Aug 28, 2009

Buy American (wind shield wipers)

I learned today that when it rains, wind shield wipers aid in your ability to see the road ( true story). When your wiper blades need replacing the rubber starts to deteriorate leaving an oily film on the windshield as the deteriorated blades try to wick away the moisture. This oily film attaches to your windshield and causes the wiper blades to be even less effective because the oil mixes with the water and forms a sort of impenetrable paste. Evidently wiper blades should be changed every 6,000 miles. Normally I would say phooey on that auto industry as you are simply trying to grab every last shekel you can from hard working and calloused hands. After my experience today, I am now a believer and will add new wiper blades into the regimen every two oil changes.

I work down in a southern suburb known fondly as B-town that USED to have a Toyota dealership. I say USED to because the vast road construction in B-town caused the previously handy dealership to shut down and relocate. Well this caused a bit of a pickle as I could barely see and was driving all Mr.Magoo* style down American Blvd. I needed wiper blades and I needed them STAT. Who oh who would come through for me? The friendly folks at Dodge of B-town.

I pulled in to their parts department, scrambled in through the rain and was greeted by a very sweet girl by the name of Ruthie who directed me to a kindly chap named Eric. Eric not only went out in the pouring rain and measured my wipers to see if any Dodge/ Chrysler parts would work on my totally Japanese car. Bless the mans heart he had suitable blades located with in 5 minutes and even installed them for me free of charge.

You guys, for the price of one wiper blade at Toyota, I got two American made** windshield wipers installed by a very friendly technician. And the Dodge dealership was on American Blvd, could I be more patriotic?

While I still love the maneuverability, fuel efficiency, stowed third row and overt cuteness of my Rav-4, I have seriously got a rekindled love of buying things American.

We live in a global economy and that is wonderful and has opened up doors for innovation and brought us technologies that 5 years ago were not even a dream but isn't there something to be said for taking some pride in the craftsmanship of American companies and American products?

What are your favorite, high quality American made products or companies? Extra points if they are a Minnesota company.

I will be dedicating future blog posts to exploring and promoting products, companies and services that offer high quality, American made goods. What do you love about the company and why? I want to hear from YOU!

* You guys Mr. Magoo totally had Myopia. And that is in way a comical condition as it seriously impairs your ability to see to near total blindness. And I drive like a dude who is near totally blind. I suck.

** I was not able to verify that Dodge wiper blades are actually manufactured in the USA, because North America is not really known for its vast Rubber tree plantations I sincerely doubt they were. But Dodge is a Michigan*** based company and Michigan was in theUSA last time I checked so I totally give Dodge wiper blades some USA street cred.

*** I hate Michael Moore. But I loved Bowling for Columbine and Farenheit 9/11. Still do. I am so conflicted.

Aug 27, 2009

The taste of complete and utter fugness

I have been working very hard to be both health/ nutrition conscious and budget conscious. While one actually sort of follows the other, I some times fall of the wagon and will eat, say, a hot muffalletta with a goat cheese salad. All 9,000 glorious calories of it at a whopping $9.50 price tag ( Crave in the Galleria, you can totally suck it). When I decide to eat something from home the price is built into my grocery bill ( love love love Super Target*) and the calories are usually a gentle 200-350 per meal. And the quality/ taste of the food is generally better too.
Enter mistake numero uno. Un Grande mistake-o. I really fucked up.

Today I ate something I regret. I ate something that still haunts my mouth and stomach because my body refuses to throw it back up despite my mind willing my body to just go ahead and spew it all away. Yuck Yuck Yuck, I ate Lean Cuisine Macaroni and Cheese.
You guys, I should have known better. As it microwaved it got gelatinous chunks of "cheese" in it that didn't go away with stirring and remained glued to my fork despite my efforts at wiping, flinging and rinsing the cheese globs away.
The first bite was kind of chewy but with the consistency of noodles cooked too long. It tasted like bland cheese flavored chemicals and smelled like garlic. Why did I eat more? I will never know. I ate most of the package with my stomach telling me "no no no!!!" and my brain saying "Sarah, it is 270 calories and you need to eat lunch. Don't be wasteful." I could have eaten 270 calories of lard and felt better afterwards and lard wouldn't have left a chemical cheese/ garlic flavor in my mouth.
In summation... I hate you Lean Cuisine.

* I love Super Target. I love Super Target so much I want to live at Super Target. There is almost NOTHING you can't get at Super Target and I have yet to find something I can't get there that I can't find either a suitable substitute or couldn't just live with out it. Super Target is my Mecca. Super Target is my sanctuary. I want to have little tiny, bargain priced, up and up babies with Super Target. O.k. that last part was a stretch. Because Saint Michael works for Target Corp ( boo ya!) we get the great perk of the employee discount so all the awesome things we love at Super Target are cheaper for our family.