Big Boy to lay off 88 in wake of Listeria fears

Big Boy Restaurants International will lay off 88 workers and close its ready-to-eat-meals subsidiary in Warren, Michigan, after the government ordered a recall of its product due to fears of Listeria contamination.

The company notified the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth of the pending layoffs today, as required by law.

In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that Big Boy Food Group, a subsidiary of the restaurant chain, was recalling almost 40,000 pounds of the ready-to-eat meal kits due to the health concerns.

In its notice to the state, Big Boy cited the problems with the ready-to-eat operation and a USDA order to shut down.

Champagne and cupcakes, Trailer Park Boys, and hand sanitizers in massage practices

Holidays are all about tradition.

And nothing says tradition more than the Canadian TV show, Trailer Park Boys.

Amy and I have a polar bear that guards the compound during the long winter nights; we have champagne and cupcakes for birthday parties, and every Christmas Day, we gather round the hearth with whoever’s left in town, and watch the Trailer Park Boys Christmas Special.

Trailer Park Boys is a popular Canadian comedic mockumentary television series that ran from 2001 – 2007 and focused on the misadventures of a group of trailer park residents — primarily Ricky, Julian and Bubbles (right) — living in a fictional trailer park located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

In the 2004 Christmas Special, Ricky interrupts the midnight mass to share the true meaning of the season:

“Sorry to interrupt, but I just had one of those brain-learning things pop into my head. …  What is Christmas? I just got out of jail, which was awesome, you know, they don’t have presents and lights and tress, we just get stoned and drunk, it’s the best time. And I get out here and I’m all stressed out. … That’s not what Christmas should be, you should be getting drunk and stoned with your friends and family, people that you love. … That’s Christmas. … Getting drunk and stoned with your families and the people that you love. And if you don’t smoke or drink, just spend time with your families. It’s awesome. Merry Christmas.

My mom and daughter Courtlynn spent the weekend in Manhattan (Kansas) for a little holiday cheer and to help celebrate Sorenne’s first birthday, and while we didn’t get drunk or stoned, we did just spend time with our family and friends.

My other favorite Christmas movie, Mystery, Alaska, features Russell Crowe as a hockey-playing sheriff in the town of Mystery, Alaska. The 1999 movie has nothing to do with Christmas but oozes a Jimmy Stewart kind of sentimentality as a fictional small-town hockey team plays a game against the New York Rangers.

One of the best segments is Canadian Mike Myers (party on, Garth) as play-by-play analyst Donnie Shulzhoffer, who asks during one of the breaks, “Anyone know where a guy can get a rub and a tug in this town?”

Which raises a question: should hand sanitizers be used in a massage parlor, or by massage therapists?

The Institute for Integrative Healthcare Studies has concluded – maybe.

With the rising popularity of hand sanitizers, some therapists are opting to rub an alcohol-based gel between their hands in lieu of scrubbing with soap and water. While hand sanitizers have revolutionized how we practice infection control, it may not always be the best choice for massage therapists.

Bodyworkers’ hands function as their primary tools. Because their tools are reused on each and every client, keeping their hands free of pathogens is a prerequisite to being a responsible therapist. Bodyworkers must wash their hands:

· Before and after eating
· Before and after using the restroom
· Before and after each interaction with a client

At first thought, bodyworkers may think that hand sanitizers save them time during their requisite hand cleansing. However, further investigation shows that this assumption is not accurate. In addition, hand sanitizers may kill most types of bacteria and viruses but they are not sufficient for removing body fluids from the hands. Thus, the old-fashioned approach using water, soap and a towel remains the preferred way for massage therapists to achieve clean, hygienic hands.

Happy Birthday, Sorenne, and thanks to everyone who came by for champagne and cupcakes.