austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

It's a twitchin' town so I'll see you down in Bedrock

Left to myself, I don't buy stuffed animals. I don't have anything against them, you understand; it's just that a stuffed animal represents a commitment to leave it on some horizontal surface for the indefinite future, and around anyplace I live horizontal surfaces are a rare commodity. The last stuffed animal I bought that wasn't intended as a gift was a small coati plush doll I got from the North American Bear Company about a decade ago, because I like coatis and you can go a decade without seeing another stuffed coati doll, and only once has it attracted any attention in airports.

That's not to say I don't own them, since there's something about my personality which inspires people to give me stuffed animals. The newest acquisition is a stuffed green brontosaurus, gift of the brother that my Dad was out visiting for a week. That is to say, it's a toy Dino, the Sinclair Dinosaur. According to my Dad, this gift was motivated by my alleged explanation to my brother once that Sinclair used to be a gas station chain, which on the East Coast, they were. The last Sinclair station I'm aware of in New Jersey has been rusting and declining since about 1976, and looks it (I think it's been turned into some new gas station with an even sillier name since then, though). But on the west coast, apparently, they're still going strong, and my brother wanted to make some point about that. If I did tell him Sinclair was entirely out of business I don't remember; I would think I'd have pointed out they were just gone from around here. Still, it netted me a stuffed dinosaur.

It's a nice enough Dino, and right now it's sitting on top of a box of Harold Lloyd DVDs because there's not enough horizontal surfaces. It also set off about half a day of the jingle/music cue for the sponsors of the old-time radio ironic-twist drama The Whistler (who knows many things) going in my head on nonstop loop, until I remembered that sponsor was Signal Gasoline, not Sinclair Gasoline. (The jingle, such as it was, was just a whistle-accompanied arpeggio spelling out S-I-G-N-A-L, making it a mystery how S-I-N-C-L-A-I-R could be fit to the same rhythm in my twisted head.) Now that I have that straightened out the jingle is out of my head, mercifully.

Trivia: The Greenwich observatory clock was recorded in 1850 as managing a deviation of about 0.149 seconds per day. Source: A History of Mechanical Inventions, Abbott Payson Usher.

Currently Reading: Sol's Children, Edited by Jean Rabe, Martin H Greenberg. In one story, on a race to fly by the nine planets in nine days, the navigator mentions the risk on the Pluto encounter, since the orbit of Pluto and Charon is so unpredictable they can't be sure they won't fly into one of them. This is the sort of thing that gets books thrown at walls.


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