American's like to Albeit Inadvertently:

I’ve written about this before but because I’m generally anal I had to re-visit this one more time.

Over the last 2 years, American Consumers embraced the opportunity to purchase environmentally safe--reusable shopping sacks from their favorite stores and boutiques. The premise for utilizing these sacks is simple. You’re reusing a bag to transport your goods from the store to your home eliminating the use of plastic and ultimately helping the environment.

The synthetic fibers and oils used to manufacture these reusable sacks leave less of a carbon footprint on the environment than their plastic counterparts and if used properly can and will reduce the use of plastic bags.

Great! However, the marketing geniuses on Madison Avenue have discovered that the sacks can also be used for advertising. This single idea can entice consumers with clever sayings and graphics branding not only the sacks but the people who carry them. If fact, many people proudly shoulder their branded sacks as a fashion accessory acknowledging where they shop and ultimately defining who they are.

However, labeling these reusable sacks changes the dynamics and principles of why they were introduced in the first place. A plain or single color branded sack if reused properly over the course of its three year life span can and will illuminate the disposal of 400 plastic bags. Of course, you have to reuse the sack at least 400 times for this to be achieved. 

Now take the multi-colored fashionable reusable sacks that many high end stores offer. The lead content and oils used in the graphics negatively affect the environment. In fact, it has been reported that the majority of consumers that employ the use of reusable sacks have accumulated over 20 sacks per household. Most are never used and are shoved under the sink or buried in a pantry never seeing the light of day.

The manufacturing and distribution for unused reusable sacks is growing. Again, the whole purpose of the reusable sack is to limit or eliminate the use of plastic bags.

Which brings us to another question about people who use reusable sacks, what are they using for bathroom and bedroom can liners? Many people reuse the plastic bags from grocery stores for small receptacles at home or to wrap chemical cleaners and sprays for safe storage.

The answer is simple; they’re buying small garbage bags to line small receptacles adding too and not reducing their use of plastic bags. This not only creates more toxic waste in our landfills it also adds  to their own expenses by purchasing small can liners instead of using plastic grocery bags they once accumulated.

So taking all this into consideration and to save our planet from the onslaught of plastic refuses, is it safe to say purchasing reusable sacks is a good idea for the environment or is it just another gimmick created by Madison Avenue creating a new revenue stream for their clients? 

All things equal using plastic or reusable bags is simply a preference.  If you like to using the trendy reusable sacks great. No harm, no foul.

However, I believe these trendy sacks will one day end up lying right next to the plastic bags and bottles currently residing in our nations landfills and Americans will find something else to embrace. Like all those American flags we had dangling from our car windows after 9/11.

We the fickle …

The Nine Symptoms of Chronic Depression:

The Nine Symptoms of Chronic Depression:

(1) depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day,     as indicated by either subjective report or observation made by others
(2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all,      or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly    every day as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others
(3) significant weight loss when not dieting or weight    gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite   nearly every day
(4) insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
(5) psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every     day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down.
(6) fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
(7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt(which may be delusional)nearly     every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about     being sick)
(8)diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)
(9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

The second depressive disorder identified is Dysthymic Disorder. Dysthymic Disorder is identified by the presence of depressed mood for “most of the day more days than not for at least two years.

To be diagnosed with Dysthymic Disorder an individual must also present two (or more) of the following while suffering from depressed mood:

(1) poor appetite or overeating
(2) insomnia or hypersomnia
(3) low energy or fatigue
(4) low self-esteem
(5) poor concentration or difficulty making decisions    
(6) feelings of hopelessness

If you know anyone suffering from these symptoms PLEASE intervene-get them help. They are not only dangerous to themselves they can put children and family members in danger as well.


Final Chapter being posted.

Following Hemingway


Finally editing the end of the story


Click the link to check out my story titled Following Hemingway.

I always get sick in the summertime

Do you want to know why you get sick in the summer just like you do in the winter? Well, it can’t be the weather. It’s not cold outside. It can’t be your kids bringing home germs from school, unless they’re going to summer school. 

So why do you get sick in the summer. The same reason you get sick in the winter. Granted you can  catch germs from door knobs and bathroom sinks. Or someone sneezing on the train or in your office, or your immune system could be weak and you just get sick.
Or it could be this,

Most illnesses are transferred due to the lack of discipline your butcher, sandwich maker, deli counter person and yes the cook at your favorite restaurant has when it comes to sterilizing his cutting board and this …

I’ve seen it so many times at a sub shop or in a commercial kitchen. The cook or prep person sneezes into his hand but he’s so busy that he wipes it on his apron. Now he’s cutting tomatoes and you come in and want a sandwich. What does he do? He wipes his knife on his apron and proceeds to make your sandwich. Like his apron is some sort of sanitary haven.

Same goes with cutting boards. Most restaurants and supermarkets keep their employees busy. As the managers watch payroll they want Jose over there to prep up 4 cases of lettuce, two boxes of tomato’s and slice a bag of onions all in about 2 hours.

Do you think Jose is concerned with sanitizing his cutlery and boards? Or do you think he wants to keep his boss off of his ass and get the work done in the required time.

Let’s go to behind the cooks line. Peter works at a place that serves fajitas and it’s busy. Do you think Peter switches between a poultry knife and a beef knife to illuminate the possibility of cross contamination? Or, wipe the cutting service in between the chicken and the steak or whatever else he has cut in the last fifteen minutes.

                                                                              Oh and what if Peter has the sniffles.
If you get sick all year round it may be as simple as the people that prepare your meals. The kid at Subway, or the Pizzeria you frequent. What about Uncle Bill’s barbecue every Fourth of July. Does Uncle Bill execute clean and safe food handling techniques? How many times does he touch the chicken and then the steaks on the grill with his not so clean hands?

Ok you can’t lock yourself and your family in a bubble.

What you can do is be aware of who’s preparing your food and how they prepare it. Watch the kid making your sandwich. Instead of running through the drive through, go inside and watch the people in the back handle the fries, the burgers and for God sake the salads.

Note: there is no way on God’s green earth I would ever purchase a salad from a fast food restaurant. A Fast food restaurant should be used for one thing only--a pre-cooked, pre-heated limited hand contact--desperate sustenance source. 
For one day she might be the one making your oriental salad at Burger King in the near future. 

Just --The God's Honest Truth.

In movies, in literature, in music, in government and in life. I could not sum it up better than this ....

"The world is desperate for authenticity. In business and in real life. We crave it I think, because it’s in such short supply."

Mike Rowe