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Zapponian Of The Day, David L.!

David L., without you our computers would be a mess. Thanks for being such a wonderful tech support.

Here he is, the ever so strange, David L.!

I do apologize for this very strange Zapponian of the day interview. It won’t happen again – or at least I’ll try to not make a habit of it.

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Houseware Expo!

Nothing makes you want to cook more than a new set of kitchenware. Today at Zappos we hosted a Houseware Expo with several of the leading brands in kitchen cookware, appliances, cutlery, and glassware. Brands such as Mauviel , Emile Henry , Kuhn Rikon , Shun, Peugeot , Riedel, Demeyere, Terraillon , Aerogarden, Wenger, Staub , Twin, Rosle, Viking , as well as our Zappos exclusive brand Highburry were all here demonstrating the use and quality of their products. All of these brands will be available on our site in the coming months.

Happy Cooking!

Baby Boomers: Shoes for Arthritic Feet

Baby boomers who have worn improperly fit shoes or who have had careers for the past twenty years standing on their feet for hours may have arthritic feet. Baby boomers can take steps to ease the pain associated with arthritic feet by wearing the proper shoes.

What exactly should one look for when purchasing the proper shoes for arthritic feet? Shoes should have a wide-toe box and a comfortable heel. It is also important to replace shoes on a regular basis so that they serve the wearer well. Main considerations when purchasing proper shoes for arthritic feet include finding comfortable shoes that fit properly and do not cause swelling or inflammation. That being said, fit, quality and comfort are paramount.

There are a number of brands of proper shoes for arthritic feet designed for men and women that are attractive, comfortable and affordable including brands such as; Mephisto, Drew, Brooks and P.W. Minor.

With a reputation for making the perfect shoe, Mephisto is one of the top brands that offer proper shoes for arthritic feet. Some of the styles that are ideal for arthritic feet include the Mephisto Leda for Ladies , which is a lightweight sport shoe with a leather upper and durable outsole, which provides lightweight support. One of the top features of the Mephisto Leda is an anatomically designed, removable air-jet footbed created to absorb shock and promote air circulation. The retail price for the Mephisto Leda is $309.

An excellent choice for a proper shoe for arthritic feet is from Drew, one of the leaders in therapeutic comfort footwear. A great style for men is the Drew Albany Clog in Brown Leather . Recommended as a great, all day walking shoe and designed for comfort and flexibility. Its top features include round toes, full leather upper and linings, two removable insoles for a customized fit, a firm heel counter and padded collar to reduce foot slipping. Priced at $110, this is a great shoe for a life of comfort.


Importance of Clothing in Music: The Goth Look

Like many fashion trends, the Goth look comes out of the world of music. While the Goth music scene first came to life as a morbid off-shoot of punk in the late 1970s, it had its heyday in the 1980s with bands like Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Cure and The Sisters of Mercy. While the Goth subculture continues to be alive and well today, with many of the original bands still recording even as new ones come in to the scene, where Goth has really left its mark is in fashion.

As with many fashion subcultures, Goth has something of uniform. Gothic fashion frequently involves elaborate outfits, usually but not exclusively, in black. All white outfits, deep reds and rich purples sometimes also enter into play. However, the general aesthetic is one of mourning, and styling is usually borrowed heavily from Victorian or Edwardian fashions. Although more recent fashion trends can also come into play including those of the 1940s and 50s. Luxurious fabrics such as velvet, silk and lace are often popular, and the look is often less revealing than other styles considered a part of youth fashion. Elaborate jewelry and makeup is common for both genders.

While the full Goth look still seems a bit over-the-top for many occasions, Goth has definitely gone mainstream and influenced many designers and lines including John Galliano, Betsy Johnson and Jean-Paul Gaultier . Additionally, as many of the original Goths have gotten older, they’ve developed “office Goth” or “stealth Goth” looks that adhere to parts of the Goth aesthetic, while also fitting in with the more mainstream parts of their lives. This trend has helped bring the Goth fashion statement to the rest of us.

