Monday, January 31, 2011

1422 Warning Ad

I was reading a coffee pot the other day and I discovered something unsettling. By reading, I mean I was noticing the French and English words on the pot. You know how you sometimes inadvertently learn things about foreign languages and your own by seeing them side by side?
In this case, it had to do with the word “warning” on the pot. You know, lawsuit prevention stuff, like the coffee pot may be hot. Or that it was glass and if it broke you may cut yourself on a shard. And the standard electrical appliance warnings, like you shouldn’t operate the coffeemaker while sleeping or take a bath with it.
Although that was odd since the coffeemaker had an automatic start function so it could make coffee right before you woke up, so in effect you were operating it while you were sleeping.
In any event, I learned the French word for “warning” appears to be “avertissement.” Which looks suspiciously like the English “advertisement.” I went to an online French/English dictionary and sure enough, “avertissement” means “warning.”
But you translate the English “advertisement” back to French and it’s publicite’. Which is like “publicity.” Advertisement and publicity as synonyms in English makes sense now. But looking at the French you get the feeling “advertisement” originally meant “warning.”
So all those ads stuffing your mailbox started out like the warning label you see on electrical appliances? How far we’ve come. Ads were actually warnings.
So in the old days, “two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun” would have been a warning against a heart attack.
And the coffee pot would’ve also warned me of the rich full-bodied mountain-grown high blood pressure fluid lurking inside.
America, ya gotta love it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

1421 Trenta Trend

In case you haven’t heard, Starbucks has a new size. Seems the Venti wasn’t big enough. And the Grande, well heck, who orders a tiny Grande anymore? I mean, if you can’t make your drink kick over the four-dollar mark, what’s the point of even drinking fancy coffee concoctions?
The new drink size is called the Trenta, so if you write anything about modern culture, add it to your spell-check now. Another Italian sounding word, you say, does it mean anything? Starbucks maintains it means “thirty” and the new cup will hold 31 ounces of fluid. One pull short of a quart.
A likely story. Every since the cautionary tale of consumers suing businesses when things that have actual expectation-based sizes—like large, extra large, gallon, and quart—don’t live up to those expectations, companies have been very careful about how they label things.
Like “economy size” and “family size,” and the great candy designation, “fun size.”
Girls, don’t ever whisper to your guy that he’s a fun size.
I’m just impressed by the inflation built into American fast food culture. Can you say “super-size”? When people first started ordering Grande lattes they seemed mighty big compared to the little cup upon which the original espresso was founded. Grandes were huge.
But like SUVs ‘roiding up to HumVees the Grande soon hulked up to the Venti, and now the Trenta, and the effete epicurean culture of Starbucks morphed with the Herculean culture of fast food.
That’s too kind. Hercules was a hero, this obese offering is more like a Nero.
So does Trenta actually mean thirty? Maybe. I’d be inclined to believe it has a meaning more suited to the convenience store.
Trenta is an Italian word that means Big Gulp.
America, ya gotta love it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

1420 Cockles

Let’s talk cockles.
Cockles are in all kinds of cultural references. The popular poem “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary” features them prominently. Mary apparently uses them in a somewhat contrary fashion to populate her garden, which from all accounts also includes silver bells and pretty maids all in a row.
I want her fertilizer.
Then there’s the heartwarming phrase “it warms the cockles of my heart.” So what do cockles have to do with hearts? On the internet, speculation is that cockles themselves are heart-shaped, so there’s some connection.
Cockles, I only recently found out, are small heart-shaped edible clams. They’re from the family cardiidae, a Latin word that more or less means heart-shaped. Cockles are all over the place. They’re those ridged ones whose shells look not unlike ridged potato chips ready for the dipping.
They are hermaphroditic so you rarely see a cockle cuckold or a cuckolded cockle. Or you see them twice as much.
There are lots of varieties too, egg cockles and dog cockles and even blood cockles.
Put up a plate of blood cockles lassie, they warms the cockles of me heart.
Why then, does one say that something or someone can warm the cockles of one’s heart? If whole cockles resemble the whole heart, are there multiple clam-like things in the heart?
Some have advanced the theory that cockles refer to heart valves. Perhaps warming the valves gets the blood racing, which leads to feelings of warmth and pleasure.
Not likely, folk tales and advanced anatomy are not often related. Unscientific folkies even have problems with architectural and space limitations. Witness that old lady’s inhabitation of a shoe.
All I know is, from now on out when someone says it warms the cockles of their heart, I’m gonna think they feel clammy.
America, ya gotta love it.

