Oct 28, 2007

My Love Leaf

My friend and co-worker Jillian reminded me of my LOVE LEAF that I had pinned to one of my cubicle walls and I wanted to blog about the story quickly so I don't forget about it. Basically it's just a story about how thoughtful my husband Spencer can be.

One night we were taking our beagle Minnie for a walk around the neighborhood (aka 'the round') when I happened to notice this beautiful leaf filled with vibrant colors sitting in a pile of leaves. I commented on it and placed this particular leaf on the stone wall in our drive way so I could remember to take it inside when we got back from our walk.

Of course I completely forgot all about and maybe a day later Spencer found it and put it on our kitchen table for me. He's always doing things like that and I didn't think too much about it. I thanked him and brought it into work the next day so I could put it on the wall of my cubicle more as a testament to the changing season and to remind me of the beauty of Autumn in New England.

Jillian happened to stop by my cube and asked why I had a leaf pinned to the wall. So I told her the story and as usual she said how perfectly matched Spencer and I were and how we're "...just so damned cute together." Somehow the phrase "Love Leaf" was born, but I don't remember if I said it or she did. But regardless, the Love Leaf was born.

Over time the leaf lost it's moisture and became crinkly. At one point it fell from the cubicle wall and landed on the floor. I nearly rolled over it with the casters of my office chair! In picking it up, it pretty much crumbled in my hands and I threw it away in the waste basket.

By then the story of my 'Love Leaf' had spread throughout my group of co-workers and the death of it was big news... for about five minutes.

But the thoughtfullness of my husband remains and that's all the really matters. Pretty leaves will come and go with the seasons, but forever constant is the love of my husband and all the little things he does for me every day.

Happy Halloween

Awww. Look at the cute baby in her homemade Alien costume.

I've been thinking that it's a good thing I don't have any children just yet because I don't know if I'm up for the pressure of creating a clever costume for Halloween.

I overhear conversations at work with mothers plotting about creating the best costume for their kids and it frightens me. I suppose if I wanted to participate, I could dress up my beagle. But I doubt she'd like the attention.

But I don't remember this whole costume dilemma being such a big deal when I was a little girl. My mother never came up with anything clever for me. She liked to dress me up as a gypsy which involved plastering my face in her makeup and ripping up a sweatshirt to look like I was walking around in rags. I have the pictures to prove it.

When I was young, it was perfectly acceptable to go to Zayres and buy a costume packaged in a cardboard box. You'd open it up and there would be a plastic mask that you'd secure to your head with a very tight yet always flimsy rubber band that drove you crazy the whole night of Trick or Treating. If you were on the husky side, forget it: the cheap plastic pants that came with the costume were simply dreadful.

These days dressing your kid up has become an art form and I don't think the youth of today would be caught dead wearing store bought costumes. I suspect Target tries to really get in the spirit of the holiday by catering to single moms. Walking through their aisles of costumes, I laugh when I see these costumes hung on hangers made out of stuffed animal fabric. It's like 1975 all over again except more expensive.

Maybe my mom knew what she was doing back then. She knew for me it wasn't about impressing the neighbors with well thought out costumes. Really it was about slapping something on me that passed as a costume so I could get out there to collect the most candy possible.

And to me that's what Halloween is really about-the candy.

Oct 18, 2007

The Hunt for Red in October

I have been getting a little ahead of myself this month buying pomegranates at the local supermarket only to discover upon slicing them in half that they are not fully developed.

At $2.29 each, this experiment in flavor was starting to get a little expensive so I promised myself that I wasn't going to be tempted into buying another fruit until I saw a particular brand of Pomegranate called, "Pom Wonderful"

I've gone a whole week without eating a pomegranate and I'm happy to report tonight marked a turning point. Stop & Shop in Westboro had a small box of Pomegranates. I was sifting through a few trying to decide if I was going to break my promise because I was just desperate to have one when I turned over a rather succulent looking one to discover it was labeled with the Pom Wonderful sticker. I nearly yelped--I was just that excited.

