Thursday, March 31, 2011

taking on the egyptian snake

So after 5 days they found that Egyptian Cobra which has been lost at the Bronx Zoo scaring the bejesus out of anybody who thought that going out there in the winter-chill of the spring of 2011 was a good idea to start with.   The last time a snake went missing that long in the Bronx, A-Rod's wife asked for a divorce.  So on the day the baseball season opened in 40 degree weather, the Bronx Zoo is now safe again for the thousands of visitors to ooh and awe at wild animals stuck in captivity. 

This is the craziness that is our media-cycle.   At 4:21pm on Thursday afternoon, and the all have this on their breaking-news scroll.    We're talking about a 20 inch snake in an enclosed reptile house at it gets more airtime than the protests in Bahrain is getting on most airwaves.  I even read somewhere that this stupid reptile had 200,000 followers on Facebook, this is where we have it all wrong; all the talk in the elevator and by the water-cooler is about the 7 people who won the lottery and a 20 inch reptile.  So here's a concept for you, have the winners of the lottery compete in a dancing with the stars episode with the losers getting thrown into that Bronx Zoo reptile house

 Call me when a lion escapes and I'll be really excited.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

take on the facebook app

I have figured out my ultimate frustration with Facebook, It's not just the spam that lands on your StatusFeed that annoys me, it's the fact that the method most of us use to check Facebook has an inherent flaw which I believe is there out of design.   Everybody tells me that I have to start de-friending people or at least blocking their posts which I am OK with doing as I do see the value in seeing pictures of my family overseas or posts from a friend who I don't see often enough but not at the expense of having to wade through the clutter.  The issue is that most normal people are not going to spend hours in front of a desktop or laptop to check Facebook and instead will check from their IPhone.   The problem is that the IPhone App doesn't allow for some of the most basic and necessary function.... the ability to filter and block content. 
I haven't been actively on Facebook in months as the entire concept is just too overwhelming to me.   The Status Update feed has become SPAM infested with the least interesting people posting the most often.  Well when the one portal that most people use does not allow for basic function like hiding, blocking and defriending you have invented a loop of misery.
The few times I am actually on a laptop checking on Facebook would fall sometime after I've checked the Times, Woot, Brownstoner, the FFA, XNXX, the Daily News, ESPN, Fucked in Park other words there is virtually no chance I'll actually go to Facebook for the sole reason of account maintenance so I just don't.
So Facebook, if you want me back, design an IPhone app which is fully functioning although something tells me that this is not really in your interest since your goal is a some kind of  incestuous platform where everybody is connected.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

take on the welfare state

TOR is usually brutal to the MTA and usually doens't look kindly upon people who leech off the state so we were intrigued when today's Daily News features an article where they describe a plan where the MTA is considering putting welfare recipients to work by having people who live off the state clean subway stations and we are all in favor.

Now I'm sure that there are people who will say this is cruel or a bad business model but really in this day and age with everybody cutting budgets, I see it as a perfect fix for two issues: Welfare Queens driving Cadillac's and filthy subway stations.    The Daily News took an informal poll of their readership and 95% of responders agreed that this was necessary both as a practical need with the MTA cutting 3700 jobs last year and a way to possibly incentify welfare recipients to get off their asses and to work.

Now my liberal friends will scream foul saying that this is yet another way to take advantage of the poor and will say that by forcing to work the unemployed will all of a sudden not have time to look for jobs.   I think that there are two mistakes in this thinking:  one is that unemployment and welfare are not synonymous and the other is that people who be so busy that they cannot look for other work.

I'd argue that this isn't about a guy who gets laid off because of budget cuts and is collecting unemployment and is actively looking for work, this is about chronic issues in welfare where generations of people have never living without state-assistance.    I also know that working empowers people which gives them pride and purpose, all aspects that will help them find new better-work.     People in the workforce constantly find new jobs all while working at present jobs,   they interview during lunch or on personal-days and job search at night.   There is no reason that welfare recipients cannot do the same thing any other member of society does. 

Although the cynic in me would say that this could all be a ploy by the present administrations because now these welfare recipients will all of a sudden be 'working' thus bringing the unemployment numbers down.

Monday, March 28, 2011

take on the British unit counting system

A buddy sent me a link from Gizmodo yesterday which included a link to the only countries in the world who do NOT use the metric system and are still stuck on some antiquated system where 5280 feet equals one mile.     If you would have asked me before I saw the list I would have assumed that there were about 10 to 15 former British colonies still under the direction of the Queen so I was shocked when there were only three countries still stuck on the old British system: Myanmar, Liberia and the USA.   
Anytime you are on a list with a place like Myanmar, I think you have to assume you are on the wrong side of the argument.     It's like the list we came across a few months ago where the US headed a list of the most guns per person with Yemen coming in second place.   I want to be part of any list where I'd sharing an Olympic podium with Yemen and Myanmar about as much as I want to be on a porn set after John Holmes has gotten through with them.
Do you honestly tell me that places like Afghanistan and Bangladesh have gotten modernized more quickly than we have??   Give me one good reason why we have not moved to a simplified metric system where units of measurments are all divisible by 10.  we wonder why our kids are falling behind, the reason is that there is no rhyme or reason to the way we work.   Just look at the English language where there are more broken rules than fixed ones.  

Sadly the only other country other than the one with the largest military power and one run by some ridiculous military Junta not using the metric system is a colony made up of freed slaves.   Not only did we take these poor people on a boat into the bonds of slavery to pick cotton in the miserable south, we then sent them back using the most idiotic counting system this side of tennis.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Taking on drivers

I have figured out a way to reduce car-accidents greatly. By my count 95% of all accident can be avoided with a very simple swift action..eliminating a specific group of people from the roads.. The reason why this seems so obvious to me is that it would involve taking the driving privilege away from only a small group of people for the well being and safety of the rest of the community. Now I'm not going to generalize like saying that old-people, taxi drivers, hasidics or asians are the cause of all these accidents, the group to blame is much more diverse but they are just not that easy to identify. The only way I can identify them so far is that these people are not anybody that I've ever encountered

See by speaking with people who have been involved in accidents it is almost always the fault of 'some asshole". I am not sure how to identify them but it can't be that hard cause they are very busy cutting off people, rear ending unsuspecting drivers, running stop-signs. See virtually every accident is the cause of the other guy, it's very seldom the cause of anybody I know. I have heard about hundreds of accident and there are probably 5 that were the fault of the person telling the story.. I'm sure that there is a science to this like people who grew up in Northern Jersey in the 1990's or works at my office today or is somehow related to me by blood or marriage are specifically immune from ever causing accidents. So the way I see it we can get to the root of the problem by scanning out from me, the way I see it there needs to be about 3 degrees of separation directly from me to ever find anybody who has ever been the sole reason for an accident...although they may not admit to it.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Take on the expiration date

It used to be that the biggest pain in losing your wallet was finding the phone number to cancel your credit cards which they post on the one thing you don't have anymore... the back of the lost card.. But now with smartphones finding a phone number isn't the difficult thing anymore but now there is another difficulty. See if you lose your card there is a good reason to get a new one, if it expires they send you the same card with a date punted three years into the future.
A few weeks ago my credit card expired so it wasn't even the mad-scramble of a lost card. Bank of America sent a replacement in the mail and except for one would-be-transaction I never missed a beat.. The issue only showed up two weeks later when I started getting notices that my gym membership wasn't paid and now overdue. See like many Americans I have direct payment set up for tons of things from my cable-bill to my cell phone-bill as well as being set up with an easy click through on Amazon, PayPall, Woot, ProFlowers and a Overstock.
So because my card expired I had to individually contact 10 different merchants to chang the date on my card from 3/11 to 3/14 which was a total nightmare.
Why the hell are there expiration dates on a card anyway? It's not milk where the funds go bad after a few years. We are a decade removed from those card machines using that big metal sliding thing and every store has a machine which dials directly into the bank for authorization. There are three and four digit codes to confirm the card is in your possession and some merchants even ask you to supply a zipcode but nowhere does an expiration date really come into play.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, March 25, 2011

take on the minority

Once every few weeks we do a company pizza lunch..   Not much to it other than somebody calls up and orders three pies and 45 minutes a dozen famished employees hammer down slice after slice.    Now aside from the obvious health-risks as we all have expanding waistlines there is another issue with this process.    See every time the decision is made to do a company pizza luncheon one employee walks around to try to figure what toppings we will order and inevitably somebody will say that we should order at least one plain pie.  

Fast-forward about half an hour after delivery.. there are two empty pizza boxes thrown to the floor one with a few pieces of stray meatball and mushroom and the other with some pieces of chicken and broccoli while a third box stands almost untouched. 

I don't get how in a democracy one voice can have so much power while the wishes of the majority are compromised when one loud voice is able to get legislation passed for which the rest of the group has to suffer.  .   I know there is a need for some voice for the minority but when it becomes so powerful that the will of the people is compromised I don't feel like democratic justice is served.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

