Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Isolated Thoughts and Random Observations

There are a few things which have been on my mind lately that I need to get off my chest.

Which, of course, makes no sense… if they’re on my mind, why do I need to get them off my chest?

I wonder how that expression came into existence: getting something “off your chest”.

Okay. Let me start over. I have a few random observations and isolated thoughts to share this week. And perhaps some questions which have been perplexing me.

First is this: What’s the difference between “hot chocolate” and “cocoa”? I don’t know. To me, they’ve always been interchangeable. Is there a difference?

Next thought: The massive Toyota recall.

I heard an interesting conspiracy theory the other day. The suggestion was that “the government” was putting the squeeze on Toyota to help sales of GM products, which are now owned by “the government”. What silly, nonsensical idea will the conspirator-theorists come up with next? That the FDA is withholding approval of some drugs because they’re in the pockets of the drug companies? That the SEC had been tipped-off about Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme years before it blew up, but had failed to take action? That the government has a giant, off-limits, top-secret military installation in the Western United States where it researches extraterrestrial life? Where do these guys come up with this stuff?

Back to Toyota: I saw a TV ad for the company over the weekend, where they appear to be trying to put the public-relations damage from this recall behind them. The slogan of their new ad campaign is “Toyota: Moving Forward.”

Now, I don’t claim to be an marketing genius… but wasn’t that the problem that caused the recall? The accelerator would stick, and you couldn’t stop moving forward? Is “Moving Forward” the only slogan they could come up with?

Text messaging: I’m usually not one to trounce on the few remaining individual liberties we still enjoy, but I make an exception with “text messaging while driving”. I’m happy the state legislature is getting ready to make it illegal, because it’s not safe, and the victims tend to be young kids – teenagers and so forth – who simply don’t know any better. They’re the ones who do most of the text messaging, and they’re the most inexperienced drivers.

I saw a bumper sticker that said: “Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you’d like to meet him.”

New thought: Lately I’ve been cleaning out some old boxes in storage. I like it. It gives me a chance to revisit decades gone by. Most of my old boxes contain records, documents, notebooks, and other assorted paperwork. My favorite boxes, though, are the ones that contain “stuff”… not just paper. The non-paper objects are always in a box by themselves, and it’s usually a VERY random assortment of stuff: badges from a trade show; sunglasses; scotch tape; old cassettes; ketchup packets; a harmonica; an envelope full of glossy pictures, from back in the days when we had to send film in to be processed; lots of ink pens and batteries; a Nixon button; birthday cake candles; Magic Markers, usually dried out; potholders; a flashlight; an assortment of knobs; and a pocket calendar from 1989, just to name a few items I found.

The contents of the “stuff” boxes in storage closely resembles the contents of the “stuff” drawers in the kitchen, the den, and the basement, except from a decade or two earlier!

I would be remiss if I didn’t say a few words about the Winter Olympics. I wrote about the games last week, but I feel I should at least say a few words this week.

Luge. Curling. Skeleton.

There! I’ve done my duty. I’ve said a few words about the Winter Olympics… although I can’t begin to tell you what those words mean.

Now, “football” and “NASCAR”…. Those are a couple of sports words I DO understand… because they’re AMERICAN words… so it’s a pretty safe bet they’ll never be used in conjunction with any Olympics.

No matter… we’re winning the medal count anyway!

Last topic: Spread the word to any young brides to be you may know. Elsewhere in this newspaper, you will see a promotion for a Free Wedding Giveaway. Times are tight, and weddings can be a little pricey…so a local wedding venue – The Mitchell House – has come up with the idea to give away a complete wedding to a deserving soon-to-be wed couple! Their rules say the contest is open to anyone who serves the public in their job: the military, law enforcement, teacher, EMS, fire department, etc., in appreciation for their service. So see the details inside this newspaper, and spread the word to any young couples you may know.

Okay, that’s it for this week. Thanks for letting me get these things off my chest, off my mind, and off my plate for another week.

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