Set The Wayback Machine to 1965 Sherman

Today I start a new feature here at IRBB. Since I've recently acquired Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine (it's amazing WHAT you can find on eBay nowadays) I'll use it to travel back in time to either stories from my distant past or posts from my not-so-distant past that you may not have read before.

MunstersThis weekend I happened across a marathon of retro television shows. As luck would have it, I caught a couple of episodes of my all-time favorite: the Munsters. When I was but a small child, I loved the weekly antics of Herman, Lily, Grandpa, Eddie and Marilyn. And since we only had a black and white TV, I never realized they purposely filmed the show that way.

One of the episodes they showed this past Sunday featured Herman at tryouts for the LA Dodgers. I wonder how many of today's generation really got some of the gags or references... especially when the real-life Dodgers coach Leo Durocher announced that if Herman didn't make the team, they could send him as a secret weapon to Vietnam.... wow.

That got me thinking of a very special Christmas toy I found under the tree in the late 1960s: my very own movie projector. Not the cheapo plastic Give-A-Show. Oh no. My parents got me a REAL metal projector that played 8mm film.

Sadly, I had but one film reel however. With no sound and a runtime of oh about 5 minutes, it included a Mr. Magoo cartoon, Mighty Mouse, Woody Woodpecker and a Munsters short (okay, reeeeally short). I used to love to play the film backward just to watch Herman slide OUT of the hearse instead of in. Oh, how I wish I still had that projector!

Now if you'll excuse me, I may just return to eBay to see if I can find one. Then again, maybe it's just better for me to add the Munsters DVD to my Christmas wish list. Hopefully I can even play it backwards and experience a childish giggle once again.

Welcome To My Dot Com

Nobody can accuse me of jumping on a bandwagon when a new fad hits. Well, er, okay not ALL the time. Sure, there was that whole "Star Wars" thing.

Then the Beanie Babies craze.

And that Pirates phase.

Oh, and the Blogging obsession I am still immersed in.

But other than THOSE, I am not a sucker for following the crowd (that you know of or that I'll further admit to).

My proof? Well, it took me a whole 7 years to finally get my own domains. Ha! So there!

Even after all those investors lost millions in the Dot-Com boom and bust in 2000, here I am just getting started. Yeah, I may be late to the party, but at least I'M not seeking financial backers like or

Unless you really, really want to be, that is.*

Actually, huge thanks go to Kathy Fredrick over at The Junk Drawer. Months ago I was playing around with the idea of getting a .com and I kept checking to see if the domains I wanted were available. They weren't.

Then I read Kathy's blog post, went over to Go Daddy and finally got me the two domains I wanted. Whoo Hoo!

With the links Kathy provided to the Blog Bloke, his step by step tutorial, and her additional help, I finally got it working today.

Now you can reach me by typing in:

or simply

The great thing is, that if you've linked to me in the past, you don't have to do a thing. All the existing links will continue to work. So if you're inclined to jump on the new bandwagon, I would recommend you visit Kathy and The Blog Bloke to get started. Without them, I wouldn't have been able to do it.

* Donations gratefully accepted at Sorry, no income tax receipt will be provided. On second thought, forget it.... I 'll never make a penny on this blog, so invest in something else like free-delivery-grocery or pet-food-to-your-door websites instead.

Good Sign, Bad Sign

"Egel-Eyed" Bradley from The Egel's Nest not only bestowed his awesome award on me a few weeks ago, but he also sent me this photo of a local street sign he passes by on his daily rounds.

This is very cool since my name isn't exactly popular. I've met only one other Maureen in real life.

Yes, it's lonely.

It can be frustrating at times too. I mean, ever try to find your name in those kiosks of cheapo keychains, personalized pencils or teenie-tiny novelty licence plates? Unless you're Kathy, Susan, John or Mark, you're probably out of luck. 99% of the time, I can't find "Maureen" on anything personalized which absurdly makes me want that crap even more.

And I don't think I've ever seen my name on a street sign before either, come to think of it.

In OUR nieghborhood, there is a disturbing new trend. The streets are being named after ... gagggg ... Local City Councillors.

Yup. Politicians names splattered across our fine young development. And not just during election time in gaudy colors on flimsy cardboard posters. Nope. There they are, in big black letters on shiny metal posts. To ensure they are recognized, they don't just use their last names either. Oh, no. These extra-long (and more expensive, of course) signs display their FULL names, first and last.

I would have loved to be at that historic City Council meeting where they nominated each other to be enshrined for ever-more in Civic History, or at the very least now have the ability to point to themselves on the City map.

Then again, maybe not. I would have gone crazy listening to the same Great Thinkers that came up with the necessity for this sign:

Thank goodness it was there.

I might have actually walked off the safe pavement and onto that strange and dangerous squishy green stuff.

