Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Two in a row... Cops Find Man's Stolen Mustang 37 Years Later

Two interesting stories in a row! Have to share this one...

Can you imagine having a stolen car turn up after 37 years? I saw the photo of the car and it looks like it's in great condition. The article made it sound like the guy might not want to reclaim the car. Geez, a 1965 Mustang? good condition? I guess for me it would boil down to how the current owner felt about the car. If it had been sold a few times and the current owner needed it (rather than wanted to add it to a stable of autos), then I might be inclined to let them keep it. Don't know.

Reminds me of my stolen wallet. I worked in a mall many years back, had my wallet stolen three times. Yep, three times. I was cautious, too. One time it was taken from the back room which was locked, my purse was hidden in a box. The other person working had hers stolen, too (or I might have considered employee theft). The first time it was stupidity, was an innocent who didn't think about those kind of things. The last time I had a purse I bought because it had a large buckle strap, almost impossible to open, no way to slip a hand into the purse. Somehow someone did. I tried it myself, never could figure out how they managed to get the wallet out of the closed purse while I had it on my shoulder.

Two years later I received a call from mall security. They found my wallet in the bushes outside the main doors. My checks were in there, all my cards, photos and other stuff. No cash, but hey, I was living on a shoestring so at most they managed to get $10 from me. It was just strange to know I had been walking right by it every day for over a year.

My little story doesn't compare with having a car turn up close to 40 years after it disappeared.

Cops Find Man's Stolen Mustang 37 Years Later
After 37 years a Los Angeles man may finally get his stolen Mustang back.
Eugene Brakke was recently told by the San Diego Police Department auto theft unit that his 1965 Mustang was found in their city, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,340069,00.html

Starbucks Ordered to Pay More Than $100 Million in Back Tips

I found the story below rather thought provoking. Starbucks shift supervisors get a portion of the tips collected by the wait staff. One of their employees in California (where else) filed suit against the chain and won. The employee contended that the tips belonged to the person working for them and that Starbucks should pay Supervisors more.

On one hand, the employee knew the score when she took the job. If she didn't like it, she could have gone somewhere else. On the other hand, it's a tough thing to work your tush off for tips and have to give a portion away.

What about those stores, like Subway, Moe's and other similar fast food places, where there's a tip container at the cash register? All the tips are split between those behind the counter. I'd "assume" that the shift supervisor was back there working, too.

I guess I'd have to know a bit more info to really decide which way I would rule if I were in the judges place. Do the shift supervisors pitch in and carry stuff to the tables when it's busy to help the wait staff? In most places they'll grab a coffee pot and walk around refilling... But at Starbucks everyone is pretty much behind the counter, right?

Bad timing on this one for Starbucks. They're going through a bad patch at the moment and I understand they have the original owner back on the team helping to recapture the original mystique. They closed for an afternoon (or full day?) recently to retrain the staff across the country.

Read the story:

Starbucks Ordered to Pay More Than $100 Million in Back Tips
SAN DIEGO — A Superior Court judge on Thursday ordered Starbucks Corp. to pay its California baristas more than $100 million in back tips and interest that the coffee chain paid to shift supervisors.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett also issued an injunction that prevents Starbucks' shift supervisors from sharing in future tips, saying state law prohibits managers and supervisors from sharing in employee gratuities.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,340149,00.html

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Contrasts

So... I spent nearly four hours on the road today traveling to and from my parents to celebrate Easter with the family. We've started doing it on Saturday as everyone goes to church at different times and this makes it easier on everyone.

Greg, my husband, and I discussed the price of gas on the way up. My son called to let us know he's just noticed a sign for gas that was about ten cents cheaper than in our area. One of my sisters debated on whether she could come as she's a bit tight on money and gas prices are so high.

We talked about the increasing price of groceries. We talked about tightening our belts, paying off bills, paying more attention to coupons, shopping wiser and many other things that usually don't come up at a family get-together.

I came home, slipped out to the studio for an hour and listened to a talk show chocked full of doom and gloom for the economy.

Why am I sharing this litany of dollar-related woe? Read the story below and see if the people who purchased the item below are concerned about saving a dollar...

One thought though --- the purchaser of the flake sure did get a lot of free publicity for their museum site. However, they weren't the only bidder. I'm going to dig through my next box of Cheerios to see if I can find one shaped like a life-preserver. That ought to bring a pretty penny ya think?

