I had what I can only assume (after multiple negative COVID tests) was a regular old stomach bug earlier this week. I don’t miss the isolation of that first year and a half of pandemic.. but, man, it was really nice to never get sick. How y’all holding up? Everyone healthy? Concerned about Omicron? Going to see Spider-Man?
This’ll probably be the last newsletter of 2021 so I’m packing it more full than normal. If you’re enjoying them, please comment and/or write back so I don’t feel like I’m screaming into the void.
Since it’s the end of the year – here, again, is the Jacob All Trades 2021 Gift Guide.
Otherwise… I’ll see ya in 2022!
LET’S FIX IT
We all flipped about plastic straws – and for good reason – but there are hundreds of other types of single-use plastic items that are destroying our planet. One of those pernicious little buggers is the coffee spill stopper:
It seems like one of these comes with every coffee or tea I get – whether it’s from a huge chain like Coffee Bean or Starbucks, or even my corner coffee shop (where I know the literal mom and pop who own it).
These are a great tool to stir your coffee, keep it warm, and stop it from spilling – but how great would it be if there was a version that was biodegradable. Either made from wood, bamboo, or maybe some compressed plant-based something.
I did some consulting work for a great company called Repurpose that makes compostable single-use items to replace plastic and if they (or one of their competitors) made an item like this I bet they could sell actual tons of them.
What do you think?
There are some weird marketing tie-ins out there, but one I almost always take a look at is the Waze Voice Takeover. Mostly, I like to surprise my wife by setting her Waze navigation voice to something funny and then seeing how long it takes for her to a) notice and b) say something.
Recently, an option appeared to have serialized serial killer Dexter Morgan read your navigation. It’s a campaign to promote the new sequel: Dexter: New Blood on Showtime. We ran into one of the writers at a wedding and they told us the writer’s room actually pitched on the takeover and, you can tell. It’s actually – and I say this as someone who has worked in advertising and generally hates most of it – really entertaining.
When you start navigating somewhere, Dexter whispers: “You’re mine now, so do exactly as I say. Start driving.”
Instead of merely saying “police reported ahead” Dexter’s gravely ‘inner-monologue’ adds “learning to think like them is the best way to avoid getting caught.”
Also, I don’t know how they roll out new lines but it feels like every few days there’s been a new one. Some of my favorites:
Live by the code, drive by the code. Number one rule: don’t get caught.
Congratulations. Normally the bodies in my car are a bit more… dismembered.
The code has always been my guide… and now… I’ll be yours.
It might be the fact that the writers actually tried to do something more than just have the character read the normal Waze alerts – or it could be that part of Dexter’s deal is sneaking up behind you in your car… but, it just really works. If you liked the show at all (even though it got bad at the end) this is for you.
I COULD WATCH THIS ALL DAY
It’s an hour-long walking POV of Québec City around Christmastime. Very pleasant.
A GOOD LONG READ
I’m working on a project about art and selling out and – without giving too much away – one example I give is the HBO show White Lotus. To confirm a few facts about the genesis of the show, I read several interviews with the show’s creator, the delightful Mike White. Here’s one (with Vulture’s Kathryn VanArendonk) that I particularly enjoyed.
I MADE THIS FOR YOU
It’s almost New Year’s – so it’s my job to remind you that I made a montage of (nearly) every movie New Year’s scene in chronological order. Here’s a preview:
And, here’s the full, hour-long video. It’s perfect for having on in the background.
You’re probably aware of the current Kellogg’s Strike. If not, here’s the short version from an Eater.com article.
More than 1,400 Kellogg Co. cereal plant workers in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee have been on strike since the beginning of October, protesting for improved working conditions including a better wage scale and better benefits for new workers. The strike comes during a pandemic that has forced many frontline workers to repeatedly choose between their jobs and their health, a reality that’s resulted in a growing public awareness of labor issues and the true cost of whatever-it-takes capitalism.
I designed some stickers to help us all remember not to cross the picket line. I wrote a little thing with more info and made the design files so you can print your own – for personal use, of course.
Alrighty, that’s it for this week. Feel free to leave a comment or share the newsletter using the links below.