the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Coming This Summer on FOX: Are You Smarter Than An Octogenarian?

Match your wits against Sam, a retired accountant from Encino.

Sample questions:

Who is this woman? —


What are these children playing? —


What was this “machine” called? —


Cool news story of the day:  Nola Ochs, 95, to be oldest college graduate.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  The Dark Side


  1. Rach

    Oooooh first to comment, my life is now complete, have been trying to get to the number one spot for a year now….lol.
    Oh yes my answers:
    2.Now you bend over like this, and then you get out the lube…….

    2 out of 3 ain’t bad. Am cooking with gas today!

  2. better safe than sorry

    1. your mother?
    2. leap frog
    3. manual typewriter, i learned to type on when in highschool!

  3. Tracy

    1. Elanor Roosevelt
    2. Leap Frog
    3. Typewriter

  4. deannie

    Tracy is the winner! But I did know too…

  5. Jenn

    Hey! I knew it too! This should have been a closed test! I feel cheated! It’s not everyday I get to show off that I actually know something!

  6. Rhea

    Hey, Neil, I think you hit on the idea that’s going to launch you into the stratosphere. A hit television show! You will finally make lots of money and live happily ever after.

  7. Eileen Dover

    Sam’s cute.

    Can I have his number?

  8. Stacey

    Good God, I knew the answers. Now I feel old. Thanks a lot, Neil.

  9. Leah

    i knew them all immediately. that reminds me of my 9th grade social studies class, when the teacher asked one my classmates who the vice-president was and she said Michael Dukakis. We all laughed and pointed. Heheh. (Well…metaphorically speaking of course.)

  10. leesepea

    I knew right away, but Tracy beat me to it!

    Damn east coasters. Most west coast bloggers are still hanging out in bed!


  11. Neil

    Is anyone old enough to remember playing outside with other kids without the fear of being kidnapped?

  12. Finn

    1. Ellie Roosevelt
    2. Leapfrog
    3. Typewriter – manual

    Go me!

  13. Dana

    Stop! You’re making me feel like an octogenarian! I got 100%. About a year ago I got fed up with power outages (and hand writing the addresses on envelopes) and won a tiny 1949 Smith-Corona Skyriter portable on eBay for $9.99. My kids circled it like vultures. “How do you scroll down? Where’s the Enter? How do you backspace? Where’s Delete? Why isn’t there a number 1?” Hilarious.

  14. plain jane

    I didn’t know what #2 was, “machine”, that really threw me off.

    I must be ancient because I would go off all day to play, down the road, into the woods…alone, and never once thought of being kidnapped.

  15. MichelleV

    Dana, Your comment makes me nostalgic for a typewriter. I learned on an old IBM and later had a Smith Corona. I love the idea of writing on a typewriter. Maybe I’ll get one too!

  16. Jack

    I knew all of these. I must be old. Although I should admit that the kids made me think of Buck-Buck. I don’t know if anyone still plays that, but it was a lot of fun.

  17. psychomom

    1. Yo Mama!
    2. Tiddlywinks
    3. Cake (It looks like the one they made last night on “Ace of Cakes”).

    I only have to appear smarter then an 18 and 16 year old.

  18. heather anne

    How did you guys all know it was Elanor?! I think the 5th graders on that show are cheeky little bastards. Oh wait, can you call kids bastards?

  19. sarah

    I loved leapfrog!! We still use a typewriter at work…only its electric and such.

    My kids are so gonna end up kidnapped cause i’m still of the old mentality of not locking the front door. Um… and no one knows where I live right??

  20. Hilly

    Karl told me that was Eleanor….but I knew the rest! Ahem (hiding now)…I think this would be a good game ;).

  21. Michael

    I remember playing out all day with other kids, now I feel old.

    I knew the leapfrog and typewriter answers, I am a Brit so didn’t get the first one. That’s my excuse.

    btw blog is back up

  22. wendy

    Really…This must be a joke?(amongst the commentors…surely more people knew that was Eleanor…wow…

  23. Noel

    You think that’s a woman? It’s an old picture of Gilbert Gottfried in a strange wig.

    The kids are playing something called “On line for the civil union ceremonies” and this photo was used as evidence against the mayor of New Paltz at his trial.

    That’s the iPad, an Apple invention that wasn’t nearly as popular as the Blackberry.

  24. Churlita

    I knew all the answers. So, yes, I am smarter than an octogenarian. (even though I had some trouble spelling the word)

  25. Neil

    Sarah — You still use a typewriter at work?!

  26. cruisin-mom

    I knew all the answers, and, I think Sam and I used to date…but who can remember…

  27. Nance

    I have students now who have no idea who John Lennon was. I want to cry.

  28. Ariel

    Oh gawd! Give me the BBC any day…

  29. Bre

    I am! I am!

  30. Dana

    Nance, now THAT IS scary.

  31. Heidi

    Hilarious and clever. I know what it is now, who you look like. I hope I’m not forking my self in the ass by saying Young Peter Sellers, like Peter “Alice B. Toklas!” Sellers. Forgive me, I haven’t read here very long(at the BEST BLOG EVER).

  32. Eileen

    After my grandfather died, I asked for his vintage typewriter. He had written me a letter a month for pretty much my whole life on that thing. When my parents flew it out here as a carry on the security guard asked where the monitor was. oh yeah.

  33. SJ

    Damn, I feel dumb! I got 1 and 3, but thought those kids were playing hopscotch. Cool game!

    Hey that lime green wall in your house ROCKS! It’s even better than my purple one.

  34. Mine is a Gin

    I got them all and so am feeling old too! I’d go & examine my wrinkles if my eyesight wasn’t starting to do that post-40 thing! Now, where did I put my specs?

  35. Nance

    Dana, I know. And let me further alarm you by saying that I teach HIGH SCHOOL, and that many of my kids are musicians.

  36. teahouseblossom

    Leapfrog is fun..despite its pederastic visual connotations.

    When I was a kid, my parents had a Smith Corona typewriter. I used to love to jam the keys all at once.

    Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt’s maiden name was Roosevelt, so she never had to change it?

  37. Mike F

    1. It’s Bush’s Mom before her hair turned white.
    2. The children are playing the ever popular “smell my butt” gameu.
    3. It’s a machine to exercise the finger muscles. Flabby fingers were huge problem in the thirties.

    Very funny and spot on, Neil.

  38. question girl

    i am proud to say i knew all of these

    i am even prouder to say i learned how to type (ok – not very wel) on a typewriter

  39. sarah

    Neil, yes we use a typewriter. We have govermental paperwork that isnt electronically sent. We still work with people who dont can’t open a jpeg or use a fax machine too! Ice age! 🙂

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