Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Separated at birther?

Musical sensation Lady Gaga...

...and sensationally deluded lawyer Orly Taitz.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Palin's resignation speech, alphabetized

Sure, it made no sense when you first heard it. But it makes a lot more sense when you roughly alphabetize the entire thing. Full transcript from The Mudflats:

At indicating ‘em ’bout Alaska all care-taking How North We 2005, 50 50% 58-1 85% a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a able about.

About absolutely abundance, abundant, abuse accepting accepting accomplished accountable, ACES act, additional adopting advance advancing advantage advocate after again agenda, AGIA AGIA, ago, ago, air Alaska Alaska Alaska Alaska Alaska Alaska Alaska Alaska Alaska Alaska Alaska Alaska, Alaska, Alaska’s Alaska’s Alaskan Alaskan Alaskan Alaskan Alaskans Alaskans Alaskans Alaskans Alaskans Alaskans Alaskans Alaskans, Alaskans, all.


All all all all all all All all all all all all all allowance allowance allowed allows alone, alone along along along along, always always am am amazing amendment amendment America America America America America, America America America’s America’s American American an an an an an an an an and And and and
and and And And And and and and and and and And and and and and and and And and and and and and and And and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and And And and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and And and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and And and and and and and and and and and And And and and and and And and and and and and and and and and another answer.

Anti-hunting, anti-second anti-second apologetics, appraisal are are are are are are are are area arms arms, army as as as as as as as as as as as asked asked, assisting at At At at attain avoid away base basins be be be be be be Be be be be be be be be be be be, bear beautiful beautiful beautiful beauty, because because because because because because because because been been beg beg believed believing beloved benefit benefit bent best best best better between big big big billions bipartisan blatant bless bless blessed blessed blooming boldest, both brave, break bring Bristol, build build built bumper burden bureaucracy businesses, But but but but but but by by by by by call, calling came Campbell.

Can can can can can can can can? can’t carve carving causes celebrity central challenge challenges championed championing changing chapel, character charge chart chart Cheechakos cherished choosing circuses clean clean, climate climb, coffers cold Cole, come come commercializing commissioners, community competing competition conditions conscientious constitution constitution, constitution, continent continue contributes contributor cornerstone could could
could country country? course course course, Craig crushes cubs, cycle Dad, Darn day day day, Day, day days debt, debt decades December decision decision defend degrees delicate, Democracy democracy Denali, dependency depends deserved desired destiny develop develop develop developing development, did did did did…we die different.

Diligently discussions discussions, diverse dizzying do do do do Do Do do do document does does doesn’t doesn’t doggedly dollars don’t Don’t don’t don’t Don’t done down down down dreaming drill drilling drive duck due duty earmark earmark Earth easy eat, economy education, efforts electorate, electricity elevate encouraging energy energy energy energy energy energy energy energy energy energy energy, enjoy enslavement ensures enthusiastically environment equitable era especially especially, ethically ethics even ever every everyone everything everything except excess exercise exerting exploration exploration extreme extremes facing facts.

Fair Fairbanks Fairbanks families families family family family, far federal feel feel felt fifty fifty fight finally finally finally finest fireweed first first first, first, fiscal fish Flein, fogged follow for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for for, forever forget formula forward forward founded founders free free free, free, free freedom freedom freedom, freedoms, frigid from from from from from from frontier frontier frontier frost frozen Ft fulfill fulfill full fun funding fundraising further future future future, future, future future future Future.

Game-changer gas gas gas gas gas gas gate-keeper gave generated generations generous get get get gets getting Give globe God God God’s God’s God-given going going good good good good good got got govern government government government government government government government government, governor governor grace grace, grateful gratitude great great great great great great greatest greatest greatness, grizzly ground groups growing growth guaranteed, guard guard guards guards guide guided had hand hands happier happy hard harder hardest-working hardy has has has have have have have have have have have have have have have have have have, have, healthy hear heard heaves heckler heckler Hell help helping her her here here here here here here here, here, here, here’s high his history hold hold Hollywood Hollywood home, home honest honor honor honor honor hope hope hope hoping hotter how how how How how How hundred hundreds hunt.

I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I, I’d I’m I’ve.

Ice immorally important impossible improve in in In in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in in incentive incentivizes including independence independence, independence, individual individuals, inducement industrious influence informing inherent inherent innovative insist instance instituted interest interests into Ironically, is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is is, issue it it it it it It it it it it It it it it it It it it it It it it It It it It it It It it It it it it it it, it, it it it it it’s It’s it’s it’s it’s it’s jobs just just just just just just just just just just just keep keep kid kids knew knew knew, know know know know know know, known known.


Kris Kris Kris Kristan lame land largess largest last last last last last last later, law, law lawmakers lawmakers lead lead lead lead leadership leadership… leases leave legislature less Let let’s let’s let’s life lifetime like like line line link little live live live living living, living, location longer look lose love love loves made made made make make make make makin’ man man manage many many market maximum may may maybe me me, meaning media media, Meg melting men merciless midnight military military millions minds, Mom money months months monumental more more most Mother mother motto mounts, move much much much much much, must must must must must my my my my nation nation, nation nation national natural natural natural naturally Nature nature’s need need need needed needs needs needs never never new new new new new new new nice no no no No, north north north not not not not not nothing nothing.

