Tag: Renovation

Childhood Toys: Preservation, Renovation, or Restomod?


https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.images.itv.com%2Fimage%2Ffile%2F216788%2Fimage_update_4e5fd654260a38d1_1370859838_9j-4aaqsk.jpeg&f=1We have explored renovation in many forms last month. How is it that classic cars can go up in value when restored or even restomodded? Why is the practice of fixing rust on old cars of marginal interest, while any collector of weapons, or toys, or furniture, to name a few, shudders at the idea of refinishing or in any way renovating the original item? Let’s explore the three options of preservation, restoration, and restomodding a childhood toy: a tin model World War I tank.

To set up the scenario, I’ll use my father’s telling of the story of his “Rosebud.” That is, loosely, a childhood toy with emotional significance through adulthood. After the telling, we will look at an available example of the toy and consider the value of preservation, restoration, or restomodding.

You are probably familiar with Orson Welles’ Citizen Caine , a roman ‘a clef on William Randolph Hearst. One of Caine’s last words was “ Rosebud,“ which mystified others present. The audience is let in on the allusion, in a final scene of people cleaning out the mansion and they threw into a furnace an old sled, we briefly see the sled brand: Rosebud.

All Aboard for Urban Renovation?


As President Trump crafts his strategy to continue his “promises made, promises kept” grand political strategy, he likely will advance an urban renewal initiative, aimed at key communities the Democratic Party relies upon for electoral success. In addition to assessing such an initiative on its political and moral worth, we should also be very careful about its bias toward bureaucrats or citizens. In Drug Dealing: Not a Victimless Crime, a story of a murder and a car driven into a Subway restaurant, I raised the issue of unintended consequences of urban planning. The would-be masters of the metropolis tell us that light rail makes, encourages development, makes people movement better, and improves communities. Yet, they do not talk about the government induced destruction of businesses, movement of vagrants and drug addicts, and associated harm to communities. I have seen both sides in the Valley of the Sun, prompting cautionary contemplation.

Preliminaries: Money and Style

Renovating Stories


Stories are not set in stone. They are not fixed in place or time. They are not restricted to one particular group of people, nor even necessarily to people. A good story has a truth about human nature. We see ourselves and those around us in a good story.

In some ways, there are only so many story structures, but they are clothed in infinitely different details, just as a limited company of actors might portray thousands of characters through costume changes and changed mannerisms. If we strip down the stories, they still have the same bones. Boy meets girl. Man overcomes nature. Man overcomes himself. I could list them all; there are not so many more.

Member Post


Increasingly, photography is a field blended with other disciplines. For generations, photography was simply about capturing what human eyes see; stamping a moment beyond the original viewer’s mind, out where the image can be shared. But today there are other options. The roles of artistic painting can now be mimicked by photographers — creating scenes […]

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Renovating Britain after World War II


In the early 1960’s, my suburban Chicago 5th grade (very progressive!) male teacher was exchanged with a male teacher from suburban London UK, who taught me in the 6th grade. The exchange included their families, with my older brother becoming good friends with the British teacher’s eldest son. I heard many stories about life in England, including men having one good wool suit worn each day to work, unlike my father who had many suits. Their car engine was so small that it seldom went faster than 30 MPH. The British son was amazed while going down a country hill with the engine struggling to get to 45 MPH. At that time in America, most highway traffic was about 65 MPH, and even Germany rebuilt and significantly added to the unlimited speed Autobahn in the 1950’s.

So why was Britain so slow in renovating after the war, compared to the devastation in Germany and Japan? Some say that the 1948 Marshall Plan helped the other countries, but Britain received the most (26%) aid, followed by France (18%) and West Germany (11%). Most British industry was intact, with major destruction centered on housing around London, due to the night aerial bombing and V1 / V2 weapons near the war’s end. Rebuilding housing is not trivial, but simpler than most other infrastructure. But the key reason occurred in July 1945, even before World War II was over.

Renovating Memories


You know from my user name “Cow Girl” that I’m from the West. In fact, western Wyoming. But, despite the bronco buster picture, the “cow” in my name refers to the dairy cows that were the center of life during my childhood. My parents had six daughters and two sons. The sons came along in the second half of the family, so we four older girls spent a great deal of time and effort feeding, milking, and cleaning up after the cows. It was just about everything we did all summer–hauling hay, milking, hauling more hay, milking, etc., etc.

Then in the winter, the schedule was:

Renovating The Inner Underdog


Part One
Hi. My given name is “Bella,” but for a long while, I was an underdog.

About four years ago, I lived in a warm, supportive family. They taught me valuable life skills, like not barking over every little thing, how to be housebroken, and sitting and shaking hands and paws on command.

