Tuesday, February 27, 2007

the roach coach is smoking

This morning on the R train everyone cleared off at City Hall, as usual. There were only about 10-12 of us left, including a homeless guy sitting across from me. As soon as the train pulls out of the station I smell fire. I look up and the guy is sitting there lighting roach after roach after roach. Then he pulls out a whole joint and starts smoking that too! Within 2 stops the entire car smells like weed and when the train pulls into Canal Street and the doors open, smokes literally tumbles out the door. Wake and bake, indeed.

a series of weird and/or annoying events

On Saturday night we collectively celebrated Jamie's birthday at Buffalo Wild Wings. After the glutton-fest was through a group of folks headed to O'Connor's. I had to work in the morning though, so Sweet Touch gave me a ride home, the sooner to put on my jammies and park it on the couch.

Shortly after getting home I hear a crash/thud in the kitchen, knowing it's the cat, but unsure what kind of trouble she's caused this time. Ah, the salt. She's recently become fascinated with my open salt cellar, so I've been keeping it hidden from sight. I apparently forgot to hide it though, because she has dumped about an entire cup of kosher salt all over the stove. gggrrrr. This is going to need the hose attachment on the vacuum, as it's far too much to sop up. But wait, a couple of weekends ago Jamie was looking for duct tape because he said the hose attachment had a leak and lost suction. Great, so now I have to fix the vacuum first.

The floor lamp next to the closet where we store the vacuum has a foot pedal on/off switch. I see kitty's favorite mousy toy on the floor in the near dark, next to the switch. I hit the on/off with my foot, hear a tremendous POP sound, see a ton of sparks and, shit!, what's that smell? SHIT! My pant leg is smoldering! Stupid cat chewed through the cord. Fuses have gone out in the whole house. Awesome. I put out my pants, flip the fuses, pull out the vacuum, and start to look into fixing it.

Turns out it isn't a leaking hose at all, it's the world's largest wad of kleenex in the hose. I get a very long, very sharp knife and start shredding it, eventually getting all of it out and successfully cleaning up the salt. stupid cat.

Monday, February 26, 2007

fuck guitar hero

That's right. You heard me. The past 2 times it's shown up at parties (the Superbowl and more recently at Listmaker's birthday party-which was still an awesome party and happy birthday Listmaker!), I have been transported back to an era of teenagers sitting around staring at the tv screen while playing whatever video games were popular in the 80's. An experience I never actually had because I didn't hang out with kids who played video games, nor did I myself play them.

The thing is, it's a pretty entertaining game to watch others play, but only for about 15-20 minutes. Then it's just a sea of faces gazing at the television, not interacting with each other except to occasionally comment on the players' performances. I mean, the collective cheers, etc, are fun, but are no substitute for conversation. And it wouldn't be so bad for more than 15 minutes except that someone inevitably starts harassing me to get up and play. It's just about all the commitment I can muster to even watch my friends play! With the exception of playing Pong when I was 13 (about 10 years after it came out), I didn't play a video game until I was in my 20's. And by then I didn't really get it. Not to be a total dork, but I prefer pinball. And anyone who plays bocce with me can tell you how nervous I get under the pressure of that simple bar game! The last thing I'm going to do is get up in front 5-15 friends and play not just this video game for the first time, but any video game.

I don't care if anyone thinks I'm a total pussy. Even if they come up with a video game that simulates baking a beautiful, fluffy angel food cake, I won't want to play it. I don't like video games.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


There was an article in the NY Times about this organization called MomsRising.org. If you have a chance, please check out the article and the web site (or just the web site). It's a great grassroots organization that is doing increasingly important work for American women and families!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gilmore arc is confusing at best

Tonight's Gilmore Girls really felt like a return to something better; actually the past couple of episodes have seemed better. But then they show the clip for next week with Lane going in to labor and being wheeled in a bed through Stars Hollow and Jamie and I both just groaned. What the hell is wrong with those writers? Why can't they maintain some kind of plausible momentum for more than 2 or 3 episodes?

this one's for you, Mom

My mom has always loved Tina Turner. She's been below the radar in recent years, but I just saw this picture of her and she looks fantastic! And she's 67 years old! Way to go Ms. Turner......

Monday, February 19, 2007

We can discuss here, just not with my dad

My dad doesn't even know I have a blog, so hopefully he won't find this. I love him dearly, but he insists on sending me these outrageous, right-wing, utterly ridiculous rants that he gets from his Marine Corps pals. Other than just shake my head (and post it here), there is nothing to be done, in that I can't really discuss it with him. I tried a couple of times and even though he knows I completely disagree with him, he said that he felt he would not be doing his job as a father if he did not keep me "informed" about what was "really" going on. Eventually I learned to just ignore the emails, which are thankfully not too frequent.

