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#a10 :: Chocolate booze bottles

February 22, 2008

Mmmm. Hollow bottles of semi-sweet chocolate injected with liqueur, brandy, whisky, tequila, cognac from Anthon Berg. These came into our house over Christmas, a generous surprise from friends. Decisions, decisions: chocolate’s buzz, or alcohol’s melting warmth – or is it vice versa? Choose your poison – Grand Marnier, you think – and unfoil it. Nip […]

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#a8 :: Rubber germ

February 21, 2008

Work at the SETI lab – and every other acronymed institution from DARPA to the headquarters of the NRA – had run at a breakneck clip since first contact. Nothing galvanizes an entire race like a blanket signal transmitted to every single computer, television and data-display display device on the planet, carrying images of an […]

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#a6 :: Carrier pigeon message capsule (part 1)

February 19, 2008

Featherlight. Tiny. Packed tight like a bomb. Barely half an inch long and weighing but a few grams, this stamped-aluminum capsule came (from an Escondido antique store) fully loaded. A rolled-up pellet of tissue taunts me with veiled possibility. What’s it say? So many possible roads it could take: Vital vintage intel? A message intercepted? […]

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#a5 :: Child’s water bottle

February 18, 2008

For the past, let’s see, six months, my 8-year-old son has been bandying this … phrase … about. For a while, he didn’t know what it meant, and cared even less, but he would utter this phrase every chance he got, snickering and cackling like a fiend. It is the funniest thing he’s ever heard. […]

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#a2 :: Faux long-stemmed chocolate rose

February 15, 2008

It was the perfect metaphor, really. His hair plugs, his teeth caps, his botox, his Bavarian penile-compensation vehicle. And now, she sighed, biting her lip, this. She sniffled a bit more and peeled back the red foil. The “blossom” popped out of its green-plastic receptacle and tumbled under the futon. I will not lose it. […]

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#365 :: Ring

February 14, 2005

Here are some of the posts I had the most fun writing and/or shooting.If you like any of them, maybe you’ll email one to a friend who might enjoy it, too. And if you just discovered this site, any of these is a good place to jump in: Rubber Ghoul Drain Valve/Bell Photo-Theremin Saab Front […]

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#360 :: Fortune Cookie

February 9, 2005

A brain tremor emerges from childhood, a submerged snag in the deep, slow-flowing river of memory: I was probably three or four when I put my forefinger and thumb together, tight, pinching nothing and imagining a whale in there, its full tonnage trapped between my fingerprints. It was a huge concept for a kid – […]

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#358 :: Bow

February 7, 2005

This is the cultural equivalent of a successful GoogleWhack: A purpose-built frippery with one and only one use. The peach-satin confection came flat in a glassine envelope, a little stack of ribbon rectangles. To set it up, you pull a little thread at its center, which bunches the strips into loops forming a perfect, gift-ready […]

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#356 :: Scurvy Knave

February 5, 2005

One of two things will happen: He’ll eat your heart off a pike, or he’ll have your guts for garters. You have a choice: You can fight him with a cutlass, or you can walk the plank. Choose: The devil or the deep blue sea. These little avatars, these plastic warriors are a safe outlet […]

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#352 :: Miniature Sieve

February 1, 2005

So many projects so little time it’s like running my gray matter through this dwarf kitchen tool facsimile just to put two thoughts together that make sense first I’m running around flogging my resume next I’m killing myself with a headful of MySQL code that I don’t understand just to cope with a hosting switch […]

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#350 :: Dymo Label-Maker

January 25, 2005

Just 20 years ago, this was the state of the art in signifyin’ machinery. Clicking the grip feeds embossable tape in: Select a letter by turning the alphabet wheel. Squeeze to print the letter – your grip sandwiches a bit of the colored tape between a positive-negative pair of dies, stamping the shape of the […]

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#349 :: Miniature Flour Mortar

January 24, 2005

Resisting too hard the temptation to imagine mice milling a single grain of corn in it with itty-bitty pestles, he blows a metaphorical gasket and slides into it feet-first, to a Bizarro dimension of workaday rodents. There, on their teensy little Internet, one particularly hunched-over and graying mouse, fancying himself still younger than his years, […]

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#347 :: Sugar Skulls

January 22, 2005

These are sold traditionally on Dia de los Muertos, Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration in October. Until I found them in Los Angeles last week at a Mexican curio shop, they existed f0r me only in the imagination, as drawn in a Ray Bradbury story about two dissolute tourists trying to sort out their […]

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#346 :: Dress

January 21, 2005

I’m a man. If it weren’t obvious by now, this should make it so: I love women. Undeniable, ravishing, mysterious, unsolvable and glorious in every respect, they enthrall me past all reason. For me, the dress – in general – has deep symbolic weight: container, protection, enhancement, embodiment. If clothes make the man, so can […]

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#345 :: Fossils

January 20, 2005

Imagine you are conscious until the final period of this post. You eat dead sloths, mammoths – whatever you can find. You drink from a pondful of acrid-smelling water, thirstily, stepping into the water, you find your forepaws mired in asphalt. Gingerly you tiptoe back, but your paws go in deeper, and soon your up […]

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#344 :: Pepper

January 19, 2005

Edward Weston did one of these in 1930. The color of this glorious vegetable really snaps your head back, the finish like something with 12 turbocharged cylinders and leather interior. ‘Nuf said.

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#343 :: Incense

January 18, 2005

The perfect expression of the ephemera of the olfactory world: a matchboxful of stamped, pressed incense. You break off one of the 16 sticks, stand it in a tiny glass receptacle in the box lid, and light it. It burns for about 10 minutes, breathing a scent more aromatic and intelligent in smoke form than […]

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#342 :: Finger Rosary

January 17, 2005

I’m not a particularly parochial guy, but then again, I’m not the most well-traveled, either. The foreign cities I’ve visited glitter for me, a chain of diamond-hard memories lush as the foetid jungles around the Red Fort in Agra, crisp as the calligraphy in the silicon hive of Tokyo’s Akihabara – and full and distinct […]

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#341 :: Mexican Glass Eye

January 16, 2005

George Carlin has this beautiful riff about possessions. At times, my obsession for nifty little things begins to remind me of the passage that goes: That’s what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get…more stuff! Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room […]

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#339 :: Pre WW II Samurai

January 14, 2005

My father‘s father gave these fine gentlemen to him I believe, but I don’t recall the history beyond that. I emailed Dad, who made a gift of them to me couple of years ago, to see what more could be told. They are both samurai, with bodies of straw and heads of china, turned out […]

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#338 :: Miniature Hacksaw

January 13, 2005

How do I approach each heavy little object? Where do I begin to write? Which toggle switch in my simple brain gets thrown, and which blathering subroutine will it trigger before I emerge on the other side thinking, “Man, that sucked, but it’s late and I’m too damn tired to do anything about it. The […]

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#337 :: Hot Wheels

January 12, 2005

I grew up a car nut in the late 60s and early 70s, awash in STP stickers, borrowed issues of Hot Rod and a hardcore lust for muscle cars. I still dream of a lime-green ’74 Hemi ‘Cuda or a ’67 Shelby Cobra Mustang riding on glittering Cragars. I collected Hot Wheels and raced them […]

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#336 :: Plastic animals

January 11, 2005

At some point – midway between the Playskool block-sorting drum and the Thomas the Tank Engine fetish, we began to sort our two young children’s toys. Bricks, gears, stuffed animals, dress-up clothes – all were assigned translucent plastic bins in a pine toy rack – and my wife would spend a happy, idle hour every […]

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#330 :: Automotive Logo – Print Slug

January 4, 2005

My grandfather was a newsman. He helped the St. Petersburg Times get started, and in later years he ran a Linotype. A story and a half high, the huge machine with its weird keyboard (ETAOIN SHRDLU instead of QWERT YUIOP) let the operator bang out lines of hot metal type in a few seconds instead […]

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#329 :: Rook, Knight

January 3, 2005

The game set has not yet been invented, but the pieces are constantly in play and the rules subject to random, violent and sudden change: The King moves in bold strokes across the spherical, blue board at will and at random, heedless to cries from his own Pawns. The Handlers and the Blind Pawns give […]

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