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May 5, 2006

Carhenge

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Larry & Teddy "are full-time RVers, we live and travel in a '5th Avenue' 30-foot fifth wheel trailer w/2 slides and base our travels out of the Schlueter family cherry farm in Leelanau County near Traverse City, Michigan."

Their blog entry this past Tuesday read as follows:

    Carhenge

    On the way from Cheyenne to our next stop at Chadrin, Nebraska we just had to stop and see "Carhenge" at Alliance, Nebraska.

    Carhenge was erected in the middle of a dusty field by six local families during a reunion in 1987 to replicate England's Stonehenge.

    The cars have since been painted a uniform grey to make the monument even more striking.

    There was a time when the residents of Alliance wanted to tear down Carhenge and the Nebraska Department of Highways wanted to label it a "junkyard" and build a big fence around it.

    Not any more!

    Now signs on the outskirts of town proudly identify Alliance as "The Home of Carhenge" as does the sign in front of the local Best Western.

    A gift shop down the road proclaims, "We sell Carhenge souvenirs."

    According to Carhenge's self-appointed caretaker only about 40% of the people who visit know about the original Stonehenge.

    "We get a lot of remarks like, 'What the hell is this?' in our comments box," he sighs.

    "But the people come from all over just the same."

    In the wake of Carhenge anything goes as evidenced by the first refrigerator Stonehenge under construction in northwest Santa Fe, NM.

    About 200 refrigerators are arranged in a dusty field as Stonefridge.

    The explanatory sketch on the fence reads: "From the Stone Age to the Appliance Age."

    It appears to be partly completed: the array of refrigerators will be stacked and combined into full-size monoliths with cross pieces and astronomically configured.

    The artist, Adam Jonas Horowitz, is creating a "monument to consumerism;" he's been at it since at least 1996, stymied at points by the need for city approval and structural safeguards.

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That's Teddy at Carhenge in the photo below.

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Memo to Adam Jonas Horowitz: Stonefridge won't cut it.

Try Fridgehenge.

Ooh, just now a joke appeared, fully formed, in my peabrain.

Q. What's the preferred investment of Druids?

A. Henge funds.

[via Allan Moult, editor of leatherwoodonline.com and larryandteddy.blogspot.com]

May 5, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Car LED Ashtray

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So maybe you smoke or your friends do.

OK, then — why not make the best of it?

From Japan comes the "Rainbow Color LED Illuminant Automotive Ash Tray" (above and below).

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States the website:

    Transform your car into a hot driving machine.

    This is a brilliant idea for putting out your cigarette in your ride!

    Check out our one-touch opening lid automotive ashtray.

    This auto accessory ashtray is designed with your convenience in mind.

    It fits into most car drink holders and has an easy one-touch button to open the ashtray's lid.

    The ashtray has a removable inner tray for easy clean-up and maintenance.

    This automotive ashtray also features a Rainbow LED light that gives a fresh look to your auto interior.

    The LED light turns on when you have the lid open more than 90° and turns off when the lid is closed halfway or closed completely.

    • Easy one–touch opening — easy to operate when you are driving

    • LED–illuminated body — you will not miss your ashtray even in the dark

    • Clear with Silver Ash Tray with Rainbow Color Rotating LED

    • Fits your car drink holders — perfect place to house your LED ashtray

    • Battery comes with this LED automotive cigarette ashtray

    • Ashtray size: Height: 5 inches; Width: 2.5-inch bottom to 3-inch top.

    Order your own LED one-touch automotive cigarette ashtray now.

    It is just simple styling, perfectly accented to your auto interior.

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$39.95 (battery included).

But perhaps the rainbow light show is a bit more than you want to contend with in the cigarette space.

No problema.

How about a nifty blue LED version (below) from the same company that makes the rainbow model?

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That'll run you $32.95.

Still too much excitement for you?

Or perhaps a bit pricey?

No problema.

How about the no–frills version below?

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From the website:

    Blue LED Lighted Self–Extinguishing Smokeless Ashtray

    • Drop In — Traps Smoke

    • Cup Holder or Window Mount

    • Blue Glow–In–Dark LED

    • Hide–Away Cover

    • Traps Smoke

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$9.99.

I think that's enough on this for today — and probably for what remains of the 21st century.

May 5, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pine Knot, Theodore Roosevelt's presidential retreat, is open — by invitation only

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Everyone's heard of Monticello and lots of people know about Mount Vernon and Montpelier and Ash Lawn-Highland but very few know that Teddy Roosevelt also had a presidential retreat built in Virginia.

Above, Pine Knot in 1906.

It's at 711 Coles Rolling Road in Keene, Virginia, about 15 miles from my house, right here in Albemarle County.

Who knew?

Anne Causey wrote about the invitation-only reception that begins at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 13.

It's one of two annual events hosted by the Edith and Theodore Roosevelt Pine Knot Foundation to raise funds to support the upkeep of the cottage.

Visitors will be able to tour the simple cottage and the surrounding trails walked by TR himself will be open.

Here's the deal: you email pkfd@earthlink.com or call 434-286-6106 to get on the guest list.

But it's gonna cost you: $50 a person or $75 a couple.

Hey — maintenance costs.

Causey wrote that "there will be a special rate... for members of the Monticello Bird Club and the Virginia Native Plant Society."

Between 75 and 150 people are expected to attend the event.

May 5, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sweater Dryer

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From the website:

    Sweater Dryer

    Sweater Dryer won't let pointy shoulder creases ruin the look of your freshly washed sweaters!

    Sweaters placed flat on surfaces can take days to dry.

    Natural airy design with wide expandable shoulders lets air circulate between front and back.

    Sweaters drip–dry faster and easier than ever before!

    Prevents humidity buildup on woolens and thick fabrics.

    Blue plastic hanger measures 15-1/2" x 3" x 6".

$5.99.

May 5, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Running with Rachmaninoff

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It's the latest thing here at bookofjoe.

Yesterday I was cruising on the old treadmill at my usual and customary stately pace of 0.7 mph (precisely the same pace as the day before — and the day before that...) when I felt a frisson of an urge to get outside and enjoy the beautiful spring day.

But what to listen to on the old Discman?

Prince or the other usual suspects?

Hey — "The Usual Suspects," not a bad name for a group.

Take it, it's yours for the [not-even-having-to]-asking, like everything that appears here.

First come, first serve return.

But I digress.

The penny dropped.

Why not try an experiment and stick my Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 CD (top) in the Discman and see what it might be like to run with Vladimir and friends?

So I did.

What a trip — literally.

Totally different from listening to rock music and very entertaining.

I'm gonna do it again today.

Rachmaninoff never sounded better than when accompanied by my burning legs, dripping-with-sweat face and rapid breathing as I made my way up the Barracks Road hill towards my house.

I heard things I'd never heard before, like the insistent drums toward the end of the final movement.

Of course, those could've been aural hallucinations, considering the borderline hypoxic, crazed state I was in toward the end of the run.

And did I mention that Rachmaninoff must have been thinking of me when he composed the piece, because it's just over 43 minutes long and my run lasts 40 minutes?

What with walking for a few minutes before I started while listening to the opening chords, the thundering finale was perfectly timed to the last exhausting moments of my effort.

Must be a sign.

FunFact: David Dubal, the estimable classical music radio commentator (his show is on Saturday mornings from 8-9 a.m. on XM channel 113), who was a personal friend of Vladimir Horowitz, said on one of his shows that among musicians the piece is known as "Rocky 3."

The CD is $16.98 at Amazon.

And I will reiterate what I have said before, namely that listening to the compressed version of music on your iPod is not the same as listening to the notes as recorded on the CD.

Me, I want it all.

May 5, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Morphing Colander — 'Wash, flip and serve!'

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From the website:

    Ceramic Flip Colander

    Serving Bowl And Colander In One

    The unique shape of our Ceramic Flip Colander lets you rinse and serve fresh fruit and vegetables in the same container.

    Set it in your sink with the colander side down to wash a generous handful of garden favorites.

    When the produce has drained, flip it to the other side, serve and enjoy!

    9.5" x 6.25" x 7.25"H.

    Dishwasher-safe.

$29.95 (alas — those beautiful raspberries are not included).

May 5, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: 'What's Normal?'

Above, the headline of Audrey Edwards's April 25 Washington Post Health section story about body temperature.

Did you notice the thermometer in the photo (below)

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the Post used to illustrate the article?

Aren't you glad you're always comfortably ahead of the curve?

Me too.

But I digress.

Long story short: Edwards reported that people cool off as they age.

Of course, they become cold-blooded once they die but this isn't about poikilothermia, is it?

Sheesh.

FunFact: Normal body temperature in healthy older people can range between 94° and 99.6°.

Tell you what: if that thermometer reads 94° you can bet I'm gonna stick a mirror in front of your mouth and make sure it fogs up.

But I digress yet again.

Here's the Post article.

    What's 'Normal'?

    What's New: Your aging mother may have a fever even if her temperature reads less than 98.6 degrees. Researchers have found that older people generally have body temperatures lower than the number often considered normal.

    A study conducted at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., determined that body temperature in healthy older people ranged from 94 degrees to 99.6 degrees. The researchers also found that temperature differs not only between individuals but with time of day.

    Further study is needed to determine whether body temperature declines with age, according to lead researcher Irving H. Gomolin, the hospital's chief of geriatric medicine.

    The study was published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

    The Evidence: The study involved 100 nursing home residents and 50 individuals living in the community. Ages ranged from 65 to 98. Using electronic digital thermometers, the researchers took temperatures three times over three days from the nursing home residents; temperatures from those in the community were taken only once.

    The increase in body temperature during the day was greatest in those under 75. Those who were 85 and older on average showed no significant differences over the course of a day.

    Why It Matters: The data suggest that heat production and conservation appear to decrease with advancing age, the researchers said.

    Geriatrician Sharon Brangman said the finding could help improve care for the elderly by helping family members and caretakers determine more quickly whether a temperature reading signified a fever or was a normal fluctuation. Family members, she said, should become familiar with the individual's normal body temperature.

    Body temperature, she said, should not be the only factor to consider when assessing an older patient's health. Other factors, like confusion and change in behavior, should also be checked.

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Below, the abstract of the journal article.

    Older Is Colder: Temperature Range and Variation in Older People

    Objectives: To ascertain body temperatures in older people.

    Design: Analysis of oral temperatures obtained from elderly subjects residing in the community and nursing home.

    Setting: A single nursing home, office setting, and community center.

    Participants: One hundred nursing home residents and 50 subjects residing in the community.

    Measurements: Three oral temperatures were measured in nursing home residents and once in community dwellers using an electronic digital thermometer.

    Results: The average age of subjects was 80.7. Temperatures ranged from 94.0°F to 99.6°F. In nursing home subjects, the 6 a.m. mean temperature was 97.3°F, 4 p.m. mean was 97.4°F, and 10 p.m. mean was 97.8°F. The single midday mean temperature in community dwellers was 97.7°F. Ninety-seven of 100 (97%), 94 of 100 (94%), and 83 of 96 (86%) recordings were below 98.6°F in nursing home residents at 6 a.m., 4 p.m., and 10 p.m., respectively. Similarly, 45 of 50 (90%) community dwellers had midday temperatures below 98.6°F. Repeated-measures analysis demonstrated an increase in temperature during the day. The increase was greatest in the youngest old, with no significant change in body temperature over the course of the day in the oldest old.

    Conclusion: Older subjects have mean oral body temperatures lower than 98.6°F. Relatively few even achieve this temperature. In nursing home residents, the oldest were coldest and failed to demonstrate a diurnal rise in body temperature.

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Still thinking about that bendy thermometer?

It's still $13.99 — better get one while they're hot.

As it were.

May 5, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Team Logo Doormat

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From the website:

    Welcome To The "Fan Club" Doormat

    For all who enter, let it be known which team you'll be cheering for this season.

    Sports logo doormat is made of durable, all-natural coir fiber on pressed black rubber for long life.

    Specify college, NFL, MLB or NHL team.

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Don't get all excited just yet, though: first look at the list of teams available to see if your homeys are on it.

There are 30 colleges, 19 NFL teams, 14 MLB clubs and 2 NHL squads.

$49.99.

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That's better — unless you're a Red Sox fan.

May 5, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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