We’ve all got to have something to fall back upon

Filed under: Errata, Finds, ephemera — olivander January 18, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

From a 1917 Duluth, MN, city directory:

Welcome to the Denialdome

Filed under: Errata, Flashes in the pan — olivander November 11, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

Anytime I hear anything by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, I think of a guy I went to school with who idolized the band. He liked to dress like the lead singer, scarf, little round sunglasses, the works. I remember he also had a “Frankie says RELAX!” t-shirt. We tried to tell him that they were all gay–I mean, what do you think those lyrics mean?– but he refused to believe it. “They are not!” he would retort hotly.

I wonder if he ever found the dangling light bulb cord, pulled it, and discovered himself to be in the closet?

Dis ‘n’ Dat

Filed under: Books, Errata, Finds — olivander August 17, 2009 @ 10:16 am

Who’d-a thunk?

I picked up an ice crusher at a garage sale this weekend. Been wanting one for a while (a proper mint julep just doesn’t work on the rocks), so I grabbed it without examining it too closely. And whaddya know? It’s a Smith-Corona ice crusher!

Evidently, Proctor-Silex was one of SCM’s kerjillian or so subsidiaries.

Fahrenheit 451–the comic book

File this one under either “Supreme Irony” or “You’ve Got to be Fracking Kidding Me”. Ray Bradbury’s classic novel about the diminishment of the written word as a dumbed-down society stultifies itself on comic books, television and Twittering, has itself been dumbed-down into a comic book graphic novel.

From the article on Slate:

Think back to the original novel. Comic books are the only books shallow enough to go unburned, the only ones people are still allowed to read. Beatty, the fire chief, who seems to have loved books once and whom Bradbury has called “a darker side of me,” explains it all to the hero, Guy Montag, the reluctant fireman. When photography, movies, radio, and television came into their own, he says, books started to be “leveled down to a sort of pastepudding norm.” Burning them isn’t so tragic, he suggests, because they are already so degraded.

But is this new adaptation a diminishment of the original, or a clever subversion of the comic medium? Ideas, after all, transcend the printed format and can be embedded anywhere; it’s how we integrate those ideas with our own intellects once we encounter them that gives ideas importance. Is graffiti on a brick wall any less substantial than a painting in a museum if there is an idea embedded within it?


Our 20-month-old son is addicted to baseball, or “bee-ball!” as he calls it. He demands it from the moment he wakes up till he falls asleep (there have been a few nights when the only way we’ve gotten him in his crib is to leave the TV on Fox Sports North with the sleep timer set). He wakes in the middle of the night asking for bee-ball. He throws just like the pros and mimes the hat-chin-nose signals and the base players’ stances. I’m hoping he doesn’t find the miniature Louisville Slugger factory tour souvenir.

You’d be amazed how often some sort of ball game is on TV–fortunately for the sake of peace and quiet in our house. And fortunately as well, I like baseball (being distantly related to a hall-of-famer, I suspect it’s in my blood). The spousal unit, on the other hand, not so much. But even I am becoming drained of enthusiasm for the Great American Pastime. When I am reduced to watching the Little League World Series while wanting to gnaw my own foot off, I know I’ve had enough.

Admittedly, it’s still better than watching that “Baby Einstein” DVD for the umpteenth time.

Heaven help us when football season starts.

Road trip!

Filed under: Errata — olivander July 23, 2009 @ 9:33 pm

I’ll be away for a few days. Heading back to the land of jackalopes and pheasants. I might pop in if I get a chance, particularly with any updates about the Spawn Process’s cast, which–fingers crossed–comes off tomorrow.

Little girl lost

Filed under: Errata, Newsworthy, Nuages — olivander July 7, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

Paris Jackson quietly asked her aunt Janet if she could say something as her father’s public memorial service came to a close, and in doing so stripped away all the grandeur and became the one person to be able to cut through to Michael Jackson the human being. If this doesn’t get to you, you’re a heartless bastard.


Filed under: Errata, ephemera — olivander June 4, 2009 @ 10:31 am

Boldly Go

Filed under: Errata — olivander May 21, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

Eternal Image specializes in what I guess one could paradoxically call lifestyle funerary products. If you’re a baseball fan, they have urn and casket designs reflecting the logos and colors of almost every major league team. There are Vatican Library and Precious Moments caskets and urns. And then there is the showstopper shown above: the “photon torpedo” casket that is part of the Star Trek collection. (There is also a fairly nifty United Federation of Planets urn if you chose to have the funeral home set their phasers for “disintegrate”.)

So what inspired this company? I’ll let them tell you in their own words:

[CEO Clint] Mytych challenged himself to find an industry where branding – and licensing – had little or no impact to date. After months of research, Mytych hit upon what may be licensing’s last frontier – the funeral industry. Together with his partners, Nick Popravsky and Donna Shatter, Mytych crafted a business plan to bring top licenses to the funeral business. Then he set out to acquire the rights to key licenses. Almost every company EI approached immediately saw the opportunity.

Their compassion to complete the lives of the dearly departed just brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?

The more earthly-minded might want to consider a Trappist casket, handcrafted by Iowa monks out of wood harvested from their own 1,200-acre forest. They’re the only source I’m aware of for old-style “shaped” caskets. Their handling of children’s caskets is especially touching.

For the very earthiest is the ultimate in “green” burial: being thrown unembalmed into a grave, sans casket.

I’ve always been partial to my grandfather’s preferred funeral: “Wrap me in a sheet and toss me in the ditch down by the railroad tracks.”

ETCetera rocks: no April Foolin’

Filed under: Errata, typewriters — olivander April 1, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

I don’t know if any of you typewriter folk out there are subscribers to ETCetera. If you are, then you know what a well-written, high-quality publication it is. If you aren’t, well…you’re missing out. I myself put off subscribing to it until this year, and boy, what a twit I am for not having done it sooner! I used to think that it was only for high-end collectors and talked about only typewriters I could never hope to acquire. Yes, scarce machines are prominent in the publication, but in more of a “Cool! Lookit that!” way. There really is something for every level of typewriter enthusiast. If you have a collection of hundreds of typewriters, or half a dozen, or even one solitary but special typer, do yourself a favor and go to the link above and sign on. Tell’em Machines of Loving Grace sent you. If enough new subscribers come their way through this posting, I may come up with a little something as a thank you.


Filed under: Errata, Typecast — olivander February 22, 2009 @ 9:41 am

The things: 1. Smith-Corona Sterling, 2. Underwood Standard Portable, 3. L.C. Smith #8, 4. Royal FP, 5. Tower Challenger, 6. Remie Scout, 7. Erika #5, 8. Royal Signet, 9. Erika #3 folding, 10. Oliver #9, 11. Montgomery Ward Escort 55, 12. Monarch Pioneer, 13. Underwood Noiseless Portable, 14. Olympia SM4, 15. Olivetti Studio 42, 16. Corona Four, 17. Remington Portable #1, 18. Corona Sterling, 19. Underwood #5, 20. Hermes 3000, 21. Woodstock #4, 22. Tower Chieftain II, 23. Adler Primus, 24. Voss DeLuxe, 25. Olympia SG-1

Home remodeling blues

Filed under: Errata — olivander February 12, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

So much for the awesome hardwood I had hoped was underneath the dining room carpet.

And in the hallway.

I shudder to think what we’re going to find when we eventually take up the dog-poop-brown carpet in the living room. Maybe it will be so horrifyingly retro that it will be fashionable again. That’s sort of the strategy I’m going for with the stairway carpet in the top photo.

PS: my cat is a camera whore.

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