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May 28, 2008

'Cool stuff you can do with paper money'


Bonus: TechnoDolt™-friendly.

May 28, 2008 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here 3:01 p.m. tomorrow.

May 28, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vumber — Cheap, anonymous and disposable phone numbers


Don't ask me, I just work here.

If you're not a TechnoDolt™ and have reason to wish to be anonymous, you might find this company's disposable phone numbers useful.

May 28, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monogrammed Dog Life Vest — For the pooch who has everything


Sometimes it's hard to shop for your über-accessorized dog but this ought to do the trick.

It comes direct from Shawn Lea, head of my crack research team, who added, "I saved this one just for you... 'cause THAT'S love. ;)."

I accept.

From the vest website:

    Monogrammed Dog Life Vest

    Protect your pup poolside or lakeside with this super-soft, vinyl-coated foam flotation device.

    May be personalized in style shown — specify single initial.

    Available in sizes XS(8"-11"), S(11"-15"), M(15"-19").




May 28, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Is your dentist stealing your gold? Episode 2: 'There is no recommended policy for dentists to follow'


Oh, really?

How about honesty — how does that work for your dentist as a policy?

You may recall Episode 1 on this subject back on March 26, 2008, in which I made it clear that if your dentist doesn't offer compensation equal to the value of the gold in any dental work she or he removes, they're committing a crime — it's called larceny in this country.

Now comes Buzz McClain in yesterday's Washington Post Health section saying pretty much the same thing, to wit: "What about you, the rightful owner of the valuable dental repair?"


Here's the Post piece.

    Thar's Gold in Them Thar Teeth

    That crown your dentist just took off your molar and plunked onto a tray may look like a broken hunk of coffee-stained enamel, but it could be worth money. And not just to you.

    With gold prices high, even a small piece has significant monetary value. No one knows this better than those in the precious-metal recovery field, who have a new hunger for dental "waste." This might mean gold (which broke the $1,000-an-ounce barrier earlier this year), silver (about $20 an ounce), palladium ($500 an ounce or so) or platinum (a scorching $2,200 or more an ounce).

    Reclaimers sometimes show up at a dentist's office with a troy ounce scale in hand and a wad of cash in their pocket and send what they acquire to a refiner. Other dentists collect the material themselves and send it to a refiner.

    But what about you, the rightful owner of the valuable dental repair? According to Fred L. Peterson, spokesman for the American Dental Association, there is no recommended policy for dentists to follow. "It would be treated like any other waste, where someone comes by to collect it," he says.

    If you ask for it, though, the dentist is obligated to hand it over.

    Sheldon Goldner, president of Precious Metal Refining Service in Barrington, Ill., points out that there are other elements in a crown that must be separated from the gold before it's useful. "The downside for the patient is they don't have a lot of volume," he says. "The dentist usually keeps those crowns — maybe gives the patient a credit — and he accumulates it and sends it to people like us. "

    Those collected crowns can add up. In March, Goldner says he sent a check for $18,000 to a single dentist's office in upstate New York.

    More creative dentists, such as Aurelio Roca of Arlington, use the gold for other purposes. "Aurelio made me a bracelet out of gold and dental wax," said Beverly Roca, his wife. "He put our kids' names on it. It's kind of creepy when I think about it, but it's sanitized."


"... Maybe gives the patient a credit" — perhaps we deserve to be treated like imbeciles if we act like witless fools.

I can't speak for you but where I come from $18,000 isn't chump change.

Now go claim what's rightly yours.

Because I like you I'm waiving my usual commission.

May 28, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World's Weirdest Travel Pillow — Episode 2: SkyRest


I thought I'd featured a pretty strange iteration in Episode 1 back on December 31, 2007, but it seems I was just warming up.

From the new winner's website:

    SkyRest® Travel Pillow

    SkyRest deflates and folds into an easy-to-pack size and shape (below).

    The large, removable inflation valve makes inflation and deflation a snap.

    SkyRest is unlike any other travel pillow and its unique configuration allows it to be used in many ways.

    Besides the method shown above, you can use it to prop up your feet on the plane or on the ground.

    Or, put it in the window and lean against it.

    Besides making a good-sized pad to fill the gap, it will insulate against a cold window.

    Partially inflated, it can serve as a replacement for a standard bed pillow in your hotel room.

    Use it to sit up against and watch TV or read.

    Size (inflated): Front height 14"; rear height 19"; width 17"; depth 15".

    Weight: 19 oz.




May 28, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Blast from the past: 'If it's good enough for a person, it should be good enough for a machine'


I happened on this September 18, 2004 post — yes, I know, you weren't even born then... gimme a break, will ya? — just now during a failed search for something way back when.

I re-read it and thought it was more interesting than whatever it was I was looking for, so here it is.

    If it's good enough for a person, it should be good enough for a machine

    Below, the email I just sent to my local Mac Users group after a computer crash.

    Dear Sirs and Madams,

    Not two minutes ago, I was happily working here at home on my iMac G4 17" running OS X 10.3.5, when all of a sudden the screen went black and the CD I was listening to ("Bladerunner" sound track, if you must know, one of my favorites) stopped playing.


    I looked at my Epson printer, plugged into the same multiple-outlet device, and saw its green light was still on, so I knew there was power.

    I looked at my Adelphia cable modem box, and green lights were still on, so the internet was still there.


    As you may recall from my previous posts, I get a gray screen of death/"kernel panic"/computer shut-down about once or twice a week, which I deal with by pushing the "On" button to restart my iMac.

    None of the super-sophisticated stuff my betters amongst you do when that happens.

    "Quick and dirty" is what we do in the OR, with people, so why wouldn't it be the way to go with a meaningless machine?

    So I responded to my suddenly-dead machine just now the same way I always deal with kernel panics: I pushed the "On" button.

    It started right up just fine, and Bob's your uncle.

    Now, what can we learn from this?

    Well, not much on my part, but perhaps it will save those amongst you seeking answers to "Why?" the time and trouble of doing so in the future.

    Who cares "Why?"

    In the OR, I learned long ago that if a machine (read computer) crashes in the middle of a case, you don't try and fix it or figure out why it happened.

    There's a patient lying there: paralyzed, unconscious, their respiratory and circulatory status and brain function completely my responsibility.

    Doesn't that person deserve my undivided attention?

    Wouldn't you want me to handle an anesthesia-machine-related problem, if you were that patient, precisely this way?

    So perhaps you see a little more clearly now why it is I deal with computer malfunctions outside the OR the same way I do inside.

    If it's good enough for a person, it should be good enough for a machine.

    And nothing any of you techno-wizards tell me will ever, EVER, convince me otherwise.

    And that's all I have to say about that.

    Hey — who moved my shrimp?

May 28, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack



50 stickers, assorted sizes and colors.


May 28, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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