Archive for the 'Humor' Category

13
Dec
16

Ugly Christmas Sweaters Part II

This is my second blog entry on the subject of Ugly Christmas Sweaters. The first edition called “In Search of the Perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater was in 2013, Back then, “Ugly Christmas Sweaters” were just becoming popular. It was fun to find sweaters that had been made earnestly, but, which, also, happened to be ugly. Ah, those were the days. You would go into a Sears or Penney’s and you could spend hours looking through all of their Christmas-wear and sweaters. And suddenly, when you had given up all hope, there in the corner, just looking so plainly pitiful was that perfect-terribly-ugly Christmas sweater. The actual hunt for the sweaters was the most enjoyable part. The trip to the stores were like a treasure hunt, but also, it was like your own little inside joke.

Today, things are different. Ugly Christmas Sweater parties are everywhere. They even have special work days to wear your Ugly Christmas Sweaters. And it is so easy to find these horrible-looking sweaters, one can easily go to a store’s website, and under “Search” type in “Ugly Christmas Sweaters” and Voila!, a clear and pungent display of mismatched colored Ugly Sweaters will come up to astound your eyes and dizzy your senses. Ugly Christmas sweaters have now become so popular that within the stores of Macys, there are actual signs advertising “Ugly Sweaters”. However, it is not entirely clear whether these sweaters are now made ugly on purpose or they label them “Ugly”once they receive the shipment.

ugly-christExamples of Bad Christmas Wear

It is one thing to get noticed by wearing a gaudy Christmas sweater, but just imagine the looks you will receive and the comments that you will hear when you wear this Christmas suit.

Ugly Christmas Suit -MACYS

Ugly Christmas Suit -MACYS

We have all seen the ugly sweaters proudly displaying ugly reindeer and snowman, but how about if we mix in the unseemly mix of commercialism and money with the unthinkable concept of putting the picture of the holy and saintly Nicholas on the bill? Now that is in bad taste. (But probably not done on purpose as far as going for bad taste.)

Santa Bills Turtleneck - Macys

Santa Bills Turtleneck – Macys

This is an example of the more recent classic concept of the ugly sweater: A snowman with its parts in unusual places and a pun of near swearing.

Oh Snow - JC Penney

Oh Snow – JC Penney

Another recent popular concept of the ugly sweaters: One takes a loud colorful sweater and then adds a modern animated character on the front of the sweater. It could be Spiderman, Dead Pool, Darth Vader, Yoda, and, in this case, a minion.

It Could Be Worse

It Could Be Worse

Another classic ugly sweater, instead of a snowman, it is a gingerbread man cookie. This is very much like a scene from Shrek.

Gingerbread Oh Snap

Gingerbread Oh Snap

This is another popular genre of the Ugly Christmas shirt: it is called the pun. Like Meowy Christmas, this one is a variation of the Spanish saying of Merry Christmas: Feliz Navidad.

Fleece Navidad

Fleece Navidad

This example is more like the classic, older Ugly Christmas Sweater. Some designer thought that a certain design would be cute, but, instead, it is hideous and laughable like this hybrid Santa-Reindeer-Man.

Reindeer Sweater

Reindeer Sweater

A more recent version of the Ugly Sweater are the drawn on additives: buttons, belts, collars and the accessories: in this case a bottle of beer.

St. Nicks Chill Ale

St. Nicks Chill Ale

So, don’t be unstylish, find your perfect ugly Christmas sweater today. Sorry, almost all are made in China.

Advertisements
02
Mar
16

Celebrity President

Celebrity President

(The Background)

With the Presidential Primaries halfway through, it is important to see which Presidential candidate will bring back U.S. jobs from overseas and bring back manufacturing, which will strengthen our economy. Since this is a popular sentiment, any candidate that does not mention this is obviously not a candidate who is interested in stopping offshoring and stopping the Free Trade treaties like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Pact (TPP). The candidates who are silent on this subject are: Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and John Kasich. That leaves three candidates: one Republican and both Democratic candidates. Of the Democratic candidates, Bernie Sanders for years has been consistently against the Free Trade treaties, against offshoring US jobs, against the TPP and for keeping jobs in the USA. Regarding Hilary Clinton, the jury is still out. In years past, she was for Free Trade Policies, but during this campaign, she has said: “I am against the TPP as it is currently written.” This could mean if they change some language, then she might be for it. Regarding the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, it is an even bigger question mark. He says he will tax China’s imports, he will make Apple makes all their phones and computers in the United States. But how he will do this is anybody’s guess. It appears inevitable that Donald Trump will be the Republican standard bearer. So what if he won the general election for the Presidency, would he bring back jobs from China?  Or is it just another ploy to garner public opinion. The following is a fictional scenario, if Donald Trump became President.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

The Celebrity President: Season One, Episode One

The Setting: The Oval Office, the day after the inauguration.

Omarosa (“famous” reality TV star from The Apprentice) walks in, holds the double doors open and calls out: “Everybody, right this way.”

An army of  people carrying cameras, lights and microphones come in. A person (named Jerry) directs where to put all the equipment in their correct places.

Omarosa: “President Trump will be right with you.”

Trump enters, “Hello, Jerry, thanks for doing this, this will be the greatest reality show the world has ever seen. Set up your stuff wherever you need to. And make sure that each one of your staff gets one of my coffee mugs that says “Donald Trump 45th U.S. President.” It’s free to all the staff, but I am charging $20 to everybody else. Jerry,  I am sure you already know Omarosa”. They shake hands.

The cameras start rolling, Trump starts,”Okay, let’s bring them all in. All of you, for the Press Secretary position.”

Ten people of different ages, races, heights, weights and backgrounds all file in, including one familiar face.

Trump: “George Stephanopoulos, so good to see you.” They shake hands. Trump continues: “What brings you around here? You know you are totally over-qualified for this gig.”

Stephanopoulos (ABC News Anchor and previous Press Secretary to President Bill Clinton): “Well, it is in my wheel house being a previous Press Secretary, but, you, being the President, this is the biggest story of the decade and I wanted to be right there when something happens.”

Trump: “George, you know you can’t report this stuff on the news until we air it on Celebrity President, right? I mean, all of this should make a really great book, maybe even a TV series, movies, franchises… I’ll be set for life, baby. I’ll go easy on you at first, George, but, then you will be just like all of the other schlubs, I mean apprentices.”

Stephanopoulos: “Don’t give me any special treatment, just act like you don’t know me.”

Trump: “Okay”. He gives him a thumbs up sign.

Jerry, the director of Celebrity President, says to Trump, “Would you like to meet all the new candidates?”

Trump: “Not really, I mean, you can shoot those scenes when I am not around, I’ll eventually learn their names. Why don’t we get started?”

The lights go on, the cameras start rolling.

Trump: “Omarosa, you have been since last week, right? Thanks for starting early. As you know, I have been on vacation these last six weeks, because I know I won’t get another break for the next four years. Hoo, Boy! So, what do we have?”

Omarosa: “Well, we have a lot of things. First, did President Obama get a hold of you?  He said it was important, about giving you the run down on things? And something about codes. He left a 500 page binder of your desk.”

Trump, rolling his eyes, “No, he didn’t get a hold of me. And he should be addressed as Ex-President Obama or simply Obama. There’s only one President and that is me. What does he know? He’s a Muslim, born in Kenya, the worst President ever. What can I learn from him?” He tosses the 500 page binder into the round filing cabinet on the floor.

Stephanopoulos: “Well, when there was a disruption of military intelligence in the transition between Clinton and Bush, the 9/11 tragedy happened, which you blamed Bush for. History does repeat itself.”

Trump:”What do you mean?  We are not going be attacked by Saddam Hussein, he’s dead.”

Stephanopoulos: “Uh, Osama Bin Laden.”

Trump: “Dead, right?”

Stephanopolous: “Yes, dead.”

