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Showing posts from January, 2008

New Year, More Resolution

New Year's resolutions remind me a bit of horoscopes; an awkward and unlikely way to bring change about in your life. (Astrology strikes me as being to life planning what lottery tickets are to financial planning.) I only know a handful of (okay, 3) people who stand a chance of adhering to their resolutions rather than see them fizzle by Valentine's day. (I am not among the three.)

One possible ingredient for failure is our choice of resolve. For many, it's to lose weight and /or "get (back) in shape", probably the one-two punch resolution that fails most, sometimes even simultaneously. Other resolutions have more variable odds of success. For example, if you're 35, and you want to learn German, unless you plan to move to Germany (or another country that speaks German), you'll probably never speak German.

I believe that, if you resolve around changing slightly something you do every day - cooking, for example - suddenly your odds of success get much higher.

E.V.S.O. (Extra-Virgin Snake Oil) - A collection of useless crap

Saturday Night Live once featured a skit with Father Guido Sarducci about the latest kitchen gadget called "Mr. Tea"; a natural extension of the then-new and now-famous "Mr. Coffee". To use it, one simply places a tea bag in a cup, places the cup in the device, then pours boiling water (from a kettle) into the top of the unit which, in turn, directs the water into the cup. For $19.99, you could make tea more easily than ever before.

As his demonstration went on, it became clear that it was simply a funnel. While coffee makers do a bit more than a funnel, they don't really do that much more. (Units with timers and grinders are pretty good... having freshly-ground coffee waiting for me when I get up is probably the best use of technology I've found so far.) Such ludicrous devices didn't end with the original brilliance of SNL. In fact, there are plenty of these devices to choose from.

Wandering through The Ferry Building in San Francisco (if there is a heav…