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Cardhouse
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2003nov01. Pix: Hanko.

2003nov02. Sippey explores the economics of Friendster. I didn’t get the Google snub either, but I didn’t have any numbers behind my shocked expression, just various musculature and bone.

2003nov02. Flagstaff.

2003nov02. CAT TOWN EPISODE 1 [via everlasting blort]

2003nov03. And now. America’s most beloved funnywoman.

What is it that keeps the I Love Lucy corporate juggernaut rolling? Do they air these shows anymore? Do vacationing grannies buy “Lucy’s Famous Chocolate Bar” for their grandchildren, who know better to ask who exactly Lucy is? Has the marketing potential of this particular 30-minute episode been squeezed flatter than a toothpaste tube dropped into an imaginary machine I call the Squozinart?

Yeah, that whole section is I Love Lucy produkt. Teddy bears (the text “Episode 39” is stitched into the bottom of one of the bear’s rear paws, just in case you have to distinguish this bear from all the other I Love Lucy episode bears including the controversial “Episode 84” bear representing the episode in which Fred knifed the super after freaking out on Ricky’s prescription meds ‘cause Lucy switched ’em and shit so she could get into Ricky’s act but it didn’t work and then Lucy went “WAAAHHHHH!” ... hilarious). Mints. Lollilpops. Chocolate hearts. Give one to your girlfriend. “Honey ... I Love Lucy.” “Lucy? Who the hell is Lucy? Get out, you wretch.” (Sedona AZ)

2003nov03. Mail.

I’ve been noticing [I Love Lucy crap] too!! What is going on? I hope pollsters aren’t contacting ILL (nice acronym) collectors bummed about today’s economy because they can’t afford their Lucy memorabilia. Because these goods have no place in any economist’s outlook.

This whole ILL target market subscribes to the catalog “Betty’s Attic,” a useless rag that hawks such products as the ILL leather jacket for $230, the f*ckin’ porcelain doll for $135, and the $100 cookie jar. Weren’t there a lot more episodes produced than the Vitameatadickstick and chocolate factory ones? 'Cause those are the only two on any of the products.

bettysattic.com also sells Pepsi crap. Pepsi?? Not only does Pepsi lack the street cred of Coke, which is still marginally cool, but it’s garish stuff! “oo, there’s a $57 Pepsi throw blanket! Honey, use some of our limited retirement income so I can buy it and curl up watching special-edition Mayberry episodes, which will wind up collecting dust because they failed to fill the void created when the kids made us sleep in the motorhome. Oh, honey, come on! It’s useless, annoying and emasculating. Buy some!”

Vitameatadickstick. I think maybe we’re just starting to see the leading edge of this phenomenon, all of the baby boomers retiring with loads of money and not really knowing what to do with it. A large part of this craptacular surge seems to be locked up in inaction figures, like the one of Louis Armstrong I saw at the Kay-Bee or however you spell that toy store’s name. Which was right next to the Hank Williams Jr. doll. I also have a half-decayed memory of walking through a K-Mart sometime around 2001 and running into The Inaction Figure Cornucopia – but the only figure I can remember from that horrific encounter was George Burns, and of course, Lucy.

2003nov03. Big White Guy: Motion Advertising.

2003nov04. Hey everybody, it’s Zwarte Piet [large PDF] with the Chocoladeletters! Zwarte Piet!!! More on Zwarte Piet here.

2003nov05. NYT: Cupcakes.

2003nov05. The Wiggles: an interview.

2003nov10. Drug raid at South Carolina high school. “They know where the cameras are.” Yeah, what’s your beef, students? Take your constant-surveillance police state poison pills like the good little future factory automatons you are ...

2003nov11. Seven peccaries ran through the front yard today, big ole’ things. Which is weird, because there’s a fence to either side of the three-acre property. They have little sneaky ways in and out of places. There were also hoof marks near the BBQ device. “Mmmm, pork,” one of them reportedly said.

2003nov11. Junk mail excerpts.

Having an actual sample to look at when assembling magnets can be extremely helpful. However, there is a high demand for actual Hand-Crafted Refrigerator Magnets. High quality Hand-Crafted magnets, because of their unique design and delightful appearance, can retail for as much as $25.95 in upscale craft shops and craft bazaars. As a result, until recently, we have been unable to provide samples to our Home Assemblers. Also, our experience has taught us that photographs are not as effective in demonstrating the quality of work required for proper magnet assembly. However, we now have been able to set aside a small number for demonstration purposes and make them available for our Home-Assemblers. If you wish to receive one of these actual Hand-Crafted Sample Magnets, simply complete the form below and send it in with payment of $12 to [address]

Refrigerator Magnets: These cute, handmade Refrigerator Magnets are designed to be highly decorative and yet functional for posting messages. Because of their unique dual-acting backing, they will cleaning stick and remove from virtually any smooth surface (not just metallic surfaces). These are a retail favorite for every family who owns a cat.

2003nov13. Special message to website creators: enough with the “outside link opens new window” junk. I can handle it, I’m a big boy now.

2003nov13. You could guess what this is but you wouldn’t win anything.

2003nov17. I never paid much attention to the actual lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s “It Was A Very Good Year.” Perhaps you would like to see them.

When I was seventeen ...
I had a lot of chicks!
When I was twenty-one ...
It was a very good year ...
I had me a lot of chicks!
When I was thirty-five ...
It was a very good year ...
Again, I’d like to emphasize the chickual portion of my life. It is a large component of this song.
Now the days grow short
I’m in the autumn of the year
Man, those dames were stacked like cordwood.
(lyrics appear courtesy BMI/ASCAP)

2003nov17. The peccaries are now regular visitors to the house. We rarely see them, they’re very skittish. One night was Peccary Porch Night – from the tracks it appears at least four of ’em thoroughly cased out the porch – perhaps I dropped a cubic millimeter of chocolate somewhere. I had also forgotten about the large pumpekin I set out after Halloween for the birds – the peccaries ate the whole thing including the moldy top, leaving a well-cleaned stem and a chewed up tea candle. Word is that peccaries get stressed from dogs barking at them and they get all musky and then it smells everywhere and you have to leave the state or something. Another great reason to attach helium balloons to the little golden chihuahuas next door. The turkeys/roosters/hens are mostly cooped up these days, I think they’re doing the major food pump-up before being shipped off to market. Turkeys are much bigger than the funny-shaped limbless icewads you find in your grocer’s freezer. Frighteningly big. I think they can take the tiny dogs, I was hoping for a grudge match before the turkeys have to go. In the next installment, I will tell you where Martha Stweart’s towels come from.

2003nov27. The turkeys next door are gobbling, as usual. I don’t know if it’s possible to kill, clean, and prepare a turkey in time for dinner today. I think these are Christmas turkeys, or What The Hell Let’s Keep Turkeys For The Fun Of It turkeys. I’m hoping for the latter.

2003nov27. Der forkliften traineningen videoen (2006 youtube). Wonderfully morbid/comic. Essential viewing for the entire family. Favorite bits: blade bit popping off, splashed alarm bell continuity. [via peacedividend at Rokka (film list)]

2003nov28. Mail. Bag.

i am very upset wih your candy. melted ... How can that happen ????You oew me n new bag of candy.

street address

If I oew you n bags of candy, I need to know the specific value of n, that is, the number of bags I oew you. If one train is in South Carolina and another train is in Oakland California headed toward each other and both are travelling at a combined speed of 173mph, what are the chances that I will mail you n bags of candy? Now let’s say n – 2 bags of candy are on one train, and n bags are on the other train.

Good god almighty. I have looked high and freakin’ low for some useful tips on cross-country moves (I already know to check with the BBB regarding movers thank you very much). And then you. And Amtrak Package Express. Gracias.

Interestingly, we are moving from South Carolina to Oakland proper. Are you still in the area? Shall we cook you dinner?

Okay, now let’s say you have a large bag of candy trains. Given that amongst n – 1 black candy trains there is one white toy train, what are the odds that if you select three candy trains out of the bag, none of them is white? What if the bag is transparent? What if it says “choking hazard: this bag is not a toy” on it?

I was just in Oakland yesterday. But now I am not. I flew away in a magical metal bird.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Cardhouse Photo (With apologies to Wallace Stevens)

1. A ghost in the machine
2. Recycling the structure
3. Oblique strategy
4. Near plywood
5. My grandfather learned to live out of a Dumpster during the Great War.

Okay so maybe there are only 5 ways. The perspective is fudgy and so therefore based on the belts and switchboxes and other thingamajiggers and the proximity to Halloween I’m guessing it’s some part of a Samhainish amusement. Like maybe it rotates, that round drum-ish thing looks like a burner, maybe the arms at the top rotate because of heat. Or maybe it pops forward through what looks like a hole in the wood. I can’t tell from the perspective though. Maybe it is part of an elaborate, mechanized, educational diorama about paramecia or sperm.

Cardhouse is great. Like NPR, it is one of my reminders that the world is not all-the-way crazy. Now if only some McHeir would give you a buttload of money.

Actually as it turns out, that photo (down below) is the inside of an “obstacle” at a miniature golf course. The entrance to the hazard is about 15 inches wide, and the ghost is apparently supposed to deflect the ball but it’s on a little chain and there are only three of them and they’re tiny and the belt to the motor is slicker than a grease-soaked politician so the whole contraption doesn’t turn around at all though the motor runs. It’s a good representation of the miniature golf course as a whole – I think I had to shag my ball (note to UK readers: ha ha) from bizarre little dead spots on the course every three holes. It’s sort of the functional equivalent to the store that forgot to care.

2003nov28. I was walking by Supercuts Monday and a woman walked out of the shop, followed by a man in one of those white uniforms that the fake farmaceuticos wear down in Tijuana over their t-shirts and jeans. He said something about a “violation” and then I tuned in to his next statement: “ ... and if you leave the property, it’s another violation.” I match speeds with my new best buddy, the Supercuts Suspected Shoplifter. What do you take from Supercuts? Bad haircut? Bottles of Paul Mitchell Overpriced Chemical Soup Styling Gel? Mr. Supercuts goes back to HQ to grab a cellphone. I’m between the two of them, we’re a convoy of controversy. “She’s wearing a blue jacket, dark cap, blue jeans, two backpacks ... headed east on Irving ... ” She turns the corner, the guy hustles and turns and she’s gone. He heads back to the shop, I walk down the street a little, turn into a parking lot, and there she is, taking off her cap, switching her dark-colored jacket for a lighter one, mussing up her hair, stuffing one backpack in the other one, walking, never looking back. She’s got a whole new look (a thought: get some window-pane cheaters, clown nose ... “you can’t miss her, she’s wearing a freakin’ CLOWN NOSE!”). Now she’s walking right past the back of Supercuts. Turning South again. I was going to ask her if it was some sort of gang initiation but I wasn’t in the mood for a shin-rake that day.