Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Xmas, Everyone!

Its Bryan Ferry's Christmas Party, glam is at its peak, and even Roxy Music's publicist gets to cop a feel with '73 Playmate of the Year Marilyn Cole.


Monday, December 19, 2011

And hasit got pictures as well?

"And Mr. Grainger next door could find out where all those narrow gauge railways are."
"He can buy his own, he's not having mine."
"Whose, Dad?"
"Er, yours son, yours."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Uncle Sam We Don't Get Left - May 31 1889 Oregonian

is getting his cruisers ready for a little fun in Alaskan waters, if necessary. Our good old uncle means business when he gets his ire up, and its a cold day when he gets left. Something like ourselves.
Because we cater to the people's wants. We give them honest value every time- that's why we've been rushed the past week. This hot weather makes the light-weight suits go, especially when we sell good suits for $10 to $20.
Ready-made or Made to Order
We do both kinds of work and our suits to order are guaranteed to fit better than any of our competitors.
KOHN The Clothier and Hatter
Cor. 2nd & Morrison Sts.

-May 31, 1889.

[Kohn's was a prominent advertiser in the Oregonian back in the late 1880s. A lot of thier ads have these topical op-ed elements to them. Not sure what the "fun in Alaskan waters" is referring to, though. In May of 1889 the U.S. was involved in the second Samoan Civil War (, so maybe it's a reference to that?]

Saturday, November 05, 2011

How the bridge was built at Thoresby.

Love getting signed copies of books when I buy online. I have like three signed John Shirley books.

That said, James Blaylock's 'Californian' books continue to be superior to his steampunk material (as original as that material was).

Oh, and S.Clarke's (of Jonathan Strange fame) 'Ladies of Grace Adieu' is the best short story collection I've read since 'a Good Old Fashioned Future.'

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

a ghoul by profession and inclination

L'Introuvable § The Thin Man

We went over to a Japanese place on fifty-eighth street for dinner and then I let Nora talk me into going to the Edges' after all. Halsey Edge was a tall scrawny man of fifty-something with a pinched yellow face and no hair at all. He called himself "a ghoul by profession and inclination" - his only joke, if that is what it was- by which he meant he was an archeologist, and he was very proud of his collection of battle axes. He was not so bad once you resigned yourself to the fact that you were in for occasional cataloguings of his armory - stone axes, copper axes, bronze axes, doubled-bladed axes, faceted axes, polygonal axes, scalloped axes, hammer axes, adze axes, Mesopotamian axes, Hungarian axes, Nordic axes, and all of them looking pretty moth-eaten. (p108)
Almost done with 'The Thin Man.' The above-quote was the part where Hammett crawled in my brain and and tickled a literary pleasure center. Double-plus? Myself and the unconquerable C. Collision will be book-clubbing Hammett's 'Red Harvest'! A co-worker told me you couldn't book-club with just two people. Puh-shaw, I say!

Pic: offa Flickr.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Dalek 1965.

Testament to the craft, man. As someone on the DVD extra (from my public library - my taxpayer dollar at work) I just watched mentioned, these are the only Dr. Who nemesis without legs, and this gives them a truly alien feel the rest cannot live up to.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

His hobby seemed to be stoves

Tumble with Insane Man May 11 1882 Oregonian

TUMBLE WITH AN INSANE MAN – Justice McGuire and Constable Hill of East Portland, had a warm rough and tumble fight with an insane man yesterday afternoon. It had been reported to Mr. McGuire that a crazy man was roaming about the woods near Sullivan's gulch, and had been sleeping on the ground without covering for the past week. When they found their man he seemed perfectly rational and while Mr. Hill engaged him in conversation McGuire got behind him and attempted to throw a rope over his arms, but failed and then the trouble began. Although small in stature the man seemed a perfect giant in strength, and it was only with their utmost efforts that they finally threw him to the ground and bound his hands. He was taken to the county jail, where he gave his name as Olaf Nelson and said he was from the Cascades. His hobby seemed to be stoves, as he delivered quite an oration on that subject, and expressed his deepest contempt for anyone who would charge two prices for that domestic article. He will be examined before Judge Rice to-day.

-May 11 1882

Gee, the trouble began when they tried to tie him up? Ya' think? Can't a guy sleep under the sky, dreaming of his love of stoves, without constables trying to restrain him?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Cable-fingered dawn.

Remember the R. Crumb documentary? He had a pile of pictures he had taken of overhead telephone and electrical wires, so he could draw them accurately in his comix. I saw that movie 15 years ago and I've been noticing the overhead wiring ever since.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

hanger-on about some of the lowest dives at the lower end of town

Police Court May 19 1886 Oregonian


Arthur Davis, a negro who has frequently been sent to jail for roaming the streets after midnight, was tried and convicted in the police court yesterday on a charge of vagrancy. Davis, for months past, has been a hanger-on about some fo the lowest dives at the lower end of town, among them a newly incorporated 5-cent all-round liquor establshment, and has made himself conspicuous by his general worthlessness. Davis pleaded that he one time washed a window, and on another occasion a floor. Judge Dement, in passing sentence, told David he had given him quite a number of opportunities to reform, and this time would allow him twenty-five days to debate and think over the subject. It cost Minnie Reynolds 10$ for acting in a disorderly manner and disturbing the neighbors on the vicinity of her residence Monday night. Officer Beach arrested her. She put up $10 bail, amd failing to appear for trial it was ordered into the city treasury.

-May 19 1886

["You are conspicuous by your general worthlessness."
"No! I washed a window, once."

"To see whether the saloon was open yet!"
"And a floor!"
"You were very drunk, and crawling in circles crying."]

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A dozen of chickens

A dozen of chickens - September 22 1883 Oregonian

A dozen of chickens escaped from a coop at the corner of Front and Stark streets, yesterday. An army of clerks and porters collected and "shoved" them into Hedge, Davis & Co.'s establishment, where they flew up on a desk in the corner, upset the inkstand, and after dipping their feet in the ink, ran across some sheets of paper and wrote a lot of what would pass for editorial copy. By the time the fowls were corraled the place looked like a played out chicken ranch.

-September 22, 1883

[Hardy har har! Take that chief! Your handwriting sucks!]

Saturday, June 04, 2011

As usual, a woman is at the bottom of it all

Wants Pay for Keeping a Child April 5 1885

Isaac Thompson, of Marquam's Mount, the wood butcher, whose alleged wife deserted him for her original and only husband, James P. Rahilley, and who caused her arrest on a charge of bigamy, yesterday commenced suit in state circuit court against the said James P. Rahilley, to recover the sum of $1140, alleged to be due to him for taking care of boarding and lodging Matilda Rahilley, a minor child of the Rahilleys aforesaid. the time during which he cared for Matilda is put down at fifty-seven months, and it is claimed that the sum of $1140 is a reasonable one for the services rendered. Just how all the trouble between Thompson and the Rahilleys will terminate is difficult to imagine. As usual, a woman is at the bottom of it all, and she appears to be a very free and easy sort of a female, too. Deserted by one man she twines around another like the regulation ivy round the oak, and is happy once more. the deserter returns and she untwines and leaves the oak on which she leaned with as little regret as if he was a cast-off slipper, and is now happy with her first love. It is to be hoped that the fair sex will not adopt the fashion set out by this sister, as it will tend to mix families, and will make some men as mad as blazes.

-April 5, 1885

[Copywriter: Say, chief, how's this for the Rahilley piece?
Editor: (reading under breath) '...will terminate is difficult to imagine.' Hmm, needs more maudlin metaphor! Skip to it!

Copywriter: Like a drunk teenage poet, you got it, chief!]

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

American Flyer

This was a lovely surprise. I recently got the kids (and me!) some G-scale electric toy train stuff. The extra track received today was in a box which turned out to be an older box turned inside out. I was about to recycle it when I noticed the American Flyer box label afixed to the inside wall. Its an old label but its barely faded at all and its not stained or wrinkled, really. I just cut the cardboard so I have the label only and ditched the box. Might look nice in a little frame, I dunno. I love little scores like this.

Monday, May 30, 2011

I can't recommend this.

We went to the Mult. Co. Fair at Oaks Park. We brought our own sandwiches and stuff but we craved a side of fries. The vendor tents could only provide us with these 'fry bricks,' which I cannot recommend. Under different conditions, namely, extended frying to create crisp fries, it could be good. Instead they are just barely cooked, and the brick name merely a portent of things to come.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

the pilgrim, being an extreme case

A Happy Quartette - May 30 1883 Oregonian


   The city refrigerator is now engaged in cooling off four fire-water fiends [?]. One of those, Maxiel [?], the pilgrim, being an extreme case, is booked for fifteen days; another named Cook, gathered in by Officer Jerelaman [?] night before last, is under a three days term; the other two were capture by the marshal yesterday morning, while disporting at the foot of L street. The latter will be examined this morning. As misery [?] loves company, the quartette is not entirely devoid of consolation.

-May 30, 1883

["The pilgrim, being an extreme case." Yes, who can forget Maxiel, hapless pilgrim to Jerusalem, waylaid in remote Portland, Oregon, succumbing to and gaining notoriety with the local magistrates for Biblical consumption of beer and spirits. This news piece comes from the 'East Portland' column, a few years before Portland merged with East Portland and Albina. In East Portland, bars could not be open on Sundays. The bars complied, and simply let customers in through the back doors - "front door's locked, sheriff, we're closed!"]

