Mt. St. Helens ash? Or just fireplace sweepings?

Today is the 39th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens, May 18th 1980. I was just 20 then, and barely noticed the ash fall; I lived and worked in the gritty industrial area around Seattle’s Harbor Island. My car was always covered with gritty crap anyway. Then again, my girlfriend at the time was living in Spokane, and they had to put pantyhose over their carburetors, which was a popular car part at the time.

A whole industry sprang up overnight, many souvenirs purported to contain the oddly valuable ash. And then there were the books and VHS tapes (ask your mom).

There was the lodge caretaker who refused to be evacuated, because before his wife passed away they had vowed to never leave Spirit Lake.

Mr. Truman lived at the lodge with his 16 cats right up to the end. (Although I have it on good authority that cat 14 said “Screw this! I’m out of here!” and left the week before. Animals can sense these things.)

There was a National Geographic photographer and others who perished up there too. Mother nature always wins.

3D Printing is more about machine tweaking than printing

We just got a Bibo 3D printer/Laser Engraver, been trying to put it together; Ran into this poorly installed fan…

That was an easy fix, maybe the screw backed out in transit.

More concerning, we got it all put together, but it won’t power up. I took the cover off the power area (Probably frowned on). There was a wire running from the power switch to the power supply at A9, and it had broken off on the switch side. I was going to put a new connector on it and be good to go, but I would have to strip the wire a bit and it was already just too short. I think that’s why it had broken.

I could probably scrounge up a similar wire, but since it is a power supply component, I emailed Bibo and asked them for a replacement, slightly longer wire. Bibo is known for excellent customer service so I am fairly confident that they will follow up. If not, I can scrounge something up. Stay tuned!

Ethyl has gas.

Used to be some gasoline had a proprietary antiknock compound in it called “Ethyl”. If I had been old enough to be a gas station attendant back then, and if someone asked for the gas with Ethyl in it, I would have been obligated to mutter “If Ethyl don’t mind!” and then spill gas on the side of their car. I saw the movie “Duel” again recently, and it reminded me.

I saw that movie when I was 13 and ever since then, my family has had to deal with me exclaiming “You can’t beat me on the grade!!” whenever driving uphill.

Did I offend you?

This postcard is pretty tame by today’s standards, although there are always the perpetually offended. An Army Sgt. writes to a married lady back home;

“Hello Fern, Why don’t I hear from you anymore? I wrote to you twice in ten days & no answer. Have I offended you in some way? If so I am very sorry. Please let me know. Thanks. Your friend, Sgt (not legible)”

I wonder if Fern’s husband had a problem with some dude sending his wife racy postcards?

PIONEER CLUB: The honest Casino

The famed Pioneer Club lays it on the line in this 1948 gaming guide;

“Maybe you’ll TAKE the SLOT MACHINES… or vice versa!” Nevermind the BS below that about being pleasantly surprised… Vice Versa it is, and by the time you leave, you will be well versed in the vices.

What Happened to the Restless Mouse?

After about 20 years, The Restless Mouse Novelty Company is packing it in. Closing our doors. Shutting down, shutting up, and moving on.

We are selling our remaining inventory on ebay, craigslist, the local auction house, basically, whatever works.

Ideally, in a few months, there will be room in the garage for a ping-pong table, or a Ferrari.

Hopefully, Teresa won’t fill it up with gardening stuff to convert the lean-to in the back yard into a “she shed”.

These are the sounds of your life

This was one of those yard sales with dozens of boxes o’crap on tables in the yard, most with no price. They had I think grandma sitting in the carport taking payment. She had no idea what this little box was, pushed the “Yee Haw” button and cracked up.

I lumped it in with all the junk my wife was getting and got it for a measley dollar! (Actually, free- Teresa paid for it)

The grandma asked what it was, I said it was just a little noise box to annoy my wife. I like to press the “fart” button during dinner.

The Future is now, sort of.

The February, 1956 edition of Town Journal magazine predicted cars would be controlled by devices embedded in the pavement. They didn’t see the advances in optics and electronics enabling self-driving cars to use any pavement.

Apparently game playing technology was not expected to improve- This family is playing dominos, I think. I don’t think they are even wearing seat belts. Who needs them when the car is driving?

The article was mostly about how electricity would make your life better. Television “screens” will hang on the walls. An electric heat pump will use outside air to cool your house in summer, heat it in winter. Also, Your food will cook in seconds instead of hours.

Aside from the fact that we don’t all drive Batmobiles, these predictions from “America’s Electric Light and Power Companies” are pretty accurate. I wonder what today’s power companies foresee for the year 2082.

Gingerbread boy is oblivious

U&I Sugar had a mascot, maybe only at Christmas? A gingerbread boy, smiling because he doesn’t know that his fate is sealed. This guy was in the 12-1-65 Everett Herald. You could send a U&I label and some money to get a cookie sheet, cake pan, either came with a “Gingerbread Boy Pattern”. (I thought it would be a cookie cutter?)

Apparently, they were trying to build product loyalty among people who like to bake.

U&I produced beet sugar for decades; ultimately cane sugar did them in. People preferred the taste of cane sugar, and bakers say it caramelizes better than beet sugar.

More about the U&I company here; https://worldhistory.us/american-history/the-history-of-ui-sugar-a-beet-sugar-powerhouse.php

More Mascots here; https://www.neverjethot.com/posts/tag/mascots/

Vintage K9

We found this old guy at the animal shelter, looking kinda pathetic because of allergies, according to our vet. We got some pills and eyedrops and special shampoo, now Cody is feeling better. He is enjoying having a back yard, and snoozing on the floor in my office, with no yips and yaps, no parade of humans who don’t recognize the value of an older dog.