Saturday, September 27, 2014

Transistor...

...heaven...

That's a Global 9 radio from the early 1960's, made in Japan.  These radios were my ipods a way on back in the day...they made great Christmas presents, and let us carry our tunes with us - well, as long as the AM radio station we were listening to played them - and were great for tuning in baseball games...Yankees / Red Sox, waiting for The Mick to be a hero again.

Here's the 50+ year old Global 9 playing one of my favorites while we relax outside in the backyard:


A favorite memory dates back to my freshman year at the state track meet...many of the competitors had spread blankets on a gently sloping hill overlooking the track, and it sounded like every group had at least a couple of transistor radios.

As the day wore on it seemed every team eventually tuned into the same AM station - and lest anyone read into this a kum ba yah moment of athletic adversaries coming together in the universal spirit of of brotherly competition, it probably had far more to do with the limited reception of our locale, forcing all of us to the one station we could pull in without constant static - so we listened in glorious multi-phonic stereo to "Hold Your Head Up" by Argent, "Smoke On The Water" by Deep Purple, and "Long Cool Woman" by the Hollies throughout the meet.

Ended this past week on an interesting note...the owner and CEO of our company took his executive team out on his boat, "The Nomad".  The weather provided perfect conditions for a cruise on Lake Michigan...high 70's, calm winds, no waves, and we motored at a leisurely pace to Saugatuck...enjoyed lunch at Chequers, then made our way back to the marina in Holland.



It was relaxing and fun, but still did not make me want to own a boat.  I subscribe to the philosophy that the two best days in a boat owner's life are the day he buys his boat and the day he sells it.

Later, mcm fans...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Happy Anniversary...

...baby, got you on my mind...

Karen and I celebrated #9 with the above...note the bubbly...she likes pink champagne, I prefer the extra dry...

Amy gave us a couple of Christmas ornaments early for our anniversary:
Does she know us or what?  Pretty well sums up the two of us...we're either Franky and Marilyn or maybe Franky and Barbie...typical Beauty and the Beast arrangement...here's to many more happy years together!

Speaking of Marilyn, caught her on video quite unexpectedly the other day:
Probably just a wrong number...

On the All Hallows Eve front:
A couple of items I picked up at Target...well, I didn't just pick them up...I paid for them and brought them home, too...the annoying crow in the cage will hang in the same tree as the Tree Creature and the swinging bat...it will be a cool "walk by" feature for the li'l trick or treaters.

The creepy phone is probably just for fun...Karen said we should leave it out all year...she thinks the voice sounds like Jack Nicholson playing the Joker in the original Batman.

It's kind of strange, b/c I really don't like talking on the phone - I have some hearing loss that makes it a challenge at times...if I can't see your lips while you talk, I can't always tell what you're saying...but I have always liked phones...the way they look the way they sound, how solid and heavy they were back in the day...even when I hate to answer them in the middle of the night b/c the only thing on the other end is bad news about my father dying or my brother dying or my son being in the hospital, I still like phones.

Odd, I know.

Later, mcm fans...


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Candlestick...


...Park it ain't, but it is a pretty cool candlestick phone...made by American Telephone And Telegraph, circa 1913.  Stay tuned for a video of Marilyn answering a surprise phone call...

Bought it from "atic00attack", an ebay seller who specializes in phone equipment...if you're into phone related items, check him out on ebay.

Got another nice surprise from Bob Adam of www.RonsonRepair.com today:

It's a "grab bag" of vintage cigarette / cigarillo tins, matches (note the bikini pinup girls, woo hoo!), and even some vintage, single edge razor blades from back in the day...I'm going to check with Bob first, but there are some vintage cigarillos included...I think if I humidify them they may be ok to enjoy...but I'll get the skinny from The Man before I indulge.  Thank you, Bob!

Apparently we are training mr. squirrel and his compadres to come right on in and he'p themselves:
I'll start to be concerned when I come home and find him in my chair with the remote, munching peanuts and flipping channnels.

