Saturday, July 29, 2006

Vacation Getaway

Sorry, there no posts for the next couple days. I am taking a much needed holiday.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Useless Trivia Fact #6

The oldest person ever to be issued a driver's license in the U.S. was 109.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Oh Baby, You're In Trouble Now

The new cover picture for babytalk magazine featuring a nursing baby at its mother's breast has caused quite a stir across the country. A recent poll shows that when 4,000 readers were asked if they thought the picture was appropriate or inappropriate, one quarter of them voted against it being proper material for the front cover. One mother, who didn't like the cover at all, stated she shredded it so that her thirteen year old son would not see it. aripb"P0-8b ... sorry, I fell of the chair I was laughing so hard. C'mon lady ... if you feel that a nursing baby is something that a 13 year old boy must be forbidden to see, you may be a bit overdue with the birds and the bees talk with your kid! Oh that's right ... let me guess ... your son is the wholesome young man that always says his prayers every night before bed, never gets into trouble, and is captain of the chess club (the old, "my son would never do that" mother). In today's world of over the top sexually explicit television (yes, even the networks), radio, and even video games ... why does something as natural as a breast feeding baby on the cover of *gasp* baby magazine send everyone into a panic? Last time I checked, I don't recall anyone up in arm over a Victoria's Secret catalog.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It's A Big World Out There

A recent report figures that 64% of American are overweight or obese, and the problem is worsening. In fact, doctors across the country are experiencing more difficulty in correctly diagnosing patients because of their size. I read an article today that claims diagnostic equipment that use x-rays and sound waves in many cases has not been able to penetrate patients that have a high concentration of fat tissue, and worse yet ... excessively large patients will not fit into specialized scanners such as an MRI machine. How embarrassing ... you go for an MRI and need the Fire Department, a MRI field tech mechanic, and three in house maintenance men to get you out. I wonder if a two-ton chain fall or come-a-long are offered as optional equipment when you purchase such a device? Anyway my point is, fat people (with a rare few medical exceptions) have nobody to blame but themselves for their extreme size, put down the quarter pounder and eat sensibly. Why must the rest of the country accommodate these over eaters? Rather than manufacture a super size MRI machine, why not just tell them "Sorry, you can't be scanned until you can safely fit inside the machine."? Here's my prediction; You can bet your life some fatty mcnuggets will be suing an equipment manufacturer because they couldn't be properly diagnosed by their doctor due to the fact they couldn't fit into the machine ... and they'll probably win the lawsuit! What a country.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'll Take Arrogant Cocky Contestants For $200 Alex

Although the game show Jeopardy isn't among the t.v. shows that are on the hot topic list around the water cooler, back in 2004 Ken Jennings had the entire country glued to their sets every night. Some watched Ken mercilessly blast away his competitors for seventy four consecutive episodes every night because they believed he was invincible, while others tuned in hoping to see his record setting streak come to a grinding halt. Simply put, Ken Jennings was like Michael Bolton ... people either love him or hate him, there is no in between (I happen to be one of those people that solely watched the show to see Ken go down in flames.) Anyway, Ken Jennings' total take home from the show during his reign from June 2 to November 30 was $2,522,700, quite an astonishing performance to say the least. But unfortunately, as do all people with superior intelligence complexes, when show and tell time has ended and your captive audience has left, the owner of the big brain is yet again left to feel under appreciated and misunderstood by all. What would any genius do in a case like this ... put yourself back in the spotlight by any means possible. So millionaire Ken has decided to public trash Jeopardy about their set design, host ... even the viewing audience is not immune from his wrath. Hey Ken ... America watched you on the show not because of your vast knowledge base, but rather as commonplace entertainment. If you're looking for people to pat you on the back about how smart you are ... join Mensa.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking at the Democratic Leadership Council in Denver Colorado, is attempting to appeal to middle class voters by saying the Bush administration has "made a mess out of the country's finances". Well, for once I agree with Senator Clinton, although I really can't quite understand this new found compassion for the working class. After serving five terms (20 years) in the Arkansas governor's mansion with her husband Bill, she then claimed residency in the White house for two more terms (8 years), and only after that was she responsible for owning, maintaining, and paying a mortgage (or probably just buying outright) on a property like the rest of us. Although lines such as "A lot of Americans can't work any harder, borrow any more or save any less" or "These ideas will make sure every American will get a fair wage, access to college and home ownership and a path out of poverty and into the middle class." sound great when seeking a presidential nomination, the truth is us poor working saps see right through this political propaganda. Face it Hillary ... you'll never really know what it's like to have to scrape up the money every month just to pay the bills and keep food on the table. Yes, your duty as a politician (in theory) is a noble one indeed, and doing the work of the people (again ... in theory) is truly honorable calling. But, the difference between you and I is that everyday when I look in the mirror (that I bought ... by the way) I see a self made American who through hard work and perseverance earned what little I do have, and didn't do it on the backs of the American taxpayer. So before you shout your battle cry for working middle class families, consider who you see in your mirror ... and where that mirror came from.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Completely Powerless

