Dan Critchett: ‘Don’t forget to remind people that they can get Woot delivered to their Inbox at precisely a minute past midnight Central time by Quickbrowse so they don’t miss out on something good.’

☞ Good idea!


‘My father used to say: ‘Things are either right or wrong. And if you’re not sure, they’re wrong.” – John Hauge, son of former Manufacturer’s Hanover Bank chairman Gabriel Hauge


Karen: ‘Have you lost your copy of The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn? She would have clued you in to the soap sliver problem, and much more. Admittedly, not as easily as Google, but you’d get all the extra info and reminders about extreme frugality by flipping through the pages. (Other caveat – her focus is raising six kids on $30K/year; not exactly your reference.) But VERY good when it comes to saving money.’

Derek Deer: ‘I’ve been using tiny bits (not much larger than my pinky fingernail) in lieu of dishwasher prewash soap. It works well to loosen up the dishes before the grit kicks in during the main wash. Just toss it into the machine and don’t fill the prewash cup. A little bit goes a LONG way.’

☞ The prewash cup? Is that what that extra compartment is?

Walter Willis: ‘Soap removes the oil from your skin. The oil holds the skin-oil-feeding bacteria compounds that make you stink. It also protects you against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. You do not want to simultaneously remove the skin oil and introduce strange predators to your skin’s ecosystem. Bad idea, BAD IDEA!’

☞ By strange predators you perhaps refer to the soap slivers I filch when I visit friends. What if I wash their soap first?

Rachel: ‘For years I did the soap slurry thing with soap slivers. I even had a really nice Tupperware liquid soap dispenser that someone gave me for this purpose. But the sad truth is that the consistency of the homemade liquid soap was…um…sort of gross. After years of this, I finally built up enough karma to start throwing away the slivers without feeling remorse. It’s liberating to be utterly guilt-free when tossing a sliver into the wastebasket.’

☞ Yes. Charles keeps saying . . . ‘free yourself!’

Don Hurter: ‘I’m one who grafts the remains of an old bar to the beginning of the new, simply because I always buy the same soap, and in bulk. (Gee, where did I get that recommendation?) One idea I’ve had that would make the grafting process a lot easier is for the soap manufacturers to build a recess into new bars for the purpose of receiving the remains of the old. When the sliver gets small enough (and here, all manner of expensive government studies can be conducted to determine just how ‘small enough’ a bar of soap must become to qualify as a ‘sliver’) the soap operator simply moistens a new bar and presses said sliver into the waiting recess much as one drops a battery into a cell phone. Voila! – the bloodlines are continued.

‘Now this brings up all sorts of questions, not the least of which is whether it’s socially acceptable to graft two different types of soap together if they are not the same species. But you can imagine the imponderables: Will the soap manufactures approve of this idea? (After all, a soap company is in the business of selling soap. Once that’s accomplished, they’d just as soon you throw it out so you need to buy more.) Or might the first adopter of this idea actually ‘lock in’ their customer base because once they reach the sliver stage they’ll have a reason to use the convenient recess feature of a new bar? Will the recess throw off the ‘styling’ of some of the more swoopy bars out there? (Who has the job of styling soap, anyway?) And what do you put in the recess if this were the first bar of soap that you’ve ever owned in your life?’ [A cell phone battery, perhaps?]


Ian Kaplan: ‘There has been much discussion about choosing a new Chairman of the Democratic Party. This is a topic that I am passionately interested in, since I would like to see the party that claims to represent me change in some important ways. I am embarrassed to say that I have no idea how the chairman is chosen.’

☞ The DNC is composed of 447 members who will elect the new chair by a majority vote on February 12. Anyone can run. You need persuade only 20 of those 447 to sign your nominating petition by February 10 and you’re in the race. Right now, it looks to me as if Martin Frost and Howard Dean are the front-runners. They are among several terrific candidates who are in the running. Stay tuned.


Jim Petersen: ‘Your comments about the truth in the CBS story imply you are advocating a new standard of journalism – it is OK to use false documents as evidence in a news story as long as you think the story is true.’

☞ Not at all. I said serious mistakes were made. I just think it’s interesting that none of the reports on this ever mention the underlying story. I think they should.

Imagine if the press had pilloried President Bush and his team for citing an obviously forged and previously discredited document in his State of the Union message – without also reporting that the basic argument he was a trying to make (that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was developing more) was TRUE! (Well, or in this case, false. But see? That’s my point. I think it matters whether the underlying story is true or false, and worth a mention. Should some CBS heads have rolled? Probably. And they did. CBS certainly didn’t give its slam-dunk producer a Medal of Freedom.)


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