Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Kancelled, and Kan't Spell, Either

Too Much Alliteration For Me

Who says the ekonomy is bad? Black Friday seems to have been a big success, and Cyber Monday kan't be far behind. It's not sleigh bells ringing, it's kash registers...or so it seems. In the event that we have even more desires than money, there's always the kredit kard option, and for the last month, we kould have been flashing the Kardashian Kard for all those presale sale items. Who knew?
It seems that the sisters, Kim, Kloe and the other "K'" one had entered into a new branding experiment...but they were not the first. This koncept was so new that even LeBron James hadn't gotten into it yet: celebrity prepaid kash kards! The sisters figured it would expand the Kardashian brand by enkouraging the hordes of young people who idolize them to get their own kards and keep up with the Kardashians!. Sound krazy? Maybe; but then, we all have kredit kards anyway...why not a prepaid one one featuring the hottest sister act since Whoopi Goldberg? Several reasons, apparently.
Less than a month after agreeing to issue the "Kardashian Kard," banks are withdrawing it in akkordance with the wishes of the sisters who felt it wasn't being effective in kreating the image they wanted. What is kreated, according to the Attorney General of Connecticut, was a kard that charged "pernicious and predatory" fees, thereby trapping unsuspecting holders into more than a lifetime of debt. How bad were these fees, you ask? Get this:
Just to have the kard, one had to pay $99.99 and fork out an additional $7.50 per month...every month. Add money to the prepaid kard? It will cost $1 every time. Would you like to pay bills online with the Kardashian Kard? It will kost $2 every time you do so.
Fees are nothing new, but celebrity prepaid kards have become the thing to have lately. Most charge a monthly fee, usually around $40; most charge extra for a paper statement, usually $5.95 or so; many even have an inactivity fee of around ten bucks if you don't use it enough; and, of kourse, there's the service fees charged for a variety of services like speaking to kustomer service...that's around $3.95 as a rule.
So, the big kwestion is why would ANYONE in his or her right mind think of this as a good thing? My guess is the "I want to be like Mike" mindset that has junior high kids buying $140 sneakers that will be too small within a year.
My kredit kards actually pay ME! No service fees of any kind...when I have used them to a certain limit, they send me a cash bonus. Necessities like gqs, food, the okkasional dinner out: all kredit karded, but I NEVER karry a balance...NEVER.
The 250 people who purchased the kards are in a fix that I will never kontemplate.
And I can spell, too!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Randomness At Work

Every now and then, I get the idea that the world is completely random: no matter how much we plan and plot our way through our lives, it all basically comes down to being in a certain place at a certain time to experience events totally unexpected. Don't think so? Think you have it all planned out down to the most minute detail?
So did the people in Portland who THOUGHT they were going to a simple lighting of a Christmas tree but ended up in a foiled terrorist plot. Seriously? Blowing up a tree in a blue state of tree-hugging latte drinkers?

I imagine all the Arab leaders urging the US to take out Iran in meetings they THOUGHT were hush-hush were also surprised to see WikiLeaks expose them.

Face it: nobody thinks he or she is going to be involved in an accident. It's always the other people who experience such disasters.

Who expects to get laid off or fired? Who expects to be replaced by someone in a foreign country or taken advantage of by slick talking politicians (well, OK, maybe we DO expect that one).

I certainly did not expect to be smack dab in the middle of hundreds of people shouting "fur on your head...blood on your hands!" and other memorable diatribes as I walked down Michigan Avenue in Chicago the other day, but there I was, amid the rally gross pictures and zealots who spat when they shouted (no easy feat given the temperature!). So as not to seem unsympathetic, I shouted along for a bit as well, but the leaders kept changing the "call and response" format so I was left shouting the wrong thing at times...a fact which amused the overwhelming police presence along the sidewalk. Whether they were protecting the citizenry or the protesters was unclear, but I saw more blue in the five or six blocks it took me to outdistance the throng than there would be at a nudist convention in the Arctic. I felt safe, but the woman standing on the sidewalk handing out brochures for the furrier she worked for looked a bit uneasy. Of course, she was flanked by policemen so I presume she made it off the street alive.
It was definitely in my plans to do so.
Nothing random about that one.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Erkin and Toilet Humor


