December 28, 2007

Brockeim Finds Himself Blogged in South Carolina

Joan Perry of Charleston, SC noticed my review of a Timex watch and wondered if it is "just a tad overdone doncha think?" Paul in TX at the same site suggested, "Sounds like this smooth talkin' devel could sell refrigerators to an Eskimo... come to think about it... they may need them if there's anything to this Global Warming thing."

I, humbled, responded:
Overdone? So much depends on the wearer, and the one in love with the wearer. And in some cases, no watch will do, and then, angels must step in.

Yes, ordinary things excite me. Toasters, Slim Fast, and, of course, my watch. Check what I said about my coffee grinder. I hope to let shine the wonder and romance found in the things which surround us.

It is a fine watch. Money can buy one with more features, and I have some of those. One has a stop watch, another has a gold chain. I can work out with one, and dash off to a black tie affair in the other. Most days, though, this Timex is enough. It carries with it elegance with simplicity.

Thanks for posting it. It made my day... I'm flattered.

--Brockeim
http://brockeim.com
http://brockeim-nonsense.blogspot.com

December 16, 2007

Excellent to Filter Coffee, and Suitable Toy Army Parachute: review Coffee Filters 12 Cup


We stood looking downward from the garage roof. At no time were we ever supposed to be there, but there we were, my friend Brian and I, staring toward our mark, 12 feet down.

Our man was tied and secured. Red yarn pilfered from my mom's sewing basket cut into short pieces made the ropes connecting man to chute. In this case, one green plastic soldier was safely attached to one white Bunn filter. Brighter than most 10 year-olds, we used hole reinforcers to diminish the risk of tearing the delicate paper.

The testing of our Gerry-rigged parachute was foregone for the greater purpose of expedient fun. Our error. The soldier dropped quickly, with little resistance provided by the coffee filter, and bounced, all the while tethered.

Kuge, Kenny Tamayama's cat, happened to be passing by. Thought he saw a mouse, I guess, and afforded the plastic soldier an ignominious dismemberment. No blood was spilt, but our soldier did not survive.

To the end met by the soldier, I said farewell with a fast salute, but could not mourn his loss. I had a 100 more just like him, each willing to serve. I am haste to also say, the filter's parachute potential merely required more R&D, and worked nicely sans cat, thinner yarn, and more connections. And now, as a coffee drinker, have found it also useful for my office coffeemaker.

--Brockeim

November 03, 2007

Brings Coffee to Extraordinary New Place: review Kuhn Rikon Balloon Wire Whisk 6-inch

Brings Coffee to Extraordinary New Place
review:
Kuhn Rikon Balloon Wire Whisk 6-inch

A whisk has only one important function: the making of whipped cream. Go ahead, make souffles, cakes and glazes. It can handle that too. I will make a poor man's cappuccino, richer than any coffeeshop concoction.

Come, visit my home. Sit in my parlor, let me make you coffee. No ordinary milk will you be treated with, but the heaviest whipping cream found at my local creamery.

Whipped cream for two is easy. One tall cup. Sugar and vanilla. Think whipping cream. And, a Balloon Wire Whisk.

Pour 2-3 fingers of cream into the cup. Pour in 2-3 teaspoons of sugar and a half teaspoon of vanilla (to taste).

Palm the whisk with each hand, rolling it as you would clay, with the whisk in the cup, as quickly as you can. It is best to remove all rings.

Serve with ordinary coffee, or with a caramel-hinted one to create a creme brulee-like coffee confection.

--Brockeim

October 03, 2007

Book Lover Mugs: Books are a friend which never imposes, but is always with you only slightly less intimately than God.

Books are a friend which never imposes, but is always with you only slightly less intimately than God. ~Brockeim.

Tipoe/s haPin mug (get it? Typos happen.)


make custom gifts at Zazzle

September 22, 2007

Don't Tase Me Bro T-shirt

Don't Tase Me Bro T-shirt


Andrew Meyer's self-righteous cry, "Don't Tase Me Bro," takes on new heights of whining. So impressed, we thought we'd send a shout out to him for his freedom of speech. As fun, silly gifts go, this is up there.

Lots of colors, designs, buttons, mugs with this design here:

http://cafepress.com/donttaseme2

Don't tase Me mug

September 20, 2007

Brockeim's 2008 Calendar & New Mug Design: Books Are Good Food, Wash Them Down With Coffee

Fresh off the press are two new Brockeimic products.

By popular demand, the elves have worked hard in the workshop for a new mug design, and a 2008 calendar. Click for current prices (both are on the cheap, so get your Christmas presents early). Want more? See our store.

NEW! (and Cheap!)
2008 Calendar

Books Are Good Food, Wash Them Down With Coffee 2008 Calendar

Books Are Good Food, Wash Them Down With Coffee

Books Are Good Food, Wash Them Down With Coffee Mug
Books Are Good Food, Wash Them Down With Coffee (two sizes)

August 24, 2007

A Sordid Tale of Pages Turned: How Ogden Nash Brought Two Together

A Sordid Tale of Pages Turned
How Ogden Nash Brought Two Together
by Brockeim

She stepped inside my library. She was no Marianne the Librarian, but a sleek-dressed poetess with more than iambs on her mind.

