My Personal Top Eight Shop Tips (learned the hard way)

Posted by Steve on Tue, 12/23/2008 - 11:47pm


We've all heard Norm's boilerplate at the beginning of every episode of New Yankee Workshop: "read.. know.. safety glasses", etc. They're common sense "givens". I won't belabor them by repeating them here.

But every shop owner has acquired his own set of lessons from "life experience" and I thought I'd share some of mine. Some are safety tips but some are productivity ideas.

No Night for Dog Walkers

Posted by Steve on Sun, 12/21/2008 - 11:02pm


It's treacherous out there. After two wet snows since Friday and a day in the upper thirties, the temps crashed after sundown, almost instantly freezing any standing water on the sidewalk and stoops.

It's nights like this that I wish I hadn't housebroken my dogs so well. They'd sooner cut their own throats than mess in the house. Worse, I can't even push them out the door to do their business in the back yard. They just sit by the back door looking miserable.

It's also nights like this that I'd like to see public flogging of thoughtless home and apartment house owners who don't shovel their walks. Fifteen years ago, while walking my dog Paco, I broke my right wrist (both bones) on the slippery, unshoveled sidewalk outside a low-end clothing store on lower Broadway. So I've got no tolerance for this laziness.


Man, I love technology!

Posted by Steve on Thu, 12/18/2008 - 11:38pm


Karen and I gave each other new T-Mobile G1 wireless phones for Christmas this week. My old (2002) ATT Nokia accidentally drowned when I dropped it in the sink a few days ago. Since I was fed up with ATT's relentless price gouging and had planned to fire them as my wireless provider anyway it was off to Costco to seal the deal with T-Mobile and this cool phone I'd been reading about.

For those who don't read the techie consumer fan sites like EnGadget.com the G1 is sorta like T-Mobile's answer to the iPhone but with a major twist. Its Android operating system "engine" was built by Google which means that there's a terrific bundling of Google's suite of killer apps on the phone. This isn't intended as a review of the G1. There are tons of those on the web, including an excellent overview here.

This is about one of the many unique features on this phone which only the crazy kids at Google could have built, Shop Savvy, and which could save you a bundle with your home improvement purchasing. Shop Savvy lets you do real time price comparison shopping while you're on the road.


Dreaming of a (non)White Christmas

Posted by Steve on Mon, 12/15/2008 - 6:14pm


Judging by how prolific they've become in recent years a lot of people seem to like white Christmas lights. I know I'm gonna get mail about this.

I'm not real big on Christmas. I need to be coaxed (okay, dragged and beaten) into something resembling yuletide spirit. For me, white mini-lights just don't cut it. They have the holiday charm of a corporate office park or a South Beach mojito bar, and about as much comfort and joy as my 60-watt desk lamp. They don't say Christmas to me. They say, "Co-op Sales Office: Suite 300".

White Christmas lights tell me "Like, I was at Saks this weekend and they had the most totally delicious winter display of Ferragamo anaconda leather boots..."

White Christmas bulbs are the lighting equivalent of dropping "Merry Christmas" in favor of the PC generic, "Happy Holidays". Is this is how we celebrate the rich cultural diversity of our country during glad tidings season? With a soulless white light bulb?  By making our houses look like Tavern On The Green?



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