August 23, 2005

Cellphone Dumbshittery.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:20 pm

Cell Phone.jpgOK, so I’m driving to work this morning, and I see a guy standing in the middle of the street. As I get closer, I can see that the guy is talking on a cellphone. He’s standing in a spot where he could be clobbered by a car going in either direction. Yet, he’s not looking in either direction for traffic, but rather is staring at the ground while he has what must be a very important phone conversation.

I pulled to within fifteen feet of the dope and stopped to see how long it would take him to notice a 4,000 pound, Big Fat Capitalist Car. I purposely did not blow the Big Fat Capitalist Horn, lest I give the idiot a heart attack.

After about ten seconds, he “noticed” the car.

Did he give me a courtesy wave and quickly step out of the way? Nope. Instead, he gave me a dirty look, resumed his conversation and slowly walked to the opposite curb.

It’s a shame that there’s a law against intentionally hitting idiots with a Big Fat Capitalist Car.

August 22, 2005

Texas Gator.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:00 pm

ACK!!!!!

Just what I need — a picture of a big-ass gator that was shot when it was found to be walking around in someone’s back yard in West Columbia, Texas.

If I ever saw a thing like that in my back yard, the emergency guys would be putting the paddles on my chest for shit sure.

Oy!!!!!

Thanks, I think, to my friend Brian, the Air Force Vet.

August 21, 2005

New York City Mini-Meet.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 3:12 pm

Yesterday it seemed that I had just gotten off the train from New York City after the Neil Diamond Concert, when I found myself boarding the same train for the trip back to New York City for a bit of a mini-blogmeet. It seems that Zonker was in town to attend a bachelor party on Friday night, so I arranged to meet him near his hotel in New York for some interesting and thoughtful conversation semi-drunken carrying-on.

Mr. Surly and I went into the City together and did the steamy and fragrant (sometimes good, sometimes bad) walk from Penn Station to Desmond’s Tavern, which was right next door to Zonker’s hotel. This was a good thing on several levels. First, it was a good thing for Zonker, who, the night before, had found himself drawn into the beer-tequila, beer-tequila, beer-tequila maelstrom and really needed a nearby bloody mary joint. Second, it was an extremely comfortable and friendly saloon that served excellent draft beer in pints (I recommend the Brooklyn Lager in mass quantities).

Also in attendance were Kate of Katespot, Mary of Bookblog and one of Mary’s excellent friends, who, understandably, sometimes seemed a bit bemused by the non-stop blabbing and laughing that invariably characterizes one of these gatherings. Bemused or not, he fit right in.

After several rounds of refreshments, we headed off to find a place to eat, which should never, ever be a problem in Manhattan. However, after about ten city blocks of strolling about, I began to think that we might be the only knuckleheads in Manhattan who couldn’t find a suitable place for victuals. We finally settled in on a Thai restaurant and wolfed down some terrific food. We were, of course, loud.

After chow, it was back to Desmond’s (Did I mention that it is a friendly place?) for a parting drink or four and yet more blabbing and laughing.

By about 8 o’clock, it was time to saddle up. Turns out that we had been talking for about seven hours!

That’s easy to do at a blogmeet.

Note: Zonker’s version of his excellent adventure are here, as is acknowledgement of the grassroots campaign to make him the next Governor of New Jersey!

Carnival of the New Jersey Bloggers 14

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 12:14 pm


SloppyDawg is hosting this week’s carnival, and this one comes with some excellent satellite images of the Garden State. Naturally, I was particularly taken with the image of a genuine Parkway Rest Stop. However, I also liked the final image, which serves to remind us that we’re all in this together.

Go read.

August 20, 2005

He’s Still Got It.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:40 am

Neil Diamond.jpgOver the years, I have probably listened to Neil Diamond’s “Hot August Night” album hundreds of times. The Prologue, which leads into “Crunchy Granola Suite” has always struck me as one great piece of music. I had wondered if in 2005 he would sound anything like he did in 1972 when he recorded “Hot August Night” with that absolutely gorilla stompin’ band.

He does.

True to his fans, he opened with the “Prologue – Crunchy Granola Suite” and was backed by a killer band, some its members having been with him for thirty years. The band consisted of two guitars (seriously good players), bass, drums, piano, synthesizer, Latin percussion (this guy played his ass off), and a four-piece ass-kickin’ brass section (and three women backup singers).

From there, it was one great song after another. He played just about all the songs anyone familiar with his music would want to hear. (I did, however, miss “Solitary Man” and “I Got a Feelin’). It would be difficult to pick any single tune that I liked the best (maybe “Sweet Caroline” or “I Am … I Said), but “Play Me” and, of course, “America” were definite crowd pleasers.

Speaking of the audience, this was definitely not a “puke in the bathroom” crowd. There was lots of gray hair to be seen, which matched quite well with my salt and pepper (becoming saltier by the day) great farookin’ hair. Notably, it appeared that everyone in the audience had either given up “herbs” or left them at home stashed among their tie-dyed shirts and Sgt. Pepper albums. Then again, maybe the absence of the typical “medicinal” plume that one usually experiences at concerts was because one can’t light up anything indoors in New York City these days – even in bars (one has to go to Jersey to smoke).

If you ever were a Neil Diamond fan, and his world tour** will be anywhere near you, I recommend that you get yourself a ticket. However, a word to the Forty-Somethings and older – Go light on the pre-concert beer, as there is no intermission.

Oh, and one more thing. There was no politics — just good music. Thank you, Mr. Diamond.

**Tour information can be found here. In addition, for the very serious Neil Diamond fans, this site is a must. (Thanks, Eric)

August 19, 2005

Sort of a “Hot August Night”.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 5:30 pm

Tonight I’ll be going here to hear this guy in concert.

I don’t expect a crush of “twenty-somethings,” or even too many “thirty-somethings,” for that matter.

August 18, 2005

Yikes!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:09 pm

Croc.jpg

Excuuuuuuse me while I shit my pants!

As many of you know, I am scared shitless of alligators. So, when I read a story like this about crocodiles (the alligator’s badass cousin), I experience instant and potentially explosive intestinal motility.

It seems that 60-year old Barry Jeffries and his wife were fishing from a canoe in a waterhole in a national park in northern Australia, when an 800+ pound crocodile (like the one pictured above) followed their fishing lines to the canoe and dragged Mr. Jeffries out of the canoe by his arm, capsizing the canoe. The wife swam to shore, but the Mr. Jeffries has not yet been found and is presumed dead.

The suspected killer croc was shot the following day, much to the horror of the environmentalists and even the Jeffries’ family. It also turns out that the Mr. Jeffries and his wife were themselves environmentalists, who in the past wrote to a newspaper objecting to the possible culling of crocs after an attack in another location. In the letter, the Mrs. Jeffries wrote:

“A sensible assessment of the situation is more worthy than the sensational outcry that culling would save human lives. Most Australians never venture into these remote areas, and those who do know that preparation needs to be taken,”

I cannot imagine what kinds of preparations Mrs. Jeffries had in mind. The area where the couple had been fishing requires a four-wheel drive vehicle to get to and is posted as being a place where one can expect to find crocodiles. It seems to me that fishing in that water, under any circumstances, was a bad idea, and fishing from something as easily capsized as a canoe was a very bad idea. But, hey, what do I know. I’m just a guy who can happily live the rest of his life without ever being within a hundred miles of a gator or a croc.

Bonus: For a few hair-raising stories about these Australian crocs, check out this article. Here’s a sample:

“These animals are relics of a prehistoric age. They have no natural enemies except man and they fear nothing. They are known by a variety of names — crocs, lizards, mud geckos, bities, leather handbags — but they are always treated with respect born of fear. Fishermen in the north commonly say that if you fall out of your dinghy in a croc-infested creek, you’ll be back in before getting wet.”

I’d love to visit Australia some day, but I’ll make damned sure I go where the crocs ain’t

August 17, 2005

Cosmic Alignment.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:30 pm

Moon and Stars.jpgYou know? Sometimes the planets, stars and other celestial things line up just right and great things happen, sort of like the Age of Aquarius. You remember that, right? The moon, the Seventh House, Jupiter aligning with Mars, hippies – Hell, it was a Broadway Show, a hit song and a movie.

I don’t know what house the moon is occupying at the moment, nor do I have any idea where Jupiter and Mars are in relation to one another at the moment, but something must be going just right in the universe because there is just no other way to account for the following cosmically wonderful things:


You can now buy dog food formulated with yogurt!

“P. Diddy” has announced that, henceforth, he will be known simply as “Diddy.”

Madonna’s injuries, suffered while horseback riding on her 1,200 acre, $16 million estate in England, will not affect the release of her new album in November.


I simply have got to get me some flowers for my farookin’ hair.

August 16, 2005

Jersey Docs Know This Stuff.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:40 pm

My buddy Rob wrote a piece about “Southern Injuries,” which, not surprisingly, deals with injuries that, to a greater or lesser extent, are unique to the South. That got me to thinking about some of the maladies that we suffer in the Garden State.

Pothole-algia: This condition arises as a result of having one of the millions of post-winter potholes swallow the front wheel of one’s car. Pothole-algia comes in two distinct phases. The first phase is consists of the pain that shoots from asshole to neck when one’s tire goes into a pothole with the diameter of a garbage can lid and the depth of an Arctic crevasse. The second phase is characterized by the pain one experiences upon learning that it will be necessary to replace the tire, rim and front end of your car.

Toll-terror: This is a specific form of panic attack that occurs when one is trying to navigate from three fast-moving lanes into one of eight or more toll booths, depending on whether it is an EZ Pass lane, a Token or Exact Change, or a Cash-Receipt Lane, and one is victimized by an out-of-state driver who is, understandably confused by it all and who invariably cuts across eight lanes like some kind of kamikaze.

Post-Toll Despair: This condition is marked by the hopelessness one feels when emerging from one of the eight or more toll lanes and all eight lanes have to immediately squeeze into three lanes. The sense of despair is most serious when you paid the toll in the left-most lane and, after having paid the toll, you must somehow cross a veritable sea of cars to get to the right lane in order to immediately exit the highway. For out-of-state drivers, this can be most terrifying and can result in night sweats and/or self-destructive thoughts.

Black Ice Helplessness: This is the complete loss of control accompanied by fear of impending death that you experience when you realize that you have hit a patch of black ice (very slick and not very visible) while going down a hill and at the bottom of the hill is a busy, truck-filled, cross street. The condition has been known to result in an involuntary discharge of the bowels as the essentially free ranging vehicle slowly spins its way toward the killer cross street.

Windshield Wiper Hypervision: This condition occurs when one is driving on a multi-lane highway in a snow/sleet/ice storm and the windshield wipers only clear away a small portion of the windshield (usually about an inch wide), leaving the rest of the windshield opaque with snow/sleet/ice. Not only does it strain the eyes almost to the point of ocular explosion, but it also causes severe orthopedic problems. This is so, because the “clear” portion of the windshield is never at eye level and, therefore, requires rather dramatic contortions by the driver. Finally, because Windshield Wiper Hypervision is often accompanied by a rear window and rearview mirrors that are covered with snow/sleet/ice, changing lanes to ultimately pull off the highway is impossible for all but the most daring and/or religiously plugged in.

Circlecide: This is the realization of the possibility of sudden death or serious injury that exists each time one prepares to navigate one of New Jersey’s many traffic circles, which were most certainly designed by one of Satan’s Lieutenants. The possibility of death increases geometrically with every out-of-state driver who enters the circle.

August 15, 2005

The Original Bill and the Telemarketer.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:16 pm

Telemarketer.jpgRecently while hanging around, boozing it up having cocktails and shooting the shit discussing interesting and topical matters with the Usual Suspects, the subject of telemarketers came up. The specific topic of conversation focused on the manner in which each of deals with telemarketers.

The general consensus seemed to be that, upon learning that one is dealing with a telemarketer, the phone is simply hung up, sometimes (but most often not) preceded by a “No thank you,” or “I’m not interested.” However, The Original Bill, one of the Usual Suspects, shared an approach he has used at least once, and which had me in absolute stitches.

He explained that the telemarketer in question, a female, was particularly aggressive. Apparently prepared for the quick hang-up, she launched immediately into a barrage of questions, such as “How would you like to save 25% on your next purchase of XYZ?”

Bill responded, “I’m not interested” to about the first three questions, but did not hang up the phone. His goal was to make the telemarketer hang up.

The telemarketer kept pounding away at the sales pitch without regard to the ‘I’m not interested” responses or simple silence.

Then, The Original Bill** “pulled the trigger”:

Bill: “Do you have big tits?”

Telemarketer: (complete silence – amazing)

Bill: “I’ll bet you have really big tits.”

Telemarketer:

Bill: “Are they firm and perky, or are they nice and soft?”

Telemarketer: CLICK

When we asked if he was worried that the woman would report him as some kind of weirdo stalker, he responded, “Bullshit! I didn’t call her; she called me!!!”

I still laugh when I think about it.

**The Original Bill has excellent manners and is most certainly not some kind of mouth-breathing telephone slob. This was an experiment he conducted, and, as you can see, the result was as planned.

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