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20031105 - propeller beanies part 3

Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 14:24:42 -0800 (PST)
From: Chad Childers <>
Subject: Re: propeller beanie

Howard corrected me on the cartoon character, he said
it was called a globbly. He said that Ray tells the
story as if he put the propeller on, whereas from the
way George tells it, they were selling them with the
propeller, at the 5/10 store out where Ray lived, in
Cadillac Michigan. We're going to confirm with George
just to make sure, and I'll tell you if he clarifies,
but I think the story is pretty much accurate, because
he gives Ray credit for the idea, he says it was Ray's
idea for all of the Misfits (Michigan Science Fantasy
Society) to wear propeller beanies to the 1948
Worldcon in Toronto, but since Ray's dad wouldn't let
him go, George said something to the effect of "I was
the only one with little enough sense to wear one".

I published an abbreviated version in the fanspeak
dictionary at

I think one of your links mentions that Harry Warner
wrote in his 1969 book All Our Yesterdays that the
propeller beanie George Young wore at Torcon was
purchased for 10 cents from a five and dime. What
George says, certainly seems to confirm that.


20031104 - propeller beanies part 2

I thought I had sort of answered the question with my links, but I received personal email almost directly from the source:

Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2003 14:44:34 -0800 (PST)
From: Chad Childers <>
Subject: propeller beanie

You ask "Who invented the propeller beanie" and
suppose the answer is Ray Nelson... it is a bit more
complicated than that. Ray certainly popularized the
artistic image of a science fiction fan in a propeller
beanie, and created the cartoon character wearing it,
which I think was called a gobbly. He had the idea of
wearing one to a con, but his dad wouldn't let him go
to the con, and the one he convinced his high school
buddy George to wear was purchased in a 5 and dime
store, so he didn't actually invent it. I just called
George on the phone to confirm the story, he said this
happened in 1948. He still lives in Detroit. I don't
know Ray.

-- Chad

Isn't the internet wonderful??!

20030917 - propeller beanies!

Watching Blue Velvet last night, I wanted to know: Who invented the propeller beanie? What is the history of the propeller beanie?


Qutie a while ago, I made the statement that the internet does not need even 1 more picture of a cat. That's right, cat owner. No need to upload....we've seen cats. It's like listening to other peoples dreams: no one cares but the teller. There are already more than enough cat pictures on the web for everybody! And then I went to CAT TOWN!

After seeing just the cast list, I had to call up the creator and tell him how he had proved me wrong! And apparently the bit in the FAQ about where the cat pictures came from is true, so this is a win-win situation: funny stuff AND no actual new cat pictures sent to the internet.

I wonder if someone would be able to do something that cool with the least necessary set of pictures (on the internet, in movies, in photogalleries, where-ever): pictures of people sitting in front of computers. Somebody go subvert that boring, unnecessary genre of photography.

20030915 - hummer of love

flip off a hummer, today!

20030914 - speaking of monkeys

Adventure Safaris: go dig up some dinosaur bones in the Badlands of South Dakota and learn how they got there because God's such a bastard

I have to be reminded occasionally that we're still that superstitious, that despite the rationalist Republican wanting to "debate facts" and back everything up with at least 3 sources, we're all just a bunch of spooked monkeys most of the time.

20030910 - my cousin john's motocycle


20030820 - cube monkey

I've recently been shuffled from cube-to-cube at work. From my nice solo cube to a 3-set open cube area. One of my co-workers dropped something and so I started a "X DAYS WITHOUT AN ACCIDENT" spot on one of the communal dry-erase board.

We've only made it to 6, so far, because we count things like Jenny's grapefruit cup exploding on her at lunch.

A couple days later, I added "X DAYS WITHOUT THE MENTION OF A MONKEY". We've only made it 5.

And now I'm told that this has spread from my cube in to Xerox, where someone started a monkey count and now an entire work-group is talking about monkeys.

20030818 - Airbrush fun

20030816 - Brilliant Tattoo Idea!

Last week I got a new tattoo. It's another non-representational thing, a black rectangles on the front and back of each shoulder. My mother's response when she figured out that what she thought was black tape in a picture was actually the tattoo itself: "AAAAACCCCCKKKKKK!!"

Thanks mom!

When I bend over and pick something up off the floor now, you can see all 4 of the lines, and they sort of make the bottom of a box:

|_     _|

It would be gaggingly-cute-couple-sick if C got the top of the box, eh? But I wouldn't want her to.

But when I thought of that, the idea flashed through my mind: Wouldn't it rock if like 3 or 5 or 20 people got together to get parts of a single tattoo artwork? Representational or not, you could do a "guy" like photograph of the piece, etc. etc.

20030807 - Auto Goods

Driving through town, it became apparent that schools' honor rolls are far too easy to get on to. Bumper stickers everywhere. Some of the local schools seem to even have renamed 'honor roll' so they can market their own bumper stickers. And all those 'clever' "My kid can beat up your kid" ones are just too chez trailer park.

Now, it is great to encourage your children to achive, especially academic achievement. But a bumper sticker doesn't really do that, it's more of a general statement to the neighborhood and anyone who happens to be stuck behind you in mall traffic. But that sort of information doesn't do me any good when I'm looking for a parking place close to Sears or Hot Topics.

So, we've come up with a new bumper sticker which actually helps to advise and inform those around you. The sort of information we can actually use to make our lives more productive and secure.

Correlations have been made between animal abuse and later dysfunctional antisocial behavior. With our new bumper sticker, you can let the world know that there may be a budding psychopath right next door!

20030804 - these are the years of laughter and forgetting

To: My maternal grandmother.

What is it you need from me?

The latest email makes me think that you are searching for some sort of forgiveness from me. Or absolution.

For the past six-ish years I've been getting letters and email from you, reminding me about how you would visit in the summer and buy me candy in town when you went to buy cigarettes.

Do I need to tell you, "Yes, Katy, I considered you the fun grandmother."

Is that part of what you're looking for?

When I was 4 and you'd chase me around the house, or I'd chase you around the house, I had a lot of fun.

Ok, I'll try to call my parents more often. Even though they are disappointed in me (according to you).

I'm sure you've had struggles in life. I don't even recall seeing a photograph of my grandfather...maybe I've seen one, sometime. I'm not sure why you tell me about the struggle of raising 4 kids when he died. You bring up the tough times you lived through. Do I say, "Thank you"? Or are you looking for something else?

My mother " is some what disappointed in both of her sons but then we all have to live our life as we see fit or don't know how to do otherwise", and then you remind me about buying candy when you went to buy cigarettes. Do you want to be my favorite instead?

Are you looking for the first born of your first born for something magical or mythical?

I'm confused by this pattern of knockdown and disapproval, followed by reminiscing about what a cool grandmother you were to a kid. Yes, you were a good enabler, but I can buy my own candy now.

I'm not sure that I'm the one to grant absolution here, especially since you seem to be seeking it particularly from me.

And there are things that I'm not ready to forgive. Minor, petty things, maybe, but I can wait.

20030724 - epidural

Even if you are a OB/GYN, you do NOT need a vanity plate on your car which says EPIDURAL.

20030714 - Today's word is "stigmergy"

and it's brought to you by stigmergy.

My new favorite word of the week, and in this instance, it's self-referential!

Well, back to the charrette.

20030713 - elope

So C (AKA, She Who Must Be Eloped) has two much older brothers. The younger one got married at the end of June. (See "That boy could dance" below.) We ran the minefield of "So, when are you two getting married?" and "I sure do love weddings." and "I'll come to your wedding even if it is an Cyprus." It's pretty neat how two people answering "we're going to elope" to every question can close down conversation on the topic pretty quickly.

And of course some skip to the core "when are you going to reproduce?"

Go have your own children.


Anyway, we were actively dissuaded from going to Cyprus to elope by a relative with State Department ties. So I guess it's Seychelles.

20030701 - powder-milk bishops

The new Arch-Bishop of Boston, Sean O'Malley, quoted from Prairie Home Companion when asked if he, a shy man, was up to handling this high-profile job. Story with interview.