business news in context, analysis with attitude

I have to be honest here: I rarely even glance at People magazine, mostly because I find that I don't really care about anything that the people inside have to say. That’s just me; I understand that there are plenty of people out there for whom the magazine is light entertainment, and that’s fine.

However, I could not help but notice a story from People that got some traction on the Internet this week, detailing the fact that actress Kirstie Alley, who famously lost 75 pounds a couple of years ago while working as a spokesperson for Jennie Craig, apparently has gained it all back and then some. The reason seems pretty clear: once she lost her endorsement deal, she stopped exercising and started eating things like pasta drenched with butter.

She’s apparently ready to lose the weight all over again…and while I hate to be cynical, I suspect she’s hoping that there might be a new endorsement deal in the works.

Now, I don't care if Kirstie Alley is 145 pounds or 228 pounds. Doesn’t really matter to me, and she should probably figure out the weight at which she is both happiest and healthiest.

But what’s interesting about this story is that it is such a public rendition of a scenario that I suspect thousands of people go through every day. Hell, I’ve done it myself. You go crazy losing weight, but because you are focused on short-term results and “dieting,” you don't create a sustainable lifestyle with a healthy approach to food that has long-term implications.

That’s one of the things that the food industry ought to be doing, it seems to me. Moderation and creating a sustainable lifestyle are things that the food retailers and manufacturers can help consumers do. They have the range of products, they have the information, and they have access to the customer…and in many cases, they even are trusted to an extraordinary extent.

Kirstie Alley ought to be the poster child for how not to lose weight…indeed, how not to think about weight and food.

Despite the fact that he didn’t do nearly as much for the NY Jets as I’d hoped, I actually have a lot of sympathy for Brett Favre. It must be tough at the relatively young age of 39 to be in a position where your mind and spirit think you still can play the game, your body isn’t so sure, and most of the pundits are positive that you’re done.

Forget about the fact that he retired, unretired, retired again, and now seems to be flirting with unretiring one more time. Forget about the fact that for most people, this dance is becoming tiresome, and threatens to dilute all the good will and loyalty he’d built up in Green Bay over his long career.

He doesn’t want to give in, doesn’t want to give up. At some level, that is to be respected. Life is too short to stop doing what you love before you’re ready to give it up.

That said, I’m glad he’s torturing other teams and other fans, and that the Jets have moved on. Better the tsouris should be centered in Minneapolis or Green Bay or anyplace other than the New York metropolitan area.

On the other hand, I have no sympathy at all for Manny Ramirez. None. Don't expect me to believe that this is the first time he’s done steroids, either…because that simply makes no sense at all.

I wish that he and A-Rod and all the other steroid users would pack up their needles and get out of my game.

Go figure. The French are better at sleeping and eating than almost everyone else.

A new study from the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has concluded that French people spend an average of almost nine hours a day in bed, and two hours a day eating and drinking. (Though the French being French, I wonder how much of that time in bed is actually spent sleeping. Just asking.) That’s more than all of the other 29 countries surveyed by the group.

What was interesting to me was that Americans are not that far behind – they sleep, on average, 8.5 hours a day, and eat/drink daily for about an hour and 15 minutes.

Of course, some Americans must be getting more than others. For example, I get about four hours of sleep a night…not by choice, but because that’s what the work demands. Which means, I guess, that somebody out there is getting the four and a half hours that I’m not using, and adding them to their eight and a half, getting a grand total of 13 hours of sleep each night.

I hope they’re enjoying it.

Had a beer this week that I’d never had before and that I liked a lot – Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale. The name may be a tad cumbersome, but the taste is excellent: rich and hearty and perfect with a hamburger topped with onions, peppers and andouille sausage, which happens to be what I was eating.

And here is a red wine that you definitely have to try – the 2006 Inama Carmenere Piu, a blend of 75 percent Carmenere, 20 percent Merlot and 5 percent Raboso Veronese. It is medium bodied but rich rolling across the tongue…the wine magazines call it “drinkable” and “plump,” but I’ll stick with “yummy.”

There’s a new Jimmy Buffett song on iTunes and elsewhere on the Internet, and it is the perfect prelude for the coming hot weather months: “Summerzcool.” A sample lyric:

What’s up with this recession?
I refuse to participate.
The answer to your burning questions
Are dancing on your tailgate.

It’s time to go to summer school.
Remember what is and is not cool .
Oh summer school.
There’s a time and a place to act like a fool.
At summer school…

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.

KC's View: