Sunday, July 31, 2016

Take on the missed connection

There really is no worse feeling in the world than sitting on the Tarmac with a flight delay knowing it will cost you your connection. Leaving Beijing yesterday, we hit some kind of mechanical issue, one they told us would be resolved quickly by just getting another flight navigation thingamajingy. The "quickly" turned into three hours of waiting and when all was set and done we departed three hours and 22 minutes after our scheduled departure which meant that I was definitely not making it home for Dancing with the Stars.
We land in Detroit at about 9pm and by the time we are at the gate it is 9:30 and the airport is basically dark. There are no other incoming international flights this late, so immigration is a breeze but 9:30pm also meant that there are no other outbound flights for the night. Imagine an A340 worth of people who have now sat on a 14 hour flight after having sat on the Tarmac for 3 1/2 additional hours after having gotten to the airport two and a half hours early flooding into Detroit with no connections.

The entire place is zoo as everybody is forced onto flights the next morning but it still means we need a place to crash.

Luckily, as a Platinum Medallion Delta member they get me a hotel directly in the airport while they force the rest of the herd to some Comfort Inn about 7 miles off the airport. I get to the hotel and there is a line of 1000 people in front of me with similar issues. Every schmuck is there because they missed a connection our of DesMoines or Portland or Beijing, nobody is at the airport hotel on a Saturday night at 11pm because they want to be there and they are severely understaffed. I grab an $18 burger and two IPA's and crash hard, my first decent night sleep in a week till I'm jarred awake by my alarm at 6am and now on Sunday morning, I am back at the airport again. Welcome home

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Take on Peking's terminal 2

The only less inspiring than the "artwork" on the walls at the airport Hilton might be the entire feel of terminal 2 at Peking international airport. It's retro in the sense that everything is dark, old and stained and the entire place smells like smoke, so I guess it does have that going for it, but for a country whose goals has been to show the western world that it's open for business, it is shocking that this relic remains. It's like LaGuardia without the charm of a leaky roof, a crappy runway and a never-ending delay. In the US you expect crumbling infrastructure, poorly managed and ridiculously over budgeted rebuilding projects and shitty service but to get that in China is a slap in the face.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Take on the Peking Smog

I thought I got off easy this year when the city in Henan province when the sky allowed a little bit of blue to peak through but it all went to hell as I flew into Beijing. Looking out of my window from the plane with about 20 minutes left, we descended through a cloud towards PEK but unlike a normal cloud it didn't end as we descended. Instead we landed into what was some of heaviest fog I'd seen in years, the kind made up of PPM contaminants. If you see an Asian woman in the USA she often looks half her age, take the same woman and plop her down in China as opposed to Los Angeles and she looks twice her age in a year. The pollution is so thick you get bloody nose almost immediately and you can feel the grit in your teeth and in Beijing it is the worst because the city is located in a valley surrounded by mountains and the smog gets trapped and the only way the air gets conditioned is by people's lungs.

Happy sneezing

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Take on the ghost cities

Drive through China and you'll see cranes, you'll see concrete and you'll see what should be construction but you won't see people. It is odd that a country with 1.3 billion people living on the same landmass as the continental USA can have any empty buildings but there are thousands in every city and many more in "cities" that are unoccupied. You can't believe your eyes but you realize the Chinese don't plan for two weeks from now or two years from now or even two decades from now, they play for two hundred years from now. This is why their "city airports" are 60km outside of the city, because they know, that in time, that will be the city.
They have built roads and rails and airports and now are just awaiting them to be used, and they will, sometime. But until then it's a sad empty landscape of concrete and glass which if there wasn't so much smog, you might actually be able to see

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Take on the chicken dinner

I walked into a restaurant today and was greeted by the sight of a dead chicken hanging  in the window is always incredibly appetizing, especially when it is 107 degrees outside.   When we cook chicken at home, my wife busts out the hazmat suits and anything that the chicken touches gets disinfected with rubbing  alcohol and a blowtorch but in China they don't even bother to refrigerate the thing and I doubt the wash their hands before they touch it let alone after they handle it.  

If I make it through the this trip without about six parasites, I'll consider myself lucky 

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Take on the Trump obsession

Will continue with our regularly scheduled "China is filthy" programming after this blog post but this just has to be said. Every time I open up the New York Times, it seems that every single opinion article is about the guy they all despise. I get that Trump's oversized ego and personality will help command the stage far longer than any politician ever could but he obsession is sickening. This Sunday's Week in Review had at least four of it's columnists write about Trump. It is as if there is nothing else going on in this world other than reporting on this megalomaniac which only feeds his ego further and leads to more outrageous comments which leads to more press and before you know it, you have spent your entire life on one orange faced man

Congrats NYT, your readership doesn't need to be convinced to not vote for Trump since they are, by definition, NYT readers but now they are all culprits in the obsession with him because they keep laying out the cash to pay for the paper

Monday, July 25, 2016

Take on the China Eastern First Class check-in counter

Nothing tells you that you are no longer in Kansas than when you get to China and everything you hold dear is gone. I went to check-in today for a transfer after getting off a flight and being a platinum SkyTeam flyer you'd think it should be a simple and pleasant experience but as should be expected, it was anything but.
First of all after landing in Shanghai for a connection to the heart of China is ludicrous. They literally make you leave the airport in order to check back in. Their concept of a "transfer station" is to get you to the sidewalk with the taxi line and then have to go up three floors to check back in. This is with all your bags after a 14 hour flight in the 100 degree heat.
When you finally get to the check in station, you see why this is still a communist country. It's not political statement, it's just that their concept of VIP means nothing. The service takes forever, they don't have an English speaking person anywhere in the section and they tell you the lounge will be a 25 minute walk to the gate which makes the entire experience about as pleasant as eating gizzard. But what is most telling is that their red carpet looks like the rug of an abandoned crack house. It has rips and cuts and stains and looks like it hasn't been washed ever. I don't care and don't need my feet to walk on rose pedals but what it is, if nothing else, is telling. You are no better than anybody else.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Take on the 14 hour flight to China

It feels like it was just a few months ago when I was last sitting in the lounge waiting to board a flight to Shanghai before connecting further into China but here I am again for what is probably my 20th trip to Asia. None of the travel bothers me much, I know what to expect what I'll see and eat and what I'll be up against but when you get a weather report of 107 degrees with a smog index of 100000 you know it won't be fun. The beauty of China is that you don't have to be that dressed up, most guys show up with dirty shirts and pants that are three sizes too big, so at least it won't be too stuffy but I am going to try to not leave the hotel once. If I can accomplish that it would be a miracle

Also, connecting in China is never easy so we hope to keep the TOR streak alive, we'll blog it every day but realize that we might be a few days late in posting if my VPN doesn't work like it should

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Take on GNR part 2

TOR was there when GNR first reunited and played their first planned shows in Vegas and we'll be back in the audience tonight as Axl, Slash, Duff and a couple of guys with buckets on their heads rock out MetLife. From what we have learned since they boys reunited they have gotten tighter, faster and better at every stop and there are even some rumors of the boys going back into the studio for their first real studio album of originals since the Use Your Illusions from when I was still young, skinny and had hair down to my ass.

The other thing that we've learned is that, unlike two decades ago, they actually go on on-time which is blessing for a bunch of 40 year old dad's who have kid duty obligations in the morning.
We'll be rocking it out tonight, and somehow I doubt we will be the oldest, palest, baldness or fatest.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Take on the new NJ gas tax

For as long as I can remember, New Jersey has had some of the cheapest gas around often coming in $0.40 or more cheaper than it's neighboring states. Add to that the entire no pumping your own gas thing, and it's a wonder why people were aren't flocking to its rolling greens, beautiful beaches and array of smells on the turnpike. But today, the NJ Senate agreed to raise the gas tax by $0.23/gallon which means that the average person driving 15,000 miles per year and getting 25mpg will pay an additional $138 per year which is a small price to pay if they actually do something. The issue is they probably won't do anything and instead we'll all be giving the most corrupt state government around an additional $138 per person

