Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Early Radio-Phonograph Console - 1960's

This came from a facebook challenge to comment on a piece of electronic furniture. I think I may do this more often - include comments I have made elsewhere, because I don't think up such topics until somebody asks me.

That reminds me, in a sociology class at University of California, Riverside well over 50 years ago, the professor stated that you don't have an opinion until somebody asks you. I suppose you could ask youself, but I've found this statement to be generally true. So when I answer a facebook challenge, I'll try to remember to add it to my blogspot.

My mom did.
SHARE if you ever owned one of these beauties... Did you?
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  • You, Joyce Stearns and 4 others like this.
  • Sheila E. Isaacs Yep, great sound; mine has 8-track tape and is still used in the garage!!!
  • Heidi K Davis both my Mom and Grandparents did.
    23 hrs · Like
  • Heidi K Davis Wish I did now so I had a place for my records; Getting my record player back up and running in my sewing room that we are now finally getting around to doing. My player has 2 tape players in it so I can copy tapes or from record to tape.
    23 hrs · Like
  • Beth Cordell My parents did too.
    20 hrs · Like
  • John Fawcett I've seen lots of them and envied the owners, but we never owned one. The amazing thing was that this one played stereo records! That added a new dimension, like going from black and white to color TV. Or, going from a family radio in the living room to a transistor radio you could carry around and listen to the music you wanted instead of your parents-censored music at home. I think that alone allowed Elvis to prosper in those early years.

    The Sony Walkman played the new cassette media, and later the CD Walkman. Steve Jobs' place in history was sealed by the invention of the iPod and iTunes followed like a dog to his vomit. Now you get it all on an iPhone.

    I was born in 1940 and grew up with 78rpm records and the New 45rpm disks with a big hole in the middle. Next came the LP's (long playing records) which originally had only classical music, the kind you heard on FM radio. That is the era of the phonograph pictured.
  • John Fawcett

A snotty obnoxious teen recently sat on a park bench next to an old guy and bragged that his generation had ipads, supersonic airplanes, eyeglasses that can record everything that you look at, and medicines that can cure almost every kind of infectious disease. He said, "Old Man, what did your old generation ever do?"

"Well," he answered, "besides a lot of other stuff, we invented ipads, supersonic airplanes, eyeglasses that can record everything that you look at, and medicines that can cure almost every kind of infectious disease."

The arrogant teen answered in a dejected tone, "Oh."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Printing Presses, Typewriters, and Mimeographs

This blog was originally written on January 3, 2013, but may have been invisible to everyone but me since my list of blogs indicated DRAFT on this and the previous two. You have to click on PUBLISH to complete the blog.

Bridget had Pat and me start this Remembrances blog (she, actually, set it up for us) so her kids would learn things about their grandparents that even she didn't know. Here is an exchange between Amy Loveless and myself which points out some of my background and an interesting period of time beginning with the publishing of the Guttenburg Bible centuries ago which was done with movable type rather than with woodblocks with the letters carved out to form each page.

EMP is electromagnetic pulse (from a nuclear bomb  exploding in the atmosphere) which threatens to wipe out all of North American electronics. How do we get along without our cars, telecommunications, electrical power, aircraft, GPS, and thousands of other modern conveniences? Well, I guess we do what they did 100 years ago or more. Most of this correspondence was from yesterday and this morning.
  • John Fawcett

    Just a private and personal comment regarding a word you generally misspell so as not to embarrass you.
    "Loosing" bees would be like setting them loose. You are talking about "losing" bees to natural attrition or to plague or famine. I know you would annoy me on purpose when given the chance, but this misspelling brings discredit onto you, and I'm sure you are probably reluctantly thanking me.
    Now, kill the messenger!
  • Amy Downing Loveless

    Wut? I dunno how somethin go's....wunder wie I mist the mistakes wen I rite wif my thums on a cell and spell check thinks it no's wut I meen... hmmm.
  • John Fawcett

    Used to be that "being all thumbs" was not an honorable thing. Is this the new smarts?
  • Amy Downing Loveless

