Saturday, March 7, 2009

An hour older.

Daylight saving time. The lasting legacy of Benjamin Franklin and George W. Bush. Franklin, because he wanted an extra hour of daylight to do farming and Bush because it was the best idea he had to stem the tide of wasted energy. Neither one of them does me any good on Sunday morning.
We've long since abandoned the Agrarian society and George W. Bush, so why do we need to continue this nonsense?
So here I sit in the darkness, waiting for 2am so that I can move the clock ahead an hour thus saving me daylight. I understand completely.
Otherwise, I'd have to set the alarm for 2am so that I could accurately move the clock. It's all about accuracy. If I moved the clock ahead an hour at 10pm, it's possible that I'd be four hours ahead when I woke up (eventually) on Sunday morning.
Isn't that how it works?
Daylight saving time
makes us think we're saving time
while we're wasting it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

With friends like this ...

"Meet your new best friend" the ad says that came in my e-mail box yesterday. Only it's a metal contraption manufactured from Japanese parts and not a young woman who could prove her friendship by performing a sexual act or accompanying me to a baseball game - or both.
No, it's a computer. I'm not even sure why we call them computers anymore. They're like cell phones - more cell than phone - and more web-surfing device than a machine that actually "computes" anything. We ain't launching rockets here, gang. Unless you count that Internet-inspired woody you get, but that's another matter.
$299 for a tiny laptop, the ad says. OK, I'm in the market for a new best friend, since I seem to be abandoned by some and forgotten by others. You'll be my friend, LCD screen. And I don't have to feed you or tell you how much I enjoy your company.
The trouble is, (among other things) that the $299 price is a bit of a scam. Surprised? Me neither. It's funny that the ad says, "'s worth every penny and then some" because it will cost you "and then some."
If you want a CD/DVD drive, it'll cost you. The site tells you (in big red letters) you might not be able to back-up your data or recover files if you don't have a CD drive. So why sell it without one? If you want something other than black, even though the ad says they come in other colors (like the Rolling Stones song) it'll cost you. By the end of the process, the price was closer to $400 and I still wasn't sure if I'd be able to surf the Internet with it so that I could get that woody I'd been promised by my newest, bestest friend.
It should be illegal to advertise such things, since the price isn't anywhere close to what you are actually going to pay, but I suppose our government has more troubling issues to address like buying banks and auto makers and figuring out how 9-percent unemployment can be translated into a financial recovery.
I'll wait.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Where's the fruit?

I'm jonesing for baseball season. Partly because I love baseball and partly because I don't have much of anything else going on in my life that would preclude me from watching baseball until September - or October if you're a Phillies fan.
Mostly, I wander about wondering why I'm here. It's a fruitless exercise because I don't think I'll find an answer. Baseball.
I waddle through the day ... sleep, wake, work, exercise, TV and blog. It's a cycle that finds itself back in the beginning of the circle that starts with sleep. Fruitless. Now, I'm forced to be sociable at work when I'd much rather say, "Fuck off" and let me go about my business. That isn't how work works, because we have do deal with these "people" every day. So, I suck it up and deal. It's a testament to my tolerance for pain.
And that whole Facebook thing is set to go in the shitter too. A fruitless time waster, it is.
How sad to be so old and so disgusted with life. It's a conundrum. I can understand why people live on subway grates and chuck-in the everyday life of responsibilty for a life on concrete. There has to be something better.
Doesn't there?
Life on a street grate
might not seem like such a chore
if there's nothing else.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


The World Baseball Classic is going on somewhere in the world. I'm not sure where. The title doesn't specify. There are teams (allegedly) from all over the world competing in some sort of championship series to determine which country has the best baseball players.
First, I'm skeptical of anything that names itself "classic" from the get-go. That's like calling something "collectible" when it's running off the production line. Calm down Mo, we'll determine whether or not it's collectible. Mostly, it's something for Major League baseball to promote while spring training is going on. And television. We can't forget about television.
Next, the collection of players is odd as well. Team Italy approached Shane Victorino to play for them. Victorino is from (and born in) Hawaii. His name is vaguely Italian, so obviously the Italian team approached him to play. Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis is playing for Greece. Nick was born in Georgia and it remains to be proved that he has ever been to Greece, but his name sounds Greek, so join the club.
If you don't have enough good players to populate a national team, then stay home and play soccer ... er, football.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Things that come to mind.

