Saturday, April 30, 2011

Take on the royal wedding

So apparently there was something going on across the pond yesterday which got everybody all excited.   Some say it is because of the love the world had for Diana others theorize that those limey Brits have been waiting to restore some class to it's pomp and circumstance monarchy but one way or another it brought an estimated 2 billion people to the TV set. 

The chatter in the blogosphere revolves around three things;  the dress, the kiss and the ass.  Now TOR knows a thing or two about being a bride as anybody who attended my nuptials will realize I should have been the one in the white dress and Kate could not have been thrilled to be upstaged by her younger, hotter little sister.   This sister chick went from some hot chick nobody every heard of to the next tabloid sensation and i'm sure she was the most downloaded picture of the day yesterday.  
I have been to weddings where the dresses the bridesmaids were wearing look like try were forced on by threat of decapitation and here the maid of honor shows up wearing not only wearing white like she just stepped out of a Bridal magazine but dolled up as if she was in a competition for hottest bride.
So first she is upstaged, then she has to stand there as this 60 minutes ceremony drones on while her soon to be brother-in-law looks like he's gonna throw herself on a sword out of boredom and then when the big moment comes with everybody watching poor she her prince like she is kissing a toad but I guess that's all you can expect when marrying into such a stuffy clan

Friday, April 29, 2011

take on the top of the head

One of the drawbacks to running is that despite the great form of excercize it also comes with it's fair share of ailments.
Whether it's a twisted ankle, pain in your feet or knees or feet that look and feel like they have been through war, the average runner fights through multiple injuries and pains to hit the road each and everyday.
Out of all the problems chafing has to be one of the most uncomfortable ailments mostly because it's not so debilitating that it will stop your run but more that the after effects scare you of ever wanting to do it again.   I have had my fair shares of chafing issues including bloody nipples which force me to bandaid my aereolas before a 10+ mile run and miserable inner thigh chafing which literally stopped me mid run once as I stopped in an italian restaurant to douse myself with olive-oil but the chafing I experienced this week trumps them all.
See although I carry my sword in a sheaf, not every part of it stays protected.   Like one of those balding men, the crown if fully exposed and this carries the burden of the elements.   As I ran through a comfortable 4 miles I started experiencing some pain, first I thought it was just my boxers bunching up but by the time I got out of my shorts to shower I saw the bloody mess.   Apparently over the 4 mile journey the cheap polyester of my shorts had. rubbed against me in such a way that I had terrible chafing to the point it had started to bleed.   The shower offered no relief as the combination of sweat and warm water stung the sore and not until I put my head on my pillow with a thin sheet propped up like a circus tent did I feel some relief.
So here I am, suffering yet another running injury and trying to figure out how to prevent it in the future.   But unlike my nips or thighs there doesn't seem to be an easy preventative remedy.  I don't want to put a Dora the Explorer band-aid on it as I can only imagine the pain of pulling it off later and I'm not about to lather that part up with chafing cream as that's got UTI written all over it which leads me to the thought of protecting it with cover and I guess there is one obvious trojan choice.  But I'm trying to see the silver lining and maybe it will allow me to make up time in long races by not having to stop for piss stops.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Take on the birthers

Here we are a full 18 months before the election and Obama decided that this was the time to address the birther movement which somehow had convinced about half the country that he was planted here from outer-space or Yemen whichever you want to believe
With the birther controversy finally behind us, I was wondering how long it would take for another crazy conspiracy theory to sprout up about BHO. If he's not a secret muslim maybe we can go back to him being a radical Bill Ayers follower, a chain-smoking Marxist or better yet a glorified anti-christ but I'd give his detractors one piece of advise..choose carefully and stay on message

Three years ago all the rage was about him being a secret muslim which seemed to conflict with the other headline of the day of devout follower of Reverend Wright. See you can't both be a secret Muslim and also believe in a Christian pastor. We at TOR always theorized that the whole Reverend Wright controversy was one the Hope and Change campaign didn't run from because it 'proved' that Barry wasn't a sleeper-cell Islamist.
Well the birther claims were equally baseless and for three years it just seemed like good enough Glenn Beck fodder which kept the real issues (where Obama has bigger issues) at bay. Only the Right would allow their own message of smaller government be Trumped by a hair-piece wearing guido whose obviously only in on this for the rating boost.

And talking about rating-boost there is no better place to get your therapy than on Oprah's couch which Barry did immediately after releasing his birth certificate which was a well orchestrated event.. There were stories last week that Oprah wouldn't throw her plus size support behind the president in the next election so maybe this was a bit of horse trading.: you support me and I'll give you a boost in your already stellar ratings. So go and sit with Oprah and maybe she can help debunk this lunacy for the thousands of housewives out there. It's non confrontational and if you are lucky maybe you'll be part of the masses who gets a free car or a trip to Indonesia. What better way to spread the gospel for an Islamic Communist.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

taking on Friendster

I read an article in today's paper about Friendster's parent company going to delete archives of old pictures, posts and other objects stored on their servers.   The Malaysian based company was planning on wiping out huge files of history which prompted a bunch of internet archivists to try to preserve the public record.
My first thought was how far has Friendster fallen that it's now owned by some Malaysian company after having been publicly courted by Google a few years ago..  Maybe in Malaysia owning a bit of internet lure has the kind of appeal like my buddy Zed owning a pair of Lita Ford's panties.

The second thought I had was that maybe I should log back into the old Raggarific account to see if there was anything I'd want to save and then it hit me.   This is probably all a big scheme for the owners of Friendster to create some buzz around their site, memory and storage is cheap especially if they already own the servers so there is no reason to think that they'd jeopardize the little chance they have of existence if they did not at some point believe they could make this work again.   They probably have added a couple of lame features and want to show their 115 million registered (but mostly inactive) users.   I'm sure I'd log on and see a couple of chats I had with curveless Asian chicks back in 2002 and glance over a couple of pictures of a very curvy Righetti and there'd be a bit of nostalgia.   Maybe it would allow me to reconnect with somebody -although that's rare since Facebook would have allowed that for that already- or maybe I'd read a funny post that somebody wrote about some episode of SNL from February of 2002 and stick around to check our their new insta-chat which uses energy detection to show a cartoon version of the other person.
Then again I'll probably forget and all those drunken pictures from random asian parties will end up where they belong.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Taking on the old mule

I guess it was bound to happened, if you drive your people too hard at some point they will revolt and obviously machines are no different. For nearly 3 years we have come and sung the praises of the old reliable workhorse but at some point the thoroughbred turned into a mule and sadly now people are ready to call for the glue factory. But we must give credit where it's due, for years she was the ire of everybody's eye but even we must admit that Derek Jeter isn't the same as he was 10 years ago. He still is the guy you want up at bat in the ninth down by a run but he's just not as quick through the zone or to the ball as he once was. Maybe he cheats a bit but playing smarter was always the way he stayed on top.
As the competitors got faster and more powerful slicker and cooler and there was always a need for reliability, whether it was the ability to make the routine play or the clutch call the captain remained the most powerful tool in the toolbox. Then last summer you noticed it was a bit slow and all of a sudden .340 turned into .270. This year had promise but you look day to day and sadly the reliability numbers the last week my Blackberry has crashed 20 times and it might be time to put the old mule out to pasture

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, April 25, 2011

taking on SPAM

This morning I woke up to the unpleasantness of my gmail account having been hacked into.   I checked my email and there were a number of emails originated from my account at 3AM which I didn't actively send.  Obviously this is not a new phenomenon and many have suffered a similar fate but that doesn't make it any less aggravating.    So my entire address book was sent an email with the link of some Russian or Ukrainian site.    I have no problem sending Russian porn to my friends but I want to be the one who actually sent it, viewed it and approved it.  Who the hell knows what this is but I'm sure it's some teen bestiality thing and that is NOT TOR approved.

Well not only was I pissed that porn was sent out on my behalf without my approval but then I spent 3 hours changing passwords, reporting to GMail, apologizing to friends, eliminating about 50 people from Facebook (unrelated by necessary) and trying to figure out how my account was hacked.
Online advise asked me if I have an updated operating system and if I signed up for anything recently.   As I really only use my IPhone or Blackberry to send and receive emails the first part seems OK and the only thing I have signed up for recently is registering as a minister for the United Church of the People so that can't be it either.
So now I'm stuck to either close my gmail account or wait till my friends get banged with another link for larger penis size, pills of Viagra or some Kenyan millionaire looking to park his money.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Take on the death of Facebook

I know TOR has not been the biggest supporter of the Facebook product. For us it's not that we don't 'get' it but more that at some point the avalanche of information is overkill. When Facebook was new and fun, people were happy to reconnect with old friends and classmates but it didn't take long for everybody to realize that there are reasons we didn't stay in touch with 90% of those people.
My sister-in-law quoted me a bunch of statistics which prove social-networking is more popular than ever and I'm sure the numbers bear that out in terms of people connected but when I logged onto Facebook the other day and looked over the Status-Feed it was littered by Spam from 1 or 2 posters and virtually empty from everybody else. Think about how often you post anything to your status update anymore or to a wall, I bet it's dramatically less than 6 months ago.

Well my theory is that nobody actively does it anymore. People realize that they don't care what others are thinking or doing and now realize this applies for themselves as well.

Most people I know still love Facebook but the novelty has worn off, the constant connection and diarrhea of updates has worn us down. The end of the all-connection, over stimulated, all encompassing social network is done.. I guess Facebook will remain but just like you used to get tons of those stupid email forwards it's gonna continue mostly for your mother or your crazy aunt.

