Archive for January, 2021

We all know it is a good idea to keep a first aid kit on hand for those little accidents that pop up, but who says they have to be boring? The fine folks at Welly make sure there is a little fun when bad things happen with their line of first aid kits, like their Human Repair Kit.

About the Human Repair Kit from Welly:

“We know fun isn’t always safe, but it’s always fun. This pre-assembled Human Repair Kit includes bandages, ointments, and hand sanitizer. Take care of yourself, your friends and family, and maybe even your neighbor with this convenient kit. The best part is when you run out of supplies, you can always fill your kit up with more!”

Find the Human Repair Kit from Welly.

See all the fun first aid kit options from Welly.

On this Presidential Inauguration Day in the US, it is the perfect time to look back in history where it all began. We can all learn a lot from the example George Washington set – heck, just about everything he did set the precedent for all that cam after – many traditions still be followed today. And it all started when Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the new republic in 1789 – recounted in great detail in The First Inauguration (George Washington and the Invention of the Republic) by Stephen Howard Browne.

About The First Inauguration by Stephen Howard Browne:

“In this book, distinguished scholar of early America Stephen Howard Browne chronicles the efforts of the first president of the United States of America to unite the nation through ceremony, celebrations, and oratory. The story follows Washington on his journey from Mount Vernon to the site of the inauguration in Manhattan, recounting the festivities—speeches, parades, dances, music, food, and flag-waving—that greeted the president-elect along the way. Considering the persuasive power of this procession, Browne captures in detail the pageantry, anxiety, and spirit of the nation to arrive at a more nuanced and richly textured perspective on what it took to launch the modern republican state.”

The First Inauguration by Stephen Howard Browne is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.


The fine folks at Hell’s Backbone Grill run a great place to eat if you ever find yourself in Boulder, Utah. But that may be a while, so in the meantime, Hell’s Backbone Grill has an online shop where they sell great items like their Hell’s Own Farmy Pickles.

About Hell’s Own Farmy Pickles:

“Only fresh farm ingredients go into making our pickles here at Hell’s Backbone Grill. These great tasting pickles are sure to please you and everyone on your gift list. Depending on the year’s bounty and current availability/canning speed, we may have spicy summer squash pickles, dilly cucumber pickles, grandpa’s spicy cucumber pickles, bread and butter pickles, pickled beets, green beans or radishes.”

Find Hell’s Own Farmy Pickles.

Visit Hell’s Backbone Grill online.

Check out Hell’s Backbone Grill’s online shop.

Here’s a great way to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. today and any day: the Martin Luther King. Jr. ‘Dream’ lapel pin I found from the fine folks at PinMart.

About the MLK ‘Dream’ lapel pin from PinMart:

“This MLK ‘Dream’ lapel pin is designed with a pop art style. It is made with the premium quality Cloisonné process, features bold enamel colors, is gold plated and is polished to a beautiful smooth finish. An inspirational and significant pin for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to honor a special family member or to hand out at a special occasion. Each pin includes a standard clutch back and is individually poly bagged.”

Find the the MLK ‘Dream’ lapel pin from PinMart.

Visit PinMart online.

When most people hear “Jack Black” they first think of the fine comic actor. I myself am a big fan of said actor (I still think he should have won an Oscar for the underrated Bernie) but I first think of the fine skin care products when I hear “Jack Black”. Specifically, I think of Jack Black’s Intense Therapy Lip Balm which I love especially during these dry winter days.

About Intense Therapy Lip Balm from Jack Black:

“This emollient balm, enriched with superior skin conditioners and antioxidants, soothes and relieves dry, chapped, irritated lips. Unlike waxy sticks, Intense Therapy Lip Balm quickly penetrates for instant relief. SPF 25 offers optimum sun protection while guarding against windburn and extreme temperatures.”

Learn more about Intense Therapy Lip Balm from Jack Black.

Visit Jack Black online.

I am a big Snoopy fan from way back and I can’t think of a better way to bring some extra light into my home for those long winter nights than via the Snoopy Ambient Light I found from the fine folks at Smoko.

About the Snoopy Ambient Light from Smoko:

“Let’s take a trip back to the 50s with the cutest black and white beagle. Snoopy will brighten any space as he waits for you with his warm glow and bright spirit.”

By the way, Smoko has many other cool ambient lights and other neat things.

Find the Snoopy Ambient Light from Smoko.

Visit Smoko online.

I am a huge fan of the author Ken Follet, and I think I have pretty much read everything he has ever written, some of which I have presented here. However, I realized I have never posted about perhaps his best known book, The Pillars of the Earth, which started his Kingsbridge trilogy. That is perhaps because I first read Pillars before I had this forum. But now is the perfect time to revisit that epic novel as Mr. Follet recently released a prequel, The Evening and the Morning, and it just may be the best of the lot. Mr. Follet’s Kingsbridge series takes place in England in the Middle Ages and basically follows the intertwining lives of those surrounding a catherdral town. I know, it does not sound all that entertaining, but I assure you in the talented hands of this master storyteller you will be totally sucked in. Though The Evening and the Morning is a prequel to the original trilogy, it definitely stands alone and could be your entre into the the wonderful world Mr. Follet has conjured.

About The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett:

“It is 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages. England is facing attacks from the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east. Those in power bend justice according to their will, regardless of ordinary people and often in conflict with the king. Without a clear rule of law, chaos reigns. In these turbulent times, three characters find their lives intertwined. A young boatbuilder’s life is turned upside down when the only home he’s ever known is raided by Vikings, forcing him and his family to move and start their lives anew in a small hamlet where he does not fit in. A Norman noblewoman marries for love, following her husband across the sea to a new land, but the customs of her husband’s homeland are shockingly different, and as she begins to realize that everyone around her is engaged in a constant, brutal battle for power, it becomes clear that a single misstep could be catastrophic. A monk dreams of transforming his humble abbey into a center of learning that will be admired throughout Europe. And each in turn comes into dangerous conflict with a clever and ruthless bishop who will do anything to increase his wealth and power.”

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett is available in multiple formats from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.

The fine folks at New Hampshire’s own Peterboro Basket Company make a great line of baskets that will make storing just about anything in your house into a work of art. But it is the duel use of Peterboro’s Family Games Basket that really caught me eye – you play games with it and store all the game pieces inside.

About the Peterboro Family Games Basket:

“The Peterboro Family Games Basket provides the perfect family activity when you have time to play. It also makes a great gift for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas or weddings. A classic family heirloom, this beautiful games basket will be in your family for generations to come. This generous size basket is manufactured from Appalachian white ash hardwood. The lid is manufactured from ¾” solid, furniture quality, cherry and notched to stay in place on the basket during your games. The top side of the lid has a checker board, artfully-etched onto the solid cherry hardwood. Chess and checkers can be played on this side. The underside of the lid features a classic cribbage board with a laser-etched loon.”

Find the Peterboro Family Games Basket.

Visit the Peterboro Basket Company online.

I have mentioned before that when my friends and I travel together we put all our spending money into a kitty. Kitty being an old school term for a communal pot of money. One of us will carry the kitty around and we will take money out to pay for a meal or admission to an event – really anything we all do together. Over the years it has really worked out well. Also over the years we have used a series of little zipped purses with fun images on them as the holder of the kitty. And yes, we even have had purses with an actual cat on it. But none of them compare to the Red Fortune Cats Purse I found from the fine folks at Miya – purveyors of Japanese tableware and gifts.

About the Red Fortune Cats Purse from Miya:

“The fortune cat pattern on this zippered pouch is meant to bring smiles to your face as well as fortune to your wallet! (results not guaranteed…)”

Find the Red Fortune Cats Purse from Miya.

Visit Miya online.

I get a lot of mileage out of my line “I haven’t had a date since the Clinton Administration”. This line is meant to be self-effacing and make a joke out of my pathetic romantic history. Well, I have found a way to change this line in a way, now that I have found the dates from the fine folks at Rancho Meladuco.

About Rancho Meladuco:

“Our Date Farm is located in the Coachella Valley, not far from Palm Springs. Rancho Meladuco date farm began with the 4 original trees planted on our ranch decades ago. We shared their delicious fruit with friends and family and were inspired by their wows, oohs and aahs. Our founder, Joan, (a mother of three, home cook, and backyard gardener) decided to expand and begin farming dates. We use traditional farming and harvesting methods, and pack each box by hand. Visit us at the Date Shop in Newport Beach, California.”

Treat yourself and start with a small Loose Pack of Mixed Size Medjool Dates:

“We are now offering a loose packed box of our delicious, caramely medium to large sized dates! These are the same great tasting dates, but smaller in size than the dates we include in our signature hand-packed boxes. They are too nice to lump with our Grinders (which are typically the dry, small, or imperfect looking dates), so we’ve given them their own box and are now making these available separately!”

Visit Rancho Meladuco online.