Saturday, September 26, 2020

We Just Discovered...

...our home has a name: Baysweep.

We also found out who the architect was:  Dean Bryant Vollendorf.

pretty sure he's the taller one

DBV was born in Sheboygan Wisconsin in 1929 and heavily influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, whom he referred to as one of the premier icons of architecture in the 20th century.

Uncovering this info may not seem like that big a deal to most folks...I mean, a quick phone call to the township office would do the trick, right?

Well...that's what we thought back in 2017 when we bought the home...but the township clerk informed us our house plans were destroyed by a major roof leak years ago.

Me, incredulously: "You have no records of our house plans on file at all?  No blueprints?  No papers of any kind?"

She, indifferently: "Correct."

Me, indignantly: "But have you seen this home?  It's so unique, we'd really like to know its history!"

She, indolently: "Uh huh."

Me, defeated: "So now what?"

She, detached: "Have a nice day." <click>

So...stumbling onto this information that finally fills in the details about the pedigree of this unusual mid century modern home after three years of wandering down dead ends has been, well, exciting!

I know what you're thinking...all our hours of online research, phone calls and emails finally paid off, right?

Not quite.

Karen found the answer to our riddle exactly where you'd never expect it to be: online at the Aldi's "Aisle of Shame" group.
This, believe it or not, is a real thing and Karen is often online with literally tens of thousands of other folks from all around the country who buy home decor type items they find in the Aldi's "aisle of shame".

Why is it the aisle of shame?

It's tongue in cheek obviously, and was given that sobriquet because Aldi's built their reputation as a no frills grocery store.

Ergo, when people go there to save money on their grocery bill, but are spotted dilly dallying in an aisle devoted to <insert shocked gasp here> home decor items! - well, you get the idea.

When people find something they like in the AOS, they post pics of it in and around their homes.

For example, Karen recently posted this little collage of a cabinet and some stick on tiles she bought in the AOS:

In short order she had over 7,000 likes and 375 comments.

This is - how shall I describe it? - an active and enthusiastic bunch, bordering on a cult following.

So one fine day Karen spotted a posting by a nice lady named Heather McAnerny from Harrisonville, Missouri.

She was highlighting some cute Aldi's stuff sitting in her courtyard...a courtyard that looked suspiciously similar to ours:
Heather's courtyard...

...and ours

A few quick inquiries and helpful replies from Heather and we finally had the answers for which we'd been searching.

Since then Karen and Heather have been swapping pics and war stories about restoring our Vollendorf Baysweep homes...

"You had to replace the roof, too?  How about the floor to ceiling windows?  Oh yeah, big owee there..."

Let's face it, there's a certain kinship you feel with someone who's walking the same path you are.

Now stop it before I get all misty here.

We even discovered there's a "Friends of Vollendorf" FB group, centered on Mr. V's work.

From them we found out there are only 11 known Baysweep homes across these fruited plains, and between Heather's and ours, we account for 2 of them.

Anyway...that, class, is the definition of Serendipity.

Here's the best part of this week's hickory golf outing...

...glorious autumn colors punctuating my pleasant stroll through the countryside.

Here's the worst part of today's outing...

...that's my "new" (circa 1925) Driving Iron which performed admirably at first - I was striking my gutta perchas 140 yards much to my delight - but then for several holes it seemed like I was hitting solid drives but getting no distance.

Then on #8 I heard the loud crack as I teed off and, well, that cleared up the mystery.

It wasn't all bad news, however...

...I managed to bogey 7, 8 and 9 on my way out...

...due mostly to some decent work with my niblick...

...and almost competent putting with Calamity Jane.

I say "almost" because had it been actually competent I would have snagged two pars, but such was this round.

Hopefully I'll have a few more chances to tee it up before the snow flies.

Busy day at the farmer's market...

...with long lines to get in...

...but they moved along fairly quickly.

Once inside we noticed a distinct fall-ish flavor to much of the produce now...

...with lots of apples and pumpkins gracing the various booths.

Perfect autumn day to browse the market.

Random sightings...

not even in Holland...96th ave on the way back from golfing today

also on the way back from the links...a little fall color on the roadside

not sure it's coherent, but it does communicate their unhappiness

relaxing by the patio garden

And that my friends draws the curtains...

...on another excitin' installment of the Atomic Monster Cafe.

We trust you observed state mandates on social distancing and prescribed mask protocol...

...while you were visiting us today.

We'd hate to have to arrest and jail you for trying to live a normal life...

...but she will if she gets the chance.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

Get your paperback books here:

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Saturday, September 19, 2020

This Week's Big Project...


...was attacking the clutter in the garage...some of it, anyway.

Got rid of a Bagster full of junk...

...which included some unusual finds...

