Friday, March 21, 2008

Lotsa flash, little cash

Make: Kingston
Model: DataTraveler 100 Flash Drive
Size: 4GB
Color: Black
Part: n/a
MSRP: $39.99
Paid: $0.00 (Gift from Treasa Parakkat)
Made in: China

Date purchased: 3/21/2008
n/w?: Want

Comment: I noticed over Christmas that the size of flash drives had increased dramatically, while the cost had plummeted. I made a comment to my brother Don that I should really pick up a new flash drive, because my 128mb was about as useful as a floppy disk. So his girlfriend, Treasa, overheard me and picked one up for me as a Birthday gift. Donny assured her that I was so adamant, I had probably picked one up for myself by now. I don't know who reads this blog, but now I know someone who doesn't. Thanks Treasa, Thanks Don.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Swee(dish) dreams

Make: Tempur-Pedic
Model: The Symphony Pillow
Size: 17”x25”
Color: Eggshell
Part: n/a
MSRP: $99.99
Paid: $79.99
Made in: USA

Date purchased: 3/19/2008
n/w?: Need

Comment: The doctor recommended that I get rid of my down pillows because I may be allergic to them, but he also suggested dust mite proofing my pillows as well. The Tempur-Pedic kills both proverbial birds with one stone. This pillow has no down, and its case is dust mite proof. My brother and parents both have Tempur-Pedic mattresses and swear by them. I think they feel like concrete, but I've never slept a whole night on them. The original Tempur pillow was designed for back sleepers, so I never would have been able to use one, but now they have multiple designs to accommodate different sleepers. I really like sleeping, so I figured I would indulge myself and buy a quality pillow that claims to improve my sleep, and hopefully prevent my eyes from looking like a prize fighter.

This mite help

Make: Clean Rest x2
Model: Standard Pillow Encasement
Size: 20”x26”
Color: White
Part: RN 117729
MSRP: $19.99
Paid: $19.99
Made in: China

Date purchased: 3/19/2008
n/w?: Need

Make: Allergy Luxe
Model: Premium Allergy Barrier
Size: Full
Color: White
Part: RN 112506
MSRP: $89.99
Paid: $89.99
Made in: China

Date purchased: 3/19/2008
n/w?: Need

Comment: Since I was about 13 years old, I've had this random and extremely inconvenient condition where my eye(s) will swell up. Sometimes they just get puffy, but sometimes they will swell completely shut. It's usually just one of them (either one) and on two rare occasions both eyes swelled shut (you can imagine how much that sucked). It seems to happen every three or four months with no obvious trend in the things that I've eaten or come in contact with. I've been to multiple doctors about it before, but they've had no idea what it is, or why it happens. They all assumed I was allergic to something, but all of the blood tests always came back negative and I've never had any known allergies my whole life. This happened about a month ago, so I left work early and called a doctor here in Chicago who was able to see me right away. When the doctor finally came into the room his responses were far from comforting. I got everything from "wow, I've never seen this before" to "hold on, the other doctors have got to see this!" Everything checked out fine as usual and the only advice I was given was to take some Benedryl and apply a cold compress (both of which don't help at all). He told me I should go to an allergist and get a full allergy patch test done (which I plan to do when work slows down). He also asked me to stop by the eye doctor on the floor below him to double check that my eyes were fine. The eye doctor's response wasn't much different. He suggested I visit an allergist, but then asked if I sleep with a down pillow (I have since sometime in my teens) and if I knew anything about dust mites. He suggested I Google them to find out more about their gross reality, as well as replacing my down pillows and buying dust mite proof covers for my bedding. So this is what I've done, we'll see if it works.

Friday, March 14, 2008

In defense of another book

Title: In Defense of Food
Author: Michael Pollan
Publisher: Penguin Press
Date Published: 2008
Printed: USA
ISBN: 978-1-59420-145-5
List: $21.95
Paid: $15.36

Date 3/14/2008
n/w?: Want

Comment: Another book, this one's about the food we eat and why we eat it. I plan on reading Michael Pollan's previous book The Omnivore's Dilemma when I am done with this one. However, since everyone and their brother has already read it, I figured I would buy his latest book (it was on sale, making it cheaper than the former) and then find someone willing to swap with me.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Gotta get, that, dirt off my bike

Make: O Cedar
Model: Hand & Nail Brush
Size: n/a
Color: White
Part: 4053006
MSRP: $2.99
Paid: $2.99
Made in: China

Date purchased: 3/13/2008
n/w?: Need

Comment: Aside from this being the worst title of all the posts, there's not much to say other than I needed a brush to scrub all the winter grime from my bike chain. My old toothbrush wasn't cutting it, so I moved up to something a little more industrial.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Foodie fun 101

Title: New York City Restaurants 2008
Author: Zagat
Publisher: Zagat Survey, LLC
Date Published: 2007
Printed: USA
ISBN: 1-57006-869-8
List: $15.95
Paid: $0.00 (Gift from Sandy Alexander)

Date 3/12/2008
n/w?: Want

Comment: I was in NYC all week for a press check at Sandy Alexander and when we were deciding where to eat, our rep Chris gave us all copies of the new Zagat guide. It is one of the better promotional gifts I have seen—it's actually useful. It doesn't show off their capabilities as a printer (because they didn't print it), but it is a good indication of their generosity. I've never been treated so well by a printer before. It was a great trip, and the piece being printed—Allstate's annual report—looks great. I had almost 3 full days to enjoy the city and spend time catching up with all by buddies from ThreeAre (Katie, Mike, Eric and Jung). Oh, and I lost my keys at security on my way out to NYC, but thankfully they were there when I returned to Ohare.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A clean canteen

Make: Klean Kanteen
Model: Stainless Steel bottle
Size: 18oz
Color: Silver
Part: K18PPS
MSRP: $16.95
Paid: $16.95
Made in: China (Responsibly)

Date purchased: 3/1/2008
n/w?: Want

Comment: I use to own a Nalgene. Like most people who drink a lot of water and enjoy the outdoors, the iconic Nalgene was always the obvious choice for staying hydrated. I have been reading a lot in the past year about these polycarbonate bottles and their potential to leach Bisphenol A (BPA), a toxin known to cause brain damage and cancer, into the water that you drink. This is amplified when exposed to heat and or abrasion caused by washing them. The amount and severity is debated by different studies, however any amount of a toxic chemical is more than I want to ingest. Thankfully mine was stolen and needed to be replaced. My office has a refrigerator stocked with beverages for all of the employees and the number of plastic bottles they go through daily is staggering. I have been drinking tap water from a glass, but between the dust falling from our ceiling rafters and flying Nerf footballs, it was no longer a safe option. I also like carrying water with me between destinations, so I needed something to prevent me from buying bottled water. The Klean Kanteen, from my research, is the best option for avoiding BPA as well as buying something that can be easily recycled when it reaches the end of it's long life. The bottle is made of stainless steel, is easy to rinse out after uses to avoid bacteria build up, and it has no coatings or resin's that can potentially leach chemicals into your water. It also maintains a crisp clean taste, unlike plastic bottles. I was also looking at Sigg, which are beautifully designed, but are lined with some kind of resin. Their website assures that the resin is FDA approved and will not leach, but I'd rather not take the chance. So for once, design takes a back seat.