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November 30, 2008

Pennsylvania Salad

Actual conversation last night at my in-laws in Pennsylvania after my wife and my mother-in-law had picked up dinner:

Wife: Would you like some of my salad?
Me: Sure.
Wife: Here you go.

Pennsylvania Salad

Me: It’s got French fries on it.
Wife: Yeah, I asked for it with grilled chicken.
Me: (looking at her dumbly)

Wife: It’s Pennsylvania, they put French fries on it.

I grew up in Pennsylvania, went to school here, and visit a dozen or more times a year and even I have still not completely plumbed the depths of its mad genius.

J.

November 30, 2008 at 12:56 PM in Weekend Leisure | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 29, 2008

it really is all relative

As one walks down the quaint small-town tree-lined back streets of Clarion, Pennsylvania, one can’t help but notice, indeed, it is impossible to ignore, the looming edifice that is Liberty Towers:

Liberty Towers

Visible from as many as two, and sometimes three blocks away (depending on the weather and where the delivery trucks park), it soars into the sky, impudent, reaching out as if to touch the heavens themselves.

It begs the question, was man really meant to live three (or possibly four) stories off the ground?  Are we tempting fate by thinking ourselves such masters of our physical world that we can brazenly go about our daily lives, microwaving burritos, watching ESPN SportsCenter, filling out those “decline” return cards for Book-of-the-Month club, all among the clouds?  Is this not the domain of birds? (And tree squirrels?) Do we really belong here?

Perhaps not, but here we have it, the human spirit itself made tangible in concrete, steel, glass, and nondescript facing material. Arrogant?  Perhaps.  And one day we may receive our comeuppance.  But surely it stands as a testament to what is possible if only one is willing to reject the naysayers who challenge the dream, who pronouce with a jealous sneer, “You’ll never be able to fashion anything so grand, so majestic, so clad in inoffensively neutral tones, as to evoke the name, ‘Liberty Towers!’” To which you respond with a knowing smile and a sparkle in your eye:

“Can’t I?”

J.

November 29, 2008 at 07:59 AM in Weekend Leisure | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 27, 2008

black friday shopping

Sure, you could go on the same old traditional shopping spree, running around on “Black Friday” purchasing 42” plasma HDTVs just like everyone else.

Or.

You could get all your holiday shopping done in the comfort of your home at the Planet Moron Logo Crap store!

The Planet Moron Logo Crap store has all the items no one really needs any more of:  T-shirts, cups, sweatshirts, stickers, coasters and bags.  Basically, if it’s crap, we’ve slapped our logo on it!

Consider for a moment, these two alternatives:

42PlasmaHDTV42” plasma HDTV

-Cannot hold 8 ounces of coffee.

-Does not have “Planet Moron” written on the side.

-Requires expensive cable TV subscription.

PM Cup Planet Moron Coffee Cup:

-Can hold 8 ounces of coffee

-Has “Planet Moron” written on the side.

-Does not require expensive cable TV subscription.

Could the advantages be more obvious?

And just think of the look on the face of your husband, wife, son or daughter, as he or she opens your gift, expecting a run-of-the-mill 42” non-coffee-holding plasma HDTV but instead discovers your gift is a Planet Moron coffee cup.

No, seriously, think of the look.

Plus, all net proceeds go toward supporting the vital infrastructure that keeps Planet Moron going, namely whiskey, gin, olives, more whiskey, more gin, more olives…

Happy shopping!

J.

November 27, 2008 at 07:12 PM in Weekend Leisure | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 26, 2008

CONSENSUS WATCH – 11/26/2008

An ongoing series dedicated to vigorously monitoring emerging threats to The Consensus that global warming is real, caused by humans, and must be addressed immediately. Because without consensus, scientific conclusions would remain vulnerable to new data.

There were reports this week of plans being made to try to convince Congress that there is possibly some dissent regarding The Consensus.

Well, sure, if you want to call 31,072 scientists “dissent.”  Heck, 22,051 of them don’t even have PhDs!

Talk about stretching the definition of a word.

As Kalee Kreider, spokewoman for Al Gore put it, “Climate deniers fall into the same camp as people who still don’t believe we landed on the moon. We don’t think this should distract us from the reality.”

It is exactly this kind of compelling refutation that makes us believers in The Consensus.  But it seems some people refuse to accept reality and instead prefer to be led in whatever direction the latest research data takes them, like lemmings.

But, that’s not what’s important.

What is important is that we do everything we can to lower our carbon footprint.

And what better time than the holidays, when people are trying to forget their cares and worries and spend time with their families?

Any quick Internet search will provide you with a number of tips available on how you can reduce the daily brutalities your selfish existence commits upon nature but Earth First!’s top-ten list is one of the more comprehensive.

We summarize below:

  1. Make mom cry – Stay at home this Thanksgiving and hang out with your loser friends instead (just like you want to anyway).
  2. Keep it simple - Serve your guests crap!
  3. Mainly serve them crap you can find close to home – No sense having to go through any trouble. They’re just your stupid friends anyway.
  4. Vegetarian crap is best – Hey, look, celery is on sale!
  5. Serve organic beverages - You know #3 above?  Don’t worry about that for this one.
  6. Use the crap you already have lying around - No reason to make this occasion special in any way.
  7. Buy used crap - If you must get some additional stuff for your guests, show them you really care, and rummage through a Salvation Army bin. Not only will you save money, you'll help put some carbon-spewing salesperson at the mall out of work!
  8. Decorate with natural materials - You can make a charming centerpiece using lint, empty carrot juice cartons and strands of human hair.
  9. Have your guests stumble around in the dark - Illuminate your home with beeswax and soy candles. It will be like a treasure hunt, for your chair!
  10. Ferment your leftovers. Indoors! – Your guests will love it, especially as they grope through the darkness, choking on beeswax vapors, and desperately looking for a bathroom having just ingested a large bowl of flax seed and cabbage soup.

And for those who insist on obsessing over their carbon footprint, the Bon Appetit Foundation has an interactive global greenhouse emissions calculator called “Is My Lunch Causing Global Warming?” that allows you to add up your gustatory assault on the planet.  It also provides tips on how to reduce your impact.  For instance, let’s say you feel like a big old cheeseburger.  Want to dramatically lower its impact on the environment?

Don’t have a cheeseburger.

The calculator provides hours of entertainment as you determine which things rape the environment and which things merely touch it inappropriately. And for extra fun, just keep piling the plates of digital food into the cyber-skillet until the included guilt-o-meter bursts through the top!

Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Just not too happy, if you know what we mean.

J.

Inappropriate Get the latest in Consensus Watch gear, now with our new "Stop raping the planet! You may, however, touch it inappropriately." coffee cup, beer stein, bags, coasters, stickers, buttons, and other similar crap.  T-shirts are still coming.  (Once we put the bottle of Jack Daniels down long enough to work on creating larger graphics. And yes, it could be a while.)

November 26, 2008 at 11:36 AM in Global Warming with CONSENSUS WATCH | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 25, 2008

remember when $100 billion was a lot of money? yeah, we don’t either.

Yesterday we suggested in a rather snarky manner that perhaps we should take the existing $7.7 trillion in government bailout commitments and “just round that up to an even $8 trillion,” and we would like to apologize for the glib and careless manner in which we tossed that number out as we should have been more respectful…

Of the government’s ability to get the number up to $8.5 trillion just hours later!

This latest $800 billion in additional commitments is specifically geared towards making it easer for consumers to take on more debt. This is absolutely essential if we are to ensure that the American people can continue their record-setting pace of bankruptcy filings.

Or, put another way, we need to get as many people, as deeply in debt as we can, right now, or we’ll never solve our crisis of too many people too deeply in debt.

In fact, this is the overall approach the government has taken to the current financial crisis:

Problem: Too much borrowing.
Solution: More borrowing! 

Call it “the hair of the dog” theory of macroeconomics.

Okay, how about we round that up to $12 trillion…

J.

November 25, 2008 at 04:12 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 24, 2008

we wonder if mattress sales are up

When added all together, the United States Government has pledged $7.7 trillion to backstop, guarantee, or otherwise stand behind American financial institutions and their deteriorating balance sheets.

To give you an idea of how much money that is, imagine one trillion one-dollar bills piled one on top of the other.  Now imagine 7.7 times that.

Kind of puts it in perspective, doesn’t it?

Of course, these are mostly just pledges at this point.  Chances are the full $7.7 trillion won’t be needed assuming the bailout of Citigroup will work.  No, the second bailout.

And that the bailout of AIG will work.  No, the second of that one too.

And the automakers don’t need more than the $25 billion that was authorized. No, not the original $25 billion. Right, the latest $25 billion they’re asking for.

Sure, some of this might be unsettling, but there is no reason to believe that these second bailouts won’t be more successful.  Remember, those first bailouts were created in a simpler, more innocent time.  But we can't sit around living in October the rest of our lives .  Besides, think of all we’ve learned since then.  Originally, we thought the TARP funds could best be used to cover toxic assets held by banks.  Then we realized we should instead inject equity. And now we realize we should inject equity AND cover toxic assets

In fact it was less than a week ago we didn't think we'd need the remaining $350 billion in TARP money until next year, but, being much more smarter this week, we think maybe we do.

Heck, who knows what we might learn tomorrow that will be even better!

You're probably thinking to yourself, "Jeez, what more could anyone do to further instill confidence in our financial markets?"  Well, as a matter of fact, President Bush today in announcing the Citigroup bailout (yes, the second one) held a press conference to do just that:


Maybe we should just round that up to an even $8 trillion...

J.

November 24, 2008 at 06:52 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 23, 2008

also, not eating an apple a day has no effect on keeping the doctor away

A study released last week found that taking inadequate amounts of the wrong kind of vitamin E did not help to prevent cancer. Nor did taking inadequate amounts of vitamin C.

The unexpected findings were seen as a serious blow to those advocating the taking of inadequate amounts of the wrong kinds of vitamins as a kind of “cure all.” 

Worse, the study’s conclusions were buttressed by the fact that many in the group who were supposed to be taking the inadequate quantities of the wrong vitamins didn’t even take them like they were supposed to.

“It’s a real disappointment,” noted one nutritional expert who requested anonymity.  “I think people are really going to have to rethink the whole idea that you can just take less and less of a vitamin, even the wrong one, and expect that somehow that’s going to help prevent cancer.  Apparently it won’t, no matter how little you take.”

This unfortunate conclusion found additional confirmation in yet another study released last week that found that taking inadequate quantities of Vitamin D didn’t help prevent breast cancer either.

In light of these findings, we here at Planet Moron encourage consumers to think twice before “mini-dosing” on vitamins since you may be doing little more than flushing money down the drain (very small amounts of money, but still) and instead suggest that our readers look into consuming large amounts of fantastically expensive prescription drugs made readily available by the pharmaceuticals industry.

Incidentally, we are open to taking sponsorships from the pharmaceuticals industry.

You know, just thought we’d mention that, while we were on the topic.

J.

November 23, 2008 at 05:43 PM in Health & Fitness | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 22, 2008

Weekend in pictures - 4

Hotel bar. Pathetic? Maybe. Okay, definitely. But never underestimate the value of being within walking distance to your bed. Weekend in pictures - 4

November 22, 2008 at 11:21 PM in Weekend Leisure | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Weekend in pictures - 3

It is important to dress warmly for a November football game.

Oh, you'll still freeze, but it's all about intentions.

And then you freeze.Weekend pictures - 3

November 22, 2008 at 05:51 PM in Weekend Leisure | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Weekend in pictures - 2

Whiskey, it's just not for... Okay, we're out of rationalizations. Weekend pictures - 2

November 22, 2008 at 02:07 PM in Weekend Leisure | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack