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June 25, 2012

Blast from the Past: First Annual bookofjoe Potato Chip Contest — The Winner: Billy Goat Chips

This post originally appeared on November 1, 2010.

Reader Paul Biba has been beating on me for the past few months to show it again, so readers who've since then come on board could enjoy it.

Paul, your wish is my demand — wait a sec, that's not right.

Never mind.

Without further ado, the original post.


The much anticipated judging of the contest, whose entrants were introduced here last week, is now complete.

Watch as Cary and I critically evaluate smell, appearance, taste, mouthfeel, and crunch, feed them into our proprietary algorithm, and come up with a winner.

To Michelle at Billy Goat Chips in St. Louis, Missouri, our hearty congratulations on creating the perfect chip.

As you read these words the Golden Chip Trophy is being designed for you, the first recipient of this much-sought honor.

A formal presentation is in the works, details to follow.

It should be noted that the winner was chosen only after an extended debate between Cary and me over the merits of Billy Goat vs. Rusty's, out of Hawaii.

In fact, my first choice after the tasting was Rusty's, Billy Goat coming a close second.

Cary and I had an extended discussion and another round or 10 of tasting these two two extraordinarily good chips, with me finally coming around to his observation that the thing I most liked about Rusty's — their thickness, easily twice or three times that of the next thickest chip — was in fact not a benefit if one were going to eat a large bag of them, for the simple reason that it took some effort to bite into and crunch Rusty's chips, which over 10 or 15 minutes or a half hour might well become a bit tiring.

To the finalists who couldn't quite ascend to the top of the chip heap, our congratulations for making it to the final 15.

Preparations for next year's contest are already well along, with the first of what will be a new field of 15 contenders already identified.

Stay tuned.

June 25, 2012 at 06:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bottle Opener x Cap Catcher


Integrated cap catcher


stores up to 30 bottle caps.



[via The Green Head]

June 25, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Crustacean Gone Wild Bowl


From the New York Times: "The artist Joan Sherman works in SoHo surrounded by high-end food purveyors, but her latest inspiration was 17th-century Dutch and Flemish genre painting and those overflowing banquet tables. Ms. Sherman particularly liked the lobsters. Such delicacies were not just a merchant culture's token of luxury, in her view, but symbols of adventure, 'a kind of trophy' of sea voyages to remote corners of the earth."

"Ms. Sherman’s 'crustacean gone wild' was concocted using fragments of lobster shells cast in bronze. She commissioned the hand-blown glass bowl the lobster bears on its back and assembled the pieces in her studio."

"Her shellfish looks as if it's on a journey, perhaps to somewhere other than a pot. 'I found it great to take this ancient creature, loaded with meaning,' she said, 'and turn it into something funny and lighthearted that feels very alive.'"

Base: 16" x 16"; bowl: 12"Ø.

A limited edition of 10 bowls are $4,500 each at Artware Editions, 270 Bowery (Houston Street), in New York City; 212-463-7490.

June 25, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Backpack Vacuum


What took so long?

From a website:


Rather than lugging around a heavy vacuum cleaner, just strap this compact 7.5-pound canister vac to your back and gain optimum mobility as you slip into tight corners and access all the tiny nooks and spaces that need cleaning.

It features soft padding that provides extra cushioning on the back, adjustable shoulder straps, a powerful 800-watt motor, HEPA filter, 6 cleaning tools, 2 extension wands, and a mesh storage bag.



[via The Green Head]

June 25, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Exclusive: World Premiere of "Gray Cat is Gray in the Dark"

While I was in Pittsburgh last month for the half-marathon, I left my fantastic Dropcam (second only to the new iPad as best new technology of the year to date) on with the infrared setting activated.

The video above — shown publicly for the first time, complete and unedited in a director's cut — shows Gray Cat making her rounds in my otherwise empty house in the early morning hours, leaping atop a table after satisfying herself that ground level throughout was clear of bogies.

What a piece of work she is.

June 25, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Showerhead Mirror


From the website:


Chrome-plated face plate.

White powder-coated back plate.

Swivel ball included.



June 25, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack



For want of a comma, dash, or variation in typeface, the meaning was lost.

Unlike the recent brouhaha over what turned out to be a doctored magazine cover whose headline seemed hilarious at the time, the sign up top — on Solomon Road in my Podunk town, about a mile from my house — is the real McCoy, seen in a photo taken with my iPhone yesterday, not Photoshopped or touched up in any way.

Not least because I haven't a clue how to do stuff like that, having never used Photoshop et al.

The man standing next to the sign (for scale and color, among other things) is well known to me, being one Cary Sternick, my longtime friend (we met in Milwaukee in 1964 when we were in high school).

His collection of strange T-shirts, an exemplar of which he sports in the photo, rivals any I have seen.

June 25, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Retro Arcade Poncho — "No longer will rain mean "GAME OVER"


Catchy, what?


Red: $9.41.

Blue: $9.38.

June 25, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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