You knew it had to was only a matter of time. "Revenge is a dish best served cold," I think the expression is: whether attributed to various cultures, its standing as a Klingon proverb or the catch phrase of one Mr. Freeze depends on one's level of cultural awareness. Still, it seems appropriate here.
Kazakhstan is seriously P'ed O (really, spell it out...the "ed" comes after the first word in the expression, NOT the second) and is demanding retribution of a movie sort. You had to know it was coming after "Borat" make people from that country appear to be extras left over from "Deliverance." Leave it to Erkin Rakishev to deliver the goods.
The incredibly popular Kazakhstani filmmaker has loaded, primed and fired a distinct shot as Sasha Cohen, and not across the bow, either. This one hits amidships.
His latest film "My Brother" chronicles a visit to Kazakhstan by and American journalist "John" who, having seen the Cohen movie, really wanted to see if Kazakhstan was as backward as it was depicted. Other than the film's opening which shows Borat's fictional brother Bilo in a psychiatric ward joined by George Bush and Osama bin Laden, John finds Kazakhstan to be an extremely modern place--totally unlike its depiction.
While attempting to skewer the Cohen movie, Rakishev stoops rather low, but not "going to such a low level of toilet humor" as the original. I don't know: Bilo getting raped by a donkey and an old woman beating Bilo and John with a stick seem to be stooping rather close to sea level to me.
While admitting an attempt at black humor, Rakishev nonetheless attempts to offer a more realistic version of his that will not leave his countrymen and countrywomen ashamed to travel abroad as they have been for the past few years.
Well, except for the TSA body scan thing.
"My Brother" is definitely a must-see holiday season flick.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Are You Loko or Just Chillin'?

It just seems like another one of those "have I been living in a cave?" moments. Of course, not living in an actual city has its disadvantages, especially living not in a city in the Midwest. That said, however, there are some times when I think I'm better off being blissfully unaware; Four Loko is one of those things that falls into the category of blissful ignorance.
It seems that someone had the bright idea to create a buzz totally unlike anything before it so this beverage was concocted and marketed and as an:alcoholic energy drink." If one is to believe the label, this beverage contains 11% alcohol and is stocked with enough caffeine to keep a truck driver going all the way to Shakytown from anywhere in the U.S. It also contains all the usual suspects like taurine that are designed to amp the consciousness to unbelievable levels. It appears, though, that combining alcohol and caffeine can be, uh, rather death-inducing so the F.D.A. is issuing a ban on its release.
Knowing how to capitalize on fear-mongering, Californian Max Baumann just developed an alternative called "Just Chill," said to be an "all natural stress relief drink." Goodness knows that Californios need to relieve some stress what with all the Lindsay Lohan hijinks and Scientologists out there. Containing seven vitamins and minerals as well as gingko, ginseng and something called L-theanine, the beverage contains a mere 12 grams of sugar and 50 calories per can.
I would suspect that soon, people are going to be SO chilled that they forget to go to work, eat lunch or return text messages. Then, the F.D.A. will be all over it.
Word is that the test group to evaluate the "de-stressability" of this drink will be passengers at airports this Thanksgiving who are getting their first, uh, taste of the new screening procedures.
Should be SOME fun!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"You Suck, and I'm Happy About It"

What's the Story Here?

Human nature is complex, to say the least. For every Madonna, Angelina, et al adopting babies from foreign countries, there's a Rush saying that people deserve to have their country ripped apart by natural disaster because homosexuality deserves righteous, divine punishment. For every Pat Tillman who gave up a lucrative career ( and his life) to defend this country, there's a Vince Young who petulantly throws his gear into the stands and walks away from his team. Grace under pressure? I don't know, but I DO think I can safely say this about human nature: we're more about seeing people fail than we are cheered by someone doing the positive. long did the press drag out the Tiger Woods fiasco last year, excoriating him every step of the way (though, to be honest, he behaved badly, at the least).
I'm sure you, too, can think of many examples of just what I'm writing about. Yes, we cheered for the miners in Chile, but what have you felt for the poor fellows trapped in a mine in New Zealand right now? Haven't heard? Maybe it's just too far away to be news...but, I digress.
The Milwaukee Sentinel newspaper ran a public opinion poll today after the Green Bay Packers defeated the hero/villain Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings asking readers whether they were more excited to see the Packers play incredibly well or to see the Vikings fall apart and begin to bicker among themselves. We all heard the "Fire Childress" chants...some "fans." Anyway, 61% of those responding indicated that it was far more exhilarating to revel in the Vikings' failure than to bask in the glory of the resurgent Packers.
THAT speaks volumes for the character of human nature, I think. It's not so much about cheering for your team than it is about hating on the other team. I actually benefit from the Packers because they pay me to work at Lambeau in the summer, but otherwise, I get nothing out of the team, win OR lose, and I daresay I'm not the only one...and rivalries are great for the fans, but, really, what's the point of being more happy at someone else's misfortune than you are at "your" success?
Funny thing, though...doesn't this accurately describe the latest election cycle in this country (and probably most of them before now)?
Another strike against human nature, methinks.
I hope we get more than three.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Maybe Not ONLY in Wisconsin, But...

Seriously, Where else but here?

Making lemonade out of lemons is an entrepreneurial thing to do, and we always give kudos to those who can take outrage and turn it into outrageous, and it's especially creative if one takes someone ELSE'S lemons and profits by them. That's why I have to hand it to Brew City Apparel of, where else, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The cutting edge maker of apparel suited for Wisconsinites NOT associated with the "new elite," has done it again. While noted for such items as the beer pouch sweatshirt, pictured above, Owner Frank Keppler has always tried to point out the "best" of Milwaukee and Wisconsin in general; this fact is evidenced by some of the items available for purchase. T-shirts that send a message (and seldom a subtle one) are the staple at brew City. To wit:
"Milwaukee...Where's the Bubbler" is sure to bring a bemused look to any Cheesehead while totally dumbfounding people from, well, everywhere else.
"Polka...Official Dance of Wisconsin" will set heads to scratching nearly everywhere.
"Milwaukee, the City of Custardly Love" is a sure sign that one has been to Kaap's.
"Milwaukee, It's the Wurst" will totally dumbfound anyone from the FIBs on south.
My favorite until now has been the red T-shit featuring the outline of Wisconsin with the acronym "WTF" in bold letters, which, according to the owner (tongue firmly planted in cheek, I suspect) stands for "Wisconsin's Totally Fun."

Now, however, comes the best. Capitalizing on the recent TSA introduction of body scans and (some have said) rather intimate pat downs at airports for those who refuse the body scan, Brew City has just released its latest creation that promises to be a huge seller nationwide:
"It's OK, Touch My Junk>"
I'm wiping the tears from my eyes even as I type this.
I cannot wait to fly so I can use that line...or wear the Tshirt.
I'm certain the TSA folks will laugh heartily at my madcap sense of humor.
They're big on hijinks at airport security.
I'll be sure to pronounce THAT word carefully.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hide the Cheese



Remember a couple of years ago when those ChinesE beetles, cleverly disguised to look like cute ladybugs until they bit you, were everywhere? I mean everywhere. I'm not sure if they flew all the way from China (and boy were their wings tired!) or some Chinese leaders got upset because we sent back all the lead-painted toys from the shelves at Wal-Mart, but those pesky varmints were everywhere. Worse than the annual mosquito infestation, and perhaps worse than the latest outbreak of bedbugs that seem to be everywhere, their presence was maddening. But they weren't rats, at least. (If you are squeamish about rats, go do something NOT read the following.
Some interesting facts about rats:
1. Their teeth continue to grow all through their lives.
2. A female rat that just gave birth can mate immediately and get pregnant within hours of delivering a rat horde.
3. Rats can have litters every 3 weeks, and those babies will be mature (and having their own little rats) in two months.
4. Rats must eat 10%-15% of their body weight every day.
5. A GIANT rat was discovered last year in Papua, New Guinea.
So, why is all of that important to you? For the time being, it isn't, unless you live in the regions of northeast India like Bangladesh and Burma. Those folks have rats thicker than, well, hordes of rats...we're talking millions upon millions of rats, and it's the strange and the ordinary occurrences of nature that brings these varmints out in such quantities.
First of all: the natural. Rats are naturally voracious little bastards that need a huge food supply. That's where bamboo comes in. It seems that there are 26,000 square kilometers of nothing but bamboo trees in those regions of the world. It supplies building material (heck, I even have bamboo towels!...very soft), clothing and, of course edibles in the form of bamboo shoots. BUT, every 50 years, the whole shebang dies. Really. In the process, the trees drop all their seeds onto the ground to start the new growth. That means (serious math coming) that there are 80 tons of seeds from bamboo trees on every hectare of land. By my calculations, a hectare is equal to 2.47195381 acres. That means TWO hectares cover the size of a football field squared. By any calculation, that's a heck of a lot of food for would-be varmints. so, every 50 years, the rat hordes sweep down from the steppes of Russia-oops, that's the Mongols) to eat themselves silly...something like a Thanksgiving feast. The problem is that rice also grows relatively close to the ground, and even rats like a well-balanced diet, so they destroy the rice crop as well.
You can see how this gets to be a problem.
Now, throw in the unusual cyclones that have hit that area in the past few years, wiping out populations that might otherwise be around to kill off the first few million rats that come hunting. Changing weather patterns have also disrupted birthing and dying cycles int he area, so we have...
a regular rat overrun. Even when the government put a bounty on the rodents' heads, there were far too many to kill. In one area alone over a three-month period, more than 2.6 million rats were killed...and it was but a small percentage of the rat population which reproduced at light speed.
So far, it's been once every fifty years, but who knows?
What I DO know is that I'm not buying any more bamboo at Pier 1!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Just in the St. Nick of Time!

Quick, guys, before the significant other suggests "we don't get each other anything this year," drop these items in her lap for perusal. Seriously, who wouldn't want any one of these wonderful gifts as tokens of love and affection?
From, we have a toaster which not only features the logo of your favorite team, but it IMPRINTS THE LOGO IN YOUR TOAST! Are you kidding me? This has got to be the greatest invention since sliced bread (in a toaster sort of way, of course).

Are you more the dress up-take-the-sweetie-out-for-an-expensive-dinner at Golden Corral type? Well, then, you're sure to want to go in style with cufflinks of your favorite team. Not just any old keep-the-shirt-sleeves-from-falling-in-the-gravy cufflinks, these feature actual horsehide from REAL baseballs as an accent. That's right...not painted on, this is actual baseball material! Tell me you haven't wanted these all your life. They just scream "I'm sophisticated, and while I don't always watch baseball, when I do, it's to watch the (fill in your favorite team). I guarantee you'll be more interesting.

Finally, for the man who almost has it all, the final piece is...your own custom bobblehead. Really. What better way to remind the person most important to you that you are a ruggedly handsome, debonair love machine? This treasure is so lifelike, she'll think you've got a mini-me hanging around.
I'm telling you guys, 'tis the season to be getting so really amazing gifts. Don't let her talk you out of it.
Well, yeah, I guess you'd then have to get her something as well.
But isn't your happiness at receiving these boss gifts something she'll always remember?
Can't say that about a new vacuum.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hope for The Untalented


I have to admit that I think the whole brouhaha is rather silly. I mean, who really cares? It's not like steroids are involved anyway or an Olympic performer is younger than allowed or a cyclist is's just entertainment. But still...
The furor that has erupted (where else) on the internet is all about Bristol these days. It would seem that Bristol Palin, arguably the worst (at least by judges' standards) dancer on Dancing With the Stars as a finalist while really good dancers like Brandy Norwood have been sent packing has some folks irate. One viewer here in Wisconsin allegedly took a shotgun to his television then threatened his wife (who was probably reminding him how childish he was being and that they would miss FOX News later), leading to a SWAT team invasion yesterday. Really.
I find it hard to get worked up about it, though. Truth be told, I have never watched the show and don't intend to, but when something like this (or the Kanye.Swift dustup) makes big news, I notice.

Is this a sign that the Tea Party is poised to take over the country?
Is this a sign that "average" Americans want to see an unfortunate, single, teenage mom get a break?
Is this a sign that "average" Americans don't know crap about dancing? (but they "know what they like.")
Is this a sign of the coming Armageddon?
Is this a sign that a person doesn't need talent to succeed in this country?
Is this a sign that television has really become so insipid that we should all go back to reading books?
Yeah...that one...I vote for that one.
I agree with The Boss: "57 channels and nothing on."

Monday, November 15, 2010

The New Path for Close Friends

I spent at least an hour yesterday replying to "friends" on FaceBook who sent me birthday wishes...some as simple as "happy Birthday," and some with actual messages. It was nice to be remembered, but I know that a majority of them didn't realize it was my birthday until FaceBook reminded them. Therein lies a problem. While I know all of the several people I have "friended," I don't regularly keep in touch with more than ten of them or so. I rarely say "no" to anyone who asks to be a friend because I rarely spend any time on the site revealing anything about my personal life...unlike a lot of posts I happen across. That's why Path is for me.
Path is a new social networking site with two specific differences than the ones with which we're familiar:
1) It is designed to be used by folks with a mobile phone
2) Users are limited to 50 friends.

The rationale for the second one is quite interesting. Evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar posited that the limit to personal relationships for anyone is 150. that's because the neocortex which controls conscious thought and language can only hold that amount of information. Makes sense to me.
It was determined by Dunbar that at any one time we have 5 people that we trust with anything, and 20 BFFs with whom we hang out all the time and share a lot in our personal network of 50 people. I can believe that, though my numbers would be far smaller than the ones noted.
The point that will grab people is that we have become so wary of relating anything personal on current social networks that we've become rather doubt. By limiting our contact to people with whom we are comfortable being ourselves, the theory is that we will be more personal and intimate, giving the exchanges real meaning. Maybe so.
But I don't have a mobile phone with internet access.
But the, I don't have 5 most trusted people, either, or 20 BFFs so I guess this is for the rest of you.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It Doesn't Pay To think Too Much

On the birthday that really separates me from "young" in many ways, I woke up feeling, well...old. Aches and pains? I've got 'em though they have yet to stop me from doing what I want, except for the running thing. That's long gone, and I still miss it. As I sifted through birthday greetings today, it made me feel good to think that so many people took the 15 seconds from their lives to send me a FaceBook greeting. To have meaningful conversations with the kids and the most wonderful woman in the world (you KNOW who you are) helped to alleviate the weight of age, but there are still some things that seem to cast a pall on things...and I can do very little about any of them.

1. How can more than 900 people in Haiti die of cholera after being smashed by earthquakes and hurricanes while so many arrogant @$$#0les in this country blithely ignore their plight as well as the plight of millions of Americans in dire straits?

2. How come our twins were able to escape grinding poverty of the Third World while so many could not?

3. How can Terry Pratchett be suffering from Alzheimer's disease? He has brightened my life more than most other authors.

