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April 12, 2006



"Because forklifts get no respect."

Last week I received an email from Michael of Waukesha, Wisconsin.

As I am wont to do when I have a free moment I had a look at the domain from which his email emanated: forklifttrader.com.

That's different, is what I thought.

And lo and behold up came what you see above: a no–nonsense home page for Michael's company, M&W Industrial Equipment Corp., which appears to be family–run, what with the principals being listed as Jay, Jim or Michael Webber.

If you've had enough chitter–chatter and just want to see the forklifts, the online showroom is here.

I grew up near Waukesha, Wisconsin.

I have been to Waukesha, Wisconsin.

I have never used a forklift.

But if I ever do and I am in Waukesha you can bet I will be renting mine — or buying, depending on my needs at the time — from M&W.

Official forklift company of bookofjoe.

April 12, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Helpful Hints from joe-eeze: How to stir


Material pretty hard to come by, eh joe?

I mean, you're reduced to stupidity like this?

Why can't you give us the usual stupidity?

We don't need no education.



Robert L. Wolke, the Washington Post's nonpareil "Food 101" columnist, today featured the following Q & A:

    Q. ...One should always stir with the spoon's rounded side down, rather than sideways. I wonder why that is?

    A. If the spoon is large and held vertically, vigorous stirring might slop some liquid over the rim and out of the pot. But if the spoon is held horizontally with the curve down, it will sail smoothly through the liquid, creating a sort of whirlpool that accomplishes efficient mixing.

[photo via Julie Appleton]

April 12, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

More fan mail! — From Pete Benner, co-owner of Mack's Earplugs


Just in at 12:44 p.m. today — 77 minutes ago.

Pete's email follows.

Not one word has been omitted

    Hey Joe,

    I assume Joe is your name from your URL. I'm the co-owner of Mack's Earplugs and I just wanted to say thanks for the blog. You are right about the recent Wall Street article. She failed to test Mack's Pillow Soft Earplugs, the #1-selling earplugs in the U.S. retail market! There were also several other errors in her testing and reporting procedure that may have confused the readers. We tried to follow up and send samples and literature to her for testing and hopefully an addendum/correction to the article, but no luck so far.

    I see that you did not appreciate our beige color. It happens to be my favorite for nights out at loud bars/concerts etc. since most people hardly notice I'm wearing them, but to each their own. I'm glad you've found a Mack's product that suits your needs. We appreciate your business.

    By the way, I noticed you are a long distance runner. I'm doing the Boston marathon this Monday. I understand it's a rough and hilly course so I'm a little anxious about it. I'd better pace myself carefully.

    Thanks again.


    Pete Benner

    McKeon Products, Inc.


Pete was referring to my post of March 23 about Cynthia Crossen's March 9 Wall Street Journal article that exhaustively investigated the merits of a wide variety of earplugs only to completely omit mention of what is, in my considered opinion, the finest product available for the external auditory canal space.

That would be Mack's Pillow Soft Earplugs (top).

I've been using them for decades — not the same pair, I do buy new ones every year or so... hmmph — and recommend them without reservation.

Pete wrote, "I see that you did not appreciate our beige color."

Not true, Pete: in fact, for the longest time I used the light grey iteration until I happened on the bright orange kid's model which I instantly adopted so as to make retrieval from amongst the bedclothes in the morning less of a treasure hunt of sorts.

I did try the beige ones but when I looked at myself in the mirror with those onboard I looked dead — to me they resemble what a mortician might use to keep the ear canals dry while he washed the body for presentation at the wake.

No, bury me with the orange ones in place if you please.

Go ahead and splurge on a new pair, even if you have to take up a collection from those attending.

$3.25 for a box of 12 here.

Give the remaining 10 away as keepsakes and charms.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: they will take away my Mack's earplugs only when they pry them from my cold, dead ears.


And that's all I've got to say about that.

April 12, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Radio Flashlight


Maybe Flashlight Radio would've made a catchier headline: you tell me.

From the website:

    Emergency Flashlight

    Emergency flashlight is also a radio and a weather alert system.

    Rugged flashlight has five bright LEDs.

    Radio has AM/FM, weather and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) bands with audible alerts.

    Glows in the dark so it's always easy to find.

    Hand crank or outlet charging, digital time, date and temperature, compass and more.

    Uses one lithium battery (included).

    • Reach for the emergency flashlight you can always rely on when the lights go out — stop fumbling in the dark. Our emergency flashlight can be hand cranked or charged in an outlet so it's always ready to light your way with five bright LEDs.

    • Stay in touch and on top of weather conditions, too — flashlight has a built-in radio with AM/FM, weather and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) bands with audible alerts.

    • It's also an easy-to-find information center — glow-in-the-dark flashlight displays digital time, date and temperature, compass readings and more.


"I said be careful his bowtie is really a camera...."


April 12, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Onideus Mad Hatter begs to differ with me about Flash — Reasonable people can disagree...


But can disagreeable people reason?

The following email was received from a reader at 1:57 a.m. this morning.

Not one word has been omitted — however, three words have been cl**ned up to conform with our Disney–approved, G-rated standards

    Dear Joseph:

    A new comment has been submitted to your weblog "bookofjoe," on the post "'The Power of Flash' — Taschen's new book is not a practical joke, it turns out."

    Comment from:

    Name: Onideus_Mad_Hatter
    Email: bookofjoe@backwater-productions.net
    URL: http://www.backwater-productions.net


    Flash is a disaster — always.
    No exceptions.

    D00d, yer an ignorant f***ing retard. I bet I could take ANY site that you designed and I could rebuild it EXACTLY using Flash with at least a 50% reduction in overall site size... oh wait, YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO DESIGN... well unless you think plain text and a green rectangle is design. LOL, if it were THAT simple EVERYBODY would be a designer.

    The bottom line is that Flash doesn't NEED to be flashy and even if it is kinda flashy it DOES NOT have to be slow loading. Take my blog site for example: http://www.backwater-productions.net/hatter-blog/

    All the base graphics of the site take up less than 150 kilobytes... that's GOD LEVEL image encoding methodology though, mixed in with some split form, image replication and stretching techniques. So you see, Flash is like anything, with enough skill it can be done to perfection. And why use Flash? Simple, cross-compatibility. The way it looks on your system is EXACTLY the way it will look on someone else's. It takes ALL the guesswork out of building sites. And hey, for the Luddites like you, all a web designer has to do is include a plain text fall-back version, then the people using like Lynx who wish they were blind can still get all the relevant content, like on my main Backwater site:

    All the old arguments are dead... search engines can now spider flash files... with the advent of Flash8 there's now precision pixel alignment (allowing you to make use of split form designs and to build perfect liquid websites)... you can directly access php files and send and receive variables between the two... 50% faster than Javascript... direct use of PNG alpha transparencies without the use of bloatcode and OS/browser detection... the ability to use JPEG image compression on imported alpha transparent PNGs... use of the On2 VP6 codec (beats the f***in s**t out of Xvid as far as retaining color quality)... alpha transparent video... the list just goes on and on.

    And again, as I said, a designer can still include a plain text fall-back version for all the "simple folk" like you who wish they could retard the Internet back to 1996.


Even though I knew it would an exercise in predictability I did venture over to backwater-productions.net (the homepage is pictured up top) to see what Mr. Onideus Mad Hatter had wrought: alas, same old same old.

Slow to load (and I have a superfast internet connection) and then once I started navigating on the site and heard clicking noises each time I went to a new page and realized it wasn't earwax or crickets but, rather, sound effects he'd added, I couldn't take it any longer and departed.

Res ipsa loquitur.

April 12, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Magnetic Necklace Clasps


Even fastening someone else's necklace or bracelet is difficult with those infernal little spring thingies.

This is genius.

From the website:

    Magnetic Jewelry Clasps

    Snap shut clasps are magnets!

    No more fumbling with tiny screws or hooks; no help needed to fasten jewelry.

    Just hook spring rings onto necklace ends, then onto clasp.

    Replace tiny, hard-to-manage clasps in seconds.

    Each set includes 4 spring rings and 2 sturdy clasps.

    Specify color: goldplating or silverplating.


Very nice and all but sheesh, $8.99 for two clasps?

That's outrageous.

I told the crack research team to drop everything and get us a better price.

They succeeded.

The evidence, please: — from the website:

    Your necklaces will be much easier to put on and take off.

    These 1/2" converters come in silver or gold plating.

    Each set has 3 converters and 3 sets of spring rings that attach converters to necklace.

    No tools required.

$1.99 for a set of three.



Now that's more like it.

April 12, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

bookofjoe Innovation: Separate the cord from the device


Notice how the cable connecting your printer to your computer can be removed from the printer.

Notice that you can remove the power cable from your computer — be it a desktop or a laptop or a tower.

Why shouldn't this same handy modular principle be applied across the board to everything electrical?

Why should I have to fuss and fool around with keeping the cord out of my way when I clean my coffee grinder?

Why should I have to reach behind all the stuff on my kitchen counter to unplug the grinder, then have to do the same to plug it back in after I use my old wooden chopstick to poke at the machine's innards to dislodge old ground coffee bits prior to its next use?

Or when I take the machine outside for its periodic compressed air blast cleaning, have to have the darned cord trailing along?

If the grinder could be disconnected from the cord at the machine's base all of the above could be avoided — and I would clean it more often.

Who will be the first manufacturer to realize this and then take the idea for what it is worth (hint — that is what they'll pay me for it... as if) and run with it?

So in 2010, when you notice you can disconnect your toaster oven for easy cleaning and that this is even an advertised feature, you'll know whom to thank.

Or not.

April 12, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Waterproof Gingham Check Sleeve Covers — Because sometimes style has to take a backseat to function


You know the drill: pots and pans and dishes to clean quickly before company arrives.

You're already dressed to the nines: your silk blouse is simply not compatible with dishwashing.

Until now.

From the website:

    Say goodbye to soggy sleeves!

    Waterproof covers keep your watch, jewelry and sleeves clean and dry as you work in the kitchen.

    Elastic ends and midsections hold the covers securely in place.

    One size fits all.

    Set of two.


Oh, yeah, one last thing: bag the sleeve covers before you answer the door.

April 12, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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