A What’s That Winner!

Posted by Kathy on March 24th, 2012

Really, Ordinary Sarah? Seriously?

Within minutes of my posting a What’s That object, you are the first to respond and you get it correct?

Are you a robot?

Do you have magic powers?

Did you hack my email account and read about me telling my friends and family what a great stumper this was gonna be because no one would know it was an eye glasses cleaner?

I’m watching you now.

I’m also sending you a prize package! Good for you, oh wise one.

Here are the partial and full views of the item in question:

image image

I love how this object even exists. Who knew? Clearly, they make something for everything.

Let’s hope the next What’s That item is way harder than this one. Or, that I post it when Ordinary Sarah is sleeping and you’ll stand a chance against her!

What’s That Wednesday

Posted by Kathy on March 21st, 2012

Springtime means beautiful flowers and lush greenery, bursting with enthusiasm, return to my long-slumbering yard. Welcome back, color and life!

What else is resurrected? The What’s That Wednesday brain-stumper contest!

Today’s item comes from my friend and yours, JD of the I Do Things blog.

When she sent me the picture, I had no idea what it was, and that was with the benefit of seeing the object in its entirety.

You’re in trouble because, as is the tradition with these things, you only get to see a bit of it.

How to play:

1. The photo shows a small portion of a larger object.

2. First person to guess the object wins a Junk Drawer magnet and your choice of bacon bandages, Jesus bandages, or glow-in-the-dark skeleton keys covers.

whats that

If you think you know what it is, drop a comment in the drawer.

If you give up, head over to my friend Bill White’s blog for his version of What’s That? For the record, I have no clue what his item is, so don’t ask me for clues.

Bill is a columnist for my local paper, and also an adjunct professor at the university where I work. I’d like to thank him for inviting me as a guest speaker in his Journalism class to talk about blogging on Monday.

I’m honored for the invite and grateful that his students were so attentive and asked such probing questions. What a great group of kids!

Now put on your thinking caps and get crackin’.

What’s That Winners

Posted by Kathy on August 25th, 2011

Hi, guys! I’m finally getting around to announcing the winners of the latest What’s That contest.

A lot of you guessed correctly on the first item, which is a vegetable dicer. That was far too easy, but don’t you worry. I’ll have much harder ones in the future, as I know how much you like to beat your heads against a wall.

what's that 1 what's that 028

Melody guessed correctly first, so she gets bragging rights and prizes.

The second object is a rack that you attach to the inside of a clothes dryer to rest items on that you don’t want tumbling around getting mangled.

For my non-U.S. readers, that baseball cap is for the Philadelphia Phillies, who are doing quite well this season. I have a co-worker whose office is filled with Phillies paraphernalia, so much that it looks like a bloody massacre from all the red. Go Phils!

what's that 2 what's that 025

Babs Beetle guessed that one correctly, although I wasn’t 100% sure she meant that it went inside the dryer. So I’m also awarding prizes to Lin too, who said it was actually for the dryer itself. I’ll pop you emails shortly.

Hope to be back to regular programming soon. Work has been challenging of late, but I just got my Boo the Round-Headed Dog book, so I’m delighted by that.

I look at it whenever I’m stressed and it makes me happy.

Wouldn’t you be, too?

And, yes, it’s a real dog.

Boo the Dog

Apostrophe Madness and the Return of What’s That

Posted by Kathy on August 20th, 2011

Hey, peeps! Remember me? I used to blog here. I’ve been unable to string words together lately. So I hope you forgive me while my brain undergoes maintenance.

I have some workmen on it and they think it’s limited to my temporal lobe, which controls semantics and word meaning. They think if I just practice writing every day, words will make sense to me again and six eggs dance in the moonlight when the 31st of April takes a bath.


Nevermind. Brain still needs work.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some apostrophe problems and a couple What’s That items for you to mull over.

First up, Food Network. This is from the show Good Eats with Alton Brown.

Nice try. Even if it needed an apostrophe, that’s not where it would go. So double FAIL for you!

Food Network

This next one comes from sender-inner Grant, my pal at work who knows how insane I get over grammar mistakes, especially by the big boys.

Here, Crayola makes a boo-boo of the that-doesn’t-make-it-plural variety.


Now, for the What’s That items: A friend wrote me this week and asked if I was still doing the series. I told her how difficult it’s been to find good items that will make your heads hurt. Because I’m all about hurting the heads of others.

I hope these fit the bill.

How to play:

1. The photos show a small portion of a larger object.

2. First person to correctly guess one or both objects wins a Junk Drawer magnet and a choice of either bacon, Jesus or eyeball bandages.

