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Botanica's ORGANIC GARDENING The Healthy Way to Live and Grow (non-fiction)

Posted by WhosPlayin on 2005/3/26 20:32:56 (2295 reads)

ISBN: 1-57145-818-2
$24.95 - Laurel Glen

I found this book on the bargain rack at Borders for $5.99. I'm very impressed with this text.

The first part of the book is general tips about what it means to garden organically, with tips about how to manage the soil, deal with pests, and how to plant and harvest.

Most of the book though, is a very impressive reference for the various types of flowers, herbs, and vegetables that you would want to grow in your garden. It's just chock-full of color pictures of each type of plant, and gives specific tips about the growing of each plant as well as how to use the finished product and control pests and diseases common to this plant.

Rating: ***** (5 out of 5)

Keyword: No BS

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Febreze (Fabric freshener spray)

Posted by WhosPlayin on 2005/3/26 20:20:00 (3422 reads)

How on earth did people get by back in the days before Febreze? Gosh, that would have been way back in the 90's. Oh yeah... we actually used to WASH things to get rid of stench.

Febreze is one of these yuppie products that sort of plays into our general lazyness. The purpose of the product is that you spray it onto any fabric that stinks, and it sort of masks the stink with a perfume.

To it's credit, it does smell good, and it is easier to use Febreze than to get out your upholstry steam cleaner. We have two dogs that love to sit on the couch and roll around on top of our bedspread, as well as two kids who like to aim vomit at beds, chairs, and couches whenever they are sick.

I like to spray Febreze on my bed after I make it each day. (Stop laughing - sometimes I make the bed...)

The worst thing about Febreze is that it costs a fortune. For less than half the cost, you can by a generic equivalent at Wal Mart.

The even better alternative to Febreze would be if the manufacturers of laundry machines would actually manufacture something large enough to wash a comforter so that people wouldn't be forced to use products like this.

Utility Rating: **** (out of 5)
Value Rating: ** (out of 5)

Keyword: No BS

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Welcome to the my No-BS product review section

Posted by WhosPlayin on 2005/3/26 20:05:42 (2457 reads)

It seems like there's way too much marketing hype out in the marketplace, extolling the "virtues" of every piece-of-crap dinky product that they want us to buy.

I buy a lot of things, and quite often end up disappointed. It's not because I shop indiscriminately, but mostly because a lot of products are designed more for the purpose of selling than using.

For instance, take your average new house: I have a house that was built by Fox and Jacobs. The longer I own this house, the more I realize that they cut every corner possible in order to keep the purchase price low. In the long run, it's made the maintenance and energy costs higher. They used the cheapest air conditioning unit and the cheapest ductwork they could find. As a result I've had to replace both, at substantial cost and only after spending a fortune on electric bills. When I recently went to replace a carpeted floor with laminated wood, I discovered that the idiots hadn't even swept or cleaned up the floor from the initial construction before laying the carpet! There was drywall mud splatters everywhere!

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Marketers care more about your initial impression of the product than your long term satisfaction.

Sure, there are consumer magazines and services, such as Consumer Reports (which I highly recommend), but even these services only evaluate the product over a short period. They don't have to LIVE with the product.

Every day, I pour (and spill) coffee from my KitchenAid coffeemaker that has a stupidly designed carafe with a flat plastic spout that is impossible to pour from without spilling. The designers were so concerned about the look of the product, that they failed to consider that simpler is better. A simple glass "beak" spout like the old coffeepots had would have been easier to manufacture, and better. Yet, it's not just KitchenAid. Look at coffee pots next time you're at the store: They all look fabulous, but nearly every one from all brands neglects to make the carafe pourable.

So, welcome to my No-BS product reviews, where I promise to tell it like it is, about the products that I've purchased and live with.

Feel free to post your own reviews, but only subject to these criteria:
1. You must not be affiliated with the company that makes the product or service.
2. No marketing-speak or other vapid BS talk.
3. You must actually OWN or USE the product, and have had sufficient experience with it to be able to give the straight scoop.

Keyword: No BS

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Laundry, Happiness, and the Circle of Life

Posted by Fluffy_the_Great on 2004/6/10 20:54:19 (2423 reads)

The beginning... the middle... the end.

Here it is the 10th day of the month June in the year 2004. There are, and have been for about a month, many commencement speeches being orated throughout the country. I've heard one myself, as my youngest brother has finally finished being owned by Pilot Point ISD. Yea for him! But I was taken by the definition of commencement... where one thing ends and another begins. I like that idea. I've never really thought of it in those terms, but I believe alot of things should be viewed this way.

Let's talk impermanence. Everything is impermanent. There is not one thing that is forever. And, if something were to last forever, how would anyone here know about it? I hate doing laundry. And I think the reason I have such disdain for the chore is because it's ongoing. Impermanent, if you will. I would love to "get the laundry done," but it doesn't happen and it is actually very frustrating. However in my frustration I have found very little solace, but some nontheless. There's been a moment in time recently when I had to say to myself, "Baby, you're DOING laundry as the laundry will never be DONE." I know it doesn't sound too deep, but to me it had real meaning. I should find happiness in impermanence.

hmm... happiness in impermanence. hmmm.... I guess doing the laundry is a sign that the clothes are being worn, and that means my beloved family is out getting dirty or sweaty, which shows they're healthy enough to move around, or at least get crud all over themselves. Yes, this is a stretch. But God, wouldn't anyone need to stretch a little to find happiness in laundry? -unless it was clean and fresh smelling and put away and someone else did the work- I mean, COME ON!

I must leave this underdeveloped essay to attend to ... can you guess?


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