Woodsy Owl and Iron Eyes Cody would be so disappointed ...

Friday, September 9, 2011

What Happened to August: 9/9/11

Regardless, let's just pretend we're all still in full-on summer mode. Why? To take advantage of this awesome recycling idea: slip 'n' slides made out of old billboard tarps!

And another ... Saw this at a bakery/gelato shop, made out of the tiny plastic gelato spoons you never want to throw out but don't really know what to do with:

And if you think that's cool, check out what the artist (Carter Hubbard) did with 7,000 others.  Looks like I'd better start eating more gelato. Wonder what I can do with the cute fluted plastic cups?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lunchtime in a Can: 7/31/11

A small haul this time, but really, there's no need to make a huge mess in somebody's yard when you can create an entire meal in three easy steps:

1. Visit Family Dollar.
2. Purchase Vienna sausages.

3. Purchase Saltines.

I hear dinnerbells!  And only three pieces of trash to dispose of on your drive/walk home. Yes, this can was swarming with ants, and yes, I did pry up the lid to look inside it anyway (hence my discovery of the Saltine side dish). As a vegetarian, my understandable aversion to canned meats also comes with a healthy dose of curiosity about why anyone, even a devout carnivore, would eat the stuff. At about a dollar a can, plus maybe 50 cents for the crackers, I guess it is on the low end price-wise. But even a Taco Bell taco might have more (identifiable) meat for the money. See also:

Yes, that does say "Mechanically Separated Chicken."  Mmmm....

If you aren't well-versed in the finer points of Vienna sausages, don't miss this excellent primer over at Cheap Eats.

Lest you think I was raised to be a food snob, I remember that when my brother was a toddler, he used to make a fine repast out of some Vienna sausages and Zwieback toast. (Do lil' weezers not eat that anymore? Haven't seen it lately. Maybe Prussian/Russian hardtack has gone out of fashion for the teething set.) But toddlers aren't known for their sophisticated palates ("No, Junior, you must hold the oyster fork with your RIGHT hand!"), and I was busy stuffing my mouth with Fruity Pebbles at the time, so I didn't question his culinary preferences. And, hey, at least Vienna sausages and Zwieback sounded international.

Poor Vienna, one of the world's most cultured cities, still having to be associated with this stuff. I bet they kinda wish that butcher from Frankfurt had never moved to Austria. If Wikipedia is to be believed (why not?), guess that's why they call this kind of thing a "frankfurter" instead of "wienerwurste." That's it, keep trying to distance yourselves.

Heh-heh, just got distracted by a question posted at Yahoo! Answers: "Can you grow Vienna sausages?"

I suppose this could be kind of the perfect meal if you're out on a fishing boat or living in the sewer system or something, but I'd think you could do better with all the multifarious delights of Highway 54 at your disposal. Cafeteria-size lasagna, anyone?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pondering Future Litter: 7/9/11

Considering the number of empty cigarette packs I have to pick up from my yard, I've been watching this whole thing about the new packaging to be issued next year play out with keen interest. Can hardly wait to start having to deal with those. And no, I did not get through that entire slideshow of even-more-gnarly images that other countries use on their wrappers.  Not with nothing but coffee in my stomach. Maybe the packaging will work to help ward off some teenage girls, who can barely handle the prospect of a pimple, let alone all their teeth falling out, but will teen boys just take this as a challenge to "collect all 9" of the new packages?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Potluck: 6/25/11

Here's today's take--as usual, largely food-related: Butterfinger, Mountain Dew, drink lids, napkins, AND ...

Because if you're gonna be a REAL American, forget that meat-and-potatoes stuff.  I mean, that's half vegetarian, and 50% vegetarian is nearly as bad as 50% Communist. Patriots go for full-on animal products, or byproducts, like this vacu-sealed "beef" and "cheese" combo. Not sure where this type of thing would fit on the scale of food-mile impact, but I'm betting it's not pretty. (Thanks to Dave at 365 Days of Trash for drawing my attention to that handy infograph.) But that's certainly not the biggest meal that's been eaten in front of my house lately ...

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I'm guessing lasagna, too. And to give you a sense of scale, I'd say this is the equivalent of three Stouffer's Family Size. I can't even begin to imagine the dinner scenario here, though a friend suggested maybe it was a pedestrian, rather than a driver/passenger, who polished this off, possibly while wearing it on a strap around his/her neck like a marching-band drummer.  It must have been delicious.  All they left me was some dried sauce and a few onions.

Well, the culprit is clear in this one.  I'm sure this down-the-street neighbor didn't mean for this to end up in my yard, though I doubt they went around town scrupulously removing all their signs once the sale was over, either.  I kind of admire the artistry here. All those colors, and the flirty little face.  And the call-to-action doesn't get much clearer than this:  "Come buy our junk!"  So take a lesson from a (probable) 6th-grader, ad-men. When I saw this, I immediately recollected the smell of fruit-scented magic markers. Did ya'll have those, too?  Mmmm ...

