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#a412 :: Nerf one-shot pistol

April 3, 2009

Stuff a foam dart down its hazard-orange bore, pump up the air chamber with the piston slide and blow the captured pressure with the thumb valve. And piff you’ve fired what probably amounts to the most reprehensibly disposable and insulting form of non-lethal ammunition known to man: the rubber dart. It’s got a belt clip […]

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#a411 Ken Onion “Chive”

April 2, 2009

I have a

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#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 […]

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#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 […]

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#a345 :: Kershaw pocketknife

January 25, 2009

My old Kershaw. I carried it 12 years ago, then laid it down three or four years later after the liner lock quit holding the blade stiff, and the rubber in the handles began to degrade. It’s still an elegant little tool and feels wonderful to open. I hang onto it because, well, you never […]

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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 […]

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#a340 :: Potato gun ammo

January 19, 2009

Here’s the other end of this equation – a fine brown potato, now pocked with the wounds of a thousand battles … well, not really. This is simply what it looks like when your son swipes your Christmas present and gets crazy with a hapless spud … the potato’s a couple of ounces lighter, there […]

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#a339 :: Potato Gun

January 18, 2009

I scoffed at these things, which used to appear alongside ads for X-ray spectacles, sea monkeys and GRIT on the backs of Marvel comics when I was a kid. Potato gun. Hah. My friend Phil has a BB gun that he once used to nail the pillar on a house nearly a block away once, […]

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#a328 :: Glass syringe

January 7, 2009

She fiddles with it. Finally squeezes a needle onto it. And fixes up. Big fucking horse syringe. Soup spoon full of horse. The snap and heat of the Bic under the spoon brings her to:

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#a327 :: Split shot

January 6, 2009

Split shot. Y’know, for fishing. From Ideal. No, this is not an advertisement. Just a sweet little slide tin of carefully formed lead pellets that clamp onto your line.

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#a322 :: Knife

January 1, 2009

A New Year’s Day hike through the Angeles National Forest. Right about here, I walked through a picnic ground and spotted this knife flattened into the mud. Raw-boned, Pakistani-made, its four-inch blade is sharp, held tight between the brass sides. Someone dropped it one night around the fire, everyone else trampled it into the earth […]

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#a317 :: Bluetooth and coyote jaw

December 27, 2008

I rarely post two distinct objects together – usually it’s a thing or a group of like things. But these two landed on my desk last night – a gift from my son and a piece of office equipment (you decide which) and they spoke to one another.

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#a309 :: Lug nut

December 19, 2008

I’ve been cleaning the office. We’re having a party. I found this.

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#a275 :: Robotic hand

November 15, 2008

“Dad, check it out. I made a robotic hand.”

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#a255 :: Bakugan set

October 26, 2008

Ittybitty, spherical monster-robot-creatures, about the size of a large marble, with rare-earth magnets in their butts. Roll them or drop them down onto a sheet-tin battle card and spring-loaded wings, necks and feet flip out. Grrrarrrghh, I guess. Nobody ever went broke overestimating the obsession of 9-year-old boys. If I were a kid I’d be […]

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#a253 :: Desk cleaning time

October 24, 2008

You own a lot of shit. You accumulate more of it every day. Sometimes, you have to pick through it to get your desk clean. And you make little piles. That might or might not be photographs of your life told in debris. And yet, you never seem to get rid of the things as […]

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#A244 :: Obama campaign pin

October 15, 2008

THE U.S. MEDIASPHERE (Oct. 14, post-debate) (HLO) – Joe the Plumber. Indeed. Look, this blog isn’t political. I don’t dump my heart out about the government here. Most days, this stuff is just one more step in my years-long tabletop parade of things. But please, if you’re thinking of voting for one would-be U.S. president […]

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#a196 :: Krishna card

August 28, 2008

This object’s juxtaposition to yesterday’s is purely coincidental, but thoroughly contextual: Robed Krishnas rove Black Rock City by night en masse – 20 or 40 of them hauling on immense hawsers to tow a tall, spidery carriage with 8-foot-diameter spoked wheels (something like this) that is wired with LEDs and lushly-colored floodlights. Chanting. Continuously. By […]

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#a195 :: Bible tract

August 27, 2008

Faith is one of those nature versus nurture questions. You either have it by the time you’re an adult, or you don’t. But unless it’s very strong, you’ll find it sorely tested. I was raised a good Catholic by a very good Catholic and an excellent Episcopalian, but wound up walking away from the Church […]

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#a187 :: iPhone 3G

August 19, 2008

My birthday gift. My wife’s love in a handheld marvel. My new video game platform. My toy. My crack pipe. My next-gen paid-content conduit. My memory bank. My little wallet-suck. My preeeeciousssss. My underestimation of Apple‘s continued brilliance at industrial design. My PDA. My GPS. My portable Thomas Guide. My jukebox. My phone. The blue […]

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#186 :: “Thunderbird”

August 18, 2008

The decision had cost Daniel. Which is why he was standing here now with this ridiculous knife in his hand. Ankle-deep in all the tools he had yanked from the toolbox and flung to the floor as he rifled fruitlessly for a real weapon. weapons. Both blades out. Ready. Wicked. He tried not to look […]

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#a185 :: Defender Xtreme “Peramedics Pocket Knife”

August 17, 2008

The second in the series of three birthday knives shimmers with the fetishy beauty of orange anodized aluminum. For just $6.75, the Chinese export company will cough up a decently sharp 4-inch drop-point blade wrapped in satiny orange metal and emblazoned with an enamel “peramedics” (sic) emblem. Bonus features – a seat-belt cutter and tetrahedronal […]

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#a184 :: Maxam “Assisted Opening” Liner Lock Knife

August 16, 2008

Larger image Mom and Dad, being loving, clever parents, took pity upon me after reading about the pocketknife incident. They Googled around and stumbled on, a sort of geek-heaven/tactical-weapons porn shop masquerading as a knife’n’flashlight supplier. For barely $7 you can buy (among other things including Tasers and swords) solid, Chinese-made pocket knives in […]

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#a178 Gerber Harsey Air Ranger

August 9, 2008

Two odd things about trying to catch up with a “daily” blog that you’ve sorely neglected while traveling like mad is that: a) you’re essentially lying to your users if you don’t admit that things are being backdated; and b) you can’t remember when anything really happened to you, or which objects occurred to you […]

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#a171 :: Step-down transformer

August 2, 2008

Electricity surges out of British outlets at a blistering 220 volts – too powerful for western computers. While I’m blogging this from my Mac G4 laptop – a 6-year-old bulletproof box with a trim little power transformer built right in – my other work laptop (a Dell) requires a separate transformer to tame London voltage […]

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