Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thurscheese: French Raclette

A Case of Mistaken Cheesedentity

It's not that I doubt the labeling. If my cheese-club provider claims that this is a slice of "French Raclette," who am I to dispute that? It's just that I have some very specific ideas of what raclette should taste like, and I think it should be more along the lines of this and not, well, this. Not that it wasn't perfectly nice. Smooth, creamy, a little nutty, very mild rind, all good things for a cheese to be. But it's like opening a jar of almonds and getting cashews: perfectly fine, just not what I was expecting.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When Bad Marketing Happens to Good Shoes

As I may have mentioned here, I am at the moment completely in love with Timberland's line of women's casual shoes*, a fact which will become even more clear on Shoesdays to come. Because, seriously, what's not to love? Sturdy, comfortable, nice to look at and (as far as I can tell) reasonably waterproof. Price-wise they aren't exactly cheap, but they're not what I'd call that expensive, and they have good sales (see below).

One thing they don't have is very good website design, which is why it took me until now to stumble across this section. Which is slightly more expensive than their regular offerings, but all very appealing and wearable and lovely. So it's great, until you get to the marketing description of these shoes:

The Lucille collection reflects the women of the Industrial Age, with premium, enduring materials and skillful construction and stitching that's practical and rugged yet feminine. Authentic and unique styling is reminiscent of years when women depended on their footwear as much as their country depended on them, but the addition of canvas details and lighter overall designs reflect summertime adventures away from the factory floor.
Ah yes, those halcyon days for women working at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. The satisfaction of twenty-hour days! The thrilling danger of dying when the factory catches fire and all the doors are locked to keep you in! The shoes!

Yeah, not so much.

*At the moment I am trying to decide if I would rather get these or these during the current 40% off sale on their website**, assuming I could come up with a way to justify the purchase of either of them.
**Code: BFF11. Don't say I never do anything for you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Commemorate This

Sometimes you have your own ideas, sometimes you steal them from other people and call it inspiration. My inspiration today comes from this post on Regretsy, in which the author reveals that she is the proud owner of a teacup commemorating the divorce of Charles and Diana, an item so wonderfully awful that I am left cursing the cruel fate that has kept me from ever possessing such a thing. But it also got me thinking: What other misguided commemorations have been painted on cheap porcelain and offered for sale to the general public? So I decided to go to Ebay and find out.

First up, we have a little military history:

Operation Desert Storm Commemorative Mug

Sure, there are plenty of military collectibles out there, but how many of them offer you the chance to drink your coffee with a map detailing the locations where bombs were dropped. Not many. (Also available in a beer stein.)

Then, a historic cultural event:

Walgreens 5000th Store Commemorative Mug

Comes with a free biography of the seller's entire family!

Naturally, the British royalty appear on what might be considered more than their fair share of goods:

Prince Andrew Coming of Age Commemorative Cup

I celebrate the birthdays of all total strangers by buying china with their faces on them, don't you?

But American politicians make their appearances as well:

Ross Perot Commemorative Knife

They didn't sell very well, but they did manage to drive the first model of George Bush knife out of the market.

And finally, for the true collector:

Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church Commemorative Plate

Indeed, who could ever forget the events of Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church, of 1024 West Sixth Street, Williston North Dakota? Truly, a treasure for any collection of pictures of modest public buildings.

Um, Okay

I guess that's one way to get guys to notice your shoes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thurscheese: Le Moulis

Well, after that last little cheese meltdown* I think we'd better take it easy with this one. And brief, because there just isn't much to say, aside from that it is a nice cheese. Nice and mild, nice nutty finish, nice smell. It had small, evenly-sized air pockets spread evenly through it, which were nice enough, I guess, assuming they were meant to be there. You could serve this at a party and people would say, "Hm, that's a nice cheese." And you would say, "It is isn't it?" and then you could go back to talking about how you kind of miss American Idol since you stopped watching it, but not enough to spend your time actually listening to Steven Tyler talk, and they would agree, and point out that J.Lo isn't exactly one of the great thinkers of the age either.

See? That was much better.

*There's some kind of fondue-based pun to make there, I just know there is.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Do You Have Too Many Piles Of Cash Lying Around?

Think you've run out of pointless things to waste money on? Worried that somewhere out there, someone is being less frugal than you? Unsure if there are any sports left that do not have ridiculously overpriced equipment? My friend, let me introduce you to the one-hundred-and-thirty-six-dollar, carbon-fiber ping pong paddle:

The battle for rumpus-room supremacy will never be the same.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Good Idea, Bad Idea: Personalization Edition

Elegant: Monogrammed Stationary

Not Elegant: Monogrammed Rain Boots

Handy general rule: If it's something you would do to your kids' shoes to keep them from losing them, it probably isn't something you should be buying for yourself.

(Also: "Bob?")

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shoesday: Tax-Season Boot Time

With a little less than a week to go in the surprisingly-elongated tax season, (Let's hear it for Emancipation Day!) I think it's about time to take a break and contemplate some boots.* Like taxes, they are surprisingly high and will be in effect whether the government shuts down or not. Unlike taxes, they have non-functional buckles around the back, partially leather-wrapped stacked heels and make my ankles look thin.

Boots: Better than taxes.

*Already done with your taxes? Go away, I hate you.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Environmentalism Gets (Unintentionally) Creepy

I'm all in favor of people having an emotional connection to the planet; I'm just not sure I'm ready for that emotion to be lust.

Still, I guess it could be worse. EarthSloth, anyone?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

What A Difference a Label Makes

Baja hoodie from Mexican Threads: $29.99

Baja hoodie from Proenza Schouler: $1500

Looking like a broke stoner for the price of a 1997 Grand Cherokee: Priceless. Brain-thumpingly idiotic.