Now Now now now now now now now now, Now, Now, now, oath oath obvious of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of Office office often, oil oil oil oil OK, old on on on on on on on on on on on on on on on on one one one one one, one one’s only only opens operatives, opportunities opportunity opportunity optimistic or or or originates other other other others, our our our our our our our our our our our our our our our Our our our our our our our our our our our Our our our our our our our our our our our our our our our our Our our ourselves out out outpost outside outside Outside? outstanding Oversight own own owned owners package package paid par parents Parnell Parnell.

Partisan partner patriotic patriots peaceful, pension people people people people people people people people people, people people people people’s per perhaps periphery perpetuating Perry persistent pessimism pessimism, Petroleum pioneering pioneers pipeline Piper, plan please Point political political politics power power powerful press press, pressing pressure prices prices, pride pride principles, private private-sector pro-development produce producers pro-environment, profession project project.

Promise promise promised promised promised promised promised promised promised promised promised, promised…remember promises promised.

Proof prosperity prosperous protect protect protect protect protected protecting protection proud proud prove providing prudent putting quite raised rate reach really reap, rebate reform reform, reform reform remarkably remember Remember remember remember remember remember remember remember remind reminding renewable reporting represent requests resist resisted resisted resource resources resources resources resources resources, respected responsible responsible responsibly rest restraint, return Rich ride, right right right right right right right, right-hand right-hand rivers road road road road road road road, roll roll rugged rugged rushing.

Sacrifice safely said, saved say schools Sean Sean Sean sector secure securer securing security, security, see see see see See, See, See, seeing seeming self-determined self-sufficient, sent serve served serving serving session shared sharpest, She should should should should show Since sir slashing sleeves.

Slowed smacked small smaller smarter so so so so so so So so So so so so So So, So, So, soared soaring soaring soldier, soldiers solutions some some some some some some some some some, sounding Sourdoughs? sow speak special special speech spend spend spine spirit split sported stability staff staff, stand Stand stand Stapleton star starlets, start.

State state state state state state state, state state statehood statehood statehood’s States states steadfast steadfastly steadying stepped stick sticker stiffen stifling, still still still stimulus stimulus stop store straight strategic strength strong strong, students study sub-cabinet succeeded success success, succinct such such.

Suck.

Suggesting suggesting summertime summertime sun support support support swear swelled, system, table, taken takes talented talk talk, talking Taps team, tearing technology teeming tell terms than than than than than thank thank thank Thank thank thankful thanks.

That that that that that that that that That that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that that, that that that that? that’s that’s The the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the.

Their their Their their their their their their their their them them, themselves, then then then then, there there there there there there, therefore these they they they They they they They they They they they thing thing things think this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this this, this Thompson those those those though though, three through throughout time time time, tiny, title.

To to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to.

Today today today today Todd Todd’s Together Together together together
together, Tom too!

Too took took tool tough Track, training transparency Trig…I trip Tripp, troops troops truth typical, um, under underestimate underway uniform United unproductive, unstable unsustainable up up up up up up up up up up uphold upon us us us us us us us us, us use use usher usual, value Van vehicle very very very very very very very very.

Vetoed victory, view vision voluntary volunteers volunteers vo-tech.

Vow vow wary was was was was Washington, Washington’s water water, way, way we we we we we we we we We we We We we we we we We we we we we we we we we we we we we we we we we we we We we we we we we We we we we We we we we We we we We we we we’d We’d we’re we’re we’re.

We’re wealth wealthy.

Week were were What what what what What What what what what’s when when when when when wherever Wherever which, while who who who who who who who who whole whole whom why why why why, wild wilderness wildlife wildlife will will will will will will will will will will will will will will will willing Willow, wins winter wisdom wisdom wise wise with with with with with with with with with with with with with with with without witness women words work worked, worked working world’s would would would would would would would written wrote with ya year year years years years Yes, yesterdays.

You you you you you You you you you you you you you you you you you you you you you, you, you, you, you, you you you you you? you’re young your your your your you’re your.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Monday was Memorial Day. Of course, we all take the day off to honor those who fought for our nation and gave the ultimate sacrifice. It truly is humbling to think of where we are as a country today, and all that has happened to bring us here.

As many towns across our country do, Bay Shore has a traditional Memorial Day parade down Main Street. A while before the parade started, the side roads were blocked off, and people started to scout out prime positions along the curb to honor our men and women in uniform. I wanted a bagel.

I went into a local deli/bagelry in Bay Shore, where the parade traffic had swelled the line to about a dozen people. I waited a few minutes as the line crept forward and people behind me chatted. Then, a sort of reverent hush fell across the line behind me.

