Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Take on our issues with BB

I realize that I am easily three years too late to the party but I am
finally getting around to watching -and loving- Breaking Bad. It's
not just the fact that Walter White bears a drinking resemblance
physically, not to mention intellectually and emotionally to somebody
I know quite well. It's the rapport between student and teacher, the
complications of a major disease and how it affects a household, the
intrigue of a drug trade which seems, at it's core, to be one that is
all science and of course the great dialogue
But halfway through season 4, what has bothered me most, other than
that ridiculous plane crash, is the fact that Skyler has put on about
30 pounds in, what is supposed to have been, one continuous day
between the two seasons.

Just look at the screen shot, which has to be one of the most
disturbing ones of all time, with a pale pimples assed chemistry
teacher standing in front of a chick who looks like she ate a bunsen
burner. Add to that the haircut which adds another 10 pounds and you
wonder how Vince Gilligan, who has an eye for detail, ever let her on
screen as it broke all continuity of what was supposed to be the same
day as the end of season three.

It's incredible how much hotter she was the second she uttered IFT and
how much less attractive she is when she just uttered

Monday, December 30, 2013

Take on the end of innocence

My brother-in-law took his son to Times Square a few days ago, I guess
to give the kid the experience of hell on earth. They caught a
movie, had some Stone Cold Creamery and checked out the characters
willing to have their photos taken for a mere $5. What they didn't
realize was that unlike Disney World, the Times Square characters have
no issue coming out of costume. I realize the guys working down in
Anaheim or Orlando are no angels but the fear of Disney still hangs
over their heads which is very different than the ones who are working
as freelancers in NYC. Having worked a block from there, I have seen
plenty of dudes pick their masks off to smoke cigarettes, pick their
teeth or do lines of coke off of Minnie's ass, so nothing they do now
surprises me much. But, I have to think that it could be a bit
traumatizing for a 5 year old to see Cinderella on her knees giving
some dude a hummer, seeing Winnie the Pooh cursing out a competitor or
catching Super Mario adjust his junk.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Take on the make it yourself 5000 piece dollhouse

Is there anything more emasculating than one of those
build-a-dollhouse kits? There are hundreds of parts, handfuls of
screws and instructions which may as well be in Spanish and are the
size of a phone book. Years ago they would throw all those screws and
bolts into a bag but now try came up with this genius concept of
putting them in this marked box thing with each screw or Allen wrench
bolt in it's own compartment behind plastic. If you have ever gotten
a box like this, you know that you have to turn the thing around an
open up each compartment which seems smart until you realize that you
have to turn it back over to see which item is which, meaning all the
acres from a particular section are now all laying mixed on the table.
Why they don't just mark then on both the plastic compartment side and
also on the back cardboard side is beyond me

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Take on the Saturday morning look

It's over. I am officially done!!

I walked out of the house today like a man who just doesn't care
anymore. Unshaven, not showered, hair unkempt, teeth in rushed,
wearing pajama pants, an old snowboarding jacket and snow boots. Not
because I was hoping to have a blizzard nightmare, but because as a
father of soon to be three who drives a minivan and spends his entire
waking life trying to figure out how to spend less money and throw
away more junk, I am done. I have officially become the prototypical
suburban dad with too little sleep, too much waistline and too many
I spend my weekends shuttling between gymnastics, tumbling, Trader
Joes and Target and find the odd minute of solitude when I try to
catch up on old episodes of Breaking Bad, which, by the way, is the
main reason I fear getting cancer cause I would start cooking meth the
second I felt a lump. The again, I don't know how to cook meth, so
I'd have to find something dangerous to do. Maybe I'd just do a lot
of jaywalking and not recycling.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Take on the greatest headline

Say what you will about the New York Post, they may be slanted,
trashy, sensationalistic and biased but you cannot deny they are
funny. The latest greatest was the picture of Client #9 getting out
of his car with his new fling, a few days after it was announced that
he was separating from his wife.
Mrs. Spitzer stood by her man through thick and thin, through triumphs
and through disgrace, through successful political campaigns to an
epic downfall and, of course, through countless hookers.
I thought it was odd that they announces they were separating a few
days before Christmas, not so much for the timing but much like when a
random old celebrity dies, I often think "I thought he was dead
Anyway, the Post decided that there had been enough mourning for a
failed marriage and captured Spitzer walking into his girlfriend's
parents' house with an absolutely great headline

