Infernal weather

I think I figured out what was getting me in such a funk about Halloween and things in general lately – the weather. There is something so utterly non-spooky about mid-80 degree weather. I realized this as soon as things got a little chilly today and I started perking up. The first thing I did was look through the last 12 months of my iPhoto archives so I could share some spooky stuff with you. It turns out there is spooky stuff all year round; you just have to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate it.

Safety Last Green Flame Jack-o-Lantern:

Passive-Aggressive Booby Trap:

Word Bubbles Planting Ugly Thoughts:

wordbubblesdeathand last but not least, THE WINNING HAND:

Sweet dreams tonight.

A hairy night

Yipes – Halloween is next Friday and I almost forgot to post a spooky cartoon. How could I do that? Take your time with this one. I think it takes a while for the spookiness to seep in.

Etiquette & superstition: early arrivals

Which racist vintage cartoon* do you want – the “Early Worm Catches the Bird” or “The Early Bird and the Worm”? Neither? I’m fine with that. No picture today.

ETIQUETTE: You should arrive early or at the very least on time for job interviews, weddings, and meals at restaurants with friends. Arrive on time for children’s parties. For dinner parties at a person’s home, you should never arrive early, unless you have specifically been asked to help the host/hostess with preparations. If you arrive early, you may seriously mess up some last-minute preparations or even catch your host without their face on. In Venezuela, it is considered rude to even show up on time to in-home dinner invitations. Arrive 15-30 minutes late.

SUPERSTITION: Babies born early in the morning have a better chance of living to an old age. Early teething means another baby is coming soon. If you see bats flying around earlier than usual in the evening, good weather will soon be coming your way.

*Really. These bird/worm cartoons were worse than usual. Oh, humans.

That’s Implausible!

This is it. This is the clip from That’s Incredible that I’ve been looking for to post during the Halloween season, the story that made all us Sunnyvale kids a little cocky the day after it aired. John Davidson, Cathy Lee Crosby AND Fran Tarkenton all talked about our local toy store. The haunted toy store. Yes, I know I’ve talked about my childhood haunted toy store here before, but 1) not for at least three years according to my archives search, and 2) I wasn’t able to include this particular TV clip previously. Prepare to be astounded by the haunting image of a supernatural being from the mid-19th century wearing clothing clearly purchased from the Sunnyvale Town Center Miller’s Outpost.

Thanks, Dom!

Slow leak kind of week

If you find yourself saying “psshhhht” a little too much throughout the day, you might want to check your psi. Turns out I just had a screw in my tire. Pep Boys patched it for free.

Word of the day for Thursday, October 16th

Looking through 1860’s A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words is a great way to waste a large amount of time. You’ll learn that a bitch party is merely a tea party, cheesy used to be a good thing, and there have always been lots of words for drunkenness, prostitutes and money. My favorite words in the book, however, are the ones that are slang for something that you don’t see much of these days. To wit,

Glitter Texta “mush faker.” That’s an itinerant umbrella repairer. “Mush” was short for mushroom, which was slang for umbrella, and I guess a faker is somebody who patches something up so it works all right. That’s all well and good. The thing about this, though, is that there used to be guys going from town to town fixing umbrellas. That is a high level of specialization. That’s like being a person who fixes the end of your shoelaces (the aglet, you know), and he only sets up shop at train stations. Sure, if this was the only thing you did all day you’d get really good at it, but variety, spice of life and whatnot. Maybe this is why I’ve never seen a mush faker. I sure hope I don’t break my umbrella any time soon.

Published in: on October 16, 2014 at 4:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Animal Farm

Some animals are more equal than others. Those are probably the one that get more lollipops and terrycloth polo shirts.


I’m pretty sure this came to my attention via the proprietor of filledwithchocolatepudding
Published in: on October 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I am the rat king, I can do anything

Henry. Code name Kiké. Escaped from Solano and is back on the mean streets where he learned to keep running. HENRY. Eight pounds of tan wire hair and survival skills. Go see Henry, The Rat King. Rated PG-13 for language and intense situations.


Published in: on October 10, 2014 at 3:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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999 hoppy haunts

My young ward and I were walking about the neighborhood recently when we noticed something interesting happening at Bunnybury – the house with the hundreds of rabbit figurines in the yard. Mainly, there were no more rabbits. There were, however, quite a number of ghouls and ghosts and skeletons and such.

Note young ward’s tongue lolling about in terror. Wow. What happened to all the rabbits?

Oh, there’s a couple. They look terrified. I guess I would be too if I found myself in this unsettling landscape. Maybe they had been invited to a wedding

or had season tickets for basketball

in their formerly pleasant hamlet and nobody bothered to tell them that their world had suddenly turned into Night of the Undead Lepus. Or something. I guess those don’t really look like rabbit skeletons. Maybe just the ghosts are rabbits. Regardless, pretty darned scary.


Fancy notions, Gilbert and Sullivan edition

You know me. About binomial theorem I’m teeming with a lot o’ news, with many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse. But one thing I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do is count the number of items this neighborhood notions store French General has on its shelves. Fabric and ribbons and antique bingo cards and umbrella charms. Beads and buttons and little bits of chain. There are just too many things. Infinity plus one things.

I’m rather proud of myself for not buying a lot of stuff there, but as soon as I got home I felt the need to offer up a Fancy Notion  here, and now I’m worried that this is my subconscious trying to make rationalizations: “If I get rid of these thing here, I can buy ten umbrella charms.” What am I going to do with ten umbrella charms? Of course, this is what started the blog – the irrational collection of things like ten umbrella charms.

So anyway, let’s not worry about my subconscious and get to what I’m offering today: ten carved wooden buttons.


I don’t know what kind of wood they are. Teak? Monkeypod? Something. the big ones are 1 1/2″ in diameter and the smaller ones are 1 1/8″ in diameter. The quarter is there for comparison; you don’t get the quarter if you get the buttons. You never get the quarter.

If you would like these notions for a project of yours, just write in to the comments section. The first person to write in that can explain why someone would rhyme “animal and mineral” with “modern major-general” gets the notions sent to them free of charge.


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