Monday, February 22, 2010

burn, baby, burn

many years a go my car was broken in to and the bad guys took off with my cd case. i had about two hundred cds in there and i was pissed! since it happened at my parents house while i was in town, their insurance company actually covered the theft. unfortunately, they only paid pack a buck or two per cd, so there was no way i was going to be able to replace the whole collection. instead i used the money that i got for the insurance and got this cd burner instead! i figured that i shouldnt feel bad about burning a cd since i had already payed for it, right? i was a good boy and only burned the cds that i had already purchased, that way i wasnt doing anthing illegal. i already had a computer but this was before every computer came with a cd burner built in, so the only way to burn cds was through this external burner. it worked pretty well and served its purpose, but i have long since gotten rid of the apple computer it was purchased for and have since gotten a computer with a burner built in, so this thing is no longer useful. thanks for helping replace my cds, though! it was actually pretty easy to find almost all my cds, i just went around to every room in the dorm and asked my fellow college students if i could borrow their cd for a little while! the one disc that i was never able to find though, was david bowie's 'hours'. any help?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

heroes in a half shell

over the years i have collected many toys, and sold almost as many in garage sales. some how the immediate cash flow was worth getting rid of so many toys that made me so happy. i used to have tons and tons of teenage mutant ninja turtles stuff! i had dozens of figures, i even had a really cool pizza shooter tank thingy! over time all of them have gone the way of the bargain bin garage sale. all except the original turtles themselves. i could never quite convince myself to give up these originals. and now, i'm glad i never did!
i spent so much time playing with these guys. if i wasnt playing with them, i was using my imagination pretending to be them! leonardo was always my favorite- he had two swords, after all!

alan jackson concert bill

growing up we used to listen to country. i would say that my parents forced us to, but i really liked it! papa and i always had our favorites (papa was actually my favorite, so i just liked whatever he liked...), and one of those favorites was alan jackson. when we were at the hight of our country music loving days, alan jackson actually came to michigan to play a concert. he was about as popular as elvis, so he was filling up the palace in detroit. thats where the pistons play, it can hold 23,000 people, and i think this particular show was actually sold out! we went with my cousin and best friend at the time jeff, along with papa's best friend at the time, my uncle ted. the drive down was miserable- it was one of the worst snowstorms in years, and we were on a long trip going straight through it! it took about twice as long as it was supposed to to get there, but we arrived on time and were ready for some concert fun! i dont think i had ever gone to a real concert before, so i was pumped. we got to our seats and my dad was angry- we had seats in the upper deck, near the back. he thought the seats were terrible, we actually had to use binoculars (which he had brought) in order to see alan very well. i didnt give that a second thought, i just figured this is how concerts are supposed to be. jeff and i had a blast, we sang along with all the songs and took turns using the binoculars. we had an amazing time, i dont think i stopped talking about the fun of that concert for two weeks after we went!

car pens

these came in a wendy's kids meal. they are just pens with caps in the shape of cars. i remember getting them and thinking 'aw, how lame- its not even from a movie or anything!', but then it turned out that they were tons of fun! the wheels on the cars actually turned better than some matchbox cars i've had! i loved the fact that i had two of them, that way i could always play with them like they were in a race or something. i would always imagine while i played with them that they were really fast cars, but when the caps came off, then they could turn into 'turbo' cars that could rocket into the air and could fly. ah, the imagination of youth!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

tube light

this thing is kind of strange. its a desk light, but when closed you can't really tell what it is, it just looks like a white tube. i dont remember where i got it from originally, but i always thought it was kind of cool. i thought it was something i had in my dorm room in college and it seemed like somehting i would have gotten when rex and i lived together. we always
seemed to accumulate the strangest things! my one faint memory of this item lead me to give it to rex instead of just throwing it away.
when i gave it to him he didn't recognize it though. oops! i guess my vague memory of it is actually wrong. oh well, he liked it and took it anyway.

old time

i got this clock as a gift from someone who meant a lot to me. when i used to live in utah i had it sitting out on a shelf in the living room. one day i came home and saw in the trash with the face broken off. i never asked sean what happened, but i assume he or rachael bumped it and it fell and broke. they figured it did was broken, so they threw it away. i got it working again, but had to set the faceplate on it because it wouldnt go back on right. since then it died for good, but i've still been holding on to it. i guess there is some deeper meaning there about the person who gave it to me... finally i did what i should have done all those years ago: i returned it to the trash and left it there.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


when the simpsons movie came out there were a ton of cool movie tie ins at 7-eleven, among them was a six pack of buzz cola. i didn't open them up when i got them to see what it tasted like, i was hoping to hold on to them as a collectors item. unfortunately, one of the cans had a different idea. one of the cans sprung a leak or something, because all the stuff that it had been sitting on were now sticky. in the trash with you, buzz cola!

pack man

i got this when i was pretty little from a flea market. i am not really sure why i got it, but its probably just because it has pac-man on it. its a small toy backpack (about three inches tall). i used to love filling it with stuff and then strapping it on to my big action figures and pretending they were going on a hike.


i always love to go to concerts, and i've been to quite a few. for some reason i often seem to leave with one memento of the event: a drum stick. i don't intend to get one from a show, but they always seem to come my way. one of them is from a newsboys show my friends and i went to back in high school, another is from the band stavesacre when my cousins and i went to see them at an old club in grand rapids that used to be called 'the underground'. i got a third one when i went to see mxpx in minnisota when i was in college. i cant remember where the fourth one came from, but i'm sure it was thrown in my direction during one of the other shows i've been to. its almost like i'm a drumstick magnet or something...


in college i was in charge of a dorm building. one of the RAs who i worked with was a guy named OT. he was from kenya originally. one time during the year his mom and sister came to visit him, it was the first time they had ever come to america. they came and checked out the campus and really loved it. they also brought gifts for some of his friends. they gave me this wall hanging of traditional african art.

driver license

ah, my first license! what a chubby looking kid, huh? if you are wondering, thats why i choose to have facial hair...
i remember the day i turned 16. my cousin jeff and i made a promise months before: when we each turn 16 we would go out to eat at damon's together (damon's isn't around anymore, but it was like a bw3 with really great ribs). so when i turned 16 we hopped in my cutlass sierra and hit the road! we had the blackhawk cd blasting (we were both into country music at the time, for some reason i can't recall). we drove out from sandy pines to damon's and had our first night out driving without any parents! good times. jeff, staying true to his word, picked me up about 8 months later when he got his license and we feasted again.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

olympic pins

i was living in salt lake city in 2002 when the winter olympics were there, and boy was it amazing! one of the most unusual and unexpected parts of the olympic craziness was the olympic pins. i had no idea that there were so many people obsessed with collecting pins from the olympics! all around the city there were thousands of little shops and flea market type areas where people would trade and sell little pins that in some way were olympic related. i actually came across many people who said that they traveled from all over the world to be there. not for the games, but for the pins! they had pins for everything- from actual stuff related to the olympics, to stuff that had nothing to do with the olympics. i remember seeing a pin that was just an image of green jello with the olympic logo on it- and everyone wanted one! even my school produced a couple of them. what did our school have to do with the olympics? nothing! but we got pins anyway!
it was truly strange to be among so many people with such a strange obsession.

chop suey

my friend from college, trixi, loved china. she went there at one point during college and loved it! after we graduated she ended up moving and teaching english there. she stayed for several years before returning to the states, but i think part of her heart is still over there...
anyway, after coming back once she gave me these authentic chop sticks. i have actually used them on many occasions- the work quite well!

star wars trilogy

way back in 1994 the local movie theater, studio 28, had a special star wars trilogy showing. this was long before the prequel trilogy came out, long before the rerelease of the three movies was even imagined. for the 15th anniversary of the original movie, all three were being shown again, back to back! my friends and i were ecstatic! we were really into those movies at the time, and here was a chance to see them all three on the big screen!

it was only fifteen dollars to see all three of them and it came with unlimited pop and popcorn for the day, and one game on their virtual reality machines- now thats what i call a deal!!! it was really fun to spend the entire day at the theater with the guys, and the virtual reality game was so cutting edge at the time! it had a helmet that you put on and you could look around and see a really simple landscape, we tried to kill the flying dragons before they got us, but i sucked at it, so my game didn't last too long.

Monday, January 19, 2009


my dad used to be really in to guns (he has a habit of changing his hobbies quite suddenly). he had an ever rotating collection of riffles and handguns. we would often go out to the shooting range and fire off some bullets for an afternoon. instead of buying new bullets each time, my dad got into loading his own. he had some really strange gizmos that he set up, and with the simple pulling of a lever, you could take a shell insert a primer, put a measured amount of gunpowder in it, and then seal it all up with a bullet! i remember spending many hours downstairs putting the used shells in the cleaner, filling up the powder container, pouring primers into its canisters, and loading up the shells. it was a really fun time because it was something my dad really enjoyed and we could participate in the making of the bullets (and shooting them, of course!).
now that i think about it, maybe his sudden changing of hobbies away from guns was so unexpected. i think it was right after the time we went out to the range and i shot my leg...

go team!

back when i used to hang out with scott and rachel a lot, scott gave me this. why? i couldn't tell ya. i'm not even sure what school that is from. my guess would be arizona state university, but that's just because i know his sister lives in arizona. i don't collect shot glasses at all, and i'm pretty sure scott knew that, but he gave it to me anyway. well thanks, i guess...

holocaust museum

in high school i went on a trip to washington d.c. while there we went to the holocaust museum, which was fairly new back then. it's a museum dedicated to sharing the stories of the holocaust victims and survivors. it was a very moving visit, and included a bunch of interesting information on what happened. what sticks with me the most was the display of hitler's plans for holding the olympics in germany and showing the domination of the aryan race. one shocking picture that i remember vividly from that trip was a photo of a huge pile of shoes that were taken from every jew who was entered into the prison camps.
this was a little 'identification card' that shared the story of an individual who did not survive the concentration camps.

dordt id

these are three of my old student id cards from when i was at dordt. we would need them all the time for meals, you just swipe and eat! we would need them sometimes for different school events too, that way we could get the student discount. the one pictured on top was from my freshman year, and boy does it look silly! that was before i started growing my goatee, i'm sure you can understand now why i refuse to shave it off, right? for some reason i never got a picture retaken for the following years, so even when i had a huge beard and foot long hair, i still looked like this squeaky clean kid in the yearbook!

congrats grad

ah yes, the ol' graduation cap. one of those things that can only be worn once and if you try and wear it at any other time you are considered a freak. who thought of these things, really? a square piece of cardboard on top of your head? really?!? this one is from when i graduated from high school. maybe i should wear it out in public...

world cup

another random keychain (shoot, i thought i had gotten through all those a while ago...). this one is commemorating the world cup in korea and was another gift from one of my korean students when i used to teach in salt lake city.

good hair

this was another art piece i made for sculpture class. i had long hair at the time, which always influences how i would draw other people's hair. i must have subconsiously been influenced by a couple musicians, because this thing looks like a mix between michael jackson and 70's era bowie...

open wide

in college i earned a degree in art. for my art classes i would often have to make different pieces. in sculpture class we were given an assignment to create a face. i was going through a phase in my drawings where i would always draw people yelling, and this is the sculptural rendering of those screams. its quite strange, but i rather like it


each year my friends and i go to the comic book convention in chicago (i think i've been to seven or so of them by now). at the different booths they always give out free stuff, sometimes its posters or postcards, and sometimes its pins. here are a bunch of the different pins i've accumulated over the years i've gone. sometimes the pins are pretty cool, like the spawn one or the 'iron giant' one, other times they are really lame, like the potato saying 'ow, my eye!'... i never did figure out anything to do with them.


when i was in fifth or sixth grade my parents took us to chicago for the weekend. it seemed like so far away back then, like a different world. one of the places we went was the museum of natural history. always looking for a souvenir, i spotted a strange machine that would make plastic moldings of a dinosaur. just slip in a dollar and you could see it pour and squeeze the plastic into the shape of a t. rex! my dad and i thought this was quite cool!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

change is good

my grandpa always loved to give us stuff. one of the things he always got for us was a mint set of coins. each year he would have the newly minted set of u.s. coins for us to collect. i have about 8 or 9 sets. i'm not a coin collector (neither was he, which makes the annual gift kind of unusual), but i think these sets are really cool!


