October 07, 2006
Best Hair of the Month: Director David Lynch
I mean, it's not even close.
Take the rest of the month off.
Invisible Glove — 'Glove protection without the glove'
From the website:
- Trade Secret® Invisible Work Glove
When a job requires hand protection, simply apply the Invisible Work Glove.
Protects skin against oil, grease, dirt, paints, adhesives, and much more, yet leaves your fingers free to handle screws, nails, small parts, and tools.
When done, simply wash it away — your hands will be clean and soft.
Safe and non-toxic.
Why they didn't name this product Second Skin is way, way beyond me.
Experts' Experts: How to clean your keyboard
Rob Pegoraro writes about computers and related subjects for the Washington Post, and I find his take on things very useful and sensible — most of the time.
- How to Clean Your Keyboard
Q. How do I clean my computer's keyboard? I could reassemble an entire sandwich from all the crumbs stuck in there .
A. Computer manufacturers tend to advise nothing more than shaking out crumbs and vacuuming it. Some users go to the other extreme and stick the entire keyboard in the dishwasher — no soap, only water, followed by several days of drying out before they plug it back in. (Note: That's an especially bad idea if the keyboard is on a laptop.)
I wasn't prepared to do something that drastic with my home computer's filthy keyboard, but a once-over with a vacuum wasn't going to cut it either. Here's what I did instead:
1) Unplug the keyboard. So you can remember the key layout, either take a photo of it or find a picture of it in your computer's manual. Shake it out, upside down, over a trash can.
2) Stick the dull edge of a pocket knife's blade under each key and gently lever it upward until it clicks free of the post below it; it's not glued down and should pop loose with minimal effort. The space bar, Shift, Return and Enter keys, however, will be attached to a secondary metal or plastic support that lends extra spring to them but also makes them trickier to remove and replace. It may be easier to leave those keys attached.
3) Wash each key in dishwashing soap and water — make sure the drain is closed below them — then rinse them and let them air dry.
4) Vacuum out the shell of the keyboard, then dip a paper towel in rubbing alcohol (which will dry much faster than water) and swab out the area below the keys, as well as any keys you couldn't remove.
5) Give everything a full day to dry out. Remember, moisture and electronics mix poorly.
Once everything is dry, push each key back on its post until it clicks into place and responds properly to your typing. Then try not to snack at your desk so often.
Pegoraro's advice, while well-intentioned, should not be followed.
My philosophy of life centers on the realization, made some years ago, that it is far, far easier to avoid a problem than to solve one.
If your keyboard is working fine, no matter how filthy it is, do not — repeat, do not — attempt to do anything more aggressive than turning it upside down and shaking it.
Because perfect is the enemy of good.
And if you do all the things Pegoraro did, and you are a TechnoDoofus™ like me,
1) You will probably break something while you painstakingly remove each key from its post
2) You may well cut yourself with your pocket knife while doing so, bringing a premature halt to your housekeeping effort and perhaps even resulting in a trip to the emergency room for sutures, a tetanus shot, et al
3) You will find, to your stupefaction after spending hours doing the above, that your keyboard no longer functions properly, as it did before you undertook your ill-advised adventure into the cleaning space
4) You will have had your keyboard out of service a minimum of "a full day to dry out," on top of the time you spent actually cleaning it, which I'd conservatively estimate would take me a minimum of two hours if I did as Pegoraro recommends
5) You will say, "Hey, that joe — he's not as dumb as I thought"
And on a completely different note, "TechnoDoofus™" — do you like it as much as I do?
Collegiate Toothpick Dispenser — 'Pick' your team
Hey, don't blame me: that's how the catalog introduces this item.
From the website:
- Stainless Steel Collegiate Toothpick Dispenser
Stainless steel collegiate toothpick dispenser rolls out toothpicks one by one, keeping supply hygienic.
Perfect for the kitchen, home bar or media room.
Measures 4"H x 3"W x 2"D.
36 schools available.
$29.99 (toothpicks not included).
'Chair that disappears in the rain' — by Tokujin Yoshioka
It was made from a massive block of glass of astronomical observatory quality.
It's on a street in the Roppongi Hills section of Tokyo, where anyone can go and sit on it.
BYO Bag — For when only a chill pill will do
From catalogs and websites:
- BYO Bag
Handle snaps shut and loops around handlebars, backpack straps, belt loops, etc. for easy transport.
Insulates and keeps liquids cold (or warm) for up to four hours and protects glass bottles from breakage.
Made of soft, lightweight neoprene, the material used for wetsuits.
To use, simply pull sides down and drink right from the tote.
Folds flat when empty.
Black (holds 12-oz. bottle): $8.99.
Cranberry (holds 12-oz. bottle): $8.99.
Navy Blue (holds 12-oz. bottle): $8.99.
Cranberry (holds 20-oz. bottle): $9.99.
Navy Blue or Black (pictured; holds 20-oz. bottle): $9.70.
Must be a pretty smart guy, what?
So how come I'm one of only three direct links on his blogroll?
That's some smokin' fast company.
Does he know something I don't?
I'm sure of this: if only he'd tell me about 1% of it I'd be about 100 times smarter instanter.
But I digress.
Device management, where I live, is figuring out how to turn something on and off without reading the directions or breaking it in the process.
Maybe I'll email him and ask how come his dart ended up on bookofjoe where, for better or worse, I'm the chief scientist.
Solar Powered Holiday LED Lights
They* came from outer space.
But I digress.
From the website:
- Solar Powered Outdoor Holiday LED Lights
You won't need long power cords or outdoor outlets, and you won't be stuck with high electricity bills after the holidays.
These solar-powered white LED lights run off the sun's energy, even when daylight is winter-short.
They turn themselves on at dusk, off at sunrise — no need to bother with a switch.
Bulbs offer 100,000 hours of use.
Solar panel (below) and stake included.
Three lengths: 39' and 26' lights flash or stay constant; 12' lights flash — perfect for a wreath.
39 feet (100 bulbs) cost $39.99.
26 feet (60 bulbs) are $34.99.
12 feet (24 bulbs) for $19.99.