Fast Food Facts

I have joked about being a French fry addict… but from what I hear, it is truly possible to be "addicted" to fried foods. I am a frequent visitor to the McDonald's drive-thru window and have written about funny things that happen there.

This chart is making me seriously rethink my habits (and not just because of the insane markup on sodas and fries). I saw it at Hip Moms Who Work, who shared it from Online Schools. It's enlightening, to say the least. Thank you both.

Click on the image for a bigger version, or to grab the code to repost on your own site.

Everything You Need to Know About Fast Food
Via: Online Schools

My search for the Holy Grail

WEDNESDAY, 11:58 a.m. Lunchtime. My client’s office is within a short walk of the Washington Convention Center, the Metro Center station, and the Verizon Center, which tonight will be the site of the first round playoff series Game 7 between the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. Which is a big deal, I think – and I would expect anyone within a reasonable proximity to the arena to be all caught up in a Rock the Red fervor as gametime draws near.
I mean, it is a big deal, right?

I don’t have any Caps logo apparel and decided I wanted something to wear while we watch the game tonight. This being the heart DC during the height of tourist season, I figured there would be street vendors on every corner hawking knock-offs. I set out in search of some.

I figured wrong.

My first stop was a place called Souvenir City. Inside were rows and rows of 3 for $10 T-shirts, most of which simply said “Washington DC” or the I “heart” DC logo (remember I Love NY? Like that). There were string bags and fanny packs and keychains and magnets… but absolutely nothing bearing the logo of any of our home teams.

Across the street was a large hotel. I thought, gift shop! So in I went. I asked the lady at the register if she had a Washington Capitals T-shirt. She said, “Yes, but it’s brown, is that OK?” The guy who had been chatting with her frowned and said, “I think she’d want it to be red…” She helpfully approached her shelves of T-shirts and pulled out a lovely brown T that said Washington DC and had a picture of the Capitol dome. “Oh, no,” I said, “I mean the CAPITALS! The hockey team?” 

And crickets chirped in the background as she tried to understand exactly what I was looking for.

Closer to the Metro, I found two adjacent souvenir shops. People, if you are in the market for a DC snow globe, spoon rest, refrigerator magnet, bell, collectible spoon or miniature replica of the White House, I would recommend you go to one of these shops. If you’re looking for logo apparel for any of DC’s major league sports teams? Don’t bother. I would simply caution you to watch out for the buses of tourists unloading to snatch up some of this fine merchandise, so they can take a piece of DC back to Japan. 

I tried one more hotel – a much larger one – the lady had one style of Washington Nationals (baseball!) shirt. I asked, “How about the Caps?” She gestured to the “Curly W” baseball caps sitting next to the Nats shirt. “No – the Washington Capitals? You know, the hockey team? They’re in the playoffs? Game 7 is tonight in DC??” Again with the crickets chirping.

Street vendors seemed to be well-stocked with knock-off designer handbags, scarves, and still have some Obama memorabilia, but nothing sports-related.

As a last hope, I ventured into Macy’s and went straight to the men’s department. Way back in the far corner, in “active wear”, was – Hallelujah! – a rack of Capitals shirts. As I was trying to decide, another woman, probably about my age, wandered over.

“Oh, do you have to buy a men’s shirt, too?” she asked.

“Yeah, but it’s for ME!” I said.

“Right, me too,” she said. “I already checked in the women’s department. They had NONE.”

She asked if I was going to the game. “No,” I said, “I just wanted something to wear while we watch it tonight at home.” She said she was going out to watch it with friends.

Kindred spirits, resigned to buying the only Caps logowear they could find in the heart of Washington – in the men’s section of Macy’s, just a few blocks from the arena.

I made my purchase, stuffed it into my giant purse to avoid the $0.05 bag fee, and off I went.

I have two theories. One is that the Licensing Police (or whoever it is that monitors these things) has scared the, um, entrepreneurs with threats of large fines if they produce knock-off logowear. I was recalling the walk into Camden Yards to watch the Baltimore Orioles – you can buy all kinds of Orioles gear as you approach the ballpark.  I figured there’d be lots of that on the streets in DC.

