Truth in Labeling

I bought some sliced mushrooms the other day.

I prefer to buy my mushrooms in bulk since I use just a couple at a time in salads or as a pizza topping, but my grocery store only had the pre-packaged kind that day. Even then, I typically buy whole mushrooms, but I was in a hurry and since I knew I’d have to spend a little time brushing dirt of the fungi, I decided to see if any of the factory-packaged mushrooms were also machine washed.

That’s when I saw the answer to a lazy man’s prayers – Giorgio’s Fresh ‘n Clean brand ‘shrooms. Perfect! No buffing needed, just tear open the plastic and eat ‘em by the handful, right? At least that’s what I planned to do, until I noticed the fine print.

Though these sliced delicacies were nestled together under a label that boasted they were “Fresh ‘n Clean,” the advisory in much smaller print said “Best to Wash All Produce Before Using.” So … what does “Fresh ‘n Clean” mean? Isn’t that a promise? And if not, what is it? Marketing language? Perhaps the old name, “Fresh and Dirt Caked” just wasn’t resonating with the shoppers at Cub. And now I was questioning the “Fresh” part too.

Soon, the small print had me completely paralyzed. What do they mean that it’s “best” to wash “all” produce? All produce in sight, or just the stuff in this package? And what if I didn’t? The advisory didn’t say it was “Necessary” to wash the mushrooms, or “Important” or even “Suggested”. It’s just … “best”. Maybe that slightly earthy just-off-the-conveyor-belt flavor is good enough.

But wouldn’t you know it … I washed them anyway. Because I always do what I’m told and I always want things to be at their “best”.

Do you obey labels and signs?

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115 thoughts on “Truth in Labeling”

  1. Good morning to all. Like you, Dale, I do feel guilty if I don’t obey labels and I seldom fail to do that. This can be a little over done. I heard a joke about someone who was late to arriving at their destination. They were late because as they drove up the interstate they had stopped at rest stops where there were signs that said “clean rest rooms”. and they did.

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    1. i had a meeting in arkansas and the truck was coming in from atlanta and te driver had left the night before and was still 5 hours late. we almost missed the meeting. when asked what took him so long he said i dont know what you all like about these freeways. its hard to get anywhere very fast when they have those signs telling you to exit every mile or two in the city and at every little town when you get out in the country.

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      1. There are a lot of those exit signs and I wonder why there so many signs marking crossings for slow children.

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    2. Reminds me of the time Ole & Lena were driving up to Duluth… Ole saw a sign that said “Duluth left” so he turned around and drove home. (yuk, yuk, yuk)

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  2. oh, Dale – obedience can be a heavy burden.
    there was a sign in the music/video section of a store in Duluth that said not to leave that section with any item – to purchase it first.at that counter. well, i guess no one did that because there was another sign pasted on top of the other one that said “Please Read This Sign!!”
    and our neighbor tells of a “no trespassing” sign he saw nearby, one that had obviously been ignored. the sign-poster then scrawled on another piece of paper “This Mean You!”
    i think that language is more effective than the proper grammar :-)
    happy day to All
    where’s Clyde?

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    1. Clyde left a message late in the day onTuesday indicating his computer has not been preforming well and the service man had left without solving the problem. He might still have that problem.

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  3. I used to be a pretty obedient person, nowadays not so much. It really depends what the sign is about. These days I have a hard time reading the fine print so I’m probably missing information that would otherwise scare the bejeebers out of me. So far it hasn’t killed me.
    Where’s Joanne?

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  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Where I am concerned the answer to this is not “Yes or No.” The answer is “It depends.” Sigh. When it comes to food preparation or canning/preserving anyting, or administering medication, I am diligent and scrupulous. Preparing unsanitary food has too many risks, especially if you cook for others. So where food is concerned I probably over do it. My fear of food poisoning (self or others) is great. This does not apply to recipes. Those I do my way. Just food sanitation.