So we trekked down to the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners today.  Yes, Hickory Corners is a real place, and the GCM is an amazing museum.

In a way, it's also depressing, since it shows the fabulously beautiful cars produced in days gone by.  Why is that depressing?  Because it highlights how far we've fallen when it comes to creating classic cars...all we produce today are eggs...drab, egg shaped cars that get 30+ mpg and are devoid of style, imagination, and beauty.  BO-RING...

Here's a sampling of the Gilmore treasures...

As you enter the lobby to pay for entry, you see this sculpture of an early automobile racing - and passing - a horse, indicating the changing of the guard when the era of the auto replaced that of the horse.

Next up is the very first automobile.  Once you walk past this, prepare to be overwhelmed.  The number and sheer beauty of the dozens if not hundreds of cars spread over the 90 acres of this museum is truly staggering.  We snapped a few pics as we went, but in short order we gave up photo journaling and simply gazed in awe.

One of many Duesenberg's, glorious to behold...

A stunning, 1930's Mercedes...

A 1963 Corvette like my brother owned briefly, before he totaled it doing over 100 mph...amazingly he survived.


George and Sally's Blue MoonDiner...an authentic, 1940's diner on the premises...

...we stopped in and enjoyed a chicken salad sandwich, a coney dog, and coffee...
...the coffee was really quite good.

Stopped by the Shell Station...wish we could have filled up...gas was 19.5 cents per gallon.

The great man himself, lounging outside the Lincoln Motor Car display...beautiful, luxury vehicles from the 1930's through the 1970's.

Well worth the hour trip to see these amazing vehicles from a different - and yes, better - era.

Later, mcm fans...






Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ronson...

...Colonnade..."new" (for me) Ronson touch tip lighter courtesy of Bob Adams of www.RonsonRepair.com

Very elegant lighter circa 1940...love the "lucite" columns and bronze / maple facing...a couple more pics next to my Colonial "New World" Globe radio and a 1920's "flapper":

Thank you, Bob...

On the subject of "cool stuff", a shout out to an Etsy seller:  SmokeyHollowEmporium.  They have a creepy/cool store focusing on classics from days gone by...very reasonable prices and definitely worth a visit if you're a fan of pop culture from the mid century modern / art deco eras.

I recently bought a partial "Monster Legacy" Set from them, minus the DVD's:
...slick busts of the classic, Universal Studios monsters...Franky, Dracula, and Wolfman...here they are posed with a few of my other robots / monsters:
It's a sickness, what can I say...love those old monster movies from way back in the day.

Did get out to a couple of antique stores yesterday, but didn't find anything compelling...watched a little bit of the Michigan win over Miami of Ohio...prediction:  it's going to be a tough year for the Maize and Blue, and Mr. Hoke will be coaching somewhere else next year.

Tuned into the new Outlander episode on Starz...someone needs to disembowel "Black Jack" Randall and I hope it's Jamie Fraser...Outlander fans know what I'm talking about.

Today I'd like to roll a couple of games...

(...yes, I did recycle this video b/c hey, it's a strike, and in my world those don't happen all that often...)

...turn on the Lions game...

...get a good workout in...

...and then it's on to the neverending salt mines work load...

Later, mcm fans...

PostScript:

winding down the day now, and we did in fact go bowling...I managed a 182 which for me is a pretty good game...only one open frame, and as usual it was an easy pickup, I just chopped one of the two pins.

Allegedly the gray matter that resides between my ears has some kind of connection to the musculoskeletal system that comprises the rest of me, but when I'm bowling this is not at all obvious.

My brain says something like, "Ok guys, we're going to roll the ball right there, over that board, and that will let us pickup this spare.  Got it?  Let's go..."  but my body is going all Robert De Niro on mr. brain...

"You talkin' to us?  I don't think so...we'll put that ball anywhere we feel like, capisci?"