    John... the new smarts is what ever the grammar standard is in any age... have you looked at Joseph Smith grammar... you will know the BofM is a miracle after seeing it.
    Old English has even evolved.
    I do not like spelling errors... but when your phone changes words as you write them. .they sometimes happen.
    Thanks though for making me self conscious and aware.
  • Today
  • John Fawcett

    I guess I'm glad I don't think with my phone. I am more of a perfectionist. Besides, I haven't mastered writing long messages with my thumbs, and I understand and commiserate with your troubles when your phone mis-corrects your spelling. By the way, using the desk top, I googled the correct spelling of "commiserate."
    I've got an original page from the Book of Mormon, and I know the book has been cleaned up many times over the years. Joseph Smith didn't write the book, by the way. He dictated it. I believe Martin and Oliver and other transcribers were more responsible for spelling and grammatical errors - but especially E. B. Grandin, the printer and his staff, would have been responsible for errors.
    Here is an interesting first hand report on a man involved with that process:
    I don't know if you remember, but I wanted to do my mission with Pat at the Grandin print shop. I believe I can still set type and actually have my print shop dating back to the 8th grade at my office in Everett. Unfortunately, I still haven't used the equipment since high school or early college. The ink rollers have deteriorated, and I would have some work to do to get it working again.
    Now a kid with an iPad can print off in minutes what I used to take hours t o print. After the EMP, though, we'll see who can get the word out. I've also got a typewriter collection and a mimeograph machine, all EMP-proof. I'll be the handbill king!
  • Amy Downing Loveless

    I meant Josephs journals

Rabbit Fun

This was originally published about a year and a half ago but I noticed on the list of posts it and the next one indicated DRAFT in red. I thought I would edit it and "publish" it which I had apparently not done. Well, it makes it today's date when you do that. So, this post, the last one, and the next one were all made over a year ago. Mark Collins (last paragraph) is no longer the fire chief in Snohomish and has enjoyed retirement for over a year.

When Brett was a baby in 1980, we bought the only new car Pat and I ever had together (except now we have a 2012 Buick which was almost new -3,500 miles- when the kids gave it to us two Decembers ago). It was a yellow 1980 Volkswagen diesel Rabbit. We drove it for almost three years, and just before it was paid off it burned up. We had had three days of zero degree F. weather and diesels are very hard to start when it is that cold. I had a very bright idea of putting a space heater under the hood to keep the engine compartment warm. I pulled it up against the house just under the kid's bedroom so it would be close to the power cord from the basement. It was maybe ten pm and there was a pounding on the front door. Two very excited teen boys were yelling that my car was on fire. "We're not lying," they tried to convince me. I believed them. I knew that I had just put high heat very near the fuel line. I was able to get to the brake and shifter, and the boys helped me push the car away from the house.

The fireman knew me when the truck arrived, and they readily put out the flames which had been mostly limited to the engine compartment. The fireman it turned out was Mark Collins who I knew from Snohomish Ward. There was no way of telling from all the fire gear and helmet he was wearing. Mark is now the fire chief - probably from all the heroism he provided me and from other such incidents, I'm sure.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

1940's Technology

I saved the response below to a Tim Province Facebook comment a year and a half ago and just ran across it and felt it was worthy to put in my blog. This will let my grand kids (and my kids) know what life, technology-wise, when I was growing up. There's actually a lot more I should write sometime. I should share my typewriter collection with pictures and stories. We didn't have computers and keyboards. We wrote our college papers on big bulky typewriters and made corrections with correction-tape. That was even before someone invented white-out. 

By the way, I frequently learn and re-learn that when I write a long response to someone's post, I should write it in Word or Gmail and transfer it to the post in case I lose everything when I absentmindedly leave the post to view some exciting ad on the page. Not only do I save my writing from erasure, but I can spellcheck it and I can find it again. Just try to find something you wrote in facebook more than just a few days ago.

This old guy was waiting for a bus patiently listening to an arrogant young guy who was playing with his smartphone and was bragging about all the modern conveniences his generation enjoyed. "Why you old guys didn't even have TV's, I'll bet. And your movies were black and white. I guess you didn't even have helicopters and microwaves. What has your generation been doing all this time with your old fashioned ways? Huh? What?"

The old guy, unruffled by all the young man's blustering nonsense said calmly, "We were inventing all those luxuries you can't live without!"

Thursday, July 5, 2012
This blog is in response to a Face book posting, I am sure out of frustration.
Tim Provence   Honestly, I want to delete my Face book & Twitter. I want to throw away my iPhone. Unplug! I want to go back to rotary phones & photo albums on the coffee table. Will I? No. But I'm sure life would be just honkie dory.

John's Response:
By the way, Tim, a hunky dory is a small Hungarian boat (joke). I was astonished when those black Western-Electric phones got dials on them, and we didn't have to place even our local calls through the Operator anymore. To call someone out of town, we had to ask the operator to make the long distance call for us, and then we would wait for her (almost always a her) to call back when the party was on the line. Often that would take half an hour or more. The cost of long distance in the 1940's was often several dollars. Naw, I don't think you would really intentionally leave modern technology.

Those photo albums involved waiting for the film to be developed and printed and then gluing down those little corners in the album so the pictures would stay. It would have been nearly impossible to send pictures to everyone as you do on Face book. Although the stamps were only 3 cents back then.

When the EMP (electro-magnetic-pulse) comes and destroys or makes useless all our modern gadgets, including cars and phones and industry, we may want to have some of the old technology. Iran can probably do that with their current technology and a freighter that could launch a warhead into our lower atmosphere. I just realized that I have darkroom equipment to develop and enlarge photos; printing equipment to mimeograph information to pass along as well as a 5" x 8" printing press and many fonts of type in type cases to print off notices and handbills to friends and neighbors. I also have a typewriter collection that goes back to the 19th century.

Wow, I didn't realize until now that I have the start of a museum! My kids will probably throw it all out if I don't find a place to preserve my old stuff that my grand kids would love to see. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Conversation with Choir Director

This is part of a conversation with Sabrina Clasen, Snohomish Ward Choir Director, who has helped inspire me (John) to want to sing better. After 60 some odd years of not doing much singing I have grown to like the choir. She is somewhat reluctant, but I am arguing that the choir could sing most every week if given an email link to the hymn we would sing, and choir members could use the music on to practice at home following the tones on the computer. Her job would be to meet with the choir before church for a couple of run-throughs. This would be in addition to the special numbers we prepare once a month. You can eliminate or diminish the parts others sing and just rehearse your notes (I sing bass). Perhaps she thinks I'm off base.

Unfortunately, the sheet music doesn't really help me or people of my ilk who don't read music, except that as the note go higher on the score, you sing higher. I look forward to when we do numbers (from the hymn book) where you just give a link (eg. and we can sing along with our computer.
By the way, some years ago when Brett was off his mission and going to school in Bellingham, I devised this potential business which I was going to call "Church Choir" that would do exactly what you get from but would be done on cassette tapes. It's amazing how great minds think alike! Brett could have helped me on the project but didn't have time. I had no musical or technical skills to pull it off, just business and financial (at least in those days) capabilities. I think, with the tools the church provides, a ward choir doesn't have any reason not to be able to put a bunch of harmonizing, competent singers, up in front of the congregation every week.
Could I have the list of hymns that will be sung in Sacrament over the next few months along with the theme for each week's talks? I would like to see what hymns could be sung by the choir that would complement the Sacrament Meeting talks. With a minimum of group effort, choir members could individually practice their parts and be ready for weekly or semi-monthly choir numbers. Wouldn't that be fun?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cold War Memories

