Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'll Have the Bucket Size Please

When at the boardwalk, one must always get boardwalk fries.
When at Ocean City, one must always go to Thrashers.
When at Thrashers, one must always get the large bucket size of fries.

When holding a ginormus bucket of hot boardwalk fries, one must always dump a bunch of apple cider vinager and salt on said bucket.


Between three of us this was still too many deliciously salty, vinegary, french fried potato sticks of heart attack happiness.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday Addendum

I feel it necessary to comment on my original Black Friday post. I thought the Black Friday consumeristic phenomenon was funny up until today when I heard the two terrible news death stories from yesterday's shopping frenzy.

Walmart employee stampeded to death during Black Friday shopping mayhem. The NYT describes:
Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede that streamed over and around him.

Two die in Toys R US shooting. The AP reports:
Two men pulled guns and shot each other to death in a crowded toy store Friday after the women with them erupted into a bloody brawl, witnesses said.

What is wrong with people? Are we really this greedy in America? People in other nations fight for food and peace and political representation. We fight for Furbies, Tickle-Me Elmos, Webkinz, and Guitar Hero. Disgusting.

Pointless Banter captures the sentiment just right: from blood diamonds to Walmart toys, If nobody died in the procurement of my gift I don’t want it

Nothing like a little bloodshed to make our 'valuables' more valuable.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

It's that time of year again. The day that shoppers have been waiting for since last year's day-after-Thanksgiving. The day that true bargain hunters strap on their running shoes to brave the freezing temperatures, bustling crowd, and early-set alarm clocks. It's going to be mayhem in the stores today. Everyone and their uncle has gotta hit the sales.

My mom grabbed us a newspaper yesterday so we could look through the ads inside. It appears that most stores are opening at 4 AM this year. Seriously? I always considered ourselves a serious shoppers, but not THAT serious. We'll be sleeping in at least until the sun comes up. Geez.

I have always secretly wanted to go to a store on Black Friday where crazy shopper-people are stealing merchandise from each other's cart, pushing and shoving to grab the new hottest toy, and weeping in ecstasy over the biggest deals they found. Not that I want to BE one of those people, I just want to witness it. American consumerism at its finest.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving at the Beach

I am in Ocean City, Maryland right now over Thanksgiving vacation. Yay, the beach--even if it is a freezing cold beach. The roar of the waves and boardwalk shops, however, comfort our temperature woes.

We watched a few crazy people stick their toes in the water. Followed by their whole feet, ankles, calves, knees, and finally an unexpected wave soaked their pants completetly. Haha. I bet they were sorry they got so close to the water.

Unfortunately this "holiday" for me means working on papers that are due next week. At all the hotels we canvased, I had to ask, "and you have free WiFi, right?" so I can do my research. Happy Thanksgiving to me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey 911

A bird roasting emergency? No worries.

Don't forget that if on this turkey holiday you should happen to have any turkey related questions, there are trained professionals waiting by the phone to rescue you.

We have the following:
The Butterball Turkey Talk Line 1-800-BUTTERBALL
The Reynolds Wrap Turkey Tips Line 1-800-745-4000
The USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHOTLINE
and there are more, believe it or not.

This article compiles a few stories about the funniest turkey calls. How one loses their turkey, or worse, loses their dog inside their turkey, I have no idea.

It might be fun to be one of the turkey line operators. Imagine the calls they get.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oil Spill

Who knew the blacktop could be so pretty? I love it when the rain transforms normal things into extraordinary things.

I also love the print that leaves create on concrete sidewalks during the fall. You know--that pretty brown and white collage. It's the small things in life that make me happy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recommended Reading

Thanks Amazon. Thanks for the recommendations, but between you and me, you suck at recommending things for me to read!

Amazon always sends me these "we recommend..." or "we think you'd like..." emails. I always want to scratch my head and say, why? Why do you want me to read these Amazon?

No, I don't want to purchase
The Lady as Saint: A Collection of French Hagiographic Romances of the Thirteenth Century
Laboratory Investigations: AP Environmental Science
Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity (Ucla Fowler Museum of Cultural History Textile Series, No. 2)
Lucia Etxebarria Amor, curiosidad, prozac y dudas
The Scandal of the Speaking Body: Don Juan with J. L. Austin, or Seduction in Two Languages

Nope, Not Interested.

I suppose the reason my recommendations are so off has something to do with me buying presents and textbooks for classes online. It really throws off my "recommending database."

According to some friends, apparently Netflix and YouTube aren't so great at recommending movies or videos respectively. Way to go fancy algorithms. You'll never fully capture how human minds (or shopping habits) work!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oodles of Doodles

Oh my. Doodlers.
Presidents. Vice-presidential wanna be's. They all doodle, according to CNN.

Some guy bought an Obama doodle (of poorly drawn heads) last year for over 2,000 bucks on eBay. Now he's getting offers in the 6 figures, but he won't sell. I think he should. The doodle is hardly fit for hanging on the fridge, let alone over the fireplace.

Palin likes to make doodles too. Only hers prove that her mind must always be racing. Talk about a jumble of chicken scratch. Reminds me of middle school when I was deciding how to fashion my John Hancock.

I see why these two went into politics...because art school just wasn't for them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beef Panties

Spell Check always did anger me.

This article is the perfect example, from over at Revealing Errors, of how spell checker messes us up. Apparently Reuters posted a story that proclaimed the recalling of beef panties. What are beef panties, you ask? Well, in short, I have no idea, nor do I want to know. The whole idea goes something like this:
Quaker Maid Meats Inc. on Tuesday said it would voluntarily recall 94,400 pounds of frozen ground beef panties that may be contaminated with E. coli.

Of course the article was talking about beef patties, not beef panties.

This error can be blamed, at least in part, on a spellchecker. I talked about spellcheckers before when I discussed the Cupertino effect which happens when someone spells a word correctly but is prompted to change it to an incorrect word because the spellchecker does not contain the correct word in its dictionary. The Cupertino effect explains why the New Zealand Herald ran a story with Saddam Hussein's named rendered as Saddam Hussies and Reuters ran a story referring to Pakistan's Muttahida Quami Movement as the Muttonhead Quail Movement.
Hardy har har. Snortle snort. Silly spell checker results make us chuckle, but also sorry, very very sorry in the case of big news organizations that publish stories about beef panties. I myself get frustrated over words like globalized, rhetor, and problemetized. Spell checker is bad for language, very very bad.

And yet, I so spell checked this post. Hypocrite, I am.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We Salute You

Thank you to all the veterans who have fought for our country.

For our lives.
For our hope.
For our freedom.

I personally think of my grandfather who fought in WWII and I am proud of his service to our country and proud to be his granddaughter.

To all of the veterans on this Veteran's day, we appreciate you today, but also on every other day of the year too. There is no just one veteran's day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Leave the Bag of Cash by the Unmarked Car...

I had no idea text-to-speech things even existed on the internet. There are websites that you can go to, type in words, and have the computer read it back to you out loud. Phrases. Full Sentences. Whatever you type in, they read back to you. At Cepstral, you can choose your voice, rate, pitch, and effect. I'm partial to William, although Amy has a nice intonation as well. Yay, who doesn't like to play around with cool technology toys? It's actually a great idea. Especially for people with speech or hearing difficulties.

On the other hand, you know, these are also great for kidnappers, perverts, pranksters, and other assorted criminal offenders...
But that's beside the point, right?