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Messages - TC Chris

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Chat / Re: Up north in Michigan
« on: October 17, 2017, 08:45:59 PM »
I'm just back from 2 weeks in Spain and Portugal, where we had temps in the 80s and 90s.  Now back home where it's still 60s, but not for long.

"Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams
The islands and bays are for sportsmen
And farther below, Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered"

The Great Lakes are a shipwreck collection.  Read here about the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary:

And read here about the great Storm of 1913, when 19 ships went down and another bunch were stranded:

In the Lakes we don't have destructive marine critters nor corrosive salt, but recently we've been invaded by foreign zebra and quagga mussels that cover everything up.

IN addition to the Edmund Fitzgerald wreck, I can recall waking up as a kid to news that the Carl D. Bradley had gone down in a storm in 1958, another victim of the Gales of November:

Chris Campbell

Chat / Re: Up north in Michigan
« on: September 29, 2017, 05:30:31 PM »
Michigan does not sound bad if you can tolerate those prolonged cold/no sun days. I need excuses to stay inside, work in the shop and not feel guilty about it. Its good to hear about weather in a place not near any coast for a change.

It probably gets as hot and humid around those lakes as the inland PA-MD-NJ areas do. I cannot seem to get cool enough but you can always warm up.

I have never been to Erie but have heard its got its own weather due to the lake. One of PA's veteran's homes is there and they just completed a full-facility generator project. I'm sure their weather played a role in that decision.

The Great Lakes tend to make us warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.  Along the shoreline it's often 5-10 degrees cooler than a few miles inland.  I have a little cottage that I rent for part of the summer.  People come out in the spring to check it out, often wearing their little shorts and t-shirts for the warm weather in town and are greeted with a cool northeast wind off the water.  They shiver and whine and wonder why anybody would want to be at the beach.  A month later in the summer they know why.

We already had some frosts inland here in the north, but none where I am along the shoreline.

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

Chat / Re: Up north in Michigan
« on: September 28, 2017, 11:00:14 PM »
I was born in North Carolina with an Alabama mother and  I moved to Michigan at age 4 .  A year later in kindergarten the teacher thought I had a speech defect--red was "ray-ed" and there was also "yeller."  She had never heard a southern accent.  She sent me off to the speech therapist who said "the kid just has a southern accent."  Pretty soon it was worked out of me and I and my brothers all ended up sounding just like my Dad, a native of northern lower Michigan.  He went off to school in NC but returned to MI to make his living.  I must have inherited his genetic inclination toward 4-season weather. 

When I took my current job 24 years ago, moving up from Michigan's armpit, Lansing, one big delight was driving all over the place.  Then I handled 6 counties.  Now I'm down to 4.  The only time it's no fun is when I have to be somewhere and the roads are skating rinks.  White knuckles and "why on earth am I doing this?"  But that's rare and maybe it builds character.

Chris Campbell

Chat / Re: Up north in Michigan
« on: September 28, 2017, 08:58:28 PM »
The Great Lakes are our vast resource in these parts, enormous bodies of water that are like oceans in many ways except for the lesser density of fresh water, making for different wave forms.  People who have not seen or sailed on the lakes have no idea how big they are and how wild they can be.  Ted Turner was an ocean-racing sailor and he came to Lake Michigan for the Chicago-Mackinaw race, p the length of the lake.  A reporter asked him before the start if he was worried about possible bad weather.  He responded that he had sailed the oceans and wasn't intimidate din the least by these little lakes.  A huge storm came through during the race, dismasting several boats and making others drop out of the race.  Afterward, Ted said "I hereby withdraw any comments I may have made about inland sailing."

Most of you probably have heard Gordon Lightfoot's famous song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."  The Fitz was 729 feet long--that's a big boat, folks--and yet Lake Superior sank her.

But while the Lakes are our wonderful resource, they also give those of us who live downwind a lot of cloudy skies in the fall and winter.  As the wind blows over, water evaporates and forms clouds.  It may then drop as snow when the air rises over land and cools, called "lake effect snow."  And the Lakes are big heat sinks, retaining warmth into the winter and delaying frost along the shorelines.  That's why we have fruit crops along the western side of Michigan.  Basically, the Great Lakes create their own weather.

Most of the midwest was settled by immigrants and eastern dwellers who moved westward by water via the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes before the railroads were established.  The railroad didn't reach my town until 1872, so all commerce and travel was via water until then.

This is just a wonderful place to live.

Chris Campbell

RCA / Re: RCA Victor VCR-244
« on: September 28, 2017, 08:43:01 PM »
1934--that must be before Philco started sing those caps potted in Bakelite housings?   I can't remember when that started.  I've got a ca. '34-'35 Model 45 that was working just fine on original parts when I moved 24 years ago.  It has been sitting in the storage room since.  Too many toys, not enough time. 

Chris Campbell

RCA / Re: RCA Victor VCR-244
« on: September 27, 2017, 06:25:38 PM »
I'll bet the failure rate on the paper caps s a lot lower than on old electrolytics.  A bunch of my 80+ year old radios still function on their paper ones but the consequences of electrolytic failure are so much greater.

Chris Campbell

Phonographs / Re: GE Portable
« on: September 26, 2017, 11:11:37 PM »
Send a photo of the handle anchors that remain (Looks like I can see some in the photo). 

I have an old Harmony P-P 6V6 guitar amp, rescued from a trash pile, and it needed a handle.  I cut a piece of old tire sidewall to make one. Not elegant but it worked.  The amp was my intro to replacing caps in the output--the tube plates glowed red  when I snagged the amp from the trash.

Chris Campbell

« on: September 26, 2017, 11:07:48 PM »
There are several less-toxic (also less aggressive) paint removers available.  I tried some of them when removing some paint on the interior of my small sailboat because I didn't want to be breathing the toxic methylene chloride fumes from the stronger varieties.  Great idea but no success.  I gradually upped the ante until I was using the strongest (and probably most toxic) version of Zip-Strip.  That worked.  I tried not breathing.   It was odd paint--it was very tenacious where it wanted to stick, and in other places it came off in great flakes.  You should try the safe removers first if the thinner approach doesn't work.

Chris Campbell

« on: September 26, 2017, 07:00:03 PM »
I would sand that crap off and see whats under it.

My choice might be chemical removal.  I'm not sure how thick the veneers are, and sanding could cut right through if you get carried away.  Use a chemical stripper for the hard work, then sand with fine grits to clean things up.  Maybe use some bleach if there are water stains, and then use chemical (alkaline) and dye/pigment stains for adding color. 

This summer I picked up a nice ca. 1935 GE console radio.   It has some lifted veneers, but they are really thick, surprisingly so.  That will make it easy to reglue them.  More recently veneers have become thinner and thinner until some are paper thin.

Chris Campbell

Chat / Re: Up north in Michigan
« on: September 26, 2017, 06:55:36 PM »
I lived in Kalamazoo while attending Western.  Nice town.  I'm from Hart, left and went to Grand Rapids to work, retired and came back to Hart.  I guess I'm a small town kind of guy.  113 degrees in Muskegon....that must have been a record.  Hart is 30 minutes north of Muskegon. far as Michigan in the winter, it's not the snow or cold it's the no SUN!!!!  I love the clean look of fresh snow and there is nothing like snow for Christmas and I stay in Michigan for Christmas.  But by the time the first of the year rolls around my poor old arthritic body needs some sun so off to AZ I go.  That way too I can explore and see what treasures I might find.  :D


Ah, no wonder... you've got it all backward.  November and December are the miserable months, gray and kinda cold.  It's too cold for warm weather activities and not cold enough for winter activities, plus it's cloudy and dark all the time and we are forced to endure that big commercial holiday that celebrates buying stuff, and more stuff.  The real delight of the winter comes just after New Year. That's when we get crisp cold mornings with bright blue skies.  The days are getting longer, ever so slightly. Jan. and Feb. are two of the best months to be here in this cool state.

Chris Campbell

Chat / Re: Unintended Consequences
« on: September 26, 2017, 06:51:15 PM »
I often times look wistfully at the older engine compartment layouts that had all the filters located up at the top of the engine so they could be serviced.  Wouldn't it be nice to have the filter like that and a pickup tube running to the bottom of the sump so the oil could be vacuumed out?  Just have a catch bottle with a hand pump.

I don't mind crawling underneath if gravity is going to be a friend, not an enemy.  But when the oil gushes all over other components, and maybe all over me while missing my drain pan, it is not a friend.

Chris Campbell

Phonographs / Re: GE Portable
« on: September 25, 2017, 08:59:34 PM »
Was it a flexible handle, leather or whatever, or a hard plastic one?

Chris Campbell

Chat / Re: Up north in Michigan
« on: September 25, 2017, 08:54:49 PM »
OK, all you wimps, somebody has to speak up for the delights of real winters and changing seasons.  I've never quite understood leaving this part of the country when we get snow to frolic in.  I've even got a winter bicycle with studded tires & fenders to get me to work.  My mother, who was born & raised in Alabama, sticks around all winter, and she's in her 90s now.  Cold weather improves the character.  And it gives me a chance to stay indoors more and get some old-radio work done.

Chris Campbell

Chat / Re: Unintended Consequences
« on: September 25, 2017, 08:51:02 PM »
Can you actually use a cigarette lighter in the outlets?  They're mostly used as  "accessory power outlets" these days.  I was wondering whether the one in my 2005 Ranger would handle a bright accessory light's current--haven't had a chance to check the fuse amperage.

That's an odd tale about the brake lights and the ABS.  Sounds like a recipe for disaster if somebody bumped you from behind and broke a couple bulbs--the vehicle wouldn't get you home?  Do not get me started on automotive engineers who should be consigned to an eternity of dealing with their design problems--like the oil  pan drain on my Ranger that pees sideways.  I want that engineer to spend an eternity cleaning up after messy oil changes.

At least their electronics folks put a good radio/CD player into the little truck.

Chris Campbell

Chat / Re: Something You Wouldn't Expect From A Magnavox
« on: September 22, 2017, 04:55:59 PM »
One thing that attracted me to radio as a kid was being able to pluck these distant stations out of the air.  It's like magic, accompanied by the glowing dial lights and tube heaters.

Chris Campbell

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