Wednesday, October 31, 2012

AC Spark Plugs: Easier Starting, Smoother Firing

Residential Street Scene in Hollywood, California (Postcard Series)

October 31, 1991

On my weekly calendar of things to do, Thursday is a blank.  And since it's Halloween, business is way off.  Shoulda woulda coulda taken the day off.

Susan McCarthy, from Arlington County Library, calls for a reference.  I say all sorts of wonderful things about Sharon, and the caller is pleased with my openness.  She must have previously dealt with some less than forthcoming people.

Bad weather reduces Andy's haul this year.  At 9 o'clock, I settle into bed to watch Alfred Hitchcock but fall asleep before the end of the opening credits.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Main Avenue Bridge, Cleveland, Ohio (Postcard Series)

Main Avenue Bridge (Cleveland Memorial Shoreway Bridge)

Main Avenue Bridge in Cleveland is aging well.  (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/5/2010)

Main Avenue Bridge suddenly closed to truck and bus traffic in Cleveland, ODOT says. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/18/2012)

Cleveland's Main Avenue bridge awaits emergency repairs to aging steel supports.  (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10/13/2012)

Can You Profit by Their Mistakes?

July 1954

DLH excerpt:  Correspondence schools and courses have a long history in the educational development of students around the world. It has offered millions of people the chance to pursue their educational goals without actually physically attending a school. It has allowed them the ability to advance their education while in remote areas of the world or as parents or employees to busy to attend a school. While correspondence schools are not for everyone, it has a long history of success. Nowadays, correspondence courses have virtually been replaced by online learning using the computer.

October 30, 1991

My biggest concern today is the result of last night's Finance Committee meeting.  Right now I'm pretty resigned to the fact none of the library's decision items will be approved.  What I fear is the slash-and-burn mentality that Tim described last week.  I am relieved to discover no cuts reflected in the minutes.  Tim reports that the committee spent its time reviewing the capital budget.

"How do you think the library's request would have fared had it not been withdrawn?"

"I'm not sure what they would have approved," he responds.  "That's something you can't do without."

But who knows what will happen next year if Tom Ullsvik decides not to run for re-election.

I pick up Andy at daycare and fix a spaghetti supper.

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29, 1991

LINK is one big happy family now that Pete Hamon has volunteered to be Sugar Daddy, at least for 1992.  Jo Zipsie is euphoric and even Peter Niemi speaks in favor of cooperation.

I take an extended afternoon break -- more taping and notebook reorganization -- and return to work the info desk.  The teen queens are no-shows, but Chris Robbins, Brian Long, and John Chancy form a goofy trio that keeps the periphery of my vision occupied.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

For Adjustable Wrenches the Name is Utica

Popular Mechanics October 1952

History of the Utica Drop Forge and Tool Corporation.  By the 1950 and 1960s, a story of buyouts and abandonment.

The Wanamaker Store, Philadelphia (Postcard Series)

Opened in 1911

October 28, 1991

Once again Sharon is checking out the job market.  She responded to an advertisement in Hotline for an opening in Arlington County, Virginia.  I begin to reconsider the approach to children's services at the Middleton Public Library.

Since tomorrow is a busy day, JoAnna decides to celebrate my birthday tonight.  She stops at Sentry to pick up a couple of rotisserie chickens, potato salad, and tater tots.  She also buys a peanut butter pie at Perkins.  I receive some nice presents:  a sweater from JoAnna, a blue chamois shirt from Andy (which turns out to be a size too small), and a coffee grinder from Barb.  Mom and Dad send me a hideous shirt and tie, though.  When they ask me how I like them, I halfheartedly respond, "Oh, they're nice."   I call them after supper since they had called yesterday as Andy and I were leaving for the grocery store.

TV is disappointing.  Murphy Brown is especially weak, Northern Exposure just plain dumb in its desperate efforts to be different.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Free Library of Philadelphia (Postcard Series)

Old Man with Disembodied Head and Big Ears Sez, "I'll show you how you can earn $10 per hr. spare time!"

Popular Mechanics, October 1952

Clock Tower Building, Rock Island Arsenal (Postcard Series)

October 27, 1991

We return to Middleton before 5.  JoAnna and I have started to talk more seriously about our December schedules and a holiday without Barb's oppressive omnipresence.  I spend the evening watching the World Series after finishing a paint-by-numbers police procedural, Exceptional Clearance.

