Monday, November 26, 2007

The Most Complete Idiot

I was driving home today after an especially horrible day at work... lately every day at work is an especially horrible day, as I hate my current job, and to make my mood even more foul, I heard a radio commercial for the local tv station say that they brought their viewers “the most complete news”.

The dumbing down of america at its finest. Saying that you bring your viewers “the complete news” isn’t good enough, they have to bring their viewers “the most complete news”. If you don’t understand why this statement is the most stupid statement there is, here is’s definition of complete:

1.        having all parts or elements; lacking nothing; whole; entire; full: a complete set of Mark Twain's writings.
2.        finished; ended; concluded: a complete orbit.
3.        having all the required or customary characteristics, skills, or the like; consummate; perfect in kind or quality: a complete scholar.

Ok, so complete means: nothing is missing. If nothing is missing, then how can you possibly have the most complete? That’s like saying that you’ve completed a jigsaw puzzle, which means every piece is there. How can you have the most complete jigsaw puzzle?

New and improved. How can you improve on something that is new and why?

About a month ago, hubby and I happened to turn the channel and find a movie called: Idiocracy and we sat and watched it with eyes wide open. Sure, its a stupid movie, but its also genius, honest, and only a few years from actually being the way our society lives. Scarily enough, we found a lot of the behaviors in this movie to be present day. Sure it was a bit over the top, but after viewing it, then venturing out into the world we felt as though we were living it.

Hearing an ad proudly proclaim that they provide the most complete news... one step closer ... one step that much closer.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

Last night hubby and I pondered whether we should get up early and camp out at the local mall to photograph the insane people pushing, screaming, and killing each other to buy cheap goods. It would make for a good photo, the blurred hoardes pushing inside for the bargains (that will be there later), but we decided that the risk of being killed in the rush and risking ruining a very expensive camera wasn’t worth it. We opted to sleep in and then later went out to shoot old abandoned homes.

Before that, I went out back and shot film of the dogs in their natural habitat: chasing each other willy nilly through the yard. This is where I found out that photography is a contact sport (depending on your subjects) and photography is painful. First off, I lost my balance and kneeled hard on some uneven concrete, which caused massive amounts of knee pain. I got up to rub my knee and Loki thought I was trying to get him to play, so he body slammed me and nearly knocked me over.

Then, as I was kneeling to get a cool pic of Sam sitting, Loki decided that I wanted him to run at me full force and push me with both his front feet, which knocked my into the deck support with my elbow. Yeah, the “Oh, I’m sorry, you didn’t want me to do that” kisses from Loki were nice, but it didn’t help much. Despite the pain, I got some good shots.

The abandoned building shoot was pretty cool. We had seen this abandoned fruit stand for a long time and decided to stop and take some pictures and only realized when we started walking into the back of it that there were about 6 abandoned houses back there. Its like a whole little community that died. Pretty sad when you think of the homeless situation and all, that here are 6 houses that at one time were someone’s homes (wonder what happened to the families that lived there) and now they were total wrecks and abandoned. We wondered why, most likely because of the big highway they threw up in their back yard, but still, its very strange how something like that can sit unnoticed and rot.

It was a pretty good shoot. I tend to take pictures of the strange things I find, not your normal shots, and was very interested in the designs of broken glass this outing. You can check out my latest shoot of the abandoned buildings and the dogs here.

Right now I’m very tired from being out in the wind and cold. We then went to Panera to get a soup bread bowl and after eating that and getting a latte, I’m ready for a nap. I’m also sitting here with the feeling that I should be doing something, but I don’t know what. I’m sure it’ll come to me, or it won’t. Either way, I’m too tired to do whatever it is anyway.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving (or: Night of the Living Bacteria)

I love Thanksgiving. Its about eating and getting together with family. In our case, its all about the eating, the family can just stay all the way across the states for all we care. Ok, fine, if they showed up we wouldn’t throw them out or not answer the door, but still.

For the two of us (five if you count the dogs) I got a 12 pound turkey (hey, shut up, its mostly bones) and a turkey breast for putting on the grill. I got the stuff for the usual side dishes:

Scalloped Corn
Sweet Potatoes (hate them, hubby doesn’t)
Mashed Potatoes (Yum)
Dinner Rolls
Deviled Eggs
Pumpkin Pie

Now this isn’t pre-made stuff, I make all of the side dishes except the mashed potatoes. The Bob Evans Mashed potatoes are actually pretty good stuff, and in a pinch I’ll do the Ore Ida frozen mashed potatoes too, but they had a good selection of the Bob Evans, so I went nuts.

For my job I get to watch a feed of CNN on my computer. Its the ONLY outside world resource that I have, so shut up, I’m actually working I just have to have noise on when I write complex stupid technical documents that nobody will ever read. I’m hoping they come in handy on a cold night and someone needs kindling for a fire.

About a week before thanksgiving CNN played over and over (and over and over and over and over, as CNN does) an interview with some “specialist” on the proper way to cook a turkey. You would think that cooking a turkey was as difficult as defusing a bomb the way this woman went on.

NEVER put the stuffing in the bird, good lord are you insane. All sorts of bad bacteria literally grow right in that stuffing, crawl out onto the bird and will kill your entire family. Um... what? Apparently the “new” thing is that you shouldn’t cook stuffing in a bird. My grandmother cooked stuffing in the bird, my mom cooks stuffing in the bird, I cook stuffing in the bird and nobody in the family has ever doubled over in pain or had to be rushed to the hospital.

Scrub everything the turkey touches or else YOU’LL DIE!!! This woman was obsessive compulsive about the whole cleanliness thing with the bird. She even shined one of those blue lights (most commonly used to identify pee spots as sold in pet stores) to show the reporter all of the gross things that turkey leaves once you set it on a surface. Um, it also picks up dog pee, so how do we know if the reporter lets her dog pee on the kitchen counter? Ok, bad example, but still if her family got sick it wouldn’t be from the turkey.

Wash your hands in really hot water and wash them long enough to sing happy birthday. Um, yeah, I’m not doing that. Oh sure I’m washing my hands, but not after I touch anything, and I’m not singing happy birthday while the flesh of my hands melt under a roasting hot tap. This “expert” had the reporter rubbing, buffing, and scouring every little surface and utensil after each touching of the innocent turkey. She spent more time cleaning than she did prepping the bird.

The last rule was not let anything sit on the counter for more than an hour. If so, throw it out. Ok, this “expert” has never been to my house where pizza boxes have been in the oven for hours on end and been tossed into the fridge, or we’ve left something in the microwave for hours (I do toss it if its been forgotten overnight, I do have some sense) and we’ve never suffered from a food-borne illness.

So, this morning I get up and start the typical prep of the turkey. I had thrown the breast into a vat of brine the day before and dragged out the oven turkey only to find that one of them had seeped into the fridge shelf at some time. I’m sure the “expert” would have run screaming to call a Hazmat team to come decontaminate her entire house and every bit of food in the fridge would be thrown out. I just sopped it up with a paper towel, then spritzed some simple green on there and wiped that up. On to the turkey prep.

Opened the bag in the sink (hey, those things seep in the fridge, wouldn’t want to get that poison on the counter), removed the plastic wrapped innards, rinsed out the bird and threw it in the roaster. Gleefully I spooned heaps of stuffing into it, laughing. Actually did a little dance too. Shoved bird with stuffing in the oven. Cleaned up with another paper towel and simple green and washed my hands in luke warm water for the first stanza of Happy.... done.

Same thing happened when we got the brined breast out and shoved it on the rotisserie stake. Juice and brine all over (the dogs cleaned up what fell on the floor), mopped up what I could with a paper towel.

Once the food was all done, we gorged ourselves silly, I made a pumpkin pie, gorged on that, and now we’re just sitting around waiting for e-coli or something else to kill us.

I tend to think that humans are being born with no immunity to anything. Kids don’t go out and play in the mud and muck anymore, so they don’t build up the tolerance to things that my generation (who dared each other to eat earth worms and bugs and never washed our hands) have built up over the years. We didn’t constantly scrub ourselves with anti-bacterial hand sanitizers, didn’t have anti-bacterial wipes, or soap, we used nasty, gooey sponges for months, used the same cloth kitchen towel to sop up messes of all kinds, and generally didn’t think about all of the horrible microbes that would infest our intestinal tracts. Our intestinal tracts laughed at bacteria and spit them out without a second thought.

So yes, my kitchen isn’t sterile enough to perform surgery in, and my fridge is probably a breeding ground of plague (there’s a can of dog food next to the milk... but its got a lid on it), and I can handle that. If you can’t, then I suggest you don’t eat at my house.