Saturday, November 27, 2010

Talking turkey - do not baste with kitty litter

The holiday of Thanksgiving for those people who celebrate has passed but on its heels so to speak, is Christmas. Both holidays focus on family gatherings and sitting down (or standing as the case may be) for a festive meal with turkey as the main course. Turkey being poultry requires that certain precautions be taken when cooking the bird with some people unsure of how to go about it. This is when the Butterball turkey group who are in the business of selling turkeys and other things fowl, step in to help people out. On a personal observation, there are a lot of human turkeys I've come across in my life but I digress.

The company has set up a consumers Turkey Talk Line in which people can consult for any and all turkey-related issues. Questions can arise like how long should one roast a 25 lb. bird, or how large a turkey to buy for a party of 15 people. Normal, every day questions. Then there are issues that don't fall into the mundane, run-of-the-mill category.

For example after checking his father's freezer, a man from Alabama consulted with the Talk Line to find out about the best way to cook a 30 and then years old-ish bird. It was suggested that perhaps a good way to begin would be to buy a new turkey.

- A woman in her 70's who was cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, called for assistance after her mother(!) told her that she was tired of preparing the big meal and it was time that her daughter learned how. O-kay...whatever...

- Then there's the woman who couldn't figure out why her turkey had no breast meat and was told that her turkey was merely upside down. Or a first-timer who was sobbing her heart out after thawing her turkey and rinsing it in dish soap no less and couldn't get rid of the suds from the bird. At least there would be clean cuts.

- There's oil - and then there's oil a man who called to say that he had cut his turkey in half using a chainsaw and wondered if the oil from the chain would affect the turkey.

Any and all turkey-related questions covering all categories are answered by a team of presumably turkey experts at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, a free 24-hour, call-in hot line. It's open to residents living in the U.S. and Canada throughout November and December by calling 1-800-BUTTERBALL. There is a plethora of information for everyone focusing on everything turkey - and then some:

By the way, I recall a while back somebody forgetting to remove the bag of giblets from inside the turkey cavity and roasting them. Gave it that je ne sais quoi flavor. Thinking further, it just could have been me.

My favorite turkey-related question was posed by a woman who wanted to know if it was all right to cook her turkey on a bed of cat litter. Only if she asks the cat permission.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ohmygawd - what next? Road kill calendar - that's what!

I despair - again.

Many of us have have calendars with "normal" photos like smiling babies, gourmet food settings, flowers, forests,, regular stuff. Then along comes somebody with the dumb/demented idea to create a calendar consisting of - wait for it and gasp - road kill. Seriously!

The calendar in question features the photographic images of squashed squirrels, badgers who have met up with cars and dead ducks - the poultry type. What makes this story even more grotesque is that it has become a best seller! What is wrong with people these days?

The creator is one Kevin Beresford, a courier who travels around the country taking pictures of dead critters. Surely the man can find better subjects than...road kill. Making this even worse is that there is a big demand on line. He admits that some of his "subjects" are so squished they can't be identified. This indicates that the photos most likely have blood and guts spilling out. How absolutely horrible and yucky.

January features four dead mallards and a dead hedgehog ending the year.

"I like the idea as it's different and appeals to my take on life and I think the British love animals - even dead ones," Beresford commented. What type of life does this mean lead, anyway?

So this leads one to ask people reading the story if they would buy a caledar featuring 12 photos of roadkill. Would you? I can say unequivocally that I would not!

Here's a sample of what we're alluding to:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Two turkeys are very thankful for Thanksgiving

If I was a turkey - the poultry type - Thanksgiving would be my worst nightmare. Knowing that the axe could fall both literally and figuratively would keep me up the night before the arrival of the very popular holiday. Popular for humans but not for turkeys - the poultry kind.

However, two turkeys are no longer fearful since they have had a stay of execution by the President of the United States, no less. Present Barack Obama has pardoned 45-pound turkey, Apple and her/his pal, Cider -put them together and you'll get apple cider - cute. The saving of two, which are better than none, turkeys is part of an annual ritual it appears. So is the eating of drum sticks and other turkey parts, but I digress. In saving their lives, President Obama said, “today, I have the awesome responsibility of granting a presidential pardon to a pair of turkeys.”

He went on to comment that it was an official duty that he is sworn to uphold as the leader of the most powerful nation on earth.

How were the pair selected you're probably wondering as I was. The poultry two-some won the right to live by strutting (or at least moving) to music before a panel of judges at a California ranch. This leads one to ponder - too much time on my hands - what the criteria was in judging which two were spared. Sense of rhythm...moving to the music...head bobbing...feet scratching... Go know! The pair will now join others living out their lives - that in itself is the best reward - on the grounds of Mount Vernon, the Virginia estate of President George Washington.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Do not drink the toilet water, okay? And don't juggle hand grenades, either

We human beings can always be counted upon to provide - how shall we say - interesting material that makes us shake our head in wonderment and bewilderment.

So for whatever reason, let's say somebody reading this decides to visit the Phoenix area perhaps for work or pleasure. While checking out the city and Chandler, Arizona in particular following a large consumption of coffee...or tea...whatever, nature calls and a trip to the bathroom is necessary. It appears there are signs posted in restrooms of a new $73 million, five-story building warning people not to drink water out of the urinals and toilets, which happen to use re-cycled water. Unless one gets down on one's hands and knees, this is not a probability, anyway. Mind you, non-human four-legged non-humans like cats or dogs might find this a deterrent. Thinking further, would this law apply to them?

The reason for the posting is that city code regulations located 20 miles southeast of Phoenix to post signs or tint water blue to flag the existence of non-potable "gray water."


Been juggling various life choices? Someone in San Francisco for whatever reason known obviously only to him, decided that it might be fun and definitely an attention-getter, to perform a juggling act at Fisherman's wharf. What makes this news is that his choice of juggling material was a hand grenade. Presumably, this was a one-item juggling act. But I digress. Bomb squad investigators responding to this man's choice of items, closed down the entire block in response. After further investigation, police determined that the grenade was a fake.

The performer, who has not been identified, was arrested and may face charges. I bet.


Last but definitely not least - another study

Love those studies. Some researchers living in Montreal, Canada, obviously and again for whatever reason known only to them, conducted studies that revealed the sight of red meat on a dinner table seems to calm men down and makes them less aggressive.

The research recruited 82 men men who believed they could punish an aide reading a script with various volumes of sound every time he made an error while they sorted photos, some with pictures of meat and others with neutral images. This leads one to wonder what this has to do with meat. But I digress.

The researchers initially believed the men would inflict more discomfort on the script reader while they sorted photos of cooked red meat, but that didn't turn out to be the case.

The researcher says in hindsight, it makes sense that our ancestors would be calm at the sight of meat that is ready to eat as they would be surrounded by their loved ones at meal time. O-kaaaaay....

This leads one to wonder - again - whether the sight of real meat would have the adverse affect, or whether the same would be applicable when seeing photos of raw chicken and other varieties of meat. Also, what about cooked meat? As a person who prepares meals regularly, my feeling is that the sight of a cooked meal when one doesn't have to prepare it is infinitely better. Really.

Monday, November 08, 2010

The line up - Brits don't like it

Love those surveys! Yet another one out of Britain, a country that appears to enjoy doing surveys scientific and other-wise, focusing on an act we all do and yet many of us despise doing it. A busy day at the supermarket is a common place where people of all ages gather in large numbers while doing it. The "it" in this case is having to wait in line to pay or do anything, actually.

According to the survey conducted on-line, the average British adult is able to line up for 10 minutes and 42 seconds before expressing their frustration. How, one wonders, did they calculate that 42 seconds but I digress. It's sort-of surprising given the Brits tolerance for things. The most disliked line ups were - surprise - at the supermarkets in addition to the post office and airport check-in and security.

People in the 55 years of age and over category become restless 3 minutes before younger people, however, those 35 years of age and under were more likely to take their frustration out on whoever happens to be handy at that time. This could mean, one presumes, getting verbally nasty. Seems what really aggravates those surveyed is when people dawdle. This is logical if, for example, a cashier and customer discuss and plan social events while the line grows and grows, or when the person in front has a conversation on her/his cell phone and loses track of time, or when people decide to get rid of all that heavy, pesky change... Ask me about it! But again I digress.

To avoid having to wait in line, most Brits prefer to pay their bills on-line, something that is popular with people living in North America and most likely all over the planet.

The on-line poll of 2,006 adults found that one in five people do their shopping at night to avoid the lines. It would be interesting if somebody would conduct a similar poll to see how people living in other countries feel about lining up. Would, for example, culture play a part in how people would react? Weather conditions? So how do people reading this feel about lining up?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Wanna be friends with Queen Elizabeth on Facebook?

Being a Queen is a 24 hour job with lots of royal duties to perform and queenly responsibilities. It's not surprising to learn, then, that Queen Elizabeth, she of the British Monarchy, has decided to have a presence on Facebook. Seems that Queen 'E' enjoys surfing the Net and even sends e-mail. Perhaps - pure speculation - she uses e-mail to exchange recipes with other royalists, or send e-card greetings when somebody celebrates a special event. Usual, "normal" stuff like that.

She now has an official Facebook presence but not a personal profile page. Totally understandable. I mean, a Queen does not share personal information like her favorite books or recent book releases worth reading, film recommendations or where to buy a decent hat for special occasions. That would be just too...mundane and un-regal like. Facebook users, though, can 'like' if they so desire plus receive updates on their news feed about queenly happenings.

So let's say...if Queen Liz talks about something cute her corgies have done, or perhaps wants to share a nice photo of them or family members, Facebook-ers can 'like' it if they so desire.

The 'Welcome to the British Monarchy' Facebook page reads: "Welcome to the British Monarchy's Facebook page. To see updates in your news feed, just click on 'Like' Please note that any offensive comments will be deleted."

This leads one to wonder what would be construed as offensive comments...negative fashion statements perhaps. These are things that just can't be said or written or expressed in public!

The page will also feature the Court Circular, recording the previous day's official engagements.

Also featured will be information about royal events and ceremonies, searchable on a UK map.

According to information on the royal Facebook page, Facebook visitors won't be able to add the Queen as a "friend" or attempt to "poke" her as we normal Facebook members tend to do. Think of the social value for people to be able to boast, "I'm friends with Queen Elizabeth on Facebook!" Not.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Employment opportunity. Wanted mermaid or mer-man

Looking for a job that offers something different in the way of a challenge? Enjoy meeting people? Want to make a big splash in the world? An unusual employment opportunity awaits a female - or male - who knows how to swim well and be willing to do tank cleaning of the fish type.

The Rhyl SeaQuarium located in North Wales is currently seeking out a mermaid - or mer-man.

According to the the "employment opportunity" ad on the aquarium site under the title of "VACANCY – MERMAID/MERMAN":

"A unique and exciting opportunity has arisen (what an appropriate word for this story!) for a Mermaid or Mer-man within the Entertainments Team at the Rhyl SeaQuarium. Duties will include visitor presentations and demonstrations, photo opportunities with our visitors and Dive presentations."

This leads one to wonder how many if any, mermaids or mer-mans exist on this planet but then again, this isn't an issue since the person who gets the job will be wearing a costume, unless of course she or he is the real thing.

So to continue, the person who gets the job will be required to clean exhibits and take care of the animals in a 160,000 litre Ocean Display. Anyone reading this interested in submitting their application should have an outgoing personality, be able to communicate effectively with visitors and perform presentations to a wide range of age groups, both small and large.

This leads one to speculate the type of presentations a mermaid/mer-man would perform. Laze on a rock and sing sea-related ballads perhaps and/or swim around the tank with lots of tail swishing, for sure interacting with the sea creatures. Right now you're probably asking yourself what type of sea creatures are there? According to information on the site, there are more than 30 exhibits with species ranging from sea lions to lionfish, seahorses,sharks and rays. Presumably, the mermaid/mer-man would be required to swim with the fishes in the true sense of the word.

Furthermore, according to the information blurb, "they (whoever is hired) must be able to cope positively with the media interest and be comfortable with public appearance as well as being in front of a camera being photographed for visitor photo opportunities. Due to the public appearances, the successful applicant must be prepared to wear a Mermaid/Merman outfit, which will be specially made for the individual. They should also have a passion for marine life and be comfortable around many forms of marine life – including sharks"

Notice the dash and the two words at the end, "including sharks." Obviously - at least to moi - the seaquarium is aware that many people are hesitant when it comes to interacting with sharks. Fear of death springs to mind.

"Interested applicants should fill out the online application form and send their CV and cover letter to expressing the reasons to why this role would suit you."

Closing date for applications is the November 5 and the successful candidate must be able to start on the 16th April 2011. BTW - the post is listed as a "temporary fixed term position initially for one week only with the possibility of an extension to a seasonal position till September 2011." Temporary fixed term position... So if I were to attempt translating this phrase, to moi, it means a post that will exist for a certain time period, in this case one week, but there is a chance that it could be extended. Slo in other words: this is not a career growth opportunity. Then again, perhaps few people would really want to work the rest of their lives dressed in a mermaid or mer-man suit, swimming around a tank doing...whatever a mermaid or mer-man does.

Any takers? What's a few sharks and rays anyway?