Thursday, September 30, 2010


On an AirFrance flight back to JFK, I plop my oversized American Ass down on the undersized European Airbus and I'm immediately uncomfortable. As anybody who flies over the pond knows, the flight back stateside is much worse than the flight to Europe. It's longer and since it almost always flies during the afternoon, there is virtually no chance to sleep. Add to that fact that Charles DeGaulle is one of the busiest airports this side of Atlanta and the entire experience sucks especially when you sit down and you are squeezed between a foul smelling Frenchman and a lazy American in coach

See the Airbus sucks, I'm not sure what exactly it is but the seats are cramped, they still put four of them in a row in the center aisle which makes both the seats tight and the aisle tighter.
The seat in front of me reclines so far that I may spill brie on the occupants forehead when they serve dinner.
This is coach at it's worse, i'm stuck shoe horned- between Pepé Le Peux and some dude who looks like Kevin Smith, so all I can do from jabbing an icepick into my scrotum is watch TV the problem is that the TV's on an Airbus are about the size of a Blackberry screen and might have worse quality.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

take on pants

Whenever I get fitted for a tuxedo or a suit, the tailor takes my measurements and I'm shocked.   He'll be working on my measurments and then say something like..  "pants are 38 x 34".   my thought is Wait a second, I know i'm not a 38 waist, there must be a gigantic mistake but I don't want to cause a scene.   I've always figured that this guy is using a centimeter ruler and has screwed up the conversion and since the pants always come back fitting well, I have never put more thought to it.  
But it's never really sat well with me, tt just didn't make sense when comparing everything and it's not like he's measuring my hips.  I look in my closet and all my pants are either a 34 or 35 waist, how the hell are my tuxedo pants 3" wider around the gut.
See everybody assumes that chicks are more vain when it comes to the size of their clothes but I came across a gawker post the other day where the researchers went to a bunch of stores to check the actual waist sizes and compared them against the size they were labeled and found them to be radically different than how they were labeled.
Here are the actual measurements for alleged 36-inch pants taken by Sauer as he tried on men's casual dress pants:
  • H&M: 37"
  • Calvin Klein: 38.5"
  • Alfani: 38.5"
  • Gap: 39"
  • Haggar: 39"
  • Dockers: 39.5"
  • Old Navy: A whopping 41"
I'm all for a little white-lie to make me feel better but now it starts to make some sense.   I'll put on a pair of jeans from Banana Republic and I can't even shoehorn them over my big chick-thighs and then I'll throw on a pair of Old Navy ones and I'm swimming in them.  Here I thought it was all about the cut, now I realize that i've just been duped... no wonder I have 5 pairs of Old Navy Jeans hanging in my closet, it's a gigantic ego-stroke

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kate Perry's Berries

The Daily News is complaining about the amount of exposure Kate Perry has been receiving recently and I don't like it.    I mean I like the exposure, I don't like the Daily News complaining about it.   As most everybody knows Perry's skit got booted from a Sesame Street skit when she showed up with Elmo and Grover popping out of her shirt.  Now I get that this is probably not the scene you want to be showing your 4 year old kind, lest she become a vegetarian after seeing it but the Daily News is also complaining about a spoof she did on SNL this weekend.

We all know that Kate Perry is immensely untalented as a song-writer but immensely talented when it comes to filling out a tight t-shirt and I don't care about the complaint as much as I care about the hypocrisy.  This is the Daily News for god-sake, not the Mormon Review.  The Daily News with their second-rate gossip column will often publish cleavage shots of stars on the red-carpet and will often have them plastered across the front page.    Obviously a 3 year old walking down the street can get a glimpse of mammaries when they pass any newsstand so you can't become this defender of the little people when it sells papers.  The best/worst thing about it is that the Daily News has a 43 pciture photo-spread  of the various cleavage shots of Kate Perry. (Here is the link in case you want to do your own research)

Of course the biggest irony is that Kate Perry really has only two sets of fans.   She appeals to little girls who buy her bubble-gum pop and she appeals to 35 year old perverts who hope to get a glimpse of her bubbles pop out of her pop dress so in a way this appearance on Sesame Street was catered to all her fans.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I need some holidays for my religion

I'm a practicing atheist which I'm thrilled about except for the fact I get screwed out of a bunch of free vacation days.  

I know that you can't hire/fire people based on religious affiliation and i'm not advocating you do but I have to tell you that if you employ a non-believer you'll wind up getting an additional 5 days per year out of him or her.

I have a friend who an ultra-orthodox Hasidic who must take 25 extra days off per year, not counting the 2pm departures on Friday to make it home before sundown.  Now I will not judge anybody for their religious decisions and I wouldn't switch lives with this dude for a million dollars but it's crazy to see how many high-holy days exist in some of religions.  
Two days for Rosh Hashana, one for Yom Kippur and now a week for Sukkot.    I count 8 working days out of 22 off in the month of September alone
So I propose that there should be a bunch of holidays for non-religious people that we get off with no questions asked.  I'm not taking about ones that goes against personal/vacation days but completely free days with no ties or complaints.  I propose days like Ice-Cream Sunday day or Fantasy Football Draft day which don't go against your which are just free days to practice being a non-believer.
Now i'm not speaking about job discrimination in hiring practices as nobody should be denied work because of his/her religious view but a question I always have is how about if you apply for a job whose responsibility in part  involved work on Friday Night and Saturday Day, like maybe you had to do the scoreboard for High School Football games as part of your job.  Well if you can't work because of your religious beliefs how is it fair that you get hired for a job which you cannot completely fulfill.  

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lad Gaga

I don't get the appeal of Lady Gaga at all. I know she's probably the biggest pop star in the world right now and although I cannot think of a single song she has, I'm sure there is some reason why there is an appeal to her music. Good music and popular music have never been synonyms and it's a long time ago when people like John and Paul were able to consistently do both.
But my issue isn't the music or the talent but purely the look. I have friends (one rather large on in particular) who thinks that there is a real sex appeal to her. Not only do I doubt her true femininity, he face is a combination of Jessica Sarica Parker and a donkey. I get that she may have a decent body underneath the wacky outfits, albeit a decent body which may be packing heat but it's far from spectacular. Her possible androgyny not withstanding, it's amazing that she's gotten so incredibly popular on her stunts alone. She is not just not-good-looking, she's downright disgusting.
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Let it Rain

If there is a god somewhere on this great earth he will help us with this goal..   We are not asking to save the rainforests or feed the hungry in Africa.  Our official stated goal at TOR enterprises, a non profit organization is to bring together two of the greatest things in the world to make a mind blowing world of incredible.

Although this is not specifically about bringing world peace, i'm convinced this how the Berlin Wall came down. Ask anybody who has been anywhere close to the combination of heaven I'm picturing.  There can be no animosity between East and West during the lapper.  Gorbachev and Reagan in NYC with Whitesnake blasting in the background.  Now take this concept, change the characters and extend the song by 5 minutes and you get what I'm getting at.

For years I have thought about the combination of November Rain and the lapper, think about it.   You take a GREAT Rock and Roll ballad from the premier music generation by the quintessential hard rock band and blast it from the JBL's hanging from the rafters at FD's and you may just blow the entire world.   Now you may think that this is not in the business interest of these fine establishments but just imagine the interest you would draw if one time per night you have can offer 9:08 of pleasure.   

Think about it, this could be the culmination of a great night, Slash starts the first solo after Axl's 'life is out to charm you' as her hair flies backwards and the baseline kicks back up, the drinks are flowing and nobody will be thinking about Fat Joe and PacMan Jones anymore.

If we have a chance at bring world peace than this might be the way to it.    Just imagine getting Obama, Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il, Osama Bin Laden and a bunch of other suckers down to 53rd and Broadway, lead them down the dark staircase past my boy Jimmy , around the bar, past the stage to the seedy backbelly of a slice of heaven and you just let the magic begin.      How can anybody feel the need to send nukes 5000 miles toward another country when they have two 18 year old Russian nukes staring them in their face.

Now I can see November Rain getting so popular that the clubs would be overflowing with men (and women) from 18 to 80 lined up to be in the seat when the piano starts.   My thought is that you market this like crazy BUT the catch is that it's like a game of musical chairs, November Rain cannot be your first dance, it must be your second consecutive one.   So you'll have schmucks lined burning Thomas Jefferson's like they are George Washingtons just hoping to be in the lucky seat     Actually the more I think of this it sounds like the greatest financial scam since Madoff and the banks took all our money.

Friday, September 24, 2010

First his music sucks and now his charity is a scam

In published reports on Bono's ONE foundation is being accused of mismananging huge amounts of money donated to the foundation over the last decade

Bono's anti-poverty foundation ONE is under pressure to explain its lavish salaries after it was revealed that only a small percentage of money it raises reaches the needy.

The non-profit organisation set up by the U2 frontman received almost £9.6m in donations in 2008 but handed out only £118,000 to good causes (1.2 per cent).

The figures published by the New York Post also show that £5.1m went towards paying salaries. The revelations come at an embarrassing time for the Irish rock legend, who is New York this week lobbying governments at the UN's Millenium Goals summit to do more to alleviate suffering in the Third World.

The Post was one of several U.S. newspapers to receive a host of expensive gifts including leather notebooks valued at £9.60, bags of coffee worth the same amount and £13 water bottles.

The presents were delivered separately in oversized shoe boxes to coincide with the summit.

In the UK, the organisation has laid on a series of high-profile, celebrity-supported events since it launched in 2002 to fight poverty in Africa and Aids worldwide.

In 2009, the group campaigned to have enshrined in British law a commitment to development assistance abroad.

ONE spokesman Oliver Buston has now defended the way the organisation is run, insisting the money is used for promoting its campaign and raising awareness rather than being handed straight to those who need help. He said: 'We don't provide programmes on the ground. We're an advocacy and campaigning organisation.' ONE said it took no money from the public and that most of its funding came from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

'There is a rich and vibrant debate in the UK media about aid that doesn't happen in the U.S. media,' said Mr Buston. 'This was an attempt, perhaps in hindsight not the best way, to get our message across.' ONE employs nearly 120 people worldwide

Well this is just great, first they tell you Santa Clause isn't real then you lose respect for all elected officials and finally a rockstar isn't good with (other peoples) money..    I don't think I can live knowing this and being so incredibly dissapointed.
But what bothers me more than anything is NOT the fact that if I had donated $100, about $1 would have ever made it into the hands of a starving child in Uganda but instead that these pompous a-holes would shell out nearly  for a bottle of water.  If my math is right that's about $20 for bottle of the same stuff I get out of my tap for free..  Here I thought that cocktail they were serving in NYC a few years ago with the hidden engagement ring was expensive but now they a charity is spending as much on a single bottle of water as it would cost to filter 10,000 liters of water in Africa.
This bottle of water better be a combination of Bono's sweat and conflict diamonds because I cannot imagine how-else you can get to that kind of price.
The chairman dude says that the ONE foundation has a stated goal of raising awareness but he wasn't specific enough as I guess the only awareness they are raising is the one for Bono's profile.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The 9AM flight

I love Europe. I love it despite the BO, the bad haircuts and the horrible clothing choices. Europeans have it easy, they get a ridiculous amount of vacation, they are close to cities like Paris, London and Rome so they have cool places to go during all those vacations and they have nice airports to get there.

They also have a different concept experience when they get to said airport. The NSA equivalent guys are generally friendly, the food options are numerous and nobody gets to the airport three and a half hours early in anticipation to get through endless lines. For God's sake they have a shipping company with airplanes emblazoned with TNT on them, the terrorist obviously haven't won here.

The entire concept is just more pleasant but the behavior on the airplane shocked me. Maybe I was caught on the equivalent of a spring-break to Cancun flight but on a 9AM intra-european flight this morning, there were no fewer than 30 drinks ordered, these Europeans see air-travel the way it used to be, sort of glamorous and stress-free. The stewardesses had to keep shooting to the back to refill their drink-carts. Wine, beer and hard booze was consumed like Americans drink coffee on similar flights.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On time arrival

I've done my fair share of traveling this year and it's about to get worse with trips to Romania, China and Korea on the horizon. The good news is that it's all on Delta so I'm well on my way to being back as a platinum elite member, which is always good.

But with all the traveling, I am still miffed at a few things, mainly the thought of on time arrival which is the benchmark for comparisons for airlines. Well take my flight scheduled today, leaving from NYC at 6:30pm flying to Amsterdam with an arrival time of 8:00AM.
Now I realize people get very confused when it comes to time-zone travel but let's make it simple. 8:00AM Amsterdam time is 2:00AM NYC time, so Delta is implying a seven and a half-hour fly time. But anybody who has take the trip across the pond knows it's only a 6 hour flight, in other words they have built in a 25% cushion.
That's like playing home-run derby at a little league field against 8 year olds.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I want one

I love Woot, I really do.    Surfing over to is part of my daily ritual and about once every few weeks I actually buy something.   The best thing about woot is also the worst thing; see with only one item per day, it's a complete impulse buy and most of the time you are buying something you have less than no interest in.   I've bought a new water-spout for my faucet, a wine opener, an electronic level, a bunch of crappy t-shirts, a bottle of cheap wine, a bottle of not so cheap wine, a roomba, a huge rocking horse-cow and a bunch of kid's toys.    The greatest thing about woot is that the item is usually so far from your mind, in terms of what you really need, that the desire is also fleeting.   I've had the experience countless times where an item shows up at my door and I have no recollection of having ordered anything.   It takes until I open the box when I realize what it is I purchased.

Now as you can guess, 90% of the stuff I bought from woot over the years should just get thrown into a big bin and sold off as a gigantic bag-of-crap since whatever impulse I had to buy an item is way gone two weeks into owning it.   The beauty of woot is also its downfall; the item you buy is not something you thought you wanted but buy anyway; the problem is that once you have it you wonder how you could have either saved the $20 on the item or what you can do today to get it out of your apartment.

So I'm on a hiatus although my guess is that this hiatus will last less than a week…


UPDATE  there is a woot-off going on presently and I'm seriously considering pressing the 'I want one' button for the Energizer Universal 8000mAh Rechargeable Battery Pack

Monday, September 20, 2010

I am lost

As the TOR readership well knows, our first language wasn't English. Now that is no excuse for the butchering we do to the English Language but might explain how an otherwise immature daily rant looks to our readers. We will consistently mess up than/then and their/there/they're but that's probably the least of our worries. See we know the difference but when not fully engaged we fall back into bad habits like using its instead of it's

The irony is that when we read publications with riddled with spelling mistakes, we are the first to criticize and assume the content is probably near worthless.
Well we are trying to mae a conscious effort to bring the writing from a 3rd grade level to a 6th grade level, which we think will properly match the content but we'll see some help.

When you are trying to add possession to a noun which ends in "s" how does the punctuation work!

Otis' fantasy team sucks
Otis's fantasy team sucks

From what I understand the second one is more right, although the first is deemed acceptable but when somebody with my history uses the second one nobody will assume it is right. Since the s's looks wrong even if it isn't people will look at the author and when they realize that person is me they just assume I had no idea and just started throwing our random punctuation..

This seems like one of those rules where you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Egg-White tax

I completely understand charging extra when you make an addition to a meal, like of you wanted cheese for your burger or turkey bacon with your eggs. You pay a fee for an item, the cheese or the bacon has a cost which is added to the price of a meal. What I don't get though is when there is a price increase when you take an item away or when the 'addition' is completely minimal. TOR readers have read about our disdain for getting charged a 100% premium when the coffee shop serves our coffee over frozen water. You get less coffee and ice is about as close to having no tangible cost as there is. The way I see it, you are paying more for less.
Well nothing screams TOR involvement more than the egg-white omelet. Most places will charge you an extra dollar so that you aren't jamming your arteries full of cholesterol. Now maybe there is an argument to the fact that separating the yolk from the goop is labor intensive but even a culinary laymen like myself can do that. This is like being charged extra to get a cheeseburger sans cheese. The way I see it, the restaurant should be giving you a discount since you are consuming less food and thus may need to order something else plus by living a healthier lifestyle you can have a longer life expectancy and thus be a customer for a longer period than your cheese-wiz in the veins compadres.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Such a mess

I hate shopping, I mean I really despise it. I'm not sure what exactly does it but it's probably a combination of the fact I hate crowded places, I hate trying on clothes and I hate returning them.
But what I hate more than anything is shopping in city stores. See in NYC, people have zero respect for the merchandise because it isn't paid for my a person, it can just be discarded at will.. Today I walked into an Old Navy and felt like I was walking into the bedroom of a 13 year old girl. There were piles of clothing everywhere, there was no rhyme or reason to why something was thrown with something else. The employees just stepped over the piles as if they were puddles after a rainy day while the customers continue to grow the puddles by continuously urinating in them.
I don't know what possesses people to think that if they don't like a way a shirt looks after taking it off the shelves that just throwing it on the floor sounds like a civilized response. Now I'm there trying to find a zip-up sweater practically on my knees which is like trying to a needle in a haystack knowing that even if I find it, it'll be filthy..
Somehow though this behavior is seen as acceptable and proper, you take an item off the hanger and if isn't the right size just throw it on the floor and go to the next hanger to check that item out. People wouldn't do this is in their own house but somehow they do it at Old Navy
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Direct me to the freeway

Now I have a GPS but there is a major issue with these GPS systems and that is you are still forced to know an address.     I know there are points of interest but every time I scrolled through the airports in the city of Chicago it only comes up with Civil Airport which is neither OHare nor Midway.   My guess is that OHare is probably located in a suburb of Chicago thus it doesn't show up when searching for airports in Chicago.  The issue is that if you don't know that that suburb is you are completely lost.   

So I ask the parking-lot attendant but she also has no idea what suburb it might be in, so here I am with a $150 machine which can't get me anywhere near the place I need to go.   So I go to the second option, ask for direction but it's amazing how bad I am at listening to directions when I'm driving.    Earlier this week I get into a rental car and leave the parking lot at the McCormick Center to go to OHare, I ask the friendly parking lot attendant what the quickest way is and she tells me

You leave the parking lot and make a quick right and another one, go through two light and when you get through that take the fork to the left and then make a left at the second light, but not the blinking light, you go under the underpass and you'll see a sign for 55 take it towards Wisconsin.

I'm not sure what it is but I just cannot visualize directions like that and then when she throws Wisconsin into directions to get me from downtown Chicago to the airport in Chicago then I'm beyond help.   I swear that by the time she's done with her 30 seconds of directions, I'm already thinking of what I'll be having for lunch later.   
I have to either see it on paper or see a map.    I understand each of the words but if you string them together I can't make heads-or-tails out of it.   It's like giving me a complex physics equation when I'm a C student in Pre Algebra.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sometimes I hate this country

When a Muslim man gets attacked on a subway platform while minding his business while his pregnant wife stands next to him my eyebrows raise.   Although we'll never know if this was a hate-crime, in the climate we live in, it doesn't seem inconceivable.     There is something very rotten in this country right now and even if the mouthpieces aren't officially calling their followers to act, they have created a climate for religious intollerance and evil.
For the last two years we hear the Neo-Nazi right wing talking-heads openly question the birthright of a sitting president and accuse him of being a secret muslim to rally their masses you wonder what exactly we have become.   First of all he's both born as an American and is a practicing Christian but more importantly why should it matter.

This is race-bating, this is front page headline grabbing, this is scorch the earth mentality, this is everything I hate about this country.
When you have white-trash preachers threatening to burn holy books to mark the anniversary of the worst attack on US soil you wonder what the hell we've become.

For months we've been hearing about the Ground Zero Mosque although the plans have been in the works for years but the national media only started to pay attention right before the midterm elections.

I've said this already but let me be clear..  Do people realize what a few blocks in NYC even means?   This is a city where  you can get from $5 million dollar homes to projects within 3 blocks.  In NYC a few blocks is the equivalent of 100 miles, people who live on the West Side will go months without making it to the other side of 5th avenue.

But more importantly when you talk about honoring the victims how about the fact that after 9 years that place is still a smoldering mess.  How about the near decade of swindling, deal-making, stoppages, threats and inaction.  Explain how that is honoring anybody.   If this had happened in China they would have built a proper memorial in 8 months but here they are still sorting out who gets what money.

