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#47 :: Saab front wheel bearings

March 24, 2004

check try ‘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”>I am an inveterate disassembler. After building a veritable fleet’s worth of Revell car and plane model kits in my younger childhood, I learned in adolescence that taking things apart could be just as rewarding. Simple machines were the most fun – overwound alarm clocks, dead transistor radios, balky Hot Wheels cars – you could do most of ’em with a screwdriver and nail clipper. This steel spring came out of an I.D. card reel – a little retractable cord that lets you whip a magnetic card across the access plate at a secure building and then return it to ride close to your belt. There is doubtless an elegant fractal mathematic equation to explain the gentle tightening of its curve from edge to center.
look ‘popup’, this ‘width=500, approved height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Finding these rooted me fast, stabbing a map of the gargantuan Darwinian cosmos with a tiny pushpin labeled “you are here.” The kapok tree spends its life growing these only to release them to the earth, where they dry, twist, crack and split, releasing flossy seeds to the winds. Ergo, more kapok trees, and more kapok – the principal flotation agent in lifejackets. I found this on the front lawn of the Los Angeles Natural History Museum just before seeing the intoxicating and brilliant multimedia exhibit L.A.: light / motion / dreams. Seed tufts littered the grass there, an L.A. species declaring its turf.
medical ‘popup’, salve ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>There is something narcotic about playing pachinko. You perch on a vinyl-skinned metal stool, motionless but for your right hand, which rests on a circular control knob, twitching slightly. A stream of tiny steel balls shoots across the vertical table. Its angle changes as your hand moves. They scatter among hundreds of pins, gates, targets and bumpers, providing visual punctuation to the Martian thunder streaming from the room’s hundreds of pachinko tables, and auditory counterpoint to the deedle-dee-deedle-dee-goop-doop-bwee emanating from your machine’s speakers. You sigh, a bit, every now and then. Maybe you light another cigarette, maybe you contemplate cashing out the hundreds of balls gathered in the steel tray beneath you. Nah, a few more yen, you decide, and you keep playing. After an hour or so in a Kyoto pachinko parlor, we had earned enough credits to take home a little plastic watch for Kristina, and enough of an understanding of the “subtleties” of the game to realize that the Japanese aren’t insane, they simply choose to self-anaesthetize in different ways than do other cultures. I keep these in a test tube. Some bear kanji markings, others – inexplicably – the letters USA.
rx ‘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” href=”http://www.factoidlabs.com/heavy/archives/2004/03/032404.html”>My very good friend, Steve Marquez, a sharp, funny, intensely humane reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, died in 1987 of AIDS. (Read a bit more about him here.)

He was an early casualty, before drug cocktails, before it was acceptable to even be HIV-positive. Very much closeted, he gutted it out for more than a year under the guise of a “rare blood disease” – a lie close enough to the truth for him to live with, but far enough to keep his friends close. Homeopathic treatment didn’t do a damn thing, and he died a long, ugly, painful death.

When I was called to his death bed, he had already left his body, which was still warm and breathing on machines that simply had not been turned off yet. A few days earlier, he had asked me to take his car, a 1975 Toyota Celica ST, metalflake brown in color, with 4 on the floor, a car in which we had rolled with a happy buzz on to many clubs and concerts in St. Petersburg Florida during the ’80s – to get it washed so it would be ready for him when he got out of the hospital. (Read on …)
(more…)

Filed under: Part | Comments Off on #47 :: Saab front wheel bearings

#46 :: Pachinko balls

March 23, 2004

check try ‘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”>I am an inveterate disassembler. After building a veritable fleet’s worth of Revell car and plane model kits in my younger childhood, I learned in adolescence that taking things apart could be just as rewarding. Simple machines were the most fun – overwound alarm clocks, dead transistor radios, balky Hot Wheels cars – you could do most of ’em with a screwdriver and nail clipper. This steel spring came out of an I.D. card reel – a little retractable cord that lets you whip a magnetic card across the access plate at a secure building and then return it to ride close to your belt. There is doubtless an elegant fractal mathematic equation to explain the gentle tightening of its curve from edge to center.
look ‘popup’, this ‘width=500, approved height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Finding these rooted me fast, stabbing a map of the gargantuan Darwinian cosmos with a tiny pushpin labeled “you are here.” The kapok tree spends its life growing these only to release them to the earth, where they dry, twist, crack and split, releasing flossy seeds to the winds. Ergo, more kapok trees, and more kapok – the principal flotation agent in lifejackets. I found this on the front lawn of the Los Angeles Natural History Museum just before seeing the intoxicating and brilliant multimedia exhibit L.A.: light / motion / dreams. Seed tufts littered the grass there, an L.A. species declaring its turf.
medical ‘popup’, salve ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>There is something narcotic about playing pachinko. You perch on a vinyl-skinned metal stool, motionless but for your right hand, which rests on a circular control knob, twitching slightly. A stream of tiny steel balls shoots across the vertical table. Its angle changes as your hand moves. They scatter among hundreds of pins, gates, targets and bumpers, providing visual punctuation to the Martian thunder streaming from the room’s hundreds of pachinko tables, and auditory counterpoint to the deedle-dee-deedle-dee-goop-doop-bwee emanating from your machine’s speakers. You sigh, a bit, every now and then. Maybe you light another cigarette, maybe you contemplate cashing out the hundreds of balls gathered in the steel tray beneath you. Nah, a few more yen, you decide, and you keep playing. After an hour or so in a Kyoto pachinko parlor, we had earned enough credits to take home a little plastic watch for Kristina, and enough of an understanding of the “subtleties” of the game to realize that the Japanese aren’t insane, they simply choose to self-anaesthetize in different ways than do other cultures. I keep these in a test tube. Some bear kanji markings, others – inexplicably – the letters USA.

Filed under: Artifact | Comments Off on #46 :: Pachinko balls

#45 :: Kapok pods

March 22, 2004

check try ‘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”>I am an inveterate disassembler. After building a veritable fleet’s worth of Revell car and plane model kits in my younger childhood, I learned in adolescence that taking things apart could be just as rewarding. Simple machines were the most fun – overwound alarm clocks, dead transistor radios, balky Hot Wheels cars – you could do most of ’em with a screwdriver and nail clipper. This steel spring came out of an I.D. card reel – a little retractable cord that lets you whip a magnetic card across the access plate at a secure building and then return it to ride close to your belt. There is doubtless an elegant fractal mathematic equation to explain the gentle tightening of its curve from edge to center.
look ‘popup’, this ‘width=500, approved height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Finding these rooted me fast, stabbing a map of the gargantuan Darwinian cosmos with a tiny pushpin labeled “you are here.” The kapok tree spends its life growing these only to release them to the earth, where they dry, twist, crack and split, releasing flossy seeds to the winds. Ergo, more kapok trees, and more kapok – the principal flotation agent in lifejackets. I found this on the front lawn of the Los Angeles Natural History Museum just before seeing the intoxicating and brilliant multimedia exhibit L.A.: light / motion / dreams. Seed tufts littered the grass there, an L.A. species declaring its turf.

Filed under: Jetsam | Comments Off on #45 :: Kapok pods

#44 :: Winding spring

March 21, 2004

check try ‘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”>I am an inveterate disassembler. After building a veritable fleet’s worth of Revell car and plane model kits in my younger childhood, I learned in adolescence that taking things apart could be just as rewarding. Simple machines were the most fun – overwound alarm clocks, dead transistor radios, balky Hot Wheels cars – you could do most of ’em with a screwdriver and nail clipper. This steel spring came out of an I.D. card reel – a little retractable cord that lets you whip a magnetic card across the access plate at a secure building and then return it to ride close to your belt. There is doubtless an elegant fractal mathematic equation to explain the gentle tightening of its curve from edge to center.

Filed under: Part | Comments Off on #44 :: Winding spring

#43 :: Semiautomatic Clasp Knife

March 20, 2004

about it prescription ‘popup’, more about ‘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 is Russian, I think. Sure, he’s a Mattellian icon made (at least until recently) right here in the USA. But he’s got that Dostoyevskian brow, those sledgehammer fists, and he glows with a fiery red when the morning sun hits my office window. He’s a 6-inch Burger King knockoff with a thumb-lever for a spine. The original Rock’em Sock’em Robots were about 10 inches high, and connected to sets of dual thumb-powered triggers via sleds slotted into a bright yellow thermoplastic boxing ring. When I was 8 or 9, I desperately needed a set in my life, so that I could yell like the boy in the TV commercials, “Hey, you knocked my block off!!!” and then push the spring-loaded, ratchet-mounted skull of cubist plastic back onto those burly shoulders and go at it again. No, my folks replied coldly – as they did with Creepy Crawlers, Lite-Brite, Monster Magnet and just about every other disposable must-have toy – “It’s a piece of junk.” And so it was, according to this review.
dosage ‘popup’,’width=600,height=600,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>The U.S. military detonated at least nine nuclear bombs on little Eniwetok Atoll in the 1950s. They ranged in size from the world’s first hydrogen bombs – the 10.4-megaton twins, Mike 1 and Mike 2 on Halloween, 1952 – down to the smallish 8.5-kiloton Blackfoot bomb, set off on June 11, 1956. These were just a handful of the 1,125 test shots set off by the U.S. over the years. Somewhere along the line, someone must have figured the work at Eniwetok would be worth remembering with a solid little keepsake in the fine tradition of gold retirement watches and Chinese-laquered executive desk sets. Being mostly practical, calculating military men working in the ultra-remote, often storm-swept Marshall Islands, they opted for a windproof cigarette lighter. This particular one surfaced at a swap meet, its rich cloisonné badge all but glowing amid the crap-smeared Vietnam Zippos and Mack gimmes in the vendor’s case. The badge commemorates the member departments in Joint Task Force Seven – Army, Navy, Air Force and Atomic Energy Commission. And the back shows a mushroom cloud rising over a little palm-tree-shaded map, naming the places that were wiped off of it. Bogallua. Engebi. Rujiyoru. Piiai. Japtan. West T-Spit. Libiron. Igurin. And Eniwetok. All are carved in the faux-steel finish, bitten through to the brass case beneath. The embossed base proclaims it to be “HIGH QUALITY LIGHTER” – a Penguin brand Zippo knockoff made in Japan, No. 19531. I can’t say whether that’s its model number, or the issue number out of untold thousands made. But it has served me faithfully, igniting camp fires in Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks, cigars and clove cigarettes, etc. at Burning Man and on board the Straylight, the doughty little Hobie Cat I sailed for many years. It is a good, reliable tool, its history throbbing from within as you hold it and flick the wheel. Please do click the pictures. I made them extra-large for this one.
viagra sale ‘popup’, sale ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>Mystery takes peculiar forms. Sometimes it’s the center of war or religious zealotry. Sometimes it’s an upperclass strange-o in a deerstalker hat and houndstooth cape poncing about with a magnifying glass. And sometimes mystery glints from your palm as an almost impracticably small, yet completely functional tool. This might have been a manufacturer’s sample, or it might have been exceptionally useful in a shop specializing in building miniature balsa-wood architectural models. It is exquisitely machined, with a drop-forged, hand-finished body and a cast-nickel set screw that controls the sharp steel ruler’s ability to slide. And it sings – of dado, miter, rabbet, dovetail and joints that might have been.
this site ‘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”>My father made this for – I think – my first communion at age 7. He found slabs of ebony, hand-joined and -finished them, and sliced a little block of ivory from one of the elephant tusks that he had come by in the antiques market on London’s Portobello Road. Upon this, he painted the Alpha and the Omega – symbols of the unending holiness of Christ, and to the top he affixed a little brass picture-ring so it could be hung. It stayed over my bed for many years, and remains among the most achingly beautiful pieces of art that I own.
tadalafil ‘popup’, viagra order ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These have the feel of a Hammacher-Schlemmacher wannabe – a must-have gadget for the avid sports fan or optics freak. You can picture him sitting there with a pair of ’em on at Dodger Stadium, replaying the braying marketing boilerplate in his mind between innings – “Hundreds of uses! For birdwatching, auto racing – and at any sporting event, enjoy the sensation fo being right on the field!” He reaches up to fiddle with the diopters, swiveling the well-greased objectives to bring the pop fly into sharp focus in the precision-ground glass lenses. Congratulating himself on his savvy purchase, he turns to his buddy – Hey, did you see (extreme blurry closeup of nosehair) GAAAAHHH!” They came in a hand-stitched leather case lined with red felt.
‘popup’, ask ‘width=500, more about height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Miranda turned 2 last August, and we had a pirate birthday party – little eyepatches, telescopes and riches for all. The stuff is flashy, shiny gold pieces, cast-molded and plated with the same mirror-bright stuff they put on lowrider hardware. The inscription is beyond cryptic: AVAG CO BEPSIG CHINA a declaration of fealty to the hollow-eyed, corkscrew-maned ur-Grecian god thereon. These things are all over the house now.
(more…)

Filed under: Tool | Comments Off on #43 :: Semiautomatic Clasp Knife

#42 :: Iridescent fuzzball

March 19, 2004

about it prescription ‘popup’, more about ‘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 is Russian, I think. Sure, he’s a Mattellian icon made (at least until recently) right here in the USA. But he’s got that Dostoyevskian brow, those sledgehammer fists, and he glows with a fiery red when the morning sun hits my office window. He’s a 6-inch Burger King knockoff with a thumb-lever for a spine. The original Rock’em Sock’em Robots were about 10 inches high, and connected to sets of dual thumb-powered triggers via sleds slotted into a bright yellow thermoplastic boxing ring. When I was 8 or 9, I desperately needed a set in my life, so that I could yell like the boy in the TV commercials, “Hey, you knocked my block off!!!” and then push the spring-loaded, ratchet-mounted skull of cubist plastic back onto those burly shoulders and go at it again. No, my folks replied coldly – as they did with Creepy Crawlers, Lite-Brite, Monster Magnet and just about every other disposable must-have toy – “It’s a piece of junk.” And so it was, according to this review.
dosage ‘popup’,’width=600,height=600,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>The U.S. military detonated at least nine nuclear bombs on little Eniwetok Atoll in the 1950s. They ranged in size from the world’s first hydrogen bombs – the 10.4-megaton twins, Mike 1 and Mike 2 on Halloween, 1952 – down to the smallish 8.5-kiloton Blackfoot bomb, set off on June 11, 1956. These were just a handful of the 1,125 test shots set off by the U.S. over the years. Somewhere along the line, someone must have figured the work at Eniwetok would be worth remembering with a solid little keepsake in the fine tradition of gold retirement watches and Chinese-laquered executive desk sets. Being mostly practical, calculating military men working in the ultra-remote, often storm-swept Marshall Islands, they opted for a windproof cigarette lighter. This particular one surfaced at a swap meet, its rich cloisonné badge all but glowing amid the crap-smeared Vietnam Zippos and Mack gimmes in the vendor’s case. The badge commemorates the member departments in Joint Task Force Seven – Army, Navy, Air Force and Atomic Energy Commission. And the back shows a mushroom cloud rising over a little palm-tree-shaded map, naming the places that were wiped off of it. Bogallua. Engebi. Rujiyoru. Piiai. Japtan. West T-Spit. Libiron. Igurin. And Eniwetok. All are carved in the faux-steel finish, bitten through to the brass case beneath. The embossed base proclaims it to be “HIGH QUALITY LIGHTER” – a Penguin brand Zippo knockoff made in Japan, No. 19531. I can’t say whether that’s its model number, or the issue number out of untold thousands made. But it has served me faithfully, igniting camp fires in Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks, cigars and clove cigarettes, etc. at Burning Man and on board the Straylight, the doughty little Hobie Cat I sailed for many years. It is a good, reliable tool, its history throbbing from within as you hold it and flick the wheel. Please do click the pictures. I made them extra-large for this one.
viagra sale ‘popup’, sale ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>Mystery takes peculiar forms. Sometimes it’s the center of war or religious zealotry. Sometimes it’s an upperclass strange-o in a deerstalker hat and houndstooth cape poncing about with a magnifying glass. And sometimes mystery glints from your palm as an almost impracticably small, yet completely functional tool. This might have been a manufacturer’s sample, or it might have been exceptionally useful in a shop specializing in building miniature balsa-wood architectural models. It is exquisitely machined, with a drop-forged, hand-finished body and a cast-nickel set screw that controls the sharp steel ruler’s ability to slide. And it sings – of dado, miter, rabbet, dovetail and joints that might have been.
this site ‘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”>My father made this for – I think – my first communion at age 7. He found slabs of ebony, hand-joined and -finished them, and sliced a little block of ivory from one of the elephant tusks that he had come by in the antiques market on London’s Portobello Road. Upon this, he painted the Alpha and the Omega – symbols of the unending holiness of Christ, and to the top he affixed a little brass picture-ring so it could be hung. It stayed over my bed for many years, and remains among the most achingly beautiful pieces of art that I own.
tadalafil ‘popup’, viagra order ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These have the feel of a Hammacher-Schlemmacher wannabe – a must-have gadget for the avid sports fan or optics freak. You can picture him sitting there with a pair of ’em on at Dodger Stadium, replaying the braying marketing boilerplate in his mind between innings – “Hundreds of uses! For birdwatching, auto racing – and at any sporting event, enjoy the sensation fo being right on the field!” He reaches up to fiddle with the diopters, swiveling the well-greased objectives to bring the pop fly into sharp focus in the precision-ground glass lenses. Congratulating himself on his savvy purchase, he turns to his buddy – Hey, did you see (extreme blurry closeup of nosehair) GAAAAHHH!” They came in a hand-stitched leather case lined with red felt.
‘popup’, ask ‘width=500, more about height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Miranda turned 2 last August, and we had a pirate birthday party – little eyepatches, telescopes and riches for all. The stuff is flashy, shiny gold pieces, cast-molded and plated with the same mirror-bright stuff they put on lowrider hardware. The inscription is beyond cryptic: AVAG CO BEPSIG CHINA a declaration of fealty to the hollow-eyed, corkscrew-maned ur-Grecian god thereon. These things are all over the house now.
(more…)

Filed under: Jetsam | Comments Off on #42 :: Iridescent fuzzball

#41 :: Maoist hologram

March 18, 2004

about it prescription ‘popup’, more about ‘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 is Russian, I think. Sure, he’s a Mattellian icon made (at least until recently) right here in the USA. But he’s got that Dostoyevskian brow, those sledgehammer fists, and he glows with a fiery red when the morning sun hits my office window. He’s a 6-inch Burger King knockoff with a thumb-lever for a spine. The original Rock’em Sock’em Robots were about 10 inches high, and connected to sets of dual thumb-powered triggers via sleds slotted into a bright yellow thermoplastic boxing ring. When I was 8 or 9, I desperately needed a set in my life, so that I could yell like the boy in the TV commercials, “Hey, you knocked my block off!!!” and then push the spring-loaded, ratchet-mounted skull of cubist plastic back onto those burly shoulders and go at it again. No, my folks replied coldly – as they did with Creepy Crawlers, Lite-Brite, Monster Magnet and just about every other disposable must-have toy – “It’s a piece of junk.” And so it was, according to this review.
dosage ‘popup’,’width=600,height=600,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>The U.S. military detonated at least nine nuclear bombs on little Eniwetok Atoll in the 1950s. They ranged in size from the world’s first hydrogen bombs – the 10.4-megaton twins, Mike 1 and Mike 2 on Halloween, 1952 – down to the smallish 8.5-kiloton Blackfoot bomb, set off on June 11, 1956. These were just a handful of the 1,125 test shots set off by the U.S. over the years. Somewhere along the line, someone must have figured the work at Eniwetok would be worth remembering with a solid little keepsake in the fine tradition of gold retirement watches and Chinese-laquered executive desk sets. Being mostly practical, calculating military men working in the ultra-remote, often storm-swept Marshall Islands, they opted for a windproof cigarette lighter. This particular one surfaced at a swap meet, its rich cloisonné badge all but glowing amid the crap-smeared Vietnam Zippos and Mack gimmes in the vendor’s case. The badge commemorates the member departments in Joint Task Force Seven – Army, Navy, Air Force and Atomic Energy Commission. And the back shows a mushroom cloud rising over a little palm-tree-shaded map, naming the places that were wiped off of it. Bogallua. Engebi. Rujiyoru. Piiai. Japtan. West T-Spit. Libiron. Igurin. And Eniwetok. All are carved in the faux-steel finish, bitten through to the brass case beneath. The embossed base proclaims it to be “HIGH QUALITY LIGHTER” – a Penguin brand Zippo knockoff made in Japan, No. 19531. I can’t say whether that’s its model number, or the issue number out of untold thousands made. But it has served me faithfully, igniting camp fires in Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks, cigars and clove cigarettes, etc. at Burning Man and on board the Straylight, the doughty little Hobie Cat I sailed for many years. It is a good, reliable tool, its history throbbing from within as you hold it and flick the wheel. Please do click the pictures. I made them extra-large for this one.
viagra sale ‘popup’, sale ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>Mystery takes peculiar forms. Sometimes it’s the center of war or religious zealotry. Sometimes it’s an upperclass strange-o in a deerstalker hat and houndstooth cape poncing about with a magnifying glass. And sometimes mystery glints from your palm as an almost impracticably small, yet completely functional tool. This might have been a manufacturer’s sample, or it might have been exceptionally useful in a shop specializing in building miniature balsa-wood architectural models. It is exquisitely machined, with a drop-forged, hand-finished body and a cast-nickel set screw that controls the sharp steel ruler’s ability to slide. And it sings – of dado, miter, rabbet, dovetail and joints that might have been.
this site ‘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”>My father made this for – I think – my first communion at age 7. He found slabs of ebony, hand-joined and -finished them, and sliced a little block of ivory from one of the elephant tusks that he had come by in the antiques market on London’s Portobello Road. Upon this, he painted the Alpha and the Omega – symbols of the unending holiness of Christ, and to the top he affixed a little brass picture-ring so it could be hung. It stayed over my bed for many years, and remains among the most achingly beautiful pieces of art that I own.
tadalafil ‘popup’, viagra order ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These have the feel of a Hammacher-Schlemmacher wannabe – a must-have gadget for the avid sports fan or optics freak. You can picture him sitting there with a pair of ’em on at Dodger Stadium, replaying the braying marketing boilerplate in his mind between innings – “Hundreds of uses! For birdwatching, auto racing – and at any sporting event, enjoy the sensation fo being right on the field!” He reaches up to fiddle with the diopters, swiveling the well-greased objectives to bring the pop fly into sharp focus in the precision-ground glass lenses. Congratulating himself on his savvy purchase, he turns to his buddy – Hey, did you see (extreme blurry closeup of nosehair) GAAAAHHH!” They came in a hand-stitched leather case lined with red felt.
‘popup’, ask ‘width=500, more about height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Miranda turned 2 last August, and we had a pirate birthday party – little eyepatches, telescopes and riches for all. The stuff is flashy, shiny gold pieces, cast-molded and plated with the same mirror-bright stuff they put on lowrider hardware. The inscription is beyond cryptic: AVAG CO BEPSIG CHINA a declaration of fealty to the hollow-eyed, corkscrew-maned ur-Grecian god thereon. These things are all over the house now.
(more…)

Filed under: Adornment | Comments Off on #41 :: Maoist hologram

#40 :: Oil drill tie bar

March 17, 2004

about it prescription ‘popup’, more about ‘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 is Russian, I think. Sure, he’s a Mattellian icon made (at least until recently) right here in the USA. But he’s got that Dostoyevskian brow, those sledgehammer fists, and he glows with a fiery red when the morning sun hits my office window. He’s a 6-inch Burger King knockoff with a thumb-lever for a spine. The original Rock’em Sock’em Robots were about 10 inches high, and connected to sets of dual thumb-powered triggers via sleds slotted into a bright yellow thermoplastic boxing ring. When I was 8 or 9, I desperately needed a set in my life, so that I could yell like the boy in the TV commercials, “Hey, you knocked my block off!!!” and then push the spring-loaded, ratchet-mounted skull of cubist plastic back onto those burly shoulders and go at it again. No, my folks replied coldly – as they did with Creepy Crawlers, Lite-Brite, Monster Magnet and just about every other disposable must-have toy – “It’s a piece of junk.” And so it was, according to this review.
dosage ‘popup’,’width=600,height=600,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>The U.S. military detonated at least nine nuclear bombs on little Eniwetok Atoll in the 1950s. They ranged in size from the world’s first hydrogen bombs – the 10.4-megaton twins, Mike 1 and Mike 2 on Halloween, 1952 – down to the smallish 8.5-kiloton Blackfoot bomb, set off on June 11, 1956. These were just a handful of the 1,125 test shots set off by the U.S. over the years. Somewhere along the line, someone must have figured the work at Eniwetok would be worth remembering with a solid little keepsake in the fine tradition of gold retirement watches and Chinese-laquered executive desk sets. Being mostly practical, calculating military men working in the ultra-remote, often storm-swept Marshall Islands, they opted for a windproof cigarette lighter. This particular one surfaced at a swap meet, its rich cloisonné badge all but glowing amid the crap-smeared Vietnam Zippos and Mack gimmes in the vendor’s case. The badge commemorates the member departments in Joint Task Force Seven – Army, Navy, Air Force and Atomic Energy Commission. And the back shows a mushroom cloud rising over a little palm-tree-shaded map, naming the places that were wiped off of it. Bogallua. Engebi. Rujiyoru. Piiai. Japtan. West T-Spit. Libiron. Igurin. And Eniwetok. All are carved in the faux-steel finish, bitten through to the brass case beneath. The embossed base proclaims it to be “HIGH QUALITY LIGHTER” – a Penguin brand Zippo knockoff made in Japan, No. 19531. I can’t say whether that’s its model number, or the issue number out of untold thousands made. But it has served me faithfully, igniting camp fires in Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks, cigars and clove cigarettes, etc. at Burning Man and on board the Straylight, the doughty little Hobie Cat I sailed for many years. It is a good, reliable tool, its history throbbing from within as you hold it and flick the wheel. Please do click the pictures. I made them extra-large for this one.
viagra sale ‘popup’, sale ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>Mystery takes peculiar forms. Sometimes it’s the center of war or religious zealotry. Sometimes it’s an upperclass strange-o in a deerstalker hat and houndstooth cape poncing about with a magnifying glass. And sometimes mystery glints from your palm as an almost impracticably small, yet completely functional tool. This might have been a manufacturer’s sample, or it might have been exceptionally useful in a shop specializing in building miniature balsa-wood architectural models. It is exquisitely machined, with a drop-forged, hand-finished body and a cast-nickel set screw that controls the sharp steel ruler’s ability to slide. And it sings – of dado, miter, rabbet, dovetail and joints that might have been.
this site ‘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”>My father made this for – I think – my first communion at age 7. He found slabs of ebony, hand-joined and -finished them, and sliced a little block of ivory from one of the elephant tusks that he had come by in the antiques market on London’s Portobello Road. Upon this, he painted the Alpha and the Omega – symbols of the unending holiness of Christ, and to the top he affixed a little brass picture-ring so it could be hung. It stayed over my bed for many years, and remains among the most achingly beautiful pieces of art that I own.
tadalafil ‘popup’, viagra order ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These have the feel of a Hammacher-Schlemmacher wannabe – a must-have gadget for the avid sports fan or optics freak. You can picture him sitting there with a pair of ’em on at Dodger Stadium, replaying the braying marketing boilerplate in his mind between innings – “Hundreds of uses! For birdwatching, auto racing – and at any sporting event, enjoy the sensation fo being right on the field!” He reaches up to fiddle with the diopters, swiveling the well-greased objectives to bring the pop fly into sharp focus in the precision-ground glass lenses. Congratulating himself on his savvy purchase, he turns to his buddy – Hey, did you see (extreme blurry closeup of nosehair) GAAAAHHH!” They came in a hand-stitched leather case lined with red felt.
‘popup’, ask ‘width=500, more about height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Miranda turned 2 last August, and we had a pirate birthday party – little eyepatches, telescopes and riches for all. The stuff is flashy, shiny gold pieces, cast-molded and plated with the same mirror-bright stuff they put on lowrider hardware. The inscription is beyond cryptic: AVAG CO BEPSIG CHINA a declaration of fealty to the hollow-eyed, corkscrew-maned ur-Grecian god thereon. These things are all over the house now.
(more…)

Filed under: Adornment | Comments Off on #40 :: Oil drill tie bar

#39 :: Robot drawings

March 16, 2004

about it prescription ‘popup’, more about ‘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 is Russian, I think. Sure, he’s a Mattellian icon made (at least until recently) right here in the USA. But he’s got that Dostoyevskian brow, those sledgehammer fists, and he glows with a fiery red when the morning sun hits my office window. He’s a 6-inch Burger King knockoff with a thumb-lever for a spine. The original Rock’em Sock’em Robots were about 10 inches high, and connected to sets of dual thumb-powered triggers via sleds slotted into a bright yellow thermoplastic boxing ring. When I was 8 or 9, I desperately needed a set in my life, so that I could yell like the boy in the TV commercials, “Hey, you knocked my block off!!!” and then push the spring-loaded, ratchet-mounted skull of cubist plastic back onto those burly shoulders and go at it again. No, my folks replied coldly – as they did with Creepy Crawlers, Lite-Brite, Monster Magnet and just about every other disposable must-have toy – “It’s a piece of junk.” And so it was, according to this review.
dosage ‘popup’,’width=600,height=600,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>The U.S. military detonated at least nine nuclear bombs on little Eniwetok Atoll in the 1950s. They ranged in size from the world’s first hydrogen bombs – the 10.4-megaton twins, Mike 1 and Mike 2 on Halloween, 1952 – down to the smallish 8.5-kiloton Blackfoot bomb, set off on June 11, 1956. These were just a handful of the 1,125 test shots set off by the U.S. over the years. Somewhere along the line, someone must have figured the work at Eniwetok would be worth remembering with a solid little keepsake in the fine tradition of gold retirement watches and Chinese-laquered executive desk sets. Being mostly practical, calculating military men working in the ultra-remote, often storm-swept Marshall Islands, they opted for a windproof cigarette lighter. This particular one surfaced at a swap meet, its rich cloisonné badge all but glowing amid the crap-smeared Vietnam Zippos and Mack gimmes in the vendor’s case. The badge commemorates the member departments in Joint Task Force Seven – Army, Navy, Air Force and Atomic Energy Commission. And the back shows a mushroom cloud rising over a little palm-tree-shaded map, naming the places that were wiped off of it. Bogallua. Engebi. Rujiyoru. Piiai. Japtan. West T-Spit. Libiron. Igurin. And Eniwetok. All are carved in the faux-steel finish, bitten through to the brass case beneath. The embossed base proclaims it to be “HIGH QUALITY LIGHTER” – a Penguin brand Zippo knockoff made in Japan, No. 19531. I can’t say whether that’s its model number, or the issue number out of untold thousands made. But it has served me faithfully, igniting camp fires in Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks, cigars and clove cigarettes, etc. at Burning Man and on board the Straylight, the doughty little Hobie Cat I sailed for many years. It is a good, reliable tool, its history throbbing from within as you hold it and flick the wheel. Please do click the pictures. I made them extra-large for this one.
viagra sale ‘popup’, sale ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>Mystery takes peculiar forms. Sometimes it’s the center of war or religious zealotry. Sometimes it’s an upperclass strange-o in a deerstalker hat and houndstooth cape poncing about with a magnifying glass. And sometimes mystery glints from your palm as an almost impracticably small, yet completely functional tool. This might have been a manufacturer’s sample, or it might have been exceptionally useful in a shop specializing in building miniature balsa-wood architectural models. It is exquisitely machined, with a drop-forged, hand-finished body and a cast-nickel set screw that controls the sharp steel ruler’s ability to slide. And it sings – of dado, miter, rabbet, dovetail and joints that might have been.
this site ‘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”>My father made this for – I think – my first communion at age 7. He found slabs of ebony, hand-joined and -finished them, and sliced a little block of ivory from one of the elephant tusks that he had come by in the antiques market on London’s Portobello Road. Upon this, he painted the Alpha and the Omega – symbols of the unending holiness of Christ, and to the top he affixed a little brass picture-ring so it could be hung. It stayed over my bed for many years, and remains among the most achingly beautiful pieces of art that I own.
tadalafil ‘popup’, viagra order ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These have the feel of a Hammacher-Schlemmacher wannabe – a must-have gadget for the avid sports fan or optics freak. You can picture him sitting there with a pair of ’em on at Dodger Stadium, replaying the braying marketing boilerplate in his mind between innings – “Hundreds of uses! For birdwatching, auto racing – and at any sporting event, enjoy the sensation fo being right on the field!” He reaches up to fiddle with the diopters, swiveling the well-greased objectives to bring the pop fly into sharp focus in the precision-ground glass lenses. Congratulating himself on his savvy purchase, he turns to his buddy – Hey, did you see (extreme blurry closeup of nosehair) GAAAAHHH!” They came in a hand-stitched leather case lined with red felt.
‘popup’, ask ‘width=500, more about height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Miranda turned 2 last August, and we had a pirate birthday party – little eyepatches, telescopes and riches for all. The stuff is flashy, shiny gold pieces, cast-molded and plated with the same mirror-bright stuff they put on lowrider hardware. The inscription is beyond cryptic: AVAG CO BEPSIG CHINA a declaration of fealty to the hollow-eyed, corkscrew-maned ur-Grecian god thereon. These things are all over the house now.
(more…)

