O-Nine, You Were Divine

When it came to making our house a home, I doubted that 2009 would surpass all the things we accomplished in 2008. But we did get some things done. Here's a peek back.

The dingy waterlilies and carpet (!)...

...gave way to gleaming tile and shine

A deck that ain't so sweet...

...is now a sweet place to enjoy a summer night.

A room with no personality...

...transformed into a room for a little person.

Long lost family treasures...

...are treasured once again

One door closed...

...and another one opened

And 2...

...became 3!

Wishing you all a 2010 filled with lots of DIY, renovations completed, and rooms lived in and enjoyed!

Patent, My Ass! Five Strange But True Butt-Related Inventions

Dear Rich: I like your blog especially, the early funny stuff you used to write. How come you don't do funny stuff any more? Say no more! As a special end of the year bonus we've dug deep into the bowels of the patent office for five butt-shaking patents, all focused on the human rear-end.

 #1. Patent No. 6473908: "Garment having a buttocks cleavage revealing feature," What's buttocks cleavage? It's when a little bit of the buttocks (and cleft between them) is exposed. Some people find this type of exposure unappealing--in the U.S. it's disparagingly referred to as 'plumber's crack,' in Britain it's 'builder's bum,' and in Brazil, call it cofrinho. Even with this negative rap, apparently there are those among us who like to expose their gluteal cleft. For those folks, inventor Thomas A. Bontems created a method for affixing a strategically placed see-through material allowing for ideal butt cleavage exposure. One nice feature is that the see-through portion of the invention is not limited to a basic heart-shaped peek-a-boo cut-out; the wearer can also expose themselves through flower shaped, butterfly shaped, and football-helmet shaped windows of opportunity. (We're not sure if the football helmet is for fans or players occupying Center position). There's even a "logo" view that presumably allows for unlimited corporate licensing opportunities--for example, you can expose yourself within the Apple logo or Chevrolet "bowtie." Since inventors solve problems, one may wonder what problem Bontems' invention solves? According to the inventor, many people like to expose portions of their anatomy but they're not comfortable wearing tight fitting or low cut jeans. This invention "incorporates a revealing feature that does not detract from or govern the overall structure of the garment." In other words Bontems has leveled the playing field and liberated butt cleavage from the thin, the sexy and the good-looking. Free at last!! 
  • If You Liked This Invention You Might Also Like: Patent No. 5970516, "Article of clothing for making a patterned sunburn." This invention allows the user to swap out an interchangeable see-through portion of a bathing suit to create tanning tattoos. 
#2. Patent No. 6,012,168: "Privacy accessory for use with hospital gown" Even exhibitionists would probably like to avoid one situation of butt-cleavage exposure--the use of an old-fashioned posterior-exposing hospital gown. Laurie Hutton and Lois Histopad came up with a temporary-albeit worky solution as shown in their 1998 patent--a flap-and-strap garment that can be worn underneath the gown to guarantee "practical modesty coverage." Much as we may support the concept, this flapping backside accessory seems like a stop-gap measure. Sure enough, a better solution arrived in 2001 with Sarah Bowens' Patent No. 6,237,153, "Hospital Garment" which featured three panels one of which was an overlapping back panel. Despite the obsolescence of their invention, we support Histopad and Hutton because as lawyers, we can relate to the need for covering your ass. 
  • If You Liked This Invention You Might Also Like: Patent No. 4,028,740, "Convertible beach attire." Speaking of hiding your butt, perhaps you'd like a nice "pair of modesty panels" to cover your skimpy swimwear while walking from your car to the beach. These panels comes with a complex-looking belt and loop combo that makes you wonder why the wearer doesn't just drape a towel around the over-exposed area.
#3. Patent No. 4,151,613: "Protective device for the buttocks and hips of a person for use in skateboarding" Skateboarding is all about style and what could be more stylish than wearing a plastic and foam portable seat on your butt? Now, that should impress your boarding buds. No doubt, inventor Jhoon Rhee had the noblest intentions--to shield skateboarders from hip and butt damage--after all skateboarding injuries account for 50,000 emergency room visits per year. And since 90% of the skateboarding victims are under 15, it makes a lot of sense that kids should wear this "ass-helmet," although getting them to comply should be about as easy as getting them to clean out the septic tank. And here's some good news for manufacturers; Rhee's patent expired in 1995 so anyone can sell and use this shielding device. 
  • If You Liked This Invention You Might Also Like: Patent No. 5913405, "Ladybug (child protector)." Apparently influenced by Kafka's "Metamorphosis," inventor Francisco Bordier has designed a polyurethane bug-styled protective covering for use by children learning to walk. 
#4. Patent No. 5708986: "Undergarment having rear supports" We're afraid there's no other way to put this one. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has spent your tax dollars reviewing and ultimately granting a patent on a device that basically holds your butt cheeks in a raised position. Okay, not every invention can be a cure for cancer and we understand that looking good makes you feel good and feeling good is important in this cruel world. So perhaps it is important to have an invention that "enhances the presentation of the derriere." The principle is simple: cut two strategically placed holes in a support garment and allow your butt to fit within. The result, according to the inventor, is something akin to a push-up bra for your butt. 
  • If You Liked This Invention You Might Also Like: Patent No. 5842232, "Pad inserts for enhancing the shape of a wearer's buttocks." As we've concluded few problems are as devastating as having "flat or scant buttocks." Sure there are numerous butt enhancement devices, but we like inventor Janice Ward Parrish's unique dual-pad approach. 
#5. Patent No. 6,293,874: "User-operated amusement apparatus for kicking the user's buttocks."  Here's an invention that Jefferson and Franklin could never have anticipated -- a machine that allows you to kick your own ass. At least, there's no question what problem this invention solves ... the anatomic impossibility of booting oneself in the butt. This is of course not the first self-spanking machine (see also Pat No. 920,837 for example), but it's a giant leap forward over previous machines whose paddles needed to be reset after each episode. Inventor Joe Armstrong eliminated those pesky issues with his crank system utilizing rotating arms, resulting in a patent issued in 2001. Best of all the whole apparatus folds up for easy transport or storage so you can even take it on vacation. (Tip of the Hatlo Hat to Greg Aharonian)
  • If You Liked This Invention You Might Also Like: Patent No. 2006/0094518 A1, "Manually Self Operated Butt Kicking Machine." If the previous invention seemed so 2001, then check out J. Leavitt's 2006 patented attempt at self-humiliation--a Rube Goldberg styled seat with a hole, through which a shoe strikes the user's posterior.

2011 Honda CR-Z Hybrid Coupe: New Video Shots of Production Model

Continuing the saga of leaks, new photos of the production version of Honda's hotly anticipated 2011 (or 2010, depends on the market) CR-Z hybrid coupe have made their way onto the web. This time, we have a series of screen shots from a video that we have yet to discover. In JDM spec, the 21st century CR-X comes with a hybrid powertrain that combines a 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol unit with an electric motor.

According to the official brochure that was leaked earlier this month, the petrol unit makes 114ps (84kW or 113 HP) at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 145Nm (107 lb-ft) at 4,800 rpm, while the electric motor, 14ps (10kW or 13.4 HP) at 1,500 rpm and 78Nm (58 lb-ft) at 1,000 rpm.

It doesn't sound much, but at least customers will have the option of a six-speed manual transmission in addition to the more traditional for a hybrid model, CVT.

The Japanese version of the CR-Z is said to accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h (62mph) in an uninspiring 9.7 seconds.

In the leaked leaflet, Honda mentions that the CR-Z will return 25.0 km/lt (58.8mpg US or 4.0 lt/100km) and 22.5 km/lt (52.9 mpg US or 4.5 lt/100km), but as we noted then, we are not sure what the numbers refer to.

Japan will first be the first market to receive the production version of the CR-Z in February 2010, with Europe and North America to follow later in the year.

Via: Gazoo

Hartge Releases More Goodies for 2010 BMW Z4 Roadster

After showing us its initial offerings for the new BMW Z4 that were limited to a few alloy wheel options, a dual-pipe exhaust system and a new speedometer, Hartge has taken one step further by releasing a new set of upgrades for the hardtop roadster.

For the exterior, Hartge has created a new front apron that covers the air inlets, carbon fiber mirror caps, a discreet boot lid spoiler, a wind deflector, pin stripes and a four-piece exhaust system.

Customers can also give the hardtop roadster an even sportier stance with the addition of Hartge's alloy wheels that are available in numerous designs in sizes 18- to 20-inches, and a suspension lowering kit.

A set of aluminum pedals, a new instrument cluster and specific floor mats are some of the options offered for the interior.

Those that are interested in juicing up the Z4's powerplants will have to wait until next year when the company is expected to reveal its engine kit program.

Lamborghini Furia Concept: Design Study for Gallardo Replacement

Canadian designer Amadou Ndiaye is at it again with his Lamborghini conceptual proposals. This time, Amadou has envisioned a successor to the Lamborghini Gallardo that he has named the Furia. While retaining the core design characteristics of modern day Lamborghinis, the Furia adds some curves and a more unique engine bay styling to the mix. More photos after the jump.

Source: Coroflot , Via: Seriouswheels