Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Addiction

We all have our vices, for some it's hardcore drugs, others battle nicotine or alcohol and a lucky few have addictions to sex.
My main addiction though is caffeine, my body practically convulses if I have not properly medicated it with a cup of joe to the point when I have a difficult time functioning as a normal human without this fix.

This is what happened to me yesterday, I got up at 4am and then spent the next seven hours commuting to Houston in the back-row of a 727. As I hadn't slept, I had hoped to get some shut eye on the flights so decided against any caffeine so that I could at least have a chance to nap but of course that doesn't happened. We get to Atlanta for a layover and the Northwest lounge only has decaf brewed, I go with this option and make it onto the plane for the second leg of my tour. When I landed I hit the road running and was busy the rest of the day with rental cars, customers, dinners and hotel reservations not immediately realizing I had forgotten a crucial part of my daily routine. By 1pm I started to feel quezy, by 2pm my head felt tender, by 3pm I felt like KungFu Panda was doing Katas inside my head and by 4pm I felt like Chris Farley was trying to squeeze through my eyeballs.

This is where I knew I was in trouble, when this point sets in and your entire mood changes because of the irritability and you become irrational you know you have entered the caffeine version of desert delusion. I am now in this no-mans land, I down a large coolata but it isn't enough as the pounding in my head has gone from a rhythmic tapping to an all-out hip-hop concert. The problem is that I know I can't fight it anymore, it's too late to medicate and I have 2 meetings to go. I start to dig my nails into my arm to the point I draw blood in the hope I can distract myself. When this doesn't work,I reposition myself in my seat so that my ass is firmly planted on my sack but even 190lbs of weight pressed on my balls doesn't seem to take away my pain as the headache has now blasted into a full fledged version of Full Metal Jacket. I pop two tylenol and try a double espresso at dinner but can't get it to go away.

19 hours after I got into a cab I finally get to my hotel room and lay down and cry myself to sleep with a bloody arm, a numb scrotum, a heart racing at 200 beats per second and a jackhammer going off in my head..

My life is very very bad
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Monday, June 29, 2009

6am flights

I am an idiot!!! Why in God's name I would book myself on a 6am Monday Morning flight out of Newark is beyond stupid but to then also get a flight with a connection in the worst connecting airport in american (Atlanta) makes this a slam dunk.
So here I stand on about 3 hours of sleep and I am still wondering what the hell happened this weekend.
I know I saw a lot of floats packed with every color of the rainbow, I know I saw the Yankees come to life and I know I shouldn't have had the chicken at that wedding but this just gets us back to where this started...6AM flights are brutal because you gotta get up a 4AM and there is just no way for me to get a good night rest if I know I have to be up early for something. I just toss and turn for hours, and everytime I look at the clock it's 30 minutes closer to wake up time and thus 30 minutes less than the prerequisite 6 hours of sleep. It is amazing how slowly time moves when you are waiting on a line for a movie but how it travels at the speed of light when you are running late or desperately trying to get to sleep.

If I had any hope to take a nap it was shot when I got to my seat in the last row on the plane, the one which doesn't move back right next to the bathrooms in the middle seat. What have I done to deserve this?
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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wedding Season

So the 2009 wedding season started last night as I went to the first of 5 summer weddings and I am already exhausted.
Couple of notes to all you happy couple before you tie the bonds of holy matrimony
  • Gifts----Save your money and forget those cheesy gifts you leave at tables for your guests. This crap becomes immediate stoop sale fodder for 99% of your guests, save the $4 per couple and invest in better liquor.
  •  Open Bar----Stop being cheap and splurge on the booze. Weddings are fun cause people do stupid things, like dance shirt less, hook up with weird aunts and do naked beer slides. You have to be willing to embrace the fact that your guests are willing to be the entertainment cause lord knows the rest of your wedding is gonna be dry and boring.   My buddy's dad will always bring cash as a gift for the couple, the second he would notice you didn't pay for the drinks he'll rip up the envelope and pay for his drinks out of your gift money
  • Cake Cutting ----the cake cutting thing is tired and overdone. There is nothing spontaneous or exciting about it as all you people do the same thing that everybody else has done. We get it, you guys are filthy slobs and like sweets, well keep your banana cream pie obsessions in the bedroom.
  • Music--- This seems obvious to me but any of this lame wedding music crap should have died in the 70's. Music makes the party so unless you are content having a crap party then keep any of the cheesy wedding dance things out of sight. Then have a theme for the rest of it, get a DJ who knows when to keep the music going when the party finally starts bangin and one who knows to change it up when he sees no one is digging the Neil Diamond and Neil Young rendition of Everybody hurts.
  • The ceremony officiant. Find somebody who is gonna marry you who has at least met you a few times. Nothing feels less personal than when the priest/rabbi/justice of the peace mis-pronounces your mother's name.
  • The rehearsal. I have seen so many wedding professionals go to shit cause the best man stands in the wrong spot, the flower girl pees on the sidewalk or some bridesmaid trips. Yeah it's not that hard to walk down the aisle with some Asian chick but you would be shocked how many a-holes screw this part up.
  • Fake Anything    forget the fake tans, real tans, boob jobs, nose jobs and hair colorations unless you are willing to risk looking like a total freak at your wedding. I have seen chicks colored orange with their tits squeezed up against their face at too many weddings. Give your tan a chance to settle in and your tits a chance to drop before wedging into your white dress.
  • Singles Table   There is no worse idea than the singles table. This idea spawned out of the 1800's when every wench was looking for a mate but when somebody gets stuck at this version of purgatory in 2009 you may as well tell 'em that you don't care if they even showed up at all. Next time just ask them to send a check.
  • The money... Keep the gift opening thing out of sight of your guests. This is not your 4th grade birthday party where it's appropriate to have everybody see each gift you got. Nothing less amateurs than counting the chips on the table while you are playing Hold Em, weddings are the same thing.
  • The Gift Return Policy,  if you get divorced within a year be prepared to send back my gift
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pick a team and stick with it