As I was lovingly selecting four of the best looking globes of joy, a man and his daughter wandered past me. I happened to overhear their conversation because it was about Pomegranates. The little girl was asking her father if she'd like a Pomegranate and the father replied, "I don't know, honey. I guess you'll have to try one." She looked at me and then decided to move on to the oranges. Good. I doubt I would have given her the chance until my greed was satisfied. I wasn't budging for anyone.

This is my season. Don't mess with a woman obsessed over fresh delicious pomegranates. I've waited too long and now it my time. Today marks Peak Season for me because now I know the Pom Wonderful brand is in the stores. Soon I'll look forward to seeing a huge cardboard box in the produce section emblazoned with the words "Pom Wonderful" and the price will start to come down a bit. Pomegranates will start being advertised with the approaching Thanksgiving holiday.

I guess I should feel guilty that I even considered doing a linebacker move on an eight year old over a Pomegranate, but the hunt is on and this is war.

Shrek's Sweet Tooth

Big Ups to Tootsie Roll Industries for creating a new seasonal favorite for me: Caramel Apple Sugar Babies.

I saw these in the grocery store last weekend and tossed them in my shopping cart simply as a joke. (As a rule, I am totally disgusted by the concept of a caramel apple anything related to candy and merely bought them for the shock factor.) My candy shelf in my office displays a wide assortment of sweets including the following eclectic mix: a bag of Emerald Butter Toffee Glazed Walnuts, a half-opened package of ‘24’ themed Jolt energy gum, miniature bricks of Pez, leftover Crème Savers, pieces of Double Bubble gum, a few Atomic fire balls and some Pumpkin Peeps.

Sue was the first to crack the box open. She mouthed a hearty “Mmmmm” after dumping a few out in her palm and eating them. I can’t lie-I was disappointed in her reaction. I expected her to commiserate with me about how gross they tasted, but she really liked them. After she returned to her cube, I kept eyeing the bright neon green box out of the corner of my eye. I tried to resist their siren call of “Try Me! Eat me!” through several phone calls and one particularly challenging email and then I caved in to temptation.

Caramel Apple Sugar Babies are shaped like regular Sugar Babies except the coating is neon green instead of caramel covered. I liken them to Shrek’s teeth-sort of bean-shaped and misshapen with hints of brown peeking through the enamel. Yes, I have a vivid imagination.

Most importantly, these were super fresh. My own teeth sailed through the first bites sinking into the caramel while my tongue danced in the surprise of its sour attributes. My eyes widened in surprise. I actually liked them. I continued to pop more of them into my mouth and chew on the sugary sweetness delighting in this newly found prize.

Eventually Sue and I pounded through the box and we didn’t have any more to eat. I was saddened until it occurred to me that all was not lost-I could simply buy more! Upon this realization, I emailed Spencer requesting six more boxes should he happen across them in the store. I was on such a sugar high that I couldn't remember if I bought these at Target, Wal-Mart or Stop & Shop. But the most important thing is the request was entered and I knew he’d come through for me.

A day later I had six boxes neatly placed on our kitchen table. He found them at Stop & Shop. Hooray.

I don’t know how long these Caramel Apple Sugar Babies will be available in the stores, but I highly recommend you buy yourself a box to try them out. Don’t be like me and pooh-pooh flavors such as green apple, banana or orange because you don’t think they’ll taste good. Be adventurous and try something you would never expect to like because you might end up like me – addicted to a candy that resembles Shek’s teeth.

Oct 15, 2007

Pimp My Pumpkin

I love it when people 'get' me. For the most part, I'm in my own little world and I enjoy the company. I sound like one of those fashionable ironic t-shirts, don't I?

About two weeks ago, I came into the office to find a little box left on my desk (see photo). Receiving anonymous presents on my desk first thing on a Monday can't be a bad thing, but who else aside from me at the office would be so delighted to pimp out a pumpkin?

This is the cutest little kit. I love the paint brush and the feather for the pimp hat. I haven't done anything with it yet since all I have on my desk to pimp is a very small gourd that is in the shape of a pumpkin, but it needs to be rounder to demonstrate the full impact of pimpness.