But forget all of that, the most disturbing thing about this is the Tom Selleck Borat looking pornstar state senator who negotiated this thing.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Take on the LIRR part 2

Our first experience on the LIRR was absolutely glorious, we had a cold beer in hand, the twins left on time and we just generally loved life but not 10 minutes after we posted yesterday's TOR Everything changed

I live blogged it for a few buddies, here is the transcript

Now there are a bunch of meatheads discussing going to get lit and killing hookers
So much for this joy ride 

I just saw a 24 hour fitness 

Jesus, I just got up and these meatheads are in their 50's.   WTF is wrong with these people 

They are all doubling fisting, it's a commuter rail and it's 6:15

These dudes are going to hammered just in time to get home to beat their kids

Just switched trains at Jamaica, this must be what it feels like in purgatory  

I just saw another 24 hour fitness. Next to another 24 hour fitness

I like the fact that all the signs for shit out here don't even include an area code
Every thing is like
"john's auto parts 

Just heard some doucebag from Lake Ronkonkoma tell a story about his "fuckin kid hittin a fuckin homer during his little league game that fucking made the entire fucking stadium gasp in fucking horror"

Somebody just farted, it was either the heavy chick sitting next to me or her guide dog.   But it stinks 

There are a lot less hot chicks on this train than I would have thought 

This ride would be a lot better if the doucebag from Hicksville would stop blasting Storm Front through his headphones 

In my third transfer (fourth if you count the subway, that IPA seems like it was a century ago

The chick next to me (after my third transfer) is wearing those sneakers with the rounded bottom that supposedly help you tighten your rump.  It doesn't look like it is working

Better than the the conductor who just took my ticket had his short sleeve button down half untucked and had a huge coffee stain on it.   Classy 

Jesus, they LOVE above ground pools around here.  

Another 24 Hour Fitness

"Hey honey, should we take a dip?"
"Sure, let me just park the truck on the front lawn and throw a couple of Bud Lites on the grass" 

Another stop and I'll be there, God can somebody shut off the Storm Front album

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Take on the LIRR

I have friends who live out on Long Island who do nothing but bitch and moan about how crappy the LIRR is but my response to that is, try commuting by NJ Transit Bus.
I walk into a train platform today at Hunterspoint Avenue 6:20PM for a 6:30pm train and it has to be the most pleasant experience of my life. No pushing, no lines, no standing in a 100 degree vestibule, no standing around at all actually. Just a friendly South Shore kid selling $2.50 beers with a smile and a "Thank You, Sir" when I told him to give me back $7

I could get used to this

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Take on the Melania speech

The next First Lady of the United States is very good a a few things: looking hot, looking very hot and looking extremely hot, she is not, though, very good as original material. I don't bother to stay up to watch her speech after it felt that I had been berated by a very angry Giuliani although I did see clips of Donald's WWE entrance which seemed like it would have been worth saying up for. I did not see Melania which means I have still yet heard her speak although I can now catch endless audio clips of er speaking about being a black woman in Princeton. The way I see it, although I did not see it live, it seemed that it may have been worth staying up for, although to be fair, I already heard the speech once before.
We're now 12 hours away and people are still
Picking out plagiarized lines from that speech and our take is that as awful as it is, the act it came from Michelle Obama's makes it that much worse. Had this been taken from Barbara Bush or Nancy Reagan, it would have at least been justifiable for the Republican base but not this, can't wait to have Trump tell us about his own childhood growing up in Kenya as a secret billionaire Muslim

Monday, July 18, 2016

Taken the delegates

I watch both the democratic and republican conventions every year mostly to see how ridiculous a bunch of white people can dress in the hopes of getting just a wink from some stiff like Mitt Romney or John Kerry. Today's coverage has not disappointed with a bunch of guys dressed like an elephant pooped on their shirts. The truth is that at the end of the day, there really is nothing all that momentous that will come out over the next week other than we are now clear where Scott Baio stands on the question of whether or not we should make American Great Again

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Take on the mid summer family photo shoot

