Saturday, July 12, 2008

Slurpee Day - 7/11

Remember this day....For it will live in infamy....7/11. For it was and will remain one of the greatest strokes of marketing genius that Seven Eleven Owners will ever come up with. Soon, very soon, the big Indian business execs will take over the world. Every year, on July 11th, Seven Elevens across the US give out free slurpees. Fortunately in the US, 7/11 is generally an extremely warm time of year. So, everyone and their dog goes to Seven Eleven to join in the free, frozen, deliciousness.

But the ploy is not subtle. It is defensibly smart. You come in to get a free slurpee, realize the size is small and then proceed to either buy a larger slurpee with the free one, get a new slurpee, or buy something else with your free slurpee. In the case that they run out of free size cups (which is what happened when I dropped by around 10:00pm) you end up just buying some little drink and food anyway, because you don't want the trip to go to waste. Therefore, I declare Seven Elevens nationwide very good marketers. And, because I did not get my free slurpee, I will most certainly arrive a lot earlier next year, even knowing that the prize isn't particularly large. It still is a free slurpee. And I know Seven Eleven is making bank.

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's not a race issue.

It's not. For me it never was. I don't care what race, sex, or religion you are - that does not influence my vote. What does influence me are your ideas, your platform, your plan.

When Obama made the comment a couple months ago that his grandmother was a 'typical white person,' no one flinched. Why? Because it's okay to be racist against the majority, not the minority. And, if you share some blood of the minority, you are allowed to say non-PC things. Imagine if McCain had said, 'typical black person?' His campaign and political career would be over. And, that is stupid. There need not be a double standard.

Then, if that weren't enough, to pre-empt future racist commentaries from McCain's campaign, Obama made a statement more recently saying that racism would be used to defeat him. He said that before a single race-charged comment had been made by the other camp! He thinks he cleverly brought racism to the forefront while denouncing it. He made it an issue when it was not one. Why? Because if he can paint McCain as intolerant before he makes any intolerant remarks he is setting McCain on a pedestal - and everyone will watch for even the slightest non-PC falter. And, that's cheap politics. Why has no one pointed out Obama's racist comments, demeaning blacks, and even his own white grandmother? Oh, that's right, it's okay because he's part black. Justice never was a part of politics, just a bothersome nuisance.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lucid Dreaming

I don't know how many of you have thought about today's subject, but I know I have. I've read about it, talked about it, and lived it subconsciously. Lucid Dreaming. What is it you ask? Well, it can occur when you are in a subconscious state, most likely in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Generally, when you are in a deep sleep and are dreaming, you are not necessarily in control of your dream. A lot of times (at least for me) images, people, places, and stories unfold before you and you are the main actor, a spectator, or an extra who does some B acting.

However, lucid dreaming is the power to control your dreams. And, to be honest, I've only had limited success. It's hard to be in a subconscious state and somehow consciously tell yourself, "this is a dream, you are still in control," without waking yourself up or messing up the dream. So it is a tightrope walk. But, the cool part about it is when you are in the middle of a nightmare, fantasy, or relaxing stroll on the beach with a would be lover, you can will yourself to fly, be an awesome dancer, say the perfect line, save the world, or build a spaceship with leaves. It is a realm where you are the master.

Sleep is just as critical to survival as breathing, eating, and exercising your mind and body. Sleep allows your body to rebuild, replenish, and make sense of the conscious world. When you sleep (and sleep well, I might add) your brain is working overtime. Picture millions of construction workers taking down and putting up scaffolds, painting walls, making new rooms, organizing furniture, buying new appliances, working on the plumbing and electricity. All the while, you haven't left the house. You are watching your mind process and organize information and create new ideas. You can't take a vacation from yourself. And that is the beauty of it. Even though you are right in the thick of it, you are resting. You are only partially understanding what is going on, and are only partially in control. It is the dreamworld, and it is fascinating. With lucid dreaming however, you can gain more control, and make your dreams more productive, interesting, and perhaps solve riddles and enigmas that bug you in the conscious world. We all have potential, and I won't say that it's limitless, but is sure could be greater than we know.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The New Housing Market

In recent months the housing slump has brought bankers, investors, speculators, and homeowners to their knees. This aura of invincibility that used to reign has faded into confusion and insecurity. Houses, just like any other commodity can lose value. Shocking. However, there is a glimmer of hope. The housing market is showing its resilience.

The latest option for people to pursue these days is one that we all should have been made familiar with as young children: The cardboard box house. Don't throw away that old refrigerator box! That's prime real estate. At a low initial cost to the owner, all it takes is a little permanent marker and a flower pot or two to make it's value soar. Cardboard box houses are also good for the environment, being reusable and mobile. They do suffer from being less than effective in rainstorms, but there will always be new cardboard boxes to buy, gut out, renovate, and resell. The possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Recycle, reuse...and eat napkins

There are many things we are doing these days as a society to reuse, recycle, and whatever that other 'r' is. And each day a new method comes out. Today is one of those days. I know some of you like skim milk because it has significantly reduced fat content. I know some of you only buy organic yogurts and vegetables. I know some of you only eat lentils. Well, on another eco trend, the new substitute for butter is....yellow paper.

Don't laugh. It's true. There is now a very affordable brand of paper with a distinctly yellow shade that fits ever so nicely on your bread rolls and baked potatoes. But, that's not all. In another effort to provide people with opportunities, another useful substitution for wonder bread is...napkins. Believe it or not, but they both have the same nutritional value. And, napkins can also be substituted for iceberg lettuce in salads. Isn't that great?! We have so much to look forward to! So many options. I can't wait to sit down at the table and put a couple slices of bread in my lap and eat my napkin sandwich.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Candle Light Potato Dinners

There are many vegetables in the world, but only one potato (excluding the hundreds or even thousands of varieties). The potato is our friend. The average British person consumes 200 pounds of them a year. And, it is America's favorite vegetable. We eat them with our hamburgers as french fries. We eat them with our deli sandwiches as potato salad. We eat them with our breakfast as hash browns and in omelettes.

So then, why with the vegetable being so popular have we not reverenced it and given it a special place at our tables? Why must we sit at a dimly lit table by a veranda overlooking Venice with pasta and salad, instead of a giant baked potato? The answer is simple. We don't.

We can have a splendidly romantic evening with whoever we are wining and dining with just a little music, lighting, and a potato. I must say from experience, that it brings out the best in people. It goes down smoothly and agrees with the stomach much better than salad, making the opportunity for a perhaps more extended romantic evening. The potato has a special magic to it. It has texture and poise, and is beloved by millions. With a potato, you cannot go wrong. Perhaps this year, instead of a bouquet of roses for Valentine's Day, you get her something she'll really appreciate. A sack full of potatoes.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Summer Weddings

So far this summer I have been to, or been invited to some ten or so weddings. I think that is great. It's nice to see friends move on to a new stage in their lives while I remain the rock in the river. I don't budge. But at any rate, I have certainly had the opportunity to think about the subject quite a bit. I think about it when I attend the receptions, do the whole receiving line thing, and partake of their food and dancing.

In Utah, from what I have seen so far, people stick with efficient, low-budget receptions. People tend to have their reception in some big hall they rented out with some decent decorations and generally some ice cream, sweets, or cake, with a receiving line of some kind and the cutting of the cake, bouquet, and garter being affairs that get drowned in the mayhem.

I must say, 'just cake' receptions kinda suck. I mean, I know I'm there to show solidarity for some friends, but I think food at a wedding reception makes or breaks it. I honestly don't think it matters if you have ten to even twenty different varieties of cakes or ice cream. When I come to a wedding reception I expect at the very least some little sandwiches or shrimp cocktail. And lemon water is pretty weak, even if you have the option to have orange, cucumber, and strawberry water. I think fountain drinks, juices, smoothies, etc. are not a bad call. I know some of you may be thinking I'm picky, but I think of it like this:

You get married (hopefully) once in your life. So, you want to get it right, and pull out all the stops. So, for future reference, if any of you reading this come to my wedding (whenever that happens), there will be a full wet bar, lobster, clams, steak, shrimp, sushi, sandwiches, soup, salad, along with much merriment. I know some of you probably think I don't have much say because I'm not the bride, but there are some things I will not budge on. And those are food items. They must be plentiful and good. I think that's only reasonable. If I want good gifts, I should throw a sweet, top notch party.