Sunday, November 30, 2014

From Happy Thanksgiving...

Love those Ronson candles... Merry Christmas...
...and that Slimline Aluminum Christmas tree.
...all in the same week.

And what a week at work it was...the craziness of the Christmas rush has begun...7 days a week from now until the big day...o boy.

I do enjoy putting up my aluminum its rotating tree stand...and putting the color wheel in place...with the two battery operated stacks of Christmas presents...all in front of our Malm fireplace...a little bit of mid century modern heaven.

Here's a video of the American Flyer electric train I put around the base of the tree:

So that's about it for my Christmas decorating responsibilities...oh, I also had to put up the nativity scene outside...a stable, and plastic figures of Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus.

I might add a couple of critters this year, or maybe the wisemen.

Karen on the other hand will transform the rest of our home into a Christmas wonder land...and I'll probably get sucked into the decorating vortex again when that activity begins...mostly just hauling boxes out of the garage and putting them back once the contents have been distributed appropriately.  We do have a 9 ft tree that K puts up each year...

She asked me if I would be ok if we didn't this year, and I told her of mcm aluminum tree is the only one I need...but I also told her she'll never get away with that b/c her daughters will insist on tradition.  Guess who was right when she asked them?  So the 9 ft tree will make another appearance this is spectacular once she has it up, but it's a lot of work.

Later, mcm fans...

Sunday, November 23, 2014


...through the decades.  An updated view of my phone collection since I decided to have American made phones throughout...replaced the 1930's Danish made KTAS D30 with the Stromberg Carlson "Fat Boy" (3rd phone from the right).  Sometime in the next month or so I hope to add a 1905 Kellogg "Grabaphone" to my collection...

...this was a "pre-dial" know, pick up the phone and ask the operator to connect you to Pennsylvania 6-5000...though really, that's a 1940's phone number (and swing song) 1905 it would have been more like "Operator, get me 1052 please" since phone numbers were only 4 digits long.  Richard Rose from is working on it for me.

Snow's almost gone now, thankfully...temps have warmed up into the 40's, and raining...suits me fine as mid-November was way too early for that much of the white stuff.
Mr. Squirrel dining on the remains of a Jack-O-Lantern during our snow storm.

Tomorrow starts a very busy week and the official start of our peak season at work...I'm so excited I could spit, but spitting is a nasty habit so I won't.

Later, mcm fans...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More snow...

...and Old Man Winter can kiss my booty.  I'm already sick of this and we haven't even started yet...gonna be a long, cold, winter this year...def thinking about moving someplace warmer.

A picture we have on the wall going upstairs:
Don't know if it's art, but I love the elegant, art deco vibe.

When I was in high school, Arlo Guthrie had a hit with "The City Of New Orleans"...I liked the song, and gathered it had something to do with train travel, but at the time didn't realize he was talking about an actual, named, train route.

Looked it up on the Amtrak site the other day, and am seriously thinking about taking either that train out of Chicago to New Orleans, a 19 hour, overnight trip...or else the Southwest Chief, from Chicago to Santa Fe, NM, a 24 hour, overnight trip:

New Orleans is tempting in January b/c the weather is a little nicer there, and of course it has all that history of jazz, mardi gras, etc...but Santa Fe is a smaller city and would probably be less stressful.  I'm more a fan of wide open spaces and peaceful vistas than I am of busy cityscapes.

Still have to convince K either of those is a good idea...and it's not cheap...a sleeper car for these trips would run us anywhere from $750 to $950, and that's one night, one way...doesn't include us finding our way to Chicago somehow - nor the motels while we're in either New Orleans or Santa Fe - nor the trip back...we'd probably fly back so we could go directly home instead of dealing with Chicago again.  Decisions, decisions...

Shifting gears, that Stromberg Carlson "Fat Boy" phone I ordered arrived:
Love the looks of this wonderful, 80 year old phone.  Special thanks to Richard Rose of, from whom I bought it.  He has a great collection of classic phones at reasonable prices...mostly Ericofon, obviously, but also others.  Richard is knowledgeable, helpful, and a pleasure to do business with.  If you love classic phones - and you should - check out his website.

