August 23, 2006

Did Ya Hear the One About … ?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:12 pm

This, from my lawyer friend Jack., who is a lawyer and a democrat. I’m cool with the lawyer part, but I figure that the democrat thing must be due to some kind of virus.

A guy walks into a bar and sees a gorgeous woman nursing a drink.

Walking up behind her he says, “Hi, there, good lookin’? How’s it going?”

Having already downed a few power drinks, she turned around, faced him, looked him straight in the eye and said, . . .

“Listen up, buddy. I screw anybody, any time, anywhere, your place, my place, in the car, front door, back door, on the ground, standing up, sitting down, naked or with clothes on, dirty, clean … it just doesn’t matter to me. I’ve been doing it ever since I got out of college and I just flat-ass love it.”

Eyes now wide with interest, he responded, “No kidding. I’m a lawyer, too. What firm are you with?”

Can I get a rimshot?

August 22, 2006

More Jerseyspeak.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:22 pm

It’s been quite some time since I’ve addressed some of the finer points of Jerseyspeak. Pay close attention to the following, because it might keep you from getting your ass kicked when visiting the Garden State. You got a problem wit dat? No? OK, let’s go.

One of the examples of Jerseyspeak that I have always found to be interesting is the use of the terms “Not for nothing”** (which is pronounced “nah-fuh-NUTTIN’”), and “I am just saying” (which is pronounced “I’m-jus sayin’”).

The former is used to introduce one’s gratuitous opinion on a matter, particularly when the person offering the gratuitous opinion has some reason to believe that the opinion may not be well-received or believed by the listener. The latter is immediately employed in cases where the gratuitous opinion is challenged.

Consider, if you will, the following exchange between Tony and Angelo, two business associates:

Tony: “Yo, nah-fuh-NUTTIN’, but I think that guy Sal is ripping us off.”

Angelo: “You gotta be nuts! I know Sal for years. He may be an asshole, but he ain’t a teef!”

Tony: “Aaaaay, I’m jus sayin’.”

As you can see, the “nah-fuh-NUTTIN’” linguistic device permits Tony to subtly alert Angelo that he is about to make a statement, which may be outlandish, insulting, or just wrong, and from which Tony may have to distance himself, depending on the Angelo’s reaction to the statement.

The “I’m jus sayin’” device permits Tony to escape responsibility for having said such a thing, ironically by asserting that he was only saying it.

Jerseyspeak – It’s an art form.

** One could scratch one’s head bloody trying to discern the literal meaning of the double-negatived verbal tic “not for nothing”. “Not for nothing”? If something is “not for nothing”, doesn’t that mean that it is “for something”? I have to stop thinking about it, as I am getting blood under my fingernails and screwing up my great farookin’ hair.

August 21, 2006

Jimbo’s Mailbag.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:01 pm

mailbag1.jpg

Dear Jimbo:

I’ve been out of college for three years now, and I haven’t been able to find a job. Got any tips?

Sincerely,
Timmy “Skeets” McManus
Jersey City, New Jersey

Dear Timmy:

I can see by the additional information that you enclosed with your letter that Exxon-Mobil, IBM, General Motors and Microsoft informed you that their CEO positions are already filled. I know that you remain encouraged by each of the foregoing advising you that they will keep your resume on file, but let’s talk turkey here, Timmy Boy.

I suspect that the degree in sociology and a grade point average of 1.2 isn’t working out too well for you. I would suggest that, at least for now, you aim a little lower. How about something in journalism? Maybe a paper route? If you play your politics right, you could be promoted to reporter on the New York Times.

You also might consider moving out of New Jersey and seeking work as a shepherd.

Let me know how you make out.


Yo, Jimbo,

I just turned 57, and I’m thinking about having my ear pierced and getting one of those cool diamond studs for my ear. Waddya think?

Rock on!
Ron Steuben
Madison, New Jersey

Dear Ron:

You’re clearly an asshole. You should spend your ear piercing, diamond stud-buying money on something more age-appropriate. Good whiskey comes to mind. Unless, of course your current job involves piracy, in which case you should have both ears pierced, have one of your eyes gouged out and buy a parrot.


