My attempt to move from Southern California and create a happy and sustainable urban homestead in North Dakota, with some musings on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Buckets For The Cure - Part 2

After a bit of perusing the magical Internets, I found some additional fascinating (and hilarious) information about the KFC Buckets For the Cure campaign against breast cancer that I wrote about the other day.  I read a subversive article that directed me to read the teeny tiny print at the bottom of the Buckets For the Cure website, which reads:

"KFC restaurant operators have contributed 50 cents to the Susan G Komen For the Cure for each Komen branded bucket purchased by the operators from April 5, 2010 - May 9, 2010.  Guaranteed minimum contribution is $1,000,000.  Customer purchases of KFC buckets during the promotion will not directly increase the total contribution."

Reread that last sentence again.  Go ahead, I'll wait. Got it?  Are you outraged?  Mildly annoyed?  Bored? 

So all the money is coming from KFC franchise operators, not from you, loyal fried chicken purchaser, despite what you see in the Tellyvision commercial.  What if your local franchise doesn't participate (unlikely since I'm sure participation is required by KFC central command)?  How will you help fight against breast cancer? 

So not only is this campaign ignorant of the undisputed fried chicken-obesity-breast cancer link and a complete sell out by the Susan Komen people, but it is disingenuous, misleading, and completely false.  No matter how many buckets of friend chicken you buy, it doesn't matter since a portion of your purchase WILL NOT go directly to the Susan Komen folks.  What a fantastic campaign. 

You can read the legal gibberish for yourself (at the very bottom of the page) from their website.

A Few Spring Firsts

Spring has fully arrived here in North Dakota, earlier than just about anyone can remember.  Typically April involves some snow or last gasps of winter weather, but not this year.  There have been numerous days in the 60's and 70's and no snow or even much rain.  Climate change liberal wackos will probably cite this as an example of climate change happening, but everyone knows that it is simply the will of Lord that all us good Christian soldiers should have an early spring. 

I've been taking advantage of the good weather and doing outside chores, riding my bike, being blasphemous, and getting the garden ready for action, and it's been lovely especially since there weren't any mosquitoes out.  At least until Monday there weren't.   Yes, Monday I got my first mosquito bite of the season, and I can guarantee it won't be the last.

Late last aumtumn I added another "never seen that before" to my lifelong list - a fat guy walking his dog with his car.  Yup, idling along through the park, arm out the window holding the leash so his dog could walk.  You know you're fat and lazy when you can't even walk your dog.  I thought that was the end of it, until I saw another car doing it a few weeks later.  I spent all winter basking in ignorance thinking I had seen the pinnacle of vehicular/canine walking utilization.  Until yesterday. 

Yesterday I saw a guy walking his dog with.....wait for it.....can you guess.....walking his dog with his motorcycle.  Yup, happened right out in front of my house as I was walking Shaak Ti (with my feet).  This time it didn't involve a leash, just another lazy (though less fat) guy idling up the street, and frequently doubling back in circles, all the while yelling at his dog.  "SPARKY!!!!"  "COME ON SPARKY, LET'S GO!!!", "SPARKY!!!", and so on and so forth.  Sparky was having the time of his life, running around, peeing on shrubbery, and sniffing anything he deemed needed sniffing, ignoring his owners yelling.  "SPARKY!!!!"  "COME ON SPARKY, LET'S GO!!!", "SPARKY!!!" continued as I walked away down the street, shaking my head in disgust.  I still can't quite grasp the magnitude of what I saw, though all these events help me to realize "man at least I'm not that lazy".      

We're supposed to get some thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow.  I await their arrival with great anticipation.

Friday, April 23, 2010

More Breast Cancer Nonsense

In what has now become an annual tradition (here's last years crazy rant), I get to call out the dumbest "Pink Ribbon" campaign to help defeat breast cancer.  In case you haven't already seen the advertisement, click on the YouTube video below. 


