Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Tuner's Demise - End of an Interesting Week

And here is the tuner in question.  Nope, not gonna terrorize our neighborhood with this car, again.

Any guesses as to what they will have found in that backpack?

The Torpedo 18 just came out of a box the other day and will need a proper introduction at some time in the future.  Except for the normal typeface, it is officially my favorite typing machine.  I haven't cleaned or lubed it - totally awesome after coming out of someone's closet after several decades.
A windy day with leaves blowing everywhere.  A part of the photo they are.

This actually started as a single post through Tuesday typed with the assistance of Olympia! during a power outage.  I gave up on marking errors as there were simply too many due to typing in the dark.

If you have read this far, you have seen a teaser for my wife's blog.  She is just getting into the routine and most likely will not type her blog (thus not on the Typosphere), so give her some love if you get a chance at:

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 Typecast - A Binary Evening with DJ Spooky

That was yet another great evening at the Nelson-Atkins.  This year we got to experience the opening of the special exhibit of Monet's Water Lillies, several great artist talks, TED X Kansas City, and now this.  If you live in the area and love art and being surprised, do yourself a favor and get a membership to the Nelson.

Claire with someone who looks just like the Six Fingered Man from "The Princess Bride".

DJ Spooky mixing with his Apple App.  Looks cool for Claire.  I do not need a sound hobby.
It's all about the sound.

Mixing videos.

Hitler did not like this print art and reportedly hated jazz as well.
From a DJ Spooky tribute created for the 100th anniversary of the NAACP.

Yeah, he has a subtle but wicked sense of humor.

Quartet playing to a Spooky mix on screen.  He wrote their music on a recent trip to near the North Pole.
DJ Spooky signed Claire's Nelson bookstore sketchbook.  She looks happy but needs a good nights sleep prior to hanging out with her friend Cyborg tomorrow.

As a side note, the Torpedo 18 arrived yesterday.  It has not been cleaned or lubed most likely in decades, but it is unbelievably smooth.  The key action is light and crisp and agrees with my style.  So far it is less jam prone than the Olympia SM3s.  I enjoy it so much that I will even use it without any kind of special type face.  I will need to adjust capital letter registration at some point.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Night at the Symphony - Typecast

The Kauffman Center really is a stunning addition to downtown Kansas City.  We'll see if the the exterior architecture stands the test of time.  The primary public spaces inside have a lot of energy.  The view is wonderful both inside and through the windows out on the skyline.

But the performance space is the main attraction.  Hannah's violin teacher is a sub for the Kansas City Symphony and had the chance to play in the Helzberg Hall while it was in final construction.  The musicians love the space.  Even in the nose bleed seats all the way at the top you can hear someone on stage talking in a normal voice.

We had seats in the choral riser right behind the stage and under the organ.  Other than padding sacrificed to the acoustics gods in these bench seats, the experience is wonderful.  We went to the grand opening open house and sampled multiple sections - really, there are no bad seats.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another Killer Robot

This is a member of the Tube Bot army Claire and I put together earlier this year.  Components include:  two types of Jello molds, friction locking devices from unknown electrical parts, pieces of space heater element, various transistor era bits and a genuine vacuum tube which may or may not work.  Two part epoxy is our friend, but building season (the cold, dark months) doesn't allow enough ventilation.

At some point we will go back and add LEDs to make the tube glow.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

B-36 RESTRICTED Report - Optima's Cold War Redux

A priceless bit of Cold War Ephemera
Love the cartoon.  At one point in time, letting this book out into the wild probably would have resulted in many years in the Leavenworth Disciplinary Baracks. 
The B-36 was one of the largest airplanes ever built.  It was literally a flying fortress with multiple gun turrets.  The Maintenance Digest details adjustments to make the guns work right while limiting their ability to shoot something off the host airplane.  The drawing is luscious.  Can't you just picture this inside an Oliver?
I scanned some representative drawings.  The text is wonderful and full of descriptive language on how to properly warm up the vacuum tubes in the Thyratron Controller.  This was way before integrated circuits.
I like working with electrical circuits.  I can't say I'm that good with them, but at least I can understand visible circuitry.
I love our paranoid typewriter friends.  They remind me of the Spy vs. Spy cartoons from Mad Magazine.

More information than you can possibly want to know about the B-36 bomber is located on Wikipedia and the Interweb at large.  Yes, they really did have a nuclear powered prototype.  They flew it cross country over America.  It's almost like they were trying to help the Soviets, but the Cold War was a different era and a little radiation couldn't get in the way of national defense. 

This is one of my favorite old technical documents.  One reason is exclusivity:  how many of these could actually have been made?  Most should have been shredded.

This particular copy I found mixed with auto parts on a vendor's table at an automotive swap meet in Lawrence, Kansas.  So exciting to find something this nerdy in the wild!  There were and are substantial air bases in Kansas as well as multiple aerospace producers.  Perhaps someone brought this classified document home as a souvenir.  I'll never know how it came to be at a swap meet, but I'm glad I found it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Olympia and the Onionskin Experiment

We got some new/old typing paper and Olympia (our resident peppy Olympia SM3) is here to tell you all about it.  Olympia is a household favorite.  I've written about and with her in previous entries.  In case you are wondering, the typeface is Professional Elite and is somewhat obscure.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"R" is for ROBOT Type

The sun was coming into the kitchen just so on Saturday morning.  So I put off the ritual grinding of the beans (much to the chagrin of my wife) long enough to grab the camera and bits to have some fun.  So hard to pass on good light...

The large type came with a random baggie full of mismatched goodness from an antique mall.  My wife was surprised there were enough letters there to make whole words.  Try and ignore the dust bunny residue for the moment.  The robot is a miniature reproduction of the Radar Robot.  The actual Radar Robot deserves his own post at some point in the future.

Radar Robot hadn't had his daily oil fix and was a little grumpy...

The gingercat is not going to be happy about what happened to her nanobugs.

As horrible as this robot rampage seems, there have been far worse in the course of American history:

For you youngsters: that is "Tricky" Dick Nixon in the background.  I remember the summer of Watergate all to well since it preempted cartoons and Godzilla movie reruns.  Oh, notice the lack of type dust bunnies?