Friday, October 26, 2012

October 26, 1991

After an uneventful day -- it rains nonstop practically, no chance to go for a walk to the park -- JoAnna and I spend the evening at her 10-year high school reunion.  I manage to find someone in my predicament -- Dan from Green Bay whom I met earlier at Gonya's -- and we watch game 6 of the World Series in the bar.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 25, 1991

I drive JoAnna to her meeting at the Radisson on Odana Road, Andy to daycare, and myself to Durrant, holding off my arrival at the final destination after cashing my check and buying a few items at Pic-a-Book.  Donovan has adjusted the schedule, and I have no objection to his changes.  Sometimes though I just have to wonder how effective a presenter Donovan is going to be.   I remember so clearly how mealy-mouthed he was in front of the Plan Commission.

After a visit to Second Hand Books, where I buy some records and tapes, I make an appearance at the library.

Until it's time to leave, I pack the van and do some calendar squares.  I'm a little bit late leaving the house to pick up JoAnna and Andy on our to Two Rivers.  Eddie sleeps until nearly 4.  While I'm sitting at my desk, Barb presents Eddie to me as is.  His one-piece outfit is soaked around the middle.  Just one more reason to get Barb out of the house before Christmas.

Sitting in Larry and Alice's basement, I quickly turn invisible.  JoAnna's friends arrive and she neglects to introduce me.  I get the message and join her dad upstairs.  He's watching a couple romp all over someone's apartment.  We never catch the title of the movie, but it's obviously some Fatal Attraction clone.

At midnight I decide to go to bed so I'll be able to get up with the boys.  Somehow. though, I manage to sleep in.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

When a Car Battery Needed Water Only 3 Times a Year

Popular Mechanics

October 24, 1991

Is it post-award letdown?  An incipient case of Middleton burnout?  I'm not really very enthusiastic today, but I do conduct an effective Area Leaders meeting.   We're all agreed on how to deal with the noise issues; we're not a study hall.  Sharon reiterates her willingness to participate in the Saturday rotation again, which will begin in June.  I fast-forward to September.  Do we cut programming so I don't have to work every other Saturday?

When I return home, JoAnna is ready for bed.  She's not feeling well.  I fix myself 2/3s of a martini, which supplies me with a knockout punch at 8:00.  I crash, the excitement of the World Series not even registering.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pennsylvania Turnpike through the Aliquippa Gap (Postcard Series)

Who else wants to make a week's pay in a single day with the "Midget Miracle" Presto Fire Extinguisher?!

Popular Mechanics

October 23, 1991

I meet with Pete Hamon, Julie and Phyllis at the SCLS office to review Pete's draft of the "sugar daddy" alternative to automation.  After about two hours of discussion, Julie works herself up into a lather over Pete's alleged used-up credibility.  He reacts as though he's just been punched in the stomach.  Automation planning seems to do strange things to people.

The afternoon at Middleton is uneventful.  At 5, I make an appearance at the Finance Committee meeting to withdraw the capital budget request, which better not turn out to be premature, and make a plea for the library's decision items.

I pick up Andy at daycare.  About 9 or so, I fix myself a deluxe burger and then veg out for the rest of game 4 of the World Series.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pennsylvania Turnpike: America's Dream Highway Entrance (Postcard Series)

Study: PA Turnpike Has Longest Stretch Of Highway Without An Exit. (CBS Philly, 8/26/2011)

Excerpt: The navigation aid company TomTom used its database to measure distances between exits on the nation’s highways and two of the longest stretches are in Western Pennsylvania — 35 miles between Somerset and Bedford and 25 miles between Plainfield and Blue Mountain.

Bites Out, Pleasure's In with Prince Albert Tobacco

October 1952

Prince Albert in a can

October 22, 1991

I spend the morning taping tunes and otherwise putzing around.  During most of the afternoon, I stare at my workroom computer and continue to my nuts and bolts notes.  I've been ignoring this project for the past three weeks.  I take an early supper break so I can be at the reference desk from quarter of 5 to closing.  Chris Robbins just about drives me berserk.  Then the senior teen queens take their turn.  I walk home feeling exhausted and trying to bury the thought that I'm overpolicing the library.  I watch the final innings of the World Series (game 3) before going to sleep.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Put Your Foot Down and Insist on Gold Seal Linoleum Tile

Still going strong 60 years later.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Interchange (Postcard Series)

October 21, 1991

Back to a normal routine after three days on cloud nine last week.

