Archive for March, 2012 presents “Sweet, Sweet Justice.”

You’ve had enough. You’ve played their game.

We’ve all endured the tyranny of the hotel minibar, and it has gone too long. The overpriced bags of mixed nuts. The heinously expensive soft drinks. The gold-plated thing of candy beans. All of it unmarked. All of it tempting. And you, me, everyone, caught in the trap: we want a beverage, but we don’t want to go anywhere. It’s all right there — so we eat and drink our fill, only to be slapped with the charges when we check out.

Thirty-dollar candy beans, people. That’s how they get you.

But no more. Now, we need no longer submit. Now, we have a minibar of our own: the Danby DBC120BLS Beverage Center. It’s the hotel minibar, but free*, at home, and stocked with the things you love. Because you stocked it.

You’ve got so many possibilites.

You can keep it next to your couch when you watch baseball, full of brewskis for all your friends. You can keep it full of chilled trail mix, if that’s a thing you happen to enjoy. But you know what I suggest? Take it with you when you go on vacation, sit it right next to the hotel’s own, and use it instead. Fill its three black-wire shelves with full-size versions of every mini-thing they stick in there, taking full advantage of its 120-can capacity and 43F to 57F temperature range with the built-in mechanical thermostat, and enjoy your vacation. You don’t need to live in fear of the bill, buddy, because you came prepared.

That sound there? That low hum? Sure, it’s the sound of the motor keeping your drinks nice and cool. But it’s also the sound of sweet, sweet justice. Of minibar restockers with nowhere to put their wares. Of  maids wondering at the indentations in the carpet. Of hotel managers sobbing as they pace the hallways, wondering how their stranglehold on late-night snack satisfaction has at long last been crushed.

Put a hanger on the door: “Do not tread on me.” Also, you do, in fact, want turndown service.

Summer vacation just got a lot more palatable.

Stick it to those hotel chains at

*The stuff you put in it is free. You still have to buy the beverage center.

Advertisement presents “A Grill for the Fallen”

Ah, spring. The air is crisp. The birds are a-singin’. The clouds, white full, amble across the brightest cerulean blue sky you’ve ever seen. And Commander Bill “Space Ace” MacTaggart  is relaxing for the first time in what feels like years, flipping burgers on his Weber natural gas grill.

Was it really just a few weeks ago that he finally triumphed over Agaz-Umatah in that seemingly endless battle at Omega Rex? Had it been less than a month since he piloted  the California into the gaping maw of the Death Caw? He’d worked for so long, an entire lifetime it seemed, to finally rid the galaxy of its most profound existential threat, but now the work was over. Now, he could kick back, enjoy the most horrifyingly opulent government pension ever issued, and worry about nothing more pressing than making sure the burgers cooked evenly on both sides.

Oh, and they’d be cooking evenly. The Weber Genesis-series grill’s Flavorizer bars and stainless steel cooking grates would see to that. Those sear marks meant quality, he thought to himself. What a difference from the blaster sears that pocked the walls of his ship after that last firefight. Then, they signified only death, but here — a celebration of life. Of spring.

His whole surviving crew was with him, ready to eat the bounty about to come forth from its porcelain-enameled lid and expansive warming rack. Everything would be just right, he knew; he had been monitoring the cooking temperature on the lid-mounted thermometer. Nothing would go wrong. Nothing could go wrong. His wife by his side, his kids playing, his crew toasting the fallen — everything was as perfect as it could be.

The time for mourning was over. The time for family, fun, burgers, and 38,500 BTUs of grilling power was here.

Commander MacTaggart smiled. Thanks to this grill, it was a perfect day.

Star commander or no, you too can grill to the memory of your comrades at presents “Securing Your Home Against Bloody Mary”

Ok, so the first and best thing about the Nova Stealth Round Console Mirror is that it provides your home with an unparalleled level of security. How can it do that, you might ask? After all, it’s just a trick infinity mirror, isn’t? It gives you the illusion of an infinite tunnel of light, but there’s nothing terribly special about it when it comes to the safety of your home and family, is there?

That’s where you’re wrong. Because the Nova Stealth Round Console Mirror, with it’s unique and eye-catching construction, gives you the most important protection of them all: no more need you fear your children will be taken into the realm of the dead by Bloody Mary or the Bell Witch.

We all played those games as children. We’d go into the bathroom, or some other room in the house with a mirror, and we’d flip the lights off and on while chanting “Bloody Mary” or “I believe in the Bell Witch” until she would presumably appear in the mirror and drag you off. You’d be gone forever, left to torment in the spirit world. I don’t know about you, but I always chickened out at the last second. Everyone I know did. But what if your children don’t? You need to keep their safety in mind.

The Nova Stealth Round Console Mirror (and its cousins) provide you the valuable service of not reflecting your face; instead, you get an endless tunnel of light. Without a face in which to manifest, the Bell Witch or Bloody Mary simply cannot appear, and your children and your home will be secured against their vendettas or machinations or other wicked spells and whatnot.

And instead of the Bell Witch, you get to contemplate an eternal, peaceful void. If anything, it’s a pathway to a much happier land than wherever it is Bloody Mary resides. And since it’s just an illusion anyway, there’s not a chance that either of these ghosts could use it as a pathway into your home. No, they need faces, and this mirror does not provide them.

And it’s very stylish, too. It’s a Jon Gilmore design from NOVA Lamps, a leading manufacturer of modern household accents. It’s battery-powered, so there’s no unsightly cord coming off of it, and it’s made of the finest brushed aluminum. So it both looks great and protects your home from folklore ghosts.

I make no guarantees about boogeymen, phantom hitchhikers, escaped mental patients with a single metal hook for a hand, the Jersey Devil, or Spring-Heel Jack.

Protect yourself and your children from mirror-related ghosts at! presents “The Ninth of Thermador”

Bobby, hold on. Can I talk to you for a minute? You can run to lunch right after.

Ok, so, I got your paper. I had assigned you to do a report on the Thermidorian Reaction, you know, the 1794 internal revolt within the Committee of Public Safety that overthrew Robespierre and the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. When I assigned this, I had expected some pretty basic features — the Montagnard conspiracy, Jean-Lambert Tallien’s scathing denunciation on the floor of the Hall of Liberty, Antoine Saint-Just speechless before his enemies. You know, the bare outline of the coup. Not even any terribly interesting insights.

You know what I got? Let me just read this.

“The Thermador Pro-Harmony PRL486GDH Pro-Style Gas Range is a marvel of domestic engineering. Revolutionary in its scope, its Star burners provide unparalleled evenness in cooking and  its Quick-Clean Base allows for easy cleanup. Along with rust-proof titanium construction and cast iron grating, it also has a truly massive oven capacity at 4.4 cubic feet.”

Bobby, is this serious? Thermidor, Thermador. I get it. But did you honestly think I wanted a report on major household appliances for our unit on the French Revolution? I don’t care how evenly the Star-burners heat, or the optimal coverage they provide for pots and pans of any size. I don’t care about the powerful 22,000 BTU baking burners, or its superior convection function, or its removable griddle. I expected a report on a major moment of French Revolutionary history.

Although this oven does sound pretty nice. Does it seriously have a 1630 watt electric griddle? And full access telescopic racks? Man. That’s nuts. This really sounds like something I could use.

But that’s no excuse. You gave me two pages about a gas stove rather than seven pages about the downfall of Robespierre, and that can’t — it has simmer options that range between 375 to 3,500 BTU? And a thermostatically controlled grill?

Ok, Bobby. I’ll let it slide this time. But next time you pull something like this, it better be about a pretty awesome juicer.

The revolution is never-ending at where the Thermador PRL486GDH Pro Harmony 48″ Pro-Style Gas Range is still available. presents “Outbreak: The Adirondacks”

Now this is luxury. Basking in the sun in the middle of the scenic Adirondacks, enjoying the crisp air of the early spring. The leaves are bright and green and seem to stretch on into forever, as if this wood was the whole world itself. Up here, taking in the expanse of Upstate New York, it’s easy to believe that we’re the only people in the world, and that there’s no massive zombie horde almost certainly chasing us down, and perhaps even now lurking in this sylvan wonderland, stalking between the trees in dread pursuit of our flesh and blood, that they may feast.

So just kick back, relax, and take a seat on any one of these beautiful Adirondack chairs.

I’m a pretty big fan of this one, the Cedar Delite Western Red Cedar Small Adirondack Chair with Exterior Stain. It’s made with 100% beautiful Canadian Western Red Cedar in that classic Adirondack style that just screams “weekend at the Finger Lakes with FDR in a world totally not swarming with the undead.” I mean, yeah, FDR had to fight a war, but that’s gotta be less stressful than the collapse of all human civilization under the weight of a zombie plague. So let’s just pretend that never happened for a few days and relax. We’ve got a lot of travelling ahead of us coming up.

No, I don’t hear anything.

Nothing is more relaxing than this elegant, sloping grain. We can lay out and forget our horrifying worries, and dream a little dream of swimming and brandy and little tiny hot dogs on sticks. And unlike our deathly pursuers, this wood is extremely resistant to decay, so it’ll be looking beautiful long after this entire continent has been abandoned to the walking dead.

Stop panicking. Nothing’s out there, probably, and even if there is, there’s nothing we can do about it, so let’s just kick our legs up on this Rectangle Western Red Cedar Coffee Table, set your drink down on the Red Cedar Atlantic 17″ Round Table, close our eyes, and drift off. If the hordes burst in tonight, I want them to see how utterly unconcerned we were, and how comfortable and refined, before we start breaking it apart to use as weaponry.

Zombies or no, has all the Adirondack chairs you could ask for. presents “The Universal Constant”

There it is, Marty.

This is the most inexplicable thing I have ever seen. In all my travels across timelines and parallel universes, in my journeys through space and time across sixteen dimensions, this is the one constant, the one universal standard that never varies, and against which a plane of being may be measured and found wanting: The Bertazzoni A304GGVXE Master Series 30″ Pro-Style Natural Gas Range.

I’ve seen Americas where Huey Long led a revolt against the dictatorship of Charles Lindbergh.  I’ve been to Earths where the Mayans conquered Europe and altars are erected  to Ixtab and Ah Pukuh in Paris and Rome. I’ve traversed dimensions where the stars never coalesced, and radiant intelligences undulate across clouds of inert gas.  And in them all, there is always this Bertazzoni range.

Isn’t it stunning? How humble the universe must be! How inscrutable! Because whatever marvels there may be, whatever unimaginable wildernesses and galaxy-spanning wonders, there doesn’t seem to be a single universe that lacks its triple-glass door or balanced air-flow fan. Worlds wildly disparate — from the world where Agaz-Umatah merged with the galactic core to form a supermind that makes human intelligence look like that of a rock to that where dreams interact with space with all the certainty of gravity — all possess this same natural gas range. It seems there is no universe imaginable without it’s 15,000 BTU Dual-Wok burner or its subtle, delicate low-simmer function.

Don’t you see, Marty? It’s stainless-steel construction and convection function are not only marvels of domestic engineering, but fundamental and immutable universal attributes. One might not be remiss in suggesting that existence itself hinges upon these four sealed burners and an unmatched ability to broil.

In addition to being a fundamental universal constant, the Bertazzoni A304GGVXE Master Series 30″ Pro-Style Natural Gas Range is available for sale at presents “The World’s Greatest Leprechaun”

Skippy McShamrock was, undoubtedly, the world’s greatest leprechaun.  He would, in a few short years, completely revolutionize his people’s way of life. No more cobbling, no more hiding pots of gold. Those were the old ways, for the old men, who still kept both their red beards and the old seasons, who waxed and waned with the year.

“This is a new age,” he would say, “and those traditions are dead. We need no longer wait, no longer hide. We are entrepreneurs in the world’s fastest-growing industry!” Everything about him screamed progress, future, success, technology. He kept a smartphone. He kept his wealth in banks. He didn’t feel the need to taunt and mock — this was the end of the mischievous leprechaun of old. No, all the old things have passed away.

No more the artisanal furnishings; in his office, McShamrock kept only the most modern decor by Euro Style. Everything, from his desk to his couch to the delicately engineered sculptures he kept  by his window, was furiously modern. He liked to keep things minimalist; it made him feel like he was falling — no, racing — into the future. McShamrock had no truck with tradition. He was a revolution unto himself.

He poured himself a brandy into a stark and geometric glass — no more pink hearts, orange stars, and yellow moons for him, for this was fast becoming a changed world — and reflected on how he kept his home the same way. Enough of the old hobbit holes! His was a modernist poem in leather and glass. He kept it clean and undistracted, with his curved, single-piece glass console table, and his Valencia leather lounge chair. He was determined to make a strong fashion statement: this was the time for the new.

He looked out of his window, at the vast expanse of Leprechaun society below him, the bustling mess of horse carts and automobiles, the roughspun peasants and the burgeoning middle-class. They looked only to themselves. But Skippy McShamrock was a great man. He looked only forward.

Don’t let Skippy McShamrock think he’s better than you; all of the above items are available for sale at presents “Hey you! Get in here!”

Listen, kid! This is a newspaper, and that is news! A super-powered vigilante swinging up and down the city? He’s a menace, and I don’t care that you’ve got a big midterm coming up  — I expect photos on my Butler Connoisseur’s Writing Desk in time for the morning edition! You can sleep when you’re dead!

You may be just a freelance photographer, but I write your checks, and I sign them right here, on top of this warm chestnut finish! These Gemelina solids are putting you through college to that fancy-pants science degree, and I expect you to do what I say, and when I say I want top-notch photos of Bug-Man or Web-Lad or whatever he’s calling himself before the crack of dawn, you had better get me those photos before the crack of dawn! 

