I heart you, FGB cork puller
Did I ever tell you I was really into wine at one point in my life? I think there comes a time when people get in their mid-20’s, and want to be “real adults.” That’s when they start thinking "I should start appreciating wine." which roughly translates into "I really don’t know how to fit in. I still feel like a kid, but everyone is seemingly acting more mature than me. I shall do something that will make me seem more adult-like!"
It’s a bunch of bullshit.
Don’t get me wrong, I love wine. It has alcohol in it. I could sound like an ass, and tell you the last really good bottle of wine I had was in 2008, at Le Mistral in Houston. It was a 2002 Agnès and Sébastian Paquet Auxey-Duresses. I love wines from the Burgundy region.
See? Don’t I already sound like a fuckin’ pretentious asshole?
I’m sure if you asked me stuff about wine now, I could remember things. Most likely, I will just ask what you like, or say “I don’t really know.” [Note: If you ever catch me saying “I don’t know”, it usually means I do know, I just don’t feel like thinking, or talking, or being the center of attention. Or maybe I just don’t know. Hmmm…] But there’s something you realize when you *really* grow up, and stop pretending like you are grown up: details like special wines from regions in France don’t mean anything if the only person you’re sharing that wine with is yourself. In 2008, I wasn’t sharing that expensive bottle of wine with myself. Looking back, it could have been a 2 liter bottle of Dr. Thunder [That’s Walmart knockoff Dr. Pepper, for those of you who aren’t cheap soda aficionados], for all I care.
It’s the people you’re with at the moment that matter.
As I said, I was/maybe still am a big wine person. And of course, wine people all have their fancy ass corkscrews and things. I always hated corkscrews, because I don’t like the idea of screwing something into a cork. I don’t like the idea of possible cork particles everywhere. I’m also a scientist, and a designer; that means I like simple and elegant solutions. This cork puller fit the bill. I swear I bought it for under $5 at the time. It was so cheap, and so incredibly effective. And made in Italy. If you’ve never used one, I suggest you give one a try. The idea is you wedge the metal prongs in between the cork and the bottle, using a rocking motion. Once the prongs are in, you pull the cork out, unharmed. That’s it. I just opened a bottle today (I haven’t used it for some time now), and it amazed me how simple it was to use.
It’s sad to say, but this FGB cork puller is like a best friend. Maybe things change, time goes by, you aren’t in each other’s lives as much as before. But the times when you are together, it’s like nothing’s changed. Things work just like they are supposed to work. That never changes.
I heart you, Jem and The Holograms, Complete First and Second Seasons DVD box set.
This is one of my favorite DVD sets. And I didn’t buy it. An ex-girlfriend bought it for me…after she broke up with me. She broke up with me; then three months later bought me a birthday present. Who does that? Anyway, this is what she bought for me. It seems kind of strange, that a guy would like this. But she knew that I used to watch Jem when I was younger; these episodes first appeared on Super Sunday, along with Bigfoot and The Muscle Machines, Inhumanoids, and Robotix. The format was very serial-like, and the 30 minute show would air only 6 minute excerpts of the various cartoons.
Why do I love Jem? I don’t know. Because it’s ridiculous, from a science perspective. She has earrings that project holograms to change her appearance. Seriously, think about that. Anyone who understands holography and how lasers work knows that holograms are not opaque. But yeah, I know: it’s a cartoon. Also, for Rio not to be able to tell that Jessica is Jem…that guy is clueless. And he has purple hair.
Back to Jem, the show…it was your typical show, almost like a G.I. Joe for girls. I like G.I. Joe. I like girls. Perfect fit, right? I’m not going to lie: Jem is hot. Jessica…meh. But Jem, come on, look at her. I was also really into Kimber. I like the redheads, what can I say? Yes, I know I’m talking about cartoons. Girls are girls, right? I mean, I’m not into cartoon porn or whatever. Sorry, sidetracked…the show. The show had some catchy music, some life lessons, The Misfits, and lots of musical hijinks/action. It was G.I. Joe for girls. That’s not a bad thing.
