Don’t Take Any Wooden Pelvises

Every once in  a while I use the  cast off  blocks of wood in the shop to make something for my daughter.

This fellow is a little early for halloween…

and his half -brother…”Scrappy”.



I’ve decided to not clean out my garage but to take all the misc. parts, things, fittings, etc. and instead of throwing them out I’d  make a death ray…yes…A DEATH RAY!!!  Bwaaaa -haaa -haaa! (cue the tesla coils sound Fx).  All you art directors that scoffed at my work….I’ll show you all !

Below are some of my first forays into Ray gun-ism.  I am incredibly impressed by all the steam punked rayguns out there.  Good god there are some talented fabricators toiling away.


I’m not sure what to call this yet but it seems to be made by Sears so I can always return (I am a member of the craftsman club ©  ) it if it fails to disintegrate  my foe, or at least flush him since some of these parts are from a toilet tank.


Above raygun # 2- This baby has a switch on it, so what ever it does…watch out!  it can do it on a low AND high setting.

My Stogie-Caster

A while back I posted a logo I played around with for a cigar box guitar

I finally built the guitar to go with the logo. Kind of ass backwards I know but whether art imitates life or life imitates art is anybody’s guess.  Here are the photos of my little musical Frankenstein, a Romeo y Julieta box with a banjo neck (Are they good smokes?  Supposedly they were Churchill’s favorite… )

a Romeo y Julieta label

I always try to do all my shopping for musical instrument parts in the plumbing aisle of Home Depot.  This actually was a lot of fun, particularly when speaking with sales people.

Me: “Do you have this sink strainer in a smaller diameter?”

Sales Clerk: What size waste pipe do you have?

Me: it’s for a guitar.. not a sink….a guitar uh, made out of a cigar box .

Oh I got all sorts of reactions from  “okay Mr. Deliverance  the great depression is over, they sell real guitars in stores now”  to people who thought it was the coolest thing in the world.  I would advise everyone to check out Cigar Box Nation for all sorts of resources and check out people playing cigar box guitars on youtube  the  playing and sound is  incredible. I guarantee you’ll be converted.

The inside reinforcement for the neck and the sides.

Notice the jack hole at the end in the photo on the left. Yup, this baby is electric! Wired with the best sound you can get for $3.00 at radio shack. Right now it’s got a short piece of copper pipe as a bridge. That will probably change. The sink strainers, on either side on the top,  aside from looking cool and enhancing the sound (I think?) will also catch any bits of food left after dinner so it won’t clog the plumbing!

and …Voila! I can’t wait to start picking and a grinnin’.  As soon as I  learn how to play this baby exactly.

And…it needs a case.

Cold, Hard Notgeld: “Es dreht sich alles um die Benjamins”

In these trying economic times, when money is harder to come by, a lot of us wish we could simply print our own. I was reminded that I’m not the first to come up with this not too long ago. Walking through a flea market I came across some German paper notes that struck me as not exactly legal tender but more official looking than any “play money” I’ve seen. The vendor selling it didn’t seem to have an idea what they were. They appeared to be from the 1920’s or 30’s. I bought 12 (always a  surreal transaction to buy money with…money) of them.  Eventually I  showed them to Nora Krug, a colleague at Parsons (a talented illustrator) and my connection to all things German. Nora identified it as Notgeld, German inflation money. And passed on some links.


(Above) Some of the Notgeld I came across at a flea market.

Notgeld was German paper currency issued in small denominations to replace coins due to a metal shortage during and after WWI. It was produced from 1914 -1923. This “Emergency money” was not issued by the federal government , but by local towns, cities or even large private businesses, and was usually only accepted in that particular town. The notes were done in a variety of artistic styles and depicted numerous subject matter. Local legends, anti-semitism, famous people, cartoons about money (collecting taxes) or being poor…

(Below) The Golem, a subject close to my heart has appeared on Notgeld


I’ll leave the comprehensive lists of genres and subject matter up to the expert sites. Notgeld became collectible almost immediately, thereby furthering their value. At some point the notes were produced based on their collectibility alone and were not intended to be circulated. There are a number of sites with notgeld galleries ( for one), and they show up for sale on ebay every so often.

lesnotgeld2(Above) My first attempt at creating a Notgeld note. I can’t really say who the gentleman is on the front. An eastern potentate? An earlier version of this note was palmed off on Nora for her birthday.


ponzitendollarblogIn the spirit of inflationary 20’s Germany, I propose we institute the following emergency notes (see above), the five and ten denomination Ponzi. Charles Ponzi , is of course, the patriarch of modern day financial swindlers (patron saint?). His name is  synonymous with financial pyramid schemes, and I believe he deserves recognition for his continued involvement in our economy. I personally will be purchasing loaves of bread with my ponzis (Pz) as fast as I can print ’em up. Have no fear though, our engraving dept. is hard at work on larger denominations (the Madoff) too for those bigger ticket luxury items . Please rest assured that when you pay for goods or services with a ponzi, that the note is backed by the full weight of our fiduciary institution and is kept stable through worldwide, state of the art electronic monetary/payments, and can be exchanged for a lesser or equal amount of ponzis which are normally freely convertible into pre-set, fixed quantities.