Friday, March 27, 2009

I want THAT: Crunch: The Game

My family LOVES board games. We could spend hours playing Risk, Monopoly, Scrabble...we love them all.

I just found one over at Collateral Damage that MUST soon be in our collection.


From the makers of War on Terror: The Board Game, Crunch is all about the economic collapse going on right now.

Here's the gist of the game:

Crunch is a card game for 2 to 4 players that allows you to experience the upside of down. Placed in the role of a global banking CEO, you have to juggle the conflicting demands of your ailing bank and your flourishing bank account.

Along the way, the game also replicates our modern banking system and foreshadows the inevitable collapse of capitalism, but that's just a bonus.
This game looks like a heck of a lot of fun. With cards like "Bankrupt Country," "Rebrand" and "Too Big to Fail" at least it brings a little humor to the doom and gloom of the current state of affairs. It can't be any more depressing than The Game of Life.

Here's some other gems out of the Crunch deck:

Let me know if you decide to buy it and what you think!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Irksome....veeeery irksome

I'm a bit peevish today.

I'm also apparently on a Top 10 jag...

10 Irritating Things in Moxieland:

1. My brother in law *forgot* to tell my hubby and I that their mother is coming up and staying overnight with us...TODAY!!! Suprise!

2. My mother in law is spending the night tonight.

3. I let Darling get *one* box of Cookie Crisp (after swearing my children would never eat Sugar Coated Gritties) and now she wants to eat nothing else.

4. People who think they are *sooooooo* open minded and liberal. (They are unless you disagree with them.)

5. People who invite me to join Facebook groups that I have no interest in. Maybe I don't agree with your politics/religion/world view/choice of pets or movies. Quit throwing #$@$%#ing sheep at me and asking me to be a vampire.

6. Undermining co-workers.

7. The fact that Handsome is looking more and more like The Dude from "The Big Lebowski". I understand he's growing his hair long enough to cut for Locks of Love (in memory of his aunt that died of cancer last year), but when I'm trying to make out with him and HIS hair gets in my mouth, it's just really irritating. Plus he looks like The Dude...sort of.

8. Weather forecasters. Snow at the end of March? $#@$ you, Katie Horner! I know you're using either voodoo or some other witchcraft to get higher weather ratings. Isn't rain/tornado/microburst season enough for you?

9. The lady who literally cut in front of me at OfficeMax today, plopped 20 items and a stack of coupons down and said, "Ok, I want to get the absolute BEST deal on this stuff." and gave ME a dirty look for daring to stand behind her in line with my 2 items.

10. Any company laying anyone off any of my friends. You suck.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why I Hope Newspapers Never Die

I did something shameful yesterday.

I participated in a Death Pool, not for a celebrity, but for an icon nonetheless.

I made a bet on when the official death knell for The Kansas City Star will be.

My boss says by the end of the year.

My co-worker says by June of next year.

I say they'll go down to a 4 day a week format by the end of next year.

Unlike many celebrating the death of the "archaic media", I really hope it's never. Last week alone, 3 of my friends lost jobs in the media industry. You're sick if you find schadenfreude in other people being laid off. Shame on you. Those are jobs and people with families that the blogosphere and it's pay per click/impression ads will never support. (And those of you who force me to click thru my Google Reader to finish reading your content piss me off too!)

That being said, people are being laid off across almost every industry. Why is the loss of a daily newspaper such a big deal?

There are several reasons, most of them are personal for me as someone who pondered the idea of becoming a journalist many years ago. That's why I have a blog today. By no means is it a news source, but like most blogs it chronicles my own personal life (or what I care to share) and comments on the world around me. Does my blog have a place in the universe? I'm narcissistic enough to think so. Is it news? Not by a long shot. But it is my little opinionated nook of the world and you've bothered to be here, so here's my small minority opinion of why I hope to be reading a printed newspaper when I'm old and using a magnifying glass to read the words...1. I'll admit to a fascination with the arcane as someone who spent four years and a whole lotta money on a degree in history. And what better chronicler of American life is there than the daily headlines? These are literally snapshots into a moment in time...

I've spent hours and hours reeling through microfiche looking for historical data in newspapers and often I'd get caught up in the side stories and the ads from days gone by. In the future, how are researchers going to look for content? Web hosts post and unpost content at will. Bloggers start and stop their blogs every day. If you went to look up an Internet source from 10 years ago, I bet you'd only have a 15% chance of finding it.

2. I admit I have a vested interest in seeing a medium do well as someone who earns a living in Marketing. Ever since I graduated college 9 years ago, everyone said, "Oh, don't advertise in the paper, it's a dying media. No one reads the paper these days!"

I beg to differ. The Kansas City Star is one of my best sources for direct response, believe it or not. It's all in how an advertiser uses it. Those who still read the paper are typically intelligent, well-educated, active readers who are mature enough in their careers to have the disposable income required to purchase the particular products and services I advertise. I almost always receive a return on my investment with ads there. As part of a healthy media mix, the newspaper is still viable for me.

It's easy to ignore the right rail and banner ads of a web page filled with pop up ads. Advertising was never more annoying than when it hit the Internet. Those who abuse the power of online advertising give the rest of the decent web pages a bad name. Ads in a newspaper never play music or give you a filthy virus.

3. I think it's sad as the end is seeming to come to an end for several major metropolitan papers, most recently, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (first published in 1863) and The Rocky Mountain News (since 1859). In a day and age that not even our baseball teams are all owned by American companies, it's nice to know at least the vehicle of our opinions and news are still American owned. These are companies that have been publishing on a daily basis for over a hundred years. While they may not go under all the way, a switch to completely online is a sad change.

4. Curling up with a laptop on a Sunday morning is just not the same as the happy, messy spread of me, hubby, daughter, cats and breakfast on the couch, reading the paper...I did this with my own family when I was younger and I know my family now enjoys it as well.

5. You don't need WiFi, a power cord or a battery to read a newspaper. You just need a source of light. Newspapers are the quintessential portable media source.

6. Just like talk radio is an important part of a citizen's forum in a community, the newspaper is as well. Yes, you can start a blog, yes a few people might read it, comment on your opinions, but nothing has a farther reaching impact than a major newspaper. Radio, tv and blogs may have wider theoretical reach, but newspapers, I think, have a better actual reach (remember the whole active reader thing?). A newspaper is a pillar in a metropolitan community.

7. Then there's the whole credibility issue. Anyone can publish on the Internet. That's a beautiful thing. I read several blogs a day, all completely different from one another in terms of content, professionalism and purpose. To publish something in print (and online too) and to be considered credible, you have to have verified sources, objectivity (or at least the semblance of it), and more often than not at least a college degree or years of experience. Snobbish? Yep. But if you're good enough to be hired and paid for your attempt at objective reporting or educated opinion, there's a slightly better chance of me taking you seriously.

8. When journalists blog, it usually sucks. Sorry, but it's true. Too many of them use it as a hobby or a sloppy, half assed attempt at social networking. They'll usually save their good stuff for their printed column. This is disappointing. Even some of the good journalists do this (not to say there isn't some really crappy, horrible writers out there who still somehow seem to get published). Until journalists get past posting the police blotter or sporadically posting their second-string columns, the newspaper will continue it's downward spiral. They also need to remember to cite their sources. Just because you're blogging doesn't mean you should forget your manners and give credit where it is due.

9. The world is polarized and segmented enough. As a blogger, I can choose and filter whatever content I damn well please into my Google Reader. Occasionally, I leave my comfortable nest of agreeing and dissenting opinions I've built for myself. But I have to work for it. As Simon and Garfunkel said, you "only hear what you want to hear and disregard the rest" With a newspaper, you have different opinions right at your fingertips. I'm more likely to pick up the sports section (when it's not baseball season) when a headline catches my eye than to click thru to the sports page on the internet.

10. I'm starting to stretch things at this point, so, to make this a nice round top 10 list, I'm going with the paper airplane/boat/George Washington hat/I need cheap packing material argument. Copy paper just isn't as effective in these applications.

I'm sure there are lots of people who disagree with pretty much every single thing I said, but, again, it's my blog, I'll spout whatever I want to spout. I just hate seeing an era end...

That's it, I'm done playing devil's advocate for the day...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Retro Gag: The HORROR!

I'm not taking a cop out, but the thought of Obama Fingers is just too gag-tastic! Worse yet?

I don't care if it's fertig gebraten (fully roasted?) would you eat your Obama Fingers MIT Curry Dip?


I prefer my president with good ol' barbecue sauce, like George Washington and Uncle Sam intended.

Worst blog post title of the week "Our President is Finger-Licking Good"

Those evil Germans! I'm ashamed of my heritage but oddly hungry for Sauerbraten mit Rotkohl und Knudeln...

Roger to the Rescue

This is beyond a doubt one of the most bizzare things I've seen this week. Roger the Plumber saves a pantsless woman (apparently a customer) from her house that was on fire.