Not only did I agree to a full family photo shoot in the middle of the summer, I suggested we take the 11:45 slot in the middle of Central Park on a Sunday in the middle of July. This combination could make a grown man cry, and today it just about did. I was covered in sweat one block from parking my minivan after schlepping my family of five into the city today, before we even entered the park, my pits were a swamp and my balls were soaked and we hadn't even gotten to the park yet. I had spent fifteen minutes circling to find a spot, he maneuvered my double standard stroller past a piping pile of dog crap but still managed to get some on my shoe and was about to shove some ahole looking to sell me an umbrella

But hell really hit me,l when we entered the park. I had forgotten why every local was in the Hamptons this weekend because is 95 degrees and the park is swarming with tourists who are not at all concerned that I'm running late and that binding give a flying rats ass that they are looking for Strawberry Fields. And when I almost got run over by some dipshit on a CityBike, I just about lost it when I told him to shove his crappy bike up his Midwestern ass.
I had already spent my morning getting my girls dressed which involved me screaming at the top of my lungs for guys, had their hit brushed which was like the equivalent of taking a rusty rake through some foot high weeds and had threatened them with every thing I could think of to make sure they smiled during the session

I'll pick up my Father of The Year award next week

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Take on the Trump-Pence logo

When Trump announced that Mike Pence would be his running mate we all knew he did it against his own judgement.   He wanted Big Chris by his side but apparently the Trump kids convinced Donald that Pence was the choice

What was more odd was the decision to unveil the new logo which looks like a gigantic penis breaking the seal of a gigantic sphincter.  If this isn't the perfect logo to describe how hard Trump is going to anally rape Mike Pence, The GOP and this country, I don't know what would be.    Hopefully Pence will bring plenty of lube although those small Donald hands prods my means it won't hurt that much. 

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, July 15, 2016

Take on salmon pants

There really is no worse look in this world than a fat where dude in salmon pants but somehow JCrew has convinced an entire generation on them that it's a look to go for. I walked through the ferry station today and caught wind of a dude whose ass looked like it was going to split the back of them like a salmon spawning which was only accentuated the sweat stains from his Bologna skin light blue button down, it was like the guy dressed like an American flag three weeks and 30 pounds after the fourth of July. Show some patriotism by not disgracing the flag next time, Tubby.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Take on the latest polls

The latest poll the NY Times referenced today shows Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a tie in the generals election race which is the scariest thing I've read since it was apparent that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would be the Democratic and Republican nominees.
I would have thought the backlash after Brexit would have dampened the Trump fervor but like almost anything else it just encourages it further. I'm still confident in that Trump will never be president but I've been wrong every step along the way, so no reason to believe that will change any time soon

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Take on Trump's final three

Friday will end Trump's quest for a VP and hopefully for him it will last longer than the one Ted Cruz chose right before his not sank.   There are three dogs left in the race, and I do mean dogs.   Mike Pence who has about as much charisma as the chick who works at the Rec department, Newt Gingrich whose fist name describes him perfectly and Chris Christie who has a first name that is also his last name and who probably ate a box of donuts since we started to write this blog

We have been on record for months that Big Chris is Donald's guy here, he has a matching bravado and temperament and fits the bill perfectly as he has the appearance of being strong on terrorism and crime even he isn't really.  He is a fatter louder Rudy Guiliani.  Many people think that it will be Pence but I don't see it, first of all voters aren't that stupid to overlook the fact that Trump is the anti-Christ in a cheap Chinese made suit just because he chose some lame social conservative who looks like the guy who somebody kicked him in the nuts and he told them that if they ever did that again he'd tell the teacher, even though he was 40 at the time.  Newt is interesting in that he knows how to divide a congress as well as anybody and that is exactly what a president Trump faces but he also has the stench of establishment all over him and Trump is dying to keep that stench off of that cheap suit and ridiculously long tie

So we stuck by our prediction, big Chris and Donald will be cozying up together come Friday, I'd hate to be the Bologna in that sandwich  

