Curious and curiouser

Toadsgoboad at has created a curious land of Mindernans.

I didn't know what I was missing

I didn't know what good paprika was until I found La Chinata hot smoked paprika powder from Spain. Under $4 from the Dekalb Farmer's Market

Happy Father's Day!

The Howard Loves LaVerne Collection- pictures from my grandparents.
Pictures one and two are my dad with his parents. Picture three is of my dad's brother. Seriously great loving parents seen here in these pictures.

Addicted to small cars

After visiting the micro car museum, I have small cars on the brain. Found this concept car from Toyota.

The Camatte concept car. Oh, if wishes were reality.

Cheap bookshelves, cheap books, and a dream of owning a bookstore

What I really would love to do is run a bookstore.  It's probably my ultimate dream for semi-retirement.  First, I love reading. Second, I buy books and I like a deal. Finally, the idea of creating the ultimate reading nook of a book shop appeals to me at so many levels.

I have been to a lot of book stores, seconds and thrifts, yard sales, jumbles, and library book sales.  I have even run library book sales when I was on the Board and let me tell you, I ran hella-great sales.  While raising money for the library was always the reason, I also thought getting books into people's hands was equally important.  To inspire a love of reading, I always set the prices very reasonably. 10 cents for romance, which you always get tons of and can never get rid of. 50 cents for mass market paperbacks and kids paperbacks. $1 for adult paperback and kids hardback. $2-3 for hardbacks.  We seldom had books left to store, especially with $5 a bag final days.  All said, I know how to sell dirtcheap.

But bookstores are a little different.  There's the overhead and employee costs.  But honestly, at my book store, I'm the only one working.  I figure Friday-Sunday 11-8 and it's a work week, with perfect semi-retirement hours.

Walt Whitman
As for overhead, grab a small space, and pack it full.  Shelves 7 feet high, set in rows just far enough apart to stand with arms akimbo. Wood floors with creaky floorboards.  Runner rugs tossed among the aisles and nooks.  Little one chair reading nooks, with second hand fabric chairs, well worn and broken in. The odd foot stool.  A floor lamp, a wall mounted light or if there's room for a smallish table with a reading light.  At some far removed spot, a heavy library table in the farthest corner with wooden chairs and green law library lamps.  At the front of the store would be a counter for checkout and shipping off those online orders. Opposite the counter would be the coffee pot and tea kettle for 25 cent cuppa'. Set near the front would be locked glass front cabinets for those rare editions-real beauties, first editions, signed, leather, hand bound, ancient, you know the ones, you remember that smell. As nice as those rare books are, I dream of a store with a free or exchange shelf.  You know those crappy pulp fictions books-the Grishams and Crichtons- that show up at every yard sale and library book sale.  People still read them and that's what you give away, regift, or exchange.  So there will be a free shelf.

There would only be two large front windows for small displays.  Too much light and the books fade.  And the lighting...on the darkish side.  Task lights for reading nooks, tables and the counter.  Everything else, just enough the read the titles lining the well organized shelves. Oh, and SciFi Fantasy I'll have offerings to match the mystery section in size.  As for new books, at most 10% of the titles would be recent offerings.  The store would specialize in used books and would be priced accordingly.  Wonder why I would open late at 11 on a Saturday- to hit the yard sales.  Mon-Wed I would hit library book sales, seconds stires, etc.

Old Man Hemingway and a big fish from the sea
Back to those book shelves.  Where the ends aren't lined with more shelves, then pictures.  Framed book cover art, authors photos-the ones you get on postcards, cool as hell bookmarks found in old books, and of course, bookmarks from other bookstores framed in dollar store cheap-o frames.
Zora Neale Hurston at a book store
 I want a book store to hang out in.  Sure, it'll be a job and I promise to ship online orders same/next day.  I'll greet the customers, and then leave them the hell alone until they need me.  I'll keep the coffee brewing and the tea kettle filled.  Now to win the lottery so I can have my dream job come true.

Cheap Bookshelves

For the next Star Trek convention

Name Tags!

Found this great picture

Cary Grant exiting a bubble car.

mini-Car Museum

We went to the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum in Madison, GA.

Look closely and you'll see some cars have three wheels, others four. Some of the three wheelers have 2 wheels in the front, others have 1 wheel in the front. As for the missing doors, look for those at the ends where the hood would pop up or the trunk would close. The clear dome cars seem to open upwards based on the slant of the door handles. Other doors open backwards. Some cars only have one door. The windows are in all shapes and sizes, some with the distinctive bubble shape that gave them their nickname, "bubble cars". Many windows are fixed and can not be rolled down. Smaller windows open on a pivot hinge. Others seem impractical with larger side windows than front screens. Some engines hide in trunks or under seats. Gas containers sit in trunks or under hoods where engines might normally go. The mix of materials (wood, fabric, steel, aluminum, etc) combined with the vibrant paint jobs, great details, and curious interiors really add to the overall feel. These were some cute little cars.

If I could change one thing, the cars would be spaced out so
(1.) we could throw open the hood (or pull up a seat) to inspect the 700cc, 250cc and 50cc engines,
(2.) open the trunk to check for storage and the mini spare tires,
(3.) and the front doors would be left open to better see the interiors.

The photos are mostly uncropped so you take in the number of cars in the background and the walls lined with collectibles. At $5 a person, grab a camera, and go if you're near.

A large open warehouse, every inch of space is taken by cars, toy displays, neon signs, and more.

A mini police car from Germany with flashing light.

Some of these tiny cars were designed to hold 2 or more.
The cream and white car above has a car door on each end.

The milky pink color was eye catching. The clear tops, more so.

The majority of the cars were made by companies long forgotten. Others like this bright blue beauty had more familiar names.

The practical side, mom with 2 kids, was drawn to the family VW bus style.

The picnic basket attached to the trunk and the the milky green color was one of my favorites.

This little red car is an aptly named Scootacar Mk I, 1959, from Leeds, England.
Others seemed much smaller, somehow more impractical. Still, I can't resist the cuteness. The third one above has a baby, with it's own pram top, a la convertible.

This is the front of the blue delivery truck. 

Some were the workhorses, uh, work ponies?? The red truck with green canvas above is a 1961 Isetta 300 from England. It carries 165 lb. The green truck two above was a bread delivery truck!

The metal gave this mini a futuristic feel. The seats are painted woven wicker across aluminum frames.

This color looked military-esque.

A couple of wood panel minis.

Sports minis. With little room behind the wheel, I can't see sports minis becoming popular with the mid-life crisis guys seeking to pump up their egos while fighting the middle age beer belly.

Family Wagon with space for mom and dad in the front and the dogs in the back.

Bold in red with great plaid seats. The windows bubble out and give it a larger feel. A 1962 Trojan 200 from Ireland.

If only this baby blue car had fit in my trunk, I would have gladly taken it home. A Spanish 1961 S.E.A.T. 600, it seats 4 and has a spare under the hood along with a gas tank. The 4 cylinder, 23 HP engine is in the traditional trunk area. It has an electric starter and tops out out at a whopping 57mph, but I doubt that's with 4 people. The two doors open backwards from regular cars. I suspect with its limited leg space in the back seat, most people tossed their luggage there since the trunk housed the engine.

In addition to mini-cars, there were toys, candy collectibles, and a Vespa!