Got back home and started rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, which in mid-September in Michigan equates to doing yard work...like it matters, b/c Old Man Winter is waiting to pounce.  Ok, so I'm overstating it a little bit, but I am NOT READY for summer to end, and anything I do to the backyard now seems futile at best.

Did sorta half watch / half listen to the Lions lose - speaking of malfunctioning gray matter...hello, Lions receivers...you're getting paid millions of dollars to catch, not drop, footballs when they're thrown to you -

...then got a pretty good workout in on the bike and Total Gym.

Now, having put it off as long as possible, it's back to work...

So once again...Later, mcm fans...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Morning...

...surprise...opened the garage door after the sun came up and got a bit of a shock when I spotted The Creature From The Black Lagoon crawling up out of my cooler...guess I'm out of beer...

But well before that event it was another early start to a Saturday...no fire at 6 am today...cold and drizzly outside...but I did enjoy a triple espresso with coffee and a cigar...then a problem at work interrupted my solitary musings and I trudged up to my loft to fight the battle of work for a while.

By the time I emerged victorious over the computer demons it had stopped raining so I started a fire after all on this chilly, 48 degree early fall morning:

...and while I was enjoying that God's woodland creatures came scavenging...I tossed a few peanuts and bird seed their way, but eventually Mr. Squirrel got into the good stuff:
...oh yeah...fresh grapes...that's the stuff...

I am not ready for it to be Autumn already but no one consulted me so here we are...had to abandon my summer uniform of  t-shirt, shorts and sandals in favor of the warmer jeans and sneakers...not happy about that.

Last night #4 son stopped by with his 10 month old son...hadn't seen Sean (grandson) since he was born, so that was nice.

Kid's a ringer for his dad, so that will probably work in his favor if he decides to play sports somewhere along the way...his dad was enormously strong back when he was competing in football and track...once saw him complete a competition squat with 650 pounds on the olympic bar when he weighed a mere 205.  Here's a pic of Chris back when he was competing in the decathlon:
He was a beast...still is physically formidable but no longer lifts seriously like he used to.  Yep, that's (one of) my boy(s)...

Today will be a mixed bag of monitoring systems at work and fun time...might get some bowling in, visit a couple of antique stores, watch some college football, get on the bike and Total Gym...oh yeah, and enjoy another cigar and some whiskey...

Later, mcm fans...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Early Morning...

...fire...with a triple espresso and coffee...necessary because of the early morning.  Yes, that's an actual photo of yours truly in the morning before I have my first cup of coffee.

But I have to say I think I'm gradually turning into a morning person...out of bed by 5:30, outside by 6 or 6:30 depending on work problems, and on nice weekend days, I've got a fire going before sunup.  Relaxing...

As weekends go, this one was ok...they were working both Saturday and Sunday, so I was monitoring system issues, but some of that could be handled outside.  Think we may have finally turned the corner on the disastrous upgrade from two weeks ago...need to ship a million tomorrow, so we'll see.

It was rainy earlier in the week...

...but cleared up and cooled down by Saturday...sunny and 70's, but definitely starting to feel like fall.   So sad...even the conversations with cashiers when checking out at stores have turned to the change of season.

Them: "Heard it's going to be a tougher winter than last year..."
Me: "Yeah?"
T: "Yep...we didn't even hit 90 this summer and you know what that means..."
M: "Lower air conditioning bills?"
T: "Hard winter ahead...and last year was plenty hard enough for my taste..."

I just smile politely and think about Palm Springs...I am really not ready for summer to be over, nor am I emotionally prepared to deal with the pressure of the Christmas retail season.  Heavy sigh...

So over the last few weeks when I've been working out in the evenings I've stumbled across a new tv series on Starz called "Outlander"...


...based on a series of novels by Diana Gabaldon back in the 1990's, it has been adapted to this new show and is really well done.  Since I've only seen bits and pieces, this weekend Karen and I sat down and watched the first 5 episodes which is all that have aired so far.  We are officially hooked...

Speaking of workouts, I still have to get mine done today, then finish up some work stuff, so I'm over and out for now.

Later, mcm fans...