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Site du Jour of the Day

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November 1999

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Featuring the Third Annual Site du Jour of the Day Holiday Shopping Guide,
Return of  Bah! Humbug!

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(991101) A to Z Singapore Website
http://www.atozparenting.com/

Adrian Goh
Singapore

Banner advertisements for this site tout "Everything about Singapore!" and from the looks of the content and the domain name (http://www.atozparenting.com/), the site realized a change somewhere along the way. Pointers make up the bulk of the content here, sections such as Singapore Childcare Centres give tips and tricks about locating day care for parents and children in Singapore, and reflect what may have been the original direction. The added content makes the site shine, and for information on everything Singapore this is a good place to start. Navigation is simple, pages are clean, and the pointers are very useful. A nice new site to explore.  (Back to top of page)


(991102) Net.B@nk
http://www.netbank.com/

Netbank, Inc.
Alpharetta, Georgia, USA

There used to be a time when we knew the first names of the tellers at our bank, and they knew ours. It seems that today keeping the name of your bank straight is a big enough challenge, with the mergers and takeovers and basic turbulence in the banking industry. If you are using direct deposit it's entirely possible that you haven't been into the branch at which you opened that checking or savings account for quite a while, assuming of course, that the branch is even still open. So with that in mind, you don't see the people who were the bank, nor do you see the building, possibly only the service charges and statements. Unless you live in a major financial center it's also possible that your current bank is based in some city you've never even been to. Net.B@nk keeps that isolation as they have for over three years now, and as a Federal Savings Bank your deposits are insured by the FDIC. Customer service issues can be addressed by calling their Atlanta area operation or with your browser. Net.B@nk operates almost exclusively through the Internet. No fancy branches to maintain, no mystery tellers behind the counter, no excessive fees to speak of and what may be the best part — interest bearing checking with no minimum balance! Most regular banks require depositors to keep a lot of money in a checking account to avoid fees, even more to collect any interest. Net.B@nk offers as much or more than most conventional banks including ATM privileges, debit and credit cards, unlimited electronic bill paying, investment accounts and loans plus around the clock account access. This is not meant to be a direct endorsement of Net.B@nk or any other financial institution, but it sure is nice to see a bank completely remove the pretense of hometown personal service in order to get business.  (Back to top of page)


(991103) The Speedtrap Registry
http://www.speedtrap.com/

Andy Warner
The Speedtrap Registry, Inc.
Nashville, Tennessee, USA

On Halloween I had the pleasure of seeing Elvis Costello and Steve Nieve in concert at Sunrise, Florida. It was a great show, one of the best I've ever seen and I'm still singing the "I'm a lucky fellow, I met Elvis Costello" song in my head. The trip from Fort Myers to Fort Lauderdale was a pleasant hour and a half drive, with autumn colors such as they are in the Everglades in full glory. Interstate 75 now extends across the state from Naples, and if you haven't been on that route for a while you might not recognize it. State Road 84, better known as Alligator Alley was replaced by the modern Interstate Highway a few years ago. The Alley used to be a two lane road that was at best a dangerous drive.

The new road bed is raised and consists of bridges every so often to let the critters roam unharmed. In the old days it wasn't uncommon to see and/or make squished raccoons, birds, panthers, deer, turtles, snakes or alligators. Not counting the human error factor, speeding could be very dangerous. Even now with the faster road the Alley has a lot of accidents and as we drove on Sunday it was obvious that idiots still rule. Despite the fact that Florida State Troopers were out in force, drivers were doing well over the posted 70 miles per hour speed limit. The Troopers were writing plenty of tickets as you can imagine, yet idiots were still blasting by. Both ends of the Alley spill into other highways today but back in the glory days of SR 84 there used to be areas where traffic was heavy and speed limits dropped quickly — classic speedtraps. Your brake lights go on and the light bar starts to spin. Often necessary to control traffic and save lives, it's no real secret that certain law enforcement agencies use these slow zones as revenue generators.

The Speedtrap Registry is a collection of reports on just such locations, alerting drivers of potential problems if traffic laws are not obeyed. Many times they are at the end of bridges or lonely stretches of road, sometimes in the middle of town, near hair trigger traffic lights. The United States account for most of the entries here, but it is only one of 37 countries listed. Ideal for visiting before traveling through unknown parts, The Speedtrap Registry takes submissions and can help drivers who may be unaware of local customs. Clearly stated at the site is the fact that "These pages are not an effort to undercut the efforts of police to control motorists' speeds on dangerous roads". This information may ultimately help visitors avoid an expensive ticket, but more importantly it may save lives.  (Back to top of page)


(991104) The Hunger Site
http://www.thehungersite.com

The Hunger Site
Bloomington, Indiana, USA

It's highly likely that you have already received a message or two about The Hunger Site since it was launched back in June. If you haven't yet visited the site here is the basic premise — sponsors each pay one half cent per impression when visitors to The Hunger Site see their advertisement. In turn, The Hunger Site makes a cash donation to The United Nations World Food Programme (http://www.wfp.org/index.htm) to provide food assistance for hungry people in over 80 countries. As with most charities, a fee is taken off the top of each donation for administrative expenses but this was only the case at The Hunger Site through August. A 14% chunk was taken at that time and now the full revenue goes directly to The United Nations World Food Programme who use a relatively small 9% for administrative costs. Visitors can feed the hungry once a day, and if you haven't been to The Hunger Site for a while you might consider it. Thanks to Shell and T-Bone Trendall for both suggesting this site and the associated cause.  (Back to top of page)


(991105) Showcar Visit The 33th Tokyo Auto Saloon
http://altern.org/showcar/

Ronaldo Souza
Porto Alegre, Brazil

Part of Showcar (http://www.showcar.net), a set of pages originating in Brazil and spread out over several different servers, Showcar Visit The 33th Tokyo Auto Saloon has a look at the amazing world of pre-production "dream cars" from Japan. An important step in the development of new car line, the concept car is basically a prototype used to test and show off new technologies and features. More often than not, production of these vehicles is never fully realized. Safety regulations and economic factors often prevail, but touring the automobile if for no other reason than to make other manufacturers take notice, or to make the kids drool is the rule. Showcar Visit The 33th Tokyo Auto Saloon has images and specifications which appear to be lifted from promotional brochures and literature and opposed to being gathered at the actual auto show. Some of these cars will see the open road eventually, and many will mark a radical departure from the standard conventions held sacred by the Big Three in Detroit. For a look at the future of the Japanese Auto Industry this Brazilian site is a must see. Far from comprehensive, gearheads will long for more information but most visitors should be impressed with over 40 new shapes and sizes.  (Back to top of page)


(991106) AlexWarp
http://www.tiac.net/users/axlrosen/alexwarplarge.html

Alex Rosen
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

rather than repeat
episodes both short and sweet
review in haiku

still no decision,
manipulate bill gates' head
with rival product.

 (Back to top of page)


(991107) Space Telescope Science Institute/Hubble Space Telescope Public Information
http://oposite.stsci.edu/

Space Telescope Science Institute
operated for NASA by
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc.
Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

amazing pictures
complete with descriptive text
this bird sure can see

   (Back to top of page)


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(991108) BroadScape.com
Free 19-Inch Color Computer Monitors
http://www.broadscape.com/

BroadScape.com, Inc.
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Site du Jour of the Day episodes have looked at a couple of sites which feature computer giveaways, "free" desktop computers which display advertisements and sometimes require contracted Internet service. Reports back from readers who have participated in these promotions have conveyed a degree of skepticism, but so far there have been no real bad experiences. BroadScape.com recently entered the "free computer" arena, with a twist though. They are going to distribute only monitors. In March of 2000 they will ship 100,000 19-inch color monitors. The catch is that the end user must agree to view advertising while on the Internet. No Internet Service Provider requirements, you can even use AOL without conflicts. The agreement stipulates that you must view a minimum of 10 hours of provided content every month for 30 months while on-line. The advertising will show up independent of your browser giving you a 17-inch space to do your normal thing. When using your machine for other tasks, the advertising interface closes and the total viewing area is once again available. These services demand a great deal of personal data on the application and even though monitor prices have come down in price over the past few years, this still looks like it may be a good program if you are a US resident over the age of 18. (Back to top of page)


(991109) SPowerChannel
Free PCTV Internet Connection Box
http://www.freepctv.net/

PowerChannel, Inc.
New City, New York, USA

Here is yet another variation on the "free" computer/Internet trend, The FreePCTV Program PowerChannel is offering US residents a box which will sit atop your television set and provide free, unlimited Internet access. In return, subscribers will be required to submit answers to a questionnaire every month with no obligation. Advertising is how this device will be paid for, and for people used to using a television set for e-mail and browsing, this could be a serious alternative to paying for the service. For folks not quite up to speed, like parents and poor students this could be the perfect introduction to the Internet. At least that's what the folks at PowerChannel, Inc. are banking on. There are no shipping dates posted at the site, and with so many different companies offering the world to people willing to give up precious demographic data it's hard to gauge the legitimacy of this or any other offer. Proceed with caution and remember that you often get exactly what you pay for.  (Back to top of page)


(991110) Carp Fishing Network
http://www.carp.net/

Carp Fishing Network
Rolla, Missouri, USA

Everything you've ever wanted to know about carp fishing and conservation, all set up and ready to go. From bait to photographs, pointers to product reviews, it's all here. This site may not have an instant appeal for everyone, but if you enjoy fishing or just being in the great outdoors then have a look. Hats off to Mike Baker for suggesting this site.  (Back to top of page)


(991111) Latvian Michael Jackson Fan Club "The Music Master" Page
http://ieva05.lanet.lv/~sd60044/Club/

