Posted in Back in My Day, Flotsam, Mildly Interesting

Happy to be playing again

I got caught up in bidding frenzy and wound up buying this old Zenith Trans-Oceanic at the Saturday auction for forty bucks.

I figured to put a kit in that bypasses the old capacitors and the power tube, but no need! It plays perfectly here, at least on AM radio. I haven’t picked up any shortwave, but didn’t try that hard yet.

I found the original manual and schematic tucked inside. It was originally owned by a man named Delbert. Boy, you don’t meet too many Delberts these days. I plan to add a dial light and bluetooth; because that’s what Delbert would want.

Also I’ll run a wire antenna out the window, and stay up late some night, bet it will pull in KGO down in San Francisco, as my Orange GE AM radio did with the wire antenna added, when I was a kid staying up at night listening to KING, KOOL, and KJR battle it out for our hearts and minds.

Posted in Back in My Day, Flotsam

DO YOUR BEST or I will do my worst

I was in the Cub Scouts a million years ago. Still smarting from my parents selling my train set to pay for the uniform which I did not want to wear anyway.

I think we got on our den mother’s nerves. One time she was driving kids home in her behemoth station wagon, and piped up with, “Let’s play a game! See if you can not make a sound as long as the light is red!” I thought, what a stupid game! There is no skill in it! Anyone can do THAT!

I lost.

Posted in Back in My Day

Elvis-O-Rama, why hast thou forsaken me?

Teresa and I were visiting Las Vegas for the first time in 2014. Riding a shuttle bus from the airport to our hotel, I caught a glimpse of the Elvis-O-Rama sign. I was so excited by this that I blurted out, “There’s an Elvis museum! Right next to the dildo museum!!

Sadly, I later learned that Elvis-O-Rama had closed years before. The “Museum of Erotic History” or whatever is still around, but we have never gotten around to that. Maybe we are waiting for a Groupon.

Later (2015?) some sort of Graceland-approved Elvis exhibit opened at the Westgate, but  we missed that too.

They say the Estate of Elvis Presley makes much more money now than Elvis made when he was alive ( We will assume that he is not with us anymore for the sake of argument) But they are making it hard for me to contribute to that when they don’t have something going on in Vegas. Fortunately there are still a few Elvis impersonators around. 

Posted in Back in My Day, Flotsam

Be the life of the party (until you’re not)

When I was a kid, some comic books would have ads proclaiming that you could “Throw your voice”; as I recall, it strongly implied that I could do things like make my mother think that my sister was talking back to her. Apparently they would send a non-rusty version of this device, and instructions of some sort. But what if someone asked you something? Were you supposed to keep a handkerchief or Kleenex handy to pretend to cough into?

This is some Jeff Dunham level stuff here. That would be most amusing to see what would happen if mom heard Evelyn say “I keeeel you!!” But I would have started cracking up and probably end up with this thing lodged in my trachea.

Posted in Back in My Day

Hippie cigar box! Groovy

Apparently some hippie took some newspaper articles and this deceptive invitation, and Mod-podged the hell out of this wooden cigar box.

You have to wonder if some Nixon supporters got all excited to read “You are cordially invited to attend the inauguration of Richard Milhous Nixon…” only to find that it’s just a come-on to round up some college students, pacifists, mothers of draftees, hardcore leftists, recreational protesters, and assorted filthy hippies. I don’t think it was too cordial either.

But what do I know? I was 8. Riding around on my Schwinn with the banana seat, getting my bell-bottoms caught in the chain. (I don’t know what happened to my chain guard)

Posted in Back in My Day

TAKE A PICTURE! It’s easy!

My first camera was a Brownie, you opened the top, and looked down to line up and take your shot. The one I had didn’t have a lot of fancy settings, and while I did get a few good shots, I wasted a lot of film on shadows, glare, and yes, even my thumb.

It’s not just the film, I had to take the whole roll of 20 or 24 images to a little kiosk in the Valu-Mart parking lot, where a crabby teenage girl would collect my film and often sell me a fresh roll or two, depending on how much money I could hustle up. (Being in the fifth grade and having a girlfriend of sorts already, made it tough to rub two coins together.)

Then I had to pay for processing on the whole roll, it would be nice if they could just toss the obvious failures and only charge for the good pictures. But that’s not how the fotomat business worked.

I wonder what happened to those little parking lot structures. I could use one to store my rakes and shovels.

Posted in Back in My Day

How did this get in my pocket?

I was fixing to throw these jeans in the laundry, and found this old tally sheet from 2017. I haven’t worked there for many months. It begs the question, how long have I been wearing these pants?

It was a graveyard shift job driving an order picker forklift. Some nights I miss it, but not much. Doesn’t look like I spent much time on the machine that night!

I recently had a dream that I was working there again, hadn’t been there 15 minutes before the second shift lead ambled over and said that day shift was saying that I was “doing it wrong”! This made me so mad that I woke up, and I was fuming about it for several days.



Posted in Back in My Day, Grey Gardens West

Fred Flintstone’s toilet was a… pelican? Droll. Very droll.

My mother loved anthropomorphic characters, like Fred Flintstone’s turtle lawnmower, who would pause, look at the camera, and say “It’s a living.”

So it’s no surprise that she cut this (cat litter ad?) out of a magazine, framed it, and hung it in the bathroom for everyone to enjoy.

Later I inherited it, and it hangs in the bathroom here. It was my sisters-in-law’s first visit since we moved, and they were taking turns going in the bathroom, turns out they all wanted to giggle at the cute picture. Thanks mom!

Posted in Back in My Day

Pencils down, it’s happy hour

Not sure where I dug this up from, but I am pretty sure my dad worked here or in a very similar situation, when he was a draftsman.

He once told me that for a while, they wouldn’t issue a new pencil unless you brought them your used-up stub, and they would measure it to make sure it was used up enough. Have you guessed Boeing yet?

The guy with the pipe seems to be looking at a vacation snapshot. It’s tough to get back into the groove after a nice vacation. You have to adjust your depth perception so your rut feels like a groove.

Posted in Back in My Day, The postcards

Beach Adventures

We haven’t been to the beach yet this summer, my mother psyched me out too much when I was a kid, she was so concerned the undertow would drag me out to sea while she was sneaking a Kool behind the restrooms. This is why we joined the Y, nice 4 1/2 foot deep pool, no fish or crabs, no sunburn, and you don’t track sand into the car. I think Elmer would prefer it.