More than likely, I would have smacked my face straight INTO the sign...

Maybe they should post another sign that warns me of the "Sidewalk Ends" sign.

Excuse me whilst I ring up my Local City Councillor to rectify the situation ... whoever the hell that is.

Old Friends and Enemies

My 5th birthday party, 1965Thanks to Facebook, a couple of days ago I was thrilled to receive an email from a girlfriend I haven't seen in oh, at least 30 years. Even though we lived across the street from each other and went to school together, Cathy and I lost touch after graduation. We moved away, got married and went on with our lives. But she was a good friend and I still remember the sleepovers we used to have at each other's houses when we were very young. Now we are both grown with girls of our own and I can't wait to catch up with her.

It got me to thinking about people I went to school with again. Over the years I often wondered what became of my classmates. I never attended our reunion years ago, so I've had no contact with nearly all the kids I saw everyday in the Sixties and Seventies. I wish I could find out what some of them are doing now... what kind of people they turned out to be.

Others... well, suffice to say, I am ecstatic I never heard from again.

I can't believe I'm actually posting this photo of me at age 15One girl especially. You see in junior high, this person took great pleasure in belittling others (not just me, but I was her favorite target because I let her bully me) and was a real, well, I'll just say it.


She had a great knack of knowing just how to humiliate others. Like a character in a teen movie, she weilded great power with all kinds of cronies following her around school. She was loud, abusive and mean.

And I tried my best to stay out of her way.

Karma is a Bitch too, though. One of my first jobs while still a teenager was working as a medical office assistant for an Obs/Gyne physician. One day who should come in for her post-abortion check-up, but the nasty girl who made my early high school years a nightmare. I'll never forget the shock on her face when she realised it was me sitting behind the desk with her chart in my hands. She knew I now had the power to make her squirm and spread awful rumors about HER. I could get back at her for all the kids she made miserable for years.

But I would NEVER have used it to sink to her level. I knew better. For a moment I felt a surge of tempting revenge, then I felt satisfaction.

And then.... all I felt was sorrow and pity for her.

Something I should have felt all along.

And So It Begins...

Tawnee's first glimpse of snowAbout three weeks late, but it's finally here. The event that truely gets me into the Christmas spirit.

The Santa Claus parade?

Nuh, uh.

Good St. Nick's appearance at the mall?

Nope. Neither of those... it's:


Until now, seeing Christmas lights and outdoor decorations on grass just looked wrong. Wrong for "Winterpeg", that is. You see, when you live in "The Christmas Capital of Canada" (an official title, by the way), the holidays and snow go hand-in-hand.

I could never live in the south, obviously. Nope. No way. Not in December, at least.

First SnowBefore the white stuff falls, I can't mentally get myself to the Christmas spirit. I'm unable to really concentrate on shopping.

"I have plenty of time to make my Christmas cards." I kid myself.

"It's too early to start baking shortbread!" I think foolishly.

Heck, yesterday the geese were still swimming on the lakes. A few days ago we enjoyed an unseasonable 17 degrees celcius. I even had plants on the deck that were green and growing.

TawneeAnd then, in a matter of hours everything changed. Now the outdoor lights twinkle off the white crystals covering the pine trees, a holiday card springing to life. The Christmas carols playing in the stores aren't so hard to listen to. I can even stomach the holiday commercials that have been playing on TV for oh, about a month now.

So it's here.


Now I'll go into panic mode that I don't have my cards, decorations, lights, baking or shopping done yet...

A Sign Of The Times

One paper delivery.

29 flyers.

No newspaper.

Yup. Christmas is coming, alright.

A Van Called Christine

You could say it's been a crazy month...

First, my freezer dies.

Then our TV remote gave up the ghost.

Next came my cell phone which decided all it would do was display a bright white screen.

Yup, technology is failing all around me, all within a few days of each other.

To top it off, a doctor at work backed into the side of my Dodge Caravan while I was leaving the hospital parkade. He took full responsibility for the accident, so at least it's one thing I don't have to pay for. But it's yet another inconvenience dealing with Autopac, the police and a repair shop.

Good thing my insurance deductible was waived. I can't believe this little dent is costing over $1,800 and taking nearly a week to repair.

Yesterday I took it into the body shop and they gave me a free loaner to use. Usually they give you the same type of car you brought in; so I was expecting another van.

Instead, they set me up with (yes, I'll have to admit) a beautiful 2008 Grand Prix. But since I was used to driving a van and snow was in the forecast, I asked that if a van became available, could I swap them? Sure enough, later in the day they found a 2007 Grand Caravan for me.

Of course, my family thought I was crazy to trade in the sporty Grand Prix for a van.

Daughter especially.

When we arrived at Enterprise, there was a fierce windstorm on. I suggested to daughter she could keep warm by waiting inside the van while I transferred our stuff from the Grand Prix. Um, it should be stated clearly here, the Caravan had yet to be turned on.

