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#a83 :: Floppy disk

May 6, 2008

ENLARGEA mix of no-nonsense design and obsolescence incarnate, symptoms this is a perfectly made object lesson in hubris:

The 3.5-inch floppy was designed to last for decades – and outstripped within a mere few years by bigger, page faster, even-more-durable flash memory.

What are they good for now? Coasters. Table-levelers. Impromptu office Frisbees. And speculations on what the dot-com boom of the late 1990s would have been without the ability to carry a sheaf of documents or photos around on a lightweight, plastic facsimile of your computer hard-drive that fit into your shirt pocket.

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

#a82 :: Rattan pouch

May 5, 2008

ENLARGEThis came from Hawaii, thumb wrapped around a much more significant HLO that I’ll blog about later this week.

Someone – Hawaiian or Chinese, I’m left to assume, since there’s no maker’s mark, wove it together from strips of reed.

The top fits beautifully over the bottom – and resists casual attempts to pull it off: You really have to haul on it to get the halves apart.

It’s empty now – of the beautiful thing it once contained – but full of potential: what else could it hold? How safe will the contents be? Who should see them, and who must not? And when will I fill it? And why?

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

#a81 :: Stickers

May 4, 2008


It folds out from a ripstop nylon pouch the size of a cigar case.

Its fiberglass ribs hold it together in 30 mph winds.

It’s barely 8 inches long fully assembled.

It’s a Finger Kite!
ENLARGEOur endless list of household projects marches forward because of my wife, buy information pills the movie producer.

This week’s tribute to her ambitions is me shoveling out the large storage area in my office – which means going through virtually every bit of hard-copy media I’ve ever owned, sorting, refiling and throwing out crap.

The room looks like a geek hoard. Every horizontal surface bears a stack of tools, books, CDs, tchotchkes, gizmos, whatses, thingummies and scraps of half-usable art material – any one of which could be EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND PROBABLY SHOULD NOT BE THROWN OUT YET.

Actually, I’m doing a reasonably good job throwing things out – all in advance of painting said closet space and then replacing the massive, ugly, old four-drawer legal file cabinet with three brand-new (and much smaller) four-drawer legal file cabinets.

In the midst of all this, I can barely think.

I keep one mental tunnel open for family obligations, another for work, and the rest of my view is 720-degree, Filed under: Adornment, Art, symbol | Comments (0)

#a80 :: Candy container

May 3, 2008

ENLARGEThis little cylinder represents all that is simultaneously horrible and brilliant about the American candy manufacturing industry:

A blowmolded, order die-cut can made of metallic-gray plastic, wrapped in a fully art-directed 4-color parody of a soda-pop label, once held a small handful of inconsequential gum. A child consumed the gum, and dropped the container to the ground.

Enjoy, and trash. Enjoy and trash. 79 cents worth of gum and half an ounce of non-biodegradable plastic and paper at a time, we are covering the earth with elaborately-engineered fantasies wrapped around tiny doses of sugar. Gone forever, and yet, not.

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

#a79 :: Finger Kite

May 2, 2008


It folds out from a ripstop nylon pouch the size of a cigar case.

Its fiberglass ribs hold it together in 30 mph winds.

It’s barely 8 inches long fully assembled.

It’s a Finger Kite!

Filed under: General | Comments (0)

#a78 :: Ukelin strings

May 1, 2008

ENLARGEStrings own our music.

Violin, viagra buy electric guitar, this site piano, search mandolin, koto, balalaika, electric bass, bull fiddle – all vibrate with the voices of plucked, sawn and hammered wires.

More than brass or woodwind or electronics, second maybe only to drums in the pantheon of world musical instrumentation, strings run the longest and deepest in the bloodstream of intelligent sound.

I’m midway through a project – restringing a circa-1926 ukelin that I retrieved from my parents’ attic … (more…)

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

#a77 :: Dying beetle

April 30, 2008

ENLARGEWhat possesses us?

We crawl to and fro on a world so vast we can’t understand it, pilule let alone navigate it. We consume, dosage we procreate, ask we fight, we recover.

If we’re fortunate, we create something useful – food, tools, homes, art, information. Then, whatever it was that propelled us around all those years deserts us – or is booted roughly from the meat vehicle in which it rode – by famine, disease, war, madness, neglect or simply age. (more…)

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

#a76 :: Set screw

April 29, 2008

ENLARGEThis threaded, case slotted nugget of galvanized steel is smaller than a pencil eraser.

Somewhere in my house, medicine something is slipping because this fell out of it.

I won’t know exactly what that is until it falls apart.

I’m waiting.

Filed under: Found Object, Jetsam, Part, Tool | Comments (2)

#a75 :: California white sage

April 28, 2008

ENLARGEKeith Hunter left us almost nine months ago.

I’ve been waiting to burn this bundle of sage for him – perhaps on the anniversary of his passing, purchase perhaps when his widow, information pills our dear friend, more about decides it’s time.

