Thursday, April 30, 2015

Take on the Shake Shack

I wouldn't stand in line for 5 minutes to meet the Pope, so maybe I'm not the ideal person to ask but what kind of mental patient stands in line for 40 minutes on 8th avenue to get a Shake Shack burger?

I love burgers, absolutely love them and could eat one every day if I allowed myself to do so b ut I wouldn't wait 40 seconds on a line for one let alone 40 minutes.   Today I saw a line which wrapped around the block with a bunch of white dudes dying to spend $14 on a burger.  

Time to realize they are overrated and expensive and just not that good 

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Take on the swollen lip

If I told you a story about how last night after the kids went to sleep, I drove into the city, bought an 8-ball, hit FlashDancers, met a bunch of bikers and told one that Motörhead was overrated, took him down when he swing at me but then had a six foot four black dude bouncer who looked like Zeus kick me in the mouth, would you believe me?

I probably wouldn't either but regardless I walked into work this morning with a big swollen lip. It wasn't because of a good story and wasn't even something as believable as tripping over a Dora tea-set in the middle of the night but instead I busted my lip getting onto the bus
I can't tell you exactly how it happened but I do know as I went to sit down, after getting on the bus at my stop, the driver kind of tapped the brakes. I'd say jammed on them to avoid running over a school of ducks and a school of four year olds but that would be a complete lie. He tapped them to make sure he didn't get himself caught at a weird intersection point, the issue was that I just wasn't aware he was doing it and the sudden change in direction caught me off guard.
When he tapped the brakes, my gigantic head slammed forwards hitting that huge plastic hand bar on the back of the seats like a hammer hitting a nail. I figure that the force my head hit was exponentially harder than the force of the brake kind of like how the end of a baseball bat moves at a much faster pace than the handle does when a batter swings through the zone but forget physics..for the rest of the hour and a half commute I was sucking down blood. Of course this happens to be the day I was wearing a white button down and, being that I am a man I did not have a bunch of tissues in my pocket so there I sat just sucking down on my lip hoping it wouldn't bleed all over my shirt like a chick who lost track of her cycle days


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Take on the Maserati ad

I have seen enough episodes of MadMen to know that not all marketing campaigns are created equal but when I caught the latest Maserati ad in the paper this morning, I was more than a bit shocked. We are talking about a $80,000 automobile and the ad for Kelly Maserati might as well be an ad for Crazy Eddie. The entire feel of the ad feels cheap and desperate from the "we make it easy" sign that Kelly is holding to the "new inventory" hot link. At any given point I'd expect a pop up window to show up telling me they have no credit financing with no money down.

What kind of New Money are they appealing to exactly?? If I am buying a luxury sports-car, I don't want to feel like I am buying a luxury automobile not a used 94 Honda Civic.

You'd never see Mercedes or Ferrari stoop this low although the big red bow on the Lexus does come close

Monday, April 27, 2015

Take on Madame Tussauds

Walking through Times Square this morning at 9AM, it stuck me that there are way too many people with way too much time on their hands when I saw an endless line of people standing outside of the Madame Tussauds museum.  Maybe there was a. Ew statue revealed or maybe there was a class trip from Nebraska but I cannot come up with anything I'd have less of an interest in than waiting an hour to look at a bunch of wax statutes of celebrities.   Celebrity gawking does almost nothing for me, so maybe I am not the ideal customer but it always shocks me that somebody spends $700 to fly to NYC, spends $350 a night for a hotel and $200 for food and while they are here, in a city that offers you everything, they waste hours on this thing.  Then again these are the same idiots that stand outside of Good Morning America like a bunch of absolute lunatics 

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Take on the Chinese funeral

I hate funerals, I guess everybody does but it is unreal how much I hate them. I always feel like they take way longer than needed, there are way too many formalities and the chances of seeing somebody rise from the grave is slim to none but when I heard about the way they party at a Chinese funeral I was counting the days for a Chinese guy I know to die.
Apparently in rural China they turn the funeral into FDs which is to say it goes from hopelessly depressing to..still sort of helplessly depressing but at least instead of staring at some dude who looks like a porcelain doll you get to look at a chick built like Barbi, or in China a girl built like Annabelle Chong and I'm ok with that

