Thursday, September 10, 2009

Overblown Power Tools

Men must be responsible for this collection of items. They will only do housework if it has an electric motor or involves fire.

Here's a great item. An ice cube maker. I fail to see how this is superior to a $1 bag of ice from the grocery store thrown into a multi-use cooler that does not require the use of polluting batteries or carbon-based energy. Especially for $300. Yup. $300. This is for the man who is tired of being told his only job for the party is to "make ice" and who hates checking the ice cube trays for two days.
Another item in the category of "things you can do without if you have one of those new-fangled combo freezer/refrigerator deals"

Finally the overpriced substitute for sticking the wine in the freezer for 20 minutes. Can't wait 20 minutes? Contact AA.

If you are really a snob, $10 will help you take the wine out the fridge at the right time.

Even more trouble with alcohol. Somehow waiters the world over can open a bottle of wine while standing up over your table with a very simple tool. But you have to go and get this one for $80. Wow.

I guess I should be glad it doesn't have a power motor like this one.

Apparently some people have wrist problems.....who has trouble shaking a martini? Lots of people!
"This is the device that shakes or stirs a martini until it reaches the optimal drinking temperature of 34° F, ensuring perfect homemade martinis at the touch of a button. The stainless steel shaker moves up and down vigorously during the "shake" cycle and gently rotates in "stir" mode, melding the ingredients during either cycle for 60 seconds."

"Here's the simple and stylish way to create perfect cocktails. This professional drink mixer blends ice and your own ingredients with the touch of a button. The retro design brings flair to home bars or club houses. With removable cap and easy-pour spout." Because apparently those old fashioned martini shakers have real problems and um...pouring.

Also for people who can't find a whisk or a spoon. Or if you're really lazy, a blender. The specialized one-purpose milkshake shaker!

At least a blender has other purposes, like mixing frozen drinks. But wait! You need this special gizmo just for drinks!

I am unclear as to why this has to be a power tool. The old fashioned one works great and is $100 cheaper.

I guess it's similar to the coffee dispenser for those with trouble using a spoon.

I don't know what to say about an automatic soft serve ice cream maker/dispenser with integrated sprinkles except: how many parts are there to wash?!

It's not just cold that's difficult to manage, but apparently heat too. Is there any room even left on your counter for this contraption? Maybe you can stash it in your oven, since apparently that isn't being used for its intended purpose of heating food.

"This is the double deck pizza oven that cooks two 12" fresh pizzas in 90 seconds (or frozen pizzas in three minutes), allowing you to cook pizzeria-worthy pies 15 times faster than a traditional oven."

OK, so you have 21 minutes to wait for that pizza out of your oven, you complain. What shall you do with that time? How about some situps and jumping jacks to work off the two pizzas you're about to eat by yourself!

Another problem some people appear to have is with finding a pot and looking at a watch. Hence you have the electric rice cooker. Yup. That's all it does. OK, a Southern woman has to have a Charleston rice steamer, but that you can also use base as a regular pot and it costs maybe $30. That's $130 less than this monstrosity you also have to find a place for in your cabinet.

Now, a bigger problem is apparently "walking to the grill and looking at it". Won't have to with this gadget. The Remote BBQ Voice Alert Thermometer!

"This thermometer is great for indoor and outdoor use. The wireless remote can monitor food from up to 100 feet away. You can either program it your self or use one of the many presets. Select from doneness presets for beef, chicken, pork, veal, and more. The amber backlit LCD displays the built in count down timer. An audible voice alert tells you when food is done. "

I guess this is useful if you're in the other room dressing your wounds from using this.

And a great combo of motorized playing with fire. A hotdog roller for the grill

Apparently there are other people who have trouble with a pen and paper. This gadget will record your grocery list!

"This is the voice activated grocery list organizer that comes pre-loaded with over 2,500 food, beverage, household, beauty, and office items, and recognizes words as specific as swordfish, emory boards, and lawn bags, allowing you to store and print shopping lists simply by speaking the name of the item. The organizer uses a speaker-independent voice recognition system to match a spoken item with one in its database. It has an easy-to-read LCD screen that puts your list in alphabetical order, and it also recognizes errands, such as going to the bank, library, or veterinarian. Simply press the print button for a categorized list generated by the devices built-in thermal printer."

And now in the clothing category - something that only does pants as opposed to the low-tech iron which does any clothing, any fabric, any size! And an iron costs approximately $450 less than this pants press.

And my favorite overblown power tool..... the escalator.
The escalator can go up or down, true. But stairs have the advantage of being infinitely scalable in speed, simultaneously going up and down, adjusting automatically to the needs of users going either direction, and never breaking down. Some people would be lost without escalators. Others would just lose weight. An elevator for people with rolling luggage or strollers would do the trick and be only one thing to have to keep running.

DISCLAIMER! I don't fault someone with disabilities who finds one of these items useful.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Can't You Get Free Boxes from the Liquor Store?

Herewith only supposedly helpful useful things that just cost more money than simple alternative of a box and are not dual-purpose with anything else.

Item One: the Wreath Storage bag....It's unclear to me how this is superior to a BOX! A box can be stacked at least.Item 2: another item easily replaced by a box. A gift wrap storage device.
Ok why do you need this? From the product page: "Fit all your wrapping supplies in one, easy-to-carry bag. This Christmas gift wrap keeper has easy-to-access pockets, wrapping paper, and ribbon dispensers to help you wrap faster. Plus, it boasts these convenient features:

  • End zipper fits a regular sized bag of bows
  • Three expandable filing pockets keep your greeting cards organized and ready for the next big event
  • A side pocket has plenty of room for pens, tape, and scissors
  • Includes pockets specifically designed for pens, tape, and scissors, so they stay where they belong
  • Ribbon dispenser safely keeps 10-15 rolls of ribbon ready to unroll and cut at any time
  • There's no need to put the ribbon away after you get what you need; just dispense what you want, cut, and go
  • A special pocket holds hang tags, gift tags, tissue paper, and more
  • Store 15-20 rolls of 40" wrapping paper
  • Exclusive front load paper dispenser keeps one 40" wrap ready to roll and cut at all times
  • Simply put the wrapping paper in the specially re-enforced pocket and you're ready to pull, cut, and wrap at a moments notice."

Item 3: An all-purpose "holiday" storage bag. Another candidate for replacement by a box.

I'm not irrational, though! I am willing to tolerate Christmas ornament storage boxes that have insert dividers to keep ornaments from bumping each other and breaking.

Item 4: Ribbons apparently need their own box. Who except the gift wrapper at the department store before Christmas needs such a thing? I'll allow you to have lots of ribbons. You can even be neat and put a rubber band around each roll to keep them from getting tangled up. But this? This is Sleeping-With-the-Enemy, Martha Stewart, OCD level neat!

Item 5:
I thought shoes came in boxes?
Item 6: Apparently women aren't the only ones who want cute little boxes for things. Men now want to be able to load a charcoal grill without getting their nantucket reds or Tommy Hilfiger shirts dirty. Puh-lease. Put it in a plastic bag for moisture protection.
I am sure there's enough silliness in the outdoor grilling accessories market for another post. But I should go ahead and point out as a public service announcement that this is not the way to start a charcoal grill. This is.

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