The Pecking Order

I don’t have anything
against chickens,
I really don’t.

Bad eyesight is
a big pain
in the ass,
whether you’re
a people or
a poultry.

Sure, I know
it doesn’t
matter too much,
when it comes to
down to the Colonel’s bucket…….

But I’d still like to know
that they’ve got 20/20 vision
while they’re scoping out
each other in the barnyard.

Unfortunately, that’s not
what this next vintage
invention is really about.

Yes, they are
‘chicken eye-glasses’.

chickens can be
mean little fuckers —

And one way the
‘pecking order’ in a
group is established
is by them pecking
each other’s eyes out.


A big problem, really.

So, anyhoo —

These little rose colored
eyeglasses were invented
to prevent that.

And the only reason
I know that, is
because I came
across a pair of
them in a Kentucky
antique store, and
laughed at the guy
when he told me
what they were.

But, as funny
as it sounds,
they did work –
and are still in
use around the
world for that purpose.

this place is
downright weird, ain’t it?

Gabbing About Gestalt

legsOne minute you see it,

One minute you don’t.



It’s hoodoo —
or voodoo —
or witchcraft,
or something…..animals


It’s way more
spooky than that.

It’s about human psychology–
and how we perceive things.

Gestalt is a funny thing.

Observing how your mind
takes a single line,
shape, color, or contrast–
—  or a group of them,

and turns it into a
whole concept
is not only interesting,

…… but can produce
some really startling

For example…..gestalt

Do you see a pretty girl,
or a guy playing the saxophone,
in this picture?

Look again, man.

Anybody who’s ever gone to a psychologist….

( and as a child, I went to many —
— surprise, surprise, huh?

…… knows what a
Rorschach ink blot test is.

You’re supposed to look
at a blob of nothing —

….. and tell them the
first thing that comes
to mind.

Of course,
a reasonable
person would think —

But no, that’s nota
how it’s supposed to work.

And with me,
it seemed
to go rather badly.

The guy would hand me
one of those
ink blot things,

and I’d say it looked like a naked lady.

He’d hand me another one,

….and I’d say that one
looked like a naked lady,

After a couple rounds of this,
he finally remarked :

It seems like you might have
an obsession with sex, young man.

I was shocked,
mortified, stunned …

( ok… not all that much, really )

Hey,”, I said ..

You’re the one that keeps showing me dirty pictures, man.

It’s all a matter of perception, ya see.


Look at this picture.


Maybe it just looks like
a bunch of blocks to you.

And really, that’s all it is.

But your mind wants to put
it all together into a unified package.

So, back up a bit from the screen,
and presto — you’ll get the message.

I’m not sure it’s all that accurate, mind you …

I’ve been wearing glasses
all my life and …. wait .


Next slide, please.


I’m gonna give you a little task to perform.

No— not that.

Later, perhaps.

Quickly– I want you to tell
me the color each of these words.



Not what the word says
but what color the word is.

not all that easy, is it ?

You look at the word ORANGE,
and it’s hard to say BLUE,
…. even though you see it IS blue.

That’s because the brain
stores color information,
and language information,
in two different parts of the brain.

And the information from
one part is overriding the
information from the other part.


Welcome to my world, baby.

Often, an image or representation won’t give you a lot of information.

And your brain will try to
fill in the blanks, as it were.

Observe the simple cues in the picture —
color, shape, and a few letters.

Yet, very few people
would fail to come
to a quick conclusion
of what this image is.

Corporations use this concept
a good deal to their advantage,

………….. in everything from logos to advertising.

After all, why tell you stuff
about their product that
might be true, or might not….

…. when they can lead you
to draw your own assumptions/conclusions.

And since all the parts necessary
to make an accurate decision aren’t provided,
well, it’s not hard to see the
potential errors that can be made.

Harmless or not, these kinds of ads
are very persuasive, and appeal
to the deepest reaches of the mind.

But it’s not the only technique they use on you.

Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Take this example —
the new Wendy’s logo. mom

See the word under the girl ?

Why is it there?

To give you a
subliminal impression —
home, apple pie —
and, of course, MOM.

Again —
‘they’ don’t want you
to notice it consciously.

They’re playing upon a
necessary function of your brain —
— the ability to make
sense of the world around us –

but, of course,
using it for their own purposes.

Me, I prefer more recreational uses.


Tell ’em, Frank.



Hair Raising

I’ve been thinking…
(which is always
ya know… )

Imagine an engine
trying to crank
with no fuel ,
and you’ve got
a pretty good idea
of what that looks like….


There does seem
to some subconscious
pattern to the posts
I’ve been writing the
last couple of days,
but I’ve yet to really
narrow down where
my head is at, exactly….

