Pick-A-Day

October 2020
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Whatchamacallit 174: My Panama hat, bought in Ecuador

Panama Hat (bought in Ecuador)

This is an expensive hat: I bought it in the country that is home to Panama hats, Ecuador.

If my geography is correct – and the store has continuity of ownership, I bought it at EBD Carmal Hats – Casa del Sombrero on my last morning in Quito, just before heading to Panama, where I bought my Panama hat, bought in Panama.

The price different – US$300 for this one – can be seen in the quality of the weaving: this one is much better woven with many more strands woven tightly together.

It rests on my metal man in my living room – so I see it whenever I go into my living room – an instant reminder of a splendid few days in Ecuador’s capital city.

Essentially, if I wear straw hats in Berlin, I wear one of my two alternative ones – this one is too pricey for me to lose to the wind or forget in a café.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 173: XXX Pepper

XXX Pepper

A dear friend re-gifted me this XXX Pepper shaker as soon as the person who gave it to her left the house.

The friend’s friend cockily assumed that the friend wouldn’t mind a pepper shaker with, “Love From Amsterdam” written down the side of the shaft shaker (not visible in this photo).

What a prick of an assumption.

I graciously accepted the gift – it does fit, somehow, better into my apartment – though it is not really visible because, well, just because. No special reason.

My favorite thing about receiving this gift is that I flew home – so the shaker went into my backpack and I had the nice pleasure of being able to see what the inside of my backpack looked like on an airport x-ray machine – apparently a knob isn’t worth opening the bag to personally inspect, even if the security hunk agent is hot.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 172: Impolite, Arrogant Women Make History

Impolite Arrogant Women Make History.

Last year, Elizabeth Warren was one of the presidential candidates I supported early on. Clearly, I am somewhat disappointed that she did not do better in the primaries. However, I am going to vote for Joe Biden, enthusiastically.

Is he my dream candidate? No.

Do I agree with everything he says or does? No.

However, I will vote for him because four more years of the current president would be an unmitigated disaster for the United States of America.

That said, I still wear this t-shirt: I paid $30 for it – had to get it shipped to a friend Stateside because US presidential candidates will not sell merchandise that shipped outside of the country. That make it difficult, especially during Covid-19-times, to get a Biden T-Shirt.

Depending upon where I am wearing the T-Shirt, it gets noticed and commented upon. The message is valuable: women matter. Women need to participate. Women need to be just like men: Impolite and Arrogate if they are to make history.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 171: Kings County Distillery: peated bourbon, bourbon whiskey

Kings County Distillery peated bourbon

This is the other bottle of whisk(e)y that I bought while in New York City last Christmas (see: 97, Bull Head Bourbon).

Distilled in New York City – Brooklyn (King County) to be precise – Kings County Distillery is, apparently, the oldest (and largest) distillery open within the city limits: it was established in 2010.

My bottle comes from batch 13 (oddly, just like my Tidewalker Bourbon Whiskey).


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 170: Quoridor

Quoridor

I saw this game for sale at the Winterfeldtmarkt – for several months – and I was intrigued.

So I bought it.

I do not know how much I paid, but I would imagine 20-30€; roughly what the game appears to sell for today on Amazon.

I will say, one of the things that attracted me to the game is that it is entirely made out of wood.

I’ve played it maybe a dozen times since buying it; it’s a nice strategy game, something to play against a guest who is visiting on a day when the weather isn’t optimal for wandering Berlin.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 169: Adam, 1978

Adam 1978

A few weeks ago, I posted Adam, 1977, a magnificent piece of art that I cannot bring myself to throw away, even as I hide it in a drawer, unsure of what exactly I am supposed to do with it.

Here is the sequel.

The only comment my Mother made upon giving this to me was that she had instructed whoever was in charge to give me brighter colors. Hence, it comprises orange, red, brown, light green, green, dark blue, grey, and a swirl of yellow.

Like Adam 1977, the back says “Texas Ware.”

No idea what on earth to do with this.

Back into the drawer it goes.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 168: Charles Rennie Mackintosh Ring

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Ring

I’ve previously noted that I am not really a jewelry person – and so here is the only ring that I own.

Although I rarely wear it, I love it: it is a Charles Rennie Mackintosh Ring by Shetland Jewellery. I bought it on June 1, 2013, paying £739.00. It had to be custom made, so although I paid for it then, I did not get it for about a month – give or take – as it was shipped to me in Berlin.

I am not entirely sure, right now, which metal it is made of. I’m reasonably confident that it is 18ct White Gold – but I would have to read the hallmark, something that I would first have to photograph carefully, then blow up to make it readable, then research how to read hallmarks.

I like how it feels on my finger – but I am paranoid that if I were to wear it outside, I would lose it and then be unhappy.

Strangely, I knew I wanted this ring before I arrived on Shetland Island – in travel planning, I’d run across the Shetland Jewellery website and was instantly enchanted with the ring. The pattern is associated with Charles Rennie Mackintosh, an architect from Glasgow, and Art Deco. I’ve actually toured a couple of his buildings in Glasgow, which is why I knew who Mackintosh was – although I must admit that the setting of Shetland Island was a bit odd.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 167: Lights for water

LED light for water

I popped onto Amazon recently searching for something, but thanks to an absent-minded linguistic mistake on my part, I ended up discovering that there is such a thing as submergible LED lights that come complete with a remote control so that you can switch between 12 colors, flashing, brightness and more.

That said, this particular product is not completely well thought out: I bought ten: not one worked out of the box. I accidentally broke one of them, in the process discovering the flaw that prevented them from working: the metal connection between the top and bottom layers is bent in the wrong way in every one of the ten (well, now 9) underwater lights that I now own.

Still not sure what I am going to do with these – but they are fun!


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 166: Lactose Pills

Lactose Intolerance Pills

As a member of the lactose intolerance community, the pills inside this bottle are critical for making my love of cheese possible.

Funny enough, I carry two kinds of lactose pills around: these, which I buy in Germany, are nice because it carries a large number of doses in a relatively small package. The others that I carry – in my wallet – serve as an emergency back up in the event I don’t have the German-purchased pills: those are individually wrapped pills. For some reason I have only ever found the individually wrapped pills in North America – the USA and Canada; my current set come from Canada – and I will need to replenish my supply eventually, once international travel becomes realistically possible again.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 165: £10 (reverse side)

£10 (reverse side)

This copy of the 2017 UK £10 note is on display because it features a quote from Jane Austin:

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!”

Although the line is spoken in great irony (and the Bank of England is mocked for choosing this line), out of context it is a great message.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.