Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Serious Problem (when it's dry)

I have a confession. When it comes to umbrellas, I have a problem. I love umbrellas. I buy them all the time (usually at Target). I think they are lovely, elegant and useful. So every time I see a unique umbrella somewhere on the web, I want it! Here are a few of my favorite umbrellas that live on my wish list:

Broadsword Umbrella ($40) from They have other sword-umbrellas, but this one would probably the most fun in an umbrella-sword fight.

Color Wheel Umbrella ($40) from Uncommon Goods. Add a little color to a dreary, rainy day.

Or, instead of adding color, add light: LED Umbrella ($25) from

Perhaps you need a reminder that blue skies will be here again? Try the Sky Umbrella ($48)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lens Pet ... not weird at all.

For the photographer who has everything (including a sense of humor): an owl for his camera. 

It's a lens pet ($17). This shop has forty different animals that can decorate your lens.  Use it as a disguise or a distraction, but for whatever reason you claim, this guy will be a conversation starter.

On Esty: custom OWL Lens Pet for your camera

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What to get for the Lumberjack who has everything...

This isn't probably an issue for most people, but one of my friends is a sound-guru lumberjack who knits and basically has his needs down to fit in a duffle bag. He wears plain t-shirts under his flannel (otherwise I would get him this) and his knowledge of his various fields renders my gift purchasing useless.


I gave him a gift that was portable, relevant and modifiable. Well folks, I give to you the Axe Maker's Kit ($140) from the Best Made Company. They already make the best axes around, so is it any surprise they will also let you make the best ax?

No. No, my friends. It is not. 


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Do-Good Link:

Google Chrome for a Cause Extension

Chrome for a Cause. 
Just by opening new tabs, you can help support (up to) five different charities: The Nature Conservancy, charity: water, Doctors Without Borders, Room to Read, and Un Techo para mi PaĆ­s.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TOMS are the new Keds

Do you remember Keds? I know they still exist, but I remember rocking them out as a kid. I was a big fan of slip-on shoes, especially ones that also allowed me to run amok. They weren't quite gym shoes, though you could get away with them in a pinch. Keds were your everyday sneakers, run to the store on a Sunday kind of shoes.

Nowadays I would give that honor to TOMS shoes ($44-98), which are similar to Keds in style, but come with a higher purpose. You see, with every pair of TOMS shoes sold, they give a pair to a child who needs them. One of my friends only wears TOMS, swearing they are the most comfortable shoe on the market.

Good shoes doing good? Put it on the Wish List.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wrapping up the Wish List

I was reading "10 Gorgeous Green Alternatives to Holiday Wrapping Paper" on TreeHugger and was a little disappointed that they didn't show someone using the Sunday comics page as wrapping until they showed me this:

Handmade Large Music Sheet Paper Bows - Set of 5 - eco friendly

Handmade Large Music Sheet Paper Bows ($10 for 5) by greenearthgoodies on They sell all sorts of recycled paper goods, including colorful and creative greeting cards and envelope stickers.

These particular bows are currently sold out, which is actually okay, as I am planning to wrap this year's presents in the funny pages.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Is, of course, Scandinavian. And costs $280.

But still, it is the most beautiful pot.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I've never wanted a Kindle so badly as now...

Over 750,000 Books. Bestsellers from $9.99Discovering that Etiquette by Emily Post is free on Kindle has really changed how I view the device. I've known for years that books in the public domain are free and instantly downloadable, but it really didn't click until I was reading Mrs. Post's book on Google books and ran out of free page views.

I thought at one point that an iPad would be the thing for me, but really as long as I have a computer, an iPad is just an extra thing that does less, but with more fingerprint smudges. The Kindle would be lighter and uses e-ink technology that saves your eyes from burning. It works in sunlight! It runs for weeks on one battery charge!

This is a winning product that I have been resisting for years, but now I'm thinking the hype might be worth  it. Plus, it's never been more affordable. 

Source: Etiquette eBook: Emily Post: Kindle Store

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pickle Brine Water Bottle

I'm always dehydrated. It's no good. I fainted whenever I would go skiing from the combination of dehydration and altitude. I was probably the only kid who was reprimanded regularly for being under-hydrated. So these days I look for ways to remind myself to drink more water (and juice and whatever). Reusable water bottles are great, but only if you remember to fill them. I think if I had the Pickle Brine Water Bottle ($12) I would take it with me everywhere!