Later, mcm fans...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

First Snow...

...please, kill me now.  November 13th?  Really??  I think I hear Palm Spring calling my name...

So this past Tuesday was veterans' day...
Superman does not always wear a cape...
I hope you remembered to thank a veteran.  As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid."  A heartfelt thanks to all the strong and brave men and women who have defended this nation.  Thank you, Benjamin!  You're my hero.

This weekend is the start of deer season (gun, not bow), so one of our favorite group of antique stores along Century Ave are having "Deer Season Widow" sales...stayed open late Friday night, so K and I dropped in and browsed a bit.  They're right across from the new train station, and I took a few pics:
A little hard to tell, but that's a clock lit up on was about 6:25 pm when we stopped by...

It's humble, but clean and modern...not far from the bus would be cool to be able to get a sleeper car from here to somewhere an overnight trip away, but right now we have to go to Chicago to accomplish that.  Sadly, K's not a fan of train travel...I know, chasing the lost dream of the Romance of the Rails.

Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint in North By Northwest, anyone?

Didn't see anything compelling in any of the stores, but it was still fun...each store had refreshments for the shoppers...cheese, crackers, cookies, chips, salsa...some of the stores had various kinds of beer and wine to drink...didn't even know that was legal in a retail environment.

Glad we bought that mid century modern grandfather clock last weekend b/c it wouldn't have lasted the night...lots of folks out and about...and for all my hedging when we were thinking about buying it, I love that clock now...keeps great time, the chimes are lovely, and it's going to look great in that mcm ranch one of these days.

Feels like winter for sure now...mid-twenties now with more snow on the way tonight...guess Autumn has in fact beat a hasty retreat 4 or 5 weeks ahead of its official exit date, chased off by Ol' Man Winter himself:
An unpleasant sort, he eventually softens a bit into an almost friendly Seasonal Icon in the claymation story of Santa Claus as told by Fred Astaire, circa 1970.  Ok, so that's a "before" picture, not an "after" picture...but right now, showing up in mid-November, he's both ugly and unwelcome as far as I'm concerned.

Bah, humbug.

Got down to Douglas to our favorite bowling alley/bar, Lakeshore Lanes, and rolled (for me) a pretty good game:
The only thing noteworthy about this, which oddly turned out to be the same score my last 200+ game, is how many times we had to wait for help from the employees there...we changed lanes twice b/c of ball return and other mechanical issues, but apparently the slowdown worked in my favor.  In spite of the delays and interruptions, I managed to avoid any open frames and scored pretty well.

I can hear the sneering of the serious bowlers out there, but K and I do this on average maybe once or twice a month, so I'm happy with these results.  K didn't bowl this time b/c of shoulder problems.

Here's a pic of our leftover Halloween pumpkins, now acting as squirrel food:
We added some corn on the cob and peanuts to the mix as the woodland creatures fatten up for what is promising to be a long, cold, winter.

Later, mcm fans...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Moon Shot...

...a pleasant autumn afternoon, the day after the time change.  No major significance, I just liked how the moon looked in the late afternoon sky so I took a picture.

Much to my dismay, I discovered some radio stations in the area are now playing Christmas music non-stop...have been since November 2nd, at least.  News Flash:  it's too early!!!  For crying out loud, let's at least put Halloween in the grave...

...and come within shouting distance of Thanksgiving...

...before we start shilling for Christmas...
Love that pic of the open hearth fireplace and the aluminum Christmas tree against all that glass...perfect.
But still, too early!!

A little while ago I received a gift in the mail from Bob Adams of :
1930's lift arm lighter...
...sitting in front of my 1936 Sparton Bluebird radio.
This was Bob being Bob again, spreading the wealth out of the goodness of his heart.  This is a very cool lift arm lighter and after being refurbed by Bob, in excellent condition...especially for being 80 years it.  Thank you, Bob!

