Archive for February, 2007

Blame the Dishes

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Do you realize how much better things would be if we simply had small dishes again? Giant plates, bowls and glasses are to blame for many environmental, financial and health problems of late. They are out of control and need to be reined in a bit.

Clearly, larger dishes require more raw materials to manufacture. It takes more glass to make a 12 inch plate than a 10 inch plate. Larger dishes strain a dishwasher. Fewer fit inside for a standard cycle. This means the dishwasher is run more often resulting in more water usage, higher electricity requirements and an increased level of soaps deposited in the environment. Dishwashers aren’t the only area of the kitchen strained. We now need larger refrigerators, microwaves, tables and cabinets to accomodate the girth of our dishes. The result, of course, is larger kitchens. Larger kitchens lead to larger homes. Larger homes require more energy to sustain and more land space. It’s an ugly cycle.

Actually, it is convenient our need for larger kitchens has resulted in larger homes, as these gigantic plates have also resulted in larger people. In order to maintain a respectable plate to food ratio, we are consuming inordinate amounts of calories. As larger people, we need larger clothes and larger furniture, requiring larger closets and larger rooms. All of this space requires more energy to maintain, more materials to furnish and more toxins to clean. This abundance of food also results in more waste on the part of the consumers. I’m not just talking about wrappers, peels and containers. I’m talking about biological waste, Number 1, Number 2 and methane.

Yikes. Really, how have our dishes been getting away with such behavior. They’ve ballooned our homes and our bottoms. They’ve catapulted us into a diabetes and heart disease epidemic. They’ve encouraged us to weigh down our airplanes and automobiles. Forcing them to belch out more fumes and drink more fuel. They’ve sabotaged our woodlands to make room for our ever enlarging homes. This insanity must be stopped. The only way to break this cycle is to break them. No more of this outlanDISH behavior.

Talk About Preventing Heart Attacks

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Non-profits are really getting smart. Donations are down and normal fundraising efforts are failing. What do you do when you need to raise a lot of money fast? You call in the kids; that’s what you do. Non-profits have been partnering with school systems for help with fundraising campaigns. It’s brilliant. With a cause in their hearts and the promise of cool prizes for their efforts, kids hit the streets on a mission. They are to ask all of their neighbors, relatives and family friends to support the cause of the moment by purchasing an overpriced item or by simply making a cash donation.

The current cause for our local school district is the American Heart Association. The premise is that you sponsor a kid to jump rope in an effort to promote heart health and reduce heart attacks. Trouble is, by the time the umpteenth kid has knocked on your door asking for a donation, the donor is having a heart attack over all of the funds they’ve managed to turn over to the cause so as not to disappoint the doe-eyed munchkin.

Supporting kids is great. There is something sad to me about using kids to generate cash for some of these causes though. The kids don’t necessarily care about the cause and are often motivated to approach as many people as possible to earn an iPod or a cool t-shirt. Potential donors are often stuck in the trap of having to support multiple kids in an effort to be fair. Perhaps you’ve already contributed to the cause, but each child cares whether or not you’ve contributed to their prize goal. Parents are also entangled in the mess. In order to avoid subjecting their children to the dangers of door-to-door prospecting, parents often take over the fundraising efforts.

On the bright side, I guess our schools are providing early training for those who will eventually find themselves in sales positions. Never mind how much harder it will be to convince people to hand over money or buy a good once they no longer have youth on their side.

Whatever Happened to Aspen?

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Remember when the winter getaway for the stars was Aspen? The gossip magazines were great about showing various celebs stylishly clad in snow gear while braving the mountain elements. Though a few of the 40 and above celebs still head to the slopes, young Hollywood seems to have picked a new winter hot spot. Why go to Aspen when you can go to rehab?

I don’t understand the sudden rage over organized rehabilitation. Don’t get me wrong. I fully support individuals who are struggling with chemical dependencies seeking out professional help. The road to rehab for many stars, however, seems to start with racial/homophobic slurs, sexual indiscretions or connections to Paris Hilton. Grown adults have chosen to be stupid in public and then want to duck into rehab so the world goes “awwww” instead of “ewwww.” As if some condition was the reason he/she was behaving outside of the norm.

