Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The last peaceful place

I am connected 24-7 between the calls and text messages on the IPHone, the emails and BBM on the Blackberry, 3 email addresses, a (dormant) Facebook account and a daily blog not to mention the instant messaging, text messages, MMS's and pigeon I keep in a cage just in case.
The one place though I don't want to be reaches is sitting on the bowl. I cannot comprehend people answering their phones while taking a crap since the toilet might be the last place of solace left but just today a dude had a full conversation mid-strain. I understand the need to multitask but I also had a buddy who separated his retina while dropping a deuce so really I don't like to take chances in case the conversation got heated.

Well the thing that really got me to thinking was that the dude wiped up and flushed in the middle of the conversation so there was no shame taking the call while planted on porcelain.

Plus how do you properly wash your hands unless your on one of those bluetooth thingys.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gridlock Righetti

TOR usually doesn't focus on local issues expect ones that directly affect –and annoy- the author.    We try to stay out of local political races, staying away from town ordinances and school and PTA issues but one thing we cannot turn a blind eye to are traffic issues.    After nearly six years of living in Brooklyn, I believe I have come up with the reason for most of our frustration as a borough.   The endless traffic we have to deal with from the four major bridges and one tunnel is completely miserable especially for those of us who live nearby the entrances of them.   I have often wondered aloud why there aren't more police-officers on the streets directing traffic and less of them sitting in their cars talking on their cell-phones.     One of the most maddening examples is the police car which is stationed daily at the entrance of the outbound side of the Brooklyn Bridge.    This car has been stationed parked in the right lane of the bridge since 9/11 and I'm sure the reason is to prevent somebody from detonating a bomb over the bridge but the only practical purpose seems to have is to slow-down traffic on an already exhaustingly overcrowded crossing.    See the cop-car is located on the span, not in front of it so god-forbid there was an attack the would be bomber would already be on the span.    I can't say I know the ins-and-outs of counter-terrorism but it doesn't make sense to set up a TSA metal-detector inside the airplane which becomes operational only after the plane is airborne already.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Spawning like Rabbits

Five Years ago the rabbit wine bottle opener was the gift of the season it was a great contraption which allowed anybody open up a bottle of wine like an expert. The problem was they got too cheap and stayed inoffensive so I honestly got one for Christmas, two for a housewarming and another for my birthday. The gift was great and very useful but nobody needs three of them. Each year there is something and usually it was too expensive the year before but has come to a price point under $100 so it becomes a perfect non-offensive gift
Last year the gift was the cheap digital frame and I must have seen 10 of them exchanged. There was the DVD player a few years ago, the digital camera, the martini glasses... It's like every year the world decides what is the perfect gift and then everybody gets 10 of them.
This year the official gift is going to be the seltzer machine. It's a great little machine which makes bubble water and allows you to add flavors to make your own gingerale or pop and somebody convinced the manufacturer that they just needed to lower the price a little bit and it would be the equivalent of a tickle me Elmo. People will love it but like all these things they won't need 6 of them.

Oh by the way I already own.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, November 27, 2010


At 34 with a 1 year old kid and full time jobs for both me and the mrs, I have decided that enough is enough. I am never going to schlep my own shit from move to move again. I work too hard, party to little and sleep even less to think about dragging my armoire up and down the steps. I can't bear to ask my friends all of who have families, jobs and responsibilities to break their backs lugging couches up and down the steps and honestly if asking your friends and family to break their backs for your crap isn't enough reason then realize the math doesn't add up:

So for $560 I get 3 dudes and a van to move my crap down 3 flight of stairs and back up another 3. So if I were to do this with the aid of 8 of my buddies it would run me

$100 for a UHaul
$40 for renting those padded blankets
$25 for the insurance
$20.for gas
$20 for waters
$30 for egg and cheeses
$20 for coffee
$60 for beer
$150 for lunch for everybody
$100 to replace the shit they'll break

Not to mention the favors I will now have to return at some point, the bitching I'll have to endure and the sloppiness of the entire event.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, November 26, 2010


Black Friday in my mind really should be a day to reflect on the gluttony of the day before not a day to shop till you drop but there will inevitably be some 250 pound woman who'll get trampled under the weight of hordes of Christmas shopping and honestly good riddance. See shopping on this day is like deciding to drive through Times Square on your way out of the city, you might get your stated goal accomplished but the level of frustration can't possibly be worth it. The problem is we are a country of sheep and just like the all-you-can eat buffet we will always find ways to gorge ourselves with cheap food, plastic toys or hallmark holidays.
But what kind of total sociopath gets to a Walmart in Ohio at midnight to be first in line to get their christmas shopping started. I have a hard time finding a reason to go shopping the day before Christmas let alone the day after Thanksgiving when I know the crowds will be insane, the deals underwhelming and the smell unbearable. People dumb enough to shop today deserve the stampedes, at least as a survival of the fittest population control
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, November 25, 2010


So after you take it up the five-hole from the attorneys, brokers, banks and taxes when selling your house the real fun begins. See somehow you have to move the crap you collected over six years into 25 boxes and hope that nobody drops the one with the stemware in it. See this is the difference between moving in your 20's and moving in your 30's. By the time you have started to accumulate matching plates, a collection of vases and framed pictures and photographs. What this means is that you can't just randomly dump it into a bunch of boxes you found on the stoop and hope to not get back a box of glass-soup.
So you walk over to the UHaul to buy packaging materials and all of a sudden you are confronted with the impossible question of how many boxes you actually need. This is where the box companies could be somewhat helpful because there has to be some formula based on square footage considering the junk in an apartment is mostly predictable (towels, clothes, shoes, plates, TV, pictures etc

They could easily put together some web-based program which spits out how many small, medium and large boxes you need based on the stuff you input. Even if the technology makes it too complicated they could offer a handout with some guidelines . Shoot I'm not asking them reinvent the wheel but at the minimum offer a rough rule of thumb like 5 boxes for every 100square feet of space in your apartment and then you may have a chance but instead you ask and they respond with 'whatever you think'. I realize the guy at the counter probably makes barely over minimum wage and we live in a country where nobody takes pride in what they do but if you are UHaul or Staples wouldn't you want your customers to feel like their needs were satisfied?
Great thanks man this is like walking into an real-estate brokers office asking them for advice about selling your apartment and then telling you to price it however you think.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

closing time..

Nothing makes you feel more like a used up prostitute than when you close on a house.    Now maybe 5 years ago when people were selling their houses for twice what they paid a few years ago things were different but all I know is that now  the net profit can hardly buy you lunch.   The closing goes something like this.
You sit down in a conference room across from the buyers, both parties have a stack of papers high enough to reach the 2nd floor of your duplex, you proceed to give yourself the worst carpal tunnel syndrome ever with all the bullshit signing.    I honestly feel like Reggie Jackson at a baseball-card signing.
Say you have a sales price of $200,000 after buying your place for $182,000 and you think you will walk away with $18,000 which would be about 10% of your cost price and you are jumping for joy but then you realize there are closing costs and they are the equivalent of an ass-rape.
First they bang you with a 5% broker's fee   
Then they bang you with a 1% flip-tax for your building 
Then they ream you with a 1% city tax   
They they slam you with a 0.4% state tax 
Then there are a couple of random fees  (filing fee, UC fee, title transfer fee, Bank fee, Lien search fee).

Then the lawyers get a hold of you and mind you there are about 10 of them.. Your attorney, the bank attorney, the building attorney, their attorney, the attorney's attorney.
Then they charge you for the UPS charge, the photocopying, the cup of coffee you had while waiting for everybody to show up and there goes your profit.. just like that it has all disappeared into thin air.
it goes something like this

Gross Profit$18,000
Broker Fee  5%$10,000
Flip Tax  1%$2,000
City Tax  1%$2,000
State Tax  0.4%$800
UC Filing Fee  $100
Bank filing Fee  $100
Lien Search Fee$100
Bank Attorney$500
Building Attorney$500
Some chick to drop off a check$300
Random crap$98
Net Profit$2
So when they give you a check you look down and realize the subway cost $2.25 and you think you might have been better off staying home

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

that song sucked 20 years ago too

As regular TOR readers know, this blog does not have the highest regards for today's music especially the music we are all exposed to from the world of pop-music.   I'm sure that there will be some donkey who will come out and tell me that I know nothing about music and that there is a ton of good modern day stuff out there but whenever I'm in a place which has a pop radio-station on, I'm shocked with how bad the music is.
Just this weekend I heard my 7 year old niece singing along with some terrible Kate Perry about 'going all the way tonight' and I really wonder if they are trying to not just dumb down the next generation but send subconscious messages about becoming some hootch when they get older.
Well that in itself can be a TOR blog but honestly it gets worse.   Today I heard some Jay-Z song which uses the background music from Forever Young some miserable techno-pop bunch of diarrhea which came out about 20 years ago.   Never has one song been able to suck so badly that two completely different generations of music-listeners can be corrupted by it's British awfulness.
I guess the genius of Jay-Z is also what I don't understand about it.   He takes some aberration show-tune like the song from Annie and throws some lame lyrics over it about him being the ultimate Yankee fan and the country eats it up like they are at a Waffle House.    The music sucks, the lyrics are worse and the fact that I have to relive 1986 is worse.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Rate Me Form

