Monday, October 30, 2017


Remember the Clint Eastwood movie High Plains Drifter where he renames a town Hell?  That was a movie town, this one is in MI.

 Although the town is unincorporated, and it does not have a Post Office, it does get its own place on the map and a special postal stamp. 

Grace, I'm willing to bet there is no Hell mural in Perth.

Not many images.  That is because there is not very much in Hell.  Hell is a little village with 2 saloons and a gift shop, a small creek, and if you blink you may miss it.  Entering from the west there are no signs except a small green roadside sign.  Entering from the east you'll see the little demon mural and a few other Hell items.

So we had some food, fun, and a beer in Hell and it has been a bit of fun posting this bit of nonsense, but if you believe in the real eternal Hell that is a completely serious subject.  It is a place I do not want to spend eternity, and hope all who read my blog at least think about the real one.  At the same I hope you can have some fun about Hell, Michigan and Intercourse, PA and perhaps other small villages with funny names.

On another note I wonder how or why the Reformation was started on Halloween.  Happy 500.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Visit to Mayberry, U.S.A.

In reference to photos, no, what follow are digital images.  I did not take a camera on this trip.  All images courtesy of my now defunct Lumix LF-1.

Perhaps the most famous filling station in the United States. This is the original Wally's Service Station as it was (except for the location of the pumps) when Andy lived in Mt. Airy.  The gasoline pumps were relocated next to the sidewalk when the road was widened and paved.  Those who watch the program may recall the original road was a dirt road and the pumps were farther away from the building.

The original Walker's Drug Store

Walker's is still in business, but no longer a drug store. It is a nice place to eat and take a break.  We had some milk shakes and sundaes there during our visit.

Mrs. M tried to convince me to get a haircut at Floyd's.  Maybe next visit. 

These are some pictures, pencil drawings, and water colors on the wall of the Andy Griffith Museum.  It is quite a nice place to visit if you like all things Andy, Barney, Mayberry, and all else about the show. The big photo is of Skippy's.  Same as it was when Andy was a boy complete with the original sign.  I thought I had a version of a photo of the store ready for this post, but I do not. Skippy's is known for their wonderfully delicious pork chop sandwich.  They were so good I had to eat 2 of them along with good old Southern sweet iced tea.

One of several typewriters used on the show.  There was one show I watched just last week where Barney was to be typing on an Underwood desk size typewriter. He was typing by using the spacebar only.  The audio had no clack!  I don't know why the producers did not catch that. On another episode Andy was using a Royal 10.  I did not see either of those typewriters during our visit. Only this Royal and an older KMG.

Although Moonshine ice cream was not part of the show, moonshine was often featured.  The ice cream was fine, but the 'shine I had later at the hotel was better.  I can't say it was better than Franklin County Virgina's finest (of which I always had plenty of when I lived there), but it was smooth and good.

You may recognize this from my previous post.  Otis Campbell occupied this room quite often. Mr.s M had me visit the cell so she could get some digital images of me in it.

One of my favorite bluegrass musicians is James Easer and the Easter Brothers.  The shop was closed when we were there so I did not get to meet Mr. Easter who still mans his shop as of when we were there.

I could not resist getting a Monday Mural for Grace of Perth Daily Photo even if all I could find is this old Coke advertisement.

Mrs. M in the squad car.  This is one of the 5 used on the show.  Replica really.  The ones on the show were on load from Ford and after each new one the old one went back to Ford. 
The Andy Griffith Show is one of Mrs. M's favorite reruns. We both grew up with it (and are the same age as Opie). It is one of those old that never gets old programs.  In a way we need more Andys, Barnys, Opies, Gomers, Goobers, and the rest of the gang. A simpler time. A make-believe time.

We spent 3 days in Mt. Airy.  Mt. Airy is a friendly town with plenty to see and do. In a way a tourist town without all the money grabbing clip-joints. Did you ever visit a tourist town where ALL the parking is FREE‽

Sorry for the non-consistent upper case letters in the typecast. I recently received this fully functional and types fine Hermes Rocked on Ebay.  Well,
another Ebay story for later. After I repaired it and adjusted the upper case stops I typed my daily journal on it and decided to do the typecast. The upper case still needs a bit of work.  The set screws are on order from Mc-Master-Carr.  Other than minor repairs this typewriter is in very good and clean condition. 

Notice my hyphen-period mistakes in the typecast?  Notice the keyboard?