taking on Linda Flanagan a criminal renting houses in the Hampton Bays

Last summer my family went and spent a five days in a beach house in the Hamptons.   Now I'm not talking about P-Diddy in white-suits Hamptons and more like stressed out father in sandals with socks with too much sun-tan lotion on his nose Hampton Bays
We rented a house at 5 Baywoods Drive in the Hampton Bays through for a long weekend and after some negotiation got the owner an Irish woman named Linda Flanagan to come down from $2800 to $2300.   When I got the contract it included a $150 cleaning fee which had not been discussed plus a $500 security deposit which the contract clearly stated would be returned promptly after departure of the house as long as there was no damage..    The long weekend went well, everybody enjoyed themselves and a few days later I called the owner to get my $500 security deposit back.   She told me that she would send out a check later that day and we left on good-terms with me walking away thinking that renting this particular house again next year would be something we should consider.
After about a week when the $500 security deposit didn't show up, I emailed Linda Flanagan who said the check must have gotten lost in the mail because she definitely sent it.   I asked her to send a new one and she ensured me she would.  Another week passes and still no check, I call few times and send a few messages which all go unanswered.  Now I might be called a conspiracy theorist but the $500 she had not returned is the exact amount of money I was able to negotiate off of her original asking price, all of a sudden it dawned on me that she was going to get $2800 for the four days one way or another and this was probably her shtick figuring that nobody would go through that much trouble to get back $500.     After a few months of this run-around, I try to get smart and start calling from different phone-numbers as I was sure she had my cell-phone number programmed into her phone and was just dodging my calls.   Most of the time she would answer when I called from an unknown number but as soon as she realized it was me, she would hang up the phone.
After making more than 30 phone calls and sending more than 20 emails, I decided I needed to bring in some muscle so I got one of my lawyer buddies to write up a lawyerly letter threatening a lawsuit.   The threat of a lawsuit initially seemed to scare Miss Flanagan as she promised my lawyer friend that she would send me a new check but to no ones surprise this check never showed up.
After this I decided the scare tactic wasn't enough and went through the proper-channels and decided to file an actual lawsuit in the small-claims court in Brooklyn.  This involved spending a few hours to file the initial paper-work and then spending a full evening a few weeks later in small-claims court when the case was heard.    I wasn't surprised when Ms Flanagan didn't show up to the court case and I won the case easily although the judgment was only for $530 which included the $500 initial deposit, $15 in court fees and $15 in interest although I had asked for $1000 which included 'pain and suffering'   Now I understand that Pain and Suffering is a tough case to prove but my thought was that IF she only paid me back the $500 than she had me jump through all these hoops to only get back the money that was owed to me.   I argued in front of the arbitrator (they don't give you a judge in small-claims court) that by not punishing her more harshly that there then would be no incentive for her to ever pay anybody back their deposit knowing that the worst thing that would happened was that she would be forced to pay back the money that is owed plus a minimal fee.
A month after the judgment was ordered, I still had not received a check and the paperwork supplied from the court suggested that if payment has not been made after 30 days that the plaintiff should contact a NY Marshall.   So after I spent hours on the phone, hours of my life standing on line and hours of my life at small-claims court which is about the most depressing place in the world and still no court or agency has really been able to help me with anything.
So I contact the Marshall and they informed me if I had either her bank information or her social-security number which obviously I did not.  The problem they said was that without a bank-account number they could not freeze it and without a social security number they could not garner her wages.    In other words there really is nothing the marshall can do, now I would have assumed that the Marshall's office would have tons of bank-tracking data machines, sophisticated spying equipment, double-agents and tons of feet on the ground but nstead they have a lady who answers the phone.
Now in her defense she did suggest that if I was willing to do some significant legwork that I would be able to get either a bank account number, I'm a spiteful person and although I realize that my time is worth more than the $500, I told her I was interested.   She told me that if I got a court order, a bank would be required by law to release information about whether or not she has an account at that particular bank.  The issue of course is that if you don't know what bank she uses you are basically stuck.   The lady at the marshall's office suggested I go to her house and walk around the neighborhood to find out which banks are in her neighborhood as she would most likely have an account at a bank close to her house.   I would then go back to back to the Brooklyn court-house and request an information subpoena for every bank in her neighborhood and have somebody else (I can't do this as I am the plaintiff) deliver these subpoenas to each bank to find out if Linda Flanagan has an account there.   The banks would be obliged to contact me within a month with information about possible accounts held in her name.   Now if I could find the needle in the bank haystack and find a bank with an account for Linda Flanagan I would then go back to the Brooklyn courthouse and sign a number of exception forms as only certain wages could be restrained but than they could go through the process of freezing her account.
So if I'm willing to dedicate a few more days of my life, I can probably find the bank and assuming their are enough non-exempt funds in there, the Marshall's can go after her with  guns blazing..somehow I'm not sure this is worth the $500.  
So instead I will go to the airwaves and will not stop until Linda Flanagan returns the $500 owed to me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

take on the map

We've all heard that black-men are hung like horses, white men are hung like turtles and asian men are hung like fireflies and today there is definitive proof that this ..Earlier this week I came across the following world-map ….  and all of a sudden there was scientific proof to the unfair advantage that we white guys notice every day of our lives.

Now I can't tell you that I know any of this from personal experience but I do know that whenever I go to the New York Sports Club that I feel vastly inferior as dudes walk around there flaunting their pecs, quads and units and honestly the guys who walk around with a third arm are almost never pale looking white dudes.   So it got me to thinking about those penis-pumps or all-natural pills you can take and who the hell actually buys these things and more importantly if they actually work.   Some of these dudes at the NYSC can't possibly be packing all that heat naturally, there has to be something to it and maybe they really are either chemically or mechanically enhanced..    Now I'm not quite ready to buy a pump as I'm not really sure who I'd be trying to impress but it might be nice not to have to triple wrap my towel when walking to the bathrooms out of the shame and embarrassment that is non French European inadequacy.     

