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Put everything in its place

August 12, 2004

Gear up to get organized as the Container Store -- the original hold-everything emporium -- opens its first L.A. store this weekend at Fair Oaks Avenue and Union Street in Old Town Pasadena. The 26-year-old national chain is known for its customer service (free space-planning tips) and surplus of items (10,000 plus) and aims to provide Angelenos with such must-haves as automatic sock drawer lights (to avoid waking your partner), steel storage cubes, Karim Rashid polypropylene stacking chairs, mixing bowls and more. A percentage of proceeds from the grand opening will benefit the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena.

The store debuts from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Go to

-- Lisa Boone

On the tip of its tongue: a drink

Keeping a fresh supply of water in the dog's bowl isn't just desirable on these long, warm days of late summer -- it's essential. Heat stroke is a real threat to pets. Now, WaterDog is there to pour Fido a fresh drink even when you're not. The device, which operates for a year on four C-cell batteries, hooks up to a standard outdoor tap. When the dog approaches, sonar sensors in the fountain trigger a valve, which shoots out a fresh steam of water. The device assembles in minutes without tools and easily attaches to the faucet. It features an adapter that allows the garden hose to still be hooked up when the WaterDog is in place.

WaterDog, $79 from Contech, (800) 767-8658,

Chris Erskine

An easy breakup

For 50 years, Castaic Brick's kiln-fired products have been popular with professional landscapers. Now the company is going after do-it-yourselfers by packaging products in easy-to-handle bags that don't require a semi to move. Brickbits, crushed brick that can be used as ground cover or on pathways, are an alternative to cedar chips because they're safe for plants and don't harbor insects. The 40-pound bags are $4.50 each. Rustic Cobbled Brick, remnants reminiscent of cobblestone, are $10 for a 50-pound bag.

At nurseries and home improvement centers. (800) 227-8242,

-- Chris Erskine

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