Trump: “See. You can’t be attacked by a dead man. George, I am giving you a warning. Anyway, back to business…Omarosa?”

Omarosa: “Next, a couple of countries have broken off diplomatic relations with us.”

Trump: “F*** them. They will be sorry.”

Omarosa: “We should set up a White House staff and the Cabinet, and maybe a Chief of Staff.”

Trump: “No other Chiefs, just me, we’ll delete that position permanently. Maybe, we should get a Secretary of Defense? Who was the last secretary of defense under the Republicans? Rumplemeyer? Rumsfeld?, Yes, Rumsfeld.”

Omarosa: “I’m connecting you to Secretary Rumsfeld…”

Apprentice #1: “He got us into Iraq.”

Omarosa points to the phone. Trump picks up phone (realizing what was just said): “Hello Rumsfeld, You’re fired!” He looks at the director. “How’s that for good TV?”

Trump: “How about Generals? I would like to get rid of any generals appointed by Obama. Are there any generals fired under Obama?  We’ll bring them back. Then we’ll attack ISIS, wherever that is.”

Apprentice #2 ” The biggest general names would be Petraeus, McKiernan and McChrystal. As for the others, there is usually good reason why they were fired – gambling, sexual misconduct, adultery, incompetence. I am not sure if the President can appoint Generals to the military, But, maybe you can fire them.”

Trump: “You know a lot about the military, play your cards right and you could be my new Secretary of Defense.”

Apprentice #2 “Yes, sir, Mr. President.”

Trump beams as he thinks about being called Mr. President. “Omarosa, get me Chancellor Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Abe of Japan on a conference call right now.”

Omarosa starts making calls and then gives Trump a ready sign. Trump picks up the phone. “Angie and Abe-baby! Thanks for taking my call. As you know I am the new Big Cheese and you know why I am calling. I am asking for you to pay your fair share. We have been providing you our military forces on the cheap. And I think you aren’t paying at the current 2017 rate. Angie, how much do you think you paid for our servicemen to be there?…..What do you mean it is complicated? I’ll tell you, not enough! As of now, I am raising your rates to both of your countries by 400%, and if you don’t say yes within 48 hours, you will have to pay 800% more. So, call me back within 48 hours. Bye. Okay! Now we are on a roll” Trump starts rubbing his hands together. “What’s next?”

Omarosa: “Why don’t we meet your new Vice-President?”

Trump: “That is a great idea. Send him in.”

Trump turns to the new apprentices and says: “My first choice for Vice president was my wife, Melania, however, she wasn’t eligible because she wasn’t born here and her parents weren’t US citizens – maybe I can change that law? So, I did the next best thing. Everybody meet my son, Donald, Jr.”

Apprentice #3 (says quietly to the others): “Of course, that would be his son’s name.”

Trump: “I like to think of him as Vice President/Prince and I am the King of America. I was thinking of a great new ad campaign: What’s good for Donald Trump is good for America. No, it would be great for The President Of The United States of TrumpAmerica, POTUSOTA! How does that sound? We are going to make America white again!”

Donald, Jr: “It’s great, not white, we are going to make America great again.”

Trump: “Oh that’s right, I am glad I didn’t say that before I got elected. My poll numbers would have plumetted.”

Apprentice #3 (looking at her cellphone): “Oh my God, Germany and Japan have just dropped diplomatic relations with us.”

Trump: “F*** both of them. F*** those f***ing foreign f***s.”

Apprentice #3: “President Trump, I thought you weren’t going to cuss.”

Trump: “That was a campaign promise, it means it is only good when I am campaigning. It is like Lent, it is only good for 40 days.”

Apprentice #3: “You mean like the other promises aren’t any good either like bringing back jobs from China?”

Trump: “That’s right sweetie. My millionaire friends are making millions in China, just like I am doing with my Trump clothing line. Maybe I can buy a little part of China, maybe like one of the industrial cities like Shengzhou, and call it an American territory. The labels will read “Made in Shengzhou, America.”

