My other favorite toy is the great Godzilla. It’s hard to describe my exact relationship with Godzilla, but for starters we are the same age, so I guess we grew up together, separately. There is an ambiguity about him: he is sometimes bad, sometimes good, and a visit from him always involves a certain amount of mayhem and sadness. In questioning why he doesn’t destroy them, a character in Godzilla 2000 says “there is a little bit of Godzilla in all of us”.
This is Rex. While technically not a Godzilla, he does seem to be related, perhaps a grandfather of sorts. I worked at a toy store when I first moved here. I bought one of these for my friends’ dad as he loved mechanical toys. It was so cool that I had to have one too. Rex is about 30 years old and has gotten rather creaky in his joints.
The first Godzilla I bought is Japanese. He’s a tiny thing, but I love him.
This one is my favorite, the classic, original Godzilla. I love the expression of his face.
I also have the newer Millennial Godzillas. I don’t think that they really capture the essence of his appeal. CG is not nearly as interesting as a person in a monster suit.
The European premier of the latest incarnation of Godzilla took place when I was in London, so I went over and and saw some of the movie stars, but Godzilla was a no-show. (After seeing the movie I understand this, after all he had hardly any screen time.)
There are lots of Godzilla blogs and I ran across two that I like.
http://blacksun1987.blogspot.com/ who did an entire year of blogging pictures from previous movies. While I’m not completely obsessed, I do have a special place in my heart for the big lizard.
My father had a love of robots. I’m not sure if it was driven by science fiction movies, or the idea that robots are invincible against us puny mortals. Since it wasn’t very fashionable for adults to collect toys, he would buy robots for us, and these robots were not particularly invincible against young children.
About 37 years ago, I bought a wind-up toy as a birthday present for a child of a friend. It was so delightful and cleverly constructed that I had to have one for myself, and that was the start of my collection. The toys have to be wind-up toys, although I have allowed a few of other sorts to slip in because they were so irresistible. I go through spurts of buying, and manufacturers are always coming up with new designs as well as repeating older ones. Here’s a some of the toys from this year.
These are walkers, side movers, hoppers and spinners and were purchased locally.
I bought these in England, but they are from the same manufacturer as the others. That’s globalization for you, and they were more expensive since I paid in pounds. These are flippers, a walker, roller, and a swimmer.
Halloween walkers purchased in Santa Fe. I was there with a fellow toy collector and got inspired.
More toys from Santa Fe.
Hopping heads, purchased downtown.
I have hundreds of these little things, I’ll share more of them later.
When I was growing up we did not get candy on a regular basis, it was a special treat. However, I went to All Saints School and All Saints Day is November 1st. This meant that on Halloween me and my brothers would go out and collect massive amounts of candy, both store bought and homemade (except for the health nuts that gave out apples) and there was no school the next day. This made this the perfect sort of holiday.
When I was a young adult not too many grown-ups celebrated this, but I would make cardboard costumes for us. They had to cost less than $1 and we would go “trick or drinking”, and make friends give us drinks.
Now I don’t have too many kids in my neighborhood, but I always stock up on plenty of good candy to give out. I even give candy to the parents who are out supervising the kids. My sorority is putting together sacks of candy for everyone at an elementary school that we support. And Miss P will wear her latest Halloween costume and supervise the giving out of the candy (although she would personally prefer to eat every last bit of it herself).
Because of Halloween some of the houses have been attacked by giant spiders.
And the usual assortment of skeletons, graveyards, witches, etc.
Miss P’s costume. In American football there is a position called wide receiver, so people thought her costume was funny.
I did some more pages about my dog. I drew them from memory, so if they don’t look exactly like her that’s my excuse. (Plus she refuses to pose.)
I grew up in St. Louis, which is essentially a flat prairie town where two rivers meet, the Mississippi and the Missouri. It’s the higher ground, the bit on the other side in Illinois floods frequently. As far as we know, the Illinois side was the site of a great native city, Cahokia that was abandoned long before European contact. St. Louis was established as a fur trading outpost and grew into a large city of brick houses and prosperity.
Of course that is the distant past, in my past it has a different story. I remember it as a place that is hot in the summer and cold, cold, cold in the winter. The winters are full of grey skies, the clouds hang so low that it looks like you could reach up and touch them, or bump your head on them if you are not careful. In contrast, the beautiful skies and wide open spaces are part of why I love Colorado and New Mexico.
In the far distance is Spanish Peaks, which is about 120 miles away. the bluer mountains are the Wet Mountains, about 50 miles away.
Cheyenne Mountain is in the foreground, it is the site of NORAD, a (not-so-secret) military installation that extends for a mile inside the mountain.
A different view of the Peak.
The bump on the horizon to the north is Castle Rock. It doesn’t look very impressive in this view as there is a pass (high point) between here and there. It’s about 45 miles away. All of these pictures were taken on one of the many trails that run throughout the city. Anyone can enjoy these spectacular vistas.
I have my computer in the upstairs bedroom. I don’t check the internet a zillion times a day, I like to check it and read anything interesting in the morning. While I’m sitting here I have a couple of bird feeders to keep me entertained. I have unfortunately trained some of the squirrels and the jay birds to also beg for peanuts, so I have to constantly stop and hand out treats. (If I didn’t hand them out, they would immediately empty a feeder.)
This is Sooty, giving me and the freshly filled feeder the eyeball. These little black squirrels mainly lived in the forest to the north of town, when there was a big fire last year some of them moved south.
Here is a pinon jay eyeballing me. These are the most common type of jaybird in the area. I see the ordinary Blue Jays as they migrate in the spring and fall, as well as Stellar Jays.
Sometimes I see the deer.
A ninja squirrel. I also get visits from Bold Squirrel, a very lady-like squirrel who takes peanuts out of my hand.
A young Grosbeak, also a summer bird.
A Northern Flicker woodpecker. These can be a real nuisance if you have wood siding on your house. I have stucco, and I go out and yell at them if they try anything.
This upside-down bird is a nuthatch. They love to get sunflower seeds out of the feeder, then they smash them against the bark.
I counted up the different kinds of birds that I see throughout the year and there are about 25 different species. The most hilarious are the baby birds. They will sit on the feeder, act pathetic and beg the parents to pick up the seeds and feed them.
No birds, just the turning leaves.
There is fresh snow on the mountain today, we got rain yesterday and the day before. It’s unusual for this time of year, we usually get snow in town before this.
This is Albert, Junior enjoying a snack yesterday. He was accompanied by his friend, a younger buck. I think I know all the deer in the neighborhood. There is this doe and her two fawns.
Not pictured is the big buck and his harem of 4 does, they were also here, but I did not get a decent photo of them. He stood guard while the ladies nibbled at the deer block. My nearby feed store has closed; now I have to drive across town (which takes about 15 minutes 😉 to get their snacks. So I stocked up on enough deer treats to last for a while.
I went and saw my dentist on Thursday, he is getting out of rehab on the 31st but he still has more surgery ahead.
One hummingbird had stayed behind when the others left but he too has finally decided it’s time to migrate south. Meanwhile the pinon jays are keeping busy burying peanuts and corn for the winter. It’s the last weekend for beautiful viewing of the yellow aspens in the mountains, soon enough it will be winter.
This time I did not just take an imaginary trip to Santa Fe, I actually went. My friend was driving to Albuquerque, so I hitched a ride and we were off on the adventure. After a stop in the old (probably not considered old in England, but the mines aren’t being worked at present) mining town of Trinidad for a Sicilian pasta lunch, it was on to New Mexico. We followed Mr. GPS’ directions and got an unusual view of Santa Fe (note to self: do not trust machines, they can’t see where they are going).
Founded in 1607 near the site of an earlier Pueblo settlement, the center of town is laid out perfectly for defense and horses, but not cars. At one time the plaza was actually the center of the town, with a hardware store, cafe, Woolworth’s, etc. but now it is entirely given over to tourists. The full name refers to the Holy Faith of St. Francis.
There are scads of artists that live and exhibit in Santa Fe, as there are a number of rich people (movie stars, etc.) who both visit and live there. One of the currently popular motifs in art is crows, which I love.
As well as other sculpture.
The other draw is the quality of light and the architecture, which makes it easy to get interesting photos.
The only thing that I really, really wanted to do while I was there was have drinks on the rooftop bar of the La Fonda Hotel. The La Fonda is an old (for America) hotel, built in the 1920’s, that has not been modernized into oblivion. When I was a college student we would come here for dinner on special occasions.
After a quick stop in Raton (another old mining/railroad town)
it was back to my ordinary life.
So yesterday was a cartoonist’s day, the challenge was to draw 24 panels in 24 hours. I didn’t actually read the directions, possibly there was some sort of guidelines. I was busy shopping with my girlfriend too, so this is what I came up with. I did four pages of 4 panel stuff, but I’m only posting three because I don’t really like the 4th page. They are sketched and colored, but not inked.
This is the story of Miss P, she came from Teller County Regional Animal Shelter. She was up in the mountains and lived on garbage and rabbits. We got her and set about civilizing her.
I made a list of other things I saw during the day, but I didn’t really feel inspired enough to draw them, they were just things, and Miss P is my puppy princess.
As I was putting Miss P’s next veterinarian appointment on the calendar, I noticed that it is the officially the first day of autumn. The signs are there, but I was pretending that it wouldn’t come for a while. Here are a few of the things that prove me wrong.
The mountain is shrouded in clouds and mystery, when the clouds clear, will the mountain have snow?
The chiles are a lovely red. Lots of places have chile roasters set up for green chiles (rotating metal cages, with a propane flame shooting up) and there is the wonderful smell in the air from this. Red chiles are dried instead of roasted to keep for the winter.
The pinon jays and squirrels have been busy burying the corn from the bird feeder, the hill is full of corn at this point. The hummingbirds took off in the night, I heard them buzzing around yesterday but now they have started the migration south.
Here’s a late blooming volunteer adding a splash of color on the steps. Soon it will be gone.