Saturday, December 31, 2011
Somehow people have been convinced that the hardest step in a journey is the first..but when it comes to these self-improvement steps the first step when really it's the next 20 that are the hardest.. this is the reason you see a thousand people join NYSC on January 2nd (and see people like me quit in anticipation of that on December 29th).. because joining is easy.. it just costs money...actually sustaining a workout regiment is hard and people are inherently lazy and content ..
So this year my New Year's resolution is to tell anybody they have a New Year's resolution that they are a bunch of idiots who just wasted $89 per month for a membership they'll be too embarrassed to cancel..
Friday, December 30, 2011
Fast Forward 10 years and off to another gym membership cancellation..my own. After 7 or 8 years with NYSC, I made the conscious decision earlier this week to cancel my membership after having made the unconscious decision not to use it about 6 months earlier. It's not that I won't work out, it's just that I hate the treadmill with a passion, I don't ever see myself pumping iron and I find all those machines completely irritating and thus prefer to work out by running on the hard pavement of NYC.
I call up NYSC and am told that I can only cancel in person which is a complete scam designed to only prolong your membership especially in this case when I did not have a contract which I was going to break. I'm sure if you throw enough hurdles up, it will dissuade people from canceling just to avoid the nuisance.
Well if having to physically get there wasn't a big enough pain in the ass, they then put the full court press on you. I walk in and ask to speak to somebody about canceling and the guy at the desk tries to shoo me away by 'warning' me that it's busy and that maybe I should come back later.. now realize it's Wednesday Night at 6:30 the week between Christmas and New Years.. there isn't a soul in the place.
Finally one of their reps meets me and the conversation goes something like this
Righetti: I need to cancel my membership
NYSC guy: sure no problem.. can i ask why
Righetti: I haven't used the gym in 6 months..preferring to run outside
NYSC guy: gotcha. let me just get to a screen
NYSC guy.. so am I correct to state in this cancellation sheet that you have decided against being healthy
Righetti... well not exactly
NYSC guy.. no problem.. they just need to me to fill something out.. so I guess you are fine to by a lazy slob for the rest of your life
NYSC guy.. gotcha.. I see here you have a family and young child... please sign here stating that you do not have any intention of seeing her grow up
Righetti.. that's not really what I'm saying
NYSC guy.. ok no problem.. we'll just say that you are happy gaining 2 to 3 pounds a year which will mean that you will be 250 pounds by the time you are 65
Righetti.. i'm not quite sure that's what I came in here to say
NYSC guy.. ok just sign here..here...here..and here.. hope your fat fingers can hold the pencil
Thursday, December 29, 2011
There are times when I really don't get people. Just this week the first annual Lifetime Achievement award for Video Rentals was given out and the award winner was…. Kevin James. Now I have nothing against the Fat Man but having him win any kind of movie award is akin to having Mark Sanchez win the NFL MVP.
My first thought was obviously who the hell is his competition, obviously these award shows are all whores for publicity and my guess is that James was the only one who returned their call so. I guess he beat out were probably Ray Romano, Andy Dick and David Spade. If Redbox (the host) had to be honest you'd have to think that a guy like Will Ferrell or Adam Sandberg who were probably too busy doign anything else.. although they could go the publicity stunt route and give it posthumously to Chris Farley.
The second thought is.. do we really need a Video Rental Awards show? Nobody watches any of these crappy award-shows anymore, shit the Grammy's just eliminated about 40% of the awards nobody cared about to try to keep eye-balls on the screen and the Oscars went away from all their 'best postproduction award for a Foreign film" categories a while ago.. I am all too happy when we consolidate these kinds of things not expand them..
Then you have to think why they are even putting this award show on.. video-rentals are a dying breed. There isn't a videostore left in America, Netflix is imploding and even the smut shops on 42nd street have all shut down. I only watch movies in four places: On an airplane, On-Demand at home, Streaming directly from Amazon using Prime or download from the Android store for my Touchdroid.. I haven't take a survey but I have to imagine that I'm in the majority when it comes to actually ordering a video or DVD..so I'm not exactly sure who they are trying to appeal to
But the real thought I have is.. will that jackass wear that idiotic hat when he accepts the award.. I guarantee that I will NOT be watching so I'll have to catch the award show when they release it on video.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Forget the Gambino crime family, the biggest racket in this country is the printing business and more specifically the printer cartridge industry. Just look at the way they run their operation. You buy a new cartridge for about $75 which last you for a few months, they you buy a new one and they give you a UPS label and ask you to return your old cartridge back to the factory. They put it under the guise of recycling and a greener earth but honestly it costs them about $5 in UPS Ground charges and they can refill that printer cartridge for about $2 worth of ink and then resell it back to me for another $75. No wonder there is this huge underground market for off-market ink for these things, it's absolutely ridiculous how big a rip-off it is and now they've compounded the rip-off with them convincing us to give these cartridges back for nothing.. think about it this way..you get $0.05 for a returned glass bottle but get nothing at all back for this hump of plastic other than some environmentally feel good hue.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
of battle but for the first time the one on the losing end wasn't me.
10 years, hundreds of hours watching meaningless games to the bitter
end, thousands of hours of research and analysis, sleepless nights,
restless days, arguments with my family and so much more. Nobody
ever said we weren't capable it was just that when the games got late,
the scores got tight or the pressure high we always found a way to
find the most excruciating way to lose. Whether it was Tiki Barber
going off in a week 17 Monday night football game to stick the nail in
the coffin or the Redskin drive three years ago which stalled just a
few Fred Davis yards short of victory not to mention the years
depending on Jermaine Wiggins, Brad Hoover or The Whizzanator or
having our heart ripped out with another fumble by Sweaty Arms Ahman
Because although there weren't that
many these few failures always obstructed the successes but not this
year. This year I can finally sleep knowing that finally it has all
come together for the Silly Putty Sacks who as a charter franchise in
the SecondHand Fantasy Football League was one of 3 teams who had not
had the pleasure of heaving the DCup up over our heads in victory.
Monday, December 26, 2011
standard black work shoes for $29.99 at Overstock. Three months later
I walk up the stairs at Penn Station and just about kill myself when
my foot gives out. I do some investigative work and find that the
glue that keeps the sole attached to the shoe has completely come off.
I get that a cheap pair of shoes is not going to have the comfort or
life of a better pair but to completely disintegrate is another story.
I am not saying that every pair must pass the same rigorous QC step
but at least all should pass a basic one that tells you it will last
for more than a few months
Sunday, December 25, 2011
father, I work hard, I don't overindulge yet still the fat man in the
red coat hates me. I play by the rules but sometimes it just doesn't
feel like that's enough I don't know what I need to do but whatever
I am doing isn't working.
Once again I have been Romofied, my entire fantasy season gone in the
blink of an eye (or a Jason Babin stunt) and for the second time in
two years as the Cowboys QB was carted of the field, my season was
carted off to the morgue.
I am just not very good at this game
Saturday, December 24, 2011
presents, I wake up to see the wrapping job people have done and rank
the best and worst. Now I can't blame anybody as that paper has the
tensile strength of water but there is something kind of ridiculous
about spending 3 hours finding a gift, spending hard earned money on
it and then wrapping it like it looks like you threw up all over the
So if you insist on force feeding me a gift at least have the decency
to not wrap it like you are wearing ray-bans
Friday, December 23, 2011
I recently signed up for the new 2-step verification for GMAIL to give me some security. It basically means that when you sign into a computer from a machine which you don't usually use, that you need to enter a second password which gets sent to you as a text similar to the way many people in corporate America use the toggles. It's a great concept and would give you some feeling of security knowing it would be much more difficult to hack your account but here is a scenario which I think GMAIL has overlooked .
You and your new bride are travelling in Costa Rica spending nights in fancy hotels overlooking the cloud-forest, Volcano Arenal and the hot springs. Everything is going swimmingly when all of a sudden you realize that you can't find your bag which included your wallet, your passport and your brand new white IPhone 4s after a night of heavy booze and marathon sex. You need to get in touch with your friends in Staten Island to help you get back to the States but without a phone you can't call, text or email. You search high and low and finally find an internet café, go to gmail.com and log-on. The problem is they ask you for the 2nd verification code which of course was sent to your brand-new white IPhone 4s and now there is no way to log onto your account and thus no-way to get in touch with your friend with too much chest-hair, too little humility and too much weight around his midsection.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
A buddy of mine driving through fly-over country comes across a manger in front of a McDonalds the power of which immediately forces him to take out his camera, snap a picture and send it around to all his buddies describing it as 'real america' The beauty of it is that it combines the two great loves of America, Jesus and Big Macs and shows how inseparable the two are.
I have spent a 100 nights in 'real america', have been in the company of some of the biggest religious fanatics who have screamed at me that this is a 'Christian country' and have seen more crosses, mangers, Rudolph's and virgin mary's in public places than I care for so I realize the importance of the Baby Jesus to an incredible percentage of this population. Of course I could argue that this country was founded on the concept of a separation of Religion and State but when you hear God's name invoked after every presidential address, spoken by every elementary school kid before class, during every 7th inning stretch at Yankee Stadium and after every NFL victory you realize that there is no doubt that you can never truly separate the two especially when you see that the American Muslim program gets pulled off the air.
But what made this so striking was that it was located on the property of a McDonalds a company which you would think would keep its nose out of anything potentially controversial, I can't imagine any 300lb American passing up a Happy Meal because there wasn't a Nativity scene in front of the double wide doors.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
know this is going to come across as somewhat tone-deaf but I'm really starting to believe it, but in very sad way the memory of 9/11 has become the worst thing that has happened to the accountability of the average cop walking the beat because when it comes to any form of criticism they have become completely untouchable. There are thousands of great cops out there but there are also a ton of them who see protecting the lives of the citizens of this city as secondary to killing green-pigs or playing words with friends.
I lived through 9/11 and obviously don't mean to imply it is at all a good thing but what the memory of it has done is that these cops walk around completely untouchable when it comes to their individual personal behavior. I've lived in NYC for 10 years but it's getting completely ridiculous how they walk around now with this air of entitlement. Every day I walk on the street, stand on a subway platform, wait in line at a restaurant and see a cop putzing around on his cellphone. Today I saw a guy on the corner of Times Square playing Cut-The-Rope, yesterday I was almost run over by a cop driving his patrol car while on his cell-phone and every day I see a group of them congregate on one side of a subway platform shooting the shit.. I don't know another profession where it seems completely acceptable to spend most of your working day completely distracted. I've said it before but you don't see a girl working at McDonalds on her phone her entire shift, I never catch the postman standing around reading a magazine and I don't see an elevator operator playing angry-birds and none of these guys have the responsibility to make sure that the citizens are safe.But even if you accept that cops are a different animal, what gets me is that you can't say anything about it because you'll come across as unappreciative or unpatriotic even if the criticism is completely acceptable. Take that ticket-fixing scandal which broke a few months ago. The immediately response was not that of shame but was a bunch of cops wrapping themselves in their flag to defend heroic behavior on days like 9/11 to try to diffuse the fact that they were breaking the law.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Just do the math and your head starts to spin
You have four gift giving days per year (Birthday, anniversary, Christmas and Valentines Day) x 8 years and before you know it you are approaching three dozen 'well though out' gifts
No wonder I have gone to the massage about 10 times already
Sunday, December 18, 2011
you missed out and there are mornings you are glad you did. Years ago i made it a point to always get my money's worth at a party with open bar but when I woke up this morning and it did not feel like there was a contractor drilling in the inside of my head I felt like I wanted to drop to my knees and thank god. So many mornings I have spend vowing to never drink again but today was a morning where I had that feeling without being hungover and just glad I didn't feel like hell
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Forge everything else we need a commission to find more parking spots an eliminating these no parking zones should be step 1
Friday, December 16, 2011
Is there anything less efficient than the NYC subway turnstiles? I'm not talking about the fact that there seems to an inverse relationship with the amount of time before the train departs and the amount of swipes it takes to get through but instead talking about how ridiculous it is that during rush hour you can't get to the turnstile to enter the station because there is a flood of people coming up the stairs. I have lost hours of my life when I missed a train because it took 5 minutes before I could even get anywhere near the turnstile because getting to the swipe spot feels like you are swimming upstream
Here is a novel ideal how about you devoted lanes for entering and exiting cause when you get to the Holland Tunnel it isn't a free-for-all with cars using the same lanes at the same time for inbound and outbound traffic
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Forget rallying against the 1%ers.. I'm rallying against the 10%ers
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
We spend about 360 days out of the year complaining about something but today we're going to commend some very brave people who complained loud enough to actually get something done. After a couple of years, a bill finally passed Congress that would force commercials to have to lower their volume to the same level as that of the TV stations. For years we have complained (mostly Mrs TOR) that we have to reach for my remote 3 times per half-hour so that I don't blow my eardrums out when New Girl or Fringe goes into commercials. Now granted watching any of those shows should make me wish my eardrums were popped out by sharp but finally I can make that decision based purely on the merits of the show and not the volume of the sponsors.
Now we all know that advertisers and marketers will find someway to grab our attention and it wouldn't surprise me if they find some way to circumvent the rules although I wouldn't complain at all if instead of trumpeting volume they spliced in clips of the Lindsay Lohan playboy photoshoot.
Monday, December 12, 2011
I opened up CNN.com today to find out that Lowes has cut its advertising on some TLC show called All American Muslim after pressure from a bunch of radicals down in Florida who said this show was a guise for sleeper-cells.. I'm sure All American Muslim is about as entertaining as American Dad or American Chopper or American Idol so I can't imagine the entire show getting pulled will be any great loss but what it does show how the crazies are running the asylum..
But this is who we are and nothing is more apparent than a conversation I had with somebody the other day about Mitt Romney, where they told me that they wouldn't trust him because he was a Mormon. Now mind you that this was the same person who told me 4 years ago that all of this Richard Ayers-Revered Wright-secret muslim-Obama stuff was incendiary but now they throw the exact same argument against a Republican.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
I get airlines need rules and need ge ability to enforce them in this age but honestly I have asked this question before: Airlines say that phones must be turned off when the door is closed prior to pulling away from the gate yet you are allowed to use your phone the second the wheels touch the ground upon landing. I just ask for consistency
In both cases the door is closed, in both cases you could e interfering with radar and yet in one of the cases you are getting kicked off a flight while the other you are applauded.
Sent from my iPhone
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I am embarrassed because when I walk into a coffee shop and get a cup it tastes like I am drinking watered down pool water. For a country who claims to go big or go home, we are a bunch of pussies when it comes to coffee. Turkish coffee, Arabian coffee, Italian coffee, Brazilian coffee all tastes like you are chewing on coffee beans while the typical American house blend might as well be called House bland. Not only is our coffee weak and tasteless, nowhere else do they numb the taste with sugar and milk to drown out the flavor of dirty socks
If America thinks it can still be a force, it might want to start by growing a pair
Friday, December 9, 2011
Sometimes the biggest scientific breakthroughs are the ones we find out in some convoluted way.
There are many out there who have issues of being so plugged up that they can't go for days at a time which people combat using enemas, stool softeners, prunes and even a table spoon of olive-oil but honestly there is nothing which can unclog your bowels than a night of beer and sushi.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
There is a sports argument that I cannot exactly wrap my head around, it has to do when people compare contracts for players. This happens often but the conversation recently has been about Chris Paul who has been making a not so quiet plea to get out of the NBA Siberia of New Orleans to move to the NBA version of the Addams family in New York. With the new collective bargaining agreement the NBA continued its attempt to keep home-grown players on their original team by giving them a financial incentive to stay. Although nobody is quite sure it sounds like the Knicks could sign Paul to a 4 year-$74 million dollar deal next summer while he could earn $100 million for 5 years if he stays put. Even on a per-year basis there is no denying that that the Knick offer of $18.5million per year would be less than the New Orleans offer of $20 million per year but it's probably not a far fetch to think that he can make up at least a part of the difference in endorsements playing in NY although that really isn't the point
The point is about the argument which goes something like this.. 'Chris Paul is leaving $25 million on the table if he goes to the Knicks' The problem is that a lot of that is based on the value of the contract but doesn't take into consideration the amount of years of said contract.
