November 30, 2011

Guinness World Records - Dreams and Laughter Are Found Are Found Here (review)

Guinness World Records 2012

Dreams and laughter are built with the "Guinness World Records." I know. I grew up dreaming to be included, to have accomplished some astonishing stunt or to have achieved an incredible level of physical prowess. And I laughed at the ridiculous obsessions of some of those who made it.

I'm not in it. I tried a few times with some community events in which the most people to do certain things all at once. Inevitably, we would have far too few participants to impress the editors at "Guinness World Records." It was wonderful to try.

Now, the internet satisfies a lot of my curiosities about the bizarre things people do, but the value of this book remains: to serendipitously discover the amazing people in this world. Real people do these things, and are verified by the book's staff.

Every dentist office, auto fix-it shop, and home coffee table needs a copy of this. Readers won't mind waiting quite as much.

Order up a copy of Guinness World Records 2012.

November 26, 2011

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

To clean a fish-now-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.

Knowing which toothbrush is for teeth, and which is for industrial-strength home cleaning is important. A smartly placed waterproof Band-Aid will keep order. Tape, if sturdy, could work, but there is not point in using anything except that which handy to any bathroom.

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. The taste, though remarkable, but not pleasant.

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.


November 21, 2011

Review: Bourbon: 50 Rousing Recipes for a Classic American Spirit - Nice Recipes for Party Hosts

Bourbon: 50 Rousing Recipes for a Classic American Spirit (50 Series)
I am not a bourbon fan, not in the way that complex recipes usually involve. I drink it watered down, on ice. I like it that way. Maybe a squirt of lemon or of orange liqueur. That said, my eyes (or taste buds) were opened. More importantly, I have now a tool for treating my guests with more than what I like.

"Bourbon: 50 Rousing Recipes for a Classic American Spirit" is a neat little book. Rousing recipes? That's misleading. After sampling a recipe (or two, or was it three?), I felt more relaxed than roused.

Of the recipes, given my general preferred simplicity of bourbon, "That Horse Race Pie" was my favorite. Apparently its twin brother is the very famous Derby Pie, but legal reasons limit their ability to say. Or maybe they were just being nice to the originators of the pie. Really, though, it is just a variation on pecan pie. In small slices, warmed, with adequate dollops of whipped cream (by adequate, I mean extraordinarily, indulgently generous), it is quite tasty. Good with a Colombian drip coffee, no sugar or cream. A French roast will do as well.

All the recipes are cleanly presented. If you put your drink on a folded napkin, on the spine, near the bottom, it holds open well enough. The introductions to each recipe are occasionally interesting, so, while not actually hosting a party, set the book in your bathroom for quick reading.

In all, if you, like myself, host frequent gatherings, and are looking to expand your library for luscious drinks (not, no lush library, but, with enough testing of the recipes, you can have that as well)... this is the way to go.


Review: Family Tree Maker 2011 Deluxe - Impressed: Easy to Use, Fun to Do

Family Tree Maker 2011 Deluxe
I am new to the digital genealogical world, and see this product through that limitation. That said, I am impressed.

What I wanted was a way to organize a massive amount of data. I tried Microsoft Excel, but it simply is not intended to do what I needed.

I have added numerous relatives. Each, as I have data, includes their spouse, parents, and children, along with dates and locations for all related events. I can add photos and various other media, like certificates and other supporting documentation.

Naturally, I have plenty of blanks yet to fill. I have yet to connect my family to either Noah or Adam, but, as I can, I add someone. The word is out among my cousins that I am in the hunt, and so things are trickling in.

I will see a fuller benefit when I hit a critical mass of ancestors. The process is slow going as I dig up the information. However, when I get there, I look forward to seeing my family's range and path mapped out over the years.

There is so much more here that I have yet to explore. A true, complete review will examine every feature, but for me, the ability to connect people in a clean, unlimited way is impressive.


November 07, 2011

Review: Smuckers Strawberry Jam - Remember the Best Days of Childhood with Strawberry Jam

Smuckers® Strawberry Jam - 200 case

Some eat jam because they are hungry. Some eat jam to forget. I eat strawberry jam to remember.

How many years has it been since I was six, and Nancy was six, and we both sat in the lunchroom nervously confused that first week of first grade?

How long has it been since I opened my brown bag in despair, seeing I had only half of a great sandwich? The half missing was the jam. I had two slices of white bread surrounding a couple swooshes of peanut butter.

What all has passed since Nancy, my neighbor from three doors down to the south, smiled (as she always would)and gave me half of her cleanly sliced PBJ?

Her grace and friendship then was not forgotten, and every year, every autumn, I find myself with some jam, a spoon and a smile, wondering if she remembers too.

Grade A, and fancy, and as tasty as any jam outside of your mom's recipe, Smucker's is my regular choice. I hope it helps remind you of good days when you were six.