She glanced from book to book, tome to tome, as if she would explore each volume with her intoxicatingly invasive eyes. Peering into the glass case, the one where the dustless ancient classics lay in waiting, this mistress of many books seared through to her verbal quarry. She knew what she wanted. She knew why she entered this dark place of paper towers.

The moments of silent reading passed, as she fingered through spines of titles long forgotten by the lesser literati. I stood in anxious awe, knowing I was far from alone in my private glory, this collection of books gathered from borrowed dreams.

I adjusted my reading spectacles. This slight movement of my hand disturbed my reflection in the bookcase glass.

She smiled as she saw me grab a collection of Ogden Nash. No, not Voltaire, not Homer, not even Chaucer. Nash.

With light freedom in hand, I sat to read at an oblong table with a chipped off corner. The sun sprinkling through a dirty ceiling window served me what I need.

Moments, unlike Mr. Nash's poems, passed like clouds on a windless day. I read of liquor and celery until I no longer wanted either. She continued to walk from shelf to shelf, always in my sight, and, then, she found a book.

She sat. She spoke:

"My name is April."

August 23, 2007

Less Can Be Better: Enjoy the Last Spoonful of Ice Cream Thrice: Corningware Corelle Coordinates 3-Piece Bowl Set, Chutney reviewed

Corningware Corelle Coordinates 3-Piece Bowl Set, Chutney

With the smallest bowl, there are smaller portions. It is not the size that we so longingly seek, but the treat. Portions can be, and should be, replaced before handing the bowl over to the sink. These joyous, simple bowls provide in their brevity a bounty burgeoning from each mouthful of dairy pleasure.

Decide how much ice cream to have, after staring wantonly into the carton, and, with no deliberation, scoop up the precious sweet concoction. With a bowl a third the size of your usual serving, enjoy the same, but three times as often.

With the final lingering of liquid, the last delicate dripping of ice cream, there is resident joy. It is in the eager sweeping of the spoon which captures the chocolate caught along the bottom. That is where it is, when gravity pulls the once frozen dessert to where the spoon finds it most attractive.

The weight and build of this bowl is sturdy and heavy, allowing daily use.

Let Corelle sweeten your bowl. Remember to add sprinkles.

--Brockeim

July 26, 2007

Files Nails and Enhances Love Letters - Diamon Deb Nail File reviewed

Diamon Deb Nail Files 8"

Apologies and words of love should not rely on a nail file. Mine did, and for finding on the fly a Diamon Deb file, my love forever remains my love.

When in a desperate strait so many years ago, when the time to write to her something of bliss and beauty, my pencil tip broke.

Sitting in a New York park, I asked around. Not a pencil or pen to be found. With the postman in view, I knew what to do, and told my woe. An older woman with perfect nails heard my heart and my tale, and delivered romantic salvation with the Diamon Deb file.

James Dean StampWith Boy Scout resilience and pluck, I shaved and I trimmed. A little lead would be enough. My words were few, and my time was short. With a thank you to a patient postman, and a stamp with a picture of James Dean, my work was done.

May you always be on the ready to write your loved one by retaining a Diamon Deb file in your briefcase or bag.

--Brockeim

July 25, 2007

Meaningless Ditty Without Music Or Purpose

Meaningless Ditty Without Music Or Purpose
by Brockeim

A shameless ditty I thought I'd write.
Today's the day in my sight.
But I cannot sing and I cannot play.
So I'm stuck to rhyme what I say.
My name’s Brockeim, not Edgar Guest…
means half the sap and twice the zest.
Sing with me these words online.
Sip some Slim-Fast, all is fine.

July 20, 2007

Show Your Love With Toast Buttered by Oneida - Oneida Chateau Butter Knife reviewed

Oneida Chateau Butter Knife

Proper butter knives are not found in the layman's culinary set. Steak knives are not appropriate, and cannot elucidate the bread scratching required to alert your love that you are making her breakfast. Toast is not meant to eaten dry, but with butter or jelly, spread, not smeared. All will be accomplished with the Oneida Butter Knife.

Buttering toasted bread is like conducting a symphony of silky flavor onto the surface. A side-to-side motion, like drawing a smile in the air, with ample amounts of softened butter pressing down on the crispy brown outside. Flip the slice swiftly, placing the buttered side down on a still warm slice below, and repeat.

Like negligee against a rough exterior, any mood will be softened, even the harsh sense of awakening after a sweet sleep. She will hear that the sunrise will be met with romance, and will see the glimmer of the blade mirroring your heart, The subtle floral border will be noticed, followed by with a smile, as she recognizes you have remembered your anniversary. As you present the toast, be sure to offer a vased rose for display on the night stand.

Celebrate another year of love, buttered toast and sunrises with the Oneida Butter Knife.

--Brockeim

July 17, 2007

Helps Bake Cakes and Solve Conflict - Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Measuring Cup reviewed

Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Measuring Cup, Blue

Mitigate battles by measuring quantities carefully with the Pyrex 2-cup.

"Blessed are the peacemakers," says the Book of Matthew. Another Matthew skipped church that day, and, that afternoon, riled when the offer of Kool-Aid came from inside the house. "Always," Matt stammered, "I get less than I should."

