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#a429 :: Rotten witch fingers

April 21, 2009

A Halloween candy bowl kept at the back of our cupboard finally (pardon the pun) gave up the ghost. Used to be you would reach into it for a tasty treat, and a little infrared sensor triggered an animated rubber witch’s hand to snatch at yours and a voicebox would rasp, “Trick or treat!” This […]

Filed under: Facsimile, Jetsam, Object of the Month, Part | 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)

#a427 :: Refrigerator shelf shard

April 19, 2009

What happens when your son has parked a big bottle of water precariously on the top shelf of an open refrigerator door and you unwittingly shut the door, causing it to plunge to the bottom and snap the shelf straight out of the fridge? You hunt through the shattered plastic shards looking for the serial […]

Filed under: Jetsam, Part | Comments (1)

#a425 :: Gilette Shaving Cream cap

April 17, 2009

The fetish of packaging, the gloss of the new. Plastic lids for shaving cream come in two sizes – the simple quarter-sized button protector found on Barbasol or this full-bloat blowmolded cylindrical monster, which covered the can of Gilette I bought last week. With the earth’s carbon load trending toward the toxic, I worry about […]

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

#a420 :: 1-inch hex nut

April 12, 2009

I stumbled across this at Pasadena City College Swap Meet last Sunday. The college seems to be in a constant state of construction, and someone ha dropped it in the grass – a missing part for a mystery structure. It put me in mind of this Todd Rundgren song, the lyrics of which go something […]

Filed under: Found Object, Part, steel, Tool | 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)

#a406 :: Eleanor Powell’s taps

March 28, 2009

Cement, 6925 Hollywood Boulevard. My oldest great friend, Vinny is in town with his lovely wife, Robin, and we’re doing the tourist thing. Some 71 years ago, Eleanor Powell left behind these words: “To Sid – You’re “taps” with me Eleanor Powell Dec. 23 – 37 And then they helped her sink a pair of […]

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

#a394 :: Mystery gizmo

March 16, 2009

Every now and then a mystery washes up out of the ceaseless surf of crap inundating this house. What is this? It has the precise curves and clean-milled transparent plastic of an Appleproduct, but has a vinyl flap-valve at its center. No one in my family can explain it.

Filed under: Found Object, Jetsam, Part | 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)

#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)

#a357 :: Rokenbok ball

February 6, 2009

Children’s toys approximate reality. In the happy world of Rokenbok this is not a huge, filthy boulder shot through with veins of iron and smeared with the engine oil it’s been sitting in in the junkyard where you unearthed it after the glacier dropped it 3.2 million years ago. It’s just part of a load […]

Filed under: Artifact, Ephemera, Jetsam, Part, Toy | Comments (0)

#a333 :: Saab pulley tensioner bearing

January 12, 2009

It’s always something, with a car. We have a long history, this car and I, just as I’ve always had long histories with my cars. Spend enough time in a car and you can reach an intimacy rivaling any human friendship: you know their sounds and smells, you sense their weaknesses, thrill to their strengths […]

Filed under: Part | Comments (0)

#a326 :: Porcelain doll head

January 5, 2009

He was rendered in porcelain bisque, no bigger than the end of my thumb many, many decades ago. This angelic countenance stands ready to receive whatever whim, benediction or mad wish a child of 18XX might bestow upon him. If he had a body, it’s gone now. No matter. Capped with glazed curls, his smile […]

Filed under: Artifact, Facsimile, Miniature, Part, Toy | Comments (0)

#a319 :: Christmas tag

December 29, 2008

We took down the tree and put away the ornaments today in advance of our trip to SF. This was on a gift from my son, his idea of a little joke. He’s a geek off the old block.

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

#a311 :: Littlest Pet Shop shower cap

December 21, 2008

Naturally, a party of that size has its aftermath. Among the dead soldiers (easily policed up) and the bowls of dip that threaten to go off the minute you put them into the fridge, you get an explosion of toys everywhere. Littlest Pet Shop creatures and accessories littered the floor, including a hand-stitched iridescent vinyl […]

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

#a309 :: Lug nut

December 19, 2008

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

Filed under: Found Object, Jetsam, Part, Tool, weapon | Comments (0)

#a306 :: Christmas tree bulb

December 16, 2008

In the course of bedecking the sacrificial conifer with lights and baubles, stuff gets broken. We destroyed three glass balls this evening – fortunately none of them hand-made nor “special.” This was the other casualty – my son went to pull a light from the string to attach a lighted ornament (a Star Trek shuttle […]

Filed under: Jetsam, Part, Tool | 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)

#a280 :: Copper pipe fitting

November 20, 2008

This has been skittering around the floor of our back hallway for a while, a relic of the unpleasant shower-valve failure incident. Copper is the lushest metal color, more wonderful than gold.

Filed under: Artifact, Jetsam, Part | Comments (0)

#a275 :: Robotic hand

November 15, 2008

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

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Part, symbol, Toy, weapon | Comments (1)

#a274 :: Electronic shriek box

November 14, 2008

A simple soundboard, wired to a switch and a speaker. I disemboweled it from (?) an 8×11 promo folder for “Scream 2008” that landed in my wife’s office. When you opened the cover of the folder, a horrific shriek would ensue: “AUUUGHHHAAAAAAAGOODDDDNOOOOO!!!” Soon, I’ll be attaching it to Screaming Tiki so that he can get […]

Filed under: Artifact, Jetsam, Microfiction, Part, Tool, Toy | Comments (0)

#a260 :: Meteorite!

October 31, 2008

Oh my gawd: Readers of this blog know that I don’t tend to post gushy teenage exclamations like “oh my gawd” that often (as in, never) But here it is, one of those Heavy Little Objects that really makes you say “oh, my effing gawd: A chunk of bona-fide space rock. But check the picture […]

Filed under: Artifact, Found Object, Microfiction, Part | Comments (0)

#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 […]

Filed under: Fetish, Miniature, Model, Part, Toy | Comments (0)

#a257 :: Ruined chain links

October 28, 2008

Popped my chain before dawn this morning as I hoisted my bulk up on the pegs today and hammered up this steep little hill. This is what was left after the repair – the first two attempts at which failed because I had threaded the chain incorrectly. Both times. Furthermore, the XBox 360 flung the […]

Filed under: Jetsam, Part | Comments (0)


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