Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A bit of everything

Today I wrote cover letters for my beneficiary forms in the morning, went to the Alpine library to print them out and got everything in the mail before the counter at the PO closed at 1:30 (yes, it closes that early in Alpine). Then Ellen, Max and I went to Afton, which is about 30 miles south. Along the way we passed a cattle drive on the highway-not an uncommon sight here in the West.

                  Cattle drive by our car window

In Afton we went first to a bowling alley/arcade. We didn't bowl - I wish we had. I like bowling. I'm not very good at it but I like it. But Max is at an age in which he is powerfully drawn to arcade games. I was too at his age - or a little older. That was in Minneapolis. But I'll have to say, arcades are different today. I remember arcade games being simple and entertaining - and cheap. Penny arcade was not a joke. There were things you could do for a penny, and most things you could do for a nickel. Today the arcade games are more like video games, and mostly cost $.50. And I find them too fast and frustrating. Hard to figure out. To become skilled at them would take a lot of quarters. But there was a car racing one that was sort of reminiscent of one I played which I remember as quite exciting. It gave me, a  ten-year old boy, a simulated experience of driving. Today's version is way too fast for Max or even an adult like Ellen or me to really control, but Ellen and Max had some thrills racing side by side.

                             Car racing thrills

Then we went to the movies. We saw Antman, which is based on a Marvel comics super-hero who has the power to change himself instantaneously from human size, to ant size and back again, and uses that power to fight the bad guys effectively - with the help of a lot of real ants, who are on the good guys side (fortunately!). It mixes human actors with animation and the latter is incredible. In the course of events, some other things get blown to huge size and maybe one of the most enduring scenes is seeing a humungous Thomas the Tank Engine being blown out of a house and falling on a police cruiser and crushing it  (the police have conveniently gotten outside first), and then lying there on its side smiling at us! All in good fun of course. Max loved it. 

We came home and had supper, watched the PBS Newshour, and then i watched a special on the history of the atomic bomb, which made Antman look like a Sunday School picnic, as they say. It is amazing what was going on during my teens and early twenties that I was only dimly aware of, if at all. It's something of a miracle that we still exist. But we are not out of the woods yet. 

Oh, I also read an article today in the New Yorker about the possibility of a nine-point plus earthquake in the Northwest that makes the bomb pale by comparison! What a day! Puts those beneficiary forms I started the day with in a whole new perspective!

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