This was probably true. Matt never received all that he should. He'd yell and howl about injustice, making a problem of himself, and so he missed out. Grape Kool-Aid mid-July brings almost a tear to a child's eye, watching it deliciously lick quickly from its pitcher to the cup. No waterfall in Niagara held the same beauty to a six year-old who had spent the day chasing flyballs in right field of an unmarked field.

Pyrex became the peacemaker. We three... Matt, Billy and myself, stood in awe as the precious grape drink matriculated into its glorious holding area, a clear Pyrex 2-cup. Each portion was poured perfectly into cups with animals pictured, and so we found peace in the middle east side of our little town.

Matt, satisfied, grabbed his share abruptly, splattering the sugar-sticky-syrupy fluid on his clothes. He received his cup, precisely and entirely, as he should.

To measure Kool-Aid, flour, or sugar, try the Pyrex 2-cup. May life be more peaceful as a result.

--Brockeim

On Reviewing Slim-Fast, or, the Reason to Rhyme Its Romance

On Reviewing Slim-Fast, or, the Reason to Rhyme Its Romance

I've been asked
in the past,
why Slim-Fast
I am reviewing?

Why be confused
that I have choosed
to be bemused
by its gentle cooing?

Drink, I say...
make bright the gray:
submit this day
to the chocolate wooing.

review: Slim Fast - Sublime

July 16, 2007

Excellent Tool for Counting Confectionery Shop Visits - Canon LS82Z Calculator reviewed

Canon LS82Z Calculator
When counting the conceivable number of ice cream cones you could eat within a 365-day year, a calculator managing the basic functions should be all you need ... and that is all right here in this Canon.

Some days are like the one today. The summer swelts, as it is apt to do, but what about you? Worry not. Traipse onward to your favorite creamery. How often can you do this? That's where the calculator comes in.

Work in your figuring confectionery and coffee shop visits, stops by the corner hot dog vendor, and the lovely friend you might bring along to each celebration of taste. Consider taxes, tips, and extra chocolate sprinkles. This math will take a focused mind, and an accurate calculator.

Large numbers, visible digits, and extra buttons for those with the mathematical acumen to enjoy them, the Canon calculator sits snugly on any desk or cafe counter. It will suffice most dining needs, powered by sunny days and ice cream desires.

Ensure the goodness of a year filled with flavor, well-paced through each week by knowing the cost and averages of chocolate, cappuccino and gelato. Be prepared for hot fudge sundaes, mochas and nougat bars. When December comes, as the year has passed, you will be able to tell the one you love, "This one's on me," with confidence, as you will have studied the numbers on your Canon calculator.

--Brockeim

July 10, 2007

Invigorates Ordinary Coffee Into A New Aromatic Flavor - McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract reviewed

McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract, 1 fl ozWhen your everyday coffee has lost its fidelity, and the marriage of sugar and cream no longer excites, introducing a new partner of flavor may be the solution.

Vanilla extract has for its history been drawn into relationship with bakers, chefs and cooks. In my home, it has all the usual uses in cake and cookie making, but also, as a more daily use as a coffee additive. McCormick is the brand I use most, and always the purest.

A few drops dosing my cup just as I pour a cup of freshly ground, freshly brewed coffee, in addition to slightly warmed and whipped cream, with a spooning of sugar, and my day begins with more than a 'cuppa joe.'

This threesome of sugar, cream and vanilla tosses an aroma around the room, down the hall strong enough to entice curiosity from neighbors and neighbor's cats alike. If no one is there to share, feel free to drink alone. May your love of the cupped elixir find new vigor.

--Brockeim

July 09, 2007

Carries Romance and Freedom - IGLOO Maxcold 60-qt. Wheeled Cooler reviewed

IGLOO Maxcold 60-qt. Wheeled Cooler

Prepare your picnic thoughtfully, and the location becomes moot. It begins with the time you park your car, meeting hers, for a long lunch rendevouz.

Between the car and the picnic setting remains a distance short, and replete with romance. By rolling the Igloo Wheeled Cooler, you will have one hand free for holding hers.

Bundle your cooler with all the needs of food and love. Pack within it a bag of ice, of course, and white wine wrapped in a wet, cold cloth. Add candlesticks and cheese, if you please. Be sure to bring glasses for two, not three. Fold in a tablecloth to fit over the cooler, and napkins just for show. There is more than room enough for a picnic for two.

Close it well, holding the handle with your left hand, while she walks on your right. The rest is up to you.

July 01, 2007

Recipe for Real Ratalouille

Recipe (12 servings makes about 4.5 litres) .

You've noticed my review of Ratalouille. Try this as a version of the real thing.

  • 1.6 kg tomato [tomate]
  • 700 g eggplant (2) [aubergine]
  • 500 g zucchini (2) [courgette]
  • 700 g bell pepper (2-3) [poivron]
  • 1 kg onion [oignon]
  • 6 cloves garlic [ail]
  • Herbes de Provence (basilic,thyme, parsley)
  • olive oil [huile d'olive]
  • salt, pepper [sel, poivre]
  • 140 g tomato paste


This method, or a variation, takes fewer pots, is somewhat faster, yet keeps the flavors well and is commonly used. About 65 minutes cooking.

  1. Peel and drain the tomatoes (don't mind the seeds): cut out the stem cores; drop the whole tomatoes into boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove into a collander. The skin should split for easy removal; otherwise, make an X cut in the top, then peel off the skin.
  2. Chop the onion and garlic. Clean the bell pepper, cut into small strips.
  3. In a large cooking pot with thick bottom, put in olive oil, onions and chopped garlic. Add in the bell pepper. Cover to keep in the moisture. Cook for 20 minutes, stiring frequently, and add olive oil as necessary to prevent singing.
  4. Add the peeled tomatoes and herbs de Provence. If you don't have good garden tomatoes with flavor, add a small can of tomato paste. Stirr well and cook for another 15 minutes. [35']
  5. Cut the eggplant into rondelles. Cut the un-peeled zucchini into rondelles.
  6. Add the eggplant and zucchini to the pot. Cook for about 30 minutes. [65']

see http://www.beyond.fr/food/ratatouille.html for more options



Welcome ‘Offense of the New’… While Invoking the Old - Ratatouille reviewed



Ratatouille

All great recipes, whether the provincial peasant dish ratatouille (a vegetable stew), or the greatest and newest dish by Charlie Trotter, draw from the ordinary. Such is the romance of eating. It is the combining of the known to create something previously unknown. Salt, tomatoes, sugar, and butter are not unusual, but, in the hands of a master chef, they are ingredients for art.

Such is the movie Ratatouille. Its history is the simple, oft-told childhood tale of the elves and the shoemaker. A shoemaker is down on his luck, with one piece of leather left, and, to his great delight, a fine pair of shoes are miraculously made with that leather when he awakes. Can he make those shoes again? Who was the mysterious maker of these fantastic shoes?

Ratatouille takes us to a similar difficulty: Linguini, a hapless mid-20s guy who has failed at every job. At the great Gusteau's Restaurant, he becomes a garbage boy. He causes an accident with a pot of soup, and, in trying to fix the problem, makes the soup offensive to even the most plebeian of taste buds. Remy, a rat with culinary sensitivities, secretly adds the ingredients necessary to save the soup.

Instead of being fired, Linguini is promoted to cook. Without Remy's help, he cannot cook. With Remy's help, he shows, as the late Chef Gusteau claimed, anyone can cook. Even the garbage boy.

Remy's story, though, is the tension between his passion for cooking, and his large family. They are satisfied eating garbage, living on the run, and avoiding kitchens, as that's where the greatest dangers prevails. Reminiscent of Richard Bach's fable "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," Remy wants more than to be what rats have always been. He wants to taste, to smell, to combine two flavors into a new ecstatic sensation. Torn between these two loves, he tries to balance their expectations with his dreams.

As Remy's influence through Linguini in the kitchen grows, so does the renewal of Gusteau's Restaurant. It had fallen into the hands of Skinner, the ambitious and evil sous chef, when Gusteau passed away, and he was making it into a tourist locale, and branding frozen burritos with Gusteau's imprimatur. Now, Linguini as the new Gusteau, its reputation was flourishing.

Anton Ego, a food critic who despises Gusteau's, is forced to reconsider the restaurant after he thought he had written its death knell years back. With fearful awe, his declaration to return to Gusteau's causes trembling among the cooks and staff.


  • Can Ego's pretentious palate be satiated?

  • Will the conflict with Linguini and Colette, his lover and cook, force bad decisions in the kitchen?

  • Can a restaurant survive if people learn a rat has been running the show?


In all, Ratatouille's a remarkable movie that relies on storytelling, not on celebrity voicings, special effects, pop-culture references or cheap humor. It tells an old story a new way, bringing a fresh flavor into a familiar meal, and is soon to be a staple in family DVD collections. See it in the theater, and enjoy the magnificent animation on a large screen while you can.

--Brockeim

June 30, 2007

All Hail King Coffee

All things coffee deserve grand and delicious worship, if but only a step away from being a deity.

June 27, 2007

Give your bookworm, coffee-swigging friend a mug that tells it like it is.


Give your bookworm, coffee-swigging friend a mug that tells it like it is.

Due to the popularity of my "Books are good food, wash them down with coffee" mugs, I've been working on new designs. Large and small. Also available is a bumper sticker.

Product Information
Super-size your favorite beverage or just size-up to avoid spills with our hefty, 15 oz. ceramic Large Mug. Large easy-grip handle. When you need more, mug it up.

June 18, 2007

Video Killed the Radio Star and Other Murders


  1. Cell phones killed the payphone (Superman now changes in public).
  2. Microwaves killed homecooked meals (Alice was fired by the Bradys)
  3. E-mail killed the handwritten letter (Charlie Brown's mailbox is still empty)
  4. Cable killed family TV time (We now eat our TV dinners alone)
  5. IPods killed family arguments about stereo volume (Now we don't talk at all)
  6. PlayStation killed Little League (Now we're fat without a uniform)
  7. Amazon killed the Sears Wishbook (Now I can have even more material things)

--Brockeim
Brockeim killed Slim-Fast (It's not just for breakfast anymore)

June 10, 2007

Tomorrow's Kona Captured by Today's Bag Clip - Bag Clip (Chip Clip) reviewed

Tomorrow's Kona Captured by Today's Bag Clip - Bag Clip (Chip Clip) reviewedBag Clips - Set of 4 - (White)
For all the uses found in the clasping grip of the bag clip, standing alone in its magnificence is the closing of coffee bags.

When at the finest of coffee sellers, sniffing the sweet, strong scent of Hawaiian Royal Kona, I smell tomorrow's brown elixir. Thoughts, for the few settled days the pound will last, will move more swiftly, urging action more freely, all with complete sobriety. My investment is not subtle, equal to my desire.

For the price, such lucidity is luxurious, scarce and perfect. This is not found in vacuum sealed preground grocery store coffee. The caffeine is there, completely, but not the tension of bitter and smooth, for a few gracious moments, making amends. This brief d├ętente is tasted quickly as if its purity diminishes by my noticing.

With each morning's mild welcome, there also must be closure. The firm teeth of the bag clip tersely speaks to each still unground remaining bean to hold their flavor. Folding the opening once, then once again, and shutting in all the peace of the next day's cup, the bag clip seals in it all without negotiation.

Enjoy tomorrow's coffee by buying bag clips today.

$12.99Books Are Good Food Large Coffee Mug by Brockeim

June 06, 2007

Great Start for Budding Soap Carvers - Aveeno Fragrance Free Moisturizing Bar for Dry Skin reviewed

Aveeno SoapAveeno Fragrance Free Moisturizing Bar for Dry Skin, 3.5-Ounce Bar (Pack of 8)

The eight bars work perfectly for carving the Seven Dwarfs, allowing for inclusion, the gentle Snow White. The soap is soft, almost malleable, and does not flake off the same way Dial, Zest and Irish Spring so often would. Aveeno is the proper choice for creating figurines of favorite characters.

The cool flesh-tone of the soap translates well, and contrasts nicely with the fabric overlay I gave them to provide as dress.

To Bashful's face, though, I gave a mild pinkish color to appropriate his shy nature. He is seen looking blissfully at fair maiden Snow White.

Sleepy's beard was troublesome, as the detail required extended beyond my ability. It is long, but not nearly as sharp at the end as I intended.

Happy's great smile smoothly lifts right and left, while Sleepy's eyelids lilt low, almost covering his eyes.

Sneezy is seen sniffing a flower. The flower is not from the soap. Instead, Sneezy's nose is leaning into his shoulder, where I add a paper cut-out daisy.

Doc's glasses came out nicely, in a classic bookworm-off-the-nose style, to provide that distinguished look.

Grumpy's big nose broke in my first effort, but it was early into the process, and a second, more secure nose was supplied.

Dopey might have been the most difficult, as he has no special, visible features. Silence is not as obvious in soap carvings.

Finally, the beautiful Snow White was carved oblong up, to give her the extra height. Her smile tilts upward, gracefully, unaware of Bashful's unspoken affection, with her eyes showing is thinking amorously of some yet unmet lover. Dressed in rags, as she is still not known as a princess, she stands regally.

A second set can finish the scene with the huntsman, the prince, the wicked queen, and of course, the apple and mirror.

Aveeno's a great start for you budding soap carvers, and scraps work in their usual way... to clean what's dirty.

May 29, 2007

Lost Labor's love...

Lost Labor's love...
when William Shakepeare's union quit.

No union label?

May 23, 2007

Assists Turtle Tank Cleaners to Grab the Right Toothbrush - Band-Aids reviewed

Band-Aid Assorted Sizes Adhesive Bandages, Sport Strip, 45-Count Boxes (Pack of 6)

To clean a fish-cum-turtle tank, at age eight, delicate devices were required. A quick hot sponge, even with a coarse cleanser, was not enough. A toothbrush, preferably one with hard bristles, flat across, could clear all corners of the vilest of turtle vestiges. I recommend wrapping the handle of the one used on the tank with one of these bandages.

April is turtle season. Not for hunting, but for pet catching. Come around later, and it was clear May was tank cleaning season. All turtles were returned to their homes by then, but they left behind more than memories.

Solving the problem of toothbrushes, however, was unknown to me in these younger years. As it happened, the sale at the Ben Franklin one Saturday brought home two matched brushes in one packet, each blue.

Suited for the bathroom, in the tub, cleaning the tank took only an hour, with rinsing. Church the next morning, rushed as usual with eyes half-closed, had me searching blindly for a toothbrush, for its marketed use. I grabbed the wrong one.

When buying like-colored toothbrushes, take measures such as the one I suggest to identify which is meant for your mouth. The taste will make all the difference.

May 01, 2007

Shelters Treasures from Pencils to Bracelets - Cherrywood Bracelet Box reviewed

Contained within this box, protected now for a generation, is a white number two pencil. It is ordinary in form in every way. Half-sized, worn from drawing on schoolbook covers until graphite covered them with my singular rumination of love, Marcella, it will never write again. Imprinted with the name of a local insurance agency, it now exists to please me, to remind me of the days that were.

Its previous owner, the ever-so-kind and ever-so-shy Marcella, gave it to me as we sat in the library quietly. There, together, we wrote poems no one else would read, laughing until class began. When eighth grade ended, she moved, and the pencil stayed.

The box itself is a rich cherry, dark and soft, with a smooth French custard beige lining. Oblong, there is room for two pencils, or a thick bracelet.

Sheltered from the storms of disorganization, I keep it here, in this box, latticed by two strips of cloth. Daily, I look, and my day begins, wondering where Marcella writes poems today.

Protect your treasures with this bracelet box.

April 30, 2007

Song to Miss Amazon: Romancing the Website

Song to Miss Amazon
by Brockeim

Ah, that sweet siren singing the song of Brockeim:
Miss Amazon, the temptress and seducer.
Her legs reach long, like her arms, like her charms.
Her voice calls to me with wiles that snare,
and her breath envelopes me, all guile, but I don't care--
she is the river I float upon, the water washing over me,
the website I yearn to post thereon.
My reviews are my kisses, and my rank is her love.
Together, we, entangled, light monitors and sales charts
rising above mediocrity while yet pretending to be
more than friends, but less than one: lo! we are merged,
but wholly each own, independent, resplendent
enraptured in joy.

---

Some readers find books more inviting than others. When Amazon opened online, providing access to books unreachable for purchase except by the accident a speciality shop would have what I longed for, I fell in love.

Somehow, I learned more about how Amazon's reviewing works mre than most people, and will find myself laughing reading blogs and articles which have not done due diligence when forming opinions about reviewers.

I do not buy shoes by addiction, or chocolate. I buy books. Lust. Desire. Reading. Then, I learned about the community of reviewers posting on Amazon.com reviewer discussion board. What harmony, what elucidation, what... what?

What fidelity do I have to Miss Amazon? Only when she's cheapest.

April 23, 2007

Ten Books for a Desert Island

Books for a Desert Island

  1. A book on determining good plants from deadly ones.
    Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places

  2. The Professor's guide to building motors and other equipment with coconauts and papayas, as learned on Gilligan's Island. A MacGyver equivalent would be OK.
    Gilligan's Island - The Complete First Three Seasons
    MacGyver - The Complete First Five Seasons

  3. Seafood cookbook: 1001 ways to make fish, turtle, crab and kelp.
    Fish: The Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking

  4. This Old House handbook on thatching a roof.
    This Old House Kitchens: A Guide to Design and Renovation Sticker: Companion to the.

  5. Farmers Almanac, so I will know the weather.
    The Old Farmer's Almanac 2007 (Old Farmer's Almanac)

  6. Native Islander-English dictionary, with a special section on ways to say, "I taste bad," and another that helps me say, "Chief, I humbly say your daughter is beautiful and would like to marry her."
    Dating For Dummies (For Dummies (Lifestyles Paperback))

  7. A book of lyrics to all my favorite songs
    The Ultimate Fake Book: C Edition (Fake Book Series)

  8. Farming techniques for rainy season agriculture
    You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise

  9. An empty notebook, likely to be found the day after I die

  10. The rest can go into a gift certificate to Amazon, so long as they deliver by FedEx.
    Gift certificate found in here somewhere
    Cast Away (Widescreen Edition)

Signals Whiffle Ball Games Are Over and Dinner Begins - review, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, 15 fl oz

My name never carried well across the neighborhood to the yard where I most often struck out at the plate. Sound, as is the case with many a young boy, was only one way to call me.

Misty evenings, just as the sun committed to drop westward, an hour after my father would drive up in his Buick Special, I smelled Worcestershire sauce from our charcoal Webber. This meant the Whiffle ball game ended, and, win or lose, I had a different plate to step up to.

The scent created a state of emergency. Bats, balls, and, if we used any, bases were gathered by their respective owners, and we all ran home like lovers impassioned in lustful want.

His recipe for steak was simple. Get it from Jerry, a butcher he knew for years, dazzle it with ground pepper and the smallest sprinkle of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce. Like smoke signals, the air became the messenger, or, for me, a siren seducing me homeward. No other sauce would do. His reasons had no merit for me at six years old, but I never had cause to question.

Such as it will be for you. Big bottles of Worcestershire sauce will be what you need, but a small bottle will be inspiration enough.

April 21, 2007

Beware of Bunnies

When these rabbits revolt, and hopping turns to stomping, will we be ready? Can we handle a bunnified nation?

These bunnies are divided into Bunnites and Bunnies, two similar, but battling sects of their religion, who each claim Peter Rabbit as God's messenger.

Peter's traditional story is that a bunny with wings flew to his patch, and told him to claim to the world that a greater, more powerful rabbit was watching. The rats, he said, while rodents themselves, did not eat of the holy carrot, and would not be able to go to Heaven, where 72 Playboy Bunnies waited eagerly to populate the world beyond. Convert them, Peter said to the bunnies, spread it by the carrot.

Since those days, a million generation of rabbits ago, the world has been fooled. Cute rabbits tease our foolish hearts, as they, insidious and willing to run across a road as suicide hoppers, are slowly taking over.

Beware. The book revered by these rabbits, the Bun'an, carries more than peaceful tales about hopping down the bunny trail.

Beware. The carrot you see may be more than mere vegetable.

Beware. A rabbit, even now hops among us.

April 19, 2007

Get Your Brock on with a Brockeim Mug


Brockeimic Books Are Good Food Large Mug

The latest in Brockeimic stuff is on the way. Order now, get them while they are hot.

Just $13.24 plus shipping and handling (probably $5.00). Designs are subject to change.

