Monday, May 31, 2010

Is thre anything that screams I wear socks with sandals more than the Bumper Bully?

I do wonder why car companies have moved away from those solid metallic bumpers from the 80's replacing them with this fiberglass crap which gets pierced under a steady wind so it's a design flaw for cars that are to be parked on city streets but honestly the way we've gotten around a little wear and tear with the Bumper Bully is about as much fun as shaking hands with gloves on. I know these things have a legit purpose but I can't tell you how ridiculous these things look, it's as if you are wearing condoms on the bottom of your heeled shoes to protect them from the city streets. I am seeing an increase in these things so this doesn't look like the kind of thing that'll just die out like it should. See if you are protecting your $100k AMC Hammer than maybe you should consider putting in a supervised garage and if you are putting it on your Subaru Outback than you may want to consider some of the terrible life choices you have made. A little scratch on a bumper adds character like a scar on your leg or a mark on your eye, it's a BUMPER for God's sake it's meant to get nicked up.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fashion Police

I get that people wear socks with slippers although I don't GET it. I am sure that there is a comfort level here and I am not saying you should be a slave to fashion but there has to be a point that you realize your life has spiraled radically downwards when you slip Jesus Sandals over your tube socks. Now we all know that TOR takes no prisoners when it comes to fashion and we have been oft criticized for our hatred for chicks who wear flats when rocking a dress so I'm sure this entry will be met with similar hate.
See I have continued my research and have finally perfected my criticism, it is not flats with dresses that I despise what I hate even more are terrible flats. It took a while but I have narrowed down my hate to those banana boat shoes chicks rock when they are trying to look dressed up while staying comfortable. I don't mind open toed flats like slippers or those gypsy things a buddies fiancé wears but when I see women walking around look like they could go water skiing then I get worried. What I'm talking about are those close toed, slip-on jammys which make a woman's foot look like somebody dropped a cartoon anvil on them, the shoe design could be acceptable if it had even a slight heel for elevation but a woman shouldn't ever look like she's got planks tied to her feet. It is to the point that I hate a chick in flats more than I hate a flat chick and that's saying something.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The New Subway Map

So the MTA just announced that the new subway map will be unleashed to the world in June and I for one am excited. See for me it's not about the new subway map as much as it is about getting rid of the old one which looks like a plate of food-colored spaghetti. The present map is so cluttered that you can't even identify the useful from the useless. It includes this time schedule at the bottom which might be the biggest waste of print-space ever plus so much bus information you might confuse it for a bus map. The issue is that with the abundance of service changes any printed edition lacks any usefulness on a typical weekend day and the mere size of the copy they hand out requires a dining room table to fully unfold.

The report I read about the new design does point to improvement. For one they have gotten rid of a lot of the clutter which was totally needed because who gives a crap about all those bus-line transfers, has increased the size of Manhattan and cut Staten Island by 30%. The other thing they have done is brightened up the colors a bit making the parks greener, the water bluer and the homeless people less visible but I wonder that in this age of smartphones why we aren't concentrating on an MTA app for your Iphone which constantly updates the closures and rerouting.
The biggest issue though is that the MTA does an annual dance with the city where they reveal that they are hopelessly over budget and will have to raise fares, cut service, limit maintenance and eliminate lines, so I do wonder how they found money to pay for this new edition. I'm surprised that the map has not been commercially sponsored yet, the MTA should really be tapping into this market for a little extra revenue. I see it now, the new Citi Subway Map featuring the Bank Of America B train, the AIG A line, the Chase C line and the Staten Island Fidelity Ferry.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, May 28, 2010

today's big winner.. Joe Hazelwood

Working both sides of the aisle

So Obama has decided that the buck stops with him, whatever that means but like the economy now he has owns this problem and like Donnie Walsh this is now his team regardless of who screwed it up to begin with.   What I find most striking about this total mess is what a total clusterf*ck this thing has been from the day this deepwater horizon pulled an event-horizon.    They are saying this is the biggest oil-spill in US history which probably means that Joe Hazelwood probably just cracked open a beer in celebration.

I know they are trying a thousand different things to plug this hole and TOR has been saying from the beginning that they all sound like some pie-in-the-sky hokey-pokey method.    The way I see it, we've been told by the left that there isn't all that much oil down in the gulf anyway so what's the big problem now.  Based on what they have been saying for a decade this thing should have seized gushing about 3 days after the first disaster.

Now I think they want to pump cement into this thing or explode it within itself but the more I think about it they should just get a really long straw and start getting Bobby Jindal to start sucking to siphon it out.   Other that that maybe they can try shoving Rosie O'Donnel's ass into it.

But now it's officially Obama's baby even if nobody in the US Government probably knows anything about drilling an oil-well a mile under the sea as congress keeps calling BP and Halliburton executives to testify.  This is what I hate most about our government, they do nothing but have hearings whether it's greedy banks, greedy insurance companies or greedy oil-company execs but nother ever gets done except they get some airtime on the 6:30 newscasts
  I just hope that when this thing is finally plugged that we send BP a nice bill for all the clean-up, air-time and relief drilling.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


So I’m reading all over the internet that we might run out of IP addresses in a few years which has a real Y2K feel to it. I’m not sure what the hell it means for anything but it might be time to start purging the internet of a lot of sites which haven’t been updated in a few years. I know people will argue that the internet should never be purged even of dead-sites but we need the web addresses. If hasn’t been updated then I should have a chance at it. See in Holland when you die and get buried they keep your grave for about 10 years at which point your family can pay more money or they turn your grave over…. How is that for rest-in-peace?

Now I have to think that there is a better way than that, we have to have come further in this larger world that we aren’t grave-robbing for space. You hear about developments being built on old Indian burial grounds which are thought to be haunted and of course the stories of Howard Carter who busted open King Tut’s grave but it’s a whole other thing to dig up my grandmother so that the milkman has a place to lie. My first question is who gets haunted, the new dead, the cemetery maintenance guy who dug it up or the person who decided the estate would no longer afford to pay for the space? So I guess I am kind of afraid to squat onto a dead-web-site or blog as your new blog might get haunted but then again the way this one is going that might be a turn for the better.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Maid of Honor III

I don't know how they manage it but everytime I step onto an airplane and check the SkyMiles magazine for the in-flight entertainment they have put together the finest collection of absolute chick-flick crap. It's as if they scour the earth for the most worthless cinema they can find only so that Friends cast can continue to work.. Just on my most recent flight I got on and saw they were featuring Maid of Honor some dreadful 2 hour extravaganza of sight, sound and color. I can't tell you what it was about but I believe it stars either Jennifer Anniston or Jennifer Lopez as a down-on-her luck chick who has found herself in yet another wedding party serving as the MOH for her best friend which may have been played by Lindsey Lohan. The marriage-to-be is doomed from the start as the Bride has turned Bridezilla and the groom played by Mathew McConaughey has cold-feet when he realizes he'll be married into a family with Craig T Nelson and his football war-stores as the overbearing father-in-law. The comedy takes an interesting twist when the groom reveals his fears and eventually his true love the night before the wedding after a few too many cocktails to the Anniston/Lopez character and they share a short and soft kiss.. The next morning they both wake up mortified but lucky for everybody Rosie Perez is added to the ensemble for a few laughs and there is a cameo by the dude who married Courtney Cox as the bumbling Best Man who seeing the groom's dilemma rallies the troops and gets him to the church on time.
At the end the MOH and the Groom see each other at the alter and he mouths 'I love you" to her while his bride-to-be walks down the aisle. The tension builds as he will have to either run or go through with it but lucky for everybody one of the guests played by Pauly Shore and Rob Schneider accidentally light the hair of the dude who played the dude who played Luther Van Dam on fire as he holds a lighter up in tribute to Free Bird while the bride makes it down the aisle. Luther runs into the aisle where he trips Craig T Nelson and barrels over the chick from That 70's show chick causing such chaos and sparking a fire which forces the wedding to be delayed. The tension builds as Anniston/Lopez and McConaughey meet in the bridal suite and decide to run off while Lohan does lines of coke off Pauly Shore's bare ass.
The movie ends with a beach wedding with Anniston/Lopez in white marrying a sandal wearing topless McConaughey with Perez, Luther, Mr Courtney Cox and Mini Me all in attendance.
Fade to black
Then they showed Maid of Honor 2, the honeymoon which was equally dreadful.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

So when exactly did stewardess go out of vogue?

In our world of perpetual political correctness we are quickly losing our native tongue and our character. Everytime you turn around another word has become an unmentionable and the mere uttering of it can brand you as a sexist, bigot, racist or general insensitive fool. Years ago it was decided that Oriental could only mean rugs, Indians could only be referred to as people from India and stewardess was transformed into the gender neutral and lame flight attendant. Of course there are decent reasons for much of it but when I hear somebody struggle to describe their friend as a tall, dark haired guy with dark eyes as opposed to "my black friend" it's comical.
One thing you notice in Holland is that political correctness has never taken hold and it's refreshing and you wonder why in a melting pot like the USA you can't call a spade a spade.
But what is most frustrating is that normal words to describe jobs like secretary, stewardess or maid can't be used anymore. I for one am not participating in this exercise because a woman who has served drinks and made sure my seat-belt was tightened was a stewardess ten years ago but all of a sudden that same woman is a flight-attendant, for what reason except to white-wash us of all personality. It's only a matter of time before waitress, masseuse and stripper get axed too?
So tomorrow when I step on that plane I will say hello to the pilot, thank the stewardess for my drink, kiss my wife, tip my cabby, pay the maid and call my secretary to make sure I didn't miss any calls instead of saying hello to the plane operating technician, thanking the flight attendant for my drink, kissing my spouse, yelling at the taxi driver, paying the house cleaning specialist and calling nobody since I don't have an administrative assistant.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, May 24, 2010

Like a sweatband for your chest

There is something about your favorite running shirt especially after having trained for some big races. When you go running you often have nothing more with you than the shoes on your feet and the shirt on your back so unlike baseball where you may have a favorite glove, basketball where you have a headband or rugby where you have your shorty shorts that keeps your sack exposed in running you don't often become attached to anything. You wear your sneakers out quickly, you have tons of running shorts and you run in any ratty shirt you can find. The issue is that sometimes you have a shirt which fits you particularly well and with all the new technology in shirt design it keeps the sweat off of you so you stay dry.
The issue is though that these sweat repellent shirts are like scotch-guard, they work but there has to be some drawback be it environmental, chemical or hygenic. See these shirts is that after running in them for a few weeks they completely reek and it doesn't matter how many times you throw it in the wash because the sweat has set in and everytime you wear it, it smells like you are wearing a wet dog. The stink is unmistakable although the shirt still looks good..
I guess it is nothing like scotch-guard afterall, it doesn't repel stains it absorbs them.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Riding that Train

Some things we do better in the US and some thing they do better on the other side of the pond. We are better at making hot-dogs, defending freedom and gluttony while they have us beat in low sperm count because of all those tight jeans. Obviously the Euro Currency kind of sucks, not only has it not allowed countries like Greece to control their currency to avoid major meltdown but one of the beauties of traveling in Europe a decade ago was all the different monies you would encounter. Now this was a major logistical nightmare but as a kid I loved seeing all the different colored bills as I traveled the vaunted Euroline. See the European rail-system is far superior to the Amtrak and commuter lines with more on-time trains, cleaner stations and a lady who comes around with a beverage cart so you don't starve or die of caffeine withdrawal. Although so far superior than the US trains, it is not perfect. My issues are as follows

The conductors and ticket collectors may as well be MTA employees with their terrible attitudes and rude service. Nowhere do people realize that it's the riders of your train that keep you employed and some basic courtesy would be appreciated.
Secondly for all the crap customer service the trains are far from cheap. A train within Holland costs €30per head and although there are cost-saving cards which you could buy to get discounts, most tourists are stuck with crazy sticker-shock. But what is more unbelievable is the fact that nowhere on the Dutch rail-system do they take credit cards. Explain to me how on a continent where I was first able to use my visa to buy a soda, there are still major industries which refuse to bow to common sense. As Americans we expect to be able to throw anything on a Visa card so whenever we are denied this it seems akin to being asked to storm the shores of a country and 60 years later feeling no gratitude.
It's not that they don't have the capabilities cause they already have the ATM type ticket machines which just happened to be rigged so they cannot take a US Bank issued card unless you know the pin-code number. Now this sounds simple except we don't need pin-code numbers when we use our cards and even when I get one sent to me along with all the other junk-mail I usually shred it immediately. And before you ask this is not the same # as your ATM pin-code cause that won't work either.. So basically because you don't have a pin based credit-card you are forced to stand on an endless line with all the other schmucks to let you know that you'll have to come back with cash to board this train.

