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4/9/14

Bada Bing! Your source for a great retro hair cut in Northern Colorado



2310 17th Street, Greeley Colorado



There's a hair studio located in Greeley Colorado called "Bombshell".  What makes this salon stand out from the competition, are the people who work there.  You could have all the razzle dazzle and retro goodness in the world, and it would mean nothing without good people standing behind it.  Each and every member of the staff are class acts, and do a heck of a job.




Maybe it was because I was so used to old school barbers cutting my hair, but I always kind of had an aversion to gals giving me haircuts.  However, I met a very nice dame named "Jo" a few years back, and she has been my personal barber/stylist since.  She has recently went out on her own and is leasing a space inside Bombshell.  Her personal business name is none other than 'Bada Bing'.



From the get go, you will find Jo truly impresses.  She actually listens to what you would like in a hair cut, and can really deliver.  When I first met Jo, I told her my old man was a barber from way back, and that he always cut my hair with shears rather than electric clippers.  She seemed to be channeling my old man when she uttered the exact same words he had spoken years before by saying.. "Your hair is too thin to be cut with clippers".  She was absolutely right, and was the first person to make this observation since dear old Dad.  While I have a full head of hair, it's thin and fine.  If my hair is too long or too short, it simply doesn't look good.

Jo took several minutes to study my hair from all angles before taking a pair of shears to it.  She then said, "Don't worry.. I get your style, and I've done lots of retro cuts and styles like pompadours and rockabilly cuts".   At this point, I realized that I finally found a stylist that was going to give me what I wanted, and not one that was just going to try and get me out of their chair as fast as possible.  She succinctly cut every section of hair on my head specifically to its needs rather uni-formally.


I've had so many stylists and barbers cut my hair over the years that simply started cutting away with little or no thought to what they were doing.  Almost all of them pick up a pair of clippers and say "What number do you want?"  Getting scissor cuts my entire life, I initially had no clue what this meant.  Upon asking for a scissor cut, several stylists and barbers have even physically shown signs of annoyance.  I've had barbers comb my hair straight down over my eyes and cut it straight across like a bowl cut.  Little or no care went into understanding my style, nor tailoring a haircut to match.
So many stylists prefer the ease and speed of razor cuts, that it seems like a good scissor cut is becoming a lost art.  This seems to be more the case at what I now refer to as "Clip Joints" or "Chop Shops".  These are the big chain shops where you're herded in and out like cattle.



The 'Bada Bing' experience by Jo..
Getting a haircut by Jo is a pretty relaxing experience.  For starters, you get around half hour in her comfortable leather barber chair.  After your hair is cut, a hot steamed towel is gently placed over your face while your hair is washed and rinsed out.  After your shampoo, you are dried off with a towel, neck line shaved clean, dusted down, and your hair is styled to your liking.  She does an exceptional job in this regard, because when you leave the shop, you don't have the typical post cut itchiness from pieces of cut hair on your neck, in your ears, on your face, etc.  All of the products she uses are of the highest quality, so you walk out the door smelling, feeling, and looking like a million bucks.

Jo is a throwback to how many old school barbers used to operate, only updated for the 21st century male.  One things for sure..  this enlightened 20th century cat has never had anything but good experiences with Jo, and I will keep coming back for years to come.

If you're in the market for a great retro cut and style in Northern Colorado, make sure to call Jo at Bombshell to set up an appointment.  You will be rewarded with an experience (and superb cut) all unto itself.


 Bada Bing! @ Bombshell
Josephine - Mane Tamer
cell: 307-221-6897
shop: 970-356-3065





4/8/14

My new "Bat" hat



I found this dapper hat during my most recent retro treasure hunt, and it was pretty much an instant buy.  Seeing as how I've had a lifelong obsession with the history of Bat Masterson, it truly is a miracle that I haven't bought a Derby hat before now.

Growing up in Colorado, there was no shortage of Bat Masterson stories told to me by western history buffs, and history class teachers at school.

Bat Masterson was somewhat of a renaissance man, and succinctly an enigma to me as a young boy.  A few hats he wore (no pun intended) were gambler, buffalo hunter, fisherman, army scout, sports writer, columnist for the 'New York morning Telegraph', and of course.. U.S. Marshall who helped tame the west.


 Bat Masterson late 1800s

Rich tales about Masterson still abound in Colorado to this very day.  He hung around with the con man "Soapy Smith" and the Soap Gang in Denver Colorado.  He was a marshal in Trinidad, a sheriff in Pueblo, and roamed the Colorado boom towns of the era.  Every story I ever took in, made this Colorado boy's imagination run wild.  And..  whenever I come across a new tale I haven't yet heard, I feel the same exact way.  Masterson was one of the most feared shooters in the west, drawing his gun from across his body, a cross-draw if you will.. rather than side-draw, which always fascinated me as well.


