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Archive for February, 2010

I am sure you read about the 13-year-old San Pedro boy who choked on a hot dog during a fundraiser for Haitian earthquake victims this month.  Apparently, the children were taking part in a hot dog eating game as apart of the fundraiser.  Organizers stated that this was not a speed eating contest.

I’m not sure what other contest you can have with hot dogs, but we will take them at their word.

The fallout can be seen all over the web.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is calling for a redesign of foods such as hot dogs and candies, along with new warning labels, to reduce the chances of children choking.    The AAP is also asking the Food and Drug Administration to establish a nationwide food-related choking reporting system and to recall foods linked with choking. The group also stated that redesigning the shape of foods will make them safer. 

Reportedly, 61 deaths a year in the united states are due to choking on hot dogs or gum by children under the age of 14.

According to the Child Trends Database Organization, there are 73.7 million children in America as of 2006.  Therefore, .00002% of children in the United States die from choking on a Hot Dog each year. Or, 1 out of every 4.6 million children.

Don’t get me wrong, my heart goes out to the parents of these child choking victims.  However, do we really need to form a new government agency to establish a “choking reporting system”.  Keep in mind, we are talking about a percentage of .00002%.  

And who is going to determine the correct shape of a hot dog?  How many millions of dollars will this cost us?

In a manner that is purely American:  We are playing the role of the victim and asking our government to regulate us.  Apparently we aren’t smart enough to be left to our own good judgement.

At what point does common sense kick in?  Do we really need more labels or a government agency to tell us that certain foods are choke hazards for children? At what point are we, as parents, taking responsibility for the safety of our kids?

If this over regulation occurs, then what next?  

I’ll tell you what comes next———-

The Kansas City Royals are being sued after mascot Sluggerrr allegedly poked a fan’s eye out with a hot dog, TMZ is reporting.  According to TMZ’ report, the lawsuit was filed in Jackson County court by John Coomer, who claims the accident happened at a game on September 8, 2009. Sluggerrr was firing hot dogs into the crowd via his air gun!

That’s right……..with an air gun.

I assume that a new law will be put in place, banning the use of air guns to shoot hot dogs. Who’s stupid idea was this?

Again, common sense and good judgement seem to be a dieing commodity. 

Let’s give the American Hot Dog a break, and take responsibility for our own actions (or lack thereof).

-Al

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Recently, a study was released by the OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) which correlated the earnings of men to their fathers.  Without getting lost in all the analysis from the report, a discovery has been made which shows that a man’s income is more closely tied to his fathers income level within the United States and Great Britain.

 In the United States, we are brought up to believe that we can achieve anything (Position, Salary, etc) with nothing more than  hard work.  This report challenges this basic belief.

Our parents financial well-being is a bigger influence on our success or financial failure as adults than any other factor.  Looking back on my childhood, I remember seeing my father as the hard-working professional who’s primary goal was career success.  My goal was to be as successful as he was, both professionally and in college.

The analysis points out, that there is a high correlation for our financial success when we grow up in a better educated family, and a corresponding penalty when growing up in a less-educated family.  This is most prevalent in England, Italy and the United States.  Further, a father’s educational level is a primary motivator to his children’s academic success within secondary education.

In other words, my father was a role model for me as it relates to education and financial stability.  Those who did not have that strong role model, found it difficult to achieve financial success greater than their fathers’.

The end result for those of us in the United States, is that we live in a less financially mobile society then we were brought up to believe. 

There are those who achieve financial success from humble beginnings.  However, they are much fewer in numbers (within the USA, Italy and England) than societies with weaker educational standards (Norway, Finland, etc).  Certainly, much fewer than I previously believed.

As a Husband and Father, I am constantly reminded that I am a role model for my children.  I alway believed that this related to my morals and values.  These findings expand that scope even larger. 

In summary, I am my Father’s Son………..just like my boy will be.

For the full details of this report, please go to:  http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/17/42/44566315.pdf

-Al

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Find Your Husband Here!

We have all heard of Mail-Order-Brides.  Have you ever heard of  Mail Order Husbands? 

I stumbled across a website, just for ladies looking for Mr. Right.  Here are some of my favorites:

 

 

 

Name: Steven
I’m definitely a classic romantic. I like a candlelight dinner, some quiet background music, and a couple hits of ether. I prefer a woman that has insurance and a car would be great as I need to make the occassional trip to Mexico to pick up “souvenirs”.

 

 

 

Name: Earl
I deal in reality…and the reality is that I’m ready for love. I can chop lots of wood and can even climb a greased pole. I keep in shape by chasing chickens around my back yard. I keep my self clean and take baths weekly.
Location: West Virginia, U.S.A

 

 

 

Name: Fuad
Ladies, I’m still available. I’ve been here for about 2 years. what gives? Don’t ya wanna party with me? woohoo… They lowered my price twice already. I’m a red-hot special, come and get me.
Location: San Bernardino, USA

The link to find more of these special guys, is: http://www.mailorderhusbands.net/order 

Best of luck,

Al

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I received a letter the other day. It was from my wife.

I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to write long letters to your spouse when you have an issue, but I’m not a big fan of it. I’ve always appreciated the direct, verbal route. Perhaps this is one of the issues she (and other people) have with me at times.

Regardless, a written response has been requested. Why in writing? Only she and her “life coach” know for sure.

 So, in a supportive (but not overally thrilled) way, I have tried to draft a response the last couple of days.  What women fail to understand at times, is that putting a man’s feelings into words is not the simplest of tasks.  I’ve been through several drafts, and I can feel the clock continue to tick as my response is being waited upon. 

Am I wrong to assume that my every word will be scrutized by my wife and her Life Coach? 

And……….how do I address analogies, such as “a marriage is like tending a garden”?  Shall I own up to pulling all the weeds, without knowing which ones are really flowers?  

I don’t know.  I’m simple-minded, and need more direct feedback. 

In all fairness, I’m not the easiest guy to be married to.  I’m on the temperamental side, addicted to sports at the expense of other wife related activities, and have had an off & on relationship with Nicotine over the years (currently its ON, which is one of the issues).

My parents divorced when I was a kid, so I never had the best of role models when it comes to marriage.  But, that’s no excuse.  During the course of (almost) 15 years of marriage, it hasn’t been easy to keep my wife happy with me or our marriage all the time.  It appears that I’m in the middle of one of those down cycles.

Unfortunately, I’m not bright enough to see these marriage cycles coming ahead of time (and yes, I’m assuming this is just a phase in marriage we will overcome).   So, I’ll write the letter and profess my love.  I’ll apologize for whatever I have done to offend, and try to figure out how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  That’s always the tough part.

Of course, all of this is coming down the week before Valentine’s day.  I better get this one right……..or it’s gonna be a little cold on the 14th.

-Al

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