    However, in other areas,, like putting together an item I have purchased from Ikea, learning to use computer programs or a new compter, or some art work I do what is intuitive. The next step is what feels right, especially when I know how something works or know what I’m doing..

    So there you have it. Labels are just another rule that gets in the way. I don’t know why I am this way. I just am. Need I point out that I have difficulty working in bureaucracies?

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    1. I agree about being careful to follow information on sanitary food handling. The information on food handling can be a little confusing because it has changed a little over the years. I think it is best to follow the latest information on these practices. When it comes to diet it is very hard to keep up with the latest recomendations. In fact, I think it is nearly impossible to keep up with the constantly changing recommendations on what to eat.

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    2. Working at the Health Department has made me much more diligent about food safety-I would be horrified if my error led to an outbreak that was discussed at “Morning Meeting.”

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    3. well, yes, Jacque – you found an area where i too follow the rules – in fact i make up more – so it’s almost an obsession, but i think very necessary – especially milking the goats and handling the milk.

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  5. Last summer I bought a set of gardening tools – two sizes of hand trowels, a digging fork, and a dandelion digger packaged together on a piece of cardboard. On the back it said “Always use protective eyewear when using tools”. Show of hands, please – how many of you put on goggles to dig dandelions?

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    1. I don’t but I’ve had a very good object lesson in why I should. When child was about six, I had just finished this spring chore when she came and said I missed one and could she do it. Maybe 30 seconds later she walked back to me in the garage with her hand over her eye and blood seeping between her fingers. It was one of my hardest moments to move her hand, thinking she had probably gauged her eye out. Luckily the cut was above the eye on the eyebrow. She had not pushed the digger in far enough so it had rebounded into her face. 3 stitches and no tears – but even after this, I still don’t wear googles on my annual dandelion extermination!

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    2. I use one of those dandelion pullers that you step on – has a dog on the cardboard thingie that goes with it…I don’t wear protective eye wear, and often wear inappropriate footwear (or none at all) while using it.

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  6. i am not too good at following instructions. when all else fails read the directions are the words i tend to go by. in my kitchen i tend to go with the if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger mode of living. when i get food poisoning it has to be really screwed up food. never happened at home only once or twice at resteraunts . following rules out there in life… gosh i hate rules and i run into ones all the time i disregard. did you know all those stop signs from and in parking lots are illeagal. did you know no one can ask for your social security number for identifacation. did you know if you dont get caught it doesnt count. i had to explain to my daughter the othermorning as i ran a red light because the left turn guy already went and we would have to wait for the entire cycle of the lights to get back to us again that i ws being stupid. runnign a red light is a pretty severe ticket and in reality i got her to her appointment at 7:01 instead of 7:03 am. pick you battles and shake the dice is how i go through the day.

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  7. Like most folks, “it depends.” In areas of life where I’m unsure of myself, I follow rules slavishly. In areas where I am cocky, I’ll go my own way like any pirate full of rum. On the whole, I’ve grown suspicious of a lot of rules and instructions, as so many of them are CYA lawyer-generated bulpoopy. On the whole, I’m not likely to follow rules or instructions that don’t appeal to my common sense.

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  8. Dang it, Dale – I like to buy those pre-washed, pre-sliced mushrooms because they are so convenient – saves so much time over buying whole mushrooms and washing the mushrooms which seem so full of dirt. I never noticed those instructions. I suppose the bulk salad greens I buy at the co-op have the same instructions?

    I tend to be overzealous about cleanliness when handling meat and fish, but not so much with other food. Following other instructions and rules?…depends on how I feel and what it is. Traffic laws and parking rules? Yes. Returning library items on time? Yes. Other things? Not so much and it depends. For instance, one rule of writing I always broke was if I was assigned to write an outline, I generally wrote it after I wrote the paper, not before.

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    1. Outlines always befuddled me, too. How do you know how you’re going to write it until you’ve written it?

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      1. When I taught freshman composition I discovered–to my shock–that I have a natural gift for outlining. I can look at some statement, no matter how messy it is, and the natural outline for it just jumps out at me. I could never turn that talent into a way of making money :(.

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    2. i am of mixed feelings about washing my produce – on the one hand, it’s good to knock off the extra dirt, on the other hand, I find it hard to believe that rinsing my veggies does much more than make me feel better…and I have a hard time spending cold hard cash on “veggie wash”…

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      1. I think that any lettuce or other vegetables that have been sitting in a bag or on shelf could have started to rot or might have become contaminated in some way. I think they should be washed even if they are labeled as washed. At least with salad greens you should look them over and pick out any bad looking stuff which can often be found.

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      2. Jim, I agree in theory – but when I wash salad greens, I can never, ever seem to get them dry enough. so either I’m eating wet salad greens (if I was them soon before eating) or I store them in the frig and they get all slimy and icky in a day or two because they’re wet.

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      3. I did have a salad spinner…it broke. And it never seemed to get the stuff super dry. Maybe I’m too picky. Anyway, I’m back to putting the salad greens in a pillowcase, stepping outside, and giving it a good spin. I think If I had a pillowcase made of different material (cheesecloth?), it would work better. For now, I buy the organic salad greens in bulk from the co-op and don’t bother washing. But that won’t work when spring comes and I start growing my own…

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  9. My problem is following directions too anxiously & literally. I rarely drive more than 20 minutes from home and even more rarely to somewhere “unknown”. I’m so certain that I’ll get lost that I Mapquest the destination, then draw a map, then write down the text directions, then Google-map it just to confirm Mapquest’s validity. I’ve noticed that clicking on “Map” for a picture almost always shows a totally different route than clicking on written “Directions”.

    In spite of all these preparations, I often get lost anyway because the damn street signs rarely coordinate with my handwritten map! In fact, I’ve developed a significant distrust of all things Mapquesty. A few years ago, my kids gave me a fancy GPS to solve being directionally-challenged but I couldn’t get through the instruction book and just let the thing hide away in the glove compartment. As to often getting “lost”; I’ve always wondered if my parents forgot me in
    a gas station during a trip or something and I’ve never gotten over it?

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    1. Crystalbay – we’re soul sisters. I often say that I am “directionally challenged” and have also gotten lost using Mapquest. The teenager wants to get me a GPS in the worst way, but I’m absolutely positive I’ll be able to get lost with that as well. I keep a 3-ring binder in the breakfast room w/ copies of all my Mapquests (because even if I’ve been to a place once doesn’t mean I’ll be able to get there again unaided)… and many of them have notations that I’ve made as well!

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      1. My husband works with maps and analyzing geographic data based on maps for a living…he would get lost going to the grocery store if it weren’t around the block and in the same place it’s been for the last 10 years. ;)

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      2. That reminds me of the episode of The Office where Michael drives the car into the lake because the GPS tells him to go that direction.

        When I’m going somewhere new, I, too, obsess about getting exact directions. I also have a knack for being in the wrong lane during busy traffic times so it’s impossible to move over to the correct lane and so I can go miles out of my way because I was one lane away from where I should have been.

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      3. my favorite trips are driving in a country where i dont speak the language. the destination is over there somewhere and my most interesting discoveries have come trying to get somewhere and going in a roundabout fashion. i do tend to wait til i am there to book a hotel so i can see where i am booking rather than guessing it will be ok. this doesnt work in nyc or during a trade show in chicago or las vegas but when hoofing it across the wilds it is perfect. unless… you want sleep and get on with it. i have spent hours looking for a hotel for a reasonable price in an unexpectedly popular tourist area at 1 oclock in the morning. i will be leaving at 6 so i sleep…sort of in the car and wake less rested than if i had gone with plan a rather than plan b. alaska is great. they assume you are going to pitch a tent next to your car along side the road. california will put you in jail for the same thing. get your bearings and be careful where you shake the dice. then go for it.

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    2. That sounds so very much like me as well. Husband and kids bought me a fancy GPS for Mother’s Day last year. After they figured it all out, then they showed me how to use it. I know the basics; but I will usually have Jim check the route to make sure it’s a good one if I’m going somewhere distant or new.

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  10. Let’s see, Prussian ancestry, Virgo, oldest child of an oldest child of an oldest child. yup rule follower extraordinaire here. I suspect that may have something to do with why I tend to want to do things that don’t have rulebooks attached to them :)

    The food safety thing, I am scrupulous when preparing food for others, for ourselves, meh. I don’t buy a lot of processed complicated foods and we are foolishly healthy. And I confess, I do not prepare a lot of food for others anymore, not because I am a kitchen slob (I’m not where others are concerned), but because I wearied of the litany of “foods I don’t eat” from an influx of new co-workers at what had once been a potlucking paradise. Put me right off cooking and concocting.

    On the other hand, I will go the distance to make something yummy for those afflicted with food sensitivities of whatever stripe. Once made a breakfast strata for church that was gluten, dairy and egg free (and vegan, just because). What was left after those who required such fare had taken theirs was eaten with relish by everyone else, and nobody got so much as an upset tummy.

    Dale, I suspect your mushrooms are just covering their legal buttons. “we’ve done our best to make these mushrooms as convenient as possible, but we cannot be absolutely sure they will 100% meet your personal standards of food hygiene. Caveat emptor.

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    1. Also Virgo, oldest child (not Prussian) and I’ve always been slavish to rules. I love the comfort that someone else has figured out how to do something. Grammar rules – love ‘em. I found out through a FB post that I have been wrong all these years about not using the “Oxford comma” (final comma preceding “and” in a list) – a cold chill of wanting to go back and correct – - but the wrong way is what I was taught!
      Pronunciation rules – if I read that something should be pronounced a certain way, I persist in doing it that way even if people think I’m crazy. I am lightening up on “scone” (skawn) because people don’t understand.
      Obsessive about raw chicken and meat – handwashing every time I turn around but I eat 2 week old leftovers and cut the moldy parts off cheese and some produce.
      I do wash produce but wonder how clean broccoli tops are when you can’t get in there and scrub.

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      1. Re: Oxford comma, it’s an ongoing sectarian battle, with Chicago Manual and MLA on one side against AP and the New York Times. If your sentences were unambiguous as written, you need not suffer the pangs of guilt.

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      2. I remember reading about a lawsuit involving a big estate in which the serial comma played a part. The will read “John, Mary and Bill” and John’s attorneys argued that John should get half and Mary and Bill should split the other half. Not sure if this is true or an urban myth, but it does make your punctuation choices a little more interesting!

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      3. ah, the Oxford comma, how I love it. Was just presented with something last night I wish I could link here about it’s use, but the person who showed it to me had printed it off, not emailed it.

        If you have eggs, toast, and orange juice for breakfast, everything is neatly in its place, unsullied and pure. If you have eggs, toast and orange juice, you have some very soggy toast and nothing to drink.

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      4. mig, I saw that on Facebook yesterday. A drawing of two eggs + a piece of toast + a glass of orange juice, and another drawing of two eggs + a piece of wet toast, the latter representing the sentence without the Oxford comma. Took me a while to figure out the difference. These are the kinds of technicalities that make my eyes glaze over and my brain hurt. Danish and English grammar rules are completely different, and I confess that I’ve never really cared enough to learn the English ones, although I’ve read and enjoyed Lynne Truss’ books on the subject.

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      5. This, from a blog by Linda Holmes, pretty much sums up my attitude about writing.

        I have a confession.

        I am only too happy to emphatically defend split infinitives against the accusation that they are offensive in any language except Latin. I believe perfectly marvelous sentences can end with prepositions or begin with “and.”

        I make up words, I write in fragments, I am absolutely not a flawless user of any kind of punctuation, I make noises in the middle of my own writing (like “AAAAARGH!”), and I often like the rhythms of sentences more than their technicalities. Run-on sentences amuse me. I frequently give the impression that the American Parentheticals Council has me on retainer, or that I am encouraging a bidding war between Big Ellipses and Big Dashes to see which will become my official sponsor. (“Dashes: The Official ‘And Another Thing’ Punctuator Of Monkey See.”) I write “email” without a hyphen, I am a big fan of the word “crazypants,” and my plan is to master “who”/”whom” only on my deathbed, as my ironic dying gift to absolutely no one, since there will be no one left to hear me.”

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      6. Thanks, PJ, I really, really love that.

        The choir director in college used to routinely breaks the rules of tempi and such, but always would excuse himself with, “but I know I am sinning, so it is all right.”

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      7. I was taught in Business English to omit that comma. I’d always used it before but they were strict about it, and I learned to do it their way. I’m trying to unlearn the learning.

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      8. good one pj. i enjoy the freedom to make it up as i go along. i went to cathiolic school and while out for a second 4 week absence with pnemonia i got a tutor from public school who was appalled by the lack of focus on grammer and english rules. figure the odds the nuns were lax on something. my guess is that it was too hard for many of them and they decided to pass rather than admit to a flaw. so i am completely without opinion on most of this stuff. i always remember kurt vonnegut saying if he had known the rules to writhing it would have spoiled his whole deal. i go with that pretty much. i may not do it right but i do enjoy it. words to live by.

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  11. I fight my urge to follow the rules – and on a rule-breaking whim, spent money I didn’t have at a charity auction (making it easier to bend the rules) on a silver ring that says in plain letters “break the rules.” Social rules and guidelines are especially ingrained (basic manners, what to wear where, etc.), though with other things, eh, not so much. Heck, I write instructions for part of my living, you’d think I’d be a huge fan. Ultimately though, that has just made me aware that rules and instructions are guidelines and a framework to start from. Social mores and laws are there so we can all get along better. So I ask myself, if I break this rule, will it hurt anyone (including me)? Will it harm the environment or anything around me? If it breaks something/someone, can it be repaired?…if the answer comes back that breaking or bending a rule won’t cause irreparable damage (short or long term), buh-bye rule/guideline/instruction, don’t let the door hit you in the backside on your way out.

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    1. At one point in my life, I did some freelance work translating instruction manuals from English to Danish. I remember doing some work on an instruction manual for Toro Snowblowers. Sometimes the English instructions weren’t clear to me from the get-go, and other times I’d have no idea what a certain thingamajig was called in Danish. I don’t find it strange that many instructions, especially on Chinese food items, are confounding and hilarious. I can just see in my mind’s eye some Danish guy, scratching his head and trying to figure out how to operate his new machine and wondering who the heck the idiot was who wrote those instructions.

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      1. some of the early translations from china were priceless. i remember a sensor that was to be put in diapers to tell you when it got wet thereby alerting you that a change was due. the instructions read insert in diaper and when baby piss is in contact it will beep. i remember a massage chair when i sat and the back roller kneed the spine and the low back and then the seat vibrator turned on and the girl said doenst that feel good on your testicles? if she hadnt pointed it out i am not certain i would have noticed but i did tell her that the reference to testicles was a funny thing in america and she should ask if it felt good on my bottom. she didn’t look embarrassed just pleased to be informed.

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      2. tim, the story about that massage chair cracked me up. It also reminded me of another story.

        Captain Dana on the North Shore is married to a lovely woman from the some Asian country (not sure which one). She speaks English very well, but is obviously not American. Many years ago, during the winter, one of their neighbor’s car was stuck. Sunei was home alone when the he came asking for help, and the can-do woman that she is, she put on her coat, hat, and mittens and went out to help. They got the chains attached to her pick-up truck and the neighbor’s car. Sunei had never tried towing anyone before so the process was a little rough, but she eventually managed to the get neighbor pulled free. Afterward, Sunei was apologizing profusely for the rough towing, She said “I hope you don’t mind the way I jerked you off.”

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  12. Yeah, I use the rools mostly as gidelines – if the milque has gone sauer it will show up in pankakes. I am cairful about meet, but other veggeez: if I see dirt I wash it off. *I am also pikier about fude for other peepul.) I’m like tim at long stoplight if it’s varie laet at nite – sort of follow the “if I don’t get cawt and nobuddy gets hert, it’s ok…

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      1. yup, close the quotes AND finish the parentheses. I grieve a little every time I finish a sentences with a preposition, no matter how many websites tell me it is just fine. But I will jaywalk with not a qualm, well, if nobody is around (and I will think about it first).

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        1. I’m a wild and crazy parentheses user and I know I forget to close them sometimes. I won’t run a red light even if there’s no one within miles but I do jaywalk (except in St. Paul where I hear they’re sticklers).
          I used to say that ending a sentence with a preposition was something up with which I would not put. I’ve become much more relaxed about it (trying to avoid it is just so stilted sometimes) but a little part of me dies when I do. I will NEVER use “real” when “really” is required nor will I mix “lie” and “lay”. Thanks to a 6th grade teacher who pounded these rules into my willingly accepting brain.

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  13. I wash all produce, whether “prewashed” or not, because I don’t know who’s been handling them before me at the store or the factory. Also, I hate the feeling of grit in my teeth (I always bite down on the one spot of dirt on any potato, guaranteed), and I want to clean off any whole or partial insects before the food gets anywhere near my plate. I read a lot of labels because I’m looking for animal ingredients in my food, and sometimes for the entertainment value as I try to figure out what the lawsuit had been about.

    One of the most frustrating things about working in a library was the inability of the public to read signs. “I want to check out.” “Sorry, you need to go to the circulation desk, under the big (in one case, neon) sign that says ‘Checkout’.” “Where are the tax forms?” “Over there, next to the sign that says ‘Tax Forms’”. Often, the questioner left with a martyred sigh, loud huff and/or a dirty look–the ones who had butted into another transaction with a reference client were the most likely to get angry (apparently I was supposed to abandon my current patron and go fetch for them). Every single day, many times a day, the same questions because people didn’t take a moment to look around and orient themselves. Kind of like automobile drivers, really, but that’s another rant for another day.

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      1. I came home from school one day early in 7th grade. The history teacher said we only had to know four dates: 1492, 1776, 1865 and the present year. Then, just idly, I asked my mom what happened in 1776. After a lot of squinting, she ventured the guess “the war of 1812?”

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      2. My paternal grandfather was a farmer and a great reader of history. He occasionally came out with rather startling pronouncements from his reading, and I quote “That Jean Calvin (pronounced Jeen Calveeen) was a real son of a b****”. ” What’s not to love about history?

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  14. Greetings! I am here. Worked downtown for 2 days at a temp job — made the mistake of being honest about a job interview (permanent!) that came up suddenly, so they terminated the temp job. “Didn’t want to invest more time training me if I got the job”, etc., etc. Another case of bad judgment and lost income. The interview went well, but I just don’t know. The desperation I’m feeling is affecting my usual good judgment in these matters; and honesty isn’t always the best policy. Merdre!

    We are in semi-crisis mode — have to move out of our rental house and into 2-bedroom apartment by end of next week. We have some nice appliances sitting in garage we need to sell if you guys know of anyone interested.
    - Nice, big, white refrigerator w/freezer on bottom (really good shape)
    - Full-size portable dishwasher w/butcher block wood “look” top, white (works great)
    - A big window air conditioner (works great)
    Maybe a couple other things. Send me an email for details if you’re interested. jmjensen57(at)gmail.com I’ll probably put them on Craigs List as well.

    Sorry for the OT. Anyway, generally I’m a rule follower. Recipes – totally. Driving – totally. Cleaning, organizing, decorating – fuhgeddaboutit. Work – absolutely. It varies depending on the situation, I guess. Gotta go — back to packing. Have a great day everyone!

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      1. Close — we’ll be in Monticello which is a couple miles away. I’ll probably drive the kids to Big Lake schools. See how long that lasts …

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  15. I just typed a long post, then checked my email and lost the whole thing! Hate it when that happens.

