On hoarding, part 9

For once, I will come out in favor of hoarding – as long as it’s in someone else’s attic.

The Hill Top General Store in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, is a very humble museum. They have everything from collections of old tools, a room of vinyl records (including the songs of Stevie Wonder, as performed by the Motor City Rollers), a gathering of toy ponies, to a small group of Elvis memorabalia. And there’s much more, held in a fairly small collection of rooms.

You can mouse-over or click on each image to see it larger.

I’m glad this place exists. Many people would enter the door and promptly turn around to leave. But I savored every moment of browsing (and photo-gathering). How wonderful that this room of records exists, even though no one will ever listen to them again. I applaud the creativity of Ms. Hill Top, as she carefully arranged the ponies on a shelf behind a painting that the ponies would love to wander into.

Thirty years from now, all of this may be in a land fill. But I am glad that my daughter and I had the opportunity to visit this eclectic landmark. (The rest of my family also visited, but their enjoyment level was not quite the same.)

(“Part 9” is simply an estimate. I don’t know how many posts I’ve written actually relate to the topic. You can see at least some of those posts here and here.)



too-much-talkTL-DNR = “Too Long; Did Not Read.”

This is a phrase that I wish more people would grasp. Few are able to write a good blog post that is fewer than 100 words. Even more critical than brevity is the ability to capture the reader’s attention. Our world is so fractured into special interests that very few blogs can capture the interest of wide audiences.

Faithful readers of this humble blog are few, because I knowingly write about almost anything and everything. If I wanted to focus, I could grab more readers, but making money from this blog is not my goal. I only desire to connect with a few people at a deeper than surface level: “I totally agree with you!” Or, “You are completely off-base, but I can now understand why you feel that way.”

Shiny Bits of Life are often small things that are insignificant to most people. I love uncovering the obscure and bringing it to life for the few who enjoy the same.

Thanks for joining me on the ride.


Memories of pizza

Pizza - courtesy of Sebastian MaryMario’s served my favorite pizza. High school was a long time ago, but that restaurant in Lexington, Massachusetts still lingers in my memory. Their thin crust had a light dusting of flour. The tomato sauce was the perfect blend of spicy and sweet. The cheese must have been real mozzarella. I am not sure if I ever met Mario – he may have even been Greek.  But the large Italian population of Boston definitely had their influence on that venue’s offerings.

What restaurant stands out in your memory?


When fantasy does not work

yellow ferrari 458When I was a teenage boy, my peers had posters of the Lamborghini Countach on their bedroom walls. I had a poster of Eddy Merckx winning the Tour de France on a Gitane bicycle.

Lamborghinis and Ferraris have long been the desire of countless men (and fewer women) worldwide. If you want to buy a new Ferrari, there is an 18-month waiting list, even if you have the money!

But such cars are not the objects of my fantasy. They don’t appeal to me as much as the new Honda Fit. Why? The Fit is attainable. In my wildest dreams, I will never have enough funds to own or lease an Italian supercar. Even if my income increased dramatically, it would take a massive shift in my personal worldview to allow spending that kind of money on pure fun.

Like last week’s post, I do appreciate the art of such beautiful machines. And normal cars benefit from the boundary-stretching work that goes into the creators of supercars pushing the edges of automotive performance.

I find beauty in the simple functionality and efficiency of the Honda Fit. “Doing more with less” describes how the Fit goes about its mission. And it’s fun to drive, as well!

I shot this Ferrari 458 at “my” local Ferrari dealer.


I’m just glad it exists

The Vertu Signature Touch smartphone costs $14,100. It’s incredible that such a thing even exists. But I’m glad.

Vertu Signature Touch featureIt’s comforting to know that a few people in the world can experience Vertu’s largest ever ruby button. (I am not sure what it controls – maybe the ejector seat?) And it’s reassuring that one craftsman carries each object d’art from start to finish. (Their signature is on the inside of the battery cover.) However, vegans would not be happy with the seaspray lizard skin and black alligator skin cases. Vertu’s “focus on performance extends to the range of stunning ringtones performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.”

I am not being sarcastic when I say that I’m glad that such a thing exists. Though I honestly think a $649 (£549) iPhone is better in almost every way,* the fact that people are willing to spend their excess funds on such an obsessed-over creation is amazing. Somehow the ultra-fringe is appealing to me. Though I would not want a Vertu Signature Touch, even if it were given to me, I’m glad it’s out there. I picture a Vertu craftsman working away in a dim-lit basement in the depths of rural England, smoking a Meerschaum, whilst listening to Benjamin Britten. It’s comforting.

* 1) I think the Apple OS ecosystem is better than the Vertu’s Android ecosystem. 2) Even though the per-unit expenses involved in the Vertu Signature Touch project are far more than that of the iPhone, the amount of development hours and design time that went into the iPhone is vastly more than what was invested in the Vertu. This is similar to why the navigation system on a Ferrari is not nearly as good as that of a luxury Toyota. 3) An object’s rarity does not automatically equal it being the best in its class.

If you want to learn more, you can download the brochure.