There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


In a video interview on Costas Now (a TV show I didn't know existed), Pulitzer Prize-winning author Buzz Bissinger (who I'd actually never heard of) gives his opinion about bloggers. The first ten minutes are here and I'd love to see the rest. Credit goes to Eamonn Brennan courtesy of Yahoo! Sports. Sure Bissinger is mainly discussing sports bloggers, but he claims not to read blogs and seems to have a great disdain for the medium of blogging in general and Brennan sums up pretty well what makes Bissinger's irate state ridiculous. Man does he get irate though, and it's pretty sweet.

Speaking of sweet, these cakes look like a decent reason to move to Davis, California. Who doesn't like ice cream cake? Plus, it's sunny California, it's one of the most bikable cities in the US, and it's got this tight arboretum. Why don't I live in Davis?

Initially I started this post in the interest of proving myself correct regarding a certain matter. Years ago I had been mentioning to someone how I used to wear Izod clothing, and that it was an offshoot of Lacoste. They told me I was quite clearly wrong and, while I am often mistrusting of my own memory, Wikipedia once again saves the day. Now that I think of it, this dispute may have been in the last year and in regard to the Izod Center, home of the New Jersey Nets. I actually didn't need Wikipedia for this one as I uncovered this article of clothing in the basement of my parents' home.

I wore that shit all the time when I was a real littler kid and damnit all I'd still be wearing it if I hadn't gone and growed up so much.

I'm fading fast in this post-midnight hour, but before I go I need to get this British skit out of my system and, also, the Salmon Dance. The Salmon Dance I credit to good pal the Boneyard and while it may not do it for you, it makes me want to get up off my gimpy ass and dance. Every party or bar I show up at, once I am fully operational that is, I want people to be doing the Salmon Dance. If Soulja Boy can do it, why not the Chemical Brothers?

Last thing: As I was just on the ticketmaster website, searching for tickets to an event, I was brought to one of those Captcha screens. I couldn't help but note the option for the vision impaired where, if you click the appropriate link, the Captcha will be read out to you. I think you can see where I'm headed with this but, just in case: if you can see the link that provides audio assistance, why would you need to click it? In other words: you can't be blind to see the link, but you have to be blind to in order to have any use for the link. Seems like a regular old Catch-22 to me.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Maybe it's just that I don't watch enough TV anymore or, at least, the right type of TV, but there seems to be a decided lack of goofy breakfast cereal-based commercials these days. As heinous as it might seem, especially for a cereal lover and, in spite of this entry title, I am fairly certain I didn't have Honeycomb prior to 2006, at which point I only succumbed due to the <$2 price tag for a large box. I think I decided it tasted a good deal like Alphabits, a cereal I begged to have in the house as a child, but I am not sure I enjoyed eating all that much. I like that these commercials served up the crock of shit that my Alphabits might randomly align in my cereal bowl to form words, and also the disclaimer included that they are "part of a balanced breakfast." Bacon and donuts are part of a balanced breakfast as well, so long as the rest of your breakfast is a couple of shots of wheatgrass and a chunk-lite tuna shake.

The real reason I probably got to thinking about cereal is that it is Passover, and one certainly doesn't eat cereal at this time. The Haggadah, at least in the rendition my family always read, told us that "in their haste to leave Egypt, the Jews could not wait for their bread (I think they mean dough, and I don't remember the specific word choice) to rise," hence the consumption of matzoh, an unleavened bread. The only flaw is that these two are not the same thing. Matzoh has no yeast, which is the element that causes the bread to rise prior to baking. So really Jews should be eating some sort of flatbread on Passover or, in other words, it should be a naan-issue. I crack myself up. In the same haste to leave Egypt, thankfully they had time to make Kosher for Passover Coke. I am only half-joking here because I actually think Kosher Coke tastes better, the difference being cane sugar as a sweetener, as opposed to the usual high fructose corn syrup. That means it is like those tasty Mexican sodas and also Mexican Coke.

On a completely unrelated note Gilbert Arenas injured himself yet again in tonight's playoff game. Not everyone is a fan of the outspoken Agent Zero (which sadly represents the number of minutes he is playing these days), but as an injury prone fellow myself, I feel for the man.

Following that unrelated vein, residents of Westchester County in New York earn, on average, $176,231. I wonder if that calculation includes non-working family and children, which would drag the average down accordingly, or simply represents the working commuters themselves. Statistics never fail to impress me with how much and how little they really tell you. Here is a good one: if Yankees star*Alex Rodriguez had his own town, with 153 residents, himself being the 154th, and all other residents were unemployed, the average per capita income would still exceed that of these Westchester folks.

