Archive for the ‘trends’ Category

Typewriters? Oh yeah.

Saturday, June 15th, 2013


My old Olivetti Valentine designed by Ettore Sotts and Perry A. King.

My son types a lot of his work, so he’s ahead of the trend,

Video below the fold, since it starts right away,

Green and dirty

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

In order to “save the earth” apparently we must all give up basic sanitation.

Last year it was the Manhattan couple that stopped using toilet paper. Ugh.

This year it’s the fool feeling guilty about taking hot showers. After deluging us with statistics about how wasteful it is to run hot water, she advises us to “take a shower if you need it.”

Listen to me, and listen to me carefully:

Take a shower.
You need it.

As you have noticed, I’ve taken up tango recently, and there is nothing more unpleasant than to come in close contact with someone who has not showered. I even suggested that one of the organizers post one of those signs they have by public swimming pools that say “SHOWER BEFORE YOU ENTER.” You can offer people mints and gum for bad breath, but when you’re on the dance floor you can’t pull a soapy washcloth out of thin air and wash down someone who hasn’t showered. Worse yet, after you’re done dancing with that person, your nostrils hang on to the odor.

We live in the most technologically advanced society in the history of mankind. I urge you to please avail yourself of the most efficient water heater you can afford, and by all means, take a nice hot shower.


Of course this trend towards skimping on basic sanitation goes well with people who think Cuba is a paradise. After all, there is no toilet paper in Cuba (h/t Babalu), and the average person does not have the financial means to own and maintain an efficient water heater. The chronic power shortages don’t help, either.

Living in green misery and living in a totalitarian society might go hand-in-hand. Take advantage and enjoy the benefits of a free capitalist society while you can, and shower on.

Your dance partner will thank you.

Now if you will excuse me I’ll go try to get some relief from this cold that’s making me miserable and take a hot shower.

Bar imitates life

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Via Babalu
Trendy spot in the big city: Socialista

And it’s just like Cuban “socialism”:

The bien-pensant finance it: TV producer Ben Silverman, Harvey Weinstein and Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler.
There’s a two-tier system for the benefit of the elite: “gaining entrance to the upstairs lounge is a long shot for most,” and you need a secret phone number.
Just like in the island-prison: little-person doorman serves as comandante.
You must pay your dues: “Unless you’re amigos with investors Sting, Harvey Weinstein, and Giuseppe Cipriani, you’ll be leveled a minimum tab for table service that may have you shouting ‘Down with capitalism!'”
You get the same-old, same-old, but pay through the nose: “SIGNATURE DRINK Socialista (vodka, fresh citrus, spiced syrup), $16.” A lot of bucks for an OJ w/vodka.
And the bulls*** flows on: “the hard knocks of elitism built on equality were on view on a recent Friday night”

Do the guys washing the dishes get free schooling and healthcare, I wonder? Do they have to swim out of the place when their shift is over?

Socialista: for the useful West Village idiot that drinks!

Please squeeze the Charmin!

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Back in 1965 Green Acres hit the airwaves,

Green acres is the place to be
Farm living is the life for me
Land spreading out,
so far and wide
Keep Manhattan,
just give me that countryside.

In Green Acres, Eddie Albert had a midlife crisis and moved to the country. Eva Gabor, his wife, came along. If I remember right, they had a pet pig. Update Obi’s Sister reminds me the pig’s name was Arnold.

At the same time as Green Acres, Mr. Whipple made his debut. He brought in a new age of sanitary comfort.

Several years later I worked with a girl who lived the truly organic lifestyle at a commune in the countryside that inhabited a farmhouse with no running water or electricity. She was a very pleasant girl with BO.

Well, now you don’t have to leave Manhattan to take up Stone Age living and ditching the Charmin (no Arnold, though):

Via Ith, The Year Without Toilet Paper

Welcome to Walden Pond, Fifth Avenue style. Isabella’s parents, Colin Beavan, 43, a writer of historical nonfiction, and Michelle Conlin, 39, a senior writer at Business Week, are four months into a yearlong lifestyle experiment they call No Impact. Its rules are evolving, as Mr. Beavan will tell you, but to date include eating only food (organically) grown within a 250-mile radius of Manhattan; (mostly) no shopping for anything except said food; producing no trash (except compost, see above); using no paper; and, most intriguingly, using no carbon-fueled transportation.

Using no paper really means no paper:

Nothing is a substitute for toilet paper, by the way; think of bowls of water and lots of air drying.

After reading the article, I felt sorry for their neighbors, since any kind of “sour odor” in Manhattan living means one thing: roaches. That’s if you’re lucky – most likely it also means mice and rats.

