Some Fun Based on Old Technologies


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They had a book sale this week at the MMU library, and I felt a bit odd because I stopped by after the books and picked up nine movies.

They were all on VHS tapes. Well, just as I sometimes buy an old album at Half Price books because I still have a record player to play vinyl, I still have a VHS tape player. So, what the heck? I got “Oklahoma,” some kids movies I have not seen, including two about dinosaurs, and some more modern movies—the remake of “The Manchurian Candidate” and also “Air Force One.”

Well, Friday we drove to Ames because ISU gets all of Thanksgiving week off, and that night returned to Cedar Rapids. We decided it was family movie night, but we had no microwave popcorn. No matter, we had some “old school” popcorn, so I got out a large pan, nuked some butter in the microwave and, voila, had fresh homemade popcorn. It was better than anything that comes popped in a bag. You kids don’t know what you’re missing.

My dad used to make popcorn often on a Saturday night, but he usually burned it. And since we did not have a microwave, his method of buttering it was to smear some margarine on top.

Well, I think mine turned out a bit better. We watched “Air Force One,” a mediocre action movie with a good cast that was worth every bit of the nothing I had spent on it.

Old technologies had done us well.

Today, we walked on what I’ve usually called “the trail behind Walgreen’s,” but signs have been put up dubbing it the Lindale Trail, so LT it is. The LT is an old rail spur converted to trail use, and we noticed the very old poles in a dip of land beside the trail. I thought they looked a little forlorn and odd—why were the poles in the dip and not along the elevated rail line? And when were they put in and when did they fall into disuse? Were they phone lines? Electric? Telegraph? They had some old glass insulators one them, which were just cool to see.

Well, it was a fine afternoon for a walk, even if I’ll never know what the poles were for.  Old technologies again, this time fallen into disuse.

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