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Sold: 昭和レトロ Aluminum Rice Pot

This is an old rice pot. Estimated to be from the 1950s.

This was not part of a rice cooker. To use it, it was put over heat. The rim and lid were designed so that starchy, boiling water would not overflow down the sides. The lid is shaped like a cymbal, so that the handle wouldn’t be submerged by the boiling water.

This was verified for me by my mother, who immediately identified it as a rice pot and explained its use.

The logo on the lid is the kanji for “ooki” meaning “large”. The animal appears to be a tiger. The handle is made of wood. This does not appear to be the Tiger brand company.

The only indication of its COA is the word “Japan” stamped on the handle. It does not say “occupied Japan”, so I would assume that it’s post-occupation (after 1953). Also, because it’s stamped, I would assume it was intended for export.

See The Status of the Aluminum Industry in Japan by Eiki Usui to learn about the history of the aluminum business in Japan. According to aluminum.or.jp, the first Japanese aluminum industry associations formed in 1947, so that industry was a postwar phenomenon. This isn’t entirely correct. There was a previous aluminum industry, starting in the late 1800s, before WW2, and it collapsed. Smelting aluminum was started only in 1930. Presumably, pre-1930 aluminum products were rarer.

I have found only one product similar: an aluminum pot from 北陸アルミ (Hokua Alumi) in the Hokuriku district in western Japan. (The district my mother was from.) The product is being sold as Showa retro, though it’s new. (The price is around $30, so this item sold at a premium, but not a significant premium if one wanted to import a new pot from Japan.)

The automatic rice cooker, which we now consider the main “rice pot” people use, was invented in 1955 by Toshiba. So the period in which this was produced was probably relatively short.

Also, the market for this item in the US was small. In 1950, the Asian American population was 321K people.

So, it’s been basically impossible for me to find an equivalent rice pot online. The current retro rice pot trend in Japan is to go back to ceramic pots and wooden containers, and is reflective of a trend toward artisinal foods.

昭和レトロ, Showa retro, means vintage goods from the Showa era 1926 to 1989, but mainly focuses on postwar era objects made in Japan, as well as US objects that were common in the postwar era. It’s not the same as vintage Asian or vintage Japan, in that it’s not “chinoiserie” or “japanoiserie” of Japan-themed goods, designed to evoke the East, made for non-Japanese markets. Rather it’s about the continued modernization of Japan in the postwar era.

PS – after reading about the aluminum industry, I had to wonder if this was cast rather than spun.  Spun means that a block of aluminum, or a molded aluminum piece, is rolled and stretched into shape.

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Restoring a 1980s Digital Alarm Clock Radio: the General Electric P’Jammer

Once this is partially restored, it’ll sell for $13 plus shipping. I don’t think I can fully restore it without risking some damage to the paint. If you’d like to get it directly, for le$$, contact me via the contact page.

Note: the sleep button doesn’t seem to work 🙁

Continue reading Restoring a 1980s Digital Alarm Clock Radio: the General Electric P’Jammer
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What is an NFT anyway?

This is a description I wrote to a fb comment:

It's a digital collectible. You can buy a URL that will show you a picture, and it shows up on the blockchain proving that you paid money for the URL. You can also resell the URL.

It's kind of like buying some genuine Louis Vuitton, and showing it off, except, there's no "thing". Also, the people you are showing off to are, basically, other people who bought LV. And each LV item is slightly different. But they are all genuine, no fakes.

Also, it's artwork, but typically, it's a computer doing some automated copy-pasta to produce a picture, based on a library of artist-created parts. Kind of like Colorforms or Mr. Potatohead.

The technical details are:
* blockchain - a shared ledger of transactions
* coin - unit of currency used to conduct transactions
* token - aka coin, a piece of data that represents value
* non-fungible token (NFT) - a token that's unique, similar to a URL, but also represents some value, like real estate

Coins, tokens, NFT, are created through software that runs on the blockchain. The blockchain is a database that can also run code. The database is supported by a network of computers that replicate the entire database, using technologies that allow many unrelated parties to participate in the project.

This stuff is popular with capitalists, for many reasons, but mainly because they think it'll create a system that allows money to be exchanged without central banks or governments.
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Buying Stuff for FREE On Here with Cryptocurrency

It’s simple:

If you have some cryptocurrency, and wish to buy something here, that can be arranged.

The easiest way is to use Coinbase. There are many good exchanges out there, but Coinbase seems to be the easiest for newbies. The best thing is, you can get “free money” from Coinbase to pay for the stuff.

Free Money

Coinbase has a “rewards” program where you get paid (in cryptocurrencies) to watch short videos and take easy quizzes.

The rewards are small – $3 or so is typical – but, over time, they can appreciate in value as the interest in the currency increases. Here’s what I’ve made in rewards so far (as of May 10, 2021):

It’s a little over $200, for watching instructional videos.

The ones at the top, I watched around a year ago. They’ve appreciated in value, a lot!

The ones at the bottom, I watched recently, and they dropped in value, though, not too much. Also, it’s not like I put any money into the system. This was free money.

Sign up with Coinbase through this link, and I might get a commission if you buy crypto on there.

The Videos

The videos weren’t boring. They were short explainers that described each cryptocurrency. Each is trying to find a niche in this new financial system. Watching the videos helps you learn about the product, and also, cryptocurrency in general.

Whether you think bitcoin is legit, or a big ponzi scam, you can still watch these videos and learn how these companies/capitalists are thinking.

Odds are, nearly all these products will “fail” and be swallowed up by a bigger company. That’s just capitalist consolidation. In the meantime, they are flush with venture capital money, and trying to get mindshare.

This gives the entire system a kind of flaky, bullshitty quality. It’s slick, but seems fake.

It’s not really “fake”: it’s promotional.

The companies are trying to identify and build lists of early adopters who are open to taking financial risks. At this point, we are not “early adopters”, but the people who come after the early adopters, but we are still a valuable customers, because we take risks.

Customer acquisition costs in finance are, according to a random blog I found, $175 per customer.

Think about those numbers above: they paid $3 in fake money to get me to watch a video, and now, I’m blogging about them. Holy moly, talk about “growth hacking”.

Buying Stuff Here

Anything I have in here, in inventory, or on Ebay, you can buy with crypto.

For example, I have a book and DVD combo for sale on Ebay for $8 + shipping. The shipping comes out to around $4. So the total is $12.

Coinbase will do transfers of crypto between users, for free. No fees. (Normally, on an Ebay sale, I pay 13% in various fees to complete a sale.)

So, you transfer $12 worth of crypto to me, and I’ll delete the listing on Ebay, and mail the product out to you.

The trade will need to be arranged online, through chat. You can reach me through the contact form. Contact me there, I’ll set up a chat and we can walk through the process.

The info I’ll need are: your mailing address, what you want to buy, and your Coinbase contact.

If you want to see what else I have for sale, using “funny money”, so you can get big discounts, check out my Listia and Simbi accounts. Both will give you free “coin”, so you can get stuff for the cost of shipping.

How to Time the Market

Watch videos when the market is down. Then, later, when the market is up, you can turn around and convert the coin into one of the stablecoins, or spend them by transferring them to me, to get goods in return.

My general policy will be to convert the coin into a stablecoin, or convert to a staking coin that’s down.