• Mustard wine is now being made by Grey Poupon

    They sold pretentiousness in the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous 1980's and we bought it and bought into it. They showed us chauffeured rich dudes in Rolls-Royces, one borrowing Grey Poupon dijon mustard at a stop light from the other. "But of course" the adjacent 1-percenter has Grey Poupon on hand to lend. That's what the pampered use. A very effective ad.

    But wait, that spicier kind of mustard is available to me? Good heavens! I'm living a part of the sweet life those old rich dudes are living. Why not take this kind of refinement and offer it in another product of the snooty? Wine. Godforsaken mustard wine. But of course, the Grey Poupon itself contains white wine, why not just flip the ratio and make it more wine than mustard for a brand new offering.

    via CNN:

    The full-bodied wine is infused with Grey Poupon mustard seeds and uses Viognier grapes from southern France. Kraft Heinz added that the wine features "bright hints of spice and pronounced citrus" and "floral characteristics" making it ideal to pair with charcuterie boards, sandwiches or even Grey Poupon itself.

    Now, I have not had this mustard wine, nor have I had its red counterpart "ketchup wine", which to my knowledge only exists as a prison hooch, but both sound…not good. But of course, I need to reserve judgment before trying this concoction, which as an infrequent wine drinker I doubt I'm running out and getting this $30 bottle any time soon, even if it comes with a bottle of the mustard, which it does. Now, if I'm at a barbecue and Grey Poupon wine is being served I will happily see how it pairs with bratwurst and potato salad.

    Are the floodgates open to other condiment alcohol infusions like Miracle Whip scotch or relish cognac? Hopefully not.

  • SNL's Weekend Update anchors pay tribute to Norm Macdonald

    Weekend Update hosts Colin Jost and Micheal Che praised Norm Macdonald during the end of their "fake news" news cast on Saturday Night Live this weekend. Norm Macdonald passed away from cancer last September 14th, a condition he kept to himself for 9 years, while still working as a comedian.

    Jost saying of Macdonald, "Norm is the reason that I ever wanted to do Weekend Update…". Che and Jost allow Norm to finish their segment with an array of Macdonald's hilarious Weekend Update jokes that would not be complete without a cutting O.J. Simpson jab (puns intended) at the end.

  • Cotton candy grapes: A refreshing treat or an abomination against mankind?

    Something grown from the ground made to taste like a nearly synthetic kind of carnival treat seems like it must involve Igor and Dr. Victor Frankenstein's meddling with nature in a most unnatural way, and not a fruit we might eat as a healthy snack. As it turns out a cotton candy grape is not genetically modified.

    I tried these recently and as intrigued as I was, I could not shake images of tubes and wires and chemicals flowing through a mad scientist's lab plumping up these freakish "grapes". Yeah, I know. I'll eat a Cheeto at the drop of a hat. I admit my own hypocrisy, but still, I don't want Frito-Lay's mitts on produce of any kind and this seems like that at first glance.

    My purchase was made easier when it clearly had "No-GMO's" emblazoned on the packaging to allay everyone's immediate fears. Still, what makes it continue to be unnerving is they do in fact taste delicious AND like cotton candy. How, without some lunatic using a syringe to fill each grape with liquid sugar, do they make this happen?

    via wideopeneats.com:

    Cotton Candy grapes are a product of the time-honored practice of plant breeding, using different varieties of plants to create a new hybrid. These still-rare grapes may seem like designer fruit, but horticulturalist David Cain isn't trying to create something exclusive. His goal is to prioritize taste and give consumers more options when they go to the grocery store and to do it without the use of artificial flavors or genetic engineering.

    In a 2013 interview with NPR, Cain noted that growers have been breeding fruit to better handle shipping and storage, which makes for a hardy grape species, but not necessarily a good-tasting one. He also talked about the many varieties of apples found in the store, and how grapes could be like that.

    The Cotton Candy grapes are grown in the U.S. by California-based distributor Grapery, who shares a founder with International Fruit Genetics. The grapes have an incredibly short growing season — in 2018, that season is expected to be from August 10 through September 20. The Grapery ships the Cotton Candy grapes to stores all over the country, but as word has spread about the unique cotton candy flavor, they've become hard to keep in stock.

    The Cotton Candy grape has about 12 percent more sugar than a regular table grape and almost no tartness. That sweet taste comes from the two plants that make up the hybrid version: Vitis vinifera, which is the most common grapes species you'll find in America (and also happens to be the main grape for wine production), and a Concord-like grape since Concord grapes are known for their flavor, though they're generally used for jams, jellies, and juice.

    The process of creating these new hybrid grapevines is intense. There's no genetic modification here (these grapes are non-GMO), only painstaking work to cross-fertilize the plants and then grow them in individual test tubes before the new vines can be planted in a field.

    A-HA! 12 percent more sugar?!…Oh, that doesn't really seem like much. BUT, they're grown in individual test tubes?!? See, I was right! An evil scientist is in his/her lair thinking of the next atrocity? Corn dog papayas? Elephant ear lima beans? Anyone remember the Grapple? The apples that tasted like grapes. Where did those go, and why? Ok, I will stop before lending to absurd conspiracy theories. Honestly, cotton candy grapes are delicious if you don't mind the idea of a vineyard and carnival mash-up treat.

  • Draco Malfoy, a.k.a. Tom Felton, recovering from health scare at the Ryder Cup

    Draco Malfoy, suffering from a Hermione Granger cast spell at last week's Quidditch World Cup, is on the mend thanks to a healing potion given to him by Professor Snape. Actually, Tom Felton, the actor who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series of movies collapsed at the Ryder Cup in Sheboygan, Wis. last Thursday. The undisclosed "medical incident" caused Felton to be carted off for evaluation and treatment. Felton was participating in the celebrity golf tournament as part of the Ryder Cup.

    As of Saturday Tom Felton expressed his gratitude to well wishers, and reports that he is "on the mend". In the video Felton posted to his Instagram account he even treats his followers to a delightful little guitar song.

    The health status of Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) is currently unknown, but no news is good news.

  • These Portuguese grape pickers work the vineyards in the nude

    As president of the Portuguese Federation of Naturism, Filipa Gouveia Esteves, has provided a grape harvest field trip for the naturists (naked people) of her organization to Grandola, Portugal. Why they wear hats, yet not protect the more sensitive areas of their bodies seems strange, but who knows?

    Naturism has become legalized in Portugal and if one really enjoyed going the full monty outdoors here is a list of beaches in Portugal to do so, and there are a lot of them.

  • MyPillow Guy gets shredded on Twitter, again

    Mike Lindell talks and talks and talks. Mostly, he just says things, like the kid who falsely tells you his dad is an astronaut and feels he's already in too deep so he keeps trying to make it believable. "Yeah, I was born in Houston. Like, at NASA and stuff, in like an anti-gravity…place." Ok, keep trying.

    Lindell's facts score almost as low as The Boasting Heffalump's. His latest load of crap, that Twitter has pounced on, is how some lawyers told him that they are taking his nonsense case of bologna about election irregularities in the 2020 election to the Supreme Court before this Thanksgiving. Yeah, and maybe I'll take a 12-pack of MTN DEW (formerly "Mountain Dew" but dumbed down for obvious reasons) Flamin' Hot flavored beverages to the Supreme Court, but I can't make Justice Sotomayor and company drink any of it. All but Mr. Kavanaugh are probably too sensible to even try it.

  • Appall your friends on Halloween with Skeleboner!

    Spirit Halloween, Halloween Express and Fun World are really rolling the bones with this one. Maybe Skeleboner, the skeleton one-sie with a "boner", will be a big hit, or maybe it will blow up in their faces. The Skeleboner costume comes with not just a faux phallus between the legs (It is not designed for the wearer to put their real phallus in) but a hand pump to achieve the full skeletal erection.

    Now, you know that drunk, date-rapey assholes are going to use this inflated stiffy to whack, slide on and poke the ladies at bars and parties. Will Spirit Halloween and company be culpable when harrassment charges are filed against such assholes? I guess no more than Budweiser or a duct tape company. I know I'm overly sensitive on this one but it seems like a bad idea for everyone, unless a lady wears it for satirical reasons. Yeah, probably still a bad idea.

