Sunday, March 1, 1998
Of cookies, reminders, and Jerry

BY CHARLES BREWER
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Some odds and ends I've run across on the Web recently:

  • WEB COOKIES: Juliette Gordon Lowe started selling home-baked cookies in the 1920s as a way for her Girl Scouts to be self-reliant and fund their own activities.

    If she only knew what she started.

    This year, Cincinnati's Girl Scouts plan to sell almost 1.7 million boxes of shortbread, thin mints and six other varieties. If you haven't already placed an order with a little girl in a uniform (or her parents), you still have until mid-March to buy them.

    Or in true '90s fashion, you can order cookies off the Web. You can also read about how they're made, where the money goes, and where your local Girl Scout council will be selling them.

    ABC Cookie Bakers, one of two companies that produce Girl Scout Cookies, has a Web site at http://www.girlscoutcookiesabc.com that offers a tour of the bakery as well as lots of information about the cookies and the cookie sale.

    For example, I learned that more than two-thirds of the price for a box cookies goes to the scouts. And all the money raised by each scouting council stays in that council.

    The other cookie maker, Little Brownie Bakers, also has a small Web site at http://www.girlscoutcookieslbb.com, which describes its Girl Scout cookie varieties. Northern Kentucky scouts sell the Little Brownie cookies, which are made in Louisville.

    Locally, the Great Rivers Girl Scout Council has a page about the cookie and calendar fund-raising events at http://www.grgcs.org/cookies.htm And the national organization explains the purpose of the sale at http://www.gsusa.org (Neither site sells cookies online.)

    A few enterprising scout troops in Maryland and New Hampshire have even set up shop on the Net.

  • TIE A STRING: First, it was free e-mail services. Now you, can have a Web site remind you of important dates by sending you reminder e-mails.

    The premise is very simple. You visit a Web site, leave your e-mail address, the text of a message and the date you need it sent, and the site does the rest.

    This is easy for the Web site to do (it's all handled by computer, of course), and the site can attach little advertising messages to the e-mail (although not all do).

    Some sites that do this are FREEMinder http://www.cvp.com/freemind/ Allnotes http://www.allnotes.com and Remember To http://www.rememberto.com

    These free services shouldn't be confused with commercial reminder services, which charge a fee.

  • SEINFELD SITES: In the television world, the biggest buzz is speculation about what will happen to Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer in the final episode of Seinfeld.

    Will they die? Get married? Will they be able to top the surreal final episode of Newhart?

    These crucial questions are explored on many of the dozens of Web sites devoted to the popular NBC show. Of course, NBC has an official site for Seinfeld at http://www.nbc.com/seinfeld/ where you can read about the stars of the show or read about various episodes. The site of Seinfeld distributor Columbia TriStar at http://www.spe.sony.com/tv/shows/seinfeld/ offers audio and video clips and virtual-reality tours of Jerry's apartment and Monk's coffee shop.

    More interesting are the unofficial sites, which demonstrate the incredible devotion that people have to the show. Some transcribe scripts from shows, others write their own scripts. Others have sound files, video clips, biographies, even chat areas.

    There are sites devoted to the show's stars and even to memorable characters like the Soup Nazi.

    There's even a "Seinfeld-O-Matic'' page at http://www.student.com/features/seinfeldomatic where a slot-machine spins images of the cast members and delivers mixed-up plot lines such as: "Jerry takes back sauna from George'' and "Elaine bets on George's car keys.''

    Send e-mail to Charles Brewer at CBrewer@enquirer.com.

    BREWER ARCHIVE