Category Archives: Barbie and Ken

To the Best of My Knowledge…

by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

… Bouguereau spells his name funny. But he always painted from live models who posed in direct sunlight. He had a skylight and large windows in his studio.

… We probably only have less than twelve years to reverse the effects of climate change. If we don’t manage it somehow, we could cause the oceans to turn acidic and the heat to reach temperatures that would kill off life on the entire planet.

… I most likely will not live to see that happen, but my children probably will.

… Nudity is good for you. But you will never pose in a Bouguereau painting. He died in 1905.

… Grown men who collect dolls, and sometimes still play with them, are not necessarily insane, or suffering from dementia, but I only know this based on a sample of one.

… John F Kennedy was assassinated in a plot that was probably orchestrated by LBJ who benefitted the most from his death. LBJ was facing serious legal consequences from the Billy Saul Estes investigation that simply went away after JFK’s death. Even though he was president the day JFK died, he would’ve had to have had the help of former CIA Director Alan Dulles. And when J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI found out through his informant, Lee Harvey Oswald, before the assassination, he was rendered helpless to do anything because LBJ and Dulles knew about his adventures as a gay man. Oswald was framed for the murder and silenced by Jack Ruby for having informed on the plot.

… This is only hearsay knowledge, gathered from books by Jim Marrs, a movie by Oliver Stone, testimony by Louisiana District Attorney Jim Garrison, and the deathbed confession video of CIA Agent E. Howard Hunt.

… The knowledge we store in our organic and malleable brains is never one-hundred percent correct. But it is much closer when backed up by sources, unless they are provably crazy sources… as all of the sources I mentioned for the JFK assassination theory have been accused of being at one time or another.

Starfield Boogie by Mickey B.

… I have personally seen three UFOs in my lifetime. None of them, however, are likely to be aliens from outer space. The one in South Texas seen at night and the one here in Dallas seen just before sunset, black triangles with rows of lights in a V shape, were probably military tests (there is a proving ground for pilots and experimental aircraft south of San Antonio, and there was a familiar-looking military jet following the one in Dallas. The other one in Dallas was probably a weather event, like a sun-dog.

… I choose to believe aliens from other worlds are visiting this planet, but the evidence I base that on comes in part from sources more wacky and discredited than the JFK ones. But there is actually less credible evidence on the side of the debunkers, and a reasonable skeptic finds holes in both arguments.

… Climate change will probably render both the JFK thing and the aliens thing irrelevant before too much longer. Maybe the Bouguereau/nude modeling thing too for that matter.

… These are things that I know to the best of my knowledge, but still wonder about anyway. And I could be completely wrong about all of it, (Except the Bouguereau being dead thing. I’m not wrong about that.)

Leave a comment

Filed under aliens, artwork, autobiography, Barbie and Ken, conspiracy theory, doll collecting, goofy thoughts, humor

Christmas Catalogs of the 60s

They came in the mail every November in the 1960’s. Particularly important was the Monkey Ward’s catalog because there was a Montgomery Ward Catalog Store in Belmond on Main Street. Mom and Dad could order, pay for, and pick up things there, particularly Christmas and birthday gifts. The four of us; my little brother, my two younger sisters, and I would argue about who would get to look at it next for hours at a time (the catalog, not the store… although the man who ran the store sold tropical fish in the back, so I could look at that for hours).

I, of course, dog-eared different pages than my sisters Nancy and Mary did. And David was eight years younger than me and was into baby toys, blocks, and books.

Nancy owned the three on the left.
I was nutty about model trains… and so was Dad.

I am amazed at how cheap things were back then compared to now. Of course, things were more easily destroyed because of the cheaper plastics and simpler ingredients and materials common in the 1960’s. So, it is truly amazing how many of those toys I still have. And how many survived me only to be destroyed by my own children.

And it often wasn’t enough to look at just the Monkey Ward’s catalog. (Grandpa Aldrich always called it “Monkey” instead of “Montgomery”, a pretty standard old-farmer joke in the 60’s). Grandpa and Grandma Aldrich always got a copy of the Sears catalog. And we would pour over that to find treasures that Monkey Ward’s didn’t have. That was inconvenient for Mom and Dad. The nearest Sears store was in Mason City, 50 miles northeast.

I was 10 years old in ’66.
Mary Poppins was a 60’s Disney hit.

Just the mention of Christmas catalogs of old when discussing with sisters flashes me back to the time when I was in grade school and Christmas time was all about being good for Santa because… well, toys.

And old Christmas catalogs still fascinate me. I love to look back through ten-year-old Mickey-eyes at a simpler, kinder time. Although, if I’m honest with myself, it probably wasn’t really any better than now. I just choose to believe that it was.


Filed under autobiography, Barbie and Ken, birthdays, family, humor, nostalgia, playing with toys, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Toys From My Second Childhood

C360_2017-08-22-14-26-16-520 (1)

Being retired for health reasons and unable to work, I would be dead already without my writing and art endeavors to fill my time and keep me sane.  I can do some work, as proven by my attempts to patch and repair the swimming pool this summer.  But my limitations drive me crazy, as proven by the fact that I did about half of the work on the pool wearing only sunscreen and a hat.  My kids are not married yet, and two of them are still in high school, but they are not much interested in toys any more.  And I don’t yet have grandkids to spoil.  So when I go the Resale Store or Goodwill to shop for old toys, I am basically buying them for myself.

The Princess of the Korean Court Barbie was lying on the bargain shelf for $3.49.  I bought the ceramic wishing well behind her for $5.00.  So the bargain-hunting gene I inherited from Scotch ancestors was duly satisfied.  But I had to do more with things like these than merely own them.  Toys are for playing. And what does a 60-year-old man do with dolls when he is playing?  Besides being a bit creepy, I mean?  Well, this photo is the answer.  I use my toys to create pictures and artwork.


Here’s a creation using the ceramic wishing well again.  It is apparently, on closer inspection, actually a candle holder.  But it serves to make my Walmart Clearance Sale Disney toys happy.  Here you see the pony-brushing party held by Minnie Mouse with Daisy Duck and the gay snowman from Frozen.


Here you see the metal miniatures I got in a pack from Walmart as they visit the cardboard castle.  Two of the lead figures on the ground are hand painted by me in days long ago.  The entire cardboard castle was printed and glued on cardboard, cut out and put together entirely by me.  Mickey, Minnie, Alice, Stitch, and Kermit are the metal miniatures not painted by me.

So, my days have not been overwhelmed by boredom and frustration and problems with city pool inspectors (he doesn’t even know about doing the repair work in the nude, so he can’t give me a ticket for that.)  I have been filling my time with toys and creative play.  I have been mostly a good boy… err… old man.

Leave a comment

Filed under action figures, Barbie and Ken, doll collecting, foolishness, goofy thoughts, making cardboard castles, Mickey, photo paffoonies, playing with toys, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Cowboy Dolls

Cleaning in the library led me to rediscover an old project.  Roy Rogers and Trigger had been sitting next to the TV in the library.  I found them both on the floor between the TV and a book stack.  Time to pick them up and put them back in shape.


The doll is a random military action figure rescued naked from a thrift store.  I thought the face looked enough like Roy Rogers to turn him into that particular hero.  The horse is from Mattel, and probably is part of a Barbie play-set. It was given to me by a relative.  I dressed Roy in a Lone Ranger Captain Action uniform with a Tonto gun belt, both created by Playing Mantis Toy Company in the late 1990’s.  The hat is actually from a Cowgirl Barbie because I wanted a Roy Rogers-style almost-white hat.  The Lone Ranger hat is too flat-brimmed to look right and way too large to fit on Roy’s smaller head, and the only other cowboy hat I have for it is a Johnny West hat from Marx Toys in the 1960’s, and that is dark brown.

Everything Johnny West that I still have was salvaged from the house where I grew up back in the 1980’s.  They belonged to my little brother, but ended up in my collection because he outgrew dolls and action figures long before I did.  I wish I still had the doll himself, but I think Dabney blew him up with a firecracker when he was a teenager.


So, I have to be happy with only having Roy and Cowgirl Barbie to play with.


Filed under action figures, Barbie and Ken, doll collecting, humor, photo paffoonies, Uncategorized

The Barbie Shelf

Goofy-guy doll collector, me, will now give you a grand tour of the Barbie Shelf.  This is a place in my home that was originally created by the previous owners of the house.  It was a place in the upstairs play room apparently meant for the things that needed to be kept out of little girls’ reach.  Maybe pampers and baby wipes.  Cleaning supplies.  And possibly toys that were not to be broken immediately and had to be regulated.  I don’t know why else you would grace a playroom with a shelf up near the ceiling and above the only door into the room.  It was, however, perfect for the plastic people who were destined to take it over as their own.


