March 13, 2013

Grape Nuts Can Help You Move Your Car On Ice


Park all night outside and now your parking spot is slick? Break out a box of Grape Nuts, pour some right behind each tire, pressing close to the tire itself. Then drive happily away to a bacon and eggs place.

Stale Grape Nuts will work as well as fresh Grape Nuts. Most people eating them wouldn't know the difference either.

You weren't going to eat the Grape Nuts anyway.
Buy Post Grape-Nuts Cereal, 24-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 4) from Amazon.

August 24, 2012

Coffee for the Homeless: Buy a Sandwich and Drink for Hungry Folks

Disclaimer Before Posting: This is not to toot my own horn. I don't know 99.9% of you in real life and have nothing to gain by the following post. I'm writing it to challenge you, my dear cafeinated readers, to do a good thing too.

This morning, I stopped into a local coffee shop, part of a large national chain. The coffee is passable, but it is also convenient and I had run out at home. With a busy day ahead, I dashed in to buy a cup to go.

A homeless woman slept in the corner, slumped in a couch out of general sight, but regulars would often sit there and read or laptop for hours at a time. Their spot in this crowded cafe was taken.

It was 7:15 am. The cafe opened at 6:00 am, so she could not have been there long. Why would she get up from wherever she was at night only to head to the cafe to sleep? I don't know.

I thought about my opportunity to help her: This same cafe offers a range of sandwiches. The woman, I expect, would wake up hungry. And, if she was not, another homeless person would wander in from the heat of the day looking for cool shelter, hungry.

I worked it out with the barista to offer the woman a sandwich and drink of her choosing, and to charge me for it. This was maybe $5.00, not more than $6.00.

The homeless woman might refuse. I personally don't like the sandwiches there. I expect othes do not as well. Not a problem. At worst, I wasted $5.00. At best, I invested $5.00.

Some of you reading this have similar opportunities. That's what I want you to think about. Don't just buy a gift card. Those can be lost, or traded, or otherwise purchased in vain. Buy a meal for someone.

I was not going to be there when she woke up. I'll ask the barista next time I am in how things went. I'll report back here if I have news.

Take my challenge. Look around the cafes you frequent. Take a risk. Most of you can give $5.00 to lift the morale and reduce the hunger (and stress) of someone. If you can afford coffee shop coffee, not matter where you buy it (even McDonald's or Dunkin Donuts), you can do this.

May 03, 2012

Poem for May 3: Remembering You Without a Card

Poem for May 3: Remembering You Without a Card
For a Long Lost Friend

by Brockeim

I remember.
I remember.

Someone needed to.
So I remembered.

I remember,
forgetting, though, I could,
forgetting as might I should,
but I do remember.

There are more convenient things
to forget.
And more convenient people
to remember.
I remember naked poetry and flirtatious hats,
leather-bound notebooks, and hand-made scarves.
I remember lazy afternoons starting 20 minutes
later than the prescripted time, ending days too soon
as dreaming was offset by life, mammon, and other worlds
less mysterious than the one we invisibly shared. 

I remember.

January 10, 2012

A Good Day

Today was a good day. Among the better January 10ths on the list of all January 10ths.

Good coffee, great people, and even a sunny day.

May there be many more.

Thanks to all who said kind things on Facebook, email, Twitter, ESP and other forms of communication.

January 01, 2012

AT-A-GLANCE Recycled Desk Pad review "2011 Held Up to Love, Wine and Coffee"

AT-A-GLANCE Recycled Desk Pad, 22 x 17 Inches, White, 2012 (SK24-00)

This is the 2012 calendar. The 2011 version looked much like it.

I cannot review 2012. Not yet. Today is the first day of year, and how can I say how a calendar will hold up 366 days of the year? We have, of course, the bonus Leap Year day thrown in, but, for this calendar, as a monthly, no extra product will exist.

Last year's calendar, though, I have expert knowledge. I was there all 365 days. From the time midnight hit January 1, 2011, until just a few hours ago at 11:59:59 p.m. December 31, 2011, I experienced all of it firsthand. This calendar recorded all of it. Most of it, anyway. The paper, recycled, is durable enough to withstand ink, coffee cups, and the pressure of books waiting to be read.

As a larger desk pad calendar, there is room enough to remember dental appointments and the other mundanities of life. So often, calendar makers do not see beyond Monday-Friday, giving those five days more than their fair share of paper. Not this publisher. They understand Saturday and Sunday are not days we do not exist, but exist as fully as any other.

Saturday needs room, not merely a number. So much life starts on Saturday. "6 am -- Meet -- at The Jupiter Cafe." Then, "Pick up dry cleaning before 10." The rest of the morning and early afternoon is given over to reading, as always, so scheduling it is not important. But at 3:00 p.m., there is transition. Early dinners with beautiful women whose charm lasts long after the moon has traveled over the Earth are noted, with an arrow to a day or two earlier: "Buy wine at --'s Winery and Fine Luxuries." Sundays might find, "Worship at -- Church at 10," and "Visit the gallery at 2. Pick up -- at 1:30 p.m." Thus calendar can, and has, handled all of this.

There is room in each entry for all of the day's events. In the case in which your life has more than a pleasant evening dining scheduled, perhaps this is not for you. There is software to accommodate the more complicated life. But, for the simpler lifestyle, one built around enjoying the people around you, this is a perfect addition to the home desk.

May your days be full with love, wine, and coffee, and people who prefer all.

--Brockeim

Buy a AT-A-GLANCE Recycled Desk Pad, 22 x 17 Inches, White, 2012 (SK24-00).

December 22, 2011

December 21, 2011

Stopping By Some Bookshelves on a Snowy Evening - Robert Frost Parody (Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening)

(in celebration of this darkest day of the year, I am reposting a parody of Robert Frist's famous poem. Stopping By Some Bookshelves on a Snowy Evening
(severe apologies to Robert Frost)
Robert Frost books on amazon.com


Whose shelves these are I think I know.
He is off at the bookstore though;
He will not see me stopping here
To read his books and quickly go.

My little friend must think me weird
To stop with a library near
At this home of a friend just left
This twentieth day of the year.

He questions if my brain's bereft
Asking about my conscience's theft
The only other sound's the sweep
Of flipping pages -- language heft.

The shelves are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have "To Be Reads" to keep,
And books to read before I sleep,
And books to read before I sleep.


Robert Frost was a learned man, a true man of letters. His poetry graced more than the shelves of grade school libraries, but of great thinkers, and even John F. Kennedy's presidential inauguration.

Frost had an accessibility not found in many poets. His vocabulary was not overbearing, and his images were not unlike ones anyone growing up in the country would see. You will not struggle to understand the essence of what he his saying as you might with Edna St. Vincent Millay, but his meaning is as layered. Like Emily Dickinson's poetry, his deeper meaning was beguiled by apparent simplicity.

Most of amazon.com's customers are readers who love books as much as they love reading them. We browse our best friend's shelves when we visit their home. We borrow their books, and sometimes, with their permission. Our TBR (To Be Read) list is longer than a child's Christmas letter to Santa, and as desirous.

Many of my guides are parodies of songs, and follow the tune of the original. This one is similar, except is based on Frost's most famous poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."

I hope you enjoy my look at Frost's poem.

--Brockeim

December 20, 2011

Spaghetti, Justified

Spaghetti is nutritional string. Even better when slathered with nutritional paste.

December 18, 2011

Yesterday's Coffee

Yesterday's coffee... sounds poetic, tastes awful. Please, fresh for me.

December 15, 2011

Tweezerman Facial Hair Scissors review: For Facial Hair and Unwanted Shirt Threads

Tweezerman Facial Hair Scissors

These sleek, silver, scissors sliced through threads seen only with the finest eyes. True, most days the scissors removed hair from ears and elsewhere, but no more superb thread cutter was found than this.

The Scene: A dim cafe in the Midwest. Third table, by the window, farthest from the door.
The Future: Nancy would walk in the door, with a smile, bringing in sunlight to my life.
The Past: A new shirt purchased just for the occasion.
The Problem: A nagging, unbearable, itchy thread along my left side, just below my arm.
The Tension: Nancy's arrival would be in five minutes. By this time, she had parked her car in the garage and was coming down Charles Street, just around the corner.

The solution was found next door, at a pharmacy. A credit card swipe sped up the transaction. A step into the restroom to discretely cut the offending threads (there were three), and I was done. As I sat down, she stepped in, as lovely as my memory of her.

May your scissors cut all hair, threads and whatever else is needed on time.

Buy a Tweezerman Facial Hair Scissors.