Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

vintage toys

Today I went to a toy and collectible show, something I haven’t done in several years. Actually, now that I think about it, I haven’t gone to one since the 1990’s, although they do tend to have the kind of toys I like at comic shows. The odd thing is that they don’t seem to have them at toy shows anymore, or at least at this toy show. Instead, I saw a lot of oddly amusing vintage toys.

These monkeys, for example:

monkey toys

You really need to click the picture and see it bigger to see their crazy eyes. In the book Skeleton Crew Stephen King has a story about a killer windup monkey with cymbals, and I swear to God those monkeys look exactly the way I imagined that thing when I read it.

The Remco Movieland, on the other hand, intrigued me:

remco movieland

I wanted to buy it and bring it home to see how it worked. It says it comes with six movies. Are they real movies? Do they actually move, or is it like a slideshow? And how much fun would it actually be to play with? Most kids don’t like sitting in the dark for very long, especially if they’re trying to play with their cars at the same time, but I think if I’d had that as a kid I would have played with it all the time.

I never would have played with this, but I’m wondering who did:

ding dong school scrapbook

I was laughing so hard I thought the woman was going to ask me to leave the table.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I saw many strange things today that left me with questions:

1) Who thought Chocolate Skittles were a good idea?


I saw these in the machine and, of course, bought them immediately. I like chocolate, and I like Skittles, so this seemed like something I should like. Once I got the bag open, I realized that conceptual problems abound.

out of the bag

They look like rabbit poop. Once you put them in your mouth, the texture is the real problem. The flavoring, doubtlessly from the same plant in Jersey that makes French fries taste good, is perfect. It really tastes like you have a mouthful of brownie, but… it’s crunchy? And a little chewy? And not anything like a brownie? They were tasty, but odd.

2) mark harmon?

Mark Harmon? The actor? Is he in need of support for something?

3) What are they doing in Sweden that we’re not doing here?

west knox news

I'm fully aware of Swedish fish, but Swedish erotica?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

I am a superstar, today at least.

Two Februaries ago my friends Tiff, Amy, and I took a vacation to Las Vegas, where I pretty much filled up my camera’s memory card with pictures of food and shiny things (I’m not sure which I enjoyed more) and generally had a great time. My favorite picture of the trip turned out to be one of my favorite pictures ever:

golden gate

It’s even one of my ten favorite pictures that I printed out and hung on my office wall for narcissistic decoration:


Well, it turns out that the Golden Gate Casino enjoys my picture as much as I do, because I received an e-mail from the marketing manager on Friday. They’re redesigning their brochures and found my picture through a web search, and wanted to use it! After a couple phone calls back and fourth we decided to trade the photo usage for a comped stay at the Golden Gate whenever I want to go back to Vegas, and I got to keep the rights to my picture, too.

So really all I did was point and click, and I got a free vacation.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

the big house district

On my way to work every morning I drive through a stretch of road that I mentally refer to as “The Big House District”, because for a mile or so the street is just churches and big, expensive houses with wide lawns. I don’t usually get to look around much on that part of my drive, because there is a lot of traffic moving very fast, so I thought it might be nice to go out and walk some of it since it’s so warm today.

Even though we just had snow the other day, there are signs that it might actually be spring:


Granted, they probably came from a store since they’re all blooming at once, but they looked so bright and alive. The trees aren’t really showing any buds yet, though:


Nature’s showing up in other places, though, mostly assaulting the many walls in the Big House District:

crumbling wall

I read The World Without Us last week, and was thinking about how nature eventually gets into everything, so I was amused to see plants splitting the wall apart.

I also got to walk past the house that I love to see every morning:

the spanish castle

If I ever win the lottery, I’m buying that house. I think it’s an apartment building, as the mailbox out front had multiple numbers, but I would still buy it and move into one of the apartments.

I even managed to make my walk educational:

Gen. Sanders

I was looking around for an arrow that would show exactly where it happened, but they probably didn’t mark the exact spot.