Filed under: Art | Comments Off on #39 :: Robot drawings

#38 :: Nickel-plated pocket watch

March 15, 2004

about it prescription ‘popup’, more about ‘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 is Russian, I think. Sure, he’s a Mattellian icon made (at least until recently) right here in the USA. But he’s got that Dostoyevskian brow, those sledgehammer fists, and he glows with a fiery red when the morning sun hits my office window. He’s a 6-inch Burger King knockoff with a thumb-lever for a spine. The original Rock’em Sock’em Robots were about 10 inches high, and connected to sets of dual thumb-powered triggers via sleds slotted into a bright yellow thermoplastic boxing ring. When I was 8 or 9, I desperately needed a set in my life, so that I could yell like the boy in the TV commercials, “Hey, you knocked my block off!!!” and then push the spring-loaded, ratchet-mounted skull of cubist plastic back onto those burly shoulders and go at it again. No, my folks replied coldly – as they did with Creepy Crawlers, Lite-Brite, Monster Magnet and just about every other disposable must-have toy – “It’s a piece of junk.” And so it was, according to this review.
dosage ‘popup’,’width=600,height=600,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>The U.S. military detonated at least nine nuclear bombs on little Eniwetok Atoll in the 1950s. They ranged in size from the world’s first hydrogen bombs – the 10.4-megaton twins, Mike 1 and Mike 2 on Halloween, 1952 – down to the smallish 8.5-kiloton Blackfoot bomb, set off on June 11, 1956. These were just a handful of the 1,125 test shots set off by the U.S. over the years. Somewhere along the line, someone must have figured the work at Eniwetok would be worth remembering with a solid little keepsake in the fine tradition of gold retirement watches and Chinese-laquered executive desk sets. Being mostly practical, calculating military men working in the ultra-remote, often storm-swept Marshall Islands, they opted for a windproof cigarette lighter. This particular one surfaced at a swap meet, its rich cloisonné badge all but glowing amid the crap-smeared Vietnam Zippos and Mack gimmes in the vendor’s case. The badge commemorates the member departments in Joint Task Force Seven – Army, Navy, Air Force and Atomic Energy Commission. And the back shows a mushroom cloud rising over a little palm-tree-shaded map, naming the places that were wiped off of it. Bogallua. Engebi. Rujiyoru. Piiai. Japtan. West T-Spit. Libiron. Igurin. And Eniwetok. All are carved in the faux-steel finish, bitten through to the brass case beneath. The embossed base proclaims it to be “HIGH QUALITY LIGHTER” – a Penguin brand Zippo knockoff made in Japan, No. 19531. I can’t say whether that’s its model number, or the issue number out of untold thousands made. But it has served me faithfully, igniting camp fires in Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks, cigars and clove cigarettes, etc. at Burning Man and on board the Straylight, the doughty little Hobie Cat I sailed for many years. It is a good, reliable tool, its history throbbing from within as you hold it and flick the wheel. Please do click the pictures. I made them extra-large for this one.
viagra sale ‘popup’, sale ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>Mystery takes peculiar forms. Sometimes it’s the center of war or religious zealotry. Sometimes it’s an upperclass strange-o in a deerstalker hat and houndstooth cape poncing about with a magnifying glass. And sometimes mystery glints from your palm as an almost impracticably small, yet completely functional tool. This might have been a manufacturer’s sample, or it might have been exceptionally useful in a shop specializing in building miniature balsa-wood architectural models. It is exquisitely machined, with a drop-forged, hand-finished body and a cast-nickel set screw that controls the sharp steel ruler’s ability to slide. And it sings – of dado, miter, rabbet, dovetail and joints that might have been.
this site ‘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”>My father made this for – I think – my first communion at age 7. He found slabs of ebony, hand-joined and -finished them, and sliced a little block of ivory from one of the elephant tusks that he had come by in the antiques market on London’s Portobello Road. Upon this, he painted the Alpha and the Omega – symbols of the unending holiness of Christ, and to the top he affixed a little brass picture-ring so it could be hung. It stayed over my bed for many years, and remains among the most achingly beautiful pieces of art that I own.
tadalafil ‘popup’, viagra order ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These have the feel of a Hammacher-Schlemmacher wannabe – a must-have gadget for the avid sports fan or optics freak. You can picture him sitting there with a pair of ’em on at Dodger Stadium, replaying the braying marketing boilerplate in his mind between innings – “Hundreds of uses! For birdwatching, auto racing – and at any sporting event, enjoy the sensation fo being right on the field!” He reaches up to fiddle with the diopters, swiveling the well-greased objectives to bring the pop fly into sharp focus in the precision-ground glass lenses. Congratulating himself on his savvy purchase, he turns to his buddy – Hey, did you see (extreme blurry closeup of nosehair) GAAAAHHH!” They came in a hand-stitched leather case lined with red felt.
‘popup’, ask ‘width=500, more about height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Miranda turned 2 last August, and we had a pirate birthday party – little eyepatches, telescopes and riches for all. The stuff is flashy, shiny gold pieces, cast-molded and plated with the same mirror-bright stuff they put on lowrider hardware. The inscription is beyond cryptic: AVAG CO BEPSIG CHINA a declaration of fealty to the hollow-eyed, corkscrew-maned ur-Grecian god thereon. These things are all over the house now.
(more…)

Filed under: Instrument | Comments Off on #38 :: Nickel-plated pocket watch

#37 :: Trilobite

March 14, 2004

about it prescription ‘popup’, more about ‘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 is Russian, I think. Sure, he’s a Mattellian icon made (at least until recently) right here in the USA. But he’s got that Dostoyevskian brow, those sledgehammer fists, and he glows with a fiery red when the morning sun hits my office window. He’s a 6-inch Burger King knockoff with a thumb-lever for a spine. The original Rock’em Sock’em Robots were about 10 inches high, and connected to sets of dual thumb-powered triggers via sleds slotted into a bright yellow thermoplastic boxing ring. When I was 8 or 9, I desperately needed a set in my life, so that I could yell like the boy in the TV commercials, “Hey, you knocked my block off!!!” and then push the spring-loaded, ratchet-mounted skull of cubist plastic back onto those burly shoulders and go at it again. No, my folks replied coldly – as they did with Creepy Crawlers, Lite-Brite, Monster Magnet and just about every other disposable must-have toy – “It’s a piece of junk.” And so it was, according to this review.
dosage ‘popup’,’width=600,height=600,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>The U.S. military detonated at least nine nuclear bombs on little Eniwetok Atoll in the 1950s. They ranged in size from the world’s first hydrogen bombs – the 10.4-megaton twins, Mike 1 and Mike 2 on Halloween, 1952 – down to the smallish 8.5-kiloton Blackfoot bomb, set off on June 11, 1956. These were just a handful of the 1,125 test shots set off by the U.S. over the years. Somewhere along the line, someone must have figured the work at Eniwetok would be worth remembering with a solid little keepsake in the fine tradition of gold retirement watches and Chinese-laquered executive desk sets. Being mostly practical, calculating military men working in the ultra-remote, often storm-swept Marshall Islands, they opted for a windproof cigarette lighter. This particular one surfaced at a swap meet, its rich cloisonné badge all but glowing amid the crap-smeared Vietnam Zippos and Mack gimmes in the vendor’s case. The badge commemorates the member departments in Joint Task Force Seven – Army, Navy, Air Force and Atomic Energy Commission. And the back shows a mushroom cloud rising over a little palm-tree-shaded map, naming the places that were wiped off of it. Bogallua. Engebi. Rujiyoru. Piiai. Japtan. West T-Spit. Libiron. Igurin. And Eniwetok. All are carved in the faux-steel finish, bitten through to the brass case beneath. The embossed base proclaims it to be “HIGH QUALITY LIGHTER” – a Penguin brand Zippo knockoff made in Japan, No. 19531. I can’t say whether that’s its model number, or the issue number out of untold thousands made. But it has served me faithfully, igniting camp fires in Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks, cigars and clove cigarettes, etc. at Burning Man and on board the Straylight, the doughty little Hobie Cat I sailed for many years. It is a good, reliable tool, its history throbbing from within as you hold it and flick the wheel. Please do click the pictures. I made them extra-large for this one.
viagra sale ‘popup’, sale ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>Mystery takes peculiar forms. Sometimes it’s the center of war or religious zealotry. Sometimes it’s an upperclass strange-o in a deerstalker hat and houndstooth cape poncing about with a magnifying glass. And sometimes mystery glints from your palm as an almost impracticably small, yet completely functional tool. This might have been a manufacturer’s sample, or it might have been exceptionally useful in a shop specializing in building miniature balsa-wood architectural models. It is exquisitely machined, with a drop-forged, hand-finished body and a cast-nickel set screw that controls the sharp steel ruler’s ability to slide. And it sings – of dado, miter, rabbet, dovetail and joints that might have been.
this site ‘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”>My father made this for – I think – my first communion at age 7. He found slabs of ebony, hand-joined and -finished them, and sliced a little block of ivory from one of the elephant tusks that he had come by in the antiques market on London’s Portobello Road. Upon this, he painted the Alpha and the Omega – symbols of the unending holiness of Christ, and to the top he affixed a little brass picture-ring so it could be hung. It stayed over my bed for many years, and remains among the most achingly beautiful pieces of art that I own.
tadalafil ‘popup’, viagra order ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These have the feel of a Hammacher-Schlemmacher wannabe – a must-have gadget for the avid sports fan or optics freak. You can picture him sitting there with a pair of ’em on at Dodger Stadium, replaying the braying marketing boilerplate in his mind between innings – “Hundreds of uses! For birdwatching, auto racing – and at any sporting event, enjoy the sensation fo being right on the field!” He reaches up to fiddle with the diopters, swiveling the well-greased objectives to bring the pop fly into sharp focus in the precision-ground glass lenses. Congratulating himself on his savvy purchase, he turns to his buddy – Hey, did you see (extreme blurry closeup of nosehair) GAAAAHHH!” They came in a hand-stitched leather case lined with red felt.
‘popup’, ask ‘width=500, more about height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Miranda turned 2 last August, and we had a pirate birthday party – little eyepatches, telescopes and riches for all. The stuff is flashy, shiny gold pieces, cast-molded and plated with the same mirror-bright stuff they put on lowrider hardware. The inscription is beyond cryptic: AVAG CO BEPSIG CHINA a declaration of fealty to the hollow-eyed, corkscrew-maned ur-Grecian god thereon. These things are all over the house now.
(more…)

Filed under: Artifact | Comments Off on #37 :: Trilobite

#36 :: Pirate treasure

March 13, 2004

about it prescription ‘popup’, more about ‘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 is Russian, I think. Sure, he’s a Mattellian icon made (at least until recently) right here in the USA. But he’s got that Dostoyevskian brow, those sledgehammer fists, and he glows with a fiery red when the morning sun hits my office window. He’s a 6-inch Burger King knockoff with a thumb-lever for a spine. The original Rock’em Sock’em Robots were about 10 inches high, and connected to sets of dual thumb-powered triggers via sleds slotted into a bright yellow thermoplastic boxing ring. When I was 8 or 9, I desperately needed a set in my life, so that I could yell like the boy in the TV commercials, “Hey, you knocked my block off!!!” and then push the spring-loaded, ratchet-mounted skull of cubist plastic back onto those burly shoulders and go at it again. No, my folks replied coldly – as they did with Creepy Crawlers, Lite-Brite, Monster Magnet and just about every other disposable must-have toy – “It’s a piece of junk.” And so it was, according to this review.
dosage ‘popup’,’width=600,height=600,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>The U.S. military detonated at least nine nuclear bombs on little Eniwetok Atoll in the 1950s. They ranged in size from the world’s first hydrogen bombs – the 10.4-megaton twins, Mike 1 and Mike 2 on Halloween, 1952 – down to the smallish 8.5-kiloton Blackfoot bomb, set off on June 11, 1956. These were just a handful of the 1,125 test shots set off by the U.S. over the years. Somewhere along the line, someone must have figured the work at Eniwetok would be worth remembering with a solid little keepsake in the fine tradition of gold retirement watches and Chinese-laquered executive desk sets. Being mostly practical, calculating military men working in the ultra-remote, often storm-swept Marshall Islands, they opted for a windproof cigarette lighter. This particular one surfaced at a swap meet, its rich cloisonné badge all but glowing amid the crap-smeared Vietnam Zippos and Mack gimmes in the vendor’s case. The badge commemorates the member departments in Joint Task Force Seven – Army, Navy, Air Force and Atomic Energy Commission. And the back shows a mushroom cloud rising over a little palm-tree-shaded map, naming the places that were wiped off of it. Bogallua. Engebi. Rujiyoru. Piiai. Japtan. West T-Spit. Libiron. Igurin. And Eniwetok. All are carved in the faux-steel finish, bitten through to the brass case beneath. The embossed base proclaims it to be “HIGH QUALITY LIGHTER” – a Penguin brand Zippo knockoff made in Japan, No. 19531. I can’t say whether that’s its model number, or the issue number out of untold thousands made. But it has served me faithfully, igniting camp fires in Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks, cigars and clove cigarettes, etc. at Burning Man and on board the Straylight, the doughty little Hobie Cat I sailed for many years. It is a good, reliable tool, its history throbbing from within as you hold it and flick the wheel. Please do click the pictures. I made them extra-large for this one.
viagra sale ‘popup’, sale ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>Mystery takes peculiar forms. Sometimes it’s the center of war or religious zealotry. Sometimes it’s an upperclass strange-o in a deerstalker hat and houndstooth cape poncing about with a magnifying glass. And sometimes mystery glints from your palm as an almost impracticably small, yet completely functional tool. This might have been a manufacturer’s sample, or it might have been exceptionally useful in a shop specializing in building miniature balsa-wood architectural models. It is exquisitely machined, with a drop-forged, hand-finished body and a cast-nickel set screw that controls the sharp steel ruler’s ability to slide. And it sings – of dado, miter, rabbet, dovetail and joints that might have been.
this site ‘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”>My father made this for – I think – my first communion at age 7. He found slabs of ebony, hand-joined and -finished them, and sliced a little block of ivory from one of the elephant tusks that he had come by in the antiques market on London’s Portobello Road. Upon this, he painted the Alpha and the Omega – symbols of the unending holiness of Christ, and to the top he affixed a little brass picture-ring so it could be hung. It stayed over my bed for many years, and remains among the most achingly beautiful pieces of art that I own.
tadalafil ‘popup’, viagra order ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These have the feel of a Hammacher-Schlemmacher wannabe – a must-have gadget for the avid sports fan or optics freak. You can picture him sitting there with a pair of ’em on at Dodger Stadium, replaying the braying marketing boilerplate in his mind between innings – “Hundreds of uses! For birdwatching, auto racing – and at any sporting event, enjoy the sensation fo being right on the field!” He reaches up to fiddle with the diopters, swiveling the well-greased objectives to bring the pop fly into sharp focus in the precision-ground glass lenses. Congratulating himself on his savvy purchase, he turns to his buddy – Hey, did you see (extreme blurry closeup of nosehair) GAAAAHHH!” They came in a hand-stitched leather case lined with red felt.
‘popup’, ask ‘width=500, more about height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Miranda turned 2 last August, and we had a pirate birthday party – little eyepatches, telescopes and riches for all. The stuff is flashy, shiny gold pieces, cast-molded and plated with the same mirror-bright stuff they put on lowrider hardware. The inscription is beyond cryptic: AVAG CO BEPSIG CHINA a declaration of fealty to the hollow-eyed, corkscrew-maned ur-Grecian god thereon. These things are all over the house now.
(more…)