If you are a Yankee fan there are only a very limited amount of times you are allowed to root for the Mets. You can root for them when they are playing the RedSox but that is about it.
Well I kinda feel the same way about bisexual chicks, now you dedicated TOR fans know I am a big fan and HUGE supporter of Lesbians. I feel like the straight dude -lesbian chick connection is like that of the Allied Forces and Stalin, we join forces as we have a common goal even if we approach it slightly differently. Our mutual respect and admiration for hot chicks is unmatched specifically because we understand the others goals even if we cannot completely understand what they do behind closed doors. It's a beautiful friendship and the only cracks in it occur when one of the two groups gets greedy.
What I can't understand is some chick who one day is all into loving chicks and then the next day attracted to some sweaty, hairy, chubby dude. I don't care about the whole "falling for people" line because when it is time to get physical the differences are too stark. I am not talking about some hootchy bringing some slutty asian chick home for her boyfriend but am talking to those chicks who lead the life of a lesbian (Ann Heche) and then decide one day that maybe it's not convenient enough.
Any real sportsfan will tell you that you can't be a fan of two teams in the same sport, it's hedging your bets and quite frankly bullshit. A real fan also doesn't jump from team to the next when his team isn't doing well and the other is at the cusp of a championship, you take one team and stick with them no matter how much they suck(NY Jets).

So my message for those bisexual chicks is shit or get off the pot, if you are into the sweet flavor of tuna then slop some mayonnaise and celery into your sandwich and chow down but if you are a chick who prefers sausage and peppers then rock a large hero and pile on the grease cause we all know that sausage and tuna don't make a good combo.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

this was bound to happened

So sitting in a car on the way home from another few days on the road by worst nightmare occurred when my blackberry conked out. It wasn’t the entire BB breaking just the trackball key which is the only way to access any of the information. All my flight information, hotel locations, rental-car confirmations, work emails, personal emails and TOR drafts are all of a sudden not accessible and I feel more hopeless than I did at the eighth grade dance. So there I stand with my limp-BB in hand furiously banging the keys hoping for just a little bit of hope but of course the harder I try the more inoperable my little buddy becomes. Now I’m not completely unfamiliar with this type of incontinence but usually it involves a little too much whiskey.


I should of course have seen this coming as just 24 hours earlier my BB8830 started acting up and sending out random blank text messages (at least I hope they were blank) as the track-ball button just seemed to be pressed down permanently.. This is where it hit me, I am the equivalent to this piece of wire and plastic like a self-loving nymphomaniac does her vibrator. I’m standing there with my limp-BB in hand and wondering what the hell I’m going to do, I call the Verizon store but they are closed, I call (form my home phone) Verizon customer support and they tell me it’s going to have to wait till tomorrow.

The biggest issue is that I can see that messages are coming in as the little indicator on the phone is telling me my unread emails are growing but I can’t get to them, this is like showing me a Megan Fox-Halle Berry sex scene and then tying my hands behind my back. I toss and turn all night without the hit from my little addiction

I make it to the Verizon store first thing in the morning wait online for about 25 minutes and finally make it to the front of the line. I explain my situation, the guy sees me for the addict I am and brings it to back where they do the maintenance and repair.

He comes back a couple of minutes back with the following message

“the trackball was broken which occurs with normal wear-and-tear, although honestly I haven’t seen this much wear and tear on a phone yet”


MLIA

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Citi Field

Made it out to CITI Field yesterday and I had an experience which was somewhat similar to my first take of Yankee stadium except the beers were a bit cheaper and the fans a bit more Long Island. My first impression was that CITI was that the 16 ounce Miller Lites were ‘only’ $1 more expensive than the 12 ounce Heinekens and that the stadium has an intimate Wrigley Field feel to it. As I found my seat with a steak taco in hand I realized that I would have a hard time telling David Wright from Orville Wright. As the third inning approached and I was chowing down on the Steak Taco and washing it down with the Brooklyn Brewery’s version of a Dos Equis it dawned on me that I might actually have been closer to the field when I flew into LaGuardia 12 hours earlier from Cleveland.
By the fourth inning as I was starting into a Blazing burger noticed that the seagulls were actually flying below our sight-lines. I wondered how many people were standing on line at the Shake Shack stand as I polished off a second Miller Lite sometime in the fifth inning. As the game hit the 6th inning and I was putting down a Nathan’s dog with Joey Chestnut speed, I wondered if I was sitting at a little league stadium because for all I knew the left field fence was only about 185 yards from home-plate and any ball hit to left field meant I had to wait for the crowd reaction to see if it dunked in for a single.


Come the 7th inning as I’m snacking on a bag of peanuts between gulps of Bud Lite I wondered if you would die from shock before you hit the field if you happened to fall off the upper deck from where I was sitting. As I walked out contemplating a second hot-dog and burping up my third Miller Lite it occurred to me that somehow I had seen about 4000 calories but hadn’t noticed a single second of the action.

All in all the stadium is nice, it’s a little Brooklyn Dodgers-esque for me but it does serve as a nice museum for national league baseball in NY but really why didn’t the Mets make this a celebration of their history. Show me Doc Gooden, Tom Terrific, Lenny Dykstra and Tug McGraw pictures, show me highlights of Mike Piazza and Darryl. Everything was Jackie Robinson who was a great American but was never a Met.



Final Score

Mets 11

Cardinals 0

Total Calories: 4000+

Righetti at the start of the game 189lbs

Righetti at the end of the 7th inning 196lbs

Righetti wallet: $64 lighter

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Who is on bigger power trip: a bouncer at a stripclub or one of these TSA goons?


What is it about airports that makes people (read me) totally nuts. Maybe it's because they castrate you with their security regulations like not being allowed a bottle of water or maybe it's because the entire process is so frantic but I hate every single second of going to and being in an airport. These TSA guys are on such a power-trip as they march you through these endless lines for no reason other than the fact they can force you to do so.   A few months ago I saw a couple of brutes over at JFK give some 80 year old guy in a wheelchair the full strip-search treatment in some semi-private booth cause his arthritic hip was probably setting off the metal-detector.  This poor guy couldn't stand up on his own and these facists were bending him over and checking his five-hole for a shoe-bomb.


This is where I have my biggest issues the rights of our citizens are getting abused in the name of 'security'. But then again sitting on the plane isn’t much better either; not only do you have to worry about bird-flu, swine-flu, normal-flu, people encroaching into your space and the fact you gotta pay for peanuts on some flights but your worst nightmares come true when you are cornered by the filth knows as your fellow passengers. This is when flying goes from bad to unbearable.

Why somebody would get onto a plane without having showered is beyond me.. I had this experience this week when a nice Hasidic Man sat next to me and then basically made me puke the entire way to Ohio. So the government can make sure that you don't smuggle an aquafina on board but cannot regulate some sanitary guidelines.  They should have one of those firehoses they use to clean elephants for passengers not deemed clean enough for public consumption.   BO on a crowded flight is beyond rude and beyond normal comprehension but isn’t uncommon on these flights.

I have never so badly wanted those air-breathing things to come down.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Heartland

We live in an isolated world on an island between the great Hudson and east rivers. We see things through a tinted set of windows and the effects of a deep recession to the country is sometimes lost on us. The market has started to rebound from it's lows earlier this year and the outlook we are given is more rosy than other's see but what is not lost on me is that the heartland is hurting a lot more than the NY based media is letting on. Factories are closing by the tenfolds, unemployment in the manufacturing sector and it's supporting industries are sky-high and uncertainty for the future is astronomical.

See most people know more about the price of gas then they do about the price of anything else, gas prices probably affects the average person more than any other commodity item. So when jobs are low and gas is high it is a double whammy because unlike fast food there is no dollar menu for 87 octane. Real people in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio suffer from this the way bankers from NYC suffer when they are forced to eat at Applebees.

This country has gone from a manufacturing hub to one left to die as it's been decided that overseas manufacturing will allow us all our indulgence without having to get our hands dirty but these days are over.

What we need is a recommend to making things but first this supposed recovery has got to come here because honestly it is uglier than you can imagine when you drive through industrial parks and see one for-lease sign after the other. What people worry about here is less about brunch menus and more about lunch menus. We think that the heartland is a brewery while these people see it as everyday
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Monday, June 22, 2009

Talk about a revolution




Obviously we are all transfixed onto the happenings in Iran and viewing the video of the woman dying on camera yesterday was one of the more difficult things I’ve ever witnessed on the internet but I feel that her death will not be in vain. See unlike what Noel Gallagher claim, a revolution cannot be started from your bed and sadly blood will be shed when there is regime change. Blood-shed doesn’t make it ‘right’ but when you think of any instance where the people had an uprising against autocracy and there weren’t lives lost? With all the new technologies (blogs, twitter, flickr etc.) it’s obviously bringing the voices of the protesters to the western-media but this any uprising will need blood to keep people’s attention. The irony is that the last revolution in Iran only brought the Ayatollah into power in the first place, but I guess the only way to replace a revolution is with another one.

I know there is a lot of pressure for the US to step into this but we know that the meddling in other people’s revolutions usually only leads to an eventual uprising against the US forces. I commend Obama for not having taken any drastic steps, as a revolution can only be won from the inside and it will never be legitimized if it’s lead from a Western Nation. With that said I’m also not going to advocate standing on the sidelines as the Revolutionary Guard slaughters thousands of people and I can never tell you that there is a breaking point in terms of lives lost where it forces the US to step in but we have to avoid the reactionary cold-war mentality of Vietnam/Iraq by jumping head first into a country, culture and a people we don’t understand..

In the meantime what we can do is pressure Iran’s trading partners to sanction imports into Iran which may help break a regime from the outside while letting the people break it from the inside but then again this type of sanction will harm the citizens as much as the government but I do believe you have to cut the life-line to a regime if you hope to overthrow it. Then again this will involve China from stepping up to the plate in the name of human-rights and democracy which is probably as likely as asking David Ortiz to voluntarily come up to bat with a candle-stick in hand with 2 on in game 7 against the Yankees.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm going out with my boots on

When I go out, I take very little interest in going to any place with a dress code. Most of the time I'll be standing there with my dirty little hat with it's crooked little grin and my dirty jeans on cause honestly who cares that much to impress anybody. I am so done with places you gotta dress up for that unless they let me in with my boots on, I am likely to pee on the seat and then not wash my hands..
The worst is those places with their "X bottle minimum". There is not a worst deal in the world than going to some brutally cramped club, shouting over the horrible music with a bunch of euro-trashy, south asian, off-trendy pseudo rock-stars and then being told that it's like $50 a head to cover the bottle of warm Grey Goose and it's partner in crime Tanqueray sitting in some flimsy bucket on the table. Of course they throw in a couple of crappy mixers and some warm ice which we in Brooklyn call water.
People have tried to convince me hundreds of times how good a deal this is but they obviously never past seventh grade math. Two bottles at $350 each for 10 people is still $70 a person and that doesn't even pay for the $8 miller lites I am going to be ordering at the bar.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

The white curse

There are many things that I will miss out on in this lifetime, things I will not do or will not try. These things can scar a person or make them stronger, make them love harder or hate deeper. The reason's why we miss out are varied, but they are just as often are based on upbringing, religion or personal history as they are on time or place. I can't speak for others but I too think I have missed out on a few things because of my race, color or creed and I am not just talking about feeling inadequate when walking through the men's locker room.
Being a white guy means there are entire ranges of the color palette you will never get to wear. I am standing on the subway yesterday and see a dude wearing baby blue pair of velour pants, a baby blue shirt and a matching baby blue cap and I realize that unless you are a 5 year old boy, a white guy could never rock those colors. Since I don't work at the Sports Authority I can't wear khakis to work, so I am completely limited to grey or black workpants.. Other than that I can go with a numbers of shades of blue jeans on the weekends. For shirts the white guy is limited to soft blues, whites and grays or any collection of earth tones.

So don't give me any equal rights stuff, until I am allowed to wear velour sweat pants and a matching color Yankee hat I will not rest.
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Smoke 'em if you got 'em.. just keep it out of my face

I remember the day when Bloomberg basically sent the smokers outside to drag on their cancer-sticks as I found this to be a great way to meet new chicks. You would see some smoking hot smoking check going for a smoke and follow her outside, bum a light and have a natural conversation starter. The only thing I had to do then was pretend to smoke and not cough up a lung as I took a drag.
I also remember how pleasant it made the bars as I would not come back stinking like a disgusting ashtray and how much longer I would stay in bars because of it.
There were some negatives too, most notably living right off of 9th avenue it meant that a bunch of drunk smoking hooligans were talking/shouting outside bars for all hours of the night but all-in-all this is one of the few times I am for taking personal freedom’s away from people to make life more pleasant for the rest of us.
Well smokers are back in my sights, I’m sick and tired of not only seeing them litter by throwing their butts on the ground but now I’m sicker and more tired of them smoking outside all together. I cannot tell you a less pleasant way to walk down the street than right behind some guy puffing away. First of all I feel like I’m inhaling his back-wash which in itself is disgusting but more importantly I’m second-hand smoking right along with him. If I wanted to pick up a smoking habit, I’ll do it myself thank you. I don’t need you forcing this crap into my lungs, my pregnant wife’s lungs and more importantly into the lungs of my soon-to-be baby. So I have a suggestion, smokers should go back inside, leaving the clean air to the serenity and peace of the outside; I am not inviting them back into the bars by the way. I suggest that if you want to smoke you have to buy a tent, so you can pitch it whenever you are looking for a nicotine fix so you have a place to go and hide keeping your filth out of my air. Imagine it like a dutch-oven except instead of my stinky ass farting under the covers you can back-wash and second-hand smoke your own filth. I’m happy though to shove my zit-covered ass into the tent to help air it out a bit.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

So now we have to worry about pilots dying while flying?


People who hear that I travel for work always say stuff like “wow you are so lucky, you get to travel for work”. What they don’t realize is that between having all your meals at Applebees, staying in faceless Holiday Inn’s located in strip malls, having to get to the airport 2 hours early and not being allowed to bring toothpaste on board, travelling has become a real nuisance for those of us who have to do it as part of their jobs. But now we have to worry about something much worse as some pilot passed away today flying from Brussels to NYC (a Continental flight I have taken 15 times in the last 10 years). I remember years ago there were stories in the news about pilots getting loaded before flights and a cursory look through Tube8.com shows you a couple of those ‘pilot’s behaving badly’ videos where they are getting the stewardesses topless etc.
Pilots have been in the news a lot lately, first you have Sully who lands an airplane in the Hudson (on a US Air flight to Charlotte I have taken many times) which puts the pilots into some great light but is followed up with the reports of the pilots on route to Buffalo basically falling asleep at the wheel.

Well falling asleep is one thing but dying is a whole other deal. They could make a great slap-stick comedy about this.

So the next time I come on board I don’t just want the grounds-crew to check the tires, the gauges and the landing equipment.. I want to make sure that my pilot doesn’t have a cholesterol count of 1000, doesn’t have a waist size of 50 and doesn’t have a ticker with a dying battery.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Limbo Commuting

Having to take the bus from NJ to the city this week as my apartment is going through an almost complete gut renovation I’ve come to notice the actions of suburbanites and quite frankly it’s bothersome. One of the things you notice in the Suburbs is how ridiculous the commute it, unlike the subway which is a totally shoving and pushing match, when people wait for the bus they stand in one orderly line and wait till other people get off. I felt like somebody transported me from New Jersey to Taipei as I stood at the bus-stop. I guess it’s the city life but the subway really shows you the way people are.

Take my 5 month pregnant wife, she gets onto the subway with her belly sticking out and every jackass sitting on the train immediately looks down to avoid eye-contact. God forbid that you stand your XXL ass up for 5 minutes to let a pregnant lady sit. I am the biggest sucker for this stuff myself, everytime I get a seat and I see any woman who could possibly be pregnant coming onto the train I jump up and offer it. Although sometimes after I get up I realize the chick actually isn’t pregnant but just fat. I don’t take any chances though, any woman who could possibly need a seat will get one from me, cause I’m a sucker for chivalry. Then again if you are driving your decked out Honda Civic through my neighborhood blasting Salsa at 100,0000 decibels at 2AM on a Sunday night or shove your way onto a subway car before others have a chance to get out what level of class do you have anyway?
But the suburbs aren’t perfect either, they have their own defiant behavior like how every person on the bus or commuter train will sit on the outside seat leaving the inside seat open. I know you don’t want to sit next to somebody but get over yourself, it’s public transportation at 8AM going to NYC you can’t expect to have two seats all your own. It’s the same routine every morning, some chick sitting doing everything she possibly can to avoid eye-contact and then when you ask her to move so that you can get a seat she looks at you like you are the one inconveniencing her. Then instead of moving over and taking the inside seat, she kind of rotates her body forcing me to do some kind of reverse limbo as I climb over her trying to not to touch her while avoiding the overhead storage compartment with my big-bobble head while the bus is speeding down the road hitting every pothole and bump from there to Port Authority.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Elections Central


Five days after the Iranian election and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better in Tehran. The one thing you have to like though is hundreds of thousands of people taking to the street protesting which is obviously a pillar of free-speech and democracy. Of course the Tiananmen Square government response is much more a pillar of a repressive anti-democratic society.

What is the most disturbing about the process is obviously that although there were supposed to be ‘free elections’ all candidates had to be approved by the Grand Ayatolla. Just imagine the uproar you would have in the USA if you a group of self-centered judges make decisions on who can run in a competition like American Idol or worse yet imagine executives at MTV would decide in secret who the candidates would be to have a chance to win a little Spaceman statue for ‘best kiss’. We would be protesting in the street, turning over cars and burning children cause this is America and we get freedom you can’t find in a truck commercial or a Mellencamp song.

But we are talking about a secretive regime like Iran and we are going to have guys counting hanging chads for the next three months in a disputed election as their government starts hiding from the media and it wouldn’t be surprised if the conservative candidate doesn’t take this as he’s got the supreme leader courted. Then I could see him invading a middle-east country under false pretenses like securing his country, and maybe even add some interrogation techniques to get some dissidents to talk and then have a strong reaction when Hamas wins in a Palestinian’s election. He will probably infuriate a number of Arab Muslim’s in what will be seen as a way to try to secure land and oil in the Middle East. You can see his support in his own country start to dwindle and start to match that of the rest of the word as he will continue to implement domestic policy with signing statements that contradict the law as written but be defended by the right-wing media which will be in his pocket

The only good news is that in 8 years maybe a voice will come out with a name like John Smith who everybody will accuse of being a secret American who will win an improbably victory against a host of party establishments including the wife of Moussavi who he will then make Secretary of Fashion

Then we can all watch Groundhog Day in Farsi

Monday, June 15, 2009

Noise Pollution


Why are their enforced laws about throwing garbage out of your window on the highway, putting graffiti on a subway car or dumping PCB's into the Hudson but the city is too afraid to upset their constituents to do anything about noise pollution.

Why is it that whenever the Puerto Rican Day parade comes around it becomes a license for a bunch of guys to act like assholes as they drive around disturbing the peace by blasting music at 10,000 decibels through my neighborhood until well after midnight?

I like salsa music, I like Latin culture, I don’t mind loud music and I don’t mind festivals but I do mind people who act like a bunch of a-holes just because they can. This is like the guy who will slouch onto two seats in the subway sitting with his foot up on the seat, headphones on and a look like somebody peed on his sneakers and then gives you an attitude if you ask him to move. Even when the guy moves he will make sure you are well aware that you are inconveniencing him and he will make sure to keep pushing his body into your personal space until at some point you probably get up and walk away. This defiant nature is done to not just annoy but to intimidate others; the same reason that people roll through neighborhoods on a Sunday afternoon blasting music or revving their Harley’s only to prove they can.

Aren't parades and cultural days supposed to be about having the rest of the community embrace your culture? If this is the case why would you drive around making people despise you? We know you live in this city, I’m thrilled that you have a parade but you don’t see me coming into your neighborhood blasting Guns N’ Roses at 2 in the morning.

Take yesterday which played out like so many other years as an example. I spend a June Sunday afternoon in the park in Brooklyn watching a bunch of kids climb the jungle-jim.   It's a beautiful day, the birds are chirping, kids laughing and the farmer's market buzzing with organic commerce. All of a sudden another buzz comes across the playground, it starts as a faint noise but the faint sounds of music get louder and louder until a caravan on cars driven by a bunch of decked out 20 something come through the street with stereo systems which could rival Madison Square Garden's. I'm all for you showing pride in your culture but I’m not for blasting it my ear-drums till my brain bleeds.

Now mind you I was not along the parade route, I was in a different borough easily 15 miles away from the action. Also be fully aware that this caravan did not at all have any festive feel to it at all and what pisses me off is that this isn't music anymore; it is played so loudly with such kickers and bass-speakers that it shakes the foundations my building. If I want to have this kind of noise I may as well set up a blanket and sit on the runway at JFK. The noise is so loud that everybody in the neighborhood takes notice but everybody
hopes that it’s over quickly because nobody is in the mood for a confrontation on a Sunday afternoon.

It is exactly the same thing you get when the Harley guys cruise through our neighborhood with their exhaust cranked. It is all part of the same anti-social activity probably done because they feel under-represented. So instead of becoming a productive member of society they pollute the air with this bullshit.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Antisocial socializing


I can't believe that we are closing in on the one-year anniversary of TOR and we still have not addressed my NUMBER #1 Pet Peeve. Obviously we have written about large umbrellas, smokers who litter, people who use their Blue Tooth in the mall, the idiocy of having to take your shoes off at the airport etc. But there is a topic which must be addressed as I think it's part of the downfall of our civilization.

now before I begin, I must confess that years ago I was probably the biggest perpetrator of this offense, so before you give me any crap understand that I fully recognize the irony of me being the person who brings this to light.

I've done my research and have found there is nothing more antisocial than answering your cell-phone while at a dinner. I cannot imagine how this can ever be justified as I equate it to basically telling your dinner guests that they are a bunch of losers and that that the person on the phone is more interesting, they are more important to you or their stories more entertaining. The funny thing is that this isn't something that only happens with people who have questionable social skills because some of my more sophisticated friends are the biggest culprits.
Just yesterday a buddy answered the phone in the middle of dinner to talk about the Met game, honestly he may as well have taken out his little winkie and peed on the table because he was basically telling us that we were not worth his time. If you prefer to have a conversation with somebody on the phone then make plans with him or her. This is yet another example of how technology has stripped our society of decency.
I can't decide for sure but what is almost worst is people having a texting conversation while they are hanging out with you because nothing in a text can be all that important. I am the biggest proponent of texting, I prefer it to talking, emailing or any other way to communicate using technology but I there have to be fast-hard rules when you have to put the device away and having dinner with friends is one of those times
This thought that now it's socially acceptable to multitask through your relationships is reprehensible.
Now i am sure there are certain exceptions but they are few and far between, so don't give me any feedback about some emergency or exceptional situation, I'm well aware that this can't be a 100% rule but it should be about 99%.



Saturday, June 13, 2009

I'm only happy when it rains....


actually.. i kind of hate the rain but what I really can't stand is the humidity, especially the kind that is so thick you can cut it with a knife and this spring we must have had more rain in NYC than I can recall having in the last 5 years. Not sure if we are talking global warming, global cooling or global weirding but I'm sure there is something different about how humid and nasty the months o May and June have been relative to when I was a kid.

This got me thinking about other 'greening' initiatives and how ridiculous it is to think it is that a company like British Petroleum has convinced the world that they are now 'Beyond Petroleum'. This is a marketing scheme which the guys at MadMen would be proud of. I have been reading this book Supercapitalism seemingly forever and it describes how instead of getting regulated by the government they went to convince law-makers that the old reliable 'self-regulation' would be better. In a matter of months hey seemingly transformed their company into a renewable energy generator which they promoted through their endless commercials showing windmills, water-dams and hamsters. Well research has shown that BP has not been a leader in renewable energy at all, having spent no more or less than any of their main competitors. What they have done though is convince stupid people like myself of spending $.03 a gallon more when I had a choice between BP and Citco a few weeks ago. See the rebranding got the government regulators off their backs and allowed BP to not only look like a leader in renewable energy but also gave them an advantage over their competition, it was a win-win situation and because there is no real regulation they are able to cut their renewable energy projects at will. They then only have to answer to the consumer who is too stupid to realize that what the marketing jargon they are force-fed may not in actuality be true.


Friday, June 12, 2009

The Kiss



Now I’m not that squeamish but this is one of the most disgusting things that have ever happened to me. It’s one of those things that I’ll chalk up to not paying attention and I’ve dodged a few bullets but what is so disturbing is that you are on the crapper reading a random soliloquy and before you know it you lean back to stretch which forces your ass to move up in the seat and doink… unit meets porcelain.
I’ve looked it up and urbandictionary.com even has the term for this occurrence: “the porcelain kiss”.
I think I’ve kissed porcelain twice twice in my lifetime. One time sitting on my own can at home which although still kinda gross was livable especially since I was able to jump in the shower immediately. The other time was much less pleasant, I was on a public crapper at a Starbucks after having built a nice bird’s nest with toilet paper which put at least 2” above the actual seat. Well as I’m doing what I’m doing, the door opens (I guess I didn’t’ lock it correctly) and I move to sit up. The laws of physics will tell you exactly what happened here, my body moved back, my ass moved forward and my unit kissed porcelain.


The other guy appologized but I was so grossed out that I spent the next 20 minutes washing my unit in the sink.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

somebody is finally listening to me




I got the following link http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124450530210396091.html sent to me yesterday from the Wall Street Journal about charging people for an extra seat if they have an oversized ass.

This has been a complaint of mine for years; as a person who flies fairly often there is nothing more frustrating than walking onto a plane and realizing you have the middle seat between two people who look like those twins from the Guinness Book of World Records on the motorcycles. Now I know airlines are cracking down but I suspect that what this will be is a money-maker for airlines, charging an overweight fee to generate more revenue just like they charge higher prices for heavy luggage. This will wind up doing nothing for the unlucky seat-neighbors.

This is a place where your frequent flier status should be able to help you out. Right now with some kind of elite-status you can choose to get the bulk-head or emergency aisle so I suggest that when you book a ticked online and it allows you to choose your seats they should show you the relative height/weight of all the other people already booked so that you can avoid sitting next to the dude who is going to be scarfing down two meals but washing it down with a diet-coke.

So as a consumer advocate, I say that if airlines go the route of charging people more based on their weight than that money should go directly to the passenger sitting next to him for their inconvenience.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hong Kong Sack!!!


Forget the Black Plague, Swine Flu, Bird Flu or whatever other CNN created thing will take over the airwaves in a couple of months, there is a real medical emergency the FDA, UHO and the NCAA should be looking at as it afflicts a much more important segment of the population..me!!
As TOR readers know, I strongly believe in the power of exercise, and more specifically the value of running. Although it beats my joints, it has caused my nipples to bleed, rubs my fat-chick thighs together into a chafing sore and turned my feet into a combination of dead skin, black toenails and red bumps I believe this is by far the most rewarding form of exercise. It does though have some drawbacks including the affliction I have suffered from for years. My first experience with this happened when I bought a pair of used jeans of some big-headed Korean kid in college, when I started showering regularly it got better but come marathon time I’m completely screwed.


See if I don’t’ jump into the shower immediately after going running, I know I’ll suffer for days because the combination of sweat, heat and my huge sack seems to make my groin the perfect breeding ground for this wicked animal. Don’t give me any sob stories about tennis elbow, twisted ankles or it hurting when you pee after some soiree with some dirty chick cause when athletes-jock rears its ugly head, my groin area will be red and blistered, my eyes filled with tears and my fingernails will be black with grime.


Hong Kong Foot is bad believe me, but it’s livable since at least scratching your foot is not completely socially unacceptable. See when you get Hong Kong Sack on the subway you are totally screwed cause you can’t go out and start scraping your groin area with a pocket knife or pounding your sack with Gold-Bond Medicated Powder. People who haven’t suffered from it just don’t understand the level of discomfort a raging jock-itch episode brings on.

I know how to keep it from flaring up (quick shower after a run) and I've tried every over-the-counter option, having suffered so long I’m willing to try just about anything.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tom (not so) Terrific


I have read most everything Thomas Friedman has written and somehow he never ceases to amaze me. How somebody who has spent so much time in the middle east including the tours he chronicles as a NY Times correspondent in "From Beirut and Jerusalem" it shocks me how little his insight seems to have affected his humanity.
Whether it is his blinding Zionism or his inability to not see the entire region as a live game of RISK and his inability to obscure the reality of human suffering from his greater vision puts his humanity in questions.
He seems to accept using real people as pawns in his vision of a sustainable Middle East peace. He may criticize George W. Bush for his execution on Iraq but he was a main cheerleader for the conflict an argument which he began to make 20 years ago.
In Sundays NY Times Friedman again speaks of a greater conflict and intertwines Iraq with Afghanistan and Pakistan and in bigger respect the Israeli/Palestinian situation and speaks of a war between progressive and anti-modernist forces obscuring the fact that the suffering of the average Palestinian has nothing to do with the Taliban, Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein


I have never bought the argument that Iraq was the bad war, Afghanistan the good war and Pakistan the necessary war. Folks, they’re all one war with different fronts. It’s a war within the Arab-Muslim world between progressive and anti-modernist forces over how this faith community is going to adapt to modernity — modern education, consensual politics, the balance between religion and state and the rights of women.


What he refuses to understand is that relative to Taliban run Afghanistan, Iraq was a fairly progressive society with infrastructure and going to war there 6 years ago is as sensible as going to war with Saudi Arabia today. This is the same mentality that George Bush used as cover for his modern version of the Crusaders forcing the spread western ideals over Middle Eastern countries because their standards do not match that of their own.
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Automatic Gratuity is unAmerican



I may have ranted against this before, but this is a scam on par with socialism. Sitting at a restaurant last night with my family, we were met with the unfortunate “an automatic gratuity of 20% will be added to parties of six or more”. Now I’m a good tipper, always have been and honestly don’t expect that much out of a waiter other than be prompt, be courteous and be attentive. Well the guy who served us last night was corny, late and then disappeared. I can’t stand a waiter or busboy who hovers over you, not allowing for a natural break in the conversation when he/she comes over to take an order or starts removing appetizer dishes half-eaten but there is nothing worse than a server who lets you sit hungry or thirsty.
We order our first round of beers at about 6:30, ten minutes later he comes back to tell us they are out of Stella and finally arrive at about 6:55 with our drinks. What the hell does it take 10 minutes to realize you are out of a crappy beer and how does it take another 15 minutes to get three beers and a Mojito out? Was he brewing his own beer down in the cellar because he sure as hell wasn’t out taking our appetizer order. So for 25 minutes we are all sitting there like a bunch of kids online to meet Britney Spears with menus in our laps, dying of thirst, no one even comes over to drop down a basket of stale bread.
This is the issue, when the guy knows he’s getting 20% why work at all? It’s the same question you can ask for a guy who makes minimum wage vs collecting welfare, at some point is it worth that guy getting out of bed? Well this ahole making way more than minimum wage just leaves us hanging there. He finally takes our order which arrives almost 45 minutes later but not once does he come over to take a second drink order. We are forced to use sign-language with the non-English speaking busboy to convey messages like “orange juice for the baby” or ‘more pita for the hummus appetizer” But the waiter never shows his face. The worst part is that I feel like I’m lost in the Sahara as I’m dying of thirst and desperately need another Miller Lite to quench my thirst.
When this guy doesn’t show up, I do what I hate to do but I march over to the manager and ask “did our waiter leave? He hasn’t been back here in almost an hour” making it clear that I’m not paying a 20% auto-gratuity, he gives me a bit of 'policy' crap but at the end of the night I leave 13% on the pre-tax check and walk away proud (Although probably still chewing on the loogie he invariably put in my quesadilla) .

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hey you in your luxury SUV, watch the road

is there any more clear form of pompousity than the luxury SUV? I guess you need that four wheel drive to trek through the offroads on route the to the middle school volley-ball game.
My brother in law likes to say that a Range Rover is like a tax for living in Westport, they won't let you live there if you don't at least have one.
What you find most often is the same ahole who drives a Lexus SUV is the same guy who fawns over his kid's most mundane achievements.
I remember sitting in Westport's middle school (somehow managing through the ditches, dunes and valleys in my Hyundai) for a dance recital for girls from the age of 5 through 15.
As I sat there for 2 hours wishing I had an ice-pick to jam into my urethra, I overhear one of the over-zealous SUV driving parents say to her friend. "This is almost Broadway, they are so talented". Mind you these were 10 year olds, none of whom knew the routine and one of whom had her finger jammed way up her nose. This isn't talent, this is awful, these white-bread kids don't have a bone of talent because their parents are too involved.
This is what happens when parents drive an SIV with leather seats and individual climate controls.. They insulate their kids from the real world, god forbid you feel a pothole, smell the NJ turnpike or aren't at a perfectly comfortable 72 degrees. Insulation stunts creativity.
The irony of the luxury SUV is that they are the preferred auto for the liberal elite, the ones who go to galas for River-Keep but who in their real lives say FUCK THE WORLD as they burn through 91 octane gas at 8 MPG.


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Saturday, June 6, 2009

what the hell is all this traffic


So I didn't see Obama's speech as it started at about 6AM and I hate watching anything on replay as it totally takes the (very small) chance of something unlikekly happening out of the equation..  so I have very little in terms of original thought about the content of the speech.  I have also been on the road for about a month straight so haven't been able to get my usual dump of political commentary from Imus, TOR reader Zeke, Mark Levin and David Brooks.   What I can say having been to Egypt, is that what I'm most surpised at was the fact they could get the chaos which is normal Egyptian life, calmed down enough to at least allow 'Bama to come in and give his speech.    Driving down a street in Cairo is the equivalent of driving down the strip in Vegas.  It's bumper to bumper, it's 1000 degrees which everybody claims it's 'dry-heat'  and everybody acts like they are on vacation.  
Of course choosing Cairo (a country without a sense of democracy) was an interesting place to hold his speech but at least Obama's not into nation building and hiding behind farce of spreading democracy.  The Muslim world is probably still skeptical but I gotta believe they see some frankness and openess is heading in the right way.  From what I understand, Obama is not even as well liked in Egypt as he is in other middle eastern countries but the corruption in Egypt probably mirrors that in the Chicago political scene so he might feel at home that way.   
His stance on the Israeli/Palestinian situation seemed to at least put some of the real issues on the table without protecting the Israeli lobbying efforts for continued settlements but also did not let the Palestinians off the hook which I appreciated and I was glad that he made a point to discuss Iran nuclear ambitions and what that means for Israeli security.   For right or wrong, Obama's at least starting a dialogue with the Muslim world and I have to believe that getting a seat at the table is a good starting point for many people.
Of course we've had too many issues where the intial call for some kind of reconsoliation in Israel/Palestine has left us disappointed that I'll hold off judgement till I see some tangible results.      
I did have a good laugh when he ended his speech with his line..  'thank you and may god...uhh may Peace be Upon you"   I guess the teleprompter froze on him..

Friday, June 5, 2009

the Delta at the end of the Puddle of Piss


As I'm waiting at the Columbus airport having just driven 650 miles through the rust belt from Pittsburgh to Cleveland to Columbus I am met once again met with the predictable LaGuardia delay.   Sometimes I feel like flights to LaGuardia travel on Brazilian time, 45 minutes later than it says on your invitation.

But what really bothered me was I just went into the pisser and saw the pilot taking a leak at one of the urinals .   The issues with this were three folds.

1) He was using the kid urinal, you know the one at about shin height useful for Mini Me or a three year old.   Now I have used the kiddie pisser a few times, BUT NEVER WHEN I WAS THE ONLY GUY IN THERE.

2) This dude didn't just have his pants unzipped, they were all the way down to the floor basically wrapped around his ankles.   Now if he was developmentally challenged this would not have fazed me but this guy is due to take me 3000 feet into the air in 20 minutes so unless this dude has a good reason like he's got a John Holmes size weasel tucked into his airplane socks I am a bit nervous.

3) Lastly I am not 100% sure but I don't think he washed his hands.  Now this is not nearly as bad as a poppy being sloppy moment but who wants to have his pilot peeing at the little urinal with his pants to his ankles cause you know if he does the first two things he is bound to piss all over his hands.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Take on Beers

I have been doing some major research for the loyal TOR readership and want to report my findings on the collection of this years summer ales.

