Tuesday, August 15, 2017

L'eggo my Legos!

They have been around for generations - though I'm not sure exactly how many, I can vouch for 3 minimum:  mine, my sons' and my grandloves.  (A quick Google search claims they were invented in 1932, so add another generation and a half to that.)  That is a lot of Legos!  I would like to say they are unchanged in all that time, and some aspects are.  But I marvel (and scratch my head) over the various forms those building blocks now take.  They have some very specific uses, no doubt.  And if the flimsy, paper, step-by-step, instruction booklets they come with don't fall apart, you can put those shapes to use effectively.  Alas, those booklets are one of the things that have not changes in the least over the generations.

However, with a few (hundred) easy (endless) steps, you may build (at least once, if you move quickly before pieces migrate away from you) creations that will amaze and astound your friends!  You, too, can be a master builder, recreating an exact duplicate of the picture on the box.  By the way, there are upwards to 100 master Lego builders making a living snapping those blocks together!  What a job that would be!

All the grandloves have many sets of Legos - whether or not specific assembly of those sets is still a practical consideration.  I have personally supplied my fair share of bricks to each of them.  But the ones they use around this Granma's house come totally without instruction.  They are built with imagination only - and a fair share of, "Granma can you find a piece that is 1x4, white and skinny."  These highly technical descriptions sometimes leave me guessing as to their meaning, and sometimes "white" means blue or green or grey or any other color that matches the less flexible and more desirable block configuration.

The Meeper Bot 2.0 -
modifications by Tyler
There is much talk about how painful it is to step on Legos, and I have felt that pain.  Recently, though Granma Legos tend to get scattered around the house in larger groupings.  For example, in order to take the above picture, I had to gather creations from three separate locations.  Each grandlove or group thereof, has a special creation that they don't want to see returned to the blocks from which they sprang just because it is time for them to go home.  Nor do they want their creation cannibalized for the sake of a competing grand's creation.  Despite these far flung gatherings, the pile of loose Legos (hopefully all contained appropriately) seems hardly diminished.  I think they breed in the dark, though I have yet to catch them in the act.

The latest round of newly discovered Lego fun, though, might be the best yet.  Enter the Meeper Bot 2.0.  Those are not just ordinary wheels - they are Apple charged!  Using an app on the phone and connected through Blue-tooth, that baby can scoot!  Grandboys love it, dogs fear it, Granma sneaks down to play with it after the minis leave!  Yes, the sticker shock is just that - shocking.  Yes, you should keep a supply of 9V batteries handy.  And yes, the axles break when dropped (though it comes with replacements).  But in the end, it's worth every dime, every volt, and every axle repair.

Just a suggestion, but I take my Granma points where I can get them, and sometimes plastic is just the ticket - 9V and/or imagination powered.  Just watch your step after play.  Remember, lonely Legos bite...

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Selfishly Selfie

There was a time, not so long ago, that I had the best photographic eye.  The perfection was obvious: the composition, the lighting, the framing of the shot.  I had an amazing ability to capture the perfect photographic image every time.  It was uncanny, amazing even!  The funny thing was, that when I finally finished the roll of film and then remembered to drop it off for processing and pick it up once completed, I couldn't always identify the subject, or sadly, the amazing.  I'm sure it was Jewel/Osco's fault.  Then again, there were far fewer images to cull through than there are digitally.  Those under the age of 20 will never know the joy of being a photographic genius in their own minds.  They are confronted with the reality of the captured shot far too quickly.

Adventures with cameras (read cellphones) and grandloves start like this, "Granma, take a picture of me and/doing [fill in the blank]."  Some events that apparently merit immortalization:  eating lunch, building with Legos, doing a somersault, standing on one foot, putting on shoes, folding paper...  Basically anything that can be done is picture worthy.  In truth, I have a hard time arguing with their logic.  There is nothing my grandloves do that isn't the most adorable thing I have ever seen.  Well, maybe I'm getting older and wiser, but I might be getting more discriminating, too.  Standing on one foot, even while folding paper, is not longer considered photogenic.

The real fun comes when they want to take "just one picture."  And by one, they mean one IPhone in their two hands, while their two legs carry they in the opposite direction as quickly as possible, all the while their finger twitches at lightening speed on the little button that captures their blurry world on demand and repeatedly.  The only thing moving faster than the one with the ill-gotten prize, are the other one to seven grands hoping to claim the same prize for themselves.  Think "camera down" and "memory full."

I thought I would fill this blog with countless original compositions and call it Can Do with a Camera.  Count yourself blessed - near 100% of those unforgettable (and usually unidentifiable) images have gone the way of the electronic trash can.  A few remain, though.  Aren't they adorable?  (Don't answer that.)


This Granma along with Uncle Corey decided to give group selfie lessons.  First, it insured I would have proof of time spend with the mini's among us - after the healing of the inevitable scratches and bruises.  Little boys are, as ever, closely related to the proverable bull in a china shop.  Secondly, it means I got to keep my phone in the hands of an adult, albeit Corey's - his arms are longer.  And finally, I'm learning (slowly) to have a selfie that doesn't beg the question, "when did my nose get that big?"

Ok, Elijah lost his chin in the first version.  Just to prove he has one, here is picture number two: chin in tact while the balance of his face hides behind Josiah's hands.

Bet you can't wait for the results of selfie lesson number two, can you?  I'll try to spare you.  But, then again, aren't they adorable?!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Many Faces


It has been just days shy of 6 years, but I well remember the day - and my first impressions.  I remember Court calling me from an interior room of the hospital to announce the birth.  "It's a..." he managed before the connection was severed - twice!  For the first five minutes of life, all we knew for sure was "baby," but not the predominate color or name!  Finally, on the third attempt - a full sentence, "It's a boy!"  (A singularly common occurrence at that point in time.)  Grampa and I made our way to said hospital to meet the newest baby blue.  I just remember thinking that being born is a hard thing to do - for both mother and child - and he should be tired.  But he wasn't.  His eyes gaped at the world, taking it all in, and staying open for hours when he should have been sleeping after a long day's work.  Adian wasn't then, and isn't now, apt to let anything pass his notice!

He may grow up to be a doctor or an architect or an astronaut or a teacher or a cowboy.  The world is his oyster.  He, at least in part, he has spent the first 6 years of his life as an actor.  Aidan will never be contained on the small screen - his personality is too big for that.  If he is to continue his acting career, it should be on the stage.  His expressions have already earned a Tony in my heart!

I'm not sure if you should be sorry or grateful that, I am challenged by the likes of UTube.  Imagine what I could do if I could figure out how to upload videos.  Believe me, his personality doesn't shrink when the pictures moves.  Maybe the silver screen is the place for his personality after all!

Wherever else he finds himself, whenever the world discovers this body of personality and possibility, however else the world attempts to contain this larger-than-life bundle, he will always be - first and foremost - a major love of this Granma's life.

Don't stop now, Aidan!  Keep taking the world by storm!  Share your smile and wit and antics with all who cross you path.  With much love - sometimes to the point of exhaustion - happy, happy birthday to you!  Enjoy the cake!