Wednesday, September 30, 2009

what is it about all of this construction.

They have been doing construction on a building next to my office for about 3 years and what gets me is the God-Complex these construction workers have about the sidewalks. Now I’m sure they have a difficult gig and it’s probably back-breaking and thankless but what they don’t seem to acknowledge is the inconvenience that this construction has on the neighbors. See not only do the builders like Bruce Ratner, Donald Trump and the rest of them get huge tax-breaks from the city; their construction projects all seem to have some kind of card-blanche for being total a-holes to the rest of the city.

The politicians get kick-backs, the developers get sweet-heart deals, the city gets tax moneys and fees but the hard leg-work actually goes to the people of the city who have to handle the noise pollution, the traffic jams, the lines at the grease-trucks and the inconvenience. For three years they have been doing this work, which means that day in and day out we have to wait to get into our building in the morning because they are sending a crane to the top floor or installing a window. Now I appreciate the concern for my safety but it’s ridiculous to know that we’ve had to put up with all of the heart-ache and will get none of the benefits.

I’m not sure what would make it better but I would like to see how these developers would feel if all of a sudden they were getting interrupted night-and-day in their high-rise penthouse filled with champagne and prostitutes. I would love to see Guns N’ Roses reunite and start rehearsing in the apartment right next to Bruce Ratner and see how this ahole feels about being inconvenienced night and day. Or worse yet have Coldplay move in next to them and then tape their eyes open and make them listen to X&Y over and over again..

They could win some good will if they offered to buy pizza for everybody on my block every single day of the year.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Back in the Sack

So Iran is building a secret nuke, the public-option in the health-care plan is dead and we are almost at 10,000 on the DOW.

It feels like 1999 all over again and I'm just hoping that means the Yankees win the World Series also.

A year ago our intelligence community told us that Iran had stopped their nuclear weapon program in 2003 which I don't think anybody believed but was probably said because they were so spooked after having been so wrong on Iraq. What I found interesting was that we supposedly figured this all out by hacking into a couple of Iranian computer networks which if the service is provided by Time Warner. I have to imagine that in a Spy vs Spy world that somebody somewhere may have feared that the Americans were listening in on their conversations and maybe....just maybe....they would put stuff like this into their emails

"So we are not going be making any more bombs and will instead focus on trying to make an electric car"

The Brits, Germans and French didn't buy our intelligence (can you blame 'em?) And they insisted that their nuclear ambitions hadn't ended and now we are retreating on our intelligence for the second time with a country with the letters I, R and A in them.

I think the US is hoping Israel decides it's in their own interest to bring down that new reactor as an exchange for some considerations the Israeli's will make with the Palestinians. This way the US can both avoid the direct response with the Iranians and thus win some support from the Arab Muslims but maybe also see that as a way to press the Israeli's to stop the settlement building.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Cable Guy

The Jets are 3-0, I'm a new Pappa and I haven't been to work in almost 2 is very good obviously. I've also gone about a month without much booze (except for one celebratory glass with the Baby Mamma), so my liver and body also feels a lot better and with the Yankees clinching home-field through the playoffs, my NY Times delivered every day while I've been home and my new Netbook's arrival last week, things are A-OK... That is except the fact that we in Brooklyn are probably stuck with the worst possible internet provider on the planet. Time Warner which you could expect to be a decent supplier of internet access since the 'service' costs about $40 a month, is utterly incompetent in delivering internet access to it's customers.
Not a week goes by when I don't have to do a hard-reset on my modem by unplugging it from the back which has a real "whack the television with your shoe" to try to get the signal to come in feel to it. Somehow the signal gets lost for a minute and the IP address changes and I'm left staring at the old screen about not being able to reach the source. What I can't understand is why this dance happens so often, why TW wouldn't want to do everything in their power to service their customers as it's reputation is getting battered.. What I do understand is that TW doesn't care because they know I have no other option. FIOS is not available in our neighborhood and our building won't allow a rooftop dish, so I'm left suffering with this crap and Time Warner knows it.. I am sure when FIOS does show up, Time Warner will begin to be more concerned about their service but what is beyond me is this UN-American concept of not having any choice in cable-companies. Time Warner is expensive and inadequate but I cannot cancel it as it would leave me completely unconnected so you are left to the mercy of the very people who are ripping you off day to day.
What really gets me though is this concept of sending a signal through the line, this booster signal is something one of their technical reps is able to send through the system which usually gets the service back up when the unplug thing doesn't work. This is the magic bullet and almost always resolves the issue, although when you call at 1AM the reps claim to have never heard of this concept. While the booster signal has got a real MATRIX feel to it by sending a signal through cyberspace and all of a sudden connectivity is back and I often think there is just some kind if placebo effect because why can't they send that boosted signal through the system whenever they notice that services are down or were temporarily interrupted.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

The I-"phone" sucks

I have friends who may choose their IPhone as a companion on a vacation over their boyfriends and whose lives seem to have been completely changed by the 'connectivity' their IPhones have brought them but I am sure that I am not the only person who has noticed that the phone part of the coveted IPhone absolutely blows.. Now, I have IPhone envy when it comes to the super-fast WiFi surfing, awesome apps and games but one thing I don't envy is the fact that you can't understand anybody when they talk on these things.

What this $299 device has turned into is a glorified walkie-talkie, because it takes a second of dead-air in order to be heard on the other end of the conversation.

I find that every other word with somebody on an IPhone is "what?" "Excuse .me" or "say again" and after a couple of minutes of trying I tend to pretend to hear and just kind of "yes" my way through the conversation.

This is still supposed to be a cell-phone right or are they going to phase that out on generation 3.1!!! Now the Blackberry is not much better and it too has real issues when it comes to voice calls but nothing is as poor as the IPhone.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

What is the difference between the following three sentences:

Met up with Sneha the other night but she was hanging with her Indian Friends, so I left early and stopped at McDonalds for a BigMac.

Was  planning on going to Vegas The Lad's stag, I hear his Irish buddies are a riot, a total group of drunks.

