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August 29, 2006

Secrecy — by Margaret Atwood

Secrecy flows through you,
a different kind of blood.
It's as if you've eaten it
like a bad candy,
taken it into your mouth,
let it melt sweetly on your tongue,
then allowed it to slide down your throat
like the reverse of uttering,
a word dissolved
into its glottals and sibilants,
a slow intake of breath—

And now it's in you, secrecy.
Ancient and viscious, luscious
as dark velvet.
It blooms in you,
a poppy made of ink.

You can think of nothing else.
Once you have it, you want more.
What power it gives you!
Power of knowing without being known,
power of the stone door,
power of the iron veil,
power of the crushed fingers,
power of the drowned bones
crying out from the bottom of the well.

August 29, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Railz Snowskate Skateboard Conversion Kit


From Popular Science magazine:

    From the Death Wish Dept.

    Gear up for winter by picking up a skateboard and replacing its wheels with this set of metal-edged skis.

    The suspension system lets you turn, carve, and ollie on the slopes just like you would on the street.




[via the September issue of Popular Science]

August 29, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Brain-dead at American Express


My best friend is the only person I know with an American Express Black Card.

Long story short: you don't apply for it because you can't.

It's kind of like the fiscal equivalent of Skull and Bones: you don't call them, they call you.

Basically, you have to charge at least $100,000 a year on your American Express card before the penny drops over at Black Card Central.

I think it costs $5,000, maybe $10,000 a year just to have the card.

Among the services they offer is a 24/7 toll-free hotline from anywhere in the world that will

1) Answer within two rings and not put you on hold, and

2) Bail you out of jail — no questions asked

Anyhow, my bud last month told me that Amex had just sent him its latest wrinkle: the new "Titanium Black Card."

So what? I said.

He said, you don't understand: it's actually made of titanium instead of black plastic.

I said (remember, this is before the British plane bomb threat), that's the dumbest thing I ever heard of; the card will set off the metal detector at airport security.

He said, no, I'm sure they thought of that and that it won't; I mean, they wouldn't be stupid enough to not realize that.

Cut to his recent trip to Utah: he went through the security gate like always and it went off — not like always.

The security guy said, It's probably your belt buckle.

My friend said, I'm not wearing a belt.

Long story short: it was the titanium card; once he took it out of his wallet and put it in the little bowl, he walked right through with his wallet in his pocket, no problem.

I wonder how much they pay the brain-dead marketing people at American Express to think up stuff like this.

Probably more than you pay me.

August 29, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Non-Skid Sure-Grip Air-Tight See-Through No-Drip Stack-N-Store Measure-N-Mix Bowl Set


From the website:

    Non-Skid Bowl Set

    These bowls "stack 'n' store"

    See-thru panels on the side have measurement markings so you can add ingredients while you mix.

    Non-skid bottoms grip tight while you whip or beat — even at an angle!

    Easy-grip handle and no-drip spout end mess while you pour.

    Snap on air-tight lids to store on top shelf in the fridge.

    Nest all three for compact cupboard storage.

    Microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

    Set of three bowls and lids includes 1½-qt., 3-qt. and 5-qt.



Can your mixing bowls do that?


August 29, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Taking pictures of people while they're sleeping — it's FUN and CREEPY at the same time!!!'




August 29, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cool Shirt Personal Cooling System


Good news, bad news on the chilling front.

The good news: This system works.

The bad news: Look at the pictures above and below. And the price tag: $350 to $2,500.

Washington Post reporter Buzz McClain and University of Virginia professor of sports medicine Christopher Ingersoll tested the Cool Shirt, with McClain's report appearing in today's Washington Post Health section front-page story.


He wrote, "The Cool Shirt ($350 to $2500; coolshirt.net) is used in Iraq by a few comparatively lucky soldiers serving in tanks and Humvees to keep from frying. The system works by filling a cooler with ice water and connecting it with a hose to a cotton shirt laced front and back with 55 feet of medical-grade tubing, using a pump to circulate the water. When we gave it a try, we didn't get far because the extension cord gave out, the cooler weighed about 10 pounds, and we felt a bit like an early astronaut carrying his oxygen pack. Ingersoll's take: 'These shirts may be attractive if you're going to sit in a hot car in the desert,' but they may be a bit much for the office set."


Got the hots for one?

No problema: email sales@coolshirt.com or call 800-345-3176 "for the dealer nearest you."

August 29, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The $2 bill is the new gift card


Ever since I weighed in here on the fraud and fakery of gift cards, I've been thinking about how to untie the Gordian knot surrounding the thorny issue of giving people cash as a gift and the fact that it's psychologically equivalent, in most peoples' minds, to doing something obscene.

I've even had several members of my crack research team spending every [waking] moment of their 100-hour work weeks focusing on coming up with a solution to this problem before the next holiday season.

They did it — with plenty of time to spare.


Here's what you do:

1. Go to a bank

2. Ask for crisp, brand-spanking-new $2 bills (they have them, don't worry)

3. Give in lieu of gift cards — in multiples as indicated

The reason this works is that few people have ever seen a $2 bill (many of those under 20 or so don't even know they exist) so the novelty factor overcomes the crassness element.

From that point on you're money.

As it were.

FunFact: The gift card industry is booming, with sales during the 2005 holiday season totaling $18.5 billion, up from $17.3 billion a year earlier.

FunFact #2: I've yet to receive one of these (an alternative to a multitude of $2's)


but like the kid in Ronald Reagan's favorite anecdote said as he wielded his shovel in the manure-filled barn, "I'm know there's a pony in here somewhere...."

August 29, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Stealth Trash Bag Dispenser



How about no-profile?

From the website:

    Trash Helper™

    Trash Helper has a spare trash bag ready to roll the instant you take out the trash.

    Dispenser cleverly rests in trash can base for replacement.

    Accepts most standard trash bag rolls.

    Pull, tear and secure around trash can rim — it's that easy.

    12" x 8-1/2" x 3-1/2".


Note the shoes and pants on the bag lady (top).

She demonstrates the importance of bringing elegance and chic to bear in even the most seemingly recondite corners of your daily life.

Because you just never know who'll show up while you're emptying your trash.

At least, that's how it is around here.

I can't speak for you — but darned if I'm not gonna try.

August 29, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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