1419 Vision HD

Technology sure improves life.
Like recently when the power went out. I’m groping in the dark for a candle and I accidentally bump my cellphone. Which of course lights up. What a fantastic invention, my old brain says, while my modern consciousness quickly flashes through all the stories I’ve heard of people holding up cellphones instead of lighters at rock concerts.
Still, there it is, a convenient tool when my power goes out, and one that helped me go to the bathroom without the danger of searing wax drippings on any vulnerable bits of flesh. Hot wax treatments have their place, but not in the dark in the bathroom.
Cellphone assisted urination. There’s an app for that.
Or take this modern example of cultural pile-on. Seems like once a concept catches on, every business wants a piece of it. Currently it’s the concept “HD” that’s getting a lot of play. I wrote an essay not long ago that mentioned a national paint company that now has a line of HD paints.
Lord knows you don’t want your house to look pixilated.
But the capper was the other day. I was getting new contact lenses at Costco and the optician said I ordered just in the nick of time. Next month my type of lens would most likely cost more as they were changing the name—from Pure-Vision to Pure-Vision HD.
Wow, what a concept. High Definition vision from a corrective lens. I love technology. Luckily for me I was able to buy a 2-year supply. So I won’t have to get new ones until they come out with the next modern craze, Pure-Vision HD 3D.
I so can’t wait until I can see the real world in 3D.
It’ll come in handy in the bathroom.
America, ya gotta love it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1418 Good Wood

Everybody likes a good wood story. Like the news recently about an Australian pilot who was attempting to land a vintage plane. Apparently, he lost control and it headed off the runway to certain doom. Except he ran into 20-ton heap of chicken droppings mixed with sawdust.
Although it hasn’t been scientifically tested, it appears chicken/sawdust manure has all the makings of freeway crash barrier material. It absorbed just enough of the impact to save the pilot’s life. No word whether 20 tons of chicken manure were the direct result of “factory farm” chickens but it’s certainly a possibility. Everything has its bright side.
The pilot was happy as well. “I’m still a little stiff,” he said “but the stuff was just firm enough. I’d been a goner if I ran into a pool of chicken spit.”
Which is probably about as low as the Rolaids company feels. They recently recalled a batch of the antacids. About 13 million packages to be exact. Turns out they may contain wood and metal shavings. Rolaids is made by Johnson and Johnson, the same company that had to recall 136 million bottles of children’s Tylenol because of “manufacturing defects”.
The odd thing is, I didn’t hear a big media outcry over the whole thing, just a small item in CNN Money. I guess not many people were hurt by ingesting wood. Who knows? Maybe the shavings actually worked well to quell acid indigestion.
Next time I’ve got an upset stomach, I’ll just raid the pencil sharpener. Or not. Maybe there’s danger from lead in the pencil.
So there you go. Sawdust mixed with chicken poop preventing a guy’s death and wood shavings curing antacid...
How good to have wood in your life.
America, ya gotta love it.

1417 Dropped Email

I was reading a publication the other day, American Heritage if it matters, and I came upon an interesting phrase. It was made more interesting by the fact that it was written by the publisher of said staid journal. A man who, presumably, was on the erudite side of the coin of knowledge and no slackard when it came to the appropriate uses of language. He was referring to feedback from readers and he wrote, “If you have any ideas, drop me an email sometime.”
While I certainly embrace the notion that even a history magazine publisher should be up on current communication technology, I can’t help wonder if “drop me an email” is the correct communicative construction.
One could certainly drop someone a line in the old days. I could also understand the construct “drop me a letter,” as that’s what folks historically did—dropped letters into mailboxes, which were then retrieved by the postal service, transported, and dropped into recipients’ mailboxes.
But one does not “drop” anything when one sends an email. So “send me an email” would have been the correct way to convey the concept. If he really needed a more actively physical illustration, at the very least he could have said “punch me out an email,” referring to the actions one exerts on keyboard keys.
But “send me an email” would have been sufficient. Unfortunately, “drop me a line” is about to enter that odd usage zone of other familiar constructs. Like people saying, “I’ll dial him up” when they are about to call someone else. Rotary dials are so 20th century.
Or when you want someone to call you, saying, “Give me a ring.”
Shouldn’t it now be “give me a ringtone”?
America, ya gotta love it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

1416 I Lac It

I was doing a crossword puzzle recently and came across a clue that said, “varnish ingredient.” The only letters possible for the answer were l-a-c. Huh, I thought, Lac, what the heck is that?
See, I’m never amazed at the depth of my own ignorance. Primarily because ignorance is the first step to knowledge. So I went to the dictionary to see if, in fact, there was such a thing as l-a-c lac. Yep. It is indeed a varnish ingredient. It’s also a component in lacquer, the word that starts with l-a-c- and shellac, the word that ends in l-a-c-. I never paid attention to the similarity before.
Certainly a lack of curiosity on my part.
But here’s what’s interesting, to me at least, you’ve probably known this for along time. Lac comes from the lac insect, laccifer lacca, the female of which secretes a resinous substance known as lac.
The word goes back to the Hindi lakh l-a-k-h-. It is a word as ancient as the process of harvesting secretions from insects.
We are a resourceful species. I always wonder about the first person who tried an oyster for edibility. Or the folks who invented things like the loofa. Really, raising insects that secrete resin in order to invent the shellac industry? No worse than growing silkworms, I suppose, or the recent movement by some eato-environmentalists to add low carbon footprint insects to the menu of green-thinking folks.
Still, I can’t shake the icky factor. Somewhere around the itsy bitsy spider social growth window, we all had a little negative conditioning about the creepy crawlies in our life.
Hmm. Speaking of negative conditioning, I wonder if giving elected officials a good shellacking has anything to do with insect excretions.
It sure would bug me.
America, ya gotta love it.

1415 Estuary

Recently I was having a discussion with a group of folks about the unfortunately named South Sound Estuary Association. Unfortunate because their goal, which is to improve water quality in the South Sound, is completely overshadowed by the buzzword which is their name.
The South Sound Estuary Association has nothing to do with Capitol Lake, much less turning Capitol Lake into an Estuary. But the name “estuary” is so entrenched in people’s minds as an automatic trigger for draining Capitol Lake that the poor organization gets all the flack just by having it.
It may be because people dread change, and they want to dredge up any mental negatives they can to defend against it. It may be because Capitol Lake is such an icon in our community that no one can conceive of it ever changing. Like turning the Capitol Dome into an atrium bird sanctuary.
Or the scary possibility of substituting the word “estuary” where we always used “lake” before. Can you imagine a Capitol Estuary Fair? Or an Estuary Fair Princess?
No. People are weak. The word estuary is forever bonded in local minds with negativity. In Tacoma or Seattle, an Estuary Association would receive a large and financially beneficent welcome. Here they’re a bad buzzword.
Not unlike what happened to the Aids Diet Candy when AIDs the disease broke out. Don’t see much of it on the shelf anymore.
Or pity the poor folks named Donner. Can you imagine being in a restaurant waiting line and hearing, “Donner, party of four, Donner Party...”
Humans are dumb-asinine.
Solution? Change the name. How about, “The South Sound Estuary Association, a good organization that wants to put in an interactive and educational marine museum and has nothing to do with Capitol Lake.”
Flows, doesn’t it?
America, ya gotta love it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

1414 Tearosterone

It was the big story of the news cycle. “Tears Turn Off Men.” All the major papers ran with it. It was on the weeper segment of the morning talk shows. Late night comedians tore into it.
The story was about an interesting scientific study. Tears were collected from women. They were clear. They were supposedly odorless. At least no man could consciously detect the odor. And when men inhaled the non-odor from the tears, their biological indicators, pulse, heart rate, and testosterone levels, as well as conscious reporting, all indicated they had reduced desire for intimacy and intercourse.
Tears turn off men. Even if you just inhale in their proximity. The scientists were quick to point out that nothing visual was involved. The men didn’t know the teary women. They did not see the teary women. They were not told what the liquid was.
A secret substance in tears suppresses desire. A Niagra of tears from a woman’s eyes is an anti-Viagra. Some chemical messenger perceived by our olfactory systems. We can’t smell it but our smell organs detect it.
Some pheromone perhaps. Anti-testosterone.
Tear-o-sterone? Or just tear-o-mone?
Non-aroma therapy for the woman who just wants to be left alone.
The scientists cautioned that this set of tears may contain different chemicals than others. These tears were gathered from women watching sad movies. Other tears, tears of joy perhaps, or tears sustained from a paper cut, may actually cause arousal.
Or maybe there’s a combo reaction—when the tears from the paper cut are kissed away, the guy may get more intimate.
I think the clue is in the origin. Tears from a sad movie? Definite turn off. This scientific study has provided proof positive that men and chick-flicks don’t mix.
America, ya gotta love it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1413 Green Pickup

A great woman once said staying with a man involves a little loving and a lot of understanding; living with a woman involves a lot of love and not even trying to understand. So it goes.
Men and women often see things differently—whether through different biological imperatives or different cocktails of hormones, they often filter and interpret the world in dissimilar ways.
So it’s always a little pathetic to see guys trying to come up with magic pickup lines. You’ve seen the books, “Fifty Surefire Ways to Meet Women” “Pickup lines that really work” “Things to say that guarantee you’ll score”.
Easy to sell a book to a guy if it has the word “score” in it. If only because it triggers his sports lizard brain. When you get his sports lizard with his lounge lizard watch out. The land of the sportsbar can get heady with the haze of testosterone.
Men often think the best pickup lines trade on some perceived need of their target woman. So, the “Can I buy you a drink” gambit leverages the possibilities that: a) the woman in question is thirsty and/or b) that she’s short of cash.
In the old days, when cars were less ubiquitous than they are today, the line, “Can I offer you a ride” was a little less automatically creepy than it is now.
I came upon an alternative the other day. There was a twenty-something female waiting at a bus stop. Up drove an older Subaru, it’s square back characteristically festooned with numerous stickers proclaiming environmental and social causes. The guy leaned out of the window towards the girl. I could imagine what he was saying.
“Yo, would you like to carpool and help me lower my carbon footprint?”
She got onboard.
So was that a green light?
America, ya gotta love it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

1412 Placebo-nus

A while back, a study determined that people who hear a compliment that they know to be bogus, as in fawning flattery, nonetheless still like to hear it, and still think favorably of the person dishing it up.
A similar thing has just happened in the medical world. A recent study concluded that people who take a placebo benefit from it, even when they know it’s a placebo.
Kind of a placebo-nus.
Placebos, as you know, are simple sugar pills. Doctors have been dispensing them for years to folks the doctors think are suffering from imaginary illnesses, or at the very least untreatable illnesses, in hopes that the positive attitude engendered by taking a supposedly curative pill will indeed effect a cure.
But the basis of the placebo theory is that the patient is in the dark. The patient believes it’s a miracle pill and so a miracle of sorts happens. The recent study totally turned that thinking around.
The patients suffered symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Half the subjects got a placebo pill and were told it was a placebo. Half the patients got nothing. Of the half that got a placebo, 59% reported relief or improvement. Of the placebo-less group, only 35% reported they got better.
Uh-oh. One problem I can see right now. A lot of medical tests use placebos as a comparison to the effectiveness of real experimental drugs. This has got to skew the results.
So what’s the conclusion to draw? Placebos actually work because, like flattery, even knowing they’re a lie people still like them, and that makes them feel better? That’s one possible interpretation. The other?
That sugar actually has some medicinal powers.
They’ll have to change that song. A spoonful of medicine helps the sugar go down...
America, ya gotta love it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

1411 Boxer Brief

Of all the items ballyhooed during the last Christmas season there was one that really got my panties in a knot. It was proclaimed as the answer to a long running conundrum. The perfect stocking stuffer for the person whose preference you know nothing about.
The question of why you were buying him intimate wear at all if you knew the particular recipient so little was not asked.
The answer and the product was the “boxer-brief.” If you don’t know what he prefers, get him an item that’s both. Great. Sounds like a gift guaranteed for the return pile. BVD BTW, Boxer-briefs are not only bad as a first gift, they’re extremely annoying as a re-gift.
Because, for one reason, most guys do have a preference. They wear briefs if they like the feeling of support, boxers if they prefer more, well... Let’s just say boxers can be compared to the political movement for Australian Independence. They both lead to more freedom down under.
The first thing most guys think when they hear of boxer-briefs is, decide darn it. Commit to one or the other. Boxer-briefs don’t feel like either. They’re too clingy for boxer lovers, and feel like old briefs to brief wearers—you know, when a pair of tightie-whities turns to baggie-saggies.
Not only that, they don’t even have a good name. When women had their version of a tweener garment, the skirt that’s also shorts, what did they name it? That’s right, the skort.
But “boxer-brief”? That’s like calling an SUV a car-truck. It sounds not only ambivalent, but indecisive. The wishywash-and-wear alternative. Like someone suffering from duo-underpantualism.
So…name suggestions? How about Box-iefs? No, sounds too French.
I got it, Broxers. Now that sounds like a pair of downunderwear.
America, ya gotta love it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

1410 Courtesy Peanuts

The fax has been an amazingly persistent piece of technology. Sure, it has a few drawbacks, but what technology doesn’t? You need an open phone line on both ends. And a similar machine. And there’s that annoying series of sounds that always belch from the machines.
Like some eighties arcade video game gone berserk. Pacman eats Space Invaders.
And you know how you sometimes get a fax and it’s multiple pages, but you’re not sure you’ve received all of the pages? Thank goodness some people are courteous enough to send a fax cover sheet that says something like, “This fax has 3 pages.” Which can sometimes lead to a further mystery, unless the cover sheet says, “This fax has three pages including this one.”
There’s another technology that suffers from drawbacks as well. Packing Peanuts. There was a time when they were hailed from all the shipping lanes of power. “Everybody loves packing peanuts!” they would cry out, “Packing peanuts for everyone.”
It wasn’t long before folks realized that packing peanuts could have problems. Like with static electricity. Like albino jumping beans, they’d pop out of the box, and the further you’d chase ‘em the further they’d fly away.
And at Christmas time, when many people send packages, it was worse. Dry winter air is static electricity city.
So you dig things out of boxes gingerly. And try to leave the peanuts as undisturbed as possible. Otherwise it’s peanuts on your sleeves, peanuts on the floor, peanuts on the reindeer on your wool sweater, peanuts stuck to your polar fleece sweatpants.
I have a suggestion. It’ll help you dig no further. Save the effort. And leave the peanuts in the box.
A simply courtesy. A packing peanuts cover sheet:
“This box contains 3 gifts...4 including this note.”
America, ya gotta love it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

1409 Xmas Blues

In my Christmas Carol, and personal ghosts of Christmas Past, there were certain things that weren’t entirely peace and joy. Like early morning vicious bluehairs.

I warn you, don’t make the mistake of going to Costco on a weekday, around opening time, hoping to avoid the holiday rush. Because you’ll be confronted with the rush of the slow. Herds of ambling bluehairs, each one latched onto their Costco cart like a combination battering ram and walker, poke-ily propelling themselves from aisle to clotted aisle.

This is their time. They’ve been up since 5:00am waiting for Costco’s doors to rumble open, camping on the sidewalk since at least 8:30 like 50-somethings waiting for Springsteen tickets.

Pity you if you are in the back of the herd. The excruciating sound of shopping carts’ squeaky wheels painfully punctuated by the equally screechy din of arthritis-inflicted joints. And God forbid you should have any hair color other than balding gray, dirty gray, or blue-tinted silver.

They’ll team up on you to cut you off in the peanut-brickle aisle. Or block your cart at the island of three-pack wallet assortments. Don’t lose your footing as you are slow stampeded around the cracker and cheese assortment corner or impeded near the mountainous mixed nuts display.

The sad thing is, you came early because you were in a hurry. But finding yourself slow-peded by the oldster shuffle has left you late for work.

The blue hairs don’t care. They don’t have to work. This is their time to enjoy the full benefits of the social security you yourself will never see.

They have all the time in the world and seem intent on proving it, and flaunting it, with every Scrooge-like super-slomo non-instant replay of shambling senior shopping.

Cratchet? Meet Crotchety.

America, ya gotta love it.

1408 All Allergy

With the recent holidays came lots of gifts of food. From fresh fruit, to nuts, to things festively shaped in balls, loaves, and logs, the holidays are a time of packing on the poundage. Some ancient urge to put on a winter coat of insulation added to a current culture of constant consumption. The results will keep the New Years resolution-filled health clubs going for the next 3 fortnights.

Holiday goodies give me an opportunity to read lots of food panel labels. And I’m always amazed at the disclaimers. Partly because mounds of things like “Moose Crunch” challenge the description of a “serving amount.” If some of the candy-coated popcorn contains almonds or peanuts or sugar-encrusted chocolate clusters who’s to say which serving is more calorie-loaded than another?

But my favorite items were these chocolate-covered dried cherries made by the Harry and David Company. Of course they had to list all the allergens said pellets of poison could contain. But it bordered on the ridiculous.

They contained soy. Also milk. And then they had one of my favorite catch-all lawsuit-preventive disclaimers. “May contain peanuts and/or trace amounts of allergens not listed in ingredients.” Well that pretty much covers it. If you’re allergic to anything, don’t buy this product.

But it opens up the question of plant hygiene at old Harry and David. Don’t they know? Is there a David side that keeps secrets from the Harry side? What are these mysterious other allergens in trace amounts? Cause, you know, I’m pretty allergic to pet dander. And cat hair.

The final disclaimer got me the most. It said: “May Contain Pits” Hmmm. It’s either because the product had dried cherries at its core.

Or it was processed in the Harry locker room.

America, ya gotta love it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

1407 Happiness Control

The Holidays are finally over and with them the associated eating frenzy. What they’ve largely left behind are larger behinds.
I received a bunch of goodies from the Harry and David Company this year. They make tasty fruit and candy conglomerations.
They’ve made some changes over the years. They used to just ship exquisitely good fresh fruit. But somewhere in the last decade they apparently got a new-wave marketing guru. How else to explain this little card that appeared in my gift package.
It said, “You’re going to love this gift! I promise!”
Quite a promise, I’m sure you’ll agree. I don’t know why I’m always a little annoyed when people tell me how I’m going to feel. Call me a curmudgeon, but I like to reserve that judgment for myself.
Promises are fine, and promises of quality even better—“If you don’t love this gift return it for a full refund.” But telling me that I’m going to love this gift—I don’t think so.
I’m already in the mood to find fault. Especially when I’m in a sugar-crash post-Christmas cranky.
Still, the stuff really is good, despite the promise of the person who included the notecard. You’ll never guess what her name was.
Yep, Tiffany.
A person named “Tiffany” told me I was going to love this gift. And how does Tiffany know, in case I want to know? What position does Tiffany have in the larger chain of command that is Harry and David?
Well, according to her card, Tiffany is the “Happiness Assurance Team Leader.” Apparently the marketing guru didn’t like the term “Quality Control.”
Hope Tiffany doesn’t apply for employment at my place. You’re gonna love not getting a job from me because you’ve got “Happiness Assurance Team Leader” on your resume!
America, ya gotta love it.

Friday, January 07, 2011

1406 Paying Party

It’s funny the convolutions we go through to come up with revenue. People hate ads, yet they like free stuff. They hate taxes, yet they like free services. But someone always pays.
So it goes. And so it was interesting the other day when I read this guy talking about taxes versus tax incentives. Say a Senator from one state wants to provide a “subsidy” for every ear of corn grown. Another righteous Senator says spending in Washington is out of control, so no way. But, clever politician that he is, he doesn’t want to anger the cornfolk lobby so he says they should get a “tax credit” for every ear of corn.
It amounts to the same thing. Cornfolk get their money either way, and the federal budget loses it. Subsidies, credits, incentives, they all contribute to the deficit because they are all not revenue. The commentator pointed out the obvious. Every time a politician promises a targeted tax cut he’s really advocating spending in disguise.
It was also interesting when I read the following statistic. It was about earmarks. Earmarks are pure pork barrel. Money the lawmakers send home to their districts. Kind of like Christmas bonuses. But the truth is they amount to less than 2% of federal spending.
Still, it’s interesting that the 52 current members of the Tea Party Caucus in congress, avowed and loud enemies of the practice, requested 764 earmarks valued at a total of $1 billion over the next fiscal year. Gonna be a hell of a party.
Finally in the flap over “free” smartphone apps harvesting and sending your private and personal data to get revenue, I read this great quote from Andrew Lewis:
“If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer, you’re the product.”
America, ya gotta love it.