Latvian Michael Jackson Fan Club "The Music Master"
Riga, Latvia

_________________________________

Squeezing Out Sparks - Graham Parker WWW Site
http://www.grahamparker.net

John Howells
Morgan Hill, California, USA

Earlier in the week I was listening to Squeezing Out Sparks + Live Sparks, a Graham Parker and The Rumour reissue on Arista Records. This particular CD package takes full advantage of the length of the format, the original album and a live version of the album are both on the disc. Originally issued in 1979, Live Sparks was recorded in San Francisco and Chicago and issued as a promotional set to radio and retail. The track sequence is the same on both "sides" of the disc, with the exception of two additional numbers on the live side. The album ends with Mercury Poisoning, a song originally put out as a single on Stiff when Graham Parker was fighting with a former label. The second to last track is a cover version of a song written by the staff at Motown, I Want You Back (Alive). As far as Motown covers go, it's one of my favorites and during one of the cheesy keyboard fills I started thinking about how good a song it really is. The Jackson 5 had a big hit with it just over thirty years ago, and these two versions sound just as good today. My thoughts then turned rather mercilessly to what a freak show Michael has become. The nose, unfortunate skin condition and divorce from Lisa Marie Presley really shouldn't count against him. Life can be cruel that way, but the monkey and llama and the little boys… These two sites look at completely different artists and have the complexity you would expect to match. The Latvian Michael Jackson Fan Club "The Music Master" site contains two versions of the same site, one presented in a Latvian Language version and the other in an English language version. The work of a group of Latvian fans, there are pictures, discographies, poems and a couple more photographs of the kids when they traveled to Tallinn, Estonia to see the gloved one in concert. Pointers to other Michael Jackson sites more than make up for any lack of content here. Squeezing Out Sparks - Graham Parker WWW Site, on the other hand has all sorts of news and information about Graham Parker and also affords visitors the opportunity to ask "Chairman Parker" a question or two. There is also a periodic column written by the artist as well. Here too, pictures, lyrics, release information, tour dates and concert reviews round out the site and what a site it is. A fantastic resource for Graham Parker fans everywhere, including Latvia. Maybe it's a foolish idea, but wouldn't it be fun to see Michael Jackson and Graham Parker put out an album together? At the frequent rate Graham Parker puts out new material it might be just the thing to jump start Michael Jackson's career again. I'd buy it the day it came out.  (Back to top of page)


(991112) OnHealth Calculators
http://onhealth.com/ch1/interactives/calc/index.htm

OnHealth Network Company
Seattle, Washington, USA

As winter falls upon us in the Northern Hemisphere there is a great temptation to let that extra layer of blubber grow to fight the cold. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere you know just how difficult it is to get ready for the warmer weather, especially fitting into your summer clothes. OnHealth's collection of calculators may be the first step in determining how fit you are, and could prove to be the motivating factor in getting a move on for your own health. Calculators include such marvels as the body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, target heart rate, sleep and cardiovascular fitness. Even folks already in great shape can benefit from the ease in use of these calculators, saving time and tracking data at home are just two of the benefits. Part of the OnHealth Interactive Tools (http://onhealth.com/ch1/interactives/index.asp) at the colossal OnHealth (http://onhealth.com/) site, these elements may prove to be the first step in an exercise program that could adds years to your life and help you enjoy the here and now a little bit more. Suggested by TheREALJoeyP who knows it's always wise to consult a physician before starting out on a new adventure.  (Back to top of page)


(991113) A Long Drive
http://members.tripod.com/~PHILKON/sleep.html

Phil Konstantin
San Diego, California, USA

Back in April, long-time Site du jour of the Day reader Phil Konstantin suffered a devastating loss. Robyn, Phil's wife was driving from Florida headed back to California. Fatigue brought on by hours on the open road caused Robyn to lose control of her vehicle and she later died as a result of the unfortunate crash.

As a subscriber to Phil's List - (http://americanindian.net) I received a message on Friday inviting visitors to read a Public Service Announcement Phil has put together. The message read in part,

"Please forward this Internet site to your friends and family. Unlike some e-mails, this one does not promise you luck if you forward it along, but it might save a life if you do. Click on the link and read the story: (http://members.tripod.com/~PHILKON/sleep.html)".

Earlier this year, with the help of the California Highway Patrol, Phil recorded a PSA for television stations to air and it is obvious that Robyn is missed by many. At one time or another, we have all been behind the wheel for periods longer than we should have been. Please read this story and consider the message it contains. (Back to top of page)


(991114) Mantrack's Auckland Webcam
http://www.mantrack.co.nz/webcam/webcam.cgi

Mantrack New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand

In addition to seeing the trees and traffic in Auckland's Victoria Park, visitors to this page at Mantrack's (http://www.mantrack.co.nz) site can also see the Auckland Sky Tower. That makes this shot worth seeing — the Auckland Sky Tower is the tallest structure south of the Equator! Mantrack has offered payroll and employee information management solutions to firms in New Zealand and Australia since 1982 and this image comes from the place where it all started. Keep in mind that the current time in Auckland is over half a day ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), so depending on where you are it may be dark there. For a live indication of who is in daylight around the world, pick a time zone and see the graphic at The Official US Time page (http://www.time.gov/). New Zealand is southeast of Australia.  (Back to top of page)


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Return of  Bah! Humbug!

