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Monday, 21 November 2016
A couple vintage finds
Topic: Retro Rules!

A few weeks ago I went to a Vintage Clothing show and sale and got a couple things. I've already posted pictures of the skirt and dress. There were also a few vintage fashion and style books -ones that outlined rules for "correct dress for all occasions" and clothing etiquette and other crap. paging through these books of arcane dressing rules makes me happy the 1960's social upheavals happened and rendered these books irrelevant. There were a few knitting books and a few vintage sewing patterns. There were the usual culprits: the Simplicity Jiffy caftan and the Simplicity Jiffy dress and sleeveless coat were well represented and a couple unusual ones that are hard to find. I got the unusual items and ended up with three patterns and one book.

Nothing says 1980's like the TV show Dynasty; and nothing says 1980's excess like the clothes worn on the show. This is a pattern from a line made by the show's costume designer. The patterns were based on some of the costumes worn by the two leading ladies, evil Joan Collins and nice Linda Evens.  This is a nice Linda Evens dress and it exemplifies every 1980's excess: the excessive draping everywhere, the excessive emphasis on the shoulders (and yes, the pattern has instructions for making shoulder pads) and the excessive bat wing sleeves. There's a cowl in the back for the times you want your dress to have a hood.

The suggested fabrics are polyester jersey and "Qiana" registered trademark of some chemical company. Qiana is a type of micro-denier nylon that was notorious for producing static electricity. I was in a fashion show where we wore these dresses and as we passed on the runway our dresses would cling to each other and few produced sparks and snap, crackle pop noises. The long dress takes nearly 5 yards if fabric. The short dress takes three and a half.

This dress could be made modern by sewing up the sides of the bodice and getting rid of the dolman batwing thing and made sleeveless. The shoulder pads would need to be eliminated to make it modern. It would still look 80's -but more of a revival rather than out of date.

From the era of "Mad Men" comes this dress. It's a transitional style -very late 1950's very early 1960's. I think the model on the envelope looks like Betty Draper -I can see her wearing this for one of her swanky dinner parties.  The title "instand dress" is something I have seen only once before. What it means is that you unfold the pattern tissue paper, place the whole sheet on your fabric and then cut the paper and fabric at the same time. No complex laying out. The instructions also say to trace all pattern markings using a wheel and dressmaker's carbon paper before cutting. It's only "instant" once and it requires you to find the correct width fabric. It only worked on 36 inch wide fabric. The dress itself is very simple to sew and comes with a reccomended pattern to purchase of you want a crinoline petticoat to wear underneath.

This dress would require nothing to make it work today -other than omitting the crinoline. And the wrist gloves. 

 There's something glamorous and elegant about the ladies on the Vogue patterns. You just KNOW they are going to a chic dining place or visiting some other elegantly dressed and coiffed ladies in a chic and elegantly appointed apartment in the city. A dress like this would have been categorized as "afternoon formal" which is why it is pictured with long gloves. This pattern came with a woven cloth "vogue special design" label -and it's still in the envelope but turned yellow from the acid in the papers. This one comes with a pattern for "skirt stiffening interlining" meaning a layer of netting between the lining and the skirt. The one-shoulder draped bodice is bias cut and the pieced skirt has six pattern pieces. It takes over 7 yards of 36 inch wide fabric. You lay out one full width layer of fabric, cut it at the halfway length, lay the second layer over the first, right sides together.The instruction page is three sheets, which is unusual for a pattern of the era. Back then you got one sheet and minimal instructions.

This style would work today in the long version only. The bodice could be made with a re-embroidered lace overlay and lots of sparkling bling added. A large glitzed up motif added to the shoulder with the drapery would be perfect. The dress would look classically elegant and not dated at all. The short dress is too much for daytime but could work for semi formal or as a bridesmaid or wedding guest dress. 

You can't knit a dress in a day, I don't care what the book cover says. These are all knitted with extra large 15 and 20 mm needles and anywhere from four to eight strands of yarn used together. They call the needles "jumbo Jet" needles. These dresses are -um -how to word it nicely? Um -Hideous? yeah, let's be honest. They are hideous and unlike the sewing patterns could never be made modern or worn as dresses. A couple could be turned into cozy warm sweaters for wearing in the winter with leggings, but only after a bit of shortening in length. There's a couple mens' sweaters that are not hideous.  I think the nicest pattern in the whole book is this hockey sweater for guys and boys"

There's a reciept from Coles on Yonge Street Toronto in it. The book was 45¢, 49 with tax. The binding is tight, there's no cracks in the spine and it appears as if the book was never opened again after purchased. The reciet had been there so long that it turned several pages yellow. 

As nice as vintage patterns are they don't always work in modern times. Some can be modified, and a few the basic shapes don't change through the decades as much as accessories change, while some are so tied to looks and the social pressures the era that they can't be updated. And a few -like sleeveless mini dresses made for summer out of cashmere and wool neven made sense even back in their era. 

Posted by lincatz at 10:51 AM EST
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Friday, 27 September 2013
Old needlework things!
Topic: Retro Rules!

Know what's weird? Going through someone else's life in the form of the stuff in their house. You can find cool things, weird things, WTF things, treasured things, important things, loved things, ignored things and amusing things. You can find things that tell you things about the person that you never knew before. You can find things that tell you TMI. And sometimes you can find things that you just know were left behind so they could be found years later to amuse and entertain and to say "now there's a blast from the past!" and have a bit of a laugh.

My mother in law had a chest filled with craft supplies including sewing baskets, needles, threads, old yarns that the insects got to, knitting needles, charts from completed cross stitch and crewel projects and more.  There were several needlework magazines in a bundle with a note on top -for Linda and Heather -all had baby patterns and one had a squirrel pattern.  In a lower drawer was a bag with the note For Linda on it.  It was an old bag, from a chain of shoe stores that no longer exists. Inside was something that I mentioned on my blog the she read and that she found very amusing. 

 Yup, there it is in all it's polyester glory! I didn't think it existed anywhere anymore. but I was wrong!  A bolt from the blue! Or rather a small bolt of  beige polyester double-knit crimpilene! It's worse that I remember. Not only is it oddly thick, surprisingly spongy and weirdly wiry -it's also incredibly itchy and scratchy! I've got wool tweeds that are less scratchy!  It's more miserable than I recall. And it's ALL MINE!!! 

So what can be done with vintage polyester crimpilene?  I'm thinking about a purse or bag of some type.  There's no way I will ever wear the fabric from hell, but it's too cool and weird to let sit another second ignored, unloved and forgotten in a drawer. I know of lots of places on line with old vintage embroidery patterns for vintage wool. But also in the bag was something even more worse than I remember! 