How nice it was to get a blog visit from the local Fox affiliate (Fox Television Stations Of Phila) over my posts of the last few days about our alleged snowstorm. It's nice to know I don't have to waste my time posting a comment to their web site. I'm particularly fond of the photo of the forecast and the "big chubby under that sport jacket" reference and the photo of the two inches of snow directly above the forecast of 10" to 14". I couldn't have said it better myself. I do my best thinking here.
There's another one of those Mega Millions jackpot drawings going off tonight. $212 million. People rush to get their tickets, dreaming of the millions (even mega millions) but if they thought about it they'd ask themselves how it got to 212 million. It's because nobody has won. It didn't start out that way, you know. Last week, when the jackpot was 146 million (still mega, by millions standards) I bought 5 tickets because I'm dopey that way. When the numbers were announced I discovered that I had matched exactly one number. A 17 I think. That's when it dawned on me that I had wasted my time and money. I know, you can't win if you don't play. But you also can't lose. It's a conundrum.
Nevertheless, I always get into those office pools when somebody runs around collecting money. I don't want any of those bastards retiring and leaving me behind.
I think there should be a limit on the jackpot. 212 million dollars is a lot for one person to win - and it will almost certainly be one person. When you consider the millions of people (mega millions, actually) that are buying tickets, it's amazing that there aren't more winners. That's the allure and frustration of playing the lottery.
I have a relative who swears that he can pick numbers based on trends, as though ping pong balls have a conscience. I do, however, which is why I choose to invest my money in Phillies tickets, the stock market and my drinking problem. Those are sure-fire winners.
I just realized, I haven't posted a photo of my cat in a while. So, here are a few. It's my blog, I can do what I want. While I was editing these, I noticed that I had the D40 set on "child." I'm not sure that was a total coincidence.
I'm not sure what he was looking at. I'm never sure. He's a beautiful boy. Of that I am sure.

Racy Ray.

Rachael Ray Doesn't Regret Racy Photo Shoot - US Magazine
Rachael Ray's mother was furious when she stripped down for a racy 2003 FHM photo shoot, but the 40-year-old talk show host has no regrets. "I think I was 35 at the time," she tells ABC's Nightline in an interview airing Monday. "And I thought about it for a while, and I said, 'You know what? This magazine has as young as 17, 18-year-old's in hottie bikinis, and these are all actresses, models, pin-up girls. I don't belong to any even remote club of theirs.'"
Mom was Furious. Really. She "stripped down?" I'm having trouble seeing the stripped down part. Get a grip, mom.
First, never listen to anything your mother says about something you did as an adult. That's an important rule of life to remember.
Second, I love Rachael Ray. I like her TV show and her raspy voice. I like her dopey Dunkin' Donuts commercials and those 30-minute meals she cooks on TV. There, I said it. Now, let's move on.
Next, let's examine the term "racy." To the right are three of the racy photos. I'd guess that they could show up on a calendar or maybe even in a high school yearbook, if you went to a really progressive school. You might think that top photo is racy if you didn't automatically know that those were soap suds on her leg.
Otherwise, it's kinda tame, even by magazine standards.
The strawberry one is interesting, but it's a strawberry. It'd be different if it was some guy's body part, but it's a fruit. Or are strawberries a vegetable now? I think it's a fruit.
What's next? Oh, she's holding a pie in some kind of cut-off Daisy Dukes thing. Cute. Racy? Not quite, unless you live in Utah. Hey, that pie is hot!
Describing these photos as racy reminds me of what some people think is pornography or "X rated" subject matter. Anything that exposes a breast or utters the word fuck is pornographic or X-rated to large numbers of people who have never seen pornography or been around a lot of people who use the word fuck as an adjective.
"Oooh, that's X-rated," they say, and deep down inside you know they have no idea.
It's the kind of thing that got Howard Stern in trouble and long ago got Lenny Bruce arrested a few times.
Girls sucking strawberries, holding pies and spilling soap suds on themselves are somehow racy to large numbers of people. Put her in a skimpy outfit and you've added an exclamation point to the whole ordeal. Now, it's borderline pornographic.
"I'm an all-things-in-moderation kind of person," she continues. "I do eat a warm donut occasionally. I especially enjoy a cider donut when I'm apple picking. I don't think there's anything wrong with that."
Oh, Rachael you crazy nut. A warm donut. Is that a euphemism or do you really like donuts? And why is she forced to defend eating donuts?
Ray reportedly earns up to $18 million a year and says "it makes me a little sick.""It makes my stomach flip. I'm not comfortable with it ... because I don't like to think of my life as that far away from me," she says. "People that make that kind of money - it's just too foreign of an idea."
It makes a lot of us sick, Rache, but you don't.
Says Ray, "I'm not a chef. I haven't created any new technique in the kitchen. I'm not a rocket scientist."
No kidding.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Early to bed, early to shovel.

