Archive for September, 2009

Not For Nothin’…

September 30, 2009

I think I figured out the name of that pouched food product I wrote about yesterday, Continental Kitchens. As I was securing the last 10 of 50 pounds onto my dumbbell when I took my “lunch” break yesterday, the name just came to me as blood rushed to my head while I was leaning over to unscrew the end cap. I worked with that name online to see what I could find and nothing exactly to what I was looking for, however on an image search on Google, I did see a picture of a meal in a foil pouch. So, I’m going with that. It was Continental Kitchens and until I find out otherwise, it shall remain so.

That brought back a flood of memories from that market research job. When I first started, I’d say the space of the room, sectioned off into mini-cubicles, held about 20 to 25 phones and the walls of each cubicle, made of a drab faded pea soup green plastic or hard rubber textured material that rose about 2 feet from each desk did little to muffle everyone else who was talking. Oftentimes, in the middle of my scripted spiel, I’d inadvertently pause to hear how this one was charming the socks off the person on the other end of his phone with his pulse altering baritone, or to the cadence of this one’s lovely and dainty Chinese accent.

It was a joyous day when we broke through to an unoccupied office next door and added another 12 phones. It was back there that during an excruciatingly long survey, someone told me he was going to have me arrested. Honestly, I couldn’t blame these poor people, but all they had to do was hang up the phone. But even when they did, I took it personally. I didn’t (and still don’t) speak in a baritone, except when I have a cold and I don’t have a dainty Chinese voice. The surveys we conducted could last as little as 5 minutes to one I remember that if the person answered the questions in just the right way, he or she’d be on the phone for no less than 45 minutes. I am not lying. If we thought breaking into the vacant office was reason to celebrate, you should have seen the glee abounding when we overtook the entire 6th floor.

Ironically, one day I got reprimanded by Betty, whose true last name we never knew, but we attached the name of our firm to her and it fit because she was a behemoth of a woman, with tight curly hair and horn rimmed glasses. You weren’t gonna mess with Betty B. (That’s as far as I’m going; the firm still exists, but I can’t say the same with any certainty for Betty B.) I got finished with a call and she was sitting right next to me, observing me, like a flesh and blood wire tap and ripped into me asking whoever told me I didn’t have to use my last name on the phone. I didn’t want people knowing me on the phone. What if they came after me? I wanted to be safely and anonymously Brian. She suggested using an alias, but I wasn’t “feeling” Smith or anything, so I started using my last name and my throat dried every time I said it, figuring in the back of my mind someone was writing it down for future reference.

She also guarded the candy box like a lioness protecting her cub. One day I think I saw her actually smile and I thought, I like her as a person. No, I didn’t. That backhanded complimenting phrase didn’t get really popular until just recently. I like you as a person. Hmm. As opposed to what? A pencil sharpener, perhaps? Is that supposed to be the new disclaimer like “No offense, but…” “Not for nothing, and no offense, you’re not the one for me, but I like you as a person.”

I used to take pity on those who would call my house to conduct a survey because I knew the suffering we on the other end of the phone also went through; being berated; being hung up on, making us feel inadequate; having to say we picked their number at random when we sometimes actually had to ask for a person by name (that one made a lot of sense); threatening us with arrest for disturbing people’s privacy; having people actually staying on the phone for 45 minutes. But 30 plus years later, I don’t have time for such nonsense anymore. And come to think of it, it’s a been a while. Maybe that “do not call” list really works.

Here it’s Wednesday AND it’s the last day of September and I just decided to tempt fate and check out conditions for our upcoming weekend getaway. I thought you might like to know we haven’t lost our touch. I guess having two clear weekends in a row during camping season was enough.

philly weather

Have a great day.

Oblivion – Florida Tan Tuesday – Part 7

September 29, 2009

I don’t remember much of the rest of the trip to Naples beyond Grandma S’s regretting the fact that she couldn’t hug and squeeze me as she was prone to do. I remember hearing her say “bless his little heart” numerous times when she would glance in my direction, a phrase she was famous for (bless his/her/their little heart) and seeing the washed out image of a black and white western (most likely a John Wayne picture) playing on her portable TV. And I noticed she still had the compact stereo turntable, which was an incentive for joining the Columbia House Record Club. We all had one. In fact I still have the speakers from ours somewhere, but I’m getting off the track. And next to her was a smoldering Chesterfield in an ashtray. That was the extent of my awareness during the entire visit before I must have lost consciousness and I also have no recollection of the trip home, whether I was so exhausted I was able to sleep or if I sat up with my arms draped over the front seat. Perhaps I did and fell asleep in that position. I just don’t remember.

