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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cool vintage video: how to use a rotary phone

Even today, I can still remember where the telephone was in the house I grew up in:  on the wall, in the kitchen, right next to the hallway that led to the dining room.  It was a Trimline...big, pink, weighed a ton.

I also remember when we replaced it with a push-button model.  Oddly enough, the best thing about the push-button model (white, no pink this time) was that I was able to dial radio stations faster to try to win contests.  (Don't laugh...I won a couple of Rush albums from "The Loop" that way!)

In a way, the push-button model was the poor man's speed dial!

But for those who REALLY remember old phones, here's a cool video snippet for you to watch.  It comes from a time when phones were being converted from "pick up the phone and talk to the operator" to "pick up the phone and dial".  Yes, phones didn't always have dials on them.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cleveland news: Proposal for statue of Comics legend Harvey Pekar

Photo credit:

There aren't many people from Cleveland who can typically be described as legendary.  That's a name typically reserved for actors, musicians, perhaps some politicians, inventors...but usually not comic book writers.

Well, Harvey Pekar certainly deserves to be ranked among the legends of the comic book medium, right up there with Crumb.  There's no way I can adequately describe his work or its impact on the comic book medium, so you should probably take a look at his decent entry in Wikipedia.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My lucky find! An 1845 Liberty half-cent piece!

A few days ago, I got this old cast metal bank. It's the kind that's a cast head of usually someone important. In this case, it was Thomas Edison.

I was planning on trying to sell it, but it turns out that there are dozens available on eBay, and the bank I had might fetch a whopping $6. So...not a great find.

When I went to get the bank, I noticed that there was something inside it (I didn't notice it when I first got the bank, since it was in a box with a lot of other stuff). So, I broke out my trusty cast head bank key (more commonly known as a screwdriver), pried the bottom open, and emptied the bank out.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

For Sale: Vintage MCM Holt Howard 12-Piece Coffee/Tea Set - $49.99

Here is a fantastic coffee set from Holt-Howard!

This 12-piece coffee set includes 6 gorgeous coffee cups and 6 matching saucers.  The cups are done with a deep, dark black glaze exterior, and an eye-popping chartreuse interior.  

The matching saucers are done with the same black glaze on the underside (with an unglazed, bare white ring) and top edge, with the center of the top in the same chartreuse glaze.    

Each mug has a subtle flare at the bottom for a bit more visual interest.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

So...how pricey is YOUR car? Bet it's no where near what this Bentley cost!!

I just got back from dropping off some packages at the Post Office.  I sell a lot on-line and I get to go to our local PO at least 3 times a week.  Typically, there's nothing unusual about going there, other than the occasional short line which lets me get in and out of the place quickly.

But today, I parked next to this:

At first, I thought it was one of those new Chryslers...but I was wrong.

For Sale: Viktor Schreckengost 1980 Cleveland Ohio 12-Print Calendar - SOLD

This item should easily tug at the heart strings of any current or former Clevelander.

Viktor Schreckengost is perhaps one of the Cleveland area's best-loved "unknown" artists. Known the world over for his talents in art and industrial design, he was also known for avoiding the limelight and allowing his work to do his speaking for him.

In 1980, the International Printing Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio, commissioned work to be done for their second annual calendar on Cleveland, Ohio. Their goals were modest: "We wish to add one to the many voices that speak positively of our city while it makes the difficulty and circuitous journey through the maze of social, political, and economic puzzlements".

For this edition of their calendar, they chose Viktor Schreckengost to give his artistic interpretation of Cleveland. The results were simply beautiful.

Monday, July 11, 2011

For Sale: Retro MCM Swag, Ceramic Shell Over Fiberglass Diffuser - $68.00

Questions about this item?
Want to make an offer? E-mail us at parkersiesel@gmail.com.

Who loves selling on eBay? No one, eh?

I've recently starting selling on eBay again.

After a more-than-just-brief hiatus of about 3 years, I started toying with the idea of trying to sell on eBay again.

"Why did you quit in the first place?" you may be wondering.  Well, lots of reasons, but the biggest were:
  1. I started selling on Amazon, and to be honest, things were a bit more profitable there.
  2. eBay had started with its "no more garage sale stuff anymore" mentality, which scared off a lot of resellers (like myself).
  3. Prices were tanking for collectible, and the selection offered was also getting mighty weak.
  4. Selling on Amazon was just plain simpler for me.

But recently (as in only a couple of months ago) I took a look at how collectibles, antiques and vintage items were doing there.

I think it can be summarized in one sentence:

"Sorry, eBay.  But we sellers like selling our old 'garage sale' stuff here, we aren't going away and neither are our customers!"

In essence, eBay has started to approach what it used to be during its heyday:  a single place to find great antiques, vintage items, collectibles and more, with a very generous selection, great sellers and buyers will deep pockets.

OK, maybe the pockets aren't so deep anymore, but there is still a lot to be made on eBay IF you are willing to play by the huge number of rules they are imposing on buyers nowadays.

Personally, it has taken me literally hundreds of hours to get the few things I'm listing, but it's worth it.  I find things people out there simply want, need or would love to add to their collection.

I basically make people happy, and make a bit of money doing it.

And you know what?  That makes ME happy.  Plus, having it help pay the rent ain't so bad either!

Monday, July 4, 2011

For Sale: Vintage Productivity Management Board Game - SEALED SOLD

This is a copy of the board game Productivity Management Game, made in 1974 by the Educational Products Division or Westinghouse Learning Corporation.

More specifically, you are looking at a copy of this game which is still sealed in its original mailing box!  The box is still sealed and the paper tape is still intact, although there is some breaking of the tape along the edges of the box, primarily due to age, rather than someone trying to get the box open.

For Sale: Thogus 250-69 Rocket/Missile Model Kit - Complete - SOLD

You may be looking at one of the rarest model kits ever made.

Why?  Simple: this is the one and only model kit Thogus ever manufactured.

This small yet highly-prized model kit is for two small rocket models:  the Dart and the Nike Hercules.  The kit was made by Thogus Products of Cleveland, Ohio.

For Sale: Retro LIBBEY Asian-Themed Juice Glass Hostess Set - $28.99

Questions about this item?
Want to make an offer? E-mail us at parkersiesel@gmail.com.

No mid-century modern look is complete without the accent and design pieces to have the "total look".  For some people, it could be some MCM pottery pieces, for others, it could be a prized small desk lamp.

But for others, it's glassware.

This is a complete 8-piece set of glass juice glasses done in a beautiful, Asian-inspired design, straight from the mid-60's.

Trying to find the right cat food

I have two rather finicky cats.

OK, who owns cats that aren't finicky. Can I see a show of hands.

I thought so.

But I'm convinced that if they have the physical and mental capabilities, they'd show their disdain for the food you give them by:
  • picking up the bowl and hurling it against the wall
  • start saying things that start with "Your mama..."
  • convert your favorite chair/sofa/other beloved piece of furniture into their new scratching post
  • issuing press releases criticizing your political leanings, dietary habits and sexual proclivities.
"Thiz not yummy nom noms...uze ded to me, hooman."

So, needless to say, if I find a cat food they like, I'm gonna stick with it.

Well...I think I found it.

Cat yumminess.  And a reprieve for me Eames Lounge chair.
Now, I've tried plenty of higher-end foods, and they pretty much turned their nose up at it and proceeded to treat the houseplants as their new food source.  But I've also been really trying to stay away from the food that they like...but I know may not be the best for them.

After years of painful searching, I finally decided to try Wellness.

The biggest reason why I was reluctant to try it was that it's not cheap.  The smallest bag goes for about $12...a lot of money to a poor boy like me.  But I gave it a shot.

The first thing when you open the bag is, well, the smell.  Ewww.  So...good sign.

The hard food actually felt kind of moist in my hand, like it was fresh and not dried out pellets...something more like real food.  Again...good sign.

I gave Dagny and Little One/Big Stupid/FatAss (still working on that name for cat #2) some.  They ate it like an Oreck eats dirt in an infomercial.

I'm also impressed with the ingredients.  Seems a far better fare for the kitties than other foods.

So, I think I'll be sticking with this for a while.  If I notice any changes in the cats (or you start reading nasty press releases about me) I'll give you an update.

For Sale: Mid-Century Modern Carter Brothers #200 Scoop Chairs - SOLD

If there was ever a chair material that defined Mid-Century Modern in the US, it was bent plywood.

Here is a fantastic example of MCM American design.This is a pair of bent plywood "scoop" chairs from Carter Brothers.

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