Saturday, November 26, 2011

To Facebook Or Not To...

Hmmmm...Facebook, Yep, the girly (*ahem*) thing that I've made fun of in the past. That Facebook. Am I going to finally relent and get an account and *gulp* join the Facebook world? It's a tough decision for me to be honest. Do I really want to sacrifice my privacy for the sake of some possible future communications and conections with people I haven't seen or heard from in a while? Is it that important to do so beacuse of the sheer ease of setting up something like that? And I've been fine with my life and those I've stayed in contact with the past several years, why change things? It's not like I'm looking for something more than finding a few of my past friends, relatives and hearing what they've been up to. And here's a real plus: it's freakin' easy and with my wife's help, I'd be up and running in no time. But then more questions arise such as how much time do I really want to spend on this? Do I want to equate it with time spent on email? Is it going to seem like a freakin' hassle after a while? Will it be a complete and utter failure?

Well, I've been mulling it over with my wife (you) for a while and is it time to just bite the bullet and try? How freakin' rhymes with day is this really?? Wtf is this worth it? The wife (you) seems like she has a lot of fun on there playing games, but she also like to gab online with her family and friends - not too much, but it's daily. I know most of my younger relatives are on, I'm sure many of my comtemporaries, friends as well as relatives are on, and I bet there's quite a few of my elders that have accounts. It's just...I really value my privacy - it's a leap for me, believe me, to even write this blog. No wonder I haven't posted in months. I didn't have much to say, been kinda busy, don't see this as a true priority, etc. Anyway, to facebook or not to facebook. I've been thinkin'...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Male Chauvinism revisited

Okay. Those that know me would say I'm generally polite, a bit of a wise-ass and somewhat obnoxious. I resemble all of those remarks. But I am also a male chauvinist. Not a chauvinist in the older, more traditional way where a woman's place was in the home, barefoot and pregnant. No, I recognize the current culture, especially in western culture, where women make up an integral part of the workforce, as well as the political scene, mover and shakers in entertainment, business and the like. But where my chauvinism lies, and very strongly, is in the world of sports. Big surprise, me writing again about sports.

So last week, one of the 'big' stories in the U.S., not just in the sports world, was the U.S. women's soccer team making it into the final of the World Cup. Let me re-phrase that. The chick U.S. soccer team made it into the chick World Cup. Oh what hoopla we endured. They played wonderfully, they were great representatives of not only America, but of the world's most popular game. Give me a break. With chick soccer, it's kick the ball and run to it. There are no end-to-end runs, no booming shots from outside the box, no elbows-flying, knee cracking rough and tough defensive play. There's kick, missed pass, kick, missed pass, long kick, missed pass, missed pass, missed getting the point? Look, I'm one of the few Americans that really loves watching soccer. I don't get up early on Saturday mornings during the English Premier League (the best league, by the way) to watch those matches for nothing. I freakin' love the game. I watched just about every World Cup - the REAL one - game last year from South Africa that was televised. And the only reason I turned on the chicks was to see if any of them were pretty.

See, that's the thing with chick sports. Yeah, yeah, I know that young girls deserve every chance their male counterparts have to play sports. From early childhood to teenage and college years, they get the chance, and rightly so, to play a wide variety of sports. But come on, that's where it needs to end. Chick golf? I guess they play well, especially the Asian women, but guys play on much longer, and more difficult courses, and make the women seem like children playing an adult's game. Chick tennis? (see, I'm even having trouble picking any world-wide chick sport) Chick tennis is a joke. The contest is who can scream the loudest. Has anyone actually watched a match in the last 10 years? Screaming, boring baseline to baseline hitting, more screaming. Headlines are made by some player wearing an outrageous outfit. That's sports reporting??? No, that's chick sport reporting. The game's not interesting enough, let's report on their freakin' fashion! And the absolute lack of attractive women players has made even the most rabid male sports fan abandon tennis altogether. Have you seen the TV ratings? Lowest in decades. Chick golf tournaments? They've been getting canceled left and right for lack of sponsorships.

So unless some really hot chick athletes start coming through the pipeline, I say let's stop the farce. Women's equality is very important in our culture and I hope it keeps getting stronger. But let's all face reality. Let's just put an end to organized adult women sports. Wouldn't they be happier barefoot and pregnant?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Northeast Driving by State

Okay, folks, since I've been on a few trips recently covering the entire northeast and some of the mid-Atlantic, I thought I'd give you my rundown on the apocalyptic state of driving. Now, remember, I come from New Jersey, long the home of the idiotic driver. Maniacal, dangerously fast, rude, super-aggressive and ignorant of many basic road standards such as: red lights, the use of directional signals, yield signs, speed limits, etc. Of course, I'm no saint, believe me, I drive consistently 5-10 miles an hour over the speed limit, race to beat the odd yellow light (which I proceed through before it turns red more often then not- nyah, nyah, nyah) and other traffic no-nos. But I've been driving long enough to finally have a pretty good idea of what's wrong in each individual state. Yes, there are striking differences between state drivers which most of you know already, don't you? Like Pennsy drivers strolling in the fast lane, right? Like Massachusetts drivers having no freakin' idea how to merge, right? Like NY drivers thinking the middle finger is part of their cars' equipment, right? Well, there's a lot more.

We've taken a trip to Maine recently, the southern Pennsylvania area last fall and one down to the D.C. area. The Maine trip was approximately 10 hours and it was a long, but actually pleasant trip. The Pennsy trip (Gettysburg - if you haven't ever been there, go! absolutely worth it) was surprisingly close and also pleasant. But I warn you now concerning driving south through Maryland - don't!!! Fly, take a bus, ride a train, HAVE SOMEONE ELSE DRIVE! The drive down there and worse, back, was horrific. Not because of the roads, or the directions, but simply because the drivers on the whole seem to have their respective heads up their respective arses. I've been through some bad trips (most of them auto related), but the 3 1/2 hour trip down to the D.C. area and the one back contained more moments of abject terror than any other I've taken. Between getting cut off at 65+ m.p.h. to having objects fall off trucks and striking my windshield to folks stopped on the frickin' highway for NO reason, I have to tell you the missus and I have basically vowed to skip any possibility of ever driving to this area ever again. I'm not one to be scared, as many who know me can tell you, but that trip back scared me. Yep, actual fear. Not once. Not twice. Three times. Three. Gadzooks.

Okay, now for the states. Some are actually good. Some not so good. Some are passable with bad habits, some are terrible with a few redeeming traits. These are my thoughts and mine alone. So nobody out there get your nose out of joint if I trample your state, okay? Generalities.

