February 2009



I swore to myself that I would never take an online survey, knowing the result would be an e-mail inbox packed to the gills with junk mail. However, in a moment of weakness, I answered a few questions in order to get free coupons for baby diapers. I mean, c’mon folks, diapers are expensive these days; And I’m not one of those people who tears open a pack every time I do my grocery shopping! (I feel the temptation to rant about stay-at-home moms running eBay businesses with shoplifted inventory… but I think I can control myself)
Basically, as I waded through the monotonous questionnaire, I knew I was condemning my e-mail account to months of filtering hell. – Weight-loss vitamins, Make Thousands Using Your Own Computer, Free Credit Counseling, Government Grants –
What surprised me, though, was the sort of advertising I’ve been receiving.
I am fairly certain when providing my personal data, I declared I was a female in her late 20’s, expecting her third child in March (the second is also still in diapers)… female being the key word.
Shortly thereafter, I began receiving eHarmony, Match.com and other dating advertisements.
“Okay, maybe they think I’m a single, pregnant mom… needing a man to support us all.”

Then, I received ads such as “Single Ladies in your Area Wanting to Meet You”, “Russian Brides – I hope you like me”, “Black Ladies Looking for Fun” What the #*&% ?” I didn’t receive a single advertisement alerting me to available men. I don’t consider myself a prejudice, sexist, homophobic person… but why on earth would they assume that I’m looking for single, local ladies of any color or foreign, mail-order brides? My state doesn’t even allow same-sex marriages (or bigamy) yet… so that would be money wasted.

Tonight’s batch of junk was the frosting on my macaroni… I’ve been sent one suggesting that “Lonely Wives (are) Looking for Friends”. Really? Curiously, I clicked on it: *ahem* *reading headlines*
“Married but Lonely – Search Real Cheating Wives in your area! Searching is absolutely free! Create your free Profile online! Date local wives discreetly!”
I thought it was some kind of joke… I mean, having once been married to a possessive jerk, I would never have the guts to post a profile (with color photo!) on a local cheater’s website… yet apparently people do.
How is this considered dating discreetly???? I actually tried to do a search – after it revealed there were 2,400 profiles in my town alone – but as soon as the first page of profiles loaded, a huge window popped up (blocking all the pictures) insisting that I join for my free trial first. I closed the window, and left my voyeuristic nosiness unsated. Someone who’s actually belonged to a site like this needs to explain how it works for me…
Although I’m not going to judge others for decisions they make in unfulfilled marriages (I can hardly judge!), advertising yourself online doesn’t make sense to me. I live in a semi-rural area, so how anonymous can these locals truly be?

Speaking of privacy, I was reading an article in local paper; some paranoid person was complaining about the tracking performed by Google and other search engines, and how they store your searches and visited sites for a limited time. Apparently government officials, such as the FBI, have access to all your movements online. This person mentioned that these acts are an invasion of privacy, and he stated “What if I were looking up a medical condition?… I don’t want everyone
to know I might have cancer.” Everyone? Some stranger at the Pentagon accidentally stumbles upon your “cancer symptoms” search, and now your rights are infringed upon? Do you think he/she cares enough to investigate such matters? I personally don’t care whether Big Brother is watching me online. There aren’t enough people working in the government right now, to track every single person online. Why do you think all these pedophiles, child-porn suppliers, terrorists, and teen-age psychos planning homicidal rampages are going unnoticed? The Internet
is enormous and isn’t policed very well at all.
Actually, setting up an organization to monitor people’s activities would create millions of jobs! Get everyone off welfare; and stay-at-home mothers could be spies from the comfort of their living rooms! I say: Go for it!

Seriously, I think the FBI or whomever, should be investigating anyone who types in searches like “how to build a nuclear weapon from kitchen ingredients” or “poisons that will fool a medical examiner”
If you’re feeling guilty because you’ve recently joined the Local Online Cheater’s Club, you should be more concerned with your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s reaction should they find out, and not The Men in Black from Washington.
You might also cross your fingers and hope that if your husband starts Googling “how to discreetly dispose of a body” or “making a shooting look self-inflicted” … that Someone out there is actually keeping tabs on him, and cares
enough to infringe on his privacy rights (in order to stop him).

TaraFlyPhotos portraits and art - Public Restroom
Occasionally I find humor in my job. Such is the case when a new or existing product catches my attention, due to it’s odd name or description.

A few months ago, when our cereal floor-plan was re-configured and more square-footage was given to Kashi brands, I discovered the cereal called “Good Friends”. The box depicts the faces of two smiling women, and it advertises the ability to provide consumers with up to 30% of their daily fiber needs.

Good Friends cereal box image

Something about this cereal stumps me… why call it “Good Friends”? I began asking co-workers (quite innocently, mind you) if they’d “ever eaten Good Friends…”
A few people recognized the brand, but I mainly received confused and startled expressions – “Huh? WHAT did you say?”
Although nothing that ventures from my mouth should surprise anyone… “Only you” they comment with a head shake.
Showing them the box didn’t help; the implications that come from two smiling women’s faces… “They eat Good Friends every morning and feel great!”

I decided this would be a great topic for a random street interview – I could picture myself walking up to strangers and asking:
— “Have you ever eaten Good Friends? No? Well, Good Friends are extremely healthy for you…they’re high in fiber”
— “Hello, sir, did you know that eating Good Friends can provide you with a third of your daily fiber needs? It’s true, have Good Friends for breakfast…”

I would love to try it sometime, but I don’t own a camcorder at present, and I feel the spontaneity MUST be caught on film. Perhaps Kashi should consider using the idea as a commercial… *hint, hint – folks in Kashi land*

Another product I recently examined a bit more closely was Ak-mak crackers. I had ordered them and stocked them on a regular basis without really taking the time to learn about them. I only knew they were an ethnic cracker (originating from the Middle East somewhere) and they were in the “Healthy” section – pure ingredients, no
preservatives.
One evening, I was in the stockroom, and a fellow dept. manager walked by and noticed a couple cases on the shelf.
“What’s Ak-mak?”
I wanted to say it was a Klingon dessert, but I held my tongue. Some people might take offense. I told them what I knew, and then my curiosity overwhelmed me, so I opened the case and started reading the box cover.

“Made from 100% Whole of the Wheat”…. Whole of the Wheat?? Does anyone say that? Why, it’s a Wheat-hole!
And thus, my new expletive was born. I can now refer to people as “wheat-holes” and sound insulting whilst still leave them scratching their heads.

Of course, the back of the box had a picture diagram of a wheat kernel, the various parts, and stated that the manufacturer uses the entire kernel to make the wheat flour. Wouldn’t that simply be called “Whole Wheat”?
It’s probably just a glitch in the translation or something. Actually, their website is quite interesting… www.Akmak Bakeries.com …. I’m almost tempted to buy some myself.

I wonder if they provide as much fiber, and pleasure, as eating good friends??