Archive for December, 2008

Weather You Like It or Not

Friday, December 19th, 2008

A Recycled Presentation from March 5, 2008

I don’t like it at all. I don’t like the bizarre maps nor isobars. I don’t like barometric pressures that are always rising or falling. I don’t like fronts when they dance across the screen in ‘time- enhanced’, color cartoons. I don’t like the dumb, 1st grade symbols that represent the sun, moon, and the stars. I don’t like doppler radar. I don’t like the hilarious, never-right, 7-day forecasts.

And It all happened again yesterday. A giant ice-sleet-and-snow (Oh My!) storm turned out to be about 1/4 of what was predicted. Yesterday morning, TV newscasters starting whipping the audience into a froth: “Lotsa big weather coming! No unnecessary travel! Bring your pets inside! Best place to be is in front of the TV! Watch for cancelations and delays! Stay tuned!” (Cut to videos of the Ice Storm of 1991 – 17 years ago!)

Programming is interrupted by weather crawls on the bottom of the screen and cutaways to the meteorologists. Kevin Williams or Glenn Johnson (really – isn’t this the same person in different clothes?) is jumping around in front of his maps – all grim – with his jacket off to show how hard he’s working to save us from mad weather

And then all the old people rush to Wegmans to stock up on essentials or just say prayers – and the kids start praying their school will be closed the next day and skip their homework. And all the elevator buzz is ‘Didja hear? Big storm tomorrow. They say blah, blah, blah!!”

In the last century when we were an agricultural society, weather reports made sense because farmers could plan their days accordingly. Today the weather is just a hyped, cheap-to-produce stepchild of local news. There’s less there than meets the eye.

I could do the friggin’ weather in about 10-seconds. Here goes:

“The National Weather Service says there’s about a 50% chance of rain tomorrow. So flip a coin and bring your geeky umbrella or not – your choice. Back to you, Ginny.”


You Only Sell Umbrellas When It Rains

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

When I sold men’s clothes in Manhattan in the early’70’, I noticed the big bins of umbrellas were dragged out only when it rained. I asked one of the older salesmen about it. He shrugged. “I’ve been here for over 20-years,” he said, “I don’t remember one request for an umbrella when the sun was out.”

People have short attention spans. They need big visual aids to focus. They’re making a stupid mistake. Remember a few months ago when gas was almost $4.00 a gallon and people were freaking? Remember the outraged commuters and the talk of alternative fuel sources? Remember the convoluted economic theories and the fact gas would never again be cheap?

When was the last time you heard a news story about alternative fuel sources or my immediate answer: conservation? Now the sun is out and all the dimwits are dancing to Christmas tunes and have forgotten all about the “energy crisis.”

Me? I don’t like Christmas tunes and I don’t dance with my clothes on. So all I’m doing is hoping. I hope the damn stuff goes up to about $8.00 a gallon before Spring and everyone will have to consider once again alternative energy sources, off-shore drilling, and conservation.

Well, maybe not – I’ve been wrong before (I thought I made a mistake once-but I hadn’t). Maybe gas prices will remain low forever. And maybe it will never rain again.


Al Roker Drives Me Nuts

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Al Roker is always referred to as a “great guy”, “one of the nicest people in show business”, and “always happy”. Personally, I’d like to choke him

I know, I know – I’m just a malcontent always ready to pee on somebody else’s’ parade – but I can’t help it. Al is so sweet, he makes my teeth hurt. Al is to “sweet” what Dick Cheney is to “sour”.

Perpetually happy, always making little jokes and wisecracks, smiling, laughing, and then smiling some more, Rokor makes Little Mary Sunshine look like Darth Vadar. Can you picture his face in your mind without a big, toothy grin? Does this man even HAVE a dark side (so to speak)?

Well maybe his chirpiness really is genuine. Or maybe he’s REALLY saying, “’course, I’m gonna continuously grin and chuckle, toasties. I make $1.5-million a year on the Today Show, dig? That’s about $30-K A WEEK – word up! That’s $6-grand a show – 5 days a week – for about 4-hours per day. Let’s see, that’s $1500.00/hour or about $25 a MINUTE – every minute of every single hour I “work”. WHY THE HELL WOULDN’T I SMILE?”

Chuck You, America!

Monday, December 15th, 2008

“This is your farewell kiss, you dog!”

President Bush and every newscaster I’ve heard got a good chuckle from the dissident reporter who chucked his shoes during Bush’s last tour of Iraq and Afghanistan. Few Arabs think it funny.

This incident clearly symbolizes why America is NOT winning the war – and why we NEVER COULD.

We have little knowledge and no respect for the people of the Mid-East. We don’t understand their customs, mock their political actions, and apply Western standards to how we think they should behave. To those of you morons who still “don’t get it,” let me draw you a little mental picture.

Imagine a road full of Arabs slowly riding camels to market. Suddenly a large American car, going to a gas station, roars down the road in the opposite direction leaving dead and dying Arabs and camels scattered in a pool of blood. Why do you think most people in the world think of us as UGLY Americans?

We’re not only international BULLIES, we have remarkably short memories. Remember when we toppled Suddam Hussein and people dragged down his large statue? Do you remember what they did next? Dozens of Arabs pummeled the now-horizontal structure WITH SHOES – the ultimate insult of Mid-East hatred.

Today, as America giggles over this incident, millions of Arabs have recognized the television reporter as a hero and demand his release from an Afghan prison. Recent polls from Iraq indicate about 70-per cent of the people want us to LEAVE IMMEDIATELY- regardless of the consequences.

Hussein was a despicable enemy of freedom. But maybe it’s better to be repressed than to be mocked, maimed, killed, and laughed at.


Don’t Pity Carla, Help Her

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Carla Bruni is the First Lady of France. Before becoming President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 3rd wife in February of this year, Ms. Bruni was a supermodel, a singer, and an outspoken advocate for sexual freedom. She’s been quoted as saying, “ I’m monogamous from time to time, but I prefer polygamy and polyandry.” This 1993 photo of Madame Bruni recently sold for $91,000 US at Christie’s auction house in London and is now embroiled in a multi-million dollar copyright lawsuit.

Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding the nude print has overshadowed a serious physical deformity in the Prime Minster’s wife: she suffers from intoeing, or, as we call it in America – being “pigeon-toed”.

There are three causes of intoeing in healthy children. They are metatarsus adductus, internal tibial torsion and excessive femoral anteversion.

Intoeing usually doesn’t cause serious problems but children with intoeing have trouble getting shoes that fit because of the curve of their feet. This fitting problem plus the fact other young children sometimes laugh at those who are pigeon-toed, often causes a lack of self-confidence in the intoed child.

Tax-deductible contributions to the “Carla Bruni Pigeon-Toe Fund” may be sent to:

Straight Toes Tomorrow!

Box 1807 – Andrews Terrace

125 St. Paul Street

Rochester, New York 14604


The Cancer of Hatred

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m no fan of George Bush. I DO believe he qualifies as “The Worst President in History” and suffers from a lethal combination of arrogance, ignorance, and non-tolerance – but I don’t hate the man. He now leaves office with a long string of failures and denounced by a majority of the American people who put him in the Oval Office – twice.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Bush blundered badly and refused to change course despite growing evidence that he listened to people much smarter and more experienced than he who had their own vile agendas. Of course we now see how dumb that was – but it certainly wasn’t nearly as clear at the time.

Bush is now being blamed for everything from a world-wide economic meltdown to the hatred in the Mid-East which has gone on for centuries. He’s been accused of everything short of kidnapping the Lindberg baby. Worse, he’s bringing out in people an ugly, blaming, hate-filled side that is best left beneath the surface in a civilized society. That isn’t his fault – it’s ours – at least some of ours – and I see it spreading.

The ideals of peace and love from my generation did not include kicking a person when he’s down nor hating a person who’s made horrendous mistakes but is more naïve than evil. Sometimes the harder it is to try to understand someone – the easier it is to shove that person into a superficial stereotype we can understand. That is an ugly personality trait of which we should not be proud. That’s the mind set of a modern day lynch mob and I want no part of it. We must be better than that.


Finger-lickin’ Good?

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Now America is REALLY going to Hell! Never Mind we continue to murder and spend $3-billion a WEEK in Iraq, our economy is tanking at a breath-taking rate, and the Governor of Illinois is going to prison. Today the nation is focusing on a much more serious issue.

Apparently 3 teeny employees of Kentucky Fried Chicken in Anderson, California, were fired for frolicking nearly nude in the restaurant’s large industrial sink. Of course they had themselves photographed and put on the internet like any good teens of today.

The country is reeling! Puritan Prig Protectors of Our National Virtue are going wild as our “Moral Compass” points South. Network newscasters are grimly delivering this unhappy news with voices of non-objective disgust and the morning talk shows are filled with psychologists scaring the bejesus out of parents everywhere.

My reaction? I’m laughing my ass off.

I remember a generation ago when the media was whipping parents into a frenzy over Devil-Worshiping kidnappers who were stealing children for satanic  rituals. All of a sudden it was estimated that a MILLION kids had gone missing and the best for which they could hope was to be a human sacrifice or a star in kiddie porn movies. Dull FBI figures showed the number was more like 4000 – awful, but a long way from 1,000,000.

A generation before that, America panicked when my contemporaries threatened to dump massive amounts of LSD into municipal water supplies and stone everybody who turned on a tap. Of course we knew that was a scientific impossibility but it was good for a few laughs, a national freak-out, and a generation of condemnation.

A generation before that, kids were putting soap in public fountains and tipping over outhouses. Somehow the nation survived. I’m pretty sure America will survive semi-naked teens laughing at the world in a fast food sink.

So Just Do It! kids, have a ball! I’ll look for you on the internet and watch America beat up itself over nothing.


Looney Laughter

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Recycled from May 19, 2008

Years ago, one of my siblings needed some crisis mental health care. I won’t say which one of my brothers or sisters needed assistance- but both my sisters have lived in France now for over 30-years as devout Muslims – praise Allah. Draw your own conclusions. My family, along with other families in similar straits, was invited to a group discussion to talk about our situations.

Asking my family to discuss in public “our problem” was not a great idea. Hell, we hardly talked to each other. Letting other people know our business in front of other parents with looney kids seemed destined to crash out loud. But my Father agreed when told we didn’t have to talk if we didn’t want to. He and I uncomfortably sat down in a circle of chairs filled with family members and their problems.

Precisely at 7:00 pm, this huge mountain of a guy started to rumble. He had on a white shirt, buttons working hard to restrain his girth, a tie he may have won at a carnival weight-guessing booth, and glasses sliding down his sweaty nose. He put his hands at his sides, palms up, and in a voice lush with authority said, “Why are we here?”

Immediately, a nervous, skinny Dad started machine-gunning a tale of horrors and woes about his problem daughter seated next to him. Daughter bent her head and stared at the floor. Everyone was uncomfortable – Dad’s indicting story went on and on. Problem started to cry. Just then this older guy with a beard walked through the door and said,

“Ralph, get out of my chair. People, I’m sorry I’m late. I’m Dr. So & So and I couldn’t find a parking space.” Big Ralph got up smiling and started to roll his mass to another seat.

I lost it! As the rest of the group stared at the psychologist liked stunned sheep, I was uncontrollably laughing into my chest – I just couldn’t stop! My Father glared at me. Finally I got my laughs down to breath-held chuckles and Dr. Psych began talking. His first words? “Well, why are we here?”

That did it! A blast of laughter roared out of my face. I excused myself while getting up to go into the hall. Ralph beamed and I winked at him. That nut had CREDENTIALS!


Getting Harder to Eat a Burger

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

What the hell are Happy Cows from California? Do they rollerblade or surf? Do they Moo with a Valley Girl accent? I’ve seen a lot of cows standing around – and they don’t look exactly thrilled with their lives. But those were New York cows – I assumed they were ‘contented’. I thought they were just hanging out waiting for their night in shining Armour.

I’ve been to California many times but I don’t remember seeing any cows.  Were they at the beach or getting their vibes milked? Were they hiding from the birthplace of McDonalds, the largest meat grinder in the history of people?

Like any farm animal raised for food, we’d like to think cows don’t think. Unfortunately, studies now show they think as well as Cats and dogs who, I know, think as well as about three out of four of the people I meet everyday.

Are they happy? Who the hell knows who’s happy? As the old Italian Mother says in one of my favorite movies, “Lovers & Other Strangers” – “Don’t look for happiness, Richie. It’ll only make you miserable.”

Regardless of if they think or are happy or just content, cows aren’t treated well before (I CAN’T think of a nice way to put this!) ….they are slaughtered. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) makes a pretty good case for the misery they endure. You can see it here: It’s not pretty.

So ‘Happy Cows from California’ is total advertising bullshit (what a surprise) but I still eat cheeseburgers. ‘Disassociation’ is the only rationalization I have right now – but I know it sucks. But what can I eat – hummus? – whatever the fock that is. (Sorry, Paul).

I don’t know. I just don’t know.


Remote Uncontrolled

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Recycled from June 19, 2008

Do you watch a lot of TV? I’ll bet you’re like me and many people. You don’t exactly sit down and watch it – it’s just on in the background as you live the rest of your life. Someone once called TV the “electronic fireplace.” My parents didn’t care what you called it – they just knew the OFF switch was ‘on’ during mealtimes and most other times too. Had any of us kids even asked to turn the TV on during dinner, I’m sure Mom and Dad would have looked at us like we had grown another head.

Yet over the years, the constantly-on TV has seeped into my life. Usually it’s on a news show or a talk/news show like ‘Today’ – but the sound is down and I only pay attention when it shows something in which I’m interested – which is almost never.

The remote, of course, is the machine that makes possible all of this volume and channel changing. A few days ago, my remote started working intermittently which is maddening. I reprogrammed it two or three times and it still misbehaved. I even put in shiny new batteries. Nada. So last night I gave it one more chance. I shined up the battery contacts, reprogrammed the four digit code, put on a happy face, and pushed the power button. Nothing. So I calmly threw it as hard as I could through the open terrace door where it met the concrete wall and smashed into countless pieces.

Tuesday and Wednesday, my Cats, were quite impressed. After looking back at me to make sure I wasn’t going to fix anything else, they trotted out to the terrace to sniff the small remnants of destruction.

And I didn’t buy a new remote today either. I’m thinking that any action I perform in life should be worth the effort it takes to get out of my chair, walk three steps, bend over, and push a button. If it’s not worth that effort, I can probably live without it.

The TV hasn’t been on all day.