Meanwhile Goth fashion, in and of itself, has split into many subgenres including the coquettish-elegant Gothic, or Lolita-elegant Gothic, an aristocratic look that is popular in Japan. There is also the graver look, which is a cross between Goth and rave fashions, and the techno Goth style, which incorporates futurism and technology into the trend.

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Shopping Tips for New Parents: Cozy Winter Clothes for Baby

As temperatures drop during the season ahead, making sure your little one stays plenty warm for fall and winter becomes a top priority. Wrapping them up tight in a baby blanket is only one part of the challenge. You also need to dress them in some cozy onesies and top off the ensemble with a hat to trap in as much heat as possible.

The EGG cable hat and booties are a great starter set for your little one. This ensemble has a little touch of luxury that will keep their toes and head plenty warm this winter. The cable knit hat even has some fuzzy ears on top and will stay on tight with the tie closure. Plus, these accessories are made of 100 percent cotton and will trap in lots of heat when temperatures take a nosedive.

You can spoil your little princess silly with the Olily Kids booties, hat and bib set , a sweet pink and white ensemble complete with bunnies and flowers. The hat is a versatile piece that can be mixed and matched with other pink and white outfits lining her baby closet. Plus, the pieces are all machine washable, so you don’t have to fret about spills and mishaps.

You knew he was up to no good the moment you laid eyes on him, and your mischievous little champ can play his part with the DVS Shoe Company hat and booties set. It’s all in the details with this skater-inspired ensemble that’s made of 100 percent cotton and designed to keep him warm and cozy. He’ll be ready for the streets in no time.

If you’re intent is making a fashionista out of your wee one, then pick up a Dolce & Gabbana animal print hat and bootie set for a step into the wild side. The leopard print logo adorns the supersoft hat, giving her a chance to make the ultimate fashion statement. The cozy hat and booties also come in a convenient storage bag for safekeeping or special occasions.

Plopping on a cozy hat even when they’re indoors can help keep baby comfortable and happy during the cooler months ahead. Round up any of these too-cute toppers to prepare for the upcoming season in style!

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Best Snowboarding on the Planet: O-hi-o

Snowboarding in Ohio? Aw, c’mon. And Best on the Planet? Puh-leeze.

Give us a chance here. On one hand, you may perceive Best on the Planet as somewhere in Canada or Switzerland or France. But if you are not there at the particular moment, Best on the Planet doesn’t do much good. Really, ultimately, and yes, selfishly, Best on the Planet should be wherever YOU happen to be on any given day. It’s a state of mind.

Besides, the State of Ohio seems to decide most of our U.S. presidential elections, and therefore proper respect is due …

Ohio’s Alpine Valley, near Akron, tries so hard, advertising itself like this: “The 9 slopes at this ski hill are brilliant. The ski resort gets blanketed by so much beautiful snow, 10 feet per year, and that is an incredibly splendid coverage.”

Then comes an admission: “A 230-foot vertical drop is, of course, not that much, but Alpine Valley makes up for it with other things … Good exercise and just hanging out with our skiing palls surpasses anything.”

They have a point. To go a step farther , let’s say you are a really fly snowboarder and you come upon a place like Ohio’s Alpine Valley. There are hundreds of Alpine Valleys across the country, of course. So are you too good for Alpine Valley? Baseball and football and basketball players, even golfers and tennis stars, play at clinics in disadvantages places. Why not you?

Alpine Valley does indeed have Xtreme areas and a permanent half-pipe with rails. Stop by, show off some of your best tricks, and then greet the locals as they come a-runnin’. Offer a few pointers. You’ll feel good about yourself.

Ohio offers more than just Alpine Valley.

There’s the Big Creek Ski Area (they have snowboarding too), a half hour from Cleveland, in which the members actually own their own mountain, buy their own snowmaking equipment and so forth. This may sound more like Russia than Ohio, but it’s true, fellow traveler.

At Boston Mills Brandywine they’re getting ready for the snowboard and ski season already, prepping for the 2nd Annual OktoberSTEEZ Rail Jam, followed by a Level One Productions video premier on the Big Screen Outside.

Then there’s Mad River Mountain. Can you imagine a greater name for a snowboarding place? Alas, Wikipedia reports that “because the natural snowfall averages only 36 inches, snow is not always naturally available.”

Scoff all of you Best on the Planet snowboarders, but ask yourself this: If Mad River Mountain were the only place remaining on earth to ride your board, wouldn’t you go there?


Treacherous Climb of the Week: Cho Oyo

For some mountain climbers, altitude is everything, which is why so many attempt to climb Cho Oyu every year. Cho Oyu is located on the border between Tibet and Nepal, with an elevation of 8,201 meters. Although it is considered one of the easier of the 8,000-meter peaks, this is not a climb you want to take lightly.

Unlike many of the other mountains you might attempt to climb, the obstacles with Cho Oyu will begin long before you throw on your climbing gear. The requirements of the Chinese authorities have become more stringent over the years, and several permits are required to begin the climb.

Some climbers make it all the way to Tibet, only to discover that they can’t climb Cho Oyu at all. Talk about a wasted trip! If you’re going to initiate this climb, make sure your paperwork is in order and go through an experienced outfitter with the necessary knowledge to make sure your trek happens.

The other major problem with climbing Cho Oyu is the altitude. Ice, snow and debris aren’t as much of a concern as with other mountains, but altitude sickness is common once you’ve crested 25,000 feet. This is particularly true if you climb in the late fall when the temperatures drop precipitously.

Layers are important to toughing out the differences in temperature from the start of the climb to the finish. For ladies, a lightweight hooded sweatshirt such as the North Face Oso is great to have on underneath your down suit, just in case the sun decides to peak out from behind the clouds. For men, try the Men’s North Face SDS 1/4 Zip.

As far as preparation, you’ll need to focus on any aerobic activity you can think of. Running stairs, joining a kickboxing class, purchasing aerobic exercises DVDs and whatever you can think of to increase your lung capacity and prepare your body for the assault of climbing Cho Oyu. Since the altitude deprives your muscles of precious oxygen, you can’t prepare enough for this trek.

That said, most people who climb Cho Oyu call it a “rush,” and claim that very few mountains are as exhilarating. Just don’t forget your mother’s timeless advice: Drink plenty of fluids.

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Ban on Water Bottles!

It’s not just a color, it’s a movement that’s hitting Zappos by storm. Zappos is taking the right step in the green direction by handing out Blue, reusable water bottles out to all employees and will no longer carry disposable water bottles in our offices. From here on out, Zapponians will quench their thirst by filling up their water bottles at the several coolers posted around our Headquarters.

Way to demonstrate corporate responsibility Hopefully more corporate companies will follow in our shoe prints.

FAQs about Bottled water and its effects on the planet and you:

Q. Is Bottle water safer or healthier than Tap Water?
A. Federal regulations are nearly identical to tap water, resulting in equally safe water from the tap or from the bottle. “In fact, roughly 40 percent of bottled water begins as tap water; often the only difference is added minerals that have no marked health benefit”. –

Q. How many gallons of oil go into the manufacturing of Bottled Water?
A. The production of the 28 billion bottles of water Americans buy each year uses 1.1 million barrels of oil and releases one billion pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to the Container Recycling Institute.

Q. Where do my bottles go once I am finished?
A. Of the billions of water bottles Americans buy each year, 80 percent end up in landfills or incinerators, even after getting recycled. Those bottles could take anywhere between 400 and 1,000 years to degrade, the EPI estimates. –

Q. Where should I get my water?
A. Zappos will provide all employees with a reusable water bottle that you can fill up at any of the Sparkletts coolers.

Q. By reusing a bottle, how many bottles are kept out of landfills?
A. By choosing to refill a reusable cup with water from a cooler, you are saving 1900 bottles from ending up in landfills. Each jug (equivalent to 38 bottles of water) is reused 50 times, (Once the Jugs have “retired” from Offices and homes, they are recycled into things like speed bumps, park benches, and other municipal uses.) –

Q. Are any other companies not using bottled water?
A. Locally, the Levi’s distribution Center has completely banned the use of Disposable Bottled Water in their facilities. Cities such as San Francisco and Ann Arbor, Mich., have already acted on the problem by banning bottled water in city buildings. –