Thursday, March 15, 2018

Darth Vader Toaster

A Darth Vader toaster.   I saw this on the internet.
I am sure that every Star Wars fan will want one.   Merchandising never ceases to amaze me.   What will they think of next.   It really is a toaster.
It even gives you the option to choose the "Dark Side" like Darth Vader.   Or you can opt for the light side.   Illustrations in white are not really on the toaster.   They should be.

May the force be with you.   The "light" side on the toaster that is.   Lew


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sonny and Cher

The year was 1968.   I was at work at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix.   It was lunch time and I decided to go out for lunch instead of eating in the employee cafeteria.   Normally this would have meant a trip across the street to the Park Central shopping center and the hot dog stand Fat Frank's.   Fat Frank's had great hot dogs but today I wanted something different.   I knew of a walk-up hamburger stand a few blocks away due east of the hospital.   Not a very fancy place.   You walk up to the counter, make your order and wait right there for the food.    Then sit at some outside picnic-style tables to eat in the heat.  
When I arrived there were lots of people standing around the periphery of the hamburger joint.   There were professional Hollywood-style movie cameras, big Hollywood-style lights, Hollywood-style light-reflecting screens, and like I said, lots of people.   I noticed that there weren't any people at the ordering window.   Great, no line.   Plus only two of the tables had people:  one table with a woman and small child and several tables away was a slender woman with long black hair.  
I ordered my hamburger, got it, and sat a picnic table to eat.   No one else came up to the window.   After finishing my hamburger I went to my jeep (no top on the jeep) and sat there waiting to see what was going to happen.   There were people in front of the hamburger stand leaning against the wall.   
One guy left the group and walked across the patio to me.   He said that he was with Sonny of Sonny and Cher who were making a movie and that Sonny was going to be taking a trip to Hawaii and he wanted to drive one of those jeeps that have the red and white canvas shade tops.  He wanted to know if I knew where Sonny could get one for when he was in Hawaii.   I looked over at Sonny and he was staring at me.   The most striking thing about him was his small dark eyes.   I told the man that I didn't know and he went back and told Sonny Bono.   Then Sonny lost interest in me.  I guess that he had his assistant ask me that question because I was sitting in a jeep.  
I left shortly to get back to work.   When I got back to the hospital and told my coworkers that Sonny and Cher were making a movie at the hamburger stand, three or four of the girls screamed and ran out the back door to go see them.   I had no idea who Sonny and Cher were.   I asked my coworkers and they told me who they were.   How could I not know who Sonny and Cher were?   At the time I was either working (night), attending college  classes (day), studying at home (weekends), or sleeping.   I spent the week-ends on the couch with textbooks on the coffee table in front of me studying.   I would study all day long.   I had to.   During the week when my classmates were studying I was working.   The weekends were my chance to catch up on the class work.
The movie that Sonny and Cher were making was called Chastity.
So that was my encounter with the real life Sonny and Cher.   It sounds strange, especially the question about the jeep and Hawaii, but it is all true.   Trivia question.   Can anyone guess what this St. Joseph's coin was used for?
Have a nice day wherever you may be.    Lew

Monday, March 12, 2018


Frushi.   Looks like sushi except instead of raw fish and rice, it is fresh fruit and rice.   Maybe because it is raw (fresh) fruit that the dish can have a name similar to sushi.
I must admit that it looks good.  It is made with Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry, and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice and, it's sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream with a bit of Raspberry Sauce on the side. 
Actually, I was really never big on eating raw fish anyway.   This dish is being served at a walk-up food kiosk named Hanami at the Japan pavilion in Epcot at Disney World.
So how much for three Frushi rolls?   See for yourself in the picture below of the Menu Board.
If you aren't able to read the menu board because you are viewing this on your celfone making the print too small, the price is $5.95, which is a good price.    And yes, this is going onto my "Bucket List".   Things to do before I "kick the bucket".   So far I am up to age 90 before I can complete everything on my Bucket List.   And the list is growing.   The secret to growing old, Keep adding things to your bucket list.
I had never heard of Frushi before.   An interesting concept for the squeamish and those who grimace while watching Andrew Zimmerman on Bizarre Foods.
Has anyone had Frushi?   Any sushi lovers?    Now here is one for Andrew Zimmerman, hot dog sushi.   To the best of my knowledge this is not served at Disney World.   I just got the pictures off of the internet as a curiosity.
Pigs in a blanket are good with lots of mustard, but I am not sure about the hot dog sushi.   Plus I would hope that it has been thoroughly cooked, not raw or right out of the fridge.   Have fun today and if you can find it, some frushi.   Lew

Monday, February 26, 2018

Battery Adapters

It seems now that I use AA batteries and AAA batteries 95% of the time.   Everything seems to use them from my computer mouse to clocks to flashlights.   When I run out of AA batteries and urgently need one I just use a battery adapter that converts the AAA battery to fit into the AA space.
They are really quite simple in construction:  two plastic halves with metal fittings on each end.   They work really good.   But I have had mine for many many years.   They started getting mild oxidation on the metal contacts on the ends.   I tried cleaning the contacts with abrasive erasers
and even sandpaper but that just didn't seem to work.   The oxidation caused an electrical resistance causing the batteries to seem as if they were run down when they actually hadn't.   It was time for some new battery adapters.   Off to Amazon to find some.   I found a site that sells a package of 8 battery adapters for $3.23.   That includes shipping and handling.
I finally received the adapters and they had been shipped by air mail from Hong Kong and delivered to my mail box.
Can you read Chinese?   Fortunately there is an English translation.
Now for the point of all this.   How can a company manufacture and ship airmail to me for $3.23 and still make a profit?   Have you tried to ship a package lately?   Try it and see what it costs.   No wonder Amazon is doing so well.   Have a great day wherever you may be.    Lew

Saturday, February 10, 2018


I need to put something exciting on this blog page.   The SpaceX Heavy Falcon rocket launch and Elon Musk's car in outer space with a space-suited mannequin sitting casually in the driver's seat seemed exciting. 

 I know, everyone wants something bigger and better.   How about a video of Starman riding along in the Tesla passing by earth?   Click on the arrow to see the video.  
No?   Tired of hearing about Starman?   Okay, I have got something really exciting.    Really, really big.  How about a space station falling out of orbit and plunging to earth in a huge fireball?   

Yeah, that got your attention.    No, not the International Space Station but rather the Tiangong-1 Chinese Space Station.   Yep, that's right folks it is spiraling down and is expected to make it's fiery plunge around the middle of March (give or take 2 weeks).   The Chinese have lost control of the space station so it is not possible to have a planned descent and burn-up.   This space station is going to come down when it wants to and will crash wherever it wants to.

The Chinese astronauts on board the Tiangong-1 space station.

You can see the current orbit of the Tiangon-1 at the website link below.   Look out Chicago there is a satellite spiraling down about to pass over you.

Chicago you are safe (for the moment).   It has passed you by.   But it will be coming back again and again.

Come March keep your eyes trained to the Heavens.   I hope that this will be enough excitement for you.   It just seems like such a waste to go through all the expense of putting a space station in orbit and then just let it fall back to Earth and burn up.   I heard that Elon Musk is thinking of taking tourists to the space station.   What do you think of it?   Would you go?    Would I go?   No way!   I will keep my feet on terra firma right here in the good old USA.   I left the country once to go to the Yucatan to see the Mayan pyramids and got sick as a dog.   And so now I have an aversion to traveling out of the country.   Have great day.    Lew

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Mr. Potato Head

Nursery rhymes begin with "Once Upon a time.....".    I was working at Disney Springs in a toy store called Once Upon a Toy.   A nice play on words between the nursery rhyme and the toy store. 

