Tag Archives: Business

Hating on the Holiday’s

There is no part of the holiday season I hate more than being inundated by stupid television commercials.  At present the one I hate the most is a diamond commercial where a “hearing boy” gives his deaf girlfriend diamonds but first he shows her that he knows how to sign Merry Christmas.

Naturally she’s over come with silent excitement and enthusiasm over his split-second hand gestures; like he just spent a year learning to speak perfect Chinese.  Seriously, she’s hearing impaired not stupid… although her boyfriend might be since signing 2 words appears to be a difficult and complicated feat for him.

Let me just say…barf.

The one I hate the second most is yet another diamond commercial. Mom rocking baby in the middle of the night, Dad gets up in his t-shirt and gives her a diamond.  I imagine her saying, “Oh, honey I can’t wait to see what it looks like on my hand cleaning a dirty diaper!”

Seriously, she doesn’t want a diamond, she wants him to take the baby and say go get some sleep.

The third most hated Christmas commercial is the perfume commercial with a couple ice skating to I’ve Got You Babe. Naturally she can skate well and he keeps falling down, but he is sincerely trying to meet her in her world. It’s about as stupid and trite as that scene in New Moon where the writer wanted to depict a happy future for Bella and Edward by dressing them in white and showing them running through a meadow. It’s vampire fiction not a Julie Andrews film.

Once again, let me just say…barf.

Here’s a commercial I did like! Anyone whose raised a daughter over the last decade knows this commercial is pitch perfect. From the beat, to the dance to the gestures…its all girl.

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And another that made my Holiday Like List:


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Filed under General, Holiday

British Court Rules on Potato Chips

Pringles Logo
Image via Wikipedia

Today a Britsh court ruled that Pringles are potato chips. I’m curious to know what Proctor & Gamble was trying to present them as.

I once attended an agriculture round table meeting hosted by the University of Minnesota, the professor was trying to promote food irradiation to a group of public school officials. In the lead up to discussing treating food with radiation he did an overview of some landmark cases in the food history. The most noteworthy was a case brought by an unnamed tomato sauce company in the 70’s or 80’s who argued that maggots didn’t constitute filth in food because they were not visible. The unnamed company of course lost but its not much different than Pringles arguing whether or not a potato chip is a potato chip…key ingredient?  I wonder how much the tomato sauce suit cost taxpayers?

Did you hear about the 150 Amish Paste tomatoes I planted? Well now you know the rest of the story.

The FDA’s 3 second rule

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Filed under Cooking, Food, Government, health, Home & Garden, Life

Vaccine Makers Enjoy Immunity

NEW YORK - JANUARY 26:  A Pfizer sign hangs on...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I haven’t read this in its entirety, I don’t always agree with the Wall Street Journal but it was one of the few publications that recently covered the issue of vaccine injury and the liability limits of the pharmaceutical industry. There are also limits established by government when an “epidemic” is formally announced, I’ll have to do some additional digging to find that information.

Wall Street Journal,  Feb. 23, 2009

One of the little-noticed reasons that Wyeth was attractive enough to command a $68 billion price for rival Pfizer Inc.’s planned takeover sits in a building catty-corner from the White House across Pennsylvania Avenue. That is where a special “vaccines court” hears cases brought by parents who claim their children have been harmed by routine vaccinations.

The court — and the law that established it more than two decades ago — buffers Wyeth and other makers of childhood-disease vaccines from much of the litigation risk that dogs traditional pill manufacturers and is an important reason why the vaccine business has been transformed from a risky, low-profit venture in the 1970s to one of the pharmaceutical industry’s most attractive product lines today.

The legal shield, known as the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, was put into place in 1986 to encourage the development of vaccines, a mainstay of the nation’s public-health policy. A spate of lawsuits against vaccine makers in the 1970s and 1980s had caused dozens of companies to get out of the low-profit business, creating a public-health scare.

Read More…

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Filed under Government, health, Life, Science, Uncategorized, United States

How to Recognize GM Produce in the Supermarket

These apples have PLU stickers with the number...
Image via Wikipedia

Often the fruits and vegetables sold in the supermarket carry a sticker with a PLU code, that code doesn’t just tell the cashier how to ring up your produce it tells you how the food was grown and whether or not it was genetically modified.