Also, pickle brine is actually a somewhat recommended hangover cure. Water and salt are useful to kick-start your recovery.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Is it a briefcase? Is it a record player?

I've been drooling over the Briefcase USB Turntable ($100) for a good minute now, and today I find out that it's on sale for $69.99! How badass is this? You could get a pair of handcuffs and be all secret-agent-like (and only play killer songs).

My puns are horrible. Still, this turntable is amazing: portable, USB ready, three speeds, built-in speakers. Sure, it isn't the lightest briefcase out there, but imagine rolling up to your board meeting (ok, weekly staff meeting) and busting this bad boy out. Last week's minutes? Who cares, the Stones are rocking out the conference room.

I will say, having a turntable of my own has changed the way I appreciate music. I can only imagine being able to share that with everyone else as I tote this around.

Thank you, thank you. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mortar and Pestle and Mustard.

Le Creuset Stoneware 20-Ounce Mortar and Pestle, CobaltI've been trying my hand at making mustard and am reallystruggling with getting the mustard seeds to grind using my roommate's immersion blender (even when using the nifty "food processor" attachment). What I really need is a decent mortar and pestle, and wouldn't you know that Le Creuset makes a pretty one.

Le Creuset Stoneware 20-Ounce Mortar and Pestle, Cobalt

I've been a fan of Le Creuset and their (expensive yet) well-made dish ware for a couple years now.  I think it's a sign of growing up when you've settled on a color preference. My roommate prefers the Cherry.  I will go with Cobalt.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Old-Man Look for iPhone

The problem: you are young and hip. You have fancy gadgets like the iPhone. You wish your iPhone was louder. You also want to appear old-fashioned but don't want to purchase a record player or gramophone.

Solution: the iPhone Speaker Horn Amplifier ($25). This odd looking device adds 13 decibels of sound to your iPhone speakers. And it looks funny.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Perfect Five site

Do you enjoy finding new music, but don't want to go looking for it? Hate to ask friends for recommendations for fear of appearing ignorant of current trends or past classics? Then look no further than The Perfect Five.

Each week, The Perfect Five features five songs, one each of the following categories: Classic, Covered, Hyped, Loved and Remixed. You can veiw past selections either as weeks or just skip straight to your preferred category. My favorite is Covered (I was in a 90's cover band in college and the fascination is still there), but I'm slowly getting into Hyped and Loved. This idea that I don't have to listen to the same music that I did in 2004 is still new to me.

But hang in there. I'll catch on soon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More Maps!

Typographic map of Chicago ($30)
I guess I really enjoy maps, because not only have I been recommending them recently, but I just stumbled upon Axis Maps LLC and I want it all!  These guys are proof that the art of Cartography can be applicable to modern uses. They map everything from mountains to ocean races in vibrant color. They make maps to hang on your wall, or as a wall, as well as a bunch of interactive ones.

If I could, I would commission these guys to do an interactive map of The World Tri, an adventure expedition taking place right now. Charlie Wittmack has already swam down the Thames River and across the English Channel and is currently biking across Kazakhstan to India. After that he'll run to the base of Mount Everest and climb to the top. There were two infographics created already for this journey, but the World Tri seems like just the kind of project that Axis Maps was made for.
Click to view!

Axis award winning maps
The World Tri Blog

Saturday, October 9, 2010

All about the maps

I am really good at finding my way around. I think this is because I was taught about the cardinal directions at an early age and I mastered the art of reading maps. The thing is, maps can be pretty messy. There are usually a bunch of extra lines when you don't need them and not enough detail when you do. For those of us who enjoy simple maps, Chris Yates has created an Interstate Map ($16), similar to a subway map. It shows all the major interstates in the US in a convenient, easy-to-follow design (caution: exits not included).

Also on my wish list is a detailed street map of Lexington. It's handy for creating running routes and when framed can look pretty cool on you wall. Rand McNally lets you create your own map ($99-349), but a simple city map ($6) will probably do me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall gardening

October is here, which can only mean one thing: time to purchase some yellow hearty mums. Failing that, I should at least look into picking up a few Fighting Irish gnomes ($25) to inhabit the garden. The advantage of these little guys is that you never need to water them. The disadvantage is that it puts a target on your back during losing seasons.

Only the strong dare to purchase the gnomes.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just saw "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole"

... and now I want a Night Owl Sleeping Mask ($9) to wear around. These super-cute sleeping masks come in six different colors and allow you to sleep with the lights on. They might even protect you from getting Moon Blinked!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Koi! For your Wall!

When I was 11 years old I visited Japan as an exchange student.  I think 11 is the perfect age to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a place like Japan because you are still young enough to absorb everything while resisting culture shock. One thing I saw there that I have always wanted to recreate is a Japanese garden, complete with a pool and the zen sand box. It doesn't look like I will be able to install one in the backyard of my duplex, even though when I was 11, the thought of being 26 years old was definitely old enough to have achieved at least that dream (space travel was ruled out around age 15).

Fortunately I can create my own Japanese pool on my walls.  Blik now has a Koi design ($90) that can Zen-up any room. I'm thinking the bathroom where the walls are already blue. And there is a cat box in there I could rake if I really wanted the full experience.

Though maybe we should install a towel rack first... and fix the shower head... I guess this blog is called a wish list for a reason.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday fun link: Draw to Run

Hooray for creative bloggers! This runner/blogger/illustrator loves her Vibram Five Fingers, which only makes me want them more:

Drawn to Run
Used without permission, but with jealousy. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Posters that are Books that are Posters

Moby Dick

Do you like to read? Are your walls empty? Or worse, do you have really ugly posters up that have been moving with you since freshman year of college (it was probably a bad idea to leave the duct tape on them when you rolled them up)?  If so, then you are like me, and probably need one of these Postertext posters ($24-60 CAD).  Each poster displays an entire classic book with a silhouette of a scene from the story. They are a couple feel wide by a couple feet tall, depending on which text you display. I'm having trouble choosing between Moby Dick or Sherlock Holmes (both $32), or just waiting to see what book they will do next. Regardless, it's probably time to retire the ripped up print of Van Gogh's Siesta.

Check out their website.  And they have a witty blog that will keep you updated on what books are coming. Or  you can follow them on Twitter.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

For those of us still Analog

I do not have a smart phone.  My phone is rather stupid, actually. It turns off by accident, it can't buzz and play a ringtone at the same time, and the charger is mostly broken. But the important thing for the purpose of this post is for you to know that I don't have a smart phone, iPad, Zune, iPod touch/nano, or any other application-friendly gadget. When I listen to the radio, it actually comes from a radio. This means that when I'm driving from Kentucky to Iowa, I change the stations every hour or so once the static becomes unbearable.  If I don't have a book on CD (Harry Potter, ftw), then I usually prefer National Public Radio to keep me awake on long drives. How will I be able to find a new NPR station without losing part of the conversation?

There's a map for that.

The NPR map ($10) covers the whole country and includes both FM and AM frequencies along all major highways. You'll never drive alone again, hunting furiously for the best station during "Car Talk." No more lamenting that you missed five minutes of Michele Norris. Thanks to the folks at radio maps, you're covered, even without the help of some fancy smart phone.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday fun link: Help with presents

So even though I know what I want for my birthday (this year it was low-cut running socks) (seriously), I have four siblings' birthdays that either just happened or are quickly approaching and am stumped.  They are grown-ups with houses already decorated and kitchens already full of all the essential tools. Fortunately there is with all kinds of ideas. It's based in the UK, so prices won't compute, but most of what they've found can be purchased in the US as well. Happy hunting!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So Many Bikes, So Little Time

There aren't many bikes that I don't want, but every now and then a bike comes along that just sticks in the back of my head longer than others. I don't claim to be a cyclist by any means, but I commute pretty often on my Schwinn Frontier hybrid that my parents gave me on my thirteenth birthday. I love my green monster, but it's a bit heavy and is surprisingly rough on hills. This year I bought a Schwinn kickback with a pedal break that takes hills better than it does. It weighs a ton though, which doesn't work when you live or work anywhere with stairs.

Which is one of the reasons I really like the Allant from Trek ($550). It's an cruiser and aluminum: lightweight but steady. It can handle potholes and the "bike lanes" that are really just areas of the roads that get no attention from street cleaners or urban planners. Though I wouldn't mind a guy's bike, I also like that Trek makes bikes designed for women. Plus the Allant comes with a front rack standard. Check it out. In the meantime, I drool on one at my local shop every time I go in to get my bikes fixed.

Trek Bikes website (US)
Allant page

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The iPad: yes I want one

Should anyone be surprised that the iPad ($500) is on this wish list? I love Apple products, I want an e-reader and have been holding off purchasing a reader/iPod/smart phone. The product that I had been waiting on was cancelled so the choice is really between the iPad and Kindle. Full-sun readable eInk vs. full color and Apple apps. I wouldn't get the 3G option because I don't want to be dependent on AT&T.

I'd write more, but I think enough people have expressed their desire for an iPad that we should just assume it's really neat and move on. (OMG it's so pretty! And SHINY!)

Apple iPad at the Apple Store

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday, a good day for Oysters

I am moving in a couple weeks and that means another housewarming party. I don't want to have just any party either, I want an oyster bar. Thank goodness this is possible to throw together thanks to Island Creek Oysters. You can order 100 oysters ($100) and have them at your door the next day. I already have a shucking glove and can make my own ice, why not shoot some oysters to celebrate a new home?

The Island Creek Oyster crew is awesome. Check a few of them out on Twitter:
Owner Skip Bennett
Shore Gregory (main ICO Twitter feed)
CJ Husk (Oyster Dude)
David Grossman
Erin Murray who also has a blog delightfully named Shucked

They offer oyster in many different combinations: dozen, three dozen, 100 count, plus they sell t-shirts, hats, shucking knives and gloves. If you eat fresh oysters in a local restaurant, there is a chance that Island Creek Oysters provided them with their seafood.

Headphones: What You Said

Okay, so I asked what you recommended for headphones: 

Within 24 hours, recommended Skullcandy Aviatar ($150), which seem awesome. 

My friend over at Of Cider and Knitting Needles sent me some good stuff: 
"I highly recommend Sony MDR-7506 headphones if you want great, high-fidelity listening.  They run ~$100, but are the base standard for studio mixing and are damn-near bullet-proof besides.  I carry a pair with me from show to show.  They don't have very much isolation (ambient room noise will intrude somewhat) but if you want more isolation, the JVC HA-FX35 Marshmellow earbuds you can get from Walmart are about as good as you get before spending ~$250 on a pair of Sennheiser or Shure in-ear monitors."
Fortunately, I already have some Marshmallow earbuds and I love 'em. So these Sony's are verrrrrry interesting to me. 

Thanks for the feedback! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Books: Hunter S. Thompson

I'd never read Hunter S. Thompson until being pointed towards his article "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved." After that I hit up his Wiki page and discovered that he wrote for Page 2 on (some archives here). I lost a few hours there and now I want to read his entire catalog of books and articles.

So I guess that my wish list now includes everything on this list:

  • The Rum Diary 
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century
  • "Fire in the Nuts"
  • Screw-Jack
  • The Gonzo Papers: Gonzo Papers, Vol. 1: The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time 
  • Gonzo Papers, Vol. 2: Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80s
  • Gonzo Papers, Vol. 3: Songs of the Doomed: More Notes on the Death of the American Dream 
  • Screw-Jack & Other Stories 
  • Gonzo Papers, Vol. 4: Better Than Sex: Confessions of a Political Junkie
  • Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 
  • The Fear and Loathing Letters, Vol. 1: The Proud Highway: The Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman 1955–1967
  • Fear and Loathing in America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist 1968–1976
  • Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness: Modern History from the Sports Desk 
  • The Mutineer: Rants, Ravings, and Missives from the Mountaintop 1977–2005
  • "The Battle of Aspen" 
  • "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved"
  • "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan"
  • "The Temptations of Jean-Claude Killy"
  • Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs · Gonzo: Photographs by Hunter S. Thompson
  • The Curse of Lono · Mistah Leary – He Dead

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Coffee: it can do more than just wake you up

I worked in a coffee shop for three years and during that time I grew to appreciate coffee in all it's forms: hot, cold, black, frapped, three shots, watered-down and even decaffeinated (Swiss water process only!). So it should come as no surprise that I'd be willing to try Fitness Coffee: coffee developed specifically to encourage weight loss.  According to its website, this blend of coffee has many advantages:
  • A healthy way to start the day
  • The most functional all natural fitness beverage on the market
  • Naturally rich in antioxidants with over 3.5x the antioxidants of green tea and significantly more than red wine
  • Known to help consumers lose significant weight by naturally enhancing metabolism
  • Gourmet Italian blend for a rich and full taste
  • 100% all natural product with gourmet coffee and 16 of natures finest supplements
  • Does not contain any artificial additives, sugars, flavors, GMO or MSG
With claims like these, I'd like to try some while training for my next 5k. I'm not necessarily looking to lose weight, but a coffee targeted at athletes seems like a great idea. Plus, it's from Italy, and we all know that food products coming out of Italy are usually tasty. I just hope that my standard teaspoon of sugar won't negate any of the positive aspects of this drink. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Daniel, Fred & Julie: The Laziest Folk Trio Ever

God bless NPR. They and Daytrotter are the only way I am introduced to new music like Daniel, Fred and Julie, a Canadian folk trio. They released an album "Runner" in November 2009 and I hope they come together again.

It's kind of a weird storHy: so here's a guy who wants to record an original album, but doesn't want to write any lyrics. He grabs a book of folk songs that are too old to be subject to copyright (think O Clementine), picks out the lyrics that are easiest to write music to, and then shows up basically unannounced on his buddy's doorstep to record a full record in the garage using only one microphone for three vocalists and two guitars.

For something that is so low-tech, these three really put together a great sound. Listen for yourself here.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Delicious Library is Tasty.

But Trish, you're thinking, you talk about tasty things on Fridays! Well yes, but in this case an awesome piece of software also happens to be delicious. Delicious Library ($40) that is. I've been admiring this program for years, and it just keeps getting prettier. I've always been a bit collector of books but have never taken the time to catalog them. Delicious Library would make this task a snap. Using the built-in iSight on my MacBook, I could scan in my library in no time (well, a couple days). Books aren't the only thing this app can keep track of. It also recognizes music, DVDs, tools, clothing.... basically a huge list of items.

Delicious Monster is the company behind the Library. Wil Shipley is the man behind the Monster and is entertaining to follow on Twitter.

Update! I finally broke down and bought DL. I haven't had the opportunity to scan in many of my books yet, but it's only a matter of time. I like that I can keep track of who I've loaned books to without taking them out of my library. Screenshot below.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Salt: NaCl in a World of Flavors

I have a sinking feeling that many of my posts will start out, "So I was dating this guy who .... and he taught me about..." You'll catch on pretty quick that they aren't all the same guy, but at the very least I am hanging out with interesting people who I can learn from. Also, welcome to the first edition of Food Friday. I figured that along with Mondays and Sundays, Fridays can have their own theme (while due to some strange laws of time and space, Thursdays don't really exist).

So! I was dating this guy who wanted to become a chef and he taught me about salt (the guy before him taught me about pepper, but we'll save that for another day). Salt, it turns out, is way more than the iodized stuff with a girl and an umbrella on the front. Sea salts are great for seasoning and garnishing, and there are a variety of tastes to choose from. We tried some smoked sea salt on prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and I loved how the salt brought out the meat's flavors while adding a bit of texture.

Unfortunately for my spice cabinet (seriously you should've seen his paprika), we broke up. While I immediately bought a sea salt grinder, what one of my friends has that I really want is a block of salt. Specifically, a Himalayan sea salt block. I could grate it over dishes and it would be fun just to lick every now and then. It is apparently a bit sweeter than table salt, and I think it would look cool in my kitchen.

Artisan Sea Salts have a great range of salt flavors
The block is sold at Sustainable Sourcing
The Cook's Thesaurus Salt Page is a good resource
As is the What's Cooking America? salt page

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Vornado: a personal wind machine

It is 86° Fahrenheit right now in the office where I work. The A/C unit apparently will only work if the outside temperature is below 90° F.  I thank my stars that I wore a sundress today, and that my employers provide cold filtered water.  Even so, I am still quite warm (and perhaps even a bit shiny) (because everyone knows that girls, even grown-up tomboys, don't sweat). This is why instead of a blender, today I am adding a Vornado Flippi V10 Fan ($50) to my wish list.

While any fan would probably help my current situation, Vornado fans are superior for two reasons: power and quietude. I was recently blow away by the breeze created by their Flippi V6  ($20) when I visited my brother a few weeks ago (pun intended). He was working an outdoor festival on a sunny, breeze-less afternoon, but his little fan quietly generated enough wind to keep both of us comfortable.

Here's hoping that I can find some kind of fan tonight.  The A/C should be fixed by next week or else I'm going to politely request that I work the rest of August from home.

Vornado website

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hats: I wish I could wear them better

Caps in all flavors! 
I like biking though I confess that I'm more of a commuting biker than a road or adventure biker. There are a few things that are important to own when biking: a bike (ner), proper lights (especially at night), a helmet (this is debatable, but I think they are essential), clothing (naked biking is rarely permitted), and a strong bike lock. What I don't need is a hat. But what I want is a cycling cap. Specifically a Walz Cycling Cap ($15-23).

Unfortunately, I look funny in hats. It might be because I have too much hair. Maybe it's because the hats I've been wearing are made of the wrong stuff. Maybe it's because hats just look better on guys sometimes, which I think is the case with these hats. I found them through the Yehuda Moon web comic and really want to buy hats for all my guys friends who bike (and maybe one for myself). The next time I'm on a team, this will be the first place I go for team apparel. They customize at a crazy low price and use high quality materials. I just hope that my indoor co-rec flag-football team will want to wear bike caps on the field.

Walz Cycling Caps website
Walz Caps on Twitter

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mondays are for Music! Eef Barzelay has a funny name.

So the lovely thing about Daytrotter is that it introduces me to all kinds of new bands, or reminds me of bands that I've been meaning to try. I found Eef Barzelay through twitter when someone posted his ukulele cover of Journey at the AV Club in Chicago. He's the lead singer of Clem Snide, which never has the same band members with the exception of Barzelay.

The reason I like this guy is both because Ben Folds could allegedly listen to him all day and he reminds me of my friend who traveled India once with a guitar case that had a ukulele in it wrapped in his clothing. My friend is incredibly musically talented and someday I know you'll all know of him. Until then, he is the best bassist in Indonesia and one of my best friends.

Second Daytrotter Session
First Daytrotter Session

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wish list with a purpose: Do you like dawgs?

Murphy and Cooper!
Something that has always been on my wish list is a puppy. I spent a few hours of my Saturday night driving five puppies from one parking lot to another. These little guys are heartbreakingly adorable and thanks to volunteers across seven states they and their mother Lacey are on their way to new homes. In related news, I no longer want a puppy. But I do enjoy helping transport dogs through the various Humane Societies and could use a few items (as can your local Humane Societies).

I got involved with the dog transportation through No Kill Louisville. My cat would kill me in my sleep if I fostered homeless dogs, so instead I'm on their transport email list, which comes out weekly. This led me to the Kentucky CENTRAL (Communicate Educate Neuter/Spay Transport Rescue/Foster Advocate Lobby/Legislate), who posted the transport that let me hang out with Abby, Potter, Murphy, Cooper, and Max for an hour between Versailles and Williamstown, KY.

Abby and Max
This was my first time transporting dogs and had to borrow a medium sized crate. If I'm going to do this again, I need to get my own crate that folds down flat, can hold at least a 40-pound dog, all while fitting into the back of my Alero. Also on my wish list are a couple clip leashes, pee pads and a waterproof sheet.

However, it isn't my wish list that matters. Humane Societies everywhere rescue dogs, cats and other cute'n'fuzzies on shoe-string budgets. You can help by contacting your local shelters and seeing what they need. If you're lucky, they might even have a wish list posted online, like the Lexington Humane Society does.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Tool Bag for a Handy-girl

So I know I said earlier that I wanted a tool bag to replace my Trader Joe's canvas bag I'd been using. It's like the guys over at Uncrate heard and answered with an awesome suggestion: The Timbuk2 Tool Shed ($35). It's like an oversized, rough and tough jewelry travel bag but instead of necklaces it holds all my neat wrenches and pliers and screwdrivers. Not my hammer though. I will still need a tool box. Maybe a bucket.  Tool bucket?

Until I get a real tool bag, I'm stapling together some old aprons together. Pretty? No, but four aprons equals eight pockets that can hold all kinds of tools. Photos to come.

