Jelly or Juice?

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Well, according to an article by Fox News, Jelly Belly is being sued by a woman in California (no surprise here…California=wackadoodles!) because she didn’t know that the jelly beans had sugar in them. WHAT?

So, right off the bat, I am going to throw this information out with a “You Are A Moron” attached!  Simply because we, as Common Sense people, can see the reality of this on the surface…without having to dive into the meat of the matter. Or, in this case, the jelly!

Jelly Belly has a product called “Sports Beans” that contain (somehow) extra carbs, electrolytes, and vitamins.  Because, all good things that are not good for you should have good stuff in them, right?  So, as the story goes, the ‘beans’ have what is called ‘evaporated cane juice’. And, it seems, that this lady, AND the FDA, deem that ingredient as misleading…that someone can construe that as “healthy” and “sugar-free”.

“You Are A Moron”.  First off, I’m pretty accurate in saying that there are many ‘juices’ out there that contain sugar.  I am also pretty confident that sugar is from cane…as in sugar cane.  And, I’m gonna venture further to assume that cane juice is made from sugar cane, and, even if evaporated (which takes out the moisture and leaves the crystals), is still…sugar. Hmmmm…..so, in conclusion…..Jelly Belly’s Sports Beans are, in fact, NOT SUGAR FREE!

Now, I mentioned before that she has the FDA backing this false advertising claim.  According to the article from Fox News, “In May 2016, the FDA announced that the term “juice” should not be used unless referring to that of a fruit or vegetable, and that calling sugar “evaporated cane juice” is in fact misleading to consumers.”

Well…I’m surprised we haven’t opened a congressional investigation into this heinous crime!!!

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Let’s just call this situation what it really is:  STUPIDITY!  Common Sense is once again being cast out of society and being replaced with Common Stupidity! Come on people! Really stop and think here. This isn’t about the shock of finding that candy has sugar in it, nor is it about some woman wanting her 15 minutes of fame and some money…this is about the continual decline of standard thinking!

I say ‘standard’ and ‘thinking together because once-upon-a-time, common sense was rampant upon the earth. People actually stopped and thought things through…on their own…without governmental assistance or direction! Weird, huh?

But, sadly, those days are fading faster than a sunset. It has almost become so common now days to say and do the ridiculous that “jaw hit the ground” descriptor will soon be the way of the dinosaur…extinct!  Please….for the love of God…don’t let this happen!!!

Think, people…think!  Jelly Belly is a candy manufacturer. They make candy. Candy has sugar in it unless it clearly say “sugar-free”. We have known this since the beginning of dawn! And to be so shocked and horrified by this late-in-life discovery that candy has sugar in it…well, to her and others like her, I say…SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP! Grow up. Wake up. Stop acting like the spoiled little brat and get a life/clue/reality!

Time to take these coddled people with nothing better to do but whine and complain and stick them in their safe-place, shut the door, lock it, and throw away the keys! Harsh? Yes…because life is real and if you cannot handle the reality of candy having sugar in it, you sure as heck are going to have a miserable existence outside of your little bubble…(and remember:  bubble gum has SUGAR in it…unless clearly marked SUGAR FREE!)

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Following a thread…

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Ever-consuming-insanity! Nothing better than politics, slanted media, chaotic violence, finger-pointing accusations, and your everyday, run-o’-the-mill mayhem to motivate us all to get out of bed and dive in to the day-to-day fun!!

Now that all the gloom and doom has been thrust out front, I want to dial it back and focus on something even more important:  Flossing!

Turns out, per a recent article by the writer Catherine Saint Louis in the New York Times (Aug 2, 2016), that the “… latest dietary guidelines for Americans, issued by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, quietly dropped any mention of flossing without notice. This week, The Associated Press reported that officials had never researched the effectiveness of regular flossing, as required, before cajoling Americans to do it.”

