The things I remember most from my childhood were with my dad in the garage. The garage was (is) not just a garage like you may imagine or have yourself. Essentially, you drove down a little hill into the garage. It had spots for two cars. When you get out of the car, to your left, is maybe like 700 square feet of concrete floored space with all sorts of machines and tools and bottles of lubricants and solvents and what not. You would walk thru this area, up a staircase with beat up orange patterned carpet, open the heavy door at the top, and be in the house.
But the garage was (is) epic. Tool chests and little drawers with all sorts of screws and work benches. A bench saw and drill press that weighs tons was an absolute nightmare to get down the hill and in the garage years ago. An air compressor bc why not (and to blow metal shavings off the floor so they didn't get stuck in your feet.)
I used to sit and do all sorts of things with him there. I would sort screws and build little houses with scrapes of plastic and metal. He had a ham radio and we would listen. He had a huge magnifying glass thing on a bench arm and that's what he would use to pull metal shavings out of our feet when we forgot to put on shoes.
When I was really little he had built a pick and place machine in the garage. I don't know why, he had "the shop" which was where the business was run out of and all the employees were. But he did. These huge blue machines. And I would watch the machine pick up the piece and dip it in something and put it on the other piece in these perfect lines. For hours probably. And he would explain how it worked. It's these things that probably make me so compulsive today. I had to be like 3 or 4 when he built those.
I also remember one year santa got us these robots. They were lnt really robots, but it was a plastic arm with 2 joints that you could control with a joystick and came with balls and cans and stuff and you had to try to navigate the arm perfectly. Up down left right rotate the hand adjust the wrist etc.
We loved them but my dad wanted to know how it worked. But we didn't want him to break it. So he went and got himself one and took it apart. My brother and I were so curious how he got a third robot toy as we assumed it came from Santa's workshop at the North pole. My dad, being an oblivious engineer, said he went to the toystore and found it. Ohhhhh...
When we got a bit older, my brother and I would sit on his knees together in front of the computer. I know it was running Windows 95 and that was new. But my dad would go to the swap meet and find these crazy CDs there with dos games. Like the trials or whatever? And we would play games like nightmare and keen and astroids for ages. I would be the spacebar, my brother the Ctrl or shift key, and my dad the arrows. Space bar in nightmare opens the doors and curtains. Ctrl shoots. Arrows move. We would play the same fucking 5 levels over and over and over and never get bored. Wed have to coordinate. Like my dad would walk up to the door and we knew there was a witch or mummy right there. So he would stand away from it and then count and I would hit the space bar as my brother started firing away.
Eventually he bought the damn thing I think bc I remember each time we played a new level we'd open a door and never know if there was a bad guy behind it or not. We'd prepare and shit, only to have nothing. Or there'd be like just a wall and you'd have to shoot it down but if you did so youd let all the bunnies out. My brother would shoot like 80 times and we'd get annihilated by the swarm of bunnies or mummies or whatever. I can still hear their fucking sounds. Each enemy had a specific sound when they saw you and came to life and when they died. The bunnies did this like "poof" sound and the witches would cackle. We eventually beat the game. But we were perfectly happy to start over and do it again.
So yeah. Memories.