Friday, April 21, 2017

Eat, Drink, and be Merry!

Captain’s Note: This is the Captain’s third post this week! Must be a hangover from all the Easter candy. Anyway, if you are one of those readers who only checks in occasionally, you might want to go back and catch up.

Apparently Newsweek, that bastion of conservative journalism, is looking for a fight.

Did they challenge any of the inane statements that came from our President this week? No.

How about when Attorney General Sessions called Hawaii “some little island in the Pacific”? Nope.

Anything about Bill O’Reilly? Nah.

What was apparently really important in the News Room this week was the announcement by Starbucks of a new drink: the Unicorn Frappuccino!

And since Starbucks is a successful business for reasons no one can quite fathom, Newsweek sent ace curmudgeon reporter Chris Riotta to criticize try it out.

And he hated it!

Which surprised the Captain. One would think that anyone who could wear a shirt like that would be a little more whimsical!

The Captain could tell where Riotta was headed from the very beginning of the review:

“There's something particularly disconcerting about your everyday coffee shop advertising that one of its beverages is made with "rainbows" instead of informing customers about its truly dangerous ingredients.”

Captain’s Note: I once preached a sermon filled with rainbows and fairy dust! Just sayin’…

“No, the blended beverage is not created by sprinkling sunshine and sprinkles over the blessed juices of rainbows and unicorns. It's 16 ounces of fat, chemicals and sugar.”

He sounds disappointed!

To be fair, other critics of Starbucks have expressed the same faux outrage. BuzzFeed even compared the Unicorn Frappuccino’s 59 grams of sugar – 1 ½ times the daily recommended allowance – with the sugar content of a 12 oz. Coke (39 grams of sugar), a Hershey Bar (24 grams of sugar), and a bowl of Frosted Flakes (10 grams of sugar).

But if you are really concerned about your health and what you put in your body, you shouldn’t be supporting Starbucks anyway.

Let’s do a side-by-side comparison with another Starbucks offering – a more “mature” drink: A Mocha Frappuccino. No rainbows, no fairy dust.

Well look at that! The Mocha Frappuccino has more of all that bad stuff (except fat) than the Unicorn Frappuccino. And no caffeine! And yet, where was the outrage when Starbucks launched the Mocha Frapp?

Again, the Captain suspects a corporate bias against the wildly successful chain of coffee shops. In fact, Riotta pretty much says so as he describes an encounter with a teenager at the coffee shop, who took a picture of his drink and posted it on her social network. Riotta railed about how the teen was only playing into “Starbucks’ marketing ploy”.

Ironically, Riotta’s review of the drink in Newsweek serves the same purpose.

Is the Unicorn Frappuccino really “the worst drink I have ever purchased in my life”? To drive home his point, he quotes a colleague’s description: “This is Pepto Bismol disguised as happiness.”

But couldn’t we all use a little happiness in our lives?

Unlike Chris Riotta, the Captain’s motto is, “Live and let live.”

Mates, don't let others tell you what you like or don't like. Make your own decisions. If you enjoy a Unicorn Frappuccino, then by all means treat yourself!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Do the Math!

Since the beginning of Facebook, users have been drawn into the laughable but futile exercise of trying to prove how smart they are.

“I bet you can’t name all 50 states”

Captain’s Note to Jeff Sessions: That line of islands out there in the Pacific makes up the state of Hawaii, a part of these United States since 1959.

“Only 25% can name all these famous people”

The Captain was unable to name all the famous people because after getting the first 50 right, I got bored!

“How fast can you find the number 8?”


And we take up the challenge, some even with the knowledge that these “mind games” are at best “click-bait”, and possibly even “data mining”.


So yesterday’s challenge looked like this:

According to the creator, a whopping 97% will get it wrong!

Reading through the comments, people worked extra hard – going through all sorts of mental gymnastics – to prove how smart they are.

“I want to be in the top 3% of geniuses on Facebook!”

The prevailing answer for 5 + 8 was “45”.

Here’s how they figured it:
-Multiply the two given numbers, then add to it the first number again. Thus,  
1 X 4 = 4, plus 1 more = 5
-This formula holds true for the next two lines as well.
-So in the final equation, 
5 X 8 = 40, plus 5 more = 45

Obviously these folks are not in the 3%.

Let the Captain set you straight.

The first line is correct.  
1 + 4 = 5

The next two lines are incorrect. 
2 + 5 = 7, not 12
3 + 6 = 9, not 21


Thus, the correct answer for the final question is: 
5 + 8 = 13

It doesn’t matter what the two previous answers are. In this case, they are wrong! Acknowledge that and move on!

5 + 8 = 13

Mates, in Math, numbers and symbols have meanings. There are rules. You can’t just decide to multiply when the problem clearly says to add.

No. They are rules!

In the Captain’s humble opinion, the test is not about solving a math equation at all, but rather demonstrating how many gullible people are out there on Facebook.

And according to the creator of this simple test, it’s 97%.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Boats! Boats! Boats!

They say the happiest two days in a man’s life are the day he buys a boat and the day he sells his boat!

The Captain wants a boat!

This is a dangerous state in which to be, because when the Captain reaches this point, he tends to follow through… for better or worse!

Captain’s Note: Did I mention we got a sweet tax refund this year?

You might remember from seven years ago, when the Captain decided he wanted – no “NEEDED!” – a Jeep. It was only a matter of weeks that I made it come to be.

Then, last Fall, the Captain decided the Jeep was not working out. And again, in a matter of weeks, I found and purchased its replacement.

Of course, all of that could be justified. Rationalized.


But a boat? How are you going to sell that idea to the First Mate?

We are blessed to have friends with boats.

Fishing boats, ski boats, house boats, sail boats, and kayaks.

But our lake fun has always been dependent upon others. In the past these friends have been fairly generous to invite us to go out with them on weekends. Over the years those invitations have dwindled as everybody’s circumstances have changed.

With a big family vacation coming up – for which we’ve rented a lake house – we have been searching for affordable options to get everyone out on the water. Unfortunately, boat rentals in this area are ridiculous!

So wouldn’t it be better if we had our own boat?

Then we could be in control of our schedule, and invite friends out for the weekend.

And it just so happens there is a “Boat Show” this weekend.

A religious person could even argue that it’s a “God-thing”.

Captain’s Note: And seriously, how much longer can I continue to be called “Capt. Dave” without a boat?

But then there are the costs: fuel, slip/storage, insurance, maintenance.

Yes, that could be a budget-buster!

And then, the real argument (because I think the First Mate would like to have a boat too!) would be what kind of boat should we get?

The Captain wants a Trawler – or something comparable that one could sleep aboard should we so desire.

The future "Banana Winds"?
Or if it becomes necessary.

We could travel up and down the rivers, visiting places we have never been to before, not limited by distance or by darkness.

My other choice would be a pontoon boat that we could operate on the lakes as a floating bar.

But that is illegal in this part of the world.

I suspect the First Mate would choose either a ski boat or a houseboat. 

But for the Captain, the first would be too small and the second is too bulky.

Hopefully the Boat Show this weekend will be fruitful in helping make a decision.

Yes, we are going!

But for now – for the sake of this summer’s vacation – we have agreed on at least buying kayaks.

Well, that’s a start.