This Christmas I got a present that feeds my unhealthy obsession of pineapple. It’s a pineapple slicer.

Amazon has a nice little photograph sequence here which shows the process.

Sure enough, it works just as described!



Thanks for the great gift Mom and Dad!


Can you even fathom the awesomeness of Ryan Schenk’s latest mobile?


This mobile features Charles Bronson wakestyle kiteboarding over an angry ocean. Underwater is a shark with a laser beam attached to its head, fighting a t-rex in snorkeling gear. Placing money on the fight is a barracuda incarnation of Tom Waits, to the backbeat of a mermaid playing Kerry King from Slayer’s flying-v guitar through a stack of Marshalls.

Let’s look at each part in extreme depth.

Charles Bronson Kiteboarding


Ryan Schenk reports:

I made several revisions of Charles Bronson to get him structurally sound enough to support himself from the arms. This is the first revision, which didn’t make it into the finished mobile, but looks pretty good.

You can see his wake boots and his Slingshot Fuel in the background.

The final Chuck Bronson was made out of 4 sheets of cardstock laminated into a curved shape by using a mold inside a vacuum bag.


Appreciate Bronson’s incredible bravado.

The Mermaid


You can feel the crushing crunch of this mermaid’s distortion. Appreciate the guitar, expertly made to mimic the flying-v guitar designed by Kerry King from Slayer.

The Mermaid with her stack of Marshall amps.


My heart is warmed by the thought of underwater distortion.

Laser Head Shark


Simple. Elegant. A shark with a laser attached to his head.

The Barracuda


This raspy voiced barracuda comes equipped with top hat, cigarette, and a stack of money clutched tightly in its confident fin.

Snorkeling T-Rex.


If you thought it was safe to enter the waters, you were wrong. Perhaps the most renowned predator of all times might be lurking beneath the waves in full snorkeling regalia. Be wary.

Great job Ryan Schenk.

Persian Santa

With a few exceptions, I’ve been carving my mom Santas as Christmas gifts for the past few years. You might remember Kung Fu Santa and Climbing Santa from years past. This year, inspired by a beautiful artistic camel owned by a coworker, I decided to carve a Persian Santa with an accompanying camel.

With the aid of new recently acquired carving equipment, this years work went a bit more smoothly than years past. Enjoy!

Step 1:
Find some wood and draw the front view of your santa.


Step 2: The rough cut. I don’t have a bandsaw, which would have made this eternally easy, but I do have a chop saw which was a good start and dramatically reduced the carving time.


Step 3:
With the front view cut, I drew a side view and trimmed whatever I could with the chop saw. Admittedly, any tool would have been better, but ya work with what ya got.


Step 4:
With the general shape already taken care of, it’s not a lot of work to get in there to start rounding corners.


Step 5: Having the general shape of the Santa complete, I started in on the camel. Conveniently, the shape of the camel allowed me to use a jigsaw instead of the chop saw.


Step 6: I have a new carving tool which obliterates wood. While awesomely carvrific, it’s also brutal. I held the wood with a clamp just in case the tool took off on me. I didn’t really feel like loosing any fingers. The legs were trimmed down using this monster new tool.


Step 7: Here’s the camel after rounding.


Step 8: One of the best methods for detailing on wood is a burning tool. I have a burner which pumps current through a sharp tip. By digging the tip into the wood you can quickly burn away very specific patterns. Here I’ve drawn the area that I want to burn.


Step 9: Here’s the first pass with the burning tool. You’ll note I also added some creases in the Santa’s elbow.


Step 10: I love the look of burned wood, but if all carvings were left with the burned look, then collectively they’d look stupid. It’s always tough to start painting after the burning, but you gotta do it.

I start with a white primer coat. My camel would be blue with red and gold highlights. Check it out:


Step 11: Paint the Santa. same theme here, white primer with gold blue and red coverings.


Step 12: After painting, I applied an antiquing coat. It’s kinda like dirt paint. It makes things look older and accents the shadows on your piece. Here is the final result of the Santa and his camel on my mom’s fireplace mantel next to a few other Santas.


Merry Christmas Mom!!

Malchish Kibalchish

Last year at this time, Jess in Ukraine intercepted a bunch of prints from their path to the trash after her Ukrainian school decided to get rid of them. She was kind enough to give me one as a gift during my visit. I chose the one below because of its awesome color and the amazing artistry in the chains and lighting.


I knew it was about the youth army, but could only speculate as to the true story behind the prints. UNTIL NOW. This morning I got an e-mail. Jess in Ukraine was talking to her language teacher and got the whole story behind her collection of salvaged prints!

Here we go:

Malchish Kibalchish was a little Soviet boy like any other. He worked at home with his family. He took joy in his play and worked steadfast through his chores. One day a man on a white horse came into town. He announced that he was forming a people’s army to help defeat the German Army. Malchish Kibalchish watched as the town gathered together its fathers, uncles, and elder brothers and sent them off with the man on the white horse.

The seasons wore on and the day came when the man on the white horse returned to Malchish’s village. The man was visibly tired and worn but held his head high. His horse’s tired gait betrayed the struggles on the front line.

His torn clothes hanging wearily from his shoulders, the man announced that they were doing well but needed more support. He asked for the help of the able elder men of the town. Malchish watched as the man on the white horse led his village’s able grandfathers and seniors off to war.

With much of his family off at war, Malchish Kibalchish had taken on a greater role at the household. His hopes of seeing his family’s quick return faded when he saw the man return one more time to his village. Now without a horse, the man struggled to walk forward. He brought news of near victory, but pleaded for more help.

Malchish Kibalchish stepped up proudly “Come on young boys. We have been helping everyone at home the whole time our fathers, uncles and grandfathers went off to fight and now it is our time.”

Malchish and the young privateers headed off with the man and began their fight on the lines. The Fascists were falling under the renewed spirit of the Soviet army.

This is where his arch enemy comes in. Jess remembered his name as Malchish Spalchish. He was a fat and spoiled son of a fascist. The fascists tell Spalchish that they will give him barrels of candy and soda if he will tell them where Kibalchish has his headquarters.

Spalchish accepts his role as traitor and readily tells them. The Fascists find and capture Kibalchish. They chain him up and torture him, demanding the secrets of the Red Army. Malchish remains stoic in his refusal to speak.

The Germans kill him.

There is a monument and a ship named after Malchish Kibalchish. All of the Young Pioneers go to his monument when they are officially sworn in to salute Malchish Kibalchish, the most loyal and bravest Young Pioneer.


I’ll try and get photos of some of the other prints that Jess got her hands on so that we can see more pictures from the story. Special thanks to Jess for the new information!