IBM Flowcharting Template

When I was a kid. An honest to goodness retired IBM engineer and his wife moved in across the street from me. He and his wife were very nice to me, giving me toys on my birthday and overpaying me to wash their car in the summer. The engineer, Fred, would sit in a chair in the yard and tell me stories about computers and other technologies.

One late summer day while drying their Cadillac, Fred told me they were moving to Florida. It was a sad day. I helped them pack boxes and throw stuff out for the next month. The day before they left Fred gave me a box full of things he thought I should have. Amongst them was a pocket knife (which I still have on my desk), a slide rule and this IBM flowcharting template. I never heard from them again until I was much older and I got a letter from his wife. Fred had died. I think he would be happy to know that I chose a career in computers and that his stories had something to do with my choice. Its kind of a cool looking package, so I thought I would share.

A Rainy Day Trip to American Science and Surplus

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Moving to a new area has its high points and its low points. As a big fan of the familiar, I can tell you I have had a ton of low points over the last month, but I am happy to say I am starting to adjust and get my bearings. Now all sorts of cool things are at my disposal. New Flea Markets and garage sales, brand new thrift stores and wait for it… I live only a few minutes away from American Science and Surplus. Pinch me.

As a kid we used to receive their oddball catalog in the mail and I would beg my Mom to order me assorted flasks, doodads and boxed shrunken heads. Of course, being the fiscally responsible adult she said no and then would throw away the catalog before I found it. Well guess what? Now I am a fiscally irresponsible adult who lives minutes away from this mecca of madcap merchandise. Take that upbringing!

Now in all the rush and bustle of moving it didn’t even occur to me that I was near AS&S. It was during a drive to find this bakery that I spotted their sign and almost drove off the rode. Sadly I was in a rush that day and had to wait until this weekend to visit. It was like waiting for that first summer weekend when you would get to go down the shore with you friend’s family. Sweet anticipation. I got their at opening on Saturday – 2nd person in the door. When I smelled the dust in the air and spotted the humorous hand written signs I knew I was in Retroist heaven.

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I bought a bunch of things:

– Lots of Stickers
– Mickey Mouse bookmark.
– American Science and Surplus Mug
– Nerd Magnets
– Rocky and Bullwinkle Magnets
– Dragon Dice Mat
– Nose themed Pencil Sharpener
– Miniature Painting of a sailing ship
– Rattlesnake Egg Magnets
– Boiling Flask
– 3 Fotonovels
– Skateboarding Patches
– Mountable Bottle Opener
– Assorted Plastic Clips

Grand Total – About 10 bucks.

Here is pic of some of the stuff:
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Not a bad way to pass a morning for me. On the way out I signed up for their catalog (feels good to be reunited) and I made a promise to myself not to go their more then once a month.

Note: OK Promise broken – I went back this morning – just to look at the lab stuff again. You are not my Mother. Stop judging me!!

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The Bus of the Future as Envisioned in the 1950s

What will the bus of the future look like?

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Pretty cool huh? Well compared to what we see on the streets now, its a marked improvement, but that is nothing compared to what people in the past hoped they would look like. In the 1950s they thought it would be as big as a Star Wars’ AT-AT with slick lines and a Jetson’s style cockpit. Oh and it will destroy anything in its path!!

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What’s super cool is that the inside of this vehicle looks like a dining club of some sort. I would love a more open seating style on my Greyhound. Have a couple of drinks, meet some new people. Instead we are still crammed into aluminum tubes – face forward – back straight. I love these retro visions of a future that will never happen.