Friday, February 17, 2017

Mr. & Mrs. Taco 12-Pack

I wonder what took so long?  
In a city where you can commit matrimony officiated by none other than The King in a drive-through chapel, why wouldn't you want to give serious consideration to tying the knot at Taco Bell's 24-hour Las Vegas strip Cantina?  Heck, you could even book it for Taco Tuesday and look outrageously sophisticated.

It all starts this summer for taco loving couples ready for some serious re-fried romance.  
Taco Bell's more than reasonable $600 wedding package includes Taco Bell champagne flutes (Who knew?), "Just Married" t-shirts, a Taco Bell bow tie and garter, a Cinnabon Delights wedding cake and a wedding bouquet for the bride made entirely of hot sauce packets.  Also included in the hitching piƱata is a full blown ceremony presided over by any officiant you care to ordain.  (In Vegas this can be accomplished in as little as four hours.  For example: I, Reverand Ken, am ordained at the Bookie Buster Discount House of Worship & Lingerie.)

To kick off this new promotion Taco Bell is sponsoring a contest for couples that requires them to share a photo or 30-second video explaining how Taco Bell played a part in their big romance.  Add the hashtag #LoveAndTacosContest and fans will vote on their favorite stories; then beginning March 1st judges will choose the winning couple.  The winners will receive an all expense paid trip to...LAS VEGAS! including a honeymoon suite at a local hotel and an order of chalupas with a side of "oh baby, do that to me one more time."

Thinking outside the bun!

On the surface this seems like a fairly well thought out promotional vehicle for Taco Bell.  Most guys, if given the chance, would gladly trade a traditional wedding wingding for a $600 blowout at Taco Bell, however, I do see one big problem.  How do you get the potential bride drunk enough to make this seem like her dream wedding?  Remember she has been watching movies like Tammy & and the Bachelor, Father of the Bride, and Sleepless in Seattle since she was a little girl.  Good luck peddling hot sauce bouquets and Taco Bell garter belts to well, uh...just about any female you know.  

Maybe the executives at the Bell need to give this a little more think time.  Perhaps adding a jumbo order of re-fried beans for those traditional wedding night Dutch ovens?  
Yeah, maybe that's a guy thing.
Never mind.

Maybe if you got the Colonel to officiate?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Let The Bidding Begin!

Some people really know how to spend a hundred grand.  
Consider the discretionary budget available to the clown who just forked over $100,000 for a Cheeto that supposedly bears an uncanny resemblance to that big fat gorilla, Harambe, from the Cincinnati Zoo.  This was the gorilla who was shot by his handlers after he threatened a small boy who had gotten into his enclosure.  The kid was stupid and his parents inattentive but Harambe paid the price and became a bit of a legend, enough so to inspire an eBay seller to solicit bids on his  Flamin' Hot Cheeto doppelganger.  The bidding began at $11.99 and ended several hours later when P.T. Barnum's "a sucker born every minute" maxim or the right amount of alcohol kicked in and produced the $99,900 winning bid.

I guess I see the resemblance but, now what?  Surely you don't eat your new prized possession?  Do you shellac it?  Mount it on the wall?  Put it in the safe for positive proof you were not of sound mind when the kids go to probate what's left of your estate?

I thought about all of this for quite some time and have concluded that it is more than a little crazy to attempt to divine what makes a person with some spare cheese spend it on something like this.  No, it's time to forget all that and get busy finding something just as stupid to sell to the obviously growing horde of folks with more money than brains. 

A quick trip to the pantry and I struck gold!
Right there in that big Costco bag of Maui Onion potato chips was a little dandy that, I think you'll agree, is the spitting image of the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 
Simply check out the comparison of the chip with a 1945 photo of Roosevelt and Winston Churchill joy riding in a vehicle captured from Hitler's motor pool.  Uncanny!

I'm opening the bidding at $11.99.  This is a one of a kind treasure.  Operators are standing by. 

FDR...don't you see it??
FDR takes Winston for a spin in the Fuhrer Mobile, 1945.