As a matter of fact, the rest of my glorious Florida vacation remains sketchy. I think I must have finally resigned myself to the fact that nothing really vacation-like was going to take place and slept and stayed out of everyone’s way while they salvaged what they could of the trip. Most daily, though, Grandma B’s neighbor, Aretta, would come over to check on the patient. Being a true dyed in the wool southerner, she could completely sympathize with my dilemma.

There was a new development in my condition later in the week. I started to form blisters, little yellowish pus-filled abscesses like the ones that plagued Linda while she was still with us down there. It was all I could do to keep from touching them–you know how things like that just call to be touched, sometimes to the breaking point, like a loose thread on a shirt that you keep on pulling at until you’ve got a huge hole under your arm.

Also later in the week I was able to walk a little easier. I still had to stand on my tippy toes and keep moving so I wouldn’t loose my balance and go flatfooted and experience that ripping skin sensation. I was even feeling well enough one day to join everyone on a trip to Publix grocery store. It was a chance to get out and I went for it. I used a cart to hold onto, like a walker, to get around the store, cruising up and down the aisles, even sometimes reaching for stuff off the shelves and only those items between shoulder and waist high. I had to put my entire body robotically into because I could stretch my arms only so far, and couldn’t grab anything very heavy. A box of Pop Tarts was my limit. I came across a particular food product I used to conduct telephone consumer surveys about for a marketing research company I worked for while I was in my senior year of high school and before I started my job in the factory, the one with the crazy Italian lady…remember her? I don’t remember the name of this boxed food product–Kitchen Kettle, Country Kitchen…I’ll try to find out and let you know, but it was a complete meat dish (with gravy and diced veggies) in a sealed foil pouch that got heated in a pot of boiling water, snipped open and poured onto your plate, maybe over rice or pasta or by itself. It was processed so that  the DVD sized boxes could be stored in your cabinet. We picked up a few flavors to try them, and as I recall, they weren’t bad. They were sold only in the southern states.

At one point, as we were walking around the store, I noticed a wet spot on the front of my shirt and I also noticed the sensation of possibly sweat running down my back. The store was nicely air conditioned so it couldn’t have been that. And for sure it was not sweat. It was the ever enlarging blisters erupting. Perfect timing. In public. Further humiliation. Just what I needed.

But this was not the last time I would deal with an outbreak of blisters as you’ll see in next week’s serio-comic and ironic conclusion to this story.

It’s Monday, Too Soon

September 28, 2009

Not much worth talking about unless I complain that this is my second attempt at starting my computer (you wouldn’t know the difference, though, really). Or I could talk about the phone message I had waiting for me when we got home from Ariel’s brother-in-law’s birthday dinner in Newark last night about some fraudulent activity on my credit card. Several attempts  were thwarted for someone  to charge,  in chronological order, the amounts of $99.90, $79.90, $59.95 for online dating and/or escort services and $59.97 and $1.00 for chalked up to computer network informational sites, whatever those are. So, now, as a result, that card number was canceled and I’ll be getting a new one.

Or, I could talk about the curious site I saw at nearly 5am Saturday morning. What I was still doing up at that time of the day will be my little secret, but suffice it say, I was sitting in my darkened front room and saw something casting a shadow on the trees in the middle of my lawn from the lights along my front walk. I got up and saw the bush was shaking violently and at first I thought great, the pink elephants had finally caught up with me, but as I squinted out into the darkness, I thought I could make out what looked like the tips of antlers.  At least I didn’t go off thinking they were the tips of a martian man’s antennae,  kind of like Uncle Martin, but what would he be doing in my shrub. Shrub. Shrub? Stupid word, really, when you think about it. Well, no, it was a huge buck eating the little red berries growing on the shrub.  There’s that word again.

We got its attention with a light tap on the window and I suddenly hoped it wouldn’t rear up and charge at us, crashing through the glass. A), it would cost a fortune to replace and B), we’d have a 2 point buck in the house. THAT would have been unacceptable. I was surprised, also, because I didn’t realize that bush was so huge that it would conceal such a large animal.

Ah well, see? I told you I had nothing to talk about this morning, just a bunch of disconnected things to use as filler on a Monday morning when I wish I was still in bed with the covers over my head.

And, of course, it’s McGinty Monday!

MCGINTY MONDAY

Smile…Take 2!

September 25, 2009

My new teeth are finally permanently in my mouth. And as of April, 2010, they will officially be mine. Right now they belong equally to me and to the credit company and man, oh man, what a hefty chunk of change that will be in our checkbook come April.

They look and feel great, even though they’re decidedly much smaller than the temps I’ve had for the last six months and where I had to get used to eating and even speaking differently with a huge chunk of plastic in my mouth, now I have to do that all over again with what are essentially the exact replica of natural teeth. I was remarking about this on Monday night, when I was working the teeth into place with the aid of my chew toy, that it would take me a while to learn to eat and speak all over again. Right now, because they’re smaller, I find some of my “S” sounds as well as any that are made using the teeth are somewhat airy and lispy until I find the right position for them unlike the clunky ones I just had removed. But, this slight impediment isn’t as bad as trying to hold a conversation with Dr. Bob after he’d taken out the temps in order to do some gum work, when your upper lip sort of collapses. But then I remembered going through the same thing 25 or 26 years ago when I had the first bridge put in. And then I tried to remember if these new ones have the same feel as the old ones, but after six months, I can’t recall. And to that end, I don’t remember wondering if the old ones felt like my old natural teeth. But, the long and short of it, my teeth are finally in and I’m really happy about it.

But somewhere, someone is not so happy. Environmentalists are attacking super soft (Quilted Northern Ultra Plush , to be exact) toilet paper, saying the excess in paper is wasteful and helping to deplete the world’s tree population. Okay, I can go along with that. They also cite that along with facial tissues, “personal” paper makes up about 5% of usage in the paper products industry. Paper and cardboard packing supplies, even though more than half is made up of recycled materials, makes up 26% and newspapers, 3%.

Wood fibers from older trees, like the ones used in the toilet papers in question, are longer, thus producing a smoother and more supple web. Fibers made from recycled materials are much shorter, resulting in a rougher web. And because consumers demand soft, soft is what they get and last year 24 million packages of Quilted Northern Ultra Plush were sold brining in over $144 million dollars to the manufacturer.

Not to be overly personal, but I’ve always preferred Scott. It’s plain, it’s simple and it gets the job done. And quite frankly, I don’t feel, let’s say, refreshed, after using a softer paper. Kimberly-Clark, who makes Cottenelle and Kleenex, says that by 2011, 40% of all fiber will come from recycled paper in their products. And really, what other alternative does the buying public have? Billowy soft or sandpapery scratchy, it’s still a necessity.

There’s a video of the quote of the week, but unfortunately, I don’t know if I should play it or not. Oh, the heck with it, I’m not the one who said it. Who knows what it was in reference to, but he said with such newscaster authority.

 

Come on, you know it’s funny and the look on the woman’s face is priceless. And Ernie has since apologized. Yes, another celebrity apology.  At least it wasn’t as vile as  Tex Antoine’s remark about a rape victim he made back in ’74 that promptly got him fired:  “When rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”

And the feel good video of the week:

 

And with that, I wish you all a great weekend.

Attack Of The Killer Vacuum Cleaner

September 24, 2009

A study was done by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to find out which household appliance was the most dangerous and/or life threatening. According to their findings, the washing machine was the most likely to injure you. I remember once, when I was little, I got my hand caught in the wringer of my Aunt Mary’s washing machine. Clothes dryers are more likely to kill you. I can imagine, just hearing what it sounds like when sneakers go bumping around on the inside. Your clothes may be wash & wear, but you better check the label for dry & wear. But the most likely cause for injury around the house comes from floor-care equipment. Does that mean I should give up my Swiffer? Actually, the annual cost for medically treated injuries work out to somewhere in the ballpark of $1.1 billion for floor-care equipment accidents, $0.8 billion for washing machines injuries and $0.3 for clothes dryers. Of course I don’t know what type of injuries can happen with a vacuum cleaner, although I’ve heard cases of “male-related emergency room stories” (I apologize for that visual), but I would image the damage done by a clogged vent on a clothes dryer starting a house fire might garner a larger annual figure. I guess there are more men with vacuums than houses with dryers.