There are a ton of customer-service jobs out there who depend on a customer service survey to help their compensation.    The problem with these surveys are that when you get them in the mail you generally throw them in the trash as it's part of the collection of junk-mail and spam which has totally taken control of our lives.     Now I'm the kind of person who probably would only fill one out if the service was exceptional or if it was terrible but for the average experience I probably couldn't be bothered.        A few weeks ago I brought the car in for an oil-change, tire rotation and inspection and when the service-rep called me to tell me the car was ready he explained that I would be getting a customer-service survey in the mail and that it would mean a lot to him personally if I could fill all 10 some-odd lines out as 'excellent'. 

 Now I wasn't getting open-heart surgery or having an 8 course meal so really 'excellent' would never be a way I would express myself as I tend to reserve this kind of praise for something exceptional.   Quite honestly for an oil-change I really would not ever think of giving a review but the service-rep insisted it was very important and implied that the next time he'd give me a free oil-change. 

What the hell are these things good for if the survey results are bartered on the free market?   There has to be some wonk at the Ford Company somewhere who is getting all these reports back with 'excellent' on every category and has to scratch his head.  To start off with hardly anybody in their right mind would actually fill one of these out and when every category comes back with 'excellent' without fail it's the equivalent of 10,000 votes that pop out in a Chicago election with the return-address being that of the local cemetery.

But my biggest issue is the fact that the rep has called me back three times already to follow up and remind me of the survey.   You wonder why all these car-companies need bail-outs, their service reps are spending their entire day stuffing ballots

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Garage Sale

What is more awkward than the few minutes after somebody gives you something you have no interest in.. You try to act like you are even remotely interested and give a couple of lame ooh's and ah's but really you want to stab an icepick into the throat of the giver. See people all think that the thought of the gift is nice what they don't realize it's the thoughtfulness of a gift which is what is nice. If you get somebody a DVD of their favorite movie that is thoughtful, get them a huge DVD rack because you don't want it anymore and you are being a jerk. I have bought countless necklaces, scarves, trinkets, hats, gloves and other crap trying to find the perfect gift and it almost always ends up in some closet
So although I will break my own rule because of some expectation i don't give gift in birthday's because inevitably I will stress out to find the perfect thing. I prefer to get you something when I see something you'd like regardless of an occasion otherwise I'm only strapping you with a garage worth of junk.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chunk of Bread

I am sad to report that now there is no reason to go to Cosi anymore. What the marketing department over at Cosi Ltd don't reason is the reason people go to Cosi isn't because of those $9 sandwiches. It also isn't for those terrible bags of carrots or the miserably long line. No the only reason you go is because we are a gluttonous people and Cosi gives you chunks of bread while you wait but somehow this basic form of marketing has eluded all their business school grads. See taking away the free bread at Cosi is like taking away the toy in the happy meal, the tight shirts at Hooters or the flair at TGI. Fridays without this you have a place that sells overpriced sandwiches and your only gimmick becomes that free bag of carrots.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, November 19, 2010

Grade Pending

The department of health has started putting signs in the windows of restaurants which apparently refer to the cleanliness of the establishment. Lucky for me, most of the placed I frequent have 'Grade A" on their window although there are a couple with B gradings. Now as a straight C student even the B grading seem more than acceptable but then again salmonella is probably slightly more serious than knowing where Guam is located

The issue I have is that the official grading is not some plaque to display or even one of those stickers they put on you windshield when you park in a handicap zone but rather so sheet of loose leaf which looks as official as the ***OFFICIAL*** Otis Power Rankings

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kate's Berries part 2

Katy Perry's most popular assets are getting her into trouble - again.
In a new ad to promote VH1's upcoming Dec. 5 "Divas Salute the Troops" special, the top-heavy singer poses like a pinup girl, appearing to be parachuting while wearing a form-fitted camouflage jumpsuit.
While the other artists featured in the promo – Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, Nicki Minaj, Grace Potter of the Nocturnals, Keri Hilson and Paramore's Hayley Williams – are all wearing equally revealing clothing, reps for Perry were reportedly not quite keen on how her infamous 34D cups look.
"Her team thinks her boobs look too big," a source told Us Weekly of the newly-married singer.
A second source confirmed the report, telling the mag, "The ads are being redone!"
And sure enough, they were. VH1 released a new promotional poster Wednesday, showing Perry's alleged Photoshopped chest.
This isn't the first time the 26-year-old pop star's cleavage has caused a controversy.
In September, the "California Gurls" singer's cameo on "Sesame Street" was yanked after parent groups complained about her cleavage-bearing low-cut top.
The Above article appeared in the NY Daily News earlier today and I think we all have the same thoughts
- What exactly is Kate Perry going to be doing to get the moral of the troops up?  If VH1 thinks it will be done by lipsinging to those horrible songs they are sorely mistaken.  
- what better way to support the troops than show them a gigantic set of tits, these young men are dying for our country and way of life, the least we can do is show them what they are really fighting for
- what kind of half-baked dude-loving management team does Kate Perry have going on with statements like 'her boobs look too big'.  This is the USA you Communist there are no such things as 'too big' when you are talking about a set of cans
- who the hell are Jennifer Nettles, Nicki Minaj, Grace Porter, Keri Hilson and Hayley Williams?   My guess is that these chicks all untalented whenches with small tits which basically ensures that nobody outside of the Disney channel know who they are

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

the blackberry clock

So although the blackberry is a great business machine it has one major shortcoming.   See it works everywhere from the Pyramids of Egypt to the Great Wall in China, the email pull concept is unmatched, the battery life is fantastic and the typing has no match.   
But the problem is something different, the clock on the BlackBerry is perpetually off by 3 or 4 minutes from the rest of the world.   It's like somebody set the clock fast so you are always 'on time' which is kind of appreciated when meeting somebody at the movies so you don't miss the previews but really annoying when you don't have a watch anymore and rely on your cell-phone to know what time it is..   What i don't get is how a machine which is able to instantly send a BBM to somebody in Seoul Korea or forward an email while you are standing near the Blue Lagoon in Iceland nott able to sync with the world-clock.   
Now I'm not sure what 'official' time is anyway or who keeps it but I've always assumed when Seinfeld started on NBC it was 9PM.     Well do yourself a favor, look at your BB right now and compare it to the clock in the bottom right hand corner of your computer screen and the difference is maddening.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Here's a novel concept

If you spend as much time in airports as I do you know thee are certain riles you must follow.. Now I am not talking about the standard take your laptop out of the bag thing but more about the pace you have to keep to avoid an I95 type pile-up. See if you move at a snails pace there has to be some repercussion and it would behoove everybody if we could separate the 'expert' travellers from the schlups who still think the entire concept of flying is some kind of magical luxury. I cannot tell you how many hours I've wasted standing behind some chick who forgets to put her purse on the belt or some guy who leaves his cell-phone in his pocket. You have to realize that for the business traveler we don't have extra time for you to figure out how to make it through the security line. So since we pay higher fares, get charged premiums for last minute changes, fly the least-glorious routes and single handily keep the airport bars and restaurants in business maybe it's time to do something for us.
I suggest an all together different security line for people who fly 10+ times per year so we don't have to be surrounded by the common folk.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, November 15, 2010

Presidential Hangover

Most of the time there is some hangover effect when a president leaves office, mostly because the media and public at that point has exhausted their angles and stories and everybody is ready for a clean page. Well this month is no different, first Junior Bush complains that Kanye hurt his feelings and now I read that Bill Clinton will be making a guest appearance playing himself in the sequel to the Hangover. Now presidents are rarely saints and Clinton's sexcapades while in office where well documented and my guess is that hangovers were a fairly regular occurrence for him while in office but there has to be some level of class which should be held-up when leaving office. I know these are still people who make mistakes, have problems and get themselves into trouble especially people who've never had to check their egos at the door but this is a far cry from the save Haiti foundation or the fund-raising Pappa Bush and Bubba did after the tsunami..

See Mike Tyson after his guest appearance in Hangover I made it sound like he was forced to do it at knife-point because he was so broke he couldn't afford a soup so you know the producers can play hardball if they got the champ to play some lame caricature so maybe Clinton is doing this to make some 'coke and chicks' side money.
Although I have to imagine that in exchange Clinton the master politician negotiated a couple of nude scenes and a backstage fluffer.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Black Hole

It's a known fact that women can pull each other into their vortex when it comes to that part of the month. You hear about sisters getting onto the same schedule, roommates whose bodies coordinate , friends who influence each others timing and I've even heard it about coworkers and classmates.
The way I see it- if you could just run an experiment you would find that because of the way these chicks wind up subconsciously coordinating it won't be long before every chick gets onto the same schedule.

