Jordan’s Christmas Wishlist 2016

by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on

Another year, another wishlist. Not because you care, but simply because someone does, and this is the easiest, least presumptuous way to appease those who do.

8-bit Christmas

Most of the things I want I already have, and most of what I want that I don’t have is either immaterial (more time with Lisa, less time with humans), has the cost of a large home (an Enigma machine), or is impossible (retire now and spend the rest of my life going on adventures with Lisa, at some point perhaps opening up an obscure apparatus shop to sell and repair typewriters, teletypes, computers older than 1990, and other obscure equipment, just for fun). The rest of the things I want I don’t need.

That disclaimer out of the way, I present you with the 2016 list:

  • Advertisements, photographs, signs, schematics/patents, or other paraphernalia for bygone typewriter, adding/tabulating machine, teletype, telegraph/telegram, and computer companies to decorate our office downstairs. Typewriter bits should be WWII era or older, and computer bits should be 1980s era or older. Originals are preferred, though often that is not possible, especially for schematics and photographs. eBay has quite a selection of ads and photographs, however. Framed is nice but not necessary.  Brands to look for may include but are not limited to:
    • Typewriter/adding/tablulating, &c: Remington/Remington Rand, Royal, Underwood, Fox, Ford, Oliver, L.C. Smith/Smith Corona/Smith Premier, Adler, Burroughs, International Business Machines (IBM)
    • Teletype/telegraph/telegram: Teletype Corp., Western Electric, Western Union, American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), Deseret Telegraph Company, L.E. Knott Apparatus Company
    • Computer: Commodore, Apple, Microsoft, Tandy (Radio Shack), Remington Rand, Hewlett Packard, Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), Altair, Atari, Burroughs, International Business Machines (IBM), Raytheon
  • Something to inaugurate our downstairs living room: A piece of furniture? A unique, interesting wall trinket– the kind Mormor had hanging in spots around her house that would make you stop and wonder about its origin? A painting? A collection of classic game cartridges such as Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Super Mario Bros. to put in frames to hang in the living room? A new movie(s)? A typewriter or other quality antiquated item fit for decoration? Our basement had better be finished well before Christmas rolls around, or I’m going to burn down our house.
  • We also need similar wall trinkets for our upstairs– the hallway, entryway, and kitchen are somewhat bare.
  • One or more intriguing works of fiction; if such a book cannot be found, then don’t get a token book just to cross this off the list– the book ought to be unique and alluring to the point that I miss work and get fired due to reading it too much.
  • A Julie figurine, or this Julie angel (because Christmas isn’t Christmas without a Julie nearby).
  • Typewriter: A Celebration of the Ultimate Writing Machine (unlike The Typewriter Revolution— see below– this book truly is about the machine and doesn’t waste words on the filthy hippies who pretend to use them)
  • good USB car charger with glowy blue lights (mine disintegrated; it was cheap).
  • A bunch of Pilot Varisty pens (or something like them; they have the fountain-pen style nib that I prefer over contemporary pens full of sadness and Satan).
  • An extensive screwdriver set for electronics.
  • A box of Oreo O’s (they’re finally available from South Korea; while incredibly expensive, boy, would I kill for just a bowl of Oreo O’s again– the flavor– the goodness– the nostalgia).
  • Hostess Chocolate Cream Pies (these have become rare; I’ve seen them on Amazon for pretty high prices, and I hear they’re at gas stations for cheaper, but I’ve yet to see one at Wal-Mart since Hostess went under).
  • A jerry can (making sure we have enough fuel for our adventures).
  • Perhaps a new set of wood and metal drill bits (not the spade kind– I have plenty of those now).
  • That wooden toolbox for small tools (used for typewriters and electronics, perhaps) would be nice, though it’s too expensive, I think.
  • The Typewriter Revolution: A Typist’s Companion for the 21st Century (I am worried that this is more about hipsters and less about typewriters; I couldn’t bear to have a book in my house about those filthy hippies in scarves at Starbucks sporting cardboard signs emblazoned with the words “FREE POETRY”).
  • A pair of short-wave radios (this is a good starter kit– also good for when the Hillary or Bernie children start throwing temper tantrums and burning down buildings and you need to communicate with local vigilantes to work out how to tuck those children in for the night).
  • Legend of Zelda polo shirt (unfortunately this one at ThinkGeek is supposedly very poor quality, so please don’t waste your money on it).
  • A vintage First Aid box with cool markings on it, such as this Western Union kit, or a U.S. Army kit (for health, and for the back of the Jeep on adventures).
  • A telegrapher’s mill, AKA a typewriter used specifically for typing out telegrams (with capital letters only), especially a wartime telegrapher’s typewriter.
  • The Fox Typewriter Company, an interesting looking book by a fellow typewriter collector regarding a lesser known manufacturer of typewriters.