The kids will find a new medium and I for one am happy about it.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Take on over-stimulation

You often hear about kids being over-stimulated, getting riled up and not able to sit still because of it. Obviously anybody who has had kids knows the difficulty of getting an their child to bed after they play-wrestled or ran around right before hand since kids like adults need some down time to unwind from a full day. The problem is when the stimulation is chemically induced like too much sugar, the process of calming down seems nearly impossible. This isn't just a kid phenomenon as I know many people who will tell me that they. can't fall asleep if they have a cup of coffee after a certain time and some are so sensitive the last caffeine they can have is before noon..
But for a total caffeine addict the thought of limiting intake based on time of day seems crazy. Some people have trouble sleeping if they had a latte at 2pm, I can have a double espresso a half hour before I put my head down on the pillow and sleep like a baby but yesterday I found out that even I have my limits.

I can't exactly be sure what made me do it, maybe it was overconfidence, a sense of invincibility or maybe it was stupidity or it was just boredom but after I shelled out $3.99 for a bag of chocolate covered espresso bean, I felt this urge to get my money's worth and like a girl in her mid 30's with an afternoon off and an pack of D batteries I felt the pain of over-stimulation.
Within 20 minutes of purchase I had downed the entire bag and within a half an hour I felt like i just 8 balled an ounce of Stacker2. See back when ephedrin was all the rage as the truly no-impact way of losing weight, I'd down a couple of these pills and then feel like my skin was peeling off as I jittered my way through the next four hours with my heart racing as if I was running consecutive 100 meter dashes. Well yesterday when I basically OD'd on caffeine, I almost felt like it was 1998 all over again because I felt like my heart was about to jump out of my chest and salsa across the room.. I'm the kind of guy who likes the edge a caffeine rush gives me but never again will I put my body through that obstacle course.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, April 22, 2011

Take on the tour guide

I'll never understand people I know we as a people want to believe like we belong but when it comes to a point where we pay some person to horde us around like cattle I take notice.
Today as I walk down the street in NYC I'm basically trampled by a sea of tourists as they are herded down 6th avenue. It's not that they are particularly loud, abrasive or rude but rather the sheer size of the crowd which draws my ire. See I can't ever understand as a grown man, going on a vacation as part of a tour group. What can possibly be enjoyable having to see every tourist trap while being walked around a city like a canine puppy but that's essentially what these people sign up for when they shell out top dollar to be treated ike a kid. I would not put up with the humiliation of matching hats or shirts as I have my one chance to see a city but there are people who can only imagine doing it this way and it's sickening.
Now it seems to be mainly an Asian and midwestern phenomenon as you never see a crowd of dudes from Kenya or chicks from India taking part in this charade but I promise you that you'll not find me walking through some ancient city in egypt following some chick with some flag snapping her finger.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, April 21, 2011

take on the gmail suggestion

Not sure if everybody has noticed this but there is a new feature on Gmail.    Basically when you are replying to an email, Gmail's Artificial Intelligence goes through your address book and asks if you want to include various people to your email thread.

Now I can't quite figure out how or why they suggest things and like most thing Google, most of the time you are sort of pleasantly surprised kind of like that suggestion they do when you are googling something when most of the time I'm happier with the suggestion they give than what I'm actually looking for.    When I go to search for Britney Spears new single, google figures out the Britney Spears things and one of the suggestions for me is 'Britney Spears nip-slip"   

Well the Gmail thing is similar, last week I was emailing a friend about having drinks and Gmail suggested I add another friend to the email who would very often come with us to get drinks.  Maybe it figured the first friend was boring and the second one would liven up the situation, maybe it's not that thought out but regardless it seemed like a decent suggestion

The problem though comes when you have somebody –like yours truly- who talks a lot of shit and stabs people in the back.  See when Gmail suggest I add somebody to the email, I first have to scan the entire thread to make sure I haven't ripped the new person a new ahole behind their back.

God technology sucks


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Taking on..... The winter bandit

We love the warm days of spring. The 70 degree days when the weather still allows for outdoor activity without leaving yourself in a pool of sweat. We also believe that there is no doubt that man has some responsibility for climate change. Call it global warming, global cooling global weirding but know that there is something we do that can affect the weather
Now most of the time coal or big industry gets the blame although we know that there are even some small parts the average guy can do to affect his own personal carbon-footprint impact.
Now most of the time big industry is blamed for putting profits ahead of their environmental obligations and there are many lawsuits brought on my the EPA and the like where big companies like GE have dumped toxins into rivers. We don't think GE is specifically evil and except for lower costs by dumping in rivers rather than in proper places it is not in their interest to affect climate but as their goals are profits there will always be a place for some regulation.

There is though another industry who seems to benefit greatly from the effect of a warmer trucks
Nobody is looking for a snow-cone when it's 30 degrees so it's not far fetched to think that longer warm months are good for business. I have to imagine that over the past few years with hotter summers, ice-cream trucks are making out like a casinos do when a bunch of asians come in.
Well if there is a link between green-house gases and warmer weather AND we assume that some of those can be man-controlled THEN is it crazy to assume that somebody whose entire business model depends on more warm days might try to affect it if he could?

