01 April 2015

Epiphone EA-230

This Epiphone bass looks like the Rivoli, but it is not.
Gibson started to move most Epiphone manufacturing to Japan in the late 1960s. The Rivoli line of basses disappeared then were resurrected in the 1970s as the Japanese made EA-230. Most models of this bass I have seen are in need of neck work. My was no different. The action got high past the 5th or 6th fret.
I sold mine recently after having been the owner for ~17 years.
I bought it at a Music Go Round when I was just starting to play bass at the Hill.
It served me well and was certainly a nice looking instrument.

Lionel Stuff: Is it a shack or a freight platform

Not much has been written about Lionel structures from the MPC  to early modern era. Most of my searches just direct me to ebay or another site which re-directs me to ebay. Lionel released some really interesting structures during that period. Today, I pay homage to a humble track-side structure.
Personally this freight platform is one of my favorite track-side structures. I assembled this late MPC era kit ( in the photo above) in Fall and gave it some paint. Really smart looking building. Not sure if there was a prototype but such a building is plausible.
Lionel has released this model numerous times since the MPC/General Mills era. They mostly referred to the structure as a freight platform although there is documentation that it was also called the hideout shack. First released as a kit which required assembly and glue. I wholeheartedly disagree with a claim on an early box that it is a snap together structure. It is not. But later on Lionel rectified that by offering it as a pre-built accessory. The 2012 and 2013 catalogs had the freight platform pre-built, weathered, and included a light.
Slightly modified structures were cataloged under a few different names over the years. In 2002 Lionel cataloged the structure with some hobo figures, a smoke unit and a dilapidated look as the Smoking Hobo Shack. In 2013 it was released ready built without the overhanging roof and freight door but with Boy Scout insignia on one side and a flag pole and interior light.
Lionel also released a wood version of this structure in G scale in 1989 while trying to work the large scale market.

24 March 2015

Shaking off winter with seedling planting

Cold dry winter is mostly over since calendar spring arrived. Still cold despite the crazy high temps the week before spring arrived. Snow threatens but hardly shows itself.
At spring's arrival the planting of the garden is in my mind- also taxes but I refuse to blog about them. So I have begun the seedlings for this year's edition of the garden.
Thus far we have peppers- bell and Hungarian wax- and an assortment of tomatoes- Delicious, San Marzano, Cherokee Purple.
Last season I planted Brandywine, Orange Queen, Roma, Cherry, and an smaller pear shaped golden tomato. I think I may have had a Manitoba too but my seedling markings got separated so I am unsure. It was an average harvest due in part to cooler temperatures. The cherry produced the most. Orange Queen provided the largest specimens.  I also had some really hot peppers in the garden called Burning Bush. Sadly we were unable to find a use for them as they were extremely hot. Hence  I am going with bells and Hungarian wax this season.

Seedlings started


09 January 2015

Retribution of Crazy Online Ads

Years ago I would post a few strange online ads and make inane comments on them.
They have so proliferated the Net it was impossible to continue.
However, this one really grabbed my attention this week. Finally somebody with the guts to expose the Fed. But this does not look like the Fed.

Sexy and romantic threat

I did not click on this ad due to potential of it maybe linking to more scantily or suggestively dressed females threatening the economic security of the US.
But why is the ad suggesting such a threat with the sexy blond with candles?
Is the GDP somehow tied to the business of presenting alluring women in low light settings to gullible males?
I bet there is someone at the CIA who knows.

Classic Fisher Price: Rock-a-Stack

Fisher Price has produced over 40 million of these since 1960. They are still produced with a slightly different design for the "donuts" and base. The newer version I have has a few less "donuts."
I am pretty sure every child of the last 50 years has played with one. And it has a wiki entry.
The rock-a-stack has made a few cameos in Pixar films- notably the Toy Story series.
Besides that there is not much out there about it.
But there is an entry on how to make a candy rock-a-stack.
I think the one below is from the mid-1970s.


08 January 2015

Classic Fisher Price: Music Box Pocket Radio

Fisher Price made tons of wind up music playing items.
This one plays It's A Small World and was produced in the late 70s.
The song was popularized by the Disney created attraction for the 1964 World's Fair in New York. Afterward the attraction was moved to Disneyland. Copies have since been installed in all the Disney Theme Parks. However I would like to see them install it on their cruise ships.
Mary Poppins composers Robert and Richard Sherman wrote the song.
The graphics on the back seem to look like style of the ride but I have yet to find any Disney relationship concerning this toy.
It still plays although there is some wear to the bottom. Once again Fisher Price proves durable after nearly 40 years.

Music Box Pocket Radio: Small World

07 January 2015

Classic Fisher Price: Chatter Telephone

Fisher Price was the toy brand name I recall the most from my childhood- along with Kenner and Mattel.
They did not produce much licensed products- although I think they did produce some items with Sesame Street characters. Basically they were the the go to manufacturer for fun and durable toys that spanned generations of children. They are still around today but I believe they are produced by Mattel. Timeline about them here. Sadly the timeline misses my favorite line of Fisher Price toys- Adventure People. I will write about that in another entry.
By the time I came around Fisher Price had been around for about 45 years and was playing with the still usable hand me down toys from the 1950s and 1960s.
Today's entry for the blog is the Chatter Telephone. This guy has plenty of play value for make believe  and action. The rotary dial makes ringing sound when turned and a sort of mumbling sound when the toy is pulled.
Fisher Price released it in 1963. It is still being produced nearly unchanged.

Chatter Phone by Fisher Price

25 December 2014

That Christmas long ago

Happy Christmas
No pickles on this tree- at least I did not find any. But there were oranges- clementines to be exact. They were not on the tree buy beneath it. It is actual a tradition Grandma Marlys has kept up from her youth. It recalls the gift of an orange she would receive each Christmas. I think she would also get a tin cup.

24 December 2014

And so it is Christmas

A  Charlie Brown Christmas espouses that dilemma which many of us may find ourselves in at Christmas time.
Exasperated by the holiday and the wacko views of it (ie. Run by a big eastern syndicate.) he blurts out:
Isn't there anyone who understands what Christmas is all about?
To which Linus recites the ancient narrative.

And, yes that is what Christmas is all about. Everything else is just an extension. Although some extensions have traversed well off the main narrative. I have no clue where to place the Elf on a Shelf story that has become so popular. And the pickle Christmas ornament thing is a bit off the wall.

Anyway, here is the narrative pieced together from the Bible.