Timbuk2 website
Uncrate website

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An Open Letter to Apple

Dear Apple,

Hi. My name is Patricia and I am deeply in debt. I attended a pretty sweet university for undergrad and then picked up my Masters with the hope that soon I will get a job that will enable me to purchase all of a few of the Apple products that I want. Until then, could you please stop releasing awesome stuff like the Macbook Air ($1499), or, you know, the iPad ($499), or what is new this week and looks really amazing, the Magic Trackpad ($69). Honestly? A trackpad, perfect for scrolling that you can use up to 33 feet away from your computer? Pair this with a Mac mini and a flat screen TV and you have the perfect recipe for movies, presentations, editing film, Photoshop-ing... really the possibilities are way up there.

To come back to my point: stop that. Stop making neat technology that I can't currently afford. Keep making the iPhone 4 and reusable battery chargers ($29). Continue to update iTunes and iChat and all the other iApplications. You can even release another cat-themed operating system (might I suggest Ocelot). But stop with the mouth-watering-ly cool stuff. I just can't take it anymore.


Patricia Murphy

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Warming the House: Cast Iron Grill

Cooking is required for eating, but cooking outside is fun. Our new place has a tiny deck in the back that we've decided can hold a grill. We currently have a round, frankenstein-ed, hand-me-down grill that will require cinder blocks to stand on before we could use it.

Instead of 84¢ cinder blocks, why don't we just get the Lodge Logic Sportsman's Grill ($84)? It's cast iron! It weighs 32 pounds! It cooks so evenly, your mouth will water just thinking about it! Our neighbors would be jealous and our steaks would be medium rare.

Lodge Cast Iron website

In the meantime, I need two of these:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Music Monday! Dawes does good.

I'm not one to know anything about music. I mean, I could tell you a thing or two about the mechanics of it, but I am usually hesitant to try new things (for example, I rarely see movies in the theater). However, I've been making an effort to listen to new/different music, thanks in part to Grooveshark, Daytrotter and some friends with decent taste. This band I found on Daytrotter because they were a top download, which I figured to be a good sign.

Coming soon to a Midwest or Northeast city near you: Dawes. The song that caught my roommate's attention was "God Rest My Soul;" I was sold on "Love Is All I Am." I love the raw feeling of Daytrotter sessions to begin with, but so too are these guys' lyrics. They are folk, but the singer has a nice bluegrass feel to him, which makes me realize I don't know what either of those genres really are.

Now to convince them to release their next album on LP. In the meantime, their debut album "North Hills" is on iTunes ($10).

Dawes website
Dawes on Twitter
Dawes on Myspace

Bonus track: Ooks of Hazard cover MGMT Yay ukulele! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wish list with a purpose: give if you give a dam...

A dam has burst in my home state of Iowa, emptying a nine-mile lake and causing millions of dollars of damage for hundreds of families. Flooding isn't exactly a new phenomenon for Iowa, but rarely does it lead to the loss of an entire lake.

 I'll update this post as rebuilding projects are announced.

Get involved:

  • If you are in the area and have free time this week you can volunteer to haul garbage from private land to a public site. Call Lake Delhi’s flood volunteer coordinator, Barb DeKlotz is (563) 922-2058 or (319) 210-9378.
  • Nowhere near Iowa? You can donate to the Grant Wood Area Red Cross's disaster relief fund on their website.

Video of lake emptying
NY Times article on the flood

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Batter Blaster: Fun, Organic and Pancakes??

I don't know if this happens much to others, but I have a habit of dating guys whose mothers I get along with, usually to the point that I end up missing them more than I do my ex-boyfriends. One of these wonderful ladies introduced me to Batter Blasters. Her son and I were so inspired by the idea, we drove an hour out of our way to find a few cans. Nowadays you can find them in most Meijer stores.

These pancakes are delicious. Think if someone took a can of Easy Cheese, but instead of processed cheese they fill it with organic pancake mix. Tasty pancakes on demand! Fewer dishes! No "we're-out-of-eggs-how-are-we-going-to-make-pancakes" emergencies. Just heat your griddle or waffle iron, point and ...blast!

Perfect for Saturday mornings!

Batter Blasters website (with video instructions)