This Page

has been moved to new address

Wide White

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Wide White: July 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Let the fish eat your feet

This seems kind of like using parasites to eat away at diseased muscle, though admittedly, this is less disgusting.
Fish pedicures: Carp rid human feet of scaly skin

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Ready for the latest in spa pampering? Prepare to dunk your tootsies in a tank of water and let tiny carp nibble away.

Fish pedicures are creating something of a splash in the D.C. area, where a northern Virginia spa has been offering them for the past four months. John Ho, who runs the Yvonne Hair and Nails salon with his wife, Yvonne Le, said 5,000 people have taken the plunge so far.
"I know people were a little intimidated at first," Ho said. "But I just said, 'Let's give it a shot.' "

Customers were quickly hooked.

Tracy Roberts, 33, of Rockville, Md., heard about it on a local radio show. She said it was "the best pedicure I ever had" and has spread the word to friends and co-workers.
This is good news.
They leave live skin alone because, without teeth, they can't bite it off.
I was wondering about that...

And this is just funny.
State regulations make no provision for regulating fish pedicures. But the county health department — which does regulate pools — required the salon to switch from a shallow, tiled communal pool that served as many as eight people to individual tanks in which the water is changed for each customer.

The communal pool also presented its own problem: At times the fish would flock to the feet of an individual with a surplus of dead skin, leaving others with a dearth of fish.

"It would sometimes be embarrassing for them but it was also really hilarious," Ho said.
So, who's in?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Coming soon: MapQuest for bikers

I have a few friends who are biking enthusiasts, so this should interest them.
Just in time for Twin Cities residents turning to bicycles for transportation because of rising gas prices: a Web site designed by University of Minnesota researchers that's a sort of MapQuest for two-wheelers.

Like MapQuest, the U project called will generate a map telling you how to get from A to B, except the Cyclopath route will be bike friendly.

Unlike MapQuest, Cyclopath is also a geographic wiki, which any user can edit. On a block-by-block basis, you can add, change or correct the roads, paths, bike lanes and even alleys and sidewalks over the seven-county area and rate them for bikeability.
Check out their website for more info.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hey, we used those toilets!

I discovered today that Seattle is getting rid of its 5 multi-million dollar self-cleaning toilets.

When we were out there last month with my brother and sister-in-law, we saw a few of them. We tried to use the first one, but waited...and waited...and waited...and finally left. I don't remember if it was self-cleaning or if someone was in it, but we'd had enough.

We came across another one in a park. It was the kind of place that looks like it could be a really neat park if it weren't for the people in it. Someone (either my wife or sister-in-law, I can't remember now) used it once it completed its self-cleaning cycle. As soon as she got out, someone else went in. Unfortunately for us, the woman didn't care to wait for the automatic door to close before she started taking care of business.

Bottom line is, they're a great idea, but realistically, they just didn't make sense. The first one we tried to use was in the middle of the sidewalk right on the wharf. There are people all over the place. It just felt weird.

But for those interested, you can have one of your own. They're selling them on eBay. No word yet on whether or not they'll still dial 911 for you...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Jesse Jackson's irrelevance

Why is Jesse Jackson relevant to the modern political discussion?

A story broke today that Jackson used the N-word during a break on Fox News when he said Barack was telling them "how to behave."

But I have to wonder, why does it matter? Why does he matter?

Here's a brief summary of Jackson's positions of relevance:

1. Civil rights leader with MLKJ with the SCLC
2. Formed and led Operation PUSH and the Rainbow Coalition (now the Rainbow PUSH Coalition).
3. 1984 & 1988 Democratic presidential candidate
4. "Shadow senator" from Washington, D.C., 1991 - 1997

These are certainly positions that would give someone the authority to be listened to and respected, regardless of their opinion. But other than these positions - none of which he currently holds - he is simply an activist and orator. Wikipedia lists his occupation as "American civil rights activist" and "minister".

Here's a brief summary of problems with Jackson:

1. Has complained about racial discrimination in football (not getting the starting QB position) and academics in college causing him to transfer, despite the fact that the starting QB was black and he transferred when he was put on academic probation.
2. Has used derogative terms referring to Jews and Jewish issues.
3. Extra-marital affair uncovered in 2001.
4. His recent Fox News off-camera comments, with some extremely derogative language towards Barack Obama (including these comments).

So, what's my point?

My point is, why do we still care? Why is the media so fixed on these events? When Don Imus used his infamous derogative term in reference to the Rutgers women's basketball team, people demanded his resignation (and got it). Once he was fired, the news story ceased to be much of a story. When Sen. Larry Craig's Minneapolis conviction on charges of soliciting sex came to light, it was a huge news story until he announced he wasn't running for office again.

The difference with these men (and countless others) is that they had positions for which they were held to a higher standard. As soon as they were stripped of that position, the controversy went away because the position that gave them credibility in the first place had been removed.

But what about Jackson? What position can be removed from him to satisfy those who are upset about his comments? If those comments had been uttered by Pat Robertson, Jackson would be calling for his resignation and demanding that John McCain denounce Robertson's endorsement.

But Robertson didn't make the comments, and Jackson continues to support Obama with no contention from the media or anyone else (can't Al Sharpton speak up?). No one has demanded that Obama denounce Jackson's endorsement. Jackson can apologize and move on with no accountability from anyone.

I'm ready for Jackson to cease to be a person American continues to listen to. And I'm ready for the media to stop giving him the attention he craves.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Obama on abortion

Call me a single-issue voter if you like (and I suppose you would have a valid argument), but this is the chief reason I can't vote for Obama. If your judgment is that poor on this issue, then what kind of judgment would you have on a myriad of other issues?

H/T: Jim

Friday, July 11, 2008

Towing for gas

Might as well keep the gas cartoons rolling...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Is that gas loan interest-free?

I imagine this isn't too far from reality for truckers.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Why I'm not boycotting McDonald's

I recently found out that the American Family Association has issued another boycott, this time against McDonald's. Their grounds can be found at

The sum of the issue is that McDonald's has expressed corporate partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). They've given money - $20,000 from what I can tell, hardly a blip on the radar of McDonald's profits, but not entirely insignificant. They have expressed vague, corporate-press-release support for the causes that would seem to include the NGLCC and for diversity as a whole, which can be interpreted to include the "gay and lesbian cause", if you will.

However, the AFA's argument is based primarily around the fact that McDonald's VP of Communication is on the board of directors for the NGLCC. Somehow, this would indicate McDonald's outright support of all things homosexual. Never mind that their VP of Communication is an individual who pursues his individual interests. The AFA has attributed statements made by this VP in his role on the board of directors for the NGLCC to "McDonald's", as if the statements are reflective of McDonald's as a whole.

In addition to AFA's principle argument being weak, I'm also not boycotting McDonald's because if I were to do that, I would have to also boycott the following list of NGLCC corporate partners:

ACME Markets
American Airlines
American Express
Bank of America
Blue Cross Blue Shield of California
Bristol Farms
Burger King
Capitol One
Century 21
Coldwell Banker
Continental Airlines
Coors Light
Corcoran Group Real Estate
Cub Foods
CVM Solutions
Deutsche Bank
ERA Real Estate
Ernst & Young
Fannie Mae
Farm Fresh Supermarkets
Freddie Mac
Goldman Sachs
Johnson & Johnson
JP Morgan Chase
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Lehman Brothers
Lucky Supermarkets
Morgan Stanley
Shop 'N Save
Shoppers Food & Pharmacy
Southwest Airlines
Starwood Hotels
Title Resource Group
Total Logistic Control
Wells Fargo
W. Newell & Co.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

To recap, this list includes:
1. the beneficiary of my employer's rent payment (Accenture)
2. my wife's principal account at work (AT&T)
3. my health insurance provider (Blue Cross Blue Shield)
4. the maker of the best fries in the fast food industry (Burger King)
5. one of my credit card companies (Citi)
6. my primary grocery provider (Cub Foods)
7. the manufacturer of my wife's cell phone (Motorola)
8. one of my accounts at work (OfficeMax)
9. the maker of some of the foods in our household (PepsiCo)
10. my wife's former employer (Sodexho)
11. the bank with my wife's student loan (Wells Fargo).

That's not to mention the airlines, real estate companies, and numerous other companies that many of us need to use at some point in our lives. And I have a feeling there are a few people out there who couldn't afford to quit using one of Pfizer's products. If I were to boycott McDonald's I'd have to start working through this list. I'm not going to do that.

Boycotts have their place and if your decision is to use that means of protest, I won't criticize it. I've made the decision not to buy gas at Citgo because I don't want my money going to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. But the reality is you can find dirty money in just about any company, and I'm sure Shell Oil and BP have their fair share of it too. Any company that has supported a lobbyist or politician who supports gay marriage could be at fault if you wanted to really take this boycotting seriously.

The problem here is that the AFA is trying to perpetuate a culture war. If there's no culture war, the AFA loses its relevance and therefore loses its funding. As long as we believe there is a culture war, we will give the AFA our money.

There is a culture war. There's no disputing that. But the AFA is lacking consistency in their fight. They are targeting select companies (remember Ford?) in hopes that if enough people rally against that company, it will change its mind and they will score a victory. Never mind that we're still blindly contributing to hundreds of other companies that are no less at fault for the same moral crimes.

I won't take part in the AFA's culture war, not because I don't agree with their opposition to the further advancement of a "homosexual agenda", but because I don't believe it's possible to honestly take part without becoming a hermit.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

"I love YouTube"

That phrase sounds a lot like "I love you too." Seriously Wade, that's not what I said!