May 30, 2004

Take a Minute…..

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:37 pm


Falluja Flag.jpg

Please take a minute out of the day to remember those who died so that we all may live in freedom.

And, if you’re having a nice day, find a vet and say “thank you.” I guarantee it will make you feel good, and it will make the vet feel wonderful.

That is all.

No Sopranos…No Deadwood…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 3:26 pm

Not tonight, anyway. HBO has opted to run a movie instead. I assume that the shrunken television audience on Memorial Day Weekend accounts for the decision. In the case of the Sopranos, the next episode will be the final one of the season, which, if the past proves anything, will leave plenty of frustrating loose ends.

The Sopranos – What a Mess! (Spoiler Alert)

Having been away last Sunday, I caught the most recent episode of the Sopranos this weekend by watching HBO On Demand (a great thing), and, compared to the previous episode (the confusing dream sequence episode), this one was a gem.

Young Carmine, the embodiment of the stupidity of most “Wise Guys,” cracked me up when he opined that the ongoing New York, intra-gang violence has placed them in “a f***ing stagmire.” This thoughtful observation apparently motivated his decision to cede control to Johnny Sack, making Johnny Sack the undisputed Boss of the New York Mob, a decision, which surely will not sit well with the character played by Frankie (the Falsetto Four Season) Valli.

Tony Blundetto is in deep shit and is running for his life. Johnny Sack wants him “on a spit,” and has promised to “rain shit” down on Tony and his family if Tony Blundetto (“that little prick”) is not delivered to his doorstep. When Tony learned of Blundetto’s whereabouts, he arranged a meeting with Johnny Sack to ask if he (Tony) could take care of the Tony Blundetto problem himself. Johnny refused. Tony then asked if Johnny could promise that Blundetto’s death would be quick. Johnny also refused this request. Tony, after a few seconds of reflection, told Johnny Sack “Go f*ck yourself. … He’s my f**kin’ cousin.” This virtually ensures a New Jersey – New York Gang War. It should be interesting.

Tony’s own crew continues to sink deeper into ca-ca. In response to the FBI’s threat to turn Adriana over to the Long Branch Police Department in connection with its investigation of a murder that took place in her saloon, she revealed to Chris her past dealings with the FBI and tried to get him to go into the Witness Protection Program. After giving her an almost deadly beating, he told her that he had to go out for a while to “process” all the new information. Of course, that was the beginning of a setup, and from that moment on, it went very, very badly for Adriana, culminating with her getting plugged twice by Silvio on a secluded road (we actually have a few). (The moral of that story is, when questioned by police, shut up and demand a lawyer, something ol’ Adriana should have done from the get-go.)

Later, Tony hangs a beating on Chris for “snorting some ‘H’” to ease the pain of Adriana’s death.

In the middle of all this, Tony’s “well-done” girlfriend has threatened to kill herself, and Tony has promised Carmella that he would finance the purchase of a $600,000 lot (we have those too), so that Carmella can build a house for investment purposes.

The guy certainly has his problems.

Hey, at least Georgie the bartender, didn’t get another beating.

Deadwood – Getting Better All the Time.

Mr. Wu and his pigs played a large role in the most recent episode, in which two guys killed Mr. Wu’s opium courier and stole the dope, a portion of which was to be sold to Al Swearengen. Watching Swearengen “communicate” with Mr. Wu was absolutely classic, in that the only English word Mr. Wu seemed to know was “cocksucker.”

When Mr. Wu wanted both culprits killed, Al shared the following bit of wisdom with him:

“You can’t cut the throat of every cocksucker whose character it would improve.”

Wise man, that Al.

May 29, 2004

Sun, Fun, Friends, and Cocktails (Lots of Cocktails).

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:01 pm

sunny day.gifFor the fourth year in a row, the Usual Suspects descended on Southwest Florida. This year, there were eight of us, with our numbers temporarily increasing from time to time with a couple visits from friends’ relatives, who have decided to forego the pleasures of living in the Garden State to become full-time Florida residents.

As in the past, we stayed here, where each of us owns a timeshare. It is small place, which is not overly fancy and most-definitely not overly formal. It truly feels like home away from home. In fact, we generally see the same folks there year after year, many of whom have been owners there for decades. I do, however, suspect that when the long-timers first saw the Jersey Crowd show up a few years ago, they considered changing “their week” for the following year. However, I think that once they saw that not everyone from Jersey is a hired killer, we passed muster and have since become good friends.

What always makes this a special time is the absence of having to do anything more stressful than choosing between eating out or firing up one of the grills on the property. As in the past, we did a good deal of not-too-much, other than bobbing about in the pool and having cocktails. Did I mention that we do cocktails? Speaking of cocktails (the liquor store owner jumps for joy when we show up), in prior years we did face the vexing problem of having to lug all the necessaries downstairs for each day’s refreshments. This year, we solved the problem by creating a very low-tech version of a traveling bar, using equipment that was already at the place. Traveling bar, ice machine, good friends, warm weather, beautiful sunsets. Nothing better.

We did venture out on a couple occasions to eat lumberjack breakfasts here and here. Both places serve breakfasts to die for (or die from, if one ate like that regularly). We also fond time to do our annual poking around at the factory outlets here. This year we also took a ride out to a Mondo Flea Market in Fort Myers. Shopping at this flea market, which is home to 900 vendors and seemingly miles of covered walkways, could easily fill up the better part of the day. However, after about an hour or so, we decided that it was cutting into our cocktail and pool bobbing time, so we headed back to the Boathouse and the rolling bar. However, while at the flea market, I was quite taken with the hundreds of mist-spritzing fans that constantly run in order to keep the covered walkways from becoming a virtual inferno at noon. Mist-spritzing technology has not yet taken hold in the Garden State, but it is something we are considering for the dog days of July and August ahead on Ken’s (the anal retentive “cruise director”) and Kathy’s Deck, which is the summer weekend meeting place of the Usual Suspects.

Oh, and we didn’t see any of these, which made me exceedingly happy.

We’ve already made our reservations for next year.

May 28, 2004

Back Home Again.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:38 pm

Yep, back home again, and I absolutely hate the look of the site with zippo on it. Hence, this silly post. I have about four tons of e-mail SPAM to delete, which goes pretty quickly, but I also have a boatload of comment SPAM to work on, and that takes a while.

I had expected to be home much earlier, but the weather in Newark apparently was horrible, causing our flight to remain stacked so long that we were treated to an unexpected trip to Philadelphia. As much as I like the “City of Brotherly Love,” I had not anticipated stopping there for gas.

Oh, and Continental gets a D+ in communication skills. As we were bouncing all over the place and before we even realized that we were circling Newark, a flight attendant hopped on the intercom and breathlessly announced, “We are being diverted to Philadelphia! Place your seat backs and tray tables in the upright position! I have no idea what to tell you about arrangements on the ground or about your connecting flights!”

“Helloooooo. Ms. Flight attendant…? You have a planeload of Post 9-11 people here about ready to shit themselves.”

Fortunately, the pilot must have heard this recent Flight Attendant School Graduate’s performance and got on the intercom to explain what was going on.

Anyway, it’s good to be back. I missed you all.

Now, it’s time to unpack and to turn my attention to all that farookin’ SPAM.

I also have to catch up on the Sopranos and Deadwood.


May 20, 2004

Traveling Again.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:34 pm

lunch sign_0202.gifWe’re heading off with a half dozen of the Usual Suspects to spend a week here, where we plan on spending lots of time doing a good deal of nothing, except of course, drinking, swimming, and laughing our asses off at one thing or another.

After we get off the plane, we will stop here for an excellent lunch (with cocktails, of course). Then it’s a short stop at the supermarket to pick up a minimum of groceries and a couple coolers. Next stop – the liquor store, where we take on the serious supplies. One hour later, we’ll be by the pool mixing drinks.


See you all in a week.

A Few Deadwood Lines.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:40 pm

I can’t help myself. Here are a couple gems that caught my attention:

“I gets drunk and, on occasion, shits myself.”
One of E.B. Farnum’s employees explaining himself. (Of course, the character is Irish.)

“This several hands thing don’t f***ing help me.”
Al Swerengen telling the legislator to come to the point and avoid saying, “On one hand…. and on the other hand….”

“Desist from any crazy odor references!”
Calamity Jane telling the preacher, who, as a result of brain damage believes he smells like death, to avoid making any comments about the way she might smell.

May 19, 2004

A New Look.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 11:09 pm

Serenity’s Journal has a new and most excellent look. Check it out.

I am in ore of her understated cyber-talents.

“Old Media.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:05 pm

The Laughing Wolf has a good deal to say about the subject. Take a look.

The Straight Jersey Skinny.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:49 pm

For those of you who may be following the 9-11 Commission Traveling Dog and Pony Show, please be advised that I have lived in New Jersey all my life, and I have never, ever, ever met a person in the Garden State who talks like Tom Kean.

We prounounce our “R’s” here.

You Say “Peach,” and I Say “Peaches.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 5:41 am

peaches.jpgWe have a couple Asian-owned produce stores in town. The stores are noteworthy for their cleanliness and their absolutely beautiful and tasty fruits and vegetables. However, I noticed that the owners of the stores make the same kind of mistakes.

The fruits and veggies are displayed, much as one would see them in a supermarket. However, in each grouping of fruits or vegetables is a handwritten sign, which identifies the fruit or vegetable and specifies the price. Here’s the mistake. The signs invariably say:

“apple,” instead of “apples”
“pear,” instead of “pears”
“peach,” instead of “peaches”
“orange,” instead of “oranges”
“carrot,” instead of “carrots”
“pepper,” instead of “peppers”

You get the picture. For the life of me, I could not understand why they don’t use plurals? I thought, “Why don’t they just learn the rule? It’s easy. Hell, maybe I should offer to teach them the rule?”

But then, I got to thinking a little more about it, which caused me to realize that, if I owned a produce store, my signs would say:

“corn,” instead of “corns”
“lettuce,” instead of “lettuces”
“celery,” instead of “celeries”
“kale,” instead of “kales”
“rhubarb,” instead of “rhubarbs”
“cauliflower,” instead of “cauliflowers”

Oy! No wonder they don’t learn the rule. Apparently, there is no rule.

No, wait. Maybe the rule is that fruits are always plural, but vegetables are sometimes singular but sometimes plural. OK, so what is the vegetable rule?

Hair hurting alert!!!!!

English is a bitch. Maybe that’s the rule.

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