At work we've started on our 7 day work weeks from now until Christmas...and yes, that includes working on Thanksgiving.  Ah, retail...where we worship at the altar of the almighty dollar and the faithful recite the holy mantra, "the customer is king!  the customer is king!"

Today - Sunday -after the warehouse issues calmed down - Karen and I went to Lost And Found antiques and bought a mid century modern grandfather clock made by Colonial Clock company of Zeeland, MI (no longer in existence...they went oob in 1986):
This is a cool clock, and the serial number indicates it's from 1968, so about 46 years chimes on the quarters and on the it is chiming at 9 o'clock...missed the first beat or two of the 1st quarter, but you get the idea:
...and seems to keep pretty good time so far.  Not sure how often we need to wind it...might be a 7 or 8 day clock from what I'm seeing online...guess we'll experiment a bit.

On the phone front, I've decided I'd like an American made phone from the 1930's, so I think I'm going with the Stromberg Carlson model 1212, also known as the Fat Boy:
...for obvious reasons, hey?  It's a distinctive look, and gives a nod to one of the second tier companies competing with Western Electric at the time.

Later, mcm fans...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Much Ado...

...about not so much (with apologies to the Bard).

As it turns out, there was much preparation for very little...Mother Nature got pissed about something and blew up a storm on All Hallows' E'en, complete with gale force winds, the season's first snowflakes, and wind chills in the 20's.  Consequently our usual 100+ trick or treaters dwindled to some paltry sum less than 50.   Hardy souls they were, each and every one that braved the storm.

As Charlie Brown might say, rats!  Today I feel like Linus bemoaning the absence of the Great Pumpkin...all that time and effort preparing for the big night and in the end it was only Snoopy.

Lots of clean up today...besides putting all the decorations away for another year, we also have a major mess in the backyard from all the falling branches, courtesy of the wind storm.

Oh well...some pics from the not so big event:

My official work portrait...I stopped in at 9:30 for the costume contest...not sure if I won anything other than the undying respect of my terrified co-workers.

Our front entrance, scarified for the festivities...forgot to put out The Creature From The Black Lagoon, but he's light and probably would have blown away:
He was going to sit on top of the bushes, next to the Scare-wolf.

Should have taken a picture of the tree creature and his buddies...I set up the swinging bat and the raven in a cage on either side of him, hanging from the tree limbs

Yeah, it's a repeat of an earlier tree creature pic.

I think maybe the photographer had a little too much to drink, or else the house was tipping over when this pic was taken.

...or maybe it's just the miracle of perspective?  Still looks a little tipsy, but this time I was the photographer.  Was that one whiskey I had or two??

Mr. Bolts and his lovely bride...kinda looks like Cher, doesn't she?

...and their beautiful daughter, Sarah the Huntress.

Ah well...there's always next Halloween.

A couple of my phones arrived last week, so I rearranged some of my collection to set up my Talk Through The Decades display:

That's a panoramic shot of them...looking from right to left is the 19-teens candlestick phone; next to that is the 1920's Western Electric 102B1 phone; the blank spot is where the Danish KTAS D30 phone from the 1930's will go...a brief interlude to enjoy a fine, Wild_Hare 5 cent cigar from the humidor, then we rejoin the tour with a Western Electric model 302 "I Love Lucy" phone from the 1940's; then a Western Electric Spacesaver phone from the 1950's - that one is actually hooked up to our land line; and finally a 1960's Swedish Ericofon in lovely Barbie pink...keep your comments to yourself.

I went right to left instead of the more traditional left to right b/c I wanted the spacesaver to be hooked up and working and the phone jack is on the left...could run a longer line, and if I get one I may move things around, but for now that's the setup.  The 1930's Danish phone should be here next week.

Today will disappear in a flurry of exciting tasks, either work or nature related, so it's into the fray we go.

Later, mcm fans...