Yes, it's the ORIGINAL Phentex yarn. In all its hideous glory! In colors not seen since the glory days of 1975.  This yarn is quite different from what's sold now. This yarn actually pulls apart into strands -much like embroidery floss.  So I'm going to hunt down and old embroidery pattern and stand the phentex and make a vintage embroidered bag.  I'll see if I can find some of those large wooden handles, vintage wooden beads (which I have already) and a few other vintage looking things and make myself a tribute to 1975!

And next: Who hasn't grabbed the handle of the teapot only to burn their delicate skin because the hot tea has made the pot's handle hot?  Well, no on, really. The handle doesn't get unbearably hot and anyone who can't take a bit of heat is a wuss. But if you are a wuss or it HAS happened to you then I found a book full of vintage teapot handle covers. Yes, people knitted things for the teapot handles.  So instead of being just hot it is now how and slippery! This guy is buttoned over the handle of your pot by his acorn and by buttons on his paws.  He's adorable!

And last, here's a neat little wooden squirrel pin.  It's adorable!  I knew it existed because she said that she got something in the spring and it's small and wood and something right up my alley.  When John pulled it out of a drawer and showed it to me and Dave I knew exactly what it was. Squirrel girls need a squirrel pin!

There's a whole house full of things to go through.  When the cleaning up is done we'll do a bit of painting, replace a couple things and put the place up for sale. As wonderful it is to look through things from the past sometimes it's best to let the big parts of the past go and let someone make a new past and fill a place with new memories, and maybe fifty years from now someone like me will be going through someone else's past and be amused by what we see as contemporary and she sees and vintage and retro. 

Posted by lincatz at 10:44 AM EDT
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Friday, 19 November 2010

Topic: Retro Rules!

Now that my drains are all draining, my water is nice and hot and there are no more puddles of any type in my sewing room, It's time to get back to creating things. I made myself a whole bunch of notions and tools, like pressing hams, sleeve rolls, pincushions and the like, and recently unexciting things like notions, pajamas and night clothes have been what has occupied my interest.  Sometimes if I'm not inspired by exciting thing or if I don't have a lot of original ideas I turn to the basics. I always need jammies and undies, everyone does!

But it's not exciting.  So I go out and look for inspiration.  And sometimes I find it in odd places.  For EG, a couple really old Christmas catalogues, like the Eaton's Christmas 1973 book and Sears 1979 Wish book. There are some hideous things, and a few that are fashion classics, and some that bring back memories. Such as these: 

This is from a very old 1973 Eaton's Christmas catalogue.  When I was 13 I wanted coat 1 or coat three in the "boot top length"  I got number 1, in blue rather than purple but they only had the short length.  That was my all time favourite coat from the age of 13 to 15, when I went through a growth spurt. Sharp eyed observers will note that this is Kate Hudson's "Almost Famous" coat from the movie.  It's been on my wish-list for a while, and I'm on several vintage store waiting lists for one that's similar. 

But why should I wait?  I can make this coat right now.  Len's has lots of wool Melton and they also have a new crop of fake furs. I can do the same princess seaming to shape the coat, add pockets and use the same type of large fur hooks and eyes as the original.  And even better, I can add an insulated storm placket under the hooks.  The original's placket wasn't insulated so it leaked cold air on the really super cold days.  Now wht else is in this old catalogue?  Lots that's laughably out of date, but this isn't:

This top is incredibly modern in looks, style details, silhouette and cut.  My only changes would be to make the sleeves a little less binding across the bicep, lower the button placket by one button, making the neckline a bit lower and more modern, and add some embellishment to the neck edge and the area below the bust seam.  As an additional option a tie at the neckline might also work.  I think there's a tie on the back of the blouse, many with that cut back in the 70's had a tie in the back.  I would certainly change the colour. Tang crystal orange is no longer fashionable, so a more modern colour would be better.  And I would use a polyester knit, only a modern poly/rayon/spandex knit with more drape and shape to it. Poly-knits back then were made with very thick staple fibers which gave them that characteristic cheap and polyester look.  Modern poly-knits are made from micro-denier yarns and look sleek with a subtle sheen. What else can I find that isn't laughable? Or looks like it would have been worn by "carol Brady" from the Brady Bunch? 

See? Not all clothes from the 70's are hideous! This coat is a fabulous vintage classic.  It's made from double faced fake suede, the fur side is bonded to the suede side.  I remember trying on this coat at the local Eaton's store.  It was too mature and too expensive for a 13 year old.  Know what I really remember from that Eaton's shopping trip just before Christmas when I was 13? The Christmas tree bubble lights.  When I was an adult and we took the kids to Eaton's I waxed poetic about the Eaton's bubble lights of the past, only to discover that they had been revived and they were selling them again.  Needless to say -we bought a strand of bubble lights. But now back to 1973.

Just to remind everyone about the horrors that comprised most clothes from the early 70's.  Here they are!  The one garment that best expresses what was wrong with the era.  Super high waisted double-knit polyester pants, complete with a stitched in crease!  It doesn't get any better or any worse than this. There's elastic in the back, needless to say, and look at the colors!  Cranberry!  Forest Green! And a few that are pictured separately on a tiny chart at the bottom of the page:, Rust, Camel, and Burnt orange.  These pants were broiling hot in the summer and freezing in the winter.  Fashion? Quality?  I don't think so.

As poorly as the clothes from 1973/74 have aged, only a mere five years pass before we get to this in the Sears 1979 Wish Book:

...which has aged so well that every piece could be worn today and you would not look dated, out of style or like you crawled out of a time machine. A wrap dress. A shirt/vest/skirt combo.  Black Patents shoes and purse. The only thing I can see that would make it more modern is to fit it closer to the waist without the blousing, and shorten the hem by an inch or two.  And get rid of the "Rachel from Bladerunner" hair on the one model.  I had forgotten how big a fad that was back then. These two pieces are in reality fashion forward and more about the eighties than the seventies. The dress/vest combo is part of the look inspired by Woody Allen's movie Annie Hall, a look that saw bell bottom replaced by pleated and tapered legs, short A-line skirts replaced by calf length full skirts, and a return to natural fibers after a decade of synthetics. That black patent bag is an example of a real classic, you can buy the same bag today and it will have not changed a bit.

So that's what I have been doing today.  I have found a few inspirations, most I didn't scan and post, and I've found a few things that remind me of the bad old days and a few that remind me of good old days.  I have a handful of ideas so now it's time to go and flesh them out and turn them into sketches for things to make.  Certainly the almost famous coat, and the double-face suede with the buckles and straps, and a couple other cute dresses that I found. 

And that's all for today! 

Posted by lincatz at 10:42 AM EST
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Wednesday, 13 January 2010
In which we take a brief excusion into the future
Mood:  bright
Topic: Retro Rules!

For reasons unknown my blog entry for Monday has vanished.  Gone!  No longer in existence.  It is an ex-entry. It is now somewhere in the cyber ether never more to be seen again until someone finds it years later in a usenet archive for alt.weird.pointless

Speaking of pointless, here's a news article...okay it's not an article; it's three paragraphs about a company that wants everyone to send them $1.99 so the user can down load a symbol that is supposed to represent sarcasm.  They are hoping that it becomes accepted world wide as the punctuation mark for sarcastic statements.  really? really? A dollar ninety-nine?  By credit card? To a company that no one has ever heard of before today?  So you can use a symbol that looks for all the world like a dollar ninety nine boob job?  Because some people don't pick up on a sarcasm? Oh yeah...a can hardly wait to send all my credit card info to someone as non-dodgy and trustworthy as you.... see?  it wasn't hard to pick up on that as a sarcastic statement, and I didn't need top hit anyone over the head with a symbol that looks like a boob. 

I simply  must share this picture of the ultimate interpretation of the rugged yet girly lumberjack look.  It is fun, witty and has everything Michael Palin's lumberjack wanted in a dress.  It's got lots of metal hardware so it looks rugged enough for the girls, It's done in a classic black on color lumberjack plaid, yet it's got the classic ballgown silhouette so it's nice and girly because the guy lumberjacks like to look girly, just like either their dear mama, in the TV show or their dear papa, when performed live on stage.

 The dress is from the Hot Topic website, a US chain that sells goth clothes, rock band t-shirts and other stuff.  Some of the goth stuff is what is unkindly called "shopping mall goth" but every once in a while they completely hit the mark, like with this dress. 


The Retro Future Has Arrived:

So, here we are, January 1972, poised on the brink of the future. If you go to your nearest Radio Shack you might have seen a "calculator" behind the desk.  These pocket sized adding machines have no gears, no wheels, and no paper tape, only lights.  And they can do the same work that a room sized computer did ten years ago.  These will be in the pockets of everyone and even more amazing things will be in your home soon  Imagine playing games on your TV.  Getting music from your telephone!  Small 7-inch discs that hold more music than a 12 inch LP!  Imagine what life will be like in 2010!  ...back to the reality of 2010...Someone recently uploaded and posted a children's book from the year I saw my first pocket calculator: 1972.  The book chronicals life in the far reaches of the future: 2010 and is aptly named: 2010:Living in the future" found here!

Going through the book: So it got plenty right, such as TV screen that connect us with the world and that we can actively interact with using telephones...I can imagine someone from 1972 would describe the internet thusly using common words from that time. The idea that we wouldn't have beds or that homes wouldn't have wasted space was off base.  Space is a status symbol, people put small furniture in the center of huge rooms to give the feeling of more space. the book says there are no bathtubs, only showers.  Again, huge bathrooms and tubs are modern status symbols.  Oh yeah..the fashion page is way off base...we don't wear jumpsuits...and thank the goddesses of fashion and taste for that! It describes a "boiler" that heats, cools and cleans the air, much like modern HVAC furnace systems.

The kitchen is a thing of ugly.  For "no wasted space" this thing looks like the control wall of NASA. There are hundreds of small ovens, bunches of small fridges and all is controlled by a typewriter that sends messages to the tiny ovens.  They missed badly on that one.  Wait..disposable dishes and cutlery only? That is more about 1972 and the disposable culture of the time. Groceries come via "vision phone"  sort of like internet groceries, which failed because you can't squeeze melons via the internet.  They didn't realize some people enjoy shopping, it adds to the whole food experience. You pay by dialing in your bank info...which I have done to pay bills via touch tone phone.

School is done through vision phone.  you can get teachers from all over the world direct to your home classroom.  They didn't understand the importance of social skills in 1972 or how isolating sitting in front of a screen can be...however they got internet webcasts and Skype broadband video correct! The book envisions vision desks, with screens, typewriters, cameras and once again a huge waste of space.  Laptops can do all that and more.You vision desk sends school work to a school computer that takes up an arena's worth of space.  As I look down at my desktop system with a Terabyte hard drive tucked inside and my 16 gig smart card and 32 gig USB drive.

Meanwhile adults always work from home and only work three days a week. IF ONLY!To be fair...Dave can use or home computer to access everything that's at his office, effectively making the preditions true.  Speaking of IF ONLY statements here's a direct quote from this book: With few people traveling to work there are no morning or evening rush hours—no streets crowded with cars, buses, and people. Gone are the oily smells and fumes of traffic. When people travel, they go by electric car, bus, or train

Which is so far from reality it isn't even's sad.  highways built for that future are clogged with cars in today's reality. Of course, to make this happen the future in the book relies on public transit.  The reality of the present is that public transit takes you where it wants to go, not where YOU want to go.  

Then the book sinks in a Utopian morass of mid century morality.  It says we will all be happy and take free buses everywhere and technology will bring us to a perfect state of being.  The reality is that the same problems faced by the average person of 1972 are the same problems faced by a person in 2010.  We may have the technology predicted, but it didn't help.  It simplified nothing, it only made life more complicated. 

This next passage predicts Google: " This file contains all the books that have ever been written. It does not matter whether they were first written in Chinese or French. They will be here, translated into English. There is also an index of films and newspapers. You could spend all day watching comics, but it wouldn’t be a good idea."  nor would pr0n be a good idea, but its the number one things searched for in these libraries. and then it predicts Amazon's Kindle reader:  "The first page appears on your screen. You can turn the pages backward or forward by using buttons on the vision phone. "

We are told that flying is like taking a local bus. Flying takes no time at all, planes fly 4000 miles an hour so it takes less than an hour to go to Australia.  Here in reality-world it takes five hours to pass through security, two hours to load the plane. an hour waiting to take off, and when you arrive, three hours of sitting on the runaway waiting for an available gate, then another few hours at security again. You could walk to Australia from the US in less time.

And it concludes by telling us that 2010 will not be much different than 1972. And that is the single most inaccurate statement of all.  Back then the future seemed so shiny and bright, now the future seems less shiny, less bright and less optimistic.  The future just isn't what it used to be. 

And now it's off to work.  today is the structural work on one dress, facings on another, then to morrow it's hemming on both.  One is easy, the hem band is sewn as a seam, I only have to cut the bottom of the dress and resew the band seam, then press.  The other will need to be done using the big machine and the rolled hem foot.  That's also somewhat easy. I have to have the entire kit and kaboodle ready for Thursday evening.  I might be up really late tonight, I do some of my best sewing in the evening.  


Posted by lincatz at 10:52 AM EST
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Thursday, 9 July 2009

Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Retro Rules!

So the other day I was clearing out some small change from my wallet.  i sorted out the nickels and one looked rather odd.  I checked it carefully and it turns out that I have an almost uncirculated George V 1935 nickle.  It is in such perfect condition that the jewels on the crown are crisp and clear and the fine details in the leaves on the reverse are all clear, crisp and visible.  The last time I saw a George V coin in circulation was back when i was a child and it was worn to the point that it was almost without features.

