Friday, October 22, 2010

Interesting Recipe

October 22, 2010

In a sincere effort to bring more nutritional variety to our meals, I actually looked at an article on different ways to prepare butternut squash, instead of averting my eyes, the way I usually do at the vegetable recipes.

But I gave up when I saw the heading “Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Popcorn.” Maybe it was just too early in the morning.

Business Sense

May 27, 2010

(OK, this is an old one that I deleted, but decided I liked it after all. Sorry for the rerun.)

About six years ago I wrote an article arguing that the best way for a president to find out what’s happening in the company is to go sub for somebody—even filing will give you some amazing insight as to what’s going on. (Also, although I didn’t know about these events then, it would prevent you from claiming that you didn’t know that your company was involved in rocky deals that would devastate the world’s economy—just a little side-benefit.)

People who read it no doubt thought, “Well, there’s somebody who doesn’t have a clue about corporate structure. A president—filing?”

Guess what? “Undercover Boss” seems to be doing OK in the ratings. (I’ve never watched it, I just think it’s funny that I’m not the only person who thought it was a good idea.)

NBC and "Chuck"

October 18, 2010

What on earth is up with NBC and “Chuck”? Once again they’ve only ordered 13 shows, and are "considering" ordering more. This is a good show, folks; and it’s not a legal or medical drama, a crime procedural or any kind of reality show, which gets it so many points right off the bat.

Maybe CBS should pick it up and put it after “The Big Bang Theory.” And if they added “Dr. Who”, all my “must-see TV” would be out of the way in one night.


October 19, 2010

While I’m on the TV kick, have you noticed that instead of saying a show is “realistic” now, they say it’s “Edgy”? Most often, “edgy” seems to mean that the show has a lot of violence, bad language, or sexual promiscuity.

I guess they stopped using “realistic” when they realized that most of us don’t live or work with incredibly gorgeous people, who can come up with the perfect wisecrack for any occasion, as they’re fighting off drug dealers after a night of uninhibited…OK, you get the idea.

The Value of Laziness (or Creativity is Too Much Work!)

October 15, 2010

I read an article a few weeks ago about how a woman was loaded with stress about cooking dinner, and her mother told her to stop trying to cook trendy meals during the week and get back to basics—meatloaf, stew, etc.

OK, one thing my family has never had to worry about is me stressing over a trendy dinner. I’m as willing to throw a mushroom into the stroganoff as the next guy, but sun-dried tomatoes and I don’t even have a nodding acquaintance. And I buy my spaghetti, I don’t make it.

I’ve always been sad that I’m not more creative. But since I’ve read so many of these articles, I think I might have been luckier than I realized. People stress over the darndest things.

When somebody asked what my “theme” was going to be for the baby’s room, I looked at her like she had two heads. I said, “I’m going to paint the walls pale blue, and change the bedding and curtains as the kid gets older.” (This was before she was born, and I didn't know if I was having a boy or a girl. It just seemed like the simplest thing to do.)

Truth be told, I never even got around to painting the room blue—but she loved all the Winnie-the-Pooh accessories.

Sure enough, a year later I read an article about how you should just keep things simple, and maybe update the bedding and curtains as the child aged.

And when she was starting on baby food, I took her shirt off at mealtimes, figuring it would be easier to wipe her down than to keep trying to get food stains out of her clothes. And then I saw the same suggestion in a book.

And so on. Maybe I’m impaired, maybe I’m just bone-lazy. But I’m not stressed.

So my point is, if you’re creative, God bless you. But don’t stress about it. Think about how much happier your family is with an un-crabby you, than with a creative creature who’s stressed out to the max.

Now, go make some meatloaf.

"Primitive" Man?

October 13, 2010

So, I was thinking (I forget why) about how “primitive” man really wasn’t. I mean, I know anthropologists used to make it sound like they discovered everything by accident—fire, for example—but I venture to suggest that they had just as many observant folks as we do. They noticed certain things happened, and they figured out how to make them happen when they needed to. Want to kill a mammoth? Figure out how to make your stone sharp. That red dirt may not be any good as fuel, but hey! it turns hard in the fire. Somebody figured out a way to use it as a pot.

And do you think somebody just randomly cut some flax one day, left it soaking in water for 3 days, whacked it around and said, “Hey, there’s thread in here!” I mean, who does that?

I’m sure they had their share of unobservant folks; but they also had the ones who looked, made the connections, and moved society forward. So please don’t tell me that they did it by accident.

(October 19—I didn’t post the above because I thought maybe I was behind the times, and that primitive man was getting more credit than he did when I was growing up. But I just read another article about an “amazing” discovery about primitive man. So here it is.)

People Who are Doing Stuff Right

October 1, 2010

What They’re Doing Right

Since I pick on people or situations that I think are odd, let me write about some things people are doing right:

1. Ann and Nancy Wilson of “Heart”

From “Parade” Magazine, Sept. 19, 2010

What advice would you give to young women who want to rock?
Nancy: There’s a great deal of pressure on young women to portray a hyper-sexualized image.

Ann: And I think they get told that if they do that they’re going to be successful. When, in actuality, if they look like pole dancers, all they do is make themselves more disposable. So be true to yourself.

Nancy: And play, play, play.

Yay, Wilsons!!!!!


From an article by John Gallagher in the Detroit Free Press, reprinted in the Idaho Statesman on September 29, 2010:

BMW in Germany has discovered that by adapting its plant to older workers, it increased their productivity so that it matches that of younger workers. Innovations included: Bigger type on computer screens, installing floors that were easier on aging knees, tools with larger handles…

Thank you, BMW, for not just pushing us out the door.

"Life Unexpected"

And finally: Anybody who counsels young people about careers should watch the “Parents Unemployed” episode of “Life Unexpected.” It has a GREAT scene about a Career Day at a high school, where a radio personality says she did a lousy job of producing a radio show because her dream was to be on the air, not behind the scenes. When she actually got her chance, she tanked; but she went back to producing and PREPARED for the job, so that the next time opportunity knocked, she’d be ready. So many lessons in that 2-minute segment.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Movie Eras

October 18, 2010

Just saw a 3-D movie ("Despicable Me").

If all movies are going to be made in 3-D, as some filmmakers threaten -er, predict- does that mean that when they're showing the old days (like the 1980's), those scenes will be made in 2-D, the way scenes that depicted the 1930s used to be made in black and white?