4. How can our country spend so much money on athletic pursuits and so little on education?

5. How can I be a LOT closer to 100 than I was just yesterday?

6. How can I have so much when so many have so little?

Time to man up and get on with it. I've wasted too much of what's left of my life already.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The End Really IS Near

As I've gotten older, I've watched less and less of the standard television fare. When MTV stopped playing music videos and began insipid programming that led to Jersey Shore and catapulted Bristol Palin into the national spotlight so she could show us her dance moves on network TV, the avalanche of crap began and continued to accelerate.
The Osbornes was interesting for five minutes, but it certainly did not have the staying power of a Leave It To Beaver or Gunsmoke.
And now, it's come to this: reality television for the truly insecure. Bridalplasty is about to be foisted upon us in two weeks.
Imagine a reality show in which twelve brides-to-be compete every week for a selected surgical procedure to enhance their body and self-image in some way! Really.
Billing itself as the "only television show where the winner gets cut," Bridalplasty is bound to be a hit. Ratings will soar as women vie at challenges like picking out the perfect wedding dress or solving relationship problems in order to win their choice of procedures like veneers (for teeth, maybe? I dunno otherwise), botox injections, various tucks and, of course, breast augmentation. It's the perfect show for the insecure who think that medical science could actually give them a personality! And the grand prize? A dream wedding AND ALL THE SURGICAL PROCEDURES ON HER PREDETERMINED LIST! That's as insipid as the former star of The Girls Next Door appearing on a Playboy cover in the coming months and claiming that the photos were taken a couple of years ago because she promised her new husband (after dumping Hef) that she wouldn't get nekkid no more!
Seriously, my head hurts. Fortunately, I have a stellar alternative.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Cleveland Rocks!


I know I'm not one of the new elite since I know Drew Carey is the host of The Price Is Right, but I have yet to hear him say "Cleveland Rocks," the catch phrase for his old show. However, I happen to agree that Cleveland is far cooler than most people would imagine. Oh sure, there's The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (almost the coolest museum EVER unless you take a four-year-old along who wants a snack bar). It also has professional sports and a revitalized river and lake front that are both interesting places to visit. The weather along Lake Erie can be treacherous in the winter, but I would bet they are far warmer than we are. But that's not all. Cheese has put me firmly in Cleveland's corner this time.
While Wisconsin is noted for dairy stuff, I have yet to find a bar/grill like I found in Cleveland last weekend: a food place that depends almost entirely on cheese for its menu! (well, cheese and beer, it seems). I'll get to the specifics.
The place is called Melt since most of the menu is comprised of variations on grilled cheese...yep, that staple of Moms everywhere. Oh, there are soups and salads (see the photo), but make no mistake: it's forte is grilled cheese. And cheap? It's my kind of place.
I had half of a grilled cheese (Texas toast that stretches my mouth's ability to, well, stretch (made with pepper jack, one of seven cheese choices, a salad that covered the plate made of every green BUT lettuce, it seemed, including some I'd tried to Ortho in my lawn last summer, AND a potato, cheese and jalapeno soup that was the best soup I'd ever eaten. For seven bucks!
I paired that with a Stone Arrogant Bastard beer ( I just had to) and was benefitted by others at the table who failed to finish their sandwiches.
Thus, I did not get to go for the fried Twinkies since I was full. And that's just the food. You want ambience?
At the doorway, we were met with a display case containing all sorts of bobbleheads (including a former Cleveland star...see photo), twelve-inch high lifelike dolls of KISS, and a maitre de who had more tattoos than a drunken sailor on Monday morning in Shanghai, and she was the LEAST tatted person in the place! Incredible.
The only discomforting moment occurred while the Cleveland Browns game was being shown on TV. A player scored and proceeded to jump into the stands in the end zone.
"POSER!" I shouted while noting loudly that sort of thing should only be done in Green Bay. Fortunately, my son dragged me away before the crown got ugly.
All in all, one of my top five places to go in Cleveland.
Next to the RnR HOF, sans snack bar.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Little Debbies for Weight Loss...Really

Hey, don't take my word for it. I'm not a nutritionist, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express recently, but there seems to be a link to packaged foods like Twinkies and Little Debbies to weight loss. This according to Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University.
For 10 months, Haub ate a sugary snack every three hours instead of eating a meal, and in two months, he dropped 27 pounds. Not only that, but his bad cholesterol decreased and his "good" cholesterol actually went up! His triglycerides dropped by 39%. I'm not kidding. His BMI dropped from an obese rating of 28.8 to a more svelte 24.9 in that time ass well...and this is a man who ate whole grains and generally "healthy" food prior to the experiment (if you can call a sample size of one a real experiment).
The only thing he ate that we would consider healthy was one serving of a vegetable (usually canned green beans or some celery sticks), a multi-vitamin and a protein shake (Muscle Milk) every day; otherwise, Kellogg's corn Pops, brownies, and the like every three hours.
Haub is nonplussed, to say the least, but he reckons the secret lies not in what he ate but in the amount of calories and fat he consumed: his daily caloric input was around 1700 calories (down from his previous average of 2600 cal/day) that contained 95 (or so) grams of fat. He also avoided meat, whole grains and fruit. Amazing. Thus, the secret is not surprising: eat more frequently and don't overeat. Sounds simple, really, but when was the last time you left the table a bit less than full? I think that may be the key.
An interesting part of the experiment occurred after he stopped his diet. As he began to eat meat, again, his cholesterol level began to rise.
If you are curious, Haub logged it all on his FaceBook page (where else?): Professor Haub's Diet Experiment.

Valerie Bertinelli will want to know about this!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

My Plan for the Economy

Every Tourist Dollar Helps

Following the election of a new governor here in the cheese state who promised to create 250,000 jobs was the news that a major company was laying off more than 400 workers and that the proposed high speed rail operation gad been stopped, laying off construction workers and putting into doubt the plant that was to manufacture those trains...addition by subtraction maybe.
Nonetheless, I put my thinking cap on backwards (like so many politicians) and came up with a solution that will bring money into this area of the country: we need to build the biggest statue of jesus in the world! nIf it works in Rio and Poland, it will work here. Well, the jury is still out on Poland, and Rio has Carnival with nekkid women, but still...
Swiebodzin, Poland has just laid claim to having the tallest statue of Jesus in the world, eclipsing the previous record-holder in Rio de Janerio. The statue itself stands 33 meters high (one for every year of Jesus' life...get it?) or 108 feet, gold crown included, for those of us in the only country in the world eschewing the metric system. While that in itself does not match the 38 meter high statue in Rio, when one counts (as the Poles do) the mound on which the statue stands, the statue rises to the majestic height of 51 meters (167 ft.)
The purpose of all this? To praise God? bring in tourists...this according to the man who envisioned the project, a man nicknamed "the builder priest": 78-year0old Father Sylwester Zawadski. Collecting donations worldwide, the priest envisions a zloty-filled bonanza for the town of roughly 20,000 people. he figures that pilgrims from around the world will journey there just to take in the amazing sight, spending money on food, lodging and on trinkets at the (invariable) gift shop.
I'm going to keep a close eye on this one. I think he may have something.
It should be at least as big of a draw as our new roller coaster (said to be Elvis' favorite!)
Prosperity is just around the corner.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Seminal Moments

Passengers got an Oprah fleece blanket, too.


You thought things could not get worse for the people in Haiti, Hurricane Tomas is about to level the folks living in tents with wind and rain. Is this, too, payment for sin as one wag supposed about the earlier devastation?

We wouldn't get to laugh at She Who Will Not Be Named again, Tina Fey goes on Letterman last night and gives us another reason to smile.

You thought the Taylor Swift moment put Kanye West in a bad light comes the reminder from George Bush (in his new book) that the lowest moment of his presidency followed the Katrina debacle when Kanye said, "President Bush doesn't like black people." Really? That was the low point? Wow!