And if The Husband’s middle-age crisis had propelled him to no paper living, he soon would have become The Ex-husband: “For better or for worse” specifically excludes air-drying.

As for commuting to work on a Razr scooter, either Mrs Conlin’s short, or I hope they’re making them in adult sizes.

Update, Wed. 28 March: The Daily Ablution washes away the unsanitary pretense.

The upcoming Professional Protesters Agency of Central NJ

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Used to be, in the olden days you could get a few unemployed to attend your protest by handing out a couple of bucks. In the developing nations you can still do that – and if there’s a G8 summit, you can get demonstrators from other countries just by providing transportation and perhaps a meal. Of course that doesn’t apply in France, where protesting is the national sport (and from what I’ve heard, more popular than sex and soccer) and people do it for free as a weekly family outing.

But there’s a new development:

During yesterday’s podcast Siggy sent this article: Germans put price on protesting.

The ever-enterprising and always well-organized Germans, in a grasp at entrepreneurship, have come up with the concept of professional protesters:

They refuse to rally for neo-Nazis, but as long as the price is right a new type of German mercenary will take to the streets and protest for you.

It’s not just any slouch that qualifies, it’s – to use Siggy’s words – GOOD LOOKING protesters:

Next to a black and white posed picture, Melanie lists her details from her jeans size to her shoe size and tells potential protest organisers that she is willing to be deployed up to 100km around Berlin.

So you can cast your demonstration according to height, age, size, and so on – even by shoe-size. I speculate that the professional protester might even accessorize his/her apparel according to the protest’s theme: love beads and mood rings for peace, kaffiyeh for Palestine, and so on. However, the casting is crucial.

Global warmers will probably prefer protesters with tiny-sized feet, say, men wearing shoes size 7 or smaller, women with size 5 shoes, as symbolic of a reduced carbon footprint. It’d probably end up being a demonstration of very short people, but oh-so-paradigmatic of the love of Gaia as its emission of carbon gasses would then be smaller.

But the high-quality protester doesn’t come cheap:

Six hours of Melanie bearing your banner or shouting your slogan will set you back 145 euros.

That’s about $180 per protester; $30/hr. Now you’re talking. A good protester agent should be able to keep 1/3 of that, saving their clients’ valuable time by taking care of the paperwork and providing a full range of well-qualified attractive protesters custom-cast for the special event, small feet and all, while not having do actually do any of the protesting herself.

And I won’t even ask for your shoe size unless it’s absolutely necessary.


Victory lessons, and today’s items

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Victory Lessons from Ronald Reagan

greatest Republican of our time, we should revisit the crucial victory lessons from President Reagan. In all his campaigns for the California governorship and for the Presidency, Reagan demonstrated the timeless value of three essential political characteristics: clarity, cheerfulness and unity. If Republicans manage to emphasize and exemplify these traits they will win in 2008 and beyond and re-enforce their status as the nation’s majority party.

1. CLARITY. Throughout his public career, Reagan associated himself with a handful of simple but profound ideas: government isn’t the solution, it’s the problem; the people deserve lower taxes and less regulation; Communism must be defeated, not accommodated. In his public pronouncements he never varied from these core principles and he never worried about repeating himself, confident in the knowledge that the truth always sounds fresh and appropriate.

Twilight zone at the border.

Sunday June 3, 2007, is ICD 7: International Capitalism Day 2007 I’ve been celebrating all along but on that day I’ll celebrate even more (h/t Maria).

Pakistani Muslim couple tied up, stoned to death – on SUSPICION of committing adultery: the woman was 40, the man, 45. Atlas has more.

Hillary is resentful, but not at Bill. Me, I resent Hillary and all her nagging.

Bruce Kesler fisks NYT theater critic Patricia Cohen: Progressive Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism. Methinks Pat’s looking for a spot on the op-ed page, like her predecessor. (h/t Larwyn)

John Kerry’s on a roll (h/t Larwyn), which segues well with Interchangeable goofballs (h/t Maria).

CatHouse Chat asks Why don’t we let them decide?

Speaking of the troops, As for the married troops, they could still get homemade lemon squares.

In praise of oil, via Maria

This is the sunset of the “Age of Aquarius.” Was about time!

Don’t sign me up for one of these, thanks: The lunchtime facelift

A popular fast face-lift is called Sculptra, a 30-minute procedure involving a series of injections (a mix of poly-L-lactic acid material mixed with water) used to stimulate the growth of collagen and provide a gradual increase in skin thickness.

You call it a facelift, I call it a callus.