The natives are getting restless in Queens, New York after an estimated 25,000 Con Ed customers lost power during last weeks heat wave. "If this were an area of 100,000 people in upstate New York, the governor would have declared it a disaster area.", said Rep. Joe Crowley, (D) N.Y. at a news conference in the borough of Queens, which officials often complain is overlooked. NYC Mayor Bloomberg stated that Con Ed personnel are working around the clock to restore power as soon as possible, and also went on to say that the city planned to reimburse small businesses for up to $7,000 in perishable losses and that an emergency loan fund would be announced within a few days. Although the intentions are good (I guess), $7,000 for lost perishables to small business owners who may not have insurance for lost goods, does nothing than offer a bit of humor in a time of disaster. As for the establishment of an emergency loan fund, bureaucratic red tape will more than likely tie up the funding that businesses need to get up and running again ... if it surfaces at all. I'm personally amazed that the estimated 25,000 people haven't yet rioted on the doorstep on Con Ed, after paying those ridiculous charges on their bills marked "line maintenance" and "connection fees" and finding out absolutely none of that money has gone to upgrade their service in any way.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Extending A Hand In Friendship

A Michigan man found guilty of driving without insurance last December found himself back in court this week facing charges the of one count of assaulting a police officer and two counts of assaulting a public officer. John Curtis Ridgeway was seen opening a vile of an unknown substance and rubbing it on his hands shortly before shaking hands of the arresting police officer, bailiff, and assistant prosecutor during his December jury trial. All three reportedly felt ill within an hour, and suffered nausea, headaches, numbness, and tingling for about twenty four hours causing two of the three to seek medical attention at the hospital. Ridgeway testified that the substance was olive oil, and he used it to anoint "corrupt buildings" because it was meant to rid the buildings of demons. Mr. Ridgeway was acquitted of the assault charges against him. I found this story incredibly ironic because so many people are so health conscience about every aspect of their lives, yet something so simple as the possibility of a contaminated handshake is overlooked so many times on a daily basis. Anointing corrupt buildings my doopa ... this was a carefully thought out plan for revenge.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Welcome To The U.S.A.: Independent Thinking Strictly Prohibited

Kevin Barrett, a University of Wisconsin-Madison instructor, has come under fire from lawmakers for publicly speaking his theory that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were an inside job orchestrated and commanded by the Vice President Dick Cheney. A letter signed by 61 state and federal legislators condemned the University for allowing Mr. Barrett's continued employment and further went on to urge that the university terminate him immediately. Although I completely disagree with Kevin Barrett's outlandish and unsubstantiated claim, he has a right to peacefully express his views on any forum he sees fit. If people don't like what he has to say ... don't listen, it's that simple. Furthermore, our lawmakers (who obviously need to take a refresher class in American History ... specifically The Bill of Rights) have no business attempting to reprimand someone for having a point of view that differs from their own. It really seems to be the norm with this presidential administration anymore ... if someone says what you don't want to hear, round up a posse of cronies and take 'em down. Wake up people ... if citizens of this country are forbidden to speak their opinions freely without consequence, we're well on our way toward a dictatorship.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Now THAT'S Entertainment

This mornings news came as no surprise, Micheal Jackson is yet again involved in another lawsuit. Marc Schaffel, one of Jackson's former business associates, claims that Michael allegedly owes him a considerable sum of money (it's hard to tell how much it really is because the amount keeps changing in court documents) for various expenses ranging from production fees to personal loans. Like just about everyone else, I consider Michael Jackson to be nothing more than a washed up has been pop star who just can't seem to grasp the fact he is a washed up has been pop star ... he is, and always will be, a legend in his own mind. In other words, I can't think of anyone who would even cross the street to meet him ... even if he was handing out one hundred dollar bills with every handshake. Yet (oddly enough) everywhere in the world he goes, scores of people turn up to publicly pledge their love and support to him. The only thing I can figure, is that they MUST be on the payroll. Let's face it, for the last couple years the only public attention he has been getting is the seemingly endless supply of jokes about his young "friends", his "natural" discoloration, and his "non surgical" alien-like physical transformation over the years. His musical career may be over, but he is still very much an entertainer alright.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Making Memories

In an attempt to boost revenue, starting this September US Airways plans to sell advertising space on air sickness bags. Honestly, I found the barf bag advertising idea to be quite brilliant. I can't remember the last billboard I passed driving down the highway or even recollect what t.v. commercials were on during the last round of commercial breaks, but I can remember exactly the last time I got airsick ... even 14 years later, I can still recall what the bag smelled like (empty). No mystery here, the key to advertising is getting the would be consumer to remember your product. Just like how the "I've fallen and I can't get up!" lady, or the ever popular "Freedom Rock" music compilation have been forever etched in our minds, not because of their everyday usefulness or enormous contributions to society, but rather because the advertising commercials were so bad they were funny. Some companies, such as motion sickness medicine manufacturers, have been considering advertising on these barf bags ... what better way to convince someone to use your product. But think of the possibilities here, for a fair price pictures could be printed on the inside bottom ... who wouldn't like to fill one up if Jeff Gordon's picture was there? Personally, I would purposely print "Is It Me?" upside down ... a surefire way to make an indelible impression.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Money Laundering 101 Or Dye Trying

I just can't get enough of stupid people doing stupid things ... here is yet another fine example of idiots at their best. Anthony Digiosaffatte and Paul Villanueva stole $65,000 at gunpoint from a bank in Queens, New York. During the heist, they specified to the bank employees not to insert, or attempt to insert, any dye packs into their loot. With no such luck, the packs exploded shortly after leaving the bank therefore making the money completely useless ... or so one might think. You see, these guys aren't your typical bank robbers ... they're much smarter than all the others out there. These two guys checked into a motel, put the money in a mesh bag (the kind used for machine washing delicate clothes), and proceeded to put it through an extensive amount of repetitive wash cycles in the hopes of cleaning off the dye. Authorities had no trouble finding these MENSA candidates, and they are currently being held without bail.

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's All About Information ... Not Financial Restoration

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is testing a pilot program that will deliver warnings of eminent natural disasters, hazards to public safety and well-being, and terrorist strikes via text message to wireless devices, cable TV channels, satellite radio, and traditional broadcast outlets seamlessly all at once. "Anything that can receive a text message will receive the alert." Homeland Security Department spokesman Aaron Walker said. This new system is expected to be up and running by the end of next year. The possibility of alerting citizens to life threatening situations almost immediately on a national, but yet personal, level is a remarkable feat indeed. I just wish that much attention and effort would go into seeing that all citizens would get their income tax returns in a timely fashion ... I'm still waiting.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Tools Needed For Big Business

General Motors and Renault-Nissan top brass met Friday to discuss the possibility of a corporate merger. Not to be undone, Toyota has reportedly also been wheeling and dealing to win the affections of GM also, and head off their competition at the pass by landing a business deal first. Many business analysts are still trying to speculate what such a large scale corporate merger would do to the worldwide automotive industry, not to mention the ripple effect such a deal would have on the U.S. economy. Considering the sizable impact this will undoubtedly have on all of our lives, the American public will almost certainly demand immediate answers from the new multinational conglomerate ... starting with: Which set of sockets will fit these new cars, metric or standard?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

History Really Does Repeat Itself

During a joint news conference with President Bush and President Putin on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Russia, Bush raised his concerns about the state of democracy in Russia. In a last chance public rebuttal press interview afterwards, President Bush stated "I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world, like Iraq where there's a free press and free religion, and I told him that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia would do the same". Mr. Bush's statement was said in response to Mr. Putin's public reply at the conference where he said "We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy that they have in Iraq, quite honestly." I'm starting to feel sorry for President Bush, I really don't think he has a clue that a good majority of the world is not in favor of his push to force our political structure and views on everyone one country at a time. If I recall correctly, such a tactic laid the groundwork for a world war.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Useless Trivia Fact #5

The Statue of Liberty's fingernails weigh (on average) 100 pounds each.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hazleton Housecleaning

Just down the road in Hazleton, PA, Mayor Lou Barletta has submitted legislation (that is tonight being voted on by city council) that is making the national spotlight. The proposed ordinance is an attempt to crack down on illegal immigrants living and working within the city limits. The new law would focus on shutting down businesses that hire illegal immigrants, impose $1,000 fines on landlords who rent to them, and make English the city's official language. Some residents, particularly the Latino communities, are very upset about the pending ordinance citing that it is nothing more than discrimination, and have been holding demonstrations outside city hall for the last few days. What every needs to keep in mind is that the key word here is "illegal immigrants", not Hispanic, not Latino, not Chinese, and not Russian. The Mayor's plan is not to single out on any particular group, he's just trying to rid the city of illegal residents ... you know ... illegal, as in not legally here ... as in entering this country against the laws in which we are all bound. Good for you Mayor Lou Barletta, it's great to finally see someone in politics who has a spine and is not afraid to use it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Nobody Is Safe From Evil Plots

Yet another report from yesterday's newspaper. After the recent heavy rainfall experienced (8.88 inches within a 36 hour time frame) from the last big storm that passed through the area, 16 dams of small lakes, streams, and tributaries made it to the critically wounded list in the Lackawanna County and are in need of immediate repair. After hearing such a proclamation, the public wanted to know which sites were in danger of failing so proper measures to save their property could be taken until repairs have been made. The counties response ... they are not willing to disclose that information because (get this) it is a matter of national security. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried! Apparently, there must be some rogue terrorist cell out there somewhere in the county just waiting for such crucial strategic information to leak out so they can deliver a crippling blow of flooded cellars and ruined home gardens to about fifty people, bringing all of the citizens of Lackawanna County to their knees begging for mercy.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Time To Color Up And Cash Out

In this mornings local newspaper, I read that Congress is attempting to pass legislation that would prevent credit card companies from paying charges made by their customers to online gambling sites and online casinos. The article went on to say that charges applied toward legalized and monitored gambling establishments, such as horse tracks, would be allowed to continue to collect credit card payments. Proponents of this bill say its intention is to curb off shore based online gambling that is not monitored or regulated. Personally, it sounds like a classic case of sour grapes to me ... if Uncle Sam can't make a buck on it somehow, Uncle Sam makes it illegal. Although I really do appreciate lawmakers in Washington caring so deeply about my personal financial well being, the fact remains it's MY MONEY (that by the way ... I already paid taxes on) AND I'LL SPEND IT HOW I CHOOSE ... after all, I EARNED IT! I'm sure that every bleeding heart out there could recite facts and figures about how gambling is an addiction and how the American nuclear family would be ripped apart at the seams because the family homestead is in foreclosure and Mom just can't stop putting down $100 a hand at the online blackjack table, but hey ... you can't save 'em all ... they made their bed ... get over it. Here's the bottom line; Who do our elected officials think they are telling us (their bosses) where we can and cannot spend our own money when they themselves are the epitome of financial irresponsibility? Land of the free, huh?

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Numbers Don't Lie ... As Long As You Don't Read Them All

Today I read an article on that stated tobacco products are anticipated to kill an estimated 1 billion people in the next century. Statically speaking, tobacco related products have been reportedly responsible for 1.4 million deaths worldwide annually. Yes, that is a staggering number ... and it would appear that the anti-smoking lobby has numbers on their side. But in an attempt to put this into perspective; car crashes take an average of 1 million lives per year worldwide, and I don't recall seeing or hearing any safety lobby pushing to make motor vehicle travel illegal ... or for that matter hear even a peep about the "toxic second hand smoke" and even soot generated from the ever growing number of gasoline and diesel powered transportation methods worldwide. I guess every generation needs a scapegoat to bear the brunt of public hate, and it's just the smokers turn in the barrel.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Useless Trivia Fact #4

On average, 8,000 Americans are injured by musical instruments every year.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Finally ... An Earworm Antidote

Everyday, millions of random people across the globe suffer from earworm. This musical parasite can strike from nowhere and causes the infected person to "have a song stuck in my head", sometimes for days at a time. Absolutely nobody is exempt from this bug regardless of their lifestyle, musical talent, personal background, or interests. The earworm is also completely random as to which little ditty will manifest itself in the person's brain, and can be triggered by any sensory perception at any time making diagnosis and possible quarantine extremely difficult to separate those who are possibly infected from those who may only be carriers. Those infected with full blown earworm will often seek the help of family, friends, and coworkers by informing them of the overbearing tune endlessly playing in their head, and request assistance figuring out how it may have have gotten there. This, unfortunately, is also the most contagious stage for this communicable disease because anyone within earshot is susceptible to catching it. But after speaking with many people who have been suffering the earworm condition for many years, a revolutionary breakthrough has been made. The earworm can only survive if it is the only repetitive audio clip first and foremost on your mind. By inserting another earworm immediately after the first, the lyrical stronghold is instantaneously released. After polling many people that have experienced multiple cases during a one year time frame, the most popular choice for immediate relief was the "By Mennen" jingle, although results may vary from person to person.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Name Game

Bank robbers today will never reach the historic levels of Bonnie and Clyde, Ma Barker, or D.B. Cooper. Charmaine Williams Stein decided to rob a local bank for a quick buck, and she even had an accomplice in on it who worked as a teller at the bank. The inside man was John Mueller, and he aided Charmaine with the heist by waiting until she had left the building before hitting the silent alarm that would alert police that there was a robbery in progress. Sounds like the perfect plan so far ... right? Well, because Charmaine had an ace in the hole with the teller, she neglected to realize that the cops would still come to the bank to gather witness statements and evidence to solve the crime. The note she handed the teller demanded that all the cash in the drawer be handed to her ... the only problem was the note was printed on a piece of bulk junk mail she had delivered to her home only a few days earlier. Just like junk mail always finds its way to your new address in no time at all, the police had no trouble finding her either. For crying out loud, why not just wear a name tag so all the patrons can call you by your first name while your at it.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Reverse Discrimination ... Apparently THAT'S Socially Acceptable

Today, while I was tooling around in I came across a topic called "Race In America", it was located under the section U.S. News about two thirds of the way down the listings. The articles posted there were typical news interest stories, with the exception being that all of the posts were about black subjects, stories, and/or interests. My first reaction after just reading the topic was one of disbelief ... if the African American public feels as though they are lacking respect and are being held accountable to a different set of standards because of their skin color, why do they insist on making it a point to counter that mindset with the exact same tactic? I mean, I didn't see other sections on the site offering similar ethnic perspectives like Polish Picnic ideas, Asian art critics, or letters from Latinos ... the only "Race" their interested in talking about is theirs. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for everyone having having the right to express themselves however they see fit ... we're all on this Earth together whether we like it or not, and it's alot easier to enjoy the company of someone and learn something new from them rather than go it alone. My point is, reverse discrimination has got to stop. Frankly, I'm starting to get sick of it. If I wrote a dedicated news section about the success stories of white people only (and clearly titled it as such) on a leading world news website ... I'd be inundated with lawsuits. Why is it acceptable if the situation is reversed?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Trade Secrets: Millions Of Lives Hang In The Balance

STOP THE PRESSES!!! A FBI sting operation nabbed three employees of the Coca-Cola Company attempting to sell highly coveted Coca-Cola recipes to their rival company Pepsi. Interestingly enough, Pepsi is voluntarily and fully cooperating with the authorities citing, "Competition can sometimes be fierce, but also must be fair and legal. We're pleased the authorities and the FBI have identified the people responsible for this", said Dave DeCecco Pepsi spokesman. Obviously this earth shattering inside job came as a complete shock to the entire world, and could only spark mass chaos and pandemonium in the streets. With the trade secrets up for grabs for a mere $1.5 million dollars, many loyal Coke drinkers were left to feel cheap, used, and abandoned. Many others had no choice but to immediately seek psychological help for sudden and overwhelming depression, and some people even were stricken with a new found inability to even cope with life after hearing about the horrific recipe betrayal. "Maybe it's time I move on to Bush's Baked Beans.", said an unidentified Coca-Cola enthusiast wishing to remain anonymous, "I guess somehow, it just wouldn't hurt as bad when the cat got out of the bag, knowing that Duke already knows the family secret."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Just Following Orders Sir

A military SNAFU accidentally sent Jim Dillinger, a former National Guard Captain whose military obligation contract was supposed to end in April 1999, to active duty in Iraq. Apparently, the discharge date in his records was listed as July 2010 so Captain Dillinger served a one year tour in Iraq where his job was to search for and destroy roadside bombs ... for crying out loud, could they have given him a more hazardous detail? Unfortunately, the screw up in paperwork wasn't caught until Captain Dillinger returned home and saw the erroneous date on his discharge orders first hand. After an internal military investigation, is was concluded that in fact Jim Dillinger's discharge date was recorded wrong, and he was immediately discharged for good with a written apology for the mishap. "I honestly believe I helped accomplish something over there and the men I served with, they are like brothers to me." Dillinger said. "But, I can’t get past the fact that I should never have been sent there in the first place." This ladies and gentleman, is a prime example of bad luck.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Enlightening Bumper Stickers

Today I saw a great bumper sticker that read ... SUBURBIA: Where they tear down trees and name streets after them. Maybe we should expand on that idea and print some that say ... Politics: Show business for ugly people. Or ... You can lead a man to Congress, but you can't make him think.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Nickel For Your Thoughts?

With the rising price copper, the costs of minting a U.S. penny has surpassed the actual valve of the coin and there has been talk of phasing the one cent piece out of circulation. Like many Americans, I too have contributed to, and been the recipient of, the share a penny bowl at the local mini market. With the ever rising cost of things, is it time to just do away with the copper honest Abe altogether? In conjunction with rounding off prices, the abolishment of the penny would make millions of lives easier by lightening the load for the mathematically deficient people that always seem to land jobs as cashiers ... even with cash registers that automatically figure change, they still can't seem to grasp the concept of simple addition and subtraction. Personally, I don't think the penny is going anywhere, Americans just don't like change (pardon the pun). We can't even get the dollar coin program off the ground in this country, imagine the hysteria and panic if pennies were no more.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Nazi Tactics

There is an inherent problem with taking on the government; if you do something they don't like, they just enact laws against it. Does anyone else have a problem with this? The New York Times reported last week about a secret CIA/Treasury program that tracks millions of financial records in search of terrorists ... nothing new here, the feds have been boasting for years about researching bank records for terrorist financing. On Thursday, the House passed a resolution condemning news organizations from revealing covert government programs that are intended to root out terrorist funding. In other words, telling media outlets they have no right to report to the American public what their government is doing. Is this just the first act on a stage set for complete governmental censorship and control ... just say it's a matter of national security (no matter what "it" is) and no news organization will be able to touch you? If this is the case, can we expect Act II to consist of random and unwarranted home searches ... in the name of national security, of course. Act III may open in a neighborhood near you with heavily guarded checkpoints where every vehicle is stopped, searched, and the occupants are forced to show valid identification ("papers") and subjected to a lengthy interrogation as to where they are going and why ... in the name of national security, of course. Where do we, as citizens, draw the line?