Fool’s gold box

The Amazon gold box concept is already tired. The box is up to 15 items from 5 (thanks, Olivier), and it’s filled with housewares the company obviously can’t sell at retail.

I just peeked into the first item in my gold box:

“David, here is the first of your Gold Box™ offers.

Qual-Craft 2200Q Pump Jack – [Tools & Hardware]”

Not only do I not need or want a pump jack, I’m not even sure I know what it’s for.

Marketing concepts are great until they overreach and lose focus. Next time, I’ll leave the box unopened.

Gone fishin’ (and golfin’ and scubain’ and sunnin’ and hikin’)

The lady and I have pretty much decided we’ll be taking our honeymoon in Hawaii next year. It’s reliably beautiful, fun, and safe. Heck, it’s Hawaii—what’s not to like?

Next spring I’ll be learning to scuba dive, so I can join Amy in the deep water, and she’ll be learning to play golf, so she can join me in the deep rough.

As preparation, we’ll be sleeping in the Lake George Tiki Resort next Friday.

My office

In a ten-minute span at work today I witnessed:

1. A coworker practicing his chip shots with full, shoulder-high swings of a pitching wedge.

2. Another coworker doing her hair—with a hair dryer—at her desk.

We sit in an open-plan office. Both of these activities occurred within six feet of my seat while I tried to meet a Friday deadline for a client.

And one wonders why I pine for a door.

Let it be tomorrow

It’s September 11, the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on American soil, a day of tribute in every corner of the media, as if journalistic solemnity and political maneuvering will aid in our reflection of the day.

I want to ignore this day, let nightfall come without hearing any news of tributes or moments of silence or group singalongs or—heaven forbid—any new bad news. The world doesn’t want to let me stick my head in the sand, though. Everything I read pertains to the date.

The wise and least painful action would be to bow our heads at the start of the day in remembrance of those we have lost, and then to get on with the real world again. How much time and effort, money and energy is the U.S. spending on tributes? How much more could our journalists uncover, could our F-14’s in the sky observe, could our politicians do rather than cover their tails lest they be considered callous?

My heart gets heavy when I recall last year and the temporary hell in which I lived. I fill with sadness when I think of my good friend in Jersey, a noble policeman with a policeman uncle whose son died that day, a son whose wife’s face now reflects perpetual sadness, a son whose own son bears the name and a striking resemblance to the father he no longer has.

Yet the grandiose schedule of this day annoys me. President Bush yammering about attacking Iraq while our intelligence agencies have yet to finish the task of eliminating the major terrorist circles that threaten new attacks does nothing to help my personal sense of well-being. Political assurance and media hype alleviate no pain.

I suppose, though, that we need to feel this pain in order to conquer it. I believe in healing processes and honoring the brave and the innocent who died for no reason, and I must go through the process with the rest of the city, and the nation.

My heart goes out to everyone who hurts on this day, for while I was fortunate to not get hurt directly, I felt much of the same pain, and I am aware of the very real possibility that we will never again be fully secure.

For those wishing to read more, here is my journal from September 2001 and Adam Oestreich’s first-hand account of his experience downtown last September 11.

Midtown west

The hot dog and pretzel vendors of midtown west fill up their carts on West 39th Street each morning. It’s a fun sight: six or eight pushcarts all gathered together, buying rather than selling.

The newish high-rise on the northeast corner of 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue (above Chevy’s) is a beaut. The colors are fantastic: metallic hues of red, gold, orange and blue, and an arc stretching the vertical parameter of the building. The view from below the Port Authority is great.

Looking up Seventh Avenue from below 40th Street, the only thing that one notices about Times Square is ERNST & YOUNG in red neon, 20 stories tall.

Slowly but surely—and not even that slowly—the Times Square subway station is being transformed from a dirty hub into a gleaming destination. Low-hanging ceilings and gritty floors are being replaced with gum-resistant tile and waist-high, curved metal railings. The station feels very New York without feeling at all Noo Yawk. Watch the movie “Fame,” from 1980, and check out the 42 St subway station: clean tile, clean benches, disgusting cars. The city cleaned up the trains but let the stations atrophy; now many of the stations in Manhattan are gleaming with white walls, new mosaics and newly tiled floors. Finishing the Times Square station will be the proverbial feather in the MTA’s motorman’s cap.

I once worked at 1515 Broadway in the heart of Times Square. I miss the neighborhood. It has a vitality unlike anyplace else in the world.

Footwear

I have one pair of black dress shoes, a European-sole Allen Edmonds lace-up, and one tuxedo shoe, a soft patent-leather To Boot New York slip-on.

My everyday black dress shoes are formal Eccos. They need replacing.

I have brown summer loafers (also To Boot New York) and brown Kenneth Cole half-boots for the winter.

I own three pairs of Camper shoes: blue and beige suede, brown leather stitched, and black with tan laces.

With two negligible missteps, my sneakers have been Nikes since I was a boy’s size 1. My most favorite—for both appearance and comfort—were the second-generation Bo Jacksons from the late 1980s. My current pair has green-gray and black leather with bright orange laces and black soles.

My throwaround summer shoes, once the sole province of Top-Siders, are now a form-fitting pair of black Reef flip-flops.

And I have two pairs of Timberland work boots for inclement weather (one comfortable, the other more suitable for the office).

Footwear recently dispatched to Jersey Mini-Storage included the aforementioned Top-Siders, a beat-up pair of basic black To Boot New York military-style dress lace-ups, and Adidas-ripoff slide-on flip-flops with a New York Yankees logo.

I was going to write about the suits I’m having altered but my mind wandered.