Tuesday, July 3, 2018

So why are cherries so cheap

I was in my favorite place outside of work, the supermarket, and I noticed a man was putting bags of cherries on a display case.  The posted price was $1.99. I assumed it was per pound but upon closer inspection I saw it was per bag. And the bags were big, so big you couldn't close them. I went home and ate a few. Delicious, yes they had pits but still they were the best cherries I ever et. I had so many I brought some of them to the office just to get rid of them.

They were Washington state cherries. Why, I thought, would people ship cherries cross country to New Jersey to sell at such a cheap price? Curiosity reared its head. I found on Google a news story that perhaps explains the mystery. China is normally the main purchaser of Washington cherries but they are putting tariffs on American cherries. So I guess they are forced to sell them domestically, even to markets three thousand miles away.

Political decisions do affect our lives. Even the price of cherries at the store. A little lesson in macroeconomics. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Smart ass reply

When I was in Boy Scouts at Camp No-Be-Bosco there was a "trading post" where among other things they had postcards you could send with pre written replies. The replies only had to be checked off. "Having a swell time", or "Learning to swim" or "I have poison sumac", or "Send money". For the lazy Scout they were very handy ways to communicate with Ma and Pa back home.

Yesterday I got an email from someone who was indisposed and subsequently was unable to attend a planned evening of debauchery. When I was writing my reply I noticed I had instant replies that I only had to check. The options were "so sorry to hear that, hope you are feeling better", "so sorry to hear your dog died", and  "Got it, the check is in the mail."

I feel like I'm back at summer camp. I'd like to add some additional pre written replies. "Yeah, right", or perhaps "Give me a break", or "So's your uncle". At least then I would feel like I was back at college.

Editor's note: Above is a camp trading post. A little bit larger than the one at olde No-be.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My retirement

People often ask me what I will do with myself after I retire. I am now telling people I'm going to write a book. Well, I hope to assemble my better blogs, edit it a bit and compile it on a Kindle book. I also would like to travel, see Mount Rushmore and be a Census taker in 2020.

The truth of the matter is I will spend most of my retirement going to the doctor's office. Then he/she will give me homework.  I will get stress tests, blood work, calcium tests, etc. between doctor's appointments. As I get older I will go to physical therapy. I will spend most of my retirement, as my father said, "horsing around with those darn old doctors".

I have learned the secret of blood tests. A week before your test, stop drinking, eating sweets, eating red meats, salami, sausage and start exercising. The day after your blood test you can drink whiskey, eat eggs, bacon, ice cream and have a swell time. Your blood tests will be inconclusive, ie. a gentleman's C. The secret to a happy retirement.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Trade wars with Europe

In return for the U.S. imposing tariffs on steel, the E.U. announced today that they are imposing tariffs on motorcycles, blue jeans, orange juice and bourbon.

One of the comforting things about sitting at a bar in Europe is looking at the liquors and being reassured by the presence of Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and George Dickel. It gives you a pride in being American, knowing that even in the sophisticated space of a Spanish or Italian bar, people recognize my countrymen for their skill at distilling.

Then you meander out into the streets and are almost run over by a Harley Davidson. You swell with the pride of your country and its motorcycles.

Now, thanks to trade wars it may be harder to find these things in Europe. Now Europe and Canada are our enemies. It wasn't too long ago that our enemies were North Korea and Russia. Now they are our great friends. It's hard keeping up in these modern times.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Harry and Meghan

Well I wrote a blog for William and Kate, so here is one for Harry and Meghan. It is great to know that all the troubles in the Middle East, the President's lawyer and the Koreas are gone. At least no one is paying attention to anything except the wedding. Even public television is doing gossipy talk shows about the event.

This wedding is more exciting than the last one because it has all the elements of drama. A red haired prince who has a propensity of getting into scrapes, a glamorous bride who was on Suits. I never watched the show but I know all about it now. The father who won an Emmy for lighting on General Hospital, won the lottery, and now is living in Mexico. It should all be exciting. Almost worth getting up early on Saturday.

My solution to who should walk Meghan down the aisle is to use a hologram of the father. She could be escorted down the aisle by a 3 dimensional image.  That would be historic. Still I think it is a bit cheap not buying lunch for the invited guests who will linger outside. At the very least they should get egg and cucumber sandwiches.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The ice cream truck

I was just reading a nostalgic piece on summertime and ice cream trucks. I too remember a hot summer's evening, sitting outside with the family and hearing the ice cream truck. You'd hear the little song and you'd confiscate money from Dad and run out to the street ready to buy ice cream. The ice cream, usually on a stick, was bought and quickly eaten with our order for mother in tow. I liked coconut on the outside.

Overpriced and inconvenient (right after every one had already had dessert) it must be a pain to be a parent when you hear that song. If you give in you're out eight dollars. If you are firm the kids are screaming and crying. The act like they are being doused in hot oil.

I remember it was a pleasant Saturday night and Mother was giving me my bath. I heard that little jingle and burst into wailing and crying. I had missed the Good Humour truck. Downstairs later and eating scooped ice cream from the fridge, the incident was over. My tears had dried and I was clean. And Dad still had that change where it belonged. In his pocket.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Happy Mothers Day

To all our mothers in the blogasphere here is a video of what your daughters will grow up to be.