My Friend Jenn is not around today, she's hanging with her Jewish Friends

I don't think I have to point out that the third line is the only one which I would have a hard time saying out loud although it's completely mundane.   I'm obviously aware that unlike Indian or Irish, Judiasm is not a ethnicity but rather a religion but in all three cases you are only using the ethnicity or religious affiliation in a descriptive way.   Even if you are NOT making a blanket statement about all people but just using it in context it seems that the mere mention of 'Jewish' or worse yet 'Jew' sets off a ton of alarms in my head as it seems inapropriate and implies bias and feels anti-semitic as it leaves your lips.  

The funny thing is actually that unlike race, ethnicity or creed the only one you actually have a choice about is Religion.  I can't change that I'm a Dutch boy but I can decide whether I'll be Catholic, so making a statement based on something I have no effect on, really should be less tolerated.   Not being Jewish I can't say if you can ever decide to not be Jewish anymore because I do believe it's probably as much Cultural as Religious but there are just as many cultural stigmas in being Indian or Irish I would think.

Even the fact that it's a religious group makes very little sense because if you said that you went to some Evangelical event it would have no punch to it at all although most people will think you are implying something about the event itself, so I don't believe it's an exception based on religion

I'm sure it's seeded in the historical persecution of the Jewish people but there have been many other groups of people who have been or have had historic tragedies done upon them including the Armenians, Arabs and Gays, but none of those would be ones I would be unconfomfortable saying outloud.

I went out to some Armenian Party with Shant, his Armenian buddies are so much livelier than the Armenians I know.
I spent two weeks in the middle east and found the Arabs to be  both the worst group and the best group of drivers I've ever come across.  Nobody follows any of the traffic laws and it's an total zoo but somehow they don't seem to get into any accidents
I went to a Gay bar with Miki; he denied knowing it was one but I caught him snorting coke off a dude's bare ass..

The only group which seems to be close in almost feeling wrong by the mere mention of them as one people might be the African Americans.   You wouldn't be able to say the following without looking over both shoulders first:

I would have a hard time saying
I went to a black party with Craig Wilson
While the line
          I went to some white-boy Frat Party with The Hick where we chatted up a bunch of round girls

seems competely appropriate while it has the same racial implications as the first line and this second line also seems to beat up on poor round girls who have done nothing but offered their services to legions of hard-up college guys.

so in closing, I have no idea why I can't say that "the Jewish Girls just sat in the corner talking amongst themselves" but it's totally fine to say that the "Dutch Guys were being a bunch of pompous aholes" but I'm determined to change it...   I will be from this day forward feel no need to pull any punches since I've made it clear I have no bias or ill-intentions (or at least that I am equal opportunity)


Friday, September 25, 2009

Babies R Us

Scams are rampant from three-card monty to bait-and-switch electronic stores and bad intentioned fantasy football trades but I've noticed that with the Great Recession they have gotten more prevalent moving from the standard run-of-the-mill Nigerian ones to a more complex schemes, preying on the good nature of baby-shower go-ers. As part of my expose into the baby-shopping culture, I have been doing some major ground work and have uncovered a huge scam from an unlikely place.... Babies R Us.

Now you may have to suspend your disbelief but here it goes.

I walked into Babies R Us yesterday with a few items of clothes, blankets and towels we got at the Baby Shower and needed to be exchanged. I walk in and the chick at the Customer Service booth says. Without prompting "doubles from the registry?"

Now like IKEA, Babies R Us offers a very liberal exchange policy (for store credit) so returning the doubles for a couple of boxes of pampers seemed easy enough. I was standing watching her scan in two baby bjorns, a couple of swaddle velcro blankets and a handful of baby-seat accessories when it occurred to me. There were so many items that were doubles, especially in the high price ticket items. We received FOUR cribs each bought off the registry for example.
Each crib was easily exchangeable for store credit but even after the shower it still showed up on the Registry. What this equates to is full on Registry Fraud, like a bait and switch for good intentioned friends and family.
What I figure is that there is a 'glitz' in the Babies R Us website which purposefully does NOT take off certain high priced items they figure are items that many people would want to buy. Then when four people parade up to the shower with identical gifts, it feels like a prom with two girls wearing the same dress. Everybody feels scammed but as it's a nice event nobody makes too big a deal out of it.. It's the perfect cover for B-R-U to milk money out of your friends and family.
I now have over $400 in store credit which (you guessed it) I will use for diapers and wipes.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Return This

I have a pet-peeve.. Well actually I've chronicled the fact that I have many PetPeeves but the one that really gets me is stores that make it sound like they have easy return programs while they are actually a complete pain in the ass.

Take IKEA, that blue and yellow version of hell-on-earth which serves the disgusting meatballs and offers the complete line of crappy furniture which miraculously is all screwed together by a cheap allen wrench.

I went back to return a changing table (get ready TOR fans, I'm sure I'll have a lot of backaking to do about baby shopping) and was told that it couldn't be returned because it was 'used' and they would only offer store credit which might as well be thrown away money as I don't expect to buy anything at this place in the foreseeable future.

First they have you wait for 40 minutes in the return line, then it gets worse

Store Clerk: we don't give cash back for used items, it says so in our return policy. See it say it here that you can return any item you are not completely satisfied with assuming it has not been used.

Righetti: it isn't used, I bought it 24 hours ago

Store Clerk: the box be open

Righetti: Yes, I opened it and realized it wasn't for me

Store Clerk: so you put it together!

Righetti: yes and when it was build I realized I wasn't satisfied

Store Clerk: as soon as you assemble it is used

Righetti: but how could I possibly know if I am satisfied if I haven't seen it built?

Store Clerk: if it's used, I ain't given you cash back

Righetti: but it's not used, no baby was placed on this changer. It went right back in the original box

Store Clerk: used means I aint takin it back

Righetti: but it wasn't used

Store Clerk: ,NEXT

Righetti: :boiling::
Store Clerk: you can talk with a manager if you want but it ain't gonna help

25 minutes later I walk out of IKEA with my $69.99 in cash..
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Car Blues

Pulling into the parking lot last week I was met with that kind of scoundrel usually found in those 2nd world countries.

As I pull into the parking lot and the attendant walked up asking how long I would be. I told him a couple of days not going into the reasons but I obviously I looked the part of an expecting father since I had that deer-in-headlights look in my eyes and four bags strapped to my body. The attendant noticing I'm flustered probably figured I'm easy prey.

Attendant: how long man?
Expecting Father: a day maybe two!!
Attendant: oh I see, do you want me to clean the car... Only $20
Expecting Father: no thanks
Attendant: I can vacuum the inside
Expecting Father: uuuhh no, just park it thanks
Attendant: do you want me to put it in a good spot
Expecting Father: that would be great
Attendant: $20
Expecting Father: for what?!!??!
Attendant: for a good spot
Expecting Father: no thanks
Attendant: do you need.....
Expecting Father: I need you to park the car and deliver it when I am done

I all ready expect him to screw me by charging me $50 a day and probably using my car to so he can do lines of coke off a prostitutes ass but this one was looking to screw me twice

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If there is a hell somewhere in the afterlife I bet it's housed in a blue and yellow building

There may not be a worse shopping experience in this entire world than when you drive up to that large Blue and Yellow colored building straight outa a country who prides itself on shitty meatballs including the drummer from Metallica

Not only do they make you make your way through a rat maze of birch wood and red tabletops but then when you finally think you've gotten to daylight you are confronted from the inside of a warehouse with all the same crap you just tried to get away from.

IKEA has three qualities

-Cheap and shitty
You see a wall unit for $73.84 and it sounds like a great deal. You bring it home and you realize the formica looks kinda shitty but the real problem is when you try to move it.. This quality is so poor that the first time you try to move it, you realize the entire piece was being propped up and kept together by the wall..

- Midrange and shitty
At least you get real wood and it's not completely dependent on the living room wall to stay upright but don't expect this to make it through a single move. Anytime you realize the entire contraption is being held together by an allen wrench screw you may as well sell it with the house.

- expensive
How the hell is it that the last time I went to IKEA to price out kitchen cabinets they got a price quote of like $3000. Now granted this is their 'top of the line' quality but it's still held together with three screws and now the stuff is so damned heavy that you couldn't possibly ask any normal drywall to hold any of it.
So if you like shards of glass in your swedish meatballs.. this one's for you
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Who Knew?

Who knew that there was this much life at noon on a Monday afternoon. There are a ton of people outside, walking to the supermarket, I saw people having coffee, going to the bank, strolling down the streets and chatting on corners. Maybe it's because I'm secretly jealous or maybe it's because it just reeks of laziness but the thought of not having to go to work on a Monday Morning to me is the equivalent of having a desire to stop drinking water for ever.
Now I am not talking about new mothers and I'm all for using vacation days to go to see places but I just cannot wrap myself around 'wasting' a day by doing nothing but when I look outside there are tons of people doing just that and it frustrates me.

Who knew that all of this was going on while I slaved away at work every single day. I couldn't imagine doing that day-in and day-out but this lifestyle didn't seem to bother any of them. I can't even imagine spending three weekdays away from work let alone a lifetime. See i'm not one for vacations at home, I can count on one hand the amount of days I've ever taken off to spend at home.
One time I took a day off to paint the bathroom, a few times I've taken a day off to train for the marathon with a 20 mile run and there was one time I took the day to clean the laundry vent, so the concept of just sitting home on a Monday is a bit foreign. I had perfect attendance through 4 years of high school and four years of college. I never missed a day for sickness or to play hookie not because I have this need to learn but because I have a need to feel productive. My family in Holland takes 6+ weeks of vacation per year plus a number of "old dick" days which you get for being over 50 and working. This is where I resent socialism; I believe you should work for your keep and keep what you work for.

Then again they all have less stress, generally have flatter stomachs and better health-care so maybe they are doing something right after-all.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009


Maybe it's the withdrawal from running or the lack of sleep whatever the root-cause it offers some serious headaches both literally and figuratively.

Maybe it was some kind of caffeine withdrawal or they spike the red jello with something but there was definitely a point of no return in the last few days when the stars starting to dance in the sky and the walls started talking to me.

In hindsight, maybe I dreamed the whole thing but the mind plays some funny tricks on you when you are awake for 37 straight hours. It actually reminds me of flying to europe on a 4pm flight which lands you at 6am and hitting the road running. Basically with this pattern you are assured to get no sleep on the plane (who the hell is tired at 4pm) and you won't hit the sack until about 9pm European time that night. First you go on straight adrenaline, then you get really spent, then your second wind kicks in but you aren't really with it and finally your body gives out.

This was my life Thursday and Friday but after the second wind and the body giving out there was like a weird zone of deeper adrenaline but it wasn't something that came without side-effects. Forget LSD or shrooms, if you want to see the virgin Mary completely sober just deprive yourself of any sleep for 37 hours and you will start to see colors.

The body sans sleep does some incredible things but the brain starts moving at 100mph in ten directions at once. You still function but you aren't completely rational, your emotions take over and your heart pumps wildly because of the ten cups of coffee you've downed and all of a sudden you hit a wall.. Forget the wall at mile 20 in the marathon, cause if that is a wall than this is a mack truck and it's barreling right towards you.
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

City Hospitals

City hospitals all seem the same regardless how they dress them up through the tour. We went for the thousand dollar tour and they show you the 42" plasmas, the large rooms and luxuries but when we showed up with your wife screaming on what seems like a lazy Thursday and then they shove in a shared room which doubled as the supply closet, we knew it would be a long night. Apparently at any city hospital no matter how big or small, you have to expect to see everything and get nothing.
It's amazing how overcrowded and understaffed these city hospitals are and how wide ranging the level or lack of care and attentiveness the nurses show. Some of them really seem to care while other ones are completely condescending and rude. The later in the night it gets the less helpful they become, but the issue might not be the nurses but the fact each one has to handle 10 patients and their crazy husbands.
But they seem jaded, overworked and annoyed, It's funny how every dad-to-be paces the halls hoping to be able to help his wife any relief.

