Dad’s Time Machine

It’s closing in on two years since I lost my dad. His memory dominates my thoughts tonight because I just finished spending a few hours working on cleaning up the basement where he kept nearly everything he had ever owned. It’s a combination of junk pile and museum. I like to think of it as a time machine for traveling back and spending more time with my dad, because his presence is so strong in that place.

Two years flies by quickly.

I was certain that the first year after his passing would be the hardest, and it was so terribly difficult in so many ways. The grief hit me the worst around 6 months after his passing, which coincided with his birthday. I never cry, but I sure did cry a lot that month.

My mother and I had spent so much of our time as caregivers we had ignored taking care of ourselves and we were ragged that first year. I had no idea of how badly in need of a reset I was.

Instinctively, I began avoiding stress. If I had the ability to eliminate something that made me feel bad, it was gone – whether it was a situation or a specific person. I circled my wagons and took care of myself.

I’m still doing that.

Even as my world was shrinking I was gaining perspective.

Cleaning up Dad’s Time Machine has been great therapy for me. It might take a few more years, but I’ll get there eventually.

And you will too.

 

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Soundtrack

I was in my second year of architecture school when the movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure hit theaters. It was (and still is) a significantly absurd movie, but it was absurd in all the right places and had a most excellent soundtrack. Something that would appeal to a kid in his early 20s pulling all-nighters making drawings and architectural models.

At some point I discovered the soundtrack to the movie on cassette tape and I listened to it religiously until I knew the songs by heart and the order in which they played – the way that anybody raised during Continue reading Bill & Ted’s Excellent Soundtrack

Lesson of Joe: Leaping Before You Look

Tonight I was reminded of a lesson my friend Joe Connolly taught me back when he was Propmaster of the long-forgotten Aaron Spelling series “Savannah”. That fabulous, opulent saga of murder and intrigue by the rich and powerful was actually being produced out of the drafty old storefront of a disused lumber yard more than half an hour north of Atlanta’s state capital . It was so far out of the way that I sometimes wondered if the owner (referred to by some as “Secret Squirrel”) was actually paying Aaron Spelling Continue reading Lesson of Joe: Leaping Before You Look

Revolutionary Retro-Illumination Guide #1

5 Lights Living Room Dining Room Perforated Metal Lampshade Ceiling Light

With the arrival of functional, mainstream LED lighting I think a lot of us have become fascinated with the new range of illumination solutions. More than once I have found myself stuck on the lighting aisle of my local home repair store, mesmerized by all the options. Back in 2016 I had my first close encounter with retro LED lightbulbs at a hipster lighting store in Continue reading Revolutionary Retro-Illumination Guide #1

The Funeral Service of JL Parker

Miss Cindy's famous Blue Truck.

This past Saturday morning we met down near Forsyth, Georgia, to celebrate the life of JL Parker, who passed on September 27th, 2017. I have written down my memories of the funeral services for those who could not be there, and for posterity.

 

An Unexpected Surprise

As I exited the highway I noticed that my car’s low fuel indicator had come on during the drive down to the funeral. I couldn’t help but think back to a time when JL’s crew had kindly filled my tank on one of those occasions when I was young and dumb and had coasted on fumes to set.

As I coasted down the final quarter mile to the church on Saturday I was surprised to see a big tractor trailer rig emblazoned with the TEAMSTERS logo. It was an impressive honor from the union that JL had belonged to for so much of his career in the motion picture industry.

And then, as I began to turn into the driveway, I saw the Blue Truck. Continue reading The Funeral Service of JL Parker

A Middle-Ager’s Guide to Riding Rollercoasters at Six Flags

The rollercoaster Goliath towering over the trees at the entrance to Six Flags Over Georgia

This weekend our movie industry union picked up the tab for a “family day” at Six Flags and several thousand members took advantage of the opportunity. We got to have the park to ourselves before regular park hours began, which meant that lines were practically Continue reading A Middle-Ager’s Guide to Riding Rollercoasters at Six Flags

Dragon Con Turns 31 – Is It Too Big Now?

This aging dragon has certainly grown!

Just look at that graph!

It’s based on data I found on a Dragon Con wiki, which explains that its data was collected from snapshots of the Dragon Con website as preserved on the Internet Archives. I also used numbers from the Wikipedia article on Dragon Con to fill in the graph. Attendance figures for some years differ from those listed in the history section of the current version of the Dragon Con website, but I believe these numbers are close enough to deliver a good approximation of the growth this convention has experienced over the past 31 years. Continue reading Dragon Con Turns 31 – Is It Too Big Now?

Protecting Your Cat from a Solar Eclipse

I don’t know about your part of the country, but in Atlanta everyone has eclipse fever and people (like me) have been racing all over the city in last minute bids to score a pair of highly sought after solar eclipse glasses, designed to allow the user to stare directly at the sun when the blessed event finally arrives. In my case I was lucky enough to get some from J.D. Taylor, one of the directors of the popular MTV series ‘Teen Wolf’ and a huge space exploration nerd.

This morning I realized that while we’ve been in the midst of a fervor to protect human eyeballs from the nuclear furnace raging at the center of our solar system, but what about Earth’s other precious treasures? When the total solar eclipse begins carving an enormous slice across highly populated areas of the United States how will we protect our nation’s feline population from having their tiny little eyeballs burned to a crisp??

I don’t know about your Atlanta-based cats, but mine will be entirely unprepared when our moon obscures the sun, and chances are high that they will stare directly at the curious event for the duration of the event since they have a lot of time on their hands, having given up on Days of Our Lives weeks ago. Of course I can’t really blame them since Continue reading Protecting Your Cat from a Solar Eclipse

The Betrayal of Steve Sansweet

Today one of the people in my circle of friends became infamous for the systematic theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Star Wars collectibles. I cannot believe that it was his goal to become reviled by the fans of one of his most beloved fictional universes or to be publicly castigated on Twitter by the actor who played Luke Skywalker.

Steve Sansweet, who many of us early Star Wars fans looked up to for guidance when he began publishing an annual Star Wars collectibles price guide, confessed that his sense of trust had been badly damaged after discovering numerous thefts of rare items from Continue reading The Betrayal of Steve Sansweet

Designated Auditor: Ben Carson Discovers Secret $500 Billion! Not.

This past September a friend told me about a new ABC action series she’d started watching called “Designated Survivor” starring Jack Bauer. I mean, she didn’t say that it starred Jack Bauer, she said that it starred Kiefer Sutherland, but since I can never remember the character’s name from this new show it’s just easier for me to call him Jack Bauer.

In the first episode we find out that Jack has been serving as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and is an expert on a wide range of complex policy matters that most Americans can’t be bothered to understand because we’re way too busy blogging about television shows.

So anyway.

In the first episode some mysterious bad guys blow up Continue reading Designated Auditor: Ben Carson Discovers Secret $500 Billion! Not.