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February 4, 2009

Life is better when you make the rules

Batukaru - WarningSign

The other day I was looking at my credit card debt and realized I had four accounts — not three as I had thought — with big balances.

I did manage to pay one off toward the end of last year and was figuring on doing the same with another this year, until I saw where I'd somehow ignored one in my calculations.

That kind of discouraged me for a few days, as it made it seem impossible to ever really dig out from under the mountain of debt.

But then I had an epiphany: I thought to myself, OK, maybe you'll never ever get them all paid off, but hey, consider that you pay your monthly mortgage nut without giving it a second thought, as if it were rent.

So from that moment on I decided to just view my credit card debt as another mortgage, there since forever and perhaps forevermore.

And the lightness of being I like so much returned and hasn't left since.

It's kind of like the day I decided dust was a good thing, à la Mario Buatta, and suddenly my housekeeping was perfect, with very little work required to keep it that way.

There's a lot to be said for moving the goal posts in certain circumstances.

Try it, you'll like it.

And if you're not satisfied with the results, I'll cheerfully refund every penny you paid for my advice.

February 4, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

World's fastest GP Limousine — Is 300mph good for you?


Long story short: It's the world's first Indy-style GP limousine offering high-speed passenger service.


Michael Pettipas (above, at the Bonneville Salt Flats next to his hot ride) invented and built it.


Want a ride?


No problema: give him a holler.

[via Milena]

February 4, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Poster of the Day — New bookofjoe features debuts today


At 2:01 p.m. each day for six days beginning today, a poster will appear in this space.

Don't like it?

Take it up with Milena, it's all her fault.

February 4, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

February 4, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Foodzie — Virtual Farmer's Market


Chilling out in Couer d'Alene as you read these words?

Not to worry — now you can shop for artisanal cheeses and their ilk, what with the advent of Foodzie.

Claire Cain Miller's January 16, 2009 New York Times "Bits" blog item appeared in the dead-tree iteration on January 19, 2009, and follows.


An Online Farmer's Market

The local food movement has been all about buying seasonal food from nearby farmers. Now, thanks to the Web, it is expanding to include far-away farmers too.

A new start-up, Foodzie, is an online farmers market where small, artisan food producers and growers can sell their products. Foodies in Florida, say, can order raw, handcrafted pepperjack cheese from Traver, Calif., or organic, fair-trade coffee truffles from Boulder, Colo.

“You get a similar experience to a farmers market, when you get the opportunity to meet farmers, but it is much more scalable and you get a better selection,” said Rob LaFave, a Foodzie co-founder. “Ninety-seven percent of the country does not have this kind of access to artisan foodmakers.”

Foodzie was started by Mr. LaFave and two of his friends, who met during college at Virginia Tech, where they would frequent farmers markets. Last year, while living in North Carolina, one of them, Emily Olson, now 24, came up with the idea. She was working as a brand manager for a gourmet grocery chain and realized that other foodies who did not work in the business had no way to discover artisan foods outside their local farmers markets. Small farmers had no way of finding or selling to far-flung customers, either.

Mr. LaFave and the third co-founder, Nik Bauman, both 25, worked in corporate sales and software development. “With business, food and computer science backgrounds, we figured we had everything we needed,” Mr. LaFave said.

The three quit their jobs, packed up and moved to Boulder, where they joined Techstars, an incubator program for tech start-ups. They opened the site to the public in December and moved to San Francisco in January.

Foodzie is a gourmet version of Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade goods that has been hugely successful, selling $12.9 million worth of products in December. Like Etsy, sellers set up virtual storefronts on the site to post their wares and tell shoppers about themselves. On Foodzie, sellers can post their goods for free and Foodzie takes a 20 percent cut of each sale.

While a 20 percent cut is high for an e-commerce site (Etsy sellers pay 20 cents to list each item and the site takes a 3.5 percent cut), it is low in the food business, Mr. LaFave said. Food retailers typically take 50 percent of the sale price and distributors take another 10 percent.

Unlike Etsy, where buyers and sellers do the entire interaction independently, Foodzie serves as a middleman. It takes the purchase information from the buyer, processes the payment and e-mails the seller a prepaid shipping label.

One seller, Seth Ellis Chocolatier in Boulder, wanted to reach customers in other states, yet could not take on the challenges of building and operating an e-commerce site and marketing the site to national customers, Ms. Olson said. “We can give them new customers who would have never known about them.”

Foodzie is adding video and other social networking features to help shoppers get to know sellers, as they do at offline farmers markets. “There’s not a great place to talk about the food and artisans they’re buying from,” Mr. LaFave said. “It’s really important to connect these people, make it easier for people to learn the story behind the food and where it comes from.”

Foodzie raised $1 million in funding in December from angel investors, led by First Round Capital and SoftTech VC, and it is considering raising a follow-on round. Though some investors who had expressed interest in the site pulled out when the economy soured, most were impressed that Foodzie, unlike many Web businesses, had a revenue model from day one, Mr. LaFave said.

Foodzie was an attractive investment, said Jeff Clavier, managing partner at SoftTech VC, because unlike many Web 2.0 social sites, “Foodzie makes money every day as people buy products. We have learned a lot from Web 2.0 about adding the involvement of users. Services built using that technology, but focusing on generating revenue by serving a certain marketplace, will be compelling in this environment.”

The site has only been live since December, and it has had 43,000 visitors in the past month. So far, 29 sellers have opened shops and 41 are in the process of opening them. The founders recently hired a fourth employee to help Ms. Olson recruit new food producers at farmers markets and food shows. The founders will not disclose the volume of sales that have been made through the site.

Mr. LaFave is convinced that the recession will not diminish people’s interest in buying locally grown and handmade food. “There is a misconception that all these foods are more expensive than mass-produced alternatives,” he said. “People are pouring their heart and soul into these products, using the highest quality, heirloom ingredients. Buyers are really supporting the local economy and small, independent food makers and growers.”

February 4, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Fin Phone — 'Warning: May attract a lot of attention'


From the website:


Fin Phone Custom Cell Phone Holster


Custom "FinFit" provides added security to the body of your cell phone.

Adjustable heel strap allows it be easily carried or hung most anywhere.


Perfect gift for lifeguards, swimmers, boaters, diver and vacationers — or any water sports enthusiast.

Accomodates most bar-style phones as well as MP3 players and digital cameras with dimensions not to exceed 2"W x 4.75"H x 0.75"D.


High-quality, vividly-colored plastic.



Party Cove Pink, Bayou Blue, Key West Kiwi or Barge Black.



[via Milena]

February 4, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Learning To Read — by Franz Wright

WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119

If I had to look up every fifth or sixth word,
so what. I looked them up.
I had nowhere important to be.

My father was unavailable, and my mother
looked like she was about to break,
and not into blossom, every time I spoke.

My favorite was the Iliad. True,
I had trouble pronouncing the names,
but when was I going to pronounce them, and

to whom?
My stepfather maybe?
Number one, he could barely speak English;

two, he had sufficient intent
to smirk or knock me down
without any prompting from me.

Loneliness, boredom and terror
my motivation
fiercely fuelled.

I get down on my knees and thank God for them.

Du Fu, the Psalms, Whitman, Rilke.
Life has taught me
to understand books.

WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 

Iliad WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119 WHITESPACE- **** 20h x 119

February 4, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Hang On Outlet




by Paulo Oh.


Variation on


a theme.

[via Yanko Design and Milena]

February 4, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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