Monday, October 31, 2011

Autumn in Warren County Pennsylvania, circa 1960

Photos taken by Dad with his Kodak Pony camera using slide film.  I just digitized these 5 photos.

It's a new dishwashing concept: Dishes actually dry in their own heat!

GE print ad from 1950.

Does the housewife have to be sold.....?

Mullins Manufacturing Company training film for salesman.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Boxer, a.k.a. Trina Marina McSheena

Boxer in May 1998.   A new member of the family.

Shortly after I got out of bed to take a walk this morning, Boxer scampered into the living – from where, I have no idea – and started meowing persistently.

”Want to go outside, Trina?” I asked, using the nickname I came up with a few years ago. (From Boxerina. To Boxerina the Trina Machina. To Trina Marina McSheena. Don’t ask me where these names come from. They just seem to pop out of my mouth during fits of nonsense rhyming.)

A rhetorical question, of course.

Even at 13, Boxer still enjoys spending the night outside. We know of other cats in the neighborhood who are given occasional free rein, a few of them even showing up in our yard.

“Trina, it looks like one of your buddies is here,” I call out whenever I see a feline visitor.

Cold weather generally doesn’t deter her. She balks only when there’s a covering of snow, surveying the ground through the glass of the storm door as though it’s a mystery of cat life she just can’t figure out.

This morning Boxer was ready to return indoors at the end of my walk. Once inside she started meowing fretfully.

“Don’t worry. I just filled your water dish,” I assured her.

That’s consistently one of her main complaints.

The sniveling continued, though, and when I walked into the living, Boxer was looking at the upholstered chair where JoAnna reads the newspaper each weekday morning before taking a shower. It’s Boxer’s habit to jump up on JoAnna’s lap during this quiet time.

“Ahh, Trina, your mama’s not here this morning,” I cooed. “I guess she’s deserted you,” I added in a more playful, almost taunting voice.

No wonder she’ll have nothing to do with me.

Boxer is most definitely a mama’s girl. In fact, JoAnna is the only person in the world she really likes and will allow to get close to her.

Keith's Magazine on Home Building: A Two-Story Bungalow

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Popular Baby Names: Sandra

Or Sandy, as the Sandras in the Warren Area High School class of 1968 were called.

The Sandra roll call.
Auditorium entrance.

Sandy Anderson

Sandy Campman

Sandy Casey

Sandy Cervola

Sandy Farrell

Sandra became an increasingly popular name in the 1920, moving from #689 in 1920 to #392 in 1929, then really took off in the 1930s, when it reached #13 by the end of the decade.  It spent all of the 1940s in the top ten.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Reorganizing Life's Accumulations

Since my retirement in the late summer of 2008, it seems as though one of my ongoing projects has been the organization – and subsequent reorganization – of various parts of the house: the linen closet, the two “guest bedroom” closets, the utility room cabinets and closet, the side hallway Techline installation, the garage shelves and cupboard, and the two desk areas (computer and rolltop) in the family room.

Can’t I get it right the first time? I’ve asked myself repeatedly.

Of course, everything in a particular area would stay in perfect order only if it was designated as permanently off limits. But how practical is that? Not at all.

Every time I go through this exercise, I have the opportunity to reconsider the need to keep certain items. Yesterday while putzing around in the garage – a favorite location the past week – I moved a large, domed-topped chafing dish from the top of a tall shelving unit to the center of the old kitchen counter we installed against the west wall of the garage interior. With this shift, I freed up some valuable space for three large plastic storage boxes. One of them contains four “week-at-a-glance” appointment books from 2002 through 2005, in which I had accumulated receipts, lists, and other odds and ends in a unique method of filing. (Which I abandoned in 2006.)

Do I really need this stuff? I asked myself. I never look at it.

Except when the mood to reorganize strikes.

Some of the appointment books contain journal summaries of the day’s activities, so they do retain some value – at least until I transcribe these notes.

A second container holds five or six scrapbooks – sketchbooks, actually – the pages of which are filled with clippings from the Warren Times-Observer, to which I have subscribed by mail since the late 1990s, even continuing to do so after the newspaper made its news content available online. Now I add articles of interest to a blog that I created in 2008, Retiring Guy’s Roots.

Here’s an example.

I won’t be able to dispose of the content of this box until I scan each page of the six sketchbooks. Definitely a “back-burner” project.

The third box contains a ten-year run of the Rand McNally Road Atlas, the oversized paperback edition, into which I have scotch-taped newspaper articles (mostly from The New York Times) that focus on specific cities and states. (Chicago: “A City’s Once-Lowly Bungalows Rise to Beloved Status”; “Deep in Elk Country, Pennsylvania”; Frisco, Texas: “In Exurbs, Life Framed By Hours Spent in the Car”.) Another of my “furniture-less” filing projects. Since I moved this project online – Retiring Guy’s File Drawer – my interest has waned, at least based on the number of posts I’ve made. 65 in 2008. 23 in 2009. 6 in 2010. None in 2011. It seems silly now to keep up this blog, one of seventeen I manage (with varying degrees of frequency and interest), when I can access archived articles from The New York Times without having to create my own collection. I don’t want to spend the entire day tethered to a computer. I have other things to do. Like reorganizing all the stuff I’ve accumulated in my life!