    I won’t be around this forum for a while as tomorrow I’m leaving for an 8-day Caribbean cruise out of Miami. This is a result of coming up with a “90-year old question” a few weeks ago. First of all, I’ve only been outside the midwest five times in my life, so this adventure is further outside my comfort zone than sky-diving. The question: “When I’m 90 and no longer vital, full of energy, in poor health, etc., what might I wish that I’d experienced while still in my robust late 60s??” This cruise will also provide 20 continuing ed credits in Mindfulness Therapy toward license renewal, surround me with others in the mental health field, and create a very large business deduction.

    Unlike most humans, I’ve had no goals or wishes for future things/experiences; as such, this is strictly a challenge to myself to check out a whole new adventure while I still can. I am, of course, worrying about navigating airports & layovers, making it through security, getting lost trying to find the right gates, taking shuttles, being cut off from phone or email, finding the right man in the wrong place, and getting constipated from a change in diet! And that’s the short list.

    Being a flaming extrovert, however, pretty much guarantees a good time and with 21 nightclubs on this monster ship, certainly one of them will have a Motown band? Mindfulness by day, dancing by night! I have a hunch that this self-imposed adventure will so open up other possibilities (and my courage) that it poses a grave danger to what remains of my reverse mortgage. Please pray that this Carnival cruise ship stays afloat………I’ll join up with you all again upon return :)

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    1. CB, that sounds fabulous. Just allow yourself enough time for each transporation leg that getting a little lost and/or confused won’t keep you from making the next connection. Keep your eyes open and ask questions.
      Have a wonderful time!

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  16. I’ve become more of a rule reader & follower as a direct result of living with a mate who thinks rules are a nuisance & don’t apply to a free spirit such as himself. I try to create balance by being more responsible, attentive to detail, tidy and dependable (it sucks at times… but someone’s got to do it, don’t they?) but welcome any opportunity that allows me to cut loose without a care in the world. Possessing common sense is just common sense to me, though… so if the rules seem too ridiculous, there’s a good chance you’ll catch me breaking them. I’m not one to wash my greens, wear protective gear, trust a GPS, or fret about proper punctuation if I feel my tone will be lost with it’s use. Given a coloring book, however, I color within the lines…a sad sorry habit I’d like to kick :(

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    1. I’ve wondered if the grown people who don’t color within the lines are the same ones who can’t keep their car in their lane…

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  17. I just spent an hour playing ping pong with Lola (9), and let me tell you, rules don’t cut it there. It’s “Calvinball” all the way, and very refreshing.

    That said, I see there are times when rules are useful. At my mom’s residence, you’re supposed to dial-up your resident at the front entry and they wil buzz you in. People from inside who may see you in the entry are not supposed to let you in if they do not know you, but they do anyway – it’s the “nice” thing to do when someone is trying to enter, I suppose. One day at lunch, the scuttlebutt was that the police had been there that morning and took away some guy in handcuffs, who had slipped in… guess how?

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  18. Like many others, it depends. I’m also Prussian and the oldest child. I was raised to follow rules and obey signs to the letter. My mom is extreme when it comes to house cleaning and washing foods. She even washes bananas, even though she understands it won’t help! When I was a teenager, I had to stay home on Saturday mornings and clean the house, among other chores. I was required to vacuum the entire house, but not just once over. I had to move the furniture and vacuum eight times, in adjacent rows, until I’d worked my way across each room. This is still a bone of contention between my mom and me. All of the heavy authoritarianism caused me to rebel in my late teens and early twenties. I broke all the rules I could get away with during those years.

    Now, I follow common sense rules. I obey traffic laws, except for the seat belt law. I try hard to follow the rules at work. I wash most foods, including mushrooms because of the way they’re grown. My mom peels her mushrooms. I won’t go that far. I don’t wash pre-washed, bagged, organic spinach, but I thoroughly wash leeks. I don’t eat a lot of meat but if I buy chicken I wash it very thoroughly.

    It’s been fun reading today!

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