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#a435 :: Mash note from my daughter

April 27, 2009

She sidles up to me. Very small voice: “Here, Daddy.” I unfold it. I give her a huge bearhug and a sloppy kiss on the forehead. She smiles. Mission accomplished. She’s 7.

Filed under: Content, Ephemera, Paper | Comments (2)

#a434 :: Z-card robot

April 26, 2009

I’ve posted some Z-Cardz before – they’re nifty little 3-D models that you assemble from pieces that you punch out of precision-die-cut 2-D plastic cards. This is not one of their better ones – and I guess that’s why I’m posting it – as an example of Not Good Enough. Warner Bros. cartoons had their […]

Filed under: Facsimile, Fetish, plastic, Toy | Comments (0)

#a433 :: Potato chip

April 25, 2009

Her: Dad, is this a heavy little object? Me: Yep.

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

#a432 :: Message launcher

April 24, 2009

A wonderful little creation – the kids brought these home from school one day. They folded sheets of paper to form these taut, shallow cones that pop outward when squeezed the right way. The *pop* ejects a tiny drawing – in this case, our daughter’s drawing of us. The message is “Happy 15th Anaversery.”

Filed under: Art, Content, Ephemera | Comments (0)

#a431 :: Antique Stanley line level

April 23, 2009

A little bit of rococo molding around a glass capsule half full of air. A tool for sensing the approximate direction of the center of the earth. A gen-yoo-wine aahhhrrr-teeeeeefaaaaaaaact.

Filed under: Instrument | Comments (0)

#a430 Spun aluminum pillbox

April 22, 2009

I’m at the far end of the wire. The warmth of the crowd rises up into the moldy canvas peak of the tent here. It pours from their eyes, their upturned, open mouths. I toss the balance pole into the air, pivot the other way, catch the pole and head back across the wire. Their […]

Filed under: Aluminum, Container, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Microfiction, Model, Objet | Comments (0)

#a429 :: Rotten witch fingers

April 21, 2009

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

Filed under: Facsimile, Jetsam, Object of the Month, Part | Comments (0)

#a428 :: Undesirable keychain tag

April 20, 2009

At some point last month, my mother-in-law gave my daughter (age 7) a little keyring with a big fob that spelled out “Love” in lurid gold-chromed script. It was schwag from some utterly-too-grownup movie, as evidenced by the little stamped-metal tag proclaiming the brand. Here’s what ensued the moment I laid eyes on it: Me: […]

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

#a427 :: Refrigerator shelf shard

April 19, 2009

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

Filed under: Jetsam, Part | Comments (1)

# a426 :: CD opener keychain

April 18, 2009

To someone who uses knives as much as I do, this thing is about as useful as Truck Balls. You press it against the side of a sealed CD or DVD, depressing a spring-loaded cap to reveal a tiny steel blade that slices open the shrink-wrap. They were giving them away today at Amoeba for […]

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

#a425 :: Gilette Shaving Cream cap

April 17, 2009

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

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

#a424 :: Fruit pit

April 16, 2009

This also came home with the kids from their hike – I’ve always liked the unforgivingly ugly shape of seeds. They are meant to be discovered by accident (bite into a delicious fruit, find a nasty, woody chunk of bitterness) and discarded as useless – the better to propagate their kind.

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

#a423 :: Marah Macrocarpeae

April 15, 2009

Or at least that’s what this blog points to. Wild cucumber tastes and looks nothing like its namesake. It is a 4-inch-long, egg-shaped handful of misery, with cactusy spines that puncture your skin if you grip it too tightly. A taste of the juice inside (for they prove to be very juicy when dissected with […]

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

#a422 :: Steel ruler

April 14, 2009

Precision. Measurement. Millimeters. Inches. 1/64th inches. Fractions between the beginning of a thing and the end, the alpha and the omega. Steel ruler. Period.

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

#a421 :: Paper sculpture

April 13, 2009

I delight in finding the delight my children find in simple acts of creation. Paper is an adventure. Fold it and make a city, a castle, a world. A couple of these things have been floating around the house this week. I have no idea what they are. All I know is that my son […]

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

#a420 :: 1-inch hex nut

April 12, 2009

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

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

#a418 :: Volkswagen badge

April 10, 2009

Found this in the gutter down the street. Somewhere, a VW – a new one, by the make of the silkscreened aluminum – is driving around without an identity. Is the badge the seat of a car’s soul?

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

#a417 :: Diffraction foil

April 9, 2009

Fifteen years ago today – at 4:49 p.m. on 04/09/94, I married the love of my life. Tonight, we drove up to a romantic dinner overlooking Los Angeles, and exchanged lovely gifts and the sort of bedazzled soliloquies to each other that come only from hearts truly and fully in love with each other. The […]

Filed under: Adornment, Ephemera | Comments (0)

#a416 :: Fine drill set

April 8, 2009

Another import-tools swap-meet purchase: I can’t imagine what work requires the precision of an 80-gauge drillbit, but here it is, a set of wire-fine steel bits ranging from that hair-like thinness up through the comparatively meaty 61-gauge bit. I just bought the set so I could drill solder blobs out of a botched circuit board […]

Filed under: Tool | Comments (0)

#a415 :: Stainless steel tweezers

April 7, 2009

Down near the very root of my DNA chain lies the chromosomal sequence for opposable thumbs. I use tools. Why? Because they grant me the otherwise elusive super-powers for cutting, twisting and manipulating things too hard, small, tight or delicate for my meaty paws to manage. Because they are often heavy and cold and sturdy, […]

Filed under: Tool | Comments (0)

#a414 :: Miniature lighter

April 6, 2009

This flea-market find was stamped out of chromed steel in Japan some years ago. It’s an elegant, perfect little machine, barely 7/8ths of an inch tall: The horizontal tube on top is just big enough to house a flint and pressure spring, the wick is hardly thicker than a toothpick, and you could probably fill […]

Filed under: Fetish, Tool | Comments (0)

#a413 :: White chocolate fortune cookie

April 4, 2009

A thrilling adventure is in my near future. I know this because a piece of paper baked into a cookie, dipped in white chocolate and wrapped in red foil told me so. A quick dinner at Panda Inn this evening, then off to see Knowing. It proves to be too intense for him – he’s […]

Filed under: Edible, Fetish | Comments (0)

#a412 :: Nerf one-shot pistol

April 3, 2009

Stuff a foam dart down its hazard-orange bore, pump up the air chamber with the piston slide and blow the captured pressure with the thumb valve. And piff you’ve fired what probably amounts to the most reprehensibly disposable and insulting form of non-lethal ammunition known to man: the rubber dart. It’s got a belt clip […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Toy, weapon | Comments (0)

#a411 Ken Onion “Chive”

April 2, 2009

I have a

Filed under: Fetish, Part, Tool, weapon | Comments (2)

#a410 :: Jibbitz

April 1, 2009

Put aside for a second how thoroughly doofy Crocs can seem, here is an entire empire built on two simple facts: a) Americans’ uncanny knack for making, buying and trashing once-used disposable crap and b) our love of cheap customization. You stuff Jibbitz into the holes of your Crocs to declare your individuality to other […]

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