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April 15, 2006

How readable is your blog or website? Free online readability test


I just took it and in the spirit of full disclosure am providing the results above.

My Flesch-Kincaid Grade of 5.14 means that anyone with at least a fifth-grade education can read and enjoy bookofjoe.

The Gunning Fox Index of 8.46, on the other hand, would imply that you'd need to finish eighth grade to twig.

The Flesch Reading Ease score of 73.71 confirms that I'm on the right track.

According to the test website, "The higher the [Flesch Reading Ease] score, the easier it is to understand the document. Authors are encouraged to aim for a score of approximately 60 to 70."


April 15, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Atomic Clock AM/FM Radio with Time and Indoor/Outdoor Temperature Adjustable Focus 120°-Pivoting Dual Color Backlit Display Projectors with Snooze/Sleep Timer Alarm


An awful lot going on in this device space.

From the website:

    Memorex Dual Projection Remote Control Clock

    Memorex RC atomic clock radio projects atomic time and outdoor temperature on your ceiling or wall — you’ll have the information you need before your feet hit the floor!

    This Memorex clock radio accepts signals from the U.S. atomic clock and resets itself to an accuracy of one–millionth of a second.

    Plus it has a wireless remote sensor [below]


    that transmits outdoor temperature information to the main unit.

    Also features 120–degree pivot dual projection system with focus adjustment, AM/FM radio, dual alarms, dual color backlit display with calendar and indoor/outdoor temp, snooze, sleep timer and more.

    Requires two AAA batteries for remote sensor (not included).

    4.3" x 3.1" x 6.9".


Could it all really be this simple?

That the only thing that's prevented me from getting where I want to go is that I've been, up to now, arising in the morning without "... atomic time and outdoor temperature on [my] ceiling or wall?



April 15, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'The Nanny Diaries' — Starring Scarlett Johansson and Alicia Keys


Already it's the most anticipated film of 2007.

Two days ago came the news that the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter has been selected to play nanny Scarlett Johansson's best friend.

Tell you what: even though it won't happen it would be so great if the trailer used "Baby, You're a Rich Man" for its music.


As in, "How does it feel to cast two of the [most exquisitely] beautiful people?"

April 15, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Manly Tote


What with all the uproar and excitement over Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield's new book (below),


this timely new bag appears to be just the ticket for girl wanna–be's.

From the website:

    A.K.A. Coal Bag, #4 Tool Tote and Junk Bag

    Here's the Mother of all tote bags.

    Made of "bulletproof" polyurethane–backed 1200-denier polyester, this 17"W x 71⁄2"D x 14"H Manly Tote was originally designed to haul 50 lbs. of coal.

    Use it to carry just about anything to and from the job site or campsite.

    Repels water and won't mold or mildew.

    Web–reinforced handles that circle the bag and triple–layer bottom provide super strength.

    Top zips closed to keep dust and dirt out.

    You'll never wear this one out.


In your choice of Über–masculine Dark Gray (top) or Studly Black.


April 15, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Do not undergo elective jaw surgery for a TMJ problem — unless you are prepared for a lifetime of misery and regret


No, I am not speaking as a customer but, rather, as one who has over the years aided and abetted the performance of countless such surgeries.

Just as Lord Bismarck remarked, "A person should never see how his laws or his sausages are made," so with the performance of elective temporomandibular joint (TMJ) surgery.

This is one of the more closely–held secrets of modern medicine, one you will not read anywhere else, and I expect a firestorm of protest and invective from plastic, head & neck, and oral surgeons.

No matter.

I have been there and seen that, as it were, with my very own eyes, and winced and felt the pain–to–be of their hapless patient–victims.

Long story short: it's an inexact art governed more by time constraints and the surgeon's mood than dysfunctional anatomy.

The TMJ is amazingly complex, capable of motion along all three axes as well as rotation.


Much happens in a very confined space.

When something goes wrong in the joint, symptoms are myriad.

The problem is that these symptoms can result from any number of things completely unrelated to the TMJ.

TMJ surgery to correct malocclusion (bad bite) is fraught with peril, namely that no one knows how the post–surgical joint will function — or even if it will function.

Elective jaw surgery to shorten the mandible (lower jawbone) for cosmetic rather than functional purposes is, in my opinion, tip–toeing right along the edge of malpractice.

I have attended many such surgeries as the anesthesiologist.

Apart from the cost and postoperative misery — for starters, tremendous pain, and your jaw will be wired shut for weeks while the bone heals so you'll be dining through a straw — which are part–and–parcel of such work, the thing you will never know unless you are right there in the O.R. as part of the surgical team — or read bookofjoe — is that the surgeons proceed in a very off–the–cuff and ad hoc manner.

For example, the O.R. cut–off time for elective dental surgery at UCLA was 4 p.m.

Translated, that meant the patient had to be out of the room and in the recovery room by that time.

That was so everyone could go home by 5 p.m.

Overtime is expensive.

The penalty for the surgeon who didn't comply was to have his O.R. time reduced.

Not a welcome outcome.

Now, it's not as if the surgeons didn't have plenty of time to do what they needed to do.


It's just that, having begun at 8 a.m. with all the time in the world, once they got going with their various bone saws and drills and other stainless–steel, high–priced carpenter's tools and toys and whatnot, time just flew.

At least, for them.

So part of my job was to inform them at 3 p.m. that they needed to finish up so I could wake the patient up and get her/him to recovery by 4 p.m.

Frequently this would result in abandonment of some crucial part of the procedure or a shortcut to get done in time.

The patient would never know.

I remember when I moved to Virginia from LA and my new dentist looked at my severe crossbite and told me it was one of the worst he'd ever seen.


I mean, I'd heard that before and had never had any problems eating or whatever so it didn't seem to me that I had a problem worth thinking about.

Then he said I should have it corrected, which meant undergoing the kind of surgery I've just described above.

It was all I could do to keep a straight face while I listened patiently and then replied that I would give it serious thought.

For the next couple years he'd mention it each time I came in for my semi–annual cleaning but after a while I guess he came to realize that I probably wasn't gonna go for it.

I haven't heard a word — or had a problem — since.

Bottom line: if you're considering TMJ or jaw surgery, get not only a second but a third, fourth and even fifth opinion.

Money very well spent.


And that's all I have to say about that.

April 15, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (28) | TrackBack

Banana Splitter® Banana Peeler — 'Flip the top off a banana and peel it with ease'



    From the website:

    Banana Splitter lets you take the top right off a banana so you can peel it quickly and easily!

    Bananas are a great snack but sometimes it's difficult to start the peel at the top of the banana.

    You bend the stem this way and that, which often results in mush.

    A Banana Splitter is the ideal solution!

    Simply place the Banana Splitter ring over the the top of the banana and use the prongs to pierce the skin.

    Then all you need to do is flip the handle up and peeling is started.

    The handle of the banana splitter is 1" wide and 2¾" long so it's easy to grasp.

    It's also rounded, making it more comfortable to hold.

    Keep one in your desk at work and one in your kitchen for when it's time to make banana bread.

    Great for kids too!


April 15, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Fray — by Carl Phillips

There it lay, before me, as they had
said it would: a distance
I'd wish to cross,

then try to, then leave
off wishing. Words like arc,
and trajectory. And push. The words

themselves over time
coming to matter
the way, in painting, color does: less,

finally, than the gesture
each stroke

A kind of sleep
that will look like death
they said,

A kind of waking that will look
I woke,

as it were. I was not
bewildered. The distance as uncrossed
as it had been,

but now a clarity—like that
of vision. A kind of crossing.
Parts that the light

reached, relative
to everything else, what the light
kept missing. Spirea

in a wind; wind in the spirea's
leggy branches—I could make
distinctions: weeping

spruce; weeping maple. I could love you
as I had loved you—as only
humans can love each other: it's

a human need,
to give to shapelessness
a form.

April 15, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Money Machine



    From the website:

    Here's a memorable way to give a little "green" for holidays, birthdays, graduations, and more.

    Simply fold this cash dispenser together and tape your bills end–to–end using the easy–peel, removable tape that's included.

    Then, roll loosely and insert in the box for a gift that's fun to give — and receive!

    Box is 4"H x 4"W x 4"D; Tape is 3/4" x 150" [that's 12.5 feet, in case your brain's too tired].

$4.99 (currency not included).

April 15, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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