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Color me recycled

I was going through some stuff in the garage, and I found this McNeilus garbage truck coloring book.

What happened was, when I was working ordering parts for a Waste Management repair garage, I had recently been laid off from an airplane factory (guess where!)

So when someone needed parts, I would absentmindedly ask, “What airplane is this for?” instead of the truck number. Word got around, and the administrative lady that worked up in the office dug around and found this coloring book to help me remember. (Waste Management people are the best, always improving things and solving problems.)

I never colored in it though. It was to cool to ruin that way, I didn’t have a “Waste Management Green*” crayon, and oh yeah, I’m a grown-ass man.

*They do make “Waste Management Green” spray paint- it’s to cover up graffiti on dumpsters.

Don’t throw the radio in the river

My dad bought this model GE radio for my mom, I think for their anniversary? They were listening to it at the breakfast table, it woke me up so I got the treat of having a pre-dawn bacon and egg breakfast with my parents. This was much better than fighting over the Quisp or Cap’n Crunch when all the other Everett brats were up.

I think it was 1967 because they were playing “Ode to Billy Joe”, so I was 7. I don’t know when the radio made the transition from the kitchen nook to the garage, sadly I have inherited it (It was in the back of a closet and hardly plays, I guess dad didn’t have the heart to chuck it, sentimental reasons.)

They make a rebuild kit to make it play AM good as new, and a kit to make it function as a bluetooth speaker; but the handle is broken. I have no idea how a double stitched leather strap breaks right across the top, but this one did. There is also paint on the case but I could clean that off. They made this model for years so maybe I could find a good one for parts. Stay, uh, tuned.

Flicko the very bad light switch

You have to decide. Lie in the dark with Flicko, or flick his snotty red nose to make the lights come on?

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.

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.

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/

QFC King deposed?

The QFC King mascot

This ad from a Dec. 1963 “Prudence Penny” insert in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
indicates that this is the first Christmas for the little QFC king.

For all I know, it may have been his last. Perhaps his oddly trimmed mustache did not play well among the upper middle class housewives that shopped there. Along the way, QFC took over smaller chains, then in turn they were acquired by Kroger’s. I guess they lost the quirky charm along the way. I think someone in our family still has one of the 98 cent fruitcakes featured in this circular.

Happy to be playing again

I got caught up in bidding frenzy and wound up buying this old Zenith Trans-Oceanic at the Saturday auction for forty bucks.

I figured to put a kit in that bypasses the old capacitors and the power tube, but no need! It plays perfectly here, at least on AM radio. I haven’t picked up any shortwave, but didn’t try that hard yet.

I found the original manual and schematic tucked inside. It was originally owned by a man named Delbert. Boy, you don’t meet too many Delberts these days. I plan to add a dial light and bluetooth; because that’s what Delbert would want.

Also I’ll run a wire antenna out the window, and stay up late some night, bet it will pull in KGO down in San Francisco, as my Orange GE AM radio did with the wire antenna added, when I was a kid staying up at night listening to KING, KOOL, and KJR battle it out for our hearts and minds.

DO YOUR BEST or I will do my worst

I was in the Cub Scouts a million years ago. Still smarting from my parents selling my train set to pay for the uniform which I did not want to wear anyway.

I think we got on our den mother’s nerves. One time she was driving kids home in her behemoth station wagon, and piped up with, “Let’s play a game! See if you can not make a sound as long as the light is red!” I thought, what a stupid game! There is no skill in it! Anyone can do THAT!

I lost.