…by Anura Guruge
As was the case last Sunday, when he had the delightful experience of meeting Michael Dukakis, I had to go to the Obama campaign office in Laconia yesterday. As is our wont, we all went.
On the way back, though I usually try to ignore it, we ended up going inside the ‘Laconia Antique Center‘, now in its expanded space in what was the old ‘Bloom’ building. I was somewhat familiar with them having visited them, at least once, when they were across the road.
I have to be careful going into places like that. Whereas Deanna can happily browse for hours without feeling the need to buy anything I am an impulsive and compulsive shopper with myriad interests.
I still can’t make up my mind about their prices. They are NOT outlandish. I guess they are par for retail, though I am not sure whether the par as yet been correctly calibrated for Laconia. I was not going to buy anything. With the piano, Sandwich Fair, $52 Apple Picking, Devanee’s birthday, Devanee’s Nexus 7 it had already been an expensive month and we had more events scheduled for the remainder of the month. Lincoln (link) Fornier, the owner, very nice guy, came and directed us to an aisle where everything was 20% off. That was a good start, but I was still determined to keep my powder dry.
I saw a brass compass cum sun dial plus (mini) sextant. Of late I have a thing about small, portable sun dials. I was tempted, but refrained.
Then I saw this watch, with the Lionel Train logo, with a MOVING train that acted as the second hand. I was done for. Yes, I know I have extremely strong will power, the only thing that I can’t resist being temptation. This was too much. The watch even made train noises when you pressed a second knob at the top!
Next to cricket, anything that moves is my next abiding passion. Trains are literally in my blood. My maternal grandfather was a station master. So my mother grew up alongside main railway tracks, station masters, per the British tradition, getting official houses close to their station. So my mother grew up to the sound of trains. My grandfather died, the year I was born. He was then the station master of Ceylon’s 2nd largest railway station, Kandy — the hill capital. He died off an heart-attack, early in the morning, while shaving, outside, on the veranda, watching the trains come and go. His eldest son, my uncle, started off as a train driver and eventually rose to the ranks of being an inspector railways. When I was young he would arrange for me to get rides on engines. Once when I was about 12 I spent and entire Saturday morning shoveling coal on a train that was commuting to-and-from Kandy. So … What can I say. I have all sorts of model train stuff, and even a partially working z-gauge train set. I won’t mention the number of books I have. If I look to my right as I write there are 3 shelves with model train engines.
So I got the watch and the compass thingy. I told you I was impulsive and compulsive.
I wasn’t going to look up the watch on the Web. I was petrified that I had made a mistake. Eventually around midnight I broke down and had a look. I had paid $32 for it, in the original box. That is an average price — without shipping. So, I wasn’t ripped off. That is good. If not for the 20% off, I would not have been as sanguine.
I think that that sums up the Antique Center. About par prices, especially if discounted. They did have some stuff 50% off. Deanna found a provocative nut cracker. A female nude and you cracked nuts by lifting her legs apart. She thought that I should get it. I resisted.
Yes, I will be going back again, possibly close to Christmas. Nice place. Has the CUTEST period theme ol’ style soda bar where you can order a real soda!
So, if you are in Laconia give it a try. From what Link was saying they always have sales and each item has a potential discount price marked on it — top right corner.
…by Anura Guruge
Yesterday was the 65th anniversary of Chuck Yeager becoming the 1st man to break the Sound Barrier (~800 mph) in 1947.
As it happened, coincidentally, given that bad weather had delayed the jump a few times since last week, it was also the day that Austrian Felix Baumgartner became the 1st person to break the sound barrier OUTSIDE of a vehicle — i.e., he jumped from a balloon with a parachute and a special, pressurized space suit. (See below.)
Around 10:30 pm, most nights, before turning off the TV and heading upstairs for my 3rd shift of work, I typically flip over to CNN to catch their news update. Last night, being a Sunday, it was the ever irrepressible, always giddily enthusiastic Don Lemon as the anchor. So just as I flipped over, he was about to start a phone interview with Chuck Yeager, who was in Las Vegas. Chuck, now 89, had commemorated the 65th anniversary by being in the back seat of a U.S. Air Force F-15 jet that broke the sound barrier that morning — at the same time that Chuck had done so, so many years ago.
So Don, bubbly as ever, goes: “General Yeager, where you at the controls of today’s jet when it broke the Sound Barrier?“
CNN had lost sound!
The CNN sound barrier had been broken.
Don didn’t even crack a joke about it!
Cracked me up. Talk about breaking the Sound Barrier. So graphic. The video shown above was the 2nd TAKE of that interview!