Buckets For the Cure

I'm no doctor.  I don't know all the causes of breast cancer.  But if I was forced to categorize various items that I thought probably had strong correlations to causing breast cancer, eating a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken would be pretty high on the list.  I'm pretty sure most medical professionals would agree that obesity is one of the prime contributing factors to breast cancer, and last time I looked fried chicken certainly helped contribute to obesity. 

Yes the contribution of up to $1 million from KFC (part of the Yum brands corporation) is a nice gesture, and will help the fight against breast cancer.  But Yum brands had revenues of $10.8 billion dollars last year (see financial info here), so not only is $1million a pretty paltry amount, but the method in which they're giving the money ($.50) per bucket of chicken is the ultimate sleazy marketing campaign.  

And special congratulations to the Susan G Komen folks for completing the ultimate sell out and agreeing to have their name and pink ribbon logo on buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Congratulations to everyone involved for cheapening and commercializing the fight against breast cancer.

Friday, April 9, 2010

High School Sports Update

Winter sports have pretty much wrapped up here in North Dakota, and it was a very exciting time.  High school basketball and hockey (boys and girls) are pretty serious business around here and are on local television, and we got pretty excited as Alycia's alma mater, the mighty Cavalier Tornadoes, placed third in the state tournament.

Here's a story from the Grand Forks Herald this morning about another high school sports team from just over the river in East Grand Forks.  (Here's the link - Grand Forks Herald Story, but the story is posted in full below).  You may read this article and question why ice fishing is a high school sport, and I'd probably agree with you.  Ice fishing typically involves sitting on a bucket on a frozen lake and fishing.  Fishing for fish.  In my mind this is no more of a sport than having a bowel movement (which without proper fiber intake could be considered a strenuous activity), but who am I to judge?

From the Grand Forks Herald - April 9, 2010 by long time columnist Marilyn Hagerty, a lovely writer who's been working for the newspaper for a long time. 

"Sometimes, I think he makes this stuff up. But every couple of years, I hear from Pat Hurley, a science teacher at East Grand Forks Senior High. He seems to be the coach of the ice-fishing team, which may be a figment of his imagination.

He says the team finished fourth in state this year and they are looking forward to next year.

Here’s his story. Team members are Bron Morrison, Brock Smith, Tom Driscoll and Jordan Kloety. They developed their skills through many early morning practice sessions on the ice of the Red Lake River. They took part in high-school-only tournaments at Zippel Bay, Pine Island and Rocky Point regions of Lake of the Woods. They also fished at Sugar Lake and Devils Lake. And they placed first in a tournament at Red Lake.

Their successful season led them to a fourth-place seed in the Minnesota state tournament near Brainerd. This was the highest seed they ever have taken to the state tournament. And Hurley says it is important to seed in the top four because the top seed gets a five-minute head start onto the lake.

Once the top four teams start setting up, other teams head out onto the lake. They cannot be within 100 feet of any other team. The East Siders got an excellent location on a rock reef and caught 41 pounds of walleye over the two-day tournament."

A Long Break

Howdy Faithful Readers.

Yeah, it's been a long, long time since my last post.  I've been doing some work and preparing tax returns (ugggh....multi-state returns) the last few weeks, and haven't really had the time or felt the inspiration for a blog post.  Much has happened during that time: flood waters have risen and receded, spring has slowly begun in the Upper Plains, winter has been given the bums rush out the door (hopefully), and the UND Fighting Sioux nickname and logo has officially been retired.

Instead of apologizing profusely for the gap between postings, I'll just pretend that it never happened and get right back into fun stories about North Dakota and the family unit. 

I'll try to catch up in the next few days, show some flood pictures from the rising river.  Don't worry, we didn't get flooded or have any water issues here at the house.  We've been high and dry and will remain that way unless there's a cataclysmic/apocalyptic flood one year.  That shouldn't happen.  Now let me go track down my camera so I can post some pictures.