...easily explained by treasures we unearthed...specifically my Marx Atomic Reactor (with battery)...perfect for generating nuclear power when you really need it in a pinch...

...but also our wedding cake topper (yes, it was a humble but joyous occasion)...and a bust of Franky with a couple of his bosom buddies (Drac and Wolfie).

Almost as impressive were the fully functional radio / 8 track player and the Crosley record player we found...

...replete with ample supplies of both 8 track cartridges and vinyl albums (insert excited "woo hoo" here).

Retro boogie, here we come!

I sold most of my train collection before we moved in 2017 but apparently kept more remnants than I remembered...and that includes a couple of cool monorails like my early 1960's Schuco...

...that Disney commissioned back in the late 1950's in honor of their ultra popular Disneyland monorail.

Nice to rediscover them after 3 years in garage storage purgatory.

Now...what to do with them...??

Bought a Driving Iron off ebay for cheap...

...and I'd like to report I put it through its paces today.

Sadly, I cannot.

I did make my usual pre-dawn trek out to the links...

...but when I arrived, even though their sign said Open, they had cables strung across their driveway entrance, apparently due to the threat of frost.

I tried calling them to find out what time they'd be opening on this glorious fall morning, but why would a public golf course answer their phone?

They didn't even bother with a recorded message, detailing the time they would climb out of bed and fling open the doors of their business to service their customers...instead their phone just rang...and rang...
...and rang...and rang...

So, on this crisp, cool, sunny autumn morning I guess I'll swat some whiffle golf balls in my back yard instead...

...while cursing the cretins under my breath...

In a few days Karen and I will celebrate our 15th anniversary...

...and I'm thrilled to report these have been the best 15 years of my life...deeply in love and incredibly happy from the day I carried her over the threshold...
photo taken by Karen's dad

...through today and Lord willing, stretching many years into our future together.

Happy Anniversary to us...

Watched an interesting flick the other day...

...The Founder, starring Michael Keaton.

It's the story of how Ray Kroc got involved with the original McDonalds brothers and their revolutionary "fast food" restaurant in San Bernardino, CA.

Post-war southern California spawned the genesis of the car culture / drive-in restaurant craze which by the 1950's had become enormously popular.

The main drawbacks to this ubiquitous style of restaurant were twofold:

For the customers, it was slow...typical wait time was 30 minutes from the time they gave their order to the carhop until their food arrived on a tray placed on their driver side door.

For the owners, it was expensive...from the big menus to the bloated payroll with carhops and cooks, it was a tough model to execute well and make a profit.

The M bros had a successful drive in, but became convinced there had to be a better, more profitable way to run their restaurant.

They'd noticed that in spite of their expansive menu, mostly what they sold came down to 3 basic items: hamburgers, french fries and a drink (coke or milk shake).

Using that as their springboard, they developed what they called the SpeeDee system of preparing those 3 basic items and delivering them to the customer in 30 seconds rather than the usual 30 minutes.
the guy in the middle of the sign is apparently SpeeDee Burger

A simple menu, efficient food prep, no plates and silverware and no carhops...just good food delivered in an eye blink.

It was a slow start for them because it was so radically different than everything else being done...people had to get out of their car, walk to the window and place their order...but after 3 months the idea caught on and in short order they became the most successful restaurant in the area.

Enter Ray Kroc, a traveling milk shake mixer salesman, who hopped on Route 66 and drove the 1800 miles from Missouri to California to see them because they were ordering so many of his milk shake mixers.

The movie then takes us on an intense journey as the hard charging, abrasive Kroc, intent on expansion...

...bullies his way into the lives and business of the two inventive, industrious brothers whose main focus was simply making their restaurant as good as it could be.
what a beautiful mid century modern building

Everything in the film is well done, from the gorgeous period correct sets to the spot on architectural design of the original McDonalds' restaurants.

And while all the actors do a wonderful job, there's no doubt this film belongs to Keaton.

His portrayal of Kroc as a workaholic who sees business as war is tempered by a certain personal magnetism and charisma.

You may not want to be best friends with a man who actually said "if my competitor was drowning I'd stick a hose down his throat", but you'll find yourself admiring him, if only grudgingly, for his dogged persistence and the enormity of his accomplishments.

This one is definitely worth your time...give it a look.

Before you sneak out the back - yeah, I see where you're headed - here's a few sights around the Castle Frankenstein...

another box we found tucked away in the garage...all they had to do was ask me

apparently this year's pepper crop was less than expected

mr. bee caught in the act

pony shoes...the baby brother to horse shoes...should have had these set up for the Labor Day cookout

the fall command center

happy fall, y'all

As Fall has arrived and is bestowing upon us some truly glorious weather, I leave you with this reminder from Scripture:

"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
    - Psalms 118:24

later, mcm fans...