You are currently browsing the Breaching The Web blog archives for February, 2005.

Balls!

February 22nd, 2005

I spent an enjoyable hour yesterday looking for glass balls on the Oregon coast (note: this article is a year old, but the same thing is going on this year). I didn’t find one, but I had a fantastic time. I’ve never seen such glorious weather on the Oregon coast in February.

I used to be cutting edge

February 19th, 2005

Top 100 Gadgets of All Time from Mobile PC (found via BackUp Brain. When I graduated from high school, my parents gave me #27. It was so cool. I discovered bulletin boards and usenet on that computer. When I was a freshman in college, most of my friends couldn’t understand why I needed my own computer, let alone one that I could cart around with me.

I won’t tell how long I kept — and used — that computer. It’s embarassing.

Seen with Farrah

February 17th, 2005

Am I the only person who immeadiately started singing “‘Cause I’m the unknown stuntman that made Redford such a star” while reading about the push to get an Oscar category for Hollywood stuntmen?

New fav

February 16th, 2005

I recently participated in a tea swap organized on the Teamail yahoo group, and I discovered an outstanding new-to-me tea. It’s the Winey Keemun blend from Grace Tea Company. It’s a blend of teas from the Keemun region of China, and it has an amazing depth of flavor, like the Assams that I love, but without their eye-opening astringency. The Winey Keemun is bold, a bit smoky, and layered, with a pleasant, lingering aftertaste. I have only a bit of my sample from the swap left, but I will definately be ordering some of this in the near future.

Still, nonetheless

February 15th, 2005

I’ve spent the last 2 months feeling weird about my Moleskine, since I didn’t own one until everyone started talking about them, and yet I haul it around everywhere with me, making little notes and (in certain boring meetings) perfecting a magnificent doodle on page 14.

But recently, I suffered two Moleskine disasters that have erased whatever ambivalence I felt about it: first, an an entire 1 liter bottle of water got spilled in my bag and onto my ’skine, making the bottom center part of most of the pages warped and weird-feeling; and second, I left it at home today. These two disasters, the second coming hard on the heels of the first, have made me realize just how dependent on the little thing I’ve become. I’ve tried carrying notebooks around before, but this one has the mojo — it’s so spendy that I’m afraid of losing it (so I keep close tabs on it!), and I’ll feel guilty if I don’t use it (so I do). Using it has made me more organized.

So I may still be a poseur, but at least I’m an organized poseur.

Andrews Sister

February 14th, 2005

I was at the airport in Milwaukee last week, at the end of a fruitful, but difficult, business trip. My plane wasn

Cool words

February 7th, 2005

I couldn’t let this series of tea posts come to an end without sharing my very favorite tea term: Agony of the Leaves. This refers to the twisting, opening, and dancing of tea leaves as they are steeped in hot water. Some teas, especially display teas, put on a spectacular show as they brew.

I find it ironic that agony soothes me.

Hearty

February 4th, 2005

A newly released study has found that drinking three cups of black tea a day reduces the risk of heart attack. As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s relatively rare to see black tea included in studies like this, so I was very glad to find this article. I’m a two-cup-a-day black-tea-drinker. Does this mean I must increase my consumption? Gosh, that would really be too bad!

I do plan to start drinking more green and white teas this year. I’ve not liked most greens I’ve tried, but they have all been of the tea bag variety, and I suspect that loose leaf greens will have a little more oomph. So look forward to some green tea musing in upcoming months.

No smoking

February 3rd, 2005

A Michigan company has banned smoking at work and at home for all employees. The company, Weyco, is a private firm that processes insurance claims. The company stopped hiring smokers in 2003. The total smoking ban for existing employees was announced some months ago, and significant smoking cessation support was provided. Many smokers quit, but four who continued to smoke decided to quit rather than take mandatory urine tests.

Owner Howard Weyers plans to go after obese employees next, bringing in counselers and weight loss experts to motivate people to lose weight. However, obese employees are legally protected from firings, at least in Michigan.

This method of enforcing of private morality by employers isn’t new. In the first part of the 20th century, Henry Ford ordered that all Ford Motor Company employees stop drinking and smoking. Today we have medical methods to identify smokers (continine tests) and drinkers (breathalyzer tests), but back then, Ford set up a special office to spy on employees to make sure they did neither (In the process, Ford also fired employees caught cheating on their spouses).

But is this a good idea? Well, I certainly think that people should not drink to excess or smoke or cheat on their spouses, but I also think morality should not be an employer’s concern. To the extent that private moral or lifestyle choices make business more expensive by driving up insurance premiums or lawsuits, then it makes sense for employers to charge smokers more for insurance (which Weyco did before canning all its smokers), but beyond that, I think firing people for sucking on cancer sticks is beyond the pale.

I’m a non-smoker, but if I worked for Weyco, I’d try to find a new job before the boss hired spies to make sure that I wear my seatbelt on the drive to and from work.

The Perfection of Tea

February 2nd, 2005

Onkar Singh Kular, a British designer, has come up with a simple and elegant — yet delightfully manipulative — way to get the perfect cup of tea. He will make a mug for you that is just the right shade of brown or beige or tan, that way you can instruct people to make your tea the exact color of the mug. You can order the mugs from him directly by sending him the Pantone chip number you’d like.

Alternatively, you can order a Pantone color chart from his website (kularsoflondon.com) and hang it on the wall, then everyone can choose their own color and write their names on it.

Kular has other innovative products as well — such as mis-shapen silverware for those who tend to eat too fast — which he plans to mass produce and sell in the near future. I wish they were available now. I really want one of those mugs, and I know people who are in desperate need of that silverware.