Monday, May 11, 2009

48 - Answers

[Editor's Note: Two questions? Really? I know that Tim's been off his game for a while now, but I think he can handle more than two questions at a time. Oh wait, hang on, I just got his answers. Let me read this real quick. Hmmm, on second thought, he's still off his game. Maybe we should take it easy on him.]

Q: Bill Jeffers - Is there anything bacon can't do? I mean I'm sure it could even cure this silly swine flu in the proper dosage.
A: Though I can't be certain I think that this question arose from the picture shown below that was posted on the Random Thread a few weeks ago...

...but since I can't be sure about that I won't assume anything.

I wasn't sure how to start answering this question, so I decided to start by typing "bacon" into Google and hitting search. Oddly the first thing that appeared was a series of pictures, among them this:

Needless to say I was interested. I've seen bacon in lots of things before, but bacon and boobs together is a first. Sadly the link is boring but you're welcome to follow it here.

Once I got past that picture I was surprised at how many websites out there are dedicated to bacon. It seems such a silly thing, but then the Internet is a big place. There are sites for just about any interest in the world, so why should bacon be left out?

To answer your larger question, bacon is an inanimate object. Therefore there are many things that it cannot do, such as move or make noise. But even with this limitation there is much that bacon can do. It can make a wonderful sound when frying in the morning. It can turn an ordinary turkey sandwich into a Turkey Club Sandwich. It can soothe a burn on your skin if applied directly to the area. OK, I'm not certain of that last one, but you get the drift.

I can speak from personal experience that bacon can even improve a pie. I have a pear tree in my backyard and as a result found myself with a plethora of pears in the fall. Not knowing what else to do with them I started baking pies using the standard apple pie recipe. Around that time I came across a blog post on Instapundit referencing this post. I was intrigued by this twist on the classic apple pie and decided to try it myself. It was, in a word, wonderful. The key to the recipe is actually not the bacon but rather the swapping of sugar for maple syrup. That change gives the pie a very breakfasty taste, not to mention an even better smell than bacon alone. I look forward to experimenting with this recipe again this fall once my pears come.

By the way, if you were referring to Sir Francis Bacon (best known for inventing the so-called "scientific method"), he died in 1626, so there are limits to what he can do. And if you meant Kevin Bacon (he of Six Degrees fame), as a famous Hollywood actor I'm sure he's too busy to do much outside of acting.

[Editor's Note: Tim, that was lame even for you. Come on, I thought it was pretty funny.]

Your little jab at the swine flu turns out to be pretty accurate in hindsight. As of this writing people are still talking about it but the bark has turned out to be worse than the bite, at least so far. I'm sure that once flu season hits this winter people will begin to get sick again and that the media will once more begin to shout and make worried faces at each other.

Allow me to take a small detour: The ability of the media to drum up public interest and hysteria about a topic is no longer interesting to me. They've been doing that ever since there's been media. To coin a phrase, that's not news. What interests me now is WHY they choose to go after topics. Assessing the motives behind what the media focuses attention on allows me to filter out that which is unimportant from that which is important. So using that logic, why did the media blow up this swine flu story? My theory is ratings, pure and simple. This story falls under the general entertainment category of news, which is (unfortunately) how the cable networks like MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN all make their money. If they make a big deal out of this story then people will watch them for the latest updates and advice. Unfortunately for the general good this has a "boy who cried wolf" quality about it since this particular flu didn't turn out to be that bad. We'll see if there is any credibility left when the next crisis appears.

Even though I am a frequent business traveler and thus in the demographic of people who would be exposed to swine flu I was never afraid of it, and am still not afraid. As I told people who asked me if I was nervous, I'll be scared the minute a perfectly healthy person dies as a direct result of this flu. Until then I just don't care. It's a flu, people. Flus have been around forever. Some are worse than others, and as I said before, once flu season hits this one will probably come back strong. It may even prove to be as dangerous as we're being led to believe. Time will tell. As for using bacon as a cure for the swine flu, I recommend against it. The only way that it might be effective is if you made a mask out of the bacon. And that, while awesome, would probably cause its own set of problems for you.

Finally, I'd like to close with a request. Charlie Blackmer told me once that at his office they used the euphemism "you can't wrap that in bacon" as a way to say that something can't be improved upon. I implore you, dear readers, to use this in your daily lives. Let's see if we can bring this to the mainstream.

Q: Sarah LaBombard - Why didn't you come to Florida with us???
A: I am sorry that I couldn't come to Tampa with you and the rest of your insane gang, Sarah. There are a few reasons for this. First, I was in Tampa two weeks ago to support a demonstration for our local sales guy. During that time I absorbed about as much of Tampa as I could handle for the time being. It's a lovely city, mind you, but a few days there is really all I need at a time. Second, assuming my boss doesn't spring some new project on me, I will get to spend this entire week in Rochester. I plan to use this gift of time to throw myself at my house. I have to paint my guest bedroom, clean my kitchen, and do some serious planting in my yard. I'm especially looking forward to the planting. My thumb has never been very green and I'm hoping I can turn that around this year.

Third, and most importantly, I'm exhausted. Mentally, physically, spiritually, economically, socially, exhausted. A few days of hard labor on my house is just what the doctor ordered for me to recharge my batteries.

I'm sorry, Sarah. I hope you understand and that you all have a great week down there!