Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Check All of Your Parts

duromcup.jpgMy grandmother recently got a replacement hip. I was very surprised to find out that all along, they have been using unisex replacement joints, even though a woman's hip joint and angle in relation to the pelvis is completely different than a man's. I can't imagine how painful that would be! No wonder it seems that more women than men walk with canes after such surgeries.

What is more painful is when your new joint cracks or crumbles. That is exactly what the durom lawsuit is all about.

Apparently, there are many issues on zimmer durom cup hip replacement joints. They were designed for people with an active lifestyle, that would be very likely to outlive a standard issue prosthesis. The cups are moving around and drifting, or "migrating", in the body. The cup design was assessed, and it was determined that the joint should cease production, even though it is has been used inside many.

duromcup2.jpgIf you have a durom cup inside your pelvis, you may want to consult a durom lawyer. In other words, one that is savvy about the cases. You should especially seek counsel if you have unaddressed issues and have been evaluated by a medical professional. If it is determined that your woes are due to faulty equipment, you may definitely have a case to pursue.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Be an Alaskan Adventurer

alaska.jpgAlaska travel is something that always stirred the imagination. Before World War II, it was still considered an exotic, far away place by many.  For that matter, today it is still considered to be an exotic, far away place depending on who you ask.  

My aunt and uncle took a tour to Alaska a couple years ago.  In their opinion, it is the trip of a lifetime.  One of the most beautiful ways to travel alaska is by "Flightseeing."

What is Flightseeing?  According to one of the travel services that offers tours including those near Denali Park, you are seeing the sights by small plane rather than by foot.   Here is an example of the benefits:

Seeing Mt. McKinley from the ground is never a sure thing as it is located ninety miles from Denali Park entrance and conditions constantly change.

To me, riding in a light aircraft reminds me of the plane that appears early on in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Of course, you won't be in much danger of a snake sitting in your lap like Indy was surprised with, due to the weather.  Surprisingly, the weather is milder than you would imagine in the summer, but you still would want to bring a coat.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Favorite from Sears

I sold this suit last year, but it is in our "short list" of favorites. It was (is) a metallic suit from the late 60s. Although it is from the tail end of the decade, it has major mod sensibilities with its Italian cut and slim collar placement that we would place just a couple years earlier.

Tailor tags can be very important in dating menswear, especially because the classic suit doesn't change as rapidly as ladieswear and is sometimes harder to pinpoint in less than a 5 year period even if one is very knowledgeable. Of course, there are "of the season" cutting edge looks available for the fashion forward, but for the average man, a suit is an investment piece. They want to be stylish, but they don't want to look dated the next year, especially if their employment or social outings do not require a suit for daily wear.

This particular suit came from Sears. The tag is not specifically a tailors tag of a custom suit, but the date the suit was altered for the original buyer. Unlike high fashion magazines that show what the designers introduced each year, the Sears catalog was a very good record of what the average person was actually wearing that year, just like the paint colors represented what was actually in the average homes of America. It may not be nearly as exciting as haute couture, but is invaluable for historians, reenactors, vintage lovers, and costumers alike.

In the fall of 1968, the year of this suit, though the Brits had moved onto more fluid lines, American Mod was still showing an influence on American fashion and was interpreted in a little more of a relaxed fashion.

At the tail end of the 60s, because of the new synthetics, shades that could never be achieved before were everywhere. I have seen quite a few menswear in the jewel tone blues, greens, and teals during this time period in many eye tricking fabrics and hues that begged the question "Is that blue or is that green? Greenish Blue?". I have often needed a second or third opinion myself!

Having a specific date always makes me wonder if the date had been around a special occasion. I always imangined with the suit being tailored in proximity to Halloween, that perhaps someone bought it who went to an alternate event. They might have gone to a performance at a concert hall instead of a costume party that night. Or maybe it was just a coincidence, just another day.

Shopping Around for Rewards

You are probably inundated with emails asking you to check out this credit card or that.  While retro individuals like myself prefer to pay cash for everything the old fashioned way, credit cards have their use in establishing a credit history.  Surprisingly, all of those websites have a use, too, in regards to being a credit card review.  Many compare and contrast different rates and features.

For example, some people look for airline rewards cards. Even if you don't like to carry a balance,  you can purchase your travel tickets with the card, pay it off immediately, and enjoy the trip insurance or extra frequent flier points.  Some airlines don't treat miles awarded through purchases the same as actual flight miles, but many do.   It boggled my mind that there are at least eleven cards out there that fit the bill and offer various airline rewards.  

Another popular option is to simple look for the lowest interest rate.  Afterall, all of the rewards don't come free.  The various companies give you cash back out of the interest that you pay, or that everyone pays.  However, it is not all bad.  You are essentially, "renting" someone else's money and they need to recoup somehow. 

