31 May 2021

Happy (?) Memorial Day

 31 May 2021 - Memorial Day

         Today is memorial day. Why do people say “Happy Memorial Day!”? I never understood that. It really isn’t meant to be a happy day. It was intended to be a day of remembrance to those who lost their lives in service to their country.

        America, being the ever capitalist country that it is, has managed to take just about every holiday they can imagine and turn it into a three day weekend that can be used to spawn an excuse to spend the money we work too hard for on stuff and things. Why don’t we say “Happy blow all your money on shit you don’t need day!”? Wouldn’t that make more sense?


         We had to make sure that none of our colleagues noticed us sneaking the typewriters and transistor radios into the park this morning. Surely they would think we were a bunch of hipster geeks and ridicule us for our semi luddite affections.

        The world is moving at a pace that is difficult, if not impossible to keep up with. Technology advances at  light speed and what is the newest thing is old hat and obsolete by morning. One day my friends, Pam, Sue and John and I decided over coffee that we wanted to get away from all that. We brainstormed for a while and found that we all had fond memories of the things we used in our high school, college and early lives.

        Typewriters were the first thing to come to our minds. We all recalled sitting down and writing letters, term papers and the like without the aid of computers or worse, the internet. Back then distractions were reminders from our parents to get our homework done, or a roommate asking the odd favor like writing their term paper. Those writings were usually done in a corner, with or without a proper desk as we listened to the latest pop tunes from an AM transistor radio. Not streaming media, but transmitted sound via radio waves. No artificial intelligence software monitoring our every move and thought. The only thing to pull us away was an errand to do or a genuine emergency.

        The more we talked about it the more we wanted to recreate and live those days again. Pam got the idea that we should bring our typewriters to a predesignated place to set up and do some writing. We wanted some sense of our past so John said he would bring his old transistor radio that he got for Christmas back in 1967. It was small, maybe three inches tall with a single tiny speaker. He knew a station that played music from the 50s, 60s and 70s right along with some prerecorded ads from the time. It was pretty neat.

        We didn’t get all dressed up or anything. That would just be weird, but we did dress as we would then, comfortable and appropriate to the time and venue. That usually meant jeans and a simple shirt. Sometimes John and Sue would succumb to their own form of distractions from those bygone days and sneak off for a heavy necking session. Pam and I just hung out and wrote our papers and made comments now and then to break up the monotony. Usually about the tune playing followed with a “that reminds me of” comment.

        Sure we got stares when we were at the coffee shop or outside a restaurant at a sidewalk table. We didn’t care. We didn’t care then, why should we now? The best part was on Friday nights when we would meet at the local brew pup and bring along our papers and that transistor radio. We discovered that in a booth we could turn it down low so only we could hear it. Then we would take turns reading the pages we liked best from previous outings. We shared comments and criticisms. Mostly we had a really good time. There were no discussions of religion or politics. No comparisons of stuff we had or coveted. Just good old fashioned talk, laughter and the occasion necking session. 

14 April 2021

The right tool for the job

It dawned on me this morning that I hadn’t posted to my blog in a very long time. Since the pandemic swept across the nation more than a year ago, I started posting daily  - making daily posts to One Typed Page, a website set up by Daniel Marleau to give us a chance to post our daily experiences and feelings. It was a means to journal daily and vent our worries, fears and even joys as we crawled our way through the viral scourge.

My last post was in May of last year. I was on my way to work and a couple of deer and a rabbit were loitering in my backyard looking for some munchies. They were oblivious of me and certainly had no fears of a virus, racism or the political failings that the country was faced with. Moments like these give me hope that the future is not bleak and that no matter how bad things may seem, they are not so bad that nature doesn’t carry on. I suppose we have a lot to learn from the simple creatures on this planet. Conversely those animals might see us as the simple creatures. We are so wrapped up in ourselves that we don’t see the big picture.

So, to catch up, this blog is for typospherians to write using a typewriter to create their personal news or stories. Generally we will do so by scanning the typewritten page and submitting it up for all the world to see. But, sometimes we write with tools that can’t be scanned. Although I do the majority of my writing using a mechanical device that rivals me in age, and sometimes my parents too. I have a few more modern devices that allow me the same undistracted freedom without the use of paper. Two such devices are the Alphasmart Neo and the Freewrite. They are connectible. In fact, these words can’t be posted without the use of the internet. The same goes for the neo. To post, I have to make a physical connection with a cloud service so that I can access my words and post them publicly. In the case of this device, I have to do nothing. If it sees a connection it automatically streams my words to the storage platform of my choosing. From there I can upload my words raw, or edit them and submit a cleaned copy. The beauty of this is that I get the same undistracted experience. I can’t make edits as I go except to fix the last word I typed by backspacing over it and typing in the correct word. Not unlike my typewriter. No idea if I misspelled a word. I can fix those later. No moving through my test to insert, move or otherwise modify my text. I just write.

Does this qualify as a typewriter? Well, no, not in the technical sense, but it does qualify in purpose. Another nice feature is that I don’t have to be bothered with monitoring the end of a page and inserting a new sheet of paper. I can do that with a thermal typewriter, but I still have a lot of faffing about with a roll of paper and in the end I have to figure out how to scan something that long onto this blog.

So, I will leave it at that. This is my first post in nearly a year and I am confident that my submission will be met with the same acceptance as if I had whacked it out on a Royal KMG.

Peace to all, be healthy and proceed with caution through the viral morass.