Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wir werden im Kampf gegen die Brände.

Investigators have determined that the source of the Angeles National Park fire is man-made, either by accident or arson. Figures.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger visited the fire area Wednesday morning and served breakfast to firefighters, scooping Cream of Wheat into paper bowls and giving them plenty of protein so "they get all pumped up for the next fight out there with those fires."
I give you permission to read that quote using your Ah-nold voice. Those fires. He’s funny.
Cream of Wheat? I know the state is in a financial crisis, but couldn’t they spring for some eggs and potatoes? Those fires fight hard.
Meanwhile, can the women tennis players stop screaming so I can watch the U.S. Open? I can't take the screaming on every shot. Every shot. Drop shots, serves ... everything they hit is accompanied by a blood-curdling scream. Venus Williams screamed when she was two feet from the net and dropped the ball over. It's like a baseball player screaming when he bunts. It's ridiculous.
I think Monica Seles started it many years ago. She probably didn't scream that loudly when the guy stabbed her.
ORMOND BEACH, Fla. An FDA test shows that either a frog or a toad was in a Florida man's soda can. The Food and Drug Administration test confirmed that the remains of an animal were in Fred Denegri's can of Diet Pepsi. Denegri popped the can open July 23 as he was grilling dinner outdoors in Ormond Beach.
A Pepsi spokesman said the company is aware of the FDA testing and stands by its manufacturing process. The can was traced back to a plant in Orlando, which runs about 1,250 cans a minute on the production line. The spokesman says the speed of the production lines and the rigor of its quality control make it virtually impossible for a frog or toad to get into a can.
Denegri said he is certain the animal was in the can before he opened it
I guess the frog screws up the 1 calorie diet Pepsi, eh? How many calories in frog? Of course the Pepsi guy would say it's impossible for a frog to get into a can. What is he supposed to say? "Oh yeah, frogs are all over the place. We step on them all the time, so it's no wonder they wind up in the cans."
Actually, I would think that running about 21 cans a second through an assembly line would make it more probable that something strange would turn up in a can and not less probable. How easy would it be to sneak some junk into a can if they're going by at that speed?
Check your Pepsi next time you have some. If the can is hopping around, pick up a different one.
By the way, I'm expecting a German grammar check from my friend in Deutschland, or at least to tell me what it really means.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My opinion on opinion polls.

I took an online poll from my friends (so they say) at StubHub. At the end of the survey, they asked me a few personal questions which, so they say, are being used for demographic purposes only. One of the questions is, "are you ... married, single, divorced, widowed ..."
I express a disdain over the divorced moniker. I've been divorced for over 10 years, and at this stage, I consider myself single. I think there should be a statute of limitations on being labeled either single or divorced.
After 10 years (a length of a good marriage) I should now be considered single. Divorced carries a stain like "ex-convict" where people look at you differently.
Oh, you failed. Like that scene in "Kramer vs. Kramer" where they labeled Joanna a failure because her marriage failed. Ted shook his head as she nodded hers as the question was asked. We didn't fail, "it did not succeed" was an answer, but the attorney wouldn't accept it.
Neither did StubHub.
All I want to do is sell some tickets. Does it matter?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Money for nothing.

I paid for our Phillies post-season tickets today. It would have helped to have been drunk, but I did it during lunch at work so ... not. $605 for two tickets to three games. They're more expensive than the tickets last year, which figures, until you realize that most of us have less money than we did last year.
Part of the deal was that, if I paid before September 10 I would be put into a lottery to be able to purchase tickets to additional games. Those are the kind of lotteries I win - where I get to spend money. Congratulations, you're eligible to buy two more tickets! Lucky me. StubHub is calling.
Meanwhile, the end of civilization is nigh:
TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. is developing a fail-safe system for cars that detects drunken drivers and automatically shuts the vehicle down if sensors pick up signs of excessive alcohol consumption, a news report said Wednesday.
Cars fitted with the detection system will not start if sweat sensors in the driving wheel detect high levels of alcohol in the driver's bloodstream, according to a report carried by the mass-circulation daily, Asahi Shimbun. The system could also kick in if the sensors detect abnormal steering, or if a special camera shows that the driver's pupils are not in focus. The car is then slowed to a halt, the report said.
In my younger days, I fantasised about owning a bar and having big-screen TVs that showed local sporting events. A gathering place for the local drunken populace. Ala Archie Bunker in "Archie's Place."
Since then, the worm has turned on driving while intoxicated. When I started driving in 1975, if you were pulled over while weaving along the road, the cops would say, "You be more careful next time," and take your unused beer and let you drive home. Now, you wind up handcuffed in the back of a squad car and face a loss of driving privileges and other financial hardships. What a change in a mere 25 years.
In 5 years, owning a bar will become a liability, and your drinking will be monitored while you're at the bar, and if you don't have a nun or a sober 18 year-old with you, you'll either be forced to take an expensive cab ride or risk having your car shut down just before the cops pull you over and TASER you for being .08 behind the wheel. I now fantasise about living until I'm 70.
It's a sea change, my friends. Prepare to start ordering Michelob Ultra and sipping tonic water when you go out for a buzz. Point zero two will be your buzz.

Monday, August 31, 2009

If you enjoyed this essay, stand and applaud.

I was at a concert in LA, and the band was having an off night, and some people in the audience started throwing tomatoes at the band. Now who would throw tomatoes at the band? That's bad. But who would bring a tomato to a show? That's even worse. Don't throw tomatoes at the band. What if they really like tomatoes? They'll think you're enjoying the show. "You guys are great - here's a tomato!"
The tomato is the universal sign for not enjoying a performance. Plus I like it on sandwiches. I had the guy at Subway put tomatoes on my sandwich because I didn't like the way he was making it.
- Mitch Hedberg
I flipped the TV on in time (by mistake) to see part of the Ted Kennedy funeral procession. As the hearse drove past the Capitol building, a huge crowd gathered on the steps began to applaud. They applauded. They applauded the hearse.
I think sometimes applause is a reaction to some event where we are dumbfounded as to what exactly we are supposed to do. Like when a hearse drives by with a deceased person inside. For a second, we look around, figuring that we have to do something, or else how will the hearse know we recognize it? So there they were, two hundred or so seemingly intelligent people applauding as the hearse drove by.
I've been to more than a few movies where people applaud at the end. Applauding a movie is almost as dopey as applauding a hearse. At least the people in the theater are alive. I think it's a way to show the people around you that "I get it" when a movie is particularly good or there is some odd twist at the end. "Aren't I smart?" applause.
Standing up at a sporting event is another odd behavior. A guy hits a ball a long way toward the outfield, and somebody in front of me invariably stands up to watch it, as though he couldn't see it if he remained seated. Ironically, he is keeping me from seeing it.
Standing ovations are interesting, too. "Hey, we like you a lot more than if we just sat here and applauded." The performer is supposed to think that we made an effort to stand, but we stand to let somebody go to the bathroom too.
I've been going to games for about 40 years, and I've never booed anyone. I've yelled questions at them like, "What the Hell were you thinking?" Or "Are you kidding?" but I don't boo. Like applause, sometimes we don't know what to do, and booing is supposed to be the opposite of applauding, but I think keeping quiet is the opposite, so I usually just keep quiet. Or I'll stand and be quiet. I think that's the ultimate in disappoval. I care enough to stand up and say nothing.
You suck.