Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Marketing 101

Conversation with my 6-year-old:

Watching TV and the ad for the Simpsons Movie comes on.

Marge looks at Homer: "I thought he was Spider Pig"

Homer: "Now he's Harry Plopper"

**Camera pans to a pig wearing a pair of round black glasses with unruly hair and a zig-zag scar on his head.**


Daughter: Mom! They made that pig look like Harry Potter! Aren't the Harry Potter people going to take them to court???

Me (choosing not to discuss parody as a protected form of speech at this moment): I'm sure they got permission from the Harry Potter people.

Daughter: Permission to make a pig look like Harry Potter? That had to be expensive.

Might be cheaper to go to court.


Me: That's my girl

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Of the People, By the People, For the long as you don't plan on actually SEEING any of it...

So as I alluded to in an earlier post, I had an opportunity to meet the president about a week and a half ago. He was in town to discuss healthcare issues and for a short time, regenerative medicine was on his agenda. Given that it’s my bailiwick, I was on.

Under normal circumstances, the opportunity to meet a sitting president of the United States would have left me (and I suspect, most other normal people) in a state of excited anticipation. I, however, found myself dreading this meeting, as I would be in the unenviable position of needing to spend time discussing the urgent need to fund research to help treat wounded warfighters who were wounded only because of his misguided excuse for a foreign policy…well, you get the picture.

So the good news is that I dropped off the “talkie” part of the schedule. I did get to be in the peanut gallery watching him watch one of my colleagues do miraculous stuff with electrodes that can cure Parkinson’s patients. (I’ll write about that some time if I get a chance – it’s wicked cool) I was close enough that with a bit of creative effort, I could have pulled off the aforementioned gratuitous left hook to the solar plexus, however, and I do wish to exercise full marks for having resisted that temptation.

As it always the case when I see presidents in person, I was struck by how small Dubya is. I mean, he’s like, 5’10 or something like that, and certainly not “short”. I actually have no strong opinions about how tall or broad-shouldered a man should be or anything. It’s just…well…there’s a part of me that I think still has this image that the leader of the free world should be physically capable of fending off an attack from the Mongol Horde. I mean, when I met Clinton, he was like 6’2, and coulda swung a hand and a half sword if push came to shove. Course, he would have had to put down his Big Mac to do it…but I digress.

Actually that whole height think was a digression…let’s move on to the real point of this discussion.

If your idea of a Presidential motorcade harkens back to those photos of Kennedy in the convertible, with the adoring crowds lining the street and cheering as he went by, you’d be awfully surprised at the reality that is today’s presidential transport. Even 10 years ago, when I saw Clinton, you could still stand on the street when the closed, darkened limo went by, and people did, in large numbers.

When the president comes to town these days, you might as well expect that there are aliens invading the premises and you should run for your life. They close the street to traffic, of course, but it goes so much farther than that.

No one may stand on the sidewalks when the motorcade goes by. You cannot stand in a window facing the street where the limousine will be going by. If the president will be exiting the vehicle on your street, you must close all curtains and blinds. In essence, from the president’s perspective, it must appear he’s governing a complete ghost country, populated only by men in black suits with radios in their ears.

No wonder he’s out of touch!! He never sees anyone!

This country used to be known for having the most accessible leadership in the free world. That is definitely a thing of the past. When the president’s motorcade rolled in, it could just as easily been populated by Idi Amin. Complete with the armed guards, the three identical jet-black limousines, and the men in suits who ensure that no one sees the president in person.

How very sad. And how very illustrative, in my opinion.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stuff that makes my heart stop

OK, so I still have to fill in the blanks on my last entry, but in the meantime...

I'm doing dishes and I hear my daughter sort of humming a song as she's coloring.



I smile.

Until I realise that she's humming the "Enzyte" jingle.

I'm giving away the television tomorrow.

Blog Neglect

If this blog were a houseplant, it'd be wilted by now.

I'm not cut out for this sort of commitment, I think.

Anyway it's been a whirlwind week or so, punctuated by my having developed a renewed disdain for commercial air travel. It says something that last week's trip was among my worst travel experiences ever, when you consider that over the years I have:

1) Been detained by the DEA on suspicion of drug trafficking, because I had samples of agarose in my carry-on
2) Had one of New York's Finest pull a service revolver on my taxi driver, as I cringed in the back seat, wondering if the phrase "Ballistic Nylon" meant my luggage would stop a bullet.
3) Had a fellow passenger die of a heart attack while circling Chicago.

