The Butterfly Net

B. West shared an Instagram photo with you

Posted in Uncategorized by bderwest on September 7, 2012

Hi there,

B. West just shared an Instagram photo with you:

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“Sunset over the mountains.”

The Instagram Team


Clean Road Salt from Leather Shoes

Posted in How to by bderwest on December 28, 2010

There are three important factors to cleaning salt from leather shoes:

  1. How soon you clean them

  2. How you dry them

  3. Patience

Clean them immediately or as soon as you can.

You will need:

  • A cotton towel

  • A clean cotton rag

  • White vinegar

  • Water

  • A bowl

  • Newspaper

Clean them with a one-to-one solution of white vinegar and water. I.e., half a cup of vinegar, half a cup of water. I use distilled water, but I’m pretty persnickety. Tap water will be fine. Mix the vinegar-and-water solution in the bowl. Dip the cotton rag into the solution, and apply liberally to affected parts of your shoes. Rub it around until the salt disappears, re-dipping as needed. Vinegar is natural, and won’t hurt your shoes. After you’ve cleaned the salt to your satisfaction, wipe the shoes dry with the cotton towel.

Now comes the drying part.

Stuff your shoes with crumpled-up pieces of newspaper, and lay them on their sides, on a towel if you like, away from any heat source. The trick is to let the leather dry at its own pace. Don’t rush it. Leave them on their sides so the leather soles can dry as well. Leave your shoe trees out of the shoes until they’re completely dry.

If they’re dry and you can still see salt marks, repeat this process, letting them dry each time.

If you can see where the salt has caused raised lines on the leather, you can take a tablespoon and, after you’ve wiped the shoes down with the vinegar solution, rub the ridges with the back of the spoon.

Be patient!

Because the vinegar will probably have stripped away some of the luster of your shoes, it’s a good idea to shine them, with wax or cream, after they’re dry.

There you go; you’re done*!

* Secret last step: Buy Swims.

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Charging for Comments

Posted in Uncategorized by bderwest on July 23, 2010

Newspaper to charge website commenters

From (July 15), the Sun Chronicle, a Massachusetts paper, will charge would-be commenters a nominal one-off fee of 99 cents. But it has to be paid by credit card, which means providing a real name and address.

Absolutely brilliant idea. I hope it works, and I hope more papers (and my paper) pick up on it.

No Serious Business at Ground Zero

Posted in Uncategorized by bderwest on July 23, 2010

A mosque at Ground Zero

…I think we should build nothing but shrines (at Ground Zero). One of every kind of church. Spare no expense. I thought they should move Shea Stadium there. Thats another kind of shrine. No serious business at Ground Zero from now on. Just contemplation, prayer, reflection and baseball. When
they try to blow it up theyll seem like the spoiled sports and sore losers that they are.

The Ice Bucket

Posted in Uncategorized by bderwest on July 6, 2010

How can one entertain without an ice bucket?

My wife and I were browsing through Macy’s this morning, when we happened upon this ice bucket—One I’d consider near perfect for its price ($40).

You see, I wanted a plain, silver (colored) bucket with a double wall that could double as a Champagne bucket. Perhaps it is a faux pas, but I’m no English noble. Money is very much of object to me.

This stainless-steel Martha Stewart bucket fits my bill perfectly.

Now, to have someone over to entertain…

When Robots Won’t Answer Your Questions

Posted in Uncategorized by bderwest on July 6, 2010

Trying to Forge a Friendship With a Robot Named Bina48

BRISTOL, Vt. — Ten minutes into my interview with the robot known as Bina48, I longed to shut her down.

Hilarious sidebar by Amy Harmon to her story about the robot.

Living With Corpses

Posted in Uncategorized by bderwest on July 5, 2010

Widow Lives With Corpses of Spouse and Twin Sister

Dressed smartly in a light blue shirt and khaki skirt, silver hoops in her ears, her white hair swept back and her brown eyes clear and sharp, she offers a visitor a slice of pie, then casts a knowing look when its declined. “Youre afraid Ill poison you,” she says.

Michael Rubinkam, well done sir. This story is phenomenally macabre and interesting.

A Grand Old Party, Indeed

Posted in Uncategorized by bderwest on June 29, 2010

Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., holds up a sign with a quote from Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan during her confirmation hearing before the committee, Tuesday, June 29, 2010, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Who the hell paid for this asinine prop? I bet you anything it was your and my tax dollars.

Every single time I see something like this, it’s a Republican. Every single time. Tell me they are not out of touch.

Preparing for the World Cup

Posted in Uncategorized by bderwest on June 13, 2010

Australia’s Lucas Neill is reflected in the water as he jogs with the team during a training session at Ruimsig Stadium in Roodepoort, just outside of Johannesburg June 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Daniel Munoz)

Now there’s a reflection shot.

Preparing for the World Cup.

These N United States

Posted in Uncategorized by bderwest on June 11, 2010

13 Stripes and 51 Stars

A mathematician figures out the best way to jam an extra star onto the American flag.

The gimmick breaks down at 13 stars, though, which, of course, were in a circle.

I’d also be interested in just seeing the different actual flags. (There of course have not been 50 different Star-Spangled Banners.)