Sunday, December 19, 2010


Though this is over 100 years old, I like in this
modern World. May all my readers have a
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

--T N McCoy

Why do bells for Christmas Ring?
Why do little children sing?
Once a lovely, shining star,
Seen by shepherds from afar,
Gently moved until its light
Made a manger-cradle bright.
There a darling baby lay
Pillowed soft upon the hay.
And his mother sang and smiled,
“This is Christ, the holy child.”
So the bells for Christmas ring,
So the little children sing.

-- Lydia A C Ward c1907

And then I came across this strange combination:



New Haven, CT…December 19, 2010…Unsigned


Poets Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Steven P. Turi today published their first collaborative effort, Christmas 2010, amidst mixed shock and threats.

“How rare indeed,” mused a renowned literary critic found fishing at a local watering hole. “Such an effort fascinates the imagination and attests to the concept of concise circumlocution with charming meet her…err…---especially from that new fellow, Turi. Beertender! Pease mix me for another dree martiny!”

Mr. Turi was on the floor by his computer stack looking for a transmission, but we did listen to the lengthy message on his rarely used answering machine. Mr. Longfellow, on the other hand, has been dead for the past hundred and twenty-eight years.

Copies of Christmas 2010 were fortunately limited in number and are no longer available. Consequently, this news item has not been written or released---and therefore does not exist.


Christmas 2010

By Steven P. Turi and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Introduction: by the New Fellow

My Christmas now as Christmas then
Is filled with color bright of hue.
But all my green be numbers low,
Hence humble words result for you.

Two poets, though far their years apart,
Join palettes brushing words of taste,
To speak of past or now to be,
Brought forth in peace and hope encased.

Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play.
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on Earth, good will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on Earth, good will to men!

Till, ringing, swinging on its way,
The World revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime,

A chant sublime
Of peace on Earth, good will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on Earth, good will to men.

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearthstones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on Earth, good will to men!

And I despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on Earth,” I said.
“For hate is strong
And mocks the song
Of peace on Earth, good will to men!”

Then peeled the bells more loud and deep,
“God is not dead; nor doth He sleep”
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on Earth, good will to men!

Postscript by the New Fellow again

Alas! I mourn this year of scanty fare
Which brought no sign nor proof of wealth.
Yet, heart still beats the meter strong
To wish long life, peace, hope, good health.

Merry Christmas to you with whom I share
Email and voice, rare use of pen.
To join the he and she we are
For peace on Earth, good will to men!

The real end.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Easy Feet and the Fushigi Ball

These are the days that try our souls, for we're torn between the commercial and the religious aspects of Christmas. I'm not going to give a dissertation on the religious meanings here, but I can tackle some strange 'deals' in the market place.

*First though, I'll make a casting call. I think a movie producer [probably MGM] should quickly sign Connie Talbot or Jackie Evancho for a remake of the Wizard of Oz---since they're closer in age to the storybook Dorothy. And let's hope they'll make more movies of the same type. To go further, let's also hope they keep there heads about them and don't turn into more Lindsay Lohans. And when they grow up, we don't need more stars who want to shed their 'good girl' images and pose nude to make them acceptable to the Hollywood community.

*It's the mad mad mad mad Christmas buying season again. And the advertisers are on TV in force. My ears are getting tired from the bombastic claims of these guys. As a public service, then, I'll share some thoughts on advertising with you. These admen are overselling products at high prices. So, be careful with what you buy. Do you really need two of an item? It'll cost you. These two-for-one deals are tricky, especially since you have to go searching for the actual shipping and handling [processing] fees. And I wish you'd have the opportunity to reject the second, doubling offer.

*'Get Easy Feet.' Only $14.99! [Plus S/H $7.99.] And get another for only the handling fee [$7.99] Actually, they call it a 'processing' fee when advertising. So, your purchase of two 'Easy Feet' will cost $30.97 [plus applicable tax.] Well now, the foot object may do a cleaning job if you're really lazy---though it only cleans the bottom with any assurance. But notice the advertisement, where the women is constantly pouring some liquid soap on the foot piece for cleaning? By the time the shower is over, you've used up half a bottle of the stuff. So, add that cost to your foot cleaning. Another thing is that the 'Easy Feet' people say it will attach to the tub bottom just like other anti-skid items for the tub. But, modern tubs and shower already have that sort of thing built into them. So how are the feet supposed to attach? These are good only for the older tubs and showers. But then, they'll probably slide like the anti-skid feet you can buy at most stores making a foot cleaning hazard at best.

My suggestion is to buy a bathtub brush for $1.99, and use it to clean your feet. You can stand up and lean on the wall, thus minimize your leg bending. And the versatile brush allows you to wash the sides and tops of your feet as well. And you can continue using your soap in bars or on strings or what have you. They'll soap up your brush nice and easy.

*'Fushigi Ball' goes for $19.99. The company doesn't double the order, but it does send you a DVD with examples of how to use the ball. [Just pay the processing.] Total cost for the mandatory package? $19.99 + $6.99 + $6.99 = $33.97. While the ball appears fascinating, I'm not sure the cost is. Why isn't the DVD included with the ball automatically. That extra $6.99 is unnecessary.

*'Total Pillow' asks for $19.99. Shipping and Handling? $7.95 Total cost for the mandatory package of two pillows? $19.99 + $7.95 + $7.95 = $35.89. Pleasant sleeping. At least it's better than the Ancient Egyptian stone head rest for sleeping.

'My Free Smoothie' is an interesting offer. 'Feed your body right!' 'The weight falls right off!' You get two flavors for your 21 day free trial. But you can only open one container. The other can be opened only after you purchase the products---including the one in the free offer. If you're tempted [and that's why it was sent to you], you might sample the second one. And then you can't return it. You bought everything! Go to to see what the nutrition is, though you still aren't told whether the mix goes with milk or water. Individually, the mixes go for about $55---or buy a case for $464! Or you can buy thirty bottles of flavored water for $42 [$1.40 each] Your choice!

