Your roundup of tech, culture, and nostalgia for

August 8, 2023 // Web version //

TimeMachiner. Tech, culture, nostalgia. By Aaron Crocco
Inside Today's Issue:
The Prop House where One Of a Kind Props Sit in Filing Cabinets

Read to the end for a post about naughty dogs

Summer is always the toughest time to write TimeMachiner. It's slow in the tech world (minus Elon's continuous drivel of nonsense), we take vacations, and generally there's a sense of getting outside to do the things we want to do.

My vacation a couple of weeks ago did the same. My family and I headed to the Lake George region in NY and took in all the unplugged sights. From a steamboat tour on the lake to a horror wax museum, it was nice to basically be offline 99% of the time. Part of the fun was trekking to Lake Placid, home of the 1980 Olympic Games. This is where the famous "Miracle on Ice" USA vs USSR hockey game took place. Even non-hockey fans will recognize this game. It was at the height of the Cold War, and the game meant more than just a game. Disney's movie Miracle is based on this story and is a really great film. Kurt Russell is fantastic in it.

Seeing this piece of history was amazing, and even standing in an empty hockey rink, I could imagine what it was like 43 years ago. The downtown area around Lake Placid is amazing, and of course, I found myself in a small bookstore. There I nabbed Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi and Upgrade by Blake Crouch. I didn't know about either of these books before I walked in, but I'm a sucker for a good indie bookstore.

I spent hours in the mountains, walked along an actual Olympic bobsled track, and rode an alpine slide/coaster for the first time ever. It was thrilling!! And best of all, I had quality time with those I care about while working to keep the kids' noses out of their phones as much as I realistically could.

I love being plugged into the modern world we live in and reading amazing things, which, in turn, makes me want to write TimeMachiner. But for a week, I was able to return to the way the world was when I was younger: no computers, no internet, no phones, no nothing. Unplugging (except for using GPS and streaming music in the car) was what I needed.

Summer isn't ideal for everyone to take a trip, and many don't have the ability to go far or for multiple days. But even a day or two offline with free or cheap planned local events does more wonders than I imagined.

Now, keep that in mind while I plug back in and bring you fresh, curated items to feast on. I hope you have a great week.


PS: If you're enjoying my work here on TimeMachiner please forward this email to a friend who'd like it too. It helps me grow. Thank you. 😊


If sound could travel through space, the noise that the sun makes would be the equivalent to a train horn from 1 meter away. Source

The Prop House where One Of a Kind Props Sit in Filing Cabinets
Every movie needs "stuff" to tell its story. Actors convey the lines and the crew films it, but the "stuff" is what everyone interacts with. Of course, we know them as props, and some are quite famous. Adam Savage, best known for Mythbusters, filmed a visit to The Earl Hayes Press, which is a shop that has been printing props for over a hundred years. Alone, that is a really cool place, but kicking things up a notch is his interview with Michael Corrie, who's an archivist at the shop. Corrie details how some valuable and one-of-a-kind items were found sitting in filing cabinets, on shelves under a massive workbench, and even rolled and stuffed behind heating pipes. The whole time, Adam and Michael explore the rich history of The Earl Hayes Press and its invaluable collection of printed items. As they navigate through the shop, we see treasures that…
Show Me This Story
While the Summer of Grimace is fading away, there's one thing McDonald's is very good at: merchandising and creating products people want. Whether it's food in the aforementioned Grimace Shake or a Happy Meal for adults, it's a company that gets people in the door for a variety of reasons. But the little-known McD's-run Smilemakers site lets you browse and purchase merch straight from the company itself. Smilemakers is generally geared toward restaurant operators and managers to provide shirts, pins, accessories, and awards for employees. But the site is open to the public. Right now, there is a Heritage Collection with super-retro designs like the talking McNuggets and the cast of characters we all knew and loved in the 70s and 80s. There's a set of pins with the talking drink, fries, and burger, which apparently the trio is named the Food Buddies. Who knew!?!? I know this can sound…
Show Me This Story
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