Money and the products you should buy with it

September/2006: Products - Obviously I am now drawing a wage. This has of course, not gone unnoticed with grossly-inaccurate headlines declaring I've been paid this sum, or that sum, or this other sum. The most common figure touted is that I've been paid "100,000 dollars by Dateline NBC." Bollocks.

I have not been paid 100,000 dollars by Dateline NBC, Dateline NBC nor any other media company have ever made a check out to me. I've never seen one. It doesn't happen. Our organization however, has been paid a consultancy fee by Dateline NBC. I am not the organization. I am but a part of it. We are currently in the process of filing to become a non-profit. Anyone who has a brain knows that when you file to become a non-profit the income of the entity that is the non-profit can be claimed as far back as six months to a year. And, as well, anyone who has a brain enough to know that knows that the heads of non-profits can only be paid a percentage of the total non-profit income. Now with PeeJ, we are a three-headed dragon as anyone, again, with a brain, knows.

Now obviously that the organization is making money (Which... who would have predicted that ever happening? Crazy) for our consulting on the To Catch a Predator shows, I've been drawing a wage. When you've been poor for 26 3/4ths of your life, you see things that are awesome and sock them away in your mind. I saw and have seen a few things that are awesome and I am here to report on them for you. They are awesome and they are all relatively cheap. I'm going to list out some of the more awesome things I've personally purchased and tell you why they are so... awesome. How many times can I use a word as awesome as awesome? Plenty. There's no limit on words. You don't run out of them.

Products you should buy because they're awesome

#1 - Vidal Sassoon Palm Clipper
Retails for - 24.95

Just look at that thing. Looks crazy, doesn't it? Well, it's awesome. First off, I've never in my life had a facial hair trimmer or hair cut device that I've liked. Never. Ever. Never. This thing is the first all-in-one shaver/clipper that I've tried and liked. Why?

First, you can use it in the shower. Which, is awesome. And it doesn't matter how wet that fucker gets either, it will run. You can just hang it in your shower and use it whenever provided that you have a no-fog mirror in there as well. This allows you to shave without feeling the pain of shaving. I won't use shaving cream, so it's already winning that battle for me. Second, the internal battery in it retains it's charge despite hours of use. And I mean hours. And it charges quickly, too. Third, it straps to your hand. So you can easily trim or cut your hair in the shower without missing a spot or contorting your arm in various uncomfortable ways. Fourth, it's just as good and usable on your face as on your head. Lastly, unlike most razors or electric shavers, the cutting area is easily removed of hair. How? Just let the water run over it and the hair drops out.

It's 25 bucks and if you keep your hair short and have to shave your face often, it is a must-have.


#2 - The Roomba
Retails for - 299.99

You've seen the Roomba and if you were like me, you scoffed. You said, like me, "That shit can't work." Oh, but it does work. It works indeed. I picked up the Roomba Scheduler over at Brookstone after researching it online. I could not find anyone online who bashed the product. Which is rare... since people always bash products. Always. Plus, "traditional" vacuum cleaners cost about that much anyways, the damn things are overpriced to hog-heaven. Why Roomba? Many, many reasons.

First, the Roomba actually works. It actually picks up just about everything. I have two cats. My oldest cat, Mr. Colby Jones, is a long-hair half persian I rescued from some crazy cat lady for 25 bucks when he was a kitten. He has a lot of hair. And it gets everywhere. The hair just falls off of him as he walks around, yet... there's always more hair. Roomba hates his hair as I do. So Roomba picks it all up. That's all I needed. Sold. Sure, every six-eight runnings I have to go through and pick his hair out of the brushes, but I'd have to do the same thing with a regular vacuum cleaner too. After each time Roomba runs, it has a container full of his hair and other dirt for me to pick up.

Second, Roomba senses dirt. Yes, sounds stupid, but it's true. When it finds an especially dirty area a little light on the device goes blue. Roomba then dances around the area, until it is no longer a "blue spot." I know it works because I've purposely put dirt in areas to test it. It works. It targets areas that have dirt that we can't see since we're standing so high up and gets a deep clean on them.

Third, Roomba requires no work. I don't have to vacuum anymore. I don't like vacuuming. It sucks. Roomba does it for me. Oh, but you retort... "Don't you have to turn it on! HA-HA!" I don't have to turn it on at all. It turns itself on according to the schedule I have set for it. Currently, it turns itself on and cleans for about an hour every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM. 80% of the time it gets back to it's own self-charging "base" by itself. Sometimes it gets stuck somewhere, where it helpfully beeps to let you know to unstick it. The only work required is in the setup of scheduling it and making sure you don't have a shit-load of cords everywhere on the ground because Roomba is not good with cords. Besides, your cords should be on the wall like any true tech geek. That is if you still have cords to begin with.

Fourth, Roomba is smart. It will bump into everything the first few times but after a while it remembers the basic layout of your place and where it last cleaned. My place is pretty narrow, so there's not much room for error. I've observed Roomba start up with it's cheerful beeping song and head straight for the narrow hallway by itself with no prompting, bypassing most of the front room. Roomba also knows when it is stuck and the practice it makes of getting around tight spots is smart. It also includes virtual walls that you can put anywhere you don't want Roomba going. These will turn on automatically with the scheduler as well.

Fifth, and most importantly, my cats hate it. Colby has hissed at it more times than I can remember. He's also hit it a few times. Moxie tries to dart by it all the time. Once it even bumped into her, which scared the crap out of her. Watching my cats enjoy watching Roomba go as much as I enjoy watching Roomba go makes vacuuming not an unpleasant task, but a fun activity to watch.