I haven’t watched these for a while, but I do know that Rhino screwed up the music for the opening sequence, using the later added (and grammatically incorrect) “Me and my friends are Jem girls. Jem! Jem is my name!”-song…a terrible terrible song when compared to the original song. Thankfully, the original “Truly Outrageous” song is at the end credits of each episode.
I need to watch these again. Right now, one of my goals in life is to watch them with this person, for obvious reasons. It’s a no brainer, right? Right.
And may I be frank? To the ex-girlfriend who bought this for me: Thanks, but you’re still a clueless bitch who lies about stuff, and isn’t up front about what they want in life. Also, Jem is way hotter than you. Way hotter.
I heart you, Braun 6550 Electric Shaver
This is not my first electric shaver. My dad gave me my first electric shaver when i was maybe 15 or so. I pretty much don’t grow facial hair, or hair in general. I remember getting my first electric shaver for Christmas. It came in this black case: when the case was opened, the left compartment held the coiled recharging cord, the other side held the black shaver. There was also a small mirror shoved in a slit of a compartment in the case, as well as a small flat brush. I still have that first shaver; it doesn’t work anymore, stopped working about 11 years ago. I kept it, because…honestly? Because my dad gave it to me, and my dad can no longer give me things. It is kind of illogical, to keep something that doesn’t function. Even more illogical since my dad has given me so many other things during the times he was still around…but I keep this non-functioning shaver.
When that shaver stopped working, I decided to buy one of my own. At the time, it felt like some weird right of passage: buying my own electric shaver. Wtf…I’m so weird. I loved the Braun designs (this was even before I studied about the history of Braun design). I remember seeing a similar model to the 6550 in a store. It was all black. There was something about it that I didn’t like when I held it. Then I saw this one. It was the top model in the range. Once I held it in my hand, I knew I had to have this. It felt heavy and solid. The rubber nubs allowed my fingers to securely grip the aluminum and steel exterior. The sliding function switch was beautiful, with a hearty click at each position; when the external trimmer was activated, the swiveling head would lock in place, out of the way of the trimmer. It ran cordless or corded (120V or 220V AC). The case was exquisite: it had a layout like a side-by-side refrigerator. When one opened the right side, the tray which held the shaver would pivot forward, elevating the shaver into view. The left side of the case held the coiled electrical cord.
This shaver does not work anymore. I’m guessing it is the battery, and in my mind, I’m always thinking to repair it. Why not get a new one? Because Braun design has left this era. I am honestly not a fan of their new designs at all. This design still says Braun…still says “I’m German”. And I love this shaver. It doesn’t work, I know. But it reminds me of my other non-functioning shaver…which reminds of my dad, who’s not around anymore, whom I loved.
I heart you, Stanley 16 ounce/0.5 quart pink thermos
I don’t drink coffee, I never have. In fact, I rarely drink any hot beverages. Tea occasionally, a hot cocoa here and there. Perhaps a hot cider if the season is right. But coffee? Not so much. People usually put coffee in thermoses like this, right? I imagine some big burly construction worker, on a job site, taking this out of his lunch pail, pouring himself a coup while the foreman tells him where to put those steel girders.
But…maybe not this particular thermos. It’s in hot pink. So why did I buy it? Clearly, I’m no construction worker. I don’t drink coffee. So why the hell did I buy it. I bought it because I saw it on a shelf, I picked it up, and I said “I want this.” I wasn’t looking for a thermos. I wasn’t looking for anything at all. But feeling this in my hand, my lust switch got tripped. Yeah, it’s pink. To me, that made it even more special. It was something rare, something out of the ordinary, something no one has. This is how I buy things. I don’t buy many things out of necessity. I really don’t need all that much. But when I see something I want, something that makes my heart beat faster, something that makes me want to do things that I’ve never done before (like drink coffee), then I know there’s something special about it. I am cursed with this passion, you could say. It controls me every waking moment, and applies to all things: food, women, cars, toys, tools, shoes, paper towels, cereal, etc. See, even as I type this, I’m thinking “Let me stop, and admire this thermos once more.”
