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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