It's About Time

They have finally redesigned ketchup packets. Took long enough. Introducing the Heinz Dip & Squeeze (though, technically it should be the Dip &/or Squeeze).

In other news, you can finally buy a space shuttle! Just $28 mil. I want one. I'm not too concerned about the cost, I'm more worried about where I would put it.


Quick Hits

Taking a cue from McGeez, these are things I would be blogging about if I were a better blogger:

The Palins:  They are the gift that keeps on giving; they are endlessly entertaining. Kind of like the Osbornes during the first season of their relaity show, before they got annoying and scary. Here's what's happened in just the past few days:
  1. It was revealed that the Palins have consistently failed to pay property taxes on their family cabin.
  2. MSNBC finally received a response to the FOIA request they filed seeking Todd Palin's emails.  There are over 3,000 pages of documents (awesome comprehensive searchable database here). MSNBC's conclusion (via The Ear):  The e-mails "draw a picture of a Palin administration where the governor's husband got involved in a judicial appointment, monitored contract negotiations with public employee unions, received background checks on a corporate CEO, added his approval or disapproval to state board appointments and passed financial information marked 'confidential' from his oil company employer to a state attorney."
  3. Sarah writes notes on her hands to prep for prominent speeches.
The New York Mess Mets:  The Mets are almost as much of a soap opera as the Palins at this point.  Case in point: Last summer a team executive, Tony Bernazard, took off his shirt in the locker room and and threatened to fight a bunch of minor leaguers.  Then General Manager Omar Minaya accused the writer who broke the story of only writing it because he was after Bernazard's job. That season ended with 92 losses.  This offseason hasn't been much better.  Sure, the Mets signed slugging free agent outfielder Jason Bay, but there is concern that his contract may become an albatross.  Tim Marchman's reaction to the Bay signing was probably a little over the top...but just a little. The San Francisco Chronicle had a more realistic take.  From an article discussing the Giants' signing of Mark DeRosa: "In other words, he [DeRosa] isn't Jason Bay, and he isn't going to be. In fact, now that he's a Met, Jason Bay isn't going to be Jason Bay, either." Sigh.

The Bay signing should have been the highlight of the offseason. A nice piece to build around. Instead, we will all remember the public airing of grievances over all-star centerfielder Carlos Beltran's knee surgery. It wasn't bad enough that he needed emergency surgery. No, because this is the Mets, it had to get all dramatic with the Mets accusing Beltran of having surgery without the team's permission and Beltran saying he personally received the go-ahead from Minaya directly. He said/he said. Such drama.

Pitchers and catchers report in less than two weeks and the Mets still don't have a starting catcher or a legit first baseman, no legitimate reliable starting pitchers after Johan Santana, and are still stuck with a second baseman they hate and can't seem to trade.  On top of that, the team's official day-by-day calendar contains pointed reminders of some of the worst moments in team history.  Thanks. Such is the life of a Mets fan.

The Jersey Shore:  Let's just say that every time I hear the word "situation" I start giggling. It's a problem. Especially in meetings with serious adults who don't know anything about Snooki, Ron Ron Juice, or J-Woww.

Jon Stewart on O'Reilly:  Love Jon Stewart. Love love love him. The best part of this interview is when he tells O'Reilly that he has "become the voice of sanity at Fox News, which is like being the thinnest kid at fat camp." O'Reilly also kind of bashes Glen Beck without realizing it.  Good stuff all around.


Rare Ink

There are lots of unique folks up here in the AK.  But perhaps none more so than Diana Tillion.  Known mostly for her pioneering use of octopus ink in her paintings, she was also a writer, teacher, and an active community leader.  She died a few days ago. You should read the ADN article about her. As a friend of mine put it, "That might be the best obituary I ever read."

I met her once in 2007 on a trip to Homer.  I wrote about that trip and included a snippet of our conversation:
    Diana: I'm surprised the art community hasn't embraced octopus ink more; I wish more artists would use it.
    Me: Is it expensive?
    Diana: Yes.
    Me: Is it hard to get?
    Diana: Yes.
    Me: (Thinking, "That explains it.") Um...
    Diana: But you don't even have to kill the octopus. You can remove the ink with a hypodermic needle.
    Me: Do you catch them yourself?
    Diana: Yes.
    Me: Are they hard to catch?
    Diana: Yes.
    Me: Is it hard to extract the ink?
    Diana: Yes.
    Me: Um, well, maybe all of those reasons are why more people don't use it.
    Diana: Yeah, and I'm kind of crazy.
    Me: Well, you do live in Halibut Cove and paint with octopus ink...
    Diana: (smiles and laughs) Yeah. 


    For Reals?

    At first I thought this was a joke. Apparently it's real. Sigh.