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September 28, 2005

Litterboxcam.com — 'Have you watched a cat poop today?'


It is what it says.

Two cats named Grey and Black may or may not decide it's time.

If it is one or the other will amble into the webcam's field of view for you to watch.

First time not lucky?

Not to worry: the webcam refreshes every sixty seconds so you'll get another chance very soon.


Things are a little slow right about now, I'd guess, if it's come to this.

September 28, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

World's Best Tote Bag


And I mean at any price.

Ampac makes it and all sorts of places sell it for more than the company charges on its website but it's the very same bag.

Bonus: Ampac offers the bag in eight colors: Black, Green, Blue, Khaki, Yellow, Red, Purple and Lime Green.

Various other places that sell it, like this one, offer maybe three color options as a rule and rarely the really cool ones.

I've had my bag for years and it still looks brand new.

Some things are both a pleasure to look at and a delight to interact with.

Some people, too — but I digress.


    Main compartment has zipper closure with large internal zipper pocket

    Large front pocket with organizer panel and lockable zippers

    Durable 900-D polyester and ripstop polyester combination

    Easy–access end pockets for water bottle and umbrella

    Pocket on back slips over rolling luggage handle

    Heavy–duty nickel plated zippers

    Twelve pockets total

    Lightweight: 1.6 lbs.

    Padded bottom

$24.95 here.

September 28, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack



"Welcome to the wonderful world of coffee."

I like it: tell us more.


"Whether you're a newbie or an experienced barista, here you'll find everything you ever wanted to know."

They've got sections devoted to espresso machines, coffee makers, grinders, coffee, accessories, machine maintenance, how–to videos, tips, reviews, a forum to answer questions and for give-and–take, all manner of ways to spend time doing something close to nothing and certainly not what you're being paid to do.


I'll never tell.

I'm quite impressed by the enormous depth of resources available on specific machines and brands.


Jimmy Page, call your office: your soy latte is ready.

September 28, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Butter Slide Rule


They call it the Buttermate™ but I think that's far too understated.

Finally, butter goes high–tech.

This new kitchen helper has a sliding scale on top to precisely measure the size of a slice of butter: then you use the built–in fine wire cutter to neatly and cleanly separate it from the mother stick.

But wait — there's more: a convenient integral door closes the machine after you've done your slippery deed, keeping it fresh until the next time.

6"L x 2"W x 2.25"H.

$7.99 here. (Butter not included.)

September 28, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World's Scariest Tennis Court


It's not even close.


Above and below, the helipad of the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai.


The court is 700 feet high.


I must say that you wouldn't see me having a "friendly" or anything else on that court.


The out of bounds area looks frighteningly small: what if you were sprinting all out for a lob that was bouncing high near the back line?


Man overboard!


"I mean, I could have sworn he was there last time I looked, just a second ago...."


The Dubai Duty Free Men's Open began in 1993.

Catchy name, what?

I'm surprised they haven't yet twigged onto the American college football bowl scene: The Duty Free Bowl — not bad, eh?

Like all my ideas, it's there for the taking at absolutely no cost to whoever wants it.


And, like all my ideas, it's worth exactly what you paid for it.

September 28, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Solar–Powered Fan Safari Hat


So cool: everyone will wonder where you got it — and when you'll be leaving.

"Here's your hat — what's your hurry?" takes on a whole new meaning when you show up in this tricked–out headgear.

The weatherproof natural linen straw hat uses a built–in solar cell (at the crown of the hat in the photo above) or 2 AA batteries (in case it's a cloudy day or you're indoors) to power a small fan (on the front brim, in case you're confused by all this complexity and hi–tech talk) that directs a constant cooling breeze to your forehead.

Wait a minute — if you're indoors, why would you be wearing this hat unless you're really nuts? But I digress.

"Perfect for the sportswoman who has to keep her cool."

One size fits all with adjustable comfort liner.

3–way solar/battery/off switch.

$39.98 here (batteries not included).

September 28, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Why bookofjoe works


It occurred to me the other day while I was doing something close to nothing (but different than the day before).

I was pondering why it is that I find the internet so boring.

I mean, the great bulk of what flows into what's left of my mind comes from print — newspapers, books, magazines and catalogs.

This makes no sense on the surface.

You'd think that someone as absorbed in producing web content as I am (no, I haven't yet reached the magic 50–straight–hour mark after which, at least if you're a gamer, you drop dead) would find most of what interests him in the same place.

But you'd be dead wrong.

As I noted last month, 85% of what ultimately appears on bookofjoe comes from print media.

The answer to the mystery is obvious once you twig but isn't that like so many things such as how, when you look back at your life as you grow older, it becomes very clear where you went wrong and what you should have done? But I digress.

The secret is that print media are edited.

More explicitly, for every story that makes it into the New York Times or the Economist I'll bet there are a hundred others that could've been equally well substituted.

The editors chose.

Just as, back in the internet bubble day, all dotcoms looked alike — and oh, so very promising and beautiful — but turned into pumpkins 99% of the time when the pinprick of reality hit them, so with what makes up our world.

An editor winnows out the chaff and hopefully leaves you with good wheat.

The internet is news before it's been edited and so is predominently uninteresting or inconsequential.

What's important is buried and for all practical purposes almost nonexistent.

By leveraging the superb intellects working at all levels of media, I get a much better selection to choose from.

So simple, really, once you look at it from that angle.

September 28, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Folding Foot Rest


I came to bury this device but I leave praising it.

And I'm not the only one — read the reviews below:

    "This is the most amazing little gadget! I use it for air travel & at work. I get comments & questions about it all the time. I had imagined something like this, & was so glad when I discovered it a couple of years ago." - Nancy Groppenbacher, Mesa, AZ

    "I love this little footstool! I bought it this year for a flight to Barcelona and it was very compact, strong, and most of all comfortable, for positioning my feet during the long flight. Now I'll never fly without it!" - Nancy Exley, Irvine, CA

    "This is a lifesaver. I am very petite and my legs cramp up when they're left hanging in airplanes, most of which now have no fold-down footrests! This product is very light and packable, and never posed any security check problem for me." - Kristin, Rochester, NY

    "This is a perfect size to carry in a handbag. I keep one in my car's glovebox at all times. Very useful for those long dinners at restaurants and for going to the movies - and of course travel. Now my legs don't start to fall asleep! I'm 4'10" tall and I can almost never touch the ground in a "regular" chair. This is a legsaver." - Chauncy, Houston, TX


    "I have used this foot-rest for at least 8 years and cannot be without it. Besides airline economy travel, I also use it for the theatre. Anyone under 5'2" should have one." - Verna Van Loan, Tucson, AZ

    "I am 5'7" tall but have short legs. With a family history of phlebitis, I am extremely conscious of the dangers of blood clots and have used this little footrest for over 5 years to guard against problems." - Suzanne Christian, Littleton, CO

Pretty impressive.

The reason I was less than overwhelmed when I first came across it was that it seemed way too costly for what it was, namely, a piece of plastic that unfolds.

But then, as I looked more closely into it and saw that it is very well built and quite elegant in its simplicity, I got to like it more and more.

And like I said, the rave reviews above cinched it.

It's made of tough ABS plastic with strong metal bars to support the fold–up legs.

Fits into a pocketbook, backpack or large pocket.

When open it stands 4" off the floor.

Folds to 8.5" x 4" x 0.75".

Weighs 15 oz.

I went to froogle — as you should from this zeptosecond forward for anything you seek to buy online, so excellent a resource has it become — and found the footrest in five places, ranging from $22.95 here up to $29.99.


If you're a short person (5'2" or less) you'll find this tool invaluable to prevent your legs just dangling in space wherever you sit, be it on planes, trains, in automobiles or at your desk or in your chair.

September 28, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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