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#35 :: Telescope glasses

March 12, 2004

about it prescription ‘popup’, more about ‘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 is Russian, I think. Sure, he’s a Mattellian icon made (at least until recently) right here in the USA. But he’s got that Dostoyevskian brow, those sledgehammer fists, and he glows with a fiery red when the morning sun hits my office window. He’s a 6-inch Burger King knockoff with a thumb-lever for a spine. The original Rock’em Sock’em Robots were about 10 inches high, and connected to sets of dual thumb-powered triggers via sleds slotted into a bright yellow thermoplastic boxing ring. When I was 8 or 9, I desperately needed a set in my life, so that I could yell like the boy in the TV commercials, “Hey, you knocked my block off!!!” and then push the spring-loaded, ratchet-mounted skull of cubist plastic back onto those burly shoulders and go at it again. No, my folks replied coldly – as they did with Creepy Crawlers, Lite-Brite, Monster Magnet and just about every other disposable must-have toy – “It’s a piece of junk.” And so it was, according to this review.
dosage ‘popup’,’width=600,height=600,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>The U.S. military detonated at least nine nuclear bombs on little Eniwetok Atoll in the 1950s. They ranged in size from the world’s first hydrogen bombs – the 10.4-megaton twins, Mike 1 and Mike 2 on Halloween, 1952 – down to the smallish 8.5-kiloton Blackfoot bomb, set off on June 11, 1956. These were just a handful of the 1,125 test shots set off by the U.S. over the years. Somewhere along the line, someone must have figured the work at Eniwetok would be worth remembering with a solid little keepsake in the fine tradition of gold retirement watches and Chinese-laquered executive desk sets. Being mostly practical, calculating military men working in the ultra-remote, often storm-swept Marshall Islands, they opted for a windproof cigarette lighter. This particular one surfaced at a swap meet, its rich cloisonné badge all but glowing amid the crap-smeared Vietnam Zippos and Mack gimmes in the vendor’s case. The badge commemorates the member departments in Joint Task Force Seven – Army, Navy, Air Force and Atomic Energy Commission. And the back shows a mushroom cloud rising over a little palm-tree-shaded map, naming the places that were wiped off of it. Bogallua. Engebi. Rujiyoru. Piiai. Japtan. West T-Spit. Libiron. Igurin. And Eniwetok. All are carved in the faux-steel finish, bitten through to the brass case beneath. The embossed base proclaims it to be “HIGH QUALITY LIGHTER” – a Penguin brand Zippo knockoff made in Japan, No. 19531. I can’t say whether that’s its model number, or the issue number out of untold thousands made. But it has served me faithfully, igniting camp fires in Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks, cigars and clove cigarettes, etc. at Burning Man and on board the Straylight, the doughty little Hobie Cat I sailed for many years. It is a good, reliable tool, its history throbbing from within as you hold it and flick the wheel. Please do click the pictures. I made them extra-large for this one.
viagra sale ‘popup’, sale ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>Mystery takes peculiar forms. Sometimes it’s the center of war or religious zealotry. Sometimes it’s an upperclass strange-o in a deerstalker hat and houndstooth cape poncing about with a magnifying glass. And sometimes mystery glints from your palm as an almost impracticably small, yet completely functional tool. This might have been a manufacturer’s sample, or it might have been exceptionally useful in a shop specializing in building miniature balsa-wood architectural models. It is exquisitely machined, with a drop-forged, hand-finished body and a cast-nickel set screw that controls the sharp steel ruler’s ability to slide. And it sings – of dado, miter, rabbet, dovetail and joints that might have been.
this site ‘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”>My father made this for – I think – my first communion at age 7. He found slabs of ebony, hand-joined and -finished them, and sliced a little block of ivory from one of the elephant tusks that he had come by in the antiques market on London’s Portobello Road. Upon this, he painted the Alpha and the Omega – symbols of the unending holiness of Christ, and to the top he affixed a little brass picture-ring so it could be hung. It stayed over my bed for many years, and remains among the most achingly beautiful pieces of art that I own.
tadalafil ‘popup’, viagra order ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These have the feel of a Hammacher-Schlemmacher wannabe – a must-have gadget for the avid sports fan or optics freak. You can picture him sitting there with a pair of ’em on at Dodger Stadium, replaying the braying marketing boilerplate in his mind between innings – “Hundreds of uses! For birdwatching, auto racing – and at any sporting event, enjoy the sensation fo being right on the field!” He reaches up to fiddle with the diopters, swiveling the well-greased objectives to bring the pop fly into sharp focus in the precision-ground glass lenses. Congratulating himself on his savvy purchase, he turns to his buddy – Hey, did you see (extreme blurry closeup of nosehair) GAAAAHHH!” They came in a hand-stitched leather case lined with red felt.

Filed under: Tool | Comments (1)

#34 :: Handmade crucifix

March 11, 2004

about it prescription ‘popup’, more about ‘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 is Russian, I think. Sure, he’s a Mattellian icon made (at least until recently) right here in the USA. But he’s got that Dostoyevskian brow, those sledgehammer fists, and he glows with a fiery red when the morning sun hits my office window. He’s a 6-inch Burger King knockoff with a thumb-lever for a spine. The original Rock’em Sock’em Robots were about 10 inches high, and connected to sets of dual thumb-powered triggers via sleds slotted into a bright yellow thermoplastic boxing ring. When I was 8 or 9, I desperately needed a set in my life, so that I could yell like the boy in the TV commercials, “Hey, you knocked my block off!!!” and then push the spring-loaded, ratchet-mounted skull of cubist plastic back onto those burly shoulders and go at it again. No, my folks replied coldly – as they did with Creepy Crawlers, Lite-Brite, Monster Magnet and just about every other disposable must-have toy – “It’s a piece of junk.” And so it was, according to this review.
dosage ‘popup’,’width=600,height=600,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>The U.S. military detonated at least nine nuclear bombs on little Eniwetok Atoll in the 1950s. They ranged in size from the world’s first hydrogen bombs – the 10.4-megaton twins, Mike 1 and Mike 2 on Halloween, 1952 – down to the smallish 8.5-kiloton Blackfoot bomb, set off on June 11, 1956. These were just a handful of the 1,125 test shots set off by the U.S. over the years. Somewhere along the line, someone must have figured the work at Eniwetok would be worth remembering with a solid little keepsake in the fine tradition of gold retirement watches and Chinese-laquered executive desk sets. Being mostly practical, calculating military men working in the ultra-remote, often storm-swept Marshall Islands, they opted for a windproof cigarette lighter. This particular one surfaced at a swap meet, its rich cloisonné badge all but glowing amid the crap-smeared Vietnam Zippos and Mack gimmes in the vendor’s case. The badge commemorates the member departments in Joint Task Force Seven – Army, Navy, Air Force and Atomic Energy Commission. And the back shows a mushroom cloud rising over a little palm-tree-shaded map, naming the places that were wiped off of it. Bogallua. Engebi. Rujiyoru. Piiai. Japtan. West T-Spit. Libiron. Igurin. And Eniwetok. All are carved in the faux-steel finish, bitten through to the brass case beneath. The embossed base proclaims it to be “HIGH QUALITY LIGHTER” – a Penguin brand Zippo knockoff made in Japan, No. 19531. I can’t say whether that’s its model number, or the issue number out of untold thousands made. But it has served me faithfully, igniting camp fires in Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks, cigars and clove cigarettes, etc. at Burning Man and on board the Straylight, the doughty little Hobie Cat I sailed for many years. It is a good, reliable tool, its history throbbing from within as you hold it and flick the wheel. Please do click the pictures. I made them extra-large for this one.
viagra sale ‘popup’, sale ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>Mystery takes peculiar forms. Sometimes it’s the center of war or religious zealotry. Sometimes it’s an upperclass strange-o in a deerstalker hat and houndstooth cape poncing about with a magnifying glass. And sometimes mystery glints from your palm as an almost impracticably small, yet completely functional tool. This might have been a manufacturer’s sample, or it might have been exceptionally useful in a shop specializing in building miniature balsa-wood architectural models. It is exquisitely machined, with a drop-forged, hand-finished body and a cast-nickel set screw that controls the sharp steel ruler’s ability to slide. And it sings – of dado, miter, rabbet, dovetail and joints that might have been.
this site ‘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”>My father made this for – I think – my first communion at age 7. He found slabs of ebony, hand-joined and -finished them, and sliced a little block of ivory from one of the elephant tusks that he had come by in the antiques market on London’s Portobello Road. Upon this, he painted the Alpha and the Omega – symbols of the unending holiness of Christ, and to the top he affixed a little brass picture-ring so it could be hung. It stayed over my bed for many years, and remains among the most achingly beautiful pieces of art that I own.

Filed under: Art | Comments Off on #34 :: Handmade crucifix

#33 :: 3-inch carpenter’s square

March 10, 2004

about it prescription ‘popup’, more about ‘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 is Russian, I think. Sure, he’s a Mattellian icon made (at least until recently) right here in the USA. But he’s got that Dostoyevskian brow, those sledgehammer fists, and he glows with a fiery red when the morning sun hits my office window. He’s a 6-inch Burger King knockoff with a thumb-lever for a spine. The original Rock’em Sock’em Robots were about 10 inches high, and connected to sets of dual thumb-powered triggers via sleds slotted into a bright yellow thermoplastic boxing ring. When I was 8 or 9, I desperately needed a set in my life, so that I could yell like the boy in the TV commercials, “Hey, you knocked my block off!!!” and then push the spring-loaded, ratchet-mounted skull of cubist plastic back onto those burly shoulders and go at it again. No, my folks replied coldly – as they did with Creepy Crawlers, Lite-Brite, Monster Magnet and just about every other disposable must-have toy – “It’s a piece of junk.” And so it was, according to this review.
dosage ‘popup’,’width=600,height=600,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>The U.S. military detonated at least nine nuclear bombs on little Eniwetok Atoll in the 1950s. They ranged in size from the world’s first hydrogen bombs – the 10.4-megaton twins, Mike 1 and Mike 2 on Halloween, 1952 – down to the smallish 8.5-kiloton Blackfoot bomb, set off on June 11, 1956. These were just a handful of the 1,125 test shots set off by the U.S. over the years. Somewhere along the line, someone must have figured the work at Eniwetok would be worth remembering with a solid little keepsake in the fine tradition of gold retirement watches and Chinese-laquered executive desk sets. Being mostly practical, calculating military men working in the ultra-remote, often storm-swept Marshall Islands, they opted for a windproof cigarette lighter. This particular one surfaced at a swap meet, its rich cloisonné badge all but glowing amid the crap-smeared Vietnam Zippos and Mack gimmes in the vendor’s case. The badge commemorates the member departments in Joint Task Force Seven – Army, Navy, Air Force and Atomic Energy Commission. And the back shows a mushroom cloud rising over a little palm-tree-shaded map, naming the places that were wiped off of it. Bogallua. Engebi. Rujiyoru. Piiai. Japtan. West T-Spit. Libiron. Igurin. And Eniwetok. All are carved in the faux-steel finish, bitten through to the brass case beneath. The embossed base proclaims it to be “HIGH QUALITY LIGHTER” – a Penguin brand Zippo knockoff made in Japan, No. 19531. I can’t say whether that’s its model number, or the issue number out of untold thousands made. But it has served me faithfully, igniting camp fires in Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks, cigars and clove cigarettes, etc. at Burning Man and on board the Straylight, the doughty little Hobie Cat I sailed for many years. It is a good, reliable tool, its history throbbing from within as you hold it and flick the wheel. Please do click the pictures. I made them extra-large for this one.
viagra sale ‘popup’, sale ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>Mystery takes peculiar forms. Sometimes it’s the center of war or religious zealotry. Sometimes it’s an upperclass strange-o in a deerstalker hat and houndstooth cape poncing about with a magnifying glass. And sometimes mystery glints from your palm as an almost impracticably small, yet completely functional tool. This might have been a manufacturer’s sample, or it might have been exceptionally useful in a shop specializing in building miniature balsa-wood architectural models. It is exquisitely machined, with a drop-forged, hand-finished body and a cast-nickel set screw that controls the sharp steel ruler’s ability to slide. And it sings – of dado, miter, rabbet, dovetail and joints that might have been.

Filed under: Tool | Comments (3)

#32 :: Nuclear bomb test souvenir

March 9, 2004

about it prescription ‘popup’, more about ‘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 is Russian, I think. Sure, he’s a Mattellian icon made (at least until recently) right here in the USA. But he’s got that Dostoyevskian brow, those sledgehammer fists, and he glows with a fiery red when the morning sun hits my office window. He’s a 6-inch Burger King knockoff with a thumb-lever for a spine. The original Rock’em Sock’em Robots were about 10 inches high, and connected to sets of dual thumb-powered triggers via sleds slotted into a bright yellow thermoplastic boxing ring. When I was 8 or 9, I desperately needed a set in my life, so that I could yell like the boy in the TV commercials, “Hey, you knocked my block off!!!” and then push the spring-loaded, ratchet-mounted skull of cubist plastic back onto those burly shoulders and go at it again. No, my folks replied coldly – as they did with Creepy Crawlers, Lite-Brite, Monster Magnet and just about every other disposable must-have toy – “It’s a piece of junk.” And so it was, according to this review.
dosage ‘popup’,’width=600,height=600,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>The U.S. military detonated at least nine nuclear bombs on little Eniwetok Atoll in the 1950s. They ranged in size from the world’s first hydrogen bombs – the 10.4-megaton twins, Mike 1 and Mike 2 on Halloween, 1952 – down to the smallish 8.5-kiloton Blackfoot bomb, set off on June 11, 1956. These were just a handful of the 1,125 test shots set off by the U.S. over the years. Somewhere along the line, someone must have figured the work at Eniwetok would be worth remembering with a solid little keepsake in the fine tradition of gold retirement watches and Chinese-laquered executive desk sets. Being mostly practical, calculating military men working in the ultra-remote, often storm-swept Marshall Islands, they opted for a windproof cigarette lighter. This particular one surfaced at a swap meet, its rich cloisonné badge all but glowing amid the crap-smeared Vietnam Zippos and Mack gimmes in the vendor’s case. The badge commemorates the member departments in Joint Task Force Seven – Army, Navy, Air Force and Atomic Energy Commission. And the back shows a mushroom cloud rising over a little palm-tree-shaded map, naming the places that were wiped off of it. Bogallua. Engebi. Rujiyoru. Piiai. Japtan. West T-Spit. Libiron. Igurin. And Eniwetok. All are carved in the faux-steel finish, bitten through to the brass case beneath. The embossed base proclaims it to be “HIGH QUALITY LIGHTER” – a Penguin brand Zippo knockoff made in Japan, No. 19531. I can’t say whether that’s its model number, or the issue number out of untold thousands made. But it has served me faithfully, igniting camp fires in Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks, cigars and clove cigarettes, etc. at Burning Man and on board the Straylight, the doughty little Hobie Cat I sailed for many years. It is a good, reliable tool, its history throbbing from within as you hold it and flick the wheel. Please do click the pictures. I made them extra-large for this one.

