August 31, 2005

Dear Gas Station Guys:

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:45 pm

I know that many of you take a lot of heat from customers who are angry about the high gasoline prices and blame you for them. This is, of course, unfair to the extent that your retail prices reflect your increased cost of the gasoline. However, many of you received your gasoline deliveries well in advance of the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina and yet you have raised your prices on that same gasoline that is still in the ground two or three times since Monday.

Maybe you did that because the gas station across the street raised its prices, and maybe you did it because you’re just trying to make a killing. Either way, I will remember who you are when things calm down.

Now, if I Only Looked Like The Guy………

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 6:56 pm

The Classic Leading Man Test.

Cary Grant
You scored 7% Tough, 19% Roguish, 42% Friendly, and 33% Charming!

You are the epitome of charm and style, the smooth operator who steals the show with your sophisticated wit, quiet confidence and flirty sense of humor. You are able to catch any woman you want just by flashing that disarming smile, even if you’re flashing it at a kindly aunt or engaging child at the time. When you walk into a room, women are instantly intrigued and even the men are impressed, but you’re too nice a guy to steal anyone else’s girl…unless the guy deserves it. You’re stylish, yes, but you can also be a little bit nutty. However, you’re primarily seen as dashing, suave and romantic. Your co-stars include Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly, stylish women with a sense of fun.

Find out what kind of classic dame you’d make by taking the Classic Dames Test.

I found this over at The Boiling Point.

August 30, 2005

The Original Bill – One of a Kind.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:32 pm

One of the more memorable of the Usual Suspects is The Original Bill, about whom I have written before.

Bill is a man of many talents. He can cook better than most professional cooks, and he can make a jug of delicious brain-numbing sangria or whip up a batch of perfect martinis or manhattans using accoutrements no fancier than a large mayonnaise jar and a butter knife as a stirrer. He can be as gracious as Cary Grant or as ornery as a cornered, pissed off badger. He can dance like Astaire, and tell funny stories punctuated by his own laughter, which has everyone in stitches before he ever gets to the punch line.

We all like that he can also a bit – shall we say — quirky. He refuses to use elevators, and he avoids crowded rooms, feeling that everyone is “sucking up” his oxygen. Not surprisingly, Bill does not board an airplane without a pre-flight does of Xanax, which he refers to as a “chill pill”.

On those occasions when he is boozing it up having cocktails with the Usual Suspects and not concerned that we are sucking up his oxygen (we all make a conscious effort not to inhale at the same time – just kidding), he is not at all reticent to share an opinion or two on various subjects. Some of my favorites deal with his commentary on music that might be playing at any given moment. For example:

”Too much fiddly shit!” — The Original Bill on Country Music

”You can’t dance to most of their shit!” — The Original Bill on The Beatles

I hate that eeek, eeek, eeek shit!” — The Original Bill on electric guitars in songs

“How long is this f**king thing? I hate this shit!” — The Original Bill on “Southern Man” – the live, long version.

“The only good thing she ever did was die young.” — The Original Bill on Janis Joplin

“Too bad he didn’t die young.” — The Original Bill on Bob Dylan

He likes the Four Seasons. Go figure.

A most excellent guy, The Original Bill.

August 29, 2005

The Warehouse — The Jokesters

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:40 pm

Tires stacked.jpgAs you may know from a previous post, I spent a couple college summers in the sixties working at a large warehouse for a major tire manufacturer. It was a physically demanding job that was done by a handful of hard Jersey men. I was affectionately known as the “college puke.”

One of the things the guys did in order to deal with the fatigue and tedium that often were part of a day’s work was to mercilessly ride one another and to play jokes, which would be laughed about for days and which invariably provided the grist for future derision. Notably, the jokes, such as the following, were not limited to the employees.

We had a driver for a tire dealer in Pennsylvania who would drive the dealer’s truck to the Warehouse a couple times per week to pick up a load of tires. His name was “Baldy.” No kidding. That’s what he called himself, and he even signed the bills of lading as “Baldy” (Something I now know must have driven the lawyers nuts).

It was break time on a hot summer day, and everyone (including Baldy who had to wait for us to load his truck) had gotten something to drink from the lunch truck that made the rounds of the local factories and warehouses. Some guys also bought something to eat. As we were sitting on the shipping dock, the subject turned to good places to eat and good food, and to the best of my recollection, went something like this:

Baldy: “Hey, I know of a place in Jersey that makes a great sandwich.”

Frenchy: (A Jersey guy, but he had a French last name — ergo “Frenchy”) “What the f**k do you know, Baldy? You’re from f**kin’ Pennsylvania.”

Baldy: “F**k you, Frenchy. I’ve been drivin’ in Jersey for years. I probably know more about this f**kin’ state than you do.”

Frenchy: “OK Mr. Smart Guy. Listen, everybody. F**kin’ Baldy is gonna tell us all where to get a good sandwich.”

Baldy: “You know where Route 17 and Route 4 come together there around Paramus?”

The Guys: “Yeah.”

Baldy: “Well, there’s a guy there who sells food from a trailer. You know da guy I mean?”

Frenchy: “Yeah, I know the guy. He’s been there for years. Sells hot dogs and shit.”

Baldy: “He don’t just sell hot dogs. He makes a sandwich you guys gotta try someday.”

The Guys: “Fer Chrissakes, Baldy, what kind of sandwich is it?”

Baldy: “Da guy fries little pieces of green pepper, then he dumps a scrambled egg over the peppers and fries them up together, while he is toasting the hard roll. When the egg and peppers are done, he puts them on the toasted hard roll with a little butter. It’s f**kin’ delicious.”

Frenchy: “You mean he actually fries the egg and the peppers together and then makes a sandwich out of it?”

Baldy: “Yeah, and it’s f**kin’ terrific. You oughta try one.”

Frenchy: (with a noticeable gleam in his eye) “Waddya call that sandwich, Baldy?”

Baldy: “Waddya mean, what do I call the sandwich?”

Frenchy: “Just what I said. Waddya call that f**kin’ sandwich? A hamburger?”

Baldy: “No, it’s a pepper and egg sandwich.”

The Guys: (Massive guffaws, accompanied by calling Baldy a Pennsylvania asshole and much worse)

Baldy had stepped in the trap and paid the price.

The good news is that everybody liked Baldy, and he laughed along with us (of course, after calling us all “assholes”). For the rest of the summer, every time Baldy showed up, took a ration of shit about the gourmet delight, which, but for his “discovery,” would have remained unknown to the Garden State and quite possibly the rest of the world – the pepper and egg sandwich.

When it came to jokes, the guys didn’t cut the “College Puke” any slack, but that’s a story for another day.

August 28, 2005

“K&J Home Repair” to the Rescue.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 3:25 pm

I have often said that if I can’t fix something with a hammer and/or duct tape, I need a pro. However, some “jobs” aren’t big enough to get a pro to do them.

This was the case following the installation of new carpet in the bedroom in the House by the Parkway. The rug guys cam in and installed the new carpet and did an excellent job. The problem is that the six doors that open over the carpet were rubbing into the carpet and needed to be cut down.

This would be a no-brainer for anyone with a modicum of handyman skills and a power saw. I don’t have even a modicum of such skills and handling a power saw could ruin my day and screw my guitar playing in one second flat. I won’t own one of those scary-ass things.

What to do? One of the “No Job too Small” guys in the paper would likely find this job to be too small, their advertisements to the contrary notwithstanding. And, if they didn’t find the job to be “too small,” they would probably charge me a hundred bucks per door, as each door had to be carried downstairs and cut outside on the deck.

Yesterday, Ken, my bodyguard, and Jeff, da Chef of da Future, two of the Usual Suspects, got word of my problem and said, “We’ll be there at noon.” Precisely at noon, they roared up to the house, equipped with tools and a power saw and went immediately to work.

They did everything, including lugging the doors up and down the stairs. My job was to “hold the light.” The entire process took a bit more than an hour, which was replete with non-stop ball-breaking all around. Now all six doors open and close without touching the carpet.

Afterwards, I took them out for lunch and beer.

There aren’t many things more valuable than good friends.

August 27, 2005

Some Saturday Nostalgia. (Updated)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 3:50 pm

If you are having a bit of a lazy weekend, Mister Snitch has pointed to several sites that are a great way to spend some lazy time. The links are chock full of nostalgic pop culture images. I plan on spending lots of time there. Of course, that is because, on the blogger age spectrum, I am an ancient old fart a well-aged blogger.

Update: Sorry. I screwed up the second link (I was in a hurry). It should be fixed now.

August 26, 2005

Adios, Atlantic City.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:37 pm

Crown Miss America.jpgBert Parks must look like a Roto-Rooter in the grave.

The Miss American Pageant is leaving New Jersey, where the event has been held in Convention Hall in Atlantic City since 1921. The Atlantic City Convention Center & Visitors Authority, which provides the Pageant with an annual $720,000 subsidy, released the Miss American from its contract in order to “ensure the pageant’s continued vitality and growth.” The pageant organization claims that high production costs and sagging TV ratings have left it in $500,000 worth of red ink each year for the last few years.

So far, it appears that Nashville or Orlando is the best bet for the pageant’s new long-term home, assuming there is a long-term for the annual event.

I don’t think I have watched the Miss America Pageant since I was a little boy, which was a long, long time ago. I think that, even then, I realized that watching Betty Lou twirling batons and Mary Sue doing dramatic readings was too much to bear, the bathing suit portion of the event notwithstanding.

The clincher was, of course, the part when the finalists were asked questions so that the judges could pass on their poise.

Bert Parks: “Miss ______ (fill in the state), what do you think is one of the biggest problems in the world today and what do you think should be done about it?”

Miss _____ (fill in the state): “I think hunger is the biggest problem. I’m seriously against hunger, and I would, like, give everybody a sandwich.”

The fact is that people flock to Atlantic City on trains, planes, cars and buses (lots and lots of buses) to try to make the big score in the casinos. For better or worse, Atlantic City no longer needs the pageant.

“Poise” don’t mean shit.

August 25, 2005

Speaking of Noses….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:35 pm

Not surprisingly, thinking about my nose got me to thinking about things I like the smell of. (Should I have said, “…thinking about the things, the smell of which I like”? Nah …. too cumbersome.)

Anyway, here is the list, which is in no particular order of preference

1. Apple Pie in the oven

2. Freshly ground coffee

3. Cookies in the oven

4. Freshly bathed and powdered baby

5. Pizza

6. Gardenias

7. Sausage, peppers and onions cooking on the boardwalk

8. Roasting peanuts

9. The seashore

10. Wet dog (just checking to see if you read all the way to the bottom of the list)

Admittedly, this entry is not long on serious content, but I trust that it doesn’t “stink.”

Trouble Getting to This Site?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:28 pm

Me too. Sorry.

I believe it is a “host” thing.

August 24, 2005

Another Nose?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:40 pm

I think that my nose may be growing another nose. This second schnozzola is growing by the hour on the left side of my nose, just south of where my eyeglasses rest. And it hurts.

A mondo zit? Could be, I suppose, but I figure that I’m waaay to old to be getting zits. Hell, I don’t even know whether one can still buy Clearasil.

I cannot help but worry that, when its gestation period is complete, my secondary nose will emerge with a vengeance, looking like that sharona with teeth that popped out of the guy’s abdomen in the movie “Alien”.

If that happens, I shall simply name it Emil and try to go about my business.

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