The Wilhelm and The Howie

The Wilhelm and The Howie are screams that have been used over and over for many, many years. I just found out about this today. My impression is that The Wilhelm is the classic and The Howie is like a more dramatic version of the part in Total Recall when Arnold gets sent out of the airlock and his eyes pop out of his head and he sort of looks like a really surprised Mickey Rooney for a second.

I will never listen to movies the same way again.


The Main House at Petit Detroit

Last weekend we had friends in town and, as happens too often when people visit us in Baltimore, we went to D.C.. The Cherry Blossom Festival was in full swing. We waited in line a lot. There were crowds and strollers and a pillow fight:

We ducked quite unassuming into the Renwick Gallery to use the bathroom. About ten minutes later, I realized I was in my dream house.

The Main House at Petit Detroit will be modeled after the Renwick Gallery of Washington D.C.. The Renwick is currently home to the Smithsonian Museum of American Art’s collection of craft and decorative arts. The Second Empire-style building was commissioned by William Corcoran to house his collection as the city’s first art museum. The largest room in the building is the Grand Salon which boasts 4,300 square feet of floor space and 40 foot ceilings. That’s about four and a half times the size of our current apartment.

We’ll call our version the Big Room and its purpose will vary. The first image that popped into my head was this massive space with a tire swing. Susie wanted to add a lap steel:

The exterior needs to be a little friendlier (it looks like the Adam’s Family mansion). We’ll have a more open first floor, a two story wraparound porch, maybe a twisty slide.

The place is warm, open, pretty and really, really symmetrical. I want to cook food in a microwave in this house. I want to watch family feud in this house. I could grow really old in this house- it has an elevator.


MOLD-A-RAMA are injection- molded wax/plastic souvenirs made while you wait. The remaining machines seem to reside at museums, zoos and other tourist traps in Midwest and Florida (the Knoxville, San Antonio and LA Zoos also have machines). I have 16 MOLD-A-RAMA castings. None of them are from Florida. I think I would be in to them even if I didn’t have childhood memories of the bubble- top machines that poop out dangerously hot souvenirs.

Major Collector

3-D vs. 5-d

I was at The Walters Art Museum when the gap between then and now closed a little bit.

This is a 16th C engraving by Giovanni Bernardi:


*This is not a rock crystal engraving that The Walters has, but rather one I could use from Wikipedia.

This is a personal memory that will last a lifetime from the fine people at 5d-FOTO:

I’m sure you’ve seen this sort of thing being made at a mall kiosk somewhere or maybe a less- personalized yet highly gift- worthy version featuring a stock car or an eagle or a Rollerblade or something.

The Bernardi tells the story of The Punishment of Tityus wherein a giant tries to rape a goddess and ends up being sent to Hades and having his liver eaten by birds of prey for eternity. The keepsake from 5D-FOTO tells a story that we might never know (though the father- guy of the family looks like he is being similarly punished). Almost 500 years passed between the making of these two things, but both were made under the premise that the making of stuff helps us figure out the world because stories and objects and people are related.


These neo- rococo workout pants / pants for people who want to look like they workout have been a recurrent topic of conversation in the last couple of weeks. A few people I’ve talked to have never heard of the late 80s early 90s cultural phenomenon known as Zubaz. They came up after we saw a guy in line at Chipotle wearing Guitar Hero pajama pants. I remembered Zubaz’ foray into licensing with new pants bearing NFL logos for every team and wondered what brands might fly on the fly of a modern pair of Zubaz (If Zubas had flies, that is.) Of course there would be Spiderman and Hello Kitty and Cars and NASCAR, but there are other brands that might be struggling to find a lounge pant niche: Pfizer, Gold Bond, Planters Peanuts and Vlassic Pickles to name a few.

Zubaz went from being a sort of workout pant to a sort of extreme lounge pant. I had a pair. I bought them at the County Seat in Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin somewhere around 1990. This was among the top 10 worst fashion choices of my adolescence. As an adult, I can see the appeal of highly ornate pants. To wear them now would be to subtly acknowledge one’s desire to channel The Ultimate Warrior and Liberace, to say “Check out these freakin’ pants, they’re freakin’ Zubaz!”


p.s. They’re ba-ack!

The Compund

The Compound is the estate I build in my head while daydreaming about winning the lottery. It is called Petit Detroit and it consists of at least 200 acres complete with cloverleaf interchange, Main Street, 7-11, domes of varying sizes and purposes, mega- shop/studio where I can make anything, guest housing, tree houses, outbuildings, crazy vehicles, highly manicured gardens for horseshoes and granite ping pong tables, campgrounds, swimming pool, big woods, wind farm, Museum of Stuff, swing set house, La Quinta, food court (Five Guys, Jimmy Johns, Taco Johns, something Thai, something Lebanese and the turkey guy from Lexington Market) and other awesome stuff. Yes, I play the lottery.

What are Toby Jugs?

My interest is apparently in character jugs as Toby Jugs, by definition require a full body figure to be sitting and wearing a tricorn hat.

From Wikipedia:

A Toby Jug – also sometimes known as a Fillpot (or Phillpot) – is a pottery jug in the form of a seated person. Typically the figure is a heavily-set, jovial man holding a mug of beer in one hand and a pipe of tobacco in the other and wearing 18th century attire: a long coat and a tricorn hat. The tricorn hat forms a pouring spout, often with a removable lid, and a handle is attached at the rear. Jugs depicting just the head and shoulders of a figure are also referred to as Toby Jugs, although these should strictly be called “Character Jugs”.

The original Toby Jug, with a brown salt glaze, was developed and popularised by Staffordshire potters in the 1760s. It is thought to be a development of similar Delft jugs that were produced in the Netherlands. Similar designs were produced by other potteries, first in Staffordshire, then around England, and eventually in other countries.

There are competing theories for the origin of the name “Toby Jug”.[1] It was named after the character of Sir Toby Belch in Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night. He was an intoxicated, jovial man. It was named after a notorious 18th century Yorkshire drinker, Henry Elwes, who was known as “Toby Fillpot” (or Phillpot). It was inspired by an old English drinking song, “The Brown Jug”, which paid tribute to Toby Fillpot; the popular verses were first published in 1761.

Toby Jugs are collectible. Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is the most high-profile collector of Toby Jugs, with his collection said to be the largest in North America.

The American Toby Jug Museum is located on Chicago Avenue in Evanston, Illinois.


Check out Royal Doulton character & Toby jugs here.

I particularly like this Custer/Sitting Bull combination: