Thursday, 10 February 2011

Bottled Water in DC

Someone went out and finally figured out that almost $1 million in bottled water is served to Congressmen and their staffs over an average year.

I have to be honest here...most folks that I know in Arlington....would never ever drink tap water.  Here in the Pentagon....out of 23k folks....I doubt if you can find more than 500 that admit to drinking from the tap.  The rest all drink coffee, tea, bottled water, or sodas.

This million in bottled water?  It's all paid by the US government.  Don't ask how or why....but it just is.  If you asked any Senator or Representative...they'd admit that within 200 feet of their office....there's a water cooler.  Some of the old guys probably remember drinking from the hallway tap twenty or thirty years ago...but then they just stopped.

I started thinking about this.  I was a tap guy up until 1989 when I got to Arizona, and then discovered the funny taste of water there.  It took me three months but I eventually got around to buying 5-gallons of 'pure-mountain' water each week.  I felt silly about this but it had a decent taste.

When I finally got to Bitburg in 1993.....I started to shift over to bottled water entirely.  I haven't had a drink of tap water in ten years.

It's kinda silly.  Folks have all changed and accepted the cost of bottled water.  Most water that you buy....is simply from some city well or county well.....and went though a special filter to add a few minerals for taste.  Me?  I'm awful particular about French mountain water now.  I drink Evian....which they claim is glacier water.  I try hard to believe that French claim, and hope it's not bogus and simply pumped out of some Paris city sell.

Should Congressmen and Senators pay for their own water?  Yeah....I'm of the mind that they ought to kick in the money themselves...unless there's something terribly wrong with the water....like lead.  And being in DC....well....someone might come to admit one day that this is the reason why everyone sips bottled water.

Ford, the F-150, and the Fat Lady

I doubt it will make national news.....and seriously doubt that CNN would ever mention this.  But Ford got all upset the other day, and hustled up its best lawyers to sue the heck out of Ferrari.  You can imagine this group of Italian lawyers waking up and being told that Ford is upset with Ferrari, and it's got to be settled in court.

The cause?  Well....the Ferrari guys come once a year to name their yearly Formula 1 racing car.  Formula 1....for you folks from Red Bay.....is like NASCAR but European in nature.  The guys in charge of Formula 1 will tell you that their cars run faster, and they have bigger accidents....with tires flying off into the stands.  They might be true on this but it's not the important part of this story.  The Ferrari folks decided this year....their car name would be F-150.

Yep, F-150.....named after the legendary Ford pick-up.  You can understand the hostile nature of Ford.  You just can't allow a bunch of Italian guys....even Ferrari....to take and screw up the legend of F-150.

The Italian folks claim that this 150 all relates back to the 150th year of Italy's unification...although they haven't explain the "F" part of this yet.

So this case will proceed in a Detroit federal court room....of all places......over a violation of a trademark. Ford would like unspecified damages.

I sat pondering over this event.  To be honest.....it is an advertising bonanza....if these Ford guys handled this the right way.  It needs to be run like one of those fancy operas where a bunch of Vikings sing of their sorrow and woes....a Spanish barber appears to chop off more hair than you got.....a drunk queen jumps around the stage singing about Budweiser and love lost.....then the fat lady comes out and starts singing about the F-150.

My version would have a Formula 1 racetrack....with two guys from Mobile who suddenly appear at the rear of the track in their Ford F-150....jump into the race....riding side by side with the Ferrari race car until the last lap....when the Ford team stops for a couple of pretty Italian gals by the side of the race track and allow the Ferrari team to win.

Ford has a million-dollar commercial....if they just used their head for once.

Things Happen in DC

DC is this mythical place where things happen....that would never happen anywhere else.  I've come to realize this over the past year.

Sometime in the last two weeks....some gal had taken her infant daughter over to a Smithsonian Musuem in DC.  For those who always thought there was one and only one Smithsonian structure.....let me correct you.  There are various Smithsonian buildings.  Some for history.  Some for industry.  Some for art.  Some for air flight.

So the gal, Noriko Aita, sat down and wanted to breast-feed her daughter within the confines of this museum.  She probably got about a minute into this when security alerted on this episode, and then asked her to move the nursing over to the women's restroom.  She retreats from the women's bathroom after she finds no place to nurse....back to a public bench in the actual hallways of the museum.

Well....the security guys alert again and this time....suggest that she nurse while sitting on the toilet.  I can only imagine this is a guy who is suggesting this...but we have that to being unknown.  Naturally....this upsets the gal and she leaves.

Ms Aita is kinda smart and goes back to read up on nursing in federal facilities.  Naturally, she comes up to this historical document that Bill Clington signed in 1999. The document? The Right to Breastfeed Act, which was hidden into a appropriations bill.  Basically....unknown to the vast number of citizens in America....Bill had signed a document that you can breast-feed until hell freezes over....in any federal building.  I'm guessing it's barely two pages long and doesn't involve federal money.  It certainly isn't 2,000 pages long.

Oddly enough.....the benches in the Smithsonian....are provided by the Federal government.....so she has legal rights.

So this has invited this big breast-feed 'strike' scheduled for Saturday morning at 10AM.  I'm guessing dozens...maybe even hundreds of ladies will be there in the Smithsonian....to breast-feed.

At this point, I sat there pondering.  If only the security guard had just looked the other way or spent time doing his cross-word puzzle....then none of this would be public worries.  He opened a can of worms.

Then, there's this strange thing that Bill Clinton signed.  I'm starting to wonder...what else did Bill sign and we might be kinda shocked at various rights given to us.....that we weren't even aware of.  Heck, he might have given guys the right to just pull to the side of the road and relieve ourselves there...without any worry of public urination being an issue.  Maybe.

This must have been a pretty important situation for Bill to push up this and quietly arrange it as federal law.  Maybe some gal requested it and Bill just complied.  Maybe Bill just liked gazing on women in federal places and had this imaginary moment where he could envision a gal standing there and breast-feeding.  You just don't know.  And maybe, you just don't want to know.

Then you have to wonder about this Saturday.  Imagine 200 women showing up and breast-feeding at some Smithsonian.  Plus you probably will have 2000 guys showing just to watch this because they have a kinky fetish over breast-feeding.  Pictures being taken?  Well....yeah....there's probably going to be a couple thousand pictures taken and posted somewhere.

News crews?  Yeah....I'm guessing the Channel Four team will be there and cover this as a live-event.  Live....from the Smithsonian....breast-feeding.  Maybe even C-SP*N will be there.

At the end of this whole mess....somebody will suggest....because this is a Smithsonian art museum.....there ought to be some statue there of some gal breast-feeding.  Naturally, congress will rush out to commission a $2 million dollar statue from some Italian guy, and he will use various pieces of steel and weld them them up into a depiction of a gal breast-feeding some kid.

So, yeah....things happen in DC....that simply don't happen elsewhere.  Maybe that's a good thing.