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May 3, 2007

bookofjoe MoneyMaker™ — Bizarro World Lock


It came from outer space, just like a neutrino, but instead of passing through me and the Earth as neutrinos are wont to do, it impacted one of the three remaining functional neurons in my frontal lobe and the resulting reaction produced an idea.

That's it for me for the day but not for you: here's the idea, for the first enterprising reader out there to take and pretend is her/his own and make millions with.


You know how doors work, right, with the lock and all integrated with the handle or knob?

What if you put the lock mechanism in the jamb instead of in the door, with the door housing the lock receptacle?

Seems to me you could harden the lock mechanism enclosure far better and more easily from inside the house than having to work within the confines of the door.

Especially if the door is made of metal.

Pretty clever, eh?

"Yeah, joe — if it's such a great idea than how come someone with half a brain hasn't already thought of it?"

You tell me — I just work here.

Ooh, another neutrino just hit my joke neuron and yielded the following:

Q. What did the neutrino say to the Earth?

A. Just passing through.

Drumroll, please — if there's still anyone in the room.

May 3, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack



That is, if you're an insect.

All others may pass.

From the website:

    Dead-Fast™ Insecticide Chalk

    When insects cross this chalk line, they're killing themselves and their friends.

    Dead-Fast is the only EPA-registered insecticide chalk available.

    Draw a chalk line on baseboards, doorways or windowsills to kill ants and cockroaches quickly.

    It forms a barrier to help keep insects out of the treated area.

    1% Tralomethrin, residual-pyrethroid insecticide remains effective for up to eight weeks.

    Better than sprays (nothing to inhale), and better than baits (not attractive to outside insects).


I strongly recommend that you keep yours in a place distant from your ChapStick.

Two for $14.99.

May 3, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Bath Time for Bowser: Muddy Paw Dog Wash & Coffee Bar


Best mashup of the year to date and it doesn't even involve a computer.

Long story short: You take your dog in for a bath and luxuriate with a cuppa joe, WiFi and the sight and sound of shining happy dogs.

It doesn't get any better than that.

Here's Jura Koncius's article from today's Washington Post.

    Sit. Stay. Bathe. Have a Latte.

    Bubba is having his hair fluffed after an apple-oatmeal shampoo. His owner, Mike Fitzgerald, sits at a table at the cafe in the next room, drinking cappuccino and checking his e-mail. Sure beats trying to wash an 80-pound golden retriever in the family bathtub.

    At Muddy Paw Wash and Coffee Bar [above] in Annapolis, customers can walk in and soap up their terrier or poodle themselves at one of five stations. Or they can chill out with an iced latte while a staffer does the job for $7.50 extra. Some forgo the bath and stop by just for the caffeine and to hang out with other owners and their dogs.

    The two-year-old business embraces two strong market forces in today's culture: WiFi-equipped coffee bars and pampered pets.

    "I just wanted to be able to take my dogs to work and drink lattes all day," says co-owner Joe Mutlu, who opened Muddy Paw with his brother, John.

    The brothers, both refugees of the tech world, located their business in a former pharmacy outside the entrance to Quiet Waters Park, one of the area's most popular — and muddiest — dog parks. Now on a busy Saturday or Sunday, about 100 dogs stop in to clean up. The brothers are franchising the concept, planning six more locations in the Washington area by the end of next year.

    The Muddy Paw social scene is fast-paced. A glimpse of one morning last week: Several human customers are having coffee and reading the paper, some with a freshly washed dog napping at their side. In back, Sacha the Weimaraner is getting a shampoo while Bachi, a chocolate Lab, is having a nail clipping. Stella, a comely Cavalier King Charles spaniel, steps in. Instantly the dozing dogs wake up and walk over to check her out.While nobody is looking, shop-dog Yogi sniffs out a bone-shaped peanut butter dog biscuit on somebody's table. Meanwhile, Sadie, a clumber spaniel who comes in every two weeks, prances out of the washroom for a couple of laps around the cafe.

    After a lot of sniffing and circling, the dogs trot back to their owners, and the daily routine of washing and coffee brewing goes on.

    The DIY dog-washing business — usually more affordable than traditional grooming services or mobile wash vans — started taking hold in the 1990s on the West Coast. South Bark and Dog Beach Dog Wash in San Diego and Rub-a-Dub Dog and Soggy Doggy in the Seattle area (clever names abound) joined bakeries, day-care centers and hotels (a.k.a. kennels) in the burgeoning pet service industry. Even superstores such as the Petco pet supply chain have added DIY washing facilities.

    In the Washington area, smaller operations such as Old Town Doggie Wash in Alexandria, Chateau-Animaux on Capitol Hill and Lucky Dog Laundromutt and Lounge in Adams Morgan have brought locals a place to suds up their pets. In October, Bark 'N Bubbles opened in Ashburn, and it recently added a lounge with wireless Internet for owners. A Bark 'N Bubbles location in Herndon opening in June will have a full-time barista.

    At Muddy Paw, wash stations are equipped with walk-up tubs with ramps, dozens of shampoos and conditioners, brushes, towels, eye and ear wipes, and dryers. Self-serve prices range from $12 for a small dog such as a Jack Russell terrier to $18 for a Labrador. (See details at www.muddypawwash.com) Just like at the carwash, the seventh dog wash is on the house. And after 10 coffee drinks, you get one free.

    Brenda Anderson of Annapolis brings in Chessie, a 1-year-old Lagotto Romagnolo (an Italian water dog) who does not like water. "I have to bring her in when she starts smelling like a dog," Anderson says. She orders an iced coffee and runs out to pick up some wine across the street while Chessie gets sudsed.

