smiling has been outlawed

On Saturday I went to the Motor Registry to renew my licence. A very pleasant young Asian woman pointed at a chair and asked me to assume the position for “the taking of photo please”. I sat down and gave my best don’t-arrest-me grin to the camera. “Please to not do that” she said “smiling has been outlawed”.

So, no smiling in New South Wales then. Even when you look at these delightful entries for the Gimcrack’s Inaugural Cat Competition. Please cast your vote in the comments. And yes, you may vote for your own cat (entrants names are visible when you hover cursor over the photo – click to enlarge)

Published in: on July 12, 2011 at 8:31 am  Comments (44)  
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the Russian view of hobbyists

The title says it all. Found here

“normal, cheerful John” found here

It is known about John Travolta that before he has become a collector, he was a normal, cheerful lad that did all with appetite: ate, rescued and loved his wife Kelly Preston. But once upon a time Travolta has bought a plane – a small storm trooper, which initiated the hasty disease.

more felt celebrities here

Travolta liked the new toy so much, that he has decided to collect the flying machines. The storm trooper was followed by the reactive “Golfstrim”, then “Boing-707”, all in all now he possesses 7 planes! Imagine how much space this collection occupies!

Travolta’s jets found here

And how much money it costs? Last year Travolta ordered to install in each of the airsheds the extremely sensitive cameras and the security system, the central board of which is set into the back of his bed.

more unusual beds here

Robert De Niro’s collection is not so extravagant – it’s just the collection of hats. But, first, there are plenty of them – approximately 500.  Secondly, they are thrown about in disturbance all over the house.

hat found here

De Niro says that it is done deliberately – it’s easier for him to choose the cut, corresponding to his mood. De Niro’s collection is “active” – now and then he puts on one of his hats and wears it. But the most interesting fact is that all of his wives and girlfriends assure that when De Niro puts on one of his hats, his image transforms thoroughly.

Russians are also very fond of cats apparently. They have a museum devoted to the promotion of this love. 

GREAT! Our Museum’s cats were so glad to taste this unusual toy! Very funny for people and very interesting for cats. You can play with your cat and your cat play itself when you are not home (VERY IMPORTANT).

Two mean points:

Cat Dancer can be used as a wand to play with your cat. Just lead and they will chase, leap and run in circles.

Cat Dancer Compleat includes a soft mounting patch to affix Cat Dancer to a wall or other vertical surface so your cat can play when you are not home.


“Nordic Track for Cats” – New York Times

Irresistable (sic) exercise machine for fat cats” – The Milwaukee Journal

“…Spontaneous cat aerobics.” – London Daily Mail

“Two paws up!” – Whiskers and Sherbet

The best cat’s idea for lonely day” – MOSCOW CAT MUSEUM

image found here

They also have a “Woman and Cat” Beauty Contest. Elena from Moscow was a top contender but my vote goes to the goth girl with the baleful blackie.

image found here

If you have a feline friend of your own, enter his/her photo in the inaugural  Gimcrackery Cattery Competition. I’ll post a prize to the winner. I can’t guarantee it will have two mean points or deserve an accolade such as a “Nordic Track for Cats” but it could enliven the conversation at your next dinner party…..

Email photos to :

Published in: on July 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm  Comments (50)  
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the tall one, the broad one and the siamese cat

Falling on your head is never a good idea. Unless you’re sure it will result in a best selling book or three


“In the U.S., a sign painter named Allen Noonan fell off a ladder, banged his head and found he had awakened strange psychic abilities in himself. He was soon communicating with space people and undergoing all kinds of strange experiences.

In Holland, a man named Peter Hurkos also fell on his skull and the accident turned him into a world famous psychic who has spent his life helping police solve crimes.

click to enlarge or view original here

In 1947, in England, a struggling British writer named Cyril Hoskin told his astonished wife that he had decided to change his name. A few months later, Cyril Hoskin became Carl Kuon Suo by court order.  He abandoned his home and moved to a distant district where he was troubled by hallucinations and developed a kind of split personality, the Englishman being slowly replaced by an Oriental entity while his appalled wife watched. Then, on June 13, 1949, while climbing a ladder in his garden, Carl Kuon Suo fell and cracked his head, suffering a mild concussion. When he recovered, the Englishman was gone and had been replaced by a Tibetan with full memories of growing up in Tibet!

Deportation of Tibetan prisoners found here

Carl changed his name again to Tuesday Lobsang Rampa and began publishing books about his various experiences.

Despite having been originally rejected as a hoax and receiving horrendous reviews, The Third Eye became a massive international best-seller. Lobsang Rampa’s publishers admitted that they, too, had had doubts about its authenticity, but thought it would make a good read anyway. They prefaced it with a statement saying that many of the author’s stories were “inevitably hard to corroborate”. On one occasion, to test the author’s veracity, Lobsang Rampa’s editor at Secker & Warburg read out some phonetic Tibetan to him to which he didn’t react. When he was told that he had just failed to understand a single word of his “own language”, Lobsang Rampa threw himself onto the floor, writhing in agony. He explained that he had been horrifically tortured by the Japanese in the war and had blocked out all knowledge of Tibetan by self-hypnotism.


Lobsang Rampa produced another 18 books, becoming the 20th century’s best-known exponent of Tibetan Buddhism. In Doctor from Lhasa, he tells how he learnt to fly a plane, was captured by the Japanese during the Second World War, spent time in concentration camps as the official medical officer, and was one of very few people to survive the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Nor did he restrict himself to mere terrestrial travel, recounting a visit to Venus aboard a space ship and meeting two aliens helpfully named “the Tall One” and “the Broad One”. He admitted that his fifth book, Living With the Lama, was not by “Lobsang Rampa” at all. It had all been dictated to him by Mrs Fifi Greywhiskers, his Siamese cat.

all these siamese cats with their famous owners found here

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 8:18 am  Comments (48)  
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