Saturday, December 31, 2005

International Date Line Bonus

Happy New Year to all readers currently in 2006, as well as an early new years best wishes to all still in 2005. I far as I know, it's really the only bragging right the citizens of New Zealand have ... to be one of the first into the new year. Best wishes all.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Occupational Hazard?

Today, my wife had a doctors appointment that required an x-ray. The visit started off as any other; the check in, the wait in the reception area ... the wait in the reception area ... the wait in the reception area, and finally we went back to meet the x-ray technician before moving on to the doctor. I guess it's a standard question to ask every woman if there's a chance they may be pregnant before proceeding with x-rays. Well, one look at my wife and there is no doubt she has a bun in the oven for the last nine months. In other words, some women carry throughout their pregnancy in an discreet fashion ... my wife isn't one of those ... at all. I think a three year old would be able to put together she's pregnant, let alone a medical professional. Anyway, after hearing that question, I popped my head in the door of the x-ray room and said "I'll bet that makes you feel good Babe ... master of the obvious." Maybe the tech was just suffering the effects cumulative radiation exposure, or maybe she was just that dumb. Either way, it's scary to imagine that this individual distributes radiation to patients on a daily basis.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Wi-Fi Incident

With new Wi-Fi hot spots popping up everyday, the world of tethered computers may soon be a thing of the past altogether. Let's face it, computers are finally catching up to the "on the go" lifestyle that many live. And small business people have jumped right on board providing free wireless service to patrons. But, I heard a great story from my friend today that I just couldn't believe. It seems that the smallest Mom and Pop coffee shop, local malls, and countless other businesses offer complimentary Wi-Fi to accommodate their customers needs. My friend, who was staying in a major hotel chain in Philadelphia, informed me that there was a charge to use the wireless service ... IN THE LOBBY! He completely agreed that there should be a charge to access the internet in his room, that's a matter of convenience. But the lobby? Isn't that the same place where even bums off the street can get all the FREE coffee they want? I guess that some hotel reps forget that these Wi-Fi devices are portable, all one needs to do is just walk outside and hit someone else's router ... at no charge.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Dialing For Dollars

After receiving the 2006 phone book the other day, I noticed that yet again lawyers have managed to corner the market in phone book cover advertising. I find it incredibly hard to believe that these advertising attorneys reap the financial benefits of an advertising campaign of that magnitude. (Let's face it, I'm sure thousands of covers couldn't come cheap.) Come on ... really ... out of all the times you have reached for a phone book in your life to look up a number, how many of those was to retain counsel? Wouldn't it be a better idea to publish emergency number such as police, fire, and EMS ... something everyone could access quickly? Hell, even bus schedules would be more informative and useful. But if nothing else, the phone company should at least take the profits generated from theses advertisement sales ... and buy a higher quality paper to construct these books so they don't fall apart and tear the second time you use them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

... Lending A Helping Hand

I live pretty close to monument that carries a quite morbid honor. The PA turnpike has a bridge that towers 180 feet (without sidewalks, only a mere concrete barrier to prevent anything from falling) over a major five lane state highway. And, unfortunately, has been a site that many are attracted to for a self extrication from life. After several years of multiple jumpers throughout the year, the turnpike commission decided that something needed to be done to stop the pattern. So about seven years ago, some yahoo came up with the idea of putting a total of four (two on each side) "crisis phones" that would be self destructors could pickup and be in touch with the county emergency dispatcher. Other than the occasional broke down motorist calling in ... they didn't work. Next, and the newest brainstorm, was to add a 15' high chain link fence that spans the length of the entire bridge to deter flight seekers. After spending millions of dollars on the project to update the bridge, the only advantage I can see ... is for the jumper. As if the 180 feet wasn't enough, the turnpike commission has now made the fall 15 feet higher ... to ensure the job is done right. How thoughtful.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Easy Entertainment Business ... Or An Easily Entertained Business

Although many musicians call themselves "artists", I would beg to differ. Has anyone else noticed an increase in recycled music? More and more bands seem to be following the trend of doing their own rendition of a song that created by someone else. By definition an "artist" is; One, such as a painter, sculptor, or writer, who is able by virtue of imagination and talent or skill to create works of aesthetic value, especially in the fine arts. Where's the "virtue of imagination"? If you or I passed off someone's words as our own ... it's called plagiarism. And Hollywood has followed the uncreative example of the music industry by giving old movies such as King Kong, Oceans 11, and the Untouchables (just to name a few) a technological facelift, added new movie stars ... but they are still the same movies. Are the audiences as unoriginal as the performers? Is that the problem?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Take time to spend this holiday with the family and friends you love; by eating too much, and watching "A Christmas Story" countless times on TBS (there's just something about that movie ... no matter how many times you watch, it never gets old.) To all those that receive these posts via email and won't get it until tomorrow ... just consider these holiday best wishes incredibly early for 2006. Thank you to all who either pop in once and a while or are regulars, I appreciate you taking the time to visit my site. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Patriot Act: Nothing More Than Unconstitutional Spying

Although the Patriot Act was more than likely initially designed with homeland security in mind, I cannot help but feel that it's push through congress immediately after September 11 was nothing short of politicians taking advantage of a country that wanted nothing more than revenge. Many Americans were willing to sacrifice a small amount of personal freedoms, in order to be able to strike a blow back to the parties responsible for attacking us. Although I personally had opposed it from the start, I understand the logic many used to endorse it ... but isn't that why we have a CIA, FBI, and NSA? But now that the dust has settled, and public interest has gone elsewhere, (like coping with home heating bills) the Act is about to expire and is currently seeking another approval on the floor of congress. How many real terrorists have we caught from enabling the government to toss aside our personal rights? I watch the national news almost every night, and don't recall any. But, it is comforting to know that when I get bored, all I need to do for entertainment is call someone and say words like; bomb, anthrax, VX, nerve gas, nuke, WMD, hazardous materials, or anything of that sort and know that someone, somewhere, is listening. Try it, we'll be on the same suspect list together. Perhaps, in the name of homeland security, we should also allow unwarranted searches of people's homes ... just because we have a hunch there may be something illegal in there. My point is; Where does it stop? Where do we as citizens draw the line? All this in the name of national safety ... nah, give me a break. Just another chance for the government to get into your life ... that's all. For crying out loud, the Brits have found more terrorists in their country than we have.

Click here to weigh in on this topic at the "Is It Me?" forum.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Little Consideration Goes A Long Way

Has anyone else ever noticed that so many others feel the need to yell at people that are deaf? Why? What is the point of raising your voice to someone that cannot hear it? Obviously, the speaker knows the listener is deaf ... or they wouldn't be yelling in the first place. With that amount of thoughtlessness, it's kind of like asking your blind friend if he likes your new wallpaper. Because humans are resourceful by nature, many individuals suffering from hearing impairment have learned to read lips and body language well enough to understand what someone is saying to them without any difficulty. So, with that in mind, it makes perfect sense to speak more slowly, and ensure your words are clearly projected from your mouth. Remember, even though people are deaf, they do know when you're yelling at them ... they can feel the vibration of your voice.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Taking A Bite Out Of Crime?

As I meandered my car around the parking lot of the mall attempting to find or force my way into a space, I was overtaken by an immense amount of flashing blue lights five rows away. So, I just had to go see what was creating such a visual spectacle. It turns out that mall security apparently has a special "Mall Security" (as quoted from the cheap magnetic sign haphazardly slapped onto the door of a old Geo) vehicle to use for patrols of the parking lot. Due to the extreme amount of shopping taking place this time of year, patrolling the parking lots for thieves, carjackers, pickpockets, and whatever else only makes sense. But putting security officers in a vehicle that is brighter than the northern lights, really defeats the purpose of a patrol at all. If the criminals can see where your at ... they'll just wait until you leave. Crooks may be dishonest by nature, but they're by no means stupid ... or blind for that matter.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Another Case Of Importance Due To Self Benefit?

