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November 15, 2005

BehindTheMedspeak: LifeStat Emergency Pocket Airway

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How is it that I just learned yesterday about this important invention (above), potentially life–saving in an airway emergency?

And that I happened on it only when it was mentioned as being included in the new exhibition "SAFE: Design Takes On Risk," currently at New York's Museum of Modern Art?

I'm getting one yesterday.

Designed in 1970 (!) by Ronald J. French, an American otolaryngologist, it took over a quarter–century until Prestige Products began manufacturing it in 1996.

And I've still yet to see an ad for it or any other sign that this remarkable device exists.

It's a cricothyroidotomy kit that can be conveniently carried on a key ring.

Simple, elegant and powerful in its ability to save a life.

As a rule, emergency cricothyroidotomies don't work very well for two reasons:

1) They're not performed until the individual's already had a cardiac arrest.

2) The design and function of existing emergency airway kits leave much to be desired.

Dr. French's device won't help with the first problem but it darn sure might with the second.

Hope I never get a chance to use mine — if I do, you'll read about it here.

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$135.

Bet you it gets confiscated by airport security next time I fly.

Sure would be a shame and a terrible irony if someone on that flight obstructed, eh?

November 15, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Foot Kayaks

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No, they won't let you walk on water but, rather, in it.

From the website:

    Down Memory Foam Slippers

    Unlike other down-filled slippers which can only be worn indoors, this remarkably warm footwear can also be worn outdoors, keeping you comfortable with the unmatched softness, light weight and warmth of genuine duck down.

    An elasticized collar extends above the durable rip-stop nylon outer shell to keep ankles warm and durable suede sidewalls help the slippers keep their shape.

    The moisture-wicking micro-fleece inner lining ensures that your feet remain dry and the weatherproof outsole provides an effective barrier to water and a skid-resistant tread for sure footing.

    Intricate quilting throughout the outer shell keeps the down securely in place.

Women get their choice of red or gray while men — well, men can have any color they like... as long as it's gray.

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$44.95 here.

November 15, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

XM Satellite Radio on DirecTV — Why I wish it hadn't happened

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Today's the day when the much ballyhooed conversion takes place.

I was perfectly happy with my DirecTV music channel lineup as it was: 836 for light classical and 834 for classical, all music all the time, no chat.

But this morning when I went downstairs I heard gibberish coming out of my TV (my default setting is channel 836 with audio only and the picture off).

After fumbling around with the remotes (I have 5 — you?) I figured out that XM satellite radio was playing and that channel 836 was no longer light classical.

Rather, it's now "The Loft," featuring Soft Rock with a DJ and all.

After more fumbling I discovered channel 864 is where I can find classical music on DirecTV's new lineup.

Channel 865 is "Classical Masterpieces: Opera/Classical Vocals" and channel 866 is "Contemporary Instrumental: Popular Classical."

I checked out all three channels and it would appear that 866 is now the equivalent of the old 836/"Light Classical."

But there's one new wrinkle that I find especially unwelcome.

Turns out XM is not "music only": some guy started talking after one piece had finished, evidently to introduce the next.

Hey — if I wanted to hear someone talk I'd listen to the radio.

I want my old DirecTV back but it ain't gonna happen.

Click on the new lineup above to enlarge it and see what's what in the brave new world of dedicated satellite radio.

In a way it's amusing: I had no intention ever of signing up for satellite radio — XM or Sirius — but they crammed it down my dish anyway.

At least they're not charging me extra for it.

Yet.

November 15, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Frying Pan Coffee Maker Toaster Oven

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They call it the Breakfast Maker (above) and for once it would appear they got the name right: this puppy crams a whole kitchen into one plug–in box.

From the website:

    Our 3-In-1 Breakfast Maker combines a frying pan, a coffee maker and a toaster oven.

    You can make a complete breakfast with one space-saving appliance.

    The coffee maker features a 6-cup pot, a warmer, and a permanent filter.

    The dual-element toaster oven includes a chrome rack and a baking tray.

    Convenient switch selects upper or lower element or both.

    Lower element heats bottom of toaster oven.

    Upper element turns oven into a broiler and heats the frying pan.

    15–minute timer with auto shut-off heats food to the ideal temperature.

    Perfect for a dorm room, studio apartment, office, RV and more.

    15.5"W x 9.5"H x 7.75"D.

$39.97 here.

November 15, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

How to fail in business Bergdorf Goodman–style

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It's rather easy: simply mimic this venerable retailer and you'll be bankrupt in no time flat.

Note the Jil Sander boot above, as it appeared recently in what must have a been a very expensive New York Times ad on page A2.

I initially intended this post to feature these boots, in full color after I found a nicer picture on the Bergdorf Goodman website considerately provided in the ad, with a comment about how it might make for a more considered beginning to one's day, having to take the time to painstakingly lace up each one before beginning one's activities.

I am reminded of the classic Spanish saying (translated here for your convenience): "Dress slowly — we're in a hurry." But I digress.

In fact, as I think about it, bookofjoe is one giant digression, isn't it?

One tangent after another until you have no idea where you were when you started or even why you began.

No matter.

I spent a few moments on Bergdorf's hapless website before I realized they didn't even have Jil Sander listed at all, much less under shoes or boots.

Same story over at the websites of Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, both of which pride themselves on being great places to buy women's shoes.

Not true, say I.

So I guess if you want to buy a pair of Jil Sander boots you'll just have to visit a Bergdorf Goodman store to find out that either they've never heard of them or they're sold out in your size.

Long ago I began taking the ad featuring the item I wanted to buy to the store that advertised it: much fun and games when, after asking a salesperson and getting the requisite blank stare, you pull out the ad and then watch as they start with the phone calls, ending in the same outcome: no one knows anything about it.

We call it a disconnect in our country.

The publishing industry, of course, sets the standard for dysfunctional business practices — in fact, they're the ones who put the "fun" back in "dysfunctional" — with its never–failing, brain–dead system that results in great book reviews appearing in print months before the books hit the stores, such that when they do arrive people can't remember ever having read the reviews, much less being interested in buying the books as they were when they went to the bookstore to purchase a copy the day they read the review.

That's one of the reasons for amazon's success: it's just as easy to pre–order a book not yet released as to buy one that's available.

But hey, who am I to be going on about business practices?

After all, I'm just a brain–dead blogging anesthesiologist who doesn't even have the money for a standing–room–only place on the clue–train.

Oh, OK — you're calling me a hater now, saying that I said I wouldn't say bad things, just celebrate the good, or at least offer ways to make things better.

I better put up or shut up, huh?

OK, then: all Bergdorf Goodman and its ilk have to do to transform themselves in the area of merging their print advertising campaigns and their web presences is to put a word or number in the print ad that, when you put it in the website's search box, takes you right to the item all those thousands of precious dollars went to advertise.

Gee, that wasn't so hard, was it?

Almost seems obvious.

No wonder I have to charge so much for access.

Advice like this is, well, priceless.

November 15, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Animal Rubber Bands

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Well, how bored are you?

That bad, eh?

OK, then — I've got just the ticket.

These tricked–out rubber bands, in the shapes of 12 different animals, go back to their fun configurations after you use them.

Hours of quiet, private amusement with your own personal menagerie.

You get two cases, each with 24 rubber bands: one has pet animals and one has zoo animals.

They don't play well together so be careful.

$15 here.

In case you feel like selling them to pick up a little spare cash on the side, 48 goes into $15 to the tune of 31¢ apiece.

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Price 'em at a buck each and you'll be flush.

November 15, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Reflective Driveway Marker — Episode 2

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Back on Novemeber 7 I featured a whole slew of "Reflective Driveway Markers."

The other day I got to thinking... : "There must be a better way."

By Auguste Rodin (1880–1882).

November 15, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Official bookofjoe Rescue Shovel™

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The product endorsement offers are pouring in and I can't say "Yes!" fast enough.

Just yesterday I inked a ten–year deal to exclusively use the shovel above for all rescues.

From the website:

    Portable Rescue Shovel™ Digs You Out of Any Jam!

    Carry this lightweight emergency shovel in your car’s trunk and be ready for any storm that blows down the pike.

    Originally developed in Aspen, Colorado for use in Rocky Mountain avalanche operations, the Rescue Shovel™ meets the rigorous demands of mountaineering professionals.

    Unbreakable polycarbonate Lexan® scoop detaches from handle for easy storage. Extendable handle saves space and your back.

    Aircraft aluminum shaft won’t snap under heavy loads.

$39.95 here.

November 15, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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