I'm working on it. Thank you Cindy! You get me.

Oct 13, 2007

Suck Like The Wind

I own a Dyson Root 6 that I must confess was purchase because of it's bright bold orange color and it was the only reasonably priced Dyson product that fit my household cleaning budget.

My Root 6 has incredible suction and cost about $150 at Target. The sexiness of it wore off after about the third time using it because the battery charge is so poor. I basically can suction up dirt on my stairs and then it dies. It's very annoying having to recharge the unit. Let's face it: Once I hit a cleaning momentum of climbing stairs and sucking dirt, the last thing I want to do is stop, dock the vacuum in its charger and wait 45 minutes for more juice. I revert back to my lazy nature, open the fridge and start eating pre-packaged cheese to pass the time.

But I simply cannot overlook an even sexier looking hand held Dyson vacuum. It's called The Wind and it's a collaboration between fashion designer Issey Miyake and James Dyson which premiered during Paris Fashion Week. (Seems stupid to have runway models rocking a purple vacuum, but crazier appendages have been sported on the catwalk, right?)

Dyson is dedicating this next version DC16 handheld cleaner to Issey Miyake and will be available for purchase on the Dyson website in November.

I'd recommend this Dyson handheld if you want something better than a Black & Decker Dust Buster and can live with only using it for short intervals. After that--hide the cheese.

Star Trek Urn and Casket

I remember what it was like going to the place where I picked out my parent's marker for their grave. It got me thinking about my own death. The man helping me thought it was a little odd that I asked if they could engrave a smiley face on the marker. I guess death isn't so happy to most people.

But my intention was to find an icon that represented me and I love the smiley face. Since I plan on being cremated (note to Spencer), I don't have a need to buy a coffin. However, a nice urn would be a considerable keepsake on his mantle after I'm gone.

Which brings me to tell you about Eternal Image. Founded in 2002, it is the only company to offer licensed brand imaged funerary products. It is a company that manufactures "Products That Reflect A Life Well Lived" and offer caskets and urns branded for Precious Moments , MLB for the baseball fan and my personal favorite Star Trek. They even offer elaborate urn solutions to house the ashes of your dog or cat having partnered with the Cat Fanciers Association and The American Kennel Club.

Does all this finery seem a little weird and strange? Don't worry-they also have an Official Vatican Library Collection which is much more refined and sedate.

I am fascinated with the business of death. These products speak to me. I signed myself up for the mailing list and can't wait to see what they think of next.

Star Wars Trumpet Stacy Hedger

This is so wrong in so many ways. Make sure to watch the whole video because it just gets better as it rolls along.

I Am Pooh

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

Why do I love taking these silly online quizzes so much? I took one earlier about which tabloid celebrity I am most like and it came back that I matched Reese Witherspoon. I like this Winnie the Pooh one better.

8 Simple Ways To Enjoy Life Every Day

In reading a recent entry on the Pick The Brain blog, a list was featured of 8 Simple Ways To Enjoy Life Every Day. Peter suggests starting out small and adding things to your day that make you happy.

I read over his list and decided to steal his headers and add my own perspective on what can/would/does make me happy:

1. Appreciate Beauty
The birds are starting to fly south (if they haven't already) and I'm taking the time to look up into the trees when I hear a bird chirping, singing or making an interesting sound. Sometimes it's not even the sounds. I was sitting in the Bose cafeteria the other day having lunch when this little burst of red came flapping up against the window. It was a male cardinal which is just not the kind of bird you would expect to see on The Mountain. We Bose workers are accustomed to seeing flocks of junk birds swirling around or the occasional hawk. But here's the cool thing about paying attention to such things. The reason why the cardinal was attracted to the window was someone had left a red plastic bag on the floor which was visible from the outside and I suspect the cardinal was trying to fly at it. A few moments later we saw the female cardinal in the vicinity of the window doing nothing except patiently waiting for her mate to stop his foolishness of bumping against the window. I'm glad I was paying attention that day.

2. Connect With Nature
I bought this inexpensive little bug vacuum at the store a while back and we use it often in the house to save bugs rather than needlessly killing them. The bug vacuum has helped me connect with nature because I use it to suck up the spiders instead of stomping on them in disgust. Spencer does a much better job of saving the insects than I do because he makes a concerted effort to even suck up ants which to me seem less of an insect than a spider, but who am I to demonstrate class structure in our household? As gross as it is to corner the bug and suck it up into a big plastic tube while fighting my insect phobia, I feel much better about releasing bugs back into the wild rather than killing them. The insects and I have a connection.

3. Laugh
I am so lucky to work with a bunch of people who make me laugh during the day. Sometimes I have so much fun at work over that I can't believe I'm getting paid to do a job that lets me be around such silly people. Sure my co-workers have bad days like the rest of us, but it's the possibility of laughter that gets us through the miserable times. It's kind of embarrassing how much I laugh during the day with these people.

4. Have Simple Pleasures
My fire-engine read coffee maker, FOX25 morning news, driving into work in my Mazda3, the DVR, our new bedroom carpet, the sound of my beagle snoring in her bunk, pomegranates and the possibility of owning an Apple Macbook are all things that make me appreciate getting out of bed in the morning.

5. Connect With People
I've been trying to climb out of my self-imposed social awkwardness shyness shell at work by talking to people in the elevators at work. I've been advised by one of my co-workers Rick (who is so awesome that he has 3 work wives including me although he doesn't know it yet) to just get in the elevator, don't make eye contact and look down at the floor. He knows elevators stress me out. I've had a past experience riding in the elevator with the president of the company that found me asking him the destination of a mysterious button in the elevator. (It turns out the button is installed in only one of the three elevators that goes to the roof of the building, but I asked him if it was the "mechanical penthouse" which made absolutely no sense at all.) But I press on trying to be friendly and open to idle chatter and small talk while taking the ride from the fourth floor down. It's good for me to step out of my comfort zone although I don't know how good it is for my reputation as I'm not very good at it yet.

6. Learn
I recently took a business trip to the Southwest which involved visiting San Luis and Tijuana, Mexico. It became painfully obvious to me that my passionate teenage resentment to learning a foreign language did finally catch up with me. I found myself in a country where I would have benefited knowing how to speak and read Spanish. While relying on the kindness of fluent strangers, I realized that I did myself a disservice by hating Spanish. Had I made an honest effort in high school to learn the language, I would have been comfortable ordering food in Mexico without having to point at a taco like some deaf mute. In my position at work, I regularly interact with people in Mexico that speak English far better than I could ever hope to speak Spanish. I was foolish to hate learning a foreign language and didn't realize back then that being bi-lingual would have been a substantial asset to my career. My advice is to be always be open to learning new things because you never know when you might need to know what it is you don't know now.

7. Rethink Your Mornings and Evenings
I've begun trying to get in the habit of respecting a routing to ease my daily stress. I have an automated coffee maker and now I set the coffee maker to 6am so that when I wake up in the morning, I won't have to stumble over to it trying to coordinate placing the filter in the basket and not spilling coffee grinds everywhere because I'm half awake. I do my best to lay out my clothes the night before and make sure the dishwasher is filled with the dirty dishes of the day so Spencer can run a cycle the following morning. I'm all about fine-tuning the morning/evening routines. It's helped me get to work earlier and has allowed me to go to bed happy.

8. Celebrate Your Successes
It's so easy for me to berate myself for the things that I haven't accomplished yet. But when I think right this very instant about a recent success, I'll have to be proud of surviving this first year without my mother. Of course I knew that I could survive after she died on November 29th of last year, but I secretly feared that my feelings about her death would spill over into work. I worried that I would be so consumed by grief that it would negatively impact my job performance. I imagined being called into the office by my boss asking why my performance had tanked or finding myself at the local pharmacy every month getting a refill of Prozac just so I could get through the day. But I managed to be very strong this year and not let my feelings about what happened to my mom affect me at work. Hardly anyone that has worked with me knew how deeply I missed my mother this year and I'm proud that I was able to separate my personal life from my work life. It's this secret success I'm most proud of.

Twix Java

I am notoriously all about limited edition candy-especially when the candy makers cater to my tastes. (The dark chocolate everything marketing revolution is much appreciated, thank you!)

I was very excited to see the latest entry from the Mars family: Twix Java. In case the print is too small on the picture, the wrapper reads, “Coffee Caramel & Chocolate Cookie Covered in Milk Chocolate”

I love the traditional Twix bar and haven't tried their peanut butter version, but I simply cannot wait to find this one because I love the flavor of coffee.

It's supposed to launch in December, but I'm starting the hunt now.

Also, if you're a fan of Twix, be on the look out for the Autumn Mix bags of Twix miniatures that should be in the stores now because of the season and the most holiest of days: Halloween. The Autumn Mix brings you the delicious Dark Chocolate and Triple Chocolate varieties which are not sold separately.

Oct 7, 2007

Animal Bike Seat Covers

Why is all the cool stuff over in Europe?

I don't own a bike, but if I did I would want one of these bike seat covers. I'll choose the doggy seat cover available to purchase from Vincon which has stores in Barcelona and Madrid.

Don't you just love the smirk on the dog's face? The bear and the goat seem pretty relaxed and non-judgemental, but it's that dog's expression that seems to say, "C'mon, you're cool enough to sit on me and ignore the stares of people on the street."

KitchenAid Artisan-Series Mixer

The KitchenAid Artisan-series mixer has just been introduced in a myriad of colors. It retails for $349.99.

Yea, I've always wanted one of these ever since working at Lechmere as a small appliances sales clerk. I can still recall the aisle we featured them in and the boxes were hefty. You could only fit two of them per shelf and there weren't as many colors to choose from. I seem to recall white and black back in those days.

But now you can buy these delightful hogs in any color imaginable...well, within reason. They've got my favorite color Yellow available although when I selected their 'majestic yellow' it resembled more of a sunflower hue than a smiley face so I'll pass on that one. I've chosen 'ice' as my favorite color should you want to buy me one.

Imagine what a domestic goddess I would be were I to have this 325 watt mixer. I'd be baking homemade cookies. I'd be mixing stuff. Well, I don't know quite what the hell I would do with this monster other than mix cookie batter because that's about the only thing I've ever seen this thing do in person. (Shout out to my pal Stephanie who demonstrated the cookie mixing!) But I could become a baker.

Screw that. I just want this ice-colored KitchenAid mixer because it's a super unique color and would be fab in my kitchen. Visitors would be under the impression that I was a cook and that's about all I'd be striving for other than their jealousy over the retro color.

Hello Kitty iPod Car Charger

I just don't understand my fascination with Hello Kitty branded anything-especially electronics like coffee makers, alarm clocks and the pictured iPod Car Charger.

Is it because she's pink, cute and a cat? (Cats are ok, but I'm a dog lover.) Do I get sucked in by the pink bow and marvel that any cat would let you put anything on its head for an extended period of time?

I wasn't a fan of Hello Kitty when I was a girl growing up in the 70's, a teenager in the 80's or a young woman in the 90's. But something changed in my mid-thirties and now I can't get enough of her cuteness.

Certainly this iPod car charger would clash with my sporty red/black interior of my 2006 Mazda 3 five-door hatchback. But I still want it. I think I might want it because in the end Hello Kitty represents a youthful culture that I'm no longer a part of anymore now that I find myself aged to 37 years old. But somehow having some Hello Kitty stuff in my arsenal makes me feel young, adventurous and care-free. She's bright and happy and loves having fun.

This little Sanrio character captures my heart every time and it's nice to know there are currently 22,000 products and counting out there in the marketplace to satisfy my youthful tendencies.

Ernie and Bert share licorice candy

Bert loves licorice whip candy! Cute video teaching sharing between two best friends, except Bert keeps getting the short end of the licorice whip.

Oct 6, 2007

iPod Death Clock

I own 3 iPods and 1 Microsoft Zune. I really had wanted to buy the new iPod Touch until I discovered through some online research that the Safari web browser doesn't have any support for Adobe Flash.

I decided to hold onto my money for a while since I can't live without high impact rich web content. Believe it or not, it was the deal breaker.

But the workhorse of my little MP3 family is my fourth-generation Hewlett Packard 60 GB iPod Photo bought in late 2004 and quickly dropped from the Apple line-up on 7/29/05 after HP severed ties with Apple. Grrrreat. I spent nearly $400 bucks on the largest capacity iPod available at the time and it went belly-up before I could even load it up with photos and songs.

So when I came across this website called The iPod Deathclock which tells you the life expectancy of any Ipod, I was intrigued to see how long my little white buddy had left.

I snatched it from my Bose Sound Dock and entered the serial number on the website. I answered a few quick questions about if I've ever gotten it wet, how I use the iPod and how long I play it on any given day. The result? I've got 352 days left and my battery is at 46% capacity.


Or maybe it's not so bad. This death sentence might be just the thing I need to justify another purchase and by the time it's dead and buried, maybe the iTouch will have received an upgrade and be able to support Adobe Flash. That would be nice.

Like A Virus

I remember first really hearing about Wal-Mart during a meeting in the early 90's while working for Lechmere. We were all gathered in a conference room and the store manager was talking about Wal-Mart's superb inventory management system.

At the time, I was hardly interested in how they kept track of their inventory. But he did grab my attention when he talked about Wal-Mart selling worms and firearms. I simply couldn't imagine Caldor or Zayres ever selling such a thing. Little did I know that a mere 15 years later I would find myself as a supply planner for a large electronics manufacturer whose job depended on getting products to the right place at the right time. Welcome to the concept of Supply Chain Mrs. Perry.

Recently the Wall Street Journal did a feature about the tough times Wal-Mart is facing as its competition is offering the convenience of low prices and quality merchandise that is threatening the profits of this retail mammoth.

More interesting is a video showing the evolution of Wal-Mart stores from 1962 to 2004. Check it out and tell me you're not as freaked out as I am.

Shhh! I'm Talking During the Movie.

We Talk During Movies is an interesting new concept that I heard about from the Hacking Netflix blog.

If you have a computer and a Netflix account, you might want to reserve some time this Sunday at 3:30pm CST to participate in their maiden voyage.

Speed has been selected as their first movie. The idea is you sign into your Netflix account (or your own DVD) and click on the Watch Instantly tab to launch the movie. (Hint: It's the second tab to your left when you have logged into Netflix.) A little chat box opens up at the top of the screen and you can chat with other viewers while watching the movie or you can actually talk to others using your telephone, Skype or a free service from TalkShoe.com.

I think this is a great idea for social networking with fellow movie lovers-especially if you get excitable watching a movie you love and want to point out interesting things or favorite scenes. I'm going to try it out tomorrow.

But if for some reason I'm not able to join in on the fun, the site offers a Podcast to catch what you might have missed. Also, users can recommend future movies to watch which is pretty cool, too.

Let's Get It Poppin'

Did you know October is National Pop Corn Poppin' Month?

The thing I like about Microwave Pop Corn is that each variety bought at the supermarket has a different popping time to get the perfect burnt flavor. That's right, I love burnt popcorn.

When I worked at the corporate office of Staples, we had this huge cafeteria with rows of microwaves and just around 3pm you could smell popcorn wafting throughout the corridors as people took a short break from office supplies to have an afternoon snack.

The problem was far too many people got to chatting with co-workers they might have bumped into in the halls and forgot all about their popcorn in the microwaves. Eventually popcorn got burnt and people started bitching about the horrid smell. I would always secretly be delighted because I love burnt popcorn.

We recently bought a new microwave and I haven't perfected the 'burn time' because of the popcorn button. It's too tempting to just hit the programmed button to pop a bag and walk away to do something else. But unfortunately the new microwave is far too efficient and I just can't seem to get back the right amount of time to pop the corn until it's properly burned. I've wasted too many bags of popcorn trying to get the timing just right and I hate to admit this, but I've given up. Eventually I'll come around again and do some more experimenting, but for now I'm staying away.

Burnt popcorn has also turned against me because Spencer burned a bag so badly that the inside of our new microwave is ruined. He pops bag of cheap microwave popcorn for the backyard birds and with the old microwave you simply popped the bags for like 3-4 minutes. But he forgot, hit the four minutes and I'm surprised the bag didn't catch on fire! The inside is so stained and smells so badly that our brand-new microwave looks like we've had it for two years and never cleaned the inside of it.

I went online to find tips and tricks to remove both the burnt popcorn stain and the awful smell because I figured there's got to be some way to clean this beast. I tried putting white vinegar in a little glass dish and boiling the water to remove the smell. It only took the edge off. I put fresh coffee in a dish and let it set inside the microwave overnight and it helped even more, but I'm afraid to say the smell still remains.

As far as cleaning off the brown stains, I tried a Mr. Clean magic eraser and it barely made a dent in the color. One website suggested using Acetone nail polish remover so I put a little nail polish remover on a cotton ball and scrubbed a section. Some of the brown color transferred to the cotton, but I still have a ways to go. I'm sure I would have gotten better results using actual Acetone rather than my dainty little bottle of nail polish remover. Kim-follow directions, will ya?

So when you're celebrating National Pop Corn Poppin' month, be considerate of your co-workers because for most people, burnt popcorn turns their stomach and use the button on your microwave for the best results.

Don't be a rogue popcorn popper like me and Spencer. You'll pay for it in ways you've never imagined.

Chocolate Skittles

Revealed at the 2007 All Candy Expo is this disaster to the left-Chocolate flavored Skittles.

I am a big fan of Skittles-sour being my favorite aside from the classic flavors-but they have simply gone too far this time by introducing these flavors: S’mores, Chocolate Pudding, Chocolate Caramel, Vanilla and Brownie Batter.

Isn't there enough chocolate out there? Chocolate has its own category in the candy food chain and there's no need to crossover. C'mon-who wants to eat a Brownie Batter Skittle? Ewwwww

But you know I'll be the first to get excited when I see these at my local drug store or the Walmart because I'm a sucker for new products and packaging. You could change the color of toilet paper and I'd buy it--wait...don't they already have colored toilet paper? If it's a trusted product and they make a limited edition or improve it then I'm hooked. After all, I bought Chocolate flavored Honey Combs cereal and ended up feeding it to the birds in our backyard.

I am not a chocoholic and very, very rarely crave chocolate. I like candy sticky, sweet, tart and gooey. Chocolate is only appealing when it's wrapped around caramel. The candy industry has to simply got to stop doing this stuff. It's not natural.

Speaking of not natural, I'm off to take a bite out of the much sought after Limited Edition Pop Rocks Chocolate bar recently bought at the local Blockbuster video. I simply cannot help myself. Damn those clever candy marketers.

I Think I'll Take The Stairs

Yet another reason that I get all flustered taking the elevators at work.

Stop The Nose Abuse

We are getting lazier by the minute and electronic gadgets are going to end up doing everything for us. (We'll just ignore the blaring fact that some motivated person has to invent these amazing devices for me to mock, OK?)
Check out the SensorFreshQ meat smeller.

Running on two AA batteries, you simply point the device at your funky smelling meat or poultry and it tells you after about a minute if you should eat the meat. It does this by sampling the air around the meat and somehow detecting gas caused by flesh-eating (kidding!) bacteria. The results of this electronic sniff are in the form of a Red, Yellow or Green light.

Red: Take your life in your own hands
Yellow: Probably can get away with a nibble or two for the next day
Green: Gorge yourself on meat until your heart bursts

Retails for $89.99 and is available for purchase at Amazon.com among other stores.

Sigh-Summer is Over

katy, originally uploaded by rayb777.

