December 23, 2003

Recommended Reading.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 11:05 pm

Make yourself comfortable and check out The Waves and the Night at Unbillable Hours. It is an excellent piece of writing.

This site definitely gets blogrolled.

It Must Be A Jersey Thing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:17 pm

What Classic Movie Are You?

Thanks to LeeAnn for the Link. I’m gonna make her an offer she can’t refuse.

Curmudgeonly & Skeptical Moved Again.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:12 pm

After spending some time on BlogSpot while his regular site was being unscrambled (sort of like the Apollo 13 crew’s use of the lunar module), Rodger went back to his original site. Adjust your bookmarks and blogrolls accordingly.

Conspicuously Stupid Consumption.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 4:07 pm

Conspicuous consumption – The generally stupid purchase of a particular item, largely because it is expensive and will serve as a demonstration to others of the purchaser’s shallowness and insecurity one’s financial well being. Owning such items is a wonderful way to show the world that you are a flaming asshole with too gott-damned much money person of good taste and refinement.

Here are a few shopping suggestions:

One can dazzle one’s friends with a bottle of Krug Clos du Mesnil Champagne, 1988 at $325 per bottle, or, on a lesser scale, with a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label Scotch at $185 per bottle (as if most, if not all of your whiskey’d up buddies would know either of these beverages from cheap bubbly or bar scotch).

If fashion is your thing, the gentlemen should consider a Gucci shirt, which retails for $400 (on sale for $299)and then consider getting their farookin’ heads examined. Hip women might be interested in a Gucci handbag for $1,000 (on sale for $849), or a pair of Gucci boots for $2,900 (on sale for a mere $1,849), or they might consider a brain transplant.

Being a person who occasionally has his head in his ass of most discriminating tastes, I am particularly intrigued with thought of purchasing a couple Partagas 150 Don Ramon Cigars $100.00 each. Then again, I may have had a particularly bad day in the mental capacity department. I can only imagine what a jerk my friends would think I am how truly impressed my friends will be as I dramatically light this 7 inch, 52 ring gauge waste of about $96 beauty and announce that in only cost me a mere hundred bucks. They’ll probably all want to shove the cigar where the sun don’t shine all envy me.

Sounds pretty friggin’ dumb great to me.

I wonder if the Partagas 150 Don Ramons come with a complimentary psychiatric examination matches.

December 22, 2003

Laundry Guy.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 5:17 pm

For quite a few years now, at the house by the Parkway, I have been the Laundry Guy. Given the assumption that domestic chores should be shared (I sound like a regular Alan Farookin’ Alda here), I chose doing the laundry as my main contribution to the domestic enterprise.

While I don’t think that anyone can truly like doing laundry, I do find a certain peace and satisfaction in the essentially solitary process that begins with a single pile of dirty clothes, sheets and towels and ends with a laundry basket or two filled with clean, folded clothes, sheets and towels. Maybe it’s one of those “Zen” things.

Scoff if you will, but I would remind you that being a Laundry Guy is not something just any damned fool can be. For example, being a Laundry Guy is not at all like being a congressman or a senator, because to be a real Laundry Guy, you have to know what you are doing.

Sorting. This is one of the parts of the process that requires experience and some thought. I usually have five categories into which things are classified and sorted. They are:

Colored things

Wait a minute. That’s six categories. OK, so I do laundry better than I count.

Sorting towels and sheets is a no-brainer, because “towels” and “sheets” are the categories, except when the towels and sheets are white, in which case they could be classified as “whites.” But loading white sheets and white towels into the washing machine with the rest of the “whites” would be too big a load, so it is best to keep towels and sheets in separate categories. See? I told you that this requires some thought.

Next easiest to categorize are “whites.” This category is comprised of things that are (drum roll, please) … white. It consists mainly of underwear (mine) and white socks – lots of white sox.

“Delicates” are almost always girlie things, which mostly consist of some form of underwear. Sorting “delicates” can sometimes be tricky, particularly in the case of some pajamas, which I am often tempted to toss in with the colors. I never do, though, because they just seem to belong with the delicates and not with grungy tee shirts. Being the Laundry Guy, I have broad discretion in making these kinds of decisions.

The toughest category is “other.” Sorting things in this category usually requires reading labels, which invariably advise that a particular garment should be washed alone, or in cold water, or on Tuesdays only. If one were to assiduously follow those instructions, doing laundry would take about 40 hours per week and would consume enough water to fill the Great Lake. Sub-categorization is key here. Sweaters, for example, can be gathered up and all washed at one time (cold water, of course). Drying them can be tricky, however, because the dryer can mean death to some sweaters.

