Teacups from China

Assembled
Disassembled

I ordered these “Lazy Tea Cups” from the Guilin Tea Research Institute, in China. The shipping time was an anxious 2 months.

They are rather fragile, but not to worry — the packaging was absolutely insane. Each of the round white cannon balls contains another cup, and they could be used on a soccer field. The box in the background was completely filled with dense packing material; the box was completely covered in packing tape. Felt like you could drop it from an airplane.

They are a joy to use.  The tiny saucer is actually functional — it insulates your hand from the heat, making it quite comfortable to carry the whole assembly in one hand…

Guilin Tea Reasearch Institute

Reflections in a martial arts school…

A number of years ago my wife and I enrolled our daughter in a martial arts school.

A number of years ago my wife and I enrolled our daughter in a martial arts school. After watching for a few weeks, we decided to join up as well — “What the heck — seems like a good way to get exercise…” Fifteen years later she no longer goes, but we have progressed to the point where we teach at that same school.

It’s a very kid-friendly place. There are periodic half-day “kids camp” events where a couple of hours are spent teaching martial arts, and a couple of hours are spent playing “ninja games” where they can run and scream and roll around to their hearts content. Parents love these events, because they are usually held near holidays, and it’s cheap daycare.

Recently I was eating a sandwich during the lunch break following a bout of ninja games, looking over 50 kids in random happy groups spread across the mat eating, lunch boxes, paper bags, insulated sacks, soda cans, water bottles, juice boxes, conversation and giggles all over the place. All kinds of crumbs, as well — we have to quickly clean the whole mat before activities can resume.

Sitting there, I’m thinking about how remarkably well all these kids get along, when it suddenly occurs to me that this is a totally integrated scene — asian, black, latino, middle eastern, white, and undetermined in roughly equal portions. It was beautiful, and for a  moment I could be proud to be human.

This guy knows what he is talking about…

This guy is an appliance repair technician, and knows what he is talking about…

Originally shared by Keith Wilson

Don’t Wash the Dishes Before Washing the Dishes

All too often I talk to customers who spend a great deal of time and effort pre-washing their dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. If you’re using a dishwasher manufactured in the last 10-15 years, pre-washing is probably not necessary. If you’re using a dishwasher manufactured in the last 5 years, pre-washing is definitely not necessary. Scrape the major food particles from your dishes and load them into the dishwasher. If the dishes have been sitting long enough that the remaining food had dried completely, wet each dish thoroughly before placing it in the dishwasher, again making sure the major food particles have been removed. Some food is necessary for the enzymes in your dishwasher detergent to work properly. Make sure the incoming water is at least 120°F by running the hot water at the kitchen sink until it gets hot. For best results, don’t use gel dishwashing liquid. Use powder or pods instead. The powder and pods contain enzymes that do a great job cleaning your dishes. The gel just contains soap and sand. Soap and sand do not clean dishes well and scratch your glasses.