McDonald’s is off the island; So much for free: religion, range, tv and from the bambino

no mcdonalds


Icelandic Menu Too Pricey?

Svo lengi mcdonalds kostar það of mikið að frábær stærð mig. That means “so long McDonalds. It costs too much to super size me.”  McDonald’s hasn’t been voted off the island, but it just simply can’t afford to stay there.  Seems that Mickey D’s has to import it’s materials from mainland Europe to supply its two franchises in Iceland.  Because of changing currency rates, that means that they would have to raise the price of the Big Mac to the dollar equivalent of $6.36 to turn a profit.  The Hamburglar must be doing pretty good in Iceland because that’s a crime.  And apparently the pooh-bahs at McDonald’s agree.  They are taking down the golden arches and leaving the island.  Ambrose Evans-Pritchard thinks Icelanders will survive quite well without Ronald and the gang.  But, how does he know?  I mean, Iceland now joins Albania, Armenia,Bosnia and Herzegovinia and Vatican City as the only countries in Europe that don’t have McDonalds and I dont think any of those places are exactly economic powerhouses, though Vatican City has revenues of between $300 million and $400 million.


Mary Dyer Taking Her Turn At the Gallows

Mary Dyer Taking Her Turn At the Gallows

So much for religious freedom:

On this date in 1659, two men gained infamy in the Boston Commons as the first Quakers executed in the New World for their religious beliefs. Mary Dyer and William Leddra soon followed. After that, those who were sentenced to death had their sentences commuted to simply being whipped out of the colony. Marmaduke Stevenson and William Robinson had left England to seek freedom of religion. Their first mistake was to settle in the Massachusetts Colony where the Religious Society of Friends, the formal name of Quakers, was banned with the punishment of practicing their Faith being death by hanging. Seems that the Quakers opposed a central church authority and preferred to seek spiritual counseling through local Quaker meetings. They stood for a truely egalitarian society in which there was equality between men and women and they opposed the notion of slavery. Oh…such dastardly people those Quakers. Robinson and Stevenson left a legacy of staying out of Massachusetts as others who followed found refuge in Rhode Island and other colonies. But, the legacy of Massachusetts lives on. While we are taught in school that Massachusetts was the cradle of liberty, we must remember the fate of the Quakers, those who were to be bussed to get equal access to schools in the early 1970’s, the tax system in the Commonwealth and of course, all of the anti-global warming folks who opposed windmills off the coast of Cape Cod because the clean-energy devices spoiled their view. Yes, indeed. Quite a history of freedom in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Barbed Wire That Closed the Open Range

Barbed Wire That Closed the Open Range

So Much for the Free Range: On this date in 1873, Joseph Glidden applied for a patent on his version of barbed wire. He had seen the barbed wire of Henry Rose at the DeKalb County Illinois State Fair but he was not impressed. He came up with a new design that used two wires to hold the barbs firmly in place. His proved to be the first to be mass produced and his inexpensive wire fencing was up to 80 million pounds in production by 1880. By making it available to farmers en masse on the plains, it effectively brought to an end the big cattle drives because ranchers driving their cattle to market suddenly found their routes cut off by barbed wire fencing all across the plains.

If You Got Close Enough You Could See The Screen

If You Got Close Enough You Could See The Screen

So Much for Commercial Free TV

It all started on this date in 1946. Geographically Speaking debuted as a travel show on TV. It showed travel films. It was about as exciting to viewers then then as it would be today as it only ran until Dec. 1, 1946. Real clunker. But, it was the first TV show to have a sponsor, Bristol-Meyers. And we’ve had commercials on TV ever since.

 Today with everyone having a remote, advertisers have had to get more creative in order to keep us from changing channels during commercials. It’s called zapping. We see an ad and “zap” we change channels. That’s why so much money is spent on ads for TV in production. We need to be entertained as well as informed. It doesn’t work with me when there are various sports on.

Remember when cable TV first came out? It was initially promoted as the public paying for TV so we wouldn’t see commercials any more. Well, that quickly evaporated. Many of the original cable TV outlets were “superstations.” We thought it was so cool getting a New York station and a Chicago station and of course Ted Turner’s WTBS. But we quickly realized we were paying to see shows with other areas commercials. Now, we pay for cable networks so we can see more commercials. Some time when you have nothing better to do, look at the Weather Channel and count how many minutes in an hour are devoted to weather and how many to commercials. You’ll be surprised. Then you will get mad when you realize you are paying for the privilege of watching all of those commercials. At least ESPN commercials are funny.

So, now I have all of these “premium” channels that show no commercials and all movies. Of course it costs me another $15 a channel on top of the premium cable charge so I don’t have to watch commercials.
It all began on this date in 1946 on a crummy show. But, without advertisers, I’d be out of a job so by all means, frequent all of our advertisers and watch their messages. In fact, I’d recommend that, when you are tuned in to another channel and they show a commercial, zap over to channel 32. Odds are the commercial is just as good as the one you were watching and you know the news that follows will be much better…especially the weather!

Ruth Pitching 1918

Ruth Pitching 1914

So Much for the Curse of the Bambino:

On this date in 2004, the Boston Red Sox won that franchise’s first World Series since 1918. They had suffered from what is known as “the curse of the Bambino.” See, a young pitcher who was also developing as a slugger at the plate played for the Red Sox. His name was George Herman Ruth, known as Babe Ruth. He was a pretty good pitcher. He still shares the American League record for most shut outs by a left hander in a season with Ron Guidry with 9 white-washings. But, his hitting became apparent as he was hitting home runs when no one else was doing so at the time. By his 4th complete season, Ruth only pitched in 17 games but hit 29 home runs to lead the league…a new record at the time. The Sox won 4 world championships between 1903 and 1918. Ruth went to the Yankees in 1920. The story has always been that the owner, Harry Frazee sold him to finance a play. I think that is how all of the

Ruth Batting 1918

Ruth Batting 1918

movies have portrayed it. But, other sources claim that Ruth had demanded a double in his pay to $20,000 and the owner refused. When he tried to trade him, the league president supposedly wanted to mess up Frazee’s enterprise and force him to sell so he talked most of the owners out of dealing with him. The White Sox though supposedly offered Shoeless Joe Jackson and $60,000 but the Yankees, who were terrible at the time, offered $100,000. Imagine what might have happened if Frazee took the White Sox deal? As it was, Frazee took the bigger wad of cash and the Red Sox never won another World Series until 2004. So, the team was cursed. But that’s not as good as the Cubs’ curse.

Billy Goat Bellies Up To the Bar

Billy Goat Bellies Up To the Bar

I think it was in 1945, when the owner of a tavern tried to bring his lucky goat into Wrigley Field for the
World Series. He was denied and he put a curse on the Cubs, who have not won a World Series since 1908. You can visit the Billy Goat Tavern on Lower Michigan Avenue right by the Wendella Boat Tours in Chicago. Get a cheese burger and ask for a coke and see what happens. Snow White went there and asked for fries. Try that out too. BTW, I hope the curse is never broken…Go Astros.


Friday Morning

Weather Bottom Line:  Okay…I took one on the chin.  I knew we’d get rain but I held out the prospect we wouldn’t see any until late in the day or the evening.  Only made it through midday and then the rain came. It was dreary.  The system will move out of the area leaving us with a good Wednesday and Thursday.  Thursday night, a system approaches and rain chances go up.  It still remains to be seen if we get any thunderstorms or possibly strong storms.   The convergence area is in the lower Mississippi Valley and will probably cut off any big stuff our way and the SPC outlook area goes that way with the severe risk area for Thursday night into Friday from around Memphis to the south.  Weekend looks good but with highs in the mid to upper 50’s on Saturday and near 60 on Sunday.

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