Friday, August 31, 2012

My Life's Itinerary.....So Far - Part 10

A 2006 photo of where I use to live in the '60's
  March of 1972 brings me back to Kennebunk, Maine, after my four year stint in the Air Force.  It has been over four years since I was living in Kennebunk, see My Life's Itinerary.....So Far - Part 2
A 2006 photo of my room in the '60's,
 it hadn't changed a bit!
  When I came back 'home', my old residence was gone.  At the time of entering the Air Force, I was living with my grandmother (my grandfather passed away while I was in high school).  While I was away, she sold the house in Kennebunk and settled into a retirement community in Saco, Maine.  I never thought about it until later, but all my 'stuff' that was in the house was now gone.  I suspect it was either thrown out, or packed up and stored in some forgotten place somewhere.  My biggest regret was not doing better by my grandmother by keeping in touch with her more frequently considering all she had done for me.  Sometimes being young and being stupid are synonymous.

A 2006 photo of my old workbench,
it didn't change much, either!

  I lived with a family that I had known all through my teen years.  I knew them through the local church my grandpparents and I attended.  I was treated like a member of the family and to this day I am considered a son and a brother.
  It was in Kennebunk that I met my first wife.  We lived in an apartment Kennebunk on Grove Street for a short time and then an apartment in Kennebunkport for awhile.  Then to a little cottage that was behind the home of friends for a short time where we also had our first child, a son named Aaron.  He was actually born in Portland, Maine.  It was pretty exciting being a new dad.  That is when I had the full realization of what it was like to 'learn as you go'!  The cottage wasn't really suitable for winter living, especially with a baby, so we moved again!  My grandmother didn't think much of the cottage that we were living in and she always referred to it as 'the shack' in a non-complimentary way.  So that is what we always called it, in fun.
  Within a couple years, we relocated to Sanford, Maine, I believe it was about 1974..

In July of 2006, I took a ride on my old street, Woodside Drive, and noticed that there was activity in my old house.  Someone was preparing to move into it.  I took the liberty of asking them if I could take pictures and they said yes.  It changed very little since I was a teen.  In retrospect, wish I took more pictures.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Marconi Would Be Proud...

Philco Model 46 circa 1946
They are waiting for me....
  For those that don't know it, I collect antique radios.  I have been doing that for a few years now.  However, I don't spend much time restoring them although I would like to.  Other things are always pre-empting my bench time with the radios. 
  The other day, I decided to sort out my transistor radios and repack them according to brand.  I previously went through my tube radios and they are patiently waiting on the shelf in their shrink wrap for my attention.  If all goes well, I will be tinkering on them soon, maybe commencing during the cold days of winter. 

Philco Model 48 circa 1948

  I have always guesstimated that I had between 100 and 200 radios, without knowing an exact count.  Yesterday, as I finished up my sorting, I came up with an actual grand total.  I was surprised to learn that I had 325 radios!  My wife, Lesley, has often indicated a lack of enthusiasm for my radios (and I for her many shoes) and that's ok.  I wasn't going to share with her the knowledge of how many radios I have, but I think full disclosure is always better in the long run.  She was surprised that I had 325 radios, but took it okay.  I thought she would rush right out and buy a couple hundred pairs of shoes, or dozens of handbags, but she didn't.....yet.
Grundig 2540 circa 1959
  Actually, I have restored a few radios and have been giving them as gifts to family members.  I also have a couple around the house.
  When I am testing a radio, or sometimes I will actually listen to it, I have it tuned to the local AM station that plays oldies.  That is the only thing you should hear coming out of an antique radio!

Who was Guglielmo Marconi?  Read more

Saturday, August 4, 2012

"Who's keeping an eye on Bobby?"

  Just a quick update on how I am doing with my 'PCoff' days.  I can proudly say that almost every week, there is one day (Sunday is the least painful) I use my computer very little or not at all.
  (I will be available for autographs and endorsement contract considerations)

With self-discipline most anything is possible. - Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Digress or Progress? - - That Is The Question...

  I have always considered myself a 'techy' kind of guy, but not extremely so.  I mean,  I like gadgets but not to the point of obsession.  Granted, I have five computers networked in my house, but they are necessities!  Really! *  Anyway, I don't have to have the fastest and best PC's.  I am content with my older PC's that still chug along with Windows XP, no matter how much I beat on them when I get a 'Not Responding' message.
Actually, there is one 'hi-tech' device that I am not fond of, and that is my cell phone.  As I may have mentioned before, this is a list of what I like from my cell phone:

1.  Make phone calls.

Pretty short list, eh?  However, to prove that my mind isn't closed to progress, I conceded to upgrading my phone to a 'smartphone'.  My justification was that I would be able to data stream music via Pandora and close my satellite radio account.  In theory, my plan seemed sound, however, I did not take into account that I travel a wide area and my cellular provider does not do a stellar job in providing coverage.  Hence, I couldn't always make a phone call, never mind trying to download music.  My Android phone was an interesting toy when I was able to wi-fi at home or in a restaurant, but I could not justify the cost for what I got in return.  So I did a lot of number crunching and even with paying an early termination penalty, I could close my account, and come out ahead of the game.  Not only that, I was able to get a good price for the phone on eBay.  Even better, I don't have to carry around two phones anymore, I set up my work phone to be used for a personal phone as well.  Do you think my technology digression ends there?  Non, non, Mon Ami!  We had two satellite radio accounts for our cars for about five years and have become less and less enchanted with it over time.  When we first got it, they touted "Commercial Free Radio!" which was exactly what I wanted.  However, in no time at all, commercials started popping up on different channels.  Not good.  Now their line was "Mostly Commercial Free Radio."  On top of that, my favourite channel, 'the 60's', had an annoying DJ in the morning always yammering on and, even worse, had people calling in as well (I'm sure they were calling from asylums).  Also, all the channels were always 'plugging' their upcoming programs.  I found myself constantly hitting the preset buttons to find music, just like I use to do with regular FM radio.  So I'm thinking, "Heck, if I have to keep station jumping, I might as well be doing it on free radio, not paid radio.  I cancelled both satellite subscriptions.  On the other hand, I love Pandora radio and listen to it all the time at home and wish I could get it in the cars.  Maybe someday.
  You know, this blogging stuff is very therapeutic!  I feel much better now, thanks!

* PC for me. / PC for my wife. / PC for the living room [in case I need to look up something on the IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base)]. / PC for the workshop. / PC for the guest room.