Saturday, May 21, 2011

left a lead mark on his underwear

Alleged Intimacy Sunday Oregonian April 5 1885

   On Saturday, the 28th ultimo, at Marshfield, Coos County, D. J. Delauney shot F. A. Anderson with a double-barrelled shotgun, loaded with slugs, bullets and small shot. DeLauney fired at night from his window, the victim being about 100 feet distant in the street. Six of the shot or bullets took effect. One entered the left breast and ranged inward. Another penetrated the scalp near the crown of the head, passed under the skin and next to the skull for a distance of two or three inches, and passed out. Another struck on the outer side of the left leg, half-way between the knee and the hip, and passed out. Another struck about the center of the left thigh, ranging in towards the bone. Another passed through the victim's trousers, left a lead mark on his underwear and burnt a round hole in the skin of the leg beneath, and sixth struck the right hand, between the knuckles of the first and second fingers, followed the bone and came out near the wrist. The reason none of the shots were fatal, is that the assailant used too much lead and not enough powder in the charge. Anderson will recover. Cause of the shooting was alleged intimacy between the assailant's wife and Anderson. DeLauney is a steamboat engineer, and Anderson a livery stable keeper.

-April 5, 1885

[Not enough powder in the charge - that's what Mrs. DeLauney said! ZING! That said, Mr. Anderson might have the world's greatest bar bet-winning story from this: "so, there was me and the steamboat engineer's wife in the kitchen, and the man hisself walks in the door, swears he's going to kill me, and runs upstairs! So I hitch up me trousers and start running down the road and KA-BLAMMEY he give me both barrels, and ssswifft! In and out of me hand (indicates a scar) and noggin (indicates another)!" Bartender: "A'yup, Anderson wins the fiver!"]

Friday, May 20, 2011

Aggressive, complicated, sharp as a diamond.

sahb4 by simonhenry700
sahb4, a photo by simonhenry700 on Flickr.

Julie loved Tubby and he showed her the sort of vulgar respect he reserved for his favourites. She was fascinated by his books and toy soldiers. He'd read all the books and enjoyed the soldiers, but he had no proprietal feelings towards them. He'd brought both collections from Alex Harvey. They had identical tastes, he said, and Alex got bored with it all, needed some money and sold it for its market price.
He was a classic mixture, Alex. Aggressive, complicated, sharp as a diamond, Glaswegian. Dead now. What can you say? We were trying out some work together just before died. His Jacques Brel stuff, which he growled in a kind of Mississippi Clydeside, never sounded more sardonic, and he could shout out a blues with the best. Another Star Club vet.
Not always an easy man to work with, Alex had read more books than the British Librarian.

-Michael Moorcock, 'King of the City,' page 73 (2000)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The people's servants

Great Sherman Circus - September 12 1882 Oregonian



and troupe of


Will pitch thier tent and give exhibitions in the following cities and towns on the following dates:

Lebanon, 6th                  Eugene, 13th
Albany, 7th and 8th        Salem, 15th, 16th
Halsey, 9th                     Fair Grounds during
Harrisburg, 11th                  the week
Junction City, 12th          Portland, 23th, 20th

Dates to follow the above in Oregon and Washington Territory will be published in this advertisement as soon as necessary to notify the public.

The people's servants,

C. & J. SHERMAN, Prop'rs and Managers

-September 12, 1882

[Y'know, the first time I saw this little illustration and read this little ad, I was like "Educated Horses... AND a man in a tutu! Nostaglia, TAKE me AWAY!" Then I (sadly) realized it was just the horse's tail. Also impressive: that horse is running with its stomach about a foot off the ground.]

Friday, May 13, 2011

a true sign of culture in decline

moorcock by matt_really
moorcock, a photo by matt_really on Flickr.

"He wondered by these people embraced family life with such relish.
Perhaps their peculiar tribal habits, their vague liberalism, their inactive agrement about what angered or disgusted them, were means of maintaining a status quo to which they were as committed as any of their more frankly rapacious contemporaries. He had grown impatient with their discussions about H-Bombs, vivisection, dying fish, Women's Rights and clubbed seals while they ate and drank as much in an afternoon as people living a few hundred yards away could buy in a fortnight. He started telling them this. Their hypocritcal posturing was a true sign of a culture in decline. When he informed his wife he was voting conservative in last year's election she had decided they were incompatible and made him leave." (Michael Moorcock, 'Mother London', 1988)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pearlized Pink and Orange

Marc Bolan by Miss-Dandy
Marc Bolan, a photo by Miss-Dandy on Flickr.

I like how some elements of this photo undermine the professional rock star photo lighting and color of this glamour shot. Namely, the pillow on the rocking chair and (especially) the window. What is that out there? Someone's garage?

Let me try

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Neverread and thought lost

Was rooting through the attic and found my copy of Hammett's "The Thin Man." I started reading this ten years ago but ran away when the constant inebriaism made me uncomfortable (I know, strange! but true).

After spending the last year and a half acquainting myself with books of the well-written type, I've been dabbling in 'classics' (Moby Dick)*, some of which I would rather call 'adventure' novels and some would call 'boys adventures' (Treasure Island, Captain Blood). So it seems quite conveniently timed to be going through a box at this juncture in my reading life and come across 'The Thin Man.' So much so that it might leap the que and be the follow up when I finish 'Moby Dick'.


* Tip of the hat to Mr. Collision for getting me thinking about books I've never read.