Your Money’s Worth

We always have salted crackers in the house. It is the default breakfast food when there is no bread. During a month I say we probably go through a box. For my surgery we bought extra since I could only really eat crackers for the first couple of days. Months ago we got a box of crackers that seemed to be missing a couple of crackers. At first I thought maybe someone had messed up the counter on their cracker filling machine because all four packages seemed to be at the same level.

The following couple of boxes seemed to have even less crackers and it has been consisten since. I calculate that the cracker packages now contain about 5 less crackers than they did six months ago, and unless we have been unlucky enough to get all the packages from a badge with less crackers, we are not getting our moneys worth. I seriously doubt that crackers just suddenly started to get heavier so they had to include less to keep up with thier packaging advertised weight.

What made me start to get really paranoid was our artificial swettener. My wife has diabetes and I really don’t enjoy overly sweet stuff, so artificial sweetener is always available. We used to buy the bag that will let you pull out spoon fulls, but then switched to packets.

It has been consisten in the last two boxes that about 15% of the little packets contain next to nothing inside of them. Most packets do have the correct amount to sweeten a cup of joe, but at times I have to open 2 or 3 packages just to get a good one.

We drink coffee every morning. We don’t go to coffee shops as much as we used to but still enjoy brewing our own at times even at night. Six months ago when I would open a coffee container I had to be careful not to end up wearing it because it was filled pretty much to the seal I was having trouble ripping. Now There is a good distance between the seal and the coffee.

If it was not for the crackers being something I eat so consistently, I probably would have never noticed the changes in content from other products. I don’t have a super precise scale to really compare the weight of the products, but I am seriously considering it. Has anyone else noticed any other examples where we are getting less than our moneys worth?

I guess my powers of observation were correct and it was not just paranoia. Thanks Lucas and Meesha.

Kansas City Idol

A while ago Sponge dared Chimpo and me to Karaoke, we both kind of let it go for a while but when we attended the red balloon tweet up she did not forget her previous request. We were glad that she did not sign us up for a song that had the word beaver on it from what I remember but an actual semi cool song that we proceeded to kill… no not the song, the crowd. Don’t care what anyone said, the whole place was having fun… laughing with us or at us they ended up cheering.

American Idol started again and my wife was watching it as I made it home so I got to enjoy some of the bad. I still think that Simon’s facial reactions are priceless. As far as how they portrayed Kansas City, I hope that the country does not judge this city by the people that audition to this show. To quote Joey about on our video, very, very frightening.

Communication Issues

Our society is killing communication every single day. I believe language is under constact attack. Corporate America fills its people with keywords and are supposed to condense ideas to terms, text messages exchanged by people shorten words to vowel deprived puzzles, political correctness replace words with easier to take terms making the company with no cash flow financially challenged. I think none of these things enhance meaning but rather dilute our ability to communicate.

Thoughts are extremely difficult to express. Try word association with two people exiting the same movie and you will still get different responses. The same situation affects everyone in very different ways based on our own experiences and what we believe. Trying to explain what is in our heads is a difficult task and since the amount of language used is getting smaller and smaller we are all exercising on the dangerous game of guessing what others are thinking.

Are we really so crunched for time that expressing full ideas is now reduced to finding the easiest way to express it rather than the more accurate?

Some will blame just plain laziness when asked about this issue, but I believe that our society is really heading in a dangerous direction. Diluting our forms of expression to bite size easy to swallow snacks will only make us less capable of sharing our lives.


That is the word my wife used to describe my state of mind after having to deal with traffic… but not just traffic… wait until the end to see if you would also not get a little jolted.

Before I continue I would like to add that I hate traffic, not driving, just traffic. This is one of the reasons that I like Kansas City so much, traffic in Chicago is just not bearable. I know that the Grandview triangle gets bad, but imagine that kind of traffic all day long. Traffic to me is the idiotic way in which some people drive causing more hassle than it really needs to be. Also poor development of infrastructure in a city that grows too quickly. It has been said that if computers were to actually drive the cars, the flow would improve traffic tremendously.

I also would like to point out that most taxis in Colombia now run in natural gas and stations are available all over. It was impressive to see a developing country doing something before the US does something it needs to do to not depend on oil anymore.

I am not a fan of buses, specially in Colombia. The smell of diesel fuel being burnt is not a pleasant one almost always causes me to be nauseous. I was not looking forward to being stuck in a bus sucking up fumes, but we had to visit some family and a taxi from where we were at was just too expensive. So Bea and I ventured into the whole bus riding thing.

The bus was moving along pretty fast until it got close to the bus station in our destination. The last 5 miles of the trip took about 30 minutes in not just stop and go traffic, but break your neck accelerate to cut another bus off and stop inches away from the other vehicles. We had to catch ourselves from hitting the sit in front of us a couple of times. Nauseated and tenderized we thought that getting to the bus station and taking a cab the rest of our trip was going to be the easy part.

We get on the cab and the guy is not the friendliest, but whatever. We exit the bus station and at the first light which was at the top of a little hill, the taxi starts rolling backwards and it hits another taxi with enough force to startle us.

The cabbie says nothing, just puts it back into gear and starts driving. I grew up in Colombia and at this point I am expecting the worst, the other guy coming and chasing us in a road rage frenzy. Bea actually looked back and saw the the guy waited until the next light to get out of his car, check the front and go on his merry way.

Bea was pretty calm about it, but my nerves were on alert after that. The taxi zoomed in and out of traffic getting us to our destination. My city had changed so much in the past five years since I had seen it that it was hard to feel at home. There were just too many cars on the road and people were driving more aggressively than ever before. Even though it was a mixture of the shock and rush hour my first trip back to the city was just not too pleasant… but this is not what traumatized me.

I had seen people riding pedal bikes hang on to other vehicles to get a “free ride” in the past. However it seems to have become a trend down there. I had seen it all day in even mayor roadways. We were back from our odyssey and were actually back on Bea’s families car heading from her Grandma’s house to her Mom’s condo when a dude on a bike put his shoulder on a motorcycle dude.

My first instinct was to open my big mouth to comment on the scene. I said how irresponsible and dangerous it was to get a “lift” that way, and how easy it was for the pedal bike to get caught on the motorcycle if either of them lost balance. I had not finished my sentence when it happened… exactly what I was talking about…

The motorcycle went around a pothole and the pedal bike lost balance, he did not let go and ended up getting tangled with the bike and the motorcycle. I do not want to get graphic, but there was dragging, blood and just overall mayhem. As I always do with my big mouth I started to give a play by play of what I saw without realizing that Bea’s Mom is very sensitive to those type of things because she lost a son to a motorcycle accident. After Bea snapped me out of my stupor with well placed scream and explanation I sat there traumatized by what just had happened.

We tried to get help for the guy but after going to the police station and coming back to the scene both people were gone. I slowly recuperated, but we kind of stayed home for a couple of days until the shock of re-encountering the madness that its traffic down in Colombia kind of wore off.