The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Month: May, 2003

An Open Letter to McDonald’s

Dear McDonald’s,

Who am I to criticize you? You seem to have built a fairly successful business over the years, and I think that’s swell. But someone in the marketing department deserves a boot to the head for a recently-created poster added to the drive through menu.

[Editor’s note: For those of you who have somehow avoided the McDonald’s drive-thru, they have a big sign with all the menu items, in case you forgot that they sell, well, hamburgers, fries and Coke. The sign also displays the current promotional tie in for the Happy Meals (Finding Nemo toys as of the 30th), any special “for a limited time” foods they are pushing, etc.]

Yesterday the middle of the sign had a picture of a huge plate of chicken McNuggets, one of them lovingly cut in half to show America that they are filled with actual meat of some kind. Is it chicken? I hope so…I’d like to think that chicken McNuggets include some chicken. After all, I’m choosing to feed this to my child. Wait, there’s text on the image:

“Made from a whole chicken breast including skin”

Gah. I was fine until the last two words. So you are trying to sell me on the fact that these are white meat products (which is actually obvious in the tenders at BK or Wendies) and you decide to tell me that chicken nuggets are made with chicken skin? Are you INSANE?

So now I’m stuck at the drive-thru thinking I should not buy these things for Junior after all, but now that I’ve told him he was going to get a Happy Meal I cannot just say I’ve changed my mind. But you can bet I’m going to think long and hard before I go back there again. So McDonalds, um, thanks for doing me the favor of helping me make healthier choices for my son. Sure, I know we should never eat fast food, but hey, I’m only human.

Anyway, I don’t know who thought that would be a selling point to mention chicken skin, but that person is wrong.


How Could I Forget!

We had this exchange the other morning.

Jr: After breakfast, Julia and I have to have a talk.

Me: Oh?

Jr: Ya. She’s gonna be moving out.

Me: I hope it isn’t because of something I said.

Jr: No, it’s just time.

(Okay, so I feel like a total slimeball now. Cause I think my teasing about not liking her because she didn’t invite me to the wedding has made him decide to toss aside his wedding vows. I also have a serious twinge in the “what kind of example are his father and I teaching him” department.)



Sorry, sun came out. It won’t be out again until Saturday. I need to go absorb some rays to process my vitamin D, or however that works.


Quote of the Day

“C’mon honey, let’s go frolick with the other unemployed people”

– Timmy’s Dad on The Fairly Oddparents


The Book of Ratings

I was pretty sad to see the demise of the Brunching Shuttlecocks websites, which I’ve read for a couple of years now. I know Lore et. al hadn’t been updating very regularly the past, oh, nine months or so. Luckily, they have two other sites that we can visit. I can’t vouch for how often Lore will update the new site, but he’s created a site for my favorite part of his site, The Book of Ratings.


Wow, It’s Finally Not Pouring

What a fun day. What a fun weekend. I am so fed up with this weather, it’s endless. I’m not sure, because I haven’t actually walked in my back yard for a week, but I’ll be there are mushrooms growing over by the shed from all this damp muckiness. It’s a toss-up on whether mushrooms are better than crabgrass, quite frankly. If it’s sunny and even remotely warm tomorrow I’ll actually go outside and see how all my plantings are doing. I know flowers like rain, but I like pie and I know if I eat too much I’ll die. I don’t want these flowers that had tags saying “Full Sun” to die because I haven’t been able to provide full, partial or even a smidgen of sun.

A friend of mine just had to go out and buy one of the SAD lights that people use in the winter to simulate sunlight because she’s so bothered by the current weather patterns. I just keep staring out the window at my little cafe table and chairs and I wonder when I’ll be able to actually sit out there again.


High Tech for a Moment

Yesterday’s adventure in high tech was to buy and try to set up a wireless router for the house. I know, not in my best interest to spend that kind of money at this point (I just called in for my last week of regular unemployment this morning, won’t know if I qualify for an extension until next week or later. “Yes, I can make change, Mr. Mall Kiosk Owner!” if I’m not eligible. I obviously want to hold out for a writing position, and the market seems better now than it has for months, but obviously I have no control over whether or not people hire me. If I did I would have found something 9 months ago.

Anyway, I bought the equipment so that I could share the DSL connection (and eventually the printer) with the two systems in the house, and also so I could take the computer into different rooms and still have full access to everything. That way I could work up in my room, or I could work out on the deck, and not have to have wires everywhere. So I spent the money, tried to set it up for about 7 hours…spent 4 of those hours on tech support to I believe India (I’m not being sarcastic…I talked to three different people, and even the automated phone system voice had an Indian accent) trying to get it to work. It didn’t. So today I brought everything back. I guess I’d rather spend that money on bills. But the SECOND I get $200, I’m going to run my butt out and buy some Linksys hardware (which is what the Verizon Online people told me they actually sell if people want to set up a wireless router – so I know it will work with my DSL modem.

So yes, I spent $160 (there was a sale) but I only kept it for a day. Does that make me a bad, irresponsible person? No. It would have been tax deductible, and it would have made it easier for me to actually get work done. So it’s not like I ran out and bought something useless like jewelry. Right?


Memorial Day Snacks

Heavens to Betsy, stay AWAY from the grocery store. I went in to buy just a couple of things, you know the basics (bread, cheese, bananas, fudgecicles and salsa) and the lines were outragious. Actually, for a while you couldn’t walk near the registers because the lines were so backed up.

They were having a sale on Coke products, one of those fridge-friendly 12-packs for $1.99. I don’t know if that’s specifically why people were in the store, but I did see at least one carriage completely FULL of boxes of 12-packs. You want to stock up, in case you have a party or something, but if you’re like me, you still have Pepsi leftover from Christmas because you actually never did have company. I need to look at those to see if they are past their use-by date. Old soda is nasty.

We had a few hours of no rain, and then the drizzle returned. I bought steak at the store thinking it might be nice to throw it on the grill, because it is the charred meat holiday, when I realized I have no idea when the weather is going to be favorable for grilling. I could move the grill up onto the deck, but that seems like a lot of work. Okay, just checked, looks like Tuesday will be a thumbs up on that. Someone remind me to check how much gas is in the grill tank before then, okay?


Looking for a new design?

Go to the StrangeBanana: Computer-generated webpage design and keep hitting re-load until you find one you like. No two are alike, so if you see a good one, save it.


Rain Rain, Go Away

What a dreary Memorial Day weekend. I guess maybe that will make us treat it more like a “Memorial” day and less like a “Who Wants to Have a BBQ” Day. Not that there’s anything wrong with the 2nd option.

I’m just glad I strong-armed my dad into doing the cemetery planting last weekend. It’s been raining all week, so the flowers have been watered constantly. Also, it meant we didn’t need to have to get all wet and stuff. You know, cause rain makes me melt.

Saturday, when we were out there, maybe 10% of the normal planting looked done. I was surprised at how many graves were not done yet, but then again, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we’d had overnight temps in the 30s and frost warnings. I think people may have been afraid to invest in plants only to have them die and need replanting.

One thing I’m aware of is that since starting to do my genealogy, I want to map out where all my ancestors are buried (in the local cemeteries). I know the Burchstead and MacDonald families are in Evergreen (which, by the way, is where I want to be buried if anyone was looking to buy me a cemetery plot for Christmas), I just don’t remember where they all are. Our family was a little light in the cash department in the 20th century, and if I recall correctly from when my grandmother was still alive, her parents’ grave may not be marked. I know my aunt will be reading this and she can set me straight, and maybe she can even help me find them all.