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September 20, 2004

'When you sit at the business table, you look for the fool.'


"If you don't see a fool, then it's you." - Mark Cuban

I read this in today's USA Today article about Cuban, though he's modest enough to note that he was simply quoting an old saying.

But my question is this: how come I never heard it BEFORE I invested in:

• Oil wells in Texas that were "guaranteed gushers" - but yielded zip

• Apartment buildings in San Diego - "there's limitless demand" - except, it turned out, for the buildings I invested in

• Natural gas tax shelters in Colorado - "huge tax savings" - but not really, after I paid the (disallowed by the IRS) tax shelter's back taxes + penalties

• Raw land in Houston in 1984 - "it's a sweet deal" - except for the fact that Houston was collapsing at the time, so my land never sold

No, I've learned that investing is not for bookofjoe.

I'm better off doing other things, letting the money sit in the bank, and sleeping soundly at night.

September 20, 2004 at 09:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nicole Ari Parker: Jennifer Aniston's half-sister?


bookofjoe dares to ask the question not even the National Enquirer or Star will: could the star of "Second Time Around" share a parent with Mrs. Brad Pitt?


You be the judge.


Remember, you read it here first.


Not even Dan Rather has this story.

September 20, 2004 at 06:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Olive breakthrough


Here in our super-secret bookofjoe research labs, we maintain a test kitchen.

Yesterday brought news of a revolutionary breakthrough.

Members of my crack research team have been laboring ceaselessly for months on a project code-named


"Oyl of Popeye."

Success is at hand.


We're publishing our results online to get this important, potentially habit-changing news to you ASAP.

Not even Dan Rather has it.

OK, then.

How many of you are annoyed by the fact that when you have a jar of olives, you can't easily get to those not in the upper tiers?


That is, after plucking your first five or six out with your fingers, the next few require dunking your digits into the cold jar, fishing with your index and middle fingers in murky waters attempting to extract a few more.

After that excursion, you're condemned to using a fork or a spoon to get the rest.

Plus, after you get them, you have to shake them a bit - especially if they're already pitted - to remove the moisture.

No more.

Now, all you need do, once you arrive home, is open the jar and empty the liquid into the sink.


Put the jar of olives sans brine in the fridge, and rest easy in the knowledge that in the future, you can simply shake out the olives you want like salt or pepper, then return the jar to the fridge.

Will the olives dry out?

After three months, our drained jar of olives - which sat on the very same shelf as a fully-filled, unopened jar of the identical brand and variety - were indistinguishable in smell, taste, texture, and appearance from the brand-new jar.


Welcome news indeed for olive lovers worldwide.

Warning: do NOT attempt this with pickles.

At least, not until our crack researchers have returned from their well-deserved holiday to tackle this next daunting project.

September 20, 2004 at 03:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Peanut Allergy


One of the more controversial areas in current medicine, this subject is highly charged.

In the U.S. alone, peanut allergy causes 100 deaths and 15,000 emergency room visits a year.

To be the parent of a child who dies of an allergic reaction after eating something with peanuts in it - whether labeled or not - is to become forever afire.

This website is excellent, with very detailed information and multiple links to more specific areas of this very charged subject.

No one knows how common peanut allergy is; it can develop after many uneventful exposures, and can disappear over time.

So sensitive can an individual be that there are reports of anaphylactic shock and death in highly susceptible individuals after smelling peanuts or peanut butter.

Last week, Arroyo Vista Elementary School in South Pasadena, California banned foods containing peanuts not only from its school cafeteria menu, but from its entire campus.

Yes, you read correctly: children are no longer allowed to bring peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches to school for lunch.

School lunches, snacks, and classroom treats must be peanut-free.

Principal Julie Jennings, in a letter to parents, said the the new rules "may seem a bit extreme" and be "difficult to get used to," but that it was necessary to protect the 20 students at the school (4% of the school population of 500) who suffer from the potentially life-threatening allergy.

School staff members have identified the allergic students and have been trained to inject EpiPen - which counteracts the reaction - if one should come into contact with peanuts.

September 20, 2004 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The past recaptured: bookofjoe archives - after a fashion


I've received countless emails bemoaning the fact that I erased bookofjoe Version 1.0's archives.

Well, as is true of anything internet-related: not quite.

My original blog - words only - started on April 6, 2003 at livejournal.com.


I left that site intact, so anyone who wants to access anything written prior to January 5, 2004 - the date I moved here, impedimentum impedimenti - don't tell me you've already forgotten your high school Latin? Oh, all right: "bag and baggage" - can just click here, and go from there.

All the entries at livejournal.com from January 5 forward are simply directional signals here.

Second, though the actual Version 1.0 pages are gone, Google's cache function preserves them - absent the pictures.

For example, I just put bookofjoe BehindTheMedspeak into the Google search engine, and tons of things came up.

Scrolling down, I found one on ADHD, so I clicked on the cache link (it's on the bottom line of each Google hit, toward the right) and voila, there's the January 22, 2004 post.

Finally, I've been cross-publishing many of my blog posts since September, 2003 at Blogcritics.org.


As I type this, I count 536, all stored in the Blogcritics archives and accessible by simply clicking here.

So, you see, all is not lost.

I guess if you really decide to take a long look back, I'll be forced to conclude you're "in recovery."

That's OK.

Thomas Mann wrote, "Life is like a hospital, in which each patient believes he will recover if only he is moved to a different bed."

September 20, 2004 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Black is beautiful - especially when it's an iPod


Colorware will make a statement out of your iPod for only $65 more than the standard $300 cost of a vanilla - oops, white - one.

Perfect for lounging with on your petal chair.

They'll do yours in any of 20 standard colors, or you can create your own.

September 20, 2004 at 06:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Petal chair


Ora-Ito designed it for Cappellini.

It has a fiberglass shell mounted on white or anthracite-lacquered metal or stainless steel.

Float above it all....

Ora-Ito's an interesting person.

His given name is Ito Morabito.

He dropped out of design school after two years, then worked for an architect and for shoe designer Roger Vivier before getting a job at a magazine called Crash, where he created virtual products for virtual brands.

The idea, he said, "was to make fake publicity for fake products that looked real."

Marcel Duchamp is smiling down benignly from heaven if he's watching. But I digress.

Ora-Ito put his fake products online, and soon a Swiss collector was asking to buy his non-existent watch.

He then moved to another magazine, Jalouse, where he designed "ads" for a Louis Vuitton backpack, a Gucci villa and a camouflage-patterned carrying case for a Mac laptop - all of which were total fabrications.

Didn't matter: the "Vuitton" backpack alone drew 2,000 inquiries.

He then accepted an invitation from ultra-high-end furniture maker Cappellini to design a media campaign, and then a chair.


The petal chair.

[via the New York Times]

September 20, 2004 at 03:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

bookofjoe on squarespace.com


So yesterday I decided to see if it was as easy as they said.

Without any technical help whatsoever from PW, who keeps this site fresh, healthy, and functioning in the face of my efforts to make it otherwise, I was indeed able to create a blog there.

However, I think even charitable observers would tend to agree with me that it leaves much to be desired in terms of look and feel compared to home here at TypePad.

However - those who seem able to better "get it" have created some very nice blogs: have a look.

Don't bother visiting the squarespace version again: all my wood's behind this arrow.

September 20, 2004 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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