Sometimes I like getting typewriters with shop stickers on them.  When the stickers are on the sides it is much nicer than when they mess-up the ribbon/type bar cover or front of the typewriter.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Bit of History

These are some of the many wind turbines we saw driving through Ohio.
These are so interesting and peaceful as they perform their rotary ballet with a slight swish... ... swish ... ... as long as the wind blows. Not much wind is required. 
A sampling of Richard's machines.  Mrs. M. was especially interested in how the Columbia worked.  Richard kindly explained.
No visit would be complete without a group photo.  Luckily the fellow in the middle who very seldom gets in front of the lens, did not break Mrs. M's camera. Image courtesy of one of Richard's students.
On the way back to Florida from Ohio I stopped for a short stay in...
A book full of history.  It arrived in the mail today.  Image courtesy of my new-to-me digital imager.  I managed to find a really nice used Olympus OM-D E-M10 with a complement of 4 lenses.  Now I'm doing u4/3 imaging.  Quite nice since I have a huge complement of 35mm lenses that will fit the body, and they all render much better images than the M.Zuiko, Panasonic, or Leica (Panasonic rebranded so the price can be inflated) lenses.

When we were in Iowa a few years ago our hotel was just down the street from a pair of the turbines. It was quite a relaxing experience to sit there and watch them spin.  Like a child I did need to lay on my back on the ground and watch up at one of them until the guard made his round and spied me inside the fence.  He was quite polite though and we sat outside at the pic-nic table talking about the turbines for about half an hour.

Mrs. is not real keen to the turbines though.  The birds fly into them and get killed.  She's a bird watcher.  Good though.  That was my excuse to buy the Stylus 1, about a 400mm lens that can also go to about 1200mm (35mm equiv) and a constant f2.8.  Great imager for the money because I cannot afford a Sony RX-10-III.

On our way back to Florida from Ohio we took a side trip and I got to go to jail.

More later.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tablesaw Typing

This machine has a Pica Cubic typeface. One of my favorites. 

Everything needs cleaned and then I'll add to one of my stereo systems. The NAD stays in the garage with the rest of the NAD gear.  NAD made some really great equipment.  Like most quality has gone down hill with the turn of the century.

Great sounding speakers that will drive one out of the theater driven by only 35Watts.  From back in the day of great speakers that were very efficient since tube amplifers did not produce the hundreds to thousands of watts for inefficient speaker systems.  Many theaters and arenas were equipped with various models of Altec speakers.  Many are still in service. These will put the new junk coming from China and elsewhere out to pasture.  I actually used these (with up-graded high drivers) on my Peavy 800 when I did pro sound (that was LOUD!). 

More from back in the day.  Back in the day when Sansui made high quality audio equipment instead of the junk from the latter part of the 20th century.  They finally quit making audio gear completely. These are good sounding 3-way speakers.  No foam surrounds in these. They'll still be reproducing high quality sound in the 22nd century.

My mess followed me to Michigan.  I'll soon be installing my stereo system and some fans, more shelving, and get the garage organized.

And for those of you who do not believe my X was the wicked witch of the East....

Digital images courtesy of my new-to-me Olympus Stylus-1 Digital Imager.  On one of our first trips into the Michigan woods I did not make it out of the parking lot before killing my LF-1. 

Ever since I broke my hand and injured the other one I all all of a sudden without warning can drop things.  Instead of doing what I've done religiously since purchasing my first 35mm for my college photography class (back then we did real photography, with film, chemicals, paper) by putting the camera strap around my neck, I turned on my LF1 and decided to take an image, oops! a string of ....., and a dead camera.  Oh, and such a mean look from Mrs. M.

Digital imagers do not last being dropped once the lens is active.  Real lenses from my other cameras have been abused and dropped when used in the fire service.  If not full of water and ash, pick them up and use.  The only one that failed fell from atop our ladder truck. Even I would not have survived that 100 foot fall. 

More on the Stylus 1 on a later typecast.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Typospherically speaking...I'm Back

My plan was to pick up from where I left off after leaving Kalamazoo earlier this year, but with the hectic pace of everything I have not had time to get the images ready or even type the typecasts.  Moving this time was the biggest challenge I ever faced in moving.  We hit obstacles every step of the way.  It is the first time I moved so much stuff such a long distance myself I'm still working at the unpacking.

Oh, we hired a moving company, but that is another long post.  Somehow all the short moves right after college were nothing.  Back then all my things fit into the back of a pickup truck with room to spare.  Now my electronics would not all fit.  Add to that my photography gear and typewriters and I have more than a van could hold.  Worst part is I had to leave my Omega D2 behind with all the lenses, carriers, and both condesers :(   Good part; now I have a reason to get a full blown D5 system!

There is a lot more to post, including images, fountain pen friendly pocket notebooks, a report on our travels, a new digital image maker, some digital detox as well as digital overload, and even a type-in.

And, finally, for the Underwood Master Champion.  It is my Underwood Master with the Champion keyboard.  Like my ss it is a fantastic typer.  I'd put these 2 Underwoods up against any typewriter - manual or electric - for good feel, action, and accuracy of loading paper straight first time - every time. (even before the JJ Short platens were installed)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

An Official Sabbatical -- From Blogging

We are finally able to leave the heat and humidity and unbearable weather of Florida and move to a more temperate place -- Michigan.  No more always going out to a wet heavy dew covered car.  No more being unable to have cool evenings.  No more being unable to enjoy summer.  No more lizards every place including finding dead ones on top of books.  No more spiders the size of a small bird.  No more mold, mildew, and rot on things that even get that way in an air conditioned house.  No more boots or other shoes covered in mildew because they sit in a closet on the floor for a few months of non-use.  No more cheap quality over priced houses.  Real houses with closets, basements, and useable attics!  

Another problem with Florida is there is no way to get there from here.  Only 2 major highways.  There is I-95 on the east coast.  There is I-75 on the west coast.
Not much in air travel either.  2 hours to any major airport. Few direct flights anywhere.  Air travel is also quite expensive, and quite troublesome.  Oh, don't fly United. Their motto is now Fly the Unfriendly Skies of United.  Remember their old motto and jingle?  

We both preferred Virginia or North Carolina, but chose to go to where the jobs are.  I think I have had more activity from Michigan employers than anywhere.  I know from my time in Florida many engineers I've know have all gone to Michigan.  Generally there are more better paying opportunities outside of Florida unless one prefers the over crowding of Jacksonville or the extremely high crime in Orlando (which salaries are not all that good there anyway).

I've been planning more typecasts of our recent trip to Kalamazoo and our stops along the way, but there is just not enough time in the day to even do a simple typecast.

I have many, if not all of the photos edited.  I even started a typecast of our visit to Xavier University to meet Richard Polt.

Lately I have had little time for email.

Before we arrived home I received an offer of a new job which I accepted.  We arrived home to much more work than expected.  Our tiny house is not ready to sell.  Even a tiny house is a big project when attempting to ready the place to advertise for sale when most of it needs some kind of repair work -- which will not be completed.

For the past few weeks we've been super busy separating the items to sell, give away, or trash from what we will be taking.  Quite a challenge considering I have over 100 typewriters of which about half a dozen will go in the trash since the were machines I kept for parts to repair others.  I hate that I need to do that.  Only my parts Corona 3 could yield some money if I chose to become a key chopper.  

I did sell a few to some over the week end.  I think the fellow who bought my U.S. Navy Underwood (not a Mill or it would never had been sold) became a new convert to typewriters as he returned a few hours later to pick up 2 others he liked, but did not have money with him at the time.  

I also have literally a ton of tools.  I have tools from when I was still in school for woodworking and mechanics.  These tools must have had sex while in their storage chests and boxes because they multiplied several times over.  Then I accumulated tools for electronics work.  Many of these were also from when I was in school.  They kept multiplying also. There are tool boxes full of machinist tools that I hope to sell. If I sell them I know I'll have room to set up a shop in our new place -- then I'll need to buy machinist tools.  

Oh, then I must wean out test equipment, photography equipment, and maybe even some of my audio and radio equipment.  How'd I get all this into a tiny house anyway?

Finally, the normal things people have like furniture, dishes, clothing, and other household items.

So for now and until I get resettled there won't be much activity on my blog (as if I have been active lately).  As I get time I may update my relocation and job progress.

For now it is back to working on the house, calling movers, bankers, and realtors, packing, and more.

Thanks for reading ... and ... stay tuned for more.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Kalamazoo Type-In

Our Typists

Andy and Andrea

Andy, Dorothy, Bill M

Andrea, Mrs. M (Debbie), Dorothy

Andrea and Andy discussing her Remette

Andrea giving her Remette a test run

Andy & Debbie discussing one of many subjects

Our Hosts.  On a very short notice Andy & Dorothy were able to organize our gathering.   Many Thanks!

I took my Montana Luxe

Andy brought this wonderful Brilliant Junior

Dorothy brought her wonderful Olivetti Valentine

Andrea brought her wonderful Remette
None of this would have been possible had I not been in contact with Richard P during my trip.  Richard graciously introduced me to Andy in one of our emails.
I got in contact and we had an instant gathering planned.

Our trip had been quite a challenge this time.  We were delayed 3 days for a paperwork problem with our insurance. I forgot some travel paperwork at home.  Later we got delayed by construction.  I missed one of my routes.  We finally made it to Cleveland for a day.  Then we were off to Kalamazoo.  Later we are stopping at Hell and then on to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Richmond, VA.

Friday night's Type-In was great.  We typed a bit, downed a few brews, talked about the world of broadcasting, shortwave listening, ham radio, and back when broadcast radio was great.  Oh, we talked about typewriters and our typewriters also.  I do not know all the ladies talked about. I do know they talked about some of the birds in Florida, especially Mrs. M's favorite, the roseate spoonbill.

I started this post last night.  Got delayed today.  Lost the paper I typed last night that I was going to post from the type-in.

All-in-all a great experience. 

A very hearty thank you to all.