Well if you don't believe me, just stand behind a Mr. Softee truck on a NYC street. Those things sit stationary idling for hours on end and I don't have to tell anybody who has ever stood behind one how much fucking heat those thing give off. I am completely convinced they are running industrial heaters under their shells as they quietly heat the NYC streets.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

take on our pussy society

We might as well sell our souls to China now because we have become a country of pussies.   Yeah we have the mightiest military and the #1 economy but when I read things like this in today's NY Daily News (link)
Classic kids games like kickball deemed unsafe by state in effort to increase summer camp regulation
Somewhere, somehow and for some reason the State of New York in an effort to cut down on 'signifcant risk of injury' are discouraging kids from playing wiffle-ball, dodge-ball, kickball and other street games.    They may as well sew vaginas on each little boys while they are at it.   
So for many years and many more TOR posts we have rallied against the kids of this generation not getting outside but maybe who we should really be attacking are the legislators.
How the hell is kick-ball dangerous?  You kick a big soft ball on a baseball diamond, you surely could get a lot more hurt actually playing baseball.   Now I can sort of see that dodge-ball can be somewhat risky but nothing more than a bump or bruise, when I was in elementary school the entire fourth grade played it every single day and I don't remember a signifcant injury expect for the time that Funky Fat Medina sprained his left ass cheek but what really gets me is that they are discouraging wiffle-ball.   You can't possibly get hurt if you get pegged by a wiffle-ball the entire thing is designed to be non-painful

 With all that said, I remember playing some wicked games of asses-up when I was a kid and I can sort of see somebody getting hurt but again, in the 18 years of my youth (plus one crazy summer in Cape Cod) I have never seen anybody actually get really hurt.   yeah you might have a bruise but you can get carpal tunnel syndrome from writing too much and you can strain your eyes from reading too much and I'd find it hard to believe the New York State assembly would discourage those too.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Taking on debt reduction

With Obama and Paul 'don't call me Rex' Ryan's competing debt reductions plans making all the news we thought we'd throw our hat into the ring to try to cut 3 trillion from the national debt
I will say that Obama's message was right although I agree with Brooks that he will have to ask the middle class for shared sacrifice, it can't all be on the back of the rich and a tax rate approaching 40% is ridiculous. The issue is that many people in that tax bracket don't pay anywhere near that because of the write-offs.
The Righetti fix would include the following
  • Lower the overall tax-rate for individuals
  • Lower the overall tax-rate for businesses
  • Introduce a consumption tax on consumer goods.
  • Get rid of all write-offs for charity and other such contributions If you want to give to charity then give to charity out of the    goodness of your heart.
  • Make the tax code much more simple.. The fact that the average person has no idea is ridiculous
  • don't allow for any overseas tax shelters for personal money.
  • rewrite the corporate tax code to avoid the scheming done with creativity by firms with huge tax departments to lower liability.. Sort of like a AMT for corporations
  • lower corporate tax rate BUT get rid of tax holidays for people like EXXON for drilling in the gulf
  • make all US corporations pay a fair percentage based on overall business done in this country not allowing for them to funnel money to places with lower tax rates.
  • tax dividends at the same rate as income
  • increase Medicare and Social Security to 70 gradually
  • increase the maximum threshold on taxable SS income substantially
  • get rid of idiotic rules that don't allow the US Government to use it's purchasing power to negotiate pricing for entitlement programs.   Why VA plans get better rates than Medicare/Medicaid is idiotic
  • have anybody who collects welfare work.. Whether it's cleaning sidewalks, filing paperwork, working in food kitchens.. Have them do something
  • allow for insurance to be sold across state borders
  • cut the defense budget. the total US defense budget is equal to that of the next 20 countries combined
  • decrease the size of federal government workforce by 20%.. I am convinced there is a ton of redundancy
  • increase minimum wage every-year as a function of consumer pricing index
  • find ways to cut back on foreign aid, especially military aid
  • get rid of farm subsidies.
  • tax marijuana
  • tax sugar.
On a local level,
  • combine municipalities
  • put caps on property taxes..
  • Phase out tax abatements on property.
  • eliminate 20% of the local workforce (maybe through the combination of municipalities)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

This week I woke up with a huge hangover and I'm not talking about one fueled by shots of tequila. After not feeling well for a few days and having not gotten a solid night sleep I opted for a medicinal remedy when I reached into our medicine cabinet and popped a Nyquil. Within 20 minutes I was off to lala land into one of those deep sleeps where you wake up with those weird lines all over your body. When you are used to waking up throughout the night but then have a solid night it feels like you've jumped time. When I looked at the clock at I realized it was a full 8 hours later but I also realized that I felt like I was being dragged back into my near-coma like a wave pulling back into the ocean.
I struggle to get up but I can't get this fog out of my head. I feel better in terms of my sniffles but worse in terms of my mind and I'm convinced they are spiking that crap with JD.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Take on the subway puddle

There are few things more disgusting than the drips of air-conditioner sweat which fall on you from a window unit. Who knows what this mixture is actually comprised of but the rumors are always that it's basically recycled human sweat and it is one of the most unfortunate parts of living in New York throughout the unbearable summer. Well as disgusting as AC sweat is, it pales in comparison to the unidentifiable liquid you sometimes get splashed on you as you wait on a subway platform.. There is nothing more unpleasant thank standing on a scorching hot, filthy thank standing on a platform after a long day and you get splashed with this radioactive piss.
Now i can't tell you that I have any idea what this liquid is but I always imagine it's a combination of sewage which has made its way from the street and filtered through the cracks of the underground tubes mixed with homeless sweat and rat urine.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, April 15, 2011

Taking on PROOF

Anybody who has ever dated an Asian chick knows there is something different, it's not good or bad but just different than dating a white chick. Now I'm not talking about cultural things but more physical although not about hair-color, skin tone or general body frame.
Those in the fraternity of white dudes who have dated Asian chicks know the secret and because most Asian men have no reference point it is almost purely a white-boy fraternity.

Like any fraternity there are war-stories, binge drinking, camaraderie and of course a secret handshake, although in this case it is more like a one finger salute. Those who haven't ventured into those waters typically won't catch onto the secret sign and even if they do typically won't believe what it stands for but those who have experience will signal proof of this with a reciprocal one finger salute.

Now I have heard the arguments that there is no scientific proof of a physiological differences and the fraternity has faced the criticism that has dismissed this apparent oddity as just another stereotype perpetuated by the white-man but yesterday we found medical evidence
I recently had a conversation with a woman who just came out of labor about the after-effects since there is almost always some tearing.
Anyway as her doctor got to work she said 'thank god you're not Asian cause they always tear the other way.

I rest my case


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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Take on the nip-slip

Last night as I'm watching some complete abortion called sTORIbook wedding on the Oxygen network, I hit the holy grail. Within an hour of misery where Tori Spelling and her completely disinterested husband help rich white folks plan their dream weddings, I caught something out of the corner of my eye. It didn't appear for more than a second but like the way a lion spots the weakest antelope the big cat went to work with precision. .see during some dance sequence spliced together I caught a bit of nip.. Now my wife thought I was crazy and swore it was a fly or a smudge mark but then again she does not have the kind of well trained eye for these kinds of things. The entire moment probably didn't last for more than a quarter of a second but when a chick dips and a nip slips a Righetti drips.. .

I immediately emailed the camera phone picture to a few perverts who I know would rejoice in the moment with me and my buddy Chin came back with the following

Wait so Righetti was watching a dance show on Oxygen, saw them do a dip, caught sight of something, identified it as a nipple, then rewound the show to the exact location of said nipple just to snap a photo of it on his iPhone and send it to us???

F--king impressive.

See Chin knows the rarity of this and like the TOR editorial board sees these few moments as part of a life-long safari. We all realize that these moments don't happened often but we do know that if we can capture them, the joy it will bring others is akin to salvation.

There really are not many thing we like more than the inadvertent nip-slip, the brief, unexpected peek-a-boo can brighten up the entire day. Whether it's Courtney Cox (two piece release), Christina Aguilera (ring thing), or Tara Reid (boob sploob) the entire thing feels like Christmas for the internets. Seeing them online is fun but when you catch one yourself it's like a hunter bringing down some great game but instead of hanging a rack on your wall you send a iphone picture of the rack to the masses.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

take on the Space Shuttle

With the Intrepid Museum getting a space-shuttle today, I thought it was appropriate to bring to light  and old Righetti-ism.     Back in 2003 about five years after I left college, I  got an email from some guy who was trying to get some information about everybody who worked in this research group working on workplace psychology I helped run during the spring of my senior year.  They were about to publish the work and I guess they wanted to put a bit of information together on the people that worked on the project.   As a pathological liar and constant prankster, I decided to submit the following.



   Thank you for your kind words and for this follow-up study on the Dr. Aiello Social Organizational psychology group which I participated in from the Fall 1993 to Spring 1994.  Since leaving Rutgers, I've continued as a research engineer having spent most of my time in the Aerospace Industry.  I've spent about half my time in Cape Canaveral Florida working on increasing the wear resistance and heat dissipation of the heat sensitive 3rd rocket booster, we are developing a Chemical Vapor Deposit (CVD) process to coat the 3rd rocket booster heat tiles, as you know diamond is one of the greatest heat dissipaters and the CVD coating has tested to be a great asset in decreasing the heat damage which occurs in the first 14 seconds of launch as well as used for coatings on the heat tiles when we re-enter back into the atmosphere.  I have also worked on several space launches from January 1999 to August of 2001 as an assistant technical modular engineer.  In August of 2001, I was part of a team commissioned as the chief Aerospace Research Engineer to find a new launch-space for future NASA missions.  Ground broke four and a half months ago on the North East Cape Canaveral tentatively named NECC just outside a city called Delmar, about 15 miles south west of Albany. Our project team has been working on the CVD heat tile experiment at the North East Station has been dubbed Protect Your NECC.