Thursday, December 26, 2013

take on the genius bar employee

When my IPhone stopped charging last night, I knew that'd I'd spend the day  at the Genius Bar which sounded incredibly painful the day after Christmas when a bunch of grandma's show up to have the dude with a nose piercing show her how to turn on her IPad.  I showed up early and was pleasantly surprised that I was one of the first people there, which I think can only be due to the fact that it was 8:30AM on a what is essentially a holiday morning.    
I was also pleasantly surprised that the new battery connection I was sure was the culprit was intact and even more surprised when the Genius Bar guy pulled out a wad of lint from the charger hole like he was cleaning out a dryer.   My IPhone was back to running and charging normally and I was on my way to work, a few ounces lighter and my full wallet intact. 

But as I was waiting for the dude to pull out the lint, it occurred to me that much like a skinny surfer guy in Southern California, the Genius Store has a type..   Almost every person who works at the bar is a dude, and they all have some noticeable body piercing or tattoo, they are all a little awkwardly cool and they they all look like they would rather stab themselves in the eye with a lightning charger cord but what really stands out is that they are all ridiculously soft spoken.   it's like you have to strain to hear whether or not the new operating system will require a complete reboot and you leave the place not sure if you heard anything at all.   Maybe Steve Jobs envisioned an army of hipster  who wouldn't disturb his zen palace or maybe there is something about a guy who can't raise his voice which attracted him but it's ridiculous how quiet that place is..

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Take on the Starbucks pay for the guy behind you trick

Having been up since before 6am with two overly excited and sugar
rushed kids on Christmas morning, I felt that a trip to Starbucks for
a large Pike Place Roast was well deserved. First of all, finding a
Starbucks open on Christmas morning is impossible, especially in the
suburbs but when I finally found one, it had a drive-through line
wrapped around the building.
I finally get up to the window after neatly a 20 minute wait and am
told that the guy ahead of me paid for my coffee, which seemed like a
very nice gesture on this Christmas morning. What I didn't quite
realize was that this was now expected of me for the next guy as the
barista dude asks if I would like to reciprocate which I felt pressure
to do. Problem was that the guy behind me had some kind of calorie
death-wish cause he ordered two large pumpkin spice lattes with whip
cream and butter and sugar, both coming in at like 500 calories.
Usually this would only annoy me as I don't like to contribute to
gluttony but what really annoyed me was when I got his bill $9.45
which I now had a peer pressure obligation to pay

So I shelled out almost $10 for a large coffee, even for Starbucks
standards that is ridiculous

Ba humbug

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Take on the Christmas forwArd distribution list

Is there anything less Christmasy than getting some lame "merry
Christmas" email forward from some random acquaintance? I get some
email today and notice immediately that the guy who sent if included
everybody on the to: line. Let's leave the fact that this incredibly
tacky and terribly unprofessional aside and focus on the fact that
it's also incredibly cheesy for a grown Asian man to send everybody in
his Rolodex a lame message with a picture of a burning fire.
I need to discuss this with President Obama the next time I see him
but it seems to me that all random distribution lists, should have one
of those unsubscribe buttons on the bottom. Either that or, at
minimum, you should be allowed to kick the offender in the groin.

Monday, December 23, 2013

take on the polar bear club

There must be a direct correlation with the kind of people that are willing to do stuff like jump into a freezing cold lake at Christmas time and body weight because there over decades of watching people do Polar Bear jumps, I have yet to see anybody who isn't built like Santa Claus.   You never see some 24 year old rock solid coed doing this, you don't see a 34 year gym going mom doing it, you don't even see a 64 year old grandmother doing it, you only see ridiculously huge people.
I get that the extra blubber might help you withstand the icy cold temperatures but watching a 400 pound man in a speedo jump into a lake isn't a sight anybody should be exposed to.  This poor slob can't see his d*ck over his belly when he's standing in a steam-room with Kim Kardashian felating him, imagine how deformed that little weasel looks like after being exposed to -30 degree temperatures

So, for the sake of mankind and my eyeballs, jump into a warm pond and don't film it..

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Take on the line outside Foot Locker

While walking to work this week, I came across a line which stretched
from 7th avenue all the way to 8th. People were camped out with
chairs, blankets, hot chocolate and tents like they were on line for
free money, so of course TOR had to investigate. Apparently, the new
AirJordan's came our this week which seemed like a good reason for
thousands of people to stand in the freezing cold to the right to be
the first idiot to drop almost $200 for a pair of sneakers.
I will never understand the desire to want to be the first to own
anything so badly that I'd camp out overnight to spend my money to buy
it. You can walk up two days later, spend the same money and not have
wasted a night of your life with a bunch of similar idiots. I may
make an exception for a once in a lifetime concert or a sporting event
but to stand in line to buy sneakers seems beyond idiotic.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Take on the Boitano coming out announcement

We try do our best to cover a wide variety of topics on TOR and are always more than happy to take some suggestions from regular readers, especially ones that fancy our own interests.   Regular reader Peeper Zed asked why on earth the Brian Boitano announcement that he was, in fact, gay, was news at all.   First of all, celebrities and sports stats having to make this public confession at all, is shameful.  Who gives a flip about somebody's sexuality, there really isn't anything less interesting...especially when it was obvious.   What we do appreciate is the enormous weight it must lift off of people, who can then, for the first time, live outside of the lie.  

But the figure skating 'news' got us to thinking about the least shocking coming out announcements of all time.   These were so expected that the fact it hasn't happened, yet, was the only thing groundbreaking about it

The top eight least shocking coming-out announcements

Freddie Mercury. 
This was a bit before my time but anybody who watched Mercury perform must have known he was gay.  For god sake, his band's name was Queen.  

This chick only wore khakis.  

He put the flamboyant in flamboyant 

Ricky Martin
Living la vida loco 

The only thing less shocking was that Ellen did if first

Boy George
Not sure if he was ever in the closet but if he was, it could not have been a stretch to assume he was being that his name was Boy George

Elton John
I read that he announced he was a bisexual back in the very early 70's, so the fact that he was gay, can't have ever been a shock.  

Brian Boitano
Kind of thought this was something well knows already

I am sure I am missing somebody, so feel free to add to the list.  Here is to hoping for tons of coming out parties that make no news at all 

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, December 20, 2013

take on Bank of America's Museums across America "deal"

i got an email a few days ago from BankOfAmerica offering me all sort of great deals for banking with them.   There was 10% off of coffee at fourbucks, there is a 10% discount at California Pizza Kitchen and there was a separate email giving me free access to a bunch of museums throughout the country.   It sounds like a great deal until you actually look at the museums they have in their package, they are either some no-name museum in Idaho or Wisconsin.  
There are a few ones in big cities but even those offers are disingenuous .   For example, they offer free entrance to the Met, which any New Yorker will sniff out as crap..    See the Met has a 'suggested donation', which means that you can walk up to the teller, give her a nickel and walk in and enjoy all the art that's fit to hang.   

So the BoA offer to give you free admission is like telling somebody they can get free admission into Central Park

Thursday, December 19, 2013

take on Busy Hands Biden

You gotta love Joe Biden.. Forget his politics, his tooth caps, his hair plugs, his gaffes or his irresistible charm..   What is the best about him is that unlike his boss, captain boring, Joe looks like the kind of guy you'd like to go drinking with.  He's might not give you as many good stories as GW Bush if he'd ever tell you about the old cocaine and drunk driving days back in Texas and unlike Bill Clinton you probably won't find Joe banging the snot out of some fat chick in the bathroom but he does seem like a down to earth kind of guy..

I love the picture that's been circulating with Busy Hands Biden groping an intern who just happens to be unlucky enough to stand with her ass pressed against his pecker.

So Joe, you'll never be president, you'll probably be completely forgotten when Obama leaves our lives in three years but you'll never be forgotten at the local watering holes in Georgetown..and that's the way we like it

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

take on the time zone crunch

in preparation for 2014, CNN has been running some special of the 10 most likely (and some not very likely) things that will change your life in the few years.  They have all sorts of drones, new medicines, self driving cars, new barriers to avoid flooding during hurricanes etc but the only one I'm really interested in is the one where they propose getting rid of daylight savings time (TOR has been on this for 5 years running) and condensing the four continental US time-zones to two..  They'd basically combine the Eastern and Central time zones to make one zone and the Mountain and Pacific into the other one which have essentially been combined anyway (8PMEastern/7PMCentral for TV listings)  

I can't tell you how sensible this sounds, for no other reason than to make a frequent traveler's, like myself, life a bit easier.   I can't tell you how ridiculous it is to drive from Indiana to Illinois and lose an hour. 

so sign me up for this time-change thing and boot the entire concept of daylight saving while you are it..

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

take on the season's greetings email

There really aren't many things I despise more than getting Merry Christmas emails from random companies I've bought stuff from over the last year.   You get on somebody's mailing list because you bought candle-sticks and all of a sudden they feel like you have a personal relationship with them.   Maybe it's poor form to not send season greetings but honestly I don't care, I think it's worse form to send season's greetings from people who you don't know personally.

So unless you are going to send me a box of Godiva chocolates, a gift certificate for $100 at Outback or a rubber pussy, please stop sending me all of your spam!!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Take on the new hairdo

I just spent half of my lunch going through my twice a year money
splurge, a trim at Jean Claude Van Haircuts. I can't say that the
overall experience was much different than previous engagements other
than a Russian chick with leather pants two sizes to small, I got a
dude who looked like Vizzini which is kind of like getting a food
recommendation from a guy who eats a dirty gyro from the grease trucks
Well this dude tugged, yanked and ripped on my hair for 15 minutes
like I was a chick into sadomasocism and then have me a slew of
instructions of how to have my head look like unjust left a salon when
I get out of the shower. This list must have been 20 pages long with
conditioners, gels and other treatment. So, here is to hoping that
it doesn't look like a mental patient tomorrow morning

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Take on the Disabled person's hatred of taxes

I've noticed that when a car has handicapped plates, they are almost
always right of center and very often far right of center. I get the
appeal to of personal responsibility and self reliance but if there is
one group of people who benefit from a large social safety-net, it
would be the people on disability. Between the SSD handouts, the
Americans with Disabilities act and the best parking spots -all
things they need and deserve- they get their share

I am just not sure where the anti-government mentality stems from but
talk to anybody who has a disability and they will complain more about
taxes than anybody, even if they pay very little of them and also
likely get regular payouts from Social Security Disability. I am all
for lowering my taxes but it will mean major cuts in services and Mr.
Ford Escapes monthly had out might be first in line.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Take on the golf umbrella

There really aren't many more annoying things in this world than
people who walk around with those ridiculous golf umbrellas during a
little rain or snow storm. I get that you don't want to get your
precious shoes wet but you also realize that you are up using a lot
more real-estate than you can afford. I've started to stand under the
back of the umbrella whenever some idiot decides to take out his
store-front awning, if you feel like you need to take up 9 square feet
of floor space, the least you could do is pass on your dryness for
your fellow commuters

Friday, December 13, 2013

Take on the Chinese urinal ads

Chinese bathrooms are obviously filthy but I so appreciate the urinal
reading they provide at the higher end restaurants. In China there
are no flat screen showing sporting event hanging over the urinal but
instead ads which I can only imagine are aimed at dudes, it's sort of
like those subway ads for Dr Zizmor or some terrible tech college
nobody will ever attend except these are designed to reach a more
targeted audience; Rich Chinese dudes who have issues with their junk.

What makes them so great is that they have these incredibly clear
visuals showing a sad banana or a leaking faucet and as I can't read a
word of Chinese, so part of the way I kill time is trying to decipher
what they mean

I am sure the leaky faucet is about not being able to hold your stream.

But I am still trying to figure out the banana one.l but one thing is
for sure, whatever the issue the overly exited Chinese doctor cartoon
can help you with it.

My best guess is that is is about impotence but looking at it more
closely it could be an ad to fix unit stink. This might explain those
weird halos surrounding the banana and the overly excited Chinese
doctor character. Then again, this could be an ad for a brothel which
may explain the need to clean up a stinky unit or for all I know it
might actually be an ad for a plumber who sells bananas.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

take on Dean Martin's Rudolph the Red Dicked Reindeer

A buddy mentioned to me the other day how American Icon Dean Martin snuck one past the American censors for a half a century with his rendition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.   He swears that at the end of the song, Martin, who appears to be completely sloshed, sneaks in a Rudolph the Red Dicked Reindeer right as the song cuts off.    Of course, this is the kind of thing that the high-paid reporters at TOR take very seriously, so we've gone on the hunt listing to every rendition of that classic.    First of all, the Rat Pack in the early 60's were as big as it got and it would be no surprise to anybody that there wouldn't be anybody who could have stopped Martin from doing what he wanted to do.  Secondly, with the way technology worked back then, it could easily have gotten past somebody and now has been playing on radio stations in heavy rotation for 50 years.

We put on some high-fidelity earphones and searched YouTube and found a great version.  

My buddy is 100% right about the fact that Martin is completely inebriated throughout the song as he ad libs his way through much of it and is slurring his words from the first verse on.   The YouTube version I have has a cartoon playing over it but it's not hard to imagine old Dino playing a little grab-ass with the girls in the background chorus singing the bridge about half way through the song.   You can tell he's going to go off the deep end when he starts referring to the lovable Rudolph as Rudy like he's an old drinking buddy and if you listen closely it does sound like scotch glasses are clinking in the background.   It gets a bit more bizarre even before the final fateful verse, as Martin goes into this crazy German accent with the line "Rudolf wiz your nose zo bright, won't zhou guide mine sliigh zoonigt."  He recorded this song in 1959, so the scars of WWII were probably just receding a bit, yet he seems to poke a bit of fun at the Krauts on the other side of the pond.  You'd think that was the ultimate move until he goes into the final line in question and it does appear that Dino sneaks in a Rudolph the Red Deeked reindeer like a drunk dude tries to sneak one in the five hole of his equally drunk girlfriend

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

take on Mama's family

When I was a kid and would get sick on a school day, my parents would call the school to tell them I was sick and then I'd sit plopped in front of the TV where I'd marathon watch a combination of I love Lucy, The Price is Right, Let's make a Deal, The Jefferson's, All in the Family and Mama's Family.   All those shows are ones I remember fondly and some of them are ones that I consider my favorites of all time but I was convinced that the lead character on Mama's family was actually a dude in drag.  There was nothing that screamed Adam's apple and hairy legs more than this 'chick'.

 It wasn't until many years later that I realized that the Mama character was played by Vicki Lawrence and not a Robin Williams wannabe.   

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

take on the sitting pee-er

A friend of mine has been telling me about all the virtues of peeing while sitting.    I get where he's going with most of his arguments which revolve around it just being more clean as there is minimal back-splash and I've been known to partake in when I'm in my own home.  

I do this for no other reason than so that I can give myself legs a few minutes off.   There is also the beauty of not forming a puddle of piss right outside your bowl which, when you have a couple of young kids, is the only sanitary thing to do but really the reason I like sitting when I pee is that I'm always checking my phone when I get into the pisser and right as I'm about to cut off the stream, I have this crazy chill that runs right up my spine, leading to a quick shiver which would usually mean I splatter all over the toilet roll, back of the seat and the walls.

But my real fear is that this shiver will be a bit more severe than expected and I drop my cell-phone into the bowl

Monday, December 9, 2013

Take on the bike helmet

A buddy commented the other day that i was a total dork for wearing a
bike helmet when I ride the Citibike through the streets of NY
claiming it was one of the least cool things anybody over the age of
nine could ever do.

First of all, I am fully aware that I am not cool. At this point of my
life I am the furthest thing from cool. Within a few months I will be
a father of three driving a minivan to my 2700 square foot house in
the suburbs, so I have no pretense of cool. Cool left when I stopped
going to jazz bars listing to a funk band until 2am every Wednesday,
cool left when I stopped going to happy hour and instead started
racing a citibike to catch the earlier bus home to see my kids, cool
left when wearing sneakers to work went from a casual Friday to a
necessity because of the sleet.

The second reason his argument means nothing is because riding a bike
in midtown manhattan is actually a bit dangerous and I really don't
want to have a broken skull. Between the cabbies, swinging open car
doors, poorly marked (and often completely ignored) dedicated bike
lanes and millions of pedestrians, it is a miracle I am still in one
piece. So, if looking like a dork costs me a brain injury, that is a
cost I am willing to absorb. Now that I think of it, at this point, I
may get one of those reflective vests to wear when I ride

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Take on the fragile package

Nothing is as reliable as the US Mail, through rain and sleet and snow
and sunshine, they deliver a letter from California to your door for a
mere $0.39..uh, $0.42..or maybe $0.44 in a matter of days or weeks.
But where they really excel is in delivering fragile packages, like
the poster I got my kid for Christmas. It came in one of those
cardboard tubes designed for pictures and posters with a couple of
great big "fragile" and "do not bend" caution stickers on it, so all
should be secure, right?

I guess you know what happened when I opened up the tube.. The poster
now has a big ugly streak in the center and is all crumpled up in the
corner. But hey, if it had been sleeting they would have gotten me
the bent poster with a smile, right right around Christmas time

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Take on the NY Times hecklers

I always laugh when people heckle, whether it's heckling a comedian, a
politician or a newspaper, it always just looks like sour grapes.
There really isn't a more desperate group than people who spend their
time and energy openly throwing insults at people who don't even
realize they are alive. Once you begin heckling, it doesn't matter if
your argument has merit, you just look like a tool
I just noticed a huge sign hanging on the corner of 40th and 8th
staring right at the New York Times building, chastising the paper for
now having covering the apparent 9/11 coverup. This gets me to the
second most desperate group of people: conspiracy theorist

It's been 12 years since that Tuesday in September and people are
still on this 9/11 was an inside job thing?? You have to be kidding
me, do people really have nothing better to do than spend tens of
thousands of dollars hanging signs up and throwing pies at people?
And if you are going to spend god time and effort on something, at
least don't be an activist for some recycled conspiracy.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Take on the lack of Paul Walker outrage

I am not one who finds pleasure in death but I also find it a bit
ridiculous when you are the entire world fain incredible heartache
when a celebrity passes away. I haven't seen a single Fast and
Furious movie although I have nothing against Paul Walker, Vin Diesel
(who has a great gay porn name), The Rock or any of those pretty
skinny white kids they hang with. What does bother me is how upset
the fan-base is with his death, all of which seems completely
disingenuous. People who have never met him have said they feel
personally connected with his loss like he was some kind of saint.
I see stories of how nice he was to some fan or how he spent time
talking to some kid who wanted his autograph but this celebrity bull
shows you nothing about who a guy like this really was. Maybe he was
a good dude and maybe not but to have me all to walk news coverage on
this is pretty disgusting. Yeah, he may have made cool movies and now
he won't be in any more but a dude who you don't know driving 1000
miles per hour in some supped up Porsche who wraps himself around a
tree isn't all that tragic, sorry.

It all comes down to the fact that he was a good looking dude and
Hollywood and the left leaning media loves that type. You just know
that if a guy like Jason Biggs, who is another actor from a successful
movie franchise, died similarly, nobody would give a crap.

But even that isn't what bothers me. What does is the fact we
lionize a guy like this when really he was acting like a total idiot
but nobody takes him to task for that. I know he wasn't the driver
but he knew exactly what kind of thrill ride he was getting into, so
he is as much to blame for this kind of idiotic behavior as anybody.
These two could have easily ran over a couple of kids while drag
racing, destroying the lives of innocent people, because they had a
need for speed yet nobody mentions that. The media is too wrapped up
into the legacy some pretty boy actor left behind to realize his
behavior could have killed more than just the two who made the
decision to put their lives in danger

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Take on Zwarte Piet

Every year on December 5th, I'm reminded of my childhood.   Growing up in Holland, this day was our Christmas.  We still celebrated December 25th but kept that one mostly about religious traditions and family gatherers, but December 5th was the kid's holiday because that is when we would all get our presents.

But for weeks before this day, the kids in my neighborhood and I were on edge because Sinterklaas had arrived in the harbor a few weeks earlier on a large barge from Spain.   He would stay in Holland for two or three weeks visiting kids and preparing to deliver presents.    Unlike the American Santa Claus, Sinterklaas was a much less jolly soul, with his entire persona based on Saint Nicholas.   He was a skinny tall man with a big pope hat and if you've ever seen a kid cry when he had to sit on Santa's lap in the mall, you should have seen us in Holland when we had to even come close to the old man.  Santa Claus was jolly and fat with a bunch of friendly reindeer, Sinterklaas was regal and sophisticated riding on a pure white-horse.  
But all those perceptions are still secondary to the helpers of each man.   Santa has elves who make toys up in the North Pole and help him during picture day when overtired kids are forced to take one cute picture for their parent's Christmas card, Sinterklaas had Zwarte Piet's, which for no better way of describing it were indentured servants.   Zwarte Piet is directly translated as Black Pete and these guys would come along with the regal saint on the boat and then run havoc over the entire land for three weeks.  They would break into your house to make sure the kids were behaving, often pelting them with candy.. they would sneak through windows and open doors and all Dutch Kids were told that if they behaved they wouldn't get coal in their stocking but instead would be taken away by the Black Pete's and brought to Africa until next year.  

Today, Dutch people defend Zwarte Piet as a fun child character and will claim that their faces are black because of the soot of the chimneys but I remember as a kid knowing that these were black people from Africa, ones we were very afraid of.   Just look at the facial features and you know that these were supposed to be African people, regardless of what they tell you today, I know that the Zwarte Piets of my youth all had big red lips, curly hair and tons of jewelry, they almost looked like circus clowns.    And regardless of what they tell you, the imagery of an old white guy dressed like a plantation owner with thousands of dark skinned 'helpers' coming onto shore is something that no Dutch person should ever forget.

with that said, it was a great holiday

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Take on the slow walkers

I will never understand slow walkers, never. Every time I walk out
of anyplace I am hurrying for something, maybe to yet to work, maybe
to get home, maybe I'm hurrying just to hurry but somehow the lazy
masses out there have nowhere to go, ever. This is what is wrong
with America because they walk down the streets on a Wednesday like
they are going for a Sunday stroll. I'm not talking about the tourists
who are sidewalk nightmares in their own right but at least they have
an excuse (plus they are usually 500 pounds of muscle-less blubber).
It might be time to add a fast-land to the sidewalks of NYC

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Take on the Jesus Life Church SUV

I am usually not one to have too much commentary on religion but when
I caught this car the other day, I couldn't help myself. Parked on
an unassuming block in front of an unassuming house was an Escalade
with the words "Jesus Life Church" in huge block letters across the
back window. Now, I am by no means a Jesus aficionado but something
tells me that a dude who is came from and preached about being humble
would not exactly approve of this kind of extravagance. That is not
to say that JC may not have enjoyed getting chauffeured around but I
sort of doubt that when he spoke of helping the poor, being able to
drive over them without feeling as much as a speed bump was probably
not what he had in mind. For a church named after the Life of Jesus,
there seems to be some kind of message disconnect

Plus, these Church of Jesus folks were probably able to get some kind
of tax exemption.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Take on the Amazon Drone

All the talk today will be about the Amazon drone which will change
the way people get books delivered in much the same way the Kindle
changed the way people got books delivered. I think we're all pretty
intrigued by this thought because it may finally mean we are getting
close to the flying cats, hovercrafts and robot housekeepers we have
been promised. I can't say that I'm quite ready for the future but
the fact I can travel to Asia for 10 days and only bring my IPad is
pretty amazing.
But the problem with these drones past the obvious issues like parking
spots, interference, crashes and scaring the living hell out of all
the grandmothers is that we may have hit an over-saturation point with
this instant gratification. Do we really need to have a battery
charger delivered to our door by a remote controlled airplane, or can
we possibly get off our lazy fat asses and maybe drive
or...gasp...walk to the local CVS to buy something you need

Although, to be fair, the Flintstones were a lot fatter than the
Jetsons, so maybe this technology will allow for more exercise in the

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Take on the $45 topless haircut

When I read an article this morning about a woman getting arrested for
giving topless haircuts, I had two thoughts.

- this chick probably could have charged a lot more than $45 if she
didn't look like Vin Diesel's fraternal twin. -side note, if there
isn't a better gay porn name than Vin Diesel please let me know/

- why the hell does a chick cutting hair really need a license? I am
all for making sure medicine is practiced with a license but cutting
hair?? I used to get my head shaved by a buddy sitting on a toilet
with my head hanging over a garbage can. This isn't rocket science
and the worst that could reasonably happen is a really bad haircut,
and I have gone to plenty of licensed hair stylists for that and they
were fully dressed