24 June 2013

Professor Remington Makes the Front Page!

Above the fold!

One does not often get the chance to say it, but here I go: I made it to the Front Page this morning! 

A few weeks ago I received an email from Meg Jones, reporter for our local Milwaukee Journal Sentinel She'd seen the recent NBC News item on the resurgence of typewriters and became curious about the typospherian scene here in Milwaukee. Right outside the offices of the Journal Sentinel is a plaque commemorating Christopher Latham Sholes, she told me: "Of course I was interested!" she said.
"The first typing machine created by Sholes, a Wisconsin state legislator and editor at the Milwaukee Sentinel in the 1860s, was wooden with piano-like keys. He continued to work on the invention, refining the typewriters manufactured at Kleinstubers machine shop, one block north of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel building." [from this morning's article]
(I didn't know that Sholes was an editor for our local paper back then! Somehow I feel this typewriterly obsession of mine has come full circle.)  

She googled typewriters AND Milwaukee, and my post about last year's Summer Solstice Type-In came up.  Like any reporter worth her salt, she tracked me down and asked if she could call.  And like a good librarian, I said, "Sure, I have lots of info you could use for a story." 

Meg called, we talked for about 30 minutes.  Then, offhandedly, she asked, "So how many typewriters do you have?"  "Well," I says, "about 25."  Then came that amusing nano-second pause and Meg asked, "Would you mind if I came over to your house to see them? Oh, and could I bring a photographer?"

That lovely little request turned into one heck of a fun few days.  I got out ALL my machines, something I'd never done.  We put an extra leaf in our dining room table and I was able to get almost all of the machines onto it (3 had to go on the sideboard).  We put up the Professor Remington billboard and a small display of typewriter-related 'accessories.'

Mike De Sisti, Multimedia Picture Editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, came by one afternoon for still shots and video.  He seemed to enjoy seeing the machines as much as I enjoyed showing them! I had fun watching him do his job as well. (I used to do in-class and in-office video work of my lectures when I taught for the University of Pittsburgh's School of Information Sciences, so I was curious about the cameras and other technology he used for his work.)

 The green dino on the right found a new home that day too!

The topic of collecting came up.  It got to be a joke for the entire day that while I had these many machines I resisted being called a collector. "The only other thing I've actually, intentionally collected," I told Mike, "is plastic dinosaurs." (In my next life I want to be a paleontologist!)  So I was delighted to hear that Mike's 4-year old daughter is a BIG dino fan! WooHoo! I'd found the perfect recipient for a tall stuffed dino I'd gotten almost 20 years ago in California. Watching Mike leave our flat, with all his camera equipment hanging all over him and the dino tucked under his arm is definitely one of my more special memories of that afternoon.

 Hanging with The Media, a.k.a. Mike De Sisti

[From Mr. De Sisti's Pulitzer Center profile] "Mike De Sisti has been the multimedia picture editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for four years. He oversees multimedia production and training, shoots general still assignments and works on the picture desk as a picture editor. His love of video storytelling started when he was 9 with his first 8mm camera. He has documented several major professional sporting events, including the Super Bowl and the MLB All-Star Game, as well as several presidential races. De Sisti graduated in 1996 from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a fine art photography degree."

Mike recently took this and these other photos of the Canada Goose who chose to build her nest this year right on one of our main downtown bridges! You can see more of his work for JSOnline here.

Meg Jones stopped by later that evening. Having googled her beforehand (I'm a librarian, recall, we love to know stuff!), I knew what she looked like and that she'd done some fine work on Wisconsin soldiers and veterans. What I didn't know was what a delight she is to talk with. We chatted for almost two hours, and she got to play with some of the machines. 

As someone who does not do well talking and taking notes, I was impressed by Meg's easy style of interviewing.  She had a small notepad (yes, just like you'd think a 'real' journalist would!) and wrote without much looking at her pen and managing to keep up a friendly and curious flow of conversation all the while. 

I was especially pleased to show her the Smith Corona Skyriter and Facit TP1, both machines favored by journalists.  (In the video for the JSOnline story, the machine she is using at the end is the Skyriter.)

Meg Jones checks out a Smith Corona Skyriter.

Meg Jones in a much more dangerous situation.
[from this JSOnline article] "Journal Sentinel reporter Meg Jones sits atop a sandbag bunker to transmit photos, story and a weblog from the roof of Patrol Base Olson in Samarra, Iraq, in 2005."

See the complete article, "
Meg Jones' work in the trenches is honored." at this link.
You can look over some 100 or so items by Meg at the JSOnline at this link.

Rather than swipe all of Meg and Mike's good work, I am going to send you over to the story at the newspaper's site to read the tale, see all the very cool photos, and watch the video. Click on the image to see the article.

Hats off, and many thanks, to Top-Knotch reporter Meg Jones and Ace Photographer, Mike De Sisti!  I had a blast that afternoon and now my Mom gets to brag on one of her kids!


p.s. The Oliver 5 referred to looks like this:

p.p.s  And the NBC News video, in case you missed it:


07 June 2013

While We're Waiting . . . Identify the Typewriters!


"R. F. T. Allen's original model of the typewriter."

Since it's going to be a couple of weeks before the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on the local resurgence of typewriters comes out, I thought we might entertain ourselves and each other by identifying the machines I put out on our dining room table for the photo shoot!

There's nothing fancy in my collection, just a lot of them and not the clearest of images. So your challenge will be to identify them based on what you see.  I'll number 'em so it's easier for you to note which is which in your comments! And I'll post the correct list in a week or so.  Have fun!

p.s. Anyone who gets #25 should impress the heck out of all of us as you haven't much detail to go on!

To get a better view, click on each image to embiggen.

06 June 2013

An Awesomeness Involving Typewriters

This is another teaser.  Yesterday I was interviewed, photographed, and video'd by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as part of an article on the resurgence of typewriters.  I am told the final article will be out in a couple of weeks.  Stay tuned for a complete report!

01 June 2013

Geburtstage Mit Cake!

This is how we add in our house . . . on certain days of the year anyway. Gifts too, but if there isn't cake AND ice cream, it just ain't right. 

We love birthdays here. (Not that we need another excuse to have fun.)  As it happens, my Beloved Spousal Unit and I have Spring birthdays.  Here are this year's entries.

Just like the Stanley Cup, our cakes have their own honor guard.

  Aerial view

Even 'store-boughten' cakes look good when dinos come to party.

Barney's smaller, yet far more intelligent, cousin.

You can tell the party is beginning to take off now.

The Ice Cream has Entered the Building. . . and the crowd goes wild!

* * * * *

My sister Cee is also a Total Birthday Person when it comes to cakes.  This year we celebrated 3 family birthdays on a single day. The Maternal Unit requested a Homemade Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  And brother Architect received his very own, ALL ORGANIC Chocolate and Rasberry layer cake.

Cee calls her creations Carbohydrate Art.  She entertains herself and us with what she makes.

For instance, another of the Stanley Cup Honor Guard.

A 10x10 inch Baseball Cake, complete with stitching.

A cake for a boy who LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Thomas the Train!

One of Cee's more subdued and elegant creations.

But nothing prepared me for this year's creation . . . 

Yes, it's a solar-powered, all-organic (well, mostly), banana-n-chocolate Steampunk Engine Cake!

Aerial View

And now some close-ups!

All the gears, etc. were designed, hand-cut, and assembled by Cee and nephew, Boy2.

When the cake was presented, Boy2 aimed a small laser pen at the solar panels, making the candles rotate on their platform!

Clearly I can grow no older, for how could any other cake top this one?

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