I heart you, Sony MZ-R50 portable Mini Disc recorder
The year was 1999. I bought my first real ‘modern’ computer: PowerMac G4 450mhz. There were these music files called “.mp3’s” that were gaining popularity, but there weren’t really a lot of those around, nor many programs to manage/play them. I used SoundJam MP, which later turned into the Apple program we will all know and love/loathe. There was no such thing as an iPod; hard disk-based music players were as large as…hard drives, the same order of size as a portable CD player. I needed a music player and recorder, and I have always loved the Mini Disc format since it came out 6 years earlier. I just loved the idea of optical recording, and more importantly, I loved cartridges/cassettes. My favorite Transformer will always be Soundwave, because of that love.
The MZ-R50 was a hard recorder to find. No one sold MD recorders in the stores. I had to turn to ebay in order to find this particular model. But why do I love this thing? Besides being an excellent recorder, with optical digital inputs, phantom power for stereo microphones, and everyone’s favorite Sony feature: Digital Mega Bass, what I love most about this recorder is the way it feels in hand. Constructed of machined aluminum, this is one of the last Sony products that I know of that had this quality in materials. This recorder is solid, and closing/ejecting the disc gives a nice, hearty click as the door locks (and while recording, the button to unlock the door is disabled until you press stop…genius!). Size is very small, as large as my 3G iPod (a future IHY post), and like those early iPods, this MD recorder has some weight to it. It gives you a feeling like closing the door of a large, expensive German sedan, like you know you have something quality. And most importantly, this thing works. I bought it 10 years ago, and I just recorded some live music yesterday. Flawless. Damn, I love this thing.
I heart you, IKEA PS KONTANT green piggy bank
I like to separate all my loose change into ‘silver’ and ‘non-silver’, meanings real coins separated from pennies. (But I do keep at least 5 pennies in my left side back pocket.) I used to put all my pennies in this free promotional Batman bank that I got free with a box of Batman cereal…the lat 80’s Michael Keaton Batman movie. This bank holds many more pennies. And he’s green. That’s mainly why I bought him, because he was green. He also looks like he’s smiling, and seems generally happy.
I heart you, Harbor Freight Wire Stripper
I bought this wire stripper at Harbor Freight for $1.99 a few years ago. Why? First of all, I needed a wire stripper (what physicist/baker/designer doesn’t?). Second, it looks like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, as it chomps down on a wire, and simultaneously cuts the outer casing and pulls the casing off in one squeeze of the handle. It also has some cutting “jaws” right underneath it’s “chin”.
I heart you, The Zombies: Zombie Heaven CD Box Set
I’ve always felt, at times, my musical taste belonged to someone born 20 years earlier than me. I am a huge fan of the British Invasion era. Everyone loves The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Many people love The Dave Clark Five and Gerry & The Pacemakers. Some people love Chad & Jeremy and Peter & Gordon. And I love The Zombies. I’m sure there are more people out there, but I haven’t met them. There’s Lennon/McCartney, there’s Morrissey/Marr…and there’s Argent/Blunstone. Those are duos made in heaven. And their best work can be heard here, a four CD box set that gives you the entire recorded history of the short-lived, but highly influential band. From their early pop hits, to their psychedelic “Odyssey and Oracle” sounds, this set has all that, along with outtake, lost recordings, radio sessions, live recordings, even some commercials they’ve done, all remastered. For a diehard Zombies fan like myself, this was a must buy. I actually was lucky enough to see The Zombies (mainly Argent/Blunstone) perform live a few years ago. They have not lost one bit of the magic, even 30 years later.
I heart you, Kungsörnen Swedish Coffee Roll Mix
I buy this whenever I go to IKEA. Please note, I am not really a buyer of mixes and usually prefer to make all baked goods from scratch. But bread is a different animal. I don’t have a stand mixer, or any mixer at all. It’s just me and my arms. Making bread is an exercise in stamina and strength, let me tell you. Most baked good mixes usually have poor quality, which goes hand in hand with the added convenience. This Coffee Roll Mix is so easy, and the results are amazing. No one would ever know this was a mix, it’s that good. And all you do is add water. I love living in the space age.