Friday, July 29, 2016

Take on the Peking Smog

I thought I got off easy this year when the city in Henan province when the sky allowed a little bit of blue to peak through but it all went to hell as I flew into Beijing. Looking out of my window from the plane with about 20 minutes left, we descended through a cloud towards PEK but unlike a normal cloud it didn't end as we descended. Instead we landed into what was some of heaviest fog I'd seen in years, the kind made up of PPM contaminants. If you see an Asian woman in the USA she often looks half her age, take the same woman and plop her down in China as opposed to Los Angeles and she looks twice her age in a year. The pollution is so thick you get bloody nose almost immediately and you can feel the grit in your teeth and in Beijing it is the worst because the city is located in a valley surrounded by mountains and the smog gets trapped and the only way the air gets conditioned is by people's lungs.

Happy sneezing

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Take on the ghost cities

Drive through China and you'll see cranes, you'll see concrete and you'll see what should be construction but you won't see people. It is odd that a country with 1.3 billion people living on the same landmass as the continental USA can have any empty buildings but there are thousands in every city and many more in "cities" that are unoccupied. You can't believe your eyes but you realize the Chinese don't plan for two weeks from now or two years from now or even two decades from now, they play for two hundred years from now. This is why their "city airports" are 60km outside of the city, because they know, that in time, that will be the city.
They have built roads and rails and airports and now are just awaiting them to be used, and they will, sometime. But until then it's a sad empty landscape of concrete and glass which if there wasn't so much smog, you might actually be able to see

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Take on the chicken dinner

I walked into a restaurant today and was greeted by the sight of a dead chicken hanging  in the window is always incredibly appetizing, especially when it is 107 degrees outside.   When we cook chicken at home, my wife busts out the hazmat suits and anything that the chicken touches gets disinfected with rubbing  alcohol and a blowtorch but in China they don't even bother to refrigerate the thing and I doubt the wash their hands before they touch it let alone after they handle it.  

If I make it through the this trip without about six parasites, I'll consider myself lucky 

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Take on the Trump obsession

Will continue with our regularly scheduled "China is filthy" programming after this blog post but this just has to be said. Every time I open up the New York Times, it seems that every single opinion article is about the guy they all despise. I get that Trump's oversized ego and personality will help command the stage far longer than any politician ever could but he obsession is sickening. This Sunday's Week in Review had at least four of it's columnists write about Trump. It is as if there is nothing else going on in this world other than reporting on this megalomaniac which only feeds his ego further and leads to more outrageous comments which leads to more press and before you know it, you have spent your entire life on one orange faced man

Congrats NYT, your readership doesn't need to be convinced to not vote for Trump since they are, by definition, NYT readers but now they are all culprits in the obsession with him because they keep laying out the cash to pay for the paper

Monday, July 25, 2016

Take on the China Eastern First Class check-in counter

Nothing tells you that you are no longer in Kansas than when you get to China and everything you hold dear is gone. I went to check-in today for a transfer after getting off a flight and being a platinum SkyTeam flyer you'd think it should be a simple and pleasant experience but as should be expected, it was anything but.
First of all after landing in Shanghai for a connection to the heart of China is ludicrous. They literally make you leave the airport in order to check back in. Their concept of a "transfer station" is to get you to the sidewalk with the taxi line and then have to go up three floors to check back in. This is with all your bags after a 14 hour flight in the 100 degree heat.
When you finally get to the check in station, you see why this is still a communist country. It's not political statement, it's just that their concept of VIP means nothing. The service takes forever, they don't have an English speaking person anywhere in the section and they tell you the lounge will be a 25 minute walk to the gate which makes the entire experience about as pleasant as eating gizzard. But what is most telling is that their red carpet looks like the rug of an abandoned crack house. It has rips and cuts and stains and looks like it hasn't been washed ever. I don't care and don't need my feet to walk on rose pedals but what it is, if nothing else, is telling. You are no better than anybody else.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Take on the 14 hour flight to China