Oh shit, maybe I will try to put together a Passover song before it ends Sunday night. Remind me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Philosophy, Celebrity, Mediocrity and Maybe Some Other Words Ending in "y"

I'd been meaning to drop an entry for a good while now, as is generally the case, but each time the thoughts are pretty disjointed and I want them to be a cohesive unit so I just sort of forget about it and write nothing, which is funny because my writing never really sticks to one topic or even a series of related topics anyway.

Do you have those moments where you wish you were carrying around a notebook so that, when you had a good idea, you could write it down and come back to it later? This has several flaws for yours truly: 1) I have said notebooks, in the form of moleskins, the quintessential "I want to be a writer notebook," (or if you don't over-think and over-judge things like me, just a good notebook), and I never remember to write shit down in them; 2) when I write something down, by and large I forget to come back to it later; this is a mild off-shoot of procrastination; and 3) whenever I forget a thought I am always convinced it was the most earth-shattering shit I and, sometimes, anyone has come up with. If these are written down, I am confronted by their lack of genius (which I was spelling "genious" initially, a sure sign of a lack thereof). For me at least, whenever I go and read a book I also tend to be confronted by the reality that some really smart old dude said it somewhere between fifty and one-hundred and fifty years prior to me, give or take a few centuries and, to further rub it in, said it much more eloquently.

I was chatting with a friend earlier about celebrities and more the idea of celebrity oh-so-briefly and I wanted to drop it down here as well. Celebrity is such a strange thing. Things like fashion trends fall in line well with this, as I find myself constantly fascinated by the definition and conception of cool and/or hip, with heavy emphasis on conception. I really do wonder why certain folks, folks like Cisco Adler become famous. To be honest I know who he is because I like to check those celebrity rag sites from time-to-time. He is the frontman to Whitestarr, a band I'd never heard of, but better known for dating various celebrities including Paris Hilton, another "Why are you famous?" The real reason both are famous is, of course, rather obvious: celebrity begats celebrity, or celebrity birthright if you will. But these days I am trying to a) not be overly judgmental and/or sound bitter/curmudgeonly and b) be familiar with something/someone before I pass judgment. In reference to 'a,' I have no desire to be famous myself, I value the rare bits of privacy I have as it is; I am fueled less by jealousy and much more by bewilderment and befuddlement. As for 'b,' I gave Whitestarr a listen today and I came to the following conclusion: their music sucks, and Adler is tone deaf. I am fairly certain I might rather listen to 30 Seconds to Mars. To each his own.

On a promotional note, I stumbled across photos posted by some guy Bradley Wilford over in the UK while looking for something else entirely and was a big fan of what I saw. Who doesn't like cool photographs? If you have a chance check it out.

That's quite enough for the moment, but before I go, here is my own photographic contribution, courtesy of Photo Booth. This is my leg from a couple of days back, before I was given anti-fungal meds that are bad for my liver. As my boy Elliot Carver would say, "Delicious."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Passover Song

I am hoping Adam Sandler devises a Passover song at some point or at least makes an addendum to The Chanukah Song to include David Beckham who, I learned today, is apparently about as Jewish as I am. Technically, as it is his mother that is Jewish (for me it was my father) he is more of a Jew than I, but somehow I doubt he has mowed down on matzoh, which probably shifts the Jew-factor back in my favor.

Hell, with my own love of crap song parody, maybe I'll put together my own jingle before the sun sets this Saturday and we kick things off with the seder for Passover 5768. But if I don't happen to drop back here in time, remember to put some lamb's blood on your door and Borai pri hagofen.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Tax Day Everyone

Alright, so I am admittedly a day early on this one, but I only mailed off my taxes today so I figure what the hell.

The first thing I thought I would share is this little mock letter sent to the IRS, courtesy of the Mac Owners Support Group newsletter that periodically arrives in my inbox. This is credited to forum user "Griffin," and I would like to thank him (or her) for this spot of humor on what might otherwise prove a gloomy day:

Dear Internal Revenue Service:
Enclosed you will find my tax return showing that I owe $3,407 in taxes. Please note the attached article from USA Today, dated 12 November, wherein you will see the Pentagon (Department of Defense) is paying $171.50 per hammer and NASA has paid $600 per toilet seat. I am enclosing four (4) toilet seats (valued @ $2,400) and six (6) hammers (valued @ $1,029), which I secured at Home Depot, bringing my total remittance to $3,429. Please apply the overpayment of $22 to the "Presidential Election Fund," as noted on my return.

You can do this inexpensively by sending them one (1) 1.5" Phillips Head screw (see aforementioned article from USA Today detailing how H.U.D. pays $22 each for 1.5" Phillips Head Screws). One screw is enclosed for your convenience.

It has been a pleasure to pay my tax bill this year, and I look forward to paying it again next year.

A Satisfied Taxpayer

On the Macintosh front as well, my buddy Max steered me to this earlier today. Whether or not you clicked the link, the band is called Hot Lava and while I may have been expecting a bit of a Weird Al rendition of "Blister in the Sun" for "JPG in the Sun," I was pleasantly surprised by the indie, lo-fi sound, which would have proven less of a surprise if I scrolled all the way down and read the tags for the post.

And since I managed to bring up the Violent Femmes I'll leave you with a little "American Music."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Deaf People are Assholes Too

Before describing briefly an experience I had at Jersey Gardens on Sunday I'm going to throw in a little ego boost I received the day before as I was out on a run.

As I headed out on a run Saturday, I was in an extra friendly mood and decided to wave, salute, nod, or some reasonable facsimile thereof to every other runner I passed. In general I respond to all hailings from other runners, but I was in an extra initiative mood because I realized I wouldn't be running for a good long while most likely, especially not at any great distance. For whatever reason, however, not a single person returned my greeting. What a bunch of assholes. The ego boost I speak of came when I passed two physical trainer type dudes leading two women in I-take-fitness-seriously-or-at-least-the-gear outfits and they remarked, "now that is a great running stride." This kind of stuff makes my day, probably all the more because I admittedly run in a very goofy fashion. While in the past I was able to run quickly in spite of this it may also be the reason for so many of my injury woes.

But that is neither here nor there because far more important was the run-in I had Sunday at the food court at Jersey Gardens Mall. There I was, minding my own business, conversing with my good friend and his girlfriend when a lady came up to stand literally inches from me. Not sure why I said literally there, but man, literally. So I see that she has a pen with some message written on it and I say "no thank you," to let her know I am not interested. Unbeknownst to me, this woman happens to be deaf, so she taps me on the shoulder and sticks the pen near my face. I still might not have realized she was deaf at this point if my friend hadn't pointed it out. Now, I don't appreciate being solicited for donations and hand-outs, and deaf people are no exception. But the real kicker came when I dismissed her the second time and she put her hand to her mouth, made a kissing motion, and then put that same hand to her ass. Now I might not know sign language, but I am not a total moron and I realized she had told me to kiss her ass. Great job lady, great job. It's the kind of thing where I wouldn't be surprised to see her start talking once she turned the corner. Really though, I will assume she really was deaf and remind her that that is not an excuse to be an asshole. Would she have wanted me to interrupt her while she was eating to ask her for money? Doubt it...

And to prove I am not a total jerk, right before this incident I helped a little girl fill her paper ketchup containers when I noticed her struggling with the ketchup dispenser. She didn't tell me to kiss her ass.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Golden Grahams

That's what it smelled like in the train car in which I was seated this morning. Young Anakin Skywalker endorsed Golden Grahams, and later turned to the dark side trying to figure out how they crammed all that graham. Turned out just to be a special blend of artificial flavoring, sugar, brown sugar, honey, and some other crap. The universe would surely have been in deeper shit if he had tried to figure out why people eat Apple Jacks. Depending on my mood, I am a big fan of both cereals.

Now I must go back in time to Friday, when it was raining in the morning. As a result, many people were carrying these devices. I was, grudgingly, among them. For some reason I hate using umbrellas. I also pretty much hate people that use them for reasons I am about to explain.

I already get needlessly annoyed simply having to deal with standard pedestrian traffic in the city ("pedestrian rage" my girlfriend calls it, as she experiences the same) and at some point I will probably articulate this more (also needlessly). Anyway, the real problem with umbrellas is that people are not at all conscious of the additional space they now occupy given this device that varies greatly in size. Most people seem not to be looking where they are going when I see them walking as it is, but an umbrella over the face never helps. Lots of people simply pull it down, like the brim of a hat, and seem to have no concern for other pedestrians.

The only flaw to this method is if the person you are walking toward is not me and, like you, is not looking or able to see around their overhanging umbrella. The thing is, I am amazed there are not more pedestrian-to-pedestrian accidents. Still, I did manage to see several people get cracked upside the dome-piece by a neighboring umbrella. This seems like either a) a simple concept; b) something I am blowing out of proportion, or c) both. Just as drivers with points on their licenses have to attend driver safety classes, I think something similar should be instated for umbrella safety and etiquette.

It might be bad luck to open an umbrella indoors, but it's probably worse luck to have someone in New York City with a behemoth umbrella barreling down on you, especially if they opted for the one with the razor-like edges.*

*does not exist...yet...that I know of.√

√ I put the check mark to show off my keyboard shortcut skills. If you need worthless skills or knowledge, just send me an email.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Beginning of the End

Emperor Ming aka Potential Future Google

The geniuses at Google have done it again. I just logged out of gmail and this was on their entry page:

New! Gmail Custom Time™

Ever wish you could go back in time and send that crucial email that could have changed everything -- if only it hadn't slipped your mind? Gmail can now help you with those missed deadlines, missed birthdays and missed opportunities.

Pre-date your messages
You tell us what time you would have wanted your email sent, and we'll take care of the rest. Need an email to arrive 6 hours ago? No problem.

Mark as read or unread
Take sending emails to the past one step further. We let you make emails look like they've been read all along.

Make them count
Use your custom time stamped messages wisely -- each Gmail user gets ten per year.

Worry less
Forget your finance reports. Forget your anniversary. We'll make it look like you remembered.

This would be frighteningly easy to monetize for when people want to go above their ten freebies. But what becomes legitimate anymore? This reminds me of when I first started using Adium and I noted options included invisible, the ability to chat with your away message up, and to even falsify when you signed on and things like idleness. The implications and possibilities are, to use that word again, frightening.

Google is awesome, but on its way to omnipotence, can it avoid Lord Acton's contention that absolute power corrupts absolutely? Should the worldwide web belong to Google (Spidey), they must remember Aunt May's words: "with great power comes great responsibility," or all of the Uncle Ben's of the world could be in a world of shit.

Presidents and Pronunciations

That's a shot of none other than George Bush Senior, 41st President of the United States. At least, I hope it is 41st. I used to know all of my presidents in order, as well as other semi-worthless facts like a memorization of the periodic table, but I've really fallen off. It's one of the things I'm going to take the opportunity, along with perhaps geography - I am hoping - to brush up on while recovering from surgery in the upcoming weeks.

Back on Bush briefly, all puns and euphemisms somewhat unintended but not to be amended, I find this picture of him surrounded by the cheerleaders of a university whose motto is "Hook 'Em Horns" to be pretty spectacular. I look forward to visiting Texas and I think the burnt orange and white makes for totally sweet uniforms and university gear.

As usual I keep coming up with all manner of tidbits I mean to share but somehow manage not to find the time to post them up. So, also with my time off, I may try to do some retro-blogging, as in retroactive.

Before I sign off though, I've got to address word pronunciation or, rather, mispronunciation. Before I attack other people's errors, I must say that I am guilty of this kind of thing myself from time to time. For instance, the word "cache" which I was pronouncing with a long "a," rather than "cash."

A couple of my favorite offenders are the people that attempt to say mocha and would end up with a hard "ch" over essentially a "k" sound and, lately, people talking about chipotle. The former I experienced very often in my days as a popcorn-pusher at a local Loews theater as we happened to offer an iced mocha beverage. I was reminded of this when I had my first Starbuck's coffee experience about two weeks ago and overheard many a struggle. While I'd eaten some pastries there in the past, I don't really drink coffee, and I must say that my first experience was a bust. I think this is common coffee-drinker knowledge, but the beans were over-roasted, giving my coffee a burnt flavor which I would assume is somewhat of a function of needing to taste the coffee over all the sugary flavorings most people add to their Bux. Chipotle for some reason seems to induce temporary dyslexia, prompting it to be referred to as chi-pole-té.

These days I'm finding myself getting in touch with my British routes, downing a lemon zinger tea at work in the morning, and capping many nights with some bomb Ahmad . In the latter I decided to dunk some Costco madeleines of late, and I must rescind, or simply amend, my earlier vote of dissension on the classic french cookie-cake. That reminds me of when Nabisco ran fig newton ads, typically with someone eating them in bed, with the slogan, "it's not a cookie, it's fruit and cake." Not only are fig newtons delicious, but I think that it now says cookie on the very packaging in which they are sold. So much for that debate...
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