Friday, October 27, 2006

Vos o No Vas

Bienvenido, Bloggers.

Los fines de semana no serán lo mismo en Telemundo. Este programa te mantendrá al borde de tu asiento durante cada segundo y hasta el final. Muy Pronto. *

OK, that's enough of that nonsense. While working the channels the other night, I stumbled across my favorite non-English speaking TV channel, Telemundo. Usually, it's the scantily-clad women that catch my eye, but this time it was something else.

It was Vas o No Vas, the Spanish-language version of NBC's game show, Deal or No Deal, hosted by genial Hector Sandarti. It had all the Deal junk ... the steel cases, hot babes, the wacky contestants and goofy host. Although the cases were a little less fancy, the host a lot less bald (and quirky), the show looked like it was produced by college students and I didn't understand a word ... still, I couldn't turn away.

Forget that the top prize was a measley $250,000 (2,677,323 Pesos). When the contestants on the Deal show get down to that sum, I flip over to repeats of Everybody Loves Raymond.

But, to keep me interested, the babes (Las Bomboletz) are still hot...... and contrary to the English show, this one has a theme song. At the end, the winner holds a big novelty check and the babes dance around and sing the theme song. Es gran.

One interesting thing about it is that Vas o No Vas translates to "You Go or do not go". It's a lot catchier than the literal "Trate o ningún Trato". I go, Hector. Voy.

By the way, the girl in the red dress at the top is named Silvia es LaTentación, and if you think those are the most-fakest boobs you've ever seen, then I say usted tiene razón. I'm a white shirt and vest man, myself. Pero, soy un idiota.

Abra el caso.

* Welcome, Bloggers. The most successful game show on the planet. Weekends will not be the same thing in Telemundo. This program will maintain you at the edge of your seat during each second and even the end. Very Quick.

And, a big Gracias to the folks at Free2Professional Translation for the help.Yo no hablo español.

Cheryl Burke Moves On - and other things...

I think I've told you, but in case you weren't paying attention, I watch that Dancing With the Stars show long enough to see Cheryl, then I'm tuned out. Sorry, but I'm not even sure who the other "stars" are (outside of Emmitt), so she has my undivided attention. Fortunately for me, she and Emmett have survived another week.
My Tuesday's are full.

Yesterday, in my fine home-state of New Jersey:

TRENTON - Same-sex couples in New Jersey must be given all the benefits and rights enjoyed by married men and women, but state lawmakers will have to decide whether they can officially wed, the state's highest court ruled Wednesday.

Groups like the New Jersey Coalition to Preserve and Protect Marriage, Focus on the Family and the New Jersey Family Policy Council oppose same-sex marriages. As if opposite-sex marriages have been such a great success.
By the way, I'll bet a week's pay that all of those groups are less than 4 years old.

But, never mind that ... after all, who is it that creates all these gay people? The opposite-sex marriages, that's who. I think these focus groups should focus their anger where it will do the most good ... in the homes of the man and woman couples who are making all these gay people that the coalitions hate so much.
Now that's a coalition I'd like to see. The New Jersey Coalition to Oppose Straight People Who Make Gay People. Print up the pamphlets and start writing the checks.

Then ... WASHINGTON - President Bush this morning signed into law a bill authorizing the federal government to install fencing, cameras, motion sensors and other types of barriers to stem illegal immigration along 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexican border.

This guy still hasn't vetoed a bill. It makes me wonder if some Congressmen have figured out a little plot:

CONGRESSMAN 1: Check this out. How much you wanna bet he signs it?

CONGRESSMAN 2: What is it?
CONGRESSMAN 1: It's a bill that makes it illegal to park two cars next to each other if they're the same color. I'm calling it "Cars Across America". Pretty catchy, eh?
CONGRESSMAN 2: Do you think he'll sign it?
CONGRESSMAN 1: Sign it? He won't even read it!

Seriously folks, do we think a big fence is going to keep people out of this country? The War on Drugs, the War on Terror the War on Poverty ... am I missing something, or are all of these things still around? Build a fence, put up a camera, buy a gun ... they're coming, and you can't stop them.
It's the same mind-set that thinks that laws against gay people will stop gay people from finding each other. You cannot legislate morality no more than you can legislate desire. Those people want to be here, and by whatever means necessary, they will come.
Why? McDonald's is hiring, fruit needs picking and small-business loans are cheap.

All it will do is cost us more money.
Dance with me, Cheryl.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I am Not a Guinea Pig, I am a Human Being!

