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Andy Hooper on Fingerboards
This is a new one on me! I had no idea that miniature skateboards, to be rolled around with your fingers, are a current toy craze. "Once it became clear that collectors actually wanted to roll the toys around, they needed miniature ramps and parks to do tricks in. Boarders can buy a complete line of ramps, half-pipes and platforms under the brand-name 'Berzerk' by Hobbico. X-Concepts has introduced a series of skate park miniatures bearing the name of professional legend Tony Hawk, including a park bench and picnic table combo that was a very popular gift on eToys this holiday season. Finger riders trade trick instructions across the Net, and you can even get a special 'grip wax,' Sticky Fingers." Andy is always fun to read, but this item surprised me!

Thursday, December 30, 1999, 08:52 a.m.


Are You Wacked? Personality tests from Wally
Wally has a mini-portal here: links to many for-fun or for-serious personality tests on line. "What's in YOUR Name? Test 'Don't name that rug rat before you consult this Web Site!' is what the Kabalarians want you to do. Why? So they can milk you for some money, that's why. An interesting test that has 260,000 names for you to choose from. The information on the name, Wally was mostly inaccurate, but really, if you are naming your kid Wally there is no telling what messed up tendencies the poor tyke will suffer."

Wednesday, December 29, 1999, 09:01 a.m.


Endgames and Entropy Curves
From the Stranger: "What all this means, in short, is that most Y2K problems will not manifest themselves over the New Year's weekend, but in a more piecemeal fashion and over a much longer time. The corollary: Most Y2K glitches will not be catastrophic in and of themselves. Their potentially debilitating aspect lies in their cumulative weight, and the difficulty of tracking down the sources of each particular error when multiple, simultaneous failures are occurring. Thus the real question is not when we will fall off the cliff, but when -- and at what rate -- we might begin to travel down the entropy curve."

Tuesday, December 28, 1999, 07:59 a.m.


Gwen moved again
But it's worth it following her, even though she wasn't able to leave a forwarding page. here's her latest: "They're showing the Battlestar Gallactica movie. You know what that means? That means I have it on softly right next to me, and when I see the Cylons on screen, I crank it up loud. Then I silently mouth whatever words they say. Then I wish I had one of those voice synthesizers. Then I resolve to call around and try to find one on my birthday."

Monday, December 27, 1999, 02:57 p.m.


Millennium 1.0 in Emerald City zine
Cheryl Morgan, inspired by the book The Pursuit of the Millennium by Norman Cohn, has written a clever newscast from 1000 AD in the latest issue of Emerald City:

The scene switches now to the far west of Cornwall where the ASC Natural History Unit is searching for a very special creature. The presenter, of course, is David Attenburrow.

"Hello. You join us here as we prepare for an event that the natural world will see but once a Millennium. I speak, of course, of the arrival of the Great Beast of the Book of Revelation. Our Holy Scriptures tell us that it will arise out of the sea. We know that it is a creature of prodigious size, perhaps too large to swim through the narrow confines of anything but the great ocean that surrounds the world. And so it is here, at Land's End, that theologians expect the Great Beast to make landfall in England. We aim to be here to capture that moment."

"But whilst we are waiting for this exciting event, what can the Scriptures tell us about this unique animal. We know, for example, that it has seven heads and ten horns. It has the body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion. Why? What special purpose do these features have that make it better suited to fulfil its role in the coming Apocalypse? Which of its heads has the mouth of a lion, or do they all do so? These are some of the questions that we hope to answer as the Beast comes to shore."

"To assist us in answering these questions, I am delighted to have with me Bishop Patrick Muir, the renowned authority in all matters astrological. Bishop Patrick, welcome."

"Delighted to be here, David, and I must say we are all quite thrilled to be here for this fabulous once in a lifetime event."

"Yes indeed. None of us will ever have seen anything like this before."

"Or will again, David. The Scriptures are quite clear about that. The Beast will slay all who stand before Him. We are utterly doomed. There's no doubt about it."

"Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating. Now, what about those seven heads? How do you think those horns will be distributed?"

"Well, to be honest with you David, we don't know. Of course as theologians we can make some very educated guesses. From numerology it is obvious that some heads will have more than one horn. We can point, for example, to the chimaera of ancient Greece which had three heads and, to the best of our knowledge, five horns. But it really depends on those mouths. Do all seven heads have the mouth of a lion? If so, are the entire heads leonine, in which case the horns might be somewhere else entirely. It is getting the answers to questions like this that will make this moment so exciting."

"Thank you, Bishop. Like you, I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to witness this amazing event. All we can do now is sit and wait and hope that the world ends on cue. Back now to the studio."
I really like how she captures Attenborough's tone here!

Thursday, December 23, 1999, 08:08 a.m.


Mid Century Modern Furniture
This is the motherlode of links for "moderne" and mid century furniture. Found via the midcenturymodern mailing list. I'm not a collector of this stuff, yet. But I grew up on Danish modern and such, and mighty smug we felt about it when comparing our stuff to the "colonial" or "spanish" furniture that our neighbors had. See also: Jetset. (but this period is already getting fashionable and pricey -- better start collecting 80s style stuff!)

Wednesday, December 22, 1999, 08:54 a.m.


Mike Leigh, W.S. Gilbert, Arthur Sullivan
I'm surprised at the amount of attention that Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy is getting, though I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the movie. I guess the convergence of G&S devotees and Mike Leigh fans is doing it. (Marc Shepard has a complete and valuable Gilbert and Sullivan discography.)

Tuesday, December 21, 1999, 08:51 a.m.


Candi Strecker: Chappufrino and Other Delights
Candi is a well-known zine writer, but her tripod website is mostly pointers to the print versions. This trip report (a visit to Ohio in the summer of 1998) is a web piece, though. "I may have spotted a potential successor to the lawn goose: the five-flowerpot snowman! (Stack five same-size flowerpots in a column, starting with an upside-down one at the bottom and alternating as you go up. I suspect these pots are either glued into position or strung together on a dowel. Paint them all white, then paint on facial features and glue on beads for buttons and hat pompom.) "

Monday, December 20, 1999, 08:12 a.m.


Marx Brothers Toys
From the always-entertaining Stu Schiffman at the Toy Collecting Channel: "The one true icon in Marxiana collecting is that of the Julius Marx Spectacles, or 'Groucho Glasses.' Truly, you are ready to take on what the world throws at you with this set of black plastic frames, bushy eyebrows and mustache, and Roman nose. These glasses are a perennial of joke shops, novelty counters and mail order houses like Archie McPhee; they are regularly worn by the best of society, or at least the part we'd prefer to be seen with, and have helped shape the routines of the Flying Karamazov Brothers (ho!). Groucho Glasses can be priced anywhere from $1.50 to $5, so be sure to order in bulk and save money. A gross is close to what you’ll need."

Friday, December 17, 1999, 08:36 a.m.


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