Flakey sale nets Virginia sisters $1,350
CHICAGO - Two sisters from Virginia sold their Illinois-shaped corn flake on eBay Friday night for $1,350. "We were biting our nails all the way up to the finish, seeing what would happen," said Melissa McIntire, 23. "There's a lot of relief involved."
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080322/ap_on_fe_st/odd_illinois_corn_flake

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

“BE THE VLASIC® STORK!”

Note: Just thought this was fun! Pickle lovers of the world, get busy... especially if you've ever wanted to be a stork. I wonder if you get to deliver a few babies as part of the duties?

How Loud Can You Crunch??
Tell the Vlasic® Stork
Why You Should Have His Job!
Contest Deadline June 30, 2008

Mountain Lakes, NJ (March 2008) – For more than 30 years, one of America’s favorite icons, the Vlasic® Stork, has told people everywhere that "Vlasic is the Crunchiest Pickle!" This year, the Vlasic Stork will travel the country visiting contestants and audiences at Vlasic “Crunch-Offs” and other special events, encouraging fun-loving pickle-eaters to crunch out loud and win big! That’s why the Vlasic brand is on the look-out for Vlasic pickle consumers who love the Vlasic Stork…to be the Vlasic Stork!

So, if you’re a fan of crunchy pickles and events where food, families and fun unite, you could be the perfect person to “Be The Vlasic Stork!” It’s easy to enter the "Be The Vlasic Stork" contest. Tell us in 50 words or less why you love the crunch and flavor of Vlasic Pickles and how you would bring the famous Stork character to life with your personality and passion for pickles! To enter log onto www.vlasic.com and click on the contest link for details. You can also mail your entry and photo to Be The Vlasic Stork c/o BHGPR, 546 Valley Road Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043, postmarked no later than June 30, 2008. All online entries must be received no later than June 30, 2008. No purchase is required. See attached rules or log onto www.vlasic.com and click on contest links for details and an online entry form.

The “Be The Vlasic Stork” grand prize winner will receive a $2,500 US Savings Bond, as well as paid appearance(s) to “Be The Stork” at one or more fun-filled events throughout the year! (ARV $1,000). Ten runners-up will receive American Express gift certificates worth $50.00 each. Contest begins March 1, 2008 and ends June 30, 2008

Try this Vlasic Pickles party platter at home to get inspired and maximize your crunch potential:

· Pick your platter, preferably in a pickle shape or tray with separate compartments to keep flavors separate

· For variety of crunch, texture and color, fill the tray with Vlasic® whole pickles, pickle spears, pickle chips and peppers for munching

· Snack straight from the bowl! Get creative – you can use your hands, toothpicks, or even your teeth to crunch and munch (without fat or calories!)

· For more crunch and flavor, add stackers and relish to crackers, hotdogs, burgers or sandwiches

About Vlasic® Pickles

Vlasic® is available in nine key segments including Kosher Dill Spears, Bread and Butter Chips, Ovals, Sweet Gherkins, Large and Small Whole Dills, Stackers, Relish and Peppers. Look for the familiar Stork character on the bottle in supermarkets near you. Always crunchy and juicy, Vlasic® offers all the great flavor and are low in calories and fat. For more information about Vlasic® pickles, please visit www.vlasic.com

About Pinnacle Foods Group Inc.

Pinnacle Foods Group, LLC., a leading seller and manufacturer of nationally branded food products. Pinnacle is known for new product innovation and commitment to growth and has a strong line-up of products sold in grocery stores under leading brands including Vlasic®, Lender’s, Hungry-Man®, Swanson®, Aunt Jemima®, Celeste®, Mrs. Paul’s®, Van DeKamp®, Vlasic®, Duncan Hines®, Log Cabin®, Mrs. Butterworth’s® and Open Pit®.

###

Official Rules for the “Be The Vlasic Stork” Contest

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. Purchasing a product will not improve your chances of winning.

1. Eligibility: This Contest is only open to legal U.S. residents 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Employees, officers, directors, agents, representatives and their immediate families or members of Pinnacle Foods Group, LLC, Bender Hammerling Group; their parent companies, subsidiaries; advertising; design; publicity agencies; law firms and anyone connected with the production and distribution of this Contest are ineligible to participate. Previous winners from any other Pinnacle Foods Group, LLC contests held in 2007 are ineligible. This contest is limited to one entry per person, email and/or household.

2. Contest Period: The Contest Period (“Contest Period”) is from 12:01 AM Eastern Standard Time, EST on March 1, 2008 through 11:59 PM, EST on June 30, 2008.