    Don't get me wrong, I do think it's a bit funny but only in the hands of a guy who makes the joke about himself and doesn't use it as carte blanche to prod women and be a dick about it. Now that I think about it, I suppose it's no more dangerous than a guy's actual boner.

    I just checked through the comments on the Spirit Halloween website and it appears that Skeleboner has been on the market for at least 10 years now. One of the comments talks about how one parent's first-grader was the life of the party. Skeleboner does come in teen sizes. Solid parenting there.

  • Feed additive reduces cow methane output by 55%

    Methane produced from cows (cow farts and burps) contribute greatly to the harmful emissions on our planet and are a contributor to global warming. As a way to counteract the methane output from beef and dairy cows an additive can be put in livestock feed to reduce that output by more than half. The world's largest beef exporter has approved the sale of the additive in Brazil and Chile.

    via the Good News Network:

    The methane-reducing additive obtained this first approval after a 10-year collaboration called Project Clean Cow, and its success in 48 scientific trials on farms in 13 countries across 4 continents—peer-reviewed studies (such as this one in 2020 at UC Davis) that were published in scientific journals

    Regulators in Brazil and Chile have granted full market authorization for Royal DSM's Bovaer to be given to cows as well as sheep and goats, the company said recently in a statement.

    "The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) stated that a rapid reduction of methane emissions could reduce the spread of global warming in the near term and have a positive effect on air quality," said DSM's Mark van Nieuwland. "We know the agricultural and livestock sectors recognize this opportunity for change and are eager to act."

    Just a quarter teaspoon of Bovaer per cow per day consistently reduces burped methane emission by approximately 30% for dairy cows and even higher percentages (up till 90%) for beef cows. After suppressing methane production in the stomach, it is broken down into compounds already naturally present in the cow's stomach.

    Is this a real solution or a band-aid? The sheer magnitude of the harm the world's beef industry inflicts on the planet does not stop at methane alone. The clearing of land for cow grazing reduces the forests that produce oxygen to the atmosphere. The water required to sustain those farms, not to mention the amount of water used to grow the feed for the livestock, puts a great strain on the world's water usage. Of course, beef and dairy aren't exactly good for us at the rate the average American consumes them, and can be argued that it can be as bad as smoking. An American consumes as much as 144 lbs. of meat and a whopping 650 lbs. of dairy in a year.

    Maybe this is a step in the right direction but if more of us went vegan, or at least some kind of vegan hybrid, there's a better chance to make an impact on the climate crisis.

    I

  • Umpire tosses entire Baltimore ground crew from game

    During the Yankees/Orioles game at Camden Yards in Baltimore Wednesday umpire Tim Timmons had had enough. In an extremely rare move he forced several people to leave the field. But he wasn't exasperated with a player or manager. The rare part was that he ejected the entire stadium grounds crew. What kind of mischief were those punks causing? Throwing garbage? Cussing out Yankee players? Holding up profane signs? Actually none of that.

    The crew positioned themselves behind the giant tarp roll, ready to spring into action, expecting the foreboding skies to open up with rain, and the skies did just that shortly after the youngsters were booted. So, why did Timmons force them to scram so emphatically?

    via The Baltimore Sun:

    "I didn't 'eject' the grounds crew," Timmons said in a text to The Associated Press. "I just didn't want all of them behind the tarp, especially with the infield in."

    Watching the kids scurry to exit at the right field corner is a little bit funny, especially if you imagine the Benny Hill music going with it.

    Though Timmons does have the power to eject the grounds crew, as well as ushers, photographers, media, etc. an ejection in baseball technically means they leave the field and may not return for the remainder of the game. It sounds like he was worried that someone could get hit by a smoked foul ball or something. When the rain came that same crew was able to come back and stretch the protective tarp over the infield.

  • Yet another vocal anti-vax talk show host dies from Covid-19

    If you throw a rock in the United States you might well hit the casket of a conservative radio talk show host who denounced the Covid-19 vaccine, and urged his followers to do the same, and then died of Covid-19. List Bob Enyart, a self-proclaimed "rightwing religious fanatic" who hosted a radio show in Denver, Colorado, to the constantly growing tally of vaccine non-believers to die from the dreaded disease.

    9news.com:

    Bob Enyart, a rightwing talk radio host in Colorado who urged people to boycott vaccines for Covid-19, has died of Covid-19. death was reported two weeks after the Denver Bible church said he and his wife had been taken to hospital.

    "Pastor Bob and Cheryl are in … good hands and improving daily," the church said then. "We anticipate and pray for a full recovery. We both grieve and rejoice together during this challenging time."

    In a Facebook post on Monday, Enyart's co-host, Fred Williams, said: "It comes with an extremely heavy heart that my close friend and co-host of Real Science Radio has lost his battle with Covid.

    The Denver Post reported that Enyart was a practiced and brutal provocateur who once used a show on cable television to mock by name people who died of Aids. According to a 1999 profile by Westword, Enyart "gleefully read obituaries of Aids sufferers while cranking Another One Bites the Dust by Queen".

    Enyart also called for women who had abortions to face the death penalty.

    Regarding Covid-19 vaccines, Enyart said people should boycott the shots "because …they tested these three products on the cells of aborted babies".

    Last October he successfully sued the state of Colorado over Covid-related restrictions on church attendance.

    Enyart sounds like not a great guy, using religion as a shield to say whatever he wants, scare people into his will and holding on to destructive beliefs, and though I take no great pleasure in his passing, is it possible that his death wakes up some of his followers and possibly saves their lives? Somebody, who bought into his garbage, HAS to gain clarity on the value of a life-saving vaccine especially when their leader dies at the hands of it.

    Four other rightwing nut job hosts have died from Covid after thumbing their noses at it in the very same way. I don't wish anyone death. I would much rather the vaccine-unbelievers pay attention to the fact that their drive-home guy isn't there anymore to listen to on the radio and maybe why that might be. The math, the science and the sense are all staring directly back at them.

  • Comic Norm MacDonald dies at age 61

    Norm MacDonald's recent Norm MacDonald Has a Show was brilliant and so very drowsy, yet maniacally and cuttingly Norm. He had been living with cancer for the past nine years, and at age 61 has died. He had no interest in sympathy or even letting on about his condition. He pushed on, going so far as to be scheduled for the New York Comedy Festival lineup this November. A true soldier of comedy.

    via Deadline:

    Macdonald's death was announced to Deadline by his management firm Brillstein Entertainment. The comedian's longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra, who was with him when died, said Macdonald had been battling cancer for nearly a decade but was determined to keep his health struggles private, away from family, friends and fans.

    "He was most proud of his comedy," Hoekstra said. "He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comic. He once wrote that 'a joke should catch someone by surprise, it should never pander.' He certainly never pandered. Norm will be missed terribly."

    For more extensive career and bio info.

  • Drum major takes pratfall before football game, leaps back into action

    Ohio State University drum major Austin Bowman was probably filled with adrenalin as he bolted through the tunnel on his way to the football field and his marching band. In only the second game of the season after the long inactive nightmare of 2020, Bowman's feet buckled under. He spectacularly fell, giant hat and all, and just as spectacularly got to his feet and sprinted on like nothing had happened, as any resilient team player would.

    The drum major's spill may have portended a darker omen at "The Horseshoe" in Columbus, Ohio however. The home team Ohio State Buckeyes football squad, who were ranked 3rd in the nation, were beaten by the #12 Ducks of Oregon, in a thrilling upset, 35-28. Maybe the footballers can use the example of drum major Bowman and quickly push on after their fall.

  • Anti-mask students in Michigan are urged by parents to push into school

    About 2 dozen students pushed into their school in Manchester, Michigan egged on by their anti-masking parents, past Manchester Superintendent Brad Bezeau Tuesday in defiance of the county's mask mandate. Clearly these parents don't give two rips about the safety of anyone else in the building who might be high risk or just would rather avoid getting sick. Their kids are more important and a mask is an affront to their civil liberties apparently. Well, those students were cordoned off in a separate area from the rest of the school to do independent work for the day. I'm sure that tapped into their full potential, versus wearing a mask and being part of an actual classroom. Nice win.

    via MLive:

    "It did get vocal and students did begin pressing against the door for entry without masks, obviously not being compliant," Bezeau said. "I wouldn't want to block students or anything like that, so that's certainly how they got past us, but we were doing our due diligence and making sure that they understood that entering the building without a mask isn't in compliance."