In the Marketing class I had at Widener, I found out that there are people who are referred to as "Early Adopters". Those are the ones that start-up's and growth companies target when they introduce new products. I suppose "Guinea Pigs" would apply, but the adventurer in me would not appreciate the negative connotation.

I'm a gadget guy. I love new stuff, and the newer the better. And if the price is right, I'm all in. Like those new flavored coffees. Uh-huh. And the potato chips that taste like cheese steaks? You betcha. And how about the cat litter with the little crystals? I haven't heard any complaints.
I'd love to be able to drive a hybrid car, but they're just too expensive now. I did buy a 2005 Ford Focus that is a PZEV (Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle) so I feel like I'm part of the solution. I think by the time I'm ready to buy my next vehicle, it will be partially battery powered.

In that spirit, I've been exploring the Pocket PC market. After some Internet browsing and price checking, I settled on the Dell Axim. It's a full-featured Windows-based PC with a 3.7" screen. The best feature of it is that it is WiFi capable. All of our local libraries and most of the city of Philadelphia is WiFi friendly, with free hot spots scattered around, including the office where I work.
It's supposed to ship on Monday, so I'm sure you'll notice a drastic improvement in the quality of my work with this latest cool gadget at my disposal - sometime next week.
But just in case it doesn't work, this thing may be a future Ebay listing - or a blog post - whichever comes first.
As I have said before, my tool box is the Yellow Pages. That's why it is so interesting that my weekend project will be to replace the lockset on my front door. I went to the Home Depot on Wednesday and purchased one, and much to my surprise, the place didn't burst into flames when I entered - so that's a plus.

I went with the "Lever" design (like I know what I'm talking about) and the package says "Easily installed with a screwdriver". Well, there may be some vodka and orange juice involved, but I don't think it will help me. I think they put that "Easy to install" junk on the box to make me feel like a dope if I can't do it. What they don't realize is that I'll feel like a dope regardless.
Check Ebay on Monday for a "Like New Lockset - Never installed".

Thursday Thirteen v.7

Thirteen Things That Scare Me a Little
The Christmas decorations are up at the local mall, but never mind that.
Tuesday is Hallowe'en.

1. Any letter from my Condo Association. It makes my heart skip a beat. Usually it's something really stupid that I'm not doing. Tell the people who are doing it and leave me alone.

2. Spam e-mail with T.M.I. I recently got a Spam message that contained my first and last name, from a Landon Nicholson (no relation) telling me that "Your history shows that your Viagra prescription is ready to be re-filled." Uh-huh. My personal history shows that I need Viagra like I need a hair dryer and a comb.

3. When the Boss says, "You got a minute?" He never calls me in to chit-chat.

4. Dying alone. I don't need to elaborate on that, except to say that if I needed Viagra, I wouldn't be worried about it.

5. George W. Bush with his hand on the Bible. I keep waiting for it to burst into flames.

6. My spin instructor. She's really hot, but she yells at us. I'm conflicted.

7. Bill O'Reilly. Letterman was right when he said, "60% of what you say is just crap." One day, that Alien creature will jump out of his stomach, I know it.

8. Kids in the gym. There's supposed to be a rule, no one under 12, but there they are, running around, generally making a nuisance of themselves. Shouldn't they be loafing and playing video games? Or playing tag in the schoolyard?

9. That Esteban guy. He sells the cheap guitars on the shopping channel. Anyone who wears sunglasses and a big hat indoors has some explaining to do.

10. KISS without the makeup. There's a good reason they wore it. Hell of a Hallowe'en costume, guys. Now, put the makeup back on.

11. When the phone rings after midnight or before 7am. Nothing good comes from a phone call at those hours. It can only mean someone has had an accident, is dead, is in the hospital or needs to be bailed out.

12. The buzzer on my clothes dryer. It means I have to fold clothes. Scary.

13. Driving in front of a police car. I'm obeying all the rules, but having that car behind me is frightening. They should have a light that means "you're doing great" to go with the red and blue ones that mean I've screwed up.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Righting the Ship

