April 26, 2006
Helpful Hints from joe–eeze: Making your glassware sparkle
I was studying my one remaining thin–lipped beer glass a few moments ago and wondering why — no matter how hard I scrub with my Tuffy
and Joy detergent and really hot water and all — I'm simply unable to get the schmutz off the glass.
Once upon a time I had four of these graceful tulip–shaped objects but the bad news about such delicate things is the same as the good news — they're ever so fragile and seem to shatter with the slightest excess of wrongfully–applied pressure.
So I was particulary careful when I decided to take this glass to the next cleanliness level following a sudden bolt of insight while listening to "Black Sweat" from Prince's "3121"
at volume 10/10.
The first thing I did was mute the music so I'd be able to hear the faint squeaks and cries from the glass as I polished it to optical telescope grade perfection.
The insight: use an iKlear* "Klear Kloth" (top) following an initial cleaning of my beer glass with the moist "Apple Polish" sheet that comprises part 1 of the iKlear computer screen cleaning system.
All was progressing beautifully with this new high–end approach to my solitary glass: I held it up in the sunlight and it literally sparkled like a diamond in a rapper's front tooth.
As I marveled at the transparency and beauty of the glass I continued polishing, just because it felt good.
I'm very elemental that way.
But I digress.
I continued rubbing the lip of the glass, oh so thin and transparent, when "crack" — the glass shattered in my hand.
So much for my delicate touch.
But, like the wonderful Arab proverb states, "One door closes, another opens."
So with my beer glass fiasco.
Now is the perfect time to step up to the next level and order a set of Kölsch beer glasses (below) —
"the champagne flutes of the beer world."
Tell you what: at $8.50 for a dozen glasses (at first I thought I must be reading wrong and the price was $8.50/glass but no, it's for 12) you can't go wrong.
*Official glassware and computer screen kleaner of
On-Off Alarm Clock — 'An alarm clock even a TechnoDolt™ might love'
That's what Brian Nelson wrote last night when he emailed me a link to this wonderful clock.
How about "must?"
Designed by Nina Tolstrup for Lexon.
"Once the alarm is set in the 'On' position, simply tilt it back
to turn it off."
In Rhodemine Pink, Green Bamboo, Turquoise, Lime Yellow, Black or White.
5.3" x 3.1" x 1.4".
[via Brian Nelson]
Allan Moult of ghostgum.com last evening emailed me as follows:
- Hi Joe
You have to check out Strawhenge!
Strawhenge (above) was created in Tasmania earlier this year.
Maria Fletcher saw it while driving along the Midlands Highway and sent the photo above to leatherwoodonline, a website that styles itself "Tasmania's Journal of Discovery."
I had the crack research team take a look at the back story of Strawhenge.
I mean, it's not as if they had a whole lot to do.
Or, rather, that they were doing a whole lot.
What a mötley crüe.
But I digress.
Peter Sanders of examiner.com.au wrote about Strawhenge and its creation in a story that appeared on February 5 of this year.
Long story short: Tasmanian farmer Philip Osborne, Strawhenge's creator, was driven by "The Rosebud Effect.".
He told Sanders, "I was deprived as a child and didn't have Lego."
Here's the article.
- Tassie's piece of Stonehenge
A lack of Lego blocks as a child has led to a strange summer pastime for Epping Forest farmer Philip Osborne.
He uses bales of straw the way most children use the popular plastic building blocks.
Regular users of the Midland Hwy near Epping now look out for the annual hay bale constructions on Mr Osborne's Fairfield property.
Mum, dad, the kids, the family pet and car have all had their turn, but the inspiration for this year's effort dates back nearly 3000 years.
Stonehenge, 3km west of Amesbury, in Wiltshire, UK, was built of rock and remodelled several times over about 1400 years.
Mr Osborne's construction, by comparison, was built of 500kg straw bales and took less than four hours to build.
Mr Osborne said that the shape of this year's bales dictated a different approach from the previous years' round-bale constructions.
"Once the 400ha of wheat had been harvested, we got the contractor in who cut and baled the remaining straw into bales," he said.
"Each weighs half a tonne and the shape is much more efficient than the big round bales."
"But they do amuse people - it's surprising how many tourists stop for a look and to take photographs."
"I'd love to start a trend and have people doing this all the way to Devonport."
"The haystack constructions are an easy way to make people smile - I think they're better when they have people in them, but this year's bales really leant themselves to Stonehenge."
"I was deprived as a child and didn't have Lego."
"I'd like to make a big sheep, but I haven't quite worked out how to do it yet."
Mr Osborne's wife, Louise, suggested the Eiffel Tower this year, but Mr Osborne said it would be too difficult to construct.
The Osbornes' daughter Abby has been responsible for design in previous years.
"I'd duck into Chickenfeed for some cheap stuff to decorate the bales, like washing baskets for the eyes and buckets for the noses," she said.
"I didn't know about the Stonehenge construction until I got up last Sunday, but I felt there should have been a sacrificial body on the altar!"
Strawhenge will remain on view for about a month, until the bales are transported to their final destination.
Mr Osborne said that he'd like to make the next display for Christmas, but everything depended on when the crop was harvested.
It would appear from the above that Strawhenge came down in early March — but that's not the case.
The crack research team finally emerged from their collective coma a few hours ago and produced Miz P's blog Just For A Little While, out of Tasmania, which reported that as of April 4 Strawhenge was still standing.
Will one of my Tasmanian joeheads please do a drive-by and let me know so I can update the current status of this epic creation?
FunFact: Tasmanians affectionately refer to their island home as "Tassie."
Lauren Bacall Whistle Key Finder
You know how to whistle, don't you?
From the website:
- Whistle Key Finder
Whistle and the key ring will beep to let you know where it is.
Push–button key release to detach the selected key.
LED light comes on with the push of a button.
Dimensions: 1-1/2"W x 2"H x 5/8"D.
MorphWorld: Bill Clinton into Ted Koppel
This past Monday evening the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery unveiled its new painting of Bill Clinton (above), the latest addition to its collection of presidential portraits.
When I saw it in yesterday's Washington Post I did a double-take: sure as heck looks like Ted Koppel (below)
I'm not the only one who thinks so: James Gardner's story about the portrait in yesterday's New York Post had the headline, "'Koppel' Canvas Is Off The Wall."
21st-Century Hot Plate
No more red-hot coils.
From the website:
- Halogen Burner
Portable Halogen Burner Heats Up And Cools Down Fast
When cooking for a crowd, an extra burner always comes in handy.
This halogen burner has a glass ceramic cooking top that responds instantly to temperature change.
Ideal for tabletop cooking, ceramic and glass pans, even woks.
Six settings, from 185°F to 806°F.
9-1/2" cooking surface.
on November 1 of last year but it's at least three times more beautiful.
World's Smartest Goldfish
Look at the picture above — what do you see?
The fish in the photo is Albert, busily going about his high-fish-IQ business.
I'm not the only one who thinks Albert is exceptional: none other than the mighty Guinness Book of World Records, in its forthcoming edition, will feature Albert as "Fish with the largest repertoire of tricks."
The man in the photo is Dean Pomerleau, who trained Albert.
He's since "established the world's first fish-training academy, written an ebook on piscine education, and is thinking of starting a World Cup soccer tourney for the scaly little guys," wrote Joshua Davis in his Wired magazine story.
Don't have the energy to click on the link?
Here's the article.
- Teaching an Old Fish New Tricks
Meet Albert, the world's smartest goldfish.
Over the past year, the calico orandan has learned to fetch, swim through hoops, and play soccer.
He's even earned a spot as "fish with the largest repertoire of tricks" in the next edition of Guinness World Records.
Albert is the progeny of Dean Pomerleau, a 41-year-old software engineer who, in a bid to assuage his daughter's demand for a puppy, decided to try out some dog-training techniques on her brother's pet fish.
With coffee stirrers, toothpicks, rubber bands, and a pushpin, Pomerleau built a food delivery system that allowed him to entice Albert with tasty morsels and reward him for positive behavior.
Within weeks, the fish was scooting through an obstacle course of tunnels, limbo poles, and hoops - he could even nudge a mini soccer ball into a goal.
Pomerleau has since established the world's first fish-training academy, written an ebook on piscine education, and is thinking of starting a World Cup soccer tourney for the scaly little guys.
Alas, his daughter isn't satisfied.
Says Pomerleau, "She still wants the dog."
Remote Control Alarm Clock
First I've come across such a thing.
"The large digit (2.5" high) electric clock features an alarm that can be set by using the included remote control. You can also turn the alarm off with the remote."
What I'd do is put the clock across the room and the remote closer but still out of reach.
That way you'd have to get up and get out of bed and start to wake up in order to figure out which way to go to turn the darned thing off.
The clock measures 12.5"W x 7.75"H x 1"D and can be wall- or desk-mounted.
The remote is white with contrasting black buttons.
Prefer your remote in black with contrasting white buttons?
I can do that (below)
but it's gonna cost you an extra $13.96, for a total of $49.95.