Dear Jimbo:

I have like this really cool idea. I think they should build a bridge that connects New Jersey and England. That would be like so totally cool. There could be an exit on the Parkway somewhere around Seaside Heights, and the sign could say, “Exit 82 – Seaside Heights, England”. This way you could stop off in the afternoon at Seaside Heights for a swim and a walk on the boardwalk, and then head off to England for dinner.

They could get the English people to build half of it, and where the two halves come together, there could be something like the golden knot they tied at Purgatory Point when the railroads came together. You know about that, right?

Super bonus!! We could put a tollbooth on our side, and the bridge would pay for itself.

Great idea, no?

Your pal,
Maxwell V. Stoner
Point Pleasant, New Jersey
P.S. Jimbo, please keep this to yourself, because I am thinking about trying to get a patent.

Dear Maxwell:

Here’s my suggestion. Try staying away from the weed for about three weeks, and if at the end of that time you still think this is a swell idea, I suggest that you consider some prescription meds. Or, perhaps try swimming to England for dinner.

August 20, 2006

Chocolate Sledgehammer.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:43 am

Chocolate vodka2.jpgThe Usual Suspects have been drinking Three Olives Chocolate Flavored Vodka with increasing regularity and increasing quantities since the spring, and there is no end in sight. It’s my fault.

Fancying myself a bit of a Spirits Swashbuckler, I plucked a bottle of the stuff from the shelf early this year and was regularly enjoying it at home as a post-work “calmer downer”. It is difficult to find around here, but it was always worthy of a special trip to the one store I know of that stocks it.

I was, therefore, surprised and downright giddy when I found it in the little liquor store in Fort Meyers Beach on which the Usuals descend every May as our first stop on the way from the airport (the owner is always very glad to see us and listen to his cash register sing). I bought a bottle and introduced the Usual Suspects to it poolside. It was a boffo smash hit, resulting in several more trips to the little liquor store until we ultimately bought out the stock.

We have been drinking it ever since. Taken from the freezer, and poured over lots of clear ice, it is like taking a small bite of semi-sweet chocolate and chasing it with ice-cold vodka. I have yet to come across anyone (even people who are strictly beer people and people who only rarely drink) who does not instantly love the stuff. Now, we can’t seem to get enough of the stuff.

And there is the problem.

It is quite easy to forget that this wonderfully ice-cold mini-chocolate sipper contains 35% alcohol and will eventually deliver a first-class ass kicking. That was the case yesterday as the Usuals sat around sipping and shooting the shit, and before we knew it, three bottles of the stuff were gone, designated drivers were enlisted for the trip home, and several of us today are slightly ragged around the edges.

I give Three Olives Chocolate Vodka a five-shooter rating and recommend that you pick up a bottle (or three) if run across it in your local spirits store.

But, be careful. The stuff is like crack.

August 19, 2006

Da Comcast Bill.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 12:41 pm

I received my regular bill from Comcast for cable television and high-speed internet access. Guess what. Comcast seeks to charge me for high-speed internet access on days when I had NO INTERNET ACCESS, high-speed or otherwise, due to a failed modem, which belongs to Comcast and which Comcast has since replaced, all as is reflected in Comcast’s records.

This should be interesting.

August 18, 2006

Da Comcast Letter.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 5:16 pm

The following is the letter I sent to Comcast back on August 12th, portions of which have been redacted for obvious reasons and to protect the identities of the poor bastards who work for Comcast, each of whom was very polite, even though none of them could do a damned thing about a ten-day wait for a modem replacement.


James *********, Esq.
***** ****** Street
********, New Jersey
Telephone: (***) ***-****

August 12, 2006

Comcast Corporation
1500 Market Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102-2148
Attn: President

Re: Internet Cable “Customer Service”
Account No. ******
Service Reference No. *********

Dear Sir:

“Customer service?” You must be joking.

I have been a Comcast Cable Television subscriber longer than I can remember, and I have been a Comcast Internet Cable subscriber for something approaching six years. I, therefore, clearly qualify as a “customer”.

As a “customer”, I do not think that I am receiving anything resembling “customer service” when I am told that I must wait ten days for a technician to come to my home for a service call , which service call will, in all likelihood, require a simple modem replacement.

A review of the information contained in Comcast’s file with the above reference number should show the following:

August 6, 2006

7:46 pm:: I called Comcast when, after a day or so of spotty internet service, I lost internet access completely.

The representative did the necessary troubleshooting to verify that I was completely off-line, and she noted that there did not seem to be a problem in my geographic area. She stated that a visit by a Comcast technician would be necessary, and she placed me on hold while she tried to arrange for an appointment.

A few moments later, she returned to the phone and stated that I would have to call the following morning and make the appointment myself. She provided me with the above reference number and indicated that by my referring to the reference number during my next call the problem would be identified and that and everything that had been done to that point would be available to whomever I spoke with.

August 7, 2006

9:01 am: I called Comcast and reached a representative named L***. I gave her the reference number but still had to explain the problem again. She again verified that I was completely off-line. She also confirmed that a visit by a technician would be necessary and told me that the earliest that a technician could be at my home is August 17th.

I expressed my astonishment that I would have to wait ten days for a service visit, particularly one that would likely involve only a modem replacement (I’ve had a couple in the past and I have a pretty good idea of how a dying and ultimately dead modem looks.) She stated that she would “call dispatch” too see if she could arrange for an earlier appointment (she used the term “additional quota”). She said that she would call me back as soon as she got off the phone with dispatch.

9:45 am: No call back from L****.

9:50 am: I called Comcast again and was connected with a representative named M******. He asked me what the problem was and I indicated that all the information should be in the reference document, but I explained much of it yet again, including L***’s failure to call me back as promised. I explained that I needed to find out if an earlier appointment was possible, possibly for that day, because, if not, I had to go to my office to work.

9:55 am: He put me on hold, and in a few minutes he returned to the phone and told me that he “just spoke with L*** who was on the phone with another customer” and that Lisa would call me back “in five or ten minutes”. I asked if he could make an appointment for a service call, and he indicated that the first person I spoke with (the August 6th call) should have made an appointment. I explained that the person told me that she was not able to make an appointment. M****** repeated that L*** would call me back “in five or ten minutes”.

10:30 am: No call back from L***.

10:35 am: I called Comcast and was connected with a representative named J****. I explained that she was the fourth person with whom I had spoken that morning (including one person who failed twice to make a promised phone call), and it would be the fourth time I explained the problem. I stated again that I was trying to arrange for an appointment with a service technician – hopefully an appointment that would occur sooner than in ten days.

10:40 am: J**** placed me on hold and returned a few minutes later with an “Online Supervisor” named H**. I reviewed the facts for the fifth time and stated that I what I really needed at this point is someone to make an appointment for a service call, preferably one sooner than ten days away!

H** put me on hold while he called the “local office” about an appointment.

H** returned to the phone and confirmed that the earliest available appointment was for August 17th. When I again expressed my astonishment that the earliest possible appointment was ten days in the future, he noted that it did seem like an unusually long wait and asked if I would like to reserve the date. Having absolutely no other choice, I booked the date.

August 8, 2006

2:35 pm: More aggravated than ever, I decided to call the “local office,” which is listed as being the office to call for repairs and which happens to be located in the town in which I live.

I spoke with a representative named A****. I gave A**** the reference number and again explained the problem. I told him that I was calling the number listed for “repairs” because I wanted someone to absolutely confirm to me that the next possible date that a technician could come to my home was August 17th. A**** confirmed that there were no earlier dates available.

A**** suggested that I try disconnecting the modem and bring it to the “payment center” for an exchange. However, he could not confirm that the people in the “payment center” customarily exchange modems, or that they would exchange mine. He agreed that, absent any assurances from Comcast that the modem would be replaced, it might well be a waste of my time to try that.

I think the foregoing speaks for itself, and it speaks volumes.

Quite simply, when it comes to customer service, Comcast richly deserves a failing grade.

Very truly yours,

James ********

[Note: The original looked nicer with Word formatting, which I am incapable of duplicating here. I also added a couple commas, which were not included in the original -- errors, no doubt, born of burning rage.]

August 17, 2006

Return From the Comcastic Island of the Damned.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 5:50 pm

Yes, my ten-day sentence to solitary confinement at the Comcastic Island of the Damned is finally over.

Ten days ago I got around to calling Comcast after two days of dealing with a sick, then very sick, then moribund, then dead-as-Elvis modem. I know the signs well, as this is my third or fourth modem. After phone calls with four Comcast “customer service” representatives and one Comcast “supervisor,” the verdict was final. It would take ten days for Comcast to spring a technician loose to visit my home to replace a dead modem. Ten days without internet access. No blogging, no blog reading, no e-mail, no unfiltered information. No nothing. Nada! Zilch! Zip! Zubonowitz! Nothing!

So, what did I learn from having been cut loose from cyberspace and cast adrift in the meat world?

A hiatus from blogging and blog-reading does not result in a wellspring of creativity. At first I rationalized, ”Yo, Jimbo, this might not be a bad thing. After all, for the past couple weeks, you felt as if you might be losing your fastball. This will be a good time to re-charge for a couple days, and then you can spend the rest of the downtime writing really clever and creative things.”

It did not happen. I found that, without the self-imposed daily “deadline” to come up with something that might be worth at least sixty seconds of someone’s time, it is too easy to decide to do other things instead of coaxing something worth reading from the keyboard. I read four mind-candy books, which admittedly was not bad, and I watched far too much television, most of which would have been better left unwatched.

I have often heard and read that to produce an occasional bit of decent writing, one must write something every day if at all possible. The last ten days have convinced me of the wisdom of that proposition. As I sit here, I don’t feel creatively refreshed, but rather creatively stiff, badly in need of throwing a few warm-ups.

Loss of internet access is torture for an information junkie. Until now, I hadn’t realized just how much and how often I have come to rely on the internet for information — not for just the daily news, but for all sorts of information – from news that is unfiltered by the television networks to instantly being able to find out who played “Joe Blow” in the XYZ Movie.

It was particularly maddening to be without access to tons on information during a time period when the Israelis were kicking the shit out of Hezbollah (Hizbulla? Schmizbolla?) and, in turn, getting their asses kicked by the American media. It was positively maddening to be without access when a plot to blow airplanes out of the sky was foiled by our British friends whose intelligence gathering efforts remain unencumbered by the ACLU and the New York Times.

Most of all, I missed the peeps. ‘Nuf said.

It’s good to be back in business.

Special thanks to my good buddy Eric, who kept the place alive and, in at least one case, “vibrating”. Also a big thanks to Dogette at Two Nervous Dogs for proving that vigils need not be a downer, but rather can be a GODDAMNED pisser!

NOTE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HOLY SHIT: The cable guy left, and everything was working. However, in the time it took me to write this, I lost access AGAIN!!! I immediately called my old friends at Comcast and a switch flip there (same as unplugging the modem uh-oh!) got me back on. Don’t throw away those vigil candles just yet.

Wired….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric @ 10:35 am

wahooo!… good morning, rubberneckers…. today is the day!… that’s right, Jimbo is slated to be chauffeured back into the Land of the Infinitely Wired by a hopefully helpful Cable Guy this afternoon…

… in other news, the proprietor of Two Nervous Dogs has seen fit to grant me humble access to her fine blog… and I’m truly thankful… see, if she hadn’t given me the proverbial nod, I’d have eternally missed posts like this one….

… Jimbo, sir… you can just feel the love, man… you can feel it… we’ll all be sending you some good vibes between 3 and 5….

August 15, 2006

Soon….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric @ 8:50 pm

…. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I was the happy recipient of a phonecall from Mr Jimbo today… and I am pleased to inform everyone that he is slated to have his internet access back online sometime this coming Thursday…. the Good Lord and Comcast be willing….

… so rejoice!… and likewise be jubilant that you wonderful people only have to put up with me for TWO MORE DAYS!….

… oh, and I hear through the grapevine (because, of course, I can’t verify it myself because I am banned from the site) that Two Nervous Dogs are holding a vigil for Jimbo and The Upcoming Comeback….

… there is chanting and everything, evidently…. which is very nice, of course… especially since I have actually witnessed Jimbo speaking in tongues before after chugging a pint of apple brandy.. so chanting is the perfect way to hold vigil for Mr. Rest Stop…

.. anyway, I just thought I’d let you gentle people know the score…. Jimbo is on the mend… Jimbo shall return… Jimbo, well, he’ll be back romping and stomping on Thursday….. so rest easy..

August 14, 2006

Muppets….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric @ 12:52 pm

… man, I do so just LOVE guestblogging….. and guess what I have for you today, children?…. Muppets… oh, yeah… but not just any Muppets… x-rated Muppets… I’ll never look at Miss Piggy’s rack in quite the same way again…..

… hurry back, Jimbo…. I’ve got a million of these things….

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