Near Tech Experience

Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. Last year I was almost crushed by a tree. It reminded me to respect nature. This year, I was almost asphyxiated by my new high-tech stove. All I have to say to the universe is, "You're confusing me!" First, you don't want me to go outside. Now you don't want me inside. I mean, what's left—another dimension?

I didn't do anything wrong, except trust a "new improved" stove. I bought it because I wanted the latest and greatest, and I made the mistake of actually using it straight away rather than waiting for the manufacturer to get feedback from other people and fix it. Let that be a lesson to me. And you.

It all seemed safe enough. I was boiling water for some herb tea (see, not even any caffeine) and I turned off the burner, or so I thought, and went back to work.

I don't have the best nose in the world. I mean, it's attractive enough, as noses go (if you think about them too long they're all kind of odd, and whatever you do, don't look at your feet for too long... ugh). But my nose could have a sign that says "closed" on it, since it often is. In fact, I don't believe I actually smelled anything until I was 18. I didn't know I was allergic to cats, and we had 2, which meant I wasn't really able to unstuff my nose 'til I left for college.

So I didn't notice anything even as my house was becoming what can best be described as "the old Hindenberg place on the corner."

I got kind of dizzy. And I coughed. But hey, it was allergy season, or, at least for me, it's always allergy season.

Then my wife, who has quite an attractive and effective proboscis, said to me, "Why do I smell gas?" and I thought, "Well, all I've had today is some toast, that can't possibly... oh, maybe she means like the gas that comes out of the stove... hmm, now that she mentions it, I do smell something odd, but I thought it was my Tai Chi clothes . . ."

So I dizzily stumbled to the stove, discovered I was just a click away from eternity, wisely decided against trying to "burn off" the gas by turning on the burner, and we scrambled around, madly opening windows.

What gets me about this is that it's so often the really stupid stuff that does people in. You hear about people falling out of airplanes at 30,000 feet and getting a few broken bones, but surviving. Then you hear about someone falling down in their own living room, hitting the corner of their coffee table and boom, they're dead. (Of course, those may be evil coffee tables.)

I'm fine, and hopefully the wiser for it. I learned that I probably should spray that allergy stuff up my nose, because we don't have a sense of smell just so we can say, "Hmm, I love the smell of bread baking."

I learned that it's probably not dictators or space aliens or comets, or even high-cholesterol that's going to get most of us—it's life. Life is, after all, the leading cause of death.

But mostly, I learned, once again, that the latest isn't necessarily the greatest, at least not until a few things have exploded and people have complained and little nagging bugs like that have been fixed.

So the next time you are making yourself miserable because you want something new—wait—you may thank yourself.


A lot of people think they put up their site, and the next day millions of people will see it. Well, millions can see it, but chances are, maybe only 10 (people, not million) will—and they'll be your friends and family.

Putting up your web site is just the first step. Once it's up, you have to do all you can to get people to VISIT it. That's the real trick.

If you build it, will they come? (Getting people to your site)

There's been so much hype about what a Web site can do for a small business that many people think once their site goes on-line, the work is over. But in reality, that's when the work begins. Mary Gillen, one of the creators of the "IdeaSiteForBusiness" shows you 21 things you can do to ensure that if you build it, they will come.

The Secret To Getting People To Your Web Site: Publicity

The impact of a well-done press release can exceed a banner ad any day—and you can do it yourself. Getting a write up in a newspaper or magazine gives you a kind of credibility you _can't buy_ with a banner ad or search engine placement. Find out how to write a great press release, and get more exposure in the first of Dan Janal's four-part series.

Get Free Fonts And Web Templates

Even with technology all around us, there's no better way to find out about something than from a friend. With that in mind, you can get free fonts (worth over $70) and truly amazing web graphics you can't get anywhere else—just by having friend subscribe to the FuseLetter!


Buy A Font, Help UNICEF

First there was LiveAid. And FarmAid. And don't forget GatorAid, no, wait, forget it.

Now there's FontAid, the brainchild (or lovechild, whichever you prefer) of Claes Kallarsson at Fuel Fonts. Claes had 27 different type designers each create a single letter and together they made an alphabet that you can buy for just $10 at http://www.fuelfonts.com/fontaid/

All proceedings from this font go to UNICEF to help their mission to give war and disaster refugees and victims with shelter, food and medical attention. It's surprising how much help $10 will buy, so if you like fonts, this is one to buy: http://www.fuelfonts.com/fontaid/

Feed The Hungry With Just A Click

Here's a great idea. All you have to do is visit this site and click on the "Donate Free Food" button. When you do, a sponsoring corporation will make a donation to feed a starving person for one day. You can do this once a day, and it costs nothing to you personally.

Last, But Not Least

These near misses have reminded me that you really do have to treat every day like it was your last. So the next time you're debating about dessert, but you think if you eat it you won't live to be 80, just remember, you could be hit by a bug, a tree, or your own coffee table. So you might as well enjoy yourself while you still have the chance; get the dessert, two forks, and share the fun.




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The SchoomozeLetter is ©1998-2005, Daniel Will-Harris, all rights reserved. If you'd like to use any article on the web or in print, please ask for permission. If you're an agent or publisher looking to publish these pieces, just drop me a note.