Doorbox Lamp

the post apoc doorbox lamp

 

This lamp is a combination of two things I enjoy making – lamps and door boxes.  It began as a standard door box (a cigar box fitted with shelves and hooks, and mounted to the wall to function as a repository for all your daily pocket luggage).  However, I found the small black drawered base (sans pulls) and decided to affix it to the doorbox and stand it upright.  The only logical progression was to stick a lamp on top.  So… I did.

The drawers had simple wooden pulls, so I removed them and replaced them with the tin pulls you see in the picture, which I salvaged from a broken down, 1920s steamer trunk.  I built the gear box onto the back and filled it with heavy nuts and washers, arranged in gearlike fashion, as an aesthetically interesting way of adding weight to the base of the lamp.  I thought that running the wire along the back of the boxes, through pipe, would give it a more industrial look, while also saving me from having to drill through the middle of the boxes… so, I did that too.  The lamp shade is a wire mesh basket that I got at Hobby Lobby for $3.

I’m pretty pleased with the result.

Copper Trumpet Lamp

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I made this lamp out of a long, copper trumpet… obviously.  The base is a cigar box, but I filled it with the heaviest nuts and washers I could find in my workshop, filling it from side to side, top to bottom, to make it as heavy as possible to give stability to the lamp.  I affixed all the metal scrap in place with silicon glue.  Then, I drilled holes in the top and back of the box for the plug wire, ran the wire through, and sealed the box FOREVER with super duper glue.

Next, I ran the wire through the trumped and affixed the bell of the trumpet to the box with silicon glue and copper screws.  The shade is made from a hat box I got for $5 at Hobby Lobby.

Hell Comes to Frogtown (1988)

hell-comes-to-frogtown-poster

“Hell Comes to Frogtown” is not a piece of shit.  Let’s start there.  Imagine if John Carpenter had made a sequel to “Big Trouble in Little China” , only it took place after a nuclear apocalypse, and they couldn’t afford to get Kurt Russel or Kim Cattrall back… that movie might have been this movie.

hell comes to frogtown big trouble in little china

 

The Premise: The world has been reduced to a wasteland after a nuclear and biological war.  The war has caused some humans to mutate into amphibious looking creatures, and has caused some frogs to mutate into intelligent, humanlike creatures.  The humans warred with the combined forces of the mutants and frogs, eventually ending up at an uneasy peace.  Many of the humans have been rendered sterile/infertile from the effects of the war, and the females have taken control of the human government.  MedTech is a group of governing human females who seek out fertile females and potent males, and force them to breed, in order to build up the human numbers and ensure their future.  In the meantime, the frogs are kidnapping human females to keep as pleasure slaves because… let’s face it… the frog women are an acquired taste.

Sam Hell (Roddy Piper) is a wasteland ne’er-do-well who sleeps his way across the land leaving a string of pregnancies in his wake.  Because of this, he becomes legendary.  MedTech seeks him out and captures him, intending to use him as breeding stock.  In order to force his cooperation, they lock explosives to his junk, threatening to blow it off if he tries to run, disobeys, or tries to remove the explosives.

Sam’s first mission, along with two very capable female soldiers from MedTech, is to enter mutant/frog territory (Frogtown… as if that weren’t obvious), and either recapture the human females, or impregnate them on the spot.

Sam Hell is Jack Burton.  I don’t know how else to say it.  The writers clearly took Burton’s character from BTILC (which had been released two years earlier), and copied it.  Not only the character, but many aspects of the plot.  Let’s see – womanizing troublemaker gets roped into rescuing women he cares nothing about.  He enters a world he is unfamiliar with, facing strange, otherworldly challenges with the help of capable teammates, ends up falling in love with a blonde in a funny costume, stumbles his way through the obstacles with courage, despite a lack of skill, and eventually proves himself by taking out the main bad guy… by throwing a knife.  Yes – This description literally applies to both films.

Sam Hell, himself, is a wise cracking, misogynist who talks tough, but can’t really back it up.  Despite his physique, Sam is usually a bumbling fool.  Just like Jack, Sam isn’t that good with guns.  There’s a scene in which he gets ahold of a rocket launcher, but it doesn’t work.  So, he throws it down in favor of a pistol, and empties the pistol’s magazine… and hits nothing.  In fact, the only times he really shows himself to be combatively capable, like Burton, are with a blade!  For example, he is able to throw a wakizashi with deadly effectiveness and accuracy! (It’s all in the reflexes.)

