Thursday, May 31, 2012

take on the new site

I have been making a daily visit to religiously for the last five years and have a garage full of useless crap to prove it.   I have bought a roomba, a portable bidet/vegetable cleaner, an Allen wrench set, a stool, a collection of Disney books, an etch-a-sketch, a blender, a dyson vacuum cleaner, a rabbit cork-screw thing, beef jerky, a walkie talkie set and more shirts than I can remember so I think that when I speak, woot should listen.  
They launched a new version of their ridiculously successful website this week and honestly it feels like a schizophrenic puked all over the screen.   There are pop-up windows, competing offers, blogs, they've burried content an have added so much noise that for the first time in years I dread typing in woo... in my address bar.   
It was always a clean and easy website to navigate with just enough fun to keep you interested even when the deal of the day didn't interest you..But with the launch of Woot of the Future they have messed up a good thing.  They've added something called Woot plus which we predict will be about as successful as google+  and thrown a bunch of ridiculous ads all over the page which seem to bleed all over the content.   It's atrocious to see what has happened to what has been a go-to site for me... The biggest issue is that they have now buried the original write-up on the top right-hand side with one of those 'click for more' buttons and by doing so they have ruined the absolute best part of the entire site because that write-up was laugh-out-funny
Take it from me.. I'm a loyal customer, go back to the original no nonsense clean version of the site or you'll turn us all against you..  Take this as a threat to your very existence because we represent your livelihood.....

the only way you'll appease me now is by sending me a bag of crap 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Take on Sushi Pricing

I am convinced that the only number more cooked than Facebook's 'active users' number is the price of sushi.    I cannot tell you how many times I've gone out for or ordered in sushi and when I've tried to figure out what the total price be and I'm off by $30 or $40, it's like walking into Target buying a box of diapers and a tshirt and getting handed a receipt for $110.
The weird thing is that if I go an order three burgers and fries at the Perfect Pint all of which are listed at $12, I can reasonably guess that including tax we get to about $40 but throw the same thing at Haru Sushi and a spicy tuna roll for $8, a sashimi deluxe for $22  and a sapporo for $6 plus tax and tip is $60..  I don't know if it's the dollar-to-yen conversion, the price of miso soup or the fact that the ahi tuna gets sold at market price but you try to guestimate a price in your head and you are just never close.  The real issue is taht because the Japanese are such nice and honest people you feel bad bringing something like this up and like when your SONY TV breaks you are more likely to blame yourself.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Taking on the summer

Years ago we used to have distinct seasons while now we muddle through
misery for twelve months. It has gotten so bad that the prospects of
summer now infuriate me because I used to love May and June yet now
dread it like I used to dread the first day of school. The garbage
stinks worse, everybody's temper is shorter and every line seems that
much more endless.

Long gone are the days of summer dresses, short skirts and and
open-toe shoes and happiness; every chick you see now has sweat stains
under her pits, a small lake forming on her back, a frizzy head of
hair and athletes foot and I am holding global warming responsible.
So between ExxonMobile, the Chinese government and every ahole driving
an F250 I give you a big F you, I hope you like your chicks stinking
like rotting fish and looking like they are a deckhand on Deadliest

Monday, May 28, 2012

Take on the FB departure

When a friend sent me a piece from the New Yorker
about some dude leaving Facebook I thought it was a worthwhile read
hoping somebody could eloquently put into words the frustration that
many out there have. The article lays out the terms of the departure
because of a combination of the ever changing landscape of the
security of personal information and the notion that the average
investor in the IPO was duped. The funny thing is that I left FB a
year ago for none of the moral, ethical or financial reasonings. I
honestly could care less about anything other than user experience
which I have always thought was the true downfall. It's not that
seeing my cousin's kid isn't cute but hearing about her view of some
crappy Dutch movie isn't at all cute.
But even that is manageable with hiding posts, pairing down friends
and selective screening, what irks me is what it has allowed is to
come, that on a five hour drive, somebody can sit next to you and
spent the entire time conversing online, I hate what it has brought
our society where true human interaction gets put on hold although it
is literally sitting 2 feet away because there is a more immediate
gratification available a hundred miles away in the form of a status
update But even this I can live with, what REALLY sticks in my craw
is that you multi-task the conversation and not be able to understand
that there is something wrong with it. When every thought can be
spewed out in 140 characters or less and when having only one
conversations at once seems like you aren't even trying.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Take on the gray

Like fresh snow on pure black asphalt there was no way to hide the
obvious contrast. It started in small hidden patches of insurgency
which could be picked off but slowly grew like mold in a humid
bathroom. A few months ago I started noticing flecks of gray
appearing in the beard I've worn continuously since 2008. Not that a
little gray isn't becoming of a man and although my knees probably
disagree, I still feel like a young man.   That was until the white bristles
start to outnumber the brown ones the flood gates are open and before
you know it you look less like Jesus and more like John Tortorella

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Take on the NHL TV coverage

Although I am far from a true hockey fan, I am a sports fan and appreciate the game especially come playoff time.   With that said I don't exactly go out of my way to watch it and mostly depending on seeing some highlights on Sportscenter and getting recaps from the Bump.   
Well last night was different, with no American Idol on TV, I had the remote to myself and when I scrolled over to I saw that the Devils and Rangers were in a 2-2 tie in game 6 of the conference championship with about 5 minutes to go. 
Now I know that Rangers games are usually on MSG so my instinct was to go there but saw quickly it was running old WWF highlights, I figured they didn't have playoff rights.   I went to NBC since I was pretty sure they were the broadcast partner but only caught an episode of How to Catch a Predator.  I used the guide to find the NHL network but I either don't get that channel or it was showing a making of the ice-skate special because that also wasn't where the game was either.   I go to ESPN, ESPN2,YES and still no hockey. Finally after going back on line I find out from that it is being broadcast on the old Versus now called NBCsprts.    How hard can that be to find?
pretty f'n hard.   I went through all 100 channels in the HD range and found nothing (although I did stop on Spike to catch some of Star Wars IV).   I scroll to the other NBC cable channels figuring they sandwich it between CNBC and MSNBC but find only some dude suggesting Mitt Romney should consider Bobby Jindal.     I scroll through the area where you find the 2nd tier sports channels figuring it might be between ESPNews and SNY but also find nothing.  
I honestly look around for 10 minutes and can't find it at all   I am forced to google it and am told by one of those google answers that I get NBCSprts lm channel 122    I go there but although shows NBCSprts on the guide is actually blacked out.   I figure maybe it's being broadcast on channel 9 or 11 like they do for NFL Network games for a home team but find no hockey there either.  I have gone to every conceivable spot to find it and it proves to be as elusive as Barry Melrose's clippers. 
Well finally I find it...on channel 481.   

For a point of reference this comes AFTER five separate Big 10 channels including three channel dedicated for Big 10 overflows because you know how much everybody in NYC cares about Purdue and Northwestern mens lacrosse  

How the hell does the NHL have any hope when game 6 of the conference playoffs is being televised in the black hole of the TV lineup shoehorned between ESPN Deportes and Buzzer Beaters

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, May 25, 2012

Take on the flotation device

I've been on hundreds of flights but it wasn't until today that I
heard a little subtlety in the Delta safety video. After explaining
how to fasten a seatbelt, telling you about their frequent flyer
program and showing us some terrible promotional video they hit us
with probably the most important piece of information. As they
discussed a possible water landing, I clearly heard the video say
that 'some chair cushions' could act a floating devices. Some cushions
is not the kind of information I want to have to find out when I am trying to
swim in minus 20 degree weather, I saw the way Titanic ended and
without a raft you are screwed. Call me a socialist but to me you
either offer everybody a floaty or nobody one because the last thing I
want to find is that my seat cushion is the equivalent of a bowling

Thank god this particular flight is all over land.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Take on the automatic papertowel dispenser

I am convinced that the 2012 version of the 1992 Hyundai is the
automatic paper-towel dispenser. The chances of one of these things
actually working has to be less than Derek Jeter's batting average
(with baseballs not with chicks). Honestly I must walk into hundreds
of public bathrooms which have these things set up and would guess
that there are hundreds of times I walk out with wet hands because
unlike automatic doors which hardly ever have failure these things are

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Take on the crazy bodega rules

The bodega is really a NYC phenomenon as I really don't think there is
anything quite like it in the rest of the world. You can get
anything from things to placate your vices (butts, lottery tickets),
your stomach (egg and cheese, chips), your daily household stuff
(laundry detergent, toothpaste) and sometimes booze
I say sometimes because there are tons of places owned by people who
have religious justifications for not selling alchohol which I am OK
with since it is not by business to tell you what you should or should
not sell. Although when you walk in the back and see large white
sheets of paper covering the back refridgerators hiding the content I
wonder where your moral high-ground argument is leading to
Last week I came across one of these and quite honestly didn't know if
it was a religious or a legal barrier no liquor license) but covering
a fridge full of Budweiser with paper can't possibly server either
purpose all that well. Although buying a six did give me a nice
insight to what it must have been like during prohibition

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Take on dry heat

Having spent the last 4 days in 108 degree Scottsdale heat might be
making me even a bit more nuts than I usually am. My issue is that
any conversation you have with anybody basically feels like sequenced
dance routine. You literally have the same conversation ten times
over again

Righetti. "Jesus Christ it is bloody hot"

Arizonian. "yes but it's dry heat"

Righetti. "I don't give a shit if I were in a conventional oven, I
literally feel like the sun is burning a hole into my skin"

There really is nothing dumber than this conversation because it tries
to justify how completely uncomfortable you are. Yeah 108 with no
humidity is better than 108 and high humidity but that is like saying
getting kicked in the nuts by a high-school soccer player is better
than getting kicked in the nuts by Mesi...either way your voice will
go up a few octaves

Truth is I'd never go to a place that is 108 and humid on my own
accord so telling me that it's better than this means nothing to me.

But although I absolutely hate humidity at least you know how
frigging hot it actually is because this dry heat only means that the
only way you know is when you pass out because of dehydration.
The humidity does have an advantage since it does at the very least
it does give you some cloud cover so you aren't baking in that cancer-pit

Monday, May 21, 2012

Take on hotel water

When I travel to China, I am always well aware that I must star clear
of the water. I don't drink any table water, avoid anything that was
washed but not cooked (fruits and salads), brush my teeth with
bottled water and won't even drink soda which I haven't personally
seen poured out of a bottle. The beauty is that in every Chinese
hotel their are tons of complimentary bottles of filtered water a they
know the small cost far outweighs the backlash when some 300 pound
American businessman has to be rushed to a Chinese emergency room with
a terrible case of the runs. Even having to go through those
precautions to avoid anything not bottled doesn't prepare you staying
at the anti-Chinese hotel like a Hyatt where you too avoid the water
but for a very different reason. At the Hyatt like the Chinese
hotel they leave a bottle of water (if you can even call Aquafina
that) on your dresser The difference is the Chinese hotel has a note
saying they left it with their compliments while the Hyatt leaves a
note informing it would cost you $6.50 to open it. How the hell
these places get away with this kind of racket is beyond me but
charging the equivalent of an entire meal at Subway's for a bottle of
filtered water is criminal. They obviously prey on two groups, the
filthy rich who wipe their asses with $6.50 -which honestly can't be
comfortable- or those who get drunk and are too inebriated to realize
they just spent a small fortune on the piss they mix with syrup to
make Diet Coke

I refuse to give these places another penny of my money after having
dropped a few bills per night and $65 for breakfast which consisted of three eggs

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Take on Bado

Standing on the subway last week I noticed an ad for the newest member of the social networking world. Obviously between Facebook, Google+,  LinkedIn, Twitter and all those smaller ones somebody decided that there is a need for another piece of social networking  clutter.  The newest member is some site called Bado which promises to get you in contact with some of the most interesting people in the world.  It does this by plastering subway ads with pictures of some of the most odd characters around all of whom are the kind of person you would avoid on the subway     The people pictured are either dudes posing without shirts on, chicks who look like David Lee Roth, old men or muscle-heads.  I get that this is supposed to be a bit tongue-in-cheek but of MadMen has taught us anything it is that an ad must be clever but remain simple and easily understood by everybody.  

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Take on those silica packs

Considering you can check in online for a 4 hour flight to Phoenix
where you are able to surf the web at 10,000 feet, it amazes me fat
there are a ton of things we still can't do. For one it absolutely
amazes me that whenever my two year old gets a bag it still contains
one of those little salt-like bags of silica. How is 2012 have yet
not come up with a better way to keep moisture out of a bag. And why
is it so crucial to keep a bag dry before I get it but as soon as you
bring it home you are you supposed to toss those packets? Seems a
bit strange that they are only to be used before you get delivery of
the bag since it is probably more likely that when you are actually
using the bag it is way more likely to pick up moisture or mold than
when it sits empty in a store

Now I get using these silica packs for a work Samsonite carryon but
when they throw six of them in a Dora the Explorer backpack you really
wonder where the sensibility is. Take it from experience, you tell a
toddler not to put a silica pack in her mouth and within 2 minutes
said toddler is likely gagging on silica.
I get that this is the parent's responsibility and I take it fully but
would think that with modern day science being so cutting edge they'd
come up with something that isn't toxic to a kid

Friday, May 18, 2012

take on the website

For a company who claims to be cutting edge, using AT&T's website is basically equivalent to using two cans with a string between them.    For the last three years since I moved from Verizon, I've been using their website to pay bills, make changes to my account, add features etc and every time I do it, I stop half way through and call an operator because I feel like shooting myself.  It's like dealing with a schizophrenic with all the windows that pop-up with every button you press.   There is no linear motion whatsoever, each action launches a new and more confusing window on top of the 10 different windows you've already inadvertently launched.. but that isn't even the worst part.   the worst part is that the technology behind these dozens of popup windows just doesn't work
Just yesterday I tried to schedule a payment online and went to enter the date for the electronic payment to be made for June 5th which would be a day before it was due.. the problem was that every time I tried to manually pop in the date, the website would open up a calendar..the problem is that it wasn't a live window.. although it gave you all the dates on a calendar you couldn't actually click on any of them.. so I would close that window and try to enter the date again and of course the only thing that keystroke accomplished was to launch that same non-working calendar window..
after being frustrated for 5 minutes, I just made a payment effective immediately which just meant that not only did I spend my free time with this crap, they also got my money sooner..

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Take on the ShapeUps lawsuit

I saw a screaming headline on earlier today that Sketchers had lost some kind of lawsuit and had to pay millions of dollars based on faulty information about those ridiculous looking shape-ups which look like marching band shoes for a high-school of mental patients.    Part of the issue was that the one of the experts, some chiropractor whose expert testimonial was used all over the ads was also married to some chick in the Sketchers marketing department.  At the end of the day they couldn't prove their claims of tighter tummies and firmer asses although I guess they did prove that the American public are a bunch of tight asses.    Although we don't like lying to the public, this was one of those claims which always seemed ridiculous.  Anybody who thought that walking around on shoes with a half-moon on the soles and all of a sudden you were going to go from a size 16 to a size 2 has had a couple of cheesburgers clog up the blood-line to the left frontal lobe.    I'm all for going after a company who lies to the public but at the end of the day they real lawsuit should have been based on pain-and-suffering because this faulty medical research led a lot of people to wear some really ugly shoes.
I still maintain that the most ridiculous thing about these things was that they never actually showed a celebrity wearing them, they'd have a picture of a smiling Joe Montana or Kim Kardashian's ass but never a picture of Cool Joe or Slutty Kim actually prancing around in them.  Maybe that's how John Candy actually wind up croaking. by Joe giving him a pair of these things and a bunch of guys laughing so hard that he died of embrarasment

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taking on Ringback tones

I get that the appeal to hearing JayZ or Carrie Underwood when calling
a teenager instead of the standard ringing noise but I am not sure I
get the appeal for an adult. Every time I call my Korean real estate
broker I hear Mozart which might sound more pleasant but truthfully
just sounds unprofessionally. I get kids wanting these things and
there are probably places around the world where they are considered
OK but I am glad to not be 15 anymore and also more than happy to not
live in Sri Lanka or Kuala Lumpur or Seoul because if I had to put up
with this everytime I called somebody o'd throws IPhone into the south
china sea because these things are beyond annoying

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Take on the New ESPNRadio App

As I was listening to ESPN 1050 this morning (since the reception for ESPN 98.7 sounds like total crap) and during one of their terrible shows the host started talking about the great new ESPN Radio app which was just released.   Now I'm one of the suckers who plunked down $4.99 for the original app a year ago which allows me to download podcasts and listen to live feeds of a bunch of ESPN radio stations around the country.    For most of the time this is a complete waste since I can get a live feed by turning on my walkman and can download any podcast for free on ITunes..   The one advantage it does have is that when you are in a hotel in Korea at 2AM and can't sleep it is actually pretty pleasant to be able to listen to some NY Sportstalk
anyway the new and improved app (v 4.0) allows you to pause and rewind live programing, allows you to download stations for off-line listening and offers a new layout with the ability to custom create your own stations..
That's all fine and good except the fact that they tell me that it will cost another $4.99 for the new version which must be paid after a 14 day free-listening tour.   So now it's going to cost me $9.98 for this app (and god knows how many more of these upgrades I'm on the hook for).. 
so the obvious thing is..just don't download the new version and stick with the current (very serviceable version) .. well ESPN in their ITunes note threatens you because they say that they will discontinue the old version in a few months. so in other words the $4.99 I spent for v 3.0 recently just flew out of the window.. 
I don't recall having ever downloaded another app where after a few months they implode the thing and force you to buy a new one

Monday, May 14, 2012

Take on descaling

I am convinced the single serve coffee machines are the greatest
invention to have come around in the last decade. It is easy, clean
and sort of cheap (actually it is ridiculously expensive per cup) The
problem is that every few months the machine instructs you to descale
the machine which I guess is good for my health but it's not good for
my blood pressure cause it takes about a week to complete and for
somebody who is convince himself that he's always got something better
to do this is absolute torture. You have to pour all the water out,
put this descaling gunk in the machine, run it through the system
another four or five times and finally a few hours later you can drink
mold free coffee which frankly doesn't even taste as good

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Take on the daily rug change

You realize there is just too much labor available in China when you
notice that they change the rugs every day in the elevators. This
might sound like the kind of thing a high-end hotel brags about but in
China even a factory spends time and energy changing and presumably
washing the rugs every day of the week. The irony is that these
guys change their rugs more often than they do their shirts as it is
not uncommon to see a guy wearing the same shirt a few days in a row.
You don't even have to take their word for it because they have the
day printed clearly on the rug as you walk into the elevators which
either meant as an exercise proving thoroughness or otherwise an
exercise to ensure all workers know which day of the week it always is

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Taking on the empty pledges

While flying within China this week, I looked down at my ticket and
noticed that typed across the top was a message which screamed of
altruism and good deeds. China Southern Airline, one of China's
largest, would donate 10fen every time somebody flew the airline.
Now this sounds fantastic in principle but when you did a bit deeper
it actually is a bit disturbing.

See 10fen is roughly equivalent to 1.4 cents. This global airline
which carries passengers at rates from $150 to $3000 per flight has
generously offered to donate less than two cents to some charity. The
cost of printing it on the ticket probably costs more than what they
will actually donate
This is like making a nickel donation to stop WorldHunger and taking
bows for your gigantic heart

Friday, May 11, 2012

Take on no subtleties

You have to appreciate the Chinese honesty. When they tell you they
want a discount they mean it, when they tell you they like to drink
they believe it and when they offer up a massage in a hotel they don't
hide the fact that you will need a shower after you are done. The US
with their moral high ground forces these businesses under ground
while the rest of the world seems to embrace them whether it is the
red-light district in Amsterdam, the karaoke chicks in Japan, the
secret service hootchies in central America or the spa's in China.

Just look at the name of the spa at some 5 star hotel in GuangZhou I
stayed at, there just are no subtleties in China. The problem (past
any morality issues you may have) are that the women all look like
they have gotten their hands malled in some gigantic machine. There
is no such thing as a manicure let alone potable hot water to wash
with so I have to imagine that even my filthiest massage loving
buddies may have an issue with this

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Take on Blue Skies

I have been emailing with a buddy of mine who is in China for the
first time at the same time I'm here asked about the 'fog' he sees out
the window

The best answer I could give him

Yeah basically that fog is billions of microscopic particles of carbon
monoxide cutting into your lungs like billions of small razor blades
and it is all caused by that new coal firing power plant they build
every single week of the year. I have been to China 10 times and
literally have only seen blue sky once...a week after the Olympics.
Speaking with a few natives they tell me that the city of Beijing will
close 3500 factories next year to help air pollution which really only
means that the rest of the country will have to take a deep breath and
You see people walking around with those blue masks which I guess
can't hurt but is probably as effective of wrapping your unit in
aluminum foil before you sleep with a Colombian prostitute.

See this is China where if you rank the importance of anything it
lands somewhere behind; growth, growth and growth. The air is so
thick that when you leave it feels like you removed a sock from your
mouth. The closest I can compare it to is what it must feel like for
somebody with asthma because you can't get a full breath, it is like
breathing when it is 110 degrees with 98% humidity in a sauna except
your skin doesn't get revitalized and there is NO chance of catching a
glimpse of a Double D

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Take on Chinese twitter

You know that you are in China when the air is so thick with smog that you can't see 100 feet in front of you.  You know you are in China when you sit at a lunch and spend all your mental capacity to come up with excuses why you don't want to eat just about everything on the table and you know when you are in China when you log onto twitter and your browser gives you a blank screen.   Obviously you know you are not in kansas anymore but in 2012 it is weird to not be able to log onto, twitter, spotify, facebook, or youporn but this is what a closed society is.    maybe I am being naive  I never the impression they are reading my email but when you realize that the only form of western news you can get is from China Daily, it's time to wise up

Only question remains is how does the average Chinese chick know what Kim Kardashian is wearing at any given time without access to twitter?   Probably not a bad thing as it may take 10 of them to fill up one of her outfits 

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Take on Korean immigration

Explain something to me like I am an American business traveler to Korea for the first time.   When you arrive at Incheon airport you land in the middle of the night, are then put through a combination of mazes until finally you arrive at Immigration where you stand on line for an hour waiting to be let it after a facial recognition picture and finger-print scan.   Obviously Korea isn't the only country which does this but you gotta give them some credit for their attempt to make you, the white guy, feel comfortable. 
The funny thing is that as you stand on that line trying to make some sense of the fact it's 4am although your body tells you it's 12 hours earlier you realize that even if this line takes forever they really have you, The American Businessman, in mind.    They  have these huge posters which give travelers instructions to the immigration process and all the cartoon pictures are of white folks.   The traveler, the immigration officer, the family dog all have distinct white features like pale white faces, huge noses and flowing blond hair including the dog and in the drawings they are all smiling which is a far cry from the sleepless misery you see surrounding you on line
I guess it's a nice attempt to make you feel at home which is a nice when you consider you will be sh!tting in a hole in the floor for a week.  

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, May 7, 2012

Take on the big screen

There are a few things you notice when landing in Korea: the women
are better endowed that their expats stateside, they serve kimchee
with every meal including breakfast and they have gigantic phones.
Now I have nothing but good things to say about the first two but the
third one is more than a bit odd. Today while sitting at a meeting a
phone rings and one of the Korean guys reaches into a pocket and takes
out what might as well have been an IPad. This thing must have been 8
inches in length (somehow I can guestimate that length from anywhere)
and honestly looked like it should weight 2 pounds. I am not saying
it didn't look somewhat appealing but really only in the same way a
full functioning desk-top is appealing to you when you only have a
netbook in your briefcase. From what I could tell it was one of
these new Samsung jammers which from what I have read have apparently
dulled the line between smartphone and computer even more than anybody
could have imagined. The problem is that although I bet having some
huge screen is great, you still need some of the basic functionality
of a phone and one thing this does not have is form-fitting look. If
you can even manage to squeeze it into your pocket you will be walking
around like you got a mile marker in your pants because there is just
no way this would look right in a normal pair of pants..

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Take on Chinese cuisine

Whenever I am on my way to Asia I try to mentally as physically
prepare myself by imagining Temple of Doom and then adding about 10
layers of filth to it. It's not that I am not experimental when
trying new foods, it is that there are certain things I don't feel
like I should ever experiment with. But the thing is that i am not
that turned off my donkey meat, turtle soup or jellyfish. What I am
really not happy with is the whole fish every Chinese dinner is
finished with. Generally I really like fish but when you are 1000
miles from the ocean and every river is fluorescent green with
godknowswhat pollutant, you start getting nervous.
So before I left for 8 days away from home I made sure to fill up on a
large burger with pepperjack and onions, about 10 chocolate chip
cookies and a gallon of seltzer which i hope i can store up like a

And if not I have a bag of beef jerky in my bag just in case.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Take on the potty

Being a father to a little girl is the most rewarding experience I
could ever imagine. Watching them learn and explore is so incredibly
powerful that you are often in awe of the development of the human
mind. Although I hate pinksanity,I love seeing my little one
prancing around in a dress Just about eerything about having a
little girl is great but my biggest fear from day 1 has been.. How the
heck am I ever going to be comfortable bringing her into a public
men's room.
I am not even talking about the creepiness of it but rather a pure
issue with hygiene.
A men's bathroom is beyond disgusting, there are puddles of piss
everywhere, the place always reeks and every toilet seat is covered in
piss drible For some reason dude's think it is their god-given right
to piss all over the seat of the toilet even when their is a stand-up
urinal is available. And now I have to navigate these puddles of
piss so my daughter can go. I try building toilet paper towers but
honestly when there are visible reservoirs of urine, a thin sheet of
Charmin just isn't enough.
We have come up with a routine First rule is that she is not to
touch anything, second rule is she must always hold my hand and the
third rule is no dilly-dallying We get to our business and leave
right away Then we set up me squating down and having her sit across
my outstetched arms holding her about 6 inches over the toilet so
neither of us actually has to touch anything
It's a hell of a workout but at least assures some ability to sleep at night

Friday, May 4, 2012

Take on boys socks

The level of marketing companies do to kids is ridiculously effective
and quite frankly more than a bit sickening. By the time they turn
two very girl wants pink shoes and princess shirts and every boy needs
a baseball shirt and a blue hat. I cannot believe that any kid is
predisposed to liking blue or pink over yellow or green but the way
our marketing world works by the time they learn to count they have
already become cogs to the giant pink colored machine.

But when I walked into the store and noticed that they sold separate
boys and girls socks, I was completely miffed because this wasn't even
the obvious blue-pink thing.  They had socks marked specifically for boys and other ones marked specifically for girls but I could not find any anatomically different..
What's exactly makes a package of red socks ones destined for boys? These
are not adults who have radically different footwear (all toddlers
wear sneakers, crocs and rain boots) so there can't be anything that
different in the design

What it does do is urge a parent of two kids to buy two different sets
of socks for a pair of fraternal twins

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Take on the AppStore update

I feel like every time I open up the app-store I am immediately
bombarded with 2 or 3 app updates which I mostly just update without
much thought. Honestly half the time I see an update, I think
'didn't even remember downloading it in the first place'. It as if
these companies make a minor update so often to allow them to kind of
nudge their users to try it again without it feeling like spam
I get that as a marketing concept but it can backfire too when it
shows a user how little they care. Yesterday when I got the latest
Groupon update my first thought was 'I probably should delete this
thing because i have literally not fired up the app in 6 months', then
I opened it up to see the update and I couldn't delete it fast enough
because it just felt like spam

The update now allows me to buy Groupons in Thailand which is about
as relevant to me as sending me as the gum on the sidewalk. Why this
needs to be an update I have to waste time updating is ridiculous but
I know if I don't I'll be stuck staring at a little '1' on top of the
app-store icon

Really what the hell is Groupon offering in Thailand? two for the
price of sex changes for would be prostitutes?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Take on BountyGate

