Slip Stick Analog Converter

Discovered in a thrift shop last week. It’s not exactly a slide rule, although it resembles one. It’s a metric converter, and if the USA ever joins the metric world, these will be in high demand. Get one now while they’re cheap; only 8 Euros on Ebay! This handy tool does a great job and is accurate enough for most applications, unless you are in need of scientific accuracy. To underscore the historical significance of this gadget, the Smithsonian considers it worthy of a webpage. With one moving part, it should last several lifetimes. The sliding cursor is unnecessary, so I don’t count that.

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Intergalactic Adventures

06-DSCN0446

SCM Galaxie Deluxe late 1960s-1970s

coloured platens and jeweled escapements could not save them

complex instruction for useless features may have contributed to their extinction

added features were largely unnecessary and often required repairs

lever x may or may not effect skipping, but researchers are continuing to experiment with the problem

speculation is they were too advanced to survive

example of added rubber kluged superfluousness inspired chuckles

absurd removable key is simply the figure 1 and !, commonly standard on all similar species

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Snow, man!

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Unscheduled Departure

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The Annual Christmas Message – 2018

Only 3 sleeps till Christmas. I have done my Christmas shopping, mostly, and the presents are wrapped and sitting on a table under the not yet erected tree. I have to make my special coleslaw for the great family feast that will be happening on Christmas Eve at my sister’s place. This year we will be about 20, and have one more little boy than last year. One is on the way too, and might even be here for Christmas, although he’s not due until Boxing Day, and he’s in Germany. But he will be with us in spirit, nevertheless. I hope that one day he will send handwritten or typed correspondence to friends and family. Just to remind him, and all of you what that looked like, I present for your Christmas pleasure two very old postcards that I culled from a collection of thousands at a second hand book shop this very afternoon. They cost me a pretty penny, which was the price of stamps in 1911 when one of them was posted from Gloucester Mass, to Mrs. Alexandra Wharton in Nova Scotia, from her friends Pearl and Charlie. Both these cards were printed in Germany.

the message:

This one had no stamp but it must have been sent. The ink is permanent, which I know because I used a wet Qtip to clean up some black paper that was stuck to the back and obscuring part of the writing. Thank goodness for India ink!

A message from Nellie Wanamaker to her Aunt Fannie in Prince Edward Island. Maybe Fannie knew Anne, the kid who lived over at Green Gables?

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

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A Cryptic Message

I am now in the black with my typewriter collection, after many years. Last week I sold two virtually identical late 50’s Underwoods within an hour. Oddly, both were bought as gifts. One went to a young English major, no, not in the army – at university. He tired of the usual digital overload and professed a desire to his girlfriend for a typewriter. The other went to a lady of 71, courtesy of an old friend. She likes writing poetry. I just love selling these machines to writers! Like many of us, I feel good about returning a typewriter to circulation, especially if it needed my attention to get it back on the road, so to speak. Many typewriters that I have bought have needed a fair bit of fiddling, cleaning and adjusting to work well, a job I really enjoy. So, of course I just picked up 2 more yesterday, both which needed some work. The work is minor, but necessary, and there aren’t any repairmen left here.

hello english major

hello poet

Meanwhile, in my haunts I sometimes come across old postcards, and here are a pair that tell a tale. The message on the Canadian one is courtesy of my imagination, and typeface thanks to RP! The other has notes that I can’t read. Hard to imagine what you could say on that one.

Banff, c 1950’s

 

And then there was this:

Alexanderplatz, Berlin

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Filed under Philosophy, Post cards, Typewriters

The Falling Leaves

Daylight time has gone. Today I ate lunch at 11.30 since my stomach is still on its former schedule. Before the light faded this afternoon I decided to head out around the lake for a quick walk before dark. Good thing too, because the sun was sinking low as I left. I grabbed the camera on my way out, and fixed the big zoom lens, just in case. I haven’t carried this camera for months, but I had a hunch today might be the day – the day the owl returns. Until recently the leaves have been hiding the life that is now visible since they are rapidly falling. What they reveal is very interesting.

a barred owl returns to the same branch every year

Well, sometimes you get lucky. As soon as I entered the copse of trees where the owl can often be found in November, I spotted one, and the sun was lighting it up as if it had been placed there as the perfect setup just waiting for me to come along. I wiggled my way into the brush to get a bit closer and tried to find a line of sight that didn’t have branches in the way.

buck with something funny on his head

Satisfied with some decent pics I continued on my way, taking a diversion to check for horned owls in another part of the wood where they have been known to hang out, but they weren’t about, or couldn’t be seen if they were. Back on the main path, a doe jumped out in front of me and into the brush. Then I spotted her mate half hidden behind a tree. He cautiously came out and I got a shot of him crossing the path. With his pointy antlers I stayed well away in case he took a notion to shoo me off. I didn’t notice the odd antler that looks like it sprouted from between his eyes! Just a few yards further on I looked up to see a huge paper wasp nest that was now in plain sight.

a big wasp nest

Continuing on I crossed the new floating bridge and was pleased that the far end of the trail will never again be flooded over, since they raised a berm there about 4 feet high. Around the backside and turning east I glanced up to see a Red Tailed Hawk sitting in a bare tree, and right below it another large dangling wasp nest. I crept as close as I could to get a better shot of the hawk, expecting it to take off at any second, but it seemed to be watching things on the ground and it chose to ignore me. Often they depart as soon as I start approaching.

red tailed hawk

The south side of the lake has now flooded again as it does once the rain comes, and the slough was filled with ducks and geese. Way off in the distance near some tall firs I thought I saw an eagle fly past.

ducks being ducks, and geese being geese

Once I rounded the last side of the circle I spied a pair of Bald Eagles wheeling and spinning over a small flooded meadow. They dropped down as if to grab a fish not once but several times and scattered a flock of ducks and birds.

eagle swooping in

final approach

The pair landed beside the water, a rare sight, and I watched them have a drink.

think I’ll have a drink

Then they left and the ducks all soon reappeared as if nothing had happened.

all clear, back to feeding

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