Saturday, November 30, 2013

Leftover Stuffing?

I love stuffing.  I love it so much  I made extra this year.  A lot extra.  Turns out that I am the one person in my house who really loves stuffing.  I had no idea.  I now find myself with an abundance of stuffing.

Oh stuffing, our familiarity has bred much contempt.  Be gone from my home!

Perhaps you find yourself in the same situation?  After much brain mapping plus a bottle of Kendall Jackson, I've come up with this handy list of recycling ideas for our leftover stuffing.

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."  That's what I always say.  Well, not me, but people have said that.  It seems reasonable.

Chicken's list of things to do with leftover stuffing:
  • Modern sculpture.   I am picturing a replica of the first Thanksgiving constructed entirely out of leftover stuffing
  • Poultice.  I'm not sure how this would work, but it seems like a fit
  • Gesso replacement for the painters out there.  Picture an angry stuffing sea. What?  You can paint over it, dudes.
  • Homemade paper!
  • Insulation?  You'd need a lot of stuffing.  Perhaps if we took up a collection, we could insulate some poor soul's Hampton cottage
  • Facial mask (it's all organic!)
  • Fuel. I'm pretty sure dried out stuffing pellets would light the night and give off a pleasant aroma to boot.  In fact, why not grill some salmon on  a stuffing plank?  Why not?
  • Jewelry.  I'm picturing feathers and stuffing shaped into little turkeys.  So ironic.  The hipsters will totally dig them.
  • Dog treats.  My dog doesn't want any but dogs that don't get stuffing might like a stuffing cookie for Christmas.  A stuffing filled chew toy, perhaps
  • Do you think we could make a fabric out of leftover stuffing?  I'm thinking super warm socks
  • Thanksgiving scented Candles!!!
  • Again, we'd have to take up a collection, sort of like a scrap metal yard, but maybe we could use stuffing to fill potholes here in the Northeast?
  • Stuffing drywall seems doable
What will you make with your leftover stuffing?

Chicken out

Taxidermy irony anyone?

Paper or Shoes

In the town where I was raised there were two main industries, paper and shoes.  In most families one or both parents worked in either the paper mills or the shoe factories.  Kids grew up and often followed in their parents footsteps; paper or shoes.

Our family was a shoe family.  My father was an engineer for Bass shoe, founded by George Bass in 1876.  He started out on the factory floor and worked his way up. His job was to analyze the labor required to make a shoe, and then determine how much, per piece, a worker should be paid for their particular contribution. This kind of work was called "piece work", and allowed better, more experienced workers to earn more because they had harder jobs and/or were more productive. It was a non-unionized system that paid workers according to their productivity and skill.

Bass Shoe was sold to Chesebrough-Ponds in 1978.  They were famous for Vaseline, Ponds Cold Creams and other beauty products.  Why they wanted a shoe factory I couldn't say, but things continued to roll along fairly smoothly.  In 1981, President Reagan lifted the quotas on imported shoes and cheaper shoes from overseas became available.  American shoe companies, in order to compete, began moving their production overseas.  The companies that maintained factories in the US cut jobs and payroll.  My father lost his job in 1987 after Philips-Van Heusen purchased the company and again slashed jobs and payroll.  Bass closed their last Maine factory in 1998, letting go of its final 350 workers.  Over the course of 18 years, about 1,200 people employed by this one company lost their jobs. You can still buy Bass shoes, but they are not made in the US.

The paper mills have fared better but there have been union strikes, cuts and closings.  In short, my old hometown is not the insulated community it used to be.  We are not special.  The same thing has happened all across the country.

I bring these things up because it is a big shopping weekend and today is Shop Local Saturday. While it might not be practical to purchase only American-made products, it is possible to shop locally for one day and benefit your local community. Go on.  Get out there. Buy something already.

Chicken out

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dear Target:

Dear Target:

I will be shopping in your store on Black Friday from 2 PM to approximately 4 PM.  Thank you for limiting store occupancy during this period to 50 occupants or less.  While I normally prefer far fewer people sharing my shopping experience, I am aware that you have a business to run.  I am willing to compromise.  I will, however, require a dedicated register and register attendant at all times.  Also, if your people could do a quick clean-up of all the aisles before I arrive, I would be most appreciative.  This will most likely require closing an hour before my scheduled arrival, but I think you'll find that the time spent organizing will much enhance my shopping experience.   Don't forget the bathrooms!  Finally, I will require an additional 20% discount off your already low prices as your prices are not that low.  It goes without saying,  I assume, that you'll have an able-bodied, background-checked, attendant to valet my Hyundai.

Thank you for your attention to these matters.  I look forward to shopping with you this Black Friday.

Warm regards,