In another direct appeal, this CTA is just "Call."  The period is the key; I like how it makes things much more imperative than just flowing the verb straight in to the number.  "Yes, Chris, I have been undeniably engaged by your succinct message and I will call you now." Again, I like the aesthetic effect.  Ink-jet printer plus rainshower = psychedelia. But if you really cared about my lawn, you wouldn't stick these flyers where they can blow all around and litter things up.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lawnmower Confetti: 6/12/11

Since my husband mowed a few days ago, some of our latest litter is in convenient party-ready form:

That's a shredded Cool Ranch Doritos bag that was scattered over most of the lawn, plus some cigar and cigarette cellophane bits, a blue plastic wire, a Sonic totbox, a Super Bubble wrapper, a beer bottle bottom, etc. A few items of interest:

I know I'm not the first to ask the question ... there's even a Facebook page devoted to it.  But I still want to know--where can I get some regular old ketchup? If McDonald's is serving the fancy kind, how bad do the fries have to be to warrant a commoner's condiment?

In automotive news: Somebody bought a $3.29 fuse at AutoZone and paid with a $20.

These were found across the yard from each other and are, I suspect, evidence of a recent ninja skirmish.

"To ____ / In 600 CE, / wish pilgrim / paid their / First..." Don't you wish I'd found more of whatever THAT was? Maybe next time.

From what I can tell on the Aplicare website (it's "a market leader in the formulation, production, and packaging of topical antiseptic and personal care products for use in today's professional health care setting," BTW) the purple label apparently indicates just plain old isopropyl alcohol, which is of course quite useful for hyperalimentation trays and hand scrubs. Maybe next time you can toss me an unopened one, guys, so I can decontaminate after I do my trash collecting?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Support Your Local Bakery: 5/15/11

Today's finds, other than a metal doohickey and a WeatherZone tag left over, I assume, from someone's winter coat, are pretty much all evidence of local snacking patterns: a water bottle (the lone indicator of any kind of healthy eating), a BK cup, styrofoam package bits, a Toastchee wrapper (note to my husband: yes, I said TOASTCHEE, not NABS), and a Saltine sleeve.

The aforementioned metal doohickey. Looks a bit like the business end of our air compressor (which reminds me, I haven't checked the air pressure in my tires in waaaaay too long).

But this stuff is what I'm more interested in. I've always wondered if there could be a less-appealing brand name for baked goods than "Otis Spunkmeyer."  Guess maybe they were trying to hitch a ride on the tweed coattails of snackmaster Orville Redenbacher.  But I, for one, don't think they succeeded.  I mean, c'mon:  "Otis," the Mayberry town drunk, and "Spunkmeyer," which may as well just be "Spunkmeister."  Curiosity finally piqued beyond the OK-I'll-Google-it tipping point, I just looked up the story behind the name.  I was hoping it wasn't a real guy, and no, the name was made up by the founder's 12-year-old kid.  Think I would've hired an agency.  But the real problem is just a blueberry muffin that comes packaged in cellophane. How good can that be?

As I was saying. Want to know the saddest thing about this Lance honeybun wrapper, which someone obviously ripped into with great zeal? The best bakery around, the Graham Tasty Bakery, is like two blocks from here. You could've gotten a fresh, life-alteringly delicious honeybun the size of your head for about the same price you paid to get this one from the Stop-N-Shop. The only possible excuse: It was Sunday and the good folks who run the bakery were enjoying their well-deserved day of rest.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Supersize Litter: 4/10/11

This week's collection:

Cheetos, scraps from local newspapers, a menthol smoker's refuse, a spread from Parade "magazine," landscaping tags, napkins, styrofoam, etc. 

I assume this box belonged to some folks moving in down the street earlier this week.  It was pretty windy, and you never know when I might need to borrow a Big Spoon (or some knives...), so I tried not to grumble as I detangled this from our azaleas to put into recycling. (And yes, new flats from TJ Maxx...cute, huh?)  That, alas, wasn't the biggest piece of sh*t in our yard this week.

This was. Storms here earlier in the week downed trees and power lines all over, so I guess we were lucky that this chunk o' tree only took out a gutter, a shutter, and a few shingles. And yes, it was that Bradford pear I was just disparaging a few weeks ago... Another one squashed my parents' car. Are those trees out to get us or what? Just checked Wikipedia, and apparently the species is known more for its "weak crotches" than for its evil plotting to overthrow humanity, but I'm still suspicious. Hope everybody else fared OK!