Sunday, July 14, 2019

A 1960s Child's Scrapbook

I recently salvaged this cute little scrapbook from the bins at GoodWill, and even though its contents are more "schoolwork" than "scrapbook," I couldn't help but love it. As I do all scrapbooks. Because I am odd that way.


This was once owned by a Mike M. 

Who was he? We may never know.

Why did you donate us to GoodWill, Mike M.? Why?

The scrapbook's 29-cent price tag was a clue that this thing was probably vintage, but exactly how old WAS it?

Why thank you, mimeographed turkey calendar from November, 1966! How helpful!

Thought #1: I'm sad mimeograph machines are a thing of the past, because I do love me some purple.

Thought #2a: I only know about mimeographs thanks to Judy Blume books. 

Thought #2b: Judy Blume Books: Endless fountains of information.

Purple pages aside, we now get to the heart of this scrapbook...

I really don't know what to make of Mike M.'s poetry. Some of it's not half bad. And the accompanying drawings are... interesting...

I know, I know... this was a kid. Probably. I'm not going to make fun of his work.

But I am going to critique it as a teacher would, because that is simply how I roll.

Okay, so here's the first one...

I like the woods
In autumn
When dry leaves
When the trees are bear
And the wind sweeps by
With a lomesome rushing sound
I can rustle the
In autumn
I can make a bed
In the thick dry leaves
That fallen
From the bark trees

Teacher Molly says: 

Where to begin? First of all, it's bare, not bear.
And Lonesome, not lomesome.
"I can rustle the" what? WHAT?
Bark trees? Really?
Child, you're better than this.


NONO November

No hot days to make us sweat!
No swimming pools to get us wet!
No dlids duilding nest in the trees!
No kites flying in the bries!
No long weeks of i dont care!
noovem gluesus none of these!
But there is thanksgiving if you please!

Teacher Molly says: 

Ugh. First off, what did November ever do to you? Second, were you going through times of extreme crisis while writing lines 3 and 6? Lastly, in the future, please capitalize the holiday Thanksgiving, as it is a proper noun.


FIRST Thanksgiving

Forty pilgrims brave and strong.
Ninety indian joined the throng.
Heaping tables prayers long.
Bilgring voices raised in song.
This then was our frist thanksgiving.
In this lang where now we live.

Teacher Molly says: 

Your picture suggests that you may be slightly confused about Thanksgiving. Please see me after class.


I Love Christmas

"I love Christmas," said Susie small. I love the tree, the gifts and all. I wonder what I am going to get. This could be my best day day yet. Not just the gifts, maybe twenty. Old Santa better bring me plenty. I love Christmas, said thoughtful. Bill I going to help the stocking to fill. I wonder what to get my mother. What toy will please my little brother? Helping santa's so much fun. Choosing gift's for ever one."

Teacher Molly Says:

How did Bill get the job helping Santa? Is he an elf? Do tell me more.



The weatherman must surely know.
I wish for heaps of snow.
I'll coast swiftly down the hill.
Into snowbanks, taking spills.
So on the star I see tonight
I'll wish tomorrow will be white

Teacher Molly Says:

Not bad. I'm seeing improvement, here. Keep it up.


In January

In January, when the snow lies on the ground so deep and white
I love to build a sturdy fort
Our start a friendly snowball fight
I love the crunch of rubber boots
The swish of runners on a sled
My mother says my eyes are bright
My cheeks a marry, rosy red.

Teacher Molly Says:

This poem is surprisingly good.

Too good.

Please see me after class.


Feed The Birds

Listen to the birds say
"Cheep. Cheep. Cheep.
Putting out a few crumbs
Will keep keep keep
Many of us birds
Alive in the snow;
Alive in the winter
When the winters winds blow."

Teacher Molly Says:


Lion Or Lamb

March came in like a roaring lion
With rain and ice and snow.
Will it go out like a gentle lamb?
That's what I'd like to know.

Teacher Molly Says:

Derivative. Lazy. Cute... but lazy. 


Look For The Pussy Willow

Look for the pussy willow
The earliest sign of spring
Look for the pussy willow
Before the robins sing
Look for the pussy willow
With fur so soft and gray
If you find a pussy willow
Then spring is on the way

Teacher Molly Says:

You copied this off that mimeographed worksheet up there, you sneaky child!


Cheer Up

Today I saw a robin
He winked his eye at me
He said, "Cheer up -- spring's coming
Just you wait and see."
I said, "We'll have more winter
But I'll tell you what I'll do
Come singing at my window
And I'll throw crumbs to you."

Teacher Molly Says:

KEEP your crumbs, you foolish boy. SPRING IS COMING!


Two Robins

One robin does not make a spring
But I saw two today

Teacher Molly Says:

Oh my, an unfinished poem! I mean, I assume it's unfinished, because there's only two lines. That's either sheer genius or total laziness.


Purple-inked worksheet to the rescue!

(I assume a teacher wrote this for the kids to copy.)

Two Robins

One robin does not make a spring
But I saw two today
And now I'll look for other signs
That spring is on its way,
Violets and daffodils
And tulips flaming red,
And in the country, farmers work
Putting seeds to bed.


Annnd that's it. Like many of the scrapbooks I run across, this one's only filled halfway. We'll never know if Spring eventually did arrive in 1967, not to mention summer. I mean, I'm assuming it did, but if this kid didn't write a poem about it, did it really happen?

* * *

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Seriously, I'm Done With Creative Titles: BrickCan 2019!

After having a wonderful time at BrickCan in 2018, I was eager to return this year.

On Friday, May 3, I boarded a mid-morning flight from Portland. When I arrived in Vancouver, the line for customs was about 8,000 people long. Gah. So that took about an hour. But as soon as I escaped from the customs line, it was time to eat donuts!

I got lunch at the airport, then took the light rail train to the hotel. I arrived at the River Rock Casino/Resort around 2:30pm, with just enough time to drop off my stuff in the hotel room (I was sharing with a friend) before a 3pm gathering o' LEGO fans.

As we AFOLs entered the theater, we were given goodies... free drinking glasses and ski hats...

This is my My flight was only an hour long, so why have I been traveling for 6 hours? face. 

Beyond getting these hats, I don't remember anything about this meeting.

At some point that afternoon, I set up my MOCs...

^"Quacktan" (first seen at Bricks Cascade '19) and "Escalation" (new.)

^2 of my kitchens.

I also brought 3 of my Fisher-Price toy replicas, which you can see if you look really hard...

All AFOL attendees got a swag bag, and the bags were quite nice (again) this year. I can't believe I didn't take any photos of the goodies while at the con, but I just remembered I had one of the bags sitting nearby just now, so here's a picture of some of the stuff I got (and/or traded for -- different people got different pieces.)

Lots of printed tile... and check out those heart-shaped pieces!

Around 5pm it was time for my first game of the con... The One-Handed Speed Build...

I didn't do too poorly... but yeah, several people had already called "done" by the time I finished. And then I realized I'd put the robot's arms on backwards. So at that point, I packed up.

That evening, a group of lady AFOLs (aka WAFOLs), including myself, rode the light rail over to a mall that has a LEGO store.

And I bought 14 of these packs. But I GOT SCROOGE MCDUCK, which is all that matters, really. 

I also got one of the duck nephews, and by the end of the weekend I'd procured a second nephew. One more to go...

Late Friday evening, we participated in Dirty Brickster...

New this year, they had a round of "Homemade Dirty Brickster," where all the gifts given/received were things that had been, you know, made rather than purchased. While I opted to participate in the normal version, I was very curious about what was going on in the "Homemade" game -- the variant games were held at the same time, unfortunately -- and I may have sneaked over to the other circle for a couple of glances & photos.

Next year, I might just do the Homemade version, if they have it.

I really failed on the photos this year. No pictures of what I acquired during DB, but... I recall that I got a couple of smaller sets, and I was happy with them.

* * *

Saturday morning I didn't have much going on, so I opted to do some Vancouver sightseeing. I decided I was finally going to check out the Vancouver Aquarium. I had passed by it during my 2017 trip, but had thought the price seemed a little steep. Now I was like, Hey -- let's do it.

I used Google Maps to plan the best way to get there. But something went awry, and the directions sent me to the waterfront, near the cruise terminal. I kept trying to find a certain bus that would take me westward, but I never did find it, so I ended up walking all the way to Stanley Park and the aquarium. 

Google Maps tells me the walk was fewer than 2 miles, but dangit, it felt farther.

On the way, I saw some cool things....

Docked at Canada Place was a Holland America ship, and I was like awww!!!... because this is where my Alaska cruise departed in 2017. 

Later, I found out that this very ship was involved in a mishap earlier that VERY MORNING,when it and another Holland America ship bumped into each other, right there in port.

Look at it sitting all innocently in the harbor like it doesn't know what happened.

Oh man, though, I sooo wanted to go aboard.

#cruiselife  #notashamed

I finally made it to Stanley Park, and (yay!) I remembered my way around from the last time I was there. So I found the aquarium quickly, and proceeded to buy a ticket, enter, and then eat.

And then I went inside to see fish...

And non-fish...

I went to several keeper talks, including one for walruses, and the keepers gave out a lot of good information. I probably wouldn't be in a hurry to go back to this aquarium, but I had a nice time.

Then it was back to LEGOLand... I mean, BrickCan...

So you may recall that, at Bricks Cascade earlier this spring, I had tried to put together a Team Speed Build team, but things had not worked out. Since BrickCan picks people for games via a randomizer (rather than the dreaded first-come, first-serve method) I thought we might at least have a chance here, so I recruited 5 friends. We dubbed ourselves WAFOL House. And we all registered for Team Speed Build as our first game choice.

Buuut something went wrong, and when the list of teams/players came out on Thursday night, only four of us were on the list and 2 of us were on a waiting list. Two members of the team who were there already talked to the management, and it was rumored that something might be worked out. We didn't know, until the game actually began on Saturday, whether or not we'd be able to participate as a team. (I wasn't really keen on playing at ALL unless all 6 of us could do it.)

So at 3pm Saturday, the Team Speed Build was happening, and while Team WAFOL House wasn't sure what was going to happen, we all showed up, ready to play...

And, thanks to some rearranging & adjustments by the games committee, our whole team WAS able to participate together! And we got to assemble this set....

3,553 pieces? NBD.

We all gave it a good effort, but were not the speediest team in the land.

After the game, we broke apart the builds and divided up the pieces.

(l-r: Laura, Arwyn, Krys, me, Jenelle, and Jean.)

That evening, at the Awards Ceremony, my name was randomly drawn for a LEGO set! Since it was May 4th, all the sets given out that day were Star Wars themed. 

* * *

The next morning, Sunday, was the final day of the con. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling well. I joined some friends for a breakfast buffet, but afterwards, I went back to the room and took a nap. I did rally myself in the early afternoon, and I participated in the 101 Bricks Challenge....

I used 101 pieces from my swag bag & other pieces I'd acquired over the weekend. If I'd spent more time on it, I could have come up with a better selection of pieces, but oh well!

This was my entry for one of the challenges....

It's Snow White at her wishing well!


So anyway, I raked up a couple of points throughout the four challenges, but not enough to win.

I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at the show among all the MOCs.

Oh, hey, maybe this would be a good time to post MOC pictures! 

There were hundreds of cool things this year! It's amazing how many great MOCs can be present in such a (relatively) small convention.

^This was one of my favorites.

^This was made by some folks from PortLUG (Portland), and it won one of the highest honors!

Late in the afternoon, the show ended, and they began to close things down. We all got together for Closing Ceremonies. This was the view from the balcony....

During Closing Ceremonies, other LEGO Cons were promoted, prizes were given out, and then it was time to head out. For me, that meant jumping on the light rail and heading for the dreaded airport. Other AFOLs stayed at the hotel one more night and enjoyed some Cinco De Mayo-related activities.

Despite any setbacks, it was a fun and fabulous weekend, and I can hardly wait to go again next year!