I do know that
if you find my hair,
my head may or
may not be
zipzattached to it.

My damned comb is
pulling out more
slivers of silver
than a Nevada
prospector these days.

Age is catching up with me,
despite my irritation about it –

–I’ve complained to anyone
who will listen,
but it ain’t helpin’ any.



Somewhat on the subject —

A coupla months (years?)
ago, I did a semi-notorious
post about shaving —

and today, we’ll talk
about some other
weird ways
to de-hair yerself.

Cause you gotta admit,
taking a wicked sharp blade
to scrape your face
isn’t really all that normal
when you think about it.

But there are weirder.
Much weirder.

De-hair yourself?


Well, un-hair yerself, then.


Ok, I guess for clarity,
maybe I should say
epilate or depilate yerself.glow


Remove unwanted hair on yerself.


Me, I like hair —
— on my head.
On my back,
not so much.

But spreading lye all over my skin
doesn’t seem to be the greatest idea, either.

Oh man, sure people do —

Well, potassium hydroxide, anyway.
Close enough for me.

That’s called chemical depiliation…

But, aside from the potentials
for burning the skin
and making you smellmodene
like the Delaware River
for a couple of days,
it still doesn’t do anything
permanent to the unwanted hair.

Today, for permanent removal,
there are systems like:
electrolysis, (expensive)
and lasers, (very expensive)
and experimental super-duper technology
(that’s super duper expensive)
that I don’t pretend to be able
to understand, or afford.

Our predecessors had it
a little bit rougher, though.

ratsAnd the products THEY used…

This product,
for instance. —–>>>>


I’ve got the wrong picture there.

The same product,
just an ad for
the wrong target audience.

Because yes,
it was rat poison.

And yes,koremlu-1
it was sold as a depilatory.

there’s the right version.  —->>>

It was called the “Koremlu Method”
and it the 1920’s and 1930’s
it was considered to be the cat’s py-jamas.

It was effective,
— oh yeah —
cause it was made with a
toxic material called Thallium —

kills rats, so, yeah- it killed hair, too.

No hair could live through THAT stuff, man.

And not something I’d want
to slather on MY skin, thanks.a1zip

you still had more bad choices, though.

You could ZIP
and ZAP your hair away…

Radioactive radium
will do the trick every time.

Almost like magic.

Ask anybody who’s
‘had radiation’
and they’ll tell you.

not too good for you, honestly.
And those damnable side effects
(interfering with profits and all)
are just as unpleasant for patients
who were convinced
by various ‘experts’ and quacks
that X-Rays
(yes, those X-Rays)
were the wave of the future —
as far as hair removal technology was concerned —

and that it would finally,
do the trick for them…….. x


It’s that human element again.

Tsk, Tsk.

So what’s a big business to do?


Maybe a change of paradigm?

HOY !!!!



No Static At All

Being a child of
the 1950’s and 1960’s,
I got the opportunity
to see some marvelous
technological changes
come into play
right in front of
my very nose.

I mean,
my very ears.

Frequency Modulation,
for one.

don’t go all
he’s going too technical for me …”

— that’s simply the
real name of what
everybody today calls F.M.

And I have to tell you,
despite all the other
interesting and cool
innovations of the day,
my favorite was
always F.M.

I guess you had to
make a long road trip,
like I often did with
my family, from Florida
to the Northeast
to see relatives,
armed only with a
funky, clunky, junky
A.M. transistor radio,
to really understand.

The A.M.
(or, Amplitude Modulation)
Band not only represents
major suckage today,
but sucked just as bad,
(and maybe even worse)
back in the 1960’s.

Nothing but fast talking,
over-emoted DJ’s babbling
a vapid stream
of un-conciousness,
playing the same 10 damn
records over and over,
not to mention the
commercials every 3 minutes —
— which really put
the ‘AD’ in AD Nauseam.

And the static —-
man, everytime you rode
into outlying metro areas,
under an overpass,
or a plane flew over,
or even turned onto
a route with high grass
on the shoulder-
the static made the
radio unlistenable.

You had no choice
but to take your
mono-earphone out
and tolerate your
brothers and sisters
whining and whingeing.

You could only hope
that one of those
BIG POWER 50,000 watt
stations would fade
in once in a while —

— like WLS in Chicago,
or WSM in Nashville.

Of course, country ain’t
exactly my thing,
but compared to listening
to my brother grousing
4000 times in that special
staccato-falsetto he saved
for such occasions,
it was sweet music to
my ears for sure.

Then, one special day,
the girl down the street
got a new fangled
AM-FM stereo —
and I couldn’t get enough
of messing with that thing.

“F-M” you say?
Experimental, you say?
No commercials, you say?
No static, you say ?
You Don’t Say !

Of course,
I’d love to tell you
that this story had
some kinda romantic
ending, like me and
Susie ran off together
and started our own
million watt FM station
playing nothing but
album-cuts off classic
rock and roll albums
and a nightly show
featuring China Valles
and some really
cool jazz, man.

But sad to say,
Susie soon took up
with the co-captain of
the JV Lacrosse team,
and I had to get
my own FM receiver.

Still, I do kinda have
my own version of a
1960’s FM station
to this day —
it’s called my IPOD.

just sometimes,
mind you,
you have to say
“Thank Heaven”
for technology.

That’s my story,
and I’m sticking with it.

!!!! HOY !!!!

Messerschmitt KR’s


It’s time for another edition
of ‘ strange cars ‘ —

And today, the micro-car
from the late 1950’s –
Messerschmitt KR.

Some folks might know the Messerschmitt name,

from the famous World War II German Warplanes,

…… like the ME 262 Fighter jet,

ME 163 ‘Komet’ Rocket Plane,

or the BF 109….

But many don’t know that Messerschmitt made a line of micro-cars in the 1950’s and 1960’s —

…. the most well known of them being the Messerschmitt KR-175 and KR-200 “Bubble Cars” .

Messerschmitt KR200

World War II ended with Germany in economic ruin, and it’s industries shattered.

The Messerschmitt Company survived, but for years was banned from building aircraft by treaty.

Aircraft engineer Fritz Fend had a design for an unusual three wheeled, two passenger “cabin scooter”, and approached Messerschmitt with it.

The company executives, eager to put their factories back into full production, grabbed at the opportunity,

Thus, the first ‘Messerschmitt Kabinenroller’, called the KR-175, rolled off the assembly line in Regensburg in 1953.


Powered by a one cylinder, two-stroke Fichtel and Sachs 173cc engine located behind the passenger seat…

It had a kick starter ( an option for electric starter was available ) and a 4 speed transmission, all four speeds of which worked in forward or reverse, depending on which direction the motor was set to rotate.

Yes, it was a very small engine, but, since the car only weighed a total of about 500 pounds, this wasn’t considered to be much of a liability.

It could accelerate up to about 50 mph with luck and a tail wind, and got 75 MPG.

The steering mechanism was a set of handlebars, which the driver would push, instead of rotate, to turn, similar to that of an aircraft.

On the handlebars were also mounted a handbrake and a twist throttle.

This was not exactly a luxury car… even the windshield wiper was operated manually.

The ‘Bubble’ canopy was hinged on the drivers right side, and was flipped up to enter or exit the vehicle.

Between 1953 and 1955, about 16,000 KR-175’s were built, with another 6,000 built in Italy, under license to Mi-Val, with their own 172 cc engine, and called the ‘Mivalino’.

In 1955, Messerschmitt replaced the KR-175 with the KR-200 —

This new model which, although incorporating the same basic frame and look, improved both the handling and comfort of the car,

………… not to mention the marketability.


It was also faster —

It had a 191cc engine that would now make 56 MPH,
………… assuming the same amount of luck and tailwind.

The KR-200 used hydraulic shocks on each wheel instead of springs, bigger tires, and the rear suspension was totally new.

And, it had electric windshield wipers.

The KR-200 can easily be distinguished from the KR-175, by the cutouts for the front wheels- new in 1955.

The new model was a success, with almost 10,000 KR-200’s produced in the first year,

But by 1956, Messerschmidt was permitted to build aircraft again, and sold the Regenburg plant to Fend.

Fend reorganized his holdings under the name FMR (Fahrzeug und Maschinenbau GmbH Regensburg ) and continued to improve the car.

1957 saw the introduction of KR-201 Roadster, with removable windows and a convertible cloth top.

Other models also followed…

T he most notable of these being the four wheeled ‘sports car’ version of the KR-200, called the FMR Tg-500, or “Tiger” —


This car, the Tg-500, featured a 494cc two stroke, straight two cylinder engine, and a transaxle mounted 4 speed transmission with reverse gear…..

No longer was it necessary to push the ignition key to stop the car and reverse the rotation of the engine…. this had proven to be a major inconvenience for drivers of the KR-175, and KR-200 models.

The Tiger’s top speed was better, too– up to 78 MPH.

By 1964, the demand in Germany for ultra small economy cars was gone, and the unique line of cars that traced their lineage back to the Messerschmitt KR-175 Kabineroller was no longer being manufactured.

But there is, today, a renewed interest in Microcars …

So much so, that I wouldn’t be surprised if one day soon, you’ll be seeing cars like the Tg-500, or the KR-200 on the road again, even here in the United States.

Well, ok……

…………………… perhaps a bit larger in the cabin space.

KR 200