Total kudos to Roger though. He's an absolutely stand up guy (if not overpriced in his plumbing.) I've met him a few times at various theater stuff in town (he's a HUGE supporter of the arts) and he's genuinely a cool person. "He's good people" as my best friend would say.

Thanks, Roger for saving the day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Retro Gag Bonus: A Braver Blogger Than I

Since I was sick/dealing with a sick kid two weeks ago and promised an extra Retro Gag post, I'm making good on it today and offering up the work of Cleanser over at the good old days.

While I may just scoff and feel ill about the thought of actually eating some of my Retro Gag Recipe finds, this intrepid blogger actually cooks and taste tests them!!!

She's drank Hot Dr. Pepper, and even tried the Hot Dog Jello disaster.

The best part are the pictures. Seriously, check out her site. It's beyond awesome and chock full of fascinating retro-fabulousness!

Her latest act of bravery involves two of my favorite things: hot dogs and barbecue sauce (or the attempt at the greatest condiment known to man).

Sounds fabulous to a native Kansas Citian, right?

Check out her "Deviled Hot Dogs with Frenchwise Barbecue Sauce" voyage.

She says it's not bad.

Meh...I'll stick with my Gates.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Just one more time

I know I've posted it before, but for all my black Irish lovies...

Happy St. Guinness Day To You!

Top of the Morning and Foam of the Guinness to ya! I hope you have a fabulous St. Paddy's Day (one of my personal favs, being Irish and all).

Enjoy one of my new favorite Guinness Ads today and beware the Irish Car Bombs (damn them for tasting like chocolate milk!)...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Proof He Leaves the Brookside Compound

Yep, During the Brookside Warm Up Parade last weekend, I got photographic evidence that the mayor (and his wife, dutifully at his feet) does sometimes show up in public (other than the library). Huh.

If you weren't at the Brookside Parade, and you were in town, I feel sorry for you. It was incredibly fun this year! MUCH warmer than last year!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Retro Gag: Homage to SPAM

Spam is one of the most controversial lunch meats in American History. Love it or hate it, it's an icon. I for one can NOT stand the thought of potted lunchmeat. I just can't do it.

For those of you who do enjoy the occasional Spamwich, this may not be that gross to you, but for me it's horrific. Click on any picture to adjust it to readable size...

First up is Marion Ross' recipe for Mac N Spam...Oh, Mrs. C, I hope you didn't feed this to Richie... (from

Cheesy Macaroni Bake
8-ounce package dry elbow macaroni
1 12-ounce can SPAM
2 tbsp. butter, divided
1 tsp. flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp. dry mustard and pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
2 cups milk
½ lb. processed sharp American cheese, diced
½ cup dry bread crumbs
1/8 tsp. paprika
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook macaroni according to package and drain.
Combine macaroni with SPAM in a 2-quart greased casserole dish.
Melt one tbsp. butter in a medium sauce pan. Blend in flour, salt, mustard, pepper and cayenne until smooth. Stir in milk and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils.
Add cheese and stir until cheese melts. Pour over SPAM mixture and mix well.
Melt remaining tbsp butter and combine with bread crumbs and paprika. Sprinkle mixture over the top. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Continuing the horrors of Spam and Macaroni...from a 1946 Woman's Day Magazine...
Spam and Macaroni Loaf

Oh Jesus God, the layering! The broccoli! Ugh!

Planked Spam (Woman's Day 1945)

Spam, tomatoes and mushrooms, mashed potato rosettes? "You'll be greeted with cheers!" (I think that's a typo for jeers)

Spam Fiesta Peach Cups (Family Circle Feb 1956)

Let me get this straight...ground SPAM, mustard, ketchup and OATS?! You want me to do WHAT with them?

Spam Cake (from Charles Phoenix)
Apparently, Spam Cake is easy! According to Mr. Phoenix, a nice lady at the SPAM Museum told him: "Follow the directions for any white, spice, yellow or devil’s food cake mix, but substitute grated SPAM for the oil."

If you can't handle the idea of frosting a Spam Birthday Cake (and that one above is damn impressive), you can always make the pancake version from this 1957 Betty Crocker Ad:

Ugh...what a wild Spam ride...for once I'm glad that Catholics are required to fast on the Fridays during Lent. Hope you have a great weekend! DO NOT TRY THESE RECIPES AT HOME!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Recession Hits Sesame Street

Sad news from Sesame Street...It's pretty freaking bad when even Big Bird doesn't have job security. The Sesame Street Workshop is laying off 20% of it's workforce.