Please pay special attention to the fact that this guy blames the Girls Gone Wild culture we live in on Bill Clinton's White House blowjobs. Doubtless, me favorite part of this whole thing. Enjoy! Oh, and the guy introducing the rant is not my dad, he was my dad's platoon leader on one of his Vietnam tours.

Dear friends, comrades, Patriots, brother Marines and Veterans of all branches of the military. Please read the following. I would ask that you too forward this to your friends, relatives and acquaintances and ask them to forward it to their friends, relatives and acquaintances etc.
We conservatives, patriots, Veterans must take a stand somewhere ...sometime.
Jim Cannon
Major USMC(Ret.)

Due to the thunderous applause that I received from the far-left over
the "I Am Tired" letter written by one of our troops in Iraq, I thought it
prudent to follow up with one last attempt to be very specific about what I
have observed and actually personally encountered during my 36 years of
service to this Great Country. Unlike Bob McClellan, I will not continue to
whine, twist and degrade our country's leaders on a weekly basis. Instead,
this will be a one time input attempting to reach some of those who are
confused by McClellan and his ilk's unethical rantings and give some insight
through my personal experience as a professional military officer over the
years. These examples are but a few. In real life there were many more which
space and time will not allow.
As a young fighter pilot, flying F-4s in Vietnam, I was stopped in my
tracks by the decisions made by Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara. I was
young and naive, but even then I knew their daily interference was wrong and
would not allow us to win this thing and go home. Decisions like not
allowing us to strike enemy aircraft while still on the ground, keeping real
targets off the target track, and allowing us to strike only rusted-out
trucks made us basically a toothpick factory. However, the big one for me
came the day I saw the President Lyndon Johnson on television, forcefully
lying to the American people. I'll never forget the language, "I want to
assure the American people that the United States of America has never, and
will never, bomb or use force inside the borders of Cambodia". On and on he
disavowed the reports that this was happening. I was amazed. Guess where I
had put several F-4 loads of 750 pound general purpose bombs every day for
the past five days. You guessed it, Cambodia!!! So much for Mr. Johnson. The
only question in my mind was simply, "Was it just Johnson or was it the
methodology of a particular political party?" I decided to delay answering
that question until more experience was gained.
Years passed, and I ignored politics as much as possible, as a good
military man should. Then came Jimmy Carter. Our young people don't remember
18% interest rates and 18% inflation, but I'll bet someone in your family
does. That is one really bad thing Carter did for our country, but it is not
the worst. During this period, I was an F-15 Squadron Commander, located at
Langley AFB, VA. Jimmy Carter and his democratic party stopped spare parts
procurement for almost every weapon system in our military, and diverted the
funds to social programs. The F-15 was brand new at the time with leading
edge technology designed to provide air superiority anywhere in the world on
a moments notice. That was my job. I loved it, but guess what? In a two year
period from 1979 to 1981, there was not one day when more than one-third of
my assigned aircraft were flyable It is amazing the lengths we went to in
those days, cannibalizing parts, expending twice the time and energy to fix
every little item, and still two-thirds of the birds were always broken
because of no spare parts. Had this country faced a really serious military
threat during that time frame, only Montana Hunters could have saved us. The
military had some equipment, but it was all broken. Do you want to know the
really bad part for me and the young fighter pilots working for me? Our
flying sortie rate was so low that pilot proficiency dropped to dangerous
levels. The accident rate tripled. That obviously was totally unacceptable,
as we were losing expensive airplanes and highly trained young pilots at a
rate comparable to losses seen in actual combat. All of a sudden, even a
Texas Aggie like me began
to see a trend.
Forward a few years to 1986. I am an F-16 Wing Commander at MacDill AFB,
Florida, and Ronald Regan is president. His change in attitude and policy
toward the military had time to fix the spare parts problem. We were flying
26,000 flying sorties per year out of MacDill AFB, my aircraft fully mission
capable rate (FMC) was above 90%, the aircraft accident rate was below 1.75
per hundred thousand flying hours, fighter pilots were flying and
proficiency levels were at an all time high. The United States Air Force was
ready to defend this Wonderful Country. Proof of the pudding is simple. Look
what the USAF, and the military in general, accomplished in Iraq during
Desert Storm. And, they did it in less than 100 hours. Yeah, at this point I
was starting to realize there was a difference in mentality between
Democrats and Republicans, or should I say, the Right and the Left.
Then, came everyone's favorite---Bill Clinton. If there ever was an
individual 180 degrees out of sync with the ideals and the values of the US
military, it was Clinton. He was a known draft dodger, military hating, self
absorbed, unspeakingly shameless and immoral individual, who the Left
managed to elect President of the United States of America. Clinton's antics
in the White House would have brought court martial, conviction, and
Dishonorable Discharge had he been a military member. We still suffer oral
sex on school buses, because the President told the world it wasn't real
sex, and some of our children believed him. It took a lot of years, but now
I became certain. There is a big difference in the right and the left on all
fronts, and for the first time I started feeling angry and shamed that the
majority of the American people were actually willing to vote for such an
Sometimes, an abstract such as the following tells the story in very
simple terms: Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, Ted
Kennedy, Howard Dean, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore, Tim
Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Nancy Pelosi, Barbra Boxer, John Kerry, Benedict
Arnold, and the list goes on. America, wake up. Giving in to the likes of
these people and Abraham Lincoln's prediction of destruction from within
just may come true. There is not a country in the world that can be
considered a conventional military threat to the United States today.
However, this country faces a new kind of threat---one that will not go
away. It is a threat even more serious than WWII, because money, industry
and technology will not defeat it. It is a threat of defeat from within. It
is a threat of a faltering economy because of a lack of resources, or the
even the simple threat of such a loss brought on by terrorism. It is a
threat created by the American people trusting the inept. It is a threat
created by the people wanting change, and perilously believing that the left
can successfully deliver that change. Have you seen anything from the left
that remotely resembles an answer to the Iraq situation? Have you seen
anything more than continued Bush-Bashing? Is that an answer? If there was
ever a need for a strong, well trained military, it is now. THE LEFT HAS
FAVORING SOCIAL PROGRAMS. We just cannot afford to
let that happen now. If we do, the entire country will be bowing to the east
several times a day within the next 50 years, maybe sooner.
Now a final thought meant to upset as many as possible on the far-left.
As you might guess, I don't believe in political correctness. So, let's look
at the facts, not far-left rhetoric attempting to empower the democratic
Initially, I was not a George Bush fan. I am not even a Republican. I
normally vote Republican, because of my total despise of Communism,
Socialism and the far-left in this country. I am a Conservative. However,
during his watch, I feel President Bush just happened to stumble upon the
leading edge of the greatest threat this country has ever faced. Mistakes
have been made, because of the newness of the threat. Overall, the President
has done a superb job dealing with the threat, and at the same time held off
the constant ranting, raving, deceitful and malicious escapades of the
far-left attempting to regain political power. IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME THE
THE TERRORIST!!!! The far-left is totally absorbed with the power struggle
and regaining control of congress. They could care less about defeating the
threat. It literally disgusts me to hear the constant disagreement with
everything the President tries to do, all in the name of trying to make him
look bad to the voters. Unfortunately, by the time the American people
really appreciate how bad the far-left really is, it may too late.
What are the real facts? On the home front this country's economy is the
strongest that it has been in my lifetime. Interest rates are as low as they
were when I was in high school forty years ago. Inflation does not exist for
all practical purposes. For you youngster's, please remember the Jimmy
Carter comments? The Dow is approaching 13,000. Unemployment is nonexistent.
Wages are at an all time high. Home ownership is at an all time high. Taxes
have been lowered to an almost acceptable level. Because of the surging
economy the deficit is under control and projected to go away far ahead of
schedule. The far-left is rich beyond its wildest dreams, so Mr. President
when are you going to "fix" all these domestic problems? Bob and George,
give me a break!!!!
On the war front this country has not been touched since 2001. I
remember being part of a seminar at the USAF War College in 1983 discussing
the terrorist threat. There were some good minds at that table and a lot of
disagreement. However, one common thought was that the US would be hit
within the next five years. Answers to the terrorist threat were just as
hard to come by then as they are now. Well, it took a little longer than the
projection, but the attack occurred. For an old military guy like me, the
main point here is that it has not happened again. We have suckered the bad
guys into entering the fight somewhere other than in our country. To hell
with political correctness. The President can't say this, but I sure can. I
smile every morning when I get up and realize that one of our great cities
has not been blown away. And, there is zero doubt in my mind that if we pull
out of Iraq prematurely, that will happen within a short period of time
after our departure. I don't care what you might think of President Bush
personally. He has done the best he can with what he has, and this country
is not smoking because of it. So, back off McLean and McClellan. You
honestly don't have a clue about what you are talking about. Call me, and I
will tell you what I really think.
I realize there are different points of view on war, and I do not
believe the meek will inherit the earth, at least not in the next few
hundred years. To those like McClellan, McLean, poor Eve Kyes and Sinowa
Cruz let me say, "This is a strong country!!!" It has survived the
uneducated thinking of the far-left before, and I'll just bet it will again.
Regardless of who is President, the people will not tolerate mass explosions
on a daily basis, as our good friends in Israel have been forced to do. To
protect that position of power, even Hillary will be forced to become a true
hawk. To guarantee a few more votes Ted Kennedy may be forced to begin
supporting a strong military. One more attack on America might even wipe the
giddy, 'I-am-finally-somebody' grin from Nancy Pelosi's face, and make her
realize that is not about votes and personal power. IT IS ABOUT PROTECTING

Jimmy L. Cash, Brig. Gen., USAF, Ret

Friday, February 16, 2007

Joe Rogan v. Carlos Mencia Slapdown

This video and it's aftermath is making it's way around the internet this week. I feel compelled to spread the gospel because I despise Carlos Mencia. Even without knowing the backstory (that Carlos Mencia is a well known bit stealer among comedians), I would not be too put out if was pushed under a bus. That said, he'll probably be pushed under a bus ala Lost and I will feel like shit. But anyone with half a brain can see that he sucks. I cringe any time the tv accidentally lands on his stupid Comedy Central show.

I am a huge fan of News Radio and as such, have a fondness for Joe Rogan, even though his character was the most weakly written on the show. But mostly I like that he is trying to expose Carlos Mencia (real name Ned!) for what he really is: an unfunny, uncreative little turd who skates by on other people's material. My favorite part is at the end of the video when Carlos says something like, "Do you know how hard it is to write jokes?" and Joe says something like "Yes, I do. But you don't!"

The unfortunate fallout from this whole thing is that Carlos Mencia managed to get Joe Rogan banned from the Comedy Store and dropped by their (shared) agent. The video is 10 minutes long, but worth watching. It's an interesting look into the world of stand up. Oh, and you can also read more about the fallout on Joe Rogan's website.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

the week's most 5 finger discounted books

There's always a fair amount of stealing going on in a store, but these are the most swiped books as of the past few weeks:

Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen (reserving your special place in hell)

The Master Cleanser by Stanley Burroughs (New Year's resolution purging)

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (save money & gain importance by stealing)

It's No Secret by Carmen Bryan (for the baby daddy lover in everyone)

All of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks (huh?)

best books ever

Been reading a lot, as usual, thanks to the commute and job perks. I may have mentioned previously that I was getting ready to read the new Dave Eggers, What Is the What. I know a lot of people are turned off by him these days and I can understand why. However, this book is not like his others. It's shelved in fiction, but is actually a biography. Per 'journalistic standards' , he couldn't justify it being kept in bios because the conversations being quoted were not on tape. Of course, they are officially undocumented because the main guy in the book was a war refugee in Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. This book was incredibly good; so much that I was nervous about whatever book I would read next, dreading the letdown.

Lucky for me, the letdown didn't come because the next book I read was doubtless the best work of fiction I've read in years. It's called Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamonda Ngozi Adichie. It's a story about the Nigerian civil war as told from the perspective of a Biafran family. Definitely an epic type novel, it covers a place and time in history that I knew very little about. Please, please, please, if you only read one piece of fiction this year, let Half of a Yellow Sun be it.

nobody wants a charlie in the box

Working in retail, a bookstore specifically, means that I work with a lot of overeducated people who cannot or will not function in a typical corporate environment (myself included on the environment part). Half of my coworkers are usually 15-45 minutes late every day. It gets very clique-y, resulting in over the top snubbings when there is a perceived slight. One woman spazzes out and cries whenever management requests she do something/anything.

But the most bizarre and entertaining of my coworkers is a man I work closely with every day. He is ostensibly a priest, in his mid-70's, but after about 2 months of getting to know him, I came to realize that whatever he may have been in an earlier phase of his life, he most certainly no longer is. He claims to be a priest, living in a convent in Chelsea. He says he is a medical doctor. He claims to have two academic PhDs (I'm not sure of the subjects). He arrives to work every day in a full habit. He is filled to the top with bitterness and drama, openly nursing unrequited crushes on straight men. And he happens to resemble Count Chocula. A lot.

He has some medical problems, namely Parkinson's, which lately has been getting more obvious and certainly more frustrating for him. Unfortunately, even with a genuine ailment, most everyone just humors him, since he daily says things like "I'll certainly be dead in a year" and "I don't have long to live". I've nicknamed him (to his face, of course) Fred, for Fred Sanford and started saying things like "Hold on Father, I'll go get Elizabeth". Of course, he isn't holding out for Elizabeth. His face lights up whenever the cute Chelsea boys come in to see him. That and our coworker that he has a h-u-g-e crush on. In the mornings when it's just Father and I, he talks about him non-stop. It's like being with a 13 year old girl, except weird and a little bit creepy.

So, for now, I'm naming the good Father my notable bookstore person of the week. I suggest that if you find yourself in Chelsea during the week, you stop by the religion section and take a look (animal in the zoo style?) at Count Chocula in the flesh.