The lore around sage is thick and changeable: It stems from the rites of the aboriginal people whom we conquering louts bloodily shoved off their land hundreds of years ago – and has been altered, adapted, stolen, monkeyed with and otherwise revered by generations of hippies in Topanga Canyon and beyond ever since … (more…)

Filed under: symbol | Comments (0)

#a74 :: McFarlane monsters

April 27, 2008

ENLARGEWe plunge onward now, order from the sublimely simple to the ridiculously obscene:

My wife’s company made a licensing deal that left a storage room packed to the gills with sample toys. They emptied it last week, order and out popped these two hideous bastards. She concluded, rightly, that they belonged with me.

I immediately opened it and recycled the packaging – and with it, any hope of recalling the name of this particular pair of monster symbiotes crafted by the low-paid artisans who toil in overseas obscurity for the twisted, cash-bloated juggernaut McFarlane Toys.

But that almost doesn’t matter … (more…)

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

#a73 :: Barbie’s egg cream

April 26, 2008

ENLARGEIt figures that a freakishly shaped girl doll – one of the greatest, ailment most successful toys of all time – would have such cute props.

One day, cheap the endless toy-surf that washes through this house coughed up this itty-bitty soda-fountain treat, doctor and I had to ask my 6-year-old daughter what it was.

Somewhere in China, a low-paid worker pulled a plastic rackful of these out of an injection mold and hung it to cool. Another worker likely cut it loose, and a third daubed its top with creamy white paint …

Filed under: Found Object, Miniature, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a72 :: Lost sea tackle

April 25, 2008

ENLARGEThis is the spiritual brother of this.

It floated in off the Sound to the easternmost tip of Long Island, viagra order where I found it on Christmas Eve.

A chill 34-degree wind bathed the pebble beach there. We trudged, store two families, online to the farthest reach, where plovers stood pointed upwind.

We plucked things from the translucent-wet gravel, including this.

Somewhere earlier, a fish probably decomposed straight off of it, weeks after it had burst free from the snare, tearing part of it from the would-be jailer’s rig.

But the fish had escaped only to spend its final hours suspended beneath the mirrored world of air, hanging from a chunk of styrofoam, a hook and a few inches of monofilament, pickling slowly to death in its own growing CO2 levels and hunger.

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

#a71 :: FatCap

April 24, 2008

ENLARGEI harbor a deep, here advice fetishy lust for “urban vinyl” figurines that is – as I’ve explained, side effects symptoms rarely consummated.

When I do indulge, find it’s always for something less than 10 bucks, and always for something small and really extraordinarily detailed.

I could not begin to tell you which one of the FatCap series of figurines this is. They’re all sold “blind-boxed” meaning you buy them in opaque cartons, never knowing until you open the box which one you’ll get.

But I bought three one day ($5.99 each) at KidRobot (a common drooling ground for me), gave two of them to the kids, and kept one. I was lucky enough to open this one.

All I know is he has four distinct, detailed tattoos, red fists that area ready for trouble, and a wicked case of blue-herringbone stink-eye.

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

#a70 :: Wax puddle

April 23, 2008

ENLARGEA good wax flow speaks of lava, look of alchemy, cure of the mystery of colloids and half-liquid things.

Born of chaos from a self-immolating candle, pill it cannot be recreated manually, yet could not really exist without the hand of man first having cast its ingredients.

I picture tiny warriors from a distant world battling for its high ground, the errant shots from their badly aimed plasma weapons melting new craters and puddles into its glossy, translucent flanks, their hobnailed combat boots leaving behind tiny scars.

Filed under: Jetsam | Comments (0)

#a69 :: Radial saw grip

April 22, 2008

ENLARGEThis handsome 31-year-old chunk of machined aluminum once belonged to a 1977 Sears 10-inch radial arm saw – the most fearsome power tool I have ever owned.

It rips, viagra dosage crosscuts, web bevels, miters – does just about everything you could want – destroying wood in a way that weakens the knees and liquifies the bowels of anyone who’s ever injured themselves with a power tool. I fear and respect it, in equal measure.

I bought the saw for $45 on eBay from an old pastor, who no longer needed it.

He had it built into a bench, so I was readying to build a bench for the same purpose (and worrying about whether I could build it perfectly square so the saw would always work accurately when I learned a bit more about it: The saw had undergone a safety recall at one point, and you could order a safety kit online – for free …

Filed under: Jetsam, Part | Comments (0)

#a68 :: Wrist Rocket

April 21, 2008

ENLARGEThe year that she spent chained to the crown of a 400-year-old sequoia was perhaps one of her shortest.

The winter was mercifully mild. The fire season breathlessly exciting but 3 miles away and short.

And the weekly trysts with her strapping support team leader in an elaborate system of web belts and pulleys they rigged up in the densest boughs proved invigorating and electrifying – particularly every time she arched her back and saw nothing but 130 dizzying feet of air between her sweaty brows and the forest floor below …

Filed under: Microfiction, Tool, weapon | Comments (1)

#a67 :: Corner punch

April 20, 2008

ENLARGEJust the trickest little tool.

I punch off the corners of my personal business cards with it.

Adds a nice effect to photo albums, sildenafil etc., too.

I found it in the stationery aisle at Target.

Filed under: Tool | Comments (0)

#a66 Self-recharging pig flashlight

April 19, 2008

ENLARGEA little switch near his rump pops out a handle.

Pump it for 60 seconds, cialis 40mg and flip the switch near his shoulder, more about and his nostrils glow blue-white for about a minute.

He’s made in China, and easily found online.

Filed under: Tool, Toy | Comments (1)

#a65 :: Just one of those things

April 18, 2008

… that you find under the fridge when you’re moving it.

Fridge won’t roll out. It keeps running over something. What the … How did that get there?

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

#a64 :: Blowmolded plastic ocean liner

April 17, 2008

ENLARGEAmid the hard-packed, online shit-strewn dirt at one hilly intersection on our way home today, illness this gleamed up at me.

Someone lost an ocean liner. You can hold it in your hand:

Sleekness, power and gross tonnage expressed in a few grams of blow-molded thermoplastic.

Somewhere, either a toddler lost track of a toy he hasn’t the attention span to miss, or a parent or nanny grew tired of picking it up and left it in the trash, leaves and street-dust – rudderless and adrift.

Filed under: Found Object, Miniature, Toy | Comments (0)

#a63 :: Ice cream-shaped bubble stuff

April 16, 2008

ENLARGEThe endless surf of bizarre manufactured crap surging through a family household always washes up some real gems.

This bottle of bubble-blowing fluid is shaped like an ice cream cone.

Try and parse the Americo-Freudian consumption/desire metaphor on that one.

Filed under: Artifact, Facsimile | Comments (0)

#a62 :: Tortilla chip

April 15, 2008

ENLARGEWhen I was a kid, viagra web the only corn chip I ever knew existed was Fritos.

They came in impregnable mustard-and-red plastic bags, visit web were packed with salt and oil, and stuck in your teeth when you chewed them. They tasted fantastic washed down with Coke.

A few years later, my first reporting job put me in Putnam, Connecticut. Late-night shifts would take me home past the Frito-Lay plant in Killingly, which smelled amazing.

Filed under: Edible | Comments (0)

#a61 :: Artist’s hand model

April 14, 2008

ENLARGEIt was the first thing she had put out on the thrashed card table at the group yard sale.

She had meant it that way, erectile a break from the failed career, from the crushed dream, from the gorgeous, neurotic, narcissistic jerk who gave it to her.

But here it was still: The last thing to be boxed up for GoodWill so they could sweep and put away the tables and retire inside for one more frozen Margarita and god knows what all else the evening held.

It should have sold earlier – hell, $1.50 knocked down to 50 cents, and it still didn’t move.

But after the fifth giggling kid in a row had left it with three fingers and thumb clenched around its raised middle digit she could bear it no longer and moved it out of reach, to the back of the table.

She restored its articulated knuckles to the graceful suggestion of direction it had held ever since … the thumb clasped around beneath the straight-angled index finger, others curled neatly beside as if to say “There, that way, go that way” … ever since Jason dumped her.

Was it pathos or bathos she was enduring now? She couldn’t be sure. The classics professor had been so ungodly dull.

She stared down at it, struggling to block visions of him giving her the box with puppydog eyes, of him stroking her breast with it, picking his ear with it, leaving it with pinky and thumb extended from fist in the corny-hippy Hawaiian “hang loose” gesture whenever he left in the morning.

Finally, she flipped it into the trash. Then she thought about it all the next day on the bus to art school.

Filed under: Fetish, Microfiction, Miniature, Model, Tool | Comments (0)

#a60 :: Nite-Ize S-biner

April 13, 2008

ENLARGELittle bitty spring-tip flip ‘n’ switch hip clip. Comes in many sizes

I have yet to find an actual use for it. Too heavy for the cartoonishly overloaded keyring.

Too light for much else. Max load 10 lbs.

So why did I spend $1.99 plus tax on it at Fry’s?

It’s fun to fiddle with, seek I’ll give it that.

Filed under: Objet, Tool, Toy | Comments (0)

#a59 :: Kubrick – Doctor Octopus

April 12, 2008

Around age 12, side effects I got a gift: The high privilege of four crates full of vintage Marvel Comics, stored in my parents’ attic by a student.

I devoured them greedily, and as powerfully as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s bickering, conflicted, neurotically imperfect superheroes affected my view of graphic art and juvenile fiction, the villains hit me harder:

The Green Goblin, the Vulture, Paste-Pot Pete, Dr. Doom, and the one I loved most, Doc Ock.

Here’s the eight-limbed bastard, molded in high-impact thermoplastic by MediCom, the Japanese company that builds and sells Kubricks. He is a brilliant engineer, driven mad by the experiment that fused his mechanical arms with his body.

And he thirsts for blood.

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