Washing. I usually wash “colors” first (again, in cold water, of course), as this category contains jeans and tee shirts that I want to wear again right away. They are not my nicest tee shirts (in fact, a few are downright crummy looking), but they are hang-around-the-house shirts that are the most comfortable and, therefore, the ones I like the best.

Probably my favorite things to wash are “whites.” That’s because, unlike the things that have to be washed in cold water so the colors won’t fade, or things that must be washed “gently,” whites are washed with a vengeance. I set the machine to deliver lava-hot water to which I add detergent and bleach, creating a steam that smells like some serious laundering is going on, which it is.

Drying. Fortunately, most things can go into the dryer. There are, of course, a few items that have to be hung on the indoor clothesline in the basement, and still a few others (fancy schmancy sweaters) that must be dried flat on one of those flat, mesh things. I use one of those little fabric softener towelette things (e.g. Bounce) in each load, although I’m not sure why. I think they might reduce the propensity for clothes from the dryer to produce what the advertisers dubbed “static cling,” but I’ve never been enough of an adventurer to try drying stuff without using one of those little towellette things.

Folding. This is the part of the process that requires a considerable amount of skill. Some people (most often college kids, I think) take things from the dryer and toss them into a drawer “as is.” This is unacceptable. A good Laundry Guy can and does fold. I have tee shirt and towel folding down to a science, creating uniform piles of each. I also have underwear folding (his and hers) wired.

Before folding can commence, the clothes (or towels, or sheets) should be warmed up in the dryer for a couple minutes. This makes them more foldable, and, besides, there are few things nicer than taking warm towels out of the dryer in a cold basement. It is at this point in the process where one often has to deal with socks making up a portion of the things that just came out of the dryer.

Sock Matching. As I come across socks, I toss them into a nearby empty laundry basket to be dealt with after everything else is folded. Only then can the process of sock matching begin. This can be challenging, particularly when all the socks look alike at a distance, but, when seen up close, they are all quite different. I lay them all out on top of the dryer and begin by pairing up the easy ones. (e.g. the gold toes, the “Champion” white socks, etc.) Once the easy ones are out of the way, the task of matching like socks becomes less difficult.

Occasionally, at the end of the matching process, one still comes up with an extra sock, its brother/sister having been lost in the Sock Phantom Zone. I put these outliers aside, and more often than not, the prodigal socks show up in a future load. This was not the case, however, when daughter lived at home and 75% of her socks went forever unmatched, leaving me to ponder the statistical probability of such a thing happening by chance.

Although I consider myself to be a Laundry Guy extraordinaire, I have encountered a couple of vexing problems:

The Gordian Bra-Knot. The first problem is the tendency of brassieres to find one another in the washing machine and to entangle themselves one another and with everything else in the wash, thereby rendering a dozen separate garments into one large, ugly Gordian Bra-Knot that requires the patience of Job to untangle. For some time, I was convinced that this python-like characteristic of bras was simply the nature of the beast and that the aggravation of undoing bra-knots was my to be my fate. However, I have since learned that hooking those babies before they hit the water just about completely solves the problem. And, I figured that out all by myself. A good Laundry Guy always brings common sense into the laundry room.

The Ultimate Unfoldable. Unfortunately, try as I might, I have been completely (and I mean completely) unable to solve the second problem. In fact, I wonder whether anyone has solved the second problem, and that is the problem of neatly folding queen-sized fitted sheets. I have tried countless techniques, but I invariably end up with an unsightly, largely unfolded jumble. I camouflage my shortcomings in this department by hiding the mess under the flat sheet, which, fortunately, is very foldable. In fact, I challenge any one person, without a parachute packer’s table, to neatly fold one of those babies.

I am a Laundry Guy. A Laundry Guy, I am.

If the law business or the music business craps out, I’ll be OK, because I figure that lots of people can use a good Laundry Guy.

December 20, 2003

What’s Cookin’.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 11:51 pm

I don’t know how many of you read the sites to the left. I doubt that anyone (except me) reads them all. So, today seems like a good day to share what has been happening over there with most of them.

TJ finished the requirements for her Master’s Degree and will be starting a new gig in January. Color me happy and very proud.

Jack is kicking back a bit, probably still basking in the glow of his Instalanche.

Dodd at Ipse Dixit shoots foam all over the fire that erupted over Haliburton’s alleged price gouging.

Rita at Res Ipsa Loquitur takes a look the frequency of toothlessness in Kentucky and West Virginia. Open wide.

Craig at mtpolitics is blogging light in order to spend time this weekend with his visiting folks. That’s a good thing he’s doing. I envy him, as I miss my parents big time this time of year.

Michele sends a holiday card. I think this is the first time I ever saw references to a Swiss Colony Beef Log in a “holiday” card.

I’m having trouble getting Peppermint Patty’s site to load properly. Some of the text is being covered by the third column. Is anyone else having that problem? It’s a shame because she has a story about Howard Dean and John Kerry calling for Bill Clinton to broker a middle east peace. Maybe they meant a middle east “piece.”

John Cole of Balloon Juice says that the DNC weblog is an exercise in groupthink, because comments (even comments polite in tone) questioning the party line are taken down. John’s post attracted a particularly ugly troll. (Conservative males are “sister and sheep f**king redneck[s],” and conservative females are “goat f**king slut[s].”) I’m glad that John left the troll’s comments up, which is something that apparently never would happen over at the DNC weblog.

Da Goddess is giving marketing advice. As usual, she is quite right.

Roger at Curmudgeonly & Skeptical cracks me up every single day. Click and scroll. It’s all great.

The guys at Power Line are reporting on the situation in Basra as compared to that in Baghdad.

Misha is seriously pissed off (Surprised? I didn’t think so.) at PETA’s announced plans to hand out leaflets to children who attend The Nutcracker with mothers wearing fur. The leaflets depict a drawing of a crazed woman plunging a bloody knife into the belly of a terrified rabbit. Charming.

Margi is searching for her mojo in the “White Album” (Number 9, Number 9, Number 9), and lamenting her lost scotch, but still took the time to point us to some good sites.

Sgt. Hook is spending the weekend camping with a several GI dads and their children, including his young buccaneers. And he thought survival training was tough.

Drumwaster points out that the candidate who truly is leading in the polls is a person called “Don’t Know.” Seems fitting.

Acidman proves that some people who say they will “work for food” are not really interested in working. And, my guess is that they aren’t very interested in food either.

The Laughing Wolf is serving up his regular Saturday good news and food for thought.

Mark at Not Quite Tea and Crumpets is back after a break, and he was a winner at the company Christmas Party. All too often the only thing one wins at such parties is a massive hangover and the gnawing fear that you may have called the wrong person an asshole.

In order to relieve the tension born of wrapping, baking and cleaning, Kate of Katespot has been catapulting Santa for points.

Erin at Gigglechick has found that Saddam actually has some good news.

Kathy from On the Third Hand suggests a possible design for a structure to be built on the former site of the twin towers. I used to be able to see the twin towers from my yard. I could get used to looking at this.

The Mudville Gazette actually has found a news article that is fair and balanced. It must have been something they ate.

The Country Store is taken with the notion of millions of Mexicans in California carrying matriculas consulares, which essentially are “illegal alien cards.” Green cards? We don’t need no steeenkin’ green cards.

Zogby reports on corruption in Philadelphia. Corruption in Philly? Can’t be. Say it ain’t so, Mr. Z.

Adam, the Single Southern Guy, will be heading to New Hampshire to do some political work, although he does not say for whom. Hmmmmmm.

Ravenwood is pointing to Jack’s picture of Saddam, which will send Jack’s hit counter spinning yet again. Note to self. Learn that photoshop stuff.

Zombyboy at Resurrection Song reviews Return of the King. I must admit that I am beginning to feel really out of touch. I have never seen the TV show with Paris Hilton and Whathisname’s daughter. I have never seen Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and I don’t know shit about Tolkein. I really have to get my shit together.

Roberto at Dynamobuzz reports that Keith Richards turned 60. My God! There’s a guy whose liver has processed more pharmaceuticals than Eli Lilly, and he’s still rockin’.

Spoons is counting backwards, starting from now and going back to the time when Libya started its negotiations to dismantle its WMD program, in order to fix the moment of “conception.” Interesting.

Jeff at Side Salad is up to Disturbing Santa No. 20. Woof!

Bill at Bloviating Inanities had a rough time with the crowds at the supermarket and even a rougher time at the liquor trying to buy a bottle of vodka. Note to Bill – Problems in Virginia? Chicken shit. You’re forgetting your Jersey roots. Come back to Jersey, where we really have crowds and store employees who, in their spare time, kick puppies.

Tiger fell victim to demon rum. Oh, do I know how that feels. Then again, it’s hard to feel sorry for a guy who eats ketchup on hot dogs. Blecch.

Serenity is really honked off at a person named Helen. I’m glad I’m not Helen. That’s gotta hurt.

SuperG of Babel On is back in the USA and blogging from the Garden State.

Jay Solo is headed for a vacation on the Left Coast. Beware of the wearers of the tinfoil hats.

Russ at Tacjammer examines the notion of a “trial” for Saddam and points out (quite accurately, methinks) that the proceeding should be more in the nature of a sentencing hearing.

Bogie reports on a radio ad that still has me scratching my head.

