Saturday, December 29, 2007

Catch of the Day

It rarely gets cold here in So Cal, but the last week has been chilly. I imagine it was even colder on a fishing boat off the coast of Redondo Beach where father and son spent several hours breaking in Nick's new fishing pole and reel.

Report from Nick - this was the most fun fishing so far. Fun? He caught ONE FISH.

I'm told it's called a Blacksmith Perch, and because it's so small, it can't be fillet'd. It will probably feed Nick. Maybe.
Fortunately, some nice people took pity and gave them some bass fillets and an additional perch, so the rest of us - especially the cook - won't starve.

Apparently, the fish didn't like the cold weather any better than the shivering masses on the fishing boats, so no one caught very many fish, except two asian men who caught more than everyone else combined.

I told Frank he needed to figure out what they were doing right. Frank said his line got tangled a lot, so his fishing time was in knots, so to speak. He claimed his hooks were too big since they got lots of nibbles, but those sneaky fish managed to eat all the squid without getting hooked.

Sounds like a fish story to me.

Shiny Happy Blog

I'm starting the new year with a new look for the blog - experimenting with the existing template so I don't have to learn too much html.

I may change the background photo from time to time to keep things looking fresh - or not. Over the next day or so the colors may change - working this way is like painting a wall in your home with different swatches until you come across something you like.

Stay tuned.

Friday, December 28, 2007

New Year's irresolutions

I've never been one to keep my New Year's resolutions. So much so, I stopped making them. I hated setting my self up for failure, I guess. Not a good way to start the New Year.

Instead, I highly recommend irresolutions. Less pressure. An irresolution is less specific, or less definite than 'lose 20 pounds.' Using words like 'more' makes things flexible enough to mean anything in addition to what is going on now.

So, here are my 10 Irresolutions for 2008.

1. Write in my blog more. Be more creative.
2. Work on more t-shirt designs.
3. Take more photographs - don't forget camera when going out.
4. Learn something about Flash, finally.
5. Learn something new about Photoshop and Illustrator.
5. Walk the dog more.
6. Walk more.
7. Lose temper less.
8. Start Christmas shopping earlier.
9. Eat out less. Eat better.
8. Simplify more.
9. Plan ahead more.
10. Meet with friends more.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Simplify, simplify

I purchased my own blog name so I could simplify the address. Previously, was always at the tail end of the address, which made the whole thing so long that I couldn't even remember it.

Now, the official address is

Mucho easier to remember!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Gewgaw, Christmas Tree

My kind of Christmas tree will never make it into the window at Tiffany's.  I like a tree with character and memories, not rife with good taste. Ours houses a collection of licensed characters, vintage glass ornaments, and whatnots.  Not shown in the picture is the Darth Vadar ornament hanging next to the little vintage plastic manger. 

The artificial tree is one we found on sale at Stats - it's a small Charlie Brown type tree. Perfect for the nutty bunch of stuff that hangs from its spindly limbs.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

RandomMadnessinTorrance T-shirts at CafePress!

The City.

The Blog.

Now the Shirt - available at my store at CafePress!

The Gewgaw, Christmas Bootie Mug

Ah, nothing like a nice egg nog served up in a nice cheery....shoe? Ok, so it's not really a shoe, but a cute little elf sized boot.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Pablo Sez Buy a T-shirt!

Some of my son's weird cartoon characters are now on t-shirts at CafePress, and are available online for purchase - buy one today!! Pablo Sez so!

PABLO SEZ YO Online Shop

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Soup Can vs Dog

Dog won.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Gewgaw, Smokin' Snowman - for Dad

Christmas is almost here - my decorations have been up since Thanksgiving. I figure if I have to go through all that effort to put them up, I want them up a good long time.

I love vintage holiday stuff, especially linens and old glass ornaments - Shiny Brite and the like. I also have a bunch of little holiday gewgaws that only see the light of day for a scant month, then back into the garage they go.

I just found this little ceramic snowman ashtray, a very practical gift for dear, old, nicotine-addicted 'Dad'.

His pipe and top hat have holes to allow for the smoke to waft through. It's hard for me to picture this cute little guy stuffed with a bunch of old butts.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday - Give it a Rest? - Part 2

Another beautiful Sunday - the sky was bright blue, the air was crisp and clean - and, what's that I hear? Another visit from my friendly neighborhood construction guy and his worker.

Same guy as last time.

This time, I thought, I'm going to have to get mean. Yup, I called my friendly neighborhood law enforcement official. He asked to see where it said that the guy couldn't work Sunday (currently, in Torrance, you can work everyday, including holidays and Sundays). Fortunately, I keep my paperwork in a file, and showed him the minutes from the planning meeting.

Pays to keep your paperwork in order.

So, once again, I'm sharing a lovely photo of the offender's truck. If the owners of the property, Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth (Sandra) Tokita of Irvine are listening, please ask your general contractor, Scott Manfredi, and/or the subcontractors to be a bit more respectful of the neighbors, and meet the conditions of your permit?

I'd appreciate it.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Landmark Camelot Drugs Closing

One of the last themed commercial buildings in the South Bay is closing its doors. Located next to a Big Lots store at 2159 Pacific Coast Highway in Lomita, Camelot has been selling medicines, gifts, cards and money orders for at least (from its appearance) 40 years.

Although to many Camelot Drugs is just another strip mall eyesore, I've always had a fondness for the castellation motif, and the uncial script sign. The interior harkens back to another time and place when stores weren't sterile, and the employees were long standing neighbors and friends. I suspect the plethora of CVS and Walgreens on every street corner spelled doom for this medieval drugstore.

My guess is it will be replaced by something less chivalrous.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Sunday - Give it a Rest?

A couple of weeks ago, on a Sunday morning, there was work going on behind my home where a three unit condo/apartment is being constructed. A caveat for getting their permit was that there was to be no construction on Sunday.

Apparently, the owner of this truck either didn't get the message or decided to ignore it, so I had to make a call to the appropriate folks at City Hall. I also snapped a photo of the truck, for posterity. I've decided I'm going to post photos of any issues that crop up. Just for giggles.

Fortunately, not too many have cropped up lately - other than I get to wake up to pounding and banging every day at 7:15 in the morning.