 The main focus of the re-launch of the NASA space program in Upstate New York is to avoid the excess humidity in Florida which has put major strain on heat tiles upon re-entry of the Space Shuttle and the frequent cloud cover in Florida gave us only 29 possible launch dates annually. It was decided that New York State, based on excellent year-round visibility and excellent weather for launches 8 months per year along with the opportunity to give up-state New York a much needed shot-in-the-arm financially was an ideal new location for the NECC.

Anyway my work with Dr. Aiello's group was invaluable in my position of leading a group of fellow Rocket Scientists or our research mission for continued safety in future launches and missions.

Please feel free to contact me with any more questions on my hotmail account or at home

My memories of the group are all very positive; I've kept in touch with a few of members of my research team.  I was always felt a great camaraderie amongst our group and I know our research made early strides on the research, Dr. Aiello was hoping to have published.  Can you give me an update on his work, as I've always been interested in following up on the tremendous work he had before him.  I was honored to be an important (though small) part to his work and hope we all get a by-line when his research is published.




June 3rd 2003

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Taking on personal responsibility

We've complained about this before but obviously nobody was listening. I like dogs, have owned them and will always consider myself a dog-person. I don't though like dog shit especially if said dog shit does not come from a dog I own and I really don't like feeling like I'm walking through a field of land-mones as I'm trying to make it home after a long day at the shop. We moved to Bay Ridge about 6 months ago and not only has my commute increased by 35%, the amount of dog-crap on the sidewalks in my life has easily increased ten-folds. For all the community feel that this neighborhood claims to have, the most overriding feeling I have is that it's apparently the 'community's' responsibility to clean up after your dog here.

Just yesterday there were five independent piles of shit on different parts of my block. I'm not talking about scrapes of poorly cleaned shit but entire heaps of it. Bay Ridge has a tons of cops patrolling the streets in their cruisers, just not many on the look-out for actual criminal acts like these

I remember my dad would tell me that if I wanted to have a dog, I had to prove that I could be responsible for it because having a dog meant taking care of it, feeding it, walking it and yes cleaning up after it. I don't get how this lesson -which seems basic and universal- has not translated to the lazy big-haired, pizza loving Brooklyn crowd...

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, April 11, 2011

take on the little joys in life

One of the ways to break the monotony of corporate travel is to find the pleasure in some of the small things.  Maybe it's the upgrade to business class, a fresh set of towels or the 2 hours of uninterrupted downtime as you listen to a Kansas City sports-talk while barreling down a highway while chomping down on a Big Mac.  These small wonders keep you sane as you spend nights in nameless towns, eating at chain-restaurants and sleeping at Holiday Inn Express hotels across the world...  BUT when somebody takes these very small pleasures away from you, it's near criminal.

Last week while traveling, I get to the airport car-rental place the attendant shows me to my car...a 2010 Ford Escape. Now as the TOR readership knows this is the exact car I drive at home and when I mention that to the guy.

Rental Car Guy. "Oh great how do you like it?

Righetti. "Yeah it's a nice ride but you know I was kind of hoping for something different"

Rental Car Guy  "why... don't you like the Escape?"

Righetti. "I do but it would be cool to drive a Sebring or something"

Rental Car Guy:  "but this is so much better for you since you already know where everything is"


Now first of all... It's a car; they are all about the same when it comes to where everything is.   The steering wheel is on the left side, the rear-view mirror is mounted on the windshield, the turn signal is on the side of the steering wheel and the radio is in the dashboard so the familiarity where things are isn't all that important BUT what is important is the joy of trying a different car.  I like the Escape fine but it's like going to a strip-club on a bachelor party and getting your little Chinese Friend a lapper from the one Asian chick in the place.   You are going to find the biggest, blondest, chestiest chick at FD's and have Dolly shove his bald head into her chest and let him motorboat her till his gums are sore.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Take on the PGA

With the Masters well on their way, it is becoming obvious to the rest of the world what the golf-world has known for a year: Tiger is done as the one and only dominant force.
Yeah he's still a young guy in terms of golf and he's shown resiliency before with comebacks from various surgeries, swing adjustments and family deaths but for the first time I think he pursuit of 19 Majors is in serious jeopardy. The thing with golf is that for all the drives and, it's so mental and when you lose it, it might be gone forever. Guys seemingly at the top of their game can disintegrate before your eyes. Now Tiger always had the aura of invincibility which was often credited for being worth one of two strokes on Sunday but no more as today the rest of the tour is no longer afraid of Tiger. A decade ago he had the drive but also had superior physical gifts but look at this new generation of golfers, they aren't pot-belly slobs anymore. These new guys are all real athletes with long games and they all routinely drive the ball 350 yards.

