Post Father’s Day Wrap

In the tumult that followed Stefanie’s trip to the hospital (fine now – thanks) and my big poker tournament, I forgot to mention Father’s Day.

What a cool holiday. Who would have thought, just having a child gets you a day?

Buying a gift for my dad is our most difficult Father’s Day quandary. He’s had 80 years to accumulate everything he needs and most of what he wants.

High tech is always a good idea. If it plugs into his laptop or desktop computer, he’s up for it. This year though, we came up blank.

My mom told us how much he enjoys “24,” but had only come to the show in this last season. Why not get him the boxed DVD set?

We looked at some local stores, but decided to buy on EBay. If you look carefully at some of the better EBay deals, you see an admonition. The TV show you’re buying is in English. It’s just what you’d get in the store. Oh, there’s some Chinese writing on the packaging.

We ordered.

Sure enough, there was Chinese writing sprinkled along with what looked like the standard “24” package. Why not-the package came from China!

Yesterday, when my dad began to watch, he saw Chinese subtitles, but a click of the switch turned them off.

He’s going to enjoy this gift, which makes us feel really good.

Buying for me is much easier. Helaine and Stef got me three pairs of cuff links (all very cool) and a new pair of LL Bean slippers.

They also got me a ‘fun’ gift – a battery powered, radio controlled airplane. I had seen it on HSN and mentioned something to Helaine. I only said it looked interesting… but she connected the dots.

Yesterday afternoon Helaine and I set out for large field alongside a local elementary school (we were actually over the septic system). The sky was sunny. The breeze was nearly non-existent. The plane’s battery was charged.

Helaine went to launch the plane first. As she held the plane, I flipped the switch on the remote. The twin engines started whirring, scaring the living daylights out of her.

She reached back and threw the plane with a slightly upward angle. The plane headed toward the ground as if it were magnetic.

We tried again and again and again. A few times the plane flew a little before heading groundward. When it did fly, it was uncontrollable. Most of the time it didn’t fly at all. On one particularly vicious crash, a part of the Styrofoam nose came off.

Helaine was very disappointed. It wasn’t that she really cared about flying a model plane. She just wanted to make me happy. I was disappointed too.

Today the plane went back in its box and headed home to HSN.

Helaine offered to get me another plane, something she saw listed on EBay. I said no.

My idea is to go and hang out with some people who fly more sophisticated model planes with the thought that I’ll go once and get it out of my system… or not.

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