USPS Under New Management

by PopCultureSoft March 2012

Amid challenging economic conditions, a changing business environment, and declining mail volumes, the U.S. Postal Service finds itself without sufficient revenues to cover its expenses and financial obligations. Since 2006, mail volume declined about 20 percent, from 213 billion pieces to 171 billion pieces, and USPS expects it to drop to about 150 billion pieces by 2020. As this trend indicates, USPS can no longer rely, as it once did, on growth in mail volume to help cover costs. Actions taken by USPS to improve its financial condition have been limited in part by statutory and regulatory requirements, such as those related to closing unneeded facilities.

In response to these conditions, the USPS has announced that Patrick R. Donahoe will be stepping down as Postmaster General. Levi S. Yoder has been named the 74th Postmaster General of the United States of America.

Prior to being named Postmaster General, Yoder ran a small dairy farm in Holmes county, Ohio, which he will continue to do. One of his first actions as Postmaster General has been to move the USPS headquarters from L'Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C. to downtown Millersburg, OH. This move will consolidate over 75% of USPS mail processing to a space on the second floor above The Antique Emporium on Jackson St.

"Anymore, most of the mail delivery happens in this county. Either that or Lancaster, PA. So, we will be having a hub there as well, headed up by Brother Zeke," said Yoder at a press conference. "Due to budget constraints, we will have to close most local post offices. The remaining ones will be in Elkhart Indiana, Kalona Iowa, and Harmony Minnesota."

Services will also be some severe cuts to services. "Priority mail will have to be the first to go. It's one thing to guarantee quick mail delivery in the local zip code. It's another thing between hubs. We won't be getting mail from Ohio to Pennsylvania in two or three days. You just can't push the horses that hard. And we will be shuttering the website, of course, and turning off the phones."

For more information, please visit Mr. Yoder at his home in Kidron, OH.

Tags:

Humor - sort of

Celebrate a Back Home Thanksgiving with a Buckchuckel

by PopCultureSoft November 2011

A Traditional BuckchuckelThanksgiving is approaching and I am hankerin' for some old time vittles, i.e. comfort food. Growing up we would often have turkey, and on rare occasions we may be blessed with meatballs and red gravy or tuna special. But if we were having an exceptionally good year, hunting-wise, mom would whip up one of those rare delicacies: a buckchuckel.

A buckchuckel is a dish consisting of a squirrel stuffed into a woodchuck, which itself is stuffed into a deer. It is a favorite of mountain game hunters. The word buckchuckel is a portmanteau of buck (a male deer), woodchuck, and squirrel. In some regions, the term deerhogel is used, being a portmanteau of deer, ground hog, and squirrel. Six-a-one, half dozen of th'other.

If you really wanted to do it proper-like, you would need multiple squirrels and woodchucks to stuff a whole deer. But the result would feed half the neighborhood for a week, unless Billy Ray was home on parole. For a smaller crowd, you can take the fillet (backstrap) of a deer and stuff it with one woodchuck and one squirrel.

Some areas produce better venison than others. For example, mid-west deer tend to have more tender, tastier, marbled meat. This is due to the fact that they are basically corn fed. Much debate is given over which type of squirrel produces the best buckchuckel, but there isn't too much variation amongst woodchucks.

In leaner times, some have resorted to Muscatel. (Muskrat, Cat, and Squirrel).

People who have not acquired a taste for wild game have conjured up an all poultry version of this dish consisting of a turkey, a duck, and a chicken. They call it a turducken. I'm serious, I didn't make that up. What crazed mind came up with that idea?

My family recipe

Prep time:  1 -2 days (depending on if you count cleaning the game)
Cook time: 4 hours
Total time: 12 hours
Yield: 30 - 40, unless Billy Ray stops by, then 10 - 15

Ingredients

• 2 cups prepared cornbread stuffing
• 1/4 cups chopped apples
• 1 cans jellied cranberry sauce
• 2 large venison loins
• 1 medium sized woodchuck (7 lbs)
• 1 average size sized squirrel (1 1/2 lbs)
• 3 cloves garlic, cut in quarters
• 6 fresh sage leaves
• 1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped fine
• 1 Tablespoon browning sauce (such as Gravy Master® or Kitchen Bouquet®)
• 1 Tablespoon olive oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Bacon (optional)

Trim any silverskin off of the venison loin. Butterfly the loin and season it lightly with salt and pepper on both sides.

