Showing posts from August, 2013

Tree Killers

I think that if we wanted to wrap the world with receipt tape, we'd only need to buy a couple of loaves of bread and a gallon of milk for maybe a week. That ought to do it.

If we ever run out of firewood in this country, I am blaming America's retailers. Their receipts surely must be killing trees by the truckload.

Have you looked at receipts lately? I could decorate our Christmas tree with one trip to Target.

Receipts are getting longer by the day. In fact, receipts are about as long as the day is long.

At my local CVS, the spitting out of the receipt by the register is tantamount to a winner at a slot machine. It keeps going and going, to the point where I am expecting to hear sirens and bells go off, and a spotlight shine on me from the ceiling.

You think you're the store's lucky customer of the week, as the receipt flows out of the register and spills onto the floor until the clerk is covered in white paper from head to toe.

But alas, 95% of what is on the receipt …

Oh, Miley!

Maybe behind the scenes, Miley Cyrus is getting a talking to. Maybe when nobody is looking, she is being sent to her room. Maybe her Internet use is being revoked. She has no more access to the family car, until further notice.

If only.

No one said that the transformation from bubble gum pop to grown up music is an easy one. It's like child actors who struggle in becoming mature adults.

But music means live performances. Not every song is recorded in a sterile studio. And there isn't a director, yelling "CUT!" There's no Take Two.

Too bad.

But there ARE parents. Theoretically, anyway.

Miley Cyrus seemed to have a built in defense system against the pitfalls of growing up in the music industry as a performer. Her father, Billy Ray, is in the business himself. He's seen some things. Certainly things that he'd want to keep his little girl from getting mixed up in.

But the parenting has been of the hands off variety in Miley's case, and the results haven&…

Polar Eclipse

Maybe if Facebook, Twitter et al had been around when John Kennedy ran for president as the first Roman Catholic candidate, I could properly compare.

Or when Dick Nixon was trying to serpentine around the Watergate investigation, and social media was all the rage at the time, that would be another base line study.

Hey, what if we had the Internet during the Civil War? That would be something.

I'm talking about polarization, and boy does it seem to be at a peak these days---the days where there is the Internet and everyone races to their keyboards to post the latest good stuff for their side and the bad stuff for the other folks'.

I am on Facebook often, and it seems like people are using it strictly as a propaganda tool.

I prefer to think of myself as a Facebooker with diversity. My stuff ranges from food to sports to humor to cute animals. And more.

But there are some folks whose timeline is filled with mostly political rhetoric and smarmy comments about what they're shar…

Yogurt's Hostile Takeover

Years ago, a comedian I saw on TV said it.

"Yogurt: it looks better than it sounds, and tastes better than it looks."


But I doubt you'll find this as a slogan for any of today's yogurt producers, which is suddenly a crowded boat's worth of companies.

In my day (up to you to figure out when that was), it was Dannon. That was pretty much it. The yogurt came in cardboard containers and you had to scoop the fruit up from the bottom. I always mixed the heck out of it, because I was terrified to find out what even a drop of unmixed, plain yogurt tasted like.

Then Yoplait came on the scene, with its tapered-top plastic containers. The Yoplait stuff was already mixed, perhaps done as a counter to Dannon's mix-it-yourself product.

That was your competition, and your choices. Dannon, or Yoplait. Unless you count your grocer's own brand.

Today, the yogurt consumer is being courted like no other. The country of Greece has become associated with yogurt like It…

Woodward Nightmare Cruise?

This is Dream Cruise Week.

Not sure what that means, other than this is the week leading up to the Dream Cruise, down Woodward Avenue.

It's also time for me to reflect on my experiences at the Cruise, which began in 1995, the brainchild of a plumber from Ferndale named Nelson House.

OK, ready for my experiences?

Well, back in 2003 or 2004, my family and I decided to head into Royal Oak to eat at Siam Spicy on Woodward north of 11 Mile. And we forgot that it was Dream Cruise Saturday. And we in our 1992 Mustang (I still drive it) got accidentally caught up in the Cruise as we turned north onto Woodward.

People hooted and hollered at us from their roadside seats. They thought our car was part of the Cruise.

Little did they know, we were wayward souls looking for some Thai food, with timing that couldn't have been worse.

That's it---that's the depth of my Dream Cruising.

The Dream Cruise is one of those events that I think I should give a go one of these days, but never s…

Bucking the System (For Now)

The question may no longer be, will Detroit's residents elect a white mayor? It may be, by how large of a margin?

Mike Duggan kicked butt in Tuesday's primary election---as a write-in candidate. He captured nearly 50% of the (granted, paltry) voter turnout, garnering about 16,000 more votes than Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

Again, Duggan did all this as a write-in candidate.

Now, write-in candidates typically don't register a blip in elections, let alone in a big city like Detroit. Their candidacies are usually symbolic in nature; afterthoughts, or in protest.

Normally, the only place you can get written in and win is in a high school student council election.

So this is big doings, that Duggan, the former CEO of the DMC and a deputy Wayne County Executive under Ed McNamara, whose mayoral candidacy looked to be dead less than two months ago, not only gathered traction with his write-in candidacy, he trampled the competition.

Duggan got about 44,000 write-ins. Tom B…