Friday, February 26, 2021

We've Gone From This... this... less than 5 days.

Hard to believe, but Winter's icy grip was vitiated this week.

We enjoyed almost Spring like conditions, with glorious sunshine and temps in the 40's...lots of snow melt and the promise of better weather ahead.

Maine, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Alaska might squawk but you get the idea

Not kidding myself; winter will rearm and fight back in the days ahead, but as jazz trombonist Kai Winding...

...opined musically, Time Is On My Side...

22 days til Spring.

Recently had an interesting discussion with the Lady Of The Manor...

...who informed me my Austin Cox chess set from 1962 really should be displayed prominently since it's so classically mid century modern...

Thinking  back to a previous conversation we had about this very subject (STORMAGEDDON) at which time a very different sentiment was expressed, I wisely decided to nod thoughtfully and quietly acquiesce.

It is a beautiful set...

...made by the Alcoa company as "executive" gifts for clients.

Working my way through "Helmet For My Pillow" by Robert Leckie...

...and it is a very different read from Sledgehammer's "With The Old Breed".

For one, Leckie is a writer, even a poet - his prose is descriptive and lyrical, as when, in the middle of pitched battle, he almost stepped on a detached human hand:

"It lay there alone - open, palm upwards, clean, capable, solitary.  I could not tear my eyes from it.  The hand is the artisan of the soul.  It is the second member of the human trinity of head and hand and heart.  A man has no faculty more human than his hand, none more beautiful nor expressive nor productive.  To see this hand lying alone, as though contemptuously cast aside, no longer a part of a man, no longer his help, was to see war in all its wantonness; it was to see the especially brutal savagery of our own technique of rending, and it was to see men at their eternal worst, turning upon one another, tearing one another, clawing at their own innards with the maniacal fury of the pride-possessed."

But beyond this, his book is more of a personal and philosophical memoir of his war, not the war; and of the men with whom he served...their deeds and misdeeds, their feelings and emotions and fear and heroism...than it is a strict accounting of where they went, who they saw, what they did.

It's an easier read than Sledgehammer's brutal, unrelenting recounting of the horror and filth, carnage and waste of life.

It's human in the midst of unthinkable inhumanity.

So...which book is "better"?

Neither, mainly because they are so different, yet complementary.

These two tomes should be required reading for all Americans, companion accounts that every citizen of this country should read to understand and appreciate just how costly our freedoms really are.

Neither man wrote their book to elicit thanks for their service.

For Sledgehammer, you get the sense it was therapy, a necessary catharsis to exorcise demons from his past.

I suspect Leckie wrote simply because he had to - a writer in the truest sense, he was no doubt compelled to get this story out of himself and into the open where it belonged.

In both cases, the appropriate response to their important efforts should be that of overwhelming gratitude - for our freedom due to their awful sacrifice.

You owe it to yourself to read these books.

Heard from Mandy at The Retro Revival our Philco V-handle is now in the "burn in" phase...

...and holding inside temp at 30 degrees with freezer temp at 0 degrees.

They're going to adjust the refrigerator temp up a few degrees, let it run for a couple more days to be sure all is well, and then ship it here.

I'm glad they're being meticulous about this last phase, ensuring its reliability, because it will be our main refrigerator.

There's a common misconception these old appliances were power hogs and today's breed are far more energy efficient.

Why, today's appliances even have their own special symbol from that paragon of governmental integrity, the EPA:

That would be pretty cool if it wasn't mostly advertising puffery (read: bull guano, and note: you do NOT want to step in a pile of bull guano).

Homes back in the day didn't have 100 or 200 amp service as they do now; electricity was expensive and they made do most of the time with 60 amp service (or less...before 1950, 30 amp service was common).

As Mandy informed me, these old manual defrost refrigerators only pulled 2 to 3 amps; ones with mullion heaters to help keep frost from forming in the freezer compartments pulled a little more.

So how many amps do today's "energy efficient" refrigerators use?

Brace yourself: anywhere from 12 to 20.

Granted, today's refrigerators are bigger, but then so are most Americans...and this is one case where bigger is not necessarily better.

In any event, we're excited about finally getting our beautiful - and energy efficient! - Philco V-handle refrigerator.

Exactly how excited are we??

'Bout that much.

Ok, I promise I'll give this one a rest (for a little while).

We've now arrived that part of our journey where it's time to...

...for a quick jaunt through the parting shots department...

c'mon it already!

human nature 101:  when the homeowner's association decrees garbage cans visible from the street will be subject to a fine.

feeding time at the OK corral

sure glad she's not sleeping in my underwear basket...oh...wait...

everyone loves tax time

As we bid February a fond farewell, we give thanks as always for small blessings...'s a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Friday, February 19, 2021

Happy To Report...

...this gorgeous stove now has a home...but not our home.

I posted on the GE Monitor Top Forum about this monitor top refrigerator from the 1930's...

...and mentioned the stove sitting next to it at the same time.

Turns out the administrator of the forum had just purchased a monitor top refrigerator like the one above, but he was interested in the stove.

He contacted the thrift shop, made an offer for that beauteous beast from 1927, and they accepted.

Now it has to find its way down to Missouri where he lives.  I did offer to help him move it when he drives up here to get it.

In any event, a glorious relic of the past will live again.

How cool is that?

Speaking of stoves from the 1920's...'s one Karen and I would like to own, but it belongs in a different home than ours.  Love all that green and white enamel, along with the art deco styling.

If we do ever sell our home and move into something from the 20's / 30's, that's the stove we want, and this... the refrigerator.

Some day, perhaps...

Been plowing through E.B. "Sledgehammer" Sledge's riveting account...

...of his WWII service with the Marines as they fought their way across two Pacific islands: Peleliu and Okinawa.

I can only take it in small doses since the contents are beyond sobering.

The author's intent is to inform rather than shock; his account is absent hyperbole and without pretense.

However, if you can read his straightforward retelling of these events without being shocked by the horrific, surreal existence he and his mates experienced day after terror filled day...

...well, there's something broken in your being, some essential element of humanity missing from your emotional makeup.

Experts have suggested the typical American child will witness 16,000 murders on TV by age 18.

These marines endured an environment where violent death - often in hand to hand combat - far exceeded those staggering numbers over the course of a few months.

And unlike TV, their world was all too real, accompanied not only by the sickening sights and sounds of bloodshed, but also by unbearable heat and the constant, fetid stench of rotting corpses and human waste.

We are free, but only because better men paid an inhuman price in our stead.

Next up, Helmet For My Pillow by Robert Leckie.

Winter continues unabated 'round these parts...

our whipped cream courtyard...

...and our snowy back patio

...but we did spot this robin red breast recently...a hopeful sign?

I'm sure he's anxious for Spring, same as we are.

29 days and counting...

Sadly, it is time once again for you to skulk out the back door, but due to our indefatigable generosity, we here at the Atomic Monster Cafe...

I'm the good looking one

...are fine with you shortcutting through the parting shots department as long as you don't steal anything...

who doesn't need new zest added to their life?  besides, I just like this ad

#4 son and family camp by the lake where this massive sturgeon was caught...his kids say they're not swimming in that lake anymore

might be time to retire this sign

1940's "I Love Lucy" desk phone

refrigerator scientists, hard at work

words fail me

As I close this entry it's snowing again...fluffy white flakes cascading earthward in the frozen February air while blue green fir trees silently stand guard.

Ol' Man Winter may be laughing now...

...but the good money is still on glorious spring...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Friday, February 12, 2021

Now This Right Here... what progress looks like.  Mandy and Co. from The Retro Revival are nearing completion on the restoration of our Philco V-handle classic.

coolest / most complicated door mechanism of its era

Finishing the detailing, a burn in for 48 hours or so, then ready to ship.

Cue wild cheering and applause!

yes, I know it's a repeat, but like this gif, especially the kid right up front

In the "Political Theater Of The Absurd" department, the dems have selected Eric "Sleeping With The Enemy" Swallwell... one of their impeachment managers.

You can't make this stuff up.

L'imb├ęcile, targeted by a Chinese spy because he's dumber than a box of rocks, is one of the leads for the dems in the sham impeachment of private citizen Trump.

If you tried to submit this as a screenplay -

"No, seriously...hear me out on this...we have the guy who's been sleeping with a Chinese spy, who's so compromised he couldn't get a security clearance from the Boy Scouts - we have him lead the charge on this impeachment thingamajiggy..."

- you'd be laughed out of your agent's office.

But...since the dems got away with the biggest political heist in American history, they're now convinced they're above the law...

...and accountable to no one...least of all you.

As the Scriptures say...

Recently we've been plowing through The Pacific as our nightly edutainment...

...and parts of it have been very difficult to watch.

What those marines endured in their gory battles with the Japanese defies...well, everything...imagination, human decency, conscience, the limits of physical, emotional and spiritual endurance.

Because this has been so compelling, I've ordered a copy of Helmet For My Pillow by Robert Leckie...

...and With The Old Breed: At Peleliu And Okinawa by Eugene Sledge...

...two of the marines featured in the series and upon whose books much of this epic is based.

Band Of Brothers evoked a sense of camaraderie in the midst of deadly conflict, but Pacific - well, this is permeated with the dread of sudden annihilation at the hands of a fanatical and merciless enemy who never surrendered, fighting to the last man, intent on taking you down to the bloody grave with him.

Not for the faint of heart, but must-see television to gain a sincere appreciation for just how much our freedom really cost.

Mr. T is back up for sale...

...a necessary sacrifice on the altar of this summer's pool project.

Assuming he finds a new home, next up in the classic car department may be one of these fellas...

...that's a 1980 Shay Model A...built by the Shay Motors Corporation with Ford's permission to use their Model A molds, and so registered as 1929 Model A's.

The fun thing about these cars - besides their classic good looks, of course - is they have modern engines and drive trains, so are easier to drive and maintain.

Karen has made two things abundantly clear:  if we buy another vintage car,  a) it can't be 100 years old, and  b) she has to be able to drive it (i.e., it can't involve clutches and shifting gears).

Won't be this year, but maybe when we move into that humble Art Deco cottage...

...a few years hence.

Can't you see it parked in the driveway?

For my friends on the GE Monitor Top forum...found this CK-30-C16 sitting in the Gateway Thrift Shop...

Right next to it was this 1927 GE Hotpoint electric stove with a double oven...

No doubt someone was cleaning out the former dwelling place of their pater familias and having no idea what they were really looking at, decided to drop them off at the thrift shop.

This is what's known as a crying shame.

Both of these are uber-cool and are crying out for someone with more space (and deeper pockets) than yours truly to restore them and give them a good *art deco* home.

Time for a quick skate around the frozen pond of parting shots...

another glorious winter sunrise

yep, we're still lighting him up at night

the view out our bonus room door

I love typewriters...this is a Remington Remette

be sure to get your cupid on...Valentine's Day is Sunday

feeding time at the Castle Frankenstein

It is with a heavy heart we must bid you farewell and adieu...

please tell me you know who this is

...and here's hoping your future does not involve being eaten by a Great White.

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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