The following is a school assignment by a high school student friend, Naomi Dickson. She is studying the Cold War and interviewed Pat and I because we were really old and remembered our time during that period. So far, I think we remember more than we have forgotten. We corrected some spelling and a few chronicalogical inconsistencies, but the story is hers.  JCF
                                                                                                                                 Naomi Dickson
U.S. History
Mrs. Cote
     The Cold War lasted from around 1947 to 1991. It started when political and military tension grew between the West, including the United States and NATO; also the East, which included mainly the Soviet Union and Germany. The conflict was named the Cold War because the two major powers possessing nuclear weapons, both threatening each other, never met in military combat. The conflict was ongoing psychological warfare and consisted of indirect confrontations through proxy wars. The tensest times throughout this time period were during the Korean War, Suez Crises, Berlin Crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War.
     I recently had the privilege of interviewing a couple that experienced this time in history. John Fawcett was born July 25, 1940 in Oakland, California and grew up in the next town, Berkeley. Patricia Pierce was born February 18, 1942 in Gunnison, Utah, on the kitchen table. They met in Moses Lake, attended a New Years Eve party with different dates and she went back to school and he went to Vietnam. 
     Five years before they were married, John enlisted in the Air Force. He was first sent to San Antonio, Texas for Officer Training kSchool and then received Aircraft Maintenance Officer training at Chanute Air Force Base, His first duty station was at Larson AFB in Moses Lake ("Moses Gulch") and served a year in Vietnam. Returning to March AFB at Riverside, California (where he had gone to college) he was later sent to a post in Guam. Upon returning to Riverside after three months he left the Air Force, and John and Pat were married back in Moses Lake, taking a 2 1/2 month, 22,000 mile honeymoon in a Checker Cab (not yellow but white).
     Two rules he didn’t forget after his initial 12 week Texas training were, “Don’t go outside without your cover (meaning hat),” and in the mess hall, “Take all you want, but eat all you take.” John learned to obey commands and to live in a very orderly fashion. 
     His job was plane maintenance, where he worked mostly administratively from his desk. His Vietnam “tour,” as they called it, lasted thirteen months. While in Guam, Patricia recalls planning their wedding by handwriting letters back and forth. She even hand typed, word perfect, about twenty letters to aerospace companies to seek employment for John after he left the service. John sent them off, but he was more interested in becoming self employed by buying a printing establishment. They were happy to be reunited once his tour came to an end. 
     The great event of Sputnik also had a great impact on them. Though it was “no bigger than a basket ball” (John Fawcett, personal communication, April 22, 2013), it could be seen clearly from the ground due to the sun's reflection. This satellite had meant the Russians were ahead in space technology, which was bad news for Americans. Along with most Americans, John came to the conclusion that too much information had been given to Russia. He knew a thing or two of the power of technology, as he was able to view the tools used to create the Atom Bomb at the University of California Radiation Laboratory where his friend's father, Earnest Orlando Lawrence, had split the atom making nuclear weapons and energy possible. Technology did not only grow in one direction. John recalled the first Presidential debate on T.V. (Nixon - Kennedy) It was new and had impacted society as people were able to view the event from inside their living rooms.
     Throughout the interview, I got to hear personal experiences from two people, which was different from reading it out of a history book. It made it seem much more real. From their lips came their story of what it was really like. John stated that “technology was changing so fast.” Media went from radio shows, like the Lone Ranger, to colored television, with shows such as Bonanza. This made the war much more real to them because they could see it and the devastation it was causing. The Cold War was an era they will never forget. 
     I did find that many of the events they related to me had followed the history I’ve learned in class, though not necessarily in order. In chapter 21, section 21-3, page 673, I read, “The Red Scare and the spread of nuclear weapons had a profound impact on life in the 1950’s. Fear of Communism and of nuclear war dominated life for ordinary Americans as well as government leaders throughout the era.”2      
     The fear of nuclear attack had been always constant in their minds, as well as the fear of the bomb shelters themselves. John stated, “if a bomb alert went off, you could be down there for days.” Of course, no one really wanted to be cramped up for any period of time.
     The light at the end of the dark and dreary tunnel was finally seen on December 8, 1987, when the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed. The “INF” Treaty was “the first arms-control Part to require an actual reduction in nuclear arsenals rather than merely restricting their proliferation.”1 Soon after that, the Hungarian government opened up its border with Austria and the West; the Iron Curtain was falling. On November 10, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. The Cold War lasted for 45 long years. My parents can vaguely remember that momentous occasion when the Wall fell, and sometimes we marvel together at the fact that it really wasn't that long ago.   

Wednesday, June 27, 2012