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May 4, 2007

Remainder — by Tom McCarthy

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The first paragraph:

"About the accident itself I can say very little. Almost nothing. It involved something falling from the sky. Technology: Parts, bits. That's it, really; all I can divulge. Not much, I know."

See, the thing is that the insurance settlement required that the protagonist of the story — an unnamed young man living in London — never, ever, say more about the accident than you've just read.

In return for which he received £8.5 million.

At today's exchange rate that's $17 million.

So you can see how he'd tend to be adherent to the terms stipulated.

Anyway.

The accident caused major brain damage, resulting in our hero's having to spend many painful and boring months relearning basic motor functions.

And something else happened: he developed an obsession with recreating particular mundane events of his recent past.

So much so that he decided to spend millions to create a living "set" of sorts, with scores of actors, props and producers all working at his direction.

The book is narrated by the protagonist in a matter-of-fact, droll, dry tone that reminded me a lot of the style of Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident Of the Dog in the Night-time," which enchanted me.

Hard to believe this is McCarthy's first novel: it's so good.

There's a great interview with the author here.

May 4, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Undercabinet Charger Station

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From the website:
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Undercabinet Charger Station

Here's where to park up to 6 electronic devices for charging, out of sight and out of your way.

Cabinet hangs from beneath a cabinet to hold your cell phone, PDA and MP3 player for recharging all at once, in one convenient location.

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Plug them all into the UL-listed, six-outlet, 6' double extension cord concealed inside.

Leatherette-lined shelf pulls out to allow you to plug and unplug your device cords.

Includes matching cord cover (three 12" lengths; cut to size; paintable to match decor) to hide the extension cord as it exits the cabinet back, plus matching brackets to attach cover to wall.

10" x 13" x 4-1/2" tall.

Wood composites.
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From top: Natural, Cherry or White Finish.

$54.99 (devices and chargers not included).

May 4, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rocky Mountain Lavender

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This morning I received the following email from Lori Parr Campbell, grand panjandrum (panjandra?) of Rocky Mountain Lavender in Missoula, Montana.

    Hey Joe,

    Thanks for having recorded the lavender and scent of money article on your site. I was looking for this info so I can include it along with lavender samples. I have a very small lavender growing operation [top] in Missoula, Montana and am looking to expand sales.

    Thanks again.

    Lavender Lori

    lavenderlori@earthlink.net

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From her website:

    Rocky Mountain Lavender

    The lavender is grown on a 700-foot expanse flanking both sides of the driveway that leads to the Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery.

    There are 1500 mature Lavendin x intermedia "Grosso" plants.

    The farm is certified organic — we can supply you with organic culinary grade lavender.

    The crop is ready for harvest in late July and early August.

    We hold craft workshops and host "You Pick" weekends those months.

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If you happen to be in Missoula or the vicinity and decide to stop by Lori's lavender patch, be sure to tell her joe sent you.

You'll get a reception you'll never forget.

May 4, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hair Dryer Holster — Episode 2: It costs to be beautiful

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In Episode 1 a no-frills, not very good looking but functional enough appearing iteration took pride of place.

Readers complained that it wouldn't go at all well with things like their Teuco shower.

I hear you and I feel (some say I am) your pain.

But I regress.

Wait a minute... that's not right....

Anyway, the crack research team has been all over this like a cheap suit and they've brought back something I think you'll like.

From the website:

    Hair Dryer Holder

    Enhance your décor and add style to your bathroom or vanity with the elegant Primo Hair Dryer Holder by Blomus®.

    Crafted in sleek European style, this stainless-steel hair care organizer features a holster design to add a retro touch to your décor.

    This German-engineered piece will amaze your family and guests with its stunning design and stainless-steel finish.

    Features:

    • Holster design securely holds hair dryer

    • Sturdy stainless-steel construction

    • 2-3/4" tall x 5" diameter

    • Wall mount

$32.99.

May 4, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Hellfighters' — Applied Chemistry 101: Principles of Oil Well Fires and Blowouts

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Professor Red Adair, presiding.

This 1968 film, starring John Wayne as Red Adair and made with the assistance of Adair and his team, is truly a piece of work.

Wayne said, "I've made a lot of action movies, but never one as exciting as 'Hellfighters.'"

Basic principle of putting out an oil well fire: starve it of oxygen and it'll go out.

To do this, however, requires an exquisitely choreographed, individually tailored series of very high risk maneuvers which include:

1) Directing heavy streams of water at the fire while removing all metal and debris from the wellhead.

2) Placing a large quantity of nitroglycerin wrapped in asbestos cloth under heavy irrigation by high pressure/volume hoses directly over the wellhead with a long-armed crane.

3) Exiting the cabin of the crane and running like hell away from the well and jumping into a ditch to avoid the explosion that will ensue once the water stops wetting the asbestos and the wellhead fire ignites the explosives, the subsequent bang sucking up all the available oxygen (if everything went according to plan) and putting out the fire, leaving just the oil gushing out.

4) Quickly moving a cap into position, aligning it on the wellhead and securing it, then closing off the flow. Special attention is paid to not creating a spark which could immolate the men at the wellhead in a Texas minute.

You could do a lot worse for $10.99 (at Amazon).

May 4, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Pocket Back Scratcher

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Use this to good advantage during the questions after your next PowerPoint presentation.

They'll get the point.

From the website:

    Back Scratcher

    Aah... the sheer pleasure of reaching that unreachable itch!

    Our back scratcher telescopes to 26-1/2" to get the job done!

    Retracts to "pen size" — a mere 6-3/4" — to carry anywhere!

    Just throw it in your bag or attach to your pocket with the handy clip.

    Six scratching "fingers" on the extra-wide 1-1/2" head are always ready to give quick relief.

    Chrome-plated metal and brass.

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$9.95.

May 4, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

iGoogle — 'Make your own gadget'

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What's this?

Looks pretty interesting.

Those with an I.Q. in triple digits will proceed; all the rest of us will sit quietly sucking our thumbs, watching you have a blast.

That's the TechnoDolt™ way.

May 4, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Collapsible Colander — Episode 2: Not as pretty but hey, you can't have everything

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Episode 1 back on December 31, 2005 featured an ever-so-stylish number.

This one's about function.

From the website:

    Fold Flat Colander™

    Collapses to save precious space in kitchen cabinets or drawers.

    Large capacity holds generous portions of pasta, vegetables and more, then folds flat for efficient storage.

    Built-in pour spout eliminates spills when transferring food to bowls and serving dishes.

    Durable plastic.

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$9.98.

May 4, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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