Renovating Memories


Scientists now tell us that every time we pull a memory out of long-term storage, we then re-write it, and in this rewriting, it may get changed. This may play into some instances of what has come to be known as the Mandela Effect.

Someone asks, “Does the Coca-Cola logo have a hyphen or dash or even a wavy dash?” You might try to remember and picture the logo. Perhaps because the last option of the question was a wavy dash, you might think that is correct, and you store the logo back in long-term memory, but now with a wavy dash (Coca~Cola). The next time you see the logo, with its high, small hyphen (CocaCola), it looks weird, because you’re now remembering that lower wavy dash.

Renovation and Hiking


When I was young, we used to go hiking quite often.  Or it seemed often to me. I think avid hikers would snort in disdain.  The Gorge area between Washington and Oregon has some very nice mountain and hill trails.  I’ve also been up Mount St. Helens four times (which is, admittedly, an easy mountain) and Mount Adams. One of the places we went to often was Dog Mountain.  If you get there at the right time of the year, the wildflowers are blooming and it is beautiful. Supposedly it is a hard hike. I didn’t learn that until after we’d done it multiple times before I was 12, so I don’t know if that’s true.  Beacon Rock is just climbing stairs, and that is hard.  That one is also boring, but the view is nice, I guess.

My uncle loved hiking and caving and found lots of little-used side trails to explore.  He didn’t have kids, so he borrowed his nieces and nephews to help him explore. My mother used to come with until our much younger siblings got old enough to coin the phrase “My legs are broken, carry me!”  When they were really little we could carry them in the hiking backpack. But it’s no fun to have to hike with a whiner. Apparently, the oldest four kids did not whine in that context, or if we did, maybe not as much?  I remember enjoying going on the hikes, even in the rain, and thrilling at the views at the top and the exhaustion and soreness at the end.

Bathroom Blues Redux


A few days ago, I wrote about my mother’s lavatory renovation project. Probably close to ten years later, my father was finally ready to renovate the lavatory himself. A lot had happened in the meantime. For one thing, my mother had finally decided her children were old enough that she could divorce my father and she moved out. My father had reached retirement age and qualifications. Given he was a police sergeant, that wasn’t as hard as for some occupations. He only needed to be at least fifty years of age and have more than twenty years on the force. He had been counting down the days until he could retire. And then he stayed on the force about another five years. However, in preparing to retire, he wanted to find a small town like the place he had grown up and retire there. He started looking for such a town, taking his weekends and vacations to find a place he liked.

He also started preparing the house to be sold. Part of this meant getting through the backlog of renovation projects and repainting things. It so happened that I was unemployed at the time. The job market was not terribly hot. I had been applying a lot of places but had yet to get any bites. So, I got to stay with him and help with repainting the house and conducting appropriate renovations.

“Emergency” Renovation


As Mark Davis says, “Trump makes everyone better.” Well, maybe not the sad section of the “conservative” commentariat driven mad by the Great Big Ugly Man, but his administration has been a refiner’s fire for lifer politicians like “Cocaine Mitch” and Lindsey Grahamnesty. In the same way, his presence has unmasked the long-hidden corruption of our federal law-enforcement and intelligence community, last disinfected in the mid-1970s by the Church Committee. Now, President Trump’s threat — to use two laws (not a pen and a phone), passed in the 1970s and 1980s, to legally reallocate particular current appropriated funds — is sparking a renewed interest in reforming national emergency authority. More goodness!

There are real concerns, from multiple points in political space, about presidents being granted, or asserting, “emergency” powers. Many real concerns seem to arise from confusing language, prompting misunderstanding. All the real concerns should be distinguished from false claims, like those of Sen. Marco Rubio, a member of the original illegal alien amnesty “Gang of 8.” His posture of worry about what a future Democratic president will do is a howling fraud, both because he knows everything we will review below, and because he has proven himself allergic to real border and immigration control. Likewise, we may discount CNN, the paper dying in darkness, and all those poor souls discombobulated by the Great Big Ugly Man. Setting all the false fears aside, let us consider the real concerns.

Clearing confusion from language:

Renovation: Bathroom Blues


My father had some very good qualities, but when it came to renovating the house in a timely manner, he seemed to have several things going against him. For instance, as a policeman, he worked shift work. Shift work can lead to sleep deprivation, which is especially trying when one is trying to sleep off-hours with dogs, cats, birds, and kids running around the house. In his job, he often dealt with some energy-draining situations. Let’s face it, being a policeman in some cities does not bring one into contact with the finest folks in town. He also tried to get as many “union jobs” as possible to scoop up the extra pay. Union jobs were basically where the police officers could be hired as security for companies. For instance, the local McDonald’s franchise liked to keep spaces open in their parking lots for active customers, which could be difficult on Friday nights with teenagers hanging out. So, they would hire off-duty police officers to walk the lots and keep the kids moving. Poor sleep habits, lots of overtime, and dealing with the dregs of society and teenagers (but I repeat myself) did not make Dad the most energetic guy when he was at home. He wasn’t champing at the bit to keep the house in shape or renovated.

My mother was not someone who believed in nagging. Nagging takes more energy than just doing something for oneself, if one actually has the skills to do it. But my mother really did not have the skills to renovate a room well, but after asking nicely a few times, she just got tired of waiting.

The Renovator


I was not one born to the hammer as most General Contractors who specialize in residential renovations are. Instead, as the son of an office jockey, I was plenty happy to spend my days playing sports and riding bikes rather than building tree houses and forts, or earning a few bucks an hour picking up trash on a job site, as most of my peers did in their youth.

What first drew me to building was the income; it was the best summer job a college freshman could wrangle. But it was the sweat and the sawdust that captured me. The tangy smell of wet pine surrendering to the screaming saw and the hot, dusty scent of summer mingled with the pop of nail guns, loud country music, sunscreen, and sweat. This, it seemed to me, is what work should feel like. Maybe I was tired, maybe I was sore, but the cold beer in my hand was well earned and delicious, and there, where once there was just dirt and scrub, sat a freshly framed house.

Josephine Garis Cochrane: American Sorceress for Domestic Life


Everyone knows necessity is the mother of innovation, and good help is hard to find. These two idioms must have combined in the mind of Josephine Garis Cochrane who needed clean dishes for the frequent dinner parties she loved to host, despite the careless servants who chipped her china when cleaning up afterwards.

Even though she was a nineteenth century woman of means who was married to a successful businessman, Cochrane was undaunted by the prospect of hard work. She became so frustrated with the incompetence she saw on display in her grand kitchen that she began to wash her own porcelain wares by hand.

Renovation: Fodder for My Soul


As I sit down to eat my lunch, I pause and ask the Lord to bless me and the food I am about to receive as a gift. I like to think of how each particle, each molecule of useful material is used by my body as it performs its active functions and grows new hair, blood, skin. Each nutrient helps to renovate me, with the Lord’s blessing.

In a similar way, I see each moment of my life as fodder for my soul. I am constantly consuming experiences that can be used by me to maintain my active connection to the Lord and help my soul and the souls of those around me flourish and grow.

January Group Writing: Renovating Humor


The surest sign of age is the loss of the vital powers that once came with ease. The mind may be the first thing to go, as my wife has been telling me for years, but weakening flesh is the cruelest harbinger of failing vitality.

I well remember the first unmistakable sign that things were slipping away too quickly to notice. We had a tree stump in the backyard that had to be removed. So, manly man that I used to be, I buttoned up my sleeves, pulled on a pair of gloves, policed up a long crowbar and a rock to serve as a fulcrum, and set out to show that stump who was who. I got the bar lodged underneath the stump, pushed down with all my might, and…the stump refused to budge. I grunted and groaned, kick and cussed for about twenty minutes, unwilling to accept my ignominy. Fortunately, my nephew dropped by and, seeing that I was in great distress, offered to help. Now Nate is a giant of a man and a kill trained Marine who’d served three tours in Iraq, so I figured he’d just add his muscle to mine. Instead, he wrapped his arms around the stump, let out a groan, and pulled it up roots and all.

Renovation: A Personal Work-in-Progress


I’ve never related to people who want to makeover their bodies: tummy tucks, eye lifts, nose jobs, face lifts, liposuction, and other miscellaneous alterations to the body. I’m certainly not against physical beauty, or even using make-up to enhance whatever attributes nature has given me. But when women say things like, “It makes me feel better about myself” or “I feel like a more complete person.” I have one response: “Really? That’s all it takes?”

We live in a society that thrives on the superficial and elevates those people who are willing to spend thousands of dollars to improve their looks. Some people will say, “Doesn’t she look great?” or “She looks half her age!”

Restoring a Shipwreck


So you have a home restoration project and you think you have troubles? Consider the plight of the marine archaeologist, who has discovered a historically-significant wreck and has to decide whether and how to restore it.

Start at the beginning. You have found a wreck – a historically significant one. A lot of shipwrecks discovered in the Gulf of Mexico are found when a site survey for a planned oil well is done. Alternatively, it was found because a historic wreck was suspected to be in the area, and scanning of the ocean bottom was done. Either way, your wreck is under water. In fact, much of what remains is under the sea bottom by the time you find it. What does it look like?

Figure 1: Remote Sensing Survey Results