Also, it was determined that driving faster sober is more dangerous than driving slower and drunk because the force of impact at 90 miles an hour is greater than the force of a crash at 20 mph. Hmm.

Also you should do your personal grooming at home and that includes shaving. At least use a rechargeable shaver, a bowl of hot soapy water could spill, plus you could nick yourself very badly what with all the potholes in the road.

Speaking of driving, forget the cell phone issue as being dangerous. There are various other distractions to avoid while driving. Another study was done on the most distracting foods. Of course we all know that coffee is the number one distracting food. It’s HOT. And expensive, as Stella Liebeck so lucratively pointed out. The same could be said for hot soup. Barbecued food is also on the list of distracting foods. I can see that. I mean, I know how tough it is to keep a Hibachi going just standing in front of it. And likewise with fried chicken. Chocolate is really a problem and more of a cardinal sin to waste it and so naturally my fingers end up in my mouth, lavishly licking each one, one at time, savoring every last bit. Invariably, though, some chocolate gets on my steering wheel. The trick is to position yourself and keep your eyes on the road at the same time. It comes with practice.

I could go on an on, but the basics apply to other things, you just have to choose your distractions carefully and know in advance how to resolve them.

Smile!

September 23, 2009

Good news. My new teeth are in. And they are in my mouth as of about 12:15 yesterday afternoon. However, they’re not cemented in, not yet. Dr. Bob wants them to achieve the perfect fit and bite by my working them into place by eating as close to normally as I can (still without chomping into super tough foods–a ham sandwich is fine) and biting down occasionally on the chew toy he gave me, a piece of hard rubber tubing. I actually ate an egg sandwich when I got home yesterday without having to cut it into bite-size pieces and it felt great to be able to do that. With any luck, providing they can get as high up into the gums as they need to be, tomorrow will be cement day!

You would think that would be reason enough to celebrate with a drink from the Bull Ball Bag Bottle. We got a mail-order catalog yesterday and in it, for a mere $49.95, was a decanter wrapped in real bull scrotum, trimmed in simulated leather. Simulated? Too bad, and I was this close… I’ll have to drink straight from the box, I guess.

No, honestly, to celebrate, I’d rather shower under the Moen Digital showerhead, the one I can program with just a touch of button, kind of like standing there and turning a knob (if I felt like being archaic) but easier–no need to exert all that energy with that pesky twist of the wrist. I love how, in the video, this guy is standing in front of the shower, remote in hand, at arm’s length away from the control pad, which can be pre-programmed for up to four users, increasing the water temperature. The biggest selling point of all is that you can set the shower from a remote location, like from your bed, so all you have to do is walk into the shower. Why hasn’t someone come up with a digital way of walking yet? That’s too much energy first thing in the morning. And if I know me, I’d probably fall back asleep, pretty much the way I’ve been doing and not getting out for my daily 4-mile walks ever since I mentioned it here a few weeks ago when I was so proud of our three day in a row stint, and with the sluggishness of my shower drain, I’d be flooded out in no time. But if I could also remote control someone to scrub my back for me, then maybe it would be worth it. Get on that, Moen!

 

I hope this blog gets past the censors at my niece’s job. Something I said on the old page I used to have (which can be accessed above under the “older posts” tab under PAGES) in reference to Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, got filtered due to inappropriate content and I’m wondering if my decanter reference will make it through. It’s just a jumble of words really. I told her to give the new page a shot last night when she called to remind us Macy Gray was on “Dancing With The Stars” and we were getting to it on the DVR, the Tivo-lite.  And wasn’t La Gray just a train wreck in the making? And what was she on? And surprise of the night was Kelly Osborne. I had a feeling she’d be the upset and from what she showed last night, she has the potential to go very far in the competition.

And lastly for today, a Springfield, Mass mail processing worker pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing over 3,000 Netflix DVD’s at a value of about $36,471 his plea carries a maximum of 5 years in prison. And I thought I had problems with half my mail arriving all mangled and sometimes half open. But at least all my Netflix returns make it back to the processing center as evidenced by the confirmation emails.

This/That: The Road To Naples – Florida Tan Tuesday – Part 6

September 22, 2009

The next morning, secure in knowing Linda had returned home safely to her mother’s care the day before, we began our trip to visit “that” grandmother, Grandma S, my father’s mother who lived in Naples, Florida, since she moved there from NJ some years before. The “that” refers to the way I used to indicate, when I was a young’n, which grandma I wanted to visit; the left index finger meant a left hand turn, once we got to the Garden State Parkway because she lived to the north of us and “this” referred to the right hand turn we made to the south to go see Grandma B. So, in essence, here in Florida, we were with this grandma, going to see that one.

Since my grandfather had never been that far south in Florida before, he took as gospel the driving directions of an uncle, by marriage, to “that” grandma’s daughter, who was a beast of a man in both stature and oftentimes demeanor. “Two hours. Two and a half, tops,” he said with an assuring tone. We’d realize later that tone was laced with deception. “We do it all the time,” he said, referring to my aunt and himself, because sometimes, when he wasn’t busy “wrastlin'” or “chawing tabacky” or some other manly thing, he would go to rub grandma’s sore feet, with his “magical healing hands”. Armed with my medication and the two tiered candle we bought at Volusia Mall, near the airport where we waved goodbye to Linda the day before, we struck out on our journey at 10am on the dot.

The directions were clear, the day was pleasant, but long into the ride my arms were rethinking their agreement to be hooked over the front seat, the stance I elected to take to avoid the smallest amount of jostling against the burned skin on my back, in spite of having the softest pillow to rest against “this” grandma could find. Grandpa stopped to top off the gas tank and take a recalculating second look at the map. And yeah, it looked like we could be getting there soon.

That “soon” had long since passed by the time we were on a long road, barren of any signs of civilization, all of us in desperate need of food and drink. Finally (could it really have been an hour later?) the road opened up and were passing some Hall of Fame Wax Museum. I don’t know which it was and of course, we didn’t stop.

But like a gift from the heavens, we came to a place we could stop to eat. The exterior decor was like a Swiss ski chalet and once inside the heavy oaken doors, we were greeted by a smiling waitress in her peasant dress uniform, looking like she had just come down off the mountain, victorious in a yodeling contest. Great, I thought, I can put my years of honor-winning studies of high school German to the test. We shuffled to a corner table, of my choosing, so I would not be the subject of jeering and jokes by others in the place and the waitress took our order then disappeared into the kitchen. I don’t remember if I put any of my German skills to the test.

We ate our meal–I remember I had the Sauerbraten–and as we were leaving, Hans (I’m assuming), the yodel queen’s cook husband, a dark haired man with a rubbery face met us to suggest rubbing the sap from the Aloe Vera plant on my four day old and worsening sunburn. Aloe Vera? What is that? It was hard not to take such friendly and concerned advice from someone with a malleable and sympathetic face. He also suggested we consider a day trip to the Wax Museum and to the Shell Factory next door and of course to be his guests at his restaurant when we did so. Time was slipping away, and already, not counting the lunch stop, three hours of traveling had gone by and after our good-byes to Hans and his wife, we were back on the road hoping that Naples wouldn’t be much further and I could find relief for my tense cramped body and stiffened back from having to hold myself upright during this “two and a half hour tops” drive.

We were finally closing in on our target, we could just sense it, as the sky was turning a queer rusty hue. The sound of electrical interference crackled on the AM radio station but through the static we did hear warnings of a tornado and the blowing wind quickly ushered in a deluge of rain so violent that driving was impossible and grandpa pulled over to the shoulder. We sat in the car in the blinding downpour, fearing for our safety on the side of the highway, but as abruptly as the rain had begun, that’s how quickly it stopped. I pulled myself up from the few moments of resting against my downy soft pillow and hooked my arms over the front seat yet again while we maneuvered across the highway to the parking lot of a shopping center in hopes of finding a phone to call Grandma S to see just how much further we had to go, which, gratefully was within another thirty minutes.

Travel time tally, not including lunch or storm stopover: we were closing in on 7 hours and my poor purple feet were about as swollen and stretched as they could be without bursting–one had to look closely to see that I had toes–and my insteps had a slick translucence to them with spidery veins creating intricate patterns like the road map we were following all over them.

In The Eye Of The Beholder

September 21, 2009

Okay, so we all know what Kanye West did at the Video Music Awards was a sh!tty thing to do and he’s a big fat turd for doing it, but Ariel raised a question the other night which kind of gave me pause, turning the tables in a way that I might in a certain situation.

Suppose someone got up and interrupted an acceptance speech claiming, say, Bette Midler had the best video of all time, how would I feel? Honestly, my first impulse was to say, go speech interrupter, and that’s only because I’m such a fan of Bette Midler. In that respect, there was probably a contingent of Kanye/Beyoncé fans who were secretly (or outwardly for that matter) going, Go Kanye! But my allowance that this could be the case is no way accepting what he did was okay and really, it would not be okay for someone to interrupt another in favor of Bette Midler, though, I must honestly say, I’d be secretly siding with that person. And for the record, I’d consider myself more a fan of Beyoncé than of Taylor Swift, but not as much of Beyoncé as of Bette Midler.

To that end, with a slightly different angle, we saw the movie “The Informant” this weekend. I was a little disappointed because the clips they show on television are all these hilarious things that would make one think this was going to be a spoofing comedy along the lines of “Airplane” and the like. Well, it wasn’t. It was based on a true story of a corporate embezzler who ended up getting caught and the main character was played by Matt Damon. It had some comedic moments, but not a side-splitter by any sense of the word. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a Matt Damon movie before and for me, it was just so-so a movie. Hold on, I’m getting to my point. A year or so ago, or whenever it was, when the movie “Zodiac” came out with Robert Downey, Jr., I saw it and even though he wasn’t in it that much, and I walked away with the same feeling of gratification (neither loved the movie or hated it) I remember feeling like “Zodiac” wasn’t so much a burden to watch. Not that “The Informant” was a burden, but it just seemed like it was rolling along at an unwavering keel, like any other biography.

So, where was I going with all this? I’m not even sure. Maybe here… I’m saying that everything is relative. For instance, the song I like on the radio ranks at number 94 and not number 1, the song the rest of the world likes. The dress a designer creates on Project Runway that I think is a knockout, the judges hate and vice versa. The way someone on So You Think You Can Dance pleases me beyond measure and the judges rip them to shreds because a foot wasn’t pointed in the right direction, the play I hated, the critics all raved about. Everything is relative…except that Kanye thing. Oh, and Miley Cyrus? A diva? Really?

And if that’s not perplexing enough, now you have to worry about mycobacterium avium. You know, the micro-organisms that grow inside your showerhead and come charging at you while you think you’re getting clean under a nice hot shower. Think again! These disease-causing little buggers can really do a number on a person whose immune systems are already compromised causing symptoms similar to TB which include fever, fatigue and weight loss. And the recent findings that these bacteria collect and grow in showerheads and can be easily aerosolized and inhaled. So clean and disinfect your showerheads or change them at least once a year. Coincidentally, I’ve been considering a new showerhead recently but purely for aesthetic purposes. Perhaps I better step up my considerations.

Well, it’s Monday, and you know what that means. Oh, and I think McGinty has something of a special announcement to make.

MCGINTY MONDAY

A Little Egg, A Big Smile

September 18, 2009

Before I get things rolling this morning, I’m afraid I have to wipe egg off my face. In my rush to shove a bite of my omelette into my mouth this morning, while it was loosely dangling from my fork, I inadvertently missed. It was a good one, too. Simple, but good. Crumbled bacon bits and cheddar. And in my haste to condemn the latest “rehabilitation” plan for I-287 yesterday, I realized this morning that I believe I was wrong about the actual section they’re working on now. Yes, perhaps there will be some overlapping in the exit 5 (or so) area, but the construction I was lathering up about yesterday is an entirely new project.

And that puts the kibosh on the rant I wanted to initiate today. It’s the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Floyd which devastated Bound Brook, NJ, just one town north of where I am, and approval of the federal stimulus money ($13 million of the original $787 billion, President Obama instituted) for the final stage of the flood wall and levee project was only just approved, also out of the stimulus package the funds for the I-287 work is coming from. I wanted to compare the importance between the two and ask why it’s taking this long to safeguard Bound Brook for the future, but now with the highway thing being a new project, it just blew my rant out of the water. Damn it!

And then there’s NJ Senator, Barbara Buono, who wants a TOTAL ban on cigarette smoking in parks and all sections of all beaches in NJ. She doesn’t like to jog in the park and breathe in cigarette smoke. How much cigarette smoke is there in the air while you’re jogging? Does it come after you like the aroma of a rabbit stew in a Bugs Bunny cartoon? I don’t know, I think the initial ban on cigarette smoke was just the start, chipping away slowly at our rights. Of course, smoking is a dirty and health endangering habit, but it’s not illegal, and with all the education out there about the ill-effects, it should still be up to the individual whether to do it or not. Watch out, before you know it, you’ll be ticketed for smoking in your own car and then in your own home.  Well, at least, for now, we can still order runny eggs in a restaurant.

Okay, so, one more mention about Guiding Light. Today is the last show. I’ve been debating whether to watch it live, sort of ceremoniously, or wait until later, when I’m through with work for the day and can relax in my red chair, armed with a box of Kleenex, as opposed to getting my work all soggy. You know I’ll be shedding a tear. Here’s a link to an interview with Kim Zimmer, who plays Reva Shayne Lewis.

Is it true that next Tuesday is the first day of autumn? Was it always in September? I’m perplexed. Why am I drawing a blank on this?

Alright, let’s close the week on a high note, or two. The first has GOT to be the quote of the week:

 

 

And this has GOT to be the feel good moment of the week.

The little girl’s innocent action is gasp-evoking and the father’s reaction is just priceless. The Phillies, however, graciously replaced the ball, but this moment is a classic, one for the books.

Now, the sooner I get started working, the sooner my weekend can start, so I’ll see you all next week.

GuidingLightWhiteLogoKeep the light burning!

Shaking Things Up

September 17, 2009

Thanks to those of you who read my blog yesterday for the great feedback you gave me, either here, or from the Guiding Light Facebook fan page. I am going to post that same blog again today on Facebook so hopefully another batch of people will see it. One of my Facebook friends, Jennie, forwarded the blog to CBS and when I realized she had done that, I thought I had better do the same thing. I tried to get to Proctor & Gamble, but that’s virtually impossible. I did find (and I posted) through my network of phone calls a number to the Guiding Light Hotline where you can call and voice your opinions, thoughts, suggestions and just get your anger off your chest. I called and since they don’t have the means to accept any communication other than by way of telephone, I basically read yesterday’s blog to the woman on the other end of the phone. The phone number to call is 1-866-695-1859. It’s inconceivable to let this patch, out of the fabric of Americana, die away. 72 years…

On to my next issue. As of 8pm tonight, a $29 million (stimulus money) reconstruction..sorry, rehabilitation… job on Interstate 287 will begin between exits 5 and 12 and is expected to last until the fall of 2011. Lucky for us, they’ll be working at night, to alleviate traffic tie ups. But what perplexes me (there’s that word again) is that the reconstruction job (if I have my facts straight it was at a cost of $40 million) they began in 2007 which, at times, had north and southbound lanes intersecting each other, is scheduled to be complete this coming November. And the kicker is, it ‘s the same stretch of the highway. Well, I have an email out to the NJ-DOT as of this morning asking why yet another recon….rehabilitation job.

Okay, so now for a little fun. I saw this video the other day on the Ellen Degeneres show and laughed until I cried. Then yesterday, she gifted each audience member with one of these items and presented it by having a display stand wheeled out from backstage with both women and men using it. If your imagination takes you to “wrong” levels when you watch the video, just imagine where your mind will soar watching the men on that platform during the product demonstration.

 

I don’t know, but I have a hunch, you can even use it while wearing your zebra or leopard print Snuggie.

And lastly, last night we lost another two celebrities (and Ariel and I lost points to Bobby); Mary Travers (she left on a jet plane) and Henry Gibson (who finally got the flying fickle finger of fate).

And that’s really all I got for you today. Have a nice day.