Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Advertising on PBS

The reason I love PBS is because there really isn't much advertising. In those little breaks when there is ten minute gap between shows (when they run that thing on Arno - so annoying!), is when I run to the loo or wash my face, or get a snack. However, lately I have been notice more and more mainstream ads creeping over onto channels 2 and 44.

Well, really it is called "sponsorship" and I understand that in order to bring me the programming that I dearly love, PBS has to have sponsorships.

Which means that the sponsors get to advertise at the start of each program they support.

So instead of the gravelly PBS announcer saying "This PBS program is brought to you with the generous support of XYZ Corporation" (unless you are watching Sesame Street, in which case it is brought to you by the letters X, Y, & Z), the sponsors now run an ad.

For example the Nature program is paid for by Toyota. Meaning that just before the Nature program comes on, an ad for a Toyota Hybrid comes on.

And it is a really silly ad that visually implies that the hybrid is biodegradable. Oh for peanuts sake people! Really? Who is going to spend $20K on a car that is designed to rot into a heap of compost? Uh.. .NO ONE.

I believe the Nature program is also sponsored in part by the SC Johnson Company. Which basically makes a crapload of chemical products that we spray, mist, wipe, and scour across most every surface in our house, including ourselves. Hey, no matter what, a cleaning chemical is a cleaning chemical. It really isn't natural. If you want natural, clean with baking soda and vinegar. Oh, but yeah, NOT together ok.

The SC Johnson (A Family Company, as they put it on their logo) line includes products like Drano, Pledge, Windex, and Off. These are not made up from apple peels and mountain spring water. Instead they are made from stuff like isoparaffinic hydrocarbon solvent, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, 1-tetradecylamine, sodium hydroxide.

Then these chemical combinations are bottled into steel aerosol cans, or plastic spray bottles, or saturated into cloth bits and packaged into plastic containers.

We use them up and then most of us will dump the packaging into the trash, where it will get thrown into a landfill.

But it's ok, because SC Johnson (A Family Company) is quick to tell us that they've built a plant on top of a former landfill so that they can use the methane gas produced by the garbage to run the plant. Which is the part of the ad that I hate. It seems SO wrong that a chemical company has to so fervently prove that they are in fact a jolly green giant of a company lovingly protecting Mother Nature.

Don't get me wrong, I love capitalism, but let's not fool ourselves here. Capitalism is all about "screw you where's my buck" not "let's take a hit in Q4 and plant a field of daisies".

It reminds me of the Philip-Morris ads that they ran trying to prove that even though they produced cancer-causing products (
of which I used to be a loyal & devoted fan) they were in fact a caring company that would be happy to help users kick the habit. Yeah, right, that's sincere.

And in the case of PBS, advertising seems inevitable. I mean
increased sponsorship.

The public doesn't seem to support it as much, but can you blame them? During fund raising season they show endless reruns of Doo Wop Hits and Andre Rieu. Neither of which is ever shown during the regular season. And even when they do run regular programming it is interrupted by idiotic commentary/QVC-ing of memberships and program related merchandise.

And I am sure it costs a lot more to make the programs. And to pay the staff. And to run the show. And to buy shows from the UK.

So maybe advertising IS the answer. But you know, that would suck. And it would be hypocritical according to PBS themselves!

Eh, maybe it's time to donate the Supernova.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Road to Myself

It's a Masshole's wet dream really.

I went for a very long drive today and for about 70% of the time I had the road to myself.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh bliss.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Aliens among us? Yeah, I think so.

According to former astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the US government has been covering up alien and UFO visits for years.

At least that's what the Telegraph is reporting.

It's entirely possible.

My theory is that humans lack the capacity to imagine alien life. Maybe aliens are invisible. Or maybe they live in an alternate dimension. Or maybe the earth is just a molecule suspended in something greater. And see, that is only what I can imagine. Imagination is based on some sort of experience. I mean people imagine aliens in all sorts of ways, but they give them color and limbs and a way of seeing.

An alien is never imagined as a button or a raindrop.

And besides, we don't know where the universe ends, or if there is anything beyond it. I mean really, what is infinity? No one can tell me - believe me, I have asked.

I mean think about it - if I was an atom that made up a particle of dust, I would think that the infinite universe consisted of the entire space under my bed. I'd hardly know that there was an entire room around the bed, or a whole house around the rooPublish Postm.

Ooohhhhh ow, ow, ouch! I just got a cramp. In my brain. Owwie!!

Crap. Now I am going to be up all night wondering how big the universe really is.

Damn aliens.

I am SO not alone in this world. Even if I sometimes forget that.

This morning I got off to a, well, a groggy start. And of course, it being the weekend and all, it was a sort of early start.

Did I mention groggy?

Well so there I was futtering about in the kitchen, on the phone trying to bee-booop-beeep my way through some automated system. I was in my sleep shirt which is basically a really long tee shirt and I was trying on a new strapless bra my sister gave me.

Oh yeah, I was trying the bra on OVER the sleep shirt, because hey, I put the "ass" in "class".

And so I am kind of doing things mindlessly because of the be-boooping. At which point I see something out on the deck that needs my attention. So out I go, on the phone, with a strapless bra on over my nightshirt.

I am sort of trying to concentrate on the phone, which means that when I turn around to go back into the house I am surprised to see my neighbor sitting outside drinking a cup of coffee. (It was a gorgeous morning)

Quite frankly this neighbor does not look appropriately surprised, however I am in a nightshirt and bra. So who am I to say anything.

At least it's not a sweater and galoshes like the last time.

