Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Little Things

I don't know if it gets major news coverage outside of my part of the world, but Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro is still fighting for his horsey life at the University of Pennsylvania. He developed some sort of horse infection and has been upgraded and downgraded more than a penny stock over the last week.
I wonder if the newspeople who so solemnly report on his status understand how funny it is when they tell us that the horse is in stable condition.
Probably not.
The world is moving closer every day to my dream of a cashless society. Mostly, it's because I don't have any cash, but otherwise, we are using cards more and more for all sorts of things. Some are cleverly disguised scams, like the one that puts pennies back into your savings account for every dollar you spend. There is one that is a lot stranger, that I saw today.
Vending machines are now accepting credit cards through something called e-Port. The machine that sells bottled water at my local gym has one. The water is a dollar. I guess we are supposed to use a credit card now to buy water and fifty cent bags of chips? Maybe that's the scam, that if we think that "real money" isn't being spent, we will buy two bags instead of one, but there's something sillier than that going on.
Who takes their credit card to the gym?
As I type this, in the background I can hear that stupid Ford commercial with the clown that won American Idol. You know, the 40 year-old guy who says he's 29 (so he could get on the show). Anyway, the stupid thing plays on every station at 10-minute intervals. It's impossible to avoid, which is strange, because the song is about possibilities.
What really bugs me about it is that the guy is supposed to be our next "idol", yet he has a plainly pedestrian voice. He sounds like he strains to hit every note, and looks more like a guy trying to take a dump than sing a song. Mostly, he just jumps, spins and points his finger at us a lot. All form and no substance. If I wanted to watch that, I could rent one of those Chucky movies. It's annoying, and I can't imagine that it will convince anyone to buy a Ford, unless they crave the same sort of gyrating St. Vitus condition that is portrayed in the commercial.
Note to the Ford Motor Corporation: Change your ad campaign.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" dug up $62.2 million in its second weekend, raising its 10-day total to $258.2 million. That's great. What is it now, $9 to get in to see a movie? That's close to 29 million tickets sold to see this thing. I wish they would tell us that, instead of the dollar figure. What did it cost in 1939 to see "Gone With the Wind", five cents? To make $258 million, you'd have to sell 5 billion tickets. There's no way to know if movies are more popular now than 20 years ago, although I suppose they are, just because there are more theaters, people and places to go. Just tell me how many people are going.
But you don't have to be an economics major to know that, at $1.2 million, "Nacho Libre" was a bomb.
In 1902 the first modern electrical air conditioning was invented by Willis H. Carrier. Designed to improve manufacturing process control in a printing plant, his invention controlled not only temperature but also humidity.
God bless you, Mr. Carrier. I run from my air conditioned home to my air conditioned car to my air conditioned job. I can't imagine dealing with hundred-degree weather (like we're going to have this week) without good ol' A.C., but it wasn't that long ago that people did have to deal with it.
So, why is it that we will see men wearing sport coats and neckties in this extreme heat? Sometimes, customary modes of dress have to be abandoned for the conditions. To me, they just look like dumb-asses who don't know enough to wear something more sensible. I'll bet the president won't be wearing a jacket this week, and you don't get more dumb-ass than him.
How's this for irony?
Beer baron Peter Coors' driver's license has been revoked by a hearing officer who ruled the executive had been driving under the influence of alcohol. In one breath test, he registered a blood alcohol level of 0.073 percent. In a second, 20 minutes later, he registered 0.088. In Colorado a blood alcohol count of 0.05 results in a driving while impaired charge, while a count of 0.08 results in driving under the influence.
Geez ... .05! Close the bars and put us out of our misery. If you can be charged for driving at .05, why even bother leaving the house to drink? If that's the rule, then all the cops in Colorado have to do is sit outside the bar and pull over everyone who leaves. But I guess that wouldn't be popular with the bar owners association, or whatever lobbying group they have. So, we're stuck in between the anxiety of being out and drinking or the relative safety and isolation of staying home and drinking.
They say, if you drink alone at home, there's a possibility that you are an alcoholic. I say, it makes you the smartest one in the bunch.


kimmyk said...

When we were at the airport we saw you could buy an iPod in a vending machine and right there with it was a boatload of songs to download. You used your credit card. I thought that was just plain wierd, but very advanced.

I like Taylor Hicks, but I don't like his commercial. Stop having a seizure and just sing.

Mental note-never drink in Colorado. [not that I drink cause I don't. But just incase]

Carmen said...

"stable" condition. oh, that's bad. ;)

Kate Michele said...

Wow I must really be out of touch with the world cause I haven't heard/seen the commercial yet.

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