I've been digging around and checking a few sites out.  One site feels I might be from a proof set, a second site it's a UNC60 grade and a different site has it at AU55.  This places it's value at 25-100$.  For the most part; pocket change has little worth beyond face value -exceptions are rare and once-in-a-lifetime.  I think I might have lucked out on this one as not only is it in pristine condition, based on the the colour and shine it might be from a proof set.  The big question is: What is an uncirculated proof coin from 1935 doing in general circulation? Did someone steal it?  Did someone get grandpa's coin collection and decide that it was mere pocket change?  Does it matter now that it's mine?

First on our list of oddities more or less connected with retro: tomorrow is Downtown Kitchener's annual Cruising on King Party. This year there will be Elvis impersonators, a sock-hop dance and lots of fins and flare.  the theme is the Fifties and they've been soliciting the best of the best 1950's cars including modifieds, hot rods, and classic restored cars. We'll all be there, it's supposed to be larger than ever stretching from Water Street all the way to Cedar.  The evening starts off with a parade of the cars and then an open air show of them. All the stores will be open late so people can see that there's more to downtown Kitchener than coke whores and the people who patronize them.

Speaking of old, here's a little article called "The creepiest vintage ads of all time" I have to agree with all of these.  They are offencive, misogynist, and surprisingly violent.  There's one with a pig merrily slicing himself up, a man spanking his wife like a child, and a creepy ad telling women they need to use Lysol as a douche because their hubbies don't find them "dainty" enough. What. The. Fuck.  dainty is a word i associate with crochet doilies, sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and small cookies covered in sparkles.  Not with my...well know. I guess I don't have that appealing feminine dainty allure...whatever the hell that means. There is some chatter that it was actually used to induce abortions and it was used as a home treatment for STD's.  Yikes!  I'm happy I don't live in such a repressed era.  The number two creepy ad is one that was in every fashion and style magazine back when i was a teen and one I remember well:  the Pedo Bear approved ad for "Love's Baby Soft" perfume.  it smelled of vanilla, baby oil and baby powder and always had a model who looked like a tarted-up toddler.

Now for something completely diffident: depressing comic strips:  Over the years many comic strips have tackled the relevant issues of the day and many did not shy away from the dark troubles faced by the readership.  One can find thousands of examples of how well this was done back in the depression of the 30's. A good strip sits beside the reader with a hand on the shoulder and shows sympathy and empathy.  They say, I know how you feel, I'm share your life" these strips get in the face of the reader and hit him/her over the head and say "ya think you've got it bad? HAH! Look at this!" As an aside, notice how many of these strips come from Topless Robot's article comics strips that need to die?

As a sequel to yesterday's Haute Couture posting, Those who follow the old retro fashion  rule about no white after labour day should stay far away from Elie Saab's fall winter collection, it is 100% pure white everything, from shoes, boots, coats name it, it's in white.  The reviews for Dior are universally "disappointing" and "a let down"  I'm not the only one who thought he was trying pad the show by turning only a few looks into more by featuring one piece of an outfit with lingerie.

Finally, since the internet is all about ranting, here's a site dedicated to the best of the worst: 

And that's all for today.  later!

Posted by lincatz at 12:10 PM EDT
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Monday, 23 June 2008

Mood:  energetic
Topic: Retro Rules!

It was a nice weekend, nice and stormy and nice and rainy, and included in all that niceness was some nice hail, both days. 

We went to the Multi-cultural show at Victoria park on Sunday.  it was cool.  There's plenty of stuff there, lots of food, plenty of vendors selling shiny jingly and sparkly stuff.  I got a blue hippy skirt that was made in Tibet from recycled other things. It needs to be washed and aired out as it smells a bit like it travelled a great distance in a cargo hold to get here.

There was plenty of ethnic food, and some that I could eat.  The Mexican place was selling grilled corn and pineapple.  There were plenty of places selling marinated and grilled meats on skewers.  There was rice and veggies everywhere. Dave and Dan had some jerk chicken.  I told them they should eat jerk anything because that makes them cannibals.  That's the problem with Dave and Dan: no sense of humour!

After we had dinner at my mom's. My brother and his crew were all there.  Amy wore her pendant that we made.  She's going to send me a picture of it, and then i will post it for all to see.

I finished another pair of socks! They are quite colourful, to say the least!  next I'm going to attempt a pair of knee socks in a very basic colour such as grey or black.  I can never find knee sock that actually go up to my knee. If I knit my own I can make then several inches longer than the pattern states; like four inches longer.  They must test these sock patterns on someone with stumpy legs.  Or something.  I might also try one of those special German sock yarns, the ones that make their own colourful pattern as you knit because of the way the yarn is dyed, when it's knit properly it makes stripes, chevrons, little dots, and other patterns.  Long ago i had a dream in which I was knitting with what I thought was variegated yarn.  However -as i knitted -the blobs of colour knitted up into a wonderful floral pattern with roses and lilies.  I think the day might come when yarn can be dyed so it knits into prints; they've already got the stripes and chevrons.

I've also begun work on my home page redesign.  I started it about a year ago and gave up in frustration three times.  I have decided to forget about CSS, it's far too difficult.  I'm going to stick with simple DIVs and SPAN and stick with the simple HTML that I know and can use with some success.  I don't know why they make this all so complicated.

Two things that I found today: How to make a sesame street YUPYUPYUPUHUH puppet:   Remember those two little aliens who constantly went YIPYUPYUP Uh Huh uh huh whenever they looked at anything?  Remember how they freaked out when the telephone rang? And how they hid their faces in their lower jaw?  Okay, so maybe a few people are still having nightmares over these critters, but for the rest of us, we can now make our own little yupyups

 Also, here;s a little peek at some long gone breakfast cereals for children back in the golden age of sugar sweetened turn the milk purple goodness!,0,1195000.ugcphotogallery?track=retrocereal    Like Calvin's "chocolate frosted sugar bombs" Only these are real.  Everyone remembers Quisp, the cereal marketed by a weird alien, And Sugar Crisp with its hip happening beatnik bear, later updated to pimpin' bear is now called "golden crisp" and still has the sugar bear, only he's not called sugar bear.   My favourite was the old "crisp critters" with the special pink elephants.  While many of these old boxes are nostalgic looking, the cereal inside often tasted like sugar coated sawdust.  The funniest one bay far has got to be sugar jets:

 (picture removed because it was being used as a beacon for a whole bunch of scraper bots.)

One bite and the kids will be jetting around the house all day, until they crash!  I love the way the kids are flying...I've never seen a better depiction of the morning sugar buzz than this box...and its recommended by betty crocker, a fictitious personification of a person who never ever existed! 

(picture removed as it was being tracked by a bunch of scraper bots)

This one is wrong on so many levels... Those "loggs" look like what the cats leave behind in the litter box.  I think we can understand why this cereal is no longer with us!

Unfortunately, there's also no "SmurfBerry Crunch" I think I remember my brother eating this and getting some nice bright purple crunchy logs the next day.

Fruity Pebbles isn't on the list because it is still being made and sold. As a bonus it's 100% gluten free.  If you buy it in the health food store in the Gluten Free section it's three dollars more than in the regular grocery store. 

If you really want to enjoy the same sugar rush as you did as a child, many of these are available through this on line store:    They have Quisp and KaBoom!  With the marshmallow bits.  Of course if you really have a Quisp fetish you can buy it directly from the Quisp site.  Really, there's a site found here:

And that's all for now.  After lunch I am going to p[lant some more things in the ground.  That's what i do...I plant things in the ground and watch them grow.  Maybe i'll do another photo album of my garden.  Like this one from two years ago: 


Posted by lincatz at 11:08 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 February 2009 10:13 AM EST
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Tuesday, 27 March 2007
I Found an Old Newspaper!
Topic: Retro Rules!

It's a this and that sort of day today.  Yesterday was wonderful, except for the part that made my running shoes so wet they are STILL drying out.  Dave and I got caught in a downpour, and when i say downpour I mean the kind of rain where you can't see across the street because the rain is so freaking heavy.  You need scuba equipment to walk outside...etc.  Earlier in the day black clouds rolled overhead, spitting forks of lightning as they rumbled across the sky.  The air temperature was 22, contrast this with the snow last week.  Hate the weather?  Wait ten days.  Sadly, in ten days we are supposed to be getting snow again.

I also did a bit more purging of the back porch.  it's a nice big three season room that is so stuffed with junk that we can barely get in.  When the boxes are purged I'd like to put in a bigger table so i have a place in the sun to do drawings and paintings and beading and stuff and I'm not taking up half the dining room table.  In one of these boxes I found the bills and stuff from ten years ago.  After ten years I shred and toss everything the isn't revenue canada related. This took little's just time consuming feeding everything into the shredder.  Then I opened the next box, expecting it to be stuff that's five to ten years old.  WRONG!  this crap was from 1989 to 1992. YIKES!  including all the papers and doctor reports and lawyer crap from the car accident.  Looking back on that, I seemed to be In large scale denial over how badly that accident messed me up.  When I think back now it was at least a year that my head was scrambled and fried, and it was at least five years before my neck and shoulder returned to ninety percent of their previous function.  I doubt they will ever return to what they were before.  I apparently have scar tissue in my cervical spine, they can operate to remove it but there are inherent risks when operating so near to the spinal column, such as becoming a quadriplegic.  I'll suffer with a few neck aches and shoulder twinges!  I also found the original receipts for my sewing machines.  the serger was 500 and the other was 700, I got a discount for buying two at once.  and there were five packs of needles and some extra feet thrown in for free.

So it was scary to find crap that old.  I asked the boys and they said it was okay to toss old report cards.  I'm saving the ones from high school, but none from kindergarten.  Why bother?  Those reports said nothing...and they took five pages to say it!  The smallest one was from grade six, when the abolished the "anecdote" report card for real letter and numerical grades.  Dan got the worst of it, every traveling salesman with some radical new way of teaching kids who came to the local school board dazzled the trustees, who would then discard the previous traveling salesman's radical idea.  There was the disastrous "whole language method"  the even worse "Child centered exploration" and the horrifying "gender is nurture not nature non gender specific sharing and caring environment"  where I got in trouble for giving my boys "boy toys" to play with instead of girl toys!  That was when a bunch of radical feminists ran the school board.  They tried to turn boys into girls, with the disastrous results one might expect.  The one suggested that I was bordering on abusive because i didn't send my kids to day care when they turned eighteen months!  she foresaw an utopian future when kids were automatically enrolled in school at 18 months and they were there from 8 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon.  Holy heck in a handbasket!  She replaced big brother with big sister!

Happily, all that was abolished by the time Dan was in grade three.  Most of these experiment failed miserably.  Some parents were vocal objectors to these radical unproven ideas.  I know I objected!  When it was becoming obvious that the kids weren't learning anything, and boys are boys and it has nothing to do with nurture and everything to do with all quietly went away.

So I have another box to go through, and this one i know is newer stuff.  I don't like throwing things away too soon, but i don't want to hang on to them forever.  I understand that seven years is sufficient. 

One interesting thing I found in one box was a newspaper from 1967.  It's quite fascinating!  There are ads for stores that on streets that no longer exist --stores or streets!  There's an opinions column --it was in the summer of 67 that Kitchener's downtown "vision" was unveiled to the public, foreseeing a downtown in the year 2001 that had King Street enclosed in glass with stores and restaurants and movie theaters serving a projected city population of over one million.  To quote

"On the advice of the experts this columnist has always been solidly for downtown Kitchener's renewal program.  Thus it comes a a bit of a jolt when yet another expert takes a contrary view.  ...assistant professor at WLU has called into question the whole Kitchener concept.  And from what you (sic) (does he mean from what I hear and he's far too informal?) hear he's not the only academician who takes that view.

All of which leaves the layman more than a little disturbed because the city share of 15 million... (wow.  and that's in 1967 dollars, when thirty dollars bought a family of four the weekly groceries)(skip a call for a public forum) would be a pity to embark on such a big and costly program while the doubters haven't been given their due.  After all, if the renewal program is valid, it can stand re-appraisal. If it isn't valid, nows the time we should know it."

It wasn't valid.  And the contrary voices were silenced and ignored...most notably by the publishers and editors of the local paper, including the person who wrote the column.  The one thing that ruined downtown more than anything was castles in the sky visions of utopian futures, ignoring trends and ignoring reality.  The newest call for "visionary public transit" is just another case of enclosing the downtown in glass...,it has brilliant vision, but serves absolutely no logical or practical purpose.  If they would have discarded bold visions and allowed the downtown to realistically evolve, taking cues from other North American cities the same size as Kitchener rather than from European cities with ten times the population, the core might have become what they are attempting to make it now, something that Waterloo already is: funky quirky and niche oriented...serving a specialized segment of the population who doesn't live in suburbs and would rather go naked than buy at gap.  Insert hid sight and 20/20 cliché here; but all along there were thought filled objections, objections that were never given voice.

Finally, here's another quote:The enemy is aware that no matter how hard he might hit North America, there is somebody to push the button --which would hit him with a devastating counter-blow.  Publicity is part of this cool game (?!?game?  holy heck in a handbasket!) The US wants potential enemies to know what aces are held in any showdown.  This isn't GWB now...this is referring to NORAD, and the capability to turn the entire world into radioactive ash.  Not only was this was merely a game to these people --it was COOL! they were oblivious to the destruction their game could lead to.  And notice the vague "enemies"  we're still dealing in vague undefined paranoia these days...replace vaguely defined enemy communists with enemy islamic terrorists and surprisingly little has changed. Before it was political dogma, now it's religious dogma.

There's a chilling picture of a vietnamese man holding his grandchild as US soldier march into his village, Tam Ky while Hanoi is bombed.  Niether look happy.  The article states that victory is assured if they don't waver in their purpose...if they stay the course.  Again...not GWB about Iraq...this is about Vietnam.  WHether or not the principles that led to each war are/were the same or not is irrelevant; both wars became an un-winnable morass that sunk the US into a pit of debt.  Iraq is becoming this generation's vietnam, people are dying, there's little hope of victory, and there's little promise of return on the money spent liberating a people who don't want the US liberating them.

Wow.  I'm quite opinionated today!  There's a farm page article about a revolutionary hay rolls it into compact cylinders instead of square bales and soon the fields will be full of cylinders.  That was accurate.  The stock market quotes are as follows: Dow Jones closed the day at 852.17, down sharply by 4.45. the TSE was also down .67 to close at 158.15.  There are a mere 35 mutual funds listed, and they are considered highly speculative, for the experienced investor. 

Meanwhile friday night is fight night at the aud, and kids get in for 50 cents when they come with Dad --75 cents if they come alone! And on Sunday Johnny Unitas led the Colts over the Packers, 13-10.  With Unitas the Colts could be considered one of football's greatest teams playing with history's greatest quarterback. And don't forget --the man on the go needs the "in" shoe from Walkwel shoes at 182 King West  at 16.98 a pair.  And if you need wine making equipment don't forget that everything you need is at Nelco Hardware at 45 King Street West!  And just arrived!  The 1968 Doge Charger!  Looks like a jet on wheels with a 318 V8 engine, bucket seats, and deep carpeting! You'll look spiffy in your new Chevelier suit from Sauder's Men's Wear...two button jacket, tailored square front vest and trim fit trousers all in 100% virgin wool!  Available only at Sauders at 38 King West.

In my neighborhood the plaza on union had a special ad, there was a department store, a grocery store, a place to find the finest layettes for baby, a bank, a florist, and a drug store.  Tower's was having a sale on ladies winter coats for 10 to 15 dollars and check out all the happening new music in the city's most happening record department.  They have the chart hits from CFTR, CHUM and CKOC AM stations.  What other happening record store offers the coolest cats that?

And Goudies Grill room was the perfect place for formal afternoon tea for the good ladies of Kitchener.  They offered a special selection of the finest teas, scones and tea sandwiches.  Have your next social at Goudies and let us do the work!  And Golden Orchid shoes were now 5% off regular prices, at these reductions they will go soon.

There's a lot more.  There isn't any comics...a shame because the record ran dozens of comics throughout the sixties --from comedy to romance to action.  The women's page is stained beyond legibility, all I could see was parts of a couple ads.  The Ann Lander's column headline read, mom doesn't understand kid's and that was all I could see.  Like that problem has changed!

And that's all for today.  Tomorrow will be back to abnormal.

Posted by lincatz at 10:27 AM EDT
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Thursday, 12 January 2006

Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Retro Rules!

I've mentioned my collection of old cookbooks, haven't I? And I've mentioned how they have garish colours and weird food, right? I'm not the only person with weird old cookbooks. Some people have some that are so strange they have to share them with everyone. Cookbooks that feature meat are always extra special because the pictures are so bloody awful that they are enough to turn even a Karnivourous Kat into a veggitarian. Witness, for example: The Ground Meat Cookbook Nothing says excess artery hardening fat like ground meat. Lets take a tour of the book, shall we? OOOO...on the intro page they talk about succulent ground meat oozing in a bun. Nothing sayl lovin' like ooze in the oven! We shall continue! Look! A pig and a sausage are cooking for a pair of chickens! And all are in their freshly laundered aprons! Our first recipe for whipped potatoes contains no ground meat. But it does contain Monosodiun Glutamate. I feel a migraine coming, don't you?

Page nine and still no ground meat. We do have baking powder buiscuits made with freshly rendered lard, which as we all know is the sweetest and best for baking. *vomit* Pg 11 and dig those funky mushrooms! I have to say it! Where's the (ground) beef? Sung to the tune of the spam song...ham ham ham ham...ooooo! Liver dumplings! and Sausage balls! Sausage and balls! I'm sorry...that's just so totally wrong! It means something so totally different these days!

pg 18! Veal?! Evil! They torture and murder little baby cows for veal! You want meat puff surprises? I'll put a surprise in your meat puff you evil baby murder!

Pg 19, burgers and balls! Now we are into the *ahem* meat of the cookbook! Pg 20 has Big Fellows, man size burgers and something called drumsticks, essentially ground meat on a stick, and dig that funky king/queen graphic...nothing says I worship my hubby like these cholesterol-laden atrocities!

pg 22 and 23 are missing, but don't worry because page 25 has the peice de resistance for this book! GROUND HEART PATTIES WITH GRAVY! Take cooked ground heart...bleah! And add tablespoons more fat and then thicken it and add more monosodium glutamate!

Excuse me...I'm feeling more than slightly nauseated...Hey wow! Rings. loaves and molds! And notice the website owner agrees with my assesment of those three food forms? I love the little lammmie panties...skip ahead to 33 and we have the ever popular "Corned beef salad" with nary a whiff of lettuce or any other raw veggie anywhere

Hey, isn't that some obscene centerfold? What's that yellow stuff on the asparagus? And the white stuff on the pie? And why did they burn the burgers black?

Page 41 has an offensive racist drawing! Nothing says "this book was made in the intolerant 1950's" like racist cartoon. Please note it is next to a recipe called "All American Chop Suey." The subtext boggles the mind. It contains little authentically oriental except the water chestnuts, canned bean sprouts don't count. 44 and 45 are missing (I would love to see the farm animals glee over cooking their former stablemates...butthey make up for it on the next pages by offering another offensive racist stereotype, this time italian!

Porcupine beef balls? Do I really need to know? what's with the porcupine and the meat ball? Are they about to produce a hybrid? Skip a few...ooooo! Meat pies, meat cakes meat shortcakes and meat pinwheels. Suddenly gluten intolerance seems like a good thing as I am unable to eat any of these. Even without gluten intolerance...I doubt I could stomach any of these! the deep fried pies on 58 require a warning: warning have defibrilator on habnd at all times while consuming this! pg 62 gewts to the meat of the cookbook! Barbecue! Yummy! Cookaway some of that excess fat and the meat is now palatable. And some of thses recipes are quite palatable. They need a bit of spicing up as old recipes are quite bland by modern standards, but a few do look quite tasty. We close with a few mincemeat recipes, at one time mincemeat was a way for budget minded housewives to stretch ground meat, and made the inexpensive meals that would have been a staple on the day before payday when money was tight.

It's interesting to see how tastes have changed over the years. There are few fresh veggies, as the ordinary houswife wouldn't have had access to fresh vegetable year round, so she had to rely on canned. Now with freezing technology changes, if you have a freezer you can have almost fresh all year, and if one is rich and can afford the price of imports, one can have fresh from the farm all year long. There is little spicing and seasoning beyond pinches and dashes. There is a large emphasis on "meat and potatoes" dining, with the flavour of tinned veggies that's no surprise. at that time people didn't have many packaged, pre processed pre cooked heat and eat convenience foods. A quick dinner was ready in an huor, not in minutes.

I personally think we've lost something. I make fun of these old recipes with their cups of lard and high fat meats...but there was less obesity back then. People didn't mind working, they were patient for their meals, then they wouldn't sit around after dinner, they would do things. They likely burnt hundreds more calories a day than we do as a collective society. It's kind of intriguing when you think about it...with all the saturated fatsthey ate in the fifties...yet there were fewer fat people. I think the price we pay for convenience might be around our waists! Back then they didn't have trans-fats and hydrogenated fats and sugar laden treats like cany bars and slurpees and supersized cokes and stuff.

But if one does to reject that food, like we have for the most part...there are so many more tasty and tempting options. I can't imagine not cooking ethnic and international recips...with plenty of fresh veggies, lean meats...fancy rices--potatoes--and for the guys fresh pastas, including veggie pastas. I don't think I could handle a three meat a day diet. But the old cookbooks are still interesting and occasionally hilarious. Enough noodling on this subject! I have other things to say!

Posted by lincatz at 10:04 AM EST
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Wednesday, 16 November 2005

Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Retro Rules!

I don't know if I've mentioned this...but I have a collection of old magazines, women's magazines specifically, from many different decades. The two oldest original magazines --that is, not reprints--are a pair of Deliniators from the mid 1920's. I put them aways somewhere shortly after moving and just a couple days ago I found them in a box of other books. The Delineator was by Butterick Sewing Pattern Company. It evolved into something more than just a magazine featuring the latest butterick styles, it became a reflection of the lives the woman of the times would have led.

Women's magazines have changed surprisingly little over the past 80+ years. The concerns of the modern woman of 1926 are essentially the same concerns as the woman of 2005. The woman of 1926 had to balance house, family, and her job, much the same way many modern woman perform the same juggling act. Yes, the woman of 1926 worked outside the home, in retail, in the office, in schools, it seemed to be accepted as fact that the 1926 woman held a job as many of the articles address the working mother's needs. While the styles have changed, much of the actual content hasn't.

Where to begin? The cover, of course! Both are wonderful art deco renditions of the modern woman. For December 1926 she's wearing a cloche hat, big pearl earrings, black eyeliner while she carries a bunch of perfectly wrapped packages home for the holidays; rendered in a soft smudgy conte pastel look. She looks happy, healthy and natural. The June 1928 lady is at the seaside, rendered in a large cubist blocks of sun drenched hues, orange, yellow, soft red, she also wears a cloche, but hers almost covers her eyes, which are now stylized slits with cat like pupils. She's much more highly stylized and less natural yet she still reflects the 1920's in all it's flapperific glory!

Inside the first thirty pages are taken up by works of fiction. Romantic fiction. Very bad romantic fiction! To quote:Do you know how beautiful a woman you are, Enid?" Asked Carter, dropping his head to gaze into her eyes. "I know how unhappy a woman I am," she replied in the wistful voice that never failed to move him. Oh please! Make it stop! Enid?! Yikes! And another: For a moment afterward they stood there face to face, Laura pale with flashing eyes, Philip adoring puzzled and unbelieving. "Both of these women are in love with me," he thought; "why oh why had Denise decide to go away that afternoon?" These stories a are florid melodramas of the worst kind, there is the innocent heroine, the worldly rival, the strong handsome suitor, and the other man, an old flame or boy next door --they take place somewhere glamorous and exciting, far away places, never in the ordinary towns and cities the readers lived in.

Now we are greeted with ads, ads for toothpaste. Gum disease seemed to be a major concern to the people of the roaring twenties, so did lack of fiber in the diet. ANd of course there are amazing breakthroughs in the science of good health and eating! For example, one ad tells us that eating a tablespoon of granular yeast a day ensures good health? Not to mention yeast infections coming out the...let's not go any further! And high tech foods were much better than the old fashioned foods. Did you know canned evaporated milk is fresher and more "wholesome" than the milk delivered to your door the old fashioned way? It's treated so that there is nothing in it to make you sick. (I assume this is before all milk sold had to be pasteurized, so that makes sense) And canned vegetables means that even though it's the middle of winter, you can fill your home with the aroma of fresh cooked asparagus? (Oh if only asparagus cooking smelled as wonderful as asparagus tasted!) And of course we all know that babies raised on Pablum have a far greater chance of living beyond one year of that's a scary ad! And they appear to have science to back them up. And indeed I can find modern science to back up the claims of these old ads.

One ad calls for special note, it's for a new product that represents a breakthrough in women's health. The woman who uses this will suffer from fewer infections, won't suffer the monthly fever, and is able to go out and live life to its fullest no longer confined to bed once a month. And no more washday blues, because what ever your current method it can't be as clean and sanitary as this new product This new product is a available at drug and department stores everywhere in discreet, decorative boxes. The name of this miracle? Kotex! I think we've forgotten what used to be...and for some reason there are people who believe the old ways...the real"on the rag" way, should be brought back. No way, not when I read how awful it used to be and how it made woman sick. I'll stick with the new way.

I wish I could scan all the fascinating ads, for breakthrough rayon underwear, warmer and more durable than silk, yet lighter and cooler in the summer. Miracle beauty creams that promise to make you years younger...corn flakes for breakfast! The finest tables in New york are set with 1847 Stainless steel. (And the wonderful art deco/cubist patterns!) Kodak Cameras now come in a variety of colours, to match all the latest paris frocks!

Dresses were frocks at this point in time. Now freed from "waists" "basques" "wrappers" "gowns" and strictly defined "Toilettes" the woman of the twenties wore wonderful light as a feather frocks with layers of ruffles, tiers of pointed handkerchief hems, godets inserted everywhere, as a woman walked she exposed knees, ankles and possibly an occasional didn't matter anymore. The waist line sat at the hips, the bodice cut in a tube shape...the look was considered "boyish" but no male ever wore such floaty confections as these. Pleats and bows made up children's and teens dresses. There are diagrams for embroidery patterns, including the new mode of embroidering your astrological sign on everything.

There are pictures of everyday gizmos and gadgets that one couldn't live without. Aluminum baking pans! Lighter than ever before and they allow the heat to get to the center of the cake so it will never fall again. And all the smartest kitchen accessories have bakelite fact the smart housewife will use bakelite for all her everyday needs. They have a page with bakelite christmas ornaments, bakelite dishes, bakelite flower vases, purses, make-up cases, traveling cases, coffee mugs...All worth a small fortune is today's collector's market. All have a clean classic retro look that would look good in the twenty first century home.