It feels like it was just a few months ago when I was last sitting in the lounge waiting to board a flight to Shanghai before connecting further into China but here I am again for what is probably my 20th trip to Asia. None of the travel bothers me much, I know what to expect what I'll see and eat and what I'll be up against but when you get a weather report of 107 degrees with a smog index of 100000 you know it won't be fun. The beauty of China is that you don't have to be that dressed up, most guys show up with dirty shirts and pants that are three sizes too big, so at least it won't be too stuffy but I am going to try to not leave the hotel once. If I can accomplish that it would be a miracle

Also, connecting in China is never easy so we hope to keep the TOR streak alive, we'll blog it every day but realize that we might be a few days late in posting if my VPN doesn't work like it should

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Take on GNR part 2

TOR was there when GNR first reunited and played their first planned shows in Vegas and we'll be back in the audience tonight as Axl, Slash, Duff and a couple of guys with buckets on their heads rock out MetLife. From what we have learned since they boys reunited they have gotten tighter, faster and better at every stop and there are even some rumors of the boys going back into the studio for their first real studio album of originals since the Use Your Illusions from when I was still young, skinny and had hair down to my ass.

The other thing that we've learned is that, unlike two decades ago, they actually go on on-time which is blessing for a bunch of 40 year old dad's who have kid duty obligations in the morning.
We'll be rocking it out tonight, and somehow I doubt we will be the oldest, palest, baldness or fatest.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Take on the new NJ gas tax

For as long as I can remember, New Jersey has had some of the cheapest gas around often coming in $0.40 or more cheaper than it's neighboring states. Add to that the entire no pumping your own gas thing, and it's a wonder why people were aren't flocking to its rolling greens, beautiful beaches and array of smells on the turnpike. But today, the NJ Senate agreed to raise the gas tax by $0.23/gallon which means that the average person driving 15,000 miles per year and getting 25mpg will pay an additional $138 per year which is a small price to pay if they actually do something. The issue is they probably won't do anything and instead we'll all be giving the most corrupt state government around an additional $138 per person

But forget all of that, the most disturbing thing about this is the Tom Selleck Borat looking pornstar state senator who negotiated this thing.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Take on the LIRR part 2

Our first experience on the LIRR was absolutely glorious, we had a cold beer in hand, the twins left on time and we just generally loved life but not 10 minutes after we posted yesterday's TOR Everything changed

I live blogged it for a few buddies, here is the transcript

Now there are a bunch of meatheads discussing going to get lit and killing hookers
So much for this joy ride 

I just saw a 24 hour fitness 

Jesus, I just got up and these meatheads are in their 50's.   WTF is wrong with these people 

They are all doubling fisting, it's a commuter rail and it's 6:15

These dudes are going to hammered just in time to get home to beat their kids

Just switched trains at Jamaica, this must be what it feels like in purgatory  

I just saw another 24 hour fitness. Next to another 24 hour fitness

I like the fact that all the signs for shit out here don't even include an area code
Every thing is like
"john's auto parts 

Just heard some doucebag from Lake Ronkonkoma tell a story about his "fuckin kid hittin a fuckin homer during his little league game that fucking made the entire fucking stadium gasp in fucking horror"

Somebody just farted, it was either the heavy chick sitting next to me or her guide dog.   But it stinks 

There are a lot less hot chicks on this train than I would have thought 

This ride would be a lot better if the doucebag from Hicksville would stop blasting Storm Front through his headphones 

In my third transfer (fourth if you count the subway, that IPA seems like it was a century ago

The chick next to me (after my third transfer) is wearing those sneakers with the rounded bottom that supposedly help you tighten your rump.  It doesn't look like it is working

Better than the the conductor who just took my ticket had his short sleeve button down half untucked and had a huge coffee stain on it.   Classy 

Jesus, they LOVE above ground pools around here.  