The Latest in Fishing Chic

We always knew that the fashion du jour for fishing was always somewhere in the realm of waders and olive drab.  In fact, I don't think fishing attire has changed much, nor has entered the realm of high fashion.   I just learned about this cool accessory for fly fishing.  I am used to seeing baskets that fly fishers use, which inevitably get smelly and slimey and muddy.

There is now a whole new type of stripping basket on the market now that reminds me of a bathroom caddy for fishing. Well, when you are fly fishing or in the rub, you are surrounded by water, aren't you?  

There is a built in area where you can hold your rod, and cones to prevent line tangling.  In addition, it is water resistant, and because there is a bit of give, it is less likely to leak.   I can think of a variety of other things to use this for.  Walking through a meadow and picking random berries off the vine?  Could you use it in the shop for all of the little nuts and bolts you carry when you have to go up the ladder?  To me, an item like this opens all sorts of possibilities come up.

Right now, it is 58.95 in US currency, including VAT. Be the first to have one.

Celebrity Jewelry Secrets Revealed

Spring fever is in the air, and it also means that wedding season is getting underway. Aside from holiday time, spring is the biggest time of year for engagements. Maybe it is because there is that special feeling in the air, as seasonal effective disorder is finally at bay. New beginnings seem to be busting out all over.

You can do one of two things when considering an engagement ring or other special piece of jewelry. You can toddle on over to the local jeweler, or you can get more unique diamond jewelry that is anything but cookie cutter. In fact, over at BluFusion, a los angeles fine jewelry establishment, they make everything custom based on a customer's personality and preferences.   It is not a matter of just matching up a band and a rock.  Rather, it is about creating a work of art.

When you see something on the hand of a celebrity that looks nothing like anything you saw at your local mall, it is probably because the item was made especially for them.   Don't be afraid; just because celebrities do it doesn't mean that you can't.  You don't have to spend $3.5 million on a ring to have something uniquely yours...or uniquely for your spouse-to-be.   High end jewelry means high end quality and artistry no matter how large the diamond or how intricate the ring.

Custom diamond jewelry can involve the Hope diamond, or it can be much more practical.  A ring made up of several smaller diamonds, or more so less famous diamonds, can be just as beautiful.  Of course, the latter would have the benefit of being a ring the recipient can actually wear morning, noon, and night, instead of having to be followed by an entourage of insurance agents and bodyguards.    

If you have always been wondering where the rich and famous get such fabulous jewelry, now you know, and you can too.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Bubble Up!

There are many jokes about hospital garments.  The robes and the nightgowns just don't cover very much.  Some people even wear one the regular way and one backwards just so they avoid embarrassment.   If you are somewhere longer term, like in a rehab center before being able to go home, the attire is a little bit more relaxed.  You get to wear your own things for the most part.

I had a relative who was in such a facility and her things tended to disappear while she was in the bathroom.   I kid you not.   The only solution at the time was to write her name in marker on it, which would bleed through the clothing.

I wish name bubbles were invented back then.   They are a series of dishwasher and laundry safe labels that you can pop in or on items to declare your ownership.  Of course, things don't change much over time and now the next generation of the family needs them.  Earlier in life you need kids clothing labels as no one takes your things, but you lose them all the time. It is more or less to alert another parent that their kid accidentally put on the wrong raincoat.

In fact, for the very accident prone, I found that has a set of Camp Labels that gives you 124 labels for less than thirty four bucks.   The best part about it for most of us is that they are made in the good Ol USA by a company in New York!

Cars, Cars Everywhere

There is nothing like old pickup trucks in my books when it comes to vehicles. They have so much character, can be driven in all weather conditions, and the visibility is far superior. Some of the trucks I have owned definitely won't bring a Rolls Royce or a mercedes benz to mind, that's for sure!

I am currently in the market for a vehicle, and I am really waffling and wavering with all the choices that are out there. Even though my heart is always with old trucks, I have really been intrigued by the new smart car. They are such a unique design and illicit a lot of nostalgia in me as they remind me a little bit like the BMW Isetta. It was in the "microcar" class, meaning that it seated one to three people. I have passed a dealer every day that has them, and the more i look at them, the more they remind me of a little roller skate. I am not quite sure if that would be safe enough for me in the winter time. If I had disposable income to have a little car on the side just for fun, I would consider it.

Someone suggest the mazda 3 to me. Unless I buy a used car that is a few years old, I am going to buy American. I was told that Mazda is owned by or affilated with Ford. What I have discovered is that the Mazda 3 is completely assembled in Japan. There may be Toyotas that are made in the United States, but you won't find this with the 3. So, if you are looking for a car that is putting Americans to work, it may not be your best choice.

