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Sunday, October 10, 2010

You Are Not What You Eat!!

    I'm sure that all of you at one time or another have heard someone say "you are what you eat".  The truth is that it is just another one of those stupid expressions that is up there with "we have to do more with less" or "diversity is our strength".  Expressions like those when spoken in a group setting seem to instantly turn otherwise intelligent people into a bunch of zombies who all nod in agreement without thinking about what the phrase actually means.  I mean has anyone out there actually known someone who has literally turned into a carrot or a zuchinni?  I haven't.

    Now there are plenty of men and women out there who have pear shaped figures.  And I have known plenty of people who are described as string beans, bean poles, and fat pigs.  The thing is though that I don't think that anyone has acquired a pear shaped figure from eating a lot of pears and I don't know anyone who eats a lot of string beans or beans or even fat pigs for that matter.  And I don't think that anyone who has fallen into a vegetative state ended up there because they ate a lot of vegetables.  Actually, I might go into the hour glass business if some how it is determined that some women have hour glass shapes because they eat a lot of hour glasses.

    The reason I bring this up is because the city of San Francisco (surprise, surprise) is now trying to pass a local law that would prevent McDonalds from having a toy in your 6 or 7 years old's Happy Meal unless the meal contains fruits and vegetables. So in other words, if you want to buy your kid a hamburger and french fries you will be required by law to purchase an apple or a celery stalk as well.  America, land of the free, actually is trying to pursue this.

    So I've been thinking about where this could possibly lead.  Maybe and from now on if you go to a Dunkin Donuts to buy a dozen donuts it should be a law that one of the 12 should be stuffed with organically grown lettuce and one should be laced with asparagus.  If you purchase a car you should be required to purchase a stationarey bicycle or an eliptical machine with it and sign a declaration promising to use either one at least 30 minutes a day.  I'm not even sure what they might require if you buy a 5th of vodka or a bottle of wine.  Potato Chips?  At least a pair of running shoes.

    It's not surprising to me that the idea for this kind of legislation has originated in San Francisco.  I'm not sure about the vegetables but we all know that there are plenty of fruits out there.  By that I mean that San Francisco is very close to fruit growing agricultural land.  At least there are plenty of grapes available in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.  What else could I mean?

    Imagine, California.  The state that has already legalized "medicinal" marijuana which from what I've been told means that if you find the right doctor you can get a prescription just by complaining that your shoes hurt your feet.  And shortly the state will likely approve a vote on their ballot to legalize marijuana for personal use anyway.  Talk about Happy Meals.  Does anyone really thing that after partaking in pot smoking people will be running down to the local market to purchase fresh brussel sprouts?  It's not going to happen.  They might as well name Cheese Doodles as the new state vegetable.

    Here's another thing that bothers me about this piece of legislation.  While the mentality of people who really think that it is a good idea to force people to include an apple with their french fries, I'd be willing to bet that those same people would wave the requirement for your 6 year old if McDonalds gave them a condom instead of an apple.  You think?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Houston We Have a Problem

    Yesterday I was at my usual Friday afternoon stopping place when my friend Joe handed me the following newspaper article from the October 1, 2010 edition of the New York Daily News

    The major point to get out of this article is that our Congress just allocated $19 billion to possibly move a space shuttle to New York City.  So we got talking about this and we think that between me, Joe, and our friends John and Tony we could get a space shuttle to New York for a lot less money.  Why not?  We work out.  We might have to get Tony's cousin Bill to help out because Tony has that bad shoulder but with the five of us we can definitely handle it.

    I've done some research and while I'm not sure where we will be picking the space shuttle up I have based my cost estimates on moving one from Los Angeles, California to New York City.  That would pretty much be the longest route we would have to take and therefore the highest cost scenario.  We will definitely need to rent a truck and I have found that a very large cross country truck would cost $999.  I'm figuring that it will take us about four days to make the trip so we're looking at four days of meal allowances for five of us.  I don't want to be greedy but since I'm not sure where we will be stopping I'm asking for $50/person/day or a total of $1,000 for meals including tips.

    Now when it comes to lodging I can tell you that I have been on several over night golf trips when two guys have shared a room for a night.  But we're talking four nights here and John will not want to bunk with Joe.  Also, if we need Bill that would make an odd number of five so just who would get their own room.  You know what?  Since the government is paying I'm asking for five rooms for four nights at about $200/night or $4,000.  I'm sure Michelle Obama and her friends didn't all cram together on that trip to Spain but if our costs start to get out of line I suppose we could pull over and just sleep in the shuttle.  After all, people have slept in it before.

    Next is gas and tolls.  I have no idea what kind of gas mileage we will get hauling a space shuttle and while I'm fine with using my personal EZ Pass tag I'm not sure if the Ohio Turnpike for example even has an EZ Pass toll rate for a big truck carrying a space shuttle.  So for now I am going to assume a gas and toll allowance of $1,000 although I might have to submit a claim after the fact.

     Lastly, and I'm not trying to be greedy here, but if we're going to go through all of this effort to save the taxpayers a bunch of money I am going to ask for $1 billion to have a cocktail hour for our friends and family after we have delivered the shuttle.  After all, we're not looking to make money on the deal but we want a nice party afterward.  We don't need anything real fancy.  We're going to host it at the Red Rock Cafe in Garnerville, NY and we want our guests to be able to have a mixed drink with top shelf liquors instead of well brands.  I figure that if we budget carefully, maybe we can even have those jumbo scallops wrapped in bacon.

    Now here is the summary of my bid:

Truck rental            $              999
Meal allowance                     1,000
Hotel cost                            4,000
Gas and tolls                         1,000
Cocktail hour             1,000,000,000

Total                      $  1,000,006,999    

Plus tax.

    So at a total cost of $1,000,006,999 me, Joe, John, Tony, and Bill will save the taxpayers $18,000,993,001.  But I do have one last question.  Although my friends and I would not mind doing this and while we would save the taxpayers a shitload of money, we're talking about a space shuttle here.  Can't someone just fly it to New York?