Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Princes of the Universe Episode 10

In this Episode we talk about Star Wars EU, the passing of Leonard Nimoy and the state of comic books today.

Kicking over an anthill

As a kid it was always fun to mess up an anthill. Whether with a stick or your foot, watching ants scattered everywhere provided an unexplained comfort within us all.

Well guess what? It's still true today?

I was watering the lawn with weed-b-gone and saw an anthill in my front yard. I stick was nearby so I picked it up and began digging up the hill. Ants scattered everywhere, much to my satisfaction as a watched it for a for seconds then went to my antkiller to finish them off.

Weird how it's just as much fun now as it was back in my childhood.

Princes of the Universe Episode 9

In this episode we talk about the Star Wars EU, Bone comic book series and the flop that was the Louisiana Comic Con.

Saturday Morning Samoflange Episode 8

In this Episode we talk about Board games!

Monday, March 02, 2015

Homemade Playsets

We didn't have much money growing up and Mom and Dad never had the money to buy playsets for our action figures so we had to get imaginative on coming up with playsets of our own.

 A dirt mound was always a special place for our action heroes to play. It would be a mountain our a cliff that could send our villain (or Hero) tumbling toward their potential doom!

Every time I see a little dirt mound like this one, I still think about my action figures to this day.
 We always had a loose pile of bricks in our backyard which we used to the fullest extent when building forts or castles for our action figures. I remember even adding an iron gate to my fortress which was really an old rusty grill to a drainage ditch or something.
 Mom's hedges were always a good source of adventure when it came to playing with action figures. Climbing huge trees or secret villain hideouts were usually the theme.

We ruined Mom's rose bushes once by trying to cut a tunnel thru it with scissors!
 Space ships were made from upside down wagons like this one. Underneath are a whole bunch of pockets in the molding which fit our characters nicely as seats to navigate, pilot or gun the ship.
Cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes were a prizes possession in our home. We used them for bases and ships all the time! There wasn't a cardboard box out there that we couldn't repurpose as an accessory for our action figures. Mom knew it too because every time she went to Sams she'd grab a few cardboard boxes they had for guest against a wall and bring them back for us to play with.

It may sound pathetic but it was like having a mini Christmas whenever she did it!

 One other thing we had to use was Dad's firewood pile. We had a wood burning heater back in the day and so every fall dad had a truckload of firewood brought in to chop up and feed the heater. It'd be all gone by the spring so it became a seasonal thing for us to play on.

To be honest, it wasn't used much for action figures but more or less us. We'd get crayons, draw on scanners and command keys on the logs and set up our own impromptu starship! Of course as spring approached it was completely disassembled by Dad.

Though his credit, our crayoned pieces he saved till last.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Jump (Part 2)

Time to finish our discussion on jumping today.
 We're going to look at some of more dangerous exercises when it comes to jumping, like off a roof for instance. Which is something we did constantly as kids. Sometimes with a homemade parachute (which was nothing more than a blanket) to striking cool karate posing before we hit the ground.

Heck! I practically LIVED on our roof in highschool. Always going up there to read, stare out at the sky, sun tan or plan a water balloon attack on arriving guests. The roof was it's own source of entertainment for us back in the day!

Last year I was up on my roof patching up a spot when I realized I couldn't get back down. The ladder had fallen over. So taking my pride I decided to jump off the roof like I'd always done in the old days.

It looked a lot smaller when I was younger. After half an hour of hemming and hawing I finally build up the courage (or lost the brain cells) to do it. I jumped.

A whole second of pure terror.

Luckily I hit the ground with no injuries and walked away thinking how my best days were not behind me yet.

PS- I don't think I'll ever do that again.
 Bonfire jumping. This is one of those memories I have to think back and say "What was I thinking?!"

Every New Year's we went out to a friends house and tried this out. Usually clearing the bon fire as we jumped but one year it just wasn't meant to be.

A buddy and me jumped at the same time on opposite sides, neither one of us realizing it until we collided right over the middle. I fell back and he fell forward.

He went to the hospital with burns on his hands, arms and chest. I went home without pants, shoes or socks. After that year, the New Year's parties were shut down and I haven't been near a bonfire since.
These days kids have jumpers for their enjoyment. I like these and though it's been a few years, I'd go in one again if given the chance. As teens we used to have (you guessed it) mock wrestling matches in there, where each "slam" was well timed and choreographed.

Have a good weekend folks!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jump (Part 1)

You know, we jump into, off of, over, in and out of many things. So today I'd like to talk about what some of those things are.
 First you have your classic Trampoline. Something we've all spent hours doing. Jumping off and on to the ground was asking for trouble but you did it anyway to show off... and some of you even have the permanent injuries to prove it.

Back in the days these things didn't have the spring protectors so a painful leg slip or arm pinch happened to the best of us. It happened to me and I'd much more prefer the spring pinch to a nut whacker.
 Later on someone came up with the brilliant idea of adding netting to the trampoline, enabling every teenagers dream of becoming a cage fighter. (Or WWE wrestler, which was what we used it for) I still like this idea and bounce with me nephews every so often with them on the one they have in their back yard.

I've seen 2 busted lips, 1 nose-bleeding pop and several "noggins" but am happy to say none were by me.

 Next thing I think about when it comes to "jumping" is fall. The only reward for raking the leaves is what came afterwards. As kids our parents had us fooled we were raking for our own entertainment when all the while we were doing the job for them.

Today I wouldn't jump into a pile of leaves for nothing. Not because of what may be crawling in there but of how hard my landing would be.

Never hurt as a kid but that doesn't tell me anything now.
One other thing we used to jump in as kids growing up in Mississippi was a cotton trailer. Every once in a while Dad would visit friends who were cotton farmers and we'd get to go out front with the kids and jump in the trailers full of freshly harvested cotton.

Besides landing on the occasional shucks the landing was always soft as a cloud. (Duh, it's cotton right?) But don't try to bury yourself in any of it. Gets pretty warm in there after only a few seconds. You're seriously drenched with sweat by the time you're done.

Still.... fun stuff!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Setting Sail

 Ahoy there mateys! Just wanted to jog your memory again with showing you some of the toy boats you played with as a kid!
 Whether in the pool of the bath tub (bath tub for us) these were some of the toys that brought you the most happiness!
 Well, that and an Aquaman action figure.
Finally we come to another one of my mom's (and maybe yours too) ideas to make a popsicle raft to float through the ditches when it rained.

A great idea for kids who got a reason to be outside in the pouring rain having a great time and for the parent who's going crazy with a kid in the house and wants them out!

We'd race our rafts down the streets (since we didn't have ditches) but in Mississippi when we did, it was nervous to see your raft go under the ditch, wondering if you'd see it come out the other side or not. Sometimes if it was stuck in there not too deep we'd get a stick to push it through but if it stopped in the right spot under the driveway you were screwed!

Anyway, just some fun memories for the day to share!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Taking flight (Part 2)

 Ah the paper plane! Such a classic. All of us at one school period or another, knew how to make one of these on the quick and shot them at each other when the teacher wasn't looking. Sometimes you'd write  note on it for your buddies to read:

"Let's grab the swings today at recess before any of the stupid girls do."

Ah, now those were the days...
 But later on in life (if you were like me) your paper planes started looking more like this. We changed it's shape to see how far we could get it to go. As kids up in our rooms if we got bored we'd just tear out a sheet from our notebooks and have a impromptu competition right then and there!

Bray and I once constructed the PERFECT paper airplane. I'm not kidding. It was a once in a lifetime experience that neither of us will ever be able to replicate again. It was that perfect.

We used two or three sheets of paper to make it sturdier, then some paper clips to the front and back to act as counter weights to the airplane.

The Result?

The smoothest flying paper airplane you've ever seen! It was a proud day for he both of us. Coincidently, we were working for the County Tax Assessor at the time, so that's where everyone's tax dollars went that day.

But it was worth it!!
 As kids we also played with the balsa wood planes as well. I don't see them around anymore so I wonder if they're still made. I have to believe they are because of their inexpensive production cost and added fun value.

Dang, talking about them makes me want one right now in fact!

Easy for any kid to construct these planes were good for a whole afternoon of fun.
Harken the Styrofoam Jet. Remember this puppy? I was so excited when Dad bought us one. A little harder to fit the wings in because of the tight fit an the cringing squeaking noise Styrofoam makes when you rub it together, putting on the stickers was fun too. (but then again, when isn't putting stickers on something fun?!)

Boy could these things sail too! It was a beautiful thing to watch them fly gracefully over the lawn. But if you hit a house to hard that may have signaled the end for your jet, since the thing wasn't built to withstand high impact collisions.

Again, another toy I don't see as much of anymore in my adulthood.

A shame.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Taking flight (Part 1)

Did you ever fly kites? I haven't in years but I remember flying them with my parents while on our annual trip to the beach. They were hard to get off the ground, hard to keep in the air and now I've come to find out, even harder to put together in the first place!!

Geez! How much patience did my Dad have with these things?! Seriously, I don't know how this came to be a popular activity with folks. Every time I try putting one together I'm guaranteed to break either the cheap plastic fabric or brace!

A few years back, my brother took his kids kiting and I tagged along. Man, seeing their faces light up on how high their kites went helped jog my memory to how fun it was when our kite hit new heights too.

Don't worry, I'm not that nostalgic for kites just got me wondering today...