There are recipes on almost every other page. Some using products that no longer exist. "Snowdrift flour! Special blend for perfect cakes!" Some are still around, "Delmonte Hawaiian pineapple squares!" and some are truly WTF were you thinking? such as a crisco lard cake that takes a full cup of lard! Hey, how about some stuffed prunes? They help with regularity and they are healthy and enjoyed by children as an after school snack? Just fill a pitted prune with a mixture of mayonnaise and crushed pineapple and sprinkle with shredded coconut. And how about some miracle baking powder popovers? Made with flour, lard, salt and baking powder. Some of the recipes are quite basic and frugal. You won't find luxury items in any of them. I think many woman had to work to support their families.

And finally, there are a couple political opinion pieces. It was important for even a housewife to know what was going on in the world, especially when world events could impact individual lives. The 1926 editorial is "troubling thoughts on Prohibition" Seems banning alcohol wasn't working the way they had hoped. Sure, the saloons were closed, but there was still booze everywhere. And in spite of what the temperance people thought would happen, crime went up as booze selling became criminal domain. And without a specific place to buy and consume booze, the saloon, people were sneaking booze at all times of the day and night. Prohibition hadn't stopped the consumption of alcohol, it just made it go underground. And crooks didn't care who they sold to, according to this reporter she saw children drinking, and in the past children weren't allowed into saloons. It's interesting, and today's Marijuana debate seems to have echoes in the prohibition arguments. As we all know, liquor became a controlled item, available only in certain places and with strict age limits on th consumption of booze. History has shown us that prohibition was a miserable failure. The writer of the article is one Ida Tarbell a leader of the temperance movement and public affairs scientist, according to the blurb. Ah agrees with the blurb. What an amazing woman!

The other editorial, from 1928, is expressing concern about the american stock market and the direction it appears to be going in. She expresses concern about the amount of money people are pouring into it. There is a review of valuations of the companies, of how the market should work, and how the safety checks are not working. This writer recommended that the ordinary person who doesn't understand the workings of the market should take their money out and place it somewhere safe, like a good bank. But that wasn't safe either, was it? I think it might be the same writer. She was a business reporter, after all.

I think I should scan a few pages and put them on Flickr or somewhere like that. The magazines are HUGE! 12x16...but some of the art deco ads are amazing hang-on-the-wall spectacular art works. I think I will scan a few of my favourites!

I also have my share of ugly food books. For some reason in the 1950's they took ugly pictures of food. I have a photo of a plate with a rare flank steak, sliced, surrounded by tomato aspic. Bloody Hell! If that isn't enough to turn a person into a vegan, then I don't know what is! And the portion size, according to Beef Cookery 1953, an eight ounce steak is enough for a light appetite, the man of the house would prefer his 16 ounce porterhouse! I feel the fatty deposits building on my coronary arteries as we speak!

And Desserts! Cups of butter! Quarts of cream! And sugar, sugar, sugar! Mix all together! Add jello! Pour into a mold and chill! Serve on platter sprinkled with candy sparkles! And don't forget your defibrillator!

Enough of this for now! I have work to do.

Posted by lincatz at 10:20 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 16 November 2005 11:30 AM EST
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Thursday, 30 June 2005

Mood:  chillin'
Topic: Retro Rules!

Welcome to the litter box, now a self cleaning model as you can see by the GIF! If only we could get a real litter box like that one!


That's right! We finally got an air conditioner! We bought a 4 in 1 portable unit...not on;y does it cool, it dehumidifies, it can be used as a fan, and it can heat in the winter! But mostly, right now, it cools the upstairs so we can sleep at night. I didn't run it while the dishwasher was on, and I turned it off for a good part of the day, and I won't run it when it cools off tomorrow, but on a hot sticky day like was just wonderful to be cool at night. It makes the heat of the day easier to take. I was so thrilled I roasted a chicken in the oven. last night was so cool, we actually had to cover up part way through the night. I am a happy happy and Kool Kat!

Here's something else that's quite cool, Wall paper from the seventies! These wallpapers are apparently shipped world wide from Germany. I think it would be absolutely rert cool to have a wall done in one of these migraine inducing travesties, especially the bright pink wavy lines. For some rreason some of the patterns remind me of waiting rooms in banks, doctor's offices, etc. I don't know why...but they do.

My recollection of those old wal papers also includes recollections of old offices, and in those old offices were old computers. In the very early seventies everyone's perception of computers was hevily colored by both HAL from 2001:A Space Oddysey and by Collosus: The Forbin Project. Both were movies about computer that develop self awareness. One takes over a space station, while Collosus showed a little more ambition and merely took over the world. That movie was totally apocolyptic and for a long time filled the heads of many with fear about rogue computers. It may have been responsible for the didtrust of computer still shown by many today...certainly it is the source of The "Mark of the Beast" conspiracy, where a super computer that somehow uses the number 666 is taking over all the computers in the world. That is a direct steal. The reailty of old computers is much less frightening and far more bland. This site Offers scan of two old children's books about computers then, and computers in the future. One is the original 1971 edition and the other is a 1979 revised edition. The size of future computers is simply mind boggling, at that point no one could envision a computer without a CPU the size of a refrigerator or a data storage and retrivl unit without magnetic tape drives. The concept of laser read optical disks was unimaginable back then, Zip drives, small hard drives that hold terabytes...And tiny little MP3 players that hold thousands of songs...Of course past computers had no place in the home, and futurist couldn't see the myriad of home applications for the typical computer. I wonder what they would have thought of Blogs?

And for those who want something truly retro... this place has a simplifiedpaper "Enigma" machine, That you can make at home! So you and your friends can exchange secret coded messages like you probably did in school.

From Fark comes and article about colorful rice!I eat rice every day, it's one of my favourite foods, and if I don't have rice I have rice flour pasta. My favourite rice pasta is of course, Rizopia white spaggehti, it's so good I can have it with just a bit of salt, butter and sprinkled with bacon bits and that can be a meal with a salad of lettuce from my garden. But rice can be bland to look at, so I use brown and wild rices to jazz up the appearance of the white rice. So this is just perfect for me...I can hardly wait to try pink and purple rice!

An on line friend resents the term "Winterpeg Manisnowba" She says summers are spectacular, although not THIS summer with all the rain. I reminder that rain brings Manisnowbas provincial bird, the Mosquito, affectionately known as skeeters. According to Yahoo news, Winterpeg is importing dragon flies to combat the skeeter menace. Next they will need to import something to take care of all the fat over fed dragonflies...then something to take care of that solution...

Posted by lincatz at 9:52 AM EDT
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