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(RED)

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December 1st is World AIDS Day, so I figured that (PRODUCT) RED deserved a mention on this blog. Especially since the most awesome jacket I have ever owned is a (RED) product.

(PRODUCT) RED is a brilliant celebrity-promoted marketing stunt where “hip” companies release red-colored merchandise and donate portions of the proceeds to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. (RED) has already earned millions of dollars to combat AIDS in Africa. Participating companies include Apple and their (RED) iPod nano, Gap, Armani, AmEx, Motorola, Converse, and others.

When I first saw Gap’s (RED) leather motocross jacket in mid-October, I just had to have it. I drove to the Gap that weekend, but they didn’t have it in stock, so I checked online multiple times a day for two weeks, and got it in early November.

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I l-o-o-v-e this jacket. It is comfortable, has pockets in all the right places (esp. the sideways-zippered inside vest pocket, and looks cool. Damn cool. And half the price I paid for the thing went to a worth charity; not bad. I am so glad that November has been unseasonably warm, so I have had plenty of opportunity to wear it.

Water

A downside of trying to drink at least a gallon of water per day is having to lug 2.5 gallon containers of spring water home from the grocery store every other week or so, so I finally signed up for water delivery service.

I bought a cooler at Lowe’s, and my first delivery came yesterday.

$30 a month for 15 gallons. I may add another 5-gallon jug eventually. Price per gallon goes down the more you order, but I doubt I could drink more than that, especially since my office also has a cooler.

That works out to a few dimes more per gallon than the grocery store plus the cost of the cooler, but NJ tap water tastes terrible and having someone else bring the spring water to my doorstep is a big bonus.

Thin wallet

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Yet another drawback of having slacked off all those months with my fitness program is that all of my pants are tighter. When a man’s pants are too tight, a fat wallet becomes a significant problem. I don’t, of course, mean “fat wallet” in the good sense; that hasn’t been a problem ever since I took a job in academia.

A short while back, a few blogs mentioned the Jimi “wallet.” I was suckered in and bought one, but I tossed the thing in a drawer soon after I got it. It would have cost too much and been too much of a bother to return. The thing was not much thinner than the leather wallet I hoped to replace. It was five-eighths of an inch narrower, but it is hard, inflexible plastic. It was not at all comfortable in my front pocket, and held considerably less stuff. Screw that.

My next attempt was the duct tape wallet. 3M’s do-it yourself guide intrigued me, but I did not feel like investing the time.

ducti wallet
Then I saw the Ducti wallet. It looked stylish, had that duct tape cool factor, was accented with rivets and grommits, and was made out of something they call “Super Duct Tape.” Super Duct Tape is a proprietary duct tape that “won’t lift, peel, or get sticky.” I opted for a bi-fold with glow-in-the-dark stripes.

This wallet is, in fact, thin. It should also be nice and flexible once I break it in. Plus, it is one sharp-looking wallet.

However, I would be remiss if I did not point out one huge glaring drawback. The thing is about a half-inch TOO WIDE (4.25 inches long x 3.75 inches wide). Otherwise, the dimensions are perfect. Unfortunately, they seemed to have designed the wallet to be optimized for that goofy toilet-paper-sized money that Europeans use. Normal-sized money (the non-ass-wiping variety) gets lost down inside. Also, the wideness makes it slightly uncomfortable in my front pocket, with a noticeable outline.

I opted for the 100-percent duct tape version, rather than the duct tape and faux leather interior hybrid version. The specifications for the hybrid one list it as being a quarter-inch narrower. In hindsight, I would have gotten that one.

Again, I hope once I break it in, and the wallet becomes more pliable, the width becomes less of an issue; I do love how this wallet looks.

Futon

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Friday night I fell asleep on my futon while clearing off the TiVo. (Yes, I have a futon instead of a real couch—it’s that “lack of a woman’s touch” thing, I suppose.) Anyway, I woke up in the middle of the night with a kink in my neck and a sore shoulder and back. I decided that it was finally time to replace my lumpy, floppy old futon mattress.

I had bought that mattress and frame almost a decade ago from the graduating granddaughter of the guy who co-discovered the structure of DNA. It was a beautiful unfinished futon frame that I sanded, stained, and varnished, so it would be a shame to get rid of it.

To figure out what I wanted, I headed over to the website for White Lotus Futon. The prices did make me wince a little, but I knew they made great futons. Hand-made. Quality construction. Et cetera. I wasn’t sure what fabric I wanted for the cover, and pictures on a website really don’t cut it.

Their main brick and mortar location is just a few miles up the road. Now, if you are a Princeton alum who has graduated in the last twenty-five years, you have undoubtedly sat on a White Lotus futon—either in your own dorm, a friend’s dorm, or a room party.

So the discovery that this Princeton institution would be closing its doors at the end of the month took me by surprise. It seems their online business is so successful, that is where they will be focusing their efforts. Good for them.

Good for me too. White Lotus’ offline locations are having a fifty-to-seventy-percent-off sale for the rest of May. In seven to ten days, I will have a custom-made foam core and wool-padded futon mattress with a granite-colored sueded cotton cover. Half…price. Oh, yeah.

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