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#a310 :: Blown glass Indian chief

December 20, 2008

ENLARGEWe decorated the tree a couple days ago, there and tonight we threw a massive Christmas party – I spent most of the day cooking ribs (27 racks) and gumbo (probably six or eight gallons) for 100 good friends, web colleagues and family.

It was a swell time.

At the height of it, diagnosis a toddler knocked a glass ornament off the tree. It shattered on the floor, an instant galaxy of pink shards … (more…)

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, Miniature, Model, symbol | Comments (0)

#a309 :: Lug nut

December 19, 2008

enlargeI’ve been cleaning the office.

We’re having a party.

I found this.

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

#a308 :: Urban humus

December 18, 2008

ENLARGEA pocketful of stuff from my morning ride, nurse which takes me up a fire road through Griffith Park to to a little copse of live oak at the top of a big hill.

I hang from the biggest tree by my hands to stretch my spine a bit after the long climb. Then I touch my toes to stretch my hamstrings, and this is what I saw and pocketed this morning to photograph.

Clearly this place is something of a party spot by night.

One morning I arrived to find a huge pentagram carefully laid out with rocks gathered from all over the hill. I kicked it apart, not because I’m necessarily against stupid disaffected tweakers performing rituals they don’t understand, but because fire is usually part of that nonsense, and the last thing we needed is another Griffith Park brush fire.

Filed under: Found Object, Jetsam, Life form | Comments (0)

#a307 :: St. Petersburg Times parking card

December 17, 2008

ENLARGEI began my working life as a newspaper reporter. My second job, ed at the St. Petersburg Times went not too well. I wrote a few good things, pilule but at 24 I was too green and not enterprising enough, stuff so they let me go.

Anyway, it was a big, impressive paper in a big, impressive industry, and I felt I had totally failed.

I eventually made my way back, covering crummy little meetings and court proceedings, doing a little award-winning work at the Philadelphia Inquirer, and found my way to the L.A Times before the industry began to collapse and I bailed into online development about 11 years ago.

This card used to let me into the gated St. Pete Times parking lot, and using it gave me a sense of power, of inclusion and self-respect. When I left, I hucked it into my toolbox, where it’s ridden since 1983.

It is beautiful in its rotten state, and maybe a little triste, considering that 2009 is fast shaping up to be The Year that Newspapers Died.

Filed under: Ephemera, Found Object, Jetsam, symbol, Tool | Comments (0)

#a306 :: Christmas tree bulb

December 16, 2008

ENLARGEIn the course of bedecking the sacrificial conifer with lights and baubles, site stuff gets broken.

We destroyed three glass balls this evening – fortunately none of them hand-made nor “special.”

This was the other casualty – my son went to pull a light from the string to attach a lighted ornament (a Star Trek shuttle that someone gave us years ago) and inadvertently yanked the bulb straight out of its base.

Stripped of context, it’s a beautiful specimen – the very core of the incandescent lighting engineer’s art – a bubble of glass extruded around two wires holding a tungsten filament taut in a vacuum.

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#a305 :: Rice crackers

December 15, 2008

enlarge“Dad. Eat this.”

She holds out her hand.

“What is it?”

“Rice cracker.”



“It’s spicy.” She smiles.

I smile. She’s seven.

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#a304 :: Agitprop

December 14, 2008

enlargeEven with the massive combined forces of a wronged and angry nation of voters, viagra order a reinvigorated Democratic party machine and some of the savviest campaigning in history buoying him up, hospital Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 presidential election was hardly the landslide it should have been.

The count was 69.4 million to 59.9 million, which means nearly half the people who voted couldn’t – or wouldn’t – see the smarter option.

It’s all blood down the drain at this point, but Obama’s mighty machine continues to churn, still collecting donations … for what? A $5 donation bought (at least for me) five of these stickers, designed by Shepard Fairey as a sort of ephemeral victory dance.

The detail’s too small to really translate from a car bumper 20 feet away, but it’s all just confetti now that the economy is on fire, the Constitution has been kneecapped and the fucking corporate greedheads spent the past eight years robbing us blind.

Much work to be done. What we “did” was get a chance to do it.

I’m hopeful. You?

Filed under: Art, Artifact, Ephemera, symbol | Comments (1)

#a303 :: Cactus limb

December 13, 2008

ENLARGEI knocked this off of a fine old fingertip cactus today while gardening.

I don’t usually drop the boom mike into the shot, tadalafil but here’s a good idea of scale for the camera space where HLO lives. Note the fingerprint whorls.

Then count the cactus spines.

Filed under: Jetsam, Life form | Comments (1)

#a302 :: Chinese bee pendant

December 12, 2008

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

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

#a301 :: 1960 K+E Leroy scriber

December 12, 2008

enlargeA more mellifluous blend of ash-blue plastic and polished aluminum, symptoms nor a stranger device, order I have never seen.

The tool holds a small ink reservoir at the end of a complex/adjustable curve of metal. One of the handrests is missing, which is probably why it turned up in a junk shop en route home from the Angeles National Forest.

(googles) No, wait … it’s actually the business end of a 1960 K+E Leroy Lettering kit.

Wish I knew where the rest of it was.

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

#a300 :: Homies grilled-corn vendor

December 10, 2008

ENLARGELittle plastic characters from barrio life, check the Homies get as much flak as they get props.

They were created by Mexican-American cartoonist David Gonzales, troche who clearly launched the collectible-toy phenomenon (120, patient 000,000+ figurines sold) from a place of respect.

Maybe I’m just a stupid white guy, but this vendor’s face and stance seem to radiate the affection that was poured into his design.

He was made in China, like the others, and I bought him in Chinatown – but I’m not even gonna try to unpack that.

Seen elsewhere on HLO: “Chato”, the Homies pit bull.

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, Miniature, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a299 :: Decaying orange

December 10, 2008

enlargeI was going to wax philosophical about the inevitability of decay, mind the magnificence of biology doing its tiny job, case about the way ashes do always turn to ashes and dust to …

But I’m halfway through a 3-day business trip, cheapest I’ve been working till 11 every night, and, well, I’m bushed. (In more ways than one. At least I haven’t been laid off yet. )

Anyway, I shot some objects over the weekend in anticipation of this mental and time deficit, including this gorgeous specimen I found hiding at the bottom of our fruit bowl. It’s almost too beautiful to recycle, but it was dragging itself inexorably in that direction and nothing I could do would have stopped it.

Best just to capture it in the midst of a fantastic death.

Filed under: Edible, Jetsam, Life form | Comments (2)

#a298 :: Porcelain numbered sphere

December 8, 2008

ENLARGETo be fair, approved this has pinholes in either end, making its utility as some sort of glorified golfball-sized bead more apparent.

But I prefer to ignore the hole, and imagine it as a prop from Her Majesty’s weekly bingo game, held secretly in the rooms beneath Buckingham Palace.

It’s made of porcelain and fired with a snappy-looking glaze.

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Artifact | Comments (1)

#a297 :: Chinese novelty matchboxes

December 7, 2008

ENLARGEI can’t tell if these are serious products of Chinese public-health propaganda agencies or just an Engrish yock cooked up by China’s ever-creative but English-impaired export trade. Not sure it matters – they’ll own us completely by 2020.

All I know is these were 40 cents each at a curio shop in Chinatown, link and they came with striking surfaces but no matches. The sides bear this helpful warning and – in much smaller print – the epigram, cheapest “Childhood memory, combustion pleasure.

The one at bottom left of the stack says “DO NOT PEE OUT.”

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

#a296 :: 4H Pin

December 6, 2008

ENLARGECalifornia is a land of exiles. For that reason – among many others – I love it.

Anyone not born here has come to explore, this to self-reinvent, sick to escape forces of oppression or boredom or hopelessness left behind.

This westward tide has flowed for centuries, check pulling wave upon wave of Spaniards, gold-rushers, dust-bowled Okies, Sinaloan braceros, Vietnamese boat people and self-anointed stars in training onto the shores and streets of a land gilded with sun and promise.

Tidal debris silting up in the antique stores of Orange County and Ventura, Santa Barbara and Bakersfield brims with nuggets.

A 4-Her brought this all the way from Montana, and then left it.

Possibly a few dozen years ago. There’s no telling now.

Filed under: Adornment, Artifact, Ephemera, Found Object, symbol | Comments (0)

#a295 :: Chocolate laptop

December 5, 2008

ENLARGEThe company Christmas party went off tonight as it always does – a full-blown bash with excellent food and good company.

The capper to the meal was a créme brulée in a little chocolate box, cialis 40mg topped with this emblem cast in dark and white chocolate.

I always choose the cruelest month to do my no-refined-sugar fast, so I Ziploc’d this and tossed it into the freezer for later – which either renders the message it carries deferred, undelivered or simply held in suspended animation.

I do so crave chocolate right now.

Filed under: Edible, Ephemera, Miniature, Model, symbol | Comments (0)

#a294 :: Ideal “Powermite” orbital sander

December 4, 2008

ENLARGEIn 1969, order the Ideal Toy company came out with a line of fully operational miniature powertools that plugged into battery supplies built into their small carrying cases.

This “Powermite” sander is about three inches long by two inches tall and less than an inch wide, order and came with little sheets of sandpaper, for sale which clamped onto its pad much the way full-sized ones do today.

You get the sense from holding this that you could – quite literally – build an entire dollhouse with a full set of them.

A full set looks something like this. I found this for a few bucks in an antique store.

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

#a293 :: Shoe

December 3, 2008


The little fuckers have been partying under my desk again.

I’m finding tiny shoes. There are nasty scuff-marks on the wall about an inch off the floor, erectile and wet spots in my shoes. Someone punched a dime-sized hole in the sheetrock, this and there’s a one-square-foot patch of the floor reeking of small beer.

Filed under: Adornment, Ephemera, Found Object, Jetsam, Toy | Comments (0)

#a292 :: Y Muscle Water bottle

December 2, 2008

ENLARGEI haven’t opened this yet.

I don’t care what it tastes like, approved or even whether it does what it claims:

Y MUSCLE WATER – because you never know who’s going to challenge you to a wrestling match.

100% natural and certified organic:
Reverse osmosis water, this web organic evaporated cane juice, sick organic white grape juice, organic hibiscus, organic grape, orange, lemon and rosemary flavors, natural citric acid, ascoric acid (vitamin C), magnesium lactate, monopotassium phosphate, sodium selenite.

No artificial ingredients.
Due to the organic nature of Y, color fading and sediments/pulp may occur over time. This in no way affects the freshness or taste of the product.

Chill and shake before serving.

I want to keep the container. I want to to buy four or five dozen cases of them in different colors. I want to see if they stack up like building blocks or fall in a jumble like anti-tank barriers.

This four-lobed shape has gimmegimme childhood fetish written all over it. Which is probably why the only place I’ve ever seen it sold is at my 7-year-old daughter’s gymnastics center.

Filed under: Edible, Ephemera, Fetish | Comments (0)

#a291 :: Silver-plated pocket compass

December 1, 2008

enlargeThis has to be the antique-shop-crawl find of all time: A pocket compass in a “hunter” watch case, viagra dosage lined with copper and plated in silver. When you close the lid, more about a fragile little arm clamps the needle in place, and when you open it, it e-e-e-ver-so-slowly noses north.

$10. Unbelievable.

Filed under: Artifact, Instrument, symbol, Tool | Comments (0)

#a290 :: Newspaper Guild badge

November 30, 2008

enlargeThis has to be the antique-shop-crawl find of all time: A pocket compass in a “hunter” watch case, viagra dosage lined with copper and plated in silver. When you close the lid, more about a fragile little arm clamps the needle in place, and when you open it, it e-e-e-ver-so-slowly noses north.

$10. Unbelievable.

ENLARGEIf you believe in the primacy of the American union, approved you’d be within your rights to believe that joining the American Newspaper Guild would give you job security.

Two things have dashed that myth for me: First, stomach I spent a good six weeks, sildenafil Monday through Friday sitting on the sidewalk outside the Philadelphia Inquirer building with a Guild placard around my neck. Only to have the guild finally settle on some pathetically weak concessions from the paper.

Second, the American newspaper is dying a swift, ugly death and, with it, long-form journalism as we once knew it.

All of us bloghounds and Google addicts will have to wonder, before too long, where the headlines will come from if we don’t help usher newspapers fully onto the web as information companies. And to pull that off, papers will have to pull the death-defying stunt of abandoning the suicidal economy of dead-tree publishing.

So I have to admire the bronzed sturdiness of this badge, and all the permanence it signified. And wonder what the real cost will be once this badge finishes replacing it:

Filed under: Adornment, Artifact, Ephemera, symbol | Comments (1)

#a289 :: Mystery seed pod 2

November 29, 2008

ENLARGEThis is a bit larger than a chicken egg – and completely mysterious. I know of no fruit this size that grows in the brushy hillsides around Los Angeles, pill yet here is what seems to be its skeleton: the flesh has worn away in rain and mud, viagra dosage leaving a fantastic fibrous mesh enclosing four ovoid chambers, each of which contains a hard-shelled nut.

Filed under: Jetsam, Life form | Comments (0)

#a288 :: Mystery seed pod

November 28, 2008

enlargeWe hiked up to Griffith Observatory for Thanksgiving, this web buy more about and collected a few seeds along the way. I’m ignorant to so many worlds, not least being the very wildlands I bike through every week. What is this?

Filed under: Jetsam, Life form | Comments (0)

#a287 :: Acorn

November 27, 2008

ENLARGE This woody little pod reminds me of a vintage Chriscraft speedboat, medical a rigid, medicine slick, look hydrodynamic monocoque of finely grained wood, designed for swift transport. Like the previous object it is also something of a time machine.

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#a286 :: Pine cone

November 26, 2008

ENLARGEThis is a building kit for the construction of two to three dozen 120-foot-tall Douglas firs. You will require loamy soil, buy water and sunlight. Please allow 4 to 6 decades for completion.

Filed under: General, Jetsam, Life form | Comments (0)