Think about this. Take two roommates who by virtue of living together get onto the same schedule. Roommate 1 pulls her sister onto the schedule while roommate two who works in an office hangs out with two chicks at work who will tend to follow each other's patterns. So now you have two roommates, a sister and a three coworkers. But those sisters and coworkers all have other women in their lives who they may also pull into the pattern. So one coworker has a sister she lives with who gets pulled into the same PMS pyramid scheme., another is close to her cousin while the third has a few chicks in her Spin class she hangs with regularly who get sucked in by the gravitational pull.. The more chicks that get onto that schedule the larger the mass becomes and the stronger it's pull. Before you know it the dudes in the world are dealing with a black hole...
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Excuse me for the IPhone Typos

We may have to break our official TOR rule of covering the same subject on consecutive days but see this more as a continuation. In our quest to drop the blackberry(you see how that is going) we are coming across a major issue. The IPhone typing which although not as overwhelming as I originally feared is far from perfect. The issues are mostly related to that predicted typing feature where it gives you an option of a word based on the garble of crap you've thrown onto the screen.
The issue is that this lacks some serious A.I. and my thought is that this is where Google would blow Apple out of the water. Google knows what I want to search for on the internet before I do. The issue with the Apple predictive type thing is that it has no relation to the grammar or context of the sentence and the way to trigger the suggested word is by hitting the space bar which by the way is also the action you use when you finished typing a word and are onto the next one. If it doesn't recognize it at all it stays on the screen with some wiggly line underlying it so it's easy to see what you may have to correct. The issue is if it does recognize something hitting the space bar accepts that work. So if you don't realize the mistake it throws in some completely unrelated word.
So if you mean to type newer but instead type mewer it will think you typed sewer. The issue is that you may not realize there is a typo because when you hit the spacebar after you are done it assumes you meant sewer. I don't blame them for thinking you may have meant newer but the issue is that as you type you hit the space bar which triggers the 'sewer' correction. Unless you are staring at the screen there's no way to see that there was a mistake and you send out an email which sounds like it was written while also flying a fighter jet through a war zone.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, November 12, 2010


See having both an IPhone and a Blackberry is the best of both worlds....sort of. You use the BB for work, emails and TOR entries and keep the IPhone for the fun stuff like surfing the web, pictures, videos and AngryBirds. The issue with this though is that not is it costing double for two plans even if you can convince work to pay for one of them, but you are walking around with the equivalent of utility belt to keep all your gadgets together. It's like I'm the urban professional version of Batman.
Like I've said so often, the guys who live in the rest of the country have it good because they can use their car as a storage bin but if you commute by subway you need to have everything you'll need for the day to be on your person.
This means having your wallet, keys, iphone, blackberry, newspaper and walkman all shoved into your pockets. So I'm committed in trying to eliminate things. The AM/FM walkman and iphone kind of overlap, even if it means I won't be able to get local sports-talk and the newspaper can be eliminated with an app as well even if it means not being able to feel the paper.
I haven't quite figured out how the IPhone can replicate my house keys but there has to be some developer writing an app that can unlock your door like they do your car-door in those on-star commercials.
The entire wallet thing should completely be moved from physical cards to virtual ones. Why couldn't you have your drivers license information on your phone. This actually could help an officer because it would indicate immediately if your license is suspended since the app would be linked into the DMV. Registration and insurance cards could be done the same way as would your health insurance card.
Even the credit card thing should be done virtually, see you change the back-swipe thing to a bar code and let merchants use that bar-code gun to 'swipe' your card..
So the only thing the Iphone can't do is type. I will say it's a bit easier than I thought it might be but it is nowhere near as easy as the BlackBerry. So after a month of having two phones, it's time to sink or swim. I will put myself on a hard IPhone diet where I'll stop using the Blackberry so I can force myself to get adequate at the virtual keyboard. I'm committed to the diet but I can't do it today so I will start..... tomorrow.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, November 11, 2010


The FDA unveiled 36 new designs which will be affixed to all packages of cigarettes sold in the USA following a trend that other countries have been going through for years.  
We know that packs of smokes now carry the lame surgeon general warning which I doubt ever dissuaded anybody from lighting up just as I doubt a picture of a kid covered in smoke will either.   So the way I see it this is yet another gigantic waste of government money.   In MadMen they talked about all those fancy ads were never able to get anybody to switch brands, no amount of advertisement will get people to stop smoking.    There is nobody in this world who is dumb enough to not realize that smoking will kill you so I don't feel all that bad for anybody who meets their faith from it.  
The problem is the most effective way of stopping smoking has been two folds and they both reek of a nanny-state
One is by demonizing it in a public forum like not allowing people to smoke in bars, offices, restaurants and parks which I think has done wonders for the way my clothes smell after going to TGI Fridays.  The other way  is by taxing the piss out of it so you hit people where it hurts.   I was in Korea not too long ago and everybody smokes; I was wondering why this happened and even-though the cultures are different the biggest reason is because a pack of smokes costs $2 there so it's still cheap.
But when it comes to any of these nanny-state solutions I get nervous, see I'm not really for infringing on people's rights, if you want to drop a bowling ball onto your unit let that be your prerogative but I'm also not for having anybody pay for your stupidity.   The issue I have with personal freedom is that it goes two ways; your freedom to smoke impedes on my freedom to not want to second-hand smoke just like your right to carry a gun shouldn't impede my freedom of not wanting to be shot by your gun. 
So we're in a conundrum, I don't take away your rights but don't want to have mine infringed upon by your action.  But it's not an isolated case, see just like you aren't allowed to take a leak on the street or in a public park maybe it's time to say that people also can't pollute the street or park with smoke.    You can take a leak in designated filthy smelling porta-johns so maybe we should set up porta-smokes where people pay money to smoke in the comfort of a urine drenched shit-box.

