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1  Retro Culture / Retro Literature / Re: Face It: A Memoir by Debbie Harry on: January 16, 2021, 06:01:52 AM
From Andy Warhol's diary of those days' events --

Friday,June 14, 1985

During this morning I went down to the Seagram?s building for that ?How to Paint? video thing that the computer company, Commodore, wants me to be a spokesman for. And I guess I got the job. I was afraid that they were going to put a spotlight on me and have me draw in front of 700 people, but it was okay. It?s a $3,000 machine that?s like the Apple thing but can do a hundred times more.

Monday,July 22, 1985

Went up to the Kiss of the Spider Woman screening (cab $5). This is the movie Jane Holzer produced with that David Weisman, the Ciao Manhattan person. I can?t stand him so I hate to say it, but I liked the movie. And I guess people are wanting arty movies now, or something, it?s the right time. I had to get home early and dye my hair because of my public appearance at Lincoln Center for Commodore Computers the next day. Dyed my eyebrows, too. Black. I always dye it black first, and then leave some white and everything. I?m artistic, sweetheart.

Tuesday,July 23, 1985

The day started off with dread as I woke up from my dreams and thought about my live appearance and how nothing is worth all this worrying, to wake up and feel so terrified. Had to be over at Lincoln Center at 9:00, so I was up at 7:30 (cab $4). Debbie Harry got there before I did. She?s a blonde again and she?s lost another ten pounds. And she was wearing the outfit from Stephen Sprouse that I?ve never seen anybody else wear yet?the shoes glued into the leg stocking. We ran through it, and the easiest part is running through our thing for the press, that?s so easy. They said we had to be back there at 5:30.

The whole day was spent being nervous and telling myself that if I could just get good at stuff like this then I could make money that way and I wouldn?t have to paint.

Then when I went back there at 5:30 we went on and I thought I was going to pass out. I forced myself to think about the next job I could get if I didn?t. Went along and the drawing came out terrible and I called it ?a masterpiece.? It was a real mess. I said I wanted to be Walt Disney and that if I?d had this machine ten years ago, I could have made it. Then afterwards people saw the portraits of Debbie and thought those were (laughs) the
Xeroxes.

And the news is full of Rock Hudson having AIDS in Paris. And now I guess people will finally believe Rock Hudson?s gay. When you?d tell them before, they wouldn?t believe it.
2  Retro Culture / Retro Movies / Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV on: January 02, 2021, 11:22:47 AM
     Aw, in its first big test of freeway driving, the Chevy C30 failed!  I was to drive the truck from Stockton to Lodi round-trip, a distance of 31 miles.  I prepped the truck for any eventuality, carrying jumper cables, a floor jack, etc..  I checked and then inflated all the tires to their proper pressure.  My friend in Lodi was warned that he might have to rescue me if the truck didn't make it.
     I jumped in the truck and started it.  The engine ran smoothly.  So far, so good.  I headed off to the freeway on-ramp about 2 miles away.  There was a stop light that had turned red at the intersection just before the ramp.  I waited at the light, and when it turned green, I stomped on the accelerator to climb up the ramp.  Huge amount of off and on hesitation in the acceleration!  So much so, that I was being jerked back and forth in the truck seat.  O.K., this is not the way the truck is supposed to accelerate.  I aimed for the nearest off-ramp, got onto it, and drove back onto city streets.  I went back home and had to call my friend that I would not be visiting.  Diagnosis off the top of my head... fuel filter clogging (a problem which the truck has had in the past).  Because it was Jan. 1, none of the auto stores were open.  I'd have to wait until the next day in order to buy a filter, and hopefully it won't be raining down on me when I install that filter.
     My Lodi friend will be out of town for awhile.  Next opportunity to test drive the truck to Lodi... this Sunday when my friend returns.

          Happy New Year!
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan

P.S. A while later on a road leading out of the city, I was able to get the truck up to 55 mph without any troubles.  However, in this short drive, I did not stomp hard on the accelerator but just slowly pushed slowly and had the truck gather speed gradually.
3  Retro Culture / Retro Literature / Re: Face It: A Memoir by Debbie Harry on: December 26, 2020, 11:14:42 AM
    I've just received the book as a Christmas present!  Here is what I wrote for the FCUG newsletter and an excerpt from Debbie Harry's book.