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Take on #PrimeDay

I am about as loyal an Amazon customer as you'll find, with the UPS guys easily delivering ten boxes per week to my house. We get paper towels, toothpaste, cameras, books and chargers delivered regularly, we own the echo, three kindles and a fire stick and upload all out photos to the Amazon account but somehow we have never gotten into the AmazonPrimeDay thing. To be fair, I have never shopped on Black Friday or Cyber Monday either, there is just no LED TV for $99.99 worth dealing with a bunch of people who think that it is. But what always entertains me are the horror stories of people getting trampled, websites crashing and people getting stuck with a crappy TV they didn't want, so the PrimeDayFail thing is great

Monday, July 11, 2016

Take on Pokémon Go

Every third tweet I read today are about something called Pokémon Go which is probably coded for "weird Japanese thing that will ensure you will remain a virgin forever" but somehow it is taking on a life of itself. I have absolutely no idea what Pokémon is but I think it probably similar to beanie babies and those scratch and sniff panties you can get in a Tokyo vending machine.
But the "go" version is supposedly a virtual live action game or something like that and it will probably lead to a bunch of dorky kids getting run over by cars

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Take on the minivan

I found out the hard way why a minivan is designed for a mom of three to pick up a bunch of kids and bring them to soccer practice and why it shouldn't be used for off-roading.

After taking a turn off of the main road, we found ourselves in the wilderness today, bright but mountains, green and hippies. The world looked peaceful but exciting and for the first time in years, I did what any Griswold was born to do, I took the road less travelled. The issue was that my 250 feet of gravel travel lead to the back tire of my 2014 Honda Odyssey springing a leak almost immediately which ended my off road adventure about 100 paces off the main road and I then spent the rest of my vacation day editing on AAA

Oh. The life I live

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Take on the family trip

Every year when we decide to pick up the kids and head off to a week of R&R, it feels like the worst idea in the world. We pack up the minivan with more crap than most families in the world probably own, pull out of the driveway and before we hit the stop sign at the end of our block, one of my kids has to pee and I am ready to snap.
It's not just the right quarters, it's the whining, meaning, complaining and fighting what makes me want to stop on the side of the road, stick out my thumb and hitchhike to Idaho. I don't know how others do it, but I am not a patient enough to father to do this and not want to jab myself in the urethra with a used squeeze pack

Friday, July 8, 2016

Take on the police robot

The existential question of the day wa whether a police force should resort to warfare by using a robot to kill a murderer who is actively engaging in a bloody standoff taking out innocent people

I'll make this easy on everybody. Hell F'n Yes

Kill them

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Take on the Trump Fundraising machine

Yesterday, the NY Times had a story about Trump finally picking up a bit of fundraising steam with a $26million dollar haul which was better than before but still woefully inadequate when it comes to competing against the Big Blue Machine. Almost immediately Trump had his one tweet asking his supporters to donate to his campaign. This took away the one endearing thing about Trump, the illusion that he was self funding this thing and that because of his he couldn't be bought. Obviously that was always an exaggeration at best but at least it was something that was at least partly believable, be when he is cozying up with Big Banks and Big Money, he loses the higher ground and that might be the crack this country will need to break down his Mexican wall of isolation. Then again, the TOR editorial board has been wrong on Trump more often than we've been wrong on bad tuna.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Take on Kim Jong-un's gigantic fave

I caught a tweet today about some new sanctions we are hitting North Korea with because of their disregard of anything humane. I won't get into the nuisance of the policy other than to say that Kim Jong-Un should be taken out with an exploding cigar, or in his case maybe an exploding pie.