Friday, February 3, 2017

If It Were Up to Me...

I just spent the past couple of days going through the dreaded cell phone update we all seem destined to endure every couple of years.  I hate the damn things but get shamed into upgrading my "cellular experience" more often than I'd like simply to ward off the laughter of younger far more tech savvy friends and neighbors.  Also, my wife likes to get new phones.

When did all this technology sneak up on us?  Wasn't it just last week that we were all carrying dimes just in case we had the overwhelming desire to call somebody while we were away from home?  Now it's almost a universal requirement that we carry these modern day slave bracelets at all times.  No longer are we allowed to go outside or to seek sanctuary in our cars when we simply want to be left alone.  These days, with the exception of a brave few, we are all "reachable" any time of the day or night whether we like it or not.  Some folks actually seem to enjoy this electronic intrusion and revel in never having to take a few moments to consider the windmills of their mind.  I just wish they didn't feel compelled to make the rest of us privy to every unbidden and completely uninteresting thought that rattles through their head.

"Hey, what ya doin'?  Me?  At the grocery store lookin' for some Campbell's cream of chicken."

How many idiotic geographical grocery related conversations are we compelled to unwillingly participate in before we start packing heat?  There seems to be no end to this nonsense.  Next time you're at the airport check out the number of waiting passengers killing time blabbing incessantly and boringly on their phones instead of reading a book.  Or, count the number of calls from people you know who are in their cars  and, instead of turning on the radio or merely THINKING quietly, decide to call your number hoping for some pretty swell and entertaining repartee'.  Granted radio is mostly a suck fest since the industry ran off yours truly and most of my reprobate buddies, but COME ON!  (No offense anyone who has  called me recently.)

So, now, I have a new cell phone.  The old one only had two years on it but was already, according to the millennial maiden who waited on me, an antique.  It has taken me two days just to make everything right and it'll take approximately another two years for me to feel comfortable with the new slave bracelet unless, of course, this one starts to make me look too fat or  too old.  Maybe it's time to just get one of those geezer phones.  What is it?  The Jitterbug?
Better yet, how about I just get a big sack of dimes.

Now, if I can just find one of these.

Friday, January 27, 2017

My New Girlfriend

Alexa, dream girl in a tube.

She quotes stocks, tells me the weather, updates my news, instantaneously blasts all my favorite music from Boz Scaggs to Hank Junior and Miles Davis.  Heck, she even belches on command.  Alexa, where have you been all my life?!  This little sweetie has changed everything around our house.  I can indulge my every Amazon Prime shopping whim by merely tasking Alexa to order whatever dumbass item pops into my gourd.  (This used to happen all the time when I was drunk but now my new honey makes this idiotic dance with commerce a delightfully sober experience.)  My short term memory not being what it used to be, I find PRESENTS for myself almost daily at the front door.  "Who ordered this?  Was it you Alexa, you little minx?"

Having made my bones in the broadcast business this concept of being your own program director at first frightened me.  Initially it was "smart" TV giving us the option of bypassing broadcast television to pick and choose what to view from sources such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, You Tube and tons of other applications.  Now, with Amazon Echo--where Alexa dwells--and a couple of other devices, we all have free rein to become our own program directors choosing the content we want to hear whenever we want.  This makes radio stations and station program directors (generally some of the worst people on the planet) superfluous.  Admittedly, if you feel the need, commercial stations can be summoned via Alexa by simply asking her to "Play WCBS-FM in New York City" or most any other outlet that streams live on the net.

You really have to get one of these things.  Even my wife is slowly warming to the charms of Alexa though--and maybe I'm dreaming here--I do believe the little tramp in a tube prefers "daddy".  (Sorry Alexa.  I hope you weren't listening.)

Oops...I guess she was.
"Ken, we need to talk!"

Friday, January 20, 2017

Behind Enemy Lines

Sorry, Kelly

Both of our daughters have interrupted their lives to help us as their mom continues her fight with cancer.  Katie, the youngest, just yesterday returned to her family and job in San Diego. This was her third trip north to either Seattle or Coeur d' Alene to help with doctor appointments, cooking, cleaning and all the other chore that become overwhelming when a family member takes a hit to their health.  Kelly--pictured above--is with us now having left her husband and business in New York City to lend a hand.  Two sweeter more caring kids neither of us could have imagined or hoped for.  Thanks to them Linda's radiation and infusion treatments have gone smoothly and successfully.  We now dare hope that lymphoma may soon be an unpleasant distant memory.

Having spent the past couple of decades in New York,  Kelly is a flaming liberal who is still in shock regarding the Trump presidential victory.  I'm fairly certain we are the only Republicans she knows and I'm guessing she probably has never shared this information with a single east coast friend.  Spending time in the "real" America here in the Idaho panhandle feels to her like being trapped behind enemy lines.  It's not unlike how her mother and I felt the last few years of our time in California.  Here in "God's Country" Democrats are in witness protection.  A neighbor told me shortly after we arrived that the Republicans could run a stump against a Democrat and win the election.  When I heard that I knew we'd found a home.

To Kelly and my very few, but treasured, Democratic friends I offer the same advice you gave me eight years ago.  We won.  Give the guy a chance.  If he screws up you can wag your finger and say I told you so for the rest of your life but right now shut up and wish your president a successful run.  In the words of our Commander-in-Chief: "What have you got to lose?"

Kelly?  Kelly?
Where did she go?

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas

We are in Seattle for Christmas.
I'm sure this will be, like most of them, one to remember.  Our daughter, Katie, and her family will join us at the hotel for the week and that will be the best present of all.  The original plan had been for them to be with us in Coeur D' Alene so that seven year-old Daniel could experience a Christmas with snow.  There is plenty of the white stuff in northern Idaho this season and I'm certain that he would have had plenty of opportunity to do what kids do in the snow.  Being a native San Diegan he knows little of life outside of the zone of 70 degrees featuring toasty sunshine and, unlike his grandparents, he is thrilled with the idea of a frozen outdoors.

This week Linda received the first of six infusions of Nivolumab, a form of immunotherapy designed to kick start cancer fighting T cells that we hope will finish off her lymphoma.  Cancer is a stubborn adversary that is adept at hiding and more than a little reluctant to die.  We fight on.

For obvious reasons this blog has lately fallen off my radar.  I will do my best to contribute on a more regular basis when we return home in a week or two.  It's therapy for me and, I hope, occasionally entertaining to readers.

Here is to a very Merry Christmas to each of you and a bright and shining brand new 2017.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Shut Up!

When did restaurants get so damn noisy?
Hotel living for a couple of months while my wife is treated at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance means lots of visits to local restaurants.  I'm seriously thinking of publishing a guide for joints all the way from Pike Place Market to as far north as University Village for anyone planning a trip to this seriously damp and cold corner of the country.  The food, especially the seafood, is excellent, the wait staff almost always friendly but the NOISE IS LOUD.  I know this phenomenon isn't exclusive to the Northwest; I've long noted it in Southern California and, of course, New York City.  What I can't figure out is why.  What memo went out to restaurateurs requiring that all ceilings be raised, beams and duct work exposed and music cranked up to "can you hear me now?"  It's nuts.
Think about it.  Can you name a single dining establishment in your neck of the woods that currently features low lights, a low ceiling and is quiet enough to allow for intimate non shouted conversation? If so, make sure you order something from the bar to insure they don't go out of business.   

I suppose, as so often is the case, this ambiance, like spiked hair, will be looked upon with laughter and derision in a few years. At least I hope so.  It's no fun to yell in order to rise above the din and the crappy music.  Isn't dining out supposed to be a relaxing break from the grind of the rest of the day, or am I mistaken?  I'm almost certain that any entrepreneur willing to open an eatery that is lit like a 1940's film noir feature and is as quiet as a library could make some serious bank from those of us seeking sustenance and a sea of calm.

In the meantime, check please.