by the way is there anybody else who is freaked out by the fact that the three warning labels the FDA has released so far look like they feature
1- the kid from the cover of the Biggie Smalls album
2- Barack Obama
3- A dead Christopher Reeves

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Like Playing Subway memory

I've been living in NYC for almost a decade and have taken (and bitched about) the subway 1000's of times. Whether it's the service delays, the filthy platforms, the undesirables and of course the incomparable concept of not having Metrocard machines on the platforms.

But with all of these negatives and distractions I have yet to figure out when the N train will run on the express track and when it will run local and because the announcements are often so garbled it's like Christmas when it doesn't stop at Prince street and goes right onto Union Square.
For years I assumed the diamond or circle around the train symbol made a difference but that doesn't seem to always hold true, I guess like a subway time schedule the MTA will keep its customers guessing.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

City Living

There is one thing that makes you realize that city-living sucks and that is rodents.   Between the poodle size rats on the platforms of the subways, those nasty black squirrels in the park and this little mouse I saw running around the other day, I'm ready to turn in my metrocard and move out to the country where you are critter free.
The old saying is that if you can invent abetter moustrap you will make millions.  Now I thought this was always some stupid saying that they threw out at business conferences but I realize now that it's not a joke and somebody could make a lot of money because like baseball's steroid policy they keep inventing smarter mice.  
The options now are pretty limited and really are no different than they were 20 years ago.
- the traditional snap-trap, I've seen enough cartoons to know how this ends.   Basically at some point in the night I walk into the kitchen for a glass of water and proceed to get my toe snapped by one of these contraptions.  My other fear is that if I do get so lucky and catch one of them, I'll be cleaning up mouse-goo all over my kitchen floor plus I just know that putting a piece of swiss-cheese on the trap is the equivalent of expecting a bear to get tempted by honey.
- the glue trap which catches them but you are forced to hear them scream and eventually start to eat at their own limbs.   I know that If I was stuck under a huge boulder, I'd have no issue carving off my own arm but I probably wouldn't do it with my own teeth
- The ultrasonic high-pitched frequency plug-in thing.   I'm 100% sure your electricity bill goes up and I'm 99% sure you aren't scaring anything away with it.
- The hybrid glue-trap and snap-trap.    It looks like an oversize roach motel in the shape of a tunnel.  The mouse enters one side, gets caught and SPLAT the snap-trap closes down on it.    The postives are that maybe the entire thing is self-contained, so you'd only have to throw the entire thing out that is if the mouse is actually dumb enough to go into this plastic tunnel willingly.
- A Chinaman to sit on a stool right about the little mouse hole with a baseball bat just waiting for the thing to come peaking out, at which the Asian will pummel it like he's Sadaharu Oh (his father was Chinese) 
- A cat which might be a great solution but comes with a major problem because even if you catch the mouse you are stuck with a fucking cat.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I'm never quite sure why people decide to drink decaf, people always equate it to drinking lite-beer (which I happily participate in) but really they are completely unrelated.   Lite Beer which many may criticize for having dull flavor still offers the underlying reason people drink beer. Lite-beer is about getting a kick without the calories, decaf is getting the calories without the kick..  
See I am one who enjoys the taste of coffee, so I won't say that there is no justification to it but at some point you have to look at yourself and wonder what happened to  your manhood.   There has to be more to life than drinking diet-cokes and decaf lattes and feasting on cheese-less pizza.
    What I don't really get is how exactly you take the caffeine out of coffee to start with.. What kind of hybrid twisted coffee bean are you using?    The irony is that the decaf drinker is often the same one who embraces home-grown and organic vegetables while they are drinking some coffee created by some kind of scientically altered coffee-bean.    So I'm standing up and saying no to decaf, not just cause it's incredibly gay but also because I don't want to grow a third eye.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time travel

