Diddakoi Walt Whitman
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Updated: 04/13/02



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What's on the nightstand

White Oleander
by Janet Fitch
(notice how this hasn't changed in a while? hmmmm....)

put the clothes in the dryer

balcony weather


Saturday, 13 April, 2002

Like magic, today's weather is nice. I guess if I had to pick, I'd rather have the weather charletans mess up on a workday instead of the weekend, so I'll thank them for their flip-flopped forecasts. It's cloudy and it's still supposed to rain later, but it is warm - low 70s - and lovely to walk around in.

And so I did. I got my paper and walked over to the Snow White Diner for breakfast and . . . they're closed for renovations. Oh no. I saw that they were closed earlier in the week, but I thought they were due to reopen this weekend. I wonder what they're doing. Replacing the fake wood paneling? New formica counters? I dunno - I just hope it doesn't change the feel of the place.

I walked down to Indepedence Hall - sightseers queued up for a block to get in at 8:00 in the morning. I found a little coffee shop/restaurant and had breakfast there. Bacon and cheese omelette, coffee, water - it was about 75 cents less than Snow White, but then again, I didn't have the floor show for entertainment.

Went to the warehouse today. Barry had said he was going to be there, but when I got there at noon he wasn't. Both Jay and Bryan were there working on prepping the rowhouse and warehouse for stucco, and they said he hadn't been there at all today. I looked in the house, and to be honest, it looked like the only thing he'd gotten accomplished since Thursday morning was one half of the frame for the treads and risers for the roof deck stairway cut. If I don't get someone else in there, we're all going to be nailing and painting between courses at Thanksgiving!

Spent the afternoon with the Alien, packing my dive bag and working on the computer. I posted the few pictures I took in Curacao - they're in the Trip Report section.

Strawbridge's (department store) is having their monthly "Clover Days" sale - lots of discounts and 15% off coupons in the paper - so I bought a couple of things. A pair of shorts, a couple of tops, a good "travel dress", two swimsuits.

The only things not on sale were the swimsuits - and anyone who has shopped recently for women's swim apparel knows that they can be pretty pricey - upwards of $60 for brand names. So on the way home, I went into Ross, a discount store across the street from Strawbridge. They had huge racks of swimsuits ranging from $10 - $25. I picked out a half dozen to try on and after doing so, I realized what the $60+ price really gets one - a swimsuit that FITS and LOOKS GOOD. There is a reason that there are huge racks of swimsuits at Ross - they've already spent time in "real" stores and are now here because the other people that tried them on had the same reaction I did: "Eeeeewwwww."

[Kind of the same reaction that Alien has to that wet cat food.]

Speaking of which, I now think that her reaction was spot on. I took a closer look at the package and I believe that the kitty on the front of the pouch is having some sort of psychotic episode. No, seriously, take a look:

Whiskas New Psychokitty Recipe


Now they may be trying to suggest that the cat is weirded out as a result of having existed on horrible dry food and this will be cured by the healing powers of Ocean Whitefish and Tuna Dinner in Sauce, but I'm not really buying into it.

So, we're sticking with tuna and sour cream. Why fight a winner?

In other diet news . . . no, not mine, stop that. A woman in New York is suing a snack food company for mislabeling their corn and rice puff snacks.

Pirate's Booty, manufactured by Robert's American Gourmet Food, Inc., was recalled in January after the Good Housekeeping Institute found it contained 147 calories and 8.5 grams of fat, while its label said it contained only 120 calories and 2.5 grams of fat.

The company claimed the discrepancy was a result of new machinery that changed the nutritional information on three of its snacks Pirate's Booty, Veggie Booty and Fruity Booty.

A message left at the company's headquarters was not immediately returned, but a statement on its Web site said, "These changes have made Pirate's Booty a more consistent and better snack."

OK, these guys screwed up, and they should probably receive some form of punishment from the FDA. And maybe they should make some reparation to customers, perhaps in the way of free packages of their newly relabeled snacks. But, perhaps I am being too soft on them:

In her lawsuit, Meredith Berkman, 37, claims she suffered "emotional distress" because the snack contained three times more fat than its label advertised. Berkman said it caused her "weight gain ... mental anguish, outrage and indignation."

She's suing for $50 million.

[Cough, cough, cough. Sorry, I was just choking on my Fruity Bootys.]

Excuse me?? Fifty million dollars?? Oh, right, THAT'S a reasonable amount. Another lawsuit designed to scam some money from a company - a couple of grand just to go away and not have to spend the bucks defending a RIDICULOUS claim. If they went to court and fought it, she'd lose, but since we do not require that people have a legitimate reason to file suits, nor do we have the losers pay the court costs, we provide an incentive for this type of stunt. It sets up a culture of "Victim Mentality" and rewards those who use the courts to take advantage of the mistakes and misfortunes of others.

[OK, I'll climb off that soapbox for now.]

You know, I'm sensing a theme here:

"Diddakoi - Cows and Ridiculous Lawsuits."

And Oprah. Well, maybe not always Oprah, but here's an intriguing book story I found on Yahoo. From my own state in fact:

HAZLETON, Pa. - A woman was thrown in prison this week after she failed to return three overdue library books.

On Tuesday, a judge sent Theresa Dawn Keller of Tamaqua to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, where she will remain until she pays the Hazleton Public Library $120 for the books, jail officials said.

"She does still owe us money; it is a violation of the crimes code," said reference librarian Jane Dougherty, who filed a private criminal complaint against Keller.

The books "Star Trek," "Triangle" and "Fall of Freddie the Leaf" were checked out Sept. 14, 2000, and became due Oct. 5, 2000. A bill charging Keller $40 per book was sent Oct. 26, 2000.

Dougherty said charges are filed against patrons who don't pay a bill or return books after the library sends them a notice. But only those who ignore a court summons to answer the charges are sent to jail.

Ummmm . . . question? How much does it cost to keep this woman in jail? Could we not have her do some community work instead of paying for her room and board in the county slammer?

[MY state tax dollars at work. *sheesh*]

~ ~ ~

Quote du jour:

"Let the punishment be proportionate to the offense."

--Marcus Tullius Cicero (106BC - 3BC)
Roman statesman, scholar, orator

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