When I am overcome by the desire to own something, it is almost always an industrial, not a consumer product. I think this may be the product of too many William Gibson novels in my youth-- the idea that sparsely designed, no-frills tools are superior to the chaff sprinkled on the common people. So, when we were talking about kitchens, I got excited by the 300,000 BTU 10-burner superranges at Surfas. I can spend hours looking at foam rubber and vapor-tight light fixtures at McMaster-Carr. It's even influenced my choice of offices-- I am thrilled that I get to work with a factory every day.
My latest obsession is from ISO. Yes, the International Standards Organization. Yes, the people that brought you such blockbusters as "ISO 22000: Food Safety Management Systems" and "ISO 14000: GHG emissions accounting and verification." What has me all hot and bothered, however, is ISO 7000: graphical symbols.
For a little over $200 (paid in Swiss Francs, natch), you can get over 2,400 fantastic standard icons, from the seat belt symbol, to low tire pressure, to the ever-popular "lightning-bolt" danger triangle, in several formats! Think of all of the uses-- someone at my office already suggested a machine that prints a different icon-based t-shirt every day, for six and a half years.
I'm saving up.