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September 24, 2013

Xenan Inline Skates by Andy Lundstrom: The best ever


I ordered mine (above and below) in the late 1990s.


They were so far ahead of anything else on the market it's not even funny.


Totally carbon fiber monococque construction: the boot and frame are one.


Lightest racing skate ever.


And — by far — the most comfortable.


I flew out to Denver where Andy made made casts of my feet in his studio/workshop, then hand crafted my skates from sheets of carbon fiber successively layered around the casts, then baked and cured in his bespoke machines and devices.

I skated the 87-mile full Athens-to-Atlanta marathon in them several years running: best days of my life.

At the end of the race my feet were intact: no blisters, no blood, no cuts, no hot spots.

Looking at other racers' feet after the race, with blood and gore everywhere, the difference was profound.

Andy's skates cost $2,000 (including custom molding) in 1997.

Cheap at twice the price.

These skates are the apotheosis of great industrial design, as good as anything ever created by Apple.

Maybe better.

September 24, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Paint Kit for Cats — "Is your cat the next Leonardo da Kitty?



What took so darned long?

Flautist, you payin' attention?

From the paint kit website:


Is your cat the next Leonardo Da Kitty or Vincent Cat Gogh?

Finally, your Persian can paint and your Calico can color!

In just a few easy steps your pet can create a masterpiece that you will cherish forever.

And you'll enjoy a fun and interactive project with your pet.

Best of all, there's no mess — your pet's paws will stay clean and dry!

Kit Includes:

• 5 Colors of acrylic paint (non-toxic)

• 3 Pieces of canvas art paper

• 3 Paint shields

• 1 Picture frame

• 1 Surprise cat toy



[via a member of my Crack Pittsburgh Correspondent Team®™©, busy as a bee doing something close to nothing (but different than the day before). heh. And yes — it's worth sitting through the ad to watch and hear this great MTV music video.]

September 24, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Late-onset Alzheimer's can be predicted

An eye-opening story by Pam Belluck in last week's New York Times got my attention in a big way.

Key points:


• Five million Americans are suffering from Alzheimer's and their ranks are projected to surge as baby boomers age.

• A $33.2 million grant, part of the government's national Alzheimer’s plan, will help finance a clinical trial to test a treatment on people 60 to 75 who have no symptoms of the disease, but do have two copies of a gene known to greatly increase the risk of getting it as people age.

• The project will test a drug or placebo on 650 adults. All of the participants will have two copies of the gene ApoE4, having inherited it from both parents.

• Studies have found that more than half the people with two ApoE4 genes will develop Alzheimer's, compared with about one-fourth of people with one copy and 10% of people with no copies. People with two copies also develop symptoms earlier, around age 68, years before most people with one copy and more than a decade before most people without the gene.

• People with two ApoE4 genes make up only about 3% of the population but because they develop the conventional late-onset form of Alzheimer's, they are important to study. About 25 percent of people possess one copy of the gene.


Until I read this article I had no idea that Alzheimer's was that biologically based and predictable.

The question then becomes, should you get tested for ApoE4 now?

I say no.

If you can't treat, don't test.

All you do is open a world of fear and apprehension that will dog you for the rest of your life.

More knowledge in some cases is not power but, rather, leads to a diminution of power, as your life force dissipates itself in uncontrollable anxiety and fear.

September 24, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Stealth Bottle Opener


Why pay less?

Hand-machined matte black stainless steel.


September 24, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Catme 13/Glass Effect 79 — 4'33" through Google Glass (Homage to John Cage)*

There are those who find John Cage's 1952 composition 4'33" (below) absolutely stupid and pointless.

The overlap of those people with the Venn diagram of those who find my daily 4:01 a.m. Catme 13/Glass Effect videos — now in their twelfth week, the world's longest-running GlassTV series (you could look it up — but you wouldn't find a whole lot. But I digress...) — equally stupid and pointless.

Oh, and don't forget boring.

To you I say, "Here's your hat — what's your hurry?"


Cage remarked, "Everything we do is music."

That includes my Gray Cat videos.


*You will note that even though I made every effort to end my Google Glass video at precisely 4'33" — the elapsed time on the Glass screen at the moment I pressed the "Stop" button — the video turned out to last 4'35".

I apologize.

September 24, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Nibble Cake Pan — "Take a bite without destroying your masterpiece!"




From the website:




... and a nibble for the chef


This 8-inch-diameter pan with a sidecar feature lets you play taste tester before the party.

Great for new bakers or trying crazy recipes.

Take a bite without destroying your masterpiece.

We all know that baking a cake can be a tricky business.

You gotta measure ingredients to just the right amount.

Make sure that your oven is the right temperature.

Don't bake the cake too long.

Don't bake the cake for not long enough.

And all that's just using boxed cake mix!

Once you start experimenting with all sorts of ingredients, things can get pretty crazy pretty fast.

If you are a new baker or just trying out wacky concoctions, then the Nibble Cake Pan is perfect for you.

This innovative design includes a small cake holder on the side of the cake pan that lets you try out just a taste of your cake creation without disturbing the final product.

Because let's face it: delivering a cake with one tiny slice cut out is almost as bad as delivering one that you don't realize is an experiment gone wrong.

Product Specifications and Observations:

• Lets you bake a mini cake on the side

• Great idea for novice bakers or crazy foodie experimenters

• Main pan is carbon steel with silicone coating; tiny purple silicone cup for your mini cake

• Main pan: 11.5" x 9"; 8" diameter; 2" deep

Note: Your nibble will finish cooking far faster than your full cake. Your times may vary, but see if you can find timing for a cupcake version of your cake for guidance.



September 24, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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