Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend...

Benjamin Hare in Afghanistan
...don't forget to thank a vet!

We live in what used to be the greatest nation on earth, the only one with a belief in our Creator and a commitment to freedom enshrined in its founding documents...."We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness..."

These beliefs are under assault, but it's not too late to take our country back to the principles of its founding.  It requires the will of the people, "the consent of the governed" as the Declaration of Independence phrases it.  I pray to God in Heaven we find that will before it's too late.

In the meantime, as the son of a soldier and father of the same, my sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU to veterans everywhere for their service to this country.

This has been a pretty good weekend...great weather, and Karen's kids went north for a couple of days so we had some alone time in our backyard and in the pool:

Modesty and the mores of polite society forbid me from sharing details, but suffice to say a good time was had by all.

I mentioned the "Three Blind Mice" antique store that just opened in Grandville in a previous entry...we visited it on Saturday and found an interesting item...a 1949 Admiral Phono / Radio console.  It's not in working condition, but she wasn't asking too much for it, so we thought about it for a day, then went back this afternoon and bought it.

It needs some work, but once refinished and repaired it will be really cool...we stopped by The Corner Record Store on our way home to see if they could repair the phono part of it...they repaired the turntable in my 1970 Weltron 8 track / radio / phono a while back...but the guy we talked to had a bit of an attitude about it because this is a console...he tried to maintain they don't repair anything other than small, portable turntables.  I thought about calling his jackass bluff since my Weltron does NOT qualify as a small turntable, but I figured there's no point in arguing with people like that.  Instead I asked if he knows anyone who does repair these and he gave me the name of someone in Lowell...I'll give him a call and see what he says.

Karen says she'd like to do the finish work on the wood cabinet, so hopefully within a month or so we'll have a restored and refinished entertainment center, circa 1949.  Pretty cool.

One more day in this three day weekend...

...later, mcm fans...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lazy Weekend...

...not quite warm, not quite cold, but a little sunshine now and then.  Saw this sign while we were driving through Grandville...opening today, I believe...hope they've got some good stuff b/c I love their sign.  We'll check them out this week.

Got an early Christmas present on Friday from Bob Adams of RonsonRepair...he sent along a very cool, mid century modern Ronson Twenty Case lighter:

 Just Bob being generous again....Thank you!

Saturday I had breakfast with a friend, then Karen and I did some shopping and night we watched "The Invisible Woman":
It's the story of Charles Dickens and his long term affair with a much younger woman...rated R, though I have no idea why...there's nothing in this that's overtly sexual...set in Victorian times, every emotion is subdued and constrained by societal mores and consists more of flowery language than animal lust.  It's tame compared to most of today's lurid fare.

We liked it, but it's not hard to see why it didn't do well in the's a slow moving relationship movie, and since most people today couldn't identify who Charles Dickens was to save their distracted, ADD lives, it's of little interest to the masses.  Well acted, but a mood piece for sure.

Sunday was low key...worked in the backyard in the afternoon when it warmed up a little...that's slowly taking shape.  As always I had work issues to tend to, and once again the weekend flew by just in time to deposit us at the start of another work week.

Later, mcm fans...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Start Of Summer... officially upon us.  Yes I know, the meteorologically stringent among us would correctly argue summer doesn't start until June 21, but at our house...when the pool is open and we have our first fire, it's summer.

And so we did this past weekend...Saturday was in the high 60's / low 70's, but the wind died down enough in the late afternoon that we enjoyed our first session of Martinis and Bikinis...except this year I've traded out the martini for rye whiskey.  Even so, the end result was the same, which modesty and propriety forbid me from mentioning in detail here.

Post escapades, we started a fire in the chiminea and enjoyed a delightful hour of warm relaxation.  Ah, summer...

We met with a builder last week, and we're thinking most seriously at this point about building new next year rather than buying old this year.  Thus, we have switched from "collecting / home improvement" mode into "save as much money as we can" mode.

Even so, if I could find this on ebay or somewhere else, I'd be sorely tempted:

Telstar Predicta Chalet

This is one of the coolest TVs I've ever seen, and they are rare...based on the original 1950's Philco Predicta, they were manufactured by Telstar, a now defunct company that owns the Predicta brand name.  During the 90's and early 2000's they made modern day tube TVs based on the Predicta style.

Their downfall?  The flat screen one makes tube TVs anymore and when their sources dried up they were done.

Now my task is finding one of the above on ebay or wherever.  One did come up earlier this year but I tuned in after the auction ended - no sale - and when I inquired they had already sold it in Chicago on another venue.  Drats!

Today is Mom's day, so of course that means roses and a cake for Karen:

Her kids got her a couple of cards, and we all made a point of Karen relaxing and enjoying her day...visited the Downtown Market and their vintage / antique booths, tried a bloody mary from a bar they had set up there, etc.

Tomorrow is going to be another crazy day in the salt mines so I'm finishing this up and heading for bed soon.

Later, mcm fans...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

To build...

...or not to build...that is our question.  We'll talk with Brian and Kris Troxel of this coming Thursday to try and sort it out.  They come highly recommended so we're excited to begin the conversation.  More to come...

On the collecting front, that Ronson Rondette I bought from a seller in England arrived at Bob Adams place, he of fame.  He turned it around in no time flat, and I am now not the just proud owner but also the happy possessor of this fabulous, art deco lighter from the 1930's: 

The Rondette in front of my Wondergram portable record player and Sparton Bluebird radio.
He also threw in this beautiful, art deco, knife edge cigarette case:
The knife edge case in front of my 1927 Western Electric 102 B1 telephone
As always, thank you Bob for your excellent work and all the extras you provide!

Karen and I watched a fabulous film this weekend...hadn't seen it in years and had forgotten just how good it really is:
It's the story of Eric Liddel, great Scottish middle distance runner, and Harold Abrahams, great English (Jewish) sprinter, who compete in the 1924 Olympics in Paris.  If you have not seen this movie, do yourself a favor and watch it.  Unless you're an insensitive philistine, you'll love the drama and excitement of two world class athletes finding the best in themselves.  It's a story of honor, loyalty, sacrifice and commitment, qualities sorely lacking in most of us today.

Staring into the gaping maw of another work week, but first...must watch a disappointing episode of Mad Men, if only for the memory of what that show used to be back when it was still know, mid century modern and not hippie / 70's garbage.

Later, mcm fans.