Monday, November 26, 2007

Wet are you reading?



Title: Cradle to Cradle
Author: William McDonough & Michael Braungart
Publisher: North Point Press
Date Published: 2002
Printed: China
ISBN: 0-86547-587-3
List: $25.00
Paid: $0.00 (Gift from Christina Hicks)

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Date 11/23/2007
n/w?: Want

Comment: I've wanted to read this book for a while, but hadn't gotten to it on my list. But over Thanksgiving weekend, I got to see an amazing friend who I haven't seen in way too long and she gave me a copy (it wasn't even on my Amazon Wish list). It is the perfect read to compliment this project. The authors discuss how things are made, and suggest ways that everything we produce should be designed to either: decompose leaving no toxins or synthetic materials behind or continually circulate as pure and valuable materials with-in closed loop industrial cycles (like my Patagonia baselayer and Nau jacket). The book illustrates the second point with its own form as a Durabook. The book is made from a synthetic polypropylene that is completely waterproof, very durable, recyclable and is a prototype for a technical nutrient that can be completely broken down and reused as paper for new books or other products.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Let's mix things up



Make: Oxo Good Grips
Model: Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
Size: 3qt
Color: Silver/Black
Part: 1059512
MSRP: $19.99
Paid: $15.99
Made in: China

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Date purchased: 11/18/2007
n/w?: Need

Comment: These mixing bowls are kind of pricey, but it is really solid and should last me the rest of my life. It's stainless steel and the outside is wrapped in rubber. So as you're mixing, you can tilt it on the counter at whatever angle is comfortable and it won't slip. It is also acts as a great non-slip grip while you are holding it.
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Make: Oxo Good Grips
Model: Angled Measuring Cup
Size: 2 Cup
Color: Clear
Part: 70981
MSRP: $7.99
Paid: $7.99
Made in: China

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Date purchased: 11/18/2007
n/w?: Need

Comment: I remember the first time I saw this measuring cup, it was at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in 2003 and I thought to myself "this is brilliant, I can't believe no one has ever thought of it before." The measurements are placed on an angled ramp inside of the measuring cup, so you don't have to bend down and get eye-level with the counter to read the measurements on the side of the cup. Now the measurements are right front of you as you look down and fill the cup. It received numerous awards, and for good reason.
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Make: Bed Bath & Beyond
Model: Silicone Wisks (2)
Size: n/a
Color: Silver/Black
Part: n/a
MSRP: $7.99
Paid: $7.99
Made in: China

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Date purchased: 11/18/2007
n/w?: Need

Comment: This is a set of two basic silicone wisks for beating eggs and whipping up my raspberry pancake batter. They were quite delicious (the pancakes).

A spoon full of sugar




Make: Oxo Good Grips
Model: Measuring Cups with Egg Seperator
Size: Various
Color: Black
Part: 76181
MSRP: $7.99
Paid: $7.99
Made in: China

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Date purchased: 11/18/2007
n/w?: Need

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Make: Oxo Good Grips
Model: Measuring Spoons
Size: Various
Color: Black
Part: 76081
MSRP: $5.99
Paid: $5.99
Made in: China

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Date purchased: 11/18/2007
n/w?: Need

Comment: I couldn't start following the recipes in my new cookbook, until I had the proper tools for measuring. I probably should have bought a set of stainless steel or aluminum measuring cups to minimize the amount of un-recycled plastics that I buy, but as a designer, I am continually impressed by Oxo's well designed products. Smart Design was the best thing that could have happened to them, now if they would just start researching and using more responsible resources.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Go mash a bike



Title: Mash SF
Directed by: Mike Martin & Gabe Morford
Produced by: Mash Transit Productions
Copyright Date: 2007
List: $40.00
Paid: $40.00

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Date 11/16/2007
n/w?: Want

Comment: I have been waiting for Mash SF to come out on DVD for a while now. I heard about the project shortly after moving to SF, and the final release was much anticipated and continually postponed. When it was finally premiered, it was part of a fantastic weekend full of alleycat races and trick competitions. The movie is incredible. It was 3 years in the making and is the first film to capture the emerging fixed gear bike scene. What I love even more about watching Mash—is knowing the hills, streets and neighborhoods that these guys are bombing through. I've ridden a lot of the same terrain (although not quite as fast or with as much style) and it makes me happy to see something I love so much (bikes + SF) being captured so well. The DVD was packaged in a case bound book featuring some spectacular photography from the making of the film. It is definitely a must have for anyone who loves bikes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Panisse of cake



Title: The Art of Simple Food
Author: Alice Waters
Publisher: Clarkson/Potter
Date Published: 2007
Printed: USA
ISBN: 978-0-307-33679-8
List: $35.00
Paid: $0.00 (Gift certificate)

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Date 11/13/2007
n/w?: Want
Buy your own?

Comment: After finally acquiring a decent set of kitchen tools, I can finally begin cooking more. I have always enjoyed cooking, but never had the time, tools, drive, or know-how to cook much more than a few things. However decent they may be, I want to add to my quiver of dishes and learn the fundamentals that I have, to date, just scrounged up from watching the Food Network. I also don't want to rely on the faint possibility that my future significant other will cook. The only girl I've ever known who truely impressed me with her cooking, is now engaged. I spent this weekend wading through cookbooks, trying to find a solid, all-around cookbook. It wasn't as easy as I thought. About 50% of the selection was composed of Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray's "30 minute meals" and "Kids Love to Cook." As I was about to leave I passed this on the new releases table. Alice Waters is the founder of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA and purveyor of the philosophy that buying local organic food—and preparing it simply in all it's freshness—is the best way to cook. It covers everything from essential tools and kitchen staples to the differences of chopping and dicing before heading into simple recipes that will cover the fundamentals, followed by a well organized collection of more advanced dishes.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Flippin' sweet



Make: Calphalon
Model: All Purpose Gadget Set (5 Piece)
Size: n/a
Color: Black
Part: GT5A
MSRP: $75.99
Paid: $20.00
Made in: China

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Date purchased: 11/11/2007
n/w?: Need
Buy your own?
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Make: Calphalon
Model: Slotted Turner
Size: n/a
Color: Black
Part: FN04
MSRP: $6.99
Paid: $5.59
Made in: China

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Date purchased: 11/11/2007
n/w?: Need
Buy your own?

Comment: I was still missing a handful of tools for the kitchen that I needed for home cooking. It's been a couple weeks since I bought my new pans, and I just now got a spatula. I hadn't been cooking much but soups and pastas. I stopped into TJ Max to see what deals they had going on in the kitchen department.While wading through the disaster that was their store, I found this Calphalon set with 4 of the 5 tools I planned on purchasing anyway (cheese grater, peeler, can opener, ice cream scoop...and a citrus zester, which I guess will be handy in the future for certain recipes). The discount from it's retail price was unreal, it was a good find. I did however think they were extremely excessive in the amount of packaging they used, seriously.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Stop in the name of (g)love



Make: Performance
Model: Windstopper Gloves
Size: Medium
Color: Black
Part: PF333
MSRP: $39.99
Paid: $39.99
Made in: China

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Date purchased: 11/04/2007
n/w?: Need

Comment: I took a week off from riding to work because it got colder faster than I had anticipated and I was in need of some full fingered gloves. I wanted to try on a pair that I saw at Nau and compare them with a pair at Patagonia, but neither fit me very well or seemed like they would hold up long into the colder parts of winter. I previously had a pair of these gloves from my time spent in Virginia, they fit well and the Windstopper fabric does what it's supposed to.

Knee high to a piss-ant



Make: Patagonia
Model: Midweight Alpine Hiking Socks
Size: Large
Color: Black
Part: 49841
MSRP: $18.00
Paid: $18.00
Made in: USA

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Date purchased: 11/04/2007
n/w?: Need

Comment: Even though my Swrve knickers are wind resistant, it doesn't help much when they only cover just below my knee. So I was in need of something to make up the difference. These socks are super warm, comfy and come from a great company.

Ghostman on third base



Make: Patagonia
Model: Capilene 3 Baselayer
Size: Medium
Color: Black
Part: RN51884
MSRP: $44.00
Paid: $44.00
Made in: El Salvador

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Date purchased: 11/04/2007
n/w?: Need

Comment: It was getting cold enough last week that I knew I would need to start layering what I wore on my commute to work. This baselayer (aka, long johns or long underwear) is made with Eco-Circle certified polyester, which means that when it's worn out, I can return it to Patagonia, and they will recycle the fabric for use in new products. If you aren't familiar with Patagonia, they revolutionized outdoor clothing in 1994 by pledging to make their cotton sportswear using 100% organic cotton by 1996. They succeeded and have continued to push forward in their environment friendly ethos by making their fleece and polyester jackets from recycled soda bottles. Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia) has been a huge influence in changing the perception of how a company is supposed to function, while building one that continues to uphold its values.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

All tied up



Make: Jones New York
Model: Necktie
Size: n/a
Color: Black
Part: RN121148
MSRP: $35.00
Paid: $9.99
Made in: China

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Date purchased: 11/01/2007
n/w?: Need

Comment: I got this without being sure whether I was going to wear it or not. I didn't. So this will most likely be going back to the store. Even though a black tie seems standard, especially with the purchase of a black suit, I am fundamentally opposed to the neck tie. There are certain societal norms that I find absolutely ridiculous: following around a dog picking up it's crap is one of them and tying a decorated noose around your neck—in order to be taken seriously—is another.

Black belt



Make: Kenneth Cole Reaction
Model: Belt
Size: 32
Color: Black
Part: 4326-12
MSRP: $30.00
Paid: $14.99
Made in: China

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Date purchased: 11/01/2007
n/w?: Need

Step to this



Make: Kenneth Cole
Model: Slipstream
Size: 9
Color: Black
Part: MK00228LE
MSRP: $109.95
Paid: $109.95
Made in: China

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Date purchased: 11/01/2007
n/w?: Need

Man in black



Make: Armani Exchange
Model: Pinstripe Suit
Size: 40R/30 Short
Color: Black
Part: e6k508te
MSRP: $323.00
Paid: $323.00
Made in: China

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Date purchased: 11/01/2007
n/w?: Need

Comment: A suit was one of the last things on my list of must-haves. But VSA was having its 25th Anniversary gala, and it was a formal affair. After waiting until the last minute, I didn't have time to get anything altered, and this suit happened to fit like it was made for me–right off the rack. Although I despise dressing up, I must say that I wear this well.