced Lit in high school)
To Kill a Mocking Bird (I'm reading about Harper Lee now--interesting)

Of course there was also Frost, Whitman, Dickinson, and ee cummings. I liked ee. I thought it was neat not to use capital letters.

Through the years authors have come and gone. Their popularity soaring and diminishing. Still there are those who keep on: Doctorow for one.

Today I wonder how long Grisham, King, Patterson, Brown, and the other "moderns" will hang on to their popularity? I think King might last a while because he's more unique--kind of like a Poe.

Well, so much for my meanderings this morning. What books do you remember as required reading in school?

Friday, October 12, 2007

In My Lifetime--Typewriters to PCs

Contrary to what some in my family may think, I did not start writing with a chisel and stone. I used an electric Royal typewriter that I purchased with S&H green stamps (redemption stamps should be another post). It came with a ribbon that had white-out on it and I didn't have to mess with a bottle of liquid that always managed to dry out and get white crumbs around the top. It was cool (language--another post).

A few years prior to this, my husband had scavaged computer parts from a dump behind his place of work and began assembling a computer in our basement. The computer took up most of the half-basement we had in our split-level house. It had huge tape drives and lots of flashing lights when it "thought." We oohed and aahed as the giant printer he purchased printed out a 30" wide Snoopy.

It was about then that the punch cards popularly used for programing a computer became obsolete and my mother and I took boxes of them we inherited and made Christmas wreaths out of them.

Then along came the Texas Instruments home computer, the TI-99. It was used mainly for games but it was the first step in smaller computers and was about the size of a small musical keyboard.

Next the Tandy came into our home. A Radio Shack special that eventually became totally obsolete and anything you did on it was pretty much worthless because it wouldn't transfer to the new IBM models that followed. The Tandy taught me about word processing. It also taught me to back up my work. I remember losing two hours worth of data entry one day to a komikaze squirrel who knocked out a transformer and caused a blackout.

From those early models, PCs lept forward with technology. The computers got smaller in size, bigger in memory, and faster in "thinking."

Today, the computer that took up half of our basement can fit into the palm of your hand and do the work of a dozen of those computers or more. And the white-out ribbon I was so excited about has been replaced by cut and paste in my word processing program that does about everything but create the words--oh wait! It does insert the right spelling and even suggests how I could say it better. It also automatically backs up. I no longer fear komikaze squirrels.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

In My Lifetime--Game Shows

I watched Wheel of Fortune last night and saw Vanna in dazzling evening gown lightly touch the puzzle board and set the letters in motion, popping up for the first round. She's come a long way in 25 years. So far that I'm surprised she still has a job. The puzzle board is so automated that except for "window dressing," she really isn't necessary. Any one else remember when she had to actually turn the letters around?

Game/quiz shows have been consistently popular as long as I can remember. They were also a point of cotroversy back in the late 50s when it was discovered that some shows were feeding answers to contestants they wanted to continue on. The $64,000 Question was one that was investigated.

Lots of game shows have come and gone. Some I watched were: Password, Hollywood Squares, The Dating Game, Let's Make a Deal, $10,000 Pyramid, Family Feud, and Jeopardy (back when Art Fleming was host, too).

Perhaps the greatest of these (in my opinion) and the longest lasting is The Price Is Right. It's been going since 1972 and looks to continue even after Bob Barker's retirement. I remember watching Barker on Truth or Consequences before TPIR.

Certainly game shows have truly changed in the amount of money people can win. Inflation perhaps? Deal Or No Deal this week was trying to give away a million bucks. They were trying so hard, they had four suitcases with a cool mil in them.

So, why the popularity? Is it the fantasy of winning big? The challenge of knowing the answers (Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?)? Whatever the reason we all love to watch. . .and dream.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Celebrity Look Alikes

For years I have had to listen to people say how much my husband looks like Ted Kennedy. That was good before the years of drinking and overeating caught up with Teddy. Now Bob looks much better than Ted. When my daughter-in-law found this site and ran their pictures for celebrity look-alikes I thought it might be fun. My son came out with Mel Gibson and Brad Pitt on his list. Hmmm. How accurate is this technology?

Here's mine. I'm surprised that I have two Japanese ladies and an Indian in my portfolio.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...