Sunday, January 31, 2010

4 degrees

When you land in an airport and the Pilot tells you it's 4 degrees with a wind-chill making it -10 you know you could be in for a long day, although I am convinced that whenever you get to the extremes of temperatures adding or subtracting 10 degrees doesn't have any additional effect. (I also realize -10 is not a real extreme if you live in Siberia, Fargo or Wasilla but for normal city people it's pretty darn cold). The point is that for me -4 feels exactly like +4 in the same way 105 feels just like 115.

Basically when it gets colder than a certain level, assuming you're not outside for 20 hours, there is no way my body can tell anymore . These are the times that as long as you going to freeze your ass off regardless of how many layers you have on. The other thing is that whenever you get to the edge of the normal range of weather in your particular region people go completely nuts and the temperature is all they can talk about. It's not like the human body can't handle 24 degrees but when you over hear conversations in an elevator you feel like people are contestants on some extreme reality show.

It got me to thinking about an article I read about in India where the temperatures had gotten unseasonably cold and hit 40 degrees and the poor people where so cold they were burning their furniture in a bonfire to stay warm. The pictures looked like it was -50 with them bundled up like a bunch of 20 year old snowboarders. The best thing about the story was that there were guys saying they got frost-bite while the interviewer was basically wearing sandals and a Hawaiian shirt...

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Saturday, January 30, 2010


As I walked past a car dealership the other day it occurred to me how bizarre it is that you pay the ticket price for about 90% of items bought retail but there are a few complete exceptions where you are able to (and expect to) negotiate.

Why is it that when you buy a couch you can try to negotiate 10% off but when you buy a leather jacket your only hope for a discount is a sale or coupon. They can both be an item costing hundreds of dollars. I am not sure if it has something to do with the cost of the item but it's kind of weird that buying a $20,000 car involves having to stampede out of show-rooms to show you are serious about buying but for a $3 cup of soup you would never look for a discount. Maybe it feels like stores that sell big ticket items (electronics, cars, couches) are making so much money which actually isn't true as those items are often sold at much lower margins than a can of soda or a T-shirt may be.
It's also not like the guy working at the Gap works any more or less hard than the dude working at the local Chevy dealership but somehow you feel like the one dude's ripping you off while the other has no connection to pricing. So maybe the connection the salesguy has to actual cost is where it feels different. But even walking into national electronic stores you often get offered deals and discounts so there too does it matter. but you can easily spend the same amount at Macy's yet you never see a guy going up to a sales associate to tell him that he's buy the sweater if he can get 15% markdown. Then again the Macy's salesguy also won't try to sell you into some kind of scam maintenance contract on that sweater.
It's also not like it's chain stores or national brands because you wouldn't try to get a discount at Subway or in a Bodega but you are 'expected' to look for a discount at both a FORD dealership or a local used car lot.

I blame this on the 10% discount thought. Although the percentage is the same a 10% discount on a pair of $60 shoes is 'only' $6 so maybe not worth the hassle while even a 2% discount on a $30,000 car is enough to buy 10 pairs of non-discount shoes
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Friday, January 29, 2010


Except for my road-trip vice: the Big Mac, I don't eat a lot of fast-food. I am by no means Joe Healthy when it comes to my diet but generally stay away from most chain fast-food restaurants. I have my favorites (the aforementioned Big Mac, the CB at Wendy' and just about anything at KFC) but limit myself to indulging only on road-trips for work or pleasure. I find myself doing mostly because of convenience and as any other traveling sales-guy can attest to, there never seems to be time for a normal sit-down meal.

Today I made a mistake and ventured away from my go-to options and went to Arby's. Not only did I have the mistaken belief that Arby's had gone the way of the dinosaurs and analog TV but somehow they have been getting away serving the equivalent of dog meat to a willing public.

I stood there online knowing this would be the kind of thing I would regret later staring up at a menu like you are looking up while sitting stage-side at Frank's Chicken House.

The reason I don't eat at Roy Rogers is why I shouldn't eat at Arby's, as if slabs of roast beef cooked in a microwave and served on a onion bun isn't unappetizing enough, they drown it in melted American cheese and serve it with stale fries and BBQ sauce that tastes like bad Chinese food.. Then when you sit down and bite into this concoction you wonder why in the Greatest Country in the world we are eating the kind of thing they throw into the cages of the lions at the zoo.
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Thursday, January 28, 2010


As TOR readers know the company line on this blog is that flying sucks.

Not only do we get treated like cattle as you snake through endless lines to only have some TSA official with a God complex scold people for not having taken a computer out of their bag or left a quarter in their pocket. The entire time you wonder when they demand you bend over for a full rectal exam. The madness is that in the field of security it feels like they have been no upgrades or improvements made since 9/11. In almost 10 years the only thing we have come up with is to take your shoes off and make sure you don't have a 10ouce tube of toothpaste.

But that isn't the worst part
The worst part is that with all this toothpaste checking and shoe off taking the entire process takes hours and then when there is a delay you are stuck behind the security gate and there is absolutely NOTHING to do or eat.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Trap

Although we aren't bears in a forest full of hunters and don't live in a place like Afghanistan there are still a number of traps and figurative landmines which we have to navigate around on a daily basis. Sometimes they are set by poachers who prey on people with too- good-to-be-true deals, other times they come in the form of a painful piss stream after a rendezvous with some skanky vixen while other times the trap comes from somebody who is close to you.

The first couple are pretty self explanatory but the latter is most dangerous. This one doesn't come as a complete surprise and is hidden by a seemingly innocent question. and the perpetrator is often the kind of person who often asks more than they ever give so although you see it coming, the trap is almost impossible to avoid.

Let me explain:

Whenever somebody asks you a question like:

"What are you doing on (fill in the blank)?"

You may as well jump into a pile of dogcrap because you have just stepped on an IED (inconsiderate extravagant demand) and there is really is no good way out of what will inevitably be a follow up question with some miserable request. See the follow up question if you answer "nothing" is always something like

"Oh great, can you help me with ___".

Since you are caught off guard and don't have an immediate excuse you have basically signed yourself to move some refrigerator or something equally dreadful

Now you have two options: tell the truth when the first question comes and get screwed or otherwise be forced to come up with some lame excuse after you have already said you were available when the second one comes knowing your story will come across a blatant lie.

So the only option is the third one to have a hand full of built in excuses and bullshit plans which you throw out whenever somebody asks you what you are doing on some random day.

What are you doing next Tuesday?
Party for the improvement of social servicese

What are you doing on Saturday morning
Building a shed in my basement

What are you doing Monday Night?
Attending a rally for deli workers

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When my sense of male chivalry conflicts with my need to not look like the kind of guy who pisses on a toilet seat.

When I was a kid I would hit any bathroom, lift the seat and wizz away with no thought in the world. Never did it occur to me that maybe I should put the seat back down when I was down because as a testosterone driven human, I thought only of my own convenience. Years later I changed my ways and started putting the seat down after I was done and for the most part this approach worked for me and the people I’ve shared my living quarters with.

See even in my early years, I never grasped the rationale behind people pissing all over the seat of a toilet seat. Not only is it a completely filthy habit but as the case of my college dormitory the guys who would piss on the seat had to realize that at some point they would have to plant their own asses on the same seat they pissed on earlier in the day. Now I am about the most courteous public pisser out there, having perfected the art of lifting the seat and flushing the toilet without ever having to touch anything with my hands and will then drop the seat again so the next person won’t have to touch anything but the more I think about it this might actually not be the smartest thing to do

Knowing how disgusting people are clashes with my sense of chivalry and I’m often met with the following dilemma: If you take a leak in a public place do you leave the toilet seat up when you walk away? My sense of chivalry says that I should so that the next person can just walk in and plop down but my sense of cleanliness says I’m better off keeping it up knowing there are so many filthy animals out there who won’t even bother to do use their shoe to lift up the seat.
The other reason I'm having second thoughts about bringing the seat back down is because I don't want the person who may see me walk out as they walk in to think that I may have pissed on the seat.   I can't be taking any chances when it comes to my reputation

So I’ve decided that the next time I walk into a restaurant’s pisser and the seat looks like a slip and slide I will be dropping and upper-decker. If you are not going to offer me a clean throne I will offer you a nightmare to clean up

Monday, January 25, 2010

the winter of my discontent

1969 seems like a very long time ago, especially if you were born in 1976
16 regular season games, nine victories including a gift by the Colts right around Christmas Time, a rookie QB who poses in his underwear, a rookie coach who nobody wants to see in his and a swarming no-nonsense defense.

The season ends like every other one, with a bitter loss and there is yet another winter when there will be another team and another group of fans celebrating with the Lombardi trophy. I’m sure that in two or three days, you can look back and smile when thinking about the season but I also know that today it feels like a kick to the gut which hurts worse than the BBQ I had last night. Jets fans know how to lose, they know not to expect too much and they know that they shouldn’t count their blessings. Jets fans like to lose, like the feel down and have self-pity because it’s the only thing we know. Whether it’s bringing in old man Favre or that fat guido Vinny T the faces change but the results stay the same. It’s a funny thought but every single year 31 teams are disappointment but some teams know how to twist the knife around a bit better than others. The season ends with only four wins or twelve the result is always the same because both years are disappointing. You wait for next year but you always expect the other shoe to drop, you watch your buddies who have been able to celebrate three Superbowl victories in your lifetime yet they still find more pleasure in your misery than their own success. You replace your Keyshawn Jersey with a Vilma Jersey and your Vilma Jersey with a Sanchez one knowing that by wearing it you’re pointing the obvious out to the world, that you love pain.

You are only guaranteed 16 games each season so you have to hold each one dear since you know a 10 loss season is just as likely as a 10 win one.

You do smile when you think about the fat coach, the smarmy QB and the menacing defense but more than anything you smile because you feel like you’ve seen this movie before. When you have a team whose biggest tradition in disappointing, its fan base has an intimate relationship with misery.

This year the Saints get a shot, next year it’ll probably be the Falcons or the Chargers or the Eagles but really they don’t know your pain they don’t know what it feels like to be brought to the mountaintop and then have the carpet pulled from underneath you again.

Or maybe they do.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A stage Freud must have missed

What the hell is up with people who refuse to look you in the eye when they speak with you and worst yet what the hell is the deal with guys with these wimpy handshakes?

I saw a friend's facebook status update the other day which described an encounter with a colleague or a friend who shook her hand like he was extending a dead fish. The weak handshake feels like you are forced to help some dude deal with his psychosexual inadequacies and I'm not getting paid enough for that.
Now I won't criticize it as just being unmasculine but I will criticize it for sucking and not masculine..

See Freud described various stages of childhood psychosexual development and described how stages of oral and anal development not realized as a baby lead to various types of future levels of sexual deficiencies and deviants.. If it so to be believed than a baby who isn't allowed to suck on his toes may end up running away from home and sucking on some dude's toes somewhere in a seedy bar in the village.

Freud (and Jung) go into great detail about the various phases including the ones that describe the Oedipus complex but somehow the theory neglected to describe which phase is tied to a guy not being able to shake a hand. This unrecognized phase (the touch phase) which allows a child to explore not being a total insecure pussy obviously leads to not being able to squeeze your hand later in life and can lead to being passed over for promotions, potential in the life and love but most importantly make people in his life think he's hiding some secret sexual deviants because of this discomfort

There is also the guy who squeezes too hard which completely feels like they are trying to compensate for some other inadequacy.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bump Loves TV

With all the commotion of Conan’s forced departure from the Tonight Show and Jay Leno’s re-ascension to his throne as top of late night lameness, I’ve asked fellow blogger and regular TOR reader The Bump to give us an update on the top late night TV shows. I decided to ask him since there is nobody in this free world who watches as much TV as he does -it is not uncommon for him to watch 3 or 4 programs at the same time- and he is also one of the funniest bastards I know. This guy has many talents but this ability to watch multiple shows simultaneously by furiously flipping between channels is a sight to behold. He has been known to burn out batteries on his remote control in less time than a swarm of cougars could use up the D-Battery in their toys. I guess watching that much TV simultaneously is the only way to be able to do it since this guy has two full-time jobs, is an aspiring chef, a terrible Fantasy Football player and a full time complainer

Without further ado I present the Relief Bitcher and blogger of the wildly successful

top to bottom

1. daily show, Stewart is as good as he ever was and is really underrated as an interviewer. he also recently beat out all three network anchors(don't get me started on that sorry as$ group) as the most trusted man on tv. plus Wyatt Cynap, John Oliver and Jason Jones are as good as Ed Helms, Colbert and Carell were in their time. the only negative....any appearance by Samantha bee.

2. Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jimmy Kimmel is so believable because he is first and foremost a fan. he is a fan of lost, he is a fan of American idol, he is a fan of the jersey shore. He seems more genuine when making jokes in his monologue. also any time Aunt Chippy and uncle frank get together, damn funny.

3. Jimmy Fallon, never before has a band been so important in a late night show. the roots are better than any sidekick and are not just a laugh machine ala Kevin Eubanks. Fallon is really picking up steam and I implore you to give him a shot when up late.

4. Craig Ferguson, to most this is just the guy who comes on after letterman but he’s much more than that. This guy was great on the Drew Carey show and just isn't understood in America. He, like a tight wedding suit, are just a little too European, but that doesn't mean to say they didn't work. If you want a good intro to Ferguson, read his book, between the bridge and the river. Really funny intelligent fiction.

5. Conan O'Brien, while it sucks that he is getting booted, don't feel bad for a dude that gets 30 million bucks to take 6 months off. Since the firing, Conan has been great; he has loosened up and been more real. he's stopped worrying about winning over jay leno's audience and is doing a show for his fans. that being said, he'll be off the air after Friday most likely. Look for a return on FOX in September.

6. Dave Letterman, his shtick is old and all the greatness that the roots provide for Fallon, Paul Schaeffer take away from letterman. He too is best when he keeps it real. he is a great interviewer who can insult Heidi and Spencer with a smile on his face.

7. Steven Colbert, this show has run its course. The problem with playing a character is that eventually all shows with characters get cancelled. It’s too stark a contrast from the daily show. Time to move on and maybe throw a ton of bucks at Conan?

8. Jay Leno, he is just an awful interviewer who spends more time kissing the guests butts than actually asking questions. Monologue is unfunny....but jaywalking, battle of the jaywalk all-stars and headlines are still hilarious.

9. Chelsea Handler, I don't know who this broad is banging at E! to get this gig but man does it suck...what's that?....oh, I'm told she's banging the head of E!(true fact look it up). She starts the show with a round table discussion with three comedians so obscure that Jimmy ma and Eddie ift would get top billing over them. I don't get it but chicks love her and buy her books and drag unwilling boyfriends to Tarrytown in a snowstorm to see her.

10. George Lopez, this is yet another guy who is just not funny that they keep dragging out and trying to make America believe they are funny(see Robin Williams, Howie Mandell, Dane Cook). I have to admit I have never seen this show, but c'mon do I really have to?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Crappy Gifts and Unappreciative Receivers

I have a few hard rules when I go to a wedding:
#1 always go to the ceremony, screw the party this the reason you should be going
#2- try to avoid looking like an ahole like being the jackoff who thinks this is the ideal time to do some drunken (or often times sober) striptease.  People aren't laughing with you or even at you they are feeling sorry for your wife
 #3- avoid throwing around a football during the cocktail hour, it never ends well
#4- When it comes to the gift don't screw around and just give money in an envelope (preferably cash)
 #5- if it isn't an open bar use the money from the envelope to buy yourself and anybody around you drinks

You have to be a total sap to like wedding ceremonies, so you can call me a total sap as I think it's by far the best part of any wedding.  I have been to a thousand weddings and the party is generally kind of overrated, most people are tired and want to go home and can't stand having to pretend to like the crappy music the bride-and-groom have chosen.   I kind of believe that if the songs you are playing are also played at Sporting Events you are torturing your guests.   Add to that that the food generally blows and the seating arrangements would in most cases have been better if they completely random.

Rules #2 and #3 are pretty self explanatory and I really wish I didn't have to write them down to remind myself to NOT do them, they sound pretty easy to follow but I'm a jerk and I don't do what's right most of the time.

But for all the things I do wrong, I do a few things right and that is the fact that my wife and I don't skimp on the gift and we always give what people want....

I know it's kind of lame but I've had my own wedding and honestly the only thing that made me not want to vomit was cold-hard cash.  It's not that we needed the money but when you get married and you are writing out thousand dollar checks to every vendor in a 50 mile radius, you feel like you need it.  With the astronomical costs of these stupid weddings (which easily run above the cost of my four year in-state college degree) there is this sense that the wedding guests owe it to the newleyweds to help shoulder the load.

Although most people really don't need cash, I justify it like this

The reason I give cash is because it's easy, you don't have to go to some crappy store or some crappy online place to buy some crappy piece of china which was probably made-in-China.
The thoughtful gift at that moment is like an anti-gift, the self-involved couple is overwhelmed and they'll never appreciate the time and thought you put into anything anyway and are probably going to be annoyed so why waste your time trying to be nice.
If you aren't going to give money, at least give something off the registry because at least it's something they kind of want and this way the people who get it can still return it because they probably registered at a place they themselves frequent.
Now say for example that somebody goes to a wedding and decides against the Righetti suggestion of giving money and also goes against the company line of a gift from the registry and instead goes and gives a gift they picked out all on their own.   This is where it gets hairy because most of the time this means that nobody is happy.    The receivers probably don't appreciate the thoughtfulness behind the gift and the time the person spent trying to pick it out and the giver is probably under the wrong impression that this gift doesn't actually suck.  
The other thing behind the non-registry gift is that it's often something huge like a framed painting or a coffee table and the newlyweds probably don't live in a 4000 square foot house out in Westport.
So in this case the thoughtful gift is actually NOT thoughtful because you have to think how a grand-piano or refridgerator will actually literally fit into somebody's home, let alone the fact that you are trying to see how it will fit in with the rest of the furniture of somebody's home.

Now personally I am a bit divided on this issue pinning my sappiness against my realistic self.  I appreciate the thought behind the gift because 3 years after my own wedding I don't remember what anybody gave me unless it was a blender or an ice-cream maker.   But the problem is that the there is a reason I remember these gifts and it is because quite honestly I didn't want them then and still don't want them now.

But then again when you give it to a couple making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year is really feels like auto-gratuity.   I know that the thought is that you are trying to help them offset the cost of their wedding but honestly why should anybody's guest feel obligated to help pay for your wedding as it wasn't their decision to throw such an extravagant party.

So in closing:  give money.. although it is not real thoughtful you know that nobody is ever going to bitch about it (unless you give them less money than they expect) it's the safe gift and you just have to hope they use it for something worthwhile.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I have a buddy who is both an occasional reader of TOR and very infrequent contributor to his own blog but can be credited with one of the best rants of all time has to do with the obsession this country has with receipts. He rallies against the insanity of getting a receipt with every purchase like when he buys a soup or a fruit shake since he is obviously not going to return it.

In a world where we are justifiably asked to recycle everything it is crazy to think that we get a print out for items as small as a pack of gum or a soda. I understand the thought of needing a receipt for a return but in an almost completely automated and computerized world can't we get rid of these things already?

Of course there is still some fear of identity fraud and the endless loop of receipts leaves a perfect paper-trail of somebody's entire existence but this is not really a concern anymore as most receipts don't even have printed CC numbers on the anymore. What is a concern is that every single day when I get back from work and empty my pockets it looks like a bird’s nest.

I have noticed one thing about receipts though, especially credit-card receipts. They are really only good for about a week, before they start to fade to the point you wonder if people use invisible ink to print these things. I have a theory that the companies providing the merchant services have purposely developed the equivalent of the etch-a-sketch for receipts not only to battle identity fraud but maybe more importantly so that their clients (the stores) can avoid having to take returns. If you have an illegible receipt you may as well show up with a roll of toilet paper because it is completely worthless.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Apparently it’s Universal Health Care for Me but not for Ye.

It’s been almost a half a century since the MA senate seat was not held by a Democrat and it seemed as iron-clad a seat as there is in the USA but won’t there be some major irony if the major health-care reform will not pass because of the seat which was once Teddy Kennedy’s.

With the ascension of Scott Brown to that seat the Dems lost their 60 vote super-majority there is a good chance that on the eve of major reform, there is a good chance that any progress they had hoped to make on Health-Care reform this year is now on the ropes. Teddy is probably rolling over in his grave (although Mary Jo Kopechne’s family probably hopes it’s nowhere near a small lake) knowing that if he had been alive the legislation which he trumpeted as his greatest cause will go down because of some hick driving a pickup truck.

What always gets me about certain states when they are put on a political map is that the CNN’s, Politco’s, NY Times etc. make these broad-stroke brushes about the type of voter in a particular area but having spoken with many people who have roots in Massachusetts, especially Western Mass, you can easily see they weren’t going to with a status-quo candidate. I know people assume that a conservative in the Northeast is as extinct as the Wooly Mammoth but travel to New York State, Western Massachusetts or large parts of Connecticut and try to find the liberals. Obviously they still outnumber the conservatives but it’s not as drastic as the maps will make you believe.

I asked one person with roots in Western Mass today why the Kennedy seat was lost and by such a substantial margin. They thought it was definitely a message to the liberal spending of our government and as a state with almost universal health-care paid for by their state; they weren’t quite ready to make the same kind of federal financial sacrifice for the rest of the country. Apparently it’s Universal Health Care for Ma but not for Ya.

Of course the greater irony is that this Massachusetts Universal Health Care was brought to the fine New Englanders by then governor Mitt Romney who has proven to have the roots of a plastic plants and the backbone of a jelly-fish.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What is it about these Europeans?

We are often times told how sophisticated the European mass transportation and high-speed internet availability are but when it comes to normal day to day acts of cleanliness they fall somewhere behind Nomads.
I have bitched about this before but why is the water in the sink of any European bathroom 20 degrees below zero? I am sure there is some environmental explanation but this does nothing for the hygenic questions which linger.
See in the US we are told that after you hit the can you should wash with soap and water to kill any possible germs but you go to Europe and they can't possibly expect this and quite frankly it is disgusting..

First of all you can't kill germs with cold water, you can't even get a ketchup stain out of a shirt if you wash it on a cold cycle so to think anybody is killing the piss they just sprayed all over their hand is completely unrealistic. You may as well wipe a guy's ass for him cause that's essentially what you are doing anyway.
Secondly this water isn't just cold but it's absolutely ice-cold so even holding your hands underneath it for 10 seconds is an incredible feat of strength and will-power. How this bathroom sink water doesn't freeze in the pipes is some kind of miracle.

I'm sure somebody will tell you that it has with old buildings and piping etc. but this complete bollocks. NYC has plenty of old building which still allow you to feel comfortable shaking somebody's hand after they walk out of the john and Europe has plenty of new buildings -INCLUDING airports, hotels and office building - which lack this sophisticated turn of the century technology known as hot-water pipes.

Maybe I'll start exclusively hugging people in Europe because god knows what's growing on their hands.
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Monday, January 18, 2010

20 to 17

I have spent many a Jet game glued to my TV, ready to break everything in the room but yesterday as the Jets took on the Chargers in n AFC playoff game I found myself in a hotel room in the city of Antwerp. I was able to see the first half at a local bar and for the fist time in a long time did I know how my soccer or rugby loving foreign buddies feel like on an average day. I was watching a major NFL game on some 24" tube TV in the back of a smoke-filled bar. Everybody in the bar looked at me like I was watching Cricket and even my waiter didn't feel like I should be afforded the respect of his time.
But as only a few people know, it just doesn't matter when the team you follow is on TV and the fact you are at a bar after Midnight with a meeting scheduled less than 8 hours later and a game only half over.
As this bar closed and allowed me to escape the smoke filled bar I felt like Kurt Russell in Escape from LA, a free man but tied to a power stronger than anything a man can be asked for. I run back to the hotel and within minutes I'm searching the internet for some kind of free streaming video of the live NFL action.
I think about asking a buddy stateside for his access code for his Slingbox but can already imagine his wife switching the game off to watch an episode of Mad About You somewhere around the two-minute warning.
I finally get a link that worked (after 10 tries) and there I find myself, sitting alone at 1AM, glued to my puny NETBOOK screen which displays an 2x2 box with a guy 'streaming' the game using his webcam pointed at his own TV, but I don't dare touch the computer as I can't risk messing up this very sophisticated and very sensitive connection.

At the end of the night I find myself in a very familiar position; with my laptop streaming video while I'm sitting in a dark room in my boxers.........but at 20-17 I've never been happier
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

We at TOR are usually pretty down on the Dutch and we usually do not defend them but in a hypersensitive world the Dutch brutal honesty is quite refreshing while our white-washed US Culture over analyzes every printed or said word.
 In Holland nobody has no issue commenting on a body type, they will often make broad assumptions about people quickly, a Dutchman who stands on a line at a store will jump in front of you if you even looked away for a second.. The Dutch will joke about race, religion and type without having to look over their shoulder to make sure somebody is eavesdropping, they aren't interested or worried about who they offend or why, while Americans shit their pants if somebody says the word Jew.
 In the US you can't refer to people by their race even when it's the most obvious and easiest way to describe them. How often have you heard somebody describe a guy at a party with some long winded description like "you know the guy who was talking with to Mikey, he was wearing that red shirt and that matching red baseball cap, he was about 6 feet tall, standard frame you know him right?". While they could have easily said, "remember the black guy speaking with Mikey".

 In Holland they will describe somebody as being a homosexual without feeling how it may be perceived but feel like it adds context for a story, in the US we are afraid to even say the word.
In America people will do this verbal lambada to avoid looking like you are making a statement which can ever be seen as discriminatory, cause you can't make a statement about a group of people as it sounds like you are making some horribly stereotype,while the Dutch make the story based on that.  The Dutch will explain how somebody will react without fear it might be seen as close-minded because it adds context and more importantly it gets to the point. If nothing else it's sounds honest.
What bothers me is that people will look at you with a crooked look when you ever say something which but this is what all living things do as a survival technique. You analyze a situation by comparing it to something else you have, yeah it's not 100% right but you are more right that never assuming anything and in the US this is looked down upon.
The Dutch may not be hygienic because they only offer ice-cold water to wash your hands after you going to the bathroom but when it comes to seeing it like it is they make assumptions, stereotype and speak from the heart, and if nothing else they can allow themselves to laugh

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Out of Touch and In

This is the thing about communication.   It's great to be in touch 24-7 until the point when you are no longer in touch 24-7 when it feels liked somebody snuck into your bedroom and sawed off you arm.     I landed in Europe 12 hours ago and for the first time in 5+ years was met with a blank cell-phone screen.   Something about a missing or incorrect SIM card but the issue which may or may not be a simple one to fix had lead to the most pressure packed day of my life.

It's a sad state, when you realize that you are completely dependent on contact with the outside world, that being away from a computer for 10 hours means the world may have ended and you not known about it.

I've been around the world and back, although I'm the kind of person who is almost completely frozen by the concept of overseas travels.   It's not that the travel bothers me, the flight annoys me or the foreign countries don't interest me, it's that I hate to be disconnected.   I'm not sure what it stems from but my buddies will tell you that I have an unnatural need to be involved with everything going on.

What I'm most annoyed with is the antiquated technology of Verizon Wireless, who couldn't adust my SIM card issue -which wound up being only due to a typo on the part of one of their associates- because the billing cycle for the day had started..    I'm out of contact for 24 hours because some chick typed 143 instead of 134 and their only excuse is to blame it on technology

 I thought technology was supposed to make our lives easier

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Banquet

The Way I see it all major events in life end with a banquet of some sort.. When you are in college the culmination of four years of hard work and tons of booze is the Senior Prom. In College Football the regular season isn’t complete until five nervous 22 year old sit in front of a room of old white men who announce their choice for the Heisman. In Hollywood the entire year’s work in writing, cinematography and acting comes down to the Oscars (nobody cares about the People’s Choice) even most important political meetings between dignitaries often end in the official state dinner.  Even the porn industry has an end of the year celebration when they hand out awards like best double-penetration, best interracial and best blowjob.

I’ve always seen the end of the world in this way, that there has to be a big dinner at the end where we all wear our tuxedos as they had out the awards to the best dressed (no chance for me on this one), most talented in art (again I’m not going to be in the running), most complaints (I may have this one won at age 34 already) as well as the big awards like best person (Gandhi, Mohammad, Jesus, Mother Theresa ??), worst person (Hitler, Stalin, Jr. Bush) as well as best empire and most influential person and of course most clutch performance in a Superbowl.

Well during the banquet -which I imagine will be hosted by Billy Crystal- and paparazzi out front will have their hands full as anybody who was anybody (literally) will be there.

Well during this big festivity there will also be a couple of jokes and there will of course be some musical performances (Guns N Roses reunion ???) but the thing that everybody will look most forward to are the all the secretes of the world which you didn’t know about. Like in Super Mario Brothers that if you squatted down on a certain pipe you all of a sudden discovered some secret tunnel

I’m convinced that there were many secrets like that in this world, many of which the game’s designers never intended the players to ever find out about. It was meant as an inside joke, for example at some point they would tell you that if you mixed cheerios with liquid gold out would all of a sudden get a huge head that could break bricks or if you threw a rock exactly through the side window of a smart car you would find a pot of gold on the street.

Well one of those secrets was supposed to be Mushrooms. I’m not talking about normal fungi but I’m talking about the ones that make you see colors. See you weren’t suppose to know about those, they were grown in cow-shit and nobody in their right mind should have been dumb enough to actually try them, unless of course they got the code from one of their gaming magazines.

Anyway there must be tons of other great secrets revealed at the Banquet so make sure you got your tuxedo picked out because like a good wedding it’s black-tie. I’m just hoping to get a good seat.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Somebody explain this to me

As any avid sports-fan knows there are often times when an athlete tells a media outlet that he feels 85% or 80%

I am not exactly sure what is dumber, the question or the answer because I for sure couldn't tell you the difference of feeling 85% or 82%. It's just another example of a society where every statement has to be quantified because we are obsessed with numbers -what is the spread on that game, what is the yield on that mutual fund, what is the payout % on that claim-
But getting back to asking a person what percentage they feel at is asinine and in a physical sport like the NFL it is particularly dumb as you know that there is no 100% for these players especially late in the season when the grind of a full season has taken its toll on everybody. When Tom Brady says he's 65% does he mean 65% of his off-season level or 65% of his January level? Something tells me he's 100% when he's balls deep in Gisselle.

But forget the aspect of taking a professional athlete who gets world-class treatment for injuries, hot-tubs, ice-baths, MRI's, X-Rays, 24 care, happy ending all provided by their team, I'm almost 34 and I never feel 100%. My knees creek, my eyesight is not what it used to be, I'm grumpy and it takes be three days to get over a big hangover.

So put me down for 62% as my normal and I'll give you my number off that.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

No Woman No cry

A published report the other day stated that

Some 24 million Chinese men of marrying age will find themselves lacking wives in 2020, partly because of the country's one-child policy, which has led to the abortion of female fetuses, state media said Monday.

Those poor Chinese guys don’t have it easy, first they have to worry about white-guys preying on young Asian chicks which I’m sure was a bit of a national black-eye but now the roulette wheel is coming up empty for 24 million of them based on the ‘one child’ policy.

So if you own beach-front property in Korea you better watch out because I predict that come 2020 there will be 24 million testosterone driven savages who will be invading your country looking for some Asian poon.

The other issue to this is one that deals with age disparity between husband and wives. As people keep aborting Chinese girls a generation later by the time that generation hits marrying age there will be that many less girls on the market.   If there are no 21 to 25 year old girls who are still single they are going to look at 20 or 19 year olds and when those shelves are empty they will have to look at ones under 18. The guys on the other hand will keep coming up empty and will keep getting older so the age disparity will only get more pronounced. There is probably already a major void in available women today but as the generations go on this will only get more obvious.

There is a whole other issue: I heard the following analysis about China once, in a society with only one child each person grows up without brothers or sisters, but it’s more critical than that because no brothers or sisters means no cousins in the next generation, no second cousins in the generation after that etc. etc. They will also grow up with no uncles or aunts. Before you know it there won’t be any family members of the same generation left at all. Imagine the ‘only child syndrome’ which ensures your kid will be a bratty spoiled soul but then make it the only child in an entire extended family syndrome.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm surprised he didn't invite him over for watermellon

Don’t ever tell me that there is not an issue between our elected officials and the public they serve. Not only are there countless examples of a Senator or Congressman getting in front of his peers to rail against some kind of bullshit ‘family value’ to only find him stuck in a bathroom stall playing footsies with a Larry the Cable guy looking hillbilly or tagging some Argentinean beauty.

Now Harry Reid – never one to be confused with Lou Reed- is quoted as saying Obama had a good shot at President because of his "light-skinned" appearance and speaking patterns "with no Negro dialect”

Forget the context or even the fact that this senile clown was actually giving Obama a back-handed compliment. Forget also that he has apologized and Obama has accepted the apology but how out of touch can you possibly be? Reid apologized to All Americans on CNN for using such poor choice of words

My question is who the hell still uses the word Negro in conversation? In what part of this country (or Utah) is this even a somewhat acceptable descriptive word? It’s like this dude went Marty McFly on the senate and reminds you of when George H Bush was at the supermarket checkout line during his presidential bid and thought a gallon of milk still cost $0.08.

Honestly when these guys hit the age of 65 they should be forced out, they are already so out of touch but when they hit a certain age they should be put out to pasture.

Monday, January 11, 2010

why is this acceptable?

You know what I have always found immensely irritating is when you get a wrong call and the guy on the other line is rude when you tell him that there is no ‘Warren Patel here’. I am sure that he’s frustrated but I can’t understand people taking it out on the person they incorrectly called.

Just today I got a call from somebody who says

“I’m calling about that Apartment you have for rent”

I responded by saying that he must have the wrong number since I don't have an apartment for rent and before I could even finish the guy who called me just hangs up the phone.   There was no ‘excuse me’ or ‘sorry to bother you’ or even the courtesy of asking if the number he thought he dialed was mine just a guy who seemed annoyed at me for their mistake..

There is no other situation in this civilized world where it seems completely acceptable to hang up on a complete stranger for absolutely no reason other than your own inadequacies. It does remind me of a time a few years ago when I picked up the phone and although it was a wrong number the person on the other line tried to sell me life-insurance although I wasn’t the person he called for originally. I think I kept him on the line mostly out of shock since we have all come to expect that the wrong number ringer will inevitably be a total ahole.

Now I would say that at least once per month you get a call like this, I’m sure everybody does and I would guestimate that you only get a friendly response one in ten times. How does somebody justify being a dickhead when they realize that they are the ones who made the mistake and they bothered somebody who was probably hanging out with their kids or doing shopping or watching TV!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

One of "those guys"

So after 33 years and 350 days I have finally cracked, finally done it and I will never be the same as I have become one of 'those people'. When my SIL sent me pictures of Christmas, I started to see something about myself which frightened me. It was as if a grizzly bear was choking me or I was channeling Austin Powers because the strands of chest-hair I so diligently cultivated had become a wild forest. Now I'm a dude from northern Jersey with the self-proclaimed nickname "Righetti" so it may be that the dutch genes were overpowered by the calzones and "how you doin?" of my past. But without having realized it those few strands turned into a wild uncontrolled forest where it took over my entire shirt..
So today, I stripped myself of all levels of man and trimmed (not shaved) my chest hair.. Never have I felt less manly as I took my beard trimmer to my chest area knowing I was half way down a life of either man-purses or greased hair. Every part of my existence has now transformed and isn't worth the energies I have spent on it.

I hope the effect is worthwhile cause the itch is incredibly irritating.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, January 9, 2010

You crazy nonconformist you

I don't know why it happens but I believe any formal track I have ever seen runs counter-clockwise. Maybe it's to aid on familiarity but most races (horse, car, human, dog) run this way. My thought is that horse tracks started running counter-clockwise and in order to not confuse the animals with right turns always stayed this way. Then other tracks probably followed suit for consistency and for ease of coverage and arena seating for the best seats in the house along the final stretch.

Then it occurred to me that this can't be it, that the ancient Greeks knew something more than just 'turn left' when they started racing the Great Olympic races... see like toilets the reason may have to do with physics, which like hurricanes in nature always flow in the counter-clockwise direction, so maybe there is more than a reason of conformity here but an actual advantage which has to do with the natural swirl of wind currents based on the gravitational pull of the rotation of the earth. Like all avid Simpson's fans will undoubtedly ask is of course whether Australians run their 400 meter dashes clockwise to get the same effect.

Even all casual jogging is done in this direction which might be done for convention or maybe because there is a natural pull in that direction because there is no hard regulation which says that you must run in a certain way. But even saying that who is more annoying than the guy who insists on running against traffic in the park. Maybe it's my need for rules and my disdain for anarchy but this pattern is unconventional for no specific reason, almost alien or at least southern hemispherian.

Now I am trying to identify the type who runs against the current and all I can say is that they are outliers in our society.

The most notable reverse loop runners are
- the homeless dude I described 6 months ago, who despite his lack of a home (and presumably a shower) can be seen running the prospect park loop -in reverse- every morning at 6:30AM

- Elliot Spitzer, the embattled former governor of New York who resigned due to a prostitution scandal who I caught running south bound on the eastern side of the Central Park loop

- this dude I know Cyrus who is the oldest looking 25 year old I've ever met and who's nickname "the virus" tells you all you need to know about him.

You never see the guy who works a normal schedule and goes for an occasional run insist on running against the grain because we are a country of rules and if we let the little things slip we might as well all start speaking Mexican

Unless of course the people running clockwise are doing twice the work (going against physics and all) and are breeding themselves to become a new dominant race of degenerates.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, January 8, 2010

as opposed to the Dumb leading the blind, I don't mind the opposite

Governor Paterson, the embattled head of New York State has won me over. It's been quite a roller-coaster ride for him after he took over from Client #9 a few years ago from his initial rousing speech to the state senate to the dogging he's gotten for being too cozy with the Albany Legislators to his inaction for the first part of his term.

Yesterday during his State of the State address, he took these same lawmakers to task to try to cut the huge budget deficits projected for the State in 2010 and beyond. The irony of course is that the guy who was supposed to be the reformer (Spitzer) couldn’t do it while the guy who has been in bed with all these guys is at least giving it a fair college try. The cuts are going to have to come and they are going to have to be painful and they will hit everybody and everything from the MTA to Schools and Parks but hopefully they will mostly come from the pet-projects so near-and-dear to the Albany elite. The NY Times has been running an expose on the corruption in what they call the ‘failed state’ and reading it feels like you are reading a novel or the script to a movie.. The difference is that in a movie you know the other shoe will eventually drop while you are not nearly so sure about that in this case.

But TOR is now ready to endorse Paterson for another term which 6 months ago seemed about as likely as Spitzer getting anointed the next Pope but he is proving to be less of the same and more of the new.  We know his approval rating which has already plummeted into the 20's will probably not recover in time for the next election and maybe with no more politican debts to pay he'll rip the system apart by the corrupt hairs on it's back but I hope the tough talk can lead to tough action..

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Last Year we spent a year in fear of the next big collapse, this year not much has changed.

I remember a couple of years ago when we were all fat on cheap money which allowed us to buy overpriced houses and tons of Chinese made goods the world felt right. It wasn’t like we didn’t know we were sitting on a big bubble, I for one did. But the bubble was so big that one person couldn’t do all that much about it. Take the housing situation, I bought an apartment during the bubble period knowing that we were paying a high price and although the real-estate agents tried to convince us that the bubble wouldn’t burst because the economy wouldn’t allow it to. I know they were full of garbage but also knew that dealing with a real-estate agent is only slightly more tolerable than dealing with a used car salesman. So we all bought expensive homes with borrowed money in an economic climate which was far from stable but since everybody else was doing it became a title-wave which obviously exploded.

What bothered me with all of this is that people take the entire housing crisis and lump it all together when speaking about consumers. The housing crisis is really three parts: the guy who is underwater on his house because pricing fell through the floor, the guy who was never able to make payment anyway who bought something way over his head and the guy who borrowed so much money against his house expecting 20% increases.

When I look in my neighborhood and see people who may be underwater on their house, I feel for them because that could have been us if we had waited another year or so to buy our place. Our neighborhood is far from deteriorated so it’s not a huge issue but there are certainly apartments which are worth less on today’s market than they were bought for. There is something to this title-wave action which I think was unavoidable if you were looking for a home somewhere between 2003 and 2006. You couldn’t negotiate the prices below what the market was asking for so unless you were savvy enough to have avoided the housing bubble all together you were in trouble any way you cut it.

The other two scenarios I have less sympathy for the guy who make $45,000 and bought a $750,000 home regardless of what the surrounding market was.. I also don’t have any sympathy for the guy who took his home, refinanced his mortgage and took $40,000 to go on a vacation expecting the market to only grow. They hoped the market would go up but knew that if it didn’t they could still make the payments

The first scenario feels like a guy caught in an unavoidable title-wave while the second two are situations where people were in the speculation business. They gambled on the market only going up and had no fall-back plan.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Why Twitter kind of sucks

What I don't get is whenever newspeople speak about commentary on news-story they refer to the "social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook" and it always bothers me that they treat the two as if they are interchangeable. I know they have similarities but after a few years of both of them sucking up billions of kilowatts of bandwidth they've both been able to find their place on the wonderful world of the interwebs but it's time to identify what each is good at and what they are not.

Twitter's value is two parts: instant 'news' and celebrity worship.
The big issue to me is that Twitter isn't the starting portal for most people and quite frankly I don't see many people going to or any of the other mobile options after they do log on.  People who are avid tweeters do but the average Joe Schmo just doesn't have the time or care to post their tweets and surely aren't checking to see what their friends are tweeting either.  I have noticed that most people with Twitter accounts have 100 people they follow although the people they follow hardly ever tweet and very often they themselves don't have a single post to their name.  For the very average person it very quickly becomes the falling tree in the forest scenario, whether you tweet or not doesn't cause any waves cause nobody is watching.

Now that doesn't make it a bad concept or website but it doesn't really promote interaction.. What does makes Twitter good is when a guy at a football practice is able to tell you Tom Brady sprained his knee in practice and is also an excellent source to get scoop news from an insider in Washington DC..  
It's second value is the Celebrity Worship where people follow the likes of  Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Nicky Hilton.  I have no idea what the appeal to this is but apparently there is a market for this.  
Just this week when Woody Johnson's lesbian daughter died, the Daily News posted the tweet that her bisexual fiance Tila Tequila posted.   It was some shorthand garble about seeing each-other in heaven but the entire time I was thinking, who the hell ever checks Tila Tequila's tweets?  There can't be a less interesting person in this world to follow than her but because she's been on a couple of celebrity dating shows she apparantely has a boat-load of followers.  Overall I don't care that much to be the first to hear whether Chris Dodd will not run for re-election or what Paris Hilton had for lunch so for me Twitter does nothing.   Plus honestly all the @ things are annoying as hell.

Now Facebook has it's own issues and it doesn't seem to be a very good source for real news and luckily for most people is not used for celebrity worship.  
The irony is that the 'status update' and Facebook Newsfeed have quickly become what Twitter hoped to become: mini-blogs which are mostly stream-of-consciousness posts by 'real people' to their social circle.   It works because Facebook is already a portal for most people so it's one of many things to do while Twitter is a site somebody has to remember to go to.

The Status Updates also allows other people to comment in a much less clumsy way than the @ thing Twitter does, so Facebook does Twitter better than Twitter.     Now Facebook has it's issues and you know that TOR has rallied against the very mundane and boring 'status updates' that some Facebook Friends insist on posting like the girl who will send updates like
sitting on the couch with my dog
just had a big dinner
going to Erica's party
There should be some kind of Facebook police sheriff who suspends people who post what they had for lunch.  It's as if they aren't smart enough to understand the concept of the status update. All in all when it comes to social-networking  Facebook is an effective way to stay in touch with just about anybody you have ever encountered, although I would happily delete 50% of my Facebook Friends I do think it's a good method of staying in touch.

So in the Facebook vs Twitter war, I don't think there really is a lot of competition.   Most people don't give a crap about Twitter but if used correctly seems to be a very effective information to get 'scoop' news and information while Facebook is the true social networking site

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

this is the kind of discrimination I can get behind

Reading the following headline on this morning made me giggle like a schoolgirl

Dating site for beautiful people expels 'fatties' after holiday weight gain

The dating website www.BeautifulPeople.Com markets itself as a premium dating website and started booting people after they posted pictures of themselves after having put on a couple of pounds with the holiday season.

The Websites founder said

“As a business, we mourn the loss of any member, but the fact remains that our members demand the high standard of beauty be upheld," said Robert Hintze, founder of "Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which was founded."

I love the irony of the internet which is supposed to be the ideal place for faceless interaction discriminating people because they would take up two seats on a JetBlue flight.

You gotta at least say their discrimination wasn’t specific to an ethnicity as they expelled 1,520 users from the U.S., 832 from the U.K., 533 from Canada, 510 from Poland, 425 from Germany, 402 from Italy, 323 from France, 220 from Denmark, 176 from Turkey and 88 people from Russia.

And then they also gave users suggestions for boot camps and workout facilities to get themselves back in shape.

I actually do believe Health-Care should run similar to this. I know there is a big debate about whether Insurance Companies should be able to disqualify people and avoid insuring them if they come with a precondition which I totally disagree specifically when it’s something that you can’t do anything about but when a guy is sitting on his couch eating bacon covered chocolate, chocolate covered bacon or chocolate shaped bacon you should have higher rates than the guy swimming 5 days per week and eating soy flavored tofu.

Monday, January 4, 2010

How does this sound like a good idea.

Tiger Woods probably had the best 9 years and 11 months of the decade and the worst 1 month, his fall from grace was so pronounced, so quick and so deep that you couldn’t figure out if you should feel badly for him or envy him for the amount of tail he was able to get.
I am sure a couple of the Quack-Quack morning radio zoo’s have covered this but you have to be impressed with the Wilt Chamberlain esque stamina this guy had. I remember when I tried boxing a few years ago, I was probably one of the worst boxers of all time having the wicked combination of slow speed, bad footwork and no power. I would walk into the ring at 6’2” 230 pounds with weight of the ‘great white hope’ resting on my shoulders and would proceed to get my ass kicked by other heavyweights, a couple of welterweights, some lightweights and by a couple of chicks just for good fun.

The point isn’t that I was getting my ass kicked left and right but every single week some old-timer would walk up to me and tell me he could schedule a couple of tomato cans for me to fight and that we would get a little buzz going in an effort to go pro. The funny thing was that I had no interest what so-ever in going pro let alone really fighting, I had gone to this gym to lose weight and get into shape but this doesn’t fly when you are some 60 year old Puerto Rican gym rat. These guys saw me the way that an LA Pimp sees an 18 year old chick when she gets off the bus, easy pickings.

The point is this, I was a horrible fighter and they would throw me in the ring with a couple of ‘pros’ who were preparing for some kind of under-under-under card fight for which they would get paid $100 plus bus-fare. So it wasn’t like these guys were any good but they still needed sparing partners and I was amongst a group of other guys who were young enough and dumb enough to get volunteered to do it. These pros would spar for 12 rounds against 4 different guys. Each of us would fight one round then take three rounds off and each of us got our asses handed to us.

Well long story short, I got hit so hard during one of those sparing matches that my head rung for a week and for months on end I couldn’t remember where I left my keys but still these old-timers would come out of the shadows and try to recruit me.

Well one of the pieces of advice I got was that I shouldn’t have sex before a fight, which for me wasn’t hard because I was doing that standing on my head. The thought in the boxing world was that by abstaining from sex you would have better concentration and more energy come the fight. I think they preyed on the fact that a bunch of sex-starved, testosterone induced 20 year old guys would come out that much harder if they weren’t getting fat on sexy time.

Now I don't know how lack of sex translates to golf and it better cause otherwise I just went off on a major tangent but we’ve always been told that Tiger Woods worked harder than anybody on the PGA tour including hitting a thousand balls at the range after a PGA event,and then working on his putting well into the night. All the while he was also hitting the gym to keep his conditioning at the level of a real athlete while his fellow golfers all looked like bowlers. The question is how the hell did Tiger Woods tag all these chicks and still have the stamina to win 14 majors?

And imagine how good he'd be if he was only concentrating about putting his balls in holes not his putter too.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

FoxNews goes dark....almost

As many people know the battle between the FOX corporation and Time Warner Cable raged until well past the 11th hour with both corporations spending serious money in competing advertisement in The NY Post, Wall Street Journal amongst others. The battle was over fees the cable station conglomerate wanted to charge the cable company for airing their top rated TV shows and News station. The FCC had to step in at the last minute to ensure the stations wouldn't go black at 12:01AM on New Years Day and with the FCC aid the two corporations came to some settlement avoiding a blackout..
TOR sees this as yet another crisis the Obama administration didn't take advantage of.. What I would have told the administration is keep the FCC out of this battle, not because the federal government shouldn't interfere with two Billion Dollar corporations -which they shouldn't- but because this would have been the perfect strategic time to sign health-care reform. With Time Warner taking the FOX stations off the air and thus pulling the plug on FoxNews it would have meant the entire right-wing would have had no avenue to respond. Shit 50% of the audience wouldn't even have been wise to anything having happened at all. it
The FCC would then wait until the next celebrity death or leaked Tiger Woods story put FoxNews back on the air and voilà half the country wouldn't have known anything happened at all
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Recycling the New Year

As the calendar year turns over people make a lot of proclamations, promises and resolutions. Most times people make New Years Resolutions for themselves (lose weight, quit smoking, finish that novel etc.) and only seldom do they turn their new focus on other people. It's probably because we as humans are inherently self involved which is why in 2010 my resolution is to help people because the TOR forum cannot only be used to promote negativity.

Today our focus is on recycling which you know the editorial board is obsessive about But today's recycling post is not about aluminum cans or newspapers but instead about friends who cannot get out of the rut of recycling the same chicks over and over again. In a city of 20 million people, a country of 300 million people and a world of nearly 6 billion, there is no justification why people continue to dig up re-treads.

You see when a chick cheats on you chances is she will again, when a dude is abusive it's in his blood or when a significant other breaks your heart realize that decision is in their soul. If she annoyed you in three other go-arounds she"ll make you want to poke yourself in your scrotum with an ice-pick during round 4. Any couple that breaks up multiple times during a relationship should be forbidden by law to date again because unless you make it punishable you have already proven you can't make the sane rational decision. Like recycling which without laws enforcing them won't happened.
Just like in recycling, there are certain things that can be picked up by the DPW like newspapers and soda-cans but they explicitly say they will not pick up food covered take-out boxes. These containers are stained with the traces of the night before which just like the recycled chick has a rotten smell to them.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Top Moments of the decade

As we close the decade (although I am well aware many people will say the decade doesn't close till after 2010) I have been asked to review it for the TOR readership.
I have decided to leave the real important parts of the decade (Y2K, 9/11, Jr. Bush's war atrocities, Chinese rise in commerce etc.) to the 'real media' while we focus on the top 10 events for the tabloid style TOR format.

Without further ado, the top 10 things which influenced the decade

10- the reinvention of instant.
In the 00's we got instant messages, instant hard-ons, instant information or instant gratification Whether it was brought by high speed internet, blue pills or twitter we redefined 'real time' and forced the entire world on a schedule of now-now-now

9-the domination of F0X,
Whether through American Idol, Bill O'Reilly or 24 the media was controlled by the Australian Mr. Burns whose outlook on TV changed the concept from a media outlet to a wave of right wing influence preying on the heartland of the country. This in turn spawned MSNBC, the liberal answer which came with as much OOMF as a wet diaper, which is ironically exactly what most Fox watchers wear

8- the Death of Rock and Roll.
Although this started in the 90's, this decade will go down as the one that brought pop music to commercials and spawned the first band (Coldplay) whose entire existence appears to revolve around making music specifically for commercials. Long gone are the days when Axl Rose would trash a hotel room during a heroin rage, now you are as likely to have the frontman for Nickleback do a commercial for Hilton.

7- IPhones and other web-enabled PDA's.
Nothing moved this decade more than the ability to check news, sports-scores and email more than the web-enabled phone. Long gone are the days of writing letters in cursive, or even waiting to get home to check emails. Everything is now instantly available from the NY Times to Gmail to TOR. We aren't sure this is a good thing but we know you can instantly complain

6-fantasy sports.
Although rotisserie baseball was around when I was in grade-school the fantasy sports craze really hit it's crescendo in this decade when the craze hit an obsession and my life went from boring to lame.  Nowhere

5- low rider jeans on chicks,
somehow in the four decades before the turn of the century jeans came in two types: tight and loose. A huge improvement has come recently, in the last ten years the selection at the average jean store has expanded from those two to about 99 different combos to fit (and accentuate) the curves of the woman's frame

4- texting. 
Before 2000 if you said send a text, it probably referred to a shipping out a movie script.. today it should be the only way to communicate.  Phone calls, emails, normal conversation have all taken a backseat to the most efficient method of communication since the invention of the written word

3- commercialization of everything
Every sportsplay is sponsored by Poland Spring or Budweiser. There are advertisements on everything from back-packs to ATM's to the turnstiles in the subway stations at Times Square. It won't be long before you will have commercials sponsored by other commercials. I can see it now:
"This Coors Lite fantasy Football Break is brought to you by Americare."

Social networking in general but Facebook specifically has changed our culture in ways that are both annoying and terrible.  Facebook spying is rampant as somehow every ahole you wanted to forget from High-school can now see pictures of you doing some drunken Bon Jovi Routine.
Privacy setting aside, there is nothing left for normal conversation anymore as you know more about the guy working in your office mail room and his weekend than you do about your own family.

1- YouPorn.
 Never has pornography been so easy to come by and so easy to get.  Today the red-blooded male gets his porn instantly with choices which are almost indefinite without the stigma of going to the back rack of a magazine stand.  Gone are the ThreePacks -the two good porn mags which obscured the middle one which is always something totally incestual like FamilyTime, and here are the videos of chicks taking donkey size units downloaded instantly and watched all over the world.   

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