Friday, December 19, 2014

Take on the NY Post ad

I'm a frequent reader or the DailyNews because I feel like the paper
gives me a great pulse of the city, has a good sports section and
mainly because it's got just enough sleaze to keep me interested. I
don't read it for the hard news or editorials, don't trust it per se
and don't feel like it adds a lot to the national dialogue but to me
tabloids are a lame indulgence much like other people may get a
massage or buy a new pair of shoes.
What I don't pretend is that it's something that it is clearly not but
as a guy who does do a bit of marketing, I'm not sure I'd market
myself as the idiots guide to the universe like the NY Post seems
happy to do.

Have a little self dignity, even if you shouldn't


Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Take on upstate

Yesterday Andrew Cuomo announced that he would not permit fracking in
NYS which means the liberal nerds in NYC have won again. Whereas
neighboring states have seen a jolt to their economies due to the boom
in energy production, NYS has decided that it will not partake in the
party.

Not only does it lead to jobs, the technology in fracking has lead
directly to the US finally getting to some sense of energy
independence which we've been calling for in our editorials for years

But obviously there continue to be questions about the environmental
impact which still has not been completely answered. My buddy Zed
responded to that with

> And so the strangulation of Upstate NY continues. The Cuomos have been far worse for Upstate NY in the last 30 years than any environmental damage that may have occurred.


Which got us to thinking. First of all if there are greater
environmental effects the fact that you are avoiding it while your
neighbors in PA are milking the same cow for all it's worth doesn't
really help. It's like the kid who tries to conserve energy by
unplugging his alarm clock while his neighbor has a Clark Griswold
Christmas display going on.

So we suggest the following


It is time that Upstate decouples itself from downstate and become a
new state. Their interest, mentality and needs to not align with the
city's and it's time to realize that. The only issue is that a 51st
state would really mess up the flag. So I suggest combining the two
Dakotas into one and then making upstate NY one state and downstate NY
another one. Westchester county and all the Long Island stays with
NYC and the rest of it moves to a new more rural state.

Or..another non-flag changing suggestion is that the new upstate
combines with Pennsylvania or Ohio and sending the Bills to join the
AFC north to make one bad-ass defensive divison

Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 17, 2014, at 5:45 PM, Christopher Frank <cjfrankesq@gmail.com> wrote:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Take on the stare

I didn't have my finest moment the other day when I was shopping with
my three kids at the local A&P. It wasn't just that I spent $10 on
organic ground meat which smelled like feet or that I caved on the
chocolate yogurt but I had one of those moments you just shake your
head at. I'd blame it on the China jet-lag but that is probably just
a copout.

At one point one of my two older kids decides that she needs to lay
down in the middle of the aisle, this was after 20 minutes of trying
to corral the two of them as they were bolting up and down the aisles
and arguing over which school snack to get. I tried to be calm but
when I am tired and annoyed I cannot hide my emotions, the vitriol
just seethes out. Within 10 seconds I am having a temper tantrum to
match my daughter's with gems like "you are smart, what would compel
you to lay on the floor", "if you don't get up now, I will take every
one of your Elsa toys and bring them to the dump and throw them out
one by one and then take your basketball and kick it into the river "
and "forget dessert, you are not having lunch or dinner"

Of course none of it works and before I know it we are in an all out
arms-race with her hysteria going head to head with my own.

As I am about to have a complete melt-down, I look up and make eye
contact with a mom from my daughter's preschool who we'd asked for a
babysitter recommendation just a few months ago. I smile and make
some lame joke but the damage is done. I'm not going to be invited to
join the PTA this year, that's for sure

Kill me

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Take on Night at the Night at the Museum sequel

Just saw a billboard for a new Night at the Museum and my only thought
was. Who the hell asked for a second version of this, I'd have to
think nobody.
I never saw Museums 1 because, well, it looked horrible and if there
was a Museum II I'd be as likely to catch that as I'd be looking to
catch Ebola.
I get that Hollywood is completely devoid of any talent when it comes
to new screenplays (the exception is my buddy TC who has been working
on one which he says is excellent but no producer has bitten so far),
but this idea that they have to drill every last penny out of the
consumer with crappy sequels and remakes just shows you how stupid the
American movie going public is.

How about making a film which is either smart, funny, interesting
or..gasp..all of the above

The last comedy worth anything was The Big Lenkowski

Monday, December 15, 2014

Take on the spam text

There really is nothing more annoying than getting bombarded with spam
text messages. I get that companies are trying to stay in touch with
people and I guess that it's less invasive than a phone-call at dinner
time but it's still really annoying.

I feel like one message is ok, if I don't respond, I'm not interested.
If I get a second one, you are an idiot and if I get a inexplicably
get a third one then it's go time and I cannot be expected to act
civil anymore

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Take on driving and jerking

I think most guys have at least considered driving stick at least once
in their lives even if most of us haven't seriously considered doing
it for a few decades. Well South Dakota wanted to take the entire
act out of the hands of the driver when they put together the public
service message to remind drivers of the dangers of not keeping all
you focus on the icy conditions this winter. I am all for public
safety but I cannot imagine any driver with that on his mind is going
to see a road sign and think, "maybe this isn't the best time to rip
the gears", even if the entire campaign was for drivers to avoid
jerking the wheel on patches of ice

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Take on the Korean Air peanut debacle

Saw a report over some Korean Air exec who resigned because she had
turned a plane around when her nuts were served in a bag as opposed to
on a plate. I get that there is something to be said for service but
having spent more time on planes than just about anybody, let me tell
you that the irritation of going back to the terminal for anything
when you hit the runway is 10000x worse than any indignity of having
to remove my nuts from my bag. I hate hate hate airplane holdups,
delays, reroutings so much that I'd literally prefer sitting on a
middle seat on a cross country flight than being delayed an hour with
a business class ticket. Nothing is more stressful that delays,
especially if you are always running late for a connection or
appointment. This middle aged Korean chick should have been fired for
that reason alone..well that and the face she probably has a terrible
haircut

Friday, December 12, 2014

Take on the biggest bottle of Mai Tai

I had dinner last night in the fanciest restaurant I have ever stepped
into. Think Beauty and the Beast meets the Great Wall, white glove
service, beautiful art, a table set for 30, ten courses and a chef who
prepared Peking Duck for Obama in Beijing last month. I also came in
contact with the biggest bottle of Mai Tai anybody has ever seen. I
am talking a 30 pound ornate jug or the most vile alcohol known to
man. The pure thought of this stuff makes me want to like my Peking
Duck all over my Peking Dick but they insist on making sure that the
entire thing was finished.


Should be a great 16 hour flight home

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Take on the surprise meal

I sat down at a lunch the other day after a long hard negotiation on
the price of an item without much success with a vendor and thought
the worse part of my day was behind me. As I usually do in a formal
Chinese eating setting, I checked out the options and tried to find 4
or 5 things which I knew I could eat without fear of salmonella
without insulting my hosts.
First they passed along a plate of grilled mushrooms (check), some
steamed snowpeas (check), some mind of stew (no way), a mystery meat
(pass) some thing that looked like beef tongue (check) and a couple of
off looking pig feet (no thank you). Then came one dish which looked
sort of like jelly fish which is actually surprisingly good. I asked
what it was and neither the factory manager nor the translator would
answer me. I say that I will pass but they insist saying it is a
local delicacy. I ask if it's pork and they insist it's not but said
they ordered it specially for me. I chow down on a couple of pieces
which were a bit chewy, had kind of a weird texture but overall was
not all that bad tasting. I felt pretty good about my decision but as
soon as I swallow, I knew something was wrong. It wasn't the flavor
or the way it went down that was odd, it was the fact that all four
Chinese people at my table started giggling like school girls. I
asked again what I was eating but they said that they would only tell
me after I took another bite. Of course at this point I am completely
aware that they are feeding me something horrendous and all the
possible options race through my mind...monkey brain, rooster gizzard,
dog, cow intestines, rat or avian bird flu Asian bird like I was on a
live episode of Fear Factor.
Well it took me a good ten minutes to find out the local delicacy I
was chewing on like a piece of spearmint gum was the best part of the
male cow... Yes, I was basically blowing a gigantic bull.


FML

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Take on Chinese meal etiquette

Having had hundreds of meals in China over my life, I have learned a
few things.

- fill up at breakfast on bread. It will likely be the safest meal if the day

- choose one or two things per meal that you will eat, they will
assume you are just a big fan of mushrooms or chicken.

- be the animated guy. This will allow you to stay engaged and with
your flailing arms and constant jokes might allow you to hide the fact
that you are spitting all that great chicken into your napkin

- when they break out the "white wine" opt for beer. They will still
see it as alcohol and you will feel worlds better the next day

- if you are forced to drink the white wine, squirrel it away in your
cheeks and spit it into your water cup. That stuff is anti-freeze bad

- don't eat anything that has been washed but not cooked. No salads,
raw vegetables of fruits. If you are told not to drink the water,
why would you eat something that was just rinsed with said water?!?

- avoid the fish, 1000 miles from the ocean means that the fish you
are about to enjoy probably has three eyes

- low expectations. It's going to suck one way or another but if you
go in expecting it to taste like ferret and it tastes like squirrel
you aren't disappointed

- use chopsticks. Nothing is quite as lame as asking somebody to hand
you a fork. Even if you are trying to pick up a slippery eel, just
stab the thing instead of becoming the guy who needed a fork.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Take on the air

I checked my AirQuality app before I left the States for the cities
I'd be traveling in while in China and was pleasantly surprised when
the main city only had a PPM reading of 280 which translates to
"heavily polluted" with a recommendation of pregnant and older people
to avoid going outdoors. Having been to China enough times when that
number approached 500 when they say that even healthy people shouldn't
go outside, this was like walking into the clean Montana air.
The issue is that at 280ppm you can't see across the street and when
you take a deep breath if feels like you are doing it through a
pillow. In these middle China cities nobody even bothers with those
cheap paper masks and is just resigned to the fact they will look like
a catcher's mitt and their lungs to look like oil drenched accordion.

Only 5 days to go

Monday, December 8, 2014

Take on the dead animal rack

Whenever you take a few minutes out of your day while in China to walk
the streets you are confronted with this sensory overload like no
other place. It's not the bright lights and noise of Vegas or even
Hong Kong, what catches you in China is the sight of dead animals
hanging on the street. Everywhere you go you walk past racks of
carcasses hanging for window-shoppers to gawk at. Dead chickens,
pigs and (apparently) dogs hang everywhere and the sight and smell is
overwhelming. It's not just knowing that you'll be eating this later
tonight, it's the fact that it's hanging on a rack on a street where
you can't see the hand in front of your face because the smog is so
thick. So now you know that the extra kick of flavor is not the
newest craze in Chinese spice but the remnants of CO2

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Take on the first day back in China

Landing in China for the first time in a year is always a bit of a
shock. Part of the shock is the fact that you are on the other side
of the world, part of the shock is how much growth and construction
there has been just 12 months ago and part of the shock is when some
guy walks past you with a huge suitcase and takes your knees out like
a chop-block in a Mike Shannahan offense. The food sucks, the air
is awful and the people are rude. Maybe they are rude because the air
and food are bad or maybe it's something else but I have been shoved,
pushed and tackled trying to walk to the customs desk

Should be a great week

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Take on Ramen

There really is nothing more depressing than walking into the lounge
and seeing the entire buffet section empty of anything edible. You
are about to get onto a 15 hour flight to China and haven't eaten a
bite in 24 hours because you've been so overwhelmed.
So here I sit, hoping for a turkey sandwich or burger in prep for a
week of duck feet, bull balls and donkey dick and instead in get a
bowl of ramen. Kill me

Nothing like flying business

Friday, December 5, 2014

Take on Santa's other job

There is nothing better than a real authentic looking Santa, the kind
of dude who really commits himself to the job. Growing a big white
beard, keeping his white hair just a bit longer than normal and
topping it off with a big round gut is a real commitment and I commend
the middle aged men who will devote this much energy to their craft.
I wonder, though, what happens to this realistic Santa guy come
Hanuary. I mean the guy has 1000 hours if work lined up from
Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve but what does that guy do the rest of
the year? If he is going to really do if right and capitalize on
the season then he can't have a normal job because what job would
accept their employee taking four weeks off every December??
So if he doesn't have a normal job does he do something seasonal in
the summer, too??? Maybe he's a pool boy or a gardener or a camp
counselor or something but even those are very limited months of
employment

What I think is probably true is that an oversized percentage of them
are total perverts who let women get off on them smearing their bodies
up with crisco and letting the Santa's ride their sleighs. Either
that or they spend 11 months per year drinking heavily and probably
still greasing up with crisco

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Take on the Garner case

People will say Ferguson and Staten Island cases are identical, they
obviously have some very obvious similarities but there is one big
difference. In Ferguson it's a he said/ she said case where in Staten
Island it's not at all vague, there is a video tape. Nobody will
ever know whether Mike Brown approached the cop car or tried to take
his gun and nobody will ever know exactly what the confrontation was
like but in the case of Eric Garner there is no ambiguity.

