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Beverage snobbery Tue, Sep 02, 2008
It's funny how we humans are such snobs when it comes to our beverages.  Only the finest wines for our delicate taste buds, while most of us likely can't tell the difference between $10 wine and $100 wine.  Only seasonal and microbrew beers, because it's cool to like unusual beers and make fun of people who drink Bud.  Only the finest organic coffee, grown in the mountains of some impoverished nation, though again many of us likely wouldn't know if we were actually drinking Folgers.  Green tea, white tea, antioxidants R us.  I even like to take it a step further and be a snob with root beer.  A&W?  That's for jerks.  Barq's is where it's at. #food

Slate rod Tue, Sep 02, 2008
Perhaps one of the most useful tools ever created is this thing called a slate rod, purchased at my local Home Depot.  It's just a simple metal rod, about 4 or 5 feet long, weighing about 15 or 20 pounds.  One end is pointed; the other used to have a flat part with a hook, but it broke after about 30 seconds.  My dad always used to carry a metal rod around the yard while doing odd jobs, and after buying a house a few years ago, one of my happiest purchases was this same metal rod.  Seeing it in a store, I'd have no clue what to use it for.  But once you use it for a few things, you realize you could never live without it.  I just used it this weekend to dig up rocks from my backyard that I kept hitting with the lawnmower.  If I used a shovel, I'd have to dig and dig to try to figure out how big the rock is, then hope to somehow pry it out, likely snapping the shovel in the process.  With the slate rod, I just poke around for a few seconds, then use it like a crowbar to dig the rock out.  Since it's a solid piece of metal, it pretty much can't break.  I can easily put all my weight on it and use all my strength to try to bend it, but it won't budge.  Other uses include moving large heavy things like trees and railroad ties, digging and prying out stumps, and destroying things like bricks and cement. #products

Olympics on TV Tue, Sep 02, 2008
I have to say I was disappointed with the TV coverage of the 2008 Olympics.  I felt like the only things I actually saw were beach volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, and diving.  What about any of the other 28 sports?  Badminton?  Handball?  Shooting?  Taekwondo?  Why didn't I see any of these events?  Yes, I realize China is on the other side of the planet, so when it's morning here, it's tomorrow there.  But still, none of the coverage was live anyway.  If it's not live, they might as well have broadcast some of the unusual events.  I, for one, wouldn't have minded seeing a men's field hockey game, which in non-American cultures, is not considered girly. #sports