Saturday, February 14, 2004


(14) It has been cold here for a week or so, with gray overcast skies. We haven't seen the sun in so long, I swear I had forgotten what it looked like. Last night and early this morning, the temperature dropped and we got snow!

By the time I got up and thought about taking a picture, the snow was pretty much gone. But here's a photo of the cedar tree in the back yard.

Monday, February 09, 2004

It seems that the home of falling prices causes other prices to fall. In a UK study reported by the Guardian, large retailers are requiring their suppliers to cut prices. And to do that, suppliers are cutting wages, and increasing overtime, and causing. It seems that for every dollar spent in a Wal-Mart or Tesco, two of Britain's largest retailers, $42 is kept by the chain. Farmers are paid four cents and farm workers get five cents.

Here are some examples from the article:

-At one US-owned factory in Kenya where jeans are made for Wal-Mart, price pressure has led to hourly production targets that are almost impossible to reach. The factory rules allow unions, but in April 2003, when workers went on strike to demand decent pay, most union members were fired.

-In Chile 75% of women fruit-pickers worked 60 hours a week during the season but one in three was paid the minimum wage or less.

-In China, several factory managers admitted to researchers to using an array of tools to pass inspections even though they were violating the codes set by retailers. Factories supplying Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and Tommy Hilfiger were found to have false documents on hours and wages and to coach workers on how to answer inspectors' questions.

Wal-Mart has gone on record saying they have a fair trade policy in place at every step of the trade chain. They also added that prices will continue to fall at their stores! (They didn't. I made that part up. But I saw it on an ad on TV.)

The American public hounded Cathy Lee Gifford to tears because her line was using sweatshop labor. When are they going to do it to Wal-Mart?

Sunday, February 08, 2004

You weren't indicted! You were sued! There's a difference!

I have now seen the latest Pepsi ad about fifty times. You know, the one where a girls tells you she was one of the kids "prosecuted" for downloading songs from the Internet. A point of clarification here, she was not prosecuted! She was sued by the RIAA! Only the State can prosecute. To date no one has been prosecuted for downloading songs of the Internet. Get it right, Pepsi.

Friday, February 06, 2004

It's just a boob!

The uproar over Janet Jackson's tit flash during the Super Bowl half time event is starting to irritate me.

The first lawsuit has been filed against Jackson, Justin Timberlake, CBS, Viacom, MTV, and the NFL because the "sexually explicit conduct" by the performers caused millions of people to "suffer outrage, anger, embarrassment and serious injury." It is a class action lawsuit which will no doubt ask for billions of dollars in damages, so we might all get a ten spot out of it. I'll look at a boobie for $10 any day!

CBS has instituted a five second delay in its upcoming broadcast of the Grammy Awards. In related news, Jackson has been uninvited, while Timberlake, who actually revealed the breast to the world, will still perform.

The NFL cancelled a half time appearance by Timberlake's 'N Sync bandmates, JC Chasez, planned for Sunday's Pro Bowl in Honolulu, because Chasez's song contained the words "horny" and "naughty." He'll be replaced by hula dancers and local singers.

ABC said it would add a delay for its Feb. 29 broadcast of the Academy Awards. TNT also said it was considering a delay for the entertainment portion of the NBA All-Star Game, featuring Beyonce, OutKast and Christina Aguilera.

NBC cut a scene from Thursday's "ER" that showed an elderly patient's breast, saying the current atmosphere made it too difficult for affiliates to air the segment.

AOL is rumored to be asking CBS for a refund of their $7.5 million they spent sponsoring the half time show.

The FCC is about to tighten broadcast standards and increase the fines for violating them.

All this over a one second boobie flash.

Don't get me wrong. It was a senseless, tasteless, and self serving act. And the boobie wasn't all that impressive. Janet's hot, and all, but it could have been bigger. (We might have gotten $20 out of the class action lawsuit then.) But was it that bad?

Let's see, we had a flatulent horse burn the hair of a woman. (Someone told me, "A horse doesn't have a conscience,"
when I brought this up. Apparently neither do advertisers.) We saw a chimpanzee ask a woman to go to the bed room for a little "ooo ooo ooo, aaa aaa aaa, eee, eee, eee." We saw a kid start to say "Holy Sh--!" We saw ads for erectile dysfunction. We saw Kid Rock wearing a flag as a poncho. And we saw the Panthers squib kick a ball to the Patriots with seconds left in the game, setting up the winning field goal! (Can you tell I was rooting for the Panthers?) Out of all of that, the only thing people seem to be worked up about is a boobie? Our kids can ask us "What is erectile dysfunction?" but they can't ask "What did I just see?"

Sheesh. Sounds like the only winners are all the TiVo owners, and Michael Jackson, who now can bask in obscurity.