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July 23, 2005

Mushroom Peeler


I hate to bring this up in front of everyone but there's simply no getting around it.

Do you recall the last time you made that wonderful dish that requires that the mushrooms be peeled?

Remember the mess you made of them, gouging and breaking them and doing everything except lifting their delicate skins off?

Never again.

Now comes Zyliss with its bespoke serrated peeler, designed for ultra–thin peeling.

"Ideal for thin–skinned fruits and veggies, like peaches, plums, zucchini and mushrooms."


"Works easily in right or left hand."

Stainless steel swivel blade; sharp tip to core or eye fruits and vegetables; ergonomic handle; dishwasher safe.

$9.99 here.

July 23, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Claude Simon: 1913–2005


Simon (above) wrote 12 novels, employing a disorderly style that embraced accumulations of words, descriptions, fragments and impressions that he said were an attempt to be truer to life as we live it.

He cited Tolstoy, who said, "A man in good health is all the time thinking, feeling and recalling an incalculable number of things all at once."

To which I would say, does this not make our reality simply the result of an ongoing calculation, in which we compute what our senses input?

A calculus of fragments which is extruded as an all–encompassing, all–inclusive "reality."

But I digress.


Simon won the Nobel Prize in 1985, predictably driving the literary establishment bonkers as inevitably happens when the Swedish selectors choose someone whose work is, to most people, impenetrable.

In his Nobel lecture he said, "No longer prove but reveal, no longer reproduce but produce, no longer express but discover."

He once said to his critics, mockingly, "I am a difficult, boring, unreadable, confused writer."

Hey, I'll drink to that. But I digress yet again.


Simon said, "Those who reproach my novels for having neither a beginning nor an end are correct."

    Here is an example of his style, from "Leçon de Choses" (1975):

    La description (la composition) peut se continuer (ou être complétée) a peu prés indéfiniment selon la minutie apportée à son exécution, l'entraînement des métaphores proposées, l'addition d'autres objets visibles dans leur entier ou fragmentés par l'usure, le temps, un choc (soit encore qu'ils n'apparaissent qu'en partie dans le cadre du tableau), sans compter les diverses hypothèses que peut susciter le spectacle. Ainsi il n'a pas été dit si (peut-être par une porte ouverte sur un corridor ou une autre pièce) une seconde ampoule plus forte n'éclaire pas la scène, ce qui expliquerait la présence d'ombres portées très opaques (presque noires) qui s'allongent sur le carrelage à partir des objets visibles (décrits) ou invisibles - et peut-être aussi celle, échassière et distendue, d'un personnage qui se tient debout dans l'encadrement de la porte. Il n'a pas non plus été fait mention des bruits ou du silence, ni des odeurs (poudre, sang, rat crevé, ou simplement cette senteur subtile, moribonde et rance de la poussière) qui règnent ou sont perceptibles dans le local, etc., etc.


Simon died on July 6 at the age of 91.

July 23, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

EZ Door Stop™



    From the website:

    EZ Door Stop™ keeps walls free from damage caused by swinging doors.

    Just slip on bottom of standard–sized door.

    Steel with rubber tip.

    No tools or screws needed.

No holes in either the door or the wall: I love it.

Recipient of a much–coveted bookofjoe Design Award.

Two for $4.98 here.

July 23, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



A suikinkutsu (above) is a type of Japanese garden ornament and music device.

Basically, it consists of an upside–down buried pot with a hole at the top.

Water drips through the hole into a small pool of water inside the pot, creating a pleasant splashing sound that rings inside of the pot, similiar to that of a bell or a Japanese harp called a koto.

Building one is more difficult than it sounds.


If you would like to try, here's a nice link with much more information.

July 23, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Car Socket


Why can't we just plug in stuff in our car?

That's what the mad scientists in the Coleman skunk works wondered: they labored and brought forth this rather nifty Compact Power Inverter that sits securely in any cup holder so the weight won't strain the cigarette lighter socket.

Nice touch.

It's a standard 110–volt household outlet for your laptop computer, portable TV, DVD player, cellphone charger or what have you.

Built–in cooling fan lets it put out a "continuous, reliable 200 watts of AC power."

Protected by a standard 25–amp automotive fuse.

$39.95 here.

July 23, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

80% of success is showing up — and the other 20% is returning phone calls the same day


Do the math: you can't miss by doing these two deceptively simple things.

I say "deceptively" because if they were simple more people would do them.

So much wasted time and effort trying to get ahead when in the end all that's really required is being consistently dependable and reliable.

And if for some reason you're not going to be able to show up on time, make 100% certain to call ahead of the time you were supposed to be there.

The dreaded "no call/no show" is among my most annoying pet peeves about the behavior of other people.

It must not be allowed to happen if there is anything humanly possible you can do to avert it.

July 23, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kershaw Tomato and Citrus Knives


From Kershaw, makers of the elegant Santoku Shun Classic knife featured here earlier this month, come two knives each dedicated to doing one thing perfectly.

Both knives are resin–coated to resist corrosion and have steel blades.

The red tomato knife has a partially serrated edge for clean slicing; the orange citrus knife has a completely serrated edge to deal with thick peels.

Each is 6" long overall.


$18 each here.

July 23, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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