A quick guide to help you out. If it’s gender-neutral that would be a plus. It it’s made of plastic that would be a minus. Mass-manufactured is a minus, but hand-crafted is a plus. Batteries? Minus. Noisy? Minus. Educational? Plus. Reflecting values antithetical to our own? Minus, minus, minus. When in doubt, remember: The best […]

Read More → So You Wanna Buy My Daughter a Gift?

Bissell Homecare, Inc. PO Box 3606 Grand Rapids MI 49501 For the attention of Mark J. Bissell, President & CEO Dear Mr. Bissell, We recently purchased a Lift-Off Revolution Remanufactured 3760R vacuum cleaner produced by your company. During its second use, the stretch hose came detached from the hose grip, rendering the whole apparatus inoperable. […]

Read More → Dear Mr. Bissell

Dear TrueNorth, I picked up a bag of your Pecan Almond Peanut Clusters at the store the other day, and have found them quite delicious. In fact, they are alarmingly habit-forming. Upon examining the nutritional information on the back of the package, I was pleased to see a list of only six simple ingredients, instead […]

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Whenever something happens to one of our cellphones, it precipitates drama. I guess it’s an unanticipated side-effect of not having a landline. Anyway, Friday was no exception. When T-Mobile confirmed my phone was busted beyond repair, I decided it was time to join Xy on Verizon. By complete coincidence, Friday was the day the Blackberry […]

Read More → Got a New Phone

As I’ve mentioned before, we are paying approximately $15/month to a private company to pick up recyclables. I’m not happy about the situation; in my opinion this should be a standard municipal service like trash collection. But we haven’t had it since the floods of ’05. So we’re contracting for it privately out of a […]

Read More → More Recycling Blues

For the last few days I’ve been mildly obsessed with locating some superfine sugar, also known as bar sugar or castor sugar. This stuff is often called for in drink recipes. It dissolves faster than common granulated sugar — which, incidentally, is often labeled “extra fine,” but don’t get confused. Superfine is finer than extra […]

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My new iMac arrived Thursday. First impression: Wow, this thing is huge. It’s mostly screen, of course, but at 20″ x 12″ it’s almost twice the size of my old iMac’s screen. I tried using the Migration Assistant to move data from the old iMac to the new one. Unfortunately this worked for Xy’s account […]

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The “Eat-Well Food Mart” has been under construction at the corner of Canal and Broad for some months. Google knows nothing about “Eat-Well Food Mart” so I was intrigued. Today, I saw that it was open, so I stopped in. Could this be some kind of health food store in my neighborhood? Wouldn’t that be […]

Read More → Eat-Well Food Mart