Apprentice #3: “How about Obamacare? Are you going to repeal it like you promised?”

Trump (looking flustered, with his arms outstretched and his palms pointing upwards): “Replace it with what? You have the old system, then you have the health insurance exchanges (which is Obamacare) and then you have the single payer option, which our party doesn’t want. Wait a minute, I just had a stroke of genius. First, I repeal Obamacare and then replace with the exact same plan but with lots of advertising and press and we will call it TrumpCare! People will eat it up!”

Apprentice #3: “That’s awful. I was one of your biggest supporters, others said not to vote for you, because they said that you’d promise anything like a used car salesman to get your vote and once you did, you were out of luck.”

Trump: “Well that’s politics and that’s business.”

Apprentice #3: “No, it’s not, that is just lying”.

Trump (irritated): “You are so naive. Grow up! And you’re fired!”

Apprentice #3 runs off. Trump walks over to the director and says “You can dub in her name, can’t you?”

Jerry: “Sure, no problem, her name was Annette.”

Trump (turns towards the sound guys and carefully announces): “Annette, Annette.”

Jerry does a few keystrokes and says to Trump: “How does this sound?” Jerry hits another keystroke and voila, you can hear the replay of Trump talking: “You are so naive (Annette)! Grow up. And you’re fired (Annette)!”

Trump (to Jerry): “You are a genius. I had another great idea. How about for tomorrow’s show, Episode 2, we round up ten real judges and we do an Apprentice for Supreme Court Judges? Maybe make some inquiries to see if Judge Judy is around? I love her show.”

Jerry: “That is a great idea, will do.”

Trump (to everybody): “Okay that is a wrap. That was a good 30 minutes of work, I am bushed, no pun intended. I am going home.”

Apprentice #2: “Don’t you live here in the Oval Office?”

Trump: “I never stay where I work, besides this place is a dump. I will see everybody back here at 10 o’clock sharp tomorrow.”

“We are sorry for the interruption, but Celebrity President has been cancelled.”

Trump: “Who said that? I said who said that?!!”

Trump wakes up and realizes he had just been dreaming. He then states aloud:”Damn, I would make a great Celebrity President.”

END

 

 

 

15
Dec
14

▶ Holiday Sweater – YouTube

▶ Holiday Sweater – YouTube. Here is a brand new video of The San Jose Sharks singing about those ugly Holiday sweaters.

I think this video is a perfect accompaniant to my blog entry of last year: “In Search for the Perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater.”

06
May
14

A Short Road Trip to Find Made in USA Products

Last month, I had to go to Arizona for a conference.  I made a decision (alright maybe my wife and I decided) that we would drive from Northern California to Arizona. And then from Arizona, maybe go to Las Vegas for a couple of days and then return home. However, these plans were nearly nipped in the bud when I discovered that Arizona was trying to pass a very crazy law, one that that legally discriminated against gays based on religious convictions. Luckily, the pragmatic Governor, knowing how bad businesses would suffer, vetoed this radical legislation. Therefore, I went, but with reservations (at the Hotel San Carlos).

Road Trip Picture from "Vacation"

Road Trip
Picture from “Vacation”

Looking for Made in USA items on a road trip is much like the premise of  Josh Miller’s movie “Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey“. I enjoyed that movie, but towards the end of the movie, Josh seemed to stop looking for things Made in the USA, and instead interviewed people who manufactured in the USA. So, on this road trip (since it was a one day road trip-going one way), I was looking mostly at gasoline stations with their little mini-marts, since time was slim. In examining the mini-marts, the mini-marts  have very little for sale in regards to automobile products, maybe a total of 12 cans of motor oil to select from (by the way most motor oils come from imported crude [but refined in the USA] except for Brad Penn from Pennsylvania crude). But these little mini-marts have several heaping aisles of chips, sodas and junk food that would give any supermarket a run for its money. I had noted that most of the food is still made in the USA, although sometimes you can’t tell because the product labeling says “distributed” by their company in the USA. I know Hersheys products are all made in Mexico (and not in Hershey Pennsylvania), but I can’t tell about where Frito-Lays are made. Regarding health and beauty aids, such as toothpaste, by law, they do not have to say where they are made, so you don’t know where they are made for certain (unless you write to the company). But clothing does have to be labelled. The clothing found in these gasoline mini-marts are usually t-shirts, maybe some hoodies, baseball caps, occasionally socks and flip-flops. The selection is poor. And the clothing made in USA is close to zero. So, my advice, if you are looking for clothing Made in the USA, avoid the gasoline-mini-marts. (Not that you had to be told that).

The Road Trip Starts

As one drives down Central California to Southern California via I-5, which is the most boring piece of freeway ever built, one can not but reflect that all of this land, as far as the eye can see, is just plain desert. Yet, there is plenty of vegetables, grapes, fruit trees, Almond trees, etc. It is amazing how one can irrigate a desert with water from hundreds of miles away. And it is an amazing piece of engineering that one can send water all the way from Yosemite mountains all the way to Los Angeles. (Doesn’t it have to go uphill somewhere? Maybe it happens because it is going down on the map?)  Another thing I find amazing is that in times of drought, it is the producers of the water (Northern California) that have to undergo drought restrictions while the southern part of the state can use as much as it wants. Simply amazing.

Desert Driving

Desert Driving

Road Trip Story

As we are driving through Southern California on Interstate 10, we had passed the city of Indio (the last city of the Palm Springs metropolis), and also the last sign of civilization until the border of California and Arizona. I felt I had plenty of gas, because my gas tank should get me 350 miles per tankful and I was at 200, having reset my travel odometer after filling up with gas (the pump stopped, and then I filled a second more and it clicked again, all set right?) As we had passed Indio a ways back, all of a sudden I noticed my fuel light was on. How is that possible? But the indicator did show I had very little gas, maybe one gallon maybe a little more. And the distance, well, it was about 5 miles before I saw a sign that said Blythe 32 miles. Doing the calculations, my SUV can get 20 MPH per gallon, and I have one gallon if I am lucky maybe a little more to travel 37 miles. So, panic mode has now set in, we get out the maps and the GPS, it says nothing is around (that is when we actually got a rare signal, at this time, Siri would have said (if I had an iPhone): “Services, You must be kidding me, right?”). We passed a few freeway exits which had no services, and when you have no gas, you inspect each exit intensely as you pass by, but, no, there were definitely no services. Therefore, to conserve gas, I slowed down to 55 MPH, trying to draft behind some semi-trucks when I could, all the while searching for any gas stations. This made for a very long, white knuckle trip. As we continued to travel, we noticed there was nary a hint of civilization, so, if we ran out of gas and pulled off the road, then what? We could call AAA, that is if and a very big if, we could get phone service. Another choice is to find a police officer. Great, none around. What happened to all of those guys in uniform radar gunning me every mile of the way out here? So, we continued to drive in silence (the radio was on very low, not sure if this saves much gas but why take the chance?) in our gasoline-free SUV. At that time, I noticed that there were call boxes along the side of the freeway. They were situated about one mile from each other. Maybe, if we run out of gas, we can only hope that it is not too far from one of them. And lucky for us, the weather that day was temperate, and unlike how it usually is in that hellacious desert which normally would be in the  high 90s or 100s. So, if we had to walk, the walk shouldn’t be life threatening (from the heat anyway). Somehow magically, we had enough gasoline to find a station that was open that happened to be located several miles outside of Blythe. We pulled in, filled up, then wiped the sweat from my brow and didn’t complain once even when the fuel pump said that I put in more gasoline than my fuel tank can hold. After a bathroom break and going through the tremendous smorgasbord of junk food, off we went, into the non-irrigated desert on the Arizona side.

No services

Arizona

When we arrived in Arizona, it was fairly late. The only shops open were the hotel gift shops. We found one gift shop that had several “Made in USA” shirts. One T-shirt I found was made by the Real Dirt shirt company.. At first, I thought it said Red Dirt Shirt. Red Dirt  Shirts are made in Hawaii, and they used to be “Made in USA”, but now they are only dyed in the USA. So, I was surprised when I found this one. And it wasn’t until I photographed the shirt did I realize it was a “Real Dirt” shirt and not Red Dirt. At least this one was “Made in the USA”.

Real Dirt Shirt Not to be confused with Red Dirt

Real Dirt Shirt
Not to be confused with Red Dirt

 

The next day of shopping, we went to the Premium Outlets in Chandler, AZ. Now it says “Premium”, but the only stores that make it premium were Off 5th Avenue, Coach and Armani. The rest are run of the mill outlets stores.  We had made a purchase at the Off 5th Avenue and carried the clothes in the Saks bag. In the next store, my wife bought a blouse and while at the register she said that she could just put that purchase into the Saks bag, because, in our Northern California city, we recycle our bags. This absolutely boggled the mind of the salesclerk. “You mean you recycle your bags?! You also recycle bottles and cans?” “And paper, plastic and tin cans” – I added. The astonished salesclerk continued: “I don’t see why you have to pay the government to recycle? Here let me put this in this made in China ultra-thin plastic bag that will never disintegrate. And let me add some unneeded tissue paper and a bunch of these styrofoam peanuts.”  The attitude of Arizona shoppers seems to be different than California shoppers. California is considered the home of the “green movement”, which is about protecting the environment, global responsibility, recycling and decreasing greenhouse gases. In California,  solar energy is big. There are numerous places with solar panels: covering school parking lots; and on the roofs of private homes and government buildings. In the Midwest, solar might not be practical but in Arizona it is sunny 360 days per year, however, I didn’t see a single solar panel there. Arizona would be considered a “Brown” state. Although, Arizona does advertise about saving water (it better, it is in the middle of a desert), it does not recycle, it doesn’t care about preserving the environment (unless it is The Grand Canyon) but it does advocate driving three- and four-wheelers all around the desert while putting bullet holes in Saguaro Cacti which are a hundred years old. As far as buying “Made in USA”, in Arizona, there is very little movement there. Different state, different attitude. Sorry, if I offended the Arizona citizens that buy Made in USA. My apologies to both of you.

Saguaro Cactus with bullet holes

Saguaro Cactus with bullet holes

 

Cracker Barrel

After our visit to the “Premium” outlets, we visited a Cracker Barrel restaurant, known for its country cooking. Cracker Barrels are located mainly in the Midwest, starting out in Tennessee but they have spread out to almost everywhere. I think the name Cracker Barrel is kind of funny, because “cracker” is a derogatory term for “white people” in some cultures, like haole is in Hawaii. “More fun than a barrel of crackers”. I mention Cracker Barrel, because two years ago, in one of their gift shops, I lamented about their shirts that had images of the US Constitution, The Declaration of Independence and the American Flag yet were made in China, Bangladesh and Haiti; a USA hat made in China; a USA sweatshirt made in Pakistan; USA pillow made in India; ’76 hat made in China; and “Army” and “Marines” hats made in China. Well, all of those are still there except – the “Army” hats, which are now made in the USA by Eagle Crest, and another hat made in the USA by Top of the World (I think that is the exception rather than the rule as far as Made in USA and Top of the World). There were several blouses made in the USA made by French Bazaar, Max & K, Studio Gen Q, SML sport and Bayside. There also were cups, coasters and a few other nicknacks made in the USA. So, there is some improvement.

Conclusion

The Made in USA movement is growing, but slowly and unevenly. We need faster growth. The question we have to ask ourselves, where are the new jobs going to come from if we do not support our own manufacturing? Service jobs do not beget more jobs whereas manufacturing jobs do. And many service jobs are much more easily outsourced than manufacturing jobs. Buy American, you will be buying better quality and you will supporting  your neighbor, your community, your state and your country.

I leave you with some travel music from the movie “Vacation”, the song “Holiday Road” by Lindsay Buckingham.

20
Dec
13

My Favorite Blogs

My Favorite Blogs

(To the music of ” My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music)

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Bright colored blouses and Vermont made mittens,

Writing about ‘Merican stuff, all in their logs,

These are a few of my favorite blogs

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Cream colored capris and crisply pressed shirts,

All American clothing and pencil twill skirts,

Talkin’ ’bout Simply American dot net,

These are a few of my favorite bets.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

A Continuous Lean

American Love Affair

When I’m feeling sad,

I simply remember my favorite blogs,

And then I don’t feel so bad.

– – – – – – – – – – –  – – – – – –  – – – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Searching the blogs for some goods for my wife,

Viewin’ The American Made Guide To Life,

Off the leash blog with its cartoons on dogs,

These are a few of my favorite blogs.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Mrs. American Made

Made in USA Challenge

When I’m feeling sad

I simply remember my favorite blogs

And then I don’t feel so bad.

Happy Holidays! (Don’t forget to check out other blogs and websites about Made in the USA products at this link: Best Made in USA Websites)

American Love Affair

American Love Affair

A Continuous Lean

A Continuous Lean

All American Clothing.com

All American Clothing.com

Simply American dot net

Simply American dot net

11
Dec
13

Chinese government: smog has at least five benefits – Yahoo News

Air pollution in China

Air pollution in China

Chinese government: smog has at least five benefits – Yahoo News.

The Chinese government has come out and tried the Karl Rove approach to a solution. Either take a weakness and make it a strength, or take a strength of an opponent and make it their weakness. So, China is trying to convince their citizens that their insufferable pollution problem which decreases life and quality of life is actually a plus.

Here are the benefits of smog:

  1. It unifies the Chinese people.
  2. It makes China more equal.
  3. It raises citizen awareness of the cost of China’s economic development.
  4. It makes people funnier.
  5. It makes people more knowledgeable (of thing like meteorology and haze).

What next, cigarette smoking toughens your lungs?  The Chinese government has put their public’s health in danger for short term gains in manufacturing and money. So, naturally, the government is defensive about their horrendous pollution problem. Story from Yahoo on Dec. 10, 2013.

05
Dec
13

In Search of the Perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater

Every good party should have a theme, correct? So, for the New Years Eve Party I was thinking, hmmm, how about a Great Gatsby Party? People dressed up to the nines in their roaring twenties attire – an era when the rich were super rich and the poor were super poor…. much like today. But I thought not, I mean Gatsby should be a summer outing with lots of people, which is not compatible with the small soiree that was originally planned.

So, a new idea was needed, and then, suddenly, in a flash of genius, my wife, not me, suggested an ugly Christmas sweater party. It is funny that the ugly Christmas sweater has morphed from the terrible faux pas of fashion to a trendy fashion hit, but with a tongue in cheek attitude, in certain segments in the USA. You remember those horrendous Christmas sweaters, back then, everybody was flooded with homemade holiday sweaters, which were lovingly made by your relatives – your grandmother, aunt, mother, or sister. They were either knitted or crocheted or for the less talented, your dear relative bought a plain white, bright red or pine green sweater and then placed appliques of reindeer, snowmen, or Santa Claus on them. My favorite was a Christmas tree with real bells sewn on them, that jingled as you walked.. That was back when,  a time when men were men and women would sew and cook. Today, men are service people and the women have gotten jobs and have their own credit card and have found that it is far easier to swipe a Mastercard than to cook or sew. I don’t mean that there is nobody  who stays at home and still cooks and sews like in the 1950s. I have heard that these may actually exist in the rural beltway – I know, because I have seen them on the TV show “Wife Swap”.

So, now that the Grandma-made homemade Christmas sweaters are much more rare to come by, it means one has to go out an obtain one, this translates to shopping. For me, it usually doesn’t take too much persuasion to go shopping, and then when you make it sort of a treasure hunt, then I am there. Now, in finding the perfect ugly Christmas sweater, this takes forethought and planning, you just don’t go here and there nilly willy, and hope to find these hidden gems (well, you could, but only if you have no time limitations).  So, by knowing that, traditionally, the worst of all sweaters are homemade, we decided to go to the The  Christmas Craft Faire at the San Jose Convention Center, where to qualify to set up a booth, everything had to be handmade. And there were several booths that made Christmas sweaters. Some were truly awful but none so ugly that they had to come home with us.

The next day we went shopping on Cyber Monday. Here is a tip for you shoppers for next year. Cyber Monday is a great time to go shopping because all of the hard-core shoppers are suffering from “Black Weekend Shopping Fatigue” after shopping Black Friday, Black Saturday, and Black Sunday, and if they were extra enthusiastic, they also shopped on Thanksgiving,  from now on known as Black Thursday. The Shoppers Fatigue consists of incredibly sore shopping muscles and an overwhelming mind numbness from the over-stimulation of sales, lines of people and 72 hours of non-stop “This Christmas”, “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Santa Baby” type music. So, Cyber Monday is pretty quiet and it is a great time to shop during this hectic time of year.

The first stop (and we hoped the last) was Target – cheap and tacky – maybe the right fit for an ugly Christmas sweater. There were some fine contenders like one that said “Meowy Christmas” – however, this was sold out, and “Happy Elfin Holiday”.

Meowy Christmas

Meowy Christmas

Happy Elfin Holiday

Happy Elfin Holiday

But this Target location had no sweaters for women, but many Christmas T-shirts. The Next stop – WalMart – going for more cheap and more tacky. WalMart had no sweaters but many Christmas T-shirts: one T-shirt had a picture of a Santa Suit on the front which says “Does this shirt make me look fat?” Alas, no  luck, on to the mall.

Inside the Oakridge Mall in San Jose, CA, it really didn’t look much like Christmas at all – just regular clothing and merchandise on display. I think, we  started our quest for Christmas clothing way too late. It is like shopping for bathing suits, you need to start in March and for Winter coats in August. In fact, some of the Christmas apparel was already on the clearance rack at Macy’s. While at Macy’s, we did find a nice ugly Christmas sweater for my wife with a very lame looking reindeer. As we brought up the sweater to the checkstand, the cashier said that there is a bar that gives away free libations for ugly Christmas sweaters, as she said this she suddenly stopped and looked up, hoping that she was not being insensitive about our special little Christmas purchase. But we let her off the hook and tried to find the name of the bar. She thought it was located in Los Gatos or in San Francisco. There is a Pub Crawl in San Francisco where you wear your ugly Christmas sweaters and go to 12 different pubs. The event is called CrawlSF Holiday Pub Crawl. Some other major cities have these as well.

Found at Sears

Found at Sears

Humping reindeer (Sears)

Humping reindeer (Sears)

Ugly sweater (Sears)

Ugly sweater (Sears)

Ugly reindeer (sears)

Ugly reindeer (sears)

Another winner from Sears

Another winner from Sears

From Sears

From Target

Illuminated sweater from myuglychristmassweater.com

Illuminated sweater from myuglychristmassweater.com

The search continued for a man’s ugly Christmas sweater. Next on the list was Sears. Now, this seemed to be a match made in heaven. In fact, in the Sears catalog was a great number of perfectly dreadful Christmas sweaters. However, they were not in this store ( I have posted some pictures of the sweaters from the Sears catalog). Next was Kohls. There were no Christmas sweaters, but some Christmas T-shirts, exactly like at WalMart, strike three. So, after all this, I went back to Target and got this so-so sweater. Our final choices are pictured below. Sorry, none of these hideous creations were made in the USA, except at the Craft Faire. The best choices are at Sears, but myuglychristmassweater.com is pretty good as well. Have yourself a very Happy Elfin Holiday and don’t drink too much Egg nog.

Green sweater from Target; Macys sweater on right

Green sweater from Target; Macys sweater on right




December 2017
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Categories


%d bloggers like this: