Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spellcheck, please

I'm a big nerd and I'm the first one to tell you about it. I am a word nerd. I have the worst time reading things that are full of misspelled and misused words. I can admit I have a problem. I just can't help it.

I'm not just picking on bloggers here. I've found typos, misspelled words and misused words on sites like Yahoo News & CBS too. Tim always laughs at me when I point them out (usually with a shout of "Don't they have editors?!?!?!?!?") but it's something that REALLY bothers me.

Now before you start thinking that I'm being conceited or that I think I never make mistakes, let me tell you how I HAVE made mistakes. I've been so tired when I've written a post that I used OUR for ARE. I misspell words. I even misspelled y'all for years and years (I always put the apostrophe in the wrong place: ya'll. And I'm not exaggerating: YEARS.) 


I read and reread my posts to look for mistakes like the our/are switcheroo. I use spellcheck both as a feature of my browser (Firefox underlines words that are misspelled) and on my new post editor. That's here:

(By the way, Firefox says that both switcheroo and spellcheck are misspelled. That makes me crazy.)

Want to know the reason behind this rant today? Because there was a typo in a story I read on ABC this morning. It was a there/they're/their typo. I had one of my freak out moments. I'm better now that I've written this. Sometimes you just need to vent you know.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Check out those paws

Photo courtesy Yahoo News®

Did you read the story about Oscar the cat from London that got a pair of bionic rear paws? The 2 1/2 year old cat got caught in a combine harvester and lost half his rear legs. The vet outfitted him with the $2996 bionic paws (that doesn't include the cost of the operation) and now he's living life more normally again. How crazy is that?? And why can't they do that for people? It's a real hmmm moment for me. How about you?

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Don't forget to enter my giveaway on my cookbook for a chance to win a free Monkey Bread Kit! Only 4 days left!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Why is time speeding up?

Is it just me or does everyone else feel it too? I'm serious. Time is just speeding by like some kind of maniac on a joy ride. 

I read this morning that it was the one year anniversary of Michael Jackson's death (which, excuse me while I rant, also means it's the one year anniversary of Farrah Fawcett's death but like I told you a year ago people won't remember her the same way they'll remember MJ and that irks me). Anyway...

A YEAR. Does it seem like it's been a year? It doesn't to me. 

I remember when I was a kid and school let out for summer that those three months were eons long. Didn't they seem that way to you too? 

So when did time start speeding up? And how can I make it slow back down again? I miss those days that lasted for weeks, months that lasted for years and years that lasted for decades. I want them back. 

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Are you kidding me?

Did you catch this story about The Center For Science In The Public Interest and their plan to sue McDonald's over the toys the restaurant puts into their Happy Meals? It just blew me away. Here's what they had to say:

"McDonald's marketing has the effect of conscripting America's children into an unpaid drone army of word-of-mouth marketers, causing them to nag their parents to bring them to McDonald's," CSPI's Stephen Gardner wrote to the heads of the chain in a letter announcing the lawsuit.
Um, hello? Don't almost ALL restaurants that offer a kid's meal also offer some sort of "prize" with the meal? I've worked in several restaurants including McDonald's, Arby's, Wendy's and Dairy Queen and we had toys for the kid's meals at every one of those restaurants. 

And out of all of those restaurants, McDonald's was the only one that offered fruit (at the time I worked there) as an alternative to fries. In general the kid's meals have less food in them than an adult's meal and many (many, many, many) of the kids that I've personally seen get the Happy Meal didn't even care that much about the toy after the initial examination. 

I just think this is a ridiculous and frivolous lawsuit. If they aren't going to go after every single restaurant that offers and advertises the toys available in their kid's meals then I don't believe they should go after McDonald's. 

Oh, and by the way, I am not a big eater and I generally get a kid's meal as MY meal AND I often enjoy the toy and have been known to play with them since I refuse to grow up. Does that mean that I'm a part of the "unpaid drone army of word-of-mouth marketers"? If I am, I want my cut of the lawsuit.

One more by the way...

If you like Monkey Bread and like winning things, click here to jump over to my cookbook for a chance to win your own Monkey Bread kit :) 

Now I'm craving some delicious Chicken McNuggets dipped in BBQ sauce so I'll be back later. Oh. Sorry. Did I just do it again and exert my influence over you? I better be careful or one of the sue-happy people will be knocking on my door next.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Marie Callender joins the recall list

Marie Callender frozen meals are being recalled nationwide after they were linked to 29 salmonella illnesses in 14 different states.
The company is recalling all of the meals, which are labeled "Marie Callender's Cheesy Chicken and Rice White Meat Chicken and Broccoli over Rice Topped with Rich Cheddar Sauce," regardless of production date.
The product was distributed to retail outlets nationwide.
The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product. It can be life-threatening, especially to those with weakened immune systems.
When I visited their website I found a small headline banner at the top of the page:

Can you see it? Go ahead and click on the picture to make it bigger so you can see it. I'll wait. 

(taps my fingers impatiently)

Yes, I am tapping my fingers impatiently. Do you want to know why? It's not because I want YOU to hurry up. It's because I can't believe THEY don't think people getting ill from their food should take away from their beautifully designed web page. (Yes, there was a little sarcasm in that sentence.)

I believe that people getting ill from their food should be the main focus of that page. 

I believe that they should feel so bad that people have gotten sick that they make that obvious. That they apologize. That they tell you how to get help. ON THE FRONT PAGE. NOT on some tiny banner at the top of the page that takes you to their Media Relations page that IS NO HELP AT ALL.

Nope. No help at all. As a matter of fact, the recall is just a headline thrown in there with their other headlines including "ConAgra Foods Announces Details of Fiscal 2010 Fourth-Quarter Earnings Release and Conference Call" and "ConAgra Foods' Manwich(R) Brand Goes Country With CMA Music Festival Sponsorship". Hello?!? 

So when I clicked the link that would tell me all about what ConAgra is doing to help people sickened by their Marie Callender frozen meals I expected to find something saying how sorry they were THERE. Wrong again. This is what I got:

ConAgra Foods is announcing a precautionary recall of Marie Callender’s Cheesy Chicken & Rice single-serve frozen entrées. Consumers who have this product in their freezer should discard it or return it to their retailer for a refund.

The company has been working closely with state and federal authorities, and while there is no definitive link between the recalled product and any illness, the company is proactively recalling the product after being informed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of a possible association between the product and eight people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with salmonellosis linked to Salmonella Chester. CDC interviews have identified individuals who reported eating this product in April and May, 2010. The last reported illness was reported on May 22. 

Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a physician. Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, a common bacterial food borne illness. Consumers with questions about the recall should contact ConAgra Foods at 1-866-484-9610.

Do you notice the words precautionary recall and no definitive link and possible association? So that makes me think, ok, they were wrong. There's nothing to worry about. Mmmhmm.

How about the truth now? Wouldn't that be refreshing. The CDC says:

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture Laboratory reported to CDC that it has isolated Salmonella Chester from an unopened package of Marie Callender’s Cheesy Chicken & Rice single-serve frozen entrée collected from a case patient.  Subtyping of the Salmonella strain is under way.
It seems like ConAgra just doesn't want to admit when they have a problem. I think I'll be checking all my packages for their name from now on.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ut Oh SpaghettiOs

Hey y'all. I haven't been posting because of my husband's illness. He's in the hospital again and I haven't been online much. I did want to take the time to tell you about the latest food recall though.

Campbell Soup® has recalled 15 million pounds of SpaghettiOs because of a cooker malfunction in one of their Texas plants that left the meatballs undercooked.  

The recalled products have "EST 4K," as well as a use-by date between June 2010 and December 2011 printed on the bottom of the can. The products were manufactured between December 2008 and June 2010 and distributed to retail establishments nationwide.
Sanzio said the company believes there are about 35,000 cases of SpaghettiOs subject to the recall on the market right now. He said USDA announced the recall of 15 million pounds because that is all of the product that has been manufactured since December 2008. Much of it has likely been consumed.
Consumers with questions about the recall can call Campbell's Hotline at (866) 495-3774.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

RIP Jimmy Dean

Jimmy Dean, a legend in the country music world and just as well known for his sausage, passed away last night. He was 81. He will be missed.

And for William :)

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Free is always good

I think I've told you before that we go on Freebie Reporter all the time. It's a pretty cool place. We gets lots of samples for free. If you like free stuff, you should check it out!

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Obsession for Jaguars

Er, um, I mean Obsession for Men. 

Well, it COULD be called Obsession for Jaguars. The signature Calvin Klein cologne is being used by biologists in Guatemala to attract jaguars in order to observe and track them. Really, it is.

"The method we are using to study the jaguars here in Guatemala is a non-invasive method which is based on photographing the individuals by using camera traps," Moreira told Reuters Television.
"It has been very useful using Obsession (for Men) to get the jaguars in front of these camera traps ... and that allows us to estimate with greater confidence the genders and the numbers that live in each studied site."
The big cats love of the scent was first discovered at the Bronx Zoo in New York where they wanted to capture their tigers on camera. The experiment was so successful that the cologne is now being used around the world to attract big cats. 

I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty cool. It's also a little scary.. that is, if you're a man (or with a man) wearing that cologne and you are at the zoo, a circus or in the jungle. In that case, you might end up seeing more of the big cat then you planned! 

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

McDonald's: The best way to make your day

I love McDonald's. I really do. And I'm a Dollar Menu girl. The Double Cheeseburger is my favorite. I also love commercials. And YouTube. And people getting what's coming to them. And...well, I could go on all day. Watch. Laugh. Have a great day!

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A hodgepodge of subjects

I'm throwing myself back into the blogging world today. That means a couple of things. 

1. It means that I haven't talked to you about much lately 


2. It means that I have several things that I want to talk to you about.

I figure the best way to do that is just to do it. So... you're getting a random assortment of things that pop into my head this morning. I'm sorry ahead of time.

Do you know who Chace Crawford is? Me either. I guess he's an actor but honestly I've never heard of him. He made it onto E! Online for being busted for smoking pot outside of a club. I wasn't really interested in the story but I had a little time to kill so I read it.

I'm also a link addict (I bet you already knew that about me) and I'm pretty nosy, so when I got to the link that said View the police report I had to click it. Was I surprised? Yep. Wanna know why? Ok, I'll tell you.

You can read all the dudes personal information! No lie. It's a PDF document and if you make it just a little bigger you can read his address, his social security number and his phone number. Actually, you didn't even have to make it bigger to read the phone number. They did a horrible job blacking out the stuff most people don't want to be public information PLUS they didn't even bother to black out his drivers license number. Wow.

(OK, I know you're dying to look for yourself so go ahead and click the link above and I'll wait for you...)

See? That just totally blows me away. They had no regard for this guys privacy. (Yes, I realize that it's hypocritical of me to say that when I myself have posted a link to the report. I apologize for that.) I hope he doesn't get a bunch of crazies showing up at his house and/or ringing his phone off the hook but I bet he has. 

Speaking of crazy (how do you like that segue?), what is up with all this Gary Coleman drama? He was married. He was divorced. They were going to get remarried. This guy is in charge of his will. That guy is in charge of his will. There is a secret will. His parents want to bury him. His ex-wife wants to bury him. Nobody is going to bury him. Pictures were allegedly taken of his dead body and are now up for sale. Please. Just let the poor guy rest in peace already.

Charlie Sheen agreed to go to jail for assault but decided at the last minute that they needed to go over "some of the finer points of the plea deal". What? Did the jail cell not meet Hollywood standards? That's just ridiculous to me. I don't care who you are, if you commit a crime you should go to jail. End of story.

Alright, I only have one more thing I want to mention. It's disgusting though so if you want to leave me now I'll understand. You have a great day and I'll see you soon.

Still here? Wow, you're brave!

I warned you though.

A man in Wisconsin was arrested for stealing dirty diapers. He said he wanted them. He broke into a home for the sole purpose of stealing diapers to wear. He was sentenced to 30 months of probation and 200 hours of community service. He also has to have a psycho-sexual examination. Psycho-sexual? Well, if you get off on wearing dirty diapers you're definitely psycho. I say give him a job in sanitation and that way he can have free access to all the crap he wants.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Two more Hollywood deaths

It was a sad week for Hollywood and for me with the loss of two more people that I loved. 

First Dennis Hopper passed away on May 29th from complications of prostate cancer. He was 74. A story in the New York Times written by Manohla Dargis said this:

Dennis Hopper — actor, filmmaker, photographer, art collector, world-class burnout, first-rate survivor — never blew it. Unlike the villains and freaks he has played over the decades — the psycho with the mommy complex in “Blue Velvet,” the mad bomber with the grudge in “Speed” — he has made it through the good, the bad and some spectacularly terrible times. He rode out the golden age of Hollywood by roaring into a new movie era with “Easy Rider.” He hung out with James Dean, played Elizabeth Taylor’s son, acted for Quentin Tarantino. He has been rich and infamous, lost and found, the next big thing, the last man standing.


 May 17, 1936 – May 29, 2010

Then on June 3rd, Rue McClanahan passed away from a stroke. She was 76. Rue played the man crazy vixen Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls which ran on NBC from September 14, 1985 until May 9, 1992 and is still shown in reruns on WEtv and The Hallmark Channel. She also acted in several other shows including Maude and Mama's Family.  
February 21, 1934 – June 3, 2010

The Golden Girls has always been one of my favorite shows. I have all 7 seasons on DVD and ironically was watching one of them when I heard the news. With Rue's death, Betty White is the sole surviving Golden Girl. Estelle Getty who played Sophia passed away in 2008 and Bea Arthur who played Dorothy passed away in 2009. 

May they both Rest In Peace. They will be missed.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A guest post

(Instead of being a guest writer today I am more of a hostage takeover writer.  I wanted to speak to all of Kathy’s friends and this was the best way.  I had to twist her arm because she would never ask for help for herself.  But if it were someone else needing help she would be the leader of the brigade.)
Hello everyone.  I wanted to talk to you about our friend Kathy.  As you know her husband is going through some very serious health issues.  Kathy is taking care of him full time while dealing with her own health issues.  Kathy and Tim are a very loving, sweet and generous couple.  I know that if you needed something and she had it she would give it to you.  Due to the economy they have had a string of bad luck and misadventures along with the health issues.  I wanted to ask you, her friends, for help. 
I sent some of you an email about this but I don’t know that all of them were received. Also some of you didn’t have a link back to a site or email for me to contact you.  I am asking for any help that you can give to this very special couple.  No amount is too small.  Anything is very appreciated.  Some of you have already responded and it has made a tremendous difference.  Kathy was able to purchase a blood pressure device that Tim’s doctor said was a must have.  That is so wonderful to me.  It fills my heart with love for people that care about others.  Everyone is having harder times these days so that makes it that much more meaningful. 
I have a PayPal Donation button on both of my blogs.  It is labeled “Donations for Kathy” and is on the right sidebar.  The donations received go directly into Kathy’s PayPal account.  Even the smallest amounts can make a big difference.  Reposting or linking to this will also be a big help.  There are posts on both about this named “Helping Friends”. 
Thank you all so much for your time and for being such great friends to a wonderful person. 
Links to the Donate button are at www.screamingforchocolate.com and www.banksprings.com.  
Love Joni/Coco

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