Lost in the 50s

Thanks to John

According to this highly scientific quiz, I belong in 1957. I think it hit me pretty much dead on. The 50s were a relatively happy and prosperous time in the United States, sandwiched between World War II and the chaos of the 60s and 70s. I definitely long for the sweet, innocent nation we had in the 50s. Granted, it’s likely that things were not nearly as sweet and innocent as they seem. But don’t spoil my illusion, okay?


You Belong in 1957


You’re fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!
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Great New Jobs

As many of you know, I’m looking for a new job. My plan was to stay in the same field, but hey, if the right job comes along in another field, I might give it a try. cnn.com posted an article on “Some really odd jobs”. So sit back, relax, and help me sort through some of these to see if they might be suitable for me.

1. Breath odor evaluator

Not a big fan of the whole outsourcing or illegal immigrant labor thing, but maybe this is a job that Americans just won’t do.

2. Diener

What they do: Prepare cadavers for the pathologist before autopsies are performed in hospitals.

For those Generation X and older, do you remember watching the opening credits to Quincy, M.E. in the 70s? Remember where Quincy was talking to the line-up of cops by a cadaver. Then when he pulled the sheet off, the officers all fainted one-by-one. Yeah, that’s me, collapsing to the floor. (To reminisce on that opening, click here.)

4. Ocularist

What they do: In short, they paint artificial eyes. It sounds easier than it is, since as with real eyes, no two are exactly the same.

Wow, that sounds like a very interesting, rewarding career. I believe that I would enjoy this for tens of seconds before I quit.

5. Flatulence smell-reduction underwear maker

What they do: Create underwear that protect against bad human gas for people who suffer from gastrointestinal problems. The underwear is made with various materials and filters to help remedy hydrogen sulfide gases, the main offender in foul smells.

I guess making it wouldn’t be so bad. I just don’t want to be the tester. I’d happily delegate that.

6. Beer tester

What they do: Taste — and spit out — beer all day to approve new and existing flavors.

Finally, a career right my alley–getting paid to drink taste beer all day. No boss, really, I promise to spit it all out.

7. Crack filler

This is wrong on so many levels, that I don’t even want to comment on it. I try to keep this blog PG-13 or cleaner.

8. Ball tester

Well, I have no interest in being a tester. I would like to sign up to be a test subject depending upon the circumstances. (That’s still PG-13, right?)

9. Video game tester

What they do: For eight hours a day, five days a week, a group of males and females of all ages play video games. They repeat levels, games and characters, looking for any bugs and/or glitches in the software.

Sweetness! This might be the best one so far. I can sit on my butt, eat chips, chug Mountain Dew, and play. I love it!

10. Tampon tester

Pass.

11. Gold reclaimer

What they do: Scour old teeth for fillings, melting the gold from them with broken gold jewelry into tiny gold pellets, which is then re-sold to jewelers.

So I get to go whack old people and pull their teeth out? I mean, it sounds like a good way to relieve some stress, but are you sure it’s legal?

12. Dog sniffer

What they do: Once a week, they analyze the odor of dog’s breath to test the effect of their diet on their teeth. Breath is graded on a scale of zero to 10 and is categorized as sweaty, salty, musty, fungal or decaying.

“…musty, fungal, or decaying.” (shivers) Add this one to the illegal immigrant/outsource list.

13. Potato chip inspector

What they do: Search for over-cooked or clumped chips to discard as they come down the assembly line.

Mmmm…daddy like. I’ll check into this one also. Ooops…there’s another “defective” one (crunch).

14. Porta-potty servicer

What they do: Like regular restrooms, portable toilets need maintenance, too. Once a week, service workers clean these single-stall facilities to achieve certain standards of sanitation.

It’s really every little boy’s dream, though you’ll never get any of us to admit it: To drive around all day sucking the crap out of porta-potty tanks all over town…yeah.

17. Safe cracker

What they do: When combinations are lost or forgotten, safe crackers use their ears and fingers to open the safe.

I could do this, but only if my tool of choice could be dynamite.

19. Paper towel sniffer

What they do: Paper towel manufacturers prefer their products to be odorless before, during and after their use. Naturally, paper towel sniffers ensure that once a paper towel is used, there is no noticeable scent.

There seems to be a lot of demand for people to sniff things and rate the hideousness thereof. Outsource all of these, please.

20. Foley artist

What they do: Use whatever they can find to create and record the noises used to make the sound effects in films, like heavy footsteps, rolling thunder or creaking doors.

I don’t fancy myself an artist, but this actually sounds like fun.

Childhood Flashback: Saturday Nights

As a child, I lived in a small town and we were pretty poor. So Saturday nights were pretty simple. Don’t get me wrong–I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m actually thinking back on those nights with a great deal of fondness. The evening largely revolved around watching TV. Let’s take a look at the Saturday evening lineup that dominated most of my first 12 years:

  • Wild Kingdom: Marlin Perkins was a pioneer of wildlife shows filmed in the field. He set the stage for the many shows that would follow–arguably even the development of the Animal Planet network. I have always loved animals, so I enjoyed his weekly adventure in the wild. Having said that, he certainly was not as brave as people like Steve Irwin. Do you remember that he would be hovering in the safety of his helicopter while his staff would do much of the dirty, dangerous work? Just an observation. I also remember the annoying Mutual of Omaha (the show’s title sponsor) commercials . I can still hear the song to this day: “Mutual of Omaha is people…you can count on when the going’s rough.”
  • Hee Haw: This was a corny, but enjoyable, country variety show. It had a mix of country music, comedy skits, and corny jokes and puns. For most of the years, I enjoyed the corny entertainment. However, as my teen years approached, I also developed an appreciation for the buxom Southern belles that adorned the show.
  • Lawrence Welk: This was another variety show, but more sophisticated than Hee Haw (okay, that’s not saying much). It was also corny, but on a different level. I see it today and say to myself: “What were you thinking?” Yet every year, when PBS has it’s annual fundraiser, I find myself watching the Lawrence Welk special and enjoying the quick trip back 30 years.
  • Portland Wrestling: Prior to the 80s, “professional” wrestling was largely a local affair. Each large city had its own wrestling association. The matches were held in relatively shabby buildings. The wrestlers were gritty, working-class guys that just wanted to beat the crap out of each other. Of course, it was just as fake back then as today. However, it seemed more realistic than today’s highly commercialized, glamorous, wrestling productions. We lived in western Oregon at the time, so we tuned in to Portland Wrestling every Saturday night without fail. Throughout the 80s, these local venues slowly faded away. Very few of the wrestlers were able to make the transition to the new, highly polished package of the new professional wrestling. One notable exception was one that you might recognize. Former wrestler and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura got his start in Portland back in the 70s. I even have his autograph from attending a live event!

Another memorable part of Saturday night: popcorn. I’m not talking about microwave popcorn or a popcorn machine–I’m talking about cooking it in a pan! First, pour in enough oil to cover the pan bottom. Next, add the corn–but not too much or it will push the lid off during popping and popcorn will go every where. Once the corn starts to pop, slide the pan frenetically back and forth across the burner to keep it from burning. When the popping stops, dump the popcorn into a bowl. Top it off with melted butter and a few shakes of salt. It may just be fond memories, but I don’t think any of our “modern” methods of cooking popcorn has yet topped the popcorn I last had over 20 years ago now.

If you grew up during the 80s or after, this may have been a fairly boring post for you. But for those of you that lived through the 70s, I’m hoping that I was able to spark a fond memory that you haven’t thought about for awhile. Feel free to reply with your own Saturday night memories or post your own and give me a shout back.