Filed under: Artifact | Comments (1)

#31 :: Rock’em Sock’em Robot

March 8, 2004

about it prescription ‘popup’, more about ‘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 is Russian, I think. Sure, he’s a Mattellian icon made (at least until recently) right here in the USA. But he’s got that Dostoyevskian brow, those sledgehammer fists, and he glows with a fiery red when the morning sun hits my office window. He’s a 6-inch Burger King knockoff with a thumb-lever for a spine. The original Rock’em Sock’em Robots were about 10 inches high, and connected to sets of dual thumb-powered triggers via sleds slotted into a bright yellow thermoplastic boxing ring. When I was 8 or 9, I desperately needed a set in my life, so that I could yell like the boy in the TV commercials, “Hey, you knocked my block off!!!” and then push the spring-loaded, ratchet-mounted skull of cubist plastic back onto those burly shoulders and go at it again. No, my folks replied coldly – as they did with Creepy Crawlers, Lite-Brite, Monster Magnet and just about every other disposable must-have toy – “It’s a piece of junk.” And so it was, according to this review.

Filed under: Toy | Comments Off on #31 :: Rock’em Sock’em Robot

#30 :: Machinists’/Jewelers’ loupe

March 7, 2004

price ‘popup’, for sale ‘width=500, viagra order height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Who doesn’t love the Mini-Mag? It’s teensy, shiny, waterproof, virtually indestructible and throws narrow-to-oceanic beams with all the candlepower its single ittybitty AAA battery can muster. This is actually a sort of corporate gift that I designed the logo for, to be given away at the National Conference on Digital Government Research last spring in Boston. I had one made up for each attendee, ordering them in a rainbow of colors (okay, it was only red, silver, black, blue and purple) and then giving out the colors randomly to encourage people to trade around for their favorite color, as a sort of icebreaker. It was the crowning touch on a very intense publication package and I love that I got to keep a couple of the leftovers. When I say indestructible, I mean the sort of indestructible brought to mind the other night when I stumbled on a lost episode of the brilliant “Buffy” precursor, Kolchak, the Night Stalker that I watched religiously as a kid. In one episode, he’s tracking some huge, invisible monster and excitedly babbles on the phone to his editor, “Chief, do you know how strong telephones are? Chief, I called the Bell Telephone company and asked, and they told me that their telephones are able to withstand a crushing force of 500 pounds per square inch! 500 pounds!!! And chief, the telephone in that girl’s apartment was COMPLETELY DESTROYED!”
cure ‘popup’, dosage ‘width=500, page height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>This extraordinary electronic musical instrument/noisebox handmade by Professor Television measures about 3×3½x8 inches. I’ve always been fascinated by the mystical hand-waving gestures of theremin players, and the spacy/spooky music they make tweaks something deep in my inner child’s lizard brain: this … is … cooool it murmurs, in something of a “redrum” voice. You play it by passing your hand over the photo cell, which determines how much light reaches the circuit. The more light, the higher the pitch, and it goes from near-inaudible hiss to thundering bass rumble, particularly when plugged into a good sound system. It has metal toggle switches for power and waveform, and thick black pot knobs for volume, rate, lfo and pitch, a PURPLE LED that oscillates in time with the waveform and little rubber feet. The whole thing runs on a D battery, and makes fantastic sounds through a built-in speaker. I’ve only just begun playing with it. Samples (Quicktime):

buy ‘popup’, sildenafil ‘width=800,height=800,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These four men were very tight, probably somewhere around 100 years ago. They had adventures, hard jaws, snappy clothes, and a little folding money to spend on fripperies such as keepsake photographs. This one is about 3.25×2.25″ and I found it for eight bucks in an antiques shop in southern Oregon. Flaked and rusted at the edges, the emulsion soft and creamy to the touch, it carries a mythic power and intimacy that speaks of wild times and brushes with the law.
buy more about ‘popup’, symptoms ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>I spent the afternoon as Mister Plumber. The odd, unkillable odor in the bathroom had grown too fierce to bear, and I had to pull the toilet to replace the wax ring I apparently mis-installed five or six months ago when I put down the linoleum. Always a thrill. After scraping all the stinking wax from around the reeking hole of the downpipe and bleaching the crap out of the floor and every gasket surface, I put on the new ring, caulked the rim of the toilet foot and every joint between tank and bowl and mounted everything back up again. Less smell now (though still some – maybe the seat needs changing.) I then turned to the friggin’ tub train, where the mechanism’s become hopelessly jammed. I pull it out – and true to the cut-rate tacky cheapest-possible-materials aesthetic of the previous homeowner, the whole thing’s made of goddamn Lexan, which has flexed to the point of failure. Unfortunately, the valve cylinder (you want to know all this, right?) for the new drain linkage I bought is too wide in diameter for the drainpipe, so I swap in the old Lexan plug – itself not the root of the failure, and I’m left with a part from the kit – this crisp, gorgeous, heavy little cylinder of turned brass. If you hold it right and tap on it, it rings like a Tibetan prayer bell, so I wire a hexnut into it and make it into a little bell for Kristina.
buy ‘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”> This is a weird, weird object, a stocking gift from my lovely wife. Marvel Comics seems to have latched onto a rather rickety-looking Pez knockoff as a way of extending its brands. I’m not sure why you’d want to associate tasty discs of gum or candy with an assassination-orphan-turned-ninja-trained assassin, but here it is. A little spring-actuated lever flips candy out of her spring-fed neck, but the unfortunate geometry of the toy makes her knees look like some sort of bizarre derrierre cleavage. This is such a strange, ephemeral artifact that I will probably have to keep it on the off chance it increases value and I can count on that extra $2.75 in my retirement fund from offering it on eBay some 40 years hence.
capsule ‘popup’, story ‘width=500, stomach height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Supernovas, star clusters, constellations, nebulas, amoebas, colonies of light, iridescent visual noise all clamor for attention inside this two-pound chunk of handcrafted glass, a gift from my folks a few years back. This sort of thing used to be called a “paperweight.” But that was before we climbed down out of the trees and moved online to grunt and posture and draw our own likenesses on virtual walls with digital feces, forever forsaking the piles of papers now blowing willy-nilly about our desks. This thing would deliver only a glancing blow in a hand-to-hand combat with a burglar, I’ve often thought while basking in harmful VDT radiation late at night. But if I got a chance to line up for a good shot, I’d probably be able to give him a rollicking headache before he got his screwdriver in me.
page ‘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”>Made an indeterminate number of years ago by the Reed Small Tool Works (!) of Worcester Mass., this exquisitely machined device measures the width or diameter of just about anything from 1/1000th of an inch to 1 inch. Its English-only scale speaks of the American industrial age, before the tyrannical sameness of the metric system and the pixelization of all design, when men would turn out solid, crisp machinery on lathes, presses and forge-fed steam-powered anvils. Goantiques.com says it’s worth $37.50, which is the sort of nonsensical categorization today’s information economy would impose on the forces of steam, steel, coal and sweat that built this country. And the sort of banker’s trivia that said mammoth engine would crush beneath its wheels in the drive to the future.
site ‘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”>So much wonder in such a tiny thing: clockwork, little rubber tyres, a flywheel-driven motor, Bauhaus chassis, porthole-style wheels. This is one of a series of about a dozen clockwork toys designed by Brazilian toymaker Chico Bicalho and made by Kikkerland. The company donates 10% of sales proceeds to campaigns to protect the rainforests. the toys are all heavily built and each completely idiosyncratic in behavior – some spastic gymnasts, others spark-flinging whirligigs. The Zecar – once you get the flywheel spinning, rolls slowly, relentlessly over just about anything less than half its own height thanks to massively high gear ratio, torque and traction.
dosage ‘popup’, check ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Creeping out of some long-forgotten Disney picture, the ghoul is a perfect caricature of the ominous, an everyboogeyman. He skulks forward on half-bent knees and thick-soled clodhoppers that peek from beneath his heavily draped shroud, his three-fingered (and one would assume leather-gloved) hands menacing, ready to grab and ravish. He is made in China. Get down low enough and look up at him and dread pours off him in waves with a low, throbbing negative energy. But he’s just a little rubber fellow, not two inches high. He has an alter-ego, who I’ll blog on later.
story ‘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”>The Renaissance Pleasure Faire is a seasonal, regional form of temporary insanity. Every spring, several thousand Angelenos clad in “authentic” reproduction garb ranging from medieval knights and servant girls to nearly Victorian ladies and Renaissance swordsmen crowd a mock Tudor village in the chokingly hot and dusty hills west of the city to spend six weekends guzzling mead, saying things like “forsooth” and “methinks” and acting out cornball face-to-face costumed melodrama like the worst sort of Trekkies. But for the fact that they’re almost completely surrounded by entire overweight, stroller-shoving families wearing Oakleys, fanny packs and zinc on their noses, it’s a ridiculous amount of fun, and you could almost forget yourself for an afternoon and pretend you’re living 400 years ago …
(more…)

Filed under: Tool | Comments Off on #30 :: Machinists’/Jewelers’ loupe

#29 :: Human silhouette

March 6, 2004

price ‘popup’, for sale ‘width=500, viagra order height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Who doesn’t love the Mini-Mag? It’s teensy, shiny, waterproof, virtually indestructible and throws narrow-to-oceanic beams with all the candlepower its single ittybitty AAA battery can muster. This is actually a sort of corporate gift that I designed the logo for, to be given away at the National Conference on Digital Government Research last spring in Boston. I had one made up for each attendee, ordering them in a rainbow of colors (okay, it was only red, silver, black, blue and purple) and then giving out the colors randomly to encourage people to trade around for their favorite color, as a sort of icebreaker. It was the crowning touch on a very intense publication package and I love that I got to keep a couple of the leftovers. When I say indestructible, I mean the sort of indestructible brought to mind the other night when I stumbled on a lost episode of the brilliant “Buffy” precursor, Kolchak, the Night Stalker that I watched religiously as a kid. In one episode, he’s tracking some huge, invisible monster and excitedly babbles on the phone to his editor, “Chief, do you know how strong telephones are? Chief, I called the Bell Telephone company and asked, and they told me that their telephones are able to withstand a crushing force of 500 pounds per square inch! 500 pounds!!! And chief, the telephone in that girl’s apartment was COMPLETELY DESTROYED!”
cure ‘popup’, dosage ‘width=500, page height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>This extraordinary electronic musical instrument/noisebox handmade by Professor Television measures about 3×3½x8 inches. I’ve always been fascinated by the mystical hand-waving gestures of theremin players, and the spacy/spooky music they make tweaks something deep in my inner child’s lizard brain: this … is … cooool it murmurs, in something of a “redrum” voice. You play it by passing your hand over the photo cell, which determines how much light reaches the circuit. The more light, the higher the pitch, and it goes from near-inaudible hiss to thundering bass rumble, particularly when plugged into a good sound system. It has metal toggle switches for power and waveform, and thick black pot knobs for volume, rate, lfo and pitch, a PURPLE LED that oscillates in time with the waveform and little rubber feet. The whole thing runs on a D battery, and makes fantastic sounds through a built-in speaker. I’ve only just begun playing with it. Samples (Quicktime):

buy ‘popup’, sildenafil ‘width=800,height=800,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These four men were very tight, probably somewhere around 100 years ago. They had adventures, hard jaws, snappy clothes, and a little folding money to spend on fripperies such as keepsake photographs. This one is about 3.25×2.25″ and I found it for eight bucks in an antiques shop in southern Oregon. Flaked and rusted at the edges, the emulsion soft and creamy to the touch, it carries a mythic power and intimacy that speaks of wild times and brushes with the law.
buy more about ‘popup’, symptoms ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>I spent the afternoon as Mister Plumber. The odd, unkillable odor in the bathroom had grown too fierce to bear, and I had to pull the toilet to replace the wax ring I apparently mis-installed five or six months ago when I put down the linoleum. Always a thrill. After scraping all the stinking wax from around the reeking hole of the downpipe and bleaching the crap out of the floor and every gasket surface, I put on the new ring, caulked the rim of the toilet foot and every joint between tank and bowl and mounted everything back up again. Less smell now (though still some – maybe the seat needs changing.) I then turned to the friggin’ tub train, where the mechanism’s become hopelessly jammed. I pull it out – and true to the cut-rate tacky cheapest-possible-materials aesthetic of the previous homeowner, the whole thing’s made of goddamn Lexan, which has flexed to the point of failure. Unfortunately, the valve cylinder (you want to know all this, right?) for the new drain linkage I bought is too wide in diameter for the drainpipe, so I swap in the old Lexan plug – itself not the root of the failure, and I’m left with a part from the kit – this crisp, gorgeous, heavy little cylinder of turned brass. If you hold it right and tap on it, it rings like a Tibetan prayer bell, so I wire a hexnut into it and make it into a little bell for Kristina.
buy ‘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”> This is a weird, weird object, a stocking gift from my lovely wife. Marvel Comics seems to have latched onto a rather rickety-looking Pez knockoff as a way of extending its brands. I’m not sure why you’d want to associate tasty discs of gum or candy with an assassination-orphan-turned-ninja-trained assassin, but here it is. A little spring-actuated lever flips candy out of her spring-fed neck, but the unfortunate geometry of the toy makes her knees look like some sort of bizarre derrierre cleavage. This is such a strange, ephemeral artifact that I will probably have to keep it on the off chance it increases value and I can count on that extra $2.75 in my retirement fund from offering it on eBay some 40 years hence.
capsule ‘popup’, story ‘width=500, stomach height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Supernovas, star clusters, constellations, nebulas, amoebas, colonies of light, iridescent visual noise all clamor for attention inside this two-pound chunk of handcrafted glass, a gift from my folks a few years back. This sort of thing used to be called a “paperweight.” But that was before we climbed down out of the trees and moved online to grunt and posture and draw our own likenesses on virtual walls with digital feces, forever forsaking the piles of papers now blowing willy-nilly about our desks. This thing would deliver only a glancing blow in a hand-to-hand combat with a burglar, I’ve often thought while basking in harmful VDT radiation late at night. But if I got a chance to line up for a good shot, I’d probably be able to give him a rollicking headache before he got his screwdriver in me.
page ‘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”>Made an indeterminate number of years ago by the Reed Small Tool Works (!) of Worcester Mass., this exquisitely machined device measures the width or diameter of just about anything from 1/1000th of an inch to 1 inch. Its English-only scale speaks of the American industrial age, before the tyrannical sameness of the metric system and the pixelization of all design, when men would turn out solid, crisp machinery on lathes, presses and forge-fed steam-powered anvils. Goantiques.com says it’s worth $37.50, which is the sort of nonsensical categorization today’s information economy would impose on the forces of steam, steel, coal and sweat that built this country. And the sort of banker’s trivia that said mammoth engine would crush beneath its wheels in the drive to the future.
site ‘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”>So much wonder in such a tiny thing: clockwork, little rubber tyres, a flywheel-driven motor, Bauhaus chassis, porthole-style wheels. This is one of a series of about a dozen clockwork toys designed by Brazilian toymaker Chico Bicalho and made by Kikkerland. The company donates 10% of sales proceeds to campaigns to protect the rainforests. the toys are all heavily built and each completely idiosyncratic in behavior – some spastic gymnasts, others spark-flinging whirligigs. The Zecar – once you get the flywheel spinning, rolls slowly, relentlessly over just about anything less than half its own height thanks to massively high gear ratio, torque and traction.
dosage ‘popup’, check ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Creeping out of some long-forgotten Disney picture, the ghoul is a perfect caricature of the ominous, an everyboogeyman. He skulks forward on half-bent knees and thick-soled clodhoppers that peek from beneath his heavily draped shroud, his three-fingered (and one would assume leather-gloved) hands menacing, ready to grab and ravish. He is made in China. Get down low enough and look up at him and dread pours off him in waves with a low, throbbing negative energy. But he’s just a little rubber fellow, not two inches high. He has an alter-ego, who I’ll blog on later.
story ‘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”>The Renaissance Pleasure Faire is a seasonal, regional form of temporary insanity. Every spring, several thousand Angelenos clad in “authentic” reproduction garb ranging from medieval knights and servant girls to nearly Victorian ladies and Renaissance swordsmen crowd a mock Tudor village in the chokingly hot and dusty hills west of the city to spend six weekends guzzling mead, saying things like “forsooth” and “methinks” and acting out cornball face-to-face costumed melodrama like the worst sort of Trekkies. But for the fact that they’re almost completely surrounded by entire overweight, stroller-shoving families wearing Oakleys, fanny packs and zinc on their noses, it’s a ridiculous amount of fun, and you could almost forget yourself for an afternoon and pretend you’re living 400 years ago …
(more…)

