Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Spirit...

...Of Detroit, the Marshall Fredericks sculpture in Detroit.  I love this piece, and wish they sold miniatures of it.  The Bible quote is from 2nd Corinthians 3:17 - "Now the LORD is that spirit, and where the Spirit of the LORD is there is liberty."

In his left hand is a bronze orb representing God; in his right is a family.  Fredericks explained he was expressing God, through the spirit of man, manifests Himself in the family, the most important human relationship.

Whether you like his theology or not, it's a fabulous mid century modern sculpture, and I'd love to own a replica.

Recently bought a Fuji Instax mini-8 camera, which is really cool.  Fuji has mastered instant film...they produce great pictures that develop before your eyes in a minute or less...the Impossible Project has not come anywhere near the quality of Fuji instant film.  Really wish Fuji would make film for the old SX-70 would be fabulous.

Here are a few of the little pics taken with my Instax mini camera:
My Marx Atomic Reactor toy with some little Toy Story, 3 eyed aliens scattered hither and yon.

Franky and son, with Yeti to his left...more Marx creations from the early 60's

my Monkeyshines picture...that's the Jolly Chimp; a King Kong bank where the little gorilla climbs the Empire State building and deposits a coin; a small windup King Kong; and a larger battery operated Kong.

The Marx Merry Makers band...circa 1939, with their original box.

The 1966 Rock'em Sock'em Robots by Marx.  This was my Christmas morning dream come true many years ago.

The Marx Big Parade...a very cool marching band toy, complete with conductor's wand.

Two for one in this the left is a 1960's Monster Magnet; to the right is a 1990's Toy Story alien.  #5 son was enamored of all the Toy Story characters as a young lad when that movie first came out.  Woody, Buzz, the Alien, etc...we bought most of them for him back in the day.

Recently made the acquaintance of another vintage electronics aficionado, and got me to thinking about my humble collection of vintage radios and tv's, to wit:
a little bit of various and sundry, including old transistor radios and a replica telechron clock.

an Emor Globe radio, and my tv' favorite is the RCA 621TS from 1946 on the bottom left.

my 1970 Weltron 8 track / radio / phono in the foreground; a 1959 Predicta Barberpole tv on the left; a Weltron 8 track player / radio on the top shelf; and a Philco Boomerang, Emerson 744B, and Travler radio.

my phones and art deco radios from the 1930s and 40's...favorites all, but I really like the ivory Colonial New World Globe radio, and the 1936 Sparton Bluebird.  Also snuck in a Wondergram portable, battery operated record player on the second shelf on the right.

Later, mcm fans.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Future's So Bright...

...well, you know the rest...if not, look up Timbuk 3's 1986 hit...that's Sean, by the way, son of my #4 son.  He's a cutie and becoming highly mobile now.  I miss those days and I don't...I no longer possess the requisite energy to chase the little guys around like I had to back in the day...but those were good days.

Recently had to relocate where we store our dynamite:
For some reason we had it tucked away on shelf all by itself, but realized we really should keep it next to my jump spark cigar lighter..."I wish I had a million bucks!" (Retired Brigadier General James Stewart in "It's A Wonderful Life")

It's been awhile, but here's a favorite item:
A pair of kitschy cats from the late 50's, early 60's...not usually a big cat fan, but I like these two guys sitting on my fireplace mantle in my loft.

Later, mcm fans...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Up On The Housetop..., click, click.  Here's the view from a distance:
Sometimes when I'm working in my loft I hear the pitter patter of little I know why.

Steve Hilsz repaired my Kellogg Grabaphone for me:
Did a great job and it works now I have "completed" - a relative term for any collector - my "Talk Through The Decades" display of vintage telephones:
The panoramic pic is a little dark to the far right, but moving from right to left I have the early 1900's represented by the Kellogg Grabaphone...note the lack of a dial...back then you picked up the phone and waited for the operator to come on the line...then you requested she connect you to your 4 digit number ("Peekskill 4572 please")  After that we have the 19teens represented by an American Telephone and Telegraph model 997 candlestick dial phone...the 1920's by a Western Electric 102B1 - my personal favorite...just like the way it looks and feels in my hand - the 1930's by the Stromberg Carlson "Fat Boy" phone...the 1940's by the Western Electric model 302...the 1950's by the Western Electric space saver phone...and the 1960's by the Ericofon.