Gene Barry as Bat Masterson
Bat Masterson TV series 1958-1961


If the myths, stories, and grandiose tales weren't enough to fill my youthful mind, I discovered the Bat Masterson TV series during the early 80s, and it eventually became one of my favorite western series of all time.  The series portrayed Masterson as a tough guy and gentlemen, who only used his six shooter as a last resort.  In fact, he used his cane as a weapon more often than his gun in most episodes.  As a kid I was amazed at how he gracefully wielded it, as if it were an extension of his arm.  He would effortlessly use the gold handled cane to disarm and incapacitate his foes.   I still love the show to this day, and currently have my DVR set up to record episodes whenever they air.

The Hollywood movies of recent years might persuade one to believe that Bat Masterson was a stand out with his Derby hat.  However, when you take a closer look at hats that people of the time period wore, the Derby was immensely popular across all social classes.  It's told that U.S. Marshall's like Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp considered most folks wearing large brimmed hats to be trouble makers.  I always thought that to be ironic, since Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy, and the Sundance Kid all wore Derby's. 

The Derby is definitely a fun and sharp looking hat with a ton of great history behind it.  I'm not sure how often I'll be wearing this latest addition to my hat collection, but I have a sneaking suspicion I will be slipping it into the rotation on a regular basis.




3/27/14

The Ghost of General Lee

I got this beauty in the mail the other day..


This is the Ghost of General Lee model kit made by Model Products Corporation ( MPC ) back in 2010.   I'm was and still am a huge fan of the Dukes of Hazzard TV series.  On the 26th of October, 1979, one of my favorite episodes “Ghost of General Lee” aired on television.  You can see Rosco P. Coltrane on the packaging getting scared out of his wits by a glowing General Lee that's apparently back from the dead.

In this episode, the General Lee is stolen by two pool hustlers who drive it into the pond while being chased by Rosco.  For all intents and purposes, everyone believes that Bo, Luke, and the General have drowned.  When Boss Hogg comes up with a scheme by claiming the Duke Boys stole from him before their demise, they figure the only way to prove their innocence is to haunt Boss and Rosco by making the General Lee look like a ghost.

MPC created this kit of the infamous ghostly General Lee that even features glow in the dark plastic parts!  I would love to put it together just to see what it looks like in the dark, but this box displays so nicely, I don't think I'm even going to open it.  I may have to buy another one at some point to assemble, and if I do.. I'll make sure to post some pictures of the completed model here on the blog.






3/23/14

Flashbacks abound while retro treasure hunting

I got the chance to do some retro treasure hunting this week for the first time in months.  Just like during so many of my other excursions, I came across a few items that took me right back to my younger years.  Check out what I found..


My grandfather had one of these lighted magnifying gizmos that he used to read the bible and numerous publications with.  This must date back to the 60s or 70s from what I gather.  Close inspection shows that this one had never been used.  A steal at $1.49.. I went ahead and snatched it up.  While I won't be using it to read, I do have plans on using it for some of my hobbies like model building, bicycle restoration, and working on electronics. 


My mother bought me all manner of Avon cologne over the years when I was a kid.  I remember my brother and some of my friends owning Avon chess piece decanters like the ones above back in the 70s.  I couldn't believe there were multiple unopened sets of these decanters in one of the thrift stores I visited.


Boxed sets like this really make me want to get one of those new VCR thingy's.


My mom had a crock pot just like this one when I was growing up.  I'm pretty confident that this thirty something year old crock pot still works incredibly well to this day.  They really don't make appliances like they used to.



Before the days of weed eaters, this is how I used to edge the lawn after I was done mowing.  I used a pair of yard shears exactly like these for years, and am surprised I didn't get carpal tunnel syndrome from using them.

This retro treasure hunting session has lit a fire under me to start doing this more often.  Whether or not I end up buying anything, these treasure hunts usually offer up an exciting and nostalgic walk down memory lane.   I'll make sure to share any new finds from future treasure hunts right here.




3/9/14

What's a Retro Dad without Coffee?

Let's see.. a Bear?  A Grump?  A Curmudgeon?  I'm not sure if I can pin down one word to describe going cold turkey in regards to coffee, so I think I'll just go ahead and describe my plight. 

A little over a week ago, I had a bit of a health scare.  Nothing immediately life threatening mind you, but serious nonetheless.  A positive, was that I had two weeks to try and significantly lower my blood pressure.  Not being able to do so by myself would mean taking medication which I really have no desire to do.

A quick assessment showed I was consuming entirely too much sodium, drinking a significant amount of caffeine, and lacked an appropriate amount of aerobic activity.  I've been hit and miss on my bike riding and walking lately, due to the brutal winter we are coming off of, but decided to force myself to push through it and get more active every day.  The sodium and caffeine were something that I figured I had direct control over, and immediately course corrected.

At the time, I was drinking 8 to 10 cups of coffee a day.  While I never felt any rush of energy due to
drinking them, I desperately needed it to wake up in the morning.. and to keep functioning throughout the day.  I read all manner of articles on the web stating that when giving up coffee, one should decrease their consumption over the span of several days.  I scoffed at the notion of giving it up this way, and decided to quit cold turkey.  Here's how it went..