It begins above the bedroom door.  My wife has a thing about keeping her dolls mint in box.  She has more of an eye to their value as collectible investments.  The fashion Barbie nestled above the door in her box is a recreation of a 1962 doll that was reissued in 1999.  You can also see the Teacher Barbie that the Princess once de-boxed and played with.  And there you can also see the start of the Wizard of Oz collection.  There are little munchkin dolls and the Ken doll dressed as the Cowardly Lion in the picture.


In front of Dorothy and Glinda from Oz, you see some of the recycled Goodwill Barbies that I bought naked and abandoned, cleaned and dressed, washed and tried to brush out their hair.  One of them had some marker on her face that had to be soaked off with secret sauce to restore a more human look.  The one in the middle is a 1980’s Asian Barbie.  There is also a Cowgirl Barbie wearing an extra gun belt from a CA Lone Ranger set.


The kids are protected by Eustace the purple pottery dragon who was fired in my mother’s kiln during the height of her doll-making hobby and painted by me.  The kids here include a tiny Tommy doll, three Skippers from the early 70’s, and Hermione from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  You can see the Scarecrow and the Tin Man in the back, and there’s also Goodwill Barbie that for some odd reason has purple hair.


Ricky (a 1960’s boy toy for Skipper) sits with Ashley Olsen between more recycled Goodwill Barbies.  1980’s Skipper is trying to push poor roller-skate Barbie off the shelf.


My newest My Little Pony in mutant almost human form, Rainbow Dash the Equestria girl, is the blue doll in the middle here.  Mary-Kate Olsen can be seen in the Blue dress.  All you can see of Britney Spears here are her legs and feet, probably a safety feature of this tour.  The topless ballerina Barbie is wearing a jacket, but I could not close it on her extra large Barbie mammaries.  Princess Jasmine, my daughter’s somewhat beat-up favorite begins Disney Princess Row.


Li Shang is still mint in box, but Mulan isn’t even on the shelf any more.  Some of Mom’s dolls got played with by the Princess.  Mulan lost her hair.  There is one American Girl doll here, bought at a yard sale for 25 cents, but I found a dress to fit her at Walmart in a sale bin.  Unfortunately I can’t name her correctly yet and she is barefoot like most of the Goodwill dolls.


Almost to the end of the shelf, you can now see Apple Jack and Twilight Sparkle, my other two mutant pony girls, discovered at an After-Christmas Sale at Toys-R-Us.  They are standing on Grandma Beyer’s home bingo set from the 1930’s, and Disney Princesses are lined up behind them.

20150112_145808At the tail end of the shelf you will see Twilight Sparkle again to take the focus off poor 1980’s nudist Skipper (I robbed her of her clothes for one of the older, more rare Skippers that are worth a bit more to collectors).  Seated between is Asian Rock n Roll Barbie (Leah actually).  You may have noticed I am careful not to over-identify any of the members of the collection.  I got taken to task on E-Bay about descriptions of which Barbie was which once.  There are people out there much more rabid about doll collecting than I.  The difference between a 1980’s Butterfly Tattoo Barbie and an Anniversary Edition Malibu Barbie can get you challenged to a duel… with rapiers… in France.  I had to talk him into balloons and blunderbusses (an idea borrowed from Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines), and I lost.  I had to settle for the price offered even though my own research suggested I was not wrong.  (Well, okay, maybe I didn’t really go through with the duel thing, but the argument was just as intense and just as silly as that.)

So that is my long-winded essay on the essentials of the Barbie Shelf.  I will be looking at it a lot for the next few years since it is in the room I am using as my bedroom.  (Not in perfect health, I needed a room that I could completely seal up at night in order to breathe better.)  I really didn’t think I could pull off 500 words about this one goofy shelf in the house, but I now realize that I have nearly reached 900.


Filed under Barbie and Ken, doll collecting, humor

An Overdose of Cheerios


I was trying to think what I would post today, and coming up blank.  I have a pathological need to keep posting here, especially since my brain is currently switched to editing mode for my novel The Magical Miss Morgan.  One can’t keep a sacred oath to write every day if there is no writing going on other than editing (which doesn’t count because no new creative thoughts are being generated and the fertile spore-producing areas of my mental storage shed may grow sterile for want of fresh garbage being piled there).  So I went looking through my file of photo Paffoonies to find something I haven’t already inflicted on potential readers to the point of making them gag and doing something sensible like shutting off their computer for a while.  Unfortunately all I found was this potential gag-inducing library photo of the time the Mighty Thor got drunk on overripe Cheerios and milk and decided to commit cave-man love on beautiful topless mermaid Barbie.  (I know… topless and in the possession of a fifty-eight-year-old man… kinda creepy… but honest, I am intending to make a shell bra with real sea shells and just haven’t gotten around to it yet, though I have the shells selected and the material cut.  My sewing machine is broken.  Yeah, that’s my story… and I’m sticking to it).  (Goodness!  That last parenthetic expression is the fifteenth longest one I have ever written!)

The picture was taken moments before the hammer came down to bonk her lightly on the brain.  Fortunately, this is Barbie we are talking about, and the excess air inside her plastic head probably saved her from fatal brain damage.  She was one of a half dozen naked Barbie dolls I rescued from Goodwill.  She is grateful for any attention she gets nowadays and responded to Thor’s drunken love tap by falling madly in love with him.  She chased the god of thunder all around the library that day to give him a big, fat mermaid smooch on the lips (or is that “big, fat, mermaid smooch on the lips”?  …because she’s not a fat mermaid).  She would have caught him too, but the mermaid fin-dress that I also found in a resale bargain store caused her to have to hop, and my messy library has so many un-filed books on the floor that she kept tripping and falling flat on her… face (yes, the face would’ve obviously hit the floor first, right?).

A week later I caught him obviously thinking about doing it again.

She likes to sunbathe in front of the Cheerios box that holds up one of the shelves on a nearby book case where the nails are coming loose.  (I have fixed it since the picture was taken and used the Cheerios box full of sand to hold up something else entirely.)

I bought a mind-reading app for my digital camera and applied it to this photo because I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why he might be thinking about doing it again.  I threw the moldy old discarded bowl of Cheerios away because… well, you know that spoiled milk smell, right?  So, it couldn’t be that again.  Anyway, here’s the processed picture because this is the end of this daily post.  I have passed 550 words already.



Filed under Barbie and Ken, doll collecting, humor, messy library, photo paffoonies

Final Star Trek Confessions


I am sorry, but today’s post will probably bore you unless you are a doll-collecting, obsessive-compulsive bag of mixed nuts like I am.  These are the kinds of details that only interest the true collect-a-holic.  You see in the picture my mint in-the-box Star Trek Barbie and Ken, 1996 30th Anniversary Edition.  It was a difficult track-down.  Now, you Google it and you can get one for 25 dollars on e-Bay without breaking a sweat.  When I got hold of this in 1998, however, it was a bit tougher to find.  It started with a trip to Goodwill.  My wife loves the bargain clothing and especially the shoes.  (She’s from the Philippines and has a touch of Imelda Marcos Footwear Disease.)  While there, with my young son in tow, in the toy section… I discovered two loose Barbie and Ken dolls that actually weren’t naked.  Barbie’s head was severely damaged, and she had lost a leg.  Ken was in practically un-loved, un-played-with condition.  Both had uniforms.  The Star Trek uniforms you see here on the two figures in front.  (Ken was missing the shoes, phaser, and communicator, but the original accessories were pretty small and pitiful anyway.  Barbie had no fishnet stockings and no shoes, along with no working head.)  Of course I had to buy these wonderful items.  They cost me 25 cents apiece.  Gonga!  I hadn’t known that such a 12″ action figure existed!  (Okay, really a doll, but, you know…)  I immediately began a search of toy stores and junk shops in South Texas.  At the time we had relatives in Dallas.  So I went prowling there too.  You wouldn’t believe the looks I used to get from parents wondering what a forty-something old man by himself wanted in the Barbie section of KayBee Toys.  Now they see my gray hair and figure, ah yes, shopping for his granddaughter (of which I have none, but I digress.)  Finally I found the rare item in a San Antonio flea market stall.  And it only set me back fifteen dollars.  Wotta find!  It made my goofy old collector’s heart glad for a couple of months afterwards… heck, that’s not true either!  Sixteen years later it still makes me giddy.


Filed under Barbie and Ken, doll collecting, goofiness, irony, toystore quests