Clean and bone woodchuck; remove glands. Soak overnight in a solution of equal parts of water and vinegar with the addition of one sliced onion and a little salt. Drain, wash, and wipe. Parboil 20 minutes.

Squirrels have scent glands in the small of the back and under the forelegs and the thighs. These should be removed without cutting into them. Wash and dry squirrel.  If the squirrel is old and tough, it may need parboiling beforehand.

Chop onions and fry gently in 2 oz of the butter. Peel apples and chop; add to onions and fry until soft. Mix onions, apple and butter with all other stuffing ingredients, and brown quickly in remaining butter.

Stuff cavity of squirrel.

Stuff squirrel into cavity of woodchuck.

Lay out the two venison loins so that they slightly overlap. Place woodchuck onto one of the venison loins. Roll the meats together and tie it with butchers string. Optionally, you can wrap this entire roll in bacon, especially if you want to grill or smoke the buckchuckel. (Soak the string in water before tying the loin to prevent it from burning.)

Cooking methods:

You could grill, roast, or smoke this. For grilling, place the buckchuckel over charcoal, at a medium temperature for twenty to thirty minutes. Turn one time after fifteen minutes. Coat the outside of the loin with olive oil before it goes onto the grill, and baste with oil once more when it's turned. When the internal temperature reaches 145F (medium rare), remove, slice into sections and serve. Remove at 160F if you prefer your game medium well.

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Humor - sort of

Small-Town Rabbi Upsets Undefeated Death

by PopCultureSoft April 2011

Death, the all time undefeated heavyweight champion of the world got his first taste of defeat early this morning in an unexpected upset by small town welterweight rabbi Jesus of Nazareth. 

Although experts had predicted the win by the thirty-something holy man, Death and his trainers were completely blind sided. "I thought we had this guy in the first round. He didn't even put up a fight," said the Grim Reaper in a press conference late this morning.

While this still leaves Death's overall record at an incredible 1.06 * 10^11 - 1, the surprise defeat has important ramifications. Even though he has remained otherwise undefeated since then, Death says that winning has lost that special something. "You know I used to get this real sense of satisfaction with each win. Now it's sort of lost that 'sting'. It all feels a little futile now."

Enthusiasts haven't heard much from Jesus, whose fans have started calling 'The Anointed', since his victory. "I don't think we've heard the last from this Jesus character," said Death's trainer Apollyon. "I know it sounds silly, but I'm a little nervous about Death loosing his title."

When asked if he would really win the title, Jesus replied "Thou hast said it. Nevertheless I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven." One may write that statement off as typical sports illeism, but this reporter thinks this Jesus is a man to follow.

Tags:

Humor - sort of

Alien Spacecraft Attack United States - Targeting McDonald's

by PopCultureSoft April 2011

A masked armada of alien spacecraft has been seen across the United States this week. They are randomly abducting citizens, and appear to have a preference for McDonald's customers.

"My husband and I just just ordered lunch. He got the Angus Chipotle BBQ Bacon, and I had the Premium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken, " said Mary Applegate of Peekskill, NY. "When all of a sudden these aliens show up. They're like, you know, chanting 'bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon', and grab my husband. Then a spaceship appears out of nowhere and beams up my Billie," she said as she wiped away her tears. "As soon as I finished my salad, I called the police. At least they didn't take his fries."

Due to the aliens' advanced cloaking technology, it is difficult to ascertain the alien presence. Witnesses say that they didn't actually see anything either, possibly due to memory erasing neuralizer technology.

Pop Culture Software, of Cortlandt Manor, NY has developed an iPhone app, called Glyphics,  capable of penetrating this alien cloaking technology. When questioned, however, they flatly denied any alien invasion.

"Uh, we just wrote this app called Glyphics that allows people to leave hidden messages for each other." said John Barnhart, lead developer at PopCultureSoft.com. "You can type a message, place a photo, create a drawing, or do all three. You look through the camera part of the phone and can see these drawings people left, called Glyphs. We made this picture of aliens abducting people and virtually-placed it outside of every McDonald's in the country. Really, it's just a promotional gimmick. "

However, investigators have yet to determine the truth of that statement. According to Phil Spencer, of the CIA, who wished to remain anonymous: "It is possible that PopCultureSoft is part of a vast right wing conspiracy attempting to cover up this alien invasion, and thereby undermining the efforts of President Obama. Either that, or they just punked us."