It took me a lifetime of work to earn my place behind these delicate gold highlights and dovetailed storage drawers, so don’t be a slacker!

I’m a busy man, too! I like nothing more than going home and kicking up my feet on my Butler Metalworks Octagonal Cocktail Table, but instead I’m here burning the midnight oil! I expect no less from my photographers, especially with that insect-themed threat endangering this city! Why, he could drop out of the sky at any moment! The public needs to be informed, and not even it’s distressed cherry veneers or hand-forged metal base can pull me away, so I won’t have you slouching just because you need to brush up on particle physics!

I swear, if I don’t get enough photos from you to fill up my Artists’ Originals Tobacco Leaf Chest, you will be out of here as sure as it’s rich brown finish was applied by skilled artisans! Why, that masked troublemaker managed to take out half a city block in Midtown during his fight with that Doctor Whatsisface maniac, and I need your photos to expose him for the plague he is! And I’ll do it, too, or my name isn’t —

Hey. Where’d the kid go? Always vanishing on me, that one. presents “They Fight Crime!”

So. The ratings are low, ad revenue is down, and you need a hit on the cheap. Something we can explode out of the gate without needing a huge budget. Well, have I got an idea for you:

The Incompletes. He’s a down-on-his-luck ex-truck driver from the wrong side of the tracks who plays by his own rules. She’s a fast-talking expert statistician with a gambling addiction and nothing left to lose. Together, they’re taking down Jaros Zarka’s criminal syndicate — one bastard at a time. It’s 21 Jump Street meets CSI meets Hill Street Blues meets NYPD Blue. And the best part? Everybody in it is nine years old.

We can skimp on the sets by scaling everything down so that the kids look like adults. It’s genius. And I know just how to do it: Fun Furnishings. These are teeny-tiny, kid-sized furnishings perfect to help scale the set down. We can do sofas, chairs, and, um, beanbags. Nothing says “prime time vigilante drama” like a well-placed beanbag chair. It just screams action and drama. And even if it doesn’t — it’s not like we’re spending a lot of money on this.

They’re perfectly scaled, inexpensive, and made entirely out of lightweight, flame-retardant foam. And they have unmatched versatility — the sofas and chairs fold out into sleepers, so they can double as beds! All we have to do is get the foley guys or whoever to pick ’em up and move ’em to over to another part of the set, toss a blanket down, and boom! We got a bedroom! Perfect for our grizzled heroes to angst about how they’re gonna stop Zarka’s latest nefarious operation.

And there are so many different colors and patterns — our sets will never get boring even we stay under budget! The kids will be engaged in full-on pitched battles over colorful sofas in Zarka’s decadent office. Sure will look great in HD! And for more somber scenes? The Central Park Sleeper Sofa‘s got that covered, too.

I can see it already. Right where ER used to air, we put on The Incompletes — no, they won’t be able to tell they’re kids. Just stick fake goatees on ’em and nobody’ll be able to tell the difference.

The viral marketing alone will make us millions. presents “Just a Regular Cowboy”

I do believe I am the rootin’est-tootin’est buckaroo ever to muster cattle in Branford County. I drive them steer up and down the river, mud everywhere and coverin’ everything, stinkin’ to high heaven with that musty smell you only ever get from cattle. I sleep in the ditches and dirt, warmed by the fire, comforted only by the thought that when I get home, I’ll be greeted by the most striking, elegant accent pieces west of the Mississippi.

Now, this may not be la-dee-da New York City, but after weeks on horseback and eatin’ beans from a can, it does me good to remember that my ranch cabin is most elegantly accoutered, and that right next to the bull whips and muddy boots — well, not right next to — I’ve got these absolutely lovely handmade, blown-glass sculptures.

I get covered in filth and loam, and Lord knows that’s how a man’s s’posed to be. Yesirree, I’m a salt-of-the-earth sorta fella, who works with dirty hands and saddle sores. I eat my steak rare, culled from the herd, lookin’ out over the Rio Grande. My hands are calloused, my boots worn, my hat broken-in and blown. That’s why  I keep home full of singing angels, elegant, furiously modern candlesticks, and these spectacular wall sconces. When I walk in from a month-long cattle drive, it’s good to know I’m the only cowboy with enough interior design sense to accent the whole dusty frontier image with beige and caramel glass decor.

No, mounted horns and horseshoes above the door just ain’t for me. If I’m gonna work like a cowboy, well, by Golly I’m gonna live like I’m on Park Avenue. Care for some brie?

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