Friday, March 31, 2017

How Badly Do You Want That Cookie?

March 30, 2017

According to Bloomberg News, Amazon is trying to convince General Mills and the makers of Oreos (among other companies) to bypass stores like Walmart and Target (I don’t know about other grocery chains) and move to online sales.

Amazon is also working on perfecting its one-hour delivery, so snack junkies wouldn’t have to wait too long for their fix.

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a snack so badly that I’d order it online. They’re mostly impulse buys for me; if I don’t see them, I don’t think about them.

But a hardened Oreo-phile might think that having some delivered would be just the way to go.

I’m curious as to where the larger amount of snack sales would come from: People who have to see them to buy them, or people who just crave them.

Stay tuned.

Signs of Life

March 31, 2017

When I read that astronauts had patched up the space station after a piece of cloth shielding had floated away, I thought about who might encounter that piece of cloth someday, and what they’d make of it. Then I started to wonder:

If there is life elsewhere in space, where’s the junk?

Presumably, if they’re sophisticated enough to travel from other solar systems or galaxies, they know enough by now to pick up their trash.

But in the early days, they may have left a lot of junk in space, just like we're doing.

So where is it? Will it float our way eventually? Will THAT be our first indication of life on other planets?

Maybe It's Not Too Late

March 23, 2017

In “Can I Get a Do-over?” (October 13, 2014), I said that I should have been adventurous early in life, and worried about paying off the bills later, when I wouldn’t mind sitting at a desk job.

Seems like some people are putting a different spin on that attitude. An article in the Post-Dispatch says that according to data given to, about 73% of American consumers had outstanding debt when they were reported dead. The average amount of debt was over $12,000 (not counting mortgage debt).

Maybe I should start living in the fast lane.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sometimes Simple Solutions Really ARE the Best

March 15, 2017

I am often amused at the contortions that businesses or associations go through to increase their membership. They take surveys, analyze data, and concentrate their efforts on the completely wrong aspects of their offerings in order to woo the public. (Remember “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”? It took the comic relief parts of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, gave them center billing to the point of slapstick, and expected us to enjoy them. And threw in Kate Capshaw’s incessant screaming just to irritate the audience further.)

Here are some simple suggestions for some of you. If you don’t believe me, ask other people whose livelihoods don’t depend on saying what you want to hear.

Oscars Show: You keep amping up the glitz to gain viewers. If you really want more people to watch, cut acceptance speeches to 30 seconds. And stop trying to have presenters be witty—or write them better routines.

Churches: You want to increase or retain membership? Keep your services and your sermons short. Church people laugh when I say that; but if they’d heard the members of their own congregations talk freely, the way I hear them, they might actually take this sensible suggestion seriously.

Clothing stores: Please remember that there is a segment of the population that wants to dress somewhere between “Spring Chicken” and “Grandmother of the Bride.” You want to know why nobody buys your clothes? Look at them.

There are lots more examples I could give, but these will do to go on with.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

He's Rewriting the Book

March 25, 2017

Some people gleefully say that the failure to pass a replacement health care plan is a sign that Donald Trump’s presidency is going down in flames.

Conventional wisdom would make you think so. But nothing about DT’s political life has worked the way that people in the know said it would.

I’m wondering if this won’t make him fight harder to get his next project, whatever it might be, passed.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

It's More Than Just a Clothes Hanger

March 23, 2017

A co-worker reports that her exercise bike really did help her lose weight.

Thanks to the bike’s exercise meter, she realized that it would be almost impossible for her to work off even one 100-calorie “lite” snack.

So she stopped eating them.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

It’s That Time Again

March 16, 2017

For the love of Heaven! If we have to have Daylight Saving Time (and I actually like it in summer), can we start it in April, the way it used to be done?

That way we wouldn’t have to go back to waking up in the dark when we spring ahead.

Does NO ONE who makes legislation have any sense at all?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

I’m Sure They Didn’t Mean For That To Happen

March 12, 2017

I saw the opening scenes of “X-Men: Apocalypse” the other day. And I thought,

If the Egyptians had never built the pyramids, think of how many cheesy movies we would have been spared.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Poetic Justice?

March 8, 2017

David Samson, former chairman of the New York and New Jersey Transit Authority, was convicted for pressuring United Airlines to reinstate a money-losing flight so that he could get easy access to his weekend home in South Carolina.

United had to pay some big fines for their part in the money-losing move.

And Mr. Samson? He’s really got it tough. He was sentenced to 4 years’ probation and one year of house arrest in his South Carolina home.

Maybe he’ll get sick of it.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


March 8, 2017

Best wishes to Edith Fuller, age 5, who is going to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Knock ’em dead, kid.

June 1, 2017

Although she correctly spelled “Nyctinasty”, a word I’d never even heard of, Miss Fuller, now aged 6, was disqualified from the bee because of her performance on the written test. It was still an impressive performance, though.

Welcome to the Fifties

March 8, 2017

Lawmakers in Britain debated placing a ban on workplace requirements that women wear high heels as part of their dress code. When, you ask? In the 1960’s?

Why, no. Two days ago: March 6, 2017.

The parliamentary investigation into dress codes also revealed that some workplaces went so far as to demand that women dye their hair blonde and reapply makeup regularly. The government now intends to end these and other corporate codes that apply to women and not to men.

Maybe they can refer to this gradual emergence into the 21st Century as “One pair of flat shoes for a woman, a giant leap for womankind.”

And here’s a shout-out to worker Nicola Thorp, who started the online petition that got the matter debated by Parliament.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Maybe He's Just Helping with the Fundraising

March 6, 2017

Archbishop Carlson is requiring Catholics to specifically request dispensations to eat corned beef and cabbage this St. Patrick’s Day (which falls on a Friday). The Archbishop will then determine if each request has merit.

A dispensation was granted to the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and everyone who attended their corned beef dinner.  So maybe there’s a method to his madness.

The Order is a Catholic lay organization. So is Bishop C. just helping out some pals? Or is he just plain nuts?

Monday, March 6, 2017

He's Got Time On His Hands

March 6, 2017

When St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday in Lent, Catholics usually have to get a dispensation to eat the traditional corned beef and cabbage, because Fridays in Lent are supposed to be meatless.

Usually, bishops across the U.S. have issued a blanket OK for their dioceses, but this year, here in St. Louis, Archbishop Carlson says that if you want a dispensation, you have to ask for it. He will consider each request individually.

He may be pretty busy shortly; or people may feel that, since it seems to be a fairly flexible sin, they’ll just take their chances.