Friday, January 16, 2009

Another of my jabs at the way people do things, but should change because the way they do things doesn't make sense.

There are a number (a large number) of things that I do that either alienate or bother people. Personal quirks and odd "rules" about life and things that people either never think about or don't want to think about. One of them routinely presents itself at the local liquor store, which I visit on an all-too routine basis.
There are two cashiers, separated by a small aisle but no distinct separating dividers. Normally, the store is busy, because we're big-time alcoholics here in Jersey. When both cashiers are occupied, my habit is to straddle the lines and avoid choosing one over the other. I feel it is within my rights as a customer to do so, and you're not going to convince me otherwise.
Last night, there I was, standing in my place. Feet shoulder-width apart with my six-pack of Victory Golden Monkey in hand. It's a fine product. The customer to my left had a cart full of stuff. Mostly that crappy light beer and some snacks. Obviously single and staying that way. The one to my right had a twelve-pack of Coors Light. A waste of money.
As the line grew, another man stepped to the side of me and wondered aloud, "Which line are you in?"
I replied, "The next one," which I figured was the correct response. When the guy with the cart full of junk left, I assumed his space in line, after which, the rest of the customers chose one line or the other.
I turned to the guy behind me and said, "Why wouldn't you just wait for the next cashier? Why choose a line? Isn't that the smart thing to do?" I knew he would nod in agreement, but wouldn't really understand, since he had taken his place behind me rather than waiting for the next cashier. Looking back, I noticed that the rest of them had chosen one line or the other, apparently in defiance of my "next available cashier" method.
Some folks, you just can't reach.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Baseball in January.

One of the cool things about my new position at work is that I'm more on my own than I was before. As such, when the World Series trophy is on display at a nearby restaurant, I am free to take an extended lunch break and take a gander.
Chickie's and Pete's is the big-time local sports bar franchise. There are a few of them, and the one in Egg Harbor Township is the newest, I think. The trophy made a stop there today at 1:00pm, with Phillies broadcaster Scott Franske.
As expected, the place was jammed. I got there just before one and had to shoehorn my way through the crowd to get close to the thing. My aversion to large crowds and a minor case of claustrophobia made my visit brief. At one point, I entertained thoughts of actually eating lunch there, but one look at the place and those thoughts went out the window - if I could find one.

The Phanatic was there - natch - and here, he takes the time to embrace a fan. At one point, he hoisted his shirt up to block my camera. Funny guy - er - thing.

Check it out, Cubs fans. This is what it looks like.

Never mind that it's going to be at least two other places closer to home than this joint. I got to play hookey from work for an hour. Although, it seemed strange to travel out of my way to see a trophy. There's something strange about them carting it around and "presenting" it to us. I guess it's the thing to do?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Now, let's absorb some local color by reading about a Philadelphia sports team.

The playoffs. And not just any playoffs - the NFL playoffs. The local team, the Eagles, is still involved (are still involved). They're playing the Arizona Cardinals, who most people don't give a snowball's chance in Hell of winning on Sunday. Most people around here don't anyway.
I'm not one of them. The Cardinals scare me a little, mostly because most people around here don't give them a snowball's chance of winning on Sunday. That doesn't mean I'm not rooting for the Eagles, it just means that I have a healthy respect for the opponent.
The Eagles have been here before. "Here" being the NFC Championship game. For my non-sports fans, it's the game where the winner goes to the Super Bowl - the game with the office block pool. This is their fifth trip under large head coach Andy Reid. Three times they have lost, and on at least two of those occasions, the people around here didn't give a snowball's chance in Hell to their opponent. I'm hearing the same sorts of things now. Not just from fans, but from media types who should know better.
They're already encouraging trips to Tampa (the site of Super Bowl Roman Numeral), which isn't a bad place to visit, but it would be more enjoyable if you could work a football game in someplace. Actually, it's not really a football game, but I digress.
They say that the Cardinals are a weak playoff team. I say, so are the Eagles. After all, a record of 9-6-1 sounds more like a locker combination than a football record, and losses to the lowly Bengals and Redskins late in the season don't fill me with confidence.
The real danger comes in the build-up. It's barely Wednesday and Eagles fans are in full Super Bowl mode, having looked past the Cardinals and on to whomever they will meet at the Bruce Springsteen concert - er ... Super Bowl.
They get themselves all worked up only to have (more often than not) their hopes dashed by some team that, like Vietnam and South Korea, you never heard of until they kicked your ass at something.
In life and sports it's best to respect your opponent until you prove that you can beat them. Then, the trash talking can begin in earnest. Phillies fans are doing it now and Eagles fans would be wise to wait until Sunday at 6:00pm before they start ordering party platters from Shop Rite.
But, nobody listens to me, and besides, it's too late. The frothing has begun.
It's all over but the pissing and moaning.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Now this is something I would watch.

Our long national nightmare begins anew tonight, as "American Idol" starts what seems like its 50th season on television - but it's really only the eighth. Critics are wondering if the addition of a fourth judge and some other program modifications will kill the franchise. One can only hope. Meanwhile ...
AUSTIN, TEXAS "American Idol" wants an Austin strip club to take it off. The company that owns the popular television show sued in federal court to stop the weekly "Stripper Idol" contest at Palazio Men's Club. FremantleMedia North America also wants to seize Palazio's profits from the amateur stripping contest.
Just what FreemantleMedia and the Idol producers need ... more money. Don't you think that, at some point the producers would be happy to have most of America by the short hairs, making money hand over fist? No, now they have to kill the rest of us.
"Defendants are infringing upon FremantleMedia's trademark rights," the suit alleges. "There is a substantial likelihood that consumers will be confused, misled or deceived as to the sponsorship ... of the defendants' stripper talent contest."
I'm guessing that the clientele of the Palazio Men's Club wouldn't be caught dead watching their ridiculous television show. Besides, consumers have been deceived for the past 8 years in thinking that the show actually picks winners at random and misled in believing that it's a talent show.
The club's managers said their contest doesn't resemble the TV show. No kidding. In "Stripper Idol" the women have 60 seconds to dance topless, then are ranked by audience applause to win $500.
That sounds like one Hell of a show. It beats the piss out of William Hung and that crap they pass off as music.
Put it on HBO.