back when i used to teach art in utah i came across this packet of 24 icon pictures of the life of christ. they were taken from different events in his life and illustrated in a pre-renaissance style of art. to me, they looked kind of lame. one of the assignments i gave to my students was to reimagine one of the images and draw it in a different way. it was a pretty cool assignment that got the kids thinking about art, interpretation, and christ. not too bad!

my card

when i was growing up my dad's job was always a mystery to me. he would try and explain it, but i never quite got it. he works at steelcase, an office furniture company. that part i understood. he didn't work on any of the machines, or put anything together, so i didn't understand what he did. once he gave me this business card and i thought it was so cool- now i know what he does! he was a training consultant for operator certification and training for the seating business unit. so, what exactly is that?!?

gift tag

my brother chad has always been known for his terrible present wrapping at christmas. it started off as him just being bad at it, but it turned into him intentionally wrapping them terribly. one christmas he put tags on his presents, but didnt bother to write words on them, just a squiggle. i'm not sure how this helped him figure out who's gift was who's, but he always got it right! the best gift he gave was one year he wrapped up a box of my mom, she opened it up and it was empty except for a little slip of paper that said 'you gits nuffin!' after the uproarious laughter died down, he explained that he ordered her something online, it just hadn't arrived yet.

buck knife

growing up every summer at the sandy pines camping resort was always a lot of fun. for a while there my uncle and aunt had a place out there too. my cousin jeff and i would always hang out together. once a month they had a flea market out there. jeff and i always loved to go and check it out. i would want to stop and check out the booths with movies or comics, and he liked to check out the booths with sports stuff or ball caps. there were always the random junk booths too, which we both loved to ruffle through. for some reason we were both obsessed with knives (like most middle school boys...), so when ever we would come across one we would want to get it. this one was a heavy silver knife with a silver sheath that had a buck on it. he and i both gazed at it longingly. we pooled our money together and bought it! i'm not entirely sure why i ended up with it other than the fact that i was a pretty bossy kid, and jeff was a bit of a pushover...


ah, got to love outdated technology, huh? back in the day tapes were the cutting edge, there was no such thing as a cd or mp3s back then. this is a collection of different kinds of tapes, one is a cassette single, which bands used to release, it had their single on one side, and then the b side had another song from their album or an unreleased song. they used to sell them for fifty cents or a dollar at the music store. another one of the cassettes here is a mixtape. i remember many hours being spent making assorted mixtapes. some were compilations from other cds, some had songs taped right from the radio, and i even remember recording sound from the tv! i used to record different cartoon theme songs that i liked and wanted to learn the words to, like 'animaniacs', and 'bill and ted's excellent adventures'! another cassette is a mini-tape. i remember my dad used to have a mini-tape recorder for work, and i just thought it was the coolest thing ever! im not entirely sure why i have one, since i havent actually seen a mini-tape player in about 15 years... the last cassette is a professional quality recording tape. this one came from my college days as a radio dj. my friend robb and i used to have a radio show on the campus radio station. one of the times we were supposed to be on we werent going to be able to make it, so we recorded it in advance and just had them play it when our time came up. there was a basketball game the night it was to be broadcast, and i remember robb and i having great fun talking about it as if it were happening when we were recording it. it seemed funny at the time...

backstage pass

in college a few buddies of mine and i put on a music festival. it was called 'fire & ice' and this was the backstage passes we had for those who were in charge of running it. and featured about 20 bands on two stages, it started around 1:00pm, and went till about 11:00pm. it was a big day, and we were actually able to get a few nationally known artists to come and play. they weren't really big bands, but they were known among the christian college scene. the headliners were all star united, along with silage, rich young ruler, everybody duck, eric champion, common children, and the normals. there were a bunch of other bands who were local to the area, or just local to the college. it was a really great time and an amazing show. as one of the people behind the festival, i got to spend some time with the different bands. almost all of them were really cool with only one or two exceptions *cough* all star united *cough*. the best part, by far though, was hearing and getting to know the band 'the normals'. they were amazing, and went on to put out two more incredible albums. their lead singer, andrew osenga, is still making some truly moving music. it was a ton of work and took a lot of time to set up, but it was all worth it just to meet the guys from the normals!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


back when i worked at the family fare grocery store, i was good friends with mike, the guy who worked in the general merch department. he was in charge of all the beauty products, and a ton of other odds and ends in the store. he was also the guy who would order any movies that the store would carry. sometimes he would get a cool cardboard display that went with them. when toy story came out on tape, there was an awesome display case that it came with, it had little cardboard cutouts of all the different characters from the movie. i asked him if i could have it after all the movies were sold, and he said sure. i brought the whole thing home and set it up in my bedroom (much to the disgust of my mom...). i had it up for a few weeks, but it was just too big, so i threw it out. but i did keep this one little cutout of my favorite character- the alien!

who watches the watches?

i am, by nature, a collector. one thing that i collected, for a short time, was watches. i've had a ton of them over the years, and here are some of the most memorable, everything from mickey to star trek! most of them i never wore, but i still loved to collect them.

i am the pumpkin king!

one of my absolutely favorite movies growing up was 'nightmare before christmas'. i would watch it all the time, i had the soundtrack and can still sing along with all the words, and have seen it in the theater 4 times (twice in the past couple years when it is rereleased each season in 3-D). the movie is just so much fun!
back when it first came out, burger king did a promotional deal with the film and sold these cool watches. i loved this one so much that i made sure to keep its original box and packaging! its even still got the bubble wrap it came with...

tickle. amy.

sometimes bad movies can be good. case in point: congo. the movie is really lame, its about a gorilla who talks through sign language being returned to the wild where they come across a lost city that is defended by killer silver monkeys. its even worse than it sounds, if that is possible...
but on the other hand, its soo good!!! and at the time it came out i was pretty young and had recently read and loved the book. the film is nowhere near as good as the book, but i totally loved it anyway! i saw it twice in the theater and even dragged my dad along once (sorry dad...). in connection with the film release, burger king was selling watches based on the movie. i'm always a sucker for movie merch, so i had to get it. again, i'm pretty sure i never wore it, but it was proudly displayed on the wall of my bedroom. how my mom allowed me to put so much junk up on the walls i'll never know...

Monday, December 15, 2008

lost time

back in the day burger king used to sell watches that were tied into movie promotions. at the time i was really into watches, so i picked one up almost every time they offered them. this particular one was for the movie 'jurassic park: the lost world'. the 'special feature' of this watch was that the face was filled with water and had dino bones floating around in it. wow, quite special! about as lame as the movie itself... i dont think i ever wore it, but i did display it in my room with the rest of my watch collection.

mickey watches

my dad has always loved watches. slowly but surely i grew to enjoy them as well, but i had to be convinced of their coolness. what finally convinced me? mickey mouse. for a long time i would only wear mickey watches, so i accrued quite a collection of them. these four are the only remaining ones that i have. each of them were worn for quite a while- the one on the left even played 'its a small world after all'!
i guess my fascination didnt last very long, because i havent worn a watch, even a mickey one, in about 8 years...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

boldly go

now, i must admit something: i was a trekkie. when i was growing up i really loved star trek. my dad enjoyed it, so he would watch it every once in a while, and my friend adam and i were really into it. we actually attended a star trek convention. actually, two of them.
one year my parents surprised me with this watch, they had gotten it out of a catalog, special order! it kept the time, and the seconds were counted out by an enterprise flying around the face of the watch! oh, and the best part: it had a button you could press and it would play the original star trek tv theme! i wore it often.
sorry to break hearts ladies, but i am off the market...

roger, roger.

another thing i collected for a while was watches. this particular one a couple friends and i spotted at the mall and thought it was terribly stupid. its from star wars: the phantom menace, and its the head of a droid. you push a little button at the bottom and the droid head pops up to reveal the time. there were a couple other ones as well, all of them equally retarded. we saw them and laughed about how dumb they were. then we saw that they were price reduced and we laughed again- 'they're so lame, no one would buy them!' we had such fun mocking them that we realized that we would, in fact, have to buy them! they were only like a buck fifty, so we each got them and wore them for the rest of the day, laughing hysterically every time we would ask each other what time it was.

fire and ice commerical

back in college a buddy of mine, joe, and i organized a music festival. strange, i know, but we were involved in the campus radio club, and that lead us to get involved with some strange things... well, we had originally created it to be an event to just get a couple campus bands to play, but it kind of snowballed into a full-out 12 hour festival which included a dozen bands, some of which were on a national tour and stopped by Dordt to perform. our festival was called 'fire and ice', and among the bands that performed were endorphine, the normals (with lead singer andrew osenga), silage, rich young ruler, eric champion, and many more.
at the local radio station they were willing to play a commercial we cut for the music festival. this strange looking thing is an old school loop cartridge. you could pop this thing into the machine and it would run its 30 second spot, and it wouldnt have to be rewound for the next play.

audio a

this is a little cardboard cutout of the band audio adrenaline. back in high school i was really in to this band. actually, this was the band that first got me interested in music! up until this point i mostly just listened to what my parents listened to, not really having much interest in finding bands of my own. at the time my parents listened to country music and i would blindly listen to whatever they had on. the only thing i liked on my own was disney animated soundtracks.
a couple of the guys had gone to see audio adrenaline in concert and came back with one of their cds. they were over at my house and popped it in and i instantly fell in love! it was back when their first cd was out and i loved the fact that they had a couple silly songs like 'dc10'. soon after i convinced my mom to buy me the cd, and i followed them for the following 10 years. i got this foot tall cardboard cut-out at one of their concerts. my friends and i went to go see them as often as possible- i think we ended up seeing them six or seven times!
as their sound changed so did i. they went from silly pop to rock to folk, then back to rock. i stuck with them for most of it, but after underdog i lost interest. they were a band that changed its sound ever album, depending on what was popular. after underdog my tastes in music began to branch away from the popular and so we amicably parted ways. since then they have broken up, but i still look back on those concerts and albums and remember how much they impacted my taste in music and impacted me and my friends. good times...

Monday, November 10, 2008

key chain collection

i am a collector at heart. i have many collections, among them is my collection of key chains. the fun of key chains is that each of them has a story. below i have taken this opportunity to remember each of their stories and share them. all the key chain posts can be found here.


growing up i always had a keen interest in the civil war. it may have stemmed from the ken burns documentary that was always playing on pbs whenever they did fundraising. every time it was on my dad and i were glued to the screen. over the years my dad and i always talked about going to gettysburg and checking it out, but we soon forgot about it until pbs reminded us each winter.
finally, one summer while i was in college, we did it- we took a four day trip to go see the wonder that is gettysburg! this key chain was purchased at one of the souvenir shops in town. while there we walked the field, took the sightseeing tour, walked cemetery and seminary ridges, scaled little round top, and took it all that there was to see! we were in heaven!!! when we got back from the trip we immediately rewatched the movie gettysburg (which was filmed at the actual battlefield) and kept saying 'oh, we were there!'. i still look back at that trip and remember it as one of the funnest times ive ever had with my dad!


this is a key chain of wakko, one of the characters from animaniacs. i used this key chain for many years, until the chain part finally broke off! animaniacs was my absolute favorite show when i was growing up- i would watch it every single day when i got home from school. the guys and i would spend countless hours talking about it and trying to reinact some of the best parts. there are actually a couple bits that i committed to memory and can still recite word for word to this day. 'hoyle! how'd you, with the going...'


another key chain from our trip to clearwater, florida. this one is shaped like a roll of film (film, children, is what we used to use before there was such a thing as digital cameras. strange, huh?) you could pull out the 'film' from the roll and it was filled with photos of nifty touristy stuff from around that area, you know, buildings and bridges and stuff.


oh, this one was totally rad! i dont remember where i got this one, but i remember playing with it a lot! its only about two inches long, but the trigger and hammer actually work. i remember going over to my cousin jeff's house, he had one too, and we would go and get caps to put into the gun. what worked best though, were those red rolls that would have little paper bubbles of gun powder. we would tear them off and put them under the hammer and scare people with them all the time! i think my aunt or my mom took them away from us at one point, but we found them and got them back so as to cause more mayhem another day!