Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I Could Get Rich Selling Muddy My Muddy Filthy Jeans Like Nordstorm's

You could buy these jeans covered with fake mud from
Nordstrom's for $425 a pair, but why would you want to?
One of my johs is a gardener, and I get right into the work.

By the end of the day, my jeans, or Carhartts, or shorts, or t-shirts are caked and mud, dirt and sweat.

You wouldn't think that's so attractive. Or stylish.

However, I learned today that Norstrom's is selling something called the Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans for a whopping $425 a pair.

What makes these jeans so special? They've covered in fake mud, or what Nordstrom calls "caked-on muddy coating," which makes the jeans look like you spent the day in a mud pit or something.

According to NBC26, Nordstrom says the jeans "embody rugged, Americana workwear that's seen some hard working action," and that when worn, the show "you're not afraid to get down and dirty."

Sorry, but I can assure you anyone who spends $425 on a pair of jeans has never worked in the dirt a day in his or her life. It would ruin the $1,000 manicure.

Surprise! Pretty much everybody, including me, is totally mocking these jeans.

However, some of the criticism is overwrought.

Says NBC26: "When he discovered the product this week, 'Dirty Jobs' host Mike Rowe posted about them on his website, saying the Nordstorm jeans were proof of 'our country's war on work.'

'They're a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic - not iconic.....Jeans made to look like you work hard so you don't have to.'"

Rowe is right that the few rich idiots who would buy these jeans are trying to be ironic. But they're also stupid.

However, in my experience, it's rare to see people mock workers who do manual labor. Who genuinely get dirty to get the job done right. Who make people's homes, businesses and such look and be perfect. Or as close to that as a human can muster.

I have both an office job and an outdoor gardening job. Whe people see the gardening work I do they are impressed with it. They sometimes note my dirty clothes, but in an admiring way. That I got into my work. That I wasn't afraid to tackle the task at hand.

I think Rowe has too little faith in Americans' admiration of hard physical work, despite Nordstrom's stupid jeans out there.

Then there's the question of who would actually wear these jeans. I agree with the Daily Beast when the said this:

"Who is Nordstrom's target market for them? You would not wear the mud jeans in the city, because you would look ridiculous, and people would edge away from you. You would not wear them in the country, because people would kow you were a total fake. In both places, you would look like an ass."

I know this is all a media stunt. Nobody is going to actually buy these $425 mud jeans. Nordstrom's is just trying to get their name out there, and I'm as complicit as the next guy in this endeavor.

I also noticed since I started working on this piece, ads for these Nordstrom mud jeans are following me around the web. As if I'm going to buy these stupid things

In any event, I'm always looking for ways to make more money. I think I can outsell Nordstrom by offering a bargain.

I'll wear jeans or Carhartts or something while I'm doing particularly strenuous and dirty garden work. Then I'll sell those pants to some rich fool for the low, low price of, say $300 a pair.

A big buzzword in advertising these days is authenticity, and what could be more authentic than my own Carhartts covered in good old Vermont mud and dirt?

True, they can't put these clothes in the washer, because they'll get clean.

But rich people have disposable income, so they can dispose of the jeans when they get done with them. Or they can give them back to me so I can use them again. Then, these rich fools can just buy another pair of muddy pants from me for their next night on the town at some fashionable, swinging hot spot in Manhattan or wherever.

Any takers among you fakers?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

This Awesome Worm Eats The Scourge Of The Earth: Plastic Bags. Seriously!

Will it be waxworms to the rescue in the war against
those awful plastic grocery bags?
The latest thing on environmentalists' hit list is all those plastic bags you take home from the grocery store or wherever.

They don't break down easily. They get caught in the wind and hang themselves up in trees and wires and such and look horrible. They waste space in landfills.

A lot of local and some state goverments have either banned or are considering banning these bags. It's the lateset environmental movement du jour.

Even if we stopped providing all those plastic bags tomorrow, what about the zillions of them that already exist? What do we do with them?

One answer: Wax worms.

Bear with me on this one.

According to Atlas Obscura, scientists have tried to get bacteria and fungus to break down these plastics, and they can, but the process is painfully slow. So slow that it's not worth the effort.

However, was worms are awesome. Says Atlas Obscura: 

"Frederica Bertocchini, a biologist at the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology in Spain, noticed wax works had managed to eat their way through the plastic bags they were kept in. While other organisms can take weeks or months to break down even the smallest amount of plastic, the wax worm can get through more - in a far shorter period of time. 

The researchers let 100 wax worms chow down on a plastic grocery bag, and after just 12 hours, they'd eaten about 4 percent of the bag, according to findings publishes Monday in the journal Current Biology. 

That may not sound like much, but that's a vast improvement over fungi, which weren't able to break down a noticeable amount of polyetheylene after six months."

The theory is that if you get a HUGE crowd of wax worms working together, they can make real progress in the plastic bag wars.

By the way, the worms aren't just good chewers. They break down the plastic into ethylene glycol, which you can use to make polyester or antifreeze.

Great. Maybe the wax worms an also produce ways to keep your car running when it's 30 below, or create tacky 1970s-style fashion.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Pentatonix Made Me Cry Today (In A Good Way)

A Pentatonix cover of "Can't Help Fallin In Love" has me
thinking of my late dad, my marriage and how well things have
worked out. An essay in this post. 
I totally admit I'm a Pentatonix fan boy, having posted a few entries into this blog thingy about them and their a capella music.

