Friday, January 31, 2014

January 31, 2014

I'd like to meet the man who started the fistbump greeting. I would shake his hand. Then, I would ask: "Now, was that really so bad?"

Last May, a Cheerios ad featuring an interracial family earned an overwhelming amount of online criticism, followed by an equally overwhelming amount of online support. A new commercial featuring the same actors and characters, will be presented during Super Bowl 48 this Sunday. And guess what? The family is growing. Take that, haters!

There's a tradition for Super Bowl week, for EA Sports' Madden Super Bowl simulation to make a prediction regarding the game's outcome. In the last 10 years, the simulation has been right 8 times. This year, the prediction is that the Denver Broncos will defeat the Seattle Seahawks, making Peyton Manning the first quarterback in history to win the Super Bowl with two different teams. Now that's drama.

Last weekend, I encountered my first "advertorial." Like the infomercial, it's a method of advertising without admitting to advertising. I know of the old adage that no one went poor underestimating the intelligence of the public, but this is downright insulting.

A man who bought one first class ticket on an Eastern China Airlines flight used it to acquire a free meal in the VIP lounge, exchanged his ticket for a flight for the following day, then repeated the process for more than 300 days and 300 free meals. When airline officials finally caught on, he cashed in his ticket for a full refund. I am conflicted about this; the cheapskate in me finds the scheme brilliant, while the lazy sloth in me thinks that was a lot of trouble to go through. Meanwhile, the fat guy in me just wants to know what was on that menu.

While some news sources report that the freezing cold weather has brought down the number of tickets being sold for Sunday's Super Bowl, others report that the number of prostitutes making themselves available for the venue is at an all-time high. Some people say that the two reports are in conflict. Unfortunately, I can totally believe there are more people willing to risk frostbite to pay for sex than to pay to see the Seahawks, Broncos, or Bruno Mars. Really, how sad is that?

One Florida woman admitted in court that she brought her 15-year-old daughter to New York in hopes of connecting with a pimp who could use her for prostitution during Super Bowl weekend. The really sobering thought is, she's just one who got caught.

Singer Kevin Jonas and his pregnant wife Danielle are offering to rent their New Jersey mansion for $20,000 per night from now through February 9. The deal also includes four tickets to the Super Bowl, and a portion of the proceeds will go to charity. The home, which has six bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms, a walk-out basement, a billiard room, a home theater complete with stadium seating and a 3-D projector, a 6,500-bottle wine cellar, and an in-ground saltwater pool, is currently vacant, as, according to Kevin, "we have moved out of our home to make room for our new family of three." Just how big is this baby going to be?

Eric Lawson, the fifth "Marlboro Man", died this week at 72. Like his four predecessors, all featured in ads for Marlboro cigarettes, Lawson died from a smoking-related illness. At the risk of seeming insensitive, I'm sensing a pattern...

And now, a message that may or may not be directed to anyone in particular: .Even though the first amendment says you have a right to free speech, every mother believes her baby is beautiful.

Agape'-- P

Friday, January 24, 2014

January 24, 2014

It is an under appreciated triumph, but you really do score a victory when you don't let evil diminish your joy, or even worse, corrupt your character.

Perspective is a major cosmic joke; the things that you never want to miss when you're younger become rather fleeting when you get older. Meanwhile, the little things that mean the most when you're older were taken for granted when you were younger.

The case against Justin Bieber, who was arrested for DUI on Thursday, may be in jeopardy. Instead of the 0.04 blood alcohol reading that was reported, Bieber's actual reading is now being reported as 0.014. This news disappoints a lot of people who can't wait for the 19-year-old repeated scofflaw to get his comeuppance.

I like this quote from Ben Franklin: "Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see." I just wish I'd been reminded of it by a historian instead of a celebrity involved in a sex scandal.

A 49-year-old man was arrested for DUI by Italian police in Udine. When confronted with the results from two blood alcohol tests, the desperate man snatched the reports from the officer, tore them into pieces, and ate them. He now faces charges of both DUI and resisting arrest. I guess he never heard of carbon paper or copy machines.

Okay, first, there was the Squatty Potty. Now, the newest bathroom innovation sweeping the viral community is the "tandem toilet", common in football and soccer stadiums in Russia, discovered by a news correspondent at the location for the Winter Olympics at Sochi. While there are established health benefits to the Squatty Potty, I see no such reason for this; in fact, I think that's carrying togetherness a bit far.

Exported.; Ever since I heard the news that the 39-year-long marriage of the Captain and Tenille is ending, I haven't been able to get their signature song, Love Will Keep us Together, out of my head. Too bad they can't say the same.

A cautionary tale for the modern day: a lesbian couple who wanted to have a baby turned to Craigslist, asking for a volunteer to donate sperm fir artificial insemination. A 47-year-old man from Kansas answered the ad and donated sperm. A contract between the three of them absolved the sperm donor of any financial responsibility. however, when the couple became financially strapped and applied for state benefits, the state petitioned to have the donor declared a parent and thereby responsible for child support. According to law, the contract signed by the three parties is only effective if the donation was acquired by a doctor. The moral of the story is: always read the fine print before you donate sperm to broke, childless lesbians.

The makers of Oreo cookies are releasing two new flavors soon: Cookie Dough (the same chocolate cookies, but with a tan, chocolate chip creme in the middle), and Marshmallow Crispy (vanilla cookies with a crisped rice spotted creme in the middle). Some Oreo purists are complaining, but I don't see why; the original isn't going away. Besides, the company's past additions, Double Stuff, Fudge Covered, and my personal fave, the Oreo Brownie (shudder), have all been very, very good to me.
The new Oreo Cookie Dough flavor keeps the chocolate-flavored cookie, but a cookie dough-flavored filling. The new Marshmallow Crispy Oreo flavor seems inspired by a Rice Krispies treat.

Now, a message that may or may not be directed to anyone in particular: No, I don't think referring to covert military maneuvers as "black ops" is racist.

Agape' -- P

Friday, January 17, 2014

January 17, 2014

Can anyone tell me why there isn't a forward-working DELETE key on most pop-up digital keyboards?

The Chuck E. Cheese restaurant chain was recently sold for about $950,000,000. Eat your heart out, Mickey Mouse; there's another rich rodent in town.

A commercial flight from Chicago to Branson, Missouri, landed at the wrong airport this week. The story turns out to be a little more serious than an inconvenience to the 129 passengers and a humorous "whoopsie" for me. Turns out the smaller runways at the municipal airport where the plane landed could have resulted in tragedy. Thankfully, due to the skills of the pilots (who have been suspended with pay), a bigger crisis was averted.

Google is working on a contact lens that may be able to test a person's blood glucose levels using their tears. If this works, diabetics may be able to stop pricking their fingers. Technology may be wonderful, but don't forget that the idea came from human inspiration.

Speaking of Google, a San Diego woman cited for speeding by a California Highway Patrol officer was also charged with distracted driving, because she was wearing a pair of Google glasses. However, since it could not be proven whether or not the glasses were on and impairing her view of the road, the charges were dropped. Again, technology may be wonderful, but human legislation has its flaws.

Last year, a Manhattan judge dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit filed after it took two hours for help to arrive after a woman's boyfriend called 911 when she collapsed on a street during a blizzard in December, 2010. The reason the lawsuit was tossed was that the unconscious woman was not the one who called 911. According to New York law, a negligence claim is only supported if the 911 call is made by either the victim or a relative. The same law may be used to dismiss another lawsuit filed by the parents of a 4-year-old girl who died after being run down by an unlicensed teenage driver being chased by police. Sometimes, the law's technicalities really bite.

The thought of revoking Justin Bieber's citizenship has been discussed this week after his latest unseemly act (egging a neighbor's house to the point of $20,000+ in damage). However, according to the law, it would take a violent crime to revoke citizenship, and although eggs are incredible and edible (remember that slogan?), they aren't violent enough to send Bieber back to Canada.

During a search for evidence in the Bieber egging case (conducted by 11 patrol cars, talk about a squad!), police arrested Bieber's roommate, Lil' Za, after finding drugs in Za's bedroom. While in police custody, Za was re-arrested (!) for smashing a telephone after making his one permitted phone call. Za has publicly suggested that he was arrested because he is black. But ironically, that same telephone was vandalized by Mel Gibson when he was arrested.

Lil' Za, Lil' Twist... why does Justin Bieber surround himself with lil' people?

And now, a message that may or may not be directed to anyone in particular:  I agree, the late Esther Rolle was a very handsome woman. But I can also see how some may think your statement that "Florida Evans was a brick... house" could be considered disrespectful. By the way, unless you're actually singing the song, you don't need to pause.

Agape' -- P

Friday, January 10, 2014

January 10, 2014

I'm watching a news program where the top 3 stories are Ricky Martin's breakup, Dennis Rodman returning to North Korea for an exhibition game, and Eliot Spitzer with a woman in a hot tub. It occurs to me that we never really appreciate a slow news day.

I wondered why I like hanging out with my friend Chuy; then it dawned on me that his name reminds me of cookies.

In this new era of political correctness and sensitivity, let me say that as a horizontally challenged person,  I'm personally offended when slightly bloated people compare the size of their bodies to a house. That's my thing!

Saturday Night Live has hired its first black female regular cast member, Sasheer Zamata.
I wonder who's happier, Sasheer, for becoming a trailblazer, Kenan Thompson, who can stop appearing in drag, or Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama, who can now be portrayed by someone without a Y chromosome.

She thought it would make her feel like a celebrity to have red carpet installed in her foyer; but every time she enters or leaves her house, there's Joan Rivers, criticizing her outfit.

So where would the art form of situation comedies be if there were no misunderstandings?

Another one of those studies reveals that cold-weather colleges are better than warm-weather colleges because of better fashions, comfort, and scenery. I feel like such an idiot; I thought you choose a college based on the quality of education.

The temperature in Hell, Indiana, dropped below freezing this week, prompting a lot of newscasters to report that hell officially froze over. Do you think someone named the town just to make that joke someday?

I realized recently that, although I've heard the expression a lot, I've never actually seen anyone come down with "the vapors." The sick thing is, now I kinda want to.

And now, a message that may or may not be directed to anyone in particular: the next time you serve a dinner with a Mexican theme but don't feel like making guacamole, your real friends won't mind. But don't stir red pepper flake into mashed green peas; you're not fooling anybody.

Agape' -- P

Friday, January 3, 2014

January 3, 2014

A growing number of retail stores are gathering shopper demographics using sophisticated technology — including mannequins with facial-recognition cameras hidden in their eyes. While some find this an invasion of privacy, others say that honest people with nothing to hide have nothing to worry about. I agree that brick and mortar stores are private property, and watching shoppers is within the merchant's rights — but merchants should at least warn shoppers that they're being watched and tracked.

Prior to Shia LaBeouf's New Year's skywritten apology to Daniel Clowes, the author whose story LaBouf admits he copied for his own short film, the film star posted several apologies via Twitter, borrowing quotes from well-documented apologies from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, film director Lars von Trier, and UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. Plagiarism is one thing; committing plagiarism while apologizing for plagiarism takes extra nerve.

Learned from experience: when strangers greet you by asking, "How are you doing?", 9 times out of 10, it's rhetorical.

I'm not saying that this thought was inspired by any real life event that may or may not have actually happened, but it's a sad comment on this civilization when security personnel asks you to leave Walmart simply because you're smiling at people you don't know, hoping for a pleasant reaction. I'm just saying.

She got tired of watching other people work out on TV, so she joined a gym so she could watch other people work out in person.

A Chelsea, NY yoga studio says that their new nude coed yoga class is not intended to arouse anyone. Sounds like you won't see anything you like here. Not exactly a selling point.

Sales of adult diapers in Japan are increasing at such an alarming rate that the numbers are predicted to pass the number of sales of baby diapers in a few years. I'm not sure what this means, but it sounds ominous.

When you consider that beginning the year on January 1 was an arbitrary decision, don't all those resolutions, superstitions, and milestones based on New Year's seem like really wasted energy?

I also don't observe National Buffet Day on January 2. And to prove it, I consume all I can eat every day.

Did you know that medical personnel who decline flu shots for religious reasons are often permitted to do their jobs while wearing medical face masks? That option was not given to a 29-year-old Pennsylvania nurse who was fired because she declined the shot for fear that it would injure her unborn child. That's somewhat inconsistent, isn't it?

Agape' -- P