Movies in the night

Another image that enters my mind unbidden:

My brother and I are spending the night at Grandma & Grandpa Scott’s house. We’re pretty young … I might be 8 and my brother 6 or 7. It’s the mid-70s. At our grandparents, we go to bed pretty early … say by 10 p.m. This night, Gus and I know that the original King Kong is on TV, and we are determined to see it. We stay awake talking in bed (we’re in the guest bed together), and then we quietly sneak into the family room and turn on the TV, ever so quietly, and watch a 40-year-old (only 40 years!?) black & white movie, listening carefully for the footsteps of our grandparents. I don’t think we were caught.

Movies in the night Read More »

Early winter morning with my father

An image of my father that enter my mind at odd times:

I’m in high school in the early 80s, it’s the dead of winter and early in the morning, so it’s still dark out, and very cold. My Dad always got up at 6 a.m. and was at his gas station by 6:30. I’m sleeping on the couch in the front room of his small house, and it’s a school morning … my mother must have been out of town. At 7:15, I’m awoken by the sound of my father coming in the front door to wake me up and take me to school. I look up bleary-eyed from the couch to see his face in the small window at the top of his front door, never locked. When I remember this event, I think of my father’s love for me, often hard for him to express, but obvious to me here.

Early winter morning with my father Read More »

Ben’s crazy dream

Following is a dream from my buddy Ben’s blog, in May 2002. Ben’s dreams are great. Most people’s dreams are boring as hell, at least when they’re retelling them to you, but I always enjoy Ben’s. In fact, I still have an email he sent me 5 years ago describing a dream he had involving floating and Bach’s music. Enjoy.

Dream 5/1/02

I dreamt last night of going to an alternative theatrical presentation of the works of Mark Twain, down at what started out to be Marshall, Missouri and ended up being Drury College, in Springfield. Jans and I did help stack sand bags for a fire station in Marshall, which became an impromptu fly fishing workshop. The college had the most amazing printed flyers, generated by their print shop. I went back to see the print shop, and the director of the library, who was in charge of the print shop, thought I was trying to hire away his prize employee. I saw the speech beforehand, but missed the performance itself. People talked about how amazing it was – the performance was ongoing, and focused on character sketches of various Mark Twain creations in everyday settings, so one could simply walk in and catch snapshots of it without losing the narrative flow.

Coinciding was an animation festival, which included cartoon and live-based animation, with special effects. Howard, of Kaldi’s coffee, had an entry about a man trying to fend of a giant mosquito that was keeping him up at night. One of the entries was a live action puppet show, with an interaction between a large, golden painted, crudely made beetle and a quarter that kept up a barrage of insults and challenges, underneath a glass dome, . To hear it, you had to stand right next to it, which I let the rest of the crowd know when they were trying to figure out why they couldn’t hear since I was the only one nearby.

Ben’s crazy dream Read More »

Perfect Score Achieved on Pac-Man

From Twin Galaxies

For the first time in video game playing history, a perfect score was achieved on the legendary arcade game, Pac-Man.

On July 3, 1999 at 4:45 P.M., taking nearly six hours to accomplish the feat — on one quarter — Billy Mitchell, 33, a Fort Lauderdale hot sauce manufacturer visiting the famous Funspot Family Fun Center in Weirs Beach, NH, scored 3,333,360 points — the maximum possible points allowed by the game. The results will go into next year’s edition of the Twin Galaxies’ Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records — which is the official record book for the world of video game and pinball playing. …

To get a perfect game on Pac-Man, the player has to eat every dot, every energizer, every blue man and every fruit up to and including board 256 — where the game ends with a split screen. This must be accomplished on the first man, too.

When I was a freshman in high school in Marshall, I played Pac-Man constantly. I actually won a contest for Saline County Pac-Man champ, and my prize was an Atari 2600. My all-time high score was 1,187,000, played in the Wal-Mart lobby over the course of two hours.

Perfect Score Achieved on Pac-Man Read More »