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Take on the Michael Bastian Uniqlo polos

A buddy just sent me the following email about some Michael Bastian Uniqlo polos

I bought a bunch of these last year, and I just broke them out of the closet again.  I'm a few lbs thinner and they really fit great.  I had forgotten how awesome these shirts were.  I'll likely pick up a bunch more this summer.  So cheap, look great, can be worn super casual with shorts and flip flops, or with jeans, or dressed up with slacks and shoes.

This was the same guy who recommended I get a bunch of Charles Tyrwhitt fitted button-downs which was the best purchase I have made in years, so immediately clicked the link and took the old MasterCard out if it's holster.  

Jesus was I shocked.   Being that it is the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocides I will try to keep this clean but...Michael Bastian these are the ugliest things I have ever seen.  Every one of the 42 choices look worse than the next and accelerate in ugliness as I scroll down.  I don't know what kind of business casual event you could wear these things to except if your office has a pajama Friday option and even then you would stand out as having the ugliest pajama. I remember when ugly Hawaiian shirts were all the rage but at least those were sort of funny, this looks like somebody yacked all over your brand new shirt, then spilled wine on it and then used it to mop up the floor but it was your only polo so you decided to just go with it. 

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, April 24, 2015

Take on the Korean delicacy

Only in Korea do you drive down a busy street end see a brand new restaurant called Dog & Pig. There are no other civilized counties in the world that would are eat dog but the Koreans don't just indulge in the finest delicacies on the black market, they advertise it in the name of the restaurant. I have eaten a ton of weird things in my life but have to say that 99 out of a 100 have been in Asia. The one that wasn't was probably when I had goose liver in France in a restaurant filled with live geese

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Take on the Michael Brown lawsuit

Saw a tweet today that that the family of Michael Brown was suing the city of Ferguson and I had to look four times to make sure I read it right. The fact the family was suing wasn't surprising, what was surprising was that they were seeking for $75,000 in damages. Forget what you think of the case, I have to think that the price of a life is worth more than the cost of a Range Rover. I'm not saying a family should go gold digging but $75k is laughable

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Take on the Tokyo subway

There are a couple of obvious differences when you get into a subway in Tokyo vs. a subway in NYC.  For one there is no stench of urine or decaying human hanging in the air, the platform is clean, there aren't any poodle size rats running around and the entire experience is actually pleasant.  

The second thing is that unlike NYC where every ahole rushes to the front and jams themselves into the car even before people have had a chance to get off, in Japan the entire experience is civilized.  There are lines of people getting on and those lines do not move until all the people have gotten off.   

The other thing is that people wear masks everywhere, I thought it might be because of fish-breath or trying to avoid sickness but it is actually much more altruistic. They do it when they are sick because they do not want to get you sick.  

The last thing is that people put their bags, hats, umbrellas and jackets on the top baggage holder thing.  In NYC we don't have those things probably because it would just become a  place for homeless people to hide their shit but also because you never leave anything out of sight in NY but in Japan people don't steal your shit

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Take on the wrong side of the street

One issue you have when you step off the train in Tokyo is that it's completely obvious you are a tourist and it has nothing to do with your pasty white skin.    What I had not realized was that in Japan they drive on the other side of the street which when sitting shotgun is really awkward as the entire time you search for your gas pedal and steering wheel.  
But when it becomes really weird is when you walk down a busy street in Shibuja or another bustling part of the city.  I never quite realized this but we naturally walk down the right side of the sidewalk but in Japan they walk on the left side of the sidewalk which means that the entire time you feel like a salmon swimming upstream. You try to correct yourself but it feels like you are beating off with your other hand 

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Take on the foot massage

After walking around Tokyo all day and then running 6 miles, my dogs were barking. I walk into hotel spa and ask immediately to fill out some questionnaire.