Filed under: Tool | Comments Off on #29 :: Human silhouette

#28 :: Pipe cutter

March 5, 2004

price ‘popup’, for sale ‘width=500, viagra order height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Who doesn’t love the Mini-Mag? It’s teensy, shiny, waterproof, virtually indestructible and throws narrow-to-oceanic beams with all the candlepower its single ittybitty AAA battery can muster. This is actually a sort of corporate gift that I designed the logo for, to be given away at the National Conference on Digital Government Research last spring in Boston. I had one made up for each attendee, ordering them in a rainbow of colors (okay, it was only red, silver, black, blue and purple) and then giving out the colors randomly to encourage people to trade around for their favorite color, as a sort of icebreaker. It was the crowning touch on a very intense publication package and I love that I got to keep a couple of the leftovers. When I say indestructible, I mean the sort of indestructible brought to mind the other night when I stumbled on a lost episode of the brilliant “Buffy” precursor, Kolchak, the Night Stalker that I watched religiously as a kid. In one episode, he’s tracking some huge, invisible monster and excitedly babbles on the phone to his editor, “Chief, do you know how strong telephones are? Chief, I called the Bell Telephone company and asked, and they told me that their telephones are able to withstand a crushing force of 500 pounds per square inch! 500 pounds!!! And chief, the telephone in that girl’s apartment was COMPLETELY DESTROYED!”
cure ‘popup’, dosage ‘width=500, page height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>This extraordinary electronic musical instrument/noisebox handmade by Professor Television measures about 3×3½x8 inches. I’ve always been fascinated by the mystical hand-waving gestures of theremin players, and the spacy/spooky music they make tweaks something deep in my inner child’s lizard brain: this … is … cooool it murmurs, in something of a “redrum” voice. You play it by passing your hand over the photo cell, which determines how much light reaches the circuit. The more light, the higher the pitch, and it goes from near-inaudible hiss to thundering bass rumble, particularly when plugged into a good sound system. It has metal toggle switches for power and waveform, and thick black pot knobs for volume, rate, lfo and pitch, a PURPLE LED that oscillates in time with the waveform and little rubber feet. The whole thing runs on a D battery, and makes fantastic sounds through a built-in speaker. I’ve only just begun playing with it. Samples (Quicktime):

buy ‘popup’, sildenafil ‘width=800,height=800,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These four men were very tight, probably somewhere around 100 years ago. They had adventures, hard jaws, snappy clothes, and a little folding money to spend on fripperies such as keepsake photographs. This one is about 3.25×2.25″ and I found it for eight bucks in an antiques shop in southern Oregon. Flaked and rusted at the edges, the emulsion soft and creamy to the touch, it carries a mythic power and intimacy that speaks of wild times and brushes with the law.
buy more about ‘popup’, symptoms ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>I spent the afternoon as Mister Plumber. The odd, unkillable odor in the bathroom had grown too fierce to bear, and I had to pull the toilet to replace the wax ring I apparently mis-installed five or six months ago when I put down the linoleum. Always a thrill. After scraping all the stinking wax from around the reeking hole of the downpipe and bleaching the crap out of the floor and every gasket surface, I put on the new ring, caulked the rim of the toilet foot and every joint between tank and bowl and mounted everything back up again. Less smell now (though still some – maybe the seat needs changing.) I then turned to the friggin’ tub train, where the mechanism’s become hopelessly jammed. I pull it out – and true to the cut-rate tacky cheapest-possible-materials aesthetic of the previous homeowner, the whole thing’s made of goddamn Lexan, which has flexed to the point of failure. Unfortunately, the valve cylinder (you want to know all this, right?) for the new drain linkage I bought is too wide in diameter for the drainpipe, so I swap in the old Lexan plug – itself not the root of the failure, and I’m left with a part from the kit – this crisp, gorgeous, heavy little cylinder of turned brass. If you hold it right and tap on it, it rings like a Tibetan prayer bell, so I wire a hexnut into it and make it into a little bell for Kristina.
buy ‘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”> This is a weird, weird object, a stocking gift from my lovely wife. Marvel Comics seems to have latched onto a rather rickety-looking Pez knockoff as a way of extending its brands. I’m not sure why you’d want to associate tasty discs of gum or candy with an assassination-orphan-turned-ninja-trained assassin, but here it is. A little spring-actuated lever flips candy out of her spring-fed neck, but the unfortunate geometry of the toy makes her knees look like some sort of bizarre derrierre cleavage. This is such a strange, ephemeral artifact that I will probably have to keep it on the off chance it increases value and I can count on that extra $2.75 in my retirement fund from offering it on eBay some 40 years hence.
capsule ‘popup’, story ‘width=500, stomach height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Supernovas, star clusters, constellations, nebulas, amoebas, colonies of light, iridescent visual noise all clamor for attention inside this two-pound chunk of handcrafted glass, a gift from my folks a few years back. This sort of thing used to be called a “paperweight.” But that was before we climbed down out of the trees and moved online to grunt and posture and draw our own likenesses on virtual walls with digital feces, forever forsaking the piles of papers now blowing willy-nilly about our desks. This thing would deliver only a glancing blow in a hand-to-hand combat with a burglar, I’ve often thought while basking in harmful VDT radiation late at night. But if I got a chance to line up for a good shot, I’d probably be able to give him a rollicking headache before he got his screwdriver in me.
page ‘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”>Made an indeterminate number of years ago by the Reed Small Tool Works (!) of Worcester Mass., this exquisitely machined device measures the width or diameter of just about anything from 1/1000th of an inch to 1 inch. Its English-only scale speaks of the American industrial age, before the tyrannical sameness of the metric system and the pixelization of all design, when men would turn out solid, crisp machinery on lathes, presses and forge-fed steam-powered anvils. Goantiques.com says it’s worth $37.50, which is the sort of nonsensical categorization today’s information economy would impose on the forces of steam, steel, coal and sweat that built this country. And the sort of banker’s trivia that said mammoth engine would crush beneath its wheels in the drive to the future.
site ‘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”>So much wonder in such a tiny thing: clockwork, little rubber tyres, a flywheel-driven motor, Bauhaus chassis, porthole-style wheels. This is one of a series of about a dozen clockwork toys designed by Brazilian toymaker Chico Bicalho and made by Kikkerland. The company donates 10% of sales proceeds to campaigns to protect the rainforests. the toys are all heavily built and each completely idiosyncratic in behavior – some spastic gymnasts, others spark-flinging whirligigs. The Zecar – once you get the flywheel spinning, rolls slowly, relentlessly over just about anything less than half its own height thanks to massively high gear ratio, torque and traction.
dosage ‘popup’, check ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Creeping out of some long-forgotten Disney picture, the ghoul is a perfect caricature of the ominous, an everyboogeyman. He skulks forward on half-bent knees and thick-soled clodhoppers that peek from beneath his heavily draped shroud, his three-fingered (and one would assume leather-gloved) hands menacing, ready to grab and ravish. He is made in China. Get down low enough and look up at him and dread pours off him in waves with a low, throbbing negative energy. But he’s just a little rubber fellow, not two inches high. He has an alter-ego, who I’ll blog on later.
story ‘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”>The Renaissance Pleasure Faire is a seasonal, regional form of temporary insanity. Every spring, several thousand Angelenos clad in “authentic” reproduction garb ranging from medieval knights and servant girls to nearly Victorian ladies and Renaissance swordsmen crowd a mock Tudor village in the chokingly hot and dusty hills west of the city to spend six weekends guzzling mead, saying things like “forsooth” and “methinks” and acting out cornball face-to-face costumed melodrama like the worst sort of Trekkies. But for the fact that they’re almost completely surrounded by entire overweight, stroller-shoving families wearing Oakleys, fanny packs and zinc on their noses, it’s a ridiculous amount of fun, and you could almost forget yourself for an afternoon and pretend you’re living 400 years ago …
(more…)

Filed under: Tool | Comments Off on #28 :: Pipe cutter

#27 :: Ganesha finger puppet

March 4, 2004

price ‘popup’, for sale ‘width=500, viagra order height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Who doesn’t love the Mini-Mag? It’s teensy, shiny, waterproof, virtually indestructible and throws narrow-to-oceanic beams with all the candlepower its single ittybitty AAA battery can muster. This is actually a sort of corporate gift that I designed the logo for, to be given away at the National Conference on Digital Government Research last spring in Boston. I had one made up for each attendee, ordering them in a rainbow of colors (okay, it was only red, silver, black, blue and purple) and then giving out the colors randomly to encourage people to trade around for their favorite color, as a sort of icebreaker. It was the crowning touch on a very intense publication package and I love that I got to keep a couple of the leftovers. When I say indestructible, I mean the sort of indestructible brought to mind the other night when I stumbled on a lost episode of the brilliant “Buffy” precursor, Kolchak, the Night Stalker that I watched religiously as a kid. In one episode, he’s tracking some huge, invisible monster and excitedly babbles on the phone to his editor, “Chief, do you know how strong telephones are? Chief, I called the Bell Telephone company and asked, and they told me that their telephones are able to withstand a crushing force of 500 pounds per square inch! 500 pounds!!! And chief, the telephone in that girl’s apartment was COMPLETELY DESTROYED!”
cure ‘popup’, dosage ‘width=500, page height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>This extraordinary electronic musical instrument/noisebox handmade by Professor Television measures about 3×3½x8 inches. I’ve always been fascinated by the mystical hand-waving gestures of theremin players, and the spacy/spooky music they make tweaks something deep in my inner child’s lizard brain: this … is … cooool it murmurs, in something of a “redrum” voice. You play it by passing your hand over the photo cell, which determines how much light reaches the circuit. The more light, the higher the pitch, and it goes from near-inaudible hiss to thundering bass rumble, particularly when plugged into a good sound system. It has metal toggle switches for power and waveform, and thick black pot knobs for volume, rate, lfo and pitch, a PURPLE LED that oscillates in time with the waveform and little rubber feet. The whole thing runs on a D battery, and makes fantastic sounds through a built-in speaker. I’ve only just begun playing with it. Samples (Quicktime):

buy ‘popup’, sildenafil ‘width=800,height=800,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These four men were very tight, probably somewhere around 100 years ago. They had adventures, hard jaws, snappy clothes, and a little folding money to spend on fripperies such as keepsake photographs. This one is about 3.25×2.25″ and I found it for eight bucks in an antiques shop in southern Oregon. Flaked and rusted at the edges, the emulsion soft and creamy to the touch, it carries a mythic power and intimacy that speaks of wild times and brushes with the law.
buy more about ‘popup’, symptoms ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>I spent the afternoon as Mister Plumber. The odd, unkillable odor in the bathroom had grown too fierce to bear, and I had to pull the toilet to replace the wax ring I apparently mis-installed five or six months ago when I put down the linoleum. Always a thrill. After scraping all the stinking wax from around the reeking hole of the downpipe and bleaching the crap out of the floor and every gasket surface, I put on the new ring, caulked the rim of the toilet foot and every joint between tank and bowl and mounted everything back up again. Less smell now (though still some – maybe the seat needs changing.) I then turned to the friggin’ tub train, where the mechanism’s become hopelessly jammed. I pull it out – and true to the cut-rate tacky cheapest-possible-materials aesthetic of the previous homeowner, the whole thing’s made of goddamn Lexan, which has flexed to the point of failure. Unfortunately, the valve cylinder (you want to know all this, right?) for the new drain linkage I bought is too wide in diameter for the drainpipe, so I swap in the old Lexan plug – itself not the root of the failure, and I’m left with a part from the kit – this crisp, gorgeous, heavy little cylinder of turned brass. If you hold it right and tap on it, it rings like a Tibetan prayer bell, so I wire a hexnut into it and make it into a little bell for Kristina.
buy ‘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”> This is a weird, weird object, a stocking gift from my lovely wife. Marvel Comics seems to have latched onto a rather rickety-looking Pez knockoff as a way of extending its brands. I’m not sure why you’d want to associate tasty discs of gum or candy with an assassination-orphan-turned-ninja-trained assassin, but here it is. A little spring-actuated lever flips candy out of her spring-fed neck, but the unfortunate geometry of the toy makes her knees look like some sort of bizarre derrierre cleavage. This is such a strange, ephemeral artifact that I will probably have to keep it on the off chance it increases value and I can count on that extra $2.75 in my retirement fund from offering it on eBay some 40 years hence.
capsule ‘popup’, story ‘width=500, stomach height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Supernovas, star clusters, constellations, nebulas, amoebas, colonies of light, iridescent visual noise all clamor for attention inside this two-pound chunk of handcrafted glass, a gift from my folks a few years back. This sort of thing used to be called a “paperweight.” But that was before we climbed down out of the trees and moved online to grunt and posture and draw our own likenesses on virtual walls with digital feces, forever forsaking the piles of papers now blowing willy-nilly about our desks. This thing would deliver only a glancing blow in a hand-to-hand combat with a burglar, I’ve often thought while basking in harmful VDT radiation late at night. But if I got a chance to line up for a good shot, I’d probably be able to give him a rollicking headache before he got his screwdriver in me.
page ‘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”>Made an indeterminate number of years ago by the Reed Small Tool Works (!) of Worcester Mass., this exquisitely machined device measures the width or diameter of just about anything from 1/1000th of an inch to 1 inch. Its English-only scale speaks of the American industrial age, before the tyrannical sameness of the metric system and the pixelization of all design, when men would turn out solid, crisp machinery on lathes, presses and forge-fed steam-powered anvils. Goantiques.com says it’s worth $37.50, which is the sort of nonsensical categorization today’s information economy would impose on the forces of steam, steel, coal and sweat that built this country. And the sort of banker’s trivia that said mammoth engine would crush beneath its wheels in the drive to the future.
site ‘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”>So much wonder in such a tiny thing: clockwork, little rubber tyres, a flywheel-driven motor, Bauhaus chassis, porthole-style wheels. This is one of a series of about a dozen clockwork toys designed by Brazilian toymaker Chico Bicalho and made by Kikkerland. The company donates 10% of sales proceeds to campaigns to protect the rainforests. the toys are all heavily built and each completely idiosyncratic in behavior – some spastic gymnasts, others spark-flinging whirligigs. The Zecar – once you get the flywheel spinning, rolls slowly, relentlessly over just about anything less than half its own height thanks to massively high gear ratio, torque and traction.
dosage ‘popup’, check ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Creeping out of some long-forgotten Disney picture, the ghoul is a perfect caricature of the ominous, an everyboogeyman. He skulks forward on half-bent knees and thick-soled clodhoppers that peek from beneath his heavily draped shroud, his three-fingered (and one would assume leather-gloved) hands menacing, ready to grab and ravish. He is made in China. Get down low enough and look up at him and dread pours off him in waves with a low, throbbing negative energy. But he’s just a little rubber fellow, not two inches high. He has an alter-ego, who I’ll blog on later.
story ‘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”>The Renaissance Pleasure Faire is a seasonal, regional form of temporary insanity. Every spring, several thousand Angelenos clad in “authentic” reproduction garb ranging from medieval knights and servant girls to nearly Victorian ladies and Renaissance swordsmen crowd a mock Tudor village in the chokingly hot and dusty hills west of the city to spend six weekends guzzling mead, saying things like “forsooth” and “methinks” and acting out cornball face-to-face costumed melodrama like the worst sort of Trekkies. But for the fact that they’re almost completely surrounded by entire overweight, stroller-shoving families wearing Oakleys, fanny packs and zinc on their noses, it’s a ridiculous amount of fun, and you could almost forget yourself for an afternoon and pretend you’re living 400 years ago …
(more…)