Monday, July 21, 2008

*Ding*Ding*Ding*! Blog Commentary Craptacular Part 2

Nevermind the pieces about pedestrians vs bikes vs cars and firemen and the police and basically the entire city of Boston and the state, and state, of Massachusetts that usually bring out commentator madness.

As is turns out, the next Great Commenting fest-acular is the Brett v. Kaz showdown over on Universal Hub.

At last count the comments were up to 71. I am pretty sure by UH standards that's pretty high.

I read through as much of it as I could but then I got a headache and my eyes started to bleed.

I wish my flair for the dramatic attracted as much attention!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Seriously, no one picked this one up?

From BPDNews.com:

Given that I love me a good internet commenting clusterf*ck, I just have to say how surprised I am that some Masshole driver hasn't posted about these Masshole pedestrians.

Well, probably it's because there wasn't a bicycle involved.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Random Free Crap on Craigslist Roundup - Wheee Haaa!!

I love browsing through the Free section on Craigslist.

People post what they essentially should be chucking in the garbage, or bringing to the Goodwill in the hopes that someone will just come take it off their lazy asses.

At least that is my expectations when I post my crap for free.

And it seems this is more common with people who don't want to pay to have something big, heavy, metal, or broken removed. They are the types who remain hopeful that someone will really want an old rusted grill that I bet the trash folks aren't going to want either!

Some ads make me laugh, like this one for a "noratrack exerciser":

I mean c'mon now, the retro appeal of this ad really sells the "noratrack", doncha think?

Then there are the ads that make me think that someone from MIT is going to build a blinky flashy thing and wear it to the airport or something similarly inappropriate:

Heat sinks? Lasers?Diode assemblies? Someone at Homeland Security just popped some wood I tell you.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

On Being Neighborly

I will pretty much accept anyone as they are, who they are, whatever. It's a condition of having grown up in the city I think.

However, stupidity something I have the most difficulty in accepting in a person.

And I have one really stupid neighbor. This is the guy who "built" a roof deck out of random bits of wood and stair balusters, who stole a fireplace surround from me, who chased out his crazy Jewish tenants by hanging a flag with a Swastika on it, chased out another female tenant by festooning the place with pornographic images, and who had his previous live-in lover committed because she was just that crazy (btw she still is, only now she lives around the corner and still goes bonkers whenever she sees him, which is, oh, every time there is a gathering in the neighborhood).

So now he and his current lady-love have procreated. A little boy. This little boy apparently sleeps all day and stays up all night and ingests AA batteries with alarming regularity. And now Daddy is digging his little son a dust pit, a project he started around 1am last week.

I think it might have originally been planned as a pool? Or maybe a sand pit? Who the heck knows. This is the same guy who jackhammered his back stairs away in the middle of the night wearing boxers and flipflops. And then jackhammered a large hole in the side of his house and installed a window of sorts that I think he might have fashioned from half a french door.

Well now he has dug this hole about three feet deep which threatens dislodge my own fence - essentially he is now digging out and around the fence posts. When my other neighbor mentioned this to him, he replied "Vell zat is her problem, not mine".


I hope the rotten & dead trees he keeps in his yard (because he likes trees!) fall on his dilapidated piece o'crap.

Because zat would be hiz problem, not mine!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I really WAS up early this morning

So I have this super annoying habit of getting up extra early on the weekends. And when I am up, I am up.

This morning was beautiful so I decided to go out for a drive.

And this is what I saw:

A big black cloud looming over Mission Hill sort of.

As I came over the Mass Ave bridge, it was pretty obvious that this was no ordinary black cloud.

Interestingly it looked kind of the same from every point I saw it on my drive. This is from Purchase & Oliver Streets.

And as I crossed over into Southie, this was the view from the Summer Street bridge by the Convention Center.

I read on Boston.com that a truck rolled over this morning on 128 and caught fire. I wonder if this was the smoke from that.

You know, since I was down there, I really should have hit Haymarket...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I Blame the Heat. AND the Humidity.

It really still is too hot for me to post regularly. I don't have A/C at home and this computer blows out hot air as if to spite me. I can't really post to the blog at work, because uh, well, that's inappropriate. And I am just not that funny when my brain is half melted out my ear.

AND the next person to tell me it's NOT the humidity, it's just the heat, that it's just this humid in the winter and I just don't notice, blah blah blah.... is going to get The Slap.

You know, The Burger Slap. Yeah, that kind.

I am not so much sweaty as uniformly damp. Also, it doesn't help that at work they keep the temperature at a chilly 43 degrees or so. Which means that the instant you walk out of doors you are completely drenched in a layer of condensation. You know, like a frosty beverage on a sh*t hot day.

This condensation issue has been particularly brutal for me because it has made me very slippery in my shoes. If you could see me walking across the parking lot, it sort of looks like I am walking on a sheet of ice. I suppose I ought to be wearing shoes I can wear socks with, but they don't make pretty summer shoes that are sock-suitable.



Thursday, July 03, 2008

More stuff I cannot afford

If you know me, you know that my wardrobe consists mostly of plain tops and denim bottoms (skirts for work, jeans for every other time).

However in my fantasy life, I imperiously stroll around in things like this:

Or this:

It's too bad really that 1) these kinds of outfits probably cost a year's wages, and 2) this is Boston, it would be wasted really.

But those Lucite heels..... To die for really.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

It's almost the 4th of July


(You should be thinking firecrackers right about now...)

Anyway, what I think is so hilarious is that I've lived there so long that I can now mostly tell the difference between gunfire and firecrackers, while the next door "newbies" are sure it must be gunfire. Even when I point out the remnants of spent fireworks that litter the gutter in the morning.

If that much gunfire went off all night, every night, I am pretty sure that the 'hood would be in lock down and on the cover of the Herahhld every morning!