Another 24 Hour Fitness

"Hey honey, should we take a dip?"
"Sure, let me just park the truck on the front lawn and throw a couple of Bud Lites on the grass" 

Another stop and I'll be there, God can somebody shut off the Storm Front album

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Take on the LIRR

I have friends who live out on Long Island who do nothing but bitch and moan about how crappy the LIRR is but my response to that is, try commuting by NJ Transit Bus.
I walk into a train platform today at Hunterspoint Avenue 6:20PM for a 6:30pm train and it has to be the most pleasant experience of my life. No pushing, no lines, no standing in a 100 degree vestibule, no standing around at all actually. Just a friendly South Shore kid selling $2.50 beers with a smile and a "Thank You, Sir" when I told him to give me back $7

I could get used to this

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Take on the Melania speech

The next First Lady of the United States is very good a a few things: looking hot, looking very hot and looking extremely hot, she is not, though, very good as original material. I don't bother to stay up to watch her speech after it felt that I had been berated by a very angry Giuliani although I did see clips of Donald's WWE entrance which seemed like it would have been worth saying up for. I did not see Melania which means I have still yet heard her speak although I can now catch endless audio clips of er speaking about being a black woman in Princeton. The way I see it, although I did not see it live, it seemed that it may have been worth staying up for, although to be fair, I already heard the speech once before.
We're now 12 hours away and people are still
Picking out plagiarized lines from that speech and our take is that as awful as it is, the act it came from Michelle Obama's makes it that much worse. Had this been taken from Barbara Bush or Nancy Reagan, it would have at least been justifiable for the Republican base but not this, can't wait to have Trump tell us about his own childhood growing up in Kenya as a secret billionaire Muslim

Monday, July 18, 2016

Taken the delegates

I watch both the democratic and republican conventions every year mostly to see how ridiculous a bunch of white people can dress in the hopes of getting just a wink from some stiff like Mitt Romney or John Kerry. Today's coverage has not disappointed with a bunch of guys dressed like an elephant pooped on their shirts. The truth is that at the end of the day, there really is nothing all that momentous that will come out over the next week other than we are now clear where Scott Baio stands on the question of whether or not we should make American Great Again

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Take on the mid summer family photo shoot

Not only did I agree to a full family photo shoot in the middle of the summer, I suggested we take the 11:45 slot in the middle of Central Park on a Sunday in the middle of July. This combination could make a grown man cry, and today it just about did. I was covered in sweat one block from parking my minivan after schlepping my family of five into the city today, before we even entered the park, my pits were a swamp and my balls were soaked and we hadn't even gotten to the park yet. I had spent fifteen minutes circling to find a spot, he maneuvered my double standard stroller past a piping pile of dog crap but still managed to get some on my shoe and was about to shove some ahole looking to sell me an umbrella

But hell really hit me,l when we entered the park. I had forgotten why every local was in the Hamptons this weekend because is 95 degrees and the park is swarming with tourists who are not at all concerned that I'm running late and that binding give a flying rats ass that they are looking for Strawberry Fields. And when I almost got run over by some dipshit on a CityBike, I just about lost it when I told him to shove his crappy bike up his Midwestern ass.
I had already spent my morning getting my girls dressed which involved me screaming at the top of my lungs for guys, had their hit brushed which was like the equivalent of taking a rusty rake through some foot high weeds and had threatened them with every thing I could think of to make sure they smiled during the session

I'll pick up my Father of The Year award next week

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Take on the Trump-Pence logo

When Trump announced that Mike Pence would be his running mate we all knew he did it against his own judgement.   He wanted Big Chris by his side but apparently the Trump kids convinced Donald that Pence was the choice

What was more odd was the decision to unveil the new logo which looks like a gigantic penis breaking the seal of a gigantic sphincter.  If this isn't the perfect logo to describe how hard Trump is going to anally rape Mike Pence, The GOP and this country, I don't know what would be.    Hopefully Pence will bring plenty of lube although those small Donald hands prods my means it won't hurt that much. 

