Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Crazy Collectors

If you think it's strange for me to pay good $ for a nearly 100 year old phonograph, watch this odd fellow's story. I think it's fantastic to be a collector of this caliber. Listening to those old records is like stepping back in time. What beautiful machines!

Black Cat Collection

Every once in awhile, I go back to browsing on EBay. I have a couple of collective interests, but overall, I'm just too damn cheap. Still, with my recent, delightful, Victor Victorola antique purchase, I was back on EBay wanting more.

I'm wishing to add to my Shafford Japan black cat kitchenware collection. These unique teapots, salt & pepper shakers, creamers, etc.. were made in the 1940's and 1950's. I originally started the collection because one teapot and ashtray I own belonged to my grandmother. Later I was in Maine at a flea market and got four other pieces for 15.00. What a find! Now I'm bidding for some other pieces I do not have, like a marmalade set and cookie jar. Above is part of my collection thus far.

Quite paltry, really, not quite as extensive as the "Black Cat Lady" Collection below.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Victor Victrola

With the help and encouragement of my sister and a friend, I purchased an antique Victor Victrola phonograph yesterday. After doing some research online, I determined it was made in 1913 by the Victor Talking Machine Co. in Camden, New Jersey. (This company was later bought out by RCA in 1929) The phonograph still works, by winding the crank on the side. It does not have a horn for sound, but a sound box. One must open the small front doors for volume control. It is surprisingly loud! The sound is all scratchy and canny of course, but fantastic.

I discovered a few oddities about the phonograph. First, I can only safely play 78 rpm records recorded before 1935. This is because later records were thinner, and the heavy needle and horn of my phonograph would ruin the record grooves. Second, I have to change the steel needle for
every play! Talk about high maintenance! Lastly, at the time the phonograph cost about 15.00, which was actually a tidy sum in those days.

All of this really makes you think what a novelty and precious experience it must have been to have a personal, record playing 'talking' machine in 1913. Apparently, records were played infrequently and for special occasions, at least according to modern standards. Suffice it to say that I won't be listening to Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back" ninety times in a row on my Victrola. So far, I've been entertained by polka dances, Swedish marches, and Glenn Miller's 'Moonlight Serenade.' Not bad.

by the way, the famous trademark
little dog's name
is Nipper

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Winter Fun

Went to visit the family in Maine. It was a winter wonderland. Here my nephew provides some sound advice for beginning skiers.

Here my other nephew attempts "a 360"

Another good run dude....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mutton Chops

The 19th century was rife with odd and wayward facial hair. In fact, there's even a blog devoted to the subject of mustaches and beards of the 19th century. Recently I came across this picture of the dour Norwegian bard Henrik Ibsen. I couldn't help but laugh out loud! Doesn't poor Henrik look like he's gotten into a fatal hit-and-run accident with a cat? (fatal for the cat, of course)

After some Goggle searching, I found out this style is called Mutton Chops. Some other amusing facial hair types of the 19th century were the French Fork and the Hulihee.

Pump up the testosterone boys!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Getting the Bad Guys, or Not

Sadly, it doesn't look like Hillary will be our next president. I'm disappointed, because I think she is a keenly intelligent woman. Here's a video clip of her learning about video games, and rounding up the bad guys, from an 8 year old boy.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Who's Minding the Store?

One of the funniest slapstick comedy sequences ever--- a clip of Jerry Lewis and the wayward vacuum cleaner in "Who's Minding the Store?" (1963) I remember seeing this years ago. Hilarious. The good part starts around 1:40 into the video.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Love Life Problems

"Torn between two kitties,
feeling like a fool,

loving both of you
is breaking all the rules"

Friday, February 15, 2008


Who are these old gents? Well, they happen to be my great-great uncles and my great grandfather. My great grandfather was one of seven brothers. This photo was taken in Winterton, Newfoundland, Canada. I don't know what decade but I'd say the late 40's early 50's. From left to right: Jacob Andrews, Esau Andrews, Samuel Andrews (great grandfather) and Thomas Andrews.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Weird Scoots I admit.... my scooter is NOT as cool as a motorcycle. Granted. And it ain't no Vespa either. But ain't quite so dorky as some of these scooters.

Mom, it could be worse.

Don't worry gals, I'll bring the beers...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Women on Vintage Scooters

Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday

Ameila Earhart riding some kind of motor scooter contraption, circa 1930's. ----->

A gal on the go in Michigan, 1940's

Ciao Bella! 1950's & 60's

Saturday, February 9, 2008

What Time of the Day are You?

What time of the day are you? I'm early morning. Take this quiz. Check it out for yourself.......

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Wire

Currently I'm watching the 4th season of HBO's "The Wire," and loving it. Once again, HBO scores with a superb television series with fine acting, gritty reality, and a multi-layered story line. Here's my favorite character -- Omar Little---played admirably by Michael Kenneth Williams.
A gay cowboy gangster, Omar's got a moral code, and plenty of philosophical lines. Omar steals only from the 'bad guys,' fellow drug dealers, & won't hurt a 'citizen', or someone 'not in the game'. In this clip, Omar's back in Baltimore after a hiatus, with his new, hot boyfriend Reynaldo. (somehow all his other boyfriends got killed) Omar's got a thing for Honeynut Cheerios, so, without his gun, he risks going to the corner store in the early morning to get some cereal & Newports. All the neighborhood kids spot him, warning, "Omar coming!" On the way back to his house, someone drops Omar a stash for free, but Omar wants the real deal from the big boys.....

(By the way, every Sunday Omar takes his grandma to church....)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Some beautiful little chickadees feeding at the Ipswich River Bird Sanctuary in Topsfield, MA.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Cat Attacks and Eats Broccoli Bulb

Cat Attacks & Eats Broccoli.
Warning: Viewer Discretion Advised.
May Be Too Graphic For Some Viewers.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Madam C.J. Walker

Here's a little tribute to Madame C.J. Walker (1867-1919). Born to former slaves in Louisiana, she rose up to become the first female millionaire in America. She developed a line of beauty and hair care products for African American women. Not only was she an outstanding entrepreneur, she was also an avid philanthropist and social activist. Below is a link to a short movie about her life, from Slate magazine.

Vintage Ads

Search Google images for vintage ads, and you get some fun stuff. Here are some highlights.......

Apple 1977

Hold on, darling, I'm
inputting useless data
from the comfort of
my own home....

Inga, don't you like my weinerhuffsta?

Mommy, please make me a dress

out of velveteen!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

WhipLash-- the Cowboy Monkey

Here's Whiplash, the cowboy rodeo monkey. My friend LT sent me the link.
Whiplash appears to be having quite a good time. Try getting a monkey off your back! In fact Whiplash is probably the greatest buckster ever. The sheepdog looks a bit less thrilled.

*a sheepdog was uninjured, but mildly inconvenienced during the filming of this video....

Friday, February 1, 2008

Ms. G

Sounds like a porno name, but it's not. Ms. G is a groundhog, and she lives at the Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts. She's up for election to be the 'official' groundhog of Massachusetts. After all, what can Punxsutawney Phil tell us about Massachusetts weather anyway???
If you want to sign the petition to elect Ms. G as the official "Massachusetts State Groundhog," go to the Mass. Audubon Society's website.
By the way, there's 'Chuck' in NY, General Beauregard Lee in GA, & Sir Walter Wally in NC., among others. Ms. G would be our first female groundhog! Apparently female groundhogs were never chosen before because they hibernate in their little holes longer than male groundhogs. Obviously they're a lot smarta.....
Here's Ms. G in action.