Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oh, what is it now?

OK, so I know you're tired of reading about my exploits at the supermarket, but I'm not tired of writing about them - and it's my blog - so deal with it.
I was in there again tonight - as I am most nights, because it's a couple of blocks away - and I had a (canvas) bag full of stuff, as is my style. Among the stuff was some fresh chicken, rice and yogurt. Staples.
Also present was a can of something called sizing spray. Most of you are familiar with spray starch, but there is also something called sizing spray that isn't quite as drastic as starch, yet still provides a straightening method without the stiffness of starch. I know, I'm a renegade.
While the items were being moved along their conveyor, a woman began putting them in my provided canvas bag. Once she got to the sizing spray, she immediately reached for a (dreaded) plastic bag and placed the can of spray in a plastic bag to insert among the other items in the canvas bag.
I didn't want a similar argument that occurred a few weeks ago over the inclusion of a plastic bag to protect something from its assumed doom. After all, what could happen? Could a stray missile come down from the sky and randomly explode my can of spray? Would I drop the bag on my way out the door and have the can explode, contaminating my fresh chicken and rice? Whatever the reason, the bagger would probably say it was "company policy" to put that thin sheet of plastic between the spray and my precious chicken (also protected by a thin sheet of plastic) and just make me miserable for complaining. So I didn't. Complain, that is.
I just allowed her to put the can in a plastic bag and disposed of the bag once I got outside, thereby making her happy for doing her job and me happy for not making a fuss that might have landed me in the County lock-up, and rendered my chicken useless due to lack of proper refrigeration.
I can only hope that somebody at Zallie's Shop Rite reads this and discovers the error of their ways.
I can hope.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What is ... this about?

I don't know.
So, there's that Newton robot thing that IBM put together to compete on Jeopardy. It won, so I hear, beating famous brainiac Ken Jennings and another guy. Jeopardy is such a fraud of a game show that it's difficult for me to get very excited about a robot made up by a huge corporation to compete on a game show that is just giving it a half hour of free advertising. It is supposed to represent artificial intelligence, but I think that Jeopardy represents artificial intelligence, so whatever the robot is doing is still a couple of steps below that as far as I'm concerned.
Meanwhile, I have this DVR thing on my cable that costs me 17 bucks a month. I finally figured out something useful to do with it. I record The Late Show with Craig Ferguson every night and watch it the next day, when normal humans are awake. He's a very funny fellow (even though he is from Scotland) and it's a nice way to end my day or night. Especially, since the biggest thing on TV now is a robot competing on a game show.
It's February, and it's not the same without Olympic curling.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Today's history lesson.

Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Davenport, Iowa invented the first loaf-at-a-time bread-slicing machine. A prototype he built in 1912 was destroyed in a fire and it was not until 1928 that Rohwedder had a fully working machine ready. The first commercial use of the machine was by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri, which produced their first slices on July 6, 1928.
Their product, "Kleen Maid Sliced Bread", proved a success. Battle Creek, Michigan has a competing claim as the first city to sell bread pre-sliced by Rohwedder's machine; however, historians have produced no documentation backing up Battle Creek's claim. The bread was advertised as "the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped."

Even now, 83 years after the Chillicothe Baking Company introduced sliced bread, we still use the phrase, "It's the best thing since sliced bread." Some things have staying power, even though there is no reason for them staying around - like Andy Rooney and "American Idol."

Perhaps it's time to abandon the sliced bread reference and update it ... say, about 70 years ... by using something that mankind has developed that might be both a more recent innovation and something just as impressive as taking a knife to a loaf of baked bread.

So, here is my modest request: The next time you get the urge to say "it's the best thing since sliced bread," instead substitute radial tires, the electric typewriter or FM radio for sliced bread, since they are all something that has been innovated recently enough to be a formidable substitute for something we have been buying and enjoying since the Hoover administration.

I don't ask for much.