July 10, 2008

Wiki Thursday: Sweetest Day

Sweetest Day

Quoting Wikipedia:

Sweetest Day is an observance celebrated primarily in the Great Lakes region and parts of the Northeast United States on the third Saturday in October. It is described by Retail Confectioners International, as "much more important for candymakers in some regions than in others (Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo being the biggest Sweetest Day cities)" and an "occasion which offers all of us an opportunity to remember not only the sick, aged and orphaned, but also friends, relatives and associates whose helpfulness and kindness we have enjoyed."Sweetest Day has also been referred to as a "concocted promotion" created by the candy industry solely to increase sales of candy.

I think it's great to remember the sick, orphaned, friends, relatives and associates... but we've gotten along fine out here in the SouthCoast without "Sweetest Day." Maybe I'm just cynical, but this is just lesser-Valentine's day without all the romantic or religious history/baggage, focusing purely on the sales of candy.

Forget the dubious benefit of feeding your dearest friends high doses of processed sugar for the purpose of propping up the candy industry, why do we need a coalition of candy manufacturers telling us when we have an "opportunity" to remember the people who make our lives special, or who need a little special attention?

I mean, you know I love me some jihad against proper nutrition, but this is too blatant. Voted "Officially Lame" by the editorial board of Aces Full of Links. I have a suggestion. Eat the leftover candy on Halloween, and remember your friends and such on October's BAFAB (Buy a Friend a Book) week.

If you think BAFAB is blatant publisher-promotion, then just give away books you've already read, or buy used books. It's up to you. If it's a good book, nobody will care whether it's already been read. I know I don't look a gift book in the mouth. Speaking of which, Chuck just sent me a cool book about the coming of the "singularity." I told him I'd report back on it, so I'd better get through my current short stack of started-but-not-finished (see below).

I'll remind you when Sweetest Day comes around so you can join with me and avoid candy that day. It's not like you're not going to pig out on Halloween anyhow.


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Posted by James at July 10, 2008 4:23 PM
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Dude, How do you start, not finish Sharpe's Rifles? I think I read it in like two days. It's pretty much non-stop action.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at July 10, 2008 4:45 PM

I started reading it on a plane. I hate planes. And I don't love reading on planes.

I got into it, but there are always nonfiction books that are calling to me, and they tend to jump the queue.

Posted by: James at July 10, 2008 4:54 PM

hate reading on planes! Man I used to get all sorts of reading done on planes when I travelled more. In fact reading is one of the the keys to a good plane trip.

I've discovered that if you are reading and wearing headphones (even if they aren't connected to anything) your annoying seat-mates will leave you the fuck alone.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at July 10, 2008 5:17 PM

I used to like reading on planes, but air travel has gotten so unpleasant that it's too distracting.

Posted by: James at July 10, 2008 5:24 PM

At present, I'm reading "Everyday Drinking: The Distilled Kingsley Amis" by Kindsley Amis, foreword by Christopher Hitchens. As I expected, it is excellent. James, do read more on this book at the link below. I think you would enjoy it. Monday, I took the day off and took myself to lunch at the Watch City Brewery. http://www.watchcitybrew.com/

There's something sort of circular about reading a book on drinking while sitting at a bar eating lunch and drinking...


Yes, air travel is now an irritation rather than something to look forward to, but I still need to travel for work. I always pack at least one book and several magazines. If it's a flight to the west coast, I'll read one book out and one book back. I can't sleep on a plane anyway, so I read until my eyes are dry and bloodshot, but I love to read, so that's all right. Besides, that's why I carry Refresh Plus eye drops.

Posted by: Patti M. at July 10, 2008 7:16 PM

There is something about planes that makes it very difficult for me to read, too. I think it's the noise. It isn't "white noise" for me, it's very distracting. Maybe it's the air. I'm not sure, but I just can't think straight on a plane. I'd be in trouble if I had a job that required me to do a lot of work in the air! I can read almost anywhere else (although I have trouble when there's a TV right next to me with FOX "news" blaring -- that was my situation on jury duty Thursday, but I was still able to read more easily than on a plane).

Posted by: Maggie at July 12, 2008 10:00 AM

I'm usually very uncomfortable most of the time that I'm on a plane. My eustachian tubes are very narrow and the crummy air pressure hurts them; and I think the air quality itself leaves something to be desired. I've usually got a pounding headache by the time I get off the plane.

Posted by: Julie at July 12, 2008 12:18 PM

By the way, clever idea to have Fox Nooz on the TV for the jury people. It ensures that they aren't exposed to any actual news that could bias the jurors.

Posted by: Julie at July 12, 2008 12:19 PM

Ha! Interesting perspective, Julie.

Actually, it happened like this: we were sitting in the jury room and were told we *could* watch TV, but made it about two hours w/out anyone suggesting it. Then finally a guy got up and asked if anyone minded if he put the TV on. I almost said, "As long as it isn't Fox, ha ha," but decided to keep my mouth shut.

Of all the freaking stations. I'm stereotyping of course, but this guy was a laborer (by his appearance) of some kind, I wonder if he chose Fox because he was trying to put on something "intelligent" that he thought everyone would appreciate. Yikes.

Funny thing -- the jury I was on was probably one of the more educated juries you can have. Certainly moreso than the other one I sat on (I've only been seated twice as a juror.) I mean, not like everyone was super brilliant, but one guy was a biology professor at Brown, there was me, and then one teacher, two former teachers, and two college students. A very kind, friendly, and educated jury, nobody enjoyed returning a guilty verdict. I guess that's what happens when you have a summer jury, the teachers are out and ready to serve!

Posted by: Maggie at July 12, 2008 7:36 PM

As Bob mentioned earlier, headphones are key. I listen to the radio when I'm on the Commuter Rail not because I want the tunes, but to drown out the chatty and the children. I rely on the music to be the background sound that blocks out what's going on around me so I can read without being distracted and therefore aggravated. The same holds true on flights. Can't hear you, won't hear you. Guess you should've packed a book. GO AWAY, "seat mate," I am not your personal in-flight entertainment.

The same is true on planes. I use ear buds and those also help with ear popping. Chewing gum is another old trick, one I learned when I was 12 and on my way to Paris with a school group. Our teacher passed out sticks of gum--smart woman.

If I have something to read and my headphones, I have no problem concentrating. Part of why I take mags and books is so that if what I'm reading isn't keeping my attention, I've got a few back-ups.

Posted by: Patti M. at July 12, 2008 8:01 PM

Yes, I am aware of that super-secret chewing-gum trick... I'm sure it works great for people with normal eustachian tubes!

Posted by: Julie at July 12, 2008 9:39 PM

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