Glyphics is available on the iPhone App Store. Check out your local McDonalds to see if is being invaded. It has also been reported that there is suspicious activities going on at your local WalMart , as well as Apple's retail stores.

McDonald's headquarters did not immediately return a call for comment.

Tags:

Humor - sort of

Flying Spaghetti Monster Destroyed During Passover Cleaning

by PopCultureSoft April 2011

Jerusalem - 04/18/2011

The Flying Spaghetti Monster was annihilated yesterday afternoon by the Lord God Jehovah during his preparations for passover, which starts tonight. 

"Everyone knows that pasta is chametz, and not allowed on passover." Said the Ancient of Days at a press conference last night. "Well, I was doing bedikat chametz [search for the leven] of the universe, and realized that it had been years since I last checked Ursa Major's navel! All sorts of stuff gets caught in there, as you can imagine. Sure enough, there was a few metric tons of lint, an old box of cheez-its, and the FSM."

Chametz refers to leavened products that are forbidden to be consumed on the Jewish holiday of Passover. These items must be consumed, sold, or burned before the holiday.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster reportedly does not keep the "blasphemous" holiday of passover, as it would exclude the FSM as well as beer, a sacred drink in the CotFSM.

When asked what became of the FMS, the Almighty replied "I had him for dinner in a light bolognese sauce of my own creation… I mean, well, everything is of my own creation… You know what I mean."

The announcement went mostly unnoticed among members of the CotFSM, also known as Pastafarians. Bobby Henderson, prophet of FSM and part time hobo, refused to comment, mumbling something about a beer and a hammock.

Tags:

Humor - sort of

Windows Users Get Lucky with Microsoft Nokia Deal

by PopCultureSoft April 2011

Everywhere I look, iPhone users are getting all the girls. After all, the iPhone has sleek lines, a sexy iOS interface, and suave spokespersons. What woman wouldn't be salivating over Jony Ive? And the "I'm a Mac" guy? Fuhgeddaboudit. Steve Jobs is even still sexy after battling cancer, for Pete's sake.

Next in line are the Android users. They aren't as sexy, but they are getting the "oh isn't he cute" girls, with that stupid green robot dude. I guess it's cute. He can't dance worth squat, though.

Microsoft users have traditionally been a distant third in getting the girl. This is mostly due to a history of unsexy mobile devices. (You ever tried to get your moves on while carrying a Zune? Really, get a life.)

But that was before Windows Phone. You heard me right. Despite multiple abject failures at either getting lucky with any girl that's not a member of Mensa or making a decent mobile device, Microsoft users are poised to have at least a modest reputation as a player, due to Nokia's switch from Symbian to Windows Phone software on its smartphones. This is also good news for Symbian users, whose scoring has been on the decline in the US.

Not that iPhone users have anything to worry about. According to projections from research firm IDC, iPhone users will still dominate the meat market with 60% of the action. Android users, currently a solid second with 30% will fall slightly to 25%. Windows users, however will jump from 3% to 15%. That's 5 times the girls that they usually get.

Microsoft introduced Windows Phone 7, a major overhaul, last fall. By year-end, developers already had 2 dates lined up for Q1 2011, a major milestone for the platform.

"Microsoft has a perception problem. Everyone thinks of them as a distend third, but they are really a great bunch of guys once you get to know them," says Maurice Harold, CEO of TapTop, developer of the new Beguiled Zombies game for Windows Phone. "These guys make good money, have a great personality, and will make you laugh. Seriously, I can set you up with a good friend of mine from there, if you're interested."

While girls were not attracted in the past to Microsoft phones, games will be a differentiator that will favor Microsoft users this time. For example, the Windows Phone employs the same user interface as Kinect, so that players can get their moves on.

Mr. Harold says he, too, is susceptible to iPhone-centrism. “In Australia, almost everyone I see has an iPhone in one hand, and a babe in the other,” he said. But “the next phone for a lot of the players will probably be a Windows Phone,” he remarked.

Apple developers were not available for comment, as they were getting busy at press time.

Tags:

Humor - sort of

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Pop Culture Software is an iOS development company located in Cortlandt Manor, NY.