Posted tagged ‘play’

Singin’ (in the Car)

November 2, 2018

car song

Almost fifty years ago, my wife Muri and I moved to a new house in a new neighborhood in Yorba Linda, California. We quickly became good friends with our next door neighbors, Rex and Bettie, and almost as quickly, Rex and I discovered we both liked to play the guitar and sing. One weekend when we were camping together, singing by the campfire, Rex started to sing the Kingston Trio’s Remember the Alamo.


Throwback Thursday – Electric Trains

December 10, 2015

tmp_11092-Screenshot_2015-12-10-19-09-48602805926Instead of a throwback post this week, I’m posting a really old picture that was among my Dad’s things when we closed up his house so he could move to assisted living.  The young man in the picture is me with a set of electric trains I received for Christmas.  The picture was taken in my Mom and Dad’s first apartment in New Haven.  I would guess that the year is 1950, which would make me six years old.  I can tell you for absolute certain that the train is an American Flyer, made by A.C. Gilbert. A.C. Gilbert was a leading toy company in the 30s and 40s,tmp_11092-Erector-Super-Construction-Set-11375157490 best known for the introduction of the Erector Construction Sets. The also made scientific toys like chemistry sets and microscopes. In 1938, they bought American Flyer and began building electric trains under that name. Following the end of the second World War, they produced a meticulously proportioned line of trains that operated on a track with two rails, unlike those of the Lionel trains which had a middle rail to carry the current. I’d like to say that I had an American Flyer because of its realism but the truth is it was because my grandfather, Grover Cleveland Pfeiffer, worked for A.C. Gilbert in New Haven, CT.


They say that of all the senses, the sense of smell is most directly connected to memory and I believe it. American Flyer train engines featured real smoke produced by putting a couple of drops of cedar-scented smoke fluid into the smoke stack of the engines. Looking at the picture I can practically smell the sweet aroma of the smoke as the train winds around the oval track. Looking around … and looking back … I’m glad I grew up with electric trains, not iPads. After all, who want to remember the smell an iPad when they’re 71?

Monday Smiles – 3/2/2015

March 2, 2015

russian boardMy wife, Muri, and I attend a lot of theatrical events ranging from drama and comedy to musicals.  We attend concerts of classical music, jazz or rock and roll.  We occasionally attend more diverse fare, like dance or magic shows or acrobats, courtesy of Goldstar Events, the half-price ticket outlet that sends a list of available events by email every week.  We’ve seen the Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil at sea.  Consequently, a show rarely strikes us as completely unique.  This weekend, Goldstar was offering tickets to Sequence 8, a show by Les 7 Doigts de la Main (Seven Fingers of the Hand), billed on the Goldstar site as a Canadian cirque troupe.   The show was a combination of performance art, comedy, interesting music, acrobatic choreography and cirque acts that left the audience gasping. (more…)

A Day at Sea

September 30, 2014


We chose to have dinner on the Epic each night in the Manhattan Room, the largest and most formal of the ship’s dining rooms (most formal means there is a dress code, albeit a very loose one.  Many people dress for dinner there which I like).   The Manhattan room is in the stern if the ship with large windows so most nights, we hear the engines roaring to life during dinner and watch the wake of the ship stretching back to the  port as we sail away.  Last night, we said good-bye to Barcelona.  The Manhattan Room reminds me faintly of the wpid-20140930_214810.jpgTitanic’s dining room (Muri shook her head when I said that) which I saw as a good thing … it had some elegance in this age of always casual.   Norwegian Cruise Lines specializes in what they call Freestyle Cruising, which pretty much means you can dine anytime and anywhere you want (except for the specialty, for-a-fee restaurants which require reservations), wearing whatever.  Freestyle cruising can be very nice when you are trying to arrange your schedule to make shows or when you arrive late from an all-day excursion, but with the lack of formal dining eating aboard loses some of its class.  Hence, we chose the Manhattan Room, where you feel like you are in a real restaurant.  The food has been good if not excellent with a wide choice of appetizers, entrees and desserts.  The service has been mostly excellent, partly because our travelling companion, Ron, has a gregarious nature and strikes up a conversation with everyone.  In the past on cruises with fixed dinner times and seating, we’d get to know the waitstaff and the others at our table, while with Freestyle Dining, that doesn’t happen.  Still it seems to work here on the Epic. (more…)

Friday Favorites 6/6/2014

June 6, 2014

image It is 11:00 on Friday, the end of what has been a hectic week.  It is amazing how many retired people I meet who tell me that they are busier in retirement than in their working days.   That is the preferred solution … I have known other who, after spending years with work as their only activity (and source of fufillment) find themselves bored or depressed … and miserable.  In Al-Anon’s Dos and Don’ts, one of the most neglected Dos is Find recreation and hobbies.   I am fortunate that I have had many outside interests for my entire life because, for some reason, it is hard to develop interests after a life of workaholism.  Yes, a number of my hobbies (or avocations, as I like to call them) were on life support during my working and parenting years, but they seem to have recovered enough in my semi-retirement to fill any empty spaces in my days.

Stars and Superheroes

June 2, 2014

TSTWhen I used to commute to work … on freeways, not down the hall to my home office … the best sports-talk shows were on the radio during commute times.  Best meant host that were … first … knowledgeable about sports and second, able to talk sports in an entertaining way.   Sports talk has changed.  I would call the most popular format these days the Loudmouth and the Doofus.  A knowledge of sports seems secondary to the ability to generate controversy with baseless opinions, a sophomoric frat-house sense of humor and, of course, world-view to match.  But there are a few good shows still around, mostly exiled to mid-morning or afternoon.  One of those aired locally is Mason and Ireland who feature a daily  bit called Fast Track.   During Fast Track they ask each other five questions, often but not necessarily about sports, to be answered on the spot.   I thought it would be fun for a Top Sites Tuesday #255 post, as long as you’re willing to let my Two Thoughts on Tuesday be Two Questions.  As if you have a choice.  Here we go. (more…)


May 7, 2014

closetI have been a closet artist for perhaps twenty years.  No, I don’t paint in the closet … that’s where I store my works, in piles and in artist’s watercolor pads and an occasional left over frame.  Yes, a few paintings have found their way to the walls of my office and several hang in our Little House.  A portrait I did of my three grandkids as a Christmas present hangs in my daughter’s house.  But for the most part, my art is confined to closets.  Occasionally, I feature something here on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog.  But I was in Micheal’s Arts and Crafts the other day and they were having a two for one sale on frames.  I decided I would start framing some of my work.  The plan is to create a gallery in our front entryway, not so much to show our (millions of) visitors my art but to show myself it deserves a better fate that residing with the printer paper and staples in my office closet.  Here’s a mock-up of a gallery using the first five I’ve framed.

galleryMy art is coming out of the closet … to reappropriate a phrase that these days means other things.


April 6, 2014

park sunriseYesterday, a friend who was feeling … in his words … despondent asked me for some suggestions as to how to lift his own spirits.  My friend and I are a lot alike in this way: we are doers.  When something, even lifting ourselves above the blues, needs to be done, we take action.  I suggested taking some time to do something for himself.  He said, Well, I take time to be with my sons and I swim every morning.  Ah, yes.  Productive.  We want to be productive, even when we relax.  As a father and grandfather, I know that spending time with offspring can sometimes be fun and sometimes fulfilling, but most times, it’s not restful.  And as a former swimmer, I know the joy of slipping through the water to the rhythm of my own arm strokes and the satisfaction of knowing I’m doing something good for body.  Restful?  No. (more…)

Hollywood …

March 27, 2014

 … she said she wouldn’t but she really would (to the tune of Hooray for Hollywood by Richard A. Whiting)- Anonymous comedic lyric satirist.



For as long as I can remember, when the subject of Hollywood came up, I’ve been singing this little ditty.  I have no idea where it came from.  I Googled it and came up with nothing.  I’d take credit for it (in which case I’d remove the anonymous and add brilliant to the attribution, above) but it goes back a long way, so it might have been my Dad’s.  It certainly fits within the framework of his sense of humor, most of which he passed on to me.  Whoever wrote it, it matches my attitudes about Hollywood.  I like movies, even love certain ones of them enough to watch over and over again as I blog … and I certainly admire the work of certain actors. Directors.  Cinematographers.  Etc.   But if you’ve been coming around here, you know I’d rather stick a pencil in my ear than listen to a celebrity talk about the craft.  Or watch a (self) love fest like the Academy Awards.  So when Muri and I set out yesterday to see the Hollywood Costume exhibit at the Phoenix Museum of Art, my expectations were modest.


Monday Smiles – 3/24/2014

March 24, 2014

epicI woke up this morning thinking I was ready to smile.   Muri and I are planning a Mediterranean cruise with our friends, Ron and Kerry.   We have been planning it on and off for at least a year.   We finally got serious a week ago and picked out a cruise line and destination.  However, Ron and I are both frequent flyers on a certain airline which allows us to have our choice of premium seats … and maybe even upgrade to business class using miles.  Nice, right?  Except if we are making our own flight reservation, we need to coordinate with the cruise lines.   And see which flights have good seats available.  And decide if we want to stay in Rome for a few days before the cruise.  And what cabins we want.