Friday, November 26, 2021

Black Friday Madness God Help Me

I posted a cute animal video once (YouTube seems to have removed it), so I'll complete my descent into vulgar mass appeal with, yech, a Black Friday rundown. In no particular order...

I love Today only they have - for $79, not $203 - an excellent digital projector (you'll need an HDMI connector to your mobile phone, i.e. this one for iphone which is much cheaper on eBay, but be very careful you're not getting a knock-off), plus they throw in a totally crap 100" screen. $6 shipping plus the inevitable sales tax. This is a fantastic gift idea: a cool thing no one would ever buy just for fun, yet it'!

Ice maker for $120 off! Cool!

I'm a Chinese tea and pu'er snob, with no interest in Japanese teas other than matcha, which I'm addicted to. No fattening lattes; I drink it straight, briefly heated to 175 degrees and then shaken vigorously with cool water (and, btw, my daily matcha habit is the only dietary change I ever made that substantially reduced my cholesterol).

Trader Joe's matcha is surprisingly good and well-priced (I wrote about it here, and definitely take a look because TJ's sells a confusing ton of different matcha products). But Ippodo matcha is absolutely top quality, and they offer free shipping, this weekend only, for Black Friday.

I recently wrote about J Crew's great Waffle Cut shirts, which are like thermal shirts that went to design school. They're 40% off right now.

Also, the fleece-lined sweat pants from Lands End I raved over in that posting are on super discount right now, as is their fleece-lined hoodie sweatshirt.

Cool cult video subscription for an amazing 50% off. Too rich for my blood, and I'm already awash in un-viewed second hand dvds, but this would make a heckuva gift for any film person...or anyone bored.

Shark ION WiFi RV761 Robot Vacuum, refurbished, for $89 (not $260) plus $6 shipping from’s sister site. I researched it, and it appears to be the best budget one, just like Endgadget says.

For a more mid-range robot vacuum with higher suction (i.e. for pet hairs) and more features, this one was Wired's runner-up choice: Roborock S4 Max Robot Vacuum for $280 rather than $430 (if you click the coupon)

Not Black Friday, just some unbridled recent consumption:

Yesterday I watched the Charleston episode of Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" (free on HBO Max) and did two things: 1. dug up a $92 roundtrip fare to Charleston, and 2. made a $40 order from Anson Mills, which does fancy heirloom grains so distinctive that they warn you not to try to use their stuff for any normal recipe. I bought Carolina Gold Rice, Colonial Coarse Pencil Cob Grits, Heirloom Sweet Flint Popping Corn, and Charleston Gold Brown Rice. It hasn't arrived yet, butI already feel a wonderfully light my wallet.

I never got into black pepper. Not for decades. Then I tried Indian Tellicherry black peppers, ground with a decent pepper mill, and finally saw the light. Now I've learned that there's a step-up level for Tellicherry black pepper called Tellicherry Garbled Special Extra Bold (as usual, the best discussion is on Chowhound, here and here). I'll let you dive into the nerdery on that, but while it's more biting and dominatingly flavorful, I haven't found anyone on the Internet who stepped up and regretted it.

I usually buy spices from Penzey's (they have the fancy kind, as well as normal Tellicherry, which really isn't so much cheaper), but Penzey's kills you on shipping unless you buy a ton. I'm nearly out, so I bought this time from highly-regarded Spice Lab via Amazon (the jar's a rip-off - compare per-ounce price to the 4oz resealable bag - and since it's going straight into the pepper mill, anyway, who needs a jar??). Also from Spice Lab, I threw in some of my favorite chili flakes from Aleppo (a real culinary magic versatile), which I also normally buy from Penzeys.


PZ said...


Try the Tellicherry from Kalustyan's when you're in Curry Hill or online or someplace. Might beat out Penzey's, and you get to deal with the goofy people at Kalustyan's. This was mostly an excuse to say happy Chanukah, but the pepper is genuinely fine. pz

James Leff said...

I thought it was parmesano….all Tellicherry (and/or Tellicherry Starship) was pretty much the same.

Happy Chanukah back!

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