I am in the process of envisioning a slightly different focus for this blog to continue talking about the subjects of all- not just one-- of my books. This will be a challenge with books ranging in topic from Elvis Impersonation to the weather and ballet. Still it is worth a shot.
The New York Times is reporting on the bane of shoppers existence-- clamshell packaging. You know, the kind of inpenetrable plastic theft prevention prophylactic that you need a pocket knife to open and which occasionally results in the accidental slashing of your fingers.
It has sent about 6,000 Americans each year to emergency rooms with injuries caused by trying to pry, stab and cut open their purchases, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Companies like Amazon and Sony are working on alternatives which may make your holidays brighter this year.
In case you are confronted with a clamshell anyway, WikiHow suggests using a can opener to get inside.
Here is a sign in Wales where law requires everything be posted in both English and Welsh.
The Swansea council was ready to put up a sign reading "No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only." So they fired off an e-mail to their regular translator and received a reply, which was duly printed on the sign.
There was only one problem, the e-mail was an autoresponder. The sign to the left tells Welsh truckers: "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated."
If you like to read about fun with electronic translation and other translation gaffes, the BBC story on this sign features some links to similar escapades.
"Author Laura Lee may have well written the Brokelyn manifesto, the recession-victims’ King James Bible and the brokester I Ching all wrapped into one. Her new book, Broke is Beautiful, is a vast, thoughtful and intensely researched tome on the value of living the cash-strapped life."-Tim Donnelly, Brokelyn
"Laura Lee gives readers a good array of thoughts and wisdom and makes for a very entertaining and fun read. 'Broke is Beautiful' is a choice and highly recommended read which shouldn't be missed for those who want to live well when they have got nothing in the wallet."-Midwest Book Review
"If you're feeling down about the state of your exchequer, pick up this cheery little book...guaranteed to make you feel better about life in 'times like these.'"-Salem MacNee, Charlotte Observer
"It's not a how-to book, but more of a philosophical study, pointing out that most creative people aren't incredibly wealthy, and that happiness isn't tied to material goods."-The Detroit News
"Lee wants people who read her book to re-envision the economic culture, look past the mentality of buying and selling and find ways to enjoy life even if you don't win the lottery tomorrow."-Bill Lynch, Charleston Gazette
Broke is Beautiful is not only book, but also a philosophy of life. Being broke is not abnormal. Being rich on the other hand is freakish. While there is lots of propaganda out there in favor of wealth, little is written about the advantages of being bust out beggard and bankrupt. And broke, my friends, is beautiful! True security comes from the knowledge that you can survive in an insecure world. That is the knowledge that is gained through hard times and hard knocks. It helps if you can look on your brokeness as a way to lighten your load and a chance to test your creativity and resourcefulness. Where once the broke person felt isolated in an affluent society, today everyone is counting his pennies. Being broke is the new black! I invite you to join me in discovering new ways to think about money.