Sunday, October 31, 2010

Forget DWI this is DWC (driving while Chinese

Sometimes China does this very wrong and some things they do very right. In China in order to wipe out a huge DWI issues they got tough and when they did they stopped DWI incidents in their tracks.

The policy is simple, you get caught driving with any level of alcohol in your system and you are thrown in jail. We're not talking the drunk-tank or the paddy-wagon but jail for 15 days. There is no trial, there are no pleas, there is no community service, there is only jail. You don't go home, you don't pass GO and you don't collect $200 when you are caught you sleep on a wooden bench in a cold cell for two weeks straight wearing the same clothes you have been wearing but they take away your watch, wallet and cell-phone so you have no distractions.
Now it may seem harsh but there are also very little incidents of DWI today and a chinese driver will not even take a sip of booze.

Granted they drive like lunatics, blowing through lights and elbowing for position 5 wide on a three-lane highway all without seatbelts so it's not exactly safe.
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

One Child Left Behind

In China they enforce policy with an iron-fist, so much so that I cannot log onto TOR from any of the hotels I have been to. Maybe it's all my anti-fish head rhetoric but this is the way they do it. One of the issues they control with an iron fist is the one child rule which in theory would mean a population decrease but as it can't be controlled in the very rural parts where hands are needed to work the land, it has only slowed the growth down.
The issue is that in a 1 child rule country where boys are desired, the amount of aborted female fetuses is out of control. I'm all for a woman's right to choose but I don't agree with using abortion as a selection process. The other issue is that children grow up lonely as they have no siblings but it is worse than that as there are also no aunts or uncles which in turn means no cousins.
So not only is there a real disparity between boys and girls in terms of numbers which leads to young men running out of women their age but the population will depend more and more on social security. See if you have two or three siblings they can all help for the care of an elder parent, but if each family only has one kid than it falls completely on one person to take care of two in their old-age.
Policy of one-child is changing though with a fine imposed for families who have more than one so hopefully the gender based abortions can end., kids can grow up with company and they finally demand some decent food and toilets with a bowl not just a hole.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Well this is awkward

We have all heard about censorship of various websites in China but when did I tried to log into TOR it was found to be a blocked airport.
I don't think TOR is exactly starting a revolution other than a couple of complaints about crappy food and toilets without a throne to plant my wet ass on but Beijing feels differently. Good news is that there are no limitations (yet) for posts to TOR which are done remotely over email so we are all working hard together to bring you an inside view of a country of 1.6 billion people all of whom seem to have terrible haircuts.

Posted from my BB in Seoul
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Now what the hell am I supposed to do???

I arrive at my hotel today after a long domestic chinese flight and notice those goofball security guys decided to secure my bag with one of those slinky plastic things to keep wires connected. I guess I could feel secure about it as I guess nothing was able to fall out but then again I'm not sure at what point in the process they decided to lock it up. Now it seems logical that I would now go through my luggage to see if any of my dirty tshirts or shit-stained underwear has gone missing BUT I DON'T HAVE A FUCKING KNIFE!!!!

I could use my nail-clippers except those are locked inside the suitcase

I could use a pair of scissors except even thinking of one of those in the vicinity of an airport gets you shot

So here I am broken hearted with the same clothes on my back that I wore yesterday and still 24 hours to go

I am convinced the terrorists have won.

MLIA
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tasty

When you walk into a restaurant and the above sign sounds the most appetizing you know you are in for a long day. Not only are the cultures, language and customs radically different, the food separates the East from the West.

When you are offered a chicken dish and they bring out an entire fried chicken, head and beak and claws included you wonder where to start.

When you see raw pigs and fried birds hanging in a window of a restaurant even when it's 100 degrees outside you look away.

When they bring a live fish even if you are 1000 miles from the ocean and every river you've seen has a fluorescent glow to it you pray.

When you are given a mystery meat which looks like it could be rabbit but tastes like it could be rat you puke.

The difference in food is so striking because in the US we are spoiled on 'all white meat' chicken sandwiches and raw meat kept on ice. I don't have a weak stomach so I'm not one who fears trying new things but the tastebuds must be so different because the flavors of the sauces is so radically different than the BBQ sauces, Ketchup and 1000 Island dressing we're used to.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Anti Thomas Friedman

There has been a lot of talk about an artificially devalued Chinese Yuan by Beijing, keeping it low so to help Chinese exports which has been a major sticking point for the G20.. Obviously this has worked for China in terms of their export and output keeping their factories humming with lead-painted toys, TV's, electronic parts and clothes but it has also led to a major trade-imbalance as the Chinese virtually import nothing from the US except for some luxury cars.
With international pressure mounting to let the Chinese Yuan float naturally there is a lot of talk here to who this would benefit. There is no way an appreciation in currency of 10% will be enough to all of a sudden make US goods look cheap on the world stage and thus will have no real impact on US joblessness so to think this will boost our economy is silly.

