Wednesday, September 19, 2007


One of the few amenities left today on planes are the free magazines stuffed into the seat pocket in front of you.

Typically, I will leaf through the magazine, sometimes doing the crossword or attempting the sudoku. But oftentimes I fly during the same month, which is the time frame for the magazine to be replaced...meaning if I read the magazine on my departing flight, I have nothing to read on my return flight. Or someone else has already finished the crossword and put it back into the seat. Please stop doing that.

Enter SkyMall.

I have never bought anything from SkyMall. I seriously doubt I will ever buy anything from SkyMall. But, boy, have I gone through every page of SkyMall. People often go to Sharper Image and think "this is stuff for the person who has everything" but Sharper Image is one small chunk of the world of people who have everything. SkyMall fills in the remaining gap.

There are all sorts of crazy items, some of them logged in the comedy book SkyMaul, but the one item that is always ubiquitous that I've never been able to understand is the Pop-up hot dog cooker.

Perhaps this is the gift for the busy mother with plenty of counterspace because I don't know about you, but by the time you dug this appliance out from a cupboard, unplugged something and plugged this thing in, you could've easily boiled or pan-fried two hot dogs. There are a couple of other hot dog cookers, that more resemble the rolling spit from convenience stores and gas stations, but I could see those being a little more practical because it does more than two hot dogs and could be used at a party, maybe by a company or baseball team selling concessions.

Other unusual items for a home include a chilled shot machine (good for frats?), an automatic towel dispenser, a motorized pool lounger for the iultimate lazy experience, a breakfast cereal dispenser (see above comment regarding counter space) and a Fiesta Station Buffet, for those days when just putting chicken into bowls and tortillas on a warm plate JUST WON'T DO. That last one actually advertises itself as being "for your home" so they are not aiming at, like, companies or small restaurants or something.

But, honestly, nothing beats the hot dog warmer.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Who says you can't go home?

I've been back in Minnesota for the past three glorious days. Today is my last day at home and boy, I don't want to leave. It has nothing to do with not liking New Jersey/Philly. I had my reasons for moving there and they still apply.

I've had a whirlwind stay of going out to meet friends and a few quiet times at home, though not quite enough of the latter. In fact, I have to leave in a little bit again, but I wanted to do a quick update. Maybe I shouldn't have wasted the good title for this short brief, but so it goes!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Frankie says Relax!

I said it in my last entry but it was buried. So at the risk of sounding shrill:

Dear visitors:
RELAX! Breathe! You are on vacation. Not only that, you are vacationing on an island. Getting two cars ahead isn't going to do much. There's no other place to go. We are surrounded by water.

Everyone wants to get to their beach/minigolf/bar/house as much as you do. Understand that. So please wait your turn. Gunning 5 cars ahead will save you, what, a minute? That's not much time and not worth raising your blood pressure.

Also, when you are at the beach with your wife and daughter, and the sun is warm and the wind is just right and you have your feet buried in the sand? Put away the Blackberry. Heck, don't even bring it to the beach. Nothing is so important it can't wait a few hours while you relax.

Talk to your wife. Find out how she is doing. You're likely always working and she might miss that connection. (Then again, maybe she doesn't and this is part of the arrangement! Who knows!)
Look at your daughter! She is gorgeous and sweet and smart. She won't be that size much longer, where she is still excited about playing with a toy dolphin in a bucket of salt water.

Your email can wait. Your daughter can not.