Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Worth passing along

I'm a day late for this, but that's nothing new.

Yesterday was "Liar's Diary Blog Day". I liked what this blogger said about writers having every reason to help each other.

First, I can't give a personal recommendation for this novel, because I'd never heard of the author or this, her first novel, till today. I burned out on standard mysteries and thrillers awhile ago, but when something above the norm comes out I get interested. So it's in my shopping cart, and would be anyway. But the blog day effort gives me an extra incentive.

Until November anyway, author Patry Francis was living my dream. She'd spent 25 years as a waitress, but her first novel was published a year ago, to some good reviews. Yesterday was the launch date of the Plume Books paperback.

In November Francis was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. The good news is that it appears that it had not metastasized, it appears that surgery worked, and her prognosis is good.

So I'm happy to participate in this show of support for Patry Francis, and to pass it on to yall! Good wishes, prayers if you do that sort of thing, will undoubtedly be welcome, and if the book sounds interesting to any of my readers, here are places to get it:


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In 1954 it was a very good year

And in honor of the year, a post (almost) entirely in black-and-white :

A 1954 commercial for Peter Pan [TM]

The new Corvette!

And Elvis makes his early commerical recordings for Sun Records.

"That's All Right"

Born in '54, and I turn 54 today.

So it's off to Charleston for a day of fun. Here's hoping it's an equally good day for all my readers!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One afternoon in 1988

Remember these?

This tube of gluey muck would make a big bubble, or balloon -- it was kind of something in-between -- that you could bat around for a few minutes to a couple hours (rarely. If you got lucky), until it wore out. In 1988, I was wandering around my apartment complex with my Christmas camera and there was kid playing with the stuff. It still existed! It's undoubtedly a medically or environmentally hazardous thing of the past now, but this kid was making some great bubbles. This one was a good 18 inches in diameter!


I keep looking at this picture, wondering: where's the seam? SuperBubbles always had a seam or at least a pinch-off point and I don't see one on this. So I could be wrong. It could have been a soap bubble. A pretty impressive one, and I still love this picture!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

And we're just getting started

We're engaged in a huge clean up, clear out, organize job.

Over the years we've had bursts of organizing energy. Here's a terribly useful example. In 2000, we went through this box and decided it was OK! Isn't that great? We felt no need to label it further. Is it store stock or our own? Is it books? Glassware? Beanie Babies?? Who knows? But what really matters is that it's OK! There are lots of these in both our handwriting. At some point, this was useful information.

With a few warm days appropriate for garage work, we decided to put everything else on hold and plunge in. For the next few days the weather will be too cold, so work has moved upstairs to the main living space, where we're also making radical changes. We're both pack rats but I admit I'm worse.

I kept every cancelled check I ever wrote. Copies of every tax return I ever filed. The stub of every paycheck I ever received. Insurance claims, paid-bill stubs, you name it, carried from address to address and stored all these years. "Retain for your records." It's out of character for me to be so obedient.

Check out the book on the bottom of the adjacent stack. I swear, I dumped the old files and diskettes there beside a stack of books ready to sell, took a photo and then spotted it. Didn't plant it.

I'm not sure why I felt the need to keep this stuff. "Would you like a side of Hoarding Disorder with that ADD?" Somehow it seemed important then and it doesn't now. Along with the space problem, there's the minor matter of having about a thousand bits of paper bearing my SSN, a bunch of account numbers, and my detailed address/phone number history, all stashed in a garage and ready for a good windstorm to send them flying all over two counties.

So a big clean-out project is underway. And along with audio cassettes and VHS tapes,

(Not all of them. But the "Keep" piles are small.)

which get donated, away goes the garbage. We got a good shredder at Costco a couple months back, with just such a cleanup project in mind, since merely dumping personal data is a bad idea. With the exception of a few items that fit in a single file folder, I have shredded 30 years of unnecessary documents.

4 bags full of my shredded documents alone. So far.

And I'm discovering buried treasure. Like the 1919 edition of Bartlett's Quotations. A stack of TV Guides, most of which are going to Recycle, but I'm keeping the Best Cartoons issue from 2002. A deck of Harry Potter playing cards in a magic disappearing-card box! Far out, man.

Empty space. Amazing.

Downy checks out an almost-empty shelf.

It's going to take awhile, but when we're done we'll have what matters, and be able to find it.

Monday, January 07, 2008

One afternoon in 1974

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy New Year - 1913

Playing around with my new scanner!
From my collection of vintage stuff. Here's to 2008, yall!