Ben and His Fire Engine

Ben and His Fire Engine, originally uploaded by edkohler.

Just in case Cariann hasn’t thought of anything to get Ben for his birthday later this month, here’s something that he just LOVED at the CES press event tonight.

Strangely, this was one item that didn’t have the press hovering over it throughout the night. They’re too serious.

Compact Florescent Lightbulb Packaging

Compact Fluorescent 27 Watt Spiral, 100 Watt Equivalent, 5100K Full SpectrumSeth’s Godin raises a good point about compact florescent lightbulbs. Why is the packaging so crappy?

“Lightbulbs are simple. Lightbulbs come in simple packaging. They represent a trivial decision. You need a sixty watt bulb, you buy one. Cheap, please.

CF lightbulbs, on the other hand, didn’t used to be cheap (they used to cost $10. Now it’s $2). Far worse than that, they come in horrible packaging, packaging that belies the entire point of the exercise. Installing a CF lightbulb isn’t jokeworthy. It’s harder.”

I imagine some of the first people to be motivated to install CF bulbs would be environmentally conscious types. So why the heck would you try selling them bulbs packaged in ridiculous plastic shells?

There’s gotta be a better way.

I think the wattage conversions could also be more clear. Yes, they display the differences, but this stuff needs to be SIMPLE as can be.

First Receipt of 2007

First Receipt of 2007, originally uploaded by edkohler.

Receipt #10001 at 7:04am on January 1, 2007 at Dunn Brother’s Longfellow.

Carly and I had to walk around the block twice waiting for it to open.

What Superhero are You?

Determining superhero status is spreading like a virus in the blogosphere and I’ve caught it. Here’s my diagnosis:
You are The Flash

The Flash
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
Green Lantern
Fast, athletic and flirtatious.

Click here to take the “Which Superhero are you?” quiz…

My Almost Missing Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a Google Alert set up for my name, so whenever a new page appears on the web mentioning me, I get an email. Kinda cool. And less time intensive than active ego-surfing.

Tonight, my name popped up on a LiveJournal page from Team Boobylicious, a group of locals who are raising money for the Twin Cities Breast Cancer 3-Day with a bake sale. I ordered 5 dozen chocolate chip cookies after hearing about it. Jenni from Dodgeball is one of the organizers.

According to their 3-Day page, they’ve raised $1,500+ to date and have 11 team members.

So, here’s what scared me in today’s Google Alert:

questions: 1) does someone have ed kohler’s order? i don’t have it in my bag.

Holy crap, my cookies went missing for a while. Luckily, they’ve been found and should be arriving tomorrow night. How cool.

Oh, and Carly’s off chocolate through Christmas, so I may need some help eating 60 cookies. Any volunteers? Sitter Finder Web Site

I’m probably not the biggest expert in the world when it comes to finding baby sitters, but I read about this site,, over at Rick Klau’s blog then checked it out with a few local searches, and think they may be on to something here.

Basically, they’ve combined a directory with a rating system to help you find GOOD sitters that you may not have known about in your neighborhood. This is good for the sitters, which get more work, and obviously good for parents who are looking for the occasional night out while leaving their children with someone they can trust.

See, the web is good for things other than p@rn.

Hummingbird Feeders

PA030025v2, originally uploaded by sarahsflickr.

Any ornithologists in the crowd?

Does anyone know the trick to getting hummingbirds to come to a feeder? I had no luck at all with this when I tried last summer. The only thing the feeder attracted was ants I found floating in the feeder’s juice that became sun bleached clear after months with no action.

I’ve heard it helps to have the feeder near some cover, such as perched next to cardinal flower in the garden, but looking at the feeder in this photo, it looks like it’s totally exposed next to a cement wall.

What gives?

City Squirrels Study

Some folks down in Chicago are researching the behavior of the often seen but rarely researched rodent:

But squirrels have their shortcomings.

Sometimes they forget where they buried their nuts, although Brown said their sensitive noses allow them to sniff out ones hidden by their neighbors.

And while someone once swore to Brown that squirrels look both ways before crossing the street, they’re apparently looking for something other than cars. Robert McCleery, who completed his dissertation at Texas A&M on urban and suburban squirrels, outfitted squirrels with radio transmitter collars and found that 80 percent of them died under the tires of a car or truck.

What I’d like to know is why they can’t leave our pumpkins alone:


What can be done to make city squirrels stick to nuts rather than viewing non-squirrel food as a tasty meal? Do you have squirrel-eating-pumpkin issues in your neighborhood? Maybe it’s something unique with South Minneapolis city squirrels.

May Day Cafe Breakfast Burrito

A friend of mine was in town from Superior, Wisconsin this weekend, so I dragged him to the May Day Cafe to try their breakfast burrito. I found out about this particular breakfast burrito based on a Google search for “minneapolis breakfast burrito” so I figured it was worth checking out.

The quicky explanation: this breakfast burrito sucks.

Breakfast Burrito at May Day Cafe

Breaking it down: The only thing going for this breakfast burrito is the price. At $4.95, how can you go wrong? Well, let me explain the ways:

1. The salsa is about as spicy as ketchup. Imagine something half as spicy as Pace Mild Salsa, then cut that in half. I know we’re in Minnesota, but seriously, this is ridiculous.
2. The burrito contents were basically potatoes, onions, and cumin.

3. The potatoes were cold. They had been cooked, so they weren’t like raw-hard but they were NOT warm. Seemed like they were a day old.
4. The chips served with the burrito were nothing to write home about. Nothing special. Crispy, thick, probably store bought.

Here’s where I really had a problem with this breakfast burrito: NO EGGS! Seriously, if you order a breakfast burrito wouldn’t you expect it to contain eggs?

Put this all together with looking at a bearded woman while trying to eat it, and I can assure you I won’t be back anytime soon.

For those who’ve been to the May Day, please please please let me know what I should order next time I go.

F-ing Capri Sun Packaging

capri sun, originally uploaded by Eryn P..

I met a dude named Mike tonight who brought up a good point about Capri Sun. Basically, he says one of these days a Gen-X’er will land a job at Capri Sun, possibly in product development, and explain to them that their packaging sucks. It will go something like this:

Gen X’er: “Yo, the packaging sucks.”

Capri Sun Lifer: “You don’t like Capri Sun?”

Gen X’er: “No, I love the juice, but the packaging sucks. I can’t get that damn straw to puncture the package, and if I get one with a dull straw, I’m totally screwed.”

Just take a look at this poor kid. It looks like his father is trying to help him get a taste of Capri Sun goodness, but the kid doesn’t know how to use a straw yet. Notice how the person holding the Capri Sun package is squeezing the package. That’s just asking for trouble because it will leak out around the straw causing a sticky mess.