    Fitzgerald, of Annapolis, brings 13-year-old Bubba once a month for a full-serve $25.50 wash, dry and brush-out. "He loves it. He jumps right in the tub," Fitzgerald says. "Most other groomers want $65 to get him clean, because he has so much fur and it's matted down. It's hard on my back for me to do it myself. And other places you need to set an appointment. I don't do that for my own hair."


Everybody in!


For those of us not fortunate enough to live in Annapolis, Koncius provided an accompanying guide to doing it yourself; it follows.

    When It's Bath Time for Bowser

    When your dog starts smelling like a dog, it's time for a bath.

    "Washing your dog yourself is a much more enjoyable experience for the person and the dog than sending it to a groomer or hosing it down in the back yard," says Susan Silver, owner of Adams Morgan's Lucky Dog Laundromutt and Lounge. "The dog is more relaxed. After all, the dog is getting all the attention of his favorite person."

    So how often should you figure on having this enjoyable experience? If your dog spends most of his day lying on his bed (or yours), every month or two is fine. But if he is a regular on the dog park circuit and gets into lots of underbrush and muddy puddles, every few weeks or so is probably a good idea.

    The size of your dog might affect how often you need to wash. According to Chicago veterinarian Sheldon Rubin, an adviser to the American Veterinary Medical Association, large dogs might need washing only every two months. Small dogs can be bathed every two weeks, and medium-size dogs usually need a bath every four to six weeks.

    Here are tips for giving your dog a bath:

    • Assemble everything you'll need — shampoo, lots of towels, a waterproof apron (for you) — before you begin. Some pet owners use the bathtub or kitchen sink, others opt for the garden hose.

    • Brush your dog before the bath, advises Pam Ahart, president of Bark 'N Bubbles, a full- and self-service dog wash in Ashburn. "We have a tool called the Furminator," Ahart says. "It gets all the hair in the undercoat."

    • Water temperature should be cooler than what you would use to wash yourself. Lukewarm is good.

    • Use a shampoo formulated for dogs, not for people. Dog shampoos have a lower pH factor. Some vets prescribe special shampoos for skin conditions; take those along if you are going to a DIY facility.

    "We usually suggest a hypoallergenic shampoo," Rubin says. "It's soap-free but still cleans well and is less drying to the skin." He recommends oatmeal-based shampoos. He also cautions against washing your dog immediately after using a topical flea or tick repellent: "Either wait a few days after applying it to give a bath or put it on just after you bathe your dog, because it works well when applied on clean skin."

    • Lather and scrub all areas, using your hands. Be careful around the eyes and ears. Many self-service dog washes provide disposable ear and eye wipes.

    • Feel your pet's body for ticks, lumps and bumps as you are sudsing. New or unusual growths should be reported to your vet.

    • Rinsing is important. "Make sure you rinse your dog really well," says Meg Corbet, who owns Old Town Doggie Wash. "Many people tend not to, and your dog could get really itchy."

    • DIY dog-wash centers usually provide professional-grade room-temperature hair dryers rather than the heated-air type people use. If you wash your pet at home, it's not a good idea to use your own heated-air blow dryer; its high temperatures could make your dog overheated and dehydrated.

    • At the end, a treat might be in order — for both of you.


Like I said — "Arf."

May 3, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Kate Spade Pencil Case


Red, Blue or Pink Canvas.


Includes 4 pencils, 2 erasers and 1 sharpener.




Why pay less?

Wait a minute....

May 3, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wikisky — Where the stars are always out


"Drag-able zoom-able web-based star map."

But wait — there's more!

"When you click on an object, all the info on it, like recent articles and photos, pop up."

[via inkycircus.com]

May 3, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bamboo Baseball Cap


It was featured in Peter Mandel's April 22, 2007 Washington Post story on strange souvenirs he found in Vietnam.

Here's the item.

    Bamboo Baseball Cap

    What is it? Looks like someone turned a ceiling fan into a hat. It's your basic ball cap, but with a breeze. Air flows through the molded, strung-together strips of bamboo.

    Where can you buy it, and how much? I found mine at the "55 Cloth Shop" on Tran Phu Street in Hoi An. It retailed for 32,000 dong but I got it for 20,000 ($1.25) since I had no more cash on me.

    Why would you want it? Even in winter, Vietnam is furnace-hot. The bamboo cap is sure to keep you cool while you're here, plus it doubles as a steamer.

    Reminds you of Vietnam because: Clothing here can be just plain strange. Sweat shirts say "Sunless Beach Club" or "Eating on Feet." Baby clothes advertise beer.

    Downside: Cap may contain bugs. Also, it's made of wood, not adjustable and designed for petite heads.

May 3, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Burger King gets religion: check out their new coffee cup


Marshall Minshew emailed me last evening to give me a heads-up on the chain's new packaging (above).

I'm glad they got it right: goodness knows we worked with 'em long enough (and trust me, they paid through the nose).

May 3, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Umbrella Canopy


From the website:

    Sports Umbrella

    Versatile umbrella, made of durable ripstop nylon, provides sun, wind, and rain protection — with room to spare.

    Perfect for picnics, camping, tailgating, sporting events or relaxing at the beach.

    Telescoping aluminum center pole relocates for a variety of setups.

    Ground spikes and D-rings included for stabilization, even on windy days.

    Includes carry bag with shoulder strap.


    6' 7" wide.





May 3, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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