Bells will be ringing and the ka-ching of cash registers will be too. It's time again for holiday retail rush, and as much as we enjoy driving around, fighting the crowds to find that perfect gift, the thrill of watching names fly off of our list without even going out can be very nice. For the third year running, Site du Jour of the Day episodes will look at retail sites offering their goods and services in a special theme week, this time called Return of Bah! Humbug! For a look at the latest picks and those from previous years, see the Site du Jour of the Day Archives for November 1997 (http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/9711.htm), November 1998 (http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1998/9811.htm), and November 2000 (http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/2000/0011.htm). Site du Jour of the Day does not have a direct affiliation with any of the businesses featured in this series so as always, use your best judgement if ordering from them. Prices listed were accurate on the date the original episode was mailed, things may have changed.

(991115) Incredible Stuff at Unbelievable Prices: American Science & Surplus
http://sciplus.com

American Science & Surplus
Skokie, Illinois, USA

When it comes to shopping for the person who has everything, American Science & Surplus is the place to start looking for a gift. Between this site and the newsprint catalog American Science & Surplus mails out, at times you'll swear that you are looking at stuff the folks at Archie McPhee, Outfitters of Popular Culture (http://www.mcphee.com/) (SdJotD 971112) might be selling if they hadn't gone all high-falootin' with that full color catalog of theirs. Scientific and consumer surplus items are the rule here, things you may have seen advertised on television at one point or really cool high-end components bought in bulk with the savings passed on to us. Supplies are often limited with merchandise like this but that only adds to the thrill of discovery. Perfect for tinkerers and kids who know how to reset the circuit breaker when it blows, bring your imagination along when you visit this site. You never know what will turn up, or how items can be utilized. Mostly small gift items here, the sort of strange and unexpected things that "would be perfect for…" A few immediate picks would include the following:

Alarming Ornament

A Christmas tree ball that looks like a disco mirror ball and also serves as a fire alarm!! The 2–1/2” silver faceted ball with hanging loop has a heat detector inside. Power it with a 9 V battery (you buy) and it will wake the whole family with a 90 Db scream when the temperature hits 122° F. Pretty alarming? Pretty and alarming!

32057 ALARM ORNAMENT $7.50 / each

Hot Key Chain Light

Sweet key chain with a built in flashlight and a heated tongue that can be extended to slide into your car door lock and de-ice it in seconds. It carries (2) “AA” batteries (that you supply) in a 3” x 1–1/2” x 3/4” black plastic box which also has the flashlight and retracting de-icer tongue. A split ring for keys is attached via a 2” chain. We recommend against keeping it in your glove box.

30723 DE-ICER KEY CHAIN $5.75 / each

Wagon Lights

Thank heavens! Some things do not change. One can still find steel Radio Flyer™ “little red wagons.” To bring the security and nostalgia of that universal childhood memory into every home, we have a 9-1/2ft string of (10) tree lights with plastic “little red wagon” covers for each light. Each wagon is 3” long, has the “Radio Flyer” insignia on the side, and is loaded with brightly colored holiday boxes! They'll look particularly great on a mantle or doorway!

30910 RED WAGON LIGHTS $12.50 / each

Elvis??

Might be! The pictures on these “tapestries” vary widely in subject and color. We have spotted a Viking driving a dog sled (with red or green clothing against an ice, snow and sky background), James Dean (in a color scheme that will fit anywhere), John Elway and others from the worlds of fantasy, movies, sports and who knows where else. 54” tall x 36” wide, the images are printed on light fabric with a slight nap and a basted edge. The supplier said Elvis might be in there. We’ll send (3) fun wall hangings to increase your odds, but we absolutely will not search out any requested subjects. Even the King.

29656 TAPESTRY $15.00 / 3

American Science & Surplus requests a minimum purchase of $10.00 not including shipping, and as of right now they do not ship to addresses outside of the US. That fact almost excluded them from this series of episodes but they have too much neat stuff to ignore.  (Back to top of page)


(991116) The Sportsman's Guide
Hand-picked, field tested, outdoor gear at low prices.
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/

The Sportsman's Guide, Inc.
South St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Gary Olen hand picks the items offered in the mail order catalogs and through this site. He writes the copy for both as well. Another fine example of surplus and close-out deals, The Sportsman's Guide offers things that will amaze and amuse. From branded wristwatches to fly fishing outfits and survival gear, The Sportsman's Guide is better than your local Army - Navy store by a long shot. The new clothing deals here are just about perfect, size availability can be a limitation with certain items but overall most visitors will find items to ponder. Quantities are limited here, especially with some of the imported items. A section called Deals of the Day has bargains galore. While much of the merchandise offered here is ideal for hunting and out of doors use, it is amazing what shows up on a regular basis. A buddy of mine has been ordering items from The Sportsman's Guide for over a year now and he has nothing but good things to say about the accuracy and speed of orders. Get on The Sportsman's Guide mailing list if you like what you see and read here, it's one of the most entertaining catalogs in print. The following is just an example of what is in the catalog and for sale at this site:

'Tis the season for 12-Gauge Lights™. Have a blast decorating your home with Christmas cheer!