When the NFL came down on Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis and Gregg Williams for bountygate, our first impression was that it felt a bit harsh although it was completely deserved.    I never got the impression that these guys taught their players to be dirty as much as they preached it in pregame.   Now that might be a very thin line and honestly I don't care that much (except for the fact I recently traded for Drew Breese on my DCup Winning Fantasy Football team and his value may take a hit without Payton) so at the end of the day I thought it was what the NFL had to do to in anticipation for 1000's of lawsuits they are likely to face in the next few decades from former players with lasting effects of head-injuries.
Today Roger Goodell doubled down and suspended Jonathan Vilma who was the ring-leader inside the locker room along with a couple of other guys  most of whom actually don't play on the Saints anymore including Anthony Hargrove (now on the Packers), Scott Fujita (now on the Browns) and Will Smith (now staring in M2BIII not to be confused with former Cowboys running back)..    The issue I that Goodell waited until after the draft to suspend these guys.    Obviously they were all suspensions that were at least expected, NFL teams spend an entire year preparing for the draft and not having this information in stone before the draft could really alter the way a team approaches it.   That may be a fine punishment for Vilma and Smith who still play on the Saints since it happened on the watch of that team's administration but for Fujita and Hargrove giving the Packers and the Browns a little notice would have seemed more than fair.   Then again the Packers probably figured it out before hand and had their draft-board adjusted accordingly and really the Browns can't get out of their own way so it probably wouldn't have mattered much.
The person who is probably saddest is Colt McCoy because had the Browns known they lost Fujita they probably would have passed on the geriatric QB and drafted defense with that pick…

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

take on 98.7 ESPN Radio

When ESPN radio announced last week that they were going to move ESPN NY radio to 98.7 on the FM dial you could feel the excitement in the on air voices as they described the events which they claimed would be the biggest story in sports-radio since the breakup of Fatso and Fruitloops.  The blogosphere immediately jumped to the conclusion that the Yankee radio rights were well on their way to Bristol South.    From Michael Kay to Mike and Mike to the Godfather to Stephen A, the place was bouncing off the walls as they felt that with the more powerful signal they could finally take on WFAN in a fair fight and take their shot at dethroning the Fat man.   Along with the new station and promised improved signal they also rearranged the on-air 'talent' by  adding Patrick McEnroe who is one of the least funny people ever, flipping a few hosts around and pairing Stephen A with either Ruocco or Lundberg which is like trying to enjoy a baloney and cream-cheese sandwich.     I was excited because I love the mind numbing effect of sports-talk but my euphoria was short lived when I turned on the radio on Monday morning at 12:01AM to hear Stephen A commemorate the new ESPN.  Most people might thing that the thought of Stephen A was the downfall but in this case that wasn't the case, the problem was has to do with being on 98.7.   Not only does the FM format just not work for talk, there is almost too much you hear but more importantly the signal was terrible in Brooklyn, I got dribs of talk mixed in with drabs of static especially if I wasn't holding my walkman at a certain angle.      

Maybe this is a 'Brooklyn' problem but really if you are going to lease these airways for a decade at a cost in the mega millions, wouldn't it behoove you to at least drive around the city with your radio turned on to make sure that your listeners in Coney Island or Bensonhurst can get the signal? 

The company line was that with this new 98.7 signal, ESPN radio would finally be able to reach a bigger audience but there was one thing that always bothered me about that, your reach is so much further with the low-frequency of an AM station.    I've been able to listen to WFAN as far north as the Killington Vermont, caught it as far West as Akron Ohio and a buddy used to listen to Captain Midnight on his balcony in DC but when you get out from a 40 mile radius of the tower you completely lose the FM band which is the reason you can't get Z100 or 104.3 anywhere outside of the immediate NY area.  So although ESPN might have improved their signal in Morristown NJ or Belerose Long Island you lose your audience anywhere north of New Canaan or south of Sunset Park.       

So they either didn't do enough research or this wasn't about reaching a broader audience, this was about converting the 1050 signal to ESPN deportes which I'm all for but sadly not at the expense of my own listening pleasure.    There is just no way that the entire Yankee empire is going to allow their radio signal to be carried on a bandwidth that doesn't reach to the bleachers..   if their radio broadcasts sucks they want it to be because of Sterling not in spite of him