A uniformed figure made her way through the door, past the long line of customers, and right up to the front. As a tribute to her service, all those waiting stood aside for her. She proudly marched right up to the register and paid for her grape Snapple. She was a school crossing guard.

Yes, a dozen people at the bagel place just showed Memorial Day reverence to a school crossing guard in her school crossing guard uniform, as she yammered away on her cell phone and cut everyone to get a Snapple. Indeed, she had made the ultimate sacrifice for her nation. She spent 20 minutes a day waving kids across the street while wearing a day-glo orange pinnie. God bless.

-----

UPDATE: It turns out that school crossing guards have a long, proud history. They, and their families, are all considered honorary members of the 3d Royal Crosswalk Regiment, and are entitled to wear the Day-Glo Orange Watch tartan.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The dangers of staying near Oakland

There's always the chance that you'll wake up in your hotel in the morning, only to find that gang members have tagged your ironing board during the night. Seriously, what the hell?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Choose Life

What if we combined the controversial North Carolina "Choose Life" license plate with well-known Scottish drug film "Trainspotting"? The result would certainly be more palatable to a wider audience.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mmmmm BBQ night



You know, I think it's time for BBQ night! But I'm so busy. I know! I'll buy some genuine smoked, pulled pork from BJ's and enjoy it!




Mmmmm, looks good. Some delicious pulled pork in sauce. In NEUTRAL sauce! My favorite kind!


I bet it looks just as delectable inside the package! Let me just open it up, and...uh...call the CDC.



Seriously, Hormel? It doesn't matter what it tastes like if the sight of it makes you feel retchy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Escalade in its natural environment

Hulking, probably driven by some small-equipmented man-loaf, parked so that it perfectly straddles two spaces in a fairly busy parking lot with not-particularly-small spaces. You can almost hear him saying "I'm an Escalade, dammit. I need to be cutting you off without signaling--even when I'm not moving."


Seriously, I have never seen an Escalade being operated in a way that doesn't include tailgating, signal-free sudden lane changes, across-five-lane highway exits, and general swerviness. What is it about these lumbering boy-tanks that make their drivers so much worse than even the arrested development operators of an H2?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today's spelling outrage

On - where else? - Route 112.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Boo...er...bouk...er...screw it.

Easter bokays are still available on Rt. 112 in Medford!




Sunday, April 12, 2009

NutriSystem ads

For some time now, I have watched the parade of "sports fan" favorites selling me NutriSystem on my TV. Everyone from Mike Golic to, well, Dan Marino has dropped by to extol the virtues of a pot roast-based diet plan that arrives in the mail.

A while ago, they introduced a curveball (sports metaphor) into the rotation. A voluptuous "sports babe" named Jillian started to grace my NutriSystem ads. With her gravelly voice and plastic-looking face, she was sure to appeal to the "sports fan" demo.


Then I realized something tricky that NutriSystem was doing. Depending on the sports celebrity, they would change the URL on the bottom of the screen to a) relate to the diet pitcher, and b) track which ads were working. It wasn't as blatant as www.crazyfox2943.com, but it became noticeable. For instance, Jillian Sports's URl was nutrisystem.com/pretty, perhaps a dog whistle to "sports fans" or possibly an ironic statement about the actress's looks.
Keeping this in mind, I ran a little test. When you go to nutrisystem.com, do different URLs take you to different places? Easy enough to test. I went to nutrisystem.com. Got a picture of Jillian in a bikini.


I went to nutrisystem.com/pretty. Same picture of Jillian in a bikini.

Hmmm. So they want me to believe that she is pretty. Let's try a test.

nutrisystem.com/ugly. Same picture of her.

nutrisystem.com/ILoveHitler. Same picture of her. It's very clearly implied by the NutriSystem ad that Jillian Sports loves Hitler.

"But," you may say, "maybe she's the type who loves everybody." That is obviously false, but here's one more test.

nutrisystem.com/IHateAmerica. Yup. This link goes directly to Jillian, who we have just proven HATES AMERICA.

Way to go, NutriSystem. You've hired a spokesbabe who loves Hitler and hates America.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Old Russian Lady In Seat 3F

I hauled myself to JFK for an 8:30 AM flight to Denver today. As I boarded the plane, I eyed my overhead storage for my carry-on. Nice and empty. Just as I was feeling all spacious, this incredibly old woman stopped in front of me and folded her jacket, put it in the empty overhead storage, and started to close it.

I held it open because I was about to put my bag in it. She again tried to close it. I said "Don't close it, it's got plenty of space. She unreeled a bony finger and pointed at the numbers underneath it. "For Row 3" she scowled, and tried to close it again, ignoring that there were three seats in Row 3, and Row 2 was also listed underneath the bin. "Yes, and I'm in Row 3," I replied. I kept it open and put my bag in.

I had seat 3D. The lady plopped her bags in 3E and started to make herself comfortable in 3D, the aisle seat. I looked down at her, a 5 foot drop from eye level, and said "I'm sorry, but I'm in Seat 3D."

She looked at me, and started to point at her leg and saying something about Row 3 in a thick Russian accent. I repeated "I'm sorry, but that's my seat. I have the aisle seat." The flight attendant asked if we needed any help getting seated, and I said "No, I'm about to take my seat as soon as this lady moves to hers." She grumbled something in Russian and moved to the window seat.

The plane took off, everything seemed fine. Drinks service started. The flight attendant came by and asked what everyone wanted.


Attendant: "Drink?"
Putin's grandma: "Please."
(pause)
Attendant: "What would you like?"
Putin's grandma: "Soda."
So, no progress there on the negotiations. She got her soda, and took out a bag of Russian chips. She was enjoying what was either a bag of Russian Beggin' Strips or a package of Бекон-flavored crisps when the snack basket came by. The attendant held out the basket for her. She took ten or twenty minutes to touch every one of the snacks, before deciding on some cookies. While taking them, she knocked a bag of almonds on the floor, looked at them, looked at me, then pointed her sharp digit at me and then down to the floor, telling me to pick them up. I grabbed them and gave them back to the attendant.

As we entered Kansas airspace, the attendant came by with tiny bottles of water. I took one, but Putin's grandma was so engrossed with watching ESPN News highlights without headphones that she didn't take any. A few moments later, she started gesturing at me. She pointed at my water, then herself, then made a drinking motion. Was she asking for mine?

I said "What are you asking for? Are you asking for my water?" She looked at me expectantly for a moment, then her face twisted into one of pure, unalloyed disgust, and she waved me away with her claws, obviously exasperated that mine had not become hers.

This courtship continued until we touched down. As the wheels hit Colorado ground, she picked her bags up, unstrapped and started to move towards the aisle as the plane was taxiing at 120 MPH. I looked over to figure out what the hell she was doing, and she slumped back in her seat and restrapped.

Finally, we came to the gate, and as I got up I actually turned my back to her so that she wouldn't a) try to tell me to do something through interpretive handwaving or b) shove past me only to slow down the entire line with her prescriptive Crocs.

Suddenly I felt the icy hand of death on my shoulder. She pushed down on my shoulder for leverage and to try to move me so that she could grab her jacket out of overhead before anyone could steal it from her. As I waited for the first two rows to exit, she stood so close to me that I could feel her scant remaining body heat within a millimeter of my shoulders. And then, as quickly as it began, our flirtation was finally over.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Who do I know in North Carolina?

I got a call a couple of weeks ago from 336-xxx-8144. Then another couple of calls. No message.

I had no idea who this was. Didn't recognize the number or the area code. I searched the area code. Someone from Winston-Salem, NC. Don't think I have any customers there. I txted Chris in Raleigh. Was he in Winston-Salem? Does he know anyone there who might be calling me? No luck. Reverse lookup showed nothing.

Two days later, a txt from my 336 friend made things clearer.

From 336xxx8144:Hey. My m0ms goin t0 slp. She sed she will talk t0 yu 2m0r0.

Interesting...I haven't talked to any moms from Winston-Salem lately.

From Me:I don't know who this is.

The waiting game began. It was electrifying. Finally, a second txt pierced the darkness.

From 336xxx8144:This malaika. Fats daughter. My mutha jus calld yu.

So I guess I'd like to apologize to Fats and Malaika for not recognizing their number. Guys, if you're reading this, give me a ring - I miss you!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cost-saving measures at work

Our internal news site asks for letters and other employee contributions. We were recently asked for ideas to continue cost savings. I submitted a list of what I thought were great ideas, but unfortunately they were not used. I changed the company name to be generic throughout the note, but that pretty much falls apart when the note starts talking about the upcoming Windows release.



We've all felt the effect of our company's cost-savings measures in recent months. First, we would like to thank you all for doing your part to help us stay the great company we are. Effective next Monday, we are implementing additional cost-savings plans that will improve our profitability by almost $800 in FY09. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with these new guidelines for a leaner company.

1. All personnel will be asked to save 25% on their travel expenses. Company preferred hotels now include Motel 4.5 and Super 6.

2. In order to trim the cost of airfare, all employees must share a seat when traveling on the same route. The senior employee will get the seat, and the junior employee must dress as an infant and ride on a lap. Level 68+ employees still retain use of their private jets.

3. We are always looking to provide inexpensive but nutritious meals, so our cafeterias are pleased to participate in the FDA Recall Buyback program. Today's healthful entree will be peanut paste-crusted Field Roast.

4. We are looking to get a handle on construction costs. All parking spaces on campus will be repainted as compact-only. This will have no immediate effect on most employees, since you ignore this anyway and triple-park Escalades, H2s, and Excursions in these spots.

5. The towel service provided on campus will be retained, but the towels provided may say "Stolen from Overlake Hospital" on them.

6. In your next meeting, look at the person on your left. Now look at the person to your right. Would you start paying attention to the meeting now instead of looking all around the room, you time thief? Thanks.

7. All art hanging in our buildings will be sold off and replaced with framed copies of unsold Magic School Bus Explores the Human Nose software.

8. Do not flush! Each floor will have a designated Flush Marshal who will be in charge of flushing all toilets on campus every two days.

9. We are removing the overhead of hot water and soap from rest rooms on campus. As a good corporate citizen, we will be using reclaimed water in the sinks, and the towels will be those rolls of recycled brown paper. Yes, those horrible ones that are less absorbent than wax paper.

10. All building-sized banners will be hand-written with erasable marker to encourage reuse. Congratulations on your product launch, Win ow 7!

11. When purchasing a new mobile phone for work, purchase one that promises "total office access." These phones are designed to gossip about coworkers who are out sick, steal your stapler, and if you hit *39 a Diet Cherry Coke will come out of it.

12. The 2009 Company Meeting will be held at a secret location. The first 50 callers to the Q-103 Morning Zoo Qrazy Line will get tickets. Attendance is mandatory.

13. Networking costs have skyrocketed over the past decade. We are pleased to announce a long-term arrangement with NetZero to provide on-site Internet services for only $9.99 a month. If another employee is online, we ask that you not pick up your phone to make a call until they're finished.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New photo site

So let's say you have an idea for a new kind of photo site. You want a place where professionals gather to display and sell genuine photo art. This isn't going to be another Flickr; this is all high-end stuff.

You spare no expense on the rollout. You invest in a gorgeous design, both elegant and functional. You grab photoartgallery.com as your domain name. Descriptive, but not too long to type. Everything's going great. You don't even need to pay for product identity development. And as a result, you nickname your site after flatulence.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Yale hockey and Tim Taylor

There's been a lot of excitement lately Chez Cynicor due to the unprecedented success of the Yale hockey team this season. The team won both the regular season and playoff titles in the ECAC, for the first time ever. (And this is the 114th season they're playing.) Back in the dark ages, I was the student manager of the team. It's about one step above towel boy (I did travel planning, stats, shot charts, handed out per diems, crap like that), but I look back upon that time fondly.

For three decades, Yale was led by coach Tim Taylor. As a leader, Coach Taylor was unparalleled. He taught me more about integrity and doing the right thing than just about anyone in my life. One story in particular stands out in my mind to this day.

During the season, we had a player who was injured. He healed up, and skated in a JV game for conditioning. During the the course of the game, this player threw a really dirty hit on an opponent. It was one of those "why did he do THAT?" moments. He didn't get called for it, but it was nevertheless ugly.

The next day, the varsity team had a practice before leaving for Cambridge to play Harvard. Coach Taylor gathered the team together without the one player. He informed them that because of the cheap hit, the perpetrator was going to sit out the weekend back in New Haven. Taylor said words along the line of, "It doesn't matter that it wasn't called. It was a cheap hit, it wasn't right, and it has no place in Yale hockey."

When you are being led by a coach who would send a message like that - that you play hard and with integrity - it never leaves you. So many coaches take a "boys will be boys" mentality to stuff like this. To this day, when I'm faced with a situation, at work or in life, where it may be a matter of integrity, I often think back to that moment. If you do the wrong, backhanded, or dirty thing, where does it really leave you? You might advance temporarily, but it's never worth it. Anyone who knows about your actions has problems trusting you from then on. You can't go to sleep knowing you always did the right thing. What you've done is always out there to see, and people take notice even if it's not called right away.

I have had situations where I spoke up when I saw that something was not the right thing to do, and situations where I should've spoken up but didn't. The immediate incidents have long since passed. Guess which ones I feel good about today?

Three years ago, Yale named Keith Allain head coach. Allain played under Coach Taylor 30 years ago, and he has built the team into quite a successful group. Today he was named the College Hockey News National Coach of the Year. It's just been a great year for both him and the team.

I'm not with the team on a regular basis the way I was way back then, but I have no doubt that his values were shaped in part by his close association with Coach Taylor all those years ago.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A proud day for DirecTV programming

While flipping around on DirecTV, I just came across some of the finest programming ever offered on PPV (channel 120):
Ghetto Brawls: Craziest Chick Fights NR-Mature
Experience the Ghetto's craziest 100% REAL hair-flying, weave-pulling, skirt-splitting, ultra-sexy CAT FIGHTS ever CAUGHT ON TAPE in this collection of bloody, jaw-dropping, violent and shocking female fighting INSANITY! (All Day Ticket 6am ET - 6am)

And at 6 PM?
Wild VIP Parties Uncensored NR-Mature
Go beyond the velvet rope as sexy girls get naked in the DJ booth and bare it all on the dance floor. Wild coeds take their clothes off once the drinks start flowing. (All Day Ticket 6am ET - 6am ET)

My question is not related to the societal value of these two fine offerings. These both look like excellent light TV fare for the discerning gentleman. No, my question relates to relative pricing. Why is the first show priced at $14.95, while the second receives a true bargain pricing of $3.99?

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's time to go FIST CLASS

Huge sign on Rt 112 in Medford. I actually screeched off the road in traffic so that I could take this pic. I wonder what life was like before they put cameras in every cell phone.


In case you can't read the text above FIST CLASS MANAGEMENT and don't feel like clicking through, it says:
This is a unique opportunity to be a part of a brand new 18,400 sq.ft. Retail Strip Center. This site is located in [sic] one of the busies [sic] roads of suffolk [sic] county [sic] Long Island, New York. Rout [sic] 112 is an access point to one of long [sic] island's [sic] major highways, 495- Long Island Expressway. This center is a part of growing [sic] retail & residential community of medford [sic]. A brand new 500+residential [sic] units development is in progress right across the street. Please call for more details.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Texas restaurant reviews

Having been in Irving, TX for well over a week now, I would like to share some of my restaurant reviews with you. I've been to most of the places in Texas now, but if I've missed any please give me a hollar. Thank y'all.

Red Hot & Blue, Las Colinas
Grade: B+
Even though this is a chain restaurant, it had good BBQ ribs with an appropriately smoky flavor and meat that fell off the bone. I think I also got some other meat there but I forget what it was. The honey cheese biscuits are good. The sauce was OK. There seems to be a Texas thing where "potato salad" is really mashed potato with some crud tossed in it. Overall, it was good enough to go back and get a pulled chicken sandwich.

Sonny Bryan's, Las Colinas
Grade: F
I was expecting something resembling delicious BBQ when I went here. Instead, I got a plate of meat that tasted a bit too meaty, had no smoke flavor, and wasn't particularly tender. All covered with an acrid sauce and accompanied by a roll that tasted like it was made from parts of Poppin' Fresh with a yeast infection. I was tasting this all night, and the memory still haunts me.

County Line BBQ, Austin
Grade: B+
It's a bit out of the way if you're visiting Dallas, but County Line serves some real quality BBQ. I didn't like the beans that much; I think I ordered "cowboy beans" and they were just not rootin' tootin' enough. Afterwards you can go out back and see turtles and fish and crud in the river.

Popeye's, Las Colinas
Grade: A++
Brilliant! A taste sensation! Popeye's guarantees that you will not get what you ordered. If your order matches the stuff in the bag exactly, you get $1 off your next visit. Even for a Popeye's, this one served up a large helping of that delectable Popeye's grease. You know what you're going to get there. If you put the bag on the floor of the car, the grease will soak right through the bag and then continue through the floor boards to the center of the earth. So you have to be careful lest you confuse your car's translucence with a serious body problem. The rolls are just as grease-soaked, so when you reach for one in a desperate attempt to mop up the damage the chicken has done to your tract, you will get no relief. Highly recommended, and don't forget the apple pie.

Some Thai place, Las Colinas
Grade: C-
I forgot its name. Just avoid it. I wasn't at all happy with it. It's the place that was next to that store.

La Madeleine, Las Colinas
Grade: A-
I love going to La Madeleine, but haven't been to one in years. I got a chicken salad sandwich on a croissant, and should've held the tomato. When you bite into the tomato, there is no way to engineer the rest of the croissant and chicken salad so that it stays intact. Your only hope is to be wearing chicken salad-colored pants to hide the damage.

California Pizza Kitchen, Grapevine
Grade: C
CPK is my favorite upscale chain eatery. Although it sounds pretentious, "upscale chain" refers to who wipes down the table. There's a sliding scale, where customers are at the bottom and employees are at the top. When you go up the scale, it means that they have actual employees wiping down the tables between guests. At a downscale place like Burger King, you are expected to wipe any stray shreds of lettuce off your table yourself, with a combination of napkins and spittle. I usually enjoy CPK, but I was disappointed by the freshness and presentation of my take-out order. Everything was a bit gluey. I hope they read this and give me a coupon for a free appetizer.

Bluefish, Las Colinas
Grade: B
Looked good, although I don't enjoy seafood. They should make it clearer in the name that it's primarily coming from the ocean. I had the non-seafood choice, which was a salad with ginger-miso dressing. Others in my group had something called a crab dynamite, which looked something like a baby Horta. Instead of precious silicon eggs, it was protecting a series of California roll slices. I swear that when I looked up, one of the sushi chefs was giving me a mournful "you don't like my sushi?" look.

Indian Bistro, Las Colinas
Grade: B-
I went here for lunch. Would it have killed them to have forks available?

Cattleman, Fort Worth
Grade: A
Great, great, great steak. Everything you could want in a steak, served under a blow-up photo of a prize cow from the 1950s. The meat was perfect: just slightly crispy on the outside, and buttery smooth on the inside. I had it with some horseradish mashed potatoes, which could've had a bit more horseradish in them.

Hyatt Regency, Austin
Grade: C+
Every Hyatt Regency makes the same $11 breakfast panini with ham, white cheddar, and a fried egg. This is the only one that served it to me with two vials of ketchup and asked if I needed more ketchup.

Mayuri, Las Colinas
Grade: B
Not the best Indian food I've had, but reasonably good. If you order the full meal, it comes with a bewildering array of little cups of curries. One of these is actually rice pudding, which is infused with rosewater and cardamom, and you're supposed to save it for after you eat the others. Depending on your tastes, it can either resemble a delicate, perfumed treat or that perfume you pick up as a gift at Walgreen's at 8 PM on Valentine's Day.

Sonic, Hamilton
Grade: F
This was the only place open after my car broke down in the middle of Bumluck TX. The meat tasted like it had been refrozen, nothing tasted good, and my car smelled like a pickle for three days afterwards. It actually made me long for McDonald's.

Microsoft cafeteria, Las Colinas
Grade: A++++
If you can't get to Popeye's, this is an awesome second choice. The ice machine is free! I figured out how to make sweet tea, too. You take regular tea and toss in a bunch of sugar packets. Wow! They also have three or four different stations. You can get a burger, or a sandwich, or a salad. Perfect for the busy employee on the go.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Austin was nice...

After a week slaving away in Las Colinas, I drove down to Austin on Friday, not having been there before and having a free night at a Hyatt that is going to expire next Saturday anyway. My compact/intermediate rental at Avis was actually a Toyota 4Runner. I took it for a day or two, but it was totally inappropriate for one person to drive back and forth to an office park. So I took it back to DFW and asked to trade it in. They had a PT Cruiser stowed away for just such a request. "Customer wants trade-in. Give him the ugliest car we have." The PT Cruiser had several assorted nut shells under the seat. I theorize that it had been rented by 30 clowns at some point, and they were all too crowded-together to pick up their shells.

I-35 is the worst highway ever. It is crowded for most of the way down to Austin. When it's not crowded, there's a truck in front of you anyway. The scenery is non-existent. There are these Escalades that do a little Escalade trick I hadn't noticed before. They cruise impatiently about 30 feet behind you. Suddenly, they gun it into the other lane, fly past you, and end up 30 feet in front of you and start cruising again. Nothing to do with going faster; all about being ahead of you.

Waco is about halfway between Dallas and Austin. It's home of Dr. Pepper, which even has a museum: The Dr. Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute. Because nothing says "free enterprise" like a horrible soda that tastes like all the other sodas in the fountain, mixed together and served in a filthy plastic tumbler.

In fact, the drive doesn't get nice until you hit Austin. Suddenly, the bleak, flat farmland turns into some gorgeous hill country. But this isn't about my trip to Austin. This is about my trip back the next day.

A couple of months ago I visited Springfield, MO and on my way to the airport I stopped at a cavern. Caverns are cool. They're all underground and stuff, and they have amazing rock formations that come about when water flow eats away at limestone to form karst caves. As it turns out, there are several of these caverns not that far from Austin.

I started out with a hearty breakfast at the hotel. All Hyatts seem to serve a ham and white cheddar panini with a fried egg on it. Only the one in Austin felt that the appropriate condiment for it was two mini-jars of ketchup. Anyway, it stuck to my ribs.

I headed out towards New Braunfels before cutting across to Boerne (pronounced "Bernie"). There are quite a lot of towns in the area that were settled by German immigrants, with quaint little downtown areas and streetnames like Haupstrasse. They also seem to have a lot of smokehouse BBQ places that were founded in 1946 for whatever reason. I try not to think about it.

I made it to two great show caves: Cascade Caverns and Cave Without A Name. I had my trusty camera in tow, along with a small travel tripod. Both tour guides graciously let me set my stuff up for a minute here and there to take pictures. (Check the links above.) Cascade Caverns has a waterfall inside it, plus a couple of bats sleeping in little holes on the ceiling. Cave Without A Name has a really grand main chamber that's big enough to have weddings.

Covered with mud and sort of sweaty/sticky from the 100% humidity in the caves, I started the drive back to Dallas. I briefly took IH-10 up to Comfort. (For some reason, Texas calls Interstates IH instead of I. Dumb.) I jumped off and hit US-87 to Fredericksburg, then TX-16 up to Llano, where I headed towards Burnet. All the towns are population about 1000 to 3000 around here. They all have a Family Dollar and a Sonic, just in case you need lousy merchandise or lousy food.

I cut across TX-29 towards Burnet, going across a really pretty section near Lake Buchanan. It was getting late in the afternoon, but I figured I could get closer to Dallas before having dinner.

I hit Lampasas and just as I passed the town, my fuel warning light went on. I had about 45 miles left to go. I thought about turning back, but figured I'd pick up gas in the next town. I was making good time, doing 70 or 80 on the straight, well-paved intertown highways. Adamsville was 12 miles ahead.

Adamsville had no gas. And honestly, Adamsville seemed to have no Adamsville. Evant was another 13 miles - should I turn back to Lampasas or push forward? Google Maps showed a gas station in Evant, so I pushed forward. 32 miles of gas left.