3. How to Enter: Share in 50 words or less why you love the crunch of Vlasic Pickles and want to “Be the Vlasic Stork” and you could win big! Enter your 50-word entry along with a photo by logging onto www.vlasic.com and clicking on Contests, or mail your entry to "Be The Vlasic Stork ", c/o BHGPR, 546 Valley Road Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043, postmarked no later than June 30, 2008. Online entries must be received by June 30, 2008. Proof of e-mail does not constitute proof of delivery.

4. Winner Selection: Prize winners will be determined based on creativity and adherence to the contest theme, equally weighed, by an independent judging organization whose decisions are final in all matters relating to this promotion and will conduct winner’s selection and verification. Sponsor will attempt to notify all potential winners by phone and by mail on or around July 31, 2008. Potential prize winners will be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within 14 days of notification or prize will be awarded to alternate winner.

5. Prizes: The “Be The Vlasic Stork ” grand prize winner will receive a $2,500 US Savings Bond and other appearances as the Stork as agreed by winner and Vlasic (ARV $3,500). Three runners-up will receive American Express gift certificates worth $50.00 each. General: No copies or mechanical reproductions will be accepted. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, incomplete, damaged, misdirected or postage due mail. All entries become the property of Sponsor and none will be returned. Neither Sponsor nor its agents are responsible for technical, hardware, software or telephone failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions, whether caused by Sponsor, entrants or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this promotion or by any human or technical error which may occur in the processing of entries which may damage an entrant’s system or limit an entrant’s ability to participate in this promotion. Entry constitutes permission, where lawful, to use name and/or likeness and/or voice of winner in any manner by the Sponsor, or its agents, without further compensation. You agree to be bound by these Official Rules. Participants are responsible for all costs or charges involved in accessing the World Wide Web and warrant that the cost of accessing the Internet, if any, is part of a larger agreement with an Internet Service Provider or some other means, and that the cost of this access and/or the time spent, if any, to configure their website is not an incremental cost in order to participate in the contest. Sponsor is not responsible for those who cannot access the Internet or cannot click-through for any period of time regardless of technical, hardware, software, telephone, Internet, virus contamination, or network problems, for delay, failure or malfunction for any reason. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel or modify the Contest if in sponsor's sole determination it believes that the integrity of the Contest has been, or could be compromised or that the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entrant from the Contest if in Sponsor's sole judgment entrant has not complied with these Official Rules. An entrant’s entry will also be disqualified, at the sole discretion of Sponsor, if the entrant attempts (i) to enter the Contest through any means other than as described in these Official Rules; or (ii) provides information that is inaccurate or fraudulent; or (iii) attempts to disrupt the Contest or circumvent the terms and conditions of these Official Rules. Sponsor and its respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, professional advisors, employees and agencies will not be responsible for: (a) any late, lost, misrouted, illegible, garbled or distorted or damaged transmissions or entries; (b) telephone, electronic, hardware, software, network, Internet, or other computer- or communications-related malfunctions or failures; (c) any Contest disruptions, injuries, losses or damages caused by events beyond the control of Sponsor, or (d) any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Contest. Only the number of prizes listed in the Official Rules will be awarded. If prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable or Sponsor cannot contact winner for any reason, prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner selected. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be returned. By accepting prize, winner agrees that the Sponsor, its parent company, subsidiaries, affiliates or agencies shall have no liability whatsoever, for any injuries or damage incurred in whole or part from participation in this promotion. All federal, state and local taxes on prizes are the responsibility of the winner. Void where prohibited, restricted or limited. Subject to all Federal, State and Local laws and regulations. For a list of prize winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to "Be The Vlasic Stork", c/o BHGPR, 546 Valley Road, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043. Residents of WA and VT may omit return postage. Requests must be received by December 31, 2008.

6. Sponsor: Pinnacle Foods Group, LLC.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Is the High Class Call Girl a Myth?

Random thoughts on Spitzer...

Democratic Governor Spitzer's foray into the world of prostitution certainly has a lot of people talking... and a lot of people trying to stop the talking! This is a scandal that one side of the aisle wants to disappear with lightening speed. The press is probably going to do its part to help in that regard. There will be little sputters here and there, but overall it ain't gonna last anywhere near as long as it would if the word "Republican" were in front of Spitzer's designation.

I've already posted a ton of articles in Republican News Sweep for those who're interested in getting a good sampling of news stories. There are a few that deal solely on how the media is treating the issue as well as just the general run down.

I don't understand the women. The so-called "high class call girl" and the wife. I'm thinking the wife must have been promised a sweetheart deal. Either that or she's in shock and her first inclination was to support her husband.

He portrayed himself as a bastion of goodness. The righteous warrior stomping out evil where it reared its nasty head. Chances are he probably kept that image up at home, too. Sooner or later someone is going to toss out the theory that he just snapped from all the pressure of being so good. You know, the stress of taking down all the bad guys for so long had him blowing up like a balloon, he had to have relief, an outlet, or he'd burst.

Who knows what caused him to pick up the phone and dial 1-800-givemesex or whatever.

How does a girl gets hooked into that kind of life? If she's dealing with "gentlemen" of "refinement" does she fool herself into thinking it's a date that ends in sex? This is entirely different from the street-corner prostitute most of us think about when we hear the word. How'd she get hooked up with the ring in the first place? How do they recruit?

I'm curious, but not that curious.

Spitzer's actions and decisions have hurt a lot of people. His wife and children. The tax payers of New York. The Democratic party. The people who worked for him. The many people who probably looked up to him, thought of him as a role model. The list is long.

He was the creator of consequences for those who broke the law for so many years. Did he really believe the betrayal of his marriage vows, the breaking of numerous laws, wouldn't have consequences someday?

Is the High Class Call Girl a Myth?
The Emperor’s Club VIP, an international prostitution ring, markets so-called high-class call girls in cities around the world. The escort agency claims that the girls are well-educated, sophisticated and able to carry on intelligent conversations. The pictures are typical cleavage and legs, but the advertising text includes vague references to the girls’ successful careers and great personalities.
The reality, though, turns out to be just a bit different.
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/JaniceShawCrouse/2008/03/15/
is_the_high_class_call_girl_a_myth

Friday, March 14, 2008

Simon Cowell

Found this YouTube video of Simon Cowell (of American Idol fame) on a game show sometime back in the early 90's. What a hoot.

Embedding is off for the video so if you'd like to watch it you'll need to click the link and go to the YouTube page...

Here it is if you're interested:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld-a7DYz-cs

Monday, March 10, 2008

Nearly Half of Preschoolers Receive Child Care from Relatives

Relatives regularly provide child care to almost half of the more than 19 million preschoolers, according to tabulations released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Fathers and grandparents were the primary relative child care providers.

The series of tables, Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements:
Spring 2005, showed that among the 11.3 million children younger than 5 whose mothers were employed, 30 percent were cared for on a regular basis by a grandparent during their mother’s working hours. A slightly greater percentage spent time in an organized care facility, such as a day care center, nursery or preschool. Meanwhile, 25 percent received care from their fathers, 3 percent from siblings and 8 percent from other relatives when mothers went to work.

The tables provide data on child care arrangements of preschoolers and grade-schoolers by various demographic characteristics of the employed mother. They also profile children who care for themselves on a regular basis and examine the size of weekly child care payments made by selected characteristics of the family.

Other highlights:

-- Preschoolers with employed black and Hispanic mothers were more
likely to be cared for by their grandparents than their fathers. Among
preschoolers of employed non-Hispanic white mothers, about
the same percentage were cared for by their fathers and their grandparents
(29 percent).

-- Preschoolers whose mothers worked a night or evening shift were
more likely to have their father as a child care provider than those whose
mothers worked day shifts (39 percent and 18 percent,
respectively).

-- Eighty-nine percent of children younger than 5 with employed
mothers were in a regular child care arrangement, compared with 63 percent
of their grade school-age counterparts.

-- Families with an employed mother and children younger than 15
paid an average of $107 per week for child care in 2005, up from $73 in
1985.

-- Families with an employed mother and a child younger than 5
paid more, on average, per week for child care than those whose children
were each 5 and older ($129 compared with $97).

-- Families in poverty who paid for child care in 2005 spent a
greater proportion of their monthly income on child care than did families
at or above the poverty level (29 percent compared with 6
percent).

-- Among all children, self-care was much more prevalent among
middle school-age children than among those in elementary schools: 6
percent of ages 5 to 11 and 33 percent of ages 12 to 14 regularly
cared for themselves.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

THE SPOILED UNDER-30 CROWD!

(rec'd via email, credit unknown)

When I was a kid, adults used to
bore me to tears with their
tedious diatribes about how hard
things were when they were growing
up; what, with walking
twenty-five miles to school every
morning... uphill BOTH ways
yada, yada, yada!

And I remember promising myself
that when I grew up, there was no
way I was going to lay a
bunch of garbage like that on kids
about how hard I had it and how
easy they've got it!

But now that... I'm over the ripe
old age of thirty, I can't help
but look around and notice the
youth of today. You've got it so
easy! I mean, compared to my
childhood, you live in a darn
Utopia!

And I hate to say it but you kids
today you don't know how good
you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't
have The Internet. If we wanted to
know something, we had to go to
the darn library and look it up
ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email! We had to
actually write somebody a
letter...with a pen! Then you had
to walk all the way across the
street and put it in the mailbox
and it would take like a week to
get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters!
You wanted to steal music, you had
to hitchhike to the record
store and shoplift it yourself!
Or you had to wait around all day
to tape it off the radio and the
DJ'd usually talk over the
beginning and @#*% it all up!

We didn't have fancy stuff like
Call Waiting! If you were on the
phone and somebody else called
they got a busy signal, that's it!
And we didn't have fancy Caller ID
Boxes either! When the phone
rang, you had no idea who it was!
It could be your school, your mom,
your boss, your bookie, your drug
dealer, a collections agent, you
just didn't know!!! You had to
pick it up and take your chances
mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony
Playstation video games with
high-resolution 3-D graphics! We
had the Atari 2600! With games
like 'Space Invaders' and
'asteroids' and the graphics
stunk! Your guy was a little
square! You actually had to use
your imagination! And there were
no multiple levels or screens, it
was just one screen forever! And
you could never win. The game just
kept getting harder and harder and
faster and faster until you died!
Just like LIFE!

When you went to the movie theater
there no such thing as stadium
seating! All the seats were the
same height! If a tall guy or some
old broad with a hat sat in front
of you and you couldn't see, you
were just screwed!

Sure, we had cable television, but
back then that was only like 15
channels and there was no onscreen
menu and no remote control! You
had to use a little book called a
TV Guide to find out what was on!
You were screwed when it came to
channel surfing! You had to get
off your tail end and walk over to the
TV to change the channel and there
was no Cartoon Network either! You
could only get cartoons on
Saturday morning. Do you hear what
I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL
WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled
little brats!

And we didn't have microwaves, if
we wanted to heat something up we
had to use the stove or go build a
fire.... imagine that!

If we wanted popcorn, we had to
use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing
and shake it over the stove
forever like an idiot.

That's exactly what I'm talking
about! You kids today have got it
too easy. You're spoiled!!!!!!!!!

You guys wouldn't have lasted five
minutes back in 1980! Oh yea, and
a seatbelt was Mom throwing her
arm across your chest every time
she hit the brakes.

Regards,
The over 30 Crowd

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Majority of Children Live With Two Biological Parents

From the CDC... I bet if asked most in America wouldn't think that 94 percent of kids lived with at least one biological parent... Interesting numbers below:

Nearly 45 million (61 percent) of the nation’s 73 million children younger than 18 lived with their biological mother and father in 2004 regardless of the parents’ marital status, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today.

Of these children, 42.7 million lived with both parents who were married to each other. Another 4.1 million lived with a biological mother and stepfather, according to Living Arrangements of Children: 2004. An additional 19.3 million children lived with one parent, with the majority of those (88 percent) residing with their mother.

There were 12.2 million children (representing 17 percent of all children) who lived with a stepparent, stepsibling and/or half sibling.

Among children in these “blended” families, 71 percent lived with at least a half sibling, 46 percent with a stepparent and 10 percent with a stepsibling.

Other highlights:

-- Overall, 94 percent of children lived with at least one biological parent, while 8 percent lived with at least one stepparent and 2 percent lived with at least one adoptive parent.

-- As for parents, 30.2 million men lived with at least one of their children younger than 18, compared with 37.8 million women. A higher percentage of the mothers (94 percent) lived with their biological children than the fathers (85 percent).

-- Most children lived with at least one sibling (79 percent). The majority (64 percent) lived with one or two siblings, while 5 percent lived with four or more siblings. Twelve percent of children younger than 18 lived with a half sibling.

-- Overall, 13.4 million children lived in extended families containing someone other than their parent or sibling. Of these, about 6.5 million lived with at least one grandparent, with 1.6 million of these children having no parent present.

-- Approximately 2.2 million children were living with a mother who married, divorced or was widowed in the year prior to the survey date.

-- Of the 18.7 million children living with their unmarried biological mothers, 18 percent had mothers who were living with unmarried partners. In comparison, of the 4.2 million children living with their unmarried biological fathers, 53 percent were living with fathers who were living with an unmarried partner. Overall, 5 percent of children younger than 18 lived with a cohabiting parent.