Another counter top "must have" that we came up with involves the ancient stand-alone dishwasher in our kitchen. This is one of those old units that you wheel over to the sink, connect to the faucet, and run. We took it out of commission a couple of summers ago when I noticed (while wearing shorts) that I got a mild electric shock from it when I touched it with my leg while it was running. We took this as a bad sign. Anyway, it has a wooden top that's set up as a cutting board with one of those little troughs around the perimeter that catches the juices as you cut meat on it. We've found that little trough to be perfect for holding eggs that need to come to room temperature (something the my wife, the baker, often needs). Doesn't sound like much - you could always put them in a bowl or something like that - but we've gotten used to using it and it's pretty handy. We're going to try to make sure that we have something like that on at least one counter top in the new kitchen.
Letterman asked Zevon if his condition had taught him anything about life and death. ''How much you're supposed to enjoy every sandwich,'' Zevon answered. (From a 2003 NYTimes article on Zevon by Jon Pareles.)