Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Recent Discoveries

Recent discoveries that have made life a little better (or, more accurately, less desperately pathetic and pointless):

Google Reader
While I'm typically the first kid on the block to get a new toy or experiment with some new technology, I've always shied away from an RSS reader. Why? I'm not sure. It's certainly not that complicated. Maybe I just thought I would prefer the pure surfing pleasure of wandering aimlessly around the interwebs, clicking whatever caught my eye. But as I got more into this here blogging thing and found myself visiting the same group of sites with alarming frequency, I checked 'em out. Since I seem to have made a pretty big bed with Google, I used their reader and found myself quickly addicted to its ease of use and convenience. In case you've avoided them like me for some reason, if you do any regular surfing, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Basically, all the sites you read feed a constant stream of new items into the reader, which resembles Outlook. Scroll through the stories, skim the content, click on the site. And you can do it from anywhere you have a connection, on any pc, without having to move all your bookmarks (though Firefox has an add-on for that, too). The only downside is that I'm OCD about clearing the list, and when I see "56 new items" I feel compelled to read them all.

Friday's Fried Green Beans
Look, my hatred for vegetables is well-known. The only one I embrace, and eat with any regularity, is the green bean. But even I scoffed at the idea of fried green beans. But I recently tried these things, and dammit, if they weren't good. Whoda thunk it? Of course, all I need is a craving for yet another fried food. (Note: The fried mac and cheese also rocks).

Sports Clips
When it comes to getting a haircut, I eschew the nancy-boy trappings of a hoity-toity "salon" where it costs $50 just to get my hair trimmed once a month (I shouldn't get too far up on that Robert Mitchum high horse, though. I do get manicures). Hell, I remember paying $3 for a haircut at the Normaltown barbershop in college (and seeing a bounced check -- for three fucking dollars -- from a frat brother mounted on the wall). And I'm probably 10 years and a few gallons of whiskey from ordering a Flowbee just to cut down on the aggravation of making that trek to the haircuttery once a month. So I've always frequented the closest the strip mall Great Clips, and remembered to bring my own SI or EW so I don't get caught reading Marie Claire or some shit for the 20 minutes it takes to get the job done. After all, my hair is pretty frakkin' simple (unlike the zippered, feathered beauty you see in the car pix from my previous post. Ye gods). So I get this coupon in the mail, and discover that there's a new "Sports Clips" just opening a couple of miles from there. It's one of those ideas that is stunning in its brilliance: an inexpensive place where a guy can go get a haircut, and have sports on the TV. No music that would make Tony Dungy or Isaiah Washington cringe. No shuffling through piles of "Wedding Monthly" magazines to find something palatable to read. Decor is simple, like a locker room, and local team banners all around, and a TV playing sports at every station. How fucking great is that? Good coupons, quick service, and you can even add a shampoo, shoulder massage (with a little device -- no "happy endings" from chicks with questionable citizenship papers) or hot steamed towel for next to nothing. Plus, come in anytime and for free they'll trim the neckline so you don't wind up doing it yourself using two mirrors and looking like you had a nasty make out session with an angry wolverine.

Good stuff.

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