A typical conversation goes like this

Pappa to be:
My wife needs some..

Nurse on Call
(On her cell phone). So Laquisha said...

Excuse me but my wife needs some icr

Nurse on call
That's not my department

Who should I talk to?

Not sure

Can you page our nurse?

Yeah yeah


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Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Basic arithmetic

I don't want to make it more difficult on people who make minimum wage at the various service shops and restaurants across this country but sometimes I step away and think that some basic mathematics would make their lives and mine that much more enjoyable.

Scene: Righetti walks into some store at Grand Central Station to buy some Jelly Bellies and a pair of socks. I go to pay and hand the chick a .$20 bill. She rings me up and I see it's $8.23

Righetti: I have a quarter

Sales lady. :confused:

Righetti: you know cause it's $8.23

Sales lady: I already rang it up

Righetti: :confused: just give me $12.02 back

Sales lady: the computer says I have to give you $11.77 back

Righetti: but if I give you a quarter you can give me $12 back

Sales Lady: :confused:

Righetti: $20.25 - $8.23 is...

Sales Lady. :confused:

Righetti: $12.02

She then hands me $11.77. I give her the 3 quarters plus the one in my hand and ask her for a dollar.

Sales Lady looks like she just saw houdini

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

why do Salmon swim upstream while Tuna body-surfs?

I was asked by a friend of mine the day why lesbians (one of TOR’s favorite groups of people mind you) always seem to fall into deep relationships so quickly. An acquaintance of mine (a proud card-carrying member of the Society of Tuna) told me that it is very typical for two women to meet and within three months they are living together and have joint custody of a cat. She claims that lesbians move through the cycle of relationship much more quickly than heterosexuals do.

Now there are obviously tons of heterosexual relationships which move along quickly also but in general it seems the getting-to-know you phase lasts much longer.

So it got me to thinking, why does it seem that the road of relationships between two women always feel like they are on the autobahn doing 1000 miles per hour?

Now I can’t claim to know much about the psyche of the female mind, shit I forget to put the toilet seat down 50% of the time but I do have a BS in Psychology so what the hell I’ll give this one my best effort.

What I’ve concluded (based on years of observation and a whole lot of BS), is that the difference between a man and woman getting together vs. two women getting together is that when a dude and chick get together there probably a lot more down-time. Chances for two people to take a step back and do different things with fewer expectations since dudes and chicks are obviously wired differently. See a guy will hang out with his buddies at the bar getting drunk and talking sports while a girl may decide to spend the same time at the Spa with her girlfriends. There is nothing wrong with either one and they can do those things together but most ‘healthy’ heterosexual relationships I’ve observed have very obvious breaks where the dude goes to a strip-club and throws dollars in the air and the chick gets a massage.

But when both parties are chicks, there wind up being very few things that the two can’t do together and I can imagine that it very quickly becomes overwhelming. If one of them goes to a baby-shower the other one would naturally come along, if one of them goes to get her nails done it probably makes sense that the other one would also get hers done too, when one goes to the bathroom to gossip with her girlfriends about her date, the person who comes to the bathroom with her is said date. Now I’m sure that over time, lesbians will find ways to spend some time apart as people’s interests are always going to be different but I think in the initial wooing phase of a relationship there probably isn’t a lot of time to breath. So what most couples go through in three weeks a lesbian couple may go through in one!

I also think that when a guy and a girl date there is less of an expectation to know what the other is thinking but I would guess that if two girls date those expectations rise tremendously.

Now I’m sure I’m generalizing and I’m sure somebody will finally ‘take on Righetti’ but this is what I think and I’m not changing my tune (or tuna)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

you make me puke

On the anniversary of the Great Recession, the NY Times decided to let a few of Lehman Brother's employees write short OpEd pieces about their precarious situations before and after the collapse of the Wall Street institution a year ago.
As is typical with the self centered public, people took this opportunity to either take bows for their generosity or try to tug at the heart-strings from the American Public because they have lost their Mansions and BMW's and won't be going to Aspen on vacation this year.   This just doesn't resonate which to the millions of people unemployed or under-employed .

Take the following piece by Lynn Gray who was a senior VP at Lehman Brothers

Last Days of Lehman: The Kindness of Strangers


Published: September 14, 2009

EARLY in the morning, a year ago today, I received an e-mail message at home from Lehman Brothers announcing its plans to file for bankruptcy. The message noted that Lehman would still be “open for business” that day.  So I headed toward the office at 745 Seventh Avenue. The television cameras and reporters were already there. I stopped to get my coffee from the street vendor and he asked how I was doing. I started to cry. I told him to keep the change from a $20 bill because I knew that if Lehman was gone he would suffer as well. I walked toward the entrance and a young woman I had never seen before said, “Another Lehmanite!” — and we walked arm-in-arm into the building. Many of us had been together for more than 10 years and were scared of being cast adrift.

We had all seen it coming, but still didn’t understand how our chief executive, Dick Fuld, could have let this happen. We were the firm with the culture that everyone envied. Yes, it had been a wild ride the previous couple of years, and especially the previous six months. We had had so many heads of fixed income that it was almost a joke when another e-mail message came around that another fixed income head had left to “pursue other interests” or “to spend more time with his family.”

We used the rest of the day to pack our boxes. Finally, in the late afternoon, I walked out of the building. I headed to a local bar to drown my sorrows and ponder the future of my career. Around West 51st Street, a homeless man approached me with a cup, gesturing for a contribution. He then looked at my tote bag with its Lehman Brothers logo and said, “Never mind” and “I’m sorry.”

— LYNN GRAY, the chief executive of Campus Scout and a former senior vice president at Lehman
 Obviously the writer is looking for sympathy for her plight, which will be difficult for the American public to swallow since a former senior VP who made annual compensation of at least a half a million dollars per year. Not only does the American Public not care as they feel like you made your fortunes aiding in the demise of the economy but this self serving line about giving the street vendor the change on your shitty coffee reeks of your holier than thou attitude.
First of all get off your high-horse and realize you didn’t save a child from a burning building you gave a guy a couple of bucks you self righteous slob. 
Secondly you have obviously never heard of keeping your ‘charity’ anonymous because you decided to take bows for giving a guy $19.  I'm sure this helped keep his roof over his head

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Monday, September 14, 2009

I want a dirty sanchez every single Sunday

Some people wait for Jesus to save them, Jet fans have been waiting since Joe Willy for their savior and who would have thought it came in the form of a QB who looks like the dude from Entourage

After last year’s debacle and the debacle the year before that and the debacle for the 15 years I’ve been a Jet fan; yesterday felt good.

 I remember thinking that this could be the year, but then I realize that I had the same thought last year and the year before that. But now there is finally a quarterback and not only did he show great footwork, a great attitude and the ability to withstand his first NFL blitz packages but he did all while looking like he’s about 5’4”. Now we know he’s sexy and we know he’s gutsy and he might be dirty but I did not realize that he was such a midget which only makes me want to go out and buy a new #6 jersey more today than if he was 6'5"..
actually maybe I’ll stick some duct- tape with the words “Dirty Sanchez” over the Ray Lucas jersey I still have hanging in my closet.

See Sanchez started quiet and looked a bit overmatched, which you have to expect for a rookie QB facing his first full blown NFL regular season action but then when the pressure was put on him on those 3rd and longs he delivered and delivered and delivered again.    He showed the poise of a veteran and the enthusiasm of a kid and for the first time in a long time it felt good to be a Jet fan...

Two days without a laptop and I’m about to go apecrap. Now it’s not like I need to have porn streamed into my body intravenously but it’s very frustrating when you are stuck trying to catch up to your fantasy football squad by depending on the CBS scroll during the Jet game. Now I find that CBS completely doesn’t understand their audience because as they scroll the scores across the bottom of the screen they always highlight one player. Somebody needs to shake these clowns loose and explain that their audience is filled with testosterone driven men who need their fantasy information.

This is where they just don’t understand what we are looking for. Each time they show the Ravens-Chiefs game they should highlight another player. One time we get Joe Flacco’s #’s, then Ray Rice, then Larry Johnson, then Dwayne Bowe, then Elvis Grbac, then Tony Gonzalez then Derrick Mason. Feed us the info we so desperately need and want, don’t leave us with blue-balls on the one day of the first day of the season, especially when our laptops can’t connect to YouPorn

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I was asked yesterday by somebody if they should run it.. I can't make that decision for somebody but I know one thing.. The marathon is not about the race; it's about the training.

1- somedays the training sucks, the humidity and heat of the summer is difficult to fight through and knowing you will run five or six days per week is difficult to wrap your head around. It's not a commitment of 4+ hours on a Sunday in September, it's the half a year of training that takes you from 20 miles per week to a grueling 40.

2- some-days the training rocks. I can almost take more pride in completing a 20 mile run in the downpour yesterday which involved two five mile central-park loops and then a run to Park Slope. I love how my body transforms from early May when I dread an 8 mile run to how invigorating an 18 or 20 mile run feels in Early October. I have written often about the trials and tribulations of running but for me it's meditating as I can completely clear my mind and focus on the next step (literally)

3-Regardless of what happens Race Day Rocks. (Or sucks)
The culmination is obvious in Marathon training.. You wake up all those mornings and run at 6am or after work at 6pm to get you ready for the first Sunday in November. It can rock like it did for me in 2007 when I ran comfortably and really took in the atmosphere or it can blow like it did for me in 2008 when I cramped up at mile 18 and suffered through the next agonizing 8 miles in a run-walk-stretch-run routine where I saw valuable minutes fall off the clock.
This was also the race where I had merlot colored urine, but with all that it was still sort of enjoyable.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

volunteering at NYRR.jpg

For the average schmo who wants to beat his or her body to hell and run 26.2 miles through five boroughs of NYC there are only a few things to know about: you have to train and you have to play some politics.

Today's TOR isn't about the marathon training but rather about getting into the marathon. 100,000 people apply through a lottery system for roughly 20,000 spots. The other 10,000 spots are filled in three ways: invited runners, ones running for a charity and . people who qualify by running 9 races and volunteering at a 10th race in the previous season.

A 4 hour marathoner doesn't get invited so I'm outa luck with that so my options are dumb-luck in the lottery but my luck isn't that good.
run for a charity which involves raising a couple thousand bucks or pre-qualifying by running 9 races throughout the year (at $20 a pop) and volunteering for 1 more.

I have gotten into the marathon through all three options but the funny thing is the last one involves this 'volunteer' business which is such a scam name for it.

Nobody standing here with me this morning is volunteering out of the goodness of their heart, everyone of the 200+ people is here to fill the requirement for the marathon. Calling it volunteering is a disservice to people who work in soup kitchens or the like. This is the dirty game which is marathon qualification and everybody knows the drill: stand around for 4 hours and make sure they sign you out. It's not about helping people or communities, it's selfish in every respect.

Years ago it took only 6 races to qualify, now the pumped it up to 9 plus the volunteer day, with the popularity of the sport rising and people using the system to get themselves in, I wouldn't be surprised if they increased the qualification to 12 and year.

If Mary Wittenberg CEO of the New York Road Runners really wanted to have her NYRR members make a difference she should require that each marathoner spend one Saturday working in a soup-kitchen or community center in order to qualify to run 26.2.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

I'm a PC

What always got me about those I'm a MAC I'm a PC commercials is that the cool guy looks exactly like Ross from Friends which is about as uncool as you can get.

Well today I felt like a combo of those two idiots as I was met with the dreaded blue screen as I tried to log onto my fantasy-football league. I have been here before and it's not pleasant but when my CPU froze today and like the male stripper in those bachelorette videos on RedTube I knew I was screwed.

Now my CPU and I have been through a LOT together, surfing and swerving through the best and worst the innerwebs has to offer and like a Toyota Corrola the DELL has been as dependable as can be. Not only have we seen a lot together, I feel like I have treated the software well and the hardware better but somehow for the second time in 2 years the entire CPU is done and now won't so much as turn on again... I guess it may finally be time to get myself a netbook although it would be a shame if it somehow I couldn't surf as quickly with one of those....
Now I couldn't be sure what was the final demise but somehow I think it rhymes with Shoe Torn.

I wonder if this would have happened if I was a Mac?

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

a bandaid for a gunshot

Nothing is more exciting than a prime-time speech by the POTUS in front of both houses of congress with the entire world looking on as Nancy Pelosi blinks her way through 46 minutes of Obama speaking.

I particularly liked Joe Wilson pulling a turrets moment and screaming at Obama as if he was at a Green Day concert or at least a member of the House of Commons. I also appreciated the fact that they got a paper prop of John Kerry since he was apparently wind-surfing off Martha ’s Vineyard. I also appreciated the fact that the women in the Democrat’s contingent of the house all wore floral colors so the entire thing looked like a choreographed kaleidoscope whenever they jumped out of their chairs to applaud the president sneezing.

What I really appreciated was that for the first time since making this his signature domestic issue, Obama actually took charge of this issue and made it his own.

I got a tweet about 15 minutes into it from regular TOR reader Philthy Ryan who asked rhetorically why Obama doesn’t ask any member of congress who does NOT agree with the concept of health-care reform to stand up, this way we know who’s so greased up by the insurance companies that no sense can be made anyway.

What I just don’t like is that health-care reform still is patch-work and band-aid stuff, not true overhaul which I’m convinced is what needs to happened. We can talk about malpractice insurance being too high (I agree), hospitals needing electronic record keeping (this is 2009 after-all), more preventative practice (OK this is getting too easy) and less complacency to act but this entire issue comes down to a few major issues in my mind

  1. Health Care should NOT be a for-profit operation; it is too important for the well-being of the country (literally) and has NOT proven to keep its prices inline. Now I do NOT suggest that the federal government should be running health-care’s ins and outs this should be contracted out to companies who can handle it. Nicholas Kristof last week made the point that the Police department, Fire department, Parks departments and even the DMV are not run on a for-profit organization as they are too crucial to the well being of the state to be left in the hands of others. I am a raging capitalist and am not suggesting we have some form of socialism but I do believe that health-care is not one which can run unregulated like it has.
  2.  Health care should be decoupled from the workplace. I have said it a 1000 times but this comes down to too many problems.

    •  When companies are the provider of health-care it ties it’s employees to a certain type of coverage which they did not have a say in regarding their own families needs. Decisions on the coverage of people should be made in living rooms not board-rooms
    • When people lose their job (this seems to happen a lot in a recession by the way) people will also lose their health-care. Yeah there is COBRA but this is debilitating expensive.
    • Having the government force companies to pay for health-care by threatening to fine them if they do not or otherwise offer incentives with payroll tax cuts puts undue stress on the small and large businesses in this country. Let companies make widgets not worry about the well-being of a country
    • The costs that companies are absorbing cut into their profits which is counter to capitalism, the tax savings they get should be given to individuals and the savings companies get by not offering health-care should be used to compensate employees more. Wages are stagnant in part because companies are paying more every year for health-care.
    • Small companies feel a larger burden than large ones do since they themselves cannot get the same kind of rates as the large ones are able to negotiate. This leave employees of small companies paying more for less

Now my big complaint about health-care is that nobody from the Health-care side ever comes up with anything new, content to stay with the status quo. Why do you think this happens?

Because they are doing so well!!!!

They say that a public option will cut services which are completely counter bullshit. Look at the VA hospitals and Medicare and see how many services are cut there.

They say that it will cost the government a trillion dollars but they conveniently forget that today’s health-care is already funded by the government. When the government doesn’t collect taxes this is lost revenue.

What they should say is that they don’t want to cut their corporate profits which they make today because things are pretty good for most people in the medical field (hospitals, drug companies, insurance companies).

I suggest people should get a tax break for getting health-insurance; people should make decisions on what health-care to buy. People should be making decisions about what plan works for them based on their own needs not be decided in board-rooms. Have people decide which hospitals they will use based on the price and service they provide not limited to the plan their employer has chosen. Health care needs to be turned on its head and sadly I’m afraid all they are doing is putting a band-aid on a gun-shot wound.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

metropolitan diary strikes again

As many of the regular TOR readers know one of my Pet Peeves is the self-serving letters people submit to the Metropolitan Diary, the section in New York Times on Monday's which allows readers to write in quick little anecdotes and observations about living in NYC.  Well my complaints are well documented (here, here and here) but never a dull moment I once again came across some self-serving, back-patting pompous diary entry this week.  

Dear Diary:

I’m on the phone with a representative, 15 minutes after my new credit card arrives.

“I can’t use this card. The expiration date is 9/11.”

“Yes?” he says.

“I live in New York City,” I tell him. “I worked on the pier, counseling families. I won’t use this card if I have to keep saying this date.”

“There’s nothing I can do,” he tells me.

I call an hour later and bypass the representative for a supervisor who gets it and tells me of the numerous calls he’s received.

A week later, my new card arrives, dated 9/12.
That’s better. Jane Seskin
Thanks for sharing your story Jane Seskin and for your service to the people of NYC but was it really necessary to point out that you worked as a volunteer counseling people?? First of all I think everybody who reads the NY Times can figure out why somebody might be uncomfortable about the 9/11 date on their credit card.. (plus you do realize that this is September 2011 not September 11th right?) but more importantly the extra 'context' you throw in is self-serving and appalling. Ever hear about doing anonymous charity work?

I really hate people

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I had dinner with friends last night and they told this story of how they were in a restaurant a few months ago and ordered something on the special menu and were later floored when they got the bill. This is an issue I've come across myself and will no longer assume anything when it comes to situations like this.
A few years ago, I was having a boys-birthday dinner. (this is a very exclusive dinner party which happens only seven times per year with the invite list being limited to the seven guys I went to high-school with, no exceptions). We have had the birthday dinner tradition for 10+ years and have used it to hit every major steak-house and top restaurant in and outside of NYC. We've had great dinners, so-so dinners and some dinners that gave me the runs before the D Train crossed the Brooklyn Bridge heading back home but all-in-all they are a ton of fun and I always expect to spend $100 a pop. Back in the days before we were high-powered bankers, hospital execs, diamond salesmen and pen-shop managers the price-tag meant this would probably be our only big night out for a while. The one way to justify the $100 in 1999 was that as a group we were getting about 2 chicks per year combined so really there were not a lot of other things to spend our money on.