What a great job.   Can you imagine what fun it is to work in a customer friendly toy store?    No?    I can tell what fun it was ad infinitum.  

I had injured my knee and was on temporary light duty and was assigned to "stocker duties" at the toy store.    I worked in the back.   When you work where the guests (customers) are it is called "onstage".   When you work in the back where the are no guests it is called "backstage".   To go backstage you pass through a portal.   The portals are not readily apparent but if you know what to look for you can spot them.  In the picture below the portal (door) is behind the large Star Wars sign.   See the woman in the blue blouse and the tan pants?   She is close to the doors.

Now you can see it better.   Doesn't look like there is much behind those doors.   But there is: a large stockroom, offices, break room for employees, etc.

My job was unwrapping the accessories (arms, legs, hats. eyes, ears......) for Mr. Potato Head.


These were small items and came with tissue paper very tightly wrapped around each individual piece.    I have no idea how they got the paper so tight.  I really enjoyed my work because of the great working atmosphere.   Initially it was quite difficult getting the tissue paper off but I finally mastered a technique for getting the tissue paper off easily.   In a 6 hour shift I would unwrap literally thousands of these pieces.   It was a repetitious job but my fellow cast members were always friendly and happy.   And the managers were the same, very pleasant and nice.    As a child I had a Mr. Potato Head but back then you would only get the accessories and would have to use a real potato.   But times have changed and now there is a plastic "potato".

And the variety of accessories are mind boggling.  

In the store the accessories would be placed in these long plastic tubes with a different accessory in each tube.  

All of them unwrapped by me.   Here is a curious aside;   one day a manager asked a fellow cast member if he would do an inventory of the store after it closed.   I asked the cast member how he was going to count all of the thousands of little accessory pieces.   He laughed and he said that they weigh all of the accessory pieces of a single kind at once, say the arms.   They knew how much each arm weighed and so they could calculate how many individual pieces there were.   A neat idea.   What would I have done?   Probably sat there and counted each piece one at a time.   LOL.    What I am coming to is, that I do a jigsaw puzzle on the internet each night and one night there was a Mr. Potato Head puzzle which I did along with a flood of memories from my days working in the toy store.   But I guess that you could say that I was the Mr. Potato Head guy because I unwrapped all of the little arms, legs, eyes, ears, lips, etc.   Below is a picture of the completed jigsaw puzzle and a link to the jigsaw puzzle.   The puzzle only has 50 pieces and so won't take hardly any time at all.

Have a lot of fun doing the Mr. Potato Head jigsaw puzzle.   And hopefully for those of you who had a Mr. Potato Head it might bring back some fond memories.   Did anyone have the early version where you had to provide a real potato?
Bye.   Lew


Friday, January 26, 2018

Stilt Walkers

I was at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World yesterday and there was a parade. 

I saw the stilt walkers and was surprised to see that they are now wearing safety helmets.  

I started to wonder if that was a recent safety requirement by OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) or did Disney require it in the interest of safety.   I know that they are pretty good at keeping their balance but what if they trip on something or slip on a wet spot.   And look at the picture of a stilt walker who is leaning to his right.   It just seems that he is leaning way too far.   And if you look at his left foot it is up off the ground.
Here he seems to be running and has both feet off the ground.
You can tell by the shadows.   The shadow doesn't meet the foot.
It is a long way to fall and they will be landing on hard concrete.  When I was working at Disney and having my afternoon break.   They had a TV in the room for the employees to watch.   But it was on a shelf that was almost to the ceiling.   There was no way to change the channel.   The door to the backstage area opens and in walks a stilt walker (who had to bend way over top get through the doorway) and he walks over to the television and he changed the channel and stood there leaning against the wall watching television.   He didn't stay long because the parade was forming up backstage and it was almost parade time.   He didn't have a helmet on and I don't remember the stilt walkers wearing helmets back then (14 years ago).   But I am glad that they do wear helmets for safety.   Walt Disney World where everyone is happy and having a great time.   Lew