The questions include

-Do you have high blood pressure -No

-Do you have gout- No

-Do you have athletes foot- well maybe

-Are you pregnant- Not as far as I know

But by far the most interesting question was

-Do you have sickness of the brain

I answered honestly.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Take on raw fish

I love sushi, sashimi and tartar but when you get a fish delivered on your plate that is flopping around like a European basketball player, it's a bit freaky.

The Japanese do just about everything right but serving you a flipping flopping fish is a bit much when you are trying to enjoy a meal. You are chewing down on a piece of yellow fin belly while the yellow fin head stares you down kind of helps you lose your appetite

But four days in Tokyo have brought me a new appreciation for food...even the type that is still alive as you eat it.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Take on the seat heater

Every time you take a dump in Japan you plop your ass down and it feels like somebody has taken a blowtorch to your ass. I get the idea behind a seat heater for a car when it is 10 degrees outside but cannot quite understand why they use the technology for a toilet in Asia. I like to be comfortable but I am sure this is excessive for anybody.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Take on the pre-hangover cure

The Japanese have an answer for everything. They have first rate innovation in cars, electronics, LEDs and elbow injury without surgery. You can get anything you need in, drinks, gadgets, weird graphic comic porn..shoot you can even get a pair of used panties in a vending machine, it is really the land of the free
But forget all that innovation, the one that intrigues me most is this box of Yakult Gaba juice I just put down. It tastes like ginseng mixed with milk and then rinsed through a Japanese businessman's work socks, but that's acceptable if it does what it promises to do.
I was told today that if I drank this bottle of Godzilla piss it would avoid a hangover tomorrow morning which is a very enticing concept

Will report back tomorrow morning

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Take on the new iOS 8.3

As I landed in Asia, I got four notifications on my phone. One was that they needed me to download some app for better WiFi, another was an SMS about data roaming, a third was something about a toll free number and fourth was the new iOS update. I was afraid to download it as I'd hate to brick my phone while I am away for 10 days on the other side of the world

I did look quickly at what the new iOS offered and it looks like a couple of new Emoji's which is about as interesting to me as eating dog which by the way was on the table last night

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Take on Korean coffee shop games

Whenever I travel to Korea I kill time as I wait around for my next meeting playing a game called: Old Grandmother or Kim Jong Il.

There is nothing more ridiculous than the way a Korean woman ages, she goes from drop dead gorgeous to looking like 1975 fat old Elvis in 6 months. They all have these weird purple perms, wear Pauly Walnuts sweatsuits and have the latest pair of Jordan's on their feet. Every one of them either wear a visor the size of the awning of a restaurant in the village or the biggest sunglasses you can think of. And they all look like Kin Jong Il

You tell me, who is in the above photo??

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Take on the Korean gym

Three things are abundantly clear whenever you walk into a Korean gym.

- Running in China is horrible because the air is as thick as a curtain with pollution, in Korea working out has it's own challenge cause the gym just reeks of the remnants of a hard night. The entire place smells like fermented cabbage mixed with vast amounts of soju. .

- everybody is dressed alike, as you walk in they give you a uniform which as a 6'2" white dude means that I look like John Stockton

- there are all these old Korean men who use these weird machines with these vibrating bands. It's like half massage chair, half the John Turturro bowling ball scene in Lebowski and these old Korean dudes all line up to use this thing like it is pissing out money as they let their flabby bodies get shaken and stirred like a milkshake

Monday, April 13, 2015

Take on the overnight fly

Years ago the thought of 14 hours on a flight sounded like hell on earth, twenty years and three kids later it sounds like heaven.  Fourteen hours to catch up on sleep, a few movies and a couple of episodes of Fargo is one of the hidden pleasures of international travel.  What is less pleasurable are some of these flights leave at 1AM NY time and land on the other side of the earth at 4AM their time.   It's not the time in the air, it is the fact that nobody has any sense of what time it should be.  Should we continue living on NY time or are we better off trying to get acquainted with Seoul time?

Apparently, the airlines have no clue so they opt for the worst option, instead of just letting people decide themselves, they turn all the lights on after seven hours to serve breakfast.  This might be fine if you are hungry but then again they served dinner five hours earlier and now as opposed to sleeping for a solid block you are startled awake and when I get woken up, I cannot get back to sleep..ever.  It is seven hours into a fourteen hour flight and they decide that this is the best time to wake up the entire cabin and don't even get me started about the duty free thing 

Why not serve you a snack when you first walk on and then another an hour before you land, leaving all the rest for quite time to sleep??

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Take on Jenrry Mejia

Just heard that the Mets closer Jenrry Mejia got suspended for 80 games for some kind of outdated PED that nobody is a using anymore and I thought.. typical Mets.   

The second thing that came to my mind, sadly, was that another of a litany of Dominican players who have been busted since the harder testing was out into place.  This was after the mostly American group (except Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmerio) obliterated record books completely juiced.  More than half of all players suspended for PED's were Dominican  according to a study in 2013, and this week's rap sheet only continues that trend.  I have no doubt the Cubans, Americans, Puerto Ricans and Japanese (well maybe not the Japanese) are doing it, too, but they seem to have figured out how to evade it a lot better.  

What did surprise here is not that Mejia is out for a while because he got busted for PED 's and not just going under the knife for Tommy John surgery which seems like it would have been par for the course for the Mets

But still but what really shocked me is that for the last year I was convinced his name was "Henry Mejida"  cause that is what it sounds like when Evan Roberts says it.  How the hell Jenrry turns into HEN-ri. I have no clue.  And what kind of name is Jenrry

Benigno on the other hand has no idea who the guy is. 

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Take on the globe wearing gas pumper

There are plenty of knocks on New Jersey, the taxes, the smell and the toll highways but there are two things we do right.... rock and roll and gas stations

Saw some poor schlep in Connecticut take out a couple of proctologist gloves to pump $2.47 gas at the local Valero station and thought to myself, this is no way to live. Give me NJ with our cheap gas and mandatory full service any day over having to put on rubber gloves to pump gas

Friday, April 10, 2015

Take on GoPro

I don't get GoPro..just don't get it at all and this is coming from somebody who loves taking photos and videos. I spent three days in a water park and saw a bunch of people take GoPro videos as they go down a water slide. I get that actually going down a slide is cool but I can't imagine throwing this video on the old 55" LED to watch fifty videos of me going down a pitch black tube is remotely cool. It's not like jumping off a cliff or doing a crazy trick on a snowboard which is somewhat unique because every single one of the 500 people at the water park that day had the exact same experience and watching it on a GoPro a month later is going to be ridiculously lame. Plus I am sure my buddy Chin would throw up having to sit there watching it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Take on underwear shopping

So I decided against double dipping my shitty drawers during my trip to Korea and although I did give the suggestion of going commando some serious thought, I decided to walk over to Target and get a pack of new boxer briefs.

The issue is that every pack of boxer briefs is designed to make me feel like a total inadequate schlep. Almost every package has a picture of some ripped black dude with what looks like a grapefruit shoved in his underwear on its cover. I get that a would be attractive to a chick but when a middle aged, over weight, pale white dude going out to buy underwear, he doesn't need to see the competition in full display. Show me a picture of the underwear and that is it, no need for the model.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Take on repairing

Obama made a major announcement today saying he condemns the psychiatric practice of repairing gay and lesbian people. Glad he is leading from the front on this one as this entire idea of repairing gay people is about as asinine as trying to repair black people for being black. But anyway, better late than never I guess although it seems odd that this still has to be publicly condemned being that it is 2015 and we don't live in Iran or North Korea.

