Monday, June 27, 2011

Ephemera Find

All right, Typosphereans and ephemera lovers. Have I got a treat for you.

A humorous poem, hand-typed at some point in the first half of the last century, fresh from a storage box that has sat in an attic for longer than most of us have been alive.

The Wife and I have been learning a lot about my family history as we've been cleaning out some spaces. I suspect my grandmother might have typed this during her education at Lasell Junior College. I doubt she was the author. More likely she was just practicing a bit of copy, or she read it in a book or newspaper somewhere and found it humorous enough to reproduce and save. That woman saved everything. But she wouldn't let us look at anything until, well, until she couldn't stop us any more.

We've got lots and lots of other documents and pictures: civil war letters from the family that adopted my great grandmother, letters to great-uncle with special needs who died in a school fire as a teen, newspaper articles about old family businesses. The Civil War stuff deserves a blog all its own, though it would take a herculean effort to scan and transcribe all those old letters. (1860s handwriting is so pretty but so hard to read.)

Anyway, this brief bit with its bellyaching about progress seemed an extra-special fit for you typewriter lovers, so...there you go.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Accelerating Change

There are times when the realities of the world really bowl me over. Like when I realize I can sit in my backyard and use a cheap four year old netbook to publish anything I want to say to a worldwide audience. (Sure, that audience consists of maybe a dozen people, but still: the potential is there.)

These kids these days, they have no idea how revolutionary this is. Brats. We'll see how they'll deal with the accelerated change that's coming in their lifetimes, after they roll their eyes at our stories of computers with keyboards and cars that burned oil and couldn't steer themselves.

They'll probably deal with it fine, actually.

Huh. So this is how it feels to be middle aged.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Yard Sale

Having a yard-sale. Brought my laptop out into the yard, once I remembered it was portable. Going on Craigslist to see what I should charge for things. 27" TV, $35? IBM Selectric I Typewriter. $60, maybe? That's less than I paid. An original Xbox with a huge stack of games. Sold the Xbox to a guy whose 11 year old son has been wanting to play Halo, but has a Wii. So now he's all set up with Halo I and II, and four controllers. The thing with the kid makes me feel a lot better about selling it. Not that I've turned it on  more than a dozen times in the last six years. Most of my save-game files date from 2004.

Chatting with neighbors and lookie-loos about our antique house; it's 300 years old and unique, so hopefully somebody will want to buy it. Also the sun is out for the first time in days and days, so moods are bright and people are friendly. Buttons the chicken has let herself out into the yard. She is the only chicken smart enough to do this, and so she gets to eat all of the bird-seed that the bluejays knock on the ground. She'll actually hold still long enough to let children pet her. How many yard sales do you get to go to where you can pet a chicken? Kids love to hear the rooster crow, and they're excited about the koi pond, too. I'd worry more about them falling in if it were deeper than 18". Maybe we should start charging admission and set up a petting zoo. Then we could sell the property with a pre-established business.

I have mixed feelings about selling the Selectric typewriter. Until I try to pick it up. Then I hope somebody buys it right away.