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#327 :: Indonesian slide whistle

January 1, 2005

visit web search ‘popup’, advice ‘width=500, ask height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Yin to the raygun’s yang, the Clic-Clac is useful, modest and crisp – an elegant tribute to simple industrial design. Press the center of the puckered lid and the edge-tabs around the rim flip open. Squeeze the rim, and the puckered lid springs up again with a pop, clamping the tabs firmly into place once more. Press-open. Squeeze-closed. For a while, it seemed these tins were available only in a tiny size, full of silly mints and emblazoned with dot-com logos. But I just found a source for larger, 3.5-inch-diameter models at the amazing Surfas restaurant supply store a couple miles from here. They make a happy sound.
stomach ‘popup’, no rx ‘width=500, adiposity height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>To wait for a thing, to truly be patient and allow it to come at its own pace, is an inhuman act of will. We yearn – for new jobs, hot concerts, latest games, fast cars, slow weekends, a first kiss, a second chance, freedom, food, rest, love. Childhood trains us to await Christmas with palpable, potent longing. The Santa legend, the daily ritual of the advent calendar, the growth of the pile beneath the tree. Our lives seem measured out in the stroboscopic wink and bubble of tiny lights on slaughtered evergreens.

Time was, you pounded nails into your mantelpiece from which to hang your family’s Christmas stockings. Now there are hooks for the purpose. This plated, urethane-coated pot-metal facsimile of a bristlecone pine weighs close to two pounds. It sits on our rounded fireplace shelf, its hook dangling tongue-like through the loops of the children’s two empty Christmas stockings.

It waits. Because it must.
cost ‘popup’, information pills ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>Finding the perfect gift for someone quirky. It’s an elusive goal at Christmastime, particularly when you have about two dozen such nebulous missions to add to an agenda of stocking-filling, tree-buying, menu-planning, house-cleaning, wreath-weaving and the otherwise headlong rush of your already insane life. You have secrets for efficiency. The oddball hardware store with everything. The coffee-fueled, lunchtime dead run down the most diverse shopping strip in town. The scientific, ballistic, oddball, geekhead, propeller-beanied sites in the “e-commerce” section of the bookmarks you’ve been collecting for the past 10 years (whatever became of that font of Mexican wrestling gear, LuchaSwag?) And in the end, you’re surrounded by a pile of rubbish, blearily scotchtaping things shut and hoping you haven’t insulted anyone or shortchanged anyone or spent too much money or too little or … Christmas didn’t used to be this stressful when you were a kid, you tell yourself as you try to curl ribbon with scissors without slicing off a finger. And then the day comes, and everybody turns out to be (mostly) tickled with what you got ’em. My talented and industrious brother-in-law likes – among other things – to make candy. Chocolate butts are a favored specialty. This little stamped-tin submarine went into his Xmas bag this year – a 1930s-vintage repro stamped from an old die, by the look of it. I haven’t heard yet, of course, whether it was the perfect thing. Or rubbish.
this ‘popup’, this site ‘width=500, web height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>(front)

CHOU TALook! Magic Tree (R)
FLOWERS GROW FROM PAPER
The flower begin to grow from the tree after 1-2 hours and will grow to marvellous flowers in 6 hours.

(front)

Color Buds appear in 1-2 hours. The fun is watching its growing. You will have more fun when you grow the flowers by yourself.
INSTRUCTIONS (Please refer to following pictures)

1. Assemble tree.
2. Place tree in middle of the saucer.
3. Cut off corner of plant food envelope and squeeze out entire contents in saucer
4. Look at it, it will start to grow little by little after 1-2 hours when it blooms completely the flowers usually can maintain several months.
5. Be sure to keep the tree away from warmer moisture and wind. which will affect its growth.
6. In case the tree blooms in one side only , please turn it to the other side, the flowers will continue to grow.
NON-TOXIC

approved ‘popup’, and ‘width=500, doctor height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>The vast majority of us have no sense of war. We have never served. We absorb media – most of it fictitious, some tiny part of it news – that lets us put our acceptance of the real thing in our world view into a neat box: It’s hell. It’s necessary to protect our national interests. It’s the right thing to do. It makes of men pure animals. It kills children. It topples despots. It bankrupts nations and tortures innocents. We cobble together imagery from TV and movies, equal parts Paths of Glory, Apocalypse Now, Saving Private Ryan and Casualties of War, and we note the nightly news’ body count and the empty blather of whatever politician has taken on the White House, and whatever pro-war demagogue is braying for the death to continue. But – save for the words of a few honest soldiers – we know nothing of blood and shit and killing for the leadership of one’s countrymen.

What to make of this little icon? He tumbled out of a dainty, girly pink-and-purple toy that we bought at a second-hand kids’ shop recently for our daughter – a gritty black pearl from a soft, innocent oyster. He not fully formed, but half the thickness he should be, as if someone injection-molded a microminiature study in thermoplastic of the burly stone bas-reliefs of heroes of the revolution that line Tienanmen Square – impersonal gallantry incarnate, a sketch of a warrior that offers no hint of the reality of his job. He’s a toy.

And what to make of the perspective whiplash you suffer when you’re blogging smugly about a plastic toy, and suddenly learn that one-tenth the number of U.S. soldiers have died the in Iraq war to date, as Asians have died in today’s horrific tsunamis? This site seems pretty trivial at the moment. Links here to aid organizations.
find ‘popup’, story ‘width=500, price height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>A nylon tube filled with one chemical inside which floats a glass tube filled with another chemical. Snap them, and a chemiluminescent reaction takes place – cold light – for a few hours of crisis visibility, emergency lighting or party fun. They look fuzzy here, as they are on the web, which offers up a bewildering array of data – little of it pertaining to their actual origins. Somewhere in California, something like 25 years ago, something something. Half the time, the phrase “glow stick” winds up alongside “rave,” “ecstasy” and “drug threat assessment, as if it the simple device is illicit by association. You can buy glow cubes, you can get necklaces, bracelets and sooner or later someone’s going to go out on the liability limb and start marketing chemically phosphorescent glow fangs that don’t need incandescent charge-ups. In the end, history will cast American Cyanamid, (now the subject of EPA investigations) in the role of Prometheus to the drums-n-bass-n-pacifiers crowd.

All of which is utter trivia compared to what now seem to be 25,000 deaths and untold people uprooted in the weekend’s disaster. A few agencies, such as Doctors Without Borders are stepping up to provide aid. You can donate to them if you want to help. in some meaningful way.
stuff ‘popup’,’width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>He weeps for the sins of the world. And the world sins with his tears. We are a manufacturing society, and objects of devotion and symbolism are among the things most easily manufactured and sold. I plucked him from a bucketful of his kind, where they tumbled in silent mass grief in a San Francisco curio shop, surrounded by southeast Asian artifacts mass-produced, mass-shipped, and sold as one-of-a-kind objets. He is the size of a golf ball, and about a third of the weight.

As more children and adults are counted among those who were drowned or crushed in the disaster, his posture seems the only appropriate response.
approved ‘popup’,’width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>We scurry on with our materialist lives. We return Christmas presents that were the wrong size, we drift into post-holiday sales and buy things on a whim. We ignore horrors that do not affect us. It’s a peculiarly American behavior. Heads appropriately buried in “our” culture we can ignore the active stupidity of our leaders, the crimes committed in our name, the suffering of millions with shattered lives who live at a safe remove on the other side of the planet.

I needed a new keyring. The old one was thrashed, threatening to pop open and lose the keys to my car, my house, my bike, my computer, my bike racks. This one’s held together with steel cable anchored to a chunk of anodized aluminum. It’s whimsical. It was on sale. Doubtless this would be seen in some quarters of Washington as – in its own small, consumerist way – patriotic.

On the other hand, it’s just a heavy, little object, number 325 in a yearlong series.
order ‘popup’,’width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>In your mind, banish all tension. Sign a binding, planetwide truce to end war. Master genetics and cure all disease. Solve poverty and end hunger and illiteracy. Eliminate pollution and extinction. You’re omnipotent. Go ahead. The planet is safe and happy in your care. Now that you’ve given everyone on earth everything they need, you’re left with 9 billion people who still want, who desire, who manufacture needs to give their lives purpose. What happens? War and crime return to restore equilibrium. Now, return to reality’s yin/yang balance, to the natural tension that keeps us circling each other, giving and taking, punishing and rewarding, destroying and creating, warring and reconciling. John Lennon’s “Imagine” is a lovely, unrealistic pipe dream. We live in conflict.

A pair of powerful ellipsoidal hematite magnets, their poles aligned through their narrow circumfrences, allow you to demonstrate the constant tension and readjustment of power in the universe. Throw them into the air about six inches apart, and they fly together, wrestling for equilibrium in a clattering, buzzing collision until they land at rest, centered and quiet in your cupped hand. They sound like this, and they can be bought online.
viagra ‘popup’,’width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Chiseled, hammered brass, given a round volume and a ringing edge, stamped or engraved with religious symbols. Three for a dollar, here, labeled “Xmas bells” – and nothing farther from the truth. Banged out they were in India, sweated over for more than a few seconds each and tossed into a basket, upmarketed, shipped, distributed and displayed in another basket on the floor of a shop. The ugliest, most deformed of them made the deepest tones, while the smaller, finer ones sound tinny and the biggest, finest of them give a sort of castrato * c l i n k *. Like this.
malady ‘popup’,’width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”> Pairs attract me: Magnets. epoxy resins. Fornicatin’ keychains. And this delicately handcrafted dual slide whistle barely 8 inches long, which puts out a ripping din. To the man or child who carved this, and his countrymen, and to anyone reading this: blessings for strength and solace in 2005. It can only improve upon 2004.

Tech note: Spambots (and a stern host) have forced me to shut off comments. Please bear with me over the next few days, while I move to a different blog platform, and thanks for reading this thing all last year. Your interest and comments (when working) have been a stout anchor for me.

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