Now where is that drink lady
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Dutch dress

I'm not talking about a dress but rather the proverbial dress. Being back in Holland for a week you quickly realize that you are very close yet very far away from home.
The Dutch are notoriously rude although they see it as direct and will tell somebody that they should take the stairs because it's good for you or that they should pass on that piece of cake as they are already fat. All of this direct interaction hasn't gotten through to anybody in particular real sense since the Dutch are some of the worst dressers in the world. How do people remind other's that they have bad haircuts while they themselves wear a purple jacket with blue pants, black shoes and green socks.
Style is secondary and there are no social norms when it comes to levels of dress at formal events. People show up to a wedding dressed in sneakers and a flannel while the next guy is wearing a three-piece suit. This is the country which style forgot and somehow nobody says a word.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, May 21, 2010

The US Market

Whenever I spend time in Europe my colleagues, cousins and friends are always shocked by how much we work. We easily outwork (in terms of hours) our European counterparts by 40 hours per month. Where almost everybody I know in the US carries a Blackberry for work while my colleagues in Europe walk out the door at 4:45 and are logged out till the next morning.
They have so much vacation that I have long ago decided that I did not have the energy to not keep track as it is just depressing.
Even if they argue that they do not earn similar money, they live a similar lifestyle, in similar cities, apartments and houses all with an earlier retirement age and better benefits. They get a 13th month of pay AND 6 weeks vacation. How much $$$ is that worth?
So except for this whole Greece thing, I can't think of a reason to stay working stateside.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gift Certificates

I think I have identified the biggest scam going and somehow it's not related to Goldman Sachs. The biggest scam ever created was the gift certificate, now I'm not only talking about the fact they are a completely lame gift but the truth is that they also are a complete rip-off.

The way I see it the gift certificate is a license to print money and the FED should step in because companies have defined their own currency which is pegged to the dollar UNTIL one day it's value is about that of Greek long term prospects.
See how often do you get a gift certificate for $100 and when you receive it you look down and you notice it has an expiration date.

First of all how does money ever expire it can't got bad, it won't spoil and it doesn't lose taste just because a year has past. Maybe the concept came from the fact this thing is a cash-cow so they figured why not add something milky to it. Now if it had been a certificate for a set service like a one-hour massage I could see some argument since prices may change but a $100 gift card should be worth $100. Now if you consider inflation and the fact they have taken money without interest you realize what a huge scam this is.. Give me another scenario where somebody takes your money, sits on it for a year and it then disappears unless you count AIG. To think that one day you have a piece of paper worth $100 and the next day the same piece is worth $0 is ludicrous.
I also know that businesses LOVE gift-certificates since I put the amount of gift-certificates ever used at 30% so it's like found money for stores. On the rare occasion somebody does actually use it, the chances of them using the exact amount is small. Either they buy something for $80 leaving $20 which will probably go unclaimed or they buy something for $120 which means the store collects $20 extra.
With all the rules in favor of the store can't they give the consumer some break?

I say NO to expiration dates on anything not from a cow.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The empty seat

So the other day I find a rare seat on the subway in one of those two seat benches next to some 300lb construction worker. Now first of all, his mere size completely crept into my personal space but being that he looked like he would eat shitheads like me for dinner, I decided to not make a fuss.
Now we get to canal street and the train basically empties as the Cantonese immigrants get off and there we are sitting like a meathead couple with his elbow on my lap and our asses wedged together like a hot-pocket.. I survey the train and there are a bunch of open seats but no seats where I wouldn't be sitting next to somebody else. So the situation isn't really much better elsewhere but at least I wouldn't have this large man sitting ass side. but then again I don't want to insult so i stay put. Now I'm sitting there already uncomfortable and he's probably thinking the same thing but as we are both obviously stubborn we play a game of chicken. Now at Dekalb street more people get off and now am I not just uncomfortable but now it looks like we are a couple heading to a Village People reunion at Coney Island NTTAWWT.

What the hell am I supposed to do?

I do exactly what I should have done at Canal Street, get up and stand the rest of the way because I'm too old for conflict and I'm too straight for gay-sex and honestly I was starting to lose circulation in my legs.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Checked out

We all know that Facebook kind of sucks but they keep pulling more and more people into their web which spawns ridiculous applications like Farmville, Ms Cleo's horoscope and other bandwidth killers but these are all slightly better than this new application called "checked-in" on Facebook.   'Checked in' is the most self-involved application for the biggest self-righteous bastard around.

This new application basically announces the exact location of the user at any given time.     I'm sure this is just the next thing on Facebook which is a basic variation on the original concept of the Status Update where people would be under the mistaken impression that I gave a crap that they are sitting on their couch or having a burger at Wendy's.  What has happened now is completely ludicrous as we have such an overboard where people feel the need get you the exact coordinates of that burger.

 I'm not sure if this is something the user has to actively do or if there phone acts as some kind of GPS feeding information to Facebook.  What I do know is that my entire Facebook feed cluttered by information about the whereabouts of people who I otherwise may have forgotten existed.  The sad thing about it is that it also shows how completely lame their lives are when you follow his every movement by reading that he " just checked into the Wendy's in Edgewater NJ"  or that he  "checked in at the bus-terminal".   

I understand that social-networking breaks down a lot of barriers and social norms and that I'm going to have to accept being bombarded with crap that I otherwise couldn't care about but I cannot tell you what is more annoying than waking up and having been spammed by some bald-prick who I went to High-School with announcing he's checked into the George Washington Bridge or is at The Palladium.    

I can basically break it down to the following mathematical formula

"Check-In" =  the self-important attitude of a self involved jerk and then multiplying it times obnoxious


Monday, May 17, 2010

the hose

So apparently they were able to snake a 5000 mile garden hose down into this surging oil-well which they claim has solved the whole oil spilling into the gulf scenario.   I gotta say I'm impressed because it sounds like a more logical method than some of the other options including plugging the well with golf-balls and garbage or some ridiculous looking come.    What I'm most impressed with is the feat of engineering to pull this tube thing off, imagine trying to take a spewing fire-hydrant and trying to stick a garden hose inside of it without turning off the hydrant.    Actually forget that, I'm impressed they were able to maneuver a hose 5000 feet under the ocean, this sounds like taking a chick back to your place after too much whiskey except the whole world got their eye on you.   Try taking a hose and grabbing it 10 feet from the nozzle and then from there try to stick it in that fire-hydrant.

Now with the well pumping the oil into a sea-level tanker it might be time to start really worrying about the cleanup.   I gotta say that I dropped an olive on my suit-jacket on Saturday and I spent forty minutes trying to get the oil-stain out of my jacket.     In this case they are looking at 200,000 gallons per day for a month into the gulf so if my math is right we can have this thing cleaned up sometimes in the year 2783 and they better start sending some seltzer water down there.

In the meantime, the NY Times spoke about these large plumes of oil hanging out in layers under the water and I have to imagine it won't be long until a bunch of Cajun Fishermen are on their boats dropping pail down the water and pulling gasoline out of the gulf like a huge water-well.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm with the Band

I love weddings, love the ceremony, the party, the flowers, the vows, the food and the fun. I'm a junkie when it comes to this stuff. I have been to some great weddings, some good wedding and a lot of blah weddings which when you consider that I have been to 40 of them in the last decade means I've seen a lot to complain about.

One of my biggest peeves has to do with the music since it can single-handily make or break a party and I have been to thousands of weddings where the DJ seems to think he's at a Bar Mitzvah or the Eight Grade dance. DJ's so often ruin receptions when they can't understand that they are not the star of the show. These guys all think that the party revolves around them which is the complete wrong attitude. The best DJ is the one who you don't notice. I am not one to say you should just put on an IPOD because a DJ does have the ability to keep a party moving and when he's good he plays to the crowd but when a DJ sucks he can be a drag.
But still at the end of the day he is almost certainly better than a band. .
I know there is a perception of class when talking of a live band but honestly it's a sure way to bring the party to a screeching halt. Now I have nothing against live music but a wedding band is like riding on a highway with red-lights. Once you get going and the wind's blowing in your hair BOOM a red light. Their music stops, everybody looks around and 30 seconds later they start again. There is no flow, no rhythm and it's murder for a party.
The other issue is that although these bands can be quite good and some can be extraordinary they are so limited to a certain time-frame of music they play. I can't rip it up when I'm getting three Aretha Franklin songs, two Marvin Gaye ones and then a selection of twist-and-shout and a few Huey Louis ones before it's time for their 30 minute break. They come back and crank out two Beatles songs and a Jackson 5 tune before SHOUT and then they are on break again

So th official TOR view is NO to live music at weddings but also don't get a shitty DJ.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, May 15, 2010

FB generation

I have no idea what the percentage is at this point but I have to imagine 50% of the country is now using some kind of smart-phone so I was shocked when sitting in a conference last week with a guy explaining to a bunch of middle-aged mid-level managers about the differences between Facebook and Email.

This is where there is a huge disconnect, half the room couldn't tell Facebook from a phone book and the other half is updating their status as he explains what it is. I then spend the rest of lunch trying to explain to a bunch of guys why I use it as they stare at me like I have three heads. The funny thing about social networking and Facebook in particular is that it's hard to explain to somebody. You can explain what it is but I can't explain 'what' it is.

The conversation goes like this

Righetti". So you update your status and people see it
Other Guy: why?
Righetti: well, you can tell people what you are thinking
Other Guy: so why not email me that?
Righetti: well but if you want to get it to a lot of people
Other Guy: so it's like CC on an email
Righetti: yes sort of, but people share pictures
Other Guy: like email right?
Righetti: yes, but it's different
Other Guy: how?
Righetti: everybody can see it
Other Guy: anybody so it's like email SPAM?
Righetti: no just guys in your circle of friends who you have chosen to see it
Other Guy: so it's like deciding to send an email to everybody in your address book?
Righetti: sort of but people respond to the status
Other Guy: you can do that on email.
Righetti: you don't get it

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, May 14, 2010


Reading the paper yesterday an article caught my eye.

The Subway restaurant chain has mailed cease-and-desist letters to restaurants across the country giving them a friendly heads up that they can no longer use the word "footlong."

Apparently Subway believes they are the only one who can use footlong in their advertising after they trademarked the ‘footlong’ after their hugely successful advertising campaign

This is what I hate about America; people will sue people for anything. How the hell can Subway claim to have invented this term? . I’m not exactly sure how this holds up, footlong has been around for years, I’ve been scarfing down foot-long hot-dogs for years, have had foot-long subs down the shore and watched John Holmes on BetaMax as a kid.

I don’t know if it will hold up but if it does, will this now mean that the guy at Yankee stadium will have to offer 31 cm hot-dogs? There is NOTHING less American than the centimeter and if we are going to bow down to this stuff, well then frankly the terrorists have won.

Now I like Subway although I still don’t know why they decided to abandon that ingenious wedge and I like the $5 footlong but what I don’t like is bullies and you gotta call a spade a spade, unless it’s David Spade who happens to be one of the least funny people ever.

The other thing I don’t like about Subway is that they have engaged in the complete mockery of celebrity. Paris Hilton is famous for being a hot chick who doesn’t have to work, the dude from Subway is famous for losing 1000 pounds and still looking like a dork. Let’s stop picking on the little guy and start working on improving that Big Philly Cheesesteak because that thing tastes like a week old steak-um

Thursday, May 13, 2010


For the last decade the NY Knicks have been stuck in misery.    The demise happened sometime after the ill-fated run to the finals when Ewing had the Achilles injury and Marcus Camby, Allan Houston and Chris Childs put up a valiant effort in the playoffs after a strike-shortened NBA season to go from the 8th ranked team in the East to the NBA finals.
Of course times haven't been good since then at the Garden and Knick fans have had to put up with the injustice of Scott Laden followed by Isiah Thomas.   But when your entire franchise is banking their future on Lebron James coming to the garden you may very well be living in La-La land and I'm not talking about playing at the Staples Center. 
See the NBA's salary cap is so structured that the Knicks have basically thrown two complete seasons away in order to position themselves to make a play at Lebron this year and honestly nobody in their right mind wants to see this happened.   When the Whitesox threw the world-series in 1919 they were villified, when the Knicks throw two seasons the NBA loves it. 
  Everybody is hoping that the appeal of the big-city will apply to the NBA's biggest star but the Knicks have so depleted their roster, have made so many terrible moves and are no so completely hamstrung with no draft picks that they won't be able to field a decent roster around Lebron for a few years.  
The biggest issue is different though, most Knick fans I speak to don't even want Lebron.  Now I know they don't speak for everybody and the Garden would love to bring some excitement back which LeBron would bring but real Knick fans want to feel they are building their team organically.   There has always been the misconception that the Knicks CAN'T rebuild because the fan-base would revolt and I've never agreed with this concept.  NY is a pretty resilient town and its sportsfans understand that championships aren't bought.   There is no bigger star in NY than the homegrown one and if the Knicks had drafted better, signed less out of shape slobs like Eddy Curry, cripples like McDysses or self-involved psychopaths like Starbury they may have had a core already.   Instead they have a jump shooter, a young back-up point guard and an expiring contract.    Their best player has been a 6'10" whiteboy who plays out of position and doesn't defend and will now demand a max-contract.
The saddest thing though is that not only is the Garden rooting for it but NYC's daily newspapers have LeBron clocks on their webpages with a countdown to June 1st.    When the media is openly rooting for a player, there is no such thing as being objective anymore.
But at the end of the day a few good Knick fans I know who know and care a lot more about them day to day than I do have made it pretty clear.

 Just Say No to Lebron. 

He sucks anyway

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Organic or Orgasmic

A comment on yesterday’s TOR post by frequent reader and infrequent relief bitcher Bump Bein got me thinking

His comment “green, the new "organic" got me thinking about a conversation I had with the Mrs. Earlier in the day.

Is it just me or do people basically use ‘organic’ and ‘good’ interchangeably? Now I’m all for fresh-food, family owned farms, no pesticides, true cow manure as composite, free range chicken and fresh stream fish but I find the marketing of ‘organic’ as an insult to our intelligence. I feel like when people review food they have three categories: good or bad unless it’s organic which means that it’s also good.

Just the other day I had a conversation with somebody about their lunch and she said “the salad was great, it had spinach, peppers, free basil it was great, completely organic” I understand where she was going with it but we have all gotten sucked up into this huge marketing scam where just because something is organic the assumption is that it is also good. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a piece of brown lettuce or an insect infested tomato which I know probably goes along with the fresh-grown feel but when you paid twice the price and you are picking pieces of soil from between your teeth it might not feel like it’s worth the big bucks

I’ve had great organically grown meals and terrible ones but because they can all be classified under one umbrella the assumption is that it’s all high quality and I don’t think this is fair to the real organic ones.

First of all who is making sure that organic is really organic and secondly should there be a grading of levels of organic? Maybe one farm doesn’t use pesticides which is enough to get qualified as ‘organic’ while another one doesn’t use pesticides but also doesn’t use manure from steroid injected cows, on a family owned far, using only filtered water by legal migrant workers, packed in recycled bags and trasnsported using solar-powered trucks. I believe this should be allowed to put Organic X100 on its label!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


One of the major issues I have today is the term ‘green’ in marketing of products. It’s not at all because I don’t believe in it, I just wonder exactly what it means.

Just last week, I needed to get my grey-suit cleaned after a mishap with some red-wine on my way to get some oranges and red grapefruits on a beautiful blue-sky Sunday morning. I was heading to my normal dry-cleaner when I noticed another one with the name ‘Green Cleaning’ on its awning. I walked in, dropped my suit off, got my ticket and felt like somebody kicked in my organic stomach. Ten seconds after I walked out it dawned on me, I had just been completely scammed by a sign. This was just a typical Korean owned dry-cleaner with clever marketing, not only was there nothing that indicated they were using non-toxic chemicals or kept said chemicals out of the water-supply the place reeked of carcinogens. I have to think that they were deciding on a new name of giving it a generic name like Community Cleaners they thought they could get away with a little bait-and-switch.  Their Green obviously refered to how much green they could be making from their green and gullible their customers.

Now I know it’s my job as a consumer (and tree hugger) to make sure that I’m doing my due diligence but when the marketing is such an obvious attempt to scam an innocent shopper. There has to be some kind of oversight where you can’t use names like ‘green’ when we all know it’s got implications which are much bigger than just the color.

Monday, May 10, 2010

the Bus

There isn’t really much difference between commuting with a train (subway, commuter rail, light-rail, path train) and a bus except for the fact that the bus sucks. There really is no less dignified way of commuting.

I have a ton of complaints about the subway system in NYC including the disgusting homeless people, the disgusting homeless piss smell in the cars, the disgusting rats running on the platform towards the disgusting homeless people and their disgusting piss smell but at the end of the day I still prefer this over the bus. I was on the bus today and although I had a seat, I could never get comfortable; somehow I’m stuck with road-rage when sitting on the bus and unlike driving there is really nothing I can do about it. Traffic always sucks but when you are stuck in a toasty sardine-can it feels that much more horrible. I think my problem is that I’m a perpetual back-seat driver and the entire time I rush through my mind how I would get around a turn, which light I would try to hit but my bus-driver did none of them. See for this guy there is no extra pay for finishing early and this anti-capitalistic mentality totally kills me. I’m all for privatizing certain aspects of government and mass transportation is one of them, if Dominos can deliver a piping hot pizza to me in 30 minutes, why does it take one hour and ten minutes to go 7 miles on a bus?

See the conductor on the subway isn’t any better but at least I can’t tell what he’s doing and since he runs on a track I have to believe he’s limited to the speeds and times of the rest of the rail-system, while the bus-driver has some more leeway to be creative..yet he never is.

So if the subway is the equivalent of being blind-folded while some guy pokes your urethra out with a rusty ice-pick, the bus is the same situation but without the blindfold.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

So does this mean that everytime some kid forgets his book-bag the whole city will shut down

I guess the terrorists have won.

Not sure exactly when it happened but when Times Square shut down on Friday because some kid left a book bag behind. I was traveling but there was brief talk of evacuating our office building like a number of other ones in the area. I know we are conditioned to say-something if we see-something but I don't think I have the energy to call in every suspicious looking or person I see walking around NYC. Now I am glad other people like that I Love NY shirt guy had the wherewithal to bring a smoking Nissan Pathfinder to the attention of the authorities but it would have to be at least that obvious for me to call it in.. I am more likely to alert an MTA cop of some stinky homeless guy than an NYPD cop of a random cardboard box in Union Square.
I also believe that this will lead to a Kitty Genovese situation where everybody starts to expect somebody else to do something about it but I don't think we have the stomach to deal with these threats which seem to come more often all the time.
I was at the airport Friday as they announced the threat-level at Orange which made almost no impression on me at all, they may as well have told me that there was traffic on the interstate.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Box

Yeah this is about two weeks old but we can only cover one theme per day and it was important we discussed the Double Decker and the fact my ass is a mop in public pissers.

This oil-spill is really out of control, not just because they can't seem to find the stupid shut-off valves and they keep sending robotic arms down there which seems as likely to fix this problem as one of those CLAW games you have at the RollerRink where you use the joystick to try to pick-up a stuffed teddy bear.

A few thoughts:
- can we finally get past this Beyond Petroleum concept? I mean it's ridiculously good marketing but when you get caught with your pants down the fall from the pedestal is probably pretty painful. I think we have to accept that oil is a dirty business. You ever try getting an oil and vinegar stain out of a pair of pants???

- Now I see their new plan is to put a big box over the spill to capture the oil and then siphon it off which seems like it should work because it's just kind of simple. Never before has the world wanted a spewing rig get buried into a box this badly. Although I imagine trying to put this container over a gushing oil-well is probably like trying to put a condom over a running water hose. It might work if you could somehow turn the water off for a few minutes.
But even if you can get this box over the well the issue TOR sees with this is that since oil is lighter than water it will want to push itself to the top. So if you fill a container full of oil on the bottom of the ocean floor, how long will it be before there is so much pressure for the whole thing to dislodge and shoot back up?? Try holding a volleyball under the water in a pool, at some point this bad boy is going to smack you in the chin. I'm seeing this oil filled box shooting back up to ocean-level at 10000mph., talk about a dirty bomb.

But past the chance that this thing is bound to rain oil all over the gulf reason, the impact this spill has had both environmentally as well as the damage it has already caused to the local economy in the Gulf should not be understated

I'm sure BP wants this thing corked because of this but we all know why they want to plug this thing.
Last we heard there was something like 200,000 gallons per day gushing from this thing like one of those squirting porn stars and as long as gas hovers around $3 a gallon you can see where the urgency should be coming from.

What seems to me to be the way to get this under control is one way. Bang PB with fines that dwarf the cost of the oil. Money talks and let them send every Cambridge and Oxford grad in a wetsuit with an airtank out there to personally plug this hole with corks, cement and human hair (this seems to clog by bathtub very effectively)

And then when that is done get somebody to build a blowout preventor that might actually prevent blowouts.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, May 7, 2010

Computer glitch

Have we not learned anything????? How do we let a computer glitch take a 1000 points out of the DOW? Forget complex derivatives and subprime based funds designed to explode, apparently we haven't yet figured out Y2K.
This morning there has been a lot of talk about reversing traded during the 30 minutes when the DOW took its 1000 point nosedive and then its immediate 600 point roller-coaster recovery but I have one question.

We all make decisions that are contingent on other events, you can't easily take a number of events and then eliminate them without realizing there are a lot of direct and indirect effects that were based on these original events.

If you bought 10000 shares of Accenture stock when it dropped from $40 to $0.01 per share and then sold when it rebounded back to $40 you have now made Millions of dollars which you may then have used to buy Johnson & Johnson or IBM or whatever. If they eliminate the first trade you would have never had the money for the second purchase.  Are we going to start wiping out other events that may have been unfortunate?   In this case can we go back to that last wedding I went to...

With the estimates today are that 50% of all trades are made automatically based on complex algorithms which fire when certain events happened but somehow these algorithms are either too complex or not complex enough because it's A.I. is no better than Alf.  

So maybe it's time for less robotic trading and go back to having some human involvement.   Do you ever notice that when you set a limit on anything on anything be it your house alarm or some computer program it almost always backfires.    Might be time to stop worrying about the next complex automatic sell-points and instead focus on some kind of way to catch a glitz before it breaks the world economy like a pretzel..
It seems like today's ability to catch a computer glitz is about as good as the ability to operate the shut-off valve on a oil pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Double Down

So I know that I'm about a month late to this party but this needs to be discussed. KFC recently announced their newest sandwich

"The new KFC Double Down sandwich is real! This one-of-a-kind sandwich features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe® or Grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel's Sauce. This product is so meaty, there's no room for a bun! »"

These savages have packed bacon, cheese and more cheese between two pieces of fried chicken!?? I know that KFC has gone through a few image make-overs but this just seems like suicide. Years ago the dropped the name "Kentucky Fried Chicken" because of the health implications of fried food but now they have again rebranded themselves as the most gluttonous choice in the fast-food arena. I have also noticed that there are a number of KFC's which have gone back to the old name with the Fried Chicken back on their signs, napkins and menus

I haven't yet indulged but i know the TOR readership is looking for a review so in the next few days I will be indulging although maybe they can feed it to me intravenously.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


So I've been following the forensic trail the FBI used to eventually capture the failed Times Square bomber. I know the show 24 is immensely popular but if they could have broadcast the 53 hours it took to find Faisal Shahzad from the smoking Nissan to the smoking gun would have been the best piece of reality TV since the OJ chase.
Looking over the Times article over the way the case broke open would have been better than American Idol and the British Office combined.
After the original threat was called in by some vendor selling 'I Love NY' tshirts, it took the NYPD and FBI some 8 hours to disarm the car. After they disarmed it the FBI found the hidden VIN # on the 1993 Nissan Pathfinder on the axel of the car at some forensic lab. From there they found the original owner who recently sold it to a guy of "middle eastern or hispanic" dissent whose name she didn't know. The transaction of the Pathfinder happened in a parking lot, in $1300 cash after they negotiated down from the original $1800 asking price without a bill of sale. Although she didn't know his name and there was no paper-trail, investigators were able to trace the prepaid cell-phone he used to call her had been used a number of times for calls from Pakistan as well as having been used in Pennsylvania near a place that sold fireworks, the type which were meant to ignite the fertilizer stowed in the back of the rusty SUV. They then somehow got a sketch from the seller of the SUV of the buyer and used that to get to some apartment in Bridgeport CT. Once they got there the landlord told investigators that on Sunday his tenant called him from the train out of NYC saying he had lost his keys.

Back in NYC there were surveillance tapes showing the car pulling into the city, a guy walking away from the car and changing into a red shirt and they were investigating which entry way the car used to get into the city using license-plate recognition software.

I can't even imagine what it took to pull all these leads together although while under surveillance the FBI lost his scent for a while as he drove himself to JFK, buying a one way ticket in cash and boarded a flight to Dubai before he was apprehended just as the plane was ready to take-off. With some technicality were able to question him without reading him his Miranda rights and get what Attorney General Eric Holder said was valuable information.

Now obviously this is a mouthful but the few things I noticed that should have gotten some people's ears up included

- I'm not into racial profiling but when a Pakistani guy buys a one way ticket to Dubai in cash at the last minute it maybe time to do a cursory check to make sure he wasn't on America's Most Wanted last night.

- how does an idling car sit for even 5 minutes unnoticed in Times Square. I have had the try to tow me as I sat waiting for a red light to switch.

- how much does a one-way ticket to Dubai cost last minute, can you negotiate it at the counter? I mean they aren't going to sell the ticket anyway, maybe you can get a deal?

- who the hell still buys those I Heart NY tshirts?

- with all these cameras everywhere picking up every movement somebody makes, I gotta stop picking my nose and scratching myself in public.

Then of course I have a question of motive.

The initial suspicion being that this was some retaliation against South Park which had recently had a few episodes mocking the reaction to those Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, we live in a sad world when some poorly drawn cartoon on Comedy Central can get some radical Islamic extremist to try to blow up a bunch of fanny-pack wearing tourists in the name of his peaceful religion. First of all those two guys that draw South Park probably don't work in Times Square location and chances of them being there on a Sunday evening is slim to non. Plus you gotta have bigger fish to fry than the guy's who end every episode with Kenny's Dead.

RANT/ It would be nice if at some point people stop being so damned sensitive about themselves and it might be time for the legitimate leadership to stop sitting idly on their hands and start calling these lunatics out for this crap. /END RANT

But what the hell do I know but maybe Mr. Shahzad who had recently lost his house to foreclosure was pissed that main-street wasn't getting the handouts wall-street was, maybe he was pissed at those guys handing out the fliers for $10 haircuts or he was protesting Bloomberg's conversion of Times Square into a pedestrian walkway or maybe he was trying to plant tomato plants in his truck using propane and then setting off some fireworks to celebrate Golden Week..

The other though I had was what a loser this guy must feel like after he lugs 250 pounds of fertilizer into an old SUV without realizing that his fertilizer is not the bomb-making type. I get annoyed if I forget to put my newspaper subscription on hold when I head out of town, I gotta imagine this dude was furious with himself as he was driving down to JFK knowing he bought the generic tomato growing type.

But my main thought the entire time is- who the hell would ever consider paying $1800 for a 1993 rusted out Nissan Pathfinder with a bad chassis? This in itself should have prompted officials to know something was rotten in Denmark.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I haven't played golf in a few years which I attribute to a number of issues the biggest of which is that as both a resident of NYC and a father, I can't seem to justify spending the 8 hours it takes to drive to a local course, wait to get onto the course, hack it up for 4.5 hours and then drive back. I know there are people who can find time for it but at this point in my life, I cannot.
But with that said, I have not given up on the game and after having hit a large bucket of balls out on the driving range this weekend, I have decided that I am not totally done although I will never play golf with the same level of butchering I have done so in the past. See when you are bad at golf, I mean REALLY bad, the joy is gone by the time you have hit it into the woods for the 10th time. There is no fun when you are constantly dropping your ball in the water hazard drop-zone or playing from behind a tree and the cost of losing 20 balls per round makes it that much worse

I remember there was a statistic on Pedro Martinez years ago when he was the ace on the RedSox. The book on him was that her had 100 pitches in his arm and that after that he fell apart and there were complete strategies (which the Yankees perfected) where they would take so many pitches that he'd hit the wall in the 5th inning. Martinez had to compensate knowing this and try to throw strikes early and often which sometimes worked and sometimes didn't. Well golf is the same way, any swing after 100 is miserable and at that time I am so tired, cranky and overheated that the chances of a decent shot are about as good as me holing one from 125 yards out.

From this day forward I have decided that I will no longer take 130 golf swings in a round, my limit is 100 and my goal is to be significantly underneath it.
This is how I will achieve my goal is that I'm going to have to conserve my shots and will not fall into the Grady Little fiasco where I'm facing Jorge Posada with 120 pitches under my belt. Basically when I hit 100 swings then I'm taking myself out of the game, no questions asked. If that means I am stranding on the 10th green so be it, I'm just walking off and I don't give a crap what gentleman's code I am breaking.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, May 3, 2010

89, 9/10th of a penny and the top-off

I’ve ranked the top scams at gas stations

  • - The $0.009/gallon addition they all use to try to steer business their way. Round the sucker up to the penny and be done with it
  • - The whole 89 octane thing.. This is like not deciding if you like cowgirls or Indians. I mean you can love both but you should really decide at one point and if you are an Indian who happens to love cowgirls you should embrace it and not hide it from your parents.
  • - Cash or credit scam, yeah I know this is really not a 'scam' per-se because the greedy banks are banging the gas-stations for some outrageous costin fees but I’m getting hoodwinked into the place because of the sign that advertises the cash price.
  • - The entire ethanol additive thing. You are charging me more for getting less and you are getting all the credit. Corn Based ethanol is about as efficient as pissing into the wind.
  • - Topping off.

 As much as i'm pissed at the first four, the last one really sits with me like a bad hot-dog

How often does this happen to you? You fill up your tank and the total comes out to some odd number, $26.63 for example and the gas-station attendant (in a full serve station) brings the total to $27.00. I’m sure that years ago rounding up may have made sense when you were paying cash and having the total rounded to the nearest dollar meant having less change to deal with, but in today’s world where everything is on a credit or debit card rounding up to the nearest dollar makes absolutely no difference.  It has just becomes a way for the gas-stations to suck you dry even more. See I have a thousand items on my credit-card bill and which I pay online from my checking account so having $26.63 or $27.00 appear on the credit-card statement makes absolutely no difference to me.  It's even worse when the gas stops at $26.03 and the ahole tries to bring it to $27.

I’m not 100% sure but it seems to me that everytime somebody tops off your gas-tank that ¾ of  a gallon doesn't ever end up in the tank it just pours out of the spout into the gasline and then regurgitates onto the floor.
I’m also convinced that this can’t be good for the car, there is a reason the automatic stop-valve kicks in when the gas is full, this is like me sitting at an all-you-can eat feast and then some jackass egging me on to have another bowl of the endless pasta like me my gas-tank belches and then my shoes or its tires are covered in 89 grade gasoline mixed with 5% ethanol.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

In and Out of SYNC

One of the best inventions of the 21st century is this SYNC thing I got in the old Hybrid Escape. Now not only am I cruising at 29mpg's but I'm also not running over kids because I got my hands tied up with some cell-phone. See this SYNC thing basically feeds your cell-line through your stereo system, so it's like being on a speaker phone without it sounding like you are talking into a paper bag. What makes it great is that you don't have to fumble with some earpiece with those wires and you don't feel like you need an interpreter with those terrible cellphone speaker-phones although it brings the entire car into the conversation which obviously can also have its drawbacks especially if you are a gossip seeking chick like me.
But more than anything what it helps out is that with the SYNC has this voice recognition software where you can ask it to "call home" or "call mom" and it works really well. I have long argued that the bigger danger in the talking on the cellphone while driving thing isn't the conversation but it's the fumbling with the receiver to dial or answer calls. Of course the SYNC voice recognition is far from perfe0ct because everytime you try to call somebody with even a slightly ethnic name it screws it up. I can't tell you how many times I have called. Leyla Mattel.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Two Terminals

As a guy who travels for work, I spend too many nights sleeping at Holiday Inn Expresses, too many meals at TGI Fridays and too many hours at the airport waiting out the countless delays.
There is no bigger dichotomy than when you see one guy sitting quietly reading his Blackberry. with a complete dejected look on his face and right next to him is some kid on his way to Disney World bouncing off his chair. For the one guy it is a way of life and he's got the frequent flier card to prove it and for the other it's an extraordinarily cool experience.

I don't hold anything against those traveling for fun although I never seem to find time to do it myself but there really needs to be two terminals, one for the ones who are wearing a Hawaiian shirt and the other for the people who want to smash their laptops through that guy's head. If you have traveled for work you know that there is no fun to it at all, any luster and excitement has worn off years ago and anybody who looks they are even having the least bit of fun needs to slip and have their scrotum torn..

But even amongst business travellers there are two types.

The ones lie myself who just hurry through it, hating the schlep but realizing that it's a means to an end. Most of the time these are the people with their face buried in their laptops, newspapers or most likely their BlackBerry's

And then there is another breed of business traveler who acts like a total buffoon because he has made it his personal quest to make every person aware that he's at the airport.

This week I had the misfortune of sitting next to some balding dude who must was using the down-time while we were waiting for a delayed flight from Chicago to LaGuardia to call every ahole in his rolodex and then made it a point to let whoever he was talking to know exactly where he was as if he was sitting behind the dugout at Yankee Stadium and wanted his friends to turn on the TV to catch a glimpse of him.

"Hey Jill, it's Marc just wanted to let you know I'm at the airport and will be flying in 30 minutes"

"Hey Tony, yeah I'm just sitting waiting for this flight delay and wanted to ask you if could borrow your lawnmower"

"Hey Bill, Marc here just checking in, yeah I'm delayed over at the airport, wanted to make sure you got that fax I sent.... Oh yeah I remember we spoke about this already, well yeah so I'm at the airport and there is a delay and......."

This guy found some way to shoehorn the fact that he was delayed for 30 minutes into 5 different conversations.
Dude get a twitter account or post it as your status but stop with the conversation clutter as I am trying to blog
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry