Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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On June 11, 1982, days before my younger son turned three, the movie, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, was released. E.T.’s Communicator from the film E.T. Taken at Universal Studios Hollywood. (Photo credit: WikipedThe two brothers in the movie were six years apart. My own boys 11 years apart. Themes from this science fiction movie included: Friendship across different backgrounds Hiding stuff from your Mom Taking care of people both physically and emotionally Accepting the fact that you aren’t going to understand everything, like a bike that flies Government officials and scientists can do... (Read More ...)

Last week, the most popular posts were: Grandparents. Poems. Funny. How To Do Nothing with Nobody What Are the Top 10 Tips For a Long Marriage? Moore’s Law Have You Ever Made Your Own Slingshot? Last month, the most popular posts were: Who Taught You You Were Pretty? Mom’s Pies Who Discovered DNA? Do You Get Along with Your Grandchildren’s Other Grandparents? My Grandmother’s Love Letters Coming up next week: Who Invented the Hula Hoop? Monday, May 13, 2013  Hooping. Dance. Exercise. When Did a Computer Finally Win a Chess Game Against a Champion? Tuesday, May 14, 2013... (Read More ...)

Douglas Engelbart was awarded a patent on November 17, 1970 for the invention of the computer mouse. The first computer mouse held by inventor Douglas Engelbart showing the wheels that directly contact the working surface (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It had track wheels, instead of the ball that would later become standard. The patent was assigned to his employer, Stanford Research Institute (SRI). Engelbart, with the help of his lead engineer, who built the mouse from Engelbart’s drawings, invented the mouse in 1963. English described it in a 1965 paper, “Computer-Aided Display Control.” The... (Read More ...)

Are You Ready for some Ping-Pong? The U. S, table tennis team first set foot in China on April 10, 1971 in an act that came to be known as Ping Pong Diplomacy. President Nixon meets with China’s Communist Party Leader, Mao Tse-Tung, 02/29/1972 after Ping Pong Diplomacy Set the Stage in 1971 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) How had that come to be the way we opened ourselves up to China, a country we had not recognized since it fell to the Communists in 1949? Apparently, the President of the International Table Tennis Federation, H. Roy Evans, suggested to China that they try to initiate relations... (Read More ...)

Enjoy the ride… (Photo credit: Biscarotte) Have Your Children? “You know, we don’t let our children play with them.” My neighbor was trying to warn me about her next-door-neighbor’s children. I stopped her with, “We let our children choose their own friends.” I liked the boy she was talking about, who was our son’s age. He was sweet. He seemed needy, as the child of a family who moves often does. I had no idea what family troubles drove them. But, whatever they were, my neighbor thought the boy a bad influence and wouldn’t let her children hang out with him. While I appreciated... (Read More ...)

How Did You Handle It? I was living in Boston for three months, doing the research for my second book. A Basketball. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I drove home to Virginia almost every two weeks. I was especially grateful for this plan when I got to my son’s elementary school one Friday night, minutes before they were to start playing basketball. That night, several of his teammates were sick. The remaining five boys would have to play the entire game, no substitutions. They were playing a taller, better team. It was the only game they won the entire season. When I drove back to Boston, I usually... (Read More ...)

What Do You Say to a Police Captain? A friend had given my husband a handgun. Tango show in Buenos Aires (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The friend had bought it for protection, but was leaving the country and didn’t want to carry it with him. Though he had a license for the gun, the serial number had been filed off. My husband threw it in the closet and forgot about it. Until the coup. We were living in Argentina. It was March 24, 1976. The Army had tried to hold a coup in December, three months before. But, the other services got together and talked them out of it. “You remember what it was like... (Read More ...)

When Did Grandma Stop Eating Cat Food? In the 1960s, it was common to read that Seniors were sometimes found to be reduced to eating cat food. Social Security Poster: old man (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It seemed nutritious, cheap and didn’t require cooking. We were, of course, appalled. Was this a country where our Seniors were so poor they were reduced to eating cat food? I mentioned this to someone recently because you never read these stories now. She said, “Yes, the reduction of Senior poverty in our lifetime is a major accomplishment.” “Now, however, they have to choose between food... (Read More ...)

Angel Food Cake Pan My brother was so excited! Angel Food Cake Pan (Photo credit: Wikipedia) “Did you know that angel food cake pans have feet?” “What does that mean?” “You can turn them over and rest them on the little feet on the edges of the pan so you don’t have to go find a bottle to turn them over on.” Nope. I didn’t know that. I didn’t even know my brother could cook. I rushed to see if my angel food cake pan had the feet my brother was talking about. Yep. So, for more than 40 years, I’d been looking for clean bottles to turn over my angel food cake onto for an hour... (Read More ...)

Berlin Wall Comes Down. We are approaching the anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall came down, November 9, 1989. The Berlin Wall Comes Down, 1989. The photo shows a part of a public photo documentation wall at Former Check Point Charlie, Berlin. The photo documentation is permanently placed in the public. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In August, 1967, I spent five days in Berlin, Germany. At the time, it was divided into East Berlin and West Berlin, with limited movement across the line. I spent most of my time in West Berlin, but took a one-day bus tour into East Berlin. Before we crossed the border... (Read More ...)