What did I tell you? Updated!

Filed under: Newsworthy, politics — olivander August 28, 2008 @ 6:30 pm

Last month, I predicted that McCain would select MN Governor Tim Pawlenty as his running mate, and explained why.

Breaking news as of 45 minutes ago:

Aug 28, 5:43 PM EDT
McCain makes decision on VP running mate
Associated Press Writer

DENVER (AP) — Republican presidential candidate John McCain decided on a running mate early Thursday, and one top prospect, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, abruptly canceled numerous public appearances.

The Arizona senator will appear with his No. 2 at an Ohio rally on Friday, aides said, though they provided no details on who McCain had picked.

Without explanation, Pawlenty called off an Associated Press interview at the last minute, as well as other media interviews in Denver, site of the Democratic National Convention.

Rest of the story here.

I could be wrong yet. Stay tuned…

Yep, I was wrong. You can officially ignore anything that comes out of my keyboard. It’s going to be Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Nope, I’d never heard of her either. Seems she was Mayor of a town of fewer than 8,000 people before surprisingly winning the Governorship two years ago. Since I’m sure most folk are as unfamiliar with her as I am, here is how she stands on the issues. (BTW, I recommend OnTheIssues.org as an excellent resource for checking the voting record of every politician.)

I’m not sure whether or how this selection hurts or helps McCain. I have my speculations, but I’ll have to reserve them until I learn more about this woman.

The good news and the bad news

Filed under: Errata, typewriters — olivander @ 5:07 pm

Good news! The green script Royal FP arrived today!

Bad news. It was left sitting on-end on the front stoop.

Good news! The seller packed it exceptionally well, and no damage was done. Carriage hadn’t even twitched.

Bad news. It has no ribbon spools, and standard spools don’t fit.

Good news! The spools from a Royal HH fit!

Bad news. The carriage doesn’t move when I hit the keys.

And that’s where it sits. There must be an unobtrusive little lever somewhere that “unlocks” the keyboard, because the escapement and all other functions work fine. Carriage moves when I hit the spacebar, or tab key, or backspace. Just not when you hit anything connected to a typebar. Not much time right now to delve deeply into the issue, but quite frankly, I’m flummoxed. Typically, the spacebar uses the same escapement release mechanism as the keys. I assume since everything else related to the carriage and escapement work that I must be overlooking some “feature”.

And no, Monda, this isn’t a sign that I should send the Royal to you right away. Though I am wondering about your little curse hoodoo.

Introducing the History Lens

Filed under: Errata — olivander August 23, 2008 @ 1:03 am

Hi, all. Just wanted to let y’all know that my previous post inspired me to start a new blog for all of those historic images and bits of ephemera that just don’t fit anywhere else. The first post commemorates the anniversary of the tornado that all but flattened Rochester, MN, ultimately spawning the creation of the Mayo Clinic. Check it out!

The Old School

Filed under: Errata, ephemera, typewriters — olivander August 19, 2008 @ 2:01 pm

Today we visit a couple of classrooms from the past. Back before “keyboarding” classes, nearly every high school student learned touch-typing, in rooms full of clacking, dinging, ratcheting clamor. And lest those of you who didn’t have to take one of those classes believes that there is no difference between “typing” and “keyboarding”, the two are worlds apart. Touch-typing is an art. The keys are not neatly compressed together and nearly level, as on a computer keyboard. The vertical and horizontal finger reach of a manual typewriter is nearly twice that of a keyboard. Shifting required actual muscle strength. You had to align forms with the type; calculate centering, right-justification, columns; keep track of your bottom margin; plan ahead for footnotes. There was no word wrap.

If you made a mistake–oops!–backspace and delete could not save you. Heaven forbid you didn’t discover the typo immediately and had to use half-spacing to insert a missing character. If you were being timed for speed, there was no going back and correcting your mistakes with a quick backspace or Ctrl-<-. Those flubs counted against your word count.

And you did most of this without looking at the machine.

First up is a postcard, c.1915, of the Spencerian Commercial School typewriting room. Click to see it full-size and try to find as many different typewriters as you can. Is that a Smith Premier 10 next to the Monarch and the Remington in the near row?

Spencerian Commercial School

Next is a Library of Congress photo of a typing class at Eastern High School in Washington, D.C., c.1920. Most of the typewriters are Remington #10s. Click the photo to view it larger and enjoy the fashions which were popular then. If you click here, you’ll see the most wonderful thing about this photo: the list of classroom typewriter serial numbers and reported problems (“Remington RX85832 – Bell does not ring”).

Interestingly, while the fashions and the machines in use indicate that this undated photo was taken in the 1920s, a couple of those serial numbers cross-reference to much later dates.

Eastern High Typing Class

Family Field Trip

Filed under: Diversions, Typecast — olivander August 12, 2008 @ 5:49 pm