As a result of the domino-theory rumors regarding automation funding, a call to Tom Ullsvik is high on my list of things to do.  I still sense that I have his support, though I have no idea how that will translate into dollars by the time the 1992 budget is finalized.  In regards to an unrelated issue, he suggests that I attend the City Hall Building Committee meeting later in the day to address the need for a clear picture as to what the library's role will be in the temporary relocation of staff.  The consensus is that the meeting room will be used for council and committee meetings.

After supper I take Andy shopping for a Halloween costume.  We find a Turtle outfit, but not with Michaelangelo colors.  Only Donatello is available in his size, and I convince him that it's the best choice.  I also buy him a "laser" sword, which gives him such a charge that by the next morning the batteries are already dead.

Does this guy have a hole in his memory or what?  Back to a normal routine?  Not until I have to deal with a dead car battery, wait for a truck from a nearby service station stop by to give me a jump, drive Andy to daycare since JoAnna wanted to get to work early.  Andy must not have closed the passenger door all the way after returning from his trip to Marshall Park with Auntie Barbara and Eddie.  And of course Barb would never know to check.  Two more months.  At least I'm plugging for a pre-Christmas release.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wow! What a Bite!

Standard Tool Factory (1939)

Boston Avenue Methodist Church, Tulsa (Postcard Series)

I'm Only Drink What Rhymes

Oskar Blues Brewery, Colorado USA

October 20, 1991

Sunday is basically a quiet and relaxing stay-at-home kind of time.  JoAnna and I finish up the yardwork.  I draw the line at digging up and turning over the garden area with a mattock.  Maybe we can rent a rototiller after all the leaves have fallen, I suggest.  After lunch, Andy and I ride our bikes to Marshall  Park.  (Eddie comes along, too.)  This is quite an undertaking for a 4 year old, and although he complains a little bit on the way home, he holds up very well.  As a result of our hour and a half of outdoor activity, both boys take long naps and I even doze off for a little bit during the late afternoon.

JoAnna fixes a fantastic supper:  roast chicken, dressing, mashed potatoes.  After kitchen cleanup, I catch glimpses of Game 2 of the World Series while continuing to force myself to get into what I'm beginning to consider a much overpraised new novel by Pete Dexter, "Brotherly Love".

Friday, October 19, 2012

October 19, 1991

There's work to do.  I start the laundry, then , around midmorning, go food shopping with Andy. Barb comes along; she announced earlier that she has to buy some bras at Penney's.

During the afternoon, I finish installing the storm windows, a three-hour chunk of time.  While JoAnna and Andy are pulling up flowers, I pour myself a martini and chuckle my way through the last third of Native Tongue.

A delicious supper (pork chops and sauerkraut, boiled potatoes and steamed carrots) interrupts my progress.

Shortly after midnight, Andy starts to cry inconsolably.  I ignore the intrusion but end up moving to the TV room when Andy joins us in bed.  At first I just sack out on the couch, but then after a couple of hours of very broken sleep, I open the hideabed so I can stretch out my body without any impediments. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh (Postcard Series)

Make Friends with Marvel Mystery Oil

Popular Mechanics

60 years later....

October 18, 1991

After seeing JoAnna off, I attend a brief WAPL spring conference planning meeting. I need to visit a TYME machine before finding a place to eat breakfast. I end up at Big Boy in the Grand Avenue Mall.  The western omelet I'm served is a bit on the runny side and the cheese has a somewhat unreal quality to it.  Once my stomach is filled and my head is buzzing with caffeine, I take the escalator to the third level food court and describes the events of Wednesday on the back of four picture postcards.  Waiting for Sharon and Julie, I mingle with folks in the Hyatt lobby.

Outside of Sharon's whistling windshield, I enjoy the return trip to Madison.  I could have blown off the rest of the day, but I decide to do my catch-up stuff at the library now instead of Monday morning.  JoAnna and I return home at the same time. We're so happy to see our boys.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

You Can't Do a Bad Paint Job with New Gold Bond Velvet!

Popular Mechanics

No longer manufactured, apparently.  

What do you think is included in the results when I Google "gold bond"?

I'm sure you don't need a hint, but I'll give you one anyway.

No, Bill, it's #1.

Custom House, Boston (Postcard Series)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Los Angeles County Beach, Santa Monica (Postcard Series)

The "Ingenious" MistoMatic Windshield Washer

The perfect 1952 stocking stuffer for Dad or Mom.

Yes, boys and girls, once upon a time, an automobile's windshield washer delivery system used to be an option,  not standard equipment