Object #1

what's that 1

Object #2

what's that 2

Commence hurting heads!


A What’s That Winner!

Posted by Kathy on February 18th, 2011

First, my apologies for being MIA for a week. I’ve been laid up with the flu.

I’m done with the tissues, chicken soup and achy body. And I’m showering again, much to the delight of my cats, who even though they lick their own butts, thought I was getting kinda gross there for a while.

At some point during my illness, the correct guess for the last What’s That Wednesday contest came in. The answer was submitted by Jim, who didn’t leave a blog URL.

The object in question is a paper jogger, a device used in the printing industry to properly align paper and dissipate static.

Paper rests in the corner of the machine:


When the machine is turned on, the paper is shaken down, hitting the two metal sides where you see the paint has worn off.


I wanted to take video of the machine in action, but it’s terribly loud and I wasn’t feeling up to having my head explode.

Here’s a video of a similar jogger doin’ its thing:


Congratulations, Jim! I’m impressed you were able to guess that! I’ll write you soon to see which prize you want.

Now that I’m feeling better, I hope to get my writing groove back. In the meantime, I want to share an older post with you if you haven’t seen it. In honor of the Westminster Dog Show that took place this week, I give you My Interview with Remy, the standard poodle who won her category in 2008. It’s one of my all-time favorite posts.

Have a great weekend!

What’s That Wednesday

Posted by Kathy on February 9th, 2011

This is another one of those items that could be really easy to guess or really hard. I’m sorry if you find it terribly difficult. No I’m not.

Good luck. That’s all I’m sayin’. Don’t hate me.

How to play:

1. The photo shows a small portion of a larger object.

2. First person to guess the object wins a Junk Drawer magnet and your choice of either bacon or eyeball bandages.

whats that wednesday

What is that?

A What’s That Winner!

Posted by Kathy on January 12th, 2011

I think Babs of Beetle’s Memories ‘n Ramblings must have a room in her house full of Junk Drawer merchandise because she won yet another What’s That contest!

The item in question is the front speaker panel on an old Zenith AM-FM radio.


Zenith AM FM radio

One of the pieces of item information I gave you – that it was found a storage room where I work – wasn’t a hint at all.

Frankly, I don’t know why it’s even in the room, but now I wanna steal it and put it up on eBay. Might be worth fifty bucks if it works.

Congratulations, Babs! I’ll write you soon to see which prizes you want that you don’t already have. Must I ban you from further contests? You keep winning!

Thanks for all your guesses, everyone.

p.s. to Linda Medrano, who said it looked like her prom dress. My sympathies. Got any pictures of that?

What’s That Friday

Posted by Kathy on January 7th, 2011

I’m too late for a What’s That Wednesday, but does it really matter?

No, it does not.

How to play:

1. The photo shows a small portion of a larger object.

2. First person to guess the object wins a Junk Drawer magnet and your choice of either bacon bandaids or Jesus bandaids.

Item Info:

1. The item was found in a storage room in my building at work.

2. It’s old.

3. The pattern is distinctive to the item. Most of the items I’ve found like it in my research have this particular design.


what's that

A What’s That Winner!

Posted by Kathy on October 4th, 2010

I’m pleased to announce two winners of Friday’s What’s That contest!

Cromely of Cromely’s World guessed it’s a razor blade storage or disposal unit. That wasn’t exactly right, but it was close enough to earn a prize. After reading my update that someone was on the right track, local reader Kathy B. studied the comments and correctly guessed it’s a razor blade sharpener.

This one was made by the Twinplex Stamping Company in the early 1900s.

Here is the device in action.

Congratulations Cromely and Kathy! I’ll be in touch with you shortly about your prizes.

Thanks for playing everyone!

What’s That Friday

Posted by Kathy on October 1st, 2010


Hey, peeps! I haven’t been able to post much lately due to the day job, so I thought I’d submit for your examination a quizzical little object for a What’s That? contest.

I’m showing you the entire object because it’s so odd, no one would get it if I only showed a small portion of it.

The only hints I’ll offer are that it’s old and it’s not mine.

How to play:

Easy! First person to guess the object wins a Junk Drawer magnet AND your choice of bacon bandaids or chocolate chip cookie soap.



OK, so what is that?

UPDATE: Someone has guessed very close to the correct answer (and earns a prize). I won’t say who it was. I’ll only say that the object is NOT a pencil sharpener. This is a pencil sharpener. Some of you might remember that as the post wherein I yelled at everyone for getting it right away.

So here’s your second chance to win. Sift through the comments and see if you know who got close, and then take it a step further. I know you can do it!

A What’s That Winner!

Posted by Kathy on August 22nd, 2010

We have a winner for the What’s That Wednesday contest. The object in question is a brake for the turntable on a 103-year-old Victrola gramophone.

After some serious consideration, I decided to award two people because they each guessed so close to perfect, just a little bit off on the function of the piece.

Mo, via Babs Beetle, nailed the gramophone part and so that gets her the win. However, she said the metal piece is “the switch that makes it spin.” Although the piece does affect spin, it’s not what makes it spin. The hand crank on the side of the unit does that.

Jen of Redhead Ranting further guessed that “it’s the speed control on a gramophone.” There is a “speed regulator” dial on the device, but the brake obviously controls speed (to stop spinning while changing records), so I’m giving second prize to Jen.

Congratulations, ladies! I’ll be in touch with you both soon.

Here are more pictures of the Victrola. It belongs to my brother-in-law’s family and it was such a treat to hear old records being played on it. We all find it incredible that it’s in such good condition for its age. You can see how well it’s been loved!

Manufacturer’s stamp (inside the lid):


Again, here is the What’s That object (the turntable brake):


Here is the arm that holds the record needle:


Receptacles for needles:


The speed regulator dial:

speed regulator

Here is the piece in its entirety. Records stand on edge at the left. There are angled slats inside the right half of the unit. The doors in front of them act as crude but effective volume control. The hand crank is barely visible, also on the right:


Here’s a one-minute video so you can hear it in action!


What’s That Wednesday

Posted by Kathy on August 18th, 2010

UPDATE: See additional photo below!

Like always, I hope that today’s What’s That item is hard enough to make your head hurt, but not so hard that no one gets it.

How to play:

1. The photo shows a small portion of a larger object.

2. First person to guess the object wins a Junk Drawer magnet and your choice of bacon bandaids, chocolate chip cookie soap or toasted Post-it notes.

Item Info:

1. This item is rather old.

2. It is not mine.

3. It’s very cool.


What’s that?

Since no one got it yet, here’s another picture. Same part of the object, different angle, more revealed.


Does this help?

In other Junk Drawer news:

In June I gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal about the loud Sun Chips bag. A marketing reporter found my blog post and video about the ear-splitting noise the 100% compostable bags make.

The article finally appeared yesterday. I’m quoted in the third to last paragraph. They also used a snippet of my bag demonstration 25 seconds into their video (click the Video tab at the top of the article).

Now go stare at the picture above for an hour and drop your guess in the drawer.

Go on! Get going!

A What’s That Winner!

Posted by Kathy on May 13th, 2010

We have a winner! Stephanie Barr guessed yesterday’s What’s That item correctly, though not by its official name. She described it thusly:

“Looks to me like the receptacle for a fastener, like a snap or a rivet, where you pound the fastener in and it’s deformed by this receptacle into the right shape.”

For the record, the object is called a dapping block.

The item belongs to a friend of mine who makes handwrought sterling silver jewelry. She says “Each side of the steel block has a different size indentation.  Metal is placed on top and another tool is hammered into it.”

Here are some pictures showing the object in its entirety, along with the other tool that is used with it.

dapping block

dapping block 2

dapping block 3

Thanks for playing this week’s What’s That! I expect to have another one next week, so keep your eyes peeled.

Congratulations, Stephanie! I’ll contact you shortly about your prizes.

A What’s That Winner

Posted by Kathy on April 15th, 2010

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

Babs of Beetle Blog was the first to guess correctly that the What’s That object from yesterday was a boot spur.

I found the item in the woodworking shop of a friend of mine. He had all kinds of cool, antique, things in his shop hanging from the rafters (which explains all the dust on it that many of you pointed out). What keen eyes you have!

Way to go, Babs. You asked for the black cat bandaids instead of what was up for grabs. I’m nothing if not flexible. I’ll see that you get the kitty bandaids.

Thanks for playing and submitting such good and funny guesses, everyone!

And Cardiogirl? Six guesses? Maybe I’ll get you those cupcake bandaids simply because I’m afraid you’ll die without them.

Until next time!

whats that 


What’s That Wednesday

Posted by Kathy on April 14th, 2010

I’m just under the wire for a What’s That Wednesday. I suspect someone will get this immediately.

I have one regular reader who should recognize it instantly. Do you wonder if I’m talking about you?

How to play:

1. The photo shows a small portion of a larger object.

2. First person to guess the object wins a Junk Drawer magnet and a box of cupcake, pickle or Jesus band-aids. Your choice.


whats that

What’s that?