But what have built is anger, hatred and breeding ground for bigots and zealots.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Insert card

Nobody has ever accused me of being too bright so I'm not one who gets too insulted when my intelligence is put to question. With that said, I have about the hardest time when I get to a machine which asks me to insert my card and shows me a little diagram with a picture of the card. Inevitably while trying to mimic the drawing, I will insert the card with the strip the wrong way. Have the card be entered with the strip down,then I might as well be asked to solve a rubix cube. It's not that I'm not a visual person, but somehow there is a huge disconnect when I see this particular set of drawn out instructions.
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NY style pizza

So I walk into a pizzeria in my home town last week, a place I worked at for 10 years while I was a kid and placed an order for a large pie. After shooting the crap with a couple of the guys but spent most of the time with the guy who had been a good friend for years who was the owner's son who works at the joint on weekends.
Well after we get through the pleasantries and I go to pay and was told it would be $12.80. I was shocked and it was apparently evident on my face, the guy I used to work with me went into an apologetic rage as he tried to explain that the costs of cheese and dough had risen since I worked there when a pie cost $9.99. He mentioned health-care costs rising, his electricity bills being hire and that they were barely breaking even.
When he finally exhaled I said to him

$12.80 is ridiculously cheap, in Brooklyn this pie would cost me $21 plain and $24 with a chopped up onion on it.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

This needs to be answered

TOR's defense of Gay Marriage is well documented and the editorial board has been mightily impressed with how the rest of the country is starting to come around to realize that human rights should be protected, not -stepped upon, by the Constitution. A marriage shouldn't be limited to some religious nut's interpretation but rather a commitment two people make to one another though we over at TOR headquarters have yet to have been invited to attend a gay-marriage ceremony. I gotta say we look forward to the first opportunity and not only because at age 34, there won't be that many more weddings to attend of my peers. People always say that couples in NYC marry later than those in the rest of the country but when I look at my own social circle, there are probably only 2 or 3 more weddings I'll ever go to.
Well this got me thinking, what exactly is the protocol for a gay weddings?

- Who drops to one knee to ask the other for their hand in marriage?
- Who stands on the left-side of the aisle?
- Who walks out last?
- Are the bridesmaids in both parties wearing the same dress or are their two competing wedding parties?

But most importantly what happens at the bachelor or bachelerotte party?

See a bachelor party is supposed to be the celebration of a guy's last night of freedom as an unmarried man, a night he shares with his closest guy friends away from his lady and her friends.
But if the couple is gay does that mean that both attend the same party which is complete nonsense and goes against all that is holy about the stag party. I have often said that lesbian relationships is like a straight relationship on 20 lines of coke mainly because there is no down-time. If you have a straight couple there are many natural times to be apart for an afternoon or an evening. The guy spends a sunday with his buddies watching football and drinking lite beers, the girl goes out for martinis for ladies night and follows it up with gossip over egg white omelets and a latte the next morning.
Not having this outlet to let the relationship settle it is one of the reasons you find gay couples to be so intense, the relationship is I overdrive.
Now take that concept and think of the stag night, where exactly is the line drawn when it comes to who's invited? A Jack and Jill is already one of the gayest things I've ever attended, now make it a Jack and Jack and your head may explode. How can your buddies get you get a $1000 worth of lap-dances with each one being progressively sloppier after groomsmen scour the place for a chick who looks least like your fiancé.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

bird poop

Imagine being really hung over.. I'm not talking hung over but been out at a strip club till 4AM letting it rain hung over. Well being that hung over means that everything is miserable and nothing is more miserable than having a bird poop on you as you burn the alcohol out of your system.

I never really understood the thought that it was good-luck to have a pigeon poop on you, it happened to me today and I have to say it was one of the least 'lucky' things that has happened to me in quite a while.
Now I'm sure the thought behind it was that after a bird defecates on you anything else that happens to you can only be better. This is just one of these things where we all talk about but are all miserable about and because some clown said that this is good luck

Well when you are hung-over and struggling through 4 miles and a rat with wings shits on you there is no part of me that thinks I'm in luck, I'd be more likely to want a rabies shot
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Triple Play

How often are you on the phone with some bank or credit-car company aimlessly trying to navigate through their automatic telephone system. I'm convinced this system is set up in such a way so that it frustrates the consumer to a point they just hang-up. Sadly it is also the place you'd complain about poor customer service and to wait to speak with a humam means you have to be willing to dedicate 30 minutes of elevator music.
But that isn't the only frustrating thing, one thing I can't stand is that while you navigate through the endless loop of options they will inevitably ask you to enter your account# to help speed up the process byu verifying your identiy BUT when you finally do get to speak with a represeantative they willalways ask you for your account number for verification. What the hell did you enter it manually for if you are going to have to spell it out for some imbecile on the other side of the earth.
This 'verification' is just a way to keep you from speaking to a representative, the system is designed to stall in as many ways as possible by either forcing the user to jump though a number of hoops including questions like "which of the following most closely explains your problem" or "would you participate in a short survey for quality control".. All these things are ways to distract you or better yet things that will frustrate you to the point you just hang up.
The way they figure it's hard to cancel your phone-internet-cable package if you don't ever speak with anybody. If the wait is long enough or they throw enough hurdles in front of you, you might just hang up and thus NOT cancel the triple-play.
I should just say yes to the survey question so I can bitch and moan about frustrations which is their customer service.
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Friday, September 10, 2010

I may just have to give up having a brain

I think we've all gone to Google and started typing something in the task bar and were surprised to see that our exact inquiry is one of the options on the drop-down menu that appears. Well Google has now come up with a new little widget called Google Instant where websites (not just options) start appearing on the screen as you start typing your information into the search-box.   Basically Google is moving from search-engine and philanthropist and becoming a combination of Big Brother and HAL 9000.       
It's amazing how much Google is in-tune with the human mind, it's as if they know what you are thinking but i'm even more shocked at finding they come up with what you wish you are thinking.  .    The issue I have always had with this stuff is that I get distracted.  
Half the time I get a smile when I try to find some information and Google makes it easy for me but the other halfof the time I wind up looking up something completely different because I find that the suggestion they have for me is better than the crap I came up with myself. 

For example if I needed the Yuan to Dollar conversion you get your result before you even get to the D in dollar as one of the option on your suggestion drop down menu so that works really well.   But start typing something else and you the other options can sometimes be very distracting.   If you are looking up Derek Jeter's stats for the season you would start to type  D e r e k  J e t e r
before you know it you get options like
Derek Jeter Stats
Derek Jeter  Getting married
Derek Jeter  Girlfriends
Now I'm a red-blooded American and before I know it I'm spending 20 minutes staring at pictures of Minka Kelly and every other hot chick he's ever tagged

it's as if Google knows me better than I know myself, they know how to keep me tied to that website because before I know it I'm Googling Scarlett Johanson, Jessica Biel and Vanessa Minnillo for the rest of the night.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Burning down the house (of worship)

So some psychopath Florida preacher is going to burn a bunch of Korans to prove a point.
If you thought the reaction was bad over those dopey Danish cartoons, wait until the reaction comes here.
My prediction is that he'll prove his point and think he's completely brilliant when the reaction of the Muslim World will undoubtedly be outrage and will lead to protests, murder and most-probably retaliation. In other words this guy will basically prove that water is wet.

Poke a rabid pit-bull but when he attacks you, you can call it a mutt who should be put down and nobody will argue that fact but nobody will feel real bad for you either

Sadly the chances that Pastor Terry Jones will see any direct retaliation is probably slim even if he happens to incite anger that will lead to deaths, although maybe having to walk around with that ridiculous mustache while leading a congregation of 60 white-trash NASCAR hats to church wearing racists is punishment enough.

Now I will argue that this act should be protected by Freedom of Speech although that is far from making this a good idea. Let's hope the retaliation from a bunch of guys hanging out in caves on the Pakistan border will amount to them burning a couple of disney-world brochures and Florida Marlins hats, though I think that's pretty unlikely.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Toes

TOR readers are well aware of the foot-problems I'm cursed with. Between the bunions, ingrown toenails, yellow nails, red bumps and purple marks it looks like a foot-fungus circus. Most of these issues can be directly attributed to my general level of filth combined with the fact that for the last 5 years I have run -on average- 25 miles per week. The beating my dogs take approach a Michael Vick level and honestly for somebody who loves to walk and run as much as I do, you'd figure they should be pampered instead.
Well this weekend I was met with a new pain, one worse than any I've suffered from recently. Basically the bottom of my feet has so much dry skin and build up callus that I stand easily 2" taller than my real height. It's like I'm wearing Nike Air's but instead of a pocket of air, I stand on a pocket of dead skin.
Well when skin is that dry you can have cracking and for those who have had these issues you can imagine the discomfort. Basically 1/2 inch of skin cracks down to the fleshy part and opens up a cut.
The issue is that the cracks are almost always in spots which take a lot of wear and tear like your heel or the ball of your foot which makes treatment difficult because each step aggravates the injury. Well just my luck. I had my feet crack right at the joint of BOTH big toes and now I'm walking around like a toe-mummy.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tin-Foil hat

One of the biggest issues I have is that I can never figure out why certain subway lines offer at least scant cell-phone service while other ones have you blacked out from West 4th to the GWB.
For years there has been talk of companies coming in to hardwire the 1000's of miles of train tracks but none of that has ever shown up on the reception meters on any cell-phone.   I can't find any new time-liens but the last things I found showed a few articles from a few years ago that said it was to be a 6 year project.  I don't see in terms of them starting said 6 year project.   The wiring was to be done by the cell-phone companies who would also give the MTA a bunch of money for the right to do so.  I never quite understood how those relationships worked but somehow the people operating the trains get a whole bunch of money for giving their customers a better experience.
Now I'm not sure when this entire subway wiring thing will be complete –and I have a bunch of Friends on the AT&T network who can't even get service while inside of a Subway restaurant- but I am excited about it.    Today there is not supposed to be any service but strangely though there are a few odd lines with some service including a few lines which seem to be close to street level and small parts of a few station on some other trains..   In general if you are on a numbered train there is a chance you get some reception at some point while the lettered trains basically put you back to 1999.     
 I've been trying to figure out why you can sometimes make a call on the 2 train but never on the B train and what I've come up with (past the part that the numbered lines seem to run closer to the street)  is that  those numbered trains are also a bunch thinner and are usually the newer trains.  So maybe the tin they use to build those cars are giant cell-phone receptors

But past the obvious tin-foil conspiracy theories there are other oddities within a gigantic system though some approach levels Ripley's proportions.   Take the Atlantic Avenue-Pacific street station which is two long flights under-ground but for some crazy reason you can often get and receive a text-messages or short email all the while one stop away Union Street -which is only 1 set of stairs down- is a dark as night.
I can't seem to figure it out but I'm counting the days till the 6 year clock begins.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A live Uzi

I always wonder why you can't have a tiger as a pet but it seems completely sensible to allow people to have Pit Bulls.
Then again this country sees carrying an UZI as a god-giver right while walking around with a few grams of weed can land you in the slammer.
These things are bred to kill and maim and have no place in a civilized society, I actually think the Michael Vick mentality is less tragic as fighting is all these things are good for. I just don't get why anybody in their right mind would ever want one of these and the biggest travesty is how many Pit Bull owners will tell you how docile a dog they are all the while having them on a metal-chained leash and probably feeding them slabs of raw meat. I have a friend of a friend who I just found out has one of these nasty mutts and isn't planning on getting rid of it before her daughter is born.
If this doesn't have front-page of the Daily News written all over it, I don't know what does. Listen maybe the chances of this ruthless mutt mauling a little girl are slim but they are much higher than a Labrador Retriever doing it. Now I'm obviously not rooting for it and I hope I'm dead wrong but this feels like it's gonna end in one of those 'I knew it' moments.
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Are you lonely tonight?

It always surprises me how many banner ads you see with things like "are you lonely tonight?" Even when you are trolling legitimate websites. These always seem like an obvious front for a prostitution ring while they hide behind an online dating name.
There are rumblings that Craigslist got rid of their personals section which basically relegates that entire site down to garage-sale status... Not I've never used Craigslist for anything but have tons of friends who swear by it for anything from concert tickets to an outlet for old furniture and a select few who've been on the casual encounter section and have -mostly- left satisfied and STD free.
Dating services like Match, EHarmony and Chemistry seem to get put on a pedestal because in 2010 there seems to be the same cache to meeting somebody on one of the 'legitimate' sites as meeting somebody in a bookstore or cooking class years ago whereas using Craigslist seems akin to porking some fat chick you met at a bar while black-out drunk. The truth is that I know just as many people who have used the 'legit' sites for casual hookups, guilt free sex and a few close calls with painful urine streams as people who have used Craigslist. See the internet age has taken the stigma off of internet dating but that doesn't mean it's all pure either. Chicks bang tons of dudes they 'met' online, it's just that dating today is like going to Mortons where you get to choose your meat before they throw it on the grill.
With that said I know at least 10 couples who've gotten married after meeting online and they seem to be some of the healthiest relationships around.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Name is Earl

I had the following conversation with a buddy last night

Here's a prediction for you... Hurricane Earl is going to disappoint.

Yeah I know it's not revolutionary but in my 34 years of life I have learned the surest bet is to bet against mass hysteria.
I won't say a hurricane can't ever affect us but I am saying that the chances of it doing so are as slim as the NY Post is trash. If we lived on St Thomas than sure but by the time it reaches the NorthEast these things are less potent than me after a night of chili and Guinness. In a city which runs on tabloid papers and whose newscasts basically pray for fires there is nothing more exciting than a massive pending storm to plaster on the front pages and newscasts.

Mass hysteria works because people are dumb and news-outlets need stories. Every winter we get promised two or three blizzards and before you know it the bodegas are out of water, the Home Depot's are selling plywood, shovels and bags of salt and people are buying astronaut ice-cream by the caseload.

Take the same scenario and throw it into the summer and people start canceling vacations to the beach a week in advance, start boarding up their landlocked condos and all elevator talk turns to the provisions you have bought. I just think Americans want to be the story, they all secretly dream to be the guy on his rooftop being rescued by a FEMA helicopter.
Next year when the media takes a non issue (hurricane, mosque, Time Warner battle with ABC/ESPN) and tries to get us riled up, let's all agree to not turn the TV volume up but instead turn the TV's off.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, September 3, 2010

I run alone

I'm not a loner by any stretch but generally when I run I prefer to do it alone.    I'm not sure why but when you look out at your average park where people jog you'll see all kinds of combinations but you will almost never see groups of guys running together.    The most common group is usually a group of 2 or three women running together, I guess there is a camaraderie and you'll usually see the entire group chit-chatting most of the run.    For women half exercise and half social-hour which is strikingly differing that the way that dudes socialize which is generally sitting on a couch drinking bud-lites.  See guys almost never run in groups, it just doesn't happened.  Now I'm not sure if it's some kind of homophobic thing where dudes are afraid to see what would happened if they sweat, grunt and breath heavily next to another man, maybe they're afraid the pheromones will take over and the two of them will just end up doggy-styling it somewhere in the bushes but who knows.

The only time you'll see a guy run with anybody on a Saturday is when he's running with a woman who you KNOW is not tagging him.   Dudes will do anything for p*ssy including running at an uncomfortable pace with a chick trying to show that he can run and talk without getting winded

The point about this blog isn't about running actually it's about socializing when you are running.   A few weeks ago I got to talking to a woman who mentioned her husband used to be an avid runner and was trying to get back into it.    As she's talking about it, I get this dreaded feeling that comes over me, the fear that she's going to try to pair us up. 

 This summer was the first one in four years where I wasn't training for the marathon and in all the runs I made over those three summers be it a morning 4 miler or a Saturday 20 mile long-run, none of them were made with anybody else.   I like camaraderie, I like company I just don't like it when I'm working out mainly because I like to run at my own pace.   Now I will run occasionally with a buddy but it's few and far between and it's never longer than a few miles.   So if I'm running for time my fear is that either I'm going to hold somebody back or worse yet they are going to hold me back.  

BUT now all of a sudden this chick says that I should call her husband Larry so that we can run together, I kind of try to change the subject saying that my running schedule is really crazy and hope to leave it at that.   I ask how quickly he runs and she tells me that he runs about a 7.5 minute mile, I see this as the perfect opportunity and say that that's quite a bit faster than I usually go.

Two days pass and wouldn't you know it, all of a sudden I run into this girl with some dude who looks like the Philly Phanatic with a beard.   We all exchange pleasantries and go to our separate parts of the playground to hang with our kids, after about 20 minutes the Bearded Phanatic come waddling over

  Righetti:  Hey man, nice day right?

 Philly Phanatic:  Yeah, great

  Righetti:  catch that Jets preseason game?

  PF:   Yeah, Sanchez looks terrible

Righetti:  (just waiting for the inevitable)…yeah

PF:  (looking down) so I hear you run

We now have this uncomfortable discussion about running.  It's so obvious that his wife made this poor schlep come over and introduce himself, he probably wants to get back into running but I doubt he needs a running partner he just needs him to get out of his hair.  She probably figures that he doesn't get out a lot since they had the baby and that she's helping him.   Now I have nothing against this guy at all, he's probably a really good dude but it's just awkward when you get set up on a play-date when you are in your mid 30's.

We kind of  shoot-the-shit for 5 minutes and he says he's gotta go but not before


PF:  so I guess I should get your number of something

Righetti: yeah I guess so

I type his number into my phone knowing I'll never call it

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Free Falling

Yesterday's NY Tabloids were plastered with the miraculous survival of the 22 year old kid who plummeted 39 stories but had his life spared when he crashed into the back window of a sports-car.

My first thought was obviously that although I'd seen this happened thousands of times in action-movies, I was glad to see it recreated in real life.. 

My second thought was:  What the hell are the odds that this Tom Petty wanna-be hits the window and not the trunk of the car which would have definitely not have the amount of give to survive.     This dude free-falls 500 feet and lands square into the back window of a car while most dudes can't hit the inside of a 20 inch porcelain bowl after two beers.

My third thought was:  how pissed would you be if that was your car.   We're all humanitarians and don't want to see anybody die but if I were the owner I'd be wondering if it HAD to be the back of my Dodge Charger that broke the fall.    I'm not sure if this thing was officially labeled a suicide attempt but the way I see it, this dude better get back from his two broken legs and offer to mow the Charger owner's lawn for a lifetime.
If this dude does decide to jump again, let's hope he does it off a bridge....chances are he'll land face first in a garbage barge

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why Fi?

As an reader to TOR is well aware of, I'm basically addicted to my BlackBerry and everyday it seems like I might be the last remaining holdout against the IPhone revolution.   Now I have nothing against the IPhone (other than the fact the phone part sucks) but have yet to take the jump away from the BB keyboard to the virtual touch-screen one.

Now although the typing is easier, and if you are going to use your phone for work and for blog-entries which often are 500 or more words per day then you can understand why typing speed is essential.   I've lived with a BlackBerry for 5 years and I'm sure I won't turn into a pumpkin if I don't get the IPhone 4 or move to something on the Android platform but  what really pisses me off is that Blackberry is so slow to ever adjust to anything

I know this is supposed to be a business machine first and at this the Blackberry is unmatched but when it comes to fun-factor the BB should be wearing a shirt with the word FUN written on it with a big red line through it.    The camera sucks, the browser is horrible and the available apps are pathetic but the thing that annoys me most is actually not directly a BB issue but rather an issue that comes from Verizon Wireless.  

See Verizon provides the best service but you pay for it.  Their rates are the highest, the scoff at roll-over minutes, they have a terrible selection of phones, they nickel and dime you over service with hidden fees but the most annoying thing has to do with a hardware issue.

See Verizon turns off Wi-Fi capability on their phones so when I'm sitting at a Starbucks and want to check ESPN for some football news I'm stuck on their terrible browser on their AOL slow 3G network while the guy next to me is listening to internet radio, doing his online banking, checking his stocks and downloading a podcast on his IPhone all while I'm trying to get the GO network to load.  I'm sitting at a place which offers Wi-Fi with a phone which in theory should be Wi-Fi accessible but greedy Verizon needs to make my life horrible for no reason at all.

This entire no Wi-Fi thing is because Verizon Wireless is so concerned about their precious minutes fearing that people will use SKYPE using a Wi-Fi connection when calling people.

First of all I have 900 minutes a month and probably use less than 150 of them on any given month and I would guess that most of their customers are in the exact same boat.   The last thing in the world I'm going to do is rig my phone up so that I can make free phone calls when I'm sitting at home.    First of all I'd never go through the trouble but if I did the only time I talk on the phone is in the evenings well  past 9pm when the free Nights-And-Weekends is already in effect.

So there I am, sitting at a Starbucks praying to the wireless gods to load a non mobile webpage and I half expect to start to see smoke billowing from the back of the phone.


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