Maine - maybe the best of the bunch. Gracious, kind, polite, not too fast, but don't dawdle on the highways. I enjoyed driving in Maine and I don't remember yelling or cursing once while traveling their roads, local or highway. Plus, there are signs for individual sites everywhere, but they do need to increase their number of road identifiers. Once or twice we weren't sure what road we were on, but it never got to be a real problem. All in all, I wouldn't mind to drive in Maine or around Mainers all the time. Also, the town of Camden, where we stayed, has a rule where the cars stop for anyone crossing the street, and they do! We even got in the swing of things and wanted someone to cross in front of us so we could stop for them. Amazing! Wish that was the rule everywhere, but I'd bet it would never work in NJ. Never.
Massachusetts - well, they could be worse. I mean, they're no Marylanders. But honestly, why don't they know how to merge? Why are they never taught about the yield sign? I give them credit for one thing, on the highway, they're fast, as fast as NJ'ers or NY'ers. But as far as local driving goes, blech. As discourteous as anyone, and not terribly bright. They're the kind of driver that puts on their left turn signal and turns right. Not terribly bright.
Connecticut - now you'd think a state that has the highest per capita income, that has the highest ratio of white collar workers, a state that oozes money and politesse would know how to drive, wouldn't you? Well, nope. Not a bit. Idiots. Absolute idiots. On the highway, on local roadways, they're bozos. I mean, bozos, clowns, they're masquerading as drivers but they're really clowns. I sometimes can't believe they can drive so badly, but then I drive through there again and the feeling is reinforced, they blow. I've never seen so many roads that stop, especially highways, and it's not because of an accident, or a merging lane, it's because they just slow down, and then stop. I've never found the reason, but it's happened every time through the state. And another thing, what's with these left lane exits and entrances on their highways? Is there a reason they're the only state that does it? I know. It's because it DOESN'T WORK!
Rhode Island - not enough drivers to make a comment
New York - well, at least they drive fast. Fast on the highways, fast on local roads, fast in their driveways, you name it, they drive fast. Now that's not all bad, you know. Highway driving isn't that bad, especially upstate. They can be a bit impatient with out-of-staters, but overall, the upstate drivers aren't that bad. Now, the city and the island. Whew. Where to begin. More roads than anyplace, including NJ. More ways of getting somewhere than anyplace, even NJ. But more traffic jams than anywhere (never been to L.A., sorry). I mean, how can EVERY road be clogged? Every road??? If you drive at 3 a.m. you might make a smooth ride, but forget it if you have to get someplace fast, just forget it. And the drivers? They know where to go and how to get there but stay out of their way if you want to live. Rude beyond comparison, the aforementioned finger as an apparatus, they're the kind of driver you don't want to piss off because you don't know what they'll do as retaliation, I mean that. It's not a joke. Not the worst drivers ever, but the most dangerous. Seriously.
Pennsylvania - get out of the fast lane, please!!! I'm beggin' you, if you're gonna drive in the left lane, go fast! You're bordered by NJ and NY where it's a cardinal sin to dawdle in the fast lane, but you do it ALL THE TIME! It's the main reason I don't like driving in PA, but it's actually one of the few bad habits they have. Locally, they'rte a bit dense, but fairly kind, roads are marked for the most part, but some of the road conditions need improvement. The trip to Gettysburg was okay, and driving around the town was fine, even though they have such cockeyed road systems, but the drivers themselves were polite and knew most of the rules of the road. So Pennsy drivers, just learn about the keep right except to pass thing, and we'll be fine.
Delaware - see Rhode Island
Maryland - hoo-boy, the reason for this post is because of Maryland drivers. I've never been so amazed to have one state without one smart driver. I mean, every driver, local or highway, was an idiot. I couldn't believe it when I was down there, and I still can't believe it now. I'm honestly lucky to be alive. They have no idea how to drive on highways - tailgaiting, slow drivers on the left, fast drivers on the right, speeding up to prevent a pass, lack of using blinkers, never looking before changing lanes (especially when forgetting about the blinker thing), rudeness, aggressiveness, overall stupidity. I can't rail at them enough. They suck.
New Jersey - ah, where do I begin about my home state? On the highways? On local roads? Parkways? Turnpikes? Let's see, too fast, overly aggressive ALL THE TIME, never using the blinkers, having little idea about merging, having NO idea what a yield sign means, passing in a no passing zone, changing lanes over solid lines, jughandles, circles, and no idea how to drive those, I mean it's the worst. Except for Maryland.

I hate driving. Except in Maine.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Some rants

Okay, so one of the main reasons I started this thing was to get some stuff off my chest without seeming like a whiner to those close to me, such as my wife. Call me a curmudgeon, a complainer, whatever, I really have a problem with some things and I thought this was as good a place as anything to vent and clear my mind. I know, that's lame, but tough.
First of all, the guy from the Ford commercials and Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe. What a freakin' poser! From the moment I saw him do those commercials with a logo-less baseball cap and a plain sweat or tee shirt I hated the dude. Look, if you want to act like a normal everyday guy who wants to sell me a car, wear a freakin' Ford logo cap, all right?! Pisses me off that anyone considers him a guy, a regular sort of guy, you know, like someone who's not in it for the money or anything. Bullcrap.
The damn Apple IPhone commercials that end with the effiminate guy stating, "if you don't own an IPhone, you don't own an IPhone". Really Einstein??? Really??? If I don't own something I don't own something. What genius at the ad agency came up with that one and what idiot at Apple said sure, go with that one? I turn the sound off during that ad because it irks me so much. Not only pretentious and stupid, but pretentiously stupid.
This Tracy Morgan using gay slurs in his comedy act over the weekend and getting all sorts of crap over it. Look folks, get a freakin' sense of humor! With humor, much of it comes from making fun of stuff, any stuff, any subject, any-freakin'-thing! Now he ended up apologizing for it, sayiong he didn't mean to sound hateful and all that PC crap, but now the gays and lesbos want more. More than an apology? Is this America, land of free speech? He apologized folks, a-p-o-l-o-g-i-z-e-d. You want more than that? Go to Russia you freakin' commies!
This congressman Weiner guy. Now this is a really winner of a guy. He just got married right? Now we hear he's been sexting and carrying on all sorts of cyber affairs with chicks all over the country. What a class guy. And he thinks he's gonna get re-elected some day? That's the only reason he hasn't resigned yet, right? Cause he thinks he's gonna win in the next election. What a freakin' ego! Sounds like Limbaugh, Palin, Gingrich and Pelosi wrapped up in one! Leave already moron and get ready for the divorce trial. You're gonna need a lot of help during that one!
Finally, living in New Jersey, just a quick comment on NJ's Supreme Court decision to put back $500 million into the school system, specifically in the 32 Abbott districts where they're mostly minority students (at least the ones who actually go to school). There are over 500 districts in the state and these 32 get something like 60% of ALL the money allotted by the state. Are you fuh-reakin' kidding me??? Where is the evidence that pouring tons and tons of money into these eminently corruptible districts makes better students??? Some one out there show me where this helps. Show me that all the money goes to actually teaching the kids and that some fat cat administrators aren't pulling down thousands and thousands of extra salary. This drives me absolutely nuts because the money comes from TAXES! That's right, NJ citizens' money that they have no say because it's a court decision, made by folks who aren't elected. Now there's something I think should be discussed, electing Supreme Court justices at the state level. Give them like 6 or 8 year terms but make them answerable (ible?) to the citizens that are affected by their decisions. Just makes me wanna...write a blog.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Movies 2011

As my wife and I are big movie fans, just a word on this year's crop of movies. We've seen a couple and we intend to see quite a few more. Here is the list, made for my own purpose so I don't forget:

Thor (seen) - pretty good, actually...didn't think it was gonna be anything but it had a good combination of action and humor...not much of a script, but no one's expecting Shakespeare, right?

The Hangover Part II (seen) - very funny, though not nearly as funny (or original, duh!) as the first one as it follows the same exact plot...a bit raunchier and darker, but there are scenes that still make you laugh out loud and a few that I laugh at just thinking about them...i.e. the anchor

X-Men: First Class - trailers look good...hope it's as good as the first two as the last few have been average at best

Super 8 - don't know if this is another J.J. Abrams monster movie or not but it looks good enough to take a shot, though I might be influenced against it by poor reviews (hate to say it, but it's true)

Green Lantern - hope it's good because this was one of my favorite comic book heroes...use to love reading Green Lantern, Thor, Fantastic Four and The Avengers...also Sgt. Rock but I doubt anyone remembers that one

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - has to be better than the last one which pretty much sucked...have to see it just for the special effects

Zookeeper - okay, let me explain...I think Kevin James is a riot, and he has a fairly good track record recently - Paul Blart, Grown-Ups - although this one may be skipped because we sort of have a rule that unless it's something that needs to be seen on a big screen for the visual effects, we wait until it comes to cable...we'll see...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - have seen them all and dragged Cherish to the first part last year where she was completely lost (she hasn't read any of the books but enjoys the movies)...this one is a definite

Captain America: The First Avenger - trailers look brainer

Cowboys and Aliens - another no brainer...Harrison Ford, aliens, horses...wife drools over Daniel Craig (she's gonna kill me for saying so but she loves him even if he has permanently pouting lips)

Well, there you have it. There are a few other flicks that look okay but I doubt we'll break our "it'll be the same on a small screen" rule to see them. Looks like a good summer.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Peeves and non-peeves

Slow drivers in the fast lane. Cell phone talkers while driving. Gas prices while the government, which is owned by big oil, does nothing. Yankee fans. Phillies fans. Patriots fans. Dolphin fans. Any pro hoops fans. Actually, anything to do with pro hoops - it's just not like it used to be. Foreign golfers. Foreign tennis players. Tennis players. Nascar goobers. Dale Earnhardt fans. Dale Earnhardt Jr fans. Both Earnhardts. Democrats. Republicans. Whigs. Wigs. Sequels that suck which happens to be most of them. Prequels that suck which...them. Today's music. Awful. Today's TV choices. Pro wrestling. Tennis - I know, I'm being repetitive. Sue me. Speaking of which, lawyers. Drug commercials. Any of those mixed matrial arts things. Freakin' stupid. New Jersey bashing. It's up again since Jersey seems to be all over the place. Tweeter. Is that what it's called? Taxes. Hmmmm...let's see...I'll think of some more down the road.

Good things? Fast drivers in the fast lane. People who use their blinkers properly. Dogs. Otters. Dolphins. Monkeys. Armadillos, especially baby armadillos. Sports (most of them). Barbecued ribs with Penzey's Nothwoods Seasoning. Everyone has got to try this rub. Best I've ever made. Books. Most older movies. Abbott & Costello. The Marx Brothers. Gordon Ramsey. Ramsay? Lottery scratchers. The Beatles. My wife. My family. All of them. The internet. Mountain Dew. Those machines that make the flattened pennies. Great for scratching lottery tickets. Some cats, not all cats. Penicillin. Refrigeration. Air conditioning. Navy Seals and that group that took out Bin Laden. Manchester United. The Jets. The Mets. The Rangers. Michigan football. Michigan hockey. Hockey. Cape Cod. Las Vegas. Montserrat. And freakin' New Jersey. It's expensive to live here, it's crowded, a lot of the people here are asses, it doesn't get a lot of respect, but I can think of nowhere else like it. It's literally got everything. Except otters and armadillos.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Maine and Manchester United

Not that the two are related, but Maine and Man U are on my mind. First off, the wife and I traveled to Maine this past week to attend my niece Patty's wedding. It was held in Camden, Maine, a small, out of the way seaside town about halfway up the coast. I mean, next stop, Canada. Ten hours in the car, though, thankfully, mostly all highway. We'd never heard of Camden, at least not the Maine one. I've been to Camden, NJ - you don't want to get out of your car there and if you happen to be unlucky enough to have to drive through there, drive fast! - and I've even been to Canden, SC. Well, Camden, ME has got them both beat. What a nice little town, and what awesome clam chowder. I had it like 4 or 5 times and every time, wow! The season (summer?) hadn't started yet so the weather was cool, but sunny. You could walk to one side of town to the other in like half an hour. Great, picturesque little harbor and Mt Battie, right outside town, offered a great view of the town and surrounding areas. Totally worth the trip, regardless of the wedding. About the wedding, again, wow! My niece looked so beautiful, her brothers and sister and the other wedding partiers(?) looked great as well. The groom stood tall and took the plunge gladly. I'm really happy for the two of them and I hope them all the best. The reception was at this elegant, really cool hotel. The food was incredible - lobster and seafood orzo!, prime rib, open bar - and the time spent was just great fun. All in all, what a great trip.
The drive sucked. It wasn't difficult to navigate, the weather was so-so on the way up but who the hell put Maine so freakin' far away?! For cryin' out loud, the trees hadn't even started to bud up there yet while back in Jersey we had full leaves on ours. Maine. Liked the state but hated the distance. Bring it closer next time. And any of you remaining unmarried relatives, NJ has puh-lenty of nice places to get married and hold receptions. Eastern PA is nice, southern NY, northern MD, etc. But I must say, wouldn't have missed this wedding for anything. Love you Patty.
Now, just for all you English soccer, yes SOCCER, fans out there, how great is it that Manchester United is now the all-time leader in league titles won, huh??? The best team, coached by the greatest manager ever, Sir Alex, finally passed Liverpool with 19 titles. As a sports nut who roots for all the losing teams imaginable, ManU has been my only ray of sunshine since I started to root for them back in my teens. We didn't win anything until the early 90's, but since then, 12, count them 12 titles in the last 19 years. Top that Lakers, Celtics, 49ers, Yankees!
The season was weird, no losses through the first 25 or so matches, but not a lot of wins. Trailing a bit in points then taking the top spot and never relinquishing it. Rooney with his lack of goals and contract squabble, Ferdinand and others with long injuries, getting knocked out of the League Cup. But there weas Berbatov picking up the scoring slack, Chicharito looking like the best signing in years with 20+ goals, Giggs overcoming a freak arm break to become the winningest player in FA history. I don't care what any haters out there say, it was a phenomenal year and it's not over. The Champions League final against Barcelona looms and that's gonna be real tough. They're awesome. The best player in Messi, a great system with constant motion. But they're also huge whiners, divers, fakers, and seem to get all the calls. With the final at Wembley, at least ManU should have most of the crowd behind them. Let's just hope the officiating holds up and doesn't fall for all that Barca crying. I still see an uphill battle but I can hope for the best. Let it at least come down to the last few minutes. ManU seems to own the late game heroics and Rooney and company are playing very well right now. Keeping my fingers crossed...and toes, legs, arms, eyes...