The acting is pretty bad, though Roddy is always somehow charismatic.  The story is pretty straightforward – not terrible, but predictable. In fact, when “the dance of the three snakes” is mentioned, you immediately know exactly what they’re referring to, which does take the edge off of the reveal.  I actually enjoyed this film.  It was full of boobs and B-movie comedy.  It was self-reflexively campy, and didn’t take itself seriously.  For being low-budget, the mutant frog costumes were actually pretty good!

I suggest you watch this one, and imagine it as the unofficial, spiritual sequel to “Big Trouble in Little China” – it makes it more fun.

I give this one THREE out of FIVE explosive chastity belts.

If you want to watch an excellent, in-depth video review, check out Obscurus Lupa’s review here.

Pseudopod 301: “The Last Man After The War”, by Erich William Bergmeier (A Post Apocalyptic Audio Short Story)

Pseudopod

Pseudopod is, in their own words, “the premier horror podcast magazine“. In my words, it’s a short story podcast that features short and flash fiction ranging from simple campfire ghost stories and audio gore-fests to brilliantly deep and dark, and sometimes downright Lovecraftian, tales of eerie emptiness and the terror of utter confusion.

Today, however, as I was working my way backward through the sizable backlog of archived stories in an effort to drown out the maddening monotony of my day job, I came upon a story that didn’t seem to belong.  It wasn’t necessarily horror.  It featured no supernatural element nor otherworldy dread.  This story was about men – two men, both doing their best to provide for their loved ones, whose paths crossed in a single, fateful encounter.  This is technically a post apocalyptic story, though it contains no elements of science fiction or camp.  It could just as easily take place during the 1800s, the great depression, or in modern rural America.  This story is as old as time, and as true as you and I.

http://pseudopod.org/2012/09/28/pseudopod-301-the-last-man-after-the-war/

Listen to this story, wastelanders.  Place yourself in a similar situation, and think, “What would I do?”

Creepy Baby Leg Lamp

I am occasionally commissioned to make things for others.  Recently, I was asked to build an “avant garde” trophy for a high school slam poetry competition (thus the microphone finial).  The man gave me carte blanche, and asked only that it be “weird”, and display a plaque with the usual trophy-esque information.  As you know, I like all of my art to be functional, so I made a trophy lamp.  As for the “avant garde” portion, I made the trophy lamp out of a creepy porcelain baby doll leg painted to appear in a fishnet stocking with red painted toe nails.  The picture below doesn’t have the plaque attached.

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The Light Switch Guest Book

I attended a craft show this weekend in which I sold covered and decorated light switch plates and journals.  Last night, I sat down at my coffee table (still covered in the aftermath of my mad last minute crafting) and, on a whim, glued a small journal to the front of a light switch plate.  I cut a hole through the book with a razor blade, and then drilled the screw holes.  Had I been thinking clearly, I’d have only screwed the holes through the back cover, as that is the only part actually affixed to the plate – if I’d put the screws through the entire book, nobody could’ve opened it.  Then, I reinforced the front cover with two layers of duct tape (on the inside), recut the switch hole, and then cut two slits through which to put a pen.  I went out to a local slam poetry club with a flat-head screwdriver and secretly switched out the unisex bathroom’s switch plate with mine.  By the end of the night, the journal was ten pages deep with shout-outs, signatures, and random words of advice.

The moral? No object is so mundane that it can’t be turned into practical art. Craft outside the box.

the post apoc light switch guest book

Replace Poor Quality Bag/Luggage Straps with Guitar Straps

Guitar straps are made to comfortably and reliably hold a great deal of often very expensive weight for long periods of time. With bag straps and luggage straps, comfort is often an afterthought to aesthetic. I recently bought a really nice black hemp canvas messenger bag, but I wasn’t very happy with the thin nylon shoulder strap – It was uncomfortable, and though it had a sliding shoulder pad, I had to adjust and position the pad every time I put the bag on.  It was a hassle.

So, I bought an adjustable black canvas guitar strap for $9, put grommets through the leather tabs on the ends, and used mini carabiners to attach it to the existing plastic loops on my bag. The result matches the bag BETTER than the nylon strap, and is WAY more comfortable. The wider strap distributes the weight more evenly across more of my shoulder, and the softer cotton canvas doesn’t rub my skin raw after hours of carrying the bag, weighted down, like the grippy shoulder pad on the nylon strap did.  I will probably do this to all of my bag straps.  There are a variety of really cool guitar straps out there.

the post apoc guitar strap bag strap