Thankfully, I have photographic proof of the 10 to 14 inches of snow that we were supposed to get last night.
Unfortunately, I'll never recoup the lost sleep from getting up unusually early to shovel myself out of the expected mountain of snow.
This was the scene when I got to my car at 6:30 this morning. Not quite a foot of snow, do you think? No. Not quite.
My car is the clean one. The other neighbors had the good sense to sleep in.
Thanks Bolaris, you nitwit. The shoveling I anticipated amounted to brushing vigorously and the great difficulty I anticipated getting to work this morning amounted to being 45 minutes early.
Listening to these people is a lot like playing the lottery. We figure, "This is the time they'll be right and I'd better listen." They're more wrong than right, but we listen anyway. We buy lottery tickets because we figure, "This is the time I'll win." We lose again.
It's amazing, with the millions of dollars worth of sophisticated equipment they tell us they use that they can't be a little more accurate. Or a lot more accurate.
It snowed. That's pretty close, I guess.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow. My God, the snow!

Oh, the humanity!
It is starting. The snow. We hate the snow. So much so that the local weather guy breaks into the NASCAR race twelve times to tell us that it's snowing.
We know, smart ass. I have windows.
Meanwhile, the snow is coming down - as snow will do.
It comes down. By Monday morning we're supposed to have a foot of snow on the ground. So much for Global warming.
The tough part is that I ran out of canned cat food, and the guy needs his evening treat. I didn't dare go near the supermarket today, since the Hellfire Snowstorm was on the way and the local populace was in there stocking up on bread, eggs and milk - as though snow makes us crave French Toast. Ten inches of snow should keep us inside for at least 4 hours, but we still need food! God forbid we get out in our giant SUVs and actually use them for their intended purpose.
"The roads are clear, let's get out before the snow starts!"
What bugs me about this stuff is the way the local media covers it. I was trying to watch the NASCAR race this afternoon, but John Bolaris kept creeping in with is weather forecasts.
I know John, it's snowing. There's 20 laps left. Leave me alone.
They don't break in during the commercials - God forbid - only the programming. That's insulting to the viewers, but they don't care about insulting us since we don't pay for anything. After the race was over they broke in again, only this time Fox went to commercial during their weather forecast. Some drug ad. Before Bolaris finished his sentence, they had gone back to the commercial. I could hear the screams from the control room: "They're in commercial! Wrap it up! Wrap it up!" Jackasses.
That's John Bolaris, the local Fox Weather guy. You can't see it, but he has a big chubby under that sport jacket. The 10 to 14 inches of snow in the forecast makes the local news people get all wet inside. Tomorrow, they'll be out on the roads telling us how bad the roads are and how we should stay at home, as though we don't have jobs or anything.

Mostly, it makes me wish they had stayed home too.

What crisis?

Practically every sentence starts with "In this economy," and in some places, people are losing their homes and jobs. In some places, however, "this economy" is purring along just fine, or so it seems. I don't know if these are sound business decisions or people with money doing a stupid thing. Either way, they're fearlessly plodding along:
I guess America really does run on Dunkin'. That's a new donut emporium where a bank used to stand. There's another Dunkin' Donuts about two miles away. Can't have too many, right?

A new Rite Aid drug store is going up on this site (across the street from the donut place) where a golf driving range and miniature golf course once stood. There's a CVS and Walgreen's less than two miles from here. Rite Aid's stock is 28 cents a share. I'd guess that they have better things to do with the money they have left than to build another store.

This old Taco Bell has been vacant for about two years. Recently, this sign went up for a new Martino Cartier Salon. It's a franchise that sells expensive hair care products and expensive hair cuts. Perfect for an economic downturn. I miss the Taco Bell.

This old Caldor shopping center has been vacant for 10 years. Over the past few months construction has been going on for this new LA Fitness center. It's close to the donut place.

Just what we need in an economic downturn - donuts, drugs, pricey hair cuts and a gym membership. Nobody ever tears down a building and puts up trees, so if these things go belly-up, we'll be forced to look at a few more abandoned buildings. The only good news about all of this is that they're all taking job applications. The bad news is that they probably pay minimum wage.