Friday, January 25, 2019

From This...

...To This:
...turned out pretty well...the original 1946 version was an RCA 621TS and had a 7" picture tube in and white, of course...thus the color scheme for the "new" version, a tip o' the hat to how things used to be.

This one has a 7" color lcd...much lighter, much simpler, much less expensive...some paint, some clear coat, some help from Karen with securely attaching the screen while keeping it easily removable and voila...a modern TV in a vintage case...the perfect art deco complement to our guest-room-in-progress.

Here's a couple of other scenes from Casablanca, the movie that was playing when I took these pics...

"Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship..." last line of a movie, ever.

Should note I ended up adding two Logitech speakers connected via the headphones jack...
...they and the power strip are velcro'd in place...sound is now much improved.

Here's what was inside the box in its truly original state:
...weighed a ton and didn't work but even so I still managed to sell the chassis for a decent price.

Held onto the case just bc it's such a beautiful art deco design by John Vassos.

Of course I didn't leave it wide open, but rather fashioned this gorgeous custom fitted back piece...
...made from the very finest piece of cardboard I could find laying around in my basement.  Note the fancy cut out so I can flip the power switch on and off...that's some slick engineering right there.  Sweet, hey?

Overall it cleaned up pretty well considering it is 73 years old, and I'm quite pleased with the results.
Making some headway on Time Slip Island...
...about 2,000 words into it and picking up steam...hope to be a fourth of the way through it by the end of this week.

It's been "writing weather" lately...Monday was 7 degrees below zero...
...pretty cold for these parts...ok, not quite that bad...but still a good time to stay inside and write by a warm fire, which is exactly what I did that evening.
The major upgrade at work continues, and of course I'm busy verifying what we send to / get back from the new warehouse execution system...but all the actual carnage... taking place within the new system and so my part has been considerably easier than in upgrades past.

It's ugly at the moment but there is progress...and on the plus side, I'm remarkably well rested compared to system conversions from years past...which is to say I'm actually getting some sleep at night and not having to stay up for 24 to 36 hours straight.

I confess however I'm still adjusting to my role on the sidelines this time around...definitely a step toward letting go of this part of my working life a few years hence.
As hinted at above, it looks like Ol' Man Winter may have finally arrived to stay for awhile...
...he's not exactly welcome, but have to admit he does know how to paint a pretty picture.

And that's just about a wrap for this edition of the Atomic Monster Cafe.

We here at the AMC know you have many options available to you when deciding how to waste your valuable time and we appreciate you squandering it on us.

later, mcm fans...

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Bought A New Tick...

...which as everyone 1930's slang for mattress or bed...King Size no less, which hopefully means I will no longer be poked with a sharp stick in the middle of the night.

Karen claims I *sometimes* snore, which I know isn't true because I stayed up all night once just to check.

But anyway she's taken to pushing / poking / whacking me with a large stick to get me to turn over and stop breathing on her..with this new bigger bed we're practically in different zip codes now so shouldn't be a problem anymore.

King Size is really pretty nice...I'm a fairly big's a picture of me...
...taken at a recent "wear something inappropriate to work" day at our you can see having a little more room to str-e-e-e-e-e-tch out will be useful while trying to get some sleep and dodge the various, random blows inflicted on me as I lie there harmlessly minding my own business.

Anyway, if you're in the market for a new bed, you can't do better than Zinus  That's where we got our new King Size bed and truly we couldn't be more pleased.

We'd been looking at traditional Big Box retailers and online at places like Joybird, Wayfair, etc., and were just about to buy a very nice mid century modern bed from one of them.

Thankfully my grandson and his wife told us about Zinus...we checked them out and found our new bed for a fraction of the cost...we saved well over $1000 by going with Zinus instead of what we were going to do.

And when the FedEx guy was delivering our bed he told us he had 4 more just like it on his truck...Zinus has become very popular for very good reasons.  The traditional stores and online retailers must hate them, but you're going to love them.

Check them'll be glad you did.
Been mining treasure from Woody Allen's old movies lately...Play It Again, Sam (1972)

The Purple Rose Of Cairo (1985)

...and Radio Days (1987)

Watched all of them recently and all of them are excellent...and of course they all feature Woody Allen's brand of neurotic humor where he's not just ok with self-deprecating humor, he's fanatical about it.