As the storm raged, I hauled all our crap stuff over while she sat and waited. But then "Christine" the Grand Caravan sprang to life on its own.

The left turn signal started clicking.

The wipers began to clear the windshield.

Daughter freaked out.

Now she swears the thing is possessed and wants the Grand Prix back.

Not one to believe in spirits, I am leaning more to the conclusion it was either:

a) The 70 Km/hr winds playing havoc with the car


b) The two salesguys with a spare remote inside Enterprise having a bit of fun with the teenage girl sitting alone in the dark car lot.

I simply won't admit that the Gods of Technology have it out for me yet again....

And This Is Why...

In my NEXT life, I'm coming back as a man.

A typical Saturday afternoon at our house
Or better yet ... a cat.

This Is A Limited Edition Post

So hurry and get yours now!

While supplies last!

I wish I would have coined and patented the term "Limited Edition". It has become one of the most over-used sales pitches ever. From toys to video games, art, comics and cars, manufacturers have preyed upon our greedy human nature. They WANT us to stress over getting something others don't have, or won't have, if they're not first in line.

I should know; I've been falling for it for years.

But not this time.

Now it's simply getting ridiculous. Believe it or not, McDonald's now has a "Limited Edition" sandwich. What the heck??? Yes, in the past they've had food that is only available "for a limited time only" (remember the Shamrock Shake anyone?), but to actually advertise the Bacon Ranch McChicken as a "Limited Edition" just irks me to no end.

Limited Edition BurgerWhat, do they have little edition numbers printed on the bottom or something? Do they come with Certificates of Authenticity?

A New Hope Limited Edition

Yeah, I WISH I had the patent on that term. With all that new income, maybe I could offset at least some of the money I spent on those so-called "Limited Edition" Star Wars toys, movies, comics, video games ...

Gone With The Weekend

Good thing it's a lazy Sunday. Even with the extra hour, I'm sacked. Maybe it has something to do with staying up late last night watching "Gone With The Wind".

Yup, all four hours. In one sitting.

Okay, well, I did get up to nosh... but still. It's a long movie. Verrrrry long. I've watched it countless times, but rarely from start to finish.

Coincidentally, just a few days ago yet another sequel to the famous tale was announced. (Others include "Scarlett" which was received with mixed reviews in 1992, and "The Wind Done Gone" which I have yet to read). You can read more about "Rhett Butler's People" here. All this talk about Tara reminds me of something that happened at work years ago.

When I was an office manager at the hospital, two of our clerks were temporarily housed in a very old building that was due for demolition. At the time, they were the only people working there; all the other rooms had been vacated for decades. When moving them out just days before it was knocked down, I was told by the building landlord that if we saw any furniture we could use, we were welcome to remove it as well. In one of those other vacant offices, I came across a very old wooden desk I thought would be cool to have. I tested the drawers and inside one, I was surprised to find this:

Gone With The Wind

Gone With The WindIt may not be a first edition, but it is an early printing. First published in 1936, this one is from 1938; the year before the movie was made. Clocking in at over 1000 pages, I love reading all the extra scenes that believe it or not, weren't in the movie. It's one of my favorite things.

Of course, I'll always wonder who the heck "Bill" and "Dorothy" are...

Gone With The Wind inscription

The Decline And Fall Of Trick-Or-Treaters

Foam Pumpkin Carving
Twenty years ago when our development was new there were so many children a new school was built to house them all. Youngsters could be seen everywhere.

Especially at Halloween.

When Daughter was little, we would march up and down our street along with hundreds of others; following large groups of friends, waiting patiently for her turn at the neighbor's doors to yell "Halloween Apples!" Children crowded the sidewalks visiting every house that was decked out in the scariest of decor.

Daughter's Pumpkins 2007
Unfortunately, that is a thing of the past. Just as Daughter is now too old to trick or treat anymore, it also seems that neighborhood has outgrown Halloween. A few houses decorate, but more and more have the lights turned off. Every year the numbers of little goblins have dwindled, to a mere 34 kids last night. And of those, the majority were teens.

A Mall HalloweenBut there is another trend that seems to be impacting on the door-to-door festivities. The local mall had "Safe Trick or Treating" in a big way this year. With the snow that fell earlier in the day, I can't blame parents wanting to stay warm and cozy while their offspring ran around wild in the mall... but I really miss seeing all those little munchkins waddling around in cute costumes.

Well, the times they are a-changin' I guess.

Oh, and I fully expect that Halloween display at center court to be replaced by Santa's village sometime over the next 24 hours...

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Yeah, I should be doing laundry, yardwork, cleaning the house or planning meals. But frankly, I'D RATHER BE BLOGGING... about things like this.

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