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#a434 :: Z-card robot

April 26, 2009

I’ve posted some Z-Cardz before – they’re nifty little 3-D models that you assemble from pieces that you punch out of precision-die-cut 2-D plastic cards. This is not one of their better ones – and I guess that’s why I’m posting it – as an example of Not Good Enough. Warner Bros. cartoons had their […]

Filed under: Facsimile, Fetish, plastic, Toy | Comments (0)

#a430 Spun aluminum pillbox

April 22, 2009

I’m at the far end of the wire. The warmth of the crowd rises up into the moldy canvas peak of the tent here. It pours from their eyes, their upturned, open mouths. I toss the balance pole into the air, pivot the other way, catch the pole and head back across the wire. Their […]

Filed under: Aluminum, Container, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Microfiction, Model, Objet | Comments (0)

#a428 :: Undesirable keychain tag

April 20, 2009

At some point last month, my mother-in-law gave my daughter (age 7) a little keyring with a big fob that spelled out “Love” in lurid gold-chromed script. It was schwag from some utterly-too-grownup movie, as evidenced by the little stamped-metal tag proclaiming the brand. Here’s what ensued the moment I laid eyes on it: Me: […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Fetish, Jetsam, Part, symbol | Comments (0)

#a422 :: Steel ruler

April 14, 2009

Precision. Measurement. Millimeters. Inches. 1/64th inches. Fractions between the beginning of a thing and the end, the alpha and the omega. Steel ruler. Period.

Filed under: Fetish, steel, Tool | Comments (0)

#a418 :: Volkswagen badge

April 10, 2009

Found this in the gutter down the street. Somewhere, a VW – a new one, by the make of the silkscreened aluminum – is driving around without an identity. Is the badge the seat of a car’s soul?

Filed under: Adornment, Fetish, Found Object, symbol | Comments (0)

#a414 :: Miniature lighter

April 6, 2009

This flea-market find was stamped out of chromed steel in Japan some years ago. It’s an elegant, perfect little machine, barely 7/8ths of an inch tall: The horizontal tube on top is just big enough to house a flint and pressure spring, the wick is hardly thicker than a toothpick, and you could probably fill […]

Filed under: Fetish, Tool | Comments (0)

#a413 :: White chocolate fortune cookie

April 4, 2009

A thrilling adventure is in my near future. I know this because a piece of paper baked into a cookie, dipped in white chocolate and wrapped in red foil told me so. A quick dinner at Panda Inn this evening, then off to see Knowing. It proves to be too intense for him – he’s […]

Filed under: Edible, Fetish | Comments (0)

#a411 Ken Onion “Chive”

April 2, 2009

I have a

Filed under: Fetish, Part, Tool, weapon | Comments (2)

#a410 :: Jibbitz

April 1, 2009

Put aside for a second how thoroughly doofy Crocs can seem, here is an entire empire built on two simple facts: a) Americans’ uncanny knack for making, buying and trashing once-used disposable crap and b) our love of cheap customization. You stuff Jibbitz into the holes of your Crocs to declare your individuality to other […]

Filed under: Adornment, Fetish, Part | Comments (0)

#a408 :: Meggy Jr. RGB

March 30, 2009

It’s finished. My son and I just soldered the last wires into place on this tonight, and it lit up perfectly. The Meggy Jr. RGB – a handheld video game with open-source, programmable memory chip – is ready for business. Eight solid hours we hunched over a dizzying array of resistors, capacitors, transistors and LED, […]

Filed under: Fetish, Instrument, Objet, Tool, Toy | Comments (0)

#a398 :: Ritter Sport chocolate

March 20, 2009

One of the richest, purest narcotics known to the confectionery sciences. It’s legal crack. Full stop.     

Filed under: Edible, Ephemera, Fetish | Comments (1)

#a395 :: Apple stickers

March 17, 2009

These pile up like autumn leaves in any die-hard Mac household. White on white, stuffed into a drawer, swiftly becomes white on blotchy grey because, well, you don’t want to over-use the things. I have one of the larger ones on my car, but I decided that putting a line of smaller ones after it […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Fetish, symbol | Comments (0)

#a393 :: Used car key

March 15, 2009

In all my years on this blog, I’ve never unpacked the symbology of a key. It’s almost so perfect a metaphor on its own, that trying to explain a key pretty much dooms you to being accused of mental masturbation. But a car key is profound. It represents a heavy, expensive and rather large member […]

Filed under: Fetish, Part, symbol, Tool, Toy, weapon | Comments (0)

#a392 :: Old Rohrshach pin

March 14, 2009

Twenty-two years after Watchmen changed my psychotopography and appreciation for the nuances of fiction forever, they finally got it completely right. We saw it again this afternoon, and fell even deeper into it than we had at the midnight premiere at the Dome a week earlier. The movie is an extraordinarily accomplished telling of the […]

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Artifact, Ephemera, Fetish, symbol | Comments (2)

#a389 :: Amethyst “crystal”

March 11, 2009

She regards it with suspicion. “Amethyst?” The Chinese shopkeeper nods firmly. “Finest, from Xian province. Xian province. Terra cotta warrior. Xian.” He keeps nodding. She drums her French-tipped nails against its too-glossy sides. She pricks at her fingertips with its perfectly asymmetrical point. She hefts it. Rolls it over in her perfumed hand. Then she […]

Filed under: Artifact, Fetish, Microfiction, Mineral, Objet, symbol | Comments (0)

#a388 :: Chinese traveling hare

March 10, 2009

Where is he going? What is he carrying? Why is he important? Chinese factory workers so beautifully aped the luster of carved coral with cast, burnished and “age”-dusted red plastic resin that I’m left wishing I had the answers to these questions. In lesser hands, he would have been a child’s plaything, a little knicknack […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Fetish, Miniature, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a387 :: Pinballs

March 9, 2009

Thanks to my dear longtime friend, former college classmate and co-conspirator John, I am now in possession of ten of the coolest, most perfect HLOs known to the art of manufacturing. Back in college, John and I poured an absurd amount of time (and hard-earned library wages) into pinball machines. There may have been other […]

Filed under: Fetish, symbol, Tool, Toy, weapon | Comments (3)

#a385 :: Girl Scout Cookie

March 7, 2009

The cookies we bought from my Brownie daughter arrived this week. New flavor: Dulce de Leche. Dulce de Leche: New for 2009, and inspired by the classic confections of Latin America, these sweet, indulgent cookies are rich with milk caramel chips and stripes. They come in a turquoise box, and are made by Little Brownie […]

Filed under: Edible, Ephemera, Fetish | Comments (0)

#a384 :: Chinese tektite

March 6, 2009

So here’s what all the suspense and anticipation was about: A tektite – a lump of molten-then-resolidified glass created when a meteor traveling thousands of miles per hour smashed into China. You can see impact grooves left by rocks or other particles crashing into it before it cooled hard – all of this took place […]

Filed under: Fetish, Jetsam, Mineral | Comments (0)

#a382 :: Brass bells

March 4, 2009

These have been floating around my parents’ house for as long as I can remember, by the dozens, it seems. There’s a pair serving as a keyfob, another set tied to a Christmas ornament, it seems, and various bells clinking around amidst their never-ending and unintentional collection of heavy little objects. I’d guess they came […]

Filed under: Adornment, Fetish, Instrument, My father's HLOs | Comments (0)

#a380 :: Brass dingus

March 2, 2009

I should be smarter. I should be able to classify and categorize based on Google findings if nothing else. But this one eludes me. Dad sent it along, and it seems to be machine-turned brass from India – maybe even with spiritual or religious symbolic significance. But I’ll be damned if I can figure out […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, My father's HLOs, symbol | Comments (0)

#a379 :: Las Vegas tiki culture artifact

March 1, 2009

The Aku-Aku Restaurant opened in 1960 inside the much-fabled Stardust Casino in Las Vegas. When the Stardust was imploded in 2007, mob-culture journalist Nick Pileggi called it “the Bellagio of its day, the most dazzling casino out there.” The Aku Aku ran for 20 years.=, a veritable temple of tiki culture (Here’s its appetizer menu). […]

Filed under: Art, Artifact, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, symbol | Comments (0)

#a372 :: Kaleidoscope

February 22, 2009

I think we forget how to see. We’re so absorbed with processing most of the time that we fail to register the weight of anything in front of us. “Oh, there’s a car.” Not, “if I could have an exploded-view version of that floating around, I’d really have something.” This was a Christmas gift at […]

Filed under: Art, Fetish, Instrument, Toy | Comments (0)

#a369 :: Lucky lead pig

February 19, 2009

Once upon a time, his paint was perfect. You can see it on his good side – the bright and chipper eye facing the lucky shamrock dangling from his left jowls – that look that says fortune will smile on us both if you keep me close. Flip to the other side – the stem […]

Filed under: Artifact, Ephemera, Fetish, Miniature, My father's HLOs, symbol | Comments (0)

#a366 :: Original copper transmission line – Hoover Dam

February 16, 2009

This is almost the holy grail of heavy little objects: a thing with history, patina, functionality, exciting manufacture and moving parts. Jesus, it made me one happy tool-using ape to find this: a chunk of the original copper electrical transmission line installed during construction of the mighty Hoover Dam. For five bucks you get a […]

Filed under: Artifact, Ephemera, Fetish, Jetsam, Part, symbol, Tool | Comments (2)


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