Day one without coffee
I had a heck of a time waking up without my initial cup (or two) of morning Joe.  I spent twice as long in the shower trying to shake the cobwebs out of my head, and felt groggy during my drive to work and throughout the entire morning.  I found it hard to concentrate and focus, and felt incredibly sleepy all day long.

It was about 8:30 a.m. when the headache began.  It started behind my eyes and moved to the back of my head and even down to my neck.  I then started experiencing muscle stiffness and pain that radiated from my neck down into my shoulders.  The killer headache lasted all day long, and nothing as far as pain killers would touch it.  At one point I took three Aleve tablets and a couple ibuprofen, which had no effect whatsoever.  I ended up hitting the hay at 8:30 and hoped the next day would be better.

Day two
Much to my surprise, I woke up feeling like a million bucks on day two.  I slept like a log and didn't remember waking up once.  After a couple of hours, I was running short on steam due to running a few errands early in the morning.  I then ended up sitting around the house most of the day due to a dull headache kicking in at around 10:00 a.m., but it subsided at around 5:00 p.m.   The headache was identical to the one I experienced the day before, but about ten times less intense.

Day three
I found it much easier to wake up on this particular day.  I actually felt like I had a little more energy as well.  I ended up running errands all day, and was able to function perfectly, even with a dull throbbing headache at the base of my skull.  I only experienced this one for a few hours from 9:00 a.m. to noon.  My energy waned in the afternoon, but I noticed I wasn't feeling sleepy like I had during the days prior. 

Day four
My bride has irritated me on many occasions during our 24 year marriage, with how she can wake up and instantly be full of energy.  Many a morning consists of her jumping out of bed, and encouraging me to wake up as well.  On this particular day, I was the one that literally jumped out of bed, ready to take life head on.  It kind of surprised my wife that I was the one bustling around the room while she was slowly waking up.  We ended up going out to breakfast early, and while I waited for that headache to creep up on me, it never arrived, nor has it since.

It's now over a week with me being caffeine free, and I feel incredible.  I really had no clue how dependent I was on coffee until now, and have no plans on reverting back to my old ways.  I'm falling asleep now in record time, and am waking up much more quickly now.  I also feel way less tense during the day.  With my altered diet I also implemented, I have energy all day long, and feel the need to move around more, rather than staying sedentary.

The thing that excites me most however, is that my blood pressure has dropped 40 points in one week.  Once I get a wee bit more active and drop about ten pounds, my blood pressure should be perfectly normal.  I'm psyched that my personal circumstances and changes I made, allowed me to get back on track all by myself.  I really didn't want to go on any kind of medication for this problem, as I've seen folks I know encounter all kinds of side effects from them.

What's tough sometimes, is the random cravings I get for a cup of coffee.  All morning long I feel like I'm missing an appendage when I'm not carrying around my trusty coffee mug.  The smell of coffee alone gets me desperately wanting to tilt back a cup.  When I do start drinking coffee again, I will be opting for decaf, as long as I can find a good brand that's palatable.

Some folks have asked me why would I even bother to drink coffee if it wasn't caffeinated.  The answer I give them is a simple one.. I really do love the taste of coffee.  The reason I began drinking it as a teen was because of the taste, and not for an caffeine rush.  I always viewed its ability to get me moving in the morning as an added benefit.  The way I see it (now) is if I need coffee to wake up, my body isn't working the way it should.

It's a brave new world folks.  I never thought quitting coffee could make me feel so good, or rather.. let me feel the way I should be feeling.  Will I ever drink a good stiff cup of Joe again?  I'm sure I will, but it will be well after I'm on the safe side of the blood pressure numbers that I'm shooting for.





3/7/14

Retro goodness is alive and well at The Silver Grill Cafe in Fort Collins Colorado

 218 Walnut Street   •   Fort Collins, CO 80524   •   970-484-4656
Open for Breakfast and Lunch Daily 6:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The Verdict - Pretty Darn Good! 

This is by no means a full blown review.  Rather.. a couple reasons why The Silver Grill in Fort Collins, is one of my "go to" eateries for breakfast.  The Silver Grill has the honor of being the oldest restaurant located in Northern Colorado, and has been around since 1933.  They serve up some mighty fine fare that takes me back to the good old days of enjoying top notch cafe and diner food.


The last time I visited the Silver Grill, I ordered the Corned Beef Hash, two eggs, marble rye toast, and was incredibly impressed.  The corned beef is made fresh, and is absolutely delicious.  Pieces of celery are added to the mix of potatoes and fresh corned beef, providing a crisp crunch and added dimension of taste.

Also ordered, was a divine chicken fried steak with great hand floured breading, and top quality beef sirloin. 



Much of the food made at the Silver Grill is freshly prepared in house, and all baked items are made fresh daily on the premises. The Silver Grill has been famous in these parts for the last 25 years largely in part to their huge cinnamon rolls that are baked fresh daily.  They produce 10,000 cinnamon rolls a month, and I don't know anyone who hasn't been hooked once they've tried them.

Yes, I will be frequenting the Silver Grill for years to come.  You're hard pressed to find a better eatery for breakfast in Northern Colorado.