Basement Stories – Glass

Basement Stories


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My basement is a museum of forgotten memories and unfinished projects. On Saturday during the April Fools snowstorm I poked around and found some interesting glassware. It brought back some memories.

Basement Treasures
Among the antique bottles I found these decorative glass light coverings. I don’t even remember where I found these.
Basement Treasures
I’m old enough to remember seeing glass insulators on utility poles. I read that in the desert the clear glass ones would gain a violet tint from the sun’s ultraviolet light.
Basement Treasures
When I lived in Stamford, CT my dad would take me to Scofield Town Dump and we would scavenge for treasures. American Cyanamid dumped there and I would collect reagent bottles, test tubes and other chemical glassware. There was always a fire burning somewhere and among the pungent smoke I once found an antique banjo which was half burnt. I have no idea why I’m still alive. This is one of the bottles, but that is just food coloring.
Basement Treasures
Imagine my surprise when I found this mouse skeleton INSIDE this antique bottle. Why would this stupid thing crawl inside an empty bottle?  How did it get in? What a horrible way to die.
Basement Treasures
Each regional area has it’s own brand of soft drink. My wife was born on Vancouver Island and for some reason I must have picked up this bottle when I was there. It is one of those forgotten memories.
Basement Treasures
I do remember painted label San Miguel beer from my Navy Days. We drank enough of this stuff in the bars of Olongapo City in the Philippines.
Olongapo City 1970
Olongapo City 1970
I was pretty thin during my stint in the Navy. Note the 8 track player behind my right shoulder.

Basement Stories – Transformers

Transformers in the basement

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In 1885 the ZBD model alternating-current transformer was invented by three Hungarian engineers: Ottó Bláthy, Miksa Déri and Károly Zipernowsky. (ZBD comes from the initials of their names). – Source Wikipedia

In the basement I have a shelf loaded with all sizes of transformers. These are electrical devices not the action toys. They are used to step voltage up or down as needed for electronic circuits. They are an essential part of our everyday life, mounted on telephone poles and the key part of the “wall warts” that charge our smart phones.

This is a fairly typical configuration of a full wave rectifier. The transformer on the left steps down the line voltage. That output which is alternating current is fed to the bridge rectifier in the middle of the photo. Normally that would be bolted to a heat sink since it gets quite warm. The blue can is an electrolytic capacitor which smooths out direct current from the rectifier.
I have kept this transformer for over 50 years because it is somewhat unusual. Transformers were used in tube amplifiers and radios to provide vacuum tube filament and plate voltages. Most of the time the filament voltage was 6.3 volts but this transformer is rated at 2.5 volts. Note that this was made in the Chicago. Note to the Brits (vacuum tube = valve)
The shape of the case gives away the construction of a transformer. The bulge surrounds the copper winding around the laminated steel. I’ve taken one apart to get the wire, a tedious task.
Each tap has a different voltage. You don’t get something for nothing, if you step up the voltage the current is less. Transformers are highly efficient for power transfer.
A isolation transformer is used in laboratory environments. It outputs line voltages but electrically it is unattached to the grid. It is very “quiet”.
A Jones Strip is attached to the transformer
This is one hefty unit

Basement Stories

Time to get rid of this stuff

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I have a basement filled with decades of outdated technology, dried up paint, unfinished products, jars of screws, neglected kitchen appliances, wire, string, tape, disk drives, audio tapes, flower pots, quick fuse, IC chips, tools, glue, crayons, poisonous chemicals, burnt out fluorescent light bulbs, record albums, work clothing, ladders, laboratory equipment, computers, shell casings, sea shells, rocks, nails, plant fertilizer, plant killers, plants, living worms, a litter box and some other weird stuff.

I cannot even move about without tripping over some treasure.  I long to have a clear spot on the workbench to actually get something done. The time has come to purge of these items, but each on of them has a story to tell and I would be remiss as a blogger without telling that story. I’m starting this project after being alive for seven decades, but some of this stuff was collected by my dad  and foolishly was added to my “collection”.

I’ll start with something simple. At one time I had a pile of PC power supplies. They have a regulated DC current output of 12 and 5 volts which is convenient for different hobby projects. These are the remaining units. You want them?

IBM Power Supply
IBM power supplies

Things I’ve Seen

Things I’ve seen

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I didn’t even have to travel out of town for this posting.  I’m newly retired which affords me the time to get to know the locals.

First stop was on River Road to meet this rooster. It was an interesting encounter trying to snap a photo before he attacked the lens.
Creative snowman seen in New Ipswich, NH.
This snowman was modeled after the Sesame Street character Snuffleupagus. I first thought it was the Indian Deity Ganesha
Michelin Snowman
Wooden Kite
This “kite” got tangle in the power line when the wind stopped.

Day 125: Quakers and Witchcraft

Mountain Man Traditional Healing


The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, were often accused of witchcraft in the early days of the movement. The Puritans looked at the mystical experience of the Quakers as being more of the Devil than of God, and felt like this sort of “possession” as it was often referred to, was of the same kind as they saw with those accused of witchcraft. While both the Puritans and the Quakers put an emphasis on miracles and the working of the Divine in the world around them, it was the Puritans who often mocked and abused the Quakers for believing in the curative powers of prayer and Divine intersession. For the Puritans sickness was seen as being directly related to sin, yet for Quakers like George Fox idea was that the human, however sinful, could be freed by their relationship with the “Light” within us all. This philosophy led to…

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Five Products from Hammacher Schlemmer That Will Make You Jump Up and Down Shouting, “Huh!”

More shopping tips

The Trumplandia Review

We at The Rotting Post proudly present the following completely real products that we officially guarantee will be used up to one time before landing in the back of your closet.   What’s more, they are all available at, the place to go for stuff that they sell there.

And remember:  If it isn’t Hammacher, it isn’t Schlemmer.

 1. Metal Detecting Sandals

I’ve often wondered, “What’s the latest fashion in searching for buried tuna cans and nickels and stuff at the beach?  I could really use that extra nickel, but…will I look stylish?”

Well the people at Hammecher Schlemmer have just the solution, with their eye-catching metal-detector sandals.   Let’s say that nickel I’m homing in on is buried under a beach blanket with two attractive young women on it.  Instead of sweeping over them with my out-of-style metal-detecting rod, and listening for beeps with big my headphones, now I…

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Hermès – Because Love Fades…but status is forever

A shopping Guide

The Trumplandia Review

The holiday season is upon us, Jack Frost is in the air, and we’re here with our very own Holiday Gift Guide – brought to you exclusively by The Rotting Post and Hermes.

hermesfeature The following completely real items will be sure to bring you and your loved ones seconds of joy, right up until the package is unwrapped.

  1. Hermès Card Case in Swift calfskin with lambskin lining….$1,100


You don’t need to spend a hundred thousand dollars on a Mercedes S to feel like a rich asshole.  You need only throw away $1,100 on this useless cardholder, and you can be every bit as much of a douche.  Measuring just 3” by 4”, it’s small enough to hold nothing, and comes with a guarantee that it will get wedged behind a sofa cushion, never to be found again, before your holiday is even over!  Do we even…

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