Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Past

I'm just sitting here thinking about Christmas and the Holidaze, and how different it is now from when I was a kid. I mean, the things kids get today is a far cry from what it was in my increasingly distant youth. Today's gift lists include things like iPods, Xboxes, cellphones, and flat screen TV's.  Hmmm...back in the day...you know, the dinosaur age, we were asking for things like record players, Ataris, walkie talkies, and um, there was only one TV in the whole house and cable did not exist, so there'd be no point in asking for a TV!

At any rate, I thought I'd share with you some of my memories of favorite Christmas gifts from Christmas Past.

Barbie's  Country Camper

Barbie Country Camper

Now really, isn't this the only way for Barbie to travel...in her own RV?  It had a popout on the side, and a fold-out table; not to mention sleeping bags, a  tilt-up windshield, and a rooftop luggage rack (no sense in letting all their luggage get in the way of their indoor RV fun!)  There was enough room for friends to come along too. Sometimes Malibu Barbie would come, and sometimes even GI Joe.  You just had to be careful with him though; Joe was a little on the stiff side and did not get along with Ken. And if the two of them had a few beers too many, well, all hell would break loose in that camper!

The Six Million Dollar Man Doll

Six Million Dollar Man

Based on the popular TV show, who wouldn't want Steve Austin,  The Six Million Dollar Man doll? Not only did he have a hole in the back of his head so you could see through is bionic eye, but he had roll up skin on his bionic arm and legs, so you could see (and remove) his bionic parts! How creepy cool is that?! Besides, he came in handy when Ken and GI Joe were not getting along, because he could totally kick their ass! And even though he did have his very own bionic girlfriend, we all know he was secretly in love with Barbie, so he enjoyed tagging along with her. No wonder she needed an RV.

Electronic Detective

Electronic Detective

Now this was a game I got in the early 80's. You got to be a detective to solve murder mysteries.  Who Done It? It was your job to find out. There were over 130,000 mysteries to solve, and it included all sorts of sound effects too: gun shots, sirens, even the funeral dirge, and more. My best friend and I both wanted to be private detectives when we grew up...so this game was good training, to be sure.  Talk about your hi-tech toys! This was the height of advanced computer logic...OK well, based on computer logic of 1979, when the game was created anyway.

Mork from Ork Egg Ship

Mork From Ork Egg Ship

Mork from Ork made his first TV appearance on the hit TV show Happy Days in the late 70's. Played by the legendary comic, Robin Williams (who was an unknown at the time), his character became such a hit that he got his own TV show: Mork & Mindy. I loved Mork! I couldn't wait to watch that show each week. It was truly one of my all time faves. One year for Christmas, my grandma and grandpa got all of us these Mork from Ork Egg Ships--because, well, Mork's mode of travel was indeed an egg ship, what else?! The plastic ship came in two parts, with a 4" Mork figure inside.  And Shazbot! I loved that thing!

Portable Cassette Tape Player

Portable Cassette Player

Not as old as an 8-track player, but long before CD players (and iPods), there was the cassette player. And if you were really lucky, you also had a portable cassette player, like this red one that I got one year. I was able to not only take this with me to friends' houses, but I could also record stuff. Talk about old school! Remember those days? If you liked a song on the radio you'd just push your tape recorder up to the radio speaker...really close...and push record, and then you had to remember not to talk or make any other noise while recording or it would be on the tape too and you'd ruin the whole thing! You also had to be sure you had enough space on the tape for all the songs you were recording; but inevitably, at some point, you'd run out of tape...usually just as your favorite song was recording. Ah, the good ole days.

Before I leave, I wanted to share with you the one Christmas present I really, really wanted as a child, but never got.  It's one of those things you can't really explain, but you just really want it. So what was it?

Star Trek Communicators

That's right: Star Trek Communicators. Yes folks, as a child I was indeed a Trekkie. Space travel. Exploring new worlds. Pointy-eared Vulcans. Hot space ship captains. Yeah, I hear you snickering, but that's because you thought James T. Kirk (aka William Shatner) was hot too.  Don't pretend like you didn't. The Communicators were actually walkie-talkies, and I thought they were the coolest things. The top flipped open and you could talk into it.  I never got them as a child. But oh yeah, the Hubs and I have some now. We call them...cellphones.

Beam me up, Scotty. And Happy Holidays.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Who's Who

Apparently, I'm somebody, according to Strathmore's Who's Who. I got a letter that confirms this, so hey, it must be true.

It is my pleasure to inform you that your information was reviewed and accepted for inclusion in the 2009 edition. Strathmore's Who's Who each year recognizes and selects key executives, professionals, and organizations in all disciplines and industries for outstanding business and professional achievements. Those who have reached a distinguished level of success in their chosen profession share this recognition.

OK, so, not only am I "distinguished," but I also have "outstanding business and professional achievements." That's so interesting! I didn't know that having a net income of $0 from my business was considered an outstanding business achievement! Holy heck, I'm doing better than I thought!

What's next? Will Forbes be calling me for the next Fortune 500?!  And surely Oprah will want an interview to extol the merits of my highly tuned business acumen.  Perhaps even The Donald will be calling, wanting some insight from a clearly accomplished business professional.  Like, for real.

That letter from Strathmore made my day. Perhaps I should frame it and hang it on the wall alongside my other nonexistent awards and accolades, so that I can give my name the spotlight it deserves. But wait...what's this? My name is nowhere on this letter. It's not addressed to me at all. It says...Dear...Company Owner. Apparently, I'm so distinguished and accomplished that they can't even address me by name?!

WTH?

What a racket.  I wish I had a dollar for every time I got one of these letters. (Seriously, that would add up to a LOT of money by now!) Yeah, they're gonna put my name in a book alright. But the only way I'll see it myself is to buy the damned book, which is, of course, the whole point of the letter.

Do people really fall for this? If so, I am definitely in the wrong business. And let's not overlook the fact that this letter came...by fax, just as all news of professional accomplishment and achievement should come.

Not.

Gotta give props to the folks at Strathmore though. If they're making money in this economy with this gimmick, more power to 'em.  It's the American way.