The life of a photographer who likes to shoot just about anything.

Posts tagged “robot

My own “A Christmas Story”

A Christmas Story, Christmas Tree, Xmas Day, toy, robot, Big Loo

For those unfamiliar with Jean Shepherd’s “A Christmas Story”, it is the story of Ralphie and his quest for a Red Ryder BB Gun. “I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle,” exclaims Ralphie! The movie follows his adventures of trying to convince his parents, his teacher and the department store Santa Claus that this would be the perfect Christmas gift. (It also tells the story of his dad wining a “major prize” – the now infamous “leg lamp”.) When Christmas arrives, Ralphie scrambles to open his gifts but is disappointed when he doesn’t find the Red Ryder. As he sits on the couch trying not to show his sadness  his father says, “What’s that by the desk?” The Red Ryder was hidden in the corner, out of view. When Ralphie see the box, he knows that his Christmas wish has come true.

(For those unaware, “A Christmas Story” was based on a collection of individual stories written by Jean Shepherd in the 1960’s. )

I also had my own “A Christmas Story” gift. It was 1963 and the toy was “Big Loo”. It was a robot that stood 3 feet tall.  Just of few of it’s features were that it could talk, squirt water from its navel, was equipped with a compass, whistle, bell, a Morse code clicker with chart, and could bend over and pick up objects. For me, it was the greatest gift ever made. And when Christmas arrived, my big desire was also “hidden in the corner, out of view”. And when my Mom pointed out the box, I knew that my Christmas wish had come true.

Of all the toys I received when I was a child, that is the one I still have. Some gifts are too special to ever get rid of.

My Big Loo & me.


My own “A Christmas Story”

A Christmas Story, Christmas Tree, Xmas Day, toy, robot, Big Loo

For those unfamiliar with Jean Shepherd’s “A Christmas Story”, it is the story of Ralphie and his quest for a Red Ryder BB Gun. “I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle,” exclaims Ralphie! The movie follows his adventures of trying to convince his parents, his teacher and the department store Santa Claus that this would be the perfect Christmas gift. (It also tells the story of his dad wining a “major prize” – the now infamous “leg lamp”.) When Christmas arrives, Ralphie scrambles to open his gifts but is disappointed when he doesn’t find the Red Ryder. As he sits on the couch trying not to show his sadness  his father says, “What’s that by the desk?” The Red Ryder was hidden in the corner, out of view. When Ralphie see the box, he knows that his Christmas wish has come true.

(For those unaware, “A Christmas Story” was based on a collection of individual stories written by Jean Shepherd in the 1960’s. )

I also had my own “A Christmas Story” gift. It was 1963 and the toy was “Big Loo”. It was a robot that stood 3 feet tall.  Just of few of it’s features were that it could talk, squirt water from its navel, was equipped with a compass, whistle, bell, a Morse code clicker with chart, and could bend over and pick up objects. For me, it was the greatest gift ever made. And when Christmas arrived, my big desire was also “hidden in the corner, out of view”. And when my Mom pointed out the box, I knew that my Christmas wish had come true.

Of all the toys I received when I was a child, that is the one I still have. Some gifts are too special to ever get rid of.

My Big Loo & me.


(My own) Toy Story

toy, toys, robot, barbie doll

It’s almost Christmas time, and I’m watching my toys.
(Just in case they move.)


iPhone Conundrum

I’m sure everyone has heard about the Apple iPhone secret info grab. What I’m sure many TV viewers didn’t notice were the conflicting stories reported about it on the news. One 24 hour news organization would say that the data was being collected and sent back to Apple. Another news company said that the info simply remained with your phone. There was nothing to worry about. So, which is it? If it’s the former, no one should really be surprised. All of our movements are constantly being watched. How do you think Amazon can make recommendations to you? Now if it’s the later – that the info just sits on your phone – that makes no sense especially if the user doesn’t know it’s there.

One point to remember when it comes to your computer hard drives, cell phones or other gadgets — to erase the private info stored on it when you discard the item. Most folks don’t and that’s not good.

*iPhone not pictured above.


Ghosts of Christmas Past

It’s that time of year again. Cutting down the Christmas tree, buying presents, sending out Christmas cards, going to parties and on and on.  And it’s that time of the year when I return to the toy stores and look around. My kids are grown and I don’t have any grandchildren – yet – and I’m not buying a toy for a friend’s child so what the hell am I doing in Toys R Us? Wishing that I was still a kid. I have some “attitude” holdouts from my childhood – I still don’t consider “clothes” a present. For years I bought myself something “photographic” – it served 2 purposes – it was a present under the tree and a tax deduction. I’ve stopped doing that. As much as I like getting a new photo item, it doesn’t belong under the tree. I’ve given myself a variety of computer items over the years – both software and hardware – and I’ve stopped doing that. I haven’t banned all “adult” items. I do consider CDs (I still buy them), DVDs, something for my stereo or TV as “allowable” items, but I still think about those toys. Recently I was in the toy store, starring at the road race sets from AFX. I received a catalog from Hobbytown,USA and they had photos of more race sets from AFX. Boy, would I like to see that under my tree. My friend sent me a weblink of a company marketing sci-fi movie and TV model kits – stuff he and I used to put together as kids. I still have some of my models – the Flying Sub from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea – but not much else. I loved my toy guns – my Johnny Seven OMA (for those who know), my James Bond and Man From Uncle weapons (I wanted to be Illya Kuryakin), secret agent attache cases and assorted other items. When I visited the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC several years ago, they had a section showing “toy items” and I was thrilled to see my 007 spy decoder toy in the glass display.

One of my best memories is my own personal “A Christmas Story” gift. It was 1964 and I didn’t desire the Red Ryder BB Gun that Ralphie wanted, my quest was a toy robot called “Big Loo”. It shot darts out of it’s chest, missiles from it’s feet, balls from it’s arm, it spoke, had a whistle, morse code clicker, could bend over and pick things up, eyes that lit up, had a water squirter that would shoot water from it’s navel and other stuff that I’m forgetting now. And just like Ralphie, that’s what I WANTED that Christmas. And on that special morning, I scrambled to the tree, opened up my gifts but didn’t see Big Loo anywhere. I was politely disappointed until my Mom pulled it out from behind the tree where it was hidden. My Ralphie moment.

And yes, that’s my Big Loo pictured above. I’ve thrown out almost all of my childhood toys, but I still have him. I want him in my coffin with me when I die.