Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Its original condition really spoke volumes. I began to think of its value as a display piece. What was weird to me about it was its size. It's tiny. Two feet from floor to seat. Was it a salesman's sample? I'm used to full-sized bikes in that great utilitarian black and white color scheme but, being a dad, I'm conditioned to expect children's bikes to appeal explicately to little kids. Pink with My Little Pony decals, or whatever. This was an EXACT replica of an Edwardian bike, down to the 'dress guard' holes drilled into the rear fender that held lacy web-like things that kept women's long dresses from getting caught in the spokes of the rear wheel. This was a girl's bike (you can tell by the 'swan's neck' frame style) and everyone says that guys bikes are more desirable. But I don't care because I think that they look cooler and, if you're a guy over the age of 30, getting astride this style is a LOT more comfortable if you know what I mean.
My hopes were dashed (slightly) because it turns out that little, TINY kids did actually ride similar bikes in France in the early 20th Century so my bike was probably not a salesman's sample. But it's still really cool. Typically, children's bikes are fairly common but I suspect that ones this old are fairly rare, especially ones this small. Check out these great vintage photos of small children riding similar bikes long ago.
Friday, June 24, 2011
On a Saturday morning, what better thing to do with my new bike than to head off to the neighborhood farmer's market. I was looking for some fresh fruit (June being official Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month in North Carolina) but was disappointed to find out that we are kind of between seasons. Too late for strawberries and about a week early for peaches. But there was plenty of goodies like Bavarian pastries, scones and lots of veggies and herbs displayed for sale.It's also fun to talk with the vendors about their wares. An increasingly big thing is locally grown eggs, cheese and meat. They talk passionately about the difference between their eggs and grocery store eggs, for example. One vendor seemed especially disdainful of the direction that Big Ag. was going. "Did you know that they can grow steak in the lab now?" Another vendor chimed in. "I've heard that the Japanese have developed a 'meat-like' vegetarian product that uses poop as an ingredient." I nodded somberly in agreement not wishing to point out that organically grown bean sprouts are the suspected source of E-coli poisoning in Germany.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
The reason why the shirt was donated in the first place was that it had a two inch long blue ink pen stain between the collar and the chest. Ouch. I actually didn't notice it until I got it home but I decided to try to get it out. This is a good tip. With a BLUE ink stain, take a cotton ball and soak it with denatured alcohol (I used some Superior 70 Bayrum) and dab the stain, preferably with some tissue or cloth on the other side of the stained fabric. The alcohol desolves the ink and it should be absorbed into the tissue on the other side. Then, launder as usual. It took me two times, but it worked great.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Here is one of the items that I picked up. It's a copper plated ashtray from the 1930s advertising Galion steamrollers. I think that it matches my copper cigar humidors pretty nicely.
Usually, I steer away from small framed photos because they get lost if you put them on a wall. However, this small photo of a fencing student (?) looks really good hung over my wine rack.