three items of interest


1. The Rat Bowl
For about 17 years, the rat bowl has been a fixture at my workplace; both at the current job and former job. On several occasions I’ve put glowing, flashing EL wire inside for holiday lighting. Once it was taken by a co-worker and filled with Jello. For a while I had a sign-in book where rat bowl visitors could put their name and comments. I used to invite people to rearrange the rodents and people into new and interesting configurations — a living art work. Right now it mostly gathers dust, and I have to say it looks excellent with a light coating of dust.

2. The Magnavox Clock/Radio
My parents gave me this item when I graduated from high school. It’s been in almost continuous operation for 39 years and still keeps time pretty well. It has these weird little slats with numbers on them that flip over on the minute and hour. Radio still works. The alarm still works. I don’t use the alarm because it’s hard to set at a precise time and because it makes a hideous electric tone to wake you up. Sounds like the sort of warning that would go off when high levels of radiation are detected in a lab. When I was in college in Ann Arbor we had a fire alarm in the dorm, and one of my roommates started pounding on this clock because he thought it was the source of the sound.

3. Words Every Parent Dreads

This has been on the wall at home for at least a decade. It was a back-to-school newspaper advertisement for Fred Meyers department stores. Freds was the “go to” place when you needed a possum head. Click to enlarge.


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