I am not sure what I will decide. I have another two weeks to consider it, and will let you know.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Loosen Up That Treadmill

I was joking the other day with some friends about treadmills. Early ones were as large as a country road and ended up being rather expensive clothing hangers, or even view blockers. Technology has changed, but for many of us, just taking a walk is preferable. I was reminded that some people don't have a nice place to walk, or medical problems prevent them from it. So, in those cases, treadmills could serve a purpose.

lubenwalk.gifI did see that there is such a thing as treadmill lube. Maybe that is the key to it all. If you don't regularly care for your treadmill, it won't take care of you. Perhaps that is the reason for such woe in the home gym world.

It was surprising to me, as I looked around the web how much the other laundry hanger, exercise bikes have changed as well. One can actually buy a recumbent bike style that provides a different type of work out than a regular bike would. It is not replacing an activity and making one more reclusive, but actually creating a different type of exercise. I have known people that have purchased a regular recumbent bike and they either are obsessive about them or do not use them because of the weather. I think a stationary recumbent would actually be a good addition to your home gym.

Whatever you decide, before selecting equipment, decide how many people in the house are going to use the items to determine how much wear and tear they will get. Also, take a look at your space. People say they take up a lot of room, but only if they try to put them in a bedroom that is in use rather than having a dedicated space for it.

Toys: Everyone Needs Them

I don't care how old you are. I dare you, no matter how old you are chonologically to not have a soft spot for the favorite toy you once owned as a child when you see it in a picture or see a child playing with one.

With so many toys being not only battery dependent, but having computer chips, it makes me miss seeing old fashioned building blocks. In fact, I think some kids have forgotten about them entirely. I walked into a toy store about a year ago seeking some Silly Putty and the seventeen year old cashier didn't know what I was talking about! That was a very sad day. I swear I was buying it to exercise my hand because of carpal tunnel, not that I wanted to press it onto the newspaper and make stretched pictures of the Sunday Comics.

There are many books written about toys of the Baby Boomer generation, or the generation that slightly preceded them, such as hula hoops.

The book is yet to be written on toys that Generation X played with. I imagine those of my age will be sitting in their rocking chairs and telling their grand kids about fond memories of Lite Brites, and coming down the Slip N Slide without too many bruises or grass stains. Of course, we would say "In my day, they used to make Slip N Slides with metal shin scraping anchor spikes. You kids have it too easy."

No matter if you are a dude or a gal, a kid or an adult; toys help us not to take things too seriously!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Say It With Stainless

The industrial look has been a recognized design style for a number of years.  However, it goes in and out of being the trendiest or most common look.    Early industrial designs included found objects taken from surplus restaurant, office, and garage items.

There is a way to get the feel of that industrial look while still keeping your favorite sofa.   There are many stainless steel accents that you can use.    There are items that may come to mind more readily, such as picture frames, kitchen utensils, and wastebaskets. These help accent an industrial look.  

However, what really pushes a look from just having a metal accent here and there, versus choosing items that are not typically standard in stainless.  Stainless steel fireplace accessories, for example, can replace the standard brass models very easily to reinforce the look.

The objects at left are not holders for Jedi Lightsabers, but tea lights, believe it or not! You may be used to seeing such items presented with zen rocks or seashells. Stainless Steel tea light holders, because they are made in such an unexpected material are another great way to go industrial. Blomus Stainless Steel offers them on their website.  I have not seen anything quite like them.

If you really want to dive in, there are even whole stainless steel fireplaces.  There are even some portable ones available.  It is up to you how far you want to take the look.  Accessories are easy to put back in a closest if you change your mood.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Dance Shoes: Made Better Than They Used To

If you believe that I don't think they make things like they used to, then you know me very well. In olden days, which was not that long ago, shoemakers offered footwear in a wider range of sizes than they do today. After all, you do remember seeing triple and quadruple A widths, don't you? When you saw a width and another width was underneath a line, the shoe was actually two widths. One of those sets of letters would actually be the heel width. One would not need to buy grippers to stop from walking out of one's shoes as you could simple get shoes with a narrower heel!

danceshoe.gifOne thing that I don't believe "they don't make them like they used to" is dance shoes. You may think a dance shoe is a dance shoe, but technology and modern trends have actually been much kinder to those styles. While the appearance or image of toe shoes may not have changed much, advances in footwear has made impact a lot easier on the feet, knees, and back.

Zappos, which many people think of for trendy shoes, is actually a very good source for working dance shoes. They have a selection of men's ballet and jazz shoes right along with the women's. They carry several brands, including Capezio, a company that has been known as an innovator from the days of Joe Famolare until present.

However, if you are looking for a dance shoe in a larger size, you may want to look at the shoes that they carry by Freed of London. I did a spot check, and I saw a size 13 shoe offered. That's certainly a bonus for those thinking they are hard to fit.