Saturday, December 31, 2005

Hangovers. Does Anything Work?

New Year's Eve is known for revelry and is often enhanced by a few drinks -- sometimes a little more than a few drinks.

It might be fun at the time, but those who know the pain of a nasty hangover can imagine how helpful a hangover pill or patch might be.

Unfortunately, pills and patches now on the market "haven't been proven," according to "Good Morning America" medical contributor Dr. David Katz of the Yale Medical School.

The alleged cures "are a mix of various nutrients and there are some things -- particularly in the patch -- that could be helpful, but no proof," Katz said.

After thousands and thousands of years of alcohol consumption, medical professionals are still not really sure what causes a hangover -- but it likely is the result of imbibing major amounts of alcohol, which produces a toxin after the body processes it. When people drink too much, their livers are not able to keep up with processing the toxins.

"Alcohol also causes dehydration, and dehydration can cause headaches and nausea," Katz said. "Alcohol also disturbs sleep. So even though it feels like you slept 12 hours, you probably didn't get REM sleep, so you won't feel rested the next day."

Katz added that drinks with more chemicals in them produce worse hangovers. Wine, especially red wine, tends to be the worst.

Hangover Theories

Some people swear by Philly Cheese Steaks, milkshakes or pasta as hangover cures. Katz said that they might be on to something.

"It's probably beneficial to eat the morning after, and I'm not convinced that it matters much what you eat," Katz said. "The biggest thing is to drink plenty of water. That's going to be the best thing the next morning."

Do not believe the wives tale about the "hair of the dog" -- that another drink will help cure a morning hangover.

"When your liver is really stressed out metabolizing alcohol it's especially vulnerable to that," he said.

Katz also warned against taking Tylenol after a night of hard drinking. Tylenol can put additional stress on the liver. But those who can deal with plain old aspirin when sober can most likely tolerate it when drunk, Katz said.

Unfortunately for New Year's party-goers who get a little carried away, Katz said the natural cure for a hangover, which usually lasts between eight to 24 hours, is time.

NOTE: The following is practical advice given by one who has spent years surviving fairly brutal hangovers.

One thing is key. Prevention will save you better than any other thing. There is not enough to be said about this. Proper prevention will save you from the worst symptoms.

Before you go to bed take 2 Advil (or any headache pill that is made of Ibuprofen). This will save you every time. Do not even waste your time with Aspirin. And do not take Tylenol. Tylenol will destroy your liver if combined with alcohol- no lie! (see below)

In your list of hangover cures you mention taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetominophen. One thing you REALLY ought to be aware of --- if you plan on living very long -- is that acetominophen in combination with alcohol does HORRENDOUS liver damage. Alcohol alone damages the liver; and acetominophen (Tylenol ie.) does a little damage to the liver; but if you mix the two, the damage you incur is EXPONENTIAL. I'm sure you can find plenty of medical journals to calloborate this if you want to. This made news a while back. You can literally wreck your liver in a very short time if you mix Tylenol with alcohol.

Tylenol sucks anyway. Ibuprofen is the best. Case closed.

NOTE: if you forget to take the advil the night before you will wake up in a state where anything you swallow (especially pills) will make you puke, you'll never be able get that blessed Advil relief. You will have suffer through at least 2-3 hours of cold sweats and headaches. And that is no way to spend your weekend.

THE BLOODY MARY (the ultimate)
There is no substitue for a Bloody Mary. Ounce for ounce the curative factors involved in this drink are astonishing. There are not enough good things that can be said about this drink in curing a hangover.

And honestly, if you hate tomato juice, don't worry, I DESPISE tomato juice, it generally makes me sick thinking about it. BUT TRUST ME. Once you add the other ingredients it becomes a different substance, which you will really love! That is a science fact!

It is the ultimate weapon in any fight against hangover pain. The only problem is you will become progressively more useless as you drink more and more of them, but then you weren't going to do anything anyway. And certainly, if you had that hangover still you'd be lying in bed will the blinds closed!

2 oz Vodka
6 oz Tomato Juice (NOTE: if you can find "Beefamato," use it- this will make the ultimate Bloody Mary. So good you will be amazed actually)
4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce (this may be the secret 'x' ingredient)
2-3 drops tabasco sauce
A celery stick should be jammed into this thing also - you can consider the celery stick 'breakfast.'

You will feel better in about 15 minutes.

This one works like a charm for most people. It also tastes really good. We aren't going to tell you how to prepare this because it should be pretty self-explanatory. Even to the stupid. Best choice is to go out to a "Diner" for this.

The Milkshake is the really amazing final touch. It will calm the stomach and relax you. Many stories of success with this combo. It also taste really good. Remember that Beef is your friend.

This one may seem a bit strange but let me just say that it does work. That is a 100% guarantee. If you can't get out to a place the makes this stuff, just buy the Campbell's Chunky Soup version. Add some pepper (if you like pepper). Eat it. Then fall back asleep. You will awake in an hour feeling better than you could possibly imagined.

Note: On the east coast of the United States you can go to this place called "Friendly's." They have the best hangover combo, which is the following 1. New England Clam Chowder 2. "A Big Beef" 3. Chocolate Fribble." It works - in fact - it saved my college career (in drinking).


This is a typical San Antonio remedy. One Bean & Cheese Taco and your favorite Breakfast Taco, (I recommend a Chilequias), both on flour tortillas with hot sauce. Wash them down with an ice cold Big Red soda. Works every time! Sometimes a cup or two of good coffee helps as well, but for some strange reason, Mexican restaurants seem to have the absolute worst coffee, so you might need a extra stop unless you've got some good stuff at home.

This works best when it's all brought to you couch side by someone that really loves you.

Be nice, be safe and don't be stupid tonight.

Happy New Year Y'all!

Thanks to ABC News and Blur Of

Friday, December 30, 2005

Favorite Fonts of 2005

We've all been sharing our list of favorite songs of 2005, mine are
over here. (And no, I didn't forget U2, it was just too obvious to list such a superb album!) I also put together a mix of groovy songs I stumbled upon this past year called "It's New to Me" which is exactly what is says it is. I'll have the liner notes posted soon at my Necessito La Music site along with a few downloads. If you didn't get a copy of the cd, you probably didn't buy me a beer over the holidays. It's never too late though...

Anyway, as you might know, I'm also interested in the world of all things design and especially type. The friendly folks over at Typographica have a nice overview of new fonts that were introduced this year.

Just so you know, Typographica is an online journal of typography featuring news, observations, and open commentary on fonts and typographic design. Check it out here.

That's Right,


Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Birthday Ringo!

In honor of Sir Ringo's 6th birthday we're having a little K9 Soiree early this evening complete with hush puppies, hot dogs and a bone shaped, cheese flavored cake from Fifi & Fido's made especially for good dogs.

So please, join us in spirit and enjoy the perfect Ringo Birthday/Christmas song I discovered just the other day. Ringo Bells!

You can bet we'll hear more than once today!

Ringo All The Way!


Monday, December 19, 2005

Wesolych Swiat i Szczesliwego Nowego Roku!

Afrikaans - Geseknde Kersfees en 'n gelukkige nuwe jaar
Argentine - Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo
Bohemian - Vesele Vanoce
Brazilian - Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo
Bulgarian - Vesela Koleda i chestita nova godina!
Catalan - Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!
Chinese - Sing Dan Fae Lok. Gung Hai Fat Choi (Cantonese)
Chinese - Shen Dan Kuai Le Xin Nian Yu Kuai (Mandarin)
Chinese - Shen tan jie kuai le. Hsin Nien Kuaile
Croatian - Sretan Bozic
Czech - Stastne a vesele vanoce a stastny novy rok!
Danish - Glaedelig Jul og godt nyter
Dutch - Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuw Jaar
Dutch - Prettige kerstdagen en een gelukkig nieuw jaar
English - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Eskimo - (inupik) Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!
Esperanto - Felican Kristnaskon kaj Bonan Novjaron!
Estonian - Rõõmusaid jõulupühi ja head uut aastat!
Faeroese - Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!
Filipinos - Maligayang Pasko
Finnish - Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta!
Flemish - Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
French - Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année!
Scots Gaelic - Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath yr!
Galician - Bo Nadal
German - Frohe Weihnachten und ein gl|ckliches Neues Jahr!
Greek - Hronia polla kai eytyhismenos o kainourios hronos
Greek - Hronia polla ke eftihismenos o kenourios hronos
Hausa - Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
Hawaian - Mele Kalikimaka ame Hauoli Makahiki Hou!
Hungarian - Kellemes karacsonyi uennepeket es boldog ujevet!
Icelandic - Gledhileg jsl og farsflt komandi ar!
Indonesian - Selamat Hari Natal dan Selamat Tahun Baru!
Iraqi - Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Irish Gaelic - Nollaig Shona duit
Irish Gaelic - Nollaig Shona
Irish Gaelic - Nollaig faoi shean agus faoi shonas duit agus bliain nua faoi mhaise dhuit!
Italian - Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo!
Japanese - Meri Kurisumasu soshite Akemashite Omedeto!
Latin - Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!
Latvian - Priecigus Ziemsvetkus un Laimigu Jaungadu!
Lithuanian - Linksmu Kaledu
Maltese - Nixtieklek Milied tajjeb u is-sena t-tabja!
Modern Greek - Kala Christougenna kai evtichismenos o kainourios chronos!
Norwegian - God Jul Og Godt Nytt Aar
Pennsylvania German - En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!
Polish - Vesowe Boze Narodzenie
Polish - Wesolych Swiat i Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Portuguese - Boas Festas
Portuguese - Feliz Natal e um Prospero Ano Novo
Romanian - Craciun fericit si un an nou fericit
Russian - S nastupaiushchim Novym godom i s Rozhdestvom Khristovym!
Romanche - (sursilvan dialect): Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn!
Serbian - Hristos se rodi
Slovakian - Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce
Slovak - Vesele Vianoce i na zdravie v novom roku!
Slovenian - Vesele bozicne praznike in srecno novo leto
Spanish - Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
Swedish - God Jul Och Ett Gott Nytt Ar
Thai - Suk san wan Christmas
Thai - Suk san wan pee mai - Happy New Year
Trukeese - (Micronesian) Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!
Turkish - Noeliniz kutlu olsun ve yeni yilinis kutlu olsun!
Turkish - Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian - Srozhdestvom Kristovym
Ukrainan - Z novym rokom i s rizdvom Hrystovym!
Ukrainan - Khrystos Rodevsia
Vietnamese - Chuc mung nam moi va Giang Sinh vui ve
Welsh - Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Da!"
Yoruba - E ku odun, e ku iye'dun!

Bite Harder

Small Internet Retailers Are Using Web Tools to Level the Selling Field

Amazon, and other online retailing giants have always had upstarts nipping at their heels. But the little guys are starting to bite harder.

Just how sharp their teeth are, however, is a matter of some debate.

Of the $26 billion in sales that are projected for Internet retailers this holiday season, about 45 percent will go to small retailers, according to Forrester Research, up from 42 percent last year. Even so, with revenues starting to flatten at eBay, the site so many of them use to market their wares, some analysts doubt they will ever be able to break through the 50 percent mark.

But other analysts are not so sure. In the fast-changing world of Internet commerce, they say, smaller merchants have gained two important advantages: Google and consumers who are fussier than ever.

"The game has changed," said Gene Alvarez, an analyst with Gartner, a technology consulting firm.

In years past, any retailer could put up a Web site fairly easily, although it had little chance of attracting the attention of Web browsers unless it had enough money to advertise on well-known sites like AOL and MSN. Yahoo and Amazon, which have long sold cheap Internet storefronts to small businesses, sweetened the deal by listing the businesses on their sites in return for a sales commission.

But that exposure, while significant, pales in comparison to the publicity Web merchants can now gain by spending a few nickels per click on a text ad on Google. "Before, people couldn't find these smaller guys," Mr. Alvarez said. "But now these stores can be much more easily discovered on Google."

At the same time, consumers are displaying a growing appreciation for small online retailers. According to the Kelsey Group, a media consulting firm, the portion of Internet searches that include local elements like "dry cleaners and Greenwich Village" or "art galleries in Easton" has doubled in the last year to 20 percent.

One reason for that, no doubt, is the spread of high-speed Internet connections, which allow users to click through multiple merchants without waiting hours for Web pages to load.

All of which leads to another phenomenon that could further threaten the dominance of the big players - simplified e-commerce software with the potential to lure hordes of hitherto reluctant merchants onto the Internet.

According to eBay, nearly 650,000 small businesses in the United States have an online presence, a sizable figure but a tiny fraction of the 7.5 million companies that the Kelsey Group estimates market most of their goods directly to consumers. Many of the holdouts have resisted the Web because they deem the transition to be too difficult, too expensive or both. But now, Yahoo Stores, ProStores from eBay, NetSuite and other companies that help businesses operate online hope to change the minds of the hesitant with software and services that are cheaper and easier to use.

"We're moving into the next generation for small and medium-sized businesses who want to sell online," said Mr. Alvarez of Gartner. "Even a one-person shop can open an online store that's much more refined than it would've been a few years ago."

Liz Herbert, a Forrester analyst, said the biggest change in e-commerce software in the last few years was that it no longer comes in a box. It is delivered online, so businesses do not need technology specialists to install and run the company's system.

EBay has for years offered sellers the chance to set up their own ministores, called storefronts, in this fashion, but the company this year intensified its efforts to reach small businesses that might not be interested in selling solely on its site. In January, it bought Kurant, an e-commerce software company, for an undisclosed sum; this year it renamed the service ProStores and upgraded the software with added features.

According to Chris Tsakalakis, eBay's senior director of stores and platforms, the ProStores service, which costs from $7 to $250 monthly, gives sellers templates to use in setting up a store, and will carry an online catalog of 10 items or more. For those who pay $30 or more a month, the service includes a personalized Web address, a secure checkout process and a selection of more sophisticated business tools, like those that help managers improve the store's rankings on search engine results.

Such software tools sound like an obvious place for Google's engineers to focus, particularly if the company wants to attract more local businesses online so they will buy more Google ads. But Google - which last month began giving away software to help Internet managers analyze their site traffic, but has not otherwise pushed into e-commerce services - does not offer live customer service, and this is one market where such service is critical, executives said.

"We have hundreds of live agents that are highly trained, answering questions around the clock," said Rich Riley, vice president and general manager of Yahoo Small Business. "That gives us a real head start."

And increasingly, these services include more than just the ability to post a Web site and accept transactions. NetSuite, a privately held company co-founded by Lawrence J. Ellison, Oracle's chief executive, and Evan Goldberg, one of Oracle's chief technologists, has improved its tools for companies that want to manage their entire business - including payroll, shipping and marketing - through the Internet.

For some retailers, like Mess Makeup, a New York seller of cosmetics, that is the most important feature in the latest incarnation of e-commerce services. "I could go to the Bahamas, pull out my laptop, look at inventory, see how many leads came in, track people's shipping, and everything's extremely user-friendly," said Adam Furman, a former software consultant who co-founded Mess Makeup two months ago.

Mr. Furman, who pays NetSuite about $1,000 a month for one of its more sophisticated service offerings, said he would have had to spend $500,000 to $1 million to develop the same technology on his own a few years ago. "And we would've needed to hire a tech team of our own," he said. "Now we can concentrate more on just selling makeup and building our business."

Thanks to Bob Tedeschi NYT

Friday, December 16, 2005

Dave's King Kong Top Ten

Top ten signs that your wife is in love with a giant monkey:

10. Seems to work late whenever the circus is in town.

9. Can’t turn on CNN without seeing her dangling from the Empire
State Building.

8. There are several enormous footprints next to the hot tub.

7. Your American Express bill shows $2000 charge from Chiquita.

6. Complains you never pick her up and hold her in the palm of your

5. Was riveted by Dr. Phil episode “I’m in love with a giant monkey”

4. You notice a hair on her sweater and it’s eight feet long.

3. She’s legally changed her name to Connie Kong.

2. Your baby is a dead ringer for Chewbacca.

1. The house smells chimpy

That's Right,


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Monday, December 12, 2005

Psssst. Hey. Wanna See A Stupid Video?

Click Here To See Stupid Videos

That's Right!


Groovy Cable Winder

The Tetran was designed to simply wind up your iPod’s earbuds and cables to keep from dangling.



George Carlin's Views on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old
is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited
about aging that you think in fractions.

"How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and
a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the
next number, or even a few ahead.

"How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're
gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your become 21.
Even the words sound like a ceremony...YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like
bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now,
you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the
brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and
your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a
day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch;
you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the
90s, you start going backwards; "I Was JUST 92."

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a
little kid again. " I'm 100 and a half!"

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height.

Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay "them."

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
(I agree 100%...toss away excess that is dragging you down)

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening,
whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's
workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who
is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family,
pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is
unstable,improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9 Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next
county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the
moments that take our breath away.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Tiki Bongo Video!

Hey y'all, check out the first video from my Tiki Bongo project: Uh Huh Oh Yeah

That's Right,


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

USB Turntable

Dude, this USB turntable is being touted as the first ever of its kind to let you instantly convert your vinyl to CD or MP3 with included recording software (no special drivers required). Basically, the ITTUSB is compatible with any software that supports USB audio input sound cards, but comes with Audacity software for Mac or PC. On the hardware side, the turntable supports 33 1/3 and 45rpm, has an adjustable anti-skating control for increased stereo balancing, supports high-speed vinyl recording, has adjustable pitch control (+/- 8 per cent) and comes with line level output that lets you connect to your home stereo with CD or auxiliary inputs. Just $139.

This is on the top of my must have list!

That's Right,


Meet Judy

E-Tailers Try New Holiday Tricks

E-Tailers are tapping blogs, social-networking sites, and GPS technology to lure shoppers. I really learned someting from this. Darcey Howard needed an idea. The Seattle image consultant wanted to find a business gift she could give clients -- something stylish, yet appropriate for more than one person. So she went to Judy's Book, a social-networking site that lets people stay in touch with friends or business associates, and asked for input from the members of her network, mostly other marketing pros. They recommended the Dangle, a $35 portable handbag holder that sits on a tabletop, letting women avoid plopping their Coach (COH) and Gucci bags on the floor. Howard was sold -- on the Dangle and on using the Net for smarter shopping. "You can spend a lot of time there, reading things and finding stuff," she says.

It's not only a merry Christmas on the Web this year, it's also an innovative one. Forrester Research Inc. (FORR ) says online retail sales this holiday will surge 25%, to $18 billion. The increasingly strong profitability of Net commerce is giving retailers the chance to experiment with a stockingful of new sales and marketing tactics. They're tapping into technologies such as blogs, social networking, and wireless phones to draw shoppers to their sites. "There are a host of new ways to reach out that are more innovative," says Forrester analyst Carrie Johnson.
The experiments are coming from startups to Web giants alike. Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO ) is testing Shoposphere, a networking site within Yahoo! Shopping that offers thousands of reviews, blogs, and shopping lists generated by members. Rob Solomon, a vice-president at Yahoo! Shopping, says relying on users lets Yahoo serve markets too small to command space on its front pages. An example: One member's "Poker Night" shopping list, which tells readers where to find 16 must-haves, from strategy books to green, felt-covered tables. "If you can tap into expertise like that, it's really special," Solomon says.

It can also pay off for smart shoppers., a site with thousands of product reviews, offers visitors cash-back rewards of up to 10% when they make purchases at more than 60 other sites, including Macy's and cosmetics retailer Sephora. Yahoo plans to let people earn cash for posting reviews that lead other users to make purchases.

Sometimes the experiments aren't about closing sales online but about finding new ways to market to harried holiday shoppers. Blog offers fashion and beauty tips to the young and hip in eight cities. This fall it launched a newsletter alerting members to deals in their areas. Now companies from Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL ) to Levi Strauss & Co. are lining up to be included in the online mailing, offering DailyCandy members discounts of up to 25%.

Perhaps the biggest potential lies in ventures that want to tie e-commerce to local commerce, which still accounts for about 95% of retail sales. Drawing most of the attention is Google Base, a database service from Google Inc. (GOOG ) that lets people and businesses advertise almost any product or service in a city or region. Already, 14.5 million products are listed on Google Base.

The search giant is but one of many players in the field, however. Startup rounds up local advertising circulars and puts them online to let shoppers know which physical stores in their area offer the best sales. ShopLocal LLC has the same sort of circular information on its site, plus what it claims is the first service for comparing prices at online retailers with those of local merchants. ShopLocal Chief Marketing Officer Dave Hamel says the site has prices from as many as 700 local stores in some cities.

New York's GPShopper Inc., with its S'Lifter service, has attracted attention from retailers as large as Foot Locker Inc. (FL ) S'Lifter lets people use their cell phones to compare prices at nearby stores and get notices of local sales. By next year, the company plans to let consumers fill out wish lists, then use satellite technology to flag them when they walk past a store that has one of the items on sale. "We want to find out how many of these places are being used by our customers," says Raul Vasquez, vice-president for marketing at (WMT ). "We'll work with several of them."

No one pretends to know how much business the new technologies can help Web merchants capture. Still, the experimentation this season is striking, after years when what passed for innovation was bigger pictures of products. The changes are starting small. But if they work, look for a lot more like them for Christmas 2006 and beyond.

From the smart folks at Business Week

Friday, December 02, 2005

Find The Bands!

Here's some awesome gorilla marketing for you from the smart folks over at Virgin: There are 75 bands in this photo - so far we've found 65.

Here's a clue, it's not easy...

Check out a nice big version at the Original Source

And, you'll need a cool computer-world song to loop while you're looking, so dig this!

That's Right,


Constant Creative Problem Solving

A Day in the Life of Work: Field of Dreams

The secret behind a level playing field at Fenway? Try kitty litter and rubber-tire crumbs.

David R. Mellor Age: 41
Director of Grounds
Fenway Park
Boston, Massachusetts

Baseball runs in the family. My grandfather played in 1902 for Baltimore, and in high school, I hoped to play in the majors. Then a month after graduation, I got hit by a car. My baseball career was over. But in physical therapy, I thought about how I loved being outside, how I grew up taking care of people's lawns, and how I loved baseball. I decided to study horticulture and agronomy and become a groundskeeper.

To take care of the park you grew up worshipping is almost indescribable. During the season, I get up at 4:45 a.m. to check the weather. I'm at the park by 6:30. I spend a lot of time walking the field, looking for dry spots or stressed areas. I keep a log of trouble spots and what we've done about them.

You can't rely on what you learned in a textbook. You have to be creative. In high-traffic areas, where players stand in the outfield, we use rubber crumbs from recycled tires. They cushion the grass so it can take wear and tear. I use green sand and fresh clippings to hide imperfections and pregerminated seeds to make the grass grow faster. We learn how to trick Mother Nature.

When I came to work for the Red Sox in 2001, Joe Mooney, the previous director of grounds, told me that when it rained hard, the Charles River overflowed. The dugouts and camera pits flooded, and sometimes fish washed out onto the field. I thought he was kidding. Then the Saturday before opening day, we got 3 inches overnight. Sure enough, there were eight bass on the field.

After a downpour, my crew uses anything from a pitchfork to help drain and aerate the field to kitty litter to absorb the water. During last fall's playoffs, we even brought in a helicopter to hover above the ground. Whatever it takes, that's what I do. It's just constant problem solving.

Originally appeared in Fast Company Magazine, Issue 83: June 2004