You must have watched Casablanca first, before you watch Play It Again, Sam, to really get some of the recurring humor...but assuming a) you have seen Casablanca and b) you liked it, then it follows that c) you're going to love Play It Again, Sam.  Special kudos to Jerry Lacy, the actor who portrays the hallucination of Humphrey Bogart...
...he's dead on and hilarious as the hard boiled Bogey from days gone by.

The Purple Rose Of Cairo is simply one of the most creative movies I've ever seen, especially when taken in context of when it was released in 1985.

And Radio Days was described as the best loving tribute to a bygone era ever made...not sure I'd go quite that far, but it's great fun reliving the 30's and 40's through the eyes of a young Woody Allen when Radio was king.

Still casting about for my next writing project...need to settle on one soon as I've taken to wandering aimlessly, searching for inspiration...
...but so far, no dice.

Not that I haven't kicked around a few ideas but none of them have taken root yet...don't really want to write a murder mystery but may do so just to give that genre a try...thinking...thinking...

later, mcm fans...

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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Art Deco... that fireplace...enough so I think I'm inspired to design our guest room around it.

Of course at the moment the guest room is a bit of a mess, but it is this lovely mid century modern fireplace...
...and thankfully they're in demand at the moment, so guess what I'm going to be selling?

Since I have a pretty nice collection of art deco radios...

...I think I can pull off the art deco look and feel in that room.

Plus, even though I sold my original 1946 RCA 621TS television, I do still have the case for one of those beauties... was actually designed in 1939 which explains the art deco lines...the war delayed its production / distribution, and by 1946 when it finally came out it was not a huge short order it was replaced, which oddly helped cement its place in history as a "rare classic".

I'm thinking of putting a 7" lcd screen in my currently empty case and voila, functioning modern TV with classic art deco looks...perfect for my guest room.

If our guests would rather waste their time watching TV than visiting with us, then they can scooch their chairs right up close to the TV and squint like they had to back in the good ol' days...c'mon, stop whining and put your back into it!

That'll teach 'em...but the TV will look great while they're doing it.

Add an appropriate chair or three...

...some 1920's / 1930's period lighting...

...and we'll be good to go...

Now all it takes is money...lots and lots of money...
While writing PMT 7 I researched World War 1 and came across poetry by a young British officer named Wilfred Owen.
Sadly he was killed in action just a week before the Armistice, but he left behind a number of poems he penned during this bloody conflict.  Owen's legacy over time has become his poetry and he is generally considered to be one of the best from that era.

Perhaps his most famous is "Dulce Et Decorum Est", a Latin phrase borrowed from a work by the famed Roman poet Horace in one of his Odes (book III ).
The full line from Horace's work is "dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" which translates to "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country".

While not an unusual sentiment, and one that was bandied about fairly commonly in the early days of WWI, as the fury and gore of that unprecedented world conflict unfolded in all its gruesome reality, the phrase began to be seen in a different, more cynical light.

Here's what Owen wrote, describing the horrible death from a poison gas attack he and his mates endured:

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

You can learn more about this tortured soul and his writings here: Poetry Foundation: Wilfred Owens

Worth your time.
It's a beautiful - well, by January standards - sunny day here in Holland, so I'm going to get outside and swing my hickories for awhile...

later, mcm fans...

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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

As Robert Burns Opined...

...a way on back in 1788...though as he told his publisher, it was based on an old folk song handed down through the years in Scotland.

A literal translation might be "old long since", which basically means for old times...y'know, the good ol' days.

An English translation of the first part of his Scottish poem:

Should old acquaintance be forgot, 

and never brought to mind? 
Should old acquaintance be forgot, 
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear, 

for auld lang syne, 
we'll take a cup of kindness yet, 
for auld lang syne.

Reminding us (musically) to remember old times and old friendships, a pretty good way to kick off the new year.

For our part, we threw a really big bash last night - consisting of just the two of us - and watched a couple of great New Year's Eve flicks...the surprisingly good - for an ensemble cast effort - and eponymous "New Year's Eve"...
...followed by the best NYE flick of all time, When Harry Met Sally:
Both are well worth your time, blending relational humor and drama in satisfying proportion.

After that we watched the ball drop and shared a kiss and champagne at midnight...
...and trundled off to 1:30...

Here's to a productive and prosperous 2019!

Happy New Year, y'all...

later, mcm fans...

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