Thursday, February 21, 2013

Vintage Napcoware Santa

We spent the weekend up in Michigan - and as usual - made a stop at the Great Lakes Antique Mall.  I really like the place because it doesn't have very much furniture and mostly focuses on 'smalls'.  There was a booth that still had some Christmas stuff up and had it marked at 50% off their list prices.

The Mall is set up with a bunch of different booths with each one seemingly operated by a different vendor, so there is little room for negotiations.  The vendors of the booths aren't there in person typically.

But, a 50% off Christmas sale?  I couldn't pass it up.  I saw this tall Santa planter and with a sub $10 sticker price, I had to bring him home.  He might be the tallest Santa we have now.  For less than five bucks, he'll be a great fit next to the rest of the vintage Santas.



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cracker Barrel Selling Faux Chocolate Easter Bunnies

Look at what I spotted at the Cracker Barrel?  A pretty tall faux chocolate bunny.  They've painted his eyeball, which is something I haven't done, but other than that they look a lot like the bunnies I've made in the past.  They wanted $19.99 for the large ones.  I have about $20 in the process to make three of them, so these guys have some healthy margins.  Granted....they're not using water putty to mold them as they're made of lightweight plastic, so they're probably even cheaper to produce.

Is the faux chocolate bunny going to become a hot Easter-season item?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2013 Water Putty Bunny

Here's the first bunny out of the mold.  After some drying and some Dremel-ing, we'll put a prime coat on this guy, then we'll have some fun painting him in a finish coat.  The Babe helped me make this one, so she wants to paint it her favorite color:  pink!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Rocky Gap Road Sunset

We caught a pretty amazing sunset at Rocky Gap Park over the weekend.  In between the moans out of the backseat complaining about why we're not leaving, we enjoyed a nice quiet moment of reflection.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

This Year's Bunny Mold: Sitting on a Stump

I picked up a new mold from KHL Molds last week and started to make this year's bunnies.  I received a really sweet note from the owner of KHL Molds - and a special surprise - that I'll cover later this week.

I've filled the mold already once with water putty and the cavity is a lot smaller than last year's and only requires one blend of material to fill the whole thing.  That means I can likely make *more* than I have in the past...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

American Flyer Service Kit

I found this vintage American Flyer "service kit" at a Naperville antique store last week. I didn't buy it, but for the right American Flyer collector, it seemed like a great pick-up.

Friday, February 15, 2013

DIY Shuffleboard Table?

I've been thinking about DIY'ing a shuffleboard table for the basement for a while and after doing a bit of research on the web, I went looking on Craigslist for something that would make a suitable playing surface.  Well, well, well.  Lookie what I found here.  Some re-usable bowling alley lane wood.

Seems like 18 linear feet of that stuff would work just fine, wouldn't it?  Wonder if I can rent a truck that'll hold 18 feet?  And...wonder if I can convince Nat that this is a good idea?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chicago and North Western Trains @ Riverside Plaza

I was in 2 North Riverside Plaza for a meeting this week and on the walk back to Ogilvie Station, I spotted this neat Chicago and North Western Train sign.  You may not be familiar with C&NW (or CNW), but I have a family connection to the heritage - and now defunct - train line.

My oldest sister was an in-house counsel at the railroad ahead of their acquisition by Union Pacific.  It is pretty neat that they've kept the sign up near the station as a reminder of year's past.  When we built out the Babe's Lionel train this year, one of the cars that she ran was a CNW tanker car that we picked up because of my sister's tenure with the railroad.  At one time the Chicago and North Western (two words, unlike the University!) was one of the longest rail systems in the country.  And today?  It is gone.  But not the signage.  In fact, if you look closely, you'll see CNW badges on some of the overpasses and on some of the freight cars running on the UP lines in the Western Suburbs.  I always get a smile when I see them.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Snowball Fight in Legos via my Nephew

My nephew had his lego "snowball fight" build displayed at our local library along side a dozen or so others.  Really neat to see the creative juices flowing as he built out his scene.  Two things jump out at me:

1.  The guy in the middle on the right is on his belly with - what I think is a snowball on his back.  Must have been a tough shot.

2.  That tower in the middle has a dude up on it, too.  That's the cat-bird seat.  Great vantage point.  But...you'll run out of snow really quickly, won't you?

I loved Legos as a kid and it is neat to see them persist across time.  I love the fact that this isn't a 'kit', but he created it instead out of a random set of blocks - the way you are *supposed* to play with Legos!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Sledding Hill - 2013

This week, I found time to get out and hit the sledding hill at Eldridge Park in Elmhurst with the Babe.  We bundled her up like Randy and she hit the hill with some of her cousins.

I had to literally drag her away from the hill.  I think we'll be back if this snow hangs around.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Design School?

We were at a stoplight behind this Volvo when I spotted the weird collection of stickers on the back window.  First, the 'Semester at Sea' sticker?  That's weird, right?

But, the 'Parsons The New School for Design' one that - frankly - isn't designed all that well struck me as odd.  Maybe that's the way it is supposed to be?

Sunday, February 03, 2013

HB Jones - Elmhurst

Last night, we went out to the new burger joint down on York Road called HB Jones.  After waiting for 10 or so minutes to get a table, we found ourselves in the front room in front of the fireplace.  The restaurant is made up of three rooms.  The back greenhouse room - where you enter.  A middle bar area with high-top tables and a smallish front room that has windows out onto York Street.

We had a great table and a nice enough guy for our waiter.  On both sides of our table were families with multiple kids, so we fit in just fine.  It *was* 5:45 on a Saturday, so it wasn't like we were competing with date night for seats.

We'd heard good things about this place.

As we were leaving, Nat asked me a question:  "Are we too picky?"

That's how I'd sum up our experience.

Now, granted...neither of us had a beef burger.  We both had turkey burgers that were topped with huge amounts of various toppings.  It almost seemed like they were trying to cover up an ordinary burger with lots of Merkt's and bacon.

We also ordered an appetizer and it wasn't great, either.  The runner who brought our food out told us that a dip was a "avocado/gaucamole-type" but it turned out to be wasabi.  Great for Nat who took a big dip in the pool.

We'll probably give this place another shot because it was pretty kid-friendly, is a local business and serves casual food.  But, it won't be because the food knocked our socks off.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Shot Clock on the Floor: The New Yellow Line

See that red box down near the baseline that has the number 30 transforming into the number 29?  That's the shot clock.  And in this Duke/Florida State game today, it was the first time I have ever viewed this innovation.  Is this new?  I feel like I watch a lot of college basketball, but maybe the B1G network games are slow on the technology uptake?

I really liked this box and it increased my interest in the game.  This seems like another innovation that brings us one step closer to the idea that stadiums and arenas are increasingly becoming "glorified studios" for the tv audience.  As the cash from tv becomes so big, the fans attending the game become less and less important.  Guess who didn't see the shot clock box?  That's right:  those folks who are in the stadium.
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