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#a284 :: Pirate doubloon

November 24, 2008

Down at the other end of the mock-currency spectrum, plastic doubloons are minted in China by the chestful to lend that yo-ho-ho feeling to your kid’s birthday party. I found this in the grass at a park today at another kid’s birthday party, while watching yet another birthday party setting up. The trappings – and […]

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

#a283 :: Million-dollar bill bible tract

November 22, 2008

This fine object puts the specie in specious: Someone at the Christian organization LivingWaters.com worked very, very hard on this piece of counterfeit. The four-color printing and gravure work are fine anough to pass the “holy, shit, WTF is that” moment after you’ve picked it up and still can’t believe it’s not money – that […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, Found Object, Microfiction, Model, symbol, Tool | Comments (1)

#a282 :: Seed pod

November 22, 2008

It erupts in a fur of orange, from a black pod. The skin is avocado-like. The seed is barely a quarter-inch in diameter. And it mystifies me.

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

#a281 :: Cupcake topper

November 21, 2008

More than 500 million human beings live in absolute poverty. Right now. Their lot is not changing. More than 15 million children die of hunger every year. Starve. To. Death. How many children is that? Numbers are pretty meaningless when you’re talking about entire nations of people, but do some math: Remember the faces of […]

Filed under: Art, Artifact, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Found Object, Jetsam, Miniature, Model, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a280 :: Copper pipe fitting

November 20, 2008

This has been skittering around the floor of our back hallway for a while, a relic of the unpleasant shower-valve failure incident. Copper is the lushest metal color, more wonderful than gold.

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

#a279 :: “supersurfaces”

November 19, 2008

This gem of an art book covers the crafting of complex 3-D figures from 2D materials using little but scissors. For some insane reason, the sole available copy on Amazon is going for $212.91. I found a copy in the Hayward Gallery last summer for about 8% of that amount. And no, you cannot buy […]

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

#a277 :: Tin bell

November 17, 2008

just about rice-sized spotted by the trash can one day crushed, it will not sound

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

#a276 :: Plasticene scottie

November 16, 2008

Random scottie facts: Franklin Delano Roosevelt owned one. George WorstPresidentinHistory Bush owned one too. Just days after his master’s party lost the election, Barney bit a reporter. Our family has owned scotties since we first got Captain MacHeath of Edgerstoune (Keefie) when I was just 14. My parents’ current scottie, Bridey, does not have cancer. […]

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

#a275 :: Robotic hand

November 15, 2008

“Dad, check it out. I made a robotic hand.”

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Part, symbol, Toy, weapon | Comments (1)

#a274 :: Electronic shriek box

November 14, 2008

A simple soundboard, wired to a switch and a speaker. I disemboweled it from (?) an 8×11 promo folder for “Scream 2008” that landed in my wife’s office. When you opened the cover of the folder, a horrific shriek would ensue: “AUUUGHHHAAAAAAAGOODDDDNOOOOO!!!” Soon, I’ll be attaching it to Screaming Tiki so that he can get […]

Filed under: Artifact, Jetsam, Microfiction, Part, Tool, Toy | Comments (0)

#a273 :: Ramune candy

November 13, 2008

This is the chewable version of the contents of this. 99 cents at the Japanese market downtown. Chalky little lozenges of faintly effervescent candy. the sort of thing aliens might eat, if aliens ate sweets. Which is not to say that we’re sure that they don’t.

Filed under: Edible, Ephemera | Comments (0)

#a272 :: Grip exerciser

November 12, 2008

When you’re 9, you’re already wondering what it means to be a man. You ask a lot of questions. A lot of questions. You challenge people twice your size to arm-wrestling matches. You suddenly take to doing pushups and situps wherever it occurs to you – like on train platforms …

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

#a271 :: Silver Navajo bracelet

November 11, 2008

When we were still a-courting, she and I drove 2,200 miles around the American southwest in a rented convertible in the space of a week. We slept beneath the stars and in seedy motels. We lolled in the open ragtop beneath towering mesas in Monument Valley, and muggy midnight at Four Corners. We noshed, we […]

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

#a270 :: Rechargable flashlight

November 10, 2008

The green-ness of this gadget masks (poorly) its inadequacy as a tool. If you want steady, reliable light for replacing a muffler under a car, finding your way around a dark campsite or exploring a spooky derelict spaceship you don’t want to have to keep turning the light off, flipping out the generator crank and […]

Filed under: symbol, Tool | Comments (1)

#a269 :: Mini-Tabasco

November 9, 2008

The thinking man’s ketchup. I attended the huge Disney Animation Studios wrap party for Bolt (an excellent cartoon, by the way) and they were passing these out with the cocktail shrimp. It’s barely an inch and a half tall, and enough to salt a pot of soup or – in my case – a dozen […]

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

#a268 :: DVI-to-VGA adapter

November 8, 2008

DVI. The bane of my existence this week. This adapter shifts from DVI out to VGA in. I just bought two new monitors, and this won’t do the trick. Now I gotta go out and buy a different adapter. For $100. Sigh.

Filed under: Tool | Comments (0)

#a267 :: Crescent wrench

November 7, 2008

I assembled a new table today. This fine tool helped. Its design has been around since 1892. You have to love the compact, almost fetishy perfection of its promise – one on which it delivers consistently so long as the nut’s not frozen too tight: It is, truly, a boxful of wrenches in just one […]

Filed under: Tool | Comments (0)

#a266 :: Yarn dolls

November 6, 2008

(A guest post by my 9-year-old son) Dolls made out of yarn with wire armature and very small marbles for eyes. Kind of like voodoo dolls, if you think about it. The types of figures: a zombie, a burgular, a devil,a spider, and a guy with some wierd hairdo. They’re not bendable or flexable, but […]

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

#a265 :: Baby Stripe

November 5, 2008

(A guest post by my 7-year-old daughter) I traded Baby Stripe to one of my friends named Dinah and Sammie.I gave them a little bear. First I asked Sammie the next day I asked Dinah and she agreed.So now I have a cute raccoon.

Filed under: Miniature, Toy | Comments (0)

#a264 :: Sticker

November 4, 2008

I was at the polls before they opened this morning at 7. I voted for our next president. And as I write this, he’s giving an electrifying victory speech. This is beyond belief, and I am beyond words.

Filed under: General | Comments (1)

#a263 :: Battery package

November 3, 2008

A barely recyclable skin, shucked from the future corpses of non-recyclable devices that are designed to power other devices that would otherwise be helpless without them. Could we do without these husks? Could we bind batteries together with rubber bands or zipties or something less insulting to the environment? Could we design solar chargers for […]

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

#a262 :: Religious medal

November 2, 2008

We hold these things close – our beliefs. They guide our acts, they govern our thoughts, they control how we vote, whom we love, what we do in the dark. And we bind ourselves to these intangible self-truths with talismans – headdresses, tefillim, hair shirts and medals. This is an odd little find – it […]

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

#a261 :: Candy wrappers – War of the Worlds on Twitter

November 1, 2008

I’m winding down from a raucous, madhouse Halloween night. It was also my son’s birthday. It’s been deadline time for a pretty ambitious project at work. It’s the day a friend got married in the space of 10 minutes at lunchtime at the top of a mountain (up the wrong side of which I hiked […]

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

#a260 :: Meteorite!

October 31, 2008

Oh my gawd: Readers of this blog know that I don’t tend to post gushy teenage exclamations like “oh my gawd” that often (as in, never) But here it is, one of those Heavy Little Objects that really makes you say “oh, my effing gawd: A chunk of bona-fide space rock. But check the picture […]

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

#a259 :: Polly Pocket shoes & handbags

October 30, 2008

Tiny accessories for teensy simulacra, these silicone shoelets and bagettes piled up in my daughter’s room until her obsession with Polly Pocket wore off and she tired of them and moved onto a new obsession. At some point, she got it into her head that she could sell them on eBay. I think she’s more […]

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


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