Well I remember sitting down one year at a place in Northern Jersey whose name I forget. It was a nice place decent atmosphere and had a good reputation, if I remember correctly the food was mostly steak and seafood and as we went through the menu I remember seeing that most option on entrees were about $28-$35 and sides are in the $8-$10 range. We are putting down a couple of beers when the waiter comes over and reads off the specials including some special filet, a free range chicken and some kind of crab-stuffed lobster or something. We place our order and five out of seven jump at the lobster/crab option while the other two settle for the pizza burger and the overcooked salmon or something equally lame.

Fast forward about 2 hours later as the bill shows up.. I was absolutely floored when the entire thing came out to $1000 which divided by six (the birthday boy doesn't pay) came out to about $165 a person.

After inspecting the bill the crab-stuffed lobster was about $95 a piece which explained the outrageous price but my issue is as follows:

when the price of a special is significantly more expensive than any other item on your menu, it is your duty as a waiter to inform the guests what the price of the specials are.
Now obviously we could have (and should have) asked about the price before hand but I don't think there was a single one amongst us who imagined it would be twice as expensive as the next option on the menu and since the check included auto-gratuity so we couldn't even take it out on his tip

From that day forward I always ask for prices of specials which when courting a hot-chick does put a bit of a dent on the high-roller lifestyle you are trying to give off.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The sack

There are so many humiliating scenarios in this world including getting the runs and take a runny dump in the woods or seeing the pictures online from a topless wedding dance when the audience has all retreated to the bar..

Obviously I have chronicled my terrible life and ailments including my sausage fat ankles, my fat thighs which rub together and chafe plus that time I peed merlot color after passing a kidney stone art mile 21 of the NYC Marathon.

But when I noticed some weird welt on my back, I was made to go have it checked out by some hot-shot NYC dermatologist.
I figure that at the same time (and since to co-pay was $50) I would rattle off my other issues including some weird rash on my thighs, the aforementioned chafing and some more intimate skin issues.

I'm all ready to ask the doctor about these more intimate issues when some hot nurse in a skimpy outfit parades out in front of me. Immediately I think about changing my ailments to slightly less disgusting things like athletes foot or some arm rash but alas my mind doesn't work as quickly as I prefer and there I am standing in the buff and explaining that I got a cist on my sack and jock itch.

This is where this office has it all wrong, you want the hot receptionist but when any guy gets put in front of some 26 year old co-ed and have to explain your most intimate issues he will clam up. Now it doesn't matter if you are actually interested in getting with the chick, it's the humiliation of it all and you just regress back to the 6th grade when some hot bully chick grabbed you by the sack and yanked down while yelling 'it's so tiny'.

Well there I am, completely vulnerable as I avoid eye contact while explaining the ailments.. Out of my peripheral I see her kind of disgusted as she jots down the prevalent info.
Luckily the sack-bump was a benign cist and the jock-itch is preventable but this is not exactly the way to build up a guy's fragile ego. Next time instead of explaining it, I'll just refer her to TOR.
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Lame Table

There are a few things in this world which I just don't understand like there is braille on drive-through ATM's, why couple see each other before the wedding ceremony and why I can't walk out of Walmart without spending $80.

My real issue is wedding guests; you always need a few people to go out and take on for the team but when the entire wedding party hangs out at the bar leaving only the grandmas and aunts to roam the dance-floor you are in big trouble.
The rule here is that Wedding guests are important. Obviously you want people there who you want to witness your vows but when cutting down I think it's crucial to take into consideration the 'fun factor'. When you look from the dance floor you expect to see a couple of lame tables but when the lame tables outnumber the fun ones 3 to 1, you may as well save the $100 a head times 200 people and elope.
My boy The Bump from made a comment to me years ago that people who don't party won't throw a good one. You can't expect balls-to-the-wall fun if you yourself are a balls-tucked-to-your-ass boring.
First of all.. Nobody wants to bring it 100% if you yourself don't leave it all on the field but more importantly nobody wants to rip it up when they are siting at the lame table.

So the hints (a follow up on the TOR from a few months ago)

Keep the action moving, down time is killer

Keep the lame factor below 20%, if your friends are mostly lame consider not telling them about your wedding

The DJ matters..

No Open Bar means no stories the next morning.

Most importantly.. If you want a good party, learn how to party yourself and if you don't want me bitching then don't stick me at the lame table
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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wedding #4

Labor Day usually marks the end of summer for most, for me it marks the end of the wedding season. Obviously the Jon Bon Righetti experience has completely fallen flat recently and I have come to realize I actually have more fun when I'm not totally shit-faced. So in an effort to become a more social wedding guest and a more pleasant date I think it's time to put the booze away at wedding for the SPS.
Now I'm not talking about going dry (I can't possibly be asked to keep hydrated without at least a couple of Miller Lites) but no more heavy drinking or ridiculousness. This was all very entertaining years ago but too many brides have given me the stink-eye that I shouldn't have to be told that it's all wearing thin on the crowd.

So here's to today's bride and groom, hope you didn't expect me to be the reason the open bar would make financial sense.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

the Buffer Seat

I’ve heard many complaints about my movie-going tendencies: some complain about my restless leg syndrome, others about my refusal to buy the extra-large popcorn with 10 pounds of butter on it but most of them find it odd that when I go to the movies with a buddy we don’t sit right next to one another. The first few complaints come from just about anybody who goes to the movies with me but the latter one comes mostly from female friends who can’t seem to grasp the concept of a little extra space to let the boys air out and allow me to adjust myself a bit

I’ll hear the following from chicks all the time

If you are going to the movies with somebody else why would you not sit next to each other, you can’t even talk. It’s totally antisocial.

Well let’s take this one by one; first of all I’m sick of hearing the complaint about not being able to talk with your friends.  This is the ultimate crap excuse since you aren’t supposed to talk while at the movies anyway. The people who complain about the buffer seat are the same ones that are probably hooting and hollering the entire way through The Nutty Professor III which is a much bigger disturbance than two dudes not cuddled up together.  Secondly I’m paying $12 to be entertained by Warner Brothers not my fantasy football league-mates.

But forget the talking aspect,
How is going to the movies any different than sitting in your own house?  
When I’m watching the Star Wars trilogy with a buddy, we don’t sit right next to each other on the couch.   He sits on one side and I sit on the other leaving a little space.

How is it any different than an airplane?
When two friends get onto an airplane and they are given the option of one sitting at the window and the other on the aisle leaving the middle seat empty nobody complains.  This is the exact same set up as the moview and nobody would claim you are homophobic for not sitting leg to leg on a flight when given an option for a little extra room to stretch your legs.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What is it about sashimi and cheap beer?

I love sushi and have often considered it the one food I could eat every single day for dinner for a week without suffering from it. I’ve had Sushi made by Korean and Italian sushi-chefs, I’ve had sushi delivered to me on a conveyer belt, I’ve had it delivered by a Chinese delivery guy and I’ve shoved it down my throat in an all-you-can-eat sushi place.

I love sushi but when you have REALLY good sushi everything changes, this is when I go from a guy who likes sushi to the equivalent of lesbians to sushi. When it’s served at the right temperature (just below room temperature), it’s cut well and it’s matched with a large Sapporo you can’t go wrong. I like sushi but actually prefer sashimi

The funny thing about sushi is that everybody thinks they can make it and the Americanization of it has taken away from the real hole-in-the-wall places which when sitting there still makes you feel like you are dining in Tokyo. I like the rolls a lot but it’s still not real sushi for me and it’s almost sad to hear people tell you that they like sushi but only eat California rolls. What they should say is that they like cucumber, rice, faux-crab and avocado but they cannot accurately claim they like sushi. The fancy rolls (spicy tuna, Godzilla, Blue Crab etc) can be absolutely fantastic but this is still not real sushi and calling it sushi is like telling me you had a great steak when you had some ground sirloin on a bun.

Anyway Chicken sucks.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

health carelessness

Obama is looking to reshape the national debate on healthcare which is political speak for “how do we retreat back to our corners and lick our wounds”. I like the idea of health-care reform but have for a long time thought the argument they have made is messy and filled with holes.

One of my biggest issue is with the present incarceration of health-care reform is how it keeps the onus of paying for it on the companies in this country. As much as the insurance companies talk about keeping it privatized as opposed to offering a public-option what they don’t tell you is that the burden falls on the small-and-large companies in this country and one way or another the government pays for it too. This issue has been discussed on TOR a lot but what I find most troubling is that in this day-and-age almost every company has to offer health-care to get compete and the government has made it abundantly clear that this is the way they want to continue bringing health-care to the public.

Two issues with this

1) The health and well being of a country probably should not be left to a for-profit industry with little regulations.

2) They want the government to stay out of the health-care EXCEPT…….to help pay for it.

The first issue is pretty simple. If you are watching corporate profits and you are going basically unregulated there is at least a chance that you will not be offering people the best care. Why would you want to spend thousands of dollars on an operation that may not work or a test which may not find anything. Corporations shouldn’t run health-care, at least not unregulated.

The second is a bit more complicated but the way I see it anyway you cut it healthcare costs both today and in the future are going to be funded by the government. See anybody in the health-care industry who tries to convince you that it’s a private-option seem to forget that it’s paid for in a large part through tax-breaks given to corporations anyway. The private sector winds up being forced to eat the health-care of the country by the government and decisions on health-care are thus made by boardrooms and not in dining-rooms.

Whatever happened to people paying their own way for their own things? The insurance companies are a bunch of crooks who will use their deep pockets and gigantic lobbying reach to try to reach the general public through scare-tactics and then strong-arm the legislation. What I find to be the biggest scam is that they keep trumpeting the private-option and keeping the governments hands out of health-care while in actuality they are in bed with them. The major insurance companies lobby the government to force small-and-big businesses to offer health-care to their employers which is almost always delivered by….the major insurance companies.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Regular drinkers are more likely to exercise

Regular drinkers are likely to do more than tone their biceps with 12-ounce curls, according to a new study. Those who imbibe -- regardless of how much -- get more exercise than teetotalers, researchers reported in the current issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Surprisingly, the effect was strongest with heavier drinkers, who "were more likely to exercise than light drinkers and exercised for more minutes," said lead researcher Michael French, a professor of health economics at the University of Miami.

Now the fact that heavy-boozers are bigger exercisers than the average Joe is pretty surprising, it seems to be kind of conflicting behavior. Boozing obviously not being great for your body while exercise being pro-body. 
But as I read this study yesterday and thought to myself that I have already proven this myself. The more I booze the more I feel the need to exercise. One reason is guilt, I feel like I have to work off the extra pounds those 10 Blue Moons I had last night put on but my bigger conscious decision is that I feel the need to detoxing the booze out of my system after a hard night of drinking.  I have often thought about runnng one of those pub-races where you have to run about 10 miles stopping every mile to have a beer, this way you have no time to let the booze ruin your body but it can also be a clear subsitute for drinking that god-awful Gatorade they usually offer at the NYRR races.

I have often said that the best thing you can do when you are hung-over is a 4 mile run; now I prefer to run this outside as the stench of the hung-over Jack Daniel’s stinking dude on a treadmill with bad ventilation is really not pleasurable for anybody around. I can’t say I’ve never done the treadmill thing and exposed people to the noxious odors coming from my body but in general I try to keep it outside.

So what I do is lace up my sneakers, head outside and by the time I’m done the booze has basically evaporated through my pores.

The biggest issue is of course the old Bud-Mud which follows me after a night of unfiltered beer drinking and then I tend to have experiences like this