RSS
 

Archive for March, 2011

Mustache decals can dress up any mirror

31 Mar

Dinosaur in mustache mirrorThe sterling examples set by Mr. Boh, Mr Pringle, and Uncle Pennybags all indicate that a well-groomed mustache is a great mark of authority. At the same time, the time-honored art of drawing a devilish mustache on a someone’s portrait or photograph. What’s not to like?

Give yourself a smile every day with this assortment of mustache decals, suitable for not only windows and the like but especially for mirrors (in person, the illusion is most effective when you close one eye). People of all ages are amused by looking in a mustache mirror, almost as much as they are by funhouse mirrors that make you look fat or tall. Try on a new face! See if you like it.

I bought this pack from Archie McPhee, a great resource for ridiculous, useless amusements. Since it contains 11 different mustaches, there were more than enough for every mirror in the house (or a truly obscene number on just one mirror, I suppose). I decided to accommodate the very tall and very small people of the world by putting mustaches at various heights on one fairly large mirror. Even after that, I was left with so many that I’ve been giving them away. I’m told they also make fantastic eyebrows.

Mustache decals packageMustache mirror

 
No Comments

Posted in Art?

 

Never to wonder if the dishes in the dishwasher are clean or dirty again

24 Mar

Clean dirty indicator combinedKnowing that the dishwasher is clean saves time. Here’s a double-sided clean/dirty indicator that you can make in less than a minute.

Dishwasher indicator magnetsFirst, use a magnet to find any ferrous surfaces on your dishwasher. Even if your dishwasher appears to be plastic, there may be metal bracing in some areas. If the magnet sticks, you are in business.

Put two magnets in an Altoids tin, with one on the lid and one on the bottom. This way, the tin will stick to your washer no matter which side is facing out.

Finally, put nametags (or other adhesive labels) reading “Clean” and “Dirty” on opposite sides. Flip the indicator as needed.

 

Sugar cane: worth the extra cost (and calories)

17 Mar

Real sugar Coke and tonic waterThe debate over corn syrup and cane sugar is a remarkable case of mercantile debates playing out through public policy. Coca-Cola used to be made with real cane sugar, but now it is made with America’s favorite product, corn syrup. Have you had real sugar lately? Just as a real Coke tastes better than a Diet Coke, a Coke made with real sugar tastes better than a typical, corn-syrup Coke. Sugar tastes delicious. Unfortunately for the thrill-seekers out there, cane sugar has been largely dismissed due to the low price of a native agricultural product.

I don’t want to encourage the consumption of empty calories. Then again, soda isn’t healthy to begin with. I believe that sugary sodas have helped make America fatter. I also would assume that the artificial sweeteners in sugar-free, “diet” drinks may have unexpected (if still unknown) long-term health effects. Therefore, the only safe route is to have nothing.

Good luck with that.

Let’s ignore the agricultural politics behind corn syrup’s low price and go straight to flavor. If you love a delicious beverage, you owe it to yourself to try sodas made with cane sugar. They taste better than the corn-syrup alternative. Drink them in moderation, of course, but if you’re going to drink the calories, you might as well have something delicious rather than merely good. Specialty brands like Jones Soda, Izze, and the recent Pepsi Throwbacks have demonstrated the growing market for premium, sugary beverages.

365 tonic water detailMexican Coke detail

Here are my top recommendations:

  • Tonic Water: Whole Foods’ 365 Tonic Water is the most widely-available tonic water that uses real sugar. Highly recommended for gin and tonics, which are raised to a new level compared to the usual stuff. This will make any tonic-based cocktail better. Even if you don’t normally drink tonic water, buy a six-pack and put in the back of your liquor cabinet as a foolproof bubbly mixer.
  • Coca-Cola: The real Coke is available in many parts of the U.S. at Passover (look for yellow caps marking them as Kosher) and is also available imported from Mexico (check Costco or any local Hispanic store). This makes a much better Coke-based drink than the more pedestrian types of Coke. Recommended for rum and Cokes especially. You also get to enjoy the bottles.
 

Must-Have: Industrial Sharpies and Metallic Sharpies

11 Mar

Sharpie selectionI have a long-held faith in the classic, black-capped Sharpie permanent marker. When I was a child, they were the darkest, heaviest, and more reliable pens in the house and were therefore much coveted for labeling toys and clothes as well as making semi-permanent tattoos when you’re bored. Sharpie has become synonymous with “”permanent marker” in my mind, making it a name brand I actually believe in for once. I make many compromises and buy many generic brands in pursuit of thriftiness, but I do not skimp on my Sharpies. Accept no substitute.

In my pursuit of Sharpie perfection, I have found two specialty Sharpies that are extremely worthwhile. Between these two markers, you can write on almost any object of any color and leave an unmistakable impression. These are unusual enough that you won’t always find them at all-purpose retailers like Target, but you can find them at Staples or any other major office supply store.

Sharpie comparison on white paper♦ Industrial Sharpies: Easily spotted by the beefy red letters on the barrel, the Industrial Sharpie boasts “super permanent ink” and the ability to withstand steam and chemical exposure. I don’t get to test all of those properties very often, but I will say that it is the blackest marker I have ever used. Compare the blackness and consistency of the lines from the Industrial Sharpie to those made by the standard model. Industrial Sharpie ink also remains darker for a longer period than normal Sharpie ink, which slowly bleaches to a a dark gray.

Sharpie comparison on navy blue paperMetallic Sharpies: In an off-putting start, the Metallic Sharpie includes the warning to “Store Tip Down” (presumably the lack of a clip on the cap is meant to remind us of this requirement). That makes it hard to find the marker if you store it in a mug or pencil cup. Regardless, this marker shows up bright and clear on all colors, making it invaluable for labeling dark or transparent surfaces like glass or the black plastic found on so many consumer electronic devices. The shiny silver ink is highly reflective, making it easy to locate with a flashlight or lamp. The ability to write over any color lets you turn any piece of scrap paper into an extremely visible note.

 

Chalkboard drawing: “No More Eggs!”

05 Mar

No More EggsEven simple messages get misunderstood. Tragically, I misinterpreted my wife’s statement that we had too many eggs as a frantic plea to get more eggs.

 
No Comments

Posted in Art?