Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lisa & Mac - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Technology

The prompt for Week 8 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is Technology.

What are some of the technological advances that happened during your childhood? What types of technology to you enjoy using today, and which do you avoid?

I'm going to change this up a little bit and write about the most profound technological advance in my lifetime - so far.  Hands down, that would be the development of the personal computer.  I can remember keypunching cards in college (and in a summer job with the data processing department at American General Life Insurance Company, where my dad worked), and typing lots of papers and college organization newsletters on an (electric!) typewriter.

That all changed (for me at least) in 1984.  I was working for the City of Corpus Christi (and Mark) then, and he sent me to a presentation to learn more about the Apple Lisa computer.  I was hooked, but the price tag at the time (about $10K!) made getting one out of the question (for home or work).  Later, though, our office did acquire an IBM PC, and part of my job was to test software and look for ways we could use it in our work.  I was a beta tester for WordPerfect 4.0, one of the earliest word processors for personal computers.  I also used spreadsheet applications like VisiCalc and Microsoft Multiplan (the precursor to Excel), and came up with some models that we actually used, for example, to forecast water revenues under different rate scenarios, and allocate data processing expenditures.

Lisa by atmasphere - Jonathan Greene
Macintosh 128 by Ian Muttoo
That same year, I also got my first computer - the original 128K Apple Macintosh.  My brother and his wife were students at the University of Texas in Austin, which was part of a pilot program to get personal computers into colleges.  They were both eligible to buy a Mac at a discount, but only needed one, so they sold the other to me.  I LOVED the way I could now type documents and easily make corrections, without white-out or correction tape!

Here's an interesting article that relates to this topic:  Generations and Their Gadgets.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Toys - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - (Not So) Wordless Wednesday

The prompt for Week 7 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is Toys.

What was your favorite childhood toy? Is it still being made in some form today?

Don't know that I had a favorite.  Looks like I played with a lot of stuff (not all toys) in my first six years:
1958 - teething ring tub toy
1957 - TV antenna

1962 - doll
1960 - rocking horse
1957 - Teddy bear
1960 - Play-Doh

1962 - doctor kit
1958 - Coke bottles

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentines Day - 30 Years Ago: Sentimental Sunday

Mark sent me pink carnations, and gave me a heart-shaped box of Godiva chocolates. My parents sent the card on the right in the photo above. I did something fancy in my scrapbook with a photo of Mark's flowers.=>

©Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Kitirik and Cadet Don: Radio & TV, 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History, Sentimental Sunday

The prompt for Week 6 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is Radio and Television:

What was your favorite radio or television show from your childhood? What was the program about and who was in it?

photo from Gary Hunt, ThisIsIt2 on
I remember two local Houston children's television shows from my childhood:  Kitirik and Cadet Don.  Probably just about anybody who grew up in Houston in the 1960s remembers these two shows, both on ABC affiliate KTRK Channel 13:

Kitirik was on in the afternoons from 1954 through 1971. The station's logo featured a black cat (since they were the unlucky number 13) and a contest came up with her clever name by putting i's between the station's call letters. It had a live audience full of birthday parties and Scout troops.  Bunny Orsak played Kitirik.

Capitalizing on Houston's identification with NASA and the space program, Cadet Don was on in the mornings from 1959 through 1968.  He had a puppet buddy named Seymour ("see more") from the planet of Katark (there's those call letters again!).  This show was a little more educational, with frequent appearances by John Werler, then director of Houston's Hermann Park Zoo, with various animals.  Don Travis (real name Al Eisenmann Sr.) even did a couple of albums that I owned, Don & Seymour (pictured above) and a folk album called Don & Mac.

I don't remember a whole lot about either show, but a lot of people out there do.  There are fan groups for both shows on Facebook!  Click all of the links above and links within those links for more info, pictures, and nostaglia.

As for radio, I didn't listen to it a whole lot as a child, more so as a teen though, and always when alone in my car up until five years ago, when I got a car with a CD and cassette player.  I do remember the summer of 1972, listening to just about every Houston Astros game on the radio, even while in the hospital recovering from an appendectomy.  I was a big fan of third baseman Doug Rader, thanks to the Houston Chronicle's Straight A Student program that gave me two free tickets to three Astros games each season for my six years of middle and high school. 

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy 82nd Birthday, Dad!

My dad, Frederick Henry Pape, was born on February 4, 1929, in Evanston, Illinois.

This photo was taken 80 years ago, in 1931, when Dad was two years old.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

Food: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Family Recipe Friday

The 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History prompt for Week 5 is Favorite Food:

What was your favorite food from childhood? If it was homemade, who made it? What was in this dish, and why was it your favorite? What is your favorite dish now?

My mother did some amazing things with hamburger.  With five kids in the family, we ate a lot of it.  Here are two of my favorite recipes:

Hamburger Stroganoff

Dice three slices of bacon and brown.  Add 1/2 cup chopped onion and saute until tender.  Brown a pound of ground beef, add to onions and bacon.  Add 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, and a dash of pepper, stir in one can of cream of mushroom soup.  Cook slowly, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in 1 cup sour cream and heat, do not boil.  Serve over buttered noodles.

Texas Hash

Slice one large onion and mince one large green pepper and saute until onions are golden.  Add one pound ground beef and fry until mixture falls apart.  Stir in 2 cups cooked tomatoes (#1 tall can), one cup washed uncooked rice, two teaspoons Worcestershire sauce and two teaspoons salt.  Pour into greased two-quart casserole, cover and bake about one hour in 350-degree oven, removing the cover the last 15 minutes.

My grandmother, Sara Wolfe Guokas Archibald, could do amazing things with vegetables, making even okra and eggplant taste good.  She rarely wrote down recipes, but here is one I watched her make:

Nani's Corn

Heat contents of two regular-size cans of creamed corn with 1/4 pound Velveeta cheese until the latter melts.  Add some chopped celery, 1/4 cup chopped red bell peppers, and some chopped onion if desired, and mix.  Top with more Velveeta, bread crumbs, and parsley flakes.  Dot with butter and cook in the oven.

My favorite dish today is anything my husband makes!  Seriously, my absolute favorite would have to be the following recipe, which he first made for me almost 32 year ago:

Mark Gresham's Quiche

Pre-bake a 9'' frozen pie shell 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Saute 2 tablespoons chopped green onions and chopped mushrooms (to taste) in one teaspoon butter.  Add one package of thawed frozen spinach (cook off or squeeze out most of the water first).  In a separate bowl, mix 8 ounces of whipping cream, 3 eggs, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and a little salt and pepper to taste.  Add the sauteed mixture and mix well.  Pour into the pie shell, cover with grated Swiss cheese, dot with butter, and bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes or until done.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.