February 1, 2009

Welcome to The Glad Hand Café.

Welcome to the Harpo Bookshelf

Tell me about your books, your action figures, your comic heroes, your favorite slang and satirical definitions.


TMink said...

Hello, I must be going.


Sixty Grit said...

My cat got on my shelf and knocked the Bart figure off. The dog gnawed on the Bart for a while, but before she could finish him off, I rescued him. He now has no legs, a stump of one arm and his half of his spikey hair is missing. Now he lies on the shelf, mutely crying out for justice. There is no justice, little Bart, only memories of better times.

Harpo is my hero, alas I have no physical representation of him. I do have a Stanley Laurel figure - had it for over 30 years, but no Ollie.

But, as Eric on That Seventies Show insisted, these are figures, not dolls. Sure they are...

Wince said...

Comic heroes?

I have proof Andrew Sullivan‘s whole homosexual personae is just a ruse to cover his true identity as Propellerman, Superhero of Female Desires.



SGT Ted said...

I have a collection of Star Wars toys stashed away in storage. 1. I dont have enough room to display them and 2. I lost interest in such after my combat tour. I will sell them on ebay in about 10-20 more years.

Bissage said...



Translated, that means Harpo keeps a Mr. Peabody on the far corner of his desk at home. Mr. Peabody is making a grand operatic gesture to remind Harpo that he is a recovering know-it-all and to keep it that way.

The Roswell alien perched atop the desk lamp is there because he’s funny looking.

This link is posted for no discernable reason, whatsoever.

DaLawGiver said...

Books---Just finished "Sam Houston and the American Southwest." Sam is my hero. "The Stars My Destination" by Alfred Bester is the best sci-fi book ever written. It's "The Count of Monte Cristo" on steroids.

Action figures---Any of the Transformers or Sam Houston.

Favorite slang---Aggro, as in "I forgot to put the lid donw on the toilet last night and my wife fell in around 2 AM. I picked up some serious wife aggro for that." or "If the tank can't hold the aggro, we'll all die."

Satirical definition---The whole Goricle concept.

KCFleming said...

I have a Buddy Jesus from Dogma and a Red Brigade youth figure from Communist China's Cultural Revolution.

Global Warmist:
A Madonna-whore fetish boys develop when they discover their mothers are having sex, necessitating replacement.

Anonymous said...

Jack Kerouac stands guard over my hearth and home.

Anonymous said...

Tell me about your books, your action figures, your comic heroes, your favorite slang and satirical definitions.

You first!

Susan said...

Favorite slang: Slugabed. For a long time I thought it originated in my family (Get up slugabeds!)but then I read it in Shakespeare.

Bissage said...

I forgot to mention this on a corbel in the foyer.


Bissage said...

That counts as a figurine, right?

Curtiss said...

In my office I have a life size cutout of Bill Clinton playing a saxophone. He's wearing silver tipped cowboy boots. I recently purchased a life size cut out of Hillary Clinton. He needed the company, I thought. She's not playing a saxophone, but she is wearing a pantsuit.

I also have a full size skeleton.

I'm not sure why I have these "action figures". I didn't vote for the Clintons at any time, but I've always liked them for some reason.

The skeleton - I suppose I simply find it amusing.

Paddy O said...

Not quite action figures, but...

For my birthday last fall, I got a set of monkey bookends that were featured in the show Wonderfalls.

Christy said...

Books, I'm deaccessing. I've 3 feet of Doonsebury books I'll never re-read. Should I eBay 'em?

Comic Heroes? Favorites, maybe, but Heroes? Marvel over D.C. until I discovered Sandman late in life. Death is my favorite comic character. To keep to your theme, here is Morpheus and Death as bookends. But the pic of Death on her Wikipedia page is more in the Althouse style.

Early Marvel favorites were Spiderman, of course, Thor, The X-Men, and Sgt Fury and His Howling Commandos. Okay, Sgt. Fury is my official choice as comic hero. Strange for a girl, until you know that my favorite babysitter as a kid was an uncle who lost his leg in Europe in WWII. He told fascinating stories about the war. I learned about collateral damage when I was 8 from his tale of narrow escape. 20 years after he died I learned of his Silver Star.

I agree, Lawgiver, about Bester's The Stars My Destination. Do you know Sword of San Jacinto? I like it because it deals in the first half with Houston's relationship with Jackson, his life among the Cherokee (of special interest to me,) and Tennessee.

campy said...

I have a small figure of my favorite cartoon character, Disney's Kim Possible, hanging from the rear-view mirror of my car.

Bob said...

Here's a YouTube clip of Harpo and Chico in action. At 3:10 you can see Harpo make his hilarious Gookie Face, which he says he copied from a cigar maker and which never failed to get a laugh.

AllenS said...

I have two of my grandfather's books. Automobile Electricity -- Starting and Lighting, and The Automobile Storage Battery -- It's Care and Repair. Anybody remember when you had to check the water in your battery? There are pictures of a visit to the battery factory. Looks like young boys were used in the cutting and grooving exide wood separators. Some of them are wearing ties. Almost everybody in the factory are wearing caps. The very back of the books is where you can order wiring diagrams for cars. Such as the Brisco, Cole, Glide, Pullman. Hard to believe how many different car manufacturers there used to be.

Bissage said...

Mrs. Bissage has just informed me that Rachel Ray has put her name on a brand of dog food called “Nutrish.”

I am not making this up.

Here she is, grinning inanely for the camera, clutching her dog by the throat. Link.

The dog is of the insatiably vigorous breed known as “Pit Bull.”

This one, apparently, is named “Isaboo” and has a penis that measures a full seven inches in length.


Anonymous said...

I used to have the Malibu Barbie Townhouse (does Barbie count as an action figure?), the plastic-y 70s/80s one with the elevator. You pulled on a little nylon string and the elevator went up and down. Books?

Oh, in no particular order of anything:
Revolutionary Road, Cranford, Persuasion, and what did I read before that? I can't remember.

Gahrie said...

1) RE: Sam Houston. Have you guys read the alternate histories about him written by Eric Flint? The first is called The Rivers of War and the second is called The arkansas War. I believe more are p[lanned for in the series.

2) Action figures: I have a ton, I was a comic book geek and worked in a comic book store and had a good discount. The only two on display are on my bookshelf...Buddy Christ standing next to Spider Jerusalem.

3) Comic Heoes: My favorite was always the Beast because of his dialog. Kelsey Grammar pretty much killed that in the X-Men movies however. I like Ennis' Preacher quite a bit.

4) slang: I tend to use a lot of Battlestar Galactica slang....especially farking...I use that a lot.

5) satirical definition: I'm sure I use some, none immediately come to mind.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I've just finished reading a bunch of Neal Stephenson novels. He seems unreadable at times, but I love him so much. His three volume baroque novel was wonderful the whole way through. I don't care what anyone says, it was science fiction.

My favorite comic hero has got to be Mary Worth. In a world of emasculation, she's the queen bee.

And as far as slang goes I like taking street words and grammatically modifying them: You're manner of dress has shown extreme sadiddification lately.

Ron said...

Tell me about your books, your action figures, your comic heroes, your favorite slang and satirical definitions.

Books: Salt -- Mark Kurlansky. Plus, Amba's novel!

Action Figures: Joplin, Hendrix, Death, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Warren Spahn!

Comic Heroes: Cerebus the Aardvark, Dream

Slang: Mickey Spillane: "Suddenly, the floor came up and hit me."

Satirical Definitions: ??? drawing a blank at the moment...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Favorite slang: Slugabed

LOL Susan: My daughter (now 32 yrs old) had a children's rhyme book from England and we loved this little ditty

barley butt
your bum is so heavy
you can't get up"

The illustrations were adorable. Little badgers jumping up and down on a groucy older male badger hunkered down in bed who is obviously hung over.

Slang: since I've been playing WoW a lot, I tend to use some of the geek gamer slang in my causal writings on teh internets.

I collect old cookbooks. I love the older books because they are an insight into how we lived in earlier times and how much we have changed. Plus the recipes are pretty good too. :-)

No action figurines. I'm too old for that. They didn't exist in my childhood. However, I did have a really good collection of Mad Magazine that I gave to my younger brother when I went to college. He is an even bigger geek than I am and has them in plastic sheets in cronological order. His retirement!!!!

Gahrie said...


What realm are you on?.....I'm on Draenor.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What realm are you on?.....I'm on Draenor.


Sick isn't it. :-)

Howard said...

Ghost Wars by Steve Coll

Eastern Approaches by Fitzroy Maclean

Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West by Hampton Sides

Search for the Real by Hans Hofmann

The Power of the Center by Rudolph Arnheim

Concerning the Spirituality in Art by Wassily Kandinsky

The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry by Jay Hambidge

Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War by T. J. Stiles

Herzog/Kinski DVD Box Set

The Very Best of the Feymann Lectures Audio Set

MadisonMan said...

We have about 30 Mad paperbacks and An Alfred E. Neumann figurine that has a broken thumb, reglued (a toddler knocked it off a shelf once). Alfred is turning green. He's in the kitchen, I think it's grease accumulation.

TitusisFull said...

I put a help wanted ad in the Wisconsin State Journal today for my company that is hiring in Middleton Wisconsin. For all you cheeseheads who are dead tree lovers did you see it?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Also for books

The complete collection of the Saga of Pliocene Exile and Galactic Millieu by Julian May. The Uplift series by David Brin. Plus a lot of other sci fiction hardbacks that I think are classics. Kept all my college anthropology and mythology textbooks too.

TitusisFull said...

I tried to find the ad on Madison.com but it immediately links to HotJobs.

Doesn't the WSJ have their own Help Wanted section online?

TitusisFull said...

I used to play with Barbies when I was little.

All of their tits are now colored in red crayon.

Even when I was little I loved the tits.

Christy said...

Gahrie, I just finished Flint's 1634:The Galileo Affair and wasn't much impressed. Should I attribute it to picking up that series at the 3rd book?

I'll take Farscape's Frell over BSG's Frak - but how great is it that action hero Starbuck is back in form?

Jason, I loved Stephenson's Baroque Cycle but swear I sprang my thumb reading the 900 page tomes. I also gained a better understanding of The Market than any number of economics texts had managed to give me. Well, Stephenson and David Liss's The Coffee Trader, set in Amsterdam in the same time period, together taught me.

Do clay copies of two soldiers in Emperor Qin's terracotta army count as action figures?

KCFleming said...

"Do clay copies of two soldiers in Emperor Qin's terracotta army count as action figures?"

Only if you hold one in each hand and have them shoot at each other, going p-tchoo, p-tchoo. Or if you make them fly.

Otherwise they are inaction figures.

AllenS said...

I like the new words that are used on the internets. Like blech, gak, teh...

Beth said...

I love Neal Stephenson; I'm re-reading the Baroque Trilogy on my iPhone with Stanza.

I have too many action figures to list here. We have a barristers bookcase that we use for display - we went on a run of collecting female figures, so lots of Xena, X-Files, Star Trek, Alien (both Ripley and some Aliens) and more from comics: Painkiller Jane, Warrior Nuns (those are fun), Jessica Priest from Spawn (love Todd McFarlane figures!). I have a cool little Wonderwoman with lasso in my office.

There's Charlie McCarthy on another shelf. And the Tick! I love the Tick.

Jen Bradford said...

Ha - I thought that was a Malcolm Gladwell action figure for a sec.

Paddy O said...

As far as books, I'm just about finished with A Dud Avocado, but am sort of weary of the existential crisis of a 1950s post-adolescent woman in Paris. So, the last few evenings I've had at my Complete Short Stories of O. Henry.

For more serious books, I just finished A Theology of Liberation by Gustavo Gutierrez, and liked it quite a lot. Now, I'm working my way through Anglo-American Postmodernity by Nancey Murphy. Like that one a lot too. Continental postmodernity gets all the press, and that's a shame because it's not nearly as interesting or helpful.

As far as slang, I heartily appreciated the man outside the Rose Bowl yesterday who upon making a rather nice catch exclaimed, "Razzle Dazzle!" in a way that's only possible while being among other men doing manly things.

For the most part, however, all these books have been a very distorted influence on my slang. I wouldn't know how to talk to anyone if I went outside to mingle with the masses. Hopefully, watching the superbowl this afternoon will be a grounding experience.

Anonymous said...

There's a Ripley action figure!!!!!

*Oh, I am too old to write that many exclamation points, really. Embarrassing.

**I want to read The Dud Avocado. First heard about from Terry Teachout (blog/column).

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I know how to tie this post in with the PJM kerfuffle.

I mostly get advice on what books and movies and, er, action figures, to buy from blog suggestions these days.

Ger said...

"Tell me about your books, your action figures,..."

All of my action figures are cherry. Steven Hawking's in my library...

DaLawGiver said...

Neal Stephenson is the current stud of speculative fiction wordsmiths. Cryptonomicon is my favorite.

Sam Houston, lived with and was adopted by the Cherokee Indians, the only man ever elected governor of two states(Tennessee and Texas), served in both the US house and senate, and was elected President of the Republic of Texas. Not to mention that whole "Remember the Alamo" thing. He was also tried by the US House for beating the crap out of Congressman Wiliam Stanbery of Ohio which earned him a mild reprimand along with applause and respect for his performance.

And he did all this while being an alcoholic. A true, real life stud.

reader_iam said...

I tweeted this site yesterday. Fun for [origin of] language geeks.

Some books I'm currently reading (or re-reading):

Fermat's Engigma
Founding Brothers
Semantic Antics
The Plays of Anton Checkhov (a new translation)
A Dictionary of Theories

For candy, I'm working my way through all of Ngaio Marsh's mysteries again, in order (natch!--one of my quirks).

Beth said...

Cryptonomicon is my favorite.

I'm torn between Snowcrash and Diamond Age.

onparkstreet - yes, there's more than one Ellen Ripley figure. And a Vasquez, too.

DaLawGiver said...

I'm torn between Snowcrash and Diamond Age.

Yeah, me to. Samurai pizza delivery guy saves the world or female slumdog millionaire saves the world.

David said...

Does that little Harpo doll fart when you pull his finger?

Unknown said...

I am riding a new personal hobby horse to restore or clarify the meaning of the term "crepe hanger". Many seem to believe that this term refers to one who excessively worries, instead of the proper definition which is one who engages in extravagant or prolonged mourning. As the term refers to the hanging of black crepe after death, the emotional state of the crepe hanger is not worry, but rather mourning.

Simon said...

I just finished re-reading Berle & Means' The Modern Corporation and Private Property (I cited it and needed the page reference, but I hadn't read it for a while so ran through it), and I've been reading several books on impeachment researching a blog post. Raoul Berger's book on it is so elegantly written - I'm afraid that the longer I read good legal writing, the more impatient I grow with journalism (and any other bad writing, really). I'm also reading, off and on, The Fountainhead. I'm always reading, but there's so much to get through that I get a little ADD about it, and go betwen books, articles, cases, the web, etc. I wish I could focus a little better, it's not something about myself I'm happy with.

Lawgiver said...
"Action figures---Any of the Transformers or Sam Houston."

Alas, I own only one transformer these days - I still have Wheeljack, who stands watch (with a dalek) over a bowl I sometimes put my keys and wallet in. Periodically, I look at ebay to see if any others are available for a sensible price (I would rather like to have Soundwave, Perceptor, and one of the dinobots).

Christy said...

Diamond Age is sitting unread on my shelves. The first few pages didn't grab me. Do I remember correctly that it begins less connected to the world as we know it than even most science fiction?

Gahrie said...

Gahrie, I just finished Flint's 1634:The Galileo Affair and wasn't much impressed. Should I attribute it to picking up that series at the 3rd book?

Yeah..kind of. You see it's not really the third book. The series started with 1632. This was supposed to be the first book in a series of books that dealt with people transposed in time. For instance there was a book planned about people sent to revolutionary America. Instead it evolved into a shared universe with many follow up books, some as true sequels, some as offshoots. The main charachters in 1634:The Galileo Affair began as charchters in a story in a collection of fanfic. They've gone on to be central to several complete books. The core books written by Flynt alone are better than the collaborations, which can be a little esoteric.

The Houston books are in a different continuity altogether, and I like them a lot.

By the way, I am a complete loon for the time traveler/alternate history genre, and have quite a bit of it.

Christy said...

Gahrie, Do you know Heinlein's short stories, "All You Zombies" and "By His Bootstraps?"

I'm less interested in alternative history than in alternative takes on known history or myth - Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon, Dan Simmon's Ilium, Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time.

blake said...

I'm reading McCain: Myth of a Maverick. It just seems so timely.

I was a DC kid: The Flash, The Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, The Atom, etc.

I have "The Tick" action figures that were released at the same time the live-action series was on.

I have plastic Jesus but I can't make it stick to the dashboard.

The last comic I read was the first volume of Sin City.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

As far as odd books- I like to collect old encyclopedias, and have never passed up the 'dollar a box' books at yard sales, so I have some strange things on the shelves.

I predate most action figures, but if I ever see a complete Johnny West on eBay, its mine.

Other than (i)MAD(/i) I didn't read any comics (except my uncle's old Donald Duck), so I guess my comic hero wowuld be Alfred E Neuman.

Slang and definition has to be FUBAR, which, aptly enough, describes the current state of the country.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

By the way, I am a complete loon for the time traveler/alternate history genre, and have quite a bit of it.

Just got done reading Stirling's series set in the Willamette Valley in a post technical world. Very interesting, especially since that is where my husband's family is from and all of the references (Eugene, Corvallis etc) are familiar territory. You would like these I'll bet.

Gahrie said...

DBQ: I have read Stirling's series in the Willamette Valley. He's currently in the middle of a four book follow up series, and there was a three book prequel series. In the first three books, the island of Nantucket is transported back to the Bronze Age, and technology still works. The same event that transported Nantucket back was responsible for wiping out technology in the modern world.

Beth said...

I had Johnny West and Geronimo when I was a little girl - maybe 8 or 9 years old. In my world, they were devoted to one another - make of that what you will. Geronimo had the coolest stuff - I can still visualize, even feel the texture, of the rubber breastplate. And horses. They both had horses.

I also had a robust collection of G.I. Joes, all purchased from our base exchange. I had a lot of neat stuff for myself too - a duffel bag, a pup tent, a thermos and canteen, all in Army green. I'd set up that tent and play with GI Joes for hours.

I also loved those little parachute guys; if you wrapped them up really well, you could get a good, long descent going.

Robert G. said...

I'm a nerd, so my desk is riddled with toys. Most of them are weird dollar store finds, but here's my Robin Williams, Mork doll.

I don't have a photo of it, but I also have a Charlie Chaplain plush doll that I got at an Asian market. Normally, this wouldn't be anything special, except that this doll is Charlie Chaplain dressed as Hitler. So soft, but not so lovable.