Friday, November 2, 2018

Nab It

Mountaineers hone their gear to a high level of efficiency, even shortening toothbrush handles to save weight, last I heard. In the same spirit of minuscule gain, I realized that accumulating solid waste and recycling in paper shopping bags with handles would slash measurable seconds, even minutes, off domestic maintenance. The shopping tote with floppy handles that I support in a dairy crate functions much the same way. It's fast and easy simply to lean over slightly and grab the handles before heading downstairs. The tote is a first-rate clothes hamper -30-
More after the jump.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Poetry of the Paper Cup

It's time to deemphasize disposables, but a recent jaunt out of town turned up a clever and relevant variation on the automatic coffee maker. The hotel set up a tiny machine calibrated to fill a generous paper cup. I find the concept beguiling. The hospitality chain uses paper cups in an unusual format: they're wider at the base and a bit larger in diameter than the usual ones. Someone has been paying attention. The design is stable and useful in a wide range of applications -30-
More after the jump.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Kustom Kulture

A national news outlet posted a story about Hallowe'en modifications for kids' wheelchairs. It's wonderful idea that transformed dreary medical appliances into miniature carnival floats, magnets for other temporarily able-bodied children.

In the spirit of the kid who used to streak around the Ave kneeling backwards on the seat of his motorized chair, I hope that someone, perhaps a high school shop class, design OSHA friendly fairings to use on chairs every day -30-
More after the jump.

Common Decency

Give the shippers (and yourself) a break: shop early for holiday freight -30-
More after the jump.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Hardest Thing I Do All Year

When the late October chill arrives, I organize my clothes for the new season. Usually there's a fresh version of a warm top in the supply line that often is fed by an impulse purchase in early spring. As I sort through my small collection, I find one or two things that are half dead. If I keep them in the rotation, I never wear the fresh and efficient things that will keep me safely warm until March, so weary classics go into the thrift bag -30-
More after the jump.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Old Things

Current concerns about global warming tell me in no uncertain terms that the carbon price of an object is one that each of us will pay, so I'm looking at existing artifacts with less demanding eyes. There's a school of domestic furnishing that appreciates the look of accumulation over time. It doesn't much matter where or when things were acquired. One of my most-admired artifacts is a modest painted china cabinet that holds pride of place in the family room of a noted physicist. It belonged to his parents. At the other end of the usual scale was Uncle Larry's armchair. As I was making myself comfortable in it for the first time, he casually mentioned that he had had it for years before realizing it was Hepplewhite, real Hepplewhite.

One of my beloved mentors built a significant collection of Asian art by shopping on Grant Avenue with her husband, he of the keenest of eyes. Over a beer at the beach one summer, Betty mentioned that they had taken their works to secure storage before leaving on vacation. I flinched slightly at the necessity and the inconvenience, and she said gently, "Don't worry. No one will ever take the things you value most." She said this shortly after her husband had approached me with a crust of verdigris on his flat and extended palm, momentarily convincing me that the fragment of logging junk was ancient bronze -30-
More after the jump.