Now I get that there is a $25 million dollar difference here but there is also a difference of one year. In the NFL that might be a big difference but in the NBA where career ending injuries are very uncommon, The entire argument of 'leaving $25million on the table' is rubbish because it assumes he makes $0 in 2016 and it would be almost impossible to fathom that Paul would not at least get a decent one-year contract in 5 years. In that fifth year he'll only be 32 and should still be able to garner an offer of $10-$15 on a one year contract if not significantly more.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I read an article today about a cupcake shop across the pond who was basically put out of business because of a Groupon deal they had advertised when 8500 people showed up demanding a dozen cupcakes at a 75% discount.
I get this new concept and we have participated in a couple of these things but I find that the vast majority to Groupons, living social buys and the one from Amazon we buy are an almost complete waste. I walk into a take-out restaurant the other day with a $30 Groupon but was informed I had to use the entire amount in one sitting or the balance on the account would get cancelled. You can't possibly buy $30 worth of food in one of these places even if you order two extra smoothies, a second bag of fries and three bottles of overpriced water.
But that's not the worst of it, I find that ever deal I have ever bought was one of those 'yeah I've been meaning to get back into shape' moments as I signed up for 10 classes of boot-camp for $50. Problem is that I'm now getting daily reminders that my Groupon is about to expire and I have about as much interest in Boot Camp as I would in eating 102,000 cupcakes..
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Granted there is broadband service available but in a day and time when most people carry IPhones and IPads a wired cable doesn't do you much good. I will never understand why hotels in today's age are not fully WiFi enabled. It can't be the cost of the wireless routers which even for a big hotel would only run you a few thousand dollars, it can't be based on lack of infrastructure as the beauty of it is that it doesn't take more than a box with a couple of antennas so the only thing it can be is disconnect
I have spent 5 days and nights with no ability to stream movies or videos, to download books or newspapers or to as much as surf online on my TouchPad. Now my complaints to the front desk obviously were not going to immediately resolve a complaint but I would say that it makes for a pretty disappointing part of out stay to not be able to fire up my HP touchpad and get much done unless I'm sitting in the lobby.
Monday, December 5, 2011
5 minutes later I emerge victoriously out of the bathroom and as I walk out I meet eyes with some dude who is combing his hair and he looks at me like I just pissed in his coffee. Now my first inclination was that he was already eating my stench but as it wasn't a prototypical stall as it was completely enclosed, I quickly figures the stench couldn't have travelled that quickly
I then realized he was giving me the stink-eye because i had used the handicap stall.
To be clear a handicap bathroom is only somewhat similar to a handicap stall in the sense there is a little more room but unlike the parking spot there is no rule (written or unwritten) that limits fully able people from using it. A public place is require to have one, not make it an exclusive use one
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Take this place with their $20 resort fee which should make part of it easier but instead makes it much more difficult
I get it as a concept as I am never sure how much to tip, when to do it and how much us appropriate. It ruins an entire vacation for me as I spend every waking moment questioning myself and in theory this resort fee should make that easier but for those of us with no knowledge about it, it winds up costing you more
But what should make is easier actually makes it more difficult because nobody can explain who and when to tip.
Take yesterday when the bellhop brings my bags up and then spends 10 minutes explaining everything about the resort As he gets ready to leave my room I reach into my pocket and only see a $5. Now it seems like this is too much but I feel completely weird about asking for change and the guy is obviously stalling for something
I bite the bullet and hand him the finsky. He smiles and thanks me and then tells me that the resort fee covers incidental tips. The problem is that he already has the five-spot and I can't exactly ask for it back. So now I feel like I'm screwed twice. First for overtipping and them for not knowing what the resort fee is supposed to cover. I have to say that this is the kind of thing the front desk should make abundantly clear when you check in
Now my buddy the Bump who has worked in the service industry for most of his life and thus throws around singles at a hotel like Righetti at a strip club, probably doesn't find himself in that spot First of all like a trip to FD'a he probably walks in with a 6 inch stack of singles so even if he didn't know about a resort fee he'd only lose a couple.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Sent from my iPhone
Friday, December 2, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
It has assured me of one important fact. That there is no way that those thru-streets are even slightly more effective of getting traffic across town
I am convinced those are designed to allow taxis from jacking riders for all they're worth