    The district coordinated with the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office to ensure compliance of the order, Bezeau said.

    Video of the incident that was shared on social media shows a sheriff's deputy explaining to parents that the mask order was issued by the health department and was a policy of the school district. The officer noted, however, that he was "not putting masks on anybody."

    Listen to the one guy instructing the kids to be "kind and respectful" just after urging them to be anything but by pushing their way in. Kind and respectful might take into account not breathing potentially harmful germs in others faces when it is easily avoidable.

  • Watch: Heron eats Central Park rat

    The majestic Great Blue Heron, with a 6-foot wing span, surveys the Central Park wetland in Manhattan. It stabs a rat, drowns it and swallows it whole, slippery naked tail and all. Gross! But that's one less giant rat to eat and poop and spawn in the city. Best not to watch this video while eating.

  • Twitter corrects Jim Jordan's claim that "Vaccine mandates are un-American"

    In another case of "conservatives: stupid or evil?" Rep. Jim Jordan leaves me pondering: Is he ignorant of the facts of American history, which makes him carelessly tweet this stupid statement, OR does he absolutely know his blatant contradiction and tweet it purposely to play to his base and muddy the waters as to what it is to be a good American?

    Like the Oaf of Mar-a-lago, he might using the playbook that states if you say something that is not factual enough times more and more people will eventually believe it. Well, Twitter was having none of it and has been teeing off on "Err" Jordan.

  • Jerk snatches winning game ticket from old lady

    Imagine an older lady in Naples, Italy, playing a "scratch and win" card and believing she had won. She goes to the shop with elated expectation where she purchased it to present it to the kindly tobacco shop owner for verification. Well, he verified it alright. The not-so-kindly shop owner hopped on his motor scooter with the winning ticket leaving the woman questioning the decency of her fellow citizen and out the 500,000 euros ($580,000) she would have won.

    The good news is the unidentified ticket thief was detained at Rome's main airport by border police as he was attempting to fly off to Fuerteventura, a Spanish Canary Island. The bad news is the nicked game card was not in his possession and its whereabouts is still unknown.

    via AP:

    The older woman had purchased two "scratch and win" cards. She asked a shop employee to verify the win. The employee then passed the card to one of the shop's owners for a final check, Italian news reports said. But instead he allegedly kept the card and raced off on his motor scooter through Naples.

    He is now free on his own recognizance, LaPresse said.

    To thwart anyone from illegally cashing in, authorities at the Italian tax office which runs the "scratch and win" operation froze the entire block of card numbers that had been distributed to the tobacco shop.

    The tobacco shop owner could do the right thing and let authorities know where the card is so that the lady could cash in on what is hers, but I imagine she is not holding her breath on that one.

  • Video shows hypocrisy by Fox News host over cancel culture

    Fox News host Pete Hamsandwich, or who-cares-what-his-name-is, praises Angie Ugarte, a Florida restaurant owner who posted a sign refusing to serve anyone who supports President Biden. Ugarte specifically believes Biden is complicit in the deaths of U. S. servicemen in Afghanistan, not George W. or Obama or the Orange Menace, aaaall Biden apparently.

    
                            Angie Ugarte: Owner of DeBary Diner bans Joe Biden supporters
    The DeBary diner has posted a sign on its window telling Biden supporters to turn away (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Twitter/@TheHill)

    In 2018 this Faux News guy hammered a restaurant owner for refusing to serve Sarah Huckabee Sanders due to her constant peddling of Trump lies. He also blasts the entire Left for supporting this "Hucka-bee-gone" move. I don't think either move accomplishes much but to continue to show pettiness instead of any kind of understanding. But watch Pete Hedwig's outrage from July 2018 about Huckabee Sanders getting booted from the Red Hen restaurant and his hypocritical supercut supporting the Florida restaurant's canceling of paying customers who might have different beliefs.

  • Woman makes full length gown entirely out of plastic Target bags

    Kailey Schmitt wanted to make herself a dress and didn't want to buy a bunch of fabric to do it. She already had a ton of plastic bags, so Voilà! Plastic bag dress made exclusively from Target shopping bags.

    She says she wanted a mostly white dress with red accents but I imagine riding Target coattails gave her a nice boost in viewership. Get that logo out there and do a photo-shoot in front of and inside a Target with her plastic gown. Target would likely be quite happy for the extra pub themselves. This video shows her whole months-long process using 170 plastic bags and delightful result.

  • Ed Asner dies at 91, lived a complete life and made fun of my shoes

    Ed Asner took a shot at me and my shoes in a very Don Rickles type of move, that I absolutely loved but more about that later, as the celebrated actor has passed away at the age 91.

    Ed Asner's career spanned six decades, where he won seven Emmys, which is the Emmy record for a male actor but he also received five Golden Globes and was the president of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. In 2003, he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.

    Of course, he is most remembered as playing Lou Grant on the Mary Tyler Moore Show as well as the spin-off Lou Grant. He appeared in Roots and Rich Man, Poor Man and voiced the main character in Pixar's Up. And as he was a great actor, he was also an incredible humanitarian.

    via HuffPost:

    Asner was known for his political activism and charity work. An outspoken progressive, he lobbied for the establishment of a single-payer health care system in California and against the death penalty. He often referred to himself as a "lefty," including in his Twitter bio, and in 2017, he co-authored a book called "The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs." 

    He was active in the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the Rosenberg Fund for Children, Autism Speaks and Defenders of Wildlife. 

    In 2018, he opened the Ed Asner Family Center, a Los Angeles-based organization that provides educational opportunities and mental health support for special needs adults. 

    For his efforts on behalf of social justice causes, Asner received the ACLU's Workers Rights Committee Award, the Anne Frank Human Rights Award and the National Emergency Civil Liberties Award.

    Asner was part of the U.S. Army Signal Corps during the Korean War and when he came back Asner joined the Playwrights Theatre Company in Chicago, but left for New York City before members of that company regrouped as the Compass Players in the mid-1950s, a company that eventually developed into The Second City. Asner came back to guest star frequently on Second City's stage. 

    I got to meet Ed Asner briefly after appearing on the Chicago morning show Windy City Live in 2013. I told him I taught at Second City in Chicago which he really liked. He embraced me with an avuncular charm after that. I asked him if I could get a photo of me with him and Happy Days legend Marion Ross, his co-star for an upcoming project.

    "Have you met Marion?" Asner asked gruffly (did he say anything NOT gruffly?)

    "Yes, we met earlier in the green room. She complimented my shoes," I said.

    Asner looked down. "Those shoes?"

    Oh no, I walked into that one. Here it comes. The shoes seemed fancy to me at the time but looking back they were tan distressed leather wing-tip boots. Pretentious and shabby at the same time.

    "Looks like you got those at the Salvation Army," he followed.

    There it is. The feeling like Old Uncle Ed is giving me a friendly hard time. That's the appreciation I felt. He threw me a fair insult to break the nervousness of me being intimidated by a television and activist icon. Earlier, I sat back in the green room enjoying listening to him sarcastically grumble about everything and making everyone laugh. I couldn't wait to meet him and though our interaction was short, it was nice to cross paths with him and feel like we shared a Second City kinship and a moment that I won't forget.

    I still have those shoes and now of course I will never get rid of them, though the Salvation Army would probably love them.

  • Cow seen in backseat of car at McDonald's drive-through

    A common mistake I used to make was to take my calf, or sometimes calves, through the drive-through at McDonald's and have them lecture me from the backseat about how hamburgers and McNuggets are evil. I learned my lesson, but apparently some Wisconsin bloke has not.

    Jessica Nelson spotted a Buick in the McDonald's drive-through in Marshfield, Wisconsin with a cow in the backseat. Using her phone she took video and posted it to Facebook where it earned 112,000 views. The cow's owner saw Nelson's post and explained that he had just purchased that calf, and two others not seen laying down in the back, at an auction. He never mentioned anything about the inevitable whining and complaining from the backseat riders about how meat is murder.