Have the urge for something new? Grab a sweet local treat, pick up a new gadget to help you work out at work, and find more fun stuff in this week's OnMilwaukee.com Recommends.
Babe's Ice Cream – I went to Babe's, 2264 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., for the first time last week, and I was instantly smitten. It reminded me of a 31 Flavors – I grew up going to the one that was on Oakland Avenue in Shorewood – but Babe's had even more flavors to choose from and extended offerings like vegan shakes and chocolate-covered bananas. Babe's is a family-owned ice cream parlor, and if you stick around to enjoy your cone at one of the little tables, you'll find the place has a really friendly, almost old-timey, feel to it. Someday I want to try one of their ice cream cakes to see how it ranks with Dairy Queen's. – Molly Snyder
"The Assault on Public Education: Confronting the Politics of Corporate School Reform," edited by William H. Watkins (Teachers College Press) – If you're interested in education issues and especially the current "education reform" buzzwords, this anthology is a nice antidote to the many on the shelves that promote "reform" as funded by corporate interests who would turn schools into privately run factories that churn out uniform widgets at the expense of public schools that are open and accessible to everyone. In addition to looking at how big money shapes our public policy and affects the discourse about education, the essays here also consider ways that public schools can be re-imagined in ways that foster community, racial and economic equality and, of course, educational outcomes for all children. You may agree with some, none or all of it, but, regardless, it's a refreshing change of pace. – Bobby Tanzilo
FitDesk – Riding a bike to work is an eco-hip way of combining fitness with commuting, but cycling AT work takes multi-tasking to a whole new level. My prayers of making my desk job more productive were answered when I was sent the FitDesk, an ultra-compact, lightweight, foldable stationary bike with a cleverly engineered desk to secure your laptop to. The FitDesk is so quiet you can watch TV, be on conference calls and concentrate distraction-free from the super comfortable saddle for extended periods of time without the classic butt-ache. The adjustable resistance knob also allows you to control the intensity of your at-work workout. The FitDesk even comes with a digital resistance meter that calculates distance pedaled and calories burned, however I am not convinced this is completely accurate – so don't use it as an excuse to have a fudge brownie sundae. The best aftermath from getting my heart rate elevated while I'm typing away in my home office? The endorphin release. Those uppity hormones make me more industrious, super motivated and spark creative lightning bolts I've only previously experienced during my runs. Bosses take note: for the very reasonable investment of $249.99, you can empower your workforce to be healthy and maybe even be more productive. Learn more and purchase here. – Lindsay Garric
Cempazuchi's Chile Rellenos – Not over Cinco de Mayo? Me neither. Thankfully, Milwaukee's abundance of Mexican restaurants can help you come down easier. I recently revisited Cempazuchi, 1205 E. Brady St., and was really impressed with their chile rellenos. Unlike many incarnations of the dish, Cemp's poblano pepper wasn't coated with a heavy, overpowering layer of breading. Instead, the pepper was simply roasted, filled with chihuahua cheese and served with chipotle tomato sauce and rice. Flavorful and perfectly portioned, this savory pepper rings up at just under $9. – Renee Lorenz
"The One" Keyboard – I type a lot. All day long and sometimes into the night. Yet I still use the default keyboard that came with my iMac, and other than the annoyance that it sucks batteries like a vampire, I don't have any strong opinions about it. Still, when I saw "The One" keyboard advertised on ThinkGeek, I was intrigued. With superlatives like "the most singularly awesome keyboard" and "truly a keyboard for the ages," I had to know what made it so amazing. Thankfully, ThinkGeek sent one over.
First, this keyboard has deep, springy keys. With anti-ghosting technology, you cannot type faster than it will receive input. Also, it pairs via Bluetooth for one-button switching between your computer and your phone. In other words, you can reply to texts on your phone with the keyboard, then instantly go back to using your computer. The keyboard, however, is a little unusual. It's loud, and the big, bouncy keys feel like a throwback to my Commodore 64. Even though there's a sticky pad to rest your iPhone, it's not especially sticky and sort of gets in the way. And finally, it's not the world's most attractive keyboard. But for its quirks, I'm getting used to it, and I think my typing accuracy is improving, too. At $100 (in varieties for PCs or Macs), it's an investment. But if you're a serious typist, don't you deserve a serious keyboard? – Andy Tarnoff