Why is I find interesting N was that the photo of Kim that the NY Times used for their tweet was just a gigantic face, it's like they are mocking the fact that the dude has a head that would need a 38th parallel to encompass is fully

So Kim, have fun with even less crap especially in light of the stories that came out last week that it seems that even China has started cutting back on delivers into The North. But you better believe that the new Fast and the Furious ends up streaming into Kim's bedroom over

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Take on scromboid food poisoning

I went to lunch today at a place I eat at often, sat in the same seat I always do, had the same glass of water with lemon I always drink and ordered a tuna wrap which I often get. I'm there on a business lunch and as I take my first bite into the tuna, I think "this doesn't taste right". I added some extra sauce and chief down the rest of it and had my normal cup of coffee and continued my work lunch.
But all of a sudden, I felt like I got hit in the head by the flu, if the flu was wrapped in the Zika virus and fermented in Malaria juice.
I went from being able to concentrate to feeling dizzy and light headed, and just uncomfortable. I cut my meeting off short and walked back to work, aware that the bright sun was bothering me more than normal. I get to my desk and a buddy walks past and asks me if I'm ok, stating that my eyes are bloodshot and my entire face flushed. I look down and my arms look like they are morphing from fat cute kid Michael Jackson to freaky kiddie touching Michael Jackson. My stomach is red as a lobster, my arms are covered in hives and my entire body is shaky. Within a couple of minutes my arms look like Gorbachev's head and I decide to hoof it to my doctor. I run into the office and run into the bathroom and proceed to shit my brains out, like you are sliding into first and you feel something burst. They shot me up with prednisone and sent me home.
I walked back to work and got a car to go home and rest. The rash sort of spread and got worse and then better and then worse but by 5pm it was almost all gone.
My first thought was that I could be allergic to something but that would an odd thing to figure out at 40, especially when I ate the same food from the same place I go to often.
I did a bit of research and it sounds like there is some kind of scromboid fish food poising from eating rotten and detaining large finned fish like tuna and the symptoms sounded exactly what I went through: flu like, dizziness, face flushed, hives on arms and torso, short term but forceful diarrhea and facial rash.

My life is not very good

Monday, July 4, 2016

Take on the New World Order

Everything is right with the world again, the economy recovered from Brexit, France kicked the crap out of Iceland, my balls don't hurt that much anymore and Joey Chestnut is back on top of the competitive eating world.   I have to say that when they started the hot dog competition a few decades ago, they never imagined that a human would ever be able to put down 70 dogs and buns in a sitting. 

In 1978, the fourth year they had the completion, two dudes tied to win it by both eating 10 hotdogs   I knew a kid in High School who had 15 grays papayas in a single sitting with onions and kraut, I could even put down a 10 spot back in my college days. 

Now these guys are eating the equivalent of a calf wrapped in burrito.  

I'm just glad an American won it. 

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Take on the pedestrian flow zones

The people behind Times Square must read TOR (or any New York bitch blog) and started putting up these signs to show slow walking tourists to keep on moving and get the hell out of the way. I'm all for the idea, and even would consider forcing all of these cheeseburgers from Wisconsin into a pen like they are doing to the muppets and naked Cowboys.
Maybe they can just designate areas where they can stand and have crossing guards try to et them from one pen to another

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Take on the Ball Drop

A few weeks ago I was a happy, fertile forty old dude who would easily run six miles without any kind of support for the boys. I've always hung low, but somehow playing hacks sack with my sack while walking or running never bothered me, that was until I decided to go from fertile to infertile by having some quack cut my sack open.
After a week, my balls have that "20 minutes after having been kneed in the nuts" feeling. This sort of dull ache that never subsides. I also can't walk around without having some serious support, think of a chick with double D's jogging, that is what I feel like all the time now. On top of that, my sack somehow sunk further than before, I swear the bottom of my sack now touches the top of my knees. I am thinking the vas deferens was actually keeping them pulled up and now that I've cut the cord, they are just laying on the bottom of my scrotum and any slight movement means they are getting flicked.

My Life is So Incredibly bad

Friday, July 1, 2016

Take on the Black Lives Matter leader

I read an article about one of the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement who was warning the Clinton campaign that they should expect protests at the convention

What I found most entertaining was not that DeRay McKesson has capitals where there shouldn't be and lower case letters where there should but that he apparently operates out of Aspen Colorado, easily the whitest white town in he affluent world. You sort of lose credibility when you are skiing on $1500 skis on a $350 per day ski pass
This is worse that that white chick who was the head of her local NAACP chapter