--------

(Debbie Harry, was a singer, songwriter, and actress who had the lead vocals in the band, Blondie.  Some of her famous songs were "Heart of Glass," "Call Me," and "The Tide Is High."  Andy Warhol was an artist, film director, and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art.  Both of them appeared together on stage for the unveiling of the Commodore Amiga 1000 in 1985.  Below is what Debbie recalled from that event.)

Later, Andy called and asked me to model for a portrait he was going to create live, at Lincoln Center, as a promotion for the Commodore Amiga computer.  It was a pretty amazing event.  They had a full orchestra and a large board set up with a bunch of technicians in lab coats.  The techs programmed away with all the Warhol colors, as Andy designed and painted my portrait.  I hammed it up some for the cameras, turning toward Andy, running my hand through my hair, and asking in a suggestive Marilyn voice, ?Are you ready to paint me??  Andy was pretty hilarious in his flat-affect way, as he sparred with the Commodore host.

I think there are only two copies of this computer-generated Warhol in existence and I have one of them.  Commodore also gave me a free computer, which I passed on to Chris [Stein].

----

Harry, Debbie, "Face It: a Memoir," Dey St., an imprint of William Morrow, p. 196, c. 2019.

         Truly,
         Robert Bernardo
         Fresno Commodore User Group -
         http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
         Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network -
         http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
4  General Category / Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network (SCCAN) / November 2020 SCCAN meeting... kind of... on: December 21, 2020, 01:49:14 PM
     Due to the pandemic, no SCCAN meetings have been held at our usual Panera Bread Restaurant in Northridge, CA.  In mid-November, outdoor dining at the restaurant was available, but there was no electrical outlet nor shade for our monitors.  Also Panera had instituted a 2-hour time limit on dining.
     SCCAN member Jeff R. wanted to meet so that he could pick up his 2 monitors which had been repaired by Ray Carlsen.  Well, I didn't want to drive the 3 hours down from Visalia to Northridge, and so, we compromised.  He would drive up from his area, and I would drive down 1 hour, 20 minutes to the Bakersfield Panera Bread Restaurant.
     We met on Saturday, November 19, at the noon hour, and he treated me to lunch at the restaurant.  We ate in the outdoor patio which was shaded and had one electrical outlet!  Of course, we tried to be socially-distant, him eating at one side of the table and me at the other side of table.  We talked a lot about computers, a little bit about Commodore (like the Mega65) but a lot about new news in the Amiga world (like new add-on's for the A1000).  It was like having a SCCAN meeting but without the computers to look at!  I speculated that with that electrical outlet in the patio, we would be able to have official SCCAN meetings.  However, we realized that few if any would come from the Los Angeles area all the way to Bakersfield for a meeting.
     We reached our 2-hour limit, though no one really came to shove us out of the patio.  Being the good people, we left anyway.  Jeff and I transferred the monitors out of my station wagon and into his car.  We said good-bye to each other, both of us wondering when we would meet again.
     Later that month, all outdoor dining was closed, due to the pandemic.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
5  Retro Cars / General Discussions / Re: Hatchbacks and sunroofs on: December 21, 2020, 12:58:11 PM
     The fuel pump was replaced on the Crown Vic, and I drove it around for 7 days... in town only.  Once as I was coming into a parking spot, the engine cut off.  I was able to restart.  I thought to myself, "Cold engine?"  Then on the sixth day, as I was turning a corner, the engine cut off again!  Speed about 15 m.p.h..  Well, I was able to restart and got home, but something was definitely wrong.  Back in the station wagon, I went to Mooney Shell and explained the problem.  The owner of the shop told me to bring the Crown Vic back, and they could check it out again.  I said that Christmas was coming up, and I had to travel.  The Crown Vic would have to go in after Christmas.

          Driving the Mercury Colony Park station wagon right now,
          Robert Bernardo

P.S. Out of curiosity, I did a Google search of my 1988 Mercury CP, and the latest sell prices were $9,500 and $14,500!!!  The value of that old wagon is going up!
6  Retro Computing / Commodore 128 / Re: Volley for Two - new C128 game on: December 04, 2020, 05:57:13 AM
     I missed this short review of the game. See

http://www.indieretronews.com/2020/10/volley-for-two-enjoyable-volley-ball.html#more

     Truly,
     Robert Bernardo
     Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
     Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
7  General Category / Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network (SCCAN) / SCCAN website updated on: December 01, 2020, 09:39:29 AM
    The website for the Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network has been rearranged with the addition of a News page.  Check it out!

         Truly
         Robert Bernardo
         Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
         http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
8  Retro Cars / General Discussions / Re: Hatchbacks and sunroofs on: December 01, 2020, 09:36:28 AM
The 1990 Ford LTD Crown Vic was brought in to Hewitt Alignment for its yearly alignment.  The power steering had been leaking fluid, though its low-pressure return line had been replaced a few months earlier at Mooney Shell, so I asked that the pump be looked into.  Hewitt found a leak between the pump and the fluid reservoir.
    It seems that the p.s. system is still leaking fluid.  I will have to bring it back to have it repaired under warranty.
    However, in the meantime and more importantly, I brought the car to Mooney Shell for other repairs.  The driver's power window wasn't moving, the driver's switch for the dome light had failed, the rear brakes were not as effective as they should be, and the engine would cut off at speed!  That was on the freeway while I was going to the November FCUG meeting.  I was able to restart, get to the meeting, and return back home.  However, when I parked the car overnight, the next morning it wouldn't restart.
    The Shell mechanics replaced the gearing in the power window (the motor was fine), the dome light switch was replaced with a new one, the rear brakes had new drums installed because the old ones were warped, and the electric fuel pump relay was replaced.  I offered to pay for the repairs, but the owner wanted me to try out the car for a few days.
    I picked up the car on the Monday before Thanksgiving, and it ran fine.  On Thanksgiving night, I was to drive to Stockton.  I packed up the car and drove off.  But one block away from the house, the engine cut off!!!  I had to push the car to the side of the street and then walk back to the house.  The next morning the car was towed back to Mooney Shell where Donnie the mechanic checked it out right away.  The electric fuel pump had failed... and it had last been replaced at Stockton Autocare in Sept. 2019!  It didn't last very long (electric fuel pumps are supposed to last years and years).
    Right now, the Crown Vic is still at Mooney Shell while the fuel pump is being replaced, and I'm using the Mercury station wagon.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
9  Retro Culture / Retro Music / Re: Favorite bands/singers of the 1980's on: November 21, 2020, 02:23:41 AM
As mentioned in one of my messages a few years ago, one of my favorite bands is Berlin with its lead singer, Terri Nunn.  One of my favorite television shows is T.J. Hooker.  Little did I know was that Terri Nunn appeared on T.J. Hooker!
     Another Terri Nunn sighting!  This time on the t.v. show, Barnaby Jones!  In the 1978 episode, "Academy of Evil", she plays a psycho schoolgirl in a meaty role.  What a surprise when I saw it!

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
10  Retro Cars / General Discussions / Re: Hatchbacks and sunroofs on: November 18, 2020, 12:30:15 AM
The car restarted easily and ran smoothly.  When accelerating, the engine/car did not shake anymore.
    That success did not last very long.  I made it down to Portland where I was supposed to spend one night.  However, the next morning the car did not want to shift into third or fourth gear.  Not good to be driving down the freeway in second gear at 40 mph!  So, I crawled it back to the hotel and found that there were 2 transmission shops just a couple of miles away.  The first shop couldn't even look at my car until Nov. 10.  Luckily, the second shop could take my car right away.  Eight nights later, the car's transmission had been rebuilt, and I was able to leave the city.  Total cost = $1,500 !

          A bargain,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan

P.S. When I made it back to California, I brought the Colony Park to my local muffler shop.  The car had been noisier than usual after having had the new catalytic converters installed earlier in the month.  Quality Mufflers looked at it and found that the H-pipe (the cross pipe between the dual exhausts) had "rotted" at both ends.  They rewelded both ends, and the car became its usual, quiet self.  And their service was free, because I was a regular customer.
11  Retro Computing / News and Events / Next FCUG meeting - Sunday, Nov. 15 on: November 12, 2020, 01:02:38 AM
Happy almost Thanksgiving, C= and Ami aficionados!
     The Fresno Commodore User Group has its next meeting from 11 a.m. to 12:30+ p.m., Sunday, November 15, at

     Panera Bread Restaurant
     3590 W Shaw Ave. (corner of W. Shaw Ave. and Marty Ave.)
     Fresno, CA 93711
     (559) 271-0104
     http://www.dickestel.com/meet_loc.htm

Note the shorter time duration of the meeting; this is due to the fact that the venue is limiting our time there due to the Covid crisis.
     This will be our first meeting since February!  We will be meeting in the covered patio, and we'll be seated socially-distant from each other.  Everybody should bring a mask.  I'll bring hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and paper towels for everybody's use.
     Because of the brief meeting, our agenda will be short -- take care of November and December business, watch some C64 nuvies and play one or two of the latest C64 games, like BoxyMoxy.  Originally, I was planning to bring the Amiga 600 so we could look at the classic Deluxe Music Construction Set, but it will have to wait until a future meeting.
     Speaking of future meetings, a December meeting is not assured, due to weather conditions.  For the November meeting, it should be sunny with temps at about 60 at our meeting time.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
12  Retro Computing / Commodore 64 General Topics / Re: Another load from Ray Carlsen on: November 09, 2020, 05:52:54 AM
     Here are some photos from a recent visit to Ray Carlsen, C= repair technician.  Go to

http://blog.retro-link.com/2020/11/more-stuff-from-ray-carlsen.html

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
13  Retro Computing / Commodore 128 / C128 Neo on: November 01, 2020, 01:22:53 AM
     I was reminded of this after watching the Commodore Show 'n Tell video with Bil Herd and Dave Haynie. The C128 Neo board is now for sale. See

https://www.tindie.com/products/griffinretro/c128-neo-pcb/

  Truly,
  Robert Bernardo
  Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
  Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
14  Retro Computing / News and Events / Commodore Show 'n Tell with Bil Herd, Dave Haynie on: November 01, 2020, 12:15:24 AM
     Our two intrepid CBM engineers have their VCF East 2020 video-conference at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=segHBfVSRoU&feature=youtu.be

   Talking about several C= computers,
   Robert Bernardo    Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
   Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
15  Retro Cars / General Discussions / Re: Hatchbacks and sunroofs on: October 26, 2020, 08:48:15 AM
     It's my first, really long-haul trip with the Mercury Colony Park with the newly-installed, rebuilt engine.  Central Valley of California to Seattle and back... a distance of over 1,900 miles.  Well, after the first 165 miles, the engine was running rough at idle and up to speeds of 25 mph.  It was like I was missing a cylinder out of the 8-cylinder motor.  I kept thinking that there is an ignition problem with car.  Maybe spark plug wires, distributor cap, or distributor rotor.
     I made it to my hotel in SeaTac, and for a few days I rested.
     Today I finally went to Autozone in order to find a MSD distributor cap and rotor.  Though the website said the store would have the parts in stock, they did not, and they said they could order the parts for delivery on Tuesday.  Not good enough!  I had to hold off on getting the parts.  Instead, I got some spark plug cable separators.
     In the bright but cold afternoon light of the Autozone parking lot, I opened up the hood of the car and started attaching the separators.  This time I pulled off the rubber hood that covered the distributor so I could inspect the spark plug cables attached to the cap.  I saw that the distributor cap had already been replaced, because the engine was rebuilt about 1,500 miles ago.
     Ha, the number 4 spark plug cable was not pushed down fully onto the cap.  I pushed it back down.  Then I tried to inspect the cables, if not visually because of the crowded engine compartment, then by feeling along the cables.  There!  While feeling along the number 8 cable, I felt a roughness in the silicone insulation.  I pulled out that cable and verified that there had been a burn/break when that cable had touched the hot exhaust manifold.  Hey, it was supposed to withstand 600 degrees (I guess 600 degrees ambient temperature and not 600 degrees direct contact).  So much for the expensive Taylor Thundervolt 8.2 cable with its 40-ohm per foot resistance!
     I went back inside Autozone with the burned cable and showed it to the young guy behind the counter.  The nearest Autozone that had any spark plug cables for my car was 4 miles away along Federal Way.  However, the guy asked if I just wanted to replace one cable, and I said yes.  He went to the back and returned with a generic spark plug cable that I could use.  Just $1.99 with tax!
     I went back to my car, installed the new cable, and did some more re-routing of the cables so that they were not near any hot engine parts and not touching any metal of the engine.
     Success!  The car restarted easily and ran smoothly.  When accelerating, the engine/car did not shake anymore.

          It's good to have all 8 cylinders back,  Smiley
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
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