Friday, October 29, 2010


In memory of the non-starter comic strip "Huérfano Calcetines." Fortunately for us here in Flatware County, the situation for orphan spoons and other partial place-setting, flatware isn`t near as grim as the future for lost socks. We can find their familys. Replacements Ltd. has a collection of 13.8 million pieces of china, crystal, silver, and yes stainless steel tableware. With 455,800 square feet (seven football fields) filled with over 340,000 indexed patterns, their collection of replacement pieces may very well be the largest in the world. 
Playing around their list of flatware I discovered that individual pieces have photo`s attached to their listings, and the list is huge. They even have a pattern identifacation service, don't know your pattern's name? Email a picture of your pattern to As yet I haven`t found any references to the weights of pieces on their site, but  Gary Hovey`s contribution to the flatware benchmark collection is that one cubic foot of assorted stainless steel flatware weighs right at 100 lbs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


   At last, living in my own stilty little cabin (Silver Drawer) again is so good I can hardly explain it. I don`t remember it being so spacious, and I`m really glad I have a good step-ladder because the contents of my cabinets are still a bit of a scavenger hunt. Well I`ve  gotten used to the one`s I can reach anyway, and while I may not have two full place-settings that match it turns out I have a lot of flatware! Ok, it`s not that bigga surprise. Everybody knows that the Lake House-Silver Drawer has always been the preferred final destination for odd, interesting, one-of-a-kind, or aging flatware.

  Well, digging through my desk has been more fun than finding money in old clothes. Most of this stuff seems at least vaguely familiar, but there have been a few real surprises. The smörgåsbord hidden in this old roll-top has already yielded, The Flatware County Diet, and The Flatware County Diet Weight Converter, and I`m still on my first helping. The converter, made by Yuki Orange, has had me chuckling ever since I ran across it. The converter is meant to be an accessory to the Flatware County Diet Game. The still incomplete game-board for The Flatware County Diet Game (above) was first seen in the article "Fat Bottom Feels Pinch" back in November, 2008.The complete rules for The Flatware County Diet Game and a more polished version of the game-board are still holding on top of the things to finish next pile, but I`ve been playing with the converter a lot and it still tickles me.

 I`m pretty sure I never gained this much weight, this fast, even in my first childhood. I`m growing faster than a seal-pup, yeah that`s right, put that club away Buddy. Food tastes amazing and the vitamins Aqua-Vs got me on have me picking up a couple or three place-settings a week. At this rate, next family reunion I won`t have to borrow any at all. Hell, bring the marching band too, what the heck we can use paper plates. What`s a few hundred more spoons between friends?

Thursday, October 7, 2010


   I`d have run out of vacation days by now if my accountant hadn`t said, "Write some more stories, and we can expense at least some of these pediatrician visits." Great, throw that up in my face. At least I don`t need help climbing up in my chair anymore. Being a baby sucked, yeah I said it, but I wish I could remember more of it. About the first thing I remember was being read to, and soon after that starting to read myself. The pages were huge, and even though I loved being read to, I loved bringing the stories inside. Just being alone with the stories in my head was so comforting.

   I`ve been told I was a pushy baby. Apparently the only rest anybody got was when I was exhausted, asleep, or listening to Sidual or Aqua V read to me. Little did I know, most of what I was fascinated by were my own rambling recitations from a few weeks earlier in my "declining years." Reading Sidual`s worn notes was like remembering a dream, and more and more I already knew the endings. I suppose I should count myself lucky, having twice crossed the Rubicon, to find even traces of my memories and dreams. This one begins like a lot of my favorite stories , with a wake up.

   I waited for those damn billy-goats all night, not. The only Trolling I`m into takes a string, a feather with a jingle bell, and a bicycle (trolling for kittens). All I ever got were nibbles anyway, kittens can`t keep up with a bicycle long.

   I woke up under a bridge, even then I didn`t know where. I was a little hungry and broke, but I did have my tooth-brush, and I really wanted to wash my face. It didn`t take long to break camp, and find a gas station. With a clean face and hands, I had just about finished brushing my teefs when someone walked in and past me. His business was brief and as I was drying my hands, he was washing his. I nodded his direction. "Mornin", he said. "Good morning", I replied as I turned to leave. "Hey, ya feel like smoking a joint?" he asked. "I reckon," I replied as we exited to the side parking lot. On the way to his car, he introduced himself. "My friends call me Monster," he said. WE shook hands and got in his car. He was parked in the shade and the joint turned out to be a foot-tall glass bong with a Mucca looking girl floating amongst her draperies and very animated hair on it`s side. He started the car, and as we drove around I told him about the odd dream pair of dreams I`d just had under the bridge.

   In the first dream I was walking a couple of friends to the airport in Los Angeles. We were walking along the bottom of a narrow canyon. Up on the sloped sides blond masons in ironed Egyptian looking white loin-cloths were cutting cubes of stone right out of the canyon wall (there were several cube shaped holes near them), and carrying them off the same way we were going. We had just rounded a bend in the canyon, when we encountered the mason`s and their nearly completed wall. Just beyond the gap in the mason`s wall was a guard and a red and white striped guard shack with a counter-weighted striped barrier swung down blocking the way to the airport.

   There was a guard in fatigues standing behind the red and white stripped barrier. He held up his open hand and said, "If you want to go any farther you`ll have to put one of these green outfits, and reached over the barrier to hand us some. It doesn`t mean anything it`s just a green suit", but we could see farther up the canyon. Guys in green uniforms wearing smokey the bear hats were shoving people in green suits into lines and shouting at them. These obviously weren`t soldiers, but apparently that didn`t matter! "Don`t do it" I said, "It`s a trick, if we`re meant to fly there`ll be another way," and we started back the way we came. The masons were still hard at it, and the wall had grown some while we`d been delayed.

   As we rounded the turn we could see a small white jet flying down the canyon toward us, laying down a cloud of green gas. The masons were apparently unconcerned, as they continued to remove blocks from the canyon wall and carry then back where we`d just been. My friends and several other people headed for the airport had run over to a white hatchback car. Every time some crawled into the back seat they came back out wearing a gas mask. I hurried over and climbed in myself and reached for a gas-mask. There was only one left. "How do you share a gas-mask," I thought. Just then someone reached past me and got the gas-mask. When they pulled back there was still one mask left. I put it on and got out of the car. Everyone who wanted a mask had one. The masons had ignored the entire event and continued to close the canyon.

  The next thing I knew I was walking up a tightly curved interstate on-ramp wearing a back-pack. I came to a fallen aluminum light pole, and hopped up on the fat end of it. I continued up the pole balancing for fun till the metal began to dent in easily near the top. I hopped down, and woke up under a bridge.

  Monster said,"Uh Huh, loincloths, trowels, and masons with long blond hair, sounds like a California dream to me. Then he told me about his dream, "One night I went to sleep and woke up in heaven. Maybe I died, Maybe I didn`t. I just knew I was there, and I knew I could stay. I also knew that there was one thing left for me to do. There was a large hill in front of me. I knew that if I climbed it, when I reached the top, I would be one with the presence of the living God and totally aware of it."

   He said, "This seemed like a great idea, and I started up the hill immediately. On the way up the hill I noticed there were a lot of people on their way up too. This seemed right as well. Soon I noticed that I felt a little better every step I took. This wasn`t a big surprise either, I knew what was at the top."

   But then he saw something that startled him. Monster said, "One of the people climbing the hill with me stopped suddenly, then turned around and started down the hill again! Monster thought, "Whoa, maybe he realized he wasn`t ready yet. That`s ok I`m ready," and Monster continued up the hill. "I felt better than I ever had, and it seemed like every step I felt even better. This is great," Monster said as he stopped, "I`ll go back and bring everybody," and he started back down the hill.

   As with the 1803 experiment of Thomas Young referred to in "The Dancing Wu Lee Masters" by Gary Zukov (pages 60-63...), the addition of another path doesn`t necessarily add only one more alternative destination. How could this happen? How does the photon know there are two slits? How does the information  about what is happening everywhere get collected to determine what is likely to happen here?

   "Every question takes a certain description of reality for granted. Every question makes a statement that is either true or false," Hugh Prather  "A Book Of Games A Course In Spiritual Play."