Sunday, April 1, 2012


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • Been hearing and reading a lot about Pink Slime.  (Confession:  I thought it was a new rock group.  Who knew?)
  • Jim's Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  "Hi [party guest's name here], did you know that every 1-cent increase in the cost a gallon of gas takes $1 billion of consumer spending away from other goods in the course of a year, according to Credit Suisse bank analysis?"
  • A 50-cent increase?  That would divert $50 billion away from consumer spending.  (Did you say "ouch," or was that me?)
  • According to a March 27 Business story ("Brewers aim to revive light sales," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), "Anheuser [-Busch] is turning to higher alcohol content with the January introduction of Bud Light Platinum, featuring 6% alcohol, compared with 4.2% for regular Bud light."
  • That's just what Wisconsin needs--more alcohol consumption in a state that ranks high if not highest in binge-drinking behavior and drunken-driving fatalities and arrests.  Don't be surprised if a future story reports that starting in 2014, all new vehicles sold in this state must be equipped with an ignition interlock device.
  • (No truth to the rumor that Badger Brew was on the short list of names for the new product.)
  • Most over-rated food item ever:  The bagel. 
  • Pop Culture Quiz I: What do ABBA, Paul Anka, Jimmy Buffett, Patsy Cline, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Dion, the Drifters, Hall & Oates, Jefferson Airplane, Journey, Moody Blues, Steve Miller Band, the O'Jays, Buck Owens, Jim Reeves, the Righteous Brothers, the Ventures and Bobby Vinton have in common?  Answer:  Despite their scores of hits--some of them megahits--none of these artists or groups ever won a Grammy, according to Mr. Music (aka Jerry Osborne).
  • Pop Culture Quiz II: What do Steve Allen, Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, Lenny Bruce, actor Robert Pastorelli and mega-producer Don Simpson all have in common?  Answer: They all died on the toilet.
  • The murals in restaurants are usually on a par with the food in art galleries.--Peter DeVries
  •  Poor Mitt Romney:  He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.
  • Newt Gingrich Cheap Shots of the Week:
  • “Newt Gingrich's campaign is now charging people $50 to pose for a picture with Newt. Yeah. And for $100, you can get a picture WITHOUT Newt."--Conan O'Brien
  •  "This week . . . Ron Paul said it's still too early to count him out as the Republican nominee. Seriously? That's like Newt Gingrich saying it's too early to count him out as an Abercrombie model."--"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"
  • Rick Santorum . . .  sometimes sounds more Catholic than the pope."--Maureen Dowd in The New York Times
  • SZSEZ 's Magazine Find of the Week:  Veg News.
  • Current issue examines the progression of vegan men in society, features an interview with raw foodist and ultrarunner Tim VanOrden and contains a recipe for Moroccan Chickpea Bisteeya and a review of an  L.A. restaurant called Seed Bistro. (And I'm sure, as they always say, "much much more.")
  • SZSEZ's Store Sign of the Week:  Frayed Not (Upscale resale) in Green Bay, Wis.
  • SZSEZ's Book Titles of the Week (tie):  "The Ultimate Guide to Butchering Deer," by John Weiss; and The Wisconsin Road Guide to Gangster Hot Spots," by Chad Lewis.  (So many must-reads, so little time!)
  • SZSEZ's Jargon Word of the Week:  Shrilk.   A biodegradable alternative to plastic made by layering a polymer from shrimp shells and proteins from silkworm silk.  Twice as strong as aluminum, the material should be perfect for surgical sutures and tissue scaffolds, not to mention trash bags. (So says Wired magazine.)
  • SZSEZ's Computer Tip of the Week:  Sluggish response?  Could be your mouse battery--no, not its strength but the type.  On a hunch, I recently replaced a Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA battery--which , if memory serves, was top rated by Consumer Reports and also tested out at top strength on my battery tester--and replaced it with another battery that also tested at top strength--a Duracell Alkaline AA.  Amazing difference.
  • Yet another example of a Stupid Warning Label on an Actual Product: On a handgun: "Not recommended for use as a nutcracker."
  • Obituary Nickname of the Week: Cement.  As in Patrick "Cement" Horan (Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, March 23, 2012.  (R.I.P., Mr. Horan)
  • Thirty-sixth entry in the Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw it Mentioned in a Newspaper Obituary sweepstakes:  Montpelier, Wis. (R.I.P., "Whitey" Lester Salzseider, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Feb. 23, 2012.)  Previous entries: Athelstane, Walhain, Duck Creek, Breed, Anston, Sobieski, Amberg, Osseo, Angelica, Brazeau, Waukechon, Sugar Camp, Kossuth, Lessor, Kunesh, Pulcifer, Cato, Florence, Greenleaf, Eaton, Poygan, Hofa Park, Hilbert, Hollandtown, Beaufort, Glennie, Harshaw, Bessemer, Crooked Lake, Tigerton, Goodman, Readstown, Kunesh, Dousman and Butternut.
  • Today's Latin lesson:  Oh meus Deus, quam did ut invado illic? ("Oh my God, how did that get in there?")

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