Blue Moon's Honeymoon
Like all Blue Moon this sounds like it's going to be great but after having three of them you feel like somebody is baking a pizza in your stomach as the yeast on any Blue Moon seems to grow exponentially after consumption. I am now convinced that the entire Blue Moon craze was like Ugly Kid Joe, a one summer phenomenon. The beer tastes like crap and when you take a crap the next day you are going to be pissing shit.

Brooklyn summer ale
Fantastic. A bit tangy and good for a summer ale. Light and easy going although I would like them add a wrinkle to it in next years formulation.

Sam Adams Summer Ale
Is there a creepier sounding guy than Ken Koch the guy who started Sam Adams? I remember when I was a kid and my mom said never to get in the car with a stranger and thinking that the guy in those commercials sounded like the kind of weirdo to avoid. Back in those days Sam Adams was a microbrew which obviously it is no longer but they have kept their creepy sounding founder as the face of the franchise. I find the average Sam Adams to heavy, Sam Adams light was another one summer thing for me but the summer ale is very good but Sam's White Ale  is better.


Miller Twist
remember Algebra?   Well forget everything you learned because you take two positives (miller products and lime) multiply them together and you expect to get another positive.   Well in this case, we are in a fifth dimension cause this stuff is brutal.

MGD 64
Not a summer ale but at 64 calories it sounded summery enough.
This is worse than Bud Lite and that's saying something. I am a light beer fan and a huge supporter of the Miller company (Miller Lite, High Life plus I drafted Prince Fielder 1.08 this year) but calling this MGD64 beer is like calling Applebees' beer selection decent. Believe it or not but it was worse than Michelob Ultra.
Somebody let me know when the Rheingold summer brew is ready!!!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

So now Dick Cheney is blaming George Tenet for the war in Iraq???

I don't think I understand this one.. Slippery Dick is now blaming the CIA for coming up with faulty intelligence obviously forgetting he pushed them to find ties between Muhammad Atta and Saddam Hussein This is like me blaming the bartender when I rip my shirt off at a wedding and embarrass my poor wife. Cheney is obviously setting us up for something, cause I don't think he talked to the media as much in 8 years as VP as he has in 4 months as ex-VP. You could say it is about defending himself or legacy building but Cheney has never NOT done something because he feared that it would be unpopular, this guy was born unpopular.


Then you see that the Hummer division might be bought by some Chinese company. This seems like the perfect guise to set up a way to bring the US fleet MPG average up.. Sell the biggest polluting car to the biggest polluting nation and hope that a negative times a negative will equal a positive.
As the kiddie toucher Glenn Beck asked. 'If we try to go 'green' as a world why would you put the biggest gas guzzler in the hands of the biggest polluter.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Power Brady Lunch Bunch



Is there any more miserable programming than mid-day CNBC? If so I would like to see it because I’ve been catching Power Lunch while on the treadmill at the gym whenever I can sneak out of the office during lunch. It always feels like the same routine, I first put on Sportscenter to watch Chris McKendry and Jay Harris dissect last night’s Royal’s game in more ways than we dissected that frog in the 8th grade. I then try to watch some Judge Judy which makes me want to stab myself in the eye with an ice pick and finally find myself surfing over to channel 14.


Now I’m have my issues with Mad Money or Fast Money but nothing is more brutal than their mid-day shows. The set they us is a cross between Hollywood Squares and Around the Horn and they have about 15 people sitting there on the air, the only thing missing is Bruce Vilanch sitting center square.

But when you get into the nuts and bolts of this show, I can only describe this as watching sports-radio on television but instead of having one host and one caller, they have about five hosts and another 10 callers and they all talk at the same time. It’s enough to make you want to poke your ears out with an ice-pick. What the shtick seems to be that CNBC (fresh off their beating by Jon Stewart about two months ago) is so afraid of being wrong about anything that they just get 100 guys in the studio and have each guy defending every stock or position so that they are completely covered and cannot be considered partisan or a bunch of cheerleaders for the market. So instead of being insightful they are so unspecific that there is no longer any position at all.

So they set up in the Brady Bunch format and the anchor (one of whom looks like a bit like Courtney Cox) asks them a general question and they all pass the baton without any of them saying anything. The one thing they all seem to agree on is that they don't want to have the channel take any position on a stock. The concept is basically like Around The Horn where they throw a question to the peanut gallery and undoubtedly you will get one idiot to say "sell" another idiot to say "buy" and a third idiot to say "hold" and i'm left to say "where is my ice-pick"

Monday, June 1, 2009

apparantly what's good for the country is good for the....country


So GM joins Chrystler in bankcuptcy and all of a sudden it hit me.. This is how we turnt his entire thing around. How we get GM back on track, how we get the Federal Government from further ruining an already bad thing and how we will be able to build better cars that people want to buy.


stop making cars and start making ice-cream and start selling it at the park. This dude at Prospect Park selling italian ice for $2.00 yesterday. one scoop of frozen sugar-water in a dixie cup and it costs the same amount as a subway ride. Then again I have no interest in walking over to the nearest Pizzeria so I guess i'm paying for the service. Don't these guys realize we are in a recession and these are pre-Bear Stearn collapse prices?


Question about GM is how long it will take to come out of this bankcrupcy, if they are anything like their old subsidiary Delphi, this could be a tango between the manufacturer and their debtors which could last years with them starting a new song (and a new bankcrupcy) everytime they finish the first one.


Then again when you see this tragedy about this AirFrance flight you get nervous, how the hell do you just lose a plane? How can you get Lojack in a Pinto that can show you the exact street in Delaware where your car is hiding but there is no way to track a plane travelling over the Bermuda Triangle. Personally I'd be knocking on JJ Abrams' door and asking for an explanation.

Jokes aside, tt's actually very scary, I've been on quite some flights in my day and I've been in planes that have hit major turbulance, one that was losing fuel and even one which got hit by lightning but never have I even imagined that a plane could go down and there be no record of it.   If Boeing wants to sell more planes it might be wise to install OnStar along with XM Radio in all new 747's