I want Beckham’s agent

Saturday, January 13th, 2007

Now, I don’t know a thing about sports. And I certainly don’t know anything at all about football or soccer. So I’m completely amazed that a guy who wasn’t scoring in his last team has just signed a contract for a quarter of a billion bucks. What’s even more amazing is that the guy is referred to as a sex symbol. I kid you not. The TV anchors say, “the superstar and sex symbol” – I just heard one right now.

A sex symbol? He spends more on manicures than I – and I go for a manicure every week!

So it seems to me that the lesson in this is, have a really really good agent.

This weekend, however, my mind is focused on one thing and one thing only – you guessed it. I was visiting Obi’s Sister who’s anticipating Jack Bauer’s return, and, as she puts it,

Even the obscene amount of money offered to pseudo-royal Beckham cannot tarnish my anticipation. After all, if Jack really wanted Beck’s money, all he’d have to do is show up and take it. Like candy from a baby. And he wouldn’t even need a hacksaw.

And I bet Sir Becks doesn’t even own a pair of Jack Bauer pajamas

Did she say, Sir Becks? He was knighted?

Get me that agent – I want to be a Dame!

Here’s a quick 24 round-up:
24 facts about ’24’

James Cromwell will appear on season six as Jack Bauer’s father. Sorry, Donald. Guess you weren’t believable enough to play Jack’s dad.

James Cromwell?
24 forum
Stephen King says, ’24’: So Good It’s Scary


NY Times delivery update:
For the first time since I started assertively asking (i.e., stopped paying) the NYT to discontinue weekend delivery, the paper was not on the driveway this morning. Did they finally stop? The real test comes tomorrow. One time they didn’t deliver early on Saturday but they delivered it later. If it’s not on the driveay by then, it must mean they stopped.

Via Pamela, not a sex symbol but a very sexy performer: Charles Aznavour. Some day I’ll post about the time I saw him on stage, but for now, hear him sing She

What a fabulous guy.

Goofy news items

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

Tin foil day at the Beach Impeach (h/t Pajamas)

Via Ace, Locust and Honey has the Star Wars Silent Movie:

I wish I could play the piano like that. It’d make Scarlatti a cinch – I stopped playing for a year and now I’m back to playing at the equivalent of 3rd grade level.

Via CalTechGirl brings us the “door-to-door Australian atheist goes to Utah” video:

Trusting your instincts may help you to make better decisions than thinking hard, a study suggests. Not being a very thorough thiker, I’m glad to hear that.

Accessorize, accessorize: Taser launches ‘stylish’ stun gun

US stun gun maker Taser is unveiling a sleeker version of its controversial weapon aimed at safety and fashion conscious members of the public.
Available in pink, blue, silver and black, the gun fits into a handbag like a mobile phone. It will be launched at a Las Vegas electronics fair on Monday.

You can order one here for $349.99 (I like the titanium because it goes well with my cell phone) and extra for accessories.

Update: If I drove this, I’d end up under a truck.

I’ve always wanted to be a Dame, but would have to either marry a Brit or become a British sitizen, neither of which is very likely. However, with the help of a mortgage banker, I might have a chance to be Princess of Sealand.

Nidra gets catty

Monday, January 8th, 2007

For Nidra’s post on more serious matters, go here and check out the update.

I haven’t posted much on France because the electoral campaign hasn’t been all that interesting. However, leave it to the magnificent Nidra to deconstruct Ségolène Royal’s wardobe in A CATTY ARTICLE ABOUT SEGOLENE ROYAL.

What irritates me about Ségolène Royal is that she is playing this coy game of I’m so authentic, so close to real people and their quotidien, when in fact she is authentically phony. The more you think about it the more the pieces fall apart. If the idea was to restyle herself from Socialist bluestocking into some kind of charming, attractive, feminine woman why go Jackie Onassis? She wasn’t president, she was the first lady. If Madame Royal is supposed to represent la grandeur de la France, it’s a lost cause. You can’t do grandeur in little pink jackets and all the less in that white outfit decorated with hyphens. If she wants to look like a woman who can handle the affairs of a mini-great power in troubled times, then she shouldn’t dress like the wife of a real estate broker.

The clothes don’t go with the woman, they clash with her ambitions…and her hair doesn’t go with the clothes. She has that thin, shapeless schoolgirl hair that never grows up. You can’t style it, shape it, keep apace of the years by cutting it shorter. It just hangs there. She tucks it behind her ears. In dire circumstances she twists it into some kind of approximate chignon, but it’s too severe for a présidente charmante.

As I had noted before, Segolene wears bobby pins to press conferences.

Nidra goes on,

And her voice! Her voice is terrible. It’s harsh, it breaks easily, it’s shallow, there’s no heart to it. When you’re parading as Madame Authentic, I hear you, I feel for you, trust me, and the voice comes out sour, you’ve got a serious problem.