But thanks BO, now let's get to the issue of repairing those pedophiles priests. I'm happy to make the first suggestion...hang them naked from their balls in the center of Times Square and let us peg them with snowballs made yellow by the Naked Cowboy either that or forced castration

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Take on the two week trip

You needy home today and won't be home. Well I will be home for about four hours on Saturday before I go to the airport for ten days in Asia. The biggest issue with packing for this long is that I just don't have anywhere close to enough underwear for 15 days alway. The reason is that I use all my international trips to get rid of sweat stained undershirts and ripped or worn out underwear, so when I went to pack this morning and found only 14 pairs I had to make the hard decision between three equally crappy options

- plan to wear one pair twice, but with five days in Korea with bulgogi every night I am sure that is not a hot idea

-go out and buy an entire new pack of Hanes boxer shorts

- use the (gasp) in house hotel laundry service and pay $29 for one pair of bulgogi shit covered underwear

I'm still debating

Monday, April 6, 2015

Take on Scott Walker

I know virtually nothing about Scott Walker other than he sounds like the guy from the Furious franchise. He also seems like the kind of guy who goes to beach wearing khakis and black socks and orders girly drinks with the umbrella in 'me. Whenever I look at him it looks like he is two or three weeks past the time he should have gotten a haircut and that is coming from a guy who is perpetually two or three weeks late on his next haircut

I doubt he'll be president partly because the libs will think he'll steal their unions away but mainly cause he looks so damned pale. No presidential candidate can look like he has been stuck in an incubator for the last decade and hope to win but even that may not sink him what will is that this guy is allergic to dogs which means he is automatically not qualified to be the leader of the Free World

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Take on the videos on ESPN and CNN

One thing I think companies have severely overestimated is the amount of video content their websites should have. Every other story on ESPN or CNN is a link to a video clip which almost always starts with a 15 second commercial. The two issues are that the likelihood of me waiting through the commercial to watch the clip is 50/50 at best and even when I do sit through it, the chances of actually seeing the video aren't that great as there are countless loading errors on them.
The second thing they have overestimated is the ability for people to watch videos at work or on a train or bus. I am doing my best to waste time without anybody noticing, I don't need to have a segment blasting through my office discussing Calipari's downfall. Highlights might be different but when it comes to everything else I think they had it totally wrong. Most people just want a story, a couple of quotes and a link to another story, I can' tell you the last time I had an interest in watching a press conference or interview off of ESPN's homepage.

Give me good (short) content on your front page and dig deeper with some additional links. In a world where we digest our info 140 characters at a time, this is all I have the energy for.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Take in the wire bird nest

Everytime I open this one particular drawer in my bedroom, I am afraid to get attacked. Not by a ghost or a rat but by the thirty pounds of wire that I've collected over the last ten years. USB, mini USB, micro USB, IPhone, iPod, Samsung, iPod lighting and any one of fifty games my kids have gotten over the years and they all end up in one drawer. I don't have most of the phones or cameras that the wires came with and certainly wouldn't be able to identity them but I do know that in all this time, I have collected more wires than I ever had electronics. Unlike socks in a dryer or tops to kids cups these things multiply. The issue is that unlike a mismatched socks or cups without a top, they still have some value and it always feels like a shame to throw any of them out but really if I don't I may hang myself by them.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Take on Bergen County's Blue Laws

I grew up in Bergen County NJ and although a bit boring, it was a fine place to grow up. The neighborhoods were generally safe, the schools good and the proximity to NYC amazing. The only complaint you'd hear are the taxes were high, the traffic was bad and the Blue Laws sucked.

I moved back to Bergen County about a year ago after having lived in NYC for fifteen years and it finally dawned on my how ridiculously income isn't these Blue Laws were. See in the entire county there is no shopping allowed on a Sunday. You can get groceries but stores like Target, Macy*s, Bed Bath & Beyond etc are closed by county law. It never phased me as a kid because it was all I know but when I saw the beauty of freedom, not being able to buy a longer when your toilet is clogged because it happens to fall on a Sunday seemed insane

People will say that Sunday are a day of rest and this is often defended as a protection for small shopkeepers but it is completely ridiculous. But how about protection for me, I have to spend my entire Saturday running errands because you can't get a screw from Home Depot, a new bed from Sleepy's or a pair of socks from the Gap on a Sunday. I've hear all the arguments and most of them revolve around a few things, all of which are ludicrous in the big picture

1 protecting small store keepers

The issue here is that because I cannot buy a pencil on a Sunday in Bergen County, I drove up to Rockland County and shop So my tax money is not only spent in a different county, it is spent in a different state. And it's typically not just the few odds and ends I buy, if I am going to bother going up there I go up and do a big $250 Target run and probably get a coffee at the local Starbucks and a slice of pizza at the local Ray's. So not only are the business owners of retail items hurt, so are the local restaurants.
Add to that the fact that this is also lost tax revenue which in a day and time when state budgets are having an impossible time trying to get balanced sensibly losing even a dollar seems insane. Ask yourself, why would we want our tax dollars ending up in the coffers of another state?? These are dollars that could improve our schools, fix our roads and improve our infrastructures and parks

2- traffic and pollution
Yeah I get that town's want a day of rest but because nearly everybody in Bergen Country MUST shop on Saturday, it makes that days traffic impossible and the pollution awful because cars are stuck on highways for miles on end. Do people think that pollution on a Saturday doesn't affect their lives, does it just disappear because the clock strikes 12?? If they opened Sunday's up it would likely mean that the traffic on Saturday would subside tremendously. It might not be a 50-50 break but even dropping the traffic by 25% would mean less traffic jams, and thus less cars crawling through winding roads

3- government is protecting it's people
Bergen county is progressive in every definition of the word, except when it comes to these archaic examples of government overreach. If a store keeper needs a day off, close another day. You protect your people by giving them their freedom, not limiting it by Big Government overreach

4- there are six other days in the week
Yes, and most people work long days on five of those. This means that every pair underwear, lightbulb and dog collar must be bought on Saturday which means that God-forbid there is an event planned on that same day, you are screwed. Nobody forces you to open your shop on a Monday, so nobody should force you to close it on a Sunday. Seems barber shops have done just fine with this concept

Time for Joan Voss and the rest of the county legislators to step up and make a difference here. Keep NJ's tax money, retail revenue and additional peripheral revenue in the state and start giving people back their freedom.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Take on Jamarcus Winston

I caught a picture of Jameis Winston yesterday and the first thing they came to my mind was "Jesus, did this gavone eat Marcus Mariota?" I am shocked to see that this slob shows up at his pro-day looking like he's been chomping down on unlimited crab-legs instead of hitting the treadmill and he's about to become the number one pick in a sport built on athleticism. Now obviously the quarterback position can be filled by guys who aren't the best athletes on the field but if I am Tampa, I think I'd be a lot more psyched if the guy I'm about to build my franchise around had smaller t!ts than the chicks in my stands.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Take on the Amazon Dash

Yesterday Amazon revealed their latest invention to make people's lives great. The company who has brought us unlimited 2-day shipping, unlimited photo storage, streaming movies, the Fire Stick, the Kindle and delivery drones just came up with another concept which they expect will wow us
The Amazon Dash are these small adhesive buttons which you stick to your appliances or cabinets and link to your home WiFi. They are destined to allow you to order various items with just the touch of a button. For example, they suggest you stick one on your laundry machine and when you are nearly out of Tide you press the button and within two days a new box of Tide shows up at your door

They envision this for hundreds of things in your pantry, like dish soap, peanut butter, sponges, crackers, garbage bags and Ziplocs which sounds great in concept except for one small problem. Each item will need it's own dash button, so your pantry is going to look like it should be doing 240mph at Daytona

That plus anybody who has young kids will soon see this as nothing more than a nuisance when the UPS man delivers 15 bottles of Tide, thirty tubes of Crest and a life supply of rubbers