Filed under: Artifact | Comments Off on #27 :: Ganesha finger puppet

#26 :: Hohner Little Lady

March 3, 2004

price ‘popup’, for sale ‘width=500, viagra order height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Who doesn’t love the Mini-Mag? It’s teensy, shiny, waterproof, virtually indestructible and throws narrow-to-oceanic beams with all the candlepower its single ittybitty AAA battery can muster. This is actually a sort of corporate gift that I designed the logo for, to be given away at the National Conference on Digital Government Research last spring in Boston. I had one made up for each attendee, ordering them in a rainbow of colors (okay, it was only red, silver, black, blue and purple) and then giving out the colors randomly to encourage people to trade around for their favorite color, as a sort of icebreaker. It was the crowning touch on a very intense publication package and I love that I got to keep a couple of the leftovers. When I say indestructible, I mean the sort of indestructible brought to mind the other night when I stumbled on a lost episode of the brilliant “Buffy” precursor, Kolchak, the Night Stalker that I watched religiously as a kid. In one episode, he’s tracking some huge, invisible monster and excitedly babbles on the phone to his editor, “Chief, do you know how strong telephones are? Chief, I called the Bell Telephone company and asked, and they told me that their telephones are able to withstand a crushing force of 500 pounds per square inch! 500 pounds!!! And chief, the telephone in that girl’s apartment was COMPLETELY DESTROYED!”
cure ‘popup’, dosage ‘width=500, page height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>This extraordinary electronic musical instrument/noisebox handmade by Professor Television measures about 3×3½x8 inches. I’ve always been fascinated by the mystical hand-waving gestures of theremin players, and the spacy/spooky music they make tweaks something deep in my inner child’s lizard brain: this … is … cooool it murmurs, in something of a “redrum” voice. You play it by passing your hand over the photo cell, which determines how much light reaches the circuit. The more light, the higher the pitch, and it goes from near-inaudible hiss to thundering bass rumble, particularly when plugged into a good sound system. It has metal toggle switches for power and waveform, and thick black pot knobs for volume, rate, lfo and pitch, a PURPLE LED that oscillates in time with the waveform and little rubber feet. The whole thing runs on a D battery, and makes fantastic sounds through a built-in speaker. I’ve only just begun playing with it. Samples (Quicktime):

buy ‘popup’, sildenafil ‘width=800,height=800,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These four men were very tight, probably somewhere around 100 years ago. They had adventures, hard jaws, snappy clothes, and a little folding money to spend on fripperies such as keepsake photographs. This one is about 3.25×2.25″ and I found it for eight bucks in an antiques shop in southern Oregon. Flaked and rusted at the edges, the emulsion soft and creamy to the touch, it carries a mythic power and intimacy that speaks of wild times and brushes with the law.
buy more about ‘popup’, symptoms ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>I spent the afternoon as Mister Plumber. The odd, unkillable odor in the bathroom had grown too fierce to bear, and I had to pull the toilet to replace the wax ring I apparently mis-installed five or six months ago when I put down the linoleum. Always a thrill. After scraping all the stinking wax from around the reeking hole of the downpipe and bleaching the crap out of the floor and every gasket surface, I put on the new ring, caulked the rim of the toilet foot and every joint between tank and bowl and mounted everything back up again. Less smell now (though still some – maybe the seat needs changing.) I then turned to the friggin’ tub train, where the mechanism’s become hopelessly jammed. I pull it out – and true to the cut-rate tacky cheapest-possible-materials aesthetic of the previous homeowner, the whole thing’s made of goddamn Lexan, which has flexed to the point of failure. Unfortunately, the valve cylinder (you want to know all this, right?) for the new drain linkage I bought is too wide in diameter for the drainpipe, so I swap in the old Lexan plug – itself not the root of the failure, and I’m left with a part from the kit – this crisp, gorgeous, heavy little cylinder of turned brass. If you hold it right and tap on it, it rings like a Tibetan prayer bell, so I wire a hexnut into it and make it into a little bell for Kristina.
buy ‘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”> This is a weird, weird object, a stocking gift from my lovely wife. Marvel Comics seems to have latched onto a rather rickety-looking Pez knockoff as a way of extending its brands. I’m not sure why you’d want to associate tasty discs of gum or candy with an assassination-orphan-turned-ninja-trained assassin, but here it is. A little spring-actuated lever flips candy out of her spring-fed neck, but the unfortunate geometry of the toy makes her knees look like some sort of bizarre derrierre cleavage. This is such a strange, ephemeral artifact that I will probably have to keep it on the off chance it increases value and I can count on that extra $2.75 in my retirement fund from offering it on eBay some 40 years hence.
capsule ‘popup’, story ‘width=500, stomach height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Supernovas, star clusters, constellations, nebulas, amoebas, colonies of light, iridescent visual noise all clamor for attention inside this two-pound chunk of handcrafted glass, a gift from my folks a few years back. This sort of thing used to be called a “paperweight.” But that was before we climbed down out of the trees and moved online to grunt and posture and draw our own likenesses on virtual walls with digital feces, forever forsaking the piles of papers now blowing willy-nilly about our desks. This thing would deliver only a glancing blow in a hand-to-hand combat with a burglar, I’ve often thought while basking in harmful VDT radiation late at night. But if I got a chance to line up for a good shot, I’d probably be able to give him a rollicking headache before he got his screwdriver in me.
page ‘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”>Made an indeterminate number of years ago by the Reed Small Tool Works (!) of Worcester Mass., this exquisitely machined device measures the width or diameter of just about anything from 1/1000th of an inch to 1 inch. Its English-only scale speaks of the American industrial age, before the tyrannical sameness of the metric system and the pixelization of all design, when men would turn out solid, crisp machinery on lathes, presses and forge-fed steam-powered anvils. Goantiques.com says it’s worth $37.50, which is the sort of nonsensical categorization today’s information economy would impose on the forces of steam, steel, coal and sweat that built this country. And the sort of banker’s trivia that said mammoth engine would crush beneath its wheels in the drive to the future.
site ‘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”>So much wonder in such a tiny thing: clockwork, little rubber tyres, a flywheel-driven motor, Bauhaus chassis, porthole-style wheels. This is one of a series of about a dozen clockwork toys designed by Brazilian toymaker Chico Bicalho and made by Kikkerland. The company donates 10% of sales proceeds to campaigns to protect the rainforests. the toys are all heavily built and each completely idiosyncratic in behavior – some spastic gymnasts, others spark-flinging whirligigs. The Zecar – once you get the flywheel spinning, rolls slowly, relentlessly over just about anything less than half its own height thanks to massively high gear ratio, torque and traction.
dosage ‘popup’, check ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Creeping out of some long-forgotten Disney picture, the ghoul is a perfect caricature of the ominous, an everyboogeyman. He skulks forward on half-bent knees and thick-soled clodhoppers that peek from beneath his heavily draped shroud, his three-fingered (and one would assume leather-gloved) hands menacing, ready to grab and ravish. He is made in China. Get down low enough and look up at him and dread pours off him in waves with a low, throbbing negative energy. But he’s just a little rubber fellow, not two inches high. He has an alter-ego, who I’ll blog on later.
story ‘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”>The Renaissance Pleasure Faire is a seasonal, regional form of temporary insanity. Every spring, several thousand Angelenos clad in “authentic” reproduction garb ranging from medieval knights and servant girls to nearly Victorian ladies and Renaissance swordsmen crowd a mock Tudor village in the chokingly hot and dusty hills west of the city to spend six weekends guzzling mead, saying things like “forsooth” and “methinks” and acting out cornball face-to-face costumed melodrama like the worst sort of Trekkies. But for the fact that they’re almost completely surrounded by entire overweight, stroller-shoving families wearing Oakleys, fanny packs and zinc on their noses, it’s a ridiculous amount of fun, and you could almost forget yourself for an afternoon and pretend you’re living 400 years ago …
(more…)

Filed under: Instrument | Comments Off on #26 :: Hohner Little Lady

#25 :: Digital counter

March 2, 2004

price ‘popup’, for sale ‘width=500, viagra order height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Who doesn’t love the Mini-Mag? It’s teensy, shiny, waterproof, virtually indestructible and throws narrow-to-oceanic beams with all the candlepower its single ittybitty AAA battery can muster. This is actually a sort of corporate gift that I designed the logo for, to be given away at the National Conference on Digital Government Research last spring in Boston. I had one made up for each attendee, ordering them in a rainbow of colors (okay, it was only red, silver, black, blue and purple) and then giving out the colors randomly to encourage people to trade around for their favorite color, as a sort of icebreaker. It was the crowning touch on a very intense publication package and I love that I got to keep a couple of the leftovers. When I say indestructible, I mean the sort of indestructible brought to mind the other night when I stumbled on a lost episode of the brilliant “Buffy” precursor, Kolchak, the Night Stalker that I watched religiously as a kid. In one episode, he’s tracking some huge, invisible monster and excitedly babbles on the phone to his editor, “Chief, do you know how strong telephones are? Chief, I called the Bell Telephone company and asked, and they told me that their telephones are able to withstand a crushing force of 500 pounds per square inch! 500 pounds!!! And chief, the telephone in that girl’s apartment was COMPLETELY DESTROYED!”
cure ‘popup’, dosage ‘width=500, page height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>This extraordinary electronic musical instrument/noisebox handmade by Professor Television measures about 3×3½x8 inches. I’ve always been fascinated by the mystical hand-waving gestures of theremin players, and the spacy/spooky music they make tweaks something deep in my inner child’s lizard brain: this … is … cooool it murmurs, in something of a “redrum” voice. You play it by passing your hand over the photo cell, which determines how much light reaches the circuit. The more light, the higher the pitch, and it goes from near-inaudible hiss to thundering bass rumble, particularly when plugged into a good sound system. It has metal toggle switches for power and waveform, and thick black pot knobs for volume, rate, lfo and pitch, a PURPLE LED that oscillates in time with the waveform and little rubber feet. The whole thing runs on a D battery, and makes fantastic sounds through a built-in speaker. I’ve only just begun playing with it. Samples (Quicktime):

buy ‘popup’, sildenafil ‘width=800,height=800,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These four men were very tight, probably somewhere around 100 years ago. They had adventures, hard jaws, snappy clothes, and a little folding money to spend on fripperies such as keepsake photographs. This one is about 3.25×2.25″ and I found it for eight bucks in an antiques shop in southern Oregon. Flaked and rusted at the edges, the emulsion soft and creamy to the touch, it carries a mythic power and intimacy that speaks of wild times and brushes with the law.
buy more about ‘popup’, symptoms ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>I spent the afternoon as Mister Plumber. The odd, unkillable odor in the bathroom had grown too fierce to bear, and I had to pull the toilet to replace the wax ring I apparently mis-installed five or six months ago when I put down the linoleum. Always a thrill. After scraping all the stinking wax from around the reeking hole of the downpipe and bleaching the crap out of the floor and every gasket surface, I put on the new ring, caulked the rim of the toilet foot and every joint between tank and bowl and mounted everything back up again. Less smell now (though still some – maybe the seat needs changing.) I then turned to the friggin’ tub train, where the mechanism’s become hopelessly jammed. I pull it out – and true to the cut-rate tacky cheapest-possible-materials aesthetic of the previous homeowner, the whole thing’s made of goddamn Lexan, which has flexed to the point of failure. Unfortunately, the valve cylinder (you want to know all this, right?) for the new drain linkage I bought is too wide in diameter for the drainpipe, so I swap in the old Lexan plug – itself not the root of the failure, and I’m left with a part from the kit – this crisp, gorgeous, heavy little cylinder of turned brass. If you hold it right and tap on it, it rings like a Tibetan prayer bell, so I wire a hexnut into it and make it into a little bell for Kristina.
buy ‘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”> This is a weird, weird object, a stocking gift from my lovely wife. Marvel Comics seems to have latched onto a rather rickety-looking Pez knockoff as a way of extending its brands. I’m not sure why you’d want to associate tasty discs of gum or candy with an assassination-orphan-turned-ninja-trained assassin, but here it is. A little spring-actuated lever flips candy out of her spring-fed neck, but the unfortunate geometry of the toy makes her knees look like some sort of bizarre derrierre cleavage. This is such a strange, ephemeral artifact that I will probably have to keep it on the off chance it increases value and I can count on that extra $2.75 in my retirement fund from offering it on eBay some 40 years hence.
capsule ‘popup’, story ‘width=500, stomach height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Supernovas, star clusters, constellations, nebulas, amoebas, colonies of light, iridescent visual noise all clamor for attention inside this two-pound chunk of handcrafted glass, a gift from my folks a few years back. This sort of thing used to be called a “paperweight.” But that was before we climbed down out of the trees and moved online to grunt and posture and draw our own likenesses on virtual walls with digital feces, forever forsaking the piles of papers now blowing willy-nilly about our desks. This thing would deliver only a glancing blow in a hand-to-hand combat with a burglar, I’ve often thought while basking in harmful VDT radiation late at night. But if I got a chance to line up for a good shot, I’d probably be able to give him a rollicking headache before he got his screwdriver in me.
page ‘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”>Made an indeterminate number of years ago by the Reed Small Tool Works (!) of Worcester Mass., this exquisitely machined device measures the width or diameter of just about anything from 1/1000th of an inch to 1 inch. Its English-only scale speaks of the American industrial age, before the tyrannical sameness of the metric system and the pixelization of all design, when men would turn out solid, crisp machinery on lathes, presses and forge-fed steam-powered anvils. Goantiques.com says it’s worth $37.50, which is the sort of nonsensical categorization today’s information economy would impose on the forces of steam, steel, coal and sweat that built this country. And the sort of banker’s trivia that said mammoth engine would crush beneath its wheels in the drive to the future.
site ‘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”>So much wonder in such a tiny thing: clockwork, little rubber tyres, a flywheel-driven motor, Bauhaus chassis, porthole-style wheels. This is one of a series of about a dozen clockwork toys designed by Brazilian toymaker Chico Bicalho and made by Kikkerland. The company donates 10% of sales proceeds to campaigns to protect the rainforests. the toys are all heavily built and each completely idiosyncratic in behavior – some spastic gymnasts, others spark-flinging whirligigs. The Zecar – once you get the flywheel spinning, rolls slowly, relentlessly over just about anything less than half its own height thanks to massively high gear ratio, torque and traction.
dosage ‘popup’, check ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Creeping out of some long-forgotten Disney picture, the ghoul is a perfect caricature of the ominous, an everyboogeyman. He skulks forward on half-bent knees and thick-soled clodhoppers that peek from beneath his heavily draped shroud, his three-fingered (and one would assume leather-gloved) hands menacing, ready to grab and ravish. He is made in China. Get down low enough and look up at him and dread pours off him in waves with a low, throbbing negative energy. But he’s just a little rubber fellow, not two inches high. He has an alter-ego, who I’ll blog on later.
story ‘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”>The Renaissance Pleasure Faire is a seasonal, regional form of temporary insanity. Every spring, several thousand Angelenos clad in “authentic” reproduction garb ranging from medieval knights and servant girls to nearly Victorian ladies and Renaissance swordsmen crowd a mock Tudor village in the chokingly hot and dusty hills west of the city to spend six weekends guzzling mead, saying things like “forsooth” and “methinks” and acting out cornball face-to-face costumed melodrama like the worst sort of Trekkies. But for the fact that they’re almost completely surrounded by entire overweight, stroller-shoving families wearing Oakleys, fanny packs and zinc on their noses, it’s a ridiculous amount of fun, and you could almost forget yourself for an afternoon and pretend you’re living 400 years ago …
(more…)

Filed under: Instrument | Comments (2)

#24 :: Space pod

March 1, 2004

price ‘popup’, for sale ‘width=500, viagra order height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Who doesn’t love the Mini-Mag? It’s teensy, shiny, waterproof, virtually indestructible and throws narrow-to-oceanic beams with all the candlepower its single ittybitty AAA battery can muster. This is actually a sort of corporate gift that I designed the logo for, to be given away at the National Conference on Digital Government Research last spring in Boston. I had one made up for each attendee, ordering them in a rainbow of colors (okay, it was only red, silver, black, blue and purple) and then giving out the colors randomly to encourage people to trade around for their favorite color, as a sort of icebreaker. It was the crowning touch on a very intense publication package and I love that I got to keep a couple of the leftovers. When I say indestructible, I mean the sort of indestructible brought to mind the other night when I stumbled on a lost episode of the brilliant “Buffy” precursor, Kolchak, the Night Stalker that I watched religiously as a kid. In one episode, he’s tracking some huge, invisible monster and excitedly babbles on the phone to his editor, “Chief, do you know how strong telephones are? Chief, I called the Bell Telephone company and asked, and they told me that their telephones are able to withstand a crushing force of 500 pounds per square inch! 500 pounds!!! And chief, the telephone in that girl’s apartment was COMPLETELY DESTROYED!”
cure ‘popup’, dosage ‘width=500, page height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>This extraordinary electronic musical instrument/noisebox handmade by Professor Television measures about 3×3½x8 inches. I’ve always been fascinated by the mystical hand-waving gestures of theremin players, and the spacy/spooky music they make tweaks something deep in my inner child’s lizard brain: this … is … cooool it murmurs, in something of a “redrum” voice. You play it by passing your hand over the photo cell, which determines how much light reaches the circuit. The more light, the higher the pitch, and it goes from near-inaudible hiss to thundering bass rumble, particularly when plugged into a good sound system. It has metal toggle switches for power and waveform, and thick black pot knobs for volume, rate, lfo and pitch, a PURPLE LED that oscillates in time with the waveform and little rubber feet. The whole thing runs on a D battery, and makes fantastic sounds through a built-in speaker. I’ve only just begun playing with it. Samples (Quicktime):

buy ‘popup’, sildenafil ‘width=800,height=800,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These four men were very tight, probably somewhere around 100 years ago. They had adventures, hard jaws, snappy clothes, and a little folding money to spend on fripperies such as keepsake photographs. This one is about 3.25×2.25″ and I found it for eight bucks in an antiques shop in southern Oregon. Flaked and rusted at the edges, the emulsion soft and creamy to the touch, it carries a mythic power and intimacy that speaks of wild times and brushes with the law.
buy more about ‘popup’, symptoms ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>I spent the afternoon as Mister Plumber. The odd, unkillable odor in the bathroom had grown too fierce to bear, and I had to pull the toilet to replace the wax ring I apparently mis-installed five or six months ago when I put down the linoleum. Always a thrill. After scraping all the stinking wax from around the reeking hole of the downpipe and bleaching the crap out of the floor and every gasket surface, I put on the new ring, caulked the rim of the toilet foot and every joint between tank and bowl and mounted everything back up again. Less smell now (though still some – maybe the seat needs changing.) I then turned to the friggin’ tub train, where the mechanism’s become hopelessly jammed. I pull it out – and true to the cut-rate tacky cheapest-possible-materials aesthetic of the previous homeowner, the whole thing’s made of goddamn Lexan, which has flexed to the point of failure. Unfortunately, the valve cylinder (you want to know all this, right?) for the new drain linkage I bought is too wide in diameter for the drainpipe, so I swap in the old Lexan plug – itself not the root of the failure, and I’m left with a part from the kit – this crisp, gorgeous, heavy little cylinder of turned brass. If you hold it right and tap on it, it rings like a Tibetan prayer bell, so I wire a hexnut into it and make it into a little bell for Kristina.
buy ‘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”> This is a weird, weird object, a stocking gift from my lovely wife. Marvel Comics seems to have latched onto a rather rickety-looking Pez knockoff as a way of extending its brands. I’m not sure why you’d want to associate tasty discs of gum or candy with an assassination-orphan-turned-ninja-trained assassin, but here it is. A little spring-actuated lever flips candy out of her spring-fed neck, but the unfortunate geometry of the toy makes her knees look like some sort of bizarre derrierre cleavage. This is such a strange, ephemeral artifact that I will probably have to keep it on the off chance it increases value and I can count on that extra $2.75 in my retirement fund from offering it on eBay some 40 years hence.
capsule ‘popup’, story ‘width=500, stomach height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Supernovas, star clusters, constellations, nebulas, amoebas, colonies of light, iridescent visual noise all clamor for attention inside this two-pound chunk of handcrafted glass, a gift from my folks a few years back. This sort of thing used to be called a “paperweight.” But that was before we climbed down out of the trees and moved online to grunt and posture and draw our own likenesses on virtual walls with digital feces, forever forsaking the piles of papers now blowing willy-nilly about our desks. This thing would deliver only a glancing blow in a hand-to-hand combat with a burglar, I’ve often thought while basking in harmful VDT radiation late at night. But if I got a chance to line up for a good shot, I’d probably be able to give him a rollicking headache before he got his screwdriver in me.
page ‘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”>Made an indeterminate number of years ago by the Reed Small Tool Works (!) of Worcester Mass., this exquisitely machined device measures the width or diameter of just about anything from 1/1000th of an inch to 1 inch. Its English-only scale speaks of the American industrial age, before the tyrannical sameness of the metric system and the pixelization of all design, when men would turn out solid, crisp machinery on lathes, presses and forge-fed steam-powered anvils. Goantiques.com says it’s worth $37.50, which is the sort of nonsensical categorization today’s information economy would impose on the forces of steam, steel, coal and sweat that built this country. And the sort of banker’s trivia that said mammoth engine would crush beneath its wheels in the drive to the future.
site ‘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”>So much wonder in such a tiny thing: clockwork, little rubber tyres, a flywheel-driven motor, Bauhaus chassis, porthole-style wheels. This is one of a series of about a dozen clockwork toys designed by Brazilian toymaker Chico Bicalho and made by Kikkerland. The company donates 10% of sales proceeds to campaigns to protect the rainforests. the toys are all heavily built and each completely idiosyncratic in behavior – some spastic gymnasts, others spark-flinging whirligigs. The Zecar – once you get the flywheel spinning, rolls slowly, relentlessly over just about anything less than half its own height thanks to massively high gear ratio, torque and traction.
dosage ‘popup’, check ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Creeping out of some long-forgotten Disney picture, the ghoul is a perfect caricature of the ominous, an everyboogeyman. He skulks forward on half-bent knees and thick-soled clodhoppers that peek from beneath his heavily draped shroud, his three-fingered (and one would assume leather-gloved) hands menacing, ready to grab and ravish. He is made in China. Get down low enough and look up at him and dread pours off him in waves with a low, throbbing negative energy. But he’s just a little rubber fellow, not two inches high. He has an alter-ego, who I’ll blog on later.
story ‘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”>The Renaissance Pleasure Faire is a seasonal, regional form of temporary insanity. Every spring, several thousand Angelenos clad in “authentic” reproduction garb ranging from medieval knights and servant girls to nearly Victorian ladies and Renaissance swordsmen crowd a mock Tudor village in the chokingly hot and dusty hills west of the city to spend six weekends guzzling mead, saying things like “forsooth” and “methinks” and acting out cornball face-to-face costumed melodrama like the worst sort of Trekkies. But for the fact that they’re almost completely surrounded by entire overweight, stroller-shoving families wearing Oakleys, fanny packs and zinc on their noses, it’s a ridiculous amount of fun, and you could almost forget yourself for an afternoon and pretend you’re living 400 years ago …
(more…)

Filed under: Toy | Comments (3)

#23 :: Third-hand workstand

February 29, 2004

price ‘popup’, for sale ‘width=500, viagra order height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Who doesn’t love the Mini-Mag? It’s teensy, shiny, waterproof, virtually indestructible and throws narrow-to-oceanic beams with all the candlepower its single ittybitty AAA battery can muster. This is actually a sort of corporate gift that I designed the logo for, to be given away at the National Conference on Digital Government Research last spring in Boston. I had one made up for each attendee, ordering them in a rainbow of colors (okay, it was only red, silver, black, blue and purple) and then giving out the colors randomly to encourage people to trade around for their favorite color, as a sort of icebreaker. It was the crowning touch on a very intense publication package and I love that I got to keep a couple of the leftovers. When I say indestructible, I mean the sort of indestructible brought to mind the other night when I stumbled on a lost episode of the brilliant “Buffy” precursor, Kolchak, the Night Stalker that I watched religiously as a kid. In one episode, he’s tracking some huge, invisible monster and excitedly babbles on the phone to his editor, “Chief, do you know how strong telephones are? Chief, I called the Bell Telephone company and asked, and they told me that their telephones are able to withstand a crushing force of 500 pounds per square inch! 500 pounds!!! And chief, the telephone in that girl’s apartment was COMPLETELY DESTROYED!”
cure ‘popup’, dosage ‘width=500, page height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>This extraordinary electronic musical instrument/noisebox handmade by Professor Television measures about 3×3½x8 inches. I’ve always been fascinated by the mystical hand-waving gestures of theremin players, and the spacy/spooky music they make tweaks something deep in my inner child’s lizard brain: this … is … cooool it murmurs, in something of a “redrum” voice. You play it by passing your hand over the photo cell, which determines how much light reaches the circuit. The more light, the higher the pitch, and it goes from near-inaudible hiss to thundering bass rumble, particularly when plugged into a good sound system. It has metal toggle switches for power and waveform, and thick black pot knobs for volume, rate, lfo and pitch, a PURPLE LED that oscillates in time with the waveform and little rubber feet. The whole thing runs on a D battery, and makes fantastic sounds through a built-in speaker. I’ve only just begun playing with it. Samples (Quicktime):

buy ‘popup’, sildenafil ‘width=800,height=800,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>These four men were very tight, probably somewhere around 100 years ago. They had adventures, hard jaws, snappy clothes, and a little folding money to spend on fripperies such as keepsake photographs. This one is about 3.25×2.25″ and I found it for eight bucks in an antiques shop in southern Oregon. Flaked and rusted at the edges, the emulsion soft and creamy to the touch, it carries a mythic power and intimacy that speaks of wild times and brushes with the law.
buy more about ‘popup’, symptoms ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>I spent the afternoon as Mister Plumber. The odd, unkillable odor in the bathroom had grown too fierce to bear, and I had to pull the toilet to replace the wax ring I apparently mis-installed five or six months ago when I put down the linoleum. Always a thrill. After scraping all the stinking wax from around the reeking hole of the downpipe and bleaching the crap out of the floor and every gasket surface, I put on the new ring, caulked the rim of the toilet foot and every joint between tank and bowl and mounted everything back up again. Less smell now (though still some – maybe the seat needs changing.) I then turned to the friggin’ tub train, where the mechanism’s become hopelessly jammed. I pull it out – and true to the cut-rate tacky cheapest-possible-materials aesthetic of the previous homeowner, the whole thing’s made of goddamn Lexan, which has flexed to the point of failure. Unfortunately, the valve cylinder (you want to know all this, right?) for the new drain linkage I bought is too wide in diameter for the drainpipe, so I swap in the old Lexan plug – itself not the root of the failure, and I’m left with a part from the kit – this crisp, gorgeous, heavy little cylinder of turned brass. If you hold it right and tap on it, it rings like a Tibetan prayer bell, so I wire a hexnut into it and make it into a little bell for Kristina.
buy ‘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”> This is a weird, weird object, a stocking gift from my lovely wife. Marvel Comics seems to have latched onto a rather rickety-looking Pez knockoff as a way of extending its brands. I’m not sure why you’d want to associate tasty discs of gum or candy with an assassination-orphan-turned-ninja-trained assassin, but here it is. A little spring-actuated lever flips candy out of her spring-fed neck, but the unfortunate geometry of the toy makes her knees look like some sort of bizarre derrierre cleavage. This is such a strange, ephemeral artifact that I will probably have to keep it on the off chance it increases value and I can count on that extra $2.75 in my retirement fund from offering it on eBay some 40 years hence.
capsule ‘popup’, story ‘width=500, stomach height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Supernovas, star clusters, constellations, nebulas, amoebas, colonies of light, iridescent visual noise all clamor for attention inside this two-pound chunk of handcrafted glass, a gift from my folks a few years back. This sort of thing used to be called a “paperweight.” But that was before we climbed down out of the trees and moved online to grunt and posture and draw our own likenesses on virtual walls with digital feces, forever forsaking the piles of papers now blowing willy-nilly about our desks. This thing would deliver only a glancing blow in a hand-to-hand combat with a burglar, I’ve often thought while basking in harmful VDT radiation late at night. But if I got a chance to line up for a good shot, I’d probably be able to give him a rollicking headache before he got his screwdriver in me.
page ‘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”>Made an indeterminate number of years ago by the Reed Small Tool Works (!) of Worcester Mass., this exquisitely machined device measures the width or diameter of just about anything from 1/1000th of an inch to 1 inch. Its English-only scale speaks of the American industrial age, before the tyrannical sameness of the metric system and the pixelization of all design, when men would turn out solid, crisp machinery on lathes, presses and forge-fed steam-powered anvils. Goantiques.com says it’s worth $37.50, which is the sort of nonsensical categorization today’s information economy would impose on the forces of steam, steel, coal and sweat that built this country. And the sort of banker’s trivia that said mammoth engine would crush beneath its wheels in the drive to the future.
site ‘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”>So much wonder in such a tiny thing: clockwork, little rubber tyres, a flywheel-driven motor, Bauhaus chassis, porthole-style wheels. This is one of a series of about a dozen clockwork toys designed by Brazilian toymaker Chico Bicalho and made by Kikkerland. The company donates 10% of sales proceeds to campaigns to protect the rainforests. the toys are all heavily built and each completely idiosyncratic in behavior – some spastic gymnasts, others spark-flinging whirligigs. The Zecar – once you get the flywheel spinning, rolls slowly, relentlessly over just about anything less than half its own height thanks to massively high gear ratio, torque and traction.
dosage ‘popup’, check ‘width=500, buy height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Creeping out of some long-forgotten Disney picture, the ghoul is a perfect caricature of the ominous, an everyboogeyman. He skulks forward on half-bent knees and thick-soled clodhoppers that peek from beneath his heavily draped shroud, his three-fingered (and one would assume leather-gloved) hands menacing, ready to grab and ravish. He is made in China. Get down low enough and look up at him and dread pours off him in waves with a low, throbbing negative energy. But he’s just a little rubber fellow, not two inches high. He has an alter-ego, who I’ll blog on later.
story ‘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”>The Renaissance Pleasure Faire is a seasonal, regional form of temporary insanity. Every spring, several thousand Angelenos clad in “authentic” reproduction garb ranging from medieval knights and servant girls to nearly Victorian ladies and Renaissance swordsmen crowd a mock Tudor village in the chokingly hot and dusty hills west of the city to spend six weekends guzzling mead, saying things like “forsooth” and “methinks” and acting out cornball face-to-face costumed melodrama like the worst sort of Trekkies. But for the fact that they’re almost completely surrounded by entire overweight, stroller-shoving families wearing Oakleys, fanny packs and zinc on their noses, it’s a ridiculous amount of fun, and you could almost forget yourself for an afternoon and pretend you’re living 400 years ago …
(more…)

Filed under: Tool | Comments Off on #23 :: Third-hand workstand


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