Put a Nickel in the Jukebox Baby

Everyday Life, Jukebox, Memories
Celebrating National Jukebox Day today.

Today’s National Jukebox Day so I figured I’d reiterate a little history of the one that we have serving court in the sitting room across from the fireplace and add some things from last time out.

It’s not one of the super expensive famous Wurlitzer’s but it gets the job done. This particular model is from a company called Rowe/AMi and it dates to 1982. (Hey, around the same time I was playing basketball with my friend from the previous entry! Man, life is weird.) We actually found this one on Craigslist (this was during a period when I was searching for random things for a man cave – it’s also how we obtained a Foosball table, air hockey table, and an authentic full size Ms. Pacman arcade machine – each one with stories for another day, especially the foosball with the kid having the climb the walls to a window to get back inside his building). I’m not sure now what made us decide to get a jukebox in the first place, perhaps just really feeling nostalgic at the time. Anyways, this guy Dave in Braintree wanted to part with it, so we got it. We were able to haggle him down a little bit from the price he originally wanted. I think he said it was from his mom’s house or something when he was growing up but since was sitting in the garage for a while taking up space. That’s the thing about these machines – they’re actually pretty large. In getting it home we actually had to get movers to move it because it weighs so much – all that mechanical workings are pretty heavy – also due to the nature of the innards they had to be very careful not to jostle it too much because it could get cranky. One thing out of place by just a smidge and it gets messed up. It came with the records as well but I think we replaced most of the selections he had in there, as they weren’t to our particular tastes. I think LD needs to take a picture of herself dancing in front of the machine while wearing a poodle skirt someday.

It only holds 200 45 RPM LPs. Part of what we like to do is search bargain bins or antique stores once in a while to pick up some. It’s a crap shoot on the quality because a scratched record can ruin the experience, but overall we’ve been pretty lucky, and they’re actually pretty cheap. There’s a antique place in New Hampshire down the road from where we’ve done baby goat yoga that has never let us down in selection or quality. You can also buy some online from some reputable retailers. And yes, an iPod or your cellphone can hold and stream thousands of songs but we like the nostalgia of actually having a real jukebox. It’s always fun having friends over that can dance along it front of it with us, hopefully we can do that again once the pandemic is over. Most of our selections are from the 80s, but we also have 70s and older stuff. LD has a whole collection of records from her mom and dad when they were younger and those are great, and in great condition too. Every so often, in a need of change, I’ll swap out some records and their labels with new songs and get those into the rotation. We finally created a database in Google Docs to keep track of what we have in there, what’s in storage, and their condition, so that when we go browsing again someday we’ll know what we have and what to look for.

It has an electronic selector – you just type the number that corresponds to the number on the song you want to play (I created all the labels myself – there’s an awesome free website where you type in your stuff and customize the look and then you can print them out, cut them to size, and insert them). There’s a mini-computer in this one that supposedly keeps track of what songs were played the most, etc. but I could never figure out how it actually works – I need to look into that a little bit more. Speaking of, when I have the top open, it’s kind of cool to actually see the robot arm select the record you’ve chosen, grab it, and place it on the turntable. Then the needle comes over and places itself on the disc, and the tunes start flowing from the speakers, which are VERY LOUD if turned all the way up. It’s currently set to free play but the coin mech is all there and can be set to accept coins for play, it defaults to 25 cents per song.

Hopefully, it will never need service, because most of folks who actually know how to repair these things are in their late 80s or no longer working!

You might be wondering about the décor around the machine. The large hanging 45 over the machine on the wall was a pick from someplace in Maine on the way back from a trip I believe. An antique dealer dealing in kitsch and stuff. He didn’t really want to part with it but he eventually gave it up. The round mat in front of the machine is a personalized gift I got for LD and me. The label has our nicknames on it with the heading “Making music since 2008”, the year we met.

Autumnal Chill in the Air / Real Women Have Curves

Art, Everyday Life, Jukebox, Memories, Scenic Photography
Red Colored Leaves and Gourds are signs of Autumn in New England
Red Colored Leaves and Gourds are signs of Autumn in New England

The get together yesterday afternoon was really fun. We even burned some logs that our guest brought over from downed trees in her area and we learned how to burn them successfully. In fact, we think this was the best fire that we ever had. Good lessons to learn moving forward. She also said she’d help us with our gardening and landscaping in the future (hobbies of hers and she’s really good at it). Also love her bohemianism and seemingly free-spiritedness!

This afternoon’s movie watch was Real Women Have Curves. Not a movie I would generally see but I thought it was actually pretty good. While I was sautéing up some tofu for LD (with peppers, onion, zucchini and spinach – trust me, it’s good!) I googled around and learned that in 2019, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” so that’s a big deal.

I noticed today that according to my records, our jukebox is 10 years old today (meaning we bought it and have enjoyed it for 10 years so far. Where did the time go?)

I’m also a little crinkled up today from the way I slept last night. I didn’t want to disturb Carson, the cat, from where is was sleeping toward the bottom of my legs. So for hours it felt like I stayed crumpled up so as not to bother his sleep! #LifeofCatOwners.

Happy National Jukebox Day

Everyday Life, Jukebox, Memories, Wildlife
Jukebox in the house

I know I’ve posted this before but it being National Jukebox Day and all I just had to get it up again. Yes, we will most likely be using this tonight as we prepare for the gathering tomorrow. We need to create some kind of database to keep track of all the records we have and their condition. It would be good to get a census of what he have versus what we’d like to get in there, and could help with rotating the songs in and out. I’ve written the story about how we got this machine before so I won’t rehash that here. Needless to say it’s a great conversation piece and we love it – even if the technology is so mechanical and freakin’ heavy! Moving this thing is a beast!

Made a quick visit to the market this morning, mostly getting some different fruits and veggies, planning on making some kind of cute looking turkey things out of them, much like we made the vegetable skeleton for Halloween a while back. Naturally I’ll be doing all the prep work on that. If it comes out well I’ll take a pic and share it with everyone. Sometimes those things can come out hit or miss, but either way I’ll be eating it anyway. Good to get those things already as the store although wasn’t too crazy, it will probably get worse as the day progresses in terms of activity.

I went ahead and put up the light-up reindeer on the front lawn this morning. I’ll have to consult with LD as to my placement of them but I’m pleased to report that they all move and light up still. Always a challenge trying to figure out the placement and the electrical outlets. Since it’s kinda warm today I figure it’d be good to get them up and out of the basement. I didn’t put them up last year but since we’re having guests tomorrow thought it would be nice to show the setup. Definitely getting into the holiday spirit early this year. Does this mean the tree will come down before February ala last year? Probably not! While I was out there I scared “Squibbs” the squirrel away from his ‘mealtime.’

I was going to work a half day today but lately since losing the contract I was on I haven’t been all that busy so I decided to take the day. Just as well too, it’s amazing how much one can actually get done when you don’t have to spend most of your nine to five someplace else. More updates as the day progresses perhaps, stay tuned…

What a Week

Everyday Life, GameTime, Jukebox, Memories, Scenic Photography
Newport, RI

Not the greatest week this week, but things appear to be looking up! Between spending a few days at the hospital visiting, losing an important piece of jewelry, and just being a stress bag all around. But like I said – things are looking up – found the jewelry this morning (my brain is just mush these days), and back home getting back to normalcy. Still have some worries – work sucks, and some major dental work most likely coming up again but c’est la vie.

Some gametime for fun that’s keeping me occupied at times:

  • Neon Dash – a platformer where you have to control a block over obstacles.
  • Just one chance – haven’t beaten this one yet. Thing is with this you only get one chance – if you die, you have to wait 24 hours to try again.
  • Conveyor mayhem – a puzzle game where you move crates onto their targets. Took me a few to beat all 22 levels.
  • Crazy Dungeon – not too hard, move your guy around the board but don’t get caught by the nasties.
  • Huggernaut – grapple around to beat the levels.

Other minor things – updated to site to WP 5.3. Seems to have gone well, although I notice the photo captions aren’t centered? Strange. Update: Never mind, appears to actually be that way – there’s some CSS code that fixes it temporally which I’ve used on the last few posts. One of somewhat related note, I’ve had this domain since 2001 – today is the anniversary of when hatchetation.com first went live! It’s all grown up now. You can catch up some older versions of the site through snapshots in time at the Wayback Machine. I wish I could find the even earlier versions back from Geocities but I think it’s on some zipdisk that I can no longer read.

Going to roast some carrots this afternoon to bring over to some friends tonight who are hosting a get together, should be fun. Speaking of fun, check out this video of a fully restored first coin operated jukebox. Must be priceless! It doesn’t play records – it plays Edison cylinder rolls!

Rockin’ to the Jukebox

Everyday Life, Jukebox, Memories
A morning with the AMI/Rowe R-82 Jukebox – a great conversation piece

This morning while trying to get ahead on a little housework, I decided to rock out to our jukebox, and figured I’d give a little history of it. It’s not one of the super expensive famous Wurlitzer’s but it gets the job done. We actually found this one Craigslist (this was during a period when I was searching for random things for a man cave – it’s also how we obtained a Foosball table, air hockey table, and an authentic full size Ms. Pacman arcade machine). Anyways, this guy in Braintree wanted to part with it, so we got it. In getting it home we actually had to get movers to move it because it weighs so much – all that mechanical workings are pretty heavy – also due to the nature of the innards they had to be very careful not to jostle it too much because it would be cranky.

It only holds 200 45 RPM LPs. Part of what we like to do is search bargain bins or antique stores once in a while to pick up some. It’s a crap shoot on the quality because a scratched record can ruin the experience, but overall we’ve been pretty lucky, and they’re actually pretty cheap. There’s a antique place in New Hampshire down the road from where we’ve done baby goat yoga that has never let us down in selection or quality. And yes, an iPod or some such can hold thousands of songs but we like the nostalgia of actually having a real jukebox. It’s always fun having friends over that can dance along it front of it with us. Most of our selections are from the 80s, but we also have 70s and older stuff. Every so often, in a need of change, I’ll swap out some records and their labels with new songs, although that is a bit of a pain.

It has an electronic selector – you just type the number that corresponds to the number on the song you want to play (I created all the labels myself – there’s an awesome free website where you type in your stuff and customize the look and then you can print them out, cut them to size, and insert them). There’s a mini-computer in this one that supposedly keeps track of what songs were played the most, etc. but I could never figure out how it actually works – I don’t think it’s connected but it has nothing to do with the actual playing of the songs. Speaking of, when I have the top open, it’s kinda cool to actually see the robot arm select the record you’ve chosen, grab it, and place it on the turntable. Then the needle comes over and places itself on the disc, and the tunes start flowing from the speakers, which are VERY LOUD if turned all the way up.

Hopefully, it will never need service, because most of folks who actually know how to repair these things are in their 80s or no longer working!