As the summer temps have been reaching their peaks, I have been researching ways to stay cool without air conditioning—and without stripping down of course! Here are my top picks:
Put your clothes in the freezer. Just don’t wait too long; you don’t want to cut yourself with sharp frozen clothes.
Find some tile. Tile always stays cooler than wood or carpeted floors and will feel great on overheated toes. (This little trick is frequently used by my puppy!)
Take a cold shower. Nothing is better than rinsing off in a refreshing cold shower after a sweltering day at the office!
Rock a muumuu. Or other varied flowy garments! Any slight breeze will be a delight, flowing through the light fabric.
Sit in the dark. Yes it might sound weird, but we tend to associate light with heat, so we can trick ourselves to thinking it’s cooler when we are in the dark.
Eat some ice cream. Mmm mmm mmm. Ice cream on a hot day, it’s just like you’re a kid again!
and don’t forget, WATER WATER WATER! (maybe a nice chilled glass of vino, too!)
At least once a day some kind-hearted passerby decides to let himself into the office to interrupt our day. We pondered at why we are so cold to these seemingly innocent but nosey citizens, and then it dawned on us that this happens EVERYDAY! Can’t we just get one day of peace from people wandering in our office while we work? Today a lady peered in and just stared at us. We stared back to make her feel uncomfortable (we are good at this by now). But she just smiled on and said, “So is this a realty office?” What in the world would make her think this?? We just stared, dumbfounded and said no. Keeping her gleeful smile pasted upon her face, she pressed on, “What is this place then?” Like if it wasn’t a realty office, all other possibilities are bizarre. “Well mam this is just an office space.” (please go away now!) The range of questions we receive gets broader everyday. Some inquiries we have entertained include: art dealer, store of some sort (who knows what we are selling), architecture firm, interior design, lots of people asking for quarters in exchange for bills, and the usual slew of crazies that roam the streets of San Luis Obispo. At least we can say that there’s never a dull day at the office!
, daily business
If you are traveling to London between now and the end of August you might be in for a little surprise—free money! Aware that people are suffering in the economic crisis, 20 former pickpockets have turned over a new leaf and are now trawling London’s tourist sites slipping money back into unsuspecting pockets.
The initiative, which runs until the end of August in London before being rolled out countrywide, is being funded by a broadbrand provider, which says it wants to brighten up people’s lives in unusual ways.
“It feels good to give something back for a change — and Britons certainly need it in the current economic climate,” said Chris Fitch, a former pickpocket who now heads TalkTalk’s putpocketing initiative. Every time I put money back in someone’s pocket, I feel less guilty about the fact I spent many years taking it out.”
London’s police have been briefed about the plan, which will see at least 100,000 pounds given away. Wow, that makes me want to visit London! It’s a very interesting idea, but it seems to me that there could be a better way to spend 100,000 pounds…
Some interesting news: South Africa’s track and field federation has been asked to conduct a gender test on an 800-meter runner amid concerns she does not meet the requirements to compete as a woman. Eighteen-year-old Caster Semenya is a favorite in Wednesday’s 800 final at the world championships. I have to agree with some of the comments posted below the Yahoo Sports article, how hard can it be to tell if she is a she or a he? How about a birth certificate, medical records or school records? In this day and age, why should she have to be put through all these extensive medical tests? The article reports that the verification requires a physical medical evaluation, and includes reports from a gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist, an internal medicine specialist and an expert on gender. Can you imagine being asked to take all those tests with the whole world watching? And what the heck are the “requirements to compete as a woman”? I tried to find the answer online, but had no such luck…
Tags: Caster Semenya
, gender test
, South Africa
, track and field
Being a part of the millennial generation—the largest group of red wine drinkers—and growing up around one of the best wine producing regions in the world, it is amazing to see how wine culture has changed over the years.
Tags: Charles Shaw
Wine continually exerts a stuffiness and yields a snobbish crowd; however Fred Franzia, along with others, has decided to turn this around. Fred Franzia, one of Bronco’s founders, became an icon for the winemaking industry. He developed a reputation as a visionary, a winemaker who was unafraid to buck tradition in a very traditional craft. As wines in California became more exclusive and expensive, Fred Franzia turned industry eyes when he dared to suggest that good wine didn’t have to cost a lot. The 1991 purchase of Charles Shaw Winery gave Fred Franzia a proving ground for his challenging theory. He nurtured the Shaw wine brand and made it the surprisingly low cost, high value wine that’s affectionately known as “Two Buck Chuck,” because of its $1.99 price tag at Trader Joes. Fred Franzia created a new category of “super value wines” that made both consumers and vintners sit up and take notice.
In response to intimidating wine lifestyle mags like Wine Spectator, Wine X magazine, currently only in an online edition, has come to support and entertain a new batch of red wine drinkers. Wine X is a young adult lifestyle magazine with wine and other beverages grafted on to it. With regular features on music, fashion, videos, books, travel and other relevant young adult culture, it’s specifically designed to create a comfortable forum in which young adults can learn more about the tasty juice without the usual intimidation. In no other publication will you find a more concentrated effort to inform, entertain and enlighten a new generation of wine consumers with such a fresh, cutting-edge approach.
Over the past few years Gary Vaynerchuk has brought wine education down to earth with Wine Library TV. It always troubled Gary to observe the stuffiness of the industry–conceited sommeliers, snobby shopkeepers unwilling (or unable) to educate their consumers, and seemingly mystical conventions all combine to make wine seem intimidating to the uninitiated. Wine Library TV has reinvented the concept of wine tasting for a new generation. In addition to encouraging straightforward wine tasting, Gary educates viewers about the effects of regional factors (soil, sun, wind) on wine flavors, and how to buy wine. Debunking myths (red vs. white, big name brands vs. independent growers, the pitfalls of wine ratings, etc.) is another ongoing theme of the show.
Here at Borracha, we support everyone in all their wine endeavors, no matter how large or small. So be brave, go out and try all sorts of wines; just don’t forget your Wine Wipes!
, Fred Franzia
, Gary Vaynerchuk
, red wine
, Two Buck Chuck
, Wine Library TV
, Wine Spectator
, Wine X Magazine
UPS, FedEx, USPS or DHL; how about all four? Yes today we had seven shipments going out using all four postal companies! While I’m all for a little healthy competition and stimulating the marketplace, it was such a pain. Yesterday I called DHL and FedEx to schedule a pick-up for today. 10 am- FedEx arrives; they can only take two of the packages because the third package is FedEx Express, not FedEx Ground so there is a different driver. The driver informs me that I must call for another pick-up or drop it off at the FedEx Kinko’s store. 1:30 pm- I go to FedEx to drop off the package and ship another one. The first package, with the prepaid label that the driver couldn’t take, is going internationally and the clerks cannot figure out the address. They try for many minutes and decide that the address is incorrect so they cannot take it. The other shipment is packaged and ready to go now. I fill out the shipping label, hand it to the clerk and she lets out an exasperated chuckle. The second package is going to a P.O. Box, as in Postal Office Box, and they cannot ship the package because USPS has control over P.O. Boxes. Great. I pay for the box and head to the USPS office. I need to send two large envelopes and this one box. The line is the longest I have ever seen it. It’s like the town of San Luis Obispo came out to mail something exactly at the same time and they all need postage. I wait in line, pay for the postage and send off the three packages.
3:00 pm DHL arrives, as I am on the phone with an automated UPS robot trying to schedule a pick-up. I go through all the steps with UPS and at the last step the teller asks for my UPS account number. I already gave them the customer’s account number, which is the number to be billed-to. I told them I don’t have an account number and he then enlightens me as to the fact that he cannot schedule a pick up for us. I have to call the customer and have them schedule a pick-up for us. So the phone call was a waste of time. So I’m back to DHL deliveryman. I thought the package was set to go, but apparently I was wrong. I needed a packing slip envelope and a shipping label. He goes back to his truck to get me some. As I fill those out the driver says, “You guys don’t ship with us often do you?” I filled out the slip, handed it back to him and he is off with the shipment. Four down, two to go.
I look up the address for the international order again. It turns out the label was correct I just said that it was going to a different country when they asked. So I went back to FedEx Kinko’s to drop off that and made it just in time for the 4:00 pick-up. Now I just have this one large 60-pound box glaring at me from the office floor. UPS why oh why won’t you come pick it up!? Please oh please! I am not that strong. Maybe I will just run out into the street the next time I see a UPS truck drive by. Or maybe I will just tell the intern take it to the UPS store. Hmm…
The other day this guy came in to Granada Bistro—well he actually came in to the Borracha office too but we gave him the death stare and he quickly scurried away. Anyways, he was trying to sell advertising space in his magazine. Sounds mostly harmless right, guess again. Well, his “magazine” is a piece of paper—literally one piece—printed in black and white, front and back. The front displays the name of the mag, a highly pixilated photo and a flashy statement declaring that it’s the first issue! The two inside half-pages contain two “articles” in varying fonts, one about the history of beef jerky. The back page details the advertising pricing: $400 for a “full-page” advertisement, and by “full-page” it would actually be a half-page because his magazine is folded in half. I’m just glad that I did not have to talk to him face-to-face because there is no way I could keep from laughing.
In a declining economy, where even major newspapers are cutting costs and even shutting down, this man has amazing faith in his magazine. After he left we had a nice little conversation in the office about how it might be nice to be that crazy! While we will not be reserving any advertising space in his magazine, we wish him the best of luck—he’s going to need it!
Starbucks has quietly been expanding in the Seattle area, under a disguised identity. Passing by it appears as a local ma & pa coffee shop, a community hub where people meet and talk for hours over delectable cups of coffee. These new Starbucks locations operate under new identities, such as the “15th Street Coffee & Tea” in Seattle, WA. They serve quality coffee and teas, similar to what Starbucks serves…but they also offer wine and cheese. Some people love the idea, others feel they are being tricked. If they’re serving wine and cheese I say: “ yes, please! “
This morning I stumbled upon a very extensive list of things that can be composted. It seems that mostly everyone knows you can throw fruit and veggie peels, yard trimmings and probably some worms together to start a great fertilizer; but where exactly is that line between compost and trash?
This one article itemizes 75 unusual composting possibilities and breaks it down into areas of a household. Some surprises from the kitchen are: stale beer and wine, melted ice cream and tea bags. Shockers from the bathroom: hair from your hairbrush, nail clippings, old loofahs, latex condoms! Other surprises include: dryer lint, contents of your vacuum, and ashes from the fireplace.
Wow, that would be one hell of a compost pile! I know they say you can but I don’t know if I want my tomatoes and zucchinis growing in a mixture of decomposed condoms, hair, and ashes. If you do decide to take up composting, be sure to hide that huge pile of goodness far away from the dinner table. For the full list of 75 items, you can read the article here: http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/surprising-compost-items.html
The British Beer and Pub Association says an average of 52 pubs are closing each week. Mix a combination of changing consumer tastes, a two-year-old smoking ban, an economic recession and rising government taxes on beer—20 percent in the past two years—and you get a costly blend for pubs.
Bartenders and pub owners note that drinking is being more and more confined to the weekends; gone are the days of a few rounds with friends after work. Supermarkets fill this void with lower-priced brews; however this means that people are staying home, rather than socializing with friends.
The key to success—and survival—in this changing market is adaptation. Pubs are using creative means to lure in patrons, such as hosting bingo nights, psychics, serving better food, and having themed nights. In the end customers and pub owners realize that it’s all about the experience.
With dedicated patrons, innovative ideas and maybe some extended happy hours, let’s hope that the life and spirit of British pubs can stay afloat!