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Take on salmon pants

There really is no worse look in this world than a fat where dude in salmon pants but somehow JCrew has convinced an entire generation on them that it's a look to go for. I walked through the ferry station today and caught wind of a dude whose ass looked like it was going to split the back of them like a salmon spawning which was only accentuated the sweat stains from his Bologna skin light blue button down, it was like the guy dressed like an American flag three weeks and 30 pounds after the fourth of July. Show some patriotism by not disgracing the flag next time, Tubby.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Take on the latest polls

The latest poll the NY Times referenced today shows Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a tie in the generals election race which is the scariest thing I've read since it was apparent that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would be the Democratic and Republican nominees.
I would have thought the backlash after Brexit would have dampened the Trump fervor but like almost anything else it just encourages it further. I'm still confident in that Trump will never be president but I've been wrong every step along the way, so no reason to believe that will change any time soon

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Take on Trump's final three

Friday will end Trump's quest for a VP and hopefully for him it will last longer than the one Ted Cruz chose right before his not sank.   There are three dogs left in the race, and I do mean dogs.   Mike Pence who has about as much charisma as the chick who works at the Rec department, Newt Gingrich whose fist name describes him perfectly and Chris Christie who has a first name that is also his last name and who probably ate a box of donuts since we started to write this blog

We have been on record for months that Big Chris is Donald's guy here, he has a matching bravado and temperament and fits the bill perfectly as he has the appearance of being strong on terrorism and crime even he isn't really.  He is a fatter louder Rudy Guiliani.  Many people think that it will be Pence but I don't see it, first of all voters aren't that stupid to overlook the fact that Trump is the anti-Christ in a cheap Chinese made suit just because he chose some lame social conservative who looks like the guy who somebody kicked him in the nuts and he told them that if they ever did that again he'd tell the teacher, even though he was 40 at the time.  Newt is interesting in that he knows how to divide a congress as well as anybody and that is exactly what a president Trump faces but he also has the stench of establishment all over him and Trump is dying to keep that stench off of that cheap suit and ridiculously long tie

So we stuck by our prediction, big Chris and Donald will be cozying up together come Friday, I'd hate to be the Bologna in that sandwich  

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Take on #PrimeDay

I am about as loyal an Amazon customer as you'll find, with the UPS guys easily delivering ten boxes per week to my house. We get paper towels, toothpaste, cameras, books and chargers delivered regularly, we own the echo, three kindles and a fire stick and upload all out photos to the Amazon account but somehow we have never gotten into the AmazonPrimeDay thing. To be fair, I have never shopped on Black Friday or Cyber Monday either, there is just no LED TV for $99.99 worth dealing with a bunch of people who think that it is. But what always entertains me are the horror stories of people getting trampled, websites crashing and people getting stuck with a crappy TV they didn't want, so the PrimeDayFail thing is great

Monday, July 11, 2016

Take on Pokémon Go

Every third tweet I read today are about something called Pokémon Go which is probably coded for "weird Japanese thing that will ensure you will remain a virgin forever" but somehow it is taking on a life of itself. I have absolutely no idea what Pokémon is but I think it probably similar to beanie babies and those scratch and sniff panties you can get in a Tokyo vending machine.
But the "go" version is supposedly a virtual live action game or something like that and it will probably lead to a bunch of dorky kids getting run over by cars

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Take on the minivan

I found out the hard way why a minivan is designed for a mom of three to pick up a bunch of kids and bring them to soccer practice and why it shouldn't be used for off-roading.

After taking a turn off of the main road, we found ourselves in the wilderness today, bright but mountains, green and hippies. The world looked peaceful but exciting and for the first time in years, I did what any Griswold was born to do, I took the road less travelled. The issue was that my 250 feet of gravel travel lead to the back tire of my 2014 Honda Odyssey springing a leak almost immediately which ended my off road adventure about 100 paces off the main road and I then spent the rest of my vacation day editing on AAA

Oh. The life I live