« July 2, 2006 | Main | July 4, 2006 »

July 3, 2006

'Live aboard your boat while at home'


Why go to all the trouble and expense of acquiring and maintaining a boat when you can live the nautical life on the cheap on dry land?

Below, 21 tips on how to simulate a floating palace at home sweet home.

1. Sleep on the shelf in your closet.

2. Replace the closet door with a curtain.

3. Four hours after you go to sleep, have your wife whip open the curtain, shine a flashlight in your eyes, and mumble, "Your watch!"

4. Put a wall across the middle of your bathtub and move the shower head down to chest level.

5. When taking showers, shut off the water while soaping.

6. Put lube oil in your humidifier instead of water and set it to high.

7. If your basement floods during a sudden thaw, go down and start bailing.

8. Bring inside some type of gas motor (lawn mower, garden tiller, etc), start, and leave running while trying to listen to favorite CD or having an in-depth conversation.

9. If the wind outside is howling, race around the house to make sure all windows and doors are secure. At night, everyone takes a turn on "watch."

10. Place all none-edible garbage in small plastic bags and store in other half of tub (edible garbage to be thrown out the window).

11. Wake up at midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale bread. Cold canned ravioli or soup is optional.

12. Make up your family menu a week ahead of time without looking in the pantry, 'fridge or freezer.

13. Once a month pick a major appliance, take it completely apart, and put it back together.

14. Use 18 scoops of coffee per pot and allow it to sit for 5 to 6 hours before drinking.

15. Put a fluorescent light under the coffee table and lay there to read a book.

16. Every so often throw the cat in the tub (hot tub, large sink, etc.) and shout, "Man overboard!"

17. Run into the kitchen and sweep all the pots/pans/dishes off of the counter onto the floor, then yell at the wife for not having the place "stowed for sea."

• After distributing this list the first time, I received some additions from Tommy Taggart:

18. With every major windshift, have your alarm go off so you can reset your address.

19. Periodically throw some sand about the house.

20. Cut two legs shorter on each chair.

21. During a squall, wake up, go to the front porch, throw a bucket of cold water in your face, then go back to bed.

[via the Grogono familiy website]

July 3, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Remote Controlled Patio Umbrella


You knew it was only a matter of time.

Your handy little remote control lets you open and adjust it to the perfect angle from up to 40 feet away.

From the website:

    Remote Controlled Market Umbrella

    Unlike traditional models, this 9-foot-diameter market umbrella with a battery-powered tilt and lift mechanism can be adjusted from up to 40 feet away using a handheld remote control.

    The remote-controlled, rechargeable motor allows quick and simple adjustments as the sun's rays change position or the wind reverses direction, and the pole has a safety shut-off switch.


    The champagne-colored, rust-resistant aluminum pole supports the canopy, which is crafted of weather-resistant Sunbrella fabric.

    The 9'-diameter shade provides ample shelter from weather and sun and an overlapping baffle gently vents air to reduce the effect of winds.

    AC adapter recharges the battery in five hours, providing up to six hours of continuous use.

    The pole fits most tables with holes measuring 1-3/4" in diameter.

    115"H when closed; 100"H when open.

    Weighs 26 lbs.


To translate: you have to plug the umbrella into an electrical outlet to recharge its motor; the remote control is powered by a 12-volt battery (amazingly enough, included).


You just know there's someone reading this who's already thinking about a hack that will enable the umbrella to automatically adjust itself depending on the position of the sun or the time of day.


July 3, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Who wants to be a millionaire?


Invent a flash drive that contains a TV tuner and serves as an antenna.

Every computer a TV and every woman (and man) a queen or a king.

End of discussion.



This just in from Ken:

Tell you what: the manufacturers of this nifty $200 device


need to do a better job getting the word out on the street that it exists.

Thanks, Ken.

July 3, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Byerley Bicycle Blender


Say what?

The website says "The Byerley Bicycle Blender, or B3, is the world's finest bicycle-driven human-powered blender. Why a bike blender? Because human beings love human power."

That's good enough for me.

From Berkeley, California, so you know it's got to be good.

The idea behind the invention is to give entrepreneurs a convenient way to sell smoothies in outdoor settings.

Tell you what: you'll do a land office business at Burning Man with one of these.

Isn't that right, Raven?


You'll be the only person serving up smoothies after the Apocalypse.

And you'll certainly be the fittest.

[via Dan Mitchell and the New York Times]

July 3, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Jay-Z Champagne Smackdown: ABC = 'Anyone But Cristal' — 'He's the E.F. Hutton of hip-hop'


Sales of $300-a-bottle (retail) Cristal champagne, up to now the drink of choice for the bling set, have started dropping off in clubs where the hip-hop elite meet, according to this past Sunday's New York Times Styles section front-page story by Douglas Century.

Long story short: Frédéric Rouzaud, the president of Champagne Louis Roederer (maker of Cristal) was quoted in The Economist to the effect that his product's popularity among major-league rappers was not to his liking.

Subsequently he tried to walk away from his remarks but the damage was done: Jay-Z called for a Cristal boycott and it has apparently taken hold.

Marvet Britto, head of a New York public relations and brand strategy firm, made the memorable remark (in the headline) about Jay-Z's power and influence as a tastemaker in the Times story.

Below, a few of Jay-Z'a lyrics from back in the day when Cristal


was the aspirational bubbly of choice for rappers everywhere.

At Manhattan celebrity haunt Plumm, Cristal served at a table is $550 a bottle.

In case you happen to be there and feel a thirst coming on.

July 3, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

iLoad: Move songs from a CD to your iPod — without a computer or Internet connection


Tell us more.

From the website:

    iLoad™ — The CD-to-iPod® Music Transfer System

    The iLoad™ is the first device that allows you to load a CD directly onto any type of docking iPod® in minutes without the need for a computer or Internet connection.

    The portable device converts music on a CD into a compressed MP3 file format and transfers the files directly to the iPod you connect to it.

    An entire CD, or only the individual tracks you select, can be transferred in approximately 8 minutes or less, and the device has an internal database that automatically adds the artist, song, and album information to the iPod as the music is loaded.

    A built-in audio output jack allows you to connect a set of your own headphones to listen to tracks and decide whether to transfer them, and the controls are top-mounted for easy access.

    The transfer system also charges your iPod while plugged in and the unit can be connected to a computer via USB to download new music title, artist, and album data as it becomes available on a weekly basis.

    Small enough to pack in a suitcase, backpack, or briefcase, the system is lightweight and easy to use, simplifying digital music transfer in the home, at the office, or when traveling without access to a computer — and there is no software to install.

    • 11/2"H x 6-3/4"W x 7-1/2"L.

    • Transfer cable included.

    • Plugs into AC.

    • Weighs 1 lb.


There's a video demo on the website.


$249.95 (iPod not included).

July 3, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How you know you're a supermodel — Episode 2: You can leave your shades (but not your hat) on


Two weeks ago she turned her back on us; yesterday's New York Times Styles section ad, occupying the bottom third of page four, appears above.

Other than Fendi only Tiffany has the confidence to leave the majority of its mightily expensive ad space blank.

Less is more.

July 3, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

American Red Cross Emergency Radio


What with natural disasters now the norm rather than the exception, Amazon's got on board and opened the Emergency Preparedness Store, gathering everything together under one virtual roof.

Hundreds of items for use in crises, along with all sorts of advice, checklists and whatnot.


Jura Koncius, in her June 29 Washington Post story, featured the American Red Cross Model FR400 Emergency Radio (above and below).

Backup hand-crank power, emergency lights, AM, FM and NOAA weather alert channels and a cellphone charger in case your fuel cell runs out.


The model shown costs $59.99 and there are others on the Amazon website.

July 3, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

« July 2, 2006 | Main | July 4, 2006 »