I happened to catch a story on the local news today, that again left me questioning people's motives. A local six year old boy needed a liver transplant due to an illness that rendered his to function at minimal levels. The family did everything they could, fund raisers, benefit dinners, you name it. But no donor was ever found, and the boy unfortunately passed away. The news clip I saw had an interview with the mother and grandmother, and both (for obvious reasons) were using the media coverage as a chance to heighten public awareness of the organ donation program, and also stress to viewers that although it's a very difficult decision for families to make ... another family somewhere will be eternally grateful. I was quite sympathetic, until the grandmother piped in about how nobody should ever take their organs to the grave ... they'll just be wasted. Huh ... did I hear that right? Well I got news for you granny ... they are my organs to waste!!! I wonder if grandma is currently enrolled in any organ donation programs? And if so, was organ donation that important to her before her grandchild was born? I'll bet not.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

My Inbox Is Busting At The Seams With Medication And Mortgage Offers

Although I am not a pill popper, I can understand why these offers keep coming and coming. Ever since society has set forth the notion to pharmaceutical companies that there is no reason (with the technology available today) that anyone ... anywhere ... ever should get sick, there are now medications on the market for everything. (With that kind of workload, I'm glad I don't work there. I'd tell all these whiners with the sniffles to toughen up and quit their bellyaching.) For some reason, I guess many people have forgotten their own mortality. Living organisms contract illnesses ... it's been that way since the beginning of time. Inconvenient ... absolutely, but it's a basic fact of life. And on another note, if I get one more mortgage offer via email I'm going to scream! To those of you who insist on mailing this garbage, let me give you some free advise; Supposing your a legitimate mortgage broker, if your rates and plans were really that good, you wouldn't stoop to sending unprofessional looking, generic emails to attract customers ... the customers would find you! Unfortunately, when I fire up my spam filter, I miss emails sent via this site and I enjoy hearing from readers either by comment page or email ... so I am forced to put up with the spam.

Monday, December 19, 2005

An Obvious Last Minute Late Night Post

"A man will fight harder for his interests than his rights" - Napoleon Bonaparte

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Honestly ...Which Carries A Bigger Ripple Effect?

Today, while watching Frosty the snowman with my four year old nephew, something in the movie caught my eye. No, it wasn't the fact we were watching a naked snowman frolic around the winter countryside with a bunch of children (which some may consider an act of indecentcy), it was the idea that a cartoon character had a pipe in his mouth. Oh my ... imagine the impact on the children viewers. The kids will be lining up at every smoke shop around to get their very own corn cob pipe because Frosty had one. (In other words ... the Joe Camel effect.) What's more amazing is that the same people that insist that these cartoon characters subconsciously lure kids to tobacco, buy their children video games that promote nudity, violence, and a complete disrespect for the law. I guess society is happier with kids having corrupted morals and warped realities rather than bad lungs.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

All In The Family

After spending the evening at a family dinner, it occurred to me why so much food is prepared for such an event ... to keep everyone's mouth full! You can't argue and fight with a full mouth. This new theory may help to shed some light on the true origins of Thanksgiving, and paint a better picture about Christmas dinner as well. Although advice on how you should live your life is always free from relatives, perhaps some should take a more in depth look at their own before offering pointers to others. To all who may read this please try to keep in mind, that to your fellow family members, helpfulness in always appreciated ... directions are not. Sometimes, people need to pave their own way ... regardless of what's ahead.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Travel Guides ... Nah, Take Advice From Someone Who Has Actually Been There

Has anyone else ever wondered if travel agents and various travel representatives have any clue what they're selling you? Sure, they'll tell you what areas to go to ... and what sights to see, that's fine. But to truly experience the culture of your travel destination, you need to get off the beaten tourist path. Personally, I hate being shuffled around like cattle at every tourist trap in town. Give me a back alley pub or the local restaurant, I need to meet local people and learn about this place from those who live here everyday ... not take home cheesy posed pictures of myself standing in front of every landmark in the city. After all, wasn't that the reason for the trip ... to make memories? I have found such a blog that is full of vacation plans, advice, and interesting bits of information about many popular destinations. puts together a generous amount of travel plans, while keeping in mind that nothing beats the true local experience.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Winter Olympics: The SUV Vs. POS

Today's weather in the northeast has not been so good, we have been getting a heavy dose of snow ... then some sleet and freezing rain ... and little more snow in conjunction with strong gusty winds. Basically, it looks like old man winter threw up in my backyard. What perplexes me about winter storm weather, is that 90% of the vehicles I see that spin off the road and get stuck are SUV's. How humbling it must be to have a $35,000 top of the line four wheel drive SUV with all the bells and whistles ... being pulled out by a tow truck, as I scoot by in my piece of junk, rusted out, mosquito killing "heep".

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

There's More To Life Than Work

I came across something in this mornings newspaper that troubled me some. When I got to the obituary page, I couldn't help but notice one that particularly stood out. This write up started as most do, and said what most say ... but had an interesting ending, "He was a hard worker". At first I thought the family felt as though this was a chance to honor the man for all he accomplished in life, and thank him for being the fruitful provider that he was. And, more than likely, that was the intent. But that statement got me thinking, after living an entire life ... that's all that can be said about me? I'm a hard worker? Not; gave selflessly to the community, made people smile with his off the wall humor, would help total strangers for the sake of helping, loved his family and friends more than himself, etc. Nope ... "hard worker". Donkeys are hard workers too ... where does that get them? All of us have so much to offer to so many while we live ... do we really want to be remembered as "hard workers"? Personally, I find it rather insulting.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The "Nascar Effect"

For some time I have noticed a trend that seems to be getting more and more popular. For whatever reason, when I'm driving down the road everyone always pulls out in front of me ... right in front of me ... like I almost broadside them. At first, I figured my driving habits were too fast and aggressive, so I slowed down and the problem got worse. After some time I realized that whenever it happened, there was never a car behind me ... never. They just had to get in front. One day I even cracked a joke about it, "Well, it looks like he got his five bonus points for leading a lap" I said to my wife. Has society gotten so fast paced that even when we drive, psychologically speaking, there is a overwhelming need to be in front? Seriously, try it. Take a look in your mirror the next time a fellow motorist darts out in front of you ... I'll bet it's empty.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Brokeback Mountain: Hollywood Must Have Hit Bottom

I know I've gone off before about media outlets such as the news, filmmakers, and television attempting to slam societal diversity down everyone's throat, so open wide ... here comes another helping. Brokeback Mountain seems to be all the buzz in the entertainment world today. From what I gather, the movie is about two cowboys that somehow fall in love with each other. I only caught a short snippet of the promotional clips, but that was plenty enough for me to see that this "Oscar hopeful" will probably be nothing more than a chic flick. Personally, I think gay people have only recently gained enough social acceptance to live a normal life, finally not having to endure discrimination and persecution for their lifestyle. And just when the rewards of hard work are starting to pay off ... some yahoo in Hollywood, who needs to put a good selling picture together, chooses to showcase a still quite touchy subject and rekindle anger and misunderstanding. Way to go ... I hope you make millions, because you may have just single handedly pushed many back into the closet ... permanently. Do I support gays ... no. In my opinion, I find it completely disgusting ... for either gender. But, I do support personal rights and freedoms for all to live as they choose and it angers me to see so many, that have fought so hard, sometimes only getting inches at a time, risk getting thrown back 20 feet for the sole purpose producing a controversial film in the hopes of winning an Oscar.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I Think That Many People Are Just Missing The Point Altogether

I guess the PC machine is in overdrive this time of year due to many religion's big day(s) right around the corner. What's truly amazing to me is that the simple kind gesture, such as saying Merry Christmas, can spark such a controversial debate about political correctness. The bottom line is that no matter which denominational phrase was said, it was intended to be an act of kindness and good will ... not a subliminal subconscious assault on your religious beliefs. For crying out loud ... get over yourselves. Is it really that easy to get some people all torqued up? Maybe we should take this "holiday season" one step further, as to not infringe upon anyone's personal religious practices. Why not invent a special national handshake that can only be used from December 1 - January 15. That way everybody can give politically correct, and consequently impersonal, best wishes without ever saying a word ... and nobody's feelings get hurt. Problem solved.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

House Flipping Or Waiting For A Sucker?

Millions of people are hooked on t.v. shows like TLC's Trading Spaces and While You Were Out. These home improvement programs ultimately paved the way for house flipping shows like Flip This House. I do enjoy watching all of these programs, however a thought crossed my mind the last time I tuned in to Flip This House. Having a construction background, I couldn't help but feel as though this company that buys old dilapidated properties and fixes them up for a profit mirrors the qualities of Leave It To Beaver, in the construction business because everything always work out in the end. I mean, "slambanging" a house together on an extremely tight budget, coupled with an unrealistic time frame to accomplish the work, could never yield a profit on every property ... impossible! I'll bet the average John Q. Public who watches this might even attempt to try this stunt for themselves in a vain effort to reap a profit ... and go bankrupt in the process.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Anger Management: Creating A Society Of Robots?

I've often heard about people being sent to anger management class, for whatever reason (due to the curriculum ... sometimes it's better not to ask why), and never really gave much thought about it. Until the other day when a guy I know told me that he had to attend such classes by a court order. Well since he wanted to bring it up, inquiring minds wanted to know. Apparently, he came home and found his wife "busy" with another man. My friend, who stands about 6'8" tall and weighs in at about 260 pounds, made quick work of the guy borrowing his bed (and wife). And somehow in the judicial process, he ended up the bad guy for fighting and had to serve a short stay in the county joint, see a therapist once a week for two years, and partake in anger management classes for two years. As for the wife borrower, he filed a claim against my friend and received an undisclosed amount of money ... and yes, the two are still together. But, my point is; Who wouldn't go off the deep end in this scenario?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

And People Were Worried About Scissors

Yesterday in Miami Florida, two air marshals shot and killed a passenger that was running through an airplane yelling he had a bomb. And today, every bleeding heart that kind find an ear to listen is crying about how this killing was unjust because the man suffered from a mental illness. (He was supposedly Bipolar ... just like every other moody person out there that needs to be labeled with a mental disorder so they have an excuse to snap at a moments notice without consequences. Get real shrinks, you guys went to school for a long time to earn a degree in psyco dyco whatever it is you do ... at least invent a new condition, rather than keep using the same old ones over and over.) First of all, I would like to say it is always a tragedy when anyone dies ... even from natural causes. But when an unruly passenger ignores multiple commands from an identified federal agent and continues to threaten all members of the flight, and possibly people in the airport, things need to be taken to the next level. The Air Marshals acted in the best interest of the greater good.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Pets are not the only ones that suffer from separation anxiety. I have recently noticed that vehicles traded in for newer models also succumb to such behavior. Only a few short days after the owner leaves "old faithful" abandoned at the car lot, she will quickly be stricken with an overwhelming depression. Such depression is often displayed as lethargic and labored movement of any sort. Finally, an explanation as to why used car dealers always seem to have battery chargers on their fine used automobiles. They obviously don't want to spent the 60 bucks for a new battery because when the vehicle meets it's new parents, the problem will miraculously go away.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Shut Up And Take It Like A Man Saddam

Saddam Hussein appeared in court today to be tried for the killing of 140 men in 1982. The former leader of Iraq obviously felt as though the trial was somewhat unfair and stated; "I will not be in a court without justice. Go to hell, all you agents of America," How ironic this statement is coming from a man (that if the situation were reversed) would have had the defendant, spouse, parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, pets, and anyone else who remotely knew them killed immediately. This may explain why the five witnesses opted to be hidden from sight and have their voices electronically altered to prevent any possible identification. But yet, this doesn't explain why this trial is taking place. I still can't believe that no GI's bumped him off.

