Disney Park Props

Disney Park Props

Aug 22




Here’s my latest authentic Disney Parks prop find:



Disney Trashcan Plaque

Disney park used Tomorrowland and Main Street trash can plaques

These are plaques off trash cans in the Magic Kingdom. One is from Tomorrowland and the other from Main Street USA!
Here’s a shot of the back showing these are authentic park used pieces that still have the bolts intact where they were secured to the cans.


Disney trashcan plaque

Back of the plaques showing how they bolt to the trash cans.

 These were an awesome find. They’re in great shape and are going to clean up nicely.


They’re a great addition to my growing collection.



A Day at the Range

A Day at the Range

Apr 19


Had a great safe day at the range yesterday. Took an “Intro to Competitive Pistol” class.


Tim Logan runs a great class and runs a really safe range.


I learned that actively engaging a target pushes you as a shooter, and also pushes your equipment to a point where any weaknesses in your setup become very evident.


I have a Glock branded 10 round magazine sitting in the trash today as a result from consistent critical failures yesterday that never showed up during stagnant shooting.


I shot well, but the consistent 10 round magazine failures hurt my times. On a positive note, I got a lot of practice clearing jams, swapping mags, and cycling the gun under pressure.


Here’s pictures of the basic course and the instructors showing us how it’s done.







—– Brandon


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Nov 28


Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

We got to spend time with family. We spent Thanksgiving at my mom and dad’s house, had a great turkey dinner, watched the parade, and watched old home movies my Grandfather made of all of us and my cousins. Everyone got a kick out of seeing everyone in their younger years and got a good laugh at how chubby of a baby I was. Yep, I was a bit of a Butterball.

As I get older, I’m realizing how important times like these are in a person’s life and how much I’m going to miss them someday. Days like I had yesterday are what memories are made of.

I hope everyone had as nice of a Thanksgiving as we did.


—– Brandon

2014 Geauga County Fair

2014 Geauga County Fair

Aug 31


Missy works for Great Lakes Outdoor Supply in Bainbridge and they have a booth (tent) out at the Geauga County Fair this year. She’s been out there all week so Dane and I decided to head on over there to pay her a visit. Well, Dane mainly went for the Turkey Leg. 🙂

She got out a little early so we got to go do some Fair stuff. It was a great night for it and we had a good time.

Here are a few pictures I snapped while wandering around:



Dane and his Turkey Leg!!!!



Dane petting the nice calm horse at the barn.



Baby goat. This little guy was cute.



This guy would growl when you got near him.



Nice shot of Missy and Dane as we were leaving the Fairgrounds.



2013 Nutcracker Collectors’ Club Convention – Day 2

2013 Nutcracker Collectors’ Club Convention – Day 2

Jul 15

Day 2 of the 2013 Nutcracker Collectors’ Convention

Day 2 of the Nutcracker Collectors’ Club Convention is usually a whirlwind and this year, it was no different. It started at the hotel with the club’s famous nutcracker show, sale, and auction. After the auction, the official club member’s meeting was held then any members who were interested were invited to go to Holden’s Arboretum to see Homer Jacob’s nutcracker collection.

The day finished with a fantastic meal at Dino’s Restaurant located in Mentor Ohio. Then we all said our farewells. It all went so fast that it’s all really over before you know it!

 — The Nutcracker Collectors’ Club’s show, sale, and auction

Pieces on display from Mike Pickwick’s collection.

Nutcracker Collectors’ Club show, sale, and auction


The pieces I brought to sell did real well at the auction.

Snail Nutcracker

Snail Nutcracker – Went to the Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth

Greyhound Nutcracker

Greyhound Nutcracker (#3) – Went to a private collector in New Concord Ohio.

Skull Nutcracker

Skull Nutcracker (#4) – Went to a private collector in Ann Arbor Michigan.


— Holden’s Arboretum

The arboretum has a fantastic collection of nutcrackers that includes some very rare pieces. We were fortunate to be able to visit and have unrestricted access to the fantastic pieces Homer Jacob had collected. Rumor has it that the arboretum may be looking at selling off some of the pieces in the next couple of years.

Holden Arboretum – Homer Jacob’s Nutcracker Collection

Lion Nutcracker

Holden’s Arboretum had some great animal nutcrackers

Very rare House Nutcracker

Holden’s Arboretum also had 2 very rare House Nutcrackers


— Dino’s Restaurant in Mentor Ohio

The convention ended at Dino’s Restaurant in Mentor Ohio. We were all treated to a great Italian family style served meal. The Eggplant Parmesan was absolutely fabulous and hands down my favorite.

Dino's Restaurant in Mentor Ohio

Dino’s Restaurant

Dino's Party Room

Dino’s Party Room



— Parting Words

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. We had a great time and were very sad to have to say goodbye to old friends and new ones we made this year.

Next year’s convention is scheduled to be in Roswell New Mexico. Hmmmmm…. looks like I’d better start designing a cool flying saucer screw type nutcracker or two….. AWESOME!!!!!

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who bought my pieces and brought me pieces to repair this year! If you’re following this blog, keep an eye out for some fantastic pieces to be featured as I get them repaired and restored!

Again, if you are interested in joining The Nutcracker Collectors’ Club ($20/year domestic, $25/year international), contact Susan Otto at nutsue@roadrunner.com.


2013 Nutcracker Collectors’ Club Convention – Day 1

2013 Nutcracker Collectors’ Club Convention – Day 1

Jul 05
Day 1 of the 2013 Nutcracker Collectors’ Convention

A huge THANK YOU goes out to Susan and Dave Otto for hosting this year’s Nutcracker Collectors’ Club convention. The festivities started at Susan and Dave’s home on Friday evening in Chesterland Ohio where we got an up close hands on tour of Susan’s fantastic collection.

I’ve known Susan for a few years and her collection has grown by leaps and bounds both in quantity and quality. Everyone was truly in awe at all the great pieces she owns. It is a fantastic collection and I am very fortunate that she sends pieces over to my studio for touch ups and/or repairs to keep her collection in tip top shape. It really does help take her collection to that next level and keep it awe inspiring.

Susan's nutcracker collection

Susan's nutcracker collection

Susan’s nutcracker collection

Susan’s daughter Erica, who is a great cook like her mother, prepared and served appetizers and food throughout the evening with help from her boyfriend Lou. The food was incredible to the extent that everyone, including my wife, was asking for recipes.

After dinner Susan’s quick witted and talented friend Chris Welken played acoustic guitar and performed songs from his clever and amusing music CD, Modest Expectations, which we all got a copy of to take home as a souvenir. Chris is very entertaining and his performance made for a delightfully fun evening.

Chris Welker

Chris jamming out!

My wife and I had a blast. We got to catch up with friends we met 2 years ago at Mike Pickwick’s convention in Connecticut and we got to make new friends at Susan’s. I really can’t say enough about all the great people in the club! If you are interested in joining, contact Susan Otto at nutsue@roadrunner.com.

Membership costs $20 a year for domestic subscriptions and $25 a year for international ones which includes a quarterly newsletter, master list of members, and an invitation to the annual Collectors’ Club Convention. The membership fee does not cover the cost of actually attending the convention; obviously this costs extra. Word has it, the 2014 convention will be held in Roswell New Mexico. That’s exciting!

Susan Otto

Susan talking about nutcrackers

Coming soon! – My coverage of Day 2:

  • The famous Nutcracker Collectors’ Convention members’ sale and auction
  • The Nutcracker Collector’s Club meeting notes
  • A visit to Holden’s Arboretum
  • Dinner at  Dino’s