Buffy at Arrrgh has a serious case of the ass with McDonald’s new radio ad campaign. Yowza! It’s pretty clear that she was not among those who participated in the focus groups that pass on McDonald’s contemplated ad campaigns.

Amy at Aimless got some good news from the doc. I’m happy for her.

Casey at In Sheeps Clothing is taking a break. It seems that she has a pretty full plate at the moment.

Kim at Velociworld, in my view, deserves a medal for making it through a sweet-sixteen party for his daughter held at his home without strangling even one kid.

Eric, the Straight White Guy, takes us on a long, long walk through the hills of Scotland. This one is a must.

LeeAnn at The Cheese … deals with the Friday Five as only she can. Note to self: Try vodka and diet root beer. You’ve tried vodka and damned near everything else.

Dax Montana shares a bit of his art work. Note to Dax: Music, man. Stick to the music.

Ryan of Tasty Manatees posted today’s “five items,” one of which deals with conspiracy theories surrounding Saddam’s capture. One has to wonder how some of these conspiracy people continue to live with nothing but shit between their ears.

Sarah at Trying to Grok posted “100 Things.” I was a fan before I read the 100 things, and I am even a bigger fan now.

Holy crap! I just saw that Kevin of Wizbang (and one of his commenters) also have never read any of the Lord of the Rings books or saw any of the movies. I figure that makes three of us.

Pam at Pamibe is properly disgusted by Madonna’s venturing into the land of political endorsements. I don’t know whether it is sad or comical that she apparently believes her endorsement is valuable. Yo, Madonna. Shut up and sing. On second thought, just shut up.

That’s all folks. I may well take Sunday off, as I have a lot to do, and it is my turn to tend bar at the American Legion.


December 19, 2003

Translation Funnies.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:35 pm

Bill, a reader in Florida, sent me an e-mail in which he took the Google Translation Post (see 12/17, below) one step further. What he did was to take two recent posts from this site and have Google translate them into Spanish. He then had the Spanish text translated back into English via BabelFish, which produced something that is both interesting and funny as hell.

Here is the first post as it appears below.

Another One Gone.
Having recently completed law school and started a new job, I Hate Stupid People is also closing up shop.

I wish her well.

Here’s how it came out after two translations.

Other Gone.
Recently finishing the school of lawyers and begun a new work, hatred stupid people also I am closing myself upon store.

Affluent desire the.

Here is the second post as it appears below.

Santa Pfffffft.
Have you seen those large, inflatable Santas people are placing on the lawns, in front of their houses? They are quite popular around here. Once inflated, the Santas look quite nice, with Santa toting a sack full of toys over his shoulder, with his free hand raised to greet passers-by. The problem is that damned near all of them leak and end up flat as pancakes on the lawn, leaving ol’ St. Nick looking like he took a header from the sleigh at about 40,000 feet.

Bad imagery.

Here’s how it looks after two translations.

Santa Pfffffft.

You have seen those Noel Papa great, inflatable who people are placing in the turfs, in front of your houses? They are absolutely popular around here. Once they are inflated, Noel Papa seems absolutely pleasant, with Santa toting a coat completely of toys on their shoulder, with their free hand raised to salute to traseúntes. The problem is that cursed near all it escápese and finishes upon plane like crepes in the turf, leaving ol’ St. Melle to watch as it took a head from sleigh in near 40,000 feet.

Bad images

It is somewhat unsettling, but I think I have actually spoken like that a few times after having tee many martoonis. However, I must admit that I do rather like the phrase “crepes in the turf.” Quite poetic, no?

Thanks to Bill for taking the trouble to provide me (and hopefully you) with a good laugh and a solid demonstration of the subtlety of language, which, to date, has eluded computer programs, but which comes naturally to the human brain.

“Coffee, Black.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 5:15 pm

One Fine Jay seems to like black coffee even more than I do. I only today came across this nicely written piece, “In Praise of Coffee.” Here’s a taste:

No other drink, aside from alcohol, can bring people so close together. It is the drink of friendships, of time shared between people who care. It is the drink of those in a hurry, and those who have too much time. It is the drink that fits socially in where alcohol does not.

Pour yourself a nice cup, and go read it all.

December 18, 2003

Another One Gone.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 1:47 pm

Having recently completed law school and started a new job, I Hate Stupid People is also closing up shop.

I wish her well.

Santa Pfffffft.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:18 am

Have you seen those large, inflatable Santas people are placing on the lawns, in front of their houses? They are quite popular around here. Once inflated, the Santas look quite nice, with Santa toting a sack full of toys over his shoulder, with his free hand raised to greet passers-by.

The problem is that damned near all of them leak and end up flat as pancakes on the lawn, leaving ol’ St. Nick looking like he took a header from the sleigh at about 40,000 feet.

Bad imagery.

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