Archive for July 2011
What’s a Zaxby’s you might ask? Chances are if you are in the Southeast you probably know what it is. For the rest of the United Sates who do not know, it is a chain of over 500 fast casual restaurants serving chicken with various dipping sauces. See the link’s below to acquaint yourself.
Today’s blog is not really about Zaxby’s but the experience you feel when you are transported back in time to your youth when experiencing a taste, smell or auditory recollection. My wife and I have become fans of Zaxby’s for a reason besides their tasty food. That reason is the Fanta cherry soda pop they serve in their soda fountains at their restaurants. (At least at the one we frequent.) Without the Fanta cherry we would still enjoy Zaxby’s on a regular basis but the Fanta cherry has us hooked to the point that we try to go once a week if we can make it.
My father owned gasoline service stations when I was growing up and he had a pop machine that carried Fanta products and I loved it then and I love it now. I haven’t had a Fanta cherry soda pop in a very long time and now I can get one whenever I want. For all I know, Fanta cherry is readily available at grocery stores but I never really noticed. There is also something really special about getting soda pop from a fountain. The bottle or can versions are never quite as good.
Isn’t it funny how things that we recall from our past trigger so many vivid memories? I wrote a blog on a similar topic last May, see the link below for another trip down memory lane.
Have a great week, I think I am going to try and get a Luigi’s Pizza and wash it down with a Fanta cherry soda pop.
Since I last wrote about Jimmy Sad Eyes I have a few more stories, observations and incidents to share with you.
Over the past month or so he has developed a habit of barking randomly at nothing or will continue to bark long after he forgot what he was barking at in the first place. When he does this extended barking they are short, somewhat muted barks. More like “b” than bark. He seems to get aggravated at himself for this half bark but he can’t stop once he gets going until he is distracted by a piece of lint or string.
He has appeared to have caught on to the trick of locking him in the laundry room before we go out. He now simply plays along while shooting us the skunk eye. We may want to figure out something else because the last time we came home after locking him up, I found the makings of a rudimentary pipe bomb behind the dryer. I also curiously discovered a charge on my credit card from Amazon.com for a book entitled Pipe bomb making for disgruntled pets.
He appears to have developed an aristocratic snobby streak also. He will never eat his dog food while we are eating our meal. He waits until we are done and have washed the dishes until he is satisfied we won’t slip him something from our plate. He has developed an affinity for delicately roasted Lemon-Herb Chicken with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or a splash of white Bordeaux. He has been reading my old copies of the Wine Spectator that I found curled up under his bed. Other examples of his snobbery are:
On Tuesday’s when he is bored he dresses up in an ascot and smoking jacket and refuses to respond to our commands until we address him as Sir Roscoe, Royal hound of Acworth.
When he sees me put ketchup on my scrambled eggs, he gets up from the kitchen and I distinctly hear him mutter “Neanderthal” under his breath as he walks away.
I will keep you posted on the activities of this very special dog from time to time. Have a great week.
Today’s topic could be a category on the $20,000 pyramid. “Things you hear or situations that make you cringe”
- “This won’t hurt a bit…”
- “Hello, this is agent Jones from the IRS calling; I have a few questions for you.”
- From your 8-year-old son; “remember that nice crystal egg on the mantle…”
- “It went a little over the estimate.”
- “We might have to re-break that ankle if it doesn’t heal right.”
- “Root canal”
- You can’t find the back-up files and the server crashed.
- “Honey, the police officer wants you to pull over.”
- Squeaky chalk on a chalk board
- “All representatives are assisting other customers please stay on the line and your call will be taken in the order in which it was received.”
- “We’re all out of that would you care for …”
- You’re on an airplane and the fish was bad… and you ordered fish
- The doctor can see you on Monday… and it’s Tuesday.
- It’s a dog eat dog world…and you are wearing milk bone underwear.
Click on the link below for some funny video clips featuring the Norm Peterson character from the 80′s TV show Cheers
Have a great week free from things that make you cringe.
On this day in 1776 we declared our independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. That was the easy part – we then had to fight for our freedom during the Revolutionary War which ended by a Treaty on September 3, 1783. Today’s blog is not a history lesson but a call to action of a different sort. We need to declare our independence from foreign oil.
Since the Oil embargo in 1973 we realized our dependence on foreign oil was a threat to our national security and to our economy. That Oil embargo was 38 years ago. Let that sink in for a moment – 38 years and no substantial changes have occurred to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We need to do more to make the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) irrelevant in our lives.
Let me enlighten you about the price we have been paying for gasoline since the end of World War II. The price has been generally decreasing when adjusting for inflation except for a 10 year period from 1973 to the early 1980’s when the embargo and upheaval in Iran kept prices above the inflation adjusted price of 2.50 per gallon. Beginning in about 1984, the price plummeted from $2.50/gallon to below $2.00/gallon and hitting rock bottom just below $1.50 per gallon by the late 1990’s. In the 1980’s until the late 1990’s gas was in fact cheap and the size of cars began to grow in size due to the affordability and availability of gasoline. Beginning in the late 90’s until today the trend in gasoline prices has been generally steeply upward back to the $2.50/gallon level (or higher). Please refer to the link below to see a good graphical representation of what I speak.
In my opinion, the supply shock of high gasoline prices lead to the dismal economic times from 1973 to 1984 and the boom times of the late 80’s to the late 90’s and again contributed to the economic slowdown since 2000. When will we learn? It is estimated that we drive about 3 trillion miles per year in the United States. If the vehicles we drive average 25 miles per gallon that means we use 120 billion gallons of fuel per year. A 50 cent increase in a gallon of gasoline takes 60 billion dollars out of the economy which is not insignificant.
What are we to do? I believe we need to continue with all efforts that we have made so far and look for other options. Let’s build smaller, fuel-efficient cars, invest in domestic oil resources which are plentiful and create good jobs in the Unites States. Let’s encourage innovation in electric cars – they are not for every person but are ideal for city commuters who don’t need to travel long distances. The upward trend in gasoline prices is going to continue as the United States demand for gasoline and in the developed world in general has been flat since 2004. In the emerging economies of Brazil, India and China to name a few it is increasing dramatically causing continued upward pressure on gasoline and other commodity prices. An example of that is GM selling more cars last year in China than they did in the United Sates!
In closing, we can see the facts and have known for decades that we have a problem. Let’s declare our independence on foreign oil now. Remember, declaring Independence and winning the war are two different things. Let’s have the same resolve as our forefathers did 235 years ago and make our independence a reality.
Have a great 4th of July and a great week. If we put our collective minds together we can win our freedom – freedom from the grip that foreign oil has on us.