Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Today's Rant -- The Banality of Modern Life

The banality of modern life in America is everywhere. The local media calls just about anything that happened within the last 24 hours as “breaking news.” And apparently, people’s opinions aired on social media are worthy of a breakout shot of a reporter behind the desk giving a report of the latest mindless, reactionary opinions of the ill-informed masses.

Then there’s the office. The mindless, vapid greetings and platitudes.  The odd and often distasteful habits of random adults you have close proximity to for 40+ hours a week. There’s the desk whistler, the singer, the gossip, the chronic whiner, the manic throat clearer, the one with way too much phlegm for one person, the slurper/loud eater at their desk, the person who picks their teeth or licks their fingers at the lunch table, and odd phone personalities such as the cheesy salesperson (“I can knock your socks off”), the customer service person with inappropriate people skills who pretends to be retarded, deaf, and snorts unnaturally when she laughs (yes, I swear I’ve endured it all).

Take all of these mindless, short-sighted and discourteous behaviors to the roads. The commute home is full of lane drifters, texters, manic breakers, and people who think they can ESP their turn signals (or believe that you have ESP and somehow know that they are turning without seeing a turn signal). A few short hours at home, spent mostly doing chores, errands, and keeping up to date on household necessities, then it’s time to get to bed so you can do it all again.

Is it any wonder many of us feel bored, intellectually starved, disengaged? I know I do.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Obama's Comfort Zone: Inane Subject Matter

Wonder if this will be one of the questions asked at the Town Hall debate tonight? I'm surprised the Obama administration didn't try to change the format to more of a Jeopardy-style event:

"Candy, I'll take 'Vacuous, Overpaid Celebrities' for $400."

President Obama weighs in on Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj feud

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Toxicity in the Food Supply: Made in China

I'm considering changing the name of this blog from "The Pabulum" to "Exposing BS" because that seems to be where my passion resides these days. Today's entry is focused on a product called Waggin' Trail Jerky Treats, a product I've been feeding my 5-month-old English Pointer for over a month now, only to find out there is a large class action lawsuit pending against the manufacturer Nestle Purina as well as three large retailers: Wal-Mart, Target, and Costco. Hidden on the back of the package in small type, which apparently escaped my attention, reads "Product of China." The product is alledgedly responsible for thousands of canine deaths, causing kidney disease.
I would never have found out about any of this had a Facebook friend not posted a story about it on his page. After a Google search, I found dozens if not hundreds of stories about this issue. To date, nothing has been resolved. In fact, here is the latest update, according to the website

8/17/12: Pet treat investigation expands beyond chicken jerky FDA is now investigating duck and sweet potato jerkies as well. Article also has additional details about chicken jerky, including, "In a sampling of about 270 complaints the FDA recently posted online, more than 20 brands are identified. The most cited is Waggin’ Train, referenced in about 75 complaints. Second is Kingdom Pets [Costco's brand] with 25 mentions, followed by Milo’s Kitchen, named in 15."

The store I bought the product from, Tractor Supply, had no signs, warnings - nothing. So I called the store manager, enraged that the company is keeping the product on the shelves in light of such an uproar. I was told that, to paraphrase, the manufacturing plant where the treats in question were made were not sent to their store, that they pay careful attention to recalls and they take pride in making sure their products are safe. Yeah, I thought it was B.S. too. So I called the company headquarters' customer service department. The representative I spoke to looked up the product, and the only information he had was that in April, when the class action lawsuit was first brought on, that Tractor Supply put up signs in their stores (only until the end of April, mind you) that basically spewed some FDA warning about not using these treats in place of food, and to only give pets one or two treats a day.
Not good enough. I could have a puppy with early stage kidney disease, for which there is no cure for dogs I might add, and that's the best you can give me? I want these off the shelves now.
I don't know how many of you are dog lovers, but as a consumer of food in general, this should alarm you. Here there are thousands of people taking action against a Chinese manufacturer and U.S. big box stores (perhaps others as well) continue to provide to an unknowning customer base.
One big lesson from this: Become an avid and anal package (not just label) reader, and ask questions.
And by the way, I am currently awaiting contact from Tractor Supply's "risk assessment department." I'll keep you posted.

Reference: The Purina Waggin' Train Chicken Dog Treat Class Action Lawsuit case is Adkins v. Nestle Purina Petcare Co., Case No. 12-cv-2871, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Obama's Inspiration: Obama

I always knew that Mr. Obama's favorite, most respected person in the world was himself. I'm just surprised that the New York Times of all publications highlighted his arrogance and a few of his (many, in my opinion) shortcomings in their article today, "The Competitor in Chief."

Sunday, September 2, 2012

National Empty Chair Day

So me and my fellow neighbors couldn't help but join in the fun. Tomorrow has been proclaimed National Empty Chair Day (#EmptyChairDay) thanks to the media backlash of our beloved American actor Mr. Clint Eastwood, and my first thought was, "Where to start?" The Obama adminstration has given us so much material to work with over the past four years!
The first one is a think piece...

The next two are more of a quiz.

Guess the sign/caption for each:


O.k., here's our version:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pavlovian Google search engines

This blog was never intended to become purely political, hence the title of it has nothing to do with politics. However, as someone who formerly fell under the siren's song of the liberal movement (many, many years ago), and living in the state of Wisconsin for the past several years (i.e. THE public union battleground for the past two years), I can't help but use this page to vent my eternal frustration and irritation--I'm not even sure now if it is the Democrats that infuriate me so or the lemmings that believe everything that is pitched to them. I really don't want to believe that people have gotten that stupid. Where do I begin? Obama with his empty campaign (now presidential) speeches filled with sound bytes and keywords, like people have become vacuous Pavlovian Google search engines. (Google Alert: "Hope," "Change... "). The belief that somehow the government has endless money to hand out to the whiney, lazy, and complacent. The belief that the job market and economy is somehow better now. Let's see, skyrocketing cost of living (food, oil prices, gas), lower salaries and wages if you are lucky enough to have a job, and nowhere to put your cash if you have it. Interest rates are in the toilet. And we're the people paying the taxes that pay for the whiney, lazy, and complacent, in addition to those that legitimately need a helping hand.
But Governor Walker is a "meanie" for making union workers contribute to their health insurance and retirement funds (I'll save the collective bargaining issue for another post), and somehow, President O'Blah, Blah will save us, because he (gag) cares. What does that even mean?

Friday, April 20, 2012


Thanks to Vicki McKenna for brining the following insightful blog post to my attention:

MOMENT OF CLARITY: Civil War: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has announced he will challenge former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk for the right to run against Wiscons...