It is not like I won't be excited about the Masters and the rest of the Majors in future years. although Tiger brought me to the set the game itself will keep me there and the next generation of guys like McIlroy, Choi and Kuchar may add very intriguing story-lines and may still allow the game to flourish even without it's biggest star being the dominant force.
But if I can give the PGA one piece of advice it's that I'm all for golf embracing it's international pulse, just don't turn this into an all Korean tour because the LPGA is completely unwatchable.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Take on the dolls

What the hell ever happened to a normal doll for a girl? TOR tries to stick to topics which our full readership can relate to, so we mostly avoid too much talk about baby-stuff but when we come across an egregious situation; it is our journalistic duty to report. The TOR staff spent an hour at the local toy-store with the thought of picking up a dark-skinned doll for my niece and the nice Toys R Us employee sent us on our way to the doll section so you'd think I'd be in and out of there in 20 minutes but life is never that easy.
But sometime between the time my sister was playing with dolls and 2011, the world flipped on its head, there are literally thousands of dolls at Toys-R-Us and each one does something special. Some dance, some cry, some talk but they all suck. In the entire Toy R Us category there is no such thing as a normal doll anymore, I guess the competition has gotten so fierce that unless it comes with some gimmick or trick the toy stores won't even stock them. The most ridiculous ones are the ones that cry until you feed them and then they wet their diapers, so it's like having a real kid -that is if you are OK with your kid being made in China.
I guess a one-year old needs to have a doll that burps, farts and shits because that is all this country has become, we're a couch society and we don't allow our kids to have an imagination anymore. Kids watch TV and play video-games, they don't seem to make castles out of pillows, make mud-pies and play house so why make a doll that doesn't do anything because god-forbid they kid's gotta use his imagination.
I don't know who decided that toddlers can't just play with normal toys anymore but I'm sure that this 'technology' is really not only not necessary but probably damaging.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Take on the garbage cans

Has anybody noticed that the MTA has very quietly started to get rid of those signs on the garbage cans which said they would recycle the garbage in them and has replaced them with standard 'your litter stops here" signs.

I never quite understood how they would accomplish this and more importantly why they thought this was a good idea.
Now I'm all for recycling and I'm one of the most prudent recyclers I know so this has nothing against the thought of going green but rather about efficiency.
Why the MTA decided they would have people throw their plastic bottles, cans and newspapers in the same receptacle as their garbage and then pay somebody to sort that stuff made no sense at all. . Call me a cynic but I always thought this was some gigantic scam by the city and the MTA. For whatever reason the MTA doesn't want to add recycling bins so they came up with this scheme.

See the city fines their regular citizens if they don't. recycle so they can't look like they are picking sides and not being consistent. They also know that the MTA which is on life support probably doesn't have the budget to actually recycle without raising metro-card rates so the city and the MTA devised this scheme where they put a sign on a few cans claiming they did and then the city would look the other way.

See nobody can tell me that having a person pick through garbage to fish out soda cans and cups instead of just putting different bins for plastics, paper and garbage on the platform as they already do this in places like Union Square.

Both of these systems cost money so the cheapest way was saying they were doing their part by advertising that they were recycling when they probably were just throwing it all onto a barge and dumping it 20 miles off shore

But here's an idea.. Put all the MTA garbage cans out in Brooklyn and have those crazy Asians dig though them for cans. They'll do the manual labor for free..
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, April 7, 2011

take on the government shutdown coverage

The Government shutdown


We've had cable-TV on in the office all day and even with the new Earthquake in Japan, the hosts are completely giddy with the thought (hope) of a government shut-down.  I can't think of any other situation where every one of the cable news channels across the entire political spectrum all are outwardly rooting for the destruction of the nation.    I mean watching CNN today is like watching Joe Morgan cover the Reds with their countdown to shutdown clock.  I understand that like a burning house they are all hoping for a catastrophe because obviously it'll be good for ratings.    But when they aren't even rooting for a dog in the fight but instead just foaming at the mouth for the fight then you know we are all screwed.
Obviously for the vast majority of people watching cable-news it's like getting their crack-fix and I have often listened to Rush or Olberman or Beck basically to see how wacky the fringe of both parties has gotten but when the mainstream media is acting like they are fans at a Packers game standing in 0 degree weather with body-paint on while cooking kielbasas then I'm afraid to imagine the circus Glenn Beck is hosting right now.. 

So here is our suggestion.   If the Government goes on shut-down then both members of congress AND every member of the news-media loses their paycheck until the government is back, I bet the shutdown doesn't even get to hour 1.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Take on the strip-mall nation

As I travel the country going from one Holiday Inn Express to another, it's striking how similar so many parts of the country are. I often fly into a city, get my rental car from Budget after sitting on the Budget shuttle for 10 minutes, fall asleep and wake up in a Holiday Inn Express located off the exit of a state-highway, get a copy of the USA Today delivered in front of my door, grab breakfast at a McDonalds drive-through, eat lunch at an Applebees in a strip mall next to an Olive Garden, get a cup of coffee at a Dunkin Donuts and pump my gas at a Shell station within throwing distance of both a Lowes and a Home Depot and then have dinner at a TGI Fridays only to go to sleep in another Holiday Inn Express in a different town.

