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February 16, 2006

Affirmation — by Donald Hall

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To grow old is to lose everything.
Aging, everybody knows it.
Even when we are young,
we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads
when a grandfather dies.
Then we row for years on the midsummer
pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage,
that began without harm, scatters
into debris on the shore,
and a friend from school drops
cold on a rocky strand.
If a new love carries us
past middle age, our wife will die
at her strongest and most beautiful.
New women come and go. All go.
The pretty lover who announces
that she is temporary
is temporary. The bold woman,
middle–aged against our old age,
sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
Another friend of decades estranges himself
in words that pollute thirty years.
Let us stifle under mud at the pond's edge
and affirm that it is fitting
and sweet to lose everything.
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February 16, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Sharpie Retractable

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One giant click for mankind.

When I saw these in a commercial during the Super Bowl I thought finally, an ad that actually influenced me to buy something.

Mine arrived yesterday from Staples and they are everything I'd hoped they would be.

The same great Sharpie ink and point, but no more cap to hold on to or put down and lose or forget about, only to come back to your Sharpie and find it's Sayonara, baby — ink's defunct!

Apologies to e e cummings.

The clicker part is something to behold: it's almost obscene, it's so large (nearly an inch long).

When I investigated the device more closely down in my Skunk Works

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I realized why it had taken this long to finally produce what everyone wanted.

Obviously the problem with a Sharpie would be preventing the tip from drying out if you simply retracted it into the barrel of the pen.

What the great engineers at Sanford have done is create a minuscule hinged door that operates entirely within the instrument's barrel, opening and closing like a submarine's hatch.

The package declares, "The Safety Seal™ Valve design prevents dry out!"

When you get yours take a moment and have a look inside — it's a work of consumer engineering art.

Black, red, blue or green.

$1.55.

February 16, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto

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So just now I wandered over to my statistics pages, procrastinating and trying mightily to find something to keep me from getting my butt outside and going running on a gorgeous, sunny, 64°(F) day.

Huh, that's a lotta blue: what country's that?

Japan.

It's all because of linn.jugem.cc, which last Wednesday, February 8 linked to my January 21 post about shoelaces.

Go figure.

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Something is happening, but you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. bookofjoe?

February 16, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fun With Concrete — Episode 1: Hand-Held Power Mixer

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Got an electric drill?

Then you're ready to mix up a batch of concrete the modern way.

From the website:

    Attaches to Your Electric Drill

    Our Hand-Held Concrete Mixer is perfect for mixing small batches of concrete in a 5–gallon bucket or wheelbarrow.

    Also handy for mixing mortar, grout, even drywall "mud."

    Rinse after using and this all–steel mixer will last a lifetime.

    Measures 16" long with a 3" dia.

    Attaches to your 3/8" electric drill.

$16.50 (Bucket, drill and concrete not included).

Note: Mixer is black, not chrome as shown.

February 16, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Is Lexus becoming like Microsoft?

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I'm afraid so, judging by their ad in The Economist.

It reads as follows:

    We've seen the future and it's called personalization.

    Today, every Lexus has the capability to have many of its electronic settings customized.

    Meaning things like lights, locks and windows can be programmed to operate in a way that's most convenient for you.

    Simply decide on the adjustments you'd like to make, and your Lexus dealer will handle the rest.

    In the years to come, we'll be adding even more things that you can personalize to our vehicles.

    You see, at Lexus, we never forget who's in the driver's seat.

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Huh.

No sooner did Lexus get over its schadenfreude re: BMW's and Mercedes' failed iDrive and COMAND driver–car interfaces than they hopped on board the complexity bandwagon to make the Lexus no longer manageable by you and your little old self.

No, now it requires Big Brother — in the form of your Lexus dealer — to interpose himself between you and your car.

While they're programming it maybe they'll throw in a satellite–transponder so they can track you whenever there's downtime at the dealership.

Gimme a break.

Requiring someone located somewhere else to help you control your "lights, locks and windows" is not personalization: rather, it's the ultimate in depersonalization.

Unbelievably poor idea.

But I'm sure those who thought it up were paid very well indeed.

If this isn't an example of the Bizarro World masquerading as the real one then I don't know what is.

February 16, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Flip Calculator Key Chain

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Pretty impressive technology for the price: a working calculator, with a protective plastic flip key cover, that's small enough (2.25") to use as a key chain.

$1.95.

February 16, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sly Pure Glacial Water™ — Sylvester Stallone trumps Trump

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Its official debut is next month but here's a sneak preview of coming attractions.

Sylvester Stallone, hoping to jumpstart his moribund career, introduces his new entry into the aqua space, from the "10,000–year–old Carbon Glacier on the north face of Mount Rainier."

A case of 24 20–oz. bottles is $60.

I wonder how the Donald's brand, Trump Ice, is doing.

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I must say I haven't seen it on the shelves at my neighborhood 7–11 yet but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

I mean, we know it's not about the money, right?

It's never about the money... in the Bizarro World.

February 16, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Doorknob Exerciser

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OK, OK, I can see how all this treadmill garbage is getting old.

I feel your pain.

But hey, everyone's got a doorknob... right?

From the website:

    This easy-to-use exerciser loops over any doorknob to give you a total body workout in minutes.

    Just follow the simple exercise instructions to trim your waist, tighten your stomach, tone your bust, slim your hips and strengthen your arms, legs, chest and back.

    Ideal for anyone who doesn't have the time or patience for expensive programs and health clubs.

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Me, I could see how I could injure myself really badly trying to use this device.

You won't have any trouble, though.

$7.99.

February 16, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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