August 15, 2016
THE PHILLY-BORN PiperWai brand doesn't look like drugstore deodorants and antiperspirants. Packaged in a teal-wrapped glass jar, the soft grey solid seems - and smells - more like a fancy candle than a morning hygiene standby that absorbs sweat and eliminates odor. But, judging from the product's 800-jars-a-day sales, that's what it does. Two West Mount Airy besties created PiperWai, named after a family dog and a tribe in Guyana, as an alternative to aluminum- and paraben-laden big-name brands.
June 5, 2016
International travelers often are unpleasantly surprised to discover that food markets abroad may not supply shopping carts, or even bags. What a great time to have on hand one of Picnic Time's lightweight collapsible baskets. The 15.8-by-8.5-by-10-inch Urban Basket has a stationary aluminum handle against which the polyester body folds, accordionlike, to 2 inches thick, secured with a snap closure. A removable inner padded "floorboard" provides extra stability flattened; or fold up half the panel to divide the basket into two sections.
May 16, 2016 |
IF HEARING the word yo-yo makes you think of the cellist, dieting, or maybe a Bollywood rapper (Yo Yo Honey Singh - he's really big in India), then you didn't grow up into the 1950s and '60s, when the original ambassadors of fun toured the country. Back then, the traveling "Duncan Yo-Yo Man" would appear at the local five-and-dime store, Cub Scout pack, or even your middle school auditorium, with a box of 50-cent toys-on-a-string and show you how to rock the baby, shoot the moon, or walk the dog. But if you are part of today's yo-yo world, then you know Tyler Severance.
May 16, 2016 |
My recent column announcing that I am painting the exterior of my house for the last time brought expressions of concern from those who don't like the words last time . And, thankfully, a couple of painting questions, which is the reason I write these columns. John Czuba's question concerning painting aluminum siding is one I have gotten before over the years, but it's one that always merits a response. Yes, you can paint aluminum siding, and the website of the Paint Quality Institute in Spring House is my go-to on all broad-brush matters.
December 27, 2015
Drifting asleep to music without disturbing your bedmate or seatmate is as simple as wearing headphones, right? It is until you turn over on your side and the earpieces get smashed into your ears, a not-so-slumber-friendly feeling. The tech world has come up with Bedphones, now in their comfier third generation of featherweight, 1/4-inch-thick foam-covered headphones that you can barely feel that and lie flat against your ears, even when you roll over. Integrated ultra-thin, rubber-coated, flexible-wire ear hooks unobtrusively help fine-tune the fit. The attached 49-inch-long audio cable has an aluminum 31/2 mm jack that fits any standard headphone port.
July 20, 2015 |
Yes, sales of the dramatically redesigned 2015 Ford F-150 pickup have been down. The 61,870 copies sold in May represented a 9.7 percent decline from May 2014 sales. The June tally, 55,170, was 8.9 percent below year-ago levels. And yet, the cutting edge, aluminum-bodied big pickup is doing famously. It continues to be America's best-selling vehicle, a title it has held for the last 33 years. Through June, it had outsold its closest rival, the Chevy Silverado, by 81,358 units. In additional, the average transaction price of an F-series truck set a record in June, rising $3,600 to more than $44,000 per vehicle.
September 13, 2014 |
Leslie and Curtis Pontz's new house almost looks like a child's drawing: three gray boxes trimmed with a red door and window frames that contrast with the deep green trees and grass of the Wissahickon woods. Its simple appearance is deceptive. The West Mount Airy house is a combination of retreat, artist's studio, retirement home, and dream house - 40 years in the making. In 1973, after Leslie and Curtis married, they bought an old, three-story traditional house, promising each other it would only be a few years until they built the house they really wanted - in other words, a midcentury modern dream.
February 10, 2014 |
The star of the Philadelphia Auto Show, which runs through next Sunday at the Convention Center, is not some sex object like the new Corvette Stingray convertible. Rather, it is a beast of burden, a practical hauler, a vehicular tool called the 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck. This radically redesigned full-size pickup - the first ever to be built with a weight- and, hence, fuel-saving aluminum cab and cargo bed - is a multibillion-dollar corporate gamble that gets star billing because of the F-150's immense popularity and importance.
May 17, 2013
FAT-FRAME, balloon-tire, one-speed bikes have become quite the retro-fashion statement for Shore goers. And they're sure fun for casual tooling around flat, quiet streets and parking near the ocean. But if you plan to venture farther than the Wawa, and won't be BMXing on the beach, a Breezer Uptown is a better cruiser to haul to the seashore. And to really stand out of the crowd, a custom-designed Big Shot bike is another sweet means to travel. Breezer is now part of the Philadelphia-based Advanced Sports International cycle group, which also imports Fuji bikes, among other brands.
July 23, 2012 |
Hot enough out there? Bet you're thirsty. Once you choose what you want to drink, there's another big decision: What are you going to drink it from? The container — and I'm not talking about the reusable water bottle you always carry — is a major part of your beverage footprint. (Would that be your "drinkprint?") The good news is that companies are responding to greener consumers and are making huge sustainability strides. Just by drinking in 2012 instead of 1982, you're already to the good.