Product Information

  • Super-size your favorite beverage or just size-up to avoid spills with our hefty, 15 oz. ceramic Large Mug. Large easy-grip handle. When you need more, mug it up.
  • Measures 4.5" tall, 3.25" diameter
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe
Brockeimic Books Are Good Food Large Mug

April 18, 2007

With Tragedy, We Need Hope

What happened? Better still, what happens next? Collective disgust, collective mourning, and collective moving on?

There is little that can be said that is not obvious, and little that can be done that isn't being done. Everyone has their part, apolitically, and, then, sadly, we move on, forget about this, and it gets cited as a footnote the next time we endure such a travesty of violence.

I wish there was a way to stop this, but men like Cho Seung-Hui will be born, lose their sense of right and wrong, and rampage again. There must be a better way.

What we need is hope. The easy path will be to try to figure Cho Seung-Hui, examine why it happened, and think something was done. Cho Seung-Hui had no hope, and became a killer.

Hope.

April 16, 2007

Stickers, Magnets and Thongs (oh my!)

The beginnings of a Brockeim.com Shop are moving forward. CafePress takes care of it all, as well as selling other very odd and interesting items. Click the images to see details, sizes and other important bits of interest.

So far, you can get a thong, magnets, or a bumper sticker.

http://www.cafepress.com/Brockeim

Apparel

Want to Read a Book? Classic Thong
$8.24


Stickers, Buttons & Magnets



Brockeimic Books Are a Friend Rectangle Magnet
$3.49

Brockeimic Books Are a Friend Magnets (100 pack)
$89.99

Brockeimic Books Are a Friend Magnets (10 pack)
$11.99

Books Are Good Food (bumper sticker)
$3.49

April 12, 2007

The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

The Raven
Edgar Allen Poe
(to see my parody, see The Beauty: Parody of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" Singalong with Brockeim)

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-

Only this, and nothing more."


Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-

Nameless here for evermore.


And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-

This it is, and nothing more."


Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I opened wide the door;-

Darkness there, and nothing more.


Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"-

Merely this, and nothing more.


Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-

'Tis the wind and nothing more."


Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.


Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."


Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as "Nevermore."


But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown before-
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."

Then the bird said, "Nevermore."


Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

Of 'Never- nevermore'."


But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking "Nevermore."


This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!


Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."


"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!- prophet still, if bird or devil!-
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore-
Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."


"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil- prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."


"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting-
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."


And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted- nevermore!


The Beauty: Parody of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" Singalong with Brockeim

The Raven/ The Beauty
severe apologies to Edgar Allen Poe
see context below
for the original, see The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

Once upon a fortnight dreary, up so late, my eyes were bleary,
Over many a thought of curious and hopeful dreams (of which there’s more)—
While I plodded, nearly toppling, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some beauty gently walking, walking towards my emotion’s core.
“‘Tis someone flirting,” I muttered, “Flirting at my emotion’s core—

Only this and nothing more.”


Ah, distinctly I remember it was a month beyond that bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought Harry’s ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow,—vainly I wished she’d borrow
From my letters surcease my sorrow—sorrow because she’s the one I adore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels know and well adore—

Nameless here for evermore.


And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each grotto leaf
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic hopes never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I kept on writing:
“‘Tis someone flirting entreating fancy at my emotion’s core—
Some lost friend teasing entrance at my emotion’s core;

This it is and nothing more.”


Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Ma’am,” wrote I, “oh Ma’am! truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is that I was plodding, and so gently you came tapping,
And so faintly you came flirting, flirting at my emotion’s core,
That scarce I was sure I felt you”—here I opened wide the door,

Friendship there and nothing more.


Deep into that friendship peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no poor man ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave only tokens,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Harry!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Harry!”—

Merely this and nothing more.


Back into my emotion turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I felt a flirting something louder than before.
“Surely,” wrote I, “surely that is someone at my heart-string’s door—
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore;—

‘Tis just words and nothing more.”


Open here I flung the closure, when, with many a flirt, there was this treasure,
In here stepped a lovely lady of the saintly days of Our Lord.
The kindest obeisance made she, the minutes stopped and stayed she,
But, with mien of this lovely lady, who sat next to my emotion’s core—
Graced upon me with trust and valor adjacent to my emotion’s core—

Graced, and smiled, and nothing more.


Then this pretty girl beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the kind and tender decorum of the countenance she wore,
“‘Though thy crest be pretty and placid, thou,” I said, “art sure no spineless flaccid,
Friendly grin and soft-speaking Beauty wandering from the Morning shore—
Tell me what thy godly purpose is on the Morning’s Heavenly shore!”

Quoth the Beauty, “Harry.”


Much I marvelled this gorgeous treat to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing girl at his emotion’s core—
Girl, this treat graced this uncultured beast at his emotion’s core,

With such a purpose as “Harry.”


But the Beauty, sitting lonely despite the tremendous trust, spoke only
That one word, as if her soul in that one word she did outpour.
Nothing farther then she uttered; not a syllable then she stuttered—
Till I scarcely more than mumbled; “Other friends have shone before—
On the morrow she will leave me as my Hopes have flown before.”

Then the Beauty said, “Harry.”


Startled at the stillness broken by the reply so often spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what she utters is her only stock—I need more,
Caught from some unhappy boyfriend whom unmerciful verbiage
Followed sage without sagacity till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of her Hope that melancholy burden bore

Of ‘Harry—nevermore.’”


