Monday, June 9, 2008

Hope for the future

typecast 20080609

Postscript: I assumed that my son would want Gomez after gifting his machine, but I assumed wrong. He instead wants the Remington pseudo-silent typer, because "it's black, and I like black, and it looks cool." I cannot argue with that kind of logic, so I'm doing a homebrew restoration on the Rem's rollers now.


Monda said...

The naming. This is how it happens. Just like a pound puppy - once the kids name it you have to keep it forever.

'Gomez' is a good choice. Especially if you're thinking of the real Gomez from the 60s show, because as god as the movies are, THAT Gomez is the best one.

mpclemens said...

I am indeed thinking of the TV series (and the comic panels that it descended from.) This machine is all civility on the outside, but I think it's a slightly manic on the inside. Plus, the green paint has gone Gothic and dark with age.

I asked my family about the names of their machines: my wife's Olympia is "Alice" and my daughter's Royal is "Open" because (her words) "it opens up." She's wise beyond her years.

This conversation led to the fact that the 18 did not have a name, and was ready to be passed along after its brief foster period.

Strikethru said...

Sigh, it does tend to get away from one, this collecting of orphaned retrotech.

I am useless on the naming of typewriters. I actually have two called "Hermes Rocket" and "The Other Hermes Rocket." It is a wonder my child isn't named Toddler Unit.

Duffy Moon said...

I am not a namer myself. I completely freeze up when it comes to naming something (or someone) - it's a big responsibility, rife with screw-up potential.

When our daughter was born, she wasn't named for two days. We'd brought to the hospital several of those big thick encyclopedic naming books, but they were no use. We were able to narrow it down to five (!) contenders, but couldn't close the deal.

Eventually a nice L&D nurse picked one of the names from our list and started using that name when she came in to check vitals and such. And so it stuck.

Yes, a nurse named my child.

So, no, I cannot name my typers. But don't think that means I don't love them. Don't you think that.

mpclemens said...

We were unable to name my second child. My first (the son) wanted to name her after local restaurants and shopping centers, but he finally devised one. No problems naming the third, though.

I haven't used some of the typers enough to name them. I suspect that the big blue Underwood is named Betty, though I'll need to ask, and that the new Studio 44 is Zsa Zsa. The Royal, Remington, and Erika are all currently nameless. Duffy, like you I have anxiety about getting it wrong, coupled with the extra anxiety of getting the gender wrong. Kind of like when you hear the story about someone's cat named Rex who suddenly got pregnant, although I don't supposed I'll ever be blessed to find a little of tiny toy typers behind the sofa someday.

Ugh, this took a weird turn. I should never blog before coffee.

Strikethru said...

Heh. Duffy. Also, what's this about breeding typers??

In naming my child, I busted out a century of SSI naming records data and carefully monitored trends and popularity rankings over time for hundreds of names to find the statistically perfect intersection of all naming factors (current trajectory, susceptibility to naming trends, etc. etc.). I know, that sounds really wrong, doesn't it? I REALLY did not want to screw it up. (I've actually fretted that a second child would ipso facto have a lousy name, because my calculations already produced the One True Name the first time). There must be a medication for coping with this... Nameutrin? "Talk to your doctor to see if Nameutrin is right for you."

Thus (returning from my long tangent) my typewriters shall remain nameless.

Monda said...

Zsa Zsa is a marvelous name! You can almost hear the diamonds sparkling.

My sister is a non-namer, too. She called everything by what it was - Pink Blanket, Brown Car, White Dog. Good thing her husband took over, because they'd have Baby Boy and Baby Girl if he hadn't.

I've got another typewriter coming from Writertypes. He and I spent three weeks and a half dozen emails naming that one.

Duffy Moon said...

And what's weird to me is, I'm a non-namer despite a life-long fascination with names. In my line(s) of work, I come across thousands of names, and secretly keep a Great Name List, but various laws (I'm looking at you, HIPAA) keep me from being able to share those beautiful names.

Same thing with sad stories. I've heard more improbable and horrific biographical tidbits than I could use in a lifetime of novelling. But can I use them? No siree.

mpclemens said...

Zsa Zsa it is. As for the big blue Underwood, I think it's whispering that the name is not "Betty" but is actually "Norma Jean." I need to listen some more.

Strikethru, I know what you mean about the quest for the Perfect Name. We went through permutation after permutation of names, eliminating those that reminded us of obnoxious cousins and school bullies, or spelled something dirty when you wrote out the initials. The agony! I think that's why we abdicated with the second kid, there was just too much pressure.

Duffy, I just finished reading Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird which includes a helpful chapter on avoiding libel suits. Sounds like you need to investigate. I'm also HIPAA-bound, but the stories I would tell involve far less interesting details. Dialysis records, anyone?

Oliver said...

I see Duffy is also a prisoner of HIPAA. Mind, as long as you don't reveal anything truly identifiable, you're in the clear. For instance, there could be thousands of Long-Hung Dongs around the country (that, BTW, is not a made-up name; I came across it in a previous job).

But I digress.

I've secretly named a few machines, but I tend to not refer to them as such in public. Too much explanation.

Mike, you probably could have gotten some good lifetime discounts if you'd let your son name her International House of Pancakes.

Our son went unnamed for 2 or 3 days because we couldn't agree between Nickolai and Oliver (yes, Oliver was my choice, and yes, I got it from the typewriter). Ultimately we agreed to flip a coin; whoever won got their name as the first choice and the other name would become his middle name. I lost.

I argued that Oliver Nickolai worked better with the Back Door Name Test. You stand at the back door and holler each of the kid's potential full names as loudly as you can, and whichever sounds better is the one you choose.

Two weeks later, I realized that we should have given him the middle name Charles instead.

Joe said...

So, the only two people with an Underwood 18 are going to be me and some 11 year old? Well, I suppose you could choose worse; a 30 lb. manual in a case could do a lot more damage to a bumbling pre-adolescent's foot then the svelte U18.

Only one of my typers has a name: My second SC Galaxie 12. Her name is "Val"; the name was written in red/pink paint on the top of the case when I got it. Actually, I think my Adler J4 might be named "Edna Foster"; also as a testament to a previous owner who had left evidence behind.

Jessica said...

I've just acquired my first: a Remington Noiseless Portable [circa '36]. The gorgeous little beast was forced into its case, upside down, by the eBay seller, so before submitting to the thrall of the clack of the keys I'll get to know the thing most intimately.
Possibly with the help of the fine folks at Crucible.
If anyone has tips to offer on the replacement of carriage pull cables, I sure would love to hear them.

John Johnston said...

I've named certain objects that have personality. I had a '69 Chevy Impala in an awful green that was "The Beast." Later, I rolled in a '90 Cadillac known as "Big Blue." Both cars had quirks and personalities, thus the names. My current '07 Toyota is a great car but lacks personality, hence, no name. As to typewriters, I currently have two: "Stella" is a 1946 Smith-Corona Sterling that has been lovingly restored and works flawlessly. Then there's "Ahab," my rough around the edges Royal Quiet DeLuxe from the early 50's. As an aside, none of my computers are named - they have about as much personality as the microwave. Now, the refrigerator - there's a character . . .