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June 13, 2005

'Why is the world's number one selling brand of chain saw not sold at Lowe's or The Home Depot?'

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That's what the headline of the full–page ad for STIHL chainsaws in yesterday's paper asked.

So I read the rest because that was — at least to curious me — an interesting question.

Who would've thunk, after all.

The rest of the ad read as follows:

    We can give you 8,000 reasons:

    our legion of independent STIHL dealers nationwide.

    We count on them every day and so can you.

    To give you a product demonstration, straight talk and genuine advice about STIHL products.

    To offer fast and expert on–site service.

    And to stand behind every product they carry, always fully assembled.

    You see, we won't sell you a chain saw in a box, not even a big one.

When it comes to print advertising that's as good as it gets.

By the time I'd finished reading I was all excited and revved–up about buying a STIHL chain saw.

Then I realized that I have as much business using a chain saw as I do making a dress.

I'd cut off a limb (the kind that bleeds) first thing, most probably.

But still... what a great ad.

I went to the company's website to see if I could find the ad to show you, but no dice.

However, I was very impressed by the corporate online presence.

It's one of the best such websites I've seen, easy to look at and use.

The 99% of companies with DOA online incarnations (is that an oxymoron? I guess...) would do well to look at what STIHL has done and emulate it.

Simple, simpler, simplest is best.

FunFact: Andreas Stihl developed the first electric chain saw in 1926 and one of the first portable, gasoline–powered ones in 1927.

June 13, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ultimate Ears Earphones

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Ultimate Ears UE–10 Pro studio reference monitor earphones (above) cost $900.

The company's website says that although they're designed for professional applications, they're "just as well suited for use with an iPod."

Perhaps you're uneasy about earphones costing many times the price of your iPod.

It would appear enough people have asked Ultimate Ears for something less pricey that they've actually gone and created two lower–priced versions.

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"The Super.fi 5EB ($200) [above] is big on bass and ideal for hip–hop fans," wrote Janelle Erlichman Diamond in yesterday's Washington Post; "the Super.fi 5Pro ($250) [below] offers a well–rounded sound good for grooving to Bach and Bauhaus alike."

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You can buy the new models online from Ultimate Ears, at Apple stores or Guitar Center.

June 13, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

There's something about Michelle (Rodriguez)

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Idly paging through the magazines at the checkout counter the other day I happened on a picture of actress Michelle Rodriguez.

That's not Michelle Rodriguez, was my first thought when I looked again at the photo.

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But then I saw that she used to be Michelle Rodriguez.

No, that's not quite it.

The Michelle Rodriguez I remember from "Girlfight" and "Blue Crush" is in there, all right, underneath the visage that now presents itself.

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But with her nifty plastic surgery she's left behind what made her "Michelle Rodriguez," just as Mary–Louise Parker did when she went under the knife in search of a more conventional beauty.

The pictures above are the new Michelle and the two below

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are the original.

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I guess you can take the fighter out of a girl's looks but I wonder how much of it can ever really be eliminated.

June 13, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Idole Black Soap

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"A creamy moisturizing
cocoa butter soap for
marks and blemishes.
Softens rough, dry skin.
Excellent for face,
hands and body.

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89 cents a bar here.

June 13, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rebecca Horn and the mechanisms of emotion

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German artist Rebecca Horn believes that all drawings and sculptures are an extension of the artist.

Thus, the boundaries of an individual are arbitrary, depending on the medium in which that person chooses to express herself.

Her current show at London's Hayward Gallery explores her ideas in many forms, among them being the "Pencil Mask" (top) she created in 1972 when she was 28.

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After donning an armature studded with pencils, Horn proceeded to use her head's movements to draw.

The mask is on display in her current show among a number of other, more recent creations, many motorized.

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Worth a trip if you're in the area.

June 13, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Biker Chick Mug

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My kind of silliness.

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$12 here.

June 13, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Last Night' — by James Salter

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As I rule I don't much care for short stories but those of James Salter are the exception that prove the rule.

They are delicious: small, glittering jewels that cut your heart to ribbons ever so elegantly, such that you smile even as you wonder how language can be so precise and devastating as it pinpoints the almost imperceptible place when things start to go south in a relationship.

    From the book:

    She was just thirty–one, the age when women are past foolishness though not unfeeling.

    It revealed itself only slowly, like some kind of dream, the light fluttering on the fronds, with names and nouns, Naples, worn benches, Luxor and the kings, Salonika, small waves falling on the stones.

    Everyone lies about their lives, but he had not lied about his. He had made of it a noble lament, through it always running this thing you have had, that you will always have, but can never have.

    It was easy to find things she would like. Our taste was the same, it had been from the first. It would be impossible to live with someone otherwise. I've always thought it was the most important single thing, though people may not realize it.

    Taste is a thing no one is born with, it's learned, and at a certain point it can't be altered. We sometimes talked about that, what could and couldn't be altered. People were always saying something had completely changed them, some experience or book or man, but if you knew how they had been before, nothing much really had changed.

    When you found someone who was tremendously appealing but not quite perfect, you might believe you could change them after marriage, not everything, just a few things, but in truth the most you could expect was to change perhaps one thing and even that would eventually go back to what it had been before.

    The rest was a long novel so like your life; you were going through it without thinking and then one morning it ended.

    She felt sadness but also a kind of confusion. She was trying to imagine all of it tomorrow, without her being here to see it. She could not imagine it. It was difficult to think the world would still be there.

    There was not much more to her than met the eye, but that had always been enough.

    You think you know someone, you think because you have dinner with them or play cards, but you really don't. It's always a surprise. You know nothing.

June 13, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World's most stylish — and expensive — tomato server

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The Victorians invented the sterling silver tomato server; Janet Marie Torelli brings it into the 21st century.

Comes in its own black velvet pouch; 9.5" long.

$225 here.

Still have some loose change rattling around in your pocketbook?

Then you might want to spring for one of her polished sterling silver cake servers (below).

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9.5" long, 3" wide.

$245.

Still not done?

Then you might like the svelte silver bonbon server below.

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Soft satin finish; 5.5" long.

It's $125.

June 13, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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