Saturday, January 27, 2018

Know All Men By These Presents...

...that on January 27th in the great state of Michigan...I got out my hickories, put $5 in the box and walked 9.

I even parred the first hole I think...the course is a par 36 and that's just about what it took me to get down on 1.

After a half dozen swings which yielded results ranging from a loud swooshing sound ("uh...that was a practice swing...") to assorted hooks and slices - and during which time, if you were my intended target, the safest place to be was directly in front of me - I finally decided reintroductions were in order.

"Club," says I, "it's me.  Me, this is my club.  Apparently we don't like each other, but we're going to be spending some time together, so let's try to get along, shall we?"

And things did improve somewhat as I went along...never really hit a great tee shot with my brassie, but mostly I was hitting straight shots and doing ok with my cleek, mashie and niblick.
I'd like to say I dropped this putt for a par on #5, but I left it a foot short and settled for a bogie.

In spite of my less than stellar performance it was a ton of fun, and I think I might be able to survive what's left of winter now.

A thank you to my co-worker John who asked me on Friday as I was leaving if I was going golfing this weekend.  I assured him I was not - way too much to do - but I admit he planted a seed, and when today turned into sunny and 45 degrees, I couldn't resist.  I tiptoed around the unintentional water hazards Mr. January Thaw created while truly enjoying some solitude, exercise, and a pleasant stroll through the country.  Magnifique!

So #1 grandson popped the question to his girlfriend today...
...and she said Yes!  Congratulations Marcellus and Rileigh!

And I have to hand it to the boy...he did it in style...they drove up to St. Ignace and took the Great Lakes Air charter...
...from the mainland to Mackinac Island...
...where he proposed.  He's a bit of an adventurer and a romantic at heart.  Very happy for them...

And while we're on that subject, Karen and I watched the 1945 movie "Love Letters" last night...
...yes it's a typical soap opera with a happy ending, but it's well acted and both Joseph Cotten and Jennifer Jones are superb in their respective parts...worth a look if for no other reason than to see how they made movies back when they couldn't substitute gratuitous sex, violence and special effects for actual acting, character development and coherent plot lines.

Not sure what tonight's fare will be but if I had to guess I'll bet it has a happy ending...

Christmas is over, but we've kept our outside lights going just to brighten the dark winter nights a bit...

...will probably just keep the spot lights on the wall once spring gets here.

And I do believe that's all the news that's fit to print for this edition of the Atomic Monster Cafe...

later, mcm fans...

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Get Your Kicks...

...on Route 66...that's an actual photograph of yours truly in my 1956 Corvette taking a quick Marlboro Man style break on my cross country tour of "The Mother Road".

Ok, so I'm lying and that's not me...and I don't own a corvette...or smoke cigarettes...and I've never traveled (as an adult) on Route 66...

...but you have to admit, it is a pretty cool poster...great view...and a very nice ride.  I'm 50 shades of green with envy.

Some more Route 66 nostalgia...
...don't forget the sunblock and water.

I did travel on Route 66 as a kid...in the back seat of the family station wagon on vacations...but never this far west.

Giving equal time to another favorite mode of transportation...
...the golden age of train travel...beautiful.

And of course, have to give a tip o' the hat to my favorite airplane...
...the beloved Ford TriMotor.

Pretty wild about this one, too...
...a real workhorse that greatly advanced the commercial aviation industry.  Plus, it was a tail dragger, as all the best planes in the world always are...a classic from back in the day when air travel was enjoyable and exciting.

Post 9/11 it's just a pain in the hind end and has all the elegance and ambiance of herding livestock into cattle cars...mooooo...git along little dogie...

Shifting gears, here's a very cool pic of my granddaughter Tionna:
She's a member of the Navy Ceremonial Guard, seen here shaking hands after one of their events with some of the brass.

She has another one coming up at the White House very soon.  Say hello to The Donald for me.

Very proud of you, young lady!

In the continuing saga of our home restoration, we had to tear down part of the ceiling in our guest room this past week...
Had a nasty leak that pretty much trashed that part of the interior ceiling...much to our surprise, there was no insulation at all overhead!

This room used to be a carport at one time, and somewhere along the way they enclosed it...when they did I guess they decided to keep it as a three season room and didn't worry about R-factor.

Many thanks to Micah, Marcellus and Isaiah for their hard work doing most of the heavy lifting and cleaning up the mess after!  Now we have to get it dried out, put some insulation up there, and patch the enormous hole...always something...

On the plus side, we had the finishing touches in the form of floating shelves installed in our kitchen this week:


Still need to paint them of course, but you get the idea.  Pretty excited to see this project finally drawing to a close.

Just overheard my 19 year old stepdaughter Sarah talking with Karen about a couple of co-workers...

Karen: "How old are they?"
Sarah: "They're old..."
K: "How old?"
S: "I don't know...really old...like 40 maybe...?"

And on that instructive note...

later, mcm fans...


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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Tantalizing Taste...

...of Spring...it was in the low 40's yesterday, and if you stood in the sun out of the wind, it was delightfully warm...of course the snow is melting...if only 'twas late March instead of late January...Ol' Man Winter is just playing 'possum for a bit but he'll be back with a vengeance before too long...right now however...
I even swung my hickories a few times where the grass is exposed...heavy sigh...

But speaking of Mr. 'Possum, he stopped by for an early morning visit yesterday...
...was out of bed before 6 for whatever reason and found this guy wandering around our patio.

Now that my TV is back I spent a little time rearranging things in the living room...
...and that will do for now.  The trained eye of the careful observer will notice my dear Aunt Velma and her beloved hound Belvedere have moved from the mantel to the top of the TV.

It's funny thinking back to how life used to be...that little 19" screen was the biggest deal on the market in the late 1950's, and it had the biggest speaker commercially available when it was released.

Nowadays a TV screen less than 40" is considered small...a quarter of all TV sets sold today are 55" and larger and more than 60% of all TV sets have 40" screens and larger.  It's proof of the old adage in America, some is good, more is better, and too much is just right.

And I'm guilty as charged...
Can I throw myself on the mercy of the court and plead failing eyesight?

But tell me true...which of these two sets wins in the "cool factor" department?  The ubiquitous black rectangle or the gorgeous piece of Danish Modern woodworking?

One was designed to deliver the best technology available at that time wrapped in a beautiful piece of furniture that could be an attractive design element and the centerpiece of your living room.

The other now finds itself the object of room designers ire as they dream up ways to hide the black box from view until you need to uncover it to watch it.

But yeah...when Karen and I sat down to watch the 1956 musical High Society...
...I admit we opted for the big screen...

...but...if I could only have one I'd take my 1950's GE Slimline TV every time and twice on Sunday.  It's beautiful.

Had dueling turkeys in the backyard the other day...
...two males doing a full fan tail spread, all puffed up and competing for the lovely ladies..."hey baby, forget about him, take a look at this!"

It's clear the females were all aflutter as they ignored the two testosterone soaked males and continued eating...


So do they copy humans or do we copy them?  Bc that scenario seems eerily familiar...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Ice Bridge...

...Mackinac Island's Hidden Season...a fascinating documentary made in 2008 about spending the winter on Mackinac after the tourists all go home.
Christmas on the island, anyone?
This is a really cool DVD that focuses primarily on the winter season when only the year round residents - about 500 in number - are  present and how this small community spends their time in what we think of as "the off season".

Some surprises:  though everyone knows automobiles aren't allowed on the island, guess what?  Snow mobiles are...so are snow plows to clear some of the roadways.

Did you know they evacuate most of the horse population?

They winter on various farms in the U.P., while only about 20 of the workhorses remain on the island.

I had no idea that ferry service continues typically until sometime in January...Arnold ferry services regularly bring over workers from the mainland for the many building projects that take place during the not so idle winter months.

And many years - but not every year - the three mile stretch from the island to St. Ignace in the U.P. freezes into what the residents refer to as "the ice bridge"...that lasts from about mid-February until the end of March.

The bravest souls attempt the trip when ice gets to be only 4" thick...the more prudent ones wait until it's at least 6".  In the deep winter it can be as much as two feet thick and then it becomes a well traveled highway with traffic coming to and from the island at all hours of the day and night.
Those are the residents' Christmas trees they plant in the ice as trail markers.

In April the Coast Guard breaks up what's left of the ice bridge to hasten the resumption of ferry services and by May the tourist season is off an running again.

If you have any interest at all in Mackinac Island, this DVD is well worth the money.  It shows the stark beauty of this tiny island in the middle of Lake Huron during the harsh winter months.

The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, and while you may not be standing in line to spend November through March there...
...it will give you a fascinating look at the flip side of one of Michigan's major summer tourist attractions.

Get your DVD here: The Ice Bridge Movie 

Please note: your humble author receives no compensation of any kind for this recommendation...it's just li'l ol' me telling you what to do again.  You're welcome.

later, mcm fans...

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Of Making Many Books...

...there is no end...and much study is a weariness of the flesh... (Ecclesiastes 12:12).

Also known as "the student's lament"...but in this case it's simply me - inspired by Micah's excellent gift of Aesop's Fables - collecting a few more of the classic "flexibound" books from Word Cloud Classics.

I like the way they look between the King and Queen bookends on top of our art deco display case...

...and I'm looking forward to re-reading some while reading others for the first time...Odyssey of Homer, Dante's Inferno, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, Treasure Island...

Worked from home today...a pleasant change...got on the computer at 5:45 as usual, only this time I didn't have to drive 40 minutes to get there...just walked out to my living room where I was sorely tempted by the sight of flickering firelight...
...to just sit and relax for awhile...maybe lie down on the couch for another 20 minutes or so...

...but I didn't give in to that temptation...instead I done the good deed and plowed ahead with all my work related issues.

I was home because we were having a slider door replaced today, and the workmen showed up at the appointed time...
...by the time they left we had a new, fully functional, insulated glass slider door.  The old one only opened halfway before it stuck, and the seal had broken so it was a real energy leak.  This one is much nicer.

Got a call from the "euroshipp" folks today...my TV is being delivered tomorrow...
...will be exciting to get it back and test out the new color conversion with our DirecTV system.

Tomorrow I've decided to skip work...
...grab my hickories...
...and hit the links!
...Oh...right...heavy sigh...off to work I go...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Warm Fire...

...on a cold morning...
Our January thaw seems to have come and gone, though next weekend it might make a welcome return...and thus we see in action my ongoing seasonal dilemma...there are few things I enjoy more than sitting by a warm fire on a cold winter's day...and there are few things I enjoy less than winter.

How can that be?  Cognitive dissonance I guess.  All I know is both realities are true...on the weekends I look forward to getting up early and relaxing in front of the fire on these cold winter mornings...but as soon as that's done, I'd like to be able to grab my hickories on the way out the door to walk 9 holes.  Can't do both, at least not on the same day.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven..." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

My meteorological mire notwithstanding, this was a decent week and weekend...worked our way through some roof leak issues in the guest room that accompanied our January thaw...looks like a homeowner's insurance claim is in our very near future but that's ok...it will jumpstart our guest room renovation, part of our phase 2 house project plan.

Sold a book on Amazon.  That's "a" book...not a bunch, not a passel, not a boat/truck load of books...a book...apparently some poor devil got flummoxed by my persuasive marketing expertise ("please buy this book...I'm almost out of cigars and rye whiskey...")

Received notification that my GE Slimline TV has been picked up by the "euroshipp" folks and will be arriving back here this week...

Watched a few movies in our newly arranged TV room including Hatari!, an African adventure flick with John Wayne as an entrepreneur who captures wild animals for zoos around the world...
This movie from 1962 is a lot of fun...shot on location in Africa, the wildlife scenes alone make it worth your time.

Ok, no Oscar performances here, but you do get the reliable John Wayne tough guy with a heart persona...Red Buttons provides comic relief, including a fascinating scene of him shooting a rocket carrying a huge net over a large acacia tree filled with hundreds of monkeys...
...and an international cast of actors and extras give it a truly exotic, authentic flair.

Plus you get to hear some Swahili phrases sprinkled throughout, one of the prettiest spoken languages in the world.  Really need to spend some time learning that language...

In the "cool midcentury modern stuff" department, found this mcm style TV on the retrorenovations website:
What's cool about this is it's actually a modern day, 32" flat screen TV mounted inside a custom case made to look like an old 1950's/60's TV.  A guy from Oregon builds these.
All it needs to complete the look is a set of old rabbit ears sitting on top and voila, modern TV with that mcm flair.

And...that's a wrap on this installment of The Atomic Monster Cafe blog...

later, mcm fans...


* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on Amazon.com!

Get your paperback books here:



Get your ebooks here: