April 18, 2006

Orange Jumpsuit Guys.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:19 pm

Once in a while, Jersey gets something right.

On my way to work over the past couple days, I’ve seen the Orange Jumpsuit Guys picking up and bagging litter on Route 78.  They are “minimum custody inmates”, and they comprise but one of 108 work details of the Community Labor Assistance Program in the state.

The program involves the use of inmates to perform numerous public service projects, including “the development of the safe play areas for children, building rehabilitation, general maintenance work, landscaping of state parks, emergency/disaster relief and removing litter from highways….”

Having inmates pick up litter on the highways is a cooperative venture between the Department of Corrections and the Department of Transportation.  Over the past couple days, the prisoner detail has picked up enough trash to fill hundreds of trash bags, which are later picked up by a truck.

Given that New Jersey has plenty of prisoners and plenty of work that needs doing, this seems like a rare win-win situation.  I have no doubt that the inmates appreciate not being locked up, but, at the same time, spending the day picking up God-knows-what people toss from their car windows is hard enough work to serve as a disincentive to some of them to return to prison.

Speaking of disincentives, I wish that the pigs who throw the stuff from their car windows could spend a couple weeks working with the Orange Jumpsuit Guys.

April 17, 2006

A Jersey Bar Tale.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:35 pm

At about ten minutes before closing time in Donovan’s Pub in Jersey City, Joe Crook enters the bar, pulls a gun on Mike the owner/bartender and says, “Empty the register.  Now!”

Mike:  “OK, buddy.  Take it easy.  Stay calm.  I’ll cooperate.  Just be careful with that gun.”

Crook:  “Fine.  Hurry up, and no one will get hurt.”

Mike:  (Removes money from register and turns towards Crook)  “Wait a minute.  What do you think you’re doing?”

Crook:  “What the hell does it look like I’m doing?  I’m holding up the place, fer Chrissake.”

Mike:  “I know that, but that’s not what I’m talking about.”


Mike:  “You just lit a cigarette!”

Crook:  “Yeah, so what?”

Mike:  “No smoking allowed.  It’s the new law.  I’m going to have to ask you to take that outside.”

Crook:  “Don’t you see that I have a gun in my hand?”

Mike:  “Sure.  I see that, but I also see that you have a cigarette in the other hand, and you’ll have to take that outside.”

Crook:  “You must be out of your mind.”

Mike:  “Sorry, but you can’t smoke in here.  It’s the law, man.”

Crook:  “Don’t hand me that crap.  This is a goddamned robbery.”

Mike:  “I know that, but I’m going to have to ask you again to take that cigarette outside, and be sure to move at least twenty-five feet away from the door.”

Crook:  “Jesus Christ!  OK, I’ll put the damned thing out.  Now hand over the money.”

Mike:  “I’m sorry, but I can’t offer you an ash tray.”

Crook:  “You must some kind of nutcase.  You want me to go outside to smoke, and then what?  I’m supposed to come back inside to finish this robbery?”

Mike:  “Suit yourself, but you may have to hurry.  I’m closing in seven minutes.”

Crook:  “Just my goddamned luck.  Of all the joints in the city to stick up, I hadda pick one run by a kook.  (Walks to the door and flicks the cigarette into the street)  OK, happy now?  Hand over the cash.”

Mike: (Hands Crook the money)

Crook:  “What’s this shit?  There’s only twenty-three bucks here.  Where’s the rest of it?”

Mike:  “There is no ‘rest of it’.  That’s it.  That’s all of it.”

Crook:  “Don’t bullshit me.  It’s Saturday night, and you’re telling me you only took in twenty-three dollars?”

Mike:  “Yep.  All my former customers are smokers.  I’m gonna have to sell the place and get a job.”

Crook:  “Man, that stinks.  Waddya gonna do?”

Mike:  “I’m thinking about running for the State Assembly.  A guy can make some real money there.”

Crook:  “Damn, I had no idea.  I haven’t been reading the papers.  Here, take the money back.  Do I have time for a beer?”

Mike:  “Sure, just as long as you don’t smoke.”

Crook:  “Tell me more about that State Assembly thing.”

April 16, 2006

Easter 2006.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 12:42 pm

Easter Eggs21.jpg



Note:  The teeny picture is evidence that I am still trying to figure out the image thing in WordPress.

April 15, 2006

All Hands On Deck.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 11:04 pm

Check this out, courtesy of the U.S. Navy.  Most impressive.

The background music is by Duane Eddy playing with the Ventures.

This post is dedicated to Harvey, Denny, Ken, Randy, Ward, my buddies Ron, Walt, Sol (WWII, and who will be 100 next month), and most of all to my friend Paulie (a Tin Can Sailor) who is hanging tough in the hospital following some heavy-duty heart surgery.

Thanks to my friend Brian, the Air Force Vet

Loot After Death.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:02 pm

Most people I know break their ass every day to make a living and put a little away for retirement.  Earning money is much easier for some.  Indeed, we all probably know a select few people who manage to earn money by not doing much of anything.

However, some celebrities earn a fortune each year for doing absolutely nothing.  Indeed, they generate a shitload of money even though they’re dead as doornails.

For example, the highest earning dead celebrity made $45 million in 2005.  Who do you think that might be?

Hint:  It’s not John Lennon.  In 2005, he only put a paltry $22 million in Yoko’s pocketbook.

The answer, along with the identity of the other top eight dead celebrity money machines, is here.

via The Presurfer

April 14, 2006

New Jersey’s Indoor-Farting Ban..

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:00 pm

A spokesperson from Governor Corzine’s office announced that, on the heels of the passage of New Jersey’s Smoking Ban, the Governor has signed into law, The Flatulent Emission Reduction Act.

The new law prohibits flatulent emissions in restaurants, bars, public buildings, and workplaces.  Specifically, the statute provides, in pertinent part:

“Any person emitting flatulent gas in a Flatulence-Free Location [e.g. restaurants, bars, public buildings and workplaces] shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense and shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars per offense.  Each flatulent emission shall be deemed a separate offense.”

In addition, any owner or operator of a Flatulence-Free Location who knowingly permits the release of flatulent emissions on the premises is also subject to fine.  The law requires owners and operators of Flatulence-Free Locations to conspicuously post a sign that states:

“This a FLATULENCE-FREE LOCATION.  All persons experiencing the need to emit flatulent gases must exit the premises to release such gases.  Those emitting such gases must not be within twenty-five feet of the entrance to this establishment.”

Reaction to the new law has been swift.  Robert Medvorky, the spokesperson for the Restaurant Owner’s Association stated, “This law is an outrage!  This means that, in order to avoid either being fined himself, or having his customers spend the entire evening out on the sidewalk farting, restaurant owners should remove items such as eggs, beans, and cabbage from their menus?  It will destroy the restaurant business in New Jersey.”

Patrick O’Malley, the owner of a drinking establishment known as “O’Malley’s Emerald Isle” was disappointed to learn that the law did not contain a St. Patrick’s Day exemption.  “BeJesus, how, in Christ’s name, can we be servin’ corned been and cabbage if all our customers will end up outside fartin’ and not inside drinkin’?  We’ll go broke.”

Supporters of the law cite to polls that show that people overwhelmingly find the smell of farts to be unpleasant.  Claiming that the law also has a basis in promoting good heath, John Braddock, Chairman of the Garden State Clean Air Society, stated:” Research has definitively shown that inhalation of secondhand flatulent emissions can result in long-term circulatory and pulmonary conditions.  Furthermore, any college kid can tell you that flatulent emissions are extremely flammable.  So this law will not only result in cleaner indoor air, but it will also reduce the possibility of a fart-gas explosion and fire.”

Perhaps the most interesting objection came from a Archie Sendowski, one of several people smoking outside a bar in Hoboken.  “This is the last goddamned straw!  We’re out here smoking in all kinds of weather, and now we have to be surrounded with a bunch of farters!  Who wants to breathe that shit?  The terrorists have won, I tell ya.”

The Governor’s Office had no comment when asked why the new legislation permits people to continue farting in Atlantic City Casinos, cigar bars and the State Legislature. 



April 13, 2006

Step Away from the Door!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 6:27 pm

New Jersey’s Smoking Ban, which outlaws smoking indoors in public places, including bars and restaurants (except, of course, in Atlantic City’s Casinos), takes effect on April 15th.  No longer will the owner of an establishment be able to choose to permit smoking or not; the state had made that choice for him.

Which means that smokers have been relegated to the great outdoors if they wish to smoke.  Freezing cold, driving snow, pouring rain – it doesn’t matter, “Outside with you, filthy swine!”

Today, just three days before the law takes effect, the Department of Health and Senior Services issued a regulation stating that smokers cannot be within twenty-five feet of the door of the establishment.  The feces head who wrote the regulation must have had large office buildings in mind, because he/she obviously has not spent much time visiting about a gazillion Jersey saloons and restaurants that have a frontage of about twenty-five feet.

I suppose that means that smokers have to go onto someone else’s property to stay far enough away from the door to legally smoke.  Perhaps they should stand in the street in order to satisfy the twenty-five feet rule?  But wait, there are other laws that would prevent that.

This Nanny State Crap is consistent with the recent hike in the cigarette tax that was proposed as part of the state budget..  Enlighten New Jersey ferreted out the real deal on the cigarette tax hike.  It’s purpose is not to increase revenues to combat the scandalously high deficit in this state, which has resulted from corruption, governmental inefficiency, and profligate spending, but rather its unspoken purpose is to tax smokers out of their habits.  Indeed the budget forecasted a net revenue loss of $149 million as a result of the tax hike.

This is yet more social engineering brought to you by the Beautiful People, many of whom, by the way, enjoy a good cigar and made damned sure that “cigar bars” remained legal.  (Please spare me the increased-healthcare-costs-resulting-from-smoking crapola unless Corzine is also willing to tax hell out of potato chips, ice cream and Twinkies.)

This kind of baloney and the taxes being to the point where many young and older people can no longer afford to live in this state, I think that the only possible solution is to vote every single New Jersey incumbent politician out of office.

Party affiliation does not matter.  If they’re in vote ‘em out!

We need a complete do-over in this state.

April 12, 2006

Mr. Blogroll.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:37 pm

Mr. Blogroll remains under construction.  As you can see, It has become two blogrolls and the entries are now alphabetized.  At the old site, I added links as I found them, but, frankly, I was beginning to forget where on the ever-growing list everything was.

If you were on the previous edition of Mr. Blogroll and do not see your site listed here, not to worry.  We’re working on it. 

Barking Gators

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:21 pm

A couple nights ago, I read this post on Rob’s Site about “barking” alligators, and it literally gave me the chills.  It’s no secret that I am scared shitless of alligators, which, of course, means that my fellow bloggers don’t miss an opportunity to send me pictures of big gators, pictures of groups of gators, pictures of gators on people’s front porches and in their back yards.  Hell, someone even sent me a picture of a mondo alligator swimming around with a big-assed deer in its mouth!

When they’re not sending me pictures to gross me out or scare the dogshit out of me, they’re sending me stories that typically deal with some poor bastard being dragged into a goddamned river by an alligator and presumably eaten.

However, none of the disgusting pictures of these vile creatures or the Some-Poor-Bastard-Got-Eaten stories had the effect on me that the story of the barking alligators did.  I cannot shake the thought of being alone, in total darkness, in some damned woods or the Everglades and hearing alligators but not knowing where they are.  I’ll bet I could write a great story about just that.  The problem is, by conjuring up and dwelling on the mental picture sufficiently to write the story, I would scare the shit out of myself.

If anyone decides to write it, please don’t send it to me.

Barking alligators … in the dark …  Damn!


April 11, 2006

Da Boitday Goil.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 6:52 pm

It was on this very day, more than a couple handfuls of years ago, that daughter TJ came into my life.

Back then, it was about three o’clock in the morning when Mrs. Parkway awakened me to tell me that she thought it might be “getting to be about that time”.

I took the news very calmly.  I got my two stopwatches out of the drawer (one for timing the pains and the other for timing the inter-pain intervals – I was seriously calm) and timed a couple of the inter-pain intervals.  As I recall, the pains were about 12 to 15 minutes apart.  Being really calm, I said, “I’M CALLING THE DOCTOR!”

The sleepy doctor listened to my babble and asked that I call him when the pains got to be about five minutes apart.  After timing a couple inter-pain intervals, I decided I only needed one stopwatch.  Besides, I was screwing things up trying to keep track of two watches.

The pains went something like this:  Twelve minutes apart … twelve minutes apart … ten minutes apart …  nine minutes apart … eight minutes apart … TWO MINUTES APART!!  TWO MINUTES APART?  WHAT HAPPENED TO SEVEN MINUTES APART AND SIX MINUTES APART?  TWO MINUTES APART?  HOLY SHIT!!”

I called the doctor back, and calmly said, ”THE PAINS ARE TWO MINUTES APART!!  THEY WENT FROM EIGHT MINUTES APART TO TWO MINUTES APART!!”  He said that I should bring Mrs. Parkway to the hospital, which was about a ten to twelve minute drive from home.

I calmly said to Mrs. Parkway, ”THE DOCTOR SAID WE HAVE TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL NOW!!!  LET’S GO!!  NOW!!”

As I was running around the house gathering up the stuff necessary to go to the hospital, including the pre-packed bag, I looked up the stairs and saw Mrs. Parkway slowwwwly brushing her hair in the bathroom, and I calmly said, “FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, LET’S GO!  NOW!!”

As she continued to brush her hair, she said, “I knew it.  I knew I’d look like hell when it was time to go to the hospital.”  She was the one having the baby, and I was the one damned near having a stroke.

I got her into the car and hit the road, calmly at about eighty miles per hour, all the while hoping that I would not have to deliver the baby myself on the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway.

We pulled into hospital parking lot, and (I swear this is the truth) I ran like a madman into the hospital, screaming like a lunatic, “We’re here to have a baby!”

The woman behind the counter said, “You’re here to have a baby?”

“Yes, yes.  We’re having a baby.  Where should we go?”

The woman looked at me and asked, “Where’s your wife, sir?”


I turned around only to see her just managing to exit the car and begin the waddle towards the hospital entrance.  It was a scene right out of I Love Lucy.

“Don’t worry sir.  We’ll get her,” and an aide went outside and collected her in a wheelchair.

We were spirited up to the maternity ward and were placed in a small “labor” room.  I won’t describe what the next couple hours were like other than to say.  “Holy farookin’ shit”.

When nature finally got around to dictating the time of imminent birth, Mrs. Parkway was taken into the delivery room – without me.  Remember, this was quite a few years ago, and it was in my pre-lawyer days when I worked in a pharmacology laboratory – a job that required that I read lots of medical stuff.  As such, I knew just enough about biology, medicine and childbirth to be a menace in the delivery room.  Instead of witnessing the wonder of the birth of my child, I would be watching the IV drip, the monitors and the doc’s every move.  Consequently, I sweated out the next hour or so, calmly, in the waiting room.

It seems strange as hell now, but back then, you could smoke in the waiting room, and I breathed through cigarettes (calmly, of course) for the next hour or so.

Finally the doctor appeared and said, “You have a daughter.”

“Wow!  A daughter!”  I started to run in the direction of the pay phone (these were pre-cell phone days) to call relatives when the doctor said, “Don’t call anyone just yet.”

I damned near died.  “Don’t call anyone just yet?  What’s wrong?”

The doc laughed and said, “Nothing’s wrong, but wait until we weigh her, because the first question everyone will ask you is ‘How much does she weigh?’”  Obviously, the doctor sensed how calm I was about all this.

In a few minutes, they brought her out for me to see.  I gazed in wonderment at my beautiful daughter, and as I was counting fingers and toes, I was dumbstruck by what I saw.

I hollered, “Nurse!  Nurse!”

“Yes sir?  What is it?”


“That’s the ink we used to take her foot footprints, sir.  We haven’t cleaned it off her yet.”

The nurse also must have been able to sense how calm I was.

It wasn’t long before the three of us were together, and I got to hold my beautiful baby girl for the first time.  My heart completely melted, and it has stayed completely melted for all these years.

Happy birthday, TJ.

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