Friday, October 24, 2008

Is Anyone Else Pushing Daisies?

I love this show. It is wonderfully campy and sweet.

Ned the pie maker (Lee Pace) has a gift. If he touches the dead, they come back to life. If he touches them again, they are dead for good. If he keeps them alive for more than a minute something else has to die in their place. He and his partner private investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) have a business where Ned touches the recently deceased, asks them who killed them, then they solve the case. Add to this Ned's dead - but no longer dead - girlfriend Chuck (Anna Friel), who he can't touch or she will be dead again, a lovelorn waitress, a couple of maiden aunts, and a poetic narrator and you have a wonderfully silly murder mystery.

After being nominated for 12 Emmy Awards in its somewhat brief first season, I was afraid it might not be able to keep up with its great beginning. I am being pleasantly surprised! Pushing Daisies' alternate universe is wacky, its stories are fresh and unique, and the whole thing is a lot of fun.

ABC's website has full episodes, recaps, "audio piecasts" and more where you can delve into Ned and Chuck's strange little world.

I think they have a winner!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Where is the Rest of My Pepsi?

I went shopping yesterday as I usually do. Coupons and lists in hand I attacked the aisles hunting down the elusive deals, seeking out the "buy 1 get 1 free" items, trying to find some type of protein that I could afford with which to fill up my bottomless pit teenager tummies. And then on to some goodies.

For years we have been addicted to Diet Pepsi. OK, first it was regular Pepsi, but the expanding waistlines demanded diet. Seven 2 liters a week was good for us, but as prices started to rise over the $1 per bottle mark we sometimes switched to Coke Zero if they were on sale. As prices hit $1.50 and 12 packs were on sale for less per ounce we switched to cans. Now those 2 liter bottles are $1.79, so off I headed to the 12 packs. The shelf tag said $3.39. Not the best price, but I could live with it. Until I looked closer. These were not 12 packs! These were 8 packs! Every Pepsi product on the shelf was an 8 pack. What had they done with my other 4 cans?

So I searched out some information. In this article in the St. Petersburg Times online, I found the truth. Supposedly it is a test in Florida markets. They think that people would prefer 8 packs because their "entry point price" is cheaper. Next up, they think that we want 1.5 liter bottles, 12 ounce bottles and 16 ounce cans. Um.... NO.

I want all my cans and I don't want Pepsi to try and sneak a smaller package on me (that looks the same, by the way). I've already seen that with Breyer's and Edy's ice cream. I switched to store brand on that one. Of course the store sodas are lousy and Coke wasn't on sale. So this week we are drinking tea and lemonade. By the end of the week I will be dying of caffeine deprivation.

Sources say that Coke is looking into this little marketing ploy as well. All that I can say is DON'T DO IT! It is water, sugar or "sweetener" and caffeine. It is already overpriced. I mean how much can that cost anyway.

So Pepsi, give me back my cans. I can understand a price hike now and then, but don't try and fool me. I can count.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Do You Need Good News?

The news today can be very bleak. With politics, the economy, war, crime, etc., etc. it is easy to get bogged down in a negative mind set that NOTHING good is going on in the world. So where do you go to get a more balanced view?

In 1997 Geri Weis-Corbley began the Good News Network. Its mission "is to provide a "Daily Dose of News to Enthuse." The Good News Network is a clearinghouse for the gathering and dissemination of positive news stories from around the globe. Daily stories will confirm what we already believe — that good news itself is not in short supply; the advertising of it is."

Good news is good for you. It can help alleviate depression, It helps inspire success, happiness and peace. It can influence your health for the better by lessening stress.

The Good News Network works towards this by "expressing a philosophy. We believe in striving for cooperation, sustainability, generosity, and unity — and trying in our lives to love. We will share analysis of current affairs and public opinion that reflect this philosophy of optimism, because many, including well-known columnists, are optimistic.

We do not want to polarize with debate but unify upon common ground."

They don't push any political or religious views. They don't preach about what YOU should be doing. They just report the good news that is out there; a lot of the news the the main stream media won't publish because they don't think good news sells.

So if you want good news on business, civics, earth, family life, health, inspiration and recreation, visit the Good News Network. You can also sign up for their forums, newsletter and RSS feed.

A little good news never hurt anybody.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

It's October!

Goodness, how far behind can someone get?

It's October. Not only that, it is a week into October. How did that happen?

October is my favorite month I think. The weather starts to turn just a little crisper. I hear that in some places the leaves change color! (OK, everywhere but here.) Pumpkins, lovingly carved into jack-o-lanterns. Halloween! I love Halloween. Wouldn't it be great if you could dress up every day and people would give you candy?

We will have to send the kids up to the attic soon and get all the decorations down. We try to overdo it as much as possible!

Like this guy:
He's a lot of fun. And then there's Bob:

I guess you can't keep a good man down!

I was looking back a bit. The kids have outgrown trick or treating. Girlygirl would rather hang out with friends. Rock Star likes to help decorate and see the neighbor kids' reactions. But I remember how fun it was when they were little and I guess I'm having little pangs that they are growing up.
Just a little while ago they looked like this:

I kind of miss it.

Friday, October 03, 2008

How Not to Win Customers

After working a long hard day outside in 90 degree weather, we decided to try a brand new bar and grill for dinner. We pulled in to the parking lot and had to "make" a space for ourselves because the lot was full. We thought this was a good sign. We walked in and the decor was lovely. Lots of polished wood, beautiful tile floor, classy nautical theme. The bar and about half the tables were full, but we found a nice place to sit. Someone brought us our menus and told us our waiter would be there shortly. We perused the menu and liked what we saw. It is mostly a seafood place but had chicken and salads as well. The prices were terrific and there was even a note on the menu that "the price you see is the price you pay". They don't add sales tax, they pay it themselves. "Cool," we thought.

The waiter came and took our drink order. There was nice music coming from a DJ booth in the back. A couple of girls got up to dance. The chef came over and glad-handed a bit and asked if we had been helped. It was a really nice vibe.

Twenty minutes later, when we still hadn't received our drinks or had our food order taken, we walked out. On the way out, we told the chef why we were leaving and he got a kind of shocked look on his face. It was a shame. We don't have many nice places to get a decent bite at around here and we REALLY wanted to like the place. I hope they get the message. No matter how wonderful a place is, bad service will kill your business every time.

So now we are home waiting on pizza. Whoopie.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). Since the program began in 1985, mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older and breast cancer deaths have declined.

This is exciting progress, but there are still women who do not take advantage of early detection at all and others who do not get screening mammograms and clinical breast exams at regular intervals.

* Women age 65 and older are less likely to get mammograms than younger women, even though breast cancer risk increases with age.
* Hispanic women have fewer mammograms than Caucasian women and African American women.
* Women below poverty level are less likely than women at higher incomes to have had a mammogram within the past two years.
* Mammography use has increased for all groups except American Indians and Alaska Natives.

“If all women age 40 and older took advantage of early detection methods – mammography plus clinical breast exam – breast cancer death rates would drop much further, up to 30 percent.

“The key to mammography screening is that it be done routinely – once is not enough.”

For more information about NBCAM, please visit For additional information, please call one of the following toll-free numbers: American Cancer Society,
(800) 227-2345, National Cancer Institute (NCI), (800) 4-CANCER, Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, (800) 221-2141.

The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month program is dedicated to increasing public knowledge about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Fifteen national public service organizations, professional associations, and government agencies comprise the Board of Sponsors, who work together to ensure that the NBCAM message is heard by thousands of women and their families.

Take care of the Girls!