I've always truly loved Sesame Street. My siblings and I grew up loving it (Snuffy was always my favorite). I'm so glad that Darling enjoys it too, but I have to say that I would like to punch Baby Bear in his stupid, lisping face. If they're laying off Muppets, he should be the first to go. His little sister speaks more clearly than he does. And maybe Alan. I've never adjusted to Mr. Hooper's replacement. And Zoe. Zoe just irritates me. And that Abby Kadaby fairy? WTF?

Nevertheless, it's still a fabulous kid's show. I feel bad for Elmo & Co. At least Oscar and Slimey the Worm downsized early and aren't afraid of dumpster diving.

The truly tragic thing is what will the laid off Muppets do? Tear Sesame Street up with a gang turf war?
Maybe use the economy to teach kids some other hard truths about life? (Click on pic to read)
I don't even want to think about the very special episode where Snuffy tries coke and Super Grover tries some LSD laced flying...

Damn, it's a cruel, cruel world.

One bright bit of news for PBS is their new/old show. Did you know there is an all new Electric Company? Darling and I caught the first episode and while it's not the vintage childhood show I loved, pretty darn good. (Like Dollhouse, I'll watch a few more episodes and see where it goes.) When I was watching the shows, it was all re-runs and 3-2-1 Contact was taking over as the "science show".
Maybe The Bloodhound Gang could solve the mystery of what the hell happened to the economy and then explain it to us in simple terms.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Out of the Ashes, I arise once more, just to be worried.

Yeah. Stomach/Intestinal Flu sux.


You know you really love someone when you hold their hand for 45 minutes while they cry and have explosive diarreha. At two in the morning, no less.

True love, Constant Reader, true parental love.

I think Darling's over it and Handsome and I survived the milder bouts. I suppose a good colon cleansing is good for everybody every once in a while.

That being said, the economy is making me (metaphorically) sick to my stomach. Everywhere you turn in the blogosphere, someone is worrying about jobs, money, foreclosure, etc.

What worries me the most is how it effects children.

Darling is mostly oblivious to money right four and a half she still thinks 5 pennies are worth more than a dime. We're working on it.

Is her generation going to grow up learning to save and be frugal or are they going to continue on a path of over-consumption and economic indulgence that my generation has grown accustomed to?

It's only in the last year or so that Handsome and I have been in the economic position to start majorly paying down any of the debt we racked up with our expensive degrees and the credit cards that were thrown at us when we were young/stupid/graduated.

By the end of this year we should be debt free other than our mortgage and student loans. That's a major accomplishment for us, but we've accomplished this by completely curtailing all extraneous spending, save the occassional indulgence. We're almost there, God help us...

We're working hard to accomplish this, and just a few weeks ago, while we were grocery shopping, Darling informed Handsome that the ice cream purchase he was pondering was "not in the budget, Daddy!"

This may not seem huge, but I never claimed we were living at the poverty level.

Neither Handsome and I grew up in affluent families, but our parents always got by and kept their financial concerns out of hearing of their children.

They didn't want us to worry about money. Kids should just be kids.

They were probably doing us a favor in their minds, but shouldn't kids have a better sense of family budgets?

Or is ignorance bliss?

What's the balance of stressing kids out about the family finances and finding a way to teach them fiscal responsibility?

I have a feeling this will become more and more important if the economy continues in the same direction it seems to be heading.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sickly, but Funny

Yep. Still out sick. Darling's getting a little better and Handsome and I are hanging in there. Will return to normal posting soon, once the crippling stomach cramps go away.

Until then, enjoy the funniest thing you'll probably read today. I'd laugh, but it would hurt too much.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Retro Gag: Kitchen is Temporarily Closed

Sorry guys, nothing disgusting this Friday. I'll post a Retro Gag early next week.

My daughter has been projectile vomiting (she'd make the demons in The Exorcist proud) for the last 2 days and I'm starting to get "that not so hot feeling" myself.

So let's just say I'm not really in the mood find gross things to eat, m'kay?

Thought to ponder: Why does my Daddy's Little Girl turn into Mama's Little Cling Wrap only when dealing with the High Holy 3 P's of Childhood (Pee, Poop, and Puke)? She wouldn't let me out of her sight last night.

Guess I'm just lucky, huh?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Scientific Research Behind Belly Button Lint

Someone seriously spent three years of their life studying the composition of belly button lint.

I can only hope my contribution to the universe could be so grand.

It's something to aspire to. I need to obviously get my priorities straight.