Forget whether Pantaleo is guilty, the fact of the matter is that a
man is dead after being arrested for a low level crime. I get that he
could have been more cooperative but you'd have to say that the cop
could also have been a bit more cooperative or at least a bit less
forceful. At some point it seems that subduing Garner was
accomplished, the dude looks like he is going to topple like a felled
tree I'd have to think that this is textbook case for indictment of
criminal negligent homicide. I'm not ready to send Pantaleo to
Rikers without due process but the fact that he won't even see a day
in court is mystifying.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Take on Cherry Valley

This week's power line blog reminded me of this crappy golf-course I
used to play at about 15 years ago right by the Delaware Water Gap.
The course was called Cherry Valley but we always refers to it as
Round Girl Valley because playing it was like trying to unclamp the
brassier of a very round girl, lots of work with very little payoff.
We'd go out there a few times a year and hack it up while putting down
a case of Milwaukee's Best.

Anyway, the first couple of holes were like any other public course,
badly manicured greens, a bunch of divots in the pin box and a couple
of sand-traps which were hard as clay. I'd usually shoot a nine on
the first hole and follow it up with an 11 on the next one. You
could blame the wind, the conditions or the fact I was hungover but at
the end of the day, I was a pretty horrible golfer.

Well if the first couple of holes weren't bad enough you'd get to the
third one which had an odd layout. It was a par 4 but only like 240
yards, so it sounded easy. The thing was that when the developers
bought the property they didn't realize that there were a bunch of
huge power-lines running over the course. I'm guessing they didn't
want to ask the weekend warrior to expose himself to ball cancer as it
would be bad for business so they decided to cut that hole off and
make a sharp right hand turn instead. I'm not talking a dogleg, this
was a 90 degree turn after 140 yard and from there it was another 100
yards as an approach to the green. It was like playing a couple of par
3's because they had these huge pine trees blocking the hole, so there
was just no way to clear them with so little space in front of you.
Plus it would be completely blind shot to the hole

Anyway, I'd usually shoot a 10 on that hole as I'd shotgun my third
beer and I'd not remember much from that point forward.

The rest of the course was less memorable with us dodging a bunch of
geese poop and avoiding a bunch spitunes which were left by the
locals. There was one part on the back nine where the particular
hole splayed directly over the road leading to the clubhouse. I am
not talking a golf path but a full blown road. it was ridiculous
because the road would mean a ton of drops because nobody wanted to
wreck their clubs on asphalt.

The most memorable part was that we always stop at Hot Dog Johnny's
for a dog topped with mustard, kraut and a pickle. I love that place




Sent from my iPhone

Monday, December 1, 2014

Take on the power lines

Read an article on Gizmodo today which reviews all the data basically debunking the entire media scare about power lines from the early 90's.   I am sure that all this research is solid without any bias, completely honest and not paid for my Big Electric but there is absolutely no way I'm buying a house under a major set of power lines or next to a transformer.   This is like the Richard Gere/hamster story, it doesn't matter how many time it gets denied or debunked; there is no way I watch Pretty Woman and don't think he's a complete pervert. Whether or not it's a fact is unimportant as I can ever erase it from my mind.  

I'd bet dollars to donuts that they find a link in 50 years anyway



Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Take on cultural night

There really isn't anything more low rent and embarrassing than a
professional sports franchise looking to lame minor league stunts to
boost attendance. This year the horrible 76ers are trying to boost
attendance with one of these lame cultural nights, this one honoring
the Jewish people, a nice sentiment if it wasn't all about the 76ers
trying to profit from it and as @jesusHpls correctly points
out..have't they suffered enough.

The Mets routinely have cultural nights, ones that include Hispanic
night which I guess is designed to honor the players on the field,
Japanese night to honor forgotten heroes like Shinjo and Kaz Matsui,
Chinese night to honor the entire Flushing area, Jewish night to honor
Owner Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon, Catholic night to honor the level of
secrecy and denials of Wilpon and Katz have had which trails only the
Vatican in sleaziness, Cayman Islands night to honor Lenny Dykstra and
Bernie Madoff, African American night to honor Doc and Straw and
Italian night to honor Piazza which coincidentally coincides with the
night they fly a rainbow flag over right field.

All in all it's a ridiculous concept for a professional franchise in a
major sports market like NY or Philadelphia to have to stoop so low to
try to get attendance. Here is a suggestion.. don't move your fences
in, don't be cheap with your free agency money and most importantly,
if you want an attendance boost don't suck