Friday, February 19, 2010

What Got To Me Today (last night)? COMCAST Interrupting Olympics

I've just about had it with Comcast.  Last night during the Olympic coverage, after we've waited all night for our U.S. Gold Medal contender Evan Lycocek to perform, just as he's about to do the most difficult jump of his program...Comcast breaks in for an Emergency Broadcasting Test.  Yep, at 11:15 pm.

Why at 11:15?  Why during Olympic coverage?  Even if Olympics weren't on it would have been in the middle of Breaking News during the nightly newscast.  Why not 3:15 am or 4:45 am? 

I don't get it.  I have worked in radio.  I know all about EBT's.  What I don't know is who is making the flipping decision as to when to run them?  Whoever it is needs a wake up call...a very early, inconvenient, interrupting, loud, buzzing, obnoxious wake up call.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What Got To Me Today: Arrogant food bank donors

Okay, look out people because I am fired up over this one!  A recent blog post on the Action Institutes' Powerblog, written by Jordon J. Ballor discussed the best ways to donate food to food banks, in order to maintain the health and dignity of those in need.  Any of you who follow me know that I am passionate about supporting local foodbanks, especially now in Michigan with so many families in need. So at the bottom of the insightful article from Powerblog, among the comments was this one:

"While I agree with your points about giving, I’m surprised that really poor people are so picky. I compare them with the poor I knew in Africa who would never turn down any gift and would be grateful for any food of any kind. If you can afford to be picky, are you really poor?"

Now I left this person's name off of my blog because I'm about to blast him, and wouldn't want to be completely unfair because he is not here to defend himself, and those of you who are really interested are going to go to the link anyway and see who it is for yourselves.

Now for my reply?       #@!**%%#!!!  REALLY?????

Isn't it bad enough that when most people are asked to give a donation of food, they pull the one can of whatever, that hasn't been even looked at for months, out of the back of their cupboards?  It's true, they are still giving, so some points given there.  But if your family was just laid off, your house foreclosed on, and for the first time in your life you have to buck up, somehow hold your head up and walk into a food bank to feed your you imagine you are going to feel any better when the only nutrition you can offer your children are some canned cranberry sauce from somebody's last Thanksgiving shopping list that never got used because Uncle Ralph didn't make the trip for the holiday and we all know how Uncle Ralph loves his cranberry sauce?

Coincidentally, as I was writing this blog I got a call from my mom.  She told me about a girl who was forced by circumstance to go to a foodbank to get food for her children.  Happily, this girl accepted four boxes full of non-perishables.  Once home, she realized all but two items were way past their expiration date.  Now I ask you, when you go grocery shopping, and you are selecting items for your kids, would you buy expired food?   I know some will say those dates are "sell by" and not "consume by" dates, and maybe a couple of weeks expired would be tolerable.  But what about months or years expired?  Would you risk your child's health? 

I'm guessing the answer is "no", you wouldn't.  So why should those less fortunate be forced to risk the health of their families just because they've caught a bad break? IF YOU ARE GOING TO DONATE FOOD TO A BANK, PLEASE DONATE SOMETHING USEFUL, HEALTHY, OR EVEN FUN.  Something other than powdered milk and old pumpkin pie filling.

For example, each week at our church, during the offering, children are encouraged to bring up a food item to be donated to the local food banks.  We've gotten into the practice of letting our youngest pick something to give away, something he would want another child to have.  Sometimes its Cocoa Puffs, sometimes its Pop Tarts.  Sometimes its Sponge Bob Mac n Cheese.  Are we hitting the super high nutrition meter?  No.  Are we giving a parent something special and edible to surprise their kids with?  Something to maybe help make their kids feel like "every other kid"?  Yup. (Don't worry, we often couple it with something more nutritious).

My point being, people who go to food banks are just like you and me.  A lot of them live and work in our neighborhoods and we don't even realize it.  It's hard enough for them to take the courageous step of walking through a food bank door.  At least let them walk out, feeling a little better than when they went in.