Sunday, April 27, 2014

Decisions, decisions...



...ok, so it's not that kind of decision...

This one has to do with housing.  The one we were looking at is gone, so now we're considering building...found a piece of property and we're currently talking to builders about total project cost.

The main problem is, I've never talked to anyone who built their house who did NOT say, "It took longer and cost more than we expected."  Not encouraging,  but we'll keep that in mind while we're making our decision, hopefully this week.

On the mid century modern front, Bob Adams of Ronson Repair repaired / restored a bartender cigarette dispenser for me:




Yeah, I know...cigarettes are bad for you...but Bob did a great job as usual, and that's still a cool item, very clever.  It's gonna look great on top of our art deco bar next to the bowling lane.

He also threw in an Octette lighter with a unique walnut grain finish:


Thank you, Bob.

This weekend Karen and I drove down to Ohio to pick up a couple of radios I had restored...that makes for a long day, about 12 hours from the time we leave until we park the car in the driveway at home again.  We usually visit an antique mall while we're down there, just to take a break from 5 hours of driving, and we did so again this time.  Didn't see anything compelling, but it was still nice to stand up and walk around before we got back in the vehicle for the long trek north.  I've pretty much concluded most "antique stores" are really little more than glorified flea markets, and to find anything truly valuable you need to know other collectors or glom onto the occasional ebay item.

It's approaching midnight on this Sunday, the 27th of April, 2014, and it's time for sleepy bye before we jump into yet another work week.

Later, mcm fans...



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Change Afoot?

...not so much.

The house deal fell through, so it appears we will in fact be spending another summer in our current digs...which for my money, is just fine.  One of these days we'll buy or build that mid century modern dream ranch...until then, we give thanks to God in heaven that we're able to live indoors and eat and do so quite comfortably.  Above is a view of our summer accommodations...can't wait.

So I did in fact win that Ronson Rondette table ligher:

...and it is at the moment winging its way all the way from Jolly Ol' England to Bob Adams of Ronson Repair since it needs a little work to be completely functional.  This is a beautiful art deco piece and I will be very happy to add it to my growing collection.

Other than those two bits of news, not a whole lot going on...still gainfully employed, for which I am very thankful.  There are challenges there, but that's part of life.

My oldest son continues to recover from the stroke he suffered back in February...he told me the other day, "I'm 35 and I'll probably walk with a cane for the rest of my life."  I'm happy to report that does not appear to be the case.  He's still a little wobbly on his feet at times, but he's getting around a little better every day, sans cane, praise God in heaven.

On the mid century modern front, we walked through a home for sale this weekend which was in fact classic mcm:

All lit up at night.

Sunken living room
Built in 1961, the owner did a spectacular job of restoring the original decor, and it was truly fabulous...if it was larger, we would have bought it on the spot...but it's just too small...three tiny bedrooms, and the only real storage area is a crawl space...quite large, concrete floors and new lighting, but still a crawl space.

But boy was it tempting...sunken living room, backlit window treatments, brick walls in the living room...everything tastefully and faithfully redone.  We did get the name of the builder who did the restoration project, b/c we'd like to use him if / when we find or build our dream home.

Now it's time for another installment of Mad Men, so hasta la vista mcm fans.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Change Afoot...

...maybe...

Karen found a home she's interested in, so we're doing the "due diligence" thing at the moment.  There are a number of upgrades / modifications that would have to be made before we'd say "go", but we're walking through the property for the 2nd time next week with a couple of contractors, so we'll see.

One thing that has to be possible is a bowling lane in the basement.  I like where I'm at right now, and have no intention of moving just for the sake of moving.  One of my requirements is my next home - hopefully my last home - will have space for the bowling lane.  It ain't cheap...probably $70k to $80k for installation...and of course there will be more expenses related to decor around the lane...seating, a bar, etc.

And one of the items that will sit on the bar is a beautiful, Ronson Senior Bartender Touch Tip lighter that was recently brought back from the dead by Bob Adams of Ronson Repair 
My Senior Bartender next to a 1954 Emerson 744 B radio


Cigarettes on the left...

...and on the right.
Ok, I know...it's not politically correct.  In the 1930's when this was produced, America was a very different place than it is today...but it's history, and believe it or not, a highly valued piece by collectors of Black Americana.

And this piece was a complete mess when I sent it to Bob...he has done a spectacular job of restoring the walnut finish, fixing the lighter mechanism and the cigarette holders...a complete rehab job from top to bottom.  I couldn't be happier with the final product, and I will proudly display this piece on my art deco bar next to the bowling lane, Lord willing.

Another piece I'm hoping to pick up later this week is the Ronson Rondette:

This is a fabulous piece from 1934, a Ronson table lighter.  Love the art deco styling and can't wait to see it displayed on the bar counter top.

This past week at work was relatively calm, b/c many people fled the northland for parts south since it was spring break week.  Almost every day was light traffic to and from work, a true delight.  Tomorrow all those angry and depressed vacationers trudge back to their jobs, so it promises to be another unpleasant Monday.

Heavy sigh...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Imperfections...

my contribution to the oil and gas industry
...abound.

Every so often, even after all these years, something falls through the "hole"...a tossed set of keys, or some other small object that manages to slip comfortably between my middle and pinky fingers, where ringo used to live.

Makes me think back to that summer, three plus decades ago, when I did the ride share thing with an older gentleman who hailed from Oklahoma.  He had a southern drawl, but unlike most southern boys who take their own, sweet, time getting from one end of a sentence to the other, he spoke in a machine gun cadence:  da ta da ta da ta da ta...

That combination rendered him pretty much incomprehensible to me, but I discovered for the most part that didn't matter.  On the 90 minute drive back from the rig he'd stop and buy a 6 pack of beer for us to share, and after a couple I was in a pleasant daze.  Since he was set on broadcast, not receive, we arrived at a comfortable compromise...I would quietly drink his beer and he would assault the silence.  His rapid fire patter faded into background noise with only an occasional prompting from him:  "you follow me?"  or "get what I'm saying?"  A simple nod or grunt in the affirmative from me would send him on his conversational way again and I'd slide back into an exhausted coma.

He also taught me the grammatically useful trick of inserting a 4 letter word in the middle of another word for dramatic emphasis, exempli gratia:  I guaran-damn-tee you.

Somehow this relationship worked and we formed an easy, if unlikely, bond.  I rode with him for a month before I noticed he was missing the pinky finger and outside part of his right hand.  It had been crushed in a rig accident, but the surgeon smoothed it out so well, you had to look twice and count - 1, 2, 3, no 4 - before you'd notice.   When I lost my finger on the rig one midnight shift, he was the only one who bothered to come see me.

All hail Oklahoma.

Later, mcm fans...