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November 10, 2012

Limited-Edition Economist Salt & Pepper Shakers



November 10, 2012 at 11:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

iPad mini — "Coming soon."


Above, an email I just got from AT&T about some vaporware.


How about November 21 right here in Gray Cat's warm little paws?


Is that soon enough for you?

'Cause it is for us.


November 10, 2012 at 10:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Glow in the Dork — Welcome to the world of Jenny Drummey

Screen Shot 2012-11-10 at 7.34.37 PM

Fair warning: once you enter, you'll never be the same.

What's not to like about that?

Tell her I sent you, it'll crack her up.

November 10, 2012 at 09:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Free Bridge Auto right here in my Podunk town creates a SENSATIONAL commercial

Puts paid to the dunderhead landliner-oriented treacly "You'll love the service" Brown's effort I've been listening to for decades.


Free Bridge Man YEAH!

November 10, 2012 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Penguin Tea Timer — Episode 2: Reader request


I received the email below


early today from reader Katarína Tur.

FunFact: When it came in at 4:35 a.m. I'd already been awake for 20 minutes after my 4:15 alarm went off to get me up and moving for the drive to Richmond for today's half-marathon.

I originally featured this nifty device in Episode 1 back on October 2, 2007 — has it really been five years? — but it has long since become unavailable from the original source.

No matter: When a reader asks, my Crack Research Team®™© swings into action with all cylinders firing.

Ms. Tur, your wish is my demand.

From a new Penguin Tea Timer website:


The Penguin Automatic Tea Timer creates a perfectly brewed cup every time.
Just tie the teabag to his beak and set the timer from 1 to 20 minutes.

The penguin with its built-in timer automatically lifts the tea bag when your tea is ready.

New design with hat!

Making tea, though easy to do, is also time consuming.

Once you pour the hot water into the cup, you must patiently hover over it, waiting for the tea to steep.

Well, the Penguin Tea Timer happily does the waiting for you.

Just hang the tea bag or tea ball on the beak, set the timer, and the beak lowers the bag into the hot water.

When your tea is ready, an alarm rings and the beak comes up, bringing the tea bag out.

Timer can be set up to 20 minutes and can also be used as a regular timer.

Features, specifications, and details:


• Times from 1- 20 minutes

• Penguin automatically lifts tea bag

• Have your cup of tea prepared by a dapper penguin

Looks good on your countertop, too!

Note that you can either hang a tea bag from the penguin's beak, or use the included tea strainer with your favorite blend of loose tea.

The Penguin Tea Timer comes in a nice box, so it would make a nice gift for someone who likes tea, timers, penguins, or weird kitchen gadgets.

At $29.95, the price is not steep at all!


We aim to please — wait a sec....


November 10, 2012 at 07:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Today's Richmond Half-Marathon — 2:16:54.


What a fantastic day for a race: 41° at the 7:30 a.m. start: crisp and clear.

I decided just for the heck of it to try a different approach to half-marathoning, as opposed to my years-long practice of going out too fast with the intention of finishing in 2:11 (10 minutes/mile), blowing up at 5 or 8 or 10 miles, then staggering miserably to the finish.

Today I looked for the guy holding the pole with the giant sign atop it saying "2:15 pace."

Yeah, that sounded good: 10:18/mile, comfortable.

I ran side by side with the pace guy for 7.5 miles, stopped for a sec during mile 8 for a cup of water, and then when I got back into the mix I couldn't find him.

Where'd he go?!

I yelled out at the top of my lungs, "Where's the 2:15 pace guy?"

A 50-ish lady turned to me and said, "He had to stop to use the Port-A-John."


Are you kidding me? 

Never mind, I could do the rest on my own.

And I did.

True, I fell off the pace a bit, finished 114 seconds slower than the perfect 10:18/mile pace we'd been chugging along at till he had to go poop.


But I digress.

The think is that the even, relatively slow pace for the first seven+ miles was wonderfully easy and let me feel like a beast when I reached mile 12.

I put the pedal to the medal and gradually accelerated, passing scores of people and clocking 8:56 for the final mile.

8:56 — yeah!

And I felt great.

More like this, please.

Next half-marathon: Three Bridges right here in my Podunk town on Sunday, December 2.

Can't hardly wait the requisite 22 days — bring it on!

Pictured up top is a slice of Christian's bacon, sausage, and mushroom pizza, which never tasted as good as it did when I slowly inhaled it a couple hours ago.

In fact, now that I think about it, it was SO good that I'm gonna go heat up the remaining piece.

November 10, 2012 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Vanishing Fabric Marker


No, sillybilly, it's not like the ones you use that then disappear from the face of the Earth regardless of your efforts to find them.

Rather, this puppy employs actual disappearing ink.

Wrote Kevin Kelly in Cool Tools, "Use these to draw your design on the fabric. The lines disappear 'like magic' with water or within 48 hours. On thin silks, it fades away very fast. Test that you have enough time."

Purple for white fabrics.


"Test that you have enough time" — what a deliciously ambiguous, seemingly innocuous statement.

Because you and I and everyone we know have all the time in the world.

Always have, always will.

Yet the wealth that suffuses every moment of existence goes unrecognized and unremarked, for the most part.

Here's a marker.

November 10, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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