But the Beauty still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I reeled a cushioning in front of her and trust (I still adore);
Then, upon the dream a-sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy into fancy, thinking what this beauteous girl I adore—
What this grin, untamed, slim, and beauteous girl I adore

Meant in mentioning “Harry.”


This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the woman whose kindly eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat inclining, with my head humbly reclining
On the cushion’s feeble lining with the lamp-light gloating o’vr,
But whose feeble thinning lining with the lamp-light gloating o’vr

She shall depress, ah, nevermore!


Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed by the girl’s hidden censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tiled floor.
“Lord,” I cried, “what friend hath thy lent me—by these angels you seem to send me
Respite—respite and nepenthe and forget this girl I adore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this girl I adore!”

Quoth the Beauty, “Harry.”


“Woman!” said I, “thing of delight!—woman still, if girl or goddess—
Whether Christ sent as friend or girlfriend tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land now enchanted—
On this home by Madison taunted,—tell me truly, I implore!”
Is there—is there balm in Chicago?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Beauty, “Harry.”


“Woman!” said I, “thing of delight!—woman still, if girl or goddess!
By the heaven that bends above us—by the God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant universe,
I might hold hands with a saintly maiden whom the angels must adore—
Hold a rare and radiant maiden who the angels must adore.”

Quoth the Beauty, “Harry.”


“Be that word our sign of starting, girl, my friend!” I blurted, upstarting—
“You are my friend, I am glad, on my Morning’s shore!
Leave no sad memory or poor token of lilies washed upon the shore!
Leave never, my heart unbroken!—stay right near my emotion’s core!
Take not thy kindness from my heart, nor take thy pretty form from my apartment door!”

Quoth the Beauty, “Harry.”


And the Beauty, never quitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the placid trust of friendship adjacent to my emotion’s core;
And her eyes have all the gleaming of a girl’s whose eyes are teasing,
And the lamp-light o’vr her, like a halo beaming,
And my soul from out from Harry’s shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted—nevermore!

About The Beauty
What poet in this time has not read Poe? And what movie goer with a romantic heart has not seen "When Harry Met Sally"? And, even yet, who has not found a friend's smiling ever beaming more with beauty than first noticed in days before?

Poe's poem is a masterpiece in American, if not world English literature. Sober, sad and grieving, with mystery and angst. Only those who have never been in love do not understand these kinds of feelings as Poe describes them.

I hope you like my parody.

--Brockeim

Perfect for Photos of Family Dogs, Ansel Adams and Future Lovers - review: 11x14 / 11 x 14 Picture/Photo Frame, Round Walnut Molding with Gold Leaf

At the top of my stairs hang three of these frames, above a shelf of books I intend to read and a canister of potpourri which has lost its scent.

To the right is an Ansel Adams photo of a desert. The lines are sweetly paralleled earthen grooves made of sand shifted in dry wind, diagonal to the perpendicularly structured frame.

To the left is a faded sketch of my dog, Bruno. I was nine, and Bruno was 12. Age and hard playing took him, or so I am told. It is nice to see him here, drawn in pleasant colored pencils by my parent's neighbor.

In the center, the wooden brown frame is simple, concise, and empty. The paint on the wall is dark beige, complimenting the frame with elegance. The logo is unattractive, and I meant to replace it long ago. Every year, I think I have met someone who will pose with me, but every month after we meet, she moves on.

Now, this year, there is Rachel. This year will be different. I am hoping when we are next out, a friend will take a snapshot. I will frame us, happy and together. We will look wonderful next to Ansel Adams' desert and my dog, Bruno.

April 07, 2007

Stopping By Some Bookshelves on a Snowy Evening - Robert Frost Parody - Singalong with Brockeim

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

April 02, 2007

Fills Young Bellies While Mending Broken Hearts - Kraft Macaroni and Cheese reviewed

Maraconi and CheeseKraft Macaroni and Cheese beckons back to lonely days running home at lunchtime. As I lay heart-strewn and crying about the harsh rejection meted upon me by the fairest of the playground beauties, soft noodles in a cheese cream sauce would ease my ache.

Daily, at morning recess, I would smile weakly and say hello to Heidi, who, in return would grimace. There stood I, in a pile of sadness, swings and slides all around, alone, and she, having moved on, would toil no longer in my presence.

Today, all so many years beyond, I do not remember if it was her kickball skills, or the way she whispered, "Green Eggs and Ham," ever so flirtatiously, just within earshot. Her gentle words were never meant for me no matter how I thought her eyes caught mine, and with clarity, at recess, I was reminded of her tease.

Recess would pass into lunchtime, and as the bell rang, I blew out the door and ran the quarter mile home. Anger, grief, all inside boiling, looking to be purged, pushed me homeward. Second grade happiness would be found where my mom made lunch.

Resting on our kitchen table, steaming with freshly ground pepper, was the golden orange macaroni and cheese. A bit of butter and a few drops of milk converged with the cheese for the smooth-sweet-salty taste with which I could indulge my insatiated heart.

My mother, forever smiling, and me, upset at Heidi who was forever guiling, until soon, I, with my belly full, was no longer riling. Fair maiden was never won by macaroni and cheese, but my broken heart was oft-mended by its flavor.