This is a photograph of a Beagle named Katy recently found on Flickr which sums up how I'm feeling tonight. It's 85 degrees outside-the first week of October-and I'm running the A/C in my computer room. When is it going to feel like Fall?

Also, this is exactly what our beagle Minnie does to indicate she is ready to be taken outside either for serious sniffing or a backyard pee.

Oct 5, 2007

Acupuncher: Punch Your Bunion into Submission!

I am a regular reader of The Bunion Relief blog and I recently posted a response to a question posed about satisfaction with bunion surgery. I happened to visit the blog tonight to see what others had posted about their own surgery experiences and came across an interesting post from a guy who invented The Bunion Buster. Essentially he's promoting his method of "Acupuncher" which involves a device he's invented with what appears to be a rubber ball at the end of a stick that you use to punch your bunions into submission.

Here is his post:

There is a 100% natural way to cure bunions But NO one wants to know about it..I know Because I cured Mine... If I could Find Someone ANYONE to try My Method the world would Know as well.. But I have been Spitting into the wind for so Long I guess Know One WILL EVER KNOW! Using Acupressue and Relexology is The way But It a Certain Kind Of Acupressure... AcuPUNCHER... Thats Right You have to Punch That bunion into Submission... I am So Tired Of Spinning My Wheels To Let everyone Know...BunionBusters.org Everyone thinks its about the money... Well For Podiatrist it is about The Money... For Me Its about The Recognition! Which it seems I will NEVER HAVE because No one wants to try a 100% natural method...

I visited his website, read the pitch about his Bunion Busting System and downloaded the video. I consider myself open minded and I simply cannot understand how building up a tolerance to slamming a hard rubber ball against a bunion will eventually push the bone back into its natural position.

I noticed his website has less than 50 hits and it's no wonder since his message lacks a certain marketing finesse. In describing his product he insults anyone who is considering surgery or has ever had surgery by saying the surgery, "...is a REALLY DUMB thing to do to your feet."

He wants 10 people to send him $40 (plus $10 for shipping) for the bunion busting system and in return over a six week period the user is supposed to send photos of their progress in return for a portion of their $40 back: 2-3 weeks ($10 back), 3-4 weeks ($10 back) and finally 5-6 weeks ($10 back). Or send him a picture of not having a bunion anymore and he'll send back $40. It seems you're sending him $50 and he's returning to you $30 for a nice profit of $20 per participant. But the overall purpose would be a patent since, "YOU CAN'T PATENT A PRODUCT THAT YOU’VE ALREADY SOLD!"

So if you have a bunion and also happen to be a sadomasochist, the Bunion Buster just might be the solution for you.

Sign Me Up!

Tufts University: The Experimental College located in Medford, MA is unfortunately too far away for me to consider taking an evening class after getting out of work, but seeing a recent course about LOST has me rethinking there might be hope for other colleges to offer interesting courses other than their usual cookie-cutter Shakespeare's Women or The History of Western Civilization.

The Future is Lost: The TV Series as Cultural Phenomenon

When a plane crashed on more than 18.5 million American television screens in September 2004, a new television show had taken up the mantle of "cult hits." "Lost," seemingly a mix of "Survivor" and "The X-Files," was an instant paradox: a mainstream media blockbuster that defied categorization and appealed to some of the most fringe elements of human nature.

This course will investigate how the show has spawned an empire of entertainment, marketing, and community that eclipses the show itself. We will look at how its producers have pushed "Lost" to the bleeding edge of new media where online communities take pride in dissecting each episode, from literary references to philosophical allusion. And we will see how the show's format has inspired dozens of copycats on networks desperate to adapt to a newly demanding audience.

The course is an interdisciplinary endeavor into the heart of the phenomenon. We'll examine the economic circumstances that led to the development of the show, the societal context that it evolves, and the possible effects of the show on technology and the future of media.

Chadwick Matlin is currently a senior majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Communications and Media Studies. Chadwick has been a fan of "Lost" since its debut on ABC. He actively follows Lost's online community searching for information and clues buried in each new episode.