Well then. Just that part right there has put all the brakes onto my crusades for Common Sense and setting the world back straight! How can I take another step forward with this new knowledge in front of me? After all the years, (and, yes, very few visits to the dentist), of “cajoling” by dentists to floss, I started religiously flossing about a year ago. Actually, it has almost become an obsession. Actually, if I can’t find my Plackers Micro-Mint Dental Flossers, I start envisioning revolution on a global scale!  What have I become, and is it all for naught? UGH!!!

It’s one thing to cruise through this world having to constantly watch for the oncoming idiots, morons, and dummies day-to-day, but now we are having our trust in the ‘experts’ crumble before our very eyes! Trust is a needed commodity to survive in today’s world, and when that trust is ruined…well, it almost feels like you are now leaping out of a plane without a parachute! (Exception taken with the crazy guy and his recent jump into a net!)

Remember the old line “I have trust issues because of raisins in cookies, looking like chocolate chips!”? Well, now I can add dental floss to that mix! It’s bad enough that trust of government and other tyrannical officials has long been shattered…but to lose faith in dentistry? We are quickly becoming moribund! Sliding down the slippery slope to doom!

The question remains: What do we do with this new knowledge? Do we wait it out and hope that some bright group comes along with a study to say “hold on folks, turns out that we really do need to floss”?  Are we prepared to run into battle and get the “truth” from all the doctors and dentists who tell us ‘an apple a day…’? Do we just roll over and give up? And, if we do give up, what is to become of the dental floss industry? The jobs, the people, the floss?

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I, for one, do intend to continue on with my zeal for the floss. Studied, or not…I have found ample evidence within my mouth that supports the program of flossing! After all, what is the alternative? Carry parts of previous meals with you throughout the day? I might not be in the mood for a piece of onion to dislodge whilst enjoying a delicious piece of pie! Nor am I a fan of flashing a smile and sharing the menu of my earlier consumables! Let’s face it, removing the evidence of breakfast before a conversation allows us to focus on the discussion better…rather than doing tongue-yoga trying to manipulate some food remnant discreetly.

To each their own!  But, I do declare this to be a matter more pressing than whether some reality television person humped this or said that. I’d much rather know if our government officials conducted their talks while tongue-hunting a piece of bacon stuck between a couple of molars! And, if they were, why didn’t they get the string out and remove it? Did they stop just because there hasn’t been any “official” studies done?  Maybe there is a tie-in to Common Sense here.

Perhaps we have become too dependent on ‘officials’ telling us what we should and shouldn’t do.  Maybe we need to break free of the bonds and think for ourselves. To think outside the directives given to us by the powers that be might actually lead us to strengthening our knowledge! Not that we can all become scientists and doctors and dentists…but to be able to stand on our own two feet when the experts are wrong!

That doesn’t mean we remove all the warning labels just yet….the earth population would drop exponentially! Let’s face it…there exists stupid out there! This needs to be a slow, educational process. After-all, the dumbing down of people didn’t happen overnight! It’s taken decades of manipulation, subliminal advertising, and threats to health and welfare to get to this point! But, we really are not that stupid that we need to have our hands held by big brother everyday!

Let’s stand, remove the blinders, look at the light, think, and, above all, FLOSS!

(Disclaimer: The author is not, nor has never been, affiliated with any dentistry organization and/or oral hygiene company/manufacturer. So, settle down! I’m not getting a dime out of this blazing endorsement of Plackers or any sort of flossing materials!)

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Purse Spelunking

Be Afraid!

At this point, I need to step forward for all men and convey a concern. Actually, it is a deep-seeded worry, (some would say fear).  I talking about purses. You all know what they are. The over-the-shoulder tote that allows women (and sadly, some men…just sayin’…) to have ready access to necessities for the day.  Everyone has seen them.  They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, materials, and designs.  The trend these days leans toward the luggage-sized variety. No matter what style or type, it is the one accessory that rarely seems to be left behind.

As for the contents of said purses, that remains purely individual choice.  Cell phones, keys, tissues, make-up, pictures, and wallets seem to comprise the more common items likely found within.  There are also the coin collectors, the junk junkies, the dirt delighters, and the toy toters.  Now, add larger bags to the equation and you have ample room to include so much more that the term ‘heavy hauler’ takes on a new meaning!

Back to my initial statement of concern and worry for men.  Most men understand the old embarrassment of having to be seen in public holding the purse while the lady is trying on clothes or in need of both hands for one thing or another. Uncomfortable and awkward are the descriptors here.  But a deeper horror begins to take shape when we are asked– nay, told,  to retrieve something from the caverns of The Purse! (Cue dramatic, scary music!)  Before you begin the adventure of Purse Spelunking, let me share some important do’s and don’t’s that could just save you from intense dangers!

Some people are adept at exploring wild caves as a recreation. This is called spelunking or caving.  Going into a woman’s purse is not too different from that, with the main difference being the objects one might encounter.  You see, deep within the well that makes up The Purse, lies a myriad of tunnels and pitfalls where darkness consumes unsuspecting objects.  Many have entered, few have returned.  Trust me when I tell you that preparation could save a hand…or more!

The foremost thing that must be understood is that the outside of the purse is deceiving as to its true depth and width inside.  Never underestimate, as that is the folly of man!  Prepare as if you were entering the largest cave system in the world!  Rappelling gear, rope (as much as you can carry), survival gear (in case you find yourself in there longer than anticipated), a good pair of shoes to keep your footing (you might find a pair or two in the purse, but beware that heels don’t make good climbing shoes), a good light source with plenty of back up power (the last thing you want to lose is light down there), and protective eye wear (Lord knows what sharp objects you could run into).

Upon entering the cavern, you may initially be frightened by the many pockets that lead into darkness. Stay strong! The sight of large winged creatures soaring from side to side could easily lead you to believe that you stepped into a land that time forgot, but rest assured…you are only in a purse!  This is not to say that all you encounter will be new. No, things will appear that entered in a long time ago. Don’t be startled by stale gum, half eaten cough drops, hardened lip balm, corroded hair clips, or coins that contain images of Caesar.  These are all just ghosts of travels-past.  Spelunking in a purse will dredge these up!

Remember to focus on the task at hand. Don’t be swayed and distracted by the curiosities that pop out of different annexes within.  What looks like a food item could, in reality, be a carefully wrapped napkin holding the remnants of a meal long forgotten!  It’s important to know the item you seek intimately.  You don’t want to mistake something down here for something else!  Retrieving some Tylenol? Don’t touch items that are not in a protective container.  Contamination is a prevalent problem down here.  You might think that the loose M&M’s look good, but could actually be ibuprofen with lip gloss melt on them! 

Time is of the essence! The longer you remain inside, the greater the chance of getting lost and being added to the curios that remain behind.  Don’t put yourself in that position.  Keep a “get in, get out” motto coursing through your brain at all times. Keep your eyes open and be aware of what your hands are near.  There are objects in here that will break skin and lead to infections.  That nail file may be rounded on one end but could easily hide mini scissors on the other! Take no chances!

Above all, always have an exit strategy! If you feel something isn’t right, get out! Guys, you are not trained experts in Purse Spelunking. You don’t just thrust your arm into a dark, potentially hazardous pocket without doing your research first. Narrow down your quest by having the instigator give you specifics: which pocket? front or back? left, right, or center? zipper or snap? If the item isn’t in plain view upon approach, now is the time to decide if you truly need it right now. Is this something that can wait for a more experienced spelunkers, such as the owner of the purse?

Preparation is key and keeping your guard is imperative. There are dangers at every turn and unless you are ready to face them in the purse, it may be best to avoid it for your safety.

Looking For The Car Keys......

Oh, It Really Twas!

‘Twas the night before a holiday, and all through our lives,

the only thing stirring was governmental strife.

The GOP and the Dems were in their usual best,

making sure the constituents again would lose rest.

 

And I with my checkbook and Mama with the bills,

had just settled in to see which gas tank gets filled.

When what do my wondering eyes should see,

but a temporary agreement to set congress free.

 

Off to their condos or nice vacation homes,

those who don’t work were all free to roam.

And to the rest of us who struggle, and scrape day to day,

we wonder how it is that they get to go play?

 

Because they belong to this group or that,

they only see life defined oh so narrow and flat.

No ‘outside the box’ thinking allowed with their way,

“our way’s the only way”, I once heard them say.

 

So off to our slumber since tomorrow’s an early rise,

to go make our minimum and hope for a prize,

That someday our government will soon get a clue,

that running a country involves more than a party of two.

 

Common Sense can prevail when you open your mind,

and see the big picture, not just your side, but also mine.

Amazing is what can happen, open the view

cuz ’tis the season for giving, not taking for you.

 

No dashing, or dancing, or prancing, or vixens.

No vomits, cupids, dummies, or getting blitzed then.

 

Hear us all as you drive out of sight, “you better watch out, you better not whine, quit your pouting, we’re telling you why…election time is coming around”!

 

May this new year be fresh with Common Sense!

It could happen.....(keep clicking your heels together!)

An Open Letter To Mr. Claus

Dear Santa,

It’s been over 30 years since my last confession and I have to confess that things have really gone askew!  I’m not even sure my toilet swirls in the correct direction when flushed.  The world has gone mad and I was hoping that you could get things fixed.  I know you’re a busy guy this time of year, with all the labelling and legal hurdles you have to clear before you can bring goodies on your sleigh, but, I just need to know if the old Santa is still there…the one that can put fear in children that they might be on the naughty list.  The Santa who can actually have children sit on his lap without the threat of lawsuit.  Where have you been all these years?  I mean, you are still Santa, right? The jolly ol’ elf that has an independent operation in the north pole? You haven’t become the “Elf formerly known as…”, or “And now, here’s Santa, sponsored by…”?  You didn’t get caught up in any Ponzi schemes, did you? I don’t know why I worry about these things. Just do.

Are you feeling severely limited these days with all the regulations, restrictions, taxations, and legal ramifications? A person of your position is probably scrutinized 24/7.  Labor watchdogs, potential whistle-blowers, children services and such.  No wonder you don’t have the power you once did!  It’s a serious shame!  Innocence is lost, but not solely to perversions.  It seems that it’s lost to the governmental controls, corporate greed, and the individual narcissism of people today.  With all that going on, sorry to say, you never really did have a chance to survive.  The world today is heading down the path of anti-Clausism.  No one, save but a few, have the desire to believe in miracles. The days of dreaming have been replaced by the days of medication.  Your role is being replaced by paranoia.  How sad is that!

I’ve done my own tally and the best I can discern is that your “nice” list has to be really, really short.  I firmly believe that all the idiots that refuse to go beyond 40 MPH down the freeway on-ramps until after they have a mile or two under their belts should not be on that list.  I think you would have to agree that most of our world-wide government leaders have probably slipped from one list to the other.  There is so many situations of violence, mayhem, and, just plain disorder throughout the world that one would have to imagine your trip time would be half from what it once was.  Too bad you can’t take some of these “naughty listers” out behind the reindeer barn and give them all a yule log upside their heads!

Enough of that, though.  I am worried for you.  It is certainly hard to keep your mental and physical health intact these days with all that is going on.  I remember that song with the kid singing “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth”.  I still sing that nowdays because I can’t afford the dental work.  Have you seen the out-of-pocket prices? Wow!  So, I sing….and sing….and wish upon a star, (or HMO, or bank loan).  Plus, it is really hard to keep one’s sanity together during these times.  I’ve found that the reindeer games really take a toll on folks these days, and all you end up with is the droppings! You must know that one first hand!  How do you cope?

Well, I suppose I should get on with my self-indulging list of ‘what I want’ for Christmas.  I am not going to ask for world peace, family love, food and shelter for the poor in the United States, bringing home the troops from overseas, justice for Caylee Anthony, our political parties to pull their heads out, jobs for the unemployed, corporate greed to subside, the end to selfishness, medical and dental care for everyone in the U.S., religions to calm down, crime to decrease, and several million other things.  I am not going to ask for any of that because I believe that you have already heard those requests from the folks on your “nice” list.

What I am going to ask for is you. The Santa Claus.  The one I knew as a kid.  The one that captured my excitement of Christmas and kept me dreaming of magic.  The Kris Kringle that created dreams inside each and every one of us.  The Jolly Ol’ Elf of yesteryear is what I ask.  I want to have that happy, carefree feeling within my heart, if but just for a moment. To experience the power you once radiated throughout the world that said ‘it’s ok to believe!’  If all the adults felt that, imagine what could really happen!  Common Sense says that the results would be wonderful!  The world needs you now, more than ever!

Sincerly,

The Cannon

 

Dirty Rotten Chaos!

Into each life, a little chaos must fall….and hard!  All around you at this very moment is change and disorder. You might feel that there is balance and harmony going on in your life, but let me be the first to burst your bubble…it’s not!  You have your good days, you have your bad days, and in between those days is chaos at work.  That creature of disruption moving about, tipping the carts, changing the lights, casting its confusions.  Chaos.  What is this beast and why does it seem to be getting bigger, stronger, faster in the world around us and, for many, within us?  Let’s define:

Chaos:

  • Complete disorder and confusion.
  • Behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.

I love those definitions!  They sum up the animal at work.  I often picture a mythical faery-like being with an evil grin, fluttering about, doing its will on unsuspecting people and things.  Many religions have given chaos a persona of some demonic entity that works in the spiritual realms to ruin their prey. Loki was the Norse god of mischief constantly working to thwart mankind, as well as the gods themselves. Lucifer of the bible,  the great deceiver, who started the entire downfall of mankind by creating confusion on the first humans that lived in bliss.  Many different cultures label some single source for all the problems of the world.  What it boils down to is the events of chaos.  Altering changes that disrupt our plans, processes, procedures, policies, and presence!  From the simple distraction to the fall of empires, chaos has, and always will, be the thorn in our sides!

What can we do about this? Is there any way to fool-proof our dealings in life so as not to be ruined by chaos?  I think not.  Back in 1785, Robert Burns characterized this chaos in his great poem, “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough”, by writing “But little Mouse, you are not alone, in proving foresight may be vain. The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew, and leave us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy!”

So, the best laid plans…askew! Whether by divine intervention or just natural chaos, we can plan until the cows come home, but somehow, someway, chaos will often rear its ugly head!  Does it happen all the time? Of course not! It finds pleasure in allowing us some of the promised joy, lulling us into a false sense of security…then, BANG! Knocks us down some notches! We get up, dust ourselves off, curse the very fact chaos exists, and try again. Oh, our humanity of persistence!

That is the one thing about chaos…though ever changing, it is the only constant that we share.  At points throughout our lives, we have felt the hand of chaos on our schemes, even when they have been well planned.  So, if this is a constant during our walk through the time given, then why is there such an impact of frustration, anger, and even defeat?  We should know by now that at some point in our design on how we think life should go, that chaos will inevitably intervene and have its way with us.  I would say this is the predictability of the unpredictable!  In a future writing I will address one reason that it impacts us so harshly and why we react the way we do. (It’s called narcissism.  A sometimes over inflated view of self-importance.  Another time, though.)

So, in the present, we see this swarm fluttering all around our everyday, buzzing with the possible of changing our directions.  It happens, and for some folks it happens more often than others.  There is no pre-disposition to the ailment of chaos. It isn’t a contagion that we get by standing too close to someone afflicted (though people may argue that the fallout of one’s chaotic attack can be adverse enough to create a sense of chaos in their own life)!  No matter what it is construed as, chaos exists, it affects, and it strikes anyone, anywhere, at any time!

The strength that chaos can have is given only by the reactions we have to it.  The turkey slides off the serving tray onto the ground right before it’s time to eat. Chaos ensues!  We can either crumble to the ground in utter defeat, allowing the tears of shattered dreams to wash all our intentions away, or, we can realize that our plan to serve may be altered, but the fact that our family and friends are there to share with us is so much bigger.  Chaos might trip, but it can never replace.  You may have lost something or someone, but chaos can never remove the memories and moments that mean so much more.  We are supposed to give thanks during thanksgiving, no matter what chaos has done in the past or even the present. It’s when we lose sight of the precious, the true reality of what we have, that’s when chaos has truly won. 

Don’t let the knowledge of impending chaos be the ruin in your heart.  Our time is measured, and there are so many more important things to be thankful for.

Arrested Development

My son is a hardened criminal.  Arrested in the commission of a heinous crime just the other morning.  Another vile perpetrator off our city streets.  We can rest easy tonight.

In the bustling city of St. Paul, Minnesota, the crowds of people are rushing to and fro, starting the day early in the morning.  Sidewalks fill with commuters coming into the city, destined for their places of employment, others are merely on one of many stops en route through the city via buses.  On this ordinary day, during a typical morning, one young man had exited his first bus and was walking the one city block to catch his next bus to get to his final destination.  But during the course of that short walk, he was approached by another young man who had asked him for a cigarette. Without breaking stride, he reached into his pocket and produced one and handed it over. Then, without deeper thought, continued on his way until…..

A police officer that witnessed the transaction summoned him back to the scene of the crime.

The officer and the other half of the criminal duo stood waiting.  Unbeknownst to my son was the fact that this cigarette requester was a minor!  He gave a minor a regulated substance. Provided this underage person with tobacco products!   Now, under the circumstances, I could understand the law is the law and justice must be dealt swiftly.  How else can the perpetrators learn their lesson, if not by showing them the error of their ways and stop their wayward path to becoming a boil on the buttocks of society?  Issue that ticket, give a stern warning, and move on. Simple, but not.

We don’t know if this is part of a major crime ring.  This could be the tip of the iceberg in something bigger.  Sure, from the outside it appears that some passerby bummed a cigarette from an unsuspecting commuter in the big city, but let’s not draw any conclusions. This just may be the fringes of a large crime family operation!  Maybe the beginnings of a drug cartel!

But who are we kidding. As I said before, it was a passerby asking for a smoke from one of thousands of commuters. Yes, a ticketing offense. The part that has me wondering is why this small act warranted an actual trip to the jail house for the two ‘actors’ in the event. Are you really going to pull an officer off the streets during the morning rush hour in down town just to haul in these two collaborators of crime?  Two, who got nothing more than the ticket that could have been written right there on the street!  I sure hope they did a full and proper investigation here. Maybe run the fingerprints through the system, have CSI analyze the clothing, recreate the crime with multi-dimensional computer imaging, and have the district attorney interview everyone on the streets.

Come on common sense! There isn’t more to this act that needs pointing out.

I think about how various government levels are under deep scrutiny to tighten the budget belts, cut spending, and operate with less. In fact, the police chief of St. Paul stated, not too long ago, that they are trimming 2.2 million dollars from their budget.

Okay. Good to know that they are eliminating waste. But common sense would show you that writing a ticket and getting back to fighting drugs, gangs, robbers, and prostitution is a much better use of the tax funds your department receives. Trim the waste, not the sense.  Don’t get me wrong, now.  I am a huge supporter of our peace officers and all involved in fighting crime.  I actually wish they had more investigators, officers, and better equipment so they can do their jobs more efficiently and safely.  I understand what they face out on the streets everyday and think that the criminal justice system needs to get tougher.  But, let’s measure some reality in with our system here.  The officer wasn’t dealing with punk gang members.  In fact, my son was texting while riding in the back of the squad car on his way to jail!  He had his phone and pocket contents still with him! Even in the holding cell, he still had his phone.

Now he wasn’t in for very long.  Took his ticket and left the jail a free man.  Even more fortunate for him was that he still got to work on time, he just had to find a ride.   The overall event has a touch of comedy to it.

But, as I told my wayward son…keep up that perceived criminal mindset and activities, and before you know it, you are on America’s Most Wanted! Don’t worry, folks….I’ll keep my eye on him.

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