Roomba rules. It works just as good on tile as carpet and will end up saving you so much time that you're ripping THEM off on how much it is. Experiencing what I've experienced now, I'd easily pay 500 dollars for that thing. That's how good it is.


#3 - The Holmes Blizzard
Retails for - 24.95


The Holmes Blizzard is to indoor air circulation what Chili's Enchilada Soup is to soup. And that means it is THE BEST EVER. I have two of these fans. TWO. Why? Well, that's what the next part is for!

First, the Holmes Blizzard has a remote control. Not just any remote control. Each one comes with a remote control. If you buy two? The remote control works for both of them. You don't have to have two remote controls. Three? Yes, you can use just the one remote control. Sure you'll have a couple extra, but who cares? You don't need them. Multiple fans = One control. Oh, did I mention that the FAN HAS A REMOTE CONTROL? Yes, I did.

Secondly, the Holmes Blizzard is stationary. It has no parts to put together. It comes put together! Oh, but you think... "Why, this fan is the suck, it is stationary, I cannot get circulation!" Bullshit. This fan has a rotating front faceplate that circulates the air from side to side, just like an oscillating fan would. WITHOUT OSCILLATING. Without having to have a ton of space to clear for the oscillating head. Without having to PUT IT TOGETHER. That's right. Oh, don't like oscillation without oscillating? That's fine, because it's YOUR OPTION if it does that or not. But it only gets better.

Thirdly, most fans have three settings. Yeah, low, medium and high. Low is too low. Medium is often too high. And high? Fuck, only if you want everything to blow around the place. The main problem with fans is that they don't simulate wind. The Blizzard? Simulates wind. It has three wind settings that allow you to have the perfect breeze you want. And it has low, medium and high settings. That means there's a potential for nine different settings to simulate wind or to just have the traditional "constant fan effect." I usually run my two on low with the first wind setting. It makes the fan simulate a nice light breeze. It's perfect for all the year 'round. Just enough to refresh you in summer but not too much to make you turn it off in fall and winter. You can always experience the best air circulation money can buy, a natural simulation of a light breeze in your room anytime.

Fourthly, as if I NEED A FOURTHLY BECAUSE I DON'T AT THIS POINT, the fan has a timer setting. Let's say you like a breeze when you go to bed, but not in the middle of the night. You can set Blizzard to turn itself off automatically in half an hour... or oh, six hours. Want it to turn off at 3 AM? Just set it to turn off at 3 AM by setting it to turn off however many hours from 3 AM you are. Of course if you're like me, you rarely have to turn them off because the perfect system of settings will mean that you'll have constant air flow around your room at any time.

Fifthly, unlike other shit fans, Blizzard does not jam up with cat hair. The back of it? Does not jam up with cat hair. Every other fan I've had does. This fan does not. Why? Because it fucking rules. It is the greatest fan ever made.


#4 - Litterworks Automatic Litterbox
Retails for - 278.95 (here w/ demonstration)

If you're a humane cat owner, you have an indoor cat. And if you're sane and not into disgusting things, you hate litterboxes. They're ridiculous. You're scooping shit out of little beds of sand. It's ridiculous behavior. We look like idiots doing it. And it's disgusting. It's the worst part of owning cats. And I own two cats.

So I ran across the Litterworks automatic litterbox system one day and said "Someday I shall own this." And that day came in May of 2006. And now I am a happy cat owner.

First, this is not just some scooping cat system like you can buy at Petco. Sure, you can buy the Littermaid there, but you can't buy the Litterworks system there. The Litterworks system is basically a Littermaid plus a specially designed dumping cabinent for the Littermaid. So rather than the utterly stupid idea of the littermaid removing cat waste into... nothing? It dumps it into a blue bag down inside the cabinent. Or a trash bag, if you prefer.

Second, this makes life easy. Instead of the constant maintenance on the Littermaid and the constant removal of waste, you just tie the bag and take it out to the trash every week to two weeks. It's like an automatic cat waste garbagecan. If you buy clumping litter, it keeps the littermaid litterbox clean, your nose unoffended and your life uninterrupted by constant cat waste needing to be dealt with.

Thirdly, you save money on litter. I used to go through pounds of litter a month because the system I used to use was inefficient. This system scoops out the dirty litter and leaves the clean litter. Now all I have to do is refill from time to time. In a year, you'll save in cat litter what it cost to buy this system to begin with.

Fourthly, it gives your cats something to watch. Everytime the litterworks system goes "off" (fifteen minutes after your cat uses it) your cats will run up and check it out. More entertainment for cats is a good thing. My cats didn't take long to take to the system, sure they were scared the first time the rake went off, but it never goes off with them in it so there's no real danger.

I could never go back to the old way of dealing with cat litter. This system is just too awesome. In fact, it's going off right now. I can hear it. That means that's more cat waste taken care of that I don't have to do anything with. That makes me happy. So I have a product that saves me time, and just by hearing it, makes me happy. Yeah, I would have paid more for it. It's basically a robotic litterbox. It goes nicely with the robotic vacuum cleaner.

There's four products. Now sure, you can't afford all of them right way. I couldn't either. But when you can afford them, buy them. Why? Because as I've made the case pretty clear, they're awesome. Very, very awesome.

Did I mention that they're awesome?