You thought the Chicago Cubs might be slumping temporarily, they don't hire Ryne Sandberg...and he leaves the organization. You gotta feel for Cubs fans, none of whom will live to see another championship and have turned their allegiance to the Blackhawks.

You thought the Randy Moss saga couldn't get more pathetic, you find out that just before his quick departure from Minnesota, he even cursed at the caterer, saying, "I used to have to eat @*&! like this, but now I have money." Michael Vick's record looks like an Eagle Scout's in comparison (almost).

You thought the Tea Party was the next major political juggernaut comes word that Joe Miller might not even get elected in alaska...beaten by a write in! (though it's not over until She Who Must Not Be Named sings).

You thought Oprah's influence could not be more powerful, United airlines paints a plane in her honor and gives away million- mile bonuses to fliers in the next few months.
AND...I actually read a book this week that Oprah recommended on her book club. Titled The Help I read it because it was required of a student whom I tutor...I liked it, too. Sheeesh!

I thought music was hitting a dry spell, Elvis Costello releases a new album (which I am listening to as I write) YES!!!!

So...never think, "It can't happen!"

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

OMG! No Way!!! Way!!!

Get your tickets early!

Just when you thought
A) Americans are idiots for listening to fearmongers who have no political insight whatsoever, and the U.S. is headed for destruction
B) This is the most amazing thing that's ever happened. Can my life get any better?

THE TOUR is about to be announced.
That's right, next Monday, live in the studio with Ryan Seacrest, the announcement will be made of the biggest musical tour of the summer of 2011.
Springsteen? no
The Stones? no
Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift? not even close.
Larry the Cable Guy?
The biggest hit of next summer is bound to be the reunion tour of New Kids on the Block and The Backstreet Boys!
Together...on stage the same night in the same locations. Bigger than Elvis...bigger than the Olympics, the World Cup and the Super Bowl (sans commercials) put together.
Get your ear plugs now.
The screaming will be intense.
Get out the squeegees, too.
Coming to a city not really all that near to me, I'm sure.
There's hope (or despair) for our country after all!

Monday, November 01, 2010

What Happened to the Old Elite?

I read today an article written by Charles Murray, the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (whoever and whatever that is), and he claimed to support the idea of the Tea Party that it's time to take back America from the "New Elite" and return it to real americans where it belongs. I guess I have no beef with that though I DO wonder how the "Old Elite" feel about being so ignored. Lest you think that the term "new elite" is of the same journalistic stylings that brought us "liberal media," there are ways to tell, according to Murray.
Can discuss an episode or two of "Mad Men or "The Sopranos," but have no idea who replaced Bob Barker on "The Price Is Right."
Can discuss sports such as yoga, pilates and mountain biking but have no idea who Jimmie Johnson (NOT the football coach) is.
Have no idea what the acronym MMA stands for (but can probably define "acronym" unlike their counterparts.
Vacation by backpacking through the Sierra Nevadas but would never be caught dead in an RV NOR have they heard of Branson, Missouri.

I've always known about class distinction, ever since we had to sneak into the country club pool at night because our dads were not members (and probably had never even heard of golf). When one of our children was denied admission to Georgetown simply because none of his relatives had ever attended there (this in spite of being a National Merit Scholar), the point was made very clear. We were not part of the elite, moneyed class that could have access to anything it desired.
Now, was that the old elite or the new one?
At any rate, count me out. As mark Twain (I think) once said, "I wouldn't belong to a club that would have me as a member." I'm not being elitist here, nor do I adhere to the theory that elitist are "isolated and ignorant" simply because they don't know who Drew Carey is or have never watched a complete Oprah episode. ..well, maybe a little bit isolated, but at the same time, money cannot buy a longer life or happiness while it is being lived.
Still, I'm going to work on my MMA skills just in case some new elitist starts talking some smack.
Perhaps someone will save me from them in this election who doesn't know Jimmie Johnson.