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In which things are bought - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
In which things are bought
Last month I went a bit crazy for nostalgia, so I went out and made a number of Internet purchases, the last of which arrived today. Here are some of them!

Autopoint is an outfit in Wisconsin that sells proprietary writing implements, through Yahoo. They happened to have one of the best prices I could find for those 1.1 mm pencil leads I was looking for. Actually, the best price was an outfit in Texas, but they only sold within Texas to government and educational organizations. Sure, these leads are only 1-3/8" long, but my pencil can't hold much more than that!

The Architect of Sleep is about a guy who accidentally ends up on a parallel Earth, where raccoons evolved into modern bipeds instead of apes. They communicate in sign language and are at a medieval level of technology. Their brains, however, are superior, so the human has to cope with the fact that he'll only ever be viewed as a monkey with a novel intellect. He has a background in anthropology, and so he analyses his surroundings in that mindset, which is an extra appeal for me. The story is incomplete, however. Steven Boyett's been thinking about re-doing it. I hope he finishes the story, but in case the style changes completely if he does, I thought it best to own the original. Thanks for encouraging me to read this, michael_raccoon. I was almost able to buy this in Winnipeg, from a bookstore along my bus route, but they hadn't updated their online inventory and had already sold their copy to someone else.

The Wolf's Hour, by Robert McCammon. A great pulp fiction novel with a werewolf as the protagonist. The story alternates between his job as an agent for the British government against the Nazis, and the story of how he grew up and coped with his condition. Throw in Indiana-Jones action, an American big-game hunter with his own personal death-trapped train, and you've got a wild ride. Much fun. Thanks to entropicana for this one! According to Abebooks (an excellent source for all your obscure, out-of-print book shopping needs), the original hardcover of this sells for $50 and up. Yike!

Gary Owens' 1972 album, Put your head on my finger. Purchased through Gemm. This cost $3. Shipping was $9. Not a great album. But it has one of my favourite comedy sketches on it. And man, I love the background music. The only regrettable thing is that this sketch relies too much on Hollywood names, which will become increasingly meaningless with the passage of time. What can I say? I am very fond of particular kinds of absurdism. (5M)

Not shown here is one of the many animated shorts I've been trying to get. For example, Norman McLaren's Pas de deux (Two-step, 7M excerpt, sound removed). Beautiful, slow. Two ballet dancers in leotards with sharp lighting, sometimes making them look as if they're made of glass. Sure, this effect is easy to pull off today using computers, but this was done manually, in 1968, using an optical printer, combining multiple images onto single frames, with exquisite timing.

Ahhh, nostalgic bliss.

And to finish off, a quote from customers_suck (I forgot to record who said it): "Joy Division is not 'stupid emo bullshit'. It is pretentious post-punk art-rock bullshit. If you are going to insult what I am listening to, please do use the proper slurring for it, and do not get offended when I make comments about getting tired of listening to music 'about wizards and dragons and potheads' (read: prog rock)."

Current Mood: happy happy

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dronon From: dronon Date: April 11th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gary Owen's voice has been all over the place! He was part of the Laugh-in TV show, he did the voices of Roger Ramjet and Space Ghost, and I think he did the intro narration for a lot of Dick Clark's blooper specials. On the more obscure level, he also did the voice of Dirk Niblick on PBS' Square One math show.
niall_ From: niall_ Date: April 11th, 2006 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, an actual copy of the Architect of Sleep! Those aren't easy to find.

Hey, I knew of McLaren's genius since just before he died. And especially right after he died. I have his retrospective DVD box set. Amazing stuff.

The Wolf's Hour sounds quite an amusing romp...
kannik From: kannik Date: April 11th, 2006 09:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, you got a copy of _Architect of Sleep_ -- that's one lucky stroke to pull off, good job. }:) At least going in you know that it's incomplete... and cool news to hear that it might be redone/continued/etc!
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