Monday, December 05, 2005

When An Extraordinarily Busy Day Allows You No Time To Post ... You Write Things Like This

Doesn't expecting the unexpected make the unexpected become the expected?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Not In My Backyard

Today, a man from Arkansas scaled the perimeter fence that surrounds the White House. Secret Service agents quickly apprehended the trespasser, who will face charges of unlawful entry for attempting to get on the grounds without permission. The part that I find interesting, is that we invade the country of Iraq because we have nothing more than a hunch that illegal weapons may be stockpiled there. And then, attempt to sell the notion of creating a democratic society there ... since we're already in town. Yet, back in the USA, our country's leader is so intangible to the average citizen that nobody, other persons of the presidents choosing (like the Girl Scout who sold the most cookies in the country this year), have any chance of ever getting the opportunity of expressing their concerns to the Commander in Chief. Democratic society huh?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Hospitals Now Offer Drive-Thru Service

My friend works as an emergency room nurse at a local hospital. The other day, he told me a story that was an absolute side splitter; One Saturday night, an elderly lady wasn't feeling very well so she called her doctor. The doctor told her to go to the emergency room and get checked out ... so that's what she did. Upon arriving at the hospital, she carefully drove her car into the ER ... literally! The emergency room has an ambulance entrance with doors that open automatically via motion sensors to facilitate loading and unloading of patients that require emergent transportation. Although this particular entrance is off limits to the general public, there is a sign above the auto doors that reads "Emergency Room" and underneath in much smaller letters says "ambulance entrance". When the woman was questioned as to why she drove her car into the ER, she stated "I thought the ambulances came in through here, and my doctor told me to get to the ER." Yes this wrong turn is quite funny, but it raises several questions to me about senior citizens operating motor vehicles. If a person cannot see, hear, has terrible reaction time, and is on who knows what kind of medication, why are they allowed to drive? As a country, we all want safer roads and will stop at nothing, even invading personal rights, to get drunks off the road. But yet who knows how many blind, deaf, and drugged up elderly travel the same roads you and I do everyday ... and that doesn't bother anyone.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Just Step Right Up ... You'll Get Yours Next

I found this (click here to read Fox news report) disturbing ... not the fact that once again an obvious insanity plea is right around the corner (because nobody is ever responsible for what they do), but rather one man took on four people and nobody stopped him. My guess would be that man swinging a 2 1/2 foot metal pipe would only be able to inflict a blow to one person at a time. Therefore, the three others had time to either; get out of the way and seek help, launch a coordinated defensive counter attack, or just do nothing. After reading the story, I'm getting the feeling that nothing was easier than something.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I Thought Whoever Signed The Paycheck Was The Boss

In the past few weeks, congress has held hearings about drug usage in major league sports, and basically threatened that if no actions were taken to resolve these issues laws would be passed to implement the changes needed to correct the problem. I agree that, for some reason, celebrities are exempt from laws that the rest of us must abide by, or receive reduced sentences because of their "social status". Some lawmakers believe that the individuals who abuse these substances set a terrible example for everyone who enjoys sports ... and of course, all politicians are model citizens. Perhaps major league sports should sponsor a pre-game informational seminar for event spectators on money laundering, spousal infidelity, taking payoffs, and nepotistical hiring practices ... and demand that all congressional representatives enact a social code of conduct for themselves, or the voters will.