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March 8, 2009

'Shaw didn't want to meet her in person for fear of breaking the spell'


Above, Moira Hodgson on George Bernard Shaw's love affair with Ellen Terry (above, photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron in 1863 at the age of 16).

It's from Hodgson's March 5, 2009 Wall Street Journal review of Michael Holroyd's new book, "A Strange Eventful History," about Terry and Henry Irving, along with the other major figures of Victorian English theater whose lives intersected with those of the two world-famous actors.

More: "'Ellen Terry is the most beautiful name in the world. It rings like a chime through the last quarter of the 19th century,' he [Shaw] wrote to her. They corresponded for more than a decade, but Shaw didn't want to meet her for fear of breaking the spell."

I have precisely the same sense about the many people around the world I've come to know through bookofjoe.

The great majority of my favorites I've never met nor spoken to nor do I have any interest at all in doing so.

The terms of the relationships which make them so appealing online cannot survive an in the flesh encounter, methinks.

So if you're passing through my Podunk town and want to get together, don't be too angry or put out when I make some mealy-mouthed excuse why I can't meet up with you.

In the end, it's because it's very, very hard for me to imagine anything better than my default setting, how I spend most of my waking life: walking on the treadmill, watching TV MOS (mit out sound), listening to Jimi Hendrix at ear-splitting volume, creating bookofjoe, petting Gray Cat and from time to time looking out the window at the birds and the squirrels.

If this makes me a loser, hey, I can live with that.

March 8, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Portable Greenhouse


From the website:


Anywhere Greenhouse

This greenhouse assembles anywhere, without tools, in as little as 30 minutes.

Similar to setting up a tent, the greenhouse is supported by 10 flexible rods that attach to the waterproof PVC canopy.

The unit anchors to the lawn with stakes and tie downs, enabling it to withstand winds up to 60 mph, or it can be set up on a deck or patio.

The greenhouse shelters plants from wind, pests, and driving rain, allowing you to extend the growing season into the fall and start seedlings early in the spring when outdoor conditions are not yet optimal.

The clear PVC cover keeps plants visible and provides 360° of sunlight.

Nine screened windows and a door provide air circulation, or they can be zippered shut to increase the internal temperature and humidity — ideal conditions for facilitating and extending the bloom of annual, perennial, and tropical plants.

At 10' high by 9' wide, the greenhouse provides ample space for tables, shelves, or chairs (not included), and it comes with hooks for hanging plant baskets from the ceiling.

The entire unit fits in the included bag for convenient storage.

120"H x 108"W.

49 lbs.



March 8, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Swimming with a Komodo dragon — Snakemaster Austin Stevens

For no particular reason I happened to have the Science Channel HD on this morning when I began my day on the treadmill.

I was just glancing up at the soundless screen every now and then until I saw the most fantastic large bright yellow snake, at which time I muted the boom box and de-muted the TV.

Turns out it's today's screening of nine hour-long past episodes (9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET) of "Austin StevensSnakemaster."

I'd never heard of him before but I must say I find him great company as I've been watching the past several hours.

Just now he was taking a dip in some sea en route to the islands of giant Komodo dragons to view them up close and personal, when all of a sudden while underwater he looked up and saw a massive shadow above him, swimming in the same direction.

He decided to follow it and they both sprinted for shore, at which time Stevens dropped to his hands and knees, exhausted, while the dragon raced off down the beach to an ongoing feast, where a crowd of Komodos was already well into devouring a dead animal they'd come across.

Austin said the dragons' sense of smell is so good that the swimming dragon most likely smelled the carrion from another island, then simply plunged into the water to get to the party.

Great stuff.

Science Channel HD is 217 on ComCast Cable, 284 on DirecTV.

Up top: His encounter with a Giant King Cobra, at the time the largest venemous snake he'd ever seen.

March 8, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Second Hotel's Stainless Steel Spooner Bottle Opener


Finally — a spoon whose sole purpose in life is to open a bottle.

"Inspired by Koreans' habit of opening bottles with a spoon."


Who knew?

8.5" long.


Too much?











Thanks to Waldo Jaquith for pointing out that the original post, whose first sentence read "Finally, a bespoke spoon purposed to open a bottle," misused the word "bespoke."

Trust me, my crack editing team is out back in the woodshed as you read these words, asking for "20 more, please."

And I'm not talking spoons.

March 8, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'A creator is contemporary, he understands what is contemporary when the contemporaries do not yet know'


Who said it?

Hint: It's not William Gibson.

Answer here this time tomorrow.

March 8, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wall Street Guru Ball — Looks like Citi and GM aren't the only things selling at a steep discount...


From the website:


Wall Street Guru Ball

Why pay a penny in financial investor commissions?

This desktop advisor puts your stock, bond and mutual fund decisions back in your capable hands, offering up "Think precious metals," "Bull market ahead" or "Buy pork bellies."

Twenty different doses of might-as-well advice in all.


Was $9.95, now reduced to $3.98.

Cheap at half the price — wait a minute....

March 8, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Google Sets


Very cool.

"Enter a few items from a set of things. Next, press 'Large Set' or 'Small Set' and we'll try to predict other items in the set."

There goes the day.

March 8, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Objects in mirror are older than they appear


I can't put my finger on just why this variation on a passenger-side mirror theme cracked me up first time I saw it.

Maybe you know.

9"W x 5"H.


March 8, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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