Civilization has always been dependent on communication for the dissemination of information and the telephone has been critical to this process for more than a century.  Though I'm not a fan of talking on the phone - hearing loss issues - I've always recognized its importance and appreciated the stylistic variations through the decades.  I'm quite pleased with this small collection.

Bought a new fedora:
Secret Agent Man...they're giving you a number, and taking away your name...

Later, mcm fans...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

And The Onslaught...

...continues.  Note the lonely little blue ornament still hanging on the tree...K got outside to take them down but that one was too high so it's still waiting for me to rescue it.
The view out the back door this morning...I miss summer.
It is pretty at night, but I'll trade pretty for warm right now...I'm already tired of shoveling and snow blowing and it's only January.

We've got a spring vacation planned in New Orleans...we'll take the City of New Orleans train from Chicago overnight...

stay in the French Quarter for a few days...

...then fly back home...taking K's daughter and my grandson along...we'll see / hear some authentic N.O. jazz and do the tourist thing in some hopefully warm weather by that time.  I will undoubtedly enjoy the train ride most of all - cue Arlo Guthrie's 1972 hit - but the hotel accommodations should be nice, too...they have a heated pool on the roof of the hotel with a great view of the French Quarter.

Mr. Squirrel and company were foraging this morning:

This was just before a fight broke out over the few remaining peanuts...looked funny, but I suppose it's deadly serious to is in short supply and without it you die a cold, cruel, death.  Need to buy more peanuts...

Later, mcm fans.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


...returns...and not very happy about it.  Here's a view out the back :
I'm ready for summer, but first I have to shovel this crap.  Heavy sigh...

Finally found a Kellogg Grab-a-phone and it's currently on its way to Steve Hilsz for repair.  This turned into a bigger project than I thought it would be, but that's life...everything's a project.
Steve's going to repair the wiring and get it set up with a small ringer box so it will work with a land line.  Can't dial out with it obviously - back when it was in use you picked up the phone and asked the operator to connect you to 5074 or whatever 4 digit number you wanted - but it will be able to answer incoming calls. This will complete (for now) my "Talk Through The Decades" display as I'll use this as an example of the early 1900's (pre-1910) the teens is my candlestick phone; the 20's is the WE 102B1; the 30's is the Stromberg Carlson Fat Boy; the 40's is the WE 302; the 50's is the WE spacesaver; and the 60's is the Ericofon.

De-Christmasing is almost complete...

...all inside decorations have been taken down and packed away for another year...and this year we've made an effort to separate decorations we'll actually use next year from all the other decorations that have been collected through the years and are really just taking up space.  I think we're finally past the time of life when we decked the halls like Christmas year we had 5 trees scattered least we're down to two...and if not for the minors among us, we would have had 1 of my aluminum ones...wouldn't that have been a sacrilege.  The day is coming...

In the meantime we still have the outside lights to contend with, and taking them down will happen this week...I think.  We have gone into the deep freeze, with temps in the single digits and wind chills below zero, so it's possible I'll wait for weather that won't induce frostbite and hypothermia.

So for now they remain, looking very festive in the snow we should have had a week and a half ago:

Lions went down to defeat in surprise there, but they did look like they might pull it off for most of the game, losing in the last 3 minutes, 24-20.  The futility continues.

Later, mcm fans...

Friday, January 2, 2015


...Shiny, New least we hope it will be, as we do every year.

Of course none of them are, completely...they come prepackaged with their share of tears, trials, and disappointments...this is after all, planet earth, not heaven.

But with the right attitude of faith in God and a commitment to hard work and sacrifice, you can make the years worthwhile...and that's the goal for 2015...a year worth living, a year focused on God's will and our good.  We press on.

So holidays officially over and time to get back into the normal rhythm of life.  In my younger days I was always sad to see them go...not anymore...I'm tired of the overexposed, hyper-saturated holiday seasons, and next year I will work on tamping that down.  Can't do anything about society at large, but I can within my humble domain...more to come.

Breakfast of champions today:
Gotta love Marge's Donuts...and cookies.  Go Lions!

Plenty of work related stuff to do today, but supposed to be on vacation, so maybe we'll try our luck at the black arts of ten pinnery later on...or browse some antique stores.

Later, mcm fans...