What it will have is an adverse effect. We know a higher Yuan will make Chinese products more expensive which will only mean a TV or a microwave will cost the American consumer more. In other words American people living on stagnant wages will spend more for the same item they did 6 months prior. When they walk into Walmart or BestBuy or Staples they will pay higher prices.

Now I know there are other factors at play here (posturing, US Bonds, other low-wage countries wanting to get into the action, trade imbalance, perception etc) but I have come up with an idea

We trade China 500,000 troops to send to Afghanistan and in turn we keep the pressure off.
Chinese factories keep working
US Consumers can continue to get fat on cheap Chinese imports
NATO gets some much needed muscle in Afghanistan.


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Monday, October 25, 2010

Midterms

I think we have all seen the direction of the political process in the US with daily scorecard counting and shows dedicated to deciding who won the daily media cycle. I know there is little that can be done about it but this near class-warfare which is American politics has just become maddening as our entire news cycle is devoted to it with informants and leaks and bias. MSNBC and FOxNews have their entire lineups geared up for a partisan battle with characters who make the WWE superstars seem sane. I

One issue I criticized Jr. Bush about vehemently was how involved he got in the politics of his party and Obama hasn't been any better. I know that Bush and Obama were both the head's of their respective parties and the they need a supportive congress to further their policy but I really believe that as a sitting president, your role should be to work the issues at hand and not stood down to working the stump. It comes across as petty and the message is cheapened when you hear Obama rally against the same tired and failed policy when speaking in front of 15 people at some diner in Reno who were probably offered a free prime-rib if they stay.
The POTUS should be above petty daily politics, especially in a time of two wars, 10% unemployment, a staggering economy, crumbling infrastructure and a Yankee playoff loss. Now I know that this is all par-for-the-course in politics but really the man (or woman) when president should get ahead of the fray and not get so actively involved, it only aids to cheapen the position.
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

The runs

Riddle me this Batman. You have the runs in China from some kind of fish-head soup or donkey meat and you are practically leaking out of your ass, you run into the closest men's room and you encounter this now what do you do?

Now I know there are a lot of parts of the world where the throne is a luxury they cannot afford but as a freedom having, McDonald's loving, porn watching, beer drinking red-blooded American a seat is not a luxury but a necessity.

Not only is there no seat but they apparently ask you to wipe using your sleeve which when your ass pisses goo isn't all that sanitary or convenient but then again who asked me?
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chinese Checkers

I have been to China three times since 2008 and can tell you that there are three ways to define the country.

- the Chinese don't think short-term ever. I land at an airport in a city probably 500 miles from Beijing and the drive from the airport to the city is 1 hour by car, you drive past open fields, barren land and empty space. They build an airport where they think it will be convenient in 50 years. All that land will be factories making lead-paint covered toys for our obese kids. This foresight will be great in 5 decades when I'm in my 80's

- the Chinese will slurp and burp their entire way through dinner. It's like going to a concert of bodily noise. Every meal consists of 10 dishes served on a giant lazy suzy and the flavors range from exquisite to enema needing. Every meal ends with a fish, but as we are 24 hours by road from the nearest body of (clean) water you wonder if you are choking on a small bone or a piece of PVC pipe. .

- the blue sky is non existent instead every day is marked my some shade of gray. The hazards in a city like this include the game of frogger the pedestrians play and the game of speed racer the drivers play but also the fact that smoking is not necessary here as you can inhale enough carcinogens from making the mistake of breathing.

But all in all the place is great, hospitality is first rate and the food is never uninteresting.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

The Pregnancy belt

With a back which feels like it's been moonlighting as a sumo-mat, it was time to make some drastic changes. So stuck in Asia I decided to stop using western options (Advil) and try an Eastern option which I figure were acupuncture which scares me for the same reason dirty tattoo needles may or a massage but in Korea I was afraid I'd be forced into some kind of agie-massagie version which I wasn't going to want to try.
So I went for another option...magnets and after some shopping landed on an option which looks like a cross between a weightlifter belt and one of those chicks wear during pregnancy. But I'm desperate and decide to throw it on and before I realize it I'm starting to feel a bit better. Now I'm not sure if it's the 100 magnets shocking positive and negative energy into my back or the fact that this thing is squeezed so tightly around my back that I'm forced to sit up like I'm a school boy but for the first time in a week I don't look like an 80 year old when getting out of my seat.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

No Undershirt No Service

One thing I've never understood is why certain people (European men in particular) get away with wearing the same shirt for consecutive days. People will often give the European male credit for being well dressed -i am not one of those as I think most Europeans dress like they have Ray Charles' vision. The issue here though is not fashion but rather hygenic. How can you wear a shirt for 5 straight days especially since you don't live in a place with perpetual 82 degree weather. Now this is specifically stomach-turning when you realize that...

-that same dude who is recycling his wardrobe for a week is also not wearing an undershirt which means that their button-down is also acting as their sweat-mop but this is even more disgusting when you consider that....

-europeans wear tight-clothing so on top of wearing the same shirt for a week straight sans V-Neck you are also not allowing your skin to breath. Now if this is not enough to make you want to vomit all over your AXE deodorant stick then realize

-that European's also have notoriously saggy skin on their sacks so just realize they might be sitting there free-balling in their black Levis that his balls are probably french-kissing his inner thigh
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Facetime

The newest in new technology is Facetime, the video chat system on the IPhone 4 which -in theory- lets you talk to compadres across the country, across town or across the world using the IPhone's WiFi capabilities.   It's a pretty cool system and the reason I finally moved into the 21st century and bought myself a real smart-phone.   Now I'm not giving up the BlackBerry, I would rather give up my left hand, but I have in three short weeks thrown myself completely into this 'new' Apple craze.   

This Facetime option seemed too good to pass up and a few days ago I had my first Facetime Faceoff and let me tell you, it was more than a bit awkward.   My buddy 'called' me and we kind of had this uncomfortable few minutes of face-to-face conversation while both watching Monday Night Football.   Now it's not that the system didn't work -it was near flawless- but what it does do is make for the most uncomfortable few minutes of your life.    The beauty of being on the phone is that the other person DOESN'T have to look at you, you can take a piss, brush your teeth, scratch your nuts or turn on porn but now with this concept of Big Brother hanging over you, it was as if I couldn't do anything.   When you are watching a football game with your friend you aren't staring at his mug the entire time, that would be incredibly weird but with this new media that is exactly what you are expected to do.    What Apple didn't realize is that this does not make for a normal social setting, nobody ever looks at another person the entire time when they are speaking, especially if it's two dudes trying to relax after a hectic day.
But even more frightening is the fact that the way Facetime is set up is that you see both the image of the other person but also a smaller image of yourself and I do not have to tell you that looking at yourself is mind-numbingly weird. 
The issue is that some of us don't have perfectly symmetrical shaped heads and when I look at the twisted image of myself I start to notice my one eye being about a 1/4 of an inch higher in my face than the other one.  It's like I'm the fat male version of Shannon Doherty and it is completely distracting

After about 45 seconds we both decided that we are better as normal phone friends and turned the cameras to broadcast from the back of the phone (IPhone 4 having two cameras) so we didn't have to sit there looking at one another.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Back in action

About 2 weeks ago my life changed.   Now i'm not talking about something as great as the birth of a child, your wedding or a new episode of MadMen but rather something that changed the way I operate day-to-day. 

I don't know what it was but I must have picked up a bag of bowling balls or something because for the last 10 days it feels like my buddy Kenny Conway (a heavyweight) decided to tap-dance on my back.  I can't tell you exactly what did it but I can tell you that I can't pull myself out of bed in the morning.   My eyes tear up -like they do whenever I watch that one scene when Ara Parseghian yells at the kid 'if you had a tenth the heart of Ruettiger you would have made all-American"  

but this isn't some come-back story that makes you feel good, no this is the same kind of debilitation which ruined Larry Johnson's career, apparently you need to have a decent back to be able to do a grandma-ma dunk but you also need a functional one if you hope to get out of a car.   It honestly feels like somebody is stabbing a knife into my back every few seconds and it doesn't seem like it's triggered from anything other than just moving it.   You spend the entire time worried that you may be overcompensating something else and before you know it you go from being a power-hitting first-baseman to a guy who hits .300 but slugs only .350.

The issue is that rest doesn't seem to help which might be due to the fact that I can't really ever get proper rest but mostly because laying down stiffens it up like a 13 year old with a beta-max player and a Samantha Fox video.


Monday, October 18, 2010

12:50AM

Can somebody explain why on earth there is a flight from JFK to Seoul which departs at 12:50AM?

Now you may say that a late flight like that may mean than you get in at a normal hour when you land but that wouldn't be the case. See not only do you leave after midnight, you also land at 4 in the morning, so neither side of the flight makes any sense.
I fly overseas more than most people and can usually recover more quickly than most, when I was younger I thought it was cause I had boundless energy so I just rallied through it all, now in my mid-thirties, I just look forward to the 14 hours of quiet time on the plane but landing at 4AM makes any chance of getting off the plane and feeling normal virtually nil. You can't go and work that day as you'll collapse before lunch, if you hit the hay you'll rhythm will be completely off and you'll never catch up.. So my new theory is sleep whenever you can cause if nothing else you'll get some sleep cause there are many night when you catch yourself staring at that CNN red alarm clock
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

2:06pm

I am not one to complain....well that is not entirely true. Yesterday while meeting a friend for brunch, I parked in front of one of those mini-meters. At 12:06 I paid my fare, $0.50 for every 12 minutes or $5 for 2 hours and went on my way.
You can imagine what happens next or more what doesn't happened. I don't look back at my watch until about 2:10pm which is 4 minutes past my meter, I sprint over the car knowing the chances of amnesty were slim. Of course when I get to the car at 2:14 I'm greeted with the sight of the dreaded orange envelope jammed between my windshield and wiper.
Now I won't complain about getting a ticket as I had obviously over stayed my meter but when I look at the ticket I can see it was issued at 2:06PM and there was no meter-maid in sight so they were already well off this block. Now it could be a complete coincidence but my guess is that this meter-maid saw the parking ticket was about to expire when he or she walked past at 1:50pm and then waited around and issued the ticket as soon as the clock struck midnight.
I know NYC is trying to find ways to refill its money coffers but the thought of parking attendants waiting at somebody's car hoping to catch somebody running ate is sickening. How about a 3 minute grace-period (which I would have missed too) or at least a fair shot to miss a ticket.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Is there a bigger scam than the Visa?

I'm not talking about the credit-card with the high APR which got you suckered in as a college kid but the stamp you have to get in your passport for the privilege to fly to a country.

I have spent 10 hours trying to get a visa for a flight to China. There is a ton of paperwork including some invitation letter you need to apply but at the end of the day the process is a complete rubber stamp. At the Chinese consulate they probably process 5000 of these per day and there is no way they are doing anything more than a casual look. The issue isn't even the inconvenience but the fact they charge you $140 for the process.

You pay them to visit their country, buy their goods and services and eat their horrible food and drink their EColi stained water. As if the Chinese don't have enough of our green-backs, there is no rhyme or reason to the process other than greed.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

the predicted break down

How many times have you heard about the guy whose engine stall or his AC goes out about a week after his 3 year 36,000 mile warranty ends. It's funny how that works but there is a real truth to it as many poor schleps can attest to.
I can't imagine some dude working on the assembly line at Ford is personally manipulating the engine so it's shelf life is particularly shot as I think it had more to do with an inherent manufacturing problem with the car companies not putting enough energy into high-quality products instead allowing their loyal customers suffer.
Well the auto companies have obviously had a rough go at it lately but there are many reports that they are finally producing a high end project (fingers crossed for my Ford Escape) but the phenomenon of items breaking at an expected rate is not limited to the cars.

My wife and I got two crest automatic toothbrushes about a year ago.
Wouldn't you know it that after about 15 months bother toothbrushes broke within a week of each other. It was as if we participated in one of those science fair experiments where some teenager tries to figure out which light-bulb burned out quicker.

There has to be something to this predicted breakdown thing. There is no way to explain how two toothbrushes fail at almost exactly the same time.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

the exhaust

What the hell is with motorcycles..   I'm all for looking cool, having the wind blow in your hair (or maybe against your helmet) and cruising on a easy Sunday afternoon but there is NO reason why these aholes drive around a normal neighborhood with their exhaust pipes manipulated so that it sounds like you are standing inside of an airplane hanger.

I was talking to a guy who rides bikes the other day and he tried to make the case that the loud exhaust was so that you could be noticed on the highway.   Now I understand these guys don't want to get run over by a semi-truck while on the road but this is not about that anymore.   Yea you drive a Harley or some rice-rocket but it doesn't matter.  I know you probably belong to your local ice-tea party or some hip-hop gang but you are also a menace to society.   You are what is wrong with civilization, the thought of you getting run down by a semi actually sort of intrigues me.

These guys are the equivalent of the guys driving in their souped up Honda civic or the guys who decide it's necessary to blast terrible hip-hop out of their leased luxury cars as they roll down the streets of Brooklyn.  They are antisocial schleps who are there to disturb the peace.   This is the way that people who feel they don't have a loud enough voice can get one. 

Now I'm not a total fuddy-duddy but this behavior is akin to taking out your big unit and pissing all over the sidewalk.  Yeah people might not say anything as they might think you are some HIV riddled crack-head but you better believe that if you got hit by a bus there would be at least a couple of giggles in the crowd

 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the fall of porn

In some sad news the Porn Industry is coming to grinding halt as one of its stars has tested positive for HIV.    The report I read said that both Wicket and Vivid have stopped production as they try to do a 7 degrees of some dude's Bacon.      In porn where sticking your jimmy into a chick is the equivalent of shaking hands you got to imagine that there will be a ridiculous spider-web to try to get through with all the gang-bangs going on.

But it got me to thinking; who the hell still pays for porn?  With YouPorn, Tube8, RedTube and XNXX there is so much free stuff available there is no reason to walk into some seedy shop anymore.   Now I also realize that after about 6 months you're computer might have its own version of HIV but with the price of netbooks that might still be cheaper if you are a regular viewer (I'm looking at you my Chinese friend!!!)

The internet is packed with the newest trends (dogging, bachelorette parties, voyeurisms, home-video triple deckers) and I just don't see the major studios keeping up, they need to do something drastic especially with this news.

What the big studios should do is something I suggested 10 years ago, focus on the ability of the DVD machine..  Remember when DVD's first came out and they were explaining the wonders of it vs VHS.   They had the ability to change camera angles but it never took off since I figure since the standard movies studios (20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Paramount etc.) tried it and it was too expensive or not used enough.  Where it should have worked was in Porn.  How great would it be to be able to see some chick getting it doggy-style from above, behind and the front..

I should have started that website www.DirtyDVDs.com years ago, I'd be a millionaire.

 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

the sad elephant

So Brett Favre is up to his old tricks...well not quite.
 
The hall-of-fame QB has recently been excused for send out lewd pictures of his package to a Jets employee while he was briefly employed by the team.   Now the fact that he's basically the face of the NFL as well as father and a husband doesn't obscure the fact that there is a much bigger issue out here. 
 
It's been a few years since I last tried to pick up a chick but I can tell you the thought of sending her a picture of my junk never would have crossed my mind as a viable pick-up line.  Brett Favre is 42 years, his balls are probably hanging so low he can play hacky-sack with them, his entire package probably looks like a really sad elephant plus being a white dude is he really going to be that impressive?
 
But the bigger is something completely different; have you ever seen a picture of a male unit?    It's absolutely disgusting looking, there is not one part of it that makes me think a chick would get all hot-and-bothered by seeing it.   I can honestly say that if I were a chick I'd be going the vagitarian route knowing that the one-eyed snake is the alternative.   It's to the point that i'm surprised that there is an procreation going on at all and the entire human-race probably owes a big thank-you to the distillers of Jack Daniels, Stoli and Jose Cuervo.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The not so happy ending

I've often said that getting a massage is the perfect storm of quiet comfort and intense discomfort.

I got my third ever massage yesterday to try to relive some strain in my lower back and as good as it was and as relaxed as I felt afterwards physically, I spent the entire hour worried. Laying on that table with your face down in the cradle is an incredibly vulnerable position to be in, you are completely at the mercy of the masseuse with all your warts, cysts and imperfections on display like a painted canvas. So in one respect you are at ease as her hands work out the stress in your shoulders and back while on the other hand new stresses are forming.
But my biggest issue isn't my physical imperfections but as a rookie to this entire endeavor is that as she starts to work my back it occurs to me that I have no idea what an acceptable gratuity would be. I figure she gets paid by the place so it's not like being a waiter where your tips are your real salary but I can't figure out how they split the bounty. It's $125 for the massage, so I figure maybe they go 50/50 and she gets $66.50 which comes out to about $125k per year. This is a pretty nice living but it assumes she gets 8 massages per day and doesn't hit the IR with crazy carpal tunnel syndrome. I wonder if she has health insurance or a 401k plan cause somebody who can loosen up my back is really doings God's work should at least have the luxury of not worrying if she's covered for a crown on her tooth.

Then I wonder do you tip somebody who is making $100k per year?? I assume so since being part of the service industry probably trumps the straight salary but it seems kind of weird being she makes a nice living just doing her job, heck nobody tips me if I take down an order correctly and make sure it ships out.

Then again maybe it's a less even split with the house and she makes only $30 or maybe it's all based on tips like being a cocktail waitress. In which case maybe you should tip her. She does have to massage my feet which should be worth a couple of bucks extra anyway you count it. Now is this a 20% gratuity situation or more?? Maybe less is OK too, I run myself crazy trying to figure it out.

so all of a sudden I realize that I've spent 20 minutes worried about the salary of the masseuse, 20 minutes worried about my heinous looking body and 20 minutes trying to decide what is an appropriate tip.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

PokerFace

There is a song I catch on the Pop stations by Lady Gaga called Poker Face and I have to say it brings out the absolute worst in people. The reason for my disdain is two folds

- the song sucks
- the song is very catch so I catch myself humming it all the time

But what I've noticed is that for the rest of the pop listening audience it's as if this terrible piece of electronica forces them into some kind of mentally handicapped trance.
Honestly look around you the next time you are at a wedding or at some crappy bar-club-morgue and this albatross comes on. The people in the crowd all go into this sequenced vogue thing where they stick their ugly faces out into the retard pose whenever the words 'poker face' blast through the speakers

Now this might sound like just another knock on pop-music (which it is), Lady Gaga (which it is) or stupidity (which it is) but honestly I can't think of a dumber look than a bunch of women screaming 'poker face' at each other

It's as if they don't even realize the sexual innuendo.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Stop ringing that bell, I can't concentrate

There is something about the commute from NYC to the outer boroughs on a Friday night which puts it all in perspective. The subway car is busy filled with professionals going home to their families after a long week. Most people on the train are 35 and older and there is a common level of decency and quiet which fills the cars. I always figure that on a Friday Night at 6pm most people with energy left stay in the city to hit the bars so the crowd on the train is typically subdued probably cause they are tired from another long week.. 99% of my fellow commuters are considerate and it's actually surprising how quiet these subway cars can get, the only sound being the humming of the car as it rumbles through the tunnels.

With that said there is that 1% who make another wise unwinding commute painful and I can't understand how some people feel the need to break up the sanctuary which the afternoon commute with music blasted through headphones so loud that you can hear it over the noise of the subway standing 10 feet away. I don't understand why people must converse at a decibel level three times their normal while they are squeezed like sardines in a tin-can. But it's better than a bell.
I'm sitting on a subway Friday Night trying to unwind but every 10 seconds I hear this electronic bell. I can't seem to figure out what it is but I know it's immensely distracting.. It is as if I'm standing inside a video poker machine. I finally see the culprit: some mental patient playing word-search and everytime she finds one there is a congratulatory bell that rings. I get that people need these time-waster games after a long week at work and I don't begrudge anybody from finding their outlet but do you need the reinforcement when you are conquering a game designed for a 3rd grader??

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Friday, October 8, 2010

The Sidewalk Tango

 

How often do you walk down the sidewalk and all of a sudden you are face-to-face with another walker and the two of you do this uncomfortable shuffle where both of you move left and right at the same rate trying to get past the other one.  It's almost a perfectly choreographed little dance-shuffle-tango thing as both people move from left-to-right while  the other guys moves right-to-left a couple of times until finally one relents and acts the part of the matador and lets the other fly by.    It's kind of a ridiculous event but it sort of proves that all people are wired similarly since the two people are in almost complete sync in terms of the rhythm of the dance but that still doesn't explain why one guy's first movement is left while the other guy's first movement is right. 

What I don't understand is that we drive on the left side of the road, we pass other cars on their left side as well, our escalators go up on the left side and down on the right side, tracks always run counter-clockwise as do conveyer belts.   Everything we do, whether we realize it or not has a routine… everything except walking down the side-walk.     See when people walk down the street there is complete disorder.  People walk northbound and southbound and there is no concept of walking on the left or right side of the sidewalk to avoid collisions.    Now most of the time this  isn't such a big deal since people are able to stop and go much more quickly when on foot than in a car or a bike for example but the sidewalk tango is a huge exception

Wouldn't it just make sense that when you are encountered with this routine each guy walks left?   

There has to be some reason behind this and after doing some deep probing I think the sidewalk tango happens mainly when a left-handed person encounters a right-handed person.  Although they understand that everything is set for right-handers (those school desks with the table attached to the arm, scissors, buttons) those crazy lefties are wired to go the wrong way.  Since the sidewalk tango is a completely subconscious event, I theorize that the lefty has a natural inclination to walk right while the rightly naturally walks left which causes the start of the dance.

So I implore my left-handed readers to have some courtesy while you walk..you are causing a lot of disarray and it's causing me a giant headache.   Stay to your side and we'll stay to ours and we'll all have to interact with one another that much less.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

There is something to be said for brevity

Human nature cannot be explained in a 50 volume encyclopedia although describing it can be done successfully in 140 characters.    So often the best rants and observations are not long winded but instead well thought out, smart and brief.

 The irony in publishing a daily blog commentary on everything is that had the writer not found this particular outlet, his ire would undoubtedly be said medium.

With that said today we do attack the largest and most encompassing of the new media's.   See Facebook has become what email was in terms of ways to stay connected.   It's what Google was in terms of the portal into the internet and it's what the cable company was when it comes to most hated utility.     The concept is good, the execution is good, the format is good but the fact that you are connected to every Joe, Dick and Jiwon from high-school is the downfall.     

About two months ago I did a small social experiment where I stayed away from Facebook for a week and somehow the world didn't end.   I was shocked when I woke up one morning and my limbs were still attached, my mind was still intact and I wasn't going through painful physical withdrawals.  I know it was weird to think about it but the musings of Danny Avizov or Kosta Peppas weren't all that important after-all.    The endless junk like Farmville and Four Square had continued without my watchfulness.   Now I'm sure I missed out on a couple of cute pictures of kids, a couple of funny postings and the latest craze but I figure I'll catch it later.

I don't want to sound like an old man stuck in a generation I don't recognize but there is something invigorating about disconnecting from this endless social circle.    

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

you're on in a million babe, you're a shooting star

I'm not a racist and am not anti any people whose primary language isn't English but I do think that English should be the primary language we use in schools.   This is America and we speak American and our kids should be given exposure to it more often, we need more reading, more writing and more speaking in our schoolls.    Now I can't argue that our schools are doing such a great job teaching the fundamentals of language arts in the first place (see www.TakeOnRighetti.blogspot.com) as our children seem to less versed in the nuance of our own language than many foreigners are.   
 
Now i'm not saying that we shouldn't teach a second language in schools, quite the contrary.  In Europe kids learn 4 or 5 languages in addition to their native-tongue, there is no reason I kids can't do that.   But my thought is that they teach MORE English in schools, not less, get kids back to reading and writing book-reports and less focused on learning how to use a PC or learning how to play a recorder..  My generation never had classes in computer science when I was in school and we are all incredibly well versed when it comes to the normal computer stuff (excel, word, the Internet etc).   I don't think you have to try to teach kids about computers, their own curiosity will carry them through a bunch of it.
 
Well now that I'm perched high-upon this soap-box and have gotten your attention here is part B.
 
I'm sick and tired of having to choose between languages when I'm on hold with some endless computerized voice-mail system.    I can't believe that in America we have to PRESS 1 for English.   This should be standard.   Yeah it's a small complaint but it annoys me.   Now I don't mind having options for other speakers but I want less minutia when i'm on hold.    So I suggest instead of having the option to press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish, Press 3 for Korean etc. we move to a different system.
 
I see something like this
 
For English, the official language of your country, please hold on to the line, for any other language please press 2 you will be charged double
 
Let English be the default, you better believe that when you call Russia that they don't give you an option.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

how would you like this job?


 
About a year ago I noticed this nasty growth on my back and being afraid that i might be spawning Gremlins I had it checked out and the doctor told me that it was really no big deal and it would be no problem to just leave it and not get it cut-open.   Well fast-forward a year and one day the white cyst is red and inflamed and starting to puss-out, so I had no choice but to go back to the doctor have it cut open to drain it.
Now my buddies offered to do it with a steak-knife and post it to YouTube but I decided against it instead going to a professional. Although I am a happily married man there is something pretty depressing about going into a doctor's office and being attented to by some 28 year old nurse when you come in with some strange ailment especially one as disgusting as a bleeding puss-ing cys. 

Now you have to imagine that these medical professinals have seen it all but i could swear that when I took my shirt off this nurse threw-up a little and swallowed it.  I could only describe the cyst as having gone from looking like a piece of dead-skin to looking like an angry creature.
 
45 minutes later, the medical-room looked like a morgue with blood, goo and puss everywhere, the nurse looked like she had just carved up Bambi and the smell reminded me of rotten meat.  The doctor walks out after the 'operation' is complete, I put my shirt back on and wait while the nurse bandages up the wound.    When I finally see her face..she's a shade of green usually reserved when you drink bad-milk
 
I walk out.. happy to have this growth at least party removed but kind of ashamed that I've had to put anybody through it.


Sent from Iphone4


Monday, October 4, 2010

The Pre-Rip

It's time to set the record straight.

I've been accused of pre-ripping the undershirt before the big TOR Bon Jovi Wedding spectacular and I am here today to unequivocally deny any pre-ripping

Let me be 100% clear here so there are no misconceptions
I have not EVER pre-ripped a t-shirt in order to hulk-hogan in during the big finale slide across the stage. I wear a straight Haynes V Neck undershirt, comfortably worn and use only my hands to pull it apart from the neck-line through the bottom.
The combination of alcohol and adrenaline is more than enough for me to demolish a thin piece of fabric and the day I have to pre-rip will be the day the act gets officially retired.

To those whose wedding I've ruined...I'm sorry
To those who have seen it....I'm sorry
To those who have not.. I'm sorry
To my knees... I'm sorry
To my wife who has been witnessed to them all... I'm sorry
To my baby girl.... I'm sorry
To the catering halls...I'm sorry

But I'll never apologize for not giving it a 100%
Now..

With that said we have all witnessed the demise of the JBJ TOR explosion as most people have gone from being shocked by the display to being mildly amused. There are people out there who have yet to see it, so we give it a 100% but everybody realizes that at this point even 100% is not good enough..
But like the boxer who keeps coming back even after he long knows his career is over and the damage he has inflicted upon his body is irreversible, the TOR wedding experience can't seem to quit. Maybe it's because there is still a hope that some people can be amused y it but honestly it's probably the only way we can stay relevant.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Iphone 4

So I finally did it... I decided that I was sick of the crappy camera, the lack of aps, the slow internet service, the lack of WiFi, the crappy browser and the keyboard and finally traded in the BlackBerry for an Iphone4. -full disclosure, I still have the BB and will likely keep it for work and the occasional TOR rant.
I got over the trepidation of the virtual keyboard and the knowledge that my phone service is going to suck but it was time. How can I be expected to live in a world when taking a picture means it takes 10 seconds to save to the hard-drive or where it takes 3 minutes to load the boxscore of the Yankee game. The Blackberry is a great business machine, the way you receive emails is revolutionary, BBM is phenomenal and you can drop it out a 3 story window and it keeps ticking...but enough is enough it's time for me to join the 21st century and 24 hours into it I am amazed.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I'm too old for this $h!t

When you're a Righetti you realize that there will be a number of mornings in your life when you will feel like somebody dropped an anvil on your sack. The morning after is rough when the nigh before the morning after was epic.

Throughout your lifetime there are a bunch of great nights and a handful of epic ones. The great ones help carry you through the mundane parts of life as they are ones you talk about months later but the epic ones take you months to recover from.

See when you're expected to go a hundred percent a hundred percent of the time, it's never real easy.. Years ago I'd recover better, I'd be hungover but at least my body didn't hurt, but now I'm not that spry 22 year old anymore, after an epic night i feel like I played tackle football without any pads on. When you are the hired gun for the entertainment at weddings, you can't half-ass it. You rip it up like you did when you were 22 and just hope your knees hold up and for those 3 minutes it feels like you can still do it... but when you pick yourself up off the floor.....literally...and you hear your knees creek you know it's time to leave this for the younger generation..

I can still rip it up with the best of 'em...just now I'm hung-over before the buzz wears off.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, October 1, 2010

Airbus the movie

Now I'm not one to go to the movies often, so I often use long flights to catch up.  I know I won't see every movie out there and realize my selection will be limited but on a recent flight to Seoul I caught 4 movies I was at least vaguely interested in.  But not on AirFrance where the movie selection is limited to french noir and a pile of lame American romantic comedies.

The selections were: Sex in the City 2, some Jennifer Gardner-Vince Vaughn tragedy called the Breakup and The Backup Plan AKA Maid of Honor 2.   With that selection I can't be blamed for staring at the flight-progress screen.   Finally I flip a three-headed coin and it lands on the Backup Plan and I honestly would rather forget that entire 1:46 of my life.
 Not only is the movie completely unrealistic (guy sells cheese from his own farm yet lives on Waverly Street from Monday-Friday) the story line is predictable and lame (I know big surprise). How the hell are we supposed to believe Jenny from the Block gave up a budding career over at Goldman Sachs to open up some pet-shop in the village which is easily 3000 square feet, does anybody do research to see the cost of retail rental space????
The supporting cast is made up of some annoying upper-west side Jap who you could never see hanging with JLo, some dude who might be Jerome Bettis and some chick who looks like the Philly Phanatic.
The only redeeming part of the entire thing was seeing JLo's ass but even that was kind of anti-climactic.


and yes I do pee sitting down sometimes.