A Continuum Of Appreciation

Recently viewed the film CALIFORNIA TYPEWRITER.  Got me thinking about the various types of collectors out there, and what motivates individuals.

typecast on my 1979 Olympia SG3 – pdf file at bottom of post

typewriter continuum

PDF of page – typewriter continuum

Advertisements

The U.S. Census

census_early.jpg

Well, if ever I wanted to open a full can of wrigglin’ worms, the history of the U.S. Census would rate high.  I have been delving back into my own family history lately, and any researcher of that ilk will tell you that the life blood of many a new branch on the family tree begins with the census.

I will not attempt to scrawl an in depth history of the census.  You can do that yourself.  However, here are some fun links I recently found about what it’s like to be a census taker.  You know, way back before computers, and beyond.

What Did A ’40s Census-Taker Look Like? — Here you have a brief article from LIFE magazine.  The photos are posed, but they convey a great deal about what life was like in middle America coming out of the 30’s.

Here we have an article from AOL – yes!  AOL!  From 2010, this article will give you some indication of how antiquated the fact gathering system was, even in 2010.  DISCLAIMER: If this link is broken when you click it, don’t come cryin’ to me…

Here I leave you with a swell link to the actual Census Bureau website. Fascinating stuff!  On the left margin are links to facts about the progression of how the census changed over time.  As you might imagine, many folks have looked upon census takers as intruders, bent on collecting information for nefarious purposes.  In actuality, the census was conceived and perpetuated so the people of the United States can be fairly represented.  If you disagree with that perspective well, that’s your right.  I highly suggest however, that if the census man comes to your door, ask questions first.  Better yet; answer the questions.  ~TH~

The Answer(ing) Machine

I was thinking this morning of the stopgap technology known as the answering machine and it’s first cousin, the pager.  For readers not aware, the pager was a clip-on gizmo that alerted you when someone wanted you to call them.  It displayed the phone number you were supposed to call.  I never had one, I wan’t  prone to appreciate being interrupted so that I could do your bidding.

The answering machines of old used cassette tapes then later, mini-cassette tapes.  When you got home or back to your office (because remember, that’s where your telephone was; a slave shackled to a wall), you could check to see who called.  And thus began the psychology of excuses for purposely dodging calls.

I yearn for the days of yore, when, if you were not home well, you would miss the call.  You would have no idea if anyone called, or perhaps twenty people called.  It was not even on your radar.  No one ever came home, put the groceries down and began calling all their friends to find out of they had called.  The assumption was that if someone needed to speak to you, they’d call again.  If you knew someone might call but you did not want to be disturbed, you could simply take the receiver off the hook.  A busy signal would sound to the caller.  Doesn’t that sound great?  This made it appear to the caller that your line was busy.  Yes, this confirmed that you were busy as well, talking to someone else.  The caller would undoubtedly feel snubbed;  “Who could Tom possibly be talking to  who’s more important than moi?”

Then came pagers and answering machines, and with them a torrent of little white lies and miniscule bits of psychological damage, piling up in our heads.  “Huh- I didn’t get that message.”  “Huh, my machine must be broken.”  “Damn!  The machine ate the tape!”

These dodges have carried into our 21st century life.  I’ll wager you have a few go-to fibs for why you never call me back.  That’s ok.  I’ll just mentally stick my tongue out at you like we’re back in grade school, “Meh! I didn’t really want to talk to you anyway.”

~T~

Bookmarks As Bookmarks

A year or so ago I purchased a used book from local book store Books Galore (YAY USED BOOK STORES!),  and discovered a photo from the 1970’s used as a bookmark.  I knew it was from the 70’s because, well, I’m from the 70’s.

Today I discovered a photo from 1997 in a library book I checked out.  The book is newly published, 2017.

20171002_1908131080701339.jpg

So, how did this 20 year old photo of li’l human critters end up as a bookmark in a brand new book?  These kids are in their 20’s now.  What are they up to?  What stories do they have to share?  ~TH~

A Minimum Of Quality

Let me start by saying; I understand the adage, “You get what you pay for”.   I found this difficult to believe yesterday, when I began to research the purchase of a new attache style briefcase.  Searching on the interwebs, I sought a decent case that wouldn’t break the bank.  I was disappointed to discover that even as I climbed up into the “premium” cases, the reviews were less than stellar.

This may be in part because the attache style has given way to the leather shoulder bag, messenger style.  Those are fine, I have several.  What I need at the moment though, is more like a portable office, with most of what I need already in place when I open my case.  Assuming I keep the thing organized, I should be able to open it flat and begin working.  With a top loading case, I’m always pulling stuff out, digging around, then stuffing all my stuff back in- rarely in an organized fashion.

Many of the reviews for attache style cases focused on if it was “real leather”, or how impressive the case looked.  I don’t give a rat’s a$$ about those things.  I just don’t want the thing coming apart on me; which apparently, many of them do.  Crappy glued construction, and crappy stitching.

I know that my father’s old briefcase is tucked away somewhere in this house.  If I ever find it, I’ll post a review of that critter.  Now that was how you put together an attache case.  *End Rant*