Monday, May 27, 2024

Dreams interrupted

Civil War field hospital

Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
they think of firelit homes, clean beds, and wives.
- Siegfried Sassoon -


Sunday, May 26, 2024

Old Motor magazine covers

Click any image to enlarge

Motor is a technical journal that caters to gas station owners, automobile repair shops, parts suppliers, and dealers. It was first published in 1903 and is still active, although it has moved from print to digital media. 

These covers are from 1904 through the 1940s. When the magazine started the covers featured a lot of women. However, they moved on to having humorous covers featuring visual jokes. Of course, during WWII they switched to patriotism and War Bond drives.

These examples are from MagazineArt, there are more at that link.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Filling a piano with water

In the above video a fellow, for reasons I can't quite fathom, fills up a piano with water to hear what it sounds like. I guess everybody has a dream. Anyway, this is a more difficult project than he first expected. He ends of doing a considerable amount of experimenting, fiddling, and water-proofing a piano before he gets it to work.

There is a short ad in the video, but at least it is about coffee.


Monday, May 20, 2024

Link maintenance

I've made a couple of changes to Flares' links. Powerline's article feed stopped working, so I moved it from 'Blogs of Interest" to the 'Recommended' section. Don Surber has moved from Blogspot to Substack, so I updated his link as well. Their new links:


Sunday, May 19, 2024

Tramp steamers

Click any image to enlarge

Tramp steamers are ships without a fixed schedule. Instead of pre-arranged routes, they trade on the spot market picking up new cargo upon the delivery of whatever they are hauling. Although they can be any type of ship: freighters, tankers, container ships, etc., in popular imagination they are smaller, older, rust buckets.

There is a sub-genre of movies and literature set on tramp streamers. They feature a cast of colorful passengers, most with dubious motives and questionable pasts, as well as crews full of sketchy characters that are likely up to no good. Of course, there will also be a hot dame or two mixed in to roil the pot. They're almost always entertaining in a cheesy sort of a way.  

I thought insurance issues would have prevented modern freighters from carrying passengers, but apparently you can still book passage on some tramp steamers. Sounds kind of dreadful to me, but who knows?

Friday, May 17, 2024