OK, so yesterday was kind of a downer. Nobody said blogging was easy.
So, I'm reading the newspaper today, and there's a story on page 2 about the ongoing clean-up at the World Trade Center site (heretofore known as "Ground Zero" - which I can no longer call my bedroom). The big problem, it seems, is that they are still digging up remains of the victims. Small pieces of bone and other such unidentifiable fragments of human remains.
What aroused my interest was that the city has come under some scrutiny for doing what many refer to as a half-assed job of cleaning and recovering in the wake of the attacks. What fascinates me about such things is that we (the collective "we") are so hung up on this closure thing, when it comes to bodies and whatnot.
What I don't get is - why does it matter so much to us? Will finding a bone fragment or some other mutiliated body part bring some sense of completion to what we already knew was a foregone conclusion?
Burial and recovery are such high priority issues to some, but I don't get it. If an airplane explodes or a building falls on me, does it salve the feelings of my family if they find some small pulverized fragment of my body? Some say it does, but it says here that I really don't need you to go to all the trouble.
Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler said officials had identified additional manholes and utility cavities at the Lower Manhattan site that needed to be examined. About five have been excavated, and the searchers expect to burrow into 12 more subterranean areas in coming days.
"They will go through every grain, every piece of material carefully, and sift through it," Skyler said.
For the record, you won't need to bury me. Just burn my dead ass and blow my ashes over the water. Cold, I know, but life goes on ... for some.

Monday, October 23, 2006

My Blank Mind

According to a recent Google search, leading to my blog, there must have been a Cecily Tynan Parade somewhere. I wish I had been informed. I'll bet it was Saturday. I chose Saturday to catch up on my sleep. If those Tynan's went past my window while I was asleep ... well, I just hate to have to wait until the 2007 Cecily Tynan Parade. You snooze, you lose.

Meanwhile, enjoy this little clip from The Late Show with David Letterman, while I try to think of something to write about...

A Clear and Present Danger

ATTLEBORO, Mass. -- Tag, you're out! Officials at an elementary school south of Boston have banned kids from playing tag, touch football and any other unsupervised chase games during recess for fear they'll get hurt and hold the school liable. Recess is "a time when accidents can happen," said Willett Elementary School Principal Gaylene Heppe, who approved the ban.

If I had a kid in the Attleboro school system, I'd yank him out and home-school him, starting today. I don't think the school has the best interests of the kids at heart, and if they had any guts, this is the letter that would have been sent home with junior and his fat ass:

Dear Parent,
In response to a great deal of self-imposed fear, we have decided to ban running around outside on school playgrounds. It's not that the kids scare us, but what we are really afraid of is being sued. If the kids enjoy playing "unsupervised chase games", they can do it on their own time. We enjoy leaving the kids unsupervised. It gives us a much needed break from all that screaming and running around. Kids should be made to sit still, and we're going to do our part to see that it happens.

We're not here to baby-sit your kids, or even educate them. We're here because the state says we have to be. And, if we are forced to host your kids for 6 hours a day, then we're going to tie them to their desks and make sure they get home in the same fat, stupid and protected shape they were in when you gave them to us.

When they're 18, and are relieved of our care, they will be your responsibility (or some college, where they won't have nearly the tools or social skills to survive) but you'll be paying for it, so screw you, too. We're no longer responsible.

I know what you're saying, "You played 'tag' at school when you were a kid, and nothing bad happened to you!" Well, you're wrong. I was physically touched (or tagged, as we so naively called it) several hundred times by both boys and girls, and quite frankly, the events left me scarred, to the point that I am no longer able to play tag. I find it immature and childish, for which I hold the educational system responsible.

We cannot tolerate the risk that a child could incur a minor injury by running or touching another child. Those injuries, while seemingly minor to the child, could severely impact our school budget with costly lawyer's fees and the accompanying insurance premiums. You wouldn't want us to have to raise your taxes, would you?

To show our compassion and understanding of this now-serious issue, I am enclosing a coupon for 10% off at your local Electonics Boutique, where I am sure you can find a touch football video game or some sort of virtual-reality tag that your children can play, where the only potential injuries will be to their self-esteem and cadrio-vascular systems, both treatable with prescription medication.

Gaylene Heppe, The Guardian of Your Kids
(for 6 hours a day)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Doing My Part

My downstairs neighbor commissioned his son to build a bird feeder for our little tree outside the condo. He put together this metal cylinder with screws for the birds to sit on. The thing looks like it was assembled by the military, complete with big screws holding the bottom plate to the cylinder and a removable metal cap with a hook.

It holds an entire bag of bird seed, and fortunately, the tree has grown a bit over the last few years, because the strong limbs are necessary to hold the weight of the steel and seed, plus whatever lucky animals happen to find their lunch under our tree.

So far, we haven't seen many birds...
...but we are doing our part to keep the local squirrels fat and happy. The little bastards ate through the whole thing in less than a week, and notice how the bottom makes a nice resting place for his furry ass.