My other theory is that as much as we wish it were so, Washington just isn’t a hockey town. None of the shop owners had any idea that there was a Big Game in town tonight. They’re missing a big opportunity to make a few bucks off of rabid fans, prone to impulse purchases.

I Heart NY DC!

Iron On

This is not a paid product review. (It’s been months since I was asked to do one.) No – I’m just writing about this because I feel like sharing a good experience.

I JUST ACQUIRED a new steam iron. You know – the kind for ironing clothes. Which is kinda funny, because I almost never iron clothes. Nevertheless, no home should be without one, right?

It all started when our existing iron – which I have had since the Jurassic Era my freshman year of college (which was 100  25 years ago) – fell off the ironing board one too many times. Which happens often, because our ironing board is like a tiny island in a sea of dirty clothing. Navigating around it is difficult. We bump into it all the time. Rather than folding it up and stowing it out of the way, we are lazy like to keep it up and ready to use, because you just never know when you’ll feel like ironing around here. Every few decades months I am overcome by the urge.

The plastic thingy that made it stand up broke off and, owing to its advanced age, I decided not to run out and buy Superglue and try to fix it. Which is characteristic of Gen-Xers, I’m told.  Our parents probably would have figured out how to fix it. Us? Things break and we toss ’em. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just citing an example of the disposable society in which we live.

Can I just say as an aside how funny it is to me now that it seemed essential that I take an iron and one of those tabletop ironing boards to college? I mean, we used it, occasionally, but seriously? Why? I think I bought the iron at the BEST, the now-defunct catalog showroom store. Remember them? It was like Service Merchandise, if you remember that one instead. Am I dating myself? Am I giving Methuselah a run for his money? Probably, but don’t answer because that was a hypothetical question.

ANYWAY. So some plastic broke off of the iron and it would no longer stand up. Which is both annoying and dangerous. So I figured now that we own a home and two cars and have 401(k)s and college savings accounts three children, one of whom is heading to high school in a few short months, we could probably treat ourselves to a new iron. Even though clothes have been known to go out of style while sitting on our to-iron pile. Or get “too small.” Even though I have been known to use the ironing board for a poker table buffet cocktail table desk.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, but I didn’t want to be a tightwad, either. I mean, I had that last iron for 25 years. If I choose right, I could have the next one until I’m pushing 70! I might teach my grandchildren how to iron with this one!


So, I checked our credit card and realized that we have enough of those mysterious “reward points” on it to purchase an iron. The one for the least amount of points was the Rowenta Effective Steam Iron, model DX1900. I had never heard of Rowenta, so I Googled it, and helllooo, this is a $60 iron, people!  And it’s one of their lower-end models. Rowenta has one that retails for $140! For an IRON! I’d have to check the list of features – it probably toasts bread and doubles as a hot-pot and hot-air popcorn popper (two more must-have college appliances).

I mean, I had no idea what’s happened to the price of irons in the past quarter-century. Are they all this expensive? I thought prices of consumer electronics were decreasing. Why didn’t you tell me?

Well, it arrived today and let me tell you, this baby is all  
Rowenta DX1900
And it’s chock-full of features that are designed to save me from certain death myself. Like a retractable cord, and it turns itself off! And it steams and squirts and all kinds of handy things.  It’s obvious that irons have come a long way since the sixties I stopped paying attention.

I ran right downstairs, removed the giant pile of clothes that had accumulated on the ironing board, kicked all the dirty clothes away from the base, plugged in my new toy and turned it on. Then I ironed a pair of khakis.

Oh, my. This baby means business!

Now, I’m thinking, what else can I iron? I’ve completely outgrown most of what was on the to-iron pile… maybe tablecloths? Pillowcases? My children’s jeans?

I kid. I’m not planning on doing any of that. But I’m happy about my new iron and wanted to share.