Produce that has been conventionally grown consists of 4 numbers and organically grown produce has 5 numbers prefaced with the number 9.  The PLU code on produce that has been genetically modified also has five numbers but the number is prefaced with the number 8.

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Filed under Food, health, Life, Science, United States

Minnesota Spring

Alexa has been sick. As she makes her slow recovery I’ve taken her on car rides to no where in particular, just to get her out of the house for a short time. I love our drives, I love the rural landscape all around me. I especially love this time of year because after so many months of seeing nothing but blankets of white, the gold and green patchwork farmland that spills to meet the cerulean blue sky takes my breath away.

As I was driving I wanted to describe the view to someone I’ve been exchanging letters with and this is what I wrote:  To Mark in AZ.

Round, tractor tire-sized bales of flaxen hay dot the landscape as periwinkle sheets of rain daub the western horizon.

On swizzle stick legs baby calves lean into the misty April breeze.

One calf is the color of oatmeal and I name him Norman.

He stands still as a Bonnie Mohr painting.

His eyes are black like buttons floating on soft peaks of whipped cream.

With his jaw high he faces spring as the wind smooths his downy fur from his eyes.

A nearby tractor awakens the earth as the Midwest wind twirls her,  sleepy and unexpectant.

Dusty plumes roll and scatter as her dark rich scent whispers her fertility to the wind.

Naked trees watch shivering impotently.

A gust blows and Norman’s mother calls.

On new legs Norman runs.

Blue sky, red barn and the gentle color of Norman; my American landscape.

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Filed under Life, Minnesota, Writing

Minnesota Floods

A lot of things are making my city flood, the ...
Image via Wikipedia

I was listening to the local news today and they were talking about the flooding in the Red River Valley area.  I looked out the window watching the rain fall and considered volunteering to assist in their sand bagging effort.  As I contemplated my schedule and watched the rain from my home office I noticed that I could see the the river from where I was sitting.

I live on the corner of 1st and Elm Street. Elm Street runs along side of my house and is more the size of an alley than an actual road, I assume this is partially because there are no more than 2 houses actually on Elm Street.  It is this narrow road that separates my yard from the banks of the Platte River. I assume the reason the house is so close to the river bank is because the structure is about 107 years old. It’s been completely renovated from the floor up as well as added on to. Today, there are more rules and local ordinances regarding set backs from rivers and lakes, rules that didn’t exist when this house was originally built. Being able to see river water from the main floor of my house inspired one response from me.  I turned on my heels and headed for the basement where I found standing water at the base of the stairs.


The only upshot is that the basement flooring is ceramic tile because the house is so close to the river. Whoever put in the large squares of ceramic tile was also smart enough to put in a floor drain. Unfortunately, the drain was placed inexplicably on an incline which  renders it almost useless unless the water level gets significantly higher.

For the past 7 years I’ve operated an online bookstore called Madeline West. The basement level of my house is where my library is housed. The books listed for sales on my website weren’t effected because the water had not eeked into that section of the basement. What was damaged was the boxes of unappraised books nearest to the basement door.

Instead of volunteering to sand bag the Red River Valley, it seems my week is completely booked. It’s going to be a very long week of clean up and the rain is expected to continue on for remainder of the week.  It seems I need an emergency plan, the water levels on the river will without question rise.

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Filed under Fiction Writing, Life, Minnesota, Minnesota Fiction

Conversation Primer

Pontiac Vibe
Image by im4t00l via Flickr

Why do guys think I need help in the automotive department? Seriously, do I look in the least bit lost or confused? If its just an excuse to talk to me, I don’t mind but let me give you a hint…if you’d like to get to know me don’t begin your conversation with me by insulting my intelligence.

Oh and as far as the “didn’t know girls knew much about small gas engines…” comment.  I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure I have a small gas engine on my lawn mower, snow blower and dirt bike, not in my Pontiac Vibe.

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Filed under Books, Fiction Writing, General, Life