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Weekly Wrap up on a Monday?!?!?

June 21, 2010

Yes, I am stretching the concept of wrap up to the point of absurdity, but these are some ideas that have been kicking around in my head (and as photos in my iPhone) for ages and really don’t have a place anywhere else.  I need a new name for this miscellany… any ideas?  Leave your suggestions in my comments.


*Artist conception...

First and foremost I am considering my first mascot.  Maybe I can work a deal with the kind people at Giant Microbes. I have been looking for a reason to buy one of these guys for ages.  I think they would make an excellent get well soon gift but  I haven’t had the luck to know anyone with Flesh Eating Disease, Mad Cow Disease, or Gonorrhea (at least not that I am aware of…).  So, when I saw they had a fat cell when I was at Science World with the kids recently, I thought maybe I could get a sponsor…  I will draft a letter right away asking if they could sew me one of these guys/girls wearing a ‘You Are Not A Fit Person’ t-shirt….   Maybe I should choose a different outfit for this guy, as he doesn’t appear to have arms.

The Things I learn from 7-11

If it wasn’t for our local 7-11 I would hate to think how little I would know about our pop-culture.  It really is the Mecca of vacuous celebrities, bizarre food creations, and cross branding opportunites.  I am just glad that we have finally found a sponsor for my apples.  I always buy a couple of apples a day at 7-11.  They are kept cool, after a few complaints they now stock the crispest, freshest fruit in town, and they fill me up when I am eating other foods.  This method of ‘undensifiying your meal’ is key to getting and staying fit.  Sure, I can eat a 6″  sub at subway, and load it with vegetables, but there is no way that is going to fill me up.  I need something more.  An apple will do the trick, that or a good bowl of soup.  Now my apples have sponsors though.  I think the pizza’s at 7-11 are sponsored by MafiaWars…  Maybe the slurpees are sponsored by YoVille.  In any case, Zynga has been busy and now it is not only in my Facebook feed that I get to learn about Farmville.  It does make me wonder though… how long until all information, all knowledge and all products are sponsored.  If you imagine a competitive market, one in which you need some extra reason to run a story, or stock a product, and there is an advertising tie-in, that is the product or story you are going to see.  I was just talking to my brother about this the other day.  Do you remember when there wasn’t any product tie ins in movies?  I was watching Iron Man again last night and of course the guy needs a good cheeseburger after being held captive, so we have to see him eating Burger King… I am surprised they didn’t make him wear the crown.  This tie in was of course connected to toys for kids meals at burger king (I remember this because I am still finding pieces of an iron man puzzle that my kids got way back then with their kids meal).  It does make me wonder though, how much is my mind share worth, because, like it or not, they are definitely getting a good chunk of mine.

I still Hate Pop Culture Magazines

The magazines aren’t changing, not one bit and I am bored about reporting on them.  I think I saw Sawyer on the cover of this magazine a bunch of years ago.  Probably not wearing a shirt back then, but now he is 6 years older and well, what the editors of Men’s Health aren’t telling you (among so many other things), is that not only is it nearly impossible to have six pack abs when you are in your early twenties… by your 30’s you will have to be very determined to have them.  Years of easy women, great food, late nights and living by your wits will deteriorate your chances of keeping a body tight enough to go shirtless on Men’s Health.  I hope that is the correct description for Sawyer’s life off the island.  That is how I imagine he lives… I am probably wrong though, he is probably the vegan spokesperson for some awesome charity… damn you Hollywood for distorting reality!!   On a more serious note, I just love the 7-day power plan to losing my gut…  Hell, 7 days… I don’t know if I am that committed Mr. Zinczenko…  7 days, a week, that is a little more than I am willing to give for a flat stomach.  Can you make it easier for next month.  I will make you a deal, you get your ‘powerplan’ down to a long weekend, hell, even a Thanksgiving 4 day weekend and I will buy that issue!  Hard Abs Made Easy!  That says it all.  I am so glad that you can make it easy.  I  look around me and I see so few hard abs though.  I guess people just don’t want them anymore.  I think you need to redo your focus testing.  After all, you have made them easy and still almost no one has them.  I guess no one likes them any more…

I wish I was writing about the sex angle rather than the fitness angle though.  I would love to see how you offer more and easier sex each month.  I have no idea what inane things you are offering, but I imagine it is things like, ‘Shower every day’, and ‘Pay attention to your shoes, because she is’.  Oh, if only life were as easy as one of your magazines (I am not sure if I mean, I wish life was as easy as the amount of effort you put into making one of your magazines, or I wish life was as easy as you make out in your magazines)…

Now back to reality…

How Much is Your Health Worth… To Them…

I always find myself disturbed to find a price attached with my health.  That is to say, I am always shocked to find that someone is willing to sell out my health for a few cents.  It really is shocking, and I am sure they don’t see it that way, but I do.  In fact, once you see it that way, you really can’t see it any other way.  I was at Dairy Queen the other night, grabbing a Blizzard and inquiring on when they were getting their small blizzards and I noticed this on the till:

I do understand the up-sell.  I used to work in the hospitality industry, but still think about this for a minute.  There is a cost for these extra fries and pop.  Typical food costs are around 10% but I would guess in fast food they are much higher, maybe 25%.  Add to that the fact that this is a good deal.  They aren’t offering you the regular upcharge from medium to large, but instead a great deal to make this jump.  So, let’s say the food cost is around 50%.  That means they are willing to make us morbidly obese and eat and drink an obscene number of calories for $0.40…  Yep, my health is worth exactly $0.40 to Dairy Queen.  Thanks guys.  I imagine that 7-11 has that pegged closer to around $0.05.   I am surprised they aren’t paying me to take that second hot dog at this point, the way they push it for a few cents more.  Here they are willing to give your health away, courtesy of  Freakonomics.

As for when they are getting the mini-blizzards, it is apparently in July where I live.  I am actually quite excited about this because blizzards are huge.  Even the small is huge, around 500 calories.  As much as a meal for a man, more than one meal for a woman.  That is just too big for a desert.  The thing is, I could eat one of these without blinking.  I do in fact.  I could eat a medium or a large without blinking as well.  Because they have a small, that is what I eat.  The sizing is strangely arbitrary, as sizes always are, but now, as part of the summer of the blizzard, they are bringing in mini sizes (7 oz. versus 12 oz).  I could eat this and be just as happy, and that makes me very happy.   I don’t think they will stick around though, as this is only a trial and there are a huge number of logistic problems with this new 7 oz. size.  The store owner shared these problems with me in a sort of rant when I asked about the mini-blizzard.  Apparently all of the other cup sizes have the same mouth diameter, thus meaning they can be stored in the same tubes and stacks.  This one doesn’t.  No caps and lids will fit this cup and apparently, there isn’t much storage space behind the counter at a Dairy Queen.  I hope it does stay though.  Language is funny though, mini?!?!?… 7 oz… probably about 280 calories… Hmmm… I wonder why we are fat.

Which brings us to the loss of a great website has been removed by the owner…  I know it seems strange that I love a site that is clearly making fun of the fat people in this world, but I never saw it that way.  We have so much congressional hand wringing and sub-committee creation over our ‘epidemic’ of obesity.  We have people out there saying, ‘it is video games’, ‘it is school meals’, ‘we need more information…’, ‘we need to revise our food guidelines’, and all of these things are true and right, but they are all trotted out to shift the blame.  This is Why You’re Fat was brilliant.  It took aim and squarely hit us exactly where the blame belongs.  On us.  On all of us, and undeniably, on our processed food industry.  We are to blame because we aren’t diligent in watching the healthfulness of the foods we are eating.  They are to blame because they don’t care how bad the food is that we eat, or what lies they need to tell to get us to eat it, they just want to sell us more and more.

When you shine a light on what we eat, what is available, the question isn’t why are some of us fat, but why aren’t all of us fat!  I thought the pop-tart ice cream sandwiches were some creation of the website or a reader by the way.  I was floored to discover that Pop-Tarts created these abominations along with many others…

Which brings us to: Why are we fat?  Kellogg’s.

If you check out the pop tart website, you can see that it is targeted at every possible group it can be, with every attempt to win over kids, students, moms, you name it.  They have colouring pages, recipe suggestions (including the ice cream sandwiches, because hey, pop tart sales are down in summer), and comedy videos with pop tarts as the stars (no comment), not to mention a reward program for frequent eaters.

I love the disclaimer at the bottom of the recommended kids page by the way:

KIDS: This page may contain a product or promotion advertisement. Remember, you should get a parent’s permission before you try to buy anything online or give information about yourself.

Sure… it may contain a promotion….

The Tomato Has Caught Up…

As you can see, the burgers have not been thrown out.  It has been a strangely cool late spring here in Vancouver, so I think the speed of rot has been slowed dramatically.  In any case, the tomato has turned into a mushy pile of liquid and microbes.  I wonder if Giant Microbe sells the type of microbe that is eating the tomato…  It is strange because the mold on the burgers and the burgers themselves are dry and dusty but there is a huge pile of liquid around the tomato and the humidity level in the greenhouse is high.  Still the burgers look like they would blow away in little particles if there was enough of a wind.  They are disgusting, but mostly just moldy.  Nothing else has taken over.  I am afraid to take the top off the greenhouse though because I don’t want any neighborhood animals getting into this food(?) and getting sick, so there is little or no opportunity for new microbes to get in.  I would be shocked if it was still there in a week though to find out as the family is on to its current location.  This is one experiment that I am now afraid to dispose of.

A Couple of New Features

I have been thinking of adding a couple of new (weekly) features to the blog.  I have meant to recommend a recipe a week, but I am not sure if I can publish other peoples recipes with a recommendation of their books or websites, or if that diminishes their product (which is the last thing I would like to do), so I haven’t really pursued that.  Does anyone know what the rules are regarding publishing other people’s recipes and crediting the source?  As well, I would like to give people a tip a week.  Those have been plans for awhile, but for right now I was thinking of adding:

Your Friend/Your Enemy

Certain things are going to help you get fit, other things are going to hurt you.  Sometimes it is pretty obvious who your friends and enemies are, but other times it can be a little difficult to determine.  I will be pointing out some of these people and products and what I think of them over the next little while.

What do you think?  Anything left to say on this Monday?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Bonnie permalink
    August 5, 2010 10:59 am

    About childhood obesity, have you done any research on what kids do in physical education in school these days? When I was a kid, we stretched and ran for the entire class. We had one obese girl and two obese boys in our class, even through my senior year (I graduated in 2000). Now, I lived in a very rural area and tiny school. We didn’t even have a football team. (We had a heck of a soccer team, though). Almost everyone was involved in some activity outside of school, as well.

    Anyway, when I ask the kids in my Taekwondo class what they do in gym class now, they say that they sit and talk about nutrition. That’s fine, except it’s really called “physical education.” There is another course called “nutrition,” but kids aren’t required to take it. It’s an elective.

    Perhaps if we made Nutrition class a requirement, and made Physical Education more physically active, and spent adequate time educating parents as well as kids, do you think we may get somewhere with the obesity issue?


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