Today, Pentatonix made me cry a bit.

Because I'm a sentimental fool.

Pentatonix dropped a new video today. It's their rendition of "Can't Help Falling In Love."  You can see and hear the video at the bottom of this post.

Zillions of people have performed this song.  Perhaps Elvis Presley is the most famous example.

"Can't Help Falling In Love" was one of our wedding songs when me and Jeff got married. As I like to tell anyone, my wedding was by far the best one I've ever attended. (Duh!) And I'll always remember like it was yesterday that moment when they sang "Can't Help Falling In Love" at our wedding.

So yeah, I've got an attachment to that song, to say the least.

I think it's interesting that Pentatonix released this video today on what would have been my father's 97th birthday.

Dad died a year and a half ago.  But here's the thing. Dad always worried about me. Would I do OK? I had some rough times as a kid. Would I slip back into trouble? Would anybody be there for me if I needed someone?  Would someone catch me if I fell?

There was a very noticeable change in how my father regarded me after I connected with Jeff, and after he met Jeff.

Dad still loved me as much as ever. But I could tell dad had stopped worrying about me.  Because I had Jeff. Jeff would protect me. Jeff and I would protect each other. Everything would be OK. And it is.

When I watch the video of my wedding, there's a great moment before the ceremony started. My dad was already seated, and Jeff's dad came in.  You can hear my dad loudly and warmly greeting Jeff's dad by saying, "I saved a seat for you."

Jeff's dad and my dad instantly connected and bonded. They were fast friends.

Jeff's dad is now gone, too. I like to think that my dad and Jeff's dad met up again somewhere in the afterlife, and they're having a great time. And neither of them is worried about us because Jeff and I are doing just fine.

And here I am on a routine day when nothing special is going on, and I'm getting teary-eyed over Pentatonix singing "Can't Help Falling In Love."

It's 5:15 in the afternoon as I write this. I can hear Jeff snoring softly as he takes an afternoon nap. The dogs are curled up with him, just quiet and happy. I'm trying to summon the energy to go out and work in the garden, a garden that both Jeff and I love and are building together.

Everything is OK. I can't help falling in love with Jeff every day.

Dad was right, as always. I'm OK. I guess I'm writing this because I miss my dad on his birthday. But everything is OK. Dad and Jeff made sure of that.

So watch the video below and if there's anybody in your life that you love, and makes everything alright, hug them and tell them everything is OK.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Oops. Looks Like This Ferry Operator Didn't See That Wall There

The smushed up bow of a large ferry that crashed into a
wall in the Canary Islands in the past week.
Here's one way to come ashore. Or one way to have a bad day. To make it worse, it was all caught on video.

According to local media in the Canary Islands, the ferry with 140 people on board slammed into a wall recently in those Canary Island.

Luckily only minor injuries have been reported.

The captain of the ferry lost control of the ship very soon after leaving port, on his way to Tenerife because the ferry's electrical system broke down big time. You can see the video at the bottom of this post.

It looks like the pier suffered quite a bit of damage. The ferry isn't too bad off, but the bow is battered.

Here's the video. It looks like he's intentionall ramming the wall, but he's not. The ferry was just out of control.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Quite The Spring Garden Cleanup You Fellas Are Doing There

Like many people in the northern half of the nation, I'm got my spring garden cleanup going on at the moment.

For most of us, that means getting rid of dead leaves, freshening the soil, planting new stuff and just generally making things tidy. 

This guy, though, takes it to a whole new, fun level.  Love the look on the other guy's face as he watches: 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Life Accordion To Trump

Adding an accordian to Trump speeches makes them better.
There's no typo in the headline of this post.

There's a fun little video going around for those of you who have trouble listening and watching Donald Trump speak.

Just add an accordion to the mix and everything's perfect.  The video was uploaded to YouTube back in January but has since gone viral.

Watch and see for yourself!

Truck Drags Car Four Miles Along California Freeway. Truck Driver Shrugs.

An oblivious or cruel truck driver dragged a Nissan
he had collided with up to four miles along
a California freeway. 
I guess anything can be denied nowadays.

A big rig truck driver who dragged a car he had collided with up to four miles along a California freeway says he didn't know the car was stuck to his truck.


The viral video of all this is at the bottom of the post.

The first part of the incident I can accept. Accidents happen. The truck and/or the Nissan changed lanes, and there was a collision.

The Nissan got hung up on the truck and was dragged along Interstate 15 in Cajon Pass. Other drivers honked their horns and tried to get the attention of the truck driver. The person behind the wheel of the Nissan waved his arms out the window yelling for help.

I get it the truck is much bigger than the Nissan, but the truck driver couldn't figure out his rig seemed to be handling a little weirdly?

Eventually, a vehicle pulled out in front of the tractor trailer and forced it to stop. Luckily, the driver of the tractor trailer didn't try to run that person over, too.

When the truck driver was told there was a car stuck to him he said, "I didn't know it." Again. Riiight.

Not sure why the truck driver didn't stop, though, until forced to.

So far, no criminal charges have been filed, which is also odd. Truck driver must know the local cops or something.  KTLA said California Highway Patrol told them the 62-year-old truck driver showed no signs of impairment and there were no mechanical issues with the truck.

He was allowed to leave after the incident was investigated. The driver of the Nissan wasn't seriously hurt.

Here's the video: