« October 30, 2007 | Main | November 1, 2007 »

October 31, 2007

Flat Bag Holder


Simple yet innovative.

From the website:

    Flat Bag Holder

    This unique bag holder is particularly useful for shops and garages.

    Wall mounted (screws on 16" centers), the U-shaped bracket holds a variety of different-sized bags; just wrap one edge of the bag around the roll bar and insert the bar into the bracket, which mechanically locks the bag in place.

    It allows bags to be wall mounted above floor level — this not only gives them a low profile in use, but also allows them to be mounted at varying heights, which is handy for recycling.

    Made in Canada.


October 31, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects With Unexpected Significance'


Horrible title, great book.

I happened on it via a chance reference somewhere, thinking it was going to be about everyday things embodying superb design whose presence we take for granted.


Once you get past the boring 10-page-long introduction, which didn't promise much enjoyment in the text to come, you're greeted by a series of 75 very well written, entertaining two-or-three-paragraph long essays by as many different people, most of whose names I didn't recognize, about objects (pictured on the respective facing pages) that acquired significance in their lives, often via strange and inexplicable series of events.

Perfect for a plane trip.

$11.90 at Amazon.

October 31, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ropeless Jump Rope (WWWD*)


The signs have been there for quite some time, actually: consider the size of the piece of "cheese" in a McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwich.

Back in the day it was the same size as the piece of "fish."

Then it began contracting, to the point where today's iteration is about the size of a stick of gum.

It's also gotten thinner, such that some days it's not even perceptible, instead vanishing into a sort of orange mist on the inner surface of the bun.

Eventually it will simply be a a cheese-flavored Listerine Breath Strip-like add-on.

But enough of that — let's get to the jump rope that never was.

From the website:

    Ropeless Jump Rope

    This ropeless jump rope allows you to skip rope in limited space indoors and will not interrupt the flow of your workout routine by getting caught in your feet.

    You input your height and weight into the device and the LCD on one of the handheld units informs you of calories burned, jump repetitions and exercise time,

    The device also has a "talking" mode that informs you of exercise progress.

    Part of the training regimen of professional boxers and Olympic wrestlers, jumping rope exercises your cardiovascular system while exerting less stress on knees than jogging and strengthens your arms and shoulders.

    Ten minutes of jumping rope can burn as many calories as running an eight minute mile.


    • The handles of each unit have three 2-1/2-oz. removable weight inserts

    • A snapping sound occurs with every jump to help you maintain proper jumping rhythm

    • The unit comes with a workout DVD and bag for ease of travel.

    • 10"L x 1"W


A finalist for the year's best euphemism for "won't make you fall flat on your face and fracture your skull, resulting in a subdural hematoma that will result in the trip to the neurosurgery operating suite where me and my ilk will get involved":

"... will not interrupt the flow of your workout routine by getting caught in your feet."



*What would Wittgenstein do?

October 31, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mazda Taiki









October 31, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Roller Ice


From the website:

    Roller Ice

    Roller Ice is a stainless steel massage roller ball that moves freely in all directions to give a great massage.

    It's great for trigger point therapy and stays cold for up to an hour.

    The easy-to-grip bulb is comfortable to hold.

    Say goodbye to messy cups of ice.


October 31, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Spoolies® — 'When elephants dance, the grass gets trampled'


The African proverb up top came instantly to mind when I received the following email last Thursday, October 25, 2007:

    Trademark Infringement — Spoolies

    Dear Book of Joe,

    Please remove reference to "Spoolies" on your website in conjunction with Vermont Country Store.

    Spoolies is a registered trademark name and is protected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

    Vermont Country Store does not have a legal right to use the Spoolies name and they have removed reference to Spoolies on their website, catalog, and search engines.

    Today when I typed Spoolies into Google, your subject heading came up referencing Spoolies to an old screen shot of a Vermont Country Store ad.

    Please notify Google that you must remove this heading from your Book of Joe.

    The official website for Spoolies hair curlers is www.spoolies.com

    The website is under construction and the Spoolies hair curlers will be released early next year in the original rubber version not the PVC version that Vermont Country Store sells (now as hair spools).

    Thank you for your help,

    Jeanne James


Let's all take a deep breath and see what the Spoolies kerfuffle is all about.

I featured the item in a post that appeared on September 14, 2006.

I guess the Spoolies people (Jeanne James et al) got their knickers in a twist as a result of the Vermont Country Store's apparently unauthorized use of the word, and did the usual lawyerbot cease-and-desist dance.

Now Ms. James is trying to put lightning back into the bottle and walk back the cat, after a fashion, by eliminating evidence of the Vermont Country Store's featuring the product using the Spoolies name.

And so they came to me.

If you put Spoolies into the Google search box you will get back about 10,000 results, with my September 14, 2006 post number 3.

Number 1?

The Vermont Country Store, where their "Hair Spools" appear when you click on the link.

So even though the Vermont Country Store has cleansed its site per the Spoolies lawyers, it still comes up on top when you search for Spoolies.

I suspect the same thing will happen if I go back and fiddle and diddle around with my post on the item.

And I haven't a clue how to get through the Google firewall and do what Ms. James would like me to do.

And besides, I'm a very, very busy and important person and I simply don't have the time to deal with stuff like this.

So I'm going to invoke the useful philosophy of Maxwell Maltz, to wit: "The best response is no response."

It usually does the trick in the OR and I see no reason why it shouldn't apply out here in the trademark space.

I'm also reminded of Henry Kissinger's wonderful observation, to wit: "The reason academic politics are so vicious is that the stakes are so small."

October 31, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Happy Halloween!


Who is it?

Answer here (maybe) this time tomorrow.

October 31, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Finger Wrench


From the website:

Finger Wrench

You know immediately that you could have used this tool hundreds of times in the past.

Every time you have to hold a small nut or bolt (it holds either) in an awkward spot, this wrench works marvellously.


Finger pressure holds the nut or bolt in the wrench while the raised, tapered slot prevents it from turning.

Made from high-impact ABS, the sleeve adjusts to fit any size finger.

Holds all nuts up to 1/2".



October 31, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

« October 30, 2007 | Main | November 1, 2007 »