Sunday, October 26, 2014

Getting Ready...


...for the big night...put together 130 treat bags this weekend...each one includes a gospel tract and candy...also ordered Halloween novelties / toys to give away...


Hopefully this will be a fun night for the trick or treaters...

This was MSU vs U of M weekend, and though I don't really have a dog in this hunt - people I love are on both sides of that fence - I still planned to tune in:
Here are the essentials...cigar, Ronson touch tip ligher, whiskey, and a Global 9 transistor radio to catch all the action.  It was a beautiful fall afternoon, perfect weather for sitting outside and listening in.  MSU continued its recent dominace, smoking the Wolverines by a score of 35-11.  Sorry, U of M fans.

Decided to expand my phone collection just a bit...odd that I would even have a phone collection, b/c I've never enjoyed talking on them...but phones are significant b/c they foster communication and the dissemination of information, and that is fundamental to civilization.

Every generation is profoundly affected by however information is communicated, and in modern times we've seen print give way to radio; radio to television; television to computers; and more recently, computers to the internet.

Parallel to and underlying all of those has been the telephone...for while the former methods fostered mass communication, the latter influenced private communication.

I already own a candlestick phone from the 19-teens:

...and a Western Electric 102B1 phone from the 1920's:


...so recently purchased one from the 1930's, 1940's, 1950's and 1960's, to wit:

KTAS D30 Danish phone from the 1930's


Western Electric 302 "I Love Lucy" phone from the 1940s


Western Electric "Spacesaver" phone from the 1950's


Ericofon from the 1960's
the rotary dial on the bottom of the Ericofon

Hardly an extensive collection, but it does cover the evolution of the telephone from the 19-teens through the 1960's...I chose the Danish KTAS D30 for the 1930's b/c the American phones didn't change much from the 1920's to the 1930's...Western Electric "upgraded" the 102B1 to the 202 but it looked almost identical.  Besides, I like the copper and brass look of that Danish phone.

Of course there were other makes and a few other styles, especially as we marched through the 60's...but Western Electric was the dominant manufacturer of phones, and I chose models I appreciate stylistically.

Didn't bother with anything past the 1960's b/c the 70's should never have happened...they owe history an apology for disco, the Bee Gees, Jimmy Carter, my first marriage, and any number of other grievous offenses...and by the 1980's everything either looked the same or was some kind of schmaltzy gimmick...hey look, it's Mickey Mouse!  No, it's C3PO!  or any number of other lame ideas.  Then came cell phones and the collapse of civilization we now endure.

Who me, cynical?  We press on.

Later, mcm fans...


Monday, October 20, 2014

All Hallows Eve...

...beckons, and the Cyborg in me must answer.

Pretty cool mask from Morphsuits...can't really tell from this pic, but there's an iphone app that plays a repeating "cyborg eye" video, and you slide your iphone into the left hand eye slot...in person it's fairly impressive.  I might wear this for my company's Halloween Costume contest...might not win anything, but it's still a good look.

Even Marge's donuts is getting into the Halloween spirit...bought these last Friday for the office:

Of course I ate one of the Frankenstein cookies...he's my guy.

You can tell we're getting ready to shoot the rapids at work...things are heating up in a big way, it's getting tense, and tempers will get shorter and shorter from here on out.  Ah, joy...the holiday season as experienced in the retail industry.

Nothing too new or exciting at the moment...still in mourning over the passing of summer, and probably won't come out of that funk until April of 2015.

A cool, mid century modern "pesaro" bed I saw online:

I really like this style...will def keep it in mind when we decide to build / flip the mcm ranch that's in our future.

Here's our front entrance, all spruced up for autumn:
If it has to be not-summer, I guess this is second best.  As usual, K did a nice job decorating and landscaping.

Here's a Western Electric Spacesaver phone from the 1940's / 1950's I recently bought:
I'm sending it to OldPhones.com for repair, adding a ringer box, etc.  Should be pretty cool once it's in working order.

Later, mcm fans...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

1958 GE...


...model 21C2465 black and white TV...a mid century modern / Danish Modern classic.  Picked it up from a seller in Indiana this weekend...here's another view:

Amazing how narrow this model was for tube electronics in the 1950's.  Most tube TV's were boxy affairs, but this really captures the sleek, modernistic, design elements of the atomic era.

Bought it as non-working, but got a surprise when I got it home, cleaned it up a little, and decided to plug it in:
Not much to write home about, but the tv audio works, and the tube may be a candidate for restoration.

My problem with that is I already have a half dozen black and white tv's from the 40's and 50's, and as much as I love the old black and white sets, I can't fix them, and I haven't found anyone local who can fix them, either...and one constant with these old, tube sets is they do need attention from time to time.  There was a small army of TV repairmen back in the day that came into your home and worked their magic on your set once or twice per year.

That's not happening around here anymore, so I do believe I'm going to remove the vintage electronics from this set.

I know there are purists who would scream in protest if they read this, and I do understand that sentiment..  However, most of the "purists" I've talked to only repair their own stuff and have little to no interest in actually preserving this dying discipline.  I totally get that; they do it for fun because they love working on old sets or for whatever reasons blow their hair back.  This is God Bless America and I'm completely fine with that concept.

But since I have joined forums and and advertised on Mlive, offering to pay anyone who might be interested in working on my sets with never a positive response, the purists can kiss my ass on this one.

I'm going to appreciate the beauty of this set's mid century modern design elements and that may involve modern day electronics and a color picture.  Can't wait to decorate a room around this classic.

Other than the constant panic that is work, not much else happening at the moment...K and I went bowling today, but unlike last weekend, today's foray into the black art of ten pinnery was a dismal failure.

I dug deep into my vocabulary to find the appropriate four letter words to properly describe my efforts, then admitted bitter defeat and skulked on home.  A good time was decidedly NOT had by all.

Later, mcm fans...

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bowling...

...for whiskey.  Well, more accurately, it was bowling with whiskey, which probably accounted for this aberrant score of 216.  First time I've broken 200 with my "dice" ball:
The reason that's significant is b/c the core of the ball makes it impossible for it to curve or hook at all...you can only throw a straight ball with it.  The only other times I've broken 200 - and let's be honest, there haven't been that many - have been with a ball that hooks, which typically gives a little more pin action.  A great bowler I'm not, so it was fun to roll a game with no opens, five strikes and score above 200.  For whatever reason, this game I was able to throw with a little more velocity and still hit my spot.

Karen had a pretty good game, too, as evidenced by her 147.  These were our second games and we wisely called it a day, knowing the most likely place to go was downhill from there...so we ended on a high note and moved on to other things, like grabbing fish and chips at Chequers, then strolling the antique mall in Douglas for an hour.  It was a good day.

That night - Saturday - we watched "Four Weddings And A Funeral" - Hugh Grant, Andie McDowell - a great flick from twenty years ago....

...hard to believe it's been that long...and I do believe this was Hugh Grant's best film.  In succeeding films he's been pigeonholed as the impossibly clever rom-com leading man...he's packaged and polished with a surefire formula he can deliver in his sleep.  In this film he's fresh and genuine and you easily imagine he actually is the character he plays.  There are marvelous scenes like the one with him and George at the Boatman pub, and his speech at the first wedding as best man.  Love the English, understated humor, including their general disdain for all things American.  Definitely worth watching more than once, if only to catch the subtle throw away lines you'll miss the first time or two.

Our weather has decidedly changed to Autumn now, and in general it's depressing...cloudy, cold, rainy...summer, where have you gone?  Was it something we said??  Not ready for the change of seasons, but here we are.

So today - Sunday - has been the usual stroll through melancholia as I face the inevitable return to shangri-la now that we've entered the dreaded fourth quarter.

Doesn't help my mood any that the Lions managed to blow a two touchdown lead and lose in the last 30 seconds on a field goal, after our hopeless kicker missed three - count'em, three - field goals that would have put the game out of reach.

And to add to the fun, the Tigers got swept in the ALDS, losing game three at home today.  As one of my sons said, The Tigers are like hot pockets...
...they smell good while they're cooking but they make you vomit at the end.

If the Detroit sports teams were the stock market, this would be the crash of '14. 

Getting back to work...somehow I have managed to build a career in an industry that sucks all the joy and happiness right out of the holiday season...which season, I might add, presses hard upon us, starting this month with Halloween...

...which graciously gives way to Thanksgiving...

...and finally to Christmas.


Ok, so I left out New Year's...
 ...let us raise a glass to a hopeful future.

But can I enjoy them?  Hardly.  Work becomes ever more intrusive, frantic, panicked, and stressful as we race around at 100 mph, 7 days a week, to accomplish what?  Saving the world, one skein of yarn at a time.  How noble.

This, methinks, needs to change,

Later, mcm fans...