Friday, December 10, 2004

Snow

It is snowing like crazy in mountains of Colorado and each Friday I receive fantastic promotional emails from the resorts. Unfortunately, it is a day's drive to reach the slopes so I won't be skiing this weekend. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Food Porn

A national nutrition advocate has described the Monster Thickburger at Hardee's as Food Porn. It also has been called outrageous obscene as reported by Jim Suhr in an article written for The Associated Press and published in the December 7th Topeka Capital-Journal.

What exactly is in this Monster burger? Suhr reports the super-supersized burger contains two 1/3 pound slabs of all-Angus beef, four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese and Mayonnaise on a buttered sesame seed bun. This giant widow maker contains 1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat. Jay Leno quipped on "The Tonight Show" that the burger comes in a little cardboard box shaped like a coffin.

According to Suhr, Hardee's isn't the only fast food chain to offer these calorie tanks. The Web sites of the larger fast-food chains report the Double Quarter Pounder with cheese at McDonald's has 730 calories and 40 grams of fat. The Burger King Double Whopper with cheese, 1,060 calories and 69 grams of fat, and the Wendy's Classic Triple with cheese 940 and 56.

A statement in the article suggested Hardee's approach was questioned at a time when airlines say America's growing waistlines are hurting their bottom lines, costing them more in fuel. Chase Squires, a St. Petersburg (Fla) Times reporter suggested holiday air travelers go lighter on the airlines and "have a stick of butter instead. That has only 800 calories and 88 grams of fat. We could always wrap it in bacon."

I try to eat healthy and watch my fat and calorie intake, but I am ready to try this big guy. However, I think Dan and I should split the meal and of course we will order a diet coke.


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Short & Sweet

It always amazes me when I struggle with a solution to a problem, often wasting precious time, and the answer ends up being simple and right in front of me. We always tell new trainees on a mail route that if they can't find an address on the case to look right in front of them.

This proved to be true today. I have tried to learn the art of linking words to web sites for several weeks. Finally, just in passing, I mentioned it in an email and in two sentences the problem was solved and it was right in front of me. Thank you again, Shannon!

Maybe we don't need to be highly intelligent if we learn to ask the right questions.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Today was a good day!

It seems some days are better than others. Today was “very better.”

To start the day, I woke up rested with seven hours down. That is unusual for me because I have a problem with staying up too late. I arrived at work to find everyone in a good mood because we had a little reprieve in the usual Christmas mail. Then, when I went out to load my truck to leave on the route, the sun was shining for the first time in at least four days. That meant less mud and warm bones.

I was no sooner in the house after work when Doug called. It was good to hear his voice and how hear how his family was doing. Then, the best news of the day came in a call from Kim. They sold their house in Garden City. What a wonderful Christmas present for them. We never expected they would be able to sell it so near the Holidays. I am feeling very happy for them.

Yes, this is a good day.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Nothing the Matter with Kansas

Shannon, one of my favorite Bloggers, sent me an article entitled “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” with a subtitle of “Nothing, it turns out” by Steven Malanga.

“What’s the Matter With Kansas” is a book written by Thomas Frank, a Shawnee native, but not a resident for some time. Mr. Frank’s book did get some attention in the state because it painted a grim picture of the economic conditions in our state and its towns. I have not read the book so I will not comment on its content.

What do most people know about this state? Well, there is the “Wizard of Oz,” KU basketball, it is geologically flat and, oh yes, and there is that band. The fact of the matter Kansas is a well kept secret here in the lower 48. The economy is robust, the air is clean, and there are fewer people. Yet, we have two major universities; we are close to a NFL team as well as baseball. We have the beautiful flint hills, fertile crop land and cities that offer excellent shopping and restaurants.

Both Dan and I were raised on farms and my brother continues to be successful there. Dan is self employed in new home construction and he has been busy. Of course, there have been down years, but perhaps we weathered them better here because that is the way of Midwesterners—do what needs to be done, no matter if it means working harder to make ends meet. It has been good here in the middle of the country and we do not think there is anything “the Matter” with us.

Oh, and one final thought, Kansas was quoted as being the “Jayhawk State.” We are not the Jayhawk state, the Kansas University mascot is the Jayhawk. And, by the way, Douglas County, home of Lawrence and Kansas University, was one of the few, if not only, counties that voted blue.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The Party is Over

The PO party was a success. I was ready but it was a race. Last night I was too tired to do much more than run the dishwasher. I was up at 6:00 am and gave myself just 15 minutes with the coffee. As they say in the military, it was assholes and elbows all morning. It amazes me how Dan and I can kick it in if we have to. Had I not had guests coming I would have only gone as far as cleaning the toilet & then it would have been the Sunday paper the rest of the morning.

Everyone knows each other so the party flowed along well. As I said, I work with a wonderful group of people. I am afraid the spouses feel like we are a bit of a clique though. That reminds me of a PO story from my past. I started working as a substitute rural carrier in 1979 in one of the larger stations in Topeka. At that time, I was only one of three females working in the station. Back then we didn’t have weekly talks about sexual harassment so I pretty much just ignored the stuff that went on. If it got out of hand, I made some comment like “hey, that’s enough.” Actually, for the most part they were all good guys, but just not used to having a female in their midst.

Each year the station had a big Christmas party. I was anxious to fit in so Dan and I took our two little ones and attended. What a difference! All these loud, boisterous men were there with their wives and children and you would have thought we were at a church social. They almost avoided me. I don’t know if they thought I was going to talk about work or what. I have a rural carrier friend whose husband was a city carrier during that time and we still laugh at those how those men changed their tune around their wives.

As a result of those early experiences, I have always made it a policy to never say anything in front of the people I work with that I wouldn’t say to Dan. It’s been a good policy and everyone I work with follows the same rule. I think that is why we all get along so well.