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Sep 26, 2016

Another edition of.. Holy crap I AM turning into my parents!

No need for deep philosophical discussion on this topic, but here's a few things I've noticed about myself lately..

New music sounds like crap to me
I kid you not, even the so called good music doesn't sound good to me at all.  I hear maybe half a dozen songs a year from new artists that I like.  I find myself ever more listening to older music from the 50's through the 80's and sorely missing the good old days. 

I have more coupons in my wallet than money
I may not be loaded with scrilla, but by god.. I can get a heck of a good deal on two pizzas with garlic bread, or a four wheel tire rotation and alignment!

I get irritated with cheaply made products
My regular readers know what I'm talking about.  I sometimes get on rants for days about cheap plastic crap that Wal-Mart sells.  Whether it's a cheap sprinkler, a spatula, or hair dryer, I'm steadily buying more and more vintage items for everyday use, and laughing all the way to the bank.

Fast food doesn't taste as good as it used to
Two years ago I was the king of fast food, and even had a web-site dedicated to artery pounding monstrosities that I had conquered.  Due to a health scare, I've greatly changed my eating habits since that time.  When I do dine on fast food..  it really doesn't do anything for me.  Well.. except for maybe giving me an upset stomach, and feelings of guilt for treating my body like a tent rather than a temple. 

I'm more at peace with the way I look
Everyone has things about their appearance that they don't like.  Suddenly this year, none of my old personal hang ups seem to matter as much as they used to.  Life is too short to sweat superficial things, and it will just take away from a whole lot of living I need to do.

I guess these things aren't necessarily bad, just a wake up call that I've really changed, and will probably continue to do so as I get older.  The thought of becoming more like my parents used to horrify me, but now I don't view it as a bad thing.  If I ever start mowing the lawn in slippers and black socks however, someone will need to slap me.

Sep 19, 2016

The retro phrase.. "Light a match"

Light a Match
[ lyght - a - mach ]

retro phrase
  1. The act of striking a match and letting it burn after one is finished expelling bodily waste. A means of bathroom etiquette used to eradicate unpleasant lingering odors produced by ones own excrement.

I'll let you in on a little secret.  I sometimes challenge myself to use various retro phrases in my daily context five times during a day.  Surprisingly, I found that the phrase "Light a match" wasn't too hard to work into conversation.  Living in a house with a family of five, and given some of the guys I work with..  the task was indeed all too easy.

I remember this phrase being used quite a bit when I was a young boy.  I also recall lots of people practicing this nearly extinct form of bathroom etiquette.  As memories go, family gatherings and parties stand out the most, in regards to this.  When my family used to get together, the house would literally be bursting at the seams.  We'd have spreads of food big enough to feed a small army, and everyone always ate their fill.  Shortly after dessert was when foot traffic to the bathroom steadily began increasing.  In fact, it's probably safe to say that the commode was pretty much occupied for the rest of the evening.

I remember some of my aunts telling their husbands discreetly to "light a match" after they were finished.  My uncles on the other hand, would not so discreetly say things to the kids like..  "Geezaloo! Get back in this bathroom and light a match!".  That type of bathroom humor always got everyone in earshot laughing their heads off.

Mind you, the smell of sulfur dioxide burning from the tip of a match isn't the most pleasant odor.  However, it sure beats what lingers in the air after a person is done making a deposit, or.. taking a load off of their mind.  The sulfur overpowers and even knocks out the toughest of stench.  Although.. I've known a few folks who could stand to light an extra match after they're done vacating the premises.

I can only relate the decline in this practice to a matchbook shortage.  Back in the day, virtually every business gave away free matchbooks.  My old man always had matchbook's in his cars, the garage, the junk drawer, the medicine cabinet, and he didn't even smoke.

I've got to say, this is one of my old man's habits that has indeed rubbed off on me, and yes.. I keep a matchbook in my bathroom at all times.  On occasion, the kids walk into the bathroom, hold their nose, and complain about the smell of a struck match.  I just laugh and kindly remind them that they should be thanking me for doing this.

Sep 12, 2016

Older is better! Example #126.. Lawn sprinklers

I've lived in my home for about a decade and a half now, and this afternoon I realized something. I have a pile of sprinklers and none of them work efficiently. That is.. if they still work at all. What's worse, is that I can't even begin to count the ones that I've thrown away over the years!

Over the last nine years I've bought oscillating sprinklers, stationary sprinklers, pulsating sprinklers, adjustable sprinklers, misting sprinklers, rain wave sprinklers, traveling tractor sprinklers, spinning sprinklers, rotary sprinklers, impulse sprinklers, and fun sprinklers for the kids to play in.

Heck, it feels like I could have gotten a sprinkler system installed for all of the money I've wasted on the garbage I've bought at Home Depot, Lowes, and Wal Mart over the last fifteen summers! I'm embarrassed to say I spent $60.00 on a sprinkler I bought last year which is now broken this season.

Do you know how many sprinklers my parents owned while I was growing up? One. That's right.. ONE metal sprinkler. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times.. things are simply not built to last anymore. I've had sprinklers break simply from one summer of sitting in the sun, or even by just pulling them from the ground. I'm SO sick of buying inferior, cheaply made products made half way around the world!

I almost went to Home Depot to buy yet another disposable sprinkler, but when I realized what I was doing, I slapped myself upside the head. Instead, I'm going to follow suit once again with something I've been doing more as of late, and that is buying vintage. I'm going to visit a few thrift stores to try and find an old school sprinkler. You know.. the ones from the 50's, 60's, or 70's that you might still see in your parents or grandparents garage. They're made out of aluminum or steel, have no cheap plastic parts, and were constructed in the good old U.S.A. If I can't find them in the second hand stores, then I will buy one off of eBay where they're more than abundant.

Depending on the item, buying retro is definitely the way to go if you want true staying power. Our society used to have a much different view of consumerism several decades ago. Things used to be made to last, so you could spend your hard earned money on more important things. Even when things did break, you could easily obtain replacement parts to fix them. If it were a bit out of your grasp to do a repair on something like an appliance, you could then take the item to a fix-it shop, or somewhere else to get it repaired. Throwing things away was a last resort when I was a kid. It always makes me feel a bit better about myself when I can reduce unnecessary waste going into landfills. Who'd of thought going retro could be a form of sustainability in itself!?!

How about you? Are there vintage items you personally prefer to use over new ones?  Are you fed up with the state of consumerism in regards to cheap and inferior products?  If so, feel free to chime in.

Sep 6, 2016

Aug 19, 2016

The Casa Bonita Experience.. ( In 60 Seconds )

A trip I took last week to the kitschy and fun Colorado Mexican restaurant known as 'Casa Bonita'.  Enjoy..

Aug 8, 2016

Heart warming thrift store finds..

I hate having to peruse thrift stores in a rushed fashion, but it can't be helped sometimes.  Here are some great finds I came across during a whirlwind retro treasure hunt one day. While I didn't buy every item pictured, I still found a couple bargains and spotted a few retro items that made me reminisce.

unused CRAIG handheld tape recorder $1.99

A technological device that has been far removed from society as of late.  There are many applications that this can be used in this day and age (I just need to find them).  My kid in college may be able to use this for recording lectures, and I might be able to utilize it if I interview anyone for a blog piece.

0.50¢ for a Frankie Yankovic polka album!

Rich and soulful Oktoberfest tunes!

 1974 Avon Barber pole cologne decanter $1.99

originally held 3 ounces of 'Wild Country' aftershave

70's Nut jar

70's Handmade coaster set.

I remember all kinds of folks being pretty crafty back in the day.  It's something that has made a comeback in recent years, and is pretty refreshing to see.  Heck.. my daughter is making her own jewelry, crocheting hats & head bands, and is getting ready to open her own Etsy store to sell her items in.

This item reminded me of the days when I had my own calligraphy and stationary sets as a kid.  This 'Gift-Maker' textile decorating paint set is just an example of how much more creative and artistic folks strived to be back in the day.  With this kit, you could create beautiful designs on aprons, purses, handkerchiefs, gloves, and all kinds of other clothing.

I collect beer steins, and my heart almost skipped a beat when I saw this mug.  Alas.. upon further inspection, it was made in Brazil rather than in Germany.

And finally, while it's not a retro item.. I found this Game-Boy Advance for 99 cents.  I wasn't sure if it worked or not, but seeing as there was a game cartridge still inside of it, I figured it was worth the gamble.

I got it home and put batteries in it to find it worked perfectly.  All I needed to do was buy a battery compartment door for it.  The door will cost me more than the unit and game cost, but in the end.. I'll only be into this thing for under $5.00.  Pretty good deal considering I've paid $50.00 for a used system with no game in the past for my daughter!

Not a bad outing, even though I was a bit rushed.  It's when I'm able to take my time in thrift stores and flea markets that I can really uncover some great finds.  Hopefully my next outing will produce even better results.

Aug 1, 2016

Exotica, Polka, and Cha Cha, Oh My!

Retro treasure hunting has paid off in a big way for me over the years, especially in regards to music.  Check out these albums I came across not too long ago for the cost of just 29¢ each..

This is a double album set with 20 of the greatest hits from one of the pioneers of Exotica music.. Les Baxter!

Another patriarch of Exotica music.. Arthur Lyman.  I'll tell you.. there's nothing better than sitting on the patio in the summer, sipping a Mai Tai, and relaxing to the soothing sounds of Martin Denny, Les Baxter, and Arthur Lyman.  I've already tested out these albums, and they play perfectly.  Once I get these ripped and uploaded to my iPod, I'll be able to jump into a tropical mindset no matter the season in this land locked state of Colorado.

I bought this one for Schnitz & Giggles

Not that I'm huge fan of polka or anything, but I do dig listening to it around Oktoberfest.  Ahh.. I can picture myself now filling up my Das Boot with Warsteiner Dunkel, eating Bretzels, Bock-wurst, und Sauerkraut, and listening to some good old fashioned Oompa music!

 If you don't love a good Cha Cha Cha.. then you need to get your pulse checked!

I didn't buy this one, 
but was perplexed by the album cover..

So there you have it.  Five way cool albums that play like they're brand new.  I basically got hours upon hours of listening pleasure for the cost of $1.45.  Most of the time I buy maybe one out of one hundred albums I like at thrift stores, because they're so badly damaged.  These albums I found on this particular day were grouped together by themselves, so I'm wondering if they were owned by the same person since they're in such pristine condition.

Oh.. and pictured below is one more throwback from the recent past for you.  An album hearkening back to a time when kids loved to be as active as they could.  They were hyper and energetic, and it wasn't due to having A.D.D.  I wonder, would the kids of today dig something like this in 2016?