You know, it's not like you can go down to the corner store and buy these things for $1 or $2 as you want them. But for those of you attracted to Jennie Craig or one of the other organizations of weight loss heaven, the Free Smoothie totals above compare closely to the usual $300 to $400 you have to shell out for them---though you don't get food only smoothies.

Here it is in their own words at the bottom of the web page:

Legal Disclaimer:
Terms of 21 day trial: Please read terms and conditions for complete details. Your 21 day trial starts at delivery. The two cans you select represents a full order. One can is to open and try as often as you like for 21 days. The other can is to remain sealed until you are satisfied with the product. If we do not hear from you by the end of the 21 day trial period, we will complete your order for $119.80 using todays payment method. If you wish to cancel the trial call 1-888-xxx-xxxx for a return authorization code to return the sealed can. You are free to keep your trial can with our thanks for trying RightSize. Shipping and handling is non-refundable and product returns are at customer expense.

I have no idea whether or not this stuff helps you to lose weight, but I judge advertisers and their products by what they hide and don't tell me.

*'Depilsilk' depilatory; spray no size indicated, facial pen; cotton towel; bathrobe; hair cap -- no sizes given for anything.
$10 = 6.99 + 6.99 = 23.98 plus $3 for Canada = $26.98 less $5 if you order online. Hair today, gone tomorrow. [Sorry. I just had to get that in this paragraph!]

Or you could buy products like these: VEET online: supreme essence; easy spray; hair removal cream; 5.1 oz; $7.99; EPYLLIS depilatory gel; 16oz; $18.99; NAIR; 6.1 oz; pomegranate; lotion; $7.99; SPRING ESSENCE; 5.4oz;$7.99; gel cream; SPRING ESSENCE; 9oz;cocoa buffer;$5.79.

*'Cami Secret', a type of camisole; 6 pieces; light weight breathable fabric [what kind of fabric is that?] $10. + $6.99 + $6.99 + $2.99 for some states and territories; total $23.98 to $26.97. I'm not totally familiar with the problem these things solve, so you'll have to decide this one. The website mentions a camisole---an item worn underneath a sheer bodice to conceal the underwear; a straight jacket with long sleeves. They may do the job, but you should know the cost.

*'The Little Red Chef' is selling for $10, maybe. Add two s/h of $6.95, and you have a total of $23.90. On TV it seems to work, but if it's so great, why would a cook need two of them? Besides, I would expect one or two turns around the chop container would give me carpal tunnel syndrome. I find a chopping block with a good knife and a mini food processor do the jobs well and are more satisfying. The knife and block have been around forever, and the processor cost me about $10.

*'Yoshei Blade' is a ceramic knife for $19.99. But your shipping is $9.99 and $6.99, or $36.97 plus $3 if you're in Canada. Although not very clear in the ads, the blade is about 5" long, the same as a boning knife---only you can't use a ceramic blade for boning. It's too brittle.

Ceramic knives are interesting. They are hard, sharp, and they stay sharp for a long time. They are lightweight and don't give food a taste. [Though I've never had that problem with metal knives.] They are brittle, and if struck with or on hard objects, they'll break. [Don't drop them on the floor!] They have to be handled very carefully and with a special type of sharpener when they lose their edges. If they have plastic handles [as is most likely in this offer], they won't last as long as wooden ones. Plastic is cheaper as well.

I'd rather pick one good, wooden-handled ceramic knife from a reputable kitchen store with my $37.

*My baby can read, so how about yours? 'Your Baby Can Read' too? Just pay $14.95 for a 30 day risk-free trial. Free shipping and handling. It's hard to find, but the total cost of the program is $199.95. Per the small print "Upon shipment [of your risk-free trial] [note that it's not a free trial], your credit card account will be charged $199.95 plus tax. If you are not completely satisfied within 30 days of receipt, contact our customer service at 888-xxx-xxxx to arrange for a return authentication and a refund. Your return must be post-marked within 7 days of receiving return authorization...Processing and return shipping charges are non-refundable."

So friends, make sure you have a lot more credit on your credit card than $14.95 for your "risk-free" trial.

I don't know about all this. My parents taught me to read before I went to school and quizzed me occasionally about what was in the local newspapers. It didn't cost them anything. But, I think toddlers should be let alone to toddle. We take too much away from childhood as it is. Give them a break.

*'Park Bills' provide you two $2 bills with printed, color details on them, one of the Grand Canyon and the other of Yellowstone National Park. For this, you'll be charged $21.95. Imagine that? Take some $2 bills, run them through an overprinter, and charge the public $11 for each one. That's some deal. If you want pictures of the Grand Canyon and the Yellowstone National Park, you can find some great ones on the Internet. You can buy $2 bills at the bank for $2 each. You'll have fewer problems if you need to spend them.

Remember, whenever an offer includes a free doubling, don't believe it; you're going to pay for it. The ubiquitous 'shipping and handling' or 'processing fee' are simply going to pay for the item. I mean, how much trouble is it to take an item off the shelf and throw it in a box with packing material? I've seen these fees range from $6.95 to $11.80---the latter fee for a bottle of pills. Merry and Careful Christmas!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sweet Ad-of-Mine!

*If ITT Tech is so great, why does its ads include the statement that school 'credits are unlikely to transfer.' To a regular college that is. If they can't transfer to a run-of-the-mill college, what good are they? And what respect can graduates expect to find in real life? What should be better taught to high school students is the importance of a college degree---and from a school whose credits CAN transfer if necessary.

*It isn't enough that modern toilets have flushes with too little water, but now Scott is advertising that their free items will reduce the use of water each time the toilet is used. Great. Pretty soon, somebody will be espousing the use of only three squares of toilet paper per visit---wait! Hasn't Sheryl Crowe already suggested that? Does she practice what she preaches? If so, I wouldn't shake hands with her.

*And now a Twixt commercial consistently and in all it's variations, condones lying and infidelity. Caught with your pants down? Caught lying? Caught by your spouse getting a message from your girl friend? Eat a Twixt to give you a moment to come up with a flimsy excuse.

*By the way, if you purchased a 1933 Double Eagle clad proof for $23.95 when gold was $800 an ounce [troy], your gold would have been worth 81 cents. With gold now at a record $1,340 per troy ounce, that same coin's gold is worth a whopping $1.34! Talk about investing in gold. Stick to the real things and you'll be in a much better position---even if you sell it off before you it hits peak value.

*World's Best Cat Litter---made from whole kernel corn. Does anyone believe that those two mental giants in the advertisement are really tasting cat litter? If so, I have some building property in the modern Okefenokee Range for you. Real cheap. And another WBCL commercial has volunteers smelling cat urine. Now what has that got to do with anything? I hope WBCL pays the actors well. I wonder what it'll be in the number 2 commercial?

*The Elevator Speaketh - While riding my elevator down to the main floor to pick up a UPS delivery, the speaker started. In seconds, my friend and I were listening to a telemarketing call to reduce our heating costs. Besides the fact that by HUD regulations, heating is included in our rent, how is it that we receive a call in an elevator? And I couldn't shut her up. She went on and on with her spiel. When she took a breath, I told her this was an elevator. It didn't phase her. She kept on with her marketing. When we left the elevator, she was still spieling on.

*In the 'yuck' Department: does anyone else out there think that 'post nasal drip' sounds like the name of a new cereal? I know. Too much Harry Potter influence, I guess.

*I heard recently the beginning of the NASCAR Martinsville Race. It began with a spiritual invocation, and it led to the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by a group of school kids. The kids then went on to sing the National Anthem---correctly, by the way. Most professionals don't know the words, the song, or the meaning. They're mostly neck singers anyway [instead of singing from the gut and diaphragm], and they're just at the race with the hope of sparking their professional careers and putting their own vocal spins on the Anthem or just for publicity. It's too bad no other sport allows such normal American expressions. They're all worried about ACLU and Liberal critics. So much for freedom of speech.

*I wondered about the new card seller, Moon Pig. I suppose the powers-that-be think it's sales idea is funny and modern. Nope on both accounts. It's just another attempt to make a profit by misleading the buyer by not saying things. These cards may be easy for the 'active' or 'bored' individual, but they are very impersonal. Everything's printed, and of course, the buyer has no opportunity to write anything personal or even sign the card. Emailed cards aren't any better. Remember: anything entered into the Internet never goes away. So that should warn you about anything personal in the cards.

The cards are $3.99 to $7.99 plus, depending on size. I visited the site and looked around. Maybe I'm getting old, but I didn't find much real humor in their humorous cards. Some were dumb, some were insulting, and some made little sense. For the 'Saints' category: St Patrick; Ireland; almost all about drinking; St George, St David, and St Andrew: secular.

The Christmas cards are invariably secular. A few, under the category of traditional design, show some Saints and the Virgin Mother, but they either have 'Season's Greetings' or nothing on the card. As per the site's reason for being, you have to supply the sentiment.

All in all, though, there are a few good cards. But I doubt I'll be using this impersonal site for cards. I don't even think those e-cards are quite the choice either. Take the time to go out and buy one. Buy a few. My Uncle John's sister, Sophie, used to keep a pile of them in her dresser drawer along with many small gifts all wrapped up. When you visited, if there was a birthday or anniversary to celebrate, Aunt Sophie had just the thing, leading you to believe that she bought it just for you.

*Want younger-looking eyes? Want to be in the Hydrolyze test? An offer that will last only 24 hours? Don't worry too much about it. The same commercial has been running for weeks. That's a lot of 24 hour periods, isn't it? Besides, it isn't free. You'll get charged for something, probably the infamous 'shipping and handling' or 'separate processing fee.' In any case, the company makes a profit with the S&H or SPFee. They don't lose a penny. This is just a selling ploy. It's not like the jar contains molten gold or anything. It probably cost 50 cents to make.

Or you could try Instant Effect, as long as you have a credit card number to give them for security. With IE, you must act within five minutes of the start of the commercial. This commercial also gets countless showings.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Where's the Beef? - When You Need It?

*Some people want to know why I criticize the Democrats/Liberals and Obama all the time. Hey! It's not like it's a mission in life. I'd rather sit around and read Westerns. Sadly, though, we have a media that sits in the corner with the Democrats/Liberals and Obama and won't report the truth. Not enough Conservative writers are available to the general public, so I add what I can. And it's not so much criticizing as it is airing the truth about what is happening and what our representatives are up to. These guys are transparent all right. You can see straight through their lies, phony boasts, anti-Americanism, and utter incompetency. I'm not a loud voice, but I try always to write the truth about what's happening. As did Clara Peller, I just want to ask: 'Where's the beef?'

*When the Democrats concoct a bill and name it a 'reform' bill, you can be sure it isn't. The proof is not in the packaging or labeling, it's in the action. Nothing the Dems consider will ever be done if it hurts their own pockets [or those of the special interests they usually rail against or share a bed with---Unions, Muslims, the Liberal media, Government Motors] or goes contrary to picking the pockets of the American citizens. Once they tax and charge and fee and penalize the populace equal to its entire income, then what? It seems that's the only way to stop the Liberals, though they'd still borrow to fund even more 'reform'---and blame it on the Republicans, is to get rid of them. Any people out there who vote Democrat deserve the mess, but the rest of us don't. Let's go November!

*According to Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor [as seen through the eyes of leftist?] Michael Posner: "...we have to deal with issues of discrimination or potential discrimination..." I guess that means that Hispanics [legal and illegal] and blacks will be favored everywhere just because of their race, and the 'possibility' of discrimination somewhere or sometime. Never mind the majority of Americans from Ireland, Italy, Great Britain, France, Germany, Thailand, China, Japan etc.---or even the Indian {American and Asian] populations. The majority of Americans are the ones being discriminated against these days. Never mind need, decide things based on race so you can't be called a racist. And be sure to kowtow to Muslims in America [who train terrorists, condemn America, and threaten free speech] to show how tolerant you are of the intolerant, misogynistic 'religion of peace'---the latter being a misnomer if there ever was one. Like the old joke, it's a matter of 'piece', as in 'a piece of this and a piece of that' until even the left is locked out. How do like them apples, Mr Posner? Or should we call you an American apologist first and an American citizen second?

Isn't there a federal law against willfully damaging an antique in the public trust?

What kind of desk does the President sit behind in the Oval Office? It's the Resolute Desk, a gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B Hayes in 1880---that's 130 years ago folks! Most Presidents have used it---whether in the Oval Office or their private studies---with the exception of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford. I don't know what they used, but I'm sure it wasn't orange crates.

HMS Resolution was a British ship of the Edward Belcher expedition looking for the Northwest passage. It became stuck and was abandoned in the ice---later found near Baffin Bay by the American whaler George Henry---James Buddington commanding. The US bought her, refitted her, and presented her to Queen Victoria on December 17, 1856 as a symbol of peace.

Years later, when it was broken up, the British Government had at least two desks made from the timbers of the Resolute by the cabinet makers at the Joiner's Shop of Chatham Dockyard. In 1880, they sent one---a partner's desk---to President Rutherford B Hayes as a thank you for rescuing and refitting HMS Resolute and returning it to Great Britain in 1856.

In any case, the Desk is an honored and valuable antique, a National treasure, and some say 'an icon of the Presidency.' For the most part, Presidents have treated it and the oval office with the respect due them. Until President Clinton and the latest fraud that is. Clinton used the Oval Office for his sexual trysts. Obama uses it as a lounge. [He routinely sits back in his chair with shod feet up on top of the desk.]

Can you think of any good reason why a servant of the people should treat American property and tradition as he does? Not only that, but he trashes the spirit, the sense of honor, the American economy, the American people, and the Constitution with impunity. He tries to socialize, Islam-a-size, and Communist-a-size the Country while defanging its defense and kowtowing to foreign potentates. You guys who voted for him should be hung up by your nose hairs. This President is a disgrace and insult to the American people.

*Felicity Cloake [UK Daily Mail, August 11, 2010] says: "The UN is considering strategies to cut levels of meat consumption worldwide [and replace the protein with---grubs and bugs?---] as part of its commitment to stamp out famine and cut global warming." Sure, shut down the production tasty and acceptable meat, which is a basic protein, and replace the loss with bugs? Does anyone have any idea how many jobs would be lost? It's not like people can be retrained to run 'bug farms.' Has anyone tested for bug flatulence lately? And who will take care of the cattle and horses thus unemployed? This is simply another inane idea from the leftist UN which still believes in man-made global warming. Does anyone think the UN officials are going to serve bugs at their state dinners? They should set an example you know.

*According to on August 16: "A Hamas leader says Muslims 'have to build' a mosque near ground zero." At last. Somebody agrees with Obama. He should be proud.

*As reported by CNS: "Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that Jesus’s Golden Rule inspired him to vote to confirm Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court" - This is another example of my losing respect and confidence in Lindsay Graham. He is proving to be a dangerous RINO, and he needs to go. Besides, the 'golden rule' is not even appropriate for the situation. If he needs a bible quote, how about this one: "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3 v 16-17" Kagan believes in abortion as a good thing guaranteed by the Constitution [it isn't---and it isn't a right in the moral sense either.] She should never have been voted in. What the Country needs is another sane voice in the Supreme Court, not another John Paul Stevens. Since Graham doesn't understand this, then he should be given the heave-ho!

*USA Today reports: "...Designed to thwart the reproduction, raising and sale of sick, deformed or otherwise less-than-healthy pets...lemon laws are more and more being used...[in re pets; to help recoup losses]...Because there's almost nothing worse than investing your emotions in a "perfect" puppy or kitten only to learn that it suffers from a debilitating, life-altering — or even deadly — disease." [Sound familiar?] So you get your money back. But what happens to the lemon-lawed pets? Are they destroyed? Of course. This is the whole idea. Perfect or else. Animal euthanasia is easy entry into the same for people. Just ask our seniors who are having Medicare cuts and less than reasonable treatment under the new health plan. Will lemon laws now migrate into the abortion debate? Will we be suing doctors for delivering less-than-perfect children? Will we then put them asleep---all as an extension of the spurious 'right' of abortion? You people who support killing babies are going to rue your words, votes, and positions more and more.

*Per the Washington Examiner of May 29: "Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., blamed the Bush administration for any lack of oversight leading up to the Gulf oil spill." Per Fox News on August 13: "Embattled Rep. Maxine Waters on Friday blamed the Bush administration for her ethics problems." Per the Personal Liberty Digest of August 18: "During a 90-minute press conference, Representative Maxine Waters vehemently denied breaking House conflict-of-interest regulations by allegedly helping garner Federal support for a troubled bank that had close ties to her husband."

Per the Des Moines Register July 26 in re the Obama Stimulus money: "Goldman Sachs sent $4.3 billion in federal tax money to 32 entities, including many overseas banks, hedge funds and pensions, according to information made public..." Per the Wall Street Journal August 2: "...Obama is attempting to blame the [Bush and the] GOP for the U.S. economy’s current woes..." Per The Hill on May 25: "Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) on Tuesday said partial blame for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico lies with the Bush administration." Per the Daily Caller on February 6: "...Faced with mounting national opposition to his party’s platform, the President reminded voters the real reason the trillion-dollar stimulus package still hasn’t reduced unemployment to 8 percent as promised: Bush did it, and it’ll take a lot of time to undo it."

President Bush and his administration have been gone for some 19 months. At what point do Obama and the Congress [collective or individually] start taking the heat for their own actions in making a bad situation worse, fanning the flames, adding more fuel to the flames. When the House collapses or burns down, perhaps taking the incompetent Obama with it, will we continue to hear forever the his vocal: "I didn't do it with my little burned match sticks! Bush did it! Bush did it!---echoed by the dead and buried Pelosi and Reid and Frank and Dodd ad infinitum.

*It's time to tell the World we can't support them anymore. All the socialist, communist, and otherwise poorly run countries are going to have to fend for themselves for two or three years. Anyone asking for help thereafter is going to have to prove the need and the fact that it isn't going to waste it on banana governments. We will still be willing to buy goods at fair prices to help those growing countries shed their banana images.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Celebrities, Shills/Lawyers

*Lawyers are proving again and again that they are basically unethical, and in many cases it goes to a corrupted state. Ads on TV now sound like fishing expeditions with the hope of finding a client to give them 30% or 40% of any settlement. I find this distressing. It seems the lawyers are checking every drug possible to examine the stated side effects around which to prepare a commercial---which will sound very serious and denigrate needed medications. For the most part, when patients take medication they are apprised of the side effects either by their doctors or the information inserts with each medication. -- 'Did you suffer injuries from tripping over your shoelaces? You may be entitled to financial compensation from the shoelace manufacturer [a sort of Aglet Case]---and if we don't win there, we'll go to the shoemaker. If you rent, we'll go to your landlord. And if all else fails, we'll sue you. We want to go to court and win. How is not a concern.'

In an effort to pay their ever-increasing staff, lawyers are suing everybody they can, whether frivolously or not. And since most medications and products have side effects and dangers that are clearly stated, their efforts are simply to get settlements and raise the cost of living for every patient in the US. They also clog the courts for the Attorneys' own purposes. I guess, they want everyone to live in bubbles and be secure from everything.

*I keep seeing these TV ads by Regions Bank. Can I get one of those green bicycles they're putting together?

*All celebrities and politicians should be required to wait until they're 65 before writing a memoir, and only until after an election for the President, Senators, and Representatives. And they can't cheat by hiring shills to write one for them. If young people want to get their points across, they should start taking notes. If they can't use them when they retire, later biographers can use them for a biography after the celeb overdoses. For one, I'm tired of seeing young teens and six year-olds write an autobiography [with a ghost of course.] They are usually looking to do something to cash in on their fifteen minutes before the end up on the trash heap. And I'm also tired of the no-brain contingent out there who buy and read these ridiculous things.

*This is in the ITT Tech TV commercial: "If you want something, go out and get it. Don't let anything stop you." This is great advice. It's how we create criminals. 'If you want it, take it.' Or a 60's hippy: 'If it moves, fondle it.'

*TV ads promote amoral activity in America. For example, lie to your daughter when you wore her dress [complete with flashbacks.] When she asks about it, deny culpability, dig it out of you hamper, launder it and sneak it back into her closet. And this mother is supposed to be a role model?

*There is a decided lack of talent with today's celebrities and wannabes. I've heard a number of them singing the National Anthem, and their voices are poor to middling without electronic enhancement and cover-up. Besides, a well known song like the Anthem is easily singable, and 90% of these singers don't know the words or the song music itself. It get's tiring to see them gum up the works. And on those occasions I see amateurs singing the Anthem and a slew of other songs, they handle them quite well, know the words, and understand the music.

*From the Wikipedia: "Bahá'í teachings state that God is too great for humans to fully comprehend, or to create a complete and accurate image of, by themselves. Therefore, human understanding of God is achieved through his revelations via his Manifestations." This comment is understandable in most Christian faiths. And it's a fine answer---if a somewhat limited one---to the scientists/atheists who still cling to the 'by chance' theory.

*Quaker State claims that its artificial oil is so superior that, when it needs changing it still exceeds the manufacturers specifications for new oil. I have questions. If it still exceeds manufacturers specs, why does it need changing? To make the consumer buy more? To increase the Quaker State profit line?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Couch Potatoes the Size of Elephants!

*According to Breitbart on August 6, the ubiquitous 'scientists' discovered that "Genetic sequencing of sea sponges from the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef showed the ancient marine animal shared many of its genes with humans, including a large number typically associated with disease and cancer." So, now we're connected with sea sponges? Is that why we 'squeeze' one another? Is that the source of our 'sponging' off our parents? How about 'You're my main sponge, darling.' Just 'sponge' it off your father, son.'

*Listen to all those insurance advertisements on TV. 'Life Insurance at affordable rates' that will never go up---due to age. That simply means that their are many reasons to raise your rates, just not age. I don't find that comforting at all. If it misleads in the commercial, how can I trust the company to actually pay out the insurance I think I'm buying?

*It's time now to fire all food stylists. And a law should be passed requiring food ads, articles and programs to actually show the real food---especially in TV ads. There's nothing worse in cooking than comparing your result to an ideal picture---no matter how good a cook you are. It never can equal it, can it? But at least you can eat yours. Stylists make most food inedible.

*Winky Dink from the 1950s, had a plastic screen for the TV face for interactive efforts during the Winky Dink Show. It states clearly on the box: 'Get off your couch potatoes!' So the term couch potato has been around a long time---and with pretty much the same meaning. This was also the time of 'Mr Potato Head.' A connection?

*Doesn't anyone understand that when you put too high a value on something [overpricing] it won't sell? According to news reports, a couple spent $1,500 in 1978 for their cemetery plots. Why do they think they can sell the plots for $4000 in today's economic climate? Who told them that was the market price? If the plots won't sell at $4,000, the owners simply don't know the market price. Why do they think grave plots could increase 267% in value in the 22 years since they bought them? Not everything goes up in value over time, you know. If they had died and been buried before this year, would the plots still be worth $4,000? Probably not. More like $zero. Even if you dig the bodies up and throw them in a dumpster, you could never get the smell out of the grave.

*We should recognize and accept legally the measuring system we've had in place for many years. I call it the 'Place and Symbol System.' First we have the 'peanut', measuring small. 'Hey there peanut! When are you going to grow?' Second is the 'golf ball,' a medical measurement. 'His tumor was the size of a golf ball!' [Dimples and all?] Third the walnut is the same type of medical term. 'Her tumor was the size of a walnut with all the wrinkles!' Fourth, a 'baseball,' is another medical term. 'His tumor was the size of a baseball, stitching and all!' 'His fastballs came at the plate pill size! That's why I couldn't hit them!'

Fifth, we have a city bus. 'The rock on the roadway was the size of a city bus!' Sixth, we have an Elephant. 'This machine part is the size of an Elephant and weighs twice as much!' Seventh is a football field. 'His car could race the length of a football field in .0009 seconds.' The size of the fire was about that of six football fields. Eighth is an Olympic swimming pool. 'That puddle is the size of an Olympic swimming pool!' Then we have the Empire State Building. 'This tower is as tall as 2 Empire State Buildings, one on top of the other.' We also have the States of the Union. 'His farm was the size of Rhode Island!'

For larger sizes we have the circumference of the Earth [about 25,000 miles.] "They make enough candy bars every day to circle the Earth 2.6 times!' And finally we have the distance between the Earth and the Moon [about 236,121 miles.] 'His administration spent enough dollars to stretch from here to the Moon four times!'

This system is a visual one, and it has more substance than the typical inches, feet, yards, miles, etc. There are many other candidates for this system, including megaton, the Amazon River or basin, the Sun, Jupiter, distance to Pluto, etc. But, we can officially add them as they gain popularity with other than the self-promoting scientists.

*There is one, substantial reason for cremation of our bodies. Future archaeologists can't dig up, examine, and set out for scientific viewing any of our bodies that have been cremated, can they? Rest in peace.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Whisper: just pay separate processing and shipping

*Every time I see a documentary about a sunken ship and its investigation, the sea seems filled with snowflakes. I'm not a marine biologist. Does anyone know what those things are? They seem to be floating with the current and make the sunken ships seem like Christmas decorations. Are they plankton? Krill? I can see that they're not air bubbles. They vary in size and seem solid, if flaky. Do the fish have 'snow' shovels?

*My ears and eyes continue to be assailed by those TV commercials from a collectors' mint about gold coin proofs of all sizes. The beginning of each commercial describes in detail the make-up and history of a gold coin with inflated value numbers, making it sound as if you're going to be able to buy one. Then they pop in with their actual product: a 'proof.' Now according to the dictionary, in numismatics a proof is "one of a limited number of coins of a new issue struck from polished dies on a blank having a polished or matte surface." The Government Mint sells proof sets all the time. But, the TV dealers just create a new definition of the term for their own benefits. And they don't explain the differences. They call their product [a non usable coin, by the way; and generally having no secondary market] a gold proof, but they also sneak in the modifying word "clad." And of course, the ubiquitous 'certificate of authenticity.' What's that? Does the certificate state that the company is shamming the buyer? Does it explain there's no re-seller market? Then, in small print you find that gold clad means the use of 10mg or 15mg or 55mg---though you'll rarely hear about any 'clad' that heavy---pure gold. At the conversion rate, each quoted mg equals .000032 ounce of gold. What? All those zeros after the decimal and before an actual crooked number? Of course. .000032 troy ounce of gold at $1,200 per troy ounce equals 38 cents, 57 cents, and $1.90! respectively.

And if gold skyrockets to $1,500 per troy ounce? Well, the calculation leads to 48 cents, 72 cents, and $2.40! The ads claim they can't guarantee the prices for very long. Hah!! Have I got a bridge to sell you! Besides, the same commercial keeps running and running and the price never changes. It doesn't have to. There's so much profit built into the price already---and most other TV ads spout the same $19.95 [a number rarely exceeded in any TV ad.] Foggeddaboutit! These are not investment articles. If you need gold, buy gold directly from a reputable dealer. Their gold pieces are actually gold and not some unknown center clad with a few cents of gold leaf.

By the way, National Collector's mint is selling a 'clad proof' of the 1933 Double Eagle for $19.95 [31.1mg in the clad.] That gold content is worth $1.19. Is this object worth $19.95 and no resale market? You decide.

*I'm impressed with the simplicity of the credits for the movie 'All That Money Can Buy' 1941, better known as 'The Devil and Daniel Webster.' After the title, we see a list of 'Before the Camera' personnel, and then a list for 'Behind the Camera' personnel. No fighting for predominance of larger letters and the luster now shown by calling pictures by their directors' names, or including the names of actors before the title. Egos are always out-sized in Hollywood, usually from the feelings of [mostly false] self-importance and wealth. We need to return to simplicity. Doesn't Hollywood realize that super egotism is leading the film industry to near irrelevance?

*I've often wondered at the stupidity of movie and television criminals. When they outnumber the good guy [Walker, Texas Ranger as an example], why do they stand back and only attack him one by one---or by two in a carefully choreographed stupidity. If they grouped and attacked all at once, they'd have subdued him. But I guess that wouldn't make good results for a movie or TV show, would it? In most cases, a real attack by three people would probably corral any hero.

*One way of reducing cell phone and texting time when you're doing the calling is to allow your call to ring more than three times. It's hardly enough time for the other party to get from one room to another to answer you. Impatient America, what's your hurry?---yes, it happens to me.

*I wish State Farm, GEICO, 21st Century, and the rest of the companies showing television ads today would define their terms: such as coverage, time span, deductible, etc. And that means telling what the base is for giving discounts. 40% off what? 15% off what? If one has a lower basic rate, then having a smaller percentage off might actually be a bigger savings in dollars in many cases? And the savings on switching from other companies claiming great discounts doesn't make sense. So, this is a situation where the insurance companies all fighting amongst themselves with apples and oranges and pears. 'My 40% savings is bigger than your 40% savings!' By the way, NONE of these insurance companies is planning on losing money selling insurance this way. And some of the commercials are getting very arrogant with their condescending attitudes---like those with the smarmy young gun spouting off about State Farm.

*The kiss of death: 'just pay separate shipping and handling [processing.]' Interested in 'Mighty Fix-It?' 'Get three rolls for $10---but wait! We'll add another three rolls simply for processing and shipping.' Now just how expensive can it be to send six rolls of this stuff through the mail? $2? $3? Since processing and shipping is $5.95, you're actually paying $21.90 for those six rolls? A bargain? I don't rightly know. All I know is that all these TV ads doubling your offer for a separate processing and shipping charge---practically noted in a whisper so you can miss it---are all expensive choices. You don't actually think these people are in business for their health? Of course not. Most of the processing and shipping charges along with the basic product minus a probable cheap production cost give them a tidy profit. Otherwise, they wouldn't be buying TV air time. [By the way: each roll of 'Mighty Fix-It' is ten feet long, and you could use it up with just one or two of the applications shown on TV---especially if you're prone to overkill.

*Another spurious value currently being touted on TV is the 'Optic 1050' binocular offer. Just $19.98 for this great binocular---but wait again, we'll include a pencil type spy-scope [I've had one of those. They're virtually worthless.] But wait again and again! We'll include a smaller, travel binocular as well. All this for the basic price and the various duplicated shipping and handling costs. A $200 value! Where??? Duh??? These spyglasses are certainly not worth $200. For a $200 expenditure, you'll be able to buy a reputable binocular with average quality. Better binoculars cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000.

*I have nothing against companies advertising their useful and fairly priced goods. I just don't like the mis-information and outright lying in some TV ads. If Congress really wants to do something useful, stop taxing small business to death and go after the TV liars.

* I was once a big fan of archaeology, especially of Ancient Egypt. But in these modern days, I find it more and more to be a type of modern grave robbing. The archaeologists are very concerned with dead bodies. They find them, unbury them, date them, and put them on display for all to see---thus proving that no matter how wealthy you are, you're still completely helpless in death. The wealthy have big tombs and monuments, so a couple of thousand years from now---assuming human beings are still alive and kicking---they'll be the ones dug up and studied. [I hope the archaeologists are too.] So much for the sanctity of the human body. Actually, you can fool them all and be cremated!

*There's much consternation about the falling attendance at NASCAR events. I know the bad economy and the oppressive tax burdens have combined to reduce the gate, but I also think NASCAR is chopping down its own tree. So, I suggest some changes. Firstly, award five points for the pole position as well as allowing the driver to pick first for pit lane box. Secondly, since NASCAR wants a play-off, it should do it right. The twelve chase drivers should line up in the first twelve positions for every race in the chase, according to qualifying speeds. The rest of the drivers can line up behind them based on qualifying speed. Thus two drivers will get the pole points, but the twelve chase drivers should have first picks on the pit lane boxes. The race would be more of a 'chase race' then, and the top twelve cars---who raced 2/3rds of a season to get where they finished---should be predominate in each of the races. Of course, that doesn't prevent a non-chase driver from winning or placing in the top few spots. It just the top twelve who should be spotlighted by NASCAR.

*If, like the TV commercial says to the general public, it's 'your Pizza Hut,' does that mean I'll be going getting profit-sharing checks? How much is my share and when do I get it? I'd be okay taking it all in free pizza.

*'Get your thicker, higher gloss hair from our product.' Then these models swirl their hair all around to give you an idea of what to expect. Now, be honest. How often do you see a women with hair like that in real life? I thought so. I never see them either. You'd think they could come up with a better type of commercial for all these hair products.

*There are a lot of movies out there where the star's singing voice is dubbed. My sense is if the star can't sing, that star shouldn't be in a movie that calls for it. What's next? Dubbing lines? Using the stand in for most of the movie? The whole Hollywood experience needs a complete overhaul. Never mind the financial firms. Pass a bill about Hollywood and its extremists.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Hot off the Presses fromYour Friendly, Retired CPA

*Looking for cheap phone service? A system called OOMA professes to give you free home phone service. BUT! Firstly, you have to have a working land-line, meaning your phone company still provides service for what? $20 a month? Then you have to buy the OOMA equipment in various configurations for $249.95; pay $40 to transfer your existing phone number; $12 to change your number or the name on the account. Your monthly charges for your free phone service include: $5 for enhanced voice-mail; $3.47 [in New Haven CT] for taxes and fees---regulatory compliance; 911 service fee; federal universal service charge. Further costs include: $.99 per directory assistance call; $40 per year for support; $50 per year extended warranty. And so my friends, the OOMA free home phone service is anything but free.

The ads also spout that international calls begin at 1.4 cents per minute. That amount is for Canada; all other countries are higher. The ad goes on to claim that such international phone charges are "next to nothing". It all depends on your definition of 'next' and 'nothing.' Home big is it? I compared some of the minute charges with those from Magic Jack---second figure in [xx] for each Country: Canada 1.4 [0]; China 2.5 [2.0]; Mexico 7.0 [9.0]; Afghanistan [call Osama?] 49.0 [32.0]; Antarctica $1.87 [$1.21]; Egypt 22.2 [17.0]; and Ireland 2.3 [2.0]. You'll see that some Countries are actually cheaper with OOMA, but you have to fork over a bundle just to get to the dial.

*Are your arms flabby? Well, you need a 'Shake Weight!' Spend $19.95 to purchase this arm-shaking system to tone up your arms. It's new! It's neato! But wait! Can't you get the same exercise by using a cocktail shaker? And men? Well, you have to pony up $29.95 for the thing which will help you become muscle bound in no time. If this exercise is so great, why don't all bartenders have strong, toned upper arms? Personally I'd like my vodka martini [shaken not stirred] to help tone up my arms while it destroys my liver.

*Here it is. The new and revolutionary Mighty Corsage! Grow it on your arm or lapel as you need it. It stays dormant sealed in it's packet. Take it out, place it in it's holder [lapel, breast, or arm] with a touch of water, and it will grow to maturity in two or three hours [you must provide your own bee.] A gorgeous bunch of flowers to enhance your image. Only $19.95 plus shipping and handling [$19.95]. But wait! Call today [but we can only accept 2,000,000 orders each day] and we'll include a brand new used Yugo car! Just pay a separate shipping charge [$3,500.] But wait again! We'll include a special DVD with The Best of Vince---you know we can't do it all day---for your viewing and listening pleasure. Just pay the separate shipping and handling cost [$29.95.] So CALL NOW and get that thing I said for $19.95 plus shipping and handling, the Yugo---just pay a separate shipping and handling cost, and the DVD---just pay the separate shipping and handling cost.

Remember folks, all those ads on TV for items costing $10 or $19.95 are going to cost you a lot more. The shipping and handling fees are high, and that's how they make a profit. When they double something, they add more shipping and handling. When they add more items to the offer, they add more shipping and handling. Also remember, that these companies aren't giving anything away. They're in the business to make money, and that's what they're going to do: right from your wallet or purse.

*Scientists today, as shown on the Science Channel all the time, are trying their best to explain life, the Big Bang and other astronomical and biological miracles in terms of chance encounters, physical interactions, and time. They notably leave out God in all their discussions. I believe that the entire span of life of the Universe was decided in a second or less by God before He created the Big Bang. Everything that happened after that was guided by God's hand in the physical interactions from His creation of physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, etc. Creating and giving mankind the freedom of will and action, however, was a deviation from the plan. He wanted us to be free to do what we wanted and develop the faith to believe in Him and His works. I've been reading books and articles on astronomy, physics, chemistry, sociology, biology,religion and numerous other areas for fifty years. And my faith is still strong. Mankind has deviated from what could have been for happiness and security for all, and he has divided his thoughts and actions between good and evil. We still suffer from the evil part. When the scientists finally admit that God was the prime mover in creation, they'll probably work on trying to discover who or what created God.

*"...If you or a loved one suffered serious side effects or died from using Avandia, call this office and speak to a qualified attorney to discuss monetary damages you could receive." This ad is directed to YOU! Now, how the devil can YOU call an attorney if you're dead??

*"I just wanted to look around." I like, but not the newer commercials. They claim someone can go online and quick as a flash, information on the persons parentage will appear like magic from other members Family Trees. Well, that sounds good, but I've found enough errors in a lot of family trees to make me question almost all the information provided. If you're doing research, you have to remember to take third-party information with a grain of salt.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Here We Go Again!

No, I didn't dry up and blow away. I've been through some of the travails of life. For several weeks I had the flu. For several more weeks I tried to nurse my computer back to health. But I failed. And so did my hard drive. I lost a lot of data I forgot [or couldn't find] to back up as well. Thus I spent time in search and recovery---and recovered nada. Dell sent me a new hard drive, but didn't install it as I had been led to believe. By the time [which by the way, was progressing day by day] we got it installed, I was far behind in my reconstruction of what data I could figure out. Some of the lost data included much from my mail program and the data base I was using for my blogs. Thus, the delay in writing more blogs. I've researched and have made sure all of my important data is now being backed up [called shutting the barn door after the horse in gone] where I can find it. But since I lost all my blogging notes, I'm pretty much starting from scratch. Politically, everything's going the way I expected, so I should still have plenty to write about. For my personal blogs, life still has its quirks to write about. I'll be back soon with more important thoughts.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mutual Harmony

In my retirement years, I look more closely at commercials, ads, and movies; and the inconsistencies, poor grammar, and occasional misinformation stand out like red flags. I just don't think the current crop of writers is up to snuff, especially those in the advertisement industry.

Money Mutual has an advertisement with a picture of Montel Williams: Get a short term cash loan of up to $1,000 by tomorrow.** Per Montel: 'Money Mutual's online network is a cash source you can trust for finding a short term cash loan quickly and easily.'

It states further: "...a cash advance is a signature loan backed by future sources of income, usually your paycheck...

However, it states in the same ad: '** The operator of this website is not a lender, does not broker loans to lenders and does not make short term cash loans or credit decisions. This website does not constitute an offer or solicitation to lend...the operator of this website is not an agent, representative or broker of any lender and does not endorse or charge you for any service or product. Not all lenders can provide up to $1,000...Typically lenders will not perform credit checks with the three credit reporting bureaus...Credit checks or consumer reports through alternative providers may be obtained by some lenders.'

Yet the ad goes on to ask: "Why does Montel Williams endorse Money Mutual, a payday loan company?' How can this be if the small print data is correct? Not a lender; does not broker loans; does not make short term cash loans; is not an agent or representative of any lender; but the ad also states that Money Mutual is a payday loan company.

The questions remain: If all these data are true, just what is Money Mutual? It states it 'does not constitute an offer or solicitation.' So if not all lenders can lend up to $1,000, why are they utilized? Potential lenders 'typically' will not use credit bureaus, but they'll probably use other sources for the same credit information.' That seems a lot of effort expended for relatively small loans. Watch the interest grow.

As an alternative, you can use a credit card to get a needed advance without a problem. Or your own bank could lend some money with your savings account to back it.

If you do get a loan you'll be paying interest for the money and additional charges or fees for the lender to pay Money Mutual for it's services---though the latter, as it claims, does not broker loans etc.

There's no free lunch.

You have to hand it to those advertising guys at E-Harmony. First it was ‘active’ to use E-Harmony but ‘passive’ to go to bars and look for a mate yourself. Then it was a young woman who was a small business owner and didn’t have the time to search for a mate herself, so she had E-Harmony do it. Now, we hear that E-Harmony isn’t a ‘dating’ site after all. It’s a ‘matching’ site. I’m not sure what the difference is. It isn’t a marriage bureau, is it? We’re also told now that E-Harmony isn’t ‘ shallow as some of those other sites...’ He must mean the aforesaid ‘dating’ sites. How much is some? One? Two? Three? More? And based on the English sentence in the ad, that must mean that E-Harmony is also shallow---otherwise why compare it to ‘some of those other sites in such a way?’ And the details? If compared to one or two other sites, then E-Harmony must be about the third most shallow site. It’s hard to say since their advertising has been all over the place with contradictions in recent months.
But wait! The latest ad says: ‘...We can match you on more levels than other dating sites...’ Whoa there! I thought E-Harmony wasn’t a dating site? I’ll tell you a secret. If their ‘compatibility’ questions are as confused as their ads, then prepare yourself for a real live huggy bear as a mate.