Find me a political woman who sounds like Diana Rigg or Lauren Bacall, and I’ll show you a President.

Especially if she doesn’t take trips to China on the Chinese government’s dime.

I’ll buy Nidra lunch the next time she comes to NYC! We’ll have to talk about clothes, trips to China, men, women, and politics.

The Discovery Channel Guys

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

After two days away from political blogging, I’m still not in political news mode, so there.

Being the only female in the house I’m outvoted when it comes to TV selections, so I’ve watched a lot of Discovery Channel stuff over time.

I love the Discovery Channel guys.

My first pick is my fantasy cab ride, The Cash Cab. The Cash Cab’s the only game show I can stand. There’s this guy named Ben who drives a New York city taxi and he asks you trivia questions. If you get the questions right he gives you money. If you don’t, you still get a free cab ride: A win-win situation.

I’ve been taking cabs in NYC for over 25 years and one can only dream of finding a
1. nice American cab driver
2. who speaks English
3. knows where he’s going
4. and doesn’t drive like he’s in the throes of demonic posession.
Making $500 after answering a few questions would only be the icing on the cake. The Cash Cab is on at 5PM while I plan and make dinner, at the same time as Larry Kudlow’s program on CNBC, which comes to think of it, has also made me a little money.

The Dirty Jobs marathon was playing on Christmas Eve while I was cooking. Mike, the show’s host, has achieved fame and fortune by finding the grossest, messiest jobs around and building a TV program about them. All the jobs require a great deal of physical extertion. Most of the jobs are done by men, with a few exceptions, such as the lady that shucks oysters and the Army maintenance engineer. Some of the jobs – such as silkscreening – require great skill and training, and others are simply disgusting, but Mike’s there, showing us that there is great pride in doing a job well, and that these jobs are indispensable to the functioning of our society:

But you’ll walk away from Dirty Jobs with more than just a glimpse into unfamiliar occupational duties – serving slop to pigs, collecting sperm from stallions and removing bones from fish, for example. If you’re like us, you’ll also gain a new understanding and appreciation for all the often-unpleasant functions someone is shouldering to make your everyday life easier, safer – and often cleaner.

Mike’s nice-looking and seems like a real nice guy but I hope he gets good and clean before he heads home after he’s done. You don’t want him bringing that stuff into your house.

I wasn’t sure whether to include Man vs. Wild on this post, because I think the premise is crazy. So I (F) discussed with my son (S), and the conversation went like this,

F: It’s crazy.
S: It’s not!
F: I’ve watched the program and the guy’s crazy.
S: He’s not crazy. He’s cool.
F: OK, I’ll look up the program on the website. What’s the guy’s name?
S: Bear.
F: The guy’s named Bear?
S: That’s his real name. Bear Grylls.
F: That explains a number of things.
S: Like what?
F: Like why he has a job that requires him to be dewormed after he’s done in the jungle.
S (Patiently explaining to the obviously clueless mother): It’s called surviving, Mom. The idea is to go to the jungle and survive.
F: My idea would be to go to Club Med in Cancun and have a great time.
S: He’s not going to do that – he was Special Ops in the British Army, and did a program on the French Foreign Legion. And he can fish with his bare hands.
F: That, too?
S: Oh yeah, he’s cool.
F; You’re right. I’ll include him in the post.

But my favorites are Adam and Jamie of Mythbusters, which yesterday had a marathon while I was cooking. (Do I see a pattern here?) Adam and Jamie do actual science experiments while having a great deal of fun (they do get to blow up a lot of stuff), and their crew are definitely cool. However, The Husband, who worked as a scientist in a lab, complains about their lack of safety measures, especially when it comes to flammable materials.

I’m sure I’m not the only Mythbusters fan out there since last Friday I nearly started an altercation at the Barnes and Noble at Marketfair. I was looking for this book and for a last-minute gift when I saw a lady go by carrying a copy of MythBusters: Don’t Try This at Home. I was standing at the Information desk while the clerk looked up some information for me, and I asked her where the book was. She said she’d go and get it for me while I picked up the Che book.

She was back before I got back to the Information desk, and waiving the book in the air said, “Mythbusters book!” Four people raised their hands trying to grab at the book while the clerk fought them off.

She managed to tell them where the book was, and as I headed to the register with the copy she’d found me, I saw two people getting in a tug of war over the one copy left at the display.

As I’m writing this post American Chopper‘s Christmas special’s playing. I haven’t watched American Chopper yet. No time like the present – they’re making Santa a motorcycle.


Not related to the Discovery Channel, but cool,