The internal clock is always stronger than the real one and although it sounds great in theory for those people like myself who can't go back to sleep after waking up, adding an hour just doesn't feel like much of a reward, in a weird way we add an hour but I still feel like I've lost 2. I don't exactly know why we still participate in day-light savings as it was designed for farmers initially but messing with the clock seems to throw everybody off. Forget hope and change, how about giving the American people some stability

So even if you could go back to sleep or just give yourself a lazy hour but the thought of an extra hour works much better if you don't have a 1 year old who will now get up at 4:30AM instead of 5:30AM because you can't exactly convince her that the clocks says to go back to sleep.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Whether it's somebody selling a guitar stand, renting an apartment or trying to have a casual encounter there is one overriding theme...the ads are poorly constructed, littered with misspellings and all feel like you will get scammed. The ads always look like they were put together while simultaneously driving a bus through a minefield.

I got a response to an inquiry I had for a no-fee apartment I found on Craigslist and the response went like this

 Does any one smoke in or out of the house?What is your occupiation?You look month to month or long-term..I am flexiable?
Any pets?
not for nove 27tenant are closing on a house dec 1 to dec 15
I say that a look


It's as if he put no effort into his email at all which you would think is weird as it is not like he's selling an old couch for $25 or giving away a free mattress. He's trying to rent out one of his apartments which he's asking $2400 per month for. This is a major transaction and you would think he'd have some reason to try to make a good impression.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, November 5, 2010

pain in the ass

A few years ago I heard about a real medical issue dubbed 'pain in the ass' syndrome.  Now this isn't some kind of crazy affliction which comes on whenever some woman's mother-in-law walks through the door.    It has to do with guys getting pain in their back from having their spine misaligned for long periods of time.  Now it's not caused by lifting heavy buckets but rather is based on dude's sitting for too long.   Now it's not just the prolonged periods of inactivity but rather the fact that guy's carry their wallets in their back pockets which compromises their posture and leads to back-pain.
Anyway this might be on of the issues I've been having so it's time to turn over my money-clip wallet and start thinking of something different.    Right now my options seem to be a fanny pack or carrying a man-purse.   Neither seems to be an ideal option so I'm seriously considering just getting a rubberband around a couple of my credit-cards and drivers license and shoving all my cash in a wad into my pocket cause I cannot tell you how debilitating a bad-back was last week

Thursday, November 4, 2010

the apt hung

I haven't had the misfortune in many years of going through the process of having to rent an apartment and I should thank the good-lord above every day for that.   Although I realized it in concept the actual racket that is the NYC real-estate market didn't fully hit me until earlier this week when I started inquiring about rentals and was told that the typical broker's fee is between 12 and 15% of a year's rent.    Only in NYC does the renter pay the brokers fee but now that fee has jumped from a month's rent a few years ago to something that can easily approach $4000.      Have you seen the amount of energy a broker puts into a rental?   If you haven't ever seen one who looks like they are hustling it's not because they are the Joe DiMaggio of brokers but probably because the vast majority of them don't show any initiative what so-ever.     Just look at the websites devoted to rentals and you'll see they are shoddy and filled with typos and grammatical errors.   Often the information in the listing is at best a stretch and often a complete fabrication especially when they mention neighborhoods.    It's not uncommon to see things listed in Prospect Heights which are located in the heart of Bed-Stuy or a place listed in Carrol Gardens which is located well into Gowanus.     But even that would be doable with google-maps but before you trek out to one of these rat-infested crackhouses you want to get an idea of what you might be seeing, the problem is that the pictures of apartments look like they were taken using a Blackberry and most of the time the people taken them couldn't even bother to open the shades to let in some light.    The funniest thing is that they all show you a picture of the bathroom and another of a stove.   If you have only four pictures to use to try to sell me into your dump why do you show the one room in an apartment which looks exactly like every other apartment's bathroom.   The bathroom picture is ridiculous but the stove one really gets me to reason that people must really afraid to rent an apartment and find out it doesn't have a stove.

 Now try to get one of these guys to show you an apartment, you would think that if they stood to make 4 grand they would be fawning over their potential clients but these guys hardly return a phone-call or offer a helpful suggestion.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Anti anti-biotics

Once a year I put myself through a physical which usually involves my doctor getting just a bit too physical for comfort. It's amazing that in a hundred years of modern medicine that it still comes down to dropping your pants and coughing. I'm not even sure what they are checking for but there has to be a better way to tell if you got ball-cancer.
What frustrates me most though is that American doctors feel that if they don't prescribe something whenever you have an ailment. You come in with a sore throat and you get thrown on a week of antibiotics, come in with a cut on your finger and your on the same week, come in with a growth on your back and guess what they give you a week's worth of antibiotics.
First of all when did we get to the future where one pill taken twice a day can cure all ailments?
Secondly what the hell is it about 7 days? Is there some kind of magical time period for these magic pills?

