« May 8, 2006 | Main | May 10, 2006 »

May 9, 2006

Why is the oldest grocery store in Spain (since 1868) like a good website?


When I started reading Geoff Pingree's April 2 New York Times Travel section story about Ultramarinos La Confianza (above) in Huesca, Spain, at the foot of the Aragonese Pyrenees, I thought it was just one more interesting place I'll never get to.

But as I read to the end I realized there are some object lessons that apply just as well to the virtual world that may be learned from this remarkable store's way of doing things.

    From the article:

    But as much as it caters to the connoisseur, La Confianza is also a thoroughly homey place....

    The store is also known for its distinctly personal character.

    ... The shop exudes a friendly, even intimate atmosphere.

    And in a country where markets usually close from midday Saturday until Monday morning, La Confianza (the name means trust in Spanish) is open every day of the week.

    This may be the secret to the store's longevity.

    Indeed, the store seems to embody the Spanish notion that where one shops depends more on who is selling than on what one is buying.

    "My father considered this store a service, not a business," said Ms. Sanvicente [María Jesús Sanvicente is the owner and fourth generation of the founding family] matter–of–factly.

    "We've followed his tradition of serving the people who buy our goods. That's how we've stayed in business all these years."

So simple, really.

Oh, you want the long story short version?

OK: be pleasant and present.

The store is located at Plaza del Mercado 7, Huesca, Spain; tel: 34-974-222-632.

May 9, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Fizz Saver


"Don't waste your drink. Use Fizz Savers to lock in the bubbles and taste so you can finish the can later."

Three for $5.

May 9, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Breakthrough concept in the lawn and leaf bag space


Attention Hefty and its competitors: I'm throwing this one out for whomever has the good sense to grab it and bring it to market first.

You know how frustrating and annoying it is to try to find the end of the bag that opens?

Sure, you're right half the time but what about the other half?


Both ends look the same, is the problem: whether the bags come folded in a stack or on a roll, you end up fooling around with the sealed end for a while before deciding either you need more coffee or you've got the wrong end.

Solution: as the bags come off the extruder or roller or wherever they come off from at the factory, print or spray a green line on the end that opens.

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

Then why hasn't anyone done it — yet?

When you see that green stripe on your bags next year along with the TV and print commercials heralding this revolutionary concept, you'll know where they stole it from.

But don't be a hater: it's not stealing if someone gives it to you and, as always, I give it away.

The best things in life — at least from this spot in the peanut gallery — are indeed free.

May 9, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What color are your underpants? Wait a minute — that's not right...


Which direction are your knickers blowing in?

Yeah, that's the only thing that matters.

Hours of fun here for those inclined to things like helping Daffy Duck jump from a plane (above) and land perfectly.

From the website:

    Click "jump" to launch Daffy from the plane.

    Click "chute" to open his parachute.

    Watch the underpants to check wind direction.

    Good luck!

Don't say I didn't warn you.

From Ms. LLT out in Colorado, who wrote, "Another one of those damn things for your time-consuming pleasure."

If Ms. LLT is anything like me she tosses out 99+% of what she sees as useless/boring/silly, with only traces of gold emerging alongside the immense piles of dross.

I salute her continuing efforts to furnish bookofjoe with nothing but the very best.


May 9, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Page of questions that people tend to ask for reports' — by Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web


It's one of the very informative and entertaining pages on his website.

A sample:

Q. Where were you when you invented the WWW?

A. I was working in a physics laboratory called CERN.

CERN is in Geneva, Switzerland.

Switzerland is near the middle of Europe.

At CERN, people study high-energy physics.

That is the physics of really really small particles - particles much smaller than atoms.

It turns out that if you want to investigate really really small things you need huge machines called accelerators to smash particles together really hard.

Then you have huge gadgets (about the size of a house) which detect what happens and what bits fly off so you can figure out whether you managed to make any new types of particle.

CERN is a big place - a few thousand people work there.

Many of them are scientists whose jobs are at universities in different places in the world, and they come to CERN because they need to use the huge accelerators at CERN.


Q. Why do you keep saying everything is so simple?

A. Well, because it is basically.

No, honestly....

I want you to know that you too can make new programs which create new fun ways of using computers and using the Internet.

I want you to realize that, if you can imagine a computer doing something, you can program a computer to do that.

Unbounded opportunity... limited only by your imagination.

And a couple of laws of physics.

Of course, what happens with computers is that you have a basic simple idea and then you have to add things on to it for practical reasons.

So real-world computer programs can end up with a lot of stuff in them.

If they are good, they are still simple inside.

May 9, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Grating Cards — 'Because nothing says I love you more than a hot cup of tea in the face'


Six for $20 (Australian) here.


Not Australian?


Your tough luck, mate.


No worries.

[via Shawn Lea's everythingandnothing]

May 9, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



What's this?

From the website:

    Free Office Suite

    OpenOffice.org is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project.


    Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute.

[via Marshall]

May 9, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Rotating Tire Alarm Clock — 'Wake up ready to roll!'


"When alarm goes off the tire rotates and brakes to a sharp halt with 'Good Morning' greeting as the alarm is turned off."

Can your clock do that?

Didn't think so.

From the website:

    • Easy to set.

    • Demo function on base.

    • Great sound and visual effects.

    • Tire rotates when alarm sounds.

    • Quartz alarm clock with second hand.

    • Gear shift controls alarm, demo and sets clock in "neutral."

    • Runs on 3 AA batteries (not included)


May 9, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

« May 8, 2006 | Main | May 10, 2006 »