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#a361 :: China napkin rings

February 10, 2009

Around our house, I make dinner one of two ways: Crank something out in a hurry on the stove, slap it down in front of the kids and hope they don’t moan or spill all over their clothes as they forget to use their utensils; Or grill something big and munchy (think ribs or sesame-garlic […]

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#a346 :: Rotring Core ballpoint

January 26, 2009

It used to be Bic Stics, Bic ballpoints, the occasional Shaeffer Bros. throwaway or oddball Pentel gel-tip – whatever. Whatever the newspaper clerks stocked the supply closet with – that’s how I wrote. Tools didn’t matter. The work did. Once I moved out of dead trees and into the trackless wastes of the interwebs, I […]

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#a341 :: Obama campaign pin

January 21, 2009

I never repeat heavy little objects. I mean, never. My little daily obsession can be a cruel taskmistress, sometimes commanding me to find something cool to post even when nothing cool has come through my life. But like an idiot samurai, I live and die by a code set in motion long ago and over […]

Filed under: Adornment, Artifact, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Objet, symbol, Tool, weapon | Comments (0)

#a331 :: Tibetan thunderbolt

January 10, 2009

This was explained to me as “the lightning bolt which destroys ignorance.” Here’s what this page says about the Tibetan vajra:

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#a330 :: Miniature 16 camera

January 9, 2009

According to these guys, the Universal Minute 16 shot 16mm film in little cartridges. It’s a tight, dense little chunk of stainless steel, about half the size of a box of cigarettes. A fingernail pops up the two panes of the viewfinder. Round metal stud under the right finger trips the guillotine shutter, thumb lever […]

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#a329 :: Ferrero Rocher dark chocolate truffle

January 8, 2009

Here’s a sweet chaser to yesterday’s grim ditty: The Ferrero Rocher dark chocolate truffle is a multilayered confection, starting with a chocolate-sprinkled shell of chocolate-coated wafer wrapped around a rich dark-chocolate truffle encasing a slightly chewier core of chocolate so dark it seems to absorb light, thought and reason. God these things are trouble. Good […]

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#a320 :: Traveling Ganesha

December 30, 2008

He is the lord and destroyer of obstacles and like his brother, he came from San Francisco – indeed from another shop in the same block on Columbus Avenue. He is brass, barely 1.25 inches high, carrying his teapot and parasol on the road from here to there. He smiles benevolently, secure in some knowledge […]

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

#a318 :: MINO Flip HD video camera

December 28, 2008

I have a problem with gadget blogs. They gush and bloviate on the merits of equipment that I either don’t need or desperately crave/cannot afford. So when the gushing about this device peaked last month, I reluctantly shoved the MINO Flip from the latter category to the former in my mind, and walked away. Then […]

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

#a316 :: Japanese jellies

December 26, 2008

A gift from our lovely friend Arden. Once upwrapped, the gilt, almost fetishized packaging reveals jellies of every type and description (red bean, plum, green tea). This one was clear, virtually flavorless until you dropped a spoonful of the powdered sweet green tea powder on top of it.

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#a310 :: Blown glass Indian chief

December 20, 2008

We decorated the tree a couple days ago, and tonight we threw a massive Christmas party – I spent most of the day cooking ribs (27 racks) and gumbo (probably six or eight gallons) for 100 good friends, colleagues and family. It was a swell time. At the height of it, a toddler knocked a […]

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#a302 :: Chinese bee pendant

December 12, 2008

My son’s collecting these – Chinese insects preserved in two layers of resin – a clear dome over a glow-in-the-dark bed.

Filed under: Adornment, Fetish, Life form | Comments (0)

#a301 :: 1960 K+E Leroy scriber

December 12, 2008

A more mellifluous blend of ash-blue plastic and polished aluminum, nor a stranger device, I have never seen. The tool holds a small ink reservoir at the end of a complex/adjustable curve of metal. One of the handrests is missing, which is probably why it turned up in a junk shop en route home from […]

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

#a300 :: Homies grilled-corn vendor

December 10, 2008

Little plastic characters from barrio life, the Homies get as much flak as they get props. They were created by Mexican-American cartoonist David Gonzales, who clearly launched the collectible-toy phenomenon (120,000,000+ figurines sold) from a place of respect. Maybe I’m just a stupid white guy, but this vendor’s face and stance seem to radiate the […]

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#a294 :: Ideal “Powermite” orbital sander

December 4, 2008

In 1969, the Ideal Toy company came out with a line of fully operational miniature powertools that plugged into battery supplies built into their small carrying cases. This “Powermite” sander is about three inches long by two inches tall and less than an inch wide, and came with little sheets of sandpaper, which clamped onto […]

Filed under: Artifact, Ephemera, Fetish, Found Object, Miniature, Tool, Toy | Comments (0)

#a292 :: Y Muscle Water bottle

December 2, 2008

I haven’t opened this yet. I don’t care what it tastes like, or even whether it does what it claims: Y MUSCLE WATER – because you never know who’s going to challenge you to a wrestling match. 100% natural and certified organic: Reverse osmosis water, organic evaporated cane juice, organic white grape juice, organic hibiscus, […]

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#a283 :: Million-dollar bill bible tract

November 22, 2008

This fine object puts the specie in specious: Someone at the Christian organization LivingWaters.com worked very, very hard on this piece of counterfeit. The four-color printing and gravure work are fine anough to pass the “holy, shit, WTF is that” moment after you’ve picked it up and still can’t believe it’s not money – that […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, Found Object, Microfiction, Model, symbol, Tool | Comments (1)

#a281 :: Cupcake topper

November 21, 2008

More than 500 million human beings live in absolute poverty. Right now. Their lot is not changing. More than 15 million children die of hunger every year. Starve. To. Death. How many children is that? Numbers are pretty meaningless when you’re talking about entire nations of people, but do some math: Remember the faces of […]

Filed under: Art, Artifact, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Found Object, Jetsam, Miniature, Model, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a279 :: “supersurfaces”

November 19, 2008

This gem of an art book covers the crafting of complex 3-D figures from 2D materials using little but scissors. For some insane reason, the sole available copy on Amazon is going for $212.91. I found a copy in the Hayward Gallery last summer for about 8% of that amount. And no, you cannot buy […]

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#a276 :: Plasticene scottie

November 16, 2008

Random scottie facts: Franklin Delano Roosevelt owned one. George WorstPresidentinHistory Bush owned one too. Just days after his master’s party lost the election, Barney bit a reporter. Our family has owned scotties since we first got Captain MacHeath of Edgerstoune (Keefie) when I was just 14. My parents’ current scottie, Bridey, does not have cancer. […]

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#a272 :: Grip exerciser

November 12, 2008

When you’re 9, you’re already wondering what it means to be a man. You ask a lot of questions. A lot of questions. You challenge people twice your size to arm-wrestling matches. You suddenly take to doing pushups and situps wherever it occurs to you – like on train platforms …

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

#a271 :: Silver Navajo bracelet

November 11, 2008

When we were still a-courting, she and I drove 2,200 miles around the American southwest in a rented convertible in the space of a week. We slept beneath the stars and in seedy motels. We lolled in the open ragtop beneath towering mesas in Monument Valley, and muggy midnight at Four Corners. We noshed, we […]

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#a269 :: Mini-Tabasco

November 9, 2008

The thinking man’s ketchup. I attended the huge Disney Animation Studios wrap party for Bolt (an excellent cartoon, by the way) and they were passing these out with the cocktail shrimp. It’s barely an inch and a half tall, and enough to salt a pot of soup or – in my case – a dozen […]

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#a262 :: Religious medal

November 2, 2008

We hold these things close – our beliefs. They guide our acts, they govern our thoughts, they control how we vote, whom we love, what we do in the dark. And we bind ourselves to these intangible self-truths with talismans – headdresses, tefillim, hair shirts and medals. This is an odd little find – it […]

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#a259 :: Polly Pocket shoes & handbags

October 30, 2008

Tiny accessories for teensy simulacra, these silicone shoelets and bagettes piled up in my daughter’s room until her obsession with Polly Pocket wore off and she tired of them and moved onto a new obsession. At some point, she got it into her head that she could sell them on eBay. I think she’s more […]

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#a256 :: Pill capsule on chain

October 27, 2008

My son seems to have my eye for HLOs. He spotted this anodized aluminum pill container in among the bottle openers at some sporting goods store or Quikie Mart, and quickly reminded us of his lost allowance so he could buy it. A few days later he attached some discarded pot-metal chain to it and […]

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


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