But now we know why my Brazilian, Egyptian and South African friends all have chicks who fawn over them while my Irish, Dutch and Canadian buddies  all have to depend on killer personalities while my Indian and Chinese friends apparently just get their chicks really drunk ..  I also realize that I don't know any chicks dating people from Columbia, Venezuela or Sudan as I'd imagine they'd have problems walking straight and even if that was the case there is no way I'd trade up for a 12 inch unit for having to live in one of those hell-holes

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

take on the parallel conversation

One of the things I've decided that I hate about Facebook is the fact that when you get people together who all incessantly check their status-update that the entire conversation as an outsider sounds like this


Chick #1   So I was in Cancun last week and it was

Chick#2    Yeah I saw the picture

Righetti    When did you go to Cancun ??

Chick#2    She went last week
Chick#1    Yeah so we went sky-jumping and cliff-diving

Chick#2    Yeah I saw the pictures

Righetti:   Wow was it scary?

Chick#2     So I saw that your boyfiend jumped off the big cliff

Righetti:   did he like it?
Chick#2     He updated his status and said he didn't like it.

Chick#1    yeah it was awesome, such a thrill…

Chick#2    I saw you guys had dinner on the beach

Chick#1    yeah it was really fun

Chick#2    and how was that scuba-diving?

Chick#1    yeah it was really fun

Chick#2    the pictures looked great, sounds like you guys had so much fun

Chick#1    It was great only problem was I got really bad food-poisoning

Righetti:  what happened?

Chick#2   Yeah I saw your post glad it worked out

Chick#1   yeah I had some bad-clams and

Chick#2   the hospital bed looked kind of creepy

Chick#1   yeah but the doctor on call was really cute

Chick#2   I saw his picture



It's like these two girls are having a conversation with each other without really talking with each other since they already know everything what is going on.  Everything that anybody in the group says, somebody else replies that they saw them post that on Facebook.  There are no thrills or surprises anymore anything interesting that happens has already been compressed to 140 characters for anybody to see.    Then when the conversation goes to people who aren't even friends anymore and one person says  'did you see that Joe went to Cancun?"  and they start talking about Joey's trip eventhough nobody in a non facebook world would give a crap about this clown.

At some point you realize that your friends know less about you than they do their Facebook friends because you don't update your status every few minutes..

Monday, March 21, 2011

take on.. the beefy crunch burrito

I read a report today about a guy in Texas who became enraged when he ordered 7 tacos and found out the price had increased by $0.50 per taco.   The dude went nuts when the poor schlep making minimum wage working at the drive-through informed him the Beefy Crunch Burrito had risen to $1.49 from $0.99 and it triggered a 3 and half hour standoff with police.   The police where called when the man fired an air gun at the manager through the drive-through window, flaunted his semi auto rifle and pistol and then drove off.  He then drove to barricade himself in his hotel room nearby.
This is what's wrong with our country, some wacko in Waco eats seven beefy crunch burritos for lunch.. what the hell is wrong with people when 6 of these bad-boys aren't enough.  I went online to the website and surprise surprise the calorie count calculator was not operational what better way to hide the fact you are slowly killing your clientele.   But after some further searching on the interwebs it looks like each of these suckers has 510 calories.   So this dude gets off on 3570 calories for lunch before he's had a super-size coke and a bowl of chili.  How the hell can we even get our health-care costs under-control when an average joe consumes twice the recommended daily calorie intake just for lunch.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Taking on..... Toilet seats

A few years ago when my buddy Kenny ripped a toilet seat off a wall while dropping a deuce I abused him about it mercilessly.. Poor kid is at work and excuses himself for a few minutes and before he knows it, he's swimming in a pool of sewage, toilet-paper and porcelain after he had heard cracking while seated upon his throne.
Well what goes-around, comes-around. Yesterday while filling the bathtub up for my daughter's bath, I plop down on the closed toilet lid and as soon as ass hit cheap chinese-plastic I knew there was trouble. My gigantic ass had cracked the toilet-cover in two like the crater line of an earthquake. Now I realize that I've let myself go but never before has a seemingly indestructible piece not been able to handle my weight.. This is my wakeup call...I am hitting P90X next week.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Take on subway surfing

I have been riding the subway for 2 decades and there are two things which frighten me: the crazy homeless people who can shove you onto the track and the poodles living on those tracks. What doesn't frighten me but should is the hepatitis growing on the handles, poles and seats on the cars and I've started to become more aware of this as I've gotten more older and slightly more germophobic.. Now I'm nowhere near as bad as friends who will have a designated hand they use to touch things on the train but even I realize that touching those subway parts is probably as sanitary as licking a men's room toilet seat. .
But I'm not generally inclined to get skeeved out and I'm often forgetful when it comes to using the designated subway hand so in order to keep myself focused on not getting a train STD I devised a game called subway surfing where you stand in the middle of the car without touching anything as the subway rolls though the miles of tunnels underneath the city streets. Later on when researching for this piece our editors found out that the term subway surfing is already an actual olympic full contact sport, so this is more like subway boogie-boarding but let me assure you it is still uber dangerous. Anyway the goal is to make it from one subway stop to another without using your hands for any support while keeping both your feet stationary. This works on your balance, strengthening you core and most importantly avoiding the homeless filth. In rush-hour traffic it actually is a bit easier as the hoard of people keep you upright so the best time to play it is when you are on a semi packed train towards the end of the evening rush preferably on a train like the B which is notorious for having lead-footed conductors..
The game combines skill, persistence, strength and can be very dangerous as you could lose your balance and go slipping all over that freckled black pseudo-tile which lines the floors of the trains. Last week I made it from Grand Street to 36th without touching anything or anybody except for the floor underneath my feet.. Next week I try to master the vaunted Grand Central to 86th street express trip.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, March 18, 2011

Taking on the crazies

Somebody has to explain to me why there are countless Asians (they are almost always Asian and at least 70% women) who walk the streets in my neighborhood on recycling day and rummage through trash to collect cans. Now these aren't a bunch of crackheads (from what I can tell) who seem to be collecting cans to support their smack-habit but instead some or 'normal'. Now maybe this is a kind of behavior which happens when the Tiger Mother scares her cub into craziness
What really bothers me is when you catch one ripping open the recycling bags to fish out the cans.. I spend time and care to make sure my front stoop doesn't look like a rat infested garbage dump but every Thursday morning there is crap everywhere... It's one thing for them to fish coke cans out of the city trash bins and I'd argue they're doing a service by recycling an item that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill but when they are just grabbing them from my front stoop after I collected them, they are making a killing (and a mess) on my work
And to make matters worse today I couldn't get a seat on the train cause one of these psychos was using the D train to bring home her Manhattan haul.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Taking on pay web-content

On I read the following earlier today

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The New York Times announced "digital subscriptions" on Thursday, revealing the long-awaited details of its paywall plan. Starting March 28, non-subscribers will be able to read only 20 online articles for free each month.

Home delivery subscribers can continue to access online and app content for free. Non-subscribers can choose from three packages: $15 per month for Web access and smartphone content; $20 for Web plus access to the Times iPad app; and $35 for Web, tablet and smartphone access


Now I'm not one who believes all internet content should be free but realize that a lot of content is now free so they must know they could seriously get hammered to their hits.   I realize that the Journal charges for their content but it's about the only place I know where this model has worked so far.. look at the porn industry, they are giving it all away for free...and some.  
Anyway the CNN article does go on to say that you can get around the 20 free articles when clicking on a links posted on social-networking sites so the 20 articles per month is not a hard limit as long as you don't actually go-to

TOR has the following observations

·         The monthly cost seems steep.. not sure how you go from free to a minimum of $15 per month in one day.    I'd think they'd stick their toe in the water first to see if they can keep their readers and then move up slowly.  I'd have to think that there is a much bigger drop-off of readership by moving from free to $1 than it would be from $1 to $10.   The internet is filled with people who don't believe they should have to pay so getting them to take out their wallet might be the biggest step

·         It's pretty sad to note that the first time I read about this was on CNN since I get most of my news today from the Times and I have yet to see a real article about this… the only real mention I saw of it was when it was mentioned by the Public Editor in response to this very criticism.

·         This whole concept of a wall with a back-door seems ridiculous.. how long before a webpage is set up where people just post links to every article in the Times?   Won't be long that's for sure..  hell why don't I set this up, sell ad-space and make more on the Times than the Times will..

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

taking on that Euro-stench

Now I am not one who will wash a button down after every day of wearing it but I would never wear the same undershirt again.    I use the undershirt as a sweat-mop and the overshirt as a bib which means that unless I spill coffee or ketchup on it, there is no reason to wash it.  The funny thing is that not everybody seems to agree with me. See I've travelled to Europe probably 30 times over the last fifteen years and the one thing that my brethren do which always surprised me is the fact there are so many people there who don't seem to wash on a regular basis.   I'm not sure what the root-cause is but you have guys wearing the same clothes for days on end is one thing, the stench of major BO is another and you can usually tell which dude will stink before they are even within smell-distance.   Sadly this isn't even something that is limited to the dudes; there are women that walk around that smell worse than a Thai whore-house.   But the dudes are worse, now I understand the concept of pheromones but do these grease-balls think that their sweat carries the same kind of powers? 

At least they are ensured a couple of buffer seats at the movie theater.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Take on the radio

As I am driving the other night I did something that I haven't done in years.....I scanned the FM dial and I felt like jamming a giant icepick into my urethra..
Now it's not just that I think today's popular music is worthless dribble, I find it unlistenable. I understand that not every band can be Led Zeppelin which I realize doesn't in itself mean it's worthless. What does bother me is that on the New York radio dial there are four stations basically only playing pop 40... This is a market which in its heyday had a great classic rock station, the best rock station, a great hip-hop station, fantastic 50's and 60's on 101.1 and even had a decent station devoted to New Wave . I realize that bubblegum pop-music sells more records than the other genres but does that mean that a real music fan can't drive for a half-an-hour and listen to less talent than you find in an average high-school glee club.
Well in 2011 I turned from Z100 to 92.3 to 103.5 to 101.1 and felt like I was stuck in a Mike-and-Mike endless bumper loop.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, March 14, 2011

Taking on the @aol crowd

Have you noticed that whenever you deal with anybody who still uses a or to a slightly lesser degree a email address that the world seems to be perpetually stuck in the Y2K loop.
Recently I have been going back and forth with somebody about horse-riding lessons for my niece whose extension is something like this but she refuses to reply-all whenever I send an email to her with the obvious desire to have her include everybody involved. It always goes the same way, i send an email with people on the CC line and she replies to just me which means that now I have to forward it and each time this happens another email-thread starts.. I like efficiency and there is nothing more frustrating than dealing with people who do not see this as the priority it is
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Take on Celebrity endorsers

The people over at ShapeUps must be banging their heads up against the wall. They have a great concept of allowing people to work out as they walk around, they have a nationally recognized product and they have major celebrity endorsements yet they still are seen by everybody as completely uncool.
I can't tell you that I know their marketing strategy or sales numbers but I can tell you that I don't know a single person who actually wears them. Maybe it's the fact they are shaped like marching-band shoes, maybe people assume that whoever is wearing them has some kind of mental disability or maybe we're all sick of hearing that 'hey there's John Candy' story but if I could give their CEO one piece of advice it's sell your company at the first real chance.
See you KNOW their product sucks when you see even their paid celebrity endorsers refuse to be seen in them... Just look at the newest Shape Up campaign featuring Kim Kardashian, ever single ad show her standing there big smile on her face, big chest pumped out and huge ass framed beautifully in black spandex... The only thing missing is her actually wearing a pair of ShapeUps. The huge poster size add the cuts off just above her knees
Give me any other campaign where it is so blatantly obvious that they don't want to actually see the pitch-man NOT wearing a garment. You don't see a Wranglers ad with Brett Favre hanging out in his bathing suit or a Victoria Secret display with a chick wearing a ski jacket.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Taking on Escalators

Only in New Jersey do you get to a NJ Transit rail-road station and find that the only escalator from the platform up to the main corridor runs down.
If you only have one escalator at your disposal why in hell would you have it run down especially at the station serving the airport where everybody has huge heavy bags which they now have to schlep up a huge set of stairs. Now I realize that there is an elevator but you have to be some kind of 250 pound chick to ever consider that option. I am not saying we need to embrace laziness and I will often take the stairs even if an escalator is available but I'd like to at least have that option open to me.
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Taking on Peter King

Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, began holding hearings Thursday on "the extent of the radicalization of the American Muslim" and quite frankly we here at TOR are disgusted with this type of 'for show' political action designed only to score cheap points in a politically charged society.    It's unclear exactly what he's hoping to accomplish but I can just see him parading a bunch of brown-skinned bearded dudes in front of some official governmental body to prove they are not associated with terrorism

I think we went through this once or twice before as a country.. the last time they just wanted to find out if you are now or have ever before been a communist and before that they were trying to find out if you were a witch.  

this entire concept of somebody having to prove that they are innocent goes against everything this country's judicial system stands for and it reeks of the Japanese embankment camps during WWII.   You also realize that this kind of intrusive behavior is exactly what people like Mubarak or Qaddafi made a career out of and having this occur on our shores done by our congress will only embolden the kinds of radicals this jackass is trying to uproot.     What's next for this guy:  calling out Italians to prove they are not connected, making sure every Irish guy doesn't have an IRA member in their cell-phone, calling priests to the appear in front of congress to have them prove they are not kiddie-touchers, calling out a bunch of Chinese people to make them prove they have no connection to factories making tainted dog-food or making sure that every dutch girl isn't secretly turning on a red-light at night.  My guess he won't go there because it won't make for good copy.. 
At some point I'm willing to take some risks as a country if it means not having to live in the kind of police-state Peter King envisions.

Why can't this guy spend more time with his player analysis?    He's never offers a risky prediction when it comes to his fantasy football analysis usually saying something as profound as "Chris Johnson should have a good week against a porous Texans defense this week'.    Maybe you should spend more time watching tape and less time trying to legislate allowed-bigotry

Thursday, March 10, 2011

taking on the crazies

I picked up a copy of the Times this morning (on my Iphone app which means it crashed about three times throughout an hour commute) and read about Qaddafi's hidden billions, Peter King's witch hunt and Carmelo Anthony's game-winning jumper against Memphis last night.     All of these articles were interesting I guess but the only one from today's paper which really caught my eye was the one about a woman getting arrested for the abuse of a pet.   Now the pet in question wasn't a poodle, a kitten or a rabbit but instead was a rodent.    Now I'm in no way condoning the abuse of any animal including vermin but it just seemed strange that the police even found about this as rats and mice get killed in traps every day of the month but I guess because this animal was brought into the apartment in a box and not through a hole underneath the stove made the situation completely different.

Anyway I'm really not one who will argue for or against the crazies at PETA but what I did find interesting was another part of the article which quoted the mother of the teen accused of killing one of her little sister three hamsters

Theresa Smith, 47, who lives with 10 of her 12 children in the third-floor apartment on Putnam Avenue, said that violence ran in her family. "Thirty-two years ago," she said, "my brother strangled my sister to death."

She said that after Sweetie's death, her 25-year-old son gave the other two hamsters to a friend to keep them from harm.

"We have a cat that just had kittens," she said. "We're happy with them

I had to think that 'violence' running in the family sounds like a bit of a copout especially if you are comparing the murder of a human vs. that of a rodent but what really bothered me was the fact on-top of the litter of kids she has, she thought it would be a good time to have a litter of cats.. Does this lady think she's Noah or something?    In this article along they reveal that they have three hamsters, a litter of cats and 12 kids all in an apartment in Brooklyn, what the hell do you expect to happened? 

Hey lady, ever hear of birth-control.  Who the hell thinks it's a good idea to have 12 kids?  It's not as if you are living on a farm where you need the help to work the land??    Maybe while the animal cruelty people should call the child-services people for a visit..and if nothing else maybe they can use those cats to find those hamsters

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

taking on the cops

As we've gotten further away from 9/11, the almost unbreakable affection we had for New York's Finest has steadily started to wear away.   I don't think the memory of that day has faded or their braveness forgotten but the general attitudes of the average guy on the beat just feels like there are two sets of rules.

Whether a guy in a patrol car yapping away on his cell phone as he drives down the street, see one of them driving in the bike-lane up on 9th avenue  or five of them  chit-chatting on a subway platform it just doesn't seem like they are doing what they are well-paid to do.   It's not that we don't believe they are putting their lives on the line but it's this nonchalant attitude where they seem to all thumb their nose at the very law they are paid to enforce.

I'm crossing the street last Saturday afternoon with my wife and daughter when all of a sudden a cop car drives through a red-light passing right in front of us.   Now it wasn't as if he ran me off the road or there was even a fear of getting clipped but it's the audacity of it all.  See most of the time they'll throw their cop-lights and siren on for 20 seconds to give the appearance like they are on official police business but in this case they didn't even bother to do even do that minor act to give the bullshit appearance of some emergency.  Why the hell do these guys need to run the light in the first place and then why do they feel like they have a right to do so.   I remember being a kid and being taught to look up to a police-officer as a role-model but when they routinely disregard laws while harassing citizens the shine wears off and I can't in good conscious try to convince my daughter that these guys are beyond reproach...even if they act like they are 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Taking on Margaritas

I like a deal as much as the next guy, I buy my shirts at, I rent an apartment on the border of Staten Island and when I am not taking my wife home, I'll always opt for the Subway over a cab.
I also believe in the Costco model of buying in bulk so I was disgusted when last night I was at dinner at a new NYC restaurant called Teqa which had the look, feel and recomendations of a top NYC restaruant.  I was pretty excited going in but when we ordered a pitcher of margarita I felt sick.   A pitcher of their standard margarita is $48 which in itself is ridiculous but even more so when we realized that it didn't even fill four glasses.  Now that feels like a rip-off but it really hit home when you realize that if you order them individually they charge you $11 a glass.    In other words we paid $48 for $44 worth of alcohol -or if you want to get cynical about $8 worth of alcohol and $40 worth of atmosphere.    So we got less booze AND we had to pour it ourselves..
When we alerted the waitress it was as if we asked her to solve Einstein's theory of relativity and her only answer was that a pitcher was 'a bit more than four glasses" oblivious to the nasty fact that there I sat as the anchor of the relay team with a cup which was at about three-quarters full and most of that were huge ice-cubes.

I realize NYC is stupid expensive and I know this unfortunate aspect of it all to well but I don't expect NYC to be a bait-and-switch rip-off.  Charge what you need to charge to make money but don't rip people off for the sake of ripping people off.   

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Taking on......soup?

I generally don't understand why certain people like the flavor of such vile thing such as liver, eel or sweet-wine although I do acknowledge that I've come around on a lot of things I would never have touched a decade ago. The issue I have is that I go through this routine whenever eating which seems ingrained in the human mind from before evolution.
I will look over the food to make sure there isn't anything jagged protruding from it or moldy growing on it which seems sensible but what I will always do is smell whatever dish I am about to chomp down on. I know it's a weird habit but I can't eat something without first having taken this precaution. The issue is when I cannot recognize something by smell or eyesight alone. It is then that I feel the most hamstrung. Generally I cannot tell you if I like something without knowing what it is, I just can't give you my opinion without knowing the main ingredients. I figure that if I like the taste of something I assume to be banana but then find out it's a piece of Ahi tuna that there must be something horribly rotten about the tuna. If I like the asparagus soup but then find out it's fish-head then I probably have bigger problems than funny-smelling pee to deal with.
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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Take on delays

Whenever there are train delays i find myself in this internal struggle, do I either wait out the misery or try to hop on different trains in the faint hope it can get me to my destination more quickly. The problem is that my nature is to take control of a situation as waiting as my fate is decided for me is complete torture
So this morning when the D train was delayed because of a situation at Grand Avenue, I thought I could circumvent the issue by taking the F to 9th street, transferring to the downtown R and then potentially catching an express to try to catch a local further down the tracks.
Well you know what happens, the F is delayed, the R is packed, the express N never shows and when you finally get to the station before yours the conductor informs you that due to earlier delays they will be going express and thus skipping your stop. You spend all this time and effort to avoid a delay and instead accomplish nothing other than stressing yourself out
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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Taking on Scott Walker

with the protests in Wisconsin turning over into their third week, i figure it's about time for TOR to weigh in on the situation, the unions and the governor.   You gotta give it to Walker, he's not afraid to take off the gloves and fight for what he believes in even if it means that he's quickly becoming the most hated/loved man in America...  Now we at TOR have our opinions about unions as they do have a way to cripple progress but we also believe that unilaterally taking away collective bargaining might be a bit extreme but really that isn't what bothers us the most about this situation.

the problem we have is that his face is completely distorted, it's like he's Shannen Doherty looking into a fun house mirror.   He's got one eye socket on the lower right hand side of his mug while the other has trouble blinking as there appears to be a hair-plug jammed into it.     It is as if he was standing on the side of a river and some guy caught the left-side of his forehead with a fish-hook and pulled up and then another guy slapped him on the back real hard and quite frankly it's completely distracting.  
See at TOR we realize we are extremely judgmental especially if we have no basis to come up with the theory but you can't trust a guy who literally looks like he has two different faces, we should know....

Friday, March 4, 2011

Taking on sugar

The NYC Health department has started this new subway advertisement campaign against obesity with a new set of ads which stack up various every-day drinks with the equivalent number of sugar packets you are consuming. A sports drink is 9 packs of sugar, a soda is almost 14 and a frozen vanilla coffee is 32 packs. This country is addicted to sugar so I welcome any effort to draw attention to it. I know guys who drink 3 or 4 soda's per day and pour so much sugar in their coffee that the spoon could practically stand up in the cup.
My issue with this particular campaign is that I am not exactly sure what they are trying to show in the picture.. It looks like a lobster tail which quite frankly sounds pretty good to me right now and makes me want to drink a large coke to help wash down that tender lobster meat.

Glad to see NYC is spending my tax money wisely in their graphics department.
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Taking on the black stuff

Somebody explain to me what the hell those black particles I see floating around my Brita are. I do know that it's some kind of carbon used to filter but is there any way to filter water of its impurities which does not involve floating remnants of gunk?
Just this morning after having put the entire pitcher through a thorough cleaning, I install my new filter and within minutes it looks like I am staring at a newly poured pint of Guinness and picking chunks of crap out of my teeth. Now it's one thing if that only happened in the reservoir in front of the filter but sometimes you see it in the reservoir after the filter.

It's like I need a filter for a filter, maybe I'll jury rig a coffee filter to the apparatus.
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Taking on Thomas Friedman

in today's NY Times like most Wednesday's there is an Op-Ed column written my Thomas Friedman the ugly jacket wearing ugly American who cheer-led the invasion of Iraq, he argues for a new perspective for the protests erupting around the middle-east. Like most pieces by Friedman, he tries to bring you inside his massive head as he tackles the world's biggest issues by him either name dropping some casual conversation he had with some CEO of an upstart or some interior minister of some backwards country or by playing Monday Morning Quarterback with the Middle-East.

Today he writes about the 'real' reason's democracy came to Tunisia and Egypt and he offers some new angles after the Twitter/Facebook one have been played out. Friedman obviously is well versed in Middle Eastern politics and concludes the ground was set by a combination of: Obama's speech in Cairo, Google-Earth, Israel's relentless work to bring peace and fairness to the region (didn't see that one coming did you???) and the Beijing Olympics for showing young disenfranchised Arab youth that there is a better life out there and maybe a gold-medal in fencing too.
Who Friedman forgot to credit directly- but if you at all follow his rhetorical delusion is obvious- is this generation's George Washington ....himself. He is Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Netanyahu and Benjamin Disraeli all rolled into one.

Thomas Friedman whose underlying goal has always been driven by the safe harbor of Zion has championed the Bush-Rumsfeld-Cheney waterboarded version of democracy regardless of how many innocent Iraqi civilian lives it cost theorizing that eventually a democracy in the middle of muslim world would be ground-zero for a budding movement. He will tell you today that the US stumbled, fumbled and bumbled their way into and throughout the war in Iraq but don't worry the lives it interrupted, disabled and ended were not in vain as they served as the true breeding ground for Tunisia

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Take on the pervert pastors

So another day.. another pervert pastor.
Anti-gay pastor Grant Storms busted for touching himself in public park in New Orleans
I've long been of the opinion that the ones we have to worry the most about are the ones that speak the loudest in opposition of the very topic.   Whether it is Newt taking Bubba to task about the fat-chick in the oval-office while he himself was diddling a house intern or one of these pastor's that get up on their high-horse denouncing homosexuality while they themselves are playing hide the bible with the guy mopping up the church at nights. 
Just today another one of these self-righteous sociopaths who had made a career about standing in front of gay-pride events protesting it as morally corrupt was found playing with himself in the parking lot of a playground.   
This is where religion and the fanatics it breeds really gets to me, people who tell others how to and how not live are usually the ones who are the most morally corrupt.   Now one thing that has always bothered me is that people have suggested that those dirty priests are gay..they are nothing of the sort.. They are complete and utter perverts who prey on children, homosexuality and abusing children have nothing to do with one another.   Add to that the fact that the entire church categorically denied and systematically covered it up makes me sick to my stomach.  
The people who are supposed to give their congregation moral guidance while making judgment upon the actions are the ones who are not just breeding fear but spread the kind of intolerance they are supposedly trying to eliminate.