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Voting for change..again

On election day 2010 the US is a more fractured political landscape than it has ever been and going to the polls means either casting ballots to reaffirm political ineptitude or casting ballots to bring in new guys who claim they will bring baseball bats to Washington but will use them only as giveaways to corporate greed.

Only two years ago the buzz in the country was electing the next leader of the free world today they are looking to replace a  bunch of useless senators, worthless representatives and a few justice of the peace-es..   The Republicans will probably take hold of the house which means that the liberal wienies will have more reason to cry about obstructionism and the tea-party will probably have its day in the sun.    The issue I always have with voting in elections is that I show up and except for a couple of the national races or a big state race like governor, I know NOTHING about any other candidate on the bottom of the ballot.   I'm never sure if I'm better off not voting at all since I completely disagree with voting down party lines.   The issue is that these local elections are impossible to know anything about the candidates, I mean you can read about what they say they will do but I can tell you that I'm planning on writing a good blog and you know that isn't going to happened.   Nobody has properly vetted the local councilman or dog-catcher so who knows if these guys spend their weekends with a gag-ball in their mouths wearing latex suits.
In NY our choices are faily lame as usual but there will be the nice suprise i get when I pull the lever for the Republican candidate for US Senate because it will be the first time I'll learn who it is.
The highlight though will be  we get to choose our next Governor.  The race is between a guy who can't even seem to get animated if somebody lit his family on fire and a guy who'se biggest accomplishment on the campaign trail was to prove he's a bigoted twerp.    The way I see it Carl Paladino is in the fortunate position of not having died yet and Andrew Cuomo is in the fortune position of being the equivalent of a Mike Shannahan running back with his pedigree and attorney general position.

Monday, November 1, 2010

a world of apps

So after much debate and overcoming a lot of fears, TOR finally went from Blackberry to IPhone and obviously we're about 4 years late to the party but  I have to say we're impressed..   The sleek design, the 5megapixel camera, the WiFi, the browser, the 32Gigs of memory, the ease of ITunes, the miserable typing, the app-store, the slick form..

It all comes together to form a wonderful experiment of light and sound and I have to say the TOR editorial board is more than just a little impressed.. 

The one issue I have is that everybody tells me how great the apps are and as a former BlackBerry user just having the ability to download an app is a breakthrough.   The problem is that every time I go to the App store and search through the 1,000,000 titles I find that there is almost NOTHING I want.   Yeah there are a couple of goods ones like the free Weather Channel app but the vast majority of them suck.  

This is the problem I think; the more you look the more you realize that you can categorize them as follows

The Free Apps designed by some dude in a basement - they will generally suck, now I know that complaining about something that is free is kind of lame but honestly when you look at the 'lite' version of a crappy app, it doesn't want to make me buy it.. Instead I want to delete it from my phone.  I downloaded some app that allows you to manage a fish-tank and even for $0.00 I felt like I got ripped off.

The Free Apps designed by some major corporation.  Totally hit or miss sometimes they are very good (see NY Times), sometimes they are decent (see MenuPages) and sometimes they completely blow (see CBS Sports).  It's a crap-shoot but honestly we all know they are basically a free commercial for some product and my first impression of many of them is that they suck.  I can't imagine being a huge Fortune 100 company and putting out the equivalent of one of those cable-commercials for a local car dealership.    I downloaded a CBS Sports app and can honestly say that I felt like I was using my Blackberry again.  The interface sucks, the connection is slow, the features are limited and the colors make my eyes bleed.   I would rather just use Safari and browse over to cbs.sports.com

The Standard $0.99 Apps..  I know this is the way of the future and I have no problem in principle paying for something I enjoy but  it's surprising how hard it is to justify $0.99.   I have honestly spent 10 minutes debating whether or not to spend a dollar on Angry Birds while I would spend $1 to try a new flavor of water if I was presented with it.     I'm sure there are good ones but I won't even consider it unless it's got a minimum of 4.5 stars..   (by the way Cut-The-Rope is fantastic)

The Expensive Paid Apps.    Somehow the whole $0.99 thing has gone by the wayside because there are thousands of apps that are like $10 or more.   I looked at some app which allowed you to call the equivalent of 911 in any foreign country and they were selling the app for $109.00.  Now I acknowledge that debating $0.99 is ridiculous but it would take a lot to justify spending $100 on anything I can find by looking at google.com