Archive for the ‘ Scams & Bullshit ’ Category

portion control in ice cream

This really has nothing to do with dieting, even though one of the best ways to eat right is to control your portions. Eat less, weigh less. No, this is about the involuntary portion control you encounter when you are a piggy and eat the whole freakin’ container of something, in particular, ice cream.

Now, this occurs with many prepackaged food products. Suddenly the quantity in a package of food you have bought forever goes down, but the price stays the same. This can be undetectable until you actually open the package, because often the packaging size remains the same. It’s just that there are one or two less items in the package, or the weight of the product has changed.

This is most obvious with ice cream. It’s hard to hide the change in the amount of ice cream in a container, since it makes no sense to keep the same size packaging with less in it. People would think they were cheated and didn’t get a full container. But reduce the size of the package and reduce the quantity of ice cream from 64 ounces per container (a full half-gallon) to 48 ounces (one and a half quarts) and you still feel like you are purchasing a “half gallon” of ice cream. In fact, I bet that if someone were to ask you to buy some ice cream, they would still say, “Pick up a half gallon of ice cream for me when you go to the store.”

This is not a recent change. It’s been years since they did this and there are kids today who have never seen a real half-gallon of ice cream. I guess this is just an oldfart’s rant against change. However, as the title says, this does result in portion control. If you are going to eat your troubles away with a half-gallon of ice cream, you are going to eat one pint less than you used to. (Yep, that 48 ounce container is only three-quarters of what it once was.) The consolation is that you cannot help but eat less ice cream, which is a good thing. Of course, even that 48 ounce container is supposed to be twelve servings, so theoretically you’ve eaten twelve times more ice cream than a “normal” person should, but I sure won’t judge. And of course, you could eat more than one container of ice cream at a time – if so, get help!

And don’t even get me going on how some “ice cream” is no longer able to be legally sold as “ice cream” and is now labeled a “frozen desert product,” or some such thing. You have to know it’s just one more way for the producer to reduce their costs but sell at the same price as real ice cream. And you probably aren’t even unaware of how much air you are paying for in your ice cream.

You know what? Homemade ice cream is starting to sound like a good idea. It may be a bit of a hassle, but at least you get whatever quantity you make and you know that it is real ice cream with an ingredient list that you understand. Time to see what an ice cream maker costs.

consistent inconsistencies

There is a series of Geico commercials on the radio right now that describes how your wallet, vacation savings jar, bank account, etc., would like to congratulate you on your insurance savings. According to Geico, they would like to do this with a chest bump, a high five, a hand shake, or some such action, but they can’t. As they say, it’s a vacation savings jar, it doesn’t have a hand. But they say it would still like to congratulate you on your insurance savings.

I have news, Geico – IT CAN”T – IT’S A FREAKIN’ VACATION SAVINGS JAR! IT DOESN’T HAVE A BRAIN TO THINK WITH!

Now, I may have some of the exact items or methods of congratulations mixed up in the first paragraph, but it adequately describes the commercials. It is just bugs the piss out of me that they say that the inanimate object can’t give you a physical sign of its approval, but somehow the inanimate object can actually think. I mean, come on – let’s go for a little (and I mean very little) logical consistency here.

I know, I’m way too easily distracted by stupidity. It’s like I expect more from advertisers. Sorry, my bad.

scammers forever

I cannot believe that I just got the old Nigerian scam email again. It is beyond belief that there is anyone using email that would fall for this. This scam has been going on since almost the invention of email and has essentially become part of Internet folklore. Does the sender really think that anyone is going to respond to him? I don’t know – maybe there are more idiots in this world than I can believe.

Anyways, it was a good chuckle to start off my day and I just thought I would share. And if you don’t know what the heck I am talking about, do us all a favor and get off the Internet.

bank hack?

I’m working on a project I didn’t expect to need to do. I have an email address that I only use for financial matters. Any online banking, savings, 401K stuff, etc., is supplied with that address – no one else – no stores, casual contacts or otherwise. However, suddenly today I am receiving spam at that address. So one of two things has happened; either one of my financial organizations has had their customer email list hacked (or worse) or they have shared my address with a thoroughly unscrupulous or insecure “partner.”

In any event, today I have created a new email address for that purpose and I am going to all my online financial connections and changing my email address. I suppose the smart thing to do while doing that is to change my passwords, too. What a pain in the ass. Oh well, might as well get to it. One of the hazards of a computerized, on-line life.

Edited 7/4/11 – Further reflection on this incident makes me wonder if someone just took a gamble on what might be a valid email address at my domain. It was a common word that would have made sense to use for that kind of email, so maybe some spammer took a chance and one of the many variations they tried actually hit home. I haven’t received any further email at that address (I am monitoring it, even though I no longer use it) so I think that may be a possibility. Lesson learned? Don’t use common words for the first part of your email address.

not my idea of fun weight loss

Senior citizens are always being warned about scams and swindles that can cheat them out of their life savings, but to tell the truth the scammers and swindlers don’t give a rat’s patoot about how old you are. They will gladly take your money without checking your ID for a birth date. Top among these scams are dieting schemes guaranteed to lighten your wallet more than lighten your weight.

Listening to the radio on the way to work, I once again heard the commercial pushing a certain diet product. Apparently in vogue at the moment, or so the advertiser would have you believe, is cleansing your colon. Whenever I hear this commercial, I wonder how many people are really stupid enough to spend their money on this stuff.

Come on, folks – it’s a laxative! Sure, it will cleanse your colon, but so will any of many, many cheaper products on the market, if that is what you really want to do. If you are thinking seriously about this, may I make a suggestion? Ask your doctor if it’s time for a colonoscopy. Why? Because a colonoscopy requires your colon to be cleaned out, and if you want to do that anyways, you might as well get some real good out of it, not to mention that the doctor will tell you how to do it safely and a bit more inexpensively.

A colonoscopy isn’t covered by your insurance, but you still want to clean out your colon? Hit the drug section at your favorite store and check out the laxatives, or ask your pharmacist to recommend the most effective product. You can be pounds lighter in a matter of a couple of days if you want to do it this way.

Of course this is an absurd way to lose weight and nobody in their right mind would put themselves through this except those desperate enough to try anything – anything that doesn’t require real dieting or exercise, that is. Do you have half a brain? Then I’m sure you have figured out that as soon as you stop taking a laxative, your bowels will (hopefully) return to their normal function and any weight that was “lost” will quickly be regained. And if you are foolish enough to continue to use such a product, you will be upsetting your body’s balance and risking your health.

Now, I’m not talking about an occasional need to move things along with a gentle laxative, but rather the more extreme elimination of bowel contents that these weight panaceas provide. However, a good diet will go a long way towards not needing any kind of laxative, as well as providing a safe way to lose that weight.

There is no shortage of people who will pay out big bucks again and again for products promised to make them lose weight or improve their health, regardless of ridiculous, unverifiable, or specious claims of efficacy by the advertiser, and there is an inexhaustible supply of leeches willing to take advantage of those people. I just hope that you don’t fall into either category.