Whatever is going on, there is definitely investment potential in all of this. The Hiltons would be wise to convert some of their underperforming hotels into rehab destination vacations. I’m sure many of Paris’ friends would sign on as clientele. Starbuck’s could open a few stores on site. Surely the addiction to pricy caffeine isn’t being challenged in rehab. Gift shops could distribute souvenirs like T-shirts with the words “I’ve been to rehab. What’s your excuse?” Let’s see if entrepreneur Donald Trump doesn’t jump in on the action. He’s already had a taste of rehab through his supervision of Miss U.S.A. Maybe he’ll ditch “The Apprentice” (it’s getting old anyway) for a more modern show like “The Resident”. Rehab residents could go on the show and The Donald can send one home a week with the slogan “You’re Cured!”

‘Hair’rowing Experience

Friday, February 16th, 2007

It’s a bad day when a trip to the beauty salon leaves you with hair more expensive than the total of everything you are wearing. A few days ago I decided to venture out in the snow and try my luck as a walk-in for a haircut. Since my daughter was born 10 months ago, I have had my hair cut twice. It’s just too much of a hassle to find time. I’ve also switched from getting my hair colored and highlighted in a salon to having my husband dye my hair from a box at home. The decision to brave the elements in search of a haircut grew wings when I realized I was beginning to resemble ‘Cousin It’ with roots. My husband was home from work so it seemed like a good idea to get put back to rights.

The salon I have been going to for haircuts is pretty reasonable. They charge $30 for a cut and style. Not bad considering the metropolitan area I live in. I assumed they were less expensive because the salon is located inside a discount mall. In any event, as I sit down in the chair the stylist begins to ask me about my color. Now, I’m not blind to the fact my box color is not quite the right color for me. It works though. Especially considering it’s $5 a shot. I end up explaining how my husband dyes my hair for me at home. Yadda, yadda, yadda. As the stylist rakes through my hair, she starts talking about how women often let themselves go after the birth of a child and how that can negatively impact a marriage. Looking in the mirror, I couldn’t deny I wasn’t quite the girl my husband had married. Well dang! She offered to touch up my color a bit and I decided I might as well. It would be nice to have a good looking ‘do’ again after all of this time. She breezes over how she will apply an all over color and then add in a few highlights to brighten things up. Sounded good to me.

After nearly two hours in the salon, my hair was cut, my roots were gone and I did indeed have a aura of brightness about my head. The brightness turned to flames when I reached the receptionist’s desk to pay the bill, however. I walked into the salon intending to spend $30 on a haircut. I ended up spending….um, wait a minute. My mother-in-law reads my blog. Um, Mom, if you are there…make sure Dad is nearby to check your pulse should you faint. Continuing on, the grand total was a whopping $180!!! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How could a haircut and color job in a discount mall hair salon add up to that much money?

As the receptionist looked at me expectantly, I struggled for words and some sense of composure. Though I’ve never had a seizure before, I’m pretty sure I came close to one at that moment. “I’m sorry, what?” was all I could manage. She repeated the number. Yep, still $180. Is it possible they had added a few other customers’ bills to mine? Nope. Turns out this lucky walk-in ended up in the chair of their ‘Senior Stylist’. She has special rates, you see. Never did she bother to mention what the cost of her upsell would be. It was $30 for the haircut, $70 for the all over color and $80 for those few precious highlights that brightened everything up. I quickly brought my hand to my mouth. I needed to cover the gaping hole. I did manage to explain to the receptionist how customers would benefit from knowing ahead of time if a stylist’s suggestions would end up costing $180. The stylist had conveniently disappeared at this point. The receptionist gave me her best “yeah, whatever” look and went on to ask if I wanted the tip amount added to my card or if I was going to handle that with cash. Tip???!!! I’m pretty sure a tip could be found somewhere in that $180. If not, the best tip I could offer was for that stylist to refrain from taking her clients to the cleaners in the future.

By the way, when I got home and shared the details with my husband he quickly informed me he is upping his rates for hair service as he is clearly under paid.  Great.  Just great.

This may be out of line…

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

All individuals with ties to establishing the true paternity of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter need to quit their bickering and submit whatever is needed for testing immediately. Anna’s DNA, the baby’s DNA and the DNA of any man who feels he may be the father should be analized immediately and without anymore of these ridiculous legal maneuvers. All of the infighting is out of line. I’m tired of hearing about the money. I’m also tired of hearing about the rights of the adults (alive and deceased) involved. This is about a baby girl who will one day be old enough to want to know (and deserve to know) the true identity of her father. If the opportunity to know the truth is squandered, this poor little girl will be robbed of a basic fact of her existance. The longer this goes on, the more this private matter will play out in a public forum. If those around her truly love her they will move quickly to prevent things from getting worse.


Saturday, February 10th, 2007

I passed a U-Haul truck today.  It was abandoned alongside the road with its hood up.  The truck apparently was another workforce casualty.  The U-Haul trucks should seriously consider forming a union so they have a voice in improving their work environment.  They are forever dying on the job.  I see them on the shoulder of the road more than I see them rolling down the highway.  Conditions must be horrible.  If U-Haul doesn’t start investing in the health and well being of its fleet, it might as well change its name to U-Tow.

She’s Terrified???

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

The gossipy side of news is reporting Nicole Richie is terrified she may go to jail for her latest episode of drunk driving. You may have heard the story of how she had been reportedly driving the wrong direction down a freeway. She managed to escape tragedy. Fortunately she found a way to drive with traffic on a different busy road. By the time police caught up with her, she had given up driving completely and was stopped in the fast lane of a freeway. It’s a miracle no one was injured or killed as a result of her irresponsible behavior that day. This is her 2nd DUI. I’m guessing there have been times she’s gotten behind the wheel intoxicated and escaped detection by law enforcement. Miss Richie may be afraid she is going to go to jail. I am equally afraid she won’t. I don’t feel celebrities should be punished in an extreme way as if to make an example out of them. Not receiving punishment, however, is the other end of extreme and it is also unacceptable.

Lessons From a Cabbie

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

It is rare to read a news story that leaves you smiling and hopeful that morality isn’t on a helpless decline. This morning I read about a NY City cabbie who found luggage in his trunk left behind by a jeweler. The case held a bag of diamonds. The cabbie spent a considerable amount of time making calls, driving around the city and tracking down the passenger who left the case behind. He found the owner and was given $100 for his efforts. He took the money since tracking down the owner cost him a decent amount of time and gas that he could have been using towards earning more fares.

What makes this story interesting to me is the passenger had originally tipped the driver 30 cents for an $11 fare. Finding diamonds in your trunk after a tip like that might tempt a person to succumb to the ‘finder’s keepers’ way of thinking. Not this man. He knew he held a mini fortune in his hands, but didn’t want to attain wealth by capitalizing on the misfortunes or mistakes of others, even if those ‘others’ seem as though they could afford to lose some. Like most people, he would enjoy the comforts of money. His desire for money does not outweigh his need to be ethical and honest. I hope his actions ensure good karma that pays him back in spades.

Now That’s News

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

It’s being reported today on the major news outlets that mankind is to blame for global warming. Isn’t that a shocker? And here I thought it was all of the elephants tooting in Africa. Maybe now that we’ve identified the source of the problem we can finally get down to finding a solution.

My husband pointed out to me the other day how much the temperature spiked after 9/11 when planes weren’t flying. We’ve actually reached a point where we need pollution to keep from overheating. So pollution is destroying and protecting our environment at the same time. Hmmmm, talk about a pickle.

Logical Order

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

People seem less inclined to do things in a logical order. A systematic approach is too boring, I suppose. Most have read about the 67 year old woman who gave birth to twins recently. She is a prime example of straying from a natural sequence of events. She has announced publicly she is seeking a man to be a father to her children. Um, isn’t it usually a good idea to find a father first? I mean a lot of planning went into this endeavor. The pregnancy was intentional and sought out. Great amounts of time and money were invested to bring these babies to life. How odd the task of securing a father was left until the end. Talk about horses pushing a cart from behind. Of course, not securing a father in advance isn’t the only side step from conventional ways in this story. The norm of securing a mate, having children, raising children and then growing old has been replaced by growing old, having children, looking for a mate and raising your children quick enough that they will be able to tend to you by the time you are in diapers again.

I suppose some could look at this story as a victory for women. Finally women are able to conceive children later in life like men. The thing is, men’s equipment still works later in life without medical intervention. This woman’s womb had been turned off for years. Artificial means and advanced technology were necessary to make this pregnancy happen. Wombs turn off for a reason. Our divine creator was wise enough to know pregnancy after a certain stage in life wasn’t a good idea. By natural order, women typically have up to 25 years to secure a pregnancy. Isn’t that enough time to get the job done in the order nature intended? It may not be fair that men can have children into their 70’s and women can’t. Life’s not fair though. Men in their 70’s probably don’t think it’s fair that women can sleep through the night without getting up to pee every 2 hours. Nature knows best and we shouldn’t fight it so often.