Light up the night with a sure-shot thing of beauty! New string-to-string 12-ga. Lights are UL-Listed for both indoor or outdoor use. Safety-fused cord is 14' long with 10 lamps, each spaced 15" apart. If one lamp burns out, the others stay lit. Yes, the lamp cases are genuine name brand brass-tipped red and green shotshells…

One Color Shotgun Shell Lights
Compare at $25.00
Your Choice
SPECIAL $19.97
Today's GREAT DEAL Price $14.97 !! (an example from Deals of the Day and a wonderful addition to the decorations at a wedding reception - Ed)

If you drive a well-built Ford vehicle, you need a precision-crafted FORD Wristwatch…One of these rugged sporty-looking Watches should be on the wrist of every Ford Truck and Explorer owner! …What's more, these Watches were never sold in stores. They were created as a bonus incentive for Ford dealers. Now that the promotion is over, I was able to pick up a limited supply of these 2 styles at a great price. Hurry! Order online now to get a Ford for your wrist.

!!! Limited Quantities !!!
W99-23014 - Ford Watch with Leather Band
SPECIAL $19.97

Reel in my 16-pc. Fly Fishing Combo Pack for JUST $20!

You'll be smiling from ear to ear with all that comes in this Combo Pack.

6 Dry Flies and 6 Wet Flies...hand-tied in the most popular patterns

5-oz. Fly Floatant keeps flies floating higher and longer without an oily finish

Rustproof Retractable Vest Reel to hold tools

Line and Leader Trimmer

Pocket-sized 41/2 x 3 x 1" deep Fly Box is flexible, high-impact plastic with a ripple foam interior so it won't crush flies

Solid brass pin hinges...non-glare finish

Order a Combo Pack today!

16-Piece Fly Fishing Combo Pack
SPECIAL $19.97

RUGGED used Swiss Mil. Jacket has 8 POCKETS to tote your gear. JUST $17.97!

Slip this tough-as-nails Swiss Mil. Field Jacket on. You'll LOVE how tough and water-resistant the 50% poly / 50% cotton fabric is. Wear it hunting, camping and for manhandling chores. There's a metal zippered front with 7-snap storm flap. A drawstring hood protects your dome. Pockets? There are 8...2 breast with snap flaps, two 9 x 10" front, three 6 x 8" inside with Velcro closures, and a smaller 3 1/2 x 4 1/2" inner pocket. Waist and hem drawstrings to lock out cold. Has reinforced elbows, button cuffs and shoulder epaulets. Made in Switzerland. Weighs 3 lbs. Condition: used, in good shape. There may be minor sewing repairs but no bullet holes. Satisfaction guaranteed.

!!! Limited Quantities !!!
Used Olive Drab Swiss Field Jacket
SPECIAL $17.97

International orders are welcomed although there are a few limitations in regard to exactly what can be shipped. The Sportsman's Guide prices are well below suggested retail, and with the unique nature of these products there might even be a few things you'll want to order for yourself.  (Back to top of page)


(991117) BOOM! Enterprises®
Malls & E-zines for Baby Boomers, Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs and Baby Boomer Grandparents
http://www.boommalls.com/frontpage.html

Marcia Brown Rubinstien and Eytan Rubinstien
BOOM! Enterprises®
West Hartford, Connecticut, USA

BOOM! was originally featured as Site du Jour of the Day back in June 1998 (SdJotD 980616), with the e-zine end of the site as the main focus of that particular episode. This time around it's the three different BOOM! Malls the Rubinstiens have put together. Originally Affiliate Program selections called "stacks" which suggested books and music and complemented their newsletter, the hand-picked items have grown is size and depth over the years. Items are not purchased directly from BOOM!, but instead from online retailers such as Amazon.com and BookCloseOuts.com — the difference between shopping directly with these other sites is that the leg work is done for you while the prices are often lower than otherwise offered. Not to mention the fact that Marcia and Eytan see a financial return for referring the sale. What visitors will find here are text heavy pages full of deeply discounted Books, CDs, Videos, and Software and of course, the BOOM! E-zines for Baby Boomers. If you do not have the time or attention span to round-up great ideas for the holidays let BOOM! do it for you.  (Back to top of page)


(991118) BowlingShirt.com
http://www.bowlingshirt.com/index2.html

Cruisin' USA
St. Louis, Missouri, USA

The Bowling Shirt might be the closest thing to a perfect piece of clothing ever made. Classic color combinations, commercial sponsorship emblazoned on the back to keep costs down, and no matter how many of your pals have the same shirt, yours is different because it has your name embroidered on the front. To top it all off, the bowling shirt is the only athletic apparel designed to be comfortable for people of all sizes — all the while with plenty of room in the sleeves for throwing a bowling ball and hoisting a few brewskis. Cruisin' USA has kept the spirit of these classic garments alive, they offer a multitude of styles and color combinations for outfitting individuals or groups. Imagine the fun you'll have buying custom made, matching shirts for every member of the family and then all going to church in them! Nostalgia is the key here, new styles based on shirts you either donated to the thrift shop years ago or put out to pasture to wax the car with. Sometimes a beautiful bowling shirt will run away from home, escaping from the back of closet while you are at work. Now you can replace that shirt you know was there the last time you looked, and get one for a loved one while you're at it. Heck, these shirts would look great on anyone. Maybe even an entire bowling team. Follow the pointers and have a look at Cruisin' USA's Fab Fashions from the Fifties - Cruisin' USA Cybermall (http://www.cruisinusa.com/index2.html) while you are here for more clever gift ideas.  (Back to top of page)


(991119) maplecreek Canada
gourmet foods, gifts, crafts, woodenware
http://www.maplecreek.com/

maplecreek Catalogue ltd.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The product line at maplecreek is not huge, but every item looks to shine with quality. From the Bentwood boxes containing maple hard candies and decorated with traditional Pacific Northwest Aboriginal designs, and the two sizes of mini handmade Birch Bark Canoes filled pure maple goodness in the form of syrup and candy, it's clear that the people at maplecreek Catalogue ltd. have a handle on gift-giving. Their line is not all maple products either, clothing accessories, printed goods which include calendars and art cards, plus a few other surprises including West Coast Aboriginal arts & crafts all complement each other and are Canadian made. A special target market for maplecreek Catalogue ltd. is Japan, and a full set of pages reflect that consideration. They offer a liberal guarantee on all products and ship world-wide. Service is impressively quick, I ordered several items on Wednesday morning and received shipping confirmation on Thursday morning. Through the speed of airmail and the fine Post Offices of the US and Canada, the package arrived on Monday! Five days from order to delivery with a weekend in the middle — Vancouver to Fort Myers. US residents will be interested in the current exchange rates which favor the US Dollar. Prices listed are in Canadian Dollars, and even without the differences in currency value, are still quite reasonable. The handy Exchange Rate utility makes shopping maplecreek that much sweeter. For a different kind of gift basket or hand-crafted treasures, have a look at maplecreek.  (Back to top of page)


(991120) American Spoon Foods
Catalogue, Recipes and Gourmet Foods
http://www.spoon.com/

American Spoon Foods®
Petoskey, Michigan, USA

The message Site du Jour of the Day reader Bob Cox sent in to suggest American Spoon Foods could not have been more to the point. It included the URL and stated "Simply the best". After spending almost an hour poking around at the American Spoon Foods Catalogue it was clear that he was correct. Northern Michigan has almost perfect growing conditions for wild and cultivated fruits and nuts — cherries and apples in particular. American Spoon Foods was started in 1979 when Justin Rashid harvested wild morel mushrooms and sent them to New York to be included with other fine foods served by Larry Forgione. The scope and scale of the hunting and gathering increased to the point of putting up preserves. Dubbed "Spoon Preserves" as they required a spoon rather than a knife to spread, popularity and demand has increased to the current line which is offered at this site. More than just a catalog, visitors will find among other things, the American Spoon Recipe Book full of uses for the products offered here. If you enjoy sour and tart foods, or know somebody else who would appreciate Spoon Fruits, preserves, jams & marmalades, fruit perfect & compote, fruit butters, sauces & condiments, Salad Dazzlers & vinaigrettes, or just pure dried fruit, then set aside a few minutes to explore American Spoon Foods.

Quoted here are new products offered by American Spoon Foods, imagine if you will, pages of this sort of stuff:

Cherry Peach Salsa
We couldn't be more excited about a new product! Our R&D Chef Chris Chickering's new Cherry Peach Salsa is a truly beautiful "Fruitland" salsa of whole Montmorency Cherries, Red Haven Peaches, onions, peppers, herbs, and spices. A true fruit salsa with a balance of heat, sweetness and acidity that everyone seems to love. As good to cook with as it is with chips!

Pumpkin Chipotle Roasting Sauce
This new sauce is a delightful surprise. Chef Chris Chickering was inspired to create a sauce that incorporated the wonderful flavors of autumn with Native American vegetables. This rich and complex sauce of pumpkin, butternut squash, apple cider, chipotle peppers, brown sugar and spices is absolutely wonderful on salmon and other seafood, as well as pork and poultry.

Cherry-Berry Nut Mix Jar
The perfect gift in a classic gift jar neatly tied up with a bow. This handsome glass jar will arrive filled with a pound and a half of our famous, colorful and sublimely delicious combination of Dried Red Tart Cherries, Dried Blueberries, Dried Cranberries, almonds, and pecans make this the ultimate trail mix. All of our dried fruits are unsulphured and contain no preservatives or artificial colors. A superb natural snack for travelling or cross country skiing. Put a dish out at your next party. Your guests will love it and your gift recipients will always have a place in the kitchen or the coffee table for fresh refills of the family's favorite snack.

Six retail outlets, distribution to other retailers, telephone and catalog mail-order all compliment American Spoon Foods' Online Shopping pages. In this day and age of seriously over processed fruit products, the goods here will leave your mouth watering just reading about them. Because making a decision could be the ultimate challenge, you may wish to consider a gift certificate.  (Back to top of page)


(991121) Elderly Instruments
Musical Instruments, Accessories, Recordings, Books, Videos
http://www.elderly.com/

Elderly Instruments
Lansing, Michigan, USA

You do not need to have a musician on your list to shop Elderly Instruments, although their selection of new and vintage instruments is superb. Traditional music fans will find the full range of Compact Discs and video tapes amazing. Prices are often lower than most, and the depth of recordings carried is all but unmatched by the large chains. Album listings are somewhat vague unfortunately, but rest assured, if Elderly Instruments goes to the trouble of stocking the title it'll probably work for you. If you have the time and inclination, look for a site for the artist and/or record label for more information about a particular album and then return to this site. I have purchased items from this company several times, both with cash money and by mail order. Every transaction has been a pleasurable one, the staff members are knowledgeable and professional. Serious music and instruments from serious people. If your local independent music retailer cannot get it for you, look no further than Elderly Instruments.  (Back to top of page)

Vist the Site du Jour of the Day Archives for November 1997 (http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/9711.htm) and
November 1998 (http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1998/9811.htm) to explore the two previous Bah! Humbug! theme weeks.


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(991122) Losing Common Ground
It's not 'only' a baseball stadium
http://www.blueear.com/archives/issue_8/stadium.html

Michael Betzold
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

an essay at

Blue Ear
Global Writing Worth Reading
http://www.blueear.com/

American World Services Corp.
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

My most recent visit back to Detroit in August held a special pleasure, the bonus of seeing one last game at Tiger Stadium before the team starts a new season in a brand new ballpark. My wife Jenni and I had made our peace with the old park a few years earlier, neither one of us expecting to ever see another game at "The Corner," a place where Detroiters have enjoyed watching and playing the game of baseball for over a century. Getting in another game wasn't really the significant element. Instead it was taking in an evening at the park with my brothers and my dad. During the course of the game we figured that even though we'd seen countless games, it must have been twenty years since we were all there together. The Tigers lost early on, after the Tampa Bay Devil Rays broke up a scoreless game by whacking a Grand Slam in the second inning. That was fine with us, we were happy to just soak up the experience of Tiger Stadium one last time.

Many fans of the game, in Detroit and other places, tried in all earnest to keep the team from moving out of the only stadium left in the Majors with obstructed view seats. Michael Betzold is one of those people. A paragraph from his wonderful essay at Blue Ear helped tie months of thought and years of memories together.

"When I was a kid, I went to Ladies' Day games, where women and children under 13 could sit in the upper-deck seats behind first and third base for 50 cents. I had no inkling I was in the best seats ever built in a major-league baseball park, right on top of the action. I figured all cities had ballparks like ours."

I can remember thinking nearly the same thing. Discussing my thoughts and feelings about losing Tiger Stadium with Jenni when I arrived home to Fort Myers, I mentioned how as a kid my imagination allowed me the liberty of seeing myself as an old man at that very park. Of all the things about Detroit, this was the one that always seemed the most likely to be around for my grandchildren to enjoy. The city had already let far too many historic pieces fall off of itself even by the time I was ten years-old. They would never ever consider letting go of this tradition, at least that's what many of us thought. Big money in a big game changed all of that. When the new park opens next April, Tiger fans will flock to the games until the novelty wears thin and/or it becomes clear that the current line-up stinks. They'll go home and stay there, waiting for a big winning streak or sucker promotion to get their rumps in the seats. The Tigers will have moved from the oldest, emptiest park in the American League to the newest, emptiest park in the American League in less than half a season. I may or may not go the next time I'm in Michigan, between the strike a few years back and losing Tiger Stadium for the sake of more money, it will depend on my degree of apathy toward the game. With the 1999 season done and gone, this last full week of November may be a little too late to say goodbye to a building where a few of us learned that it really does matter how you play the game.  (Back to top of page)


(991123) PBS Previews - PBS Online
http://www.pbs.org/whatson/previews/

Public Broadcasting Service
Alexandria, Virginia, USA

PBS Previews is a weekly update announcement about programming being aired by local PBS stations. All too often PBS has the best shows on television, and depending on how much television you watch, it's easy to miss an excellent hour or more of quality entertainment. Last week they ran a special on New York, New York — the city so nasty they named  it twice just to warn you off. It traced the history of the city and proved to be the best thing running all week long. The pages here feature pointers to the individual shows and to local stations for schedule information. Satellite schedules are included for viewers who have the receiving equipment and interest. PBS Previews is also available as an e-mail newsletter, an easy and convenient way to keep track of what's on the tube. Sign up at this site or send e-mail to (mailserv@pbs.org) and in the body of the message type: "sub web-update".

While on the subject of PBS (http://www.pbs.org/), a Site du Jour of the Day reader by the name of Moon suggested NOVA Online Search (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/search.html), a very handy tool for discovering a vast amount of information about things which have been featured on the program. NOVA is produced by WGBH (http://www.wgbh.org/) in Boston and for over ten years, has been bringing some of the best science television to the world. This site is ideal for looking up information on so many subjects.  (Back to top of page)


(991124) Tulleeho
Drinking out in India
The only Indian online guide to bars and other such like alcohol serving places
http://www.tulleeho.com/

Vikram Achanta
New Delhi, India

In what basically amounts to a Local's Guide to the watering holes of India, Tulleeho looks at a growing list of establishments throughout the country. Unlike anything one might find in a travel book, Tulleeho should be required reading for anyone headed to India and curious about nightlife beyond the hotel bar. Share your experiences with other visitors and the people behind Tulleeho may even pick up the tab for that evening so long as the room isn't already listed. While looking at this site, it tickled me to learn that there is a bar in New Delhi called Rodeo. The review of the place is typical of most at the site. Plenty of extras make Tulleeho worth exploring even if India isn't a destination any time soon.  (Back to top of page)


(991125) ArloNet - The Official Arlo Guthrie Home Page
http://www.arlo.net/

Dave Downin
Laurel, Maryland, USA

As traditional as the parade welcoming Santa Claus to the big department store in town and the football game a little later on, Arlo Guthrie fits somewhere in the middle of Thanksgiving Day festivities here in the United States. Arlo Guthrie's now legendary recording of Alice's Restaurant will be played by radio stations around the country, to be enjoyed by young and old alike. Not distributed to radio this year but available at ArloNet - The Official Arlo Guthrie Home Page is the Alice's Restaurant Massacree Concert / Radio Show. Storage considerations will limit the length of time the show is here for listening and downloading, two different sizes of the RealAudio and MP3 files are scheduled to be here for at least a week longer. Visitors interested in the lyrics to Alice's Restaurant will be happy to find them along with those of other songs. Traffic is bound to be heavy here during the day so do not give up if it takes a while to get a connection. Checking back later in the evening or during the weekend may be prove to be a good plan. There's a lot more than Alice's Restaurant at ArloNet - The Official Arlo Guthrie Home Page and a visit any time during the year is highly recommended.

Site du Jour of the Day episodes will resume on November 29th. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day!  (Back to top of page)


(991129) Tinfoil.com
Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders
http://www.tinfoil.com/

Glenn Sage
Portland, Oregon, USA

While looking for early recordings of holiday music this weekend I came across a project called Tinfoil.com. Glenn Sage the person behind it, does not collect wax cylinders so much as he works to preserve the sounds they contain. In the very early days of recorded music and voice, sheets of foil were loaded on a rotating drum and cut or etched by vibrations from a human voice or small orchestra. Tin gave way to wax within a couple of years and the beginnings of a huge industry and art form took hold. This site explains the history of the phonograph, an invention which seems so simple by the standards we have today, but was a marvel of technology back in December 1877 when Thomas Edison perfected it. While the people and machines of the late 1800s and early 1900s are nice to read about, it's the one hundred plus year-old sounds that make this site a must see/hear. Every month a different recording is featured and is available in WAV or RealAudio format. Low-tech goodness complete with chewy scratches, ticks and pops. The Cylinders of the Month Archive houses previous recordings as well, back to January 1997. As you listen to these things, keep in mind the brute force required to make them — a bank of a dozen or so machines set up in front of the performers, performers who's mean production values where determined by how loud and clear they could be for two minutes. Then think about how fragile a piece of wax really is.

For individuals who have wax cylinders on hand, make sure to see the pages about their care and consider the possibility of having Glenn Sage transfer them to Compact Disc or tape for you. The life-span of such recordings is drawing to a close, copyright and performance rights issues are minimal, and there are many of us who would be interested in hearing as much of this stuff as possible before it goes away. In return for the transfer, your treasure may end up as a Cylinder of the Month. Not a bad deal and from a preservation standpoint, it cannot be beat. Here's a chance to get up and dance to a song that was a hit before your (grand)mother was born.  (Back to top of page)


(991130) The Virtual Gramophone:
Canadian Historical Sound Recordings
http://www2.nlc-bnc.ca/gramophone/src/home.htm

National Library of Canada
Government of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

While the Recording Industry took off in the United States, and Edison was perfecting his wax cylinder process an interesting thing happened. Instead of using wax and unique live performances for every recordings, the Berliner company of Montreal changed the business forever by making masters on flat zinc dies and with them pressed hard rubber disks for sale and distribution. Mass production, better sound quality and a new set of patents came out of the competition to sell recorded music. The Gramophone set the standard for the next fifty years with records that played back at seventy eight revolutions per minute.

This set of pages at the National Library of Canada will eventually explore the history and results of the first fifty years of recorded sound in Canada. Using pieces from the Recorded Sound Collection at the National Library of Canada, RealAudio Streams are presented and represent the finest works from Canadian performers and Canadian record companies. Currently available are wonderful early examples from Berliner 7-inch discs (1900-1909) and Berliner 10-inch discs (1901-1915), as well as biographies of the people who helped the industry become what it is today and descriptions of the technologies utilized. Quite a few people have put a lot of time and effort into the preservation of this material and it shows. If you enjoyed visiting Tinfoil.com Early Recorded Sounds and Wax Cylinders (http://www.tinfoil.com/) (SdJotD 991129) then this site is for you. The collection of pointers to other related sites, The Virtual Gramophone -- Resources on the Internet (http://www2.nlc-bnc.ca/gramophone/src/links.htm) is an important stop for anyone interested in learning more about the first few generations of recorded music.  (Back to top of page)


 

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Copyright 1999 Edward J. Pelegrino. All rights reserved.
Harpo, Trade and Service Marks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

http://members.tripod.com/~SdJotD/1999/9911.htm

Updated November 30, 1999

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