I got to Evant and was starting to get worried, but Google was showing me that Shamrock station just down the road on US-84. So I pulled onto 84, and there it was. A Shamrock station about 3 miles away from where the map said it was. I pulled up to the pump. There were three pump handles. Two of them had the hoses removed. The pump's electricity was on, but the station was closed. The credit card swipe had been removed. There was no one around, on a Saturday night at 7 PM. I drove down another 2 miles, to exactly where Google Maps said there was a station. There was no station. I now had 15 miles of gas left, and there was no gas station within 17 miles. I was starting to worry just a bit.

I had no option though. I pushed on towards Hamilton, where I was assured of at least three or four stations. The terrain was becoming hilly. I would push the car to about 60 MPH up the hill, then coast down it to save gas. The PT Cruiser, a car where every last feature was designed to annoy, started beeping more urgently. "I would love to pull over for gas," I explained to it, "but there's evidently no gas for 45 miles on US highways in Texas and Google Maps lies."

I kept pushing on up US-281 towards Hamilton, counting the miles. I did things I knew would be totally ineffective, like turning the radio and the fan off. I had to pee. I was finally within two miles of Hamilton, when I felt the engine seize up and start to slow down. I was going 70. Then 60. Then 30. I got my car off the road at exactly 31.66497 N, 98.13909 W. I was stranded, out of gas, and sitting in an ugly car.

The Avis keychain has a number for roadside assistance. I called it. The Avis guy kept explaining to me that I had called the NY branch and that he would transfer me to TX. I explained that they gave me the keychain and this was the number on it. He assured me that I hadn't done anything wrong, but I had called the NY number. Why does Avis give me the NY number? I don't know. He transferred me to the Texas operator, who told me that they don't help if you've run out of gas. Then he hung up on me.

I didn't have my AAA card, but I called them anyway. I have the number for the NYC area club on my phone, so I reached them and explained what had happened. The operator said I had to call the Texas AAA. I explained that I didn't have their number. She transferred me to another AAA club. I explained what had happened and where I was.

"And this is in Southern California?"
"No, I'm sitting just south of Hamilton, Texas, like I said."
"I can't find the location you gave me."
"Well, I'm sitting right here, look again. Would you like the exact latitude and longitude?"
"I don't find it in Southern California."
"That's because I am in Texas. I am exactly two miles south of the town of Hamil..."
"But what town are you in now?"
"There are no towns here. There is 40 miles of road with one town on it."
"We need a town name, sir."
"Hamilton, Texas."
"Not Southern California?"

It went on like this for a few years, until we got to the point where she asked for my AAA membership number and I didn't have it. She told me that I needed to get it from the NY AAA. She called them with me on the line. I gave my name and address. The other club asked if this was near Albany, because I just called the Albany AAA.

Long story short, we finally got it all worked out. AAA would come by Hamilton to bring me some gas for $7. It was 7:22 PM. I figured at around 8:15 PM, a truck would pull up.

At 8:03 PM, my phone rang. It was the gas station in San Saba. AAA had just called them a minute before to dispatch them. It took AAA 41 minutes just to send out the call for help. San Saba was another 45 minutes away. I stayed in my car because it was cold, even though the sky was brilliantly clear, with more stars than I'd see even in Montauk. Cars and trucks kept whizzing past me. Finally, one of them slowed down and pulled in behind me. It was a cop.

I explained that I'd run out of gas, I was from New York, I felt like an idiot, and so on. The officer was quite friendly, and said that one of the other guys he works with in Hamilton County was a retired cop from New York. They didn't have any gas though. He left.

More trucks and cars whizzing back and forth. Finally, at about 8:30 a truck pulled up behind me. I thought it was the AAA guy, so I got out of my car. It was a second cop, in a cop truck. He opened up his window and I was hit with a blast of cigarette smoke from 20 feet away. This cop said "Hey, I heard there was a guy from New York here. I just retired and moved down here a couple of years ago. Good luck, wish I could help!" Then he took off too.

Finally! At about 8:50 the AAA truck showed up. I was on my way again, making my first stop the gas station in Hamilton. My second stop was Sonic for some dinner. Holy crap, that's a terrible burger. It was just...bad, with that slightly-too-meaty flavor and the fries tasting like they'd been sitting in old oil for a few days. It was a miserable time, because I was still so far away and I knew everything was closed for the next 100 miles, if it existed at all. So, yeah. End of the story is that I continued up through Hico to US-67, and stayed on that all the way until Dallas.

And Glen Rose is about where you start to get Metroplex light pollution ruining the perfect Hill Country night sky.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Men, anger, and heart disease

From this morning: "Men, anger, and heart disease. The terrible trifecta that can threaten men's health."

It seems somewhat, well, self-referential to include men in the list of things that threaten men's health. Maybe they should've said that anger and heart disease are the "daily double that threatens men's health." But since disease threatens health by definition, that doesn't work either. So we're down to anger as the only factor that can threaten men's health. Time to break out the cigars, booze, and red meat!

Man, these reports about anger just piss me off.

Saturday, January 31, 2009