There is something comforting in this set-up where you know what to expect but honestly it's also crazy to think that I wake up and am not entirely sure what state or city I'm in anymore and in a way it just doesn't matter that much. Whereas in Europe each city might bring you some interesting sights or architecture, our culture has made the entire country seem monotonous and boring.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Take on arithmetic

I grab dinner the other day on my way home from a take-out place I had not yet been to. I order my dinner, a philly cheese steak wrap, a piece of chicken breast and a medium ginger-ale and was rung up for $11.86. I dig through the bills in my wallet and present the dude running the register who I guess is the owner with a $20 bill and he rings up the transaction which shows he owes me $8.14. As he's ringing it up I realize I have two singles and ask him to make the change out of $22 instead of $20 so that I would get one bill instead of a stack of single back
He looks very distraught and says 'I already rang it up like this'. He wasn't angry but just seemed confused to why this would be something I wanted.

So there I stood with enough singles in hand to keep myself busy at FD's for about 10 minutes and while that seemed like a good way to kill a Monday Night I decided against it..
You know that as a country we have fallen behind when a adult can't do basic mathematics but also that he doesn't realize we are both better off my way since restaurants are always looking for small bills while consumers prefer larger single bills.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, April 4, 2011

Take on the BEEP BEEP

There are a few things which you can count on in this world.: your NY Times phone-app crashing, a bunch of single socks in a laundry bag with no home and the 'Beep Beep' as soon as the D train comes out of the tunnel to cross the Manhattan Bridge on my commute home. If there is anything more idiotic than people who use that stupid Nextel direct-connect thing it's beyond me. In an age when we have cell-phones which have more powerful processors and bigger memory capabilities than a laptop from 5 years ago there are still people who feel like they need to pretend they are working on a job-site. I get that it's a cheap way to communicate and I'm also well aware that Nextel as a service provider is gone-taken over by Sprint- but this BEEP BEEP noise seems to have survived the corporate turnover. The thing which gets me is that everybody I know basically has an unlimited text-message plan, a huge data plan and a virtual endless supply of minutes including buckets of roll-over ones but still people decide that a walky-talky is a socially acceptable way of communicating while commuting on a crowded train.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, April 3, 2011

roll over and play dead

When I got my AT&T wireless bill last month, I looked over the numbers and noticed we had accumulated over 3000 roll-over minutes on our family plan. Our plan for two phones allows for 800 minutes per month but we routinely use less than 350 and with every expense going up it seemed like an apt time to change plans. The problem with these wireless plans are that the options on the big carriers are very limited so a family plan only consists of two of three tiered options. As we hardly use the phone, I opted for the 550 minute plan with the thought that if necessary our roll-over minutes would come in handy. Well this plan was soon foiled when the lady told me that by switching plans we would lose all but 550 of our 3000 roll-over minutes.
So my options are either continue to pay for a plan where I will rack up roll-over minutes which I can never reasonably be expected to use OR turn almost all of those accumulated in for the right to kick down to another plan. See it's easy for AT&T to give back roll-over minutes when you set your tiers so high that nobody in their right mind could ever use them where they become the equivalent of profits on paper.

I'm tempted to call somebody and leave the call going for 2500 minutes before my new plan kicks in and I lose them all together.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Taking on...people who pick their teeth on the subway

I get that there is sometimes some personal grooming necessary but there is really nothing more disgusting than watching some dude with those big plastic rings in his ear-lobes. As I stare at him, I see him go from subway handle-bar to mouth, to subway handle bar back to mouth. Now I have often said that we as a society have become way too germaphobic and there was a great piece on the RadioLab podcast about how the basic extinction of the hookworm in every country except some of those third world countries in sub-Saharan Africa can be blamed for the high rate of asthma and allergies the 'developed' world is suffering from. Basically there is this symbiotic relationship between the hookwork and the human allowing for a heightened state of arousal in the immune system which fights asthma
But even knowing that, I wouldn't actively try to pick up herpes while commuting home.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, April 1, 2011


Opening Day is to many people the unofficial start of spring.   Like the new flowers, the fresh grass and the baby animals being born, it just exudes new life.     The baseball season is a marathon which starts before the calendar turns to April and doesn't end until deep into October and it gives millions of Americans something they have come to depend on..   I grew up literally listening to a radio tucked under my pillow to listen to Yankee broadcasts and to this day will still listen to sports-talk most nights although most days I'll fall asleep before they come out of their first commercial.    But as a kid I'd root so hard for a victory for my beloved team that I'd have a hard time falling asleep when the game was over because my heart was still pounding.

Something happened though; somewhere down the line I just lost the love of being a big time sports-fan.   Now I haven't decide to start playing for the other team but just can't get wrapped up into sports –other than football- the way I used to.   Maybe it's the monotony, maybe it's the money and the free agency and maybe it's my own cynicism but at some point I just decided that I didn't want to spend my nights getting angry about something I had no control over.    

I still love the NFL, love special events like the Masters or the NCAA tournament even if means listening to that blowhard Jim Nance, still catch about a dozen or so Knick games on TV a year and still appreciate a baseball game..   I just can't get that emotionally involved anymore.    I've had a hard time coming to grips with it as I will always identify myself as a sports-fan but I can't honestly say that expect for a football game, I have let my blood boil because of a sporting event I'm not personally involved in.