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July 8, 2013

13-year-old Elvis Presley checked out "Courageous Heart" from the library in 1948


[via Retronaut]

July 8, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Double Chain Plates


Wrote designer Jason Miller, "Shopping one day, I came across a necklace made of a single thin gold chain which wrapped around the wearer's neck dozens of times. It was beautiful. That necklace was the inspiration for these dishes."


Four 10-1/2" bone-china dinner plates: $80.

Four 8-1/2" salad or dessert plates: $60.

Or apply within.

[via the New York Times]

July 8, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Men's Port-A-John


Who's ever seen of these?

Not me, and not even Mark Lorenzoni, grand panjandrum and majordomo of the Ragged Mountain Running Shop here in my Podunk town (Charlottesville, Virginia).

Until last week's July 4 5K at Forest Lakes, when we espied the panorama up top (photographs above and below taken with my Google Glass, which I had on prior to the race itself).

"Why does that one say "MEN"? mused Mark. "I've never seen that in my whole life."

We investigated (below):


It appeared the MEN unit was identical to the ones on either side.

Mark thought it was ridiculous and asked if anyone had tape to cover up.

Of course I did, said I; I carry five varieties of tape — 2" duct, 2" masking, 1" masking, 1" electrical, and Scotch tape on a typical roll dispenser — in the trunk of my car.


Because you just never know.

And so Mark took the duct tape and taped over the MEN sign and all the Port-A-Johns worked happily ever after.

July 8, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: weaponizable.

A third: inanimate.

July 8, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Glass Effect: Day 4 — Catme 13 & my treadmill workspace

Above, a POV video shot yesterday (Sunday, July 7, 2013) morning during the Wimbledon Men's Final using Glass in my treadmill workspace. 

It's ostensibly about creating a bookofjoe post in real time.

The video began at 11:01 a.m., immediately after I turned on the fully-charged device. 

I actually started working on the post at 11:35 a.m., some 30-35 minutes into the unedited video up top, and the (originally fully-charged) battery in Glass died at 11:53 a.m. (I finished the blog entry at 12:02 p.m.).

So now we know: the fully-charged Glass battery lasted for 52 minutes of video.

I'm OK with that.

Perhaps upcoming Glass software updates will enable some sort of ongoing video compression that extends usable battery life.

FYI, the post I was working on will appear at 8:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 9.

However, a "What is it?" featuring the item I was writing about will appear today, Monday, July 8, at 8:01 a.m.

Yes, the very next post.

So if you've watched this video to its full extent (insomnia's no fun, is it? But I digress...) you'll know what the upcoming object is. 

If it makes you happy, go ahead and identify it in the Comments section.

But I digressed again, didn't I?

Coming Glass Effect episodes will feature a show-and-tell or three about how I came to construct my treadmill workspace, its current incarnation being the result of nearly nine years of modification and experimentation, always ongoing and subject to improvements.

Perhaps there'll even be interactive sessions where I will take questions in real-time and answer them by demonstrating things. 

One more thing.

These are early days with Glass.

Nothing works the way it's supposed to — that's pretty much baseline.

When something does work, it's a pleasant surprise.

Take what's here in that spirit.

I honestly, truly, really am doing the very best I can to make it as easy as possible for anyone anywhere to see everything I'm doing with Google Glass — pictures, videos, the whole shebang.

That I'm not succeeding is evident.

But I must tell you I find it annoying and wearing, people beating on me about their inability to view what I've shot because of problems accessing what's on Google+.

Gang: I don't run Google+ nor do I have any input into how it works.

I put my stuff up there on a page labeled "Public."

What else do you want from me?


I don't disable your comments and criticisms, even if unfounded and in fact dead wrong and painful for me to read: is that clear?

How is it that I cannot express myself such that you can understand my words?

Am I that bad a writer, after all?

Apparently so.

Nevertheless, for better or worse, this is who I am and this is what I do and this is where I do it.


Oh, yeah, one more thing.

I don't watch my videos.

Don't have time.

So you're seeing raw, unedited footage that I haven't seen and never will.

Just thought I'd mention that.

FunFact: I don't use a DVR nor have I ever recorded a show or event with Tivo or its ilk.


The present is infinitely more interesting to me than the past.

I don't get people with all their recorded shows and whatnot, that sort of thing strikes me as boring, totally living in the past.

If I missed it, too bad.

Once you start trying to catch up with what's transpired, you're on an infinitely regressing treadmill of lost time.



Note added at 7:18 Monday morning, July 8, 2013: I just realized that a YouTube link to every single Glass video I shoot gets automatically uploaded to Twitter as a result of a sharing option I enabled when I signed up for Fullscreen Beam.

Here is my Twitter: 


There is no need for anyone ever to have to visit Google+ to see my Glass product.

Admittedly, the Twitter links (below, what went up in the past hour, footage of Gray Cat this morning just after we woke up and came downstairs)


are not at all informative, being untitled, but the video is there for the viewing.

I hope that helps.


Note added at 7:49 a.m. Monday morning, July 8, 2013: My YouTube channel, where all my Glass videos appear, is here:


An expanded version is here.

July 8, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Experts' Expert: Best Garlic Press


Below, excerpts from Stuart Wray's July 3, 2013 Cool Tools review of the garlic press anointed by the experts at Cook's Illustrated as the very best in the world.




I've used this tool for about 10 years and it's still going strong.

Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 10.02.38 AM

It's probably the best garlic press in the world.


It's constructed very robustly from stainless steel; it has an unusual lever-action which is far superior to the one-to-one action of most garlic presses; it opens up easily, and is easy to clean.

To see a demo, have a look at the America's Test Kitchen Equipment Review (below) where they come to the same conclusion. 


Of interest: Made in China.

Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 10.01.38 AM

If Apple chooses China, why shouldn't Swiss-based Kuhn-Rikon?


July 8, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

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