Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The reason I have hope for the future...

...is some young person made this parody.




I long for the days when no one knew much about a candidate's religious affiliation.

Really, does anyone know or care that Harry Truman was a Southern Baptist, Eisenhower was a Jehovah Witness, and George Washington was a Presbyterian? Why can't this current crop of proselytizing d-bags keep their holy underwear on the inside like, say, Abraham Lincoln?

Is that too much to ask?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why you should NEVER talk to the Cops, Part 1






These are excellent videos that explain why you should always invoke your 5th amendment rights - amusing, entertaining yet extremely convincing. Highly recommended!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fuzzi Pets

Plan to make use of my old toy making skills and recreate a little plush I had as a kid...it was a favorite of mine, and have never been able to find one out there - I think it must have been a one-of-a-kind piece.

If all goes well (keep fingers crossed) I'll make several - some for gifts, some to sell.

Hint: it's made of sheepskin (PETA won't like it, but everyone else should.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stephen Colbert Commencement Speech - 2011 NWU



Great speech - funny, of course, but heartfelt.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Buy domestic!

I try to purchase items made here. Frankly, it ain't easy. Even the lowly, albeit absolutely necessary light bulb is no longer made domestically. God forbid the Chinese get mad at us, we'll be burning earwax candles for illumination.

Recently, I was looking for a simple, drying rack, something I could hang jeans and towels on. Those two items alone are responsible for global warming, they take so much heat to dry thoroughly. The jeans shrink and the tall people in my home look nerdier than usual. Unfortunately, every rack available out there is expensive AND cheaply made of flimsy metal and plastic.

Just as I was about to throw in the towel (so to speak) I found this little web site that advertised The Best Drying Rack - that's a tall order, considering the plethora of throw-aways and high priced junk out there.

Made of solid maple and metal components, this thing is by far the best portable rack available. Not only good for drying your clothes, if you're into homemade pasta, this would make a terrific drying rack for that - although I wouldn't recommend you do both at the same time.



Imagine - something made to last DECADES. Almost unheard of. Reasonably priced, better than anything available.

Made in Missouri.

If you're in the market for domestically made quality gardening tools, take a peek at their sister site here.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

End of the World, Part 2

Well, I checked with a reliable source - the world didn't end yesterday.

I had read some people threatened to commit crimes and run amuck before armageddon. Our family experienced this first hand when someone stole my son's basketball shoes off our front porch.

As for The Family Radio Network and Harold Camping, I think you owe some of your members a refund. Or, you can recalculate your prediction. Again.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Stinky Shoe Thief

Why would anyone steal used shoes? Especially my son's stinky basketball shoes (two pair), and an old pair of basketball slippers?

Over the last few days, several men have come to my door, selling contractor services. I can see them, but I rarely answer the door to them when I'm home alone.

Call me paranoid.

I suspect, one of these guys, for whatever reason, off'd with my son's shoes. Quite honestly, one pair of those shoes smelled SO bad, I had to store them outside, so Stinky Shoe Thief gets what he deserves.

Unfortunately, that means I have to go and buy a new pair, plus a pair of slippers, which will cost me a bundle.

I hope those old shoes give that jerk a damnable case of athletes' foot.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Post Office Shuffle



Maybe it's me, but it appears the friendly neighborhood postman has turned into a pusher.

If you don't go to the post office often, here are some words of warning. First of all, shipping costs have gone up, and like everyone, the p.o. is looking for more ways to make money. During every transaction, they'll ask you if you need extra services, like Delivery Confirmation or insurance, stamps, or a p.o. box.. For me, that's not the problem.

The bone I have to pick is they won't tell you ALL your shipping options. They conveniently omit the cheapest alternatives.

If you visit their online site, your immediate options are the most expensive - Express and Priority Mail. You have to navigate a bit further to discover there are other options. Thankfully, they added things like Media Mail and Parcel Post at the tail end of your rate search - until recently, you had to dig to find those rates, buried on some distant link at the bottom of the page.

Here is the link for the USPS Postal Rate Calculator. They have updated it, so it's a little easier to navigate.

If you go into the office, don't expect as much - they won't even tell you all your options UNLESS YOU KNOW TO ASK. A lady next to me was trying to ship internationally, and they told her she could only ship Express and Priority - which is incredibly expensive, nor was it necessarily true.

So, from me to you, here are your options - insist on them if you want them.

Domestic:

1. First Class Mail: Isn't just for envelopes - you can ship boxes too. The only caveat is the weight must be under 13 ounces, and the size cannot exceed 108 inches in length and girth. It's fast, and cheap. There are separate rates for flat envelopes and boxes, but either way, reasonable.

2. Parcel Post: Prices vary according to size, weight, and zone. Size matters here (haha). Packages over 12" in any direction cost more to ship even if they don't weigh much, so be aware of that.

3. Media Mail: Have a book or video you want to ship? Media Mail is very cheap, slow and there are restrictions, but if you're trying to ship a large, heavy tome, it's the way to go, because price is based on weight only. No-no's include flash drives, advertising and video game CDs or cartridges. Also, by sending something Media Mail, you consent to allow your package to be searched, so no cheating!

4. Priority and Express: These are the services the P.O. want you to use - you can compare the fancy page with the other pages... I've used Priority - hey, they give you the boxes for free - they'll even deliver a load of Priority supplies to your home, which is pretty cool. I think they work best for small heavy items, since they do have Flat Rate boxes - these boxes are in various sizes, and "if it fits, it ships." So, if you want to ship a lead brick or a carburetor to New York, Priority is definitely the way to go.

International:

1. First Class International: Ship envelopes or packages up to 4 pounds. Very reasonable, and the USPS relationship with foreign countries means the recipient probably won't have to pay any additional fees or duties. Easy paperwork. Unfortunately, I don't believe you can insure this method of shipping, nor is there Delivery Confirmation (although, I've heard the P.O. offer it, you won't be able to actually confirm delivery, so that is a total waste of money). This link will break down costs to every country in the world. You have to scroll down to the bottom to find the First Class rates and restrictions.

2. Priority and Express: These are the services they push, so there is lots of info out there, so I won't go into them here.

I'm not saying never use the expensive methods, but it's good to know all your options. Happy shipping!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Gewgaw, Tribble blanket

I found this on etsy - I can't decide if it's absolutely the worst or the most brilliant idea ever.



Clicking on the image will take you to the owner of this amazing object d'art.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Attack of the Killer Garage

I made a very modest attempt at gleaning the garage of 20+ years of collecting. I have at least 4 large bins of stuff I will be selling bit by bit.


I did opt on keeping my infamous box of Darkie Toothpaste (now known as Darlie Toothpaste) - we need to be reminded from time to time how very, VERY bad some ideas were and still are.




I stole this image off the internet. Mine is like the one directly in the center - the bright yellow box with the old timey minstrel face. I originally purchased it in 1990 because no one in the states believed it actually existed.

When Colgate purchased the original company, Hawley & Hazel, they changed the Anglo name to Darlie; however, the original cantonese name still remains: Haak Yahn Nga Gou [้ป‘ไบบ็‰™่†] (Black Man Toothpaste). 

Amazingly, this is one of the best selling toothpastes in Taiwan.

On a brighter note, I found some of my old Macintosh games from the early '90s. I liked graphic interactive games the best - still do, actually. If you click on the pictures, you'll end up on ebay where you can bid on them, if you're so inclined. The two below are pretty rare titles, and more like interactive art than video game.

The Residents' Freak Show:

 The Residents' Gingerbread Man:



In case you've never heard of The Residents, here's a sampling from YouTube:


A few of the computer generated scenes from this video are in the Gingerbread Man video game.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Gewgaw, Jarts from Hell

Jarts are a outdoor toy officially banned by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. They are not only banned, but the agency recommends if you have this game, you destroy it.






You'd think Jarts were semi-automatic weapons marketed to children. If you read the packaging, you'll note that it's states, quite clearly, that Jarts are an ADULT toy. It wasn't always that way - originally, the lawn darts had pointed tips, and were sold as a kids' toy. But hey, that was the 50s and 60s when people took responsibility for their own stupidity.

In its 30+ year history, there have been at least three deaths associated with the (mis)use of Jarts. The death of a young girl prompted its ban in the U.S., and eventually Canada.

To put this in perspective, note the YEARLY death toll of other commonly used toys:

Bicycles: 700
Skateboards: 40
Ball: 5 (not including baseball, football or sports related balls)
Balloon: 3

I wonder what the body count is for airsoft and bb guns, indoor darts, bow and arrow sets or that Jackass movie...

Many people are closet Jarts fans. There are Jarts competitions, and people continue to buy and sell black market Jarts anywhere, except Ebay. Some people have very strong feelings about vintage Jarts and the ban.



If you're curious about playing the game, and don't have vintage Jarts, this kinder, gentler version is available. Legally.

Congratulations, Torrance Tartars!

Kudos to our frosh/soph basketball team who won 9 out of 10 games this season - big hearts, great teamwork, dedicated coaching brought it all together.

Better things to come!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Gewgaw - Chalkware Baby

I just bought this off ebay, and I was so ecstatic - she is fantastic:


I don't know how many of you know about Esther Hunt, but I can never afford those busts. They are very expensive, and well, I just can't rationalize expending that kind of dough on a big chalk head.

But this little girl is so cute, I couldn't stand it, and when I got her for as cheap as I did, well, I just had to have her. She's worn and chippy, but oh, so perfect.

I'm so weak.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Not-so-Gewgaw, George Nelson for Howard Miller Chronopak Clock

This is a departure from the usual flotsam and jetsam posted here. A very classic design, and up for auction on ebay:

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Gewgaw, Mascon Mechanical Bank

Ah, the halcyon days when toys were actually manufactured in the US. Here's an example from Lorain, OH:


You push a lever on his butt, and he deposits the coin quite effectively in the slot on his back.

If you are interested, you can find him for sale here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Japanese Car Classic Club - Torrance, CA



I have a soft spot for these old cars - they were popular when i was in high school.



Does that make me a classic?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Gewgaw: A face only a nut could love

I've got a loverly bunch of coconuts.

Actually, just one. He's for sale. He's a hollowed out coconut box. Frankly, I-don't-really-know-what-the-heck-it-is, it may not even be a coconut. But, he's awfully cute. In an homely sort of way.


You can pick him here.

Trash Truck vs Electric Company

I'm losing my electricity on Friday - the electric company is changing out transformers or something. There's no parking on the street on that day, in the morning.

It's also garbage pickup - so I get to watch dueling trucks and trash.

Let the games begin.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Gewgaw, Abraham Lincoln is For Sale

I got it in my head to separate myself from my hoard before I turn into a subject on one of those reality shows.

Here's a fine gewgaw example that I have no idea what it is.



It's addressed to a Cpl. Thomas Audio, so I wonder if it was sent directly through the US mail. I suspect it dates back to WWII.

You can see it and the rest of my 'treasures' here.