But here are some additional highlights for you to ponder while I think about how to tell the rest of the story...

-- My daughter got her training wheels off Sunday and can ride her "big girl bike" without assistance now

-- I have had breakfast with 2 senators in a week.

-- I fully resisted the urge to punch the president in the nads last week, even though I had the opportunity to do so. Please give me full points for etiquette.

-- I'm now an expert on Nitrogen Generators.

More later, gentle readers. I'm late for another meeting.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Recipe Time!!

You say you need something to take to that picnic? Here's your thing. You want it to sit for awhile so the flavors can marry, so make it the night before or start early in the day.

Beanie’s Horseradish Redskin Potato Salad

This will make your insides smile.


3-5 pounds of redskin potatoes, diced
1 big, beautiful, sweet Vidalia onion[1], chopped
5-6 slices of bacon, cut thick, fried super-crisp and crumbled[2]
5-6 Tablespoons Mayonnaise[3]
2 Tablespoons of brown horseradish mustard[4]
2 Tablespoons of dill pickle relish[5]
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped[6]


Cook the potatoes until just fork tender and then rinse them immediately in cold water to chill. If you let them sit out to cool they get mushy and nobody likes mushy potato salad.

While the potatoes are cooling, I would recommend making yourself a Bloody Mary. Why? Because they are just the thing to sip on while making potato salad. You say it’s too early in the day? Well, consider this: You’re about to sample a dish that has bacon, eggs and potatoes in it. With the tomato juice it’s a Full English breakfast. So dig in!

2 oz of tomato juice or V-8
½ teaspoon of Emeril’s Cajun Essence
2-3 drops of green Tabasco
2 oz of really tasty Vodka
1 large, thick, crisp, crunchy stalk of celery, ice-cold

Are the potatoes cool yet? Don't get so engaged in the bloody mary that you forget about the potato salad!

Great. Now toss the potatoes and everything else in a large bowl, stir it to mix, and season with black pepper. Viola!

[1] If you cannot find Vidalia, resist the temptation to use regular yellow onions. They just don’t do the job. Forget this and go make a batch of Nina Simons’ Thai Peanut Noodles instead. It’s probably healthier for you anyway.

[2] Yes; the bacon does take away from my normally vegetarian leanings. But you know, sometimes you need a little pork fat to make things taste good. Besides, doncha just love the way their little eyes liht up when they set down their beers and say "Cool! Hey Joe, she put BACON in it!"

[3] NOT Miracle Whip! What the hell is wrong with you??

[4] There are several on the market – adjust the seasoning by the horseradish-y-ness of the product. If need be, you can sub a tablespoon of decent brown mustard and a tablespoon of horseradish, but I don’t think it’s as good.

[5] Don’t be tempted to sub sweet pickle relish for this. Sweet pickles are the devil’s handiwork. Hey, you know that bottle of capers you bought for that dish you made last Christmas? Throw those in the potato salad. I bet they’d be good and it’s not like you’re going to use them for anything else, right?

[6] Yes, as a matter of fact, it IS a little heavy on the cholesterol. It's potato salad for chrissakes! It's not supposed to be good for you!

[7] If you don’t have any, you can make up a quick batch by combining 3 Tablespoons paprika, 2 Tablespoons each of salt and garlic powder, and 1 Tablespoon each of black pepper, onion powder, cayenne, dried oregano and dried thyme. Shake it up and put it in a zip-loc for later.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Good Gravy! How did I miss THIS???

Last week's Horoscope from The Onion:

Aries You'll waste years of your life and your entire life savings on the mistaken assumption that people don't mind driving a few miles out of their way for a really top-notch handjob.

I take issue with this. I still believe they will.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I'll bet it was those pesky Ecuadorans

I went to place a cell phone call today while driving and found that the back of my phone was covered in melted chocolate.

I have no idea where it came from.

But the guy at the stop light next to me was pretty freaked out when he looked over and I was licking my cell phone while waiting for the light to change.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Addiction is an ugly thing

So I hate the television. A lot.

Except for watching Deadliest Catch. I swear, I would sit here until my eyes dried out if the Discovery Channel wasn't merciful enough to turn it off after two hours.